- CHAPTER 1 Ignition
- CHAPTER 2 Opening Round
- CHAPTER 3 The Washington Waltz
- CHAPTER 4 In the Shadows
- CHAPTER 5 Night Flyers
- CHAPTER 6 Uncertain Welcome
- CHAPTER 7 Reports
- CHAPTER 8 Intentions
- CHAPTER 9 The Dead Zone
- CHAPTER 10 Revelations
- CHAPTER 11 Signals
- CHAPTER 12 Low Profiles
- CHAPTER 13 Double Cross
- CHAPTER 14 Riposte
- CHAPTER 15 If at First…
- CHAPTER 16 Tremors
- CHAPTER 17 Operation Purify
- CHAPTER 18 Reactions
- CHAPTER 19 The Dragon Stirs
- CHAPTER 20 Decapitation
- CHAPTER 21 Wave One
- CHAPTER 22 Red Phoenix
- CHAPTER 23 First Kill
- CHAPTER 24 Activation
- CHAPTER 25 The Big Picture
- CHAPTER 26 Evasion
- CHAPTER 27 Hard Target
- CHAPTER 28 Evacuation
- CHAPTER 29 Juggernaut
- CHAPTER 30 The Bridge
- CHAPTER 31 Task Force
- CHAPTER 32 Roads South
- CHAPTER 33 Search
- CHAPTER 34 Crossings
- CHAPTER 35 Boiling Point
- CHAPTER 36 Rear Guard
- CHAPTER 37 Technical Difficulties
- CHAPTER 38 Dire Straits
- CHAPTER 39 High Tide
- CHAPTER 40 The Tango Incident
- CHAPTER 41 Thunderbolt
- CHAPTER 42 Decision
- CHAPTER 43 End Game
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Dedicated to our parents, Margaret and Harris Bond and Marilyn and Don Larkin, for their encouragement, patience, and most of all, for their love.
We would like to thank John Austin, Jim Baker, Sam Baker, Russ and Jano Blanchard, Jay Borland, Chris Carlson, Jackie Conlon, Dwinn Craig, Tom Fagedes, John Goetke, Jim De Goey, John Gresham, Jason Hunter, Louis Lambros, Daphne Marselas, Frances Mills, Gary “Mo” Morgan, Alan Morris, Bill Paley, Penny Peak, Tim Peckinpaugh, Jeff Pluhar, Pat Slocomb, Thomas T. Thomas, Chris Williams, Paula Bessex and Joy Schumack of the Solano County Bookmobile Service, the staff at Fighter Weapons Review, Digital Illusions and their game Falcon, and the 68th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Moody AFB.
All of them made the book better.
They say collaboration is the hardest form of writing. Trying to get two people to agree on everything for the year it takes to produce a manuscript should be next to impossible. Happily, it is not only possible, but fun.
Patrick Larkin and I wrote this book together, working side by side over the phone and by computer — all despite being physically separated by 2,500 miles. He not only produced his share of the story but offered counsel and advice in my portions as well.
Together, Pat and I pulled this book forward from the faint glimmerings of a rough idea and a possible plot, and I cannot conceive of tackling this work without him. It is his book as much as mine, and he deserves at least as much credit.
Korean cosmology assigns a separate season and divinity to each of the four cardinal points of the compass:
The East is associated with Spring and the Azure Dragon,
The North with Winter and the Divine Warriors,
The West with Autumn and the White Tiger,
And the South with Summer and the Red Phoenix.
Paul Bannerman — The U.S. secretary of state.
Congressman Ben Barnes — Democrat of Michigan, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Trade.
Admiral Thomas Aldrige Brown — Commander of Task Force 71, the U.S. Navy’s senior officer in the Korean theater.
Captain Marc Chadwick — A U.S. Army intelligence officer stationed in South Korea.
Captain Tony “Saint” Christopher — An Air Force F-16 pilot assigned to the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Kunsan, South Korea.
Major Colin Donaldson — Executive officer, 1st Battalion of the 39th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Stationed at Camp Howze, near Tongduch’on, South Korea.
Dr. Blake Fowler — A staffer on the National Security Council, Washington, D.C.
First Lieutenant John “Hooter” Gresham — An Air Force pilot assigned to the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, based at Kunsan, South Korea. He is Captain Tony Christopher’s wingman.
Captain Doug Hansen — Military aide to General McLaren.
Captain J.F. Hutchins — Administrative assistant to 2nd Division civil affairs officer, assigned to command of a provisional infantry company.
Anne Larson — An Army civilian employee and computer expert working as supervisor of the logistics programming section at the U.S. Army’s Yongsan Base in Seoul, South Korea.
Captain Richard Levi, USN — Commander of the Spruance-class destroyer USS O’Brien.
Second Lieutenant Kevin Little — An ROTC graduate assigned to South Korea. Platoon leader of 2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Infantry Battalion of the 39th Infantry Regiment.
General John Duncan McLaren — Commander Combined Forces, Korea. Commands all U.S. and South Korean forces.
