“Truck-01089 en route to Sheol now boarding!” one of the many guards lining Vixen County shouts into the camp, catching the attention of those it applies to and being a mere interruption to those it does not. “Are you ready?” John whispers to Emilio, watching the man walk in stride, not showing any ounce of worry or concern as he nods in his direction. “Let’s do this” Emilio replies, reaching out for the cage around the truck bed and climbing his way upwards. Standing behind his group as they all enter the vehicle, one after another, John looks back to the community of Vixen County and stares at the bar, watching the woman behind it nod in his direction as climbs up.
“Truck-01089 departing for Sheol!” the guard calls, prompting the back of the truck to lock shut and the engine to begin roaring like that of an eighteen-wheeler’s cab. Within minutes, the group begins to sway in whichever direction their gravity elects to take them before watching the community slowly fade into the distance as the group’s journey begins. Watching the sand beneath the truck kick up and dust the road behind, John can catch a slight glimpse of the truck hidden in the darkness behind nature’s blanket as the next few hours of their lives become entangled in the path towards inevitable demise or conquering accomplishment.
“What’s the plan once we’re in there?” Katie whispers, catching John’s attention away from the road as he looks over to the remaining guards, catching the sleep they didn’t want to miss the departing truck over earlier. “Figure out the layout, find out where Tyler is and get out while we can.”
“Wait, what was the truck and the bag of guns for back there?” Troy asks, watching John tilt his head towards him, raising his eyebrow as Troy nods in response. “If we need to set it off there, we try to get back to Vixen and arm ourselves before this Sheol place catches up” John responds, dangling his hand over his knee as he watches the sky overhead slowly illuminate as the new day begins.
After a few hours, the truck turns down a side road and passes by two armed guards stationed at it’s entrance. “Are we here?” Salem whispers, only to be met with a simple and straight-forward response from Emilio. “Looks like it” the man says, pointing towards a big stone plate on the front lawn with the words, “Welcome to Sheol” spray painted in bold white letters. “Let’s do this” John says, he and the group readying their weapons and keeping them inches away.
Stopping at the front gate before rolling forward a little more, the truck comes to a complete stop as the massive, prison-like fence closes behind them, and the door allowing entrance into the back of the truck drops open. First off the truck, John and his group stand behind for a moment and watch the rest of their Vixen-County counterparts all exit in a row, heading in the same direction. “Blend in” John says, leading the front of his group as they all follow the guards into the main entrance into the massive Sheol Compound, lit up with lights bright enough to leave an imprint on the sky.
On the building itself, the windows show either a warm, yellow light inside of the darkness of survivors still asleep, resembling a typical, pre-outbreak apartment building. “This place isn’t that bad” Salem whispers, only for Katie to playfully elbow her in the ribs and shake her head before the guards ahead begin walking down a sectioned-off path below the main grounds. “I don’t like where this is going” Troy says, met with the same worry by Emilio’s response of, “This never ends well in the movies.”
At the bottom of the path, a singular door amongst a massive stone wall stands locked shut with one, seemingly hand-held light growing brighter the closer it gets. Before long, John’s group hears the heavy mechanisms inside unclasp and allow the door to slowly open with the squealing of a dying pig. “Welcome, gentlemen!” Tony says, wiping away exhaustion from his eyes and placing his glasses on, not caring enough to look at the individuals before him. “We’ve got a special treat for you tonight” the man says, the sadism in his voice taking great pleasure in the comments, and a devious smile engulfing his face to the worry of John and his group, concealing their faces as naturally as they can.
= 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 =
Entering the underbelly of the Sheol Compound, John and his group watch the dark, juvenile space around them begin shrinking in size as they approach another door at the front of the group. “Right this way, gentlemen!” Tony exclaims, opening the door and leading the line of guards into a room lit with a fiery red light, ominously glooming over the large, chamber-like basement. As they line up behind a wall, John and his group notice six people lined up on their knees in the center of the space, a row of drains below their knees and both sides of the floor slanting towards the middle.
“Gentlemen, what you see before you are the individuals guilty of committing crimes against the greater good. You will be their judge and their jury, and I-” Tony says, pausing for a moment to retrieve his revolver, hoisting it into the air like a trophy.
