Both men entered the room, Jack with a tray and John with a book. The stranger observed them entering, slightly squinting. He was obviously afraid but did not speak. His look spoke for himself. Jack asked the stranger if he wished to go to the bathroom, he answered an hesitating "no", tightening his arm toward the tray.
" Let us know when you do. " Jack told him. The stranger looked at the bowl, firmly gripping it like his only friend while John walked forward to stretch him out the book which he held.
" I brought you something to read. "
" Dostoïevski? Well thanks " he said holding a groan at the bottom of his throat. He stared at his bowl while both men went out. He stamped with anxiety. And this anxiety was only growing when he heard their conversation, discussing what they had to do with him. In a mood of despair, he launched: " How about you let me go?" But to go where? To whom? Why? This he ignored…
Sometimes later, his torturers let him go in the bathroom. He ended to wash his hands when M.Eko arrived. He felt his heart squeezing up. The more this place was filled with people, the more he was afraid of what could happen to him. He did not dare to ask a questions as Jack silenced him.
" How many of-- "
" Shh, shut. Up. " The unknown stared at him then tried to listen to the other side of the door. When M.Eko left the hatch, they put him back in the armoury. The unknown observed them and asked of a little trembling voice :
" When will you agree to let me leave? I'd like you to let me go..."
" We still have some questions to be answered so, as long as we don't know who you are. "
" I don't know it myself..." he said in a rustle watching the ground. Jack frowned and closed the door.
M.Eko returned with Jack in the hatch, avid to confide himself. John let him in while Jack recommended him to be wary of this " smart and curious " stranger. The small man sat, seeing the men behind the door. He put the book on the mattress and felt his whole body shivering with fear. The tall man presented his hand.
" I' m Mister Eko. " He took the hand and squeezed it.
" I am confused, I don't have any name to give you … " Mister Eko frowned.
" Do you mind if I sit ? "
" OK " he answered.
" How long have you been here ? "
" I I do not know... I'm not sure... "
" Are they treating you well ? "
" Treating me well ? I'm, a prisoner, and I don't know why or for what-- "
" You're a prisoner, because they are being careful. They are careful because they are believing you're lying. "
" Why would I lie ? " He asked unbelieving. "They think I'm one of these others, other what-- "
" Please, stop talking. " The unknown felt his blood freezing while M.Eko confided him his murders, he was certain of it at the moment: he would be the next one. But then, M.Eko also confided him that he was on the way of the redemption. But this light relief did not seem to relax him that much.
" I ask you for your forgiveness. "
" Why are you telling me that ? " He asked in a shy smile.
" Because I needed to tell someone. " He took out his knife. The unknown who had found hope, saw the world collapsing on his feet in the reflection of this blade. He jumped and opened wide eyes, M.Eko cut his beard and left both ends on the ground. The stranger watched the knife, until the very last second to be sure that the tall man would not jump on him.
At the end of the day, John came back bringing to the unknown something for his dinner. The little man sat up immediately, making sure that it was not a new aggressor. John observed him as he entered then walked to him. He gave him the bowl. The unknown ventured on a flash of humour hoping to gain the sympathy of one of his torturers.
"No. cheeseburgers uh?"
"No cheeseburgers." In so doing, he hid his look from John's. " Bon appétit."
" Is that true what you said about Hemingway ?" He asked, trying to keep John, not to feel alone again.
" You have good ears." The small man shrugged and smiled.
" You have thin doors." John turned to him. The unknown seemed more confident.
" You read Hemingway ? "
"Sure … Some books as far as I can remember… This I can't get through five pages uh......" he said looking at the book.
" Mmh. Dostoïevski had his virtues too. He was a genius for one. Bull fight isn't everything " The unknown laughed. Was he really speaking literature while he was locked without knowing anything of the others nor him ?
"So which one are you?" He asked.
"Wha, I' m sorry? " John asked perplex.
" Are you the genius or are you the guy who always feels as he's living in the shadow of the genius ? " John didn't know how to anwser. He murmured some words then took the empty bowl and went to the exit.
"I don't understand why you let the other man decide while I need help …"
" I don't let him decide. Jack and I make decisions together." John firmly said.
"Right OK .." he said hesitating then returning to his bowl "my mistake."
John looked at him severely while the unknown had just let escaped his chance for any help. John did not answer and stood out; their he broke the dishes, controlled by a blind rage. The stranger froze. A new wave of uncertainty submerged him. He was an intelligent man indeed, but alone against all and himself, an ally was necessary.
John had left to see Ana Lucia, to speak to her of this stranger. John wanted him to go away, and this corresponded perfectly to the hopes of the unknown. Afterward he joined the bathroom to shave himself and speak with Jack at the same time.
" ...It might be a good time to talk about our problem."
" Our problem ? "
" Our Henry problem. We've had him locked up for three days now and I can't help but get the sense that he's just not motivated to cooperate with us. "
" And, how are we going to motivate him John ? "
" I don't think there's anything that we can do. I think we need to bring in some new blood. "
" Obviously you have someone in mind. "
" What do you think about Ana Lucia ? "
They still argued a little, Jack finally concluded that he would speak with Ana Lucia later but John warned him that she was already with the unknown. The problem was, that Jack suspected that the unknown had a problem. His speech was inconsistent and he hoped he could do him physical again before a new confrontation. Furthermore, Ana Lucia was not the kind to be soft.
In the armoury, the small man kept his head lowered.
" You were in this plane too? The one who supposedly have crashed? "
" I was in the tail section. We crashed on the other side of the island. "
" You walked across, all the way here ? ...That must have been fun..." He said tightening his whole body.
" It had it's moments. So you're gonna tell me your story Henry ? "
He frowned bringing his head back. His brain set on. Henry. Henry who? Why? Where from? He did not remember his name but strange feeling assured him that it was not Henry. His hands still trembled with fear and his shoulder made him suffer. How many people were again going to come to speak to him while he knew almost nothing of him. Annoyed he answered frankly.
" Why bother I already told it to everyone, Jack, Locke, the big black guy that cut off his beard in front of me. Oh yeah and my buddy Sayid. You can see how much he likes my story." By saying this, the unknown realized that he had managed to remember at least their names. He so hoped to remember his but still; nothing, the nothingness. He remembered only these few moments preceding his amnesia but everything was fuzzy …
" So how about you try me ? " Said Ana Lucia by looking him straight in the eyes. The unknown felt in danger, he had nothing to but these vague memories. He was afraid but began to master fear and he noticed with enjoyment that his offensive intelligence allowed him to dominate in this conservation. Then he answered:
" I don't mean to be ungrateful but... Why are you gonna help me get out of here ? "
Ana Lucia told him what happened the first days they crashed, her altercation with one of the castaways on the other side of the island. She had made a mistake and killed him. She said abroad that she never made twice the same error, but this unknown already had turned pale, thinking of being surrounded only with killers. These fear of being victim of their punches woke up again. Very honestly he wondered, wondering which one of his mental or his body would give up the first. Then he agreed to tell him what he remembered, what he had said three days earlier.
" So lemme get this straight, you and your wife travel around the world and crash here in a smiley face balloon. Then she dies. You get captured by a French chick who brings you here and then they lock you up. "
" yuh... Sounds kind of silly when say it like that. But it's all which I remember. I remember of almost nothing else myself … Not even of my life. Nor of … Of my wife. "
" How convenient to lose the memory now. Why don't you have a beard ? "
" I suppose that it's because I shaved... Look for a little of hope where there was not … To have a little of normality in my life … "
" Ok, so why don't you draw me a map to your balloon ? We'll go out there, we'll find it, and everybody will believe you. "
" That's what they're all keep asking me to do: draw a map, and if I mess up they'll crucify me. "
" You flew around the world in a balloon and you don't think you can draw up a good map ? "
" Air travel... It's a different animal it's about wind currents and -- "
" Do you or do you not know where it is ? "
" Yeah I know where it is. I remember very exactly the location of the grave. How could I forget this place, if my wife is buried there? " He says cold.
" Why did you do that? " Ana Lucia asked hesitating.
" Because this balloon is the only thing which really brings me closer to home … Because, many things passed there … I remember … I remember the crash of the balloon " the unknown said, shacking. But what he did not understand, is that he observed the crash from the outside and not the inside. He thought he was mistaking or going crazy. Then he believed he understood, that it was of their fault; they tried to mislead him to be able to get rid of him. He turned the head, speaking with difficulty. " You people have been looking for someone to punish for everything that's happening here, someone to blame and now you've got him.." he whispered in a mocking smile. " It doesn't matter what I do: I'm dead already. "
" You draw up that map Henry, I'll find your balloon. But if you don't, things are gonna play out just like you said. "
He observed his cage a few moments. He had no choice. Nobody wanted to believe in his amnesia, not even the doctor. And now, he had to draw a map to a balloon that he had seen only in a dream, a frenzy. He wondered if what he told on him, really corresponded to him. His surviving instinct got the upper hand over his reasonable spirit and he agreed to draw the map. His fingers shook on the paper, he hoped only for a thing: run away.
