5.1 – Damaged

IMMUNITIES — SEASON 5. EPISODE 5.1 — DAMAGED

PRE-TITLE

SETTING: The Immunities studio. Out of character.

BOB or JAX:

Hi there. Thank you for listening to Immunities, Season 5. We’re doing something a little different this season, and focusing on a Beta Immune, Matilda Cannon. Matilda, like many Beta Immunes, is mentally ill. Unlike some Beta Immunes, however, Matilda was traumatized before the Look due to abusive family and relationships. A lot of this season focuses on Matilda’s journal, and the unhealthy ways she sees herself and others.

This season was written by Jacqueline Bryk, who suffers from C-PTSD and other traumatic disorders. This episode covers gaslighting and trauma, as well as mentions of abuse, family estrangement, and violence. Listener discretion is advised.

SETTING: A truck cab. After a second or two of driving noise, we fade in in media res on a crackly radio — the end of CARRIE KRAY’s broadcast from Season Four.

MOLLY

Why did you wait until now to say this? What possibly possessed you?

CANDACE

I wanted a chance to tell the Unaltered out there: Some of us understand. We are not all alike.

CARRIE

I’m getting a signal from my producers that it’s time to move on to the next story. We now take you Ted Nordham in Oakland.

Some static, and then LIZZIE PERSHAM flips the radio off with a disgusted sigh. LIZZIE is a careless driver who recently came off of resistance probation.

In the truck with her are MATILDA “TILLY” CANNON, a traumatized and slightly erratic Beta Immune, and NICOLE BARTLOW, who is sleeping.

LIZZIE

(sarcastically)

Incredible.

TILLY
(absently, she hasn’t been paying attention)
You sound surprised.

LIZZIE
Not at all. I kinda expected they were going to go this route, the “look at me, I’m a poor little looker who just wants peace and harmony!” And then you look at them and —

She snaps her fingers. Sound of the truck swerving as she takes her hand off the wheel. TILLY yelps and NICOLE jerks awake with a disgruntled noise.

TILLY
(panicked)

Jesus, Lizzie, pay attention!

LIZZIE

(unfazed)

Sorry, Cannon, been meaning to get an alignment, but I can’t find a good mechanic who’ll do it for less than nothing.

TILLY:
Well just … try not to kill us, ok?

LIZZIE:

Relax, you’ll get there alive. Maybe a little banged up, but alive.

NICOLE:

(groggily)
Please don’t damage the package, Lizzie. We don’t pay you to throw Betas through windshields.

LIZZIE:

(weary)
Whatever you say, Nicole.

(engaged again)

Anyway, Cannon, you won’t have to deal with this shit once we get you settled into O9. The Looker shit, I mean. You’ll be free and clear among the Overlooked, and Nicole and I’ll have to go back and keep doing our jobs, surrounded by those creepy robotic fucks. I gotta get some excitement into your life before you go on your extended vacation.

NICOLE:
Don’t let her get to you, Matilda. Lizzie’s just being a jerk because this is covert, so she didn’t get the extra gas rations she was expecting for shipping a Beta Immune out to an Overlook. You’re doing important work.

TILLY
(quietly)
Tilly.

NICOLE
What’s that?

TILLY
(a little louder this time)
Tilly. It’s what my friends used to call me. Back when I had friends.

TITLE MUSIC.

SETTING: Overlook 9. It’s hot and a little dusty. The air seems to shimmer around everything. Boots crunch on dead grass or gravel. NICOLE is taking TILLY to her new place.

NICOLE
So. Welcome to O9, home of the gayest Overlooked in the state. You’ll be right at home here.

*embarrassed pause*

I mean, I assume.

TILLY:

About me being at home, or me being queer?

*pause*

Don’t worry about it. I’m sure it’ll be nice. I appreciate you taking the time to move me here.

NICOLE:

(relieved)

Special orders from the Major. It’s my pleasure.

TILLY:
(bitterly)
Nice to know he cares.

Walking noises stop, as NICOLE turns to face TILLY.

NICOLE:

Hey. This world changes you. Whatever Major Craig might have thought of you before the Look, he cares about you now, and he wants to see you safe. And so do I. You’re part of the resistance, and that makes you family.

