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Attack of the Seawolf


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Доступ к книге ограничен фрагменом по требованию правообладателя.

To Theresa Lynn, Matthew Robert, and Maria Dean

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This book, and an entire writing career, is the result of a long chain of people, all of them extraordinary.

The line certainly begins with parents and extends through teachers and mentors, commanding officers and colleagues. To those who have helped on the way, I offer my thanks:

To Donald I. Fine, the giant of publishing who taught me the hard parts and was patient with me when I might not have deserved it.

To Natasha Kern, my agent, the first to see something in the words I wrote.

To Alice Price, who convinced Natasha that what she saw was not a mirage.

To Adam Levison, an editor who listened and explained.

To Barbara Field for her superb illustrations, and for her willingness to learn the insides of a nuclear submarine to make them.

To Andrew Hoffer, production manager, who made it seem easy.

To Richard Mareinko, the venerable commander and founder of SEAL Team Six, a daring and creative Navy SEAL who revolutionized modern special warfare commando techniques, whose life stories came to me not only from his excellent book Rogue Warrior but from Bique family folklore and the girl who used to babysit his kids.

To Lieutenant Commander David De Longa Ph.D., my old roommate from MIT,

Scuba School, and the USS Hammerhead, who opened up the world of deep diving submersibles and showed me exactly how one goes about flying a helicopter.

To the officers and men of the U.S. Submarine Force, especially the alumni of the USS Hammerhead, SSN-663, and especially to Commander Tim Mulcare, now executive officer of the Norfolk, who showed me the workings of a 688 class.

To every teacher who cared, particularly those at Ballard H.S. in Louisville, KY.” and at Annapolis.

And, of course, to Mom and Dad.

EPIGRAPH

He who will not risk cannot win.

— John Paul Jones

Pick out the biggest and commence firing.

— Captain Mike Moran, USS Boise.

Fight her till she sinks and don’t give up the ship.

— Captain James Lawrence of the USS Chesapeake, as he was carried below, mortally wounded, in his losing fight with the HMS Shannon.

The colors must never be struck.

— Lieutenant William Burrows, USS Enterprise, 1813.

Take her down.

— Commander Howard Gilmore, aboard the World War II submarine USS Growler, ordering his crew to leave him on deck, wounded as he was, and submerge to save the ship.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES

I. I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

II. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.

III. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

IV. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

V. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am bound to give only name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

VI. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

PROLOGUE

WEDNESDAY. 1 MAY
LO YANG HONAN PROVINCE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Even in the moonless night, the KL-87’s digital infrared camera captured the endless rows of crudely camouflaged People’s Liberation Army tanks, the Main Force Battalion that was waiting to ambush the opposition White Army brigade advancing from the west.

Su Lee snapped off the images, the photos captured on the camera’s computer memory, satisfied that she had gotten it all. After one last glance at the huge armored force in the valley below, she climbed back onto the rickety bicycle for the trip back to the village, to her room in the women’s dormitory of the farming cooperative. Although it was risky to be out in the middle of the night, her situation gave her an implied cover — as a former prostitute under rehabilitation, her nocturnal activities would immediately be assumed to do with her original crime. No one would suspect her of espionage. Unless they found the KL-87’s digital camera in her bag. And who would want to search a prostitute’s handbag?

She pedaled through the moonlit night back to the village, past the sleepy and shabby buildings of the farm cooperative, until she reached the hut of her own co-op. She parked the bicycle against the building and slowly climbed the creaking stairs to her tiny room.

She shut the door behind her, set the digital imager on the bed, and pulled the remainder of the KL-87 set from its hiding place in her beat-up suitcase, wrapped securely in old clothes.

The KL-87 was a three-module secure communications system, newly developed in the United States by DynaCorp International. The first module was the digital imager, a camera that took photographs recorded not on film but on a computer hard disk for later uplink by the transmitter module. The second piece was a small computer keyboard and tilting screen, used for typing in a message and encoding it. The third module was the transmitter antenna assembly, which took the encrypted messages and digital camera images and uplinked them on a time-varying secure UHF frequency to an orbiting U.S. communications satellite in a geosynchronous orbit over the western Pacific. The entire kit, when stowed, took up no more room than two shoe boxes, but weighed a solid ten pounds.

Su Lee checked the door and the window, then sat on the bed to begin her typing, the message introducing the uplink of the photos with a brief verbal description of the P.L.A force strength. She typed in the instructions for encoding the message, plugged in the digital imager, tied in the transmitter, and hit the two key combination ordering the unit to transmit. Satisfied, she watched as the unit transmitted the signals to the satellite above. It was unfortunate that the photographs contained so much data — the transmission would take almost fifteen minutes to uplink all the bits from the photos. Su was about to cover the KL-87 with a bundle of clothing from the suitcase when the door crashed open.

Su Lee stared down the barrels of three AK-47 automatic rifles held by three Red Guards. She felt a burst of adrenaline, a flash of raw fear, soaking her armpits, nauseating her stomach. In reflex, she plunged her hands under the KL-87, getting under its weight, and threw the connected modules at the first of the Red Guards. As the unit flew through the air, Su turned and plunged through the window, falling the twenty feet to the street below. Pain shot through her chest as ribs punctured lungs. Blood spurted from her neck, her flesh ripped apart by the fall through the window’s thick glass. Su pressed a hand to her neck, the slick warm liquid soaking her arm. Above her, rifle fire sounded in the room, blowing the remainder of the glass from the window, showering her with fragments. One guardsman appeared at the window while footprints sounded on the street coming from the direction of the door.

By now blood surrounded Su. She couldn’t move her legs, and the boots of the guards were thumping closer. Agony flooded her, more at being caught than at her injuries. In a savage movement of her free arm she pulled out the hem of her tunic, and with it, two tiny white pills she had carried with her since her arrival at Loyang. She bit both of them and swallowed, an almond bitterness filling her mouth.

By the time the guardsmen arrived to drag her up by her arms, Su Lee was dead.

LANGLEY, VIRGINIA HEADQUARTERS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Director Robert M. Kent frowned as he put the coffee mug down on his desk. The brew had gone cold and bitter. He looked up at Steve Jaspers, the Deputy Director of Operations, and accepted the briefing folders Jaspers handed over.

“The China penetration operation has derailed, sir,” Jaspers said without preamble, sinking into a couch in front of Kent’s large desk.

“Six penetration agents were sent in. Two were lost on insertion, the other four reported they were set up and in position, but as of now the final four are compromised.”

“Details,” Kent said, opening the folder to the first page, showing a passport photo of an attractive young oriental woman and beneath it a summary of her background.

“The first was a contractor, operational name, Su Lee. She was dropped into Loyang in the Province of Honan south of the Yellow River. The territory is still in Communist hands, but only miles from forces of the White Army, which we believed were massing for an attack. Su was given identity papers as a relocating Beijing resident. The relocation was for political reasons — she was listed as a convicted prostitute, sent out to a farm co-op as ‘rehabilitation.” We got her initial report on the KL-87 that she had picked up on rumors of White Army forces preparing for an attack from the west with the People’s Liberation Army forces waiting for a counterattack to the east. She intended taking the digital imaging camera to the P.L.A troop encampment first. Apparently she was successful. The images had just started to come in on her second KL87 transmission, which ended suddenly. Nothing more was heard from her.

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