“Wrong move” Lee mutters under his breath, swiping his mop across the floor as Matt stares back at him, fingers pressed against the tip of a card. “What was that?” Matt asks, Lonnie and Luke opposite him with equal confusion, Lee left with his hands folded over the tip of the handle. “They’re bluffing you” Lee replies, the expressions on Lonnie and Luke’s faces quickly changing as Lee explains that they sport the same mannerisms in every game.
“That one bites the corner of his lip when he’s trying to bluff” Lee explains with his finger pointed towards Lonnie, “and the other one tilts his head too far to the right.” Impressed, Matt looks back to his cards, taking his fingers away from one and placing them upon another. “You’ve got higher than both of them if I’m correct” Lee explains, “it doesn’t matter which one you pick.”
Convinced, Matt pulls the card he chose as an alternative, the ‘9 card’ beating out the hand both Lonnie and Luke sport. “What did you say your name was, again?” Matt asks, Lee replying in kind, leaving the break room with a smile on his face, Matt repeating Lee’s name beneath his breath, intending not to forget it. “I’m in” Lee proclaims, Ally taking her eyes away from Lee as he finally returns to their collective quarters, her attention resting on Halston.
“The depths of the ship are still under renovation” Halston explains, “they’ve got crews going in and out all day and night long… It’s a no-go.” Head hung, Ally feels confident in Lee being able to get something done in regards to his potential friendship. “What’s the next step, Jenn?” Ally asks, the woman left seated in the corner of the room, taking all of this new information in.
“How far along in stocking are you, Theo?” the woman asks, the answer leaving the group with great suspicions. “They keep increasing supplies” Theo replies, “They say they never leave the boat, but I keep finding the stock of everything from medicine to ammo getting replenished constantly!”
“How does a ship full of people that haven’t disembarked since all of this started collect more?” Ally asks, Theo’s arms being thrown out, admitting that it makes as little sense to him as it does the rest. “These aren’t small numbers, either” Theo adds, “when I’m talking about these things being replenished, I’m talking about stacks of it all… Not just a few extras thrown in every now and then.”
“They’ve gotta be getting their shipments from somebody” Ally exclaims, “I don’t look at these people as being able to go out there and fight for all of this, it’s all being delivered.” The question now being how these shipments are being taken on, the group begins to formulate another plan. “Halston and I will hang around the boarding deck tonight, see if we can catch a glimpse of anything being loaded on” Jenn explains, “everyone else I want figuring out who your target’s going to be.”
= 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 =
Her mind wandering to distant places, Elsie traverses the grounds of the ship, her eyes latching onto anything that could stand out amongst the scenery. Her guard down and suspicions at a high, Elsie collides with another woman as she turns towards another sector of the ship, knocking her to the ground and immediately feeling sorry for doing so.
“I wasn’t looking where I was going!” Elsie explains, the woman assuring her that it’s perfectly fine as she dusts off the dirt on her pants. “You must be relatively new” the woman states, Elsie confirming her suspicions, admitting the ship to being very different from life on land. “Well, you’re fine” the woman explains, her hand held out to greet the woman, who takes the offer kindly.
“I’m Josephine” the woman replies, Elsie reciting her own name before beginning to walk in separate directions. Called for by the woman upon second thoughts, Elsie turns to find Josephine with a nervous grin as she struggles to hold the confidence to say anything further. Finally, Josephine asks Elsie if she knows anyone on the ship, the woman explaining that the only people she knows are the people she boarded with.
“So no other friends?” Josephine asks, Elsie assuring her that she hasn’t had the time to attempt to make friends. “I’m somewhat new to the ship too” Josephine admits, “I came alone, so I’ve kind of been doing my own thing since I boarded.” Swallowing her pride and putting the fear of not knowing the response aside, Josephine asks Elsie if she wanted to go to the bar for a drink later tonight, just in a casual way.
“I don’t really know how to make friends, so this is the best I’ve got” the nervous woman explains, Elsie flattered and intrigued by the offer. “I can use a drink after what I’ve seen since this whole thing started” Elsie replies, not passing up on the opportunity to indulge in an alcoholic beverage, “I’ll meet you there around sunset?” With a nod, Josephine and Elsie return to their separate paths, Elsie’s blonde head tilting to the side when she thinks over how well that turned out.
