“Tell me more about him” Kate requests, opening a new line of dialogue for Jaime to pick at as if she were stripping meat from the bone. “What else is there to know that I haven’t already told you?” Jaime asks, “he’s a nasty drunk that beats my family and can’t lay a finger on me.” Nodding, Kate asks Jaime to dig further, “think about what he is and figure out how that makes you feel inside.”
“I don’t know how I feel” Jaime replies, the usual escape of requesting another topic to think about not able to be utilized here. “If he could leave your life, would you want him to?” Kate asks, not satisfied when Jaime’s answer of “sure” leaves her lips, only offering her more questions. “What would your life be without him in the picture?” Kate continues, Jaime’s shoulders pushing forward whilst she admits to having not even the first idea.
“It would be unimaginably different” Jaime replies, “I don’t know how to describe it, it just would be.” Her lips squeezing together, Kate replies, “okay” and goes quiet. “Oh shit” Jaime exclaims, “I don’t like what happens when you respond with only one word.” With a smirk, Kate asks Jaime if she’d thought anymore about their last encounter. “I did” Jaime replies, “I still think you’re wrong.”
“You said ‘you think’, and not ‘you know’” Kate replies, “something, even a tiny bit, must’ve clicked.” Swallowing her pride, Jaime admits to Kate having an undeniable point in regards to Alex’s wishes for her. “I’m sure she’d rather see me go out and take on the world than stay stuck in the home and protect her from the big, bad jackass” Jaime replies, her eyes holding a high amount of disappointment when Kate asks why she insists on remaining in the home.
“Because he’ll kill them” Jaime replies, her words leaving a sour taste in her own mouth, and putting an unusual amount of concern in Kate’s mind. Her eyes trailing off, Kate clears her throat and tells Jaime if she’s sure of this. “What do you mean? Of course I’m sure” Jaime replies, “do you think I’d be trying to protect them if I wasn’t?” Finding herself at the same conclusion as Jaime, Kate nods and insists the opposite.
“If you think he’s that dangerous, I should call him in about this” Kate replies, Jaime remaining as insistent that she not as she was on day one. “As long as I’m in there, he can’t do a thing” Jaime replies, only for the woman opposite her position to remind her of their current topic. “You should be allowed to move on without having to feel like you’re your family’s keeper” Kate replies, “you shouldn’t have to subject yourself to this.”
“I’m well aware of that, Kate” Jaime replies, her eyes beginning to form tears, “but he’s got friends in high places, and all he’d need to do to get out from behind bars is snap his fingers.” Her head dropping, Kate looks back to Jaime and asks what she can do, Jaime coming up with very few good answers. “I’ve got to do what I have to do” Jaime replies, “I’m sticking my neck out for my family because they can’t, and that’s how it’s gotta be.”
Unwilling to allow Jaime to believe that this is the path she is forced to take, Kate storms from her seat and rounds her desk, taking a seat beside Jaime as the younger girl accepts her position. “That shouldn’t have to be your responsibility” Kate replies, Jaime looking at her with tears being brushed from her face. “Unfortunately it is” Jaime retorts, “and sometimes, we need to do things we shouldn’t in order for things to be alright.”
Her eyes shutting tightly, Kate’s head drops as Jaime continues to tell herself that there is no alternative. “I’m not going to let things get out of hand” Jaime replies, “they can’t fight for themselves, so I am going to in order to keep them alive.” Her head lifting, Kate wipes away a tear from her own face as she nods, unable to do anything Jaime is unwilling to allow her to do, responding with a simple “okay” and leaving the conversation at that.
= 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 =
The sun rising over the west coast puts an end to the harsh night prior, shedding light on a pair of survivors having a quiet conversation in the pool area. “I don’t like it anymore than you do” Jordan says, “but there’s no chance in hell a new government forms and this place doesn’t get rendered into nothing.” Unable to argue the future of Los Angeles as it currently stands, Chevy remains steady by the idea that escaping the city is still a possibility.
