“Something’s wrong” Jenn exclaims, emerging from Ally’s room alongside Halston, Jules and Terry to find a corridor filled with the boat’s own armed security. “Get back inside, right now!” one of the various guards shouts, the small pairing doing as told so as not to start a fight. With their hands up, the survivors return to their rooms, Ally startled when turning around to close the door, one of the security having already slammed and locked it shut.
“Did they just lock us in?” Halston asks, Ally assuring everyone that there are much greater fish for them to fry than those inside the tiny space. “Remember, this ship has a lot more than just a few measly mainlanders” Ally explains, “if they wanted to rid of us, they wouldn’t be holding us prisoner.”
Shoulders jerking forward, Terry asks what the point of any of this is if not their immediate inclination. “They could have found something wrong with the ship and decided to improve their chances of claiming lifeboats” Ally replies, the first suggestion also ending in their demise. Her head turned towards the wondrous group, Ally continues to keep spirits up, explaining that there’s more than one way out of the room if push comes to shove.
“What if there’s an outbreak?” Jules asks, Ally responding with the implication that stranded in their room is probably the best place for them. Preferring not to think about the various reasons behind these protocols, Ally walks towards her bed and takes a seat atop it, wishing not to get ahead of herself. “Are we just going to wait?” Jules asks, his eyes towards Ally, who throws her hands out and shrugs.
“Unless Jenn says otherwise, that’s what I’m doing” Ally replies, her eyes travelling towards the blonde atop the second bed, “I don’t see a point in doing anything without knowing what’s going on.” Her head turning to Halston, Jenn thinks about their choices for the moment and decides to follow Ally’s lead. “Like she said, they’d do something more than put us on house arrest if this had anything to do with us.”
Every step moderately muffled by the small window peering into the lobby, the survivors are left to hear the partial conversations they can piece together as guards pass by. “When did it happen?” Terry can piece together, Matt and Drew walking by, armed with a set of heavy, military rifles and dressed in army camo. “It’s unknown, we don’t have witnesses with any viable timeframe’ Drew replies, “most of the lower deck hadn’t been given out anyway, so this likely isn’t her room.”
Eyes curbed, Matt asks Drew who the woman was, he and his counterpart turning the corner to descend the main staircase. “No idea, we never boarded anyone with her name or likeness” Drew replies, “but in fairness, we don’t really know what her likeness actually was anymore.” Confused, Matt begins to ask Drew what he means by that statement just as he enters the scene of the crime, the answer to the question he was ready to ask coming immediately.
Across the woman’s face, stab wounds are sported like lines of paint splattered across a canvas at random. “Whoever did this either hated her with a passion, or treated this like some obscene art” Drew explains, “either way, I’d never want to meet him after something like this.” Inquiring about what they know of the killer, Matt becomes lost for words, the rubber boot dangling from the porthole at the end of a trail of footprints.
“So we think he killed himself?” Matt asks, Drew stopped before he can get the answer out, Matt finding a fascination with the footprints. “Don’t answer that, this already did” Matt exclaims, the footprints all adding up to suicide until the realization dawns on the only man unfamiliar with the scene. “These are all left footprints despite ‘supposedly’ being from both shoes” Matt proclaims, Drew stating that it all equals to a frame job.
“So the question now is who was trying to frame who?” Matt asks, Drew sporting a smile on the face of the man having been greeted by an answered wish, something new to do aboard the Euronam.
= 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 =
Foot tapping against the ground, Theo sits in an empty room, the chair he sits on creaking with every movement he makes while he watches one guard after another pass by. Suddenly, the silent wait parts as a few spaced-out knocks come against the glass window. At first, Theo leaps to his feet, ready to hurry for the window before taking a second to think of his options, the eagerness to get out of the boxed-in space being hidden beneath a layer of confidence.
With a few short breaths, Theo answers the knocking, keeping a common greeting buried with the burning desire to leave. “The name is Theo, the birth year is 1999” the man explains, the guard stationed at the window looking in confusion as to what any of what was just said meant. “I was told to give you my name and year when I boarded if something like this happened” Theo explains, “it’s something about a clearance?”