TILLY:
My dear old Uncle Jeff hasn’t considered me family for a long time. Not since I told him what my dad did to me.

An uncomfortable pause. Then the walking noises resume.

NICOLE:
Ok. I won’t ask. But I’m–

TILLY:

Sorry? Everyone is. Don’t be, it’s not your fault and it won’t change anything. He’s gone, and we have other shit to worry about.

NICOLE:
Got it.

Another pause. TILLY takes a deep breath. There is a little more cheer in her voice as she speaks again.

TILLY:

So. The gayest Overlook?

NICOLE:
(cheeky)
Scientifically proven. We’ve done population studies.

TILLY:
My girlfriend would love it here. Would have, I mean.

NICOLE:
(a little disappointed, but trying to sound interested)

I didn’t know you had a girlfriend.

TILLY:
Had, yeah. I don’t know what happened to her after the Look.

Sound of keys jingling, and then being fitted into a lock. A front door swings open — TILLY’s new front door.

NICOLE:

I’m sorry about that.

Sound of shoes on wood floors.

NICOLE:

I know it’s not a perfect sapphic love nest, but here’s your cottage. One bedroom, one bathroom, combined living and dining room, cute little kitchen. Bay window facing the road, in case any Lookers decide to drive up your way. Oh, and —

Sound of a cabinet being opened, and a faint click as a button is pressed.

NICOLE:

This is your alarm button. No bells or whistles will go off here, but it’ll alert the Overlook Council that there’s a Looker incursion. There’s one on the baseboards too, just below it. You can kick that one. The cottage is small enough that you should be able to get to it before you pass out. Hopefully, you won’t need it.

TILLY:

(flatly)
Super.

NICOLE:
The best part is, it’s all free. No utilities, no rent, nothing. Consider it a thank-you from the Overlook for being here.

TILLY makes a vaguely positive noise but doesn’t say anything. After a moment, NICOLE is feeling awkward enough to leave.

NICOLE:
Well, you’re probably exhausted, and I’m definitely in your way, so I’m gonna let you get settled. If you need anything, Lizzie makes weekly deliveries to the Overlook, so you can let her know and I’ll try to get to it as soon as I can.

TILLY:
(suddenly)

Hey Nicole?

NICOLE:
Yeah?

TILLY:

(reluctantly)
Thanks.

SETTING: Evening in TILLY’s cottage. Faint cicadas and maybe some wind against the windows. Sounds of writing in a notebook that start louder and then fade into the background of the narration. TILLY is journaling, the narration comes as she writes.

TILLY:

I have to get used to writing in a journal again. My therapist used to get on me for not keeping one consistently, said I wasn’t making it a habit. My therapist is now beaming her insights into the sky from one of the Lookers’ data centers. I’d go see her anyway, if I could, but I don’t think therapy will be very helpful if I fall asleep just as each session begins.

In the off-chance that this notebook ends up in an archive somewhere — and I hope it won’t, but you never know, people love to read the thoughts of “crazies” — I should probably introduce myself. My name is Matilda Cannon, but everyone calls me Tilly. Correction: called me. I get a lot of “Matilda”, “Miss Cannon”, and “excuse me ma’am” these days.

It’s … weird. The only people who called me Matilda, back when the world wasn’t flooded with people with perfect diction, were my family. Matilda was always when I was in trouble for something stupid I did. Not washing the dishes fast enough, or wanting to be alone, or rolling my eyes at dinner. I didn’t even know what “rolling my eyes” meant when I was eight, I thought it meant looking around in circles, not looking up in annoyance. I still got punished for it.

*pause*

I didn’t really get what was happening to me, or why I was so angry all the time, until I read my first Gillian Flynn novel. Sharp Objects. The main character, Camille, carves words into her skin so that she doesn’t have to say them out loud. I think it’s why she became a reporter, too — she’s allowed to say certain words, without repercussion from her mother, Adora. I told my therapist this, when I finally got one, and she looked at me as though I was supposed to be having this big revelation.

“I wasn’t abused,” I said, before realizing that the exact opposite was true.

