The Chief walked briskly back to the sanctity of the Executive Suite, his fists clenched in fury. They would pay for this, they would all pay for this, he thought to himself angrily as he turned the gold-plated door handle and walked across the vast expanse of Persian Axminster to his Louis XIV ormolu desk.
Smithers shimmered in through the side door bearing a silver tray of organic Myddfai Mint Tea, a gift from HRH Prince Charles and Camilla.
"Mint tea is very soothing, Sir", Smithers said sympathetically as the Chief sat ashen-faced, staring nostalgically at the gilt-framed portrait of Meryl.
Things had been so much easier back then, he mused, only to be interrupted by Smithers giving one of his little coughs.
"Shall I show them in now, Sir? They are waiting in the ante-room."
"Let them wait", the Chief snapped. It was all so predictable. Madge would give another reading from the Garnant Book of Cliches. He could hear it now:
"It's time they smelled the coffee and realised that we don't live in the real world. We are staring into a black hole, and I would like to thank all the officers for an effort of biblical proportions at the grass roots."
The bossy dog woman in the brown trouser suit would say "I told you so. We should never have let those cameras in. What a disaster!"
And the worst thing about it was that she was right. The carefully scripted meeting and lovingly crafted agenda had once again been derailed.
First it was the Nats and their ludicrous demands. He had never been able to get to grips with the language, and couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Their latest attempt to raise the subject had been seen off, thanks to that little Higgins character, but the next thing would be hordes of unwashed Cymdeithas protesters yelling and screaming in the Executive Car Park, and Griffith Hughes Jones, or whatever his name was, egging them on with his cynghanedd.
Meryl had once more given the critics ammunition with one of her notorious quotes. What had it been this time? Something about moaning parents and a suggestion that they should send their kids off to play on the motorway. Although with any luck the press would not pick up on that, what with all the other disasters. The Carmarthen Journal certainly wouldn't, he consoled himself.
Then it was that diabolical woman with the red hair. After months of trying she had finally managed to unleash a torrent of untreated effluent in the Chamber and done untold damage to the Local Development Plan with her claims about sewage and beaches. He made a mental note to ask Smithers to ring that overweight former councillor in Burry Port and get him to do a publicity swim.
If that hadn't been bad enough, that whipper snapper Price had spilled the beans about the top secret PRISM surveillance system. Nothing but trouble since the day he had first set foot in County Hall.
To cap it all, there had been that bolshy Bill Thomas from Llanelli who had shouted about being covertly filmed.
Fortunately the new Chair (so much more dependable than the last loose cannon) had managed to bring things to a swift end, and had the cameras switched off.
Smithers coughed once more.
"Very well, Smithers. Show them in", the Chief ordered.
The door had barely opened before he heard that familiar voice barking, "I told you so...."
The mint tea suddenly developed a very bitter taste.