Teaser…

The Federal Police in Australia maintain an elite unit called the Special Response and Security Team. The leader of the Tactical Response Team within the SRS, Detective Inspector John Marks, spoke with the Federal Minister for Justice via video-link.
“Sir, can you contact the State Police Minister and ask him to call his dogs off. This is our yard to guard!”
“I’ll do what I can, John. Just play nice, okay? Keep the situation contained until the Tactical Assault Group gets there.” The screen went dark, the link broken.
Marks turned to his second in command, Detective Sergeant James Headland, in consternation.
“Fucking Special Operations Group…don’t they realise we have jurisdiction!”
“Boss, you know they’re like lockjaw lapdogs…don’t matter if it’s too big, they just won’t let go.” As Headland finished talking, the door to the Mobile Operations Support Vehicle opened and in stalked DI Corey Whitaker, the nominal head of the Victoria Police Special Operations Group. Whitaker was a slight man, but projected a powerful presence. He was used to being obeyed. Marks decided to take the offensive.
“Whitaker, get your boys out of my way, and keep them out. Comprende?”
“John, there’s no need to be like that. Oh…and fuck you, too! My guys were first on scene, and that deserves a little respect on your part, I feel.”
“Your uniforms were first on scene, not your soggies!”
Whitaker flared up. “DON’T call my boys soggies. You know they hate that!”
“Sir…” The voice came from the CCTV monitoring station, where plainclothes SRS officers manned the consoles, keeping eyes-on the target. Marks ignored it.
“You, Whitaker, need to do your job as outlined in your mandate…providing support services for us! This is an unplanned operation with international ramifications.”
“SIR!” The voice came again, more urgently this time.
“What?”
“Sir, we have an unknown subject present in the operational area.”
“WHAT? Who the fuck is in our combat zone?”
“Sir, it looks like…it looks like Santa!”
“Santa is just make believe, Constable…he doesn’t actually exist!”
“Tell that to him, Sir.” The Constable gestured to the screen that showed a fat – and perhaps jolly under different circumstances – round figure dressed in a red and white camouflage outfit.

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