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Chapter 7: Squeezed

NetjrMay 14, 2018, 10:53:06 PM

There was no more news to be had. The world was being told the United States imploded under its own nuclear arsenal. Despite the clear statements by leaders of Russia, China and other countries and despite the attacks on every single American installation that exited the people were being lead to believe America destroyed itself. Stories of Americans taking essential assets from people were now growing. “All they want is our stuff” claimed one shop owner. They don’t have money, don’t want to work, and expect us to feed them for free. The image was despicable in every way.

Stores, it was being posted online, were only available to people with verifiable addresses. Even addresses were encouraged to shop in the even hours and odd addresses in the odd hours with stores only going to be open for 6 hours on this - the day after the greatest individual destruction of life in the world. More than 300 million were, it was said, dead due to the idiot greed of America to build so many nuclear weapons. How stupid could the Americans be was the mantra. This whole shift in the story wouldn’t be so mind numbing if the statements by the Russian and Chinese presidents wasn’t so vivid in Jim’s head. It was like it was being erased.

Jim decided he needed to scope out the Marina and determine how risky it would be to stay there. Everything they had was now invested in the boat and everything they had was now on the boat since taking the train back to Killarney seemed impractical. There was very little activity at the Marina. The American couple were on a 43’ Hunter sailboat. It looked much like the Beneteau Jim realized walking past it and towards the parking lot and offices. He figured the couple were eyeballing him pretty carefully but they didn’t show themselves.

Upside above the docks there was no more war going on. No more shooting, it had ended several hours ago, and if the couple was right the Israeli’s probably got defeated at the hands of the militant group which raided the US Embassy and the Dublin airport. There was no way Jim could go much further than the Marina fence line After coming out of the Marina’s bathroom Jim was confronted by the salesman he encountered when buying the boat. You got it rough, the salesman said, you folks are going to have a tough time of it. Jim nodded. Not many believe what is being told to them right now. You are safe here. Thanks, Jim said. But I’ll bet there are people up there, Jim motioned into town, that believe what they are being told. Yes, the Irish salesman said. Ben, he’s the broker, he and I don’t believe it for a second. Don’t know how much activity there will be around here in the next few days so you should be safe. How long though, Jim asked, and the man shrugged.

I’m looking to find a local cop, his last name is O’Brien, do you know how I might find him. Jim realized he just intentionally mislead the man who seemed to favor him. The name was real, but Jim already knew the police had been attacked by the Federal police. He was testing the salesman and he didn't know it. No, the salesman rolled his eyes away, I don’t know any O’Brien on the police force. They got a station up top if you want to call them and ask I don’t mind you getting on the office phone. Thanks, Jim said. You know we can’t go shopping at the stores, Jim said, do you know of any place we can get some food items? We got a food court here in the Marina, the man said. You can get some crackers, chips, maybe some burger and potatoes. I don’t know what they all have in there but I don’t care if you gather some stuff from it. The salesman pointed towards what looked like a small shop. I’ll wait till someone opens it up and see what we can do. The salesman agreed and then gathered his phone. It seemed to ring and he picked up. Jim walked away.

Not since the battle at the embassy had Jim felt so discombobulated. Clearly the salesman wasn’t being honest. No way he didn’t know the local police just 10 blocks up had been attacked by the Irish Federals. The way he looked away when he openly lied sent Jim sideways. The salesman was speaking to someone on the phone, but so low that Jim couldn’t hear him. He finally went around the corner of the office building and out of Jim’s line of site. Jim took the opportunity to circle around the office building. He brought himself up to the corner where the salesman would be coming. Now he could hear his voice. “They bought a nice boat, they have money, and I don’t need a reward I just want their boat.” That was all Jim needed to hear. When the sales approached the quiet and abandoned corner of the building Jim had already searched high and low for any signs of anyone. There was no one. As the salesmen reached the corner Jim grabbed him by the hair, spun him to the ground and forced the knife taken from the robbers directly into the back of his skull just above the spinal cord. The salesman was dead in an instant. Jim grabbed his phone and listened for a voice, but there was no one asking if he was there. He then realized the phone was dead. Quickly looking at its history Jim could see he’d called 9-9-9 the 9-1-1 of Ireland. He was reporting us to the local authorities, but the federals attacked them? Damn won’t anyone make this easy.

