Chapter 20: The Incident
July 4th, 1977. The incident happened.
In most of the ancient civilizations, when people found a place that could perform miracles, the first thing they did was to set it up as a ‘Sacred Place’, and prohibit anyone from getting too close and doing damages. You can call it ‘superstitious’, but it worked. The ‘Sacred Place’ would be preserved for thousands of years.
On the other side, Science is doing the completely opposite. Scientists will explorer anywhere that’s explorable, open up anything that’s openable, invent anything that’s inventable. Sometimes they explore the places that they shouldn’t, open up the Pandora’s box that is full of worms, and invent things that will devastate the world.
It is the same situation in the island. If DI guys knew what they were dealing with, they would never have come to the island, left alone drilling holes on it.
They drilled anyway, and from their scientific perspective, it’s the perfect spot.
Deep below them was the communication core of the alien space probe, which was made of a relatively large amount of Tisillium. It was tightly integrated with a large granite rock. The original use of it was to transmit signals back to the alien base, in case of having found a planet with intelligent lives. However, since the island decide not to report back 65 million years ago, it was mostly turned off. The only use of it was to emitting strong eletro-magnetic radiations to attract other rocks around it, and formed a big chunk of the island.
That communication core had a lot of energy in reserve because it was never used, and the amount of Tisillium was relatively high. The reason was obvious. Imagine that if you have to transmit a signal to millions of light-years away, you have to make sure the antenna must be big, and the transmitter must be powerful. So did the aliens. It was the biggest core of the island.
Amy, having no idea what was below, wanted her Swan Station to set up right on top of it, because they found out that the energy level was stronger than other ‘pockets’, and the affected area was larger too. Just like someone had said, things happened in the island for a reason. It was not by chance that the Swan Station was located there, and the “incident” did not happen by random at all.
Having said so much, here I have to explain more before we continue. Please be patient and bear with me.
Tisillium is a strange material. Each of its atoms is a very complicated super-structure designed by the alien. When those atoms connect to each other, they form the strongest material in the universe, but they can also be disconnected, folded up and became the weakest, almost none existing material in the world.
That’s how it survives the harsh environments in the universe. As the solid unit, it can pass through the sun without a scratch, as the lighter-than-gas cloud, it can enter the black hole and out. It fears nothing in the universe, except one.
When the Tisillium is in a gas form, or merging with other material, it will contract its atom structure to a billion fold, so it can slip inside the gaps between other atoms. The contracted form of Tisillium is also a very stable structure. However, it held back a tremendous amount of power. Liquid water was exactly the only fatal material that will short-circuit the mechanism which holds back the power.
Imagine that if you have compressed a super strong spring a billion times, and what will happen if the spring gets sprung?
In the universe liquid water is a very rare thing. Most of the water was either in ice form or in gas form. None of it will do any damage to the Tisillium. If somehow it encountered liquid water in the space, usually it will form as solid cores so nothing will happen to it. If being extremely unfortunate it dipped into water in a gas shape, it will discharge a lot of energy, but it will survive by flying to the next star to recharge. In space, discharging massive amount of energy is not a big deal. The Sun is doing it every second.
The worst thing it can happen is that the core is trapped somewhere, and the water just keeps pouring in. The incredible amount of energy that is released and built up inside the core will trigger a most devastating effect the aliens have ever known.
If you could ask an alien what was the worst that could happen. He would have said that it was Hydro-Tisillium chain-reaction. They even have a special name for it. It is roughly translated as “the void creation”.
The vacuum space outside of the atmosphere of the Earth is not a void space. It can hold time and space and pass lights, energy and gravity force. We can call it empty space, but it’s not a void space.
Void space is a real nothingness. Light cannot pass, gravity is not there, even space and time are not inside either. In extremely far far away deep spaces, outside of this universe, void space dominates the world, and separates the parallel universes. However, the void space cannot exist inside a universe like the one around us, when it somehow exists, that was an extremely abnormal phenomenon.
