The Last Man
Author:Vince Flynn

Chapter 58
DURRANI was temped to call the mullahs and the imams and order them to storm the American Embassy. He'd even gone so far as to wonder if he dare provide them with a photo of that bitch Kennedy so they could kill her for him. Ultimately, though, he knew he could not move. Taj was furious and he was bound to be keeping a close eye on him. After Kennedy and her man had left the meeting, Taj demanded answers. Durrani knew that the photos provided by Kennedy would be checked against ISI personnel records and eventually all five men would turn up as positive matches. That little fact wouldn't necessarily incriminate Durrani, but the fact that they were assigned to the External Wing would sink his career. And it would only get worse as they began to interview his deputies. Durrani was extremely hands-on, and his fingerprints were all over this mess.

So he did the only thing he could do and admitted to sending the men to Switzerland. "What were you thinking?" Taj asked.

"That my friend had been framed," Durrani answered, with all the sincerity he could muster. "I knew no one else was going to lift a finger, so I sent some men to talk to this banker."

The photos were still on the table and Taj said, "How did they get into a gunfight with the Americans?"

"I don't know."

"What type of men are these? What were they planning to do to the banker?"

The implication was obvious. Durrani had sent some knuckle draggers to rough up the banker. "They were good men. I only sent them to get answers." Durrani could tell that Taj didn't believe him, and Nassir seemed unaffected by the entire disaster. Durrani supposed he was enjoying the fact that his chief competitor had just shot himself in the foot and ruined his chances of replacing Taj. Go ahead, Durrani thought to himself. Continue to underestimate me and I will make you pay for it.

Ashan, for his part, seemed unusually cool toward him. Durrani would have thought that he'd appreciate the fact that he was trying to help him. The fact that he wasn't meant Ashan was beginning to suspect Durrani's real motives. Durrani couldn't get out of the director general's office fast enough. He needed to talk to Rickman. The two of them needed to figure out what to do.

Now, as his convoy reached the gates of Bahria Town, Durrani wondered if it might not be best to move Rickman to another location. There was a manpower issue at the moment, so security would be a problem, though. Even worse, it might further delay the moment when Rick shared everything he knew about the CIA. That was the part that infuriated Durrani the most. He could replace the men he'd lost in Switzerland, but he could not get the information out of Rickman fast enough.

The cars pulled into the courtyard and Durrani was out like a shot. Raza was waiting for him at the main door, and as Durrani walked past him he heard his butler say, "Kassar is back."

Durrani spun. "Where is he?"

Raza pointed to the smaller of the two guesthouses.

Durrani started back into the house and then decided he did not want to bother with the tunnels. Besides, it was time he took care of something. He marched back into the courtyard and yelled for his men to follow him.

Rapp was standing in the kitchen, watching the feed from the drone. In addition to the video, Hurley was on the radio acting as play-by-play announcer. When Durrani exited his car and started for the main house, Kassar explained that he usually entered the house and then came over through the tunnel. When Durrani came back into the courtyard and started gathering his men, the coms exploded with chatter.

"Everyone calm down!" Rapp barked into his lip mike. He swung his rifle around and handed Kassar his suppressed Glock 19. "Fourteen rounds left. He's on his way over with a half dozen men."

Kassar hustled across the foyer to the living room, where a magazine and ashtray were waiting for him. He sat on the couch and placed the gun close against his right thigh. Rapp retreated to the pantry on the far side of the kitchen and left the door cracked. "Everyone hold your positions."

"We're blind," Hurley announced.

"I'm fine. I'll call if I need help."

"It might be too late by then."

Rapp couldn't reply, because he heard the front door open and then the scuffle of shoes and boots on the marble floor. With his rifle gripped in both hands, he took a look through the crack. He counted six men plus Durrani.

"What in the hell are you doing here?" Durrani demanded. Rapp could see a pistol in his hand. "I told you not to come back here."

"I had no problem getting out of Switzerland. In fact the only problem I had was with those amateurs you made me bring along."

"They were good men and you got them killed."

"They got themselves killed."

"Do you understand the problem you have caused? I just left a meeting with the director of the CIA. She has photos of my men and she gave them to Taj."

"I told you not to send them. I could have handled it by myself."

Rapp watched Durrani raise his pistol. "I no longer have a need for you."

Rapp's right hand pulled the door open. His rifle came up as he moved to the left. The red dot found the back of the first man's head and Rapp squeezed the trigger. The spit of the round leaving the barrel was followed by the man's head exploding across the foyer. Before anyone could react, two more men were down. Rapp skipped Durrani and shot the next man. The last two men were reacting to the shock of their comrades' heads exploding before their very eyes. Their rifles were swinging in Rapp's direction, but not fast enough. Rapp shot the fifth man in the face, and just before he could take out the sixth man, a bullet whistled past Rapp's left shoulder. He pulled the trigger a sixth time and the man collapsed to the floor, blood flowing from the back of his head.

Rapp aimed his rifle at a shocked Durrani and said, "I'm clear. Six tangos down. Slick," Rapp said to Wicker, "anyone with a gun moves toward my position, take them out."

"How dare you." Durrani stood shaking in the middle of the foyer, six dead bodyguards at his feet. "This is an - "

Rapp had no desire to listen to any empty threats, so he lowered his rifle's muzzle and shot Durrani in the left knee. The general looked as if a puppeteer had cut his strings. He collapsed to the floor, landing in an ever-expanding pool of blood.

"I am the last man you should have fucked with, you stupid prick."

"You don't understand . . ."

Rapp stopped listening to Durrani as his team started chattering over his earpiece. It sounded as if Wicker was engaging at least one target. They needed to get moving, and Rapp didn't really care to listen to Durrani, so he raised his rifle's muzzle and was about to squeeze the trigger when Kassar said, "Wait."

Kassar stepped over the bodies and looked down at Durrani. "I always knew it would come to this one day."

"I was good to you," Durrani said, clutching his knee.

"You were just about to kill me."

"But," was all Durrani could manage to say.

With calm in his eyes and a steady hand, Kassar said, "I no longer have any use for you." He then sent a single bullet into his employer's head.

Rapp took note of the clean shot.

Kassar turned the pistol around in his hand and offered it to Rapp.

Rapp shook his head and started moving toward the staircase. "You keep it."