Jim kept an eye out for anyone moving. He could find no one about so he moved the salesman's’ body back behind the building. He gathered his phone, wallet and rummaged his pockets for a few euros. The man had a drivers license and the image, age and sort wasn’t all that different than his own. This could be quite handy Jim realized. The body was behind some bushes now and difficult to find. The cold temperature would keep it from being found for at least 12 or so hours. Just then a car sounded. Someone was starting up a car in the parking lot above. Jim double checked the area and saw no police coming or any other movement. The car running cold was just getting warmed up by a lady about to leave the lot. It seemed she had come from the neighboring apartments. Jim was only 30’ away from the car but it was up quite a slope of wet dirt covered in clumps of grass, weeds and shrubbery. Jim climbed the distance leaving the body hidden behind. He got to the small fence that separated the marina property from the car’s parking lot. He was able to cross it without the lady noticing, and fell to the ground just behind the car. He placed the phone, turned on and all inside the rear bumper of the car and rolled himself back to the hill where he could slide down easily. The car took off and took the phone with it.

No one seemed to noticed what happened, and so Jim abruptly headed back to the sailboat. When Jim climbed aboard the Beneteau looked back to see the older broker arriving at the office. He didn’t know how long it would be until the federal police arrived. Just in case Jim wanted to move the boat. Erin, he tried to softly yell out. She poked her head up in the cabin and called back to him. Prepare to move the boat, he said, I’m going back up top for a minute but we have problems. We are going to need to move the boat. So button things up for moving and I’ll be back. Erin agreed. Jim was headed back up the dock hoping to have a better conversation with the broker.

Jim reached the office just a few minutes behind the broker. He packed both the 9mm Beretta and the knife he’d already used. The broker had been far more pleasant yesterday, more supportive, and Jim hoped that hadn’t turned. Still Jim kept his hand on the Beretta grip when walking through the office door. The broker was likely in his 50’s. The day before he’d been such a gentlemen and Jim hoped his demeanor didn’t change. It hadn’t.

Politely the man greeted Jim. Boy, he said, I’m really sorry to see what they are putting you yankee’s through. Is there something I can do to help you he then asked? Yes, Jim said, I don’t think we’re going to be able to stay on the docks after all; at least not where we are now but maybe a bit further out on one of the other docks? That’s no problem, the man said. The marina was just about a third empty so there were plenty of slips to be had. Take whichever one you want he said. And, lad, he went on, I’d change the call sign of the boat and maybe the state side lettering to match the Brits. The older man reached into a drawer which had Jim nervous still he didn’t draw. The broker came up with a packet of numbers. Here are 2 of each number. The proper Brit documentation would be 8 numbers. Put that over your State side numeric registration and it will look like your from London. Thank you, Jim said.

I don’t imagine you will want to stay in the marina all year, the broker said. The $5k you paid for the last 10 months? Why don’t you let me refund that too you; I suppose you might be able to use the Euro’s? I could Jim said, but where can you raise that kind of cash? He smiled. We got cash. He got up and walked to a seascape image, showing Jim a lot of respect he lowered the painting, and revealed his safe. Jim realized this man was trusting him greatly. He likely knew via government release that many Americans had gotten armed yesterday. The broker quickly counted out 50 - 100 Euro bills. He had more Jim noted and he wasn’t about to do anything about that. Thank you, Jim said. I appreciate it. By the way, the broker said, be wary. Aiden the salesman he called me earlier and said we shouldn’t house you here at all. He thinks we might get into trouble. Ok, Jim said. I’ll change the boat and we’ll move slips. Then I’ll plan on getting us out of here in a few weeks. You are welcome to stay the months you paid for he said. You are welcome to stay but do know we can’t protect you here.

Over the next few minutes Jim tested the older man. He asked him questions about the battles that had waged in the morning and the sentiments of the Irish people. Unlike his colleague who laid dead in the bushes outside the broker was consistent and factual. Jim could not detect a single lie.

