Season 2 Premiere
“It’s only gonna get harder the farther we go” Jaime states, “I can’t stop thinking that all we’re doing is delaying the inevitable.” Staring at the fabrics of the tent with little more than a white tank top and yoga pants on, Jaime fights the urge to consider an attempt to survive such odds a lost cause as Jordan wraps his arms around and pulls her close, kissing the back of her neck before handing her a button.
“Keep sucking on it” Jordan directs, the idea that sucking on a button will keep their saliva forming, the best form of hydration they’ve yet to stumble across. “We’re gonna beat this” Jordan explains, “we’ve seen all the shit that there is to see, Jaime… We’re still here today, and we’ll still be here tomorrow.” Glancing behind her, Jaime smiles at Jordan and plops the button in her mouth after giving him a kiss.
After a few minutes, the girl emerges from her tent and joins the rest of the group in the middle of their beaten campsite, ready to take on the world as the sun comes up. “Hey girly” Chevy says, greeting Jaime on her way out whilst handing Kayla a line of buttons all tied together. “Here” Chevy says, handing Jaime a button string of her own before handing one to Jordan as well, inquiring when it is they’ll be putting the camp in their rear view mirror.
“Give it an hour” Jaime replies, “my mom and Kennedy are out at the river in hopes we can just boil whatever’s causing this out of the water.” Nodding, Chevy voices his hope for that being the answer, “there’s not much else I can think of that can put a fix to this.” Walking up to the duo, Kayla makes it clear that they should be proud of how far they’ve gotten regardless, especially coming from Los Angeles.
“When shit hits the fan, it hits hard” the girl declares, “if you can make it past the chaos of day one, just making it to day two is a rowdy accomplishment.” Giving Chevy a peck on the lips, Kayla looks to pull Jaime aside and talk with her, only to seemingly be the only one to overhear the sound of leaves ruffling beneath feet. “Did you hear that?” Kayla asks, looking around as Jaime and Chevy both look at her, wondering what she’s talking about.
“The leaves?” Kayla asks, “you guys didn’t just hears leave crumpling?” she asks to a “no” from both Jaime and Chevy. “I guess I must be going crazy or something” Kayla exclaims, continuing to walk over to Jaime before two voices demand their hands be lifted into the air. From off to the side, two men dressed in red flannel and beige overalls point hunting rifles at the small group, demanding they put their hands in the air once more.
Rolling his eyes and biting his lip, Chevy is the first to comply, with Kayla and Jaime puzzlingly lifting their hands into the air, the early days of the chaos numbing them to the idea. “Is this a joke?” Kayla asks, her eyes narrowing as the two middle age men shout at her, asking whether or not this looks like a joke. Struggling to find an answer, Kayla’s attempt is halted when one of the men cracks her over the mouth with the barrel of his gun, dropping her to the ground.
Shouting at the men, Chevy lunges at them, suffering the same fate from the second man as his girlfriend had, alarming the still-hidden Jordan, peering out through the opening in the tent. Watching the second man hold Chevy at gunpoint, Jordan watches the first climb on top of Kayla, aiming his gun at Jaime, all of which prompts him to scurry to the mattress and retrieve Jaime’s hidden blade.
“Get off me!” Kayla shouts, trying to fight off the man, only for his greater strength and the whiplash of the shot she took to keep her from putting up a better fight. “Back up!” the man shouts at Jaime, keeping his gun pointed at her, forcing her to do as told as the distance between herself and the man is decent enough for him to redirect his eyes back onto Kayla.
“Stop!” Chevy shouts, climbing to his knees before being taken down again with another shot to the head, the gun aimed at his back still keeping him from intervening. Creeping out of his tent, Jordan arms himself with the blade as the first man lowers his handle on the gun, struggling to undo the belt around his pants in an attempt to rape the dazed woman beneath him.
Refusing to allow this to continue, Jordan hurries into action and plunges the blade into the man’s neck, causing blood to spurt out at first before it gradually starts pouring out like maple syrup from a tree. The struggle sounding the same as it had been, the second man thinks nothing of it, completely caught off guard when Jaime hurries over to the rifle, readies it and fires a round through the man’s chest.
