Conflicted

By: Eoin O’Rourke

Date: 9th Jul 2021

-Before I left Dublin, I got a call from Eric. He found Liz in New York and he’s going down there to confront her. The mad lad, he has no idea what awaits him. I’ve decided that instead of returning to Boston, I had to witness what would happen to my brother. I know Liz would not take kindly to Eric confronting her, about anything. The trip was uneventful, slight turbulence on the trip back, we passed over a stop that was leaving the States and dissipating over the ocean. Maybe it was a sign of things to come? Not sure. But what I do know is, someone is in for a serious world of pain. When the plane landed it was already mid-day. It was busy in New York, people everywhere, car jams, lack of COVID protocol, the works. I stared up to the window to see the sky as I traveled down the escalator, seeing my reflection as well as a few others. Then I noticed someone, he was behind me. As soon as I got off the escalator, I made a faint to trick the person to follow me by walking under the escalator and giving the impression I was off to the john. Just as I expected, they were in a huff to get to me and as they turned the corner, I grabbed him. It was indeed Caleb- 

 

Eoin: Alright you big nosed bastard what the bloody hell are you doin’ following me? Were you in Ireland down there with me? Huh? What business do you have down there? You ain’t Irish, you ain’t a ginger, you probably don’t eat anything Lucky Charms. So what the hell mate? 

 

Caleb: Easy! Easy big fella. I mean no harm to you. I’m here under orders!  

 

Eoin: Fucking hell, you too? Is it so hard to find someone not working for the government? 

 

Caleb: The fuck are you talking about? 

 

-Then it just occurred to me, that Caleb and the other Cure members don’t know about Malcolm. They still don’t know the threat they pose to us or to me. I may not like Caleb as much as I can throw him, but I know he’s loyal, even if it is by proxy. He’s more loyal than Jayson is. I let him go and I leaned against the wall, hearing the machines bring people up and down close to my ear. Caleb joined me folding his arms- 

 

Caleb: The boss-lady sent me. 

 

Eoin: Liz? What for? As far as I’m aware she… Has unpleasant memories in Ireland. 

 

Caleb: She sent me to make sure you got back here safe and sound, there have been some, developments since you left to make “amends” if you want to call it that. 

 

Eoin: It was family business. Much like you handle your own family affairs Koresh, I don’t bother with yours. What is so important that makes you want to interfere in mine? 

 

Caleb: Well first I didn’t. I’ve only been in New York. I didn’t follow you to Ireland. But Elizabeth also wanted to ensure that you would return to us with no complications. You see, Jayson is gone. 

 

-I turned my head towards him confused.- 

 

Eoin: Gone? How could he be gone? What happened? 

 

Caleb: The boss-lady had been seeing Jayson privately for quite some time. She’d be sending him on quiet undercover missions, to deal with pests. I do them as well, had you fallen out of line then well- 

 

-Liz was seeing Jayson privately? Without my knowledge? For how long? And what else could she be doing with him? These are questions I need to ask her. I want the truth… And how in the world does this backwoods slimeball know about this? How can Liz trust this guy with this kind of sensitive information? Why wouldn’t she tell me? Doesn’t she… Love me still? - 

 

Eoin: Just… Get to it please laddy. 

 

Caleb: If you insist. Jayson was sent to kill someone. Scotty’s wife I think. Normally we’d hear back from him within a day of him carrying out his mission. Except he didn’t report back, he didn’t do his job, he is gone. I don’t know where he could be or what stopped him. Safe to say, we can’t afford to lose anyone because they probably got cold feet, or was abducted by aliens or some stupid shit. Either way, she just wanted to make sure you got back here.  

 

-I sighed to this news. I couldn’t tell if he was pulling my chain or if he was being honest with me. I could never get a good read on Koresh. I would say he was being honestly truthful if it weren’t for his own off-putting persona. But there are so many questions I wanted to ask. Why would Jayson disappear? How could he? I only knew one way out of The Cure, and that was death. There had to be more to this. But I didn’t know Jayson that well. I thought of him as just an hard headed straight to the point kind of guy. Clearly a mistake on my part. Truth be told I don’t know much of my own partners in crime. The only one I have ever had ties with was Liz. She is pretty much my entire reason for even being here. I don’t know much of Koresh, I barely knew anything of Jayson, I knew OF Scotty Adams before he died but we could hardly be considered friends. And then theres that weird chick I saw once. Only around Liz and she’s very creepy. Whatever the case maybe, we all share a common goal, which is what I believe binds us and keeps us together. I’m fine with it. They know that their good at their job, just as much as I am.- 

 

Eoin: Thanks for sharing this with me Koresh. I’ve got to be going. 

