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“NEVER!!!!!” he screams
“You slackjawed hicks will have to kill me!!!!”
The captors grow agitated.
“You’re gonna tell us.” said one of his masked henchman, as he began once again preparing the waterboarding apparatus.
“And then you’re gonna show us”
“Let’s not do this the hard way old boy. If the water doesn’t break you, we can bring out the bolt cutters and start taking off your toes”
It’s been two days on a remote property just south of Charters Towers, and Chinchilla man Nevell Slessar has endured some of the cruelest interrogation tactics that North Queensland has to offer.
He’s being held by a rebel paramilitary group known as The BRFGRA (Burdekin River Fruit Growers Republican Army), after being kidnapped from an agribusiness seminar at the Cairns Convention Centre last Friday.
His only crime? Not sharing the secrets that makes his town the Melon Capital of Australia.
“Just tell us what we want to know” shouts another masked agri-terrorist from the backseat of the Nissan Pajero currently providing light to this enhanced interrogation.
“How do you grow them without seeds”
A revolutionary advance in the world of melon farming, the south-west Queensland town of Chinchilla lays bold claim to having invented the first watermelon without seed
In the decades since this discovery, the town has surpassed all rival regions as the melon capital. It’s a not so subtle brag that is driven home every time the entire industry pauses for the Chinchilla Melon Festival. But it seems that keeping this secret agricultural advancement so close to their chest has resulted in the radicalisation of jealous growers in North Queensland.
But just as Chinchilla is known for their seedless watermelons, the Far North Queensland fruit growers of Charters Towers and the Cassowary Coast are well known for their willingness to dig up the guns that John Howard made them bury in 1997.
Tied to a tree in the one property in North Queensland that hasn’t been razed by short-sighted land-clearing practices, the hostage knows that he is now the last barrier to protecting ongoing prosperity and competitive edge that Queensland’s Western Downs have enjoyed though their innovation.
“HOW DO YOU GET RID OF THE SEEDS!” says one of the masked gunmen, before driving the butt of a SKS rifle into Nevell’s mouth.
“And how do you grow more melons without seeds!?”
Nevell, a humble family man from a 600 hectare block off the Warrego Highway, looks up at his captors and smiles.
“Fuck you” he says, before spitting his blood at them.
MORE TO COME.