Returning to the boat Jim told Erin all that had happened. He handed her the cash and the salesman’s ID’s. Get to know his address Jim said, and see if you can map it out and identify some facilities nearby. If I need that address and you don’t have any ID it might help if you can call something out. Erin took the documents back below the boat. Jim changed the call sign on the boat and the ID numbers. Using the knife for the second time fo the day he cut some of the extra numbers up into small squares. It was tedious. It was taking time and Jim felt like that time was wasting but he applied the squares into a small design on the side of the boat. The design area covered a good area of three or four square feet. The benefit was a change to the outlook of the boat, but Jim only had the time and energy for the port side which was visible from the office.

Back in the cockpit Jim fired up the Beneteaus’ engine for the second time ever. It still ran fine and Erin climbed off the boat and untied the lines on the dock. She climbed back on board and they slowly backed out as the sun on day two was beginning to set. It had been a horrific day Jim thought. He’d had to kill for the second day in a row. He’d stolen. Now he was putting good people, the broker, at risk. The couple moved the boat three docks to the North and found a berth a little closer the parking lot but further away from the marina’s offices and facilities.

With the sun set Jim and Erin prepared a meal of rice with a can of soup shared. It was chicken soup and the meal tasted pretty good. Tomorrow, Jim said, I think we need to split up a bit. I’m going to ask you to stay here and keep tabs on the boat. Be prepared to set out if you have too and leave the zodiak at the dock. If you have to set out go 3-4 miles North East past the point I don’t want to have to go much further in the zodiak to catch up with you. Erin listened and didn’t question but you could see her anxiety about the conversation welling up inside her. I’m going to use the salesman's ID and go back to Killarney. It will be beneficial to recover our stuff from the condo, return the car and maybe even pick up some more food outside of Dublin. Erin finally asked, why can't we go together. A few reasons Jim said, not showing any emotion, we only have one ID and its a guy that looks like me. We don’t have an ID for you. We have so much invested in the boat its best to protect it. Erin agreed.

The next day came and Jim set out early for the train station. It was only a 20 minute walk in the brisk cool morning. He carried very little baggage with him knowing he’d be carrying as much as he could back. Jim paid cash for the one way train ticket to Killarney and used the Internet connection to scour the web. Traditional media was so full of propaganda Jim concluded. There were stories on how America lost its ways, America destroyed itself, America would not be missed and Americans need to assimilate into other nations - now. Jim began looking for alternative news sources. As a prepper he’d had participated in some forums’ online. He expected them to be toast like the United States, but was pleased to see at least two were still online. They were not super active. Most of the posters had been from America and none were responding to numerous requests to log on. Still there were posters from France, Switzerland and Panama on the forums. There it was, what Jim coveted to save so much, was the video of the Chinese and Russian presidents claiming the need to destroy America was overwhelming and now done.

The file was saved to the ipad. Jim took a moment to post on the forum. Media can’t be trusted. Irish federal government is lying to the people. Mainstream media is identifying American’s as a problem and turning the population against Americans. Non Irish military forces operating in Ireland with impunity against Americans and Irish demand Americans not keep captured or recovered weapons. Be warned, Jim concluded his post using the ID that didn’t attribute anything to his identity in the States.

The ride on the train was quiet. There were maybe 6 people in the car and maybe ten cars on the train probably less. At a stop about midway to Killarney police, local Jim gathered, walked through the cars and checked IDs. Jim handed them Aiden’s ID, the salesperson he’d killed the day before, and the officer glanced at Jim a second time and handed it back without concern. They moved on and checked everyone. On Jim they didn’t notice the small bag he kept the wallet in was big enough for the loaded Beretta Jim wasn’t afraid to use. Thinking about that a moment Jim realized it was now going on just 3 days, and how he’d killed two maybe three people and he wasn’t bothered by it. He was numb to it and didn’t think of it much.

Arriving in Killarney Jim avoided the coffee shop. He just drove back to the condo about 5 miles out of town, and gathered their things. He realized it would look pretty silly to carry two suitcases back on the train. Even with two suitcases he might have to leave some gear behind. The car held it all and more. Why the train Jim thought. He’d just drive back to Dublin.

