Steps heavy and slow, a man with a long, gray coat enters the medical ward with a blade in his hand, the back of his boot kicking the coat every few steps as he approaches one of the beds. Growling sounding louder with every step towards the figure takes, the figure pulls his weapon to his side and forces it forward, blood spewing from the head of the undead cuffed to its final resting place.
“Awfully merciful of you” Lou exclaims from the opposite side of the room, half of his left arm having been removed, the other half handcuffed to a railing beside him. “Glad to see you awake, kid” Matt replies, the start of a beard beginning to form on his face. “If you hadn’t woken up soon, I would’ve taken you for dead” Matt explains, “so I guess this is a promising sign.”
Nodding, Lou looks towards the porthole window a few feet away, fingerprints scattered along one portion of the otherwise clean glass. “I suppose you’ve found yourself a burial site already?” Lou wonders, he and Matt both having glanced at the window, the man left to throw his hands out and back away, returning to the new corpse. “We need a way to discard of the dead while we’re aboard a ship” Matt explains, wrapping each side of the bedsheet over the body.
“I’m not gonna argue an effective way of clearing out space” Lou replies, watching Matt struggle to pull the body towards the window before tossing it out as if it were another piece of trash. Looking down, Lou pulls his arm back, the rattling cuffs locked around his wrist ringing out against the cold metal, the man glancing towards Matt as if to ask for his release.
Tilting his head to crack his own neck, Matt takes a seat beside Lou, explaining that he has a few questions for the man before he can feel confident enough to release him. “I guess I should start by asking what you can do around here, aboard the ship I mean” Matt begins, watching Lou begin to consider his choices. “I was never a guy to have a plan” Lou replies, “whatever I learned to do came with learning on the job.”
Folding his hands, Matt looks at Lou with curiosity, the man left with only and arm and a half to survive noticing this almost immediately. “You have other plans for me than typical house work, don’t you?” Lou proceeds, Matt taking this inquiry as his moment to float the question out. “You just survived an infection most people would have died by a long time ago” Matt explains, “it’d be sad if you died so soon after, but there’d be so much potential with you doing something else.”
Playing along, Lou allows Matt to explain what the other potential would be, surprised when Matt explains his statement in further detail than Lou anticipated. “We’ve got a severe lack of people for our gambling halls, and I think you’d be the perfect fit for the entertainment” Matt replies, Lou immediately shoved into a world of confusion.
“I’m not much the singing and dancing type” Lou replies, Matt sprouting a devious smile while he implores Lou to see the dream before it’s realized. Having been released from his bed, Lou is guided by Matt through the tunnels of the Euronam and into the darkest and deepest depths the vessel has to offer. Continuing onward, Lou is taken through water damaged halls, concrete-built holding cells, dented metal-walled tool sheds and more before finally being shown the main course.
Having to lower his head to squeeze through the opening, Lou follows Matt into a spacious lower deck with viewing platforms in every direction one floor above. “I don’t think this is going to make me want to sing for your entertainment” Lou replies, a gleeful Matt looking at Lou and promising him much more than that. “I don’t want you to sing for me, Lou” Matt replies, his hand pressing against the man’s shoulder as if he were installing wisdom, “I want you to fight for me.”
Their eyes locking onto each other, it is Matt to separate them first, glancing towards the opposite end of the room, where two doors, one on each side of the deck, release a string of the undead. “It’s not the most impenetrable system, but it’s more than efficient!” Matt explains, “and I want you to be the main event every evening.”
Casually drifting closer to the fence, Lou inspects the structural integrity of what would be his only safety whilst inside, asking Matt what the incentive to agree would be. “For a start, I wouldn’t have to add you to the wall” Matt replies, “but because I’m fair, you’d get a split of the profit.”
Turning back, Lou’s looks over his shoulder and repeats the final word Matt had just uttered. “Exactly what profit do you expect to gain from all of this?” Lou asks, Matt removing something from his pocket before tossing it to the man. Without issue, Lou catches the piece, Matt joking that the man’s hand-eye coordination gives him confidence. Holding the piece to his eye, Lou begins to notice the light from above reflecting off of it’s smooth surface.
“Gold?” Lou inquires, Matt responding in kind. “Every dead you kill will be piled up and counted at the end of each night” Matt explains, “for every one dead discarded, you’ll earn one golden coin.” With a chuckle, Lou tosses the coin back to Matt before glancing back towards the wall again, more interested in the waves he’ll have to encounter than the value of a few gold coins.
