Where our favorite group of refugees is trudging west. A
short distance behind, Levi slowly guides his tractor over the broken surface
of the highway. An improvised flatbed on the rear of the tractor carries some
of the refugees. A beat to establish, then
ELIAS enters frame, waving down LEVI. Levi pulls the long-nose
to a stop, and leans out his window. Levi and Elias both shout to be heard over
"We've spotted a town on the North horizon. I want you to take a few
people and check it out. We need food and rest. Badly."
"You got that right. Get these people out of the flatbed, though. Neighbors
ain't always neighborly these days, and I don't want to worry about 'em."
"What about Gerry?"
"He's staying up here with me. I'm not letting that kid out of my sight."
Elias smiles and moves toward the rear of the vehicle. Levi
"Jarrod! Grant! Bart!"
EXT. SETTLEMENT WALL
A mish mash of metallic bits- mostly car parts. As Levi pulls
his truck up to a gap in the wall, an armed man steps out from behind the wall
into the gap. The rifle he's carrying is pointed at Levi's head.
Levi stops the truck.
"Step out of the truck!"
Levi complies, as do BART, GRANT, and JARROD.
"Advance and be recognized!"
Another sentry steps from the other side of the gap, gun
slung at his side. He doesn't appear ready for action: his long, many-knuckled
fingers are wrapped up in knots. As he approaches the posse, he rapidly untangles
his digits. Call him FINGERS.
"Ease off, buddy. The army hasn't paid you in years."
Sentry loosens up a bit but only a bit.
"Welcome to "
"Welcome to our town. What's your business?"
"We need food and a place to rest. We're willing to trade for it."
"I don't think that'll be a problem."
"For about forty people?"
Fingers stares at Jarrod for a beat, and we
As Levi, Jarrod, Grant, and Bart walk in. The improvised
structures are built of similar stuff to the wall discarded car parts.
"They must be scrounging from the highw "
Whereupon Jarrod is interrupted by a hail from the shadows
of a building's entrance. The speaker is Jim CRABTREE.
"Mallery. Jarrod Eliot Mallery. Been a long time since I've seen a Templar
out this way."
Jarrod currently clothed in rags shuts up and
looks up. We hold on his confusion for a beat, and
EXT. CRABTREE'S PLACE
As our heroes approach Crabtree.
"Jim? Jim Crabtree?"
"You never were very good at that part. The disguises, I mean."
Crabtree steps out of the shadows, revealing his Templar's
tabard. It, along with the rest of his clothing, is stained, torn, and generally
beat to hell. Despite all of that, it still carries a certain majesty. The Maltese
cross of the Templars is still a rich, blood red.
Jarrod laughs out loud and takes Crabtree in a rough embrace. A beat passes,
and Crabtree disengages.
"You never told me that part was important! You taught me to fight, to
judge, and to die, but never how to hide the damn cross right!"
As Grant, Bart, and Levi look on astonished, Crabtree grins.
"Ingrate. C'mon in."
As Crabtree leads the group into the makeshift building behind
As Levi and company return. Jarrod isn't with them. Elias
meets the group as they debark from Levi's truck.
"I hope you have good news for me."
"Yes. It seems as if Jarrod has an old friend out there."
"An old Templar friend. From the sounds of it, he was Jarrod's mentor.
Which means Jarrod's a Templar, too."
"It was his business."
INT. CRABTREE'S PLACE
As Crabtree speaks to Jarrod.
"Gateway went down, then."
"That's going to make things hard. We traded with Gateway for a lot of
our food. We're gonna have to find another source."
"And you're still willing to trade some of it back to us?"
"It's only right. We got a lot of it from you to begin with. Besides,
with things as bad as they are now, we all have to look out for each other."
Crabtree sighs heavily, and stands. He moves to a window,
and looks out at the settlement.
"We are all each other's keepers."
"Is that why you've been in this town for so long?"
"Six months ago, they needed a champion. These are good people, so I
helped them. Afterwards, I stayed around. With things like they are, I couldn't
just walk away. It was only a matter of time before they needed me again."
"And I'm tired."
Jarrod listens, silent.
"I've been a Templar for almost six years now, nearly from the beginning.
I've walked from one end of these wastes to another, and I've seen more than
maybe even Simon. I need to rest. Maybe retire. And this is as good a place
as any to do it."
He takes off his sword and lays it on his desk. The sword
appears to be a marine's saber. As Crabtree draws it from the sheath, we see
it has been sharpened to a razor's edge. Crabtree looks at his reflection in
the blade, turning it back and forth a couple of times.
"And maybe, someday, I can lay this sword down."
Crabtree sheaths his sword.
"It's been so damn heavy lately."
Crabtree puts his head in his hands. Jarrod reaches across,
and lays his hand on Crabtree's shoulder. We hold for a beat on teacher and
Inside the walls, as Elias exits Crabtree's place. He moves
toward the waiting refugees, and announces
"We can stay here for the night. Find an empty building, and sack out."
As the crowd disperses, Jarrod steps up to Elias.
"Taken care of. We'll trade for whatever this town can spare."
"Good. Rest easy, Elias."
"One more thing, Jarrod."
"Your friend Crabtree is carrying a lot of guilt around. Why?"
"I don't know."
"Maybe I should."
EXT. SURVIVOR SETTLEMENT
Night. A beat to establish, and
INT. JARROD'S ROOM
As he awakens. As he sits up and shakes off the cloud of
sleep, we hear a dull, metallic sound. Jarrod throws off his blanket, and throws
on his tabard. As he rushes out, we
EXT. LEVI'S TRUCK
Where we can see someone rummaging around in the flatbed,
where containers of food are stacked. A beat passes, and Jarrod enters frame,
shortly followed by Bart, Grant, and Crabtree.
