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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

………………………………………………………………………

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In a shocking but underreported conversation ahead of the G7 Speakers' meeting in London last week, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted that the administration knows China is committing "genocide" against the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region, but thinks working with the regime on climate change is more important.

On the radio program, an outraged Glenn Beck dissected Pelosi's speech and broke down how — along with the Biden administration's abandonment of Americans in Afghanistan, and the Democrat decision to follow measures of medical "equity" — the far left is revealing how little they really care about human life.

Glenn played a video clip of Pelosi making the following statement:

We've always felt connected to China, but with their military aggression in the South China Sea, with their continuation of genocide with the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province there, with their violation of the cultural, linguistic, religious priority of Tibet, with their suppression of democracy in Hong Kong and other parts of China, as well – they're just getting worse in terms of suppression, and freedom of speech. So, human rights, security, economically [sic].

Having said all of that ... we have to work together on climate. Climate is an overriding issue and China is the leading emitter in the world, the U.S. too and developed world too, but we must work together.

"We have Nancy Pelosi admitting the United States of America knows that they're not only committing [genocide], they're continuing to commit it. Which means, we've known for a while," Glenn noted. "And what does she say? She goes on to say, yes, they're committing genocide against the Uyghurs, but having said that, I'm quoting, 'the overriding issue,' is working together on climate change.

"Would we have worked with Hitler on climate change? Would we have worked with Hitler on developing the bomb? Would we have worked with Hitler on developing the Autobahn? Would we have worked with Hitler on his socialized medicine? Would we have worked with Hitler on any of his national, socialist ideas?" he asked.

"The answer is no. No. When you're committing genocide, no! She said 'we have to work together on climate,' because climate is the 'overriding issue.' The overriding issue? There is no way to describe this mindset. That, yes, they are killing an entire group of people because of their ethnicity or religion. They are systematically rounding them up, using them for slave labor, and killing them, using their organs and selling them on the open market. They are nothing more than cattle. For us to recognize it and do nothing about it is bad enough. But to say, 'we recognize it, but we have bigger things to talk to them about,' is a horror show."

Glenn went on to urge Americans to "stand up together in love, peace, and harmony," or risk watching our nation become the worst plague on human life yet.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

The fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 marked the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history and economic collapse was felt throughout the world. But now China's own version of Lehman Brothers, Evergrande, is teetering closer and closer to that edge, too. On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck gave the latest update and predicted how it will affect Asian markets and what it could mean for America's economy.

Glenn explained why he believes a major collapse that is happening now in China will have a cascading effect into a "controlled collapse," a managed decline that will dramatically change America's economy and the way we all live.

"You will not recognize your lifestyle. Hear me," Glenn warned. "And that's not a right-left thing. That's a right-wrong thing. We're on the wrong track. I'm telling you now, there's new information and you are not going to recognize the American lifestyle. ... It could happen tomorrow. It could happen in five years from now, but it will happen. We are headed for a very different country. One where you don't have the rights that you have. And you certainly don't have the economic privileges that Americans are used to."

"The same thing that happened in 2008 is now happening in China," Glenn continued. "This time, it's going to take everything down. When it collapses, it will take everything down."

Watch the video below to hear Glenn break down the details:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Justin Haskins, editorial director of the Heartland Institute, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to expose a shocking conversation between two Great Reset proponents — Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (Europe's equivalent to the Fed).

The way Schwab and Lagarde discuss the role central banks should play in establishing societal norms, determining your way of life, and defending against potential crisis is proof that the Great Reset is upon us, Justin explained. And the scariest part is that they're not even trying to hide it. The entire, unbelievable conversation has been published on the WEF website, which you can read here.

Glenn read an excerpt from the conversation:

Christine Lagarde: At the ECB, we have now wrapped up and concluded our strategy review, which was the first one in 17 years. And I was blessed to have an entire Governing Council unanimously agree that the fight against climate change should be one of the considerations that we take when we determine monetary policy. So at least the European Central Bank is of the view that climate change is an important component in order to decide on monetary policy. ...

Can we arrive at that trade-off between fighting climate change, preserving biodiversity and yet securing enough growth to respond to legitimate demands of the population? And my first answer, Klaus, to be firm, is that to have a way of life, we need life. And in the medium term, we do have major threats on the horizon that could cause the death of hundreds of thousands of people. So we have to think life, first. We have to think way of life, second. ...

So we have to think life, first. We have to think way of life, second. How can we come together to make sure that we secure the first priority, which is life, and also protect the way of life that people have? And make sure that the cost of it is not so high for some people, that they just cannot tolerate it. I think that the trade-off that we reach will probably require some redistribution, because it is clear that the most exposed people, the less privileged people are those that are going to need some help.

"Do you understand, America, what that means?" Glenn exclaimed. "You have elites, that you never elected, that are having these meetings ... deciding what is a legitimate need for you. And telling you that your needs are going to go away in your lifetime. You may not see a time where you get wants again. Just your needs are going to be addressed. Am I reading this wrong?"

"This is absolutely what is being said here," Justin agreed. "She's very clear that we need to make sure that way of life is second to life. We have to save all these people, hundreds of thousands of people are going to die from this supposedly existential threat of climate change. And their wants, and their desires, and their quality of living, all of that has to come second."

"This is a central bank saying this. This is not an elected official, who is accountable directly to the people. This is a central bank saying, we're going to print money. We're going to use monetary policy, to impose these ideas, to rework society in order to accomplish our goals," Justin added, addressing Lagarde's call for "some redistribution."

Will Great Reset elites — not elected by the U.S. — soon be dictating to the rest of the world? Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn and Justin break it down:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

First comes the "crisis," then comes the expansion. The federal government is seizing on the January 6 Capitol riot to take carte blanche to do whatever it wants and weaponize the event to further empower the new overlords of our country — the intelligence community.

On Glenn TV Wednesday, Glenn Beck reveals what's happening with the U.S. Capitol Police and argues they've morphed into a new arm of the intelligence apparatus, boosted by a massive increase in funding and surveillance equipment and new offices OUTSIDE the Capitol building. The Biden administration has also hidden basic details regarding January 6. Why did officials refuse to release the name of the officer who killed Ashli Babbitt? Where are the 14,000-plus hours of CCTV footage? As any intelligence organization knows, it's best to operate outside the realms of oversight.

Glenn exposes the hidden hand of government that could be used to punish and destroy innocent Americans who are only guilty of holding the "wrong" political view.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.