• Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:54 am

Patrick staggered about the streets of Dublin armed with a pistol, a few shots of smooth whiskey, and uncounted pints. The sound of the city around him was constant, like rushing water. He was pretty well lit by midnight, and he hadn't even hit either of the major parties that would surely run well into daylight. If there was one thing to be said about modern Ireland, it was that whiskey was great. They had always had spirits, harsh and painful to drink, probably made from potatoes, but what they could make in the new breweries and distillers was a delight. They could mull a drink over so many times it tasted good. God did it, too. Pat had spent the last few hours avoiding home and his parents, and he was now in the mood to get pissed and go to a cheap hotel with a nice catholic girl in tow.

The Irishman was medium height and slender. He was thin and sinewy, with a short mop of curly black hair, and rough black whiskers. Patrick's eyes twinkled emerald green in the various lights of the city at large. It was all one big party, even with all that was happening in the world. That's why he had brought the gun. The .45 caliber pistol was a gift from his father, american made. It was obviously military, Patrick wasn't even sure if it was legal for him to own, but a lot of things weren't legal these days, leastwise, not for Catholics. There was still a struggle for power, and Patrick wanted in. He just wanted to aid and support his IRA cause, the cause of his family. The americans called the pistol he carried an M1911 Colt .45. He did like the name, and the picture of the young stud bucking like a true rebel, trademark symbol for the weapon's makers.

Patrick sighed as he kept walking up the street, toward the noise and commotion of the bigger parties, and checked the security of the gun to the holster, and the holster to himself. He then tugged on the sides of his leather jacket, making sure the weapon was hidden from sight. He then patted his pockets down, searching desperately for a cigarette. He had left his silver case on some bar somewhere, with his cache of cigarettes for the night. It had taken him nearly an hour to roll that many, and now all was lost. Patrick simply reached up and ruffled his hair, then continued to walk, heading for the first sign of a cigarette he could find. Patrick's new year's resolution was to get plowed, take a variety of drugs and wake up without a clue where he was. Pat was sick of being ignored and treated like a child, it was time to be the life of the party. How hard could it be just to roll with it, and do what you want? At least it would be less stressed than the old Patrick. The new Patrick was suave and debonair, handsome and irresistable. In any case, morality issues were overlooked as the need for nicotine crept steadily into the slightly inebriated Irishman's body and mind, perhaps even a bit of his very soul. Smoke.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:30 am

Cold and heavy air settles over Ireland with a thick fog. A recent snow has cascaded Dublin under a somewhat peaceful untouched white layer. Lights from the still busy night throws yellow and orange shadows into the sky. New Years celebrations reaching their climax, throw people into the streets with spirits, song and dance.

A rundown series of buildings and dizzyingly array of narrow streets marks the oldest part of Dublin. The area's pubs and restaurants are bustling with the New Years crowd. Party-goers sing, dance and celebrate in the streets. The streets of the Temple Bar were rolling with festivities and Patrick's quest for a cigarette was short lived.

In the daylight the group of Irishmen that Patrick stumbled upon would be considered seedy, questionable, and perhaps dangerous. But with free-flowing liquor, music, and lights, they were nothing more than drunken locals. Each of four of them were smoking and drinking. Sometimes with the same hand.

There were five altogether, dressed in drab and tattered overcoats with humble small-brimmed fedoras. They had grinning faces, but did not seem to be doing much chatting.

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:26 am

Patrick's head reeled from liquor-induced self-confidence. Pat was a slick Catholic boy, and he could outshoot the best of them. He never stopped to notice the lack of conversation as he approached, but simply made his request, smiling.

"Can any of you fellows part with a cigarette?"

It was not much to ask, but in some parts of town it was a bit of trouble. Selfish people get violent during hard times, but probably not tonight, while they all had something to get drunk about. Patrick knew he himself was going that route tonight as well, and he had made himself a promise. Cool cats like Miles Davis in america didn't melt in the heat, neither would Pat. He looked around at the drunken locals and smiled, hoping to just get his cigarette and move on to a pub where he could get more after that. As well as booze. There was definately a need for some whiskey.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:42 pm

Hardly noticing Patrick's arrival, the party veered drunken heads when he solicited the need for a smoke.

"Fek, mate, this is the fifth fekkin' mooch tonight."

Another smacked Patrick on the shoulder, fumes of whiskey pouring from his mouth.

"Yeh, I got a fag fer ye, if you can answer me this: what's red, bulgin' in the trousers, and rises up fer a fek?"

Before anyone could respond he busted out with, "The bloody empire is what!"

