Paddy MacFarlane got to his feet and sashayed around the courtyard as he spoke: "you may have heard of the Fleets," he said: "they were large gangs, small armies even, either largely Protestant or Catholic, but also geographical, and in some cases a Protestant Fleet was led by a Catholic – Andy Byrne was one Catholic leader of a Protestant Fleet, Willy Donaldson a Protestant leader of a Catholic Fleet – and they operated a kind of Protection Racket, like the Kray Twins in London – oh, you won't have heard of them, they'll come later! anyway, supplying them with armaments was a major part of our business, where most of our pelf came from; but that began to taper off a few years ago, then The Peep o' Day Boys grew out of the Protestant Fleets and The Defenders out of the Catholic ones, and things began to pick up again; both sides chivvy each other, night raids, that sort of thing – you might call it minor skirmishes, but it keeps the demand for weaponry coming, until now!" and it was Alec who asked: "why now? what's happened?" and Danny answered: "a group of young Protestant Radicals who see that the entire population is suppressed in the interest of the British Crown and Government – they are all pawns in the British Game: it costs nothing to the British if both sides take pot-shots at each other, in effect, they police themselves, and the involvement of the British Army is minimal. a few guards for the Lord Lieutenant, or Viceroy, George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, Marquess of Buckingham, who, between these four walls (and the ears doubtless pressed to the door) is worse than useless – he not only accepts bribes, but actually solicits them! but that is by the by; what's more important is that these young Radicals, not a few of whom are Lawyers, have formed an organisation called The Society of United Irishmen which is non-sectarian and aims to bring the two communities together, it duns into people's heads that all citizens are equal, regardless of Religion or Origin! hot stuff, eh? fighting words, yes? and if they succeed in uniting all Irishmen, what do you think will happen?" and Connor jumped to his feet: "we will gain Independence from Britain, and be a Nation Once Again!" and Danny laughed: "you've been reading Robert Emmet, eh?" but Paddy pushed him down into his chair: "what will happen is the English Army will return and that's the last thing we want to happen! it's bad for trade and industry and commerce – and it drains England of resources and diminishes her ability to fight wars abroad," which was when Alec spoke quietly: "and would cut hard into your armaments business, Mr MacFarlane?" and MacFarlane laughed bitterly: "aye, well, that too – but although the gun-running may be the most lucrative part of our business, it isn't the be-all and end-all of it, we trade all sorts of necessary things across the whole of Ireland, not just Ulster – we bring 20th Century know-how into what is, essentially, a Medieval society, and we fund medical projects, we run a network of Village Schools, Soup Kitchens and Food Banks, and . . . . ." but he was cut off by Alec, who said: "you're arms smugglers, gun-runners, making profits out of death and destruction!" and MacFarlane protested: "it's not all bad, man! that's what we want to talk to you two about – we know how you got here, we've been able to go backwards and forwards in Time and sideways in Space, by what are called Worm-Holes in the Space/Time Continuum, but we like to think of as Pneumatic Tubes like in the London Underground Map: they are a kind of Network, with umpteen destinations, some are unpredictable and others are as steady as a rock; so, if you want to be able to get back to where and when you came from, pin back your lug-holes and listen, without butting in or abusing your hosts, in other words: Behave Yersels!"