Bad: A Memoir of Good & Evil
Couldn't Call It Unexpected
Cyn & Tangents
Lead Paint Double Date Set Diaries
Moving to Mars
New Roman Times
Saint Red
Suspension of Disbelief
What Fools


Saint Red: This Year's Model
Chapter 8 - (I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea

By Jordan D. White

"You, me, and Alison. We're going to take down the corporate monstrosity that has our country in it's thrall!"

"This… this is amazing!"

"Red, that’s insane."

"It's not, Frank, it's not! It's what needs to be done! Someone has to show them that we are not going to tolerate their abduction of our society!"

"A success," said Orloske, "An unparalleled success!" He could not believe what he was hearing.

"He's been like this since CCI."

"It could be mind control."

"Jesus! A man has one moment of clarity and everyone thinks he's being controlled! Frank, when have you ever known me not to be my own man?"

"But we can't get video?" Orloske asked.

"No, Sir," said Katz, "The PC camera seems to have fallen behind his desk. All we're getting are wires and the carpet."

"Could it be DI&R?"

"No, if they knew Red was here they'd have contacted me. Besides they are a corporation."

"Hello, guys, I'm right here. You know, Red, the guy with the big plan for our future?"

"But who else could it be?"

"I don't know. Actually…there is one thing. On the computer."

Orloske looked up at Katz who shrugged.

"What has gotten into you guys? Do you like being subjugated to the needs of an uncaring money machine entity?"

"What is it?"

"There's a program… a program that seems to be generating and transmitting files. Some sort of… virus, I suppose."

"A virus?"

"Where did it come from?"

"It appears to be related to this 'DVDish' website in some way."

"Who is this?" Orloske demanded. "Who is this talking to him?"

"Unknown," said Katz.

"Record his voice, crosscheck it."

"You think a DVD website is controlling my mind?"

"I don't know! It seems to be… gathering information about you, at the very least. I don't know."

"You realize that that's stupid, right Frank? No wonder you ended up at McDonald's."


"A dream I had. Nothing. Look, if you’re worried about the computer controlling my mind, just-"

"What happened?" said Orloske.

"Disconnected," said Katz.

"OK," Orloske rose from his chair and stood next to Katz, whose workstation was comparing waveforms analyses, "continue running that voice, and have someone look for any reference to anything like this Coates guy. He's got some sort of… super powered weapons and I find it hard to believe no one on Earth has ever seen them before."

"No problem, Sir" said Katz.

"Also, contact mobiles B and D, and have them meet me at the gate. I have a plan."

"Sir!" came a call from the door. Fredericks. "We've just finished Mobile C's black box review."

"And?" demanded Orloske. His moustache turned downward as Fredericks looked down at his feet.

"I don't really know how to explain it, sir…"

"Let me guess," said Orloske, "A man who inexplicably pulled swords and a gun from nowhere attacked him and destroyed his armor without harming him?"

Fredericks looked up, confused.

"I'd thought as much," said Orloske.

"No, sir," said Fredericks. "That's not what happened at all. No, it was a girl. She shot Mobile C out of the sky, tracked him down, beat him, killed him, and set off the suit's self-destruct. Were… were you expecting…"

"She was the one accessing our Comm?" said Orloske.

"Yes, sir."

"Any clues as to her identity?"

"No, sir… but…"

"But what?"

"Well, sir…" said Fredericks uncomfortably, "when she… she seems to have… taken one of his fingers."

Orloske slammed his fist down on the countertop. "Damnit! All right… Katz, get every available person researching this mystery girl. I'll handle Mr. Coates myself."

"But sir," said Katz, "we don't have enough-"

"Do what you have to," said Orloske. "Close up upstairs early if you have to."

"But, sir!"

"This is an emergency, Katz!" said Orloske. "We do what we have to. If we don't nip this in the bud it could shut us down for good." He turned and headed out the door towards the gate.


"-Turn it off," said Red, doing so. The almost sub-aural hum the computer softly died out. "See? Still me. Still as enraged about the evils of the world. I mean, come on! Do you really think it would be that easy to mess with my head?"

Argento glared. "Red, who are you talking to? I've seen it done. More than once. Yes, I do think it's a distinct possibility."

