Conspiracy at Desert One
By Bernace Charles
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
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,
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
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
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
"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
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
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. >>>
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