7 Days - Three Sides To Every Story




To read previously published chapters, click here...

Patrick Lee’s debut novel, The Breach, is the beginning of a series featuring Travis Chase, a man caught up in the chain of events surrounding the world’s most violently kept secret. Patrick’s website is

www.patrickleefiction.com.


 

Three Sides To Every Story

Nick saw the car just ahead, parked under an elm on Jefferson Drive. He and Ashleigh picked up their pace as they covered the last fifty yards to it.

Charlie Miles sat at the wheel, a silhouette in the near-darkness. He'd waited here while the two of them had gone to find Becktel in his hideaway office. Now Miles saw them coming, and Nick heard a soft thunk as the car's locks disengaged. Ashleigh opened the rear passenger door and Nick followed her through it, leaving Miles alone up front.

"Drive," Nick said, and gave directions to the place he had in mind: another cheap motel like the one he'd checked into earlier. Dirty, random, anonymous—safe.

Miles pulled away from the curb and took a left onto 3rd Street. The Capitol Dome slid by on the right; to the left, the broad swath of the National Mall slipped past.

Nick stared at the back of Miles's head and thought of the videotape he'd seen just days earlier. Women bound to tables, pleading for their lives, only to be executed while their husbands were made to watch. Miles had obviously played some role in those abductions and murders—after all, he'd known exactly where Ashleigh was being held when he'd staged his mock-rescue of her.

How involved was this guy? Neck deep? Waist deep?

Either way, he couldn't be trusted. Unfortunately, there was no real choice but to work with him for now: he had the connections the two of them needed. He also had the same enemies they had, and there was a kind of bleak reliability in that. It would do. For now.

"You get what you wanted?" Miles said.

Nick felt the shape of the USB drive in his pocket. "Yep. Every file."

Nick's laptop was in the gym bag at his feet, but he made no move to turn it on and upload what he'd copied from Senator Becktel's computer. There was something pressing harder on his mind just now: the words he'd seen on Becktel's monitor while the download was in progress.

Popov wants action.

The Brethren want the Apocalypse.

Putin wants Little Big Boy.

"We need to sort out who exactly we're up against here," Nick said. "Who and what. After all I've seen in these past few days, here's my read on it: there are three separate entities moving toward the same objective: control of some weapon system called Little Big Boy." He ticked off the three players on his fingertips: "Senator Becktel wants it, Putin wants it, and the Brethren want it."

"Are we assuming my father is acting independently?" Ashleigh said. "Given his real past... his origin... isn't it possible that he's just serving Putin's ends at this point?"

"Neither scenario is good," Nick said. "Let's just consider both to be plausible until we know more."

Up front, Miles cocked his head. "What are you saying about Becktel? He's working with the Russians?"

"Strictly speaking," Ashleigh said, "he is Russian."

In the rearview mirror, Nick saw Miles's eyebrows knit together. Saw the man's gaze darting back and forth, not over the traffic ahead but over some logical terrain in his own mind: a landscape of rivalries and double-crosses, of power and all its less-than-scrupulous suitors. He looked like a wolf who'd just learned of some new dynamic among the pack's leadership, assessing possible impacts on his own standing.

"Interesting," he said at last.

"The name Popov mean anything to you?" Nick aksed.

Miles expelled a breath that was almost a laugh. "I should've guessed," he said. "The son of a bitch. If Becktel really is still working for the Russians, Popov is his handler. Bank on it. But, like you said, even if the Senator is on their team, he might still be playing his own game. Maybe he has his own ideas for Little Big Boy."

"Why do you say that?" Ashleigh said.

"Because there's one thing that sets Senator Becktel apart from everyone else in this game: Putin, Popov, the Brethren, the three of us... we all know that Little Big Boy is a weapon of some kind. We know it has some relation to nukes, and we know that it's somehow related to the PRIMROSE system of radiation sensors. But that's all we know. We don't know what

Little Big Boy actually is, or what it does. But Becktel does, which is a hell of an upper hand to have and not take advantage of. Especially for a man like him."

For a long moment they all rode in silence. No one could argue against that point.

Nick's hand returned unconsciously to the USB drive.

"It's time we had that advantage ourselves," Nick said.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

They reached the motel five minutes later, checked into two adjacent rooms on the second level, and gathered in the one Nick and Ashleigh had taken. It could've doubled for the place Nick had stayed in earlier, right down to the constellation of drop-burns on the ragged carpet.

