“We know you’re in there” the man says, tucking his hands into his pockets as one of his guards goes to march forward with his gun raised, only to stop in his tracks as the man turns his head in his direction, still looking at the ground, but getting the message across. “We promise not to shoot you if that helps anything” the man reiterates, watching the house remain lifeless.
Looking to John, the group watches his silent manner speak the loudest of the people inside of the home, staring at the ground with a look of determination in his eyes. “John, what do we do?” Meghan asks, having found herself stood beside him, watching his chest move heavily and his hands clenched into a fist.
“We’re not looking for a fight, we just aim to have a … civilized conversation” the man says, still waiting on a response from the inside. “We can do this all day if you’d like. My men aren’t as afraid of the dark as you are” the man continues, staring at the home with a confident grin as he watches a shadow move within the home. “I can see you inside. I hope you’re coming out to-” the man begins, finding himself cut off by the figure walking through the door.
Standing atop the front steps, Jess stares down the man as he begins subtly chuckling to himself. “You must be the ringleader” the man says, watch the blonde woman slowly step down the stairs as she makes her way for the front gate. “I admire a woman with such courage” the man says, still smiling from ear to ear as he talks through calm, well-worded sentences. “It’s a pleasure to meet you” the man says, taking one hand out of his pocket and holding it out as he walks towards Jess, finally meeting her face to face, with nothing more than the front gate and a few inches separating the two.
“Your name?” Jess asks, tilting her head with the corner of her lip bent, watching the man high-step through words with a confident poise. “Feisty” the man says, almost under his breath. “I didn’t ask for a character rundown, I asked for your name” Jess reiterates, watching the man lower his grin into puckered lips as he nods slowly.
“I’m Tony. My men will call me Mr. Archibald” the man says, pausing for a moment as his smile returns, somewhat sadistic in nature. “But you may call me whatever you’d like” Tony concludes just as the door behind Jess opens once more. “And who is this fine young fellow?” Tony asks, watching John walk down the steps and to the side of Jess, who rolls her eyes without a word. “Her husband” John replies, watching Tony look to Jess and nod in approval. “Then you, sir, may also refer to me as whatever you’d like” Tony responds, watching John staring daggers into him.
“I’m sensing a lot of hostility here” Tony says, “almost like you don’t believe that I’m just here to talk.” Staring at both individuals, Tony notices the two not looking at each other or even touching each other. “If you wanted to talk, you wouldn’t have brought the convoy” John responds, watching Tony nod his head in agreement. “If you wanted to talk, you wouldn’t have let your wife make the first move” Tony replies, angering John, whose breathing speeds up as Tony smirks straight at him, directing his laughter specifically at him.
“But you bring up a very good point” Tony responds, turning around towards his men. “I don’t need my convoy to hold a conversation” he says, turning to one man at the end of the street. “Hey Louis!” Tony shouts, “Take half of our men back to the post. We’ll reconvene there!” he concludes, watching as the man in question hops into a vehicle with numerous other armed men and drive away from the site.
“I don’t like that they do as told without question” Jess whispers, watching as her husband becomes fixated on one man at the end of the convoy opposite Louis standing just as Tony would. “Who’s that?” John asks as Tony returns to them, directing both of their sights towards the man in question. “Oh, that would be Eddie. He’s my second in command” Tony replies, casually waving to the man, who gives him a thumbs-up immediately in return.
“Eddie’s fun” Tony says, “Eddie’s a fun guy” he repeats, looking back to Jess and John with a smile and telling them to wave to Eddie, which neither respond to, instead opting to blankly stare at the man ahead of them. “Not much for fun, huh? That’s alright” Tony says, “not everyone can keep their humor intact while the world around them turns to shit. I won’t take offense.”
“What did you come here to talk about?” Jess asks, tucking her own hands into her pockets and staring at Tony, watching as he notices her composure and poise, very easily matching that of his own. “Well, trading of course!” Genuinely surprised by her response, squinting his eyes at her before looking back to her husband and finally over to the house, noticing the tops of heads peering out of the sides of windows.
