The gun felt clunky despite being strapped to his side by the snug fitting gun belt, and Bjorn half expected the whole thing to be some kind of lame joke when he entered the barracks. However, any doubt he was having about the new policy at the checkpoint vanished as soon as he entered the kitchen.
Ante was wearing the same kind of gun belt Bjorn was wearing, holding by the look of it, the exact same type of gun. And when Ante greeted Bjorn on entering the kitchen, he did so with a sheepish smile indicating an uncomfortable uneasiness with the new rules.
"So, we're all going to go around with these things strapped to our bodies?" Bjorn asked rhetorically as he walked over to the fridge in search of food.
"Yep! This will be our new style from now on."
"And what about the uniforms? Do we all have to dress up like Geir? He looked like a modern day Nazi out there."
"Well, Frank told us to sharpen up a bit. Look more fierce and unapproachable."
"Really? Wouldn't that just fester resentment by everyone?"
"That's what I thought too. But Frank seems to think we are better off going for a more bad ass image. He does not want us to come across as a soft target."
Bjorn found some chicken legs and potato salad in the fridge, which he took out on a plate for himself.
"Frank is still in the living room," Ante continued. "You missed the meeting, but I guess you got the general idea by now."
"Yeah, I think I do."
"But you should go and talk to him anyway... And he has a safe that you need to take with you to your room."
"A safe?" Bjorn asked as he sat down to eat the cold leftovers.
"A gun safe. We are supposed to carry the gun whenever we are in uniform, and only lock it away at night, in the safe, in our room. That way, we´ll always have the gun close at hand, and it will be safely locked away when we are asleep or away."
"Like when we go out tonight?" Bjorn asked. "I mean, we are still going out, aren't we?"
Bjorn was suddenly worried that the new rules might include restrictions on their movements and who they were allowed to fraternize with, but Ante laid Bjorn's worry quickly to rest.
"No! That would stop Frank too from going out, and he is too much of a sucker for a good old party to come up with rules preventing us from such pleasures."
"So he just want us to shape up a bit, look more aggressive, and carry our guns by the hand all the time?"
"Yep, that's the idea."
"And how is that going to make us safer?"
"It will deter people from taking pot shots at us."
"Yeah. That was the phrase he was using."
Bjorn ate in silence for a while before Ante continued: "He has asked for a fence to be set up around the check point too."
"Yeah, to keep terrorists at a distance."
"So he thinks we will have to deal with terrorists?"
"Well, that's what he calls the rioters at Lier."
"And he thinks that those same guys will try to put fire to our check point?"
"Apparently he does."