“Don’t force my hand into this, Hane” Matt exclaims, his hands and knees doing what they can to drag the man away from the imposing man hell bent on ending the cycle of suffering. “You do not match up with me in any way, Matthew” Brunskill replies, unbuttoning his captain’s shirt and tossing it over his chair, nothing more than a plain white t-shirt covering his bare chest, “I don’t think you have much of a say in the matter.”
Ready to do what he deems necessary with his bare hands, Brunskill pulls Matt to his feet and shoves him into the wall, Matt continuing to make an attempt at talking his way out of dire measures. Breathing heavily through his teeth, Brunskill stares Matt down, eyes practically bulging out from his skull while the blood continues to run down his victim’s face.
“We could have done things differently, we could have had it all!” Matt exclaims, the lack of response from Brunskill’s lips made up for in the contact his fist makes against Matt’s face. Struck with the force of a body builder, Matt goes limp for a moment, his shirt still kept in the clutches of Brunskill, who returns the overpowered youngster to the wall, watching him smile despite the beating he has and will continue to take.
“You never saw the world for what it needed to be, Hane” Matt explains, “it is evolving for a reason… We were supposed to be the ones that took advantage of it!” His head shaking in disappointment, Brunskill admits that he used to have so much hope for Matt. With another punch, Brunskill throws Matt back against the wall for a third time, watching the pleasure the man takes in the abuse, feeling it all to be worth it to stand by his strongest of beliefs.
“When the world gave us metal, we made machines” Matt explains, “and when it gave us machines, we made industries. Redefined what trade was meant to be.” Wiping his nose, Brunskill asks Matt what he truly takes all of this change to mean. “I don’t want any of this pyramid scheme bullshit, I want statements” Brunskill explains, “tell me how this is meant to be capitalized on.”
Spitting a string of blood from his mouth, Matt turns back to Brunskill with a bloody smile, telling him that man that no explanation is necessary. “You either see it or you don’t… There’s no middle ground” Matt replies, “everything that happens in the world is meant to be capitalized on. You either do or you don’t.” Disgusted, Brunskill shakes his head, suggesting Matt to be too sick to be trusted with what’s left fighting for its survival before dropping him with another strike.
Relinquished from Brunskill’s possession, Matt is allowed to collapse to the floor, the man having beaten him now slowly walking over to the fire extinguisher in the corner of the room. Ashamed of himself, Brunskill takes the weapon into his hands, understanding what he needs to do in order to put an end to the suffering aboard the ship. “I wish you hadn’t made me do this” Brunskill says, taking in a deep breath before turning back to the wounded Matthew.
“I’m sorry, but you can’t be here any more” Brunskill exclaims, Matt gasping for breath with a smile as his killer inches closer, “you’re only going to hurt more people, and I can’t let you do that.” With a nod, Matt does as he feels best, lifting himself to his knees and bowing his head, preparing to meet the maker that brought him upon the world. Swallowing his pride, Brunskill resorts to the darkest depths of his mind, preparing to carry out an execution.
Hoisting the extinguisher over his head, Brunskill keeps his eyes on Matt, the man beneath him looking up, maintaining eye contact as Brunskill stands there. “Can’t do it, can you?” Matt asks, face still bloodied and red from the beating, watching Brunskill fight within himself to carry out what he knows must be done. With another nod, Matt swiftly takes advantage of Brunskill’s inaction, delivering an elbow to Brunskill’s inner knee before knocking the weapon from the captain’s hands.
Despite the pain coursing through his body, Matt fights to live another day, countering the physical response from Brunskill with a few well placed punches of his own. Upon the seventh shot, Brunskill goes down, his back plastered across the cold and bloody ground of his quarters, opening the opportunity for Matt to retrieve what would have been the cause of his demise.
Knowing what little chance he has when faced with the fire extinguisher, Brunskill throws himself to his feet and tackles Matt into the wheel, redirecting the ship once more. Still stronger when in hand to hand combat, Brunskill uses his body weight to hold Matt down, knees pressed against the inside of his elbows as he rains down one punch after another. “You can’t be here any more!” Brunskill shouts, ready to kill Matt with his bare hands alone.
