The bourne supremacy, p.157
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.157

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 157

 

  'I'd rather go into senseless tailspins with you than without you. Read that as seeing you alive. '

  'That's not an argument. '

  'I think it's considerable. '

  'I'll be calling the moves, not making them. '

  'What the hell does that mean?'

  'I want Sheng taken out, I mean that. He doesn't deserve to live, but I won't be doing the taking-' 'The God image doesn't suit you!' interrupted Marie, sharply. 'Let others make that decision. Walk away from it. Stay safe. '

  'You're not listening to me. I was there and I saw him -heard him. He doesn't deserve to live. In one of his screeching diatribes he called life a precious gift. That may be debatable, depending on the life, but life doesn't mean a thing to him. He wants to kill - maybe he has to, I don't know; ask Panov - it's in his eyes. He's Hitler and Mengele and Genghis Khan. . . the chainsaw killer - whatever - but he has to go. And I have to make sure he goes. '

  'But why?' pleaded Marie. 'You haven't answered me!'

  'I did, but you didn't hear me. One way or another I'd see him every day, hear that voice. I'd be watching him toy with terrified people before killing them, butchering them. Try to understand. I've tried and I'm no expert but I've learned a few things about myself. Only an idiot wouldn't. It's the images, Marie, the goddamned pictures that keep coming back, opening doors - memories I don't want to know about, but have to. The clearest and simplest way I can put it is that I can't take any more. I can't add to that collection of bad surprises. You see, I want to get better - not entirely cured, I can accept that, live with it - but I can't slide back, either. I won't slide back. For both our sakes. '

  'And you think by engineering a man's death you'll get rid of those images?'

  'I think it'll help, yes. Everything's relative and I wouldn't be here if Echo hadn't thrown his life away so I could live. It's not always fashionable to say it, but like most people I have a conscience. Or maybe it's guilt because I survived. I simply have to do it because I can. '

  'You've convinced yourself?

  'Yes, I have. I'm best equipped. '

  'And you say you're calling the moves, not making them?

  'I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm coming back because I want a long life with you, lady. '

  'What's my guarantee? Who's going to make the moves?

  'The whore who got us into this. '

  'Havilland?'

  'No, he's the pimp. McAllister's the whore, he always was. The man who believes in decency, who wears it on his sleeve until the power boys ask him to put out. He'll probably call in the pimp and that's fine. Between them they can do it. '

  'But how?'

  'There are men - and women - who will kill if the price is high enough. They may not have the egos of the mythical Jason Bourne or the very real Carlos the Jackal, but they're everywhere in that goddamned filthy shadow world. Edward, the whore, told us he made enemies throughout the Far East, from Hong Kong to the Philippines, from Singapore to Tokyo, all in the name of Washington who wanted influence over here. If you make enemies you know who they are, know the signals to send out to reach them. That's what the whore and the pimp are going to do. I'll set up the kill, but someone else will do the killing, and I don't care how many millions it costs them. I'll watch from a distance to make sure that the butcher's killed, that Echo gets what's coming to him, that the Far East is rid of a monster who can plunge it into a terrible war - but that's all I'll do. Watch. McAllister doesn't know it but he's coming with me. We're extracting our pound of flesh. '

  'Who's talking now? asked Marie. 'David or Jason?'

  The husband paused, his silent thoughts deep. 'Bourne,' he said finally. 'It has to be Bourne until I'm back. '

  'You know that?'

  'I accept it. I don't have a choice. ' There was a soft, rapid knocking at the bedroom door. 'Mr Webb. It's McAllister. It's time to leave. '

  Chapter Thirty-five

  The Emergency Medical Service helicopter roared across Victoria Harbour past the out islands of the South China Sea towards Macao. The patrol boats of the People's Republic had been appraised by way of the naval station in Gongbei; there would be no firing at the low-flying aircraft on an errand of mercy. As McAllister's luck would have it, a visiting party official from Peking had been admitted to the Kiang Wu Hospital with a bleeding duodenal ulcer. He required RH-negative blood which was continuously in short supply. Let them come, let them go. If the official were a peasant from the hills of Zhuhai, he'd be given the blood of a goat and let him hope for the best.

  Bourne and the undersecretary of state wore the white, belted coveralls and caps of the Royal Medical Corps, with no rank of substance indicated on their sleeves; they were merely grousing subordinates ordered to carry blood to a Zhongguo ren belonging to a regime that was in the process of further dismantling the Empire. Everything was being done properly and efficiently in the new spirit of co-operation between the colony and its soon-to-be new masters. Let them come, let them go. It's all a lifetime away and for us without meaning. We will not benefit. We never benefit. Not from them, not from those above.

  The hospital's rear parking area had been cleared of vehicles. Four searchlights outlined the threshold. The pilot shuttered the aircraft into vertical-hold, then began his descent, clammering down towards the concrete landing zone. The sight of the lights and the sound of the roaring helicopter had drawn crowds on the street beyond the hospital's gates on the Rua Coelho Do Amaral. That was all to the good, thought Bourne, looking down from the open hatchway. He trusted that even more onlookers would be attracted for the chopper's departure in roughly five minutes as the slapping blades continued to rotate at slow speed, the searchlights remained on and the cordon of police stayed in place - all signs of this most unusual activity. Crowds were the best that he and McAllister could hope for; in the confusion they could become part of the curious onlookers as two other men in the white coveralls of paramedics took their places by rushing to the aircraft, their bodies bent beneath the rotors, for the return trip to Hong Kong.

  Grudgingly, Jason had to admire McAllister's ability to move his chess pieces. The analyst had the convictions of his connivance. He knew which buttons to press to shift his pawns. In the current crisis the pawn was a doctor at the Kiang Wu Hospital who several years ago had diverted IMF medical funds to his own clinic on the Almirante Sergio. Since Washington was a sponsor of the International Monetary Fund, and since McAllister had caught the doctor with his hands in the till, he was in a position to expose him and had threatened to do so. Yet the doctor had prevailed. The physician had asked McAllister how he expected to replace him - there was a dearth of competent doctors in Macao. Would it not be better for the American to overlook his indiscretion if his clinic serviced the indigent? With records of such service? The choirboy in McAllister had capitulated, but not without remembering the doctor's indiscretion - and his debt. It was being paid tonight.

  'Come on!' yelled Bourne, rising and gripping one of the two canisters of blood. 'Move!'

  McAllister clung to a wall bar on the opposite side of the aircraft as the helicopter thump- crashed on to the cement. He was pale, his face frozen into a mask of itself. These things are an abomination? he mumbled. 'Please wait till we're settled. '

 
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