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

Megyn Kelly is not happy about the "disgusting" media coverage of President Donald Trump, specifically pointing to Lesley Stahl's "60 Minutes" interview on CBS Sunday.

On the radio program, Megyn told Glenn Beck the media has become so blinded by the "Trump Derangement Syndrome" that they've lost their own credibility — and now they can't get it back.

"It's disgusting. It's stomach-turning," Megyn said of the media's coverage of the president. "But it's just a continuation of what we've seen over the past couple of years. Their 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' has blinded them to what they're doing to their own credibility. They can't get it back. It's too late. They've already sacrificed it. And now no one is listening to them other than the hard partisans for whom they craft their news."

Megyn also discussed how she would have covered the recent stories about Hunter and Joe Biden's alleged corruption. Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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Imagine sometime next year, getting called before HUWAC – the House Un-Woke Activities Committee.

"Are you or have you ever been a member of the un-woke?"

Something like that is not as far-fetched as you might think.

Last week, Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration, now a UC Berkeley professor, tweeted this:

Since the 1970s, there have been dozens of "Truth Commissions" around the world like the kind Robert Reich wants in America. Most of these have been set up in Africa and Latin America. Usually it happens in countries after a civil war, or where there's been a regime change – a dictator is finally overthrown, and a commission is set up to address atrocities that happened under the dictator. Or, as in the commissions in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, atrocities under communism. Or, in the most famous example, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation commission addressed the decades of apartheid that ravaged that nation.

These commissions usually conclude with an official final report. These commissions and reports have served as a means of governments trying to close a dark chapter of their country's history, or provide emotional catharsis, as a way to generally move on. Sometimes it kind of works for people, most of the time it leaves people clamoring for more justice.

Here's how one professor described truth commissions in an article in The Conversation last year. He wrote:

The goal of a truth commission… is to hold public hearings to establish the scale and impact of a past injustice, typically involving wide-scale human rights abuses, and make it part of the permanent, unassailable public record. Truth commissions also officially recognize victims and perpetrators in an effort to move beyond the painful past… Some have been used cynically as tools for governments to legitimize themselves by pretending they have dealt with painful history when they have only kicked the can down the road.

See, this is the problem with a lot of "Truth" commissions – they are inherently political. Even if you trust your government and give them all the benefit of the doubt in the world that their Truth commission is trying to do the right thing, it is ALWAYS going to be political. Because these truth commissions are never set up by those who have LOST power in government. They're always established by those who have WON power.

The Deputy Executive Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice says one of the main points in these Truth commissions is that "the victims become protagonists."

A Department of Anti-racism is entirely within the realm of possibility.

So, who are the victims in Robert Reich's America? People like him, members of the far-Left who had to endure the atrocities of four years of a president with different political ideas. What an injustice. I mean, the left's suffering during the Trump administration is almost on the level of apartheid or genocide – so we totally need a Truth commission.

There have been lots of calls for the U.S. to have its own Truth and Reconciliation commission, especially around racial injustice.

This past June, Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California introduced legislation to establish the " United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation."

Ibram X. Kendi – the high priest of anti-racism, and author of Target's current favorite book " Antiracist Baby" – proposes a Constitutional anti-racism amendment. This amendment would:

establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for pre-clearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won't yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.

If you think that is far-fetched, you haven't been paying attention to the Left's growing radicalism. In a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration, a Department of Anti-racism is entirely within the realm of possibility. And of course, such a DOA would never stop at policing government.

We're in a dangerous, precarious moment in our history. Given the events of 2020, should Democrats gain the White House, the Senate, and the House, how many commissions will be in our future? They will suddenly have plenty of political capital to drag the nation through years of commission hearings.

And the Left's form of justice is never satisfied. You think it will stop at a T&R commission on race? MSNBC's Chris Hayes tweeted this month about the need for a commission to deal with Americans who are skeptical about wearing masks:

Or what about a Truth commission on religion? I mean, look at those reckless churches spreading Covid this year. Or this would be a big one – a T&R commission on climate change deniers.

The Left is highly selective when it comes to truth. That's why they are the very last group you want in charge of anything with "Truth and Reconciliation" in the title.

This is one of the most incredibly frustrating things about the Left in America today. The Left insists there is no such thing as absolute truth, while simultaneously insisting there are certain approved truths that are undeniable.

So, you can't question "Science" – even though that's pretty much what every great scientist in history did.

You can't question racism as the explanation for all of existence – because, well, just because.

You can't question third-party "Fact-checkers" – because the powers that be, mainly Big Tech right now, have decided they are the Truth referees and you have to trust what they say because they're using certified external fact-checkers. They just forgot to tell you that they actually fund these third-party fact-checkers. It's like if McDonald's told you to trust third-party health inspectors that they were paying for.

The Left thinks it has a monopoly on Truth. They're the enlightened ones, because they've had the correct instruction, they're privy to the actual facts. It's psychotic arrogance. If you don't buy what they're selling, even if you're just skeptical of it, it's because you either don't have the facts, you willingly deny the facts, or you're simply incapable of grasping the truth because you're blinded by your raging racism problem. It's most likely the racism problem.

The Left never learns from its own preaching. For the past 60-plus years they've decried the House Un-American Activities Committee for trying to root out communists, getting people canceled, ruining Hollywood careers, etcetera. But a HUAC-type committee is precisely what Robert Reich is describing and many on the Left want. It's not enough for Trump to be voted out of office. Americans who helped put him there must be punished. They don't want reconciliation, they want retribution. Because the Left doesn't simply loathe Donald Trump, the Left loathes YOU.

President Donald Trump's performance at last night's final presidential debate was "brilliant" and "the best he's ever done," Glenn Beck said on the radio program Friday.

Glenn described the moments he thought President Trump came across as "sincere," "kind," and "well-informed," as well as Joe Biden's biggest downfalls for of the night — from his big statement on wanting to eliminate the oil industry to his unsurprising gaffes as the debate neared the end. But, the question remains: was Trump's "brilliant performance" enough to win the election?

Watch the video be low to get Glenn's take on the final debate before the November 3 election:


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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.

This is a moment "Cynical Theories" author James Lindsay probably hoped would never come. The liberal mathematician and host of the "New Discourses Podcast" recently came out as "unhappily" voting Republican, including for President Donald Trump, because the Democratic Party is now being controlled by a far-left movement that seeks to destroy our country and the U.S. Constitution.

He joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to explain why this election isn't "Trump versus Biden." It's Trump versus a "movement that wants to tear apart American society at its very foundation." Lindsay warned that if it isn't stopped, the left can toss out our rights by rewriting the Constitution — or abolishing it altogether.

"A lot of people don't understand what's happening with the election we have right now," he said. "They think it's a choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. And at the surface level, of course, it is. We're voting for each candidate to be duly put into the office of president. But that's not what we really have going on. We have, in Donald Trump, a man who's going to govern as we've all seen — the way he feels like he's going to govern. And we have in Joe Biden, a man captured by a movement that wants to tear apart the American society at its very foundation."

Lindsay noted the popular leftist narratives that call to "abolish anything they don't like," which now includes the U.S. Constitution. He added that "this is the movement that is controlling the Democratic Party."

"It is my belief, that there has been a largely effective kind of silent coup of the Democratic Party, that's turned it completely under the control of this movement. And that's what we're going to be electing with Joe Biden. So I can't do it," he said.

Watch the video below for more details: