There were no more mentions of Rouge Justice in the article, and Bjorn had the distinct impression on having read the whole thing that the mention of the company was something of an afterthought, as if the author of the article had had a hard time believing the existence of the company herself.
However, there had been a series of incidents lately, in places like London and New York, where people had been assassinated in what seemed to be acts of extrajudicial justice, and Bjorn could not help being reminded of these incidents on having read the article.
The most famous case was the killing of a Syria fighter returning to his native England. The jihadist had been met by two police officers at Heathrow airport, and was being escorted out of the building when his head pretty much exploded from a bullet entering his forehead and ripping out most of his brains on exiting on the other side.
The shot had been fired at a relatively short range, and at a top down angle which had seen the bullet lodge into the asphalt right behind the victim. The spot from which the shot had been fired was quickly identified, but the investigation of the incident came to nothing, despite the enormous amount of video surveillance available. Several suspicious individuals had been seen both entering the Heathrow area shortly before the incident, and leaving the area shortly after the shot was fired. However, no one was ever apprehended, and the official narrative of what had actually happened shifted as time progressed.
To start with, the police promised a swift and effective investigation, clearly confident that their enormous stack of video surveillance would soon reveal who the killer was. However, as time passed and no progress was made, all sorts of conspiracy theories started evolving, and in the end, the police seemed happy to give some support to the idea that it had been the English secret service, the CIA or some similar government agency that had been behind the assassination. The victim was after all suspected of having beheaded an American reporter, and his prompt execution on returning to England was by and large a popular one. A narrative in which the assassination was in fact planned and executed by government agents was in other words a desirable one from a purely political perspective.
But Bjorn did not buy it. There were too many inconsistencies in the new semi-official narrative, and the assassination at Heathrow was by no means the only one. Jihadists were dropping dead all over the place it seemed, if they were in fact all jihadists that is. And these other cases were generally played down in the media, which Bjorn took to indicate that people in powerful places were determined to keep these cases out of the public eye.
Bjorn found it much more likely that someone, or some group of people, had taken it upon themselves to execute who they themselves regarded as dangerous elements. And Bjorn was not the only one to be of this opinion. He had been following several web sites that claimed to report stuff that the government controlled media was either playing down, or ignoring all together, and he had seen how the reports were getting ever more ugly. And there seemed to be a growing sense among many that some sort of extrajudicial justice was warranted and desirable as long as the government seemed more concerned about protecting the perpetrators of crimes than to prosecute the criminals and have them properly sentenced.
It was the episode in Paris a few years back, where a raving anti-Semite had shot several Jewish school kids, execution style, and posted it on the web for all to see, that had turned talk into action, it seemed. The man had barricaded himself in a council flat, shooting at the police from the windows of his council flat, when he suddenly dropped dead just as the police was moving a robotic tear gas launcher up to the window.
The police was determined to catch the man alive, and was very upset to find him dead on the floor when they entered his flat. They reported it as suicide. But it could not possibly have been the case since the bullet that killed him was of a calibre that did not match any of his weapons. Someone had shot him dead, and it was not the police, nor the man himself. And ever since, a string of similar episodes kept popping up. Outrageous criminal behaviour such as the episode in Paris kept being met with fairly prompt executions, which in turn were covered up by the police, reported as suicides, or pretended to have been planned and executed by the authorities themselves.
But to think that a company existed out there with assassinations of this kind as its business model seemed a far stretch of the imagination. Killing people could hardly be a regular business. However, if Rogue Justice was more like an alias for something else, it could make some sense. Its mention in the article was in a way a message to people that assassinations are fully supported by powerful individuals in Lundby, provided the right conditions are met. It was in a way a green flag to anyone contemplating such an action, and a giant red flag to anyone considering a terrorist attack on the village. The way the company was mentioned was in many ways a clear message to people to feel free to create such a service if they feel it warranted. Neither Pedro nor Jan would object to it, provided the targeted person was plainly and clearly a dangerous criminal.
And it was while he was lost in speculations like these that Ante suddenly came into the room, all smiles and happy, calling on Bjorn to give him some attention. Bjorn was at once distracted from his thoughts, and was in stead confronted with Ante holding up a gun belt with a gun in it, swinging it from side to side as he asked Bjorn rhetorically to guess who's belt it was.
"It's Frank's gun, isn't it," Bjorn answered.
"And guess where I found it?" Ante continued with a smile.
"Upstairs at the casino?" Bjorn ventured.
"Exactly, and you won't believe what good old Frank has been up to."
"But you are going to tell me anyway, aren't you?" Bjorn asked.
"I am indeed!" Ante answered, smiling even broader. "He was kicked out this morning for being the biggest prick ever. He behaved as if the whole darn whorehouse was there to serve him, and although this was kind of quite for a while, it was not very welcome as the night drew to an end. So finally, they kicked him out for being a loud pain in the bum... Imagine that! Being kicked out of a brothel for being too eager!"
"But who in their right mind hangs around in a brothel for more than their allotted time?"
"Allotted time? What do you mean?" Ante asked, looking a little puzzled.
"Well, you just said he was too eager. He was hanging around there way beyond his allotted time, or am I missing something?"
"There is no such thing as allotted time in a brothel. As long as you pay, you can hang around as long as you please."
"Well, sorry for not knowing that," Bjorn answered, for once pleased to be the ignorant one. "So he paid for the whole night?"
"He did indeed."
"But isn't that expensive? I mean... Even in Lundby, that kind of services are hardly free."
"It is kind of odd, isn't it?" Ante agreed. "I have no idea where he gets the money from... and that gold card he keeps waving about..."
"He's corrupted, isn't he?" Bjorn ventured.
"By Jan and Pedro and those guys you mean?"
Ante looked at the gun, and then back to Bjorn.
"You're right," Ante conceded with a concerned look on his face. "Somebody is paying him for something."
"Maybe we shouldn't talk too much about this in other words," Bjorn suggested. "Or do you think we should report this?"
"Oh no!" Ante said, suddenly fearful. "Let's just keep this under wraps."