A Story by Homemaster

A terrorist cell in Melbourne targets the 1%


The target comes into view. A long truck with a trailer, its load in need of removal. I push the accelerator down, drawing closer. Our car slips through the street lights of the Eastern Freeway, not another car in sight. Every strike I imagine my vehicle as a panther, jet black, hunting a slow and dimwitted prey. I flex my fingers on the steering wheel as we draw up behind it.

Turning back to my compatriots, balaclavas hiding their faces, I give the nod. Go time. They scramble for the equipment�"homemade sticky grenades�"and unwind the windows in preparation. The adrenalin reaches a peak just as high beams cut into the car from the back. My stomach heaves.

"This is the police," a voice says over a loudspeaker. "Desist immediately, or we will use force."

"S**t," someone says, maybe me.

No wonder this shipment had been scheduled for so early in the morning. A trap. But I know that doesn't mean these cars aren't real, don't have a destination. It means they will be harder to dispose of. I think of the numerous attacks made during the day. Some shipments are destroyed during the day, while waiting at the lights. Immobilised then set alight. This was meant to be far easier. Nothing ever goes to plan.

"We're going ahead with the mission," I say. "We will not let ourselves be caught." We aren't meant to talk, another precaution, but I'll be damned if I don't take charge. I don't know how green the other two are.

They both nod, and I wish I could see their faces, see who they really are. I speed up to level with the truck, and that's when the shooting begins.

The whole rear of the car explodes with sparks and flashes, but I figure the reinforcement will hold. For a while. The man on my right holds a grenade in each hand, ready to launch them. He manages to fling one and have it stick right in the middle before I come too close to the cab. I look up and into the barrel of a shotgun.

Thankfully the trucks passenger aims at Gary Stu Primo and not me, otherwise the whole thing would be over. That's the difference between amateurs and warriors�"making the right choice under pressure. My compatriot falls back into the car, viscera spraying my interior. The other grenade is still in his hand. I swerve away to the left, still under fire, before accelerating and arcing across the front of the truck.

We're on the other side, and I motion for Gary Stu Numero Due to continue. He doesn't seem shaken up, a small wonder. He snatches the bomb from the dead guy's fingers, as well as another from the bag. In quick succession he lands one on the back of the cab, and another towards the rear. He goes for a third, but I quickly pull away. That's plenty.

Again a storm of bullets strike my car, one shattering the side-view mirror. I curse some expletive before I glimpse my surviving partner leaning out the window. He takes a bullet through the throat before I can blink. I curse again, and ram my hand down on the car horn. A little bit of ingenuity on my part.

The truck no doubt explodes in a fine ball of flames, taking its supply of luxury cars with it. They had been Ferraris, a worthy goal. What I don't expect is the bright light and shockwave from behind.

The cop car. Somehow self-sacrificing fool has lobbed a grenade onto the cop car. My mouth hangs open as I zoom off into the suburbs. It's mission accomplished, but as I drive I don't know whether to feel safe or in more danger than ever.

I meet my contact on the Esplanade. He's reading the Financial Review, an older issue by the look of it. It had crumpled in his constantly shifting grip. I sit down at the other end of the bench, look out across the sea, the cold wind reaching through my coat.

"Glad you could make it," he whispers, not looking up at me. Things are a great deal more serious since we blew up that cop car. Now we're terrorists. Econorists they call us, as opposed to Enviro-warriors or jihadists. Another headline in the paper, something else for the politicians to use.

"We've got a new project," the man says through a not-quite-obvious fake beard. "We're to attack the institutions. Attack where they meet, where they congregate."

I can't help smirking. Finally, the go-ahead to move on from small snipes.

"Remember though: no casualties. We don't want to hurt people; our aim is not the individuals."

I nod. That's the whole reason I joined up. You can't change things by discussions with individuals, with real people. You can't free the world unless you remove everything that holds them together. At last we are taking it to the next level.

"I'll meet you again soon to discuss logistics and personnel. I'm putting those we trust most on this project. F**k Greed." My contact�"he is not in charge, only a rung on the ladder�"folds the journal and leaves without looking back.

I wait for the cold to reach my bones. I wait as the coastal wind slaps my face, makes my cheeks raw, and numbs me to the very centre. But inside I feel warm, like a rekindled fire.

"F**k Greed, indeed."

I can feel the heat of the flames even from behind the police cordon. I'm at once part of the crowd, yet totally disconnected. I tare and stare.

The Royal South Yarra Tennis Club, engulfed by flames. Not one section of the building escapes my wrath. Our wrath. Sirens and flashing lights threaten to swallow the street and every person standing there, mesmerised by the fire.

It's the third attack in a month. Both the Melbourne Club and the Royal Melbourne Golf Club have already burned to the ground. And not one person has been harmed. Newspaper headlines shout the terror of the city. But only the rich should cower. One percent establishments have tripled security and safety measures. All to no avail.

Content to stand there and bask in the heat, I know I have to make sure my survival is guaranteed. I wander towards the authorities, though I'm held back by police tape. I manage to overhear a few snippets.

" tapes will have to be checked..."

"...are we sure it's the same people?"

"...lost...burned to the ground..."

I can't help smiling, and lose concentration. Next thing, there's a tap on my shoulder.

"Excuse me sir, mind if I take a look in your bag?" the policeman asks.

It's a big, heavy duty hiking bag, and it's filled to the brim with incriminating evidence. Lighter fuel, bolt cutters, that sort of thing. Somehow I don't wet myself. My eyes lock on the policeman's, my body devoid of agency, but I manage to concede the bag to him.

Then I'm running. The bag contents spilled on the ground. An official with concussion. People in the way, bodies being bowled over.

I'm running across the road.

Across a park.

I'm tackled into the soft, muddy ground.

My arms that don't feel all there, pushed into unknown positions.

I see the flames lapping the night sky, a pyre to balance and restoration. The red and blue lights strobe everything else, and I know my job is done.

© 2012 Homemaster

Author's Note

Not all together happy as I didn't really see it going anywhere, but was me just playing around with an idea.

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Added on September 23, 2012
Last Updated on September 23, 2012
Tags: short story, crime, current, economy



Melbourne, --, Australia

I'm a writer with aspirations to become an editor. Currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Editing, and writing when I can. I just need to get beyond being an Ideas Man, and become a Reality Ma.. more..

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A Story by Homemaster