Sam Fisher was born on April 17, 1957 in Towson, Maryland to unnamed parents, and grew up in the Baltimore suburbs. His father was a case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who worked undercover in Moscow during the Cold War. While not much is known of his childhood, it is known that Sam attended a military boarding school after the death of his parents when he was a child and that he majored in Political Science while at the U.S. Naval Academy. During the mid-1980s, Sam was working for the CIA, under the cover of being deployed as a diplomatic aide in Eastern Europe where he later met an NSA crypt-analyst named Regan Burns in the then-Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.
They had a "stormy" affair and Regan got pregnant. After learning of the pregnancy, they had a small, quiet wedding ceremony at a U.S. military base in Frankfurt, Germany, where their only child, whom they both named Sarah, was later born on May 31, 1985. Despite it was a distant, difficult marriage, Sam and Regan did love each other but their professions kept interfering. They eventually divorced after three years of marriage. Regan went back to the United States and took Sarah with her, reclaiming her maiden name and changing Sarah's.
Sam became estranged from Regan and Sarah as he dedicated himself to his work, operating extensively in "Afghanistan (during and after the Soviet invasion), East Germany, and the Soviet satellites in the years leading up to the collapse of the USSR." Regan later died of ovarian cancer when Sarah was fifteen, sometime around 1999 and 2000. After Sam gained guardianship of Sarah, he moved back to the U.S. and took a bureaucratic job with the CIA, where he worked in weapons development and studied experimental weaponry and information warfare, in order to spend more time with her as well as focusing on her upbringing.
Acknowledged as one of the finest servicemen in his lifetime, Sam Fisher was a highly-decorated commissioned officer of the United States Navy, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander (O-4) while serving as an operator within the U.S. Navy's elite SEa-Air-Land (SEAL) Teams.
As a SEAL, Sam conducted numerous special operations in the Persian Gulf, Bolivia, Colombia, Senegal, Kosovo and led numerous other operations in various hot spots around the world. At some point during his time in the Navy, Sam spent nearly three years (2 years, 11 months) as an intelligence analyst. At one point he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Navy at some point during 1996.
1989: Operation Just Cause
Fisher took part in Operation Just Cause, when he was part of a CIA raiding team that went into a bank in Panama searching for Manuel Noriega's drug money. He later spent most of the rest of the year "sleeping in a ditch on the road between Baghdad and Kuwait."
1991: Gulf War
Sam Fisher is a veteran of the Gulf War (1990–1991), during which he participated in SEAL operations throughout the Persian Gulf.
Operation Desert Storm
During mid-February, Fisher was rescued from a hostage situation by fellow SEAL teammate Victor Coste (call-sign "Husky") while on a mission during the Liberation of Kuwait campaign after being captured by Iraqi Republican Guard soldiers following an ambush that killed two men (one from an IED, the other was shot to death) under his command while leading a four-man SEAL team on a patrol through a highway in Southern Iraq leading out of Kuwait back towards the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Umm Qasr, Iraq
On March 4, Sam Fisher had his first contact with Douglas Shetland.
Operation SCARAB TOOTH
On March 12, Sam Fisher had his second contact with Douglas Shetland in Kuwait.
1992: Operation Selva Verde
On 2–3 May, Sam Fisher had his third contact with Douglas Shetland, then a SEAL liaison on loan to the Colombian Army, during Operation Selve Verde in Norte de Santander, Colombia, where he solely rescued Shetland, who was captured after his unit was ambushed by FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla forces. Though Sam was caught in the process, he and Shetland were able to extract from the bunker in one piece.
Sam was on his first mission to kill a rogue Georgian President named Kombayn Nikoladze who is controlling all Georgian cities and connecting Chinese for conspiracy and more. Sam was in Georgia infiltrating the police station for answers before finding the bodies of two CIA agents in the morgue and Sam learned that they were murdered by a man named Vyacheslav Grinko who was at the Defense Ministry and used his laser microphone to record Grinko and Philip's meeting about the top secret organization in Azerbaijan when Sam recovers data from Azerbaijan.
