Monday, February 07, 2005

Ecoterrorist Sentenced in Utah Arson

Ecoterrorist Sentenced in Utah Arson

The moon stutters briefly through low scudding clouds, illuminating the scene through locked and barred windows. Long rows of metal shelves stand in the darkness, dully reflecting red and green winking lights of computer consoles and electronic monitoring equipment. Tiny feet rustle in dry bedding, an occasional small squeak echoes against bare, institutional green walls. The smell of ammonia and disinfectant dominates the air.

Outside, between and among shafts of moonlight, deep shadows move beyond the edges of the brightly lit parking lot, deep shadows that occasionally clink softly, stumble and curse
under their breath. In the far distance a siren wails, whoops and falls silent. The shadows gather at the edge of darkness, patiently waiting.

For a moment, the crescent moon shines brightly through a rift in the clouds, fades quickly and disappears. A cough, a low whistle, a brief snap and spark. At the same moment, by some fantastic coincidence, all the lights in the parking lot sputter out, leaving dull glowing orbs floating eerily in the night air. Emergency lights snap on inside the darkened building, bathe the window ledges with a harsh glare, then one by one fade out as their batteries quickly deplete themselves.

As the darkness becomes complete, the night is shattered by the sound of breaking glass, the harsh rasp of metal on metal, the clunk of heavy boots on hard concrete floors. At each doorway along the long hallway, dark forms pause briefly, punch once-secret codes into electronic door locks and swing the doors open to reveal mysteries held within. Momentary silence, punctuated by the rasp of metal on metal, tiny squeals of alarm, more clumping of boots and the clank of metal on cold parking lot asphalt.

Soon the parking lot, once festooned with gas-guzzling products of automotive excess, sports irregular lines of metal cages of various sizes and shapes. After a brief pause for maximum appreciation of the scene, dark shapes walk quickly long the lines, opening metal doors, freeing the occupants therein. The night is suddenly filled to excess with small scurrying mammalian shapes.

Meanwhile, within the building, the contents of camo backpacks are placed in strategic positions in the many rooms, next to blinking computer consoles and whirring tape drives, on top of file cabinets, under work tables and among and between numerous vials and bottles of gaily colored liquids. Various adjustments are made, whereupon the dark figures beat a hasty retreat down the hall, out the door and into the cool, enveloping darkness of the night.

A pause, interrupted by the distant sounds of wailing sirens, drawing closer.

As an armada of emergency vehicles turn into the driveway of the parking lot, lights whirling and flashing in gay abandon, sirens set on stun, small flashes of light and dull thumps emanate from the bowels of the building. Caustic liquids, released from their secure containers, drip, hissing, into the bowels of delicate electronics, splash onto spinning tape drives, consume plastic and paper in a mad chemical dance. Flammable liquids drip and oozed into and among papers and books, which, suddenly united with oxygen, spark and heat, leap into the embrace of explosive effulgence.

The first armed and dangerous officer of the law opens the door of his fully equipped and meticulously maintained police cruiser. At that moment, all the windows of the first floor of the brick edifice before him explode outward in an exquisitely beautiful, rapidly growing red and yellow flower of ultimate destruction. A charred poster flutters down through superheated air, singed slightly on the edges but otherwise intact. On it's bright yellow surface, the startled officer reads:

I'm back!

If you listen very, very carefully, you can hear tiny giggles from the shrubbery surrounding the parking lot, punctuated by the patter of tiny feet, running away, very, very fast


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