After a recap of the previous episode, we are shown a graphic that says ‘Two Weeks Later”. Cam and Never are still in that parking structure. Never is asleep, at least for a brief moment when her eyes flicker open. She sits up and notices that Cam is missing as she leaps to her feet and looks around. She would yell, but she knows better than to attract any attention and without Cam to protect her, she knows she’s easy prey.
She walks around the corner and sees Cam practicing with her sword. Cam spots her, “I’m about ready to move on. Sure you want to come?”
“Yes,” Never says softly as Cam finishes up and walks over. “Okay. Let’s go find the preacher.”
THE END IS NIGH
Scene flashes back to an earlier part of Cam’s life in high school. She’s standing in front of the school when a loud car drives up. Tee is in the car. She leans over and plants a big kiss on the burley driver as Cam cringes a little. Tee exits the car and it roars off.
“Isn’t he amaze?” asks Tee as she looks off after the car all dreamy.
“You’re kidding, right? What was he? 30?” asks Cam as the two turn to walk into the school.
“27. Jealous much?”
This causes Cam to laugh out loud. “You being serious right now? That guy looks like he just got out of prison. What are you doing hanging around a creep like that?”
“He takes care of me.” She holds out her arm where several gold bracelets dangle, “He got me all of these.”
“Oh shit. Those are nice.” Her eyes look up at her friend, “Are you sure he’s okay? Seems like trouble to me and I would hate something to happen to you.”
Tee reaches over and places a hand on Cam’s shoulder, “Don’t worry. I know how to take care of myself.”
Cam just nods, “Okay.” Her expression doesn’t seem convinced as the scene fades back to present day in Prison City.
The two are walking around the parking garage, heading down towards the exit.
“What was your life like before all of this?” asks Cam as she hoists her backpack a little higher on her back.
GUEST STARRING: DARIUS CROWLEY
“Me? Oh.. Seems like such a long time ago, to be honest,” Never responds as she looks up towards the ceiling as she walks. “I guess it was what you might call normal. I mean, I worked and went home. Went out sometimes.”
“What kind of work did you do?”
“You don’t look like much of an accountant.”
They stopped walking and Never turned to her, “What do I look like?”
Cam actually has to think about that for a moment and then just shakes her head, “Fuck, you do look like an accountant. Holy shit.”
“I got caught embezzling funds from the company I worked for. My parents were going to lose their house and I couldn’t let that happen.”
Cam nods her head. “That’s why you’re here?”
Never nods. “Yes. Sad part is, my parents lost their house anyway.”
“Fuck,” murmurs Cam under her breath. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
They resume walking, “It’s my own fault. I knew what I was doing was wrong. My parents were so heartbroken. Their only daughter being sent to Prison City.”
“The company didn’t consider your circumstance?” asks Cam.
Never shakes her head, “No. They didn’t care. They encourage the court to send me here.”
As they reach the exit to the road, Cam nods her head, “Greedy corporate bastards. Of course, they did.” The two set out on the road and across the distance the Grand Hotel stands very proudly among the rubble that is Prison City.
“I hope the preacher is ready. This newcomer is looking very formidable.” Killjoy says as he looks out from his balcony. “Perhaps a worthy challenger after all.”
There’s a chuckle from behind him, “I wouldn’t count on it. Provided she gets past the bishop and the queen, she’s not getting past me.”
Killjoy turns to his second, “You haven’t had a challenge in quite some time. You don’t even train. Do you think that you’ll stand against a great challenge when it comes?”
Lince smirks, “Look, boss. I know how to do my job. And my job is to make sure that no one gets to you. So far, no one has, so what are you worrying about?”
Turning back to look out over his kingdom, Killjoy shakes his head, “Who says I’m worried. I have been praying for the day someone steps up to who gives me the challenge I’ve been longing for.”
“Lonely at the top, or something like that, hm?”
A large sigh, almost of annoyance from Killjoy. “Something like that.”
Though he cannot see from where he is looking out, Cam and Never are getting closer to where the Preacher lies.
As we return from the break, Cam and Never have stopped for a moment to drink from some water bottles they acquired earlier from a drop. Cam perks up, “Do you hear that?”
Never stops drinking and tilts her head, “I don’t…”
A strum of a guitar is faintly heard.
