Frozen in place, just staring blankly at the double doors, Ally and the remaining group of survivors look to each other, each expecting an answer to make sense of the events that just unfolded. As time continues passing, the growling outside becomes less and less noticeable, and Lou continues to not hurry through the doors, the truth begins to sink in like an explosive floating to the sea floor, left to inevitably erupt and send waves flying in all directions.
Finally, breaking the shock and silence, Ally begins to break down, her breaths turning into weeping and growing more rapid. Before long, her weeps begin to turn into crying, and the group huddles around her, Vinny not included, trying to calm her. “He’s not dead, he just can’t be dead” Ally says, her pleas to any entity that can hear her going unanswered, as the door remain sealed with Lou on the other side of it.
“What do we now?” Terry asks, “Where do we go from here?”
Other than Jenn, the group breaks the embrace, pacing the floor as they approach their next move. “Nowhere” Vinny replies, forcing the group’s attention upon him. “This is where the future dies” the man continues, walking over to the cafe doors and trying to pry them open with whatever he can find. “That doesn’t have to be true” Jules says, only for his hopeful statement to be shattered beneath the weight of the cracks on wood of Vinny’s ball-peen hammer. “It is. Get used to it” Vinny orders, continuing to take the weapon to the door, continuing to force the barrier between themselves and food inwards, one shot at a time.
“This is where it all ends. Nothing’s going back too the way it was after this. This…” Vinny stops, pausing both his words and his swings as he turns around to notice the entire group staring him down. “This is all that’s left.”
“Well then we’ve got to figure out where to go next. Lou’s gone, Logan’s gone, Fink’s gone. What do we do to make sure no one else drops?” Terry asks, raising his tone to ensure the matter is seen as important. With no one else answering, Wyatt takes it amongst himself to take initiative. “We’ve got to get out of this place” Wyatt says, earning the group’s attention. “It’s obviously not safe here, so we’ll head out someplace safe. But before we start thinking about where to go or when to go, we’ve got to get inside that cafeteria and take whatever we can so we’re not rummaging through whatever stores have been burned to the ground.”
Directing Terry and Jules to assist Vinny in taking the door down, Wyatt moves back to Ally and Jenn. “Ally, I know this is hard, but I need you to stay strong, okay? Everyone here is looking up to you just as much as they would have Lou, so the two of you need to help me figure out how to keep these guys safe, alright?”
Still shocked from the loss, Ally nods her head before taking a seat beside Jenn as Wyatt walks over to Halston. “Can I talk to you for a second?” Wyatt asks, walking over to the end of the cafe with the woman. “What’s up?” Halston asks, taking a seat in front of him. “You have an SUV, right?” Wyatt asks, watching the girl nod. “Yeah, but my keys are still in my locker.”
“Your locker’s downstairs, right?” Wyatt asks, watching Halston nod once again. Nodding slightly, Wyatt glances at the group taking their force to the heavy cafe doors before moving his glance over to Jenn and Ally. “Okay, get ready. We’re going out to get them” Wyatt says, watching as Halston takes in a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll be ready when you are” Halston replies, standing from her seat and grabbing a screwdriver from one of the center tables.
“Listen everyone, I want us all to be on the same page” Wyatt shouts, waiting for the group to centralize their focus onto him. “Halston and I are going to make a quick run to her locker to get her keys. From this moment on, we move in small groups. Less for the dead to grab onto, and fewer people to spread your attention to.”
Walking to Jenn, Wyatt gently takes the axe and turns back to the anxious survivors, still riding a high from the efforts on the door. “When you get in there, take whatever you can and pack it into whatever you can find. When we get back, we’ll start figuring out the next steps. Until then, stay inside and stay alive, got it?”
All responding with their own variation of agreement, the group continues their work as both Halston and Wyatt slip through the first set of double doors and enter back into the warzone, their bodies being hidden by the slowly closing doors until their entrance is sealed shut, and their focus becomes reset.
= RISE and REVOLT is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series from Season 1 onwards belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media =
“Keep an eye out, they can spring up out of nowhere” Wyatt whispers, sneaking around the corner to the main foyer and catching sight of four members of the dead. Standing upright, Wyatt takes the axe and lifts above his head before bringing it down atop one of the corpses, splitting it’s head in two as the blade buries itself within, allowing Wyatt to softly guide the corpse to the ground with less than a thud.
