Norman Soth was trained as a CIA agent and responsible for training freedom fighting operations in Southeast Asia, most notably Indonesia. In 1992, he was part of CIA Operation REDBEARD, after which he spent nearly a decade arming and training the Kopassus to stamp down Timorese uprisings. He had several known aliases such as "mortified_penguin", "Jonathan Poindexter", "Richard Arbor", and "Rizal Ariyanto".
During Operation REDBEARD, Soth was injured when his vehicle hit a land mine. He lost the bottom half of his right leg and his earlobes. He now wears a prosthetic leg. Some time later, the United States government suspended all support for Operation REDBEARD when they found themselves in disagreement with the radical ideals of the Indonesian guerrilla organizations they had previously been training. The U.S. subsequently pulled out of Indonesia and supported the Eastern Timorese instead, leaving Soth to fend for himself. Feeling betrayed, Soth swore revenge against the U.S. government, aligning himself with his Indonesian allies in the Darah Dan Doa.
Soth went underground and in the years that followed, fell out of contact with the CIA. In time, the CIA no longer knew for certain if Soth was still an agency asset, but it is now understood that Soth had committed himself to terrorism against the U.S.
2006: Indonesian Crisis
Soth's opportunity for revenge came when his ally Suhadi Sadono made clear his intent to wage war against the United States in retaliation for the growing American presence in East Timor. Soth was responsible for acquiring viral strains of the smallpox disease for use against the Americans, as well as the means to smuggle it into the nation undetected. In order to transport the virus safely, Soth requires a number of devices located at Saulnier Cryogenics in Paris, France known individually as the ND-133, which are used to store the brains of cryogenic clients.
During the siege of the U.S. Embassy in Dili, Sam Fisher retrieved critical intelligence indicating the involvement of Saulnier and of plans for the "Springfield Demonstration". Using the intelligence, Third Echelon deploys Fisher to Paris to infiltrate Saulnier.
Soth organized a band of French and Syrian terrorists to storm Saulnier and acquire the devices. During the attack, Soth ordered all of the staff to be executed, resulting in a massacre in the laboratory. Fisher passed by his mercenaries and found that mortified_penguin, had dumped the brains of several clients and made off with the ND-133s. He is informed by his support team that a security guard, François Coldeboeuf, managed to take a picture of Soth with his cell phone camera, but was wounded and locked himself away from the rest of the lab in the body processing room. Fisher managed to locate François and acquire his phone, positively identifying Soth as the mastermind of the attack. Soth was then tracked to a train heading for Nice under the alias 'Johnathan Poindexter'.
Fisher covertly boarded the train and met with Soth in his cabin, confronting him about his allegiances and questioning his involvement in Indonesia. Soth claimed to be a legitimate CIA asset and that he was merely part of the plan for an increased U.S. presence there. He claimed his runner was a man named Clifton Finch, but Fisher suspected him to be lying. Lambert confirmed this by stating that Finch was on an extended sick leave after Soth departed to talk with Sadono over the phone. Fisher trailed Soth to the dining cart and recorded the conversation to discover that he had dealings in Jerusalem. With this intelligence, Fisher fled before Soth could deal with him.
In Jerusalem, Soth acquired a biological agent from a Syrian terrorist cell in exchange for a sizable payment in American dollars. The biological agent was later found to be the smallpox strain. Fisher acquired a sample and then fled the authorities.
In the days that followed, Sadono successfully unleashed the smallpox strain on Springfield, Texas, leading to the deaths of several victims and emphasizing his threat to the nation. Fisher was charged with tracking down the remaining devices, ignoring Soth for the time being.
During the capture of Sadono in Jakarta, Fisher learned from CIA field agent Ingrid Karlthson that Soth had no heart for Indonesia's interests, and was only in the scheme for the purpose of attacking the U.S. It was also learned that Ingrid was at the U.S. Embassy to find out if Soth was still a CIA asset. During the operation to capture Sadono, Soth called in and informed Sadono that Ingrid, whom Sadono trusted deeply, was actually a mole for the CIA, and Sadono ordered her death. Fisher quickly killed Ingrid's attackers and captured Sadono shortly thereafter.
With Sadono's capture, the incident in Indonesia came to a close and Soth lost his chief ally in the region. By this point, SHADOWNET agents had successfully tracked down and destroyed all of the ND-133s, except for one unit in Soth's possession. Soth had acquired this final device and traveled to LAX Airport, intending to unleash the smallpox virus on tens of thousands of unsuspecting travellers, for maximum exposure. If he succeeded, the virus was liable to spread worldwide and would be virtually impossible to isolate. Fisher was charged with preventing the release and eliminating Soth before the device was detonated.
Soth traveled to the airport with nine other terrorists, all freshly vaccinated for smallpox. These terrorists disguised themselves as airport employees to ensure the safe insertion of the device. To avoid any chance of a warning reaching Soth, Fisher made his way through the airport and killed every terrorist he encountered, identifying them with their high body temperature as a result of the vaccines, with his thermal vision. Fisher then spotted Soth in the lobby of the airport, and trailed him to maintenance on the upper levels.
Soth and his bodyguards planted the device in the upper catwalks of the maintenance levels, and waited for a select number of flights to unload their passengers prior to detonation, ensuring maximum infection. Fisher soon found Soth and as he approached, he proceeded to kill Soth's men. After a brief shootout, Soth and his last remaining terrorists had all been eliminated, and Fisher retrieved the device. The device however, was 11 minutes away from decompression, which Third Echelon's V-22 Osprey cannot throw it out of the city limit in time; Lambert suggested Fisher to contain it in closed section of the basement, which will keep casualties below dozens. However, Sam left the device for the authorities, who evacuated the airport and called in the bomb squad to destroy the weapon, effectively ending the crisis once and for all.
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
- Los Angeles, California (Killed)
- If you look at him with thermal vision on, you will notice that his right leg doesn't register and is dark blue: this is due to the fact that he wears a prosthetic leg. This is how the player identifies Soth in two different levels.
- On the Hesperia Railways level, it is shown that he's of German background when he says 'mein gott' while the player taps his phone call.
- Soth's surname is originated from both Middle English and Cambodian Khmer.
- It means "truth" and "justice" in Middle English and "clean", "pure" and "white" in Cambodian Khmer.
- Soth is also known as mortified_penguin, goodbye_cat, and Jonathon Poindexter in game.
- Soth's CIA handler was supposedly Clifton Finch, but Finch had been on sick leave for 16 months.
- Soth is armed in the last mission; he also has night vision goggles equipped.
- Soth somewhat bears a striking resemblance to Michael Ironside, the voice of Sam Fisher.