The five thought that was so funny they didn't stop laughing, even after they lost their breath. The joker handed Patrick a cig and brought him closer to join in on the fun.

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:09 pm

Patrick didn't much react until the sweet feeling of cigarette paper touched his fingertips. He took it between his first and second finger, then flipped his hand over, and put it between his lips. With his other hand, he dug around in his pant pocket, fishing out a lighter, flipping open the lid and flicking it to life below the tip of the cancer stick. Pure happiness burned down the young man's bronchial tubes and into his lungs before he sighed in contentment. He had been smoking a while. It was a nasty habit, which his mother apalled, but as an adult, he made his own decision. He flicked the lighter closed and stuck the warm metal thing back where it had been and looked up to the man who spoke. Patrick smiled and puffed again before plucking the cig from his mouth and nodded.

"God damn, I'm glad ye said that...but I don't think the empire could rise up for a fek if Mother Mary was there to get the job done, the bastards!"

The liquor had loosened his tongue. He wasn't sure if he was saying what he felt, or if he was saying what they might want to hear, but in any case, the words were easy, and they rang true to Patrick, who knew how the men would take it. He barely realized that he had taken the holy mother's name in vain. Pat wondered momentarily if the rosary would simply burn its way from his left wrist, where it was wound a few times for a perfect fit, the stoic image of Jesus Christ on the cross dangling from the string of beads, meant to keep track of one's daily prayers. He allowed himself to be sucked into the fun, at least for the duration of the cig he was dragging from. Maybe then it would be time to grab some more for the rest of the early morning. Patrick glanced around, smoking calmly, awaiting the next remark. Idly, he buttoned up his leather jacket most of the way, hoping to better conceal the weapon he was carrying. The weather justified a closed jacket, though he could not feel much through the booze. If no one spoke, he was going to recommend a pub somewhere, or perhaps the brewery. He had heard about a blowout there. Who knew what other wonders manifest themselves in the new year? He had heard that there was some cocaine and opium floating around Dublin this time of year, and he was turning over a new leaf, a more open-minded leaf, when it came to religion and recreational drugs.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:14 am

The group exploded into laughter as the one who still kept his arm on Patrick belted, "Shite! Shutyergob before the Blessed Mary tells her son where ye been!"

Apparently they hadn't bothered to go to a pub because they were toting their own flasks. The one holding Patrick opened his flask with his teeth and passed it over to him.

"This is th' vaginal nectar of the Blessed Mother of God herself."

The others roared and with a barrage of slanderous gestures they encouraged Patrick to take a swig. The four were easily encouraged by the most vocal one, perhaps he was their leader.

He was young, brash, but his eyes had a collected calm. Unshaven, unwashed and unbrushed, he looked the part of a drifter, but his nicely chosen suit would suggest otherwise.

Next to him was a blonde man with hair that should have been cut three months prior. He also failed to shave for the occasion, but his choice in suits was far inferior than his companion.

Two others appeared to be brothers. They had the same look about them. Green eyes, red hair, deep freckles. Obese lips. One brother was well fed, the other athletic. The last was the fifth wheel. The youngest, cleanest shaven, and most uncomfortable. He laughed at everything in hopes to fit in or otherwise not be judged.

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:52 pm

Patrick smiled as his joke was well accepted, and reached out to grab a flask, kindly offered with the promise of Mary herself...sort of. He flipped his left hand over, snatching the rosary's crucifix and kissed it, then spoke.

"For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself, first Corinthians eleven seventeen thirty-four."

As Pat took a swig fom the unidentified liquor, a sudden sense of deja vous suddenly swept through him like a swift breeze. He felt as if he had been in this situation before, perhaps on some distant forgotten beach. It was a foreign land, and in the daydream even Patrick was foreign. The verse he had recited was one of many memorized in school, about communion. Still, alcohol was like that, you could drink judgement upon yourself. With that thought in mind, he took another draught and extended the flask to it's supposed owner.

The young man then took a look at those around him, and on one in particular. None of these men seemed completely right, but the mousy one caused a twinge of sadness and anger to rush through his veins with the various booze that already flowed freely. Patrick had been just like that poor pathetic kid yesterday. He had been a follower then, and he was different now, the irishman could feel it. Patrick wasn't when it had happened, but sometime in the night he had changed. Something inside of him had snapped, and he suddenly knew that he was not going to be oppressed any longer. The english were fucking him, it seemed the IRA was fucking him too...maybe even his own parents were. Patrick had done things for them, decent things that got other guys a bit of recognition, maybe an 'official' assignment or two. Still, nobody knew his name, while his father's reputation grew. Was it that his father was taking credit for his work, or would he simply never outgrow being Stephan's boy? To hell with that, he felt ten feet tall and bulletproof. It may have been the drink, but something about it felt genuine. After a minute of thought, Patrick couldn't help but to speak, addressing his question to the unkempt, but well-dressed man who seemed in charge. All the while, though, he kept his eyes on the last, the runt, and promised himself he would never be like that again.

