It really didn’t matter how much later it got for Jim and Erin were not able to sleep. It has been over six hours since they parted with the people met at the US Embassy in Dublin. It was past midnight now. Erin tossed and turned. She tried to close her eyes and sleep. The couple was use to going to bed early, and it being so late didn’t help. Jim didn’t even bother to try. He was busy taking inventory of the boats assets and their own belongings.
The slip in the marina came with power. There was no need to run the generator and power provided them the ability to charge ipads and keep the boats’ battery supply at full. Jim kept the use of light to a minimum so Erin could try and sleep. It was also so that no one would see added light on the boat and come wondering.
A prized possession was now the notebook paper and pen left on board the Beneteau by its previous owner. Jim wanted lists. The prepper in him meant he had needs to fulfill and there was no place to fill them at midnight after such a day. The world was closed for business. There was shooting again at the airport Jim surmised several miles away, but not much activity in town. That pleased Jim. He didn’t want those he met and left at the Embassy to be engaged by these militants. Chris, Brian, the Rooks and the others were good people but if the Marines couldn’t stop these guys there was no way 30-40 armed civilians could.
Browsing the Internet Jim came across an official statement by the Irish Government. Ads for it were on just about every media outlet website that was getting searched. The statement was issued by Michael Jim noticed. It was not quite the same Michael he’d spoken with hours before.
American’s, the ad copy wrote:
The most expedient way to move life ahead is to now join the Irish. We implore you to visit the US Embassy, a Bank of Ireland or Irish Government facility in the next 24-48 hours. Register with us and citizenship in Ireland will be immediately granted. This will enable you to move head and join our society. There are a couple of things we must note. First we know many Americans already engaged in battle at the US Embassy. The embassy is now secure with Irish Military forces in place to keep any potential threat at bay. This means there is no need to maintain the private arms individuals gained at the embassy and we require you to follow our Irish law and turn those in. Collecting them was not a crime, we do not seek to penalize anyone to collecting them, and believing they were needed. They simply are not needed any longer and ask that you return them to the embassy where by they will be secured by the Irish Government. Keeping these weapons beyond the next 48 hours would be considered a violation of Irish law so we plead with you to please act correctly in this manner. Second we will issue papers declaring your Irish citizenship without reference to your American past. This seems to comply with the demands of the New World Order and will keep you and your family safe and free of any further violence.
Jim was bothered by the notice. Michael never talked about leaving the weapons behind. Jim wasn’t about to part ways with the M16 or the two Beretta pistols they’d taken from the embassy. He now had the added concern of concealing them and protecting them on his plate. He knew both Michael, officer O’Brien and the other officer that fled the embassy with them knew he had firearms. Still they left the grounds before Jim and Erin parted ways with the militants. He could claim he left them the weapons and there would be little they could do to prove otherwise.
The news websites were different then earlier. When Jim and Erin were’ on the train from Killarney to Dublin they saw dozens of reports on fights going on around the world. Most he assumed were at US Military installations but he now surmised that some were civilian targets like the embassy and the Dublin Airport. Now there were no such reports. There were stories suggesting the United States self imploded. The theory was being tossed about that a rogue American detonated a single nuclear weapon that caused the nations own nuclear arsenal to go off. That, Jim thought, was preposterous. Besides the Russian and Chinese presidents both were on TV just hours ago stating they did it and it had to be done. Jim could not find articles or reference to the Chinese, Russians’ or their allies engaging Americans. It was like it had been scrubbed off the Internet. What the hell is going on, Jim was beside himself.
Disturbed was the best way Jim could describe his feelings now as 1 am approached. He had to turn it off, tune it out and do something productive. He gathered a fish line found on the boat and took it off onto the dock. He tied it from the bow of the Beneteau to the opposite clete on the dock finger across the way. If anyone were to walk onto the finger they’d probably run into it, or at the very least trip on it. It might give them enough time to react defensively. It was a small measure of defense. Next Jim sealed the Beretta he’d carried, a full magazine in it, and a spare full magazine into a ziplock bag. There were a small number of bags left in a drawer he’d found. Crawling below the rear cabin area where spare sails and the jib were stored he managed to get to the bilge pump. He placed the bag behind the pump out of site in an area that would likely get wet if the boat took on any water. Searching a bilge would not be a common step for anyone, but especially not behind the pump.
Lists were still dominate in Jim’s mind. Food topped his list now. He hadn’t eaten but a small bag of peanuts in 19 hours. Erin was finally a sleep he was happy to see. He now wanted more than anything to remain silent and keep the lighting a minimum. He used his small cree flashlight like a lamp in the main cabin. Erin was asleep in the bow and behind doors on the boat. His list consisted of “food.” That was really about it at this moment. He had water. The water tank on the Beneteau was nearly full. The spec sheet said it was an 80 gallon water tank which would supply two people for about 30 days. There was also a small desalination system on the boat that could produce 4 to 5 gallons a day of drinking water if there was electricity to run it.
