Ireland's Cause

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Chapter 8: Military Reaction Force in Glenbeg

Kenneth came strutting into the MRF mess room. Five of his men that had worked the last shift were in bed while another four were out on a recon mission. The recon back up unit were stationed in the radio area, listening to the transmission from the active unit. The rest of the unit were lounging around the room. Some were shooting pool, a couple of others were throwing darts while three were at the kitchen area drinking tea. Three others were kneeling on the floor stripping and cleaning guns.

Kenneth was pumped with excitement “We got it boys” he yelped “we got the go ahead to take care of that Clarke bastard.”

He pounded the table and shouted with excitement while Harold and the others gathered around him. The sleeping soldiers leapt out of their bunks and came running into the room, wondering what all the excitement was about.

Harold pushed his way forward “I’m going with you sir. I have to sort that Irish bastard out.”

Others were shouting their names and reasons that they should go. All of them were anxious to revenge the deaths of their two colleagues, both on a personal level and also on a professional level, they had a score to settle.

Kenneth was totally pumped with anticipation “Harold and Alfie into my office now” he barked “The rest of you wait here. I’ll let you know who is being detailed for this assignment soon enough, but it will be soon. We are not sitting around on this one.”

The three officers retreated into Kenneth’s office. They gathered around his desk where Kenneth quickly spread out a map of the South Derry East Tyrone area.

“Our target is based in this area in the town of Glenbeg” he started. “Glenbeg is on the Draperstown/Greencastle Road. It a small shitehole of a town with around 600 papist terrorists living in it. Those fuckers just murdered two of our lads in an ambush in the town itself plus Intel believe that the same fuckers were responsible for the car bomb in Cookstown. So the Top Brass are looking for us to stamp these fuckers out, and I mean dead and gone.” He grinned and looked at his two officers as he banged his fist on the table “Dead and gone” he repeated “All terrorists and legitimate targets waiting to meet their maker.”

Harold and Alfie stirred excitedly and looked intently at the map taking in the mountains and criss-cross of country roads around Glenbeg.

“He lives just outside the town here.” Kenneth said stabbing the map with his pencil so hard that the point broke off. “His whole family are big shots in the republican community and he is the local Commanding Officer. That whole area is a nest of vipers and this prick is one of the worse.”

Kenneth broke the remainder of the pencil in two “According to the Intelligence report, he has built up his local company. Although they have mostly concentrated on helping the Provo companies in other area’s he is moving to make his company more active locally. Comments?” He asked.

“What is the profile of his company” asked Alfie

“Fuck his company” snarled Harold ”I want that bastard.”

“No, this gets better for us” says Kenneth “Listen to this. We have a couple of assignments to accomplish on this mission. The local army Intel has a complete rundown of the company members, their names, ages, marital status everything. Intel have a well-placed mole.”

He rubbed his hands in glee “However we are going to have a better one. One of his top men was caught in a, shall we say, a slightly compromising position and we are going to use him to wipe out the whole company. I’m not just settling for Clarke, I want the whole pile of this shit heap exterminated.”

Harold was starting to look a whole happier.

“What’s the other assignment?” he asked

“As luck would have it there is a big football, or what these natives call football, being played next Sunday in Omagh. This is a massive local derby between Tyrone and Derry and there will be thousands at it. The Tyrone and Derry brigades are using it as a cover to hold a meeting. The two Brigades staff will be there plus some other commanders and we, my dear chaps are going to take them out of it.”

Kenneth beamed his smile of anticipation at his two officers.

“That is massive” said Alfie “if we can pull this off….” he began and Harold pounded him on the back, momentarily winding him.

“Yes” Harold growled “we can take the head off this snake in one strike. Will Clarke be there? If there a crowd to kill I wouldn’t like him slipping through the cracks.”

“It’s not sure yet who, outside of Brigade staff will be there” replied Kenneth “that’s why we have a totally separate plan for that shithead and his cronies.”

Harold cocked his eye at his commanding officer “Oh, this gets better by the minute” he said as he lit a cigar and started to puff the strong pungent smoke around the room.

“On a local Glenbeg level, we bring in all the company members and we give them a right fucking over” says Kenneth “here is the list of all the terrorists in the local company, plus a few active supporters and some of the “Cum on me man” bitches’ brigades.” Kenneth smirked referring to the Cumann na mBan members.

