Nearing the on-ramp out of Los Angeles, Jaime leads the group towards a hoped sanctuary, the only thing standing between them and the curious hospital building are whomever survived the initial day. “We should start slowing down” Chevy says from behind, directing Jaime to ease up her progress. “The last thing we need is to run into psycho’s finding their way in while we’re on our way out” Chevy adds on, the group noticeably slowing as the dead highway grows near.
“Jaime, I’d like to make it clear that I’m very much against just going up there blind” Alex says, “we know nothing about it other than it used to be a hospital.” Reminding her mother of the limited options, Jaime’s retort is halted slightly when the sound of popping resonates in the distance. “What was that?” Jordan asks, Chevy making it known that it wasn’t his bike, and Alex making it clear that she heard it just as they did.
Suddenly, the shots are fired off in quick succession once again, not catching the group off guard this time around. “Is that coming ahead of us?” Jordan asks, leaning forward to look at the road ahead, most of it hidden beneath the cloudy night sky. “Turn your lights on real quick” Jordan instructs, watching Jaime alter the dial and allow the road ahead to be illuminated with a dashing flood of light.
“Everyone stop!” Jaime shouts, her instructions coming so quickly that they almost beat the lights turning on themselves. Bringing her vehicle to a screeching halt, Chevy and Alex do the same to their own, finally noticing the convoy of military vehicles firing their guns directly upwards. “Oh goddamnit” Jordan mutters, the head general demanding that Jaime power her vehicle down, leaving the battery running.
“Just follow my lead” Jaime says, Jordan looking towards her in confusion, worried at what she’s planning. “What exactly is your lead?” Chevy asks, watching the woman from rear window as she instructs him not to make a scene. “Easy enough, but I’ll ask again, what exactly is your lead?” Chevy asks, his question remaining unanswered as Jaime begins putting the pieces into motion.
Doing as told to keep peace amongst the potentially hostile situation, Jaime holds her hands in the air and slowly opens her vehicle door, exiting with her hands still suspended in air. Doing the same, Jordan and Amelia follow suit, the remainder of the group following their lead shortly thereafter. “Are you aware that there’s a shelter in place order?” the general shouts, Jordan beginning to apologize, only for his apology to be cut off by Jaime, playing dumb to the concept.
“No, we had no idea!” Jaime says, putting on a fake voice, apologizing for her lack of awareness. “And the rest of you?” the general asks, his sights taken from the remainder of the group and placed back on Jaime as she informs him that they’ve been on a road trip. “We heard everything going down and got caught in LA earlier” Jaime continues, “we got out as soon as we could to get away before things got worse!”
Buying into her claims, the general takes a softer tone, approaching the group with a more apologetic posture. “Well the entire state is in the middle of a lockdown as of this afternoon” the general states, “no one is allowed in or out of the city until further notice.” Continuing, Jaime turns around to look at the rest of the group, winking at the lot of them before informing the general that they will attempt to take refuge in a family friend’s home in the hills of the city.
His eyes showing the growing suspicion, the general tilts his head and looks towards the vehicle. “You do that quickly then” the general replies, allowing the group to return to their vehicles and redirect back into the city. Leading the pack once more, Jaime glances at her rear-view mirror and watches the general stare them down, taking a mental note before returning to his convoy as their vehicles power their own headlights on.
“What the hell do we do now?” Kayla asks, the entire group waiting for Jaime’s next move. “Are you taking us up to the hills, Jaime?” Alex asks, her mind landing on exactly where Jaime intends to take them. “We’ll settle down at my place” Jaime says, refusing to give any response more direct than that. “You have a place out here?” Chevy asks, his incorporation into the group coming with such ease that he sometimes forgets the celebrity status of his group’s elected leader.
“Just follow me” Jaime replies, taking the turn off the main road and onto the winding straits towards the richest subsection of the city. Glancing towards her boyfriend, Jaime offers a hurting smile towards him as he does the same in return. Placing his hand over hers, Jordan lets his thumb caress his girlfriend’s hand as it sits on the stick whilst they progress towards the sights of their pre-collapse lives.
