Tom Clancy – Op Center 6 State Of Siege

Meanwhile, Rodgers Said That He’d Call Striker And Put Them On Yellow Alert, In Case They Were Needed. Along With The Rest Of Op-Center, The Elite, Twenty-One-Person Rapid-Deployment Force Was Based At The Fbi Academy In Quantico. They Could Get To The United Nations In Well Under An Hour If Necessary.

Rodgers Hoped The Precautions Would Not Be Necessary.

Unfortunately, Terrorists Who Started Out With Murder Had Nothing To Lose By Killing Again. Besides, For Nearly Half A Century, Terrorism Had Proven Impervious To Conciliatory, United Nation Sstyle Diplomacy.

Hope, He Thought Bitterly. What Was It Some Play Wright Or Scholar Had Once Written? That Hope Is The Feeling You Have That The Feeling You Have Isn’t Permanent. Rodgers Finished Dressing, Then Hurried Into The Fading Light And Climbed Into His Car. His Own Concerns Were Forgotten As He Headed South Along The George Washington Memorial Parkway To Op-Center. To Help Rescue A Girl From Renegades.

Andrews Air Farce Base, Maryland Saturday, 8:37 P.M. Forty Years Ago, At The Peals Of The Cold War, The Nondescript, Two-Story Building In The Northeast Corner Of Andrews Air Force Base Was A Ready Room. It Was The Staging Area For Elite Flight Crews Known As The Ravens. In The Event Of A Nuclear Attack, It Would Have Been The Job Of The Ravens To Evacuate Key Government And Military Officials From Washington, D.C., And Relocate Them In An Underground Facility In The Blue Ridge Mountains. But The Ivory-Colored Building Was Not A Monument To Another Era. There Were Gardens In The Dirt Patches Where Soldiers Used To Drill, And The Seventy-Eight People Who Worked Here Were Not All In Uniform.

They Were Handpicked Tacticians, Generals, Diplomats, Intelligence Analysts, Computer Specialists, Psychologists, Reconnaissance Experts, Environmentalists, Attorneys, And Press Liaisons Who Worked For The National Crisis Management Center. After A Two-Year Tooling-Up Period Overseen By Interim Director Bob Herbert, The Former Ready Room Became A High-Tech Operations Center Designed To Interface Withand Assist The White House, The National Reconnaissance Office, The Central Intelligence Agency, The National Security Agency, The State Department, The Department Of Defense, The Defense Intelligence Agency, The Federal Bureau Of Investigation, Interpol, And Numerous Foreign Intelligence Agencies In The Management Of Domestic And International Crises. However, After Single-Handedly Defusing The Crises In North Korea And Russia, Op-Center Proved Itself Uniquely Qualified To Monitor, Initiate, Or Manage Operations Worldwide. All Of That Had Happened During Paul Hood’s Watch. General Mike Rodgers Stopped His Jeep At The Security Gate. An Air Force Guard Stepped From The Booth. Though Rodgers Was Not In Uniform, The Young Sergeant Saluted And Raised The Iron Bar. Rodgers Drove Through. Although It Was Paul Hood Who Had Run The Show, Rodgers Had Been A Hands-On Participant In Every Decision And In Several Of The Military Actions. He Was Eager To Handle The Crisis At Hand, Especially If They Could Work This In The Way He Knew Best: Independently And Covertly.

Rodgers Parked And Jogged As Quickly As His Tight Bandages Would Allow. He Passed Through The Keypad Entry On The Ground Floor Of Op-Center. After Greeting The Armed Guards Seated Behind The Bulletproof Lexan, Rodgers Hurried Through The First-Floor Administrative Level. The Real Activity Of Op-Center Took Place In The Secure, Below-Ground Facility.

Emerging In The Heart Of Op-Center, Known As The Bullpen, Rodgers Moved Quickly Through The Checker-Board Of Cubicles To The Executive Wing.

The Offices Were Arrayed In A Semicircle On The North Side Of The Facility. He Bypassed His Own Office And Went Directly To The Conference Room, Which Attorney Lowell Coffey Iii Had Dubbed “The Tank.” The Walls, Floor, Door, And Ceiling Of The Tank Were All Covered With Sound-Absorbing Strips Of Mottled Gray And Black Acoustix; Behind The Strips Were Several Layers Of Cork, A Foot Of Concrete, And More Acoustix. In The Midst Of The Concrete, On All Six Sides Of The Room, Was A Pair Of Wire Grids That Generated Vacillating Audio Waves. Electronically, Nothing Could Enter Or Leave The Room. In Order To Receive Calls From His Cell Phone, Rodgers Had To Stop And Program The Phone To Forward Calls To His Office And Then To Here.

Bob Herbert Was Already There, Along With Coffey, Ann Farris, Liz Gordon, And Matt Stoll. All Had Been Off Duty But Came In So That The Weekend Night Crew Could Continue To Attend To Regular Op-Center Business. The Concern Everyone Felt Was Palpable. “Thanks For Coming,” Rodgers Said As He Swung Into The Room. He Shut The Door Behind Him And Took His Seat At The Head Of The Oblong Mahogany Table. There Were Computer Stations At Either End Of The Table And Telephones At Each Of The Twelve Chairs. “Mike, You Spoke With Paul?” Ann Asked.