Kenneth continued “With the help of the local Regular Army we lift around 15 suspects and bring them into the barracks” jabbing his finger at the Army Barracks on the map. “Like I said we give them a royal fucking over, to strike a bit of fear into their hearts. But this also gives me the opportunity to speak to and recruit our new member of the informer fraternity.”

“Cut to the chase and fuck the bullshit” snarled Harold “You want to give Clarke a doing over? I say we kill the fucker while we have him in custody.

“Yeah” says Kenneth “I would love to and it would be a long and lingering death but it will be better still to wipe out every one of these fuckers. So we rough them up send them on their way and use our new recruit to set them up for a killing zone slaughter.”

“With the added bonus of taking out the two Brigades’ Staff” Alfie grinned “Let’s fucking roll mate. How many and who do we bring with us.”

“We stick to our usual team of ten. Kenneth replied “Ringo and his usual team plus your crew Harold, except the Driver, he is still a bit weak from that wound last week. I’m going too, naturally so that makes the team of 10.”

“The Driver won’t be happy to hear that he is being left behind” says Harold, puffing away at his cigar.

“No” say Kenneth “but he can concentrate on getting that prick the Shade, or at least setting him up for when we return.”

“When do we pull out?” asked Alfie

“In the morning. It’s around 60 minutes’ drive to Glenbeg” replied Kenneth “We depart at 0600 hours and arrive there just after daylight. Tell the men to pack uniforms for the raid as well as our usual civvies and of course their favourite collection of weapons. And do not mention our new informer to anyone! Understand men?”

“Yes sir” his two officers shouted in unison as they saluted and made for the door.

Kenneth sat back in his chair, lit a cigarette and took a long appreciated pull, relishing the slight burning of the smoke going down his lungs. He then slowly exhaled blowing smoke rings, as he looked forward to putting a bullet into Sean Clarke’s head.

“Yesssss” he sighed as he closed his eyes mentally picturing that moment.

Declan McGurk was awake early and had his bedroom window opened to listen for any unusual noises. His parent’s house was built on a slight incline and with the house being three stories high it gave a slight view into a small area of the barracks yard, a full view of the back gate and a reasonable view of the back road to the gate. Since Bernie and Stephen had approached him to tell him about Sean’s plan for him he had started to keep the light in his room turned off. He had also put a black lacy curtain up so that he could look out at the back road, the gate and into the small area of the barracks without being seen. Much to Bernie and Stephen’s surprise Declan told them about his physical and mental training that he practiced every morning. Over the last couple of years he had developed a workout regime that he worked on every morning in the privacy of his own room. He also practiced meditation. The Volunteers were delighted to hear this as Sean had talked about the need for Declan to be extremely disciplined and focused for his task.

This morning he was roughly halfway through his workout schedule, when he heard cars driving down the back road. He quickly got up off the floor and scrambled over to the narrowly opened window. Standing slightly back he peered through the net laced curtains. He and Bernie had attempted to test these curtains out and they believed that they might assist Declan not being spotted and so far they had apparently worked as the security forces had not noticed him watching them. Not that Declan had spotted much. He had started a data base of all the people coming and going, taking Bernie’s advice of not keeping a written file, he used his collection of superhero comics as a code to identify as many peoples profile as he could. So far it was all very hazy as he couldn’t identify or differentiate between the soldiers as they wore helmets and other headgear but he was building up to the best of his ability, the numbers of the different security forces based in the barracks.

He had identified the RUC, the UDR and the British army personnel by their different uniforms, then he tried to break down the different ranks. Considering that he only had a view of a small area of the barracks ground and the patrols that walked out of the back gate his opportunities were limited. He also began to think that it was also pointless. However, he did look forward to the regular meetings with Bernie. She was good fun and it was different from when they were at school together. He didn’t feel such a geek when talking to her now. Even if it was mostly talk about what he was observing. But this morning he heard an unusual sound of vehicles coming down the back road towards the barracks. Previously, at this hour he would have watched the Army patrols leave but he hadn’t seen any movements into the barracks. So the arrival of vehicles was extremely unusual. He moved quickly over to the window and peered out through the net lace curtain a tightening in his stomach. The back gate was opening and a regular army land rover was just entering the barracks. Directly behind it was two black vans with darkened windows followed by another land rover. The convoy stopped and Declan had the very limited view of the back of one of the vans. The back door opened and three young men in civilian clothes jumped out. Declan froze as their eyes swept the skyline, the roof tops and the windows of the houses that they could see, rifles on the ready. Cautiously they looked carefully around and seeing nothing threatening, they rested their guns against the back bumper of the van. Chatting quietly they began to stretch and exercise their muscles limbering up. Two then lit cigarettes as they reached back into the van and pulled out their gear bags. Not moving and not daring to even breathe, a shiver of fear ran up Declan back. These guys moved with deadly intent. Declan wanted to move closer to the window to try and observe more of what was happening but was too terrified to move. This is serious shit here he thought not knowing why he was so afraid.

