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 Write for The Iranian

Conspiracy at Desert One
A novel

By Bernace Charles
The Iranian

Chapter Sixty-Six

It was one p.m. Walker placed a call to a neighboring farmhouse and he spoke with Randy Silver. Wes said, "Randy, call Mike and tell him the pump on the well has gone out. We're going to need a new one." The words instructed Randy Silver to pass that Walker was at the home in Kansas. Randy had attended high school with Mike.


After Katy buzzed Mike Corbin's inner office, Mike picked up the telephone and asked, "Hi, Randy. How are you?"

"Mike, the pump is out again. The cattle are having to walk a mile for water."

"I thought I got the problem solved."

"I'm sorry. It's the pump at the house."

"I'll get a flight out this evening. If I can't, I'll catch one first thing in the morning."

"Thanks Randy" Mike replaced the receiver and knowing it was the first time Wes hadn't delivered a novel due. But he was intrigued and wanting to discovered what Wes had written on the attempted rescue-effort into Iran. He wondered if Wes stumbled upon a story worth telling. From deep inside, he knew the call set his mind into a swirl of activity. If Walker found a story in the Desert One deaths, he discovered a story the public might be interested in reading. After buzzing Katy, Mike said, "Katy, I need the earliest possible flight to Wichita. The pump on my parents' home has gone out. The man renting it wants to replace it. I need to make certain it's done right."

Katy knew the signal. She said a simple, "Yes, Mr. Corbin. I'll get right on it." Katy pushed a button for an outside line.


Roya sat in the living room watching television. As she watched the weather forecast of a station out of Wichita Roya was horrified to hear, "The national weather service has issued a tornado warning for parts of Kansas. The most severe alert affects Harper County. Doppler radar is showing an extreme cell of storm activity northwest of Danville and Harper and moving to the southeast."

Roya found herself sitting in the middle of a warm front that pushed its way across Kansas while a cold front pushed out of the northwest. Roya went to the kitchen where Walker sat at the table studying a chapter of the novel.

When she entered the kitchen, Roya said, "Do you realize the news is reporting we're in the middle of a possible tornado warning?"

Wes gave an unworried grin. He said, "We have a cellar . . . remember. It's just a warning. It doesn't mean we'll have one. You get use to them if you live in the Midwest."

Roya expressed a worried look. She had never seen a tornado except for the damage done by one she saw on CNN. Stepping past the kitchen table, Roya opened the back door and walked outside. She closed the door behind her noticing a warm, humid wind out of the south. To the northwest, she saw great flashes of lighting, and she thought it seemed as if God was showing his anger to the world. Low thunder rumbled her direction. Roya walked to stand on the concrete roof of the cellar where she looked on the night. The great arcs of light reached across the sky or hit the far-distant ground. Behind the lightening, great rolls of thunder snapped the air. Roya knew there was more than a simple storm heading her and Walker's direction.

However, Roya knew something besides fear of the weather bothered her. Being in awe of God's power at work in the sky, Roya knew she wanted to return to Jerusalem. She was uncertain she truly loved Wes Walker, but unlike Dorothy from the "Wizard of Oz" Roya knew she wasn't happy to be home in America. She was a person from the Middle East. She was a part American, a part Iranian, and an Israeli citizen. Roya knew she belonged in the Middle East near her half-brother. Roya now wondered what Lewis would think when told all she did and saw the last months. She thought of how she and Lewis had complained about boredom and routine in their lives. With these thoughts, Roya returned to the house.


Back in the kitchen with Walker, Roya said, "I want to go to My Father's House."

Walker looked up at Roya. He asked, "Do you want to go to Chicago?"

"No. I want to go to Washington. I want to go to Langley, Virginia. I want to see "My Father's House." Instead of "Conspiracy at Desert One" I want you to use "My Father's House" as the title for the story."

Wes knew Roya was transposing the code words waited for by her mother in Tehran. The CIA building in Langley, Virginia, was her father's house of betrayal. Roya wanted to see its structure. He said, "We can go there."

Roya said, "Good . . . it's important to me. After seeing it . . . I plan to return to Jerusalem."

The words surprised Wes. He asked, "You want to return to The Old City?"

Roya gave a look of sadness. She thought of Jerusalem knowing it was where she belonged. Jerusalem was the city of God's earthly house and she belonged there. Her father had perverted the quotation taken from the Bible, and Roya hoped God forgave him for it. Roya said, "Yes. I want to go home."

"If it's what you want."

Roya seemed lost and longing for something. She said, "I do. I belong there."

"Then it's where you should go."

"Will you go with me?"

Walker smiled, "Yes, I'll go with you. I can't promise I'll stay. There are those in Israel who will see to me being thrown out of the country . . . but I'll go with you."

Roya stepped to Walker to bend down and kiss him on the cheek. She said a soft, "Thank you." She walked back to the living room to the sofa to sit and watch the weather report. From outside and to the northwest the thunder, lighting, and wind moved in Roya's and Walker's direction as though seeking them out after their trial of surviving the past months.


