7 Days: The Christmas File

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Andrew Klavan’s new novel is The Homelanders: The Long Way Home. He is the author of such bestselling novels as True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Don’t Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas. He is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal and his essays on politics and culture have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. You can visit him at www.AndrewKlavan.com.

Nick pressed hard against the office wall, just inside the door. He gripped the Sig Sauer in one damp hand, holding it high, at the level of his eyes. If Becktel stepped back across that threshold, Nick was going to drive the pistol’s butt into the side of his head. He didn’t much like the idea of assaulting a U.S. Senator—not to mention his father-in-law—but he didn’t see where he had much choice. The danger was too great, the loyalties too shady, the time too short. This could well be his last chance to get the answers.

"Let me look at you, let me look at you," the Senator’s words reached him from the hallway. He could hear his voice quiver as he spoke to the daughter who seemed to have come back from the dead. They were not more than three steps away. "Is it possible? Are you real? Are you alive? My God!"

"Yes," Nick heard Ashleigh answer coolly. "It’s really me. But there’s no time for this. We have to talk—right now."

"Yes…yes…" Nick could hear Becktel trying to overcome his shock and re-gather his wits. The man truly did love his daughter; that much was clear. He really was shocked to see her alive. Whatever else he’d done, Nick thought, he hadn’t been a part of her kidnapping. That was something. "Come in," the Senator said then. "Come into my office."

Nick saw Becktel’s back as he came into the doorway, drawing Ashleigh with him. Nick tensed, lifting the gun a little higher, ready to strike. A bead of sweat ran down the side of his face.

Then Ashleigh said, "No. No. We can’t talk in there. It isn’t safe."

Becktel paused, just inches away from Nick. "Not safe? But no one knows about this office except—"

"There’s no time to argue," Ashleigh said. "You have to trust me now. We can’t talk in your office. Close the door and let’s go."

The Senator hesitated another moment. Nick held his breath. Then Becktel moved out into the hallway with his daughter, closing the office door behind him. "All right," Nick heard him say. "All right."

Nick heard their footsteps fading down the marbled hallway. He breathed for the first time in what seemed like hours.

He shoved the gun into his belt and moved from the door. He went around the mahogany desk. There was the senator’s laptop case on the floor. He opened it swiftly, brought out the computer, set it on the desk and turned it on.

Still dazed, Becktel followed his daughter down the short hall to a small white doorway. She stepped through and he followed.

Now they were in a narrow well at the top of a spiral staircase. The stairs spun down to another hall that eventually led to the Senate floor itself. Ashleigh stopped on the landing and turned to him.

"This is good," she said. "No one will hear us here."

It seemed strange to the Senator. Less secure than his hideaway. But the look on his daughter’s face was so urgent, he didn’t dare question her. He simply said, "I still can’t get over it: you’re alive."

"I won’t be for long if you don’t tell me the truth," she said.

"The truth…"

"About the Christmas File."

Becktel felt as if a trap door had opened inside him and his heart had fallen through. He began a feeble protest, "The Christmas file? What do you…?"

But Ashleigh plowed on. "Don’t, Daddy. Please. Don’t lie to me. I saw it with my own eyes. I didn’t mean to.

I saw the name—Christmas—and I thought… Well, I thought it was something innocent. I peeked and…there were the pictures…your notes."

Becktel’s mind raced. She had seen the notes too! What a fool he’d been to pour out his feelings like that, leave them there for anyone to see. It was because he had thought it had ended with the fall of the Soviet Union, but now… What lie could he tell her?

What story would possibly make sense?

Of all the stupid ways to get burned! And by his own daughter!

"They’re your parents, aren’t they?" Ashleigh said.

He tried to smile at her. His mind raced. He couldn’t let this stand. He couldn’t let her walk away, knowing what she knew. "Yes," he answered softly. What else could he say? She had read the notes. "They’re my parents."

"Russian, I take it."

