Gloriosa

A LOST fanfiction

Disclaimer: LOST and all of its characters and situations belong to… well, Disney, actually. Isn't that weird? And I certainly wouldn't presume to own Ben… Circe Widmore *is* mine however.

Summary: Ben and Charles are playing a game that may be the longest con of all. When Widmore's other daughter crashes with 815 will she become a pawn in their game, or is she destined for a much greater role? (AU no time travel Ben/OC??? Sawyer/OC???)

Episode 1: Co-Pilot

"I just finished the final edits," the author said with a smile. "That's why was in Sydney. Had to give the manuscript to my agent."

"Mmm." Circe brushed the loose bits of her stark white bangs back into the rest of her long, raven colored hair and drummed her fingers on the arm rest. "Couldn't you ya know, email it to him?"

Gary Troup shook his head. "My agent, Mr. Black is very traditional. I'm surprised he doesn't expect my books in longhand."

Troup laughed at this, but Circe only managed a polite smile. The conceited writer had been interesting to talk to for a while, but he'd been talking about his new book, Bad Twin for almost half an hour. It was some DaVinci Code style potboiler by the sound of it, all flash and no substance. Not that there was anything wrong with flash, but you had to be able to back it up.

The young woman shifted in her seat. Out of the corner of her she saw some dark haired guy flitting with a flight attendant. She sighed. It was going to be a long flight.

"So, what are you going to LA for?"

000

Circe wiped her brow as she pushed through the mob of people, dragging the trunk behind her. Some of them turned to glare at her as she shoved them aside, her head down and her teeth gritted.

"'Scuse me, pardon me. Invader coming through."

Weren't they supposed to treat guests better than this? Not to mention it was sweltering in the convention hall, even though it was only early spring in the southern hemisphere. Technically, she realized it was the first day of spring.

That didn't make up for the fact that she was dying of thirst and about to be late for her second panel.

She found the door, and pulled it open, barging through it, and up the isles to the speaker's table. Moran and Sceurman were already there. The former was smirking at her, again; the letch. She was painfully aware that her pale blue tank top was probably see-through by this point. A few members of the crowd got up and applauded her as she took her seat. That put Moran in his place.

Circe wished they'd asked Jerome Clark to come instead of them. At least that little preacher-looking troll had had the decency to buy her a drink before ogling a girl a half his age.

The panel moderator raised his eyebrow at her. Ready?

She nodded and grabbed the bottled water on the table, downing about half of it in one gulp.

The moderator smiled and walked up to the podium. "Folks, I'd like you to welcome Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, authors and editors of the Weird US series, and to Miss Circe Widmore maintainer and primary writer of the 'Finding Fairyland' blog. As I'm sure you've all guessed, since it's included in your program, this is a panel discussion on so called "Vile Vortices, and High Weirdness Locations". I have a list of pre-submitted questions, and should time allow we will take more questions towards the end of the session. Gentlemen and lady, are we ready?"

The authors gave their ascent, and the moderator drew a card from his stack of three-by-fives.

"This is a question for all of you from Tim S. in Sydney. He asks 'Do you believe that strong electromagnetic fields are likely to cause high abnormality, or vice versa?'"

Sceurman looked at the two other authors before starting to answer. Circe shrugged. It was a dull question nobody knew the answer to. They were related in some way, obviously, but nobody had yet determined cause and effect.

"Well, if I may start," Sceurman said, "obviously there are two theories on that."

The crowd laughed.

Circe finished off her bottle of water, and motioned for one of the security guys to bring another.

000

"Mm?" she wrinkled her nose, trying to figure out what Gary had said a moment before while she was daydreaming. Her father, bless his husk of a heart, said that she wrote about fairyland so damn much because she was always off in it.

"I asked why you were heading to LA."

"Oh. I live there."

"Really?" Gary asked, raising his eyebrows, "I thought from your accent you were Australian."

"Nope. British. Haven't been there in ages, though." She added the last part to ensure he wouldn't ask her about the queen's health, or bangers and mash, or any of the other inane things people inevitable asked when they found out you were from England.

The two of them both paused as some jerk flew up the isle toward the bathroom, followed by airplane staff. Circe gazed after him, sure she'd seen him before.

"Couldn't stand the weather, huh?"

She grimaced, her attention snapping back to the author but was saved from making a meaningful response when the plane shuddered under a bought of turbulence.

The Seatbelts sign went on with a 'bing' noise.

"Ladies and gentlemen the pilot has switched on the fasten seatbelts sign. Please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts."

Circe strapped herself in, and nodded to him. "Don't want to fall off the plane."

"Er, right."

Troup kept talking, but she ignored him, holding the armrests as the turbulence got steadily worse. This was hardly her first time flying, but that didn't mean she had to like it. She tried to breathe deeply.