Sam was in the oil platform, but the U.S. Air Force fighters arrived to support Sam and kills the scientist while taking the briefcase. Sam was in CIA headquarters after learning that Mitchell Dougherty is a mole of Grinko and Sam captures him and transport him to Third Echelon for interrogation. Sam was in Kalinatek to stop all the Russian mercenaries from slaughtering all the workers and destroying the computers containing information. Sam was in Myanmar recording a Chinese chairman named General Kong Feirong that they were going to slaughterhouse to execute all the US soldiers and Chinese delegates, so Sam was off.
Sam was in the slaughterhouse, rescuing US soldiers and Chinese delegates after killing Grinko. Sam was back to the Chinese embassy while Sam interrogates Kong before Sam ran off to stop Nikoladize once and for all. Sam was back to Georgia recovering a weapon known as the Ark, but the Ark was missing when Sam kills Nikoladize and escapes with the activation key.
After eliminating Nikoladze, the NSA and government officials in the U.S. determined that Philip Masse, knowing too much about America's infrastructure and still capable of manufacturing weaponized computer algorithms, was too dangerous to be left alive. In January 2005, while infiltrating the Severomorsk region in Russia, Fisher assassinated Masse and ex-filtrated.
The U.S. installs a temporary military base on East Timor to train the developing defense force of the "world's youngest democracy." Resistance to the U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia is widespread and passionate, but the threat the Indonesian militias pose to Timorese democracy was deemed as sufficient justification. At the same time, the U.S. doesn't mind having an excuse to install active military personnel within easy reach of both North Korea and the largest Muslim population in Asia. Anti-U.S. resentment comes to a head under the leadership of guerrilla militia leader Suhadi Sadono (former CIA-trained combatant of Communist ideology in the region), acting with the unofficial support of major corrupt factions within the Indonesian government. Sadono's men attack and occupy the U.S. Embassy in Dili, taking dozens of civilian and military personnel hostage in the process. Splinter Cell Sam Fisher was sent in to destroy a top-secret document held in the embassy before Sadono's men could access it.
Sadono then smuggles numerous ND-133 bombs containing the smallpox virus (codenamed: Pox Box) onto U.S. soil that is designed to detonate if Sadono is ever killed or captured. In an effort to combat the nationwide menace of the ND-133 bombs, Third Echelon establishes a sub-branch within the organization named Shadownet to locate and disable the weapons, under the watchful protection of a private military corporation called Armed Guardian Services (ARGUS). With the ND-133 devices disabled, Fisher is sent to capture Sadono alive. Later, Third Echelon learns that rogue CIA agent Norman Soth has smuggled a final ND-133 device into LAX International Airport in Los Angeles, California, and dispatches Fisher. He successfully eliminates Soth and the LAPD bomb squad disables the "Pox Box" before it's deployed.
NSA mole and Stolen Weapons Cache
In August 2006, shortly after the incident at LAX, Sam Fisher is sent on a mission to discover the NSA mole and anyone who was behind the plot to steal an NSA weapon cache to sell to foreign terrorists. He infiltrated a steel factory in Warsaw, Indiana, eavesdropped on Ernest (then knocked him out), and captured Agent Frasier for later interrogation. He successfully located the weapon cache.
After the controversial decision to establish its own Information Self-Defense Force (I-SDF) headed by Admiral Toshiro Otomo, Japan's shipping routes in the Yellow Sea are blocked by naval vessels from the Chinese and North Korean fleet; forcing the United States to intervene. Fisher is dispatched to Peru to investigate reports of a computer hacker's attempt to re-engineer the devastating computer algorithms developed by Philip Masse, now considered to be the super-weapon of the 21st century. The war between North Korea, South Korea, and the United States sparks when a North Korean "Super" Silkworm missile destroys the USS Clarence E. Walsh (CG-80), an advanced U.S. information warship, on the Fourth of July. Following claims the missile launch was unintentional, Sam investigates and discovers a private military corporation named Displace International, headed by Fisher's old friend and comrade Douglas Shetland, had been recruited by Japan's I-SDF to utilize the "Masse Kernels" and orchestrate the attack on U.S. forces in order to re-militarize Japan and ignite World War III.
Fisher learns that Otomo is forcing the Japanese SDF to repeal the post-war constitution with the threat of using a North Korean missile against a major Japanese city. Given the "Fifth Freedom," with everyone but Otomo, Fisher is tasked with capturing Otomo, who commits seppuku to avoid capture. U.S. officials want to interrogate Otomo and ask Fisher to save the Admiral from his own hand. Fisher complied and was successful in capturing Otomo alive and preventing World War III, ending the Crisis in East Asia.
In the fall of 2007, Sam Fisher had been somehow "kidnapped and detained in an old German bunker in Normandy, France." Since CIA agent Hisham Hamza of the Defense Department's Interdepartmental Operative program and Third Echelon had managed to "track Fisher's position" and contact him via his sub-dermal implant, they monitored Sam while he was on an unknown hallucinogenic drug for one week. During that time, he barely escaped his captors and saw Hamza. In reality, Sam was still at Third Echelon Headquarters in Fort Meade undergoing hallucinogenic drug resistance testing after he had signed himself up a few days before, even though Lambert had tried to persuade him not to take part in the experimental exercise. Sam claimed that he had no memories about that but hoped that his memory would come back.
Sam Fisher learned that Sarah and two of her friends were kidnapped coming home from a club in Washington, D.C. They were stashed in a van, and taken aboard a cargo ship, thus prompting Sam to take the initiative to go after Sarah's kidnappers. He managed to sneak aboard the ship before being contacted by Lambert, who asked why he's going on his own. Fisher explained himself and Lambert compiled to help his friend. After Fisher retrieved his daughter and her friends alive and in security, he discovered that arms dealer Raheem Kadir was the one who ordered the kidnapping and the target was actually the daughter of a high ranking diplomat. Fisher managed to take down the kidnappers and escape the boat before police arrival.
2007/2008: Double Agent (Version 1)
In September 2007, Sam Fisher is sent on a mission to Iceland. After obtaining a list of the launch of a warhead, and stop a missile from launching. Fisher is quickly pulled out only to find out from Lambert that his daughter, Sarah, was killed by a drunk driver. After her funeral, Fisher disappeared from sight.
Unable to cope with his mounting personal losses, Fisher is relieved of duty as a Splinter Cell. Later, Lambert reassigns him to a high-risk, deep-cover operation to infiltrate the ranks of John Brown's Army (JBA), a domestic terrorist organization founded and led by Emile Dufraisne. After agreeing to take on "the most dangerous mission of his career," Sam's first step was to win the group's trust by freeing one of their members, Jamie Washington, from Ellsworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas. He went undercover as a convicted felon and prison inmate in order to befriend Jamie and help him break him out of Ellsworth. After proving himself, Sam was introduced to Dufraine's organization and offered membership. He accepted, becoming a double agent within the JBA.
During the course of his assignment, Sam discovered that the JBA and their allied terrorist groups had obtained Red Mercury, a substance capable of nuclear weapon-caliber damage, and planned to launch attacks against three major cities, two of them being Los Angeles and New York City.
In New York City, Emile offers Sam a gun and the chance to prove his loyalty once and for all by shooting Lambert, who had been captured inside the JBA compound and beaten. Sam reluctantly complies, taking the gun and shooting Lambert, maintaining his cover. However, Lambert is still alive and gives Sam his last orders to stop the bomb before falling unconscious. Dufraisne and his second-in-command Carson Moss are both killed by Sam before either is able to detonate a Red Mercury device on U.S. soil. Fisher also kills Jamie and Stanley Dayton. Lambert dies of his wound.
2009: After JBA operation/Last Goodbye
In January 2009, Sam Fisher visits his daughter's grave at Elysian Fields Cemetery in Washington, D.C. before being captured and interrogated. He was suspected of helping Emile Dufraisne with several terrorist attacks, and the NSA wanted to find out if that was true. Sam was forced to explain himself over several key points during his career before and during his time in the Splinter Cell Program which didn't seem to match up with Third Echelon's records. One of the arresting agents, who believed he was innocent, tells of Sam's rescue of Douglas Shetland during Operation Selva Verde in May 1992.