Nick took the laptop from his gym bag, opened it on the bed and, within a few minutes, had the USB drive's contents uploaded to it. Then the three of them went through the files one by one, opening each of them and scanning them closely, no matter how innocuous they looked. It was an old trick to bury sensitive information deep inside an otherwise-boring document.

Their shovels hit pay dirt on the seventh file. It was a JPEG image, an optical scan of a memo with the Defense Secretary's letterhead at the top. It was almost entirely redacted, not with magic marker like in the old days, but with digital processing. Neat black rectangles, maybe right out of Microsoft Paint, had been dragged to cover all but one paragraph in the middle of the document:

The Secretary would like to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss security measures surrounding LBB (formerly Whiskey 7). This is

a matter of some urgency.

Nick heard Miles's breath catch, and then the man's hand shot to the computer screen. His fingertip traced an underline below the words LBB (formerly Whiskey 7).

"L-B-B," Miles whispered. "Little Big Boy... Whiskey Seven. Holy hell..."

He stood upright and paced to the window overlooking the parking lot, plowing his hands through his hair. Nick and Ashleigh watched him, trading a quick look between themselves.

"I know what it is," Miles said. "I've known all this time, and didn't even realize."

"Tell us," Ashleigh said.

For a moment, Miles didn't reply.

Then, still looking away over the sodium-lit sprawl, he nodded.

"Early in my career I did a stint with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. I did security and monitoring for a special division designated Engineering Unit W, though everyone just called it Whiskey. Probably the scariest people I ever met. A dozen engineers, not one of them able to hold a conversation like a human being. None of them had a wife or kids, or even a friend in the world. These men had all faked their deaths—as if they had lives to start with—to come and work for DARPA, designing things that weren't even possible to build."

"What would be the point of that?" Ashleigh said.

Miles turned from the window. "I should've said, ‘things that weren't possible to build yet.' Whiskey's role was to design ahead of present technology. Develop weapons that would only become feasible ten or fifteen years down the road, with predicted advances in computing power, scaling-down of chip sizes, all that stuff. Project Seven seemed like the least realistic thing Whiskey ever came up with—on any timeline."

"What was it?" Nick said. "What is it?"

Miles paced. Somewhere out in the night, a car horn blared. Voices yelled, laughed.

"At a glance, it's a missile," Miles said. "Man-portable. Hell, it's probably child-portable. It's about the size of the tube inside a roll of paper towels. It flies just above the ground, fast as a .30-06 bullet, and then it kicks out a little drag chute and sets down right beside its target, soft as if it fell off a couch."

"And then what?" Ashleigh asked, not sure she wanted to hear the answer.

"It opens and releases its payload,

which is the part I thought could never

be built." He stopped pacing and stared at them. "The payload is a swarm of remote aircraft, each one about the size of an apple seed. They communicate wirelessly with each other, and with a chip inside the rocket casing. The rocket, in turn, communicates with the operator, who controls the device from a wireless terminal with a range of 10 miles. That person directs the swarm to enter the target through air ducts, wiring ports, plumbing or any other available opening."

Miles shook his head. "Nope, only one kind. A nuclear missile silo."

Nick felt his pulse begin to press against his eardrums. He thought he could guess the rest of what Miles would say.

Miles saw his expression and nodded. "The swarm takes control of the nuke. Seeks out the key access points in the arming electronics, hacks in within a few minutes. At that point, the remote operator who fired the little rocket has full command of the silo."

"When you say the swarm controls the nuke," Ashleigh said, "you mean the remote operator could actually launch the damn thing?"

"Not only launch it, but re-target it to any coordinates he chooses. He could also detonate it right there in the silo, or just fry all the circuitry and render the nuke useless. The last option is probably what the guys at Whiskey had in mind. Use it against some upstart nuclear power like Pakistan or North Korea. Send in teams of Force Recon marines to stake out every silo in the country, and then in one coordinated night, eliminate their entire arsenal."

Nick thought about it. His eyes went to the laptop, and the one paragraph that hadn't been redacted.

"Becktel helped the Defense Secretary establish security for Little Big Boy," Nick said. "Which means he knows the security inside and out. If he decides to make a move to get control of the system... he can probably do it. God knows what he has in mind for this technology."

"Or what Putin or The Brethren would do," Ashleigh said, "when and if they learn its capability. This could get out of control. Rapidly."

"Right," Miles replied, "and there's one more thing: PRIMROSE is useless against this. Think about it…our network of radiation sensors have to be pre-programmed with the locations of our current nukes, otherwise there'd be constant alerts."

