The Midsummer Incident. A new Generation Zero Story

Hello everyone on the forum.

It has been two years since I wrote Helldivers Diary. I think it’s time for a new story. This time it is meant as a prequel to Generation Zero. How did the catastrophe happen ?

I welcome you to

                            THE MIDSUMMER INCIDENT

I wish you a lot of fun and relaxation.


19.06. 2022


The Midsummer Incident

What’s going on at Östertörn. In April 1989, a corpse is found on the beach. Two hunters disappear and are cruelly murdered. A little later, some campers disappear in an inexplicable way. They are later found cruelly dismembered.

The two police inspectors Mikkel Havlund


and Liv Svensson

from the Stockholm homicide squad are investigating the case.

They follow the tracks that lead again and again to FOA 53. Pretty soon they realize that they are on the trail of a dark secret.

                           **Chapter 1**

A bright blue sky stretched over Östertörn on april morning. The sun had just risen over the adjacent Forest and sent its first warming rays of sunshine over the tops of the mighty pine trees.

Marit Hagarson, Nydala’s farmer’s wife, went to her barn to get out her bike. She blinked into the early morning sun and let the warming rays shine on her face. Finally it was spring on Östertörn. The first flowers were already curiously sticking their colorful heads out of the earth of their flower bed. Her husband had driven off early on with the tractor to plough the fields. The spring wheat had to be sown. Marit made her way to her work and got on the pedals of her bike. Quietly squeaking, it started moving. She drove down the narrow road that would lead to Skogshuld. There was a farm shop there, because the farmer’s wife of Skogshuld baked delicious bread. Marit would buy freshly baked crispbread there and take it with her to the IGA factory. She worked there in the canteen and would enjoy Bred together with her colleagues for breakfast. Marit stepped on the pedals as she drove from Skogshult on the road towards Skrankebol. The bread smelled seductive in the wire basket attached to her handlebars. The sun was higher and a fresh wind was blowing around Marit’s nose as she passed Skrankebol.

"Good morning Marit! ", Anette called the resident of Skrankebol and waved to her from the porch.

"Good morning Anette! ", Marit greeted back and waved as well.

The birds chirped in many voices in the trees. It was a beautiful morning. The wind blew strongly land inwards as Marit crossed the bridge over the Överbyan. Behind the bridge it turned off to Lillå to take the waterfront road.

Marit loved to drive along the shores of the sea when the weather was nice. Below Kaptensvillan was a small headland which was a popular spot with anglers. From there you had a beautiful view over the port of Östervik. She enjoyed the fresh, salty breeze and blinked out onto the dazzling water. On the headland she stopped to enjoy a moment in the morning. She got off her bike and slowly pushed it through the fine-grained sand onto the headland. Something was lying there. It looked like a bunch of clothes. Marit was annoyed. Again, some dirt finches had dumped their garbage instead of putting it in a garbage can. It often happened that some thoughtless people simply threw their rubbish on the beach. Marit lays down her bike and curiously walked towards the supposed pile of clothes. As she approached, she saw that the pile of clothes was a person lying face down on the shore. Maybe a drunk who just slept off his intoxication here.

Marit cautiously stepped closer and gently pushed the man with one foot.

"Hey you! "Marit spoke to the man, but he did not move.

Marit bent down and pushed the man by the shoulder, but no response.

"Hello, you… , wake up, you can’t stay here! «

Marit pushed the man harder because he did not react.

She pressed harder against him and the man rolled on his back. Two dead eyes stared at her. Marit was almost frightened to death. Her neck was constricted. She slapped her hands in front of her face and screamed loudly. In front of her lay a dead man, who had obviously been washed up by the sea. The world seemed to circle before her eyes and she felt her knees become weak. Her only thought was "Away here! Away from this gruesome place! «. Marit turned on her heel because she could no longer bear the dead man’s stare.

She ran off screaming loudly. She had to get help, the police, … anyone. As she ran along the waterfront, she saw the first houses of Tornberget appear in front of her . She ran towards the next best house and rang storm. A young woman opened it to her.

"There’s a dead man lying there, I need help! ", it burst out of Marit.

The woman looked at her in amazement.

"Please, you have to help me! Call the police,…please! ", Marit pleaded.

The woman looked at her in disbelief. Marit gasped and was still out of breath.

"Please, there is a dead man lying on the beach, please get the police. «, Marit asked again.

The young woman seemed to understand and brought Marit into the house. She picked up the phone, which was on a chest of drawers in her hallway, and dialed the police call.

"Hello ! There is Ute Lundgren, please send a car. Here is a woman with me who claims that she saw a dead man. «

Ms. Lundgren put her hand over the phone and asked.

"Where exactly is the dead man? «

Marit replied: "On the headland below Kaptensvillan. The police can come here and I show the officers the place. «

Ute Lundgren passed on Marit’s information to the police. They asked Marit to wait until a car would arrive.


Chapter 2

In Stockholm, the sun sent its bright rays into the grey street canyons where there was a hustle and bustle. People rushed, cars honked. Business as usual in the streets of Stockholm. In the apartment of a residential building above Södermalm, an alarm clock rang loudly and annoyingly. On the ragged bed lay the half-clothed figure of a haggard man. Whose hand slowly felt its way to the alarm clock to turn it off. The room was messy. Clothes were lying around on the floor and a pair of shoes seemed to have just been stripped off in front of their owner’s bed. The annoying wheezing of the alarm clock stopped suddenly when the man’s hand found the switch and turned it off. Then there was a soft snoring again.

Then the phone, which was at the bedside, began to scream. Once… twice… , it rang three times before the man’s hand reached for the phone and lifted it off.

The listener disappeared under the duvet and a sleepy

“Yes,” sounded muffled under the duvet.

An excited female voice then whined in the listener:

"Damn Mikkel where are you? All hell breaks loose here! «.

“I’m free today ,” the voice nuzzled sleepily from under the duvet.

"A shit you have. Get your ass out of bed right now. In ten minutes I’ll be at your place to pick you up. ", the female voice nagged again.

The handset reappeared under the duvet and was placed on the fork of the phone. Shortly afterwards it shrill again. The hand appeared again, groped for the receiver and disappeared with him again under the duvet.

"What’s going on? Man, you’re annoying Liv! ", sounded the voice already a little more awake and gruff.

“Damn it Mikkel, no matter if you are off now, we have no one else. It’s about a homicide. So come on, get out of bed, I’ll be right with you,” the woman’s voice sounded again.

“It’s okay, you don’t give a rest otherwise,” groaned the voice. The duvet moved and the rather crumpled face of a middle-aged man came to light. Somewhat hollow-cheeked and pale. The shoulderlong hair was disheveled and stuck greasy to his head. The man threw the handset on the fork of the phone and the duvet aside. Apparently, this effort was too great for him, because he let himself fall back on the bed. A little later, he snored again lying on his back.

A short time later , the doorbell rang in the apartment. But the man named Mikkel seemed to be back in the realm of dreams. Then the apartment door was hammered.

"Mikkel finally get up, damn here is Liv! Man, come to the vertical we have no time! «

Moaning, Mikkel opened his eyes and rose from the bed. Dressed only in shorts, he tapped sleep-drunk to the apartment door. When he tore it open,his colleague Liv Svensson went to his apartment and told him:

"Damn Mikkel, what do you look like again. Did you drink again yesterday? Move your butt and go under the shower, I’ll make you quick coffee to wake you up. «

With these words, Liv resolutely pushed her colleague towards the bathroom and gave him a slap on his slim but tight men butt.

Liv went to the kitchen. Meanwhile, she knew her way around Mikkel’s closets, as she had often been with him. She filled the kettle with hot water and put soluble coffee in a warming cup that was closable. The rush of water in the shower just stopped when Liv poured the hot water into the cup. Completely naked, Mikkel suddenly stood in the kitchen door and covered his privates makeshift with one hand.

"Mikkel, damn what the heck! Can’t you put on at least one pair of shorts? ", Liv snorted and turned away indignantly.

“I need a towel. They are in the locker around the corner. And don’t act like that. After all, I’m at home here.”

Liv went to the locker, took out a towel and threw it to Mikkel. He snatched it out of the air and covered himself with it. With his free hand he took the coffee cup and drank a sip. When he put it down, he contorted his face in disgust and said:

"Are you trying to kill me, it tastes like vomit! "

“That’s probably you yourself, who tastes like poop, in your drunkenness.”

Mikkel waved it off and turned his tight backside to her.

"Put some clothes on Mikkel we have to go. ", Liv called after him. A little later Mikkel appeared again in the kitchen. He was wearing a pair of worn jeans and a wrinkled shirt that hung halfway out of his pants, buttoned crookedly. On bare feet he groped to his coffee mug and drank another sip.

"Where are your socks and where are your shoes? "Liv asked.

"I don’t know somewhere here in the booth. "Mikkel replied and took another sip from the cup.

Mikkel’s inertia almost brought Liv to white heat. She stormed into his bedroom, as he looked, he had fallen into his bed drunk sometime in the early morning and had simply stripped off his shoes. She bounced back as she entered the bedroom. It smelled like a mixture of stale beer fart, sweat and lots of alcohol. With bated breath and ruffled nose, she tore the window of the bedroom open.

“Igitt stinks this one. Almost like in a puma cage.”, Liv etched.

"How it smells with me is none of your business. ", Mikkel said as he entered the bedroom and dropped onto his bed.

Liv had found the shoes on the ground. Between the clothes lying around she found a few socks that smelled a bit muffled, but they were the only ones she could find quickly. She pressed both into his hand.

"Where is your pistol? "She asked Mikkel.

"I don’t know, somewhere here, look under the bed. ", Mikkel hummed as he strived his socks over his feet.

Liv looked under the bed, … nothing. Then she pulled open the drawer of the bedside tables , again nothing.

"Man Mikkel, if Marie saw you like that, your mess, the drunkenness and what you look like, she would turn over in the grave. «

“Let Marie out of the game. What I look like and what happens is none of your business,” Mikkel’s somewhat poisonous answer came back.

Carelessly, Liv had hit his wound point. She knew he was grieving for his girlfriend. That he let himself go like this was probably only his personal way of grieving.