= 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 =
“Just find somewhere comfortable and set something up there” Jaime says, her lead taking the group through the door of her large, hillside home overlooking the collapse of Los Angeles. Tapping her daughter’s arm, Alex nods in the direction of a slot just off to the side of the doorway. “I thought you said you sold the place?” Alex whispers, Jaime asking her mother not to get too caught up in something that doesn’t matter anymore.
“Why did you tell em you sold it?” Alex asks, shrugging off Jaime’s pleas for her mother not to look too far into it. “Do I really need to explain it to you, ma?” Jaime asks, her voice growing unnerved. “The second I left, shit got worse for you and Kennedy” Jaime proceeds, “the last thing I needed was to be unpacking my shit while planning either of your funerals!”
Taken back by her daughter’s hesitance to be ignorant to their recent past, Alex hushes down, her refusal to add to Jaime’s workload being noticed by the girl, who swiftly apologizes for snapping. “Listen, I don’t know why you’ve been trying to contain yourself so much” Jaime replies, “and I don’t know how you got out of that house before we found you, but I need you to be Kennedy’s mother right now, alright?”
Her head hanging low, Alex tells her daughter that she will do as told before walking off. Her arm extending outwards, Jaime pulls her mother back, assuring her that Robert wouldn’t be able to lay a hand on any of them with Chevy, Jordan and Kayla around. Hiding the truth about the father of her children, Alex quietly nods and walks away, leaving Jaime to watch her walk off, noticing the quick turnaround visible in her quick steps.
“This one’s Jaime’s, so you can take that one” Jordan says, directing Chevy and Kayla to a room just across the hall. “Are you sure?” Chevy asks, noting the size difference between Jaime’s room and the other. “Of course I’m sure” Jordan laughs, “I’ve slept in this bed many times before, I think I’d know.” His hand swiping at the air, Chevy reiterates, confused as to why Jaime’s room is much smaller than the one he and Kayla get to use.
“Jaime’s not big on a shit ton of space” Jordan replies, his smile a sparkling white, “but she sure fucking loves a view!” Having the pair follow him inside Jaime’s quarters, Jordan opens the terrace doors and points out at the devastated downtown area. “It was obviously much better looking when she bought the house” Jordan adds in, the laughter from Chevy and Kayla making them forget about the cause for the destruction for a few solitary moments.
Their first steps on the terrace taking their breath away, Chevy and Kayla lean on the railing and look below, the drop off leading to a pile of rocks at the bottom of a grass-covered hill. “Not much of a traditional backyard, eh?” Chevy jokes, the trio caught by surprise when Amelia steps out from a second entry. “Woah” the woman exclaims, her breath finding itself victim of the same fate as Chevy and Kayla.
“It’s pretty even when it’s burning down” Kayla mutters, her chin now resting on the railing as Kennedy enters, walking down a long staircase to a lower area. “Where’s she going?” Chevy asks, following Jordan as the entire group furthers their jealousy for Jaime at the sight of a massive poolside lot. “This is fucking nuts!” Kayla exclaims, refusing to think twice before pulling off her shirt and bottoms and diving into the pool itself.
Following suit, Kennedy does the same as Jordan shrugs and follows soon after. “I see you all found the pool” Jaime says, glancing down at the group from a higher terrace above. “You should remind us how rich you are more often!” Chevy humors, watching the woman and her mother scale down the staircase and join them by the water. “I’ve set the alarm in case anyone tries to get in while we’re here” Jaime informs, “anytime someone leaves, let me know first.”
“I don’t think any of them are going to want to leave” Jordan replies, finally finding some shared peace beneath the broken sky of Los Angeles. With the flick of a switch, Jaime powers on a set of lights and illuminates the lot, the lights in the pool powering on at the same time as the lights at each corner. “I’m both jealous and disturbed that we can see the riots from your balcony” Chevy adds in, watching the protesters gather at city hall from their far-off view.
