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Dissident Student Number: 26522684 School Number: 8101 1


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A young environmental protestor exposes corruption in the ranks of government and big business in contemporary Australia. Completed as a major work for English Extension 2 in the 2015 HSC.All work is the property of Jack Day, and may not be re-used in any way without express permission.

Text of Dissident

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Student Number: 26522684

School Number: 8101


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Real revolution starts with learning, if you’re not angry you’re not paying attention.

– Tim McIlrath


“Counsellor Moorcroft,” said the Judge. “Please step forward.”

Moorcroft acquiesced, the sheaf of papers in his hands ruffling as they brushed over

the surface of the microphone.

“Counsellor, the court has heard your application for bail on the part of the

defendant,” said the Judge gravely.

Moorcroft glanced across at the defendant’s box, where Luna Lennan cut a lonely


“Yes your honour,” said the silver-haired lawyer in the op-shop suit. “Miss Lennan

poses no risk to the community, and the non-violent nature of her crimes are

conducive to bail being granted.”

“I decide what is conducive to bail being granted,” roared the Judge, turning to face

Luna. “And it is my opinion that the defendant should be denied bail. She has shown

no remorse for her actions, and poses a serious risk of re-offending if released

without condition.”

The Judge raised his gavel and brought it down with a THUD.

“Bail denied,” he said. “Trespassing is a serious crime Miss Lennan, and sabotage

even more so. In the present economic conditions, Australia desperately needs the


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revenue generated by investment in the mining sector. Your actions have

undermined the integrity of a major project, and cannot be tolerated.”

Speaking now to the Court Clerk, the Judge continued.

“The defendant is to be held in the nearest correctional facility until a trial can be

arranged. This court is adjourned.”

Luna barely heard the sound of the gavel or the voice of the Judge, as she stared

blankly at her scabbed knees.

“ALL RISE,” cried the Clerk, and the courtroom stood as one for the Judge’s exit.

Luna watched as her shambolic legal team gathered their papers and left the room.

She cowered in the defendant’s box, numb, until a stocky guard jerked her to her

feet by the chain of her handcuffs and led her limply from the room.


All the conservation efforts in the world won’t be enough to make a dent in the

oncoming sustainability crisis our planet faces.

– Naveen Jain


The sterility of the large holding cell slapped Luna in the face as the guard opened

the door and led her inside. Three walls were painted a drab shade of beige, while

the fourth was dominated by a large two-way mirror and a steel door. Spartan chairs

lined two walls, ominously bolted to the floor. The shackles on the arms of each chair

gave the room a final, brutal touch that sent hot beads of sweat trickling down Luna’s



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The guard directed Luna to a chair near the end of one of the rows, next to a gaunt

man who appeared to be sleeping. As he sat her down, she caught a glimpse of the

switchblade on his belt.

Grab the knife, stab; twist; repeat Luna thought in the fleeting seconds that her wrists

were free of her cuffs, but before she could decide on a course of action her arms

were firmly shackled down.

Two women sat in the corner closest to the exit, their faces given a haunting half-

glow by the chiaroscuro effect of the fluorescent yellow lights. Further down the row

sat a boy with dark, deep-set eyes staring directly ahead.

Luna sat in subdued silence, gazing at the spot on the wall where a window would

be if the Department of Justice had been kind enough to provide one. With no clock

on the wall and not a shadow to guess the time by, Luna had no idea how many

hours had passed before she heard a stirring beside her.

The gaunt man coughed as he woke, rubbing sleep from the corners of his lurid blue

eyes with one hand as he brushed back his fragile, almost white hair with the other.

His eyes widened as he noticed Luna sitting next to him, and she suddenly cursed

the fact that the chairs were immovable.

“It seems we have an addition to our merry little band,” he chortled. “What’s your

name girlie?”

Luna pulled back in disgust as the man leaned in to sniff at her dirty blonde hair, the

scent of his hot breath nearly making her retch.

“Giving me the silent treatment are we?” the man continued. “Well, good thing I know

who you are; Luna Lennan.”


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Luna’s sharp intake of breath gave away her surprise at hearing her name from the

mouth of this creature.

“You don’t know me. How could you know who I am?” she said fearfully.

The man leaned in even closer, looking so deeply into Luna’s eyes that she felt he

could see right through.

