standardblack: ([Off Island] Looking Like A Lost Cause)
Yeah...I have a strong sense of responsibility. I think most everyone does, it’s a basic part of human nature to feel a certain obligation with regards to...countless aspects of one’s life. Now...whether or not that inherent responsibility is to themselves or to others? That’s what separates men and women into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As for what triggers it...it’s not much more than a basic sense of right and wrong, at least for me. If I see something wrong that’s in my power to fix? Then it’s my responsibility to make it right, and I take that responsibility very seriously. Honestly, I believe it’s probably the simplest, most basic duty of every human being to take note of the things out there that they have the power to correct and to *do* it. Making changes for the better isn’t a hard thing to do...to want to make a difference where you see the chance.

[private]

My family, my ex-wife...they couldn’t see that. Well...at least Sara couldn’t. The one thing she claimed to love about me ended up being the one thing she divorced me over.

It’s kind of a sick thing that my father was the only one who ever really got it...the drunkard that worked so hard to screw me up when he was raising me...he understood the nature of it. Before my wedding, he told me that commitment is what makes me tick...but it’s more than that.

I could be committed to anything...but I’m committed to people. I have a responsibility to them...to help them. And I haven’t always been sure that helping through medicine has been my calling...but I’ve known, my whole life, that somehow...it’s what I’m made to do.

I just wish the rest of the world could see that.

[/private]

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 307
standardblack: ([Off Island] Looking Like A Lost Cause)
Okay, devil’s advocate? Fine...I can do that. Say it’s true...all of it. If I stand on the opposite side of what I really believe to be happening, I have to admit that the things Locke says...maybe even some of the things that Eko said are true.

Fate’s at work here...Destiny, a higher power guiding us all to this spot, here and now. Everything happens for a reason, and it’s something totally out of my control. I was meant to be on this island. I was meant to be where I am, to feel how I feel...to act as I’ve acted.

Why?

Why are we here? What greater purpose could it possibly serve for our flight to go down? What destiny would require the loss of so many lives? What could possibly be so important that it would require this much suffering?

I can concede to the opposing viewpoint, but I can’t abandon reason for the sake of rationalizing the stance. If I agree that we have a destiny by being on this island, then there has to be a reason. I’m just saying present it...even a hint at it. Where’s the path? Where’s the sense? I’ll even concede that maybe God has a hand in all of this. Where’s his presence? Show me one sign of his grace, his benevolence...I’m not asking for a miracle. I’m not even asking for a divine presence. I’m just asking for some kind of order...some kind of logic.

If there’s a plan, there has to be a method to it all...and I know we survived the crash. Yes, that’s classifiable as miraculous, but why? Why save all our lives if we’re just meant to die off, one at a time in senseless acts of violence and brutality?

I know that a lot of this stuff takes faith...but even the faithful have a reason to believe.

And that’s all I want...a *reason.*

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 327
standardblack: ([Emote] Out of Destruction)
It didn’t feel right, sitting in the chair...but he was home now, and he’d take what he could get. Couldn’t afford to be picky, not when he couldn’t go back...it was a shame, though, for all of Achara’s gift of sight and the curse he’d let her brand into his skin, he actually wished he could have her do this particular piece.

The one he had designed...the one he had chosen. A definition of self that *he* had made, not her or Fate or anyone else.

Everything about the process felt empty but the pain. The smell was as sharp and sterile as the hospital, but it lacked the warmth that the humanity in a hospital brought, even if that humanity was laced with disease. It also lacked the delicate, spicy scent of incense that had lingered in Achara’s studio. The light was too harsh, the chair was too industrial.

But the pain and the bitter smell of ink mixed with the flat, metallic scent of blood...there was depth to it. The feel of the needle marking his skin brought him back to those moments in her chair...even if the buzz of the pen was alien compared to the sharp, rhythmic hammering of Achara’s bamboo instruments, beating the brand into his flesh.

But when it was over, Jack had what he came for...over the Asian characters was a character of his own. It might have seemed silly to anyone that knew the story behind the stylized number five that now branded his shoulder...but it wasn’t silly or ridiculous to him.

Nothing would have more than a passing grip on him...not fear, not destiny, not anything.

