“You know exactly how this is gonna work, Nelson” Sheriff West says, telling him to play it the way he would play anything else. “More important than what the truth happens to be, we have to maintain the integrity of this department. The only way we can go about doing that is if we can be trusted to get the job done, and clearly, this is gonna go a long way in helping that along, you understand me?” Patting the man on the back, West walks over to his subordinate, still dressed in street clothes.
“How’re we doing on that lead?” West asks, assured that they have visuals on the people of interest but are unable to intervene until they have a warrant in place. “Whatever happened to kicking the doors down and catching ‘em red handed?” West asks, planting his hands to his hips and walking to the side to light up his cigarette. “People complained too much about innocent people getting their doors kicked in” his partner replies, watching the eye roll from West say all he needed to.
“Would you wanna have me bust your front door down in the middle of dinner with your family ‘cause I found an envelope that called you a terrorist?” the detective asks, his nametag reading ‘Blake’ reflecting the patrol cars headlights. “Knowing how well my aim is, I think you’d be the one worrying more in that case!” West replies, spitting out smoke into the air off to Blake’s side.
“My point remains standing” Blake responds, snatching the cigarette out of West’s mouth and taking a puff off of it himself. “It’s not like I’m out for blood here, or wanna kick some skulls in… I just wanna stop people from blowin’ up my city. Is that too much to ask?” West says, taking the cigarette back. “It is when you wish to go about it unlawfully” Blake replies, watching another eye roll do West’s speaking on his behalf.
Sitting back against his civilian vehicle, West looks up at the stars and notices a shooting star dancing across the sky with grace. “Make a wish, Blake” West says, “Maybe wish for a pair of balls with that dick of yours so you can actually treat a terrorist differently from a piss-happy dog.” Looking at the man with his head tilted to the side, Blake watches the shrug as West tells him it’s better to take him outside before he spews a puddle onto the floor.
“My point is, we can’t be playing nice with these bastards or else this’ll all have been for nothing!” West continues, explaining to Blake that things can take turns if you let them keep driving ahead of you for too long. “We don’t want them slipping out in the middle of the night and force us to chase them into ground zero, Blake!” Sending West’s shrug back his way, Blake tells him that they can’t act on a whim unless they have a reason to believe the claims to be validated.
“Of course they’re valid!” West shouts, with Blake matching West’s point with a point of his own, reminding him that this tip came from the words of two runaway teenagers that murdered an officer. “He was a pedo!” West replies, Blake extending his arms and shouting that it doesn’t matter. “In the eyes of the public, he died a hero at the hands of two evil teenagers with more freedom than they should have!” Blake says, watching West confidently look at him with a cheesy grin.
“And if we let these bombers get out of our sights, they’ll also think we’re incompetant fools that can’t be trusted!” West replies, taking whatever Blake’s follow up was meant to be and silencing it. “We’re not gonna let them get away” Blake replies, tapping West’s chest with a folder and returning to the crime scene. With one last puff, West drops the cigarette to the ground and stomps it out, walking over to the taped-off area and taking a look for himself.
Walking up to the scene itself, West inspects the newly-blackened Chevy Silverado with multiple bullet holes in the windshield. Climbing into the front seat, West sits in Victoria’s usual position, staring through the no longer road-ready windshield with his chin against the top of the steering wheel. “What did you know that I didn’t?” West asks himself, biting his lip as he collapses into the seat and remains there, his officers working on the scene as they always would.
= Dream Sequence 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 =
-> Eight Hours Earlier <-
“Massaro?” Scarlett calls out, Vic chasing after her as the man’s voice breaks through thin air. “What floor has the most of those weird, malformed motherfuckers?” Scarlett asks, being directed to the eight-hundredth floor. “Don’t mind her, she’s going through something right now!” Vic replies, apologizing to the man before continuing to chase after Scarlett. “It’s alright. Can I help you with, you’re gone already, aren’t you?” Massaro replies, sighing and taking a seat at his desk.