“I will be their executioner!” Tony shouts, receiving a cheer from the suddenly-barberic group of Vixen County residents, cheering at the concept of blood being spilled. “The way this works is simple” Tony says, holding the gun to his side and directly in the line of sight of the prisoner closest to him, his eyes shooting open as his mouth is gagged and his hands are tied behind his back, piercing daggers at the firearm in his view. “My revolver has six chambers, but only contains five bullets. You will all determine whether the individual is worthy of life by your response. Cheer, and the man will be set free. Boo… And I will blow their heads off!” Tony shouts, the declaration one you would hear from a war general, collecting the enthusiasm of his troops.
“Decide they’re all worthy of death, and we’ll let fate decide who walks away with their lives. Sound simple enough?” Tony asks, earning a greater level of cheering from the captivated audience. “John!” Katie whispers, nudging the man and pointing in the direction of the end of the line, spotting a gagged Jake at the second-last position, awaiting his fate. “Are we ready to spill blood!” Tony chants, not even pretending to hide the injustice in this form of trial as the crowd roars once more.
“Well then, our first defendant is… Oliver” Tony says, leaning forward to read the nametag stapled to his chest. “Oliver is guilty of lying about the status of his deceased family, telling ration-handers they’re still alive as a way to earn four-times the amount of rations per capita. Is Oliver worthy of life?” Tony asks, holding the gun to Oliver’s forehead as the man pisses himself in fear, screaming through the fabric in his mouth as the snot runs down his face.
Without hesitation, the crowd boos in unison, putting a smile on Tony’s face as he pulls the trigger and lays Oliver’s brains out across the floor. Cheering at the sound of the ringing gunshot, the crowd’s enthusiasm only serves to widen the smile on Tony’s face, with the sheer lack of compassion for human life gleaming off every tooth.
“John we need to help him” Emilio whispers, only to feel his hand tapped three times by him. “There’s nothing more we can do than hoping luck will be on our side” John whispers, earning a disgusted look from Emilio as the rest of the group watches on in horror, knowing that John’s word is final.
“How about… Austin?” Tony asks, holding the gun to Austin’s head. “Austin is guilty of treason, having given confidential information to potentially-dangerous settlements outside the control of Sheol… Is Austin worthy of life?”
“NO!” the crowd cheers, putting the smile back onto Tony’s face as he looks at the gagged Austin and says “Sorry, Austin!” before spilling his brains onto the ground as well to another ovation. “I’m gonna throw up” Katie whispers, prompting Salem to rub her back and tell her to look away, trying to calm her nerves.
“Next up is… Mason!” Tony shouts, holding the gun to Mason’s gagged mouth rather than his head this time. “Mason is guilty of the same thing as Austin, treason against the united front of Sheol. Is Mason worthy of life?”
Erupting in the same exact choir of booing as they have since they’ve walked in, the crowd demands another shot before Tony’s gives them what they ask for, sending a bullet through the back of Mason’s throat and dropping him to the floor in a pool of the blood of his own and those that have been killed before him.
As the cheers halt, the hope to sooth her stomach fails and Katie sends a pile of vomit to the ground, catching the attention of the guards, the prisoners, and Tony himself. “I’m sorry!” Katie calls out, trying to fight past the reaction. “It’s not an issue, dear… It all runs down the same drains” Tony says, snapping towards one of the guards, who hands Katie two cold bottles of water. “If you need to look away, I will not take offense. The process may not be for everyone, but this is the best concept of jury duty we could come up with, so I firmly understand the reaction. Don’t worry about it” Tony says, returning to the work.
“Three down, three to go… The next one is Ryan, a little change for the treason of usual. Ryan is guilty of breaking into the medical wing and stealing penicillin, and subsequently, guilty of the murder of Lisa Elody due to the lack of available penicillin because of his actions… And in these matters, I think it goes without saying…”
Without consulting the crowd, Tony puts the gun to Ryan’s neck and pulls the trigger, sending blood running down the floor and into the drain. “... Those kind of people don’t even deserve a fair trial!” Tony shouts, earning the biggest roar from the crowd yet. “We need to do something, John! We can’t let him take that bullet!” Emilio pleas, only for John to shake his head and tell Emilio to stand down. “There’s a fifty-fifty chance, he could easily make it out alive” John replies, turning to see Emilio boiling over in anger he is helpless to do anything with.
