A meeting was convened in one of the many conference rooms in New Scotland Yard. This was to discuss what had happened in the past few days, what may happen in the future, what was known about the bomber and what could be done to stop him.
The room, like all the others in the building, was designed to be as soundproof as possible to ensure that as little noise as possible entered or left it. This was to allow all of the occupants to fully concentrate on the subject to be discussed.
The room was decorated simply with pastel green wallpaper.
Typically, many thousands of pounds had been spent with a multitude of designers, who, after much debating, had concluded that this was the most relaxing of colours.
Judith, Jameson’s wife of thirty-four years, had said that she would have given the same answer for a fraction of the price. “After all,“ she had said, “Why do you think that everyone goes into the garden to relax? “.
The Commander smiled, thinking to himself, “Bugger, she’s done it again“. No matter how difficult the problems had been that he had faced in the past, Judith had always, without fail, given him the simplest of solutions (and they had always worked).
In the centre of the room a large table, capable of seating up to a dozen people, dominated. In each of the places there was an ample supply of pens, pencils and paper for each person. There would be no excuse for not taking notes. Along the table centre, there lay four lots of refreshments, all non-alcoholic.
As Jameson and Dante entered the room the Commander noticed his secretary, who would be taking the minutes, put a copy of the itinerary for each person in their place at the table.
Of course the head of the table would be occupied by Jameson with Dante on his immediate right. In part this was due to rank but it was also because of the fact that these two men knew more than anyone else, what had recently happened.
The others that were to attend were the heads and representatives of various sections such as the Serious Crime Squad, Forensics, Bomb Disposal and the SAS.
As everyone was taking their place, a phone call came through which was duly answered by Mary, Jameson’s secretary. A perplexed look crossed her face, which was noticed by her boss.
“Anything wrong?” he asked.
“Not really”, she answered, “But Lionel Greenside is on his way up”.
Jameson was confused, “Why would the Deputy Prime Minister be here?” he mused. Before anyone could give a sensible answer, Dante offered,
“He’s got toss all else to do or, maybe he’s just trying to make himself look important, instead of being a pain in the arse?”
His superior chose not to answer, mainly due to the fact that Greenside had already blustered into the room. The Deputy Prime Minister’s private secretary walked briskly past him and strode to the head of the table. Pulling back the chair, saying,
“When you’re ready DPM”.
Without a word being spoken, Greenside took his seat and began to scan the papers in front of him. A short time later he looked up and, after coughing to attract everyone’s attention, said, “Right then”.
Lionel Greenside, being a brusque Yorkshire man, always had a broad accent to his voice, which seemed somewhat out of place in the reverberations of the conference room.
Everyone took their place. Mary noticed that there was one seat too few due to the self-inclusion of the DPM. She left the room to enable Jameson to use the seat that was meant for her. She, like everyone else, knew that Greenside was only there to, somehow, try and score some political points and that he would be leaving in as short a time as possible.
“Gentlemen”, he started, he quickly glanced round the room to make sure that there were no women in attendance. The last thing that he wanted was to alienate the female vote. Smiling with relief he continued,
“Gentlemen, the task before you is a great and complex one, and one that I have faced many times before”.
Dante whispered to Jameson, “Is he in the right meeting?”
The reply was simple but effective, “Shh”.
“You will, no doubt, be pleased to know that the Prime Minister, myself and the Cabinet are grateful for the input that you will, er, er, input into this meeting. If at any time, I can be of help to you, you can always get in touch with me”. Then as an afterthought, “I mean, you can always get in touch with my private secretary”,
“Like everyone else has”, mused Dante, but thought better about saying it out loud.
Without another word being said Greenside stood up and left the room.
For what seemed to be a long time, but in actual fact, was only a few seconds the room remained silent.
Dante stood up and, in his best Yorkshire accent, mimicked the DPM, “Right then, now that the comedian’s left, can we start the meeting?”