“Your face is everywhere, little girl,” he laughed. “You’ve pissed up the legs of some

powerful men. Oh my, don’t look so distressed! You’re in the presence of an avid


The man bent his leg up to the armrest of his chair, and fished deep into his ragged

canvas shoe. He pulled out a cold sliver of metal and pressed it into Luna’s hand, so

hard she thought it would draw blood.

“Keep it secret, keep it safe,” he said. “You can make better use of it than me.”

A snort burst from the man’s nostrils as he laughed at his joke; a terrible laugh, like a

demented clown. Luna covered her ears and shut her eyes, but the laugh penetrated

her defences and she screamed bloody murder until the guard burst in, baton at the



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If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like

sheep to the slaughter.

– George Washington


CLANG! The steel door opened abruptly. Fighting with the breakfast laden trolley,

the guard moved through the room; stopping before the skeletal ladies, then the

hollow-eyed boy, then Luna. He deposited a cardboard bowl on her lap, with flimsy

plastic cutlery to go with it.

Even the food has no sharp edges, thought Luna, staring at the watery porridge.

“Eat that, you’re moving on in ten minutes,” growled the guard.

Luna picked at the porridge fitfully. Her ten minutes passed and the guard came

back, his heavy ring of keys jangling as he unlocked the shackles around Luna’s


“Up,” he grunted, pulling Luna roughly from her seat.

Led by the chain connecting her wrists, Luna followed the guard meekly through the

steel door at the far end of the room. The room behind the two-way mirror was

windowless, but the open door showed a ghost town of lights and switches.

‘SURVEILLANCE’ screamed a sign above the doorway, and a series of screens

showed images of the drab corridors of the QEII Courthouse’s underbelly.

As she was drawn through those corridors, Luna lagged as much as she could,

saving her limited energy. She shivered in the corner of the elevator as they


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descended to Level B-2, into the cold, concrete car park that housed the Court’s fleet

of transit vehicles. The guard jerked Luna to her feet and shoved her through the

open door of the van that idled at the end of the loading dock.

The back of the van was windowless, cut off from the driver’s seat by a grid of cold

steel. The guard chuckled as he slammed the numerous bolts into place to fasten

the back door shut. His cargo wasn’t usually this cooperative.

Unable to see anything but the dusty walls of the van and the bald patch at the back

of the guard’s head, Luna was forced to judge the progress of the van by the

direction she was thrown with each sharp turn. The slow wind through the car park

ended in a steep ascent to the ground level then a series of corners… left right left

right left until they blurred into one. The guard turned out to be a fan of country

music, and the constant twang of guitars and Southern accents sent Luna into a

stupor as the kilometres passed.


Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

– Mahatma Ghandi


The van drew to a halt, and seconds later the back door was flung open.

“Toilet break,” the guard mumbled.

The sunlight was harsh on Luna’s unadjusted eyes and her limbs were stiff as stone.

Shaking her arms to loosen them up, she stepped out of the van and walked a few


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steps off the road to find some privacy. The guard’s eyes never dropped from hers,

and a sly grin broke out on his flat face.

Back in the van, Luna heard the bolts on the outside of the door being drawn once


Am I really going to let this happen? She asked herself.

“Hey, come back! Now that you’ve had your perv, can I get something to eat?” she

yelled. “I’m hungry, pig.”

The guard thrust the door open once more and climbed into the van, reaching for his


“WHAT did you call me?” he hissed.

The guard lunged forward and swung the baton, sending a shooting pain up Luna’s

left arm. As he dived, Luna brought her knee up with all the force she could muster.

She felt her kneecap connect with the guard’s nose, and he collapsed onto his

stomach; knocked out cold.

Fumbling in the lining of her sleeve, Luna pulled out the metal sliver and slid it into

the lock of the handcuffs. In the movies the hero always unlocked his cuffs in a

matter of seconds, but it took Luna ten minutes of fighting before the handcuffs

clicked open, falling to the floor with a satisfying thunk. She grabbed the cuffs and

fastened one around the guard’s wrist. The other she clamped tightly onto a

purpose-made metal loop on the floor of the van, and fastened every lock on the

back door.


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Life is about running and when we stop running maybe that’s how we’ll know life is

finally finished.

