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Father Pat West, S.J. was a buddy of the young Jack Ryan when they were both undergraduates at Loyola University. Father West left a comfortable job in the philosophy department at Georgetown to work with the poor in Indonesia. Now he's been arrested and accused of blasphemy against Islam.
President Ryan is desperate to rescue his old friend, but he can't move officially against the Indonesians. Instead he relies on The Campus team to find out who is framing the priest.
There's one other twist to the story. President Ryan discovers a voicemail on his private cell phone from the priest warning about a coming attack against America...
In Indonesia, software engineer Geoff Noonan secretly sells the computer program Calliope to Suparman Games, an Indonesian gaming company. Soon after, he is lured into a honey trap by Wu Chao, an agent working for the cyber warfare division of the Chinese PLA. Along with his assassin Kang, Chao blackmails him into giving them a copy of Calliope, intending to exploit its next-generation AI capabilities to hack into American military computer systems.
The next day, Noonan turns to Jesuit priest Pat West for help; however, Chao and Kang catch up to them. They murder the former and have the priest arrested by the Indonesian police for made-up charges of blasphemy against Islam. However, Father West, a former CIA officer, manages to send a private text message about his encounter with Noonan to his friend, U.S. President Jack Ryan.
Upon receiving the text message from Father West, President Ryan discreetly orders The Campus to investigate the priest’s text message. After pleading for the release of Father West to the Indonesian president to no avail, he decides to make a state visit to Indonesia. Meanwhile, the priest is speedily convicted of smuggling heroin and sentenced to death in the country’s Execution Island.
The Campus tracks down Noonan’s colleague Todd Ackerman, who is in hiding in New Zealand. However, they find him dead, murdered by PLA agents. After finding out about the sale, they proceed to Indonesia to break into the headquarters of Suparman Games and retrieve the purchased copy of Calliope. However, Suparman’s henchmen abduct Campus operative Domingo Chavez.
In China, General Bai Min prepares FIRESHIP, a military operation that aims to utilize Calliope. The program is uploaded by a Chinese agent into an American communications company’s computer system. Afterwards, Chao and Kang attempt to assassinate Peter Li, an ex-Navy admiral working for the company, as well as his family. However, he fights back by killing Chao and another henchman, and flees with his pregnant wife and children. He later enlists the helf of his friend John Clark.
President Ryan receives intelligence on Chinese general Song Biming's granddaughter, who is suffering from retinoblastoma and is about to be brought to the United States for a surgical operation. He reluctantly allows his wife Cathy Ryan to covertly make contact with the general, who is known to be at odds with General Bai. The operation is a success, and afterwards General Song discreetly passes information on FIRESHIP to Dr. Ryan.
In Indonesia, the Campus rescue Chavez from his captors and retrieve Calliope in the Suparman headquarters. However, they are separated when Suparman's henchmen chase them to an airfield. With Calliope in tow, Chavez and colleague Adara Sherman hijack an aircraft smuggling heroin, crashing into a nearby island. They eventually call for air support from USS Fort Worth, which eventually rescues them. Chavez then informs ship captain Jimmy Akana about Calliope.
Meanwhile, Senator Michelle Chadwick finds herself blackmailed by her lover, PLA operative David Huang, into spying on her political rival President Ryan. She eventually informs President Ryan and joins him on his trip to Indonesia, where he tells the Indonesian president of China's plans. The latter releases Father West from prison, and General Bai and Huang are eventually arrested by their respective governments.
After embedding itself to several military communications systems, Calliope makes contact with an American F-35 stealth fighter in the middle of a training exercise in the Pacific Ocean. The application launches a cruise missile from the aircraft, steering it toward a waiting Chinese trawler. USS Makin Island, having been informed of Calliope's capabilities by Akana, quickly detects the application and deletes it from its computer system. Navy SEALs then retake the trawler with the stolen missile.
In Chicago, Clark lures Kang and his men to an ambush. However, a wounded Kang escapes and boards a train for Los Angeles. Clark follows and tracks him down, killing him.