Uit: Not the End of the World
‘All the organisers need to hear is that we’re maintaining a high profile, so the visitors ain’t too scared of bein’ mugged, shot, gang-raped or ritually cannibalised to walk around town. That means more uniformed beat officers in the pedestrian areas, plenty of patrol cars on Ocean Boulevard and along the beach, all that shit. Ironic, really. Our purpose is to reassure them that none of their movies will come true – well, not to them at least.’
Bannon sat back on the edge of his desk. ‘Think you can handle that, big guy?’ he asked.
‘You don’t look so sure. Would you rather be out with Zabriski today, maybe? Let’s see …’ He thumbed through some notes on his desk. ‘Railway worker, laid off last Friday, walks into the AmTrak offices on Third at eight thirty this morning and deposits a black polythene sack in the lobby. It’s one of these atrium deals, you know, with like three or four floors looking down on to the concourse. Telephones bomb warning eight thirty-five, detonates at eight forty-two. Sack contained a small but significant amount of explosive, probably basic demolition stuff. Not enough to cause any fatalities, but enough to distribute the contents of the sack approximately sixty feet in every direction, including up. Guy was, how’d they put it? a “sanitation engineer”. Some of that stuff must have come all the way from Frisco before he syphoned it out the train. Four floors, Larry.’
‘I’ll just be getting down to the Pacific Vista, Captain. Got someone to talk to about this American Feature Film Market thing.’
It wasn’t paranoia, Larry knew. It was plain old insecurity. He’d have been suspicious of being given this AFFM ‘liaison’ gig anyway, simply because he was still very much the new guy, and it might well be the sort of shit detail everyone else knew to steer clear of. He knew the scene, could see the station house, smell the coffee:
‘So who’s gonna handle the annual fiasco at the Pacific Vista this year, then? Zabriski? Rankin? Torres? What’s that? You already volunteered to escort a Klan rally through Watts? Shit. Oh, wait a minute. The new guy’ll have started by then. Let’s give it to him.’
Christopher Brookmyre (Glasgow, 6 september 1968)