Combat ops, p.1
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       Combat Ops, p.1

           Tom Clancy
Download  in MP3 audio
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Combat Ops


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Acknowledgements

  Epigraph

  ONE

  TWO

  THREE

  FOUR

  FIVE

  SIX

  SEVEN

  EIGHT

  NINE

  TEN

  ELEVEN

  TWELVE

  THIRTEEN

  FOURTEEN

  FIFTEEN

  SIXTEEN

  SEVENTEEN

  EIGHTEEN

  NINETEEN

  TWENTY

  TWENTY-ONE

  TWENTY-TWO

  TWENTY-THREE

  TWENTY-FOUR

  TWENTY-FIVE

  TWENTY-SIX

  TWENTY-SEVEN

  TWENTY-EIGHT

  TWENTY-NINE

  THIRTY

  EPILOGUE

  THE BESTSELLING NOVELS OF

  TOM CLANCY

  THE TEETH OF THE TIGER

  A new generation—Jack Ryan, Jr.—takes over in Tom Clancy’s extraordinary, and extraordinarily prescient, novel.

  “INCREDIBLY ADDICTIVE.”

  —Daily Mail (London)

  RED RABBIT

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

  “A WILD, SATISFYING RIDE.”

  —New York Daily News

  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 backstreets 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

  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

  THE TEETH OF THE TIGER

  DEAD OR ALIVE

  (written with Grant Blackwood)

  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, Jr., Ret., and Tony Koltz)

  EVERY MAN A TIGER

  (written with General Chuck Horner, Ret., and Tony Koltz)

  SHADOW WARRIORS: INSIDE THE SPECIAL FORCES

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

  BATTLE READY

  (written with General Tony Zinni, Ret., and Tony Koltz)

  TOM CLANCY’S HAWX

  TOM CLANCY’S GHOST RECON

  GHOST RECON

  COMBAT OPS

  TOM CLANCY’S ENDWAR

  ENDWAR

  THE HUNTED

  TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL

  SPLINTER CELL

  OPERATION BARRACUDA

  CHECKMATE

  FALLOUT

  CONVICTION

  ENDGAME

  Created by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik

  TOM CLANCY’S OP-CENTER

  OP-CENTER

  MIRROR IMAGE

  GAMES OF STATE

  ACTS OF WAR

  BALANCE OF POWER

  STATE OF SIEGE

  DIVIDE AND CONQUER

  LINE OF CONTROL

  MISSION OF HONOR

  SEA OF FIRE

  CALL TO TREASON

  WAR OF EAGLES

  TOM CLANCY’S NET FORCE

  NET FORCE

  HIDDEN AGENDAS

  NIGHT MOVES

  BREAKING POINT

  POINT OF IMPACT

  CYBERNATION

  STATE OF WAR

  CHANGING OF THE GUARD

  SPRINGBOARD

  THE ARCHIMEDES EFFECT

  Created by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg

  TOM CLANCY’S POWER PLAYS

  POLITIKA

  RUTHLESS.COM

  SHADOW WATCH

  BIO-STRIKE

  COLD WAR

  CUTTING EDGE

  ZERO HOUR

  WILD CARD

  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), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore
0632, 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.

  TOM CLANCY’S GHOST RECON®: COMBAT OPS

  A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with Ubisoft Entertainment S.A.

  PRINTING HISTORY

  Berkley premium edition / April 2011

  Copyright © 2011 by Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. All rights reserved. Tom Clancy, Ghost Recon, the Soldier Icon, Ubisoft, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and in other countries.

  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.

  eISBN : 978-1-101-47784-7

  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 of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  http://us.penguingroup.com

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  I’d like to thank my editor, Mr. Tom Colgan, for this great opportunity.

  Mr. Tom Clancy and all of the folks at Ubisoft who created the Ghost Recon game certainly deserve my gratitude, as well as the following individuals:

  Mr. Sam Strachman of Longtail Studios helped me develop this story from the ground up. His contributions were great, and his willingness to take risks with the story and characters was deeply appreciated.

  Mr. James Ide served as my military researcher and story expert. He reviewed every page, relying on his extensive military background to provide criticism, advice, and suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript.

  Finally, Nancy, Lauren, and Kendall Telep offered their eternal patience and support. Every manuscript is a battle, and I’m fortunate to have these ladies in my platoon.

  Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,

  Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.

  —Titus Andronicus, Act II, sc. 3, 1. 38

  The sword is ever suspended.

  —Voltaire

  PROLOGUE

  “You think I’m guilty?” I ask her.

  She smirks. “My opinion doesn’t matter.”

  “It does to me.”

  “How do you expect me to formulate an opinion when I don’t know your story?”

  I sigh through a curse.

  My name is Captain Scott Mitchell, United States Army. I’m a member of a Special Forces group called the Ghosts. When I’m on the job, out on a mission, I don’t exist. I’d thought we operated with impunity.

  But when I was ordered back home and confined to quarters, I realized everything had changed. The same organization that helped conceal my operations and erase all evidence of the people I’d killed had been forced to make an example of me. They had changed. I had changed. And we could never go back.

