It was long before noon when Chancellor of the Exchequer Ian Risk and Trade Minister Simon Daley met in clandestine quarters in the garret of Number Ten. There was no possibility of returning to Ian’s residence next door, as the seat of Government was crawling with Wing Commander Tom’s agents from the Cambridge Intelligence Agency. Ian cupped a mug of coffee that had long since turned cold and peered out of the small, smutted window that overlooked the street below. A high wind threatened to tear an elderly lead drainpipe from its holdings and rattled the eaves with some vigour. Ian watched as a spiteful smattering of rain hurled itself against the window pane, the outer elements perfectly mirroring his mood.
“The Blair thing is a bit of a bugger,” Simon remarked, tracing a circle in the accumulated dust of a rickety table. “On the one hand, it’s a good distraction from the National Economic Security and Recovery Act that Sir Edd is so tetchy about. On the other hand…”
“On the other hand, the last thing we need is the CIA poking into Cabinet affairs,” concluded Ian. “You know what they’re like – they start looking at one thing and all of a sudden they start seeing all sorts.”
“Do you think they might start looking at the Botanical Gardens?” asked Simon. Ian fell silent, lifting the mug to his lips. He winced at the taste of cold coffee and placed the mug carefully on the grimy table.
“There’s no reason why they should,” he replied, haltingly. “But then the last thing those chaps need is a reason.”
“But what can we do? We’re stuck here,” Simon folded his arms.
Ian turned back towards the window and observed for a while the throng of the insectile populous scuttling along the street below, blissfully ignorant of the scandals and atrocities swirling behind the walls just feet from where they walked.
“Well, my dear chap, we shall just have to find a way to get ourselves unstuck,” Ian turned round, smiling. “Won’t we?”
Much later, Prime Minister Lucy Wastell climbed out of her shower, bitterly regretting the events of the night before. The murder of her prisoner Tony Blair was unfortunate and annoying, but her real regrets lay with the attempt to perform Shirley Bassey on karaoke and the opening of that ancient bottle of creme de menthe that Mumsie found in the shed. There was a reason it had been consigned to the shed and that was probably due to the fact that it was more paint-stripper than beverage.
“I say, are you going to be long?” a voice called to her from her bedchamber. The thumping in her head took on a more urgent tempo.
“Hang on, Boris, I’m just going to brush my teeth.”
With no one permitted to leave Number Ten, Lucy found herself playing host to a number of Oxford dignitaries, including Boris, King of Oxford and his duster-selling sidekick Nigel Farage. They had both insisted on sharing the PM’s room and as a gracious host, Lucy felt it churlish to refuse. Besides, the ever present Snetterton had taken up position in the corner, awaiting any instructions from his master, and Cabinet Secretary Sir Edd Evans-Morley had made camp in the armchair, keen to ensure that no further peace treaties were brokered during the night.
The hit of synthesised mint revived Lucy somewhat as she ladened her toothbrush and, leaning over the sink, set about removing the contents of a rabbit hutch that had somehow accumulated in her mouth whilst she was asleep.
From the bathtub emerged a soapy Farage, mercifully covered quite liberally in apricot scented foam. Lucy jumped up, spitting toothpaste all over the mirror.
“Bloody hell!” she exclaimed. “How long have you been there?!”
“I’ve been here all night!” came Nigel’s chirpy reply. “You woke me up when you got in the shower. Honestly, I haven’t smelled so bad since my tree-dwelling days so I thought I’d better spruce up a bit. This bubble bath is just lovely, you know.”
Actually, Nigel did smell pretty good and his freshly scrubbed cheeks were endearingly pink. Lucy just wished that the time she spent with visiting heads of state involved less nudity. As if reading her mind, Boris, King of Oxford took it upon himself to provide the antithesis of the PM’s wishes by taking determined strides into the bathroom wearing nothing but his crown. Right behind him was his butler Snetterton, displaying frightening loyalty by apparently being at the ready to accompany his master into the shower. To all-round relief he was wearing some sort of wetsuit, although the collection of brushes and buffers in his arms was cause for concern.
“Oh, are you already scrubbed-up?” asked Boris, sounding a little disappointed. “Snetterton here said he would be more than happy to give you a good rub-down once he’s buffed up the old crown jewels here, isn’t that right, Snetterton?”
The look on Snetterton’s face suggested that this was news to him, but he retained a dignified silence.
“Suit yourself!” Boris pushed past Lucy and bounded into the shower, followed by a remarkably less enthusiastic Snetterton. “Boris is going to smell like a rampaging platoon of ponies farting rose petals by the time he gets chukka-to-chukka with that Tom chap. Who knows? He may find himself so impressed he might want to sign a peace treaty of his own! Huzzah!”