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Michael Collins

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The sun was out today, and the air surprisingly calm, even warm somewhat. The city is now in life as the cars, civilians, and trams pass alongside the road. I slowly approach between a couple, continuing on foot along the sidewalk, fixing my hat about onto my head before spotting a man that was all too familiar. Harry would have his arm neatly tucked around another arm of a figure which soon comes about to be Kitty. I couldn’t resist once they were in site as I approach behind him, sticking my head through the two. “Top of ye’ Mornin’!” Kitty would give out a sudden yelp while Harry twist’s his head in my direction, his face rather close to mine as if he was about to kiss. “Ye’ Blimey knickerbocker, where’s your manners on personal space.” I lean back forward, leveling my hands in assurance. “Alright, Alright, I apologize; I understand my presence is not welcome.” “It’s no trouble, Mister Collins.” Kitty replies, leaning back near Harry while he happens to turn himself around, giving a light bow in reply “Take care of yerself’ Mick, and try not to pop beyond anyone more will yea?” I proceed about in my normal stature, signaling a light wave while I go back about in my normal route. Was fun while it lasted.
The Library appears to be on a slow day since there is only a few girls, and a book-keeper stocking an aisle. I hold my position once the small figure in the Trench-Coat comes into view once more, wondering about along a small table. I go along behind his posture, giving a quick tap behind his right shoulder. “What ye’ ate for breakfast.” He would shake his head lightly, placing his hands together as he eyes back in my direction. “The Delegates of the Sinn Fein still go lifted…Assuming all wasn’t as plan?” “They wouldn’t listen, in fact they almost wanted it to happen, now there is no more but to strike back with what we have.” He would lift his hat free from his head, his face now becoming much clearer. His face is in a medium stature, and his cheekbones rose below his eyelids. His hair would be pulled back in a short form, appearing in a brownish color. “And now you and yer’ other boys are on the run, everyone is trying to search for you at this very moment.” It’s such a confusion, more than any other fact how he is explaining this to me. “By god yer’ a bloody double G-man.” He gives a quick grin, his arms now crossed together. “You don’t believe me, do you?” “I’m not sure, for all I know this is just a game and yer’ prepared to leave me into my doom and be put to mercy by the King himself.” He begins to slowly lean himself forward, his arms now rested along the table. “Then tell me what I can do, to make you change your mind.” I had that exactly in my mind; however I doubt he would even carry through it. “I want into the castle’s archives.” His face expression would change, now in a much more serious tone. I guess it was too much; it’s already a struggle for new members to even go in and out. “Name’s Bray.” He levels his hand in my direction, holding it still while I reply in his manner, shaking his hand heavily. “So, what’s the git?” He leans back along the front of the chair, placing his left leg over his knee. “There’s an old pass-card by the name of ‘John Grace’, good lad who left about, but I know a lad who forgot to resign it from the books. Haven’t updated them in a while, play as him when you come up to the castle walls and they’ll be sure to let you in.” It was all too good to be true with what he’s going on about, but the question is, is it? “Where can I get the Pass-Card?” He then reaches inside of his coat pocket, retrieving a small worn leather pad with an array of information, settling it just a few inches in front of me onto the table. I grip it tightly, sliding it under my palm and into my coat pocket. “Get a hat, and come to the castle at night, they’ll have a hard time seeing yer’ face if you do get caught.”

