Head leant against the back of her chair, Jaime stares at the ceiling with the firework casing sat atop her desk, a knock from the other side of her door calling for attention. “Enter” Jaime calls out, the heavy wooden divider parting slightly to allow Julia entry, the woman carrying a bag of pills in her hands. “Good morning, Ms. Morris” Julia exclaims, eagerly approaching the desk as Jaime flashes her a half-hearted smile.
“Am I interrupting something?” Julia asks, the young woman behind the desk looking up at her with a blank expression before hanging her head, an apology offered. “I’m sorry, the warm greetings aren’t exactly coming automatically anymore” Jaime replies, trying to come off more approachable, “how can I help you?”
Concerned, Julia shakes her head in silent refusal, answering with the offer reversed. “It sounds more like I can help you” the nurse responds, Jaime’s still-obviously feigned warmth quickly cooling off, “is something wrong?” Thinking about the events unfolding around her, Jaime looks up at the woman and lets out a giggle, her hands pushing herself away from her seat as she approaches the window in the back of the room.
“La Tuna Canyon Park, the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga Park and the bottleneck between Burbank and Glendale are currently on fire” Jaime replies, finger pointed toward the casing on her desk, “and they’re being lit on fire intentionally… There’s a lot wrong.” Apologetic, Julia rounds the desk and approaches the woman, Jaime’s hands unable to remain still. “I’ve got a prisoner who wont talk, a fiance in a coma, and we’re behind schedule” Jaime explains, “it’s a lot to handle.”
Confused, Julia illustrates an expression to accompany this puzzlement, Jaime already knowing what the woman is bound to say. “Kennedy’s been saying you think we’ll be ready by the start of September” Julia explains, the eye roll given back to her telling a different story. “I don’t want anyone panicking, and as long as they think we’ll be ready, I wont have another thing to worry about” Jaime responds, the woman beside her looking down in disappointment.
“I’m sorry to get your hopes up” Jaime mutters, Julia’s head quickly looking back to the woman, her refusing head shake responding. “I’m not disappointed in the schedule-lacking, I’m disappointed you’re getting hit with all of this at once” Julia replies, the response giving the acting ruler of Los Angeles a brief surprise, “you didn’t sign up for this, you just took it on the chin so no one else had to. You should be praised- not vilified.”
Doing her best to hold back an appreciative smile, Jaime returns her view to the window, quickly darting her eyes back to the woman beside her to offer her thanks. “Don’t thank me, I’m just telling you the truth” Julia responds, an agreement-reaching nod being returned from Jaime’s shoulders. “Anyway, you came in here for what?” Jaime replies, directing the conversation back toward Julia’s corner, her head turning back to the medication-filled bag on the woman’s desk.
‘Every junkie needs a fix, right?” Julia responds, the answer prompting Jaime to look at the bag and consider the suggestion, her eyes squinting toward the medication as a smile dawns upon her.
Entering the interrogation room, Julia and Jaime find their presence immediately scoffed at by the city’s most-vilified inmate. “I was hoping it was the big black guy” Ryan jokes, the subject of his humor- that being Lazarus- lets out a brief chuckle from beyond the sound barrier of the two-may mirror. “Well, what can I say?” Jaime asks, taking the only seat not occupied by Ryan, Julia remaining stood in the corner of the room, the bag of medication held behind her back.
“Did you put her in time out?” Ryan quips, his buggy eyes looking toward the doctor until Jaime’s finger obstructs his view, slowly pulling back toward her own face. “She’s none of your concern right now. This conversation is between you and I” Jaime replies, the unamused man rolling his eyes at such a gesture, the disrespect not phasing Jaime one bit as her hand reaches into her pocket and chucks a discarded firework casing into the prisoner’s lap.
“Do you know what that is?” Jaime asks, the man looking down at the object before tossing it aside, his eyes looking into Jaime’s own before drifting back to the side of the room. With a snarl, Jaime leaves her seat and walks in front of Ryan, the man’s eyes slowly moving into her direction, a blank disgust written all over his face. “Did you really think I was going to tell you?” Ryan responds, Jaime’s lack of surprise giving the man his answer.
Looking back toward Julia, Jaime gives the woman a wink and looks back at Ryan, the man’s face looking toward the woman as she removes a single baggie from the zippered carrier. “Is that coke?” Ryan asks, immediately recognizing the size and contents with ease, his eyes widening and body tensing, almost earning a rush from the sight alone.
“That is the purest cocaine you can find on this side of the wildfires- all made in house- and all unreasonably better than whatever you could find- or sell- on the streets” Jaime replies, great joy taken from Ryan’s desperation. “And, who knows? Maybe a line can be yours for the price of an answer of two” she utters, watching Ryan’s head lean forward as the nurse lets a line of the powder fall onto a reflective tray in her hand, a small, metal tube clenched in her opposite hand.