Dani said I was abused. Dani knew better than I did.

God, I hope Dani never reads this. Danielle Cooper was my girlfriend before the Look. I didn’t deserve her. I don’t know why she agreed to date me in the first place, but she finally came to her senses and realized that I’m a bad person, a couple of months before the world went to shit. I drink too much and get too angry. My parents ruined me. They–

Sounds of writing and then more erasing.

TILLY:

*sniff*

Anyway. She got fed up with me. Said she was tired of being my enemy, of me constantly being on the defensive. She’s the reason why I went back to therapy, so I could get her back — and then I reread Sharp Objects, and I guess it all sort of connected there.

I didn’t carve words into my skin, unlike Camille. I called her Milly in my head, like her little sister does. We were Tilly and Milly, two fucked up girls: one real, one fictional, but both just trying to make things work as adults. Milly was straighter than I am, and her dad probably never told her that her bisexuality is only ok because she’s a girl, if she was a boy it would be emasculating. It sounded like a threat when he said that to me, mixed with this weird … desire almost? This idea that he might someday catch his daughter making out with a girl, and make the same cartoon noises he made whenever he saw a woman in any stage of undress on the TV.

*scoffs*

There’s some brief writing noises, then erasing, then she resumes narration.

TILLY:

Anyway. I don’t have to worry about that any more. Dad thought the Look was the second Civil War, and he’d be up against the wall, standing against the hordes of communists and Mexicans. Yeah. Really. He thought that since he’d gone shooting pistols with his friends and his brother in the Army, he was ready to defend himself against the shrieking masses. Oh. His friends and my uncle were in the Army, not him, he was just an avid listener of talk radio. Anyway, he insisted he was going to defend me and mom from the Look, except Mom got the Look and Dad got a bullet to the face.

I wasn’t there to see it. I had an apartment then. This was after Dani and I broke up. I still cried. I feel like an idiot. It’s not like my dad thought of me as anything other than an extension of himself anyway. I guess it always hurts to lose someone in your life, even if that someone kicked your ass and then cried to you afterwards because he felt guilty about it.

A car passes by outside. TILLY goes to look out the window. There’s probably not a Looker inside, though, because she comes back to journal a couple of seconds later.

TILLY:

Hmmmmm. Where was I? Gillian Flynn, right. Gilly, and Milly, and Tilly. So the weird thing about Flynn’s heroines is that they’ve been hurt. Their parents poisoned them, or arranged a suicide pact. I’m not really sure about Amy Dunne, the Gone Girl, but then again, no one is. I guess that’s kind of the point. Camille Preaker was hurt, but she tries to keep going anyway. She doesn’t have a therapist, but she was in the psych wards for a bit. It’s that hurt that she carries inside her, that darkness. No one wants to hear about it, but she has to find a way to get it out.

I loved Camille Preaker, Milly. I wanted to take care of her, and prevent her from being hurt in the same way I was hurt. I told Derek about it at the time — that’s Derek Holroyd, a friend of mine. I don’t know where he is now, but I hope he’s doing ok. Anyway, he laughed, and said he didn’t get it. Camille was obviously a loony, and a mean-ass selfish bitch to boot, why would I want to take care of her?

I didn’t talk to him for a week after that.

He didn’t get it. I shouldn’t have expected him to get it. He had good parents and went to a private school when we were growing up. Asshole. Still, I hope he’s ok. We weren’t in the same place when the Look hit.

I keep thinking about all the people I was friends with before the Look, and how many of them are Lookers now. I can’t talk to them without falling asleep. I can’t be supported by anyone without — well, no, by anyone really. I’m not part of the Unity, and I’m not important to the resistance. I just gotta be here for myself.

*weak laugh*

I wish I didn’t have to be. But I’m a mean-ass selfish bitch, and a loony to boot. Who would want to protect me?

Short pause. Cicada noises. Another car goes by, but this time, it stops in the same place LIZZIE’S truck stopped before.

