7 Days - Chapter 33

To read previously published chapters, click here.

Chris Reich is a New York Times bestselling author. His upcoming book, Rules of Betrayal, will be released in July. For more information visit his website.

Koleson Fletcher backed into the motel room, his eyes flitting between the pistol rammed into his belly and the wild eyed man holding it.

“Whoa, Nick. Take it easy there,” he said. “I’m not feelin’ the love, if you get my drift. You mind stowing that piece? I’ve got this thing about lead and gunpowder.”

“And I’ve got this thing about lying dirtbags,” Nick replied. “Just think of the gun as a precaution.”

“Against what?”

“Against a man who issued a press release saying that a bomb had destroyed the Palace Hotel ten minutes before an explosion took the place down.” Nick raised the pistol and leveled it at Fletcher’s face. “I’d say you’re lucky I didn’t put a bullet between your eyes when you walked in here. I’ve done it a few times before, you know. I’m not allergic to lead and gunpowder.”

“It wasn’t me,” said Fletcher. “I had nothing….”

Nick brought down the barrel of the gun across Fletcher’s face. “Enough excuses,” he said. “Of course it was you! Nothing gets out of 1600 without your approval. Are you forgetting that I worked as your deputy for the past six months?”

Fletcher collapsed to a knee, blood spilled from a gash on his cheek. “You’re wrong,” he said, fingers gingerly probing his wound. “We’d never send something like that out so quickly, never mind before the fact,” he pleaded. “Homeland Security would have issued the first release. Domestic terrorism is their bailiwick. We’d have followed with a comment, but not until the FBI, and even the state and local authorities, had weighed in too. We wouldn’t touch something like that until we’d taken the time to compile all the information and make sense out of it.”

Nick considered this. He’d taken the job as Deputy Press Secretary as a gesture to mollify his wife, Ashleigh, and, more importantly, his father-in-law, Senator Roberts. The senator had made it abundantly clear prior to Nick’s marriage that he did not want him to continue his career in Diplomatic Security, jetting around the world with a gun in his shoulder holster and putting his life at risk on a daily basis. He wanted his new son-in-law close to home where he could see him. And, as Nick had learned far too late, control him.

“Maybe,” said Nick. “But that doesn’t mean I can trust you.”

“You don’t have a choice, Nick. You’re out of people you can trust. There’s me and there’s all the other guys out there who want to see you dead.”


Nick looked at Fletcher, then let his eyes wander the motel room. Cigarette burns dotted the fading aqua carpet. The bedspread was stained with God-knows-what. The mirror above the dresser was cracked and threatened to fall out of its frame at any moment. He felt alone and more isolated than at any other time in his life.

“I need something, Kole…something to make me believe you. Friendship doesn’t cut it anymore.”

“I think there is something I might be able to do to set things straight between us.”

“What’s that?”

“Ashleigh.”

At the mention of his wife’s name, all of Nick’s dread and apprehension came back in a dark fury. “What about her?” he demanded.

“You heard from her, didn’t you?”

Nick did not answer immediately. He hurried to the window and pulled back the curtain, checking the street for a vehicle he had not noted before. In the parking lot, the same restless clique of blinged-out toughs and their dolled-up girlfriends were holding court. They were his urban alarm system. One sniff of trouble and they’d all be gone.

“Yes, she sent me something,” Nick said softly, dropping the curtain and turning to confront Fletcher. “How did you know?”

“She’s alive.”

Nick grasped Fletcher’s collar and yanked him to his feet. “Where is she?”

“Here. In DC.”

“Ashleigh’s here? I don’t believe you. How? When? I don’t understand!”

“We placed a bug on your e-mail account. You know that message she sent you – the one about “male enhancement”? Our cryptanalysts cracked your code in five seconds flat. Her message was sent via wireless carrier, so we were able to triangulate her approximate location.”

Nick thought of the ordeal she’d been through. All night long, he’d been tormented by that image of Ashleigh with a gun pressed to her temple.

“She’s all right?”

“She seems to be fine.”

“Where?”

“Close. That’s why I came.”

“To tell me she’s okay?”

“No,” said Koleson. “I came to take you to her.”

