Net Force 
Fiction, General, Thriller, Action & Adventure, Modern fiction, Adventure, Terrorists, Internet
In the year 2010, computers are the new superpowers. Those who control them control the world. To enforce the Net Laws, Congress creates the ultimate computer security agency within the FBI: the Net Force. A Union Jack appearing on computer screens all over the world is just a harbinger of the danger to come. As cyberspace is thrown into chaos, several computer experts suffer strokes while hunting the deadly hacker in virtual reality. One of them is the Net Force's own Jay Gridley. And now the Net Force operatives must track down a man capable of cracking every computer code in the world -- and pitting nation against nation. Read by Edward Herrmann
Net Force 03: Night Moves
By: Tom Clancy
Here's another installment in the netforce series as an "old friend", a deadly assassin, stalks netforce. Tom Clancy's
Created by Tom Clancy and Steve Piecxenik BERKLEYBOOKS.NEW YORK
"The history of the sword is the history of humanity." Richard Burton
"Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding the answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness."
J. Frank Dobie
Tom Clancy's Net
Friday, April 1st, 2011,2:15 a.m.
The middle of the night, and still the temperature hovered near ninety. The humidity was so high that sweat did not evaporate and, having nowhere else to go, sour perspiration soaked the men's black uniforms.
Only April, and already a new record high for this date in thePunjab , almost a hundred and fifteen, with more of the same predicted for tomorrow. Pah. Three of the men in sodden black camouflage clothes lay in the darker shadow of a row of stunted bushes a few dozen yards from the railroad tracks, waiting. In the distance, the sound of the train's whistle announced that it was on its way. "It won't be long now," Bhattacharya said. Fat as he was, the others sometimes called him Ganesha, after the elephant god, though they did not say this to his face. However corpulent he might be, Bhattacharya was quick to anger, equally quick to move, and once moving, a formidable opponent. Until two years ago, Bhattacharya had been an officer, a colonel. Then, at a garden party 2 NET FORCE in Panipat, he had stabbed another colonel who had insulted him, and it was only the lucky presence of a doctor that had saved the fat man from a murder charge. As it was, what he'd done was enough to have him stripped of his rank and arrested--and offered jail or a transfer to the Special Unit.
Like similar covert organizations around the world, the Special Unit did not officially exist. None of the men carried regular army-issue weapons or gear. Their assault rifles were surplus Chinese AKS, their pistols German, their sheath knives were fromJapan . Their communications equipment came fromNew Zealand , their boots fromIndonesia , their clothes fromAustralia . No man had upon his person any item that would officially identify him at all, much less identify him as an Indian soldier. And during an operation, no man was to allow himself to be captured. If such an event became likely, a quick suicide by gun or knife was expected. This was not as heroic as it might seem. Anyone who refused to do his duty would soon be dead anyway: Before embarking upon this mission, each man had taken a slow-acting poison; If he returned from the mission, he would be given the antidote and would suffer only a few days of flu like misery. If he did not return for any reason, he would die a lingering and painful death, the effects of which made suicide seem a picnic in the park.
Better to choose the quick exit, if it came to that.
When there were dark military things to be done inIndia , the SU was called upon to do them. Most
countries had such units, though most would quickly deny such an accusation. This mission was as dark as any. Sneaking intoPakistan for a covert operation was a risky proposition at best. Packy was a touchy one, and given the current political situation, it was easy to understand why. Next to Ganesha lay Rahman, around forty, a man of no particular caste fromNew Delhi . Rahman was long and lean, the opposite of Bhattacharya. Rahman was familiar with this area ofPakistan , having once been a member ofIndia 's Border Security Force, the BSF foot-stampers who faced the Pakistan Rangers across the wire at the Wagah Post. There, each evening, both sides danced the mutual show of stylized aggression that marked the daily lowering of the flags and ceremonial blat ting of the bugles. Crowds came from miles to see the mock battle, cheering each side on as if it were a soccer match. The third man was Harbhajan Singh and, naturally, he was called The Sikh. Although Singh was certainly not an unusual name for a Sikh, he had in fact been named specifically for the particular soldier who had achieved moksha--enlightenment--while patrolling the border withChina in the 1960s near Nathu-La. All they had ever found of that Singh were his snow goggles, his helmet, and his rifle. To this day, Singh's ghost still patrolled the area, and the Chinese often saw him standing on top of a mountain or walking across the surface of a stream. The army had not believed the story for a long time, until a visiting general offered disrespect to the ghost and for his attitude was promptly killed in a helicopter crash on his way home. From then on, the new commanders of the region were most careful to send their personal cars to the area once a year, to offer Singh a ride to the train station for his annual leave. And a seat would be booked for the ghost on the train, too.
It must have made for an interesting trip to have been the driver of the car, though no one had ever claimed to see Singh riding in the car or on the train. All of which was fascinating, but not doing much to alleviate the discomfort this Singh felt under his beard and turban from the night's tropical heat. Even though his great-great-grandfather had lived nearLahore , only a few miles north of here, Singh had spent much of his life inMadras , on theBay of Bengal , and while that city was certainly warm year-round, at least there were sea breezes to offer relief. Too, he had lived several years inCalcutta , and that had been hotter thanMadras , but evenCalcutta was not baked as was thePunjab , the hot test place on earth, so it was said. He could believe it. "There it is," Bhattacharya said.