“There’s no question that we’re fucked if we stay here and Jaime isn’t in charge” Chevy replies, “but we’re acting like escaping the city is more dangerous than Jaime creating a new government out of betrayed citizens with heavy automatic machine guns.” Going quiet, Jordan looks out at the continuing smoke billowing from downtown as Chevy reminds him that all Jaime has to do to earn a bullet in her head is to piss off the wrong people or step on the wrong toes.
“I created a company that pissed off everyone from soccer mom’s to district-wide school boards” Jaime interrupts as she spots the two men below, “did you really think I wouldn’t hear you get out of bed?” Telling Jaime that there isn’t only one answer, Jordan begs her to rethink her plan. “Weren’t you the one arguing in favor of installing a leader to the mob?” Jaime asks, Jordan admitting the his feet have grown cold to the idea now that his girlfriend has become it’s posterchild.
“We can still leave the city” Chevy says, “the last thing we need to be doing is playing a bad hand at the poker table with your life at stake.” Walking over to one of the pool chairs coated with the sunlight of a new day, Jaime lays down, asking the pair exactly what quality of life they think they’ll find outside Los Angeles. “This is the only place that still has some sort of government” Jaime adds in, “as far as we know, everywhere else is a free-for-all.”
“As little as twenty-four hours ago, everything in here was a free-for-all too” Chevy replies, “and with or without you at the helm, it’s gonna be the same again very soon.” Taking her by the hand, Jordan tells Jaime to give her statement another thought before she approaches the group with it. “I’ve made up my mind, hun” Jaime replies, watching the dread in Jordan’s eyes as Chevy plants his hands on his hips.
“There’s no time left to think about it” Jaime continues, “those fences can come down at any second, and we’d be left with an all out war.” Looking to Chevy, Jaime asks if she can trust him to wake up the group and have them meet in the living space of the home. His hands still planted on his hips, Chevy silently nods, walking off to do as instructed as Jordan looks to his love with the expression of a man trying to keep himself from dwelling on terrible thoughts.
“It’s going to be alright” Jaime says, holding her boyfriend’s head in her hands as he gives her a feigned smile. “No” Jordan replies, “it’s not” before kissing her hand and returning to the home to assist Chevy. After nearly half an hour, Jaime takes the headcount in the lobby and informs them of the plan. “We’re going to make it as natural as we can” Jaime says, “we’ll go down there, put a well-spoken voice to this movement and try to come to a reasonable understanding.”
“And we’re going to put you in front of a mob, front and center?” Alex asks, the assurance of her daughter forcing her to drop her head. “Isn’t that, y’know, dangerous?” Amelia asks, Jordan emphatically nodding as he replies with a hate-filled “Yes, yes it is.” With two sides arguing in favor and against placing Jaime at the pinnacle of potential destruction, voices begin flying around the room as tempers begin flaring.
After a few quick failed attempts in succession to quell the arguing, Jaime lets her voice lift to an unfamiliar degree as the room responds by going silent. “What’s done is done, and what is decided has been decided” the center-figure replies, “the task now is not deciding whether or not to do it, it’s figuring out how we get it done.” Demanding that the group begin accepting what route to take next, Jaime orders them to get their things together and prepare to return to city hall.
Doing as told, the group disperses, only Jordan being left behind, leaning over with his hands folded as Jaime stares at him, the man not returning the stare. Calling her boyfriend’s name, Jaime watches him respond by standing up and walking away, returning to their room to pack whatever they might need, leaving her stood before an empty living space, the only sounds resonating from the footsteps venturing throughout her home.
// Taking a break from his computer, Chevy stretches as the bright light emanating from computer bathes him in the only light anywhere in the room. Wiping away his eyes, the man glances at the corner of his screen, realizing the time to have been nearly midnight. “Holy shit” Chevy mutters, “boy has the time passed!” as he looks throughout his room, completely left in the dark aside from the blinding sight before his eyes.