“Do you not know who we are?” Tony asks, smirking as neither Jess or John reply to him, opting rather to maintain their dead-set stare at the man as he begins picking the pieces together. “Should we?” John asks, watching as the man begins laughing at the response before halting the fun all together and nodding with a blank look on his face. “Most definitely” Tony responds before Jess speaks up, impeding his fun.
“Tell us who you are, maybe we’ll remember” Jess replies, watching as the man silently nods to himself whilst panning around the area, thinking quietly to himself as John and Jessica spectate. Suddenly, the man faces back to the two with his finger held up into the air. “Why don’t I show you instead?” He says before using two fingers to direct the two men stood behind him to enter back into the van.
Sensing possible danger, both John and Jessica place their hands onto their firearms on their hips before watching the two men drag someone out of the van and throw him to the ground below. Kicking dirt up from the fall, the man is grabbed by the neck by one of the men until Jessica shouts at him, ordering them to stop.
Looking up, the man, still clenching the man on the ground in the palm of his hand, looks to Tony, who replies, “You heard the lady” as the man finally eases his grip. On his knees and using his hands to prop himself up, the assaulted man nearly engulfed in a cloud of dust looks up to Jess and John, revealing himself to be a bloodied and battered Tyler.
= Rise 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 3 onwards =
“I’m sure you’ve seen our little friend around here before” Tony says, watching as both Jess and John begin fuming with anger. “We found him a little worse for wear down the road a short while ago” Tony adds in, prompting the rage boiling inside of Jess to spill over the edge, with both John and Tony watching as she draws her gun and takes aim at the two men beside Tyler, who respond as such.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you” Tony says, calmly laying his words out like a path for her to walk. “Why is that?” Jess asks, refusing to remove her eye from the top of her gun, keeping it locked on the two men. “Because even without half of my convoy, I still have enough ammunition to render this house to dust with a few bullets to spare. Killing my men won’t bring this any change.”
Looking at the man, no longer smiling, but refusing to show any fear or remorse, and instead sporting the same look of content, John places his hand on Jessica’s arm and persuades her to lower her weapon. “Maybe you are more than just her spouse” Tony jokes, looking on as John turns his eyes to the corner, staring him down. “You trapped us in the depot and kidnapped him. We want him back” Jess says, watching as Tony turns his head and looks at Tyler, who remains trying to stand himself up on all-fours.
“So it was YOU that killed my men. Well I’ll be damned” Tony states with a near humorous smirk. “If you really want him back that badly, you’re gonna have to give me something in return” Tony concludes, watching as John and Jess look at him with eyes of disgust. “We don’t owe you anything. You took our guy and we want him back” John says, watching Tony lift his finger into the air. “No no no, I didn’t take anybody. This isn’t the world it used to be, this isn’t kidnapping anymore. This is leveraging” Tony says, finally breaking from his stance and walking over to Tyler.
“Paper money isn’t worth anything anymore. If you want something of value, you need to figure out what some things are worth. Most people value human life, as is the case in most people” Tony says, walking around to Tyler and grabbing him by the chin before yanking a cloth free from his mouth. “So if you find someone… And you then proceed to take someone… You can use said someone as a form of currency.”
Kneeling to the dirt, Tony looks Tyler in the eyes, watching as the hostage glares at him with rage. Smiling with a devilish grin, Tony stares at Tyler and gives him a wink before patting him on the cheek and returning the cloth to his mouth. “So” Tony says as he stands up and returns to John and Jessica, arms spread like a giver, “What’s for sale?”
Closing the van door, Tony and his convoy drive off as John and Jessica return to the house, walking through the front door and stopping at the entry to the living room without Tyler and to a crowd of their people awaiting information.
“They’ll be back tomorrow” John says, leaving it at that as he aims for the hallway. “No, John” Heather says, walking up to him and pulling him by the shoulder, forcing him to face her and the remainder of the group. “Tell us what the hell that was” she demands, watching as John aggravatedly pans over the group and silently goes to aim for the hallway again. “John!” Heather shouts, pulling him around before he snaps, throwing a punch at the wall beside him and burying his hand through the drywall, ripping it out with enough force for it to carve his hand like a pumpkin.