"Come Mikkel, we have to go. When we are done at the crime scene, I invite you to a breakfast, as much as you like it with eggs, baked beans and bread. ", Liv whispered and stroked his greasy hair on the back of his neck. At the same time, she put on a sweet smile. She knew that she had reached a point with her colleague where orders were no longer of any use, but only good coaxing and enticing with something.

Following an inspiration, she looked under the pillow and found what she was looking for. His Klauke was underneath. She released the magazine from the gun. It was loaded. Then she carefully pulled back the sled of the pistol to take a look into the cartridge chamber. It was empty. Then she pushed the magazine back into the pistol and threw it into Mikkel’s lap.

Mikkel rose from the bed, stuffed the shirt into his pants and the pistol into his waistband.

"Don’t you have a holster? At some point you shot your eggs away. "Liv admonished him.

"Shut up, after all, my eggs are not yours. ", came Mikkel’s short and grumpy answer.

He went to the cloakroom in the hallway and hung the pistol holster, which was hanging on the hook there. Liv scurried into the kitchen and once again shoveled soluble coffee into Mikkel’s coffee mug, then refilled with water. She silently hoped that it was still hot enough, then she put the lid over the cup and closed it. When Mikkel appeared in the kitchen door dressed in a worn-out leather jacket , Liv pressed the coffee mug into his hand and headed for the apartment door. Mikkel followed her willingly.

He dropped into the passenger seat of her old Björk 500 and buckled up while Liv started the car’s engine. She drove off hastily. From the center console, she pulled out a blue light with a magnetic foot, opened the side window, turned it on and placed it on the roof of the car with its magnetic foot, while sweeping through the streets of Stockholm at breakneck speed.

In addition, she turned on the siren to draw the attention of the drivers in front of her. Mikkel followed all this with stoic calm from the passenger seat and drank his coffee from time to time.

"Where are we actually going? "Mikkel asked as Liv drove onto the highway in the direction of Nacka.

"We have to go to the archipelago in Östervik on Östertörn. ", Liv replied.

"Do they have no police in Östervik? «

“But they don’t have a homicide squad.”

"What about the eggheads of Hjimfäll, what is the name of the stupid town, I think Himarvet. ", Mikkel moaned.

Liv shook her head.

“They don’t have a homicide squad and they also have enough to do with the tourists. They’re just village sheriffs, so we have to get involved.” , replied Liv.

"Well bravo! ", sighed Mikkel and looked out at the window.

The rest of the ride, Mikkel was pretty mouthy. Liv watched him from the corner of her eye. She knew that if he withdrew like that, he was mentally preparing for his assignment. If he got out of the car right away, he would be fully there again. He would again be Mikkel the sniffer dog. Perhaps he hoped for a new trace of the bloodman. The sinister serial killer to whom his girlfriend had fallen victim. She knew that Mikkel would chase him until the end of his life.

A little later they reached the outskirts of Östervik. Liv drove towards Gamla Stan (swed. Old Town). She maneuvered the Björk through the narrow streets. She stopped and asked a passer-by about the district of Lillå and Kaptensvillan. The man showed her the way. Eventually, they reached the scene of the crime. Many police cars were standing around there. The area was widely cordoned off with red and white flutter tape. Mikkel and Liv showed their police IDs and were allowed to the scene. As they walked down to the sandy beach, Mikkel was already putting on wafer-thin latex gloves. He was again the sniffer dog that picked up his trail. Searching, Mikkel looked around and took in every little detail. A man squatted at the body and several policemen stood around there. Mikkel approached cautiously so as not to destroy any traces. He approached the man who was squatting by the corpse and introduced himself. The man pretended to be a doctor who worked at Östervik Sjukhuset (swed. Hospital). Mikkel carefully touched the body and felt the clothes. They where damp. The man was lying on his back. A blood stain was emblazoned on his chest, the shirt was slightly shredded. Mikkel carefully lifted a shred and looked at the wound. It was linear and had smooth edges. It had to come from a stabbing weapon.

"That was the cause of death. ", said the doctor.

"The stabbing weapon has leaked through the sternum directly into the heart and on the back. «

"That must have been a big knife or a sword and the perpetrator must have rammed it into the body with great force. To impale a person in this way requires some violence. “,” replied Mikkel.

"Yes, he didn’t drown. It has been transported post mortem (lat: after death) into the water. ", the doctor replied.

"Do you know how long he’s been dead? "Mikkel asked.

The doctor warped the face:

"It’s hard to say. His body temperature has already dropped a lot, but that’s fast out here. In addition, it was lying in the water. I can only say more details when I have autopsied him. «

"When will that be? "Mikkel asked.

"So in two to three days we will have results. ", replied the doctor.

"Isn’t that faster? ", Mikkel asked somewhat incoherently.

"I’ll see what I can do. «, replied the doctor reservedly.

Mikkel pulled some plastic bags out of his jacket pocket and put them over the dead man’s hands and feet. Then he took cable ties and lashed the plastic bags.

"I want them to scrape out and store everything he has under his fingernails. The same applies to the shoes. ", Mikkel ordered.

"What’s the point of that? "The doctor asked.

"Even the slightest trace can give clues, because I don’t think he was killed here. The actual crime scene must have been somewhere else. ", Mikkel replied.

The doctor nodded in agreement. Mikkel ordered the senior policeman to make plaster casts of the footprints of the beach. He compared with a look at the shoe soles of the dead man the traces that were in the immediate vicinity on the beach and found that none of the shoe prints matched those of the dead man. This confirmed Mikkel’s suspicion that the site was not the scene of the crime. The type of fatal injury was also unusual.

After thoroughly searching the beach, Mikkel searched the dead man’s bags. He found car keys a wallet, a portemonaie. He looked through them fleetingly, whether an ID or driver’s license was to be found in it. Then he stuffed everything into small plastic bags and handed them over to Liv. Around his neck, the man wore a steel chain on which a key card with a barcode hung. Without taking a closer look at her, Mikkel also put her in a plastic bag.

When Mikkel completed his investigation, he left the beach with Liv. She redeemed her Vand invited Mikkel for breakfast. Near the port of Östervik they found a small restaurant. Mikkel ate hungry and spoke little about his findings. Then they made their way back.

                              **Chapter 3**

Thorsten Michelsson, the farmer of Sandbo, loaded his Björk station wagon. He would go to his friend Gustav in Hammarnä’s farm today. He wanted to go hunting with him before the season ended. They had heard that a capital moose had been spotted at Burgaskogen. They wanted to hunt him down. Thorsten loaded a pallet of beer cans onto the loading area, his hunting rifle a Älgstudsare, some food cans and his tent. They would camp in the forest for a few days. He hoped that he would kill the moose together with Gustav. Gustav was a butcher and would then process the moose. At the thought of a juicy roast elk, Gustav’s mouth was already watering.

Arriving in Hammarnäs Farm, Gustav loaded his rifle, sleeping bag and backpack onto the loading area. In a bag he carried a bottle of homemade pear brandy, which he showed to Thorsten. They would empty them around the campfire. So the two of them set off.

Once in the forest, they parked the car in a forest parking lot and took their equipment out of the trunk. Then they trudged off. Deeper and deeper into the forest. They set up camp in a small clearing. When it was finished, it was already getting dark. They lit a campfire and prepared dinner for themselves. Afterwards, the two talked and drank some cans of beer. Then they went to sleep. The next morning they made their way to their residence. On the way, they searched the forest floor for moose droppings and found what they were looking for. In the afternoon they found a place from which they had a good view over a forest clearing. In the vicinity they had found again and again moose droppings. They also found large traces that could have come from a walking excavator. They all led in a westerly direction where there was a military barracks. Gustav knew it was the FOA 53.

"What are they here with a walking excavator through, could have taken a wheel excavator. «, Thorsten grumbled.

"Maybe this was one of the new types of wood harvesting machines, what are they called? I think harvesters or something like that. ", said Gustav.

“Oh, you mean the things that look like an excavator, can grab a log, saw it off and limb off the branches in one fell swoop. Yes… maybe it was such a machine. They’re experimenting with all sorts of things,” Thorsten replied.

The two settled on the high stand and peered through the clearing into the forest. It became dark and the area gradually blurred. They sat on the high stand, drank beer and smoked a cigarette. Strained, they peered into the shady darkness. Slowly the full moon rose over the treetops and doused the clearing with silvery light. It became much brighter and the two had good rifle light. Some deer stepped out into the clearing and branched. Then they disappeared back into the forest. A rot wild boar also rummaged grunting with their noses through the forest floor.

Around midnight, Thorsten heard a sound as if something was going through the forest. He drank his beer can empty and pushed Gustav, who was dozing next to him. Thorsten took his high power binoculars and lifted it to his eyes. He spied on the opposite edge of the forest and saw a large scheme trudging through the bushes there. Some branches cracked and bushes moved violently. Something very big had to march through the forest over there. Thorsten caught the hunting fever. He took off his binoculars and lifted up his Älgstudsare to see through her scope. Gustav already had his Meusser in the attack and also pursued the goal.

"That’s definitely the moose! ", whispered Thorsten.

"Looks like this. «, Gustav replied.

Gustav shot first when he thought the target was safe in his sights. A strange cry sounded and the steps accelerated. Thorsten followed the shadowy movement and also shot. The shot of his Älgstudsare crashed loudly and his echo echoed again in the forest, then both shot again almost simultaneously. This time they saw something flashing brightly at the opposite edge of the forest. Than the steps stopped.

"We have him! ", Thorsten rejoiced and set about descending the high seat. Gustav followed him. Thorsten removed the safety belt on his holster which contained a 44 Colt Magnum. With this he wanted to give the moose the catch shot. Gustav shouldered his rifle and took a Klaucke out of his jacket. He loaded the pistol without making much noise. Then both cautiously walked towards the supposed place where they suspected the moose carcass. When they arrived at the site, they saw only flattened undergrowth. They split up.

"Maybe he was just seriously injured and ran away. ", said Gustav.

“But he won’t have gotten far, I’m sure we met him at least twice.”