Whether it was five seconds, five days, or five years...Jack would always be his own master.

Regardless of what her eyes saw.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 306
standardblack: ([Emote] Out of Destruction)
Coming home was like stepping into an alien world after Puqhet...climbing the stairs to his apartment and walking through his door was a dash of cold water against his fragile psyche.

He dropped his bags in the middle of his living room to simply stare for a long moment, taking in the room around him. It was a study in depression, in despair...once neat and tidy bookshelves were missing volumes, texts leaning and scattered about the room. There were glasses, wrappers, signs of a man that no longer cared enough to make an effort. Clothes were strewn around, papers a mess...short, desperate little notes were littered about, detailing Sarah’s movements, names of men that *might* have been Him...

It was the den of a man who was drowning in his own misery.

Reaching up, Jack touched his arm where the ink lay beneath a layer of light cotton. It still felt tender, that sting reminding him of the characters now branded into his skin.

He walks among us, but he is not one of us.

The tidy, perfect little home he’d left was the home of a successful doctor. This was the home of a shadow. Jack was neither anymore...he didn’t know what he was.

You are a leader, a great man. But this, this makes you lonely, and frightened, and angry.

He was alone because Sarah left him. He was angry because she’d left him for another man.

But he was still afraid...and he couldn’t blame that on her.

The rage bubbled over, the pain of solitude blended with that fear in a single instant that redefined his home. It was a small thing, a simple thing...but it put things into different perspective for Jack as he drove himself to the hospital, and later as he set about cleaning up with only one good hand.

He worked all night, and by the next morning the apartment was pristine. Every shelf in order, every paper gone...every note carefully gathered and stowed away in a drawer to be pored over with careful consideration.

And the hole in the cheap plaster of his living room wall marred the meticulous order with a deliberation that satisfied him. He was in the neat, orderly home of a successful doctor now...just as it should be.

And at the heart of it all, it was the home of a man who never asked to be chosen by Destiny.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 412
standardblack: ([Jacket] Your Little Secret)
Fate chooses your relations, you choose your friends. - Jacques Delille

//You can’t pick your family.//

For some reason, he couldn’t stop running that old adage through his mind, over and over again. He thought about it as he gave Ben his exam after the boat trip back to the main island, ora s he flashed the older woman living across from his perfect little suburban house a fake, pleasant smile.

He thought about his people as he attended a small party and made believe at normalcy. His family, chosen by circumstance, if not by Fate. But Jack didn’t believe in Fate.

And when he was done thinking about all of that...he thought about Juliet in her house at the edge of the little enclave...on his arm at that party, helping him with Ben’s exam, telling him a few little stories about the old woman, Richard’s maiden aunt who had been with them for ages.

She was the only thing he had that was real anymore. She was a prisoner in her own right, even if she was, essentially, Jack’s jailer. Ben had trapped her, too. She was warm and funny, delicate and beautiful...and honest, at least as honest as one of Them could be.

She made the pain of missing his adopted family easier to bear...especially the pain of losing Kate. She was control in chaos, a choice where he had none but those Ben allowed him to have. She was the key to everything...and most essentially, she was a good, pleasant companion. Being with her made him feel good.

Jack didn’t know if he could ever really call Juliet a friend...but in his situation, she was the closest he was going to get.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 280
standardblack: ([Tank] Too Much Of Anything)
"It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees." Emiliano Zapata

Live together, die alone. Granted, it’s a little corny, a lot trite, and about as cliche as you can get, but the fact is that it’s true. Painfully true.

I mean...look at us. We’re still here.

We’ve lost some of our number, but it’s part of life: people die and in situations as extreme as this one? People tend to die a lot sooner, and in greater numbers. What happened with the tail section survivors is proof of that. Us? We’re still alive and well, with precious few of us having succumbed to the hardships of the life we’re living. We’ve had enough to eat, and since we found the hatch, we’ve been very comfortable. Our sick and wounded, in varying degrees, have all survived their injuries...we even have a newborn baby healthy and thriving in our midst. I think that speaks volumes about where we’re at.