“Let me see that” Lauren says, walking over to check John’s hand before he pulls it away from everyone, letting the blood drip to the floor below. “Enough!” John shouts, bringing everyone to a silence, his wife included. “This isn’t your business to deal with” John says before attempting to walk away for a third time, finding himself stopped by Heather once again.
“John, you get back here and tell us what just happened!” Heather demands, watching as John turns around and raises his voice to a volume most likely untouched since his military days, verbally snapping at the group. “We’re being blackmailed!” John shouts, “They want food we don’t have, water we don’t have, and ammo we don’t have in exchange for Tyler” he continues, watching as the group begins to hang their heads at the realization.
“They want to trade with us. That’s right, trade!” John says mockingly, whipping his hands through the air in an animated frustration. “He wants to use Tyler to pay for all this bullshit like he’s a fucking check. Nothing more than some writing on some fucking paper!” he continues, watching as everyone begins to grow even quieter, letting him air his frustration out.
“Now we’ve got to come up with thirty pounds EACH of all this shit by tomorrow morning in order to get him back!” John shouts, turning around to leave until Heather speaks up again. “Let us help” she exclaims, bringing John to a halt as he hangs his head out of sight from the rest of the group and regains his composure.
“This isn’t something you can just do yourself. Let us help you” Heather asks, walking up to John and putting her hand on his shoulder before he turns around and looks at each member of the group, scared, confused, worried and much more all at once. “There’s nothing to help” John says, walking past Heather and dropping himself onto the ledge of the fireplace as the group is helpless to do anything more than watch.
“We don’t have any of it, let alone a vault of everything” John says, “We’ve got a few gallons of water, a couple bags of chips and probably ten magazines of ammo all together. We don’t have anything to give them” John says, hanging his head and wiping the sweat from his face as it runs down his body and drops to the floor. “We could just take him back” Emilio says, prompting the group to turn to him. “Em, they’ve got more weaponry than a private militia. We’ve barely got sharpened axes. We can’t take anyone by force” John replies, only for his hopes to be rejuvenated just slightly by Emilio response.
“We don’t have to go into a gunfight if we can take them by surprise” Emilio suggests, watching as the group begins to visibly work towards the same page as him. “You said it yourself, we’ve got nothing to give them. So let’s take something from them and use that as our side of the bargain.”
Looking up to Emilio, John shakes his head in disbelief before slowly looking to come to a realization, propping his hand on his knee and looking towards the man before asking, “How do you suggest we do that?”
Smoking a cigarette outside, Jack stands beside a tree before he hears a voice call out his name from off to the side, watching as Lauren inches up to him before asking for a drag. “What’re you doing out here?” Jack asks, returning to viewing the stars above. “I could ask you the same question” Lauren responds, taking Jack’s hand and easily returning the cigarette to its space between his fingers. “Sometimes I just need to get away” Jack replies, taking a drag from the cigarette, breaking his response in half, “Clear my mind and be alone for a change.”
“I hear you” Lauren says, blowing the tobacco smoke out as her words enter the night sky. “Especially when shit like this pops up, you just can’t help but feel like it’s better to be alone sometimes” Lauren replies, holding her hand out for the cigarette as Jack obliges. “What do you think’s gonna happen tomorrow? The whole sneak-attack stunt?” Jack asks, watching as Lauren rests her head against the bark, looking out into the sky and using her free hand to trace the stars above into different shapes and figures.
“No clue” Lauren responds, turning to face Jack as he slowly nods before returning his eyes to the sky above. “What about you?” Lauren asks, handing the cigarette back to him. “I think we’re all gonna die” Jack replies, his serious tone being met with giggling from the woman beside him. “Yeah, real comedy gold” he sarcastically replies, watching as she laughs hysterically, much to Jack’s dismay.
“Okay, I’m lost” Jack says, breaking a smile but genuinely confused by the reaction. “Do I have something on my face?” Jack asks, just throwing things out at random as Lauren simply continues laughing and shaking her head. “I don’t get it! What’s so funny?” Jack asks, this time laughing himself before watching as Lauren puts her hand on his shoulder and leans forward, planting a kiss on him before the pair pull their lips apart.