It wasn’t long until the sun came up, and with it came more fighting. This time he couldn’t tell where it was from but it seem opposite of both the airport and the embassy. Jim wasn’t about to try and find out - not beyond looking for some news online. If the internet had seemed scrubbed a few hours into the night it was totally scrubbed now. The official story, America succumbs to nuclear disaster, no war was ever engaged. An “official” with the German Government stated “conclusively” that no nation, not Russia, not China, not any on the planet had the capacity to detonate weapons in the numbers needed to destroy the US in the manner in which it was destroyed. “It could only have happened with the United States own weapons, the speaker concluded. The intriguing element of the read was that no other explanation was possible. That just isn’t what first came out, Jim couldn’t figure it out.
The fighting in town raged on. It woke Erin. The shooting was intense, and it wasn’t letting up. It wasn’t moving, there was no battle getting closer to them, but it couldn’t be more than 10 or so blocks from the Marina. With each blast of a rifle Jim would look off towards the US Embassy but it didn’t match. That isn’t wear it was from. There are two fights going on, Erin, joined with Jim in the cockpit of the boat. What, he asked, there are two battles going on up there. One is small arms only. Mostly handguns, maybe some MP5s she said. The other is military, heavy duty and its not one against the other. Its like there is a small arms fight, there, she pointed in a direction due west. There, she said, highlighting a more aggressive full auto burst from what sounded like a belt fed gun. That is military but its North West over there. Erin was right. She knew her gun fire.
The news is being censored already Jim jumped into the conclusion. What are they saying, Erin asked? They say that United States blew up in an accident or an act of terrorism by a rogue militant with a nuke, and that it just caused all the other nukes to go off in the country. The US had so many it couldn’t survive at all. That’s BS Erin noted. No way, nuclear weapons don’t just go off, what a load of crap? I know, Jim said, but they are acting like anyone questioning the line is full of it.
We need things, Jim said. We need food. I need to eat Erin noted. My body says I’m hungry but my mind just isn’t thinking about eating she finished. Still we need to eat and keep our strength and wits about ourselves. Its early though, I don’t know if shops will be open, Jim said. Also the Irish government has issued a communication to the Americans at the embassy to turn in any weapons. What, Erin was shocked, I thought they were on our side? They say they are, Jim noted, but I’m not turning in anything. Still I put the second pistol behind the bilge pump in plastic if you need it that is where you will find it. I’m going to have you conceal the one you still have in your bag for if stopped they’ll probably assume I have it. The rifle is wrapped up in the jib for the boat. I don’t think anyone is going to unfurl a jib looking for anything. Ok, Erin said, do you think we can safely shop for any groceries now? It is early, but we should go out and see. Early is better there will be fewer people out. Better to search out things since we don’t know the town right now. Better we do it now then when people are out looking for groceries themselves.
Moments later Jim and Erin were headed up the main dock and off the Marinas property into town. They were only a block away when they spotted the first grocery store. It wasn’t only closed it was secured by two military vehicles and a few soldiers. These soldiers were carrying rifles of the Irish army and the vehicles they were in seemed Irish. This wasn’t good, Jim noted, and they skirted the store front and any line of sight by the soldiers. The couple moved slower than before seeing the guarded store. Jim stopped at every corner to carefully browse around each direction before moving on. They were both surprised the shooting was still going on ahead of them. The small arms fire battle seemed to be just 4 or 5 blocks ahead. Jim could even see smoke and an occasional muzzle flash. He gathered his smartphone and obtained a map of the area. It was the local police station. What I wouldn’t give for binoculars right now Jim thought. He and Erin moved a block South towards the US Embassy before moving another block West towards the battle ahead.
The couple focused on each step and moved slowly. No step was taken until it was determined to be safe. As Jim reached the next corner he knew the battle was now just 3 blocks away. They were going around it but going any further took them into residential apartments. While looking hard for anyone engaged in the fight Jim noticed a small store on the corner. He likened it to a “bodega” of the big cities in America. It looked like a convenience store. There was a young lady looking towards the battle standing in front. Jim signaled Erin they were going in that direction and in moments they walked up on the store and surprised the woman standing outside it. Do you work her, Jim asked and tried to put on an Irish like accent to avoid being labeled an American. Yes, she said, and turned and walked inside ahead of Jim and Erin. Jim wasted no time and got Erin off the street too and into the shop. It was, as Jim had imagined, just like the convenience stores in America.
