The Bourne Betrayal is the fifth Jason Bourne book, and the second one written by Eric Van Lustbader. 

Below the publisher's summary is our synopsis of the Bourne Betrayal. You can read our summary, listen to a section read from the audio book, even read an excerpt from the book. You can also find links to the Bourne Betrayal book and audio book (both in CD and downloadable format). Enjoy!

Publisher's summary
Jason Bourne takes on a mission to rescue his only friend in the CIA, Martin Lindros, who disappeared in Africa while tracking shipments of yellowcake uranium.
Once safely back in America, Lindros persuades Bourne to help track the money trail of terrorists buying the nuclear material in Odessa.
But once there, Bourne is hampered by confusing flashbacks of unfamiliar places and events, and he wonders: is someone brainwashing him in order to throw him off the trail? Worse, is the man he saved in Africa really Martin Lindros? Now, Bourne is alone, gathering evidence while trying to stay one step ahead of the terrorists who won't let anyone stand in the way of destroying the United States.
©2007 Myn Pyn, LLC; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
 
 
 
 
The Bourne Betrayal Audio Book

The Bourne Betrayal, the fifth book in the Jason Bourne series, is also available as an audio book (both on CD and in downloadable format). This is Eric Van Lustbader's second Jason Bourne series book.

Here is the first part of the prologue of The Bourne Betrayal, as heard on the unabridged audio book (read by Jeremy Davidson).

01-01 The Bourne Betrayal.mp3

If you'd like to download The Bourne Betrayal to your computer, iPod, or mobile device, you can get it for $7.49 on Audible.com. Or, if you prefer to buy the CD's from Amazon, scroll down to the Bourne Betrayal carousel below.

 
Unabridged (17hrs 33mins)
Abridged (6hrs 10mins)
 

Summary:

CIA Deputy Director (DDCI) Martin Lindros, is on the Semien mountain range with a special ops group (Scorpion 2), tracking shipments of yellowcake uranium and atomic bomb weaponry. The group is attacked and everyone but Lindros is killed; Lindros is kidnapped by the terrorist leader, Fadi (“the redeemer”); Fadi's real name is Abu Ghazi Hadir al-Jamuh ibn Hamid ibn Ashef al-Wahhib. He, and his brother, Karim al-Jamil are the leaders of a terrorist group called Dujja.

Meanwhile, Jason Bourne’s wife (Marie) has died of pneumonia. Since the tragedy, Bourne is haunted by visions of a woman dying in his arms. Bourne seeks psychiatric help, not knowing that the doctor he was referred to is an imposter who has tampered with his already fractured mind, planting false memories that are meant to be triggered at specific moments. That tampering is part of a sinister plan by the Islamic terrorists group Dujja to strike at the heart of the U.S. Government in Washington, DC.

Bourne is Martin’s only hope. Despite his dislike of Bourne’s methods (and Bourne’s dislike of the CIA), the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) agrees to “cut the leash” if Bourne will go after Lindros. Bourne decides to find his friend, while attempting to dismantle the terrorist network by cutting off their source of funds. However, Bourne doesn't realize that the men he believes he is hunting lead a dangerous far-reaching network that spreads from Africa, across the Middle East, into Eastern Europe and Russia. 

Fadi and his brother have predicted Bourne's strategy, and are attempting to manipulate Bourne into helping in their plans to detonate an atomic weapon in Washington. 

Below you can find The Bourne Betrayal book in just about any format you could want: book (hard cover & paperback), CD audio book (abridged & unabridged), even Kindle edition!

Karim, Fadi's brother, is truly a chameleon. Through plastic surgery and a retinal transplant, he has deceived Bourne and the CIA (as well as the DCI) into accepting that he is Martin Lindros. Therefore, Bourne believes he has rescued Lindros and returns him to Central Intelligence, where he assumes Martin's role.

Once back in U.S., Karim (as Lindros) persuades Bourne to help track the terrorists, who are buying nuclear material in Odessa. However, while on this next mission, Bourne is haunted and hindered by flashbacks of places and events of which he has no knowledge. Bourne starts to wonder whether someone is brainwashing him in an attempt to throw him off the trail. Worse yet, Bourne begins to suspect that the man he rescued may not be his friend Martin Lindros.

