Season Four Premiere
Beneath the cover of night, the headlights of an older-model sedan light a small road devoid of much more than rundown storefronts and weathered wooden homes. “What’s the plan when we get there, Oscar?” an anxious woman hollers from the passenger’s seat, the man beside her not affording her much comfort. “I don’t know, we’ll figure it out when we get there!” the man yelps back, his wife dropping her head into her hand.
“Are the zombies still coming after us?” their young son asks from behind, his mother immediately wiping away her exhausted expression and replacing it with a fraudulent smile. “No, sweetheart!” the woman replies, her hand reaching out to rest upon her son’s knee. “Jill, don’t lie to him” her husband replies, the woman’s face immediately turning sour upon redirecting towards him.
“It’s not a lie, we’re all going to be fine” Jill replies, an aggressive tone to begin the reassuring statement as she looks at the man growing compassionate as her eyes return to her son. “We’re going to get to the coast and hide somewhere for a little while, okay?” Jill asks, her son’s expression sharing room between comfort and distress. “Shouldn’t we find a boat?” Oscar asks, his wife turning towards him and suggesting that such a treasure would be preferable.
“While I’d like to think we’ll stumble upon a boat, I’d rather not make plans on hopes” Jill replies, “more realistic option would be to lay low somewhere and wait for the crowd to move on.” Shrugging his shoulders, the man looks towards the woman and asks how many bullets she has left to fire. Retrieving the gun from her boot, Jill opens the barrel of her revolver to find one bullet remaining locked and loaded.
Taking in a deep breath, Oscar nods to himself before looking into the back mirror and calling for his son. “Hey Mathias, pick a track!” Oscar joyfully exclaims, his son lurking through his head for his song of choice as his father reaches for the dial to the radio. Suddenly, the family goes quiet, groaning at the feeling of their body losing control with the car.
Having driven over a patch of something unfamiliar to them, Oscar desperately turns the wheel to regain control of a skidding car as Jill and Mathias clutch to whatever they can reach for. His eyes widening, Oscar finds the car continuing to skid toward a large rock on the side of the road. “Brace!” Oscar shouts, his arms reaching towards holding his wife and son back as any hope of regaining control of the vehicle in time is lost.
Tires screeching across the asphalt, the car turns in such a way that its passenger’s side slams into the boulder, taking it off its wheels for a moment before returning to the ground with enough force to create a dust cloud. Windows shattered and the vehicle’s body crumbled and scarred, the headlights remain on, illuminating a patch of dirt as the horn blares.
“Everyone okay?” Oscar calls, a cut over his eye the most damage suffered. “I’m alright!” Mathias calls out from behind, a heavier cut on his wife’s head the worst of it all. “I’m fine, too” Jill replies, wiping the glass from her lap as the sound of collective footsteps just outside put them on high alert.
Surrounded on every side, the family is forced to look out of their windowless doors at people hurrying towards them, their faces cloaked by the night sky. “We’re alright!” Oscar calls out, his hand held up as a gesture of well-intentions, only to soon find his well-intentions go unreciprocated. Reaching in every window, the countless survivors swarming the car begin tearing at the seatbelts and ripping the family from their seats.
The situation having gone from one of lucky fortune to grave survival, Oscar tries to fight back, only for a strike to the face to halt those efforts in their place. Pulled through the open window, Oscar is dragged onto the road, his sight blinded by a knapsack tossed over his face. Calling for his wife and child, Oscar hears the pair find themselves doomed to the same fate, his fighting no match for the survivors he’s outnumbered by.
= Rise is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 3 onwards =
“It’s looking great, Cam!” John calls, a smile from behind a heavy beard accompanying a friendly thumbs-up. “Whoever replaces us here is gonna be really happy with what they’re getting!” Cameron replies, stood atop a large, reinforced metal wall surrounding the parking lot of a rundown motel. “I’m sure you’ll get plenty of greeting cards from the dead once they figure out how English works!” John humorously replies, pulling open the door to the old motel office.
