Bronto B Gone


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Strangers in Paradise 3-53

volume03issue53Katchoo reaches for a razor blade she keeps in her bracelet. Cherry Hammer says, “You can put that away, I’m not here for you. I’m here to protect you. Tambi said you wanted to be a silent partner, but you still own half the company so technically I work for you too. But my orders come from Tambi.” Katchoo says Tambi never mentioned a Cherry Hammer. “I’m not exactly a perk of the company, usually I’m the last person you meet.”

Now Katchoo knows who’s been hunting down the Parker Girls one by one and killing them. Cherry says she’s doing it for Katchoo’s personal safety, and she’s on the trail of one who is working on Katchoo right now. Katchoo calls Tambi to verify Cherry’s story. She’s drunk and naked with David, getting smacked around by one of those giant Q-Tips that Marines train to fight with. Tambi jokes around and acts like a Cherry Hammer is a cocktail she’s never tried. Katchoo says, “Mother fuck!” and a dyke in the bar thinks it was directed an her. She’s about to get in a scrape with Katchoo, but Cherry Hammer slams her up against the wall by her neck with one arm while protecting Katchoo with the other. Cherry is a full head taller. “Down Fang,” says Katchoo. She gets back on the phone with Tambi. “Do you, or do you not, know Cherry Hammer? Oh. Oh! She wants to talk to you Miss Hammer.”

On the way out Cherry gives Katchoo a sat card phone so she can call her from anywhere. Katchoo leaves open the possibility of hooking up with Cherry later.

On the advice of Miss Noel, Francine cooks dinner for two and gets all dolled up, but Katchoo never comes home. Where is she? Katchoo knocks on Casey’s door. What’s going on? “Nothin’, I’m just tired of being alone every night, that’s all. I’m tired of being alone.” Casey extends her hand and lets Katchoo in.

The next morning Francine gets up and goes to Casey’s house complaining about how Katchoo never came home last night. “Why are you looking at me like a deer caught in headlights? Am I interrupting something?”

Why, yes, there’s Katchoo in her underwear eating cereal on Casey’s couch. Francine says, “I had this whole big special evening all arranged! I waited up for you all night but you never came! You didn’t even call! Where are your pants?” Katchoo’s guilty face is framed by a telescopic rifle sight. “What’s going on?” Casey is speechless. Francine gets it now. “Oh. My. God.”

In a police lineup, Monica identifies her attacker, and Lindsey Noel says that’s the guy who raped her too. Freddy and Chuck warn Miss Noel that a rape trial can be a rough experience. “Will it leave me for dead on the floor of my bedroom?” On the way out, Noel talks to Monica and asks if she knows a personal trainer named Kelsey, Katie? Casey. That’s it. She wants to meet Casey. The perpetrator screams he’s never even heard of Lindsey Noel, and he’s being set up.

Tambi finally leaves David passed out on his mat. He’s more beaten and bruised and scratched than he’s ever been since the plane crash.

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Bottom up rather than top down


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William Gibson – The Peripheral (Synopsis, Chapters 1-13)


1 – THE HAPTICS – Burton, a US Marine veteran on disability, lives in a trailer in a rural area and telecommutes to a sideline job beta testing an online game, earning twenty-five thousand dollars per session.  He talks his sister Flynne into substituting for him for one night.

2 – DEATH COOKIE – A celebrity named Deidre West has violated a verbal agreement with her publicist and gotten a tattoo, which she intends to display to the patchers when she parafoils in naked, which Rainey (complaining to Wilf Netherton) says would be worse than wearing a cock ring to meet the Pope. Rainey wants Wilf to talk Deidre into wearing a jumpsuit they are printing on the moby.  Rainey also mentions that Deidre has altered herself to become a “death cookie”, anyone who so much as steals a kiss goes into shock.  If the patchers decide to eat her, they will die.

3 – PUSHING BUGS – Burton has departed to mess with a religious group called Luke 4:5 that doesn’t like gay people and who picket military funerals.  Flynne is relieved that her brother didn’t take his hatchet.   She logs in to her phone with Burton’s password and his holographic display launches her into the game.

