Major MacDuff was miles away back in the green, back in 'Indo'. Back when Roddy McBeath was another wet behind the ears candidate at Lympstone and MacDuff a sgt about to get selected for officer training. They found themselves in the same 'batch' and surprisingly became bloody good mates. 'Indo' cemented that friendship; then Roddy had got hitched, basically to a bottle of gin - a pretty one though. Eventually Roddy left the Royals for civvie street and gradually they had drifted.
The MacDuff's, there was Mikki now, still sent an Xmas card and sometimes him and Mikki called in on the McBeath's when they were on a rare foray to Aberdeen but as Mikki said - "it's like sitting in a fridge. With an acid tongued cow who still thinks I'm just a WO2's daughter."
He'd been in the duty room, talking bikes with the scaleys and winding up Adjutant Rory when the phone rang. "Major MacDuff? Your wife, for you sir" the orderly was still cautious about him.
MacDuff: "Mikki? What's so urgent?"
Mikki: "There's been a terrible shooting. It's on the News. The head of The Cawdor Group and his wife have been murdered. It's not Roddy is it?"
MacDuff: "No. No, I don't think so. I know he's on the board now, but.....? Have they said who or where?"
Mikki: "They were having dinner..." There was genuine concern in her voice. But he knew it was more a concern for him through his friendship than for Roddy and 'Viv'.
MacDuff: "Look, keep me posted of any developments and we'll talk when I get off duty." He put down the phone pensively. There was a moment's silence. Quizzical faces were looking at him. "Rory. Tell Tom to put his boys on alert. One hour standby. Warm up the alert flight too. There's been an oil related incident in Aberdeen. Possibly nothing but just in case it's part of something bigger we don't want to be caught with our arses hanging out."