– Patrick Ness


The van jerked forward then spluttered to a stop, stalling just before the gears

engaged. Luna lashed out at the steering wheel in frustration, startling herself with

the blaring beep of the horn. In an hour she had moved less than a kilometre in a

series of embarrassing kangaroo hops. Luna had never driven a manual car before,

but she vaguely remembered her father showing her as a child. Under pressure, she

struggled to remember the steps to the intricate process:

1. Turn the car on, with the clutch pressed in all the way to the floor.

2. Shift into first gear, without releasing your foot from the clutch.

3. Take the handbrake off and slowly press down on the accelerator, while

simultaneously releasing the clutch.

In theory it was not a difficult concept for Luna to grasp, but in practice it was a

different story; especially when the vehicle she was attempting to drive was a prison

transport van with a guard cuffed and collared in the back.

Finally Luna’s slippery hands managed to engage first gear, and the van started to

roll forwards without the jerking motion. Cycling quickly through the gears until she

hit the speed limit, she set off up the highway in the northbound lane.


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Luna found herself nodding off as she sped past kilometre after kilometre of

monotonous bushland. Dense clusters of eucalypts and hardy bushes blended into

one strip of brown and green sliding by on either side of the road. The asphalt rolled

out in front of her as the needle of the fuel gauge drooped towards empty. The half-

light of dusk was descending, so Luna flicked the van’s lights on. The beam cut

through the gloom ahead, illuminating a sign.

EXIT 1KM: Last Fuel Before Gladstone.

Pulling into the service station, Luna stopped at the unleaded bowser and turned the

ignition off. The smell of petrol hung thickly in the air as she opened the van’s fuel

tank and inserted the nozzle, holding down the trigger until she heard the

mechanism click and the flow stop. At $1.69 per litre Luna wasn’t going to waste the

little money she had, so she waited until a Range Rover blocked the cashier’s line of

sight and grabbed the nozzle.

As soon as she put the key in the ignition and turned, Luna knew something was

wrong. The engine clicked when it should have roared, and a plume of acrid smoke

emerged from under the hood. Luna jumped out of the van, and only then did she

notice the small sticker tucked away next to the door handle:

6 Cylinder Direct Injection, DIESEL ONLY

Luna kicked the door in frustration. The Range Rover had moved and the cashier

could see a problem developing. He began to move towards the door. Luna ran like

a frightened hare, heading for the monstrous shadows of the trucks lurking in the

north-eastern corner of the parking lot. She found one with an open door and

clambered in, finding space amongst the empty mango crates. Thankful for the


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warmth of the February air, Luna pulled her knees up to her chest and huddled up

for a sleepless night.


Fear? I know not fear. There are only moments of confusion. Some of them are

deeply stamped on my memory and a few will haunt me forever.

– Hunter S. Thompson


The excavator roared as it bore down on the small group, angry black smoke

billowing from its exhaust. Frozen in the powerful beam of its headlights, it took every

ounce of Luna’s will to move. She turned and ran, stumbling over the rocky ground

through the clouds of dust kicked up by Sam in front of her. Luna could see the edge

of the steep embankment in the distance, saw Hannah clambering over the edge to

safety, and increased her pace. The embankment couldn’t be more than a hundred

metres away, but the growl of the excavator’s engine grew closer and closer until

she could feel the heat radiating from the engine. Luna’s breath came in shorter and

shorter gasps as she searched for the strength to outrun the machine, but she hit a

rock and sprawled forwards onto the ground. Luna covered her head with her hands

and flattened herself on the dirt as the excavator shot over her. She hesitated, then

lifted her head to spit the dust out of her parched throat. In the distance she saw

Sam reach the edge of the embankment and plunge over; seconds before the

excavator skidded to a stop on the crest of the small rise.


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BEEP, BEEP, BEEP; the excavator reversed from the drop-off and Luna knew she

was done for. She stood and raised her arms in surrender. The engine of the

excavator growled…

…and was replaced by the baritone hum of the road beneath the truck’s wheels.

Luna woke covered in sweat and short of breath. She tried to rise from her position

against the wall of the truck, but a crippling cramp in her back forced her to her

knees. Luna’s skin peeled away from the sticky floor as she finally stood, and the

overwhelming aroma of mango remnants made her stomach rumble. It was only then

that she realised she had not eaten since the gruel forced on her the previous


Luna’s clothes were filthy; covered in dirt and sticky mango juice which gave her t-

shirt and jeans a hardened crust. Digging into her pocket, she extracted the money

she’d found in the guard’s wallet and counted it. $63.90 has to be enough for food

and clothes, she thought, tucking the cash back into her stiff pocket. As she did, the

squeal of compression brakes drowned out the comforting drone of the truck’s

wheels, and Luna felt its movement begin to slow. The truck’s engine cut off abruptly

and she heard the driver’s door slam shut. Through the wall, Luna could hear

muffled voices.