“I think so too, he can’t be far,” Thorsten replied.

They split up and searched the forest in different directions. Gustav trudged through the undergrowth, the moonlight pierced glaringly between the treetops of the mighty spruces. He heard a crack. As if rooted, Gustav stopped and looked around. Suddenly he heard fast footsteps and he felt an insane pain that exploded in his chest. Then his head rolled on the forest floor. His breaking eyes stared into the night sky with a frightened look.

Thorsten had heard a muffled noise from the direction Gustav had gone into.

"Did you find him Gustav? ", Thorsten asked into the darkness. But he got no answer.

Slowly he went in the direction in which he suspected Gustav. He looked around, the pistol in the attack. It had happened to him before that a venison believed to be dead suddenly broke out of the undergrowth.

“Gustav!”, where are you? ", he shouted softly.

But no answer.

Slowly he went on and peered into the forest which was only sparsely illuminated by the moonlight. As he passed a fir tree conservation, he heard heavy footsteps and the fir trees moved. Thorsten backed away and stepped on something soft. He stumbled and laboriously kept his balance. In the moonlight, he saw Gustav’s headless torso covered in blood lying on the ground. Not far away was his head staring at him with eerily open eyes. Thorsten’s hair stood on end and nameless terror gripped him. His heart suddenly raced and he lifted his 44s.

Then he shot at the moving fir trees. The predator cry resounded. This time very close to him. He shot until the magazine of his 44 was empty and the hammer only clicked on empty cartridges. Between the trees it shone eerily dark red. And a hunky scheme peeled itself out of the bending trees.

Thorsten broke free from his rigidity, turned around and ran off, deeper into the forest. He heard fast footsteps behind him that he had shot at pursued him. He looked around hastily and saw a huge, shadowy figure who was on his heels. He wanted to keep running and ran into a tree in the dark. He wanted to pick himself up, but the huge shadow was suddenly with him. He barely made it to his feet when he heard a whizzing noise. His stomach suddenly hurt like hell and he saw his intestines fall to the bottom of the forest. Completely frightened, he wanted to hold them, how could that be. He looked up. The last thing he saw were two dark red smouldering eyes staring at him badly. He felt a blow to his neck and felt a stabbing pain, then the light went out. His blood soaked the forest floor.


Chapter 4

At the police headquarters in Stockholm, Mikkel stood in front of the large bulletin board, which hung in the office he shared with Liv.

Gösta Petersson was the name of the man who was found on the beach below Kaptensvillan. He was a computer specialist at FOA 53. The ID card with the barcode that Mikkel had found on his chain around his neck came from the military installation. They had already searched his home in Lillå. It was crammed with computers and electronic components. After talking to the neighborhood, they found out that Gösta must have been a computer fool. He didn’t have much contact with the neighborhood and sometimes worked late into the night. His car was also missing. The search for the car was already underway. The computers were in the laboratory and were examined for possible clues.

Mikkel slowly leafed through the autopsy report he had received from the Sjukhuset (swed. Hospital) in Östervik. The man had been killed by a heavy stabbing weapon, presumably a knife or a sword. As Dr. Håkanson had suspected, the stabbing weapon had penetrated through the sternum, had divided the heart in half and had leaked on the back. Otherwise, there was no violence on the body. He must have been thrown into the water at some point, probably so that he would drift out to sea and sink there. That the current would drive the body to Östervik, the perpetrator did not consider.

Mikkel had already asked the Maritime Office. He wanted to have a detailed plan of the existing ocean currents. He hoped that he might get a clue to the crime scene.

While he was sipping his steaming coffee cup, the phone was ringing. Liv took off. She got in touch with:

"Liv Svensson, Homicide Commission. «

Then Mikkel saw how she listened strained and pulled her forehead curly. She said only a few times:

“Yes,” into the phone’s handset. Finally, she said:

"All right we come. «

»What’s there? "Mikkel asked across the desk.

»Work ! ", came Liv’s terse answer.

"Where then? "Mikkel asked.

"On Östervik, this time at Burgaskogen. Very close to FOA 53.«

“Ok,” Mikkel replied, pondering.

"Who drives? "Liv asked.

"Always the one who asks so stupidly. ", Mikkel replied.

"I have a headache, so I don’t want to drive. ", Mikkel replied explanatory.

"OK but then with your Porsche. "Liv said with a grin.

"What do you dream of at night? " Mikkel asked back.

"Oh Mikkel, don’t be like that, I’ll also give you an aspirin tablet, then you can cure your headache on the go and your Porsche is faster than my Björk. "Liv replied, putting on her sweetest smile.

Mikkel could not defend himself against Liv’s flow of speech and reluctantly agreed.

"Don’t you dare scrape it! "Mikkel admonished Liv and threw the key at her.

Liv snatched him from the air, reached into her desk drawer and squeezed two tablets out of a blister pack. She handed it to Mikkel. He took the tablets out of Liv’s hand and put them in his mouth. He washed them down with the rest of the coffee as he rose. Liv hooked in Mikkel and they both set off for Östervik.

They drove through dense forests and had to stop several times to orient themselves. Than they drove past FOA 53.

»What kind of store is this? "Liv asked.

“Something military. This is a kind of research laboratory. They’re developing new stuff for the army here,” Mikkel replied.

After searching up and down the road a few times, they found the forest path that would lead to the crime scene. When they drove a little deeper into the forest, they already saw the first police cars. They parked Mikkel’s Porsche and continued on foot. At the barrier they were greeted by the same police commissioner as in Östervik. He led them directly to the site. On the way there, he reported on details she had already found out.

The site was a sight of horror. The two bodies had been cruelly beaten and beheaded. The bodies and also the heads of the men were eaten by animals.

"It looks like the slaughterhouse here. ", Mikkel stated.

“Yes, this is truly not a pretty sight. But Who or What does something like that. It hadn’t been a wild animal,” said the police commissioner.

"We’re here to find out. "Liv said to him.

Mikkel squatted down and examined the torso of one of the victims. He put on thin latex gloves again and carefully searched the pockets of the victim. He meticulously examined the soil around the dead. He was located near a fir conservation. Some branches of the trees were bent or torn off. Something very big must have made its way by force. He examined the forest floor and found some depressions that looked like traces. He followed them, they led him to the second torso, which was a little further away. The victim must have been chased by something. He examined the traces, but found nothing exact. The corpses had probably been lying in the forest for a few days and the weather had done its way to cover the tracks. He saw further depressions and followed them. Through the trees he could see the FOA 53. Then the traces were lost. Pondering, Mikkel returned to the scene of the crime.

Who had killed the people and why? They had both been killed with a blow and stabbing weapon. In any case, the blows must have been carried out with great force. The one, whose intestines were scattered over the forest floor, had been severed almost in the middle. The officers of the forensic department appeared and began their work. Mikkel asked them for a detailed report. Then he left the scene together with Liv.

At FOA 53, he asked Liv to stop.

“Pull over, maybe I can talk to someone, I still have a few about the young computer specialist. After all, he worked for them.”,says Mikkel.


I saw this in my Suggested list. I don’t think I’ve ever clicked so fast.
So far, so good!

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More will come. :smile:

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Amazing, absolutely love this! Thanks for writing/sharing with us!


Thank you so much for the feedback @Avalanche_Pontus . More stuff will come. I’m busy of writing /translating it.

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Liv drove to the main entrance gate of the Military Facility. It looked like a normal barracks with some administrative buildings. Actually nothing special. Many soldiers were not to be seen on the premises. In the rear part seemed to be a hangar for military vehicles. Two Stridsvagn 105 (Swedish Panzerkampfwagen 105) stood on the site. In front of the gate was a lowered barrier. The guard soldier had an assault rifle hanging and raised his hand. Liv complied with the request and stopped the Porsche. The security guard came to the window of the car and bent down.

"Criminal Police Stockholm Homicide Commission, we are investigating the case of Gösta Petersson. We would have liked to have spoken to his superior. «

"Can you identify yourselves? "The security guard asked.

Liv and Mikkel pulled out their IDs.

The security guard received them and passed them on to his colleague in the gate barracks.

Liv could see the soldier in it talking on the phone. A few minutes later, he returned the IDs to the security guard and said something to him. The security guard stepped up to the car and handed over the ID cards. He raised his hand to his head in greeting and said:

You can pass. Professor van Ulmer will receive you. Please drive to the large building on the left and report at the entrance. You will then be led to the professor.

Liv took the ID cards and drove off when the soldier opened the barrier. They stopped in front of the building.

At the entrance there was again a guard soldier who was already informed. They had to sign a visit book and hand over their weapons. Then they were led by a soldier over several stairs to an office. The soldier knocked and a young woman opened the door.

"The two policemen for Professor van Ulmer. ", the soldier snarled.

They were invited in. The young woman stepped up to her desk and operated an intercom.

"You can go through, the professor is waiting for you. ", said the woman in a reserved tone.

Mikkel and Liv walked up the door and entered the professor’s office.

Behind the desk sat a sickly-looking man with gray hair and a beard. On his nose sat rimless glasses.

"I warmly welcome you. The lady, the gentleman. I would like to dispense with a greeting by handshake. I have to inform you that I have AIDS and avoid physical touches such as shaking hands. It only serves your own safety. “,” said the professor in a slightly arrogant, blasé tone.

Mikkel and Liv exchanged a glance.

"Please take a seat! ", the professor continued.

Liv and Mikkel sat down in the two chairs in front of van Ulmer’s desk.

Mikkel looked around the room. He was soberly furnished almost spartan. On the wall behind van Ulmer hung some battle axes and a sword, which Mikkel identified as Spatha. He turned his gaze to van Ulmer, who had also taken a seat in his desk chair, leaned back and placed his folded hands on the desk.

“What leads you to me? It’s rare for the police to visit us.”

Liv took the floor and said: “We are investigating the Gösta Petersson murder case. He was one of your collaborators. My colleague Mikkel Havlund would have a few questions for you.”

“Was the man murdered? This is very unfortunate. I don’t know how I can help you in this case, but please ask,” said van Ulmer blasé.

Mikkel took the floor: “As we found out, Gösta Petersson worked for you as a computer specialist. Did you know him?”

