Season 3 Finale
Sat behind her desk, hands folded and mouth covered by her interlocked fingers, Jaime remains surrounded in silence, the only sounds she takes in being the blood running through the veins in her neck. Allured by the sudden tapping at her door, Jaime welcomes those on the other end to enter, Kayla soon poking her head in, the girl having come alone, unbeknownst to Chevy.
“Have you been here all night?” Kayla asks, the woman’s eyes puffy from the tears she’d spent the moon-ridden hours exclusively shedding. “I’ve been here since I left the hospital” Jaime replies, no emotion shown in her voice, an uneasy silence falling over every moment that passes without a word being uttered. Closing the door behind her, Kayla walks further into the room, taking one of the chairs in front of Jaime’s desk, and simply looking at the grief-stricken woman.
“I’m so sorry, Jaime” Kayla mutters, the apology prompting Los Angeles’ heartbroken hero to finally look back at her friend, a nod persisting. “Thank you, Kayla” Jaime responds, a heavy sniffle proceeding as the woman attempts to clear her mind, her responsibilities as Los Angeles’ spokeswoman still needing to be tended to, Jordan’s death not changing that.
“Let me address the people” Kayla suddenly quips, Jaime looking at her without a word, wanting to hear her out before she gives any sort of response. “I’d never be able to step in front of them if I were in your shoes” Kayla explains, her own makeup slightly runny, “I’ll say whatever you need me to if you don’t want to go out there.” Clearing her throat, Jaime voices her appreciation for Kayla’s offer, respectfully refusing to send anyone out to be her puppet.
“This is something that’s been set in stone for weeks, there’s no going back” Jaime explains, flashing a joyless smile toward the woman, “I have to do this.” Disappointed in the answer, Kayla nods to Jaime and expresses her understanding, head hung to allow for an intermission between their words. “What’s engagement like?” Jaime asks, the question popping up out of the blue, catching Kayla by surprise, the woman looking up to her curious friend.
“I don’t mean to switch the subject” Jaime explains, her head running with too many thoughts to keep track of them all, “Jordan and I didn’t spend much time in that stage before, well- yeah.” Squeezing her hands between her thighs, Kayla presses her shoulders together as she struggles to describe it as anything other than joy. “It’s different to what it was before, I guess” Kayla replies, “sort of an accessory kind of thing, if nothing else.”
Flashing the woman a smile, Jaime gives Kayla a nod before telling her to say what she wanted to. “It’s okay, I can handle it” Jaime explains, Kayla’s questionable look expressing her uncertainty in that statement, “seriously, I want to know.” Doubling down on her request, Jaime opens herself up to whatever is said, intentionally setting herself up to hurt with the hope of it making her more resilient.
“It’s a wonderful feeling I never thought I’d be good enough for” Kayla responds, giving into the woman’s request, her own joy bringing a warm smile over Jaime’s face, “it’s to the only man I’d ever want to love, and the only man I ever have loved.” Taking in a breath, Kayla admits that she’s never felt this level of care in her life, feeling like there is someone looking out for her in every way imaginable, and this display of commitment renders it a permanent feeling.
“It’s a lot to handle, especially when my self-criticism shoots through the roof” Kayla explains, puckering her lips together, failing to hide a smile, “it’s the greatest feeling in the world.” Wiping away a tear from her own eye, Jaime gives Kayla a nod, her asking about the engagement turning into the same question, just putting the baby into the subject instead.
“It doesn’t feel real” Kayla replies, still unable to process it enough to find joy, the fear of childbirth mixing with the worry of not being a good enough mother burdening her, “I don’t really know if it’s hit me yet.” Chuckling to herself, Jaime can’t help but shed tears of happiness for the woman, feeling like the future she once had with Jordan remains alive in the possession of Chevy and Kayla.
“You’re going to be a great mom” Jaime responds, the appreciative nod from the other woman preceding a wiping of Kayla’s own tear. “I just don’t wanna fuck up” Kayla replies, the stories of parents doing it wrong having always haunted her, “I want my kid to grow up knowing how much they were loved, and how much they were cared for.” Leaving her seat and walking over to Kayla, Jaime takes the woman’s hands into her own, promising that her child will never question her love.
“You’re going to be an amazing parent” Jaime whimpers, both crying out of disappointment that she’ll never be able to say the same, as well as out of love for the woman she’s grown so close to, “you and Chevy are going to have the best lives.” Thanking Jaime, Kayla pulls the woman in for a hug, expressing her appreciation for everything she’s done, and everything the pair have seen together.
