Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Accidental Tourist (Interlude 2)

"We don't know what happened to him."

"Well, did he leave any signs of a struggle? Did anyone see blood or torn clothing?

"No," Sayid signed, a little less patiently than usual. "No struggle. No sign of anything - of Sawyer, of his companions, or of the van. They just vanished."

Taylor tapped Sayid on the shoulder. This was apparently a habit of his, and not one that Sayid found pleasant.

"Is this how you run all your meetings?" Taylor stage-whispered, causing a few people to glare at him.

"Should we start a search party?" asked Desmond. "I'll lend a hand. Shouldn't leave them out there, y'know."

"A search party would be futile," said Sayid. "We have no idea where they are. We don't know if the Others took them. For all we know, they ... fell down a hole. Into a tiger trap. or it's another anomaly of the island."

"Well, we still should ..."

Taylor stepped forward then, his hands outstretched. "All right, now I've had just enough of this. Obviously, you people are starved for some semblance of order. You don't show any respect for this man, Shaheed, who is trying to act as your leader, and you don't even have the decency to raise your hand when you ask a question." Turning to Sayid, he winked and said, "let me see if I can whip these people into shape for you. Don't worry - I'm a Town Selectman. I'm experienced at these matters."

"Sayid, who is this guy?"

"Ah. Now that is a point of information. You're out of order, but I'll accept the question. My name is Taylor Doose, and I'm a businessman and political figure of some stature back in my home stateside."

"He was ... in the place where our people vanished," Sayid interjected. "But he's harmless. He's not one of the Others. He just appeared, as far as we can tell."

People began shouting. "How can you know that?"

"Ben said he wasn't one of the Others!"

"We can't prove that he's who he says he is!"

Taylor held up his hands, trying to restore order. "People, people. I'm happy to answer questions, but only one at a time. You simply must show some level of decorum."

Desmond signaled Sayid and the two began whispering hurriedly while Taylor attempted to prove his innocence. "No, no guns. I can't even shoot a gun. Who are these Other people, anyway, and why are they waving guns at you?"

"I believe we have a solution to part of our struggle," Sayid declared. "We may not be able to find Sawyer and our other friends yet, but we can prove if this man is on our side."

"Well, excellent." Taylor showed visible relief - the crowd had begun encircling him in a way he found uncomfortable. "Name the job, I'll do it."

"This'll be easy. Simply go out to the fence and back," Desmond explained, his voice soothing as a lullaby. "A short walk in the woods."

"A walk?" Taylor was perplexed. "You want me to take a walk? Well, fine. Do I get a merit badge when I'm finished?" He chuckled loudly and waited for the crowd to join him. No one did.

"So ... where's this fence?"