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Conspiracy at Desert One
A novel

By Bernace Charles
The Iranian

Chapter Fifty

Desert one

The stars were in their full glory. There was a three-quarter moon. However, the night failed to cool below the nineties. Laleh gazed at the night sky and thought of men of Persia making their way under such skies to go to Bethlehem. As she stared on the night Karim asked, "Why did you allow yourself to try such a thing as this?"

Laleh didn't turn to Karim. She said, "It's all madness, Karim. Everyone wants to be king of the mountain and willing to do anything to be there. Your world is little different. It's all a matter of whose side you're on . . . people suffer and the world goes on spinning its way through another day. It must sadden God."

"Whose God . . . yours or mine?"

"Take your pick."

"Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God and not another prophet?"

"My life might not reflect it, but yes, I believe in Christ."

"What of the crusades and the slaughter of the innocent. Was that acceptable to your Jesus?"

"I didn't say it was."

"Why do you believe?"

"Because even in my mistakes I believe. Someone was chosen to pay for the world's folly."

"I see. So, like me, it's simply a matter of faith?"


"Your faith is correct?"

"Each one of us must make a decision. It's the responsibility that God places before each of us."

Karim asked, "Have you always been so religious . . . so intolerant?"

"No. I'm just now getting there. I hope I haven't waited too late."

"This is some mystical experience for you?"

"To the extent men will do what they believe they need to further their cause . . . no."

"It cuts both ways."

"It's the precise reason there has to be truth to some part of it."

"Your faith?"


Karim remained silent for a moment. As he did, he remembered days at Harvard Law School. He was into his second year at the time the CIA recruited him. Not saying anything for several long seconds, Karim knew he wanted a cigarette, while fearful there might be others in the desert. It was nearing ten-thirty p.m. Suddenly, Karim heard the faint approach of droning engines that came out of the southwest. Laleh heard them. She held the rifle along the length of her body. Karim pulled the thermal blanket over them and lay motionless. He said, "They're early." Laleh remained silent.

Now, a single piece of a complicated puzzle approached. Laleh and Karim lay motionless as the sound of a single C-130 Talon approached as an enormous, deadly bat, its talons approaching out of the night sky, its wings delivering it into the heart of Persia. >>> Go to Chapter Fifty-One

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