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October 2008 Issue

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This is the latest chapter in Fusion’s serial thriller novel 7 Days.  Each month a different bestselling thriller writer is invited to participate and write one new chapter in the story.  New York Times #1 bestsellers, such as James Patterson, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, and Brad Meltzer, have all participated.

In previous chapters of 7 Days

Readers learned that six nuclear suitcase bombs have been hidden in the U.S.  As both the U.S. and Russian governments race to get control of the nukes, we learn that both the nuclear weapons and their detonation codes have been purchase by an unknown buyer.

To prevent his plan from being derailed, the buyer has been systematically and mercilessly executing U.S. intelligence officers (and their wives).  But his latest target, Nick Roberts, is proving to be far more resourceful than the others.  He now threatens to bring down the whole operation.

Meanwhile, Teddy Popov, a strong-arm Russian mobster, is hired by the Russian government to unearth the buyer’s plans.  That leads him to a mysterious Frenchman (Froggy) who seems to know an awful lot about what’s going on.   

Acclaimed New York Times best-selling author, Ted Bell, picks up the story of Teddy Popov, the Russians, and Froggy in this exclusive chapter.

*************************************************

Chapter Seventeen


The Question Room


[Ted Bell]

Teddy Popov dozed off climbing out of Vegas, shortly after his Gulfstream V leveled off at its cruising altitude of 51,000 feet. It was almost 5 A.M. An imminent red dawn was visible to the east. Day would break fast now. The sleek aircraft was streaking eastward above the United States, approaching the flaming rim of the world at over six hundred miles per hour

Teddy, sitting in one of the main lounge’s four kidskin recliners, had been reading an article about Condi Rice in Izvestia before he’d zonked out.  It was a good article about how the U.S. was going ahead with plans to install missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, right on Russia’s doorstep. A ‘defense shield’ they were calling it in Washington. Yeah, right, defense.

These missiles were a subject of great interest to Popov and his friends in the Kremlin. Western encroachment into former Soviet client states was Topic A in Moscow right now. It was the reason the necessary retaliatory steps were being taken.

The combination of Imperia vodka and the velvet hand of luxury had made Popov sleepy. His newspaper slid to the floor as he slipped off into dreamland.

**********

Popov and Andrei had spent less than two hours in Vegas, most of it in a very unsatisfactory conversation with a nervous little Frenchman while cramped in a booth at the back of some crappy saloon in the Palace Hotel.

A few minutes in, the little frog excused himself to use the facilities and Teddy nodded meaningfully at Andrei who instantly rose from the table and followed the bow-tied twit into the back.

            Five minutes later, the two men returned.

            Froggy was stumbling now, barely able to walk, and Andrei had to help him back into the booth. He collapsed on the seat and grabbed his drink, the double Stoli Teddy had ordered in his absence, and knocked in back in one gulp. Teddy grinned. He loved to see a man who’d just unwittingly ingested a serious sedative top it off with 80 proof vodka.

            “How long has he got?” Popov asked Andrei.

            “He’ll be out in ten minutes.”

            “Rophynol?”

            “Yes, sir.”

            “Date rape drug. You going to rape him on the plane, Andrei?” Teddy smirked.

            Andrei, who had absolutely no discernible sense of humor, forced a smile. “If he was a beautiful, curvaceous woman then perhaps I would surely be most enthusiastic to rape him many, many times.”

            “Yeah? Well, good for you, Andrei. That’s fabulous.”

            Popov blew his nose into his handkerchief and said, “I gotta get out of this stinking pissoir. Can you get him outside to the limo by yourself?”

            “No problem, boss.”

            “Call the pilots first. Tell them to top off the tanks and light the candles, we’re coming back with an extra passenger.”

            “Roger.”

            “And don’t say “roger” again, Andrei. Ever. You’re reading too many Tom Clancy novels. Lose the spy crap. You are not a spy. Spies have to actually think. That is not your strength. Now, get this guy out to the car. Tape him up and put him in the trunk. I don’t want to look at him anymore. When we get to the plane, put him in the luggage storage area behind the aft head, okay?”

