Code of Honor, page 1
ALSO BY TOM CLANCY
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The Teeth of the Tiger
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Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect (by Mark Greaney)
Tom Clancy Under Fire (by Grant Blackwood)
Tom Clancy Commander in Chief (by Mark Greaney)
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Tom Clancy Line of Sight (by Mike Maden)
Tom Clancy Oath of Office (by Marc Cameron)
Tom Clancy Enemy Contact (by Mike Maden)
Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship
Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment
Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing
Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit
Airborne: A Guided Tour of an Airborne Task Force
Carrier: A Guided Tour of an Aircraft Carrier
Into the Storm: A Study in Command
with General Fred Franks, Jr. (Ret.), and Tony Koltz
Every Man a Tiger: The Gulf War Air Campaign
with General Chuck Horner (Ret.) and Tony Koltz
Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces
with General Carl Stiner (Ret.) and Tony Koltz
with General Tony Zinni (Ret.) and Tony Koltz
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ISBN 9780525541721 (hardcover)
ISBN 9780525541745 (ebook)
Maps by Jeffrey L. Ward
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, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
Jack Ryan: President of the United States
Mary Pat Foley: director of national intelligence
Arnold “Arnie” van Damm: President Ryan’s chief of staff
Scott Adler: secretary of state
Gerry Hendley: director of The Campus and Hendley Associates
John Clark: director of operations
Domingo “Ding” Chavez: assistant director of operations
Jack Ryan, Jr.: operations officer/senior analyst
Dominic “Dom” Caruso: operations officer
Adara Sherman: operations officer
Bartosz “Midas” Jankowski: operations officer
Gavin Biery: director of information technology
Dr. Caroline “Cathy” Ryan: First Lady of the United States
Dr. Dan Berryhill: former medical school classmate of Dr. Ryan
Peter Li: retired admiral, United States Navy
Michelle Chadwick: United States senator
Gunawan “Gugun” Gumelar: president of Indonesia
Geoff Noonan: gaming software engineer
Suparman: owner, Suparman Games
Zhao Chengzhi: president of China
David Huang: Chinese operative
General Song Biming: PRC military officer
General Bai: PRC military officer
Major Chang: Bai’s aide
Wu Chao: PLA major/operative Central Military Commission
Kang: Chinese assassin
Tsai Zhan: Communist Party minder
Also by Tom Clancy
About the Authors
A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures—and that is the basis of all human morality.
—Winston S. Churchill
Doubt is unpleasant, but certainty is absurd.
Had the young woman at the bar been slightly more attractive, Geoff Noonan might have smelled a trap.
“Know your number.” That’s what they said. Oh, he knew his number, all right, and this was going to work out just fine . . .
The security goons at work were jealous of everyone else’s travel, relying on acronyms, spooky statistics, and stupid rules like that “know your number” bullshit at every single meeting. These destroyers of joy gleefully pointed out that a five in Plymouth was still a five in Phuket or Phnom Penh—or anywhere else, for that matter. They liked to remind everyone that eights and nines didn’t magically try to hook up with a five. Ever. If the situation was too good to be true, it was a setup. Noonan was an engineer, a software designer, smart enough to know the knuckle-dragging goons were right, mostly. But sometimes . . . Sometimes the circumstances indicated otherwise. Sometimes a hot girl didn’t realize she was a hot girl, especially if she was just hot enough.
Noonan watched the Indonesian beauty at the bar curl her toes on the crossbar of the stool, like a cat might flick the tip of its tail back and forth to rid itself of excess energy. This was good, all right, but not too good. Was it? Nah. It’s not like she was an eight or anything.
The Magma Lounge at the Hilton in Bandung, Indonesia, had oversized leather couches that swallowed people up, especially if they had short legs, which Noonan did. Mired in impossibly soft cushions, he didn’t think about his wife, his two kids, the baby on the way, or his wife’s father, who was a federal judge in Hartford. The danger level of his actions and the consequences of an affair should have made him think twice before he asked this woman to join him, but they never entered his mind. He was preoccupied with how to stand up without looking like an ass when the time came.
The girl at the bar was good-looking enough for Noonan’s taste, though not so handsome as to set off alarm bells. It was doubtful he would have heard them in any case. His pastor at the First Congregational Church in Beacon Hill had pointed out during a recent marriage counseling session that Geoff appeared to lack the capacity for what he called pre-transgression guilt—that little tickle in the back of the neck that warned most people away from bad behavior before they engaged in it. Noonan had a conscience. It just took a while to kick in. Moments after, whatever the deed, Noonan always found himself wallowing in guilt. He just couldn’t seem to remember that feeling prior to any action, and that inability kept him in constant trouble.
He caught the girl’s eye again.
For now, trouble was looking pretty damned sweet.
Her honeyed complexion and flawless features suggested she was Sundanese, the most prevalent ethnicity in Bandung—and West Java, for that matter. Sundanese were often said by Indonesians to be the most attractive people in their country. Hard to argue, though Noonan had to admit he hadn’t seen many ugly girls since he and his bosses had arrived in Jakarta for the computer gaming trade show five days earlier. Bandung was even better—and worse, but mostly better.
Blue eyes and straw accents in the girl’s dark hair suggested she had more than a few Dutch branches in her family tree—a remnant from Dutch East India plantations that had raised tea and cinchona, from which quinine was still derived. A skintight fire-engine-red dress had a heart-shaped neckline below her collarbones. The sultry, fist-size swell of visible cleavage provided a sexy counterpoint to the nervous way she curled the toes of one dainty foot and dangled a shoe off the end of the other.
