International Writers Magazine :Fiction
The Samaritans of Terror
has no meaning or description. It comes in all forms, shapes, and
sizes. It destroys, it maims, and it hurts. It cannot be compared
to any other form of retrograde activity known to the animal kingdom,
either man or beast. There is no cause, be it religious, political,
scientific, economical or even humanitarian that justifies brutal
terrorism. It is evil at its peak.
After 9/11, the
world changed dramatically. Many millions of complacent citizens of
the world woke up to the reality of terroristic horror. Richard and
Will, two schoolboy friends whod ended up in the mayhem whirlpool
of the advertising world of modern day consumerism were amongst them.
They had grown up in the suburbs of Atlanta, in the deep rooted south
of the USA and having experienced the inexplicable violence of the days
of racial discrimination and the Ku Klux Klan were sympathetic to their
fellow New Yorkers on that infamous day of tragedy. Dealing constantly
with the media, and scanning the numerous worldly press reports with
images of torn bodies and other atrocities including the prime time
news prompted them as good American patriots to do something about it.
They considered the options. But which, and how?
They pondered over the fictional side, summarised by Hollywoods
money-making machine; clever scripts, but not practical. James Bond
against Dr. No, the fiendish destroyer of the world, Batman, Robin and
Spiderman versus the creeps, Superman saving the West, were just non-starters.
There must be another way, murmured Richard one morning
as he slammed the latest copy of The Atlanta Daily World on his desk.
Its the Russians again, having a go at Georgia. Will
dropped his coffee and rushed to the window. No you bozo; not
Will turned. Georgia, somewhere in Europe, the Mid-East. Shit!
Somewhere over there, added Richard, pointing nonchalantly in
an eastern direction. God damn it! There just must be a system
to somehow bring law and order to this dying plant.
It was Wills turn to comment. Have you noticed that most of the
terrorists are the bad guys?
Silent seconds went by. Then they sprung into action.
Hey! Why not turn the cards around and convert the cuckoos into
the good guys? said Will. Think about it, man!
Out came the files. They began to study the different methods used by
the subversive groups known to date, as well as the overwhelming power
and influence they had on most law abiding governing bodies around the
world. The ongoing methodology in Iraq and Afghanistan were well known;
most other attacks were similar, ignited by anonymous bomb planters
or the like. Shopping malls, airplanes, hotels and other similar centres
of human congregation were the usual targets. The demands of the terrorists,
on the other hand, were just as ludicrous as the actions themselves.
Release of so-called political prisoners, independence from
who knows what, hate towards religious order but never a
move towards a just cause, like changing the administration methods
of the human race based on true, rather than political justice. Oh
no! Said Will, Its always plant, hide, push button,
boom and run and then. Ha! Ha! How great we were as the press blasts
the news all over the place!
What a collection these guys are, wherever they are, thought
Richard as he shuffled through masses of cuttings and video clips of
terrorist action over the years. In the long run, they achieve
sweet fuck all!
Say that again? I said that these terrorist, the whole
goddam lot of them, for centuries have achieved nothing, repeat nothing.
Well, if you take a look at the crap that comes out of Hollywood,
it aint any different, answered Will. Anyone would
think that most of them were made of invisible ink. Richard looked
puzzled. Will went on, I mean; they just get away with murder.
Hold on a sec, retorted Richard, what about the good
guys in WWII; those that went about upsetting the Krauts? You know;
the French Resistance and the like? Surely they were on the right
Yeah, sure! But were back to blow-up time. Its always
the same. Goddam dynamite. Richard finally admitted, I think
were way off beam, man! Something just doesnt click!
Weeks went by without either of them coming up with an answer. Frustration
was running wild as more news of terrorist acts around the world hit
the headlines. They thought of other methods that could be used, albeit
extremely dangerous ones, such as water pollution, poisonous gas and
the like, but they always had the same result human suffering.
They began to explore more sophisticated areas such as sending messages
of dissuasion on the Internet to all known terrorist groups, pleading
with the large banks of the world to freeze known terrorism accounts.