“Yes.” “How Is He?” She Asked.

“Paul And Sharon Are Both Worried,” Rodgers Said Curtly. The General Kept His Conversations With Ann As Short As Possible With As Little Eye Contact As Possible. He Didn’t Care For The Press, And He Didn’t Like Spinning It. His Idea Of Press Relations Was To Tell The Truth Or To Say Nothing. But Above All, He Didn’t Approve Of Ann’s Fascination With Paul Hood. It Was Partly A Moral Issue–Hood Was Married-And Partly A Practical One. They All Had To Work Together. Sexual Chemistry Was Unavoidable, But “Dr.” Farris Never Took Off Her Lab Coat When She Was Around Hood.

If Ann Noticed, She Didn’t React.

“I Told Paul We’d Let Him Know When We Have Something,” Rodgers Said. “But I Don’t Want To Call Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary. If Paul Doesn’t Get Evacuated, He May Try To Get Closer To The Situation. I Don’t Want The Phone Beeping While He’s Got His Ear To A Closed Door.” “Besides Which,” Stoll Said, “That Line’s Not Exactly Secure.” Rodgers Nodded. He Looked Over At Herbert. “I Phoned Colonel August On The Way Over. He’s Got Striker On Yellow Alert And Is Checking The Dod Database For Everything They’ve Got On The United Nations Complex.” “The Cia Did A Pretty Thorough Job Of Mapping The Place While It Was Going Up,” Herbert Said. “I’m Sure There’ll Be A Lot On File.” Well-Dressed Attorney Lowell Coffey Iii Was Seated To Rodgers’s Left. “You Understand, Mike, That The United States Has Absolutely No Jurisdiction Anywhere On The Grounds Of The United Nations,” He Pointed Out. “Not Even The Nypd Can Go In There Without Being Asked.” “I Understand,” Rodgers Said.

“Do You Care?” Liz Gordon Asked.

Rodgers Looked At The Husky Staff Psychologist Who Was Seated Next To Coffey.

“Only About Harleigh Hood And The Other Kids In The Security Council Chamber,” He Replied.

Liz Looked Like She Wanted To Say Something. She Didn’t. She Didn’t Have To. Rodgers Could See The Disapproval In Her Expression. When He Came Back From The Middle East, She’d Talked To Him About Not Taking Out His Anger And Despair On Other Targets.

He Didn’t Think He Was. These People, Whoever They Were, Had Earned His Anger On Their Own. Rodgers Turned To Herbert, Who Was Sitting To His Right. “Is There Any Intel On Whoever Did This?” Herbert Sat Forward In His Wheelchair. “Nothing,” Said The Balding Intelligence Chief. “The Perps Came In With A Van.

We Got The License Number Off The Tv And Chased It Down To The Rental Car Agency. The Guy It Was Rented To, Ilya Gaft, Is A Fake.” “He Had To Show A Driver’s License To The Clerk,” Rodgers Said. Herbert Nodded. “And It Checked Out With The Department Of Motor Vehicles Until We Asked For His File. There Wasn’t One. A Counterfeit License Is Pretty Easy To Get.” Rodgers Nodded.

“There Was Triple Security On Board For This Soiree,” Herbert Said. “I Had A Look At The Comparable Figures From Last Year’s Bash. The Problem Is, They Were All Concentrated Pretty Much At The Three Drive-Through Check-Points And In The Square North Of The United Nations. These Perps Apparently Blew Their Way Through The Concrete Barrier Using A Rocket Launcher, Then Drove Across The Courtyard And Right Into The Damned.: Building. Shot Everyone They Came Up Against Before Holing Up Inside The Security Council.” “And There’s Been No Word From Them?” Rodgers Asked. “Not A Whisper,” Herbert Said.

“I Called Darrell Over In Spain. He Called Someone At Interpol In Madrid Who Is Close To People At Un Security. They Got In Touch Immediately. As Soon As They Hear Anything About What’s Inside The Van Or The Kind Of Weapons These Guys Used, We’ll Know.” “What About The Un? Have They Said Anything About This Publicly?” Rodgers Asked Ann.

“Nothing,” She Told Him. “No Spokesperson Has Come Out.” “No Statement To The Press?” Ann Shook Her Head. “The Un Information Service Is Not A Rapid-Response Force.” “The United Nations’s Not A Rapid-Response Anything,” Herbert Said Disgustedly. “The Guy Darrell’s Friend At Interpol Calledhe’s A Personal Aide To A Colonel Rick Mott, Who’s The Head Of United Nations Security. The Aide Said That They Hadn’t Even Collected The Spent Shells From Outside The Security Council Chamber Yet, Let Alone Checked Them For Fingerprints Or Provenance. And That Was About Thirty-Five Minutes After This Whole Thing Started. They Were Just Getting Themselves Organized To Look At Tapes From The Security Cameras And Then Go Into A Meeting With The Secretary-General.” “They’re Good At Meetings,” Rodgers Said.

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