“Where are we going!?” Vinny calls out, asking to anyone that can hear him for insight, finally earning an answer on the third attempt. “We’ve got to create distance!” Jules shouts, only for Vinny to rip through the group with what seems to be the most obvious conclusion to him. “Why aren’t we just leaving?” Vinny asks, getting the group to slow their run, in the clear from danger for the time being.
“I’ve got to go get Lou!” Ally says, returning to her run before her arm is taken by Jenn, telling her to stay back and stand down. “Ally, you need to be in charge of this group. I’ll go get Lou, you get these guys somewhere safe!” Jenn shouts, ordering Ally to stick to the plan before running off down the hall to cut her way through the horde from behind. “Why is no one answering me?” Vinny asks, getting annoyed at his solution being ignored.
“We’re not leaving, Vinny!” Terry shouts, stopping the conversation by asking Ally where they should go. “The building’s been infested again, we’re all gonna fucking die here if we don’t get out!” Vinny argues, met with Halston’s assurance that they’ve been through worse. “We’ve cleared this place out once, we can do it again!” Halston argues, met with Vinny reminding her of the amount of times the place has almost been swarmed over the past few days before it finally happened.
“Stop living in the delusion that we can save this place, we need to go now!” Vinny shouts, demanding someone work with him, only to find himself as the odd man out as per usual. “Vinny, we’ll talk about this later, we’ve got to get somewhere secure!” Terry shouts, met with Vinny’s argument again. “When are we gonna talk about this? When you join Margo and Wyatt up in heaven? We don’t have time, we need to go now!” Vinny pleads, ignored again as Ally directs the group to the library.
“You comin’ Vinny?” Terry asks, watching the man shake his head and run off, splitting away from the group now looking to seel themselves inside the spacious central book space. “Why does this place hate the concept of fire exits?” Vinny asks himself, slamming the doors to the cafeteria shut as the horde begins to catch up. Entering one of the stairwells, Vinny seels the double doors shut behind himself and watches the dead stack up against it, trying their best to enter to no avail.
Hurrying up the stairs, Vinny enters a quiet and somewhat cozy hallway before running towards the other end, zipping down the stairwell towards that way and closing the double doors to it before the dead can get to them, officially sanctioning himself off from harm for the moment in the hallway barely traveled since the outbreak first began. Walking through the hall, Vinny enters Margo’s former homeroom from the year prior, taking a seat at her desk and looking at the whiteboard, reading “CPB English - Block 3.”
Catching the breath stripped away from him chasing after the delusion that this can be contained again, Vinny stares at the teacher’s desk and looks at the front of it, noticing a report he’s seen before. Removing himself from the seat, Vinny walks over to the desk and takes the report from beneath a magnet, reading off a paper Margo wrote a year prior.
“How to be a Leader, by Margo Fink” the headline reads, almost being enough in itself to keep Vinny from reading any further. Regaining his composure and getting his emotions in check, Vinny reads the first page of the report, discussing what makes people worthy of being a memorable leader. Before he can make it past the first page, Vinny finds himself in a fluster of tears, fighting the emotions back as best as he can before he’s forced to return the report to its original place.
Taking a deep breath, Vinny looks back to the whiteboard and grabs a piece of chalk, erasing the “CPB English - Block 3” wording from the center and replacing it with a quote from the page.
“Those who fight for what’s right will often not find their work appreciated until they’re long gone, but the impact of their actions will outlive them in ways most people dream of being remembered. - Margo Fink, c. 2017.”
Dropping the chalk, Vinny looks towards the window at the sun beginning to fade on yet another day, only to pick the chalk back up and draw a heart around Margo’s name, allowing him to leave the room and embark on his next journey, leaving the quote behind to remain existing in whatever infamy it elects to remain existing within the boundaries of.
= 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 =
Crammed within the door as the undead flood outwards, ripping into a silent Monica now dead in a puddle of her own blood and guts, Lou stares blankly at nothing whilst the weight of the horde pushing through starts pulling him back into reality. Finally taking a few more shoves into the wall, Lou moves his eyes in a conscious effort and takes a second to realize where he is, and what is happening.
