Let’s Toast The Rich - With A Shot Of Fireball!
Amy kept pulling ahead of me on her bike. She was more athletic, and more eager about what we were about to do. I was a nervous wreck, despite my certainty of the righteousness of our cause. We were both in all black. Black pants, black hoodies, black shoes, black motorcycle helmets. It was cold, so the black gloves we were both also wearing didn’t look as suspicious as they normally might have.
I was sweating profusely, I could feel my heart about to bust right out of my chest. She had the small black napsack with the supplies in it. After weeks of planning, we’d flipped a coin to see who would do the deed and who would keep watch. Amy flipped tails, so she would do it. It was better that way. She seemed less nervous, less hesitant than I.
It only took a few hours of research to find the address of a suitably close-by executive or board member or major shareholder of an oil company. We found a guy, Derrick Walker, vice-chairman of the board for the Board of Directors for Exxon-Mobil. Net worth: US$26.9 million. He owned a second home near us apparently, he’s on the Board of Trustees of a local university, most rich fucks from big business and the NGO world are. Amy found his addresses through the tax records of the company. It was a relatively modest mansion in a posh suburb of the city.
Living in an all-seeing surveillance state like America, one can’t be too careful about doing research like this. We did it all at the public library, using the Internet on a prepaid cell phone. We never logged into any email or social media accounts on that phone. We always wore baseball caps and sunglasses to the library too, and didn’t bring our personal cell phones, just in case. We bought all our supplies with cash: the 360° motorcycle helmets, the cheap glass bottle of liquor, and the can of gasoline. We spaced the purchases out over several weeks; again, out of an abundance of caution. We didn’t have our cell phones with us now, either. Smartphones track your every move via GPS data, no matter what settings you put on it, its surveillance capabilities can’t be disabled. We approached Walker’s neighborhood. We had to memorize the route here, and we couldn’t take any freeways because we were on bikes. I was hustling to keep up with Amy.
“Just keep rolling,” Amy called out to me, her voice muffled from inside her helmet. She kept saying things like that periodically to soothe my nerves. She was mothering me, her voice half-condescending.
Even when you don’t have clinically-significant anxiety like I do, a forty-minute bicycle ride in mostly silence toward a destination where you’re going to commit a major felony (not murder, calm down) is always going to be fairly nerve-wracking. You feel sick to your stomach, and you sweat like a pig. Except pigs don’t actually have sweat glands, they roll around in mud to cool themselves specifically because they don’t sweat. Fun fact.
Amy took a sudden turn to the right. She got off the street and rode onto the sidewalk, which led into a small park in the middle of the neighborhood. Most of the neighborhood was very well lit but this park had only a few street lights near the bathrooms and the children’s playground. Walker’s house was right around the corner at the other end of the park.
It was half past two in the morning, and no one was around. Amy finally hit the brakes and slid to a stop next to a big bush. I stopped too and dismounted my bike. She let hers fall to the ground.
“Are you fucking ready?” she asked.
“Yeah… You?” I breathed.
“Fuck yeah,” she said. She was trying to sound confident, but I could tell she was anxious too. “Let’s do this then.”
We left our bikes laying in the grass in the dark next to the large bushes. Walker’s McMansion was the second house down from the corner where I was standing, the corner that led into the park. It was my job to watch for cars… and cops.
Amy jogged as quietly as possible to the side of Walker’s house. And right as she busted out the first window (loudly, I might add), my heart dropped and nearly fell out my ass. I saw headlights. They were approaching in my direction. I quickly clapped twice, which was the signal to Amy to drop to the floor and hide, and not try to run, because there wasn’t enough time. I quickly leapt back behind the bushes with the bikes, watching the headlights approach. It was the longest ten seconds of my life.
Some grandiose luxury SUV, shiny black, drove up to the corner, turned left, and sped off.
It wasn’t a cop. And whoever was inside didn’t seem to notice Amy or me. We might have just dodged a bullet. I clapped twice again, which was the signal to Amy “all clear.”
