Season 5 Premiere
“I think it’s time we stopped running” Lauren murmurs, her frail voice mustering enough strength to cut through the midwinter air. “We’re not running, we’re chasing” Emilio replies, his beard growing thicker as the hairs on his head begin to curl. “We’re a dog chasing a car, Em’” Lauren responds, pressing into Jack’s arms as they wrap around her warmly, “we stand a better chance of getting run over than we do of catching it.”
“I don’t see how else we’re supposed to get answers” Emilio retorts, stood with his back turned to the group, his front facing the bivouac’s burning flames. “Why can’t we wait until it gets warmer?” Angela inquires, curled into a ball a few feet away from Jack and Lauren. “I still don’t understand why we’re chasing her to begin with” Clint adds, sharing a heavy, warm blanket with Nessie, “what are these answers you’re looking for?”
“Don’t worry about them” Emilio sharply responds, each remark he makes coming away with little emotion, only a monotone rejoinder given each time. “If you’re asking us to camp out in the middle of nowhere every night, in the middle of January, you’re gonna have to give us more than that” Nessie counters, calmly voicing her obvious frustrations aloud, “I can feel this unspoken fear that you’ve all got- so quit stringing us along, please?”
Panning toward any open pair of eyes, Nessie waits for a response that seemingly refuses to arrive, intent on leaving her curiosities shrouded in darkness. Disheartened, Nessie settles back into her rest, frustrated at the display of secrecy she’s been met with, allowing that anger to boil toward the metaphorical pot’s edge. “We fucked up a long time ago” Alicia suddenly remarks, taking the eyes of those in the camp toward her, every pair aside from two, purposefully distant.
“We were part of a community in New York around the time this all started” Alicia continues, her eyes kept upon the snow-covered ground. “Our camp was one of a few scattered around, and this one woman was in charge of all of them” Alicia explains, her right hand given a gentle, reassuring squeeze from Franklin, “that camp went under, partially because of us. And if this place in Nova Scotia is what we think it is- we might be in trouble.”
“It is” Salem replies, cutting through the bleak silence to heighten concern, “I’m not a genius in Canadian geography, but I doubt there are multiple refineries running in the same state as each other.”
“Province. Canada has provinces- but I see your point” Franklin replies, his eyes leaning in Salem’s direction as he shrugs. “Oh, come on. If anyone was going to know that, it’d be the politicians” Franklin jokes, warming the conversation enough to earn an amused shrug from his sniper rifle-wielding counterpart. “The point we’re trying to make is-” Alicia begins, a momentary pause cutting into her statement, “well, I guess we’re trying to make multiple points.”
“And they all lead back to Charlotte” Emilio interjects sharply, the group’s subtly rising amusement quickly forced down at just the mention of the woman’s name. “It doesn’t matter if we want to or not, we’re not getting to escape the truth anymore than we get to escape our past” Emilio explains, the first distant survivor to re-immerse themselves within the group, “if we’re setting out for Nova Scotia, we’re setting out for the New World Order- and we need to know what we’re walking into.”
The realization beginning to dawn on her, Angela recites Emilio’s claim under more digestible terms. “So, we might not even be welcomed into Nova Scotia?” the woman replies, her voice soft, “and, in order to find out if it’s even an option, we need to ask the person that spends all day flying thousands of feet in the air, because they’re the only ones that would know?”
Taking a seat on the ground, Emilio’s shoulders shrug. “Why bother going out to Nova Scotia in the first place at that point?” Clint inquires, a question his sister finds more than reasonable enough to warrant an answer, “we haven’t needed gas in years- why not pick a better place to settle than an island?”
“Because this isn’t just another place to settle” Emilio replies, pressing his index finger into the snow-dampened dirt, “this could be our real home.” Met with a chuckle the moment ‘home’ left his lips, Emilio turns toward his left, where Lauren laughs almost uncontrollably. “Oh, for fuck’s sake- where have I heard that one before?” the woman wonders aloud, every pair of eyes aside from one taking to her direction.
“Tori promised me that- it failed miserably. John promised that with the New World Order- it failed spectacularly” the woman remarks, only continuing the longer everyone else remains silent. “That Neville guy promised Alicia that- it didn’t work. Sheol promised Angela that- it didn’t work. Sun City promised all of us that- who here thinks that worked?” Lauren finishes, again taking her face toward Emilio, “let’s face the music here- we don’t do ‘forever homes’. All we do is tear them down.”
