Dark watch of 3, p.1

Dark Watch of-3, page 1

 part  #3 of  Oregon files Series

 

Dark Watch of-3
 



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Dark Watch of-3


  Dark Watch

  ( Oregon Files - 3 )

  Clive Cussler

  DARK

  WATCH

  CLIVE

  CUSSLER

  With JACK DU BRUL

  BERKLEY BOOKS, NEW YORK

  Clive Cussler once again opens the Oregon Files — already hailed as “honestly fabulous” (Kirkus Reviews) and “action-packed” (Publishers Weekly) — and delivers an all-new novel of adventure and intrigue featuring his unbeatable hero of the high seas, Juan Cabrillo…

  Juan Cabrillo and his ingenious crew aboard the clandestine spy ship Oregon have made a very comfortable and very dangerous living from working for high-powered Western interests. But their newest clients have come from the east — the Far East — to ask for Cabrillo’s special brand of assistance. They are a consortium of Japanese shipping magnates, and their fortunes are being threatened by brutal pirates trolling the waters of Southeast Asia.

  Normally, such attacks are aimed at small ships and foreign-owned yachts. Now, giant commercial freighters are disappearing, and Cabrillo suspects that the pirates have joined forces to take down the bigger ships. But when the Oregon confronts the enemy, he learns that the pirates’ predations hide a deadly international conspiracy — a scheme of death and slavery that Juan Cabrillo is going to blow out of the water….

  Praise for Clive Cussler

  and the novels of The Oregon Files

  SACRED STONE

  “[An] action-packed page-turner.”

  — Publishers Weekly

  “Ablaze with action.”

  — Kirkus Reviews

  GOLDEN BUDDHA

  “Readers will burn up the pages.”

  — Publishers Weekly

  “Fans of Cussler will not be disappointed.”

  — Library Journal

  Praise for

  Clive Cussler’s NUMA® series

  “MARVELOUS…simply terrific fun.”

  — Kirkus Reviews

  “YOU CAN’T GET MUCH MORE SATISFYING.”

  — The Cleveland Plain Dealer

  “Cussler and Kemprecos weave A GREAT STORY.”

  — Tulsa World

  “Audacious and WILDLY ENTERTAINING.”

  — New York Daily News

  Praise for

  Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt® series

  BLACK WIND

  “[A] RIP-SNORTING ADVENTURE THRILLER.”

  — Publishers Weekly

  “ANOTHER CUSSLER EPIC…Another win for NUMA.”

  — Booklist

  “UNABASHED, NO-HOLDS-BARRED ADVENTURE, complete with illustrations. A souped-up treat.”

  — The Mirror (U.K.)

  VALHALLA RISING

  “[A] NONSTOP THRILLER…Cussler speeds and twists through the complex plot and hairbreadth escapes [with] the intensity and suspense of a NASCAR race.”

  — Publishers Weekly

  “ACTION-FILLED ADVENTURE…GREAT FUN.”

  — Library Journal

  “CLIVE CUSSLER…IS AT TOP FORM HERE.”

  — Kirkus Reviews

  ATLANTIS FOUND

  “A DELIGHTFUL PAGE-TURNER that is almost impossible to put down.”

  — The San Francisco Examiner

  “WICKEDLY ENGROSSING.”

  — Publishers Weekly

  “BY FAR THE BEST. Atlantis Found has wonderful characters and a plot that speeds along like a comet.”

  — Tulsa World

  “THE FUNNEST DIRK PITT ADVENTURE SINCE RAISE THE TITANIC!”

  — Rocky Mountain News

  “ENOUGH INTRIGUE TO SATISFY EVEN THE MOST DEMANDING THRILL SEEKERS…An entertaining and exciting saga, full of techno details and narrow escapes.”

  — The Chattanooga Times

  DIRK PITT ® ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER

  Trojan Odyssey

  Valhalla Rising

  Atlantis Found

  Flood Tide

  Shock Wave

  Inca Gold

  Sahara

  Dragon

  Treasure

  Cyclops

  Deep Six

  Pacific Vortex

  Night Probe

  Vixen 03

  Raise the Titanic!