With the help of Anna Grímsdóttir, Sam learns that his records had been tampered with by Lawrence Williams, Third Echelon's acting Director of Operations, in order to frame him as being a rogue agent, with each of those events rewritten to make Sam appear as if he had completely disobeyed orders or was involved in committing treason and/or acts of terrorism against the United States. Anna Grímsdóttir and William Redding explain what really happened during the events. Williams discovers that his hacks to the record had been discovered, and stole the CD containing the evidence from Grímsdóttir. Sam escaped his captors and infiltrated the NSA Headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. After sneaking into Williams' office and recovering the evidence, he confronts Williams, explaining he would expose him. Sam then escaped, taking the evidence with him.
Nexegen Technologies/RDEI Incident
Three years after the incident that took place in New York, Sam Fisher, now retired from Third Echelon, is under attack from an unidentified infiltration team. Three days prior to this pursuit, Sam arrives in Vancouver to meet with former Voron agent Ruslan Lupul. Lupul requires Sam’s help for a freelance job concerning stealing some DVR technology from a Korean electronics firm called Nexegen Technologies. In return, Lupul agrees to provide Sam with a file he has concerning the death of Sam’s daughter, Sarah.
During the infiltration of the company headquarters, Sam becomes suspicious, and Lupul admits that Nexegen is actually a front company for the North Korean RDEI (Research Department for External Intelligence). After completing the data transfer Sam is double-crossed by Lupul but manages to evade security and escape the premises. Sam then confronts Lupul at his mansion and forces him to provide the file on Sarah. Before Lupul is able to provide Sam with the name of his source, he is killed by a sniper bullet. Back to the pursuit, Sam manages to escape the mansion unharmed after killing several Korean squad members.
Twenty-four hours later, Sam is in Valetta, Malta, having a phone conversation with an unidentified source in order to learn more about his daughter’s death in exchange for some Voron intelligence Sam procured from Lupul’s home.
After learning that Sarah's death was plotted, Sam decides to investigate who murdered his daughter and why. While at a cafe in Malta, Sam receives word from Grim that a local gang was hired to kill him. Shortly after eliminating the hitmen, he brutally interrogates Dmitri Gramkos, the gang's leader who gave the order, and finds out that an arms dealer and drug trafficker named Andriy Kobin was the man who drove the car that killed Sarah. Fisher then sneaks into Kobin's mansion, eliminating several of Kobin's men as he does so. Sam reaches Kobin and interrogates him. Right before Kobin is about to talk, Splinter Cells storm in and surround Fisher, during which he is convinced by Grímsdóttir to go with the agents who take him away.
Later on, Sam obtains equipment such as a portable EMP generator, Sonar Goggles, grenades, and sticky cameras (which are now thrown by hand), all courtesy of Sam's old friend, Victor Coste, and a Third Echelon employee named Charlie Fryman. During his investigation, he discovers that his daughter is alive. He learned from Grim that her "death" was orchestrated by Lambert to lead him to uncover a huge mole in the NSA, Tom Reed, who was soon appointed as Third Echelon's new Director. At the White House, Grim pretends to capture Sam and takes him to the Oval Office, where Reed has captured President Patricia Caldwell. Grim and Sam proceed to eliminate Reed's Third Echelon bodyguards and rescue the President, whom Reed was about to kill and blame Sam for her death. Sam grabs Reed and interrogates him about the whole conspiracy. Sam chooses to spare or kill Reed, which prompts Grim to kill Reed which ends the conspiracy. Sam then tells Grim how he has chosen to "walk" away.
In the end, the game implies that Sam was in the middle of freeing Victor Coste from captivity by a private military company named Black Arrow.
This is shown to be true; during the credits of Splinter Cell: Conviction, a conversation between Sam and Victor at a restaurant plays. They speak of a time when the two of them were offered to buy an elephant, to which Sam replied, "Sorry, I already have one."
Post-Third Echelon Conspiracy
Bored with civilian life, Fisher allows himself to be recruited into Coste's PMC, Paladin Nine Security. He and Coste then only take contracts which they believe in. During the first Blacklist attack in Guam, Coste is critically wounded protecting him from a grenade.