“And it all comes back around, the next man up is Jake Costello… Guilty of the same count of treason as his prior two team members, only different as Jake was once a convoy leader, and was responsible for ordering the action to be done at all” Tony says, earning a boisterous roar of boos from the crowd. “John!” Emilio grunts, concealing his volume enough and getting the message through.
“How do we feel about, Jake?” Tony asks, earning the chorus of boos from the crowd once more as Emilio goes to move forward, only to be shoved back by John, who leans confidently against the wall and removes his hood. Gun held to Jake’s head, Tony faces away from John whilst Jake notices him within a split second. “What are you doing?” Emilio asks, watching as John lifts his head towards Jake, taking the group’s view towards the captive, who begins splitting his view between Tony and John, trying to get the man with a gun pressed to his head to look back and see John, essentially giving him away.
Without hesitation, Tony listens to the boos and refuses to acknowledge Jake, putting a bullet in his head and dropping him to the ground, immediately prompting John to tuck his hood back over his head. “Still wanna save him?” John asks to Emilio, watching the man, ready to hop the wall a second earlier for a man that just tried to give them away, acknowledging the mistake and falling back into line with John.
Once the trial had concluded, the guards follow Tony out into the main yard once again and are thanked for their service. “Enjoy your stay at Sheol!” Tony concludes, watching the crowd, including John and his survivors, clap alongside the heathens before retiring to his quarters for the time being. “Now what?” Katie asks, looking towards John with the rest of the group. “Now we find Tyler” John replies, walking off further into the main grounds as the group is quick to follow.
Sweat running down his face as he drives stakes into the ground and uproots the rundown fencing, Jack waits patiently for his replacement as Lauren walks up to him. “I thought Meghan was taking over your shift?” Lauren asks, catching Jack by surprise. “She said Jess wanted to talk to her for a bit, so I told her I’d cover until she was done” Jack replies, continuing to bury the wooden pegs into the dirt, the hammer bouncing off the wooden surface with a numbing thud.
“Mind if I sit and watch?” Lauren asks, catching Jack off guard once again. “I mean, you can if you’d like” Jack responds, the subtle joy in his voice being hidden well, but not enough to be completely unnoticed, and the existence of it putting a slight smile on Lauren’s face. Watching him rip the metal wiring out of the ground, Lauren finds enjoyment in the simple act of being around Jack, not only putting a smile on her face, but keeping it there to.
Within the next few minutes, Meghan walks through the door and calls Jack’s name. “Thanks for this, I owe you” Meghan says, holding out her fist to Jack as he swipes the dirt from his knees. “Don’t mention it, I’m just happy we’re actually getting ready to finish the fucking thing” Jack replies, recipricating the fist bump and patting Meghan on the back as he walks over to the shower canopy.
“Why are you so helpful around here?” Lauren asks, getting a smirk from Jack as he strips his shirt off and tosses it to the grass. “I mean, it’s not like I hate it or anything, I just don’t see anyone do it without asking for something in return like you do” she concludes, watching him pull the lever to release the stream of water from the gutter above. “Do you know what I used to do before everything went to shit?” Jack asks, running his hands through his hair as the water runs down his head.
“You worked for Jess, right?” Lauren asks, watching Jack nod to reply as he rubs and rinses soap from his face. “I haven’t ever really heard much about what you and Tyler did. I mean, everyone else I’ve heard enough about… But not you two” Lauren says, leaning against the house and watching Jack do his business.
“We worked the warehouse together, Reggie too. He, uh… He asked me to put in a good word for him to Jess before this all went down… Try to get himself a promotion” Jack replies, continuing to wash away the dirt as Lauren waits, anxiously listening into the man as he splits his focus between the backstory and the shower. “I always helped everyone with whatever they needed, and kept getting passed up for the job. So when Tyler asked me for the favor, I told him I’d see what I could do… But I asked about a promotion for myself instead and told him different.”