  Iceberg

  The Mediterranean Caper

  DIRK PITT ® ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH DIRK CUSSLER

  Black Wind

  FICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH PAUL KEMPRECOS

  Polar Shift

  Lost City

  White Death

  Fire Ice

  Serpent

  Blue Gold

  FICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH JACK DU BRUL

  Dark Watch

  FICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER AND CRAIG DIRGO

  Sacred Stone

  Golden Buddha

  NONFICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER AND CRAIG DIRGO

  The Sea Hunters II

  The Sea Hunters

  Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed

  THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi — 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr. Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

  DARK WATCH

  A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with Sandecker, RLLLP

  PRINTING HISTORY

  Berkley trade paperback edition / November 2005

  Berkley international edition / September 2006

  Copyright © 2005 by Sandecker, RLLLP.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

  For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  ISBN: 1-4295-2782-X

  BERKLEY®

  Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  BERKLEY is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  The “B” design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8
<
br />   Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  1

  THE aging Dassault Falcon executive jet drifted smoothly from the sky and touched down at the Sunan International Airfield, twelve miles north of Pyongyang. The MiG that had flown a tight escort from the moment the aircraft entered North Korea’s airspace peeled off — twin cones of flame from her engines cutting the night. A truck was sent to lead the Falcon to its hardstand, and in its bed stood a machine gunner who never took his aim off the cockpit windows. The plane taxied to an open expanse of concrete at the far side of the airport complex, and even before its wheels were chocked a squad of fully armed troops had formed a perimeter around it — their AK-47s held ready for the slightest provocation. All this despite the fact that the passengers on board were invited dignitaries and important clients of the reclusive Communist country.

  Several minutes after the engines spooled to silence, the passenger door cracked open. The pair of guards positioned closest shifted in anticipation. Then the door was lowered, showing the integrated steps that formed its internal side. A man wearing an olive uniform with a flat cap stood at the doorway. His features were harsh and uncompromising, with near-black eyes and a hooked nose. His skin was the color of weak tea. He stroked a finger along his dense black mustache and cast an unimpressed eye at the ring of soldiers before stepping lightly from the aircraft. He was followed by two more hatchet-faced men, one wearing traditional Middle Eastern robes and a head scarf, the other in an expensive suit.

  A trio of North Korean officers marched through the cordon and approached. The highest ranking officer gave a formal greeting and waited for another, a translator, to render his words into Arabic.

  “General Kim Don Il welcomes you to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Colonel Hourani, and hopes you had an enjoyable flight from Damascus.”

  Colonel Hazni Hourani, the deputy head of Syria’s strategic rocket forces, bowed his head in acknowledgment. “Thank the general for meeting us personally at this late hour. Tell him our flight was indeed enjoyable since we flew over Afghanistan and were able to dump the contents of the aircraft’s septic system on the American occupiers.”

  The Koreans shared a round of laughter once they heard the translation. Hourani continued, speaking to the translator directly, “I applaud the skill in which you use our language, but I think our dealings would go smoother if we spoke in English.” Hourani switched to that language. “I understand, General Kim, that we both speak the language of our common enemy.”

  The general blinked. “Yes, I find it gives me an advantage over the imperialists to know their ways better than they know mine,” he replied. “I also speak some Japanese,” he added, trying to impress.

  “And I some Hebrew,” Hourani answered quickly, playing the game of one-upmanship.

  “It seems we are both dedicated to our countries and our cause.”

  “The destruction of America.”

  “The destruction of America,” General Kim echoed, sensing in the Arab’s intense stare that the same fires burned in his belly, too.

  “For too long they have pushed their influence into all corners of the globe. They are slowly smothering the planet by first sending in soldiers and then poisoning the people with their decadence.”