Suddenly a knocking at the door captures the man’s attention and curiosity. “Who the hell is here at midnight?” Chevy asks himself, walking to the door and opening it to reveal a welcomed sight. “Kayla?” Chevy asks with a smile, the woman peering in as she asks whether or not she’s interrupting something bringing genuine joy to his heart. “Not at all” Chevy says as he opens the door to allow her entry, “please come in.”
Taking off her coat, Kayla places it over the back of a couch in the middle of the room as Chevy blinds himself with the operation of a light switch. “You good over there, Dracula?” Kayla asks, her amusement making Chevy laugh as he wipes his eyes. “I must’ve sorely overrated my eyes!” Chevy replies, the woman telling him to pull his hands away as she holds each side of his face.
“Look at me” Kayla says, Chevy’s hands going limp as she fights to keep his eyelids open whilst the woman stares into them. “Your eyes are dilated as hell!” Kayla exclaims, Chevy’s laughter as she suggests the dark to have been his home for at least a few hours assuring her assumptions. “I’ve been at my desk all night” Chevy replies, stretching his arms out as the woman walks towards the computer.
“I must’ve lost track of the time” the man continues, the woman looking at him with her eyebrows raised. “Oh, you think so?” Kayla replies, Chevy laughing as Kayla does the same, asking what he was writing about. “It’s a short story” Chevy replies, “nothing more than a little project I was spending a few minutes on.” With another glance, Kayla puls another admittance to having lost a few hours before looking back to the writing.
Scrolling through the pages, Kayla asks exactly what he meant by a ‘short-story’ as she finds herself quickly approaching page one-hundred and eighteen. “Maybe it’s a bit longer than a short story” Chevy replies, leaning beside the woman as they sift through his work. “Any chance you can send this to me?” Kayla asks, Chevy being very hesitant in the moment as he reminds her that she still hasn’t told him why she’s here.
“Why else would a girl casually come over to some guy’s house in the middle of the night?” Kayla asks, the look of realization dawning over the man humoring her. “So is that a ‘yes’?” Kayla asks, looking at the man with her best set of puppy-dog eyes as he gives in. Writing her email and phone number on a napkin, Kayla places it beside his computer and pulls off her shirt, tossing it to Chevy before model-walking her way into his bedroom. //
“You’re sure you want to do this?” Chevy asks, his question fluttering into Jaime’s ear as she puts her car in park and listens to the crowd raging for someone to take responsibility. “This is what I live for” Jaime replies, having learned how to master the art of hiding fear beneath a cloak of confidence. Taking in a deep breath, Jaime locks hands with Jordan before climbing out of her vehicle and joining forces with her group.
Striding into the massive horde of boisterous survivors, Jaime directs the group to walk until towards the sounds of a hollering voice amplified by a megaphone. Finally reaching the source, Jaime asks the man to borrow the megaphone to deliver a message to those seeking shelter. “Why should I give you this?” the man asks, Jaime responding by telling him that she’s one of the few people left in the city that can possibly get the crowd their answers.
“I don’t think I believe you” the man replies, Chevy stepping up to the plate almost immediately, towering over the man as he now demands he hand over the equipment. Annoyed, the man hands Chevy the piece, who hands it to Jaime and follows her to an abandoned car surrounded by the people. “Everyone, listen up!” Jaime shouts, the attempt to silence the crowd taking a few repeats, each request bringing further silence until she has the crowd’s undivided attention.
“Most of you probably don’t know me, and I wanted it to stay that way for a long time” Jaime begins, stating her credentials. “My name is Jaime Morris, and I founded an app here that earned this city thousands of new jobs, and gave them hundreds of millions of tax dollars.” With the crowd staring towards her, Jaime takes initiative and lays out the fact that she’s here to make the truth known to everyone.
