The bourne supremacy, p.67
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.67

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 67


  'Why not?' asked Jason, stirred and pained at what he was hearing. 'Why didn't they report him?'

  'Because he always brought them out - most of them out -when the order of battle seemed hopeless. '

  'I see,' said Bourne, letting the remark ride with the mountain breezes. 'No, I don't see,' he cried angrily, as if suddenly, unexpectedly stung. 'Command structure is better than that. Why did his superiors put up with him? They had to know]'

  'As I understood his rantings, he got the jobs done when others couldn't - or wouldn't. He learned the secret we in Medusa learned long ago. Play by the enemy's most ruthless conditions. Change the rules according to the culture. After all, human life to others is not what it is to the Judaeo-Christian concept. How could it be? For so many, death is a. liberation from intolerable human conditions. '

  'Breathing is breathing^ insisted Jason, harshly. 'Being is being and thinking is thinking? added David Webb. 'He's a Neanderthal. '

  'No more than Delta was at certain times. And you got us out of how many-'

  'Don't say that!' protested the man from Medusa, cutting off the Frenchman. 'It wasn't the same. '

  'But certainly a variation,'insisted d'Anjou. 'Ultimately the motives do not really matter, do they? Only the results. Or don't you care to accept the truth? You lived it once. Does Jason Bourne now live with lies?'

  'At the moment I simply live - from day to day, from night to night - until it's over. One way or another. '

  'You must be clearer. '

  'When I want to or have to,' replied Bourne, icily. 'He's good, then, isn't he? Your commando - major without a name. Good at what he does. '

  'As good as Delta - perhaps better. You see, he has no conscience, none whatsoever. You, on the other hand, as violent as you were, showed flashes of compassion. Something inside you demanded it. "Spare this man," you would say. "He is a husband, a father, a brother. Incapacitate him, but let him live, let him function later". . . My creation, your impostor, would never do that. He wants always the final solution - death in front of his eyes. '

  'What happened to him? Why did he kill those people in London? Being drunk's not a good enough reason, not where he's been. '

  'It is if it's a way of life you can't resign from. '

  'You keep your weapon in place unless you're threatened. Otherwise you invite the threats. '

  'He used no weapon. Only his hands that night in London. '


  'He stalked the streets looking for imagined enemies -that's what I gathered from his ravings. "It was in their eyes!" he'd scream. "It's always in the eyes! They know who I am, what I am. " I tell you, Delta, it was both frightening and tedious, and I never got a name, never a specific reference other than Idi Amin, which any drunken soldier of fortune would use to further himself. To involve the British in Hong Kong would mean involving myself, and, after all, I certainly could not do that. The whole thing's so frustrating, so I went back to the ways of Medusa. Do it yourself. You taught us that, Delta. You constantly told us - ordered us - to use our imagination. That's what I did tonight. And I failed, as an old man might be expected to fail. '

  'Answer my question,' pressed Bourne. 'Why did he kill those people in London?'

  'For a reason as banal as it was pointless - and entirely too familiar. He'd been rejected, and his ego could not tolerate that rejection. I sincerely doubt that any other emotion was involved. As with all his indulgences, sexual activity is simply an animal release; no affection is involved, for he has no capacity for it. Man Dieu, he was so right!'

  'Again. What happened?'

  'He had returned, wounded, from some particularly brutal duty in Uganda expecting to take up where he left off with a woman in London - someone, I gather, rather high-born, as the English say, a throwback to his earlier days, no doubt. But she refused to see him and hired armed guards to protect her house in Chelsea after he called her. Two of those men were among the seven he killed that night. You see, she claimed his temper was uncontrollable and his bouts of drinking made him murderous, which, of course, they did. But for me he was the perfect contender. In Singapore I followed him outside a disreputable bar and saw him corner two murderous thugs in an alleyway - contrebandiers who had made a great deal of money with a narcotics sale in that filthy waterfront cave - and watched as he backed them against the wall, slashing both their throats with a single sweep of his knife and removing the proceeds from their pockets. I knew then that he had it all. I had found my Jason Bourne. I approached him slowly, silently, my hand extended, holding more money than he had extracted from his victims. We talked. It was the beginning. '

  'So Pygmalion created his Galatea, and the first contract you accepted became Aphrodite and gave it life. Bernard Shaw would love you, and I could kill you. '

  To what end? You came to find him tonight. I came to destroy him. '

  'Which is part of your story,' said David Webb, looking away from the Frenchman at the white- lit mountains, thinking of Maine and the life with Marie that had been so violently disrupted. 'You bastard? he suddenly shouted. 'I could kill you! Have you any idea what you've done?'

  'That is your story, Delta. Let me finish mine. '

  'Make it neat. . . Echo. That was your name, wasn't it? Echo?' The memories came back.

  'Yes, it was. You once told Saigon that you would not travel without "old Echo". I had to be with your team because I could discern trouble with the tribes and the village chiefs that others could not - which had little to do with my alphabetical symbol. Of course, it was nothing mystic. 1 had lived in the colonies for ten years. I knew when the Quan-si were lying. '

  'Finish your story,' ordered Bourne.

  'Betrayal,' said d'Anjou, palms outstretched. 'Just as you were created, I created my own Jason Bourne. And just as you went mad, my creation did the same. He turned on me; he became the reality that was my invention. Dismiss Galatea, Delta, he became Frankenstein's monster with none of that creature's torment. He broke away from me and began to think for himself, do for himself. Once his desperation left him - with my inestimable help and a surgeon's knife - his sense of authority came back to him, as well as his arrogance,

  his ugliness. He considers me a trifle. That's what he called me, a "trifle"! An insignificant nonentity who used him! who created him!'

  'You mean he makes contracts on his own?'

  'Perverted contracts, grotesque and extraordinarily dangerous. '

  'But I traced him through you, through jour arrangements at the Kam Pek casino. Table Five. The telephone number of a hotel in Macao and a name. '

  'A method of contact he finds convenient to maintain. And why not? It's virtually security-proof and what can I do? Go to the authorities and say "See here, gentlemen, there's this fellow I'm somewhat responsible for who insists on using arrangements I created so he can be paid for killing someone. " He even uses my conduit. '

  The Zhongguo ren with the fast hands and faster feet!

  D'Anjou looked at Jason. 'So that's how you did it, how you found this place. Delta hasn't lost his touch, n'est-cepas! Is the man alive?'

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