Sitting in an old rocking chair, John looks through the window at the neighborhood, his hands pressed against the intricately-crafted armrests as his seat soothingly glides back and forth. “John?” Meghan whispers, standing in the doorway with her eyes kept towards the man, a response not offered, “I think we should all talk now that the kids are asleep.”
The fingers on his dominant hand beginning to twitch, John clenches hard at the end of the wooden rest before letting out a sigh, removing himself from his seat and following his sister-in-law to the living room. As the pair approach the living room, John begins to hear Emilio and Bill exchange words. “This is insane!” Emilio exclaims, keeping his voice lowered, presenting his dissatisfaction in alternative ways, “she chopped the man’s arm off.”
“Correction, I saved his life” Salem replies, sitting in a seat by herself, arms crossed as Emilio turns towards her, still questioning what it is that she knows. “I’m about to become a goddamn governor, what could you possibly know that I don’t?” Emilio challenges, Salem quickly to name the little things that make him look out of touch, not one of them being the answer Emilio is looking for.
“Tell me, up front and honestly, what the fuck do you know that the rest of us don’t?” Emilio replies, repeating himself to make his reluctance to give up on the question known. Pressing her hand against her face at the onset of a headache, Salem leaves Emilio without an answer at first, prompting the man to throw his hands out. “Un-fucking-believeable” Emilio exclaims, dialing for emergency services once again, receiving no answer.
Keeping herself quiet, Salem watches the man continue to grow frustrated at the lack of an answer from the other end of the phone, his past eleven calls to the police having failed just as his twelfth does. Tapping his foot against the hardwood floors, Emilio continues to stare out at the street, waiting for an answer as John and Meghan rejoin the group, waiting for Emilio to finish.
Pulling the phone away from his ear, Emilio turns towards a wall and hurls the phone at it, breaking both the device and the drywall. Hanging his head, Emilio tries his best to regain his composure, looking over his shoulder towards John, unable to say anything at first. “Sorry for the wall” Emilio mutters, John’s ease to forgive him allows Emilio’s frustrations to lower substantially.
Both as the homeowner and a man awaiting the return of his wife, John takes it upon himself to assume control of the conversation, leaning forward in his seat and coupling his hands. “Today has been a very, well, jarring day to say the least” John explains, not a word coming from anyone other than him, all attention placed upon him, “because of that, we’ve likely been focusing on the wrong things and asking the wrong questions.”
Clearing his throat, John checks the clock in the corner of the room, the late hours of the evening being returned to him in the form of dimly-lit, red LED lights. “Obviously, something is going on” John explains, not wanting to make it sound like the most outlandish possibilities have come to life, “we don’t really know how to explain it in a way that makes sense, but we all know they’re happening.”
In agreement thus far, the room continues to watch the man, taking his lead and only speaking when called upon. “We’ve known about this for weeks, but it seems like it’s only now just becoming a, dare I say, threat” John concludes, his head turning towards Salem, his coupled hands held close to his chest as the woman looks towards him, “and there’s only one person that, as far as we can tell, knows anything noteworthy about it.”
Pushing his hands towards the woman, John admits that he has little idea of how to perceive the woman, but has high hopes that she’ll be understanding and reasonable. “We’re all in the dark here, we’re lost, people that we care about are in trouble, and we’re in desperate need for answers” John explains, showing all of his cards to Salem with hopes that she’ll do the same, “please, tell us everything you know, just so we can try to comprehend all of this.”
Receptive to the man’s gentle exterior, Salem pulls her hands away from her face and looks out at the group, all eyes having moved away from the man and onto her. Looking into John’s eyes, Salem fails to find any well-hidden intentions in his glare, taking his request as genuine, and returning the ‘showing of the cards’ in return. With a nod, Salem pulls herself closer to the edge of the chair, allowing John to retake his seat, the conversation left in her hands.
