Jim, Erin wasn’t about to let it go, we need to get it out of there. Erin was referring to the body. The salesman’s body left in the bushes next to the office was now there over 24 hours. If you want to use that ID he can’t be found. Jim knew she was right. Look, Erin said, I found the charts on board for the waters outside Dublin. Here, she pointed, its over 500 feet deep. It's only about 8 miles from the dock. We don’t have to pass through any locks its a straight shot out with nothing to pass by or through. Jim agreed. We get up about 245 am, he said. We take some rocks from the levy and wrap it up in the paracord role we got on board and that really old sail that isn’t even for this boat. Erin had found a sail that was clearly to a smaller boat tucked away on board; it was probably just for a dingy or a Flying Junior (FJ) which was common in the area.
The alarm went off a few minute before 3 am. Jim looked out and found it rainy. This would actually make it better. There’d be no one out in the rain. It was cold too. The temperatures probably in the high 40’s and the rain were inhospitable to anyone being out. The couple walked up the dock, gathered two of the dock carts and wondered back to the office. Though careful to walk outside the area of lights and in shadows where possibly they never encountered a sole. The salesman’s body remained where Jim left it. They lifted his soggy corpse onto the first cart. Jim would lift it and angle the cart back towards the dock, but after Erin. She’d go at least 15 feet ahead. Erin knew how to signal for Jim to stop but there was no reason.
Erin’s hard part was gathering rocks at the levies edge. Jim couldn’t wait with the body in the cart and pushed past Erin at the docks start towards the boat. He wanted no one to see him and moved quickly. Erin lifted at least 4 heavy rocks into the cart and then followed the dock down to the Beneteau. Jim had already placed the body in the sail and rolled it up. It was not uncommon to have a rolled up mass on the bow of a sailboat. Jim unrolled it enough to add some rocks and then the couple tied it off with the paracord. This would be a good trial run, Jim thought, out into the waters beyond Dublin.
The Beneteau started right up as it had before. Jim was impressed. The boat was well made. It was a luxury boat and as such the diesel motor encased so well it wasn’t that noisy. While it seemed loud to the couple Jim knew it wasn’t that bad; it was just silent all around them. Any noise was going to resonate. Erin’ cast off the last line and climbed back on board the boat. If anyone was looking they wanted it too seem like they were leaving and not coming back. What Jim worried about most was a guardia boat, some form of coast guard or navy patrolling the harbor. Why, Jim couldn’t fathom, but he didn’t want to find out.
It only took them a few minutes to clear the marina and enter the river heading for the ocean. Once in the river they had the fortune of the tide also going out. This enabled them to hit 10 knots a great speed for a luxury boat. It would also take them less than an hour to reach their target on the map and dump the salesmen. The tide would shift in about 50 minutes and then they could ride it back in.
The plan worked out. Jim and Erin dumped the body at about 410 am and turned the Beneteau round to return. They had the luxury of the tide turning with them and they again made great speed into the river leading back to the marina. Jim was elated there were no other boats on the water, especially no police or naval vessels. He didn’t want the Beneteau searched. His luck such a search would unveil them as American’s, or worse cost them their weapons and the boat.
Erin, Jim said, let's roll back up by the roadway, the bridge and let's take a look at the embassy Jim said. They were only required to steer the big Beneteau into the Riddle like they had the RHB days before. The RIddle was plenty big for the Beneteau it wasn’t a small fit. Erin, Jim again called out, monitor the shore carefully ahead of us. If you think, for any reason, we should turn about just say so. Sailboats were pretty good at turning on a dime.
The couple reached the point where they had landed just two days earlier outside the embassy. Jim dropped anchor and Erin quietly gave notice of a problem as she returned to the cockpit from the front of the boat. There is a man, she said, watching us carefully about 20 yards up from the waters edge. See the tents, Erin said, he’s about 10 yards below the tents. Jim searched the drizzle and darkness for the main. Her eyes were better than his he thought, but soon he caught wind of the man. He was dressed in some sort of fatigue. He was carrying a rifle JIm quickly noted. Get into the cabin, Jim pointed for Erin. Erin climbed down the ladder into the Beneteau and made way for the sail. She wasn’t asked by Jim, but she unfurled the sail and obtained the M16 they’d gotten at the embassy. She checked it to see that it was loaded. Jim saw her, told her to cover him from the port hole on the boat. Jim steered the wheel of the Beneteau to place two interior portholes in the square direction of the man ashore.
Jim put the RHB into the water, and without starting the engine began rowing with the tide towards shore directly in front of the man. Jim had the Beretta on him but it was concealed and access would be slow. The individual with the rifle didn’t move. He didn’t raise the rifle, didn’t approach the shore or call out. Jim reached the shore and tossed a line on to the ground and followed it by jumping off the boat. He placed a spike into the dirt that would hold the RHB in place, and he decided to make first contact right then. With his best Irish accent he noted “top of the mornin to ya.”
The older man, probably 60’s didn’t acknowledge Jim’s rather smart ass remark. He made eye contact but that was about it, and Jim decided to move the conversation along. I’m looking for Brian a midwestern guy with a wife and daughter, or maybe Pete an older gentlemen I believe is a doctor and his wife too? The man nodded a little and finally opened up. I’m Rob, he said, the folks you are looking for have the embassy up the road. The Gaurdia handed it over to them yesterday and they’ve been making camp there ever since. They have some communications with the outside world. I’m guessing, Rob said, you’d be the guy they talked about with the boat; that's why I didn’t empty a magazine into that fiberglass hull of yours. Thank you, Jim said, and he made an all clear signal to Erin who Rob probably gathered was keeping her rifle sights on. Erin came to the back of the boat, didn’t show off the M16 that was just below her, and JIm was able to let her know. Pete, Brian and their families are in the embassy. You keep the boat safe and let me check in with them and I’ll be quick. Erin understood and went back below the boat. Jim wasn’t sure how happy she was about that.
It was a faster trip to the embassy then the last time Jim tried to reach it. He walked straight past some local police and Jim had every reason to believe they were local not federal. There was no way to walk in without walking right past two of the officers, and JIm took the opportunity to ask about O’Brien. “Lots of O'brien's on the force” the officer said, but if you are looking for the division captain he got injured at the office the other day. Jim frowned at this news and asked how he was hurt. Internal disagreement the other officer said in a thick Irish voice but he’ll be ok and back to full duty in no time. Jim thanked the officers for the information and letting him pass, and on the way up to the embassy door he encountered two more Americans with rifles. They were not threatening but inquisitive as soon as Jim got close. I’m here to see Brian and Dr. Pete or Jean Rook. The two men acted as though Jim said the magic words, and they stepped aside and let him enter the embassy.
Once inside the embassy one of the exterior guards let Jim know the Rooks had a hospital set up on the fourth floor which had been residences, and that Brian was probably sleeping in the basement near the video monitors which were being watched constantly. Jim figured he’d head that way and once he made it to the bottom of the stares a barely away Brian was there to greet him. Someone told you I was coming, Jim said, and he acknowledged they had two way radios running and 24 hour monitoring of the security system gave the watchmen the reason to wake him up.
There is a tent city under the bridge and you have all this space? Why is that Jim asked? Rob you met I assume, Brian said, he’s a crusty old vet from the first Desert Storm, and he and a group of other veterans wanted to be out there. They are armed to the teeth and our back up should they come full force at the embassy again. That team is a great asset Brian said. So let me update you on the world as we know it, Brian went on.
First thing first, Mrs. Newt Gingrich, the ambassador to the Vatican, is the designated survivor in line and she’s assumed the presidency of the United States. There is no word of any one from the mainland and very little from Alaska. Mrs. Gingrich was protected by the Vatican Guard that the enemies of our country under estimated and they were unable to get the Vatican embassy like they took this one and so many others. Nearly ever US military base has been hit, nearly every fleet in the world is gone, but we still have nuclear powered submarines in hiding. Gingrich has told Russia and China to back off and she nuked Venezuela to prove it. Caracas was turned into a nuclear waste site by a single missile yesterday. Shortly after that the federal guardia told the locals to return the embassy to us and the military group that attacked here and the airport is out there but we don’t know where.