“You didn’t want to be stepped on” Lauren replies, both asking as a question and muttering it to herself as Jack looks on with a guilty frown. “I abandoned what I stood for because I was jealous… And it all turned out to be for nothing, since everything went to shit right after…” Jack continues, watching Lauren take her look towards Jack, watching as he turns off the water and looks towards the rest of the group in a moment of self-reflection.
“The one time I was purposefully selfish was the one time what I did never even mattered” Jack says, turning back to an attentive Lauren, “That’s all the reminder I need that being selfish doesn’t pay off.”
Walking over to pick up his dirt-covered shirt, Jack throws it like a quarterback into the clothing-filled kiddie-pool just off to the side and begins to walk back to the house for a change of clothes until he is stopped by a question from behind. “Wanna go out tonight?” Lauren asks, bringing Jack to a halt before he looks back to her, looking both playfully amused and genuinely happy. “Of course” Jack replies, his voice almost breaking from the surprise the question alone brought on.
“It’s a date” Lauren replies cheerfully, standing from her lean and walking around the house as Jack stands in place with a smile as the remaining water from his head begin to run the rest of the way down his face.
“Katie, you know what to do” John says, pausing for a moment and pretending to talk to Emilio as Katie walks up to one of the guards sat at a picnic table in the middle of the grounds. “Excuse me?” Katie asks, kindly and innocently as she inches closer to the man. Looking up from a book, Louis greets the girl and asks what he can help her with. “I’m sorry” Katie asks, putting on a convincing lost puppy-like guise, “I’m sent here for the jury duty-thing from Vixen County, so I don’t really know my way around and I’m looking for a few old friends I was told would be here, do you know where the living spaces are?”
“Yeah, the east wing is to the right, and the west wing is on the left. What are your friends name? I might be able to help you narrow it down?” Doing her best to look for something convenient, Katie shakes her hands as if to downplay him. “I’m not sure, we always used to call each other by our nicknames.”
“Nicknames?” Louis asks, both puzzled and humored. “You guys got nicknames?”
“Yeah, back at school. We sat at the back of the cafeteria, so we called each other “Backseat 1, Backseat 2 and such…”
Convinced, “Yeah, totally” Louis replies, fumbling over a response. “Well, there’s not that much I can really do to help, just kind of roam the floors and see if you get their names. That’s the best I can do” Louis says, “Good luck!”
“Thank you, I really appreciate it” Katie replies, pulling her hair behind her ear and returning to her group. “Got it?” John asks, feeling Katie tap his hand and push her head in the direction of the building before leading the group towards it.
“Another one?” Emilio asks, climbing the stairs with the group as John assures him that it’ll be the final flight. “What ven is Tyler’s last name anyway?” Salem asks, only for Emilio to call out “Dallmer.”
“Thanks, Em” Salem calls, only for Emilio to reply, “No… Dallmer” pointing at the nametag on the last door at the end of the hall, and walking past the rest of the group to get it. As they approach, Emilio begins lightly tapping on the door, waiting for it to open. “Not a bad setup if we’re being honest” John says aloud, only to be met with silence in response to the door being pulled open, and a bathed, clean-clothed and injury-less Tyler to open the door to immediate surprise. “Are you ready?” John asks, watching the man, awestruck at the sight, just stare at the group before him in concerned amazement.
“Where are we going?” Jack asks, following Lauren’s lead as the stroll down the road with a bag held over Lauren’s shoulder. “You can’t wait a few minutes to find out yourself?” Lauren jokes, looking back at the man as he smiles to her, giving her a sense of pride at being the reason for such a response.
Reaching a road partially hidden by an overturned semi-truck, Lauren and Jack climb atop the beaten down vehicle, lost to nature in its final state of rest, and look over at an empty parking lot to a small, out-of-the-way diner infested with the undead. “Why are we here?” Jack asks, looking t Lauren as she hands him a baseball bat whilst arming herself with one as well. “Care to bust some heads in?” Lauren asks, smiling an chaotic grin as she tosses herself to the ground below and hits a homerun with the closest corpse head.
