Book 3 of The Faust Legacy Quartet, this novel is set in Cyprus in the mid-1960's.Its narrative chronicles the fortunes of Captain Simon Foster, in his liaison with Crassy, the bored young wife of a British expatriate WW2 hero. The assassination of a young soldier Private Cary Lovewise by former EOKA terrorists threatens to expose Simon and Crassy, so Simon devises a plot to have it appear that Lovewise has been killed in a firefight on the Green Line separating Greek Cypriot and Turkish forces.
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The Dikhelis Sign resumes the fortunes of Simon Foster two years after his disastrous affair with Margitte Faustenach, chronicled in Book 2 of The Faust Legacy Quartet, The Phoenix Cage. Now a captain, Foster is his battalion's operations officer on UN duty in Cyprus. Cyprus has only recently gained its independence from Britain. The so-called Time of Troubles, and the plague of Greek and Turkish Cypriot terrorists killing each other has subsided. Turk Cypriot militia and mainland Turkish troops are separated from the Greek Cypriot National Guard by the Green Line, which runs through the centre of the island and is monitored by UN peacekeepers. When Simon Foster arrives on Cyprus he meets Acrasia Struthers, young wife of the aging and irascible Colonel Gareth Struthers, a World War 2 hero whose feats are legend. However, he has long since become a caricature of himself. He and Crassy have settled on Cyprus because living is cheap, and British expatriates still enjoy some measure of privilege. Whatever fire their marriage has had has died out, despite their attempt to fan the embers to life by a visit to Ephesus. Struthers spends most days on long trips in his small car Mary to the British Sovereign Bases to the south. Simon meets Crassy during his absence, and their instant mutual physical attraction, is consummated. Shortly afterwards, Private Cary Lovewise, who in The Phoenix Cage nearly cost Simon his career, is reported AWOL. A few days later Gareth Struthers registers a complaint with Simon in his official capacity, that the battalion's reconnaissance platoon, quartered near his and Crassy's home, has sabotaged his water supply. (There has been a running feud between Gareth and the Canadian troops in the area.) When Simon investigates, he discovers the corpse of Lovewise, stuffed castrated and bound, in the cistern. Afraid that his own relationship with Lovewise in Germany will be exposed and ruin his career, even possibly making him a suspect, he contrives an ingenious plot with members of the reconnaissance platoon to have the corpse found shot on the Green Line in front of his own rifle company. The plan succeeds like clockwork, and the remains of Lovewise are shipped to Germany for a hero's burial in the Canadian brigade's cemetery. The Greek Cypriot girl Theodosia who has given herself to Cary out of sudden infatuation is ostracized; and when she learns that her brother Christos has arranged his murder, she drowns herself in the Mediterranean. Simon eventually returns to Canada, and Crassy has serial lovers as each Canadian battalion arrives. Finally Crassy leaves Gareth and returns to an old lover in England. and Gareth continues a barren existence on Cyprus. In 1974 the mainland Turkish army invades the island. Gareth's home is sacked, and his precious medals looted. This final defeat drives Gareth to suicide, the final event in a chain of tragic circumstance begun by Simon, whose promising character as a man and a soldier has begun to disintegrate.
All four dragged Cary, who kept up a futile struggle, off the road and through the olive grove. On the other side facing the sea, the low rock outcroppings offered them privacy for their work. Mikhailides found a level grassy area among the rocks, and they dropped their burden, wholly unaware of the ghastly irony that they'd happened to bring him to the precise spot where he and Thi had lain. They sat on him to stop his wriggling, while Mikhailides brought his face close to Cary's. "Khari? You Khari?" Cary nodded vigorously. "Mmph! Mmph!" In the shock of the moment he didn't have the wit to divine how this menacing stranger was able to guess at his name, and why he should want to know. The hope sprang into Cary's fevered mind, maybe it's all some horrible mistake. Maybe now they'll let me go. No? Maybe I'm dreaming this. I'll wake up. Please! I want to wake up! But Cay's nightmare was only beginning. Satisfied now that they had the right man, Mikhailides unwound the rope from Cary's lower limbs. Cary started kicking wildly, but O Rafio and O Ksirafi each kneeled on a leg. O Makhiri smashed his tire iron down hard a couple of times on both Cary's kneecaps breaking them, and passed the instrument to O Rafio and Ksirafi in turn for the finishing touches. It was a generous gesture, to save their fists. When they were done, both knees were well broken and the kicking stopped. O MAkhiri drew a thin stiletto blade from his jacket and slit Cary's bootlaces. They stripped off his combat boots and pants, and spread his legs wide. He was moaning through his gag now. "Mmm-mmm-mmm." Mikhailides, who had been holding Cary down by the shoulders,now put an arm around him and raised him a bit, cradling him so that he could lift his head just enough to watch the proceedings in helpless horror. O Ksirafi knelt down in the V of Cary's legs, held apart by O Rafiio and O Makhiri. He was like a priest at the altar with an acolyte on either side. He reached inrto an inside pocket and drew out a straight razor. Cay could see the glint of metal as O Ksirafi lifted up his member beteen his thumb and forefinger, and examined it for a moment with a connoisseur's eye. Then Cary saw the blade's dull gleam arcing swiftly downward, neatly severing his manhood. Without pausing, O ksirafi grabbed the gential sac, which was mercifully out of Cary's range of vision, and sliced the testicles away with a qick sawing motion -- two deft cuts, surgically precise. Cary didn't feel any pain. Just twp jolts, merging into a single massive electric shock that flashed at his groin for an instant, before coursing through him like liquid lead, dull and heavy. O Ksirafi stood up and leaned over Cary. He thrust out a hand dark with blood, and held the soft wet package in front of Cary's eyes. "Aplos, Sir UN. You look." Mikhailides, hiseyes glittering in the faint moonlight, thrust his face close. "I am Dikhelis, UN soldier. Dikhelis. Remember it. It is the last name you will ever know." Cary wasn't paying attention.