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Watching The Buggers (Part 6 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 6 Of 12)


by Tim Barcode

A play about the 2004 investigation into allegations of bugging the Maori Party.

This play is being serialised in 12 parts on Scoop. See CLICK HERE for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

Anyone wanting to perform it simply has to ask the writers permission and donate a tenth of the profits of any performances to the Ahmed Zaoui Support Fund

Westpac Queen Street, Auckland,
Account Number: 03 0296 0076601 00
Account Name: Zaoui Support Fund.

Characters:

  • Coates - a spy? - 30s

  • Paul –waiter? - 60s

  • Forbes – a spy? – 40s

  • Jane – a public servant employed by the Department of Conservation? 30ish.

  • Madonna – front counter worker at Gibson’s Drycleaners in Levin! – 19?

  • Paul – an Inspector General and retired High Court Judge? – 60s
  • The story so far…. In the first five parts at the luxurious Huka Lodge we met:

  • Coates, a very nervous and probable SIS agent, summoned to the Lodge by the Inspector-General of the SIS who is investigating accusations that the Maori Party has been bugged.

  • Forbes who claims to work for the SIS in accounts receivable

  • Paul a very proper waiter who may know more than he lets on.

  • At a train waiting shelter in Masterton the next day Coates while looking for orders of where to go next meets Jane a DoC worker who Coates thinks is also an agent.

    **********

    Jane: . . . . You’re not from around here.

    Coates: . . . . No. No I’m not.

    Jane: . . . . Neither am I. I’ve only lived here three years.

    Coates: . . . . That seems a while.

    Jane: . . . . I think you get to be a local after ten years. That is, I think it’s ten years. I still haven’t found the secret lodge or worked out the handshake yet.

    Coates: . . . . ( pale) What?

    Jane: . . . . The Wairarapa locals secret society.

    Coates: . . . . Of course.

    Jane: . . . . Although given the activities in Featherston I’m not sure being a local is a good thing.

    Coates: . . . . Yes, quite.

    Jane: . . . . I never even seen a tinny house let alone run one, so I couldn’t live in Featherstone. Although my life is pretty boring and I would love some excitement, drugs and murder just aren’t me. No I stay in Masterton because it’s cheap, and I like my garden. The hassle is that I have a long commute to work.

    Coates: . . . . Long way to go.

    Jane: . . . . Absurd really. But as I said it’s cheap to live here. And my sodding wanker of an ex boyfriend persuaded me to move here and buy a house. You know, leave the rat race.

    Coates: . . . . Well that makes sense….

    Jane: . . . . Except a year later the bastard got interviewed by a journalist from TVNZ about interest rates and moved in with her the following Saturday. In frigging Newtown!

    Coates: . . . . I didn’t realise that was the going rate for an interview.

    Jane: . . . . ( grimly) It’s all right – I made him pay dearly. I sewed anchovies into all his suits.

    Coates: . . . . Perhaps you do fit in here?

    Jane: . . . . What?

    Coates: . . . . Nothing.
    Pause.
    . . . . When’s the train?

    Jane: . . . . You can see it down the line. ( she points) There.

    Coates: . . . . So it’s on the way?

    Jane: . . . . No it hasn’t started yet. It’ll be here in another ten minutes.

    Coates: . . . . Right.

    Jane: . . . . So what brings you here?

    Coates: . . . . Um… visiting.

    Jane: . . . . A one night stand?

    Coates: . . . . NO!

    Jane: . . . . It’s all right – it seems to be the main reason strange men end up here lost. Certainly the ones I bring home end up here waiting.

    Coates: . . . . ( stunned) What?

    Jane: . . . . Just joking.

    Coates: . . . . Oh.

    Jane: . . . . I’ve only had three one night stands. The other reason that people end up lost here is they get blind drunk and somehow end up on the last train.

    Coates: . . . . No that’s not me.

    Jane: . . . . And spies of course.

    Coates: . . . . Sorry?

    Jane: . . . . ( laughing) You know… ( she puts on a deep voice) The rain is wet in Paris tonight. ( normal voice) And you’re a spy getting secret instructions hidden in a copy of ‘War and Peace’ from a woman in a red dress at the shelter for the 10 am train from Masterton.

    Coates: . . . . ( hopefully) Do you have a copy of ‘War and Peace’?

    Jane: . . . . Yeah in here! ( she waves her bag around, then returns to looking for the train.)
    Coates tries to look into her bag.

    Coates: . . . . So…

    Jane: . . . . Don’t worry the train is leaving and will be here in a few minutes.

    Coates: . . . . ( thinking this is a meaningful instruction) Ah right! On the train.
    Coates is now at ease with Jane assuming her to be a colleague.
    I was at the Huka Lodge yesterday.

    Jane: . . . . Up at Taupo?

    Coates: . . . . I got called up there.

    Jane: . . . . Well it must have been some party.