Brian went on elaborating on how the plan was to eliminate as many Americans as possible and force any remaining survivors into other cultures. Israel was fighting off an invasion of Middle Eastern Countries but as long as they don’t go nuclear it seems that China and Russia are leaving them be. Japan’s Tokyo was attacked by conventional cruise missiles when it appeared they were not going along with the media blackout on what happened, and the idiot story they are trying to sell that our own nuclear weapons erupted and killed our country.
And on a local scale, Jim seemed less interested in the international story and more in the embassy and the American’s he’d seen. We have a security force here that exceeds what the Marines had thanks mostly to you, Brian said. Saving all those weapons was a huge move, for when they came to get the bodies they wanted to get the weapons too, but since we were here they couldn’t. It really saved the day. The number of Americans here is more than you think, but we’re not sure what the long term plan is right now, Brian said. If I give you some information you might be targeted for it, but then you might be anyway he noted. The cops now have seen you come and they have no doubt compared your image to the passports. We have 200 in the building and 200 outside in a variety of camps. There is another group of a 100 in a village West of Dublin and another 100 we’ve made contact with near Shannon and the Shannon airport. In total we have at least 600 that survived and probably a lot more who aren’t identifying themselves yet.
What’s the biggest issue, Jim asked, matter of fact? Housing, Brian said, we got a lot of people and don’t know where they can live. We want to stay in close proximity but the guardia have told us they don’t like the tent cities and if we want the good will of the Irish we need to get our people out of those tent villages quick. We can’t house everyone in here, Brian was asking Jim for ideas?
Ireland has a lot of boats, JIm said. I bought one before the banks shut down and we could still access our old retirement accounts. There are boats for sale in the marina were’ at and Ireland has a lot of Marina’s. There are a lot of cheap boats and they give the people some mobility, some shelter but they are not easy to defend. Brian smiled, I knew you’d have a solution for us, money isn’t a problem he noted. The Brits and the Irish forgave American debt they held and issued us some Euro’s and some British Pounds. We have cash, Brian smiled, and I’ll bet we can buy some boats. Jim smiled.
Jim left the embassy with new friends in tow. Brian had introduced him to a dentist from Southern, California who’d sailed more then a few times and knew his way around boats. His name was Dan and his wife Carla followed Jim closely. Jim didn’t know them, but took Brian’s word for them and lead the couple back to the RHB and onto the Beneteau. They then cruise back to the Marina.
At the Marina Jim and Erin shared pleasantries with Dan and Carla. Erin was elated to hear that the United States still had a government, and that people were organizing and that they would not be alone. Jim and Dan talked boats, and Jim pointed out there was another couple in the Marina he thought were American but that they hadn’t talked. Dan’s goal would be to purchase two boats at the Marina as affordably as possible and save as much cash as he could. Dan and Carla would instantly move onto one and then they’d bring another family over for the next boat. If it went right that could happen today and if possible they’d try for two more tomorrow.
The broker arrived at the office about 9 am. He looked a bit be shoveled Jim thought, and the fact is he was missing the sales agent and was a bit lost without him. Jim and Dan decided to minimize their connection to the broker and so Jim approached him about a second and third boat. The older man asked if Jim was building a navy? No Jim smiled, but there are some folks that might want to make it to England or to the Northern side and smaller and more affordable boats would be helpful. Well, the broker smiled, we got a lot of smaller more affordable boats. When I met you - you said something that would make it to the states so I showed you the Beneteau but we got a lot of 30 and 33’ boats around here that need work and would never cross the pond. They might make it to England and would be fine circling Ireland though. That is what I want, Jim said.