“Oh, no no no no, no no no” Lou whispers to himself, trying to do what he can to push the door back before finally seeling the few remaining undead within the gymnasium. Looking out at the main foyer, Lou watches the undead still unaware of his presence flood the building, only the few tearing into Monica remaining. Looking around, Lou hears his name faintly called from the hallway to his left, prompting him to rush towards it, fighting his way through the line of the undead in its direction before noticing one of the many classroom doors force itself shut.
“Hey! Over here!” Lou shouts, taking his hammer and slamming it against the metal lockers, drawing the horde back in his direction, allowing the person calling him to reappear from the classroom and begin fighting through the horde to get to him. “Basement hallway! Go there now!” Lous orders, hurrying down the stairs as the person hurries to the opposite stairwell. “Come on!” Lou orders, slamming the hammer against the brick walls and steel bannisters in an effort to draw the horde down before reaching the hallway below, finding Jenn rushing to his aid from behind.
Together, the pair lay into the undead, doing their best to lower their numbers, only for the sheer amount to make the dent made seem like nothing at all. “This way!” Jenn shouts, pulling Lou back in acceptance of having to retreat, only to find a horde of the undead beginning to flood into the opposite end, trapping the pair. “In here!” Jenn shouts, pulling Lou into the classroom once used to imprison the Avant family. Blocking the closed door with the desks lining the room, Jenn and Lou find themselves entombed in the windowless, second exit-less room, kept from freedom by a growing pack of the undead stationed at their only hope of escape.
“Lock it, lock it, lock it!” Jules shouts, watching Terry and Halston lock each door shut, and the windows within them become overwhelmed with the sight of the undead crowd. “What the fuck do we do now?” Terry asks, trying to loosen his bad arm as the group takes their focus to Ally, waiting for the command of their new defacto leader. “Halston, you have your keys on you?” Ally asks, watching Halston pull the keys to her truck out and chuck them to Ally, who tosses them right back. “Keep those, Vinny may be right about one thing… We might not be able to contain it this time, we’ll need to be ready to move if we have to, just like we’ve talked about.”
“One problem with that plan” Jules states, pointing animatedly at the doors, “We’ve got no way out of here.” Looking around the room, it doesn’t take long for Ally to find her next course of action. “Sure we do” Ally responds, walking over to the back of the library, spotting the garden at the center of the building, surrounded by walls on every side. Picking up one of the many wooden chairs, Ally hurls the seat at the glass and shatters it into thousands of small bits, now lining the floor.
“Ally, the garden’s surrounded on every side. We can’t walk through” Halston says, joining the group as they walk up to her. “Who said anything about going through when we can just go over?” Ally asks, listening the one of the doors in the library push in enough to buckle under the weight and cave in, allowing the horde to resume it’s chase after them. “Hurry!” Ally says, working against time now that it’s thrown them a curve ball.
Running to the other end of the garden, now looking like an enclosed pit as the horde begins to invade, the group begin their attempt at climbing a tree just next to one of the high walls. “Up, up, let’s go!” Ally shouts, taking the lead and beginning the climb with Jules just behind her. Attempting to follow after them, Halston takes the third leap as Terry trails behind, unable to cling onto anything for too long before his arm gives out. Finally reaching the rooftop, Ally helps Jules up as Halston begins climbing back down, realizing that Terry isn’t going to make it up.
“Let’s go you guys, move it!” Ally shouts, noticing the horde threatening to close the gap. “Ally!” Halston shouts, throwing the keys to her and telling her to wait as long as she can before leaving. “If the horde starts closing in, leave whoever isn’t there behind! Go now!” Halston shouts, helping Terry up as they begin taking the fight to the horde, eventually realizing they won’t make it much longer.