“A few weeks ago, people started getting sick all around the world,” Salem explains, recalling her earliest memories, “people would feel like they had the flu, then it would worsen, then their vital functions would stop, and… I’m sure you can guess the rest.” Her words stopping for a moment, Salem begins to look away from the group, the images running through her head presenting themselves like a slideshow, each image haunting her like an ever-present nightmare.
“I had been visiting my brother out in Delaware when it all started… Our mom was sick and he was the doctor caring for her” Salem explains, the family visit having turned sour quickly. “They ordered an evacuation of the building one night… It was real sudden… But my brother didn’t want to leave my mother without someone to look after her” the woman continues, her leg anxiously tapping against the floor, “so he disobeyed the instructions and locked off his wing of the hospital.”
“You said ‘was’” Emilio interjects, the attention moved towards him, Salem’s recollection all the same, “When you’re referencing your brother, you’re saying ‘he was’... Is he not here anymore?” Hitting his boyfriend in the side with his elbow, Bill gestures his hand in a way to tell Emilio to stop talking, an order Emilio is quick to follow. “He was with my mother when she passed…” Salem replies, wiping away a tear before it can run down her cheek, “...and he was with her when she came back.”
Keeping her emotions in check, Salem watches John toss her a box of tissues before kicking it back to him, the placement of her foot sending the box directly back into his arms. Impressed, John sets the box beside her, acknowledging her refusal and allowing her to continue. “She attacked him, and before we could get her restrained, she left a nice tooth mark in his arm” Salem explains, her eyes looking towards Franklin, who sits silently in the corner, his amputated arm still stinging.
“He put her in a ton of machines when we ran out of explanations, and by that time, he’d already started getting really sick” Salem explains, admitting that she had still held out hope that the hospital staff would return and find them. “Her brain was operating fairly well, her heart was beating subtly, her blood was still coursing through her veins, everything seemed normal” Salem continues, her head shaking as she finally comes to a conclusion she’d kept herself from saying aloud.
“She wasn’t our mom anymore” Salem finishes, the silence in the room, apart from her voice, still present, her final recollection offering insight into how she found herself in Connecticut. “Eventually… he died” Salem explains with a disappointed sigh, shaking her head at the thought of having been stupid enough to not know what she does today. “He came back, I started cracking him over the head with a fire extinguisher, and that was all she wrote” Salem concludes.
Describing the events inside the hospital like she’d been caught in a dystopia, Salem recalls her escape from the hospital as having been one of world-shifting proportions. “We’d been cooped up there for days, and when I left, nothing had changed” Salem explains, shaking her head in disbelief, a finding she retains to this day, “people were walking to work, cars were blaring at each other, it was all business as usual. The hospital had just been cut off from the public.”
Having found people with similar experiences in the days that followed, Salem began to realize what kind of information she’d become privy to. “Get bit, get scratched, get sick… It doesn’t matter” Salem continues, the tension in the room beginning to build, the situation spelled out for everyone in a manner unable to be argued against, “however you die, you’ll come back, just like the rest of them. Mindless, directionless, and gunning for anything that walks.”
Looking back at his wound, Franklin begins to come around to the woman’s claim, not having found a moment of deceit in any syllable she’d spoken. “So, yeah” Salem remarks, looking towards Emilio, who watches on in grave disbelief, still trying to process what he’s just heard like the rest of the group, “I saved his life.”
Pushing herself out of her seat, Salem walks over to Lauren and removes a box of cigarettes from her side, a lighter of her own carefully clutched in her hand as she walks through the front door. “Fuck” Alicia mutters, the brief response providing a thought process that calls upon the rest of the group.
Looking around the room at each other, each member of the group slowly begins to look towards one central figure, John’s confused posture presenting the image of a man making peace with his new reality. Realizing he’d become the center of attention, John removes himself from his seat and begins to walk back to his daughter’s room, telling the rest of the group to get in touch with their loved ones.
