“The government?” Alex replies, both astonished at the possibility and confused at how such a possibility came to be, “how the hell could they still be around?” Shutting the blinds to Jordan’s hospital room, Jaime turns around with her intentions set upon disarming the thought of any lingering threat. “I said the government might still be around” Jaime responds, the only solid lead being swiftly carried away via helicopter upon Jaime’s assumption of control.
“So you know Django went to this mountain bunker, and that’s all?” Alex replies, not finding any reason to take such a discovery for the threat everyone else perceives it as. “We knew he flew off to somewhere, it’s not like we expected him to just crash into some building along the way and disappear” Alex reassures, “how does this change anything we were doing up to now? This isn’t new information.”
“Yes, but now we know who he went off to and why he’d go there” Jaime replies, her assumptions suggesting his purpose was always to return, “we know he’d want to come back, but now we know he could if he wanted to.” Occupying Jaime’s vacant seat, Alex begins to think to herself, considering where Jaime’s government stands.
“If Django comes back, it’ll be to recapture Los Angeles for the country, not himself” Alex explains, a statement Jaime can easily agree with. “Yes, which means he’d be coming back with a stronger force than he left with” Jaime reiterates, her mood dropping to a low point, “and we were barely strong enough to survive that so, getting on the same page now is a necessity.”
Hands out, Alex looks to her daughter and asks for a way such a mood-souring truth could be possible. Squinting, Jaime gives herself a nod of approval, beginning to leave Jordan’s room with a few departing words. “I think I know how” she says, walking through the door as Alex quickly follows behind whilst Lazarus accompanies her.
As minutes pass, the sirens blare through Los Angeles, an agreed upon signal to gather at the steps of city hall, any Angelinos that line the streets immediately rushing to the center of town. Gathered beneath the hot, summer sun of L.A, Jaime emerges from the inner sanctum of city hall, stepping up to the podium and pressing her lips near the microphone.
“It’s come to my attention that you’ve gone a week without hearing from me, and for that I truly apologize” Jaime explains, her hair tied into a ponytail. “I think that- in this moment of time- as we wait for things to truly get better, it’s important that we all remain bonded- sharing the same page” Jaime explains, clearing her throat, “I believe that- in asking all of us to co-exist- I need to take initiative and be honest with you all.”
Heart skipping a beat, Jaime looks out at the sea of heads, her place at the very top of the stairs keeping her from seeing anyone as anything less than little dots amongst a scattered chess board. “Jordan is in a coma- wounded, but alive” Jaime begins, nodding to the crowd, who begin to quietly speculate amongst themselves, “the man responsible for killing him is in custody, currently being held in interrogation, and is talking.”
The final part of that statement catching Lazarus’ eye, the large man looks to Jaime out of the corner of his lids, keeping from interrupting her, and making a mental note of the lie. “Chevy Harrison and Kayla Barnett are currently discussing trade relations with a camp a number of miles away, and are keeping in contact every day” she continues, acknowledging the high hopes for a decent deal to be made, “aside from that, we are asking that you remain cooperative with officials.”
Nothing more to offer, Jaime promises to keep the public informed, a gesture that appears to be received well at first glance. “Thank you” Jaime signs off, turning away and returning to the main entrance of city hall, Lazarus quickly returning inside to her left, raising his most obvious question. “Just to be sure we’re still on the same page ourselves, why did you feed them a story about Ryan’s non-existent cooperation?” Lazarus questions, Jaime turning with a smile.
“If he’s got people hiding in the woodworks, they’ll show themselves without us having to sniff them out” Jaime responds, returning a nod to the head of her security detail, their turn of a corner taking them back to the dungeon.
= 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 =
“I’m unarmed” Chevy mutters, both hands raised toward the air as he climbs the creaky wooden stairs to the front of Cody’s drugstore, his knuckles tapping lightly against the door. “You feeling more lucky today than you did yesterday?” Cody asks, the front door gliding open, both Chevy and Kayla stationed on his doorstep, “I figured you’d be running back to camp by now.”
Without a verbal answer, Chevy shakes his head. Rolling his eyes as he holds the door open, Cody allows the pair entry. “I was thinking about what you said last night and it just happened to dawn on me” Chevy explains, he and his girlfriend standing beside the counter as Cody returns to his seat behind it, “if you’re not willing to trade with anyone, why light that tower up?”