“Answers?” Ryan asks, looking toward Jaime upon recognizing the listed price, his bottom lip pressed between his teeth. “I want to know everything you know about that firecracker” Jaime responds, honestly expecting slightly more than just that, “and I’ll give you a high that’ll make this little cellar feel like heaven.” Breathing hard enough to nearly blow the line still halfway across the room from him, Ryan gets a boost of encouragement, his eyes quickly returning to the discarded shell.
“No” Ryan replies, the answer immediately prompting the smile on Jaime’s face to fall, her grin receding into a straight face. “I don’t think it’s that hard of a question to answer, Ryan” Jaime responds, the man’s face immediately contorting to desire, eyes looking back toward his captor, “this can all feel better if you just open up a little.” Swallowing his pride, Ryan flashes Jaime a mean smile, his eyebrows lifted, allowing the woman to see the whites of his eyes as Julia looks on.
“I don’t need the pain to stop… I need yours to keep going” Ryan replies, his answer letting the last of Jaime’s composure to crumble, her eyes fiery with anger, “I’m not going to be bought by you.” Eyes twitching, Jaime’s breathing becomes hard, her immediate request being for Julia to leave the room, a demand that is met easily.
“What do you think you’re going to accomplish down here?” Jaime asks, failing to understand what Ryan has to gain from making her suffer, “you eat scraps, drink ground water, piss and shit in a bucket- how is any of this something that makes living for another day worthwhile?” With a smug grin, Ryan shakes his head in disbelief at the woman’s confusion, his innermost assumptions being that she’d already have understood him by this time.
“You’re never going to let me leave this room, and even if you did, there’s nothing for me to go back to” Ryan responds, the only joy he has left to gain from this world being Jaime’s suffering, “my bed has been made, and yours is still propping up your comatose boyfriend’s body.” Her heart telling her to lunge out of her chair and wrap both hands around the prisoner’s throat, Jaime remains tucked in her seat, unable to truly figure out what could make Ryan snap, a truth she shares with him.
Removing the revolver from her boot, Jaime loads a bullet into the cylinder and spins it, the base of her hand slamming it shut. “You or me?” she asks, the gun aimed barrel-up, offering a way to give Ryan a slight amount of power. “Surprise me” Ryan replies, the barrel immediately turning toward him, Jaime’s thumb pulling down on the hammer, readying the weapon to fire.
Unlike the last time he’d seen that barrel pointed between his eyes, Ryan isn’t phased, his arms folding together in his lap as he lifts his chin, giving the shot a better chance of proving fatal. “Steady your breath and pull” Ryan responds, directing the woman on how to take her shot, a description Jaime takes no care for. As seconds pass, Ryan gets tired of waiting, looking back toward the woman with his head shaking, the power more in his favor than it was before with this gesture.
“Even if chances suggest this won't kill me- you wont pull the trigger” Ryan explains, the look on the woman’s face suggesting a want to hear more. “As far as you’re concerned, you’re still the good guy in this encounter” Ryan continues, Jaime’s aim slightly easing as he continues speaking, “as long as your toy’s still breathing, I’ve done nothing to warrant being put down like a sick dog, so you wouldn’t dare.”
Not wanting to prove the man correct in his assumptions, Jaime steadies her aim and places her index finger upon the trigger once again, one eye closed as her breath steadies. Shaking his head, Ryan tilts back once more, presenting his chin and leaving it up to Jaime to prove him wrong. Teeth clenched behind her lips, Jaime’s hesitation only drains the power she has over Ryan further, her lack of fear now challenged by his willingness to die a martyr, this hesitation proving such.
Giving in, Jaime lifts the barrel up and pulls the trigger, a single click sending an empty shot toward the ceiling, the last of her upper hand over the incarcerated junkie vanishing in that moment. Frustrated, Jaime removes the bullet and returns the pieces to where they were originally as she walks for the exit, a single voice calling out for her attention to return.
“Since you were so kind to let me win on calling your bluff, I’ll let you in on a little secret” Ryan replies, the ground he gives only suiting him more, the information he offers raising Jaime’s paranoia. “I’m not the only one that wants to see you fall” Ryan exclaims, the intense stare he receives back from the ruler of Los Angeles holding the most bitter hatred. Leaving the room, Jaime slams the door shut and leaves Ryan to his silence, the junkie letting out a light chuckle in amusement.
