Changing of the guard, p.1
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       Changing of the Guard, p.1

           Tom Clancy
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Changing of the Guard


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Acknowledgements

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  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

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  EPILOGUE

  Other Books by Steve Pieczenik

  The Bestselling Novels of

  TOM CLANCY

  RED RABBIT

  Tom Clancy returns to Jack Ryan’s early days—in an extraordinary novel of global political drama.

  “AN OLD-FASHIONED COLD WAR THRILLER.”

  —Chicago Sun-Times

  THE BEAR AND THE DRAGON

  A clash of world powers. President Jack Ryan’s trial by fire.

  “HEART-STOPPING ACTION . . . CLANCY STILL REIGNS.”

  —The Washington Post

  RAINBOW SIX

  John Clark is used to doing the CIA’s dirty work. Now he’s taking on the world.

  “ACTION-PACKED.”

  —The New York Times Book Review

  EXECUTIVE ORDERS

  A devastating terrorist act leaves Jack Ryan as President of the United States.

  “UNDOUBTEDLY CLANCY’S BEST YET.”

  —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  DEBT OF HONOR

  It begins with the murder of an American woman in the back streets of Tokyo. It ends in war.

  “A SHOCKER.”

  —Entertainment Weekly

  THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER

  The smash bestseller that launched Clancy’s career—the incredible search for a Soviet defector and the nuclear submarine he commands.

  “BREATHLESSLY EXCITING.”

  —The Washington Post

  RED STORM RISING

  The ultimate scenario for World War III—the final battle for global control.

  “THE ULTIMATE WAR GAME . . . BRILLIANT.”

  —Newsweek

  PATRIOT GAMES

  CIA analyst Jack Ryan stops an assassination—and incurs the wrath of Irish terrorists.

  “A HIGH PITCH OF EXCITEMENT.”

  —The Wall Street Journal

  THE CARDINAL OF THE KREMLIN

  The superpowers race for the ultimate Star Wars missile defense system.

  “CARDINAL EXCITES, ILLUMINATES . . . A REAL PAGE-TURNER.”

  —Los Angeles Daily News

  CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

  The killing of three U.S. officials in Colombia ignites the American government’s explosive, and top secret, response.

  “A CRACKLING GOOD YARN.”

  —The Washington Post

  THE SUM OF ALL FEARS

  The disappearance of an Israeli nuclear weapon threatens the balance of power in the Middle East—and around the world.

  “CLANCY AT HIS BEST . . . NOT TO BE MISSED.”

  —The Dallas Morning News

  WITHOUT REMORSE

  The Clancy epic fans have been waiting for. His code name is Mr. Clark. And his work for the CIA is brilliant, cold-blooded, and efficient . . . but who is he really?

  “HIGHLY ENTERTAINING.”

  —The Wall Street Journal

  Novels by Tom Clancy

  THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER

  RED STORM RISING

  PATRIOT GAMES

  THE CARDINAL OF THE KREMLIN

  CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

  THE SUM OF ALL FEARS

  WITHOUT REMORSE

  DEBT OF HONOR

  EXECUTIVE ORDERS

  RAINBOW SIX

  THE BEAR AND THE DRAGON

  RED RABBIT

  SSN: STRATEGIES OF SUBMARINE WARFARE

  Nonfiction

  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

  SPECIAL FORCES: A GUIDED TOUR OF U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES

  INTO THE STORM: A STUDY IN COMMAND

  (written with General Fred Franks)

  EVERY MAN A TIGER

  (written with General Charles Horner)

  SHADOW WARRIORS: INSIDE THE SPECIAL FORCES

  (written with General Carl Stiner, Ret., and Tony Koltz)

  Created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: MIRROR IMAGE

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: GAMES OF STATE

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: ACTS OF WAR

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: BALANCE OF POWER

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: STATE OF SIEGE

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: DIVIDE AND CONQUER

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: LINE OF CONTROL

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: MISSION OF HONOR

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: SEA OF FIRE

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: HIDDEN AGENDAS

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: NIGHT MOVES

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: BREAKING POINT

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: POINT OF IMPACT

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: CYBERNATION

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: STATE OF WAR

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: CHANGING OF THE GUARD

  Created by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: POLITIKA

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: RUTHLESS.COM

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: SHADOW WATCH

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: BIO-STRIKE

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: COLD WAR

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: CUTTING EDGE

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: ZERO HOUR

  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.