“She’s not wrong” Katie half-heartedly remarks, diligently cleaning the separated parts of her own rifle, “we’ve spent three months chasing this helicopter person around, and it might be the most stable this group has ever been- aside from one person in particular.” Tending to her weapon, Katie’s eyes lift toward the darkest depths of the group, a face barely lit from the fire slowly turning back to her.
“Fuck you” Jess murmurs, having spent the last few hours sat against a rock with her head aimed at the sky, dressed poorly for the weather in only a light jacket and a pair of jeans. “To each their own” Katie replies, refocusing herself on the weapon in her lap as Emilio interjects, putting a stop to the dissension that threatens to persist.
“This could be our last night together. Sure, any night could be- but with what’s coming tomorrow morning, there’s a serious chance some of us won’t live to see tomorrow night” Emilio explains, striking down the arguments with ease, gratified with the silence he’s met with. “We’re an hour’s walk away from Providence, and I don’t want to spend that time arguing” Emilio remarks, his voice still calm, “can we please, even if it’s just for tonight, not feel the need to fight with each other?”
Silent, the group reigns in for the night. “We know where she’ll be, and we know what she wants from us” Emilio explains, a brick-tied note carried in his right hand, “for once, we’ve got a clear plan- let’s be glad to know what we’re walking into tomorrow.” Met with a few nods, Emilio watches the group gradually begin to settle as light snowflakes fall from the cloudy night skies above.
“We have to be ready for what lies ahead” Emilio concludes, his voice near a whisper, just loud enough for the group to hear, “and we have to take comfort in what we have now.”
= Rise is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 from the start of Season 3 onwards =
Crouching beneath the overgrown grass on what was once a well-maintained street, Emilio leads his group across snow-covered ground, his eyes set on one building in particular. “This place has been abandoned for- fuck, probably since I moved to Bridgeport” Jack remarks, taking his place as one of the group’s guiding voices, “I doubt it’s been looked after since the dead rose, so I’d step carefully if I were you.”
“Hold on- that’s a good point” Angela whispers, stationed near the rear of the group, only ahead of Clint and Jess, “we should stay in small groups. If we find a path we don’t like the look of, we won’t put too much stress on it.”
“Yeah, that works” Emilio replies, panning his eyes over those behind him. “Salem, Alicia and Franklin are naturals at that- they’ll go together” Emilio remarks, “I’ll take Clint and Nessie. Katie can roll with Jess and Angela.”
“Lauren and I can handle ourselves in a pair” Jack replies, a gesture Emilio accepts graciously. “Alright, Katie, Jess and Angela can go looking for something of use we can take back to camp if necessary” Emilio explains with a nod, “it’s not like I wouldn’t want you watching our backs- but someone’s gotta to do it.”
“We’ll look for supplies if you need” Jack replies, taking a glance back in Katie’s direction, “it’s up to you. We don’t mind doing either.” Sharing a look between herself, Jess and Angela, Katie returns her eyes to Jack with a confident look. “I think it might help to have a sniper on standby if need be” Katie responds, fastening the strap over her shoulder, “but the offer’s appreciated.”
Bumping their fists, Jack and Katie return their eyes to the front of the line, all boxes checked accordingly. “Alright, let’s move” Emilio orders, cautiously lifting his head just over the tallgrass, leading the group from the forefront as a decoy. “I think we’re in the clear” Emilio murmurs, having spent the last minute opening himself up for potential gunfire, clearing the air for the rest of the group to descend upon the destination more comfortably.
“Alright, Clint and Nessie- We’ll head for the roof, everyone else can take on whatever posts they want” Emilio instructs, letting out a deep breath as he arms himself with a knife, “things can go south, so we should prepare to be here for a while if they do.” Vanishing into the echo-friendly lobby of what was once a bank, Emilio’s group leaves behind those entrusted to debate jobs amongst themselves.
“If I remember correctly, the main staircase can take us to the top floor” Jack mumbles beneath his breath, “so, if Emilio’s heading to the roof, Lauren and I will start clearing out the floors, top-to-bottom.”
