Friday, March 22, 2013

Spanner Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality (Final Revision)

← Chapter 18

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality (Final Revision)

After a series of murders over a Bangor High Student Council member’s iPhone, SPEC Chairman Ross fires the trigger-happy volunteer guards he hired last chapter; COPCO Seattle section chief Jack Becket and Admiral Alan Fleer get their turn against Shira Thomas and her high-school crew of reality hackers. Chief Becket loses a lot of money in the attempt, and more. Admiral Fleer loses his mind...

Table of Contents:
  1. The iPhone Murders (September 25, 2011, Final Revision 3/11/13)
  2. Building the Perfect Girl (September 26, 2011, Final Revision 3/12/13)
  3. Read Between the Lies (September 27, 2011, Final Revision 3/18/13)
  4. The Copbot Suicides (September 28, 2011, Final Revision 3/19/13)
  5. Living Dead Girl (September 29, 2011, Final Revision 3/20/13)
  6. Drag You Down With Me (September 30, 2011, Final Revision 3/21/13)
  7. Interlude 12: Portrait of the Death of the Artist (March 23, 2013)
Most of 19.1 is a new scenario mixed with older scenes; the rest of the chapter is condensed from the Revision 2 version along with scenes from Chapters 18 and 20, all heavily revised to fit in the new Final Revision continuity. The chapter title combines the titles of the late-1980s cyberpunk magazine Reality Hackers (the predecessor to Mondo 2000) with the Black Sabbath album Masters of Reality. Original section titles changed from Revision 2: “Into the Snake Pit” (19.1), “The Perfect Girl” (19.2), “The Memetic Terrorists” (19.4), “Live Zombies” (19.5). There is no Third Revision version — except for 19.2.

The original Revision 1 and 2 revision notes:
First Revision Notes: [Yes, it begins with a quote, something I normally limit to the opening sections of chapters.]

A man cannot spin a character out of his inner consciousness and make him really life-like unless he has the possibility of that character within him — a dangerous admission for one to make who has drawn as many villains as I.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I have a nasty temper. I have a social conscience. When the two come together — watch out!

Or just read this chapter and find out just how evil a Dennis Jernberg villain can truly be.

In this case, the villains are Admiral Alan Fleer and his partner in crime, Honey Sue Falconer. I put my full fury into them. You want to know just what Team Spanner are up against? Consider this: Spanner is the most cynical gangster epic in the history of fiction. The word “gangster” is properly defined as the kind of serial killer that runs in packs. This explains the importance of the Slasher Hunters to the story. There is no tyranny without the most vicious gangsterism to back it up with terrorism. That’s right: tyranny, terrorism, and gangsterism are one and the same thing. It cannot be any other way. Cascadia’s ruling “Fearsome Foursome” — Admiral Alan Fleer, Governor J. Walter Brinkman, Seattle Mayor Rev. Luke Everson, and NPA Cascadia Section Chief John Cameron Brinkman — are mob lords, and Cascadia is their turf.

Is it any wonder that those Evangelical Christians who remained Christian despite the extreme temptation of power willfully risk their lives to call “Jesus America” the Antichrist?

So how does a hero take on such a synarchy of supervillains? Not by force. Not by mass protest, at least not at first. By hacking reality itself. Turn the spin against the spinmeisters. Take the battle to the enemy at a higher level. Make them fight you on your home territory. Strike the killing blow with weapons they cannot defend against.

Scenarios from the Project Notebooks of the late 1990s: the robot suicides and the Mexican standoff. Characters: the Skeever Brothers.

And now the battle is joined at last...

Second Revision Update: After a Chapter 18 of almost all new material, I’m now mixing and matching material from Chapters 18 through 23 of the first draft into a more workable order and adding new material wherever I feel it’s needed. By this point, the Second Edition is far superior to the first draft, as the plot escalates toward the climax of Book 1 in Chapter 23. For those of you who read the first draft already, I have some surprises up my sleeve...

I wrote the original chapter in a bad mood. This partly explains the tone of the original introduction. Interestingly enough, that introduction (quoted below) applies much better to the new Chapter 19 than the original. And just because a villain’s minions fail doesn’t mean he isn’t still evil...
Chapter 20

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