The Dharma Papers: Chap. 9 "Dharma Memories"

She looked frail when they wheeled her into the prison's vistors center. Her long hair had now turned completely white. Charlie Hume was surprised at how different she looked from her photographs. Of course it had been over 20 years since anyone had publicly seen Karen DeGroot. Charlie hoped to get some answers from the last surviving member of the Dharma Iniative. He had been warned she wasn't too communicative. Among a series of numerous ailments, she was suffering from dementia. She never had any visitors. The only person, according to the guards, she recently enjoyed talking to was a young female inmate, who had been quickly and mysteriously pardoned within the last few days. "Good morning, Ms. DeGroot," Charlie said. No response. Karen just stared into space. "My name is Charlie Hume and I want to talk to you about the Dharma Iniative." Karen's blank eyes suddenly blinked. She slowly looked over at Charlie. "The Dharma Iniative?" she hoarsely whispered. "Yes,I need to ask you some questions if I may," Charlie said. Karen sat up straight in the wheelchair. "What do you want to know?" Charlie was encouraged by her seeming eagerness to talk. "Well, Ms. DeGroot, I have recently come across some documents that have the Dharma name and symbol on them and some mysterious people seem pretty determined to retrieve those documents in any way possible. Would you tell me why a defunct cult would still be of interest to someone today?" Karen looked Charlie straight in the eyes. "There is an interest because what we discovered, what we uncovered, must never be released upon the world!" Charlie was confused. "What do you mean?" Karen stared out the window. "Dharma is gone. It was all such a long time ago. Someone however, is still out there! Has been for many years! Searching and seeking all of our documents, our papers, our experimental results." Who is this person?" Charlie asked. Karen didn't seem to hear him or she chose not to. "HE wants to use the knowledge we gained for evil! We were a peaceful group. But a darkness infected our purpose, our goals. So many good people had to die. And that darkness still exists today! And HE wants to control that darkness, HE wants to possess it!!" Karen was now becoming agitated. She started coughing violently and the guard came in. "That will be enough today," he said, as he began to wheel Karen away. But she grabbed the wheels with all her strength, stopping the chair. Her coughing subsided. She looked back at Charlie. "Syntropic Sciences! That is HIS organization! New Mexico. South of Socorro." The guard again started to take her back to her cell. She turned back to Charlie one last time, as tears began to run down her cheeks. "All Gerald and I wanted to do was change the world. It turned out all we needed to do was to change ourselves." She sobbed as the guard took her away. Charlie had hoped to have gotten some more info but this was a good beginning. As he started to leave he thought, 'The New Mexico desert should be nice this time of year.' To be continued: Next Chap. 10 "The Lesson"

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