6 months after the events in D.C., Sam worked in Paladin Nine Security with Victor Coste and Charlie Cole until an attack on a U.S. military base in Guam leaves Victor wounded by a fragmentation grenade. Sam is later appointed by President Caldwell as the commander of a new special operations and counter-terrorism unit called Fourth Echelon, with Grímsdóttir as the unit's technical operations officer, Briggs as a new operative and Charlie serving as the tech specialist at Sam's request. The unit was mandated to prevent a series of escalating terrorist attacks against U.S. interests known as "The Blacklist."
Fourth Echelon sent Sam into Benghazi, Libya to pick up a man who had walked into the CIA safe house: Andriy Kobin. Sam goes to Libya to extract Kobin, as he has information about the attack on Guam. Fisher frees and interrogates him, then imprisons him on the Paladin. Following the buyers for Kobin's weapon, 4E goes to a terrorist training camp in Mirawa, eastern Iraq. Fisher infiltrates and discovers that the man is Jadid Haidos, an ex-MI6 agent. Fisher then discovers a kill room with a soldier's corpse, and a message from a man they identify as Majid Sadiq, the leader of the Engineers.
The second Blacklist attack is set in Chicago, IL. The Engineers were trying to poison the city's water supply with weaponized syphilis, which Fisher managed to stop. Tracking down leads, Fisher goes to Paraguay to find Nouri, a source of Engineer soldiers. He breaks into his safe room and then extracts him under fire from a hit squad. Instead of imprisoning him, he turns him loose as an asset. Following intelligence gained from Nouri, Fisher goes to London to uncover what a sleeper cell is doing. Briggs provides sniper fire while Fisher infiltrates the mill. He sneaks into where they are deploying cargo and plants a tracker on the cargo: a variant of VX nerve gas. He gets infected but continues the mission. He is briefly captured by Sadiq, who is on-site, but Briggs rescues him and disobeys Sam's order to pursue Sadiq to save his life. Briggs is then taken off active duty.
Intelligence gathered in London points to Iran as the force behind the Blacklist. Facing a possible war against the country of Iran, Fourth Echelon decides to visit the reconverted American embassy in Tehran (now Quds Force HQ) to uncover the truth. Fisher then escapes the embassy with data on the truth and Briggs picks him up in a van, being subsequently returned to active duty. They are pursued, and Grim decides to use the drone to free a path. They escape, and President Caldwell says that there was a "drone malfunction." The mission gives proof that Iran is not behind the attacks.
The third Blacklist attack targets Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Engineers have held hostages on a metro train and also plan to bomb outside the subway terminals into the city streets, where Sam and Briggs cooperate and take out the Engineer driver with their snipers. Fourth Echelon is held up in thwarting the fourth Blacklist attack, American Fuel, by a virus implanted in the Paladin. With the combined efforts of Kobin and Fisher, the plane is kept from crashing at the last moment, but the attack goes through, and the continuity of government protocol is issued.
The American Fuel attack was against a Liquid Natural Gas Facility in Sabine Pass, Louisiana. The Engineers introduced a virus into its fire suppression systems, then rammed a tanker truck into the facility. Fourth Echelon deployed Fisher into the facility to activate a terminal so Charlie could reactivate the defenses. From the intelligence acquired on the ground from Navy SEALs, Fisher then chased after the High-Value on-site Engineer, interrogating him until he managed to get the fact that Sadiq was going to attack Site F directly. Sadiq raids the bunker of Site F, taking all the high government officials hostage. Sam surprises him and they engage in close combat. Sam manages to defeat him, but Sadiq claims that he'd already won, threatening Sam that if he kills him, all twelve nations that stand behind him will rise up in his defense. If he puts Sadiq on trial, he will spill every secret he knows about special operations, including Fourth Echelon. Leaving him with no choice, Sam employs the Fifth Freedom and unofficially imprisons him. Majid Sadiq was announced dead by President Caldwell, who relays it to the country without revealing the existence of Fourth Echelon or anyone's name on it. Sam than reunites with Coste, who had recovered from his injuries and was in the process of interrogating an imprisoned Sadiq.