Alien knew this and have been using Tisillium as the ultimate weapon for wars, just like we human use nuclear weapons. They were aware that if they used too much of this kind of weapon, the time-space continuum of this universe would be disrupted, and the world might be destroyed in the process, just like we know that if we use too many nuclear weapons, our human race will come to an end.
Well, how could the DI guys know that pouring water inside a rock would cause such an unimaginable devastating effect? Just like how could we have known that drilling in deep sea would cause the worst environmental disaster in the history, or burning fossil oil would cause the global warming?
But how could we not know?
Let’s go back to the island, July 4, 1977, the day the incident happened.
When the drill opened the granite and tons of water poured into the core, not surprisingly a strong reaction began. The water short-circuit all the Tisillium that it had touch, and energy was released at an incredibly rate, but at the same time it was tightly contained by the rocks. The temperature and pressure rose so high in a matter of minutes, that the communication core was turned into a bomb that was much much more powerful than mere nuclear weapons.
If Juliet had known that she was hitting a dud, she might have save some breaths before the end of the world.
The core exploded in a chain-reaction. In less than a split second, the whole island vaporized, all the cores of the island were ignited, and all the atoms of Tisillium were turned into void space at the same time.
It is difficult to even describe how devastating it was. Remember Einstein’s formula “E=MC2”? If the aliens saw it, they would have laughed at that formula and said, “It was not true. With all due respect, you forgot to include space and time.” Material is not only made of energy, it also contains space and time. When a material’s energy, space and time all disappear, it will create an unthinkable explosion that we human know nothing about.
Instantly the explosions of the island’s Tisillium cores had created small voids of space-time in the universe. The voids lasted less than a billionth second, but the entire solar system was sucked into the void spaces and disappeared.
Let me say that in a different way. The void was instantly filled, but the whole solar system was gone. All it had left was a vast space that contained time but no space, energy or material. It must be filled somehow. Therefore, from a parallel universe a different solar system jumped into the space, and filled up the emptiness.
The emptiness that in the parallel universe was filled up by another solar system jumped from the third parallel universe. The emptiness in the third universe was filled by the solar system from the fourth universe. So forth and so on. Countless empty spaces were created and were filled up by a parallel universe next to it until there was no more universe to fill up, so the last parallel universe remained unbalanced, and was devoured by the surrounding void space within a million years, like a bubble busted with a hole inside.
The earth that jumped from the parallel universe had a better version of the incident. The nuclear bomb was not absorbed by the island, so it was actually not a dud. When Juliet hit the bomb, it did explode, killed Juliet but in the process saved the world.
This explosion, which was incredible from a human’s eyes, created a highly radioactive empty sphere underground about one mile in diameter. Originally the Tisillium of that core was filled with water and almost went to the point of another Tisillium chain-reaction explosion, but the nuclear detonation instantly extracted all the water and rocks from the core, and effectively gave the power to the Tisillium to form as solid material again. As the result, a golden thin film of Tisillium covered the wall of the newly created empty sphere. It was exactly this thin layer of Tisillium completely contained and absorbed the power of the hydrogen bomb explosion. Otherwise, that nuclear fusion reaction would have been far more devastating than creating a merely one-mile-wide empty sphere.
It was a complicated action and reaction between extremely dangerous materials, but somehow it was perfectly balanced so both of the material canceled each other out. A huge disaster was diverted.
Is it fate, or just science? Few of us actually know how lucky we were. It is nothing short of a miracle that the Earth can exist inside a universe that is so hostile to us. Comparing to this miracle, avoiding a Tisillium explosion was really no big deal.
The island was sleeping. His power grew weaker by the years, and he need more and more rest. He dreamt of the good old happy days 65 million years ago when the earth was recently rebuilt. He saw the endless green grass and all the little mice jumping up and down. The sky had some big dinosaurs flying in rows. It was a very lovely scene. He could enjoy it for millions of years. Everything was so simple back in those days. No need to worry about someone is going to kill you, or finding a good protector so you can sleep for a while…
He woke up violently, like Allison always did in the “Medium”, and he found out the world had been changed.
He was not in the same universe any more. Something dramatic had happened. What was going on there? He started to investigate.