Now, Bourne must find the evidence to prove this outlandish theory. Meanwhile, the DCI has decided that Bourne is too big or a risk to be allowed to exist, and he orders a sanction against him. While this is happening, Bourne discovers that Fadi and Karim have a vendetta against Bourne, and are committed to exacting revenge against the man who paralyzed their father and, they believe, killed their sister. Thus, Bourne must stay one step ahead of the members of Duja, who have been manipulating Bourne from the get-go, as well as the members of his own government who are determined to eliminate him. 

Read an excerpt from the Bourne Betrayal (Chapter 19):

Leading the attack is Karim, a true chameleon who has deceived the CIA (and, especially, Bourne) into accepting that he is the DDCI Martin Lindros. Bourne believes he has rescued Lindros and returns him to Central Intelligence. 

Once back in U.S., Lindros persuades Bourne to help track the money trail of the terrorists, who are buying nuclear material in Odessa. However, once on this next mission, Bourne is hindered by strange flashbacks of places and events of which he has no knowledge. Bourne begins to wonder whether someone is brainwashing him in an attempt to throw him off the trail. Worse yet, Bourne begins to suspect that the man he rescued may not be his friend Martin Lindros.

Now, Bourne must find the evidence to prove this outlandish theory. All the while, Bourne must stay one step ahead of the members of Dujja who will not let anyone stand in the way of their mission to paralyze the U.S. 
 
 

“It is his contention that Dr. Veintrop is ready for the final series of procedures to complete the nuclear device, even though Veintrop denies this.”

“Dr. Veintrop is stalling,” Fadi said.

Abbud ibn Aziz nodded. “That's Dr. Senarz's contention, and I'm inclined to believe him. He's the nuclear physicist, after all. Anyway, it wouldn't be the first time we had a problem with Veintrop.”

Fadi considered a moment. “All right. Call your brother. Have him fetch Katya Veintrop and bring her to Miran Shah, where we will meet him. I think once Dr. Veintrop gets a look at what we can do to his wife, he'll become compliant again.”

 

Abbud ibn Aziz looked pointedly at his watch. “The last flight took off hours ago. The next one isn't scheduled until this evening.”

Fadi sat rigid, his gaze unmoving. Once again, his consciousness had removed itself, Abbud ibn Aziz knew, back to the time when his father had been shot. His guilt over the incident was enormous. Many times, Abbud ibn Aziz had tried to counsel his leader and friend to keep his mind and energies in the present. But the incident had been complicated with the deep pain of betrayal, of murder. Fadi's mother had never forgiven him for the death of her only daughter. Abbud ibn Aziz's mother would never have placed such a terrible burden on him. But then she was Islamic; Fadi's mother was Christian, and this made all the difference. He himself had met Sarah ibn Ashef innumerable times, but he'd never given her a second thought until that night in Odessa. Fadi, on the other hand, was half English; who could fathom what he thought or felt about his sister, or why?

Abbud ibn Aziz felt the muscles of his abdomen tighten. He licked his lips and began the speech he'd been practicing.

“Fadi, this plan of Karim al-Jamil's has begun to worry me.” Fadi still said nothing; his gaze never wavered. Had he even heard Abbud ibn Aziz's words? Abbud ibn Aziz had to assume so. He continued: “First, the secretiveness. I ask you questions, you refuse to answer. I try to check security, but I am obstructed by you and your brother. Second, there is the extreme danger of it. If we are thwarted, the entire Dujja network will be threatened, the major source of our funding exposed.”

“Why bring this up now?” Fadi had not moved, had not removed his gaze from the past. He sounded like a ghost, making Abbud ibn Aziz shudder.

“It has been in my mind from the start. But now, I have discovered the identity of the woman Karim al-Jamil is seeing.”

“His mistress,” Fadi said. “What of it?”

“Your father took an infidel as a mistress, Fadi. She became his wife.”

Fadi's head swung around. His dark eyes were like those of a mongoose that has set its sights on a cobra. “You go too far, Abbud ibn Aziz. You speak now of my mother.”

Abbud ibn Aziz had no choice but to shudder again. “I speak of Islam and of Christianity. Fadi, my friend, we live with the Christian occupation of our countries, the threat to our way of life. This is the battle we have vowed to fight, and to win. It is our cultural identity, our very essence that hangs in the balance.

“Now Karim al-Jamil sleeps with an infidel, plants his seed in her, confides in her-who knows? If this were to become known among our people, they would rise up in anger, they would demand her death.”

Fadi's face darkened. “Is this a threat I hear from your lips?”

“How could you think that? I would never say a word.”

Fadi rose, his feet planted wide against the rocking of the sailboat, and looked down at his second.

“Yet you sneak around, spying on my brother. Now you speak to me of this, you hold it over my head.”

“My friend, I seek only to protect you from the influence of the infidel. I know, though the others do not, that this plan was conceived by Karim al-Jamil. Your brother consorts with the enemy. I know, because you yourself placed me in the enemy citadel. I know how many distractions and corruptions Western culture provides. The stink of them turned my stomach. But there are others for whom that may not be so.”

“My brother?” 

“It may be so, Fadi. For myself, I cannot say, since there is an impenetrable wall between him and me.”


Abbud Ibn Azziz, alone with the waves and his darkening thoughts, was the first to see Fadi emerge from the hole where the grate had been. It had been more than three hours since he and the police contingent had gone in. Attuned to the facial expressions and body language of his leader, he knew at once that Bourne hadn't been found. This was very bad for him, because it was very bad for Fadi. Then the policemen stumbled out, gasping for breath.

Abbud ibn Aziz heard Lieutenant Kove's plaintive voice. “I've lost a man in this operation, Major General Romanchenko.”

“I've lost far more than that, Lieutenant,” Fadi snapped. “Your man failed to detain my objective.

He was killed for his incompetence, a just punishment, I should say. Instead of whining to me, you should use this incident as a learning experience. Your men are not hard enough-not by a long shot.”

Before Kove could respond, Fadi turned on his heel and strode down the beach to the jetty at which the sailboat was tied up.

“Get under way,” he snapped as he came aboard.

He was in such a foul mood, sparks seemed to fly off him. At such times, Fadi was at his most volatile, as Abbud ibn Aziz knew better than anyone, save perhaps Karim al-Jamil. It was about Karim al-Jamil that he needed to talk to his leader now.

He waited until they had cast off, the sails trimmed. Gradually, they left the police contingent behind, plowing through the Black Sea night on its way to a dockage where Abbud ibn Aziz had a car waiting to take them to the airport. Sitting with Fadi in the bow, away from the two-man crew, he offered food and drink. For some time, they ate together with only the whooshing of the water purling in a symmetrical bow wave and the occasional hoot of a ship's horn, mournful as the cry of a lost child.

“While you were gone, I had a disturbing communication from Dr. Senarz,” Abbud ibn Aziz said.

“I imply nothing, Fadi. Believe me. This is a matter of trust-of faith. If you do not trust me, if you do not have faith in me, turn me out now. I will go without another word. But we have known each other all our lives. I owe everything to you. As you strive to protect Karim al-Jamil, my wish is to protect you from all dangers, both within and without Dujja.”

“Then your obsession has made you mad.”

“That possibility exists, certainly.” Abbud ibn Aziz sat as he had before, without cowering or wincing, which would surely induce Fadi to kick him into the water. “I say only that Karim al-Jamil's self-imposed isolation has made him a force unto himself. You cannot argue with the point.

Perhaps this is solely to your advantage, as you both believe. But I submit that the relationship has a serious drawback. You feed off each other. There is no intermediary, no third party to provide balance.”


Abbud ibn Aziz risked gaining his feet, slowly and carefully. “Now I give you a case in point. I beg you to ask yourself: Are your motives and Karim al-Jamil's motives pure? You know the answer: They are not. They have been clouded, corrupted by your obsession with revenge. I say to you that you and Karim al-Jamil must forget Jason Bourne, forget what your father has become. He was a great man, no question. But his day is gone; yours has dawned. This is the way of life. To stand in its path is pure arrogance; you risk getting plowed under.

“The future must be your focus, not the past. You must think of your people now. You are our father, our protector, our savior. Without you, we are dust in the wind, we are nothing. You are our shining star. But only if your motives are once again pure.”

For a long time, then, no sound issued from either of them. For his part, Abbud ibn Aziz felt as if an enormous weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He believed in his argument, every word of it. If this was to be the end of him, so be it. He would die knowing that he had fulfilled his duty to his leader and his friend.

Fadi, however, was no longer glaring at him, no longer aware of the sea or the lights of Odessa twinkling in the darkness. His gaze had turned inward again, his essence fleeing down into the depths, where, Abbud ibn Aziz suspected-no, hoped with all his might-not even Karim al-Jamil was allowed entry.

With all of CI's computers down, all hell had broken loose within its headquarters complex. Every available member of the Signals and Codes Directorate had been ordered to tackle the problem of the computer virus. A third of them had taken Sentinel-the CI firewall-offline in order to run a series of level-three diagnostics. The rest of the agents were using hunt-and-destroy software to stalk through every vein and artery of the CI intranet. This software, designed by DARPA for CI, used an advanced heuristic algorithm, which meant that it was a problem-solving code. It changed, continually adapting depending on which form of virus it encountered.

The premises were in full lockdown mode-no one in or out. In the soundproof oval conference room across from the Old Man's suite of offices, nine men sat around a burnished burlwood table.

At each seat was a computer terminal, sunk into the tabletop, plus bottles of chilled water. The man to the DCI's immediate left, the director of the Signals and Codes Directorate, was being continually updated on the progress of his feverish legions. These updates appeared on his own terminal, were cleaned up-made intelligible to the nongeeks in the room-and bloomed on one of half a dozen flat-panel screens affixed to the matte-black felt-clad walls.

“Nothing leaks outside these walls,” the DCI said. Today he was feeling all of his sixty-eight years. “What's happened here today remains here.” History pressed down on him with the weight of Atlas's burden. One of these days, he knew, it was going to break his back. But not today. Not today, dammit!


Fadi shook his fists. “Ah, now the truth comes out. You resent being kept in the dark, even though this is my brother's wish.” Leaning over, he landed a stinging blow to his second's face. “I know what this is about. You want to be elevated above the others. You crave knowledge, Abbud ibn Aziz, because knowledge is power, and more power is what you're after.”

Abbud ibn Aziz, quaking inside, did not move, did not dare raise a hand to his inflamed cheek. He knew only too well that Fadi was quite capable of kicking him overboard, leaving him to drown without an ounce of remorse. Still, he had embarked on a course. If he failed to see it through, he would never forgive himself.

“Fadi, if I show you a fistful of sand, what do you see?”

“You ask me riddles now?”

“I see the world. I see the hand of Allah,” Abbud ibn Aziz hurried on. “This is the tribal Arab in me. I was born and raised in the desert. The pure and magnificent desert. You and Karim al-Jamil were born and raised in a Western metropolis. Yes, you must know your enemy in order to defeat him, as you have rightly told me. But Fadi, answer me this: What happens when you begin to identify with the enemy? Isn't it possible that you become the enemy?”

Fadi rocked from side to side on the balls of his feet. He was close to erupting entirely. “You dare imply-”

Download The Bourne Betrayal and listen to it on your iPod, phone, or computer:
Unabridged (17hrs 33mins) | Abridged (6hrs 10mins)

“Nothing has been compromised.” This from the director of S&C, scanning the raw data scrolling across his terminal. “This virus, it appears, did not come from outside. The diagnostics on Sentinel have been completed. The firewall was doing its job, just as it was programmed to do. It was not breached. I say again, it was not breached.”

“Then what the hell happened?” the DCI barked. He was already thanking his lucky stars that the defense secretary would never know anything about this unmitigated disaster.

The S&C director lifted his shining, bald head. “As far as we can determine at this stage, we were attacked from inside.”

“Inside?” Karim al-Jamil said, incredulously. He was sitting at the Old Man's right hand. “Are you saying we have a traitor inside CI?”

“It would seem that way,” said Rob Batt, the chief of operations, most influential of the Seven-as the directors were known internally.

“Rob, I want you all over this angle ASAP,” the Old Man said. “Confirm it, or assure us we're clean.”


“I can handle that,” Karim said, and immediately regretted it.

Rob Batt's snakelike gaze was turned in his direction. “Don't you have enough on your plate as it is, Martin?” he said softly.