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE®: CHANGING OF THE GUARD

  A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with

  Netco Partners

  PRINTING HISTORY

  Berkley edition / December 2003

  Copyright © 2003 by Netco Partners.

  All rights reserved.

  This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without

  permission. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via

  the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the

  publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only

  authorized electronic editions, and do not part
icipate in or

  encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

  Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

  For information address: The Berkley Publishing Group,

  a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

  eISBN : 978-1-101-00242-1

  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 and the “B” design

  are trademarks belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  http://us.penguingroup.com

  Acknowledgments

  We would like to acknowledge the assistance of Martin H. Greenberg, Denise Little, John Helfers, Brittiany Koren, Lowell Bowen, Esq., Robert Youdelman, Esq., Danielle Forte, Esq., Dianne Jude, and Tom Colgan, our editor. But most important, it is for you, our readers, to determine how successful our collective endeavor has been.

  —Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik

  PROLOGUE

  October 2013 C.E.

  Khvoy, Iran

  Celik the Turk took a sip of coffee. It was bitter, full of grounds, and it had gone cold, but it gave him something to do with his hands. He was a little nervous. At fifty, even after twenty-six years in the game, he was always a little nervous at this stage. Death was a spy’s constant companion, but Celik had outrun Him every time before, and even though he was slower now than he had been as a young man, he had no reason to believe he couldn’t outrun the grave diggers one more time.

  He took a deep drag from his hand-rolled, unfiltered cigarette. The cheap tobacco was harsh; the greasy blue smoke bit his throat and lungs when he inhaled. He would have better when he was home in Ankara.

  The cafe was small—tiny, really—only four tables, a family operation that catered to locals. The building was concrete block, the floor packed dirt, tamped hard over the years, and the furniture was clean but very old. The people who owned the cafe were Turks, though they didn’t wave that in anybody’s face. Even though the border was only a few kilometers away, this was still Iran, and the Irani and the Turk had not been the best of friends in anybody’s memory. The food might or might not have been good. For Celik, when he was on a mission, breakfast was always the same—coffee and a cigarette. A full man did not move as fast as one with an empty stomach.

  Kokmak was late. This might be a bad sign. Or it might mean nothing at all, save that Kokmak had overslept.

  Except for the old man serving him coffee and a younger version of the old man sometimes visible through a beaded curtain hung over the door to the kitchen, Celik was alone.

  He smoked the cigarette down to a nub, until it was too hot to hold. He stubbed it out on a chipped, clouded glass ashtray somebody had stolen from a Hyatt Hotel. He stripped the paper and carefully put the last bit of tobacco back into the tin he carried in his left vest pocket, shook the tin to mix it in, then rolled another cigarette, using a strawberry-flavored Zig-Zag paper. The paper was pink and, he supposed, had some distant relation to the taste of strawberries. He did not care. It amused him to smoke pink cigarettes, and he knew that no one would mark him as a secret operative of a foreign service from the colorful paper; in fact, they would notice a man who smoked pink fags, and in so doing, assume that he wasn’t a spy—a spy would not do anything as stupid as that to draw attention to himself. A bit of reverse psychology, and one that Celik was proud of.

  The color of his smokes notwithstanding, he looked like most men he had passed in this town. Swart, a thick black moustache, black hair going gray under a cap, clothes that were old, patched, dusty, but not too raggedy. Just another poor Turk on his way back to his dust farm or small shop, stopping in for coffee before he got back on the road. Nothing unusual about him.

  Outside, a twelve-year-old flatbed truck, a German machine with a hundred and fifty thousand kilometers on it, sat parked on the side of the building that would grow shady when the sun began its morning climb. Not that he would be there when it did, but it was an old habit to prepare for the sun when it came.

  He lit the cigarette with a throw-away yellow plastic Bic and inhaled deeply. He did not wear a good watch openly, though he had one in his pocket—no point in pushing his luck when it came to drawing attention—but there was a clock on the counter, he had checked it against his watch when he had come in, and it was accurate. According to the clock, it was just past seven A.M. Kokmak was five minutes past the appointed meeting time, and Celik was ready to head for his truck. The rules were simple: If a meeting did not take place at the appointed time, it was not going to take place. All operatives knew this. You were on time or you missed it.