Jacob offered no help as usual. He was just holding a baby, shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” The island didn’t want to ask where the baby was from. He thought Jacob had finally decrypted the hieroglyphs in the temple, and learned from the words of his precedents that kidnapping a baby was the right way to go. It took him long enough. Let him mind his own baby business.
Then the Dharma Initiative was a shocker. All in a sudden five more stations was up, and there was a big hole where the communication core originally was. Some Tisillium is still there, but they were all formed into a thin film that he couldn’t use. He needed a lot of energy to reactive them and transform them to something useful. At that time he started to regret, that he should have absorbed the energy of that nuclear bomb many years ago. Just when he needed the energy the most, the bomb’s core was empty. Judging by the high level of radiation inside the empty globe, someone must have taken the nuclear core and exploded it inside the communication core. Why he did such a strange thing? He knew that human liked to play with fire, but that was way too dangerous.
(It seemed that the island had no knowledge about Hydro-Tisillium explosion at all. It made sense. Obviously the aliens didn’t want to teach the space probes about how to turn themselves into ultimate weapons.)
Aside from all above, the biggest surprise came with the high concentration of souls.
He found out that the souls’ quantity was doubled since the last time he checked.
It was very difficult for him to process all those strange phenomenon. He had only slept for three years. When he woke up, everything was changed. What in the hell?
Finally, he decided to collect all the redundant souls to investigate the truth and sort out the chaos. It was disturbing to see Jack’s 30-year-old soul aimlessly wondering around the island, while the real alive-and-kicking 7-year-old Jack was taking a beating while trying to protect his friend back in his school. It seemed that everyone on earth suddenly had a mirrored soul, no matter the person was alive or death.
It was confusing in the beginning, but soon the island could easily tell which soul was the extra. It was always the one badly damaged, or the one lost a lot of memories. They all needed some time to heal. “Something really bad happened to those souls.” He thought, but he couldn’t figure out why or how.
The island started to separate them and put those extra souls into a space in his heart, which he called “the Purgatory”. Due to the limited space, he only collected good souls, or the souls that he knew before. A huge amount of bad souls were disposed. It was like “judgement day” actually happened, and the island was the ultimate god again.
Inside that “Purgatory”, he designed a better alternative world, for it was a place to heal the souls. In that virtual reality, lovers would meet each other again, parents would see their children, long lost friends would have unexpected encounters. This way when they were together and interacted with each other, their damaged memories would be repaired and completed. After that he just released the repaired souls back to earth.
Separating and repairing the souls took him two years of time, only to complete 10 percent of them, during this time he cursed everyday for someone who created this mess. The whole job consumed so much of his time and energy that, he couldn’t even have spare time to go around and check the island like he always did.
Two years later.
The island finally had some spare power to reactivate the Tisillium communication core. He went back to the one-mile-wide underground cave.
Well, before we go on, here I need to explain the concept of “reactivating Tisillium Core”.
Each of the Tisillium atoms has an extremely complicated mini-micro-sub-nano-structure. Every atom was like a supercomputer of our humans. They can think and act independently. They can order their tiny parts to expand or contract a billion folds, or anything in between, according to the commands. When one billion billion billion of those atoms combine together, they will formed a core, which has a set of unified code and rules. So though the core itself is extremely complicated, to make it do something is simple. You just need to have the right activation code and some form of power source. The Tisillium atoms will figure out the rest automatically.
In the case of a communication core of the alien space probe, since it had only one goal: reporting its discoveries to the base, the activation code was locked to prevent it from being used by any other purposes. And once the core received a code, no matter it was in binaries, decimal, Morse Codes, English, Chinese, Greek, Ancient Latin … etc., as long as the core understands the code and the numbers are correct, it will start to search the space for the closest relay stations in the same galaxy. Once it finds the relay station, it will send its position and current discoveries to it. And within a year, the alien home planet will know the status of the probe.
Obviously the aliens didn’t want the space probe to modify or disable the communication core, so they put some protection in it. Only a real alien can transform the core to something else.