“Then we’ll start clearing them out bottom-to-top” Alicia replies, readying her spear for combat as her group follows Jack and Lauren toward the steps. “I guess that just leaves us” Katie follows, turning her head toward an unamused Jess and a curious Angela, their presentations impossibly different from one another.
“So, how does it feel?” Nessie inquires, following Emilio up the rear stairwell, the man’s face squinting out of confusion. “How does what feel?” the man replies, turning the bannister to ascend the next collection of dust-covered concrete steps. “To be the big guy in the group” Nessie replies, listening to the breathy laughter emerging from the man above, “what? Did you think we didn’t know who called the shots around here?”
His head shaking, Emilio continues to climb each slightly-higher platform at his toes. “I’m not the big guy” Emilio responds, wrapping the fingers on his left hand around the bannister, his palm gliding up the paint-peeled balustrade the higher he ascends. “Yes, you really are” Nessie replies, a few steps lower than Emilio whilst only a single step higher than her brother, “you can try all you wish, but you’re not gonna convince me someone else is leading this group.”
His eyes rolling as he begins to smile, Emilio continues to shake his head, offering every gesture to refuse the position set upon him. “The group doesn’t have a leader. We make decisions based off of what we need, and we deal with whatever happens in whatever way feels right” Emilio retorts, taking another glance at the woman below him, “I’m not the big guy.”
Amusingly pressing her lips together as she gaily replies, “yeah, sure bud” Nessie retorts, listening to the loud sigh Emilio is left to react with. “I’m aware of how often I bring it up, but I used to be a politician” Emilio remarks, sharing the muffled giggle of the company behind him, “so I know that it’s ironic for me to say this, but I like to believe people have the power. I don’t agree with giving all the power to one person- John was the exception.”
“Wait, why was John the exception?” Clint retorts, stopping in the middle of the stairway just before his sister chooses to do the same. “Wait, I think the better question is- how did John become the leader?” Nessie replies, watching Emilio ascend another few steps before noticing his company’s hesitance to follow “What do you mean ‘how did John become the leader’?” Emilio replies, resting his right arm against the guardrail, “he just was.”
“Did you elect him?” Clint questions, watching Emilio struggle to follow the dialogue the brother and sister begin to spin. “N- no” Emilio stutters, slightly beginning to lean forward, his eyes never once leaving the stair-length distanced pair, “why?”
“Well, it’s kind of odd to say you’re against giving someone all the power when that’s the only way your own group has ever functioned” Clint replies, “it doesn’t really add up.” Shaking his head, Emilio lifts his hand toward the man, quietly clarifying his statement in his head before voicing it. “Everyone was split up when this all started. They took their own path, and they all led to the New World Order” Emilio recalls, “Charlotte put John in charge of the camp, and the rest was history.”
“So, Charlotte appointed John, and you all just went with it from there?” Nessie replies, “none of the others had leaders of their own groups?” With a muffled laugh, Emilio argues the opposite. “Of course they did, well- with the exception of Salem, Alicia and Franklin.”
“And how did all of that work out?” Nessie replies, watching the shame-ridden satisfaction Emilio takes from his offered answer. “Have you ever heard of Shauna, Reggie or Tyler? Have you heard anyone mention my husband by name? How frequently have you heard Katie talk about Troy? When was the last you heard of Janice? Or Meghan? Or the other Tyler without reading their names off a gravestone?” Emilio riddles off, almost disgusted in having to speak the names of the lost.
“The first batch were led by Jack- they’re all dead. Janice, Meghan and Bill were all in the same pact- they’re worm food. Troy was Katie’s foster brother, and I think you can guess what happened to him” Emilio murmurs, “only one group from that point is still alive in full, and it’s the ones that lead together. We’ve experimented with different ways of protecting ourselves, and keeping everyone at the same level of say in the matter has worked out better than the others.”
The humour once held in his voice now absent, Emilio continues to look down at the siblings, waiting for a response. “Alright” Clint mumbles, stepping past his sister as he climbs up the remaining stairs. With a nod, Emilio walks away equally satisfied and repulsed with the conversation, preparing to climb the next flight of steps as Clint follows closely behind, leaving Nessie to remain where she stopped, processing the statements made before resuming her rise.
“Do you ever wonder what would have happened if the zombies never showed up?” Lauren wonders, following Jack through the halls of a furniture-scattered floor. “When I have nothing better to do, sure” Jack replies, running his finger across an overturned desk, his skin covered in grey-ish dust, “but I usually spend that time having sex with you.”