The light seared her ill-adjusted eyes as the doors to the second trailer were thrown

open, and she saw three figures standing at its entrance.

Police, she realised, moving quickly to the dark back corner of the trailer.


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“Sir, she was last seen at a BP service station near Bundaberg, on the A1 motorway.

All vehicles exiting to Gladstone are being searched as a precaution,” one of the

officers said. “She may be armed, we just want to ensure the safety of the public.”

“I’ll have a look, but you’re wasting everyone’s time here mate,” the driver hit back.

The driver jumped onto the tailgate of the trailer with surprising agility, and looked

inside. As his gaze swept over the rows of empty mango crates, he noticed Luna’s

huddled shape in the far right-hand corner of the trailer. Luna’s terrified stare locked

with his and she saw his eyes widen in surprise. The driver winked and raised a

finger to his lips. His eyes swept the trailer one more time, then he turned back to the

police officers and clambered down.

“I stopped at the servo for a rest last night but I was there no more than an hour,”

said the driver loudly. “Look, mate. I’ve got nothin’ to hide, go ‘ave a look in there

yourself if you need to, or let me get on my way. You boys aren’t the only ones with a

quota to meet.”

“We apologise for the delay sir,” said the second officer. “Carry on.”

The doors slammed shut once more, and Luna finally felt it was safe to let her breath

out. The trailer shuddered as the big diesel engine whirred back to life, and a smile

played at her lips.

“Gladstone,” she breathed.

The truck stopped again twenty minutes down the road. Seconds later, the door of

the trailer was opened once more.


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“Quick, jump out,” barked the driver. “Put this jacket on and come with me, but keep

your head down.”

The jacket was a ragged old flannelette that itched like nobody’s business, but Luna

knew she had to remain inconspicuous.

“Thank you,” she said quietly. “Why didn’t you turn me in?”

“No use talkin’ on an empty stomach lass,” said the driver. “Come on in and let me

fix you up with one of Moz’s famous Mixed Grills.”

The truck was parked at the rear of a small diner. An oversized neon sign towering

above the entrance shouted MOSINSKY’S. To her back and right was a high stone

retaining wall with a fence running along the top, which marked the boundary of the

diner and the commission flats higher on the hillside.

The driver stretched out a weathered hand.

“The name’s Graham,” he beamed. “It’s great to meet ya Luna. Your face has been

all over the place lately, did you know?”

“I gathered that,” Luna laughed, grasping the proffered hand. His grip was firm and

his eyes were kindly; with a crow’s foot crinkle in the corner that spoke of laughter.

“HA!” his laugh boomed out across the deserted parking lot. “Let’s go inside. It’s

almost eight o’clock, and we want to catch Mozz while he’s the one cooking, trust


As Luna followed the sound of his guffaw across the deserted parking lot, she felt

relief wash over her. For the first time in days she felt safe enough to breathe without


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looking over her shoulder. Pulling up the collar of the jacket, she quickened her pace

to keep up with Graham’s long strides as they burst through the door of the diner.


If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, there’d be peace.

– John Lennon


With full stomachs and freshly refilled coffee mugs, Luna and Graham got to talking.

He told her of his life off the road, his wife and twin girls at home in Townsville.

“When I first read the news stories about your arrest I didn’t buy into all that patriotic

horseshit the bloody government spread about you,” he said passionately. “These

days it’s economy this, economy that; they forget that to have anything to rule over,

the planet has to come first.”

Graham took a sip of coffee and continued.

“When I saw you in the back o’ my truck, I couldn’t just hand you straight over to the

cops. My girls are a year or two younger than you, and I can see too much of them in

you. They’re passionate about the things that matter to them,” he said fondly. “Too

many young people just couldn’t care less these days.”

“Everything you’ve heard is true,” said Luna. “I was there, I was at the mine and I did

my best to stop those bastards working, even if it was just for a few hours. But what

difference does it make, one person who gives a shit isn’t going to open the minds of

a million who don’t”


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Luna sat back and folded her arms, waiting for a response. Graham simply looked at

her, resting his chin on his hand.

