World Without End Amen

2011 Jeff Lynch

Tory Island, January 27, 2024

Formula Smith died yesterday. It’s so strange to think that funny old Formula is dead. We buried him with some difficulty in the rocky soil of Tory Island this morning. Sam found the gun right where Formula had dropped it as he went down. And Jake has just informed me that the boat has been sunk by the great storm overnight, and that spells out our doom here on Tory Island. And that wine dark sea does so frighten me so. I never saw a sea that looked so threatening in my life.

The sea and the sky seem to be of the very one thing here day after day. It seems to me, that you really can’t notice a horizon on here Tory Island at all. Certainly the Donegal mainland could never be reached on a makeshift raft. The sea here is far too treacherous for that. Alistair might just be tempted to try it though, but not myself. Not that I want to do so mind you. We are doomed now, unless somebody puts in to the island out of the blue as it were. That is most unlikely, for fuel is so short to hand these days. And then they would have to agree to save us. Or alternatively we persuade them to rescue us. Sorry I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I only meant, that we might beg them to save us from our fate, though we number only nine now.

I sometimes wonder how the monks, who used to live here on Tory all those years ago, would think about what we have done. They were very early Christians and they may have had strong moral views against any use of violence. Perhaps they came from France like so many of them did, or they could have been locals. Certainly, I do not know the truth of the matter. Yes and thou shalt not kill was presumably known to some of them at least. Oh I am so bloody cold this morning. We break up timber from the derelict houses to burn in our fires but we are always cold just like I am right now. Just like the monks would have been back then in the old days I guess.

Without sufficient food, our bodies cannot fight these massive Tory Island storms and the continual freezing conditions that they bring. We are steadily slipping into winter now and the only fuel we had was on that boat. Now that too, has slipped into the North Atlantic Sea with the vessel. I could see the oil slick still there in the toss of the waves this morning when I went to see where the boat had been moored. In any case, the small amount of fuel that we brought here would not have seen us through more than five or six months at the most. We just could not have carried it with us in the small boat. Naturally we do not have any electricity either. We could not have used diesel to run the old generators here. For when we arrived, every generator on the island was already either seized up, or smashed. Of course even if they were in working order we still lacked the fuel to run them for long. We have come full circle have we not? Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it they say. Well we have certainly got something close to it anyway.

Sitting here now, I finally swear to eschew violence as a means to an end. Yes I do, by the power of the Tau cross that still stands by the old harbour walls down there. The fishermen should have pulled it down and taken that with them too. But they were probably in too much panic to do so, and of course it is so very heavy. I know that when you read this account, you will likely say what a total hypocrite I am. Well yes it is true, I am a hypocrite that is certainly so, and I am also truly sorry for all of what I have done. I was of course, so young and stupid. That seems like an old familiar story doesn’t it? And also those things I refused to do, which would have saved countless lives, my own beloved Mother and Father among them as well. The memories of the horror of the terrible acts of crime I have committed, over and over again, are almost too hard for me to bear. I know I still sound like the hypocrite I am and was, but of course now it is far too late to make any meaningful amends at all. But by the Tau that is my own cross now. I swear that is what is truly in my own heart. Now we live more or less like those monks did back in the eighth century. What a lot we have learnt my friend.

But in truth, our small band was far more like those dreaded Englishmen who rode in that day eight hundred years later. They came here with simple murder in their hearts. Finally the Englishmen hounded any of the Irish monks who had survived the attack, away from the Island. We even know the name of the leader of those barbaric Englishmen. We were just like those murdering bastards who tore the ancient abbey apart.

And like the monks, the modern Tory fishermen could no longer survive here on the island. Yes we had seen to that hadn’t we dear reader. Without markets to ship their fish to back on the mainland, it was impossible for them to continue fishing. They were on the brink of starvation already. Just like more than sixty percent of all the people here in Britain are. They have so little air traffic to bring in foodstuffs and economic chaos has seen to the rest.

So the Tory fishermen left their homes and their small fishing industry and the one local shop here, and went to live on the mainland. They took all their fishing craft with them I suppose, for I have seen nary a one of them. You may wonder why they did not continue to fish, but the fact was that they also could no longer get the diesel fuel to drive their fishing boats. We had indirectly seen to that. Now we too are without fuel. Wood is all we have here on the island now. We are following the fishermen in the same pattern of starvation as well. But in our case, we now have no means of escape. Almost certainly, we will most certainly starve to death before spring comes to us.

