THE BOURNE REALIGNMENT
They jar me back into consciousness with all the finesse of a landmine. Hey, at least I'm alive, right? Albeit, nursing the mother of all headaches.
I look around for the person responsible for my little 'impromptu nap' to find I'm now seated inside the airplane hanger, strapped to a steel chair, a vast emptiness surrounding me on all sides. To my left, a hazy silhouette of a tall guy, casually holding a rifle behind his head as he stares down at me.
["Wakey, wakey!"] he teases.
Man, I'd like to nail his ass to the wall with a jackhammer and go to work on him with pair of rusty pliers and a... No! That's... that's not me, it's 'her'. The one they created to be me. The killer.
"Hello. Do you know who I am, child?"
The voice comes from my immediate right, Im guessing it's the person responsible for my abrupt awakening. His accent, foreign, European... his voice, soft yet authoritative... his drawn bespectacled face blurring gradually into view as he leans in to address me. Age puts him somewhere in his early 50's. Wait, his face... I... do know him.
"Of course." I murmur, "You're... Lane. Solomon Lane."
"Correct." he smiles, albeit briefly. "And now for the most important question of all; do you know who you are?"
To be honest, its a fair question. At least one that's got me thinking hard for the past 5 to 6 weeks. Who was I before the experiments? And can I become her again?
"Sure. I'm the girl tasked with stopping... guys like you from doing... whatever it is you're planning on doing." I blurt out.
The rifle guy smirks to himself, dismissively. I cut him a mean look.
"And what exactly is it you believe I am 'planning', my dear'?" continues Lane, intriguingly.
"I... I don't know... yet!" I confess. "But it won't take long for me to figure out... and when I do-"
["Mr Lane, we are really pressed for time, sir."] informs the big guy in Russian, as he lightly yet respectfully taps his watch.
["Until I am satisfied our plans have not been divulged to outside parties, I will take as long as I deem necessary, Janik! Now leave us, and ready the men and our prisoners for our eventual departure!"]
The big guy slouches off, begrudgingly, but not before blowing me a faux kiss. Freak.
["You should leave with him, Lane."] I advise. ["Give yourself a head start. The CIA programmed me to stop guys like you by any means. Heck, I don't even know what I'm gonna do when I get my hands on you!"]
"You will do nothing!" booms a sudden voice from behind me, as the sound of heavy footsteps echo all about me. "Accept do as your bloody told for once! If there is any 'torture' to speak of, its hearing my most prized asset speaking out from within a mind that is far from her own. Lane, surely you have heard enough to satisfy even your astute curiosity?"
Suddenly, a large dominant figure looms into view, clothed in military attire. Its the old guy in the van from the bank heist, the one who masterminded it all.
"Well, well... the man who would be 'King'." I say.
He cracks the faintest of smiles before telling me; "It's time to come home, Alexia."
"Sure... sure, just release me from my restraints and I'll… come quietly."
"No." comments Lane, still staring deep into my soul. "In answer to your question, I am not yet satisfied."
"Well I am!" replies King. "We're flirting dangerously behind schedule, here. Accelerate the process. You have 5 minutes."
"What... what 'process'?" I ask. "Look, King, remember Ive got the one thing you need. Anything happens to me you'll never find it."
He stops and turns to me.
"You still have the key don't you?" he asks. "The key that grants access to Ludlum's original notes. You've hidden it from me haven't you child?"
"Look, I get everyone in this room bar me is pretty much borderline retirement age, but this 'child' line crap is wearing pretty frigging thin!" I yell.
Annoyingly, he says nothing back. Just smiles again, before clicking his fingers and calling out. "Tell her to bring it!"
"Bring... bring what? Tell who?" I ask, trying to slip outta the cuffs. I really don't like this.
"The truth is you could never truly stop people like me, Miss Bourne... because the reality is... deep down you are people like me!" explains Lane. "People like us. In fact, truth be told, there are some who have crossed paths with you before... the real you... who would gladly label you as much, much, worse."
"Could… somebody crack open a window or two, the stench of bull**** is a little overpowering?" I say.
"Why do you think that pretty little head of yours didn't explode when you turned tail and ran back at the bank?" adds King. "It wasn't a bomb we implanted in the back of your skulls, It was a tracker. We've been tailing your movements ever since you stepped into Hazuki's restaurant!"
"Sorry, too perfect." I tell him, dismissively.
"Perfect my ass." he growls. "You almost singlehandedly jeopardised an op nine months in development by setting foot in that restaurant. Since then you've killed three of my top assets, not to mention souring relations between us and our Russian counterparts by allowing Niki Parsons to escape after we spent weeks capturing her. Frankly I'm amazed any of it worked."
