Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spanner 23.6: I Am the Future

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 23: Black Panic in the Suites
Part 6: I Am the Future (Final Revision)

Nameless Reporter: Almost all the votes have been phoned, texted, emailed, and web-polled in, and now it’s official: 28% in favor of CPMC, 82% voting no-confidence. Better yet, CPMC stock’s falling through the floor!
Brinkman: There was no vote! It never happened! There’s only one vote in this state, and it’s mine! I’m the chairman, CEO, and sole owner of this corporation, and... and...
Hope Reston: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sacrifices you've made, giving up careers and families and sometimes even your lives, to take back our rights and freedom. All credit belongs to you alone. Democracy is our freedom. Democracy is our strength. Long live the people of Cascadia! As long as all of us work together to fight for our freedom and help those who are most in need, the System cannot prevail.
Spanner: Do you see the cracks in the castle walls, in the foundation? Corporatism built the citadel of American Empire out of bigotry, power lust, greed, and corruption, on a foundation made from the pure quicksand of evasion and lies. But never let yourselves get complacent. Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile. They have already begun rebuilding. Not only is the fight not over, it’s hardly even begun.
debBot: Look at all those state flags down there, daveBot! Where’s the American flags? Do they have it in for America?
downtown bremerton. Sitting with her family in her wheelchair at a table at the edge of Harborside Plaza overlooking the boardwalk, Karen is shocked to find herself hailed as a hometown hero. Saffron pulls her younger sister to her feet and holds her tight, screaming and sobbing in joy; brothers Shin and Sage make it a dancing group hug. Back in her wheelchair, a stunned Polly puts her arms around her. “I had no idea it would get this big...”

Karen kisses her cheek. “I knew all along.”


“We have a lot of enemies, and a lot of friends. I almost gave up, but Shira said, let’s bet on the people.”

“Sounds like her!” Mimi, Trishie, and Ruthie join them, and the four girls group-hug their bravest friend.

Six dreamers in a psychedelic borderworld more vivid than normal dreamspace find themselves surrounded by enraged spirits taller than the sky. Jennifer says, “These are the Egos of the Party leadership.”

“We’re gods too,” says the girl with the violet eyes. “They cannot hurt us here.”

“If they try,” says Shira, “they’ll only hurt themselves.”

Kira directs them toward the portal out. “We can’t stay here. People need us.” They redirect their flight toward the portal and through it back into the real world.

westlake plaza. Ariel, Taylor, and Melody carefully carry down six exhausted young women on their Repulse fields, naked and sweat-drenched and caught on the border between waking and dreams, into a main city square packed with dancing cheering strikers celebrating their unexpected victory over CPMC. Melody directs the others toward their friends from Bangor High: Student Union leaders Colette, Kio, Courtney, Lorelei, Lorine, and Doug; teachers Sylvia Plame, Yasmin Khoury, Eugene Fletcher, and Ada Paulette; and librarians Sally Hatfield, Kitty Carlisle, and Chrissy Jordan. They scream and sigh, relieved their friends didn’t die in the battle against the superheroes above; they welcome them with arms raised high to receive them. Even before she reaches the ground, even in her half-conscious delirium, Jennifer thinks aloud: “I need to invent some way to beat those guys together... wait, I can’t just do it myself, we need to open-source it so everybody can put their minds to it... yeah, just like science...”

But then the cheering and dancing stop. Everyone looks up and falls silent. Hovering above them, battle-ravaged cape fluttering in the wind, is the Scarab, looking down upon his enemy the people with a terrifying murderous stare that eventually settles on Shira. He tells her telepathically, I hope you’re pleased with yourself, angel of chaos.

I’m not the kind of Player in it for personal glory, god man. You can’t win, but we can still lose.

I told your sister you can only win against them, but she would not listen to me either. Their time is past. They have no future. Neither do you if you choose to go down with them.

Why do you keep prematurely proclaiming victory? Is that an Ego thing? She gives him a beautiful smile. He does not answer.

Ariel, smiling sweetly, seemingly no worse for wear, clutching the briefcase containing the Gospel of the New Genesis, rises up to meet the battle-weary World Patriarch. She tells him, No, you can’t have it, and I won’t leave until you do. The two powerful enemies stare each other down for an endless uncomfortable moment.