Eyebrows raised, Jack finds himself lost in Lauren’s eyes as she swipes loose hairs out of his eyes. “If we’re gonna tomorrow, then I want to live tonight” Lauren says, moving in for another kiss, this time staying locked together for much longer as the two take each other to the ground, maintaining the kiss on the way down.
Stranded in the dark, Tyler can feel his breath bouncing around the narrow space surrounding him as he’s escorted to the depths of somewhere cold and hostile, with the sound of groaning increasing in volume the further forward they walk. “Where are you taking me?” Tyler shouts, demanding answers from guards that won’t even speak to him.
Finally, Tyler stops as the sound of a door opening and a lightswitch being flicked. After a brief second, he’s shoved forward and sent crashing into the ground, hands tied together and unable to break his fall. “Could have been a little more graceful” Tony states, the tone and volume of his voice distinguishable by even the most casually acquainted. Still in the dark, the light in the room blinds Tyler once the blindfold is removed from his eyes and the cloth in his mouth is removed, allowing him to speak freely as Louis and Eddie pick him up and tie him to a steel folding chair directly in front of Tony.
Surrounding the two in the center of the room are shelves upon shelves of automatic weaponry and ammunition crates, enough to supply an entire militia for years. “Like what I’ve done with the place?” Tony asks, watching as Tyler combs the room, looking at each piece in depth. Eventually, Tyler places his eyes onto Tony, staring at him with confusion as the man just nods and folds his hands.
“You don’t actually need any of what you’re trading me for, do you?” Tyler asks, watching the man respond by shrugging his shoulders as Tyler begins to ask why. “It’s not a matter of what I need, Tyler. If I need food, or water, or guns, I’ll find food, or water, or guns. So if I need to figure out who around here I can trust, I’ll find out who around here I can trust. Do you follow me?”
Puzzled, Tyler eventually comes around, going over the situation in his head before the lightbulb finally goes off. “You’re testing them” Tyler says, watching as Tony smiles. “I appreciate the credit, but it’s not as easily put as that. Though, I am flattered” Tony responds, standing to his feet and pouring two glasses of premium vodka. “So what’s the point of trading me for something you don’t need?” Tyler asks, watching as Tony returns to him with two glasses in hand, untying one of his hands and placing one of the cups in it.
“Someone you can trust isn’t worth anything if you can’t depend on them” Tony explains, taking a seat. “Remember what I told you, ANYTHING is currency. If it has value to someone, it has value in general, and everyone values things differently. Just because one guy won’t trade food for a pack of batteries doesn’t mean the next person wont” Tony says, taking a swig from his glass before returning to his monologue.
“If your people can be depended upon, then they will come here with all they can offer and ask for you back like men. And hell, if they do that, I’ll let them have you and take their stuff to go on their merry way, never to see each other again.” Caught by surprise, Tyler pans around the room, speaking aloud as he surveys the scenario. “So why are you telling me this?” Tyler asks, watching Tony smirk as Tyler begins to answer his own question. “You want to know if you’re gonna get the best or the worst” Tyler says, watching as Tony smiles, waving his finger towards Tyler and taking another sip. “I like you, Tyler. You’ve got an outlook that just works in this world” Tony replies, sitting back in his chair as he and Tyler continue their conversation.
Seated at the window, looking out at the night sky, Troy stays silently as John walks up to him. “You alright?” John asks, watching Troy just silently shake his head. “I know why you’re fuming” John replies, watching Troy turns to face John as he stares at him. “You’re the same person… Just from different worlds” John says, watching Troy move his eyes back to the world outside in defeat.
“He got me. Whatever it was, he just knew what it was. All the time, never missed a beat. The only time in my life someone ever actually cared to even try. And now he’s being held hostage for shit a god couldn’t even come up with” Troy says, frustrated and holding his head in his hand as John pats him on the back. “Listen, Troy. I’m not gonna be able to say anything to make this better, and I’m not even gonna try. But if there’s anything you can guarantee, it’s that I’m willing to die in order to bring Tyler back here, okay?”