TILLY:

*closes her journal with a snap*

What the hell–

Sounds of a car door opening and shutting, then the car pulling a way. Quiet, crunching footsteps outside, and then a timid knock on the front door. This is DANIELLE “DANI” COOPER. She knows she’s a Looker, but the audience and TILLY don’t know that yet. She has a weak alpha wave and makes an ideal infiltrator because of this.

TILLY:
(quietly)

Shit!

(louder)

Uh … what’s the password?

DANI:
(from outside, a little muffled)

You never have a password, Tilly.

TILLY:
What the f– Dani?

Sounds of running to the door and opening it. There’s a pause. The cicadas and crickets are a little louder.

TILLY:

Dani.

DANI:

Hi, Tilly.

TILLY:

(incredulously)

…Dani. It’s you.

DANI:

It is. May I come in?

TILLY:
(gobsmacked)

Uh. Yeah. Sure. Make yourself at home.

Sound of footsteps, door closing, and more footsteps.

DANI:

Thank you.

TILLY:

(trying to play it cool)

What’s, uh … what’s up? What brings you by?

DANI:

They told me you were here. I decided to stop by and say hello.

TILLY:

Who’s they?

DANI:

Friends.

TILLY:

(relaxing, she assumes DANI means the resistance)

And when they told you, you just decided to stop by.

DANI:

(pained)

No. That was a lie.

TILLY:
Oh…kay…?

DANI:

I wanted to say that I am sorry about how things ended. Before the Look. I was … afraid. I thought you would break me. I realize now that you were the one who was broken. All I had to fear from you were jagged edges, not malice.

TILLY sniffles and begins to cry quietly. She’s overwhelmed.

DANI:

I am honestly, genuinely, very sorry. I would like to talk about it sometime. It does not have to be now, or ever, if you are not interested. But I needed to tell you.

TILLY:
(crying)
Oh … god, Dani, you don’t have to apologize. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to start crying. I don’t need an apology. I’m sorry.

DANI:

But you do. Everyone deserves to be loved and supported.

TILLY:

*sniffles*

I’m sorry. I feel like an idiot. Can I get you something to drink?

DANI:

Water would be fine.

Sounds of TILLY getting up and walking over to the sink. The taps are squeaky, and haven’t been used in some time. Think the taps in a Girl Scout troop house after it’s been de-winterized. She finally gets it to turn on and it splashes her.

TILLY:
(distant)

Shit! Stupid pipes.

Sound of water glass being taken out of a cabinet and filled. TILLY walks back over across the hardwood cabin floor and sits down.

TILLY:

There you go. First glass of water in my new house. That’s gotta be something to celebrate, right?

DANI:

Indeed.

Beat as DANI drinks some water.

TILLY:

Looks like they left an entire set of cups and dishware. That’s super nice of them. No dishwasher, though. I guess I’ll have to complain to the Major.

*she laughs weakly*

DANI:

(interested)

Is Major Craig the one who provided you with this charming home?

TILLY:

Yeah. Good old Uncle Jeff.

DANI:

I admit, I am surprised to hear that you are still in contact with your uncle. I though he turned his back on you.

TILLY:

Yeah, well … he got in touch again after the Look.

DANI:

Really?

TILLY:

(spiteful)

Yeah. “We are all the resistance.” Even our fuckup crazy nieces.

DANI:

I am sorry, Tilly. Truly. You should not have had to deal with that.

TILLY:

Well, I did, and I can’t really change it.
*she yawns suddenly*

I’m sorry, Dani. It’s been a long day. You kinda caught me in the middle of journaling. I’ve–

*she yawns again, her voice slurs a little*

–started a journal again. Doctor Rook asked me to, but you’re not allowed to look at it. Doctor’s orders. I’m not supposed to show it to anyone.

DANI:

I understand. Would you like to lay down?

TILLY:

(sleepily)

I think that’s a good idea. Sorry to leave you hanging, Dan, but I’m glad you came by.

DANI:

(suddenly, intensely)

…Tilly?

TILLY:

Yeah?

DANI:

Can I … hold you? Until you fall asleep?

TILLY:
(surprised, but not about to complain)
Sure. That would be nice. Whatever you want.

DANI:

Let me get you a blanket.