= Rise: Remastered is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 1 onwards =
“What are you gonna do with us?” Jack quips from the back of the room, hands bound, both arms bunched against his sides, gripped tightly by rope. Without a response, the woman continues to sift through the belongings in the office, quickly growing annoyed at the sound of Jack’s voice. Having noticed his lack of progress long ago, Jack becomes antsy, looking to the ceiling and letting out a deep sigh, the lack of answers offering a more uncertain future.
“Are you going to kill us?” Shauna follows, speaking up for the first time in a while, most of the workers around her having been quietly wondering the same, fearful of bringing attention to the topic. Rummaging through the cabinets of a desk just a short distance away, the woman stops what she had been doing, taking specific interest in the woman’s question. “Why would you say that!?” Reggie whispers, he and Shauna having been tied together, back-to-back.
“I’m tired of not knowing whether I’m gonna die tonight or not” Shauna mutters beneath her breath, the pressure of not knowing perhaps worse than the least-welcomed of the two answers. “Do you want to die?” the thieving woman replies, looking behind her, eyes falling upon the area to which the question originated from, looking for the person in question, finding Shauna’s fixated glare in the sea of nervous heads, picking her out from her peers.
“No, I don’t” Shauna replies, swallowing a wad of spit, beginning to grow more worried than before, the woman in question slowly approaching her. “Why not?” the woman asks, slowly lowering herself into a kneel, looking Shauna in the eyes, loose strands of short, blonde hair covering a single side of her face.
“Because I’m not ready to die” Shauna replies, the answer bringing a loose smile over the blonde woman’s face. Bobbing her head up and down, the woman reaches around her side, just below the flannel shirt she’d recently scavenged from the building, from which she removes her firearm. Eyes widening, Shauna struggles to remain calm, the weapon in hand proceeding to waver in the air, only further striking fear upon the captive woman.
“Charlotte!” one of the infiltrating men calls out, the blonde turning back with a grimace, a single finger being lifted to her slightly-parted lips, demanding he refrain from interjecting himself into her business. “I want a real answer” Charlotte replies, turning back to Shauna, the loosely-held gun being taken full control of, aimed at a blank wall in one moment, finding Shauna’s head in its path the next.
“Why don’t you want to die?” Charlotte asks, challenging Shauna to dig deeper, a gesture which goes ignored at first. Repeating her question, Charlotte readies herself to fire, demanding an answer. “Shauna, answer th-” Reggie begins to shout, immediately finding himself silenced by Charlotte, who fires a bullet just beside his feet. “I don’t need help from the peanut gallery” Charlotte replies, keeping Reggie quiet before pointing the gun back at Shauna, “why don’t you want to die?”
“I’m not ready!” Shauna calls back, watching Charlotte’s finger steady itself on the trigger, implying her answer to not be good enough. “No one’s every truly ready to die, that’s why accidents don’t tend to be purposeful” Charlotte replies, her arm stiffening, “why don’t you want to-”
“Because I haven’t done enough yet!” Shauna shouts, interrupting Charlotte, this time earning silence in return. Squeezing her eyes shut, Shauna awaits for her life to be taken, her rapid breathing remaining for seconds thereafter, still no gunshot to be answered with. Moments passing, Shauna stops being able to hold herself together, briefly opening her eyes and glancing at Charlotte, who lowers her aim on the gun, taking the danger of the situation away for at least a moment.
Her breathing calm, Charlotte looks at Shauna, continuing to stare at the woman as a muffled cry originates from near her foot. Glancing down, Charlotte finds a young woman with her head hung, tears streaming down the girls face, a drastic change in scene from the still-collected Shauna. “You’re not the one with a gun to your head” Charlotte quips, the woman below her slowly looking up, her bloodshot eyes meeting Charlotte for a brief moment.
Puckering her lips, Charlotte gives the woman a nod and raises her weapon again, firing a bullet straight between the eyes of the once tearful survivor. Horrified, various gasps and shrieks emanate from the room, those in the room having been witness to murder done in cold blood. This display only going to prove her ability to kill in the eyes of the incarcerated workers, Charlotte disarms herself and returns to business.