The rest of the men would all be bound up together, continuing to sip along their pints. I would lift the small glass from the table, edging the end of it along my lip before taking another quick drink from the glass, hearing the chair by my side pull out. “Everything fine, Mick?” Harry would give the bartender a quick wave with his hand, turning his gaze back towards me. “Well, being the Minister of Intelligence is a hard job, taking a load off by having a quick drink makes everything better.” “I can see that, but if that’s the case then you should try another position, say Minister of Treasury?” “A pleasure job mind you gobshite, why don’t ye find yourself a time of yer’ own, you’ve been as lazy as a Pinted Goat ever since.” He gives off a heavy groan, waving his hand in my direction. “Yer’ just jealous cause I’m meeting the finest women to known, and she wouldn’t go with a funny fathom like you.” I would stand up, leveling my fist up while sending my right one in a playful hit against his side. “Want a bet on that ye’ Dublin jackey!” He lurches to his feet, prepared to send his fist in my direction before the bartender appears out of no where. “Ey ye’ drunken gobs, dun’t ey’ think about a tussle in ere’!” I settle myself back onto the booth, my hand waving in reply. “Ah, just only the two of us going at a good night, nothing to be in heated over.” “Well, unfortunately Harry, I must cut it short for it’s a busy night on my part.” He lifts his drink back up from the table. “Agh, going so soon?!” I stand back up from the chair, placing the fedora hat on my head. “It is a sad change of events, but the Ministry of Intelligence has his duties.” “Well then, Mick, don’t fall in the Lions Den.” I prepared to leave, giving one final response to him. “Only if it’s on business, Harry.”

The damned rusted bike grows slower everyday from the dew. It won’t be too long when I have to take it to the shop to have it back in its normal speed once more. The gate of the castle is slowly coming into view, even the guards uniforms are reflecting from the fire just not too far from them. This is it, if this card doesn’t get me in, then I am as good as dead. With this in thought, my heart beat grew heavier when the front tires of my bike touched the curve of the first stop. The guard along the post came up, his rifle slinging along his shoulder as he comes into view. He was nothing more than a young lad, a rather peachy face to be instinct, nothing more than just a young kid at the age of twenty; but his dialect was soon to be recognized once he started to speak. “Business here sir?” he stated firmly. I reached inside of my coat pocket, retrieving the small passport loaned by the G-Man, handing the end of the leather frame in his direction. “John Grace, Special Intelligence.” He grips the pass card with a heavy grasp, quickly scanning his eyes across the seal and text before tossing it back in my palm. “Precede, Mister Grace.” I reassure him with a quick bow, pedaling the bike once more into the large square. It was rather large with lines and post’s in every feet. The buildings in general had some lights on, but their doorways remain dark. Rather quiet in the night, and much smaller than I imagined. But there was no time to admire the privilege of infiltration, need to do this job before they notice something out of place. I proceeded to the first doorway, it was a wooden frame, but very thick. The iron handle pulled down very fluently and swooned its heavy form towards my position, giving me the entrance of the first lobby. Once inside after shutting it behind my person, I take my first glance of the structure and build, hoping to bring back the inside from of the building in-case I was to come back here and not get lost. I happened to stop a nearby guard who was doing his patrol post, patting him along his shoulder firmly. “Pardon me Guvener’, but forgive my response on the direction of detective ‘Bray’, been all over on the West Side of the castle and never had the privilege to proceed in the East side where he may reside.” The pale looking guard figure would fix his posture in my position. His dark hair appearing in a short form while his green eyes pierced there gaze ahead. “The detective department ‘is’ on the West Side, where Mister ‘Bray’ should be located.” My heart began to pound heavily, dammed me how I could have let that go. Without thinking, I tapped my foot heavily, nodding my head in reassurance. “Ah, good lad, but I was positioned on the second floor of the castle, no more than along that area where I was never informed, I have important business to inform him about family back home before I go on home.” The man would finally step back, his arms lowering back to his thighs. “Ah, secretarial division, hope the news isn’t a dimmed time for Mister ‘Bray’, he’s a good lad; the Detective Division is down the hall behind me and the third door on the left.” I relieve my mind and stress as the guard steps alongside, waving his hand forward. “I appreciate the time and do inform that the news is only letters of his mother, and