“I think we’re all much more aware of how this is gonna play out than we’d like to be” Chevy says, trying to lessen the fears of the group as they watch protestors attempt to storm the walls. “Care to share with us exactly what you plan to do when those gates come down?” Jordan asks, the group placing their focus onto Jaime. “We’re gonna demand answers” Jaime replies, the vague response not doing anything to ease the survivor’s concerns.
“And what happens when they keep their mouth’s shut?” Chevy asks, Jaime unable to come up with anything before Kayla answers the follow up on her behalf. “That’s when we start taking heads” the woman replies, her boyfriend staring at her with disbelief, internally hoping she didn’t just declare what he believes her to have. “That’s our big reveal?” Chevy asks, “play nice or die?”
“Do you have any better ideas?” Kayla asks, “start taking heads and the cowards that wanna live will start yapping like a dog!” His head shaking, Chevy said that he did have a plan, which was to go north and get out of Los Angeles before they found themselves too deep. “Too late” Jaime replies, her gaze turning from the mob to Chevy, who reminds her that the issue of being too late doesn’t fall on his shoulders.
“I’m heading out” Chevy says, Kennedy and Amelia opting to do the same. “Where is there left to go?” Jaime asks, “the alarm’s are set on the house.” His shoulders shrugging, Chevy takes the keys to Jaime’s car from her and hands her the keys to his bike. “Somewhere without a few hundred guns pointed in my direction” Chevy replies, walking off before looking back to Kayla, asking if she’s tagging along.
“Nah, I’m gonna stay out here for a bit” the woman replies, Chevy looking on with disappointment before accepting the stance and driving off. Pulling Jaime aside, Jordan tells her to convince him that they made the right call. “What exactly do you want me to show you?” Jaime asks, “what proof do you want?” With a sigh, Jordan simply replies with the hope that this doesn’t end with Jaime being executed by a rogue, good-for-nothing city-wide government.
“We’ll have to wait for that one to show up then” Jaime replies, watching Jordan’s head hang low. “Do you believe in me?” Jaime asks, watching Jordan look up to her, confused at the thought of any answer other than ‘yes.’ “It isn’t you that I have to believe in” Jordan replies, “it’s them” he finishes, pointing at the rock-throwing mob. “Even if the government is overthrown, one wrong move and it’s you on the chopping block” Jordan concludes, walking past Jaime to return to the group.
Driven to make sure nothing ends in a fury of flames and piles of corpses, Jaime scales a nearby statue, using her megaphone to regain the attention of the mob and those inside. “If those who govern us for the moment being have answers to give, we can negotiate” Jaime shouts, “if not, we tear down these walls and take prisoners!” With her demand shouted aloud, Jaime spots a convoy of trucks arriving with L.A natives armed to the teeth with large rifles.
“The odds are evening in favor of the militia” Jaime continues shouting, “when we tear down that wall, I want those inside alive to stand trial!” With a roar of approval, the mob returns to their conquest, and Jaime declares that her side will not fire a single bullet until the government takes the first shot. Suddenly, the sound of the loudspeakers turning on captivate the audience as the sights begin to turn towards taking the appearance of bloodsport.
“Attention residents of Los Angeles” Django proclaims, “the stay at home order is still in effect, those that do not comply will be subject to arrest.” Their idle threats serving as nothing more than fuel to keep their flames burning, Django’s regime watch on from within as the mob work faster. “It’s not going to work, Mayor Wenton” an average politician declares, walking into Django’s office to find him continuing to stare out the lone window in his office.
“Shall I have someone relocate your belongings into the mayor’s office?” the man asks, Django immediately declining. “I like the view” Django replies, waving the man off as he continues glaring out the sight, watching fires in the distance continue to rise as buildings in every corner of the globe are burned amidst riots. “Nothing special about these bastards” Django mutters to himself, watching California burn in each direction, the fires destined to intertwine eventually.
= 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 =
Stepping up the porch of one of the many homes in a random Los Angeles neighborhood sections, Chevy knocks a few times on the door, awaiting an answer. “Why are we here?” Kennedy asks, watching the man back away from the door and kick it in, sending splinters of wood toppling to the ground as he enters the doorway. “We’re here to stock up” Chevy replies, handing both Amelia and Kennedy a potato sack.
“I don’t like being here anymore than either of you do” Chevy continues, “so when we’re forced to leave, let’s go with whatever we can carry.” Continuing down the line, Chevy avoids any homes with signs of life, kicking in vacant doors and taking whatever valuables the buildings may contain. “Smart move!” a man calls out from the opposite side of the street, watching Chevy and the girls walk up the porch to yet another house.