“Why are you doing this?” Lou asks, his natural curiosity getting the best of him, “the world’s falling apart and you’re still interested in making money.” Shaking his head, Matt returns the coin to his jacket pocket, assuring Lou that he has it all mistaken. “The world isn’t ending, it’s just evolving” Matt replies, “it’ll return to some sort of noramalicy eventually, and when it does, I’ll have tapped into a completely new market!”
His eyes squinting, Lou tells Matt that he’d be delusional to believe that the world could ever return to normal after all that has happened. “Any new normal would never come close to what it used to be” Lou explains, “the days of capitalism are over, it’s time to accept that.” In complete disagreement, Matt assures Lou that capitalism is what caused all of this to begin with, as the concept ate itself from the inside to create a new definition of the term.
“When shit hit the fan, everyone began looting rather than purchasing because no law and order was there to stop them” Matt explains, “as soon as authority gets involved, people go back to making purchases rather than committing crimes.” His finger pointing towards the wall, Matt catches up to Lou, telling him that taking part in the pit of Euronam’s darkest depths will equal the fame to that of any athlete or musician.
“You’re an artist and I’m your producer” Matt explains, “or if it suits you better… I’m your head coach, and you’re my quarterback.” Walking to a corner of the room and grabbing a stick, Matt begins rattling the fences, riling up the horde and further increasing the audible groaning. “You’re only interested in making a profit, aren’t you?” Lou proceeds, Matt turning around with his hands held out triumphantly, “the only point of being alive, in this world or any other, is to turn a profit!”
With a deep breath, Lou thinks about his options whilst Matt further tries to convince him, reminding the man that he’ll be the apocalypse’s first true celebrity. “I’ll do it in return for all that you’ve promised and a little bit more” Lou replies, Matt sarcastically suggesting he took the head coach-quarterback analogy literally. “If I’m doing business with you, and I’m supposedly the next big celebrity, there’s gonna be some negotiation” Lou replies, Matt offering the floor to the man.
“I want just one more guarantee” Lou replies, Matt more than willing to negotiate if the right offer is made. “I don’t know where you get the dead, I don’t want to know, and I don’t care to know” Lou explains, “I just wanna ensure that anyone I came aboard with, and anyone they associate with, are spared from every being added into this thing. Either as a fighter, a spectator, or one of the dead”
His hands waving at the wall of undead with disgust, Lou looks towards Matt, more than happy at this outcome. “I can fulfill that if you agree right now” Matt replies, putting Lou on the clock, the man not needing much time before accepting the offer. With a salesman smile and an outstretched hand, Matt shakes on the deal with Lou, sealing the future of both men.
= 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 =
Hands sweaty and forehead glistening in perspiration, Lou’s three other colleagues for the evening worry over the following proceedings, but almost marvel in Lou’s composure. “Are you not scared dude?” one of the men asks, his hair long and blonde, his arms and legs thin and mostly without much muscle. “Nope” Lou replies, taking a roll of tape and using his mouth to cover his hands and arms.
“Lou Jack?” a man calls from off to the side, approaching the man with one arm and handing him a prosthetic. “Matt didn’t want you to be at any disadvantage” the man explains, casually walking away as Lou places the prosthetic on. The feeling weird at the moment, Lou uses the prosthetic to tape his arm over, a thick layer of duck tape covering his forearm before removing the prosthetic and tossing it across the room.
“What was that for?” one of the men ask, this one wearing shorts and a tank top much as he had when he originally boarded. “I don’t need it” Lou replies, the first man with long blonde hair called into the pit almost right after. Walking into the center with a high level of anxiety, the man is greeted with a roaring crowd, ready to watch one of two outcomes prevail. Introductions out of the way, bets are halted and the gate is lifted, the opening wave consisting of around ten undead.
Taking an axe, the man shoves away the first few before beginning to put them down, wasting time and energy in heavy swings to the skull. Patiently awaiting their turn in the pit, the remaining fighters lean against a viewing window and watch the events unfold, perhaps holding the best seat in the house. “How long do you have him going?” Lou asks, the other two unable to answer with the level of fear coursing through their bodies.
Continuing to swing for his life, the man begins to take too long removing the axe, having to abandon the weapon once the swarm collapses too far. Shoving his way out, the man returns to the corner of the room, looking through a garbage bin for anything resembling a sharp object. Finally finding his choice of weapon, the man runs around the deck trying to distract the dead in any one direction, beginning to change his strategy into evading the dead, much to the audience’s displeasure.
“I’m Lou” the man explains in the back, offering his hand out to two men he now knows as named Nico and Warren. Amused, Lou watches the events unfold through the window, both men stood beside him staring in amazement at his ease of it all.