"No. No, I... 'Bourne'... it was always... the mission was to locate and apprehend Ja-"
"Jason Bourne is, and always has been, the smallest piece of a larger puzzle, as far as the CIA are concerned. For 'us' he is nothing more than a temporal annoyance. Albeit one who has proven incredibly difficult to eliminate."
"But... you're are the CIA!"
"At times, yes. I work as a CIA section chief, inheriting my position when Jason Bourne subsequently retired my predecessor 'Ward Abbot'. I supply the Treadstone program with suitable candidates, then occasionally recruit the most field-worthy among them in secret for those... most elusive of high-profile marks."
"A secret black ops division within a secret black ops devision?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes. Call this; your Redeploy."
"'To manoeuvre a piece onto a more effective square, file or diagonal'. Great, more chess references."
"Our 'true' employers wanted to cancel you. I convinced them otherwise... that you were still... of some use. That is why your here, Alexia."
"No, no I'm here... to stop you! I came here..."
"Oh, my sweet, sweet, child…!"
Before I can respond, a tall redheaded suddenly strides into view. The freaky thing is I never even heard her approaching. Like, how is that even possible?
She hands Lane a small tattered metal box, then turns to inexplicably shoot me the meanest of looks. That's when I realise it's the very same redhead from the heist. The Russian girl that must have gotten away in all the confusion.
"Well, this is shaping up to be quite the reunion." I say, trying to mask my confusion as to just what the heck is going on?
"So, your the bitch all this fuss is over, huh?" she suddenly tells me.
"Whoa! Little on the hostile side." I tell her. "And what happened to the thick Russian accent?"
"What thick Russian accent?" she frowns. "What's this bitch talking about?"
"Okay, call me bitch one more time and you'll be gargling a mouthful of your own teeth!" I warn her.
"You wanna go toe to toe with me, little girl?" she retorts. "Yea, I heard all about you... supposed to be some kinda 'bad ass'. Wanna see what a real bad ass is?"
"You're not a bad ass." I tell her. "You're just some chick with a bad ass!"
"Ladies! As much as seeing the two of you going at it would prove... immensely entertaining, time really doesn't permit. Mr Lane, if you please? We'll be waiting for you all in the Jet."
King makes his exit, leaving me with an over-sceptical Lane and an infernally fiery redhead, who, for whatever reason, has no clue we've already... met... unless...
"You've imprinted her." I tell Lane. "That's why she doesn't remember me. You did to her what Ludlum did to me. Turned her into some sick psycho bitch suffering severe PMT."
She steps suddenly towards me, Lane raises his hand, immediately halting her in her tracks, before turning back to me.
"Is... that what you think this is 'child'? That another more sinister and ruthless consciousness was fabricated then forced into your mind. A consciousness created to turn you into that ruthless yet most efficient killing machine?"
"That's... yeah... pretty much."
"Oh my sweet, sweet, Alexia... the project wasn't to fabricate a dark and twisted mind and implant it into the body of a timid young child, ...my dear... it was to fabricate a timid young mind and plant it inside the body of a dark and twisted killer!"
What... ? No... that's... not possible. "That's... not... you're lying!"
He opens the box and takes out... a notepad.
"What's... what is that?" I ask.
"Oh, this. Thanks to your constant meddling we have... had to go to extreme lengths in order to... acquire the information we needed. Wasn't long before we were able to connect the dots between the good doctor... and his daughter. We kidnapped her then threatened to kill her... he was most… cooperative."
"The code... trigger phrase... you… know what it is?"
"Jason Bourne can wait." he tells me. "You have a new more immediate target to take out. Sadly, one of our own; Dorian Grey."
"The director and founder of tech giant Paperhouse Limited? Hazuki's rival corporation?"
He says nothing, just rifles through the pages of the book till he locates what he's looking for. Then leans away from the edge of the table and walks towards me.
"Hey Lane, she's not gonna remember any of this, is she?" asks the redhead, now by his side, cracking her knuckles impatiently.
"No." he replies. "Nothing."
"Good." she says, before driving her fist literally through my face. My head recoils from the blow, a stream of blood drizzles out my left nostril and trickles across the rim of my top lip. The pain is the last complete thought that goes through my mind.
"Please... please don't do this." I ask, as terror of the unknown suddenly grips me from the inside. He looks down at me and smiles, almost apologetically, before opening his mouth to speak.
"Bourne. Indigo. Seahorse. Whisper. Five. Echo. Forest. Hunger. Denial!"
Darkness ensues for what I fear to be the last time.
To be continued...?