Ana Lucia went out and spoke with both men. She explained that he had told her the same story as to them, but she did not still know if she had to believe it. When came the subject of his amnesia, Jack evoked a possibility of light trauma causing a partial amnesia, to what Locke answered that this man could lie on his amnesia as on the rest. Ana Lucia said that she would like to go back with him a little longer but later, to determine if his statements are lies or not. She went to the beach, to find Sayid to set off to find the truth about the balloon about the balloon. They started their journey with Charlie. The unknown ended the day forsaken and frightened.
The night cradled him with nightmares about this balloon, a man going out from it. Him with other people following this man. But also a normal life, in a small house. Some paintings of balloons, books on the aviation … And this grave, which he sealed himself of the last stone. He knew this place. He knew this island. But was he the one that he claimed to be? He didn't know it himself. He woke up sweaty and stayed up, noticing that both men still slept on the other side of the door. He found comfort with Dostoïevski from which he had torn away the endpaper, to draw his map. In the morning, Jack came to find him. The unknown looked at him. This doctor could maybe help him..?
" How is it ? "
" "Men reject their prophets and slay them. But they love their martyrs and honour those who may have slay" So what's the difference between a martyr and a prophet ? "
" Anyway it sounds like you end up dead. "
These words were said so slightly it brought him to smile. But not only for the odd of the situation, but also for the irony of the words.
" That's the spirit. " Jack stamped a few seconds then says:
" Would you like some breakfast? " The unknown could not believe his ears. He opened big eyes and repeated the sentence in a loop. A breakfast, outside this prison. At contact of the other people maybe? Was it the beginning of freedom? He answered only of a shaking, gaping. Jack went out of the armoury, followed by the unknown who was shyly holding his arm. He arrived in the big room and his look got caught:
" What's the computer for ? "
" Nothing. " Jack answered him. The unknown suspected something but preferred to keep silent, adopting a defensive strategy: he was not in position to negotiate. However, he thought recognizing a logo printed on the metallic box; a sign which he knew very well. A flash returned him, where he walked on the island, dressed in a suit with this logo. This flash lasted only few seconds, enough time for him to walk up to armchairs and sit down in front of Locke.
" Cereal ? Wow, where do you guys get cereal ? " He asked suddenly, curious.
" It was… Down here all long. The battery is full of food. " Locke answered a little bit vague. The unknown grabbed the box to observe the logo closer, then he glanced on the cereals.
" How old is it ? " He asked, doubting of the aspect and the date. He perceived the name "dharma" on the lapel. He shivered. He waited his answer and questioned both of the look. " You guys don't know much uh ? " " He laughed thinking that he was not the only one to be lost. A breach in the wall: he could take back the power if he paid enough attention and if he was strategic enough. " I mean I'll be asking all kind of questions about these stuff down here... You guys don't even seem that curious." He said taunting.
" Do you want your cereals or don't you ? " He kept silent and hid his look again, frightened to cross the limit again. He got a half-bowl of cereal. But, he was a player and wanted to take the risk of defending his freedom. Then he said:
" It must be my reward for good behaviour uh ? I guess I got myself some good will finally drawing that map for Ana. " John raised the eyes of his bowl.
" What map ? " The unknown squinted, taking a blunderer air, answering in a low, weak voice:
" To my balloon… "
" Did you -- "
" No! " John interrupted him. The unknown looked at Jack which returned him his look. He frowned and looked down on his bowl. A plan came to him: to sow the discord within the enemy. He whispered.
" Wow…You guys have some real trust issue don't you ? I guess it make sense she didn't tell you." He continued, always rubbing salt in the wound of his a blunderer air. " I mean look at you fighting all the time." After what he kept silent, pushing a handful of cereal at the bottom of his throat. Both men avoided the look of the other and watched the unknown. But guessing that he came out at the head of the trio, he allowed himself a provocation which would cost to him dear a lot. He changed tone, always wrinkling the forehead and speaking about a low and quiet voice. " Of course if I was one of them, these people that you think are your enemies, what would I do ? Mmh... They're would be no balloon. " He continued in taking other handful of cereal at which he pecked between his sentences. " So I'd draw a map to a real secluded place, like a cave or some under-bush. A good place for a trap. An ambush. And when your friends got there, a bunch of my people would be waiting for them... Then they'd use them to trade for me." He said daring to raise the look on both men. " I guess it's a good thing I'm not one of them uh ? " He said staring at Jack straight in eyes. He laughed silently and turned to John. " You guys got any milk ? "
I'll be off for few days, so 5 chapter on tuesday, have a nice moment
John looked at the unknown with a light half-smile. The later wobbled his look between both men, always chewing his cereal. Jack tightened the arm what made him jump. He bent on the unknown threatening with a finger.
" Draw it again, the map to your balloon. " The unknown took a softer and shier voice, speaking slowly accompanying his words of gestures.
" I was joking, I was making has joke. " He said in slowly losing his smile. His palms became clammy. But he still had the insurance to be in charge. Jack moved back and observed him silently, feeling a strange rage slowly growing in him. The unknown stirred a little more, avoiding his look now.
" There's nothing out there besides my balloon. I was just frustrated... It was a stupid thing to say I'm sorry. " He smiled embarrassed. " But you have to understand that I need your help. You seem determined not to believe me but since your executioner beat me I can't remember anything. If there was something there I wouldn't even know it. They have nothing to be afraid of by going there now. " He defended himself embarrassed but smiling. Locke was thinking.
" It's too late anyway she's gone long now Jack. "
" So what's done is done ? " he said in a smile full of bitterness.
" That's right. " approved John of a movement of head. Jack imitated him and turned on his heels:
" Put him back in the armoury. "
The unknown watched Jack leaving silently. He lowered his eyes raising his eyebrows. His words had been empty. They did not certainly plan to help him. Maybe they would wait for the return of Ana Lucia, but he, he could not wait. He needed help now. And he would be ready for anything if it freed him. He knew that John needed a support. He was demagogic and looked for solutions whereas Jack was the leader. He had spoken with him, learnt to know him, observing him. John could help him if he found which word to tell him. He raised eyes on him.
" Don't let him give you orders. You know what must be done. You have to help me, might it be only for your friends. You know that I'm not lying to you, I need your help. "
" Why should I trust you? "
" Because, because I'm not lying to you. I lived this balloon crash. It's waiting for your friends to find it. And I ended this grave myself. "
" I can't believe you without proof. So you will return in the armoury until we know who you are. "
" John don't let you mislead by him. " John leaped up furious frowned and grabbed the unknown by his shirt.
" Wu, wait… "
" Shut up! "
" John, I'm sorry... John ! "
Locke locked him into the armoury and remained a few moments contemplative. There was not a plate anymore to be broken, he had to relax and think of something else while Jack as usual fetched information on the camp. He bestrode the exercise bike and put the music loudly to avoid thinking of anything else. The day went through.
The unknown remained locked into the room without having lunch. John continued to keep rehearsing the morning events. He broke off by hearing a crackling. A strange noise not coming from the computer, - 47 minutes remained before entering the code- but from high speaker. He tried to fiddle it to understand what caused but the noise resounded. The unknown jumped in the armoury, putting down his book. He recovered, perched to listen to.
" What was that ? … John ? What's the matter ? ... John ? Eh, you're out there ? What's that noise John ? What's going on ? Talk to me. "
" Will you be quiet ?! "
" Tell me what's happening, what the hell-- "
" WILL YOU SHUT UP ?! "A countdown set off making the great man panic who was not already serene. Henry raised behind carry, held his arm.
" Maybe you should get Jack. " John jumped on his feet and run to the big door.
" I said shut up ! "
A bell rang and doors closed one by one around John. He had only the time to seize an iron bar and to throw himself face downward to stick it under the door. He observed around him, frightened to be trapped in this rat hole. The light in the armoury went off. The unknown shook and asked:
" What happened? " The lights sizzled while John struck the door in front of him, as to try to move her, but it was too heavy. The lights also vacillated in the armoury. The unknown was afraid at the moment and thought more of surviving that to escape. " Eh! What's going on ?! … Are you still out there ? John ? John ? "
" I'm here..! "
" What were all these noises, what's wrong ? Did something-- "
" Nothing is wrong. " He did not believe it himself, between the lights, the sound and this first time locked into the hatch, John didn't know what to say. The door was too heavy so that he thinks of lifting it even with a movement of lever. And Henry stirring in the armoury didn't help him. He too began to be afraid. He sat down on his heels reflecting a few moments about what to do. Jack wasn't here and the only room it had access to was the one he already was in. He explored the room carefully looking for an exit; the possible only one was an air duct, but it was not even sure that this conduit brought them outside. " We're locked in. "
" … What ? "
" These blast doors came down all over here and sealed all I can't get out. "
" Did you try to pry-- "
" Yeah but I couldn't... Maybe... Maybe with the two of us... "
" You want me to help you ? " he said unbelieving. John hesitated and came close to the door.
