The Escape

When the bullet went through his shoulder, Dawson screamed. Henry darted forward and grabbed the gun from his hand, put the safety on, stuck it in his pocket, and caught him before he fell.

"Let's get you out of here. You can't get any blood in here. Ana Lucia let me out, and I got your gun and shot her and you and the other person. Lie down on the floor here. This is where I shot you."

"Libby," Dawson said between his teeth, lying on the floor trembling and groaning.

"What?"

"Her name is Libby."

"Was Libby. You killed her. And I didn't ask you to do that, or Ana Lucia! You got that? This is your responsibility." He stopped and stared at Cortez slumped on the couch with a surprisingly small amount of blood on her shirt, almost put his hand out and pushed hair back from her forehead but stopped himself. I thought you were supposed to live. Well, that's the Island for you, Ana Lucia.

"You tell them I kept my part of the bargain!" Dawson raged at him. "You tell them I get my son back!"

"You kept half of your side of the bargain. When you bring Shephard, Austen, Ford, and Reyes to us, you'll get Walt back. Those four and no others." And John Locke. He'd be seeing Locke again. He wasn't finished with him yet.

"I don't know how—"

"That's your problem. Just do it. Walt is waiting for you."

He stepped around Dawson and hurried into the pantry. He had to have food and water. He couldn't run across the Island in this state. Dharma granola bars went into a cereal box he emptied onto the floor, a chocolate bar, a small jar of peanut butter, a packet of crackers, anything with protein and energy. There were water bottles too, and he grabbed one, drank nearly the entire thing, and took a full one. He ran back out.

"Which way is the door?"

Dawson pointed weakly. Henry nodded to him.

"Thank you, Michael."

It was early evening, dusk rapidly approaching in the jungle. That would make it easier for him. He was wearing a bright orange shirt, after all. He should have thought of that a week and a half ago.

He ran through the trees until he was trembling and lightheaded from exhaustion and hunger, then found a densely thicketed clump of underbrush against rocks and crawled inside. He only let himself eat a little, a granola bar and more water, and then he rested until darkness had completely fallen. There were no sounds other than the usual evening jungle noises. A bright moon had risen. He ate crackers dipped in peanut butter and started off again.

No one knew this jungle like he did, except Richard. He went rapidly in the moonlight, occupying his mind with refining his plans for Shephard, Austen, and Sawyer, ignoring the image that hovered in the back of his mind, of two young women with bullet holes in them. They were casualties of war, like Horace and all the others had been. In Jacob's grand scheme of things, they didn't matter. He'd won. The survivors had lost two points when Dawson shot them. But he couldn't quite see fit to award the points to himself. No one had won anything by their deaths, by the death of Cortez and that of an unimportant young woman named Smith. Certainly not Henry Gale.

It was only when he was striding into the Barracks late the next day that Ben realized he didn't have to be Henry Gale any longer. He was glad to leave him behind.

The End