Jim whispered to Erin, get essentials, focus on the basics we need and I will get some food items. No more than one bag each. Jim noticed the store had small weave bags priced at 1.99 euros. He handed Erin one and took one for himself. Jim found a few small bags of plain white rice, three cans of soup and three boxes of soup to. He gathered a small package of energy bars, a large bag of sunflower seeds, and 2lb bag of flour. His bag was weighed down pretty quick but he added some cinnamon and a half pound of sugar despite the weight. Erin scored tooth brushes, soaps, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, about 8 oz of rubbing alcohol, and some plastic bags like you get for the dog pick up. She was in the area of canned goods and added some canned green beans and a bag of regular popcorn. Jim urged her to finish as he did and soon went to the counter.
Sorry mate, the young lady said, but prices are double what is posted. We’re told that is the rule today. I’m not even supposed to sell to you unless I have your address and it's an even number but they haven’t been by with the sign in sheets yet so lets just do this and move on. Erin had to ask, what sign in sheet, and like Jim she tried to feign accent. The girl looked at her a little perplexed and said it's the rules the governments putting on us. Got to limit supplies till this hole crap heep with the Americans is done. Its ok, Jim said, and gathered his Euros. He wasn’t about to try an American card here. The bags were normally going to run just 62 Euros but where now 124. Jim noticed a small display of flashlights and put in for one and asked for some batteries. He found a cree like flashlight mirroring the two he and Erin had with them. It was a little bigger but used the same AA’s and the girl pulled a pack of them out to go with the light. It was now 140 Euros and Jim was given 60 in change from the two 100’s he’d gotten from an ATM yesterday. Thank you, he said as she handed him the change. The couple walked out, no more words were to be spoken. Right back to the boat the way we came, Jim said.
Erin and Jim walked at a much faster pace in the same path they’d come. They kept their wits about them but were so focused on the war still going on blocks away they didn’t notice the two men who rounded the corner ahead of them in time to cross out of their way. An older man, probably 40’s and a teenager yelled at them to stop. Jim took note and Erin took in behind Jim and directly to his right. What do you have there and how’d you get some goods so early the gruff man spoke. The voice, Jim believed, was not altruistic not at all. There was evil in this man’s voice.
You got nothing to say so put the bags down and walk away from my stuff the man now said forcefully and pulling a pretty sizeable bowie or hunting knife out of his belt to make his point. Jim instinctively reached to his back right directly into the bag Erin brought on the journey and his hand right to the Beretta. Erin and Jim in coordination backed up to give the older men space and to stay clear of his knife, Jim brought the gun out and to the older mans head in an instant. You’ll drop the knife now or you die now Jim said coldly.
The mans adam apple gulped unprepared for the resistance he did as he was told. Both of you sit against the wall right now Jim ordered. They collectively did as told. Now pull your pants down to your knees and tie the legs together or die. Do it, Jim demanded. They did as they were told and as they did so Jim reminded them there would never be another chance; if they encountered them again in anyway there’d be no warning you’ll just be dead. You owe me, Jim said, you owe us and don’t you forget. With their pant legs tied Jim and Erin rushed across the street and turned on the next corner away from the Marina. Jim did it because he didn’t want them to know which direction they’d really go.
Shooting finally stopped at the police station. Jim and Erin managed to get past the grocery store with the military guards. As the approached the Marina the encountered another couple heading down to their boat. They were carrying bags of goods from a car in the lot nearby. It was clear they were both headed to the same dock. Erin took the lead and asked if they knew what was the battle about up in town. Erin was doing her best to sound Irish. The woman answered, distinctly American, likely Texan she said the Irish Federal police invaded the Dublin police station for helping out the Americans at the embassy she said. The local police were trying to protect the embassy and the Irish federals wouldn’t have it and they went to war over it. A bunch of Americans were able to flee the embassy thanks to the locals. The embassy is now under the control of the Federal Police and military. Jim and Erin were a bit stunned. The other battle, Jim asked, now he didn’t hide his California voice. The man stopped and looked at Jim and Erin. He was kind of both sizing them up and keeping his distance. That was at the Israeli embassy. The Israelis took in some Americans. A big army hit their embassy and they are still fighting there, he answered.
The couple proceeded to enter a boat only a few slips away from the Beneteau. The man noticed Jim and Erin boarding the boat and avoiding the trip line he’d put at the end of the finger. Jim didn’t like that these people didn’t want to communicate much, offer names or ask them anything. They were definitely keeping to themselves and Jim figured they’d do the same thing. Jim and Erin stored their bags quickly and Jim asked Erin to keep an eye on the new neighbors while he stored as much as he could in different places. If they were to be looted he’d want them to have to work for that 140 euros worth of food and limited supplies.
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