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Line of sight, p.1
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       Line of Sight, p.1

           Tom Clancy
 
Line of Sight


  ALSO BY TOM CLANCY

  FICTION

  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

  The Teeth of the Tiger

  Dead or Alive (with Grant Blackwood)

  Against All Enemies (with Peter Telep)

  Locked On (with Mark Greaney)

  Threat Vector (with Mark Greaney)

  Command Authority (with Mark Greaney)

  Tom Clancy Support and Defend (by Mark Greaney)

  Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect (by Mark Greaney)

  Tom Clancy Under Fire (by Grant Blackwood)

  Tom Clancy Commander in Chief (by Mark Greaney)

  Tom Clancy Duty and Honor (by Grant Blackwood)

  Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance (by Mark Greaney)

  Tom Clancy Point of Contact (by Mike Maden)

  Tom Clancy Power and Empire (by Marc Cameron)

  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

  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

  Battle Ready

  with General Tony Zinni (Ret.) and Tony Koltz

  G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

  Publishers Since 1838

  An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

  375 Hudson Street

  New York, New York 10014

  Copyright © 2018 by The Estate of Thomas L. Clancy, Jr.; Rubicon, Inc.; Jack Ryan Enterprises, Ltd.; and Jack Ryan Limited Partnership

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Names: Maden, Mike, author.

  Title: Tom Clancy line of sight / Mike Maden.

  Description: Line of sight | Series: A Jack Ryan Jr. novel ; 4

  Identifiers: LCCN 2018010783 | ISBN 9780735215924 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780735215931 (epub)

  Subjects: LCSH: Ryan, Jack, Jr. (Fictitious character)—Fiction. | Intelligence officers—Fiction. | Kidnapping—Fiction. | BISAC: FICTION / Suspense. | FICTION / War & Military. | GSAFD: Suspense fiction.

  Classification: LCC PS3613.A284327 T64 2018 | DDC 813/.6—dc23

  LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018010783

  p. cm.

  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.

  Version_1

  CONTENTS

  Also by Tom Clancy

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Epigraph

  Principal Characters

  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

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48

  Chapter 49

  Chapter 50

  Chapter 51

  Chapter 52

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54

  Chapter 55

  Chapter 56

  Chapter 57

  Chapter 58

  Chapter 59

  Chapter 60

  Chapter 61

  Chapter 62

  Chapter 63

  Chapter 64

  Chapter 65

  Chapter 66

  Chapter 67

  Chapter 68

  Chapter 69

  Chapter 70

  Chapter 71

  Chapter 72

  Chapter 73

  Chapter 74

  Chapter 75

  Chapter 76

  About the Author

  Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal. . . . A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all. I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where. Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off.

  ATTRIBUTED TO OTTO VON BISMARCK AT THE CONGRESS OF BERLIN, 1878

  PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS

  UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

  Jack Ryan: President of the United States

  Scott Adler: Secretary of state

  Mary Pat Foley: Director of national intelligence

  Robert Burgess: Secretary of defense

  Jay Canfield: Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

  Arnold Van Damm: President Ryan’s chief of staff

  THE CAMPUS

  Gerry Hendley: Director of The Campus and Hendley Associates

  John Clark: Director of operations

  Dominic “Dom” Caruso: Operations
officer

  Jack Ryan, Jr.: Operations officer / senior analyst

  Gavin Biery: Director of information technology

  Adara Sherman: Operations officer

  Bartosz “Midas” Jankowski: Operations officer

  Lisanne Robertson: Director of transportation

  OTHER CHARACTERS

  Dr. Cathy Ryan: First Lady of the United States

  Kemal Topal: Turkish ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina

  Tarik Brkić: Commander, Al-Qaeda in the Balkans

  Shafiq Walib: Captain, Syrian Arab Army

  Aslan Dzhabrailov: Lieutenant, ground forces of the Russian Federation

  Aida Curić: Owner, Happy Times! Balkan Tours

  Emir Jukić: Happy Times! chief operating officer and tour guide

  Dragan Kolak: Officer, Intelligence-Security Agency (OSA-OBA), Bosnia and Herzegovina

  1

  SEVEN CORNERS, VIRGINIA

  Dr. Guzman rubbed her tired eyes. She became a doctor to heal the sick, not to file endless reports. But here she was, typing away after hours.

