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The View from the Balcony

STEWART Brody was proud of his professional reputation, and did all he could to maintain it. He kept himself fully informed on latest developments in the industry, including the most up-to-date technological aids. He practised the skills needed, maintained his equipment in excellent condition, and kept himself generally fit. He prepared meticulously for each project, and always carried out a post-case assessment, noting ways in which he could further develop his technique. He was not a technician, but a professional. That meant being aware not only of the material context, but the political and social background too. He’d turned down a few projects because he had been unhappy with the possible effects. Talk in the industry suggested that had only enhanced his reputation; people knew he had standards. The personal elimination business was very competitive, and he needed to maintain his position in the industry’s premier league, well above the sad psychopaths in the division below him, and the brainless thugs operating in the lesser leagues.

You knew you’d reached the top when you were offered one of those plum jobs that only turn up once in a while. And this was one of them. His target: the UK Foreign Secretary. Despite the man being well-known, Stewart nevertheless did his homework. It was important to know enough about the target to be able to deal with sudden changes of plan or unexpected interruptions. Usually, he planned the whole project from start to finish: identified the date and location, the method, the appropriate equipment, the exit strategy, and so on. Sometimes however the client had specific requirements regarding the project. A frequent request regarding politicians was that the event happen outwith their own country; it was thus possible to blame the killing on international terrorists or political exiles, and then cast aspersions on the local police force for not catching the culprit.

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iScot issue # 40 - April 2018 is now available to download - we apologise in advance for the sensitive nature of the front cover and suggest that one displays the issue face down on one’s coffee table.