You pull out a brick of money this big, two deep like this--your hands are six inches apart, measuring money in inches now--"DAMN!" You put a cigarette in your mouth and pull out the lighter to light it, but a cop drives by, so you push the lighter back in and look in the rear-view mirror to see what he's doing, and when you look back down, you're suddenly halfway through a stop sign. You try to stop, but when you look back up again, the cop is flipping a U-ee, so all you can do is haul ass, but now there's another cop in front of you, and so you jerk the wheel and leave the road, bouncing into the ditch, clipping the fence and, finally, veering into a tree and jolting to a stop, the end of the ride.
The bag of money is between you and the passenger door. When the truck slams the fence, you jerk up and forward and go halfway through the window. And then, even then, you consider that it is kind of interesting that the only thing stopping you from flying completely out of the window is that black bag, stuffed to the zipper with maybe a quarter of a million dollars.
"I had enough money," says Ciaran. "I could've done what I wanted to do."
But instead the Mission is over, crumpled with the truck, the cops on him in seconds, dragging him out of the open window, cuffing him on the cold grass. From there it's off to the hospital (the crash left him with cuts in his head), jail, the federal holding cell, endless court appearances and legal appointments.
In December he accepts a plea, agreeing to admit to one robbery, the Diakonia job. The acknowledgment earns him 96 months in prison, drug counseling, psychiatric help--a battery of experts and counselors lined up, ready to assist, figure him out. Ciaran says he'll stay busy, mostly with mental work, reading books--mysteries, thrillers, spy stories--taking courses, learning a trade.
Still, a plan is emerging, its blurry edges already starting to coalesce into an outline. "I'm not saying I'd do things that same way," he says.
"But I will catch my mother's killer. It may take some years, and I may be old and in a wheelchair when I do it. But I will.