Nest of Spies

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OUTLINE

Neda is the daughter of Sunni Palestinian Winemakers who emigrated to Iran after having been evicted from there land in near Jerusalem. As a kid, she attended an American school in Israel/Palestine until the 1973 war. She is fluent in English.

Neda was part of a left wing student groups which took part in the seizure of the US embassy in November 1979. Because of her knowledge of the English language and American culture, she became a valuable asset to the cause although she was more driven by left leaning ideals then Islamic ones.

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TEHRAN POLYTECHNIC, IRAN, 3 NOVEMBER 1979

Mojahedin-e-Khalq

The corridors of the Polytechnic are overcrowded as Neda, a 19 years old medical school freshman, holds on to Ali and Hussain, all making their way towards the main auditorium. A general meeting has been called by several student organizations but most attending don't seem to know where to go next. Arriving at the auditorium's guarded door, Ali claims his allegiance to the People's Mujahedin and points to Hussein and Neda to clear them as well. The three walk in but as Neda passes through the door, one of the guards stops her.

-Cover yourself sister, this is not a discotheque.

Neda looks at her two comrades with discontent.

-I told you, I'm not following if that's going to be the way.

Hussain, looks at the guard who keeps him arm extended to block Neda, then back at Ali who raises his shoulders, helpless. About three hundred students are already inside the auditorium. Mostly men. The few females attending are veiled.

-Come on Neda, just do like he says. We gotta get going.

Neda pulls a scarf from her pocket and wears it, not pleased.

MAIN AUDITORIUM, TEHRAN POLYTECHNIC

-I told you guys, I'm not into this Imam thing. If we don't stand our grounds from the beginning, they're going to wipe us out. What do you think? Once we're in, we're going to have round table discussions?

Neda, Ali and Hussain have joined a small contingent of the People's Mujahedin who have gathered in a corner of the auditorium.

-She's right, this is not what I had envisioned. They're all from Engineering, and the ones carrying guns are not even students, they're like the Imam's protection, Hezbollahi...

-I'm like the only girl here!

-No, I've seen a couple when we go in.

-Yeah, a couple. How many are we here? A thousand!

One Engineering student approaches followed by two shadier men carrying duffel bags. The student walks up to Ali.

-Ali, right?

-Yes.

-Ok so we're scheduled to storm through the South gate at 06:00.

Hussain steps forward. What do you mean we're scheduled? When was this decided. Wasn't the point of this whole gathering to discuss the strategy?

-Well, no... The plan has been ready for days... We just couldn't divulge it to prevent leaks.

Hussain looks back at his comrades. Neda looks down in disbelief.

-So we need the girl to come with us to join the two other sisters. Which university are you attending, sister?

-University of Tehran, Med school!

-So you must know how to use your hands.

-Well, I grew up on a farm, besides the scalpel.

-Right on, says one of the two shadier guys coming forward and dropping his bag open in front of Neda.

He pulls a 36" bolt cutter from the bag and hands it to her.

-Know how to use one of those?

Neda grabs the heavy tool from both handles and raises it up before squeezing defiantly it right in front of the guy.

-Well, you'll never achieve anything this way.

He grabs the tool, walks to the iron railing cordoning the seating section from the speaker's desk. He then places the cutter's blades around a section of the railing, lowers one of the handles on the floor, blocks it with his foot then presses on the other handle, cutting through the half inch steel bar like butter.

OUTSIDE THE US EMBASSY COMPOUND, TEHRAN, 4 NOVEMBER 1979

Lance-Corporal Tyrone Washington the Third's shift ends at 06:00 but the next Marine hasn't shown up to replace him yet. For the past weeks, Washington has spent the cold Persian nights on the roof of the US Embassy's staff living quarters, scanning the compound's perimeter with Starlight Scope mounted on his M-60 Machine Gun. Since they landed in March, the 13 men unit of the Marine Security Guards have been on high alert night and day.

The streets of Tehran are dimly lit on this early November morning. The silhouettes of three black chadors crossing towards the South wall of the US Embassy Compound are missed by the National police cars parked at each end of the street but they light up in Washington's night vision scope. -A little early for 3 Muslin women to roam down the streets of Tehran..., he thinks to himself as he loses sight of the trio behind a wall. He pans his scope to the right to see if they show up through the iron gates when Sergeant Willow arrives to relieve him.

-Tyrone my man, times up! Two eggs and crunchy bacon waiting for you at the cafeteria.

-Hold up a sec, just on to something, answers Washington as he keeps his attention focused on the gate.

-What'd you see.

-These 3 women crossed the street just a minute ago and I can't locate them anymore.

-Man, you pervert. These ain't x-ray glasses. I you wanna see one of them Iranian girl's boobs, you gonna have to get under them black sheets.

At the same moment, Neda gets by the gate and pulls a 36" bolt cutter from under her veil. The single street light's ray bounces of the metallic blade and flashes into Washington's scope, blinding him for a second.

-What the fuck!

US EMBASSY COMPOUND, TEHRAN, 7 NOVEMBER 1979

Neda, who's hair now is lose, leans over a card board on which she translate a Persian text into English: THE IS NO TIME FOR IMPERIALISM IN IRAN ANY MORE...

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