Looking to the man beside him, Troy nods and returns his view to the sky as Meghan walks up to the two and pats John on the back, taking his place as he walks off into the home. “How’re you feeling?” Meghan asks, watching as Troy stare out into the night sky without words, silently shaking his head. Joining his gaze out into the sky, Meghan silently rests her head upon Troy’s shoulder and joins him.
“It’s never going to get easier. We just need to fight long enough to get to the other side” Meghan says, placing one of her free hands into Troy’s as he gently grazes his tumb over it. “How many people are we gonna lose before we get there?” Troy asks, both he and Meghan keeping their eyes glued at the sky.
“I don’t know” Meghan replies, staying quiet as both Troy and herself remain glued to the sky, not continuing any further dialogue.
“I’m sure your people are good, Tyler. Don’t have me mistaken” Tony says, pacing around the room, the vodka in his glass swirling around dangerously close to the rim but never actually going over. “But people don’t often do what you ask of them to do. Especially when there’s nothing to stop them from getting their way” Tony says, only to be cut off as Tyler argues his own point.
“There could be, and you know that” Tyler says, still strapped to his seat as Tony takes in every piece of dialogue into consideration. “If you tell them what you’re actually doing, you could figure out ways to challenge their trust in ways that won’t be in question” Tyler argues, only watching as Tony wags his finger, having already expected the response.
“But that’s the issue. You can’t challenge them once their already part of us because then you’ve already let the snakes in. It doesn’t take much to rip this apart once you’ve got inside.”
Turning his seat around one-hundred and eighty degrees, Tony sits front to the back of the chair, looking at Tyler. “It’s the same reason the country fell as easily as it did. Riots ensued and blurred the lines between dangerous corpse and dangerous person. Rules broke down and society didn’t have a reason to stay upright. We’re the ones that actually took the world down, it was just the undead that kept walking on it after.”
Argued into a corner, Tyler looks to the ground as Tony continues. “Call me whatever you’d like. I’ve done some bad things, and I’m going to keep doing bad things ‘cause it’s the only way to survive now. Call me ambitious, call me a dreamer, call me what you want and say I’m all this, that, and the other stuff. But I’m keeping this place alive and I’m making it stronger. If they can’t see that, they’re already a lost cause.”
“So you’re saving me” Tyler says, watching as Tony tiredly extends his arms and responds, “I’m trying to.”
“Ready for tomorrow?” Bill asks, walking into the bedroom beside Emilio and placing his pistol on the top of the dresser. “I don’t know if I’m going to be alive tomorrow night. So I guess that’s as ready as I’ll ever be” Emilio replies, collapsing onto the bed and tucking his hands behind his head as Bill sits at his feet. “This is a death sentence. You know that, right?” Bill asks, watching as Emilio unenthusiastically looks up at the sky, still with his hands behind his head, reply, “Yup.”
“What happens if we get past this? Where do we go from there?” Bill asks, watching as Emilio pulls himself up to a seat beside Bill. “I don’t know. I’m not sure where we go or what we do. I just know we don’t stay here” Emilio replies, watching as Bill annoyedly rolls his eyes. “So, we just go on the run again? Settle down a few states over? What kind of life is that?” Bill asks, watching as Emilio turns his head to the side and scratches his neck, shaking his head.
Taking a few deep breaths, Bill looks over to Emilio, watching as this unfolds. “I don’t want to do this anymore?” Bill says, watching Emilio look at him with eyes of confusion. “Do what? Run? Or live?” Emilio asks, “Run, Emilio. I don’t want to run anymore” Bill replies, placing his hand on Emilio’s leg. “If tomorrow goes well and we make it out in one piece…” Bill says, pausing mid-sentence as Emilio takes notice. “I don’t wanna go to the lighthouse” Bill replies, watching Emilio hang his head.
“Give me a reason” Bill says, watching as Emilio rubs the back of his head, trying to avoid having to respond. “Give me a reason to go with them, Em” Bill asks again, watching his husband shrug at him and continue shaking his head. “I don’t know, Bill! I just don’t know what to say” Emilio replies, looking around the room as he gathers his thoughts. “I don’t know if I’m gonna be alive tomorrow, and if I am, I don’t know what’s gonna happen to everyone here. Okay? But I’m not about to tell you that it’s alright to leave the group.”
