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For Lost Riffs Day 3 at lostsquee
Title: Built to Last
Prompt: Twilight swim, robots, and a fairly clean handkerchief. Also using for fanfic100 prompt #4, "Insides"
Summary: Jack finds out the truth about The Others
Word count: 1544
Note: Kinda cracked out. Thanks oodles to themoononastick for supplying a huge chunk of the purest crack.
Spoilers: Up through "I Do"


The hour is nearly up. He’s bought Kate and Sawyer a full hour so he hopes they can run like rabbits as well as fuck like them. But he can’t think about that right now. Not when he has an evil genius’s life in his hands.

Jack’s been pacing this whole time. Sure, his legs are tired but how else can he keep up the whole highly-strung, just-this-side-of-psychotic thing, short of adopting that creepy Hannibal Lecter smile of Ben’s?

They’ve stood still this whole time, just watching him, poised to act but restraining themselves. At least they got a good night’s sleep. Jack has never hated the well-rested so much.

There's only 30 seconds left, and he makes his decision. They’re going to kill him no matter what he does, so he might as well go out doing what he does best. Might as well save that miserable jerk's life. Not that he'll get any thanks for it.

He calls for a scalpel and Juliet, still masked, eyes watchful but calm as always -- Damn, that’s annoying -- hands it to him. He can feel the tension ease out of the room as he resumes the surgery. It's all going well, of course, because he’s damned good at his job. He's so absorbed, he's almost forgotten what's at stake here.

And then he makes another cut, peeling back the last layer of skin and stops. He can feel them going for their guns again. But he can't continue, because he has no idea what he's looking at. Wrapped around Ben's spine is something he can't even begin to identify.

"What the hell is this?" He looks around the room and he can practically feel them closing in.

"What the hell is what?" Juliet responds, still serene but with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

"This.” Jack points at a small black tendril that runs the length of Ben's spinal cord. “I’ve never seen this before. It's like it's been ... implanted. It's not...”

"Not important.” Juliet finishes for him. “Just ignore it. Work around it.”

Jack knows she's not an expertly trained spinal surgeon like he is but, seriously, how is he supposed to work around that? That’s just great. Ben’s going to die and it’s not his fault. He can’t work under these primitive conditions but it’s not like he has a choice. Well, he does, really. But he hates to just give up.

Jack carefully tries to pry the mysterious foreign object away from the tumor but it's too imbedded. “I’m going to have to cut it,” he announces.

“No!” The cry goes up from the whole group, in unison.

"Jack," Juliet is still the model of eerie calm. "I'm afraid you can't do that. It's ... vital. If you cut that, you'll be killing him."

"Well, who the hell has ..." He's still examining the black cord and he realizes it's knotted, just like a bundle of nerves.

"We do," Juliet sighs. Pickett is giving her a look of pure disgust, but she presses on. "I was hoping it wouldn't come to this."

"Come to what?"

"We can bleed. We can cry. We can get sick. We can die. But we're not human, Jack."

She's serious. Jack looks from her to Pickett to the other people ranged around the room. “So, you're what, robots?"

"That's a crude word for it," she says, taking a step towards him.

"Well, that would explain why you're completely cold and humorless," he mutters, but she ignores him and presses on.

"Did you ever see Blade Runner? We're as human as it's possible to make us. Except for one thing. We can't have children."

"You said you were a fertility doctor!"

"Not for us... why do you think we took Kate and Sawyer too?"

Jack makes a face at that. And, for a split second, he wonders whether to be insulted that he wasn’t chosen for his contribution to their human zoo's gene pool. Sure, Sawyer’s good-looking but other than those damn dimples, what’s he got to offer? Any kids he and Kate would have would definitely be the most stubborn, annoying, smart-mouthed children ever, not to mention born criminals. For robots, these guys aren’t too bright. They’d need a nice, stable, intelligent guy like himself to balance out Kate’s DNA.

"Jack, we need you," Juliet is imploring him, "All of you, to keep us going. We thought we were made to last forever, but we didn't know that we could get cancer. You're our last hope. Now, will you please finish the surgery?"

Jack laughs. "This is just too ...” He’s about to say “weird,” but the word has lost all meaning on the island. “Look. I can't work around that cord. I'll do my best, but I can't promise anything."

She nods, and he sets back to work.Okay, he’s a robot. It’s not a big deal. But he can only get to part of the tumor. He finally admits defeat. "That's it, that's all I can do. I can close him up or ..."

"No, it's better if he doesn’t wake up." Juliet sighs and calmly inserts her hand into the opening around Ben’s back. She pushes something until there’s an audible “click” and the heart rate monitor goes flat.

Her eyes are moist. Pickett steps forward with a handkerchief, none too clean, and hands it to her. She wipes her eyes. "It doesn't matter now. Ben wasn't the first. And he won't be the last. It's going to spread to all of us. But if there's no hope..."

Soon, the room is full of crying robots -- or whatever they are -- and Jack can only stand there and awkwardly cross his arms and feign being sympathetic. It’s a good thing he has such an excellent bedside manner.