            “Sure.  Where are we taking him? Back to the Exumas and Czarina?” Andrei asked, getting an arm around the guy and hauling him to his feet. What Andrei lacked in brains he more than made up for in brawn. The Frenchman, meanwhile, was mumbling, a whitish drool pooling at the corners of his mouth.

            “No, Andrei, as a matter of fact we’re going to take our new friend to Moscow. Give him the special private tour of the Kremlin, understand?”

            “The Question Room?”

            Popov nodded, heaved his great bulk to his feet and squirmed out of the booth, following in the wake of Andrei and the spaghetti-legged foreign gentleman who’d obviously been over-served.

            “You’re learning, Andrei. Now, go, go!” the fat Russian said, flashing his Amex Black Card to signal the cocktail waitress for the check on his way to the door.

**********

Forty-five minutes later, Popov was boarding his sinfully beautiful airplane on the Sin City tarmac. Every time he did, he whispered a silent thank you to his good friend Putin, the guy who’d pounded the final nail into Communism’s coffin. Volodya, as Putin was called by his closest associates, was now prime minister, normally a ceremonial position. But not this time.

 The mild-mannered president, Medvedev, may be sitting in Volodya’s old presidential office in the yellow building overlooking the Kremlin’s gardens—but Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was, as the Amerikanskis say, still the man.

            “Wake up, please,” Andrei was saying urgently in his ear, squeezing his shoulder.

            “Wha—”

            “Look out your window!”

            “What?” Teddy said, completely disoriented.

            “An American fighter plane. Just off our starboard wingtip.”

            Popov leaned over and peered out the window. Jesus. They were wing-to-wing with a very serious looking stealth warplane. So close Teddy could see that the pilot was looking straight at him, chewing gum. He picked up the phone mounted on the bulkhead and buzzed the cockpit.

            “What the hell?” he asked his captain.

            “Sorry, sir. He appeared out of nowhere.”

            “What’s he want? Has he made radio contact? Is he threatening us?”

            “Negative, sir. He said it was just a courtesy call.”

            “Courtesy of who?”

            “Courtesy of the United States Air Force. He said he would be escorting us until we reached America’s Eastern seaboard and were out over international waters.”

            “He say why?”

            “No, sir.”

            “Well hit the afterburners or something. I won’t put up with this American harassment.”

            “Afraid that’s not possible, sir.”

            “Why the hell not?”

            “Our maximum airspeed is only six hundred miles per hour.”

            “And?”

            “That aircraft is an F-22 Raptor, sir. Russian intelligence puts its maximum speed at Mach 2, roughly twelve hundred miles per hour.”

            Popov frowned.  “I guess $35 million doesn’t buy what it used to.”  He hung up the phone and pulled his shade down so he could no longer see the intrusive American fighter. “Andrei, where’s my Izvestia?”

            “Right here, sir. I picked it up off the floor.”

            Teddy sat back and resumed reading his Condi article. “She says in here we’re revanchist. “Revanchist Russia” she calls us. Do you know the meaning of that fancy word, Andrei?”

            “Sorry? Which word?”

            “Revanchist.  It means “revenge-seeking.”  Do you think we’re seeking revenge, Andrei?”

            “I wouldn’t even guess.”

            “No, of course you wouldn’t. But let me tell you one damn thing, Andrei, you worthless lizard.”

            “Yes, sir?”

            “America won the Cold War and spent a decade rubbing our noses in it. Invited us to the altar of democracy and made us feel like a jilted bride. We are seeking revenge, Andrei. And, by God, we shall have it!”

**********

As the heavily-armored black Rolls Royce Phantom slid between the huge wooden doors of Kremlin’s Spassky Gate, Popov glanced up at the black clock face on the soaring tower above the Gate. With its glowing red star, the forbidding clock tower glowered across Red Square as though irritated by the frivolously psychedelic domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral.