    Coates: . . . . Party… why…

    Jane: . . . . This morning you’re in Masterton! You must have got really pissed.

    Coates: . . . . How did you know… Oh of course. Did the Inspector-General send you?

    Jane: . . . . ( She is puzzled, and then decides he’s being stupid.) Yes that’s right, comrade.

    Coates: . . . . Comrade?

    Jane: . . . . Yeah and he said to say that Bond will be waiting.

    Coates: . . . . Bond. Don’t know him. I found the note on my rental car saying to come here.

    Jane: . . . . All I get is parking tickets.

    Coates: . . . . Where do you work?

    Jane: . . . . ( looks him up and down) Conservation.

    Coates: . . . . I didn’t know we had a conservation section.

    Jane: . . . . The Department of Conservation.

    Coates: . . . . I see. That’s great cover.

    Jane: . . . . Cover?

    Coates: . . . . I mean as an agent there you’re perfectly positioned! DoC can’t keep any secrets, the Green party, the Dominion Post and Forest and Bird know more than the Chief Executive or the Minister. Where better than DoC to hide one of the 27 agents outside the Service.? Not as clever as the CIA hiding their New Zealand agents as newspaper editors.

    Jane: . . . . That’s … right.
    Jane distances herself from him slightly.
    Coates moves over to her.

    Coates: . . . . I was questioned by a strange man yesterday. He knew I’m in the Service.

    Jane: . . . . ( humouring him) Really, the service?

    Coates: . . . . He knew where I was from, even the section, and he knew where to find me, but he hadn’t worked out why I was there.

    Jane: . . . . But he knew you’re an agent… in the service?
    Coates nods.

    Coates: . . . . Even knew I handle the interception warrants.

    Jane: . . . . ( jovially) He wasn’t Nicky Hager was he?

    Coates: . . . . No he was fatter.

    Jane: . . . . That wouldn’t be hard.
    Coates looks at her.
    . . . . I met Nicky at a party once. He could have done with a good tofu burger.

    Coates: . . . . And he didn’t know who you are?

    Jane: . . . . I introduced myself. He seemed very nice.

    Coates: . . . . Don’t let that fool you; he knows more about the SIS than anyone else.

    Jane: . . . . He’d be a great spy.

    Coates: . . . . No he doesn’t understand.

    Jane: . . . . I thought he did and that was the problem.
    Pause.

    Coates: . . . . So can you let me have the copy of ‘War and Peace’ now?

    Jane: . . . . I was joking about ‘War and Peace’.

    Coates: . . . . So what are the instructions?

    Jane: . . . . Ah … where are they supposed to be?

    Coates: . . . . Well here. The note on my car said to come here for the 10 am train. Did you put the note there?

    Jane: . . . . No, that was someone else. Sorry.
    Coates gets out the note from his wallet.

    Coates: . . . . ( looking at note) that’s all it says.
    Jane looks at it and sees his ID. At this point she is prepared to believe Coates is an agent.

    Jane: . . . . That’s an SIS id card. In your wallet. Oh My God.
    Train whistle in the distance.

    Coates: . . . . Yes.

    Jane: . . . . I thought it would be more ….

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Jane: . . . . Never mind. How long have you worked for the SIS?

    Coates: . . . . Only eight years. And you or do you work for the Inspector-General?

    Jane: . . . . He’s separate is he?

    Coates: . . . . Yes – he watches the watchers. Or tries to. So you don’t have the instructions?

    Jane: . . . . No.

    Coates: . . . . Oh God.

    Jane: . . . . ( looking around) Well if I was secret instructions, I’d be in the shelter. No one goes in there. That is, not to catch trains anyway.

    Coates: . . . . The shelter.

    Jane: . . . . Behind the timetable maybe?
    Coates exits.
    . . . . The train’s nearly here!
    Coates enters opening an envelope.

    Coates: . . . . Got it.

    Jane: . . . . There was … far out. This is great. Are you single?

    Coates: . . . . Yes.

    Jane: . . . . Where are you going now?

    Coates: . . . . On the train.

    Jane: . . . . Great. You can sit with me.

    Coates: . . . . Will that be safe?

    Jane: . . . . I promise. And how far are you going on the train?

    Coates: . . . . All the way.

    Jane: . . . . You’re a bit forward.

    Coates: . . . . What?

    Jane: . . . . I’m Jane.

    Coates: . . . . Gordon.
    A train can be heard getting closer.

    Jane: . . . . So you’re going to Wellington.
    Coates looks at the note he just got.

    Coates: . . . . And then to Levin.

    Jane: . . . . Spying is glamorous.

    Coates: . . . . Not really.

    Jane: . . . . I was being sarcastic.

    Coates: . . . . Ahhhh.

    End of Act One


    (Continuing tomorrow…)

    See http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=spooks#watching for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
     
     
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