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The Dharma Papers: Chap. 22 "Souls and Sunsets"

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Aaron ran to the intercom to the computer room. "Dawson! You've got to stop him!" Walt looked up. "I can reverse the beam," he said, "but I'm running my program and I'm close to a contact!" Meanwhile, Ji-Yeon stood at the edge of the field. She tried to concentrate and remember what she had been taught. Focus. Absorb the energy. Re-direct. Choose the target. Back in the computer room, Walt Dawson is scanning the energy fields. He begins to hear faint voices and begins to see faint forms. He begins to see souls. One after one they appear.The tortured and the torturers. The murdered and the murderers. All trapped for their sins and begging, pleading with Walt to forgive them, to free them. Suddenly, a form familiar to Walt appears. It is what he has devoted much of his adult life to finding. Michael Dawson now stands in front of him! Tears began to form in Walt's eyes. Michael smiled. "You know what to do Walt. You must stop all of this now." Walt understood. He reached for the power controls and pulled back the levers with full force. In the Spiral, the dark force began to retreat back into Christian Shephard's body. Julian felt the power, the knowledge, begin to drain away. "NO!! STOP!! I"M ALMOST THERE!!!" Suddenly, Ji-Yeon pushed a pulse of psychic energy into Julian's head. He glanced over at Ji-Yeon and began to scream as the neurons within his brain fused together. His eyes clouded over and his face went blank as his brain literally melted. He then slumped over in his chair, dead. The accelerator's energy began to build beyond any safe levels. "This place is going to implode!" Charlie yelled, as he and Aaron, along with Clementine, Ji-Yeon, and Megan, ran towards some exits. Meanwhile, the computer room began to fall apart around Walt Dawson. He looked up at the ghost of his dad and smiled. Michael was begining to fade. "We can go now, Walt," he softly said, as the entire lab imploded. The Spiral collapsed, as Shephard's body disappeared into the beam. Meanwhile, the group emerges above ground. They run to get away from the sinkhole that was quickly forming after the entire implosion and destruction of the SSI underground lab. They now wandered across the desert. Clementine looked over to Charlie and Aaron and asked, "Where do we go now, Lawrences of Arabia?" In the distance, a cloud of dust is being kicked up. Something was approaching and approaching fast. Suddenly, from behind a dune, a Jeep appears. "Hey, any of you lost souls want a ride?" It was Pavlov. "You know it!" said Charlie, as they all hopped in and headed for the horizon.......Two days later, Charlie Hume brings his yacht, the "Penelope" about. Megan Pace and Clementine Phillips are sunning themselves on the forward deck with the last remaining light as the sun sets. Pavlov is handing a beer to Aaron Littleton. Ji-Yeon Kwon is watching the sunset. "Are you thinking about home?" Aaron asks her. Ji-Yeon smiles, "Yes. I am flying back tomorrow. That is where I belong." "Well, you can use your new skills in the business world, I guess," Charlie says. "No. I don't ever want to use my powers again," Ji-Yeon says, "Dharma was right. Some mysteries just need to remain mysterious." "What about you ladies? Where do you go next?" Pavlov asks, as he offers Clementine and Megan some beers. Megan laughs, "Well, you can catch my solo act in any dive bar around Portland. If you guys are ever back in town, stop by!" Clementine chugs down her beer. "I'm thinking about going to Kentucky. Check out Fort Knox. See what kind of vault they have. Just for fun!" "Well, I'll keep sailing," Charlie says, "but I'll tell you one thing. If I ever run across a sub again, I'm going to turn about and sail off as quickly as I can in the opposite direction!" Charlie then turns to Aaron, "Where do you go from here?" Aaron smiles, "I'm going to contact Margo Shephard. Give her my final report. She is probably not going to be happy." "But you did find Shephard, even if it was set up!" said Ji-Yeon. "Yes," Aaron replied, "I hope it gives her some closure, but I think all she wanted was to be able to give her husband a proper burial." "Well, when I looked back," Charlie said, "just before the whole damned thing collapsed, I saw Shephard's body fly right into that beam and disappear. So who knows where or when he now may be." "Yeah, who knows?" Aaron wondered, as the sun set and the "Penelope" headed for shore. Epilogue: 9,000 years ago the icy winds careened across the glacier field of what would someday be known as Alaska. A herd of Mastodons migrate south. Hungry Siberian Sabre-tooth tigers are not far behind. There, just below the ice, is a sackcloth covering a body. Christian Shephard is finally buried. The End.

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