Joining her as the undead take notice of her presence, Jack leaps to the ground and begins running towards the pile, only increasing in size as the undead from within the diner enter the frey. Swinging for the fences, Jack and Lauren beat every member of the miniature horde to either a second death or to a near-death heap of body on the ground.
Entering into the diner and stepping over shattered glass and loose sand, Lauren and Jack find a table near the back of the dining room noticeably cleaner than the rest in the hall, dusted and well-maintained as a stand out from the remaining scenery. “Come here often?” Jack asks, following the woman’s lead as the two take a seat at the table, Lauren supplying the bags of chips and tossing them blindly onto the table.
“It’s a nice little getaway” Lauren replies, smiling towards Jack as she tosses her bag towards the ground. “I can imagine, especially when the horde isn’t taking up space” Jack replies, grabbing whatever bag his hands end up hovering over. “The undead came in the last time I was in here… Figured I’d let them have it for a bit before I took it back eventually…” Lauren says, looking up to notice Jack finally prying the bag open after a small struggle. “...I didn’t realize I’d have a helping hand” Lauren concludes, watching Jack’s face subtly light up with glee a the remark, crunching down on a chip.
“I didn’t even think I’d show anyone this place at all” Lauren replies, watching as Jack asks her for the reason whilst keeping his eyes solely positioned on her. “It’s hard to trust someone enough to let them into the only place you can go to unwind. It’s hard to decide when that kind of thing is okay” Lauren says, eating whatever random crap she picked up in the heat of conversation.
“Why me?” Jack asks, watching Lauren look to the window and out at a small creek just outside flowing away. “Random luck, I suppose” Lauren replies, not noticing Jack’s head tilt as his eyes narrow. “Random luck?” Jack asks, watching Lauren turn to him, confused. “Why not random misfortune?” Jack continues, looking at Lauren lock eyes with him, reading his pupils as if they had words to tell with a slight smile in the corner of her mouth. “It’s not often you get to stumble upon one of the good guys… Even if they’ve been right under your nose the whole time” Lauren says, watching as Jack stands from his seat and walks around the booth, taking a seat next to Lauren and reciprocating the locked-on eyes she has for him before leaning in for a short kiss.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that I honestly feel the same exact way as someone else” Jack replies, watching Lauren’s smile begin to fully form as he leans in for another kiss. “Even if it may not feel important in some way, I’m honored to be the one you decided to share this place with” Jack says, embracing Lauren as the two return to their kiss, falling further into it as opposed to breaking it under the looming moonlight cascading through the blinds.
“How the hell did you even get in here?” Tyler demands, keeping his voice on the softer side with a harsh and demeaning tone. “We’re here to get you out of this place!” John replies, handing Tyler a smuggled set of black clothing as the man refuses. “Stop, you’re gonna get yourselves killed!” Tyler orders, finally taking the clothing John continues trying to force into his possession and throwing it across the room. “What is wrong with you?” Emilio asks, shoving Tyler’s shoulder as he returns the favor.
“I’m not leaving with you!” Tyler replies, catching each survivor on John’s side off guard as they stand in place in silence. “What? Why not?” Troy asks, walking up towards Tyler after picking up the clothes and staring at him, hoping he didn’t hear Tyler refuse to leave. “This place isn’t bad!” Tyler replies, prompting John to roll his eyes, perhaps the most controlled thing done from any member of the group. “Tyler, they just executed a bunch of soldiers for telling us how to get in here” Katie replies, only for Tyler to immediately shut the statement down. “Bullshit, they don’t kill anyone here, they imprison them until they’ve learned their lesson. And if they got themselves killed for telling you how to get in here, what do you think they’re gonna do to you?” Tyler asks, the second statement being uttered as he gets into John’s face.
“Tyler, I’ve served in the military. I know when someone’s being brainwashed, I can smell it all over you” John says, only to be immediately argued by Tyler. “That’s the stench of not being covered in dirt and muck, Mr. American Sniper, and how’re you going to tell me that I’m being brainwashed without thinking of how daft all of you are?”
