The Archimedes Effect, p.1Tom Clancy
Table of Contents
Other titles by Steve Pieczenik
The Bestselling Novels of
THE TEETH OF THE TIGER
A new generation—Jack Ryan, Jr.—takes over in Tom Clancy’s extraordinary, and extraordinarily prescient, novel.
—Daily Mail (London)
Tom Clancy returns to Jack Ryan’s early days—in a gripping novel of global political drama . . .
“AN OLD-FASHIONED COLD WAR THRILLER.”
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
John Clark is used to doing the CIA’s dirty work. Now he’s taking on the world.
—The New York Times Book Review
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.
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.
—The Washington Post
RED STORM RISING
The ultimate scenario for World War III—the final battle for global control.
“THE ULTIMATE WAR GAME . . . BRILLIANT.”
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
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?
—The Wall Street Journal
Created by Tom Clancy
TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL
TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: OPERATION BARRACUDA
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 OP-CENTER: CALL TO TREASON
TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER: WAR OF EAGLES
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
TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: SPRINGBOARD
TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE: THE ARCHIMEDES EFFECT
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
TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS: WILD CARD
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors’ 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.
TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE®: THE ARCHIMEDES EFFECT
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with Netc
Berkley edition / February 2006
Copyright © 2006 by Netco Partners.
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 authors’ rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
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375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-00240-7
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.
We would like to acknowledge the assistance of Martin H. Greenberg, Denise Little, John Helfers, Brittiany Koren, 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
Fort Stephens, Oklahoma
January 2015 C.E.
Every time he had to work guard duty on a night like this, Stevens’s respect for the pioneers in their covered wagons went way up: That bone-chilling Oklahoma winter wind cut through you like a razor. How they could travel across the country on nothing but rutted dirt roads, no running water, no electric heaters . . . Amazing.
Stevens, Sergeant Theodore M., whose name wasn’t spelled the same as that of the base’s, but who caught all kinds of crap about it being “his” base anyhow, wasn’t going to step out of the nice, warm kiosk into the teeth of that howling gale without a damned good reason.
Somebody was going to have to, though. . . .
“Car approaching, Sarge,” Billings said. “Coming pretty fast.”
“I’m not blind, Billings.”
The private shrugged.
“But since your eagle eye picked it up, you can step out and check his ID—”
The rest of what he was going to say was cut off by the screech made by four radial tires under a full-sized hunk of Detroit iron as the brakes locked. The car, a black Ford, skidded to a stop ten feet short of the gate’s bumpers, a smoking trail of rubber behind it.
“Jesus!” Billings said, coming to his feet.
“Side arm!” Stevens said as he drew his pistol.
Billings also pulled his Beretta, but like Stevens, kept it low and pointed at the floor.
A soldier in an Army winter dress uniform and coat leaped out on the driver’s side of the Ford, waving his hands. “Wounded, we got an injured general in here! Open the gate!”
The voice came through loud and clear over the state-of-the-art electronic sound system. Great. An injured general?
The car’s interior dome light was bright enough to show a man in the passenger seat, sure looked like an officer, with blood running down his face to soak into his uniform. That’s all they needed; some shiny brass hat got drunk in a bar and thumped by a local Okie who didn’t like his looks.
Well, crap, looked like Stevens was going out into the winter night after all. “Call Medical,” he ordered Billings. He holstered his pistol.
Fort Stephens, a high-tech installation and the newest jewel in the Army’s crown, wasn’t fully manned yet, but there was a working infirmary since the place was at least half-staffed with a couple thousand boots-on-the-ground. Not to mention asses-in-chairs . . .
Stevens thumbed the lock’s reader on his console. The reader matched his thumbprint to the one in the computer’s files, and the heavy electric steel door slid open noiselessly on its Delrin track.
The wind hit Stevens with an icy, take-your-breath-away slap as the door slid shut behind him. Damn! The antiram bumpers, squat chunks of rebarred concrete as big around as bridge supports, would stop a tank, but they didn’t offer any protection at all against the freezing breeze.
He went around the bumpers and toward the car.
As he got closer, he could see that the injured man had a star on each of his shoulders. Crap, it was a general.
