An independent novel
Cover art credit: GIGN5749 on Deviantart
Based on the Splinter Cell Series by David Michaels.
Splinter Cell created by Tom Clancy.
All copyright infringements regarding characters, persons of interest, or places depicted should be disregarded.
All characters appearing in this work are purely fictitious. Any resemblance or similarity to real persons, living or dead, is strictly coincidental.
Dedicated to Tom Clancy: April 12, 1947 - October 1, 2013.
May your inspiration and kick ass memorabilia remain with us until the bitter end.
December 13, 2013, standard Gregorian Calender
Helinski Military Base, Southern Finland
Hardy Nixon opened his eyes. At one a blinding flash of light encompassed his disoriented vision, an abrupt spotlight on his eyes. A cold chill blew on his face and he felt himself being lulled back into unconsciousness. Suddenly he became aware that another man was in the room. Out of the corner of his eye he could see a fist, taking in its image just before it made contact. The first blow struck Nixon hard and fast in his left temple. It came out of nowhere, and he was astonished by its force. Like the ring of a thousand bells it resounded in his internal visage.
"Where is it?!" shouted his interrogator, his accent was most unusual. Nixon was confused at first, forced to keep all of his resolve and determination to not give in. The interrogator wound up for another blow and followed through. Nixon did not feel this one as hard- his nerves were shaken from the previous strike. Nixon remained silent; his face was an enigma of neutral expression.
"Where is it?!" screamed the interrogator once more. His third hit struck Nixon in the stomach, his guts let out a great moan of displeasure and pain. Yet Nixon still kept his focus, staring directly in front of him into the one-sided glass that encircled the room. After a few more biting strikes the interrogator stormed out of the room, frustrated at his subject's lack of cooperation.
Nixon studied the room in detail. The lighting was soft and cold, yet with a brilliant luminescence that was penetrating to his weary eyes. The smell of the room was repulsive to the nose and it had the appearance that it hadn't been cleaned in many a year. He was sitting in the very center on a creaky wooden chair with his hands bound to its backrest. Directly in front of him rested a camera on a tripod, its record functionality was currently switched on. In the corner behind him rested an AK-47 assault rifle, idly leaning against the wall. Two fragmentation grenades also rested beside it. He wondered if he might be able to use those to his advantage but at the moment he was much too disoriented to even think straight.
At length Nixon closed his eyes once again and searched his internal subconscious to find something on how he had ended up here. Flipping through his short term reminiscence Nixon tried to tie events of the previous day to his predicament. Suddenly he opened his eyes; the sudden recollection startled his being and sent him into deep subconscious thought.
"Bodom…" he muttered to himself.
Eight Hours Earlier
December 12, 2013, standard Gregorian Calender
Aboard V-22 Osprey stealth aircraft - Codename VULTURE
Over Lake Bodom, near Espoo, Southern Finland
Chapter One: INFILTRATOR
Nixon was seated at the rear of the aircraft, near the bay doors ready to deploy at a moment's notice. He took a glance around him. To his right sat his commanding officer, Major Noah Sanders. A sternly built man, Sanders was nearing his 50s but had the build and physique of a middle aged man.
"Are you sure you're up to this Nixon?" asked Sanders. The two had known each other for many years and his concern was ever present in his tone of voice.
"No", muttered Nixon, "but what the hell else are we supposed to do? Go home?" His voice was rifled with annoyance and distaste for the mission ahead of him.
"I don't blame you," answered Sanders, "undoubtedly this op is much more high risk than we're used to, but the outcome of its objectives are absolutely crucial for world security. We take the initiative of the greater good-"
"Before our own lives… yeah, yeah I know we've been over this a thousand times," interrupted Nixon.
Nixon was a soldier of the INFILTRATOR unit, a classified initiative of the US military that trains soldiers to partake in extreme risk operations, too dangerous for conventional forces. Men of the INFILTRATOR unit work independently or in groups of two, utilizing stealth tactics they slip past enemy lines and complete their objectives with minimal notice and casualties. Being that their operations are so tightly wound, the United States government will openly deny any affiliation to the branch in public eyes and if an INFILTRATOR operative is captured or killed in the field, they will not prosecute the matter in any way.
Heavily trained in both combat and stealth tactics alike, INFILTRATOR operatives are viciously capable of completing their high risk missions, to any extent and means necessary. Nixon was no different, highly specialized in Jujitsu close quarter martial arts and weapon proficiency.
"Alright," began Sanders, "Let's go over it again." It was Sanders' job to aid Nixon in the field remotely and provide him with intelligence and information on the enemy- their whereabouts and their profiles. Although Sanders is in peak physical condition he only acted as an intelligence officer and did not have the stomach to partake in field operations.
"We will be dropping you off in a forested clearing two clicks west of the Lake," continued Sanders, "There you will make your way to rally point Alpha, near the edge of the southern side of the Lake."
"Right," said Nixon, "and this so called facility is underground is it not? How am I supposed to enter?"