Lifting his hand into the air for the sixth time, Brunskill finds himself suddenly in a great deal of pain, Matt’s knee having been able to lift high enough to hit Brunskill below the belt. “You gotta be better than that Hane!” Matt exclaims, spitting out the few teeth knocked from their place in his mouth before delivering a headbutt to the man’s orbital bone and crawling over to the bright red beacon of death.
Fire extinguisher in hand, Matt pulls himself to his feet and drags the weapon along the ground, finally finding the might to level Brunskill with it the moment he tries to return to his feet. “Not such a big guy now, are you?” Matt asks, properly standing tall over Brunskill as the man tries to ascend to his feet again. Pushing himself up by the wall, Brunskill stands against it to catch his breath before it’s taken from him again, Matt shattering his ribs with extinguisher in an instant.
“How does it feel, Hane?” Matt asks, Brunskill angering Matt by going unresponsive, crumpled over with his arms over his ribcage, “I said how does it feel!?” Pulling Brunskill by the hair, Matt bounces his head off the window before delivering a second shot to the man’s ribs, this time watching Brunskill collapse before hitting him a in the back for a second time. Gasping for air, Brunskill lays motionless in the corner of the quarters as the extinguisher drops from Matt’s hands.
“We should have had it all, Hane” Matt replies in disappointment, walking away from the man and leaving him to die, pushing his way through the door and walking off. Without remorse, nor care, Matt turns the lights off and closes the door, walking off to whatever comes next.
= 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 =
“What do you guys think happened to our parents?” Ally asks, the remainder of her group diligently trying to force their way out of captivity while her concussion only gets worse. “Ally, we’re gonna need some quiet right now” Jules exclaims, Terry growing more frustrated with each failed attempt. “Let me try” Halston exclaims, taking over the efforts for the man while Terry walks off, slamming his fist against the wall.
“You’re gonna get free” Ally explains, Terry silently pressing his head against the wall as the woman continues encouraging him, “you’re not gonna die like this.” Appreciative of the sentiment, Terry smiles, Theo on the other hand, preserving Ally’s hope where she fails to. “It’s not just us that are gonna make it out of this, it’s gonna be you too” Theo explains, the woman pleading with those she’s faced it all with not to put all of their hope in a pointless plan.
“If push comes to shove, leave me behind” Ally replies, “I’ll just slow you down, and they’ll catch us all… If that happens, we all die anyway.” Refusing, Theo presses himself against the metal bars, assuring the woman that they can all make it out alive. “Halston’s pretty good at this stuff, we’ll be out of here soon” Theo exclaims, Terry jokingly telling him to ‘fuck off’ before he can finish the second half of his sentence.
“We’ve still got our people out there right now, we’ve got allies on this ship” Theo explains, “and when it comes down to it… I have something they want.” Finally taking his skull away from the wall, Terry turns towards Theo, asking if he’s found something to do with the notes. “If they wanted them when they took us in, they’ll want them again” Theo explains, “if they haven’t found them yet… I can buy you guys time at the least.”
“What do you mean ‘buy us time’?” Halston asks, pressing one of the fillers between her teeth as she works with the first alone. “I’m saying that I’m willing to bite a few bullets if it means you guys get off this thing and head for land” Theo replies, “lead them on a goose chase while you guys head for the exits.”
“We’re not leaving you behind either” Jules replies, Terry doubling down on Jules’ statement. “You may be an annoying motherfucker, but we’re not leaving you here to die” Terry explains, “so let’s start figuring out where to go with plan C.” Before another voice can be heard, the clicking of the inner mechanisms of their prison bars rattle through the room, the door opening with ease as freedom elicits a quick response.
Turning to Ally’s cage, the group begins to hurry up the pace, the woman’s hope returning for a mere moment until dread begins kicking in. Despite the heavy effects of the concussion, Ally glances back and forth between the lock and the door, knowing that the success of one or the other is the difference between a shot at life, and being shot to death.
Minutes pass and the cell door remains locked Ally’s hope finally escaping for the final time as the main door begins to spin unlocked, the mechanisms adjusting in such a way that grants access to the dark secret contained within. Taking their cue, the group deviates from the strategy, readying their weapons as the opening finally moves in, a familiar face and her friend emerging from the other side.
“Stand back, bro!” Terry shouts, almost too thrilled to finally find himself with a chance to take on those responsible for locking him up, his excitement remaining for a different reason when Elsie and Josie emerge. “Oh thank fucking god!” Terry exclaims, not caring over how little he still knows about the girl, instead wrapping his arms around the pair and thanking the powers that be for offering them familiar faces.
“Did the guards do this?” Elsie proceeds, her question answer by Halston as she returns to the lock continuing to keep Ally restrained. “We’re gonna need somethi-” Elsie begins, her words stopped at the sound of unfamiliar footsteps leading their way towards holding. “Stand back, I want these clowns for myself” Terry exclaims, a metal latch from one of the cabinets at the back of the room held in his hands.
“Surprise motherfucker!” Terry shouts without concern, driving the sharpened metal end into the throat of Luke, yet another guard falling at the hands of their group. “Payback’s a bitch!” Terry exclaims, his enthusiastic shout immediately turning sour when the radio on Luke’s person reactivates. “Luke, what’s going on in there?” the voice on the other end calls out, Terry removing the radio and throwing it out of the window.
“He must have had the thing on just in case” Halston exclaims, speeding up her efforts as the group begins to realize that they’ve been discovered. “You guys need to go right now” Ally exclaims, pushing herself towards the cell door as Halston refuses to do any such thing. “Does he have any keys on him?” Jules asks, Terry unable to come up with anything inspiring from his search.
“Not a thing” Terry replies, disappointment beginning to overwhelm him as the rest of the group begins understanding what they need to do. Though understanding what is necessary, Halston refuses to do what’s necessary, continuing to diligently work away at the inner locks against Ally’s demands. Stubbornly refusing to allow Halston to die for nothing, Ally lunges towards the door and shoves Halston away, placing her hands over the key hole and blocking it.
“You need to go right now, Halston!” Ally exclaims, the woman pulling herself back up and trying to pry Ally’s hands away from the lock. “We are not leaving you to die down here!” Halston exclaims, continuing to unsuccessfully gain any traction on removing the woman’s hands. “Halston, you need to go… I’m not letting up on this” Ally replies, continuing to stand her ground, even whilst Halston gives into biting her fingers to remove them.
With a free hand, Ally takes Halston by the face and shoves her back, demanding she go. Ready to do it all over again, Halston picks herself up and marches right back, Terry’s arms wrapping around the woman before she can go for round three. “Let go of me, Terry!” Halston shouts, the man telling the woman that they don’t have any more time. “We tried, but we failed!” Terry exclaims, “you either die down here for Ally, or help us find Jenn.”
Hair dangling over her eyes, Halston tells Terry not to force her to make that choice, which the man responds by absolving himself of the blame. “It ain’t me, Halston” Terry explains, “I wouldn’t wanna make this choice either… But you’ve got to.” Wrapping her fingers around the bars, Ally tells Halston to go, refusing to allow her to blame herself for whatever happens to her next.
“I’ll gladly die if it means you guys make it out of here alive” Ally explains, “so go stay the fuck alive, Halston.” Stood in place, Halston progressively goes more limp to Terry’s pull, eventually giving into the man’s grip and allowing herself to be hauled to safety. The woman she came within inches of saving becoming farther away each step. With a smile from behind her prison cell grave, Ally waves goodbye to her group as they vanish from sight, accepting her final moments.
Calling out for the man, Matt groggily stumbles into Drew, the latter helping him remain upright while inquiring about the pit. Confused, Drew holds Matt against the wall, unable to support the body weight himself while he asks for clarification. “The pit, the horde getting out, what happened with it?” Matt proceeds, Drew perhaps even more lost than he was before.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about dude, I’m heading towards holding” Drew replies, Matt beginning to question what’s actually unfolding. “The prisoners, the ones from holding?” Drew clarifies, “they killed Luke and made an escape… We’re looking for them now.” Taken aback, Matt asks how they managed all of that, Drew left as curious as Matt himself is.
