Home > NaNoWriMo 2011 > Day One Hundred and Seventy-five: The Good Guy Bomber

Day One Hundred and Seventy-five: The Good Guy Bomber

Oscar stripped wires under the bright light of his workbench and cursed the kids today. They had no discipline, no drive. They didn’t know the value of hard work or what it took to make something of themselves.

He turned off the TV so he could concentrate. It was election season, and the jackass running to stay in the White House was getting on his nerves. The man had done everything in his power to screw up the country, and now he was asking for another four years? Oscar shook his head in disbelief just thinking about it.

He took up the soldering iron and secured the wires on the circuitboard with the precision of an artist. The wires stretched away from the box in three different directions – to the battery pack, to the radio receiver, and to the electronic trigger. A ribbon cable connected the voice recognition chip to his computer, which was waiting for input. He’d tested everything out and was meticulous in hunting down bugs and problems. He’d had a vision, a plan of action that he saw through from the very beginning, and didn’t give up at the first sign of a problem. The end result was that by God, when Oscar Lembrick wanted someone blown up, he got blown up good and hard.

Ever since the good old days of the anarchists, there had always been a place for the bomber, mad or otherwise. In the old days they had the most primitive of grenades, where you had to light the fuse, throw and run, and pray that it blew up after it left your hand and not before. And as silly as those things were, they worked. A grenade set the world on the path to World War I. Bombers were the boogeymen of their age, long before there were mindless Communist hordes. They were messy and imprecise, true, but they got the job done. Sometimes you needed a delicate precision instrument, and sometimes you needed a big goddamn hammer.

And there was no bigger hammer than Oscar.

When he was young, Oscar discovered he had a love of seeing things explode. He was an avid fan of the Storybreakers show, which revolved around the premise that there was no explosion too big to put on TV, and soon found himself looking for ways to do what they did, only at home – in direct disregard of their pre-show warning. He bought fireworks from roadside stands and made low-power explosives from instructions on the internet. While other kids languished in their air-conditioned homes playing their video games, he was out past the woods, strapping his own tiny bombs to old toys to see what would happen when he set them off.

Unlike other childhood fascinations, this one stayed with him as he grew up, and it made the course of his life crystal clear. He studied chemistry and physics, learning about reactions both slow and fast. He began to lurk in some of the more disreputable sections of the internet, looking for people who knew more about explosives than he did and quizzing them as best he could without scaring them away. The art of destruction became a passion for him, and it wasn’t long before he graduated to the major leagues.

His first true bombing was a biker bar a few miles out of his hometown. The Crow’s Nest was where the scum of the earth came to drink and wind themselves up for some real violence. The townsfolk could hear the roar of their motorcycles as they came in along the main boulevard, and that was the signal to get off the streets and hope they would pass through without wreaking havoc. Even at their most gentle, the barbarians who made the Crow’s Nest their home would cause thousands of dollars of damage, and the police had neither the will nor the means to take them out.

Oscar, on the other hand, had both.

A few well-placed pipe bombs, and the Crow’s Nest was reduced to a smoking ruin. Of the fifty-three people inside, five were alive when the ambulance showed up, and two of them didn’t even make it to the hospital. There was an investigation, of course, but nobody looked too hard. These were not people whose deaths made the world a dimmer and less wonderful place to live in. As far as the authorities were concerned – unofficially, of course – someone had done them a favor, and if he wanted to remain anonymous, well, they would have to live with that.

Oscar’s career took off from there. Over the years he made better contacts and pulled bigger jobs, always aimed at people whose deaths would be considered a public good. Still, he managed to pull off some spectacular blasts. He blew out a soon-to-open casino in Vegas for a bitter son of the Nardozzi family, angry at his father cutting him out of the vast criminal network they managed. The blast effectively dismantled the family organization in an instant, leaving the son to finish the job.

He’d done a bomb in Germany, taking out the headquarters of the Weisshammer neo-Nazi group, and lent his expertise in Baghdad against a cell of insurgents there who thought that their goat-corpse I.E.D.s were actually clever. The money he made allowed him to move to a more isolated location and buy better supplies. As the years passed, his internet colleagues began to call him the Good Guy Bomber, the man who made sure that the bad guys were well and truly eliminated. He wasn’t entirely sure how that happened, but it was better than blowing up women and children by a long shot.

After years of explosions, he was able to retire. He took the money he’d made, bought a few dozen acres of land out in the middle of nowhere and decided that he was going to live the quiet life. Maybe take up a less dangerous hobby, now that he was getting older and his hands weren’t as steady as they’d been when he was in his twenties. He would make fireworks, maybe, something that could still bring in a little honest money. He could leave the troubles of the world behind him – the people losing their jobs, the economy slowly circling the drain, the poison in the air and the water. It would just be him and his ranch and the occasional experiment with fuel oil and fertilizer.

That lasted just about six months. There are some things you can’t walk away from, and blowing up the bastards seemed to be one of them.

This job was a little different from the others he’d done in his professional days. No one was paying him for it, and no one had asked him to do it. He was doing it pro bono, because it had to be done, and because none of the punk-ass kids these days were able to get it right. The news was full of stories about the most recent event, a blast that had gone off in a shopping mall and killed ten people. Ten people except for the one that they were trying to get to. What’s more, the morons were dumb enough to put their bomb-making video up on some website, so they were all in cuffs within hours of the blast while the sonofabitch they were trying to take out walked away looking like a martyr.

He tapped a few keys on the computer and fired up the voice-recognition program. When it was ready, he pulled the microphone close, cleared his throat and said, “My fellow Americans.” The wave-form on the screen blinked blue and then a steady green. He said it a few more times at different speeds and pitches and tones until the program had it down cold. Then he did the same with “God bless the United States of America.”

Those two phrases would go into the activation chip, which would fit snugly into the microphone casing he’d bought. The head of the microphone would be a shaped charge packed with C4. Getting the microphone up onto the lectern would be the trickiest part, but the moment that man spoke either of those phrases, he would soon be missing a head, and the country could go about electing someone who wasn’t actively trying to run it into ruin.

Oscar smiled grimly. He’d taken out a lot of people in his time, but this would be his first president. If he succeeded, he would probably be found. This wasn’t taking out a bunch of scumbag bikers. The authorities wouldn’t just shrug it off and close the case. His name would go down in infamy.

He turned the TV on again, where the man he was going to kill was giving a medal to another man who had admitted to stealing billions from pension funds and retirement accounts. The next guy in line had barely escaped being convicted of selling military electronics on the black market. The President himself was under investigation for taking bribes from three industrial lobbying groups to cut regulations back to the point where rivers were starting to catch fire again. In four short years, everything had gone bad. Everything had gone wrong.

Infamy.

Oscar smiled grimly and started to assemble the bomb.

He could live with that.

*****

Oscar Lembrick’s page on 30characters.com

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  1. November 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM

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