= 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 =
Busting through the front door of a residential building, Chevy leads Kayla and a small group of armed convoy men through a narrow stairwell, their weapons aimed and paths lit with flashlights. Quietly, Chevy directs his convoy men through corridors, one room cleared after another, the process continuing until they reach the very top floor. Breaking out through the final door, Chevy and Kayla lead what remains of their convoy onto the roof, looking out at the small town below.
“Another goddamn ghost town” Chevy exclaims, his head shaking in disappointment, clarity asked for by one of the other mates. “Are we sure this is the tallest building in the city?” the man asks, quickly corrected and assured. “It’s a town, and yes” Chevy responds, looking over the lip of the building to see rotting corpses and abandoned vehicles lining the streets, not a soul for miles, “-another dead zone.”
Upon that statement, a single gunshot fires off below their feet, the sound reverberating throughout the small town, calling attention to their building. Without a second thought, Chevy and Kayla rush toward the stairwell, sending themselves flying down a few flights of stairs toward the second level, the reassuring sound of one of their fellow convoy mates help in easing their worries.
“I’m good, I’m good!” the young man shouts, a grouping of the convoy surrounding one room in particular, Chevy and Kayla immediately bursting through the doorway. “I got him first, we’re all good!” the breathless man explains, Chevy quickly looking toward the unarmed body of an elderly gentleman, arms sprawled out on the ground as he gags on his own blood.
“Was he armed?” Chevy asks, the lack of a gun or knife in the man’s hands being instantly recognized, his mind split between leaning the wounded survivor on his side and asking for answers from the young man in his group. “Was he armed, Ben?” Kayla asks again, taking over for her boyfriend as Chevy attempts to ease the apartment-owner’s suffering, the young man only repeating that he’s fine like before.
Not one to wait around, Kayla stuffens her hand and slaps the young man across the face, Ben quickly hitting the floor without another word. Looking back at the woman in shock, Ben hears Kayla’s question asked once again, this time in a way he’s more able to answer. “No, but he was frantic” Ben replies, leaving Kayla the opportunity to respond, the dead silence filled with another gunshot, this one leaving Chevy’s gun and ripping through the old man’s head.
Looking back to her boyfriend, Kayla stares at him with wide eyes, a simple disapproving shake being returned. “I wasn’t gonna let him suffer. He wasn’t making it through the night like that” Chevy roughly explains, eyes redirected toward Ben, his work not yet done. Charging toward the young man, Chevy reaches down and takes Ben by the collar, pulling him to his feet and slamming him against the wall, making his point resoundingly clear.
“You break into a man’s house and shoot him because he’s frantic?” Chevy asks, the shock in Ben’s face still abundantly clear, the reaction not one Chevy cares for, the life taken still lost regardless of reason. “Did you expect him to throw you a welcoming party?” Chevy asks, pulling Ben away from the wall and slamming him backward again, enraged at the display of his subordinate, “you shot that man in cold blood. You murdered that man, and you respond with ‘I’m good’?”
Realizing his words are failing to latch on in Ben’s mind, Chevy lets go of the man’s collar and shakes his head in disgust, leaving the room as Kayla follows closely behind. Making his way back to the complex’s highest level, one half of the group’s defacto leaders makes for the evening’s camp, prepared to let night pass with the sole intention of getting back on the road the following morning.
“I’m sorry” Ben explains, approaching Chevy two hours later, the man sat with Kayla and a few other members of the convoy around a makeshift campfire on the roof. “You killed a man in cold blood, why are you apologizing to me?” Chevy asks calmly, he and Kayla taking their role in the group seriously, the responsibility of those they surround themselves with also falling upon their own shoulders.
“Because I let you down and I will never let it happen again” Ben responds, hands nervously dangling by his sides. Conflicted, Chevy feels a tense anger and unease course through his body as he attempts to stand up, his girlfriend’s arm quickly pushing him back down as she instead gets up to address the kid. “We operate on a ‘don’t shoot unless they give you valid reason to’ basis” Kayla replies, her finger pointing toward the surface they stand upon, “frantic isn’t a valid reason.”
“I know that now and I will never forget it” Ben responds, Kayla’s ability to accept the boy’s responsibility much more present than Chevy’s, her head nodding. “We all killed a man today because of you, and I think that’s what you shouldn’t forget” Kayla replies, the information given putting the onus on everyone. Hands on her hips, Kayla looks at the boy’s frightened eyes, subtle lip quiver suggesting a fear he’d not been used to feeling.
“How old are you?” Kayla asks, Chevy attempting to speak before his girlfriend gestures for him to remain silent, her wish being to hear Ben answer for himself. “I’m seventeen, ma’am” Ben responds, Kayla immediately telling the boy to call her by her first name as her eyes roll, unable to understand why a seventeen year old teenager would share the field with them.