            He was right on time, he saw, smiling at the military guards who were waving him through.

            The Rolls purred to a stop in front of the four story yellow building that housed Putin’s offices. Popov hopped out of the back, not waiting for Andrei and his prisoner, as he made his way through all the security and up to the third floor office where Prime Minister Putin was waiting for him.

            “Vodka?” Putin said, smiling, pouring Popov a beaker as the fat billionaire pulled up a chair by the fire.

            “Thank you, Volodya.” He raised his glass to his patron, then knocked it back.

            “Good trip?” Putin said, pulling up a chair.

            “Slept like a baby. You look good, Volodya. Power agrees with you.”

            “Just like money agrees with you. Tell me about this gift you bring from America. Kidnapping is not without risk.”

            “Ah, yes, the little frog. Not a prince, I assure you. But valuable, perhaps, once we get him in the Question Room. And he’s drugged to the gills. If he survives interrogation, we will take steps to ensure he remembers nothing of his decidedly unpleasant experience.”

            “Good.  He’s being taken to the QR now.” Putin gave Popov an icy glare.  “Now for the truth about Little Big Boy.”

**********

The Question Room. Installed in the bowels of the Kremlin by Stalin during The Great Purge in 1937, few people on earth even knew of its existence. It was a square room, about forty-feet by forty-feet. The walls, ceiling, and floors were covered with small shiny white tiles. There was a large ventilator fan installed in the ceiling to whisk away unpleasant odors. Four wooden “visitor” chairs were placed against one wall. Two were occupied.  One by Putin, the other by Popov.

            In the center of the room stood a tiled square column, eight feet in height. Atop the column was a four foot high wire-mesh cage. The floor of the cage was three square feet of thin metal. The victim, or, “interrogation suspect,” was placed inside the cage, nude, atop the body temperature metallic floor. Operators behind the glass observation window in one wall could increase or decrease the floor’s temperature at will, raising it to temperatures that would melt iron if necessary.

            Music by Rimsky-Korsakov played quietly from speakers in all four corners. It was only when the operators who were asking the questions from the control room grew frustrated or impatient that the temperature of the metal floor began to rise slowly and irrevocably.

            “First question,” the white-jacketed man behind the thick window said.

            The small naked man in the cage looked around the room, trying to shake the drug-induced haze from his brain. He climbed shakily to his feet and shook the wire cage violently.

            Putin and Popov leaned forward expectantly.

            “Laissez les bon temps roulez!” the frogman croaked.

            Let the good times roll.

            “Brave little bastard, isn’t he?” Popov said mildly.

            Putin stared straight ahead, his face devoid of all emotion.  “We shall see, Comrade, we shall see.”

………………………………………………………………………

Ted Bell is the New York Times bestselling author of the Hawke series.  His latest novel, Nick of Time, is now available in bookstores and his novel about Putin and Russia, called Tsar will be released this September.  For more information, visit www.tedbellbooks.com

………………………………………………………………………

If you like what you just read, subscribe to Fusion Magazine now and get the complete ‘7 Days’ series.

At the same time President Biden's misplaced classified documents were sitting in his house, garage, and office at the Penn Biden Center, a whole lot of Chinese money was flowing around him. Is this just a coincidence, or did the Chinese get anything in return? Investigative journalist John Solomon joins to break down what was going on here ...

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Here are 5 RIDICULOUS moments from the Davos summit

Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff, FABRICE COFFRINI / Contributor, JOSEPH EID / Contributor | Getty Images

Glenn has been warning about the dangers of the World Economic Forum and The Great Reset, which is the WEF's goal to utilize the crises like the COVID pandemic to create a leftist Utopia. Now, these goals continue to take shape at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos. Here are five ridiculous moments from this year's summit that shed light on their ultimate vision Glenn has been warning about.

1. Ex-CNN host Brian Stelter hosts the WEF panel on "disinformation," calling for the criminalization of "hate speech" in the U.S.