“You’re expecting bad things too, huh?” the man asks, Chevy returning with a shrug. “No one’s here to miss it” Chevy replies, earning a chuckle out of the man, who tells him to get the little things. “Hygiene products, sun-powered stuff, sunscreen, whatever you can think of” the man shouts, “maybe you will or won’t need it, but they’d go for a pretty penny to the people that do!”
“Thanks for the tip!” Chevy replies, despite his appreciation being genuine, his vocalization of it comes off as harsh and sarcastic. “Just don’t get out too late” the man replies, “the second those fancy suits need backup, the border tears open and gives you your chance.” Handing Amelia a blade and telling her to watch after Kennedy, Chevy walks over to the man across the street and asks where exactly he’d plan on going in that scenario.
“I’ve got family up in Aberdeen” the man replies, “Once I get out of California, I’ll have fought through the worst of it.” Questioning what the man means by ‘worst’, Chevy reminds him that the people may come fewer, but the wildfires will be just as bad, if not worse. “Wildfires can’t shoot you” the man replies, short and sweet, the words stick with Chevy, who nods as the man gives him a pat on the shoulder.
“Take care, kid” the man concludes, closing his car’s trunk and hopping into the passenger’s seat as Chevy returns to the girls. “What was that all about?” Amelia asks, watching Chevy blow a cold puff of air towards his forehead. “Just a man with a good point to make” Chevy replies, returning to his scavenging as if nothing had ever happened.
// “Mom!” Jaime shouts, walking through the front door of her home as the sky sets to it’s darkest shade of black. “I’m home!” Jaime shouts once more, peering into the kitchen to find a half-eaten bowl of mac-n-cheese left sat on the kitchen table. The house completely empty and dark, Jaime turns on the light on a small table just beside the couch, engulfing the room in a shade of warm yellow.
“Anyone home?” Jaime calls out, the home at the very least always having a drunk Robert stammering around and a plastic-faced Alex somewhere close by. Aside from the kitchen lit a bright yellow and the prior-mentioned living room, the remainder of the home is drenched in as much darkness as that which clouds the sky outside. “Hello!?” Jaime calls out once again, the lack of response from any direction only adding to her immediate paranoia.
“Hey sweetie” a strong male voice calls out from the top of the stairs, just barely poking out from the total darkness is a pair of wide, white eyes illuminated by the reflection of the lamp’s glow. “Have fun?” the voice calls out again, the figure to which it belongs to slowly walking down the stairs, a near-sober Robert sporting a wide smile as his boots clunk with each step. “Where is everyone?” Jaime asks, the scene amping her anxiety to previously unthought of levels.
“They’re just out doing stuff” Robert replies, his menacing walk, slow and enforcing, only made worse by the sight of his red flannel buttoned-up shirt covered in the remnants of dry dirt. “What kind of stuff, dad?” Jaime asks, trying her best to hide away her fear, making sure to stand up straight and maintain eye contact with the man before her. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Robert asks, picking up on Jaime taking one step backwards each one step her takes forwards.
“Give me a hug” the man says, holding his arms out as he walks past the lamp, the only light illuminating the front of his figure coming in the form of the moonlight peering through the patio door. “I’m not going to do that” Jaime replies, purposefully bumping into another small table in order to conspicuously pick up a decorative rock beneath the cover of clumsiness. “Come here” Robert continues, his pace slightly picking up as Jaime’s breathing becomes more erratic.
Within seconds, Robert puts his arms around Jaime, pulling her in close for a hug as she keeps the rock hidden behind her back, held in her left hand as Robert’s head drapes over her right shoulder. “I missed this” Robert says, Jaime frozen in place, unsure of whether to be afraid of appreciative. “Let’s take a walk” Robert says, keeping his arm around her as he leads her to the patio door.
The hinges wailing as the door is pulled open, Jaime follows Robert to the side of the home, where she finds three shallow graves dug beneath the cover of a large tree beside their home. “Do you see this?” Robert asks, looking at Jaime’s face within inches of his own, his smile appearing like something straight out of the Shining. “Why don’t you take a closer look” Robert continues, inching Jaime closer to the holes.
“Do you see that?” the man asks, the shadow of both he and Jaime appearing stretched over the holes from the moonlight facing their backs. “Those are all of you” Robert continues, pointing out a picture of his wife and both of his daughters as he picks up on Jaime’s fear. “I want you to pay very close attention to these” Robert explains, gently removing the rock from Jaime’s hand and telling her to look at the graves as he makes his point known.