The three men gathered up their gear and guns and turned away and walked further into the barracks yard. Declan slowly moved away from his black net curtain and sat on his chair. He suddenly realised that he was still holding his breath, still afraid to be seen or heard. He tried to slowly release it without making a noise. He gagged and started choking and spluttering for air.

“Jaysus” he thought “I need to steady up” as his breathing returned to nearly normal. “I hope no one heard that.” he thought fearfully. “Right let’s think about what I just saw.”

He went over to his table and looking at the pile of super hero comics he opened up an unused one. These fellows definitely get their own comic book he decided with an attempt at a joke to himself. He didn’t laugh though, merely shuddered and quickly opening the comic he leafed through the pages coming to a picture of a van, he put two black marker lines through the van. He thought of the physical features of the three men that he had seen, two with black longish hair, one with a moustache and the other with long blonde hair tied into a pony tail.

He looked through the comic looking for characters that resembled them in some way. If he needed to he added characteristics to the comic book drawings. He wanted to report these new arrivals to Bernie as soon as possible, but looking at his watch he decided that it was a bit early as it was just gone seven. He would have to wait until nine before he could walk to Bernie’s aunt’s shop where Bernie worked, to tell her about these new arrivals.

Three men had come out the back door plus the driver and a passenger, there was two vans plus how more men that were in the land rovers?

Why civilians he thought. Loyalists? Off duty UDR? RUC? There was something not right about them he thought.

Sean needs to know about this.

“Calm down man” he said to himself for the umpteen time as he looked at his watch again. He had to go when the shop was opened otherwise he would be standing around waiting. And as he never stood around the town that would surely stick out as unusual he thought.

“What if Bernie wasn’t in?” he started to panic. “She was always in and out, gone sometimes for days on end.”

Declan breathed deeply “Alright kid, If that happens I will have to cycle out to Sean’s house and leave a message. No his house is probably watched. Calm the fuck down man” he gave out to himself. “I’ll just leave a message with Bernie’s aunt as previously agreed.”

Two long drawn out hours later Declan walked stiffly into the shop.

“Thanks be to fuck Bernie is here” he sighed to himself.

She was standing alone behind the counter in the empty shop. He went up to her and quickly whispered all that he had observed and his foreboding feelings. She listened intently asking a few questions to clarify one or two points.

She gave Declan’s arm a squeeze “I’ll tell Sean as soon as I can get cover for the shop. I’ll have to drive out to his building site and hopefully he’ll be there or else I’ll have to his house this evening.” she said and then added “Great work Declan. Keep your eyes peeled, you are doing good kid.”

See glanced at his super hero comic book that he had brought with him.

“I love your filing system” she laughed.

Declan blushed and turned away and headed to the door “Talk to you later” Bernie called after him as the door closed behind him.

Kenneth and his men were cramped into their new bunking area.

“We will only be here two or three weeks max” he reminded the complaining team.

With their uniforms, assortment of weapons and their civilian clothes in a tight area to begin with, tempers were starting to get frayed. They had been treated like the elite force that they viewed themselves as, in Palace barracks but here it seemed that they were not welcomed or in their minds suitably treated.

“Look, remember that the local troops wanted to take care of this on their own so it’s to be expected” says Harold.

Kenneth agreed “We start tonight by rounding up all the fucks in the local Provo Company. We need the troops support for this. When we get these scumbag Provo into the barracks tonight we are going to batter and strike fear into their murdering hearts.”

This cheered his men up as they imagined the thumping and kicking that they were going to dish out.

“Good” said Alfie “The sooner the better. Pointless laying around this shit hole” to everyone’s agreement.