  People don’t have to talk. They can invite you to kiss them . . . or even kill them with their eyes. Talk is cheap, but I’ve crawled through enough rat holes to learn that for some, life is even cheaper.

  I had permission. I did what I had to do. They say I had a choice, but I didn’t. I have never done anything more difficult in my life.

  And now they want me to pay for my sins.

  I haven’t slept in two days. The growing humidity here at Fort Bragg makes it harder to breathe, and when I go to the window and run a finger across the glass, it comes up sweaty. The humidity is all I have to keep me company.

  My father taught me that it’s easier to cut wood with the grain rather than against it, and I carried that simple metaphor into the Army. I promised myself to remain apolitical, do the missions, go with the grain, not because I was trying to cop out but because I just wanted to be a great soldier. I’d already seen what torn loyalties and jealousy could do to the warrior spirit, and I wanted to protect myself against that.

  But for what? My life is now a blade caught in a heavy knot, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared out of my mind. I’m fourteen again, and Dad’s telling me that Mom just died, and I’m worried about how we’ll get along when she did so much—when she was the person who held our family together. When I think about going to prison, I lose my breath. It’s a panic attack, and all I can do is hide behind sarcasm and belligerence.

  Blaisdell, who’s shaking her head at me now, showed up three hours late with some bullshit excuse about a deposition running long, and I told her to have a seat at my little kitchen table so we can talk about saving my life. She gave me a look. She’s a major with the JAG corps, probably about my age, thirty-six or so, with rectangular glasses that suggest bitch rather than scholar. I hate her.

  Now she lifts her chin and grimaces. “Is that you?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “That smell . . .”

  I scratch at my beard, rake fingers through my crew cut. All right, I hadn’t bathed in a couple of days, either, and I’d been growing the beard for the past month.

  “You want to wait while I take a shower?”

  “Look, Captain, I’m doing this as a favor to Brown’s sister, but you can hire your own attorney.”

  I shake my head. “Before I shipped back home, Brown told me about some of the other cases you did, maybe a little similar to mine.”

  She sighs deeply. “Not similar. Not as many witnesses. Some reasonable doubt—the chance that maybe it was just an accident. Everything I’ve read in your case says this was hardly an accident.”

  “No, it certainly wasn’t.”

  “And you understand that you could lose everything and spend the rest of your life in Leavenworth?”

  I stare back at her, unflinching. “You want a drink? I mean as in alcohol . . .”

  “No. And you shouldn’t have one, either. Because if you want me to help you, I need to know everything. The narrative they gave me is their point of view. I need yours.”

  “You don’t even know what unit I work for. They won’t tell you. They just say D Company, First Battalion, Fifth Special Forces Group. You ever hear of the Ghosts?”

  “No.”

  “I didn’t think so. They want plausible deniability. Well, they got it, all right, and now I’m the fall guy.”

  “You’re not the fall guy. From what I read, no one forced you to do anything.”

  I lower my voice. “I went to a briefing. They showed me a PowerPoint slide of the situation over there. It was supposed to illustrate the complexity of our mission. Somebody said the graph looked like a bowl of spaghetti, and guys were laughing. But you know what I was thinking? Nothing. I didn’t care.”

  “Why’s that?”

  “They gave me a mission, and I tried to put on the blinders. I went in, and I got the job done. Usually I never give a crap about the politics. I don’t feed the machine. I am the machine. But this . . . this wasn’t a mission. This isn’t a war. It’s an illusion of understanding and control. They think they can color-code it, but they have no idea what’s going on out there. You need to stand in the dirt, look around, a
nd realize that it’s just . . . I don’t even know what the hell it is . . .”

  She purses her lips. And now she’s looking at me like I’m a stereotypical burned-out warrior with a new drinking problem and personal hygiene challenges. Screw her.

  “You don’t care what I think, do you?” I ask.

  “I’m here to defend you.”

  I take a deep breath. “That sounds like an inconvenience.”

  “Captain, I know where this is coming from, and I’ve seen it before. You’re angry and upset, but you’d best not forget that I’m all you’ve got right now.”

  “I’ll ask you again, do you think I’m guilty?”

  She dismisses my question with a wave. “Start at the beginning, and I need to record you.” She reaches into her fancy leather tote bag and produces a small tablet computer with attached camera that she places on the table. The camera automatically pivots toward me.

  I make a face at the lens, then rise and head toward the kitchen counter, where my bottle of cheap scotch awaits. I pour myself a glass and return to the table. She’s scowling at me and checks her smartphone.

  “Oh, I’m sorry if you don’t have the time for this,” I say, then sip my drink.

  “Captain . . .”

  “You got any kids?”

  She rolls her eyes. “We’re not here to talk about me.”

  “I’m just asking you a question.”

  “As a matter of fact, I do.”

  I grin slightly. “How many?”

  “I have two daughters.”

  “You don’t know how lucky you are.”

  “Can we get on with this now? I assume you know about attorney-client privilege? Anything you share about the mission will remain classified, compartmentalized, and confidential, of course.”

 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll
Add comment

Add comment