Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 21: High School Banned
Part 6: Burning Down the House (The School Invasions Part IV)
Part 6: Burning Down the House (The School Invasions Part IV)
back office. The Peter Ross casting a bitter glare at the three young women across his desk has lost none of his arrogance but much of his confidence, and it shows. The lines in his face are deeper. His eyes betray greater emotion: anger, hatred, fear.
Nor are the women staring back the same as they were when he descended from on high to meet them on the second day of school, the day after his hired Blade Knight failed to murder Karen Kubota and died. Behind them: the Student Union, the Team Challenge, the school invasions, lost friends, and true love. Their leader, the pacifist, is absent. Her less merciful comrades confront him with defiant nudity. Taut sleek bodies and glamourous aura focus cold intelligence and ruthless logic into razor sharpness. Two months of cruel experience have made all the difference in the world. The Student Union are fielding their most effective and dangerous Players.
Shira Thomas leans slightly toward him with a slight cockeyed smile on her lips and a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, eerily calm yet emotionally charged, looking extremely dangerous. “Well, well, well. I knew the captain of this sinking ship would drop in again now that the iceberg’s hit it.”
His eyes drill into hers yet fail to intimidate. “I knew all along our enemy would be playing her game through her own daughter.”
“The game was mine alone. But it was still yours to lose. How does it feel to have your tail plucked, Mr. Chairman?”
He flinches. He narrows his eyes again. “So you won the right to live in filth with that little Eurotrash whore of yours, whatever her name is?”
The girl with the violet eyes leans in with a hard glare that makes him flinch. “I have no name. But yours? How terribly big for one so small-minded.”
“I am still the head of this company!” he shoots back. “Why should I listen to such nonsense coming from a mere girl?”
“I am my own person. But you, Mr. Ross? For all your high rank and considerable bulk, you are but king of the pygmies. Your subjects are already in revolt. It pleases me to help them remove your head.” She lets a contemptuous smile form on her lips.
Jennifer Blair stands tall, takes off her glasses, and does not smile. “You cut off our head, twice. Now you’ll know how strong the many really are when they lead together.”
Ross sneers. “I cannot believe that with a head like that you still believe in tailism, Miss Blair.”
“It would be harder to believe that someone in your position would give up his blind faith in that vanguardist fairy tale about heads and tails. I don’t put faith in your Leader Principle. I do science, not fairy tales.”
“The need for a leader to preserve social order is God’s own truth, not some fairy tale.”
“Order, Chairman? Whatever you’re thinking of, it has nothing to do with reality.”
“Reality! What is this so-called ‘reality’ of yours? You science types worship dead matter!”
“Worship!” Jennifer laughs at him. He turns furiously red. “We ‘science types’ don’t surrender to gods or raise up idols to hide from reality. We seek to know reality as it is. Your entire Revolution is nothing but an exercise in mass evasion. Whatever your ideal was supposed to be, it was born dead.”
“You still don’t get it,” says Shira, “even though you’re now about to get it.”
“Reality’s about to get its revenge.”
“And the victims,” says the nameless girl, “are already withdrawing their sanction.”
“You can’t kill what’s already dead,” says Shira. “And you know what? SPEC was born undead. Take away the sorcery that keeps it undead, and it falls to dust like a vampire with a stake in its heart. You think I beat you? Your game was unwinnable from the first move.”
Ross loses all reason, stands up, flails at them, goes beet-red with rage. “Get out, you traitors! Get out!”
“Who’s getting emotional now?”
He lets out an inhuman squeal. Three nude beauties coldly turn their backs on him and calmly walk to the door. The girl with no name stops her lovers, holds them close, plants a passionate sweet kiss on first Jennifer’s lips and then Shira’s. His breathing begins to audibly fail. She flashes him a sweet, sweet smile. “Remember, you are already dead.” She opens the door to lead Shira out by the hand. Jennifer stays to cast him an unnerving stare for a moment that feels like forever. In one motion she puts on her glasses, pivots to leave, and slams the door behind her.