Before Nick could reply, his phone rang. He took it out and checked the display.

Koleson Fletcher.

Nick answered, then listened for several seconds as Fletcher spoke. He'd just arrived at the White House, having recovered from Miles's tazing a half an hour earlier. And there'd been news waiting for him when he reached his office. Lots of it. Nick remained silent while he relayed it, and then they ended the call.

He glanced at Miles and then Ashleigh.

"Russian military forces worldwide just stepped up to a heightened level of readiness," Nick said. "The president is about to move us to DEFCON 3 in response. So we can drop the future tense. Whatever this thing is, it's already happening."



<< Return to the October 2010 Index

 

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a transgender activist called for a "Supreme Court Assassination Challenge" on Twitter, according to screenshots captured of the now-deleted tweet.

Activist Eli Erlick, a founding member of Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) and creator of the controversial "gender identity" teaching tool for children called the "Gender Unicorn," tweeted and later deleted the disturbing remark on Friday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also caught a screenshot of the tweet before it was deleted.

"The unhinged radical left is calling for the assassination of our Supreme Court Justices. That's not the way to disagree with a decision in America. It is unacceptable, and Biden’s DOJ must immediately act," Blackburn responded on Twitter.

Erlich then tried to play off her call to assassinate Supreme Court justices as a hilarious joke only Gen Z and Millennials would understand, apparently not understanding the seriousness of the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just three weeks ago.

Erlick isn't the only Left-winger to make incendiary calls since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. Here are just a few examples:

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called on people to “defy" the Supreme Court.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for people to get “into the streets” alongside radical communist leader who wants to 'overthrow' the American system.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) yelled "F*** Clarence Thomas" on a public stage for all to see and hear.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh lied to Congress.
  • And of course, "TheView" host Whoopi Goldberg issued a disgusting racist threat toward Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program, BlazeTV hosts Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere took a look at these and other stunning examples of leftist lunacy over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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Many members of the far-left already are calling for a ‘Night of Rage’ after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the White House has been discussing plans to defy the ruling too. In fact, one idea floated by Biden Administration officials, according to the New York Times, includes providing abortions on military bases. So, will America experience another summer of riots? Are YOUR taxpayer dollars at risk? And what does this mean for deep-blue states? Josh Hammer, legal expert and opinion editor for Newsweek, joins Glenn to discuss what may come next...

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Josh Hammer, he's the opinion editor of Newsweek. He's the host of the Josh Hammer show. He is really quite brilliant. One of the leading minds in the conservative movement, I think. Josh Hammer joins us now.

To tell us, what did you find in this decision?

JOSH: Glenn, great to be back with you, on such a momentous, and really such an emotional day, honestly. So, you know, look, as you said, this dropped recently. Funny enough, I was in the middle of getting a guest lecture from an organization on the advisory board as to when it drops. So I barely had any time to kind of skim through, let alone guess the concerning dissenting opinions. But it looks like this looks very similar, to the draft opinion that was leaked, by the Politico story, a month and a half ago, in early May. And I think those of us who were praying that the five justices from this leaked draft opinion, would have the fortitude to stiffen their spines against this unprecedented assault. Now knows that our prayers were answered, Glenn. That's really my takeaway right now.

This looks a lot like the leaked opinion. Justice Thomas and Justice Kavanaugh have some reconcurring opinions.

But unbelievable. And really just holding aside the constitutional law stuff for a second hear. Just speaking as pro-lifers, on a day like today, I think we really just need to pause. And I tweeted this out earlier. We need to just be grateful for our half century of pro-life activist forbearers. You know, this -- Glenn, this issue could have gone away after 1973. That was a long time ago. 1973. I mean, this issue could have just gone away. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the pro-life moral activist. Political activist. And, of course, yes. Legal activist. Who fought day in and day out, that makes sure this great injustice stayed front and center of our national, political conscience. And in many days, the culmination of a half century of fighting for truth and justice. But in many ways, it's also a new beginning for the pro-life fight as well, interestingly.

STU: How do you mean a new beginning for the fight? I just it's going to turn, I think we're going to see abortion turn even darker in those states that allow it. Is that -- is that what you're meaning by this?

JOSH: Well, look, for a half century now, Roe vs. Wade, and its project any, specifically, the Planned Parenthood versus Casey case of 1992.

They took away from the states obviously. They arrogated authority away from the states, the ability to attempt to nationally codify one view of the morality of abortion.

