I Control Your Mind!
Just for fun, and mainly for the folks over at FandomForums, I turned the Pilot of Lost into story format! What follows is the result of hours of work, listening to the show on iTunes and Hulu, and ... well, lots of effort. So enjoy, if you decide to read it! It's pretty big
1: THE CRASH
His eye opened.
High above him, trees waved, dancing to a gentle breeze. His breathing was ragged, and he lay on the soft ground until feeling returned to his stunned body. First he moved his hand above him. Then he gently lifted his head off the ground. His first sensation of confusion struck him.
Where the hell am I? he thought. He was in a jungle, he knew that much, or some sort of forest.
He heard a crack to his left, and his head snapped in the direction of the sudden sound. His eyes widened in fear, but he started to relax once nothing emerged from the jungle, until—
He heard soft thudding, and saw a gold shape moving toward him, maneuvering around the trees. It took him a moment to focus—he realized it was a golden retriever. The dog halted a few feet away from him, panting.
Is that really a dog? he thought. Where the hell am I?
The dog whimpered and jogged by his head, venturing into the jungle. For a second the man wondered if the dog had been real—was he hallucinating? He had one hell of a headache, worse than he had had in a while. He wondered if he had a hangover; it wouldn’t be the first time he fell victim to binging on alcohol. But waking up in the jungle?
He tried to sit up, but his energy failed him and he was sent back to the jungle floor, gasping for breath. He grabbed the trunk of a thin tree and managed to wrench himself into a sitting position. The muscles in his abdomen suddenly inflamed, and his eyes dazed out of focus, but that would not stop him. Gripping two trees firmly, he pulled himself to his feet with a puff of exasperation. He rocked on his feet, dizzy.
Jack Shepherd felt a searing pain near his hip. He looked at his body for a moment: he was wearing a suit jacket over a button-down white shirt, ripped and shredded in some places. Damn, he thought once he pulled open his jacket. A blood stain the size of a football was pooling on his left side—but he didn’t have time to worry about that. He leaned back against a tree and wondered what was happening. Where was he? How did he get into the jungle? Why was he hurt?
He fished his hands through his pockets, hoping to find some remnant of the past day. The first thing he found was a small bottle of alcohol. He brought his hand to his forehead. He knew he could remember what happened to him, it was just out of reach of his mental hands, but he couldn’t graspit. The alcohol. . . . For some reason, he thought of the words, “Well, it’s not a very strong drink.” Whatever the hell that was supposed to mean, it didn’t help him very much.
His head still felt like a hammer had been brought upon it. He squeezed his eyes tightly and then released, looking at the jungle around him. He needed to find a way out—he was in the middle of tightly concentrated area. He started to move, slowly at first, but eventually into a jog and then into a run. He grabbed trees along the way for support. As the number of trees gradually thinned, his pace accelerated, his motivation increasing. He was getting closer to a way out. As he ran, he didn’t notice a finely polished, clean white sneaker dangling from one of the trees by its laces.
After minutes of pounding through the jungle, Jack emerged from the brush and stumbled onto a sandy beach. As he caught his breath he looked out the blue ocean, its waves rolling onto the shore. Where could I be? he thought.
And that was when he heard it. It was like a whirring saw, its blade about to slice into wood. The sound revved, then quieted immediately. In addition to that, he thought he could hear—yells? Screams? Some high-pitched sound accompanying the whirring in a very unmelodious chorus. He jogged in the direction of the noises, around a bend on the beach. The sounds got louder and more intense, until finally he saw it all. It all clicked in his mind—where he was, how he got here . . . the site of the plane crash on the beach before him was devastating.
The closest object to him was a smoldering engine, whirring—that must have been the source of the buzzing noise. He staggered onward into the chaos, the screaming people, the burning ruins of an airplane, sending columns of black smoke into the air. Debris was scattered across the beach, as if it had been thrown there, as if each piece was a marble. Countless passengers screamed for help, for someone to save them. As Jack looked around, he saw women with slices on their arms, men clutching their legs in pain, people crying and sobbing. He pushed onward, passing a row of airplane windows, their glass punctured and shattered. Small groups of people huddled together, comforting each other among the terrible devastation. And still, more engines of the plane whirred, apparently broken and unpredictable. They sucked falling objects, such as articles of clothing and papers, into their blades, fueling their cycle.