“OK men calm down” replied Kenneth “We are going to be busy. First tonight is an all-nighter. Then on Sunday we hit the Brigade meeting and slash off the head of this fucking monster. And then next week we set up the locals here and wipe out their whole company.”

“Fucking yeah” shouted Ringo “We can handle this shit here and ride back to civilization on a cloud of glory” he laughed.

They all joined in laughing and joking about the action that they were there for.

“Ok” says Kenneth “breakfast first, then all of us go and look at the Intel files. We want to know these fucks and this shit hole of a town inside out. Let’s go.”

Later that night as the clock approached 2200 hours Kenneth and Harold stood with the local British Army Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Smyth Trimble, Captain Oswald and the local RUC Chief Superintendent Armstrong in the command room. Kenneth was doing the talking and the rest stood and every now and again nodded in agreement. Kenneth had gone through this with them a dozen times so they all, and some resentfully, knew their role.

“Your source has identified 15 local men in the local company, plus 3 women in the Bitches Brigade we will bring in all of the men and one of the Bitches.” Kenneth paused and lit a cigarette before continuing, pleased that nobody spoke while they waited for him to speak “I’ve chosen this red hair slut, as according to all accounts she is active while the others are mere supporters.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Smyth Trimble injected “That is correct, Sergeant Major, according to our inside source.”

Kenneth did not even acknowledge the comment and continued “That’s 14 houses to be raided because there’s a couple of sets of brothers. 14 teams hitting all of the houses simultaneously. Including me the MRF have 10 men so one of my men each in charge of a team. That leaves four other teams under your command Lieutenant-Colonel.”

Now he looked questioningly at the Lieutenant-Colonel “Do you have your men prepared Lieutenant-Colonel sir?” he asked in a patronising tone.

The Lieutenant-Colonel quenched his fists under the table “My men are very well prepared and ready Sergeant Major” he replied through gritted teeth. It was hard enough suffering 4 causalities’ in the ambush but to add salt to the wound he now had to suffer this pompous bully dictating to him.

“One slip up from this upstart and I will hang him out to dry” he comforted himself.

“This is Wednesday night” Kenneth was telling the group “Everyone should be home when we strike at midnight. No knocking on doors or any of that pansy shite. We burst through the doors, taking the fucking things off their hinges. Do you understand” he barked.

“Yes sir” the group replied as Kenneth continued, “the first four soldiers into the house run up the stairs shouting and roaring. Bellowing like bulls. Hit everyone, push and drag them, terrify them. Another three troopers stay downstairs and sweep every room. Remember these Irish pigs live on top of each other so no telling who or how many are actually in each house. Hustle everyone down and outside into the front of the house. Knell them on the ground, still hitting and kicking everyone and anyone.”

Kenneth paused to stub out his cigarette “Will your men be able for that Lieutenant-Colonel?” he enquired sweetly.

The Lieutenant-Colonel barely moved his head as he struggled to control his temper, his captain kept his eyes locked onto the map while the RUC Chief Superintendent was licking his lips at the thought of having a free rein at these papist terrorists.

Kenneth patted Harold on the shoulder “Identify the Provo and throw him into the land rover and get back here to the barracks pronto. Understood?” he again asked.

They all nodded in agreement.

Earlier Lieutenant-Colonel Smyth Trimble had raised objections but he was quickly put into his place by a forcefully Kenneth and Harold. To make it worse, Captain Oswald had not supported him in his argument, as Oswald was relishing the chance to get at the Provo’s that had humiliated him in the ambush.

Kenneth continued “Once we get them here, the goal is to terrify and put the fear of God into their very hearts. They will be trained to not answer questions, but by fuck will they get some surprise when we just batter them and don’t ask the fuckers any questions. Nothing, just beating after beating. My men will handle all of that” he said turning to the Lieutenant-Colonel and the RUC Chief Superintendent.

“Cells and holding area Chief Superintendent?” Kenneth looked directly at the RUC Chief Superintendent.

“3 cells that can hold two occupants, plus one holding area that will hold 16 with a tight squeeze” Armstrong reported.

The cells consisted of four walls of solid concrete with a steel door in one wall. The cells measured eight foot by six foot.

“Right” says Kenneth “we throw the most of them into the holding cell. The bitch is held in the bottom cell. There’s room and equipment to hold 4 in one cell and the others are held in the holding area. As we bring them in, we separate them into the different groups. Remember we continue to beat and drag them to their cell area. We then tie them up with rope into those eye rings that your men put in today Lieutenant-Colonel.” He nodded appreciatively to the Lieutenant-Colonel.