The former host of Reliable Sources was fired from CNN in 2022 for raking in the network's worst ratings since 2019. CNN's CEO at the time, Chris Licht, accused Stelter of "drawing ire from conservatives" for misrepresenting the facts and propagating false narratives to demonize conservatives. Licht fired Stelter because he was a liability to CNN's attempt to "re-brand" itself as a "reliable" news source.

You would think the World Economic Forum could have found a more credible host for its "disinformation," than Brian Stelter, and it comes with little surprise Stelter's panel called for the continued censorship of conservatives.

Stelter asked his panel, "How does this discussion of disinformation relate to everything else happening today in Davos?"

Vice-President of the European Commission Vera Jourová answered "illegal hate speech" from right-wing extremists, and then called for the criminalization of hate speech in the U.S., asserting, "I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law" within the EU.

As former Trump advisor Stephen Miller pointed out, Stelter's refusal to further challenge Jourová's call for censorship is indicative of his failed career as a journalist.

2. Al Gore warns of "rain bombs," "boiling oceans," and "xenophobia" as a result of climate change.

Gore's speech "speaks" for itself...

After asserting that we're creating an "open sewer" in the troposphere, Gore exclaimed:

That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice and raising the sea level, and causing these waves of climate refugees!
Watch the latest video at <a href="https://www.foxnews.com">foxnews.com</a>

Speaking of refugees, Gore blamed the mass migrations of people on... you guessed it... climate change! Of course this leads to "xenophobia" and "fascism," so if we hate "xenophobia" and "fascism," we need to stop climate change IMMEDIATELY. Plus the rain bombs...

Does this sound reminiscent of the "Man-Bear-Pig?"

Courtesy of South Park

3. Siemens AG Chairman Jim Hagemann urges for 1 million people to NOT eat meat—predicting a "meatless future."

It wouldn't be a World Economic Forum summit if bugs didn't take center stage. Siemens AG Chairman Jim Hagemann said he was inspired by his 24-year-old daughter to stop eating meat to fight climate change and urged one million people to stop eating meat to balance out jet emissions—like the jets his fellow attendees used to travel to the conference?

Here's what he said:

If a billion people stop eating meat, I tell you, it has a big impact. Not only does it have a big impact on the current food system, but it will also inspire innovation of food systems."
Watch the latest video at <a href="https://www.foxnews.com">foxnews.com</a>

Of course, finding "alternative sources of protein" means... you guessed it... BUGS. The EU is already cutting down on cattle farms and promoting the building of insect farms to initiate this "protein transition."

4. John Kerry calls Davos attendees a "select group" with an "almost extraterrestrial" plan to save the planet.

Kerry's opening speech at Davos shows the type of elitism the attendees believe about themselves. They are the "special ones" who can gather at a Swiss resort town to discuss how to "save the planet" and the "little people" who are too ignorant to have a say in the matter. His words speak for themselves:

When you start to think about it, it's pretty extraordinary that we — select group of human beings because of whatever touched us at some point in our lives — are able to sit in a room and come together and actually talk about saving the planet [...] I mean, it's so almost extraterrestrial to think about saving the planet [...] f you say that to most people, most people think you're just a crazy, tree-hugging, lefty liberal, you know, do-gooder, or whatever, and there's no relationship. But really, that's where we are.
Watch the latest video at <a href="https://www.foxnews.com">foxnews.com</a>

Well, not everyone was amused...

Businessman and conservative Tim Acheson called Kerry’s words, "Liberal delusions of grandeur." Jordan Peterson also tweeted, "Who are you going to sacrifice to save the planet, @JohnKerry -- and do you think and how will you ensure that they have any say in the matter?"

5. Davos attendees traveled on more than 1,000 private jets to the conference.

Greenspace, an environmentalist research group, estimates the total emissions used by Davos attendees on their private jets while traveling to the conference is equivalent to "about 350,000 average cars."

