The year is 2006. Resistance and hostility to the U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia is growing. In the wake of an increasingly violent and dangerous anti-U.S. insurgency by the Darah Dan Doa (Blood and Prayer) Militia led by Indonesian guerrilla leader Suhadi Sadono (who is unofficially supported by major corrupt factions in the Indonesian government and a former CIA operative- turned-mercenary Norman Soth), the U.S. installs a temporary military base on East Timor to train its fledgling defense force and to have active military personnel within striking distance of North Korea and the largest Muslim population in Asia. Suhadi's men attack and occupy the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, taking dozens of civilian and military personnel hostage. NSA sub-agency Third Echelon gets the green light to send a lone Splinter Cell operative—Sam Fisher—into the embassy, not to free the hostages, but to recover and destroy top-secret data about a horrific biological weapon called ND133 and code-named “Pandora Tomorrow” hidden in the embassy by an ex-military associate of Fisher’s—Douglas Shetland—before Suhadi and his men can access it.