It required most of the day but Jim managed to buy a Catalina 27 and a Catalina 30 both with inboard diesel motors like the Beneteau. They were both clean, neat and recently serviced so they cost $5000 Euros for the smaller boat and $10,000 for the bigger one. Jim was able to give him cash and he got 2 months free rent with each on the marina, but didn’t buy the year long option like he had for the Beneteau; Jim now realized they’d probably need to be more mobile and was glad the broker and undone that deal. Another 3,000 Euros and the boats came with small generators and two solar panels each. Jim then asked the broker about supplies? It was almost as if their relationship changed in that moment and without warning. Come on man, the older broker said, I’m selling you boats and generators but supplies are getting hard for everyone to come by and thats me and my kids included. Jim started to apologize. People are starting not to like you American’s out there and your going to have trouble getting any “supplies” he now said with a large sum of sarcasm that wasn’t intended to be funny. Jim finished his apologies and was worried now that he’d have trouble buying more boats. Well maybe the cash we’ve raised for getting some boats will help you and your family, Jim said. That seemed to smooth things down a little. In fact, Jim said, we’d like to buy two or three more tomorrow I think. They are raising the money now Jim said inquisitively. Fine, the broker said, clearly stressed. Jim began to realize it was the loss of the agent that was stressing him out. Hey, Jim said, would you like my help in the next week or so if your agent isn’t around? I can help out here, Jim said. The pain in the room seemed to go away with that, and the older man was back to his pleasant self. I may need that he said, thank you for offering.
Dan returned to the embassy to find another couple and Carla began to set things up in the Catalina 30. First dibs Jim gathered. Back on the Beneteau Erin tended to a 3 day old starter for making bread. At home she’d have tossed half of it out but now it was going into separate containers and that was the little stresser. We’re going to need some things she said. We need cooking utensils, more food, and I don’t know where it all starts. I think a food preservation wrap would be a huge help. Jim managed to access the web via the VPN showing he was in London, and searched the maps of Dublin for stores.
Look here, Jim said to Erin, Pearse Street, only 2.5 major sections up the road. Jim was pointing out a Tesco grocery store. It was nearly 5 pm and they closed at 7 pm. We could try the salesman's ID, Erin said, and probably get there and back with a bag of groceries. Or, JIm said, we go tonight when it's closed and leave some cash behind; take what we need and pay what we think is fair. Erin was a little shocked. She’d never taken anything in her life from anyone. It's a trying time, Jim said, and I don’t really want to go that route but the way the broker responded to seeing the American’s get supplies worried me. I’ll consult with Dan when they get back because is not a two person job.
Dan brought back Tony, a single man who had been staying in hostels and riding his bike around Ireland and managed to get to the embassy. Tony was former air force and had worked on physical base security as an enlisted man to get his higher education. Carla, Dan and Tony were aboard the Beneteau when Jim announced his intention to visit the Tesco store late that night and early in the morning. The others needed far less convincing than Erin. Its hoped beyond all hope we don’t have to shoot anyone, Jim said, we need the Irish people not to hate us. They all agreed.
The robbery and it was a robbery went down like clockwork Jim noted. The guardian had four police officers protecting the grocery store from looters and here the looters got their way. Jim and Dan managed to convince the Irish officers to give up their weapons, ammo, radios and be cuffed inside the store while the group loaded up carts for the ride home. Jim managed to convince Erin and Carla to watch the guardia officers while the three men loaded up shopping carts with everything from canned goods to bulk packages of flour, beans and rice. Jim secured some pots, pans and some tupperware like products to store things in. The bottom of each cart was lined with rolls of toilet paper to keep it all quiet and they needed toilet paper.
Jim didn’t want this robbery coming back on the Americans. To that end he used lighter fluid and spewed it all over the bacon and pork products in the meet section of the store and lit them on fire as they were about finished. He used a catchup bottle to spew out an Islamic message that Allah would now rule and left the ISIS symbol on the ground nearby also in catch up. The radical islamist had done plenty of harm to America over the years, Jim concluded and pinning this robbery on them was only fair. On the way out Jim placed 300 Euros into each of the 4 officers pockets and then pushed the carts off in the opposite way they’d want to go to get back to the marina. They’d double over a block and then head 4 sections back on the side street to reach the marina. The 3 am raid went off like seasoned criminals, Jim thought, but the only problem was there might not be a next time possible.
Image gathered from credit owed not intended to be used.