As the playing gets closer, it gets louder until a man comes into view. Both Cam and Never get to their feet. He’s dressed in a leather vest and dirty black jeans and boots. He has tattoos all over, and as he sees the two he hesitates for a brief moment before he nods his head.
“So it is you who walks through MY valley of death? I have heard the parables of your adventures already throughout this domain and yet, I never expected that you would make it thus far in your journey.”
“I take it you are the preacher I’ve heard about?”
There’s a slight chuckle from the man, “I’ve been called preacher, priest, padre but I am simply a man of God doing his best to cleanse this city. My name is Pillar and I am the designated bishop of said city. It is a pleasure to meet you no matter how briefly the encounter will be.”
“It is very impressive that you have made it this far in your quest,” he continues, “However to be truthful, the rooks were both a couple of simpletons and the knight’s unpredictability would at some point be her downfall. Lass, I am neither simple, nor unpredictable. And to get past me, it’s going to take much more than luck, as you may have been, in order to see what is beyond my realm.”
Cam smirks at the boasts of the self-professed man of God. “Are you going to keep preaching at me, or were you planning to fight me at some point? I have places to go and you’re in my way.”
Amused by her banter, Pillar nods his head, “I preach to those willing to hear and for those who do not, they shall see the wrath of God first hand. You see, He has given me the gift of foresight and I can tell what you’re going to do before you even do it. So, if you think you are prepared to challenge me, then hopefully you are equally prepared to go down in defeat and slink back off from whence you came.” With that, he sets his guitar against a nearby wall and removes his vest which reveals even more tattoos covering his bare chest and back.
Cam removes her backpack and hands it to Never, “Back up. Get the fuck out of here if something happens to me.” Never responds with barely a nod. “K.”
As the two approach each other, Pillar looks mostly amused while Cam has a dead serious look on her face.
“Whenever you are ready,” says the preacher and the words are barely out of his mouth when she leaps in with a punch that he easily bats away. “Seriously, are we here to play or are we going to fight,” he asks, taunting her.
As Cam charges in with strikes, he is easily able to swat them away. He chuckles, “Perhaps you should resolve to yourself that you will never go any higher than you are right now. Go back and assume the duties of the Knight and leave this area to me. I would hate to have to hurt you.”
“Fuck off,” she says as she goes on the attack again. As with before, each strike is easily dealt with but this time something’s different. In the midst of her striking, one manages to get through and strikes him right in the face. The blow staggers him backwards and as he reaches up to wipe a spot of blood from the corner of his mouth, he grins and nods his head, “Now, this is what I was hoping for.”
The two meet and begin to trade blows, this time each time one is thrown it is blocked by the other, who retaliates only to be blocked again. Cam goes to throw a high kick, only for her ankle to be caught and he smirks as he swings her around and drives her back first into the side of the building as she crumples to the sidewalk causing Never to flinch.
“There’s still time to walk away,” Pillar slowly walks towards the fallen Cam as she struggles to her feet.
“Eat shit.” She takes a step towards him.
“How crude,” he remarks before he kicks her right in the chest and sends her crashing back into the wall with a thud. “I offer you my kindness and generosity and this is how you thank me? I’ve given you an option I don’t give many. Walk away, take your place below me and own your little part of this kingdom. But your greed and selfishness at wanting the castle will surely be your downfall.”
He walks over and reaches down and grabs a handful of her hair and pulls her up. He spins her around and grabs her from behind so his mouth is next to her ear as his arm is around her throat and he squeezes. “Your last words before you make the creator?”
Cam gasps for air as she kicks and flails. She rams his ribs with her elbow and he staggers backwards, holding his side. He shakes his head, “It’s time for you to go.”
He moves in quick and looks to strike her with his left hand but as she moves to block it, his other hand just clocks her in the face spinning her around. Quickly, he is behind her and something goes around her throat. At closer inspection, it’s a guitar string. It digs into her neck as her face starts to turn red.
“When you meet the maker, be sure you let him know that I am doing his bidding for him. Tell him that I am the one who sent you to him. I shall expect my grand reward upon my arrival.”
As he pulls tightly, blood begins to seep down from where the wire is biting into her neck. She first tries to pull his hands away from her, but she isn’t strong enough. Her hands follow up his arms until she is able to find his face and she digs her thumbs into his eye socket, until he begins to scream in pain and blood begins to gush out from behind her thumbs and drip down his face.
