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Conspiracy at Desert One
A novel

By Bernace Charles
The Iranian

Chapter Forty-Six

Sixth day

The morning was one of great concern to Walker. He sat on a sofa with Roya. He and Roya were watching CNN news. He wasn't expecting to find himself presented to the world. The morning news program broadcast his face across the whole of the world. For the first time, he was thankful for a satellite dish installed at the home three years back and for his ex-father-in-law for keeping the television license current.

Roya sat on the sofa next to Walker. She listened to a reporter say America's FBI, and the Mossad out of Israel, were hunting for Walker. The photograph of Walker was one presented from the cover of Walker's last book. Roya knew his dark hair coloring and his growing a beard changed his appearance. He hadn't shaved since leaving Oklahoma. But changing his appearance didn't guaranty not all others wouldn't recognize him. There was no information given of Roya's disappearance and she wondered why. She asked, "Why aren't they looking for me?"

"Because they don't want you found. They don't want you to exist. They'll wait until they find me. The story is a cover story while they hunt us."

Roya felt a sense of fear sweep through her. "Will we be safe here?"

"Yes. Three people know about the house. They won't believe the report and they won't say anything about the house." Walker remembered Fred Southgate saying he knew he had a place to write the story. Mike Corbin also knew of the house. Mike would remain quiet while wondering what was taking place. He would be waiting and proclaiming no knowledge of where he was or what he was doing. The only irritation for Mike would be his having to excuse not having the next novel of Walker's contract with a publishing house in New York. Wes now wondered how Fred Southgate knew of the house before remembering a man stopping at the house off Scotland's A1. At that time, he was writing "A Heart once Broken." The stranger asked to borrow a jack to change a flat tire. Thinking back to the day, Wes realized that Fred Southgate was the man who had appeared at the back, patio door.

Roya said, "You can't go to town or anywhere until you finish the story. I can take it to New York. Maybe I can get it to your agent and clear you before they find you."

Wes knew Roya was right. He also knew that it was his vanity holding the information back to write a novel before putting the material before the public. Roya turned to lay on the sofa and lay her head on Walker's lap. She said, "I think the world is crazy. Why do men kill over power and control?"

Walker remained silent for several seconds thinking of the weapons he purchased in London. He knew life was as Roya said, a world being mad with a desire for power. Humanity should be uplifting others of less fortunate circumstance. The world couldn't find a way to peace, and it pained him that it couldn't. All the world did was ignore its path while its path took it toward oblivion.

Roya repeated her question from the past night, "Do you believe God brought us together?"

"I don't know, Roya. I think I might have believed in God when I was young. I don't know what to believe."

Her voice was soft and motherly, "It's because you've been hurt and you've grown cynical."

Walker didn't react to the words. In her way, Roya was right. He was deeply hurt that Lin Thi left him. Sally's death left him with another loss. Wes said, "Roya, I'm like having a death sentence hanging over you. We need to get you into the states and money to start a new life. You can't expect me to be part of it."

"But I want you to be. I don't understand it. Lewis . . . the boy from across the street . . . hoped I would fall in love with him. I couldn't and I now understand why. I was waiting for you. The difference in age is nothing. My mother would approve of you."

Wes ran a hand over the side of Roya's face. Roya took it and kissed it. Walked asked, "Roya, how do you know you're not infatuated with this man who came along to tell your mother's story? I came to Jerusalem to understand a story told me by your father. I don't think that makes me honorable."

Roya said as she continued to watch the news, "I don't care what you think. The day I followed you from the hotel, I knew I was following my destiny."

"Roya, you have a full life ahead of you. You've been isolated and cut off from much of the world. There's much for you to do and see. There's the whole of the world before you. If getting the story in print, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet the right young man."

Roya pushed up and turned so that she locked her arms around Walker's neck and she kissed him. She pulled back and asked, "Does that answer the question? I'm not looking for anyone else?"

Wes said, "Roya, give it time and see if we survive this. If they should discover the house, we could be in serious trouble." Walker thought of the handgun in the desk drawer and the case with the weapons hidden above the highway. He thought of the car hidden in a ravine that they might have to use to escape should someone find them.

Roya said, "We have to try to stay alive. The story will wake America up to the fact that not everything it does is right or just."

Walker tried to smile. Roya attempted to bring her mouth to his. Walker pushed her back and said, "We have to wait, Roya. We have to wait. You said you were interested in the Carmelites. Don't switch tracks so soon. Emotion isn't a good thing to run on . . . there's other considerations."

Roya lay her head back on Walker's lap and turned her attention to the television.


As he boarded a plane to London, David knew Wes Walker and Roya Sanders were living in a home along the Esk River in southern Scotland. Settling into the flight, David thought of killing Thelma Southgate and dumping her body outside Chicago. If others discovered it, there would be nothing to associate himself to it.

The information attained from the old woman would eliminate a good portion of lower Scotland. The Esk River was to the country's west before emptying into the Irish Sea. David knew he would be in London in the early morning with time to pick up weapons from a CIA safe house, and catch an early train to northwest England. From there, he would begin his search across the Scottish border. He would have time to find and kill Walker. He would find him, kill him and the girl, and destroy all papers and any writing Walker managed on the failed rescue-effort into Iran.