I soon discovered when I first came to this island, that there once existed an Irish monastic group here on Tory Island many hundreds of years ago, until those most bloody Englishmen laid waste to them. It was the leading ecclesiastical group in Ulster for a thousand years. Just imagine that. For one Thousand years. The Englishmen and our enviro-terror group have striking similarities really. And no one, yes I say no one, should ever forgive us for what we have done. On more practical matters, I figure that we might have about six weeks food left, if we halve our current rationing. We have become Robinson Crusoe’s of sorts, except for the fact that we do have the company of each other. There are nine of us left here on the island now that Sheila is gone. It seems to me that I had better use this time left, to record what led to all of this, and perhaps somebody, somewhere at sometime might find my words when I too have gone. I write perhaps to feed my own last doubts about what we did. Perhaps historians will be curious about the ‘Enviro-Terror Wars’ of the early second millennia AD. Nobody is better placed to tell this tale than me, but certainly, time is not on my side as they say. I had better spit the yarn out quickly. But where to start, Oh where do I start this most bloody tale?

When I was eight years old, I asked my Dad what the word environment meant. He thought for a brief moment and said, ‘well you will have to read James Fennimore Cooper’s book ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ to know that son.’ My father was never one to arrive at the point swiftly, and believed that the shortest distance between two points, probably meant crossing through a library or two. Bloody academics and all eh! But of course he had been correct. I did read the book and I understood why he had set that book up against me when I was so bloody young. The problem was that I began to extrapolate from there to where we got in our murderous ideas. Any way thinking further on my Dad, he did me some good and he did me some harm as Leonard Cohen said. And also like Phillip Larkin said, ‘they fuck you up your parents do. But I guess that I cannot go through all my upbringing to arrive at any real or plausible excuse for what we have responsible for.

Banksy once did a calculation of how many people we had killed and he arrived at the shocking figure of roughly 850,000. Yes 850,000 humans to save planet earth was the simple way of our solution. But that toll is only the direct group who died by our actions. Millions of others have died since by the knock on effects of what we did. Well that was the way that I used to look at it back then. It was very simple was it not? Kill a few people and save the planet. It was basic and it passed for some kind of gruesome logic.

And there were only five of us at first back in those days. Of course, I was never considering humans in a totally sane way back then was I? I know full well, that I can never atone for our folly and madness by any stretch of the imagination or hope of expiation. But I am at risk of repeating what I started off with. I am just so, so sorry Mum and Dad, just so awfully, dreadfully sorry, I really didn’t know that you were on that jet.

Did it all start in 2007 then I wonder? I had been at university for but one year when I began to drop out, drop in, and switch to thinking of violence as a means of a legitimate political tool. Banksy was always near at hand and as always his voice rang my ears. But now you may begin to think that I use him as an escape clause to duck shove my own responsibility for all this mess. Not so, for it was me who began to go ‘underground’ right from the start. I began to adopt other people’s ID’s. What a bloody stupid idea governments had back then. How could they have imagined that to give people official identities with a plastic card, merely to state officially who they were was a fine idea? Hell and Tommy, and even blind Freddy could see the holes in that one. Didn’t they realize that any identity can be swapped, or traded or stolen outright? I even studied the tactics of the Bader- Meinhof gang which operated in Germany back in the 1960’s. Yes, I did all of those things. At first this was designed to confuse university and college authorities at Trinity College, and then I simply expanded the process and we went underground.

And later on, we became like some secret monastic society of our own. We became dire, secret and culpable men. Yes I said men, for women would never have started to do what we did. What did we do then you ask? After considering various alternatives of action, we decided to bring planes down. We hated passenger planes and military planes alike. Planes were designed either to directly murder people in wars or kill them more slowly by pollution when they carried tourists in their hundreds of thousands. Passengers were just greedy and it was their own fault if they had to die in the planes. It was simply all the same thing to us. Our solution was direct action. We also destroyed many cargo planes too. But most of those were taken out on the ground. We had all considered air travel to be the major environmental curse of mankind all over the world. In total, Banksy told us that we had destroyed nearly 400 passenger jets, about 79 cargo planes, plus masses of military planes. Of course many of these planes simply dropped to earth, killing a lot of other people on the ground as well. It wasn’t very pretty, I know that.