They drape a cloth over Ben and then he's led out. They drive him to the water's edge. Drive. In a car. Jack tries not to be bitter about all those needless, long hikes in the rain.

They stop at a marina where they have their motor boat docked. Pickett and Juliet are arguing in low tones and then Pickett throws up his arms and storms off. "I’m going to take you back," she announces, as calm and emotionless as ever. He thinks he should have guessed the truth about her long ago.

"You don't need a doctor anymore?"

"We can always come get you if we need you," she says, with what might be smugness in a human.

They get into the boat and she expertly pilots him across the few miles separating the two islands. The sun is setting and, especially after so much time trapped in that fishbowl, the beauty of the island, his island, almost brings a lump to his throat. But he doesn’t want to let a robot see him cry.

“How did you get here anyway? Who made you?"

"Dharma made us," she says. “Some say we rebelled and we were banished here. Others think we're part of an ongoing experiment." She turns to smile at Jack. Almost human. "But none of us really knows. None of us can remember anything before the island."

“So how did you find out you were...?"

"How did you know what you are?"

Jack opens his mouth but finds he doesn't know what to say. So he just nods and tries to look thoughtful.

The island is growing closer now, looming larger by the second. He's not sure he recognizes the beach they’re approaching. Of course, she's not dropping him anywhere near to camp. He wouldn’t mind a word -- and about half an hour alone -- with whoever programmed her.

She cuts the motor when they’re about 100 yards from the shore. "You'll have to swim back, Jack," she says, pointing to the water. "I can't get any closer than this."

"It's okay. I'm a good swimmer," he says hastily, already shucking off his scrubs, anxious to be back among people who don’t have “on/off” switches.

"I know," she says, nodding. "I'll be seeing you, Jack."

He pauses before he dives over the side. "Yeah, sure." He can't hit the water fast enough. The water is still warm and he falls into an easy rhythm swimming. The light is fading but the white sand on the beach is a target he can't miss.

He drags himself onto the beach and collapses. He has no idea where the camp is. He looks back to see the boat, still bobbing on the the waves for a few minutes. He waves and the motor starts up again, like she was waiting to make sure he made it okay.
If she cared that much, she could have given him a map at least. He tries to get his bearing and finally just picks a direction and starts walking.

What the hell he’s going to say to the rest of them, especially Sawyer and Kate, he doesn’t know. How do you tell someone they were kidnapped by robots so they would mate in captivity?

Robots. He does remember Blade Runner and he sighs. Pity. There wasn't a pleasure unit in the bunch.



Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
inthekeyofd
Feb. 2nd, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
This is so like Bladerunner and I love it, from the fact that they can't remember anything before the island, that they can do anything but reproduce, (which the irony of Juliet being a fertility doctor cracks me up, LOVE IT!!), to the way they really are almost like robots..they follow what they are told to the letter, and I won't even get into creepy Henry voice.

Poor Jack, no pleasure bot either..but at least he knows why they wanted Kate and Sawyer. *smile*

Your writing just brings everything to life, love it and love this.

*are you getting sick of me saying that yet?*
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:36 am (UTC)
Tee hee, thank you. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense if you examine it too closely but when I saw "robots" that's immediately where my mind went! ;) And awww, you are always so sweet!
gottalovev
Feb. 2nd, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
that's great crack all right! LOL!

Soon, the room is full of crying robots -- or whatever they are -- and Jack can only stand there and awkwardly cross his arms and feign being sympathetic. It’s a good thing he has such an excellent bedside manner.

They drape a cloth over Ben and then he's led out. They drive him to the water's edge. Drive. In a car. Jack tries not to be bitter about all those needless, long hikes in the rain.


awesome use of robot. one of those ideas that make you slap your forehead going "why didn't I think of that? brilliant!"

loved it!!! heee!
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
Awww, I'm glad I'm not the only one smoking crack here. :) *mwaaaaah*

Robots. Yeah, I just had to do it. I kept thinking someone was going to beat me to it, actually! Because why not?
gottalovev
Feb. 2nd, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
you know what was the first thing that came to my mind, reading robots? seriously? mandroids.

you wrote the others as MANDROIDS. o_o

*facepalm*

halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
I was totally thinking of the Mandroid! I even thought about working it into the title somehow (a take off on "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" -- the Blade Runner source novel), but figured I didn't want to blow the whole plot with the title. :)

Ahhh... someone somewhere is working on a really cracked-out Lost/SPN mandroid fic, aren't they?
alliecat8
Feb. 2nd, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
That was fun! I'm honestly not sure I'd be surprised if that turned out to be canon. It's not any more cracked out than smoke monsters and polar bears! You've got a great imagination, and I really really loved this.
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:39 am (UTC)
Hee, I wouldn't be surprised! Anything is possible, after all. Y'know, I once had a dream where Jack was really a robot and I was busy protesting, "But ... but we saw him swim in the ocean!" So I was going to try to work in the robot? water? angle somehow, since we have seen Juliet underwater but ... oh well! I think this is enough crack for one fic. :) Thanks for reading!
eponine119
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
I'm so glad someone did the Others are robots as a result of this prompt! And you did a great job with it, too. For some reason this line: Soon, the room is full of crying robots really chilled me. The last line really hit home, too. You say this is crackfic, and maybe the idea is slightly crackalicious, but you handled it seriously and I think it worked very, very well.
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
I totally thought everyone would be doing the Others as robots! I had a more serious version and then I decided to crack it up a bit. It is a spooky idea... but a little silly too, of course. Anyway, glad you liked. ;)
demonqueen666
Feb. 2nd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
ZOMG THE OTHERS ARE CYLONS!!