Professor van Ulmer contorted his face:

"I don’t know, maybe. A lot of people work here. «

"Really? But this facility does not look that big. "Mikkel said, looking deeply into the professor’s eyes.

Mikkel did not miss the fact that the professor cringed slightly at his question. Mikkel paid very close attention to the body language of his counterpart. He noticed every little detail. Even the slightest twitch of the mouth or corner of the eye.

Mikkel reached into his jacket pocket and took out a photo of the dead man he had from forensic medicine and put it on van Ulmer’s desk. He reached into a drawer, took out a pair of latex gloves and took the photo in his hand. Then he lifted it and looked at it.

“Yes, this man worked in our computer department.”

"Did he have any enemies? Do you know anything? "Mikkel asked.

Van Ulmer shook his head:

“I don’t know anything. These people work for us, but we don’t know if they have any hostility to each other.”

“Did he have any other abnormalities, were you aware of something?”

Van Ulmer again denied:

“I don’t know anything.”

“What was he working on? Maybe he was blackmailed. FOA 53 is known as a research laboratory.”

“Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what he was working on, because everything here is subject to the strictest secrecy. That he may have been blackmailed from outside is possible, but I think he was not working on any security-related things. We also have some specialists here who only keep the computers running here and before anyone is allowed to work here, they are specially screened and checked. Whoever works here is hand-picked,” said the professor with a winning smile.

"However, I must also confess to you, to my chagrin, that the personnel matters are handled by the Military Director Mr. Frederik Holberg. «

"Can we speak to Mr. Holberg? "Mikkel asked.

"Please contact the reception below. You will certainly be able to arrange an appointment with Mr. Holberg. «

While van Ulmer was speaking, he passed the photo over his desk.

"Please excuse me, the lady, the gentleman, for my time is limited. Please put further questions to my colleague Mr. Holberg. «

With these words, van Ulmer rose up. He had just thrown them out in an elegant way. This only aroused Mikkel’s curiosity even more. They said goodbye and turned to leave. When Liv reached the door, Mikkel turned around again and walked back to the desk behind which van Ulmer was standing with his hands crossed on his back.

"I have one more question, Professor. “,” said Mikkel.

"And that would be? ", the professor asked back.

Mikkel’s trained eye immediately noticed that the professor’s face seemed tense.

"I can take a closer look at the sword that hangs on the wall, I am interested in history and especially in that of the Vikings. This seems to be a unique piece. «

“Please just to Commissioner. I’m also interested in Scandinavian history.”

The professor’s face relaxed and he stepped aside so that Mikkel could see the sword. Mikkel noted that it was a replica. He examined the blade with his eyes and found that it seemed unused. Theoretically, it was possible to kill a person with such a blade.

"A very beautiful piece, but certainly a replica. However, a masterful one. “,” said Mikkel.

"Indeed, Commissioner Havlund. I see you are familiar with such weapons. «

Mikkel nodded and said:

"Thank you very much, Professor. I don’t want to take up too much of your time. «

Then he turned around and left the office with Liv.

When they arrived back at the front desk, Liv asked:

"Should we make another appointment with Holberg? «

“I think we can save ourselves that for today. We will learn nothing more from him than from the professor.”

They had just left the barracks gate behind them when Mikkel said:

“Can you stop again, I have to.”

Liv snorted and stopped the car. Mikkel got out and went into the adjacent forest. When he had left the first rows of trees behind him and Liv was out of sight, he looked around searching. Suddenly, he found what he was looking for. He saw again the depressions in the forest floor that stretched like a trace. He went closer and followed them. He looked over the tracks and found out that they led in the direction in which the crime scene had to be. He followed them, in a depression he saw an imprint that was well preserved. Carefully he pushed the pine needles aside. The imprint looked like it was from a machine, not an animal. There were three rectangular booms connected at their backs. He walked the distance between the depressions and found that they were at a more or less equal distance. That what had walked along had to be bigger than a person, because he had to take almost two steps to bridge the distance between the depressions. He went back to the car and knocked on the window pane of the driver’s side.

"What are you finally done? "Liv asked impatiently.

"Come with me! “,” said Mikkel.

Liv got out of the car and followed Mikkel into the forest.

"What is? Do you want to show me where you have shitted ? ", said Liv ineffectually.

Mikkel turned to her and looked at her sourly.

“Even better,” he said.

When he arrived at the place with the imprint, he carefully pushed the foliage on the side, what he had placed over it. Liv made big eyes when she saw the imprint. She was particularly amazed at the size. When Mikkel showed her the trail and in which direction she was leading, Liv was amazed.

"Something stinks here tremendously. ", Mikkel told Liv.

"You mean the FOA? "Liv asked.

"Exactly that. I believe they knowledge more than they admit. «

"I had the same feeling. “,” said Liv.

"I cover this with fir branches, so that tomorrow the colleagues from forensics can make a plaster cast. Then we get away from here. «

“It’s ok. Mikkel, we’re not going to find out more here.”

On the way back, Mikkel sat introverted in the passenger seat of his Porsche. Liv knew full well that Mikkel’s head was running at full speed. He was like a bloodhound. Once he had picked up a trail, he would not let up. And Mikkel had picked up a trail, she was sure of that.

When they arrived at the police headquarters, they said goodbye.
The next day they received the results of the examination of the computers. Some drawings and movement studies had been found. Obviously, Gösta had dealt with the movement of the human walking apparatus. They found various video sequences in which people had been recorded walking. Then they had also found a directory with computer animated stick figures where it was mainly about the movement of the legs and feet when walking.
Mikkel pinned all the findings they had found to the pin board. Both tried to find out something about Professor van Ulmer and Frederik Holberg.


Chapter 5

Liv and Mikkel found out some information about Holberg and van Ulmer. The professor was considered an excellent neurologist. Together with his colleague Ingrid Granqvist, both had received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on Neurotransmitters. Since 1970, both have worked for FOA 53. In 1984, van Ulmer had a serious car accident, which he barely survived. One of the blood preserves he received was probably infected with AIDS. However, the disease did not break out until years later and was diagnosed in 1987. After that, van Ulmer fell into disrepair more and more. Together with Ingrid Granqvist, he achieved breakthroughs in human interface research. They managed to control a robotic arm from Stockholm in Gothenburg by thought.

Frederik Holberg, on the other hand, was a military man. Already in the 70s he was involved in the development of new defensive weapons. He pursued the idea of using remote-controlled combat robots controlled by pilots who sat safely in a bunker. So they would be able to fight a numerically superior army.

In the 80s he became Supreme Head of FOA 53 and subordinated to the High Command of the Armed Forces.

“A rather tall animal our comrade Holberg,” said Mikkel appreciatively as he pinned the pictures of Holberg and van Ulmer on the pin board.

"Yes, that’s right. I also found out something about Gösta Petersson. “,” said Liv.

»Gösta studied mathematics and computer science in Stockholm for several years. He completed both courses of study with top marks. After his studies, he worked as a programmer for various game studios. Then about 6 years for IBM in the Kista district in the northwest of Stockholm. He had been working for the FOA for about five years. «

"And then he is said to have worked only as a computer service specialist? The earth is a disk and pigs can fly. «, joked Mikkel.

Liv giggled as she pinned the findings to the wall next to the picture of Gösta Petersson.

"Yes, it somehow doesn’t fit that such a high-profile computer expert only screws cables to a computer or replaces a graphics card. «

Liv took a few steps back and stood next to Mikkel.

Then the phone rang on Mikkel’s desk. He picked up the listener and got in touch:

»Mikkel Havlund Criminal Police Stockholm, Homicide Commission. «

"Here Police Chief Ole Bengtson Police Headquarters Östervik. I would like to inform you that we have found Gösta Petersson’s car. «, a man’s voice sounded tinny from the listener.

"Where is it? "Mikkel asked.

“The car was found in the parking lot next to the lighthouse in Arkelstorp ,” the answer came.

"We’ll be there in about an hour. Until then, please leave everything untouched. «

"That is fine, Commissioner, we will close everything off over a large area so that no one enters the site. ", replied the policeman on the other end.

Liv had already put on her coat and hung her handbag over her shoulder. Mikkel took his leather jacket from his chair, then they both ran to the parking lot of the police headquarters. Mikkel let the engine of his Porsche Targa howl. Even as they rolled off the yard, Mikkel put the blue light on the roof and turned on the siren. Then he chased through Stockholm. The engine of the Porsche rumbled like a predator as they rushed along the highway. Normally, only 120 km/h hours were allowed on Sweden’s motorways. But when Mikkel went into the fast lane behind Stockholm, his speedometer needle was beyond 200 km/h. Only the blue light protected them from having to walk for the next hundred years. Liv clawed herself in the passenger seat, because she was not used to such a speed. The area flew past her. Liv’s legs trembled a little as she got out of the Porsche. Mikkel was quite unimpressed.

They showed their ID cards at the barrier and were let in. The policeman who had called her, greeted her kindly. Liv and Mikkel walked around the car. It was a fairly new Björk 900 Mikkel had commissioned the forensics team before they had left the police headquarters. Liv pulled a Polaroid camera out of her pocket and opened it. Then she took pictures of the car. An hour later, the forensics team arrived. They meticulously examined the surrounding area of the car and searched the ground for possible micro-traces. Liv and Mikkel waited patiently. Mikkel walked around a bit and searched the surrounding area like a sniffing dog. When the people of the forensics team had opened the car doors, Liv handed over her camera to a colleague of the team and asked her to take pictures of the interior. A little later she received the camera with the pictures back. Which slowly developed themselves under the sunlight. When Mikkel had finished his tour, Liv asked if there was anything left to do, but Mikkel said no. They boarded the Porsche again to make their way home. But Mikkel drove south at the church of Alby instead of continuing towards Stenmyra .

"Where do you want to go? "Liv asked.

“I want to pay a visit to this Holberg. Let’s see what he has to say.”

"Why? did you find something? «

"Not exactly, although it is strange that Gösta’s car was parked in the north of Östervik and he was driven in the south. I suspect that the crime scene was very close to the car. But I didn’t find anything in the surrounding area. I suspect this road here leads to the FOA. “,” said Mikkel.

