Today's full day of making observations has gone smoothly. However, I suspect that the details concerning these plane crash survivors won't be nearly as important as the mere fact that John Locke has returned. If I had to guess, I'd say Locke's return is the only purpose of this plane arriving here. Ben probably even helped Locke get back here somehow. But that's all speculation, and I assume we'll eventually find out for sure when Locke joins us. Locke has been spending a lot of time alone, either standing on the beach and staring back at the main island, or picking mangos in the jungle, and I keep getting tempted to just go up and talk to him, but Jim reminded me of Richard's orders to listen, learn, and don't get involved, and that we can't risk any unwanted attention from any of the other survivors. So for now, we just need to stick to our original task, which is to just make observations and then head back to the main island tonight while everyone is asleep.
Jim and Eric and I pretended to introduce ourselves to each other in front of other people, so that we could freely talk to each other while perpetuating the notion that we were all strangers before the crash. Overall, we've had no trouble blending in. The one survivor that we've had to be the most wary of is a man named Caesar, who's been taking charge of things and quickly taking up a leadership role, but also seems very curious about this island, especially the Hydra station. He's been spending a lot of time snooping around inside the main building, trying to learn about the people who built this facility. Also, this one survivor named Bill is noticeably skilled at surviving on a deserted island. I watched as he was showing people how to open a coconut this morning, and then later, he showed some people how to make a fishing pole out of a bamboo stick and supplies from the plane. I'm guessing he must've learned this stuff in the military or something, although he doesn't really look like the soldier type. But actually, I kept thinking that he looked sort of familiar, but I couldn't think of where I would've seen him before. Neither Jim nor Eric had the same feeling, so maybe I saw him somewhere before the Island. It's bugging the heck out of me, though!
Anyway, it's getting dark, so pretty much the only thing left to do is to just wait for everyone to go to sleep, and then the three of us can sneak back to the canoe and head back to the main island.
Today's interesting turn of events just got even more interesting. Yes, even more interesting than Ben Linus returning to the Island. We just found John Locke!! Where exactly he came from is actually a bit of a mystery. I don't know if he came here on that Ajira flight, but most of these passengers seem convinced that he didn't. Apparently, one woman just found him standing in the water down the beach, wearing a suit, and he told her that he doesn't remember how he got here. What's interesting is that at one point while I was just standing amongst the crowd, he looked over at me and stared for a few seconds and gave me a slight grin, as though he recognized me. I'd be pretty surprised if he actually remembered me, considering I didn't really interact with him at all during the brief time that he spent among our people three years ago. I'll have to wait until I have a chance to talk with him alone without being seen by any of the other passengers. If these people are observant enough to suspect that he wasn't on their plane, then Jim and Eric and I really need to be careful not to let them suspect that we weren't on it either. But in any case, just the fact that Locke is here is really exciting news!
Well, this sure feels like deja vu! I'm on Hydra Island with about 20 or so survivors from that plane, which it turns out is an Ajira Airways plane that took off from Los Angeles and was headed to Guam. Jim, Eric and I had no trouble beaching our canoe and finding the crash site and sneaking into the survivors' camp without being noticed. This is really taking me back to that first day that I crashed on the Island. The main difference is that this plane landed fairly intact, so the survivors are able to take advantage of some supplies from there, and they've already discovered the Hydra station, so they're trying to take advantage of that, too. Jim, Eric and I are spreading out, pretending not to know each other, as we make as many observations as we can.
Apparently the pilot of this plane also survived, but he's nowhere to be found, and no one seems to really know why. All I heard was one woman saying, "I can't believe the pilot just left us here like that." Since I didn't want to raise suspicion by asking questions, I just played along as though I knew what she was talking about. But it definitely sounds like something to be concerned about, especially if he went to the main island.
But the biggest surprise I encountered was when I walked into the Hydra station where the survivors had set up a makeshift infirmary for the injured people, and among them was our former leader, Benjamin Linus!! He was unconscious and looked pretty banged up. I can only guess that he came back to the Island intentionally, but... how in the world did he know to board that particular plane?? I'll be interested to ask him when he wakes up.