“Look out!” Ally shouts, keeping the pair on their toes as they find themselves backed up closer to the wall, and closer to the edge of peril. “Halston!” Terry calls, pulling the woman with him as he runs towards a window and leaps through it, splitting himself open further than he already was as Halston climbs through the opening, running off into the school with Terry whilst Ally and Jules are helpless to do much other than watch the horde switch their focus towards them.
“What do we do now?” Jules asks, angered at being forced to watch his best friend action-movie his way to safety whilst he and Ally stand atop, safe for the moment. “You heard Halston” Ally replies, walking off to the other end of the roof, “What do you mean ‘you heard Halston’? Did you not just see what happened?” Jules asks, confronting the woman before finding her turn around and stare him down. “What do you want to do, bigshot? Do you see what they’re running away from? Do you wanna go fight that? Be my guest and sentence yourself to death, or let’s get to the truck and guarantee that at least we survive.”
Looking at Ally differently than he has before, Jules finds the sense in her words and follows her along, hoping to find a way back to the truck that doesn’t include shattering their ankles.
“Alright Vinny, you’ve got this” the man says, taking in a few deep breaths and stationing himself outside one of the set of doors before pulling one open long enough for a single undead to enter. Grabbing the corpse by the throat, Vinny seels the door shut and forces it up the stairs, pushing it into Fink’s old homeroom before dropping it to the floor and using a pair of scissors to carve into its stomach.
“Here we go” Vinny mutters to himself, reaching inside the undead’s throat and slathering himself in the remains, fighting the urge to vomit with every drop added to his skin. Finally sporting a full coat, Vinny reaches atop the desk and grabs a stapler before using it to bash the corpse’s head in, leaving it as nothing more than a blood-spurting crater.
Walking back to the double doors, Vinny slowly pulls the handle open, allowing the horde stationed to enter as he staggers through and disappears back into the cafeteria. “Who’s there?” a man shouts, watching the blood-soaked Vinny turn to see Terry, Halston and the still-restrained priest taking a second to figure out who it was.
“Where’s everyone else?” Vinny asks, marching to the kitchen and blowing past the trio. “Ally and Jules are hopefully at the truck, we haven’t seen Lou or Jenn since they split” Halston replies. Picking up whatever cans of gasoline he can carry, Vinny makes his way through the cafe, watching Terry and Halston chase after him in hopes of figuring out what he’s doing.
Reluctantly stopping, Vinny places the canisters down and tells both Halston and Terry to get out of the school as soon as they can. “Why? What’s going on?” Halston asks, only to be met with nothing further than “This place can’t be saved. It’s time to ditch it, just get out as soon as you can. Promise me that?”
Nodding in compliance, Vinny thanks both Terry and Halston for what they’ve done for him and for not giving up when they easily could have. Despite Halston not being able to put much together, Terry gets a gut instinct and walks up to Vinny, putting his arm around him and telling him that he’s made the group proud. “What is happening right now?” Halston asks, watching Terry return to her as Vinny escapes through the backdoor, making a break for the music gallery.
“What are you not telling me?” Halston asks, only to be met with Terry reciting the plan to her. “Vinny’s right. We can’t keep thinkin’ this place is goin’ back, we need to get going right now” Terry says, finally convincing Halston to stop the questioning and make for the cafeteria exit. “Hey! You can’t leave me here!” the priest calls out, begging the survivors to release him.
“Give me a fighting chance!” the priest begs, growing closer to the verge of tears as Terry returns to him, kneeling before him and requesting the chance to confess his sins. “What? Right now?” The priest asks, hurriedly trying to get himself free. “You’ve said it yourself, there’s no time too filled to confess your sins, please grant me this request” Terry says, removing himself from his typically guarded way.
“Alright, fine… Make it quick” the father asks, allowing Terry to go on. “Father, I seek guidance. I wronged someone that didn’t deserve it, and now they’re out to get me back just the same. What should I do?” Terry asks, dropping any slang or short hands, trying to resemble the priest’s typical clientele as best as he can.
