Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 5: Living Dead Girl (Final Revision)
Part 5: Living Dead Girl (Final Revision)
18 october 2014.
shira’s apartment. Kira penetrates the “Kirabot” (as she calls Bliss) with the strap-on while Shira and the girl with the violet eyes make love beside them. She wields it like a warrior, plunges deep, builds the sexbot to at least a realistic simulation of orgasm, which only inflames her further; the lovers beside them unite in building ecstasy beyond all reason, sense of self, separation from each other and the world, exploding the world inside their fused bodies—
After their shower they meet Hope, Jennifer, and Rob at breakfast. The violet-eyed girl smiles when her twin brother blushes at seeing her nude. “After Big Al and Chief One-Eye,” says Jennifer, “I can’t possibly guess who’ll be next.”
Hope says, “We’d better be concerned with what Ross has up his sleeve now that Chief One-Eye’s precious copbots committed mass suicide on him.”
“I’m sure he’ll take his time while he’s fending off short sellers,” the violet-eyed replies.
“The weekend’s here,” Shira says, “so we better expect trouble.”
“Come to think of it,” Jennifer says, “SPEC’s standards are getting more irrational by the minute. I suspect this week’s events have management careening completely off the rails.”
Shira’s phone rings. “Hello? Oh, Kei, how nice to... Oh, you do? I’ll get dressed and over as soon as I can, thanks ’bye!”
Kira looks at her strangely. “What was that about?”
“Oh, I didn’t tell you about the hoverboard courier job I do on the side? I make a lotta velveeta that way.” Shira winks.
“I did see you race. So, Princess No-Name, how do you like slumming among the Rockers?”
The girl looks at her indignantly. “Kira, I belong here.” Rob laughs.
black tower. The Fearsome Foursome put Litton on the spot. Brinkman says, “That young lady is going too far. Why aren’t you damaging her, Litton?”
Litton smirks admiringly. “She’s quite the handful, ain’t she.”
Jack Becket snaps, “What the hell are you talking about, Litton? She calls you ‘Rat Bastard,’ damn it!”
“She’s got the natives in the palm of her hand. If we weren’t here to hold ’em back, she’d have ’em going round naked and fucking in the streets. We’re not in Kansas anymore, boys.”
Everson snarls, “You forget why we are here, Mr. Litton. Our Nation’s dominion over this Godless backwater is on our shoulders, and therefore on yours.”
“To them, y’all are just a bunch of political parasites out to loot ’em.”
Fleer shouts, “We only do what God tells us to do! We make this hellhole American, by force!”
“Let’s not talk about us,” says Brinkman. “Let’s talk about this Shira Thomas and how to stop her from, as they say, ‘owning’ us.”
Litton keeps his eyes on Brinkman while he takes a long drag on his cigar and blows it out. “Your turn, Wally.”
red house. Luna sobs on her mother’s breast, “I don’t wanna be ‘Luna,’ ‘Lucie,’ or ‘Lucille’ anymore.” To the bright-eyed girl, she defiantly declares, “I wanna have no name just like you.”
The bright-eyed girl smiles at her. “Let’s pretend you already don’t have a name, then.”
“Let’s not just pretend,” Desiree says. “Say, daughter, are you willing to have me call you ‘daughter,’ ‘blondie,’ ‘love’ and non-names like that?” Luna nods eagerly.
“Use all the non-names that fit her,” reminds the nameless woman.
Luna gently pulls Desiree’s arm. “Please do it already?”
“I’ll do what I can do.” She calls Angela. “Hi, Angie. I was hoping you could do something for us.”
Angela asks, “Like what?”
“Get rid of my daughter’s name.”
“Not change it?”
“You know why.”
“Like Shira’s girlfriend and neighbours.”
“Exactly like that.”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Angela winks.
“Thanks.” Desiree ends the call. Overcome with unbearable hope, her daughter throws herself into her arms.
telesphere. Next among the Foursome to throw a Challenge at Shira over the airwaves is Brinkman, trying to play for keeps.
Announcer: This is the Emergency Alert System. [school picture of Shira appears on screen] Be on the lookout for Shira Thomas. She is suspected of subversive activities and possible child pornography. The Cascadia Public Management Corporation is putting out a reward—The picture distorts, and then Chesty Morgan is smothering John Holmes to death with her gigantic bare breasts. Shira slips in front of the scene.
Shira: A price on my head? Moi? [laughs contemptuously] That’s right, Wally Brinkman’s cheating again. Conservatives loathe politics, y’know.Shira slips out of the picture. Chesty Morgan lets go of John Holmes. He falls backward, out of the picture, dead. Cut to the naked corpse. Freeze frame.
But doesn’t he have more personal reasons? After all, in America, the political is personal. Rumor tells me this time I subverted a marriage he arranged. I stole the girl. The one with no name.
Attention hitmen: last time he put out a contract, the Slasher he hired met his happy end between the sweet cheeks of my beautiful brown ass. [turns around, slaps her short-skirted buttocks with both hands] Word to the wise guy.
kitsap kouriers. Shira flies through the front door on her hoverboard and in her summer uniform of baby tee, short tights, and open jacket; she hops off at the desk and gives Kei Thompson a huge kiss. “We missed you,” says Kei. “What have you been doing all this time?”
