Conspiracy at Desert One
By Bernace Charles
Roya watched the lights of the runway as the 747 descended out of the
sky and touched down at London's Heathrow Airport. It was thirty minutes
later before they got their passports stamped. Wes Walker and Roya Sanders
carried no luggage except the knapsack Roya carried to Zurich. Now, Roya
walked beside Walker through the crowded terminal to a car rental. Although
she was far from her mother's ashes and Lewis, Roya knew there was something
reassuring about being with the man Wes Walker. His deep-set eyes and serious
intent told her he would somehow protect her and he would write the truth.
Following his effort, she would be free from the past.
As she waited for Walker to rent a car, Roya knew there was something
that troubled her. She knew that she found Wes Walker attractive the way
she knew Lewis Kolleck wished she viewed him. But Walker was older and
part of a world separated from a life along a stone street of a town known
throughout the world. He made his world as he went through it, and Roya
found herself attracted to him for it. Walker turned from the car rental
counter. Roya was thankful she managed sleep on the flight. She had slept
for a solid five hours.
Twenty minutes later they were on a multilane, skirting London, and
driving north. They settled into the drive, and Wes said, "I'm sorry.
I didn't ask if you are hungry. Would you like to stop and eat?"
Roya answered, "Yes. Do you think it's safe."
"No one is going to catch us. The paper work your mother had done
was well done. I learned from a few who know. As a writer, I've found that
there are always men wanting to tell their secrets. I'm thankful I kept
all my papers on me and didn't leave any at the hotel."
"It's a sad world."
"Yes . . . it is. I'm sorry it has to be this way."
Roya added, "There's a restaurant ahead." Walker turned off
at an exit. A BMW soon came to a stop before a roadhouse with several lorries
parked before it. Wes and Roya entered and sat at a booth where they were
After ordering hamburgers and fries Wes asked, "What happened to
Roya said, "Several years ago my mother had a stroke. She suffered
a concussion when she was in Tehran. Its effect finally caused the rupture
of a blood vessel. It left her living as a vegetable and taking her away
from life. Consequently, she took hers. It was three days ago."
"Did she ever discuss with you why she left the states?"
"Only in a general way. There were never any specifics. My mother
didn't show me the documents and photographs. I first saw them in Zurich."
Walker had studied the papers and photographs while Roya slept on the
plane. He read the action directive authorizing the covert action taken
in the desert in Iran. The whole business was going to blow the roof off
the Central Intelligence Agency. He asked, "They didn't tell your
mother the mission was unable to continue to Tehran though they lost three
"No. She thought she caused the accident."
"She believed she caused the accident and deaths?"
"She could never reconcile the deaths of the American service men
after she returned from Tehran. Before the revolutionaries released her,
they placed her under house arrest for ten months. She stayed at a home
that belonged to my grandparents. She never talked about those days after
she returned. Before she went to Iran, I spent Christmas with her and The
Raven . . . Fred Southgate. We spent it in a home on Long Island. She worried
about the trip. After the Iranians released her, and she returned, it was
as if something happened that was darker than the accident in the desert.
She never told me. I don't think she told anyone. Now, I understand it."
Wes studied the attractive young woman across the table from him. Roya
realized her talking about her mother saddened her. Walker reached across
the table and placed his left hand over Roya's right hand. He said, "I'm
sorry. I'm very sorry."
Roya's eyes filled with silent tears. Walker moved his hand off hers.
Roya wiped her eyes with a napkin. Now, the world seemed a sad place to
Walker, and he wondered if he could help Roya Sanders. But the young woman
possessed a determination and strength. The recognition of it touched Walker
As Roya ate, she thought of the letter her mother left her and that
she found with the photographs and papers. She had removed the letter from
the knapsack to push it deep into her Levi's pocket. It wasn't a letter
she would now show Wes Walker. >>>
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