“Don’t you die on my watch,” Stevens whispered under his breath.
He pulled the passenger door open. “Sir—?”
He found himself looking into the bore of a very large handgun. Muzzle big enough to stick your finger into it.
What the hell was this?
“Stay cool, Sarge,” the “general” said.
If these scumbags thought they were going to be breaking into the base by his gate, they were mistaken.
“You can’t open the door or the gate from out here,” he said to the “general.” “Especially on a ‘Code Alpha’ like this.”
He smiled. The outside of that armor-plated steel door didn’t have a knob; it was as smooth as a baby’s butt. The windows in the kiosk, including the door’s, were armor-tempered optical-grade Lexan, six centimeters thick, and nobody was shooting holes through that with small arms, not even the big honkin’ revolver this guy had pointed at him. Those windows would stop an elephant gun. You could plink at it with a .50 BMF and it would eat the slugs without shattering—for a while, at least.
The seven-ton steel gate and double-brace bars of more than two tons each would halt an eighteen-wheeler rolling at speed to a dead stop in its retreads.
Plus, Stevens was wearing a LOSIR ear-button with a mike pinned to the inside of his shirt collar, and unless Billings had gone completely deaf and stupid back in the kiosk, he’d hear this conversation and that “Code Alpha” and realize something was wrong.
As soon as he did, plus about forty-five seconds, a couple Hummers full of MPs armed to the teeth were gonna come roaring toward the gate, at which point Sergeant Theodore M. Stevens was gonna hit the dirt flat on his face so as not to get shot when the MPs lit up this car and these two losers. Code Alpha meant come shooting. Gonna be a most active war zone around here, and somebody was gonna get hurt.
The man smiled like he could read Stevens’s mind. “Have a look at your PFC in the kiosk, Sarge.”
Stevens frowned. He glanced back at the guard shack.
Billings was thumping the edge of his right hand—the one holding his side arm—into the comlink handheld with which he was supposed to be calling for Medical and MPs.
“I do believe your phone is, um . . . out of order,” the fake general said.
As Stevens watched, the man who had leaped out of the car took a couple quick steps to the kiosk door, and pulled the pin on some kind of grenade. He had what looked like a TV remote in his other hand, and he thumbed it.
What was he gonna do with that? It wouldn’t dent the kiosk wall, and it might scratch and fog the Lexan, but that was all it was gonna—
The kiosk door slid open a hand span and stopped. Billings dropped the comlink and swung his pistol up, but the driver shoved the grenade through the gap and moved to the side before Billings could fire.
The door slid shut again.
What the hell—?!
Billings saw the grenade, and he tried to get out through the other door—
There was a muffled whump! and the kiosk filled with green smoke.
Without thinking, Stevens reached for his side arm.
“Belay that, Sarge! It’s just puke gas. You behave, you’ll be telling the story to your buddies over beer tonight. But move crooked, and you bleed out right here and now. They don’t pay you enough, you know.”
Stevens nodded. “Yeah. I hear you.” He moved his hand away from his gun’s butt.
Twenty seconds later, the kiosk door opened. The night wind cleaned out the vestiges of the greenish smoke to reveal Bill
The driver ran into the kiosk, and used a cuff-strap and manacle on the still-vomiting Billings.
“Turn around, put your hands behind you.”
Stevens did as he was told. He felt the cool touch of a plastic wrist-cuff wrap around his wrists. He thought about lunging backward and trying to knock the guy silly, a head butt to the nose, but even as the thought crossed his mind, a second car skidded to a stop to his right, and five guys piled out, hooded and goggled and dressed in black, armed with submachine guns.
His mama didn’t raise any foolish children. Sergeant Theodore M. Stevens lost the idea of further resistance in a big hurry. These guys knew what they were doing. He wasn’t going to do anything stupid, no, sir. The Army didn’t pay him enough to die for nothin’, for sure.
The massive gate swung open.
How could they do that? The gate, like the kiosk door, was keyed to thumbprints—this watch, his, Billings’s, and those of the OOD back in the MP HQ, plus their relief. Nobody else was supposed to be able to open this kiosk or gate if they weren’t in the system.
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