“I’m ready for the next one!” Theo calls out, sliding a crate of ammunition across the ground, half of the trunk sticking through transparent flaps to be placed into storage. Looking back to the rows of supplies left scattered about the shelves, Theo hears the next crate glide into storage and brushes it off for the moment, double-checking his list. Reassured of his proper count, Theo kneels before the box and reaches for its latch, only to finally widen his eyes when he takes a deeper look.
Having failed to notice it at first, Theo identifies the box as something other than the one supplies are typically stored in. The bland, green wooden boards lining each side replaced with a maroon and gold colored, hand-crafted luxury. The simple key lock on the front replaced with a large medallion of sorts recreated as a specialty lock, one elegant in appearance but simple in solution.
Opening his mouth, Theo thinks better of calling for his second half of the job, opting to keep the mishap quiet for a moment. Taking this as his opportunity to gather whatever intel he can, Theo unlocks the trunk and lifts the top away. Within, all divided in different slots categorized by name, tickets with the name of a recipient and what they have ‘won via wager’ hide within the confines of the box, very little being clarified, the waters only being made to appear murkier.
Taking his chances, Theo looks through the receipts, reading off different names, some familiar and others not, and what they have received as a result of their alleged victory. Unsure what to make of this, Theo continues to carefully sift through the notes before him, reading off the different benefits before coming to the realization of what these are. Not wanting to dirty his hands any further, Theo calls out for the man on the other side to take the trunk back.
“I’m ready for the next one!” Theo calls out, his hands to his hips as the trunk is taken away, not minding the next one gliding in, head down as he tries to answer his own questions.
Her hand pressing against the latch on the door, Ally pushes forward and peaks her head into the room, just as she had been doing for a short time prior. This room different than the others, Ally notices a spacious hall with everything from a line of clocks pointing towards different hands, to a man stood in the center behind a large wheel. “Can I help you, young lady?” the man asks, Ally not having noticed the man’s apparel at first, instead apologizing.
“I was looking for the engine room” Ally replies, “Matt told me to check a reading but he never told me where to go… I’ve been doing this for hours.” With a nod, the man points the woman in the general direction, informing her of which turns to take and levels to descend into. “Thank you, I’m new… So I’m not quite familiar with the layout just yet” Ally explains, attempting to deart before thinking about what she had just seen for a moment and looking back inside again.
“I’m sorry, are you the captain?” Ally asks, a smile spread across the man’s face as he holds his hands out, not needing to say a word to affirm her suspicions. “I’m so sorry, captain!” Ally exclaims, “I didn’t put two-and-two together at first, and now I’m embarrassed.” Hand waving, the captain promises her of her actions being no issue, admitting that even his introverted self appreciates the surprise company every once in a while.
“The captain of a ship doesn’t like going out?” Ally rephrases, the smile on the captain’s face admitting of his equal awareness to the irony. “Something tells me introversion isn’t often found sailing an entire continental coastline” Ally explains, the captain admitting that the desire to be alone is less than the desire to do other things. “I’m sixty-eight years old, intended to retire at the end of the year… And now look at me!” the captain explains, “keeping the world’s lifeline afloat!”
His voice sounding like that of a man nearing seventy, his appearance is anything but, the love for the ocean inspiring a youth not often found in those considered ‘elderly’. “It’s better than just doing nothing in retirement!” Ally replies, assuring the man that his vessel is a better home than the mainland, both before and after the outbreak.
“What’s it like out there?” the captain asks, admitting that he is fascinated by how suddenly things turned when new passengers board. “A ton of them don’t make it, not realizing how the bites work and all” the captain explains, “seeing the look on their faces makes me realize how bad it must be out there.”
With her head hung, Ally informs the captain that it’s not too pleasant to be outside of the safety the sea offers. “Not a lot survived out there, for better of for worse” Ally informs, the look on the man’s face turning to disappointment, “not enough people figured out what they needed to do in time.”
His head hung, the captain admits that he worried such a fate would befall people when things began. “There was a small part of me that hoped we’d all overcome it and figure out how to live life defending against it” the captain explains, “but part of me worried we’d be too stubborn for it to be anything other than an extinction event.”