So air traffic all over the world began to grind to a halt, as people became too scared to fly. And with it economies sank so quickly too. We had begun it all to redress the many problems of pollution and carbon depositing in general. Of course this had got of hand long before this time. Global warming and wars, combined to heavily affect many populations across the face of our blue planet earth before our actions. Nearly all of Africa, many parts of Russia, the Middle East and a lot of southern and central Europe were virtually unliveable by this time. The last time we had any world news, we heard that Russia was at war with two former USSR states over the ownership gas and oil supplies. Millions of Russians are now dying in as winter approaches them. The radio announcer wasn’t certain, but he had said that there were also reports of a revolution in Iran. They had stopped playing the major league football games in the States as well apparently.

Then the last of our batteries packed it in. I was thinking of destroying all of our receivers by that time in any case. I didn’t have to do this and I was glad of that too, for there would have been some dissension among us for sure. We have not had any outside news for about two months now. We shall not hear any more now either. Not for one moment did we consider that by destroying the means of air travel, we were condemning vast number of people to death for lack of aid, fuel and food. As I said chaos came so quickly everywhere all over the world. At no time had we considered any of these economic factors you know. Not once did we ever try to do a little wider analysis as we went about our task.

Formula was our scientist and major technician. Formula Smith would have been a top scientist at anytime or era. But we always lacked any shade of economic thinking in our collective. Formula also saw direct and revolutionary action as the only way out. He had also studied the works of the Russian Bakunin. Anarchy drove into him hard, and turned him into a sort of scientific Lenin. He was truly a funny man too was Formula, especially when he was drunk. He had a thousand intellectual songs and gags did poor Formula. He was a really good guy!

I suppose the Islamists had influenced us to some degree too. We had a type of fundamentalism just like they did. We were just so blinkered and so very young when the twin towers went down and it had a huge impact on all of us. Nine of our number had served as very young soldiers in the Second Iraq War. They had fought all kinds and shades of Islamists and criminal groups and armies. All of our lads had been young squaddies and had a lot of training between them. We specifically chose them precisely for what they been trained to do. Search and shoot to kill. Needless to say, we had no one of officer rank with us. Of course these lads became our weapons experts and our killers. But then we tried to avoid using weapons as much as we could. I mean we weren’t savages were we after all?

We even debated heavily if we should or shouldn’t bring the last of our weapons with us when we came across to the island. I am not at sure that it was a good thing that we decided in the affirmative in the end either. We don’t need guns to protect us now. Two of the former soldiers are still alive and with us here on Tory Island. Alistair and Michael still strut their macho stuff from time to time. Michael is practically burnt out now. But truly neither of these two blokes is totally sane now. Alistair was the sort of young man of steel or Stalin of our group, and he would have made a perfect bank robber for the old Bolsheviks all those years ago.

Alistair now walks around with the famous and very scary thousand yard stare. And he hardly talks to anybody at all now. He just keeps looking out to sea with his binoculars every day. Sometimes he does talk about constructing a raft. Some day soon, I know that he will try to get off the island by some means or other.
I dare say that you may be wondering how we managed to take out so many jets in the air. Well the answer is laughably simple. We did it by releasing a type of totally toxic nerve gas in the planes. In those confined spaces, no matter where the tiny amount of gas was placed, it always got to the pilots no matter how sealed off the pilots believed they were.

Only good old Formula knew exactly what this stuff was, and we simply followed what he told us to do. Believe me it was almost foolproof. It took about seven man hours to manufacture the gas needed to knock out one jet. We concentrated for about five months and had enough gas prepared for roughly 400 attacks. That’s how simple it was. Passenger flights were the easiest to smuggle the stuff aboard, for their Achilles heel were the pilots and air attendants who ignored all the rules and always brought aboard any old thing they liked. We placed it with their gear at first. Later on we got more cunning and I will not tell you how we did it for the most. The gas would automatically release at a certain barometric pressure. The plane went up, and the gas came out. Ipso facto, it was almost a foolproof idea. It was vicious and foolproof. Believe me, if you want to get something aboard a plane illegally you will always find a way and no sweat.