“I’ll fill those graves before I let you even think about taking my family away from me” Robert proclaims, “do you understand me?” With no other option, Jaime silently nods as the man gently directs her face towards his. “You don’t own this house” Robert whispers, “and you don’t own me.” With a smirk, Robert pats Jaime on the cheek and gives her a peck on the head before returning to the home, leaving Jaime alone beneath the night sky.
Looking back to the graves, Jaime’s eyes groggily wander back out to the home before she curls over to throw up, staining the dirt-covered grass with her dinner. Standing outside for nearly an hour, Jaime returns to the home in a daze, walking into the kitchen and pulling a butcher’s knife before aiming for the stairs. Beneath the cover of darkness, the only source of light comes from the lamp’s reflection in Jaime’s blade as she creeps up each step, one at a time.
Losing the sight of her father as just that, Jaime refuses to walk away or subject herself to such torment again, intending to free both herself and her family from their leashes. At the end of the hallway, the knife-wielding girl stops at her parent’s bedroom door, noticing it cracked open a tiny bit. Holding her knife up, Jaime uses the very tip of the blade to slowly push the door open, the darkness of the hallway and the blackness of the bedroom remaining one in the same.
Her boots leaving a lack of sound with support from the soft carpet beneath her feet, Jaime inches closer to Robert’s side of the bed and lazily stares at the man. The alarm clock beside his bed illuminating numbers in green, the same colored tint reflects off of the blade, a fancy pattern coming over Alex’s eyes. The man, with his mouth agape and one hand draped over the side of the bed, remains completely unaware of his demise staring at him via the hilt of a knife.
With a few breaths, Jaime smiles to herself just as Alex begins shuffling in her bed. The mother, completely unaware of what’s going on, looks up at the room, noticing the lack of people before spotting the door exactly as Robert had left it. Back in the hallway, Jaime stares down the staircase and walks for it, stopping just as she reaches the bannister to notice Kennedy sat up in bed, switching her stare between Jaime and the knife in her hand.
Her finger pressed to her lip, Jaime gives Kennedy the signal, the younger girl zipping her mouth shut and throwing away the key. With a smile and a wink, Jaime leaves Kennedy’s view, walking downstairs and allowing Kennedy to tuck herself into bed and close her eyes with comfort. //
Sat atop the car’s roof as if it were her throne, Jaime presses the megaphone to her lips and announces that the cavalry has arrived. Watching vehicles on her side pull up behind that of the armed militia, dozens of men armed with heavy tools and equipment march towards the gates. “Make room everyone!” Jaime shouts, proclaiming to those hidden within the sturdy walls of city hall that their clock is ticking.
“Stop your men!” Django’s voice orders over the loudspeakers, Jaime pressing the megaphone to her lips to declare that they will not stop until those within are ready to talk. After a brief pause, the workers on the front lines halt their attack, waiting for Django to continue speaking. The silence from city hall’s end only furthers the anticipation for work to continue, eventually allowing enough time to pass for Jaime to call it an attempt and return to their progress.
With a roar, the attack on the wall continues briefly until Django returns, his voice blasting through the center’s square, calling for Jaime to return to his office for negotiation. “You already had the chance to negotiate, and you decided to play the authority card” Jaime replies, “we’re not budging, so give us answers or watch your walls crumble.” Thinking it over for a moment, Django assures both Jaime and the mob that there are much more important things of need.
“Answers for your conspiracies are much less of use than what we can offer you” Django says acknowledging his time running out, “let’s keep this from spilling blood.” Considering it for a moment, Jaime demands that a group of armed militia members accompany her inside, threatening to swipe the concept of negotiation straight off the table if he even thinks about refusing.
“You may bring no more than nine” Django replies, Jaime turning to the militia leader and ordering for the best nine he has. “I can’t watch this” Jordan says, turning away from the sight of his girlfriend marching up the stairs to city hall once again. “She’s going to be alright” Kayla replies, remaining calm when Jordan snaps back at her, reminding Kayla that nothing about this situation is docile.
Her hands pressing to his shoulders, Kayla has Jordan look her in the eyes when she repeats that Jaime will be fine. Afforded nothing else, Jordan growls and turns away, returning to the vehicles, where he keeps his back turned to the sight as he listens to the doors shut.
“I think we should go” Kennedy says, ripping through shelves and stocks of whatever the previous owners left behind as Chevy chuckles. “I do too” the man replies, tossing the girl an apple and telling her to eat as much fresh fruit as she can find. “The last thing we need is to keep ourselves as hydrated as we can in case shit hits the fan again” Chevy exclaims, “whatever fruits you can eat, well, eat ‘em.”