As individuals, we’d be subsisting. We wouldn’t be anywhere near the level of advancement, of safety and *comfort* that we have right now. The wealth we have can’t be bought our sold, it’s in who we are and what we can do for ourselves and each other. Our joys, our sorrows...they’re far more real and visceral than the experiences we ‘d ever have known in the real world.

Die on your feet, live on your knees...together or alone.

True, that monster in the jungle could easily crush us all under its heel if what we’ve seen...or haven’t seen, for that matter, is any indication. But picking us off one by one? That’s a far easier task...one that the Others have risen to on more than one occasion.

We all may go down one day, but apart, we’d be destroyed that much faster. So if we’re all going to die here? We’ll die together...at least that way, we’ll be that much harder to kill.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 317
standardblack: ([Emote] Inside Relentless Mind)
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. ~Chinese Proverb

Ben said it to me the other day...and I don’t think there’s a place in the world where it rings more true than it does in this little slice of suburban Hell...that’s the only thing I can think of to call it. Call me bitter, but being kept like a rat in a cage will do that to you.

These people...they’ve turned deception into an art form, and I can’t help but think that some of them take a great deal of pride in it. Tom and Juliet...I don’t think they’re those people. Those like Ben and Pickett, however...I think they enjoy it.

So I got taken for a ride by Michael...we all did. If Sayid hadn’t spoken to me about him...I honestly thought I could trust him, for whatever it was worth. I know he was coerced, and God knows what They did to him during the time he was gone...but it doesn’t make me any less a fool for putting my faith in him.

So we weren’t just betrayed, we were also double-crossed. Michael led us right to the Others, handed us over like chattel.

It was Their biggest mistake, because I will *not* be played twice. Every move they’ve made since they locked me up, I’ve gone against knowing exactly where I stood and what to do: nothing I wasn’t ready to do. I helped Ben to get off this island...I helped Juliet because she was in the same predicament I was in, they just trusted her more, needed what she could do for them.

They already played their one card with me...they had one opening to manipulate me, and now it’s gone.

And so help me God...they will never play me for the fool again.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 300
standardblack: ([Others] Through Binoculars)
Read more... )

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 485
standardblack: ([Hydra] In The Halls)
"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." — Diane Arbus

SPOILER WARNING FOR 3.09 - STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND] )

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 318
standardblack: (We Know Who You Are)
Contrite...funny word, that. )

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 560
standardblack: (Inside Relentless Mind)
"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."

-Oscar Wilde, An Ideal husband, 1893


I never asked to be a leader. )

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 480
standardblack: (Inside Relentless Mind)
From the pages of a Dharma Initiative notebook...

Over sixty days ago, Oceanic Flight 815, Sydney to LA, crashed on an island that seems to have avoided detection from the outside world. Between sixty and seventy people survived the initial crash. Forty eight days in, forty nine of those survivors remained.

I'm one of them.

My name is Jack Shephard...I'm a spinal surgeon from Los Angeles. I was in Sydney to find my father, and returning home to bring his remains back for burial. Since the crash, I've been doing my best to survive on this island...not just for myself, but for the others who've placed their trust in me to get them through this. I've seen all manner of strange things, and heard even stranger.

I've heard of polar bears lurking in the tropical jungles. I've *seen* monsters made from nebulous black smoke. I've stood by as members of my camp were abducted and stalked by a group of people that occupied this island before us...the Others. I've unlocked a buried hatch and discovered a button that needs to be pushed every 108 minutes...otherwise it's the end of all things, according to some. I don't know the truth, but until several days ago, I was pushing that button without fail.

Then the Others came for *me.*

I was taken from my camp...from my friends...myself and two others, Kate Austen and James Ford, goes by the name Sawyer. It's been days, and I haven't seen either one of them...I've been locked in what used to be a shark tank in an underwater facility that belonged to the same group that made the button I used to push...the Dharma Initiative. A woman named Juliet brings me my meals and...I'm not sure, tries to offer me some sort of twisted companionship. Another man, Benjamin Linus, sees me now and again with an agenda of his own.

He's dying...and he wants me to fix him.

Yesterday Juliet brought in a notebook and a pen with my food...she said she thought it might help if I could put down my thoughts. She said she thought it might be a better diversion than the TV they wheeled in on the other side of the glass. The hell of it is...she's right.

