After some serious deliberation the students and plumbers decided that, for safety’s sake, the Prime Minister needed to be hidden. After a lot of arguing, no one was willing to accept responsibility for babysitting the nation’s leader. In the end, they drew straws and June ended up responsible for finding a hidey hole for the doughy idiot.
Sighing deeper than she’d ever sighed before, she led Prime Minister Brett Blandson through the darkened corridors of Trilobite Park. “If we can make it to the security office, that barbarian woman can look after you,” she said.
“I’ve got nothing against the Barbarian people,” the PM said, “they’ve made a wonderful addition to this great country, but did she arrive legally? Or at least illegally, but by plane?”
“The economy is doing well global warming isn’t a problem but we’re addressing that problem,” Brett said. “Doing better than addressing it, actually and we’re building a coal-fired global warming addresser…”
“Do you miss not being Prime Minister?” June said.
Brett stopped in his tracks. “So much,” he whispered. “I have no idea what I’m doing. One minute, I’m treasurer of my local party branch, and then someone nominated me for local candidate while I was out of the room washing my hands, and then I was in Parliament and it was scary and everyone was shouting, so I just kept my head down and some of the big mean members of Parliament nominated me for Prime Minister as a cruel joke, and now everyone in Australia is angry at me.”
A huge fat tear welled up in his fleshy face. June — soft-hearted June — relented.
“Nobody is angry at you,” she said. “It’s not anger it’s more like… well, more like contempt I suppose. Not sure if that’s better.”
“No, no,” Brett sniffed. “I’ll take it.”
“Everybody is contemptuous of you. Want a tissue? There, there, just have a big blow… Let it all out… Come on, champ, let’s get you to safety.”
But June was out of luck. The head of security was out. Her little windowless office was occupied by a man in a driver’s cap, and June’s friend Wellsey.
“Oh, shit,” said the driver. “I thought the ninjas might have… never mind. Good to see you well, sir.
“Think nothing of it, Timmy.”
“My name is Peter,” the driver said.
“Do you know where the security woman is?” June said.
“Varlya?” Wellsey sighed. “No idea. I just came in to borrow some stationary. This security lockdown is kind of a PR disaster, and I need to get ahead of it. And my office is full of ninjas.”
“Silly, comedy, ninjas?” June said. “Pretending to be a dance troupe?”
“No, these were mean looking buggers. Looked like they meant business. Fortunately, I have a bad back, so it would have been dishonourable for them to kill…”
“Right, let’s take stock,” June said. There was a whiteboard on the wall, was covered in runes. She rubbed them off and started drawing a mind-map.
“Okay, so security breach,” she said. “Lockdown. Plumbers attacked with barrels. Ninjas – comedy. Ninjas – serious. Escaped trilobites question mark. Mysterious Pyramid – connection question mark. What else?”
“Weird science in the plumbing, that’s what Jacobs said,” Wellsey said.
“It’s all the fault of the Labour…” Brett began.
“Shut up,” June said.
“Primordial trilobite spirit!” said Varlya, throwing the door open. “It has possessed that merchant that doth business with the Captain. I chased him but he eluded me in the corridors.”
“Writing it down,” June said. “The first bit, anyway. But the important thing is, now you’re here, you can protect the Prime Minister.”
“My sword is thine, sir,” Varlya said, dropping to one knee and causing Brett to have to look aside to avoid leering down her cleavage.
Brett looked at her nervously. “Good… good, of course… I mean… no, never mind.”
“What is it, my liege?”
“No, it’s nothing… But… You don’t have a, you know, a male Barbarian who could be my bodyguard? Do you?”
Varlya stood and stared at him, her face like stone.
“Let the ninjas take him,” she snarled, and swept away.