“They’re not listening to you” Jaime directs to the crowd, “they think of you as an armed and dangerous militia with absolutely no willingness to cooperate.” Pausing for a moment, Jaime continues, “not anymore”, directing this statement to both the mob and those hiding within city hall’s chambers. “I want the politicians hiding out in that building to pay very close attention” Jaime follows, “you have left these people without answers they damn-well deserve for two days.”
Making it clear to deputy mayor Wenton to listen up, Jaime tells those inside exactly how things are going to play out. “These people are not going to kill you because you have the answers that they want to hear” Jaime follows, “they want someone to take responsibility, and that person is and should be you.” The crowd now beginning to audibly applaud, Jaime makes it clear that the mob will not be unreasonable, but they will not be walked over again.
“We’re willing to play nice if you give us a reason to” Jaime continues, “but make no mistake about it, we’re giving you the chance to show your faces before we take down these gates, which we have all the means necessary to do.” The applause growing, Jaime tells Wenton to walk onto the front steps of city hall with all the muscle he pleases and have a conversation with her on behalf of the residents of Los Angeles.
“These people have been voiceless for the longest forty-eight hours of their lives” Jaime concludes, “and if they are going to remain voiceless in your eyes, then I will be their voice.” The applause continuing, the mob begins to chant in unison ‘show your face!’ until the massive, fancy metal doors open to reveal acting mayor Django Wenton, a crowd of armed guards surrounding him quickly thereafter.
Taking a loudspeaker into his hands, Django Wenton orders for Jaime to approach the front gates directly at the bottom of the hall’s stairs. “If you’d like to have a conversation, we will do it in private” Wenton demands, the woman taking a brief moment to look towards her group below. Each with their own visible signs of distrust in this suggestion, they watch Jaime climb down from the vehicle and do as instructed.
Held at gunpoint by the guards, the mob around Jaime disperse as the gates are cracked open to allow Jaime entry. Walking within, Jaime stands at the feet of Wenton as the crowd goes completely silent, the rustling of the leaves in the trees being able to ring throughout L.A as the only consistent sound. “Please approach” Wenton calls out, the request blaring through the loudspeakers as the crowd watches Jaime ascend the staircase.
Finally facing Wenton, Jaime listens to the man instruct her to follow him inside as he turns around to lead her within. The crowd remaining silent as Jaime disappears into the depths of the hall, the large doors shut as things remain unchanged, each side now silently waiting for a conclusion. “I don’t like this one bit” Jordan mutters to himself, Chevy wrapping his arm around him and telling him to remain calm and think of good thoughts as the group joins the mob in patience.
// “Has your father ever laid a hand on you?” Kate asks, her hands gripping at the lip of her desk as Jaime shakes her head. “No, he’s only been this way for a few years” Jaime replies, “I got my first check from the app a few months before he started drinking more heavily.” Returning to her chair, Kate asks “have you ever hit him?” on her brief walk, Jaime shaking her head in refusal once more.
“I haven’t needed to yet” Jaime replies, Kate finding interest in the ‘yet’ portion. “Do you think you’ll ever have to?” Kate follows, Jaime answering with a ‘yes’ after a brief moment of thinking it over. “What would bring you to do that?” Kate asks, Jaime taking longer than a brief moment to think about how to respond to that. “It’d have to be something big” Jaime replies, “something that affects both mom and Kennedy.”
Wanting Jaime to throw suggestions out there, Kate asks her to vaguely mention possible things that would drive her to act in such a way. Thinking about what it would take, Jaime comes up empty handed, admitting that it would be up to that outcome presenting itself and how she reacts to it. Accepting that response, Kate turns the question into one only needing a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, throwing out suggestions and asking Jaime if they would qualify.
“What if he hit Kennedy?” Kate asks, Jaime not hesitating for even a moment before responding ‘yes.’ “That was a quick response” Kate replies, Jaime shrugging as she suggests that she was simply put on the spot minutes prior. “What if he hit you?” Kate asks, Jaime responding without hesitation once more in the same way. “He wouldn’t because he’d be signing his death warrant” Jaime adds in, “but the answer is ‘yes’ regardless.”