...sorry. I know you don't watch that show, but I had to say it ^^;

Anyway. Terriffic crack, m'dear...almost logical, as a matter of fact. If there is such a thing.
I love the remark about Jack's bedside manner, and him being pissy about the car. Oh, and what he thought about how bad Sawyer/Kate babies would be. HEE!
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
Hee, I know a little about the show! ;) foxxcub explained to me about Six.... who is a hell of a lot sexier than Juliet, you've gotta admit. There have to be some Lost/BSG crossovers out there, don't there?

Glad you liked this! I actually think Sawyer/Kate babies would be quite adorable. ;)
astra2104
Feb. 2nd, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
The others are robots? *cracks up*
*thinks about it*

You know, that actually would make a lot of sense. If canon turns out that way, I will harass JJ into paying you money because you had the idea first.

And how much do I love it that Jack is pissed because they didn't choose him for their fertility program? ;)
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
Whee! I await the piles of money coming to me! ;) Y'know, I'm sure the Lost writers have discussed robots then had a good laugh and moved on. (Which, basically, is the reaction I'm hoping this fic receives. ;D)

And hee, I think Jack is always a little pissy, no matter what's going on but being second-best isn't ever easy on a man's ego. Then again, being reduced to a sperm donor, also probably not high on his to-do list!
fosfomifira
Feb. 2nd, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
HEEE!

I wish I knew how to get the Lost PTB to read this because yes, the Others are robots! I don't care if the word offends Juliet's robboty feelings, nope.

I love pissy, jealous Jack. He's just bitter he's not getting any ;)

Love it!
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you, hee! ;) It does make a certain kind of sense, doesn't it? And yes, poor Jack. I guess he's going to get his pleasure 'bot in Thailand, though!
gemjam
Feb. 2nd, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
That is hilarious! Seriously, I love it! You rock!

You so got all the parts of Jack's character that I like to laugh at. And the fact that you made the Others robots. That is just genius, and it certainly explains a lot ;) But putting the funniness aside, the whole Blade Runner thing really works here.

Can I just say, this bit especially - Jack can only stand there and awkwardly cross his arms and feign being sympathetic. It’s a good thing he has such an excellent bedside manner. - made me LOL. Oh, and the part where Jack's comparing his DNA to Sawyer's. He's damn right about Kate and Sawyer's children ;)

This is so good.
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you! ;) I'm glad you enjoyed and found it somewhat plausible. You can thank themoononastick for helping me crank up the crack quotient here. And now I'm being amused by the idea of Uncle Jack reluctantly being forced to help rear Sawyer and Kate's unruly brood of children!
themoononastick
Feb. 2nd, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Cracktastic! Man I hope you turn out to be right because it would make The Others so much easier to take. *g*

And that last line? Perfect!
halfdutch
Feb. 2nd, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
I have you to thank for helping me crank up the crack level on this! *mwaaaah* And hee, if only they could just flip a switch and turn all the Others off. 'Twould be so handy!

And hee, everyone needs their own pleasure unit! Er... yeah. *looks around shiftily*
siluria
Feb. 4th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
You've labelled it as crack!fic but as we've come to find out on Lost - anything can happen ;)

A great fun piece that I'm almost ashamed to admit that I actually wouldn't mind seeing on the show :)
halfdutch
Feb. 8th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
Hee, it's true. Anything can happen on Lost. And now we know they read fanfic too, right? LOL.

Very glad you liked this! And hee, if it IS robots, I'm going to die laughing.
uhzoomzip
Feb. 5th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
this was great - so creative! i'm getting behind that theory - the others are robots! that explains their eery calm.

How do you tell someone they were kidnapped by robots so they would mate in captivity?

hee! and i love jack getting upset that they didn't want his genes.

nicely done, girlie! :-)
halfdutch
Feb. 8th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked this one! Robots would explain a lot!

And poor Jack. I'm sure Juliet's intent on collecting his DNA, one way or another. *ahem* And Tom too! ;) Thanks for reading!
prettybutt
Feb. 13th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
I totally can't tell you hate her in this LOL. I rather enjoyed this--your jack voice is so intune with the character, and the plot was just scifi enough to make me miss BSG. What do i have to do to convince you to write some jack/juliet? I can pay you with icons ;0) thanks
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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