“Why can’t we leave right now?” Kennedy asks, the question meant to be taken light-heartedly, but Chevy takes particular interest in the suggestion. “Because your sister and my girlfriend are still here” Chevy replies, plenty of reasons not to, but paying homage to the most obvious one. “Jaime’s never gonna leave” Kennedy replies, her voice holding plenty disappointment back as she follows it up with, “she’s in charge now, she’s not gonna leave them behind.”
“I’m sure she would” Chevy replies, Kennedy immediately turning around and snapping at him, Amelia becoming fascinated with the passion behind the young girl’s words. “She should have left when dad started beating mom, but she didn’t because she wouldn’t leave us behind” Kenedy replies, trying to hold back tears, “those people are just a broken as we are!”
“Your-” Chevy begins, surprised at the revelation he had been mostly unfamiliar to, “your dad beat-?” Before he could finish the question, Kennedy finishes it for him, informing the pair that she had the chance to leave her family behind, but she didn’t take it. “They’re not her family” Chevy replies, Kennedy immediately countering his point, “and for a long time, neither were we” Kennedy replies, Chevy easing up on the authority role in favor of a gentler approach.
“She was gonna kill our dad” Kennedy goes on, the hand Chevy was stretching out towards the girl stopping mid-air. “I saw her with a knife in her hand one night coming from mom’s room” the girl replies, “he was our family too, and she would’ve killed him.” His eyes trailing from Kennedy to Amelia, Chevy notices the girl’s eyes just as wide as his own before he returns them to the younger girl.
“I didn’t know that’ Chevy replies, “but it sounds like he was a bad man.” Nodding, Kennedy confirms Chevy’s suspicions, and going as far as to admit that she hoped she’d wake up to that sight the next morning. “Then he got into a car accident a few days later and I kind of just tried to forget about it” Kennedy continues, “it’s not like she has a choice, she just can’t leave broken things alone without trying to fix them.”
On the verge of tears, Kennedy stands there with the sack of valuables in her hands as Chevy remains knelt in front of her. Losing her ability to hold back her emotions, Kennedy walks up to Chevy and hugs him, the man being unfamiliar with this kind of scenario, awkwardly returning the favor by putting his still-loose arm over her back. His second hand free, Chevy places it on the back of the girl’s head, patting it as if she were a dog.
// “Come on in” Alex says, waving for Jaime as she approaches the hospital bed her father currently resides in, unsure of his fate at the very moment. “How bad is it?” Jaime asks, peering around the curtain to see her dad hooked up to ventilators, unable to breath on his own, and unable to speak as a result of. “He’s gonna be in here for a little while” Alex replies, assuring Jaime that he’ll make a full recovery eventually with a fake look of certainty smeared all over her face.
“Can I have a second alone with him?” Jaime asks, her mother nodding and taking Kennedy along with her. Being led by the hand, Kennedy looks back to Jaime as the older sibling watches her walk away, her sister pressing her finger to her lips to assure Jaime of her obedience. “Hey pop” Jaime says, wiping away a non-existent tear as a smile creeps over her face, the girl quick to brush it off.
Taking a seat beside her father’s bed, Jaime asks him if he’s doing well, only to laugh when she recalls that he can’t speak. “It’s such a shame” the girl mocks, “how will I orchestrate counters to your empty threats now?” His eyes widening as his eyebrows lift, Robert watches his daughter mockingly hug his limp body before pulling her face inches within his.
“I guess these things happen all the time” Jaime says, whispering to the man an order of words that send chills down his spine. “It’s especially scary for people who use the same routes every day” Jaime whispers, one eyebrow raised higher than the other, “it makes it so easy to plan these kind of things, too.” With a smile, Jaime runs her hand down her father’s cheek, telling him that they would almost never manage to place a culprit to those sort of plans, which is shameful in her eyes.
“You don’t really think I’d let you threaten me in my own home, dig me a shallow grave and let you think you pulled one over on me, right?” Jaime asks, brushing her father’s hair back. “You were right about one thing, I don’t own you” the girl says, “I fucking control you.” Taking her seat, Jaime gives her father the script of how things are going to work when he returns to the house.
“You’re going to avoid spilling this can of beans or you’ll find yourself taking a dip into the middle of the Pacific by lunch” Jaime concludes. Tilting his head towards her, Jaime looks the man in his frightened eyes, “and you will never” she pauses, getting close enough to whisper, “ever threaten me again.” Her knuckles holding her head up, Jaime asks, “do you understand me?” before watching her father struggle to nod in compliance.