“Alright” Kate replies, “what about if he hit your mother?” Her head hung, Jaime states that she would if Alex wouldn’t vouch for him each and every time. “You know powerful people” Kate replies, “you don’t think you can give him a beating and walk away without punishment?” A smile in the corner of her mouth, Jaime thanks the woman for thinking so highly of her. “I may be stubbornly independent” Jaime replies, “but I can’t match up with him physically.”
“And yet you wouldn’t hesitate to send hands his way if he hurt you or your sister” Kate interjects, “and you’d do the same if your mother wasn’t under his thumb.” Her hands held out, Jaime tells Kate that people make dumb decisions when they’re angry, and she is no exception. “Are you ashamed of her?” Kate asks, the question catching the girl off-guard as she expected something more along the lines of further suggestions.
“Are you ashamed of your mother?” Kate reiterates, watching the girl’s face drop into a state of uncertainty. “Yeah” Jaime replies, her response coming from her mouth sounding more like a whisper than a statement. “You think she stands by him too much and doesn’t let him get what’s coming to him?” Kate continues, Jaime nodding. “Do you think you’d do the same thing?” Kate asks, watching Jaime’s face lift as she assures her that she wouldn’t.
“I wouldn’t let anyone take advantage of me like that” Jaime replies, “I’m not my mother.” Her eyes widening, Kate asks Jaime if she truly believes that, the girl beginning to feel offended by such a notion. “I’ll say it again, I am not my mother” Jaime repeats, Kate following that up by asking Jaime whether or not she loves her father. “No” Jaime replies, her answer coming quickly, but her mannerisms after the fact speaking to someone undecided.
“Why not?” Kate asks, watching Jaime struggle to put together any reason other than his substance and physical abuse. “So you think the father he was before he started drinking was just for appearance?” Kate asks, Jaime shrugging as she doesn’t know what was and wasn’t. “I think you love him but you feel bad about it because of what he’s turned into” Kate replies, Jaime attempting to argue, only to find herself going silent.
“He’s a bad person now, but that doesn’t change the person that he used to be” Kate continues, “do you think your mother is just holding onto a shitty drunk for no reason?” Without an answer, Jaime asks the woman what she’s trying to get at as her anxiety levels skyrocket. “I think your mother realizes that your father has a disease” Kate replies, “and I think she’s holding onto hope that he’ll change back to what he used to be someday.”
“It’s not going to happen” Jaime replies, Kate following that statement up by asking Jaime whether or not she’d see someone she loves go through the worse and change, and hold onto hope that they’d go back to who they used to be. “I don’t know” Jaime replies, “I’d have to see it first.” Her arms crossed, Kate tells Jaime that she already has. “Have a conversation with him” Kate suggests, watching Jaime’s eyes lift towards hers as she defeatedly nods. //
“Please, have a seat” Wenton says, ordering his armed guards out of the room and leaving his office to just himself and Jaime. “What exactly are you trying to accomplish her, Ms. Morris?” Django asks, the woman warning him to not talk to her as if she were someone he can just walk over. “You’re a kid” Wenton replies, easily having thirty years of experience over the young woman, “why should I believe that you’re anything near my level of intelligence?”
“Perhaps it’s those thousands of jobs and millions of dollars that I made this state” Jaime replies, “or because you’ve done nothing than stamp papers in comparison to what I’ve done.” Slighted, the man tells Jaime to watch her tone, only for the woman to brandish a hidden firearm and place it at the edge of the table. “Scream or call for help and I’ll have your brains against the wall” Jaime replies, “there’s a good reason not to overlook me.”
The man now cautiously stood in place, Jaime tells him that another thing to know about her is that she’s not holding onto some delusion that this place will remain standing by the end of the week. “They want your head on a platter, and those gates are not reinforcements, they are delays for the inevitable” Jaime continues, “if you don’t give them the answers they want, your government is going down and I’ll serve as the face of whatever one they create after it.”