"Fine!" Red said. "You do what you want. I'm going to start avenging the working man, even if I have to do it all by my lonesome."

"Red, wait," said Argento. Red kept going towards the door. "Let's just talk about this, ok? I'll tell you what… we'll just wait a little, go see Chelsea, compare notes, and if you still feel so strongly, I'll gladly help you out."

Red froze in his tracks. He refused to turn around. "Chelsea?" he said softly. "Chelsea?" he repeated. "I'd appreciate it, Frank, if you'd keep your suggestions to yourself if they're all going to be so asinine."

"Her investigations may have uncovered something yours have-"

Red spun to face him. "I am not going to go crawling to that self-righteous bitch for help! Besides, she doesn't seem too fond of me anyway, I doubt she'd want to help. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go decide which symbol of corporate greed I am going to violently destroy."

"Red, wait!" called Alison, running after him.

"I'll be back home soon, honey," he said, and slipped out slamming the door behind him.

He flopped into the car, adjusted the seat, and started just driving. Alison had left the radio on, rather than his CDs, but he left it, since they were playing Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box". He was angry. And rightly so. He had experienced a true epiphany, a life-changing revelation, and no one seemed to believe in him.

He really couldn't understand it. It seemed so very obvious, something that should be plain to anyone with common sense. All corporations are, at their core, founded on principles of greed and corruption. Any good they did was merely a means to continue their evil practices of relocating money from the middle and lower class into the upper, and all built on the backs of the struggling third world. The thing he really wondered about was why it took him so long to realize it in the first place. It was seemed so obvious in retrospect, it stood out like… a couple of robot like things flying down the road waving at him.


Red signaled to the right and pulled his car over into the breakdown lane, narrowly avoiding being hit by the distracted drivers behind, in front, and to the left of him. As Red came to a stop and flicked on his blinkers, the three friendly figures came gliding down to a graceful landing right in front of the vehicle. Red's mind didn't really work enough to move much just then. Taking it all in was about his limit.

At this closer perspective, Red could see that the three figures were wearing (if there was anyone with them) some sort of metallic armor that seemed to have some sort of jet pack built into its back. Red at first thought he might be crazy, but he soon realized it was true… two of the three newly landed figures appeared to be… feminized. Their chest plates had hard angled breasts molded into them, and even the leg pieces were made to look more sexualized - as though a "Star Wars" storm trooper outfit were made 'sexy'. All three wore helmets that completely concealed their faces, with just a dark visor type part where the eyes would be… though Red didn't think it looked like it could really be seen through. The 'male' one was tinted bluish, with the two 'females' were pink and yellow, respectively. The male lead the other two towards him, until they were standing next to Red's door, cars driving by giving them as much space as they could.

Red turned off the radio and pressed the button to roll down the window.

"Was I… speeding?" he said meekly.

The blue armored man paused, and though his helmet could not blink, Red imagined it did.

Finally, he spoke, his voice coming as though through a speaker. "Red Coates?"

"Er, oh, yes," said Red, and fumbled with his wallet for a moment, producing his driver's license.

"Thank you," said the blue suit, but did not take it. Red slipped it away. "We need your help, Mr. Coates."

That Red was confused was apparent. "How can I help you today, sir?" Red said, accidentally slipping into one of the lines from his job. Or rather, former job, now.

"We are called the Liberal Mediators," he said. "We are freedom fighters in this world of corporate enslavement. We have heard that you, too, have seen the evils inherent in this system of perpetual greed."

"As any clear minded man would," said Red. "I was beginning to think the entire world had gone crazy."

"Perhaps," said the yellow woman, with a pretty sounding speaker-voice, "but if the rest of the world has gone mad, it merely becomes all the more important that we commit ourselves- to helping it see the light."

"That was quite clever," said Red.

"Thank you," said Yellow, bowing a fraction of an inch.

"We would be honored if you would join us in our crusade," said Blue.

"The honor would be all mine," Red replied. "What did you have in mind?"

"To be blunt," said Blue, "We had thought a systematic campaign of destruction targeted at local corporate outposts would be best."