Wiping his hands with an old towel, Cody’s answer is simple, one rooted in good intentions. “Trying to save everyone we can” the store operator replies, chucking the loose rag into a metal bucket by his feet, “if they’re coming for the unruly, anyone playing ball here won’t be caught dead in their sights.” Looking away, Chevy leaves the floor to Kayla, the woman taking over from his last point.
“Even if the government were going to come back, they’re still the reason why all of this happened” Kayla explains, Los Angeles certainly not the only place aware of their misdeeds, “they can’t reasonably expect to just walk in and take over where they left.” Shaking his head, Cody argues the exact opposite, his head shaking with a prideful smile.
“They don’t have to reasonably do anything, darling… They’re the government” Cody responds, a smirk lifting from the corner of his mouth, the debate being had between himself and a pair below him as far as he’s concerned, “they’ll take over with ease, shovel shit in everyone’s mouths, and they’ll see the people smile with corn in their teeth if they want.”
“They’re the bad guys, powerful or not. No one will let them back into power” Chevy cuts in, his point valid as far as he can stretch it, “if they want power, they’re going to have to fight for it.” Rolling his eyes, Cody stops hiding his uninterest in the pair’s side of the argument, his opinion refusing to budge.
“Number one, you’ll never overpower the goddamn military. Number two, don’t forget why you’re here with me right now” Cody explains, finger placed upon his countertop, “you need trade to survive. What happens when you run low on resources and the big guys come walking in with buckets of food playing the hero?”
Their turn to look away, Chevy and Kayla begin to think amongst themselves whilst Cody continues to stand by the decision he’s made. “The government’s going to come after- or wait out- anyone that challenges them for control” Cody explains, their plan likely being to step in at the moment where dissatisfaction is highest, “the last thing I need to do is look uncivil, or be the main trade proponent to what would be one of their biggest oppositional forces.”
Biting down on his lip, Chevy balls his fist and presses it down on the bar top, his last-ditch effort being extended. “We’re not certain the military is even still around” Chevy replies, the laugh coming from Cody suggesting the declaration to have already sealed his position, “you’re working under the assumption that they’ll come back like a thief in the night, but you’re not even sure they still exist.”
“Correct- and I’ll give you that- but it doesn’t matter” Cody responds, moving his hand from his hip and gently nudging the man’s fist from his tabletop, “all I need is for people to have a reason to act civil, and I’ll keep this place running for as long as I need.”
“So you’re interested in keeping power over this place?” Kayla immediately interjects, finding a weakness in the man’s position, his response immediately shooting down such a suggestion. “I’m interested in keeping this place operable on a basic, law-abiding code of conduct” Cody replies, “as long as the chance of a return to order is present, I’m able to keep everyone in line out of fear of the big guy alone.”
His head tilting to one side, Chevy asks the man why he’d tell them this, the store owner looking toward him with confusion. “What do you mean?” Cody responds, his head shaking, eyes continuing to press closer together as the man continues speaking. “You’re giving us a weapon to use against you for, apparently, no reason” Chevy replies, the presented information offered being done so in an odd approach, “all we’d need to do to keep you from retaining order is prove the government’s gone.”
With a smirk, Cody begins to notice where this conversation is heading, his assumption of the pair’s group being properly placed. “Good luck proving that, I’m sure it’ll be easy” Cody responds, beginning to walk away from the counter until Kayla speaks up once more, his attention pulled back with her words, their effectiveness wrapping around him like a lasso.
“It wasn’t easy to take over control of Los Angeles, but we still managed that” Kayla replies, his eyes turning back toward her, his body soon following, “you know we’re capable of it.” Finding the path his girlfriend has chosen to walk upon, Chevy looks back toward Cody and finishes her thought. “You’re planting that idea in our heads. You want us to prove whether or not they’re still around” Chevy explains, the fallen head of Cody giving them the confirmation they were looking for.
Placing his hand to his head, Cody rubs at the sides of his face and returns to the pair, his head shaking. “I’m sick and tired of waiting on my ass for them to show up. It’s been too fucking long” Cody responds, both Kayla and Chevy pulling away to recognize what’s being asked of them. “If there’s anywhere your mayor would have flown to- where other government officials would be held- it’d be that bunker” Cody replies, his finger placed upon the table.
“Go to Colorado Springs, find out what’s going on for yourselves, and bring me back a definitive answer” Cody explains, the simple request laid out, unable to be misconstrued, “if they’re really gone, you’ve got a deal.” Not wishing to add anything more into the conversation than that, Cody begins walking away from his storefront, waving his hand toward the group as a request for their departure.