“All I know is they left the amputees girlfriend locked up, which is pretty fucking cold” Drew replies, immediately asking for Matt’s desired action. Beginning to put two and two together, Matt insists Drew keep the girl alive, understanding what needs to be done in order to right the ship in the figurative sense of the phrase. “Don’t let them escape!” Matt exclaims, “if any one of those fuckers make it off the ship, I’ll have all of you hanged on the main deck.”
Moods having turned too quickly to truly be understood fully, Drew calls out to Matt as the man shoves himself away. “What’s going on?” Drew proceeds, Matt exclaiming from his stooped further into the hallway that the ship is under attack from within. Taking the man’s word for gospel, Drew calls in Matt’s order, returning to his hurried dash into holding.
Leading the group back to where they originated from, Elsie and Josie collapse onto the floor whilst Halston locks the doors behind them, taking the moment she has to herself to disgrace her actions. Hair falling from her head, Halston presses her hands against the door and catches her breath, her teeth clenched as she refuses to forgive herself for leaving Ally behind.
With a sigh, Terry rests his hand upon the woman’s shoulder, telling her to stop holding it all against herself. “If you keep it up with this ‘it’s all my fault’ thing, I’m throw you overboard” Terry jokes, doing little to lighten the woman’s spirits, but managing very little in the least. Leaving his statement as is, Terry lets his hand slowly drift away from the comfort of the space upon her neck whilst returning to the group.
“We need to figure out where to go next” Elsie explains, Jules casually complimenting her new weapon of choice as it hangs by her side. “With the ‘hi, how are you’s’ aside, we still have people out there” Terry explains, “Jenn and Lee, Lou even, possibly.” Remaining a realist, Jules makes it known to the group that they won’t fare well without those still apart.
“Lou got us here, and Jenn’s his appointed successor” Jules explains, “Elsie and Theo can speak for Lee, but the rest of us are down our first two leaders.” Head hung, Terry places his hands on his hips before telling Jules to retract his statements. “Nevermind what I just said then” Jules exclaims, a smirk on Terry preceding his declaration of intent. “However long I have to be, I’ll take the leader responsibility while we’re short handed” Terry exclaims, the group nothing but compliant.
“First measure of business is finding our guys… Then we get the fuck off this boat” Terry exclaims, “so let’s figure out how we’re gonna get this done.” Without hesitation, Halston calls upon Theo, the group immediately allowing their gaze to dart towards the woman, who remains pressed up against the door.
“You said you had papers that they wanted” Halston points out, regaining her cool and solemnly returning to the center of the group, “where are they?” Giving it a good thought, Theo begins pacing around the room, double checking his surroundings in order to not have to regret not doing so at a later time. “How the hell do you think they knew I had the papers?” Theo proceeds to ask, “I didn’t say a word to anyone other than you, and they practically burst through the door the second I did.”
“Are you suggesting they had our rooms bugged?” Elsie asks, Halston answering the woman’s question by admitting that it makes all the sense in the world. Finishing his sweep, Theo returns to the center of the room, describing a splintered piece of floor board along the main deck where he stashed them away. “The main deck?” Terry proceeds to ask, “your big lifeline is tucked away in the one floor everyone on this boat steps on?”
“I didn’t forsee us being held prisoner on what was supposed to be a safe haven, so yeah” Theo replies, “it’s on the main deck and I know they want it badly.” Her hands on her hips, Halston nods to herself, thinking over her options in the moment before volunteering to make the journey out there with the man. “I can get them by myself” Theo replies, desperately trying to ensure any potential life lost is relegated to only his own, an attempt that falls unsuccessful.
“You’re not going out there alone, and I’m not staying cooped up in here” Halston replies, glancing towards terry to take it from there. “I guess that leaves it all up too how we’re getting off this thing” Terry exclaims, Elsie explaining that she might have an answer to that. With a deep breath, Terry looks back at the woman, leaving the floor open to her.