Pressing a few buttons on the tube-television, Charlotte switches the channel to the local news, one story after another flashing by on the screen, showing vulgar displays of unbelievable scenes. Looking back at Shauna, Charlotte feels the silence overwhelm the room, no one wanting to make a sound out of fear that they’d be the next to find themselves gunned down.
“There’s not much else for you, or anyone for that matter, to do anymore” Charlotte replies, readjusting her flannel top as she begins to walk back to the warehouse floor, “I’m not gonna be killing you, I’m gonna be sparing you.” Descending the stairs, Charlotte leaves the huddled workers in shock and awe, having written the workers as being better off dead than left alive to face the world.
Muffled chaos surrounding her in every direction, Jess is guided awake, only partially aware of the gunfire and screams just beyond the limits of her driver’s side door. Peering over her steering wheel, Jess watches a few people stumble their way forward, strolling through the crowded highway in the dead of night as if they were still asleep. Finally realizing what the gunshots indicate, Jess begins to assume the worst, laying into her horn without a care over who she disturbs.
Trying to get the line of vehicles ahead to move, Jess continues to lay into the horn, every car around her refusing to follow Jess’ lead. Within a few seconds, Jess catches the attention of every midnight walker around her, all looking at her vehicle as a dinner bell. Just ahead, the lone stroller begins to turn around, its mouth stained with a deep red color, flesh drained of color, a horrific expression draped across its face.
Disturbed, Jess leans her hand closer towards the door’s handle, the single growl from just beyond the thick panel of glass prompting her to pull away instantly. Guttural moans emanating from the figure’s imposing stature, the corpse just beyond her door plastering itself against her vehicle, staring into her soul through the lone pane of glass. Looking in each direction, Jess notices the increasing number of bodies approaching her car, every door having been blocked by at least one of the sick.
Unsure of how to respond, Jess begins retreating into her seat, trying to maintain as much distance between herself and the corpse as she can. Unable to look away, Jess becomes entranced with the look on the zombie’s face, his red-stained teeth and ghost-white eyes bringing a horror upon her she’d once believed was only possible in movies. Before long, just as Jess begins to consider the few remaining options she has, the end of a stake splits through the corpse’s skull and shatters her window.
Dragging the body out of the now-permanent opening in Jess’ door, the young girl from earlier tells Jess to hurriedly exit her vehicle. With another few shots at the oncoming fleet of the undead, Katie gives Jess an opening no one else had been willing to. “Don’t get bit, don’t get scratched, don’t let them grab you” Katie says, running through the bullet list as if it were muscle memory, a jagged rock being placed in Jessica’s hand.
“What the fuck is happening!?” Jess exclaims, a gunshot ripping through the air just beside her, the gun in question belonging to Troy. “The dead are closing in and we’re running out of time” Troy proceeds to reply, scolded by Katie as soon as he fires the shot. “Save the goddamn ammo!” Katie exclaims, another few shots being fired off before Troy has the chance to respond.
“We’re moving uphill from here, Kat” Troy responds, giving the woman a shrug as he holsters his weapon, “we need all the distance we can get.” Asking why she’s been given a rock, Jess is confronted with the situation in play, broken down as best as Katie can manage. “As we suggested before, think of these things as zombies” Katie explains, forcibly wrapping Jess’ fingers around the stone, “if they get too close, whack ‘em over the head until they stay down.”
Only confronted by more questions, Jess is left to follow the lead of the younger survivors beside her, their feet carrying them back the way they had come, battling an incline in the road as they return southbound. Armed with a pair of baseball bats, Troy and Katie begin to level the field ahead of them, the undead standing in their way brought to a heap immediately.
Doing her best to keep up, Jess begins to feel her feet begin to ache, the shoes she had worn the morning prior to work not ideal for physical labour. Assisted only by the street lights above, Jess continues to do her best to keep up, staying away from the undead at any cost.
