The bourne supremacy, p.145
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.145

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 145


  That is until things happened to him, and no one could predict anything because he'd lost touch with the Delta inside him. But Delta's back now and, as happened so often so long ago, his enemies have underestimated him. I hope I'm wrong - Jesus, I hope I'm wrong?

  His gun against the back of the assassin's neck, Delta moved silently through the underbrush in front of the high wall of the sterile house. The killer balked; they were within 10 feet of the darkened entrance. Delta jammed the weapon into the commando's flesh and whispered. There aren't any trip lights in the wall or on the ground. They'd be set off by tree rats every thirty seconds. Keep going! I'll tell you when to stop. '

  The order came four feet from the gate. Delta grabbed his prisoner by the collar and swung him around, the barrel of the gun still touching the assassin's neck. The man from Medusa then reached into his pocket, pulled out a globule of plastique and stretched his arm out as far as he could towards the gate. He pressed the adhesive side of the packet against the wall; he had pre-set the small digital timer in the soft centre of the explosive for seven minutes, the number chosen both for luck and to give him time to get the killer and himself in place several hundred feet away. 'Move!' he whispered.

  They rounded the corner of the wall and proceeded along the side to the mid-point, from where the end of the stone was visible in the moonlight. 'Wait here,' said Delta, reaching into his knapsack which was strapped across his chest like a bandolier, the bag on his right side. He pulled out a square black box, 5 inches wide, 3 high, and 2 deep. At its side was a coiled 40-foot line of thin, black plastic tubing. It was a battery-amplified speaker; he placed it on top of the wall and snapped a switch in the back; a red light glowed. He uncoiled the thin tubing as he shoved the killer forward. 'Another twenty or thirty feet,' he said.

  Above them the branches of a cascading willow tree were spread out above the wall, arcing downward. Concealment. 'Here!' Bourne whispered harshly, and stopped the commando by gripping his shoulder. He removed the wirecutters from the knapsack and pushed the assassin against the wall; they faced each other. 'I'm cutting you loose now, but not free. Do you understand that?' The commando nodded, and Delta snipped the ropes between his prisoner's wrists and elbows while levelling his gun at the assassin's head. He stepped back and bent his right leg forward in front of the killer as he handed him the cutters. 'Stand on my leg and cut the coils. You can reach them if you jump a bit and slide your hand under for a grip. Don't try anything. You haven't got a gun yet, but I have, and as I'm sure you've gathered, I don't care any more. ' The prisoner did as he was told. The leap from Delta's leg was minimal; the assassin's left arm expertly slithered between the coils, his hand gripping the opposite side of the top of the wall. He severed the coiled wire noiselessly, holding the cutters against the metal on one side to reduce the sound of snapping tension. The open space above was now five feet wide. 'Climb up there,' said Delta.

  The killer did so, and as his left leg swung over the wall, Delta leaped up to grab the assassin's trousers and pulled himself up against the stone, swinging his own left leg over the top. He straddled the wall simultaneously with the commando.

  'Nicely done, Major Allcott-Price,' he said, a small circular microphone in his hand, his weapon again aimed at the assassin's head. 'Not much longer now. If I were you, I'd study the grounds. '

  Under Conklin's urgent pleas to the driver, the taxi sped up the road in Victoria Peak. They passed a broken down car off the side of the road; it seemed out of place in the elegant surroundings, and Alex swallowed as he saw it, wondering in dread if it was really disabled. There's the house!' cried the CIA man. 'For God's sake, hurry] Go up to the-'

  He did not - could not - finish. Up ahead a shattering explosion filled the road and the night. Fire and stone flew in all directions as first a large part of the wall collapsed and then the huge iron gates fell forward in eerie slow motion beyond the flames.

  'Oh, my God, I was right,' said Alexander Conklin softly to himself. 'Delta's come back. He wants to die. He will die. '

  Chapter Thirty-two

  'Not yet!' roared Jason Bourne as the wall blew apart beyond the stately gardens filled with rows of lilacs and roses. 'I'll tell you when,' he added quietly, holding the small circular microphone in his free hand.

  The assassin grunted, his instincts roused to their primeval limits, his desire to kill equal to his desire to survive, the one dependent upon the other. He was on the edge of madness; only the barrel of Delta's gun stopped him from an insane assault. He was still human, and it was better to try to live than to accept death through default. But when, when! The nervous tic returned to Allcott- Price's face; his lower lip twitched as screams and shouts and the sound of men running in panic filled the gardens. The killer's hands trembled as he stared at Delta in the dim, pulsating light of the distant flames.

  'Don't even think about it,' said the man from Medusa. 'You're dead if you make a move. You've studied me so you know there's no reprieve. You make it, you make it on your own. Swing your leg over the wall and be ready to jump when I tell you. Not before. ' Without warning, Bourne suddenly brought the microphone to his lips and snapped a switch. When he spoke his amplified words echoed eerily throughout the grounds, a haunting, reverberating sound that matched the thunder of the explosion, made more ominous by its calm simplicity, its frigidity.

  'You marines. Take cover and stay out of this. It's not your fight. Don't die for the men who brought you here. To them expendable - as I was expendable. There's no legitimacy here, no territory to be defended, no honour of your country in question. You're here for the sole purpose of protecting killers. The only difference between you and me is the fact that they used me, too, but now they want to kill me because I know what they've done. Don't die for these men, they're not worth it. I give you my word I won't fire on you unless you shoot at me, and then I'll have no choice. But there's another man here who isn't going to make any deals-'

  A fusillade of gunfire erupted, shattering the source of the sound, blasting the unseen speaker randomly off the wall. Delta was ready; it was bound to happen. One of the faceless, nameless manipulators had given an order and it was carried out. He reached into the knapsack, removing a 15-inch preset tear gas launcher, the canister in place. It could smash heavy glass at fifty yards; he aimed and pulled the trigger. A hundred feet away a bay window was shattered, the fog of gas billowing throughout the room inside. He could see figures running beyond the fragmented glass. Lamps and chandeliers were extinguished, supplanted by a startling array of floodlights positioned in the eaves of the great house and the trunks of the surrounding trees. Suddenly the grounds were awash with blinding white light. The branches of the overhanging tree would be a magnet for pivoting eyes and levelled weapons and he understood that no appeal of his would countermand the orders. He had delivered that appeal both as an honest warning and a salve for what conscience remained to a barely-thinking, barely-feeling robot avenger. In the shadows of the mind he had left he did not want to take the lives of youngsters called to serve the paranoid egos of manipulators - he had seen too much of that in Saigon years ago. He wanted only the lives of those inside the sterile house, and he intended to have them. Jason Bourne would not be denied. They had taken everything from him, and his personal account was now going to be settled. For the man from Medusa the decision was made - he was a puppet on the strings of his own rage, and apart from that rage his life was over.

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