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For All Nails #104c: Legend of a Will

Ciudad Camacho, Kingdom of New Granada
12 July 1974

"Timothy Liddy is dead," Timothy Liddy said to her retreating back.  "My name
is Larry Gordon."

I should just keep walking, Joan Kahn told herself.  If you had asked her to
sum up everything that was wrong with the CNA, everything that she had spent
her life trying to change, she could have told you with a single name.  And
the man that belonged to the name was fifteen feet behind her, whether he
still claimed it or not.

But she couldn't.  There were so many times that she had wanted to confront
Liddy over his actions in the CNA, in Mexico, in New Granada.  Now that she
had a chance to look him in the eye and tell him what she thought of him, she
couldn't pass it up.  Besides, now she had that silly song by Blue Mood [1]
stuck in her head - just as Liddy had intended, no doubt.

Timothy Liddy's dead.
No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
Timothy Liddy's dead.
No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.

Coming to a halt, she turned and faced him again.  He was standing in a pool
of light, like one of his suspects being given the Third Stage.  "I suppose
that's one way to keep from being arrested by your own CBI agents," she
sneered.

"Liddy became a liability to Governor-General Monaghan," Liddy explained, "so
Liddy had to be terminated.  But somebody has to track down Stephen Urquell
and bring him to justice."

Kahn found it hard to believe what she was hearing.  "Are you totally
meshuganah?  Urquell defected five years ago!" [2]

"Urquell is a traitor to the Confederation," Liddy said tonelessly.  The
smirking norteņo was gone as if he never existed (which was, Kahn admitted to
herself, perfectly true).  In his place was the implacable, humorless CBI
director.  "He was a traitor five years ago, he's a traitor now, and he'll
remain a traitor until the day he dies."

"And I suppose you'll still be on the case even if Lennart Skinner becomes
Governor-General," Kahn said.

"I'll still be on the case even if Vernor Dean becomes Governor-General."

"Because the CBI always gets their man," Kahn mocked him.  "You know what
this is like?  It's like that 'ex-millies' sketch they do on Sabado Gigante."
But the damned song was still running through her head.

He'll fly his airmobile,
Makes you strip and be revealed,
Brings you back if you yield,
Timothy Liddy. Timothy Liddy.

His eyes narrowed.  "For someone who claims to be devoted to peace and
justice, you don't seem all that interested in either one."

I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my temper, I will not lose my
temper.  "For me," she finally answered, "justice is more than just a fancy
word for vengeance.  I came here . . . "

Now there was a hint of the Larry Gordon smirk.  After waiting a few seconds
for her to continue, he said, "You're here for the same reason I am.  You
know that something monstrous is brewing in Ciudad Camacho, and you want to
put a stop to it."

She became aware that she, too, was standing in a pool of light.  Tonight's
interrogation was being conducted both ways.  And as much as she hated to
admit it, he was right.  They /were/ there for the same reason.  "Maybe," she
conceded.

He nodded, and began to walk slowly towards her.  "Miss Kahn," he said,
"whatever differences we've had in the past don't matter now.  All that
matters is uncovering the truth about what's going on here.  If we pool our
resources, we stand a better chance of succeeding than if we each act alone.
Agreed?"

Her, work together with Liddy?  The fiend in human guise who had been
denounced in hundreds of PJP pamphlets (not a few of which she herself had
written)?  Did he really expect her to set aside a lifetime's accumulated
loathing and agree to join forces with him?

He'll take you out, he'll take you down,
He'll plant you six feet underneath the ground.
He flies so high, he swoops so low,
He knows exactly which way you're gonna go.
Timothy Liddy. Timothy Liddy.

Joan Kahn stared at Liddy's outstretched hand for a moment before slowly
extending her own.

"Agreed," she said.

Notes:

[1] Although Blue Mood denied having any links with the government, the
release of their song "Legend of a Will" celebrating the CBI's exposure of
the Michigan City Spy Ring was denounced by former Governor-General Richard
Mason as "carefully crafted pro-Monaghan propaganda produced at the public's
expense".  Of course, everyone knows that Mason was given to paranoia.

[2] See FAN #10.