Jack looked around. He didn’t who to help, so many people crying out, so many people hurt! He looked at the fuselage of the plane, divided in several pieces, and saw one gargantuan wing sticking out into the air. It doesn’t seem that big from inside a plane, he thought, and he reflected that that was one of the stupidest things you could think in a time of panic. He looked around and heard the distinctly grating calls of a man: “Help! Help me! Help me!” The lower half of the man’s body was trapped beneath a large metal frame, and his screams were raspy and terrifying. Jack leaped over to the man, and tried to heave the frame off his body, but it wouldn’t budge.
Jack saw another person stumbling nearby, and he yelled, “Hey, you! Come over here and give me a hand!” He did the same to another person.
Jack and the two men gathered around the metal frame. “On the count of three!” he instructed loudly, over the roars of the engines. “One! . . . Two! . . .” The two men gripped the frame, and Jack snatched the man’s arms, ready to pull.
The men heaved on the frame, and even though it barely budged off the ground, Jack managed to wrench the man out from under it. The lower half of the man’s right leg was missing, and blood dispersed from his stub.
Jack knew that he had to stop the bleeding immediately, so he tried to tear a strip of the man’s pant leg, but he realized that he was wearing a tie around his own collar. He ripped off the tie and quickly bandaged the stub, hoping that would be sufficient to confine the bleeding.
Suddenly, Jack heard a grating scream and he looked up in terror: the first thing he saw was a pregnant woman on her knees, yelling, “Help me! Help me!”
He rapidly finished wrapping the tie, and addressed the two men who had helped him. “All right, get him out of here! Get him away from the engine! Get him out of here!” As they began to help the injured man, Jack scrambled across the field of chaos, leaping over debris, and slid towards the pregnant woman, who didn’t look to be more than twenty years old.
The blonde woman gripped Jack tightly, and sobbed, “Please, please help me, I’m having contractions!”
“How many months pregnant are you?” Jack asked.
“Uh, I-I’m only eight months. . . .”
“How far apart are they coming?”
“I-I don’t know, I think it just happened. . . .”
Just then, a fiery explosion rocketed into the sky as an engine erupted. Wreckage was tossed in every direction, and Jack covered the woman with his body to protect her. He noticed that a man running nearby was struck in the legs by a piece of metal, and the man tripped to the ground, screaming in pain.
Jack brought the pregnant woman to a sitting position and said, “Listen to me . . . Look at me, we’re going to be okay, do you understand me? But you have to sit absolutely still.”
The woman nodded while grunting and dealing with her contractions. Jack saw a man trying to perform CPR on a nearby woman, and immediately recognized that his procedure was flawed—but he couldn’t abandon a young pregnant woman. A large man stood nearby, apparently very confused and gazing at all the destruction.
“Hey, you!” Jack called to the man. “Come here!”
The large man turned around and looked at the pregnant woman.
“I need to get this woman away from these fumes. Take her over there. Stay with her. If her contractions occur any closer than three minutes apart, call out for me.”
The large man, whose shirt was stained and ripped, said, “Oh, you got to be kidding me!”
“I’ll be right back,” Jack said to the pregnant woman, and took off running.
“Hey!” the man yelled. “What’s your name?”
He turned around and shouted, “Jack!”
He arrived at the man giving the woman CPR and commanded, “Stop! Her head’s not tilted far back enough; you’re blowing air into her stomach.”
“Are you sure?” the man said, as Jack began to perform the proper form of CPR. “That’s exactly what I was doing. I’m a lifeguard. I’m licensed.”
Jack put his ear to the woman’s mouth and said, “Well, you need to seriously think about giving that license back!”
“Maybe we should do one of those hole things, you know, stick the pen in the throat?”
Jack pushed down on the woman’s chest and sarcastically replied, “Yeah, good idea, you go get me a pen!”
The man scrambled to his feet and went off in search.
After a minute of CPR, the woman inhaled suddenly and gasped for air.
“Take deep breaths!” Jack instructed. “Deep breaths!”
And that was when he heard the creaking of the fuselage’s plane wing high above him. The unstable wing, which was mostly broken along its hinge to the fuselage, was waving unstably and threatening to drop below. Jack noticed that if the wing fell, it would be crash directly into the pregnant woman and the large man. He darted across the beach as fast as he could, screaming to the large man, “Move! Move! Move! Get her out of there!”
The man looked above him and saw the imminent danger he was in. He grabbed the pregnant woman with Jack’s help, and all of three of them stumbled forward—the wing creaked—about to fall over—Jack knew that would escape it fast enough—suddenly he was tossed forward and into the sand by a gust of wind so strong that he felt like a mere rag doll being thrown carelessly. The pregnant woman and the large man fell beside him, and they all felt the heat of an explosion behind them as the wind collided with the ground, and erupted into flames.
Jack turned to the woman, who seemed to having trouble breathing, and asked, “Are you all right?” She nodded.
“You?” Jack asked the man.
Half of the man’s face was curtained in sand. He nodded.
“Stay with her,” Jack commanded him.
“Dude,” the man said, very out-of-breath, “I’m not goin’ anywhere!”
Jack got to his feet and looked around. By this point, most of the trouble had appeased. He walked among the destruction. Many of the people who had been on the brink of death were now dead. Most of the screaming had come to a slow whimpering. The explosions had quieted and the fire was now enjoying its lush meal, licking away the ruins of what once had been an airplane.
He limped to the ruined fuselage and gazed at the mix of luggage and paper and clothes and wires and metal. A terrible sadness came over him as the implications of the destruction struck him. An airplane with approximately three hundred passengers, crashed on an island. Death and gore and blood beyond what any person should see in their lifetime.
A person came up to him—it was the man who had been performing CPR incorrectly. In his hand he held a variety of pens.
“I don’t which one would work best,” he said.
Jack took them, managed a grim smile, and replied, “They’re all good. Thanks.”
He stumbled away and looked into the nearest luggage, searching for any medicine that could ease the pain in his side. Now that the adrenaline in his system was reducing, his body was focusing more attention on his own injuries. He found the correct bottle of pills he was searching for, and ran off into the jungle to heal himself.
Jack removed his suit jacket, grimacing in pain as he stretched muscles around his hip. He looked at the side of his shirt again. The dull color of a blood stain covered much of his side. Next, he took off his white button-down shirt, and the ripped white undershirt he had on beneath. He knelt on the sand, lifted his arm, and examined his injury on his side.
It was horizontal gash, a slice midway between his armpit and his waist, clouded by blood. He poked it gently, and immediately retracted his hand in pain. This is great, he said. Just great. How am I going to fix this? I am so screwed.
Suddenly he heard someone—walking in the jungle, towards him. He saw a brunette wandering among the trees, holding her right wrist. She looked frightened, scared—but Jack didn’t blame her.
“Excuse me?” he called out.
The woman turned towards him, startled, but didn’t say anything.
“Did you ever use a needle?”
She took a few uneasy steps towards him. “What?”
“Did you ever . . . patch a pair of jeans?”
She hesitated and looked down.
“I, um . . . made the drapes, in my apartment.”
“That’s fantastic. Listen, do you have a second? I could use a little help here.”
The woman, seemingly more at ease, approached him. “Help with what?” she asked.
He raised his arm, exposing his gash.
She grimaced and looked away in disgust.
“With this,” Jack explained, motioning to his injury. “I’d do it myself, I’m a doctor, but I just can’t reach it—”
“You want me to sew that up?”
“It’s just like the drapes—”
“No, with the drapes, there’s a sewing machine.”
“No, you can do this, I’m telling you. . . . If you wouldn’t mind.”
She frowned and stared at him sadly, as if pondering whether to turn down an injured man. She sighed. “Of course I will.”
“Thank you,” Jack said gratefully. He handed her the bottle of alcohol that he had found in his suit pocket. “It’s for your hands.”
She opened the bottle and cleansed her hands.
“Save me some,” Jack said. “For the . . . For the wound.”
She picked up a box of multi-colored threads, something that Jack had found while digging around in the luggage. “Any color preference?”
Jack chuckled grimly and shook his head. “Just standard black.”
He grunted in pain as he took the bottle of alcohol and poured the rest of it on his wound.
On the beach, a man smoked a cigarette. He stared out at the ocean, as frustrated as anyone would be. The ripped the cigarette from his mouth, threw it into the sand, and stomped off into the ruins of the plane crash.
The young pregnant woman stood on the shore, letting the waves rush past her feet. Her hands were on her hips and she looked grimly at her stomach.
The large man was wrapping all of the food that had been on the airplane in tin foil. This way, he could neatly distribute food to everyone who survived the crash.
A bald man with his shoes off sat on the sand, alone. He looked off pensively at the ocean, thinking about everything that happened. Miraculous, he pondered.
The man who had been performing CPR incorrectly and who had found all the pens was trying to receive a signal on his cell phone, just as a Middle Eastern man was throwing wood onto a large fire.
The Middle Eastern man saw another person sitting on the ground and called, “Hey, you!”
The man looked up, confused.
“What’s your name?”
“Me?” the man said in a British accent, getting to his feet. “Charlie.”
“Charlie,” the Middle Eastern man confirmed. “We need help with the fire. No one will see it if it isn’t big.”
“Okay, I’m on it. What’s your name?”
“Sayid. I’m on it, Sayid.”
