Jack walked down the steps of Admiralty House and saw the car waiting for him with the driver inside. Two men were standing by the front passenger door. Two men that Jack had never seen before. They were tall and stocky, both clean shaven and both wearing grey suits with white shirt and tie. As Jack approached, one of the men opened the rear passenger door.
“Good morning sir, number ten?”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Jack got into the back seat. One of the men got into the front seat next to the driver and the other walked round to the other side of the car and got in and sat beside Jack. He spoke in a soft Scottish accent.
“Hope we didn’t alarm you sir, we’re from Special Branch. Twenty four hour security for you from now on. We’ll be as discreet as we can but we’ll only ever be a few yards away.”
Jack was relieved. For a brief moment he thought he was about to be kidnapped. He’d already started to take off his Omega watch and hand it over.
“Oh yes, of course. That’s fine.”
He hadn’t given security a thought. Getting away to The Club for some entertainment might prove a little difficult from now on.
The journey was no more than a few hundred yards and would have been quicker to walk but Jack had a feeling that “Security” might have taken a dim view of that suggestion.
Maurice met him at the door.
“Morning Jack. Sorry to drag you in here so early but I want to run a few things passed you before the cabinet meeting. Let’s go through to my office where we can have a chat.”
Jack didn’t have a chance to reply. Maurice was already several steps in front of him. Once in the office Maurice closed the door.
“Look Jack, the PM wants to have a chat with you before the cabinet meeting this morning. It’s just to bring you up to speed on a few things, so we’ve got about half an hour to have OUR chat.”
Jack wasn’t sure where this was going.
“How is he?”
Maurice sat down and gestured to Jack to do the same.
“That’s what I want to talk to you about Jack. This is all off the record. Understand?”
Jack loved these situations. Whenever someone used the words “Off the record”, it was obvious that they were about to tell you some kind of secret, and secrets were ammunition for Jack. He had a knack for keeping them safe until the time was right to use them for his advantage. Maurice took a deep breath and then blurted out the words…
“The PM’s a fucking junkie!”
Whatever Jack thought he was about to be told. That wasn’t it.
“Jesus Maurice, are you sure? I mean, how do you know?”
“I’ve had my suspicions for some time now Jack, but last night confirmed it.”
He took out a brown file from the top drawer of his desk.
“These are his blood test results. His doctor took a sample after he passed out and we got them back early this morning.”
Maurice took a pair of glasses from his top pocket, put them on and began to read.
“Traces of MDMA, cocaine, methadone and ketamine were found.”
Jack wanted to laugh. No wonder the little fuckers cost him so much money. There was every flavour of drug imaginable in those beauties. It was as if Maurice was reading out Jack’s favourite table menu. He tried to act as if those names meant nothing to him.
“Sorry Maurice, I don’t understand all this technical jargon.”
“Fucking hell Jack are you THAT naïve. MDMA is found in ecstasy, methadone is similar to heroin, cocaine is well, fucking cocaine and ketamine is a fucking horse tranquilizer. They’re all hard core drugs and our glorious leader has them all in his system doing the fucking hokey cokey!”
“So what does the PM say about all this?”
Maurice put the file back in the drawer.
“Nothing. We haven’t told him. It’s not the right time. Not yet. He doesn’t even know that we took a blood sample. He doesn’t remember a thing from yesterday. We’ve convinced him that he’s had some kind of black out due to over working. That’s where you come in Jack. We want you to keep an eye on him for us. Accompany him to all the various functions in the next few weeks. Do what we did yesterday, if you think he’s acting strange then step in and take over. The US President is here in two days and we can’t have the PM talking to the leader of the free world when he’s off his nut!”
Jack wasn’t quite sure what to say.
“But… wouldn’t the Foreign Secretary be better, you know, with the US President coming over and everything.”
“No way Jack. The President hates his guts. MI5 have got him on tape saying that he thinks Charles Winthorpe is a complete twat. No, it has to be you. You’re the new DPM and it will look perfectly natural for you to be at the PM’s side over the next few weeks.”
Jack was still weighing up in his mind whether this was a good thing or bad thing. Then something entered his head. Something that Maurice kept saying. He had to ask the question.
“You keep saying WE Maurice. You said WE got the results back, WE haven’t told him, WE want you to keep an eye on him. Who else is involved? Who else knows all this?”
“All in good time Jack. All in good time.”