" Yeah. "
" And if I do help you, get these doors up, then you're just gonna lock me back in don't you ? " The lights switched in and off. The two men looked at them.
" That's right. " Henry was getting sick of the situation, it seemed that no matter what he decided to do or tell, he would only be seen as "an Other", an enemy. But maybe he could find a solution. Fear wasn't the feeling he got right at the moment; it was anger toward those people. He felt obliterated. But he had to find a solution.
" Then I'm gonna need your word John. I'm gonna need your word that you won't let your... 'people' do anything to me. " People was so hard to tell speaking about those monsters.
" Well if you are who you say you are then what are you worried about ? "
" Things have happened to them, things that I have nothing to do with. If they got no one to blame, except for me; so I'm gonna need your word, that you'll protect me, no matter what. "
John hesitated, wondering what to do. He didn't say a word and opened the door by turning the handle. Both men faced each other. John wore his severe look but nevertheless, he didn't seem to want to hurt the man. Henry was frightened, half opened mouth, a look of beaten dog on the face. He moved back of a step and fixed the tall man in front of him.
" Who are you ? "
" I. Don't. Know. "
" ...Alright. you have my word. "
Both men removed weights of barbells to get back the bar and make a lever. The unknown bent at the level of John to help him to slide the bar. They lifted with difficulty the first bar to slide the second one. When the door got down again, the unknown felt his shoulder tearing because of the effort. He stumbled but moved back very fast to help John: they were going to lift the door. They caught solidly the bar and dud the best they could. It seemed to re-commit the mechanism because the crackling came back and the lights sparkled. But the weight pressed on Henry's shoulder and made him squeak. He warned that he was then going to let go, John told him with an authoritarian voice to block the door with the tool box. He released his grip and breathed with difficulty. John put the bar and stretched out to move under the door. The unknown panicked:
" John, John wait don't-- "The mechanism of the door recovered on the way, pushing its peaks in John's leg. The unknown threw himself on the door, trying to lift it but nothing, John indicated him to put something to block the door. The small man threw himself on the weights which he had difficulty moving. He managed finally to block the door. It stopped. Then he took him by the shoulders and tried to pull him but it hurt John even more. He lied him slowly on his back and tried to reassure him. They would wait that somebody come to help them. John suffered, but he knew that it would be the worse if the unknown was not there.
" We don't have time... " John held the stranger's arm as to give himself courage. " In few minutes an alarm is going to ring in the hatch and at this moment, we'll have to enter a code and push a button so that the counter goes back to 108 minutes. We have to push this button. " Henry froze. John felt guilty.
" What does it do..? "
" We're not exactly sure. "
" And you push it-- "
" Every 108 minutes yeah. " John was the one avoiding Henry's look now. He was embarrassed and the stranger was on top, dealing with the situation. And John forgot about the fact that this man was a potential enemy.
" How often does this alarm goes off ? "
" Very. Which is why, I need you to go up, through the grid and get to the vents. "
" The grid door is shut.-- I tried. "
" Yeah. There's another grid in the pantry you can get up through there. Take to vent into the dome.. "
" ..Maybe we should wait-- "
" We can't wait it's going to go off in every minute..! ...I trusted you Henry now you gotta trust me, that button has to be pushed. " Henry changed of voice ton, being incredibly soft and calm.
" Ok. What d I do ? "
" Once you're inside, you'll hear the alarm beeping and you'll just have to enter the numbers: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. And then you press "execute". It has to be exactly these numbers in this exact order. do you-- "
" 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. I got it. "
" Go. " They were like two brothers, stuck, in an impossible situation. Henry seemed so soft and nice, concerned about what happened. And John trusted him. He jumped on his feet and head right to the pantry. he saw the grid and slow down. His heart was tightening considering the situation and the lights.
" Can you reach it ? "
" I think so. " Henry slowly climbed on the furniture as his arm was hurting really bad. He felt like being ripped from the inside but still, he pushed the grid.
" Be careful. " John said of a concerned and soft voice. But The tiny man lose his grip as his arm couldn't hold him anymore. He fell and bumped his head on the metallic floor. He gasped trying to breath but he slowly collapsed. " Henry ! " The alarm started beeping. Now, Henry wasn't the only problem to deal with. He was the only chance for them all to stay alive. Few minutes passed. "Henry ? " The tiny man slowly rolled on his back. " Get up damnit... Henry ! " The unknown opened his eyes and tried to pull himself together. He wondered why he was suffering. " Henry are you alright ? "
" What happened ? " he said almost crying.
" Listen to me. You have to get, up into the vents and enter the numbers in the computer. "
" How long was I-- " he said trying to understand, holding his tears.
" Please you have to go right now, we're running out of time! "
" Ok. Yeah. " he whispered sharply as he got up. A new wave of anger motivated him to get up.
" Be careful! "
The small man raised himself in the conduit with difficulty and began his ascent towards the room of the computer. The time was getting shorter. John called up but Henry did not answer. It was his turn to panic while Jack played cards on the beach. The small man arrived in the room while the alarm sang more hardly. He tried to enter the numbers but the computer did not answer, code had appeared instead. He tried to erase the inscriptions but a sentence returned: " Jacob. God mode. Hatch blowing. " He became afraid and struck the case until the screen fades. The countdown arrived at its end. Strange hieroglyphs appeared on the countdown and a continuation of " System failure " riddled the screen. He tried to graft the numbers but nothing. The unknown's head bumped. Three letters resounded: b-e-n, b-e-n, B-E-N, B.E.N, BEN! He registered these three letters followed by "mode" to restart the computer. But everything turned off. A blue light blue appeared on the screen and a suite of codes scrolled before his very own eyes. He read every lines. Address and phone number, coordinates, names, infinite number of information. Henry had his mouth wide open. He licked his lower lip and pressed "execute". The screen turned black and the countdown returned to zero, switching on the lights. Doors came up. John got free with difficulty. Henry hurried up. It was an opportunity to run away, to find freedom far from these monsters. He walked towards the exit, but he was afraid. He didn't know where to go. And now he had an ally in John. They trusted each other. He saw John crawling on the ground, and advanced to go to see him while he called him. John was relieved. Happy. He allowed himself to rest while his new friend was there for him.
" You came back. " Henry breathed heavily, relived too. John was his ally, his mate, his brother. He knelt near him, smiling.
" What you think I was gonna leave you here ? Come on. Can you stand ? "
" I don't--... I think so. " Henry helped him to get up and carried him by the shoulders, helped him resting against the door frame. He looked at him smiling and John held him by the shoulder, tapping friendly. He needed an ally as much as Henry and for that, he was grateful to him, for having returned. He was a brother where of uncountable time his father had betrayed him.
" Thank you Henry. Thank you for not leaving me. "
" You're welcome John. " He smiled to John. Their new agreement was an asset. Henry helped John to move to the big room and the seated on an armchair. He put delicately his leg on a pillow, watching not to hurt him but the tall man suffered. He apologized for the harshness which he showed but watched nevertheless his movements. He delicately dealt with John's leg and hurried up against it to rip his pants.
" What did you do, wha did you do, to, end, make the doors go up ? " Henry smiled and froze.
" I did what you told me to. I put on the code and pressed on the "execute" button but... nothing happened, apart then the clock flipping back." he jumped on his feet and went to the sink opening water. His voice was going higher. " I was just going back into the vent when the lights went out. Ten seconds later, the doors went up." He turned to face John with a glass of water. " I didn't do anything. "
" You think it was all... Just random ? " Henry walked close to John and sat next to him.
" Don't look at me, it's your hatch. " He said smiling. The exploration team appeared with Jack. he yelled at him.
" Get away from him! "
" Wait you don't-- "
" Step back right now. " Sayid said pointing his gun on the stranger.
" Sayid it's ok. "
" I said get away! " Jack said grabbing him by his shirt, pinning him violently on the wall.
" Alright, I let him out! There was, some kind of lock down somethin' that, he was helping me! " Henry's body shaken furiously as he watched the team. He gasped.
" Couldn't you find my balloon ? "
" Yeah we found it. " Ana Lucia said.