Continuing to run around, the man in the pit takes a few potshots at the dead before eventually running off again. The displeasure from the crowd above turning into boos, the man becomes enticed to bring the action once more, lunging towards one of the dead with his dagger in hand before slipping on one of the prior corpses. “It’s over” Lou exclaims, walking away from the window to prepare for his own fight once the man disappears into the pit.
His fall taking him directly into the center of the remaining dead, the man’s fate is sealed, his flesh being torn at by the undead until the guards put a stop to it. Dressed in heavy military gear, the guards storm into the horde without worry and shove the dead away, picking the bite-covered, flesh-exposed man up and dragging him towards the fence.
With a nod, the guards signal for one of the men stationed in the unseen corners of the pit to wheel out a ladder the likes of which normally found in local supermarkets and bulk stores. Groaning in pain, having been ripped into by the undead, the man thanks the guards as coherently as he can for saving his life. Without response, the guards carry the body up the ladder, much as they do with the undead, and dump it over the top, allowing it to plummet into the horde.
Covering their mouths at the sight, Warren and Nico can’t help themselves from watching the remainder of what is left of the man being torn from the bone by the caged undead. “I wouldn’t waste so much time with a heavy weapon if I were you” Lou exclaims, finally ripping the sights of Warren and Nico away, insisting they go with lighter weapons.
Now up, Nico rushes towards the can and retrieves a syckle, slashing the face of one of the undead before the first wave can even emerge from captivity yet. Backing away to create distance, Nico glances around the room to put a strategy into mind, an action that Lou takes appreciation in from his own captivity. Seeing his opportunity, Nico leads the dead into one corner against the fence before scaling the chain link, leaping for a clear section of the deck before stumbling.
With a grunt, Nico continues fighting, his ankle hurt in the process of his stunt, forcing Lou to shake his head and walk away from the view, determining the man to be nothing more than a wounded piece of meat. Despite the circumstances looking grim, Nico continues battling, hacking away at the dead and using whatever he can locate for an advantage.
Removing a hatchet, Nico plays the same evasion the man earlier had, only picking his spots as they appear. One by one, the dead begin to fall, a wounded Nico being given a second lease on life. Like a warrior, the man continues fighting, Matt impressed in the viewing decks at the heart on display. One after another, the dead fall until just one remains, half of its face cut off by Nico’s earlier efforts.
His sights set on ending the first wave, Nico readies his hatchet and walks towards the undead, lifting his weapon into the air before freezing at the sound of a gun. Confused by this sound, Lou races to the window to look out at what happened, Warren’s jaw dropped at the sight of the hatchet falling from Nico’s hands. Eyes directed towards Matt, Nico watches the plume of smoke billow from Matt’s gun, a bullet having ripped through his chest and ended his life.
Still stood on instinctive strength, Nico is left helpless to the final of the undead catching up to him and digging in. Spoiled at the feast, the final undead rips into Nico, putting great concern in the faces of both Warren and Lou. Eventually, the guards break it up, the chorus of booing at Matt serving as the backdrop for their disposal efforts, pulling both Nico and the undead away from the deck and tossing them into the horde much as the man earlier had suffered the fate of.
Addressing the concerns, Matt obliges to the demands of the crowd, apologizing for his interference and vowing not to do it again. As a show of good faith, Matt tosses his weapon into the pit, symbolically wiping his hands clean of the evidence and leaving the next fight to occur uninterrupted. Backing away from the window, Lou shakes his head in disgust, a worried Warren left to fear being the next in line to a similar fate.
“He’ll find a way to put you down” Lou exclaims, Warren glancing back to the man, who keeps his composure and continues preparing. Both arms wrapped in duct tape from top to bottom, Lou tells Warren to figure out how to evade interference as best as possible. Baffled, Warren asks Lou how he’s meant to do that without getting torn apart by the horde. With a look of disgust, Lou groggily looks up, reminding Warren that he now has a gun.
The third fight of the evening taking place, Warren quickly dashes into the pit and grabs the firearm, aiming it at Matt before the horde’s gate can even be opened. Gasps from the crowd at the sight of one of their own being taken aim at, Matt is left simply staring at Warren, almost as if he were daring him to steady his hand and pull the trigger. “Come on you gutless son of a bitch” Lou mutters beneath his breath, watching the staredown between two levels unfold.
No longer keen on wasting time, the guards release the horde and allow the decision in Warren’s hands to be put on a timer. Hands pressing against the bannister, Matt continues staring down at Warren, whose hand shakes at the sight of the man, knowing the horde to be growing closer. “Do it” Matt mouths, Warren pulling the hammer on the gun back before redirecting him aim.