Oh boy, this is pretty big news for a change. I was in the jungle, working on my water filtration system, when I suddenly heard a loud noise in the air that I haven't heard in over three years. I looked up and saw a commercial jetliner flying pretty low overhead! I immediately ran back to the beach, where naturally everyone was already talking about it. They said it looked like the plane was coming in for a rough emergency landing and headed in the direction of Hydra Island. It suddenly dawned on me that we had that partially completed runway over there, but I haven't even been back there in the last three years, and I can't remember if we ever salted the ground to prevent the vegetation from growing back. But Richard's main concern was the possibility of survivors and what that would mean for the Island. So he's sending me, along with Jim and Eric, to go over to Hydra Island and assess the situation, because we've had prior experience surviving a plane crash on this island. If we do happen to find survivors, our instructions are to try to blend in with them, and to just listen, learn, and don't get involved, and to report back here in two days. Both of our people that went undercover with the Oceanic survivors three years ago ended up getting discovered and consequently killed, and Richard doesn't want the same thing to happen to us, so our safety needs to be a top priority. So we're heading over there in a small canoe and trying to avoid being seen by anyone who might happen to be on the beach. Fortunately the runway is on the opposite side of Hydra Island from where we'll be approaching, so that shouldn't be a problem. I really have no idea what we're going to find over there!
Most of us now have our tents constructed, and now our new life on the beach is about to begin, as we wait and see if John Locke ever returns, or if Jacob has any other plans for the Island. I went and talked with Richard a little while ago, and he seems pretty confident that Locke is going to eventually return, but he has no idea when. In the meantime, Richard plans to resume the Latin lessons that he was teaching us before all hell broke loose. It's been almost two months since our last lesson, and I've forgotten a lot, so I hope I can brush up fairly quickly.
By the way, as I was talking to Richard, he was opening a box of his personal items, and he pulled out a large glass empty bottle that had no labels on it, and he placed it sideways on a little stand on the table. I asked him what it was for, and he said it's just a personal project that he's been wanting to work on for some time, and then he changed the subject. Whatever Richard's "personal project" is, the fact that he's planning to work on it now seems to suggest that he's expecting to have a lot of free time in the days ahead. Maybe that's a sign that I should find a hobby of my own, or else I'm going to get really bored living on this beach. But I'm taking that as good news, after all the madness that we've been through over the last several weeks. I'm definitely looking forward to finally being able to relax.
I'm back on the beach, with about half the community, including Richard. The other half decided to stay at the Temple. I didn't even get a good look to see who actually decided to move to the beach until we all got back here. But what's interesting is that this group includes a lot of the people who were already living at the Temple back when the rest of us lived in the village. I was curious to know why, so I asked one of them, a woman named Vanessa, and she told me that a lot of those who lived at the Temple before had already felt that Ben Linus was a bad leader, but now that Ben is gone, they're eager for John Locke to return to take Ben's place. Jim, Nancy and Eric also moved to the beach, but Eli, Aldo and Justin decided to stay at the Temple, and I never got a chance to ask why. I do know that Cindy decided to stay back at the Temple with Zack and Emma, because she and Dogen agreed that it would be a good educational experience for the kids.
Tomorrow we're going to construct our new permanent dwellings out of the materials that we brought back with us, which includes a bunch of clean white industrial-strength tarps that Richard says the Dharma Initiative left behind many years ago and have never been used. We'll be able to make gradual improvements to our living spaces over the coming days. Some people are planning to go grab some stuff from the village that they left there when we evacuated it in a hurry, but I already took everything I needed from that house.
I've always talked about buying a beach-front house when I retire. This isn't exactly what I had in mind, but I suppose it'll be almost as good!