" We did find your balloon Henry Gale, exactly how you described it. " Sayid lowered his gun. " We also found the grave you described. Your wife's grave. The grave you said you dug with your own bare hands. It was all there. " He leaned next to him. " Your whole story, your alibi. It was true. But still I did not believe it to be true. So I dug up that grave and find that there wasn't a woman inside, there was a man." He handed him a driving licence. " A man named Henry Gale. "
Jack and John argued while Jack got him a spider monkey. The unknown would have been able to run away. John was convinced that he had returned to help him. But Jack contradicted him, saying that if he had returned, it was by strategic interest. In the cell, the unknown was attached, suspended by wrists. His look floated in the vagueness. Sayid and Ana Lucia observed him.
" Henry Gale died. But I don't remember killing him myself. I know that I sealed his grave, I attended the crash of his balloon. We were few to pick him up. It's all that I know. "
" You still hope to deceive us with your amnesia? Why were you there? You wanted to get rid of him? "
" The crash was impressive I doubt that he had survived there. He probably died instantly. "
" So he was already dead ? "
" Yes. " he panted.
" Then you buried him and graved the grave mark ? "
" Yes. " he growled.
" You really should have checked his wallet before you did that. I assume Henry Gale did not have any paper on which to compose his thoughts, so he had to improvise. It wasn't so much space for that: " Jennifer. Well you were right. Crossing the Pacific isn't easy. I owe you a beer. I'm hiking to one of the beaches to start a signal fire, but if you're reading this, I guess I didn't make it. I'm sorry I love you Jenny, Always have, always will. Yours, Henry. " So tell me, how did Henry Gale wrote a note to his wife with a broken neck ? " The unknown started panicking, what could he answer to this ? He was trapped and nothing could save him now. He tried to justify himself:
" It wasn't me, I didn't kill him, you don't understand-- "
" How did you know his wife's name, did you interrogate him ? "
" Please, just listen. I'm just-- " he shook with his whole body making his voice trembling. He just got a new flash: a tall man, strong, powerful, reckless. Carl... Cain... Charles, yes that was it! Charles! This tall man threatening him, beating him fiercely because he failed. He remembered this. He remembered how frightened he was, how much he suffered.
" How many of you are there ? "
" If I told you about them you have no idea what he'll do! "
" He ? " Sayid asked. The unknown realised his mistake and froze.
" You mean their leader, the guy with the beard ? " Ana Lucia asked.
" Him ? He's no one, nothing! "
" Where are your people ? "
" I can't-- " he whispered.
" How many of you are there ?! "
" You don't understand! "
" Understand this! " Sayid said jumping on his feet, pointing a gun on the unknown's head. Ana Lucia was surprised and talked to Sayid, but the man didn't listen. " You have three seconds to answer my question. How many of you are there ? " The unknown shook his head and clenched his muscles. "One. "
" He'll kill me-- " he said almost crying.
" I'll kill you! " he answered loading the gun.
" Two. "
" Sayid! " Ana Lucia protested.
" YOU CAN'T DO THIS, I'M NOT A BAD PERSON! " The unknown said burying his face on his shirt, yelling.
" Three. " Sayid shot but Ana Lucia pushed him. The bullet exploded near the unknown's ear, exploding the wall.
" What the hell is wrong with you ? " The unknown clenched his teeth and closed his eyes, not realising yet that he was still alive.
" What going one I heard a gunshot?! " Screamed John.
" What happened ? " Jack said walking to the armoury.
" He's a liar! " Sayid yelled.
" It's fine, just get him out of here. " Ana Lucia said to jack, pointing Sayid as John was still screaming after some info, calling Jack. The unknown opened his eyes and raised them on the three persons in the door frame. Sayid got out followed by jack reassuring John. The bold man punch the bed he was in, frustrated and mad about the fact that this new friend could be hurt.
" Thank you… " The unknown said gasping.
" Shut up. " And she closed the door behind her as the stranger left his head falling back on the wall.
A few hours later, John came to see his new friend. He had doubts, remorse. He did not know what to do any more but he was sure of a thing: this unknown could help him. This unknown had answers and if the other castaways could not obtain them, maybe he could. He entered the small room. The unknown was at the moment bound hand and foot on the mattress. He fixed his hands and the ground. John entered and came to take place in front of him.
" What's your name ? Your real name. "
" Why don't you just, keep calling me Henry… I gotten used to it. "
" Did you get caught on purpose ? You and your people have been here for… God knows how long and you got caught in a ne-- "
" God doesn't know. "
" Excuse me ? "
" God doesn't know how long we've been here John." the unknown said rising his head to John. " He can't see this island better than the rest of the world can. May I ask you a question ? " John waved his head. " What possible reason could I have for putting myself through all this ? "
" Maybe your people were looking for this place. "
" This place? This place is the worst shanty that I saw John. We live or without it and get along perfectly with that. "
" This place is a strategic place, for the computer and - "
" This computer is useless John. I crawled through your vents and I stood at your computer as the alarm biped, and you know what happened ? The time went all the way down to zero, and then some funny red pictures flipped up in it's place, it looked like hieroglyphics but I'm no expert. And then things got really interesting, there was a loud... clunking and a hum like a magnet, big magnet it was really, very frightening and you know what happened next ? " The unknown hesitated on what he should say but then whispered: " Nothing happened John. Nothing happened at all. The time just... Flipped back to 108. I never entered the numbers. I never pressed the button. "
" You're lying. "
" No I'm done lying. I have lied on the one that I was before all this arrives, but now I want just to be able to save myself. " John got out.
Jack and Ana Lucia discussed about the unknown. He did not say a word anymore. He did not eat any more, did not drink any more. And nevertheless, they kept him locked. Certainly to obtain an information from him. But the unknown was determined not to speak and this infuriated Jack. He had found an outcome. He opened the door and saw the man very slowly recovering against the wall. He entered the room and came to sit down in front of him. The unknown was stoical, silent, right, as if he fixed a point far off. He did not blinked. He was, a statue.
" I hear that you've lost your appetite. " Nothing. " OK don't talk. It's not like I'm good at bed side helping anyway. I'm gonna change that dressing on your shoulder if you try anything, we'll have a problem. "
He came closer, opened his bag and took out several stuff from it, among which a towel and some tools of surgery. The unknown remained static and silent. Ana Lucia observed them. Jack dealt with the unknown and seized the bandage by fingertips and fired sharply, making the unknown painfully grimacing, proof that he had still a little humanity.
" So Henry ? Mm, Henry. I was thinking about something you were saying, before we found out who you are. This is gonna sting. " He knelt down and stuck a cloth soaked with alcohol against the wound of the unknown. A growl resonated at the bottom of its throat while he fought to remain straight and to hold his tears. He panted.
" Yeah, you were saying that if you were one of them, then you'd lead us to a trap. Capture our people, " Jack opened a new dressing patch. "for some trade, thus for you. " He leaned over the unknown and put the fabric on his shoulder and took his tape.
" It's a pretty good idea Henry. And since you are one of them, I thought now may be a good time to use it. I'm going out to the line that we're not supposed to cross and tell them that we got you. And if they want you back, it will cost them. And when we'll get Walt back, you might just be worth all the trouble. " He got his bag back and walk to the door. The unknown laughed quietly.
" Did you say something ? "
" If my life must be exchanged for somebody whom they took, they will let you kill me. " He Said staring at Jack.
A few hours later, John returned to the door. But He could not enter, Jack had took the gun. It was thus forbidden to enter the room, by security. Then John knocked at the door. He had to know if what the unknown had told him was true. But in spite of his knocks on the door, his calls, his protests, the man remained silent. The blue of the eyes reflected his despair. His hands remained hung on on his pants.
Ana Lucia had enough of the situation, she wanted it to change, but John slept and would be of no help. She thought about the fact that she prepared a meal for this man who caused them only problems. She hoped for only one thing: that Jack returned as quickly as possible. She opened the door of the armoury and entered inside, carrying a bowl.
" Hey Henry, what do you say ? " she asked coming to the other bowl, untouched as she expected it. The unknown remained stoic but he looked way more weakened than before. " How long are you gonna keep up this hunger strike Henry ? ... I ever tell you I was a cop ? I've been around a lot of killers in my life. You know what surprises me the most about them ? How much they love to talk. But you're different, Henry. Mmh ? Quiet. " The little man started to whisper, whisper the only thing he knew, a prayer in Latin. He wondered what he should, but his fear of Charles was too big for him not to take the proper decision. He had to escape and if he killed some people on the way, he may would have a chance to stay alive.
" What was that ? " Ana Lucia asked leaning closer. " If you're gonna say something, you're gonna have to speak up-- "
The small man struck her all at once in the neck, both joint hands. The effort was so intense that both of them moaned. Ana Lucia fell backwards. The unknown seized her by the nape of the neck and turned her to face her. He squeezed firmly his grip around the neck of the young woman. She struggled but his hand were too strong, he seemed to carry the death in his eyes. He clenched teeth and fixed her, preventing her from moving.