  Again.

  No matter. It was the price she paid to run the free clinic for the poorest of the poor in the area, mostly immigrants.

  She checked her watch. The delivery was late. As soon as it arrived, she’d finish up this last budget report and head home for some needed shut-eye.

  A noise in the back room startled her. She glanced up from her laptop, listening.

  Nothing.

  Probably just the rats again, she told herself. Gross.

  She made a mental note to pick up some more traps at Lowe’s tomorrow on her way in.

  She settled back down into her spreadsheet, her bleary eyes focused on the empty columns she still needed to fill with numbers. Her fingers froze.

  She smelled the acrid tang of sweat and dope before she felt the blade against her throat.

  The man stood behind her. Grabbed a fistful of her hair.

  “The drugs are in the safe. I can’t open it,” she said in Spanish, her first language.

  The voice behind her laughed. “Don’t want the drugs, bitch,” he said in English. “We gonna party.”

  Guzman whispered a prayer and cursed her stupidity. She’d left the back door unlocked for the delivery. That meant no alarm. That’s how he got in.

  And with no alarm, no help was on the way.

  The man grabbed her shoulder and spun the chair around. He stood over her, flashing a gold tooth in a nicotine-stained smile. His bare, ropy arms were slathered in tattoos, but it was his shaved skull that shocked her. His entire head, from the neckline up, was a tangle of blue ink, with MS splashed across his throat and 13 emblazoned on his forehead.

  She recognized him. He had come in last week, a wreck. Hep C and gonorrhea. He gave a name—Lopez—but no ID. She assumed it was fake. Didn’t matter. He was sick, she was a doctor. She treated him. Even if he did give her the chills.

  But now?

  “You don’t have to do this,” she said, steeling her voice.

  “Don’t have to. Want to.” He smiled. He stepped closer, thrusting his belt buckle close to her face. He laid the blade flat against her cheek. “So do you. If you want to live.”

  “Not like that.”

  A soft whistle from behind.

  The gangbanger whipped around, pulling a chrome Ruger .357 out from beneath his shirt. Fast. A real gunslinger.

  But a larger hand was faster. It grabbed the four-inch barrel and yanked it up toward the ceiling, then outward and away.

  Fast, but not fast enough.

  Tendons snapped in the banger’s wrist, but his index finger smashed against the cocked trigger. A magnum round fired with a deafening roar into a ceiling tile, superheating the barrel in the big man’s right hand. He didn’t let go.

  The big man’s left hand crashed into the banger’s jaw, buckling his knees. He crumbled to the floor, out cold.

  It had all happened in a flash.

  Dr. Guzman didn’t have time to scream, let alone help. She stared wide-eyed at the man standing in front of her now. Six-one, one hundred and ninety pounds of lean muscle. Black hair, blue eyes.

  Still in shock, all she could manage was, “Who are you?”

  The man tucked the Ruger into his waistband.

  “My sister Sally sent me. With those.” He pointed at a backpack on the floor a few feet away, where he had set it down. “Antibiotics. Said you were running short.”

  “Dr. Sally Ryan?”

  “Yeah.”

  “Then you must be Jack Ryan.”

  He shrugged and smiled.

  “Junior.”

  2

  IDLIB, SYRIA

  The Syrian fighter stood on the roof of the apartment building, shielding his aging eyes from the western sun as he watched the children playing in the street seven floors below. They sweated and laughed in the long shadows of the fading light, swarming after the ball like bees chasing a dog, ignoring the calls of their anxious mothers to come in and clean up. He smiled.

  Kids everywhere, the same.

  The truce was a mercy. “Thanks be to God,” he whispered to himself. He checked his watch, a nervous habit. By the fading light he knew the muezzin’s voice would ring out over the loudspeakers, calling for the maghrib.

  He had raged when his battalion commander, an Iraqi, first announced the truce with that butcher Assad and his paymasters, the godless Russians. But the last nine weeks had given them time to rest and regroup with smuggled weapons, food, fuel, cash. Now they were ready for anything up close, and their Stinger missiles kept the dreaded Russian jets and helicopters out of the skies. The senior Al-Nusra commanders were all stationed here; even the emir was living in Idlib, just three blocks away. This was the safest place in Syria, as long as the truce lasted.