Taking her own turn, Halston sneaks up behind the second corpse and grabs it by whatever strands of hair remain in it’s head, pulling the skull back before burying the point of the screwdriver through the eyeball and gently guiding it to the ground, much the same as Wyatt. Creeping up behind the third corpse, Wyatt lifts his axe into the air and inches closer to the corpse, however, he finds himself unable to swing the blade down before another two members of the undead round the corner, audibly growling as they spot Wyatt and Halston, bringing it to the attention of the prior two undead.
“Act now, think later” Wyatt orders, burying the blade in the corpses head before ripping it free with enough force to send blood spraying across the hall, setting him up for a baseball-style swing on the second, separating the head from the rest of the body as the skull crashes into a potted plant near the main doors.
Charging the first corpse, Halston buries the screwdriver in its eyeball and reaches up to do the same to the second, only to find herself pinned against a glass window and in peril. Without thinking, Halston drops the screwdriver as she clutches at the neck of the corpse and reaches for her pistol, sending a bullet out of the top of the corpse’s skull as the pane of glass behind her shatters from the sound, sending her falling backwards into the secretary’s office. “Halston!” Wyatt shouts, hearing the noticeable groans of the undead before leaping through the open space and tending to the girl, who finds herself bleeding from her back.
“You good?” Wyatt asks, helping the girl to her feet. “Do I fucking look good?” Halston responds, grabbing at her back with one hand and approaching the front door, only to find the horde now having sealed the pair inside the office, taking over the space just outside the window and flooding in through the door. “Come on, let’s go!” Wyatt shouts, noticing Halston staring blankly at the horde in front of her and pulling her back, disappearing around the corners of the room as the horde begins their pursuit.
Amongst the horde, as it wages a chase after the duo, one undead corpse in specific stands still, not jockeying for position ahead of the undead, instead opting to stand back and watch the horde do its work before breaking from them and taking another direction.
“Got any plans once we’re out of here?” Terry asks, looking over to Jules as he helps him run the cafe table into the door, hoping to use whatever force it has as a battering ram. “I’m gonna head home, try to find my family.”
“You think your family’s still there?” Vinny asks, burying a flathead into the slot nearest the doorknob in hopes of prying it open. “Why wouldn’t they be?” Jules asks, pausing his efforts for a moment to focus on Vinny. “L.A’s a big city. A lot of people, they might have wanted to get out while they could” the man says, the tool in his hand chipping the paint clean off the metal frame.
“They wouldn’t leave me behind” Jules responds, leaning forward to start pushing the table again, only to be stopped by Vinny’s response. “They might not have had a choice.”
“What are you talking about?” Terry asks, more confused than Jules at this rate. “Check your phones recently?” Vinny asks, watching as the group begins loading up whatever social media or news platforms they can find, each source flooded with videos of roads being blocked off and surges of traffic across small toll stations all across the country. “It’s everywhere” Vinny says, returning to work as every survivor around the room becomes entrenched in their phones, locked onto discussions about everything going on in the world.
“I’ve got not service” Jules says, trying to reach his family. “Facetime’s down too” Jenn says, still with an arm over Ally, who’s grown silent. “It’s like I said, everything’s gone to hell. They may not have had a choice” Vinny repeats, refusing to take his sights away from his work again, digging further and further in before metal finally snaps, and one final run of the cafe table sends the door flying in with a resounding thud.
“Let’s get in there before Wyatt and Halston get back” Terry shouts, glancing down at his phone before chucking it halfway across the room, leaving it behind in the world before. “I’ll be back” Jenn whispers to Ally, getting up and rushing over to the group of men swarming the inside and grabbing at whatever they can find.
Still stunned by the events, Ally slowly moves her focus to the group of four before sending it away and to the direction of the double doors. Now engulfed by anger, Ally stands to her feet and walks over to cafe doors, picking up the ball-peen hammer and walking back to her original position. Stood in front of the double doors, Ally takes one final glance at the group, still scavenging for whatever they can get their hands on before turning back to the doors and opening them, walking out into the chaos of a dark, barely lit hallway as the doors seal behind her.