" You've killed two of us, good people who were living you alone." She hit him right in the balls. He growled and pushed her against the other wall. " You're the killer Ana Lucia. " He said tightening his grip. . He made it slide on the bed and covered her with his body, pressing of quite his strengths his neck. She panted while the eyes of the unknown seemed lost in the face of one you act of violence. Suddenly he felt a blow striking him violently the nape of the neck, John had just run up in the room and struck him of his crutch. He collapsed unconscious on the ground. John came to sit down next to Ana Lucia.
" I guess he decided to start talking uh ? "
Ana Lucia went to the beach to find Libby's support. Meanwhile John in the hatch, walked in the corridors, looking around him. He stopped by seeing the mechanism of the doors which had closed a few days earlier. He touched them and remembered what had done Henry for him. The way he had helped him, and he still did not understand it. He had other no other choice but trust him nevertheless, he could not. Then he had to find an answer. He went to the armoury and opened it. The light behind him filtered to let appear the small man curled up, attached solidly again on the ground. This lighting made him really tiny and vulnerable. He spoke of a weak and timorous voice.
" If you've come to apologize, I forgive you for hitting me with your crutch. " he said raising his eyes on John. " I'm so glad my head didn't break it. "
" Why ? "
" ... Well that's a vast question.. " John turned on the lights.
" Why did you try to hurt Ana Lucia but not me ? "
" ... I'm not sure I know what you're getting in John. --" he said as the man came forward.
" I was trapped under that blast door. Helpless. You could have crushed my skull but you didn't d a thing. Why didn't you ? "
" Because you're one of the good ones John. "
" What ? A good what ? "
" You know this doesn't matter I'm dead anyway. " he said flipping his head then nodding back on John. " The doctor is gone for a trade, and we both know he'll come back empty handed and then... I'll lost my value. So neither Jack comes back in and kills me, or my people find out where I'm being held and they'll do it. "
" Why would your own people would want to kill you ? "
" Because the man in charge... He's a powerful man, a strategist man, but he is not a forgiving man. " he said letting his head down. " He'll killed me because I failed John. I failed my mission."
" What mission ? " the unknown raised the head.
" I'd like to know it too... Know why he'll get me dead anyway. I'd like to know why I got caught in that woman's trap, why I was leading down here. And certainly why I ended up meeting you John. "
At this moment, Kate and Jack arrived carrying Michael on their shoulders. John turned around hearing them calling up. He closed the room and left, joining them always sceptical about the unknown and his motivations. The afternoon took place as expected. Ana Lucia returned, John invented an excuse in the wound that the stranger had done to her and she supported him in this lie. Michael woke up and the four members of the team questioned him. He gave the maximum of information that he could provide about the camp, people, their equipments, them lives, ending on the urge to save Walt. John returned then on the computer and Jack wanted to speak to him about Henry and his congeners as well as their lies. All this ended with Kate, Jack and John looking for weapons. Ana Lucia and Michael were the only persons remaining in the hatch.
Ana Lucia opened the door and threw a knife on the floor to the unknown. She looked at him straight in the eyes:
" Pick it up. Cut yourself loose. "
" What ? " asked the little man unbelieving.
" Just do it. "
" Why ? " he asked of a little voice, almost innocent.
" You know why. " she answered firmly. The little man thought few seconds and slowly let his eyes going down on the knife until, in a despaired breathing, he leaned forward to get the knife. He took it from the tip of his fingers, shaking. He didn't dare to get himself free, hopping to last his death. He focused on opening the blade and savagely cut the ropes. She watched him as he froze when the rope broke. He watched it, forlorn. He turned his head and closed the blade.
" You're lost Ana. "
" What are you talking about ? "
" You. " he said raising his head. he continued talking of the ropes. " My people would never had taken you because you're someone bad. They certainly know everything about you Ana. Nobody could change you. The ones thinking this are wrong. " He said turning his head and putted the knife slowly on the ground so that no noise would be made. " It would cost them their lives. "
" Your people were about to kill me. " she said hesitating, remembering her killing the beach.
" Were they ? " he answered of a small voice, raising on his feet.
" Are you done ? "
" Yes Ana I'm done. " She took her gun and pointed it at him. He watched it confused, frightened, jade and bored. " So this is it uh ? " he asked quickly as if to win some strength.
" Yes Henry. This is it. "
The end of the day was rough. No, Ana Lucia had not killed this man. She could not. To kill was not anymore in her nature and it confused her. She hated not being able to kill this man who was going to kill her a few hours earlier. Michael arrived. She exposed him the situation. He didn't know what to say else than that he'll take care of the unknown himself. Suddenly, he shot her, followed by Libby who had come look for a blanket. He shook. It was the first time that he killed someone, besides, innocents. He opened the cell. The unknown got up silent, frightened, saying to himself that he would be the next one, that his people had come to kill him. He accepted the judgment and stood still. But the man shot himself instead.
Well, the daily post is too hard to handle so I'll probably post every 2/3 days. But now things re getting really interesting! I hope you'll like what follows, let me know in the comments!
The unknown looked at Michael in front of him. He didn't realize that he was still alive. He did not know what to do: if he stayed, he would be accused of the slaughter, if he ran away, his companions would find him and would kill him. But he could always try.
He by-passed some corpses and went out. He heard Jack and some people returning, torches appeared. He observed them hidden in a bush. He stayed a few minutes there, waiting that they go away. Finally, he was able to resume his way. But he didn't know where to go. He walked straight ahead in front of him, not thinking of stopping.
Exhausted, he stopped at the edge of a brook and squatted to drink. His hands trembled in contact with the water. He inhaled the fresh air which had so much missed him these last days. His muscles had died. He had no more strength because of his hunger strike. He dug his hand and drank a little, then poured a little bit of water on his face. But while he was tilted, he heard a crackle behind. He jumped and turned very slowly. He saw nothing in the dark. Then he rebent over the river carefully and drank little, taking a stone in his free hand. Some stones slid behind him. He turned around all at once and seen an enormous mass throwing itself on him, he had only hardly the time to throw himself behind into the water. An enormous, howling animal was held on its back legs. "Shit!" He choked, by trying to get up. He jumped on the other bank and began to run.
His small agile body sneaked through trees while behind him, the polar bear ran after him. He was soon going to be caught up. He threw his stone behind and confused a few moments the bear. He felt his foot bumping in a metallic thing. He bent to collect a hard iron bar. The bear jumped on him, the unknown stepped aside and knocked out the animal sharply behind his head. The unknown trembled with all his body. The animal got up then it doubled his efforts and struck the animal until no sign of life livened him up. A rabies livened up by his fear urged him to annihilate the animal. He released the bar and moved back of a step, confused. His hands were covered with blood. He looked at the animal and stuck the lapel of his hands on his face while he began crying. He dropped behind against a trunk but felt another metallic structure. He moved and looked around him.
Farther, he believed to distinguish a thick solid form. He moved forward holding his arm there. He affected the structure and advanced. His feet got stuck in what seemed to be a seat. His eyes having adapted themselves to the darkness discerned portholes. "The plane … They really crashed …" he whispered. He moved forward, carefully. All at once, he opened a cupboard and looked for something, for a bottle of water, for something to eat, medicine but nothing, the device was empty. He considered more careful to hide here for the night. He opened the door of the cockpit which he closed behind him and sat down instead of the co-pilot. The citric in front of him seemed broken. But he settled down in the depths of the seat and closed his eyes, feeling his tears flowing.
The unknown woke up early, disturbed by strange noises. He opened his eyes and saw a corpse in front of the device. He jumped and froze. He frowned, as if he was not surprised anymore by this dose of blood and inhumanity. But noises resounded behind the plane. He turned around and listened. He got up from his seat and went slowly behind.
Arrived in the back, he perceived three wild boars skinning the bear. The unknown frowned by discovering that it was a polar bear which attacked him. He seized slowly an iron bar not far and moved away; but the pigs heard him and got ready to charge. He remained static, frightened when an enormous noise resonated, followed by a noise of metallic pulley. A thick black smoke appeared and took two porks all at once.
The unknown did not take the time of panicking and ran the best that he was able to, making fun of any obstacle in front of him. He still heard the noise behind him and saw a pork's corpse fly next to him. He saw some high trees hid between their roots. HE was there, observing, his heart ready to explode. The noise roared and disappeared far off. The stranger remained however hidden.
After a few moments, a lady appeared from the wood. A fine, fair haired, tall lady, dressed slightly. Big clear eyes.
" Benjamin. " She said in a smile. " My darling come there, come see mom. " The unknown frowned and went out carefully.
"Who are you?"