Somewhere below them a door opened and closed. Ashleigh looked around nervously. Becktel seized on it. "Look, I’ll tell you everything. But not here, not like this…"

But her beautiful face was set, fierce. "What was the Village? Where do you come from? Who are you? Or maybe I should ask: who are you working for?"

Becktel’s stomach turned. She had almost guessed the whole thing. He stared at her, as if from a distance. Suddenly, he felt very far away, as if his mind belonged to someone else. His eyes flicked over his daughter’s shoulder. Distantly, coolly, he reflected that the spiral stairs were right behind her, a steep twisting fall to a marble floor. If he pushed her… If she stepped back… If she tumbled over the railing… A tragic accident and this problem would be solved.

The Senator stared at his daughter as if in a trance…

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

"Come on, come on," Nick muttered.

He had the USB drive plugged into the Senator’s laptop. The computer’s contents were copying themselves into it. It seemed to be taking forever. Nick glanced at the door. No noise outside. Ashleigh was doing her part well. He turned back to the laptop and watched the names of the files flashing past as they copied.

Then he saw it. One file. One word – there on the monitor for just a second: Christmas.

With another quick glance at the door, Nick called up the file and opened it. Ashleigh had told him what was inside: the photographs of Becktel’s parents; the anguished notes to himself. He knew this wasn’t the time to look at it. Becktel could come back in here any minute. He knew he should finish his copy and run for it.

But he had to look. He had to know.

As the files continued copying onto the drive, he scrolled quickly down through the notes. Quick half sentences, full of anguish.

What will they do to them?

What do they want?

Who is left to contact me now?

Down and down until he reached the final entry.

Nick’s lips parted. He stared at the words on the screen.

Time is running out. I’m caught in the middle. I can’t stall them any longer. Popov wants action. The Brethren want the apocalypse.

Putin wants Little Big Boy.

Nick looked up suddenly. He’d heard something. Out in the hall.

Footsteps…

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

His heart hammering in his chest, his palms sweating, Senator Becktel walked slowly away from the stairwell, back toward his hideaway. He felt as if his daughter’s stare had burned itself into his brain. The accusation in her eyes, the betrayal in her voice. Who are you? Who do you work for?

He opened the door to the outer hallway. He walked down the hall to his office door. He reached into his pocket, brought out a handkerchief and mopped the sweat off his face.

Then he opened the door and stepped inside.

The office was as he’d left it: empty. The White House press release on the desk, his laptop in its case on the floor.

Becktel went behind the desk and sank slowly into his chair. What was he going to do now?

What was he going to do?

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

"For a moment, I thought he was going to kill me," said Ashleigh as Nick rushed to her on the capitol steps. "The look in his eyes… It was as if he had become someone else, someone I never knew. For a moment, I really thought he was going to push me down the stairs. Then… I guess he couldn’t do it. He just turned and walked away."

"He nearly caught me in the office," Nick told her. "I had to get out of there in a big hurry."

"Did you copy the laptop?"

He nodded. He held up the USB drive. "It’s all here." He took hold of her hand and looked for a long moment into her frightened eyes. "There’s not much time. Let’s get back to the hotel."

 





<< Return to the September 2010

The Biden administration has weaponized the federal government against the American people. But officials have hidden most of their attacks behind a secretive and cavernous bureaucracy.

There are so many unsolved mysteries that Joe Biden and the Democrats not only refuse to answer, but in some cases appear as though they are ACTIVELY trying to cover up. Like what happened on January 6? Who is Ray Epps? Who planted the pipe bombs? What’s in Biden’s executive order on elections? What happened to the SCOTUS Dobbs leaker? What’s the COVID origin story? What’s happening with crypto, FTX, and the Central Bank Digital Currency?

These are just a few of the unsolved mysteries that we need to DEMAND answers on. On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck outlines a chalkboard that will leave you convinced the DOJ and FBI are LYING to the American people. The more secrets the Deep State holds, the more its power over us grows.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Unsolved Mysteries: 7 Deep-State SECRETS Biden Wants Buried | Glenn TV | Ep 238

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.

