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It was Saturday night.
After midnight and The Strip was alive with activity.
The usual stream of people who walked both footpaths along 'The Strip' to turn around and do it all over again.
Those looking for a good time.
Perhaps hoping to score.
If lucky enough, perhaps a double.
No-body took any notice of the vehicle as it made its way slowly along The Strip's crowded roadway. At this time of night at a snail's pace. It was faster to walk the length of The Strip than to drive it, if it was a good night.
It was a good night!
It turned off onto a side street that almost immediately dog-legged to the right. The vehicle, a nondescript 4WD with blacked out windows crawled to a stop. Double parking so that its length was only partly visible from the bright lights of a steep staircase entryway into a Strip Joint and Night Club on the main glittering road of The Strip directly opposite the mouth of the street that the vehicle had turned into.
Bouncers and Spruikers shouting with enthusiasm the delights that awaited within could be dimly heard. Trying to snag disinterested passers-by. The entertainment of the majority of these Saturday night 'groovers' so it seemed, was maybe a couple of drinks at a trendy bar then the usual walk back and forth along the length of The Strip.
Until that got boring.
Then the hassle of trying to snag a Cab home.
A rear side window slid gently open. Perhaps only a 7 centimetre wide gap. Just enough to give an unobstructed view through the large Scope and clear passage for a bullet.
It was dark enough at this spot just off the bright lights of The Strip for people not to notice.
The engine was cut.
The slow tick of the engine cooling the only noise.
Nothing seemed to stir from within the vehicle although a chap repositioned himself slightly. Adjusting his lounge against the upright back of the rear seats that had been rolled up giving him ample room to seat himself comfortably.
It could be a long wait.
Or it could be over in minutes.
He casually held a mean mother of a rifle. Giant scope. He flipped the rifle up into the firing position, the gun held steady with his elbow resting just below a slightly raised knee. The barrel of the rifle at no time poking out through the window.
One bullet in the breach. The safety on.
The sniper adjusted the scope distance and re-checked the calibrations.
Two hundred metres.
An easy kill.
He gently placed the rifle back into his lap.
Didn't speak to the driver at all.
Slowly chewed gum while watching intently the garish, brightly illuminated entryway into the well-known Kings Cross night club. Peering through the slightly opened rear side sliding window of the 4WD.
They had 'dry run' this exercise on three separate occasions over the past month or so.
No-one even noticing the vehicle as they double parked.
A police vehicle had cruised past on one night not even stopping to instruct the vehicle to move on. On each occasion they had rehearse the get-away plan. The engine start up, the casual, slow acceleration. The drive down the street lined with Victorian double storey terrace houses to the end of the Avenue.
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: