8th May 2023

The news that the Foreign Office had decided to appoint a specialist translator to review and reconsider all testimony that Sakeena Basheer had given on her initial questioning by Annette and Claudine threatened to reduce all to date investigations to total hogs wash. The slightest alteration in the meaning or understanding of a single word would bring every other morsel of previously presented and accepted information into dispute.

Tobias James in close unison with Fergus Lothly has chosen secondary translator extremely well and fully versed her in the political and factual circumstances that had made such a precise overhaul of all gathered evidence vital to both the current investigation and any ongoing national security.

The specific localized dialect utilized in the region of Syria from whence the Basheer family originated was historically very open to erroneous and misleading translation, local linguistic knowledge was vital to eradicate and counter persistently made misunderstandings.

Zara Amin arrived at the refugee center bright and early. She utilized the six am transport that delivered the day shift of Colonel Lothlys handpicked guards each morning. A tall slim woman, in her early twenties, clothed in a plain black abaya with matching hijab, Zara was very plainly of middle eastern or north African descent. She spoke with a very precise English accent, quite obviously the product of a considerable degree of private education, her mannerisms were exact, precise, without any obvious flair or flamboyance, a woman with a precise mission on this or any other day.

“A great pleasure to see you again, Miss Zara,”

Captain Robert Young recognized Zara Amin immediately, They had met at a minor Home Office junket some months previously. Miss Zara had presented an entertaining talk on the more obvious ways to recognize disguised mid-eastern accents in small talk.

 “Good morning to you. I presume I am ahead of the investigations teams arrival?”

“The early bird as always, ma’am.”

Zara flashed Robert a most disarming grin. The saucy smile seemed strangely out of place coming from amidst the black headwear.

“I am off to basecamp for a few hours. Will be back on the afternoon bus. Will leave you in the hands of Captain Norton till then.”

Norton was the arriving day officer,

“Get some good shuteye, captain. “

Zara followed Captain George Norton into the main building.

“I will take some breakfast the Basheer family while awaiting the arrival of the others.”

“Of course, ma’am.”

Norton did not know Zara from any previous experience, but Young’s subservience was quite sufficient to ensure George’s compliance in every way possible.   Zara Amin was a respected colleague of his colonel, so her status in the hierarchy was beyond his question. As she moved away she left the scent of jasmine in her place.  Goerge felt himself involuntarily swallow.

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