  “They have troops on your borders as well as mine. But they fear attacking my country, for they know our retribution would be swift and final.”

  “And soon,” Hourani said with an oily smile, “they will fear our retribution as well. With your help, of course.”

  Kim’s smile matched that of the Syrian. These two men, from different sides of the globe, were kindred spirits, devout haters of all things Western. They were defined by this hate, shaped and molded through years of indoctrination. It didn’t matter that one worshiped a bent view of a noble religion and the other a warped faith in the infallibility of the state, the results were the same. They saw beauty in savagery and found inspiration in chaos.

  “We have arranged transportation for your delegation to the Munch’on Naval Base near Wosan on the eastern coast,” General Kim told Hourani. “Will your pilots need accommodations in Pyongyang?”

  “That is most generous, General.” Hourani stroked his mustache again. “But the aircraft is needed back in Damascus as soon as possible. One of the pilots slept most of the way here so he can fly back to Syria. If you could arrange for refueling, I would like them to leave immediately.”

  “As you wish.” General Kim spoke to a subaltern, who passed the order to the head of the security detail. As Hourani’s two assistants finished unloading their luggage, a fuel tanker arrived and workers began to unreel the hose.

  The car was a Chinese-made limousine with at least two hundred thousand miles on the odometer. The seats sagged deep enough to almost swallow the slightly built North Korean general, and the interior reeked of cigarettes and pickled cabbage. The Kumgang Mountain highway linking Pyongyang with Wosan was one of the best in the nation, yet it taxed the limo’s suspension to the breaking point as the vehicle ground its way around tight switchbacks and along precarious gorges. There were few guardrails along the highway, and the car’s head-lamps were little more than dim flashlights. Without the moon’s cool glow the drive would have been impossible.

  “A couple of years ago,” Kim said as they ascended higher into the mountains that ran like a spine down the length of the country, “we gave permission for a company in the south to arrange tourist trips into these mountains. Some consider them sacred. We demanded they build the roads and trails as well as the restaurants and the hotels. They even had to construct their own port facility to dock their cruise ships. For a while the company had many people making the trip, but they had to charge five hundred dollars per passenger to recoup their investment. The pool of nostalgia seekers turned out to be a small one, and business quickly dropped off — especially after we posted guards along the routes and harassed the tourists any way we could. They no longer come here, but they are still paying us the one billion dollars they guaranteed our government.”

  This elicited a smile from Colonel Hourani, the only Syrian who spoke English.

  “The best part,” Kim went on, “is that their hotel is now an army barracks, and their port is the home to a Najin-class Corvette.”

  This time Hourani laughed aloud.

  Two hours after leaving the airfield, the limousine finally descended the Kumgang Mountains and crossed the coastal plane, swinging around to the north of Wosan, and arrived at the outer perimeter fence for the Munch’on Naval Base.

  Guards saluted the limo through the gate, and the car crawled across the facility, passing several impressive maintenance buildings and over a half mile of wharf space. Four sleek gray patrol craft were tied to the quay, and a single destroyer lay at anchor in the mile-square inner harbor, white smoke from its stack coiling into the night. The driver swung around a rail-mounted derrick and parked alongside a four-hundred-foot cargo ship at the end of the wharf.

  “The Asia Star,” General Kim announced.

  Colonel Hourani checked his watch. It was one in the morning. “And when do we sail?”

  “The tides are mild here in Yonghung-man Bay so you can leave anytime. The ship is loaded, fueled, and provisioned.”

  Hourani turned to one of his men and asked in Arabic, “What do you think?” He listened to the long reply, nodding several times, then turned back to the general, who sat opposite him in the limo. “Assad Muhammad is our technical expert on the Nodong-1 missile. He would like to take a look at them before we depart.”

  Kim’s
expression didn’t change, but it was clear he didn’t like the idea of a delay. “Surely you can accomplish your inspection at sea. I assure you that all ten missiles your country has purchased are aboard.”

 
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