“You’re in a very different world to the one you grew up in, Ben” Kayla explains, shaking her head as she considers the change the boy must be experiencing, “you don’t want to make mistakes, but you don’t want to cause mistakes either.”
Telling the boy to return to his room for the evening, Kayla walks back to the campfire, Chevy immediately at a loss for words when faced with the position they’re in. “I know we’re short on volunteers for this sort of thing, but a seventeen year old kid?” Chevy asks aloud, an eye roll from his girlfriend accompanying a dissatisfied look as she lifts a bottled beer to her lips.
Opening the front door, Alex finds Chris standing on her front step with a baby blue sweater in his hands, the article of clothing immediately recognizable to her. “You left this in my car and I haven’t been out of the office to notice” Chris explains, returning the item to Alex’s hands, a smile upon both of their faces, both happy to see the other. “Do you want to come in?” Alex asks, a pleased Chris accepting her offer.
“I had fun the other night” Chris begins, the delighted grin of Alex the first thing that meets him. “Oh yeah?” Alex asks, the visitor doubling down on his statement, considering it the best date he’s ever been on. “Well I’m glad to hear we had fun?” Alex replies, laying in the subtle hints that she shares the same opinion, a hint Chris notices immediately.
“So I suppose we had enough fun to want to do it all over again?” Chris asks, the woman turning back to him, her innermost cynic hesitant to approve of the notion just yet. “You’re in your mid twenties and I’ve got two children- one of which keeps the city that employs you running” Alex replies, turning back toward the man, the look on his face suggesting he’s unphased by the uncomfortable circumstances surrounding them, “are you sure that’s what you want?”
Walking the rest of the way toward the woman, Chris places his hands on both of Alex’s hips, pulling her closer toward him as his voice lowers to a seductive tone. “I’ve rarely ever wanted anything in my life as badly as I want to be with you” he responds, looking into Alex’s eyes, the gesture catching her by surprise. Leaning forward, Alex pulls her lips close toward Chris’ just as the front door swings open, Jaime entering her home to find the curiosity-inducing scene.
“Ms. Morris!” Chris exclaims, gently pulling away from the woman’s mother as she stands in the doorway, looking on with utter silence, “we were just-” Without being able to finish, Jaime holds her hand out toward the man and suggests he stop talking. “I’ve had a long day- which isn’t yet over- and I’d like to down half a bottle of scotch, but I can’t” Jaime explains, shaking her head at anything associated with the sight, “you’re two grown adults, do as you please and leave me out of it.”
Giving the most carefree nod of approval, Jaime wanders down the hallway and enters her bedroom, both Chris and Alex looking toward each other without much to say. “That went over better than I’d expected” Chris jokes, a surprised Alex letting out a nervous laugh as she turns back toward him. “I am thoroughly surprised” she replies, looking back at the man as he pulls away, admitting that he does still have to return to work.
Understanding, Alex tells the man that she’s looking forward to their next encounter, a response that prompts Chris to turn back to her, their eyes reconnecting. In a sudden moment, Chris walks back to the woman and pulls her in for a kiss, the sudden gesture reciprocated by Alex immediately, the heat of the moment sending them falling into the couch.
“Jesus Christ! I know I said ‘leave me out of it’, but don’t do it on my fucking couch” Jaime exclaims as she re-enters the room, shaking her head at the sky as she marches through the front door. Unable to hold back laughter, Alex and Chris return to their romance, the house free of disturbances from then on.
“Has he talked yet?” Kennedy asks, a surprised Julia turning back toward the young girl as she exits her office. “Has who talked?” Julia asks, Kennedy quickly pointing out the prisoner they’ve got stowed away beneath the hospital, an answer that prompts Julia to lead Kennedy into her office. “You can’t say that out loud!” Julia exclaims in a frantic, yet whispered tone, “no one outside of Jaime’s circle is supposed to know about that!”
“You’re outside of Jaime’s circle” Kennedy says, the irony in her statement immediately noticed by Julia, who brushes off the statement as unimportant. “No one in your sister’s inner circle has enough drugs to take down King Kong, kid” Julia responds, hurried to get back to the original subject, “now what does that matter? and why do you ask?”
“Because I think he’s hiding something” Kennedy replies, the eyroll on the child-disliking Julia suggesting she’s already privy to this information. “He tried to shoot your sister and put your brother-in-law in a coma, of course he’s hiding something” Julia responds, immediately trying to lead Kennedy out of her office. “Has he told you about the ‘A.A Meetings’ yet?” Kennedy replies, a question that both confuses and intrigues Julia at once.
