The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 69
The first crime

There were no crimes during the first few weeks. Either we were just lucky, or criminals had noticed the new hut and security cameras and decided to stay away. Rupert started working with me, but had no interest in guard duty. We soon expanded our operation to include the other two islands in the area. We decided to train only two more security guards, and built the same hut and camera systems on the other two islands. The cameras were made to look more obvious, and all surveillance video transmissions were routed to the three huts. We sometimes had two guards on duty at night, but only one during the day. I, for obvious reasons, chose to only be stationed at the hut near Shelley’s house.

8 June, 2001. It was 2:27 am on Tuesday morning. I had the 2 to 4am shift, and was watching from the hut. An old Toyota, which used to be white, with dents and scratches drove slowly over the bridge. Its lights were off and as it passed under the hut I noticed that it had no number plate. I quickly phoned one of the other guards and asked him to get the others to block off the bridge so that they would not be able to escape from the island without questioning. My hand was shaking and I found myself having trouble keeping my voice at a constant level. I was terrified, but excited at the same time. I slid down the pole, and followed the car from a distance, hiding behind trees whenever I got to them. The car not having lights on would actually be an advantage for me, because they would be less likely to see me. The car drove to the end of the road and turned around. It stopped outside a large house, and the engine was switched off. All was quiet. I made my way to the closest tree and waited. I was close enough to hear the two men whispering through the half open window on the passenger side. I aimed the binoculars at the car, and pressed record on my mini tape recorder.

Not having been in a combat situation before was dangerous, well, it was particularly dangerous to anyone who scared me, because I knew that I would go overboard in order to protect myself. I was armed to the teeth with weapons and anyone who messed with me would be in big trouble. I aimed my pepper gun into the half open window, holding my tazer in my left hand and waited to hear them mention anything about committing a crime. It didn’t take long. ‘...we’ll tie them up...’ I heard from the car window. ‘...If they move, you shoot them.’ I had enough evidence that these were very bad people and so my finger pulled the trigger seven times. I only really needed to shoot one pepper bullet into the window, but I wanted to make 100% sure that I survived that night. The pepper blinded them and, struggling to breath, they quickly got out of the car, shouting and swearing. I quietly ran towards them, my heart pounding with adrenaline, I shot the guy on my side of the car with the tazer and then jumped on the roof of the car and slid over. While flying over the car I somehow managed to pull my baton from its holster and ‘WHACK!’ the man on the other side of the car fell to the ground. As he landed I noticed that he had a gun in his hand. I stood on his arm with my right foot, and holding my left foot on his face, I shouted ‘Drop it!’ He slowly released the gun, which I kicked away. Flipping him over, I handcuffed his hands behind his back. Starting to cough from the pepper, I ran back around the car and handcuffed his buddy. Using my rope I tied their legs together. It had probably taken somewhere between 1 and 3 seconds to disable both of them, but in my head it always played back in slow motion.

I phoned the other guards and told them to meet me where the car was parked. I then removed my head gear, sat on the pavement and waited. It didn’t take long for the others to arrive. I was still shaking. Jack, one of the guards, had a torch, which he shone at the man that I had hit with the baton. He was covered in blood. ‘What did you do to this one?’ he asked.

‘Sorry,’ I told him. ‘I should have been more careful.’

‘He’ll live,’ Jack assured me.

‘Maybe we should bandage him up,’ I suggested, ‘so that he doesn’t look so bad when the cops get here.’

‘Good idea,’ Jack replied.

I fetched some bandages and a bucket of water and disinfectant from my parents’ house. The bucket of water was to wash away the blood. I wrapped the bandage around his head and put a beanie over it. The police arrived, and carted off the bad guys and their car.

The next day we had a meeting to discuss the events that had happened the night before. Dave, Edward, Rupert and all of the security guards joined me to discuss the previous night’s events. Everyone congratulated me as they walked in the door. I suppose I should have been feeling proud of myself, but my mind was elsewhere.

Edward started the discussion, ‘At Beyond Insurance, we don’t settle for less than 100%. I think Nathan demonstrated that last night. He managed to arrest two bad guys without a scratch, prevented a potential murder and recorded audio evidence. Nathan, perhaps you’d like to tell us how you did it?’

‘Thanks for the compliment,’ I started, ’although in my opinion, my actions were nowhere near perfect. I could have been shot. I’m just really lucky to be alive today. We talk about not settling for less than 100%, but 100% would mean preventing those guys from ever wanting to commit a crime in the first place. Maybe I did the best that I could, given the circumstances, and I appreciate you all congratulating me. But what happens now? Those guys will spend a few months in prison, make some friends with a few gangs, and then come out and do what? They won’t suddenly be qualified to work. They won’t even be able to get jobs. There’s only one thing they know how to do, and that is to steal. One day, I’d like to see this business grow so large, that we not only prevent crimes from happening, but prevent crimes from being considered.’

The group around me applauded, and I started to feel good. I felt hopeful, that perhaps one day, we’d be able to make a real difference in the world. The business grew, taking over most of the insurance and security contracts in the country, one suburb at a time. Three years later we were still growing much faster than the other home and life insurance companies in South Africa. The security business was far more technological than it had been when it started, so we only needed one ninja guard per 10,000 homes. The business had 2 million contracts, so, if you work it out, that’s 200 guards. Each guard had a motorbike, and we were so organized that we had an average response time of one minute after a panic button was pressed or an alarm went off. One might have thought that South Africa would have been crime free, and an ideal place to live at that point, but it was not the case. The amount of poverty had increased, a few insurance and security companies had closed down, and crime was worse than ever in places that could not afford our services. For those who could afford our services, it was heaven.

 

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