Greenspace also found that 53 percent of all private jet trips were short-haul flights of less than 470 nautical miles that "could have easily been train trips." This comes amid the EU's push to ban short-distance flights and opt for train travel instead, which many continue to point out.

Closing thoughts

What once sounded like conspiracy theories are now taking shape amongst the global elites at Davos. As Glenn continues to shed light on the dangers of the World Economic Forum, here's how YOU can fight back against their goals that threaten our freedoms and democracy.

In honor of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, we would like to resurrect this gem from Glenn's Instagram archive. If "the Great Reset" doesn't work out, Schwab should consider reaching out to the Bond franchise for a Plan-B career.

Be sure to follow Glenn on Instagram for more!

This is part of our ongoing series on "The Great Reset." To read similar content, click here.

PROOF the World Economic Forum wants you eating... BUGS!

EasyBuy4u, PeopleImages, TeoLazarev | Getty Images

As the World Economic Forum continues to meet in Davos about building a more "sustainable" future, Glenn's warning on a seemingly outlandish sustainability goal is becoming reality: eating bugs!

In its 2023 Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum called for the "transition to net-zero, nature-positive food" to fight "food insecurity." In other words, the WEF imagines a future with minimal meat and maximum "zero-emissions food"—like bugs—as consumers' main source of protein. This is a part of "the Great Reset," the agenda proposed by the World Economic Forum in 2020, urging leaders to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to restructure the "world order" to bring about a leftist Utopia.

SHOP: Trigger leftists and amuse your friends with 'Eat Ze Bugs' socks (while supplies last)

Major news outlets like the BBC have promoted insect farms as a sustainable food source to "reduce the reliance on everyday meat eating."

Courtesy of the BBC

So what's the big concern about eating bugs? As the video points out, many cultures throughout the world have been eating insects for centuries—many consider them a delicacy! The issue with the WEF's push for insects isn't merely the option to eat bugs. If someone wants to munch on some grasshoppers, nothing is stopping them! The major concern is the way in which the WEF wants to mandate insect consumption, and, consequentially, destroy the beef industry.

According to the same 2023 Risk Report, the WEF calls for "radical policy measures" to bring about the food transition to zero-net-emissions food, like insects. This means imposing such a burden on the dairy and cattle industries that it renders them impossible to function, paving the way for a new insect industry.

In the Netherlands, the EU's largest food exporter, the government is forcing the farmers to sell their land to the state unless they reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer used. However, without nitrogen fertilizer, it is nearly impossible for the farmers to produce enough food to feed the nation, not to mention turn a profit. Moreover, without nitrogen fertilizer, it will be impossible for cattle farmers to produce enough food to feed their cows. This is an impossible burden for farmers to bear, and they often capitulate and sell their land to the government, paving the way for a burgeoning insect industry. Is it any coincidence the EU is pushing for insects as a means of "food sufficiency" and combatting climate change?

If you think eating insects is a novel issue from across the pond, think again. There is a growing push for a "beef tax" in the U.S. to disincentivize beef consumption and incentivize alternative "sustainable" protein sources...like bugs. According to 2021, data, U.S. beef is a 79-billion-dollar-per-year industry, employing million across the U.S.'s 700,000 cattle farms. These stats don't even include the U.S.'s dairy industry. If the global environmentalists have their way, this major U.S. industry will be wiped out, wreaking havoc on our economy. Yet this government control over the "everyday person's" consumption is all too tantalizing.

As the World Economic Forum convenes in Davos to discuss how to achieve their "sustainable utopia," Glenn continues to advocate for the free market and the ability to choose our own consumer goods, rather than giving global elites the power to consolidate and mandate their "approved goods" for widespread consumption. Though consuming insects may seem like an outlandish idea that has no impact on our daily lives, it is a part of a larger movement to control our way of life to achieve a more sustainable future, threatening both our economy and our basic freedoms.

This is part of our ongoing series on "The Great Reset." To read similar content, click here.