Monday, November 16, 2009

Absalom, 6

He stood on the tarmac, two large handcrafted suitcases, a carryon and a carefully rolled package beside him and waited for his pickup to arrive. Deciding to make use of this moment of unexpected solitude he opened the package, revealing a close to one meter long sword in a scabbard. He went through his carryon, finding his ever-present whetstone and began sharpening the thousands-layered blade. Being pleased with his work, he slid the sword back into the scabbard and opened one of the suitcases. Browsing through the assortment of luggage they had packed for him, he finally found a plastic case close to the bottom of the suitcase and took it out. It contained a pair of Glock 18.s and plenty of 33 round 9mm jacketed hollow point magazines. Realizing that he probably had some time for them too, he took a seat on his other suitcase and set about wiping them.

“Where was that friggin pickup?” he thought, while polishing the glowing black harbingers of death.

A few minutes later, he saw a beat up, dented old Volvo rolling towards him across the private landing section of Kastrup Airport. Recognizing the scrapheap from the video the Cardinal had shown him, he put the guns back in the case, closed the suitcase, rolled up the sword and rose to meet his welcoming party.

The party consisted of one man in his mid-twenties. He looked a typical Swede; rather tall, with scruffy blond hair and blue eyes, wearing a black sweatshirt, worn jeans and sneakers that had lost most of their earlier whiteness. “Clearly not a man with a higher understanding of fashion,” Absalom thought. The Swede jumped out of the car, apologizing for his lateness; blaming it on a misunderstanding with airport security. He then took one suitcase in each arm and put them into the boot of the Volvo, leaving Absalom with the carryon and repackaged sword. Having put all of the bags into the car, the man extended his hand for a formal greeting, introducing himself as Lars Laurent.

“Absalom David,” Absalom replied and felt the strength of the man’s grip while shaking hands. “So where are we going?” he continued after they had taken their seats, with Lars slowly trying to turn the tank-like Volvo station wagon around, among the multi-million Euro private jets.

Managing to get them in the right direction without any collisions, Lars set about explaining what the next steps were. First they were to spend the night in Lund, a university town not far across the Swedish border, where they’d set him up at a small hotel. The next day, they had arranged to visit Castle Månskära, which is where the infestation had manifested itself. The Castle was open for the public, so they would simply have a walkabout as regular visitors, enjoying a fine spring weekend. While speaking about their coming plans, they first drove into a tunnel under the Öresund Straight, then came up on the Öresund Bridge, which linked the two former arch-enemies. It was late on a Friday afternoon, with traffic being plentiful on the bridge, but wile Lars kept in the right lane, Absalom chose instead to admire the spectacular view over the flatlands of Själland and Skåne.

Half an hour later, they parked the car at an underground garage underneath the train station and again, Lars nimbly grabbed both of the suitcases, leaving Absalom rather sheepish with just the carryon and the roll. They crossed a street, turned a corner and had in five minutes reached the hotel Gustav where he was to stay for the night. The hotel was a quaint little city-hotel, set in an old, one story stone-building with only a few rooms. The concierge, a trim woman in her late forties, welcomed them with a wide smile and open arms, helped them check in and showed them to his room. Lars then took his leave, promising to be back at ten the next morning.

Absalom took a look around his home for the next few days; a double bed, desk and wardrobe, all in the typical strict style that is accustomed to the Scandinavians. Whites and earthen colors dominated the room, with even the carpet – oriental as it seemed – having been woven in similar tones. The bathroom was similarly styled, all in white tiles and stainless steel, with a Philip Starck WC and sink.

He took a quick shower, cleaning himself of the journey and got dressed; this time a pale blue tailor made shirt, accompanied by black slacks. Yet again feeling proper, he set about unpacking properly. He decided against carrying his guns with him, rather letting

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