1. Warrior, Assassin, Spy
“There is another type of warfare—new in its intensity, ancient in its origin—war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him.”
— President John F. Kennedy
A few miles off the coast of Somalia
Monday, February 27, 1995, close to midnight
I’ve never drowned to death, but I’ve come close. I’m not saying we were exactly waterboarded during the course of our training, but let’s put it this way: I’m familiar with how it feels to be surrounded, invaded, swallowed by water, that intimate sense of skin-close death. I’d already known it for years. At the age of thirteen, I would dive deep down in the middle of the night, into the inky green blackness, to wrestle free a tangled anchor attached to the boat where I worked. There’s something primal about being taken over by water, something deeply peaceful even as it terrifies you. “Ashes to ashes,” goes the familiar funeral patter, “dust to dust…”—but it’s not really like that. Dust isn’t where we started. We came from water, and the water is always ready to claim us back.
Right now Alex Morrison was mulling over thoughts about death and water, as he felt their craft heave and plunge in the midnight African sea swell.