'I NEVER thought I'd talk about this': Was Glenn Beck's CHILLING dream actually a WARNING?

(Left) Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images/(Right) Video screenshot

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck decided to share a very unusual, extremely vivid dream he had ten years ago — a dream he thought he'd never talk about on the air — until he began to see it as a warning that we should all know about.

"I never ever thought I would talk about this on the air, but I feel compelled to tell you that seasons have changed again, and it is becoming more and more apparent. You need to know what you're dealing with," Glenn began.

"If you are a long-time listener of this program, you know that one of the reasons I left New York ... was that I had a medical condition. Part of it was brought on by no REM sleep for about 10 years ... and for 10 years, I never had a dream," he explained. "However, during this period I had what could be described as a dream. I do not believe it was."

"In this 'dream' ... I am in a hallway of the White House. And I'm walking into a big room where there's a bunch of cubicles, and people look up like, 'who's walking in?' There are people behind me, but I don't know who they are yet. I just know I'm being pushed forward by them," Glenn continued. "I realize that everybody in the White House is terrified of who's ever behind me ... I glance back and I see people that are in uniforms that I've never seen before. I have seen them since, but that will be for some other time...."

"So, these guys in the uniforms are in the hallway, and one guy says, 'him, him, and him, take them out' ... and I'm the only one still sitting at the table. They go out ... then I hear three gunshots and they say, 'yeah, that happened pretty quickly for them. However, you, we're going to get to know ... because you really have no idea who you're dealing with.' And that's when one of them ... ripped off his face and he was Satan. Or, he was a demon, okay? Horrifying. Then I wake up."

Glenn went on to explain that, while the dream was so vivid and disturbing that he thought about it almost daily for well over a year, it was what happened next — during a discussion with a prominent religious leader — that really hinted his "dream" might actually have been a vision of the future and a warning.

"I will never forget it, and I will never dismiss it," Glenn said of what he learned. "I'm sharing it with you today because you must not dismiss what you're dealing with. We are not in a battle [of] politics ... our whole culture has become evil."

"You have to get to a point where you are going to choose a side. There will be no one left on the benches, and if you think you can sit it out you will end up on the wrong side. I urge you to know who you serve. This is a different time in human experience. This is not normal. None of this is normal," he warned.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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'The Fedcoin is HERE': Glenn Beck reveals what the Fed was up to while YOU weren’t watching

Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Americans were preparing for Thanksgiving last Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Reserve moved forward with its "Central Bank Digital Currency" program, and that wasn't the only controversial policy that was rolled out while you weren’t watching.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck reviewed the latest financial stories you may have missed over the holiday weekend, including how Biden's pause on student loan payments may be extended again and yet another sketchy Hunter Biden investment.

"You might have missed what happened Wednesday afternoon at the Fed," Glenn began. "They started their CBDC, Central Bank Digital Currency. Yes, the Fedcoin is here. Now they rolled it out on Wednesday — I mean, that was the only day they could do it, you know, because they've been denying that any of this stuff was happening. But they could only get it [launched] when no one was paying attention. So they rolled it out, and it's in its beta test now."

"By the way, India just rolled out its retail pilot program for digital rupees as well. But don't worry," he continued. "Maybe we should start having the conversation of, 'Gosh, this looks like the mark of the beast.' I mean, doesn't it? But surely it's not. Of course not. Not from the U.S. government. They never do anything underhanded or evil. Never."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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BIGGER than Tiananmen Square? Here's what the China protests are REALLY about

(Left) Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images/ (Right) Video screenshot

China has been locking its citizens down for over two years under its zero-COVID policy, and it's becoming more and more clear that this isn’t just about COVID but something much more serious: slavery and control. Now it looks like many citizens have had enough. Protests are currently spreading throughout China and, unlike during the Tiananmen Square protests, the word is getting out.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck looked into the protests' "real motivations," explained how they’re different from the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square, and predicted how these events are a "game-changer for the entire world."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast 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 multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.