Leaving the condo Jim realized he had a good deal of room in the car and it might be safer to shop in the small towns like Killarney then in Dublin. The roadway skirted Killarney but went past the grocery store he and Erin visited the first day, and in fact Jim had the few items with him he’d already purchased. Stopping at the store parking lot he was surprised to see the police out front, but only a few dozen cars in the large lot. Maybe this wasn’t the best choice. Jim decided to move on instead. Just a few minutes later he noticed a gas station and food market. No cops. Jim decided to pull in, and he topped off the gas tank on the VW wagon they’d rented. He’d gone in side and given them 20 Euros for the gas and only 16 were needed to fill it. Jim went back inside and told the clerk he wanted to shop a minute.

Jim was able to get more cans of soup, some crackers and surprisingly 2 lb bags of flour were available as was sugar. This time Jim was not as worried about the weight of his order since he would drive it back to the marina. Jim picked up aspirin, tylenol, and some lip balm. He also found some sunscreen. As he approached the clerk the man said it's going to cost you plenty, prices are triple what they are marked. Triple Jim tried is Irish accent I thought it was double. That was yesterday. It cost just over 200 euros to fill two large bag but Jim had the cash and figured it was best used. The supplies were far more important than cash.

Walking out Jim was shocked to see a police car next t the VW. He approached his car and the officer got out. Why’d you leave the grocery store to come here, shouted the officer, seemingly quite unhappy. Jim was flustered. It wasn’t my time there, Jim hopped the answer would suffice. Plus I needed petro. Jim didn’t want to use the American term gas and hoped his accent would hide his status. Your ID now the officer demanded his hand on his baton, but Jim noticed he carried no gun. Yes sir, Jim replied and pulled out Aidens’ ID. Dublin, the officer chided, figures you taking from the poor people here to take back to Dublin. I was out of town when all this went down Jim said. Just want to get home. I didn’t buy much, Jim said. Give me your car registration the officer said. Damn, Jim thought, that would be a problem it wasn’t rented to Aiden and he didn’t have a registration form that didn’t out his English name and status as an American.

Jim walked to the passenger side of the car and opened the door. He set his bags down and looked at his small bag with the beretta only a few inches from his hand. He gathered the bag, opened, it and pretended to look inside. Sorry sir, Jim said, its a rental and I think my lady has the paperwork. She took the train earlier but I gotta get the car back. Keeping his hand on the bag and carrying it with him Jim moved back around towards the officer. What happened to that bureau in Dublin that the Irish Gardas took on their own station? The officers demeanor changed dramatically and far more peacefully. Jim was obviously astute and the officer noted his intelligence. The local station defended a group of Americans from the embassy, he said, and the garda nationales wanted them turned in and registered as Irish to prevent the UN from coming in. Ah, Jim said, I didn’t know about the UN threat. The officer handed Aiden’s license back to Jim without much glancing at the photo. What do you know about it the officer asked? My boy lives nearby and we talked about it online. He was worried that's all, Jim faked his accent as best he could. Get on with your travels the officer said and Jim thanked him and did just as he was told.

It was only 3 pm when Jim finally managed to move his way past checkpoint and intersections and park near the marina. Upon pulling into the parking lot he could see the mark he’d placed on the port side of the Beneteau and had a major sigh of relief it was still there. He glanced around and saw little to no activity and took a heavy bag and suitcase on wheels with him towards the boat. He noticed the neighbors Hunter hadn’t moved and no activity around the bushes where Aiden was laying dead.

Erin greeted him at the top of the dock with a tight and big hug. Thank God, she said, oh my God I’m so glad you are back. I was just so nervous all day she said. We’re ok, Jim said, I brought back the car just because it was easier to carry everything and I was able to stop at a shop along the way and buy some more groceries. Erin gathered the small bag with the beretta and they loaded all their goods on the boat. Together they returned to the car and managed the rest of their items on the second trip.

We need a better plan, Jim said, I don’t know what we do next, he said bitterly and quietly.  

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