The alarm on his mobile phone shook Bjorn out of his deep sleep, and the pain of being woken up so brutally made him immediately regret having agreed to Ante's deal. But he had no choice at this point but to get out of bed and replace whoever was in the glass cage.
Bjorn turned on the lights and headed to the showers for a quick wash. Then he put on his uniform and strapped on his gun before going down to the kitchen to make himself a sandwich and some coffee. A red glow to the north east could be seen from the kitchen, and for a moment Bjorn was again fascinated by the view.
"A few more weeks now, and there will be a midnight sun hanging there, just above the horizon," Bjorn thought to himself, trying to imagine what that would be like.
He poured the freshly made coffee into a thermos, and proceeded to head for the glass cage, sandwich and thermos in hand. It had stopped raining and there was a tear in the clouds, revealing the moon to the west. The cold air was invigorating, and Bjorn found himself looking forward to the six hours ahead of himself.
"Six hours of quiet solitary meditation is not a bad way to start a day," he thought, feeling content and ready to take his turn.
Bjorn was a little surprised to find Frank standing outside the glass cage, impatiently waiting to be replace, but he immediately knew his surprise was silly. He knew full well that Frank too took his occasional turn in the cage, and it was Bjorn's lack of attention to such details that had made him miss the fact that Frank was the one he was to replace.
Frank's impatience made Bjorn worried for a moment that he might be late. But on checking his watch he could see that he was in fact a few minutes early. He had nothing to be ashamed of. Frank was simply eager to get his shift over and done with, and was waiting on Bjorn in much the same way an early morning commuter waits for his bus.
On seeing Bjorn, Frank swung the belt of the semi automatic gun he was carrying, off his shoulders in preparation of giving it to Bjorn. And the following exchange of duties was brief to the point of being almost wordless. Bjorn got the gun and the key to the gun rack, and Frank headed off to the barracks with nothing but a "see you later" to wish Bjorn well.
But Bjorn did not mind the briefness of the exchange. He put his thermos and sandwich on the little ledge by the window, next to the door. Then he swung the belt of the gun over his head and onto his left shoulder where he let it hang while sticking the key to the gun rack into his pocket.
Bjorn pulled out a cigarette, lit it and took a deep puff before turning his attention to the road.
"There is not going to be much traffic at this hour," Bjorn thought with a smile. "All the more time to meditate and daydream."
And Bjorn was right. Not a single car passed the check point during the following six hours. And had it not been for a curious incident an hour or so into his guard duty, there would have been nothing to report. However, the incident was strange and somewhat eerie, and definitely something to report back to Frank.
Bjorn was sitting in his chair, sipping his coffee while the sun slowly rose to the east when he suddenly became aware of a light hanging over the mountains to the north west. The light seemed to hover in mid air like a star of some kind, gradually growing brighter.
Then he heard a distant humming sound, and he realized that he was watching a low flying airplane coming straight at him. It continued on its path straight towards him for another few seconds before turning gracefully in the direction of the abandoned airfield.
For a moment, Bjorn could see the private jet perfectly with its engines humming at low power and its sleek exterior, shiny and white. But once it disappeared behind a hill to the east, it was as if it had not been there at all. It was as if he had imagined it, and that it had not actually flown by.