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

Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Robert Francis "Beto" O’Rourke's disgusting and obviously-staged political stunt during a press conference about the Ross Elementary School massacre is just another of the many ways that prove the man is "human trash," Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere agreed on the radio program Thursday.

"Beto is human trash. He is scum. He is the scum of the earth, the lowest form of humanity our society can produce," Stu said in response to a video clip of O'Rourke heckling Gov. Greg Abbott in the middle of an update on the tragic mass killing in Uvalde. "This was obviously staged from the beginning ... clearly planned. Even CBS News pointed it out it was blatantly a staged event. And this guy [O'Rourke], because he wants more power and more money, decided that this event was about him. He wanted to make the [deaths] of 19 children and teachers all about Beto O'Rourke because he is human scum. He is the worst form of life imaginable on this Earth."

Democrats like O'Rourke have been quick to use the tragic deaths of 19 children to advance their own pro-gun law political agendas, particularly "red flag" laws that would empower courts to take guns away from "potentially dangerous" people

"You want a solution? Stop selling AR-15s in the state of Texas. You want a solution? Have universal background checks. We don't have them. You want a solution? Red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders, which stop a shooting before it happens," O'Rourke shouted after being escorted out of the press conference.

Glenn wasn't buying O'Rourke's "righteous indignation," especially as his own resurfaced writings qualify as the "ultimate red flag for any red flag law." As a teen, O'Rourke wrote about hacking, overthrowing the government, and, most disturbingly, murdering children by running over them with his car.

Glenn read an excerpt from a fiction O'Rourke wrote when he was 15 years old:

[O]ne day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles. I knew, however, that this happiness and sense of freedom were much too overwhelming for them. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams.

As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.

"Dangerous, right? Nothing good's going to come of this. According to Reuters, those are the teenage writings of Beto O'Rourke," Glenn said. "The state of Texas should be very aware and not allow [O'Rourke] to buy a gun because of this. This guy, this guy, and his righteous indignation — give it a rest, bud. Give it a rest."

Watch the video clip below:

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Texas AG Ken Paxton says gun laws are NOT the answer, urges schools to arm teachers

Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

In the wake of the unspeakably grievous mass murder at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, many on the left are calling for increased gun control measures, but without specifying exactly what legislation could have prevented the horrifying event. Attorney General Ken Paxton says gun laws are not the answer. He joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail specific measures he believes could stop similar school atrocities in the future: arming teachers.

Paxton told Glenn that Texas has already put laws in place that allow schools to opt in to training and arming teachers as either a marshal or under the guardian program.

"We passed laws when I was in the Texas Senate, I think it was 2013, that would have helped greatly. There's no way that law enforcement can get to every location as fast as they would need to," Paxton said.

Glenn interjected, "I'll tell you, I went to a school where my son was playing football ... and there were signs all over. 'Beware. Teachers are armed. We take the Second Amendment and the protection of our students seriously.' It was so clear — not doing anything here. That's the way to do it."

"Yes," Paxton agreed. "I think that's the way it should be. I mean, these people [shooters], they know they're safe, at least until law enforcement gets there, to accomplish their goals. And we're going to keep seeing this happen until we decide as a state ... to protect these kids," he added.

"It's ridiculous for the Biden administration to suggest that this kid who decided to violate the murder laws would [think], 'Oh. Wait a minute, there's a gun law. I can't do this. I wouldn't violate gun laws.' It's law-abiding citizens that follow the law," Paxton continued. "Second, we have a fentanyl crisis that the Biden administration has presumably invited and we've had over 100, 000 people that overdosed and died from fentanyl. [...] Why isn't the Biden administration so concerned about the hundred and something thousand people that died from overdoses because they opened up the border and allowed fentanyl to come across?"

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation:


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In the wake of the horrific Buffalo shooting, the left-wing media tried to paint all conservatives as subscribers to “replacement theory” — the idea that immigrants are taking over to such an extent that they will destroy white Western civilization. Of course, no serious conservative believes in this ugly, racist, dangerous ideology, but there is a ton of ACTUAL replacement going on, and it has nothing to do with immigration or racism.

What we saw yesterday in Uvalde, Texas, is more dark horrific evidence of the only replacement theory that ultimately matters because it affects everything. We’ve replaced God in society. Glenn argues it’s why gun control is ultimately useless — even though he completely understands our human impulse to DO something. While our culture has replaced God for rot, the Biden White House and Democrats are also working overtime to replace key elements of American political, legal, economic, and cultural life.

BlazeTV host Mark Levin of “LevinTV” tells Glenn why Media Matters' latest hit job on him over his Uvalde coverage is pathetic. “Stop pushing God out of the public square” is not a radical concept to help prevent evil from taking hold in our schools. He also takes on the Democrats’ attempts to destroy the Supreme Court, voting rights, and the separation of powers.

BlazeTV host Allie Beth Stuckey of “Relatable” tells Glenn why she believes the Uvalde shooting reveals how we are failing young men in this country and what we must do to stop the replacement theory that threatens to keep an entire generation from becoming a benefit to society.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

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Glenn Beck addressed the incomprehensibly tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on the radio program Wednesday, saying it's time to stop with the politics, from both sides, and focus on healing a nation that is tearing itself apart.

"It pains me to think about the political garbage that has happened in the last 12 hours," Glenn began. "I believe that we are on the verge of losing our nation, and the reason why we're about to lose our nation is the same reason some kid walked into an elementary school and shot and killed people. It's not the guns ... it's our society."

Glenn called the tragedies plaguing our nation' —kids shooting kids, committing suicide, dying from fentanyl, joining gangs, and suffering from depression and loneliness — are symptoms of a greater sickness.

"Where's the value of human life? The hatred that is being poured down our throats, the class division, the racism — make no mistake, it is intentional," he stated. "The best way to destroy a nation is to cut it apart. ... In our society, where are the ethics? What are ethics? It's your truth versus my truth. There is no absolute truth. And in a world where there is no truth, who gets to be God? Well, it depends on which group you're in I guess."

Glenn said America’s underlying problem is "a rotting in our soul" and until we "live in a nation that is willing to even recognize that there is something bigger than the self, and it has nothing to do with government, we'll never fix this problem."

"Let's not make this about Democrats and Republicans. Let's just make this about what the hell is going on because everything in our society is falling apart," he said. "And until you're willing to have that conversation, the rest of it is bullcrap."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


Can't watch? Download the podcast here or listen to the episode highlights below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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