The DCI cleared his throat. “Martin, I need you to concentrate all your resources on stopping Dujja.” The last thing he needed now, he thought sourly, was an interdirectorate turf war. He turned to the director of S&C. “I need an ETA for the computers to be restored.”

“Could be a day or more.”

“Unacceptable,” the Old Man snapped. “I need a solution so we'll be up and running within two hours.”

The S&C director scratched his bald dome. “Well, we could switch to the backup net. But that would entail distributing new access codes to everyone in the build-”

“Do it!” The DCI said sharply. He slapped the table with the flat of his hand. “All right, gentlemen. We all know what we have to do. Let's get this shit off our shoes before it starts to stink!”

Bourne, slipping in and out of consciousness, was revisited by the events from his past that had been haunting him ever since Marie's death.



He is in Odessa, running. It is night; a chill mineral wind coming in off the Black Sea skids him along the cobbled street. She is in his arms-the young woman leaking blood at a terrific rate.

He sees the gunshot wound, knows she is going to die. Even as this thought comes to him, her eyes open. They are pale, the pupils dilated in pain. She is trying to see him in the darkness at the end of her life.

He can do nothing, nothing but carry her from the square where she was gunned down. Her mouth moves. She cannot project her voice. His ear is bloodied as he presses it to her open mouth.

Her voice, fragile as glass, reverberates against his eardrum, but what he hears is the sound of the sea rushing in, pulling back. Breath fails her. All that remains is the unsteady beat of his shoes against the cobbles . . .

He falters, falls. He crawls until his back is against a slimy brick wall. He cannot relinquish his hold on the woman. Who is she? He stares down at her, trying to concentrate. If he can bring her back to life, he can ask her who she is. I could have saved her, he thinks in despair.

And now, in a flash, it is Marie he's holding in his arms. The blood is gone, but life has not returned. Marie is dead. I could have saved her, he thinks in despair . . .

He woke, crying for his lost love, for his lost life. “I should have saved you!” And all at once he knew why the fragment of his past returned at the moment of Marie's death.

Guilt was crippling him. Guilt at not being there to save Marie. Then it must follow that he'd had a chance to save the bloody woman, and didn't. Martin, a word.“

Karim al-Jamil turned to see Rob Batt watching him. The director of operations had not risen like everyone else in the conference room. Now only he and Karim remained in the darkened space.

Karim regarded him with a deliberately neutral expression. “As you said, Rob, I have a great deal on my plate.”

Batt had hands like meat cleavers. The palms were unnaturally dark, as if they had been permanently stained by blood. He spread them, normally a conciliatory gesture-but now there was something distinctly menacing in the display of raw animal power, as if he were a silverback gorilla preparing to charge.

“Indulge me. This won't take but a minute.”


Karim went back, sat down at the table across from him. Batt was one of those people for whom an office environment was almost intolerable. He wore his suit as if it had bristles on the inside. His leathery, deeply scored, sun-crisped face could have come from either skiing in Gstaad or taking lives in the Afghani mountains. Karim found all this interesting, as he had spent so much time in fine tailor shops being fitted in fine Western clothes that a Savile Row suit felt as natural to him as a burnoose.

He steepled his fingers, stitched the ghost of a smile onto his face. “What can I do for you, Rob?”

“Frankly, I'm a little concerned.” Batt apparently did not care to beat around the bush, but perhaps conversation wasn't his forte.

Karim, his heart beating fast, kept his tone polite. “In what way?”

“Well, you've had a helluva difficult time. To be honest, I felt strongly that you should take a few weeks off-relax, be evaluated by other doctors.”

“Shrinks, you mean.”

Batt went on as if the other hadn't responded. “I was overruled by the DCI. He said your work was too valuable-especially in this crisis.” His lips pulled back in what in someone else might have been a smile.

“But then, just now, you wanted in on my investigation into whoever the hell it was set the virus loose on us.” Those snakelike eyes, black as volcanic soil, ran over Karim as if he were mentally frisking the DDCI. “You've never poached on my territory before. In fact, we made a pact never to poach.”

Karim said nothing. What if the statement was a trap? What if Lindros and Batt had never madesuch a pact?

