There was loud rumbling echoing from above. The gray room that Aaron Littleton and Clementine Phillips were tied up in was shaking. Aaron was twisting and turning his hands, in an attempt to somehow slip out of the ropes that bound his wrists. No success. They were just too tight. Clementine, however was up to her usual tricks. When the monks caught her coming down the wall, she pushed her wrists down, as they placed the handcuffs on her. The cuffs were, unknown to the monks, clipped higher up on her arms. So all she had to do was slip the cuffs down her arms to her narrower wrists and 'abracadabra!' the cuffs slipped off. She then untied the ropes around her and tried the door. Still bolted. Pieces of ceiling were beginning to drop upon them, as the shaking and rumbling continued. "Uh, could you untie me please?" Aaron asked. "What for?" Clementine replied, as she examined the room for an exit. "I don't know who you are. You could be working with them." "Funny you should say you don't know me", Aaron said, "because you do look familiar to me. Like I know you from somewhere. sometime." Clementine looked back at Aaron in amazement. "What? Are you using a pickup line on me, Romeo? In case you haven't noticed, this isn't exactly the best time or place for a romantic interlude!" "Okay. Okay. Just untie me, would you?' Aaron pleaded. Clementine ignored him and noticed an air vent along the back wall. She began to try to pry off the cover. Aaron obviously realized she was going to be of no help, so he continued to try and unravel the ropes. The sound of something collapsing up above shook the entire room. "Son of a Bitch!!" Clementine yelled, as she continued to try to remove the vent. "What is it?, Aaron asked. "I broke a nail!' she replied. Aaron rolled his eyes. Suddenly, the door bolts open, spewing dust and debris into the room. Martin Malachi and Julian Carlson quickly enter. Julian goes to Aaron and starts to untie his hands. Clementine stood ready to defend herself. "If you want to live, you will go with Julian," said Malachi. "We found your Land Rover last night, Mr. Littleton, and I had it brought around. It has been loaded with some important cargo. I strongly suggest you leave now! Julian knows an escape route." Malachi then turn to Clementine. "Ms. Phillips, you have the second piece of the prize. Where are the Dharma papers you stole?" Clementine immediately adopted a look of innocence. "I don't know what you're talking about, Master Po!" Malachi became angry. "We don't have time for your nonsense!" The Abbott pulled a gun and leveled it at her. "Where is it? You have ten seconds or I will kill you right now!!" Clementine tried to quickly think of some stalling tactic, but the look on the abbott's eyes told her he meant business. She reached under her left pant leg and pulled out the document tube she had strapped to her leg with some velcro from the chute cords. "Okay, Friar Tuck, here's your damn papers," she said, as Julian came over and grabbed them from her hand. "Very well. Now move! Julian will show you the way!" Julian headed out of the room with Aaron and Clementine right behind. Malachi quietly prayed for their successful escape. Then he quickly said a prayer for his monks and for himself, as the room began to collapse upon him. To be continued. Next Chap. 16 "The Shell"

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