Tactics Of Terror
By Blackjack [Blackjack's Shadowrun Page: www.BlackjackSR.com] [BlackjackSRx@gmail.com] [@BlackjackSRx]

Posted: 1996-10-14

BLACKJACK NOTE: I wrote this in 1996, back when you could use the word "terrorism" and people wouldn't immediately lose their shit.  I have decided to post it anyway because it's FUCKING FICTION!  Put me on your damn list.  My life is pretty boring right now.

The following is a series of excerpts from the matrix based book "Tactics Of Terror", written by confessed freelance terrorist: Black Sunday.

I realize by publishing this Manifesto of sorts I may be simultaneously sabotaging my own profession. The moment you give somebody access to your mind and its processes you also provide a glimpse into the logical flaws it may also posses. I am not so egotistical as to submit the idea of my mind being flawless. If I was not as flawed as I my job would have been finished long ago and I'd have to resort to pumping gas, if I had left any gas stations standing. But, as you can see by scanning the tight skyline of any major city or by viewing the throngs of care free people traversing the roads and sidewalks of our planet every day, there is still much to be done. I realize my limitations and live within them. It is when you forget these limitations and attempt to exceed the bounds of your capabilities that you end up dead. But that is not to say I'm not good at what I do. I am very, very good at my profession. For this reason I present this publication as the authority on the subject of freelance terrorism in modern times. And, yes, it may give the mundane peoples of this Earth the hope and means to combat individuals such as myself. I have no problem with this. Because, quite frankly, doing my job has become far too easy.

There is a fine line between breaking a person's will and strengthening it. It can be equated to the fine line between frightening somebody and pissing them off. Fear and the disintegration of a person's will are nearly identical in nature. Frightened people are easy to manipulate, tend to stay out of your way, and hold the deep psychological impression that they are not in control. In this state they are more likely to allow other people to make the decisions for them, whether the outcome harms or helps them. This is because, in their hearts, they fear any attempt to personally bring about change. They fear that somebody who does not care for their thoughts may do something drastic, and deadly, to suppress them. It is this goal, the implantation of helpless fear, that a terrorist strives for.

Unfortunately any attempt to manifest fear also holds the possibility of awakening a force just as powerful, a force a terrorist must skillfully attempt not to muster. I speak of the emotion of anger. There is no worse way to fail as a terrorist. Once anger is initially mustered it is nearly impossible to get rid of. This emotion will direct its force against the terrorist's actions, against what the action was supposed to bring about, and against the terrorist itself. People do not fear walking the streets. They do not huddle in their homes in terror. They rise up with clenched fists and strong words and, even worse, a deepened conviction in maintaining they ideas and way of life. They turn to the force of terrorism and say, to be blunt, "Fuck You". You only need cross into the territory of anger once as a terrorist. After that your philosophies, ideals, and, most importantly for a freelancer such as myself, career are gone. You don't get a second chance.

I've never been a big fan of a high body count. Killed loved ones means angry people. And angry people won't give a damn about why you did what you did. They won't let you win.

In my opinion, successful terrorism requires more savoir-faire. It is not as simple as planting a bomb in the middle of a mall the day before Christmas. All you end up with is tears, news crews, and, again, lots of pissed off people. You need finesse. Such and ideal can best be described through the following story.

I'm sure we've all heard about, or perhaps even personally remember, the five dollar bill scare of 2020. I won't even try to take credit for it, I wasn't even born yet, and even I do not know who actually masterminded it. All I know is what happened and what the result was. Fifty years ago word was leaked to several government and media sources that a number of five dollar bills had been coated with a substance which would become toxic and deadly in exactly one week. As a warning there also existed two or three bills which had become toxic earlier that morning, although these would only sicken people and not kill them. For added impact chemical schematics of the toxin itself were included in these information "packets" along with exactly how these five dollar bills had infiltrated the system in the first place. And, to top it off, each packet also contained a five dollar bill treated with an eternally dormant variety of the substance.

While the government would have liked to keep the whole thing quiet the presence of identical information in the hands of the media ensured it's immediate and widespread distribution. The scare was on. The impact on the economic system was immediate and, although not devastating, it caused enough turmoil to throw off the stock market and extensively reduce the value of the American dollar. Thousands upon thousands of people filed into hospitals, some wishing to be tested for the toxin, and others psychosomatically feeling the toxin's effects. Hypochondriacs had a field day.

It should also be noted that during this time a vast number of investors keeping an eye on the situation made a number of high volume purchases in the initial chaos before the federal government ordered a freeze on all financial transactions. But this freeze did not occur before many billions of dollars had changed hands.

At approximately 11:30pm the same day scientists analyzing the complex chemical drawings, as well as the chemical itself found on the sample bills, came to the conclusion that the substance, although incredibly complicated and consisting of many possibly adverse compounds, was totally inert. There was no toxin.

It took a few days for the country to right itself and the aftermath was a lot less severe than everyone had expected. Safeguards were put in place to insure nothing like this would ever happen again and life slowly returned to normal, although people still tended to shy away from five dollar bills.

Who carried out this act? Nobody knows. Thousands of people came out ahead because of it. You couldn't thoroughly investigate all of them. Was it the investors? Was it some kid with a knowledge of chemistry and a small lab in his basement? Was it the primitive lobbyists for the credstick system? Again, nobody knows. But I'm sure, somewhere along the line, somebody got his fifteen percent. And he didn't have to blow anything up to get it.

So why do we do it? Why terrorism as a profession? You'll occasionally come across arguments by psychologists arguing that it has something to do with a felling of powerlessness or, perhaps, we're angry at something in our past and transfer that anger into our actions. Well, as often is the case, these psychologists are idiots. You can't throw any terrorist into any kind of category and, if you find a way, then your subject of study isn't very good at his or her job. I can't speak for all of us but my reasons can be summed up in two words: money and pleasure. The purpose of making the first reason a foundation for ones actions is obvious, everybody wants a nicer car than their neighbor, and I am no exception. The second is more intricate. I can almost hear the shrinks shrugging and stating, "he likes to blow people up". I get no pleasure from such simplicity. The enjoyment involves the execution of a process which terminates in the expected result. It is like any businessman negotiating a multimillion dollar deal. They strategically place information and manipulate their subjects in the hopes that, when everything falls into place, the final outcome will be as they had planned. Instead of information, I work with wires. Instead of people, I work with explosives or toxins or whatever. In turn, these explosives work with people, or against people, to further the ideas of my employer. But not me. I work with explosives and psychology for the purpose of getting the job done. The elation of success. And the million on the credstick.