“What the hell do you mean by that?” John asks, his voice growing in volume as Tyler answers. “Look at this place? I mean… look at it!” Tyler shouts, walking over to the balcony and holding his hands out towards the main grounds. “Some people in here have been so well protected they haven’t even stepped foot outside of those gates! And what are you doing, huh? Where are you living? A run down house no amount of maintenance is gonna fix! How the hell am I the one that’s brainwashed?”
Silent in a concoction of anger and fury boiling over, John breaths through his nostrils in a refusal to speak until Troy takes over on his behalf. “Tyler, this place is too good to be true. I mean, look outside. How the hell do you think they’ve been keeping this up?”
“They were prepared, Troy” Tyler says, standing towards Troy and turning his full attention to him. “They weren’t so starved for a dream that they sent people out to play dominoes with depot shelves, Troy… They worked for it and this is what they’ve gotten in return!” Tyler replies, waiting for Troy to respond before the wait is interrupted by John, not taking his attention towards Tyler, asking with his head still pointed at his former placement. “Is that what you think of us?” John asks, finally turning his face towards Tyler. “You think we’re no better than them?”
“It’s not that you’re not better than them, John” Tyler replies, walking over to his former leader and looking him in the eyes. “I’m just not fearing for my life every minute I breathe” he concludes, only to watch John angrily shaking his head from one side to the other. “Fear is how you survive in this world, Tyler. It keeps you on your feet, ready for whatever comes at you next” John says, only to stop himself as Tyler shakes his head in denial. “No, John. You didn’t say that at the New World Order, and you don’t get the right to say that to me now.”
“Tyler” Troy begins to plead, only to be silenced as the man holds his hand out to him. “Get yourselves out of here before it’s too late, I’m not going with you so don’t waste anymore of your time.”
Looking at Tyler, Troy’s eyes narrow at the sounds of those words and the feeling of betrayal as who he once thought to be the only person to get his past throws everything he’s known in this new world away without question. “There’s a trail out through the back, you’ll head through a small bit of woods but you’ll find yourself on the main road. Follow it north for a few miles and you’ll be back at the depot. You know where to go from there” Tyler says, causing each member of the group other than John to down their heads in disappointment.
Taking the clothing from Troy’s hands, Tyler hands them back to John, the original hands of the offer. Before even extending his arms out to take them, John looks at Tyler and gives him one final chance. “You’re not gonna walk out of here ever again if you don’t put those on” John says, watching Tyler shake his head at peace. “I’m okay with that. I won’t need to” Tyler replies, forcing John’s eyes shut as he reluctantly takes the clothes back and places them in his bag before calling for the group to move, leaving the room as the rest follow.
In the back of the line, Troy turns to look at Tyler, who confidently nods towards the man before closing the door as the final member of the family he once had disembarks for home. “Did we do the right thing?” Katie asks, showing a break in her assurement of their choice as they walk down the dirt path towards the set of trees. “We didn’t have a choice in the mat-” John begins to respond, only to come to a slow halt as he looks through the darkness at a large group of men dressed in black, camouflaged under the darkness of the night sky looking out at the group.
“What do we do?” Emilio says, attempting to arm himself with a rifle before being hit over the back with a pipe by another man dressed in black. “Ambush!” John shouts, only for himself and the remaining members behind him to suffer the same fate as Emilio, being taken to the ground in a violent fashion before being dragged along the ground with everyone else. Despite struggling to break free, John and everyone else watches the night sky overhead turn into a harshly lit ceiling whilst the dirt they are dragged over turns into concrete.
“Get off!” A voice calls out from behind the man, travelling in the same way as he is before the corridor above turns into a spacious room with bright-white lights all around. After what felt like an eternity of his clothing being torn and scraped along the ground, John and his group are dropped onto the floor just next to a kitchen table, where Tony and an unnamed armed guard sit awaiting their reaction.
“Good to see Tyler isn’t with you, though I never really expected him to be” Tony says, watching John and his group stand to their feet and clutching at their individual wounds, surrounded by the guns of angered guards in every direction. “Also nice to see the bugs in his room actually paid off” Tony continues, watching John look at him in a rage.
“Now, we have a special little trial for you to partake in if you’d please?” Tony concludes, watching the confused survivors pan around the room for some sign of direction. “What do you want from us?” John asks, watching Tony take a seat in the back of the room with one leg crossed over the other. “I want you to decide which member of this group will step up and play fate with your punishment” Tony says, watching the group nervously look around at each other.