"What business are you gents in, then? That's a nice suit, I'd like to have one like it, though maybe in a different color."

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:25 pm

The liquor could have been wine, if left fermented for a few decades. It was likely a bootleg brandy or something otherwise yet to be named. Fire spread through his esophagus and into his stomach before finally settling into a stewed simmer at the base of his stomach. The world immediately flenched around him and then settled onto a slight buzz.

The leader, still gripping their new friend let go upon hearing the Bible recite. Applauding somewhat sincerely he took a swig from the returned flask and passed it to the red-haired brothers.

"Our business is God, mate," he said, "We work for the Almighty, Himself."

The blonde stepped forward, grinning, "But we ain't in aquisitions, are we, mates?"

They roared on that one too, although it was certainly an inside joke.

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:15 pm

Patrick's stomache raged and boiled, an instant case of heartburn and a constant dizziness plagued him, but he didn't care a bit. His bible quote had sparked an interesting conversation. Could these scoundrels be priests? No vow of poverty, boozed up and telling dirty jokes about the Holy Mother? No. The young man's smile wavered for a second as he looked at the man again.

"So, that must be the Lord's suit. What does it take to get into a suit of God?"

Perhaps he was not quite as far along in the party as these gents were. Maybe it was all the grog, and they were just flicking him shit. Pat almost hoped that was the case, but he was so curious now that he had forgotten to drag off the fag, and it was already half-gone. Quickly, he puffed a few deep inhalations, and put the butt out on the sole of his shoe, before placing the end bit into his pocket. He had enough respect for his land to keep it clean, whatever his bad habits might be. Patrick was worried that his question might have seemed mocking, but he genuinely wanted to know just who and what these lads thought they were.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:11 am

The disposition had not changed at all from Patrick's question. His demeanor seemed to fit perfectly with this bunch. It wasn't until the young and uncomfortable one said, "Just need orders from the Cardinal" that the energy changed.

Laughter halted and the other four threw furious glares at the young man. The leader barked, "Shutyergob!"

The blonde man turned an apolegetic smile to Patrick, "Mate, there's not much we can say in the open. I beg ye forget what Smithy said."

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:24 am

Patrick broke into a wide grin when the runt spoke. The Cardinal, he would remember that. When the unkempt man reacted, Pat knew it had been pay dirt. What would a Cardinal have to do with these bums and hoodlums, though? That was the question. He replied still smiling.

"What? I thought I heard something, but it must have been the wind. Anyway, my name is Patrick Owen. What are you gentleman called, and where do you go to church?"

It was polite catholic speak, but there were obvious undertones. Patrick wanted a more private meeting with these men, perhaps at a church, given their apparent occupation. Patrick still couldn't pin down exactly what they did, but it was probably something he shouldn't have known. That must have been why he wanted to know so badly, but even so, he couldn't simply ask.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:22 pm

The leader, taking a moment longer to glare at Smithy thankfully smiled at Patrick.

"Yer a good bloke, you are, Patrick. M'names Arthur," gesturing to the blonde man he said, "that's Frankie, the big'n is Job, the little one is Ben and you've met Smithy. Boys say 'ello to Mr. Own. Hat's off, as they say."

The grunted polite and drunken hellos.

He handed Patrick some more of the Mary drink and lit a cigarette. With calm, business-like eyes he said, "Bit too late to be paying a visit to church. Besides there's so much guilt on me clothes, they'd not let me in. I've a better idea. What say you to a stroll through the Phoenix?"

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Patrick's smile renewed as he became a little more acceptable to the men. He tried to catch all of their names, but the drink had taken to him a bit, and he was still fuzzy. Pat knew Smithy and Arthur for sure, and he was somewhat confident about a Job and Ben...two of the three remaining definately were three letters long, the drunk irishman knew that much. Frankie maybe?

