7 Days - Chapter 31

Rising in the East


by James Rollins

To read previously published chapters, click here.

James Rollins is the New York Times bestselling author of international adventure thrillers sold in over thirty countries. His latest novel, The Doomsday Key, is now available nationwide. For more information, visit www.jamesrollins.com.

"Just the one night?"

"That's right," Nick answered and slid the cash through the slot in the wall of bulletproof glass. At least he assumed it was bulletproof.

It was that sort of place. You could pay by the hour or the night. The motel's vestibule stunk of cigarettes and mildew. The glass had a prominent gang sign carved into its thick surface, either as a threat or as proof that this fine establishment had paid-in-full for the crew's protection.

It was that sort of D.C. neighborhood.

This section of the city lay within the shadow of FedEx Field, where the Redskins play. The Come-On-Inn sat between a liquor store and an adult bookshop. The U-shaped motel surrounded a small parking lot. Red doors faced the asphalt; the flicker of television lights glowed through a few of the curtains. A couple of guests lounged by open doors, music blaring, clearly drug dealers or pimps open for business as the sun set on the neighborhood.

"Room 222," the night clerk said and passed a key attached to a red plastic fob. "Second floor. Should be quiet enough." Nick took the key. He had arrived by taxi from the Baltimore airport, changing vehicles twice en route. He had stopped first at a pawnshop in Landover, Maryland, then at an electronics store in Capital Heights before circling to the motel for the night. He had used two of the stolen credit cards for the purchases. Everything was crammed into a Nike gym bag.

With key in hand, he headed back outside and climbed the cement stairs to the second story of the motel. Rusted iron railings looked out over the parking lot. Nick had asked for an isolated room, as far from the other guests as possible. He found Room 222 at the end of one wing of the motel.

Good enough.

He struggled with the key and had to shove the door hard to get it to open. He flicked on the light. The room was typical motel chic: a queen bed, a nightstand, a small chest of drawers, and a bathroom at the back. Everything in the room looked bolted down. The place had certainly seen better days. Wallpaper peeled and bubbled from the walls. The rug bore signs of cigarette burns, as if patrons considered this place little better than an ashtray.

Nick had to agree with that sorry assessment.

He tossed his Nike bag on what passed for the bed and checked his watch. It was past nine o'clock. He felt wired, tense—especially for a dead man. He'd taken a short nap on the plane, knowing it would be a long night. Afterward, he had used the remaining hours of the flight to plan his return to D.C.

He unzipped his bag, pulled out three items, and placed them on the bedspread: a pay-as-you-go cell phone, a new laptop, and a carbon-black Sig Sauer P226 pistol that he had bought from the pawnshop.

He set the laptop up on the chest of drawers, plugged in a wireless adaptor, and pulled up its tiny antenna. As he waited for the computer to boot up, he crossed to the bathroom. He wrapped a fist in a towel and smashed the mirror. He watched his reflection shatter and fall away into shards. It was a grim reminder of the line he was about to cross. After this, there would be no turning back.

He didn't care.

His wife was dead. Nick held out no hope that Ashleigh could still be alive. False reports had their bodies discovered amid the rubble of the Palace Station. Someone had attempted to assassinate him afterward and almost succeeded. He had barely escaped with his life—and that was while he was free and on the run. What hope was there for Ashleigh? She was already their prisoner.

They would show no mercy.

Of that he was certain.

While flying across the country, he had grown colder and more determined, drawing an icy strength from that certainty. If Ashleigh was dead, that left only one goal: to find out who was behind all of this and put a bullet through their skull.

Nothing else mattered, not even his own life.

But to achieve that goal required a risky first step.

He returned to the bed and picked up the cell phone.

It was time for Nick Roberts to rise from the grave.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Koleson Fletcher sat in his West Wing office, resting his head in his hands. It was late. He should be heading home, but as Press Secretary, he had spent many nights on the couch in his office. And after the bombing in Vegas, it was going to be one of those nights. He was still waiting for the rewrite on a speech he was slated to give to the press corps in the morning.

When his cell phone rang, he considered ignoring it, especially after checking the Caller I.D. He didn't recognize the number. Still, it was a welcome distraction, so he flicked open the phone and brought it to his ear.

"Fletcher."

The caller immediately cut in, speaking rapidly, plainly not wanting to be interrupted. "I am going to give you an address. I need you to meet me there. Alone. I'll be there for twenty minutes. After that, I'm gone."

An address followed, and the line went dead.

Kole sat stunned at the impossibility of it. He had recognized the caller's voice.

Nick.

He couldn't believe his good fortune.

He reached for his desk phone, knowing that he didn't have much time, and tapped in a number he had memorized. Once the line was picked up, he spoke just as rapidly as Nick had.

"He's alive. And I have his address."

 


<< Return to the March 2010 Index of Fusion

Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


Watch the full special on BlazeTV YouTube here.

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 multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable. Leaders from state and local governments across the U.S. have flattened the curve of some of our most basic constitutional rights, but some Americans are fighting back — and risking jail time or losing their businesses.

On Wednesday night's GBTV special, Glenn Beck argued that we're witnessing the birth of a new civil rights movement — and it's time to build a coalition of common sense to keep America as we know it free.

Watch the full special below:

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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 multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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 multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below: