Birds flew across the cloudy sky, as Big Ben let out a quiet chime to signal another hour had passed. But all was not well in the city of London.
For on the ground, trouble was brewing. The universities were empty today, as the students were here, in the center of London, holding banners and chanting.
Nearby in Trafalgar Square were Take That, taking a break from being surrounded by their fans. The square was completely empty except for them.
"Well, where is everyone then?" Jason asked, turning to the rest of the band.
"I thought I told you guys already, everyone's at the student protests. We have this place all to ourselves," Robbie smiled, "We can do whatever we want."
"Aw, but that sucks," Mark said, "I like the way fans follow us around."
"Robbie, if no one else is here, don't you think there's a good reason for that?" Gary said, looking around.
"No, and what makes you say that?" Robbie asked.
"Uhm, all the protesters that are around every single exit for this place?" Gary said, pointing at the Trafalgar Square exit, which had protesters surrounding it.
"Oh great," Howard sighed, "I guess we're stuck here then."
"Cool!" Robbie said, "I don't like silence much anyway, hey, let's go and see the protest!"
"No Robbie," Mark said, "We're not just walking into the middle of a riot."
"What, it's a riot now?" Howard said, "This would happen the day we come here, wouldn't it?"
"Hey hey," Robbie said, "No one said anything about a riot, we said 'protest'. Just a peaceful demonstration, that's all."
"Robbie, you don't even know what they're protesting about," Jason said.
"Yeah I do, some student thing," Robbie said, "Come on you guys, we have to be there!"
"Robbie, we're not walking into the student protests, think of all the bad press we'd get!" Gary said, but Robbie was already walking off to the exit, "Robbie! Robbie! Where are you going?"
"Holy shit!" Jason yelled, "Is he actually just going to walk into the protest?"
"Robbie!" Mark yelled, "Get back here!"
Robbie had now left Trafalgar Square, which took him a minute as there were so many people blocking the entrance and he had to scoot past them.
"Fuck! He's seriously left, hasn't he?" Howard said.
"We better go get him back before something bad happens," Gary sighed, as the four of them went to the exit and they too were now in the middle of the protest.
"We're never going to be able to find him in all these people!" Mark said.
"He can't have gone far," Gary said, "Robbie? Robbie? Get back here!"
The four of them called out for Robbie but received no reply.
"Robbie, if you really want your place in our band, you'll get back over here, right now!" Howard yelled.
Then, in the distance, they saw Robbie standing by some students who were holding banners, shouting with them.
"Yeaaah!" Robbie shouted, "No ifs, no buts! No Tory cuts!"
The rest of Take That went up to him.
"Robbie, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Mark asked, "These issues don't even affect you!"
"I can protest if I want to!" Robbie said, "Besides, if we let the government get away with this, then who knows what they will do tommorow?"
"Are you serious?" Mark asked, "Robbie, we don't want to hear your stance on politics. You just randomly walked into a protest."
"Uhhh, guys," Gary said, alerting the attention of the others, "There's some armed policemen surrounding the place now."
They looked around and saw that surrounding the protesters, were armed policemen, holding massive riot shields in one hand and a gun in the other. They also had helmets on, as if they expected things to be thrown at them.
"Oh yeah," Jason said, "I know this, it's when the police contain protesters. It's called 'kettling'."
"I don't give a damn what it's called!" Mark yelled, "How do we get out of it?"
"Uhm, we don't," Jason said, "That sort of defeats the point of kettling."
"I give up," Mark said, "Seriously, might as well admit defeat."
"What defeat, this is awesome!" Robbie yelled, "No ifs, no buts! No Tory cuts!"
"I swear to god if you chant that slogan one more time," Howard said, "Seriously, stop it."
They all heard a whoosh of noise as a red flare flew into the sky.
"Oh... ok, I really don't like this," Mark said, worried.
"What the hell was that thing!" Gary yelled.
"It was a flare," Jason said.
Suddenly, more flares started firing, flying across the place, some colliding with the policemen's riot shields.
"Oh shit shit shit!" Robbie yelled, "Shit! C..Can we go back to Trafalgar Square?"
"No," Gary said, looking in the direction of the Trafalgar Square entrance, "The police are blocking it."
"We've gotta talk to them, at least," Robbie said, "They can't contain us! We're Take That for crying out loud! Surely they'll realise there's been some sort of mistake and let us out of this... 'kettling', right?"
"Robbie, this was your idea in the first place," Mark said, "So this is entirely your fault.
"Still," Gary said, "We should try asking the police to let us out before more fireworks are set off. Who knows, maybe there's some Take That fans in amongst those riot police who would gladly let us out."
"Gary, I already told you, those were flares, not fire-"
"Shut up Jason!" Mark yelled, "I don't care what those things were, let's just get out of here."