"That's where things start getting complicated," explained Sanders, "You'll have to repel down an air shaft 50 feet deep, once at the bottom you will crawl through the vent system and reach the security room. Once there hack into the computers and locate the device."
The mission was to locate and recover a stolen nuclear warhead that was allegedly being studied for mass production. The Finnish terrorist group known as the Children of Bodom was under a shroud of malicious purposes, and it was a side objective for Nixon to capture their mastermind, Felix Laiho.
"Remember," continued Sanders, "It is imperative that we recover the warhead, or else we might not recognize the world tomorrow."
"Got it." said Nixon, "Rules of engagement sir?"
"Use of lethal force is authorized at this time, but we need Laiho alive," said Sanders.
A grin crawled slowly up Nixon's cheek.
Nixon went into the armory of the aircraft. He began to select his equipment roster for the upcoming mission. Nixon reckoned he should go quiet to avoid alerting unnecessary attention. Out of the central shelf he unveiled his primary weapon- the MA6B Stealth Assault Rifle, with integrated silencer mechanism. The MA6B has fully automatic firing capabilities; it is able to discharge its rounds with the same magnitude of noise as a soft whistle. On its underbelly lies a launcher capable of firing a variety of projectile ammunition including non-lethal slugs and smoke canisters. Nixon took the weapon and shouldered it onto his back. Its weight felt comforting and familiar. He felt his leg holster for his sidearm- a Five Seven pistol also with integrated silencer. Onto his belt he packed 2 non-lethal stun grenade canisters and extra ammunition.
"All set," declared Nixon. He looked ready to fight World War 3.
"Check your suit, son," said Sanders. The standard issue battle dress uniform of INFILTRATOR operatives was of kevlar weave. Extremely durable and dense, the armor is able to stop long distance bullet impacts without sacrificing the mobility that is necessary in the field. Nixon felt around for any perforations and found none. Satisfied, he took a parachute from the cache on the wall and strapped himself in.
"Thirty seconds," came a voice on the plane's intercom. It was their pilot, Greg. The lights in the fuselage slowly dimmed to a pale red, reflecting off of Nixon's eyes and face with liquidated lustre. All of the muscles seemed to tense in Nixon's body.
"Now listen," said Sanders, "try to be careful out there, Hardy. If you get captured we can't do anything for you."
"What else is new?" remarked Nixon.
The rear ramp of the aircraft slid open, its hydraulics in their outstretched status. Nixon looked to the light directly to his left, staring at it for a few seconds. Suddenly the light changed to green and Nixon braced himself for the jump. He first expelled his mission equipment out of the plane and quickly jumped after it.
A brilliant wave of wind hit Nixon like a storm, flinging back his hair and biting his face like a blizzard of gusts. Even though Nixon had performed many high altitude skydives before, each time he felt a sense of thrill and bewilderment that built up in his stomach. Feeling the wind on his body, Nixon felt free from life, like a bird escaping the icy wastelands of his past. He cherished the few moments he had in the air. When it was time, Nixon pulled on the release lever of the parachute. It was jammed!
"Damn," said Nixon with relative calm. He tried again and again but it would not budge. Nixon was quickly running out of sky. Panting deeply and heavily, Nixon reached for his combat knife on his left thigh and with all his might drew it against the infinite inertia produced by his freefall. In a striking motion he stabbed the parachute lever and still nothing happened. Nixon's life began to flash before his eyes; his childhood in Austin, his university years, his training in Europe; yet still he tried again, his last chance for saving himself.
With a loud moan the parachute opened abruptly and Nixon felt himself jerk back violently, the umbrella motion killing his momentum. The sudden stop struck Nixon in the gut, and a sharp pain resounded in his abdomen. Nixon tried to steer himself to his designated target, but his earlier mishap with the parachute caused him to sway off course. There were two guards directly below him; surprised they drew their weapons. Quickly Nixon unshouldered his rifle and with two quick consecutive bursts of fire they both fell before they got a shot off. He landed in a field about 200 yards south of the forest whence he was meant to. He hid the bodies in the nearby brush.
Nixon activated his communications device that was implanted in his ear; it allowed him and Sanders to communicate without any outside ambient noise produced. Sanders' voice was in a panic on the other end.
"Nixon! God damn it man answer me!" he cried.
"I'm alright," Nixon said breathless.
"My god I was worried," exclaimed Sanders, "the mission would have been over before it started, how sad is that?"
"Very funny," said Nixon, "Now… Exactly where the hell am I?
"You're some distance from your target point of infiltration," explained Sanders, "proceed north for a bit and you should be able to find your way. I've tagged your equipment for pickup. Details on your OPSAT."
Nixon thanked him and consulted his OPSAT wristwatch. The OPSAT, or Operational Satellite, was a revolutionary device issued to all INFILTRATOR operatives. It provided its user with real time mission updates, including thermal scans and detailed cartography of the nearby area. A commanding officer could coordinate with the ground operative through the OPSAT with ease. Nixon pulled up an area map and saw an outline of Lake Bodom. He zoomed in on the southern quadrant of the lake and found the area his equipment had landed outlined with a red dot. He also noticed the vent which would serve as his point of entry to the facility as a gold star.