“Where do you go from here Luna?” asked Graham. “What’s the plan?”

“I wasn’t alone,” she replied. “There were two others with me, and I have no idea

what happened to them.”

“Where is the mine exactly? They never publicised the location.”

“It’s in the middle of nowhere, out past Emerald,” Luna said, her tone full of bitter

venom. “I don’t even know the name of it. What I do know, is that it’s owned by some

fat-cat who can’t see beyond his profit margin. And, this corrupt, spineless

government went ahead and approved it.

Coffee cups rattled as Luna slammed her fist down on the glossy tabletop. The other

diners started at the sound and Luna buried her face in her hands, sobbing.

“Come on Luna, you’re past exhausted,” said Graham gently. “There’s a bed above

the cabin of my rig, you can get some sleep there tonight and we’ll go into town and

fix you up with some threads tomorrow. It’s no palace, but it sure puts the floor of the

trailer to shame.”


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The world doesn’t owe you anything, it was here first.

– Mark Twain


Luna spent an hour at a op-shop near the centre of town, leaving with some overalls,

a plain white shirt, and a new, nondescript persona – all for $14.50. In her hand was

an ageing voice recorder and a pair of scissors she’d spotted on the way out and


Luna ducked into a public toilet and hacked at her ragged hair with the scissors,

leaving it just above shoulder length. Staring past the graffiti and grime, she barely

recognised the girl in the mirror.

She asked Graham to meet her at the same spot in two hours time and set off to find

the Gladstone library. In an unfamiliar town, without a phone or a map, it took Luna

almost twenty minutes to find the dingy, 1970s building just off Highway 58.

A welcoming rush of cool air greeted Luna as she pushed in the heavy glass door.

She headed straight for the reference section, where a sign pointed to the recent

copies of the Gladstone Observer. Opening the paper from the day after her arrest,

she skimmed through the top stories and found a full-page spread about her

impending hearing, but nothing concerning Sam or Hannah. Luna moved on to the

next day, then the next; until she spotted a squat column at the top of page four of

yesterday’s issue.


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One Dead, One Injured in Mine Accident

Mark Alvarez, 17/02/2016

In the early hours of yesterday morning, workers at a mine in the Galilee

Basin discovered the body of a woman at the foot of a steep embankment

on private land. The woman – identified by authorities as nineteen year-

old Hannah Corella – appeared to have fallen from the top of the cliff,

sustaining fatal head injuries. Near the woman’s body, a seventeen year-

old boy was found alive, with serious internal bleeding and several broken

bones. He was airlifted to Gladstone Hospital where doctors say he is in a

serious but stable condition.

The two teenagers are believed to have been involved in a protest at the

mine, which ended in sabotage of several vehicles. A third protestor –

eighteen year-old Luna Lennan – was arrested at the scene and denied

bail after appearing in court, but escaped from a prison transit van en-

route to Maryborough Correctional Centre. Police warn the public that she

is unlikely to be armed, but should be treated with caution. Anyone with

information as to her whereabouts is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333


Luna felt bitter bile welling in her throat as she read the short piece.

Fatal head injuries.

She read it again.


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Luna tried to stand, but her shaking legs faltered and she slumped back into her

seat. Angry tears started to run down her face and onto the paper, smearing the dark

ink into an angry, confused blur.

For several minutes, Luna sat frozen in place, watching her tears trickle ever closer

to the bottom of the page. As the droplets made their descent, she saw another

headline that made her eyes widen, then sent a hot rage coursing through her veins.

She scrabbled furiously to rip the article out and shoved it into her pocket, throwing

her chair back as she did. Oblivious to the librarian’s indignant glare, stepped back

out into the glaring Queensland sun.


It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us

from living freely and nobly.

– Bertrand Russell


Gladstone hospital was a dazzling compendium of glass, still under construction in

parts. Luna walked straight up to the receptionist’s desk and asked for Sam

Cassidy’s room number, beyond caring if she was identified. The nurse printed out a

ticket for her - Room 66, Floor 6, Recovery Ward - and she set off in search of the


Luna hesitated when she arrived at the door to Room 66, before knocking quietly

and gently pushing it open. The light was off and the curtains drawn, but she could

clearly see a shadowy figure in the bed; one leg suspended in the air by a canvas



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“Sam,” she called out gently.