Amused, Lauren quickly returns the conversation back to the initial question. “I’m serious, though. It’s getting harder to remember what the world used to be like” Lauren replies, holding a makeshift spear at her side, “I can’t even remember what I thought the future was going to be like anymore.”
Sucking in a deep breath through his teeth, Jack shakes his head with an equally-deep exhale, struggling to conjure up an answer. “Well, I guess I expected to keep working at the warehouse” Jack replies, creating a cloud of dust as he wipes his hand over the seat of an old, turquoise-coloured chair. “Probably would have met someone, dated them, moved on” Jack replies, his assumptions growing sadder as he takes a seat, “probably become manager. Keep working, then drop dead.”
“How ambitious” Lauren jokes, following the man toward the chair before taking a seat on his lap, her arms wrapping around his neck as she leans her head upon his shoulder. “I didn’t have a lot going for me before this all began. I’m not gonna lie and say I would’ve bought a mansion or founded the next Google” Jack replies, tucking his chin over Lauren’s head, “even if I spend every minute risking my life now, everything falling into disrepair was probably a blessing for me.”
Closing her eyes, Lauren gets comfortable in Jack’s arms, letting the conversation settle for the next few minutes, only restarting upon Jack’s behest. “How about you?” Jack replies, lowering his voice to a calming hush, “what would you have done before all of this began?” Her eyes rolling, Lauren struggles to keep herself from laughing. “I have no idea” the woman replies, struggling to remember the final days of society as they existed.
“I know Alicia and I had our first day of classes delayed because someone lit our school on fire” Lauren recalls, earning an unashamed spurt of laughter from the man beside her. “Yeah, whoever tried their hand at revenge really stuck a fork in the final year of my masters degree that’s for sure” Lauren jokes, nudging her head into the cradle of Jack’s shoulder, “I probably would’ve bussed tables for a year, then started looking for work.”
“No student loans?” Jack replies, hearing the faint ‘mmm mmm’ hum from within Lauren’s closed lips. “I had a 4.0 GPA. Lucked myself into knowing the right people and got myself a scholarship. I got the full ride” Lauren grumbles, incapable of holding back her grin, “I was a smart cookie.”
“That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest” Jack replies, quick to voice his belief of the woman’s claims, “I always felt like we came from different sides of the track.” Sharing in the humour, Lauren’s muffled laughter grows less present, her mind focusing on other, less happy thoughts. “Do you think we would have met if none of this ever happened?” Lauren wonders, her eyes beginning to part, “not necessarily date, but just.. know each other existed?”
Looking into Lauren’s face, Jack’s expression becomes less enthused, finding the same depressing realisation Lauren had stumbled upon. “As hard as it is to think about, probably not” Jack replies, noticeably disappointed, “Shauna and Reggie had friends I’d only ever known by the sound of their name. So, if I had to get close enough to my boss to meet Meg, and then get close enough to her to meet you- I don’t think the odds would have been in our favour.”
“Right” Lauren nods, resisting the temptation to dwell on the negatives for too long. “I guess we’ve found a new reason to be grateful for the end of the world, huh?” Lauren inquires, her smile beginning to sprout up again as she looks into Jack’s eyes, his expression returning to its previously warm state as well.
“This place is filthy” Alicia grovels, removing a web from the rung of a nearby ladder, “I know Jack said it’s been abandoned for a decade now, but if you tried to convince me it had been a few decades, I might just believe you.” Concealing her laughter, Salem struts through the room with her rifle in tow, a knife tucked into a band on her forearm.
“Good luck finding a road that’s not covered in grass nowadays” Franklin replies, tapping the blade at the end of his metal cap against the same ladder, “everything ages like milk now. It’s an honour to even remember what asphalt looks like anymore.” Approaching a window in the back of the room, Salem glances out at the streets below, the sights she finds immediately lifting her eyebrows.
“Take a look at this” Salem remarks, taking advantage of the rare opportunity to glance down at the world from above, “can you imagine that this was once the capital of a whole state?” Joining in the woman’s awe, Alicia and Franklin stare in amazement at what lies below, the sight of asphalt few and far, the cracks that have built within the roads now spreading once-contained greenery across what once guided America.