 

-I pushed myself away from the wall and head for the terminal exit. Caleb was no longer following me. I don’t know where he went, but I have to keep eyes at the back of my head now. God only knows how many others are watching me- 

 

=One hour later= 

 

-I took a taxi cab from the airport to downtown Manhattan. I don’t really like New York all that much, the city is as celluloid as its people. It isn’t like their any better than anybody else. They think they are but they aren’t. Not to mention their own sports teams are blights on the sports they respectively play. Those of dying ages will often speak how their favorite player used to ruin other teams, or how their favorite local wrestler was the greatest hero of the country. They were lies, false. Just like how OPW was operated. In the cab there was a Newspaper about the new Fight company. Despite me being employed by them, I have to say I don’t know much of the internal workings of Fight, but it feels good to be rid of Mr. Stylez. Maybe he’ll get shanked in prison, or be some BBC’s bitch. I have to admit New York can be a sight to see from the news, the air, the videos about it… On the ground it is a nightmare. A homeless crisis that doesn’t even need to be a crisis. Internal strife. The whole state is practically Red, but the parts that are financially important to the country matter, when it shouldn’t. Maybe the world needs a wakeup call… And we maybe that call. But for now, I needed to meet up with Eric. I told the driver to stop at a place called Rumor’s Bar & Grill. It was homey, a Irish pub with some great food. I got a beer, a small basket of fries and waited. There it was a quiet night in the pub, so I waited by the window, waiting for Eric. Not long after, I saw his face in a car. I quickly downed my beer, and put down $20 dollars and got out of the bar. He got out of the car and started making his way down towards the other side of the street. I tried getting to him as fast as possible but I don’t think he noticed me. I hurried my pace but as I got to the cross walk, a big van drove up to block my sight of Eric. It was nondescript, nothing to indicate what it was for. Then the passenger door opened… It was Malcolm- 

 

Malcolm: Eoin! What a pleasant surprise meeting you here. 

 

Eoin: Malcolm, what the fuck is this? I thought you worked for the government, not work for American Standard. 

 

Malcolm: Well, you see my friend… I do. 

 

-The back doors of the van opened and other men in suits came out. Inside the van I barely saw what looked like surveillance equipment before they closed the door. They pressured me into an alley way with no other means of escape. In front of me, six agents, one of them being Malcolm.- 

 

Malcolm: I’m honestly surprised to see you, my friend. I thought when Outlaw closed, you would be out of a job, and going back to stay in Ireland. Safe from judicial repercussions for what is about to happen to your lady friend. 

 

Eoin: Look, Mal. I don’t know what you have cooking right now but- 

 

Malcolm: I gave you a month Eoin. A month to turn her in and you’d be living a new life in Arizona. Instead, here you are. Near her. Obviously here to get your knocks off. 

 

Eoin: No, Malcolm its more important than th- 

 

Malcolm: Oh is it your stupid brother too? He’s been the best help that we’ve had all month. He’s been helped with special ques. And I think with your help, the MKUltra did its job. So you did help. But you came back… 

 

-I got enraged. He dared used my brother without my acceptance or knowledge?- 

 

Eoin: How fucking dare you?! 

 

Malcolm: Don’t make this any harder than it is my friend… 

 

-The five other agents pulled out taser guns pointing at me- 

 

Malcolm: No, no gentlemen. Eoin’s a good guy. He’ll come quietly. He always does. Right, my friend? 

 

-Malcolm walked up to me alone, with a smile. His bright white teeth was damn impressive you’d ever wonder if he even has a dentist. He put his arm around me and started walking towards the van. The other agents put their guns away- 

 

Malcolm: Now. While you may be failing in what I asked the first time… I’m going to ask differently. We don’t know a lot of this whole, “Fight” thing happening here in the city. But that doesn’t mean we have people on the inside. We do, we will, and you’ve just volunteered. 

 

Eoin: I won’t work for you. You son of a bitch! 

 

-Suddenly Malcolm punched me right in the abdomen. The punch was stiff, deep, and it took the wind out of me. I knelt down and he stomped my hand. As I was about to scream, he covered my mouth- 

 

Malcolm: No, you do. You don’t work for the Cure. You work for this country. You work for me. Now, you will do as I said. You get in there, you learn what you can about it. Then, we’ll deal with your terrorist cell. 

 

-Terrorist cell? What the fuck Is Malcolm is going on about? How is The Cure a terrorist cell? We’ve scared people, sure. We’ve hurt others too. But we haven’t done anything that terrorists do… Do we? Maybe… There is more to this that meets the eyes.- 

 

Agent: Sir? Their on the move. 

 

Malcolm: You’ll learn the hard way what it means to be a civil servant O’Rourke, I can promise you that. But for now… 

 

-Malcolm took his foot off my hand and let me go. He opened the passenger door and the other agents got in the van as well- 

 

Malcolm: Just go to the tower. It’s just a little down the road from here, you can’t miss it. You look after yourself Eoin. I’ll see you again. See you. 

 

-The van started up and drove away. I got up looking at my left hand. He crushed its knuckles with the back of his shoe heel. I looked up and saw the Fight Tower. I looked around, collecting my thoughts. Was Eric still going where he was going? What about Liz? Questions I would have for later. For now, I only had one place to go to… Fight Tower.-