Attempting to say something, John is cut off by the declaration of “I’ll do it” from someone behind him, turning around to see Emilio step forward and take a seat at the table. “Em, what are you-” John begins, holding his hand out to Emilio’s chest, only for the man to angrily swat it away and take the seat. Nodding to an unnamed guard, Tony watches him remove the rags to reveal two yellow-tinted drinks.
“What you see before you are two glasses, one is potable and the other will result in death. Choose amongst yourselves which glass you will drink.” Without second thought, the unnamed guard reaches for a glass and takes it into his hand, leaving Emilio only one option, which he slowly reaches out to pick up and hold to his lips. Shaking with the suspense, the unnamed guard downs his drink and slams the glass on the table, shattering it on the now-splintered wood.
“This isn’t right” Salem shouts, only to be shut down by Tony’s response of, “Neither is breaking into a compound of innocent people with the intention of killing if necessary.”
“We never said we’d kill anyone” John replies, only for his own shut down from Tony’s response of, “But you would’ve if you needed to, correct?” Without a truthful response that doesn’t give Tony leverage, John shuts up much to Tony’s amusement as the pair return to watching Emilio. “John?” Emilio asks, keeping his eyes plastered on the amused dictator in the corner. “Yeah, Em?” John replies, his voice still commanding to Emilio’s enjoyment. “Tell Bill to get on the road if I don’t make it” the man says, tapping the glass on the table and lifting it to his lips until his hand is stopped in it’s progress.
Beside him, Katie takes the glass from his hand and downs the drink herself before tossing it into Tony’s hands. “What now, asshole?” Katie asks Tony, watching him laugh in amusement of the sight. “Now that’s a chick I hope got the right drink!” Tony replies, tapping his guards on the arms and pointing in Katie’s direction like a five year old trying to get his mother’s attention.
Within moments, the guard at the table begins convulsing, stammering in his seat before spitting up blood, leaving a puddle of red running off the top of the table before dropping to the ground. “Well, luck wasn’t on his side this time, eh?” Tony asks to one of his guards, watching John approach him with his hands extended. As the guards raise their guns towards the group’s leader to keep him at bay, John looks towards Tony and asks him what his next plan is. “We’ve played your game and we won, so let us go or kill us while you’ve still got the chance” John says, watching the amusement on Tony’s face return to his natural, unphased expression.
Picking up his hand and pointing his finger towards Katie again, Tony looks at John and asks, “Are you sure about that?” Turning around, John watches Katie grow weaker and grab hold of the table before collapsing to the ground. “What was in the cups?” Troy asks, shouting at Tony as he watches on with a smile. “Good ole’ fashioned snake venom, trusted to get the job done” Tony replies, sending John over the edge as he goes to attack him, only to be forced to the ground by one of the guards, raining punches down without care before picking him up and slamming his head into the pool of blood on the table.
Standing from his seat and walking towards John, Tony leans down and gets in the man’s face, watching the blood ripping with John’s breath. “You said one was safe!” John shouts, only to watch Tony shakes his head whilst clicking his tongue. “No, I said one was ‘potable’ but… I’ll give you the credit there, even that was kind of stretching it.”
“You see, John… You left me real choice” Tony replies, taking his mouth and moving it close to his ear, whispering the rest of his statement as he freely towers over a beaten John. “You showed me that I couldn’t trust you, and now I’ve shown you… That you can’t trust me.”
Ordering his guards to get them outside, Tony disappears behind a heavy metal door and watches from inside as the group of survivors are dragged out of the compound and dumped into the woods, left for dead like a worthless sack of shit. As the armed guards rush away, leaving the group in the dirt, John and his group all tend to Katie, watching as she gasps for air whilst blood starts running from her nose.
“Let’s get her out of here!” John shouts, taking one arm and pulling it over his shoulder whilst Emilio does the same. Through the woods and aided in sight by nothing more than the moonlight, John and his group of survivors hurry away from Sheol as life inside remains operating as usual like nothing had even happened.