Gabi Henriksen hung up the ‘phone after promising Sand she would do as he asked. It was typical of her older partner. He was a great mentor and friend, but always over-protective of her. He thought he was some kind of father figure to her. While Gabi appreciated how much he had looked after her from day one in the Serious Crime unit, she knew she could stand on her own two feet.
She also wasn’t convinced about the hypotheses that she would be the next target just because she had taken over from Egil Lund as Sand’s partner. She was still in nursery school when the Eckberg case was all over the news. Even a crazy person would have a hard time blaming her for what happened back then.
Still, she had better do what Sand had asked. He would be bound to check up on her when he returned tomorrow evening from Alta.
It was late evening. Pedersen had gone home for the night already. Gabi was surprised when she looked up and saw that she was the only person left in the office. She tried Pedersen’s mobile and got his answering service. She left a message explaining their latest theory and Sand’s request that she be given some protection.
Through the front desk she got the home number for Officer Håkon Berg, the name Sand had given her. He answered her call. She explained the situation to him. When she mentioned Sand’s name, Berg began to pay attention.
‘If Anders thinks there’s a reason to be worried, it usual pays to listen to him,’ Berg warned her. ‘What is your address? I’ll pack a few things and meet you there tonight.’
Gabi gave him the address and hung up. She was surprised to find she felt relieved that Berg had agreed to help. Maybe she was hiding her own worries from herself. Calm down, she thought. Dag Moen has only killed one person, who was unsuspecting and alone. She was a trained officer, armed and experienced, and now she had an equally experienced officer backing her up.
She had one more folder to check through and make notes on from the old case files on Eckberg. She wanted to get that finished tonight. A cup of coffee to keep her alert and then she would work through it before heading home.
She took her mug to the small sink area that served the office. She filled the kettle up and clicked it on. The door opened next to her. Gabi jumped, then chided herself for reacting like that as the cleaner wheeled in his service trolley.
‘Evening,’ she nodded to the young man. He only nodded in reply, under a baseball cap that was pulled down over his face. Gabi spooned two heaps of coffee into her mug. Something in her tired brain alerted her. The cleaner for the office was the old man, Jorn. Probably on a night off. Calm down Henriksen, she told herself.
She felt the arm reach round her shoulder too late. Another hand clamped a wet cloth over her mouth and nose. She breathed in pungent fumes of chloroform before she lost consciousness.
The kettle clicked as the water reached boiling point.
This is part eleven of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.