He does not respond even telepathically. Reluctantly he flies away to rejoin his Liberator comrades heading across the mountains. Satisfied that he will not return, Ariel lets the people celebrate their victory while they still can and flies off into the west.
Nameless Reporter: CPMC stock has collapsed! The New York Stock Exchange has just announced its intention to delist it along with COPCO...
Brinkman: (trembling, growling) You fucking parasites, we’ll take back our rightful wealth and dominion God promised to us and you stole from us. We shall not forgive.
cpmc headquarters. The boardroom doors open. He is there in his dress blues, tall handsome and intimidating: Commander Will Becket. The beautiful companion sporting long curly brown hair and an elegant sky-blue coatdress is his wife and conscience, Dr. Trista McLendon. Brinkman gasps, “Will! What the hell are you doing here?”

“Shutting down your company,” he calmly replies. “Clearly it’s failed.”

The Investors stand up, stare sadly at Brinkman, and turn to leave for their helicopters. “Wait a minute! What are you guys doing?”

The assembled High Corporates stare him down without blinking. Mr. Bhawal says, “We put our trust in you, Mr. Brinkman.” Mr. Xi says, “We trusted you to suppress the rabble so as to create a stable market for high-end investment, Mr. Brinkman.” Mr. Antonov says, “However, Mr. Brinkman, instead of disowning a certain rebellious teenager, you created another Spanner Incident.” Mr. Galvez says, “Now you, Mr. Brinkman, have proved you cannot keep the rabble sufficiently in line to keep your property stable.” Mr. Zhi says, “We cannot hedge against instability when you cannot prevent instability on your own property, Mr. Brinkman.” Mr. Seon says, “We are confident Mr. Bloomberg has reversed Mr. Trump’s failure, whereas you have not, Mr. Brinkman.” Mr. Vronsky says, “Goodbye, Mr. Brinkman.” And the High Corporates who once kept CPMC stock high leave; on their way to their helicopters, they call their brokers to short-sell.

Martin Becket glares at his cousin. “Walter, you damned fool. You should have disowned the emo little whore and let her ditch her name. Now look what you’ve done. Enjoy being eaten alive... Wally.” On his way out, he takes a moment to glare at Will, who stares back calmly.

Will and Trista enter at last. Brinkman looks at Trista and says to Will, “You lucky piece of shit.”
Will’s ice-blue eyes twinkle. “The word is...” He leans into his cousin and smiles. “...deserving.”

On the monitor behind them, the news channels breathlessly report the collapse of Cascadian real estate prices.

shira’s apartment. They find themselves assaulted by overjoyed hackers at the door. Their favorite Pizza Mafia pizzas await them on the coffee table behind. After pizza, cola, and cake, they take turns in the shower. They’re in no condition to talk after their first real superpower battle, so they call it a night and cuddle together: Shira, Kira, Jennifer, Elle, and the girl with the violet eyes in Shira’s bed; Charlie, Desiree, and their two daughters in the guest room.

“Leave ’em alone for now,” says Hope. “They need the rest. Right now, let’s get ourselves ready for round two.”

actions have consequences:

yet another heavily hedged and leveraged Owner bank snatches CPMC out of the greedy clutches of Chinese Corporatist Party (Holdings) Limited and announces plans to resurrect them through the usual austerity nostrums using the same CEO
COPCO fires “One-Eye Jack” Becket as Seattle section chief and replaces him with not the compromised genius detective Locke Holmes (no administrator) but the overzealous South African, Michael Corson
Admiral Reynard S. Currie, not impressed, announces his intention to use the United States Police Force, Bringing Home The War On Terror™, to restore the Revolutionary hierarchy to power
the brought-back Lady Penner who lost a life over an iPod is released from Naval Hospital Bremerton only to find to her horror that not only is there no more Student Council but no Bangor High either
Oliver Thorwald leaves the resurrection facility alarmed to find his chosen princess Christian Becket Fleer, pop-idol hitwoman Bunny Strakeljahn, and pet mad scientist Mina Tatsumi engaging in pitched battle royal over who possesses him
Raylene Forster and Saxon Mobley wake up in new bodies of their own in Holy City, surrounded by their Liberator comrades in High Corporate dress
Dr. Jenna Hunter dissolves the Teachers Guild’s Seattle Local and declares her intention to reorganize the bankrupt SPEC around a series of commercially oriented “Cool Schools”
Nolan Robson flees Cascadia for Arizona in the Kingdom of Texas as soon as he takes a new body (cursing Falconer even as he emerges) in order to take an executive position in the Prison-Industrial Complex
Hope Maureen Reston finds herself named interim governor and will be greeted by a sea of green-white-and-blue state flags as soon as she moves to the governor’s mansion to carry out her plan to reorganize the government around the Worker Guilds’ successful rank-and-file strategy
Byron Scofield shoots Luke Everson between the eyes in the door of the Shepherd-Mayor’s Enumclaw mansion
and in a bankruptcy sale the Wilder Foundation acquires a Capitol Hill loft building at shockingly low cost and a bright-eyed reporter with no name takes a brightly sunlit loft which she prepares for the arrival of her new companions:
a nameless teenage nude model with violet eyes and silky black hair now shoulder-length and the one with the highest-level superpowers;
a fallen princess new to this freedom thing who exercises her family right to erase her family names and becomes comfortable wearing only a tiara;
an eight-year-old girl so precocious she already erased her name (given by a gangster), child lover by force of will;
her sweet cousin, the precocious twelve-year-old redheaded beauty;
long-lost twin sister Kira Amanda Thomas;
the shared love of their life, Shira Miranda Thomas, Governor Reston’s point woman and youngest daughter
and her adoring K-9, Catalina
plus the five-year-old girl who came with the loft, name of Flower, the daughter of a Corporate couple who used to have some difficult-to-pronounce Eastern European surname the Conservative Revolution changed to Omni-Consumer, not that she is old enough to recognize; and four cats relieved to be fed after a month of neglect by disdainful Corporate neighbours. Though Flower likes that her beautiful new adult friend likes to go naked in the house, she is shocked to find out she doesn’t have a name at all; the bright-eyed girl happily takes the opportunity to begin Flower’s education in the way of the anonymous beauties. Jennifer’s new lab waits for her to set it up to her liking. The building’s remaining Corporates either leave in a huff or get evicted. Hotel Bremelo waits for its Team to move in, inside the wounded heart of the city from which they draw their strength.