"See the light, there?"
Singh and Rahman nodded and murmured their agreement. Along the track, the other "mercenaries" would be gathering themselves for the attack. There were sixty of them, and while some would probably die during the assault, they would be missed only by their comrades.
You did not join the SU unless you were alone in the world: no wife, no family, no ties to anything. You were expendable.
The train's whistle bleated again, drawing nearer. Singh gripped his AK-47 clone and took a deeper breath of the fetid and hot night air. He was not a very good Sikh, had not been for many years, but he was moved to repeat God's name a few times
anyway. No harm in that.
The train came into view. What the engineer could not see ahead was a set of angled derailing plates that had been artfully welded to the rails, right where the tracks curved and banked a hair to the left. The special train fromMultan toLahore was about to make an unscheduled and most abrupt stop. Singh held his breath as the chugging engine hit the plates. There came a loud clang and a scream of protesting metal. The engine jumped the tracks, plowed into the ground, and ripped up great chunks of earth. More crashing noises filled the air as the engine slammed onto its side and kept skidding. The following five or six cars also leaped from the rails and tumbled about like a child's toy. More noise and great clouds of smoke and dust billowed into the night. Singh was already on his feet, running toward the still-moving train. Some of the cars stayed on the track, and one of these, a boxcar with doors closed, loomed right in front of him. The door opened, and five Pakistani Rangers leaped out. Singh fired, waving his weapon back and forth, hosing the soldiers. Next to him, Rahman's weapon also spoke, as did Ganesha's, and the Pakistanis went down, cut dead by a sleet of jacketed metal.
Sorry, Packy, better luck next time around. More guns went off; the darkness was lit by muzzle flashes and exploding grenades. White phosphor blossomed, and red flares spewed.
It was all quite colorful.
There were as many soldiers defending as there were attacking, but the SU troops had surprise--and a train wreck--on their side. Within a few moments, it was all over. A few wounded yelled in pain but were quickly silenced by gunshots. Singh, Bhattacharya, and Rahman went to their assigned boxcar. It was empty, but that did not matter. They set their explosives, activated the preset timers. "Go!" Rahman said.
The three of them joined the other fleeing SU troops. They had only seconds to get clear. No one would have time to find and disarm the charges, if there had been anybody still alive here with such a mind. A gun went off to the left. Singh twisted and raked the spot where he'd seen the muzzle flash, spraying quick three-round bursts from the AK, and heard a scream. One of the Pakistanis, playing dead. Dead for real, now.
But the Pakistani's last shot had found a mark.
Bhattacharya went down.
Singh skidded to a stop, though Rahman kept running. The fat man was hit in the chest, high and slightly off center, and the camo was already soaked with blood, a dark and wet splotch in the night. The fat man looked up at Singh. "I'm done," he said.
"Help me out here, Sikh."
"Yes." He pointed the assault rifle at Bhattacharya's forehead, squeezed the trigger fast, got off one round. The man's body spasmed and went limp. No time to stand around and offer prayers. Singh ran. A few seconds later, light and noise shattered what was left of the hot and clammy night. The exploding train could easily be seen for miles by any who happened to look. And it was felt, in a different way, around the entire world. PART ONE The Sun tv ever Sets on the British Empire Friday, April 1stHampton Court, England The palace, whose first royal occupant had been Henry VIII, back in the 1500s, was huge. The stone buildings themselves covered more than six acres, with ten times that much walled-in lawn and gardens around the structures.
The chambers were mostly big, with high ceilings, tall windows, and a couple had stone fireplaces large enough to walk into without bumping your head. Most of the rooms were empty, save for giant wall hangings and baroque chandeliers. A few chambers had monstrous canopied beds or chairs and desks in them. There were art galleries, with age-muddied paintings hung. Much of the section they were in at the moment, called the King's Apartments, had burned in a sudden fire in the mid-1980s and had been since restored to what it supposedly looked like in the 1700s. Alex Michaels glanced around in awe. It was hard to imagine that anybody had ever actually lived in such a place.
It had cost them fifteen euros each to be admitted to the palace, after the ride on the tube fromLondon . They'd strolled across theThames on theHamptonCourtBridge , to the main entrance. Michaels had traveled over the years, more since he had become commander of the FBI stand-alone unit, Net Force, but he had somehow never made it toEngland until now. He and Toni had decided to add some vacation time to the week they had been allotted for the International Computer Crime Conference. They needed some time off; things had gotten a little rocky on a personal level the last few weeks. So here they were, in the huge house of kings and queens, but, vast as it was,HamptonCourtPalace was not big enough to contain Toni Fiorella's simmering anger. Michaels expected it to burst out any second, to blast him and whatever room they were in to a blackened crisp. They weren't married, but it seemed the honeymoon period was coming to an end, as