The plane jolted even more violently, and several rows ahead of them a man was thrown into the air where he bounced against the ceiling.

"What the hell?" Troup gasped.

Yellow air masks were vomited from above the baggage compartments, dangling down in front of the 815 passengers. Now Circe felt panic fluttering around in her stomach like frightened starlings. Or maybe that was the drop in pressure.

She grabbed the air mask and clamped it to her face.

'Of all the damned flights the con had to pick,' she thought desperately, 'they picked this one. Well, they can sure as hell forget having me back next year.'

And then the plane made a horrible noise.

000

Ben stepped out of his house and into the bright sunlight, sparing a moment to glance at Juliet before he strode forward. He walked ahead of the rest of his people massing them on the common lawn, all of them brought outside by the same thunderous shaking that had drawn Ben away from his piano. Like them he looked up at the sky. Unlike them, he already had an inkling of what was going on.

Ben shielded his watery blue eyes from the sun as he gazed upward. Overhead a plane was crashing. They watched as it split into three pieces crashing to the island.

Ben could sense that there were opportunities here that were not to be wasted. "Goodwin," he said, glancing over at him. "Did you see where the tail landed?"

The man rushed over. "Yeah, probably in the water."

"You run and you can make that shore line in an hour." He nodded toward the direction the tail had crashed, not waiting to see Goodwin's reaction. Whether he knew what he had done or not was irrelevant.

Ben looked at the rest of the crowd and made a quick decision as to who would be the best man for the more difficult mission. "Ethan," he called, as the tall surgeon came forward, "get up there to that fuselage. There may actually be survivors; and you're one of them. A passenger— in shock. Come up with an adequate story if they ask. Stay quiet if they don't. Listen, learn, don't get involved. I want lists in three days." He looked back and forth between the two men, indicating that these instructions applied to both of them. He mentally reviewed what he had said. Was there anything further? No. "Go."

The two of them broke apart and ran.

Now that that was done, he turned his attention back to Juliet. Where had she been all morning? He stepped toward her, and looked at the book she was holding. Stephen King. Touching the cover gingerly he had to suppress a frustrated chuckle.

"So I guess I'm out of the book club."

000

Circe felt the warm sun streaming onto her face and wondered who she was going to kill for leaving the blinds open the night before. Neither of her roommates could be that stupid, could they? Well, it must have been a rough night, Circe felt her head pounding, and her mouth tasted bad­­­­­- like copper. No, not copper, blood. And there was something desperately wrong with her bed.

As some of the fog receded from her brain she realized that she could not possibly be in her bed— not unless it had turned to sad overnight.

And then she realized people were screaming.

Her eyes snapped open, mismatched blue and brown staring up at the blindingly brilliant blue sky. Someone ran by her, kicking up bright yellow sand.

The plane— the plane must have crashed.

She leapt up, and looked around her, feeling sore, and unsteady on her feet, trying to understand what had happened. There had been some bad turbulence, and then what? Had she fainted?

Whatever may have happened, the scene now was chaos. Smoke and the whine of one still working jet engine filled the air. Dangerous debris was still falling. All around her injured passengers lay prone, or helped one another limp out of harm's way. Circe had yet to open her mouth, but everyone else was screaming.

"WAAAALLLT?!"

"Stay away from the gas. Stay there!"

She closed her eyes and tucked her chin into her chest, holding her hands over her ears, hoping desperately that the horrible scene would go away, that it was just a dream. But she couldn't shut out the screaming, or the engine's persistent whine.

"Give me a hand!"

Circe opened her eyes, tentatively, and saw a man only a few yards away in a tattered suit motioning for help. She recognized him from the plane; he'd been the man flirting with the flight attendant. He didn't look so smug now that he was leaning over an injured man, trapped by the engine under piles of debris.

"You, c'mon, come over here. Give me a hand!" he beckoned to her desperately.

She made up her mind, and hurried forward, kneeling down, and along with the man in the suit, and two other men, grabbed the wreckage.

"On the count of 2," the man said, "1, 2— 3!"

Circe hefted the debris; it seemed to be a pole, or pylon, with all her might, as the man in the suit pulled the injured man away. She sucked in a breath through her teeth as she saw his leg, a bloody mass that was hardly recognizable as a limb. The let go of the wreckage when he was out from under.

The man in the suit began to tie a tourniquet around the bloody leg, but another pitiable scream, distracted him, and he stood. "Okay, get him out of here. Get him away from the engine. Get him out of here."

As he left, Circe nodded to the bald man who'd helped lift the wreckage. "We'd better do that," she said. She noticed he had a large gash over one eye. Circe wondered if she looked any better.

He nodded, and looked down at the man. "Come on, son."