And so the five of them walked up to the riot police.
"H...Hello there," Robbie said.
The policeman just stood still.
"Uh, I believe there's been a terrible mistake," Gary said, "We're members of the band Take That, and we've got caught up in this... uhm... Jason what was it called again?"
"Right," Gary continued, "So anyway, could you be so kind as to let us out? We'll forget this ever even happened."
The policeman didn't answer them.
"Uhm... hello?" Howard asked.
"Hey, we're Take That!" Robbie yelled, "You know us, right? You know 'The Flood'? Everyone knows The Flood."
"I've never heard of you," the policeman growled, "Now step away from us, you're in the direct line of sight of a police officer."
"What? You've never heard of us?" Robbie said, sounding slightly offended, "Do you live under a rock or something?"
"Robbie, calm down," Mark said, "Anyway, what Robbie was trying to say is, we've got nothing to do with all of this, so, can we please be let out?"
The policeman stood silent yet again.
"Excuse me?" Mark said, "Don't ignore me like that!"
"Look," the policeman said angrily, "I've never heard of you. I don't watch silly pop bands on MTV. I don't recognize any of you. Now, leave before I have you all arrested for obstructing the course of justice."
"We're not obstructing anything!" Howard yelled.
The policeman merely glared at them.
"Alright guys," Robbie said, "We'll go-"
But then Robbie ran straight at the police officer, trying to get past him.
The police officer dropped his shield and then grabbed Robbie by his jacket, using his other hand to point his gun at him.
"Wait wait wait!" Robbie screamed, "Don't shoot me, don't shoot me!"
"What are you doing?" Gary yelled, "Leave him alone! He hasn't done anything!"
Some of the students had now stopped shouting, and were looking at what was happening.
"You people do realise that I'm perfectly within my rights to pull the trigger now, don't you?" the police officer yelled, moving between pointing the gun at the others and pointing it at Robbie.
By now, nearly all the people in the protest had turned and were now watching these events unfold.
"Well, go on yah pig," one of the students yelled, "Shoot him, go on, I dare yah."
"Don't listen to him! Don't do it! I haven't done anything! Please let me go!" Robbie was sobbing now, as the students jeered at the police officer.
Gary walked closer to the police officer, as the officer moved his gun from Robbie's direction to Gary's direction.
"Leave him the hell alone!" Gary yelled, as the students began to throw things at the police officers.
"Oh, and who do you think you are?" the officer laughed, "Some other member of this shitty band? Didn't you hear me? I'm well within my rights to shoot you all."
"You've already made your point clear," Gary said, trying to ignore the gun that was pointed directly at him, "Now let go of Robbie."
"No," the policeman laughed, "You fucking so-called 'celebrities' think you can do whatever you please. Well now I am in control, and I will do whatever I please!"
The policeman was then interrupted by a can hitting him on his helmet. A student had hurled it at him from the crowd. Its message was clear.
"What the fuck?" the policeman yelled in rage, as he let go of Robbie and began firing his gun in the air, "Haven't I warned you students enough already?"
Take That used this distraction to their advantage, and got out of there as quickly as possible. The policeman had run at the student who had thrown the can, leaving a gap in the 'kettling' that they could get through.
"Run faster!" Mark yelled, as they turned a corner and ran straight into Regent's Park.
Robbie turned to make sure no one had followed them in.
"What the fuck was that shit?" Mark yelled, "I thought police officers were there to protect us!"
"I just... don't know any more..." Jason said, sitting down on a bench, "That was just..."
"You alright Robbie?" Gary asked.
"Y..Y...Yeah... I'm fine," Robbie said, "Thanks for sticking up for me, by the way."
"Don't mention it," Gary smiled.
"Rob, you should file a lawsuit against that officer guy," Howard said, "Seriously, what he just did has got to be illegal."
"Yeah," Mark said, "Police like that shouldn't be allowed to roam the streets. What good are police if they are just as bad as the criminals they catch?"
"That guy was no policeman," Gary said, "He should be in jail with the criminals."
"Yeah," Robbie said, "We should probably count ourselves lucky that we got out of that one."
"Well you certainly didn't help," Howard laughed, "What with all your screaming and all."
"He was pointing a gun at me!" Robbie yelled, "What would you have done?"
Jason started laughing too.
"Why are you two laughing?" Mark asked, "There's nothing to laugh at. This is a very serious matter."
"Ah, guess you're right Mark, sorry Rob," Howard apologised.
"Yeah, sorry Robbie," Jason said.
The five of them sat on the bench in silence for a while, watching the nearby waterfall sparkle in the sun.
"You see everyone, that was exactly the reason I hardly come to London anymore, there's so much violence here these days," Gary said.
"And amen to that," Mark smiled.