  When he had been a young man, training under the old agent they called “Hard Ass,” the need for punctuality had been indelibly impressed upon him. “You will be on time,” Hard Ass had said to the class of green trainees. “This is not open for question. If you are to meet another operative near the new fountain in Ankara at noon, you will be there at noon. If your automobile has a flat tire on the way, you will have allowed time to repair it and arrive on time. If you fall and break your leg, you will splint it and hop if necessary. Anything short of a nuclear bomb is not an acceptable excuse for tardiness. And the bomb better have killed you.”

  They all had code names in those days, and the names stayed with them. Celik meant “steel.” One of the trainees, Hasare—“Insect”—had started to ask a question: “But what if—?”

  Before Hasare could finish his query, Hard Ass had stepped over to him and driven a fist into Hasare’s belly. When the trainee doubled over, trying to catch his breath, Hard Ass clubbed the man behind the ear with his elbow, knocking him to the floor, unconscious. Hard Ass turned and looked at the class. “Was there anybody else who did not understand me when I said this was not open for question?”

  Well, certainly there was nobody who would admit to it—

  “Steel,” Kokmak said, interrupting his memory. “Sorry I am late. A fire in the street, a vendor’s stall. The road was blocked.”

  Celik shrugged. The old man came over bearing another coffee cup and a fresh pot. He put the cup down in front of Kokmak, poured it full, added more to Celik’s cup, then shuffled away.

  “You have it?”

  Kokmak nodded. His personal fragrance drifted across the table, a mix of dirt, sweat, and fear, sour and pungent. He held a folded newspaper in one hand.

  “I have a long drive ahead of me.” Celik’s voice was barbed.

  “Of course.” He laid the newspaper on the table, sipped at the coffee, then blew on it to cool it. “Vile,” he said. “You’d think that a Turk would know how to make good coffee, no?”

  Celik wasn’t interested in the culinary opinions of a man who showed up late for a meeting. He picked up the newspaper, tucked it into his jacket pocket, and stood.

  Before he could move, however, he saw Kokmak glance toward the cafe’s door. It was quick, just a flicker of the eyes, but it was enough to send a chill through Celik’s bones.

  There was no one there. So why would Kokmak be looking at the door?

  Celik’s years as an operative for the Turkish MIT had put him into some dangerous situations; more than once, he had barely escaped critical danger, and not always unscathed. One of the reasons he was still alive was that he always trusted his instincts when they told him trouble was near.

  Death waited just outside the front door. He was certain of it.

  Celik reached for his cup of fresh coffee, as if to take a final sip. “Peace be upon you,” he said.

  Kokmak started to come to his feet, “And upon you—” he began.

  Celik tossed the coffee into the man’s face. Kokmak screamed.

  Celik ran for the kitchen, shouldered the old man aside, and sprinted past the grandson, who looked up from a pot on the stove in surprise. They’d be watching the t
ruck, they might already be outside, and he did not have a weapon. He looked around, saw the wooden block of kitchen knives on the counter, pulled out a short and stubby carving blade and hefted it. It would have to do—

  “Hey!” the young man said. “What are you doing?”

  “Men with guns are about to come through your front door,” Celik said. “Men with no love for Turks. Best you and your grandfather leave, if you don’t want trouble.”

  The old man came through the beaded curtain and glared at Celik. In the background, Kokmak continued to scream through his burned lips.

  Celik grabbed the door handle. As he did, he felt it start to turn. He jerked the door open, surprising the Irani soldier holding on to the handle outside, pulling him off balance. As the startled man tried to regain his footing, Celik stabbed him with the short knife, twice in the throat. The soldier’s eyes went wide and he clutched at his neck with both hands, dropping the assault rifle he held.

  Celik grabbed the fallen weapon and leaped through the door.

  He was alone. A trio of rusty, battered oil drums, used for rubbish and trash, stood next to the door. He ran for the south end of the alley, assault rifle held ready to fire. There should have been more men at the back. Why weren’t there? Sloppy, but he would thank Allah for the favor of it later.

  He rounded the corner, cut away from the front of the cafe, and ran along a narrow street, looking for a vehicle. They hadn’t spotted him yet. If he could get a car or a truck, if he could get out of town, if he could make it to the border, he’d be safe.

 

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