It happened to be a profoundly immoral view. So these -- the fight now shifts to the states. And the pro-life activists. And all the 50 states. Especially, obviously in red states. Purple states. I mean, admittedly some blue states like New York and California, probably won't be able to touch them there.

But we have to make sure that our side is well positioned in the state Capitols for every red, purplish, probably even light blue state, to make sure we fight for successful, cogent, and morally consistent pro-life legislation. The state of Oklahoma, actually, just north of Texas. Right where you are now, Glenn. They have been leading on this actually. Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law, a fantastic pro-life bill there in Oklahoma. A few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago or so at this point, that basically just bans abortion straightforward from conception. And there are some -- you know, obviously, likable the mother. So forth. But we really need to start thinking about trying to craft legislation now, at the state level. But to your point, I do fear that the blue states will only double down in their radicalism. Unfortunately within that will only lead to an ever greater divide, in our country, that we have today. But obviously, at the end of the day. We're going to save at the end of the day, millions and millions of unborn children. We are going to save human beings who can grow up to cure cancer, who can win Nobel prices.

I mean, this is just a tremendous win for the human species. I don't know how to say it other than that.

GLENN: I will tell you, I saw the stat, that I think it was last year or the year before. 20 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion. 20 percent.

JOSH: Wow.

GLENN: That is -- that is a shocking number. And we do have our -- our work cut out for us. Because I -- I think that these states are going to double down. But I think, you know -- God doesn't waste anything. You know, there is no waste with God. Even the -- even the worst things that could possibly happen, turn out to be something good. You know what I mean? You're like, holy cow, how did that just happen.

And I think that evil is going to fully come unmasked. I'm telling you, Josh. I don't know how you feel about this. I think this could be the day of America's Kristallnacht. I can see these pro-life centers being burned to the ground today. They're calling for a night of rage around the country. I think evil is going to show itself. And that will scare the American people, hopefully.

JOSH: You know, I've been thinking about this a lot this week, actually. Because I've been bracing for a new kind of George Floyd summer of love, happening this summer. Coming to a city or suburb near you. Unfortunately, myself. Look, I live in Florida. I know, Glenn, you live in Texas. It is in moments like this, where I do think that where you live matters. And who your mayor is. Who your governor is, matters.

Because law and order and rioting and anarchy is not really a federal issue. It is to a limited extent. June 2020, Tom Cotton wrote this op-ed that was pretty controversial at the time.

I happen to agree with it. Where he said, quote, unquote, send in the troops. And there is some federal legislation from the reconstruction era that would justify that.

But most kind of quelling and quashing of anarchy does happen. Constitutionally speaking, at the state and local level. So at a moment like this, where I fear that you're probably not wrong. I take some solace. That Governor DeSantis is my governor. I think Texans should take some solace, that they are represented by -- by a Republican governor. The legislature there as well. So I -- I fear that you are right. I pray obviously, that no one -- it's hard.

I fear that it's something -- that something bad is happening. At the end of the day, of course. It does not mean that justices cannot do what they are supposed to do. So thank God they did that.

GLENN: So, Josh, have you looked into what the White House has been saying? The White House yesterday. In fact, do we have a clip of -- of this?

What the White House said yesterday, about the guns. And then they were turned to the -- the Scott us ruling, for Roe vs. Wade. Do we have that, please?

JOSH: Will the president accept this decision, even if he disagrees with it?

VOICE: I think it's going to come from the Supreme Court. So it's a decision we certainly are going to respond to. I'll leave it at that. Just like any other Supreme Court decision. Just like the one they did today on guns.

GLENN: So the White House won't say that they're going to accept it.

Which I don't think they will. They're talking now about taking doctors and moving them into places like Oklahoma or Texas, where abortions will be outlawed. And putting doctors on our military bases to perform abortions.

I mean, where does this go, when you have a government, that is in defiance of -- of one branch of the government?

JOSH: So there's a lot to unpack here. So we should start from first principles. The idea of judicial supremacy, and this is a peculiar thing, to say on a day like today, where such a pro-life victory has happened in Italy. But if we're going to be consistent here, the idea of judicial supremacy. The idea that the justices, have the sole and exclusive ability to interpret the Constitution for themselves. And no other Constitutional actor, in article one or article two, let alone the state. Has the ability to tentatively interpret it. That is erroneous. In fact, actually it was really Abraham Lincoln actually, who in the Dred Scott case, famously opposed judicial supremacy and flouted the Dred Scott ruling, at least as it pertains to everybody other than Dred Scott himself. I have actually argued, a former legal scholarship, in a law review article actually, that the Laconian view of how each branch of government should interpret the Constitution for itself, is correct.