Playing the guard for a fool, Theo explains that he counts stock for the boat and is amongst the first to be cleared during lockdowns. “Boss gets pissed off if we’re behind on schedule, and the last thing we need is rations being restricted, y’know?” Theo continues, the guard putting off any confusion and asking for Theo to get to the point.
“I was told to give you my name and year in the event of a lockdown” Theo explains, “you’ve already got me ten minutes late, I’m not gonna keep adding minutes and pissing the big guy off, okay?” Looking around the corridor as if he were looking for someone that spoke the same language, the guard is left baffled until Theo tries to break it down as simply as he can.
“I need to get to work, I’m cleared from being put under lockdown in the event I’m due in for work” Theo explains, “so unlock the door and guide me to withholding, please.” Shaking his head, the guard informs Theo that he is not allowed to do such a thing, Theo immediately getting angry, his confidence taking a quick turn into bitterness, the expression on his face changing in such a way that forces the guard into worry.
“If you don’t get me to work, I’m gonna make sure you and your loved ones are reported for violating my clearance, do you understand?” Theo asks again, the guard hesitant to respond. Clearly unfamiliar with the process he’s involved in, the guard takes the threat for the intent it was intended with, unlocking Theo’s door and allowing the man to pass. “Thank you, it’s about time” Theo exclaims, putting a hat on and heading for the back stairwell, the awestruck guard left watching.
Pushing the bathroom door in, Matt stands at the sinks, his hands pressed against the counter until he hears a familiar voice call out. “Someone in here?” a man questions, Matt turning around in surprise before noticing a pair of legs beneath the stall behind him. “What are you doing in here?” Matt replies, his own question bringing the man in the stall to his feet, the figuring emerging from behind cover with apology.
“I didn’t know where else I would go” Lee replies, apologizing for just hanging out in the bathroom. “Your guards came walking down the hall and told me to go back where I came and stay there, so that’s what I did” Lee explains, Matt turning around to face the man as he leans back against the counter, arms crossed.
“Lee, right?” Matt asks, the survivor caught by surprise when Matt appears to remember him. “You helped me play that one hand in the breakroom, remember?” Matt asks, Lee already more than aware of where he would have recalled him from. “Is something wrong out there?” Lee asks, “I know the boat is heavily guarded, but I didn’t expect something like this?”
Tossing his hand forward, Matt replies with reassurance, explaining that it’s a simple drill everyone needs to follow every few weeks. “Keeps residents on their toes, keeps the guards on their best… Works for all parties!” Matt exclaims with glee, his statement followed with curiosity. “You have a bathroom in your cabin, right?” Matt asks, Lee explaining that he was on his way to the janitorial closet.
“Someone called me about throw up in the lower halls” Lee replies, such a statement immediately bringing curiosity into Matt’s mind. “The lower deck?” Matt asks, Lee shrugging it off as just another term for the halls. “But yeah, something about some sick in the lower deck” Lee replies, Matt immediately uncrossing his arms and pulling free a pad and paper.
“Do you remember anything about the guy?” Matt asks, noticing a hesitant Lee pull back once he begins to notice the conversation taking the turn into interrogation. Fearing his lead being lost, Matt assures the man that it’s only precaution. “We had a trespasser in the lower halls last night” Matt explains, “if you know who it was, we’d like to catch up to him and let him know that those halls are off limits.”
“Why are they off limits?” Lee proceeds, “they look a lot better than some of the other rooms on the upper decks… No offense.” With a smile, Matt promises Lee that no offense has been taken, but explains that the lower deck is held off in the event a mass-boarding occurs. “We don’t see a big crowd ready to board in the big cities we land in” Matt continues, “but in the event we do, that’s the place we take ‘em to sort out the healthy from the infected.”
Clearing his throat after a moment of silence, Matt repeats his question, Lee left to think of the blandest of things. “It was a man with a deeper voice, it could have been gravelly, but the connection was poor” Lee explains, “and his breaths were quicker… Like he was walking.”
The end of the pen pressed to his lips, Matt asks Lee if he can remember anything else about how the man sounded, the intriguing custodian left with little else to offer. “Those were the only things that stuck out, the call was pretty quick” Lee explains, “but if it was the lower decks, I’m pretty sure that would explain why the connection was poor.”