“That tutor thing, mainly.”
Frank comes up behind her. “Flirting with the girls again, Shira?”
Shira drapes herself on him flirtatiously. “Would I not? Kei’s my waifu, you should know.” Kei blushes and giggles helplessly; Shira goes back to kiss her again, much to Frank’s amusement. “What do you got for me today, lover?”
Kei struggles to control herself. “Sorry...” She hands Shira the job contract.
“Twelve-inches to the techGothic, huh?”
“The latest Skinny Puppy releases, even.” Kei winks.
Frank holds Shira from behind; they sway together. “Now don’t you cause trouble you can’t handle.”
“Aw, c’mon. Trouble’s my middle name.” She spins in his arms to kiss him. She takes the cargo and her advance, puts it in her hoverboard, gets on, and flies off.
black tower. “You’re taking your time, Alan,” says Everson.
“The enemy isn’t giving us any time, Luke,” says Fleer.
Brinkman yells, “Stop diddling and destroy the bitch already!”
Litton chuckles. The Foursome glare at him. “Y’all gotta destroy the bitch right if you don’t wanna make her an immortal and invincible martyr.” The Foursome continue to glare.
puget sound. Shira flies over ferries, warships, cargo ships. She’s going to Seattle powered by the board’s solar cells; she likes to save liquid fuel whenever she can. The cold wind feels bracing on her exposed skin. It feels good to deliver again. It takes her mind off SPEC politics.
The sky pirate tailing her is different this time. From the look of evil glee on his face, from the sniper rifle he’s pointing at her, she knows this is no mere gangster but a celebrity hunter, stars in his eyes, looking for a star on his trophy rack. He recognizes her from TerrorVision. She makes it a Challenge and makes herself a hard target. She swoops down.
He looks for her, readjusts his aim. Before he knows it, she reappears above him; before he can react, she blasts hot exhaust into his face, burning it right off; he spins out screaming to his death in the water down below. She was hoping to not waste liquid fuel. She sighs.
Back to full speed, toward Seattle and the Underground City.
bus. The two sideways seats in front of the back seat each seat three: Jennifer, Shira, and Polly on one side; Lorelei, Harumi, and Colette on the other. “Why didn’t Karen wanna come?” asks Colette.
“She wants to meet us at Alex’s,” Jennifer replies. “She’s ordered pizza.”
Lorelei puts her arms around Colette. “You all right now?”
“God, I totally love you guys.”
underground city. She lands in front of the grand entrance, extracts her cargo, and walks down the grand staircase that Paul Allen built. Oddly, the decadent underworld beneath Pioneer Square, the playground of gangsters, was left relatively untouched by the wave of destruction King Patriot’s death unleashed. Long before the night comes, the freaks are already out down here in the darkness beneath the streets: goths, metalheads, rivetheads, cyberpunks, hip-hoppers, bondage freaks, various Style Tribes. Her flame-red hair, wilder than usual, advertises her presence to the Stylers; some wave, some howl, some vamp, some glare at her jealously. She smiles and winks to signal she acknowledges their presence.
Her destination: the techGothic. George Hassan, the Greek-accented Leather Primitive who owns the place, waits for her to deliver the vinyl in her bag. She smiles at the thought that he’s getting a special kick out of receiving a delivery of Skinny Puppy records from the red-hot jailbait daughter of a postpunk guitar legend who once recorded with Nivek Ogre himself. Not that he wants her himself; he prefers leatherboys. She gets a kick of her own out of being the center of the underground’s attention as she walks past the staring, gossiping crowd.
She reaches the club. Hassan is there. She gives him the bag of records. He asks, “Have you heard them yet?”
“The Ogre sessions? Cedric played ’em for me himself.”
A man behind her says, “Hey, sexy.” She spins to find Sparks in full black trenchcoat. To his shock she throws herself into his arms and kisses him violently.
admiral’s house. In the living room, Eden Becket Fleer screams at her husband the Admiral over his raging adulterous affair with Honey Sue Falconer. Lillian hides from their increasingly violent conflict in the basement and cries over the phone. In the bedroom the sisters share upstairs, Charmian coldly tells eldest sister Vivian, “I hope you’re not defending Father’s affair with the Major.”
Vivian snaps back, “Are you believing what a terrorist says? Father’s our reason for living! We must support him even if we must stand against our own mother!”
“Vivian, you were always Father’s favorite,” Dorian says. “Spanner has no idea what your body looks like, but I do. If that video is true—”
Christian tries to punch Dorian, but is easily parried; she screams in her face, “That’s impossible! Vivian wouldn’t do such a thing to Father!”
“His own daughter! If the terrorist’s tape is real, we’re finished! We might as well be... what’s the word?”
“Muggles,” Julian replies.
“Then let us hope the terrorist forged that video, for your sake and ours.”