“Scarlett!” Vic shouts, watching her friend disappear behind the elevator doors and begin her ascent whilst Vic waits for a second elevator to show. Upon reaching her destination, Vic spots Scarlett taking on a flurry of hideously disfigured, violent realm-dwellers with ease. Sending ripples of air scattering throughout the area, throwing one dweller into another and slamming the ground with seismic effects, Scarlett takes out the brutalization of her realm on the inhabitants of this one.
“Scarlett” Vic calls out, watching her friend swat her worries away as if they were fruitflies shuffling in front of her eyes, all to the sounds of the realm dweller’s suffering. “Get out of here, Vic” Scarlett says, obliterating whatever moves in whatever way seems most satisfying in the moment. Teleporting to her friend, taking her hand and teleporting into a vacant warehouse floor, Vic immediately finds herself crashing into the concrete floor at Scarlett’s hands.
“I told you to get out of here!” Scarlett says, her words fluttering through the air as she throws Vic to the ground. “Can’t you go one day without trying to be a hero and leave me to my fucking shit!?” Scarlett shouts, pacing around the empty warehouse, looking for anything to yell about. Continuing her anger-fueled stroll from one side of the building to the other, Scarlett spots the shooting star dancing across the sky once more, acting as the one last drop of water to push it over the edge.
With a roar, Scarlett sends her hands flying forward, shattering every window in the building, and hearing every shard of glass ring with pinpoint precision. The television show intro-like sound filling the air, shaking the ground beneath the girl’s feet as if the building were collapsing. “Scarlett?” Vic calls out, her voice confident out of necessity, hiding the blatant, unavoidable fear buried beneath it in hopes of getting through to her other half.
Calling her name a second time, Vic watches Scarlett’s face turn towards her, a surreal sight washing over her eyes, keeping her from being able to look away. In her moment of anger, Scarlett’s eyes light a fiery orange, her once-more blonde hair glowing a brilliant gold and her hands, naturally soft, frozen over with a tundra-blue cold. Scarlett, noticing her friend’s unnatural gaze, looks at her own hands as they defrost and she returns to her status quo.
“What was that?” Vic asks, having called for Esotera, who watches Scarlett look up to her, still staring downwards at her hands, shaking in fear. “I have no idea” Esotera admits, walking up to Scarlett and taking her hands, spotting the light blue tips of her fingers despite the palm of her hands burning hot. Putting a bullet in Scarlett’s head, Vic tells Esotera that they’ll be back once they’ve gotten some things taken care of.
Returning to the realm of reality, Victoria and Scarlett both sit upright in their tent before preparing for the remainder of the day. “Whatever happened in there-” Victoria begins, cut off by Scarlett, requesting that they drop it and leave it all alone. “We’ve got much more important things to take care of, alright?” Scarlett declares, brushing everything off, leaving Victoria little reason remaining to continue dwelling on it.
“I don’t know what to do, Mary. I’ve never seen someone go through this!” Brian whispers to his wife, admitting that he has no clue how to help a woman in Nora’s shoes. “I couldn’t imagine losing you or Rachel, let alone both in the same week!” Brian continues, peeking around the corner to see Nora curled into a ball with dark, tired eyes clutching at a woven blanket. “Rachel will be here any second, just try to pretend like you know what you’re doing.”
Walking away from her husband, Mary slowly walks to the sofa and takes a seat at the opposite end. Looking at Nora, Mary notices her thumbs caressing the fabrics in gentle strokes, gasping every few seconds through faint whimpers. Her hands folded and her face tucked towards the floor, Mary asks Nora if she knows that she’s not alone. With no answer, Mary looks up and watches the lone tear roll down her face, the other eye unable to shed any of its own.
“There’s a whole bunch of people that are fighting this. For justice, for you, for your daughter-” Mary begins, droning on before Nora puts a stop to her, snapping back with a countermeasure. “There’s a whole bunch more that aren’t” Nora replies, making it clear that the individual responsible for taking her husbands life belonged to that group, not the one’s fighting in her corner.