With a nod, Matt blankly stares off, Lee left standing there for a few seconds in silence as Matt travels to somewhere else mentally. “Is everything alright?” Lee asks, Matt snapping back into reality after another few seconds before assuring Lee of the statement he made earlier. “We’ll never know when we’ve gotta fill the lower decks until it happens” Matt explains, “it’s better if he knew that ahead of time so he doesn’t get caught up where he doesn’t belong.”
With a nod, Lee watches Matt walk away, the man with the notepad instructing Lee to go about his day, telling the guards that Matt cleared him to return to duty. Closing the bathroom door behind himself, Matt begins overwhelmed with second thoughts, popping his head back in for another moment. “Do you like gambling, Lee?” Matt asks, the janitor caught by surprise at the question.
“I was a hunter before all of this and I’m a janitor now” Lee replies, “I like the card games and all, but I never played them in a gambling environment.” With a smile, Matt tells Lee that he seemed pretty confident in the break room, Lee suggesting he just knew what he saw and used that for his own gain. The lightbulb in his head going off, Matt tells Lee to meet him in the breakroom the following evening.
“We’re fans of doing our bigger gambles somewhere other than the breakroom” Matt explains, “so if you’re interested… Meet me there and I’ll show you where the big room is.” With a nod, Lee watches Matt disappear behind the closed door, waiting a few moments before rushing back into the stall and throwing up whatever lunch once remained in his stomach.
“Did you ever think about what you would’ve done had all of this not happened?” Josephine asks, Elsie having been too caught in the quiet room to hear the question. “I said, what do you think you would’ve done had the world not ended?” Josephine reiterates, Elsie left shaking her head. “I haven’t thought about it since the first few days” the woman responds, “truth be told, after a while it didn’t seem like a question that needed to be asked anymore.”
Taking the answer for what it’s worth, Josephine quietly nods, Elsie left to repeat the question back to it’s originator. “I would’ve finished college and tried to find a job” Josephine replies, the woman seated in the opposite corner of the room wishing the alternative Josie luck with the debt. “Yeah, I’m sure the world will find a way to get back to normal and hold that over my head again” Josie replies, getting a laugh out of the woman who has now spent two hours waiting to be released.
“What the hell is taking them so long?” Elsie asks aloud, the question directed at herself as she approaches the window, glancing out to an empty corridor. Her hand stretched out for the door, Elsie tries to turn the knob to no use, all doors locking from the outside. “When did you leave your camp?” Josie asks, both she and Elsie getting perturbed at their confinement, still content with discovering new ways to pass the time.
“I, uh… My group and I ran into another group… The people I’m with now” Elsie replies, “we didn’t know them at first, but our leaders knew each other. And that’s all she wrote.” Eyes squinted, Josie asks how all of that worked out, the woman admitting that everything sailed smoothly for the short time that they shared command. “Our leader chose to follow this guy named Lou, so that’s who became my leader in turn” Elsie replies, Josie amused.
“Why is this Lou guy the leader by default?” Josie asks, Elsie continuing to stare out of the window, awaiting attention as she answers. “From what Theo tells us, this world was kinda made for him” Elsie replies, “the guy got his people out of a swarmed school twice and got them to the ship with one arm… It’s not bad for a high school senior.”
With a chuckle, Josie quips about how she’d like to meet the guy some day, Elsie left muttering beneath her breath that she hopes he’s still alive for that to be possible.
The key in his hand turning the mechanisms within the door into their proper directions, Theo slowly slides the door to the inventory room open and sneaks in. Usually a heavily-guarded area, Theo discovers himself to be in awe of the serenity behind this visit. Machine powered down, no guards stationed at any sector of the wing, everything remains quiet, a calmness completely departed from its natural state of noisy scatter.
Taking this chance as his best one, Theo ventures through the assortment of bins and folders, searching for the same crate he found the day earlier. One shelf after another, one corner of the room after another, no chest resembles that of the luxurious nature Theo had discovered the day prior, everything within the massive room colored in a shade of beige or gray.
Frustrated, the man punches a metal filing cabinet, leaving a dent in the door, which fails to become the primary focus. Rather, the sound of the metal being pushed in resembles nothing similar to that of a hollow cabinet, anything large behind its closed doors necessary to be around the size of the desired trunk.