"Someone's stealing the food."
As the four watch, a man leaps from the flatbed to the ground,
a bundle under his arm. He looks up and sees our heroes, and our heroes see
him: "Fingers" MacPhee.
When Fingers hears Crabtree, he bursts into a weighted down
run. Our heroes pursue, and Jarrod tackles Fingers.
No! You have to let me go!
Shortly, Crabtree grabs Fingers by the arm and hauls him
to his feet.
C'mon, Fingers. You know the penalty for theft. Food theft, especially.
Jarrod walks alongside.
INT. CRABTREE'S PLACE
Where Jarrod is on a tear.
" can't just execute him! We caught him, no harm done!"
"Not to you. But this town holds together because of its laws. Be cause
people know the penalty for breaking them. If we ignore them, this town is
going to come apart at the seams. I won't allow that."
"These people are worth protecting, Jim. You said it yourself."
"These people are. Fingers *was*. Now he's a thief. But not for long."
Crabtree steps outside, sword in hand.
where a pair of burly men hold fingers. A small crowd is
gathered, including a few of the refugees. As Crabtree approaches the group,
they part for him, and the burly men push Fingers to his knees. Bart and Elias
watch, but Grant is absent.
"I was hungry, Jim! Don't "
"The rations aren't enough!"
Crabtree unsheathes his sword, and draws it across the back
of Fingers' neck.
"I'm sorry, Jim! Ple "
END ACT I
Still night. As the crowd disperses, Jarrod intercepts Bart
"We can't stay here. I don't know him anymore."
"Agreed. We'll leave first thing in the morning."
"I don't know if we can wait that long."
"We have to. I would remind you that many of us are old, or injured,
or crippled. We need to rest here."
Jarrod opens his mouth to speak, but Elias holds up a hand
to silence him.
"We will leave first thing in the morning."
Morning. Jarrod finds a PASSERBY, and inquires
"What did they do with Fing "
"with the body?"
The passerby cocks his head behind him, and answers,
"It's on the hill."
EXT. THE HILL
Which is apparently a graveyard. The only headstones appear
to be single white rocks about the size of a man's head. Many of the stones
have a black mark painted on them. As Jarrod enters, we find a WOMAN placing
another stone Fingers' stone.
"Is that Fingers?"
"Yes. He was a good kid."
She reaches down and dips a paint brush into a half-empty
can of black paint. With a single stroke, she marks Finger's stone black.
"What's the paint for? A lot of these stones don't have it."
"The white stones are for most folks. The ones that die from disease,
or in an attack, or from a gunshot."
"The black ones?"
Jarrod's eyes widen. As he- and we- look around the cemetery,
we find that the white stones are no longer for "most folks". The
black stones outnumber the white.
"Oh my God..."
As Jarrod moves into frame. He's in full Templar dress, it's
late morning, getting on till Noon. We hold for a beat, and Crabtree steps outside
(looks closely at Jarrod for a beat)
"This isn't how we do things, Jim."
"You just came from the hill, didn't you."
Jarrod doesn't respond; he only stares.
"I'm sorry you had to see that, but it's necessary."
"For what? We're supposed to be fighting against the Reckoners, Jim.
Against fear. But you're worse than any Walking Dead I've ever seen. This
people are living in your shadow, because you've convinced them it's the only
thing that'll protect them from the sun."
"Maybe it's time they saw the light again."
"We can talk about this later. I've got things to do."
"This is important, Jim!"
Crabtree points to a gathering crowd, who surround two men
holding a third.
The whole scene looks damn familiar.
And Crabtree stalks toward the crowd.
With the crowd, as Crabtree approaches, Jarrod close behind.
"Don't do this, Jim. It isn't right."
(spins to face Jarrod, furious)
"It is right because *I* say it's right! I am a Templar- *we* are Templars,
and we are the best shot at salvation these people have!"
Crabtree turns back toward the prisoner, who is now on his
knees, and draws his sword. As he draws back to strike, Jarrod says
"Yeah. I guess we are."
And intercepts the killing blow with his own sword. Quickly,
the prisoner scrambles out from underneath the two Templars. The two men who
were holding him begin to move toward Jarrod, but Crabtree waves them off.
"This is how it's going to be then?"
"This is how it has to be."
And Jarrod strikes.
What follows isn't a duel. It isn't a dance of parry and thrust. It's a street
fight. It's dirty, it's ugly, it's brutal, and it's mean. And finally, it's
over. Crabtree goes down, Jarrod's sword plunged deeply into his chest. As his
blood begins to seep into his tabard, the Maltese Cross becomes less and less
definable among the red, until it seems to disappear all together.
Jarrod, chest heaving, kneels over his fallen mentor and closes Crabtree's eyes
for the last time. As Jarrod is wracked with silent sobs, we
END ACT II
EXT. THE HILL
Where Jarrod stands in front of a freshly filled in grave,
a brisk wind snapping at his tabard. Stoically, he stands and waits, until a
man approaches the grave with a stone. A familiar sort of stone. The man places
the stone at the head of the grave, and dips a brush in a can of black paint.
Jarrod puts his hand on the man's shoulder.
The man looks up at him, confused.
"No more black stones."
We pull back slightly, to see Jarrod's pack on the ground
behind him. The corners of another Tabard poke out of the pack, and a second
sword is slung along side Jarrod's.
The man shrugs, drops the brush back in the paint can, then leaves. We hold
on Jarrod for a beat, alone on the hill. Abruptly, he turns, swings his pack
over his shoulder, and begins to walk away. As he moves past the camera, we
PAN to follow him, revealing the refugees of Gateway in the distance. As he
looks down the hill at the people, he stops and says to no one in particular,
"No more black stones."
With the faintest twinge of doubt in his voice.
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