“Plus the bunks have been removed so the cells are totally empty. Right Chief Superintendent?” He queried to the RUC Captain.

“Yes sir” the RUC Officer replied.

He was not happy about these Army paratroopers or whatever they were, taking over his Police barracks. It was bad enough when the regular army had set up camp but now he was also losing his cells and holding area.

“Hopefully they will be gone soon and whatever they do to the Provo’s is all well-deserved.” He said to himself. “Fuck them” he thought as he blessed himself for cursing.

Kenneth said “The last cell is for individual treatment and every one of them will have the privilege of a special 20 minutes of individual attention.”

He had not told anyone outside of Harold and Alfie about the potential recruitment of an informer and that this was where he was going to recruit him.

“Plus we give that Clarke fucker a right going over.” He continued “This area of the barracks is under my command. Once your men assist by bringing the Provo’s here you or your men will not enter or participate in any activities here.”

Captain Oswald spoke up “Please sir I would like the opportunity to assist. It was my patrol that was ambushed by these terrorists and I would relish the chance to well, quite plainly, to fuck them up sir.”

Kenneth eyeballed him. “I understand your sentiment and anger Captain. I can’t allow you past that door” nodding to the door between the cell area and the barracks office.

Kenneth smiled with sympathy at him and said “The local natives will attempt to hold protests outside to assist and keep the captives spirits up. Your job is to ensure that this does not happen. I want them kicked off the streets and battered into their homes where they will wait in petrified fear for the return of their loved ones. That’s where you can get your jollies Captain.”

The Lieutenant-Colonel attempted to speak but Kenneth cut him off

“That is your responsibility” he said curtly to the Lieutenant-Colonel “What happens in here is mine.”

The Captain enthusiastically joined in “Yes sir Sergeant Major sir!”

The Lieutenant-Colonel reluctantly nodded his head in agreement thinking that he would have to speak to his captain about loyalty to his commander.

Kenneth divided the teams into 14 raiding parties. The number of army and police vehicles were not adequate so they had to utilise the two vans that the MRF personnel had arrived in. It was decided that they would be used on the two sets of brothers.

It was time to go so the Officers joined the raiding parties, quickly putting on their camouflage and checking their weapons. The targets’ all lived within a five mile radius of Glenbeg. Vehicles left by both the front and rear gate at staggered times to allow for the houses being raided at roughly the same time.

Sean had stayed out till nearly 10:30pm with Bernie, Hugh, Gerry and Stephen trying to figure out who these armed civilians were, and what they were doing in Glenbeg. With the RUC, the UDR and the Regular Army in the barracks already, the Volunteers couldn’t figure out why these new arrivals were here in Glenbeg. Sean told them about the MRF in Belfast and their antics and tactics but it just didn’t make sense why they should come to their town. They agreed that Sean would talk to Declan and that the others would alert the other volunteers in the Company to keep a low profile and their eyes and ears opened. After Sean went home he talked to Ann about this new development and everyone’s concern. Ann was equally concerned and her intuition was shouting all types of warning bells, but they agreed that there was nothing to be done except try to find out as much information as possible and to keep a low profile for a while. The snuggled up to each other as they drifted off to sleep, their arms wrapped around each other.

Sean and Ann were sound asleep in bed when the revving and roaring of the army vehicles stirred them from their sleep. As they shook themselves awake the breaking down of their front door woke them right up. They reacted instinctively, Sean ran towards the stairs and Ann ran towards the children’s bedrooms. As Sean was starting to run down the stairs a figure with a light attached to his helmet was pounding up the stairs, barrowing straight into Sean as Sean attempted to kick him back down the stairs. As the first figure knocked Sean to one side and ran past him the second figure racing up the stairs began to leather Sean with a short baton. As Sean was struggling to regain his footing two more pushed past Sean and the other figure, pausing only to lace into Sean with a blow or two of their own. They then continued into the bedrooms roaring and shouting. Sean was dragged and thrown down the stairs where the beating continued all over his body and head. As he continued to struggle he could hear the shouting and thumping upstairs as Ann and the kids were dragged out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Ann was screaming and the kids were screeching and howling with fear. Ann saw Sean on the ground at the bottom of the stairs and tried to pull one of the soldiers off of him. Another one promptly hit her into the side of her head with his fist and followed up with a belt of the baton across the back of her head. She crumbled to the ground and was dragged out the front door and dumped onto the ground in the front yard. Her children followed with two soldiers herding them with the batons and pushing and shoving them. The kids were cowering and crying as they huddled together, arms wrapped around each other. Sean had ceased to struggle and was only half conscience as they continued to beat and drag him to the land rover. Sean spotted Ann laying unmoving on the ground and briefly attempted, again, to resist calling out her name, which brought on a renewed flurry of blows as they tossed him into the back of the jeep. The blows continued but with lesser velocity as the soldiers did not have the room to swing properly in the back of the jeep. One particular nasty fellow kept jabbing him with his baton into any part of the body while egging on and encouraging the others. Sean was jolted and thrown around the back as the jeep reversed and drove at high speed away, heading back towards the town.

