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The Dharma Papers: Chap. 8 "Looking for Mr. Deadbar"

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Aaron Littleton parked the Land Rover under a small overpass. He would walk the rest of the way. There were still half a mile of ravines, thick brush, and Wannsee forest. The charts that his client, Margo Shephard, had provided him indicated that the temple was just beyond the ridge. A 12 hour flight and 50 miles of continually snaking backroads, hadn't put Aaron into the best of moods. A couple of times he almost called it off. He thought, 'What am I doing? Running around for a client who is more than likely insane! Obsessed with looking for the remains of your husband for over twenty years has got to eventually drive you crazy. This is a fool's errand! Looking for a dead guy.' But he was here and he kept reminding himself there was a handsome payoff at the end if he achieved his goal. However remote that now may be. So with backpack on, he trudged ahead. It was dark now. A half hour later he makes it to the foot of the ravine. Aaron slowly ascends the slope until he reaches the top. He looks around. "Well, son of a..." There it was! The temple. Aaron surveyed the area. No signs of life. Then he noticed movement. Two figures dressed in sackcloths were wandering around by the temple's entrance. 'Temple monks?,' Aaron wondered. He pulled out binoculars to take a look-see. The monks he observed were not only dressed in sackcloths but were also carrying SIG automatic assault weapons! He saw two more monks patrolling the outside perimeter. When they reached the far end of the perimeter they split up. One monk was approaching Aaron's position near the forest's edge. Aaron reached into his backpack and pulled out a pistol crossbow. The monk was now close. Aaron silently cocked the bow. Placed the dart. Took aim. Fired. Presto! A rapidly sleeping monk. Aaron dragged the drugged monk into the forest edge, stole his sackcloth and SIG, then walked out of the tree line, taking over the guard's route. Luckily, it seemed the other monks were being distracted by the sounds of a low-flying jet circling overhead. He walked toward the temple entrance. As he approached, the doors swung open and another monk walked out. Aaron held his face down into the hood of the sackcloth hoping the passing monk wouldn't be too attentive. The monk nodded his head in greeting. Aaron nodded back and walked into the temple. It was dark. Only the occasional flicker of firelight from some wooden torches. He makes his way down a musty hallway. He comes across a steel elevator door, presses the button. The door opened and Aaron stepped in. He studied the elevator buttons and decides to hit the last button. The elevator dropped quickly. It thuds to a stop. Aaron exits into a room that was surgical white. In the room, among some LOX tanks, was a polymer casket with a face plate. He took his hand and wiped away the frost on the face plate and peered into the casket. Then the shock! For staring out from the casket was the face of Christian Shephard! To be continued: Next Chap. 9 "Dharma Memories"

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