Watching the second assault collapse to the ground, Jaime lowers the gun and Chevy hurries over to Kayla, wiping her assailants blood away and helping her into Jaime’s tent. Dropping the gun to her side, Jaime looks over to Jordan as he watches the life leave the would-be rapists eyes, the handle of the knife still protruding from his jugular. Knowing why he took the man’s life, Jordan has no trouble pulling the blade from his throat and holding it confidently in his hands.
Glancing at Jaime, the pair lock eyes and swallow the saliva forming in their mouths before nodding to each other. Somewhat proud of what they’d done, Jaime and Jordan glance back at the bodies of their victims, continuing to nod as they conscientiously remind themselves that they did something good. Exiting the tent, Chevy looks at both Jordan and Jaime and swiftly lifts his eyebrows, non-verbally saying “well, that’s that!” before walking back to his bike.
= Dire 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 =
“This is the way it’s gonna be” Jaime exclaims, her mother sat against a random tire propped up against a tree with her hand over her mouth, staring at the two fresh corpses. “Let’s not forget that we’ve done worse” Chevy adds in, trying to help Jaime’s cause, only for her mother to become angrier. “I’m sorry if I’d rather not accept that my daughter’s killed two people in twelve hours, Chevy” Alex shouts, still clinging onto the hope that violence doesn’t have to be the key solution.
“It may not be something we want, but it can’t be something we outright refuse” Kayla adds in, placing her hat in Chevy and Jaime’s circle. Hanging her head, her arms pressed against her legs as her hands hang, Alex questions how the group can even manage to survive. “What are we going to do?” Alex asks, her shrinking hope beginning to act as the anchor holding the group back from keeping their chins high.
“We just will” Jaime replies, “we’ve survived everything that came before this, and we’ll survive this too.” With the statement, Jaime looks at Jordan, who flashes her a smile as she responds with the same. Not satisfied with such extremes becoming common practice in order to survive, Alex ends the conversation entirely, piling whatever she can fit into the back of a rundown, but functioning car she and Kennedy found along the side of the road.
Getting aggravated, Jaime walks over to her mother, asking her to stop pretending like this is something they like doing. “I’m no fan of it either!” Jaime shouts, her mother turning around to face her, “but if we’re gonna survive, we’re gonna have to take out the people that threaten to keep us from doing that.” Sucking in a breath, her mother silently turns around and slams the trunk door shut, calling for Kennedy, who had been told to wait in their tent.
“Maybe I’m not prepared for whatever this new world is” Alex whispers to Jaime, admitting that it’ll take a while to get used to, “but I’m no fan of watching my daughter have to murder people to stay alive.” Opening the door for Kennedy, Alex watches her youngest daughter stop and point in the direction of the deceased men, telling her mother that they got what was coming to them.
“Don’t talk like that!” Alex says, watching Kennedy roll her eyes and hop into the backseat as the door shuts behind her. “This is exactly what I don’t want” Alex retorts to Jaime, who tells her that she doesn’t have much of a choice. “Even if we find some kind of solution, there’s already been too much damage to come back from” Jaime replies, watching her mothers head slightly drop before she turns around and walks for the front seat of the car.
“We should get going” Jaime says, returning to the group, who are more than ready to get on with whatever comes next. “Santa Clarita, right?” Chevy asks over, watching Jaime press on her best fake smile as she nods to the man, jokingly giving him the tipped-hat gesture. With a smile, Chevy hops onto the bike as Kayla follows suit, revving the engine as Jaime and Jordan hop into a truck similar to Jaime’s that was abandoned on the side of the road.
Turning the key in the ignition, Jaime hears the emergency broadcast system persist, lowering the volume within seconds as her last remaining hope in the government to do their jobs had run dry. Putting her foot to the pedal, Jaime places her right hand on Jordan’s as her left clutches at the wheel, pulling ahead of Chevy’s bike and Alex’s sedan, and leaving the camping area behind for good.