He reaches for his iPhone to call Jack Becket at the Bangor Jail when he feels the hypertension-weakened blood vessel burst in his brain. Vision blurs, rage drains away, his entire right side goes limp and sags. As he goes dark, with his last breath, he mumbles: “Impossible... why always... girls...”
cafeteria. Walking out of the principal’s office, Shira, Jennifer, and the nameless girl give no indication even to the principals of the Chairman’s condition. The bodyguards stay in place until they hear Falconer scream.
The girls rejoin the rest of Team Bremelo in the center of the cafeteria. Students swarm them to cheer their champions and hail them as conquering heroes.
Suddenly an explosion rocks the front entrance. “Gang invasion!” yells Steve. “Everybody run!”
Hundreds of screaming students flee toward the back-side exits, leaving only nine female nudefighters trembling with anticipation and carrying their signature weapons to confront the threat. They put on paper masks to filter out the choking dust.
A shot rings out from the principal’s office. The bodyguards mob the office door to pry it open. They will be no help, but little threat either.
The dust slowly dissipates. The guards are dead; those who weren’t killed by the explosion had their throats cut. The killers stand massed on the other side. The commander comes into view:
Colonel Braddock Green. Flanking him, an enraged Stan Green and a leering Vince Corson. The Colonel screams the order: “Rape ’em to deeeaaaaath!”
“This is the final test,” says Jennifer.
“Full-scale school invasion,” says Shira. She unholsters her Go-Yo and spins it up and down, slowly and threateningly as she slowly advances toward the terrorists about to strike.
principal’s office. Falconer points her Colt at the other principals with a crazed look on her face. A wide-eyed Principal Principal nervously smirks and sweats. “Uh, Major, what are you doing?”
Explosions and gunfire mask her shots. By the time they end, the other five principals are dead.
She rushes to the back office hoping to kill Ross. She shoots the lock and kicks the door open.
The Chairman is slumped on the desk, dead of a massive stroke.
She unleashes a maniacal laugh at the top of her lungs. She runs back to the front office, drags one dead principal through the hall to the back office, and goes back for each of the others.
cafeteria. On one side, the Conservative revengers led by Colonel Green: militants, terrorists, Men’s Rights extremists, Moral Enforcers, Tournament fighters from other schools. On the other, the nine nudefighting girls of Team Bremelo: Shira, Kira, Jennifer, Brandi, Polly, Daisy, Irina, Melody, and the girl with no name, quickly joined their male fighters in their school uniforms: Rob, Connor, Cory, and Kio — and Debbie? She kisses the nameless girl, then thrusts the butt end of her rifle threateningly at the invaders. Charlie joins the nudefighters as soon as she can.
The invaders rush in screaming like mad Apaches; the girls retreat so the boys can seal the entrance and leap sure-footed across the lunch tables like mountain goats. Darkness falls over the windows. The moaning projection of Rebel Styles appears surrounded by organic Team Bremelo emblems that attack the invaders, who shoot at them in vain. The monfighters and librarians run in armed with bottle rockets, Roman candles, and spud guns they fire at them in a barrage before retreating.
Shira stands on a table at the center, stark naked in full view of the men who came to rape her to death, holding her left hand high and in it — a playing card? no, it’s holographic: knowing what they’re in for, all remaining Bremeloes retreat — her computer filters her vision—
“Danmaku Jigoku — Musou Tensei!”
The spell card she stole from Reimu Hakurei in the Technosphere explodes in a violent light-particle barrage to attack the attackers — strobing lights rape their eyes, brutal migraines scream in their heads, the world spins around them with tornado force, they go down twitching in violent grand-mal seizures, some die just from that. The strobe assault ends, surviving invaders peel themselves off the floor and rush her all at once screaming terrifying bestial war cries; the projections vanish and the darkness returns; the men try to beat her into pulp and tear her into bloody shreds, but she dodges and weaves and lures their fists into each other’s faces until they fight themselves and slaughter each other in a mad frenzy of ultraviolence and she is gone.
storeroom. Zac opens the door; Steve, Akane, Ken, and Seika rush in. He throws them some box knives; they cut open the cardboard boxes containing the signs for the rally.