I peaked my head out further from the bushes, to get a look at Amy. I couldn’t see her, my view of her was obscured by a wooden fence that divided Walker’s property from his neighbor. But immediately I saw the fire light up. Amy had lit the oil-soaked rag stuffed down the top of the liquor bottle full of gasoline. She threw it inside the busted window and there was another characteristic loud crash of broken glass.
Now I couldn’t see her at all. She was in the back yard, looking for another window to throw the second Molotov into. That was a long sixty seconds of waiting, alone. Luckily I didn’t see any more cars. I didn’t hear any broken glass either though. Right as I was about to signal to Amy to run (by coughing loudly), she leaped back into my view and was sprinting, her shoes slapping loudly against the pavement. I scrambled back behind the bushes and got on my bike, and stood hers upright so she could jump on faster. Within five seconds she was next to me, whispering loudly,
“Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy SHIT!”
“Go go go go go go!” I whisper-shouted pointlessly. We were both already pedaling faster than we ever had in our lives. Within thirty seconds we were out of the park and onto the streets, and within five minutes we were out of the neighborhood. My head whirling around in every direction, keeping an eye out for anyone who might see us. Cops, neighbors, drivers. Through our whole bike ride through the neighborhood we didn’t pass a single driver, and only one or two houses had any lights on in the windows. That was as good as I could have hoped for.
After twenty minutes, we were decently far away, riding down whatever streets looked the darkest and had the fewest drivers. Only really vaguely heading in the direction of home. We’d planned this, we decided our priority should be being seen as little as possible, rather than getting home and indoors as quickly as possible.
For the first twenty minutes, our conversation had exclusively consisted of us cussing back and forth to each other, unable to organize a coherent thought into a sentence. Finally after a while I was able to ask Amy, “I never heard a second window break. What did you do?”
“I climbed into the garage through a doggie door. Somehow it was big enough.” she said back, not whispering as quietly now that we were far from the neighborhood. “There were no cars in the garage. And none out front either. I don’t think anyone was home. So that’s good.”
Eventually we made it home to our apartment, hid the bikes, hid our clothes and helmets, and reminisced excitedly for a half hour and went to bed. We didn’t tell any of our friends or roommates what we were up to. We had plenty of people in our lives who would have sympathized, but its always best to keep the number of people who know about an action to the absolute minimum. You never know who you can trust with the most important secrets. People change, and the cops get leverage over people, threaten them with hefty jail time if they don’t snitch.
The next morning, before I even woke up, Amy took the handwritten letter to the public mailbox a few blocks away in the grocery store parking lot. She mailed it to the police. We’d gone over the procedure, she never touched the paper or the envelope or the stamp without wearing gloves. She practiced writing in a choppy disjointed style that didn’t resemble her normal handwriting.
And what we wrote together, was this:
Dear pig bastards, corporate media, Earth-raping oil tycoons, and whomever else it may concern,
One night recently, a handful of comrades tracked down the second home of some highfalutin corporate bureaucrat of the Exxon-Mobil company and sneaked up when no one was home and did a little re-decorating with some gasoline and matches. They did it because the latest reports indicate the Earth’s average temperature is going to rise by about seven degrees Celsius by century’s end and that means over the next several decades, human society is going to collapse and most of the life on Earth is going to die. Far from being inevitable or natural, this catastrophe was intentionally caused by greedy, money-grubbing fucks like the guy whose house they hit. Global warming is going to wipe out hundreds of thousands of species, and cause devastating famines and water shortages that kill billions of people that will eventually lead to deadly armed conflict, possibly nuclear conflict, like the world has never seen. It’s going to destroy all the forests, melt all the ice, dry up the lakes, and turn the ocean to acid. This world is going to burn because of the actions of assholes like you, and people, millions of people, are going to die. But if we’re going down, we have no intention of going down without a fight, and we and our comrades wanted to send a little message to all the soulless Earth-ravaging bastards out there who think they’re going to ride out the crisis with their mansions and their money while the Earth is scorched: IF WE BURN, YOU BURN WITH US!