As Charlie and Sayid constructed a large fire, nearby an elderly black woman—the same one that Jack had saved using CPR—sobbed quietly and kissed her wedding ring.
Jack grunted as the woman continued to sew his injury.
“I might throw up on you,” she said uneasily.
He shook his head. “You’re doing fine.”
“You don’t seem afraid at all. . . . I don’t understand that.”
“Well, fear is sort of an odd thing. When I was in residency, my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a sixteen-year old kid. A girl. And at the end, after thirteen hours, I was closing her up and I . . . I accidentally ripped her dural sack. It’s right at the base of the spine where all the nerves come together. Membrane as thin as tissue, and . . . so, it ripped open. Nerves, just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her, and I . . .” He paused in memory, and his eyes got watery. “The terror was just so . . . crazy, so real . . . and I knew I had to deal with it.” A tear leaked from his right eye. “So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in. Let it take over. Let it do its thing. But only for five seconds, that was all I was gonna give it. So I started to count. One, two, three, four, five. And it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up, and she was fine.”
The woman looked at him. “If that had been me, I think I would’ve run for the door.”
“No, I don’t think that’s true. You’re not running now.”
He turned back and looked at her, and he managed a grim smile.
Hours later, night had fallen on the site of the plane crash. The only light came from the stars, the moon, and the large bonfire that Charlie, Sayid, and a few others had built.
Charlie and Sayid sat before the bonfire. Charlie had wrapped small bandages around his fingers and was now writing the word “FATE” with a Sharpie, one letter for each finger.
“You think they would have come by now,” Sayid mused.
“Hmm?” Charlie asked, pulling back his hood. “Who?”
Across the camp, Boone Carlyle—the man who had gotten the pens—sat down beside his stepsister, Shannon Rutherford. She was polishing her toenails neatly. She was a beautiful woman, with a flexible build and golden blond hair.
Boone offered her a chocolate bar that he had found among the wreckage.
Shannon scoffed. “As if I’m going to start eating chocolate.”
He frowned. “Shannon, we may be here for a while.”
“The plane had a black box, idiot. They know exactly where we are, they’re coming.”
He waved the chocolate bar in front of her.
“I’ll eat on the rescue boat,” she sneered.
He cocked an eyebrow.
“I’ll eat on the rescue boat,” she repeated, gritting her teeth.
Angrily, Boone opened the candy bar and started eating.
The large man—whose name was Hugo Reyes, but he went by Hurley—trudged over to the young pregnant woman: Claire Littleton. In his arms he carried a large tray of tin foil-wrapped food. He sat down beside her.
“Hungry?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Claire replied with a smile, as he handed her some food. “Thanks.”
“Any more, uh . . . you know, baby stuff?”
She shrugged. “No . . . I’m okay.”
“Well, hang in there.”
“Yeah, you too.”
As Hurley walked away, he gave Claire another tin foil wrap of food.
Nearby, a black man rubbed his son’s head. The father was Michael Dawson, and his son was Walt. Walt was laying down on the ground, under a blanket, staring off at the jungle.
“You sure you’re warm enough?” Michael asked.
Slowly, Walt nodded.
A few meters from the bonfire, a Korean couple sat side by side and talked. Neither of them could speak English.
“You must not leave my sight,” the husband, Jin Kwon, said to his wife in Korean. “You must follow me wherever I go. Do you understand?”
Shamefully, Sun Kwon nodded. She hated being controlled by her husband.
“Don’t worry about the others,” he instructed. “We need to stay together.”
She nodded again.
Using a flashlight, Jack Shepherd inspected an injured passenger who had a piece of shrapnel embedded to the left of his abdomen. The woman who had sewed his injury stood beside him.
“Do you think he’s gonna live?” she asked.
“Do you know him?” Jack asked curiously.
“He was sitting next to me.”
Jack looked the face of the man and tried to remember if he had seen him on the flight, but he couldn’t recall him.
After he had finished examining the injured passengers, Jack had created a model plane out of a leaf. He sat around a small fire with the woman, as he hypothesized what had happened before the crash.
“We must have been at forty thousand feet when it happened. We hit an air pocket and dropped . . . maybe two hundred feet. The turbulence was . . .” He sighed. “I blacked out.”
“I didn’t,” the woman said, staring into the fire. “I saw the whole thing. I knew that the tail was gone, but I . . . couldn’t bring myself to look back. And then the front end of the plane broke off.”
“Well, it’s not here on the beach. Neither is the tail. We need to figure out which way we came in.”
“There’s a chance we find the cockpit. If it’s intact, we might be able to find the transceiver. We could send out a signal, help the rescue party find us.”
