Читать онлайн "Oath of Office"
Автор Клэнси Том
Marc Cameron, Tom Clancy (Series Creator)
Oath of Office
ALSO BY TOM CLANCY
with General Fred Franks, Jr. (Ret.), and Tony Koltz
with General Chuck Horner (Ret.) and Tony Koltz
with General Carl Stiner (Ret.) and Tony Koltz
with General Tony Zinni (Ret.) and Tony Koltz
Jack Ryan: President of the United States
Mary Pat Foley: Director of national intelligence
Arnold “Arnie” van Damm: President Ryan’s chief of staff
Scott Adler: Secretary of state
Robert Burgess: Secretary of defense
Mark Dehart: Secretary of homeland security
Gerry Hendley: Director of The Campus and Hendley Associates
John Clark: Director of operations
Domingo “Ding” Chavez: Assistant director of operations
Jack Ryan, Jr.: Operations officer and senior analyst
Dominic “Dom” Caruso: Operations officer
Adara Sherman: Operations officer
Bartosz “Midas” Jankowski: Operations officer
Gavin Biery: Director of information technology
Lisanne Robertson: Director of transportation
Dr. Cathy Ryan: First Lady of the United States
Will Hyatt: U.S. Air Force Reaper pilot
Michelle Chadwick: United States senator
Randal Van Orden: Professor of astrophysics, U.S. Naval Academy
Alex Hardy: U.S. Naval Academy midshipman
Nikita Yermilov: President of Russia
Maksim Dudko: Yermilov’s aide
Erik Dovzhenko: Russian SVR officer stationed in Tehran
Colonel Pavel Mikhailov: Antonov 124 pilot, Russian Air Force
Elizaveta Bobkova: Russian SVR operative stationed in Washington, D.C.
Hugo Gaspard: French arms dealer
Lucile Fournier: French assassin
Urbano da Rocha: Portuguese arms dealer
Reza Kazem: Leader of the Persian Spring
Ayatollah Ghorbani: Lesser Ayatollah in Iran’s ruling council
Parviz Sassani: Major, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Maryam Farhad: Dovzhenko’s Iranian girlfriend
Ysabel Kashani: Iranian academic; Jack Junior’s former girlfriend
Atash Yazdani: Iranian aeronautical engineer
Sahar Tabrizi: Iranian astrophysicist
Chance Burlingame: U.S. ambassador to Cameroon
Adin Carr: Diplomatic security agent assigned to Cameroon
François Njaya: President of Cameroon
General Mbida: Cameroonian general
Sarah Porter: Wife of deputy chief of mission, Cameroon
Sean Jolivette: F/A-18 Hornet pilot, USS
In Mother Russia, secrets did not stay secret for long. Information was strength. Informing was ingrained. It was nothing short of miraculous that Colonel Pavel Mikhailov of the 224th Air Detachment, Military Transport Aviation, had been able to hide his sins at all.
The tribunal convened by his superiors had been a lengthy and embarrassing ordeal. But he was better for it, wasn’t he?
Flashlight in hand, the fifty-three-year-old colonel walked beneath the drooping wing of the monstrous Antonov An-124 cargo plane, taking comfort in the smell of jet fuel. A light wind tousled his thinning gray hair. Rosacea that never seemed to go away anymore pinked the round apples of his cheeks. The night had turned out chilly, but the day had been a pleasant one for spring in Moscow, and the black tarmac was still giving up its warmth. Colonel Mikhailov wore small foam earplugs to protect his hearing, but the whine of the auxiliary power unit and the hydraulic squeal of machinery were muffled music to his way of thinking. He played the flashlight under the broad surface of the swept wing, then carefully checked each of the twenty-four tires, as complete and thorough in this preflight as if he were still a pink-faced cadet at Gagarin Academy.
He’d never wrecked an aircraft, or even had a close call, but as his commanding general said, no matter how skilled a pilot he was, one could only show up for work “looking like a bag of ass” so many times before people began to talk. Ironically, his superiors had not begun to worry until after he attended his first weekly meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Russian government had long been wary of AA — secret meetings and deference to a higher power other than the state lent credence to the general lack of trust in any program created by the West. But more than that, it was Mikhailov’s new attitude that bothered them.
Vodka was as much a part of the Russian psyche as great-coats and poems about troika rides.
In 1858 the government attempted to refill the state coffers drained by the Crimean War by tripling the price of a bucket of vodka. Peasants took oaths of sobriety to protest this tax. Temperance movements swelled as formerly sotted citizens swore off anything more potent than beer — and that just would not do. The Army intervened with crushing aggression on behalf of state alcohol interests, flogging the protesters and using funnels to force vodka down their throats. Temperance groups were outlawed, and more than seven hundred protesters were arrested as rebels.
If Colonel Mikhailov was suddenly worried about handling his liquor, perhaps everyone else should worry as well. Perhaps he was a rebel.
Three decades of service had given Mikhailov guardian angels in high places, men who had flown with him in Afghanista ...