“It’s not getting any better is it?” Jaime calls, joining Chevy at the railing, watching the crowds try shaking the near-impenetrable iron fences. “And it’s not gonna get better until they see something resembling a government again, or-” Chevy pauses, not wanting to finish his sentence, only to ultimately choose to do so anyway, “-or they’re all dead.”
“What if they formed their own?” Kayla asks, Chevy almost immediately beginning to brush it off, only to completely stop his explanation of why that’d be a bad idea as the group takes complete notice. “What? What were you gonna say?” Jaime asks, looking at the man as he stares blankly at the crowds near-miles away. “It’s definitely not impossible” Chevy replies, completely scrubbing his insistance of the opposite from existence.
“If they wanted to completely revolt, all they really need is to kill the figure head of the state to get their point across” Chevy furthers, “if there’s no second-hand willing to take charge, they’ll assume control.” The pool growing to hold a deafening silence, Kayla makes it known that such a result would occur in a flurry of death. “If they get control, there’s no possible way any of this ends well” Jordan adds onto the point, making it clear what needs to be avoided.
“I don’t think the government can outnumber the mob without the troops coming in from city limits” Chevy suggests, “if they break that fence, it’s all over for the Wenton mayorship.” With the daunting question of where to go with this new information now looming over their collective heads, the group begins throwing out the question of whether or not to stop it or assist it. “How would we ‘assist’ it?” Jordan asks, siding in the camp of halting it completely.
“If there’s gonna be a complete uprising, maybe we put someone in charge of it” Amelia suggests, immediately raising the question of who that person would be. “I don’t know” Amelia replies, “but it would have to be someone powerful enough to get the crowd to be in favor of it.” His arms thrown out, Jordan asks for an example of someone completely unknown holding that level of immediate power.
“There’s no one that can just say ‘hey, I’m in charge’ and have everyone just go along with it” Chevy furthers, Aemlia coming back with the suggestion that they get a celebrity. “What fuckin’ celebrity’s gonna come into this burning shit hole and take over?” Kayla questions, the collective eyes immediately shooting open and darting to the bannister. Every eye in the pool, as well as Chevy’s right beside her dart towards Jaime, who waves off the idea before it can be verbalized.
“I’m not staging a fucking takeover!” Jaime shouts, immediately bolting for the staircase to run as far away from this line of conversation as she can. “It doesn’t need to be forceful!” Amelia shouts, watching Jaime disappear from view and return to her home as the remaining group goes quiet once more.
// “I’m heading out for an hour or two” Jaime says, descending the stairs and giving her mother a kiss on the cheek. “Don’t be too late” Alex replies, watching her daughter disappear through the front door, leaving the house in back up for chaos to take over. “Who’s slamming my door!?” an angered voice calls out from the top of the stairs, the heavy sound of boots hitting each step bringing Alex closer to the verge of panic.
“It was just Jaime, honey” Alex replies, “she’s going out for a few minutes.” Stood near the bottom step, her mouth moving to create words whilst her body shuts down, Alex watches her husband climb down to the final step with her lip clutched between her teeth. Growling, Robert lifts his arms and shoves his wife back, letting her hit the wall and grab at the railing to regain her balance as he enters the kitchen.
“C’mere!” Robert shouts, noticing his wife walking for the living room out of the corner of his eye as he grabs a fresh bottle of hard liquor. “Yes honey?” Alex asks, stopping in the doorway as her husband lifts his finger, pulling it towards himself. Leaning over the kitchen counter, Robert drinks straight from the bottle as he undoes his pants with his one free hand, looking at Alex and simply telling her “go.”
“Didn’t you want me to make di-” Alex begins, startled into silence when the man quickly lunges towards her, wrapping his hand around her neck and pushing her against the refrigerator. “Did I tell you to make dinner?” Robert asks, angered when Alex replies with a nod. “Just now! I mean just now!” Robert shouts, watching Alex shake her head. “If I told you to do something now, I want it done now!” Robert shouts, “do the fucking rest later!”