That was why the island was so sensitive about the numbers. Because every time the communication core received the radio signals of such a code, it would be activated and automatically search for a relay station. If the core successfully found a relay station, his secret would be exposed, and he would have to face his masters within a year.
However, after the incident, things were different.
Thanks to DI. They had poured the worst enemy of Tisillium, water, inside the core and caused a lot of those atoms malfunctioning. The communication core was severely damaged and the protection mechanism was no longer working. So the island thought that maybe he could use the code to recycle all the Tisillium left and turn them into something else. He figured, even if he lost half of the Tisillium atoms, it should be enough to make a new “Purgatory”. His heart was too crowded to hold all the extra souls, and the repairing processes were too slow.
To his surprise, when he reached the location of the empty globe, he saw that there were a lot of equipments, sensors, chambers and tunnels in the sphere. It seemed that in only two years, Dharma Initiative had already built a new station there.
Hadn’t they done enough of damage already? The island was angry. In just one minute, all kind of accidents happened. The station was shattered by the explosions all over. In that minute, all the equipment was rendered completely useless.
Everything was destroyed except some loudspeakers on the wall.
For some strange reason, they couldn’t be damaged, nor could he trigger any malfunction inside. It seemed like they were protected by some energy shield like the time-space barrier he had put outside of the island.
Just when the island puzzled by that little strange thing, he found out that something was even stranger: He couldn’t feel or see anything outside the globe. The energy shield had completely surrounded him.
Suddenly he saw all the Tisillium around him emitting bright yellow lights.
“No…” He was completely caught by the surprise that the Tisillium was already activated without his own command, that he didn’t think about escaping at all. A strong EM force followed the light and pushed him into the center of the globe. In one short moment, he was suspended in the mid-air. The island tried to struggle, but he couldn’t do anything about it. Megawatts of EM force was pushing him into the center while the activated Tisillium film absorbed any energy he exerted. Since he couldn’t make space-jumps without using energy, in less than a second, he was trapped.
The loud speakers started working.
“Finally you bastard jumped in my little mouse trap.” A female voice came out from the speaker. “I was worrying you would not be so easily tricked.”
“Who the hell are you?”
“My name is Amy Maxwell, director of Dharma Initiative. Judging by the damage that you had caused in such a short time, you are a really powerful monster.”
“No, I am not a monster. You are. Do you know you guys have already destroyed the earth?”
“Well, then where are we now? Uh? Are we in hell?”
“I don’t know, but we are in a different universe now. You must have done something so terrible that the old one was gone.”
“Look at you. I can’t believe you still saying this bullshit while being trapped.”
“No, look at you. You don’t know what you are messing with. I can easily wipe out you and the entire human race. So let me out, before I decide to do that.”
“Hahaha…” Amy laughed, “If you can really do that, do you think I can allow you to go?”
From the speakers there was an intensive argument, the island couldn’t tell what that was about. After a while he heard a male voice came out.
“Master of the island, I have to apology for trapping you down there. My name is Pierre Chang.”
“That is more like it.” The island said, “Let me out, if you want me to spare the human race.”
“He is bluffing.” Amy’s voice came out from another loudspeaker. “To kill us, he has to get out of there first.”
Pierre said, “Amy, please don’t provoke his anger anymore. Didn’t you hear what he just said?”
“Yes, I heard that.” Amy said through the speaker, “We cannot let him go, exactly because of what he just said. We have no guarantee that once he is out he won’t eliminate us.”
“Amy, he is the last enemy we want. We should just let him go, before things get worse.”
“You are being soft again, Dr. Chang.” Amy disagreed, “He’s the one who cause so many accidents of us. For a monster like that, we should never have any mercy.”
The island said, “Again, I am not a monster. I have been living on Earth for 65 million years, and I never thought of wiping out a species until now. If you continue to do this I will really do it. You’d better consider the consequences.”
The female voice said, “Well, prisoner, you stayed there and be quiet. At the mean time, we will find a way to kill you. If we can trap you down here, it’s just a matter of time to know your weaknesses.”