“I'd like to know why you've reneged,” Batt said. “I'd like to know why, in your current state, you'd want to take on even more work.” His voice had dropped in volume and, at the same time, had slowed like cooling honey. If he were an animal, he'd be circling Karim now, waiting for a moment to his advantage.

“Apologies, Rob. I just wanted to help, that's all. There was no-”

Batt's head lunged forward so sharply that Karim had to keep himself in check, lest he recoil.

“See, I'm concerned about you, Martin.” Batt's lips, already thin, were compressed into bloodless lines. “But unlike our peerless leader, who loves you like a son, who forgives you anything, my concern is more like that of an older brother for his younger sibling.”

Batt spread his enormous clublike hands on the table between them. “You lived with the enemy, Martin. The enemy tried to fuck you up. I know it and you know it. You know how I know it? Do you?”

“I'm sure my test results-” 

“Fuck the test results,” Batt said shortly. “Test results are for academics, which you and I most certainly are not. Those boys are still debating the results; they'll be in that hole till hell freezes over. To boot, we've been forced to take the opinion of Jason Bourne, a man who is at best unstable, at worst a menace to CI protocol and discipline. But he's the one person who knows you best. Ironic, no?” He cocked his head. “Why the hell do you maintain your relationship with him?”

“Take a look at his file,” Karim said. “Bourne is more valuable to me-to us-than a handful of your Ways and Means agents.” Me singing Jason Bourne's praises, now that's irony, he thought.

Batt would not be deterred. “See, it's your behavior I'm worried about, Martin. In some ways it's fine-just as it always was. But in other, smaller, more subtle ways . . .” He shook his head. “Well, let's just say it doesn't track. God knows you were always a reclusive sonovabitch. 'Too good for the rest of us,' the other directorate chiefs said. Not me. I had you pegged. You're an idea tank; you have no need for the idle chitchat that passes for friendship in these hallways.”

Karim wondered whether the time had come-a possibility he had, of course, factored into his planwhen one of Lindros's colleagues would become suspicious. But he'd calculated that the probability of this was low-his time at CI was a matter of days, no more. And as Batt himself had said, Lindros had always been something of a loner. Despite the odds, here he was on the precipice of having to decide how to neutralize a directorate chief.

“If you've noticed anything erratic in my behavior, I'm quite certain it's due to the stress of the current situation. One thing I'm a master of is compartmentalizing my life. I assure you that the past isn't an issue.”

There was silence for a moment. Karim had the impression of a very dangerous beast passing him by, so close he could smell its rank musk.

Batt nodded. “Then we're done here, Martin.” He rose, extended his hand. “I'm glad we had this little heart-to-heart.”

As Karim walked out, he was grateful that he had planted convincing evidence as to the identity of the “traitor.” Otherwise Batt's teeth would be sinking into the back of his neck.

Hello, Oleksandr. Good boy.“

Soraya, a heavily laden satchel slung over one shoulder, returned with a terrible intimation of death to the hidey-hole where she had left Bourne. In the light of the oil lamp she lit, she found Bourne, not dead, but unconscious from blood loss. The boxer sat steadfastly by his side. His liquid brown eyes sought hers, as if pleading for help.

“Don't worry,” she said both to Bourne and the dog. “I'm here now.”

She produced from the satchel the bulk of the paraphernalia she had obtained from Dr. Pavlyna: plastic bags filled with a variety of fluids. She felt Bourne's forehead to assure herself he wasn't running a fever, recited to herself the protocol Dr. Pavlyna had made her memorize.

Tearing open a plastic envelope, she took out a needle and inserted it into a vein on the back of his left hand. She attached a port and fit the end of the tube leading to the first bag of fluid into the open end of the port, beginning the drip of two wide-spectrum antibiotics. Next, she removed the blood-soaked makeshift bandage and irrigated the wound with a large amount of sterile saline solution. An antiseptic, the doctor told her, would only retard the healing process.

Bringing the lamp closer, she probed for foreign bodies-threads, bits of cloth, whatever. She found none, much to her relief. But there was some devitalized tissue at the edges that she had to snip away with surgical scissors.