"My thoughts exactly. I was just trying to decide where to begin. There's so much to choose from. We've got a Wal-Mart over there, a Circuit City, a-"

"Wal-Mart would be terrific."

"Sure," said Red. "Circuit City can wait. It's funny, the other day there was this guy with a bomb in there… I actually saved the place. Ah well, you live, you learn."

Pink, Blue, and Yellow looked at each other for a moment and laughed a tiny bit. "We'll meet you at Wal-Mart, then?" said Blue.

"Sounds like a plan," said Red. The three nodded briskly and with a whir of their motors, took to the sky again. Red rolled up his window and began to drive after them. He turned the radio back on.

"-Unclear what the purpose of this attack is, but it seems to be terrorist in nature. Again, the city has been rocked today with what seems to be a terrorist attack. Four local video stores, two Video King and two Hollywood Video, have been blown up earlier today, as well as one Catholic Church."

Red's brow furrowed. He didn't mind someone doing away with video stores, but he didn't approve of blowing up a church. There might be innocent people inside.

"As for the video stores, evidence seems to suggest that vehicles had been driven into the stores and then blown up, in a slightly different suicide bomber tactic. It is unclear how the church was destroyed, or, indeed, if it was at all related."

Red had actually wondered if the Liberal Mediators had been involved in some way, but the suicide bombers seemed to rule that out. Red didn't really understand that, either. Sure, tearing down the flawed systems was a good thing- hell, it was really every American's responsibility- but he couldn't see how dying yourself would help. At this point the resistance needed as many able bodies as it could get. He would have to be sure to help change the way the radicals looked at their methods.

"It is also unclear at this time if these events are connected to the riots at CCI and Target, the fires at the University Computer Pod, or the apparent suicide at Circuit City yesterday."

What an unfortunate coincidence, he thought.

"There have been eight deaths and thirteen injuries in the video bombings alone today."

This he found upsetting. This was exactly the wrong-headed thinking that would stop their cause before it had even begun. Red understood that. No one had been seriously hurt in the CCI riots. Destroying the tools of corporate greed is one thing; murder is another altogether. Killing people, especially innocent people, was wrong. Red saw no excuse for this.

The bombed church was across the street from the Wal-Mart plaza. Red gazed at it's charred walls and wondered how many parishioners were killed. It might have been a Saturday afternoon, but he knew there would have been more than enough people inside to have made it tomorrow's obituary longer than it should have been.

Red parked a little bit away from the entrance to the Wal-Mart, also keeping his distance from the police car parked next to some sort of small crater in the middle of the lot. He got out of his car and looked up. He could just make out the Mediators against the cloudy October sky. They gestured and then landed over around the side of the Wal-Mart, somewhat out of site.

Red jogged over to them.

"Are you ready to bite back, Red?" Blue asked.

"Always," said Red, "But first- no one dies here. No one even gets hurt, if we can help it. The people working and shopping here are the victims. They're the ones we're doing this for."

The three were silent for a moment. Finally, Pink spoke up. "Of course," she said. "We wouldn't have it any other way. Right, guys?"

"Right," echoed Blue and Yellow.

"What did you have in mind?" Blue asked.

They discussed the Mediators' capabilities for a while and quickly worked together to make up a plan that seemed to make everyone happy. It began with Blue smashing through the main entryway and blaring through his speaker for everyone to get away from the door. When a flying metal man says to back off, people tend to do so. Once it was clear, he blew the entrance with one of his missiles. That was the signal for Yellow, Red, and Pink. They had been keeping anyone outside away, but this was their cue to join the destruction.

They entered into the store just as Blue began broadcasting that everyone should evacuate the premises. Red took out his sword and followed after the others, flying. They all shouted that no one would be hurt if they all left the building immediately in an orderly fashion. Pink and Yellow flew around the store herding those in its nooks and crannies towards the nearest exits, while Blue stayed near the main entrance making sure everyone was going out with none coming in.

Red, since he couldn't hurt anyone with his sword, set right to work destroying. He started with the registers, slashing them right in half, money flying everywhere. Once in a while, one of the fleeing patrons or employees would make a grab for the bills, but one slash from Red and they kept running, less one sleeve. He would also hack at the abandoned lines of carts waiting for checkout. He didn't bother trying to stop anyone running out with any unpurchased items, but he liked the idea of leaving the money to be burned.