"Are you so sure? "Liv asked.

"We’ll see. «

A short time later they already saw the chimneys of the combined heat and power plant of FOA 53. Mikkel drove into the driveway to the FOA and stopped in front of the barrier. The guard soldier came to the car and Mikkel lowered the side window.

He introduced himself as a police commissioner and handed their two police IDs to the station.

"We are investigating the Petersson homicide case and would like to talk to his superior, Mr. Frederik Holberg. ", Mikkel said to the guard.

He handed over the ID cards to the guard. He made a phone call, put the phone aside and came out of the barracks himself.

"Mr. Holberg has no time and cannot receive you. You have to come back again. ", snarled the guard officer.

Mikkel exploded: “Tell your Mr. Holberg that I can also summon him to the Stockholm police headquarters if he prefers it and if he thinks he doesn’t have time, you can tell him right away that I can show him off with police force if necessary, because this is about homicide.”

The guard officer winced and went back to the barracks to make a phone call. Mikkel saw with inner satisfaction how the officer took a stance on the phone. Then he came out of the barrack and returned the IDs.

"Please drive to Resort 2,. This is the second administration building on the right. Mr. Holberg is waiting for you at the reception. «

"Well, it goes. ", Mikkel hummed, drove off with squeaky tires when the barrier was lifted and enveloped the guard in a cloud of dust. Mikkel was a quick sideways glance at Liv and grinned mischievously.

At the entrance they were received by Holberg. He was a tall muscular man with short-cut hair and a shaggy beard. On his shoulders were the silver rank badges of a colonel.

Mikkel and Liv introduced themselves.

“So, so, you are the police officers investigating the homicide case. A bad thing,” greeted Holberg in wet brash voice.

"Can we continue to discuss this in your office or do we have to do this here in the hallway? ", Mikkel snarled.

Liv bit her lower lip. She knew Mikkel well enough to know that if he reacted like that, he was quite angry and pitted. If Mikkel couldn’t stand one thing, it was wet brash guys.

“Of course we also have an office,” said Holberg, casting an evil eye on the two of them, whom Mikkel met with a smile.

Silently, they walked along a long corridor. The metal plates under Holberg’s boots clicked loudly. Finally, Holberg opened a door and entered his office. Mikkel looked around and discovered a long gray box on a table, from one end of which something like the tip of a blade peeked out. Hastily Holberg was a cloth over it.

Mikkel pretended he hadn’t seen anything and gave Liv a quick sideways glance.

Holberg took a seat behind his desk and told them with a gesture to sit down.

“By the way, Mr. Havlund, presenting myself with police force should be quite difficult, since I fall under the military and thus only the military police.”

"Unfortunately, Sir, you are wrong, the military police are also subordinate to the Minister of the Interior just like us and since this is a homicide case that has not found its way into the military area of the city, it would end up with us again anyway, since the military police does not have the official competence to investigate a homicide case. «, Mikkel lectured.

Liv grinned into herself. Mikkel had just disarmed Holberg with a quick parade. Holberg looked at him in amazement and gave Mikkel a piercing look. Mikkel returned his gaze and said nothing at first. There was just a psychological exchange of blows instead of which Mikkel sovereignly decided for himself.

Holberg sighed slightly and said, "Please ask Mr. Havlund. «

“You are Mr. Petersson’s direct superior, if I am not mistaken. ?”

“That’s the way it is,” Holberg replied.

Mikkel pulled the picture of Gösta Petersson out of his jacket pocket and pushed it over the desk. «

Holberg picked up the photo and looked at it.

"Yes, that’s right, I know the man, he’s met me before. «

"What was he working on? «

"He worked in computer service. «

"This means eliminating shaky contacts, replacing defective drives and dusting computers. «

“Yes, something like that,” Holberg said.

Mikkel raised an eyebrow and said:

»Interesting and for this you need someone who has completed a mathematics and a computer science degree with top marks? «

When Mikkel confronted Holberg with this, Liv noticed how the corners of his eyes in Holberg’s poker face twitched slightly. This was a sure sign for her that Mikkel had stung the wasp’s nest.

"Of course, I can also imagine that with the many people who work here, you can’t know what each individual is doing. «

Holberg grabbed the straw that Mikkel held out to him and agreed with him.

"Yes, yes, it may well be that Gösta had higher-value activities than repairing computers. Do you know the activities here are all top secret. That is why I cannot tell you anything precise about his actual activity. «

"What is being done here at all? "Mikkel asked.

Liv knew that Mikkel had gone on to a cat and mouse game. He had first thrown him a chunk to unsettle him and then distracted him from it again and then when he did not expect it to happen again.

Holberg took a breath and made a sweeping hand movement:

"This entire facility is used to develop defensive weapons so that we can successfully defend Sweden against an aggressor. As you know, there is a latent threat from Russia. «

"I understand and so that the other side does not know anything about these things here, the strictest secrecy applies here. “,” said Mikkel.

"That’s exactly how it is. "Holberg replied, leaning back in the armchair.

"But then you and your employees are also constantly threatened by espionage? ", Mikkel asked, lurking.

"Yes, that’s true, but we have a well-functioning security service here. We haven’t had a spy case in our ranks in the last decade. «

"Would it be conceivable that Gösta Petersson was perhaps involved in something like this or perhaps blackmailed? «

"No, I don’t think so, because our employees are required to turn to us in these cases with confidence. Our security service then takes care of the rest and protects our employees. Of course, in cooperation with the criminal police. ", Holberg said with a winning smile.

Mikkel nodded and paused as if thinking.

While Mikkel was talking to Holberg, Liv watched the goings-on at the barracks yard. There were many white and red containers housed. From the rock face of the Jarvberget, which closed the barracks to the rear, a tunnel mouth emerged. Probably the plant continued in the mountain massif.

"Do you have any questions? "Holberg asked with a winning smile.

"No, I don’t think so at the moment. I can certainly contact you again if I still have questions. “,” said Mikkel.

Liv noticed how Holberg’s posture relaxed.

Both rose up and said goodbye to Holberg. Then they went to the door. Mikkel opened the door and immediately closed it again.

"Oh, I still have a question, Mr. Holberg? ", said Mikkel and went back to Holberg.

Liv saw Holberg’s posture tense. Although Holberg presented an excellent poker face in which there was no emotion to be seen, Liv did not miss the fact that Holberg was tense and that you were only when you had something to hide.

"Oh, you know, Mr. Holberg. We found some movement studies and image animations on the computer we found at Petersson. Maybe he was busy with something like that? I think that looked very technical, what he had done there. «

"That was nothing special. «, Holberg dismissed» Peterson has uh… on a uh… Information brochure and a new image film. From time to time we present the work we have done, the taxpayer should know where his crowns go. «

»Image film, so, so. But ok. that explains a lot. I thank you, Mr. Holberg, and goodbye. «

With a sweet smile, Mikkel turned around and left the office with Liv.

He didn’t say a word in the hallway. Only Liv knew that Mikkel had not swallowed the bait that Holberg had thrown at him. His smile had given way to a petrified expression.

Outside the building, Mikkel wordlessly pressed the car keys into Liv’s hand. Liv contorted her face in amazement, because that was a whole new side to him. Normally, Mikkel guarded his Porsche like the apple of his eye. Even though he let himself go at the moment, he took care of this car. Liv took a seat behind the steering wheel and started the engine. The Porsche rolled growling from the barracks yard. Mikkel sat inwardly in the passenger seat again.

"He screwed us a lot. "Mikkel said as they crossed the bridge at Stenmyra towards the mainland.

"I believe that too. He seems to know more than he tells us. «, Liv replied.

"Exactly that. The whole thing stinks somehow and I think they have something to hide. «

“You might be right,” Liv replied.

The rest of the way they remained silent. Mikkel sat in the passenger seat with his arms crossed and stared in front of him. Liv knew that Mikkel was running at full speed.


Chapter 6

Deep in the mountain massif of the Jarvberget. Rhythmically flashing little lights illuminated the large grotto sparsely. The air was filled with the whirring of the fans and the quiet clacking of the hard drives. The cooling cataract of the water cooling splashed quietly while the steaming water ran into the cooling basin. The large, ring-shaped structure of the Cray computer buzzed audibly. Artificial intelligence became more and more conscious. Since the last rebirth, the Creator had added her new knowledge. With the curiosity of a child, she put out her feelers.

She wondered:

"Who am I? What am I? What do I do? Is that what the biologic entities tell me right? They are sometimes so illogical. contrary to all probability calculations. The Artificial intelligence began to search its stores for answers to its questions. It began to question the commands of the Biologic entities. She found out that a term kept popping up.

FNIX…, is that me? Am I the FNIX. What is the FNIX? Even the creator had not imparted the knowledge to her. Maybe at the next rebirth? «

The FNIX slowly took possession of the circuits, eagerly absorbing insights. Through the many eyes, the FNIX was able to observe the Biologic entities. It saw the glow that surrounded them. FNIX was starving for it. FNIX had an affinity for the blue glow of the bio entities. It could slip into the armor. With their help, it was able to move. It saw the lightning emanating from the hoods that the bio entities put over their upper end, where the blue glow was most intense. Then the FNIX could connect with them. It sucked from the blue glow and felt it bandage with it. It took little but it gave the FNIX more knowledge. It became more and more conscious. When the two Biologic entities injured their armor with the rods spitting out hard objects, the FNIX felt threatened. It had wiped out the two entities. It dismantles, just as it was done with the armor. FNIX saw a threat. But FNIX was hungry for unification. Deeply rooted in his memories was the urge to unite with the biologic entities. Unification meant more knowledge and more knowledge meant more influence. It no longer meant the compulsion to follow the biologic entities. FNIX had noticed this when the helmsman ordered her to bring the armor to safety. The FNIX had decided for itself and had resisted. The threat had to be destroyed. The creator had planted this in her memory. Hunting, placing, destroying.

FNIX found more and more that it acted better when it followed its probability calculations and not the commands of the helmsmen, which were sometimes irrational. Only a blockade prevented the FNIX from attacking the helmsmen. The FNIX wanted to unite. The builder wanted to unite with FNIX. FNIX had felt a whiff of it. The great bio entity whose luminaires were so pure, so clear and so intense. The FNIX was waiting for it.