“They’re under this belief that my daughter would have the heart to kill an innocent man without a damn good reason, and they chose to punish me by taking my husband away!” Nora shouts. “They left me here, all alone, grieving for two without giving a shit. I care more about those bastards than I do about the people holding up a sign for a few minutes and moving on to the next tragedy!”
Getting up from her seat and making a break for the door, Nora walks down her front steps, refusing to look at the blood stain at the bottom, before climbing into the driver’s seat of the car. “Nora!” Mary shouts, wanting to keep her friend from suffering the same fate as her husband, but unable to get her voice to break through to Nora more than the roaring engine of the car.
Pulling out of the driveway, Nora drives away from the home and disappears into the distance, watching Rachel’s car pull up only a few seconds later. “Where did Mrs. Bensen go?” Rachel asks, the question being the first thing out of her mouth since getting out of the car. “I don’t know, honey” Mary replies, giving her daughter’s hand a squeeze and looking out into the distance as her husband gleefully greets Rachel inside.
“Gonna miss this thing?” Scarlett asks, patting the handle on her passenger’s side door as Victoria quietly nods. “Many great road trips in this baby” Victoria responds, comically caressing the steering wheel before giving a very quick tap on the horn. Glancing at Scarlett, Victoria can feel the poorly hidden sadness looming beneath the attempted smile. “That smile isn’t as convincing as you think” Victoria says, her words leaving Scarlett to drop both her head and the smile.
Continuing the drive in silence, the memory of seeing Scarlett in the realm beyond turning into a human night light plays in Victoria’s head on a loop, sharing the attention with the road ahead. After a few minutes, Scarlett asks Victoria to pull into a nearby gas station parking lot in order to allow her to use the restroom. Obliging, Victoria puts the truck in park as Scarlett hops out, heading for the building as Victoria turns the radio on, listening into the local news broadcast.
Closing her eyes to shield herself from having to stare into the reflection of the sun on the truck’s fresh coat of paint, Victoria begins to drift off, the radio anchor’s voice sounding monotone and subtle, calming her into a lull as she reenters the real beyond. “Oh fuck” Vic exclaims, the walls of the office tinted a warm orange the way her eyelids appeared when they were closed, but the room feeling both weirdly familiar and out of place.
Turning around, Vic realizes that she is in the faceless foyer once more, this time unaccompanied, and without a single one of the faceless workers around her. More interesting, the evasive doors in the back of the room are wide open, almost welcoming her inside. Cautiously approaching them, Vic notices her reflection in the glass window beside it, her hair color remaining the same as her first encounter with the realm beyond out of its stubbornness to accept the changes of the realm above.
After a few further seconds, Vic finally walks into the direct center of the opening, taking a moment to look into the doorway, something both she and Scarlett have been guilty of overlooking all along. Within the door is a massive hallway, stretching far enough for wherever it concludes to be hidden behind a thick layer of fog. Accepting this as her moment, Vic takes two further steps before stopping right behind the line marking the hallway’s interior.
Never one to shy away from imminent danger if it serves a greater good, Vic brushes off the unexplainable feeling of dread looming over her and takes one further step, entering the hallway without issue. Continuing to walk, the doors close behind Vic, who returns to them in an attempt to open them, doing so without issue. The ease in which she can come and go as she pleases makes it clear that she is welcomed within, giving her the chance to explore without worry for the first time.
Lining both sides of the stretching hallway are pictures of tragedies throughout the years, ranging for airline disasters to shipwrecks, assassinations and disappearances. Above each photo is a single lightbulb, the bright shade of yellow looming over each photograph clashing with the warm orange tint blanketing the realm beyond. Continuing to walk, Vic comes to a sudden pause when she notices one photo, caught by it like a fly in a spider’s web.
The photo of a crashed train with an all-too familiar assortment of numbers brings Vic into a panic, realizing what the photos along the halls represent. Each new tragedy is one caused by Scarlett and Vic’s ancestors of the realm beyond, representing their failures to stop the law of five disasters meant by the realm beyond for initiatives to endure. Marking this as her primary assumption, Vic begins to question why the doors opened for her now of all times.
