The bourne supremacy, p.115
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.115

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 115


  Three minutes later, precisely on schedule, a second car drove through the gate and parked alongside the Zia. Three men got out of the back while the driver and the front seat passenger talked. Seconds later the two men emerged and it was all Bourne could do to control himself as his stare centred on the passenger, the tall, slender passenger who moved like a cat as he walked to the rear of the automobile to join the driver. It was the assassin! The chaos at Kai Tak Airport had demanded the elaborate trap in Beijing. Whoever was stalking this assassin had to be caught quickly and silenced. Information had to be leaked, reaching the assassin's creator - for who else knew the hired killer's tactics better than the one who had taught them to him? Who else wanted revenge more than the Frenchman? Who else was capable of unearthing the other Jason Bourne? D'Anjou was the key, and the impostor's client knew it.

  And Jason Bourne's instincts - born of the gradually, painfully remembered Medusa - were accurate. When the trap had so disastrously collapsed inside Mao's tomb, a desecration that would shake the republic, the elite circle of conspirators had to regroup swiftly, secretly, beyond the scrutiny of their peers. An unparalleled crisis faced them; there was no time to lose in determining their next moves. Paramount, however, was secrecy. Wherever they met, secrecy was their most crucial weapon. In the true China lam a captain in the Kuomintang. Christ! Was it possible!

  Secrecy. For a lost kingdom? Where better could it be found than in the wild acreages of idyllic government bird sanctuaries, official parks controlled by powerful moles from the Kuomintang in Taiwan. A strategy that came out of desperation had led Bourne to the core of an incredible revelation. No time! It's not your business! Only he is!

  Eighteen minutes later the six cars were in place, the passengers dispersed, joining their colleagues somewhere within the dark forest of the sanctuary. Finally, twenty-one minutes after the arrival of the Russian limousine, a canvas-covered truck lumbered through the gate, making a wide circle and parking next to the last entry, no more than 30 feet from Jason. Shocked, he watched as bound and gagged men and women with gaping mouths held in place by strands of cloth were pushed out of the van; without exception they fell, rolling on the ground, moaning in protest and in pain. Then just within the covered opening a man was struggling, twisting his short, thin body and kicking at the two guards, who held him off and finally threw him down on the gravelled parking lot. It was a white man . . . Bourne froze. It was d"Anjou! In the glow of the distant floodlights he could see that Echo's face was battered, his eyes swollen. When the Frenchman pulled himself to his feet, his left leg kept bending and collapsing, yet he would not give in to his captors' taunting; he remained defiantly on his feet.

  Move! Do something] What? Medusa - we had signals. What were they? Oh God, what were they? Stones, sticks, rocks . . . gravel Throw something to make a sound, a small distracting sound that could be anything - away from an area, ahead, as far ahead as possible! Then follow it up quickly. Quickly!

  Jason dropped to his knees in the shadows of the right-angled fence. He reached down and grabbed a small handful of gravel and threw it in the air over the heads of prisoners struggling to their feet. The brief clatter on the roofs of several cars was by and large lost amid the stifled cries of the bound captives. Bourne repeated the action, now with a few more stones. The guard standing next to d'Anjou glanced over in the direction of the splattering gravel, then dismissed it when his attention was suddenly drawn to a woman who had got to her feet and had started to run towards the gate. He raced over, grabbed her by the hair and threw her back into the group. Again Jason reached for more stones.

  He stopped all movement. D'Anjou had fallen to the ground, his weight on his right knee, his bound hands supporting him on the gravel. He watched the distracted guard, then slowly he turned in Bourne's direction. Medusa was never far away from Echo - he had remembered. Swiftly, Jason shoved the palm of his hand out, once, twice. The dim reflected light off his flesh was enough; the Frenchman's gaze was drawn to it. Bourne moved his head forward in the shadows. Echo saw him! Their eyes made contact. D'Anjou nodded, then turned away and awkwardly, painfully rose to his feet as the guard returned.

  Jason counted the prisoners. There were two women and five men including Echo. They were herded by the guards, both of whom had removed heavy night sticks from their belts and used them as prods, driving the group towards the path outside the parking lot. D'Anjou fell. He collapsed on his left leg, twisting his body as he dropped to the ground. Bourne watched closely; there was something strange about the fall. Then he understood. The fingers of the Frenchman's hands, which were tied together in front, were spread apart. Covering the movement with his body, Echo scooped up two fistfuls of gravel, and as a guard approached, pulling him to his feet, d'Anjou again stared briefly in Jason's direction. It was a signal. Echo would drop the tiny stones as long as they lasted so that his fellow Medusan would have a path to follow.

  The prisoners were directed to the right, out of the gravelled area, as the young guard, the 'captain in the Kuomintang', locked the gate. Jason ran out of the shadows of the fence into the shadows of the truck, pulling the hunting knife from its sheath as he crouched by the bonnet, looking at the gatehouse. The guard was just outside the door, speaking into the hand-held radio that connected him to the meeting ground. The radio would have to be taken out. So would the man.

  Tie him up. Use his clothes to gag him. Kill him! There can't be any additional risks. Listen to me! Bourne dropped to the ground, plunging the hunting knife into the truck's left front tyre, and as it deflated he ran to the rear and did the same. Rounding the back of the truck he raced into the space between it and the adjacent car. Pivoting back and forth as he moved forward, he slashed the remaining tyres of the truck and those on the left side of the car. He repeated the tactic down the line of vehicles until he had slashed all the tyres except those of the Russian Zia, only 10 yards or so away from the gatehouse. It was time for the guard. Tie him-

  Kill him! Each step has to be covered, and each step leads back to your wife!

  Silently, Jason opened the door of the Russian automobile, reached inside and released the hand brake. Closing the door as quietly as he had opened it, he judged the distance from the bonnet to the fence; it was approximately eight feet. Gripping the windowframe, he pressed his full weight forward, grimacing as the huge car began to roll. Giving the vehicle a final, surging shove, he dashed in front of the car next to the Zia, as the limousine crashed into the fence. He lowered himself out of sight and reached into his right back pocket.

  Hearing the crash, the startled guard ran around the gatehouse and into the parking lot, shifting his eyes in all directions, then staring at the stationary Zia. He shook his head as if accepting a vehicle's unexplained malfunction and walked over to the door.

  Bourne sprang out of the darkness, the spools in both hands, the wire arcing over the guard's head. It was over in less than three seconds, no sound emitted other than a sickening expulsion of air. The garrotte was lethal; the captain from the Kuomintang was dead.

  Removing the radio from the man's belt, Jason searched the clothes. There was always the possibility that something might be found, something of value. There was - were! The first was a weapon, not surprisingly, an automatic. The same calibre as the one he had taken from another conspirator in

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