Hmmmm. I'm seeing something more convoluted, with high-up conspiracy.
"Welcome agents. Please take a seat."
"As you know, our mandate here at the institute is to perform operations vulnerable to compromise by foreign elements and monitor government agencies for such signs of such corruption.
"Today, we are taking that mandate to its limit.
[Image of a satellite appears on screen]
"Until 2 weeks ago, this satellite was the most advanced orbital SIGINT/PHOINT package available to the United States. But then, it shut down. Inexplicably. NSA says its a malfunction. Our analysts aren't so sure.
"There are things on this platform even we don't know about, due to compartmentalized data protocols. A dozen agencies have a stake in this thing.
[Image of a gray haired officer portrayed by James Cromwell
"This is Rear Admiral James Dillinger. Currently he is in charge of Navy Auxiliary Operations Squadron, Pacific. Per current plans, ships under his command are in charge of recovery operations over the area that the satellite is to be returned from.
[Image of another officer portrayed by Martin Sheen
"This is Captain Derek Moldoun. He is currently the head of naval spaceborn systems command, a post he obtain in part through Dillinger's recommendations. His command is responsible for maintaining both the systems on the satellite AND the modified STANDARD missile being used to shoot it down.
"This concerned us, so we tapped an asset close to the ship assigned to shoot the missile down. Our agent uncovered this.
[diagram of projected missile flight and explosion displays]
"The public record and the record within most of the navy is that the satellite is to be attacked directly to pierce a fuel tank. This reveals that a high yield warhead is to be used that will leave major parts of the satellite's systems intact.
"We lost contact with our asset after this information was recovered. He is either dead or incarcerated on the navy cruiser performing the launch.
"Something is on that satellite. Something that these men or their associates put there.
"Gear up. Dillinger's command has asked for a backup copter crew to fly out of Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. We have arranged for you to take the place of that crew. Your helicopter will have additional sensors to monitor the operation. If possible, arrange to get involved with any recovery operations. Take whatever measures are necessary to discover the intent of the recovery operations.
Sort of 24 meets Clive Cussler.