Having said that. Having said that, there is a thing called prudence. And there is a thing called comedy. And in a moment like today, when it really does look like -- and I agree with you, that we are now bracing for riots through the streets. When the political rhetoric is at DEFCON one. When people are trying to assassinate Supreme Court justices. I think it would be -- at its bare minimum, a profoundly imprudent act. For the Biden administration, to try to undermine this ruling.

Now, what they might do, is they might try to kind of issue some kind of executive orders, or issue some regulations, that might try to kind of undermine it, at the edges here. But at the end of the day, the idea that this returns to the state. There's not really a whole lot they can do about that. Basically, at this point, throughout the country. Kentucky within West Virginia. Kansas. Whatever. If they want to go ahead and ban abortion, what can the Biden administration literally do about that? I mean, short of sending in the National Guard, to protect Planned Parenthood, if the state legislature of Kentucky goes ahead and bans it. There's not a whole lot they can do. And it's very difficult to envision a world, in which the Biden administration literally sends in troops to red states, to protect Planned Parenthood, if that state legislature goes ahead and bans it. So for practically speaking. This is a lot of tough talk and rhetoric. Obviously the campaign here in 2022. There's not really a whole lot that practically speaking, they can do to actually prevent red and purple states from enacting pro-life legislation.

GLENN: I'm glad to -- I'm glad to hear that. I know that they have been working on things. I mean, he has said, you know, there's executive orders, that I can employ. There are things that I can do. He's talked about a national public health emergency. Which I think is just -- is crazy. But I would hope, that the president would come out and say, we strongly disagree with this. And you're right. The court is not the end all. But the court did not end abortion. It just said, the people should decide. I think that's the best kind of court ruling, on any of it. The people should decide what this is. And send it back to the states. Josh, I thank you very much. Appreciate your time. Was there -- there was another ruling, that came out today. Was it important?

JOSH: Oh, no. In comparison to this. A total nothing burger. A 5-4 decision on Medicare reimbursement related. So nothing, honestly.

GLENN: Great. Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Josh. Josh Hammer, opinion editor for Newsweek. And the host of the Josh Hammer show.

GLENN: There are two things trending on twitter right now.

Number one is praise God.

Number two trend is Night of Rage.

Good verses evil.

Build up or tear down.

'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long': BlazeTV hosts react to historic Roe v. Wade decision

Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Supreme Court of the United States officially overturned Roe V. Wade, and the debate over abortion rights has been given back to the states. On this historic day, BlazeTV hosts celebrate the Supreme Court's incredible decision and take a look at some of the insane reactions as the left comes completely undone.

Jason Whitlock: Today will forever stand as a pivotal moment in our nation’s history

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. The decision and the reaction to it have already revealed a lot about our people and politics. Pro-life groups celebrate, pro-choice groups call for “a night of rage,” and Nancy Pelosi just seems completely confused by the United States Constitution.

Glenn Beck reacts LIVE to Roe v. Wade ruling: 'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long'

I never thought that in my lifetime, I would see Roe v. Wade be overturned. But today, that day has come. The Supreme Court has voted 6 to 3 to return decisions about abortion to the states. But this fight isn't over. We are about to see good versus evil side by side. Many states will stand with the unborn. But others will become abortion mills. It's your turn to choose now, America!

Allie Beth Stuckey: 'Praise God, Roe v. Wade is overturned!'

I don't know about you, but I just had the most euphoric feelings. It almost seems too good to be true. I didn't think there was any way that this would actually happen, especially with all the backlash, intimidation, and violence toward the Supreme Court justices. And yet, here we are. Roe v. Wade has been overturned. This is an amazing day!

Dave Rubin: Big disagreement on what happens next now that Roe v. Wade is overturned

Dave Rubin, Libby Emmons, Jeffrey A. Tucker, and David Reaboi debate what will happen in the wake of the Supreme Court’s breaking decision on Roe v. Wade. Now that abortion rights have been pushed back to the states, will there be a summer of massive riots or not? Will the Roe v. Wade ruling make America’s political polarization significantly worse?

Stu Burguiere: Here are the reasons SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade

I never thought this would happen. I never thought I would see this day. I just never ever ever ever never ever believed that Roe v. Wade would actually be overturned. I really didn't. But let's take a look at the reasons this day has finally come ...

The Rick & Bubba Show: 'This is history! Unfortunately we're 60 million lives too late'

We were live on the air when news broke of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.