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Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

Chapter Text

Henry Gale was a piece of work, a man pretending to be something he was not. He is a complete insufferable mystery. Every word that filtered out of the man’s mouth left a deep groove on Locke’s consciousness. It was like the other man was repeatedly pricking him with a safety pin just to see how Locke would react, just to see what would happen. As if he was also mystified, but insatiably curious. The small man was dangerous. Perhaps even more so than the threat beyond the imagined safety of their camps, these others.

What was underneath the top layer of skin? If you peeled it back, would there still be a person underneath, or would it be something darker. Who or what was this man?

When would the truth be realized?

There was no doubt that the man’s identity was part of some charade. Henry just couldn’t sell it, not really. There was no possible way it was the truth, the story just didn’t fit. It just seemed to slide out of Henry’s mouth and mean absolutely nothing. A story to hold his captors at bay. Something to stop the beatings, the pain. He was compliant, but for what reason?

If anything the injured man’s lie had been virtually solidified by Sayid’s reaction to Henry’s apparent truths. What those truths were, nobody knew. Locke wanted to crack open the mysterious man, and learn what the truth was. So did Sayid. The man had nearly lost his mind when he was forcefully dragged away from his prisoner. Sayid knew things about extracting truth from men, things that he seemed ashamed of. The man had an awareness that both Locke or Jack could never imagine having. So it wasn’t hard to believe that he knew about men just like this Henry Gale. And Sayid insisted that Henry wasn’t who he was. That is was a certainty that he was one of them, and that they should kill Henry before he had a chance to take out members of their group.

Locke knew that Sayid was right, but it was so easy to ignore the warnings. He wanted to be absolutely sure that their prisoner was what they all thought, a liar. So he convinced Jack that there had to be complete certainty in their coming decisions. No need to be rash, they had plenty of time to extract the truth, so why do something they may all regret. They would know what Henry was.

You know so many liars, don’t you John? They are all around you. You can’t get away from them, they will only follow you into the deep recesses of the forest beyond. They will try to control you, and you will let them.

Was Henry one of them, one of these others?

It wouldn’t be an unbelievable event. Their group had infiltrated the camp before, it was only a matter of time until they would have made another attempt. This could be that time. It would be wise to not underestimate Henry. It would also be wise not to overestimate his abilities either.

But Locke wanted desperately to believe that the man was telling the truth. He wanted to trust the man, to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it was the loneliness talking, because when he looked at Henry he saw something. A dangerous little thing. A chance of camaraderie, a confidante. For some reason, Locke wanted to give Henry Gale a chance. But he really shouldn’t give Henry the chance of getting too close. Yet Locke couldn’t make himself stop from visiting the man’s prison, his heart beating heavily in his chest and his hands held stiffly at his sides. The man wasn’t what he seemed, and everyone in the know, knew this.

Maybe they were all wrong, maybe everyone is too paranoid. Worked up, and unwilling to actually believe this man was a lost man. Someone who just lost the love of his life, someone stuck here on this island without any chance of escape. Because it didn’t seem like anyone would be leaving. Except through death, perhaps. Someone just like me.

Misplaced trust was like playing a deadly game. Yet, the gamble would make Locke’s blood burn. A feeling that he had long been addicted to.

-‘We can make a little deal, something only the two of us can put stakes in. So tell me, what kind of deal can we make? What do you want from me, John? If it’s good, then I will tell you what I want from you.’-

It must have been the eyes that first drew Locke. They were consuming, wild like the ocean holding them captive on the island. However, even those pretty blues couldn’t conceal the truth. The undeniable fact that Henry was a liar. Locke could feel it deep in his bones. In fact, he had seen many eyes like those. Had been drawn to more like it, so many others had lured him in with their tall tales and their fluttering lashes. The older he got the more foolish he became, but he was always caught in their snare. He may have already been caught by Henry’s trap, the lines connecting them invisible to the untrained eye.

He is going to use you, just like everyone else here.

Yet it didn’t stop him. It didn’t stop him from handing Henry a book with a timid smile. It didn’t stop him from staring too long at Henry’s lips as they curled into their own small grateful smile. No, Locke did not want to cut the magnetic line between them. So Locke made a promise to himself as he stood across from Henry, that he would cut the ties between them if he got too close.

He needed to be able to cut that line. Locke couldn’t afford to allow himself to be fooled by the kind words of others, or their filthy lies.