Strewn around are the bodies of the two murdered assailants and the weathered body of Eli showing the effects of the rainfall from the night before. Following Jaime, Chevy and Kayla are the second to depart whilst Alex follows behind, serving as cover for anyone possibly looking to run Chevy and Kayla down from behind. Eerily similar to most apocalyptic scenes from movies and television, downtown Los Angeles burns as the remaining outer skirts rest quietly, few souls left traversing them.
“You’re awfully chipper today” Kate proclaims, watching the jubilant Jaime’s leg bounce over the one pressed against the ground as she bobs her head. “This is quite the rare sight” Kate continues, “it’s a shame we don’t get to see it very often, but we’ll work on that!” Folding her hands, Kate kicks her left leg over her right, matching Jaime by bouncing her foot in the air as if she were playing the drums without a pair of sticks.
“I finally closed in on a house yesterday” Jaime says, hiding a smile from her face as it continuously threatens to peak through like sunlight through a set of blinds. “That sounds exciting” Kate replies, “how much did you close on it for?” Taking her eyes off Kate, Jaime bites the corner of her lip comedically as she stares at the wall, quietly whispering a number as of yet unable to be heard by the woman on the opposite side of the desk.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” Kate asks, noticing the obvious effort to conceal information perhaps slightly hypocritical on Jaime’s part, and making the call to pull the true figure out of the girl. “I said fur-milners” Jaime replies, still muffling the figure as Kate continues prodding at her, patiently waiting for the value of the home. “One more time?” Kate asks, watching Jaime turn back towards her with an embarrassed smile, her voice lifting to a near-shout.
“Four million dollars!” Jaime replies, her smile still sported as her head hangs low, combatting her crossed arms as Kate’s smile only widens. “I thought you weren’t very big on ‘expensive taste’ last time I heard?” Kate asks, watching Jaime hold her hands out, ready to defend her reasoning for the purchase. “I work literally three turns away!” Jaime explains, “it’s in the hills, but I can literally see the building from my patio. It’s easier!”
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of you!” Kate says, “a little ashamed of my tiny little condo now in comparison…” she mutters undead her breath. “...But very, very proud of you!” she continues, “and I’m glad you’re choosing to start making yourself the priority.” Her smile fading but still present, Jaime nods as her hands remain tucked, Kate noticing this and picking up on it as soon as she spots it out.
“I know you want to see your family get better, but-” Kate says, stopped by Jaime, who reminds her that her mother is still being beaten by her father, and no one is doing anything about it. “I watch it happen every day, even if they don’t think I do” Jaime continues, “but I do… and I’m getting tired of it.” Stepping out of her chair, Kate walks to the front of the table and takes a seat on the edge, telling Jaime that there is a fine line she needs to be able to point out.
“You’re wildly successful for your age, and there are going to be a lot of people that wanna take advantage of that” Kate begins, watching Jaime look up at her with her eyebrows curled up. “But you’ve made it in this world” Kate proclaims, “for better or for worse, you’ve done what so many people go through their entire lives hoping for and never getting.” Turning her eyes to the corner, Jaime looks away before Kate directs them back to her, telling her to pay close attention.
“You can’t change our family no matter how hard you try, because it’s not your battle to fight” Kate continues, “so you need to look after yourself before they take you down with them.” Knowing the sharp blade waiting for her at both ends of a sword, Kate takes the approach of assuring Jaime that there must come a point where she puts her needs over the needs of her family, trying to keep her from dropping into whatever awaits with them when she doesn’t have to.
“I just wanna see you succeed” Kate concludes, noticing the eyes drop as the most sensical choice sports itself as the least desired one. “I know it’s hard to hear, and I wish I wasn’t the one that had to say it to you” Kate furthers, “but they’re going to drag you down if you don’t get yourself out of there before it’s too late.”
“You alright?” Jordan asks, his girlfriend staring ahead with nothing further, allowing her hands to direct the vehicle as her mind floods with thoughts from the past. “You’re starting to worry me” Jordan admits, “I’ve seen you go out of it a few times now and it’s not exactly the most comforting thing to keep seeing.” Shaking off the prior thoughts, Jaime grins and thanks him for being there for her. “It’s nothing” Jaime replies, “I promise.”