Thoughts suddenly shifted to the park. Pat had been there many times, as had most Dublin natives. It was a place to go and think, or on an icy new years early morning a place to get away from all the noise and people. Young irish men and women would surely be there for reasons of the most carnal nature, drunk with liquor and love. Even so, it was the perfect place to engage in conspiracy. Patrick hoped they would show him something special, a cause worth fighting for or proof of God, perhaps. Not that he would be let down if they offered him something quite ordinary, but for the last few years Patrick's heart was praying for change, or some gratification. He barely attended church any more, and it had been nearly twenty-one days since his last confession. Clearly he was drinking excessively, and carrying a loaded weapon, but if God was planning something for him, none of that would matter. God hadn't showed anything this far, but how long could one simply wait on God for direction? Patrick did not think it was a sin to take his own path, but the way led into sin and temptation immediately. If God was going to save him, why wouldn't he already?

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...right. Why keep me waiting, God, if you're even there?

Obviously, Patrick wasn't eagerly awaiting a reply. He simply took another swig or two of where Jesus came from, and nodded still smiling.

"I often do like a brisk walk in the night air. Better yet we've got a party that moves!"

Patrick glanced around a bit after speaking, judging the distance between the two points, where they were now and the park. He was thinking quite actively about it, but he could not seem to pin down an estimate, nothing was coming to him.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:05 am

Sobriety long gone from Patrick's current state, he could no more determine the location of the park than his own location. Buildings swam around in tipsy angles as street lights blared obstinantly into his senses. No matter how cold the air got, Patrick could no longer feel it. Now connected with these gentlement through the ancient rites of booze, they were inseperable on their trek to the park.

After an unknown time of walking, laughter, thoughtless jokes, and songs, the open gates to the park could be spotted just ahead. Impressive forests and an ornate gate is overshadowed by a giant obelisk.

As they approached the group became more quiet.

"What's your line of work, then?" Arthur asked, to break the silence.

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:48 pm

Patrick wandered with the odd group toward the park. It wasn't so much that he knew where he was going, but someone did, and one didn't need to think to follow. Jokes and swigs and time and a question: What was Pat's line of work? He really didn't know, other than it had sometimes involved smuggling weapons, and people. He had never shot, or shot at a human being before, but if it was the right one he was sure he could take the shot. Maybe a nazi, or a damned english imperial. In any case, his job wasn't murder. Patrick just spat out the first thing that came to his foggy mind.

"Well, yesterday I was an errand-boy for my father, but I'm waiting on God. Until He tells me otherwise, I am going to do whatever I want."

It was an honest answer, but complex. He wasn't sure how they would take it, but he intended them to know that he was in the market for a new line of work, perhaps theirs, if it was possible. Pat couldn't ask for the things he wanted directly, but if he kept them in mind, he knew he might be able to get the point across.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:53 pm

Arthur and the others got another jolly laugh off Patrick's casual and somewhat cryptic remark. They pulled into the park and before long they were deep in a forest with nothing around except for fresh snow and small, furry, sleeping creatures. Trees towered overhead blocking the uneventful sky.

Arthur's composure suddenly changed. His jovial attitude became very cold. His smiling eyes turned to ice. Certainly not as drunk as he let off, he skillfully reached into his coat and pulled a pistol which was promptly and with precision placed directly on Smithy's head.

The young man folded with sudden fear, knees collapsing. Whimpering in panic he threw his hands up. Tears jumped out of his ducts.

Keeping a steady eye on Smithy, he spoke to Patrick.

"You tell me who your working for, mate, and your mole here won't get his grade."

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:33 pm

Patrick's eyes widened as Arthur turned on Smithy, the poor kid. He was going to get his head blown off for no good reason. God knows he couldn't have seen it coming. Pat's coat was still closed, leaving his gun hidden, but inaccessable at the moment. The alcohol ran through him, but he had not abandoned his morals or his God. In his heart, he felt their was a supreme power, but he was not necessarily sure what it was. Patrick had spent years filling himself with various arcane and outdated ceremonies, prayers to angels and the holy mother when it says in the bible to worship only Him? The statues in the cathedrals...were they not idols to be worshipped, kissed and prayed to, despite the second commandment? Even so, Patrick had conformed. He believed in the God, and he believed in the cause, but he did not believe in senseless violence. Patrick could not let the boy die. He tried his hardest to think clearly, but the booze swam in his blood, bubbling.

"Arthur? Whoa...what are you doing? You don't undesrtand...I'm not working for anyone at all! I'm a patsy, a chump, a twenty three year old delivery boy...My own fecking father is taking credit for my work, and my mother doesn't tell me. I don't have moles, I don't have anything. The only thing that boy and I have in common is that we got shyte jobs doing grunt work, and we'll never get anything better. One of us knows it, though. You want to know who I work for? Stephan Owen, my father."

Patrick was careful not to make any sudden movements, or gestures. He was wobbly from the alcohol, but he had no try hard. He had pretty much layed all his cards down right there. What was left to say? Something came to him.

