The door closed behind her and Finny found herself in pitch-black silence. She lifted a hand to the goggles. The world turned bright green.
Her fingers found the knurled ring Joe had shown her and the slight adjustments she made dialled the green nothingness back to an emerald vista of boxes,
beams and brick-a-brack typical of those cellars that don't belong to an average psychopath.
Finny looked around for booby traps, all the while her fingers flipping between the various modes the goggles offered.
At the foot of the stairs, a bright, thin, orange line of a laser light betrayed a trap of some kind. Finny stifled the excited giggle that rose up to her throat. This was fun!
Back in the carpeted hallway, Joe was joined in his anxious wait by Silja with Annie in her arms. Joe explained what was happening.
Silja was intrigued with the whole thing but, after a few minutes, Annie found staring at a door probably the most boring thing in the world and started to become fractious.
Below them, Finny was gliding through the traps Joe had set for her.
After a while, she found something on a shelf that, like some of the booby traps before it, displayed a decaying heat signature left by the transferred body heat of Joe's large hands.
But this wasn't a device of any kind, it was a box, with a lock.
Finny grinned in the darkness and unrolled the pick set. The box was too high for her to work on it, so Finny went to lift it down.
Silja reluctantly decided that, interesting as all this was,
if she didn't do something to distract Annie then the little girl was going to work herself into such a state that bedtime would become a nanny's nightmare.
Just then there was the very loud bang of a small explosion from the cellar.
Silja jumped. Annie squealed. Kirsten appeared from the lounge demanding to know what the hell was going on. Joe sighed. Everyone turned to look at the cellar door.
The door opened and Finny, her goggles around her neck, stepped into the light. She held the unopened box out, and Joe took it from her. Finny looked at no one.
"Where's the bathroom, please?"
Everyone took in Finny's situation at the same time. Silja passed Annie to Kirsten and gently took Finny by the hand and led her up the stairs.
Kirsten watched them go. Then her head snapped around to her husband, and it began.
Kopkage was the first to return to the Station.
"You better have some good news, Kop." Crabbe's mood had not improved since the morning briefing.
Kopkage could only manage a half-hearted shrug. "I followed Spivey. He was up early. He went to his factory then ..." Kop's voice trailed off.
"Then?" Crabbe was insistent.
"Then he drove into The Borough." Kopkage finished disappointedly.
"What did he do in there?"
"You think I'm stupid enough to go into The Borough. In uniform. Alone?! Anyway, as far as I could see, he was alone, no one else was in the car.
He came out a couple of hours later then went home. Sorry Boss, that's all I have."
Crabbe, who by now was sitting behind his desk, drummed his fingertips on the top.
"Wonder what he wants in The Borough." His hand slapped flat on the blotter. "He's up to something. But what?"
Crabbe's cogitations were interrupted by a knock on the door and the arrival of Officer Dybbol.
Crabbe glanced up hopefully, but the hope washed away just as quick as he saw the vacant yet slightly worried look on Dybbol's face.
"Nothin' Boss. The girl didn't cross the thresh all day."
Crabbe facepalmed. Another wasted day, the only member of his squad left to report was Kojarsky and for sure Kojarsky would bring his customary 'Nada' to the meeting.
Crabbe mentally started to compute how many days away his gold watch was.
So it was with great surprise that the aforementioned Kojarsky rapped on the door and bounded in, exuding uncustomary enthusiasm.
"Boss! Boss! You'll never guess. Henningsthingy is an anarchist!"
Crabbe squinted his eyes just to make sure he was not hearing things while Kopkage and Dybbol looked at each other. Kojarsky gushed on.
"Right! Today I managed to infiltrate an anarchist cell meeting. Two girls and two guys. Associates of Miss Henningsdottir.
" Kojarsky peeled open his notebook for effect and read from the now slightly embellished lines within."
It seems that Miss 'Butter wouldn't melt' Henningsdottir is, in fact, a highly trained Ninja assassin with a grudge against none other than the highly respected Miss Hanne Berg of our fair city."
Dumbfounded, Crabbe managed to mouth a 'what?'
"One of the gang, a scruffy individual whose name I didn't catch, confirmed to the others that the girl had shot Miss Berg in the head with her '45 automatic.
Facts which are only known to us, the police."
"These details appeared to impress the gang into wordless appreciation." Kojarsky paused, raising his eyebrows to underscore his words.
He took another moment to gather more information from his notebook.
"At this point, Theis Lund Jakobsen. An employee of The Waffelhus informed the gang that Miss Berg was in fact not dead, whereby the scruffy one was so disappointed he had to leave.
Whereupon the remainder of the cell closed quarters and began what I can only assume was a plot to attack this police station, to free Henningsdottir should she be recaptured by ourselves.
" He looked up and grinned self-congratulations to himself.
There was a long, stunned silence. Crabbe looked at Kojarsky then the other two, his eyes demanding more detail.
It was Kopkage who broke the silence. "Anarchists in The Waffelhus!" His voice reeked of scepticism. "For fuck'sake, Kojer!"
"It's true!" For added effect, Kojarsky ripped out a page and handed it to Crabbe. "This is the list of the anarchists. We should strike fast. Arrest Henningsdottir before she melts away.
You have to be careful with them Ninja's, they're fuckin' dangerous. Oh, And I have ordered wooden boards to barricade the windows. To be prepared when the anarchist cell attacks!"
It was Dybbol's snort that stopped Kojarsky's flow this time.
Crabbe glanced up from the list that Kojarsky had handed him. "Flagstaff has homegrown anarchists?"
Kojarsky nodded convincingly.
"One of whom is a grocer's son, one a daughter of a librarian and the other, the daughter of the Chief of Police?" Crabbe looked at Kojarsky. "You are sure you looked into this..." He paused. "..
Crabbe sat back in his chair, trying to hide the frustration.
"I heard all this. It's true." Kojarsky said, pointedly. "I was there, undercover. Plainclothes."
Crabbe leaned forward. "So, the un-named scruffy one had details of the hit that only we would know. You are sure?"
"And he mentioned the girl by name?"
Crabbe nodded deliberately. He was weighing up the possible holes in the case.
Would it be watertight enough to get past Joe Spivey's lawyer friends? A further consideration would be the grief that another door kicking would cause him, again courtesy of Spivey.
Finally, after balancing his dread of Spivey against the fact he was a sworn representative of the law, even in this god-forgotten shit pit, Crabbe delivered his plan.
"Kop. Tomorrow morning, wait outside Spivey's place with... Sherlock here..." he nodded at Kojarsky, "As soon as Miss Henningsdottir puts a foot over the doorstep, lift her. Clear?"
"But what about the anarchist attack?" Kojarsky bleated.
Crabbe harrumphed. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, hmm?"