" How? Don't you remember your own mother. "
" I don't remember my own name. " He said low, without releasing his look from the person he watched.
" Comes with me, I am going to take back you to the others. "
" They will kill me if I come back. "
" Nobody will kill you Benjamin. I promise. " She said losing her smile. She held out to offer him her hand and he walked forward. He hesitated a few seconds then taken the hand which was tightened at him.
This woman had an incredible strength, she walked at a sustained pace that the man would not have been able to follow even if he had been healthy. He believed to fly as much as they went fast. At the end of the day, they had reached the centre's meadows. She stopped in front of one bombard. The unknown wanted to move forward but she held him of a hand.
" You are there. Cross the barrier and the others will find you. "
" Don't you come with me? "
" I cannot. But we shall see each other again. " She said in a smile. She caressed his cheek and left. He observed her sinking into the forest, keeping the same ice-cold look on her. He turned towards bombard then crossed them. All of a sudden, a pain pierced him, he felt his whole body sprayed, pulverized. Blood flowed from him from everywhere. He didn't hold the shock and collapsed.
The unknown opened slowly his eyes. He was lying in a bed, covered with a soft sheet. He distinguished only some forms around him at first. He inspired profoundly and hear a humming, and finally distinguished a name: Ben. Finally he was able to see a man leaning on him, a tall man, Spanish to what it seemed, his eyes encircled by black, muscular and with dark hair.
" Ben, Ben is it OK? "
"What's going on?" he asked of a weak voice, discovering a drip hung on his arm.
" Don't worry, you're back, Coleen found you with Danny near the portal. You were in a nasty form but it'll be OK now. Juliet took care of you. " he answered trying to calm him.
"Who are you?" he asked raising the voice.
" What? "
" Where the hell am I ? "
" Everything is fine Ben, you're, you're safe. " the man said confused. Ben frowned by recognizing a woman farther.
" You, you were with me when the balloon crashed, I remember your face " he suffocated, all of a sudden, he ripped the medical equipment from himself. " I have to leave from here, if Charles learns that I returned he will kill me. "
" Ben common' relax, who is Charles? "
" Who is Charles? Charles Wildmore ! " The tall man turned to the others then came closer to Ben.
" Charles Wildmore left the island years ago Ben, you banished him. "
" What? " The tall man recovered.
" How did you find your way back up to here? "
" … My mother took me. " The tall man got up and went to join the others. A few moments later they all left except two women. He approached again the unknown.
" Do you remember Juliet ? And Harper ? "
" No. "
" And I, don't you remember a me? "
" Either. "
" What do you remember exactly? " Asked him Harper.
" It is fuzzy … I remember Charles, and… the crash of the balloon, and these last days with the castaways, but not much... "
" Do you at least know whom you are? " He shrugged. They looked each other.
" Juliet, take to make him for a scanner, we must know if he has a brain damage. Harper, get back the maximum of papers which you have on Ben, I'm going to go to ask for audience to Jacob. "
" Michael is on the way Richard. You won't have the time to go to see him. "
" I cannot leave him like this … I'll warn Alex that his father returned. Let's not waste time. " Richard left followed by Harper. Juliet leaned on Ben and helped him to get up.
" Come with me. "
"All right" he whispered as bewitched by this woman. They quickly moved forward up to another building in this so called perfect town. Everybody looked at the man. Juliet spoke with a corpulent man. All went to quays farther and rose in a boat.
" Where do you take me ? "
" At the hydra, we moved the medical equipment there. "
" Why you do specify it ? It's him who asked for it. "
" Ben is an amnesic Tom. "
" What? "
They accosted and moved forward straight to a ruined building. Juliet settled Ben in a machine and indicated him to stay calm. Tom pressed some buttons while she stopped adjusting the parameters. Ben got out confused. Tom joined Juliet and asked her how long would set the machine to give a result. She answered that she would have the results in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Ben discovered this station. A big sign Dharma was engraved on the wall. He his hand above. He was certain to know this sign. He had seen it in the hatch and on the cereal box. He joined the two others.
" Where are the others ? " They didn't answer. " What are you going to do now ? "
" We are going to take you back to see Harper, you have to recover the memory most as quickly as possible. "
" What will happen if I remain amnesic? " He smiled bothered.
Once again they did not answer. They left in the direction of their town at midday. Juliet examined the x-rays: Ben had one crack behind his crane. His brow had also been touched and his nose had a little crack His eyes answered with difficulty the tests of luminescence and his hands had lost in strength. She had taken advantage of the situation to examine his spine. The tumor in his back grew up. At such this rhythm, Ben would die unwell soon. They arrived in the camp and Ben was taken at Harper's place. She sat him and told him to put himself as comfortably as he wished it. But he remained straight sitting on the sofa, his hands screwed on the knees, staring at her.
" How do you feel? "
" A little bit nauseous … Lost especially. "
" Do you remember your name? "
" Benjamin? It was enough repeated to me so that I remember it. "
" Do you know which day we are? "
" No I don't. "
" November the 22nd, 2004. Do you remember your date of birth? "
" Look I remember nothing apart what I have already told you! " He said as he got impatient. Harper inhaled and stretched out to him a file.
" What is it ? "
" A file on you. You should look at it and try to see if something returns to you. "
He took the file slowly and opened it. An index card on him, a birth certificate. Some photos of him younger. An act of recruitment in the dharma initiative. A photo of him and a young girl. Several notes telling decisions that he had taken, ratified in Latin. A code which he had written. Confessions that he had made to Harper. Projects on which he worked. He believed to discover the life of another man. He raised his eyes on the woman.
" What do you remember before you lost your memory ? "
" I …" he mumbled, looking somewhere else. " I remember this woman. She had caught me in one of her traps. Then Sayid arrived." He turned to Harper. "A few hours later I was locked into their hatch, a wound in the shoulder, saying to them that I was a 'Henry Gale'. And Sayid beat me. Then nothing. Black hole. It's what happened before I lose my memories and since everything is fuzzy, I … I remember nothing, apart some flashes."
" Yes. While I'm in an intense panic moment especially. This is the way I remembered the crash, Charles or the code on their computer."
" The code ? "
" The code to reach the machine. I told nothing to the others. The only one whom I trust is John, a bald man --"
" We know whom he is."
" Really ? " Harper exhaled.
" Ben, you are our guide for a long time now, and you manage this island as much as it pleases you. When the castaways crashed, you asked for a report to Mikhail at the flame. You quickly obtained results on each one of the passengers. Files as big as the one you're holding. And you these files by heart. And you also sent two men as infiltrated. Both died." she squeezed her fist by saying it. "You have responsibilities and even if you don't remember who you are, you will have to manage to keep this status."
Ben got up and took the file with him. He was taken back at his home. He found a seated girl. He put the file on a table nearby.
" Hello. Alexandra right ? "
"Yes I am." He smiled and moved forward but she stepped back.
" Forgive me, but … You, you are my daughter don't you ? "
" Yes Ben. I am your daughter." He froze on the spot hearing his name used by his own daughter.
" Well … I am delighted to know you." The girl fought to hold her tears. She took a bag on the table and left. Ben remained confused on the carpet. Tom joined him.
" How's it going Ben ? "
"As an amnesic who looks for himself. " He smiled ironically.
" Well … I won't be far if look for me." Tom told him waving his hand before leaving. Ben was alone at his home with the file. He was the only one on whom he could rest now.
This first night was long, very long. Ben sat to his desk and looked at the file enlightened by his small light. He found glasses after few hours and put them. Then he changed his bandage, left taking a dish in his fridge and returned to his desk. He had studied at first an index card about him, his date of birth, his memberships, some school results and reports of his period in the dharma initiative. He discovered what was this symbol. The biggest part of his life seemed now clear: he knew who he was. He looked in the files behind him and found a complete description of every dharma stations. When he rested the file, he discovered some pads. He took them and opened them: his diary. He learnt more on him in these pages than in the enormous amount of papers which had given him Harper. And he realized the considerable number of lies which he had told to deceive his people. First he wasn't born on the island. Second, he had never met Jacob. And third, he manipulated the others as he wanted. Sure he was a very intelligent, cunning and smart leader. But he was also a manipulator liar without remorseless. Ben wondered how he could assume this as he knew nothing more about himself, how could he not betray himself he even? He sank into his seat and remained pensive. Finally he fell asleep.
In the morning, Ben got up very early and left in direction of Tom's house. Two knocks knocked and he heard the door to unbolt.