But it was going to be so easy for Henry, wasn’t it?

‘So, which one are you?’

‘I’m sorry?’

‘Are you the genius, or are you the guy who always feels like he’s living in the shadow of a genius?’

It was only the second day, and he was weak. Henry was already getting to him, and it already hurt.

Locke pushed the cleaned dishes onto the cold floor almost as soon as he had gotten away from the injured man. The sound of breaking glass only fed the sudden rush of acidic vehemence.

Which was he?

Locke had a feeling that Henry already had made a guess on the answer to that.

So which one could Locke be? Was he the leader, or was he Jack’s shadow?

-‘You’ve got nothing important to lose, John. Only your life.’-

 


 


Deceit fit the man like a second skin. Something else was lurking underneath, waiting to emerge and take its first strike. Locke only hoped that he wasn’t the first to see Henry shedding his skin. This is usually when a creature of that nature will consume everything within sight. There will be a path of destruction left in the man’s wake, it was just a matter of time. Someone would have to pay the price, blood would be spilt across the sands of the beach. A token to the island, another sacrifice to some greater plan. Maybe he should just let them kill him. It would be so much easier than seeing where all of this was spiraling towards.

Henry was starting to show more signs that he wasn’t the man that he said he was. Of course, it was to be expected, as the lies were slowly growing more pathetic and weak. There were not any visible fluctuations, nothing that would normally make one assume that the words were anything but the truth. However the emotion was lacking, and everything fit too well.

Everything had its place in this perfect little story of his. The sad little story of two lovers romantic flight turning into a story of both death and grief. It wasn’t the story that was unbelievable, it was how easily Henry could talk of his supposed loss. But where was the grief, where was Henry’s anger at being cheated of his loving wife? How could Locke even think to believe him? Why did he want to give this man his trust when it was so obvious that it was all lies? Every single word a part of some play.

Damnit!

The man was trying too hard.

And, oh lord. Locke should have listened to what his gut was telling him. He should have listened to Sayid, should have kept his distance from the man locked in the armory safe.

But he couldn’t keep away now, no matter how hard he tried. He was one of the leaders, was one of the people who actually had a say on this damned island. It was his responsibility to be there, however he never wanted to be farther away from what was going on.

It had already begun to spiral so quickly out of control.

‘Cereal? Wow, where’d you guys get cereal?’

‘It was down here all along. The pantry’s full of food.’

‘How old is it?’

An innocent thing to ask until Henry questioned their lack of interest on the details. Henry was right, it was foolish not to ask questions, to just take everything in stride. A lesson that Locke now wanted answers too. Something that Jack would most likely try and coerce him to do regardless.

I make my own damn choices.

This had to be a part of Henry’s plan, something to throw them off his track. Of course Henry was good at that, wasn’t he? He only proved his cunning the more he continued to speak, like the good little manipulator that he was.

‘This must be my reward for good behavior, huh? I guess I earned myself some good will for finally drawing that map for Ana.’

‘What map?’

‘To my balloon.’

Henry had already managed to have Ana Lucia and a couple of the others go search for his supposed hot air ballon. The fact that both he and Jack were only just finding out about it was a huge issue. And the news was from Henry, no less. Jack had been furious, and Locke couldn’t help but be in awe. Was this just a simple man, or was Henry a little more complicated than that?

‘Wow, you guys have some real trust issues, don’t you?’

He is waiting to see who is really the leader. Will it be me or Jack?

Jack was a liar, an omitter of truth. So am I. But were there any real issues between them? Locke assumed that Jack didn’t trust him. Not after Boone died. He guesses that was fair, and maybe that is where all of these problems were suddenly stemming off from. Was it so obvious to Henry? Were they open books to this possible enemy?

-‘Everyone can see it, you know. Jack is the one with all of the power here. You are just the lousy competition.’-

Locke was head to head with Jack, and they were both ready to lash out. Which of them had the right answer to the situation? Who was right, who was wrong? Locke let Jack have his say, this wasn’t a real battle. Or was it?

‘Put him back in the armory, John.’

As soon as Jack had disappeared Henry had stared cryptically into Locke’s eyes. The other man only saw weakness, and his voice was pitying as he cut Locke open with just a simple question.

‘Why do you let him talk to you like that?’