Under the radar, she's asked me to do something...something big, something that goes against everything I believe in, even though it appeals to the worst of my current predilections towards revenge...towards a means for escape.

She says that I can trust her. I hate her for it...because I know I can't believe her.

And yet...I do.

My name is Jack Shephard...and in just about a day, I'm going to have to decide whether or not a man deserves to die.

Jack Shephard
LOST

((OOC: Hey, all! I'm a little late to the dance *curse be unto RL*, but Jack here's strictly canon through S3, so to those who are spoilerphobic, all of Jack's posts will likely contain spoilers for the whole series, and S3 in particular. I will, however, be putting all of his spoilery challenge responses up in the comm as links to his journal, featuring nonspoilery teasers. He's open for RP, though...granted, he can't do much in captivity, but he could always use a little company! :P))
standardblack: (Jack Scrubs)
Do no harm. The words had once held such hope and promise for him...a future where suffering could one day be a memory and the name of ‘healer’ would always mean something. He knew that the weighty responsibility of saving lives would always belong to him, and that the accolades which came with it wouldn’t always belong to him.

“Who’s working anesthesia?”

“She is...this is Anthony.”

This he was ready and willing to accept back in med school...that his work might be thankless at times and overwhelming at others, but always he would take comfort in the knowledge that he had a gift he was sharing with the world. He was helping others, and saving lives.

Then he lost his first patient.

“Gloves and gown.”

“Jack...thank you.”

The first set of dead eyes he was ever responsible for shone out of his face as he grabbed the slim, delicate wrist in front of him, hating the satisfaction he felt at the feel of bone grinding, the electric spark that danced over his skin at the soft, breathless gasp of discomfort.

“There’s a bullet out there waiting for...for my friend.” He spat, dark eyes locked with sterling blue. “I’m not doing this for you, and I’m not doing this for him.”

All illusions had been stripped away when he called his first time of death...when he turned to the face of God and found an empty void. He wasn’t a saver of lives, he could only prolong them before the darkness finally claimed them all...one by one.

Until he met Sara.

“Jack...”

“I’m a doctor.” he bit off tersely, releasing Juliet’s wrist and stepping back over to scrub his hands again. “I have to try and save his life.”

“But you said--”

“Not Ben’s!” he snapped, glaring up at her for a moment before focusing on his hands again...soap and water, hot as he could stand...not for cleanliness, but for the pain that would clear his head of the red haze threatening his sanity.

“I have to try and save Sawyer’s.”

Because he knew that even if he fixed the man on the table...another man was still going to die.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 377
standardblack: (Jack No Hope)
I’ve done a lot of things I regret in my life…I’ve also got a lot of regrets about who I am, things I’ve allowed to happen…things I didn’t allow to happen…things I missed out on. But that’s not unusual in anyone’s life…we all have things we regret.

The one thing I regret the most, however, isn’t something that I did or did not do…it’s something that I didn’t get to hear.

The one thing I regret more than anything…is that I never got to hear *him* say it.

Everything that Sawyer told me…about the chance encounter he had with my father in Sydney...the things he said there were things that I wanted to hear. They were things I *needed* to hear in his voice, his words. Even if it was a damn phone call, I needed to know what he had to say, and I needed to hear it in his voice.

I needed the hesitations between breaths, the stammer he got when speaking was difficult. I needed the touch of arrogance that was always in his voice and manner to inflame when he started talking about something he couldn’t handle…as if making someone else feel small could help him get through the difficult task of admitting to something that was totally against his nature.

I needed my father to tell me…because then he might not have died in Sydney. Maybe I would have come for him earlier. And even if I hadn’t? Even if that one phone call changed *nothing*…if I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been so desperate to bury my father so quickly.

I know what Sawyer did was a gift…his own way of saying goodbye, thank you, and everything else in between before leaving for what might have been for good…but as grateful as I’ll always be to him for that, I’ll always regret that the voice that told me my father loved me was a Southern drawl and not my father’s crisp, careful diction.

I will always regret that I needed it to be over.

Muse: Jack Shephard
Fandom: LOST
Words: 345
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