Vivian sneers, “Father is always right. The Law says so.” She leaves, and Christian follows. Fearing for their mother, the remaining sisters huddle together and cry.
underground city. It’s just as loud and crowded in the techGothic as ever. The dancers still jerk around to the unpleasant industrial disco; the robot whores still have no shortage of paying customers. As Shira, Sparks, and Hassan weave and wend their way through, she notices for the first time something disturbingly wrong about the naked go-go dancers in their shiny white high-heeled leather boots. Shira runs up to one, a dead-eyed goth girl covered in black flame tattoos, in order to inspect her; Sparks follows. The goth girl ignores them. “Skin color’s realistic,” she says, “but she’s either a robot or dead.”
He sniffs at the dancer, then looks at Shira. “Formaldehyde?”
She sniffs the dancer. “Soft-plastinated!”
“That, my friends,” says Hassan, “is a Deadbot.”
“DeadBot? Not much is new to me, but that one is.”
“The process was just invented this year.”
“Robotizing a plastinated corpse? I can do that!”
Sparks’ mouth drops open; he points at the dancer. “Jesus H. fuck — I recognize this one!”
“You actually knew this woman?”
“Serial killer fangirl Ollie whacked right in front of me couple o’ days after the Spanner Incident. See the knife marks?”
She notices multiple sutures on and between its breasts, one across the slashed throat, and one all the way across her forehead indicating that the top of its skull was removed. “Wow. I wonder if this was what she actually wanted to be.”
“Funny, I never noticed at first, but then these girls don’t move like they’re dead at all.”
Supple muscles contract and breasts bounce as if the body were still living. “Whoever did it soft-plastinated her while she was fresh.” She climbs up onto the platform, into the spotlight, right in front of the dancer. She looks carefully at the blank dead face. She waves her hand in front of its eyes; it stops to look at her. She gazes intently into them for a minute. “Those lovely eyes are top-of-the-line Zeiss.” She jumps back down with a huge grin on her face. “Our girl’s a silicon-brained dance machine. SRL, eat your hearts out! I wonder if she fucks too.”
Sparks wobbles, nauseous from uncanny-valley syndrome. He says nothing. She mischievously wiggles her eyebrows at him.
After Hassan deposits the records in the back and pays her, she walks out with Sparks, casting a quick glance at the DeadBot. It immediately stops dancing. She runs away from Sparks; the DeadBot runs after her. “Hey!” shouts Hassan. They run after them out the door, but they’re already too late; the DeadBot climbs onto the rising hoverboard, and Shira flies away laughing.
puget sound. As Shira and her new DeadBot fly underneath an Imperial Navy SeaHawk, Fleer takes a call on the battle copter’s old-fashioned telephone. The caller ID says Honey Sue Falconer on an encrypted line. “What do you want, Honey?”
Falconer’s almost seductive voice betrays a plan. “Alan, I’ve come upon the solution to all our problems.”
“You’ve found the way to destroy Shira Thomas?”
“Even better than that. We destroy those around her, starting with that repulsively humanist halfbreed cousin of hers. Brendan agrees this plan’s foolproof.”
“You’d better hurry, ’cuz the enemy’s on her way back to Bremerton on her hoverboard as we speak.”
penguindrome. Shira says, “I call her Jane Dead.” Kira, Jennifer, the girl with the violet eyes, and the Krewe stare at the naked DeadBot standing before them with its unblinking dead eyes, tattooed skin with uncanny sheen, and go-go boots. “Made from one of Ollie’s fangirl victims, even.”
“Woo-hoo!” exults Deth Pussy. “You steal her?”
“I hacked her so she came with.”
“My name is Jane Dead,” the DeadBot says in a dead voice, “and I am the property of Loca Fantoma.”
“Are you fuckable, Jane Dead?”
“I was designed to be fucked. Do you want to fuck me now?”
The violet-eyed girl shoots Shira a pained look. “Shira, is this another of your robot sex toys?”
“Would you like to fuck me? I’m programmed for lesbian sex too.”
Shira puts her arm around the shocked girl’s shoulders. “Remember I’m willing to share, love.” She kisses her.
Kira strips naked to a chorus of gasps. “Jane Dead, I command you to fuck me. In front of everybody.” The hackers whoop, scream, and dance around as Kira lies down and Jane mounts her to carry out her tribadic programming. The nameless girl has had enough; she drags Jennifer and a laughing Shira out with her.
downtown bremerton. Karen decides to walk the waterfront promenade to the ferry terminal. She walks slowly so she can enjoy the crisp cool autumn evening air.
But when she reaches the end of Second Street, people flee from her screaming. Suddenly she finds herself surrounded by enraged cops.
“Freeze, commonist traitor! Down on the ground now!”
Major Falconer has none of their patience. Before the cops can tase Karen, she leaps out of the nearest squad car, jumps her, punches her until she loses consciousness, and screams, “Now I got you, little witch! I’m gonna kill you myself and all your peacenik traitor friends!” She bites Karen’s ear just to hurt her before she throws her into the back of the car, steals it, and speeds off to the Bangor base and her lover.
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Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 3/20/13: Most scenes retained from Revision 2 and heavily edited for Fourth Revision continuity. Original title “Live Zombies”; “Living Dead Girl” was my original choice and is now the final title. Rewritten under the influence of a continuous two-hour dose of Sigue Sigue Sputnik.]