---------------

The safe house was located on a curving, leafy road in the rolling foothills of McLean, Virginia. It was a plain single story ranch house, no different than the dozens that lined the street on either side of it. Nick opened the car door well before Fletcher finished parking in the driveway.

“Slow down,” called Fletcher. “I have some friends outside. You don’t want to surprise them.”

Nick stopped as he approached the front walk. It took him a moment to make out the shadows among shadows hidden beneath the eaves and crouched among the bushes. Another second and he was able to discern the dull gleam of an automatic weapon. He wasn’t sure whether the heavy duty protection comforted him or terrified him.

“Listen up,” said Fletcher, coming to his side. “She was in a car crash outside of Vegas. She may look a little ‘iffy,’ but she’s fine. Don’t get yourself all worked up.”

“Just open the door,” said Nick.

Fletcher put a key in the lock and leaned his shoulder into the door.

“Living room. To your right.”

Nick was by him in a flash.

Ashleigh had fallen asleep in a wing-backed chair, a copy of Time open on her lap. Her brown hair hung across her brow. An oval contusion darkened one cheek. Scratches, some of them deep, raked the other. She was a beautiful mess.

“Ashleigh,” he whispered, kneeling beside her. “It’s me. It’s Nick.”

Ashleigh Roberts awoke with a start. “Nick?” she said, bolting upright. “Is it you?” Her eyes filled. “Nicky. Oh, God. I can’t believe I’m really seeing you.”


“Believe it,” Nick said.

Ashleigh fell into his arms and the two hugged for what felt like a very long time. “It’s alright, baby,” he said, pressing his cheek against her soft, welcoming hair. “We’re going to figure this whole thing out. All of us. Kole’s going to help.” Nick looked toward the door. “Right, Kole?”

“You betcha,” said Fletcher. “The president is with us, too. If we work together, we’ll be able to track down the people behind this.”

Ashleigh shook her head, lowering her eyes.

“I guarantee it,” said Fletcher. “You have nothing to worry about. This nightmare is over.”

“Thanks, Kole,” said Ashleigh. “I feel better hearing that even if I’m not sure I believe it. There are some really evil people in the world.”

“You can say that again,” said Nick.

A pained expression soured Fletcher’s face.

“Kole?” said Nick, standing. “What is it?”

Fletcher shuddered, then slid to the floor.

Behind him stood a stout, red-faced man with an uncombed mane of gray hair. In one hand he held a Taser gun, its wires unraveled and leading to a charge that had struck Fletcher’s back. In the other hand, he held a semi-automatic pistol. It was pointed at Nick.

“It’s me,” said Charlie Mills. “I guess you can call me one of those evil bastards you were talking about. The real question is, who the hell are you?”



<< Return to the June 2010 Index of Fusion

Shortly after appearing on "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" last Thursday, Los Angeles-based emergency medicine specialist Dr. Simone Gold got a call saying she was fired for speaking out about the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in a now-banned viral video.

Dr. Gold returned to the radio program Monday to detail exactly what happened, the reason the hospitals gave for her firing, and how they threatened to fire her colleagues as well if she "didn't go quietly."

"Most emergency physicians work at more than one [hospital], as I do, and I've actually been fired from both," she told Glenn. "They told me that I appeared in an embarrassing video, and therefore, I would no longer be welcome to work there ... then they said, if I didn't go quietly and I made a fuss, they would have all the doctors in the group, you know, they'd have to go and they'll get a whole new doctor group."

Dr. Gold said she does not regret speaking out about hydroxychloroquine during the controversial "White Coat Summit" news conference held in Washington, D.C., last week. A video of the news conference quickly went viral on social media before being removed by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others for allegedly making false claims related to COVID-19.

"Bring it on," she said. "I want to continue to live in America. I want my children to continue to live in America. I don't want them to grow up in a place like China. When you get to a point where, not only can I not speak as a scientist, as a doctor, for what I know to be absolutely true, but you then want to cancel me and my colleagues, this is not okay. I would much rather fight than not fight ... and I want everybody to know that there are literally millions and millions of Americans who are on our side. Millions. I believe it's the majority."

Glenn then asked Dr. Gold to weigh in on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new guidelines encouraging schools to reopen in the fall and the left's relentless drive to keep them closed.

