The bourne supremacy, p.81
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.81

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 81


  'What about the airport? Why are you so sure it's him?'

  'The Crown Governor. Assassination. '

  'What?' shouted Bourne, stunned.

  'I walked from the Peninsula to the Star Ferry with your suitcase. It's only a short distance and the ferry is far quicker than a taxi through the tunnel. As I passed the Kowloon Police Hill on Salisbury Road, I saw seven patrol cars drive out at emergency speed, one behind the other, all turning left, which is not to the godown. It struck me as odd - yes, two or three for a local eruption, but seven! It was good joss, as these people say. I called my contact on the Hill and he was cooperative - it was also not much of an internal secret any longer. He said if I stayed around I'd see another ten cars, twenty vans, all heading out to Kai Tak within the next two hours. Those I saw were the advance search teams. They had received word through their underground sources that an attempt was to be made on the Governor's life. '

  'Specifics!' commanded Bourne harshly, buckling his trousers and reaching for the long khaki shirt that served as a jacket under the bullet-laden holster belt.

  'The Governor is flying in from Beijing tonight with his own entourage from the Foreign Office, as well as another Chinese negotiating delegation. There will be newspaper people, television crews, everyone. Both governments want full coverage. There is to be a joint meeting tomorrow between all the negotiators and leaders of the financial sector. '

  The ninety-seven treaty?'

  'Yet another round in the endless verbosity about the Accords. But for all our sakes just pray they keep talking pleasantly. '

  'The scenario? said Jason softly, stopping all movement. 'What scenario?'

  The one you yourself brought up, the scenario that had the wires burning between Peking and Government House. Kill a Governor for the murder of a Vice-Premier? Then perhaps a Foreign Secretary for a ranking member of the Central Committee - a Prime Minister for a Chairman? How far does it go? How many selected killings before the breaking point is reached. How long before the parent refuses to tolerate a disobedient child and marches into Hong Kong? Christ it could happen. Someone wants it to happen!'

  D'Anjou stood motionless, holding the wide belt of the holster with its ominous strand of brass- capped shells. 'What I suggested was no more than speculation based on the random violence caused by an obsessed killer who accepts his contracts without discrimination. There's enough greed and political corruption on both sides to justify that speculation. But what you're suggesting, Delta is quite different. You're saying it's a plan, an organized plan to disrupt Hong Kong to the point that the Mainland takes over. '

  The scenario,' repeated Jason Bourne. The more complicated it gets, the simpler it appears. '

  The rooftops of Kai Tak Airport were swarming with police, as were the gates and the tunnels, the immigration counters and the luggage areas. Outside, on the immense field of black tarmac, powerful floodlights were joined by roving, sharper searchlights probing every moving vehicle, every inch of visible ground. Television crews uncoiled cables under watching eyes, while interviewers standing behind sound trucks practised pronunciation in a dozen languages. Reporters and photographers were kept beyond the gates as airport personnel shouted through the amplifiers that roped-off sections on the field would soon be available for all legitimate journalists with proper passes issued by the Kai Tak management. It was madness. And then the totally unexpected happened as a sudden rainstorm swept over the colony from the darkness of the western horizon. It was yet another autumn deluge.

  The impostor has good luck - good joss - as they say, doesn't he?' said d'Anjou as he and Bourne in their uniforms marched with a phalanx of police through a covered walkway made of corrugated tin to one of the huge repair hangars. The hammering of the rain was deafening.

  'Luck had nothing to do with it,' replied Jason. 'He studied the weather reports from as far away as Szechwan. Every airport has them. He spotted it yesterday, if not two days ago. Weather's a weapon, too, Echo. '

  'Still, he could not dictate the arrival of the Crown Governor on a Chinese aircraft. They are often hours late, usually hours late. '

  'But not days, not usually. When did the Kowloon police get word of the attempt?'

  'I asked specifically,' said the Frenchman. 'Around eleven-thirty this morning. '

  'And the plane from Peking was scheduled to arrive sometime this evening?'

  'Yes, I told you that. The newspaper and the television people were ordered to be here by nine o'clock. '

  'He studied the weather reports. Opportunities present themselves. You grab them. '

  'And this is what you must do, Delta! Think like him, be him! It is our chance!'

  'What do you think I'm doing?. . . When we get to the hangar I want to break away. Can your ersatz identification make it possible?'

  'I am a British Sector Commander from the Mongkok Divisional Police. '

  'What does that mean?'

  'I really don't know but it was the best I could do. '

  'You don't sound British. '

  'Who would know that out here at Kai Tak, old chap?'

  The British. '

  'I'll avoid them. My Chinese is better than yours. The Zhongguo ren will respect it. You'll be free to roam. '

  'I have to,' said Jason Bourne. 'If it's your commando, I want him before anyone else spots him! Here. Now!

  Roped stanchions were moved out of the high-domed hangar by maintenance personnel in glossy yellow rain slickers. Then a truckload of the yellow coats arrived for the police contingents; men caught them as they were thrown out of the rear of the van. Putting them on, the police then formed several groups to receive instructions from their superiors. Order was rapidly emerging from the confusion compounded by the newly arrived bewildered troops and the problems caused by the sudden downpour. It was the sort of order Bourne distrusted. It was too smooth, too conventional for the job they faced. Ranks of brightly dressed soldiers marching forward were in the wrong place with the wrong tactics when seeking out guerrillas - even one man trained in guerrilla warfare. Each policeman in his yellow slicker was both a warning and a target - and he was also something else. A pawn. Each could be replaced by another dressed the same way, by a killer who knew how to assume the look of his enemy.

  Yet the strategy of infiltration for the purpose of a kill was suicidal, and Jason knew there was no such commitment on the part of his impostor. Unless . . . unless the weapon to be used had a sound level so low the rain would eliminate it. . . but even then the target's reaction could not be instantaneous. A cordon would immediately be erected around the killing ground at the first sign of the Governor's collapse, every exit blocked, everyone in the vicinity ordered under guns to remain in place. A delayed reaction? A tiny air dart whose impact was no greater than a pinprick, a minor annoyance to be swatted away like a bothersome fly as the lethal drop of poison entered the bloodstream to cause death slowly but inevitably, time not a consideration. It was a possibility, but again there were too many obstacles to surmount, too much accuracy demanded beyond the limits of an air-compressed weapon. The Governor would undoubtedly be wearing a protective vest, and targeting the face was out. Facial nerves exaggerated pain and any foreign object making contact so close to the eyes produced an immediate and dramatic reaction. That left the hands and the throat; the first were too small and conceivably could be moving too fast, the second was simply too limited an area. A high-powered rifle on a rooftop? A rifle of unquestioned accuracy with an infra- red telescopic sight? Another possibility - an all too familiar yellow slicker replaced by one worn by an assassin. But again, it was suicidal, for such a weapon would produce an isolated explosion, and to mount a silencer would reduce the accuracy of the rifle to the point where it could not be trusted. The odds were against a killer on a rooftop. The kill would be too obvious.

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