The island said, “Go ahead, have fun. Even a black hole cannot kill me. On the other hand, you humans are really fragile.”
Pierre said, “Amy, you are making things much worse now. We are supposed to just ask him some questions.”
Amy replied through the speaker, “No, Dr. Chang. You completely misunderstood my intension. Since the beginning, this is a trap designed to hold him and eventually kill him.”
Pierre was very surprised, “So everything you told me about this station is a lie?! How dare you?! You are risking all our people’s life.”
Amy said, “I don’t care. I just want to kill him.”
Pierre said, “Let him out.”
“LET HIM OUT!”
The island heard a lot of noise came out from the speakers.
After a while, Amy’s voice came out again, obviously she won again, “You are really an idiot! You think your chair can really stop my sonic gun? Lie down there and don’t move.”
The island said, “You should really thank that idiot.”
“Because of him I decided not to kill you all, but just you.” The island said, “His action made me understand that you humans still have some hope.”
“Change your mind so easily?” Amy said with a scorn, “I don’t care because I am going to kill you, one way or the other.”
“This prison won’t hold me long. Your EM field needed a lot of energy to maintain, and the Tisillium need to reactivate from time to time too. Your plan will fail soon.”
“Thanks for your concern. Right now I am recharging the power and reactivate the code every 108 minutes.”
“The code combination will change in the future.” Actually he was lying.
“Really? Haha! You are such a bad liar. Plus, I already prepared for that. We are putting the number in manually, so if the combination changes, we will change it immediately.”
Only then the island realized how determined she really was, “Well, it doesn’t need to come down like this. I can arrange you to see your husband again. He said many times that he missed you.”
“Thanks but no. That’s a puppet of yours, not my real husband. He was dead because of you. Now you will pay for that.”
“I swear I have nothing to do with your husband’s death.”
“First, I don’t believe that. Second, I saw the hostile put a bullet in his chest, and he was your man. So no matter what, it’s your fault.”
The island lost all his patience and became angry, “Woman. In the past, I had created all the lives on Earth. I helped all the creatures to grow and become the way they are now. Since you humans came to the scene, you guys had killed off so many other species, and ruined so much of Earth’s treasures. I never thought of seeking revenge for them. Now you want to kill me because something that I had nothing to do with? What’s the justice in this?”
Amy replied, “To me justice is not important, I just want my revenge.”
“Even it will cost the doom of human race?”
“Yes.” Amy confirmed, “Even so.”
“I have no more to say to you. You’d better make sure this prison is strong enough to hold me forever. Otherwise one slip and I will be out. Then it’s your last day on Earth.”
“It will never happen.” The speaker fell silent.
It was a chilling day in the light house. The winter of 1980 just arrived.
On the top of the light house, Jacob focused his attention on the mirrors. He watched the 11 year old James Ford writing another hate letter to his enemy, Sawyer. He felt sorry for him. It’s another permanently damaged soul. It seemed that every candidate he had picked all had some issues? Jack was under the shadow of his almighty dad; Kate stole things and had problems with her step father; Sun broke a vase but blamed the maid for it; Locke was bullied all the time ... etc (too many to say), and now this. The cute little smart James was gone forever. Now he became a Sawyer. Jacob realized that the candidates he had chosen were all damaged one way or the other.
“Well, it’s really good that I don’t need the island’s approval any more. I will just bring them all here.” Jacob looked at the mirrors and smiled. “Actually now my ideal candidates are the ones whose lives suck the most.”
Right now Kevin and Stuart from the DI are pushing the buttons. I don’t need to get anyone here to replace them for at least ten years.
Jacob was happy. His new plan was forming well. 20 years later he would use his power to summon those new candidates to the island, just to push buttons. The new job had a much lower requirement than being the island’s protector. Almost anyone could do it. Even a professional torturer from Iraq would be just fine.
“Morning” A woman was calling him at this very bad time, and she was the last person he wanted to see.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Jacob was not happy to see her.
“I am here to tell you how to kill Samuel.” The woman said, “Are you interested to make a deal?”
