A neo-fascist British youth escalates an unstable situation in an already unstable United Kingdom.
Marcus was a stout youth who knew what he enjoyed. His green eyes always lit up with a certain kind of glee most people reserve for a beautiful painting or a classical composition when he had the familiar weight of his steel baton in his hand. He had been kicked out of grade school for being the ‘ringleader in the vicious hate-crime beating of a homosexual student’ or what Marcus had thought of a well-deserved bit of fun with an anarchist faggot piece of shit wanker. With short brown hair he shaved himself with a straight razor and a retro-punk thick brown coat covered in British Pride patches, he spent his days outside the pubs he had been kicked out. Idle amusement was found in robbing the departing drunks with three of his close friends and education was his nights on a tattered couch at the British First! DIY political office. Not quite a political party, not quite a paramilitary, not quite a publisher, British First! was where Marcus felt at home these days. Home had been a dilapidated council flat on the edge of Midham, but he didn’t go to that home much anymore at all. Mother had kicked him out in the middle of November after he had called her a kike-sympathizing leftist whore, the end explosion of a long argument where she had brought up Father as a weapon and the shame she felt in his beliefs, the alienation she felt snowballed everyday like the freezing winter, and the disbelief that this was what her son had become.
It was a cloudy January day with a thin frost of snow on the ground when he decided to make the decision that would alter the course of his life forever. The printing press upstairs from the damp basement was running at full speed, tales of anarchists burning a bookstore in response to brown-jackets burning a cafe screaming from the headlines, and he had to raise his voice to be heard over it. Mass protests against government welfare cuts had shut down the tubes, and half of the dozen faces in the room were late. Raising his voice wasn’t hard with two liters of beer in his stomach and another half finished in the glass bottle he was clutching. In the center of piles of old political newspapers decrying the left and endless pamphlets denouncing dangerous anarchist extremists and the racial ghettos of London was a circle of canary-yellow milk crates occupied for a meeting. A motley collection of young bashers, angry skinheads, and serious-faced brown-jackets was arrayed in front of him. Marcus stood still and silent, watching the naked light from the hanging bulb cast shadows on the bright light of youth and onto the dim corners of the past.
An angry shout burst from his mouth, “Look at where we are! In a basement of a real group, a group that fights for our right as real people who live here, a group that tries to spread the truth, and we are hunted for it! Three of our brothers died in the fire attack last week, and I am sick of losing friends! We all know we are merely the lowest level where things happen, the bottom that holds it all together on the streets while our brothers in the poli scene try to change the courts, but I am sick of waiting! Today, we are going to punch above our weight!”
Curious expressions greet this announcement. A girl so thin you can see her ribs outlined against her brown jacket raises her eyebrow, the embedded piercing winking in the light as it rises. The patch stitched onto the back of her pseudo-uniform reads TORNADO, and she’s carrying a messenger bag stolen from a neo-hip that’s filled with maps traded from a lonely clerk for a good blowjob. There is a dull cough from upstairs as one of the editors smokes a cigarette and feels his throat tickle, writing a screed about the Chinese space program being dangerous and inferior yet still a sign of Western decline. Marcus reaches into a hand-sewn inner pocket of his coat and slowly draws out a stubby metal tube as long as his forearm, relishing the tension. A thin copper wire runs from a carefully drilled hole made in a rural workshop, the wire running to a partially-dismantled egg timer. He had gotten the plans from a decentralized node server running in San Fransisco, using a public terminal and a set of student credentials he’d bought at the open-air black markets on Downing Street. With enough money and time and a glowing screen, you could send any information to anyone. Sending a message to everyone he hates will take a little time and ingenuity, but a vicious cruelty propels the train of thought forward.
The idea clicks in everyones head one by one, with Blake picking it up last due to being a bit slow witted, but even the black-haired brute with a cricket bat brain injury gets it eventually. Marcus is going to kick over the bucket, break the informal rules, throw a rock at an already angry hornets nest, set off a spark and see what happens. As he drains the rest of the cheap liquor, the detailed architectural plans are laid out on the floor. Four targets are chosen after long debate, and Marcus has the warm feeling of accomplishment he gets in his stomach when he drinks and decides. Two weeks from now, this was going to be a different Britain.