Left behind was Ann lying in a heap on the ground, half unconscious with blood pouring from the wound on her head while her children huddled around her trying to help her, whimpering and clinging together.

The jeep swung in through the front gate of the barracks. The soldiers leapt out of the jeep as it screeched to a stop. Sean was booted, kicked and dragged out of the back of the jeep. The soldiers swinging their batons as they dragged him into the RUC building. He was dragged by his hair into the holding area, where between the blows and the bodies he could see three naked men trussed up and tied spread eagle, dangling from the ceiling. What was left of his pyjamas was ripped off his body and he too had his hands tied by rope and he was hoisted into the air, his arms spread wide. As the soldiers continued to beat him his feet were also trussed up and his legs pulled and tied wide apart. Immediately another two prisoners were dragged into the room. One being dragged down into a cell while the other was tossed into the holding area. He too suffered the same humiliating treatment. Soon there were 11 men hanging from their tied hands, their toes barely touching the ground making it impossible to stand in order to relieve the pressure on their arms.

Suddenly the door was burst open again and another person was dragged kicking and whimpering into the room. Bernie was exhausted from resisting and the blows still fell on her body. Through the soldiers legs she was horrified by the sight that she saw. Men hanging naked from the ceiling while soldiers moved casually between them, constantly whipping and beating their bodies. The bodies screaming and twisting in pain

Dazed she shouted “Stop ye bastards!!”

She saw that Stephen suddenly recognize her and he started struggling to break free. A small lean blond hair soldier saw Stephen’s reaction and went over to him and gave him a punch into his kidneys. Stephen howled in pain as the soldier caught Stephens face and lifted it close to his own, “Stephen Maguire” he said, “A good friend of my little red haired Bernie Daly, from the come on me man, bitches brigade I hear.”

He laughed as Stephen tried to get spittle to spit into his face.

“I’m going down to your Bernie’s room.” he whispered into Stephen’s ear and hit him a belt into the side of the head with his open hand.

Stephen head jerked sideways and a loud ringing exploded in his head. Blondie grabbed Bernie and slapping her about the head dragged her off to a solidarity cell.

The cramps spasm and pains that shot through Barry’s body was unbelievable and unbearable. Men sobbed and begged to be untied. A constant high pitched noise was drilling through their heads and still the soldier’s continued walk around their strung up bodies, poking, squeezing testicles and punching them. Men fell in and out of conscience as their ordeal continued. Bernie had stopped screaming and no noise could be heard from her cell at the end of the corridor. Loud moans and begging for relieve could be heard from the cell where some of the men had been brought.

After a while and through the constant buzzing and ringing in his ears Barry had thought that he had heard a protest outside, but that seemed to be followed by gunshots and then silence. Barry hopes had risen and sank immediately. Men were being untied in single fashion and dragged to another cell. They were held there and the screams of some increased while others were in silence. The reason for the silence became clear as gagged men unconscious or close to it were dragged back out. And rehung. Bodies shiver with shock. Fear had built up to unforeseen levels, urine and faeces puddled on the floor. The men were dragged through that mess on their way to and back from that single cell.

Big Gerry had long ago stopped shouting at the men to say nothing, now everyone was begging as they were dragged to that room.

The soldiers had stopped shouting ages ago and now worked in silence in their continuing round of terror. Then Barry was being unhung, he collapsed onto the hard spoiled floor. The pain shooting up his arms as the blood flooded back into his dead arms. He too, was dragged into the single cell. The fear building up in him as they dragged him closer to the cell.