Taking up the tiny curved needle by its holder, she pierced the skin, pulling the nylon suture material through. Very carefully, she drew the two sides of the wound together, using a rectangular stitch, just as Dr. Pavlyna had showed her. Gently, gently, making sure she didn't pull the skin too tightly, which would increase the risk of infection. When she was done, she tied off the last suture and cut away the rest of the nylon still attached to the needle. Lastly, she placed a sterile gauze pad over her handiwork, then wound a bandage around and around, fixing the pad in place.

By this time, the bag of antibiotics was empty. She unhooked it, replacing the tube with the one from the bag of hydrating and nourishing fluids.

Within an hour, Bourne was sleeping normally. An hour after that, he began to come around.

His eyes opened.

She smiled down at him. “Do you know where you are?”

“You came back,” he whispered.

“I said I would, didn't I?”

“Fadi?”

“I don't know. I killed one of the policemen, but I never saw anyone else. I think they've all given up.”

His eyes closed for a moment. “I remember, Soraya. I remember.”

She shook her head. “Rest now, we'll talk later.”

“No.” His expression was one of grim concentration. “We need to talk. Now.”

What had happened to him? He woke up and felt immediately different, as if his mind had been removed from a vise. It was as if he had been freed from the endless defile in which he had been existing, filled with the smoke of voices, compulsions. The pounding headaches were gone, the repeating phrases. With perfect clarity, he recalled what Dr. Sunderland had told him about how memories were formed, how abnormal brain activity brought on by trauma or extreme conditions could affect their creation and resurrection.

“For the first time, I realize how stupid I was to even contemplate taking Cevik out of the Typhon cells,” he said. “And there have been other odd things. For instance, a blinding headache paralyzed me while Fadi was making his escape.”

“When Tim was shot.”

“Yes.” He tried to sit up, winced in pain.

Soraya moved toward him. “No, you don't.”

He would not be deterred. “Help me sit up.”

“Jason-”

“Just do it,” he said sharply.

She reached around him, pushing as he rose, scooting him so that his back pressed against the wall.

“These odd compulsions have led me into dangerous situations,” he continued. “In every case, the compulsions have led to behavior that has benefited Fadi.”

“But surely that's a coincidence,” she said.

His smile was almost painful. “Soraya, if my life has taught me anything it's that coincidence is most often a symptom of a conspiracy.”

Soraya laughed softly. “Spoken like a true paranoid.”

“There's a case to be made that it's my paranoia that's kept me alive.” Bourne stirred. “What if I'm on to something?”

Soraya crossed her arms over her breast. “Like what?”

“Okay, let's start with the premise that these coincidences, as you call them, have their roots in a conspiracy. As I said, all of them have way benefited Fadi in a material way.”

“Go on.”

“The headaches began after I saw Dr. Sunderland, the memory expert Martin recommended.”

Soraya frowned. All of a sudden, there was nothing funny in what Bourne was saying. “Why did you go see him?”

“I was being driven crazy by the memory fragments of my first visit here, to Odessa. But at the time, I didn't even know it was Odessa, let alone what I was doing there.”

“But how could that memory be part of this conspiracy you're constructing?”

“I don't know,” Bourne conceded.

“It can't be part of it.” Soraya realized that she was pleading a case against him.

Bourne waved a hand. “Let's leave that aside for the moment. When I was bringing Martin home, he told me that I needed to come here-no matter what-to find a man named Lemontov who, he said, was Dujja's banker. His reasoning was that if I got Lemontov, Dujja's money flow would dry up.” Soraya nodded. “Acute thinking.”

“It would have been if Lemontov existed. He doesn't.” Bourne's expression was perfectly unreadable. “Not only that, but Fadi knew about Lemontov. He knew Lemontov was fiction!”

“So?”

Bourne pushed off the wall, faced her squarely. “So by what possible means could Fadi know about Lemontov?”

“You forget that Lindros was interrogated by Dujja. Maybe they fed him disinformation.”

“That would presuppose they knew he was going to be rescued.”

Soraya considered for a moment. “This Lemontov thing interests me. Lindros told me about him as well. He's the reason I'm here. But why? Why did he send us both here?”

“To chase a ghost,” Bourne said. “Chasing Lemontov was just a ruse. Fadi was waiting for us. He knew we were coming. He was prepared to kill me-in fact, if I'm any judge, he needed to. I could see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice. He'd been waiting a long time to catch up to me.” Soraya looked shaken.

