in the name of the island

The long shortcut

The first thing he observes about the old familiar blue van is that it isn't remotely old. Seems like it's only been in use a few years. The key still in the ignition has a brand new keychain. And it starts up with no trouble at all. His people haven't had an operational one for ages. John Locke vanishes and a handy van appears---perhaps next he could swap out Jarrah for a nest of tame little rabbits?

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for THIS i did all this leading?

In pursuit. (Ben, Richard, Alex)

Ben leads Alex carefully further in the direction of the beach, hunting the missing Richard and Kate. Seeing no evidence of a skirmish or other danger, he whips out his CocoPhone.

With a glance at it, he remembers the long process, the months of analysis, debate, and development that went from "Hey, Ben, the computers here sure are old!" to the point at which he's holding some of the most advanced technology in the world in his hand. And yet, with the Flame gone, the CocoSystems engineer Mikhail MIA, and all of his other phone-carrying operatives save one murdered, Ben realizes that at this point, he's basically holding a glorified walkie-talkie.

He calls Richard.
bad day

Just great.

Climbing out of the pit. Gasping, nauseous.

Walkie, broken. Great. Phone signal still out. Well, the Flame went up in flame and the Looking Glass drowned, so that's two out of three backup systems out, and for all he knows, his house has been ripped apart in a tornado of black smoke by now. Summoning it sure doesn't mean controlling it.

So that's fire, water, and air, and here he is, in a pit of earth. All the classical elements--Empedocles would be proud. He would also say that life is an endless battle between Love and Strife for cosmic supremacy, and Ben is strung up in the middle for a handy punching bag.

There will be no way to reach anyone until he makes it back to the Village, not that far of a walk from here. In his secret room, he'll be able to reset all the ultra modern technology supporting the phone network, and then see if anyone picks up. It's a safer bet than trekking to the Temple---

If the secret room still exists. ...If the Village still exists, if the Temple... All he knows so far is the damn Dharma corpses are still hanging out, and stuck a little bit to the Halliwax jacket he discards in the pit.

The Wheel is supposed to control space and time... Maybe it's years earlier. He's not a forensic anthropologist, how should he know from the evidence? Maybe he can go find his younger self and tell him to hug his daughter and retire early.

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Fall guy.

Benjamin Linus was not surprised.

He had always been a believer. And yet, as the years dragged on and the man he followed refused to grant him an audience time and again, he began to get testy, began to want answers that he'd never needed to seek out before.

Now he had the biggest answer of all.

No, he wasn't chosen, he wasn't here because he was special. He was here because he was useful, and Jacob had finally found his ultimate use. It was all a giant setup.

Perhaps to bring John Locke into power. The man who walked right out of a wheelchair while he developed a deadly tumor. He'd played up John's apparent communion with the Island to play him into his hands, but in the end, he was the one to get played.

Or perhaps just to sacrifice, one more chance to suffer, and why not?

His whole life was one big joke.

Ha ha.

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I'm a little busy at the moment

[COCONET BULLETIN] Upcoming intensive - further instructions

Reminder: This is a two day intensive spread out over three days in order to maintain our usual level of vigilance. Please review the attached schedule for your stations during breaks if not already previously assigned.

Here are the locations for assembly. Refer to your group's schedule and report at the noted hour. 

TECH: Tom's den
WEAPONS: My house (communal breakfast) followed by Pylon W-8
COMBAT: Village center, then follow Richard

Bring any weapons personally issued to you to both my and Richard's sessions.

Re: questions about the limitations on Internet usage. May I remind you that all steps taken are following the recommendations of the TEC and pursuant discussion. This was a community decision-making process wherein we agreed that visitation access to the world wide web was allowable for surveillance purposes, but that any engagement with outsiders through that medium had danger written all over it.   

I think I've been very magnanimous considering my original stance on this whole idea. Now that I have Wikipedia and the ability to edit it unlike the rest of you, I'm all in favor If you want to be able to get a Facebook and Tweet and so on, I'd be happy to let Jacob know where your priorities lie.

Should you prefer to share in the same mundane, purposeless existence that drives 99% of "social networking," the sub will be departing shortly after the intensive so Richard can carry out some critical work. You are welcome to leave with him, but you will not be welcome to return. Ever again. 

I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time voting on the quality of "LOLcats" at four in the morning and wondering what your life could have been.      

Any further questions/comments, please reserve for your tech session.
After Mikhail's done with you all, you will be able to competently explain IP masking. You will also understand the correct protocols for using SMS. You will even learn how to use some of the nifty apps Mikhail has built us. I'm particular to Island Sounds. It's a lovely companion to offset the dank, metallic quiet of the stations we are called on to man.

That's all. I'm headed back to work with Richard. And Mikhail. All communications directives still apply. Don't contact me short of high level emergency. 

Examples -
High level emergency: A plane crashes on the Island - it's happened before
NOT a high level emergency: You are running low on baking soda. Kitchen emergencies do not apply, though I do frequently consider them to be very serious
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I see you all have decided to abuse the bulletin system now that SMSing is off the table.

I will provide a few responses here. I don't have time to go dig into all these "threads." Richard and I are extremely busy with our work to ensure that all of you emerge from the intensive at the top of your skill level.

1) Your presumptions about the reasons for the intensive section divisions Tom posted today are incorrect. Those of you who think you've somehow been judged to be at a "remedial" level need to remember that you were all brought here for a reason. You are all exceptional people who've made a strong commitment to protecting this Island. You should not forget how greatly you are all valued when Mikhail is explaining to you how to refrain from pressing the "send" button fifteen times on your CocoPhones.

2) If notes regarding my house pet confuse you, that's not my problem. Nor is it my problem that I like Shakespearian references. How do you know I haven't secretly had her for more than three years? Did you stop by to check?

3) Whatever you think you heard around here and decided to share extensively, Aldo, you just made it obvious you weren't at your post. You know, I think it's been a while since we gave the latrines at the Hydra a thorough scrubbing. It's very generous of you to volunteer for this task and I'm sure everyone will appreciate it.

Colleen: Danny is hereby stationed with you at the Hydra indefinitely as per Harper's suggestion. I'm sure a great deal of extremely close proximity will do wonders for your marital problems. :) Oh, and please let Danny know my face is recovering just fine from his little mistake.

Richard: My mind is beginning to come up with all sorts of possibilities for what "things" you've been out doing. You should start to be more specific.




[NEW MESSAGE {Aldo} boss?]

43jtoijjiiiiiiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu m m mmmmmmmmmmmm


[NEW MESSAGE {Aldo} boss i think juliet is sitting on ur phone maybe]





[NEW MESSAGE {Aldo} here kitty kitty]
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    excited adefteoipppppppppper
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I have to agree that the duc d'Enghien controversy alluded to in the French Empire section of this Napoleon Bonaparte entry is NOT presented up to the neutrality standar

Dammit! Burned the toast again.