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Barracuda: Final Bearing


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Доступ к книге ограничен фрагменом по требованию правообладателя.

To the woman who gave me my life back, the one I dearly love, Patti Quigley

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

With special thanks to Nancy P. Wallitsch, Esq., who is one of those rare people on this earth who are so amazingly good at what they do that it is an exquisite pleasure to watch them work. Nancy, of all those people, is the best.

Deepest thanks to Michael Perovich, who labored as much as I did delivering the book.

Heartfelt thanks to the Quigleys, who showed me what family really means.

Thanks to Matthew and Maria, who persevered through the toughest times, and gave me unconditional love through it all.

Thanks also to Bill Lord, who with skill and certainty, irrevocably and dramatically changed two lives for the better. His good deed will, in may ways, outlive us all.

And to living legend Don Fine, who opened the door to me and made all of this possible.

EPIGRAPH

“CHAPTER II. RENUNCIATION OF WAR ARTICLE 9.

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

— ARTICLE 9 OF THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION

“Rest peacefully, for the error shall not be repeated.”

— JAPANESE SCRIPT ON THE GRANITE FACE OF THE PARK OF PEACE CENOTAPH, HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

“The United States is being utterly conceited, obstinate and disrespectful. It is regrettable indeed. We simply cannot tolerate such an attitude.”

— Y. HARA, PRESIDENT OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL, DECEMBER 1941

“Both the United States and Japan are victims of forces they can neither control nor resist. The tragedy of this war, as in many of history’s greatest wars, is that it will be fought by two altogether decent nations, neither of which harbors real ill will toward the other. Yet the fear that seems to dominate the human condition quite as much as love is supposed to will overwhelm the decency of each … if there is any hope in avoiding a second U.S.-Japanese war, it rests in our leaders becoming frightened.”

“The vanquished seem repeatedly to rise anew, to try their hand at making history again.”

“Everything happens twice.”

— GEORGE FRIEDMAN/MEREDITH LEBARD, THE COMING WAR WITH JAPAN

“Sooner or later, the United States must come to grips with the fact that Japan has become the leading industrial nation in the world. The Japanese have the longest lifespan. They have the highest employment, the highest literacy, the smallest gap between rich and poor. Their manufactured products have the highest quality. They have the best food. The fact is that a country the size of Montana with half our population, will soon have an economy equal to ours … The United States is now without question the weaker partner in any economic discussion with Japan.”

— MICHAEL CRICHTON, RISING SUN

“You are being offered a glorious way to die.”

— VICE ADM. RYUNOSUKE KUSAKA, IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY COMBINED FLEET, CHIEF OF STAFF, TO VICE ADM. SEIICHI PRO, COMMANDER SECOND FLEET, PRIOR TO OPERATION TEN’ICHIGO (HEAVEN NUMBER ONE), IN WHICH THE BATTLESHIP YAMATO WAS SENT ON A SUICIDE MISSION TO OKINAWA. AS YAMATO CAPSIZED AND EXPLODED, ADMIRAL ITO CHOSE TO REMAIN ABOARD, RETIRING TO HIS SEA CABIN. CAPT. KOSAKU ARIGA, COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE YAMATO, LIKEWISE WENT DOWN WITH HIS SHIP, LASHING HIMSELF TO AN ANTIAIRCRAFT COMMAND STATION ON THE BRIDGE.



BOOK ONE
HIROSHIMA

...

SECRET NUKES ALLEGED

Surrounded by Enemies, Poom Manages Without Military

Edmund Tarawicz, WorldWide Press

Changashan, Greater Manchuria — Ever since the new state of Greater Manchuria was formed from the remnants of an ex-Soviet republic and an East China province. President Len Pei Poom has been considered one of the most brilliant diplomats of the decade. But persistent rumors have circulated that Len’s organization of this fledgling nation was backed up by a seized stockhold of weaponry from the Russian Republic.