may you be able to loan a match along my departure, ran out of sticks on the way here this afternoon and can use a fag this stressing night..” The Guard reaches into his front pocket, tossing out a small matchbook in my hand. “Keep it, can get these things all over in the Barracks without even paying a single pound.” I give him a surely pat along the side of his arm, beginning my progress into the hall. It was rather dark with only lanterns illuminating the path. There was, although, pictures hanging from either side and miniature statues on mantelpieces. Quite cozy place, makes anyone feel like they’re in a large mansion than a military castle. The door came closer once approached, the white mahogany shape fixes onto the hinges while the door knob would look to be in a glass shape. I send my hand along the top of it, stepping back for it to open. Instead of it opening, a voice would emit on the other side. “Who is it?” It could be anybody, with the door muffling the voice on the other side there was no way to tell who it is. I decided to go along with it, clearing my throat as I speak. “John, Grace.” Silence would fill the air, no response coming back. I fixed my leg back, readying to run to the left incase something was to happen before the door swings open and Bray’s face comes into view. “Come in, Mister Grace.” I sigh in relief, slowly stepping inside to take a quick view of the room as Bray shuts and locks the door from behind. “Okay, that went better than I expected.” I finally replied, lifting my Fedora free from my head and onto the desk next to him. “Sorry Mick, I’m just rather nervous.” I admit to my own fears, giving my hand in recognition. “You should be, but not as much I, however.” Bray would step along side of my posture, making his way to a door that sits across the room, pulling it open freely. “The shelves on the right are proclamations of the ‘IRB’, the two ones in the middle are some ‘Sinn Fein’, and the one on the far left wall is more ‘IRB’, but also names and addresses of high end leaders. All are documented, dated, and authored by the men involved, there reports are on the top shelves with their names, addresses, and other affiliations.” It was a gold mine of what I am hearing, the breakthrough of every type of intelligence and I am standing in front of it. It was hard to even believe, but I finally come to, giving him a quick pat along his arm. “You just saved me a lot of running around.” I proceeded to step in, turning my head over my shoulder to him. “I’m going to lock you in here, but if someone comes by and find you in here, you’re on your own.” “Alright, thanks.” Bray would bow his head, shutting the door back in place before a heavy lock emits along the front door. I’m on my own now; it’s time to get to work. I quickly start off by gripping the step stool, stepping to the top where the names of the authors are listed of the entire work. By just scavenging through a few folders and files, I manage to find a manifest of all the names and addresses listed amongst each and every man from Nineteen-Sixteen, all the way to now, many of them still living in the area. I shove the paper into my case, keeping it in a spot where I know it’ll be safe before jumping to the right, scavenging a paper that appears to be a list of the reserves. I salvage that too in-case something was to happen, shoving it inside of the case as well. It feels like it’s been only thirty minutes, and I already have grabbed enough information to binge the boys for months. I jump to the bottom of the shelves, making my way to where the Sinn Fein was organized. Thankfully, they were all organized alphabetically, listing the authors of those who investigated it, and all delegate members. I scan my eyes across the text momentarily, ensuring each name and photo that is listed through the files. WIthout warning, a sudden bang of a table echos outside, clustering forward through the cracks. “Get up ye’ polish drunk!” the hoarse voice cries out. It wasn’t Boland, and it sure wasn’t Irish. The mans voice continues to holler, appearing to be near the door. Hide, find a place to hide! I begin to turn all around for any place to search, but besides bloody book shelves, there is nowhere else to hide. Now I really begin to panic when the noise of the door emits across the lock. I lift my head to the top of the ceiling for any windows, but finding supports with no ceiling. I start to climb against the shelves with all my strength, going as fast but quiet as possible. Once the on top of the shelf, I reach onto one of the beams, gripping it in a heavy death grasp; pulling myself over on top of it. It doesn’t feel more than three minutes once my legs were in a good position, the door swings open and a male figure with dark black hair and medium built steps inside, reaching towards the shelf on his right. I can see Bray standing at the doorway, looking in more fearful than I am at this moment. Just keep it together Harry, act normal. In the outside of his face I can see he is normal, but in the inside he is terrified. The man would be pulling