There was a hint of judgement. As if John had to do better, as if he was disappointing. It was almost as good as a slap to the face, but those at least didn’t sting quite like this. Locke had wanted to throw the man against the dining table, to shut Henry up before he started to needle further into his mind. He never wanted to hurt anyone quite like that before, never for such a simple question. Instead he had grabbed at the man’s shirt collar and forced him back into the armory.

The man was safe there.

John tried to retreat right after he slammed the door closed, his anger diminishing quickly. Gone like the wind, honestly.

Henry’s quivering voice had followed him though. It followed all the way out of the hatch.

‘John, I’m sorry. John?’

My god, what if he was innocent? What if he isn’t what we think he is? Control yourself. It is just the island getting to you. You just have to survive this, it doesn’t matter if you are leader or not. It doesn’t matter what he says.

But it did matter, and that is what angered Locke the most. It especially infuriated him that Henry was tugging on his insecurities and drawing out the dark thoughts that lurked in the corners of his mind. Everything was finally coming into perspective. He was the weakest link, Jack was definitely the leader of the group. However, Locke felt that he had the chance to change that. Perhaps Henry could help him. Point him in the right direction. Or was it more likely the injured man would destroy him instead of help?

Why should I ask a liar to help?

God, he was so confused.

Locke doesn’t want to, but he can see everything being burned away in the blink of an eye. Everything except Henry, he would be the only thing to remain. This man might be the survivors undoing. If Locke let him, Henry would most likely be his own undoing. The other man had already started to unravel the bonds within the group with his twisted little words. His stories, his uncanny ability to weave little tales, these innocent seeming whisperings of murder and traps. Henry was playing everyone against another, but Locke could not see how far the man could go. He was already being pulled into the game, he just didn’t know where his moves would lead.

It was completely infuriating. It was exhilarating.

Locke wanted to be pushed as far as Henry was willing, he wanted to see if the man would outfox him. What surprises would soon come. Who would Henry Gale become? What wickedness would come from that small and weak seeming man?

He isn’t who he says. But I want to pretend. I want to see what he will do, what actions he will take. Because everything Henry had done so far was so interesting. What will he do, when will it happen?

John doesn’t find himself caring about the lies so much, he just wants to see. He just wants to feel and to know. Where will all of this go?

'He will lead you to your death Locke.'

He just had to plan.

Chapter Text

Benjamin Linus felt invigorated as he was ushered from his prison. The man, Jack, had decided to let him out of his cage. For cereal, apparently. It was hilarious how quickly the man changed his tune in order to show his prisoner some hospitality. If it was up to Ben, he would have kept his own prisoner in that makeshift prison for weeks. Unless they were useful elsewhere.

The boredom alone would have made some men give into their silly little demands. But of course, there were other ways too. And it seemed that Ben was lucky for the role reversal. They thought a change of scenery would make him become loose lipped.

What a joke.

Ben had seated himself straight across from the interesting one, John Locke. There was something in the man’s attitude that beckoned Ben to come closer, and he wasn’t someone to shun whatever pleasures the island threw his way. It was actually a rare occurrence, so he was greedy for it. Ben was quite sure that he had the same effect on John too. It was all in those open gazes the man directed his way. The man stank of lost chances and loneliness. Someone easy to relate to. The loneliness being key, as Ben was fighting a doomed battle with Juliet. She would never want him back, not after what he has done. Perhaps a distraction would ease his jealous and unhealthy grip on her.

Didn’t Ben deserve to have something for himself, even if it was just a single greedy moment of fantasy?

John seemed surprised to see him at first, the double take being an interesting reaction. Ben couldn’t help feeling momentarily warmed by the older man’s frank stare. It wasn’t until he had a hold of the cereal box that the scrutiny and unease returned to the older man. His expression became more severe as Ben began to speak. It was rather quickly, with just a few cryptic sentences, that John had become closed off to Ben. Or rather, Henry Gale. John could become extremely distant and unwelcoming it appeared.

A wise choice, wouldn’t want the enemy to see too much.

Oh, but I see him.

There is something satisfying about watching John Locke struggle with himself. All it took to make the older man question himself yesterday were a few choice words, and the subtle hints of doubt on the man’s current leadership position. John’s reaction was even more pleasurable when, after locking Ben away, he had a rather destructive tantrum. The sound of breaking glass was music to Ben’s ears, the wicked smile on his face at the time being testament to that.