“Good morning!” Alicia exclaims, Franklin, Jack and Lauren all following behind her, greeting John in much the same way. “Morning to you as well, where you hitting today?” John questions, the woman directing her foursome towards a well-crafted rifle holder. “We’re gonna give that old winery a chance” Alicia replies, “if rich fuckers can open a winery, they’ll probably have enough leftover to get themselves a boat.”
“You looking for extra hands?” Katie asks, Meghan rolling up just after her with much the same offer. Looking back to John, Alicia gets the nod of approval needed to increase her group. “We’ll be back before sundown” Alicia replies, John left to watch the six head for the front gates. “Who would’ve thought we’d still be doing this over a year later?” Jess asks, John flashing a smile and a shrug as she does so.
“We probably should’ve expected it” John admits, disappointment continuing to loom as the motel only grows more familiar with each day. “If you’re looking to outrun the undead, your best bet is probably over the water” John continues, “but at the very least, you wouldn’t expect it to take a goddamn year to just find one.”
With a shrug, Jess reminds her husband that they technically did find one, watching the man’s eyes roll at the rememberance. “I can’t really call it a boat when half of the bottom is missing” John replies, “at that point, it’s just a very expensive sinking-machine.” Wrapping her arms around the man, Jess tells John that they’ll get their eyes on a boat one of these days, the only thing left stopping them from accomplishing their goal being to stay alive.
“Well we’ve done that pretty well over the last year and a half” John exclaims, Jess giving him a kiss before returning to the motel, leaving John behind. “You ready to get this underway or do you need another couple seconds?” Emilio asks, his arms crossed as he leans against the wall. “It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?” John asks, Emilio silently nodding his head. “That doesn’t mean we do things any differently” Emilio replies, John taking in a deep breath before nodding.
Walking into a room only lit by the sunlight just behind a thin curtain, Emilio stands with his arms crossed whilst John has a seat. “Fuck you, all of you!” Oscar shouts, his wife and his son suffering from the same predicament as himself, hands tied behind their backs and feet tied to the legs of the beds they’re seated upon. “You can have whatever you want, just let us go!” Jill pleads, John and Emilio watching on in silence as the family tries unsuccessfully to squirm free.
“What is it that you think we want from you?” Emilio asks, his voice and posture imposing, towering over the restrained family. “We clearly don’t lack anything in resources or shelter, so I don’t know what your eight granola bars are gonna do for us” Emilio continues, “but I guess I’ll amuse you for now.”
“Fuck you!” Oscar shouts, Emilio’s attention immediately turning towards the man, responding with, “say that again and I’ll take you up on your offer!” Holding back tears, Jill puts a stop to the small conflict brewing between Emilio and Oscar with her eyes locked onto John. “You don’t understand what’s going on here!” Jill replies, “we don’t want to hurt you!”
“I’m pretty confident you can’t do that anyway” John replies, his hands folded as he leans forward in his seat. “Even so, this isn’t about hurting anyone!” Jill replies, “we just wanna get out of here in time!” Eyes focused, John takes interest in the last comment, asking what it is they’re running from.
“A crowd” Jill replies, John left repeating the words verbatim before Jill confirms. “A crowd of them, hundreds, maybe thousands just a few miles off!” Jill replies, Emilio asking if he is understanding the woman correctly. “You’re saying you’re on the run from a horde of undead in the number of hundreds?” Emilio asks, Jill correcting him by suggesting the possibility of it being larger than that.
“How the hell would that even be possible?” John asks, a begrudging Oscar assuring him that it is. “They follow geographical forms” Oscar admits, “they feel a hill coming up, they keep walking until they’re at the bottom and then they keep moving downwards.” With a smile, John looks towards a similarly-amused Emilio bordering on the brink of laughter. “I’m not fucking around” Oscar replies, “they travel downhill unless they hear or see something worth diverting from!”
“And why would there just be a thousand undead grouping together and storming Long Island?” John asks, Oscar suggesting a less-than-comforting reason to a less-amused duo. “There was a bombing a while ago from what I’ve heard” Oscar replies, John and Emilio looking towards each other with disappointment halfway through the explanation. “Not only are they all just aimlessly grouping together, but they’re all covered in ash.”
