Little by little, Justin had finaly squandered away his pack of cigarettes. Atlas couldn't really sympathize, but tried to be supportive.
Justin: Shit, this is my very last smoke.
Atlas: Are you "out" out?
Justin: (nods) What the fuck am I going to do, Atlas?
Atlas: Relax. You were down to what, only two, maybe three a day? You've got this.
Justin: Easy for you to say. And, just how many cigarettes have you smoked? Oh, that's right, none.
Seamus and Lainey sensed trouble brewing and took this as a cue to give them some space.
Atlas: Just trying to help. Sheesh. No need to cop an attitude.
Justin: Trying to help? What, do you have a secret stash squirreled away? Or, maybe you saw a tobacco plant growing around here somewhere? Jesus Christ. Until you have some understanding about what it's like, just shut the fuck up. Ok?
Still trying to keep his cool, Atlas grabbed Justin around the neck, in an effort to calm him down.
Atlas: Get a grip, will ya? You're being an asshole. There's much bigger issues at hand, other than your little freak-outs. In case you forgot, we're stranded here on this island, and we're not entirely alone either, so you might want to keep your voice down.
Justin: Oh, you wanna fight? It's on!
Atlas: Bring it.
Punches were thrown as tempers soared, and papayas went flying every which way.
Justin: Fuck you! I'm outta here.
With that being said, Justin extinguished his last cigarette into the fire pit with one final, dramatic flourish.
Seamus: Don't let the door hit ya on the, well, you know.
Atlas: I should probably go track him down, before he does anything stupid.
Lainey: I think you're a little late for that.
Meanwhile, it had been a long, exhausting the night in the hospital for Alice and Hadron, and things weren't progressing too quickly.
Alice: I think the Valium is putting the baby to sleep.
Hadron: Try and get a some rest, honey. I need to go check up on the house anyway. I'll be back in a
few hours. Call me if you need anything.
Alice: I'm just going to close my eyes for a bit.
Feeling unmotivated to actually cook anything for himself, Hadron choked down a stale bag of pretzels,
washing it down with the last few remaining gulps of milk.
Hadron: No sense in letting it go to waste.
Hadron: [silently] I should probably shoot the boys a couple of emails before I take off. They've got
to have some kind of internet access by now. They're at a science retreat, for cryin' out loud.
Hadron: How's she doing?
Dr. Jenkins: He blood pressure is a little elevated at the moment, otherwise your wife is doing just fine. Sharlene, an intern here, will be performing the delivery, but I'll be overseeing the entire procedure. If the baby doesn't come tonight, we might have to perform a cesarean. Alice is well past her due date, and that baby needs to come out.
Hadron found Alice sitting up in bed, jaws clenched while riding out a contraction.
Hadron: How are you feeling?
Alice: My water just broke, and I'm feeling too lousy to do anything about it.
Hadron: Hang on, I'll page the nurse.
While managing to pull herself together enough to get out of bed, a strong contraction came on, nearly
crippling her at the knees.
Alice: Good lord, this is horrible. Hadron! I think this is it!
Sharlene immediately paged Dr. Jenkins to get into his scrubs. This was her first delivery, and she
wasn't going to skip a beat.
Now in hard labor, Alice was running low on patience.
Sharlene: You're fully diated now.
Hadron: You're almost there, honey. Remember to breathe.
Alice: I feel like I've been pregnant for years.
Dr. Jenkins: The head is crowning. Sit up and try to relax a little, until I tell you to push.
Alice: During the ring of fire? Oh, hell no! I'm not stopping now.
Sharlene: I don't think I can do this.
Dr. Jenkins: Support the head a little more, you're doing good.
Sharlene: Looks like we've got a boy here.
Alice: Hadron, did you hear that? It's a boy!
Dr. Jenkins stepped in to finish the post delivery care and sutures.
Dr. Jenkins: So, do you have a name picked out yet?
Hadron: We were thinking of calling him "Atom", on account of my recent work as a physicist.
Dr. Jenkins: Oh, like 'Astro Boy'. (chuckles) I used to watch that show when I was a kid.
Alice: Hello there, little one. Why aren't you crying?
Dr. Jenkins: Sometimes it just takes awhile to get the vocal cords started. Enjoy it while you can.
Whether it was due to this being her last time experiencing the joys childbirth, hormones, or the fact
that her two oldest sons were still missing, Alice couldn't shake the feeling of impending doom that
had washed over her as she held her newborn for the first time.
Alice: Were you able get ahold of the boys yet?
Hadron: Eh, I sent them a couple of emails.
After traipsing through the dark depths of the jungle, Atlas eventually found Justin, sulking along the
bank of a small pond.
Justin: You followed me?
Atlas: Why did you run off like that?
Justin fiddled with a loose string on his jeans.
Atlas: Look, I'm really sorry, but you were completely out of line. We can't have you freaking out like
that, especially not here.
Justin: I know. I'm... I'm sorry.
Atlas: Look, how about we call it a night and head back to camp in the morning, when there's some
daylight out to see our tracks. The stars are really beautiful tonight.
After their nerves settled, the two boys talked well into the night, stargazing, and contemplating
life's many mysteries.
Justin: Do you ever wonder if there's other life outside our galaxy?
Atlas: Sure, why not? You know, my dad has this theory... I dunno, quantum physics type shit. Something
about a particle and recreating life.
Justin: Isn't that how your mom got pregnant?
Atlas: Very funny.
Try as they might to stay up until sunrise, Mr. Sandman eventually won out over them.
Heavy clouds moved in during the early morning hours, and a gentle rain made for a very rude awakening.
Atlas: Justin, wake up! This is just great. As if we couldn't be more fucked.
Atlas: The ground is getting muddy. I hope we can find the trail back alright.
Justin: I could really go for a cigarette right about now.
Atlas ducked for cover under the sweeping leaves of a banana palm.
Atlas: Might as well have some breakfast.
Atlas: Well, do you have a better idea?
Justin: Don't worry, I have a pretty good sense of direction. It's like I have an internal compass.
Atlas: I'll believe it when I see it.
Soon it became painfully clear that they were traveling in circles.
Justin: Uh, breakfast?
Atlas: I hate to break it to ya, but I think your "internal compass" is broken.
Atlas: Shit! We're lost. We are totally screwed. Now what?
Justin: Oh, go jump in the lake. My clothes are sticky and I feel gross.
That was the best idea he's had in along time!