away seperate files, his hand slamming across each slide of paper that the folder holds. Don’t look up, I kept repeating in my head. I was prepared for anything if he was to look up by lifting my hands over my head, ready to jump on him. The man spends more than three minutes scanning across the same pages before finally slamming it in two, stepping away from the shelf and back towards the doorway. Bray moves aside for him to enter while speaking in his direction. “Ye dun’ in ere’?” Bray asked. The gruff voice responds back as another moaning echos outsides. “Aye’, close it now, and come on ye’ pumped gag.” It would sound as if the man would be carrying someone away from the room while Bray shuts the door back in place, a locking echoing on the otherside. I breathe out a heavy sigh, lowering my head onto the end of the shelf and back onto the ground with both feet. I start to rummage through the boxes once the hearing of boots disappear back outside. I continue this for an array of three hours, memorizing as much content as I could fit in my head. Irish Republican Brotherhood, Notices of our list’s, the ones that put it all together and called the shots, those that listed our names and diagrams. I also start to make copies on scraps of paper that are left along the ground, placing them in substantial folds before the morning light comes out, breaking through the cracks and bars of the window. I blow out the lantern, setting it beside where it once reside the moment an unlocking sound begins to emit out. I manage to spring to my feet and rush behind the wall the moment the door opens. Bray’s face appears out, standing in place to be looking for me. I give him no challenge by stepping back out with my hands clenched onto the files “What ye’ have fer’ breakfeast?” I ask him. “Time to leave, Mick.” He replies, making the door shut behind him with his hands twisting about on the lock. “One minute.” I ask him, attempting to catch the last note of this document. “You’re pushing it!” He growls out, stomping forward with anticipation. “Can you get me the copy of these G-Mans addresses, they’re the most important?” I ask while holding out the small folded paper. Bray takes the paper with a light grip, pulling it down into his pocket. “I could try, what’s it for anyways?” I turn back forward, setting the folders and books back onto the shelves. “All these has just brought our wing a few yards in our progress, however it’s not going to be easy once carried out and things are going to get rough.” Bray steps back once I approach towards the door with my hat in hand. “How rough?” He asked. I give the cock of my head over my shoulder with the only reply, exiting the room. “Very rough…”

A sudden slam of a door causes me to open my eyes, finding myself resting on my own hand. “Jesus Christ Mick, where the hell have you been?!” O’Connell’s voice blurts out from this accusation and I only reply with a light moan. “Working…” I hear the rustling of another person entering the room while O’Connell takes the seat in front of me. “Working where, we thought you got lifted!” I start to pull myself up from the table, dragging my right hand across my cheeks. “I’ve received highly classified intel of British Intern forces working outside of Ireland and high-constables in Britain; as well as names and addresses of all the current officials and ‘G-mans’ operating amongst the vicinity of Dublin.” Patty steps around side, crossing his arms with Connell jotting down amongst the list. “Mick, where the hell did you get all this?” I stand up, retrieving a fag from the cardboard carton. “No time to say, I also want five men from the private forces without families.” Patty walks around, bringing up an array of notes while Connell stands back up to his feet, moving around. “Why Mick?” He asked confusingly. “Just do it will you, for fuck sake!” I holler out in command, storming into the other side of the office the moment Harry walks in. His face appears stressed, but relieves out once I come into view. “Damn Mick, where the hell have you been?!” I could do nothing more but pat him on the back, directing him back into the main office hall where O’Reilly would proceed to already be writing down on the paper before I even opened my mouth. “Yer’ about to see you goat, listen to this.” I started on forth, lifting the fag up between my lips and holding out the lighter under the end until it illuminates into a flame. “Fer’ the concepts and minds of the G-Man that wonder about in the ramparts of the wall, be it known that further action inside will be predominately put to death. Those that comply are to leave the castle at once, and return to yer’ families. You have fourty-eight hours to act on these actions. You have been warned, signed the ‘Irish Republican Army’.” They all stand around me speechless, Patty still writing down on the paper but Connel only falling back down onto the chair and Boland now turning back towards me after I spoke. “Ye’ Serious…?” He would ask me as I lift the cigarette from my lips, blowing a cloud of smoke ahead of me. “I’m afraid so…”