Asking for the man to repeat himself, John and Emilio are informed that a large number of the undead walked through the blast zone. After a few seconds, Emilio and John leave the room and begin discussing this new information amongst themselves. “You convinced or are they feeding us bullshit?” Emilio asks, John not wanting to admit it, but residing to his better judgment and affirming his suspicion.
“We’re a few years into shit by now, if they’re just aimlessly driving in the middle of the night, then they’re definitely driving away from something” John responds. “I hate to agree with you here, but I haven’t seen any cars drive by since we picked them up last night” Emilio replies, “I highly doubt they were running from a group.”
Nodding, John turns to walk away and begin planning out his next steps until Emilio calls him back. “That kid’s probably the same age as Amy” Emilio says, John immediately widening his eyes and shaking his head. “Why would you say that, Em?” John asks, the man immediately growing disappointed. “If we’re doing this, the least we can do is tell ourselves the truth once as long as all we’re gonna end up doing is lying to ourselves about it later” Emilio replies.
“I can lie about it all I want, to myself or anyone else” John replies, Emilio nodding in agreement. “But the least we can do for them is admit the truth to ourselves once” Emilio replies, John pushing his lips together before nodding. “I know, you’re right” John responds, looking back up at Emilio and saying the same thing with him at the same time.
The sound of jagged metal scraping against concrete luring it out, a lone undead staggers out of a tiny pharmacy, it’s skin deteriorated enough to begin falling loosely from the bone. Without a moment to react, the corpse is brought to a swift slumber by Jack, who digs the pickaxe tip he had swung like a baseball bat from the newly deceased eyesocket.
Lured to the sounds, a few stragglers climb their way to the group, each finding themselves suffering the same fate, a final rest at the hands of Alicia’s group. “Anything?” Lauren calls into the pharmacy, Jack walking out empty handed in return. “Been swiped clean” Jack replies, a nonchalant “go figure” from franklin as he drops the final corpse between the group and the winery.
“Keep on mov-” Alicia begins, only to force herself into cover at the drop of a hat when gunfire starts purring from the building at the end of the dirt road. “Stay the fuck outta here!” a voice hollers from the winery, wasting more ammo towards Alicia and her group. “How many are there?” Alicia calls out, Franklin taking note of the single gun firing.
“I only hear one gunman” Franklin replies, Jack adding a second opinion behind the hook-handed man. Standing from cover, Alicia takes aim before hearing the countless bullets find the brick wall behind her, pushing her back into cover. “She’s a good shot” Alicia exclaims, a single bullet fired from the end of Katie’s rifle halting all gunfire instantly, only the groans of a wounded winery-owner to be heard.
“And I’m a better one” Katie replies, pulling her weapon over her shoulder and beginning the walk towards the building. Approaching the downed woman, Alicia and her group confiscate her of her firearm and stand over her injured body. Her eyes lifting towards her boyfriend, Alicia says two words to the man as if she were asking a question, Franklin’s nod of approval giving her all the answer she needs.
“No chances” Alicia says, removing a blade from her boot and plunging it into the woman’s temple. “Moment of truth again” Meghan exclaims, leading the pack of survivors through the front doors and inside. “It’s definitely pretty” Alicia says, the inside appearing more like a restaurant than a typical winery, “but there’s still no boat.”
In disappointment, Jack hops onto a barstool and pours himself a glass of wine, the remainder of the group placing all eyes on him. The glass half full, Jack lifts the drink to his lips before noticing the group all stood together with their attention belonging to him. “Am I not allowed to drink the produce?” Jack asks, the group collectively shrugging and joining him for a momentary drinking session.
“What’re you doing?” Amy asks the feet of a woman protruding from beneath a massive sail boat, hands tucked behind her back with the innocence of a pre-apocalypse child. Pressing against the intact side of the hull, Heather pushes the roller beneath her away and sits up to wipe off the grease on her hands. “I’m making a boat, little one” Heather replies, a smirk donned as the off-white cloth turns gray with every wipe.