He loosens his grip on her next as she manages to step away from him. She crawls away before slowly getting to her feet. Pillar has his eyes covered and as he pulls away his hands, blood is dripping down his face. “As a man of God, the blind do see,” he says as he grimaces and steps forward and motions her to him.
Weary, she starts forward and as she gets close, he jabs her right into the throat causing her to choke as she gasps for air. He grabs her by the hair and begins to drive a series of punches to her face, over and over again, a sick thud sounding with each blow before he finally releases her and she collapses to the pavement.
“Never go to war with the Lord,” he mutters as he staggers away from her.
“You… haven’t… won… shit…” Cam stammers as she slowly rises to her feet behind him. His bloody eyes widen as he turns around and takes a wild swing that misses. Cam wraps her arms around his neck and pulls him down to the pavement. She wraps her legs around him and cranks on his neck until the sound of cracking is heard and he goes still.
Cam lies there on the ground for a moment with Pillar still on her before Never finally rushes over and pulls her free. “Are you okay?”
The battered, beaten and bloody Cam just nods, “Gonna have to quit asking that every time.”
“The preacher has fallen,” says Killjoy as he stares out over the balcony.
“How could you possibly know that? We haven’t even gotten word yet about anything,” Lince responds, reclining in her chair.
“I just know. I can feel it. The stranger is getting closer.”
Lince gets up from her chair and opens the door and sends the guard outside to go find out what’s going on and then closes the door.
“We should know soon enough.” She plops back down in her chair.
“We already know well enough,” mutters the king under his breath. “She’ll be here before long. You know what’s really odd?”
“Over there. The sun is shining almost as if wherever she passed and succeeds, the sun follows.”
“Now you’re just being crazy, boss. She doesn’t control the weather.”
“No. But she brings hope. The last thing we need here is hope.”
Never is helping Cam across the street. There’s an open shop that used to be a liquor store that has been looted and deserted. Completely empty. Never pushes open the door and drags Cam inside. She tosses down the backpack and pulls out a bottle of water and rips a strip of cloth from her dress and begins to try and clean up her face and neck.
“You’re lucky he didn’t slice through an artery, but he was close,” she says softly as cleans up the battered female. Bruises are already starting to form on Cam’s face and swelling is starting to appear. “I hope this is all worth it, Cam.”
She places the backpack on the floor and lowers Cam so she is resting her head on it before she picks up the wooden sword and sits in the dark, eyes on the entrance.
Scene changes to a highlight. A man is getting out of his car and walking towards the ATM. He reaches into his wallet and pulls out a card and slides it into the machine and waits. He keys in his PIN and all of a sudden a giant fist comes out and smashes him in the side of the face, the snap of a broken bone can be heard as the man crumbles to the ground.
The giant of a man punches in some numbers on the ATM as a woman’s screams are heard. She opens the passenger side of the car and rushes to the man, “Danny! Danny!”
The crumpled man groans as he rises up and sees the other man taking money from the ATM. He struggles to get to his feet, though the woman begs him not to and he stumbles towards the ATM and is immediately struck with a backhand, sending him spiraling back to the ground, “Danny!”
The woman’s voice is angry as she rises up and charges towards him and begins to hammer him with her small fists. The man smirks as he reaches for her throat and his large hand grabs and squeezes. He pushes her against the wall and lifts her off the ground. Her eyes go wide as she realizes this could very well be her last moments on Earth. She tries to kick him but with each other, they get weaker and weaker.
Finally, there’s no kick left in her and she sags against the wall. He finally drops her and she lands on the ground, unmoving.
He pockets the money and begins to step over the man before pausing.
He lifts his boot and with the sound of wet crunching, brings the foot down onto the man’s head, breaking his skull and crushing it against the sidewalk before he walks off.
As he turns the corner, all that’s left is the small sounds of the city when suddenly a woman’s gasp is heard as she takes in a deep, deep breath. She sees her man over on the ground and she slowly crawls over and as the shot moves over the top, we see his head is caved in as she crawls over him and screams repeatedly as the scene fades.
TO BE CONTINUED
CAM Jazmin Davis
NEVER Sativah Nevaeh
KILLJOY Gabriel Ohio
LINCE Mai Blackman
TEE Anaquin Adams
PILLAR Darius Crowley