" Hello Ben, how is-- "
" Hello Tom, hello, I wanted to know, where are the files on the castaways? "
" Hum... You have left them at The Flame with Mikhail. "
" All right. I am going to fetch these files and I'll return at the end of the day. Oh and one last question, why is Michael returning with some castaways ? "
" In exchange for your rescue and for the repatriation of these castaways, we return him his son. "
" And I agree with that ? "
" You have never broken any one of your promises. "
"... Which castaways return ? "
" Austen, Ford, Shepard and Reyes. "
" Why these ones ? "
" It's Jacob's list. "
" Well, bring me this list at my home, I'll leave in five minutes. " he said by running away from the porch.
" Ben, wait, don't go there alone! " But the small man was already far. Ben ran to another house and began again his knocks on the door. Juliet opened.
" Ben ? What is it ? "
" Hello Juliet, I wanted to know if you had a stock of bands, I need to change my bandage. "
" Yes come in. " He sat down while the tall woman went to bathrooms. She returned a few moments later and gave him the box which he took of his both hands getting up.
" Thank you. Would you agree to help me to disinfect myself, it's not easy to do it alone. "
Juliet exhaled and unbuttoned his shirt. He turned letting her disinfecting his back's wound while he cleaned his front's one. He shivered at the contact of her hands. He had read in his pads, the desire that he felt for this woman. The way he tried to approach her. What he had done for her, for her sister, how he had manage to keep her with him, and Goodwin whom he had sentenced to death. It's true that he still felt desire for her, even if she kept her distances, which was logical. But he appreciated to be able to count on her nevertheless. She was, against him there, helped him to look after himself. When she had ended, he got up, smiled to her politely and left in the direction of his home. Tom arrived and put deposited him the list.
" Ben it's not careful that you go to The Flame alone. Let me come with you. "
" All right. " he answered absent. He seized keys and jumped into a small all-road vehicle.
" Do you at least know where you're going ? "
" Tom, I spent the night to study these maps, of course I know where I'm going. "
On the way, Ben thought about the one that it was and that he had to be. Of course, he had wondered at first why he acted so, badly. Then by reviewing his notes, he understood his motivations. His mother was here and had raised him, while she was supposedly dead at his birth. Jacob, whom he didn't know, could cure of any disease, Richard was the proof of this power. This island was special and he did everything to protect it. It was his mission and he had to pursue it whatever it could costs him. They arrived at The Flame. Ben came down and went straight ahead to the station while Tom took his bag.
" Ben wait -- " a shot resounded, Ben froze a few meters away from the station. Mikhail had just shot him. Tom ran up to hold him. The bullet had touched his thigh. Ben pressed his thigh, the pain was unbearable, " Mikhail it's us, Tom and Ben, come to help us! "
A tall man with a patch eye appeared behind him in a dharma suit. He ran towards them. Ben writhed in pain. They seized him under his shoulders and knees and transported him up to the inside.
" Why did you not announce yourselves ? " Ben opened his eyes by hearing this strong Russian accent.
" Ben is amnesic, he remembers no more of anything. "
" What ? How is this possible ? " He asked lengthening Ben on the sofa.
" It is Jarrah. He made prisoner and beaten him. And still, we're lucky he's still alive. Thanks to you now he has a bullet in the thigh. "
" He is not going to die from it. " Answered Mikhail by getting up. Ben panted and tried to recover but couldn't.
" After the arrow, the punch, now bullet, by one of mine. I don't think I can be more in pain than now. "
" Calm down Ben, we're going to remove this bullet, I promises you it's going to be OK. "
Mikhail returned with a tray. Scissors, compresses, crowbars and alcohol. He removed his belt and folded it in two. He opened Ben's mouth and stuck it between his teeth.
" Bite that. " Tom seized Ben's shoulders and pulled him back. "It's necessary to stop the bleeding. " He ripped Ben's pants and looked at his thigh. He opened the bottle and poured the liquid on the wound. Ben jumped and tried to struggle by moaning but Tom held him too strongly. Mikhail seized the crowbars and pushed them in the flesh of the small man, turning until he could catch the bullet. He pulled it while Ben shook with his whole body. The pain was so intense as the bullet had gone out, that he fainted. Mikhail threw the bullet and said to Tom to give him the needle. He sewed him and folded a band which he rolled up strongly around Ben's thigh.
" Is that going to stop the bleeding ? "
" He will survive. But it won't be pleasant. " He returned the tray and came back with three glass and some fresh tea. " Why did you came ? "
" Ben wanted the files on the castaways. "
" Why? "
" Certainly to inquire about them. "
" How is he supposed to achieve his mission if he remembers nothing ? You as me Tom know that Ben as always been an incredible man. He always made the good decisions, but the one who is laying there is not at all the same person. "
" I know. But we have not the choice, we have to continue to follow him.... Richard had left seeing Jacob yesterday. "
" Then let us cross fingers so that he returns him his memory. " Mikhail left looking for the files and returned with something so that both men can have lunch. They stopped loading the car when Ben woke up. He looked at his thigh and clenched teeth. He turned to Mikhail.
" I am going to go back naked bottom ? "
" If you had warned I would not have fired. "
" And if you weren't paranoid you would not have had to fire. "
" You have never had to complain about my services so far. " Ben turned severely to Mikhail.
" And I hope not to have to do it Mikhail. You are a good soldier. But don't forget to whom you have to be accountable. " the Russian kept silent. Two knocks on the door, they turned the head. Alex appeared in the door frame.
" Alex. " Ben said by smiling.
" The castaways are early, they crossed the Black Rock and shot down two of us. "
" What? How is this possible ? "
" I don't know, but Ben has to return as quickly as possible. "
The small man got up and Alex saw the bandage which surrounded his thigh. She raised her eyes on Ben and went out. Ben took up what remained in him of pant and rushed up to his car limping. Tom had a last look to Mikhail then followed them. Ben put himself at the steering wheel, Tom at his right and Alex sat down on the files.
" Is it OK Ben are you able to drive ? "
" Tom, I appreciate your care but your concern will not take away the pain. Whatever happens, I would do all that's necessary to protect this island, even if it implies to be killed. Then it's not a bullet which is going to stop me. " He turned to Alex. " Alex, I need you to read me the files of the people on this list. Get to the point. " She took the list against her will and looked among the files. She found Jack's and read in diagonal. Ben noted his weakness: his ex-wife, his remorse: his father and his capacities: the surgery. Then Alex took the file on Hurley. Then that of Kwons. " I didn't see these... Read me the file on John Locke. "
Then Alex seized the file. Ben was impressed by the story of this man. His birth, his education, his visit by Richard, the sufferings whom his father had imposed on him. Ben felt an enormous sadness for John. After all, he too had been a victim of the ill-treatment of his father. And then, he began thinking. John was supposedly disabled, paralyzed in an wheel-chair and nevertheless, he stood in front of him a few days earlier. John was special.
" Why did I go to the hatch ? " He asked without moving.
" You were left looking John. "
" And this list, what does it corresponds to ? "
" How, you ignore it ? You didn't write it somewhere ? "
" No I didn't. "
" Then we are going to have a real problem... "
They arrived at the town at the end of the day. Ben limped to what seemed to be a meeting room and asked to some people to gather the group. All faced him a few minutes later. Ben rose on a table and appeared the best he was able to - he had took time to change of pants.-
" I don't know if I already done speeches, but it seems inevitable in view of the situation. As some of you know, I'm amnesic since a few days. I don't remember either you or me. But I'm still ready to assume my task. Five castaways are coming to us, some of them are on Jacob's list. And we need to keep them with us. Michael takes them tomorrow, but they discovered that we spy on them. Here is what is going to take happen: Danny and Coleen, leave to the South with five men and fetch those who were shot, Tom, prepare our team, we shall leave for The Hydra. We'll go to get back the team tomorrow, around thirty of us, in costumes. Then we'll return to work on the landing runway. Good luck. "
The teams parted. Ben returned at his home and got back the files along the way. He put them on his desk and went out again. He caught Alex by the hand while she went somewhere else.
" Alex, you should return home. "
" Why ? "
" Because the night is going to fall and because I want you safe at our home. " She removed her hand.
" Where is Karl, Ben ? " Ben frowned by hearing his name.
" I don't know what you're talking about. "
" I know that you know it. You had to note it somewhere. "
" Who's Karl ? " And suddenly he realized to what extent a lie was easy and practical.
" My boyfriend! "
" Why would I know where is your boyfriend ? "
" Ben." she stared at him. " It's in your nature to be a bad person. You're bad being amnesic just as much as you before. You disgust me. "
" Alex. That's enough, come in. Now. " He said in trembling.
" No. " And she went away.