“It’s a lot prettier than I would have thought” Alicia murmurs, conflicted as to be sad at the illustration of time’s passing, or happy to have witnessed what was once thought to be unimaginable. “It’s peaceful” Franklin replies, listening to the sound of absolute silence encompass the room, the aura bringing a smile to his face. “It’s justified” Salem corrects, pleased with the look of the world, “we built our world upon nature, and now that it’s gone, nature’s come back.”
“It’s ironic, wouldn’t you say?” an unfamiliar, fourth voice proclaims from behind the trio, prompting their rotation. Armed with her rifle, Salem shares the same discovery as Alicia and Franklin, outgunned by three shotgun-wielding men, who stand beside a notably unarmed woman. “If you’d be so kind as to cooperate, we can all leave this room much happier and much more alive” the woman explains, an amused pep in her step.
Black hair rolling over the brown coat she wears above a black tank top, the woman remains calm and purposefully unimposing. “I promise, you’re not in any position to threaten us with your rifle, and we don’t want to give you a reason to believe you need to” the woman continues, watching Alicia lower her spear to the ground in cooperation, “even if you don’t believe so, and even if I don’t necessarily know for sure that we are, I believe we’re on the same side.”
“Psst” Alicia whispers, Salem’s attention being offered toward her friend whilst the barrel of her rifle is offered toward the strangers. “We’re not carrying anything worth stealing, and they would have shot us already if they wanted to” Alicia denotes, “the safest option we have is to do as they say.”
“Listen to your friend, snipey” the unfamiliar woman urges, watching Salem’s face dart back toward her, “we know why you’re here, we know who you’re here for, and all we need to tell you is that we’re not here to harm you.” Reluctant, Salem turns back to Alicia, watching Franklin unscrew the bayonet from his metal cap and place it gently upon the floor.
“You better be right” Salem growls at Alicia, pulling the strap of her rifle over her head as she rests it on the ground, trusting in Alicia’s judgement.
“Clint, can you get the flares?” Emilio inquires, propping the rooftop entry open for Nessie to climb through. With a quiet nod, Clint strolls around the walkway with his hands over his chest, holding the jacket against himself as the bitter winds begin to pick up. “I think I see a pattern with your story” Nessie remarks, climbing the final rung before joining Emilio on the building’s highest platform.
“Can we stop talking about why I’m still alive and just enjoy the view?” Emilio replies, pressing his arms against the bannister as he looks out from the highest point in the city. “I’m pretty sure we can do both” Nessie responds, leaning her arms against the same bannister, her hair still thrown by the wind despite being tucked behind her ears. “I don’t think I’d like to do both” Emilio counters, his sights set on the nature-covered sides of buildings, and snow-covered dead grass in the street.
“Do you really not think you’re the leader of this group?” Nessie wonders aloud, the answer to her question easy for the man to give. “No, I don’t” Emilio replies, forced to squint his eyes in order to see what lies in the distance, “someone for people to look for confidence in? Sure. But the one that makes decisions? Not a chance in hell.”
“Is that true, or is that just what you tell yourself?” Nessie inquires, looking at the side of the increasingly irritated man’s face. “It’s both” Emilio replies, beginning to shut himself down, retreating to simple answers that pave the way for little perspective. “Do you think you’re the good guy?” Nessie proceeds to ask, catching the man by surprise, Emilio’s face turning to her with a sour look.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?” Emilio queries, genuinely intrigued in the woman’s response. “Because from the sound of it- you’re not” Nessie answers, watching the man’s eyebrows begin to furrow, “you followed the lead of a man who, while I don’t disagree had room for a lot of good in his heart, did some pretty foul shit.”
“John wasn’t perfect, but he was far from ‘the bad guy’” Emilio replies, watching Nessie respond with a reluctant expression. “Alright, let me ask you this. How did the New World Order fall in New York?” Nessie inquires, watching the hesitance in Emilio’s face as he prepares to answer, though he struggles to come up with one.
“They’re not here!” Clint shouts, returning to the duo before his sister’s question can be answered, an unpleasant discovery to warn of. “What’s not here!?” Emilio exclaims, his voice battling with the wind. “The flares!” Clint shouts, rounding the corner to rejoin his group, “they’re not where you said they’d be.”