Next evening Wes and Roya were in the library. It was nine p.m. and Wes was at the desk typing on the laptop. A fire burned in the fireplace for the night was cold. Roya was sitting on the sofa of the room and reading a copy of a London Tabloid that she had purchased after driving into Calassie that afternoon. The search for Walker was spilling over into the tabloid press. Wes had just handed the envelope containing the papers and photographs taken by her mother to Roya. The envelope lay on Roya's lap. The part of the letter from her mother she hadn't shown Walker was in her Levi's pocket. Roya asked, "If we were both to go, how would you get back to the states with everyone watching for you?"

Walker said, "If I go with you . . . you'll see. It's not as difficult as one might think. Especially, if you know the right--."

A grenade crashed through the window and rolled before the fireplace. Without giving thought to it, Walker grabbed the notebook computer and dove to his right. Roya instinctually followed to land on him behind the heavy desk. The explosion rocked the room, but the desk protected them. Walker said, "We have to get out of here. I have another car. After grasping her hand, Wes pulled Roya to lead her in a fast crawl across the room. Roya held tightly to the envelope. She was thankful she had been holding it on her lap. As they crouched and moved to the hallway a spray of bullets wrecked what was left of the room.

Wes realized there wasn't time to get the handgun from the desk drawer. He had chose to save the laptop as he drove over the desk. Now, he was angry with himself for not having the weapon out. A bust of fire came through the home's front door. From it, a single bullet cut the flesh of Walker's right side as he and Roya made their way across the entry and toward the back of the house. The bullet struck him in his left side. He ignored the pain and said, "Come on, we've got to beat them to the back."

Reaching the back of the house, they didn't see anyone in the star filled night. Walker pushed the door open and made a dash around the car while holding the laptop in his right hand and Roya's right hand in his left. As they passed the rented BMW, Roya wanted to stop, and pulled Walker toward the car. Walker felt the resistance. He said, "No . . . We have to cross the river."

Behind them, the southwest section of the house was now beginning to burn from a cloud of hot embers blown from the fireplace. As they entered the woods, Walker ran to the north with Roya beside him.

After running fifty yards north of the house, Walker turned east and to the river. As they crossed it, the cold water reached above their knees. Walker held the laptop high and held to Roya's arm. Reaching the riverbank below the highway, they climbed to the highway shoulder. From there, they saw a car illuminated by the firelight. The car sat parked on the bridge and blocking any attempt of someone trying to escape across it.

Walker pulled Roya behind him and climbed the incline of the land to the west of the highway. Reaching the boulder where he hid the weapons case bought in London, he quickly kicked the heather off the case and opened it.

He took the AK47 out and inserted a cartridge container for launching grenades. He fixed a grenade to the rife and took aim at the car setting on the bridge. The grenade sailed through the car's back windscreen to produce a loud explosion. After changing the rifle's magazine, Wes fired a bust of automatic fire at a single man running toward the car. Walker saw the man drop behind a bridge support. No others came out of the shadows of the light of the burning house. Walker said as he turned up the hill, "Come on . . . we've got to get out of here."

As David lay behind a pillar of stone, he knew he didn't have the firepower to equal the distinct sound of the AK47. Wes Walker was wiser than he thought. The man learned from those about who he wrote.


As Walker backed the hidden Austin out of a ravine, he was thankful there were some things a man could learn to save his life. Now, he was angry. As he turned the small car toward the highway, he was silent. Roya sat wet, frighten, and unsure of Walker's wound. She said, "Turn on the interior light."

Following Roya's instruction, Walker did and Roya saw Walker's blood soaked shirt. She said in a frightened voice, "How am I going to be able to help you? You're going to bleed to death! God No! Not after all that has happened!"

Walker looked at the side of his shirt and knew that though the wound was painful it was superficial. He said, "I'll be fine. Another inch and not so fine." Wes turned the interior light out.

"What are we going to do?"

"We're going to Porthleven. It's on the Cornish coast. It's very beautiful and quiet there."

Roya said in tears of fear, "That's what you said about Scotland. Now look at you. I can't afford to lose you. You're all I have!"

Walker put his left arm around Roya, and she lay her head on his shoulder. With her head resting there, Roya cried. As she did, Roya thought of the days and nights when her mother was gone from her and in Tehran. Her mother had lived with the fear of not making it back to her and Fred Southgate. Now, she was as her mother was. She was living outside something she didn't understand and not knowing where it was going to end. Nevertheless, Roya knew she had someone to protect her. Life made a partial balance for the irony of its pain. She stopped her tears and asked, "Is there a first aid kit that comes with your other toys?"

"Yes. It's on the back seat." Wes turned the interior light back on and grimacing with his words he said, "Damn, the world is mad . . . it's absolutely mad."

Roya reached over the seat and found a small first aid kit. The kit contained the minimum of Walker's need. Roya turned back. She lifted Walker's shirt to look on the wound. She said, "You need to pull over where I can get a bandage on it." After the words, Roya realized it was the first time that day the cut in her knee hurt. Now, the cut hurt as though a wasp stung her. She looked at her knee and was thankful she hadn't pulled the stitches as she climbed the bank to the highway. She remembered placing the pain medication in the knapsack given her for her knee. She got it out for Wes. >>> Go to Chapter Forty-Seven

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