Still keeping within shouting distance of the pair ahead of her, Jess’ pace is broken up by a wrong move, the sudden appearance of a zombie forcing her to step aside awkwardly, prompting her to slam against the side of a car. Arms and knees scraped from colliding with the asphalt, Jess turns onto her back and kicks the encroaching undead away before it can grab onto her leg.
In a sudden moment of genius, Jess evades trouble by sliding herself below the vehicle, dragging her back against the asphalt until she reaches the other side. Rock having fallen from her hand, Jess emerges on the other side unarmed, two corpses noticing her instantly. Hearing a whimper from beside her, Jess’ eyes are taken by the open driver’s side window of the car, where an older woman clutches to a wrench, watching the undead approach in hopes she’d not have to use her weapon.
No other choice left, Jess lunges into the driver’s side window and tries desperately to rip the wrench out of the woman’s hand, the only weapon at her disposal being guarded by a frightened elder. Following a brief struggle, Jess manages to pry the tool away from the woman’s arms, allowing her to back away from the vehicle just as the dead close in.
Leaning out of the window in hopes of grabbing at Jess, the older woman falls prey to the predatorial corpse as it catches up, biting into the back of her neck as she dangles out of the open window. To the sound of screams, Jess prepares herself to defend her life, clutching at the wrench as if it were a baseball bat. One of the undead not satisfied with the elderly woman, it instead directs its attention at Jess, a swift shot with the wrench forcing it backwards instantly.
With a crack, Jess hears the bones break and the teeth shatter, the guttural moans from the old woman only adding to the sickening backdrop. With the corpse responsible for her having to switch lanes originally now closing in on Jess, all morals fly out of the window. Swinging back and forth, taking out one corpse after another, Jess downs the lingering threats before taking a final, very swift shot at the old woman’s murderer.
Stopping for a moment to catch her breath, Jess looks down at the old woman’s lifeless corpse in the window and rolls her eyes, unable to stop from blaming herself for the sights on display. With little else, Jess looks into the direction Troy and Katie had been going before glancing back, the direction she was intending to head towards practically calling her name.
After ransacking the elderly lady’s car, Jess removes what she deems necessary and offers an apology for what she’d been the cause of. Slamming the passenger’s side door shut, Jess disembarks the vehicle and begins walking northbound, prepared to take on whatever tries to stop her.
“You planning on voting in November?” Emilio jokes while exiting the front door, joining John on the front step of his home, amusing the former militant. “It’s my duty as an American citizen” John replies, the patriotic answer he’d been used to giving for many things. “Can I count on having your vote?” Emilio continues to joke, seeing where the conversation is led.
“I’ll think about it” John replies, moving aside to allow Emilio room along the bannister, a smile flashed as an offer of reassurance. “You don’t think anyone will be voting in November, do you?” Emilio replies once more, watching John’s head hang, his hands already folded as he leans against the metal railing. “No, I do not” John replies, allowing himself to be honest, his hopes for a future for his children having been dashed in the last twenty-four hours.
“I thought, as a veteran, I’d be clued in on the world going to shit” John explains, having held hope that the regression of circumstance over the prior weeks had been blown out of proportion. “Sensationalization from the media, that was what I thought it was” John explains, shaking his head as the orange bulb arrives over the horizon, “it seems I was wrong.”
A few seconds pass, not a word leaving either mouth until Emilio speaks from his own perspective. “If it makes it any better, I had no idea either” Emilio replies, John continuing to stare off into the distance, only squinting or nodding to whatever Emilio says, “all I was told was, ‘if Washington sees a problem, we’ll let you know’.”
“Washington’s been clueless before, this wouldn’t be the first time they missed something important” John explains, catching his own words, feeling the need to correct himself, “but it might be the last.” Beginning to recount a story about Washington from early in his career, Emilio falls short of the goal upon crackling from within the distance. “What’s that!?” Emilio exclaims in confusion, the rest of the conscious survivors inside the home dashing onto the front lawn.