“Ugh… why?” Ryan mutters to himself, the door closing behind Jaime, the girl holding a firearm in her non-dominant hand, the weapon at first going unnoticed by the prisoner. “Haven’t I already given you enough to-” Ryan begins to complain, noticing the piece by the girl’s side before he can finish his statement, his words immediately falling upon deaf ears.
A grimace on her face, Jaime approaches the table and gently rattles the gun, its inner mechanisms stirring around within its hardened shell, not another word leaving Ryan’s lips. Pulling the weapon across her stomach, Jaime takes the grip into her right hand and quickly takes aim at Ryan, the man immediately pulling back upon this sight, his legs lifting onto his chair as his hands cover his face as best as the restraints will allow him.
His spaced breathing heavy and fearful, Ryan squeezes his eyes shut and tenses up, waiting as seconds go by, his fate seemingly gift wrapped with time to recognize that. A light tap upon the table beside him, Ryan’s eyes shoot open, his breaths still sparse as his head slowly turns toward the woman, her blank expression meeting him. With her hands folded atop the wooden surface, Jaime lets the revolver sit beside her with an open chamber, Ryan’s tensions alleviated immediately.
“Is this just a sick game to you?” Ryan asks in disgust, the woman watching him uncurl, turning back toward her, his face showing anger in hopes of drawing a reaction from the woman. “It’s pretty hard to look menacing when you just balled up like a little bitch at the first sight of a gun” Jaime admits, Ryan’s efforts immediately dissipating, his person going silent as Jaime continues to speak.
“The other day, I really thought you were some strangely-wired person not much different from anyone you can find in the loony bin” Jaime explains, a smile coming over her, “but now I know that you’re just a scared little boy.” Scowling at the woman, Ryan shakes his head and breaks eye contact, looking to the far-off side of the room, head leant against his folded arm.
“That’s really easy for you to say” Ryan mutters beneath his breath, Jaime quick to agree with his statement. “Yes, it really is” she responds, watching the man’s eyes reposition themselves toward her, the woman’s hand reaching into her pocket and emerging with a single, brass-jacketed bullet.
“You see, I’ve looked down the barrel of a gun before...” Jaime explains, a smirk coming over her as she holds the bullet between two fingers, “the barrel of a gun held by someone actually willing to pull the trigger.” Picking up her firearm, Jaime holds the barrel toward her own face and gently slides the bullet into position, her finger placing itself on the side of the cylinder, spinning it wildly before slamming it shut with the base of her hand.
“I’ve known what it feels like to die before you actually hit the ground” Jaime explains, the barrel moving away from her chin, aimed toward the ceiling between herself and her fiance’s assassin, “your life doesn’t flash before your eyes. You don’t recall all of those big moments. You just prepare yourself and wait.”
Sliding his legs off the chair, Ryan places his feet upon the ground and looks directly into the woman’s eyes, her blank stare beginning to dawn an acceptance he’d yet to acknowledge before. “I didn’t feel that fear everyone says they get when they walk away from that unscathed, it never- It never mattered to me” Jaime explains, her hand softly twirling, the barrel of the gun circling the ceiling, “I didn’t feel anything.”
Tapping upon the glass, Lazarus attempts to get Jaime to stand down from what he fears she’s going to try, the woman calling back out to the man on the opposite side of the wall. “Lazarus, if you come in here, I will fire at your head and not stop pulling the trigger until I see brain” Jaime calls out, demanding the man not stop her from the display she’s actively painting.
Eyes falling upon Ryan once more, Jaime looks into his eyes, making it clear that she knows what he’s trying to do, her words telling the man that he will not succeed. “You can’t make me fear what may or may not come for me, Ryan” Jaime continues, her eyes finally showing the same joyous emotion as her smile does, “you have no idea what kind of things you’ve set in motion.”
Pulling the weapon back, Jaime looks into Ryan’s eyes as she presses the barrel against her own head, the bullet threatening to fire directly into the right side of her face. “You want me to live in constant fear? fear of the people? fear of the choices?, fear of the consequences?, fear of anything and everything there is to fear?” Jaime whispers, her head gently shaking as she leans forward, the gun still pressed against her head, telling Ryan to see why he’ll never prevail.