There was only one reported incident where we had loaded our gas aboard, where the jet had got down on the ground safely. It was reported in ‘The Guardian’, that the pilots of the plane had spent at least two hours before they took off sealing off every aperture that could find into the cockpit area with plastic masking tape. They really tried hard to seal it all off. When they got the plane down on the airstrip, the pilots managed to smash their way out through a side port of their cockpit. Of course all the passengers and air crew in this plane were already dead. Every last man woman and child had perished. The Guardian informed us, that there were 313 bodies on the plane.

We sometimes used far more violent methods to destroy military planes. Our own soldier boys trained us in commando methods and in the stealth and cunning needed to take out a Stealth attack aircraft. Or any other kind of war plane we found on the ground too. Sheila believed in all the same things that we did. But she came in much later and she had only been pulled in by Banksy when they first met. And yes she did come under our influence. But then she had fallen in love hadn’t she. In fact, had she loved Bansky less, I am certain that many things would have turned a lot different.

It was Bansky who led us to the use of the nerve gas as a formidable weapon. And Formula Smith handed the gas to us with his scientific knowledge. Man, in the end where had that all got us to then? We had no balance of life or true philosophy. We had no plans for the future really, even though we preached for the future. Ah, what future you may very well ask? And whose future too, you may well ask? The only one of us to have a child was Bansky. That beloved boy will be the only one ever to issue from our collective loins as it were. And this only offspring died with Bansky at the stand at the Liffey. Little Liam died so horribly. He was burnt alive in the rat hole of tunnels, at the shocking and tender age of six years. Liam died by flame throwers spewing death down on his naked head in those tunnels by the Liffey River. Ah it was a fucking mess.

No, and we did not even have any real sex life, or any normal social life either. Well I mean how could we? We were always on the run and in hiding. No, and not even the proper love of others did we share. Except for Sheila O’Cassidy perhaps that is. For we all loved this woman truly, except me of course. She was so fucking loveable despite her fine mind. In the end, we really knew no other women at all. Women usually avoided us like the plague and no fucking wonder. It’s obvious even now that Sheila truly loved Bansky and Sheila was the only truly sane one us in any case. I suppose that is the reason why she took her own life at Easter time after all. She saw only too clearly our complete and utter insanity. And after Bansky and Liam were killed at the Liffey, what else could she have done really. She decided that she could no longer live with that.

There I go again, I can’t even put down the truth in words can I? Sheila had a nervous breakdown after Banksy and her wondrous son died at the Liffey. I tried to lie to her, but the stupid lie wouldn’t hold. One day in desperation, I told her that I had seen Liam lying dead on the tunnel floor. I said that he had been killed in a hail of bullets long before they used their terrible flame throwers. But Sheila saw through my lies plainly and baldly. And she merely stared at me with such plain contempt and then she pivoted and walked away with hard and dry eyes. At first she couldn’t sleep, and then she just went silent. She would not communicate at all. All she did was to sit and smoke cigarettes. Her eyes blinked a lot and all the day long, she would sit there doing not a bloody thing.

And then one night about seven months after they had died, like some treacherous dog, I stole into her bed and we made love. Well in truth I made love to Sheila for I can’t really say what she did to me is called. She tore at me and savaged me and kissed me on my mouth so hard that it hurt me. She cursed me and thrashed her body around so wildly on that narrow bed that I really thought she would hurt herself. She made love to somebody that night in her head alright, but I am certain that it wasn’t me. Of course I felt so low and I cursed myself for what I had started. Oh don’t worry, it never happened for a second time. It was just so sickening and so shocking. Once again, I can see that it was completely and utterly such a mad thing to have done. Of course I suppose it would be trite to say that none of us were really normal by then were we? A week later, Sheila killed herself. She just borrowed Alistair’s gun and shot herself out under the stars. Drilled herself so perfectly through the head she did.

Banksy was quite a bit older than the rest of us, and just like that infamous Secretary of Defence Rumsfield, Banksy was prone to posturing and acts based on pure rhetoric rather than solid reason. Rummy the Secretary of Defence, used to be a penny wonder as he stood at his lectern working for hours. Everybody marvelled at the way he operated and mistook this ridiculous posturing for genius, but of course it didn’t take very long to see how wrong they had been did it? Rumsfield and that hound Paul Wolfowitz lead America into the mires of Iraq for the second time. And similarly then, in our own small and clumsy little society, it was Banksy then who lead us blindly to the Liffey stand. There Liam and Bansky died and what followed shortly after was further useless, but in the end necessary destruction. Our very own destruction is what I mean of course.