His sights looking over her face, arms, hands and feet all still, not trembling as they usually do, Jordan replies with a simple, “alright”, convincing himself to trust her on her word. Continuing to drive, the backroads beginning to intertwine with busier streets, Jaime and Jordan lead the charge into a semi-residential part of the city. “I’ve got the rifle in case we need it” Jordan reminds her, hoping his assertion gives her the confidence to traverse the streets without worry.
Continuing to drive through the grid, Jaime and Jordan look around at the devastation left in the wake of the revolt’s aftermath, bodies lining the front yards of homes in each direction. On their bike, Chevy and Kayla look around, spotting victims of this spectacle lining the same streets as those deceased upon them by their own hand. “If ever there were gonna be a picture of what this shit caused” Chevy begins, sucking in a breath before finishing, “this would be it.”
“Do you see that up ahead?” Jordan asks, pointing Jaime in the direction of something sat upon a welcoming front patio. “Are they dead or alive?” Jaime asks, the effects of the chaos bringing the question into the realm of necessity, the answer being clear when they pick their head up from their arms at the sound of the vehicle’s wheels. “What do we do?” Kayla asks, noticing Chevy locking his eyes on it before pulling away from the line of cars.
Slowing at the sidewalk, Chevy prods his kickstand out as the rest of the group follows, slowing down before pulling into the driveway. Leading Kayla, Chevy walks to the slip between the gates and finds a younger girl, helplessly waiting for whatever comes next to happen as her parents lay dead in the middle of the living room. “Are you alright?” Chevy asks, figuring the dead parents would give him solid insight at least, but electing to take the shot in the dark anyways.
Upon the obvious head shake, the girl asks for the man’s name. “I’m Chevy” the jacket-less man replies, “this is my girlfriend Kayla” he continues, pointing them out before introducing the rest of the group as they emerge from their vehicles. “Do you need our help with them?” Chevy asks, taking the little that he knows and twisting it into whatever offer he can make, at least hoping the girl wouldn’t want to share the home with her parent’s corpses.
“Okay” the girl whimpers, standing up and leading the group into the home without second thought, prompting the group to look towards each other in question of what they do next. Taking it as being the reason for the interaction beginning, Chevy takes the responsibility of being the first man in, tapping Jordan on the arm to help him carry away the corpse of the girl’s father.
“How did this happen?” Jaime asks, the girl walking over the kitchen table and having a seat. “I got home from school and they were just…” the girl begins, holding back the urge to cry as she recalls finding her mother and father dead in the middle of the room. “They weren’t poisoned” Kayla whispers to Alex, pointing out the lack of a rash anywhere along their faces or exposed limbs.
Without word, the girl points at a gun left partially remaining in her father’s left hand, one bullet having been enough to take both individuals out at once. Returning to the home, Chevy and Jordan spot Kennedy picking the gun out of the father’s hand, Chevy rushing over to the girl and telling her to hand the weapon over. “I wasn’t going to use it!” Kennedy replies, her brows raised as she extends her arm outwards, giving Chevy the gun without hesitation.
“I know! It’s just…” Chevy starts, pondering over where to go with it next before finishing off with, “...Not the kind of thing you should be worrying about right now.” Returning to their escort of the mother, Chevy and Jordan carry the body out as the abandoned girl twiddles her fingers, not thinking about surviving as much as she kicks herself for something more than just out of her control.
“I don’t know why they would just leave me here” the girl admits, understanding that her seventeen year old self can manage to fend for herself, but unsure of why they’d leave without at least saying goodbye. “Maybe they didn’t want you to know” Jaime replies, her mother’s attention being grabbed as the struggles of family life have been the source of many troubling conversations between her eldest daughter and herself.
“Maybe they were afraid of what you might think of them” Jaime continues, “or maybe they didn’t think you were coming back and couldn’t go on without you.” The girl sinking her head, not having called her family to check in after everything went down, feeling like she’s to blame for such an outcome happening. “Listen, you can’t blame yourself” Jaime responds, her hand placed on the girl’s shoulder as she inches closer to the ground.