They even came up with the idea of a propaganda campaign to convince
the world that God just did not exist and religion was yet another of
mans inventions. Its all been tried before,
cried Richard. They finally gave up.
Richard was working on yet another new and ridiculous advertising campaign
on his computer for a well-known car manufacturer. It showed the new
model advancing at great speeds in the desert with a luscious blonde
at the wheel, wind blowing through her hair, sucking a super soda with
one hand whilst talking on her mobile with the other. The ad implied
that no hands driving was the new in-thing. The machine
was controlled by a computer. They never show a car in a superb
traffic jam or a mighty great pile up
then sighed. After all, he was paid to do just that, produce saleable
fantasy advertising for companies to bombard the gullible public.
He popped up another account on the screen called Mobo Appliances Inc.
to review the latest washing machine to be launched the following month.
Swish Swash Bubble and Dry was the new logo. God,
this is ridiculous, he mumbled, as he moved to yet another account.
He felt he was going through male menopause after years in the business
and was becoming bored with his own existence. He suddenly realised
how pointless and similar advertising was to terrorism. Full of
bullshit. The new display on his screen was yet another example.
It showed a series of dishes with coloured liquid goo and some guy dipping
his finger into two of them with hardly anything happening; then doing
the same with the remaining two and magically the slushy muck changed
colour. It was Murko Cleansing Inc.s new brand of washing-up liquid.
At the local diner and as he was waiting for his usual hamburger and
fries, he couldnt help but notice the girl behind the counter
spraying some liquid onto the greasy pans that were used to cook the
burgers, passing a cloth over them and presto spotlessly clean;
a routine chore that every client would notice as he waited in line
for his order. Somehow, Richard couldnt forget the effect of that
simple act of cleaning a cooking pan. Liquid on grease and disappear.
Sounds like a good logo for my clients product, he thought.
But that was not the only thought going through his mind. It niggled
him. It would come back to him over and over again as he returned to
Grease disappearing, grease disappearing
he yelled out. He called Will on the intercom. Will hadnt even
closed the door as Richard bellowed out, Come over here, look
what Ive got!
He showed him the Murkys advert. Thats it, guy. We
can stop the world from madness and get everyone to start again.
Are you nuts or something? said Will, what the fuck
has that piece of shit got to do with it?
Grease, oil, petroleum, gasoline. Dont you get it?
Richard went on, a drop of this stuff and it disappears. We can
do a little bit of tinkering with a few oil wells here and there without
hurting anybody and what have we got? The world economy at our fingertips!
Will didnt say anything. He went over to the coffee machine and
filled his cup. He scratched his chin, rubbed his nose and then smiled
at Richard. Maybe, I mean just maybe, youve got something!
He sipped some coffee. Hell, its worth checking out,
he finally added.
They needed to investigate exactly what this substance was and if in
effect it could either neutralise or transform oil into a useless liquid.
They visited the companys lab that made the stuff and sure enough,
a few drops of the concentrated base before it was diluted for mass
production could turn the equivalent amount of oil the volume of Lake
Titicaca into sheer H2O water! The lab technician also told them
that a similar number of drops of vinegar could turn it all back into
oil. Great, its like dressing a salad, thought Richard.
Does it also work with gasoline? asked Will. Yeah,
only you gotta use a little less, otherwise she turns into
vapour. The technician went on, the bad news is you cant
have any of it! Its confidential and a classified substance only
handled by our lab, even if we are a client of yours. Sorry!
Back at their office, they worked out a plan. All they needed was a
small amount, just to test on the unsuspecting citizens of Atlanta.
Ive got it. Lets buy a few cases of washing-up liquid
and get some local lab to extract the concentrate. Im sure that
all we need is about the amount of a coffee spoon, said Richard.
With three crates of a dozen bottles each and some negotiating with
a friend of Wills at the university, they were handed a small
syringe with about one millilitre of the concentrated dynamite.
