I finally got around to reading the Island Resident Orientation Guide. And now I totally understand why Harper was so interested in what I thought about it; she knew I would have a lot of questions after reading it! The first part of it was just an introduction to the village and community, the facilities available to us -- stuff that I'd already learned from living here for over three weeks. Then it started going into our purpose here on the Island and the things that make the Island "special", and that's where it started to get weird. Basically it's saying that our primary purpose is to protect the Island at all costs... peacefully when possible, but forcefully when necessary. We've been chosen to dedicate our lives to be a part of this special task, and anybody else who's not one of us cannot be trusted with knowledge of the Island in the outside world. It even explicitly says that any outside visitors who are not chosen to join us must not be allowed to leave the Island, so as to prevent knowledge of the Island from being leaked to the rest of the world. So, if that's the case, then how is it that those of us from the plane crash were given a choice of whether to stay or leave? Or did we ever even have a choice to begin with? Considering that all of us supposedly chose to stay, I'm not sure if that's something we'll ever really know!
Then there's this whole section about someone named Jacob, supposedly the man in charge of the Island, whom this community's leader, Benjamin Linus, reports to. It says that Jacob is the one who's entrusted us to protect the Island, and he lives in seclusion in a secret location on the Island, and only the community's leader reports to him. While this whole organizational concept in itself does sound rather strange... as soon as I saw the name Jacob, I just had this feeling that I can't really explain, that whoever this mysterious Jacob may be, his charge to protect the Island is somehow exactly what I'm supposed to do. I'm not sure what it is about the name Jacob that triggers this weird sense of trust; I've never actually known anyone named Jacob, as far as I remember. Wait, actually, that one American guy that I met at the hotel bar in Sydney... the one who actually convinced me to stay in Australia a bit longer... I think he said his name was Jacob... but who knows, I was drunk, and he was just a random stranger anyway. Anyway, it explains that Jacob is the one who chooses who gets to join this community of Island protectors, and obviously that means that I was on his list. It also mentions that children are automatically eligible to join us, and are, in fact, extremely important to the community, due to the current inability to procreate on the Island. I guess that would explain Diane's comment about the ten-year-old boy on the other side of the Island.
There's also a brief section about the fertility problem -- the one that causes pregnant women to die before they can give birth. The cause is still unknown and is being researched (and I already know that Juliet is the head of that research team, and Diane is a part of it), and standard birth control has proven to be ineffective, due to the increased male sperm count on the Island. Because of this, sex is highly discouraged, and we are encouraged to find "alternative ways" to control or satisfy any natural physical urges we may have. Great.
Anyway, that's as far as I've read so far. I'm kinda curious about the next two chapters, which are labeled "The Temple" and "The Black Smoke", but this was quite enough information to take in already. I'm definitely going to have plenty of questions for Harper next Monday!