“Noooo, pleassse, Noooo.” he whimpered “pleassssse stop. What do you want?” he begged.

Barry was thrown into the room and a gag placed over his mouth. His moaning and begging instantly muffled. He laid there expecting more abuse, more pain, but there was just silence as two soldiers stood leaning against a wall. The now familiar ropes were hanging empty from the ceiling. Now Barry could see a pair of blood and faeces soiled boots coming towards him. He tensed in expectation of the boots pounding into his body. But instead his head was lifted and he was turned on to his back in a gentle manner. Confusion and fear caused his body to spasm. A blanket was wrapped around his body and his head was lifted as his gag was loosened from around his mouth. A cup of water was gently put to his lips and water was slowly poured into his mouth.

Confused mad thoughts running through his mind “Poison, drugs, water, I’m gasping” he thought as he swallowed and then gulped the lifesaving liquid. Then the gagged was replace over his mouth.

“Easy tough guy, easy.” one of the men said to him.

Barry laid there, feeling returning to his limbs and body in pins and needles. He didn’t know how long he laid there, relieved that the feelings were back in his arms but totally confused as to what was going to happen next.

Then one of the soldiers, a short blond hair one spoke to him softly “So Volunteer Barry Foley.” He said, as he helped put Barry sitting up, leaning against the cell wall.

The soldier continued “Sales Representative, life and soul of the party. Two and a half years ago you married your childhood sweetheart.”

The soldier paused as Barry looked incomprehensively at him.

And then the soldier patted Barry’s check and continued talking into Barry’s face, “father of two young babies, one boy and a one sweet little girl. The perfect stand up staunch guy. Regular man’s man, hey Barry.”

Barry squinted at him, wonder what was this all about. The other soldier passed an envelope to the blond soldier. He opened the envelope and slowly took out pictures as Barry’s brow creased with confusion and worry.

The soldier turned one of the pictures to Barry who froze with fright.

“Oh fuck” he thought.

The soldier showed him several more and then fanned them out so that Barry could see all of the pictures.

“How the fuck?” Barry thought understanding slowly seeping into his muddled mind.

“Well, well, Barry” the soldier said “That’s some orgy you have going there boy. What are these guy’s names? Did you know? Did you even care?”

He gently took Barry’s chin into the palm of his hand. “Let me explain my dear chum. These are pictures of your all male orgy in Southampton, a few months back.”

Barry shivered as he thought back to that wild night and the all-male party that he had gone to after the Christmas Party in the company’s Head Office in Southampton.

Blondie looked deeply into Barry’s frightened confused eyes and continued, “Remember soldier boy? Here’s a good clear one.” As he held a picture up to Barry’s eyes.

“That is one big black dick you are playing with there, boy.” Blondie whispered “Ohhhhhh! Where’s that dick going in this picture Barry? My, oh my, it’s in your mouth!”

Blondie grasped Barry’s head in a vice like grip as Barry tried to turn his head from looking at the pictures, his eyes tightly crunched together.

“Hey Barry, here’s a picture of another guy joining in. Looks like he’s a pain in your ass Barry”

Blondie laughed quietly and dropped his hand onto Barry’s testicles, squeezing and twisting them.

“Poor Helen and the kids.” Blondie spoke low, directly into Barry’s ear, “when they see these posted up around the town. Mr all around Mr fucking Perfect. Your Mum will love going to her church talking to her friends there, about you and the pictures with your friends, Barry boy. Your poor God fearing church going mother.”

He sneered at Barry “Looking forward to the future? I love inflicting a bit of pain and horror for my enemies. My friends are different. I look after and protect my friends Barry.”

He paused then and stopped squeezing Barry testicles. He once again took Barry’s chin in his palm and smiled as he asked “Are you my friend Barry? I can help and protect you. These pictures will go no further than this room if you’re my friend.”

He paused once again as he looked into Barry’s frightened eyes.

“In fact, if you are my friend and agree to help me I will even stop what’s happening in the other cells.” Blondie said in a friendly manner “You help me and you also help them. Of course no one would know, but you would know that you stopped their pain and suffering. Think of poor Bernie hanging there naked, with my boys amusing themselves with her.”

Blondie took a drink from a canteen and comradely put his arm around Barry’s shoulders “Did you know that she really is a redhead? Fiery bit of ass too. I like my women with a bit of spirit.”