Out on the street Will asked, Now what?
Without replying Richard looked around the block and focused on the
gas station across the road. He crossed over and walked up to a customer
who had just filled up his tank and making sure he hadnt replaced
the lid asked him where the nearest post office was. As the man pointed
in the direction of the building, Richard put his hands behind his back
and squeezed a couple of drops from the syringe into the tank. Thanks
a million, guy, and walked toward the post office. Will, who was
standing on the other side of the road kept watch. What happened next
was shear pandemonium.
The man got into his car, started up, revved slightly, placed the lever
in drive and began to move a couple of feet when the engine
spluttered, coughed and finally died. The small amount of gas in the
carburettor was used up in split seconds whilst the rest turned into
water. He tries to start again but with no effect. Man gets out, scratches
his head with the tell tale thought of, what the
He then calls over the mechanic at the garage, who comes over and also
tries to start the engine. Same thing. Dead as a dodo. The mechanic
looks under the hood, tinkers about with a few bits and pieces in the
carburettor section and tries again. No go. He also scratches his head
and thinks, what the
They both go over to look for the boss. The boss comes over and goes
through the same motion. Same thing. Finally, as all three are looking
under the hood, the mechanic takes out the carburettor and notices something
odd about the liquid. Sniffs it, smears his finger and tastes it. With
a smile on his face he tells the other two bystanders, No problem,
only water in the carb! He then cleans it, puts it back and has
another go at the ignition. Nothing. Once again he takes out the carburettor
and once again its filled with water. Puzzled looks all round.
The inevitable happens. They find the tank full of water. The customer
calls the garage owner a piece of shit. The owner tells
him to fuck off. The mechanic runs for help as they all
start having a go at each other.
Richard and Will are in heaven. It works! they say in unison.
Minutes later, a smile died down, Richard looks at Will and with a serious
look asks, what next? Their test is with a public city-commuter
bus in midtown right in the middle of the rush hour.
The effect was stunning. Not only did they cause the fuel to turn to
water, they had added a little extra liquid that caused the bus
deposit to start bubbling over, with steam coming out of all pores.
The bus itself had stopped right in the middle of a junction. Police
cars, ambulances, fire engines and other security vehicles turned up.
The next day it was all over the news headlines. CITY BUS EVAPORATES,
read one. ATLANTAS NEW STEAM TRANSPORT! Read another.
Discussions were held in the town hall to figure out what had happened.
The police department was totally baffled. No scientific explanations
were given. The event however remained as local news.
Richard and Will discussed their next move. They had tested the effect
on gasoline and they now needed to prove whether oil itself would react
in the same way. This was more difficult and could prove more dangerous.
They had to go international.
Most of the Arab nations were out of the question until the right time
came along. Other large oil producers such as Venezuela were too bureaucratic
and would not react in the right way. Their only choice was to try it
out on a North Sea oil rig. The British were always obliging to any
American publicity stunts and both our terrorist heroes
knew that any excuse would do to visit one of these sea monsters. They
arrived in Aberdeen, loaded with cameras and videos and were welcomed
by the BP representative, John T., who was responsible as the personal
escort. Whats the commercial called? asked John. Its
a new product that we hope will sell like hotcakes as a seagull repellent.
Its called Buzzoff.
John welcomed them with open arms as seagulls were a cause for concern
on the rigs. Part of their plan was to check on the reversal process
that had yet to be proven. They needed to know what exact amount of
vinegar was required to transform the water back into oil. They knew
it would not work on any sample of water because it was a locked-in
reversed chemical reaction, or so the lab technician had led them to
They helicoptered out to the rig one bright and brisk spring
Monday morning, still burping after a hearty breakfast of smoked haddock
and bacon and eggs.
Briggette Rathbone, VP of marketing of Mucko Cleansing Inc., dropped
the bombshell at the routine monthly VP meeting. Weve got
a problem. Our large plastic bottles that contain our washing-up liquid
product are cracking. Ive asked our lab to give us a report which
should be ready within a few days. What do you mean, cracking
up? butted in James Middlecaff, VP of Finance, are you implying
that the company is at risk?
