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Pursuit of Honor

Chapter 1

New York City

It was nearing ten o'clock in the evening when Mitch Rapp
decided it was time to move. He stepped from the sedan into the
April night, popped his umbrella, clutched the collar of his black
trench coat, and set out across a rain soaked East 20th Street. He
navigated the puddles and swollen gutter without complaint. The
weather was a blessing. Not only did it clear the streets of
potential witnesses, it also gave him a reasonable excuse to hide
his face from the city's ever-increasing array of security

Rapp had traveled to New York City to decide the fate of a man.
He had debated the wisdom of handling it himself. In addition to
the inherent risk of getting caught, there was another, more
pressing, problem. Just six days earlier a series of explosions had
torn through Washington D.C., killing 185 and wounding hundreds.
Three of the terrorists were still at large, and Rapp had been
unofficially ordered to find them by any means necessary. So far,
however, the investigation had been painfully complicated and had
yet to yield a single solid lead. The three men had up and
disappeared, which suggested a level of sophistication that few of
them thought the enemy capable of. The last thing Rapp expected,
though, was that he would still be dealing with this other issue.
In light of the attacks in Washington, he thought the fool would
have come to his senses.

Beyond the significance of deciding if the man should live or
die, there was the aftermath to consider. Killing him had the very
real potential of causing more problems than it would solve. If the
guy failed to show up for work there would be a lot of questions,
and the majority of them would be directed at Rapp and his boss,
Irene Kennedy, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. One
tiny misstep, and the shit storm of all shit storms would be
brought down on them.

The man in charge of the surveillance team had tried to talk him
out of it, but Rapp wasn't the kind of man who was going to start
pulling the trigger from a climate-controlled office a couple
hundred miles away. He needed to see with his own eyes if they were
missing something -- if there wasn't some unseen, or unpredictable
event that had caused the bureaucrat to jump the tracks. Rapp was
keenly aware of the universal disdain for the man he had followed
to New York. There were plenty of people on the clandestine side of
the business who had cause to wish the prick dead, and that was
another reason Rapp needed to be absolutely certain he was guilty
of what they suspected. His dislike for the man would make it all
that much easier to pull the trigger, and Rapp knew he had to fight
the urge. He needed to give this idiot every last chance to save
himself before they did something that could never be undone.

It would be a mistake to read too deeply into Rapp's cautious
attitude, though. If he found the proof he was looking for, there
would be no handwringing or queasiness. He'd killed too many people
to begin acting like an amateur now, and although the man was a
fellow American, he was also very likely a traitor. And not some
low-level, paper-pushing traitor, this guy had one of the highest
security clearances in the federal government and his hypocrisy had
likely gotten one of Rapp's agents killed.

Rapp moved down the sidewalk toward Park Avenue South at a
casual pace. He was dressed in a fashion similar to the thousand
plus executive car drivers who were shuffling their clients around
the city on this rain soaked evening -- black shoes, black suit,
white shirt, black tie and a black trench coat. To anyone who
happened to notice him, he would look like just another driver out
stretching his legs, trying to kill a little time before his client
finished his meal and was ready to head someplace else or call it a

As Rapp took up a position across the street and one door down
from Gramercy Tavern, he reached into his pocket and fished out a
pack of Marlboros. Standing in the rain in New York City doing
nothing might get you noticed, but throw in a cigarette and you
looked like all the other addicts battling the elements to get
their fix. Rapp turned away from the street and faced the blank
façade of the building behind him. He tilted the umbrella so
it looked like he was trying to block the wind and flicked his
lighter. He was not worried about the wind, but he was worried
about one of the other drivers catching a glimpse of his face in
the glow of the flame.

After a deep pull off the cigarette, Rapp casually looked out
from under the rain soaked umbrella and across the street. The
target was sitting in one of the restaurant's big windows sharing a
meal, a lot of booze and too much conversation with a man Rapp had
never met, and hoped to keep that way. The other man was a concern
to be sure, but Rapp was not in the habit of killing private
citizens simply because they were witness to the ramblings of a
bitter man who was past his prime.

Despite every effort to find a different solution to this
problem, Rapp's mood was decidedly fatalistic. The surveillance
team had the restaurant wired for sound and for the last two hours
he had been sitting in a parked Lincoln Town Car listening to his
coworker trash talk the Agency. As Rapp watched him take a sip of
wine he wasn't sure what bothered him more, the man's self-serving
criticisms, or his reckless behavior. One would think that anyone
who worked at the CIA would be a little more careful about when and
where they decided to commit treason.

So far his associate had done little more than espouse his
political and philosophical views. Bad form to be sure, but nothing
that had risen to the level of outright sedition. Rapp, however,
could sense that it was coming. The man had been drinking heavily.
He'd downed two gin martinis and four glasses of red wine, and that
wasn't counting the bump or two he'd probably had on the flight up
from D.C. and possibly the hotel bar. Rapp had ordered his
surveillance people to steer clear of the airports. There were too
many cameras and trained law enforcement types who would eventually
be interviewed by the FBI. If the night went the way it was looking
to go, every moment of this guy's life would be rewound and
scrutinized, and they'd start with that U.S. Airways commuter
flight he'd taken out of Reagan National up to LaGuardia earlier in
the day.

Rapp casually took another drag from the cigarette and watched
as the waiter placed two snifters of cognac in front of the men. A
few minutes earlier, Rapp had listened as the other man tried to
pass on the after dinner drink. Rapp got the feeling the man was
starting to think the dinner meeting had been a waste of his time.
Rapp's coworker, however, insisted that they both have a drink. He
told the other man he was going to need it after he heard what he
was about to tell him.

The waiter was still within earshot when the man from Langley
leaned in, and began to tell his story. Rapp heard every word via a
wireless earpiece. For the first few minutes it was all innuendo.
Rapp's coworker put his information on the table in a series of
hypotheticals, and while Rapp had no doubt that the lawyers at the
Justice Department would have found wiggle room in the statements,
Rapp saw it as further proof of the man's reckless intent. Anyone
who had been read in at this level of national security knew what
could be discussed and what was strictly off limits.

Rapp was in the midst of lighting his second cigarette when the
conversation moved from the abstract to the concrete. It started
with the specific mention of an operation that was known to only a
handful of people, including the president. This is it, he
thought to himself. The idiot is really going to do

As casually as he could, Rapp brought his eyes back to the big
window of the restaurant. There, the two men sat, hunched over the
table, their faces no more than a foot apart, one speaking in
hushed tones, the other looking more horrified with each word. The
classified designations came pouring out in a rapid-fire staccato
of dates and targets. One secret after another was tossed onto the
pile as if they were inconsequential nuggets of gossip. The breadth
of the damage was even worse than Rapp had dared imagine. So bad,
in fact, that he began wondering if he shouldn't simply march
across the street, pull out his gun, and execute the idiot on the

As quickly as things had heated up, though, they came to an
abrupt halt. Living up to the role of a belligerent drunk who'd
consumed one ounce too much of alcohol, the man from Langley put
away his wares and announced that he'd only divulged a fraction of
what he knew and that before he said anything further they needed
to come to an agreement.

Up until now, Rapp had thought his coworker's rigid principles
had driven him to take this risky step, but as he listened to the
two men discuss the financial details of their new relationship,
that last shred of begrudging respect vanished. Rapp looked through
the rain at the traitor and realized that like the hundreds of
miscreants who had gone before him, his coworker's often-flaunted
idealism came with a price, just like all the other bastards.

Rapp flicked his cigarette into the gutter and watched it bob
and swirl its way into the sewer. As he turned toward Park Avenue
South he felt not even the tiniest bit of remorse over what he had
just set in motion. Without having to look, he knew that a man
bearing a striking resemblance to the traitor was now climbing into
the back of a Lincoln Town Car. Every detail had been arranged from
the eyeglasses, to the tie, to the hair color -- even the black and
orange umbrella from the hotel. All that was left for Rapp to do
was walk a block and a half and wait for the traitor to come to

Excerpted from PURSUIT OF HONOR © Copyright 2011 by Vince
Flynn. Reprinted with permission by Pocket. All rights

Pursuit of Honor
by by Vince Flynn

  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket
  • ISBN-10: 1416595171
  • ISBN-13: 9781416595175