Tom Clancy – Op Center 6 State Of Siege

All Of Op-Center’s Executive Officers Had Taken Extensive Weapons Training, Since They Were Likely Targets Of Terrorism. Right Now, Hood Didn’t Think He Would Have Any Trouble Firing At Annabelle Hampton. And It Wasn’t Only Because She Had Betrayed Them. It Was Because Rodgers Was So Completely Prepared, So Much In Charge, That There Was No Questioning His Orders. Which Was What Military Leadership Was All About.

“I’ll Also Need You To Try What You Suggested Before.” “Chatterjee?” Rodgers Nodded. “I Know It’s A Long Shot, But Explain What’s Going To Happen. If She Doesn’t Want To Cooperate, Tell Her There’s Nothing She Can Do To Stop What We’ve Set In-Was “I Know The Drill,” Hood Said.

“Right,” Rodgers Said. “Sorry.

Tell Her There’s Only One Thing I Want From Her And Her People.” “What’s That?” Hood Asked.

Rodgers Looked For The Exit Sign And Then Hurried Toward The Stairs. “To Stay Out Of Our Way.” New York, New York Sunday, 12:05 A.

Colonel Brett August Moved Like A Leopard Through The Silent Park. There Were No Helicopters Positioned Over This Sector, Their Lights Were All On The Un And Its Immediate Approaches. Save For The Spillover From The Spotlights Around The Un Complex, The Grounds Were Dark.

August’s Stride Was Long And Sure, His Body Bent Low, His Balance Perfect. The High Stakes Energized Rather Than Daunted Him. Despite The Odds Against Him, He Was Eager To Engage, Eager To Test Himself.

And Despite The Fact That Nothing Was Ever Guaranteed In Combat, He Was Confident Confident Of His Training, His Abilities, And The Necessity Of What He Was Doing.

He Was Also Confident Of The Plan. What General Rodgers Had Said About The Chaotic, Quicksilver Nature Of Combat Was Absolutely True. And The Bottleneck Gave A Unit The Ability To Contain It Somewhat.

The Bottleneck Operation Is A Classic Maneuver That Was First Used, As Far As Anyone Could Determine, By A Small, Ragtag Army Of Russian Peasants Serving Under Prince Alexander Nevsky.

The Russians Were Battling Heavily Armed And Armored Teutonic Invaders In The Twelfth Century. The Only Way They Could Conceivably Defeat The Larger, Better-Equipped Force Was By Squeezing Them Onto A Frozen Lake, Where The Ice Cracked Beneath The Weight Of Their Armor. Virtually All Of The Enemy Soldiers Drowned. The Strategy Had Been Adapted By Striker’s Former Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Squires, For Low-Personnel Offensives. The Idea Was To Select An Area Where There Was Sufficient Cover On Two Sides Of An Enemy Force Such As A Gorge, A Forest, Or A Lakeshore. Finding Such A Spot, The Unit, However Small, Would Split Into Two Sections. One Group Would Flank The Opposing Force, Leaving The Enemy Between Them. One Part Of The Divided Force Would Then Advance In A Tight Formation, Moving Down The Neck Of A Bottle, So To Speak. The Enemy Couldn’t Afford To Flee, Since A Hidden Army Dogging Their Progress Would Be Able To Snipe At Them. And If The Enemy Tried To Counterattack, The Force In The Bottleneck Would Be Able To Attack To The Front, Left, Or Right.

As The Attack Forced The Enemy Back, They’d Find Themselves Surprised By The Force That Had Moved Behind Them.

Both Sections Of The Divided Unit Would Then Hammer Them. Done Well, Under Cover Of Night Or Geography, The Bottleneck Made It Possible For A Small Force To Overcome A Much Larger One.

Colonel August Would Not Have The Darkness To Cover His Move Into The Chamber. Even If He Could Kill The Lights For A Second Or Two, That Would Give The Terrorists A Heads-Up. He Preferred Surprise. Unfortunately, With The Lights On, The Enemy Would Know That He Was Just One Man. They Would See Him Come Into The Chamber, Just As They’d Seen The United Nations Security Team Enter. If They Acted Quickly, The Bottleneck Could Be Broken. If That Happened, August Would Still Have Several Ad Vantages. He Had Been Trained As A Soldier, Not As A Security Guard. The Seats In The Security Council Would Offer Him Cover. Thanks To The Long, Open Staircases, The Terrorists Would Find It Difficult To Sneak Up On Him, Especially If He Kept Moving Low Through The Upper Tiers. And If The Terrorists Tried To Use Hostages As A Shield, The Striker Leader Had Two Other Advantages. One Was His Eye.

Brett August Was One Of The Deadliest Shots In The Combined Special Forces, And He Had The Medals To Prove It. Only Mike Rodgers Had Won More.