“Alright, I’ve got a few things to do before today so-” Jaime says, stopping herself before Kayla nods in an understanding. “I’m here whenever you need me, okay?” Kayla asks, Jaime thanking her for all she’s offered, the pregnant woman leaving the room to Los Angeles’ ruler as she begins to feel her position sink in, the power she holds unrivaled by anyone else. The responsibilities upon her shoulders offer Jaime the drive to follow through with her remaining duties, as unbearable as they are.
= Dire is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 1 onwards =
“What did you say?” Julia calls out, awakening Ryan from his uncomfortable slumber, the man having been curled into a ball upon the ground. “Wha-? Oh fuck!” Ryan responds, emerging from his sleep before jolting awake, crawling into the corner as best as he can to avoid the woman’s wrath. “Lazarus has been following me around all night, and he’s been keeping me from doing my work” Julia explains, slowly walking up to the man with a knife in her hand, “what did you say?”
“Nothing! I said nothing!” Ryan shouts, hoping his voice would earn the attention of someone on the outside, a hope that Julia can see through with ease. “I’ve locked the entrance from both the hospital and city hall” Julia replies, kneeling down and holding the edge of the blade to Ryan’s throat, the man taking in deep breaths at the thought of death having finally caught up to him.
“For the third- and if you don’t answer- final time” Julia exclaims, pressing the tip of the dagger into the skin, a small cut made on the side of the man’s neck, allowing blood to run, “what did you say?” Holding his hands out as best as he can, Ryan covers his tracks, reminding the woman that there’s more to the peacekeepers than just him. “Jaime already killed Caleb and Justin” Ryan explains, placing their deaths in the spotlight, “she’d probably assumed they’d worn out their use!”
Fuming, Julia thinks about what she’s been told for a moment before reluctantly pulling the blade away, a small towel tossed into Ryan’s lap to cover the cut. “Jaime killed Caleb and Justin?” Julia asks, looking for clarification on what the man said, “I doubt Justin would crack, but I’m certain Caleb did.” Nodding, Ryan pushes himself to his feet with one hand whilst applying pressure to the fresh wound with the other.
Disappointed in that result, Julia begins to pace around the room, unsure of what steps to take from here. Seeing an opportunity to gain favor with the woman, Ryan comes to a conclusion that can work in both of their favors. “You need someone on the outside that can drum up an audience” Ryan explains, the woman’s interest peaking the longer he speaks, “why don’t I help you get rid of Lazarus, and in return- you can get me out of this cell?”
Noticing the strings left loose on that conclusion, Julia attaches herself to the most obvious of them all. “If they found Lazarus down here, especially with you having broken free, you’d be the most wanted man in Los Angeles” Julia explains, a nonchalant shrug returned by Ryan, who admits that he couldn’t care less. “As long as I can get out of L.A and you retain your place in Jaime’s ear- we’ll be untouchable” Ryan explains, the smile on Julia’s face growing.
“I like how you think, inmate” Julia responds, agreeing to the plan laid out by her once-associate.
“I missed you guys” Kennedy replies, both Chevy and Kayla expressing the shared feeling, admitting that there were times they’d look around the bunker, finding things that would remind them of their small acquaintance. “We’d see a cool lamp, or we’d find something that looked really tacky” Kayla explains, rolling out her bottom lip as she shakes her head, “we’d immediately think ‘Kennedy would think that was the dumbest thing ever’.”
After a few laughs are shared, Kennedy asks Chevy if he’s become more fond of having a kid, the question asked being one that Chevy has given very little thought. “I just got a big feeling of joy, and I didn’t really care about what I thought before” Chevy responds, admitting that he was simply happy that Kayla was happy. “Now that we’re gonna be parents, I guess I’d say I’m less ‘anti-kid’ than I was” Chevy replies, joking that he has Kennedy’s ‘cool-factor’ to thank for that.
“Yeah, I’m the best” Kennedy jokingly responds, her mind wandering to the less-ventured sides of the question. “Have you thought of a name yet?” Kennedy asks, continuing to fold clothes, handing them off to Kayla to allow the older woman to stash them away elsewhere. “Ford” Chevy immediately replies, the joke not going over well with Kayla. “I swear, I will fucking divorce you” the woman responds, sending Chevy into a laughing fit as she returns to her unpacking.
“Okay, have you thought of any non-car names?” Kennedy corrects, the smug eye roll from Chevy earning another laugh, though Kayla is quick to respond with one of her favorites. “I’ve always liked the name Veronica” Kayla replies, looking back to Chevy, who immediately looks back toward her, continuing to fold his shirts. “Yes, I’m sure our son will love the name ‘Veronica’” Chevy responds, the hand on the hip offered from his wife-to-be immediately bringing to mind another question.
