Hey All! A little explanation before I get started. This is an alternate version beginning just after the Incident (hence the title...). It varies from the original because it's based upon Faraday's theory that if a large event is allowed to occur in the past, such as Jughead exploding, it could alter the future.
One important change I must explain; instead of mysteriously transporting to 2004 on the Island after the Jughead explosion, the Losties (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Jin, Juliet) remain in 1977.
The main character of the story is Theresa Spencer; you may remember her in the actual show. She was with Daniel Faraday at his Oxford graduation, and was visited by Desmond Hume in Season 5. At that time, she was in a comatose state being taken care of by her sister. Apparently, something terrible happened in one of Daniel's science experiments that caused her condition, and may have contributed to Daniel's memory loss. Like Desmond Hume, she too is somebody extremely special and in a unique position to bridge the necessary gaps between time and consciousness.
I hope you enjoy the ride; I must warn you, it will be long. Stick with it. The answers will come. And so, the story begins where everything began and ended, at the very source of it all; the hatch. I'll begin with a quote from Daniel's physics journal; a message written to him from his Mother who desperately hoped he was the key to averting his own death, and perhaps the death of many others:
No matter what, remember,
I will always love you.
Jack's eyes snap open. His pupils adjust to the fluorescent lighting hanging above him. He was expecting to awaken inside his L.A. apartment; instead, he's lying on a thin mattress of an operating table. The tension of an oxygen mask pinches his neck as he picks his head up to orient himself. His body aches and his muscles are weakened as if he were sedated.
The rhythm of his heart pulses faintly in the background. The medical equipment he's connected to is outdated; devices he hasn't seen since his first year of med school. He pulls the mask below his chin and coughs as he inhales the stale humid air. The walls of the room are rusty unpolished metal, like the interior of a ship. He may be inside a hospital, but it's certainly not St. Sebastian's. A plastic id bracelet stamped "Patient 23" is wrapped around his wrist.
Jack hears movement in the hallway outside; suddenly, an ominous figure dressed in a hazmat suit stands at the doorway. The pulse of his heart monitor starts racing.
"Please, don't panic. I'm not going to hurt you," says the suited figure. Jack's caught off guard that the voice is a woman's. She steps closer; the suit she's wearing looks like an astronaut, except fitted and less bulky. A tiny light within the helmet illuminates her smoothly featured face.
"Can you hear me OK?" she asks, her voice amplified by a small microphone inside her air sealed helmet.
Jack's voice is weak; he nods instead. She places the oxygen mask back over his mouth; he inhales the fresh oxygen and relaxes. She uses an electronic device to scan Jack's chest.
"There was an Incident on the Island," she explains. "You've been exposed to severe radiation."
Jack feels his face and neck with his hands; he's unshaven, but doesn't feel any wounds or bandages.
"It's truly a miracle," she remarks in amazement as she continues to scan his body with the device. "There's barely a scratch on you; there are a few others just like you." She takes Jack's oxygen mask back off, hoping he's regained his strength to speak.
"My name is Theresa Spencer. What's yours?" she asks.
"Jack," he whispers, swallowing to clear his throat. He recognizes the Dharma logo on her sleeve. His confusion subsides as he realizes when and where he is.
"A scientist named Daniel Faraday sent me to the Island to help those who survived the Incident," she explains.
The mention of Daniel's name brings clarity. Jack recalls everything that happened before he blacked out, and decides to tell her the truth of what he knows. "Faraday's gone," he says with hesitancy. "He was accidentally shot by his Mother."
"I know," she responds softly, her emotions come through the static filled microphone. "His Mother told me it would happen. She made me swear never to tell him."
"His Mother? Mrs. Hawking told you?" Jack asks, trying his best to piece the situation together.
"Yes, Eloise Hawking. Do you know her?" Theresa replies.
"Yes, I spoke with her," Jack responds as he sits up in bed and massages his forehead. "She led us to the bomb. We detonated it thinking it would prevent the Incident."
Theresa turns the scanning device off and gives Jack her full attention. "You spoke to Eloise where? In L.A. or on the Island?" she asks, her tone slightly demanding.
"Both," Jack remarks before taking another breath from the oxygen mask. "I saw her on the Island just before the Incident, but she also told us how to get back here."
"I understand," she replies with a sigh of relief. "She was hoping I would find you. You must be one of the six that are here to save the Island."
"I am?" Jack hasn't heard that type of terminology since the days of Locke.
"Let's find out." She stoops down and places the scanning device back in a box, and takes out a small medical container marked with a red cross.
Jack looks curiously at the container. "What is that?"
She opens it and reveals a set of six syringes. "Something to ensure your survival."
"Only six survived?" Jack asks, disappointed in the outcome of what he thought would save everyone on the Island.
"That's right; only six. Dr. Chang instructed those who weren't exposed to radiation to immediately evacuate in the submarine," she explains.
Theresa takes a syringe out of the container and clears the tip of the needle. "Those who were already exposed, were left behind; perhaps 100 people including yourself. Several nurses and doctors stayed behind to take care of them, but unfortunately everyone is dead; except for you and your friends."
"My friends and I are the six who survived?" Jack asks, hoping to see his friends again.
"Yes. They're here somewhere in this building. They were being taken care of by the nurses, just like you were," she explains. "All of them are still alive except for the Middle Eastern man, patient #16."
Jack is elated at the news his friends are alive, especially Kate; but also saddened by the loss of another close friend he met on the Island. "Sayid Jarrah," Jack remarks softly, shaking his head. "He never had a chance. He was shot in the stomach before all of this happened."
"You did the right thing, Jack. Believe me, it would have been much worse if that bomb didn't go off," Theresa explains. "Unfortunately, it's only a temporary solution; the energy pocket will inevitably build back up. The release button at the Swan still needs to be built."
Theresa lifts Jack's shirt sleeve to inject his shoulder. "Now, this will sting for only a second," Theresa warns. The large gloves of her hazmat suit make it difficult to steady the syringe.
"I can do it," Jack smiles and replies. "I'm a doctor."
"You're a doctor?" she replies with a smile.
Jack notices a drop of blood dribble from her nose.
"Is something wrong?" she asks.
"You're nose," he points to her face.
She feels the tickling of blood touch her lips. "Oh no," she cringes reaching for her face, momentarily forgetting her face is shielded by the glass of her helmet. "This wasn't supposed to happen," she says, her voice quivering. She steps back and pushes several buttons on the waist belt of her suit. Pressurized air releases from her helmet and the suit begins to deflate. A fog like mist forms over the interior of her helmet.
"What are you doing?" Jack shouts, pulling himself off the bed.
"It's no use. I've been exposed," her voice muffled from behind the glass. The amplification of her suit microphone is turned off. "This suit has been compromised."
She wrestles the helmet until it comes off; her long wavy hair unravels to her shoulders. She takes one of the syringes and quickly injects it into Jack's shoulder. "It's very important that you survive," she explains, her natural voice no longer shielded behind the helmet.
The antidote spreads quickly through his bloodstream. His eyes become heavy as he fights to stay conscious. His muscles further weaken and the confusion he had when he first awoke returns.
"Look for me on the other side, Jack."
His body relaxes as he falls asleep on the floor.