“Okay!” Alex shouts, her words struggling to retain their composure as the fear in her voice makes up for the tears she retains. “Don’t ever fucking talk back to me!” Robert shouts, his pants nearly beneath his knees as his wife clutches at his arms, hoping hell relieve the pressure sooner rather than later. Within seconds, Robert pulls Alex down and tears at the hole in his boxers, keeping the woman on her knees as Kennedy calls for her mother.
“Get in your fuckin’ room!” Robert shouts, watching Kennedy appear in the arch of the kitchen, startled at the sound of her father’s angered holler. Only seeing her mothers face in her father’s crotch as she struggles to breath, Kennedy hurries for her room on demand, racing for her bedroom and hiding beneath her bed. The lack of noise allowing her to hear every one of her fathers groans, Kennedy wipes a tear from her eye as she remains staring blankly at the toy chest in front of her.
Released from the clutches of the man skies above her, Alex gasps for air as Robert smacks her on the back of the head. “Make dinner shithead” the man orders, fixing his pants with one hand whilst gulping from the bottle with the other. Left on the floor, Alex wipes at her mouth and brushes the tears from her eyes. Dusting herself off, she places the synthetic appearance of everything being fine back upon her face and walks for the stove. //
“You alright?” Chevy asks, his stroll through the house taking him to a bar, where he finds Alex sipping vodka from a whiskey glass alone. “Yeah, I’m fine” Alex replies, “just winding down” as she holds her glass up. Taking the seat beside her, Chevy glances at himself in the mirror up ahead, making a passing joke about how much of a bad day it has been for his hair.
“It’s not your best look” Alex replies, any further words dwelled by another sip from the glass. “Can I say something that may sound like an insult,but is in no way intended as one?” Alex asks, a chuckle and nod from Chevy opening the room for discussion. “You’re strange” Alex replies, the simple phrasing getting Chevy to let out another laugh, his response of “I’ve noticed” loosening any potential tension the initial statement may have carried.
“Seriously though, what gave you this look?” Alex asks, pointing out the jeans and boots combination, paired with the cheap watch and baggy t-shirt. “We can’t all live in the suburbs and retreat to the hills, Mrs. Morris” Chevy replies, his mention of her legal title bringing her to hang her head for a moment before placing the well-kept expression back on.
“It’s not the most professional look there’s every been” Chevy admits, “most people tend to be put off by it and think less of the people wearing it. I always found that more interesting than anything else about it.” Clarifying that she’s not against the look itself, Alex finds her statement brushed off by Chevy. “I never said you did” the man replies, “I just know how many friends you probably had that would’ve tried to avoid me at all costs.”
“I didn’t have many friends” Alex replies, “so I can’t be certain which of them would’ve or wouldn’t have.” Surprised, Chevy tells Alex that the statement itself disappoints him. “I find you rather likeable, so the fact that you think no one else did enough is a travesty” the man replies, his smile flattering the woman. “I appreciate that thought” Alex replies, the man nodding as his fingers interlace with those of his opposite hand.
“What did you do before all of this?” Alex asks, the question having wandered through her head since she met him, but the timing not having been right to ask it until now. “I was a freelance writer” the man replies, “I’d get a call to write about whatever the guys wanted and I’d do it.” Taking it to be her turn to nod, Alex implies that she wouldn’t have taken him to be much of a writer at all.
“Why is that?” the man asks, intrigued by the notion of hearing Alex’s first thoughts of him. “You don’t look like much of a writer” Alex replies, the smile on Chevy returning. “You don’t seem like a traditional mom” Chevy replies, his retort intended as kind being taken in an insulting manner by the woman beside him. “Why not?” the woman asks, her tone taking a slight turn, but one obvious enough for Chevy to catch immediately.
His hand waving, Chevy makes it clear that he meant that in no insulting manner. “I just think most mothers in your situation would be more worried about Jaime being the lead-figure of the group” the man concludes, Alex asking why she would have a problem with such a position. “I’m not saying you should” the man replies, feeling himself back into a corner, “I think she’s handling it well, I just know many people that would be worried about their kid filling that role regardless.”