Barry jerked his head back, his helplessness turning into anger but the other soldier slapped Barry on the side of the head banging it into the wall. Pain exploded in Barry’s head.

Blondie gently petted Barry’s head “You can stop all this and be the unknown hero. What do you say my friend? I can protect you. Now I’m going to pay another visit to Bernie. Remember, you can be the hero and bring an end to all this.

Blondie took the gag from Barry’s mouth and quietly stood up.

He looked down at Barry “Talk to my mate here and he can let me know when you want to stop all this.” Turning quickly, he walked out of the door.

Barry sat hunched over, his brain racing trying to find an out of this situation, then wondering if he could trick these bastards. He looked up at the soldier that was standing stiffly against the wall.

“What do you want from me?” Barry asked.

“We want to end this war and the terror” the soldier said “and you can help us. Sean Clarke wants to create mayhem and anarchy. He has said as much at your meetings, that he wants to create his own no go area up here.”

Barry stared in surprise at the soldier. How the fuck did the Brits know what was said at the meetings he wondered?

He nodded slowly and thought to himself, “Yes Sean had said that.”

The soldier continued “He has to be stopped. For civilization and the good of Irish people, his sort have to be stopped.”

He looked at Barry. “Look at what Clarke’s actions have caused. All of the members of your local so-called secret army hanging from the police barracks ceiling! My mate is in there having fun with Bernie and your pictures and activities about to go public. All because Clarke wants to be a fucking Irish hero?”

The soldier took a breath “Gimme a fucking break. Now you make up your mind chum. Right fucking now! Are you helping us?!”

He looked at Barry “Yes?” he questioned with his eyebrows raised.

Barry nodded and whispered “Yes,” as a shiver ran down his spine.

“How?” he rasped dreading the answer.

The solder knelt beside Barry

“You are going to help us take out his whole company” he said softly.

Barry gasped with shock. “No fucking way! That’s impossible.”

His mind was racing and getting desperate as he looked around the room, avoiding the soldier’s eye contact.

“I’ll help you get Sean himself” he desperately bargained. “There’s no way I’m helping murdering everyone.”

The soldier stepped back and there was silence in the cell. Down the corridor he could hear the moans and whimpering of his comrades. Suddenly he could hear Bernie screaming and shouting and he could hear the blows and the belts falling on naked skin. The soldier looked at Barry, Bernie was now just moaning and sobbing.

“You can be the hero and stop all this dreadful carry on.” Blondie’s words echoed in his mind. The sounds of his comrades were screeching in Barry’s head. He shook his head to try to stop them.

“They will know! Belfast will know and kill me.” Barry sobbed.

The soldier knelt once again by Barry and said gently “We protect and help our heroes. We will set you up in another country where you can raise your family in peace.”

He paused as Barry stopped his crying before continuing “We will give you £20,000 in hard cash, to help you, Helen and your little children to start fresh. When this war of terror is over and the likes of Clarke is stopped you can return as the Irish Hero that you are. Your Mum deserves that, not the shame of those pictures Barry”

Barry nodded numbly “Yes.” And he sagged with resignation as to his future.

That soldier left and another two came in. They gagged Barry and commenced beating him so that his whole body turned red and black and blue. They then dragged his motionless body up the hall and dumped him in a heap on the floor.

Kicking him continuously one soldier announced “That’s the last of the murdering scumbags!”

Other soldiers entered the holding area and began to untie the hanging men, who all collapsed like rag dolls some convulsing and going into spasms, others curling up into the foetal position. All shivering and moaning.

Harold approached the cell holding Bernie and knocked on the door. He waited a few minutes and then opened the door when he heard Kenneth order to come in. Harold opened the door his eyes sweeping the room and taking it all in.

Bernie was not hanging from the ceiling anymore, she was in a shivering whimpering heap in the corner. Kenneth finished pulling up his zip and lifting his eyes from Bernie he looked quizzically over at Harold. Harold nodded and winked yes to him and Kenneth smirked some more.

“Now you little cow” he said “I’d advise you to leave that bitches brigade and concentrate on getting a real man, now that you’ve tasted one!” he laughed.

Bending down he picked up the shreds of her night dress and threw it at her

“Here put that on, you slut. But” he says holding up her panties “I’ll keep this and return them some night if you don’t behave yourself” he snarled.

He nodded at Harold and left the cell.

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