Although Len’s administration has continued to deny such rumors, unnamed sources have reported the existence of a secret weapons depot in the Ozero Chanka valley north of the port city of Artom, formerly Vladivostok. What may be stored at the depot is unknown, but some political analysts assert that the facility maintains a cache of nuclear-tipped medium-range missiles, despite the nuclear exclusion treaties of the past fifteen years.

If Len does indeed have possession of nuclear weapons, it would certainly explain why he was able to ensure Greater Manchuria’s survival in the face of the hostility of West China, the renewed nationalism of the Russian Republic and the second thoughts of formerly friendly East China, particularly in view of the fact that Greater Manchuria has essentially no army…

...

InterGov Network E-Mail — Security Monitored — Top Secret/ Release 12

From: DirNSA R. Donchez

To: President/National Security Council

CC: Copy Protected/Distribution Controlled/Release 12

Serial: SM-TS/R12-04-0890

Date: 21 November

Time: 1653 EST

Subject: Manchurian Nuclear Weapons, Rumors Concerning

This EMAIL is a joint transmission of NSA and CIA.

Issued under authority of R. Donchez, Dirnsa, and B. F. Leach III, Dircia.

Screen readout lifetime: 20 seconds.

1. (Unclass) Recent press reports allege the existence of nuclear missiles held by President Len Pei Poom in the fledgling state of Greater Manchuria.

2. (Secret) At the request of Presidential finding 0417, CIA and NSA were directed to report on the possibility of nuclear missiles in Greater Manchuria.

3. (Top Secret) Details of the report are transmitted separately in EMAIL serial SM-TS/R12-04-0891 dated 21 November.

4. (Top Secret Release 12) Conclusion: There are no, repeat no, nuclear weapons held in Greater Manchuria.

5. (Top Secret Release 12) Despite Para 4, Len is managing by some unknown means to hold off the aggressions of the Russians, the West Chinese and the East Chinese. How this is being done should be explored immediately. CIA/NSA recommend the draft of a finding to authorize further intelligence operations to understand the dynamics of the border situation.

This message will self-delete.

...

Intellivox Transcription:

Date of Voice Mail: 21 November

Time: 0817

Initiating Party: A. MacHiie

Initiating Location: Tokyo 27, Ministry of Information Suite 200

Security Level: Layer Fifteen

Destination Code: 05412

Destination Party: H. Kurita Voice

Transmittal:

Honored Prime Minister, this is Asagumo on Tuesday shortly after eight o’clock. I sincerely hope that you had a good rest. The meeting will be held in the central suite as you requested.

I am calling to let you know that we have confirmation from the Galaxy satellites that the weapons depot in Greater Manchuria is indeed manned and that our infrared micro-scan hints at the possible — but unconfirmed — presence of nuclear warheads. We are now uploading a mission request for a human agent deep penetration to confirm the presence of the warheads. The mission, as you suggested earlier, will be done with a Divine Wind Battalion warrior. Mission start time is estimated at eight to twelve hours after your authorization.

Once again, your instincts prove you correct. Honorable Prime Minister. I will see you shortly at the meeting. You have my sincere hope that your health remains well.

[End Transmision]

PROLOGUE

SEA OF JAPAN ALTITUDE 20,000 METERS

The cockpit shuddered as the ramjet engine shut down, fired its explosive bolts and detached, the pilot’s flickering display showing the propulsion module tumbling into the sea below.

“Phase two,” the pilot murmured in Japanese into his boom microphone. “Aircraft stable in full glide. Descending on glide path at nineteen thousand meters.”

There was no need to maintain radio silence — the electronics saved the voice data, video camera images and avionics telemetry into a magnetic bubble memory and transmitted a compressed burst once every five to ten minutes on a constantly changing frequency with time-varying encryption codes aimed in a beam to randomly selected Galaxy multipurpose satellites. The communications suite was frontier technology, Japanese technology, the most advanced in the world. Maj. Sushima Namuru would continue to transmit despite the fact that this was the most secret human intelligence operation ever taken on by the Japanese Self Defense Force.

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