"Wait. He's one of your lads, look him in the eye and ask him. I don't know how long he's been around, but he looks green. In any case, he's privy to some sort of information you gave him, that I am not privy to. That is what makes him part of your crew. So look him in the eye."

It was all Pat could think. He knew the truth, of course. Patrick had never seen Smithy before, and if he had, he couldn't remember. It didn't matter much, but Patrick could only hope that this boy was still green enough to look sincere. This was either going to be a wonderful learning experience, or a bloodbath. As that thought occurred, he realized how he might get his fourty-five into this game. He woundn't try anything while things were ironing out, but if Arthur didn't believe the truth, bullets would fly. Patrick tried to become conscious of his hands, not moving them, but judging the distance between them and the bottom of his jacket. If he could quickly lift up the jacket, he could reach underneath and release a couple of fourty-five caliber slugs at the scariest one he saw, which was Arthur at the moment. Patrick prayed it didn't come to that.

Dear Lord, please let him see the truth. God, please allow him to control his emotions. Save your children.

Patrick's mind repeated the impromptu prayer again and again. Waiting for God was getting very dangerous. He wanted to believe that God would step in and allow Arthur to know the truth, but the cold steel under his left arm felt like a more probable solution. All he could do was wait. Patrick kept the best watch he could, keeping ready to lift up the jacket with his left hand and reach under to grab the firearm with his right. From there, it was only imagination. The gun had one in the chamber at the moment, and seven in the magazine. All he needed to do was cock it once and it would fire the rest of the bullets in succession. The refire rate was not incredibly good, but the high-grain powder behind a fourty-five caliber bullet could put sizeable holes in anything under fifty-feet away. Compared to most guns of the day, which were thirty-eight caliber revolvers, and occasionally a fourty-four, the Colt was tough. Many a nazi met an end at the lead end of a US officer in France and Germany. It was the one thing his father really ever gave him.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:43 am

Arthur allowed himself to look away from Smithy for a moment, to read Patrick. A bit of a smile snuch up on his face.

"Well I'll be fekked with a fekkin' combine."

He did not lower his weapon, however. Instead, the same cold expression took over and he faced Smithy again.

"Well then, Patrick, mate, I'm sorry you have to see this."

He cocked the revolver and then cocked his head.

"We know you were meeting with your contact tonight, Smithy. Who was it? Where is the lad, then?"

Shivering, weeping, and cowering, Smithy said, "I had no choice... I had no choice..."

"Impossible," Arthur said, slouching, "yer nothin more then'a bleedin' bird."

He paused for a moment and then back to Patrick with his prior jovial expression he said, "It may be best if you go along then, mate. Forget certain faces you've been looking at tonight."

  • Author: Patrick Owen, PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:03 pm

Patrick's arms relaxed when he learned of his fate, but it seemed poor Smithy was a squealer, much too eager to be accepted into other groups, no doubt. Patrick felt sorry for the boy, but there was no way he could save him. Pat was drunk, scared, and equipped with a firearm. Any idiot could figure out that that's trouble, especially against multiple opponents. Smithy would get what was coming to him, that was for sure. It seemed he was guilty, his words were a confession. Patrick knew the boy would die, but how convenient that he was to arrive on this night, when a member of their group was to be executed. Perhaps it was God's way of nudging him this direction. Time would tell.

"Well, if you do serve God, and he is a traitor, give him the last rights before you kill him. However, it would seem that you're a man short now, and still have one to catch. I can help you, and take the boy's place. I'm sure you can understand how sensible the idea is, even if it lacks much sentiment. You'd be sure you had a recruit who understood the consequences of such actions."

Patrick was not quite sensible himself at the moment. He was not sure if he was shocked, but he felt a disturbing calm creeping through his thoughts. He should have been walking or running away, he should have been worried about Smithy, but instead he was trying to benefit from the death of another. It seemed this night was indeed a change for the young irishman.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:33 pm

Arthur thought, keeping his gun trained on his prey. A quirky grin appeared on his face and he allowed a moment to look away and nod to Patrick.

"Alright then, you can earn your trust by witnessing this and keepin' yer gob quiet."

Then back to Smithy he added, "And does this insect deserve his last rites? The Lord said to Peter, 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed also in heaven.'"

Smithy wailed with fear, knowing the severity of those words.

"So tell me, lad, who were you leading us to?"

A sudden round of gunfire erupted from behind them. It wasn't normal gunfire, this came from the unmistakable sound of a Thompson Machine Gun. Snow exploded on the ground around them and with the sudden release of shards, there was no time to see from where it came. They would have to run for cover.


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