“One other thing,” Bourne pressed on. “On the plane ride home, Martin said that his interrogators kept asking about a mission targeting Hamid ibn Ashef. A mission of mine. He kept asking if I'd remembered it.”

“Jason, why would Lindros want to know about a mission dreamed up by Alex Conklin?”

“You know why,” Bourne said. “Fadi and Martin are somehow connected.”

“What?”

“As is Dr. Sunderland.” There was a relentless logic to his theory. “Sunderland's treatment did something to me, something that caused me to make mistakes at crucial moments.”

“How is that possible?”

“A technique in brainwashing is to use a color, a sound, a key word or phrase to trigger a certain response in the subject at a later date.”

Nothing to burn in the hole. The words had bounced around in Bourne's head until he thought he'd go mad.

Bourne repeated the phrase to Soraya. “Fadi used it. That phrase is what set off the headache. Fadi had the trigger phrase Sunderland set up in my brain.”

“I remember the look on your face when he said it,” Soraya said. “But do you also remember that he said he'd spent time in Odessa?”

“The Odessa mission to kill Hamid ibn Ashef is the key, Soraya. Everything points back to it.” His skin was gray; he seemed abruptly weary. “The conspiracy is in place. But what's its ultimate purpose?”

“Just as impossible to fathom is how they coerced Lindros into helping them.”

“They didn't. I know Martin better than anyone. He couldn't be coerced to turn traitor.”

She spread her hands. “What other explanation is there?”

“What if the man I saved from Dujja, the man I brought back to CI, the man I vouched for, isn't Martin Lindros?”

“Okay, stop right there.” Her hands came up, palms outward. “You've just crossed the line from paranoia into full-blown psychosis.”

He ignored her outburst. “What if the man I brought back, the man who is right now running Typhon, is an impostor?”

“Jason, that's impossible. He looks like Lindros, talks like Lindros. For God's sake, he passed the retinal scanner test.”

“The retinal scanner can be fooled,” Bourne pointed out. “It's extremely rare and difficult to do-it requires a retinal or a full eye implant. But then if this impostor went to the trouble of having his face remade, the retinal implant would have been a piece of cake.”

Soraya shook her head. “Do you have any idea of the ramifications of what you're saying? An impostor in the center of CI, controlling more than a thousand agents worldwide. I say again it's impossible, utterly insane.”

“That's precisely why it's worked. You, me, everyone in Typhon and CI-all of us are being manipulated, misdirected. That was the plan all along. While we trot all around the globe, Fadi has been free to smuggle his people into the United States, to ship the nuclear device-in pieces, no doubt-to the location where they mean to detonate it.”

“What you're saying is monstrous.” Soraya was near shock. “No one's going to believe you. I can't even get my head around it.”

She sank onto the edge of the planks. “Look, you've lost a lot of blood. You're exhausted, not thinking clearly. You need to sleep and then-”

“There's one sure way to verify whether or not the Martin Lindros I brought back is real or an impostor,” Bourne continued, ignoring her. “I need to find the real Martin Lindros. If I'm right about all this, it means he's still alive. The impostor needs him alive.” He began to slide off the bed.

“We've got to-”

A powerful wave of dizziness forced him to stop and slump back against the wall. Soraya levered him back down to a prone position. His eyelids grew heavy with fatigue.

“Whatever we decide to do, right now you must get some rest,” she said with newfound firmness.

“We're both exhausted, and you need to heal.”

A moment later, sleep overtook him. Soraya rose and settled herself on the floor next to the planks.

She opened her arms; Oleksandr curled up against her breasts. She was filled with foreboding.

What if Bourne was right? The consequences of such a scheme were unthinkable. And yet she found herself thinking about nothing else.

“Oh, Oleksandr,” she whispered. “What are we to do?”

The boxer turned his muzzle up to her, licked her face. She closed her eyes, deepened her breathing. Gradually, feeling the comforting thump-thump of Oleksandr's heartbeat, she gave in to the stealthy approach of sleep.
Copyright 2008 by the Estate of Robert Ludlum.
Written by Eric Van Lustbader. Published by Vision.