The only people that Banksy ever truly impressed were the five of us in our original group. Later comers to the band often joined for obscure reasons really. In the end and for a short time only there were 39 of us in the group. Eight of us are now alive on this island. Eleven of our number are either being held in captivity in various places, or have already been executed. The rest are all dead and gone. And the truth be told, we had already convinced ourselves that we were acting justly. A circular argument it was and still is. It was a closed circle at that too. Some of us believed that we were truly original thinkers too. We also believed that we were the only people alive who could save the planet. It must be said that Banksy was a fine man in a debate and a very handy speechmaker as well when the odd occasion arose. We all believed that he was both an honest and straight thinker. And so in the end, we all acted on that same, simple and blind thought of destruction.

In the end the earth will recover from what man has wrought at some time or other. Our most murderous actions had absolutely no meaning or sense whatsoever when I look back at them now. Certainly we had no hope of saving our planet earth by what we did. In fact, we have simply made things far worse. We deluded ourselves about this, right back from our first days at university. It was all folly, right from the start, pure and simple folly. Goodbye then Sheila and Formula and Banksy too. Farewell to the beautiful and most innocent young Liam. God rest his little soul in peace. In case you were wondering Banksy, who was by far the oldest of the group was 42 when he died in the tunnels. Poor Sheila was only 32 years old when she so accurately shot herself just last week. I know that I keep talking about dying and all the rest of it, but I am only one year older than Sheila O’Cassidy at that.

Now I must rise up and tear down some more timber from the derelict house down the road. Most of us are living in another squalid and partly wrecked house over which we threw a plastic tarpaulin we had brought over with us. I have had no joy in writing down what you read. Well it’s all too late for all of this now then. God but I wish I had a feed of bacon and eggs right now though.

These days I mostly think a lot about those monks on the Tory of old. The very same men, who created that most holy cross of Tau. And even the thought of that stone haunts me by day and by night. Why do I think of them so much now? Maybe it’s because I am also a Christian, and I always have been. Ever since I was about seven years old, I’ve believed in the Holy Roman Catholic teachings. Ah, for Christ’s sake, I was trained as a seminarian by Jesuits for two and a half years before I met Banksy, Sheila and Formula. The four of us teamed up in 2013 and I spent the time in between university and the year 2013, in a small seminary in Donegal. I really should have finished my days as a priest in some small country town in North Donegal.

And now at night, all I can hear is the sounds of the wild seas as they incessantly thrash up onto the rocky shores of Tory Island to tear at the granite boulders, and to gnaw violently at whatever is down there. Last night something awful happened when I was alone with Alistair up very close to the South Cliff Heads. He went absolutely crackers. He just absolutely lost it, and began to threaten me with his AK-47. Alistair knows full well that I am very scared of all weapons, but he was suddenly stripped of all sense and totally out of control. He had shown these signs for quite some time now. So I pretended to walk away from him to calm him down and he dropped his guard. As I backed off, I had made a quick assessment about his danger to both myself and the rest of the group. Before he knew what had happened I had swung back and shoved out into the void. And his body span down to the rocks two hundred feet below. I heard him scream for a second and then he was down into the dark indigo tangle of rock and sea. All I could hear after that was the crunching, growling, sounds of the sea once again. I’ve not said a word to the others. Michael is looking for him right now. I told Michael that I hadn’t seen Alistair since about two o’clock. All the others are searching for him right now as I finish this off.

And still I am so terribly cold. Of course I now wonder how my God will judge me at the final trump. No worse than he did many a great Renaissance Pope no doubt. Well I am a true Irish Catholic and nothing can ever take that away from me. Almost certainly we all will face death in say a month or two. I will write no more now, other than to say, God be with you and yours always. ‘As it was in the beginning,’ Well, I’m off to go and fetch that wood for our fire. I leave you then, ‘In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost. World without end. Amen.’

Jeff Lynch May 24 ……Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England.


Back to Tilkal, Issue 4, eJournal of Tol Harndor