“But that boat’s already made” Amy replies, Heather left to nod and rethink her words more carefully. “Okay, then” Heather replies, “I’m making a boat that floats.” Nodding, Amy asks Heather why she’s the only one working on the boat, leaving the woman to turn back towards the broken vessel and consider her work.
“Because I’m the only one that thinks this thing can be fixed” Heather replies, Amy assuring her in the simplest of ways that she’ll succeed. “All it needs is a new floor and it’ll float” Amy chirps, a chuckle coming from Heather as she thanks her for the kind words. Laying flat once more, Heather slides back under the boat and leaves Amy to her vices. Nothing else to do, the young girl eyes a flight of stairs and climbs into the boat, having a seat.
Having overheard the tapping of footsteps, Heather slowly slides back out from beneath the boat with her eyebrows lowered. Climbing onto the boat herself, Heather takes a seat beside Amy and asks why she’s decided to use the boat as her chair. “I don’t know” Amy replies, Heather’s face dropping as she realizes that she’s now taken the turn from boat repair mechanic to babysitter.
After a few moments, Heather asks Amy if she wants to help her fix the boat, putting a wide smile on the girl’s face as a silent nod accompanies it. With a sigh, Heather leads Amy down to the rolling board and gives her instructions, preparing for a long work day.
With a blade exposed, John leads Emilio into the motel room and closes the door behind them, watching the family quickly become anxious, fully expecting the blade to be for them. “Here’s what’s going to happen” John explains, watching Emilio shackle each member of the family around the ankle as the knife in his hand waves through the air.
“If we’re gonna let you go, we need to make sure you wont make us regret our decision somewhere down the line” John explains, listing to each lock click into place. “We need you to do something for us, and when you’re done, we’ll let you go” John explains, “that sound fair?” With appreciation, Oscar and Jill nod and thank the pair for their kindness.
Hesitant, John nods towards Emilio and hands him the switchblade, watching him cut the rope from behind the backs of each person before having completely released them. “You’re gonna follow us now, alright?” John asks, following Emilio out of the door until he overhears Jill suggest otherwise. Having removed her firearm from the boot, Jill holds the barrel towards John and Emilio, both of whom place their hands beside their head and tell Jill to think this through.
“There’s a wall around this place that’s guarded twenty-four seven” Emilio explains, “you kill us and you’re still as good as dead.” His eyelids clenched, John pleads with Jill to think her actions through, “if you do this, you’re punching your ticket and there’s no going back!” Uncaring, Jill demands that Emilio give her the keys to the restraints, the tiny piece of metal dangling from the keychain loop in his hand.
With puckered lips, Emilio refuses, telling the woman that he still can’t trust her yet. “I have a gun and I want the keys!” Jill exclaims, telling Emilio that she’s giving him one last chance. Stood just beyond the doorway, only the arch dividing John and Emilio from their captives, Emilio stares towards the crazed woman in stubborn refusal.
“You’re gonna have to shoot me” Emilio replies, immediately triggering John’s instinct of calming the situation down. “Put the gun down and we’ll know we can trust you!” John shouts, “then we’ll let you go and we’ll never have to see each other again!” Her eyes watering with tears, Jill keeps her gun steady and pulls the trigger, the conclusion of John’s sentence bringing about enough quiet tension in the air for the clicking mechanisms of the gun to be heard going off.
Despite tensions being high, no bullet is fired, leaving John and Emilio remaining stood in the doorway in perfect health. Dropping the act, John and Emilio let their hands fall to their side and watch Jill stare in shock at the gun, only to notice John retrieve a single bullet from his pocket. “You didn’t think we’d just untie you without having checked you for weapons, right?” John asks, the woman still in shock as her husband and child stare at the two men in complete paranoia.
“Please, she fucked up!” Oscar shouts, “give her another chance!” Looking to each other, John and Emilio silently move to the side and extent their arm, signalling for the family to begin exiting the motel. Upon walking through the doorway, Oscar and Jill notice the remaining group members scattered around the front lot in anticipation for their exit. “I told you” John replies, “you wouldn’t have gotten very far.”
