Debt of Honor ended with Tom Clancy's most shocking conclusion ever: a joint session of Congress destroyed, the President dead, most of the Cabinet and the Congress dead, the Supreme Court and Joint Chiefs likewise. Dazed and confused, the man who only minutes before had been confirmed as the new Vice-President of the United States is told that he is now President. President John Patrick Ryan. And that is where Executive Orders begins. Ryan had agreed to accept the vice-presidency only as caretaker for a year, and now suddenly, an incalculable weight has fallen on his shoulders. How do you run a government without a government? Where do you even begin? With stunning force, Ryan's responsibilities crush in on him. He must calm an anxious and grieving nation, allay the skepticism of the world's leaders, conduct a swift investigation of the tragedy, and arrange a massive state funeral - all while attempting to reconstitute a Cabinet and a Congress with the greatest possible speed.