“Look into my eyes Ryan” Jaime requests, the man doing exactly as requested, “look into my eyes and answer me one very simple question.” Her thumb pulling the hammer down, Jaime lets a few seconds of silence persist as her index finger squeezes the trigger, eye contact maintained throughout the duration of the point. “Answer me this” Jaime concludes, pulling the trigger to the sound of a click and nothing more, the man’s breath shooting through his chapped lips, “do you see any fear?”
Wide-eyed, Ryan continues to look at the woman, his astonishment at the lack of emotion given from her before and after pulling the trigger making Jaime’s point for her. Releasing the cylinder, Jaime removes the bullet and tucks it back into her pocket, the gun sliding into her boot as she leaves the room.
Sat alone at an empty cafeteria table, Alex picks at a tray of food just as Chris enters the room, his discovery of her prompting only one word to come to mind. “Troubled?” Chris calls out, Alex quickly looking at the man, eyes darting away from her food as he approaches her table. “Is it really that obvious?” Alex wonders back, her smile accompanied by furrowed eyebrows, the conflicting emotions making trouble easy to conclude upon.
“Something I can help with?” Chris queries, taking a seat opposite the woman at the elevated table, her hands folded between her legs, stiffening her shoulders. Wanting to say ‘no’, Alex finds herself flattered by the man’s presence, his selection of her out of a crowd of workers and volunteers within the hospital giving her the feeling of being special.
“It’s probably not something that you can help with, but there is something troubling on my mind” Alex responds, the man making himself comfortable in his seat, making sure the woman knows she has his full attention. “I’m just worried about Jaime” Alex admits, Chris popping a smile much to Alex’s expectation, the older woman quick to explain herself. “She’s in no position to need her mother to worry for her, but-” Alex begins, quickly interrupted by the man’s masculine tone.
“But you’re her mother and it’s what you’ve been doing since the day she was born?” Chris replies, finishing the woman’s sentence, a gesture Alex doesn’t take poorly to. “You’re her mother” Chris answers, the guilt-ridden expression on Alex’s face arguing a feeling otherwise, “it’s nothing new for her to be your biggest concern regardless of how old she is.”
Hanging her head, Alex visually disfavors the man’s statement, the holes in their relationship persistent. “I wasn’t there for her when she was younger, or when she was learning how to make it in the world” Alex explains, her conscience latching onto her own wrongdoings before anything else, “I lost the right to be her mom when I chose a deadbeat over her. I’m just the woman that gave birth to her.”
Showing the woman compassion, Chris reaches his hand out beneath the table, resting the palm of his hand atop the woman’s knee. Quickly noticing this gesture, Alex looks to the table before glancing back toward the man, his smile intentionally offering her a welcoming show of support. “You made a mistake… That’s not something to hold against yourself” Chris explains, pleading with her not to spend life thinking otherwise, “you never get to stop being her mom.”
Holding back a tear, Alex gives the man a silent nod, a somber smile returned. “I’ve got to get back to work, but I’m sure we’ll run into each other again soon” Chris explains, getting up from the table and returning to his job, the woman’s eyes remaining on him until the moment he turns the corner, a single tear running down the side of her face.
“Colorado?” Jaime responds, a surprised reflection in her voice carried through the radio as both Chevy and Kayla reside in their quarters, not wishing to do things out of her knowledge. “He made it clear, Jaime” Chevy explains, the ultimatum left up for them to decide upon, “figure out the truth behind the bunker and you’ve got a deal.”
“You guys are going to Colorado?” an unhappy Kennedy calls out from across the room, she and Amelia sat on the opposite side of Jaime’s desk, “you can’t go to Colorado!” Saddened by the sound of the young girl’s desire not to see them go, Kayla looks to the radio with dejected eyes, a disheartened Chevy replying in kind. “If we want to keep Los Angeles going, we have to” Chevy replies, unable to see the fallen look on Kennedy’s face through the radio.
“You’re sure he’s giving you no other choice?” Jaime responds, herself, uncomfortable with the idea of her closest allies traveling across the Rocky Mountains alone. “It’s pretty clear that he wants answers- regardless of what those answers might be” Chevy replies, pausing for a moment to take in a deep sigh, “and I’m pretty sure we’re gonna want them too.”
Spinning her chair around, Jaime walks up to her window, looking out at the greenery of Los Angeles, the sight of a still-standing city bringing her a moment of clarity. “Jaime, you there?” Chevy beckons, the lack of a timely response bringing about a need to know. “Yeah, I’m still here” Jaime responds, the radio kept to her face, finger remaining on the button to the side, “and we’ve got no other option?”