“You should never blame yourself for what’s out of your control” she furthers, “especially something you had no say in.” Placing her hand beneath the girl’s chin, Jaime lifts her head up to face her, and the tears begin slowly sliding down her face, shining her cheek up in a way that allows the sunlight to bounce off of it. “You need to be stronger than they were, because you need to fight for you now. Do you understand that?”
Nodding, the girl tries to smile, unable to get her lips over her teeth from the conflicting pain and motivation colliding with each other as if her head was a battleground. No longer speaking, Jaime keeps her hand on the girl’s shoulder, smiling at her as the girl catches her breath, allowing the tears to subside and the broken gasps for air to let up. “It’s nice to meet you” Jaime says, skipping back to the part that she overlooked as the words felt right for the moment.
Holding her hand out, “I’m Jaime” the woman says, shaking the girl’s hand as she replies, “I’m Amelia.” Finally, the girl lets out a faint smile that quickly fades, though not into a frown, which Jaime finds to be an accomplishment.
“You’re gonna change someone’s life someday” Kate says, returning to the opposite side of the desk and taking a seat. “I’m pretty sure I’ve already done that a few times now” Jaime replies, citing a statement made by the father of a girl who was killed in an accident days prior. “I’m talking about directly” Kate responds, “you’ll give someone a fighting chance in this world and everything they do will have only been possible because you gave them the chance to.”
“How much of that will be to make up for all the damage I’ve already done?” Jaime asks, her point remaining somber, but still being a necessity to touch on. “Everyone does damage in one way or another, Jaime” Kate replies, noticing the hesitation in Jaime’s voice, not wanting to admit that the bad she’s done can be rectified by the good she still can do. “It’s just a matter of how directly we’re responsible.”
“I can cut someone off on the road, they can get angry, keep that anger going and mow someone down because they blow through a stoplight” Kate says, “I have a hand in that.” Placing one leg over the other, Kate tells Jaime that there’s a fine line between killing someone with a knife and being the one that sold the knife to the killer. “On one side, the blood is on my hand. On the other, all I did was shake the hand of the killer before it was bloodied.”
“There’s nothing that I can do to convince you that the blood isn’t on your hands” Kate continues, “but I can try to convince you that you’re not the one that owned the knife.” Shrugging her shoulders, Jaime tells Kate that she doesn’t feel that statement as being good enough. “I mean, we do terrible things every single day” Jaime replies, “we constantly deny responsibility, and what you’re saying is the same thing as shifting the blame onto someone else for what we did.”
With a smile, Kate admits to Jaime that she wishes the world were as simple as that. “We exist on a planet, that exists in a solar system, which exists in a galaxy, that exists in a bigger galaxy and so on and so forth” Kate says, “the world isn’t meant to be that black and white.” Shaking her head, “this isn’t the world, this is me” Jaime replies, “In your analogy, I’m still at fault because I was the one that chose to sell knives, as I should be.”
“If we did that, we’d all be responsible for so much death that the world wouldn’t have to take responsibility for anything” Kate replies, the comeback being unexpected, leaving Jaime without an immediate follow-up. “Should it have to?” Jaime asks, Katie tossing her arms at her side before looking back to Jaime. “That would depend on who you think should have to answer for what they’ve done” Kate answers, “to think you do and it doesn’t is kinda hypocritical of you.”
Her mouth opening, it remains slight ajar for a few moments before shutting, Jaime turning the expression into a smirk as Kate does the same, knowing she got the better of this interaction.
The sky darkening outside, Chevy and Kayla begin growing anxious, with the man sporting a dirty white t-shirt opting to walk over to Jaime and ask why they’re still here. “We’re not just gonna leave her here” Jaime replies, watching Chevy tuck his hands into his pockets and nod. “I know that, and I get that… Why are we still here and when are we leaving?” Chevy follows, Jaime’s shoulders shrugging as the answer of ‘when Amelia wants to’ becomes the only answer.
“So we’re just gonna wait for the orphan to sprout a smile and say ‘time to move on’?” Chevy asks, Jaime telling him to dull it down. “Let’s start with you not being a fucking prick, and let’s finish with a ‘yes’, that’s exactly what we’re gonna fucking do!” Jaime replies, Chevy’s head bouncing from side to side. “Jaime, we’re not waiting around for her to just choose to leave all of a sudden” Chevy responds, “we’ll fucking die here before she’s ready to go.”