“Where are we?” Wyatt shouts, knowing the horde is fast approaching whilst they find themselves caught in a crossroads, lost in a narrow hallway of concrete walls. “Down here!” Halston shouts, entering a stairwell with Wyatt before backing up against the shut door as the undead begin attempting to force their way through. “Where does this lead?” Wyatt asks, watching Halston continue struggling to hold the door back, one member of the horde having got his arm through. “Wyatt!” Halston shouts, prompting the man to hurry around her and swing the axe down with enough force to remove the arm and allow the door to shut once more.
“What are we gonna do?” Halston shouts, both she and Wyatt growing more unable to keep the door shut as more undead begin to get fingers and limbs through the opening, some coming within inches of Halston, who’s forced to duck away from them. “Go up!” Halston shouts, counting to three before both she and Wyatt give up their strength to the horde and burst for the stairs, climbing the spiral further and further up until their vision, already obstructed by the lack of light, becomes even more weary, causing them to trip over themselves and over the stairs as they climb further. “Where does this place go?” Wyatt asks, finally using a flashlight from his pocket to illuminate the area.
“The bell tower!” Halston replies, readying to take another step, only for her foot to be caught by one of the undead having caught up to her. “Cover your ears!” Halston shouts, pulling her gun and firing a shot through the undead’s skull, sending blood onto the crowd just behind it. At the last moment, Halston gets up and dodges another tackle from the undead, catching up with Wyatt as her ears begin to ring from the gunshot.
Finally at the top of the stairwell, the only thing between their entry to the bell tower’s platform and the horde is a boarded off door that seemingly hasn’t been touched in decades. Knowing that Halston cannot hear, Wyatt hands her the flashlight and points towards the horde as he begins walking back down the flight of stairs.
Armed with the axe, Wyatt swings lie a baseball bat and sends one of the undead cratering to the ground below before kicking another back down the way in which he came from. With her hearing returning slowly, Halston keeps the light pointed at Wyatt, amidst a battle with the undead and begins shoving her back into the decrepit wood. Shoving it enough for the moonlight to begin sneaking through the cracks being made, Halston watches on as Wyatt takes the battle to another level, using the undead as shields for other portions of the horde, battering them away with their own bodies as they trip and fall as far as the growing horde will let them.
With a few more tries, Halston finally shatters through the door, stumbling onto the platform as the moonlight takes over for the flashlight now rolling down the roof. Staggering to her feet, Halston rushes for the door and watches Wyatt, her shadow taking away some of the moonlight just before he is taken down by other members of the horde. “Fuck you!” Wyatt shouts, grabbing the axe by the shoulder and using the blade as a knife of sorts. “Wyatt!” the man can hear being shouted from above, looking up to see Halston watching on as he grows further pinned below the horde.
“Go! Get out of here!” Wyatt shouts, ordering the woman to save herself as he begins the process of accepting his fate. Refusing to lose anyone else, Halston readies her pistol and takes aim at the horde, knowing the danger of shooting so close to Wyatt. Climbing further stop him, Halston maneuvers around her own shadow blocking her line of sight and sends two bullets flying in a state of panic, the first burying itself into Wyatt’s shoulder, and the second shooting straight through the skull of the undead ready to take a bite out of his cheek.
Badly wounded by the shot, Wyatt’s strength becomes limited, and the second undead climbing atop him inches closer to his stomach, only for its attempts to be thwarted as Halston picks it off without hesitation. Biting into Wyatt’s boot, the third undead is the final of the undead picked off before the girl races down the stairs and helps Wyatt to his feet, sending a few more shots into the crowd to further the distance.
Finally back to the platform, Halston takes Wyatt’s axe and uses it to lock the door just moments prior to the horde catching up to them. “Holy fuck, are you alright?” Halston asks, kneeling down beside Wyatt and checking on the bullet in his shoulder. “I’m alive, that’s good enough” Wyatt replies, turning slowly as Halston breaths a sigh of relief. “It went right through, all we’ve got to do is patch you up and you’ll be alright.”
“Here’s the problem” Wyatt says, pausing to look out at the night sky alongside the girl, with the lights of downtown Los Angeles just dying out the second they begin to do so, signalling the end coming near.
