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Patrick Robinson

Hunter Killer

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Because my principal publishers are in New York and London, I have chosen to work, essentially, in miles, yards, and feet. In terms of weight I have stuck with pounds and tons, except where military and naval protocol requires something different in the area of missile warheads.

However, in instances where serving French Naval officers and Special Forces are quoted directly, I use the correct metric measurements of their native language, the actual words they would have spoken.

Anyone mildly confused by all of this needs only to know that a meter is roughly a yard — the Olympic metric mile, 1,500 meters, is about 130 yards short of a proper mile. And a kilometer is roughly two-thirds of a mile.

I would also like to point out I have no wish to portray the French nation as cunning and unscrupulous. I am merely selecting one single nation to suit the purposes of this fictional work, in the year 2010, five years into the future from the date of publication.

I could have chosen Great Britain, but they are too close and loyal to the United States. I suppose I could have chosen Germany or Spain, or even Ireland. But none of them has quite the naval muscle and know-how of France.

Hopefully I have treated the French fairly and reasonably, despite casting them sometimes as heroes and sometimes as villains. It’s one of the hazards of writing “techno-thrillers”—the villains are all fictional, but I write on a pretty broad canvas, and occasionally entire nations are scorched by the white-hot lance of my keyboard! No hard feelings (I hope).

PATRICK ROBINSON

October 2004

CAST OF PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS

United States Senior Command

Paul Bedford (President of the United States)

Adm. Arnold Morgan (Supreme Commander, Operation Tanker)

Gen. Tim Scannell (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs)

Adm. Alan Dickson (Chief of Naval Operations)

Adm. Frank Doran (C-in-C, Atlantic Fleet)

Adm. George Morris (Director, National Security Agency)

Lt. Cdr. Jimmy Ramshawe (Personal Assistant, Director NSA)

Adm. John Bergstrom (SPECWARCOM)

United States Foreign Services

Charlie Brooks (Envoy US Embassy, Riyadh)

Agent Tom Kelly (CIA Field Officer, Marseille)

Agent Ray Sharpe (CIA Brazzaville, Congo)

Agent Andy Campese (CIA Chief, Toulouse)

Agent Guy Roland (CIA, Toulouse)

Agent Jack Mitchell (CIA Field Officer, North Africa, Rabat, Morocco)

United States Navy

Capt. Bat Stimpson (Submarine Commanding Officer, USS North Carolina)

Capt. David Schnider (Submarine Commanding Officer, USS Hawaii)

Capt. Tony Pickard (Commanding Officer, USS Shiloh)

Lt. Billy Fallon (Helicopter aircrew, USS Shiloh)

Lt. Cdr. Brad Taylor (SEAL Team Leader)

French Senior Command

President of France

Pierre St. Martin (Foreign Minister)

Gaston Savary (Head of the Secret Service, DGSE)

Gen. Michel Jobert (C-in-C, Special Operations)

French Navy

Adm. Georges Pires (Commandant Fusiliers Marine Commandos, COMFUSCO)

Adm. Marc Romanet (Flag Officer, Submarines)

Capt. Alain Roudy (Commanding Officer, hunter-killer submarine Perle)

Cdr. Louis Dreyfus (Commanding Officer, hunter-killer submarine Amethyste)

Lt. Garth Dupont (Commander Frogmen, Amethyste)

Cdr. Jules Ventura (Commander, Special Forces in Gulf, Perle)

Lt. Reme Doumen (Leader, Assault Team Two, Saudi Loading Docks)

Seaman Vincent Lefevre (assistant to Commander Ventura)

French Special Forces Commanders, Saudi Arabia

Maj. Etienne Marot (2/IC Team Three, Khamis Mushayt)

Maj. Paul Spanier (Commanding Officer Team One, Air Base Assault)

Maj. Henri Gilbert (Team Two, Air Base Assault)

French-appointed Military Commanders, Saudi Arabia

Col. Jacques Gamoudi (ex — Foreign Legion, C-in-C Saudi Revolutionary Army, Riyadh, aka Hooks)

General Ravi Rashood, C-in-C Hamas, C-in-C Southern Assault Force, Saudi Arabia (aka Maj. Ray Kerman)

French Foreign Services

Agent Yves Zilber (DGSE, Toulouse)

Michel Phillipes (DGSE Field Chief, Riyadh)

Maj. Raul Foy (DGSE, Riyadh)

Envoy Claude Chopin (French Embassy, Brazzaville, Congo)

Members of the Kingdom’s Royal Family

Prince Khalid bin Mohammed al-Saud (playboy)

King of Saudi Arabia

Prince Nasir Ibn Mohammed al-Saud (Crown Prince)

Saudi Military Personnel

Col. Sa’ad Kabeer (Commander, Eighth Armored Brigade, Diversionary Assault Air Base)

Capt. Faisal Rahman (al Queda battalion, Riyadh)

Maj. Abdul Majeed (Tank Commander, Airport Assault)

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