David Rice drove across a viaduct taking him above railroad tracks a quarter of a mile east of Danville, Kansas. Across it, he slowed to turn into a service station. He was three miles from the farmhouse belonging to Mike Corbin. Rice was certain Wes Walker and Roya Sanders were at the house. They were there waiting for Mike Corbin to arrive from New York and take possession of the manuscript Walker would have completed before returning to America.

Five minutes later heavy rain and strong winds met David head on when he drove a country road north. The dirt road was turning to one of mud. Decreasing his speed to avoid sliding the car off the road, he managed to do what he feared. He was a half-mile from the house and the car sat in a ditch with its drive wheels unable to free it. The car sat on a hill with the backdrop of the storm encapsulating the farmhouse. David abandoned the car and walked to the house. Around him, the sky was black and threatening, and the wind seemed to change direction each passing second. Standing on the road to the east, David saw the living room light and a person passing through it. Walker and Roya were there.

Thankful for the storm making certain no one heard or saw him, Rice crossed a grass-covered stretch of land to step onto the porch. After squatting before a window, David saw Walker standing in the living room. Moving before the front door, Rice reached for, and slowly turned its handle. His left hand gripped the handle of a nine-millimeter handgun.

Roya sat out of view to the left of the door. Her sight saw the rotation of the doorknob and she screamed, "Someone's here!"

Wes knew it was too early for Mike. He yelled, "The cellar . . . get to the cellar!" With these words, Walker ran forward and threw his weight against the door. Wes broke the door from the inside and knocked it open to surprise David. The door knocked David backwards and off the porch. Walker then ran into the kitchen, grabbed up the laptop, turned off the lights, and exited to the back. At the cellar door Wes lifted it and handed Roya the laptop, backup disks from his shirt pocket, and the papers from Roya's mother. Walker then gave Roya his cigarette lighter and said, 'Lock the door from the inside." He pushed the door closed, and disappeared into the dark.

Roya fumbled with the lighter, got it lighted, and secured the door's lock. She turned to the bottom of the cellar steps shaking in fear.

Wes made certain David Rice knew he wasn't in the cellar by going around to the front of the house where Rice had now entered it. Walker yelled above the sound of the storm. "I'm out here, you Jerk!" Wes ran to the south across an open pasture. David ran out of the home and followed Walker. He managed to get off quick shots as he saw walker's form within brief flashes of lightening. The shots missed Walker.

Rice was seventy yards from the house when the air came to a stand still. Wes stopped running and knew its meaning. He ran toward the east side of the field where the land made a deep depression before rising to the road. A section of exposed pipeline ran across the depression. Rice saw Walker stop running. He did so as there was a flash of lighting and a sound that reminded him of a freight train. The sound roared in his direction.

As David turned, he saw the house explode in a thunderous wind and the form of a tornado heading straight for him. In the light of lightening, Wes saw David Rice taken into the air. Wes quickly dove into the depression and curled his arms and legs tight around the section of pipeline. His only hope was for the tornado to skip over him. When it did, he stood in the numb silence with the rain coming in great sweeping waves. Starting toward the cellar, Walker saw David Rice's body shoot out of the night. A splintered board impaled it to the ground. The sight of Rice suddenly falling out of the night startled Walker. Several flashes of lighting showed David Rice's body impaled as if he were a broken toy.

Reaching the cellar door, Walker pounded on it. Roya opened it, her face forcing off frightened tears. With the door secured behind him, Roya clung to Wes. She shook in fear in the candlelight. Wes held Roya saying, "It's over. The man is dead. It's over."

Roya was lost in her last reserve of strength. She said, "No . . . it's not over. It'll never be over. It'll never be over."

"No," Wes whispered. "It's over, Roya. The man is dead. You're free now. It's all right. We'll stay down here tonight. I don't think Mike is going to be happy to find his house gone."

Roya cried a laughing cry and said, "Damn you! Does everything you get involved with get destroyed?"

Wes said, "It's OK. Mike will be here in the morning. The storm will pass. We just don't have a house."

Roya looked into Walker's eyes as hers filled with tears. She knew she couldn't be with Wes Walker. She would return to Jerusalem. Roya also knew she wouldn't do any talk shows to promote the novel. If the public couldn't absorb the story without her, then so be it. For the first time since she left with Wes, Roya felt a sense of loss, and she wanted to be with God. It took a long, tiring route to understand it.

Roya kissed Wes. But another night would pass without any sexual contact. As though it was part of some charm of the man with her, Roya didn't want to be alone. A person could lose more in the world than their hand as Karim Sa'edi did. A person could lose human respect when holding onto their private hell. Roya knew the man Karim suffered to protect her mother. Men had judged him too hard. Out of her mother's memory, she would return to the city where heaven met earth. She would return to join her father's house. She thought of her half-brother and knew she needed Wes to hold her. She needed held for whom she was and not some fictional character Wes Walker had woven through the novel.>>> Go to Chapter Sixty-Seven

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