The H.M.S. Unseen is one of the most efficient, lethal submarines ever built. But suddenly, on a training mission off the English coast, it vanishes, baffling military intelligence on both sides of the Atlantic, including National Security Adviser Admiral Arnold Morgan. A missing weapon is dangerous enough. But then the unthinkable begins to happen....Planes begin blowing up across the skies. Searching for answers, Morgan is convinced that only one man can be behind all these devastating events: his archenemy, the world's most cunning--yet reportedly dead--terrorist spy.
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March 01, 2000
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Excerpt from H.M.S. Unseen by Patrick Robinson
May 26, 2004
The light was fading along Haifa Street, and it was almost impossible to spot any Westerners in that seething, poor section of Baghdad. Men in djellabas, long loose shirts, occupied much of the dirty sidewalks, sitting cross-legged, smoking water pipes, selling small items of jewelry and copper. On one side of the main thoroughfare, dark narrow streets ran off toward the slow-flowing Tigris River.
Tiny car workshops were somehow crammed along there between the cramped decaying houses. The stifling smell of oil and axle grease mingled with the dark aromas of thick, black, sweet coffee, incense, charcoal fires, cinnamon, sandalwood, and baking bread. Not many children wore shoes, and the dress was Arab.
He should have stood out a mile, wearing a smoothly cut, grey Western suit, as he hurried out from the inner canyon of a green-painted garage. The club tie should have given him away; certainly the highly polished shoes. But he turned around as he walked out, and he embraced the elderly, oil-coated mechanic with warmth and affection. And he stared hard into the man's eyes-an unmistakable Arab gesture, the gesture of a Bedouin.
No doubt, the man was an Arab, and he caused few heads to turn as he headed back west toward Haifa Street, cramming a length of electrical wire into his pocket. He seemed at home there in that crowded, sprawling market, striding past the fruit and vegetable stalls, nodding at the occasional purveyor of spices or the seller of rugs. He held his head high, and the dark, trimmed beard gave him the facial look of an ancient caliph. His name was obscure, foreign-sounding to an Arab. They called him Eilat. But, in the circles that knew his trade, he was formally referred to as Eilat One.
He made just one more stop, at a dingy hardware store 40 yards before the left turn onto the Ahrar Bridge. When he emerged ten minutes later, he was carrying a white box with a lightbulb pictured on the outside, and a roll of heavy duty, wide, grey plastic tape, the regular kind that holds United Parcel packages together all over the world.
Eilat kept walking fast, sometimes straying off the sidewalk to avoid stragglers. He was thickset in build, no more than five feet ten inches tall. He crossed the bridge into the Rusafah side of Baghdad and made his way up Rashid Street. In his left jacket pocket there was a small leather box containing Iraq's national Medal of Honor, which had been presented to him personally that morning by the somewhat erratic President of the country. The coveted medal counted, he feared, for little.
There had been something in the manner of the President that he had found disturbing. They did not know each other well, but there had been an uneasy distance between them. The President was known for his almost ecstatic greetings to those who had served him faithfully, but there had been no such display of emotion that morning. Eilat One had been greeted as a stranger and had left as a stranger. He had been escorted in by two guards and was escorted out by the same men. The President had seemed to avoid eye contact.