Illuminated only by the moonlight slipping through the classroom windows on each of its sides, the hallway Ally begins traveling, armed with the flathead are ominously bare and void of life. Stepping over bodies of fresh corpses, none of which appearing to belong to that of Lou, Ally walks around corners and into stairwells, confidently and without fear.
Rounding on corner, Ally finds herself sectioned off from the end of a very long hallway by roughly ten members of the undead, simply roaming without much to care about. Rather than ducking for cover, Ally begins to walk closer to them, storming forward before grabbing one of the undead and implanting the flathead through the soft spot in the base of their skull, sending the driver upwards and into the brain.
Ripping the tool free, Ally lets the corpse drop to the ground in a thud, which alerts the remaining undead to her location. Filled with rage, Ally storms forward without care and begins swinging the flathead like a knife, burying it in one eye ball after another and cleaning house of whatever roaming corpses may remain before rounding another corner and ducking into another stairwell.
Now into the basement, Ally walks down a long corridor without any life and aims for the locker rooms at the very end of the hallway. As she walks past one classroom, a lone undead takes notice of her presence, and begins to walk after her, prompting Ally to roll her eyes. Turning around to face the corpse, Ally uses her leg to sweep the balance from beneath the corpse, dropping it to the ground.
Following that, the somewhat possessed girl plants her foot on the throat of the corpse and begins pushing down, adding more force with each second as the growling turns into near-silent hissing, with the girl atop the corpse staring blankly at the former student as it reaches towards her. Before long, Ally removes her heel from the corpse’s throat and buries the flathead into its eye socket, killing it before turning around to return to her task at hand.
Entering the locker room, Ally turns corners on her way to her destination, encountering one undead at a time and quickly picking it off like the effort was nothing. Finally, she nears one door in particular labeled “MAINTENANCE” that has not only been opened, but has been propped open with a door stop, something that catches Ally by surprise. As she inches closer to the door, she hears a noise coming from within the room, causing her to lift the flathead into the air beside her head and ready herself to use it.
As she enters through the doorway, she notices a figure at the end of the room stood directly in front of the emergency generator. Trying to get a better look at it, Ally begins leaning in, her flathead still readied by the side of her head. As she walks forward, her foot knocks over something metallic, the chime of the piece earns the figure’s attention and catches it by surprise.
Due to the shock, the figure’s hand slips and pushes a lever upwards, restoring electricity to the building, powering on the fridges and walk-in coolers in the cafe as the survivors begin stockpiling whatever they can find, surprising them. In the bell tower, Wyatt and Halston watch the lights in each classroom begin to power on, surprising them as well.
In the maintenance room, Ally is partially blinded by the light engulfing the room, now buzzing with machines powering on and rattling together. Removing her hand from her face, Ally looks forward to see the figure turn around and face her, a can os gasoline in its hand. Staring at her, his face covered in blood, is Lou. Stunned at the sight of each other, the two just silently stare for a few moments, and the flathead in Ally’s hand drops to her side.
With the growling remaining present on the opposite side of the door, Halston and Wyatt are forced to remain trapped atop the cramped platform with little more than a 360-degree view of the gaps between the top of the treeline to keep them occupied. “Watch your step, there’s shit all over the ground” Halston says, stepping over chunks of metal and taking a rest beside Wyatt, leaning up against the inoperable bell.
“If the world’s gonna end like this, I’m glad it’ll still be pretty to look at” Wyatt says, taking a swig of a bottle of wine left inside the tower long ago. “Hasn’t that shit gone bad yet?” Halston asks, taking the bottle into her hand. “One thing about wine you can count on… Is that it always gets better with age.”
Shrugging her shoulders, as if to say ‘fuck it”, Halston tilts her head back and takes a swig from the bottle, puckering her face and shaking her head before handing what’s left to Wyatt. “Not a fan?” Wyatt asks, immediately upstaged by Halston replying, “What the fuck?” through a scrunched nose and a rapidly shaking head. Laughing, Wyatt continues to lean against the bell as Halston wipes her lips, taking the bottle with his the arm belonging to his wounded shoulder, wrapped in a makeshift bandage from Wyatt’s shirt.
“Not much of a drinker?” Wyatt asks, taking another swig. “Definitely not. Never get the chance” Halston replies, licking whatever is left on her lips as she continues looking out at the scenery surrounding her. “What do you mean by ‘never got the chance’” Wyatt asks, watching Halston walk towards the window to embrace the view from a closer position.