2019: Operation Watchman
Some time during 2019, six years after the Blacklist operation, Sam (call-sign, Matchwood) is deployed to Bolivia in order to recover sensitive intelligence from a rogue CIA officer. Knowing the mission to be a difficult task, Sam has Grim (call-sign, Paladin) contact CIA case officer Karen Bowman in order to borrow a Ghost Recon team led by Major Anthony "Tony" Perryman (call-sign, Nomad). Sam's deployment takes him to a Unidad base in La Cruz, where he infiltrates the base ahead of the Ghosts and assassinates the rogue agent prior to Nomad's arrival. Upon greeting Nomad, Sam hacks into the Unidad servers in order to erase all traces of the sensitive information while Nomad's team provides tactical support and security. While ex-filtrating from the base, Sam discloses the nature of the intelligence to Nomad, revealing it to contain sensitive, highly technological research and development data that could "change the nature of warfare" and "put (the special operations community) out of business."
Upon having a brief reunion with Bowman, Sam learns that Grim has another emergency for him to take care of, hearing the words "Empty Quiver" (U.S. military code word for the seizure, theft, or loss of a functioning nuclear weapon) from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fisher compliments Nomad's skills and takes a brief coffee break with Bowman before returning to the Paladin.
The following operations in which Sam Fisher is involved take place in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series of novels. Although several details from the novels have made it into the games, their overall level of canonical to the game series is unclear.
In the 1980s, Sam Fisher saw action during the Soviet War in Afghanistan, where he was forced to hide under dead bodies to avoid being killed in the middle of an operation.
1991: Mauritania-Senegal Border War
Sometime between April and July 1991, Sam Fisher and a squad of Navy SEALs were sent to the African country of Senegal to hunt down a French black market arms dealer who had been arming both sides of a bush war between Mali and Mauritania. Fisher and his SEAL team tracked down the arms dealer in Dakar where they eliminated him after weeks of searching through the jungles along the Senegal-Mali border.
2003: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Checkmate
While preparing to test a new DARPA product, code-named the Goshawk, Sam Fisher is called to intercept a cargo freighter speeding towards the eastern seaboard. The freighter named the Trego is loaded down with radioactive material. Fisher boards the ship and quickly reaches the bridge to find one Middle-Eastern crew member. Fisher attempts to disable the man and does so, but not before the man enters the command to speed the boat up further. Fisher proceeds to slow the ship by disabling her engines. Meanwhile, the residents of Slipstone, New Mexico begin showing the symptoms of and then dying from radiation poisoning.
2004/05: East Asia Assignment
In late 2004 – early 2005, Sam Fisher was on assignment in the Far East for three months. He was in Hong Kong preparing for the Macau job. He collected data from a casino's computer and killed several individuals, including Kim Wei Lo.
2005: Babylon Phoenix Crisis
In the spring of 2005, an Iranian terrorist group known as "The Shadows," led by Nasir Tarighian, planned to use a weapon of mass destruction codenamed "The Babylon Phoenix" against the city of Baghdad as revenge for the actions taken by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s. While there really isn't much benefit to the group today, Tarighian attempts to sell the scheme to his organization by claiming that it would also create further disorder in Iraq and in the Middle East, which would inevitably cause the people to turn against the "West," namely the United States since Iraq is currently under their watch. Tarighian, a former "great warrior" during the Iran-Iraq War and often proclaimed hero in Iran, hoped that by doing this the Iranian people would rejoice and urge the Iranian government to invade and conquer Iraq after the U.S. is forced out of the region. Most of the members of the Shadows disagree with the course of action, feeling that the result is extremely unlikely and that the scheme is nothing more than a 20-year-old vendetta by Tarighian to get back at Iraq for the death of his wife and children during the war. These members feel the same effect of destabilization in the region can be achieved by attacking either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in Israel.
Meanwhile, an arms dealing organization known as "The Shop" has taken the liberty of assassinating Splinter Cells whenever possible thus to increase their profit margin by keeping the shipment of arms from falling into unwanted hands. The Shop is one of the few organizations in the world that is aware of Third Echelon, who deploys Sam Fisher to the Middle East to uncover the truth about the murder of a Splinter Cell and track down the source of a shipment of arms seized by the Iraqi police. There he surveys and infiltrates numerous locations relating to both the Shop and the Shadows, all the while unaware that the Shop has targeted him and his daughter, Sarah.