  The war seemed far away now. A distant, painful memory. So much blood. And for what? Life was better than death, was it not?

  He craved a cigarette, even after all these years, but cigarettes were haram, and men in his unit had been executed for smoking them. But perhaps a strong coffee after maghrib, he thought, his eyes tracking the black-clad women scurrying into the street, clapping their hands and shouting, trying to herd the laughing children back to their homes.

  The adhan began, a strong voice calling the faithful. Its familiar words warmed his soul. The mosque would be full tonight.

  He picked up his rifle and headed for the stairs. Perhaps the war was indeed over and these children would finally know peace.

  Thanks be to God.

  NINE MILES SOUTH OF IDLIB

  A bead of sweat trickled down the side of Captain Walib’s face despite the A/C unit blasting overhead. The Syrian captain stared at the monitor in front of him, his right hand poised near the master launch button.

  The monitor verified the ready state of the fire-control computers on the six TOS-2 Starfire launch vehicles stationed nearby, each composed of a seventy-tube box missile launcher fixed on a heavily armored T-14 Armata tank chassis, and all linked to his command console.

  He and Major Grechko sat at their stations inside the cramped BMP-3K armored personnel fighting vehicle, Walib’s mobile command post. Technically, the Russian major was only an adviser on today’s operation. But in reality Grechko was evaluating Walib’s combat command capabilities along with the new TOS-2 Starfire system.

  Walib stole a quick glance at Lieutenant Aslan Dzhabrailov sitting near the doorway. The young, broad-shouldered Chechen was the platoon leader of the commandos guarding his unit. There was a fierce intelligence in the man’s pale gray eyes and a well-used ten-millimeter Glock on his hip. The Chechens were savage, brutal fighters—a breed apart, the best in the war, at least on his side. Dzhabrailov was a man to be feared.

  The major checked t
he GLONASS receiver—the Russian version of GPS—one last time, along with the laser guidance beam. “Targeting confirmed. Free to fire, Captain.”

  Walib smoothed his mustache with his thumb and forefinger, hesitating.

  “Something wrong, Captain?” Grechko asked.

  Walib was a Syrian patriot. He had no problem killing terrorists, especially foreign ones. The Syrian “civil war” was fought by everyone but Syrians these days. But they were all just proxies for the Americans and Russians, who happily sacrificed the Syrian people on the altar of their superpower ambitions.

  He hated them all, especially today.

  “There are no civilians in Idlib, Captain,” Grechko said. “Only Al-Nusra bandits, the women who breed them, and the children who become either bandits or breeders. This is a war of demographics. We must fight accordingly.”

  This wasn’t the war Walib had volunteered to fight. He never imagined the terrible weapons under his command would be used to slaughter innocents.

  But if he disobeyed Grechko’s order, the Russian would pull his nine-millimeter Grach pistol out of its holster and splatter his brains against the BMP’s steel hull, and simply order one of Walib’s lieutenants in the other vehicles to fire.

  Nothing would be accomplished except that Walib would be dead in exchange for a few minutes of respite for the doomed civilians.

  He hated himself. He hated this war.

  But he hated dying needlessly even more.

  “Just checking the spin on the number-eleven gyro,” Walib said. A convenient lie. “Good to go.”

  “Then you’re free to launch. Proceed at once.” Grechko’s drooping bulldog eyes narrowed.

  “Yes, sir.” Walib flipped the safety cap on the launch button and jabbed it before he could change his mind.

  Instantly, the French-designed, solid-fuel motors on the 122-millimeter rockets fired. The roar was terrifying, like the shout of God himself, even inside the idling command vehicle. Each half second, another nine-and-a-half-foot-long missile screamed out of its tube. A full-throated chorus of death.

  Thirty-five seconds later, all 420 missiles had launched, lofting nearly fifteen tons of thermobaric munitions into the air. The TOS-2 master fire-control computer coordinated the launch timing and trajectories so that all of the warheads arrived on target simultaneously, avoiding warhead fratricide and increasing the explosive effects.

 
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