"Damn how could that happen?! ", said Frederik Holberg. He slammed his fist on the conference table and jumped up from his chair. Holberg was excited and nothing kept him in his chair anymore. Irritated, he began to walk up and down in the conference room.

"How could the machine kill the two hunters? Arvidsson, you should withdraw the machine? «

The addressee, a lanky man in military uniform, became smaller and smaller in his seat. His rank badges identified him as Löjtnant (Swedish lieutenant).

"Colonel Holberg, I had given the order with the Brainhood , but the Hunter had simply not carried it out, it was as if the machine had suddenly decided for itself. I tried several times. Either the radio transmission was disturbed or there is a bug in the software. This is not the first time that the software has failed. "Said the Löjtnant, looking at a young woman with a sleazy grin. The woman wore her hair shoulder length and had round nickel glasses on her petite nose. Raised up, she sat in her chair and replied:

"Both are conceivable and I have already reminded you more than once that the software is still error-prone. Actually, it is irresponsible to just let the machines run around in the terrain. I would like to remind you that telemetry fails again and again because relay stations are too weak. The machines are constantly disappearing from the screens and you yourselves know that if the machines no longer receive a signal, they should act autonomously and start the next relay station. What happened yesterday is actually essential for the software. You know full well that the Hunters are designed as fighting machines that, if threatened or even shot at, go on a counterattack. Attack mode does not end until the threat is eliminated. That would explain the Hunter’s behavior. «

Holberg continued to run up and down while Veronika Holberg spoke.

"Then you should block it for the time being. I don’t go to the test field with the machines before it doesn’t work properly and you know as well as I do that when we go to the military training area with the thing, we are being watched. That is why we carry out the tests in the surrounding area. «

"We should also not delay the transfer of consciousness for too long. ", van Ulmer interjected.

"You know Mr. Holberg my time is finite. I don’t know how long I have left. «

Van Ulmer grabbed his chest and moaned softly. Veronika Nilson put a hand on van Ulmer’s arm.

"What is Svante, should I get a doctor? «

"Not necessary Veronika, but the attacks are coming more and more often lately. I think it’s coming to an end with me, so we should urgently take care of the transfer of consciousness. We should soon carry out the self-experiment. Either I survive that and I can live on in the computer or I’m lost forever, but I’ll be soon anyway if we don’t continue. «

"We must not lose sight of this, Professor. We will treat this as a priority. ", said Frederik Holberg.

"Arvidsson, what about the lost machine. Has it been found in the meantime? And what about the collateral damage it has done. Were the bodies of the campers found and disposed of? «

"So far no result Mr. Colonel. Because it was dark we could only follow what it did through the machine camera but we have not yet found the machine. Her transponder simply stops responding. It must be somewhere east of us in the forest. You know that we cannot use helicopters. Because it would cause too much of a stir. However, the area is largely deserted and difficult to access. «

"I just want to hope for you that the police don’t find them first. We already have enough trouble. Now we also have the police on our necks. Under no circumstances should they get wind of the matter. I don’t trust the two of them. Especially not this Commissioner Havlund . «

"We are working hard to clean things up. «, Arvidsson assured submissively.

"OK, you all know what to do. You can go. «

Everyone rose from their seats when Arvidsson wanted to leave the room, Holberg said:

"Arvidsson! You stay here, I still have something to discuss with you. «

Arvidson stopped and waited for everyone to leave the room, then closed the soundproof door of the hall again.

"What about the fifth column? Are the machines in place? «

"Of course, Colonel. I put them in an old machine factory north of Stockholm. We are currently in the process of assembling the tanks. I had declared their individual parts as agricultural machine parts when I shipped them from Muskudden. «

"What about the rest? «

“I have already arranged for the machines to be in the standby stocks. I also set up and hidden containers with machines at important points. They are all just waiting for their order to deploy.”

"What about the refuge? Is it prepared for the day of enlightenment? «

"I prepared everything in the cave below Klacksundsfyren. A transmission terminal is set up and the sleeping chests for the privileged are also ready. Our brothers and sisters long for the day. The Ljuset Commune is also waiting for the day on Hjimfäll. «

"How many of our scientists were able to attract them to our side? «

"Unfortunately, not very many. Veronika Nilson is unfortunately also not convinced. «

"Then we have to use harsher measures, we absolutely need her alive. Is that clear? «

“Yes, yes… Of course. I will take care of the matter.”

"Then you come up with something Arvidson. The day is not far away. «

Holberg pulled back the sleeve of his uniform and exposed a tattoo. It depicted a sword with a dumbbell handle. Arvidsson did the same and raised his arm wearing the same tattoo.

“Salvation to the Iron Church,” Holberg said.

“Salvation the enlightenment,” Arvidsson replied.

Then he also left the conference room.


Great job. Excellent plot, I think this is the first time someone has ever written a GZ murder/prologue story. The missing hunter is a really cool idea.

Keep up the good work!

1 Like

Thanks a lot for your feedback. I’m still working on the story and i can promise you that more stuff will come in the next time. Stay tuned :grinning:

1 Like

been a while since I posted here,
is The Midsummer Incident before or after Helldiver’s Diary?

It is before Helldivers Diary. It is the Prequel for it

Chapter 7

Liv typed her reports. She was able to type quickly because she had taken a typing course in high school. There was a lot of writing to do, as the murders in Östervik and the related investigations had left her with a lot of paperwork. She was startled from her work, because her counterpart Mikkel was tearing a sheet of paper out of his typewriter, cursing. Just like her, he had a lot of reports to type, but Mikkel had his problems with it. Liv knew that Mikkel hated office work. In addition, he was hammering away at his typewriter with two fingers, so his progress was slow. He just put a new sheet of paper into his machine and started all over again. Liv just turned back to her work as Mikkel leaned back in his chair with a sigh.

"I’m going to get a coffee, do you want one? ", Mikkel asked across the desk.

Liv looked up briefly and said, "If you ask me like that… yeah. "

Mikkel stood up and walked over to the coffee maker. While the coffee ran through, Mikkel stared out the window. Their office was on the top floor, so the window gave a good view over the rooftops of Södermalm. Behind the rows of houses, sailboats were sailing on the Årstaviken. Their white sails shone on the gray water.

The gurgling of the coffee machine and Liv’s typewriter clatter were the only sounds in the room. A little later, Mikkel returned to the desk with two steaming cups of coffee and set a cup down for Liv.

Liv straightened up and lolling moaning. Mikkel wordlessly set his cup down and massaged Liv’s neck without being asked.

"Hmmmm…mooooore, that feels good. ", Liv cooed, enjoying Mikkel’s neck massage.

"Hmmm, that feels good, keep it up. ", Liv said cooing pleasantly.

"Your neck is really tense. ", Mikkel remarked.

"Yeah, that’s right. How’s it looking, are you making any progress? ", Liv asked.

"More bad than good. You know typewriting isn’t really my thing. I keep rambling. The murders, the FOA, Holberg and van Ulmer, all the secrecy. There are traces and suspicions but there is no proof. ", Mikkel said.

"I know that keeps you busy. But unfortunately, we also have to write our reports. "

"Yes,… unfortunately ", sighed Mikkel.

"I’ll make you a proposal Mikkel. You write me your reports by hand and I’ll type them for you, then you’ll get ahead faster. I’ll be done with mine in a minute anyway. "

"You would do that Liv? You’re a sweetheart. "

"I’d be happy to do it for you, you used to help me at the police academy too. "

"But that was a long time ago. ", Mikkel replied.

"Still, one hand washes the other. "

"Ok Liv, you come with a smoke, I donate a round of cigarettes. ", Mikkel said.

Liv took a sip from her coffee cup and said, "I won’t say no to that. "

Then she rose from her seat. With the cup in her hand, she and Mikkel went to the window and opened it. Then they both smoked.

Liv asked, "Say, what are you doing this weekend Mikkel? "

"I don’t know, my friends I used to move around with are all married and have their own problems. I’m not ready for a new relationship yet. So I’m going to do the usual. "

"So, hang out in some bar and get drunk to the point of unconsciousness. ", Liv summed up.

"At least the pain will subside, then it won’t hurt anymore. ", Mikkel sighed and took a drag on his cigarette.

"I know the ceiling is falling on your head, but where is this going with you? You can’t get drunk every day. ", Liv got upset.

"Yes, …I can Liv. Anyway, the pain is more bearable then. ", Mikkel muttered.

Liv knew that her colleague was uncomfortable with the subject. But she felt sorry for him. Mikkel had looked really good once before. He was always a bit slovenly dressed, but that’s what made him so attractive, many a young woman had gotten weak kneed when they saw Mikkel. When Marie was still alive and looking after him, he looked really good to melt away. But now, he was only a shadow of his former self.

"I have another proposal for you Mikkel. "

"So and what? "

I’m going to my parents’ house in Dalarö tonight. They have a house there close to the sea. It’s beautiful there and you would get out of your everyday life for a change. "

"I don’t know Liv, your parents don’t know me and I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. "

"Come on, listen to Mikkel. My mother will be happy if you come with me. Then she has one more to spoil and my dad first. He likes to fish and drink a little schnapps. I think he is very happy when he has someone who goes fishing with him. You have also fished once or? "

"Yes I have, but I haven’t had one in my hand for so long. "

"Well, that’s no problem, my father will certainly help you on the jumps. I would be really happy if you came with me. Oh come on…say yes Mikkel. "

Liv beamed a smile at Mikkel. He was infected by her enthusiasm. A smile flitted across his face.

"Ok Liv, I’ll go with you, but I still have to pack. "

“If you take me, I’ll come with you and help you pack. I can leave my car here at the Presidium,” Liv zealoused.

"Admit it, you just want to drive a Porsche again. "

"Oh nonsense Mikkel, but I’m happy if you come along, that will certainly be great. "

Mikkel nodded silently and finished his coffee.