Sounds fade out into quiet breathing, cicadas, and house creaking. Suddenly, a quiet tumble of voices fade back in — we’re in the UNITY.

SETTING: The UNITY. A cloud of humming and whispering voices, all at a distance.

DANI:
(sweetly)

Hmmmmmm….

*pause*

This is Danielle Cooper. I am on the outskirts of Overlook Nine. I would appreciate someone putting me in touch with Governor Brenda Lee.

The voices and humming continue. Then we hear from the governor’s secretary, REBECCA BRADSHAW. REBECCA is a sweet older lady, probably mid-sixties, but with a core of iron.

REBECCA:

Governor Lee is on her way home right now. This is her secretary, Rebecca Bradshaw. How can I help you, Miss Cooper?

DANI:

It is important. I need to talk to her right away.

REBECCA:
(firmly)

I am afraid that is not possible. However, I am authorized to take messages in her absence. I will ask you again, how can I help you, Miss Cooper?

DANI:

(frustrated)

It is of a very sensitive nature.

REBECCA:

Well, then it is good that I do not plan on sharing it with anyone other than the Governor. Will you leave a message, or shall I disconnect?

DANI:

I will leave a message.

REBECCA:

Good. What shall I tell Governor Lee?

DANI:

I am spending the night at the house of an Unaltered woman, Matilda Cannon. She let me in of her own free will. Matilda Cannon knows Derek Holroyd.

REBECCA:

(a little surprised)

Oh, I see. Are you safe?

DANI:

Yes. Matilda and I were romantic partners several months before the Look, so she trusts me.

REBECCA:
And she is in an area controlled by fellow Altered?

DANI:

(cagey)

That is not important. What is important is that I have made contact, and will update the Governor when I have more.

REBECCA:

(her raised eyebrow is evident in her tone)

Hmmmm. Miss Cooper, are you in the Overlook itself?

DANI:

Will you give my message to the Governor, please?

REBECCA:
Miss Cooper —

DANI:
Please, just tell the Governor I will update her when I can.

REBECCA:

*disconsolate humming for a moment*

See that you do. Remember that this is about Derek Holroyd, Miss Cooper, not the Unaltered in general. Do not overstep any bounds while searching for him. We need to be better than he is.

DANI:

I will try my best.

REBECCA:
That is all we can ask. Thank you, Miss Cooper. Have a good night. Let Unity Prevail.

DANI:

Let Unity Prevail.

The humming and whispering fades out, and into…

SETTING: TILLY’s mind. Ominous sounds, akin to the Deserted generator from MyNoise.net.

DANI:

(distorted)

Find Derek Holroyd, Tilly. Find him, and show me where he is. We need him. He must be punished. He must be brought to justice.

A scream, potentially from KELSEY or MOLLY, in the distance.

DANI

He hurt me. Hurt us. He must pay. He must pay. Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public. People always start long before you really, really see them. A child weaned on poison takes harm as a comfort. Do not be that child. Be the hero. Find Derek Holroyd. Find him…

Fade out. Cicadas and wind, and some birds chirping.

SETTING: A week or so later. TILLY has settled into her little cottage and is journaling again. We hear some writing.

TILLY:

So Dani came by last week. And then again, three days ago, this time with sandwiches and lemonade. Like something out of a Harlequin novel, but queer. We had a picnic out back. I could say my backyard, but it’s not really mine, it’s just a stretch of brush and grass. I fell asleep in the sun, like a cat. Dani played with my hair and let me sleep.

I had dreams about Dani. I guess that’s not surprising. She’s suddenly back in my life again, so it makes sense that my brain would turn her into a subject. Weird dreams, though. They’re so … peaceful, and then they just turn dark, and Dani screams something I can’t remember. Is this what they call “THE dream”? I don’t think I’ve ever had it until now, just nightmares of my dad with a busted head, and the usual bullshit your brain puts out when you’re too tired to think straight. I guess it was going to come sooner or later.

I went into town yesterday. It’s not much, just a little Main Street USA that had to grow really quickly to accommodate all the Overlooked. And me.

Train noises in the distance. A truck drives by. TILLY doesn’t spook this time.