A groggy voice replied, slurred by morphine and sleep.

“Who… who is it?” he said. “Hannah?”

A sob burst from Luna’s lips and she rushed to the bedside, grabbing Sam’s

outstretched hand.

“I’m so sorry,” she mumbled. “It’s Luna. Hannah… she’s gone, Sam…”

Even in the dark, she could see his face fall.

“Gone?” he said quietly. “As in…”

“Dead,” she finished bitterly. “And it’s down to this bastard.”

Luna pulled the ripped article out of her pocket, and handed it to Sam. Brushing

tears from his cheeks, he flicked the switch on the bedside lamp and read the


Civilise Minerals Chairman Vedran Kapoor To

Inspect New Gladstone Docks Ahead of Mine


“Luna this is today,” said Sam. “What are you going to do?”

“Who knows,” she said. “But I’ve got to do something, I have to make the world see

what monsters these people are.”


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“I can’t afford to lose my two closest friends in the same week,” he said with

downcast eyes.

“The police are after me Sammy, either way I’m finished,” she said. “May as well go

out with a bang.”

“They got me too Luna,” said Sam. “In fact you better get out of here, they’ve got a

guard on me and he’ll be back from the cafeteria any minute.”

“Whatever you do...” he finished. “Good luck. It’s what Hannah would’ve wanted.”

Luna stood up and left the room, lingering painfully at the door for a second before

closing it with a soft snick. As she wound through the homogenous corridors back to

the elevator, Luna had never felt so alone.


If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.

– Malcolm X


The heat of the afternoon sun was sweltering, as Luna walked purposefully down the

boardwalk towards Gladstone’s industrial district. In the distance she could see the

massive cranes of the docklands, shifting huge containers on and off the ships which

pulled into the deep-dredged harbour at a steady rate.

The boardwalk was almost deserted, the only signs of life were the seagulls quorking

high overhead. As she got closer to the docks, the cafes and takeaways fronting

onto the ocean grew further and further apart, until they were replaced entirely by the

port’s decrepit warehouses.


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Luna walked with one hand in her pocket, fingering a fifty-cent piece. Spotting a pay-

phone next to the boardwalk’s railing, she stopped and inserted the coin; dialling

eight quick digits.

The phone was answered on the second ring.

“Gladstone Observer,” said a voice. “What can I do for you?”

“My name is Luna Lennan, I’m at the Gladstone Docks,” said Luna. “You may want

to get down here.”

Luna dropped the handset, letting it dangle and dance on it’s cord like a prisoner on

the gallows. She knew the effect her name would have. The press would come

running, and so would the cops. The reporter’s voice crackled tinnily out of the

handset, but she turned away and headed towards the gates that stood a few

hundred metres further down the walkway.

Luna scaled the gate easily, pulling the single strand of barbed wire down to swing

her leg over the top. She managed to catch her pants on a barb, rrrrriiiiipppping a

sizeable hole in the left calf. As soon as her feet hit the ground, Luna began to move

around to the compound’s main entrance, where she huddled down in the shade of a

silo to wait.


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The future will either be green, or not at all.

– Bob Brown


Only five minutes passed before the crunch of car tyres on gravel breached the

quiet. Two men exited the car and walked up to the gate. One pulled out a ring of

keys and removed the padlock from the gate, then they both stepped inside. One of

the men was of Indian appearance - Vedran Kapoor. As she laid eyes on the mining

company chairman for the first time, Luna felt a spike of hot rage. Luna didn’t

recognise the other man.

“Deep breaths, Luna,” she said to herself. “Don’t fuck this up.”

As the pair of men drew closer, Luna strode out to meet them. Enjoying the looks of

surprise on their faces, she held out a hand in greeting.

“Hi there Mr Kapoor,” she said cheerily. “My name’s Luna.”

“You’re not supposed to be here,” said his companion. “How did you get in?”

“Please mister,” she said innocently. “I just want to ask Mr Kapoor a question.”

“It’s okay Carl,” said Kapoor. “What do you want to know, girl?”

A deadly glint crossed Luna’s dusty face.

“What I want to know, is how you live with yourself?” she said, stabbing her finger

into the soft flesh of his chest. “My friend died at your mine last week.”

Kapoor seemed taken aback, then his eyes hardened.


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“Yes, that was… unfortunate,” he said. “Maybe if she hadn’t been there, my men

wouldn’t have had to… eliminate the threat to my enterprise, shall we say?”