Feeling the man’s words voice disappointment in those on the ground mix with that of her own, Ally admits that there are still good, decent people still fighting. “I don’t know how much longer that’ll last” the captain explains, “far too many people will resort to doing whatever they need to survive. It won’t be long until the people out there start becoming no better than the people we once used to look at as criminal scum.”
A moment of silence falling over the starboard, the captain glances back to Ally and asks her to be honest with him, the hardest part of asking the question being the source of its origins. “Would an elderly lady, perhaps of physical stature similar to that of her age, living in a big city have survived?” the captain proceeds, Ally’s eyes dropping when the captain reminds her to be honest with him.
“I didn’t see the city very much, I spent most of my time on the outskirts” Ally replies, “but from what I’ve heard… Probably not.” His head hung, the captain thanks Ally for her honesty, the woman asking for the man’s name before she departs. “I’m Captain Brunskill” the man replies, “and if no one has already, I’d like to welcome you to the S.S Euronam.”
With a smile, Ally states her name and thanks the captain for both his time and his greeting. “I’m sure I’ll see you around” Ally concludes, the man nodding silently as Ally disappears behind the cabin door, leaving the man to look back out at the landmass the boat slowly approaches with a well-hidden sadness.
“Pretty nice weather out here” Elsie remarks, Josephine turning towards the woman at the sound of her voice, surprised that she came. “Of course I did” Elsie replies, “Amongst many other things, we’re aboard a ship in the middle of the ocean during an apocalypse… What else would I have to do?”
With a laugh, Josephine apologizes for the low standards, admitting to not often having seen people follow through on plans. “Well most people suck because of that” Elsie replies, “until I met the majority of my group, it was just myself and two guys… I kept it simple.” Admitting that it becomes rather easy to not have to worry about other people, Josephine acknowledges a partial reasoning behind that being due to not actually giving an effort.
“After being ditched kinda became the norm, I guess I stopped having expectations and just got used to it” Josephine explains, “I was less disappointed being alone than I was actually being around others.” Her head nodding, Elsie finds ground more than simply common with the woman, college having brought on the newest of experiences.
“Your roommate becomes your friends, their friends become your friends… And then it just spaces out after that” Elsie recalls, “but it’s simpler at nineteen than it is at thirty.” Raising her glass to that, Elsie inquires about how she got onto the ship, the events leading up to it being held in comparison to her own. “I’m not familiar with how a ton of others started to realize something was wrong” Elsie explains, “I just kind of see them after their indoctrination, for lack of a better term.
“My story was and is pretty boring” Josephine replies, Elsie more than intrigued enough to latch onto every word, simply craving something different. “I was leaving my internship early, wanted to prep for a trip out to visit family” Josephine runs down, “and that’s when some news began circulating around my dorm and the school’s staffers started being really sketchy.”
Taking another sip of her drink, Josephine admits to Elsie that it would have been a little different to if she were in the same position. “I’m twenty-one, so even if it’s only a two year difference… There’s a big change in reaction” Josephine informs, “we tend to go out at night less than people younger… The desire to drink kind of passes after the first few weeks where you legally can.”
Fascinated by this effect, Elsie wonders what the differences ended up being. “Well the younger side was more optimistic” Josephine explains, “brushing it off and just wanting to keep it from trying to ruin their night.” Beginning to recall the events in detail, Josephine becomes less inclined to sip from her cup every other minute, growing more comfortable with the conversation, her nerves dropping and anxiety levels bottoming out.
“Most of the people I knew were just at or above twenty-one and the campus was open all year to every resident” Josephine continues, “so I texted some that stayed behind to try and figure it all out.” Thinking back to the initial announcement, Josephine recalls it all sounding too much like another story blown out of proportion, one that shouldn’t have been taken too seriously at first despite that having been the case.
“There was something about it that made it feel real” Josephine admits, “something that made at least me feel like I was in danger.” With a smooth breath, Josephine recollects having gone to her car and getting on the road on instinct, something deep inside her having convinced herself that this was as bad as it had appeared. “There are some things that sound as otherworldly as a ton of other things that still feel so convincing” Josephine admits, “this was nothing different.”
With another swig, Josephine recalls having avoided a few people that looked sickly, ultimately learning at a later date that they had, in fact, been infected. “You knew something was up when you saw their eyes” Josephine responds, “the people that were succumbing had glassy eyes, anyone else had all the colors in them faded.”