Reassuring the woman of their one and only choice, Chevy and Kayla await the woman’s response, their answer resting solely on the decision their leader chooses to make. Looking over her shoulder, Jaime finds Kennedy with Amelia’s hand placed upon her shoulder, comfort being offered to the disappointed youngling. Seeing her sister’s sights placed upon her, Kennedy swallows her best wishes and gives her nod of approval, an apologetic smile offered by Jaime in return.
“Head back for L.A with the rest of your group. We’ll stock you up and get a few arms moving with you” Jaime replies, giving the mission its green light, a decision that brings a sigh of relief over the voyage-bound couple. “We’ll be back by tomorrow afternoon” Chevy responds, the conversation ending right there, both Kayla and Chevy immediately springing into action whilst Jaime looks back to her sister.
“I’m proud of you” Jaime murmurs, Kennedy looking at her with a sad shrug. “They wouldn’t leave if it wasn’t important” the docile young girl replies, not wanting to admit the truth, but forcing it upon herself, “if they’re leaving, it’s because they need to. They should.”
Stood over Jordan’s bedside, Julia reads the man’s vitals, charting down the readings she’s been given as Jaime approaches the doorway. “How’s he doing?” the curious bride-to-be asks, catching Julia by surprise, the woman turning around to find Los Angeles’ acting leader strolling in, a reassuring answer offered.
“His vitals are still normal, and while he may be in a coma, he’s still stable after more than a week” Julia explains, seeing the smile emerge on Jaime’s face, “our biggest question is when he’ll wake up.” Parting her lips to let out a deep sigh, Jaime watches the acting nurse back away, departing the room to leave Jaime a moment alone with her fiance. “Thank you” She responds, a nod from Julia given before she leaves the room.
Sucking on her bottom lip, Jaime walks to the corner of the room, dragging a chair along the tiled floors of the hospital unit, taking the seat directly beside the man’s head. Placing her right hand over Jordan’s own, Jaime uses her left to run her fingers through the man’s hair, the side of her head resting upon her arm. “Chevy and Kayla are taking a group out to Colorado tomorrow” Jaime explains, her voice coming off tired, holding back emotions.
“The town they’ve been staying at is well stocked, and pretty well organized, too” she continues, her fiance’s unresponsive state leaving every word she says to bounce back at her, “the guy in charge seems pretty decent.” The emotions getting more difficult to hold back as the conversation continues, Jaime begins to struggle to find her words, the sniffles and moments where she clears her throat becoming abundant.
“It’s awful not talking to you every day” Jaime admits, almost losing control of herself in that moment, the pain bringing a numbing sensation over her chest, “I can’t wait for that to be over.” Taking in another deep breath and holding it, Jaime regains her composure, each time she speaks leaving the door open for it to escape her once more. “The doc says you’ll get better so, I’m looking forward to when you do” she whispers, a tear running down her side-resting face.
Squeezing her eyelids, Jaime lets the tears pass through, her watery gaze returned to her fiance immediately. “We’ll have a proper wedding, do the whole honeymoon thing, it’ll be-” she proceeds, pausing halfway through as her voice escapes her, the emotions fighting through their restraints, concluding with a whimper, “-it’ll be great.”
With that statement, Jaime’s emotion-filled face finally caves, letting the sorrow release itself, her sobs bringing about endless tears, the overwhelming grief she takes on wearing on her. “I don’t want to do this without you” Jaime continues speaking through the pain, her fingers interlaced with Jordan’s own, her opposite hand caressing the man’s head, “I can’t… I can’t do this without you.”
Standing from her seat, Jaime climbs into the bed just beside the man, laying on her side and keeping her hand interwoven with his own, her forehead tucked into the cradle of his neck. Holding back a look of incomparable horror, she whispers through an emotional pain that persistently jabs at her heart, “It’s what I fear the most” she sighs, pressing her eyelids so tightly together that it becomes a physical struggle to force them to part.
In a moment of honesty, the girl’s eyes open, looking at the man’s unconscious face, a smile breaking out as she focuses on the monitor’s beeping, his life still with her despite his conscience not being able to do the same. “Don’t leave me here alone” Jaime weeps, her only plea existing as the one thing she can’t control, her request the only thing she can present, “-please.”
== Dire ==