I hope this letter finds you well. The trip to England has been not unlike my other experiences aboard a vessel, so I will not bore you with the details as you already know what that means. As per your request, I have written this letter as a means of detailing some aspects of Ireland, of which more than a few would be unknown to an outsider. I trust that this information will be used for your academic pursuits and not given to the author of those awful penny dreadfuls you seem so keen on sending me.
I mean to say I assume they are awful, as I by no means would read such filth.
The first thing you must know about Erin is that, prior to the plague, Ireland was the focus an enormous push by the Crown to rapidly industrialise all her territories. Since the placement of Ireland made it easily accessible to Her Majesty’s Royal Navy (as well as chartered private ships) the supplies for this endeavor quickly occupied every port of my home.
The first focus was to crisscross the land with railway so that all manner of materials could be transported across the island, and railway stations were no sooner set up then a mining company would begin digging and small towns would form around the small center of commerce. The vast majority of the labor was Irish, with some immigrants coming from as far as America looking to ply a trade in experienced railwork or any manner of skill necessary for the rapid expanse of technological advancement. In time the vice like grip that the companies would have on Ireland would render everyone’s wages lower than could ever be imagined, but in the beginning there was talk of Ireland becoming the new land of wealth and opportunity.
When the plague hit there was the same panic and confusion as any other country, but Ireland’s government quickly led its people to the brink of ruin. Politicians passed draconian laws that quickly sealed the cities from the countryside and imposed restrictions on all but the most basic of daily activities. Towns and villages were left to fend for themselves with many being abandoned or overrun, while the camps developed by the mining companies didn’t fare much better. Those that survived soon learned to stay away from the deep woods and the old mines, and more than a few encampments banded together and sought shelter at the cities but were met with high walls and gunshots. The gipsies of Erin supposedly found safety in moving between abandoned outposts along the railways, but I don’t know anyone who can say for sure.
What is sure is that soon things in Dublin got much worse.
In times of distress, clear communication can be the first thing to suffer. (Believe me, the Doctor and I have screamed in each other’s faces more than once when all he’s had to say is “Marcas, I’ve made a dire mistake and I need you to kill it.”) With the situation spiralling out of control and no one offering any glimpse into what might be going on, the British Navy did the only thing they thought was sensible and came to the conclusion that this plague only affected the Irish. With this brilliant insight into the dilemma they promptly removed as many of their people as possible along with whatever supplies they could carry and decided to wait for word from England as what to do next. They effectively robbed us and left us for dead.
There is a record of which ships were in the harbor, but no one bothered to mark down which one fired the first volley of canonfire into the city. The other ships, however, believing that this first vessel was acting on advanced orders from the Crown began firing as well. This all happened while countless scores of people swarmed the docks, trying to get away from the city, trying to get the attention of the Navy or trying to precure any boat for themselves. Regardless, Her Royal Navy began to bombard Dublin and eradicate the disease they so blindly believed they were immune to.
Forgive the morbid humor, but they would soon learn that they were “in the same boat as us.”
Dublin took a beating but remained standing. Many survivors took to the basements and sewers to find shelter, and let me be clear: When a person’s choice is between bombardment above or fighting the undead below, and they choose the latter, believe that they will bring a tenacity to the encounter that would give Lucifer pause. The thing is, the Irish knew what they were up against. The British Navy didn’t. They were unprepared for having infected on their ships and they paid dearly for it.
Irish children are raised on terrifying stories to better prepare them for the world they will one day inherit. Accounts of the Abhartach, Banshees, Redcaps, Leprechauns and Sluagh all guide many a young lad or lass to sleep (and they are all true). While these tales may have reached foreign shores, I’m sure that the details of the Floating Necropoli have not.
The scores of naval warships that surrounded Ireland were all designed by brilliant minds to withstand a volley of lead and repel the most dedicated of pirates. During the plague they were loaded with everything they could manage to take (and sometimes more) along with as many soldiers as they could carry. While they were busy focusing their attention on escaping my country, they didn’t account for the chance that the plague was not limited to the Irish.
They are still there, floating listlessly in the seas around my home, drifting in and out of banks of fog that seem to cling to their hulls like a spider’s web. Silent and foreboding in the distance, they supposedly hold an untold amount of preserved foods, clothes, weapons and valuables for anyone who would come claim them. If anyone has tried, they have not been heard from again.
I’m sorry, my friend, but the night wears on and I should retire before the daybreak. The Doctor will no doubt be focused on his latest scientific madness or bored out of his skull, and both will need my vigilance to save him from himself. Please take care, and rest assured I will send you more information about Ireland when I am able.
Until then, Tabhair aire duit féin.
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