Colonel Rodman "Well that's the letter! And as you know it was delivered by a single horseman to our border post at Featherston Pass. Just what are those Rubicons up to?"
Attache Hargraves, could be very sarcastic when he chose to be, "As the Colonel so succinctly put it, we need to know what the hippies are up to. And that means we need to meet them - because of the failure of our military intelligence, who had no idea this - deflector weapon of theirs was being developed. How could they process the data so quickly? How did they do the thousands of tests necessary without our satellites and thousands of other surveillance units getting some hint of it. Does that mean the Department has no idea how to do its job!"
John Morgan, "Attache ... I .. I speak on behalf of all those in the department."
Every member of the Department of Defence started to squirm at John Morgan's unquestioning belief in their loyalty and support. Attache Hargraves started to take on a particularly superior air when he saw this.
John Morgan, "Our surveillance methods are amongst the best in the world. We have satellite imagery that can read a newspaper down there. They must have brought it in from Europe or China."
Colonel Rodman, "Uhm ... but we've had our people up all night researching the world databases for information on this device and there is nothing like it anywhere."
John Morgan, "But how could these feudal yokels develop something so sophisticated?"
Brigadier Chappell, "We need to admit that this is a huge set-back to our invasion plans. And it seems our over confidence has led us to think that Rubicon had nothing but rural and agricultural technology."
Attache Hargraves, "And I'll just emphasise how much we need that extra land; our farmlands are not as fertile as they used to be - we need those plains for crop expansion; we need the waters of the Coleo River for industry; we need their forests for timber and paper - the whole premise of our economic society depends on economic growth and that is not possible without expansion."
John Morgan, clapping, "Great speech Attache! You have inspired all of us here today to redouble our efforts and I'm sure the invasion will only be delayed for a very short time."
Attache Hargraves turned to look at Morgan; he looked right through him. "Minister, we need to invade in early May - you haven't got long to solve this problem."
© Copyright 1999, Julie Peters