“And you want me to take you seriously because you threaten me with a gun and a noose?” Django asks, “the only thing you have that they don’t is a sense of coherent literacy.” With a smile, Jaime paces around the room, the firearm now being swirled around in her hand as if it were a toy. “Django, do you want to hear one of the many differences between Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos?” Jaime asks, watching his eyes narrow.
“I’ve got their phone numbers and you don’t” Jaime replies, “and if you still believe that you’ve got credibility to back that superiority complex of yours with me, you’re already dead.” Scoffing, Django tells Jaime that her connections mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, prompting the woman to extend her arms. “And what does?” Jaime replies, “unlawfully holding civilians hostage in their own homes against American law and hiding behind a few walls like they matter?”
No longer answering, Django goes quiet, allowing Jaime to go off. “Am I not corrupt enough to be on your level?” Jaime asks, watching Django look towards her with anger-driven wide eyes. “What is it that makes you think you’re any better than me?” Jaime asks, “better yet, what makes you think you’re any cleaner than the mob outside your gates barking for your blood?”
“You’re just as much of a vile piece of scum as everyone else” Jaime continues, “the only difference between you and them is that they didn’t allow this mess... you did.” Taking a deep breath before adjusting his suit, Django tells Jaime that she’s picking a fight she doesn’t have the firepower to win. “Is that right?” Jaime asks, suggesting she leave Django two more days to test that theory.
“You’re keeping the truth from these people” Jaime continues, making sure Django stares her in the eyes as she says it, “and if you don’t give it to them, they’ll take it from you.” With a smile, Django walks towards his window, Jaime strategically standing directly behind him, making sure not to fall victim to any hidden sniper tactic. “Your youth betrays you” Django replies, “what you have in complexity, you lose to experience.”
“Enlighten me, sensei” Jaime replies, the sarcasm in her tone fascinating Django, who turns around to watch her unnaturally position her body parallel to his own. “Clever” Django replies, “you’re smart, but you’re not wise” the man continues, returning towards his gaze as the crisp apartment complex a few thousand feet away. “You’re waging a war with stones in your hands against an army with nuclear capabilities” Django informs, “how is that smart?”
“How is suggesting a building full of glad-handed ‘yes men’ would have the balls to go kamikaze on a nuclear-level anywhere near logical?” Jaime asks, Django laughing to himself. “Look all around you, Ms. Morris” Django replies, “logic went out the window the second bodies started hitting the floor.” Without a further question, Jaime follows it up with a simple ‘why’, leaving Django with the choice to come clean or keep his secrets locked tightly.
Turning around, Django mimics zipping his mouth shut and throwing away the key. With a smug grin, Jaime reminds Django that the mob will not allow him to continue to operate the government the way he sees fit. “You’re gonna have to stop me, then” Django replies, gifting Jaime the same grin right back. “Best of luck, old man” Jaime replies, returning her pistol to her boot and walking through the door, ready to take her rightful position at the throne of control.
Exiting the building, Jaime walks down the stairs as the murmured conversations of the crowd halt to a complete stop. Walking through the front gates, Jaime returns for the vacated vehicle, where she brushes off questions from her own group. Lifting the megaphone to her mouth, Jaime speaks loudly and boldly. “He won’t give us the answers we want, so we’re going to take them” Jaime shouts, “tear down that fucking gate!”
With a roaring war cry, the crowd bolts for the fence, shaking it with great might as the armed guards stand ready to fight, though keeping their guns at their sides. Looking down, Jaime watches her group huddle near the car to avoid getting swept away by the incensed mob. “We’re gonna take it” Jaime says to the group, watching Chevy speak up above the crowd on the group’s behalf. “We heard” the man replies, his voice sporting disappointment as hell, once again, breaks loose in Los Angeles.