“Well you may be sure, but I’m positive our daughter will love it” Kayla replies, a humorous nod returned from Chevy, writing off such a possibility. “If it’s a girl, can we name her ‘Bernice’?” Chevy asks, the taken-back look given in return by Kayla immediately calling the name into question. “Why must you be this way?” she wonders aloud, Chevy’s animated bobble-head response prompting his fiance to deliver yet another playful smack to the head.
“I find Bernice to be a lovely name to make fun of, thank you very much” Chevy responds, Kayla immediately shaking her head in refusal. “We’ll name our son ‘Veronica’ before we name our daughter ‘Bernice’” Kayla replies, watching her husband’s hands lift in surrender. “As Subway once taught me, have it your way” Chevy responds, continuing to fold clothes as a knock emerges from the other side of the door.
“Come on in!” Chevy exclaims, watching Alex emerge from the other side, a small blanket held in the palm of her hand. Still emotional at the loss of Jordan, Alex puts on the most positive expression she can muster, approaching the expecting couple with a family heirloom. “I don’t know what you guys have planned for the delivery, or how you’re gonna raise the baby, or whatever else” Alex says, nervously handing the blanket to Chevy, “I wanted you guys to have this.”
Confused, but appreciative, Kayla asks why the blanket specifically, its outdated stitching suggesting it to be rather old in manufactured-date. “It was my mothers from when she was younger” Alex replies, explaining how it was passed down to her when she was young, and she then passed it down to Jaime, who passed it down to Kennedy.
“I wanted you guys to have it” Kennedy admits, having kept the secret from the couple until this point, both Chevy and Kayla unable to hide their smiles. “You want us to have it?” Chevy responds, an enthusiastic smile accompanying Kennedy’s nod, the heart of the parents-to-be melting with the present. “We love it” Chevy replies, Kayla wrapping her arm around the man as they look toward the mother-daughter pairing, “thank you, both of you.”
Wrapping her arms around the pair, Kennedy gives Chevy and Kayla a hug, a pat on the back from the man returning the gesture. “You’re a good kid, Ken” Chevy whispers, the girl quick to agree upon her greatness.
“Hello!?” Ryan exclaims, purposefully making a racket for any on-duty guards to hear, his words calling out for help, “I need to use the bathroom!” His leg bouncing up and down, Ryan battles his nerves, the anxiety kicking in just as the door opens, allowing Lazarus to enter. Closing the door, Lazarus begins to approach the restrained man, who immediately tells him to stop walking.
“Julia’s here and I’ve convinced her that we’re on the same side” Ryan is quick to warn, Lazarus immediately looking toward him, the look in his eye making it clear that he’s telling the truth. “She’s gonna try to kill you!” Ryan grunts, Lazarus’ back immediately turning to get the jump on the corrupt doctor, the cell door bursting open just as he does as Julia rushes in with a blade in her hand.
Given the heads up, Lazarus throws his arms in the way of the woman’s initial attack at the last possible second, the blade digging into his forearm, just barely missing his neck. With a howl, Lazarus pulls his arms back, ripping the blade out of his muscle before reaching to his gun with his healthy arm. Having gained the upper hand, Julia rushes at Lazarus and throws a bicycle kick toward him, her foot pressing against the man’s wrist, his grip on the firearm released.
Sliding across the floor, well out of reach for all three inhabitants, the gun comes to a rest in the deepest corner of the room, a wounded Lazarus initiating hand-to-hand combat with the ulterior-motivated doctor. Throwing a punch, Julia ducks the strike, reaching up to the wounded arm and digging her fingers into the gash, a groan emerging from Lazarus before sending the woman across the room.
Wincing in pain, Lazarus stumbles toward the gun, tripping over himself before he can get close enough to retrieve it. Dusting herself off, Julia crawls her way up to the gun, the larger Lazarus immediately pulling her away, dragging her across the room before feeling her fingertips dig into his arm once more. The pain too great to fight through, Lazarus is forced to tend to his wound, the woman having scratched his bone with her fingernails in her most recent attempt.
Seeing an opportunity, Julia stumbles to her feet and looks on at her work proudly, Ryan still stood off to the side of the room, watching everything unfold. Allowing Julia to kill Lazarus likely to result in his freedom, Ryan is given the choice, saving himself or doing his best to offer Lazarus a second lease on life. Watching Julia slowly stroll across the room, Ryan makes his decision, dragging his chains to the center before throwing himself into Julia.