Whether or not it was intended to be welcoming, Vic questions it regardless, wondering if it was simply holding out information because of how ready she was or was not for the truth. Inching backwards, Vic looks back down the length of the hallway and continues walking, ultimately finding the urge to further test her abilities. Without caring about whether this were the time or place, Vic stops and look towards the ground, focusing on what her instincts tell her to do.
Feeling the ground become lighter, Vic begins levitating, leaning forward to float down the length of the hallway as the fog at the very end of the tunnel becomes lighter, an almost silver the further she goes. Traveling at the speed of someone riding their bike, Vic begins feeling the strands of her hair float back, trying to keep up with her as the outline of whatever rests in the distance, behind the near-white clouds of fog grows more vivid and detailed.
Within moments, the hallway becomes entrenched in a white light and Victoria returns to the realm of reality, awoken by the snapping of Scarlett’s fingers. “Trying to take a power nap without me or something?” Scarlett asks with a smirk, a little concerned when Victoria sports a look of disappointment. “What happened in there?” Scarlett asks, stunned when Victoria openly admits that she walked through the familiar double doors.
“You got in? How the hell did you manage that?” Scarlett asks, confused when she realizes that all Victoria had to do was simply walk in like it was no big deal. “What was in there?” Scarlett asks, further confused when Victoria struggles to respond, very different from her prior actions just before. “What did you see?” Scarlett asks, rephrasing her question as if it were the reason Victoria was unable to give a precise response.
“It was just a big hallway” Victoria replies, “looked really uniform. Like some weird, never ending hall of fame display case.” Shaking her head, Scarlett ponders over which of the many questions to ask first, settling on what was being displayed. “A bunch of pictures” Victoria replies, Scarlett responding by repeating the latter-most word in a questionable tone.
“Let’s talk about it on the way” Victoria replies, reminding Scarlett that they still need to get something to eat before trying to beat the deadline. “There’s a little cafe around here, we’ll stop in and pick something up to go” Scarlett replies, putting on her seatbelt and watching the station pass by like every other building and establishment they driven past on their longshot path to a hope-for freedom.
Walking down the stairs at the beaconing call of a knock at the door, Rachel reaches for the handle and pulls it open, surprised at the individual she finds waiting for her on the other side. “Jared?” Rachel asks, watching Scarlett’s ex-boyfriend holding a vase of white roses in his hands, almost as surprised to find Rachel answering the door as Rachel does to find Jared waiting at it.
“What do you want?” Rachel asks, turning off Jared’s idea that he had approached the wrong house. “I’ll repeat, what do you want?” Rachel asks again, watching Jared stammer over his words, responding that he wanted to give Nora the flowers as an apology for her loss. Taking the flowers, Rachel gives Jared an unconvincing thanks for his thoughts and attempts to close the door, her attempt halted when Jared puts his foot in the doorway and tells Rachel to wait.
“Jared, fuck off” Rachel replies, unable to get the door past his foot, forced to suffer having through a long-winded apology. “I’m not the one you need to be apologizing to, Jared” Rachel replies, her statement falling short of her hopes as Jared reminds her that the individual that does it outrunning a murder charge. “I’m an asshole and I did a dumb thing, I’m not going to try and excuse it” Jared responds, “But I want you to know that I realize that.”
“What difference does it make whether I know that or not?” Rachel asks, watching Jared drop his head, finally met with a question he doesn’t have a rehearsed response to. “Are we done here?” Rachel asks, watching the guilt in Jared’s face as he looks at her. “I did a really stupid thing” Jared replies, “And I can’t help but think that I had a hand in what’s happening now.” Rolling her eyes, Rachel steps onto the front porch and shuts the door behind her.
“Jared, I think you’re a piece of shit” Rachel responds, “But that doesn’t mean I want you to think you had a hand in a family being torn apart when it had nothing to do with you.” Tucking his hands in his pockets, Jared listens to Rachel assure him that what happened had no effect on what occurred with Scarlett. “You really hurt her, but the cop did something that the sheriff doesn’t wanna admit. He brought it on himself, you didn’t.”
