Requiem for an Assassin
the massive bruise from the impact had lasted for a month; the memory, considerably longer. Hilger couldn’t deny that he took some pleasure in imagining how he would soon squeeze Dox for the information he wanted.
Pancho was still staring at Demeere. The half-Mexican was a reliable operator, but prone to feel slighted easily and to react with anger.
Hilger decided to cut short a possible argument. “Demeere was in charge of the op to try to render Rain out of Bangkok. He was running Winters and a local team there. That’s how he knew just now. How he guessed.”
Pancho eased back an inch on the bed. “How’d it go down?”
“We don’t know all the details,” Demeere said. “It seems Rain spotted the ambush Winters had set, and attacked. Two of the locals got away. Two others Rain killed with a knife. Winters was found in an alley with defensive wounds on his arms and a slashed subclavian artery. Bled out internally.”
“Rain beat Winters in a fucking knife fight?” Pancho asked. “I knew Winters. He had a kali background. Trained in the Philippines. He was good with a blade.”
“Rain’s had a lot of training, too,” Hilger said. “Judo. Boxing. Edged weapons when he was with Special Forces. And a hell of a lot of practical experience.”
Pancho nodded as though considering. Demeere looked at him and asked, “Does that make you nervous?”
Pancho returned the look. “No.”
Demeere offered a slight, chilly smile. “It should.”
Pancho smiled back. “Maybe Rain just got lucky. Or maybe Winters wasn’t being run properly.”
Guthrie said, “Anyway, the point is, Winters was good.”
Demeere, his eyes still on Pancho, said in lightly accented but otherwise perfect English, “Fuck-all good.”
“What about Calver and Gibbons?” Guthrie asked.
“Shot to death,” Hilger said. “In a Manila restroom, while they were trying to protect an agent in another op.”
Pancho looked at Hilger. “So you’re looking for payback. To take Rain out.”
Hilger shook his head. “I want him to do a job.”
Pancho squinted and pursed his lips as though thinking. Hilger didn’t know whether he was confused or disappointed or both.
“If he’s freelance,” Guthrie asked, “why not just hire him, through channels?”
“Two problems,” Hilger said. “First, I don’t know how to contact him. I tried to locate him, and couldn’t even find where he is. At one point he was known to be in Tokyo, then supposedly in São Paulo or Rio. The reports are all several years out of date, though, and I doubt he’s still living in either country. And even if he were, it wouldn’t be enough to go on. Brazil has the world’s largest Japanese expatriate community. Rain would be invisible there. More so in Japan. He always kept a low profile, but these days he might as well be a ghost.”
Guthrie said, “What’s the second problem?”
Hilger shrugged. “For now, let’s just say that I doubt what I want him for is something he’d do voluntarily. Dox is his friend, one of only a few. That means Dox knows how to contact him, and it means Dox is the leverage to make Rain cooperate.”
“They’re that close?” Guthrie said.
Hilger nodded. “I saw Dox carry Rain over his shoulder out of a firefight at Kwai Chung harbor in Hong Kong. Five million dollars in play, and Dox walked away from it to save his partner when he got hit. So I’d say they’re close, yeah.”
Pancho said, “What you’ve got in mind, the thing you want Rain for, you can’t handle in-house?”
Again, Hilger detected disappointment. He shook his head. “Rain is the right resource for this. We just have to get to him.”
They were all quiet for a moment. Guthrie said, “How much time do we have, then? To snatch Dox.”
Hilger shuffled through a few more of the photos, looking for a pattern. He felt something beginning to cohere.
“We can give it a few more days,” Hilger said. “If we haven’t had an opening at that point, we can work the villa angle. But I agree with Pancho, it’s high risk and I’d prefer something else. The main thing is that we take him totally unaware. Because without the element of surprise, taking him alive and functioning is going to be bloody. Close quarters he’s not Rain, but believe me, he’s plenty dangerous.”
Pancho squinted. “Rain is that good?”
Hilger nodded, remembering how Rain had tracked him to Hong Kong. No one had ever turned the tables on Hilger like that
Weitere Kostenlose Bücher