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CHAPTER TWELVE – AS EINSTEIN ONCE SAID, “HUNGER IS NOT A GOOD POLITICAL ADVISER”.
The conversation between Liam and Sully took but a few minutes. But that was not to say that any final decisions were made. For that to happen they needed to ask Kevin some serious questions. Including questions such as, ‘where would they be going?’, ‘how long would they be away?’
There was, understandably, a lot to consider. Both Liam and Sully alike had responsibilities and the idea of just picking up and going off, whilst intriguing, did present some challenges for both of them. Not least of all being that Sully was not a great fan of flying. And additionally there was the fact that neither of them had their passports with them.
Kevin, however, was able to reassure them on all counts. In respect of their responsibilities, arrangements had already been made to cover these. “One of the things about the internet, casual chatter and social media etc,” Kevin explained, “is that people often reveal far more about their lives and personal details than they realise or intended to. Talk about an event at your local swimming pool, school, church or social club and suddenly your location has been narrowed down to within a mile or two. Add to that photos of friends and family members, include the details of your friends list, add comments from buddies and family members and within a few days a great deal of your life and even your past can be researched.”
It was a statement that both Liam and Sully knew to be true.
“And as for your not being keen on flying Sully, take a couple of these.” Holding out his hand he offered Sully a couple of pills. “Trust me, they are totally safe and will take the edge right off the experience. And we’ve checked they are completely safe to take with your current medication.”
Sully looked at Liam and, then taking the pills from Kevin, held them in his hand whilst the conversation continued. But the very fact, or even suggestion, that Kevin could know details of what medication he was currently had caused Sully to suspect that something very serious was going on.
“I promise you that if I could tell you where we are going, I would.” Kevin told them. “But I simply can’t disclose that at this stage. What I can tell you, however, is that you will be; totally safe, well looked after, and that there is a change of suitable clothing in the jet for each of you.”
Trying to gauge their reactions, he looked at them for a moment or two.
“And as for your not having your passports with you,” he continued, “well let’s just say that on this trip, no one is going to ask you for them. And the truth is that there is no way anyone is going to want to stamp them to say that you have been where you will have been.” Kevin smiled a friendly smile. “The fact is lads, that to all intents and purposes as far as the world is concerned you will have never been where we are going and no one will have ever heard of you. But as you lads already know, there are a lot of secrets out there and things aren’t always how we are told they are.”
It was a statement which would find no argument from either Laim or Sully, both of whom were well versed in the theory, and had long since held the belief, that all governments hid some serious stuff from the general public.
“Things aren’t always how we are told they are.” Liam repeated Kevin’s words. “Like your not being some disabled guy who writes books and plays World of Tanks on the Xbox.” Liam observed.
It was a comment that caused Kevin to smile.
“Well, let’s just say that I am not ‘just’ some disabled guy who writes books and plays World of Tanks on the Xbox.” Kevin smiled. “And that ‘not just’ part is where you lads come in. And it really is far bigger and far more important than perhaps you could imagine. But if I didn’t think this was something that – once you knew more – you lads would be up for, would I really have come all this way, and gone to all this trouble to get you here?
Neither Liam, nor Sully spoke for a moment or two. Both were deep in their own thoughts, imaginations and considerations. Kevin’s last statement as for why they should trust him and get involved was a strong one argument. But even so, this was no small thing that they were considering and did demand some serious consideration.
In fact it was Liam who spoke first when the silence was eventually broken. “What do you think Sully?” He asked turning to look at Sully, as he did so.
Sully said nothing for a moment or two and then simply lifted his hand and popped the two pills, that Kevin had given him, into his mouth. “Sure I’m up for a bit of craic.” Sully smiled. It was a response which caused both Kevin and Liam alike to laugh.
And so it was settled. They would get involved. At least enough to find out more. And that was the thing about Liam and Sully, for the truth is that in times gone past they had often gotten into a number of scrapes together. And whilst adulthood – and indeed the consequences of some of those scrapes – may have calmed them down a bit, and even taken a toll on their bodies – that adventurist, ‘up for it’ nature was still within them.
“Let’s get on board.” Kevin suggested turning and walking to the jet’s steps and gesturing for Liam and Sully to get on board before him. “We have a very long flight ahead of us.”
“I can’t believe we’re really doing this.” Liam told Sully, as they two of them walked up the few steps and onto the jet. “Let’s go out and try that new curry house out, I thought.” Sully and Liam laughed.
Following the lads up the steps and boarding the jet, Kevin stopped for a moment, turned and waved to the PSNI sergeant, who simply tapped the peak of his cap and then got back into his police car.
Turning and going further into the jet Kevin couldn’t help smiling at Liam and Sully’s reactions to how plush the jet was kitted out.
“Take a seat and put your seat belts on guys.” Kevin told them. “We should be taking off very soon and then we can have some food. I imagine you lads are hungry, what with my ruining your night out.”
First having waited for the lads to choose seats and sit down, Kevin sat down opposite them, put his own seat belt on and then pushed a button on the highly polished wood paneling next to his seat. .
“I hope Chinese is OK for both of you?” Kevin asked, as the jet started to taxi to the runway. “It’s from the place you mentioned that you wanted to try out this evening. I had it picked up earlier.”
Liam and Sully looked at each other in slight disbelief. “You’re kidding right?” Sully asked.
“Nope, not at all.” Kevin smiled. “It might not be the same as having it cooked for you there and then, but the chef knows his stuff and it should warm it up nicely.”
“There’s a chef on board too?” Liam commented.
“I hope so.” Kevin smiled. “Otherwise breakfast is going to be a very big disappointment.”
“Breakfast!” Sully exclaimed.
“Yes.” Kevin smiled. “It will have to be an early one, I am afraid. But we have long day ahead of us and you lads have some big decisions to me. And as, I think, Einstein once said, “Hunger is not a good political adviser.”