“How do you know all that?” she asked curiously.
“I took a couple of flying lessons,” Jack chuckled. “Wasn’t for me.” He tossed the model airplane into the fire.
“I saw some smoke . . . just through the valley.”
Jack looked at her, and she nodded her head towards the jungle.
“If you’re thinking about going for the cockpit,” she said, “I’m going with you.”
He hesitated, and then smiled. “I don’t know your name.”
They both smiled. Kate looked down flirtatiously, but suddenly—
A loud, mechanical, slicing sound issued from the jungle. They both jumped in fright. Then came the sound of trees being pushed aside, whirring, a chopping sound. It sounded like a machine, but at the same time it was like a . . . a monster.
Everyone in the camp looked in the direction of the jungle.
Shannon glanced at Boone and said, “What was that?”
Charlie bounced up from his seat. “That was weird, right?”
Walt stood up and said, “Is that Vincent?”
“It’s not Vincent,” Michael replied, following his son.
On the edge of the camp, but further into the jungle, a tree waved, and then collapsed.
Claire turned towards the others and gasped, “Did anybody see that?”
Hurley, his eyes fixed on the jungle, replied, “Yeah. . . .”
Then from the jungle came the sounds of a mechanical cranking, and a rattlesnake-like hissing.
Everyone in the camp gathered close together, staring at the jungle, as if expecting a prehistoric dinosaur and mythical creature to burst from the trees. But nothing happened. The noises ceased. The trees stopped waving.
“Terrific,” Charlie muttered.
4: ON THE PLANE
8 hours earlier
From his seat, Jack Shepherd stared out of the window of the plane. The flight attendant, making her rounds, stopped at Jack’s row. “So, how’s the drink?” she asked him, motioning towards his empty cup.
“It’s good,” he replied, even though he had had much better alcohol.
“That wasn’t a very strong reaction,” the flight attendant teased.
“Well, it’s not a very strong drink.”
She smiled, reached into her cart, and extracted two small bottles of alcohol. “Just don’t tell anyone.”
“This, of course, breaks some critical FAA regulations,” Jack chuckled.
Jack stored one bottle of alcohol in his suit jacket pocket as the flight attendant walked off. He took the other, filled his cup, and drank in all in one sip. As he was exiting his row to throw away his cup and bottle, a man darted his past him, just managing to say, “Excuse me” as he rushed down the aisle.
Jack met the glance of an elderly black woman in the next row over. “Guess he really had to go,” she snorted.
“Sir, excuse me!” a flight attendant yelled as three of them pursued the man down the aisle.
Waiting for things to settle down, Jack sat in his row. Then, a small bout of turbulence struck and he fastened his seat belt.
The intercom beeped, and a flight attendant announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has switched on the “Fasten seatbelts” sign. Please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts.”
Jack looked at the black woman, who appeared very nervous. “It’s normal,” he said with a grin.
“Oh, I know,” she replied. “I’ve just never been a good flier. My husband keeps reminding me that planes want to be in the air.”
“Well, he sounds like a very smart man.”
“You be sure and tell him that when he gets back from the bathroom.”
More turbulence rocked the plane, and Jack leaned back in his seat.
“Well, I’ll keep you company until he does,” he told the woman. “Don’t worry, it’s going to be over—”
Before he knew what was happening, the plane lashed suddenly and people screamed. The luggage compartments tumbled open and those unfortunate people who weren’t wearing seatbelts collided with the ceiling. This time, the turbulence didn’t stop. Somewhere an alarm was sounding. Jack felt that the plane was going downward. The oxygen masks fell from their compartments, and he scrambled for his. Once he knew that he was safe, he looked over the black woman, who had her mask on as well.
Then he blacked out.
The ocean waves rolled onto the beach, reflecting the glint of the morning sun. Jack looked out at the water while the survivors behind him conversed with one another among the plane ruins.
“It didn’t sound like an animal,” someone said, referring to the noise heard in the jungle the previous night.
“I kept thinking there was something familiar about it,” someone else said.
“Where are you from?”
“Monkey. Monkey Island.”
“You know, we don’t even know if we’re on an island.”
Kate approached Jack. “You ready?”
He turned towards her. “You showed me where the smoke was. I can get there myself.”
He smiled. “Well, you’re going to need better shoes.”
Kate searched among the wreckage. All the bodies had shoes. She found a person, whose face was hidden under debris, who was wearing hiking boots, ideal for her trip. She uncomfortably knelt down, untied the shoes, and removed them from the corpse’s feet. She felt as if she were stealing the shoes, dishonoring the dead. But it was necessary. She looked around, hoping that no one was watching her immoral crime. A bald man was staring at her.