Blindsided by the attack, Ryan sends Julia crashing into the opposite wall, her body thudding into the concrete divider before bouncing back into Ryan’s grasp, allowing him to present an encore. Grabbing Julia by the hair, Ryan drags her back to his neck of the woods and slams her against the wall once more, wrapping the chains around her throat and pulling her to the ground, his calls for Lazarus to retrieve the gun being the wake-up call Jaime’s security detail needed.
Forcing himself to fight through the pain, Lazarus drags himself across the room, the gagging from Julia accompanying his very own growls, the pain in every stretch of his hand body-numbing. “Lazarus, get the fucking gun alre-!” Ryan shouts, his words stopped by the piercing slash of a knife in his side, a shriek of pain emanating from the imprisoned man whilst his grasp on the chains dissipates.
Wrapping his fingers around the gun, Lazarus stands to his feet and turns toward Julia, his attempt at aiming the weapon falling short as the woman had regained her bearings a moment too soon, allowing her to bury a dagger in Lazarus’ core. A gasp returned from his mouth, Lazarus loses the strength to hold the gun, the firearm falling to the ground as Julia continues to remove and return the blade to his flesh.
After plunging the weapon in Lazarus’ core five times, Julia lets the man collapse to the ground, the life slowly leaving his eyes as he gasps for every breath he can muster. The only one unscathed, Julia looks back at Ryan, the man grabbing at his side as she looks toward him. “Please… Don’t kill me” Ryan mutters, one hand draped over his wound as the other is extended toward Julia, the woman laughing for a moment with Lazarus’ radio in her hands as she surveys the scene.
“I don’t think I need to” Julia responds, watching Lazarus’ final signs of life deplete, the man dying on the very ground she left to drop upon, “I think you’re gonna get something a whole lot worse.” Catching his breath, Ryan shakes his head toward the woman, pleading for her to come back and release him, a request the woman immediately refuses. Without a word, Julia heads through the exit and slams the door shut, leaving the man to explain the scene he’s left amidst.
Calling for the woman to come back, Ryan finds himself ignored, Julia’s footsteps carrying her toward city hall, leaving the man to take the fall for her act.
“We’re here for you” Chevy doubles down, he and Kayla proudly throwing their support behind Jaime as she prepares to address the public. “Good luck, sis” Kennedy wishes, wrapping her arms around the woman as Alex does the same, the older woman wishing her daughter luck. “No matter what, I’m proud of you” Alex whispers, Jaime, still wearing the weight of Jordan’s death on her heart, thanking her family for never having given in.
“I’m stronger because of you two” Jaime explains, vowing that none of her success would have been possible had it not been for her family’s resilience, “I’m proud to be Jaime Morris.” Breaking the embrace, Jaime gives Amelia and Chris a fist bump, pulling Chevy and Kayla in for a hug. “Ken, Amelia and I are gonna collect our stuff from the hospital” Alex explains, the clearing of their temporary rooms still yet to be completed, “we’ll be watching from the T.V.”
Vowing to do the same, Chris wishes the woman luck, accompanying Alex from one point to another. “Kay and I are gonna watch from the square” Chevy explains, wanting to be with the people when she declares Los Angeles its own sovereign nation. “I guess that means the stage is mine” Jaime responds, a humorous tone offered as she turns toward the coffin beside her, Jordan’s casket set to be led to the cemetery following the speech, where he’ll be given a proper burial.
“We’ll give you a moment alone” Chevy says, patting the woman on the shoulder as he and Kayla direct themselves toward the crowd, Alex, Chris, Kennedy and Amelia departing to return to Cedar-Sinai. Left on her lonesome, Jaime removes her revolver and loads all six chambers with a bullet, a spin of the cylinder for good luck allowing her to return the weapon to her boot.
“Chevy came up with the name ‘Angelino Republic’” Jaime speaks to Jordan’s casket, sharing her final conversation with the man whilst he’s still above ground, “I guess that’s better than anything I could’ve come up with.” Able to hold back her tears due to how many she’s allowed to fall over the last few hours, Jaime places her hand atop the oak-finished coffin and apologizes for not having been able to bring him back.
“I miss you so fucking much. The hole that you’ve left me with will never be filled” Jaime explains, offering the departing words she couldn’t give the night before, “I can only hope to do you proud.” Calming her breathing down, Jaime admits that she’s still having a hard time trying to find the words to say. “Things like these don’t need words” a voice calls out from behind, leading Jaime to turn around, finding Kate, therapist-glasses and all, walking her through her grieving process.