Shaking off the chills running down her own spine, Josephine admits to only caring about one thing out of the whole ordeal. “The signal to board the Euronam came around an hour after I started driving and I headed for it immediately” Josephine explains, “but had that instinct not told me this was serious, I would’ve have been caught out there to suffer worse.”
Catching herself thinking too deeply into what could’ve been, Josephine laughs the awkward moment off, apologizing for having gotten too dark. “It’s totally fine” Elsie replies, assuring the woman that it’s of no concern, “it’s a shitty world out there, not every story can end with sunshine and rainbows.”
With a smile, Josephine stiffly takes her glass and hoists it high, Elsie meeting her offer by tapping the glasses together, downing what remains within.
“Where the fuck did you get a flask?” Halston whispers, Jenn shrugging her shoulders with a smirk, responding “wouldn’t you like to know?” Her head shaking, Halston requests that Jenn remain sober enough to complete what they’ve come out to achieve, both women hiding behind the counter of the fruit stand just near the point of entry.
Looking out from their cover, Halston takes interest in the sights at the entry station, the ship having come too close to the docks for the lack of security to be acceptable. “Something’s wrong” Halston exclaims, “are you sure we’re at the right gates?” Still more than sober enough to recall her original plans, Jenn reminds Halston that their station is not only the right one, but the only cleared one on the entire ship.
“It’s clearly not since they’re not boarding people onto the ship through it” Halston replies, taking her chances by removing herself from cover. Approaching the edge of the boat, Halston glances over the railing to find the ship slowly floating into the space, the empty dock suggesting there to be no reason to dock the boat.
“Where are we right now?” Halston asks, Jenn catching up and recalling that nearly a week into their stay should make this station one belonging to Seattle. Glancing over the edge, Halston finds everything in place to suggest a full-on dock. “The anchors are lowered, the ship is barely moving, it’s fitted into the space… Everything’s in order” Halston runs down, Jenn refusing to allow that statement to go without it’s necessary baggage.
“Everything’s in order except for the new passengers” Jenn concludes, walking off, Halston left with little choice other than to follow her. “What are you looking for?” Halston asks after a few minutes of nonstop walking before finally joining her girlfriend at the opposite railing. Peering over the edge, Jenn and Halston spot what they notice to be something much different than a few survivors from the mainland.
“Something tells me those aren’t new passengers” Jenn proclaims, watching a fleet of trunks being loaded into the boat, the lowest levels of the ship housing a loading bay never mentioned. Where are they getting these things from?” Halston whispers, Jenn pushing her away from the railing as she notices one of the loading crewmates staring towards the top of the ship.
“We should get back to the group” Jenn explains, taking Halston by the hand and leading her away from the curious sights, finally having a slight amount of confirmation that there is more to the ship than they are being made aware of.
Beneath the cover of night, Lee returns to his room, concluding his job for the evening and intending to take a much needed load off at his cabins. The sensation going unnoticed at first, Lee begins to feel the sensation of his hairs standing on ends, the gentle breeze feeling colder than a gust of wind in the middle of a northeastern December.
Looking around, Lee feels himself amongst the presence of someone else, the lonely man stood in an empty hall, a staircase on each end of a circular passageway made dangerous by a massive, multi-story drop in the center. “Hello?” Lee calls out, opening the window for communication that would make any presence eventually found less worrisome by default.
His requests for a response coming without answer, Lee continues cautiously wandering throughout the hollowed halls of the ship, his slow approach in the direction of his destination coming with great concern. Finally reaching the staircase towards the next level, Lee glances down a hallway, the only light in the tunnel of darkness coming from the cold moonlight originating from one of the room’s opened doors.
Despite the heavy darkness, Lee spots something at the end of the hallway, the moonlight leaving enough visibility to present the outline of something stood still as stone. “Who are you?” Lee calls out, hoping for a response to validate his assumptions, only to find nothing of the sorts. Knowing his expertise in combat to be greater than that of someone hiding away from the hordes he once surrounded himself with, Lee builds the confidence to inspect.
