Tom Clancy – Op Center 6 State Of Siege

A Monster Named Ivan Georgiev.

New York, New York Saturday, 11:35 P.M.

Hood Felt Lonely And Scared As He Rode The Elevator To The Seventhfloor Lounge Of The State Department. That Was Where The Other Parents Were Waiting.

There Was No One Else In The Elevator; Just His Own Sorry Reflection, Distorted And Tinted By The Highly Polished Gold-Colored Walls.

If He Weren’t Certain That Security Cameras Were Watching Him And That He’d End Up Getting Hauled Away As A Menace, Hood Would Have Screamed And Thrown Uppercuts At The Air. He Was Deeply Worried About The Rumors Of A Shooting, And He Was Miserable Being On The Sidelines.

The Elevator Door Opened, And As Hood Stepped Toward The Security Desk, His Cell Phone Beeped.

He Stopped Walking And Turned His Back On The Guard Before Answering.

“Yes?” He Said.

“Paul, It’s Bob. Is Mike With You?” Hood Knew Herbert’s Voice Very Well. The Intelligence Chief Was Talking Fast, Which Meant That He Was Worried About Something. “Mike Went To See That Local Office Manager You Told Him About. Why?” Hood Knew That Herbert Would Have To Speak Obliquely, Since This Was A Potentially Open Line. “Because There Are Two People In The Target Zone That He Needs To Know About,” Herbert Said.

“What Kind Of People?” Hood Pressed.

“Heavy-Duty Rappers,” Herbert Replied.

People With Rap Sheets, A Long History Of No Good.

This Was Maddening. He Had To Know More.

“Their Presence And The Timing Could Be A Coincidence,” Herbert Said, “But I Don’t Want To Risk It.

I’ll Call Mike At The Other Office.” Hood Walked Back To The Elevator And Pushed The Button. “I’ll Be There When You Do,” He Said.

“What’s The Name?” “Doyle Shipping.” “Thanks,” Hood Said As The Elevator Arrived.

He Folded Up The Phone And Stepped Inside.

Sharon Would Never Forgive Him For This. Never. And He Wouldn’t Blame Her. She Was Not Only Alone Among Strangers, But He Was Certain The State Department Wasn’t Telling The Parents Anything. But If The Terrorists Had Associates On The Inside That No One Else Knew About, He Wanted To Be On Hand To Help Rodgers And August Think Things Through.

On The Way Down, Hood Pulled His Op-Center Id From His Wallet. He Hurried Through The Lobby Back To First Avenue And Ran Across The Street And Up Four Blocks. He Flashed The Id To An Nypd Guard Who Had Been Posted Outside The United Nations Plaza Towers. Though The Towers Were Not Part Of The Un Complex Per Se, A Lot Of Delegates Maintained Offices Here. He Went Inside.

Hood Was Breathless As He Signed The Security Register And Went To The First Bank Of Elevators That Led To The Lower Floors. He Still Wanted To Scream And Punch The Air. But At Least He Was Going To Get Involved In What Was Going On. At Least He Would Have Something To Focus On Other Than Fear. Not Hope, But Something Almost As Good.

An Offensive.

New York, New York Saturday, 11:36 P.M It Was Him.

The Flat Voice, The Cruel Eyes, The Arrogant Carriage-It Was Him, Damn His Soul. Ty Sokha Couldn’t Believe That After Nearly Ten Years They Had Found Ivan Georgiev. Now That She’d Heard His Voice Beneath The Mask, Been Close Enough To Smell His Sweat, She Knew Which Of These Monsters It Was.

Several Months Before, An Arms Dealer Named Ustinoviks, Who Provided The Khmer Rouge With Weapons, Had Been Asked To Talk To Georgiev About A Buy. An Informant With The Khmer Rouge Knew That Ty And Sary Hang Were Looking For Him. The Informant Sold Them The Name Of The Arms Dealer. Though They Had Missed The Bulgarian When He Came To New York To Talk To Ustinoviks The First Time, They Managed To Get To Ustinoviks After Georgiev Had Gone. The Offer They Made The Russian Was Simple: Let Them Know When He Was Coming To Pick Up His Weapons Or They Would Turn Ustinoviks Over To The American Fbi.

The Russian Had Let Them Know When Georgiev Was Scheduled To Pick Up His Purchase With The Provision That They Didn’t Take Him At That Time. They Agreed. As It Happened, They Didn’t Want Him Then. They Wanted Him Doing Whatever It Was He’d Come Here For, When The Rest Of The World Could See, When They Could Draw Attention To Their Own People, Put An End To The Countless Murders In Which They’d Taken Part As They Tried To Stop The Khmer Rouge And Undermine The Pathetically Weak Government Of Norodom Sihanouk. They’d Watched Georgiev’s Team Make Their Buy From The Roof Of The Club Next Door To The Shop Owned By Ustinoviks. Ty Couldn’t Really See Him Clearly Then. Not As Clearly As She Had When She’d Been At The Un Camp, Working As A Cook, Watching For Khmer Rouge Infiltrators And Seeing The Degrading Things For Which Georgiev Was Responsible.