After a few minutes of walking, John and Emilio find themselves approaching a tiny cabin out of the way of the main road and hidden behind a flock of trees. Patting John on the back, Emilio walks towards the cabin and settles into his residence for the evening, leaving the rest to John. “I want no more games being pulled, do you understand?” John states, the family nodding in fear.
“You want your freedom?” John asks, watching the family nod and reply in affirmation before tossing three shovels at their feet. “Then dig a goddamn hole” John replies, the expression on his face showing the signs of a man tired of putting up with nonsense, “and I mean a big fucking hole!” Like a disappointed father, John walks off and returns to the motel, a comfortable Emilio sipping cocoa from a cup left to supervise from his cabin window.
“Arghahh!” Angela howls as she buries a meat cleaver in the end of another corpse with Jess decapitates another wise a razor-wire bullwhip. “You’re getting better every day” Jess exclaims, watching the smile on Angela’s face light up as she rummages through the pockets of the dead. “Tyler made sure I stayed alive” Angela explains, “I’m not letting him down by wasting the time I’ve got left!”
Patting the woman on the back, Jess tells the woman that her former lover is looking down with a smile. “This world takes more away from us every goddamn day” Jess mutters, “the only thing to do when someone dies is to make sure they didn’t die for nothing.” Taking a seat on a decrepit bench, Angela catches her breath as Jess joins her, offering a cantina of water.
“The real vengeance for someone’s death is to get to this fucking island” Angela replies, graciously accepting the offer. “We’re gonna need to get it done soon” Angela replies, her head hung as she conjures the possibilities of getting there too late would be. “When winter hits, we’ll be left on an island with very little food and very few resources” Angela explains, “and we haven’t even figured out what we’d do if there were already people on it.”
Shaking her head, Jess admits that the lack of a boat has afforded her the luxury of refusing to think about it. “It’s all still a dream to me until we can get a working boat” Jess explains, “the longer we go without one, the more impossible this becomes.” In agreement, Angela tells Jess that it’s only a matter of time until their hand is forced. “Gasoline is already expiring, and we don’t have much of an alternative than to walk once that happens” Angela explains, her head hung.
“What if there were?” Jess suddenly asks, overcoming the desire to leave fate up for when they come across it to begin laying out her plan while she still can. “What if there were people on the island?” Jess asks again, clarifying for Angela, whose mind begins to reach its most fearful depths. “I guess that would depend” Angela replies, her only suggestions deriving from a mind having been indoctrinated into this reality, “which side has the numbers advantage?”
“Take me through either” Jess responds, watching Angela find herself stumbling upon the simplest of decisions. “If we’re outnumbered, we play nice” the brunette replies, “if we outnumber them, we take no chances.” Her head hung, Jess nods to herself until Angela proceeds to inquire the reasoning for the low face. “Isn’t that the motto?” Angela asks, watching Jess’s eyes turn towards her as she clarifies, “ever since last time, we take no chances?”
Swallowing the spit in her mouth, Jess smirks and nods, assuring Angela that the motto remains regardless. “I just wish it didn’t have to be” the blonde mutters, “it doesn’t really speak well for us.” Understanding the disappointment behind such truth, Angela finds common ground with Jess, informing her that she wishes for the same. “We’ve taken too many chances with what we have” Angela admits, watching Jess look towards her again, “we can’t risk it being stolen again.”
With a nod, Jess agrees and proceeds to her feet, suggesting she and Angela return to the camp whilst the sun remains out. Kicking the dust from beneath their shoes, Jess and Angela return the way they came, little to show for their efforts other than a clearer mind than before. Just off the end of the road they use to return to camp, a dock full of water and void of boats leaves behind a middle finger of sorts, their goal seeming so possible whilst being just as impossible the same.
“I don’t envy you right now” Meghan admits, pouring John a glass of wine from the barrel Jack had stubbornly rolled back to camp from the winery. “Everybody wants to be the leader until they realize what comes with the job” John exclaims, raising his glass into the air of the mostly-filled motel office before downing what swirls in his cup. Silently, the group awaits for Jess and Angela’s return, preparing themselves for another sleepless night.