“Too busy with school work to go out to parties... And my parents would never let me drink, so I never really started” Halston replies, prompting Wyatt to stand from his break and join Halston beside the window. “What about you?” Halston asks, watching Wyatt take to the bottle again. “Never thought school taught me as much as whatever else I could find. Didn’t take it seriously regardless of how my grades turned out.”
Looking over to the man, Halston looks at him, watching his lean against the concrete supports. “School’s meant to teach you what you need to learn. You won’t learn more online than you would at school” Halston responds, taking notice of Wyatt’s laughter. “What?” Halston asks, watching Wyatt place the bottle upon the windowsill and reply.
“That’s bullshit. School doesn’t teach you what you need to learn, it teaches you what it wants you to learn.” Looking at him as if he were joking, Halston returns her view to the night sky for a moment before Wyatt speaks again, regaining her focus. “Seriously. Why do you think they never mention community college or trade schools? The things that’ll help save you money? They just keep pushing these expensive colleges down your throat like syrup. They don’t want you to be smart, they want you to keep shoveling money into the system so it can sustain itself. It’s bullshit.”
Shrugging her shoulders, Halston smirks and points her focus back out to the city. “Look, you can believe what you want to believe… But the school system isn’t beneficial, and it only operates to push people towards whatever options benefit the system, and not them.”
“Give me one example of what school wont teach you” Halston replies, watching Wyatt smirk and reach for the bottle, taking a big swig before holding up his fingers, putting them down with each example he gives.
“Cooking, balancing a budget, understanding how the housing market works, how to fill in a job application, how to properly sanitize dishes without the risk of them developing bacteria” Wyatt says, ultimately stopped by Halston repeating the last example in the form of a question. “Yeah, when you wash dishes, you need to make sure there’s enough distance between them so they can dry off, and whatever spots are wet don’t stay that way long enough to develop bacteria. Thanks for proving my point!” Wyatt exclaims proudly, watching Halston roll her eyes in defeat and take a seat in the corner of the bell tower.
“You know another thing I bet you didn’t learn from school?” Wyatt asks, watching the girl glance up at him, still licking her lips from the aftertaste of the wine. “How to shoot a gun” Wyatt replies, taking a seat beside her and correcting himself in a joking manner. “Well, with that first shot, maybe they did… But the three after that definitely not” the man says, earning an elbow to the side by the girl as the two just stare at the opposite wall.
“Where’d you learn?” Wyatt asks, watching Halston shyly glance at the floor, folding her hands together between her legs. “My dad” the girl replies, leaning her head against the wall and staring up at the scaffolding above. “He thought I should learn before it was too late. He didn’t want me running into trouble without something to defend myself.”
“Wait… So that’s… That’s your gun?” Wyatt asks, now surprised as he watches Halston nod. “You brought it on campus?” Wyatt asks, watching the girl shrug. “We’re a private school, we don’t have metal detectors. I can get away with it pretty easily” she says, her voice growing fainter as she begins to feel bad for her actions. “Why? I mean.. Why’d you bring it?” Wyatt asks, watching the girl’s head drop down.
“It reminds me of him” Halston replies, not noticing Wyatt stare up in a moment of realization. “That’s right” the man replies, turning to face the girl, still sinking her head down. “I know I never told you… But I’m sorry you had to go through that” Wyatt says, placing his hand on the girl’s shoulder and lightly rubbing it with his hand. “It’s never easy losing someone you love” Wyatt continues, watching Halston take the pistol from the ground beside her and hold it in her hands.
“It was hard… But things just happen sometimes” Halston replies, her voice no longer faint, but lingering pain being easily noticeable. “There’s nothing you can do” The girl responds, prompting Wyatt to pull her in and hold her next to his chest, embracing her as she exhales in breaths of hidden-away sadness.
“I’m sure he’d be very proud of you right now” Wyatt says, getting smile on Halston’s face as she sinks her head closer to Wyatt. “What do you think’s gonna happen now?” Halston asks, her free hand tracing random patterns along Wyatt’s chest. “I don’t know” the man replies, lifting his hand to look out at the night sky. “I just know this place isn’t safe for us… Any of us.”