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For All Nails #104C: Legend of a Will

By Johnny Pez



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 FN1 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!"

"Urquell is a traitor to the Confederation," Liddy said tonelessly. The smirking norteño 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-Constabulary' sketch they do on Sábado 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.


(Forward to FAN #104D: The Gun Room.)

(Forward to 13 July 1974: Refreshed With the Blood of Patriots.)

(Return to For All Nails.)

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