Cain is for Carlos, and Delta is for Cain...Series of ten novels (so far), three written by Robert Ludlum, the rest by Eric Van Lustbader. They involve Jason Bourne, an ex-CIA assassin, who was involved in the Vietnam War as part of a secret organisation called Medusa. His goal was to create the image of a great assassin to lure out and kill (real-life assassin) Carlos the Jackal.The first novel, The Bourne Identity, involves Jason Bourne losing his memory and being hunted through the streets of Paris by the CIA (who think he's dodgy) and Carlos the Jackal (who just wants to kill him). On his way, he meets (well, more or less kidnaps) a Canadian economist called Marie St Jacques.In The Bourne Supremacy, someone has started killing under the Bourne name and is threatening to cause a war between China and the West. To get Bourne to kill him, the CIA kidnap Marie (now married to Bourne). Carlos the Jackal does not really feature here.In The Bourne Ultimatum, Carlos issues a final challenge to Bourne, now in his 50s and a college professor.Made into a TV mini-series in 1988 that was fairly faithful to the first novel, and a recent series of movies that drops the Carlos plotline and recasts Bourne as aPresent Day black-ops CIA assassin.
Arc Words: "Cain is for Carlos, and Delta is for Cain." (and when it's not that, it's "Cain is for Charlie, and Delta is for Cain", and "Delta is for Charlie, and Charlie is for Cain". Ludlum loved this, apparently)
Ascended Extra: Johann, a minor henchman in the novel who is killed by Bourne in his second scene, is basically promoted to Carlos' Dragon in the '88 TV movie.
Author Tract: Lustbader has a dislike with neoconservatives, and he shows it. Ironically, the original author Ludlum seems to have a mild dislike for leftists, as witness the free-market economist in The Bourne Identity favorably commenting on government policies of the 1980s.
Ax-Crazy: Carlos after he snaps. And he kinda enjoys killing for the hell of it before then.
Badass: Bourne has no problem taking you out, even if he doesn't have a gun.
Bad Habits: Carlos the Jackal dresses up as a priest.
Batman Gambit: Asher Sever/Dominic Specter's plan in Sanction. He convinces Bourne to pursue a pipeline of anti-terrorist vigilantes in order to retrieve blueprint of impending terrorist attack. It turns out that the plan is decoy, the pipeline is bogus, Bourne, who is on the run from American intelligence, has been used by Sever to inject misdirections to US security forces
Bulletproof Human Shield: Subverted in The Bourne Legacy, as a terrorist attempts to use a fallen guard as a human shield, but is mowed down when the blast go right through the body anyway.
Comic Book Time: Bourne is 50 in Ultimatum, which is set before the fall of USSR. In Deception, which is written by the new author, the same character mentions about Bali Bombing in 2005.
Complexity Addiction: Maceo Encarnacion's plan to trap Bourne in Imperative. First, he smuggles her disabled lover, Constanza, to Mexico City airport. Because Bourne and Rebeka are on the run from a Mossad assassin, they happily join Constanza as her caretaker to avoid confrontation. Constanza then invites them to her house, feeds them some bullshit about her feud with Encarnacion, and supposedly pulls some strings to sneak them into Encarnacion's villa. How do they sneak in? Inside a casket delivered by Encarnacion's mortician. Why a casket could get in? Encarnacion's goon kills a servant of his, giving an excuse for a mortician transport to enter Encarnacion's villa. When Bourne and Rebeka are inside the villa, they are drawn in by the sound of a shower stream in Encarnacion's bathroom, which is a ruse meant to split them up. At that moment, from a closet, Encarnacion's son attacks them. It ever occur to Encarnacion that he could just hire a bunch of hired guns to mow Bourne down?
Contrived Coincidence: An atrocious one. In Lustbader's novels, a character can just use prosthetics and cosmetics and pass off as another character. That in and of itself is quite a stretch to believe, but the kicker is this word: HEIGHT. Apparently in Lustbader's universe everyone has the same height.
Crazy-Prepared: Bourne and Carlos are good at planning several steps ahead, which is why they're so good at their jobs.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: In Legacy, where Lustbader kills Conklin and Panov right at the start of the story. In Betrayal, Marie is dead because of pneumonia.
False Flag Operation, with flavor of Shrouded in Myth: The whole point of Jason Bourne, at least in the original Ludlum books. Jason Bourne the assassin is a myth. He does not assassinate anyone; he just takes credit for prolific assassinations, which real murderers happily let him. The point behind this myth is to insult Carlos the Jackal and force him into the open to confront Bourne.
Insistent Terminology: "CI", in Lustbader books. For reason unknown Lustbader always omits the "A" in "CIA" and "Agency" after "Central Intelligence". Made even more puzzling in that in his other novels, Lustbader uses "CIA" correctly.
The Main Characters Do Everything: Soraya Moore, Boris Karpov, and Amun Chalthoum qualify. They are directors of nationwide spy agencies, and yet they are continuously found in the field. It never seem to occur to them that they can just delegate their own investigation.
Jason Bourne in Legacy. Stepan Spalko really has to choose someone weaker to be set up.
the truth of Sarah ibn Ashef's murder in Betrayal. At that climax of the book, CIA is under complete control of Karim, an Islamist supremacist who poses as CIA's Deputy Director. He breaks his cool and calm when Bourne reveals that truth.
Swiss Bank Account: In The Bourne Identity, the only clue he has to his identity in the beginning is the details of a Swiss numbered bank account.
Xanatos Gambit: Arkadin's plan in Deception. If Bourne survives the ambush in Bali, the trail would lead him to Nikolai Yevsen, an arms dealer whose business empire is on Arkadin's takeover list. If Yevsen kills Bourne Arkadin's vengeance on Bourne is fulfilled; if Bourne kills Yevsen then Yevsen's business is Arkadin's. Either way, Arkadin wins.
You Have Failed Me: Although in general Carlos is a pretty decent villain to work for (compared to most, anyway), Koenig is done away on Carlos' orders for the glorious screwup that was the Zurich hit.