“They’d think it was too dangerous and they’d try to stop them from partaking in it” the man concludes, “it wouldn’t matter whether or not they were doing it well.” Calming herself down, Alex returns to her drink, the cold shoulder she offers Chevy giving him the signal to call it a night. As he walks out of the room, Alex calls out towards him, prompting him to turn around and take note of her words.
“I don’t know why my daughter trusts you” Alex calls, the man having turned around now watching Alex meet his eyes. His smile now coming from a place of subsiding anger rather than genuine peace, Chevy nods and swallows whatever insults he would have wished to lunge Alex’s way. “If you’re so interested in being a ‘traditional mother’, maybe you should sit down and ask her yourself.”
With that, Chevy walks out of the room, leaving Alex sulking alone once more, the smell of vodka in her breath becoming more present when her breathing becomes heavier. Returning to her original position, one arm draped over the countertop and the other clenched to her now empty drink, Alex lifts her head and looks forward. For a brief moment, the familiar sight of seeing her reflection in the mirror frightens her, forcing her to recall the events of the day prior.
“Alright, I’m jealous” Kate says, Jaime chuckling as she puffs from a vape behind the comfort of Kate’s desk. “Please, money ain’t worth the other shit I’ve got going on” Jaime replies, “I got enough dirt on my mind right now that the money is just an apology from god.” Nodding, Kate agrees, “regardless of what my role in your life is caused by, the fact that you’re moving back in with your family and still paying for the upkeep of the house is enough to make me conscious about my condo.”
“Also, when the hell did you start vaping?” Kate tacks on, the girl just beyond her reach replying that it occurred when she quit smoking. “Okay, and when did you start smoking?” Kate restates, Jaime noting the first time she struck a cig to have been a few weeks prior. “Better to quit while ahead!” Jaime replies, her arrogant smirk preceded by a puff of smoke directly over her head.
Within seconds, Kate powers on a fan directed right back at Jaime. Knowing it’s a battle she’ll lose, Jaime takes another puff and blows it towards Kate, immediately blinding herself with a thick white cloud of mango-flavored debris. “Alright, fine” Jaime says, surrendering by placing her pen on the chair beside her. Having admitted defeat, Jaime returns to the line of dialogue, telling Kate that her wealth is nothing to be jealous of when the baggage it comes with is taken into account.
“And how did your mother take it?” Kate asks, watching the girl’s head drop as her lips pucker, the expression immediately giving Kate an answer. “You lied to her, didn’t you?” Kate asks, Jaime looking up with a shrug, replying, “Maybe.” Her elbows planted to her desk, Kate places her face into the palm of her hands as her head shakes. “If you were Pinocchio, your nose would stretch from this room to the next continent over” Kate says, Jaime’s head now hung in disappointment.
“She’d be disappointed in you, too” Kate includes, Jaime’s head now popping back up, the confliction between whether or not that statement is true begins doing battle in her head. “I’d rather that than let my family get their asses beat by a beer-swirling bastard” Jaime replies, Kate shrugging, though the lack of outright agreeance becomes very noticeable by the girl on the other end.
“What?” Jaime asks, knowing that there’s something else Kate has yet to say, peaking her interest. “I think she’d rather you escape” Kate replies, refusing to tell Jaime that her selfless act is as direct as she wishes it to be. “No” Jaime replies, firm by her belief, “she’d want me to help her and Kennedy from anymore damage.”
“I don’t think she’d want safety for herself at the expense of your success” Kate furthers, the statement dropping a bomb on Jaime’s shoulders as the rain begins falling outside, dimming the natural light within the room. “I don’t care” Jaime replies, refusing to budge from her position, “she doesn’t deserve to suffer, and I’m the outlet that can keep that from happening.”
