The 28th Instalment in the series surrounding the Cases of the Murder Squad Detective Joseph Lind and his young partner Shelley Shields.
We associate terror with Suicide Bombers, Car Bombs, radical, brutal and murderous Muslim Fundamentalists in the form of ISIS, the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria
We do not acknowledge, recognise or reconcile that a similar terror in many forms lurks the jumbled jungles of suburbia in the large cities and towns of Australia. Women are being subjected to brutality and death within the supposed safety of their own homes in a similar manner as women being stoned, clubbed and shot to death on the sands of these Middle eastern countries.
Subjugated, cowered and made subservient under the threat of beatings and death by others who require complete obedience to fuel their alter-egos and to retain their skewered sense of power.
In both regions of the world.
The huge amount of money spent since 9/11 to stamp out the terrorist threat appears not to be working as the beast seems to be growing with its tentacles reaching into every western country of the world.
If the same amount of money was diverted to help combat domestic violence, would the problem have ceased to exist?
Detective Joseph Lind's long time friend Brendan Waszackinack, the high ranking Anti-terrorist AFP Officer suffers his own personal terrors from too many years of front line service.
Through the horror of a terrorist attack at the University of NSW and a death of an innocent victim and the revenge killing of a respected member of a religious sect, Joseph Lind stumbles across his biological mother. The atmosphere however, is not similar to the moment that he found his father. The families of each of his long lost parent are worlds apart due to the terrors inflicted on one family and the love exuding from the other.
Love is what may counter the terror.....but terror has many faces and the fight will always be long and slow.
It was a popular area with Staff and Students alike.
Used by all as a rallying point. A gathering place.
A Speakers' Rostrum to air unpopular beliefs.
Satirical comments of today's crop of bad Politicians.
Student discord and unpopular bankers were lampooned across its area.
Outdated political theory.
Religious beliefs and radical thoughts.
Folk Songs and Bee-Bop. Even the occasional head-banging metal band.
A flat area that went back into a gently sloping field liberally sprinkled with tall, White trunk Eucalypt and flowering Peppermint Gum.
Green cut lawn on the higher slope where the trees provided dappled shade and a good back drop during non-class times.
As the lower flat area intruded further into the grassy slope, tiered seating was formed by large, smooth sandstone blocks that were cold to sit on in winter but cool in summer. At the extremities only one tier high but building to five tiers at the highest point at the back of the arena as it encroached into the gentle slope of the land.
An outdoor auditorium.
A small arena of around three basketball fields in size. In fact, there were hoops at the far end for just that when the urge took hold of the more physical groups.
The smooth decorated concrete arena was multi-functional. The indigenous inspired patterns on the concrete adding to the festive air that the area exuded.
Even remote model cars were raced on the large flat surface.
Every hobby and interest catered for at some time during the Student year.
Just a prior booking at the Student Body office and the area became yours, whenever.
A crowd, no matter the event, would gather to clap.
To sing along.
To snigger and to heckle.
An area of free speech.
Of free thought and interest.
As its original designed function. A feather in the cap of the progressive young Architect who had been responsible for the project from its infancy. A throw-away line by the Student Body on no outdoor formed areas available as a multi-functional space.
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The event is held every year.
Each year it is relocated around Australia to a different University campus.
The Computer Geeks loved it.
More and more overseas Universities were competing. There was moves afoot to turn it into a 'mini' Olympics with various 'classes' of robotic weaponry participating.
The Auditoriums are usually filled to overflowing with like-minded young people when held indoors.
The best up and coming brains in the country.
This year it was held in the open-air Auditorium at UNSW.
The Robotic War Machine Derby.
A cross between a computer game, surrealism, robotic design and computer construction with the aim being a fight to the death, immobilisation or complete destruction of the computer model.
One thing that was becoming more noticeable was that the sizes of these controllable robotic machines were becoming larger. More complex. Able to second guess almost what the opponent was going to do to completely demolish, or at least, put the opposition out of action; this being the sole purpose.
To be the last robotic machine still capable of functioning.
The team responsible for the design and build of the Machine lauded and back-slapped. High Fives all round...there were moves afoot to bring on board a number of the larger Computer conglomerates to supply cash prizes to the winners.
Robotic Medical Equipment companies were already involved, supplying air fares and accommodation costs for participating overseas students, though most, it seemed stayed 'on campus' during this once every three-year event.
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The participating machines' destruction rate was alarming. Or more correctly, their failure rate was surprising. It would seem that the construction side of things needed a couple more tweaks.
Amid jeers, hoots, laughter and applause, machines were torn to shreds or hammered into submission...or gave up the ghost and just seemed to refuse to go on! Anodes and silicone chips shorting out or just smashed into oblivion. The 'Constructors' of these contraptions wending a constant path back and forth to their mobile repair vans for emergency repairs if possible, so that they may participate in the next round of competition.
Their Minders and Operators standing on the perimeter of the 'Battle Zone' going to extreme lengths in frantic gestures and contortions to coax the machines into life. After the accepted period of time of inactivity as judged by the standing Umpires, the still performing opponent, if indeed there was such an animal, would be declared the winner.
A frenetic attempt to band-aid an ailing robotic soldier was then undertaken. Given a complete overhaul by the small band of loyal 'workers' so that their charge could compete in the coming Finals.
Several lines of robotic machines of various sizes and shapes lined up along the perimeter line that denoted the no-go area of the Battle Zone.
Ready for their day of glory so their 'Handlers' hoped.
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: