The brightest object in the sky except for the Sun and Moon is
Armstrong Space Station, the "Silver Tower," the centerpiece of America's
newest defense unit, the U.S. Space Defense Force. Commanded by Air Force
Lieutenant-General Patrick McLanahan, Silver Tower is the hub of a vast
network of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, rocket boosters, and
spaceplanes that gives the United States instantaneous and secure global
information exchange and access to space.
The "high ground" of space now belongs to the United States of America...and
that makes America's enemies very nervous.
Russian president Leonid Zevitin doesn't want to look up and see an American
military space station flying overhead almost every night, and he's afraid
that free global Internet access provided by the U.S. Space Defense Force
will eventually weaken his grip on his people. He devises a plan to
discredit the Space Defense Force by covertly attacking Silver Tower with
sophisticated new anti-satellite weapons--including a mobile version of the
Kavaznya laser--and at the same time convince the new U.S. president Joseph
Gardner that the Space Defense Force is a threat to world peace and
Gardner plays right into Zevitin's hands. The President's plans for an
expanded Navy are stalled, and it's time to do something about it--even if
it means destroying America's most popular and successful generals, Patrick
McLanahan. He enlists the help of the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Stacy
Anne Barbeau, to help discredit McLanahan and convince Congress to cut off
funding for the space station.
Patrick is using Silver Tower's incredible surveillance and
intelligence-gathering capabilities to assist the anti-insurgent forces in
Iran, led by rebel leader Hesarak al-Kan Buzhazi, until a democratic
government can be formed. But the more Patrick does to defeat the
insurgents, the more Russia complains to the world that the space force is a
threat to world peace. Soon Patrick's activities are so restricted that he
can do nothing but watch helplessly as the pro-Islamist insurgent forces in
Iran threaten to tear the entire region apart.
But while watching the growing crisis in Iran, Patrick detects a new
threat--against Silver Tower and the globe-crossing Black Stallion
spaceplanes. In an effort to destroy the threat, Patrick defies orders from
the President and orders an attack, using a strike team led by Major Wayne
"Whack" Macomber, the new leader of the Battle Force high-tech ground
Zevitin detects the plan and convinces Gardner to halt it...and when Gardner
does so, Zevitin launches his attack, bringing down a spaceplane. Patrick
watches the attack unfold and orders a counterattack, using unmanned EB-1C
Vampire bombers loaded with hypersonic SkySTREAK missiles. The President
orders McLanahan to turn the bombers around, but Patrick ignores the orders.
Enraged, the President strips McLanahan of his command and orders his
immediate arrest. But Russia is on the move, and Patrick decides he's the
only one who can stop them. He orders his space and air forces to assemble
and prepare to attack...
....and to defend themselves against any attempt by American forces to stop
them. He has become an outlaw, leading an armed insurrection against the
United States of America: a "Shadow Command."