“We’ll have to die somewhere, tell me what the difference between here and somewhere else is” Jaime returns, countering Chevy’s fair argument with one of equal fairness of her own. Attempting to speak, Chevy suddenly stops, planting his hands onto his hips before hanging his head, “I’d just prefer to die actually fighting to live instead of sitting around and waiting for it to just, I don’t know, happen.”
Putting her hand on the man’s shoulder, Jaime suddenly finds herself taken back by the sounds of someone shouting on the front lawn, directing their anger towards the other side of the street. Putting the moment on hold, the pair hurry to the front door, with Kennedy, Jordan, Kayla and Amelia joining them moments later to watch Alex walk across the street and knock a glass of water of the hand of an elderly man sitting on his patio, rocking back and forth in a chair.
“Are you trying to die!?” Alex shouts, the man confirming her suspicions, stating that he doesn’t wish to live in a world where his family no longer is. “They killed themselves on the other end of the telephone! How am I supposed to live with that image seared into my brain?” the man shouts back, arguing with Alex on the worth of fighting to live another day, even at his old age, whilst the group hurries to contain Alex.
“You’re no better than them trying!” Alex shouts, Chevy and Jordan pulling her back, only to be shoved away, Alex demanding they get their hands off of her. “I’ve been trying all goddamn day!” the man shouts, “ain’t nothing working’ yet!” Her hand stretched out towards him, Jaime asks what he had been trying for throughout the day, the man stating that he’d been trying to let the water kill him since the son rose up and nothing’s worked.
“Are you sure about that?” Chevy asks, refusing to so easily believe that the man with a deathwish signed had failed to do in half a day what everyone else had done in less than an hour. “Of course I’m sure, kid!” the man shouts back, detailing how he kept taking a mental note of how high the sun was in the air until it fell out of view behind the set of houses at the end of the street.
“All this fucking waiting!” the man shouts, throwing his hands in the air and waddling back into his home, shutting the door behind him and locking it from the people on his patio. Looking to each other, Chevy makes the first move, asking whether or not they’re gonna believe his story, ultimately finding no other choice but to do so. Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot on the other end of the door startles them, causing a panicked jump at the knowledge of what the man had just done.
Many with their mouths covered, others with their mouths agape, the group stands on the patio looking at the front door, only to hear an alarming sound pierce through the silence. Within the home, the sound resonates the same way it was in Amelia’s home, forcing the group to rush back to their quarters on instinct. Running into the living room, the group watches a set of colored bars appear on the television, the signal promising a word from the government.
“The system’s still going?” Jordan asks, reasoning that any reasonable person would have turned it off by now. “It wasn’t on just a minute ago!” Kennedy replies, shooting down the theory of it continuously running before Chevy points out the weird concept of a new alert being issued. “Everyone already got the old one, what’s the idea of sending out a new one?” Chevy asks, Jaime raising the idea that it was the same alert lopping until the message is read aloud.
“Dear citizen’s of the United States of America, this is an important announcement. Do not turn adjust the system you are listening to this on” the alert starts out, prompting the group to take a seat wherever one is available. “As of the airing of this message, the request of halting the consumption of potable drinking water has been lifted. The United States government has deemed the threat to no longer be of concern, and apologize for the inconvenience.”
Their mouths dropping, Chevy and Kayla standing up at the shocking turn of events, the group remains silent as the message continues. “These are grave times for our proud nation, and we thank those listening to this message for their bravery and service on behalf of your proud government. We thank you, and we wish you good will and harmony.”
Like that, the message ends, seemingly taking the damage and horrendous effects of the event and burying it, suggesting that life is now allowed to return to normal. “Am I hallucinating?” Jaime asks, Jordan wrapping his arm around her as the room remains quiet, looking towards each other as if to ask “what the hell is going on?” One by one, the group sinks into their chosen seats and stares at whatever catches their eye, clueless as to what to do now.