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The UQBA Chronicles
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-305-0
Genre: Fiction/Adventure/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 162 Pages
Published: November 2005

From inside the flap

When you are a witness to an assassination trouble stalks you. It was no different for David Niven and his friend Chris Stern. The last words of the dying Islamic scholar are a plea to destroy information the old man has discovered. His plea leads to further death.

The UQBA Chronicles (Excerpt)

The gray and uninviting building opened up onto a large quadrangle, which had served at one time as a playground. Now its purpose was made apparent each and every morning as the crackling of gunfire echoed and re-echoed in their vibrations within the court yard and down the narrow corridors lined with bolted doors.

Walter Christopher Stern had become use to this morning revelry. It bespoke the success of the revolution. Some official of the Shah had been released to meet his maker. Allah was receiving hundreds of newcomers in the fall of 1980. Chris, as he was known to his friends, rolled over and tried to regain sleep. In sleep he at least could block out the hopelessness of his situation. In sleep he could go back to the time months before when he had been happy. Then he was the head of a large and well-respected security firm. The sign C=CURE was known in the highest circles of power. It was the best firm for special security arrangements. It was his firm that had catered to the late Shah, the heads of Europe and the Far East. Now he was locked in a small confining cellar waiting for his turn when the sounds of the success of the execution squads would reverberate down the corridors to the hundreds of other hollow eyed men, women and children who had interfered with the revolution.

He became use to the other sounds that occasionally penetrated the walls. The sounds he heard of people dying under different forms of punishment. The hollow thuds confirmed the blows to the human body. The twisted and contorted cries of protest came through the walls. He had himself been victim to such attention. He had tried to hold back the cries, but even he wouldn?t succeed when experts like these religious zealots had hundreds of victims to perfect their craft.

He didn?t really care what happened to him. He had been responsible for the death of Cassie. Without her, life had no purpose. Death would be a reprieve. He had wondered how it would feel to die. Now he would soon find out. He kept blinking his eyes in hope that it was only a very vivid and terrifying dream. It only confirmed how real the situation was.

A noise in the lock indicated that he was being visited again. He hoped they would get over the interview quickly and allow him to make the painful recovery in his own manner in private.

Two dark clad officials of higher rank than he had met before walked into the confines of his cell. He drew himself to attention with the expectation of a blow to ensure his compliance. Nothing came. No blow or kick or further accusation of being an American dog was hurled in his direction. The larger of the two ordered him to accompany them. So this was it, after three weeks in this execution facility he would experience the final solution.

He made his way up the cellar stairs to the opening door. This door had streams of invading sunlight to brighten the last few steps. One guard followed to ensure he wouldn?t escape. Escape was impossible. Where could one escape to? He had no friends. There was no support in a country totally brainwashed into hating the West. The two dark cloaked officials made way for him in the warmth of the sun. In the center of the square was a pillar sunk into the ground. Six to ten inches above the ground a rough seat was stuck into the pillar. From across the yard, a phalanx of revolutionary guards was escorting a huge mountain of a man. He hands were tied in front of him and a heavy chain was attached to his neck. He was being lead like a dog toward the center of the yard. At the center, a pillar with its odd shaped seat waited for the giant. Christopher didn?t understand exactly what was about to happen. He knew some form of death was in the making. He could understand, as his eyes became use to the bright sun that something sinister was going to happen to this poor muscular man.

Quickly the escorting guards bound the victimís hands to the supporting arm rests and tied his feet to the iron peg that had been driven into the ground in front. Once the victim was comfortably seated, a wire was threaded through a hole in the post. It all became clear to Christopher now. Like a macabre seamstress, the pillar became the needle and the guards were using the wire to thread its eye. A black-gowned old man nodded as he listened to the hushed conversation among his fellow judges. It was settled; the charade of justice had been made.

Garroting is a rather unusual form of execution. Proponents believe that the dislocation of the neck is rapid and death is therefore instantaneous. One of the revolutionary guards walked to the back of the post and slowly without any attempt at speed began to turn the stick that had been inserted into the loop of the wire. Slowly the wire contracted and tightened around the neck of the victim.

Christopher forced himself to watch. He could see the determination of the man as he braced himself. The strength in his bull like neck showed the metal of the man. The hardened muscles were tough and not easily willing to be broached. The contractions of the wire couldn?t be anything other than painful. The victimís face-hardened as he strove to fight against the strangulation hold.

Christopherís eyes were drawn to the manís hands. They had been tied down to the armrests or restraints by wire. The strength of the man as he fought to release his arms showed as he forced the wires to stretch. The wire cut into his flesh and blood spurted out as an indication of his resolve to escape.

A second guard helped the first as the strength of the victim had momentarily reduced the rate of tightening. Christopher could see the lungs as they attempted to push air through the constraining wire and revive the weakening brain. The eyes of the victim suddenly were no longer bright, but were more hollow. The tongue protruded through the mouth, which had in turn opened as the strangulation further gagged life. Suddenly one arm that had been held by the wire broke the strands, giving freedom. But the efforts were too late. The muscles of the neck had been compressed and broken, the trachea had collapsed and a successful neck dislocation followed dead through asphyxiation, and cerebral ischaemia.

Death was undoubtedly painful and took several minutes to accomplish.

The guards led Christopher back to his cellar cell and left him alone without any comment. The sound of the key turning in the lock was too loud. The finality of its message further magnified the hopelessness of his imprisonment. Why had he been taken to watch the awful execution? Shooting was more easily stomached. The effects of bullets crashing into the body produced death in a more immediate manner. He knew that bullets with their tremendous velocity, energy and heat evaporated tissue and formed carrot shaped cavities or cavitations. With the effect of several bullets aimed at vital parts of the body death was more immediate. Garroting he had never considered. Was this a message to him? Was this the manner in which his life was to be ended? The image of the struggling giant hung like a cloud in his mind.

Tomorrow was still to come.

The French reporter had carefully filed his reports each day. The West would know that Iran was not to be trifled with.

"You have been found guilty of spying for the United States of America against Iran, Allah and his people," the dark eyes justice pointed his finger in the direction of the accused.

"You have been given justice, in spite of what you have done. You were one of the Shahís pawns who helped keep his people in chains. You returned to steal our countryís secrets to help destroy us," the judge became more and more angered by the long list of offenses.

The prisoner hardly seemed interested in the proceeding. His appearance was unkempt. He was unshaven. His prisoner garb consisted of a gray oversized shirt and equally undersized pants.

"Walter Christopher Stern you will be taken from here to the seacoast where you first invaded our country. You will be executed three weeks from today. You will be garroted. Your body will be left to remind others that Iran does not dance to the music of a corrupt western society but to the one God Allah."