The grabbed the man under his armpits and hefted him up to his good foot. Circe couldn't think about the other one without cringing. Together they carried him, barely conscious, further away from the wreck.

Suddenly the bald man turned, letting go of the injured. Circe had to strain not to fall over under the sudden wait. She turned to see what had happened.

"Hey, hey, get away!" the bald man was calling. "Get away from there."

Circe had turned just in time to see Gary Troup get sucked into the gaping maw of the jet engine.

It exploded with a fiery fury that Circe felt more than heard as it threw her and everyone near back to the ground. She felt its heat wash over her, her eyes squeezed shut as she lay against the sand.

'I'm going to die, I'm going to die,' she thought. She felt small pieces of debris striking her back. She thought she heard larger ones falling. She felt something arm on her shoulder, and flinched.

But it was a hand, and from the voice that followed, she could tell it belonged to the bald man. "Are you alright, miss…"

"Circe," she supplied, turning gingerly over onto her side. The body of the injured man lay right next to her.

"Is he?" she asked.

"I think he's unconscious," the bald man says. "I'm John. Can you get up?"

"I think so."

"Good. Something tells me we'd all be better served a little further away from the plane."

She hefted herself up on arms that were weaker than they had been a few moments ago. Still once she was on her feet she said, "You want me to help carry him again?"

John smiled. "Sure, if you think you're up to it?"

She nodded. Even though the man was now total deadweight they managed to carry him a ways down the beach when the ground was rocked by a second explosion. Circe faltered, and winced, looking back to see what had blown up but she kept her balance, and her grip on the man.

"Some day," she breathed, feeling weak and used up.

"Some day," John agreed.

A dark skinned man with curly hair walked up to them as they righted their grip on the injured man. Circe eyed him with some suspicion.

"Here, let me help you carry him," the new man said, in a warm, faintly accented voice. He held out his arms. "Please."

Circe and John shared a glance, but by now Circe's arms were so tired, she acceded, letting the man take her place without protest. Why would a terrorist offer to help anyway? He was probably just an innocent passenger like them.

"Thanks," Circe said, as she followed John and the man a few more yards down the beach.

"You're welcome," he said, setting the man down gently. "This man is in bad shape. He needs medical attention," he observed.

"Yeah." Circe nodded. She reached back and tried to smooth her hair. A lot of it seemed to have escaped from the multiple rubber bands that had held it in intervals down the several feet of length. It was probably vain to be worrying about her hair at such a time, but she couldn't help it. "What's your name, anyway?"

"It is Sayid."

"Well, Sayid, I'm Circe, and this is John."

"A pleasure to meet you both." He cracked a slight smile, "though, I wish it was under different circumstances."

"Nice to meet you too, Sayid," John said.

Sayid regarded them. "I am going to go get a signal fire started, why don't the two of you stay here, in case he wakes up."

Circe nodded, collapsing to her butt in the sand.

"Good luck with that, Sayid," John said, sitting down as well.

The two of them say in silence with the injured man. Around them, the chaos was growing quieter as people began to huddle in small groups, the immediate danger seeming past.

Circe looked up at the sky, wondering how long it would be until they were rescued. On the horizon, clouds were moving in, starting to eat up the blue sky.

A shadow fell over them.

"Hey, Baldy, got a light?" asked a man with a strong southern US accent.

Startled, Circe looked up. Standing above them was a young, somewhat grizzled looking man, with an unlit cigarette in his hand.

"Nope, sorry," John said, smiling.

"How about you, Rapunzel?"

Circe grimaced, reminded of her old school nickname. She patted her pockets, and squinted up at him "I guess not. I had one in may carry on, though, if you want to help me look for it?"

"Why not. You want some help up, kiddo?" he reached a hand down, and hauled her to her feet.

Circe shook her hair out, and headed back toward the wreckage.

"Hey," the grizzled man said, striding alongside her. "What's this bag of yours look like?"

To be continued…

Author's Note: Thanks to the transcribers at Lostpedia for the dialogue in the Ben scene. It would have been a pain to type up. Um, also, Moran and Scheurman are real authors— I have not met them, but they write great books on local superstitions, and I'm sure they are awesome wonderful people. Their names were used in this chapter in a totally fictions and parodic manner that nobody should confuse for slander or libel. I just put them in because I think their books are cool (you should buy them!) and I wanted to add verisimilitude to Circe's flashback.

By the way, Gary Troup really is a LOST character, but you might not know that because he was only in the ARG. He really is supposed to be the one who gets sucked into the engine.

As for Circe, I hope you like her; obviously, you don't know everything about her yet. I tried to get Sayid and Locke and Sawyer in character, and not contradict anything in the first episode. (Circe takes the place of a random redshirt in that one scene) Um, I hope you liked the chapter. If you did, please leave me a review! I'll try to have the new chapter up soon.