He didn’t look away. Suddenly, he smiled, but the inside of his mouth was purely orange—an orange peel? The man seemed to be amused by his joke, but Kate only frowned. With no positive reaction, the bald man glowered and took the orange peel out of his mouth.
A group of survivors huddled around, discussing the noise from last night.
“Whatever it was, it wasn’t natural,” Michael Dawson said.
“Does anyone have any sunblock?” Charlie asked.
“Yeah, I do,” Shannon replied, reaching into her purse.
Hurley joined the group, kneeling down in the sand. “So, I was just looking inside the fuselage. It’s pretty grim in there. You think we should do something about the, uh . . .” He looked at Walt, who was only about ten years old, and wondered whether he should say the word bodies in front of a kid. “B-O-D-Y-S?”
“What are you spellin’, man? Bodies?” Michael asked.
“B-O-D-I-E-S,” Walt corrected.
“That sounds like a good idea,” Sayid said to Hurley.
“No,” Shannon protested. “They’ll deal with it when they get here.”
Jack walked over to the group, and knelt on one knee. “I’m gonna go out and look for the cockpit. See if we can find a transceiver to send a distress signal. Help the rescue team.”
Sayid nodded in approval.
“You’re going to need to keep an eye on the wounded,” Jack said to Boone. “If the guy in the suit wakes up, keep him calm, but don’t let him remove that piece of shrapnel. You understand?”
“Yeah, got it,” Boone replied. “What about the guy with the leg?”
“I stopped the bleeding. I took it off last night. He should be all right.”
“Yeah, cool. Good job.”
Charlie nodded at Jack and stood up. “I’ll come with. I wanna help.”
“I don’t need any more help,” Jack said, shaking his head.
“No, it’s cool. I don’t really feel like standing still, so. . . .”
Jack nodded, and Charlie smiled.
6: THE JUNGLE
A half hour later, Jack, Kate, and Charlie had left the camp, trudged through a strip of jungle, and were now marching through an open clearing. It was cloudy outside, and looming clouds were prophetic of a rainstorm.
“Can I ask you something?” Kate said to Charlie.
“Me?” Charlie said. “I’d be thrilled. I’ve been waiting.”
“Have we ever met anywhere?”
“No. That would be unlikely.” He smirked knowingly. “I look familiar though, right?”
“You can’t quite place it?”
“No, I can’t.”
“Yeah, I think I know.”
“You do?” She glanced back at him.
Charlie began to sing high-pitched lyrics to a modern rock song: “You all, everybody! You all everybody! You never heard that song?”
Kate chuckled. “I’ve heard it. I just don’t know what—”
“That’s us! Drive Shaft! The ring. Second tour of Finland. Never heard of Drive Shaft?”
She stopped and stared at him in disbelief.
“Yeah, the band!”
“You were in Drive Shaft?”
“I am in Drive Shaft! I play bass.”
“Yeah! Charlie. Track three, you know, I do backing vocals!”
“My friend Beth would freak. She loves you guys.”
“Give me Beth’s number, I’ll call! She live nearby?”
Jack came over to them, leaning on a hiking stick. “Hey.”
“You ever heard of Drive Shaft?” Kate asked him.
Charlie looked at Jack, and sang, “You all, everybody! You all, every . . . body. . . .” He began to falter once Jack didn’t appear impress or even remotely interested.
“We gotta keep moving,” Jack said. As he walked away, Kate looked back at Charlie.
“They were good,” she said.
“They are good,” Charlie replied. “We’re still together. We’re in the middle of a comeback!”
An hour later, the three of them were pushing their way through a field of high grass. The sky had grown noticeably darker, and storm clouds hovered above them. In a matter of two seconds, a curtain of rain fell down upon them.
“You guys, is this normal?” Charlie asked. “This kind of day turning into night. You know, end-of-the-world type weather. Is this . . . guys?”
Jack and Kate didn’t seem to be affected by the drastic turn of weather, but only on pushing forward. Charlie shuddered and pulled his hoodie tighter around him.
Back at the camp, all of the survivors were running for shelter. Some hid under debris, some hid under pieces of wood, some under tarps or blankets. As Boone ran for the fuselage, Hurley stopped him and said, “You don’t want to go in there! There are too many bodies!”
Only one person did not run for cover, and that was the bald man who had had the orange peel in his mouth. Instead, he sat very comfortably in the rain, and at one point looked up to the heavens and opened his arms, as if accepting a gift from God.
