— Whom you can‘t terminate yourself.
Karpov nodded. -You have me entirely, Mr. Smith.
The two men laughed at the same time, but their tones were absolutely different.
— So. Halliday made a tent of his fingers. -Who is the target?
— Abdulla Khoury.
The secretary‘s heart sank. -The head of the Eastern Brotherhood? Christ on a crutch, you might as well ask me to assassinate the pope.
— Assassinating the pope would do neither of us any good. But killing Abdulla Khoury, well, that‘s another matter entirely, yes?
— Of course, yes. The man‘s a radical Islamic maniac as well as a menace. Right now he‘s holding hands with the president of Iran. But the Eastern Brotherhood is a worldwide organization. Khoury has many friends in very high places. The secretary shook his head with a good deal of vehemence.
— Attempting to terminate him would be political suicide.
Karpov nodded. -All this is unquestionably true. But what about the Eastern Brotherhood‘s terrorist activities?
Halliday snorted. -A pipe dream; rumors, at best. No one in our secret services has ever found a scrap of reliable evidence that it has ties to any terrorist organization. And believe me, we‘ve tried.
— Of this I have no doubt, which means that you didn‘t find any evidence of terrorist activity in Professor Specter‘s residence.
— There‘s no doubt the good professor was a terrorist hunter, but as for allegations he was anything more… Halliday shrugged.
A sudden smile wreathed the colonel‘s face, and all at once an unmarked manila envelope was on the table between them. -Then you‘ll find this of particular value. As if maneuvering his queen into checkmate position, Karpov slid the envelope over to Halliday.
As the secretary slit open the envelope and scanned the contents, Karpov continued. -As you know, FSB-2 is primarily concerned with international drug trafficking.
— So I‘ve heard, Halliday said drily, because he knew damn well that FSB2‘s purview was much wider than that.
— Ten days ago, Karpov went on, — we initiated the final phase of a drug bust in Mexico, one we‘d been working on for more than two years because one of our Moscow grupperovka, the Kazanskaya, has been searching for a secure pipeline as it moved into the drug trade.
Halliday nodded. He knew a bit about the Kazanskaya, one of Moscow‘s most notorious criminal families, and its head, Dimitri Maslov.
— We were entirely successful, I‘m pleased to say, the colonel continued.
— In the final sweep of the dead drug lord Gustavo Moreno‘s house we confiscated a notebook computer before it could be destroyed. The information you‘re reading now was printed out from the hard drive.
The tips of Halliday‘s fingers had gone cold. The printout was dense with figures, cross-references, annotations. -This is a money trail. The Mexican drug ring was financed by the Eastern Brotherhood. Fifty percent of the profits went to buying weapons, which were trans-shipped to various ports in the Middle East by Air Afrika Airways.
— Which is wholly owned by Nikolai Yevsen, the world‘s largest arms dealer. The colonel cleared his throat. -You see, Mr. Smith, there are powerful elements in my government aligned with Iran because we want their oil and they want our uranium. Energy trumps everything else these days, yes?
And so, vis-a-vis Abdulla Khoury, I find myself in the awkward position of possessing evidence implicating him in terrorist activities, yet unable to act on that evidence. He cocked his head. -Possibly you can help me out.
Calming the thundering of his heart, Halliday said, — Why do you want Khoury out of the picture?
— I could tell you, Karpov said, — but then, regrettably, I‘d have to kill you.
It was an old joke, and a stale one, but there was again in the colonel‘s pale, implacable eyes the eerie twinkle that chilled the secretary to the bone, and absurdly it occurred to him that Karpov might not be joking. This was not a theory he was eager to pursue, so he made his decision quickly.
— Terminate Jason Bourne and I will use the full might of the American government to put Abdulla Khoury where he belongs.
But the colonel was already shaking his head. -Not good enough, Mr. Smith. An eye for an eye, this is the true meaning of quid pro quo, yes?
— We don‘t assassinate people, Colonel Karpov, Halliday said stiffly.
The Russian snickered unkindly. -Of course not, he said drily, then shrugged. -No matter, Secretary Halliday. I have no such compunctions.
Halliday hesitated but a moment. -Yes, of course, in the heat of the moment I forgot our protocols, Mr. Jones. Send me the entire contents of the hard drive and it will be done. Bracing himself, he stared into those pale eyes. -Agreed?
Boris Karpov gave a sharp military nod. -Agreed.
When the colonel exited the jazz club, he located Halliday‘s Lincoln and Secret Service bodyguards arrayed along this block of Rumfordstrasse like tin soldiers. Walking in the opposite direction, he turned a corner, fished inside his mouth, and removed the plastic prosthetics that had changed the shape of his jawline. He grabbed the veiny bulb of his latex nose and pulled it and the actor‘s putty off, removed the gray-colored contact lenses, stowing them in a plastic case. Himself again, he laughed. There was a colonel in FSB-2 by the name of Boris Karpov; in fact, Karpov and Jason Bourne were friends, which was why Leonid Danilovich Arkadin had chosen Karpov to impersonate. The irony appealed to him: Bourne‘s friend proposing to terminate him. Plus, Karpov was a strand in the web he was spinning.
There was no danger from the American politician. Arkadin knew full well that Halliday‘s people had no idea what Karpov looked like. Nevertheless, even if his Treadstone training had taught him never to leave anything to chance, there was a very good reason why he had become the visual approximation of Karpov.
Anonymous within the swirl of passengers, he boarded the U-bahn at Marienplatz. Three stops and four blocks later, at the specified location, he found a perfectly nondescript car waiting for him. As soon as he climbed in, it took off, heading toward Franz Josef Strauss International Airport. He was booked on the 1:20 AM Lufthansa flight to Singapore, where he‘d catch the 9:35 AM flight to Denpasar in Bali. It had been far easier to trace Bourne‘s whereabouts-the people at NextGen Energy Solutions where Moira Trevor worked knew where the two of them had gone-than to steal Gustavo Moreno‘s laptop. But he had a number of men inside the Kazanskaya. One of them had been fortunate enough to be in Gustavo Moreno‘s house an hour before the FSB-2
bust went down. He absconded with the incriminating evidence that would now plant Abdulla Khoury six feet under. As soon as Arkadin shot Bourne dead.
Jason Bourne was at peace. At long last his grieving for Marie was over, the guilt lifted from his heart. He lay side by side with Moira, on a bale, a huge Balinese daybed with a thatched roof, supported by four carved wooden posts. The bale was set into a low stone wall to one side of a three-tiered infinity pool that overlooked the Lombok Strait in southeast Bali. Because the Balinese were aware of everything and forgot nothing, after the first day their bale was set up for them each morning when they arrived for their prebreakfast swim, and their waitress would bring without being asked the drink that Moira loved most: a Bali Sunrise, consisting of chilled sour orange, mango, and passion fruit juices.