Noonan scooted forward on the deep cushions to take his third dirty martini of the evening from the waiter. He held the glass up toward the girl. Dangerous stuff, those air toasts. There was always a chance she was looking at someone or something behind him. Noonan held his breath until her smallish mouth blossomed into a petite smile and she returned the gesture with her own drink—fruit juice, from the looks of it. That wasn’t surprising, since most Sundanese were Muslim. He wondered if her piety would keep her from hooking up with a guy at a bar. Maybe she was just here to meet a friend.
He was about to find out.
She was up, padding across the floral carpet toward him, red dress so tight across her belly he could see the depression of her navel against the fabric. The nervousness was gone now. Her steps were confident, though not haughty, like she knew she was attractive but didn’t plan to use it as a weapon. Noonan shot a glance over his shoulder, just to be sure. He didn’t want to look the fool if he stood up to greet her and she walked past him to talk to some girlfriend she’d seen across the bar.
There was no one, a fact that shot a surge of adrenaline from the top of Geoff Noonan’s head to the tips of his toes. This might actually work out.
Noonan was self-aware enough to know he was probably a borderline six. The girls at work called him the Poison Dwarf, which wasn’t fair because five-seven wasn’t really all that short. He suspected it had more to do with the kind of jokes he told in the breakroom.
He stood when the woman was halfway there, working extra-hard to keep from wallowing to his feet from the oversized couch.
This one was a solid seven, a little square-hipped for Noonan’s taste, and she didn’t have as much up top as he normally liked, but yeah, she was a seven for sure. A seven hooking up with a six. That could work. Plus, he was an American. Worth a point. Right? Maybe she just wanted a free drink while she practiced her English, but even that would be better than sitting alone in a bar after the day he’d had.
His gut churned with something far more pleasurable than guilt.
Two weeks before, Geoff Noonan had been a brilliant if somewhat creepy software engineer at Parnassus Games in Boston, content to gamble online and maybe sneak over to a strip club near Boston Common while his wife was at her maternity checkups. He wasn’t exactly a man overflowing with scruples, but up until recently, he’d never considered selling out his company to the highest bidder.
Todd Ackerman changed everything when he broke both his legs in a bicycling accident. Ackerman was supposed to have been the one to attend the Jakarta tech conference, but with his injuries, that duty had fallen to Noonan. They had developed several pieces of tech together, tech that got them noticed by the bosses. The two software engineers were antipodal in virtually everything but their knowledge of computer gaming. Ackerman had been a college baseball star. Noonan was still the last picked for every team, sport or not. Ackerman liked conferences in faraway lands. Strange food gave Noonan the runs. Crowds made him feel like someone had a pillow over his face. Ackerman was Canadian—stereotypically agreeable—and smiled more than a normal person should smile. The bosses liked to spend time with him, have drinks, play golf. They tolerated Noonan because of his brilliance. If they’d suspected either of the two engineers of corporate espionage, it would have been Noonan, hands down. He was awkward and quiet and hardly ever cracked a smile unless it was at one of his own dirty jokes.
Nobody suspected Ackerman. He was the nice guy.
Ackerman had been the one to arrange the side trip to Bandung after the conference to meet with the rep from an up-and-coming Indonesian gaming company. Ackerman set up the foreign bank accounts, the alibis, the escape plan—all of it. Noonan was well aware that he wouldn’t have been brought in on the deal had Ackerman not wrecked his
Noonan had demurred at first, not because it was the right thing to do, but because he thought it might be a trap. Then, when Ackerman had explained how much money was involved, the deal had been a no-brainer. Noonan would go to the stupid conference and meet with the buyer and he’d get fifty percent of twenty-five million dollars. Not too shabby. His wife went to church every Sunday even if she didn’t have a single sin to confess as far as he could tell. Even she’d be able to understand twelve and a half million dollars when he got around to explaining it to her.
If he ever did. That kind of money made it easy to disappear.
And anyway, it wasn’t even stealing. Ackerman and Noonan had, after all, been the ones to develop the technology. Why shouldn’t they be able to sell it?
The trade show had been packed with geeks—adults who made a life playing and designing computer-based gaming systems. Like many of the attendees, Noonan was a loner at heart, an introvert who preferred the company of a computer screen in a dimly lit basement to actual flesh-and-blood people. Where a gathering of like-minded folks might exhilarate some, the milling crowds and endless panel discussions sucked the life out of him and left him with a pulsing headache.
The bigwigs from Warner Bros., Ubisoft, Sega—everyone in the gaming industry was there. The Japanese had the biggest presence, of course, but the South Koreans, the Chinese, and reps from Silicon Valley (which included a hell of a lot of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese) all made a healthy showing. Russia had a small presence, as did India, and an Australian company. The Indonesians, eager to dip a toe into the gaming market themselves, hosted the trade show, and Suparman Games was their de facto industry leader.
The security goons in Boston—Noonan called them Larry and Curly, for no particular reason but that they hated it—had warned him that there would be people at the show who would be extremely interested in some of the company’s recent innovations. Corporate espionage was the number-one threat to American national security, they said, acting all official and serious, like they were still Feds and not stooges for a company that made computer games. But they had no idea Calliope even existed, let alone her capability. No one did, beyond Noonan and Ackerman. If the bosses had known all of it, they would have put every existing copy under armed guard.
Other author's books:
- Oath of OfficeOpen CarryCode of HonorNational Security jq-1The Triple FrontierNational SecurityDead DropTime of Attack
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