The Other Advantage Was That August Wouldn’t Be Afraid To Fire. If He Had To Risk Killing A Hostage To Take Out A Terrorist, He Was Prepared To Do That. As Mike Rodgers Had Said Earlier, If They Didn’t Act Decisively And Soon, The Hostages Were Going To Die Anyway.

The Garden Stretched Southward For Several Blocks.

It Was Actually A Small, Treefilled Park Anchored By A Towering Sculpture Of Saint George Slaying The Dragon. The Statue, A Gift Of The Former Soviet Union, Was Made From Pieces Of Soviet Ss-20 And American Pershing Nuclear Missiles That Had Been Destroyed Under The Terms Of The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty Of 1987. Like The Un Itself, The Statue Was A Public Relations Gesture: A Loud, Bold Lie Saluting Peace. The Soviets Knew Damn Well That Peace Didn’t Work Unless You Had The Ss-20’S And Pershing Missiles To Back It Up. Or A Goad Tactic Like The Bottleneck, He Thought. That Was A Russian Monur Equals T He Could Respect.

Large, Gray Rats Were Moving Furtively Among The Rosebushes. Rats Weigood Scouts That Way. If They Were Out, It Meant There Probably Wasn’t Anyone Up Ahead The Animals Scattered As August Moved By.

The Colonel Crouched Lower As He Neared The End Of The Park. Beyond The Greenery Was An Open Courtyard Roughly Seventy Feet Across That Led To The Main Lobby Of The General Assembly Building. There Were Still Too Many Bushes And Trees For Him To See It Clearly.

August Was Carrying One Of The Two Berettas That Rodgers Had Given Him. The Other Handgun Was In His Right Pants Pocket. The Colonel Had Posed As A Tourist On His Recent Mission To Spain, A Disguise That Had Taught Him To Wear Pants With Pockets Deep Enough To Carry A Concealed Weapon. He Was Also Still Carrying The Radio, Just In Case He Needed It To Help Him Get Inside. Otherwise, August Would Have Shut It Off And Left It Behind. A Communication Or A Burst Of Static At The Wrong Time Could Give His Position Away.

Ironically, That Was The Very Thing He Might Need To Get Inside The Building. Pausing When He Was About Two Hundred And Fifty Feet From The General Assembly Building, August Looked Past The Other, Smaller Sculptures Toward The United Nations Compound Itself.

In Addition To Three Helicopters Hovering Over The Area, The Spotlights Were On In The Wide Courtyard And A Half-Dozen Nypd Officers Were Stationed At The Main Lobby Entrance. Rodgers Was Right.

The Police Had Been Allowed To Move From Their Command Booths On The Street To The Grounds When The Un Guards Were Called Away. August Couldn’t Risk Taking The Steps And Being Spotted. The Nypd Wasn’t Like The Un Police. They Were More Like Striker. They Knew How To Take People Down And Keep Them Down. When He Was A Nato Adviser, August Had Spent Time With A Former Nypd Emergency Service Chief Of Department Who Had Briefed Nato Strategists On Hostage Situations. New York Police Department Policy Was To Establish And Secure An Inner Perimeter, As Tight As Possible, Then Bring In Specialized Weapons, Heavy Vests, And Be Ready To Tackle The Hostage-Takers In Case Negotiations Broke Down. This Situation Would Have Ended Hours Ago If Chatterjee Hadn’t Been So Obliging. It Was All Part Of The Post-Desert Storm World Mind-Set. Someone Breaks The Law. Then, In The Cause Of World Peace, Everyone Else Talks And Negotiates While The Lawbreaker Grows Stronger And More Entrenched. When You Finally Decide To Do Something About It, You Need A Coalition.

That Was Crap. All You Needed Was The Guy Who Started It In Your Gunsight. He’d Back Down Fast Enough.

August Rarely Paid Attention To Clocks. He Always Moved As Fast As He Could, As Efficiently As He Could, And Assumed That He Had Less Time Than He Did.

To Date, He’d Never Missed A Deadline. But Even Without Checking His Watch, He Knew He Didn’t Have Time To Explain Who He Was Or What He Was Doing Here.

Instead, He Decided To Leave The Garden And Go Down To The Fdr Drive. The Highway Ran Under The Wide Esplanade That Bordered The Garden On The East. Though He’d Have To Drop Down Instead Of Using The Stairs Behind The Un, It Was The Only Way He’d Get To The Garage Unseen.

Turning Toward The River, August Made His Way Alongside The Gravel Path That Led To The Concrete Walkway. Crossing The Esplanade, He Came To A Low Metal Fence And Swung Over It. Lying On His Belly, Facing East, He Looked Over The Edge Of The Walkway. It Was A Drop Of About Twelve Feet To The Highway, But There Was Nothing To Hold Onto. Removing The Radio From His Pocket, He Replaced It With The Gun.

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