It's official. This beach, about 20 yards down from Vicki's grave, will be the location for our new permanent camp! All of us are about to head back to the Temple right now, and those of us who wish to move to the beach will bring back materials for constructing our tents. It doesn't even have to be a decision we need to make right away; anyone can pretty much move from the Temple to the beach or vice versa whenever we want, but anyone who does is responsible for setting up their own dwellings. Most people haven't decided yet whether they're going to move to the beach yet, but the few that I've talked to say they plan to think about it on the way to the Temple and decide once we get there. Personally, I'm looking forward to finally getting out of that crazy Temple and enjoying the waves.
We've just set up camp for the night on the beach after having the memorial service for Peter, Joel, and Vicki. As with other funerals we've done, very few words were spoken as we lit Peter and Joel's bodies on fire and sent them out to sea on bamboo platforms, and then a few of us placed flowers on top of Vicki's grave. I wouldn't have known what to say about Vicki anyway. I suppose I could've said that I never would've crashed on the Island if I hadn't flown to Australia for what was originally supposed to be our honeymoon... but I don't even know if that's true. For all I know, Jacob would've found some other way to bring me here.
After we set up our overnight camp, I overheard a few people talking to Richard about the idea of making this beach the location for our new permanent camp. Richard sounded open to the idea, but said we'd discuss it further in the morning. I don't think I'd want to live this close to Vicki's grave, but there's a huge stretch of flat beach next to us that would certainly be suitable for building several tents. It's too bad we can't move back into our old village and take advantage of those modern houses, but maybe living a simpler lifestyle will help us focus more on our true purpose on this island.
We found Peter and Joel's bodies on the ground exactly where we left them. I didn't realize that dead bodies look that gross after just two days! I'm still trying to recover from the sight of Vicki's corpse that I dug up! Anyway, I'm just leaving it to the experts among us to handle the corpses. I approached Richard a few minutes ago and asked if we could take the bodies to the site of Vicki's grave, since that happens to be on the beach, so that I could have a memorial service for her as well, and Richard said that he'd allow that, even though it's not common practice for us to have memorials for outsiders. We'll leave Vicki's body buried, but we'll cremate Peter and Joel's bodies as per our standard tradition. Not that it really matters to me either way. I hate funerals.
So when I arrived back at the Temple a few hours ago, I was met by shocked reactions all the way in. Apparently Aldo made it back to the Temple yesterday and told everyone that he saw the black smoke kill me! So everyone assumed I was dead until I showed up here!
Anyway, after several people expressed their relief that I'm alive, I told Richard and a few others everything that happened yesterday, and then I passed on Jacob's rival's message to Dogen about that deal he was willing to make. Surprisingly, Dogen was okay with that deal, regardless of whether we can trust that man or not, because Dogen prefers to stay at the Temple anyway, and he no longer thinks it's necessary to go after Claire. The fact that the "evil" man has "claimed" Claire is all Dogen needs to know, so there's no need for any further tests. So Dogen intends to honor his end of the deal -- leave Claire alone and never leave the Temple -- and only time will tell if that other man will honor his end by not attacking our people.
After I talked with Dogen, Richard updated me on our plan for tomorrow. (He already announced it in front of everyone earlier after the last person before me returned to the Temple, since they assumed I was dead.) A group of us, on a voluntary basis, are going to head into the jungle to retrieve the bodies of Peter and Joel, who were shot by Claire yesterday, then we're going to carry their bodies to the beach so that we can properly dispose of them and have a memorial service in the evening. I'm glad to hear this. Even though I never really got to know Peter or Joel over the past few months, they were both part of my group of plane crash survivors that were integrated into this community, so I'm glad that they're being treated with the same type of respect that anybody else here would. And then after that, we're going to start looking to set up a new, more permanent camp for some of our people, since the Temple just isn't designed to house this many people, nor is our community able to accomplish much if everyone is hunkered down here. Once we decide on a place, we'll each individually get to decide whether to move to that new camp or stay at the Temple. I'm kind of looking forward to finally living somewhere else, but I'll have to see where the new camp is before I decide for sure.