“How bad is it that it’s getting easier to sleep at night?” Heather asks, a light chuckle coming from Lauren, who admits that it’s truly not a good sign. “Don’t worry, sailor!” Lauren mockingly exclaims, her follow-up coming through depressed breaths, “you’re not the only one…”
Head held low, John calms his breathing down to a minimum as the front doors open, Jess and Angela walking through and returning their guns. “It’s time” Jack mutters, John nodding in agreeance as Jess and Angela hang up their hats and down the glasses of wine awaiting them. “Let’s get this over with” Jess says to herself, giving her husband a kiss on the cheek and rubbing his shoulder gently.
With a final breath, John steps up from his seat and leads the group through the door. Sat atop the large wall, Cameron tells John to lead the group back safely as he prepares to keep guard. “You know I’ll do my best” John replies, flashing a smile to the man always the first to volunteer to hold down the fort. The clean asphalt beneath their shoes gradually becoming covered in dirt before becoming dirt itself, the group navigates the forest before finally noticing the campfire.
In the distance, muffled pouting and crying can be heard, immediately making John’s stomach as uneasy as any other night. Turning the final corner towards Emilio’s hut, John and the group find the homeowner sat upon his porch waiting for their arrival, the three family members tied up on their knees, mouths gagged with cloth. Tears streaming down their faces, Oscar and Jill kneel in front of Mathias, trying to shield him from having to see anything other than themselves.
Head hung, John continues to walk forward, the large hole behind the family serving as a somber reminder of what survival in this world truly means. “We’re ready?” Emilio calls out, looking towards John, watching the eye in the corner of his face precede a nod of compliance. With a deep breath, Emilio rises from his seat and begins to rejoin the group, standing beside John and towering over the captive family.
Reaching down, the patriarch of the group pulls the gag from Oscar’s mouth, the father’s desperation to catch his breath accompanying defeated pleas for their release. “We did what you wanted, just let us go” Oscar begs, John’s head hanging even lower as his eyes seal tight. Upon noticing the ashamed look on John’s face, Oscar begins to realize something imperative, prompting him to immediately change his focused pleas.
“She wasn’t thinking clearly when she pulled the gun!” Oscar shouts, “you don’t have to do this!” With a deep breath, John allows the air from his lungs to slowly release as he admits that the gun being pulled wouldn’t have changed anything. “You were deceived” Emilio clammers, forced to stop when John holds his hand out, placing it against Emilio’s chest to calm him.
“You weren’t going to be any less of a threat” John replies, returning the conversation to one of less hostility. “We’re not a threat!” Oscar shouts, “we just wanna move on! You’ll never see us again!” Looking towards Jill, John pulls the gag from her mouth and allows her to speak, conscientiously forcing himself to take in each word as the last the family will utter, wanting to feel the pain they feel as if to afford them some small amount of justice.
“You can’t punish us just because we drove away from a crowd the wrong way!” Jill shouts, John nodding in agreement. “We shouldn’t be able to, but we have to” the man replies, telling the family that he believes everything they’ve said. “When you said there was a horde coming this way, I believed you” John replies, “and when you kneel there and promise that you’re not a threat, I believe you on that, too!”
“Then let us go!” Oscar replies, a pain-filled smile on his face trying to convince John to change his mind. “I can’t do that” John replies, forced to uncover a hidden truth when asked why not, “because I believed someone when they said they weren’t a threat… And I was wrong.”
Shaking his head, Oscar pleads with John to realize that he wouldn’t be wrong this time around, only for the man to shake his head in refusal. “I can’t take another chance after everything we’ve been through, I want you to realize that” John replies, Oscar continuing to refuse to accept such a truth. “You wouldn’t have this if someone came along and captured your family!” Oscar shouts, immediately pulling the final card he has left to play.