Unable to truly discern the sounds from what he perceives them to be, John waits a few seconds to listen closer, the nearing sounds suggesting the source to be coming closer. “Gunshots” John mutters beneath his breath, catching only Emilio and Salem’s attention, them being the only people immediately around John. “Those are gunshots, everyone- get in the house!” John exclaims, issuing his commands just as two helicopters fly in from the morning sky.
Leading friends, family and other survivors back within the safeties of the home, John locks the entrance and stands just beyond the door, whispering for Meghan to retrieve his rifle from the bedroom. “Where’s your damn rifle!?” Meghan mutters, directions given just as rubber screeches along the ground outside, the vehicles coming to a stop just beyond John’s front lawn.
“Which house!?” one man calls out, bullets continuing to fly through the air, the sound more startling than anyone other than John had ever heard prior. Retrieving a knife from a hidden slot in a wooden end table, John prepares himself to defend his home and the people inside of it. Shrieking from deep within the home, the children awaken from their sleep and begin racing through the hallway, Tyler running into Janice’s arms, Amy running into John’s.
A set of feet dashing up the front steps of the Callis residence, John is left without a proper means of defense, the front door being beaten by the sole of a boot as Amy wraps herself around her father. With a final push, the armed militant kicks John’s door off two of the three deadbolts, raising a weapon into the air and calling out John’s name.
Dropping his knife, John speaks up, hiding Amy behind him as best as he can. “Come with us sir, right now” the soldier exclaims, not getting his way at first, John demanding to know where he is going. “Come with us, right now!” the soldier shouts again, raising the barrel of his gun towards the man, who instinctively puts one hand up, the other wrapped around his daughter.
“I’ll go, just tell me if it’s safe for my daughter!” John exclaims, luck coming just in the nick of time. “Yes, but you and your daughter only!” a second soldier shouts, this one much more receptive than the first. “Guys, get somewhere safe and secluded!” John exclaims, approaching the soldiers with his arms still raised. Before he can finish, the first soldier takes John by the arm and begins tugging him through the door, ripping him away from the home and leading him to a van.
Taking a momentary glance at the rest of the armed forces, John notices the lack of government symbols on their uniforms, the logos feeling more private and corporatized than militant and federal. Looking out at perhaps a greater concern, John watches the private military begin firing into a crowd of oncoming corpses, bullets penetrating the fleshy bodies of the dead.
Thrown into a van, the soldiers call for the forces to retreat, the order being the final thing heard by John before the door slams shut. “Howdy, Cowboy” a woman’s voice coos from beside John, the man turning towards the woman, finding an unfamiliar face. “You’re even prettier in person” the woman exclaims, playfully flirting with the man, his frenzied rush for answers amusing her.
“Relax and sink into your seat” the woman explains, Amy’s crying keeping him from progressing with the line of questions. “I’m Charlotte Walters” the woman introduces herself, holding out one hand for a handshake that is never reciprocated, “we have a long ride ahead of ourselves, so let’s get acquainted with each other.”
Feeling uncomfortable, John watches Charlotte flash him a smile, her joy in his displeasure and the recently-bandaged gunshot wound on her shoulder something that fails to sit well with him. Pulling her jacket over her arm, Charlotte conceals the gunshot wound and directs the driver forward, pulling her forces away from the neighborhood, getting her journey underway.
“Someone give me a phone number!” Emelio calls out, the home having been abandoned by the militants. Grabbing a marker, Emilio writes down the phone number given by Janice, telling her to keep the phone on her. “Where are you going!?” Lauren chirps as Emilio dashes out of place, the man just insisting the residents trust him. “This could be our ticket out, we can’t lose it!” Emilio exclaims, dashing into the basement and bolting through the backdoor.