Removing his foot from the bottom step, the man keeps his hand to his side, readying himself for a fight in the event one were to break out. Despite nearing closer, Lee finds the figure remaining coldly stiff to be just as visible to him as when he first encountered it, the chills on the man’s spine coming from the concern that he’s simply walking directly into an attack without even noticing it.
Almost near the open door, Lee extends his free hand outwards, knowing this to be a tactic he can use for an advantage, but find himself to suffer through just as easily. With a deep breath, Lee picks up his pace, his hand finally reaching through the final inches to a great relief. Still unmoved, the statue of the greek god of Phonoi reacting to the touch of Lee’s hand against its perfectly sculpted head.
With a breath of relief, Lee lets out a chuckle, his body bathed in the moonlight from the open door directly to his side. “Holy shit” the man mutters to himself, turning over in a combination of near laughter and outright panic, finally regaining his composure. With his concern alleviated, Lee straightens himself up, his eyes lined directly with the open door, widening once his original fears have finally dispersed.
Before his eyes, a man stares at him through a large mask, the imprint of a pair of horrifyingly widened eyes freezing Lee in fear. “I-” Lee begins, his lips trembling at the dreadful sight, a bloody knife and plastic bag in the man’s hand, his feet placed at the edge of a bed inhabited by the bloodied body of a murdered woman, laid in what has become a pool of her own blood atop a stiff mattress.
“What the-” Lee exclaims, his free hand pointing at the man, his mind caught up in too much fear to provoke a proper reaction. Knowing himself to have been caught, the killer drops the bag and rushes towards Lee with the knife, his free hand holding the weapon away from himself as the pair crash through a door on the opposite side of the hallway.
With a resounding grunt, both men collapse to the ground, the blade once in the killer’s hand now aimlessly tossed to some random corner of the room. “What are you doing!?” Lee shouts, dodging the executioner’s attempt at a tackle, allowing him to run his head into a bookshelf near the door. With the advantage, Lee looks around the room, intending to find something to incapacitate the criminal with, only to run out of time once the killer relocates his knife.
With ill-intentions, the murderer begins his rush towards Lee, his blade finding itself stuck through the drywall upon another dodge from the experienced fighter. Seeing his chance, Lee slams the killer’s head into the handle of his knife, staggering him before driving his elbow between the man’s eyes. With a large thud, the man drops to the ground, Lee taking the chance to breath for a moment upon assuming the man to be unconscious
Planning out his next steps, Lee takes his chance while it remains present, calling out for help before feeling the grip of the killer’s hand wrap around the circumference of his ankle. His balance taken out from beneath him, Lee falls to the ground, hitting his head on the doorframe as everything suddenly becomes hazy. Despite not being fully aware of his surroundings, Lee instinctively crawls towards the hallway, using the Phonoi statue to get himself up.
Upon looking back into the room, Lee watches the source of his potential demise crawl to his feet and reach for the restricted knife, not wanting to start his group’s stay aboard with a vigilante murder. With the time to weight his options, Lee walks back into the room, the killer still struggling to gain any support beneath himself, plastered against the wall with his fingers stretching towards his weapon.
Removing his own hidden knife from his pocket, Lee drives the blade into the killer’s hand, causing him to shriek out in pain before reaching towards his mask. Tearing the Halloween-inspired cover from the man’s face, Lee reveals an unfamiliar face, one struck with an equal amount of desperation and anger. Horrified in the expression from a man nearing death, Lee allows his instinct to judge the killer’s fate, the decision not a difficult one to make.
With authority, Lee rips the blade impaled through the wall and drives it into the abdomen of the murderer, continuing to pull and push until the life finally leaves the assailants’ eyes. Needing to ensure his hands remain wiped clean, Lee pulls open the porthole window and removes his dagger from the killer’s hand, dumping his body through the slot and leaving the glass open.
With a deep breath, Lee tosses his shirt and the killer’s knife out of the window for good measure, making sure to have kept just one of the culprit’s boots for good measure. For his final act, Lee takes the boot and dabs it in the woman’s blood, apologizing to the corpse for disrespecting her body before creating footprints leading to the porthole exit. Smearing the blood down the wall, Lee drops the boot and makes the scene one of murder-suicide.
Exiting the room, Lee closes the door to the deceased’s residence and returns to the main foyer, ascending the staircase and returning to his quarters, the harrowing silence serving to be backdrop to the man’s first true kill.