And the heart of the city continues to beat. And its urban intelligence, the one known as Em, smiles upon the city and the people who are its life.

technosphere. They are the only ones present, standing on the checkerboard floor in a dark and empty virtual arena, superhero and nudefighter facing each other in superpowered Mexican standoff, mighty arms folded on his mighty chest, gloved hands planted on the smooth curve of her hips, war in his masked eyes, mischief on her unpainted lips. “You’ll never get away with such villainy, angel of chaos,“ the superhero proclaims, cape fluttering like a flag in the silent virtual wind. ”I, the American Crusader, shall make justice prevail.”

“Yet your superhero name is the ancient byword for villainy,” Aya Shibata replies. “The Proletarian called you the villain all the while you were killing him. Why do you keep fighting for his ideal?”

“The world needs a hero. I am the only one standing between the world and those who would destroy it.”

“You are the way, the truth, and the life? You are the dead hand of the past burying the world alive. I am the future.”

“You cannot win, Spanner.”

“You have already lost, hero. Checkmate.” And with a wink and a flash of light, Shira Thomas is gone, leaving Henry Becket alone in an empty world.

The vision begins in chaos: a burning city, large crowds battling Imperial forces, flying drones committing mass murder, the screams of the Chosen — but the longer it runs, the clearer it gets, and all the combined visions focus increasingly on one man: from the moment he seized power after the death of his father, Henry Becket fails to save an empire that was dying long before he became its superheroic savior, and he collapses into madness, and into silence — and the darkness he dedicated his life to banishing forever, draws itself around him like a blanket of blackest night and consumes him.

And then the darkness dissipates, and the sun reappears — but the world has browned out, and only one forested oasis is left...

Braving the flickering shadows of her own darkness that bear away her name into oblivion, the girl with the violet eyes stands in the center of a grove of ancient cherry trees in full bloom, beautiful pale body bare, strong wind caught in her long black hair, shining sun caressing her with its warmth. The girl with cinnamon skin (which twin? both combined) flies down to her from the blue sky above, beautiful and nude, a demon descending on long bat wings matching her wild red hair. She lands before her and gives the command: “Suicide angel, stretch out your wings.” Slowly, sensuously, the black-haired girl stretches out her beautiful black angel wings. The wind caresses the soft feathers.

They pull each other into a lover’s embrace. They share a long, sensuous, increasingly violent kiss. Then they turn their faces to look into you, subtle smile on their faces, a twinkle in their eyes, speaking without need for words: if you do not understand, you have already lost.

They turn around and leave the ground, into the blue sky above; hearts entwined and powers combined, ready for one final job. Together they fly, willing to die, angel and devil in love; together they fly, into the sky, to heaven, where they will slay God.

end series one.

to be continued...

Back to Chapter 23 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4 Final, 4/20/13: R2 scenes heavily edited to fit Final Revision continuity; some scenes condensed, others expanded. New scenes added to complete some plot threads and continue others into Book 2. Revision 4.0.1: corrected one character error.]

No comments:

Post a Comment