Stepping past the man, Emilio walks off to take a look for himself, unfolding the note in his pocket to follow its guidance. “You said they’d be in a box, tucked under some pipes with an orange splotch of paint on them!” Clint exclaims, following Emilio to the spot, everything left accurately as directed aside from the missing flares, “they’re not there!”
“No, this can’t be right” Emilio mumbles to himself as Nessie catches up. “Could they have fallen off the roof?” the woman questions, taking a glance at the building’s circular ledge, it’s circumference entirely covered by a ten-foot tall fence. “Unless this wind is a fucking tornado, I don’t think it fell off the roof” Emilio replies, again stepping past his fellow survivors, returning the way he’d arrived.
Descending the stairwell, Emilio leads Nessie and Clint back the way they had arrived, anxious to find the signal pistols before their paramotorist guide arrives. “Where are we going!?” Nessie exclaims, curiously following Emilio without understanding why. “If they’re not there, someone must have taken them” Emilio replies, rounding the corner to the next set of stairs, working his way toward ground level, “we need to find out who it was before they fly-”
His quick descent coming to a screeching halt, Emilio pauses halfway down the stairs, looking to the wall ahead with widened eyes.
‘Emilio, Vanessa, Clint. Through the door, down the hall, find your flares.’
Scrawled on the wall in black paint, Emilio’s directions are simple, the arrow that stretches below the instructions aimed toward the nearest door, propped open with an empty flare gun. “What do-?” Clint begins to ask, only for his question to be met with Emilio’s resuming descent, his eyes set on following the given orders.
Without a word, Emilio steps through the hallway with Clint and Nessie closely behind, his box of flares left placed gently in the centre of the room. Without thinking, the lead figure steps through the dark corridor and reaches for the box, prompting an amused reaction from an unfamiliarly feminine voice.
“You should probably lose that tunnel vision you’ve got there” the woman murmurs, the three men accompanying her holding a steady aim with their shotguns. “It may not be a bad thing to have now, but it could really bite you in the ass next time” the woman jokes, stood behind every member of Emilio’s group, each survivor left sitting cross-legged on the ground, their mouths taped over, and their hands bound at their waist.
“I know this looks really evil, but I couldn’t have them trying to warn you before you walked in” the woman explains calmly, watching Emilio, Nessie and Clint raise their hands in surrender. “If you came in guns blazing, that wouldn’t have been good for any of us” the woman continues, stepping around the accumulated group on her way toward Emilio, “and if you didn’t come in at all- well, that would have been really anti-climactic.”
“What do you want?” Emilio immediately asks in a stern tone, hesitant to maintain anything other than his suspicions. “To introduce myself” the woman replies, raising her hands into the air to match Emilio’s surrender, only to lower one to her side, extending it for a handshake. “I’m Jade, and the people holding you at gunpoint are my brothers. From left to right, you’ve got Archie, Oliver, and Isaac” the woman explains, “and we’ve been told to meet you here.”
“Told by who?” Emilio replies, remaining hesitant to shake the woman’s hand, his arms remaining held in the air. “A mutual friend” the woman replies, her lips covered in a shade of dark, brooding purple lipstick, “the same one you see flying through the skies on occasion.”
“How do you know about them?” Emilio quickly asks, his persistent questions beginning to irk the woman his narrative is controlled by. “I share mutual interests with our mutual friend, and that’s all I’ll say until I know I can trust you” Jade replies, stretching out the fingers on her extended palm, “shaking my hand would be a great start in accomplishing that.”
Spending the next few seconds considering his choices, Emilio lets his right hand cautiously drop to his side, taking the woman’s palm pressing into his own. “I hate to have to break this to you, but she didn’t bring you here to meet her. She brought you here to meet me” Jade explains, gently taking two folding chairs into her hand before setting them up across from each other before lowering herself into one.
“She?” Emilio replies, confused by the woman’s remarks as he lowers himself into the chair. “Yes, your sky-bound friend is a she.. However, she prefers to be go by Courtney” Jade replies, crossing her right leg over her left as her thigh-high boot, the leather still reflective as if they had just been bought, hangs off the side of her thigh, “would you mind if I ask you and your friends some questions, Emilio?”
With a glance toward the pile of his friends, Emilio makes his decision, looking Jade in the eyes as he responds.
== Rise ==