Captain Matuchek — Commanding officer, A Company, 1st Battalion of the 39th Infantry Regiment.
Jeremy Mitchell — Administrative assistant to Congressman Ben Barnes.
Corporal Jaime Montoya — Radioman assigned to the provisional company commanded by Second Lieutenant Kevin Little.
Sergeant Harry Pierce — Platoon sergeant, 2nd Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion of the 39th Infantry Regiment.
George Putnam — The president’s national security adviser.
Admiral Philip Simpson — Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Chang Jae-Kyu — A South Korean Army officer commanding the 4th Infantry Division.
Major Chon Sang-Du — An A-10 pilot in the South Korean Air Force.
Captain Lee — A South Korean combat engineering officer.
General Park — Chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Second Lieutenant Rhee Han-Gil — A South Korean Army officer assigned as liaison officer to 2nd Platoon, A Company,1st Battalion of the 39th Infantry Regiment.
Captain Chae Ku-Ho — 1st Company, II Battalion, 91st Infantry Regiment.
Lieutenant General Cho Hyun-Jae — Originally assigned as commander of the North Korean II Corps, later promoted to Colonel Generaland command of the First Shock Army.
Senior Captain Chun Chae-Yun — The captain of DPRK Great Leader, a North Korean Kilo-class diesel submarine.
Major General Chyong Dal-Joong — Cho’s deputy commander, later promoted to Lieutenant General and command of the II Corps.
Lieutenant Sohn — Platoon Leader, Assault Group 2, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment.
Kim Il-Sung — General Secretary of the Korean Workers Party, President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commander in chief of the armed forces. Called the Great Leader, Kim Il-Sung is the aging and infirm absolute ruler of North Korea.
Kim Jong-Il — Called the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il is the son and heir apparent to Kim Il-Sung, the Great Leader.
Colonel Sergei Ivanovitch Borodin — A Soviet MiG-29 pilot heading up a training team in North Korea.
Captain Nikolai Mikhailovitch Markov — Captain of the Soviet Tango-class submarine Konstantin Dribinov.
Andrei Ivanovich Rychagov — Member of the Soviet Politburo and defense minister.
AUGUST 19 — SOUTH OF THE DMZ NEAR HAKKOK, SOUTH KOREA
They found the North Korean tunnel shortly before dawn.
The two men — one an American intelligence officer, the other a South Korean combat engineer — stood regarding a three-inch-wide borehole as they might an ancient oracle, one that had given them good news.
Captain Marc Chadwick knelt and ran his fingertips around the edge of hole Five-A, feeling the damp, smooth rock. “Look at that pattern. Almost circular. We’re right over the bastards.”
His Korean counterpart, Captain Lee, nodded. “Almost certainly. Five-B and Five-D also indicate this location.”
Both men smiled, feeling the excitement of a long hunt now nearing the kill.
Hole Five-A didn’t look like much. Just a water-filled hole that went straight down through ten meters of solid rock. But it served as a detector for underground vibrations, like the ones made by North Korean engineers blasting tunnels under the Demilitarized Zone — the DMZ — and into South Korea. Explosive charges laid to carve out a new tunnel sent shock waves rippling through the rock — shock waves that slopped water out of the closest boreholes. Not much. Usually not more than an inch or two. But a good engineer could tell a lot from that, and Captain Lee was a good engineer.
Lee turned and looked north toward a small rise that blocked their view of the DMZ less than a kilometer away. He shook his head. The North Koreans had pushed this tunnel more than two kilometers from their side of the line before they’d been detected. It passed right under the Allied fortifications built along the DMZ, and the North Koreans could have used it to infiltrate spies and raiding parties into the South, or perhaps even for large-scale troop movements should war break out. Lee scowled. The communists were getting too good at this game for his taste.
He glanced east. The sun was coming up, spilling light over a brown, barren landscape blasted by summer heat and dry weather. The South Korean engineer mentally ran over the amount of work that would be required, pursed his lips, and said, “If I have my men start now, we should be able to break in by midday.”
The American nodded and the two men studied the borehole in silence for a moment longer before turning away back down the valley toward their waiting jeep.
Captain Lee’s estimates were, like everything else about him, precise.
Chadwick noticed the silence first. For six hours since daybreak the valley had been filled with a high-pitched, grinding whine as South Korean drills ripped their way into the ground, opening a path for the explosives that would break through into the suspected North Korean tunnel. He’d watched avidly for a time, but his interest had waned as the sun rose higher and the temperature climbed, and he’d finally retreated to a shadowed truck cab.
Now the drills had stopped. Chadwick sat up suddenly and pulled the latest issue of Stars and Stripes off his face. He stared through the windshield as combat engineers unreeled thin detonator wire from the enlarged borehole to a sheltered spot near where the trucks were parked. After a moment Lee stood and gave him a thumbs-up signal. The charges were in place and wired to go. He clambered out of the truck cab and ambled over to where Lee lay waiting with his noncoms.