“Well, my son. Eh… Don’t you believe the person you wronged deserves to balance the scale?” the priest asks, fumbling over his thoughts in hopes of speeding the process along. “So you’re saying they should do onto me what I’ve done onto them?” Terry asks, smiling towards the father with his hands folded. “Eh, sure. Sure, my son” the priest says, “now untie me!”
Unfolding his hands and patting the priest’s knees, Terry stands to his feet and looks the father in the eyes. “I’m glad you understand, bro!” Terry says, leaving the priest behind as the man screams for his freedom, met with nothing more than silence as Terry and Halston open the double doors and fight through the few undead that go after them rather than the priest trying to force his way out of his restraints.
“Back! I said get back!” the priest shouts, noticing the crowd of the undead beginning to flood into the cafeteria before he pushes the chair backwards, crashing to the floor as the undead inch closer. “Get back! Get back! No! No! NO!” the priest shouts, his words and pleas for help echoing throughout the hallway until they turn into shrieks of pain and wails of horror once his reanimated victims take their revenge.
“Move it, move it!” Terry shouts, burying a knife below the chin of one of the many undead, dropping it to the floor with a thud. “The doors!” Halston shouts, pulling Terry towards the front doors and barely sneaking by a final wall of the undead to break into the outside, catching their breath in the main yard as Ally and Jules leap from the roof and into a pile of bushes just beside them.
“What the hell!?” Terry shouts, jumping towards Halston in his best Jeff Winger impersonation as the pair they broke from earlier climbs from the shrubbery and tells them to hurry to the truck. “What’s going on?” Terry calls out, rushing with the pack towards the main parking lot, where they look down a mountain and out at the practice football field.
“Holy fuck!” Terry says in disbelief, watching a horde of thousands of the undead begin to finally reach the school from their long walk out of the city. “It’s a crowd!” Jules says, his words fluttering like whispers, only to be corrected by Halston. “No…” the woman says, earning the audible attention of the group, “That’s a horde” the woman says, following Ally to the truck.
“Hurry up!” Jenn shouts, watching Lou stood atop the teacher’s desk, hammering away at the floorboards of the classroom just above. “What’s up there anyway?” Jenn asks, watching the first ounce of the fading sunlight begin to spill into the room. “Yes, keep going!” Jenn shouts, climbing atop the desk and doing as she can to increase the gap.
As the pair do their best to solve the most unconventional problem this school has seen to date, the latch on the door begins to buckle, singing like a bell as the locks begin to give away. Finally having broken through enough, the pair begins to reach through and tear the boards above away, trying to fight through the building itself.
Ringing even more, Lou takes notice of the lock, determining that the moment to break through is now or never. Putting both hands on the edge of the boards, Lou dangles from the support above and forces his body weight down, pulling enough down to create a massive gap in what’s above just as the door gives way. “Give me a boost!” Lou shouts, lunging upwards and squeezing through the gap before reaching down and telling the woman below to take his hand.
Reaching up, Lou begins to pull before screeching in pain once he feels an old nail dig into his skin, penetrating his arm as the horde below break through, climbing over the desks and aim for Jenn. “Lou!” Jenn calls out, signalling that the horde is gaining on her, and pushing Lou into a do or die situation.
With the nail still buried in his arm and no time to pull himself off of it, Lou begins pulling Jenn up, gashing his arm open the length of the nail and screaming in horrifying pain, finally pulling the girl through in the nick of time. Grasping at his arm on the floor, Lou is helpless to do much more than try to stop the potentially fatal amount of blood pooling from his arm whilst Jenn seels the classroom door shut and tends to Lou.
“Holy shit, Lou!” Jenn says,, noticing the grave appearance of the gash, threatening to send Lou into septic shock. “Hey, Lou! Lou!” Jenn shouts, “Stay with me!” she pleads, watching his eyes sputter as his body trembles, beginning the process of a seizure. “No, no no! Lou, stay with me!” Jenn says, slapping the man to try to get him to stay awake for a few more moments.