Taking the gun from Matt and placing it beneath his chin, Warren pulls the trigger, splattering his brains against the blood-stained pit grounds to a chorus of booing. Their opportunity presenting itself, the horde dives in on their meal, the guards beginning to prepare for another extraction. Boiling over in anger, Lou hurls expletives at the newly-deceased man and punches the wall, moving ahead of schedule and bursting through the pit door.
The booing coming to a halt at the sighting of Lou, the work begins to take effect. One and a half arms to use, Lou retrieves the firearm and directs the guards to stay back. Emptying the clip into whatever dead rest atop Warren, Lou tosses the empty gun back to the man that signed him into this effort and goes to work. Removing a rebar rod from the garbage can, Lou begins twirling it around as if he were a martial arts expert, putting the dead down with ease.
Within the blink of an eye, the first wave Lou has to face goes down in an instant, the crowd erupting into an ovation as Matt flashes a devious smile to his star recruit. Bowing his head as if he were tipping his cap, Lou responds in kind, the voice over the loudspeaker calling for the next wave of fifteen to be released, only for Lou to shout out that there will be a change of plans.
Intrigued, the crowd dies into a complete silence, Lou planting his rebar pipe into the ground and demanding the entire horde be released from its captivity. In astonishment, the crowd collectively wonders in amazement, Matt himself stricken with fear at the possibility of a single man being able to wipe out a sizable horde with nothing more than a piece of construction material.
Refusing to let the man’s demands go unheard, the guards nod to themselves and drop the gate completely, the metal fencing falling to the ground at once as Lou goes to work. One after another, the dead fall, very little ground being gained on Lou in the time it takes for him to flatten an entire deck’s worth of undead. Jaw dropped, Matt watches Lou clean house easily, the man he nearly expected to succumb to his coma now looking like he was built out of pure stamina and precision.
One after another, the dead continue to fall until Lou gets bored, now beginning to take interest in toying with the undead. Considering them to be nothing more than slow, weak wastes of time and energy, Lou treats them like they’re children playing in a man’s game. Taunting them, Lou holds his arm out and allows them to sink their teeth into his duct tape-covered nub of an arm before backing them against a wall and using his hand to crush their skulls against the cold metal.
Within moments, the dead continue to fall, one after another until the final corpse remaining finds its head caved in by the sole of his boot. In the blink of an eye, the hungry horde found its release and demise at the hands of the man ready to do it all over again. Erupting into cheers, the crowd are greeted by the sound of any wagers placed on Warren to be paid out as winners.
Glancing up towards Matt, Lou nods again, bowing his head whilst Matt gives him a well deserved applause. “How about another?” Lou calls out, Matt taking his eyes away from Lou and placing them to the guards, who do as instructed and free the doors in the back. Upon request, Lou is granted access to the ships supply of undead, one corpse after another pooling into the pit and finding their fates to be similar to that of each other.
Unwrapping his arms, Lou prepares for a cold shower until Matt comes barging into the locker room, unable to stop shouting pleasantries at Lou, who he nicknames “the Silver Slayer.” With a chuckle, Lou lets the water run, promising him that a nickname is not necessary. “Just get me my gold and let me know when next” Lou offers, Matt refusing to leave the efforts go with such little reward.
Abruptly, Matt turns the water off, telling the man to get dressed and follow him out of the gross changing space. As told, Lou follows Matt through the way he entered and into the rest of the ship, the luxurious orange glow of the halls leading up to his room beginning to fill with people taking interest in Lou’s presence. “I told you I’d make you a star” Matt explains, arm wrapped arm Lou’s neck, proclaiming the man to all under the Silver Slayer monicker.
Some residents entering the halls simply to applaud Lou’s efforts, others nodding to him with poorly hidden smiles as he walks by, Lou is drenched in admiration from those that now know his name. His walk of fame coming to an abrupt end, Lou is led to a room at the ver end of the hallway, a massive suite waiting for him on the other side, lined with decour from top to bottom and accompanied with a pile of gold coins left atop the bed.
“You deserve much better circumstances than that craped medical ward” Matt explains, “we figured we’d introduce it to you the way you earned it.” In awe, Lou fails to put his thoughts into words, the sights of what is to be his new home being what most would have to spend a fortune just to rent for a few measly days. “This is mine?” Lou asks, the words being the only ones he can manage to say at the time.
