Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 1 April 2013

Parallel Lives chapter 78

The transport from Fylingdales had arrived twenty minutes earlier than expected, catching Jim halfway through his evening meal, served up on aluminium plates courtesy of the Sergeant's Mess. The RAF policemen sent to escort him back to base were keen to capitalise on the progress they had made getting there, and were unsympathetic about his circumstances; their priority was to get back home before midnight as both were due to commence shift at six o'clock the following day.
While one set about frisking Jim, despite his observation that he was unlikely to have managed to slip any weapons past the Manchester Police Armed Response Unit and the RAF Sealand police, the other finalised the paperwork. The weapon had been brought out of the armoury, clearly unloaded, the magazine lain alongside the butt. The bullets could not be transported in the same vehicle as the weapon; that right was reserved for operational reasons, especially when travelling on public roads. It had been decided between the two stations to retain the ammunition on Sealand's inventory rather than transport it separately. As the decision had been made after the escort crew had departed for Sealand they didn't have a copy of the issuing log, nor had Sealand thought to have a copy faxed over. Consequently nobody actually knew how many rounds should have been signed over.
At that point even Jim had forgotten that he had unloaded some of the rounds at breakfast time, concerned that carrying thirteen rounds was tempting fate. The fact that there was only eight rounds recovered at the scene of the car chase had not seemed remarkable given that the magazine had partly unloaded when he had dropped it out of the window; Jim had sunk into such a depression that he hadn't given the following events much attention. He had been aware of being frisked for further weapons by one of the officers of the Armed Response Unit but that had been abandoned once the bona fide of Martin had been established.
As they walked out into the cold, dark night Jim instinctively thrust his hands into his suit jacket pockets, the same suit he had worn for his brother's wedding and had worn to several Sergeant's Mess functions in lieu of a dress uniform. Jim strode ahead of his escorts, irritated at being treated like a prisoner by his juniors when all they had been told to do was to transport him back to base while conveying the handgun safely. His irritation increased as he was informed, in curt, rude terms that he was to slow down, to allow his escorts to catch up. As they reached the unmarked vehicle, Jim was left standing in the freezing conditions as the senior policeman fumbled for the car keys, no sense of concern that Jim was visibly very cold. Eventually the doors were unlocked and to Jim's surprise he was placed in the rear seat along with the policeman who had carried out the frisking, while the other one climbed in the driver's seat, casually throwing the unloaded weapon onto the passenger seat.
Rolling his fingers around the tear in the right hand pocket, Jim grasped the five rounds he had shoved in there at breakfast time.


Copyright Ray Sullivan 2011

The characters, places and events described in this novel are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, places or events, past or present, is coincidence.  All rights reserved

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