4 – SOMETHING SO DEEPLY EARNED – Rainey’s cameraman Lorenzo finds Deidre on the moby and Wilf Netherton puts through a call to her  by literally taking possession of Lorenzo.  Wilf mentions how a certain Annie, a young neoprimitist curator, had perceived a maturation of Deidre as an artist, and how she would consider the entrance she is planning to be a retrograde impulse.  The lie has its effect on Deidre, and Rainey expresses her satisfaction.

5 – DRAGONFLIES – In the game, Flynne is trying to keep paparazzi drones away from a window on the fifty-sixth floor of a building where two lovers can be seen.  Burton calls to check in, his sister says it feels more like working security than playing a game.  He says just keep the cams back.

6 – PATCHERS – About a hundred patchers live in their floating city, made from recycled plastic in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Wilf hates everything about it.  A white china Michikoid prepares Deidre for the drop while the first of twelve patchers approaches the appointed place riding a bicycle with no pedals.

7 – SURVEILLANT – While Flynne chases the camera bugs away, she catches glimpses of what’s happening in the window.  A beige blur, almost too fast to see, were robots vacuuming the floor.  Three anime robot girls set a table, preparing sushi.  A woman in a dress appears, not boy game hot, Flynne notes, but more real. Flynne is kept busy keeping the papparazi drones away from the window, earning her keep.

8 – DOUBLE DICKAGE – Deidre West dives over the railing of the moby and parafoils down to the patcher’s floating city.  When she arrives, she tries to unzip her jumpsuit but the zipper jams, a flaw deliberately introduced by the 3D printer that made it.  The boss patcher picks Deidre up into the air and tries to impale her on one of his two enormous penises, but Deidre defends herself with a blade that emerges from her thumbnail and grows to as long as her forearm inside the abdomen of the patcher.  Six white pods arrive from the air, accompanied by a hypersonic boom, and hover in a circle around Deidre, shredding the rest of the patchers in the square.

9 – PROTECTIVE CUSTODY – Flynne finishes her shift beta testing the game for Burton.  Leon calls, says Burton has been locked up by “Homes” (Homeland Security) for assaulting a member of Luke 4:5.  Burton wants Flynne to keep doing the job, says he’ll kick in an extra five thousand every other night.  Flynne wants the extra five every night, and not that Homes has Burton’s phone she’s worried they might find out about her own phone, which was printed only the previous week.

10 – THE MAENAD’S CRUSH – Rainey, in Canada, meets Wilf in a small London bar by renting a peripheral”, an android, but the only one she could get on short notice was a ten year old child.  They discuss the shit currently hitting multiple fans, and Rainey speculates that they were roped into being part of an assassination on the boss patcher.  Most of their partners have left, leaving only the US and a faction of the New Zealand government.  Wilf thinks he can fix it.

11 – TARANTULA – Flynne uses one of the five thousand dollar bills Burton gave her to get two bags of groceries, and the other to get medicine for her mother.  Shaylene at Forever Fab got Edward to sub for Flynne after she took Burton’s job on short notice.  Flynne likes Shaylene but doesn’t like how she takes his failure to ask her out as his chief sympton of PTSD.

12 – THYLACINE – Flashback: Wilf recalls telling Deidre West about how his friend Lev Zubov hired people from the past.  He called them “polts”, short for poltergeists, ghosts who move thing, and Wilf offered the services of one as an unusual gift.   Deidre in turn gave the polt to her sister Aelita to be part of her security.  Wilf wants Lev to fire the polt, end it, but Lev refuses, says Aelita finds it interesting.

13 – EASY ICE – Flynne works the game for a second night, but things are a little different.  There’s no more paparazzi camera drones, but there’s a gray thing like a child’s backpack on the twenty-third floor outside of the building, crawing up the glass with sticky-footed somersaults.  She sees the same woman in the apartment, and this time she sees the man with her.  And Flynne remembers the last time she walked point for her lawyer patron, and how deeply she had immersed her ego into the game, even crying when she made the kill.   She suspects the same thing is happening to her again.

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Not all it’s cracked up to be


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That’s pretty much it in a nutshell


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So lets file the Holy Bible between Harry Potter and Horton Hears a Who


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