Looking around the room, Jenn realizes Lou’s previous estimation was off, and it wasn’t a classroom they tunnels into at all, but rather, the nurses storage unit near the main hallway. Running over to cabinets and drawers, Jenn thinks up what could stop a septic shock before finding some gauze and a syringe. “Penicillin!” Jenn shouts, remembering what she needs to look for, only to face the problem of not knowing where it is.
Fighting the seizure as best as he can, Lou mutters out “top shelf!” with the strength he has remaining, doing his best to keep his eyes locked onto Jenn as she rummages through the compartments and pulls the necessary bottle out. Taking the gauze and quickly wrapping the wound after disinfecting it, Jenn fills the syringe to its highest capacity before injecting the man with it, watching to see what happens.
After a few seconds, the seizing begins to slow down, and Lou begins to regain control of his body, slowly reaching up to Jenn, who takes his arms and wraps them around to form a loose hug. “Oh thank fucking god” Jenn says, dropping her ass to the floor and throwing herself back, laying down next to Lou as his condition becomes more manageable.
“What did I do?” Lou asks, watching the woman brush it off, telling him not to worry about it. “No, give me something to talk about so I don’t pass out” Lou replies, waiting for the woman as she thinks over her reply, only to ask what Lou thought he did. “I don’t remember” Lou states, putting a look of confusion on Jenn’s face. “What do you remember?” Jenn asks, rising to a seat and looking at Lou, who stares at the flickering lights above before they finally go out, with the generator having finally run out of power.
“What do you remember, Lou?” Jenn asks again, this time her question earns an answer from the man, who finds himself in a weird stage of calmness, entrenched by the darkness above as the sunlight outside begins to die out. “I-” Lou begins, unable to say anything further, just repeating the same thing five times, the sadness in his voice showing further with each attempt.
“Lou, what do you remember?” Jenn asks, putting her cheek on Lou’s face as tears begin to fall on either side of his face with the memory all coming back to him. “I killed Greg” Lou replies, surprising Jenn, who had yet to know. “You killed the kid? When?” Jenn asks, struggling to think of viable questions to ask. “The catwalk. He pulled my gun and tried to shoot me” Lou replies, even further dazing Jenn, her original assumptions now coming unravelled like a ball of yarn in the clutches of a cat.
“What do you mean he tried to shoot you?” Jenn asks, watching through the dark as the man staggers to a seat. “The gun didn’t have any bullets. I took them all out” the man replies, his words slurring as if he were eight bottles in. “I tried to tell him he could change, but he didn’t wanna” Lou replies, rubbing his eyes and catching his breath as it begins alluding him again.
“He tried to push me off, but I moved out of the way. I thought he’d fall, so I went to walk away… But he started climbing back up” Lou says, wiping the tears from his eyes as Jenn finally realizes what’s happening. “You blacked out?” Jenn asks, watching, despite surrounded by the darkness, Lou look to her with fear in his eyes accompanying the tears. “He begged me to help him up” Lou says, leaning into Jess as she pulls him into an embrace, telling him that it’s okay.
As the time begins to fly, the silence surrounding the outside becomes disrupted by the sound of a blaring car horn, hoping that anyone would hurry through the doors at any given moment. Pulling Lou away, Jenn tells Lou they’re almost free. “We’ve got to get through one final corridor and we’re set, okay? Can you do that?” Jenn asks, watching the man nod and use his good hand to pick himself up, and pull the hammer from his belt loop.
“Okay, are you ready?” Jenn asks, watching Lou nod in agreement, taking a deep breath and bursting through the door, helping lead Lou into the final corridor between themselves and home. Swinging for the fences, dropping corpses left and right, and refusing to give in until their dying moments, Lou and Jenn fight forward until they’re finally confronted with the main doors, only separated from them by a massive final horde.
Car horn still blaring, Jenn and Lou do their best to fight, only for their efforts to be quickly outmatched, forcing them back further and further before they leap into the secretary’s station and duck behind a wall, hoping for the miracle of short attention spans to be their saving grace. Still growing in volume, the horde doesn’t show any sign of easing up, forcing Lou and Jenn to begin accepting the inevitable and hold each other’s hands in anticipation of the end.