“The fuck are you on about, kid? He’s a druggie, not an alcoholic” Julia responds, quick to disregard the statement as the ramblings of an uninformed child seeking attention. “When Chevy, Amelia and I were forced to hide during the raids, I saw a piece of mail listed to a guy named ‘Ryan’” Kennedy explains, remembering the name her sister mentioned and noticing how familiar it sounded, concluding her point by handing Julia a note with the name ‘Ryan Mulaney’ written on the front of it.
Opening the envelope, Julia reads the note contained within to herself and begins to allow a smile to appear over her face, the discovery being one that turns the lightbulb on inside of her head. “You might not be so bad, kid” Julia replies, patting Kennedy on the shoulder and quickly hurrying out of her office, leaving the girl behind to think over what just happened.
“Fires contained yet?” Jaime asks, approaching Fred with Lazarus by her side, the fire chief quickly suggesting otherwise before tacking on more hopeful news. “We’re probably not going to be able to get ahead of it around the whole perimeter alone, but we’ve got a rainstorm coming in tomorrow night” Fred explains, a smile quickly popping up over his face, “with any luck, the rain coming down will put this candle out like a strong breeze.”
With a nod, Jaime takes a liking to what she’s now heard, the sky beginning to darken just overhead, suggesting a single day of this suffering left. “Jaime!” Julia shouts, hurrying up to the woman with a piece of paper in her hand, the sight immediately catching the woman’s eye. “Did you get accepted into Harvard?” Jaime jokes, the smile on Julia’s face remaining, the space for laughter taken up by the time for joy.
“I think I’ve got something better” Julia responds, tossing the opened envelope into Jaime’s hands, the woman immediately reading the recognizable name written in black marker. Pulling the letter out from within, Jaime reads the contents and begins to look on in confusion, the bread and butter of what’s written inside being noticeable upon her discovery of it.
Slamming the door shut behind her, Jaime enters Ryan’s interrogation room alone, the smile on his face suggesting a pleasure to find the woman storming at him. “Twice in one day, who fucked me in my sleep to make that happen?” Ryan jokes, his amusement immediately fading upon the envelope’s impact with the table. “Where did you get this?” Ryan asks, unable to look away from the folded package in front of him, eyes wide.
“I’m the acting mayor of Los Angeles, how the fuck did you think I wouldn’t find it?” Jaime replies, watching Ryan’s uneasy eyes shoot back toward her. “How the fuck did you get this!?” Ryan shouts back, the disapproving shake of Jaime’s head matched by the arching of her lip. “It doesn’t matter how I got it, it just matters that I did” she responds, quickly letting her amused smirk present itself to Ryan, “and when I nip your plans in the bud, I’ll no longer need you.”
Mouth agape, Ryan looks back to the envelope and quickly begins to feel his lungs empty, his breathing becoming difficult to come by. “You’re not going to die a martyr, Ryan… You’re going to live on as a failure” Jaime replies, the man looking up to her without the ability to breathe, his anxiety forcing his throat shut, “you’ll go on to live every day of your life as an example to every Angelino that an uprising is fruitless.”
Slamming his fist on the two-way mirror, Lazarus calls for Jaime to stop, the visual struggle to breathe making it clear that Ryan is bound to drop dead if gone without being tended to. “I want you to look at me just as you are right now” Jaime explains, refusing to let Lazarus enter the room until she’s made her point, “and know that- for as long as I let you live- that breathless feeling is going to follow you everywhere you go for the rest of your imprisoned life.”
Slamming her hand down upon the table, Jaime takes the envelope back into her possession and gives Lazarus a nod, the man immediately dashing into the room, medical gloves on his hands. Seconds later, a crew arrives with a stretcher and races to Ryan’s side, their intentions resting on saving the man’s life. “If he dies, it’s on you” Jaime exclaims toward the doctors, Lazarus returning to her now that the professionals have taken over, “I need him alive, so keep him that way.”
Holding her hand out toward her bodyguard, Jaime tells Lazarus to stay behind, unwilling to allow his company where she’s headed. “I need to go for a walk on my own” Jaime explains, tucking the envelope into her back pocket, eyes returning to the attention-needing prisoner on the floor. Looking back toward Lazarus, Jaime’s eyes hold a fire he has not yet seen, the words that leave her lips being taken with absolute understanding.
“Don’t follow me” Jaime orders Lazarus, the man, though not wishing to forgo his duties toward accompanying her everywhere, gives into his instructions and stays put. “Make sure he lives” Jaime concludes, turning away and walking down the long hallway, her feet carrying her toward the nearest exit with terrible intentions resting on her mind.
== Dire ==