“So you’re willing to sacrifice a nineteen year-old girl’s life for money?” Luna


Kapoor stooped, leaning in close to her face. In the distance, Luna heard the sound

of approaching sirens.

“What happened to the days where a woman knew her place?” he hissed.

“With everything we know about climate change today,” Luna probed. “You still think

digging huge, dirty holes in the ground is a good idea? Not to mention what your

filthy ships will do to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Kapoor’s face grew red with anger.

“Look, girl,” he spat. “I want this. My shareholders want this. Within days, your own

Prime Minister will be sitting on my board of directors. There’s nothing you can do to

stop me, so why don’t you run along home and get a job; get married. Maybe then

you’ll contribute something worthwhile to society.”

“The PM?” asked Luna, confused. “What does Antoine De Bausch have to do with


“How do you think we got approval to dig here?” he said condescendingly. “De

Bausch has a million reasons to make sure this project goes ahead. Several mill-”

Kapoor cut off, realising that he’d said too much. Looking down at Luna’s stunned

face, his eyes darkened and he reached out with a gnarled hand; grabbing her by


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the throat and squeezing like an anaconda. Luna felt her trachea constricted, and

saw lights flash in the distance as unconsciousness began to claw at her.

Suddenly, the pressure on her windpipe was released and Luna hit the dusty ground,

gasping for air. She looked up at Kapoor and saw his face contorted by rage and…

fear? She turned her head in the direction he was looking and saw the lens of a

DSLR camera, wielded by a mesmerised journalist crouching in the distance. Two

police cars were parked at the main gate.

Camera flashes, Luna thought. The journalist came.

“Give me that camera,” Kapoor hissed, moving towards the man at a run.

The journalist panicked as the mining magnate rushed towards him and turned to

flee. Kapoor was on him like a cheetah, grasping wildly for the camera.

Luna saw police officers in the distance push through the gate and run towards the

pair grappling in the dirt.

“Step away, Mr Kapoor,” demanded one of the officers, holding his Taser at arm’s


Kapoor ignored the cop, pinning the journalist down and biting at his arms in a


“Last chance,” warned the officer, taking the safety off.

“Go to hell,” said Kapoor. “You won’t shoot me.”

The officer pulled the trigger. The prongs of the Taser lodged in Kapoor’s chest,

sending 50,000 volts coursing through his body. He screamed, falling to the ground

in a convulsing puddle of flesh.


Page 26: Dissident

While the officer cuffed Kapoor, the journalist walked over to Luna.

“Are you alright?” he asked earnestly.

“I’ll be fine,” she replied. “Did you get a shot?”

“Several, and the cops saw everything,” he said. “He’ll go down for assault if you

press charges.”

“He’ll go down for much more than that,” said Luna, placing the voice recorder in the

journalist’s hand.


Deception may give us what we want for the present, but it will always take it away in the end.

– Rachel Hawthorne


Corruption Scandal Widens

Four more former cabinet ministers and presiding Judge


Terry Samuels, 20/2/16

In the wake of the Civilise Minerals bribery scandal which emerged on

Tuesday, four more of former Prime Minister Antoine De Bausch’s inner

circle have been taken into custody on corruption charges. The Governor

General has called for a double dissolution election, and more arrests are


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expected as ASIC continues its probe into De Bausch and his cabinet’s

affiliation with the Indian mining giant. Civilise has had trade in its shares

suspended pending the ongoing investigation, and all major financial

institutions have distanced themselves from the funding of project.

In the wake of UNESCO’s positive outlook for the future of the Great

Barrier Reef, caretaker Prime Minister Matilda Jenkins of the Sustainability

Alliance singled out young protestor Luna Lennan’s role in exposing the

corruption of her predecessor as “a Tiananmen Square moment for

Australia’s environmental movement.” Mrs Jenkins also announced her

plan to reinstate the previous government’s Carbon Tax, and work

towards the development and implementation of renewable energy

generation across the country. This move has been welcomed by the

United Nations Climate Council, which stated “it is the first step in

restoring Australia’s international reputation, after too many years of

stubborn opposition to progress in the field of sustainability.”


I’m not proposing we should all get naked and be Neanderthals, but we can live a simpler life – one

that might take us away from a materialism that destroys our air, our water, and each other.

– Sydney Possuelo