Not exactly Jim, but am afraid were going to have to bite
the bullet and recall that particular product range. Ill need
you to give me a breakdown of the costs involved plus losses, even if
theyre rough figures.
Problem was the basic formula had a destructive element that needed
to be modified. The remedy was simple. A certain substance in the base
was changed that would attack only animal greases and fats
and not mineral oils such as plastic. Although by this time Richard
and Will had proven that there scheme was viable their future plans
were blown out of the water. They were still unaware of the events back
The small samples of crude that John allowed them to tamper with were
converted backward and forwards into water and back into oil. What
next, Richard? asked Will as they were returning to the US, do
we go for broke and screw up the Arabs oil network in exchange
for peace in the Middle East? Do we keep it simple by just showing GM
and the others what it could do to their motor industry and let them
figure it out? Or do we just go to the White House and drop it on the
Presidents lap and let him decide? They had discussed these
points before, but now was the time to test the real McCoy.
Within days of their arrival back home, they managed to obtain more
washing-up liquid before the bottles were taken off the shelves and
extracted enough 'base' to knock out Venezuelas oil production.
They were, in fact, still in possession of a lethal weapon and able
to carry forward their plan.
Jim opened the monthly VP meeting with the following statement: I
am pleased to report that we have finalised the washing-up liquid remedy
campaign and were back on track with forecasts. Yet one thing
has puzzled me. For some unknown reason, and just before we got back
all the bottles, we had a short burst of sales of the old stuff in the
downtown area of Atlanta. Not much cash involved but it did have a positive
blip on the sales figures
Hold it, interrupted Briggette, you mean that an abnormal
number were sold somewhere in a matter of days? I dont like it.
Somethings wrong. Our competition has stumbled on our problem.
Get the inspection boys working on it right away!
In the meantime, as Richard and Will were about to launch into their
plan, they were called up by the account manager from Mucko Cleansing
Inc. that handled the advertising contract who needed to review the
whole program. They naturally became suspicious. Weve been found
out! thought Will. All kinds of hypothetical scenarios went through
both their minds. Trials, prison sentences, disgrace to their families;
it all tied in. Weve got to tell them the truth, said
Richard. Next day, they went stumbling into Thomas Dilckecks office,
VP of sales of Soap Company. It was his idea, not mine. He made
the base, said Will. You son of a bitch! You bastard!
retorted Richard. How could you
Hey, calm down you guys! What are you yelling about? I called
you as I need you to come up with a new ad campaign. It looks like we
screwed up on the washing-up liquid and one of our competitors is trying
to muscle in on us.
After he wiped the sweat off his brow, Richard, smiling and nodding
at Will, explained the whole story to Tom. What they had done, why they
had done it, and what they had planned to do in the future to put the
world right. Tom listened without flinching. His own mind was turning
the amazing story over in his head. OK. No harm has been done
except that I understand the boss is checking on the quantity of extra
bottles that were sold last month. He chuckled, you should
have seen the face of the poor warehouse owner when our inspectors turned
up. The son of bitch nearly had a heart attack! He paused for
a few moments and added, we can solve this whole matter in no
time. This is the beef
The headlines all over the country were simple and to the point:
Anti-Grease Terrorists on Skids - . The article went
on to state:
Members of a little known terrorist group called Samaritans
from a remote island in the Pacific have been uncovered and have subsequently
been terminated. Their intention was to dominate the worlds total
economy by using a new chemical with a vinegar base that was capable
of turning our water system into oil. Although the world would benefit
from an enormous and incalculable new oil supply the loss of water would
mean the end of the world. Thanks to the quick and intelligent action
of the executives of Mucko Cleansing Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, especially
their new President, Thomas Dilcheck and his senior VP team, Mr Richard
and Will Doe, once again America and the world are safe from a new threat
of unknown terrorism.
© James G. Skinner. August 2008
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