Discovering a crowbar resting in the corner of the room, Theo returns to the large sheets of metal, the indentation upon its doors only adding to the need to find what is contained within. Digging the end into slight crevasse and pushing out, Theo shatters the locks, forcing each metal panel to burst open, the sounds of the latch once responsible for keeping the doors shut ringing in such a way that forces Theo to cover his ears.
The danger settling for the moment, Theo turns back to admire the work he had done, finding the sight he was hoping for greeting him. With a deep breath, Theo rips the trunk from its place amongst the cabinet and drops it to the ground, closing the doors on the cabinet as best he can before pulling it into a darker corner of the room.
“I was called for?” Ally asks, poking her head into the captain’s post, Captain Brunskill affirming her question. “I know you had nothing to do with the murders, so I figured I’d talk to you while I had the chance” Brunskill explains, Ally bewildered at the new information. “I assume you hadn’t heard of the murders yet, had you?” Brunskill corrects himself, Ally shaking her head in the negative.
“Please, have a seat” Brunskill offers, two folding chairs having been placed on the opposite side of the room from the door. “Other than simply anting to be left alone, do you know why I chose to ensure my sailing would be done in isolation?” Brunskill wonders, the woman left without an answer worthy of sufficing. “There’s something that’s happening on this boat that I don’t like, but more importantly, that I’m not aware of” Brunskill explains, concern in Ally’s voice present.
“I don’t trust Matt and his guards, they’re all to close-knit and protective” Brunskill explains, “I see too many guards sticking to the shadows for my liking.” Before Brunskill can continue, Ally holds her hand out, wanting to know why Brunskill would trust her with this information. “I know you’re aware of this too” Brunskill explains, “Dawson’s told me about how incensed you’ve been with finding your boyfriend ever since you boarded… I know you feel it too.”
Her nerves settling, Ally explains to Brunskill that if they’re going to talk any more about this, it will be with Jenn present. “I understand and appreciate that you wish to share this with me” Ally explains, “but Lou made it known that he wanted Jenn in charge, so anything you tell me, you can tell her.”
Clearing his throat, Brunskill asks Ally one question, a question simple for some and difficult for others. “Do you trust her with your life?” Brunskill asks, Ally not needing anything more than one second to answer in kind. “If Lou trust her to succeed him, I trust her with my life as much as he trusts her to lead.”
With his lips pressed together, Brunskill nods to himself with a smile and returns to his wheel, explaining to Ally how their first days of the apocalypse began. “This vessel doubles as a bulk carrier” Brunskill recalls, “there’s a little town up in the northernmost point in Alaska that depends on this ship as a lifeline when the water is warm enough to not be covered in ice.”
Clearing his throat, Brunskill explains that they were out in the desolate waters just after unloading a few crates in the town when they saw the first signs of something being wrong. “We were a few days out from reaching Vancouver at the time” Brunskill recollects, “we tried constantly to get in touch with the Vancouver ports to no response.”
With a deep breath, the man recalls the first moments those aboard encountered the dead. “We answered a distress call not too long after. A fair-sized fishing boat had capsized in the northern Pacific” Brunskill explains, “they had turned by the time we arrived. Never even made an attempt at checking on their well being.”
Wiping away a tear, Brunskill explains that everything took a turn for the worst when they docked on time to find a number of bodies being devoured by the undead. “It was a dehumanizing sight, but it was a sight nonetheless” Brunskill explains, “it was made all the worse when we saw the fires in town burning from the distance.”
The decision to record and air a distress call from the ship, pick up survivors and afford them a place to stay all coming after that, Brunskill confesses to making decisions abord the ship as his own. “From the way I saw it, this ship was now mine… Not that of my employers” Brunskill confronts, “any decision I made, I would make with the best interest of those on land, and those aboard the ship.”
With a scorned expression on his face, Brunskill explains that he’d rather die aboard the vessel as it sank into the sea than allow it to continue as anything other than a beacon of hope to those strong enough to survive. “Not only are you different from most in the fact that you’re young and intelligent, but you’ve survived to get here” Brunskill explains, “so if it comes down to what I just suggested, I’d prefer it if you were not amongst those killed in the process.”
With a heavy heart, Ally explains to the man that there’s more than just a doomsday button strategy for fixing the vessel. “The ship doesn’t need to sink because of the bad that happens on it, only the people responsible do” Ally explains, Brunskill beginning to sport a smile. “I’m glad you’re so open to learning new things, even in today’s world” Brunskill jokes, “but sinking those responsible rather than the vessel itself makes us no better than the people we sunk.”