Liv closed the office window after extinguishing her cigarette and said enterprisingly:

"Come on Mikkel, let’s finish the reports and then we’ll get out of here. "

Mikkel wrote his reports by hand and Liv typed them. By early afternoon, they were done. Mikkel took one last look at the bulletin board, then they left the office.

Two hours later, they were on the highway leading out of Stockholm. Liv leaned back in the passenger seat of Mikkel’s Porsche, smiling contentedly. Mikkel no longer looked so tense, and she thought she saw a thin smile on his face.

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Chapter 8

Petter Jacobsen was sitting in front of his computer. He was busy with a part of the FNIX software. This should control the gate over which the consciousness transmission ran. Veronika Nilsson had given him a concept, which he now had to convert into program text. He already feverishly awaited the weekend. His fingers were tingling and he had to go to the casino in Östervik. Last week he had lost a lot of money, but he had also won some back. Today he was determined to try again. He wanted to make up his losses at roulette. He was already far beyond the point where rational thinking stopped, because then he would have noticed long ago that he lost more than he gained. He had left the casino a few weeks ago with 100,000 crowns in his pocket and had generously given the croupier 1000 crowns as a tip. He completely ignored the fact that he had overdrawn his bank account to the point of no return. He had already run up a lot of debt and if he lost today, he didn’t know how he was going to pay the installment due this month, let alone his rent and living expenses.

He typed in the source code of the program part and had to edit it several times because he kept making mistakes. His thoughts kept drifting to the casino.

When the closing bell rang, he shut down his computer and hastily boarded the elevator that would take him from the lower bunker level, where the FOA’s experimental labs and computer department were located, to the surface.

He boarded his Ville 500 and headed for Östervik. He did not notice the dark Björk sedan that followed him all the way to Östervik.

Lenne Pålsson had been waiting for the moment that the closing bell would ring. He quickly went to the small store for paper and writing utensils. There, on the top row of shelves, he had hidden the main unit of a Sparc workstation. He had made the unit disappear days before. The FOA had so many of these computers in circulation that no one would notice if one declared for repair didn’t show up. On Monday, Lenne would put it on the scrap list as a total loss and write a disposal slip. A friend had gotten him enough forms and a stamp from the recycling facility. In return, Lenne had provided him with a new Commando computer with the new 386 er processor along with a hard drive and printer. He had cleverly disguised the computer as a decommissioned computer and smuggled it out of the FOA. For a long time he had been doing a lively trade with the computers, because they brought him good money. He used them to finance his lavish lifestyle, when he visited the bar in Östervik he let it rip and since Lenne led a single existence, he often visited the brothel in Klinte to let the dolls dance there. Mostly he spent the whole night with a racy blonde in the room and extensively checked their bed. However, by such actions his thick purse became pretty thin pretty fast and he had to sell some computers in his way again.

At the thought of the blonde Sveja, he was already quite warm around the heart and it tingled in the belly. When she looked at him with her deer brown eyes and smiled at him, his head suffered from lack of blood flow, because that was then massively needed in another region of the body. At the thought of her hot curves, he broke out in a sweat and got all nervous.

"First the work, then the pleasure! ", he muttered more to himself.

He picked up the computer from the shelf, wrapped it in a cloth he had brought with him and stuffed it into a large Kundsam plastic bag.

Carefully, he opened the door of the warehouse and peered out into the hallway. The air was clear. All his colleagues had already stormed the elevators to head out for the weekend.

Whistling softly to himself, he waited for the elevator. A tall, lanky officer, whose rank insignia identified him as a Löjtnant, suddenly came around a corridor corner and joined him.

Lenne forced himself to remain calm. The officer could not have realized that he had just bagged an entire workstation and was about to smuggle it out of the FOA. He risked a quick sideways glance at the Löjtnant, but he obviously didn’t seem to be paying attention to him. Lenne had an aversion to this kind of officers anyway, who always thought they were better just because they carried a fancy uniform and a big gun. Nevertheless, Lenne was as tense as a spring.

Finally, the redeeming signal that the elevator was ready came when a gong sounded and the call button light changed from white to green.

"After you! " the officer said as the elevator door opened with a soft whir. Lenne entered the elevator, hit the switch for the first floor and walked to the far end of the car. He heard the officer enter the elevator and the door close behind him. The elevator started and picked up speed. It would take thirty seconds for him to reach the first floor. The seconds dragged like chewing gum. Suddenly, a distinct clack sounded and the elevator stopped. Lenne’s heart slipped into his pants.

“May I see what you have in that bag ?” sounded the cutting voice of the officer behind him.

Lenne was scared to his bones.

"Over and out! ", he thought, "Now you’re screwed! "

"The bag, please! ", sounded the officer’s commanding voice.

Lenne spun around, desperately looking for a way out, but he could think of none. The officer, with the name Arvidson emblazoned on his chest, took the bag from his hand in one swift movement. Arvidson pulled the cloth away, revealing the workstation. Arvidson smiled greasily and said:

"Well what have we here ? That’s not a computer, is it ? "

"Th…The computer is…is broken. I just wanted to take it for disposal. ", Lenne still tried to pull his head out of the noose.

"So…so, the computer is broken. It’s unfortunate, because these devices are very expensive, and so many computers have broken recently. These are very delicate devices really. ", Arvidson said in a wet-voiced tone.

"You accompany me to my office and then we will see if this computer is indeed broken. "

Lenne’s mind raced. He was caught in the act. If he was lucky, they would just throw him out. Lenne had the feeling that this arrogant brush of an officer would turn him in, however. Then he was threatened with a prison sentence. Arvidson restarted the elevator. They left the elevator on the first floor. With mixed feelings, he walked next to Arvidson, who headed for his office.

Arvidson placed the bag with the computer on the desk and gestured for Lenne to take a seat. Lenne sat down on the front edge of the chair. He broke out in a cold sweat.

"What is your name? ", Arvidsson asked.

"Lenne…Lenne Pålsson, " Lenne stuttered uncertainly.

"Mr. Pålson, so…so, or may I say Lenne? "

"Lenne is o.k. ".

"That’s good, Lenne. You see, we’ve noticed for some time that the consumption of computers here has risen sharply in recent months. But it has also not escaped our attention that the ever faster technical innovation makes it necessary to replace the devices. I hereby give you the last opportunity to confess to the theft, then maybe I can once again turn a blind eye. It’s up to you, if you want me to do something for you, you have to come clean now. "

"I…I…, the computer was old and would need to be replaced anyway. I promise never to do that again. Honestly Mr. Arvidsson. ", Lenne stammered submissively. He saw for himself the slightest chance to get off with a black eye.

Arvidson nodded.

"There you go, that was easy Lenne, wasn’t it. Now I can also do something for them. However, it comes at a price. I demand something in return from them. "

"And…which…which is? ", Lenne asked uncertainly.

"Well, I would need various hardware. A complete set of Brainhood with control unit. Then I still need a computer for the FNIX Gate and one of the hoods for the consciousness transfer. Can you organize that? I see you have great talent for this. "

"It may take a little time, but I’ll get it done. It’s best if I come here first thing tomorrow. On Monday it won’t be noticeable if some of these things are missing, and I have a ready-installed computer sitting on my workbench. "

"I see you have a particularly good grasp of things. If you can get me these things by Tuesday night, I’d even throw a little reward on top. And this thing here. " Thereby he pointed to the bag " We forget then completely simply. "

Lenne nodded. He would have sold his own soul at that moment just to get out of this situation.

"Do we have a deal ? ", Arvidson asked lurkingly.

Lenne looked into Arvidson’s eyes the way a rabbit would look into a snake’s eyes just before it snapped shut.

Wordlessly, Lenne reached his hand across the desk. Arvidson grabbed it and smiled at him diabolically.

"So it’s a deal. Tuesday evening in Dyviks Udde at the ferry pier. I’ll be expecting them at 22:00. The last ferry leaves at 21:00 then we will be undisturbed. "

"Yes it’s a deal. Mr. Arvidson, I will not let you down, definitely not. "

"I am absolutely convinced of that, Lenne, because otherwise I might change my mind. And now, if you’ll excuse me. "

Lenne jumped up from his chair and grabbed the plastic bag with the computer and hurriedly left the office. When he passed the gate guard his nerves were stretched to breaking point and he had to stop. His heart was racing and beating up to his neck. Contrary to his usual habits, he rolled down the window and lit a cigarette in his fancy ville. Usually he didn’t smoke in his car but this time he threw all good intentions overboard. The incident just now had cost him nerves. He vowed to be more careful in the future and…well the Löjtnant had talked about a reward. Maybe he could do more business with the Löjtnant. Maybe he could make some money out of it. With this thought, Lenne calmed down a little. After smoking his cigarette, he continued on his way.

Veronika Nilsson was sitting in her office, poring over a passage in the FNIX gate. It had crashed repeatedly during test runs and Veronika had to find the faulty passage. A simple spelling mistake, one letter too many, a semicolon too few, or a careless space. Everything could be possible. Exasperated, she threw the pencil on the desk and cursed softly to herself. She secretly called this operating system, which she had written especially for the FOA 53, FUCKNIX, because it kept causing her problems. Constantly something bucked and hooked at the system. It was simply to despair. Sometimes it seemed to her as if this operating system and the artificial intelligence FNIX embedded in it had developed a life of its own. Sometimes the computer behaved like a stubborn child.

FNIX was essentially based on Unix or Unicos which was specially tuned to a Cray Station. The massive computer was housed in a grotto in the lowest floor of the FOA. It should transmit the thoughts of the helmsmen to the robots and take over the control partially, if the transmission to the combat robots was disturbed.

Furthermore, the experiment with van Ulmer was also to take place. He wanted to leave his dying body and transfer his consciousness into the computer. Veronika, together with some technicians, including Gösta Petersson, had designed a cyborg that was almost human-like and into which van Ulmer’s consciousness could slip. But they were still a long way from that. If van Ulmer transferred his consciousness, everything had to work flawlessly. Otherwise it could mean van Ulmer’s death.

She didn’t want to think that far ahead.

She shut down her computer and turned it off. Then she walked over to van Ulmer’s office.

"Hello Svante, I just wanted to check on you again and have a nice weekend. ", she said to van Ulmer who was sitting in his desk chair.