"There's no actual scientific debate whatsoever if schools should open. None. There's no scientific debate. There's no serious person who thinks schools shouldn't open. Now, [through] some governors and policy makers, there's pressure being brought to bear on school districts, but there's no actual scientific debate. So it's going to come down to parents pressuring their local school districts to act in a responsible fashion."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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Fox News host Greg Gutfeld joined Glenn on "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to talk about his new book, "The Plus: Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help."

Greg admits he is probably the last person who should write a self-help book. Nevertheless, he offers his offbeat advice on how to save America during what has become one of the most tumultuous times in history, as well as drinking while tweeting (spoiler: don't do it).

He also shares his "evolution" on President Donald Trump, his prediction for the election, and what it means to be an agnostic-atheist.

In this clip, Greg shares what he calls his "first great epiphany" on how dangerous cancel culture has become.

"I believe that cancel culture is the first successful work-around of the First Amendment," he said. "Because freedom of speech doesn't protect me from my career being ruined, my livelihood being destroyed, or me getting so depressed I commit suicide. Cancel culture is the first successful work-around of freedom of speech. It can oppress your speech with the scepter of destruction. We don't have freedom of speech anymore."

Watch the video clip below or find the full Glenn Beck Podcast with Greg Gutfeld here.

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Dr. Simone Gold joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to set the record straight about hydroxychloroquine -- what it is, how it works, and the real reason for all the current controversy surrounding a centuries-old medication.

Dr. Gold is a board certified emergency physician. She graduated from Chicago Medical School before attending Stanford University Law School. She completed her residency in emergency medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York, and worked in Washington D.C. for the Surgeon General, as well for the chairman of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. She works as an emergency physician on the front lines, whether or not there is a pandemic, and her clinical work serves all Americans from urban inner city to suburban and the Native American population. Her legal practice focuses on policy issues relating to law and medicine.

She is also the founder of America's frontline doctors, a group of doctors who have been under attack this week for speaking out about hydroxychloroquine during a news conference held outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

On the program, Dr. Gold emphasized that the controversy over hydroxychloroquine is a "complete myth."

"Hydroxychloroquine is an analogue or a derivative of quinine, which is found in tree bark. It's the most noncontroversial of medications that there is," she explained.

"It's been around for centuries and it's been FDA-approved in the modern version, called hydroxychloroquine, for 65 years. In all of that time, [doctors] used it for breast-feeding women, pregnant women, elderly, children, and immune compromised. The typical use is for years or even decades because we give it mostly to RA, rheumatoid arthritis patients and lupus patients who need to be on it, essentially, all of their life. So, we have extensive experience with it ... it's one of the most commonly used medications throughout the world."

Dr. Gold told Glenn she was surprised when the media suddenly "vomited all over hydroxychloroquine", but initially chalked it up to the left's predictable hatred for anything President Donald Trump endorses. However, when the media gave the drug Remdesivir glowing reviews, despite disappointing clinical trial results, she decided to do some research.

"[Remdesivir] certainly wasn't a fabulous drug, but the media coverage was all about how fabulous it was. At that moment, I thought that was really weird. Because it's one thing to hate hydroxychloroquine because the president [endorsed] it. But it's another thing to give a free pass to another medicine that doesn't seem that great. I thought that was really weird, so I started looking into it. And let me tell you, what I discovered was absolutely shocking," she said.

Watch the video below for more details:


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According to the mainstream media's COVID-19 narrative, the president is "ignoring" the crisis.

On tonight's "Glenn TV" special, Glenn Beck exposes the media's last four months of political theater that has helped shape America's confusion and fear over coronavirus. And now, with a new school year looming on the horizon, the ongoing hysteria has enormous ramifications for our children, but the media is working overtime to paint the Trump administration as anti-science Neanderthals who want to send children and teachers off to die by reopening schools.

Glenn fights back with the facts and interviews the medical doctor Big Tech fears the most. Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America's Frontline Doctors, stands up to the media's smear campaign and explains why she could no longer stay silent in her fight against coronavirus fear.

Watch a preview below:


In order to watch tonight's episode, you must be a BlazeTV subscriber. Join today to get a 30-day free trial, and get $20 off a one-year subscription with code UNMASKED.

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