Watching as his husband drops his head back to the bed, Bill gently lays himself next to him as they fold their hands atop their chests. “A life without you is one I’m not interested in living in again” Bill says, staring up at the ceiling as Emilio turns his head to face him. “If you don’t come out of that thing alive tomorrow” Bill stars, pausing for a second as Emilio places his hand on his cheek. Turning his head from upwards towards his husband, Bill concludes, “I’m not long behind you.”
“Do you understand?” John calls aloud to the group as the sun begins to rise. “No mistakes. No going rogue. You follow as your told and we all make it out alive, got it?” John asks again, with the group agreeing in unison. “Alright” John says, aiming for the door, “Emilio, Alicia, Franklin, and Salem with me” John calls as he exits the home and makes for his truck with his group tagging along just behind him.
“Everything loaded into the trucks?” Jess asks, turning her words to Katie. “Everything’s packed and ready to roll out if needed” the girl responds before fist-bumping Jessica as she walks for the front door. Catching up to her husband, Jessica wraps her arms around him and holds him tight, whispering into his ear to remain safe. “I always come back, this’ll be no different” John whispers back, pecking his wife on the head before climbing into the truck and driving off with his group, watching Jess and the rest of his people waving goodbye as they head off.
Back in the house, Heather and Cameron begin loading whatever magazines they have remaining into their weapons as Jessica storms back into the house. “Guns loaded?” Jess asks, walking over to the two and grabbing an automatic assault rifle, staring down the barrel as she aims it up. “Just about” Cameron replies, continuing his work as Jessica pats him on the shoulder and walks off. “Think they’re coming back?” Cameron whispers, watching as Heather turns to him with a smile, “They always do.”
Kicking up dirt behind them, the truck finds itself coming to a stop at a diner halfway between themselves and their convoy enemies, loitered with convoy vans parked directly outside the borded-up, void-of-sunlight dining room. Exiting their vehicles, they stare down an armed guard stationed just outside, reading them like a hard-covered book as they slowly pull a low number of duffle bags from the back of their vehicle and begin walking for the diner.
Laughing to himself at the sight of the lack of supplies being offered, the armed guard keeps his stance until he comes eye-to-eye with John, who mean-mugs him until the guard moves out of the way, visibly pitying the survivors in front of him in a mocking fashion. Cutting his losses, John shrugs off the disrespectful notion and pulls open the door to the diner, holding it open for the members of his group before entering it himself last.
“Oh, sorry Tyler” Tony says, turning from the man handcuffed and restrained by two armed guards in order to face John’s group, “It seems that my friends have arrived.” Putting forth his best smile, Tony motions his hand towards a chair at the end of the table as Tyler is gagged behind him, keeping him silent as Tony tends to his business.
“Please, have a seat” Tony says, watching as John slowly pulls out a chair and takes a seat as his group begins lining the duffle bags out amongst the table. “This is the best we can do” John says, watching as Tony puckers his lips and directs one of the guards behind him to rummage through the duffle bags. “Catch you at a bad time?” Tony asks, initiating a conversation with John. “We’re rebuilding” John responds, earning some laughter from the people surrounding him. “Rebuilding? What’re you, the Bengals?” Tony jokes, “What took it all away?” he proceeds to ask, watching as John crosses his arms and stares him down.
“Oh c’mon” Tony says, breaking the silence introduced by John’s lack of response, “If we’re gonna do business, I wanna know a bit of your background.” Peeling his eyes from Tony and directing them to Tyler, the hostage man is capable of little more than just aiming his eyes at different sections of the room. Finishing his efforts, the armed man turns to Tony and tells him that they’re short on their offerings by more than a little, causing John’s left eye to twitch as he attempts to put his anger aside.
“Real brave of you to show up here with less than I want and still ask for what you want” Tony says, folding his hands on the table, “It’s either that or truly disrespectful.”