Ben knew very well where was Karl. He also knew why he had locked him up. He didn't tortured by pleasure but out of necessity, at least, it's how he saw things. He remembered no more Alex. But he seemed very attached to her. He liked her very much and suffered to see their relation degrading. Then he came back in and stayed calm. It wasn't his type to break everything as John. He remained sat on his sofa, hands on knees and ruminating his resentment. He felt desperately alone. And although he has grown up in the solitude, this amnesia made him feel even more this gap between him and the others. The island was all which he had in him. Ben thought of looking at files again but he decided to go to bed rather. He went to the bathroom and looked himself scornfully from top to bottom in the mirror. He undressed slowly and put his clothes on the sink. He rose in the bathtub and appreciates for the first time for a long time, the water to running on his skin. He closed his eyes and let his head fall behind. He caressed carefully his wounds with the fingertips. He felt his spine stiffening and a barn pain. He should certainly talk about it to Juliet. But he was happy to be finally able to relax. He slowly let go himself a few minutes and then got out and rolled up a towel around his waist. He bandaged his leg again and put a new bandage, then went to the bedrooms. He half-opened the door of Alex's room and seen the empty bed. He looked down and left skipping under his sheets, praying for better days.
Aaaaand here we are, end of season 2. I hope you liked it and how it went. Let me know in the comments if you're on for season 3, I really want your opinion.
Ben woke up after a night strangely quiet. He got up and opened the door of Alex's room: nobody. He went to the bathroom and looked at his face in the mirror. His wounds didn't cured. He wondered if he had to shave this beard on his face but judged that his false identity would be more effective with it. Then he undressed and took the costume which he had left in a cupboard. He redid his bandages and caught his pants. The door of the bathroom opened on Richard.
" Ben, what are you still doing here? What the... what is this bandage on your leg ? "
" I didn't know, when are we supposed to leave ? "
" The others are already in position, we wait for you so that you get in the boat with Walt. The lifeboat waits on a cape of 325. And this bandage ? "
" It is because of Mikhaïl, what did say Jacob ? "
" I will tell you when the appropriate moment will come. What am I doing with the rest of us ? "
" We shall turn by team of 10 whom will come and go from the Hydra to here every day. I need you to stay here to oversee the group. " Ben trampled. " I'm sorry Richard, I hadn't planned that we would be short on time. I'll get ready and leave. Who takes us there ? "
" Aldo ?... Well then I am going to leave with Aldo. " Ben put on his polo and his small vest then limped towards the outside where a young man waited with Walt. Aldo stretched out to Ben something to eat then Ben looked down on Walt.
" So you're Walt. You know that you're a very special young man. That saddens me to let you leave. "
" You promised to let me leave with my father ! "
" And it's what I will do. I never return on my words. " Ben said in a small sign of head and they moved forward with Aldo. They rose in the boat on the quay. Walt wanted to leave the other way but Ben caught him by his collar and pulled him behind. He brought him down in the boat and cornered him under the steering wheel, blocking the passage with his legs. He caught the front of the boat of a hand and so stayed like this, finishing his sandwich. A feminine voice resounded in the board radio.
" Ben, we captured the group of castaways, we'll be there in 20 minutes. "
" So will we. Tie them up and wait that we arrive. "
" Received. " The communication cut and they continued their way on the sea. Ben looked at Walt scornfully. Aldo looked at Ben of the corner of the eye.
" What is it Aldo ? "
" Tell me. "
" You changed .. "
" You were here at the meeting yesterday. You should know why. "
" I know why ... But you were never violent before."
" Was I violent ? "
" The way you grabbed this kid was not very soft. " Ben looked at the sea.
" I might not be the same man because I was weak. But I work for the island more than ever. Don't you forget that. " They kept silent and arrived at the docks.
Ben kept looking at Walt and went out. He moved forward to the group of castaways which observed him and he looked at Michael. This man who had freed him a few days earlier. He stared at him and stopped in front of Jack at whom he looked a small smile on the lips.
" Hello again. " He felt a powerful, a delicious revenge flowing in him. These people whom had made him suffer and pursue for no reason were at his mercy right now. He looked at the newcomers, Sawyer Kate and Hugo. Then he turned to Tom and stared at Him.
" Where's your beard ? "
" I think they .. know. " He answered in stammering, showing his beard. Ben raised the eyes to heaven. Their false identity was burned out. The illusion of power moved off. If these persons knew that their situation was false then they threatened even more the island. Ben turned to Michael.
" Now let's take care of our business shall we ? " Michael looked at his companions while Ben fixed him.
The small man approached to bring him to the boat but then, his legs froze, the island began shaking and a hideous humming resounded, the same as the one that he had heard a few days earlier in the hatch, but way louder. He covered his ears while everything fell over around him. He opened wide eyes and felt demolished, but stood straight. The sky turned purple. The apocalypse. Everybody kept silent dazzled. Then without explanation, everything eased. Ben let slowly his fingers fall along his ears and inhaled little. He resumed little by little. He turned to Michael and gave him a sign him to follow him towards the other end of the pier.
" I'm not happy about the arrangement that was made with you Michael but, we got more than what we were hoping for when Walt joined this so... I suppose this is what's best. ... And you let me go, set me free you lived up to your word. " They stopped in front of the boat and Ben turned to Michael. " We live up to our word too. ..You know how to drive a boat ? "
" Yeah I can drive a boat-- " he said not understanding.
" Good then you're gonna take this bat and follow a compass heading of 3-2-5, and if you do that exactly, you and your son will find rescue. " silence. Ben frowned.
" What that's it ? I follow the heading and me and my son get rescued ? "
" Yes. " Ben said nodding. Michael stared at him.
" How do you know I won't tell people about where I was ? " Ben didn't know what to answer. He stared back at Michael, moving a bit his head, his mouth half opened.
" ... Maybe you will maybe you won't. But it won't matter; once you'll live you'll never be able to get back here. " Ben raised his eyebrows now knowing exactly what to say. " And I'm sure you won't say a word to anybody. Because if you do, people will find out what you did to get your son back. " Michael was trapped. he looked at his companion then back at Ben.
" My friends.. I was promised that you won't hurt them. " Ben moved his head in a large circle.
" A deal is a deal. " Silence. Michael hesitated.
" Who are you people ? " Ben smiled all of a sudden and his face enlightened.
" We're the good guys Michael. " And he loose his smile. Ben looked at the other man, wondering if he had said the good thing. " Alright she's all yours.
" What? What am I stupid ? Where's my son-- "
" Walt's inside. " The tall man rushed to the boat and Ben watched him jumping in as Aldo took their bags. " Bon voyage Michael. "
Ben slowly walked on the side to let Aldo coming out and then headed to the other side where his team was waiting. He joined the group as father and son hugged each other in the boat. His little limp made him look like even wicker. His group looked at him and he saw Alex, gun in the hand, behind Kate. He growled inside and didn't say a word. He simply stood next to the woman he talked with on the radio, giving her a sign to untie Hurley. Ben looked at him as the castaways were wondering if they would kill him already. But the woman let him free, telling him that he would have to warn the rest of the castaways to stay away.
" But... What about my friends ? " Ben looked at him and answered of a very calm voice.
" Your friends are coming home with us. "
Ben watched at him moving away slowly and looked at the rest of the group. Hurley went away slowly while Michael started the boat and also went away under the look of his companions. Ben observed his daughter and looked nobody else. He made a sign to his team to raise the castaways and put them linen bags on the head. Then he slowly turned back and took the radio which Aldo held for him.
" Danny, you can come with the boat, we're going to put them asleep."
" Got it Ben."
The small man turned to his team and without pronouncing a word gestured to them to knock out the castaways. Danny arrived a few minutes later with Juliet and the captain of the boat. They all got in and started their way to the Hydra. Ben looked over the barrier. He observed from time to time his daughter who avoided his look. Juliet came to see him and woke him by touching his shoulder.
" You wanted to see me ? "
" Yes I do." He said turning around. Juliet saw blood traces on the pants Ben was wearing.
" What happened to you ? "
" I was shot. "
" Did you disinfected the wound ? "
" I did my best. " Ben looked Juliet straight in the eyes. " I'm going to need your help to convince Jack to join us. I saw in his file that his weakness was its ex-wife and you look like her a lot. Oh don't worry, I won't push you in his arms. But get him to doubt, to trust you."
"What about the two others ? "
"I will see what I'll do of them later. We're going to put them in the cages of the bears for now. I have some ideas of use. We will see when the appropriate moment will come." Juliet looked at him, frozen. She returned to the cabin as he returned to his pondering.
He was lost. Alone. And his fear only made him aggressive towards these people whom he was supposed to guide. When he was locked, his amnesia threatened his life. But his amnesia guiding his people weakened the island. He had nobody on whom to rest, his own daughter ran away from him. He moved from victim to leader of a team which seemed to dread him and to despise him. He couldn't show his weakness then used authority. But he was weak. And the violence which he showed impressed him himself. There were moments when he regretted his time in his cell, when John came to visit him. And that he had nothing else to do than to try to remember.
Ben was now a leader. And leader he had to stay.