Reaching behind her, Elsie drags a box out and throws it into the center of the room, allowing it to come to a stop at the feet of Jules. “What’s this?” the man asks, reaching into the box before freezing up, his hand still submerged within as his jaw drops. “What is it?” Terry proceeds, Jules looking up to him with his eyes widened, immediately darting back to Elsie, who remains vague about it all.
“We might not have to find a way off it we just force their hands” Elsie replies, her eyes glancing back towards Halston and Terry, who stare at her in shock once they discover the box’s contents.
Bouncing off the hallway walls, Matt staggers closer into the ship’s unknowns as the lights begin dying out. In anger, Matt takes a few swipes at the dying lights, knocking one clean off the wall as the remainder in place yet untraveled go out at once. “Do you think this is funny!?” Matt calls out, his paranoia rising to levels unreasonable, calling out to those which he cannot see and daring them to continue their charades.
Talking to himself, Matt gingerly descends the massive staircase leading into the gambling halls, each light he passes dying out immediately. “Real spooky shit you’ve got going on down here, big guys!” Matt shouts, tripping over the final stair and colliding with the ground while the final light bulb burns out. “How cute” Matt calls out, throwing himself back to his feet and strolling through the casino.
“A lot of good times were had here” Matt exclaims, pressing his hand against a virtual slot machine, the electronic display powering on at the slightest touch, causing Matt to jump. “Enough with this bullshit!” Matt exclaims, growing tired of the games before growing antsy at the sound of an amused laugh. “I think we’re far from done!” a man exclaims from within, the blacked out casino making it easier to trace the source of a voice.
“I’m not fucking around anymore, Lou!” Matt shouts, his hands pressing against his head as he demands the man present himself. Upon request, the hall glows bright with amusing, warm, and welcoming colors, a bundle of noise suddenly triggering at once, disorientating Matt. Allowing himself to get caught up with the change in scenery, Matt calms himself down, rubbing his eyes and catching his breath until he looks up, seeing Lee across the room with his hands folded.
As if he had seen a ghost, Matt charges forward, still heavily beaten from Brunskill’s attack, tripping and falling over one machine after another as Lee walks away. “Come back here you backstabbing son of a bitch!” Matt shouts, “I know what you saw the other night, I can have your ass held on murder charges!”
The sounds becoming too much, Matt is forced to his knees, where he ducks his head beneath one of the blackjack tables and unloads his lunch. Upon alleviating his stomach, Matt pulls his head free, the lights dying out and music coming to a close all at once. “Fuck you, you son of a bitch!” Matt shouts, his vigor aimed at Lee, whom he no longer has enough track to follow, instead hurrying in the general direction of him.
His knees colliding with what seems like every obstacle in the hall, Matt eventually fumbles his way into the back wing, a narrow corridor leading towards the basement, which he takes in a heartbeat. Much to his displeasure, the lights return, engulfing Matt once more and prompting yet another pause. Wiping away his eyes, Matt looks back the way in which he came, Jenn stationed at the door before disappearing behind it, Matt watching her as she locks him in.
Throwing himself back, the man begins slamming against the metal, watching Jenn through the window as Lee whistles from the tunnel’s other end. His eyes fixated on the man, Matt hurries forward again, the lights going out with a new target in sight for the deranged Matthew. Descending the boisterous metal staircase, Matt descends into the final stretch, the lights powering on again for the final few feet.
This time welcomed with warm yellow lights, Matt’s eyes adjust well enough for him to notice the sound of a coin dropping into the pit when it happens. Knowing where to go next, Matt runs into the locker room, quickly dashing through what used to serve as the final area of safety with retribution in mind. Squeezing through the entry, Matt steps into the pit, faced with a maintained fence holding the undead back and a lack of life.
From behind, the door closes in, sealing Matt into the home he once took pride in creating, only to now wish he was responsible for anything else. Within a moment, the presentation lights power on, Jenn speaking through the loudspeaker that the live event has finally reached it’s main event. “How’s it feel down there?” Lee asks, pacing around the viewing platform, his arms draped over the bannister, “roomy, ain’t it?”
“Do you think is a joke? All just a funny game for you to play at my expense?” Matt questions, his eyes directed towards Lee and Jenn to the west while his question is answered from the east. “You seemed to think of it this way when I was in there, why shouldn’t I do the same to you?” Lou asks, string in his hand as he stands alone on the bannister overlooking the horde.
