He had been waiting all night for this.
Fischer had been watching the clock in Beau's. He had also been watching with some envy at the bunch in the corner laughing together, playing Pool, and generally having a good time.
He wondered how the nerdy guy got to be with three good looking girls, and it made his sullen mood worse, He went to the bar and got another drink.
Worse, one of the girls was that Silja bitch. The one Anson had been shagging.
The one Anson steamed in on while he hesitated, she was good looking but slightly scary with those massive dreadlocks, so he had lost the moment and his mate got to fuck her.
The memory just made Fischer feel even worse. He glanced at the clock again. Ten minutes still.
The happy bunch in the corner booth only made Fischer more sullen. Six months ago, he had been part of a cool crew. Anson, Spud, Barty. But now they had gone.
They had a plan to make a few fast bucks out of some rich geezer, but it had all gone wrong and his mates had disappeared, killed, dealt with by that damned Ranyhyn Company.
Now Fischer was left with no mates, just a deep growing hatred which fed a need to do something about it. Revenge.
Fischer watched the clock hand move on to the appointed time. He finished his drink and went out back.
The dark figure was there as arranged, and the gun was exchanged for a weighty bag of low denomination cash.
Fischer had waited in the shadows by The Ranyhyn building for some time.
The entrance door was locked so he shuddered in the side street, out of sight of the passing Union Guards, toying with the chrome .45 automatic.
He was surprised, a short while later, when a van drew up and none other than Silja was hauled out by the big goon who worked for Ranyhyn. He was curious but then his chance came.
As the girl was frogmarched struggling into the building, the big goon didn't shut the door, he just let it swing shut. Fischer stopped the door with his boot just in time. He was in.
He found a suitable corner to wait. There, he sipped warming vodka from a flask and listened in the darkness at the voices, sometimes raised sometimes not.
His curiosity was piqued at one point when the sounds of a scuffle came filtering down the stairs. He wondered what that Henningsdottir bitch was doing here. More time, another sip.
Patience, his opportunity would come. Soon the Boss Woman would be alone.
Shortly after the scuffle, the big goon brought Silja downstairs and pushed her outside. He came back in, went upstairs and a minute later he, too, left the building.
Fischer moved from his corner and climbed the stairs slowly. He pulled back the slide on the .45 and checked the safety was off.
Just as he reached the top of the stairs, SHE opened the door, Hanne Berg. The Boss, the one who ran the company, the one with the fearsome reputation. She who had killed his mates.
He raised the gun. She saw him. He saw the shock and fear on her face as he pulled the trigger. She fell.
The echo quickly faded, and Fisher stood staring at her still body. He had never killed anyone before. He blinked and again saw the look on her face as he shot.
Fisher never thought about how he would feel. He felt he was about to vomit. Instead, he ran.
Inspector Crabbe shook hands with Spivey and the sharp suit who was with him. The lawyer was far too clever for his own good.
Crabbe wondered how much Spivey's wallet was hurting him even for the thirty minutes they had just spent together.
"Dybbol! Go and find Kop and Kojarsky. Now!" Crabbe barked into his intercom.
He unscrewed the top of his whisky and poured himself a stiff one while he waited. He leafed through the file Spivey had left with him.
"Joe's a wily old dog." He muttered to himself as the Ranyhyn schilling weighed heavily in his pocket. Playing both ends against the middle often means you get nipped.
"That's the anarchist guy. The scruffy one." Kojarsky exclaimed as Crabbe showed Fischer's mug shot to the squad.
"He's not a fucking anarchist." Crabbe's voice was tired. "He's just a low-level street punk with plans out of his pay-grade."
"Hang on." Kopkage leaned over to see the photo better. "I saw this guy in Beau's a few days since. He was toting a .45 Auto like ....."
Kopkage's voice trailed away as the penny dropped. Two pennies in fact, as Kojarsky, realised that Fischer was not part of the 'anarchists' merely bragging.
"Motive, means and opportunity. Bring him in!"
As his squad trooped out, Crabbe dropped into his big leather chair. What to do. He was getting too long in the tooth for all this. He had Spivey on one side and The Ranyhyn on the other.
If and when all this came to court, too many questions would be asked and Spivey's lawyer was too smart-arsed. Crabbe was stuck in the middle and definitely feeling the pinch.
His conscience weighed as heavily as the badge in his pocket. Or was it Spivey's cash, or the Ranyhyn's? Another year and he would be collecting his pension.
Crabbe sighed as he leaned forward and picked up his phone.
"Mr Frye? I have some information for you."