“Not from you.” Jacob said with an obvious contempt, “The last time I made a deal with you. It cost me too much.”
“Why?” the woman was surprised, “I gave you my baby. Isn’t that good enough?”
“No, Amy, it was not good enough!” Jacob said, “Since you imprisoned the island, I don’t need babies any more. The island couldn’t bless him either because he was in jail. So one day your son would be killed by a gun, and there is nothing we can do.”
“I am very sorry to hear that.” Amy said, “So you are saying my baby is not useful to you anymore. Can I have him back?”
“Are you out of your mind?” Jacob said, “He was born by the sacred water. He possesses some unnatural power already. Being blessed or not, he is still one of us. Stop dreaming, woman!”
“Well, if that’s the case, I have no more business with you then. Sorry for bothering you.” Amy was getting ready to go.
“Stop right there.” Jacob ordered, “You still have two things to do with me.”
Amy was surprised. She turned around and asked, “What kind of things?”
“First one. Since that day the sky turned purple, all the women in the village keep dying when they are pregnant. Why?”
“We are currently doing research on it too. It must have something to do with the increased radiation from the ground.”
“Why there is an increase of radiation?”
“What do you expect?” Amy knew he could read mind, so she just said it out, “Someone detonated the Hydrogen Bomb to stop the so called incident.”
Jacob knew she was telling the truth. So he continued, “Second one. You haven’t told me how to kill Samuel yet.”
“But you said you don’t want a deal.”
“Yup, I don’t want any deals. So just tell me how, as exchange I won’t kill you for imprisoning my master.”
“But you want him to be trapped.” Amy felt that was really unfair.
“Shut up. Tell me or you will die.” Since the island was not around anymore, Jacob didn’t need to be a good guy and maintain his soul to be “good”, so it was easy for him to say or do anything he wanted.
“Ok, ok, now I know I am really dealing with a devil.” Seeing Jacob smiled at her like a hyena, Amy sighed and let go of her observation, “Samuel is not solid material. So you cannot kill him with bullets or knifes. He is just a form of pure energy. That energy cannot just exist. It must have some kind of power source behind it. So to kill Samuel, you need to find the energy source. Do you know where it is?”
Jacob said, “I know, but I won’t tell you.”
“That’s fine.” Amy said, “You just need to turn off that source. I am suspecting that the energy source might be the same source that the island is using. So if Samuel dies, the island will be gone with him too. One stone two birds.”
“Hmm…” Jacob nodded, “Now I just need to find a way to let Samuel die and keep the island alive.”
“Why?” Amy said, “The island was the one who enslaved you. Don’t you want to be free?”
“I am free now. Thanks to you!” Jacob said, “Now I can go anywhere in the world without strings attached. However, my special abilities are provided by the island. If he ceased to exist, I will lose all my powers and die in 100 years. It’s not a good idea. Now you just do your best to keep him trapped there, while I send my people to the outside world and build up an empire. With the special abilities we have, we can become super-rich in a short time, and one day I will take over the world.”
Amy was disappointed. The little scheme of using Jacob to kill the island didn’t work. He would still protect the island. The only reason he didn’t kill her was because she did exactly what he wanted. She started to think maybe actually Jacob was using her all along, and he had something to do with his husband’s death. Maybe she was a pawn of Jacob from the beginning.
However, it was a far-fetch theory. Amy could not prove it.
Back to the lab, she was pondering the way to kill the island. Looking at the lab results of Tisillium, she realized that the island was telling the true: even a black hole could not damage him.
So the only hope was finding the power source. She should comb every inch of the island until she found it.
In the Swan station, she used a special pen to draw a map on the wall. Under the ultra-violet light she could see a pattern of each energy pockets they had discovered. They already built each pocket a station on top of them. However, the central one was still a mystery. No matter how hard they looked, they never found it. She drew a question mark in the center. How on Earth can I find this last pocket? I am so close to my goal now. She kept thinking about this unsolvable puzzle, using every piece of information she had learned so far.
Little that she knew, being as extraordinarily smart scientist as her, she never found the answer.