26th January 2008 (1000 hrs)
The Sydney Opera House had been the centre of attraction on the Australia Day, with spectators waiting fervently, to get a glimpse of the man in charge of the nation Down Under. Bliss and excitement were in the air, and smiles worth millions of dollars had graced the elated faces of a major chunk of the crowd. The cheering escalated to enormous heights, once Kevin Key, the Prime Minister emerged. Banners and placards, heartening the Prime Minster could be seen in abundance; while a section of the crowd even chanted slogans, “HAIL KEY!” Such was the political stout of Kevin Key. However, an isolated section of the spectators had second thoughts, who ridiculed the PM, by passing outrageous comments him. Out of the blue, a vicious sound was heard, that of a .50 BMG Sniper bullet being fired at the PM. The man, being cheered upon some seconds ago, was now reduced to a mere lifeless body, with the bullet piercing through Key’s ribcage, and hitting him in the heart.
15th August 2013 (Present Day)
“I wanna see your filthy face in my cabin within the next sixty seconds,” ordered Anthony Tait, the Director In General of the Australian Intelligence Services. I banged the receiver of my intercom down, and uttered a few expletives, meant for none other than my lousy boss, Anthony. I seriously hated Tait to the core, and had he not been my boss, I would have genuinely thrashed him. I seriously wondered that what qualities the higher authorities had seen in this moron, to appoint him as the Head of the AIS? Amidst quietly grumbling to myself, my colleague Jade patted me on my back, making me aware of her presence. Jade always caught me off-guard, and her presence always made me excruciatingly nervous. Jade and I had been “good friends” for a period of more than 3 years, but it was me, who was hesitant, in taking our relationship to the next level.
We knocked at Tait’s chamber door, and entered, with Goosebumps, appearing on my hands. I knew that Tait, was livid at some issue and wouldn’t even take the pain of thinking twice, before humiliating us. To vent out his frustration I guess.
“Good afternoon sir,” I said, praying that my worst fears wouldn’t emerge victorious. “Whats so good about this messed up afternoon, you little skunk?” countered Tait. My worst fears had indeed come true. Jade wanted to burst out laughing at Tait’s words, but somehow she controlled it. Pitying myself, I took a seat, with Tait, facing me.
Another likely blunder which I nervously committed.
Within a few minutes, our colleagues joined us; but they too faced Tait’s ire, the reason being the time wasted by them. “Settle down quickly you lazy mules,” said the 50 year old head of the AIS. The meeting was an unofficial one and was to be kept “confidential” from our subordinates.
The meeting finally commenced with Tait opening up on the hot topic issue of Kevin Key’s assassination, which took place over 5 years ago. The abrupt change in Tait’s tone profusely bamboozled me. The discussion was likely to get more serious. “Mates, Kevin Key’s assassins have never been found and all attempts have been worthless,” said Tait, in a sombre tone. None of us, dared to interrupt Tait, as the consequences were well known. However, I defied my gut feeling, and dared to wake the tiger up from a sound sleep. Fortunately, the tiger didn’t roar in fury. Rather, a more “human” tone replied to my doubts. On asking Tait about the reason behind the assassin still being at large, I got a reply which was awfully jolting.
“I knew that someday or the other, the truth had to emerge, from the burden of deceit and lies,” said Tait. “Key was a prominent figure, who ruled the roost among his political peers. But some of his decisions defied sense and to be more frank, they were jeopardizing the harmony of this nation,” continued Tait. Our faces were like the kindergarten students, who were asked to give SAT’s by their teachers. Tait didn’t end there, and continued from where he left.
“ Key was assassinated by the AIS itself!” These words froze me, denting my morale big time. “I know, it’s shocking for you’ll, but that’s what the fact is. Our sniper shooters were the ones who carried out the task. We were ‘asked’ to do so by the higher authorities,” carried on Anthony Tait. “Sir, may we know the identities of the so called high authorities,” I intervened. “ I’m sorry, but I do not have the consent to say so,” replied Tait.
Over the due course of 2 hours, what I learnt was simply shuddering, and I simply had no idea of what to do with my professional career. The revelations made by Tait demoralised me and put me in a dilemma. Tait said that the enquiry commission set up to crack the assassination case couldn’t yield results, as they could have never imagined AIS being the true horses behind the assassination.
Tait, however had reasons to ‘justify’ the assassination of Kevin Key.
The war situation in Iraq had worsened, with the American Armed Forces and the NATO losing mettle and incurring tremendous losses. To just maintain cordial ties with the States, Kevin decided that it was time for the Australian Armed Forces to combat Al Qaida and Taliban along with the US Armed Forces and the NATO. This policy reform would have had drastic consequences throughout Down Under, as more than ten thousand members of the Australian Armed Forces would have had their lives risked. On the financial front, the costs incurred would be too huge to bear, as a major chunk of the revenue collected by the government would have to be allocated for the Defence Sector.
But the most staggering revelation from Tait was that, if the Aussie Armed Forces were to be deployed to Iraq, then investors would become more bearish towards Australian Insurance Firms, as their profits would be lowered to a massive extent. Apart from Insurance Firms, the trend towards the Australian Securities Exchange would become more bearish, which would eventually lead to lesser revenues for the government. To make matters worse, the business confidence in the Australian economy too would plunge, as Australia would be vulnerable to more terror attacks.
The reasons, which resulted in Key’s botched up assassination made me wonder that how callous the world could probably get? Was murdering Key the most appropriate option in such a case? Or, was murdering a man, who toiled hard for the welfare of the nation, the most ethical option? These questions shell shocked me and all I wanted to do was just hand down my resignation to Anthony Tait.