And it was all made better when John and Jack both discovered they didn’t have a handle of the situation.

God, it felt so good to see the men thrown out of control. Getting the upper hand was crucial, Ben just hoped that his gamble would pay off. He had to upset the game, destroy their strained unification so that when his plan was set in motion things would go in a favorable direction. From this point on, Ben could only hope for the best. He still had to convince the doctor to remove the tumor.

I just have to survive their madness first.

The two men seemed both marveled and furious by Ben’s carefully constructed reveal on how he had given a map to the lovely Ana Lucia. Information neither of the men apparently knew about. It seemed that none of the people Ben had interaction with fully trusted the two men watching over him. It was their dumb realization that nearly made Ben slip up. A smile would have been inappropriate, thus tipping them off to his pleasure over their seclusion. Their disorganization. It was obvious that many members of this group had their doubts on the two men’s abilities. This would make sense, because those two were at each others throats constantly.

When did they have time to get things done? It must be so tiring.

A fallout was imminent. Ben just needed to help it happen faster. So he waited, knowing that one of them would leave distraught. Whoever stayed behind would have to be the main target of his manipulations. He was open to either staying behind, though the reasons varied between them. Jack was the more vital of the two, but Locke held promise. Ben warily wondered if either of them would pay off. If being here and destroying the heart of the plane survivors just for the slim chance of survival was worth it.

Ben watched with growing interest as Jack demanded to know where the map was, the doctors voice growing loud in his frustration. In fear.

He must be interested in the woman, why else is he so afraid?

Locke seemed more laid back with the knowledge, as if he didn’t think that Ben was capable of deceiving them. As if the older man believed the words he was saying. John was either truly foolish, or playing the fool for his onlooking crowd. Ben wanted to know right then what the truth was, needed to see if the man was as innocent as he appeared. Because it would be so easy to twist John if he was as weak as he seemed. He would be putty in Ben’s hands, with the right incentive.

Are you a leader John, or are you something else?

After a few minutes of arguing, it had been Jack to run off.

It was the doctors departing words to John that gave Ben the right ammunition. Shaking his head in mock disbelief, he eased into his role as Henry Gale. Catching John’s vulnerability, Ben struck where he knew it would sting.

‘Why do you let him talk to you like that?’

Ben couldn’t help acting put off by John’s weakness, a little trick he learned long ago. Its intended effect was almost instantaneously. With his brow furrowed and jaw locked tightly, John had nearly thrown himself across the table as he grabbed onto the collar of Ben’s ripped shirt. The sudden shift of John’s mood was incredible, more delectable than Ben had imagined in the privacy of his prison. The older man was passionate, and anger looked wonderful on him.

Ben let himself be thrown into his prison once more. His heart throbbed erratically within his chest, and his cock had grown hard within the confines of the khaki pants he wore. Ben secretly hoped that the other man would take notice. Instead, John pulled away quickly, his movements jerky and his eyes wild with anger. The older man didn’t see anything but the ghosts of his likely miserable past.

With as much conviction as he could muster, Ben attempted to apologize to the older man. Henry Gale would be sorry for making such a cheap shot, so it had to be convincing. Another trick he had learned.

‘John, I’m sorry. John?’

Ben’s voice wavered for a second as John glared at him, the older man’s body coiled tightly with barely contained violence. One agonizing second passed, and then John had slammed the door closed without a single word. Ben yelled out weakly one more time, his body slowly pressing up against the armored door. There was no where to go, he was stuck in this hell hole for even longer now.

‘John!’

Hearing nothing in response Ben sighed in disappointment. John must have run off, just like Jack had before him.

Oh, goodie…

Minutes passed before Ben bothered pushing away from the armory door, his body was flushed from arousal. Walking unsteadily to his cot he silently contemplated how likely his survival would be. John was a hot head when things didn’t go his way. Yet, Ben had observed the past few days that John had a strong hold of his more vicious and violent urges. A firm seal on the fire running through his veins. Ben thought that it was rather refreshing.

Now what will it take to let John let go?

Ben fell easily into the small comfort of the cot, his body aching in more than one way. He wanted to indulge. Rolling to his side, Ben sighed as the small pillow pressed cooly against the side of his cheek. Slowly, Ben let his fingers trace lazily against the fabric of his pants. His cock was begging to be touched, however now wasn’t the best of times.

John will be back, it was only a matter of time.

