I'm at my friends house and we're leaving for vacation in like an hour and I was able to write a very short chapter for you guys! See you all on the 13th. 3

Chapter 19: The Martyr and the Hero

Claire was hesitant about leaving Aaron with John.

"What if he catches it?" she asked nervously as they approached John's tent.

"He can't. Whatever Ethan did to you and him vaccinated you," Charlie panted, huryying her across the sand.

"But you said John can't walk. What if Aaron needs something?" she pleaded, holding her son tightly against her chest.

"Everyone is in their tent. Nobody is going anywhere, they'd hear him yell for help," Charlie said, stopping and turning to face her. "Do you think I'd put Aaron in danger?"

"No," she shook her head sadly, looking down at the baby.

"John?" Charlie said tentatively, bending at the mouth of the tent.

"Yes?" John had been lying down and most likely sleeping but jerked awake and sat up quickly as though he'd simply been resting his eyes.

"We need you to watch Aaron," Charlie said, looking at Claire who hadn't moved. She was looking at John differently, as though now that his legs didn't work, he wasn't the same man. "Claire is the only one well enough to help me."

"Of course," John held out his arms for the baby. Claire hesitated and Charlie put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"Here are some nappies," she said, handing him the cloths. She looked around hopelessly for a moment. "What if he gets hungry?"

"We don't be gone that long," Charlie assured her. "Come on."

Pulling her hand, he lead her away from the tent and towards the jungle. He could tell she felt empty without the baby in her arms, as though she wasn't sure exactly how to handle herself. She looked awkward and smaller than usual.

"What do you think is in there that can help?" she asked wearily. He knew it was slower effecting her but it was catching up a bit. Charlie wiped his sweat from his brow, feeling very sick.

"Desmond took vaccines that were protecting him from this. He hasn't broken out in sores but he's still acting crazy," Charlie pressed on as she followed closely behind. "I think if we can find the vaccine we can help."

"But didn't Desmond take all of them?" she asked curiously.

"Yes," said Charlie a bit angrily. How did everyone know about that? "John said there could be a few vials left."

"But there are forty sick people," she said slowly, thinking hard.

"I know," Charlie shook his head.

"Who do you intend on giving it to?"

Charlie ignored her question and pressed on.

Sawyer's eyes shot open. He could hear the door to the room opening and someone walking slowly up and down the aisle. Twisting his neck, he saw one lab coated man strolling with his hands behind his back, examining each of the patients. It was darker in here now, Sawyer thought, as though to simulate night. But Sawyer's internal clock was all off anyway, so it could very well be midday.

Behind the strolling man were two larger guards. Sawyer always knew who the guards were because they had a blank, idiotic expression on their face and were usually twice the size of everyone else. He doubted any of these guys could spell their own name. But they were brutishly strong and did all the dirty work.

As Sawyer watched, the doctor stopped above someone. Sawyer's heart clenched, seeing brown hair and wondering if it was Kate. But he had taken her red X. What if this doctor remembered giving it to her? But there were so many patients that seemed impossible.

For a moment the doctor stood above someone, examining them and stroking his chin. Then he gave a slight nod.

Quickly and silently the guards bent and lifted the person, who wasn't Kate to Sawyer's relief but a younger woman who had a lot of gruesome looking stitches on her neck and shoulder. She looked peakish and slightly green as they lifted her. She didn't struggle, and allowed them to put each of her arms around their necks and drag her quietly from the room. She had a large X on her forehead.

For a moment Sawyer felt like this was it. They would see his X, and he'd be taken away just like that woman. He wondered if he'd be shot, or suffocated, or murdered. Sighing, he knew he was doing the right thing.

The doctor approached and Sawyer knew he had to look like he was dying. Closing his eyes, he relaxed his body.

He could feel the tiny eyes of this man scrutnizing him and the burning X on his skin. He could almost see the two brutes that had returned standing behind him, itching to use their muscles for something effective.

Out of nowhere Sawyer felt two sets of hands on his arms, and he was being lifted. He made his body limp but opened his eyes as he allowed himself to be dragged away.

As he passed Kate, he saw her move slightly but she remained unconscious. His heart wrenched and he lowered his head as he was carried through the door.

"Desmond, did you say?" Sayid breathed, not really wrapping his mind around what she had just said.

"Yes," she looked confused. Her eyes seemed distant. "Why?"

"I don't know how to break this to you," Sayid looked around. They had stopped walking and were standing in the middle of the jungle. "But Desmond is here."

It was a look Sayid couldn't have described with all the words in the world. Penny's face seemed to drop for a moment and then brightened but not to happiness. She looked terrified at the coincidence, almost petrified at the prospect of it actually being true. She wavered a bit and Sayid put a hand on her shoulder.

"Are you alright?" he asked her as she closed her eyes, trying to steady herself.

"Yes," she whispered.

When she opened her eyes she was looking past Sayid. Her eyes slowly widened.

"Sayid," she breathed.

Following her gaze, Sayid saw what she had seen and gasped.