TILLY:

Oh, and I guess the train line. It was the weirdest thing, hearing a train again after almost six months. I guess the Lookers still use them, for big long-haul deliveries. Trains are more eco-friendly than cars anyway — I remember hearing that somewhere. Less than three percent of all emissions came from trains.

God, I sound like a Looker.
*laughs*

While we’re on the subject, cars and trucks seem to be for special deliveries. Medicine, paychecks, and people. And us on the edge, watching them come and go. I’m not the only one. There’s apparently a couple dozen Beta Immunes here on the outskirts.
(she puts on a very sarcastic tone here)

It’s our duty to the resistance to be lookouts.

I guess I can’t complain too much. Well, that’s not true, I could complain for DAYS, but what I won’t complain about is the fact that I get a house with running water, electricity, and food vouchers for free. I have to do my laundry in town, but the laundromat is communally-owned now. And I have to wash my own dishes, but it’s not like I’m on the streets. I guess there are some benefits to being fucking crazy sometimes.

Sound of scratching out the last text, then erasing it.

TILLY:

Not crazy. Doctor Rook always said I shouldn’t call myself crazy — that trauma isn’t an integral part of my personality, but something I have to learn to live with. It’s not crazy if it really happened to you. I’m not crazy for always turning when I hear something behind me, because of that one day I didn’t and my mom pushed me down over the sink and emptied a full watering can over my head because I didn’t acknowledge her fast enough. It’s not crazy that I don’t really trust people who are parents because of my experience with the title.

It’s not crazy. But it’s really easy to feel crazy, especially when people keep telling you you’re wrong and you’re misinterpreting shit.

*sigh*

Uncle Jeff never wanted to believe it. He used to be my favorite: he gave me all the best presents at Christmas and sometimes took me for rides on his ATV when he was home from the Army. He liked baking. He wasn’t always good at it, but we would try to make things and laugh like crazy when they came out wrong. Dad didn’t like that. He always wanted to be Uncle Jeff. They had huge fights at Thanksgiving sometimes about … nothing, really. Who had the better life, Uncle Jeff with no kids or my dad with me.

*scoffs*

After I told Uncle Jeff about the watering can and the slapping and the making me stand with my nose pressed to a mirror until my parents felt I was contrite for some perceived slight — all while they were yelling of course — I’m pretty sure he felt vindicated that he had the better life. He didn’t have the crazy daughter. I guess he’s right. Uncle Jeff is now leading a major wing of the resistance, whatever the hell that means, and my dad is … dead.

It feels so weird to say that. I still feel like he’s going to creep up behind me and yell at me for being lazy, when I decide to stay in my new house instead of going out into the Overlook.

Ungrateful. That’s what he’d call me. Ungrateful and lazy. He’s probably not wrong either, I snapped at Nicole and Lizzie when they brought me here, and I haven’t gone out and gotten a job or anything. Of course, I don’t technically have to. My job is here, being a watchdog, all because they said I was Beta Immune and I have that power, being able to fall asleep when there’s danger around.

I guess it works. I haven’t had anything go wrong so far, and my girlfriend is … now my girlfriend, again, I guess? I’m not actually sure. Maybe I’ll ask her at some point. I probably should.

I even made a new friend. Nicole stopped by again a couple of days ago. The day after Dani did, actually. We went into town and got drinks, and she introduced me to Jim. He doesn’t swing my way, but that’s kind of a relief. We bonded over being new, and he suggested coming to visit me sometime. I said I should probably come visit him, since Nicole says he’s not Immune.

*pause*

Jim seemed really nice, not like some of the other resistance people I’ve met. But then again, most of them were Primary Immunes. Maybe it’s something in the way the brain processes that makes someone immune — maybe it’s not genetic. Maybe you just have to be a certain amount of fucked up to not become a Looker.

But what the hell do I know? I’m not a neurologist. Maybe it really is just crazy random happenstance.

I wonder if Derek would know. He was in medical school before the Look. I wonder if I’d fall asleep before he told me. I hope not.

*pause*

…actually, I wonder if Jim would know.

Sound of the journal closing.