“It’s all we’ve got to offer” John responds, getting Tony to joke to his group that John does indeed talk. Repeating John’s statement, Tony sits back into his chair and ponders his next move. “So, you’re gonna tell me that if I’m gonna pay you with Tyler, you’re estimating that his worth is, what, one-fourth of what I’m asking for him?” Tony asks, staring John down as he refuses to move a muscle. After a few short moments, John replies, “Plus a little added on.”
Immediately upon saying this, Emilio stabs the armed man in the hand, causing him to drop his weapon before ripping the blade from the tendons and redirecting it to the edge of his throat. Being held away from Emilio, the armed guard grunts in pain as his throat is squeezed by the man behind him whilst his hand bleeds freely without anything to stop it. Looking back to Tony, John watches the man’s expression remain unchanged. “What we have to offer, and your guy for ours” John states, countering the deal before watching Tyler, noticing his eyes shut closed in disappointment.
“Is that your deal?” Tony asks, watching John smile the way Tony normally would as he nods his head. “Do you know what currency is?” Tony asks, standing from his chair as John does the same, answering the question as he does. “It’s what you use to get what you want” John replies as he watches Tony shake his head. “Not at all” Tony replies, walking from the end of his seat. “I mean, in fairness, that is the concept of currency, but that’s not what currency is” he replies, watching as John picks up the gun dropped by their hostage and aims it at Tony.
“Number one, you won’t pull the trigger, because you’ll all be gunned down before you can even count to three. In addition to that, no one at your little group house will be left alive by the time we’re done with them” Tony says, walking over to the dining room counter and pouring himself a glass of lemonade. “Number two, you can hold that gun to me all that you’d like, but I’m going to explain to you how currency works anyway.”
Returning to the table, Tony hands glasses of lemonade to his own armed guards as he explains before giving John’s group their own as well, sitting them next to him at the table. “Currency is what is valued by the individuals using it. The worth of whatever you’re using is always subject to change based on what people dictate as valuable. For instance, someone in this world will trade you food in return for gold, but others might not. It’s all dependent on what you bring to the table” Tony says, concluding his lemonade pouring by placing one final glass beside John and walking back to his spot at the table.
“And what you’ve decided to bring to the table is deceit. Pretending to be trustworthy enough for us to take your concerns into account, and opting to use violence to try and play my game on my own court.” Taking a seat, Tony pulls a gun from his belt and aim it at John, turning this into a game of chicken. “Give us our guy and we’ll give you yours. That’s the deal” John says, stern in his voice and unrelenting as he watches Tony spin in his office chair before coming back around and keeping his aim on John.
“Then it’s a bad deal for one very crucial reason” Tony says, turning just to the side before pulling the trigger, sending a bullet straight through his guard’s head and sending him tumbling from Emilio’s grasp and to the floor. “You don’t know what I value” Tony says, lowering his gun to the table and sitting back into his seat.
“John, I’m going to let you walk out of here with not only your lives, but the equipment you brought to me as well” Tony says, watching as John lowers his aims and resorts to hearing Tony out. “Tyler will not be going with you, but you will have a chance to have him back again when you’ve brought me two-times as much as I have asked for.”
Rolling his eyes and he notices Tyler looking at him in sorrow, John listens to the rest of what Tony has to say as his group stands beside him. “Let me make this one thing very clear to you, John. I’m the easiest man you will ever have to deal with” Tony says, standing from his seat before walking up to John, coming within inches of him as he continues. “There are going to be people far worse and far less understanding that you’ll come across than me, I promise you that. So come back to me with what I’m asking you for, this time without any of this bullshit you pulled today, and we’ll have a civil conversation. Alright?”
Taking in a breath, John wrinkles his nose as a non-verbal agreement before Tny concludes his statement and has his guards escort his group off of the premises. “And if you try anything like this again, or anything even remotely close… I’ll kill you and everyone you love. Got it?”
Without responding, and without as much as a reason to, John and his group are turned away and aimed for the door, with John catching one last glimpse of Tony, his remaining guards and a captive Tyler before disappearing from the diner’s interior and being forced back onto the road, armed with the knowledge that there is more confrontation to come for him and his group.