You can never be too careful


They always leave me by the door, telling me each time that spying is more a matter of brain than brawn.

I am nervous.

I smell trouble mingling in the dusty warehouse, though the others unpack their briefcases as if this is a day at the office rather than deep inside Iran.

Satellites can tell us only so much, Dan tells me, as he makes his way to the first filing cabinet where he and the others expect to find clues to the secret project, evidence that we can bring out to bass judgment before the U.N.

Roger looks nearly as comfortable as Dan; full of that dull sense that years of working with figures gives to such men, making him blunt with people because we are so unpredictable.

He never packs a lunch for long nights ahead.

Wilbert seems more in tune with what I am feeling, an electronics genius who checks these places for taps.

No sense in taking too many risks, he says.

The Iranians arenít savages. They fought the Russians to a standstill, and may already own the bomb.

Oh no, Wilbert says and motions us all not to move.

Heís found some wires.

Are we being spied on, I ask.

Hell no, he says, but the explosion that follows blows me out the door, leaving the others -- and whatever records we hoped to find -- in a ball of flame two blocks wide.

Ashes to ashes, I thin, as I crawl away, most of my back so scalded I expected to die soon as well, knowing that if I donít die, I will wish a million times I did after the Iranian secret police catch up with me.

I have just enough strength to pull my pistol out.

I never do hear the explosion it makes.


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