Part II

Athena Melbourne looked at what remained of the government retreat into the building and smiled to herself. She had set up cameras around the city to keep them under surveillance. After a year of meticulous planning, the action was finally starting. Athena Melbourne was one of the clerks in Parliament who had worked there for about twenty years. She saw many governments come and go and all seemed to be clones of the other. Athena always wanted to get into politics, she always believed she could inspire change in the country. At university she studied history, literature and politics. She graduated bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to change the world. Her naiveté was her downfall. She never associated herself with any of the political parties in the country so there was no way for her to enter the political arena. She had to settle for an administrative job in Parliament.

Athena grew more and more fed up of the situation in the country till one day she just snapped. She decided enough was enough. She always had theories of the corruption and underhand deals that went on so she resolved to find some hard evidence proving her theories. Much to her surprise, this was not that hard to find, in fact, anyone could have found it if they had ever bothered to look. What was shocking though was the depth of the corruption. Everyone seemed to be involved, not only politicians but persons in the police service, the military, businessmen and then some persons she never even heard of before. She used this information to coerce the police, military and business owners to participate in the revolution. Things were put into motion- intense planning, secret meetings, covert messages all led up to this moment. Athena was ready to take back the country and return it to the people.

“Rise and shine, dishonourable members of Parliament,” her voice rang through the television screen the next morning to wake them up. “Are you ready to confess your crimes?” she asked when all the members of Parliament were outside watching the screen. “No!” announced the Prime Minister as he glared at the screen. “Very well,” Athena replied and the screen switched off.

Parker and his companions had come up with a plan last night. There was no way they were going to give in to the demands. They were going to take back the country…with force. As soon as the screen switched off, the group of politicians spread out. They combed through the city, breaking into stores, offices, food places to gather supplies. They also raided police stations to gather any arms or ammunition that was left behind. Next, they stormed one of the high end car dealers, and stole three of the best SUVs. They loaded up the vehicles with fuel they had stolen and packed weapons into it. They then climbed into the vehicles and went on their way. They were going to ambush neighbourhoods, one by one.

They were soon approaching the closest neighbourhood. The barriers were guarded by police but the politicians didn’t care. They drove full speed ahead, and crashed through the barriers, knocking over three of the guards. Reinforcements were in place almost immediately and pretty soon, a battle ensued. Guns went off, blood was shed. When some of the residents caught wind of the incident, they joined in. It was their opportunity to personally get back for all the wrongs these same politicians did to them. The residents armed themselves with knives and broken bottles, it seemed like exactly the time for revenge.

It didn’t take long for Parker to realise he and his men were losing. About ten were seriously injured, five were unconscious and a few others had already been tied up by the guards. Parker yelled to the other to retreat. He tried to gather as many of his men as possible but some were too hurt and others were too engaged in the battle. Tristan returned to one of the vehicles, “Last call, get in or stay here to be killed!” he shouted. Parker hurried to the vehicle, along with six other politicians. As they drove off, Parker looked back at the men he had abandoned. The residents descended upon those men, beating them relentlessly. Parker felt guilty.

Back at the parliament building, Parker tried to calm his few remaining men. “What’s your next brilliant plan?” Tristan asked sarcastically, “you could’ve gotten all of us killed, Lord alone knows what happened to the others.” “I didn’t think the people would get violent!” Parker replied.

Then suddenly, Athena’s voice interrupted the argument. “Congratulations!” she exclaimed, as her image appeared on the screen, “eleven of your friends confessed to their crimes to save their lives, the others are under arrest and unfortunately five of them died. Their blood is on your hands. Save yourself and confess right now!” Athena then showed them images of the politicians who had confessed eating a fresh meal with their families. Before Parker could speak, two of the politicians with him spoke up, “We surrender. Take us now,” they cried as they stepped forward. Parker tried to pull them back but they shrugged him off. Athena instructed those two to walk to the City Square where they would be collected. Parker pleaded with them to stay and fight but they refused. It was not worth their lives.

Parker and two of his companions retreated to the Parliament building together with Tristan and his two closest colleagues. It was time for them to devise a new plan.

Meanwhile, news of the violent battle at the neighbourhood spread and Athena was bombarded with calls and messages, all enquiring as to what happened. The people were quite upset. They were promised peace and now, several of them were seriously injured. They wanted to know how the politicians had access to all those things in the first place. Athena apologised profusely for her oversight and promised that this situation would resolve within that week. She severely underestimated the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

The first week passed and save for the violent incident, things were quiet. When she called for Parker and the others through the screen no one answered. In fact, none of them came out of the building for the rest of the week. The second week was a bit different. One night, Parker and his squad managed to creep into a neighbourhood. They broke into a home and stole a phone, some food and a few other miscellaneous items. As they were about to delve deeper into the neighbourhood, the guards saw them; one member would not be fortunate enough to re-enter parliament that night. The others returned safely. They tried to call their families but to no avail.

The next day, Athena was alerted to a fire in the capital. Parker and the others had set one of the buildings on fire. Athena ordered the fire department to quell the situation and then she went to the screen. As soon as Parker saw her image, he began to speak, “Stop this nonsense now. We are innocent. Stop it or I will burn this city down to the ground!” Athena ignored his threat. Big mistake. Every day that week, a new building was set ablaze.

Parker, Tristan and the others would spend the nights talking or rather reflecting with one another. The irony of this situation was not lost on them. For years, they ignored angered citizens who violently protested, burning tyres, blocking roadways just to get the government’s attention and now they themselves resorted to those same methods. They were hungry, tired and missed their families but yet still they refused to surrender. Every day they would announce their innocence right before they burnt another building. They had professed their innocence so many times, they began to believe their own lie. But they knew the truth, they knew their hands were unclean and now they were paying the price. As they talked to each other, they began to question whether all the power and money was worth it.

Meanwhile, the people were growing restless. Athena had imposed a curfew and other restrictions on their movements, and they were not happy about it. Athena was trying to keep the situation under control but she was failing miserably. Weeks passed and a resolution was still no closer. The days keep passing by and it seemed as if Parker was gaining strength while Athena was growing weaker. The food was running out, the people missed their freedom and the country was losing money. Athena was so overwhelmed by everything, she couldn’t think clearly.

This unrest led Edward Chariot, a local activist, to secretly form a rebellion. He and four others decided to form an alliance with Parker and his men; a rebellion to the rebellion. Edward resolved to meet with them and see if he could end this once and for all. When Athena caught wind of it, she kept Edward under a watchful eye. He now had to move stealthily if he was to make it to the capital undetected.

At the beginning of the fourth week, Edward and the four members of the rebellion snuck into the Parliament building. Athena saw this on the surveillance camera and began to panic. She immediately called the military and the police. She could not lose after all this. She devised a plan. She would ambush the politicians and the rebellion and regain control. It was time to put an end to this mess.

 

Posted by Hillary Muddeen