The following excerpt from Oo-roo is from when Jack suggests to Mick that they head over to Ireland to give Irish Intelligence, Stiúrthóireacht na Faisnéise, a hand in confronting a growing challenge to the Republic as Brexit “encourages” opportunities that may threaten the country and its systems.
Their meeting takes place at the Standing Stallion pub, London, W1.
“…They were both quiet as they dug into their lunches.
After minutes of silence, Mick remarked, “Why does anyone ever eat anywhere else?” He added a thumbs up to further clarify his enjoyment further.
“Yeah, agree,” Jack said between bites.
When they had both finished, and the plates were cleared, Jack leaned in a little closer towards Mick.
“Let me share a bit more on why we’re being asked to head over to Ireland. If we wait much longer, Christmas will shut everything down over there.”
“So, Christmas plans will be shelved,” Mick commented. “No problem; as it turns out I have no plans.”
“What do you mean?” Jack asked.
“Well, Nicole told me the other night that she’s heading to the states for the holidays. I was giving some thought to joining her though she hasn’t invited me.”
“Trouble in paradise?” Jack earnestly enquired.
“I don’t know. It seems like everything is fine, and then I get a twinge that it might not be as fine as I think. Maybe it’s me. I’m not real good at holding relationships together. I don’t know.” Mick shook his head to underscore his bewilderment.
“Sorry to hear that, mate. Maybe a bit of time away from each other will help.” He paused to take a sip of coffee. “Looks like everyone is either in the states or heading there. Walking Bear went to visit Glances Twice, and Mahaney, with Sara, is spending a month there with the American spooks. That leaves us.”
“Is it a problem that neither of us has set foot in Ireland since we dealt with Jones and the SAS bastards?”
“We’re ok. I don’t see a problem,” Jack replied
A couple of years before this lunch, Jack, Mick, Mahaney, Walking Bear, Sinead, Ali, Wolf, and few others, terminated a renegade SAS group that was intent on striking the Royal Family. It didn’t end well for Jones and his group. The cover story was that Jones was transporting captured Al- Qaeda explosives that accidentally triggered. They were all blown to hell, leaving no trace of the ambush that Jack had orchestrated.
They were given heroes funerals to make the cover story complete.
“What are we up to over there?” Mick asked.
“Among a million other things that may go wrong with Brexit is that lots of people are scurrying for Republic of Ireland passports. The Department of Foreign Affairs is under siege and understaffed, as they try to sort out who is who requesting papers. The Stiúrthóireacht na Faisnéise, Irish Intelligence, has asked for MI6 help. Since Walking Bear and Mahaney are out of the picture, Scallon recommended we look to see if anything pops based on our experiences. The particular worry is the importation of weapons and the setting up of groups in the Republic in case Ireland gets shafted once again and has to create a hard border with the north.”
Jack took a long sip of water before continuing.
“The rush is on, and our job will be to look into any potential threats, or weapons channels, that the Garda can then break up. We will be thoroughly briefed and assigned as many people as we may need from Mahaney’s group.”
“Ah, sounds like a fishing trip,” Mick replied.
“We’ll know more when we get to Dublin. I’m thinking we head over there on Saturday. That work for you?”
“Sure.” Mick was thinking of Nicole and how he would handle her leaving without having asked him to join her.
They ordered more coffee.
“Mick, I’m going to give you TD Reginald Bakers’ remarks on Brexit. You can read it later. Warning, is a bit of a ramble but illuminates how some in the Dáil Éireann are worried,” Jack handed Mick a medium-sized envelope.
When they were finished talking, they separately left the pub with plans on meeting in the lobby of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Saturday night for dinner.
Their Irish hosts were putting them up in style befitting their “official” job descriptions.
Since Mick had cancelled his afternoon at the office he wandered around before heading home.
It felt like more snow was on the way.
His thoughts as he walked into the park were about Nicole. He knew he had challenges in the day-to-day maintenance of a relationship. Maybe the way he had just voiced that in his head was an insight into why he’d had problems in the past. Jack had once pointed out to him that he was the perfect observer but not always the best participant when it came to women.
That bothered him even if it was true. He knew he seemed to shut down a bit when a relationship took on any patterns of permanency.
Maybe deep down he wasn’t confidant that a lasting relationship was possible. That he lived a cover story and hid the truth could not be helpful or healthy. Maybe Nicole was aware something fundamental was missing. Something as simple, and dangerous, as the truth.
When he got home he changed out of his suit and into much more casual attire. He put some coal and turf in the fireplace to warm the room and to add some life to his mood.
Once the fire took hold he eased into his favorite chair for a look at what Jack had given him to read…”
Oo-roo is available as a printed or an electronic book on the following three services.