Letting out a sigh, Kate sinks back into her chair, the annoyed Jaime asking what the add on will be this time around. “I thought we were making progress here” Kate replies, “I thought I was finally getting somewhere with the bigger picture.” Taken back by the notion, Jaime asks what Kate envisioned the ‘bigger picture’ being. “Your individual success” Kate replies, “no mother would want to get what they wish for at their children’s expense.”
“This isn’t a sportscar in return for their newborn baby” Jaime replies, “this is protection from a violent cunt in return for their daughter not living in an overpriced mansion!” Refusing to allow herself to change course because apples are compared to oranges, Kate tries to influence Jaime to compare the two as an equal pair of oranges. “It’s not the mansion she cares that you have, Jaime” Kate replies, “it’s being able to move on from what she’s unable to.”
“You have a ticket out of a terrible situation that you’ll be able to give to Kennedy when she grows up” Kate affirms, “she wouldn’t want you to give that up because of her.” Her head shaking vehemently, “I’m not giving it up because of her” Jaime replies, “I’m giving it up because of him.”
Her eyebrows lowered as her mouth opens slightly, Kate stands from her chair as Jaime remains seated. Leaning over her desk, Kate makes it clear that the course doesn’t need to change if the way they look at it alters. “If that’s so, why are you trying to save her, instead of trying to change him?” Kate asks, the girl ahead opening her mouth to reply, ultimately thinking better of it, and electing to take that suggestion to heart, the possibility of leading change hitting home with her.
Calling for the girl, Kayla walks into Jaime’s bedroom to find her staring into the mirror draped over the head of a wardrobe. Still lost in thinking about the past, Jaime hears her name called the second time around, her eyes fixating on Kayla as she walks into the room. “Hey, I’m sorry!” Jaime replies, her smile coming as an escape from daunting memory she found herself locked within.
“Don’t worry about it” Kayla replies, “I just wanted to apologize about putting you on the spot.” Her head shaking, Jaime tells Kayla not to worry about it. “It’s getting late, we should all get some sleep” the home’s owner says, her shirt coming over her head as she pulls a raggedy old sweatshirt from her dresser. As Kayla walks towards the hallway, Jaime calls her back, prompting her to turn around and see the girl stood in her bra, the sweatshirt still folded in her hands.
“Do you think it’s a good idea?” Jaime asks, “the whole thing about leading the mob to creating a functioning government?” Her head tilting to the side, the girl thinks it over briefly before admitting that she does. “The mob’s gonna take down the figure heads eventually” Kayla replies, “when that happens, they’ll need someone that can handle making decisions and actually speaking from the heart of something other than anger.”
“And you think I can do that?” Jaime asks, watching the affirmation in Kayla’s words become more prominent in this response than the one prior. “You’re more likely to do that than anyone else here” Kayla replies, “Chevy and myself included.” Her head bobbing, Jaime asks out of genuine curiosity why Kayla’s so confident in her ability to lead, other than the defacto response of her being the default leader of the group.
Leaning against the wall, Kayla tells Jaime that she’s made everything work like the pieces had been together for years. “We keep talking about trust every other hour because it’s such a strange concept to trust complete strangers to the extent we’ve done without it biting us in the ass” the girl replies, giving Jaime the credit for having made the first move. “Jordan saves us from getting run down, you trust us with Kennedy, we trust you to let you lead.”
Fully in Jaime’s camp, Kayla tells the girl that there isn’t any group she wouldn’t trust her to take over. With a smile, Jaime nods to Kayla and returns to getting dressed as Kayla goes to leave once more. “I’ll do it” Jaime says, pausing Kayla from her exit as her adage pulls her back into the conversation. “You will?” Kayla asks, looking for clarification as Jaime smiles and nods.
“Let’s make sure this shit is done the right way” Jaime replies, giving Kayla the greenlight to let Chevy and the rest of the group know. “I will” Kayla replies, smiling back at Jaime as she walks over to give Chevy the news. Finishing the remainder of her routine, Jaime returns to the mirror and takes another look at herself. “I’m gonna do it the right way” she mutters to her reflection, “I’m gonna change the narrative.”