THE TRUE UNTOLD ACCOUNT OF HEROISM AND A TERRORIST PLOT THAT WAS FOILED - WELL SORT OF.....
The day started like any other for the boys, packing their kits in the sweltering early morning Rome heat. There was laughter and drunken memories being replayed about the night before. A morning coffee watching the best Italy had to offer walk by them in the street. The scene had the innocence of two friends that were having the time of their lives. Within hours, a terror plot would start to unfold that would rape these two of their innocence forever, and turn them into reluctant heroes. This is their story....
One is a knockabout lad from the blue collar suburb of Reservoir. He's done it tough through his life but has never complained. He's a hard worker and battled his way to get him where he is in life. The other, a well versed traveller, from a middle class family. Different backgrounds, becoming almost one some 12 years ago, on an unlikely collision course with destiny.
The walk to the central Rome train station on that fateful Tuesday, was like any other. One that thousands of backpackers like them, had walked countless times before. Sweat beads formed on their foreheads in the 37c heat as they stopped for a photo, their excitement still apparent in their faces of plans to explore Europe over the next 7 weeks. Little did they know, that within hours of this photo being taken, they would become the ultimate unknown accidential heroes. Until now....
They looked up at the departure board, but could not see the platform for their intended train to Bari, a port city rivalling Narre Warren for unwed mothers and generally things to do. A nun stood next to them, chatting to a female friend. They too appeared to be waiting for the same train. Over the next five minutes, they took turns looking at their watches, then looking up at the departure board. Time was getting close and still no platform. Then with a minute or two to spare, the little yellow numbers flicked over, making that distinct fluttering sound. Platform 8. It was time to move.
The two lads reached down and hoistered their heavy packs upon their broad shoulders, the same ones that the world were about to rely on for their strength and courage. They began to take their first steps towards their destiny, when the nun reached out and tenderly grabbed the male known only as Murray, the Reservoir battler, by the hand. She looked at Trent, a longingness in her eyes, before raising them to the heavens as she spoke to The Almighty. Her Italian made the two Australians smile. They stood there as she finished, making the sign of the cross before backing away, never taking her eyes of them. This was it. It was time for them to run head first into God's plan. The two discarded it as the rants of an old woman, but perhaps they had been chosen by a daughter of God, to save his people.
There was a hustle and bustle on Platform 8 due to the lateness of the platform becoming known. Old ladies were helped onto the trains high first step. Children played, laughing and slapping hands. An innocence that made the two remember their youth. Although Murray's was nearly always behind barbed wire fencing with guards on the towers of Reservoir primary school. None the less, they were still happy times. Then it started. The mysterious stranger walked past them, bumping Trent, who glanced for an apology, but none was received. The stranger's blue garments, fixed by the bright orange cloth around his midriff, standing out against the sweltering people of platform 8. Trent may have turned towards his friend and mouthed the word, 'terrorist'.
The boys got on next to last, helping others with their bags and a steadying hand for the elderly. They walked down the carriage to their seats, 33 and 35 of carriage 9, on platform 8 for the 2pm train to Bari. They sat opposite each other, their heads filled with only thoughts of fun times to be had. They had not a care in the world, yet next to them, sat the horror of a world gone mad. This bearded monster, dressed as a smurf with an orange sash, sat plotting in seat 34, to Murray's left.
The rattling of the train rolling on its outdated tracks jolted the boys slightly as the next destination of their great adventure awaited them. Many a trip over the next hour or so to the toilet was had, accompanied by the bag containing the bottle of Bacardi and the 600ml coke bottles. The laughter continued, but an uneasy suspicion was rising in the belly of the beast that lay within. They realised soon that the passenger in seat 34 could not speak english, even the drunken type they were now speaking. That led them to only one conclusion; he must be a terrorist and he must be stopped. With thoughts of the Madrid and London train bombings in their heads now, and the laughter and occasional body odour of a fat Italian bloke nearby ringing freedom in their heads, they acted. Dramatic CCTV images were captured from the trains video and have been exclusively published with this story.
Murray attempted to gain the terrorist's attention, pointing out a building in the distance and distracting him long enough for Trent to be able to muster the civilians of carriage 9 towards carriage 8. Murray, a cunning linguist from his many years growing up in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, kept the attacker of freedom distracted long enough, allowing Trent to slip back into his seat. Murray, known for his lightning speed which any woman he's been with could attest to, pounced. Using a death touch, learned through his countless years in the Papua New Guinea rain forests weaning pygmies, Murray had returned righteousness to carriage 8. It happened so quickly that the CCTV was unable to capture frame by frame images of freedom being rescued.
The terror plot didn't stand a chance and was over before it could begin. The world was safe again. There was no applause. No pats on the back. There will be no tickertape parade for these men and their names will not be talked about for generations to come. It may not be expected, but it is definately what is deserved.
The two Australians slipped away quietly from Bari that night. It is believed they boarded an overnight ferry to Albania to escape the media throng that was converging fast on the town after news filtered back down the rickety train line to the Italian capital. Like Batman and Robin, and Murray is definately the boy wonder between the two, they would prefer their identities to remain unknown. Their true identites may remain lost to the pages of history forever but their story is not.
N.B. - In a seperate report, Italian authorities have since released that the Indian male assaulted by two Australians on a train to Bari, was an Indian university student and have directed Victoria Police to submit an Incident Fact Sheet to appease the Australian Government. The two males are no longer believed to be in the country.