“Good” Jaime replies, calling her mother and sister in and pressing her finger to her lips, giving her father the same signal she gave Kennedy, only with a dead pair of eyes this time around. //
“Let’s make this quick” Jaime says, marching into Django’s office and taking a seat, “I don’t trust you any further than I can throw you.” Nodding, Django tells Jaime that he’s willing to split the entire city in half, keeping one side and gifting Jaime’s militia the other. “Why would we do that?” Jaime asks, Django slouching back in his chair, “because you claim to want to keep this from ending in blood being spilled and I agree with you.”
“We outnumber you in men, and we nearly equal you in terms of firepower” Jaime replies, “we could spill very little blood and take it all for ourselves.” Nodding, Django agrees that things could take that turn, but they could also work to do whatever necessary to avoid that. “One way or another, if we go to war, one of us ends up with a rope tied around their neck, and I don’t want that happening” Django says, Jaime correcting the man that it only ends with him on the end of that rope.
“One way or another, let’s not allow that to happen” Django says, his hands outwards, agreeing to leave Jaime’s militia to their own vices whilst he forms whatever he wishes to. “I want the north” Jaime replies, taking a long moment to consider the options. “Alright” Django replies, watching Jaime think about asking for something else in addition. “I want you to tell me what happened with the water” Jaime continues, Django refusing the idea, giving her the north in return for secrecy.
“Do you even know what happened?” Jaime asks, Django placing his hands on his hips before quietly nodding. “Share it with me so I know what I’m signing up for and I’ll keep it quiet from the rest of the crowd” Jaime continues, Django hanging his head as Jaime informs him that the deal will be denied if he doesn’t. “I can’t trust you anymore than you trust me” Django replies, “give me a reason that shouldn’t be the case.”
“If I open my mouth, I’ll tie the noose around my own damn neck and jump myself” Jaime replies, watching the dagger-like stare of Django persist. Walking through the bulk doors of city hall, Jaime walks down the stairs and through the gates once more, taking her place atop a rundown vehicle. “I know we all want answers” Jaime begins, “unfortunately we have as much of an idea about what happened here as they do.”
Random portions of the crowd beginning to boo, Jaime tells the crowd that they’ve structured a deal that allows both parties to walk their separate ways and continue their lives as they please. “In exchange for the acceptance of their lack of insight to the cause of what happened, both of our sides have negotiated a ceasefire”, the crowd going silent once more. “We have decided to split Los Angeles in two” Jaime announces, “we take the north, they retain the south.”
Having replaced their audible destain for confused inquiries to each other, the crowd listens as Jaime lists the line of demarkation at the gates of city hall. “Anything past these walls will be considered theirs, anything inside of them is ours” Jaime proclaims, “you have twenty-four hours to return to your homes and return.”
“I’d rather make sure we can live our lives as we choose to than spill blood for answers that no one has” Jaime declares, announcing a ceremony for those that have been lost for tomorrow evening. Watching the crowd begin to dissipate, Jaime looks towards her group still huddled together beneath the shade of the trees as the white-hot sun peers through the leaves.
Returning to the group with the support of the militia, Jaime tells the remainder to return to the house whilst she talks with the militia leader. “This is insane” Jordan says, refusing to just forget about the path they’ve taken. “A few days ago, we were getting chased down by a psycho that wanted you dead, and now you’re meeting with the militia leader to talk about who the fuck knows?” Jordan says, “what is happening here and why is it happening so fast?”
“Jordan, we’ll talk-” Jaime begins, her boyfriend shrugging off the idea of talking about it at any other time. “You just became commander in chief of a city made up on lunatics!” Jordan shouts, “sorry if I’m concerned for your safety!” Taken aback by the cause of his concern, Jaime reiterates the idea of his necessity to be concerned about her.
“Your job isn’t to be concerned about me!” Jaime shouts, Jordan shaking his head in refusal. “No darling, it is” Jordan replies, “and right now, you just made yourself public enemy number one if shit hits the fan, which it will.” Taking a breath, Jaime walks towards her boyfriend, stretching her hand out, only for Jordan to knock it away. “I’ll see you at home” Jordan retorts, leaving the woman behind in favor of the driver’s seat of Alex’s car.
Watching Jordan storm away, Jaime feels Kayla’s hand rest upon her shoulder as the woman hugs her. “Get back safe, alright?” Kayla asks, Jaime nodding without a word as Kayla returns to the bike and Alex hugs her daughter goodbye. Driving off, the group leaves behind Jaime, who stands before a group of armed militia members, watching the vehicles ride away as the dawn of a new direction truly takes effect.