“What would you do if you were in my shoes, huh?” Oscar shouts, “if a bunch of sickos put a gun to your wife’s head? Put a gun to your daughter’s head?” Knowing exactly what his answer would be, John admits that he would never allow such a thing to go down without a fight. “So you know that I’m fighting!” Oscar shouts, “you know that I won’t just accept this to happen to my family all because you sick fucks are too paranoid to have an ounce of mercy left to give!”
Snot running from his nose, Oscar continues to plead with John, begging for the release of his family before an action, that cannot be undone, is taken. “I can’t let myself do this, Oscar” John replies, the man continuing to plead for the life of his family urging him to put trust in him. “I can’t take anymore chances, Oscar… It just can’t happen” John replies, the disgust with himself visible to Oscar, who immediately turns that against him.
“Then you must realize that you’re no better than the people that proved you wrong!” Oscar shouts, immediately angering John, now finding himself placed into the same conversation as the enemy. “I’m nothing like them” John replies, his voice more stern than before, his focus placed on keeping his eyebrow from twitching. “If you just eradicate everyone you come across, you’re nothing more than a no-good killer!” Oscar shouts, further enraging John.
Without hesitation, the man pulls the gun from his waistband and holds it towards Oscar’s head, the man’s defiant words turning into hushed sobs as Jill pleads to the chorus of a crying Mathias. “Just let us leave, we don’t mean you any harm!” Jill shouts, Emilio slowly pulling his gun and cautiously taking aim at Jill. “How different can you be to them?” Jill asks, “how much different can you be when you’re holding guns to our heads for no reason after lying to us!”
“We’re every bit different!” John shouts, the lack of specifics in his words showing to their prisoners how aware he is of the accuracy in their claims. “You are if you do this!” Jill shouts, watching John’s eyes turn away from Oscar and directly onto her, “but there’s still time to change that!”
Eyes low, John begins to repeat those words to himself as Jill and Oscar silently watch on, hiding their sobs as best they can. “John?” Emilio calls over, watching the man slowly look towards him, lips puckered before turning back to the family. Between Oscar and Jill, hiding from sight is a terrified Mathias, pants wet from having been soiled. His eyes closed, John thinks about where he finds himself for a moment prior to Oscar speaking again.
“Please” the father says, his words bringing John’s eyes open slowly, the gunman locking eyes with his polar opposite as Oscar repeats his request before a silent John. After careful consideration, John looks to the dark night sky and takes in another deep breath. Slowly, John tilts his head back down and looks back to Mathias, turning his eyes back to Jill before finally placing them upon Oscar again.
With a faint, somber tone, John parts his lips with his finger still placed still on the trigger. Emotionally drained, John looks at Oscar and directs his words specifically in the father’s direction. “No chances.”
Not a second later, two shots fire, one from John’s gun and the second from Emilio’s, both Oscar and Jill’s bodies dropping to a heap on the ground as only Mathias is left watching. Tears streaming down his cheek, Mathias looks at the bodies of his parents before looking up at John, a look of sheer terror spread across his face. Eyes widened, body trembling and gasping for breath, Mathias silently stares at John with the gag still in his mouth.
After another second, John redirects the gun, firing one shot through Mathias’ head and watching the smallest body fall backwards and slide into the mass grave. Letting out the deep breath, John slowly lets the gun fall to his side before whispering the same two words to himself again. “No chances” leaves his lips as the man turns around and hands the gun to his wife, telling Emilio to join the group back at camp after he’s done cleaning up with a broken voice.
Stood in place as John solemnly walks through the parted group, every survivor looks towards each other as if it would offer them any closure. “No chances” Jess mutters, her words the first out of someone other than John or Emilio. “No chances” Kate replies from the back, the remainder of the group uttering the same words one at a time until only Emilio remains.
Their eyes darting towards the man, the group watches Emilio pierce the ground with a shovel and begin to rest his chin upon it. With a deep breath and the attention of the entire group, Emilio mutters to himself loud enough for the rest to hear him. “No chances” the second gunman repeats, pulling the shovel from the ground and shoving the bodies into the hole as the remainder of the group slowly departs, leaving Emilio to his business.