“You’re a figment of my imagination” Jaime replies, the first words she’s spoken to Kate since forcing herself to recall her untimely demise, a shrug emerging from the woman’s shoulders in response. “That’s never stopped you before” Kate responds, bobbing her head back and forth, “after all, I’ve been a memory of the past to you for the last few months too, so I don’t see how this could be any different.”
With a laugh, Jaime admits that she’s spent the last few months going insane, an answer that Kate doesn’t exactly refuse. “You bought a mansion in the Los Angeles hillside and still chose to live with your parents” Kate remarks, a statement that brings a laugh out of Jaime, “you’ve been insane for a little while now, and it’s perfectly fine to be a little insane every now and then.”
“Oh, is that what I owe myself?” Jaime replies, the jokes dying off as Kate answers that question with honesty. “No… What you owe yourself is a chance to be okay with everything that’s happened” Kate responds, acknowledging her imagery to Jaime in this moment to be an accurate depiction of what she would say if she were still around, “I’m disappointed that I never got to meet Jordan, but from what I’ve seen, he seems like someone you have every right to mourn.”
Head hung, Jaime allows herself to accept such a statement as truth, the sound of Jordan’s voice calling out from the casket earning her attention. “Rather than mourn, I hope you’d take every chance to ask what I’d argue in favor of if I were there” Jordan’s imagery explains, a tear running down Jaime’s face as his presence brings a smile over her, “my ability to fight right beside you doesn’t go away just because I do.”
Having rested his arm atop his own body’s coffin, Jordan approaches Jaime and places his hands on each side of her face, the sensation of which is something Jaime cannot physically feel, but one that can bring on a sense of serenity by being able to imagine.
“Spirits aren’t what we think people leave behind just for shit’s and giggle’s, they’re the things we’ve influenced to work in a certain way” Jordan explains, his presence in Jaime’s life leading her to places she wouldn’t have seen without him. “You led your people to sanctuary when Los Angeles first fell by listening to what I taught you” Kate explains, Jordan picking up from where the woman left off, “and you led Los Angeles by being who I helped you become.”
Taking Jaime by each hand, Kate and Jordan look into the woman’s eyes, telling them that she has permission to let them go. “We’ll only ever be gone in presence...” Kate explains, her thought concluded by Jordan, “...but we’ll never be gone in spirit.” Thanking Kate and telling Jordan that she loves him, Jaime is assured that they have both always known that, a final goodbye offered before their images leave her mind, fading into thin air and leaving Jaime alone again.
With a deep breath, Jaime turns toward the front doors and adjusts her shirt collar, aligning it perfectly before stepping toward the doors, her fist lifting into the air and tapping against the royal-esque finish. With a clanking sound, the heavy doors of city hall begin to part, bathing Jaime in the sunlight above whilst presenting her to the world for the very first time.
“Almost ready?” Julia asks, accompanying her brother as he wheels a set of crates through the untraversed halls of Mount Cedar-Sinai. “Yeah, but what the fuck happened to you!?” Chris replies, watching Julia adjust herself, throwing a whitecoat over the bloodstains on her shirt, admitting that she was covering her tracks. With the shake of his head, Chris begins to roll his eyes at the pounding fists inside the wooden crates, assuring those within that the transaction is almost complete.
“The ride will be a lot less bumpy soon, I promise” Chris exclaims, his sister pushing the loading bay doors open to grant her brother easier access, the crates being quickly loaded onto a truck before being tied down. “That’s six individuals, all under one-hundred and fifty pounds!” Chris exclaims, taking his sister’s hand as he leads himself off the platform, turning to those responsible for the pickup, “is our delivery inside?”
Tossing his clipboard into the passenger’s seat, Cody walks back toward Chris and Julia, tipping his hat toward the pair, assuring them that movers have already wheeled their shipment to their desired location. “It’s a pleasure doing business with you, Cody” Chris responds, shaking the man’s hand as he assures him that the business is always great when done with the man.
Hopping into his truck, Cody drives off with the live shipment struggling for their freedom in the back, Chris and Julia immediately moving on with their day. “Let’s hope our work paid off!” Julia exclaims, high-fiving her brother and returning to the hospital.