But The Government Couldn’t Do Anything Without Proof Of What Was Going On, And Anyone Who Tried To Get That Proofor Who Tried To Get Away, Like Poor Phum Had Died. After Georgiev And His People Made Their Arms Purchase, Ty And Hang Followed Them Back To Their Hotel. The Adjoining Rooms Had Been Booked, So They Took The Room Beneath Theirs. They Ran A Wire Through The Ceiling Fixture To The Floor Of His Room, Attached A Sound Amplifier, And Listened As Georgiev And His Allies Reviewed Their Plans.

Then They’d Gone To The Permanent Mission Of The Kingdom Of Cambodia Across The Street And Waited.

Ty Sokha Turned Her Large, Dark Eyes From The Stricken Young Girl Lying Beside Her. The One Who Was Barely Older Than Phum Had Been When She’d Been Murdered By One Of Georgiev’s Thugs. Ty Looked Over At Sary Hang, Who Was Sitting On The Floor, Inside The Circular Table. The Cambodian Operative Had Shifted His Position Slightly So That He Could See Ty Without Seeming To Watch Her. She Nodded. He Nodded Back.

When Georgiev Came Back Down The Stairs, It Would Be Time.

New York, New York Saturday, 11:37 P Dism.

Georgiev Stopped When He Reached The Double Doors At The Back Of The Security Council Chamber. He Was Holding His Automatic, Though He Didn’t Think He Would Need It. Reynold Downer Was Standing To The Right Of The Doors. He Had A Weapon In Either Hand. “Are You Going To Let Her In?” Downer Whispered. “No,” Georgiev Said. “I’m Going Out There.”.

Georgiev Could See That Downer Was Surprised, Even Through His Mask. “In God’s Name Why?” “They Need A Lesson In Futility,” Georgiev Explained.

“Futility? They’ll Take You Hostage!” Downer Said. The Secretary-General Spoke Again. She Asked To Be Admitted.

“They Wouldn’t Take The Chance,” Georgiev Told Downer. “This Will Convince Them They Have No Choice But To Cooperate, And Quickly.” “You’re Sounding Like A Bloody Diplomat Now. What About Them Recognizing Your Accent?” “I’ll Speak Softly And Deeply,” Georgiev Said. “They’ll Probably Assume I’m Russian.” Now That He Thought Of It, He Would Enjoy It If This Entire Takeover Were Blamed On Moscow Or The Russian Mafia.

“I Don’t Agree With This,” Downer Said. “I Bloody Don’t.” You Wouldn’t, Georgiev Thought.

Downer Only Knew How To Bully, Not How To Finesse.

“I’ll Be All Right,” Georgiev Said.

Slowly, He Reached For The Knob On The Left-Side Door. He Turned And Pushed The Door Open A Crack. Mala Chatterjee Was Standing There, Her Arms Straight At Her Sides, Her Shoulders And Head Back. Behind Her Several Paces Was Her Head Of Security. Beyond Him, Georgiev Could See A Few Of The Security Guards With Their Blast Shields.

Chatterjee’s Face Was Calm But Resolute; The Officer Looked As Though He Wanted To Snort Fire.

Georgiev Liked That In An Adversary. It Kept One From Becoming Complacent. “I’d Like To Speak With You,” Chatterjee Said. “Tell Everyone To Step Back, Past The Council Chambers,” Georgiev Said. He Didn’t Feel It Was Necessary To Add That If Anything Happened To Him, The Hostages Would Suffer. Chatterjee Turned And Nodded To Colonel Mott. Mott Motioned For The Rest Of The Security Team To Step Away.

They Did. Mott Remained Where He Was.

“Everyone,” Georgiev Said.

“It’s All Right, Colonel,” Chatterjee Said Without Turning. “Madam Secretary– “Go, Please,” She Said Firmly.

Mott Exhaled Through His Nose, Then Turned And Joined His Security Team. He Stood Nearly Thirty Feet Away, Glaring At Georgiev. That Was Good, Georgiev Thought. She Had Just Emasculated Her Chief Of Security. The Colonel Now Looked Like He Wanted To Draw His Gun And Put A Bullet In Georgiev. Chatterjee Continued To Stare At The Bulgarian. “Now, You Step Back,” Georgiev Said.

She Seemed Surprised. “You Want Me To Step Back?” He Nodded. She Took Three Steps Back, Then Stopped. Georgiev Opened The Door Farther. Shields Rose Slightly As Arms Tensed Behind Them. He Could See A Ripple Of Anxiety Roll Across The Security Team. He Hoped The Secretary-General Could See, Could Feel How Impossible Her Position Was. Talkers And Poor, Untested Schoolboys Were All She Had In Her Corner.

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