Chapter 53

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"As head of your security, I really must insist that you remain within the designated safe zone, Prime Minister."

"Tell me, when you say, 'remain within the designated safe zone, Prime Minister,' do you really mean, 'stay in the horrid cave, you annoying old pollie'?"

"No, of course not, Prime Minister, I would never—"

"Oh, good—I'm off, then."

"Prime Minister, you know perfectly well that I can't let you leave."

"I know no such thing, my good man.  And I think you may be rather forgetting who's in charge here.  I never could get all those wretched army ranks straight—Major this, Admiral that, Archbishop the other—but I'm dashed well sure that a prime minister outranks a captain.  So, if you'll kindly step aside, I'd like to get some fresh air."

"But, Prime Minister—what about the aliens?"

"Oh, aliens shmaliens.  That deadline the young ladies mentioned must have well and truly passed, by now.  Besides which, although they left us reasonably well-provisioned, I'm getting a little tired of blueberry muffins and carrot cake.  Surely it can't be too far to a pizza place?"

"Prime Minister, we're in the Indian jungle.  I think we can safely assume that we are quite some way from the nearest pizza place."

"Ah well, a nice vindaloo will do just as well.  Step aside, old boy—my mind is made up."

"But, Prime Minister—"

"Captain, I know you mean well.  And I appreciate it, truly I do.  But be a good fellow—shut up and bugger off out of the way, would you?"

"I...if you insist, Prime Minister."

"Good lad.  Come along, let's get out of here.  You know, from the sound of it, I think that wretched rain might have finally stopped."

"Please wait for me, Prime Minister."

"Well, move it along.  I don't know, you'd think the army might have trained you to be a little faster.  Ah, here we are.  I must say, it's good to see the sky again, old fellow."

"So the rain has stopped, Prime Minister?"

"Oh yes, come and see for yourself.  Look, the sun is coming up."

"But Prime Minister, it's early in the evening."

"Is it?  I'm afraid that I rather lost track of time, stuck in that gloomy cave.  Maybe your watch has stopped?"

"My watch is fine, Prime Minister.  Also, the sun doesn't generally rise in the west."

"Yes, that is strange—maybe your compass has stopped, too?"

"Uh, I don't think so, Prime Minister.  I suspect that may not actually be the sun."

"Not the sun?  Don't be absurd, old boy.  Although I must admit, I've never seen it move quite that fast before."

"Or have bits falling off it, Prime Minister?"

"Hmm.  You know, Captain, perhaps our dear old cave wasn't so bad, after all.  Let's head back in, shall we?"

  Let's head back in, shall we?"

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