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Zach

Night, and the demonstrations in Budapest have peaked and begun to decline. The summit leaders will be gone by morning, in private jets and motorcades; the kids in black are straggling home.

Sara’s agents have tracked down Zach. She leaves István to his grief and comforts. Nasser is on a jet of his own, but he’s left Hidebound with a new sense of purpose. The bleeding has stopped and he’s got a fresh clean high.

Sara and Hidebound set out in the dusk, hooded and alone, in converging directions.

They are going to the hospital.

They are going to say goodbye.

Sara

“You’re right,” says Sara, tossing the hammer behind her. “I’m not going to hit you.”

“You could have saved us some time, dear,” says Nasser, regarding the ruins, “and me some money.”

Hogy a mellény.

István grins and leaves. Nasser frowns.

“I do speak a little Hungarian, you know,” he says, “but I fail to see what ‘vest’–”

“It’s time you knew how it feels,” she says, “to be the one manipulated.”

“We all manipulate each other, Sara,” he says, but with an unusual sobriety. “Every one of us.”

“Not every one,” says Sara.

Meanwhile, Zach shoots an eight-year-old.

Sara

Sara, meanwhile, has run out of things to break with István’s hammer.

Nasser watches with weary eyes. “This is an old story, my dear. I damage your self-respect; you destroy my property. But I can buy another television.”

Nézem,” István growls.

“Either call your Magyar to heel or have him hit me, Sara,” says Nasser. “But you can’t quite do either, can you? You must be dangerous, must be the fearsome subversive, but actually dirtying your hands… no, I don’t think you could bear it.”

Sara’s arms are trembling; she doesn’t want it to show. “Nasser,” she says, “you’re projecting.”

Iakob

Nasser’s man Iakob–the one whose knee was recently reconfigured by István’s claw hammer–would recognize Zach if he saw him. They met last week, when Iakob came to Littleford’s agency to hire a killer. He wasn’t supposed to get a good one. Nasser just wanted to pull Sara’s hair.

Now Littleford is dead, and Pál is dead, and Zach and Iakob are in tremendous pain. Nasser can’t tell Sara what she wants to know; Zach knows very, very little.

Nasser’s smile is cold and sweaty, the smile of a man whose reach exceeds his grasp. Hidebound doesn’t smile at all.

Sara

Sara just looks at the camera.

“Sara!” it says in a bandpassed version of Nasser’s voice. “I didn’t know you were in the city. Please–” The barred door buzzes and two very clean men in sunglasses step out to pat her down.

She lets them. When they stand up, István breaks the left one’s knee and takes the other through the door by his throat. Sara follows placidly.

“I don’t know what you’re upset about,” says Nasser, scrambling back with a tight rein on the tone of his voice.

“You never do,” Sara says, “but I’m starting to think it’s congenital.”

Zach

István leaves to go to the bathroom and Hidebound kills Pál with a knife. It’s that quick, so Zach is still staring at the blood and wondering if this is a prank when two scarred fingers drag him by the nostrils out of the safehouse.

“Ow fuck!” says Zach. Upon consideration, he adds: “Shit!”

“Whatever puppydog pity she took on you, be grateful for it,” says Hidebound, “because it’s the only thing keeping my fist out of your brains right now. How does it feel to be a hostage, Zach?”

Like so many things in Budapest, Zach reflects glumly, it hurts.

Zach

“She should really trust me by now,” Zach mutters.

István looks up, then down again.

“I mean, yes, I was trained and hired specifically to murder her,” Zach says. “But can I help what I am? I’m like the guy in that Grosse Point Blank movie, where he has to kill Natalie Portman’s dad but then they have sex. You know? That’s what I’m supposed to be doing, not sitting in a room with you two while she’s out–whatever!”

Bukta,” István sighs.

Zach frowns at István. Istvan frowns at Pál.

“Gin,” says Pál mildly, spreading a hand full of diamonds.

Zach

Once they stop shaking, Sara does noisy things to the roof door with her multitool. Zach scowls at shoppers in the mall below as she thumbs Euros down a phone, then leads him into an alley.

Szervusz,” says one of two enormous, shiny-headed men.

“You’ll never take us alive!” Zach says, trying to make his body peel off the wall and stand in front of Sara.

“Zach, meet István and Pál,” Sara sighs. “They’re friends. Friends of friends. Protection.”

“Oh.” Zach grins with relief. “I wish I’d known you had local security for yourself!”

“Sure,” says Sara carefully, “for myself.

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