“The room, the coins, the view, everything” Matt replies, walking up to the man and patting him on the back, “it’s all yours, slayer.” With that, Matt returns for the door, explaining that it’ll be a few days before they can get more dead aboard the ship, so he’s more than welcomed to lounge around for the next week until they can fill their supply once more.
Attempting to leave, Matt is called back by his new recruitment, Lou asking about the well-being of his group. “They’re a bit skeptical of us” Matt admits, acknowledging this to be normal for people entering a new situation, “but they’re alive and healthy.” With a smile, Lou thanks Matt for keeping his word, the man holding his hands by his head and reminding Lou that they’ve agreed on a deal.
Attempting to leave once more, Matt is beckoned for again, Lou asking Matt if he can do him a favor smaller than anything their agreement holds. More than happy to oblige, Matt hears Lou’s request, confused by it at first before ultimately agreeing. “Don’t let Ally know that I’m alive” Lou asks, Matt nodding without a word, silently agreeing to the statement before finally succeeding at leaving Lou to his new space.
With a deep breath, the one-armed man looks towards the balcony, still getting used to the feeling of being disabled, but being afforded a nice enough view to not worry over it too much. Sliding the glass door open, Lou walks onto his balcony and closes the door behind himself, his room giving him access to two different sights, one facing the ocean, the other facing the lounging area.
Leaning over the bannister, the man takes in the sights of the endless body of deep, blue water as he slouches into a cushioned seat and takes the first chance he can to relax into something that feels more permanent than anything else he’s seen since the outbreak began.
Doing as he had the week prior, Lou goes to work in the pit, clearing out another wave and dropping one body after another. Finally at the end of the first horde, Lou glances up towards Matt, the curious sight of Lee’s familiar face baffling the man currently awaiting the next swarm. Almost enraged, Lou stare down Matt, almost as if to condemn him for his betrayal.
With a smile, Matt puts his hands out and shrugs, an angered Lou ready to snap until the sound of unfamiliar squeals fill the room. The crowd dying to silence, all eyes are placed on the space behind the contained horde, Lou left completely in the dark as the lights go out, the pit illuminated by only one, dim fire’s orange glow. Before the dead can pile into the next wave, Lou catches the glimpse of the figure having unceremoniously found her way inside.
Eyes widened, Lou stands in shock at Jenn on the other end of the fence, faced against the next wave he was meant to endure. On instinct alone, Lee leaps over the bannister and drops himself into the pit, the curious crowd questioning each other as to what is happening. Shouting the woman’s name, Lee rushes towards the bin of discarded weapons and picks up a broken baseball bat, hurling it over the gate and into the hands of Jenn.
His own mallet in hand, Lee looks towards Lou, nodding to the man as Lou demands the next wave be freed. To a standing ovation, the crowd erupts, gate falling as the bright white lights return overhead, the three survivors waging war on the next wave from all sides. Using the strands of wood protruding from the broken bat, Jenn puts down one undead after another, Lee doing his part whilst Lou mimicks a helicopter fan, taking down the undead at an alarmingly fast rate.
Having cleared a passageway, Lou hurries through the horde, taking out the undead trying to close in as he pulls Jenn back to his favored side of the pit. Tossing her bat at Matt, Jenn watches the man easily tilt his head away from the oncoming danger, brushing this gesture off and grabbing a golf club.
“Release the whole fucking thing and give me my lot!” Lou shouts, the guards doing as told and granting the request made just as they had the week prior. The dead falling at an inhumane rate, blood is splattered all across the pit, enough for pockets of the deck to be covered in enough gore to create a puddle.
Lee whacking away at the dead whilst Jenn tees off, Lou cleans house until the dead begin piling atop each other. Finally reaching the end, Lou takes the final dead and places his nub in its mouth, the tape covering his flesh from exposure as Lou demands the gate be raised up once more. Doing as told, the guards lift the fencing whilst Jenn and Lee watch on, Lou pressing the undead against the fence by the throat and pushing in, its brains being turned to mush against the steel grating.
His job done, Lou receives a standing ovation, looking up at Matt, who gives him a familiar applause. Disgusted, Lou keeps his rebar piping on him, spitting towards Matt and telling him to have his payment by the end of the night. Leading his survivors through the showers, Lou breaches into the luxury spaces of the ship to another familiar applause, the much on his shoes staining the carpet with each step he takes.
“I want you to tell me everything, top to bottom, leave nothing out” Lou demands, directing the pair into his new home. “I’m not gonna allow this shit to fly” the man concludes, peering out into the hallway for another moment before slamming the door shut, harboring the pair in his quarters and shielding everything within from the outside.
== RISE and REVOLT ==