Confused, Janice does as she was told, grabbing a charging cord and her phone, keeping it in one of her jacket pockets, giving Emilio the trust he’d requested. “We’ve got problems!” Franklin exclaims from the back of the home, bolting back into the living room, his arm still pressed against his chest, “those things are back!”
Sneaking around the house, Emilio keeps close to the bushes, watching a horde of the undead begin to ascend the hill, one bullet after another ripping through their bodies. Keeping himself hidden, Emilio begins to hurry up to the side of one van in particular, it’s driver’s too preoccupied with the horde to notice. Sliding into the backseat, Emilio lays flat on the floor and keeps himself pressed against the roll cage.
After a few seconds, the militants retreat back to their van, climbing into the front seat and pulling off after the rest of their convoy, completely unaware of Emilio’s presence. The last of the vans pulling off, those now pouring out of the house are left to fend for themselves. Taking the rifle from Meghan’s hands, Salem begins to fire shots out into the horde, picking off a few members whilst directing the rest of the group to scramble.
“My keys!” Meghan shouts from the front seat of her van, the getaway vehicle unable to start without them. “I’ll get ‘em!” Lauren shouts, dashing out of the front seat and directing everyone into the car. Assisting Salem in the defense of the group, a still-wounded Franklin and a healthy Alicia begin charging back towards the horde, survival instinct taking over with each temple they force the tip of a blade into.
Already having trouble with the removal of his weapon, Franklin’s blade soon becomes separated from his hand, the corpse taking it to the ground alongside itself. Defenseless, Franklin begins to push his way through the horde, a gesture Alicia quickly takes notice of. “What are you doing!?” Alicia shouts, continuing to put down one corpse after another, the force-heavy grunts of Franklin serving as little answer.
Firing shots in Franklin’s direction, Salem does what she can to assist in the amputee’s efforts, soon finding the swarm to be too close for comfort. “You’ve gotta go, now!” Salem shouts, climbing off her platform and dashing towards the horde, taking it as her responsibility to protect the man she’d been responsible for handicapping. “I’ll get ‘em back here!” Salem shouts, fighting for her voice to triumph over the whirring helicopters above.
Using the end of the rifle to crack one corpse over the head after another, Salem fights her way up to Franklin, finding Alicia standing right beside him, also helping protect the man. “This way!” Salem shouts, leading the pair back towards the van until a massive explosion above lights the sky on fire. Pushing back, Salem guides Franklin and Alicia further towards the horde as two flaming heaps of metal fall from the sky, crushing the undead and blocking the trio from the rest of the group.
Hit with a wave of heat, Salem, Franklin and Alicia begin battling their way through the horde, trying to get a better vantage point. Unable to cross the wreckage, Salem pushes the group backwards, fighting deeper into the horde, this option now remaining as the only one left.
Emerging from the home, Lauren carries the keys in her hand, the swarm of undead standing in the path between herself and the van. In a moment where everything outside of the screaming children goes silent, Lauren makes the split-second decision to toss the keys into Meghan’s hands. Demanding the woman drive off, Lauren watches the first member of the dead to begin climbing the stairs towards her, this being the sign she needs to retreat back to the home.
Slamming the front door behind her, Lauren closes herself off from the rest of the group, the horde now too close for comfort, forcing Meghan’s hand. Slamming her door shut in frustration, Meghan twists the keys in the ignition and pulls the vehicle out of the driveway, a final press of her horn calling for Salem’s return. Left with no other choice thanks to the wreckage, Meghan calls off the wait for Salem, Franklin and Alicia, pulling out onto the road and moving forward.
“We can’t just leave them!” Bill exclaims, sat in the passenger’s seat, Meghan guaranteeing that to have been the last thing she wanted to do. “The entire road is cut off by those fucking choppers, I had no choice!” Meghan exclaims, tensions riding high as Tyler cries out for his mother’s attention. Normality having fallen in the blink of an eye, the neighborhood exists empty, chaos having been created from peace, survivors being forced to earn such a title rather than it being inherited.
== Rise: Remastered ==