The Llakor Project - Year Two Chapter Eleven: Son of the Dessert
"May I speak to Lazarus?"
"This is Lazarus. Is this the Son of the Dessert?"
"It is you. There is only one man in the world who dare refer to me that way."
"Humility is a virtue. Sometimes it must be enforced."
"Before we go any further, what tradecraft are you using?"
"This is a disposable cell phone. I have used it once to call your uncle. When I finish speaking to you, I will destroy it."
"That will have to do."
"I am pleased that you approve."
"Allow me to compliment you on your death. It was most convincing. What has compelled you to destroy the illusion?"
"I need to find a man."
"I see and you called me because?"
"You owe me money."
"How do you figure that?"
"I recall a poker game played in the desert..."
"You came back from the dead to collect a poker debt?"
"No, not really, but as long as I'm alive, I might as well collect on my debts. Of course, instead of mony, you could give me information."
"You could help me find this man that I am looking for."
"What makes you think that I can find him?"
"You trained him."
"What makes you say that?"
"I remember a training session where you explained that even incompotent students could be used... to cover the tracks of the good students and to foil and confuse the police by giving them an attractive target.
"I might recall such a session."
"In that session, you taught freedom fighters from Ireland as well as Afghanistan."
"Merde. These are the men you seek?"
"There were five. One was killed by the Russians. One died in a building in New York City. One was killed by the CIA. The fourth is hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan. That leaves the fifth."
"You are remarkably well-informed."
"I was dead, but my subscription to the newsletter never lapsed."
"So, I see. I might be able to help you find this man. What do you intend to do when you find him?"
"You might remember a night around the fire in the desert?"
"Surely that was a joke?"
"The key to understanding the Irish is that they are never more serious than when they appear to be joking."
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend?"
"You understand completely my friend. The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
"I will make the search you require. How shall I contact you?"
"When I reach London, I will call you with a new cell phone number. Go with God, my friend."
"Yes, go with God as well Lazarus. And remember the legend of Lazarus. On his return from Death, he was beset by demons."
"Because he lacked faith."
"Faith is not something that you can purchase in penny packets at the penny arcdes. You either have it or you develop it."
"I have it."
"Good. You will need a full measure of it. I bid you a good day Lazarus."
"Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in your goddamn face, and you'll stay plastered." Ah, the days of civilized discourse. They really didn't like each other. At all. This one hit me kind of hard.