2006: Operation Barracuda/MRUUV Incident
Taking place almost a year after the Babylon Phoenix Crisis, the plot picks up with Third Echelon attempting to search and bring to justice the members of The Shop, an international arms dealing ring that played a large part during the crisis. While Sam Fisher is working to collect information on The Shop in Ukraine and Russia, Third Echelon is continuing its investigation into how The Shop had previously managed to gain the identity of a number of Splinter Cells and assassinate them as well. However, when a German scientist named Jeinsen, who defected to the United States from East Germany long ago, goes missing and then reappears dead in Hong Kong, heads begin to turn. Jeinsen had developed a new submarine vehicle for the United States Navy, that could theoretically carry a nuclear weapon. Sam Fisher is sent to learn why the scientist was in Hong Kong and who killed him; it is suspected that a local group of Triads named "the Lucky Dragons" had involvement. What the Third Echelon does not yet realize is that Jeinsen, the Lucky Dragons, The Shop, and a traitor inside their own government are all part of a much larger picture involving a rogue Chinese general named Lan Tun, with ambitions to invade and conquer Taiwan. With Fisher not even aware that he is the world's only hope of stopping an international crisis, he has to balance his job and a new romantic relationship that he is hoping will finally bring happiness to his life. Ultimately, General Tun threatens to use the submarine vehicle to detonate a nuclear weapon off the coast of California, destroying L.A. with a massive tsunami, unless America abandons Taiwan when it is invaded by China. Fisher manages to foil the plot, and all the conspirators involved including the traitor, the general, and The Shop are killed.
2008: Operation Fallout
Soon after undergoing unfamiliar espionage techniques training in the streets of San Francisco in a joint exercise between the CIA and Third Echelon, Sam Fisher is summoned to Maryland by Irving Lambert. Turns out, Sam's estranged brother, Peter (real name Pyotr Limonovich), has been found barely alive off the coast of Greenland. Sam is told that Peter has developed a strange disease and has few days to live. It is soon revealed that Sam's brother died of poisoning caused by plutonium hydride-19, or PuH-19. This deadly powder is 1,000x finer than flour and is capable of wiping out New York's entire population with just a cup's worth of the chemical.
Although driven by first solely by vengeance, Sam soon realizes that Peter's death should be the least of his worries as a network of Kyrgyz Islamic fundamentalists have toppled the moderate government of Kyrgyztan and, with the help of the North Korean government, have devised the ultimate antidote against the pervasive influence of the West and its technology: they will try to mutate a species of petroleum-eating Chytridiomycota fungus into a strain capable of making the whole world's oil supply disappear, a threat Fisher and Lambert continually refer to as Manas, in reference to the Kyrgyz epic poem. In order to do this, the terrorists snatch some of the world's leading scientists and force them to cooperate. Sam gets his final lead by tracking one of the abducted scientists in a search that will lead him to a place such as the streets of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, an isolated Kyrgyz community in Cape Breton Island, the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Pyongyang, North Korea and a Kyrgyz complex hidden in the Tian Shan mountain range.
2008/09: Korfovka Mission
While in Korfovka, Sam saves Ben Hansen's life by sniping Hansen's field runner Sergei Luchenko.
2009/10: The Search for Sam Fisher/Doppelganger Factory Arms Conspiracy
Sam is on the run and becomes a freelance operative selling his abilities, and taking missions where he can, in order to make money to survive, while staying one step ahead of the Third Echelon.
Sam secretly saves Ben Hansen's life by shooting a dart at a thug in the Russian territory of Korfovka, but leaves before Hansen figures out he is there. A few months later, he takes a mercenary mission in France but soon alerts Third Echelon to his whereabouts. A group of Splinter Cells led by Hansen begins pursuit, and Grim (who has become director of the Third Echelon) contacts Sam for help in exposing the corrupt NSA Director, Nicholas Andrew Kovac (a mole in the NSA). Sam ends up protecting Hansen's team, and joining them together, they help expose Kovac. In the end, Grim offers to allow Sam to return to Third Echelon but he'd turned her down, saying he wanted to finish his vacation at Zahn's villa before making a decision.