But something lurked in the trees. The trees swayed from side to side and that hissing sound returned. Claire, clutching her pregnant stomach, looked towards the treeline. She was hiding under two large pieces of debris that had fallen towards each other to create a triangle shape.
“There it is again,” she said to the others who were with were.
Rose—the elderly black woman—stood beside her and said, “Oh, my God.”
Jack, Kate, and Charlie continued their venture, tracking through a muddy area. They maneuvered around vines dangling from the forest ceiling.
And then they saw it.
The front of the plane was sticking out of the ground, almost vertically, but at a slope. The airline’s logo was painted on the side. They stood before the front of the plane, intimidated and scared to go inside. Their clothes were soaked from the rain.
“Well,” Jack said. “Let’s do this.”
And he marched forth, the others following behind him.
7: THE COCKPIT
They first approached the bottom, which is fortunately where the plane had been ripped. Wires and metal dangled loosely around the opening. Jack first climbed through the gaping hole. They stood at the bottom and looked around. Still in their seats, corpses reenacted their faces of horror that they had felt at the time of their death.
Charlie said, “Well, let’s get this trans . . . uh—”
“Transceiver,” Jack said.
“—Transceiver thing, and get out of here.”
The rows of seats ascending up functioned as a sort of ladder: Jack and the others could climb up towards the cockpit by using the seats as a ladder.
Charlie looked around nervously as he grappled each seat, trying to stay up. If he let go, he likely would fall down the aisle and back to the ground.
Jack had reached the top and held onto a nearby seat. He reached for the cockpit door and pulled the door handle. It was locked. He grabbed a heavy-duty flashlight nearby and started hammering the handle. “Come on!” he grunted as he thumped harder. “Come on! Come-”
The door burst open, and two bodies spilled out, tumbling down the aisle, and to the muddy ground. Kate shrieked, and Charlie gasped.
“You okay?” Jack asked her.
“Yeah,” she nodded. But she was truly terrified.
As Jack crawled into the cockpit, Charlie said, “I’m fine. Charlie’s fine, by the way! I’m okay.”
Kate began to follow Jack into the cockpit, but Jack, who was leaning against the doorframe, said, “Hey, you don’t have to come up here.”
“No, I’m good,” she replied. She was shivering.
He reached out for her hand and wrenched her into the cockpit, where she could rest stably. Behind them, the pilot sat dead in his seat, his face cut and bloodied.
“So what does a transceiver look like?” Kate asked.
“Like a complicated walkie-talkie,” said Jack.
Jack began searching the cockpit and Kate stood up. She leaned over the dead pilot and started rummaging around. Just then—
The pilot jolted in his chair, gasping for breath—Kate screamed and Jack yelled in surprise. Kate fell back against the wall and her eyes widened in shock. The pilot coughed, gasped, and breathed heavily. Jack went over to him.
“Hey!” he said. “Can you hear me?” He turned to Kate. “I need that water.”
She tossed him a water bottle, which Jack opened and poured into the pilot’s mouth.
“Here, here you go,” Jack said.
The pilot drank some, but immediately coughed up the rest. “How many survived?” he said drowsily.
“At least forty-eight,” Jack replied. “Does anything feel broken?”
“No, no. Just, my head’s a little dizzy, that’s all.”
“It’s probably a concussion,” Jack diagnosed, examining the pilot’s head.
“How long has it been?”
“Sixteen? Has anybody come?”
“Not yet,” Jack said optimistically.
“Six hours in,” the pilot explained, “our radio went out. No one could see us. We turned back to land in Fiji. By the time we hit turbulence, we were a thousand miles off course. They’re looking for us . . . in the wrong place. We have a transceiver!”
“Good, good. That’s what we were hoping. You shouldn’t move,” Jack added as the pilot tried to get up.
“No, no. I’m okay. Transceiver’s right there.” He pointed to it, and Kate got it.
As the pilot worked with the transceiver, Jack looked at Kate. “Where’s Charlie?” he asked.
Kate exited the cockpit to find him, just as the pilot said, “It’s not working.”
She looked at all the bodies, frozen in their seats. They would stay like this until rescue came, she thought. “Charlie?”
The bathroom door whipped open and Charlie stumbled out suspiciously.
“What were you doing in the bathroom?”
“What?” he asked, as if nothing were wrong.
She was about to persist, but they all heard a noise. The same hooting noise that had been made by whatever was lurking in the jungle the night before. They all looked up. They could hear trees being brushed aside.
“What the hell was that?” the pilot said.
Jack said, “Kate!” and motioned for her to get in the cockpit. He took her and held her close, and they heard a stomping sound.