“Good afternoon, people of Los Angeles” Jaime exclaims, beginning her speech in front of a captivated audience, those on the outside of Los Angeles’ borders silent, watching the woman from a screen set up near the perimeter. “As some of you may have heard by now, there is an update regarding Jordan, whom most of you probably recognize as my fiance” Jaime explains, sharing the news of his untimely death the night prior.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s been a very difficult night, and I’ve had more than a few people tell me I shouldn’t go ahead with today’s address” Jaime explains, standing alone at the podium, only a few people in the security detail. “I believe it’s important to keep transparency, and that is what I am striving to do” Jaime explains, making it known that she has to share less fortunate news to begin her address.
“Unfortunately, in an unexpected event, Ryan Mulaney- who I’m sure most of you will recognize as the man who attempted to kill me a few short weeks ago- was transported to Mount Cedar-Sinai for medical assistance” Jaime continues, admitting that he had managed to escape his imprisonment. “In the process, Ryan Mulaney burned what has been estimated to be sixty-five percent of our harvested crops” Jaime explains, a few whispers shared amongst the crowd.
“I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own horn, but I proceeded to take matters into my own hands” Jaime explains, “I’ve struck a deal with a nearby settlement in Lancaster that- while unable to help us meet our early-September deadline- will help us recoup our losses by the middle of October.” Promising that the wait is nearly over, Jaime explains that she is doing everything she can to add to the power emergency services have within Los Angeles.
“Unfortunately, that is not the most mind-boggling news I have to offer” Jaime explains, her voice carried through the television set in Alex’s room, the woman watching with a remote in her hand whilst Kennedy stares in the background, Amelia dividing her attention between Jaime’s speech and her read-through of the book ‘How Democracies Die.’
“Our very own Chevy Harrison and Kayla Burnett, along with select members of their convoy, uncovered the deepest truths of what we’ve come to call ‘the catalyst’” Jaime explains, “and in the process of that discovery, we lost one brave soul. Mr. Benjamin Lasner sadly passed age 17.” Explaining that a select few government officials purposely sabotaged the greater American government, Jaime praises Chevy and Kayla for leading a counter attack that killed such saboteurs.
“As far as we know, Mr. Eugene Madison was responsible for sabotaging Air Force One amidst the first day of the catalyst” Jaime explains, refusing to hold back a smile, “he has since been discarded of.” With a roaring applause, Jaime allows the crowd to continue for a moment before breaking down the more severe outcome of such truth.
“Because of this finding, however, it is apparent that the American government is no longer in operation” Jaime explains, cutting straight to the bone, “as far as I can gather- we are all that’s left.” The crowd coming to a hush, Jaime explains that Los Angeles is the only democratic settlement left on the continental United States, and the lack of any greater-government body means that she is the acting leader of a new, sovereign nation.
“I have decided to rename Los Angeles in an effort to change with the great shift we are experiencing” Jaime explains, “as far as today, we are to now be known as the Angelino Republic.” Though sparse at first, the crowd begins to applaud the decision, their safety being the only noticeable safety in the United States it that moment, the ground they walk upon offering them true sanctuary unfound elsewhere.
“Now, this has been something that was suggested to me long ago, ironically by Mr. Ryan Mulaney” Jaime explains, recalling the words specifically. “Ryan said that I would eventually have to decide whether or not I would rule with an ‘iron fist’, or rule with a ‘velvet glove’” Jaime explains, both hands pressed against the podium she speaks at, “and truth be told, I-”
Before the woman can finish, a swell in the crowd begins to emerge, gathering in numbers the closer they reach the stairs, pushing past members of the crowd whilst chanting. “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!” the men and women shout, interrupting the woman’s address to actively protest her rule, “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!”
“What the hell is going on?” Chevy mutters beneath his breath, a guard intending to push his way through the crowd answering the man’s question as he passes him. “We’ve got a mob of protestors that don’t like your girl” the man replies, demanding the civilians move out of the way as he and countless other guards swarm the sea of protestors. “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!” the protestors continue to shout, the sounds of their chants audible to the imprisoned Ryan, his eyes widening.
“It’s the peacekeepers!” one of his crewmates shout, the glee in his voice audible from the other room, the man jumping for joy at the sound of their militia storming the steps of city hall. Mouth agape, Jaime looks out at the display, directing the group to calm down and halt their interruption, the request for peace being denied by the men and women that ironically preach for its defense.
“Keep the peace! Throw her out!, Keep the Peace! Throw her out!” the protestors begin to chant, their delivery changing up, making it clear to the woman at the podium that she is not wanted in charge. In awe at this display, Jaime backs away from her placement, eyes wide as she sees the protest continue to ensue. “Where is Lazarus!?” Jaime calls back to her security detail, the closest thing she has left to a lead-figure in the department admitting that he never showed.