The huge doors slowly open to the loading bay. They put the signs on hand trucks and run them out to the loading bay and the students waiting outside.
cafeteria. The victorious Bremeloes search for wounded students the others can rush out of the building, but leave the dead and wounded invaders behind. Polly nervously asks, “Is it over yet?”
“I hope so,” Jennifer replies, “but I get the feeling...”
Suddenly, Bart grabs Shira from behind and tries to bear-hug her to death: she snaps her head back to break his nose, kicks his knees and stomps on his feet till he reels from the pain, snakes and slips her sweaty body free and faces him head on: “Stand back, I got him!”
She thrusts her Go-Yo spinning down. He picks up a machine gun from one of the dead invaders. She flicks her weapon at him. He blocks it and aims. She ducks, rolls, and shatters both his knees with a single swing.
Bart unleashes a blood-curdling howl of pain and despair. He falls to his knees and struggles not to feel the pain and fails. Involuntarily, he whimpers and shudders. Unable to control himself, he howls, screams, collapses into sobs. He curls up into fetal position, holding his shattered knees. Realizing he has been utterly defeated, he falls silent.
Shira kneels over him and says, “Live by the sword, die by the sword. The rally’s going.” She stands up and yells to anyone within hearing range, “Let’s get the party started!”
Suddenly, a series of explosions goes off throughout the school. Huge blasts destroy classrooms and storage rooms. The newest wing of classrooms, less than five years old, is obliterated.
principal’s office. The insane Falconer mows down Ross’ bodyguards as they swarm in hoping to save their boss and die not knowing he is already dead. She kills them until she builds a mountain of corpses to block the front office from reality. She takes one last peek in the back office, where she has arranged the corpses of Ross and the principals in a deranged artistic arrangement.
She flings open the door to the basement. She drags a few corpses into the stairwell. She closes the door, locks it, puts corpses against it to block the way down, and runs down the stairs to the detention center and the secret tunnel at the other end, toward the hangar the late Roger Becket built, where she has hidden Fleer’s SeaHawk.
campus. The remaining students and teachers swarm out all the entrances to join the ones who have already escaped. Some run out the truck loading bay carrying loads of pickets from the storeroom to distribute; some run back in to get the rest.
They assemble with giddy enthusiasm between the main arterial clogged with rush-hour traffic and the school buildings, some of them in ruins like Dictel Stadium and the Nike Arena nearby. Girls squee, boys howl, even Debbie and the Fleer sisters can’t help but get caught up in a wave of enthusiasm and opposition that feels like a revolution. The scheduled rally begins with heightened emotions and expectations.
student council room. The last leaders of a now powerless Student Council assemble for the last time: Lucy, Christie, Kelly, Mikey, the Brinkman siblings, and a wounded Team Valiant now leaderless. Christie grumbles, “Now look what you’ve done, you backstabbing traitor.” The Valiants mumble.
“As Shira Thomas would say,” Lucy sneers, “‘don’t call me what you are.’” The Valiants mumble.
Bob and Rachel get up, go to the door, and look back at their now former comrades. “As Shira would say,” says Rachel, “you’re over.” And they are gone. The Valiants mumble.
bangor jail. “Hello, Pete?” Jack Becket looks at Anson Mobley; the local chief shrugs. “Peter, pick up the fucking phone!” He gets no response.
The calls start coming in. The location: Eightieth Street between Dictel Park and Bangor High. The phonecam images proliferate on the monitors. The one-eyed man realizes what has happened, and his blood goes cold. He throws his phone. “Shit!”
bangor high. A mass of young humanity crowds the lawn between the school and the street, carrying the anti-violence picket signs the Student Union made and chanting Karen’s slogans for peace, united by a common purpose and the desperation of people knowing their lives may soon be ended. They work together like a single person, with no leaders to be found, in the knowledge that they have already won.
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Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 4/2/13: Opening scene (“Return to the Secret Office”) based on the unfinished Revision 3 version of 21.1 with ties to Final Revision continuity, references to the original scene in 6.2, and the one good paragraph in 21.1 R2. The remainder is expanded and heavily edited from 21.6 R2 to lead directly into Chapter 22 and fit Final Revision continuity. The original R2 section title did not have the Rush-inspired subtitle.]