Before they had even finished the evacuation, the police arrived in full force. The one car that had still been in the lot must have radioed for backup, as they had assumed. The panic of the mobs of people running from the store kept them at a bit of a distance, however.

Pink and Yellow continued to sweep the store, and as soon as they were sure a part of the store was abandoned, they let rockets fly. The soda section was the first to be burst, followed by shoes, and then the electronics department, which they seemed to take particular joy in, to Red's eyes.

At this point the crowd had made its way out of the building, and the police were approaching fast. Blue aimed for the roof at the center of the building, blowing them an escape hatch. Pink and Yellow landed next to Red. With one on either side of him, he put his arms around their shoulders and they grabbed a hold of him, taking off, carrying him above the aisles. Blue fired on the few places Yellow and Pink had not gotten to as the four of them lifted out of the building.

Red looked down and saw smoke billowing from the hole, flames flicking furtively out the front entrance, the police still held at bay. They didn't seem to notice people flying out of the top of the building; probably not something they're trained to look for.

And all without a single casualty, Red thought. Not bad.

"Where to?" Red shouted over the rushing wind. He watched as the ground sped by beneath them, all the buildings like models.

"Back to our base," said Blue. His voice came over the speaker loud enough that Red could hear it with no problem. "We have a lot to learn from each other."

"Agreed," Red shouted. They sped off in silence into over the forest on the outskirts of town.


As the door slammed shut behind Red, Alison's vision began.

It began with many explosions, one right after another, destroying everything in sight.

Next she was back in the dark, looking at the door with the strange thumping coming from inside. The same pattern as before. "Thump-thump, thump, thump, thump-thump, thump-thump-thump, thump, thump, tha-thump-thump." She wanted to listen closer, but she was afraid of what happened last time she had a vision happening again. She tried to force herself out of this place

She saw Circuit City. After the last few people left the building, a man with dark curly hair was locking up the doors. He wandered back into the depths of the store where Alison could not see him and turned off the lights. It was still light outside.

She saw a group of four metal-armored people flying around. Two of the figures appeared to be male shaped and two female. The females were pinkish and yellowish, the males bluish and whitish. They appeared to be doing some sort of aerial maneuvers, like training of some sort. Close turns and dives, chasing each other around. Around and below them were hills covered with trees, of the sort common around upstate New York.

She saw mass destruction. More riots.

She saw many people wearing lipstick.

She saw Red pointing a gun at someone's head. Not his gun. A normal one. Red was shouting, he was angry. He fired the gun into the man's head, and the man's blood and brains splattered on the wall and floor.

She saw Chelsea in a ransacked hotel room. She was packing up her things, leaving.

She saw Argento standing over her looking down.

She realized the vision was over.

"Are you ok?" Argento asked.

"Another vision," said Alison.

"I'd gathered."

"Is Red…?"

"He's gone," said Argento. "I didn't get to stop him fast enough."

He held out his hand and helped Alison up from the floor.

"What did you see?" he asked her.

"Red killing a man. Shooting him point blank in the head."

Argento frowned. "Red wouldn't…"

"Not usually," Alison replied, "but he's not exactly himself."

"We have to find him. What else did you see?"

"Explosions, violence. That same room I saw before, with the beat. I saw Circuit City. There were these weird flying people in colored armor. I saw Chelsea packing up and leaving."

"Chelsea leaving?" asked Argento. "Was this in the future, or now?"

"I can't really tell," she said. "It could be anytime, really."

"We can't let her leave. She may be our only hope of stopping Red."

"She didn't have any luck last time," said Alison.

"It doesn't matter. Grab your coat. We need to go."


"To Chelsea," he said. "We have to make sure she stays. We may need her help."

"No way!"

"Alison! Not you, too!"

"I don't want to go to her!"


"She told us to keep away from her, and I recommend that's what we do."

"Alison, that is not an option," said Argento. "Red is in serious trouble. If someone is controlling his mind, there's no telling what he's capable of. We need all the help we can get. We're going to find Chelsea and that's final."

"Oh, fine!" said Alison, sulking.

Go to Chapter 9