The fjord lay cold and still to their left as they sped along it towards the intersection with the Neiden road. Considering the numerous pot holes, bends and crests in the road, Ante's driving was as reckless as ever. However, Ante seemed to be as familiar with the road as Igor, knowing exactly where he had to slow down in order to avoid damaging his car. Oncoming traffic was also dealt with with skill and precision, with Ante never slowing down more than absolutely necessary in order to avoid bumping into the other cars or falling out on the side of the road.
Looking up the hill to his right, Bjorn could see the glass cage at the checkpoint appear every now and again as they reached a high point of the road. And even the barracks were at times visible.
"You know that woman I told you about," Bjorn said, having a sudden flashback to the church and its congregation. "The one with the girl, so determined to get into Lundby."
"Yeah?" Ante replied, speeding up along a straight stretch of road.
"I saw her in church. She was the one coming in late with her daughter all dressed up."
"The blond woman who sat down with Ane?"
"Yeah... So you know Ane?"
"No. But I know Ola, so I'm assuming the cute one next to him must have been Ane."
"You're right. She's quite a sight isn't she?"
"Well, anyway... You were right about that woman. She's on the run from the child protection services."
Ante hit the breaks, avoided a pothole before speeding up again.
"You see!" Ante said with a satisfied grim. "I'm the master of deduction, the Sherlock Holmes of the north."
"If you say so," Bjorn replied with a smile and a nod.
"So that means that we already know three people hiding out in Lundby. Four if we include the woman's daughter. And that is not including people like David and Roger. How long do you think it will take before we're asked to arrest these people?"
Bjorn cringed at the thought. He had absolutely no desire to interfere in any of these people's lives. His job was to keep people from escaping the colony, not to arrest them, and he felt deeply uncomfortable with the idea that his responsibilities may be expanded towards general policing, rather than simple mindless patrolling of the border.
"Or do you think they will let all these desperadoes flock to Lundby unhindered?" Ante continued.
"It's not our job, is it? To act as police," Bjorn protested.
"No. Not at the moment. But that can change."
Bjorn had to admit that Ante was right. Lundby was not at all the sort of place he had expected it to be, and as a consequence, his job description was likely to change too. He would not be very surprised if he one day was asked to apprehend people down in Lundby.
"And what about you?" Bjorn asked. "Would you make that arrest if you were asked to do so?"
"No I wouldn't."
Bjorn was hoping for an explanation, but Ante didn't seem interested in expanding on his thought, and Bjorn did not feel like digging into the matter, feeling that he had already heard quite enough to paint a rather worrying picture.
Ante was evidently not prepared to follow orders slavishly, and Thomas was probably even less reliable in that respect. Then there were Frank who was almost certainly corrupted in some way. John would probably do his job reluctantly, and Espen... Well he might follow orders too, but reluctantly, although for different reasons than John.
The only one who could be relied upon to do his job without question was Geir, and this was almost as worrying as the realization that none of his other colleagues would do their job in a reliable fashion if asked to interfere in Lundby.
"But isn't Pedro the one in charge of law and order in Lundby?" Bjorn asked, suddenly remembering this detail from the original deal struck between the foreign minister and Pedro.
"Yeah. But Pedro doesn't seem to be doing much in terms of law and order, is he?"
"Well... He has this Lance security thing."
"True. But he's actually protecting David, not stopping him."
"How do you know?"
"Ah! Dear Watson, you have to pay attention! Didn't you see the stickers on his door? David has a Lance security sticker, and so does Roger. Pedro is guaranteeing their safety. And that, my friend, in case you were wondering, is the reason why I'm not going to arrest anyone in Lundby. I don't want my name on Pedro's blacklist."
Ante was right, of course. This was in the end Bjorn's big concern too. Lundby was in fact already out of control. Any attempt to rein in the citizens at this stage would be fraught with danger, and Bjorn was simply not up to it, especially knowing that he could easily end up abandoned by his colleagues in the middle of such a dangerous mission.
"Besides, I don't particularly agree with the sort of law and order that we would be asked to enforce," Ante continued, slowing down for the intersection with the Neiden road, before speeding up again for the climb up to the checkpoint. "I don't think any of those so called outlaws are actually doing anything wrong."
"Not even David?"
"Look who's talking," Ante said with a satisfied smile. "You're one of his customers. And you think he should be arrested?"
"And I'm certainly not going to arrest Katinka or Einar, or that woman."
"Yeah. It's not our business to interfere in those people's lives."
"Even if the kids are in danger?"
"But they're not, are they?"
"How do you know?"
"I don't. But did you see any evidence of abuse?"
"Well... Katinka and Roger... I mean..."
"Okay! So that's a little unsavory, maybe. But did she seem distressed? Did she seem like she was in fear of Roger?"
"No... But she's too young. Don't you think?"
"And what makes you think that they are better for her in Alta? She fled the place. And now you're suggesting that we should send her back to the very place that she ran away from."
"She's clearly thinking herself better off with Roger than in Alta. So the only way to get her away from him, without making her deeply unhappy, would be to offer her something better, not force her to return to the place she hates."
"But what if she's too young to know what's best for her?"
"Well, for one, I don't think she's too young to know this. And even if she were, it makes no sense going against her wishes. It is in the end all about what she thinks and feels, and if we just barge in and ignore all her wishes, we're surely violating her more than anyone else."