The bourne supremacy, p.84
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.84

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 84


  'What are you talking about? Who are you?'

  Bourne nearly struck the man in frustration. 'Mossad? he screamed.

  'You are the one from Israel? I've heard-'

  "Listen to me! Get on that radio and tell them to stop! Get everyone out of that car! It's going to blow! Now!'

  Through the rain the officer looked up into Jason's eyes, then nodded once and pulled the radio from his belt. This is an emergency! Clear the channel and patch me to Red Star One. Immediately. '

  ''All the cars!' interrupted Bourne. Tell them to peel away!'

  'Change!' cried the police officer. 'Alert all vehicles. Put me through!' And with his voice tense but controlled, the Chinese spoke clearly, emphasizing each word. This is Colony Five and we have an emergency. With me is the man from the Mossad and I relay his instructions. They are to be complied with at once. Red Star One is to stop instantly and order everyone out of the vehicle, instructing them to run for cover. All other cars are to turn to the left towards the centre of the field, away from Red Star One. Execute immediately? Stunned, the crowds watched as in the distance the engines roared in unison. Five limousines swung out of position, racing into the outer darkness of the airport. The first car screeched to a stop; the doors opened and men leaped out, running in all directions.

  Eight seconds later it happened. The limousine called Red Star One exploded forty feet from an open gate. Flaming metal and shattered glass spiralled up into the downpour as the band music halted in midbreath.

  Peking. 11:25 p. m.

  Above the northern suburbs of Peking is a vast compound rarely spoken of, and certainly not for public inspection. The major reason is security, but there is also an element of embarrassment in this egalitarian society. For inside this sprawling, forested enclave in the hills are the villas of China's most powerful figures. The compound is enclosed by a high wall of grey stone, the entrances to the complex guarded by seasoned army veterans, the dense woods within continuously patrolled by attack dogs. And if one were to speculate on the social or political relationships cultivated there, it should be noted that no villa can be seen from another, for each structure is surrounded by its own inner wall, and all personal guards are personally selected from years of obedience and trust. The name, when it is spoken, is Jade Tower Mountain, which refers not to a geological mountain but to an immense hill that rises above the others. At one time or another, with the ebb and flow of political fortunes, such men as Mao Zedong, Lin Shaoqi, Lin Biao, and Zhou Enlai resided here. Among the residents now was a man shaping the economic destiny of the People's Republic. The world press referred to him simply as Sheng, and the name was immediately recognizable. His full name was Sheng Chou Yang.

  A brown sedan sped down the road fronting the imposing grey wall. It approached Gate Number Six, and as though preoccupied, the driver suddenly applied the brakes and the car sideslipped into the entrance, stopping inches from the bright orange barrier that reflected the beams of the headlights. A guard approached.

  'Who is it you come to see and what is your name? I will need your official identification. '

  'Minister Sheng,' said the driver. 'And my name is not important, nor are my papers required. Please inform the minister's residence that his emissary from Kowloon is here. '

  The soldier shrugged. Such replies were standard at Jade Tower Mountain and to press further might result in a transfer from this heavenly duty where the leftover food was beyond one's imagination and even foreign beer was given for obedient and co-operative service. Still the guard used the telephone. The visitor had to be admitted properly. To do otherwise could bring one to kneel in a field and be shot in the back of the head. The guard returned to the gatehouse and dialled the villa of Sheng Chou Yang.

  'Admit him. Quickly?

  Without going back to the sedan, the guard pressed a button and the orange bar was raised. The car raced in, far too quickly over the gravel, thought the guard. The emissary was in a great hurry.

  'Minister Sheng is in the garden,' said the army officer at the door, looking beyond the visitor, his eyes darting about, peering into the darkness. 'Go to him. '

  The emissary rushed through the front room filled with red lacquered furniture to an archway beyond which was a walled garden complete with four connecting lily ponds subtly lit with yellow lights beneath the water. Two intersecting paths

  of white gravel formed an X between the ponds, and low, black wicker chairs and tables were placed at the far end of each path within an oval setting. Seated alone at the end of the eastern leg by the brick wall was a slender man of medium height, with close-cropped, prematurely grey hair and gaunt features. If there was anything about him that might startle someone meeting him for the first time it was his eyes, for they were the dark eyes of a dead man, the lids never blinking even for an instant. Contrarily, they were also the eyes of a zealot whose blind dedication was the core of his strength; white heat was in the pupils, lightning in the orbs. These were the eyes of Sheng Chou Yang, and at the moment they were on fire.

  '7W/ me!' he roared, both hands gripping the black arms of the wicker chair. 'Who does this?'

  'It's all a lie, Minister! We have checked with our people in Tel Aviv. There is no such man as was described. There is no agent from the Mossad in Kowloon!

  'What action did you take?'

  'It is most confusing-'

  'What action?'

  'We are tracing an Englishman in the Mongkok whom no one seems to know about. '

  'Fools and idiots! Idiots and fools! Whom have you spoken with?'

  'Our key man in the Kowloon police. He is bewildered, and I'm sorry to say I think he is frightened. He made several references to Macao and I did not like his voice. '

  'He is dead. '

  'I will transmit your instructions. '

  'I'm afraid you cannot. ' Shang gestured with his left hand, his right in shadows, reaching beneath the low table. 'Come pay your obedience to the Kuomintang,' he commanded.

  The emissary approached the minister. He bowed low and reached for the great man's left hand. Sheng lifted his right hand. In it was a gun.

  An explosion followed, blowing the emissary's head away. Fragments of skull and tissue seared into the lily ponds. The army officer appeared in the archway as the corpse sprang

  back under the impact into the white gravel.

  'Dispose of him,' ordered Sheng. 'He heard too much, learned too much . . . presumed too much. '

  'Certainly, Minister. '

  'And reach the man in Macao. I have instructions for him and they are to be implemented immediately, while the fires in Kowloon still light up the sky. I want him here. '

  As the officer approached the dead courier, Sheng suddenly rose from the chair, then walked slowly to the edge of the nearest pond, his face illuminated by the lights beneath the water. He spoke once again,-his voice flat but filled with purpose.

  'Soon all of Hong Kong and the territories,' he said, staring at a lily pad. 'Soon thereafter, all of China. '

  'You lead, Minister,' said the officer, watching Sheng, his eyes glowing with devotion. 'We follow. The march you promised has begun. We return to our Mother and the land will be ours again. '

  'Yes, it will,' agreed Sheng Chou Yang. 'We cannot be denied. I cannot be denied. '

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