The bourne supremacy, p.146
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.146

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 146


  'Jump!' whispered Delta, swinging his right leg over the wall, pummelling the assassin down to the ground. He followed while the commando was in mid-air and grabbed the impostor's shoulder as the startled killer - arms extended on his knees - righted himself on the grass. Bourne dragged him out of sight into a latticed arbour with a profusion of bougainvillaea that reached nearly 6 feet high. 'Here's your gun, Major,' said the original Jason Bourne. 'Mine's on you, and don't you forget it!'

  The assassin simultaneously grabbed the weapon and tore the cloth from his mouth, coughing and spitting out saliva as a savage burst of gunfire tore leaves and branches all along the wall. 'Your little lecture didn't do much fucking good, did it?

  'I didn't expect it to. The truth of the matter is that they want you, not me. You see, I'm really expendable now. That was their plan from the beginning. I bring you out and I'm dead. My wife's dead. We know too much. She because she learned who they were - she had to, she was the bait - me because they knew I'd put some figures together in Peking. You're messed up with a bloodbath, Major. A megabomb that can blow the whole Far East apart, and will if saner heads in Taiwan don't isolate and rip out those lunatic clients of yours. Only I don't give a shit any more. Play your goddamned games and blow yourselves up. I just want to get inside that house. '

  A squad of marines assaulted the wall, running alongside the stone, rifles poised, ready to fire. Delta pulled a second plastique from his knapsack, set the miniaturized digital timer for ten seconds, and threw the packet as far as he could towards the rear garden wall, away from the guards. 'Come on!' he ordered the commando, ramming his weapon into the killer's spine. 'You in front! Down this path. Nearer the house. '

  'Give me one of those! Give me a plastic!'

  'I don't think so. '

  'Christ, you gave me your word!'

  'Then either I lied or I changed my mind. '

  'Why! What do you care?

  'I care. I didn't know there were so many kids. Too many kids. You could take out ten of them with one of these, maim a lot more. '

  'It's a little late for you to become such a fucking Christian!'

  'The club's not that exclusive; it never was. I know who I want and who I don't want and I don't want kids in pressed GI pajamas. I want the men inside that-'

  The explosion came some forty yards away at the rear of the grounds. Trees and dirt, bushes and whole beds of flowers flamed into the air - a panorama of greens and browns and speckled dots of colour within the billowing grey smoke illuminated by the hot white floodlights. 'Move!' whispered Delta. 'To the end of the row. It's about sixty feet from the house and there's a pair of doors-' Bourne closed his eyes in angry futility as a series of seemingly unending spurts of rifle fire filled the rear gardens. They were children. They fired blindly out of fear, killing imaginary demons but no targets. And they would not listen.

  Another group of marines, these obviously led by an experienced officer, took up equidistant positions in front of the great house, circling it, legs bent, feet dug in for recoils, weapons angled forward. The manipulators had called for their Praetorian guard. So be it. Delta again reached into his knapsack, felt around his arsenal and removed one of the two manual firebombs he had purchased in the Mongkok. It was similar to a grenade at the top - circular but covered with a shield of heavy plastic. The base, however, was a handle, five inches long so that the thrower could hurl the explosive farther and with greater accuracy. The trick was in the throwing, the accuracy and the timing. For once the plastic was removed, the shell of the bomb itself would adhere to any surface by an instant steel-like adhesive activated by air, and with the explosion a chemical shot out in all directions, prolonging the flames, embedding itself into all porous surfaces, seeping and burning. From the removal of the plastic covering to the explosion took fifteen seconds. The sides of the great house, the sterile house, were weatherboard above an imposing lower border of stone. Delta shoved the assassin into a cluster of roses, stripped off the plastic and heaved the firebomb into the boarding far above and to the left of the french doors thirty-odd feet away. It stuck to the wood, the rest was waiting for the seconds to pass while the rifle fire - hesitant now, diminishing - ceased altogether.

  The wall of the house blew apart. A gaping hole revealed a formal Victorian bedroom, complete with a brass bedstead and ornate English furniture. The flames spread instantly, shooting spokes of fire from a central hub, spewing along the weatherboard and spitting inside the house.

  An order was given, and again there was an eruption of rifle fire, bullets spraying the flowerbeds away from the rear garden wall and the contingent of marines who had raced in the direction of the previous explosion. Commands and counter commands were shouted in anger and frustration as two officers appeared, sidearms in their hands. One rounded the circle of protecting guards, checking their positions and their weapons, peering in front of each. The other headed for the sidewall and began retracing the route of the first squad, his eyes constantly shifting to his inner flanks, to the succeeding rows of flowers. He stopped beneath the willow tree and studied the wall, then the grass. He raised his head and looked over at the arbour of bougainvillaea. His weapon now steadied by both hands, he started towards the arbour.

  Delta watched the soldier through the bushes, his own gun still pressed into the commando's back. He removed another plastique, set the timer, and threw it over the bushes far forward towards the sidewall. 'Go through there!' ordered Bourne, pivoting the assassin by the shoulder and sending him into the row of bushes on the left. Jason plunged through after the commando, cracking the barrel of his automatic into the killer's head, stopping him as he lurched for the knapsack. 'Just a few more minutes, Major, then you're on your own. '

  The fourth explosion tore away six feet of the sidewall and, as though they expected enemy troops to pour through, the marine guards opened fire on the collapsing stone. In the distance, on the roads of Victoria Peak, two-note sirens wailed in counterpoint to the sounds of carnage taking place within the grounds of the sterile house. Delta pulled out his next to last plastic packet, set the timer for ninety seconds and heaved it towards the corner of the rear wall where the grounds were deserted. It was the beginning of his final diversion, the rest would be cold mathematics. He removed the tear gas launcher, inserted a canister and spoke to the commando. Turn around. ' The assassin did so, the barrel of Bourne's gun in front of his eyes. Take this,' said Delta. 'You can hold it with one hand. When I tell you, fire it into the stone to the right of the french doors. The gas will spread, blinding most of those kids. They won't be able to shoot, so don't waste bullets, you haven't got that many. '

  The killer did not at first reply. Instead, he raised his weapon level with Bourne's and aimed it at Jason's head. 'Now we're one-on-one, Mr Original,' said the commando. 'I told you I could take a bullet in the head. I've been waiting for it for years. But somehow I don't think you can take the idea of not getting inside that house. ' There was a sudden roar of voices and yet another fusillade of gunfire as a squad of marines rushed the collapsed side wall. Delta watched, waiting for the instant when the assassin's concentration, would break for that split second. The instant did not come. Instead the commando continued quietly, his voice tense but controlled as he stared at Jason Bourne. They must be expecting an invasion, the silly geese. When in doubt attack, as long as your flanks are covered, isn't that right, Mr Original. . . ? Empty your bag of tricks, Delta. It was "Delta", wasn't it?'

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