Ferocious and unabashed at their efforts, the horde’s volume is met with an equally loud crashing note from within the depths of the school. With the sounds of someone slamming a brass chord with the might of Hercules, the horde’s focus diverts to the bowels of the school, where the sound soon stops and is replaced by the beautiful opening chords of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”
As the horde begins wandering off, Lou and Jenn refuse to let up on the opportunity, leaping over the wall and braining a number of the undead still in their path before exploding through the front doors with intent, hurrying for the truck. As they reach the vehicle, Lou and Jenn look back towards the school and find one lit flame within the art gallery, prompting them to rush over to it and find a sight of horrifying beauty. Joined by everyone in the vehicle bursting from the confines, the group watches Vinny at the piano beside his tiki torch reciting the tone that saved their lives.
Sat on the bench as if nothing had been happening, Vinny disregards the slamming on the window behind, crying tears of joy at the piano now sporting Fink’s report atop it. Continuing to play, Vinny hears the growling of the horde close in, threatening to interrupt his moment. “You didn’t think I was going to allow you to steal my moment, did you?” Vinny mocks the horde, daring them to continue their march as they finally appear around the corner.
As if they were bursting through a marathon ribbon, the horde pull a string free, tied to the sprinkler system, and trigger an onslaught of gasoline to spew from the ceiling, dousing the horde with every ounce he filled the tank with. A tortured smile spread across his face against a backdrop of his friends beating at the bulletproof glass behind him, Vinny takes his free foot and places it on the stand of the tiki torch, laughing before kicking it over, sending the fire down a pool of gasoline and lighting the horde in flames.
Burning the walls, the ceiling and anything else in view, Vinny soon finds himself gleefully surrounded by the flames, feeling the structural aspects of the building beginning to buckle. Realizing that he isn’t keen on concluding his piece early, Ally, Halston, Terry and Jules retreat back to the vehicle, pausing to look back at Lou still trying to call out for the man to escape.
Before long, the skylight above shatters from the heat, raining bits of glass down as the concrete columns supporting it quickly begin to sink, and the roof begins to collapse. “Lou!” Jenn calls, pulling Lou before he gets caught in the collapse, only to find the man continuing to plead for Vinny to free himself from the death sentence he knows he handed him.
“Vinny, please!” Lou shouts, begging as the roof finally buckles, slowly cratering down and crushing everything beneath it, burying it beneath a mountain of scrap and bulk, forcing Lou to accept the sights before him. Having given up the fight, no longer being able to see Vinny beneath the rubble as it continues piling on, Jenn finally pulls Lou into the truck and taps on the back window, signalling for Ally to get the truck moving as the horde finally reaches the parking lot, just barely missing the group as the school goes up in a raging inferno, spreading like cancer, and burying the ghosts that met their demise there within it.
“You got anymore penicillin?” Jules asks, watching Jenn silently hold up four fingers into the air, assuring that there’s at least something to fall back on. Remaining silent, the tension is finally alleviated by Ally looking for a radio station that does anything other than repeat a state of emergency signal.
“Do we have to listen to this shit?” Terry asks, leaning against the window with his hand held in his hand as the group becomes inducted into the world of every other survivor. Finally, the spirits of most of the vehicle’s occupants are lifted when they strike satellite radio gold.
“Attention listeners, please stay tuned for an important announcement” the radio call begins, earning the full attention from everyone in the car. “The following is an automated signal from the SS Euronam.”
With her finger raised, Ally keeps the group patiently waiting, leaned forward in their seats and leaning inside the back window for those in the truck bed, listening for the next set of words as the truck rides into the unknowns beneath the night sky. Within moments, the silence in the air, noticeable for miles, is broken by a single word, fluttering through the stereo system, and dictating the group’s outlook on the world engulfing them as each air listens in.