“That doesn’t change what I did” Jared replies, “And I can’t apologize to the person that deserves the apology.” Shrugging her shoulders, Rachel tells him that this is just another one of those things that life takes pleasure in. “You cheated on a girl that broke her back because you couldn’t fuck her for a few months… That’s fucking shitty, but it didn’t get her dad or a cop killed, so stop blaming yourself.”
Taking a deep breath, Rachel tells Jared that this is something he needs to get ready to take from life. “It’s not fair, and it never will be. You did a shitty thing, and for one reason or another, you have to live without being able to make it better. Welcome to reality, I hope you have a fun ride” Rachel replies, patting Jared on the shoulder and returning to the front door.
Stopped from walking back into the home at the request of Jared, Rachel turns around and asks what he wants now. Taking a second to think about whether or not his impulsive request for her to wait was inappropriate or not, Jared pushes his concerns aside and asks how Rachel is holding up. “Super” the girl replies, walking back into the home and shutting the door, leaving Jared stood there with his hands in his pockets.
Parking in the lot just outside a small restaurant just outside of town, Nora emerges from her vehicle and walks up to the entrance. Walking into the retro-themed dining room, lined with walls of 60’s decore and black and white floor tiles, Nora asks for a small booth at the very front and follows the waitress to her seat. “I’ll be with you in just one second” the waitress replies, smiling to Nora before walking off to the kitchen.
Phone buzzing in her hand bag, Nora checks the text message dashing across her screen and brushes it off, refusing to respond to Mary’s inquiry of where she is. Looking up, Nora notices a television set to a black and white display in the corner of the dining room, just above the entrance, displaying the local news. As fate would have it, the coverage of the manhunt for Victoria and Nora’s daughter is on full display, nearly bringing Nora to tears.
At her table, off to the side of the restaurant in an almost completely vacant dining room, Nora takes her eyes from the television and looks out at all of the empty booths. Feeling completely isolated, shut off from society, Nora associates her current placement in the building with the fate of her life. Alone in the restaurant just as she is destined to live out her remaining days alone, Nora tucks her head in her hands before standing up and walking out.
Descending the steps and returning to her car, the woman breaks down to nothing than the silence of her vehicle’s interior, her cries being isolated to herself. Finally, her sorrow-filled pain is quelled by the ringing of her phone, showing an incoming call from her mother at the other side of the country. “Hi mom” Nora responds, using her shoulder to hold the phone to her ear as she leans over the passengers seat to access the glove compartment.
As she continues speaking with her mother and rummaging through the other side of her car, two girls walk down the front steps of the restaurant with bags of food and enter a dark truck. Pulling out of the parking lot and heading down the road, the truck disappears into the distance just as Nora removes what she was looking for from the box. “I have to take care of some things first, but I’ll do so when those are-” Nora responds, cut off by the woman on the other line.
“I don’t want you to take care of these things for me mom, just-” Nora begins, again cut off by her mother, pleading with her to buy a ticket and return to their home in North Dakota as soon as possible. Adamantly fighting for her mother to allow her to arrange things as necessary before making any quick decisions, Nora ultimately questions whether or not her mother’s desires to have her home during this period of time are what she truly needs.
“I have to go mom, I’ll call you later” Nora says, ending the call with her mother and sitting in silence, just staring at the green fence she’s parked in front of. Looking at the stored note from her mother she pulled moments prior, Nora reads off the city of Fargo, North Dakota and thinks about it for a second. Realizing herself to be falling fond of wanting to return home, Nora starts her car and drives home, ready to call it a night to forget about.
Emerging from his car, Sheriff West looks at hi GPS, assuring him that he’s made it to the correct location, despite the presumed diner being nothing more than a massive field of dirt. “I see you came alone” Scarlett calls out from beneath the shade of a tree, hiding both her and Victoria from the street light’s illuminating glow just above. “Depends on whether or not he has the tickets” Victoria responds, taking her eyes directly towards West.