Ben couldn’t wait to see what would come next. There was something about the older man that made Ben’s insides liquefy in desire. He should be able to use John, he just had to appeal to his wants. What made John Locke tick, what did the man need? Whatever it is, Ben would find out the man’s secret and use it to its fullest potential.

Ben brushes his knuckles lightly over his confined cock one last time, a small gasp making its way past his parted lips. His eyes shut tightly as he pulls his hand away, the sweet caress being saved for another time.

Ben bites carefully on his busted lip as a distraction as he wills his arousal away.

It doesn’t take long as his thoughts drifted off to his current situation. There was so much that he needed to accomplish still. Ben needed to convince Jack to remove his tumor, and he wasn’t quite sure how much time he had until it would no longer be operable. And then there was his ongoing battle to keep control of his people. Things in that arena had become more hectic as the days went by. There were stirrings within the group, and the survivors would also upset the balance if they were not dealt with.

There was still Juliet. And wasn’t that a sick little thing he had been doing to her. Ben felt a wave of remorse, but knows that it doesn’t change what had already been done. He had to continue on his path, mistakes all a part of the long ongoing experience.

Perhaps I should let her go?

There are so many things Ben regretted, weren't there? Was this continuous struggle even worth it anymore? Was anything he was doing here worth his damned time?

I’m going to die, and no one is even going to care except Alex.

Would she though? Ben let his doubts flicker away. He didn’t have the time to wallow, too much was at stake. The island still needed him. Jacob still needed him. Alex still needed him.

And the island had given him another chance at life, it had given him a miracle. So Ben needed to plan, and he needed to stay in the game. He had to hang on and trust that he would lead himself to glory.

I just need to…

Ben falls asleep in the comfort of the cot, his dreams haunt him with ghosts of the past and the storm that would arrive with the approaching future.

The sound of music plays sensually from outside the door, but Ben doesn’t hear a thing.

Chapter Text

The frustration of the day had been wearing through Locke, exhausting him. It didn’t stop him from peddling faster on the stationary bike, it didn’t stop the sweat from dripping down the line of his neck. There wasn’t time for rest, there was only time for preparation and planning. There was only time for survival. Locke couldn’t afford to become complacent and comfortable with their current situation. Something would pop up soon enough, another emergency, another body to bury.

It is what the island demanded.

So he pushed the damn button when the counter began to blare out in alarm. He kept his body prepared with whatever training he could manage in the confines of the hatch. And he let himself contemplate what problems were likely to arise from his prisoner. He thought of what stupidity his trust would toss him towards. Locke always wanted to see the best in things, but there was only the chance of failure here. He knew the man had built and covered himself with a well constructed facade. Did he really care? No…

However, there were other considerations.

What do I get out of all of this? What the hell do I even want from this stranger? Is this another test, should I see where Henry will lead me? Should I just tell Sayid to get it over with already? Would that even be a good decision? Should I leave it up to Jack…

Nothing is right about this place, or these idiots on the island.

Between the potential threat of their prisoner and Jack’s less than desirable attitude, the day was absolutely tiring. The only thing Locke could feel thankful for was the fact that Jack was nowhere around the hatch, and that Henry Gale was locked in a room far enough away that he didn’t pose any possible problem. Not that Henry had done much of anything to worry John, aside from the obvious.

‘If I was one of them, these people that you seem to think are your enemies, what would I do? Well, there’d be no balloon, so I’d draw a map to a real secluded place like a cave or some underbrush. 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. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not one of them, huh?’

How likely was it that Henry had put up a false front? The last person that had infiltrated the group hadn’t even attempted to insinuate they were not who they said. They stuck to the story, and never tried to direct interest towards them being the threat. Henry had been the only one to nearly break from his story, to make it seem that he had some sort of importance to the group waiting beyond. Either the man was confident in his abilities at redirection, or he was a man lashing out because he did not know how to handle the situation he was in. Was he innocent? Locke could not say for sure. Henry rang multiple bells, and the ringing was loud. Henry was a possible danger, and Locke felt it in his gut that the man had told plenty of lies.

What was truth, what was not?

‘I was joking. I was making a joke. There’s nothing out there besides my balloon. I was just frustrated. It was a stupid thing to say. I’m sorry.’

Locke just had to hold off, and stay patient. The truth had strange ways of coming to the surface, more often than not. Henry would slip, it was just a matter of time. And whenever that happened, a decision would have to be made. Locke just hoped that he had a say in the other man’s fate if the worst was to be true.

