Digging in the Ashes is the first Splinter Cell comic to star Sam Fisher. It was intended as a digital PDF on a USB drive given with the US Collector's Edition of Conviction, but due to problems with the drives the files were offered free of charge on Ubisoft's website. The comic was written by Eddie Deighton and Jon Sloan, with art by Mike Dowling.
The now disavowed former Third Echelon Splinter Cell agent, Sam Fisher, is currently under attack from an unidentified infiltration team. A flashback detailing what happened before starts three days prior, where 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 after noticing the guards were equipped with AK-74Ms. Before slipping into the server room and inserting the flash drive into the server room's computer, Sam demands that Lupul tell him what is really going on. 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 asks Lupul where his exit is. Lupul apologizes to Sam and notifies him that his 'superiors cannot afford loose ends'. Lupul admits that he 'does owe Sam', and tells him to run. Suddenly, the flash drive, still connected to the server room computer, activates a loud beeping sound, alerting the guards nearby. Sam takes cover after being briefly spotted by one of the Nexegen security guards, prompting two of the guards to bash the door. One of the guards looks up to notice that one of the ceiling panels had been removed, causing them to think he exited to the roof. In one quick motion, Sam slides out of cover and kills both of the security guards.
With the whole facility on alert, Sam makes for an escape and bolts down the hallway. As he runs past a janitor who had been cleaning the floor, multiple guards appear from behind and pursue Sam. Sam turns 180 degrees and fires a round into the janitor's water bucket, slipping up the guards and allowing him to swiftly take them out. Sam dashes towards one of the windows and fires at the glass, letting him jump through the glass the lose the pursuers. 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 rifle bullet. Now bringing the story back to the start, Sam bolts towards the door and takes out a North Korean special forces officer about to breach the room. With the whole special forces squad now actively searching for Sam, he utilizes stealth to take out guards one-by-one until he finds the sniper who assassinated Lupul. Sam, holding a gun to the sniper's head, tells him that his team is wiped out and that Sam was misled, and was only looking for a file. Sam tells the man that the source of their problems was Lupul, and that if they leave Sam alone, he'll clear out of their way. As the sniper is about to ask Sam a question, he finds that Sam is gone.
Twenty-four hours later, Sam is in 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.
- Sam Fisher
- Ruslan Lupul
- Jun Haewan (mentioned)
- Sarah Fisher (mentioned)
- Mary (mentioned) - Girlfriend or wife of one of the CedEX employees at the Vancouver Airport.
- Sam Fisher uses some of his signature moves from previous Splinter Cell games that do not appear in Conviction, including the half-split jump from Pandora Tomorrow.
- The title of the comic appears as a projected text at the beginning of the book, similar to the projected text used heavily in the Conviction.
- The book is prefaced by Victor Coste's "America Killed Him" speech seen in Conviction, as well as a message from Splinter Cell: Conviction creative director Maxime Beland discussing the new direction of the Sam Fisher character.