"Be advised," called Sanders, "the area is crawling with hostiles, however you are not authorized to engage outside of the facility, repeat, no fatalities are permitted until you enter the facility."
"Oh is that the case? Cause I already smoke two on my way down," said Nixon sheepishly.
"Damn it, Nixon," grieved Sanders, "Alright I guess we'll let that one slide. I'm conducting a satellite scan of the area; enemies will appear as red dots on your OPSAT map."
Nixon looked at his OPSAT, like magic a series of red dots appeared in scattered motion across the forest.
"Technology, gotta love it." said Nixon.
"Oh and one more thing," said Sanders, "Due to the severity of this mission we are both obligated to utilize Codenames. What do you want yours to be?"
"Oooh fun," exclaimed Nixon, "I'll be Gamroth."
"For the love of god Nixon, choose something that's not out of a freaking Lord of the Rings novel." said Sanders, annoyed.
"Fine, fine," said Nixon. "How about… Black Shadows?"
"Very fitting." said Sanders sarcastically, "alright, I'll be Absolute Zero."
Nixon laughed, "Wow, that's not stupid at all," he smirked.
"Cut the chatter!" enforced Sanders. "Let's go we don't have all damn day."
The night was young and dark, Nixon suddenly became aware of its chilling air. It was the middle of winter, and the temperatures were sub-zero. Nixon started the mission timer on his OPSAT and activated his night vision goggles mounted on his headpiece. Pacing himself, he made a beeline for the forest.
Once at the treeline he spotted two guards pacing back and forth on their patrol. They seemed to have found his box of equipment and were studying it curiously, trying at the lock. Nixon unshouldered his MA6B, and using the launcher he fired a noisemaker around 10 yards behind the guards. A soft beeping was emitted from the device, and the guards suddenly turned their attention to the new disturbance. Nixon silently swooped in and collected his equipment, leaving the box in its original locked position after he gathered everything. He melted into the shadows on the opposite end of the clearing.
Nixon stuffed all of his paraphernalia into his utility belt and advanced northwards, consulting with his OPSAT for information on guard locations. He walked 20 paces and encountered a guard tower; a sniper was staring at the path that was laid out before him. Nixon, unknowingly, nearly walked right into his line of vision. He cursed himself for being so careless. Climbing atop a tree adjacent to the tower Nixon used its height to clamber onto the roof of the guard tower. Making his way to the opposite end he slid down the side rail and support onto the ground. The guard had not noticed the ghostly figure maneuvering inches behind him.
Nixon advanced 100 meters without any mishaps, when brusquely the treeline receded and he found himself facing a wide clearing 100 meters in diameter. The advance showed no signs of guards patrolling and Nixon knew strange doings were at hand.
"Careful, Black Shadows," Sanders' voice came aloud in Nixon's earpiece, "satellite surveillance has shown that the Fins have been placing mines all over your present location."
Nixon flipped a switch on his goggles, with a wave of distortion his vision suddenly became a flurry of grainy black and white feed. He had set his goggles to their thermal setting, they detected any spikes of heat- be it human bodies, firearms, mines, or other key objects. Nixon took a glance at the ground in front of him; sure enough there were multiple circular items buried in the ground that shown white hot in his headset feed.
"Bingo," he remarked to himself with mounted satisfaction.
Nixon took out his Mark II Ionized Tensile-Material Launcher, or "Grapple Gun" as he liked to call it. Mounting atop a nearby branch he took aim at another tree on the opposite end of the clearing and fired. A length of rope was exhaled from the device, spanning the entire distance of the field. Clipping himself on with his harness he zip lined across, completely bypassing the mines that impeded his path as the bear treads. Once across he reeled in the rope into the launcher and put away the device.
Checking his OPSAT, Nixon saw that he was only a short distance away from the air vent that was to serve as his entrance point. He looked around but could not see any sign of it. He consulted Sanders.
"So what's this thing supposed to look like?" he asked.
"There should be a large bush to your right," replied Sanders, "strip it of its foliage and you should see the vent."
Nixon found the bush in question and uncovered a circular depression in the ground. The opening was masked by a grate with steel bars spanning its diameter. A mechanical lock was attached to the opening mechanism. Nixon took out his set of lock picks and retrieved one of correct make and size. Feeling around the inside he fiddled and shook the internal pins until the lock burst open with a faint but satisfying click. Nixon pulled the door open and with an expression of exasperation took notice of the spinning blades of the ventilation system. If he went down he would be grinded to pieces.
"Uhhhh, sir?" he called to Sanders, "we have a slight issue."
"Working on it," said Sanders calmly. After a short while the blades ceased turning and Nixon's path was cleared. He took out his rope. Clipping one end to the base of the vent he repelled down the full 50 yard shaft and once at the bottom he checked his weapons and ammunition. Everything seemed in order.
"I'm in," Nixon reported.