The Prime Minister’s first live broadcast to the good people of East Anglia must be considered nothing but a triumph. Well – Minister for Culture, Media & Sport Mick Canning certainly insisted so, on the basis that they had received no complaints. In fact, the general populous had been very quiet in general, following the widespread issuing of the Government’s two greatest exports and a DVD boxset of 90’s TV programme Campion. There had been no out-cry about the Botanical Gardens being secretly converted into a giant cannabis factory by Chancellor of the Exchequer Ian Risk and Trade Minister Simon Daley, which was something of a surprise. However the coma-inducing qualities of the Cambridge Special Damson Gin probably had something to do with that.
With the public nicely sedated and Government coffers positively swelling, the PM decided to over-look the recent indiscretions of her two Cabinet ministers in favour of focusing on her National Economic Security and Recovery Act that was destined to reunite the country and put Great Britain once again on the world stage. However, it is a plan that seemed to be thwarted at every turn by her cavillous Cabinet Secretary, Sir Edd Evans-Morley. There was the murder of Tony Blair to consider, of course, but Wing Commander Tom and his men from the Cambridge Intelligence Agency were having a jolly good crack at that.
Tom had launched into his interrogations with aplomb and was currently ensconced in the Cabinet Office with a very nervous Steve – husband of Home Secretary Vicky Kirby and the lucky soul who found Blair’s body.
“I was out the back doing the barbecue all evening,” wailed Steve, the memory of the event quite clearly still a burden to him. “I came through to the kitchen with a fresh plate of sausages to go upstairs and I saw him… tied to the chair with most of his head missing.”
“When was the last time you saw Blair alive?” asked Tom, tapping his notebook with his pen.
“It was when I brought through the chicken wings,” replied Steve. “Mumsie was cross with me because they were burned.”
“Oh – well, I got distracted whilst they were on the grill.” Steve licked his lips, before continuing. “I heard the sound of a woman’s voice coming from the shed, calling out for help. I thought – that’s a bit strange, so I went over to have a look.”
“What did you find?” asked Tom.
“The shed was locked, for a start, so I couldn’t get in. I had a look through the little window on the side but there are crates or something piled up so I couldn’t really see anything.”
“And the woman’s voice?”
“No sign of a woman or a voice. Completely quiet. But then I noticed that the chicken wings had caught fire so rushed back over to the barbecue.”
Tom flicked through the pages of his notebook, the ruffling of paper the only sound in the room for a moment.
“You didn’t mention this voice before, can you tell my why that is?”
“To be honest, I thought maybe I’d imagined it,” replied Steve. “I’d had quite a bit of the damson gin by that point. And then the shock of seeing Blair – I really hadn’t thought about it until we started going through it all again now.”
“Is it possible that you did imagine it?” Tom suggested.
Steve fell silent and briefly examined the carpet between his feet.
“It is possible, I suppose.”
Tom made some final, furious notes before placing his pen carefully on the table.
“That will be all. You can go.”
Steve exhaled a heavy sound as he launched himself from his chair and scampered with some relief to the door. Just as he reached it, a scowling Prime Minister came bundling through.
“Tom, I think I’ve broken my printer,” said Lucy, standing aside to facilitate Steve’s escape. “Can you come and have a look at it?”
“Not now, Prime Minister,” replied Tom, politely. “I’m in the middle of my interrogations.”
“Oh, really? Marvellous! I’ll join you.”
Lucy skipped over to join Wing Commander Tom and pulled up a chair next to him, craning over to read his notes.
“Goodness, do you write your notes in some sort of top secret CIA code?” asked Lucy.
“No, Prime Minister, I’ve just got really bad handwriting.”
“Oh, right. So!” Lucy sat up straight and clapped her hands. “What do we know so far?”
“Steve said he heard a woman’s voice, calling for help from the shed,” said Tom, more to himself than anything. “But when he got there, the shed was locked and there was no sign of a woman.”
“Yes, Lord Westington said that Mumsie has the only key to the shed,” mused Lucy, stroking her chin in what she hoped was a contemplative manner. “Do you think she locked herself in by accident or something?”
“I don’t see how she could lock the padlock if she was inside the shed,” Tom shook his head. “Nonetheless, I shall ask her about it during her interrogation.”
“But you surely can’t be thinking of interrogating Mumsie?” gasped Lucy.
“I shall be interrogating everyone, ma’am.”
Before Lucy could argue further, there was a knock at the door. Minister for Good Ideas & Gin Dr Samantha Martens entered soon after.
“Excuse me, Prime Minister, but is everything alright?” asked Dr Martens. “Only there is a printer in the middle of your office, smashed to smithereens.”
“Yes…” replied Lucy. “The printer is… broken. I came here to ask Tom to fix it, but guess what?! He’s doing his interrogations!”
Dr Martens did the smallest of skips and her eyes lit up.
“I think I should help,” she said. “You might need good ideas and / or gin. Also I have got a box of amazing biscuits from that new bakery on Newmarket Road.”
“‘Bernard’s’?” asked Lucy, her eyes now also aglow. “I have heard good things about that place.”
Tom did little more than sigh, realising that anything he said from here on in was going to be fairly pointless.
“I’ll go and get them,” said Dr Martens. “Also, Boris King of Oxford and Nigel Farage are outside in the hall, do you want me to frighten them off?”
“No, no” snapped Tom “They are next up for interrogation.”
“Then it looks like I got here just in time!” announced Lucy. “Sam – bring me biscuits from Bernard’s at once. And then – send in the clowns.”