Her mouth opening to counter, Ally thinks better, fighting off the urge to debate and promising to return the following day, once things have cooled down, with Jenn. “Please do so” Brunskill replies, watching Ally return to the door before calling her back. “I’ll do what I can to get some answers about Lou” Brunskill exclaims, “if he got you all here, I’m quite positive he’s the best choice to get you all out of here.”
With a smile, Ally nods, unable to overcome the emotions long enough for a simple ‘thank you’, instead leaving Brunskill to his duties as she shuts the door behind herself. His radio removed from his belt, Brunskill calls Matt in, wishing to inquire of a passenger’s whereabouts.
Running his thumb down each group of paper slips as if they were a flip book, Theo reads off different services offered ranging from different bets of all kinds. “These are all bets, but the question is where all of these bets came from” Theo mutters to himself, the words quietly leaving his lips stopped at the sound of the door coming unlocked.
In a rush, Theo returns each slip to its rightful place in the trunk, keeping himself hushed and hiding behind the largest of objects available. The lights all flickering on at once, some dying out just to return seconds later, the room becomes engulfed in a light that strains Theo’s eyes instantly. Not one to let his own survival be halted by a wake-up call, Theo peers his head around the corner to find a guard half-intoxicated taking a seat by the door, escaping the job for a mere moment.
Humming to himself, the drunken man downs the remainder of the liquor in his bottle before kicking his feet onto a desk and slouching back. Ready to close his eyes and take a nap, the man suddenly begins to feel the sensation of being watched, the mysterious seventh sense kicking in without hesitation, no delay in play despite the heavy amounts of alcohol flooding his system.
Despite his senses working perfectly fine, the man staggers when brought to his feet, his feet unsteady amongst the ground, bottle still in his finger tips. Sneaking back into cover, Theo prepares for a fairly simple escape until the clatter of something being kicked across the room prevails. Jaw dropped at the sound, Theo instantly knows what was kicked, the latch from the cabinet sliding across the floor and landing beside him almost in the same moment it was kicked.
With a deep breath, Theo prepares for the worst, the drunken guard looking up from the ground to notice the cabinet doors no longer locked. His instincts telling the remainder of his intoxicated body that something is wrong, the man draws his gun and demands the individual he shares the room with the show himself. In an instant, the drunkenness wears off, the guard returning to his duties as if nothing were different, his response time only sporting a slight delay.
One foot in front of the other coming simply enough, the guard surveys the area, his gun pointing in each direction quickly, moving on upon the sight of yet another empty space. Finally reaching the back of the room, the man surveys just as he had many times before, the sights before him captivating him upon this sighting.
At the end of the room, a trunk sits halfway opened, just left on its own for the guard to collect. Having found a pair of scissors, Theo snips the cord of the guard’s radio before he can call anything in. Muscle memory having kicked in at this point, the guard attempts to call in the instance, knowing something to be off when he gets no response.
Looking towards his shoulder, the man notices something out of the corner of his eye that forces him into action a second too late. When turned around, the guard aims his weapon forward before it falls from his hand, the crushing sound of his skull cracking upon contact resembling that of a boot being driven through a watermelon.
The crowbar dropping to his side, a bloodstain on the hooked end, Theo watches the guard drop, his body folding up like an accordion as he loses consciousness. Not yet dead, Theo chooses to leave the guard as is, the injury being more than enough to kill him in due time. More pressing matters to be dealt with, Theo removes a cardboard box from the space beneath a table it was stuffed into, piling every receipt inside before closing the trunk and returning it.
Dressing the scene up as nothing other than the dead guard out of the ordinary, Theo pulls his hat back on and closes the flaps of the box, the light being turned off as the door closes behind him. A few minutes turning into a few hours, the room remains only further darkened by the absence of the sunlight in the room outside, cloaking everything hidden within in darkness.
Lip quivering, the body of the deceased guard slowly begins to regain its basic functions. Eyelids opening for cold, pearly eyes, the corpse begins to hiss and growl as it pushes itself upright again, captivated by the sound of the door being opened once more, and light being thrown on as another night shift begins.