Terrorists

by robhayeswritesplays

An office. Scotland Yard. Carver is sat at her desk.

Jennings knocks, enters.

CARVER Jennings.

JENNINGS Ma’am.

CARVER Well?

JENNINGS Very well, thank you ma’am.

CARVER I mean well, I’m waiting.

JENNINGS Waiting for what, ma’am?

CARVER For you to explain what the hell happened. This morning.

JENNINGS This morning? Ah, yes ma’am, This morning.

CARVER Well go on then.

JENNINGS Ah, well ma’am, the printer said that there was a paper jam. But there was no paper in the machine, you see ma’am. So I gave it a helpful nudge and it toppled over. Upon impact with the floor this large piece of plastic fell off.

CARVER Whatever you’re talking about Jennings, that’s not what I’m referring to.

JENNINGS What would it be that you’re referring to then, ma’am?

CARVER That would be the other thing that happened. The one that’s sent my superior home with a panic attack. The one that will be on the front page of every newspaper in Great Britain tomorrow morning.

JENNINGS Ah yes. The tube train incident, ma’am.

CARVER The tube train incident.

JENNINGS Well ma’am, we were doing our usual surveillance checks. Fairly routine. During the proceedings we noticed a man in possession of a suspicious package on the train platform.

CARVER What package?

JENNINGS A rucksack ma’am. So we apprehended it from the man in question.

CARVER And in what manner did you apprehend it?

JENNINGS We took it from him, ma’am. With due force.

CARVER Right off his back?

JENNINGS That’s correct ma’am. Wrestled might be an appropriate word ma’am.

CARVER So you wrestled it off his back? In public?

JENNINGS Yes ma’am. A certain degree of panic was induced in the fellow passengers. But we felt immediate action was necessary in this instance, ma’am.

CARVER And what gave you that impression? 

JENNINGS The man in question was acting suspicious ma’am.

CARVER In what way?

JENNINGS Well he was looking suspicious ma’am.

CARVER He was acting suspicious by looking suspicious?

JENNINGS Yes ma’am.

CARVER So how did he look?

JENNINGS He looked. He looked dusky ma’am.

CARVER Dusky?

JENNINGS And he had a beard.

CARVER Dusky with a beard.

JENNINGS Well certainly hair. There was a hairy. Presence around his jaw area.

CARVER I beg your pardon?

JENNINGS He was unshaven at the very least, ma’am. Or may have just been particularly dusky around the lower face region.

CARVER And you felt that this dusky lower face region was enough to merit hijacking a man’s rucksack and blowing it up?

JENNINGS It was a controlled explosion, ma’am.

CARVER And how did that go?

JENNINGS Three fatalities ma’am.

CARVER In a controlled explosion?

JENNINGS And twelve injured.

CARVER How did three people die in a controlled explosion?

JENNINGS And twelve injured. Well ma’am, they were in the vicinity of the explosion when it. Uh. Exploded. Ma’am.

CARVER Why were there so many people in the area for a controlled explosion?

JENNINGS It was rush hour ma’am.

CARVER I’m sorry?

JENNINGS Rush hour. Where public transport gets particularly busy during certain times of the.

CARVER Yes thank you Jennings.

JENNINGS So the platform was busy.

CARVER And that’s where you conducted the controlled explosion? On a train platform? During rush hour?

JENNINGS Time was of the essence ma’am.

CARVER Oh my word.

JENNINGS We had to act quickly ma’am. We were concerned that the package would.

CARVER Would what, exactly?

JENNINGS Explode ma’am.

CARVER Causing fatalities and injuries. Good job you avoided that then.

JENNINGS We didn’t ma’am. Oh I see. Sarcasm. Right.

CARVER Three dead, twelve injured. Do you know how much paperwork that’ll be?

JENNINGS Approximately 521 pages ma’am.

CARVER Looks like you’ll be pulling in a late shift Jennings.

JENNINGS Not tonight ma’am.

CARVER Yes tonight.

JENNINGS Printer’s broken. We’re getting someone to have a look at it Tuesday ma’am.

CARVER You do appreciate the gravity of this situation, don’t you Jennings?

JENNINGS Ma’am if it makes any difference, one of the fatalities was the original suspicious looking man. And the other two were also.

CARVER Also what?

JENNINGS Of dusky persuasion. In some way we’ve removed a threat.

CARVER Removed a threat?

JENNINGS A potential threat. To the safety and security of the British public and the British way of life ma’am. You could argue.

CARVER Could you?

JENNINGS I believe you could ma’am.

CARVER Well don’t.

JENNINGS Very well Ma’am.

CARVER Who was he?

JENNINGS Who was who ma’am?

CARVER The suspicious looking man. I assume you’ve identified him.

JENNINGS Funny you should ask that ma’am.

CARVER I doubt it.

JENNINGS He was an MI5 operative. Ma’am.

CARVER Oh. Perfect. And in the rucksack?

JENNINGS A dossier ma’am. Intelligence information. On.

CARVER Yes?

JENNINGS Terrorist suspects.

CARVER Of course. Of course it was.

JENNINGS The irony is not lost on myself or the boys ma’am. And that would also explain why he was looking suspicious ma’am.

CARVER What the hell’s that got to do with anything?

JENNINGS In terms of us identifying suspicious looking people, ma’am. Credit where it’s due, perhaps.

CARVE: Credit where. Credit where it’s due!?

JENNINGS If I may speak ma’am.

CARVER What could you possibly have to say for yourself?

JENNINGS Terrorism is a scourge on the British public and the British way of life and we must exercise every vigilance in controlling it, preventing it, and stamping it out.

CARVER And I suppose that includes murdering innocent commuters.

JENNINGS Hindsight is a wonderful thing, ma’am.

CARVER So is common sense Jennings.

JENNINGS Of course ma’am.

CARVER Take tomorrow off. Next week will be a difficult one.

JENNINGS Certainly ma’am.

CARVER What are you supposed to be doing tomorrow?

JENNINGS Suspect interrogation ma’am.

CARVER Anyone in particular?

JENNINGS A gentleman we took in last night.

CARVER:What for?

JENNINGS He looked tired ma’am. Tired, puffy eyes. We think he may have been planning terrorist plots at night rather than sleeping ma’am.

CARVER You took him in as a suspect because he looked tired.

JENNINGS And shifty, ma’am. But that may be due to the tiredness.

CARVER Is he dusky?

JENNINGS Very dusky ma’am.

CARVER Thought so.

JENNINGS:Should I let him go?

CARVER No, keep him in. We’ll need something to throw to the press.

JENNINGS I understand that the decision on my future with the force lies with you ma’am.

CARVER You know it does Jennings.

JENNINGS I was wondering whether you’ve come to a decision with regards to my continued employment in light of recent activities ma’am.

CARVER Were you indeed?

JENNINGS Because obviously that decision would have repercussions elsewhere.

CARVER I’m aware of the consequences thank you. You can keep your job. You’ll survive the inquiry but you’ll be changing units.

JENNINGS Very well. One more thing ma’am.

CARVER Hurry.

JENNINGS Julie’s asked me to confirm that you’ll be attending our barbecue on Saturday.

CARVER I said I’d be there. She knows that.

JENNINGS Excellent Ma’am. She’s also requested you bring some of those mini lamb koftas you used to make when she was a child.

CARVER I sent her the recipe last week.

JENNINGS She hasn’t quite got the knack of them yet ma’am. THey keep falling apart on the stick.

CARVER I’ll bring some.

JENNINGS Lovely. She’ll be very happy. Is that all ma’am?

CARVER That’s all Jennings.

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