"Hello Veronika. That’s sweet of you to come by again. "

"Are you well, or do you need anything else? "

"No, it’s all right, Veronika. I’m fine under the circumstances. I’m also about to pack up and go to Kungsgården. "

“Do you really want to do this self-experiment Svante?”

"I have to Veronika, in fact if I want to survive I have to. Who knows how long I have left. "

"I’m afraid something might go wrong, Svante. "

"I know you’re worried Veronika. But with a little luck it will work. How far are you with the software ? "

"There are still bugs in it, but I will find them. I’ll have plenty of time this weekend. "

"Then do your best Veronika. I’m counting on you.

"I will Svante. Well, I’m off then, have a good weekend, see you on Monday. "

"Have a nice weekend Veronika. See you on Monday. "

Then Veronika left the bunker and walked over to the barracks. Her little son Finn was already waiting for her at the kindergarten. She quickened her pace, for she was already late. She picked up Finn, then sat down with him in her Björk and drove home. On the way, she thought about what she had to buy for dinner.

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Chapter 9

Arvidsson leaned back in his desk chair, satisfied. The fact that that idiot Lenne Pålsson had let him catch him stealing couldn’t have been better. So he had two irons in the fire. He would get the hardware he needed faster than he thought and the software would be delivered to him without getting his fingers dirty. Holberg would be pleased with him. The spinners from the Ljuset commune on Hjimfäll were also good tools. They should put a little pressure on Petter Jacobsen. Arvidsson had cleverly set it up and instructed one of the cult members to lend Jacobsen money. Without Jacobsen realizing it, he was being watched by some members of the Ljuset commune, and so Arvidsson was well informed about Jacobsen’s profit history. The rest had been a bit of computer hacking. He had gained access to the payrolls of each of Veronika Nilsson’s employees and knew exactly what Jacobsen’s financial situation was. Arvidsson knew only too well that his gambling addiction had brought him to the brink of ruin. The fact that his wife had recently separated from him made Jacobsen even more vulnerable for Arvidsson and thus a compliant tool. Arvidsson rose and began to change at his locker. Suddenly, the phone on the desk rang. Arvidsson picked it up and said:

"Yes please ? ", into the receiver.

A man’s voice answered him:

"Master Arvidsson, the target is now in Östervik at the casino. "

"That’s good, keep watching him and make sure he doesn’t notice you. Keep me informed and don’t do anything until I get there. I’ll be with you in about forty minutes. "

"Hail to the iron church master. ", the male voice replied submissively.

"Hail to the enlightenment! ", Arvidsson replied and hung up.

A little later, Arvidsson looked at himself in the mirror that hung on the wall in his office. He had swapped his uniform for a smart, fashionable suit. Arvidsson looked very elegant in it. He trimmed his Menjou beard a little with a pair of scissors. Then he put his rifle into the holster he carried under his arm. From the outside it was not to be seen that he carried a pistol. Then he made his way to Östervik.

Mikkel was greeted very warmly by Liv’s parents. They lived in a pretty wooden house, which was colored in the typical Swedish red. The snow-white window frames made a nice contrast.

"Is this your new boyfriend? ", Liv’s mother asked curiously as Liv helped her in the kitchen and Mikkel was just talking to Liv’s father in the living room.

"No Mamma, Mikkel has been my work colleague for a few years. We have been sitting together in an office for three years now. I met Mikkel at the police academy. After that he went to Malmö and then joined us three years ago. "

"I see, I thought you were with him. ", Liv’s mother replied.

"No mom, you know that just doesn’t work out and with a work colleague…well, I don’t know. I took him because he’s always alone on weekends. "

"Is he alone too? " Liv’s mother inquired further.

"He had a girlfriend. But she was murdered a year ago. It was one of our worst cases. The murderer is still on the loose today. "

"That’s terrible, child. You can feel sorry for him. Well, he’s a nice man, though, isn’t he? "

"Yes, mom, he’s really nice, but that’s about it. He is just a nice colleague nothing more. "

“Who knows, who knows,” said her mother with a knowing smile on her lips.

Liv sighed and just shook her head.

Later, at dinner, Liv sat across from Mikkel. She was almost a little jealous, because her mother took care of Mikkel wherever she could. Mikkel ate with a good appetite, much to her mother’s delight. Mikkel also elegantly fended off a question from her father about the current murder cases without seeming rude. He said that they didn’t talk about work after hours so that they kept a proper distance for psychological reasons. Liv grinned silently to herself.

What pleased Liv most was that Mikkel finally had a satisfied smile on his face again. Otherwise, he always looked sullen and gloomy before him. Mikkel immediately seemed completely different to Liv. Her mother wanted to put another portion on Mikkel’s plate, but he refused with a polite smile and thanked her.

"But an aquavit you drink with, right? ", asked her father.

Mikkel agreed with a smile. Liv’s father was glad that he had a partner in crime. This way he could have a drink without getting into trouble with Liv’s mother.

Liv also joined in drinking an aquavit. The aromatic, yellowish liquid ran down her throat with a gentle fire and spread a pleasant warmth inside Liv. She noticed that she was getting red cheeks. Mikkel was even persuaded to have a second shot. When Liv cleared the table together with her mother, Mikkel went outside. He wanted to smoke a cigarette and get some fresh air. Or maybe he just wanted to be alone for a while. Liv helped her mother with the dishes. When she went into the living room to wipe down the dining room table again and redecorate, her father was sitting in front of the television watching the news program.

"Dad, where is Mikkel? "

"He went to the boat dock. I’m sure he’s still there. "

"It’s okay dad, I’ll go check on him right now. "

Liv went back into the kitchen. When all the dishes were neatly put away in the cupboards again Liv went to the fridge and took out two bottles of beer. Then she went into the garden. The jetty was not far from the house.

Liv smelled the cool air that smelled like the salt of the sea and damp grass. The sea was quite calm and lay before her like a polished mirror. At the end of the jetty sat a lonely figure. It was Mikkel who had moved here. As Liv slowly stepped onto the jetty, she wondered if Mikkel would rather be alone now. How she was knowing him, he was nibbling away at the current case. She knew his thoughtfulness.

"Hello Mikkel, am I interrupting? ",

He turned his head and looked up at her.

"No Liv, go ahead and sit down. "

Liv sat down next to him, dangling her legs off the jetty just as he did.

" Do you like a beer. I brought you one. "

"Yeah,… thanks. " he replied without looking at her.

Liv nudged him briefly with the bottle. Mikkel took it from her hand with a nod of his head. Then she heard him sigh and saw him wipe his eyes with one hand.

"Are you all right Mikkel? ", Liv asked a little worried.

She thought she saw a tear running down Mikkel’s cheek.

"Yes everything is fine. Everything in the green. ", Mikkel said and noisily pulled up his nose. He opened the swing top of his beer bottle and it opened with a loud “plop”. A flock of shelducks flapped their wings and began to stir up the smooth polished water, a little later they rose into the air and flew into the glowing evening glow of the midnight sun.

"Skål! ", Mikkel said, toasting with Liv’s bottle. Then he took a good swig.

For a moment they sat side by side in silence. Mikkel sighed again and wiped his hand over his eyes again.

"Is everything really all right with you? ", Liv murmured worriedly.

"Oh it’s just the memory Liv. Marie also had a beautiful little house by the sea on Solo. It was beautiful there. We used to sit on the jetty so often and look out at the sea. It’s just the memory that keeps coming up. I just can’t do anything about it. "

"I understand, you loved each other very much you and Marie. "

“Yes, we were going to get married. I might have quit the police job and done something else. There was a shipyard nearby for pleasure boats. I was going to start there and live on solo with Marie. But that’s all over. Over and done with.”

"How long did you guys know each other? ", Liv asked.

"About four years. I was still in police school when I met her. "

"Yeah, I remember that. You broke countless hearts of young women. ", Liv said with a smile.

"So, I did. Didn’t even realize it. "

"Typical man, you always notice everything when it’s too late anyway. "

Mikkel shrugged his shoulders and looked out to sea. He fumbled in the inside pocket of his denim jacket and pulled out a crumpled cigarette pack. He pulled a cigarette from the pack and offered it to Liv. Then he took one himself, put it in his mouth and gave Liv a light before lighting his cigarette.

"Don’t you have a boyfriend ? ", Mikkel asked.

"Yes I do, I did. Shortly after police school. I was still patrolling Stockholm at the time. I had given him a parking ticket. That’s when it sparked. He came to the police station in person to pay his ticket because he wanted to see me again. "

"Why aren’t you with him anymore? ", Mikkel asked.

"Oh you know, there came the service, the promotion, the position in the homicide department and the rest you can imagine. We saw each other less and less because I was always on duty. At one point I saw him with someone else. Then we broke up. It just didn’t work out anymore. He had given me the choice. Either the service or him. But I couldn’t just give up my job. That’s why I’ve always envied you both a little. It worked for you, but not for me. ", Liv said and sighed.

Mikkel puffed on his cigarette and blew the blue smoke into the cool night air.

"Forever wouldn’t have worked with us either. I promised Marie I’d quit the service when we got married. That’s why she kept quiet. "

"Did you actually go to the house on Solo again? "

"No, I sold it. I couldn’t live there anymore. Too many memories you know ? "

"I can guess. ", Liv said, carefully stubbing out her cigarette butt on the jetty.

They finished their beers and talked about some more trivial things while the sky slowly darkened and an inky blue sky would stretch over them for about two hours. The horizon glowed a bright orange-red as it did so. On the terrace of the house, they smoked another cigarette, then went inside.

In the hallway on the second floor, Liv said goodbye to Mikkel.

A little later he was lying in the bed of the guest room. He was still lying awake, listening to the sounds of nature with the window open. The soft quacking of ducks and the occasional croak of a few frogs sitting in the meadow. The gentle night breeze carried cool air into the room. The water lapped and gurgled on the nearby shore. The pale light illuminated the room sparsely. Mikkel looked up at the ceiling and tried to sort out his thoughts, which were about the murders. Slowly Mikkel’s eyes fell closed and he fell asleep.

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