“The last I heard, he was headed for interrogation” another man exclaims, his suggestion not a solid lead, but it serves as better than nothing. Shaking her head, Jaime turns back and returns to city hall, demanding her detail keep the doors open and await her return. Entering the dungeon, Jaime hears the faint cry for the peacekeepers in the distance, her feet continuing to carry her throughout the long tunnel that connects the hospital to city hall.
“Lazarus!?” Jaime shouts, calling for the man’s name, a few additional calls for his response prompting for a familiar voice to call out her name. Rushing to the sound of the shouting, Jaime pushes the door to Ryan’s room open and finds the man cut in the stomach, Lazarus lying in a pool of his own blood in the middle of the room. “Oh my god!” Jaime exclaims, looking around the man for a radio, her fingers reaching to his neck and checking for a pulse.
“Julia- it’s Julia!” Ryan shouts, grimacing at the pain that his wound presents, Jaime’s fingers slowly leaving the man’s neck as she notices the lack of a pulse. “I told Lazarus that she’d bribed me to kill Jordan, she came down here asking questions and I tried to bait her!” Ryan exclaims, watching the woman kneel before her security detail, seething at the sight of his dead body.
“I tried to help him corner her, but she jumped on him too fast!” Ryan exclaims, explaining Lazarus’ wounds and his own gash, admitting that there was nothing he could do. Unable to respond, Jaime remains knelt over Lazarus’ body, the woman blisteringly angry, unable to hear anything through the rage that burns deep within her gut. “Jaime, are you listening to me!?” Ryan exclaims, watching her face slowly turn toward him, teeth clenched.
“Julia is-” Ryan begins, stopping himself the moment that he watches Jaime’s sights set on him, the hair falling over her face as she reaches into her boot. “Holy shit…” Ryan exclaims,, watching Jaime stand up with the revolver in her hand, “...I can see fear!” Amazed, Ryan watches Jaime take the gun toward him and pull the trigger at his knee, a bullet ripping through his leg as he screams in agony.
“No...” Jaime responds, taking a key off Lazarus and unlocking the man’s restraints, refusing to hear him out as his actions against Jordan brand him as ‘unforgivable’ in her eyes as her voice lowers to a deep, guttural growl, “...no you do not.”
Wrapping the chains around her hand, Jaime begins to drag the man’s wounded body out of the room, leading him by the restraints and back into the main complex of city hall. Whilst the protests continue to burn bright, a conflict begins to break out amongst the crowd, Chevy and Kayla quickly standing off to the side as chaos begins to arise, one side fighting the other until Jaime finally emerges from within the building.
Pulling Ryan the rest of the way, Jaime throws the man toward the edge of the top-most step, a revolver in her right hand as the crowd begins to gasp, this display never having been expected. “This is Ryan Mulaney… The man responsible for killing Jordan Cutler, and the man responsible for killing Lazarus Adams” Jaime exclaims into the microphone, her voice being captured by the world in full quality, the tone of the day having changed dramatically.
“I swear, I had nothing to do with Lazarus!” Ryan exclaims, knelt upon the ground with his knee in his hand, the woman raising the gun toward his head, an audible gasp coming over the sea of spectators below. “He’s also one of the notable members of a group called ‘the peacekeepers’” Jaime explains, opening the cylinder of her revolver and taking out all but one bullet, “therefor, he represents what’s possible when you rule with a ‘velvet glove’.”
“You, or me?” Jaime asks, watching Ryan shake his head in refusal, her finger spinning the cylinder before the base of her hand slams it shut. Owning up to his mistakes, Ryan holds his hand out and promises to play along, only requesting one thing. “Let me confess” Ryan explains, vowing to own up to the wrongs he has committed, the woman letting the gun fall to her side at this suggestion.
“I owe it to you” Ryan explains, the face of Jaime beginning to fall, allowing the man to plead his case. Limping to the podium, Ryan leans toward the microphone and catches his breath, hands and chin scraped from falling upon the city hall steps. “I did a horrible thing” Ryan explains, admitting to his faults, “I should have never taken that shot at you, and what it resulted in is something I can never take back.”
Shaking his head, Ryan admits that he was responsible for Jordan’s death, and admits that he wishes he could take it back. “But I did not kill Lazarus” Ryan explains, the woman beginning to look on in anger, allowing the man to continue. “If you want to kill me for what I did to Jordan, fine… I believe in an eye for an eye” Ryan replies, ready to meet his maker, “but do not let Julia get away with what she did to Lazarus… He was a good man that didn’t deserve what happened to him.”