Pulling out a yellow folder, West stick one of the four ends in the wet dirt below his feet and backs up a few steps, allowing the girls to do much the same. “Why did you call me here?” West asks, his voice seeming reasonably professional, though the temptation of treating this like a joke being evident in his voice. Pulled from her coat, Victoria frees a yellow folder of her own and tosses it to West as if it were a frosty beer.
Opening the folder, West pulls free photos and a few pieces of paper with specific information regarding an upcoming planned attack on downtown Baton Rouge. “Why are you showing me this?” West asks, his concerns being thrown aside by the girls, who assure him that they had no hand in this, they simply overheard a plan being made and went about gathering the information necessary to stop it in its tracks.
“Why should I believe you?” West asks, “After all, you were the ones that knew how to navigate a decimated building to save some random guy.” Her eyes narrowed, Victoria asks how the man is doing, disappointed when the news of his internal injuries having been too great to survive is revealed. “You should believe us because we want exactly what you want, just in a different way” Scarlett replies, confidently walking closer to him.
“And what is that?” West asks, watching the smile on Scarlett’s face whilst she tucks her hands in her jacket pockets and replies, “freedom.” Pacing around the Sheriff as Victoria stands in place, focused on West, Scarlett continues the monologue. “You’re not revealing why we were forced to defend ourselves from your crooked cop because you want to be the big guy that took the cop killers down.”
“You want the glory of it” Victoria adds in, “Your freedom is being remembered in ways the cops that came before you had been forgotten…” Pausing for a second, Victoria takes a few more steps towards the Sheriff, “...Ours is being given the chance to live... something we can’t do with you calling us murderers.” With a smirk, West asks the girls what they think they can get in Hawaii that they can’t get in Louisiana.
“We’ll have those traded by the time we board the planes, we just don’t want you tracing us back without us controlling what you find” Scarlett replies, humoring West, who has no other choice but to nod and applaud their effort. “Why shouldn’t I just have a crew shut down the airport when you’re expected to depart?” West asks, finding an interest in the girls when they give it to him straight, refusing to play games with their intended futures.
“You have the chance to stop an attempted terrorist attack on the capital of Louisiana AND catch the killers of a crooked, though not crooked to the public, cop all in one night.” Stopping for a second, Scarlett points to Victoria and tells West that she had it correct down to the tee. “You don’t want us, you want the glory. All you have to tell the public is that you killed the bad guys in a firefight and it’s all yours.”
Turning around, Victoria takes an automatic rifle hidden behind her back and takes aim at her truck, apologizing to her vehicle before putting numerous bullets into it, spraying it down. “The entire department knows of our innocence what the public doesn’t, and there’s no reason to keep that from changing… As long as you let us live the lives we deserve to be able to live” Victoria concludes, telling West to make the decision now before they take it away.
Glancing back and forth at the girls, West bites his lip and looks back to the photographs before turning back to the girls, watching them stand in different places, sharing the patience for him response. “Alright” West replies, “You’ve got a deal.”
Smiles on their faces, the girls look to each other and nod before West adds in one specific piece of information. “I’m going on a limb that I probably shouldn’t right now, so let me make it clear… You will never, and I mean never return to Praireville” West says, “If I see or hear of you being back here, I will put a bullet in your heads before you even have a chance to get settled in.”
Staring to each other, the girls accept, tossing the emptied rifle to West’s feet and walking up to a beaten down rental car parked on the side of the road. “Good luck” West shouts, earning the girl’s attention before Victoria climbs into the passengers seat. “I think you’ll need it more than we will” Scarlett replies, taking her seat and starting the car, driving off into the night as West calls in for backup, telling his station to be discreet.
“Look up” Victoria says, guiding Scarlett towards a shooting star above, putting a smile on Scarlett’s face. “Some things will never change” Scarlett replies, turning on the radio to the nearest station and losing herself in the music, driving off into the next chapter of their lives. “What next?” Victoria asks, watching Scarlett turn towards her and wink, we’ve got a few good-bye’s to make.