Unless all of it was real, the hot air balloon, the man’s dead wife. He is innocent until proven guilty, right?

Could the man had only insinuated those possibilities? Was there really a trap or anything at all that would put Ana Lucia in danger? The woman was a remarkable asset, and if she was marching to her death, then Henry would have to pay. Wouldn’t he?

But do I really want to see another persons blood spilt? We have to be sure, there can be no mistakes. Or else we’re just as bad as them.

Locke can’t help but think about Henry’s earnest face, his voice wavering as he apologized. There had been something in Henry’s eyes though, Locke couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. Fear and regret had been what was projected the most strongly, but there had been excitement. Hadn’t there been?

Did all of this excite the other man? So, was Ben a bit of a thrill seeker himself? He had to be if he threw himself into the lions den willingly.

Locke wouldn’t be very truthful if he denied that the thrill of danger often made him more happy than the tedium of his life. It was the rush that filled him, made him seek more from life and from himself. If he didn’t have some excitement in his life, well he isn’t quite sure that he would even be where he is at.

Was it the same for Ben? Had the man’s life before been leeching from him?

I was being destroyed for years and now this is my chance to live again.

Locke peddles faster, his muscles screaming at him. He only pushes himself harder, the sting of pain invigorating him. Reminding him of the impossible, of this second chance.

The wheelchair had been stifling, but it wasn’t without its own benefits. It gave him time to think, and get over some of the anger he had. Yet, never did Locke want to go and return to those days of being bound by the weakness of his body. So he would do as the island told him. Locke would go where he was led, just so that he would be able to walk for one more day.

As many days as he was able. Hell, for the rest of his life, however long that would end up being.

And the excitement never seemed to end where the island was concerned. Locke felt lighter than he had in years, free. Everyone else seemed to think they were trapped, but they just didn’t see the miracle for what it was. How lucky they were to be here, on this island.

They would all see soon enough though.

Locke would have just withered into a shell of a man, lost in the memories of the past if he had to go back to that damned box company for even another day. It isn’t what he wanted, it isn’t what he deserved. What the hell good was that place doing for him anyways? It was sucking the damn life out of him, trapping him in its tight embrace. The only thing he can think positively about anymore is the fact that the plane crashed. It feels like one of the best things to ever happen to him.

So Locke can’t help but think that nothing good will come from looking back to the past anymore, at least not here. And it appears he would no longer have too many reasons for dwelling on the old days, he had a new life now. This life was demanding, and hardly forgiving. But it was a life that he was quite fond of. One he wanted to believe in, because there had to be a reason that he was here. There had to be a reason he was given this gift.

I want to believe that there is something watching me, guiding me. I have to see that there is a reason for me to live.

One day the island would tell him what it needed from him. Locke just needed to stay patient. He just had to believe. And what he was hearing is that Henry Gale was important. The question though, was Henry important enough to be rescued by the others? When he said that he was just venting, was it really the words of an innocent man, or was it the taunting of a more vile sort?

Do I really want to get mixed up with this guy? Do I want to lose everything on chance, or can I make things work? Is he a sign, am I supposed to be drawn to him? Why does it feel right, and why does it all feel wrong?

Locke hears a sound coming from the hallway.

Getting off of the stationary bicycle, he walks over to the record player and pulls the needle away from the vinyl disk. His eyes shoot towards the large armory safe, and takes in the fact that the door was still closed. That he hadn’t let his prisoner escape by being inattentive. Henry was safer inside there than anywhere else at the moment, so it was vital he remained.

They would kill Ben if they found him elsewhere.

His fingers clench, as he listens intently to the area around him.

It was unlikely that Jack had returned. The man had left in a hurry to find Ana Lucia, so Locke was the one forced to deal with the responsibilities of the hatch. He wouldn’t come back unless it was bad news, or to get more information from Henry.

For a long moment there is nothing, not a single sound. Locke begins to lower the needle back down when a voice issues down the hallway once more.

Was that a woman?

Confused, Locke walks over to the large speaker hanging just outside of the living quarters. The voice crackles through the speakers once more, the words distorted completely by interference.

What the hell?

More out of curiosity than anything else, Locke goes in search of tools and a ladder.

The island was sending another message, and it would be unwise to miss it.