“It’s right outside,” Kate whispered.
“What?” the pilot asked. “What’s right outside—?”
“Shh,” Jack said.
The thing outside the plane hissed, and they saw a shadow move past the window, which was clouded with tree branches, rain, and mist. Jack went to the window and tried to rub a clear spot in the fog, but he still couldn’t see outside.
The pilot walked over to a large section of the window, which had been penetrated by tree branches. He moved them aside, and tried to see outside. Jack wanted to protest and tell him that was a bad idea, but before he could, there was a low whistling sound and the pilot screamed and he was being yanked out of the cockpit through the window. He moved around as the plane jostled and he yelled in pain and whatever was grabbing him was shaking around but finally he was pulled out of sight.
“What the hell just happened?” Charlie gasped.
Then it seemed like the plane was struck—it shook, and it started to fall—it fell to the ground so that it was no longer at an angle but horizontal.
“Jack, come on!” Kate screamed, but he was intent on snatching the transceiver, which had tumbled during the plane’s fall.
“Just leave it!” Charlie yelled, but Jack got it.
Within moments, they were all out of the plane and dashing through the mud. They bound into the jungle, and as they raced as fast as they could away from the cockpit, they could hear the hissing and stomping sound of the monster. Rain poured down in buckets and lightning crackled. They leaped over roots in the ground, pushed aside vines, and tried to run on the slippery mud.
Charlie tripped and splashed into the mud, but couldn’t get up. His feet were tangled in vines! “Hey!” he yelled after Jack and Kate, who hadn’t noticed he’d fallen. Kate didn’t hear him, but Jack did and ran back to Charlie.
Charlie pulled at the vines, but Jack fully undid them and yelled, “All right, go!”
Kate, who had kept on running, pulled herself around a tree and through herself into a tangle of vines, where she hoped that she was safe. She turned around and glanced around the jungle. She was alone. Where was Jack? Where was Charlie? They were both gone. Crazy thoughts rushed through her mind, Were they taken by the monster? Were they dead, gone, eaten? Did they trip or fall or did they make it back, did they leave me behind, I hope they didn’t leave me behind, I hope they’re not eaten I hope they’re not dead, oh please oh please, not dead, please where are they? Oh my god, where are they?
“JACK!” she shrieked. Rain and tears poured down her face. She cried, and thunder boomed above her.
She looked around again. No one.
Then she remembered something that Jack had told her. I’d let the fear in. Let it take over. Let it do its thing. But only for five seconds, that was all I was gonna give it. So I started to count. One, two, three, four, five. And it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up, and she was fine.
Slowly, she began to count out loud.
“One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five. . . .”
She looked around. No one was there still. She was alone, but she had let the fear in and it was done. She turned around—saw a person standing there—heard the person scream, “Kate!” and she tackled him to the ground. It was Charlie.
She straddled him. “Where the hell’s Jack?” she demanded.
“I don’t know!”
“Did you see him?”
“He pulled me up!’
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know!”
“How do you not know?”
“We got separated! I fell down! He came back! That thing was—”
“Did you see it?”
“No. No. But it was right there. We were dead . . . I was. And then Jack came back, and he pulled me up. I don’t know where he is!”
Suddenly, the rain ceased and cleared up. The sky was noticeably lighter.
Kate looked out at the jungle. “We have to go back for him.
Charlie lifted his head. “Go back? There? There’s a certain gargantuan quality about this thing.”
“Then don’t come.” She got off him and walked off.
“Kate!” he called as she stomped away.
The two of them walked in the direction that they had come, hoping to find Jack. As they walked, Charlie said to her, “I heard you shout. I heard you shout, ‘Jack.” I’m Charlie, by the way.”
They came upon a large puddle and a pile of dirt. In the pile of dirt was a shiny object.
“What is that?” Charlie asked.
She reached for it. It was a pilot’s badge. Then she looked into the puddle. She saw the water reflecting the trees above. There was something in the trees. A body. She raised her head to look at the body, and so did Charlie.
“It’s the pilot,” a voice said. Kate and Charlie turned around, and Jack was walking towards them. His shirt was muddied and ripped.
“Did you see it?” Kate asked him.
“No. It was right behind me, but I dove into the bushes.”
“Guys,” Charlie said. “How does something like that happen?”
They all looked up at the pilot’s body resting in the trees. It was bloody and gory. Its face was missing. Its clothes were ripped. This was the work of whatever beast was lurking in the trees. This was the work of the thing that had appeared to the survivors on their first night on the beach. This was the work of the creature that made mechanical and snakelike noises. This was the work of the monster.