Hesitant to buy what the man is selling, Jaime approaches Ryan and regains her composure, taking in a few deep breaths before looking the man in the eyes. “Jaime Morris, Jaime Cutler, whatever you wish to be known as…” Ryan continues, watching the woman nod as he concludes, “I am sorry.”
Biting her bottom lip, Jaime takes a moment of silence to weigh her options, the man continuing to look at her, awaiting a response. Closing her eyes, Jaime points her face toward the sky, her face glistening with sweat from the heatwave-inducing, mid-day sun. With a deep sigh, Jaime looks back toward Ryan and keeps her reply simple. “Thank you” Jaime responds, the relief that comes over the man’s face accompanied by a heavy sigh.
Without hesitation, Jaime lifts the barrel of her revolver to Ryan’s head and watches him look up, widened eyes glancing back at her for the brief moment between realization and result. With the squeeze of her trigger, Jaime sends a bullet firing through the barrel and tearing through the back of Ryan’s skull, the man’s dead body toppling to the ground with a sickening thud.
In a moment of terror and panic, the crowd gasps and screams at the result, the display not having been something either side of the debate had been expecting. In complete disbelief, Chevy and Kayla cover their mouths in shock, the echo of the gunshot reverberating through the Angelino Republic, a result that horrifies them.
Looking down at what she’d done, Jaime reaches toward the fragmented skull and places all five fingers on her dominant hand together, dipping them in the bullet hole made between Ryan’s still-widened eyes. Returning to the podium, Jaime concludes her address, the display having been something that brought such a shock upon the entire crowd that each side remains deathly silent.
“As much as I could never- and would never- be able to stand that smug-faced punk…” Jaime explains, a nod coming over her as she looks to her blood-soaked hand, “...he did have one very excellent point.” Looking back to the crowd, Jaime extends her hand toward the mid-war sides, explaining that this kind of self-implosion is something that the Angelino Republic cannot survive with, and admits that it is something only possible when done beneath the control of a velvet glove.
“Ryan did say that I’d have to make a decision eventually, and it really feels like the time has finally come…” Jaime explains, finding the camera in the audience and looking directly into it, “...I choose an iron fist.” Leaving the podium, Jaime turns back toward city hall, a nod to the new head of her security detail giving the order to escort citizens back to their homes, essentially putting a mandatory lockdown into effect.
Returning to the building, Jaime tucks her revolver back into her boot and begins to walk the halls, the massive complex doors closing behind her, dividing her from the public once more. “What just happened?” Kayla mutters aloud, in awe at what she and Chevy had just witnessed, her fiance putting his arm around her and holding her tight, admitting that he has no idea.
Discouraged, Alex powers the television in her room off, closing her eyes and subtly shaking her head in disapproval at the sights she’d just seen. On the contrary, Kennedy stands back, encouraged by the display her sister had just put on, a subtle nod of approval given from her. Caught in neither camp, Amelia sits atop her bed, mouth wide open as the cover of her book slowly falls from her hands, closing without having been greeted with a bookmark.
Stood atop Mount Cedar-Sinai hospital, Chris and Julia look over the downtown area of the Angelino Republic and clink their wine glasses, the roar of the live feed able to be heard from the television set just behind them. “Well done, Christopher” Julia exclaims, taking a sip from her drink. Responding with the same gesture, “Well done, Juliana” Chris replies, basking in the success they’ve found.
Watching the massive doors shut, Chevy watches the inside of city hall be sealed off from the public as the crowd is forced to depart the area, held at gunpoint by the now-hostile guards. Already known as part of Jaime’s inner circle, Chevy and Kayla are avoided, the guards continuing to shuffle the population back to their homes as both look to the capitol building with ire, worried that today’s events have just changed everything.
Walking up to Jordan’s coffin, Jaime presses her five blood-stained fingers to the wood, waiting a few seconds before letting her hands fall, justice having been offered to her fallen love, the blood of his killer left to accompany him to the grave. Entering her office, Jaime closes her doors and approaches her wine rack, the most expensive bottle of her beverage of choice being poured into a modest glass.
Walking up to her office window, Jaime looks out at the sights she’s afforded, raising the glass to her lips and taking a sip. With a satisfied breath, Jaime gives herself a nod and allows a smile to come over her face, eyes looking out at the boundary of the Angelino Republic. From above, Jaime’s republic appears as the only space of lucious green for miles, the charred, blackened remnants of the outside world covering her in every direction, her sanctuary the last true symbol of a dead nation.
== Dire ==