“Why?” Matt asks, rephrasing the question to present Lou a request. “I tried to make you a star, I tried to make you the kingpin of all of this!” Matt exclaims, “why would you throw it all away for them… For these people?” Rolling up his sleeve to make up for the lack of an arm caused by Matt’s orders, Lou reminds Matt of what the people he locked away mean to him.
“You have my girlfriend, my childhood friends, the people I survived through this ordeal with locked away in a cage!” Lou exclaims, “why wouldn’t I fight for these people?” Spitting on the ground he stands upon, Matt reminds him that he’s still just a kid in the grand scheme of the world. “You would just be around finishing high school, you don’t know love yet… You don’t know who your people are!” Matt explains, “I could have been your people… This could have been your home.”
“Could have, would have, should have” Lou replies, “the bottom line is… You’re not… They are.” Rolling his eyes, Matt stumbles back into the door before fixing himself up, his eyes firmly placed upon Lou in hopes of sparing his life. “Things don’t have to end like this, Lou” Matt explains, “you still have the chance to make a choice that gets you both.”
With a smile, Lou grants Matt the chance to plead for his life and present the points he wishes to, the string in his hand determining whether he is successful or not. “Your people escaped a few minutes ago” Matt replies, watching Lou’s expression alter slightly from afar, “well… almost all of your people.”
Clearing his throat, Matt begins struggling forward, the palms of his hands resting upon the fence, too high for the undead to be able to nibble at. “The little love of your life you’re doing all of this for got left behind in the mess” Matt explains, “but I made sure she’d be left alive in the event you and I got to share a few words again.”
Teeth clenched, Lou watches Jenn and Lee walk up to him until Matt calls for his attention back. “When we’re talking, your eyes stay here” Matt explains, “and if you wanna make sure Ally stays safe and sound, you’re gonna have to pull me out of here to lead you to her.”
“You can’t trust him” Jenn replies, Lou glancing towards her as she glances down at the man in the pit, “he’s desperate… So he’ll lead you there and then take you prisoner for betraying him.” Shaking his head in denial, Matt promises Lou that he’ll take him to her and give him a free pass. “As a matter of fact, however many people of yours are left alive, I’ll spare them all! You hold all the cards!” Matt exclaims, “I just want us to be a team again… Like we were supposed to be!”
With a deep breath, Lou glances back towards the pit, his hand held out as Jenn begins to speak, signalling for her to leave him in silence. “Lou, I’m telling you… No, I’m promising you” Matt explains, Lou’s eyes lifting towards the man as he concludes, “we’ll fix this.”
With a smile and a laugh, Lou ties the rope to the bannister and leans forward, reminding Matt that he once promised him something before. “You couldn’t keep your word then, why should I believe it now?” Lou proceeds to ask, Matt swallowing his pride and letting his hands drop by his side. “I’m desperate now” Matt responds, a subtle dose of honesty giving Lou all the information he needed to know to make an informed decision.
“I actually believe you there… The way you spoke, the way you looked at me… Hell, the way your heart sunk made me believe you” Lou responds, “I didn’t feel that before.” Nodding to himself, Lou explains to Matt that desperate men do desperate things, and he has yet to determine whether or not they are to be trusted in this new world. “But I know right now what I think of you and this stardom you speak of” Lou explains, “and you’re both dead to me.”
Without hesitation, Lou reaches down and pulls the string, allowing the fence to fall and the undead to be released. “Why, Lou!?” Matt exclaims, stumbling back from the gates as the undead viciously close in. “Because…” Lou exclaims, joining Jenn and Lee in walking away from the sights, “...you’ll be dead to everyone else, too.”
Scores settled, Lou leads Jenn and Lee away from the pit to the chorus of horrified screams and desperate pleas for mercy. “Let’s find the others and get out of here” Lou exclaims, ascending the staircase and turning out the lights on the way out, only eliciting more terrified screams from the pit of hungry growling and ferocious hissing.
== RISE and REVOLT ==