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On a recent blog by LostFreak408SJ, Aunt Hershey made some comments about the sickness being related to duplication, which led me to do some research. As always, I'll preface by not trying to steal the thunder of anyone if they thought of all this before me. I'm just not sure if it's been said and such.
I wasn't aware that the rabbits from the Orchard Orientation video were duplicated when they were in the vault. I thought they were all just different rabbits painted with the same number because they were conducting several experiments and needed more than one, in case something went wrong. Apparently on the Official Lost Podcast from Feb 19, 2008, Darlton told us that those of us interested in the polar bear skeleton Charlotte found in Tunisia should watch the Orchard video and draw a link between the bear and the bunny. At first, I thought we were only supposed to infer that Ben's appearance after turning the wheel (later in the season) simply explains how the polar bear ended up there. Case closed. But now I think they might have been referring to duplication.
If, in fact, the bunnies were duplicated at the Orchard, I'm guessing that the polar bear was also duplicated when it was placed in the vault for experiments. Apparently, the duplicate rabbits are not meant to be near each other (if we take what we see in the Orchard Orientation video outtakes to be canon), for whatever reason. Perhaps something about the same living thing seeing itself and then freaking out because of it, or maybe something relating to Constants and timeshifts. But judging by the reaction of the science team when they see that the (apparently) duplicate rabbit is in close proximity to the original rabbit, it seems that a major disaster could occur if the two are together, whether that be Constant-related or timeshift-related or something else. Nevertheless, could this then mean that the Wheel in the room behind the vault has a built-in system that purposefully shoots the person turning the wheel off the Island in order to prevent a possible disaster that could occur if the duplicate sees the original?
I think this theory encompasses some recent debate about the (albeit deleted) scene of Ben in Tunisia with a possible second Ben close by. As well as debate about duplicates and even the sickness. But I've mainly said it to contribute to debate about the Nemesis posing as Locke. For a while now, there's been talk about whether the Nemesis or the monster shapeshifted and took Locke's form. And there's been talk about the inconsistencies between Christian's body (and Yemi's) disappearing when he started walking around whereas Locke's body was still there when a new one started walking around. I'm starting to think that whoever turns the wheel is duplicated and then spat off the Island (or the original is spat off the Island, either way) and the reason whoever turns the wheel is not allowed to return is because, with the apparent reaction of Chang's science team in the Orchard outtakes, a huge disaster could occur if the two copies come across each other.
Of course, there are the problems with any theory: 1) This would mean that there are two Bens on the Island as well as the two Locke's we've seen and there's been nothing to prove this about Ben yet. 2), this theory doesn't account for the fact that the rabbit and polar bear were (most likely) duplicated in the Orchard Vault, rather than the Wheel room (although I think the Vault is harnessing the power that emanates from near the Wheel room). And 3) that second bunny from the Orchard outtakes seems as if it never got spat out to Tunisia the way Ben, Locke and the polar bear did, but just stayed in the Orchard. What's the deal there? (I think that's because a duplication occurs whether you turned the wheel or were experimented on in the Vault... but you are ONLY spat off the Island if you turn the wheel [but how a polar bear could get in there and turn the wheel, I don't know] ). I'm sure there are several more problems with this theory. But it's a theory, nonetheless.
What does everyone else think?