Disclaimer: Paramount /Viacom own the Startrek Characters. We merely write about them for fun and not for profit. Copyright (c) 2001 by Caroline Nixon. Rated G.

A Policeman's Lot

Caroline Nixon (Jane R.)

"I was proceeding along the High Street in a westerly direction--" PC Higginbottom faltered and cleared his throat unsuccessfully, suddenly aware that his usual stentorian tones were emerging as a falsetto squeak. But then, being up before the Deputy Commissioner, the Old Geezer himself, didn't do much for your confidence, especially when such adverse conditions prevailed, or as he himself would have probably expressed it, "you were in dead lumber." He changed gears noisily, and struggled on.

"I was just passing Kyllers' the Chemists, when..." He gulped and hesitated.

"Well, go on, man," rumbled the DC ominously, from behind luxuriant moustaches.

"I was just goin' off duty, 'ome for me tea." He bethought himself somewhat wistfully of the succulent steak and kidney pie, into which the Fates had willed he should never sink his appreciative teeth. It had dried up long before he had got home and been given to the dog.

"Shocking waste," Edna, his wife, had remarked, testily. Oh blimey!

The DC received the telepathic picture loud and clear, with exasperated annoyance. "I'm not interested in the plat du jour at the Higginbottom establishment," he snorted. "Get to the point."

PC Higginbottom said a brief prayer, opened his mouth, took a deep breath, and got to it, as quickly as possible.

"Well, sir, two men appeared out of nowhere, before me very eyes, as you migh' say. Both middle thirties, one tall and wearing a yellow shirt, the other taller and in blue," he desperately gabbled.

"May I enquire your last place of call, before this incident, Constable?" said the DC, dangerously polite.

"The D-d-dog and Doublet', sir. I was just checking up on closing time, you see--"

The DC nodded, knowingly and nastily, and he leant forward, steepling his hands on his extra large desk, leather-topped, luxury type, DC's for the use of. "I suppose," he boomed, "that you're going to tell me that what you saw was the Wandering Jew and the Archangel Gabriel."

"Oh, n-n-no, sir. One was more like Old Nick, he was. Pointed ears, he had, and slanty eyebrows, and a long, forked tail--"

The DC sneered cynically and bent to peer over the written statement on his desk. "Now I see here that you claim that one of them immobilised you by touching your neck and you came round in your underclothes."

PC Higginbottom nodded, incapable of further speech.

"Really, ha, ha!" chortled the DC, fruitily. "We weren't born yesterday, you know. When you were sighted, you were quite conscious and walking openly along the road, and when the police surgeon later examined you, there was no trace of bruises or contusions on any part of your body."

"I 'ad to get 'ome, sir. For me tea," the hapless PC protested.

The DC bulldozed mercilessly on, "And the breathalyser test showed an illegal level of alcohol in your blood-stream."

"But sir, that was me little tot or two of whisky I 'ad at 'ome -- to steady me nerves, as you might say."

The DC closed the file with a vicious snap, like a cross crocodile on a hot day in the Nile.

"I'll hear no more," he said. "I've no choice but to discharge you for drunkenness on duty, and appearing in the street, improperly dressed, to the detriment of public morals and the disgrace of the police force. In all my years of service, I have never--"

But he was interrupted by an eldritch whine that grew and swelled and filled the office. And impossibly, incredibly, before their very eyes, the ghost of a brown paper parcel appeared out of nowhere and impertinently took on solidity on the DC's desk.

The DC blinked and bethought himself of the two modest glasses of port he'd enjoyed after lunch. The two men looked steadily at each other, and then down at the impossible parcel. As if by common consent, they both reached out a cautious hand and gingerly touched it. It felt quite normal--

The DC, with courageous rashness, picked up the card that was tucked into the brown paper folds and opened it out carefully.

It read. "With regrets for any inconvenience caused," signed, the Wandering Jew and the Archangel Gabriel.

PC Higginbottom's missing uniform!

"Er, Constable," said the DC, passing a shaking hand over his eyes, "you'd better go. And I think the least said about this matter, the better."

"Yes, sir," thankfully, enthusiastically, turning to leave as quickly as possible, before the DC changed his mind. "And Constable--"

"Sir?" heart plummeting to boots.

"You forgot your uniform."

"Oh--yes, sir--thank you, sir."

The door slammed shut jauntily behind him. The DC shuddered, and then opened his drawer and got out a bottle and a glass. He recklessly poured himself a third glass of port. To steady his nerves, as you might say. Oh, blimey!

The End