SETTING: A bar in Overlook 9. Early evening. Sounds of glasses clinking and conversation. If it weren’t for the earthy noises accompanying the other voices, we might think it was the Unity.

JIM:

Hey, girl.

TILLY:

Hey yourself, Jim. How are you settling in?

JIM:

Well, it’s … different. Not in a bad way. I’m just not used to being around so many other people. Especially other people who get it. Get me.

TILLY:

I’ll drink to that.

Glasses clinking.

TILLY:

So, they have you doing anything new?

JIM:

Yeah.

TILLY:

Anything important for the resistance?

JIM:
(easily)

Nah. Ever since the thing with the mole, I’ve been taking my early retirement one day at a time.

TILLY:

I actually wanted to ask you a question about that.

JIM:

Well, there’s not much I can tell you. The mole thing, and Shelly, are need-to-know only.

TILLY:

I mean, not about the mole. And not … really about Shelly. Unless she’s important. Except kind of.

JIM:

Then I can’t really tell you about Shelly.

(mimicking Tilly)

Except kind of.

TILLY:

How much do you know about Shelly’s home life? Or any of the other Lookers. Before the Look. Did she tell you?

JIM:
That’s classified.

TILLY:
C’mon, super-spy. I won’t tell anyone.

JIM:
If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re the spy. What, did the Major send you to check up on me?

TILLY:
(wounded)

No. I…
*she takes a deep breath*

I wanted to know if you knew anything about immunity. I don’t really care about Shelly.

JIM:
(relieved, but a little annoyed)
I mean, yeah. There’s Alphas, and then–

TILLY:

No, not like that. Do you know who becomes an Immune, and how? Or why?

JIM:
I wish I did. I’d give myself immunity if I could. It’s a pain in the ass working for the resistance but being stuck in the Overlooks.

TILLY:
I feel that.

JIM:

I heard there was a guy doing experiments, though. Some nutjob with aspirations of being the next Cameron Hooker.

TILLY:

(disgusted)

Is Cameron Hooker the guy who kept women in boxes?

JIM:

Just the one woman, yeah. This guy kept at least four. He’s all over the news.

TILLY:

The one who Carrie Kray was talking about. With the Looker women.

JIM:

Yeah. They say he’s part of the resistance, but I’m not sure I believe that. We wouldn’t do shit like that. Questionable shit, but not shit like that. They found an entire operating theater under his house. Plastic sheeting all over the walls, completely soundproofed. Creepy medical slash serial killer shit.

`Suddenly, whispering sounds creep up. Clink of a glass being set on the bar.

TILLY:

(murmuring)
People always start long before you really, really see them.

JIM:

What?

The whispering continues, building.

TILLY:

Uh, Jim, what was his name?

JIM:

Derek, I think. Derek something. Maybe Derek Holyoke?

DANI:
(distorted, dreamlike)

Find Derek Holroyd.

The whispering gets to a fever pitch.

TILLY:

(almost shouting)

Derek Holroyd! I know! I know! I knew him!

Silence. A glass clinks.

JIM:

Jesus, Tilly, inside voice. I can hear you fine.

TILLY:

S-sorry.

Noises of the bar resume.

JIM:

(concerned)

Are you ok? Maybe we should get you home.

TILLY:

Yeah. Let’s … let’s do that. Sorry about yelling.

JIM:

Hey, you just figured out you knew the most hunted man in America. I’d yell too. C’mon. Let’s go outside.

TILLY:

Yeah. I could use some air.

They exit. Bar noise diminishes sharply as door closes, then fades away, with night noises becoming more prominent, as the setting shifts.

SETTING: Outdoors, miles away.

DANI:

She knows!

MARTHA:

What??? Who knows what?

DANI:

Tilly, knows what Derek did. She has put it together. As I knew she would.

MARTHA:

And you know this how?

DANI:

Some Betas interact with the Unity, subconsciously, and I felt Tilly do it just now. And I knew that would happen, too.

MARTHA:

I heard about Beta Primes, but catching signals off of one seems like a longshot.

DANI:

Not for Tilly and me. We are connected. We are meant for each other.

MARTHA:

Maybe that’s why I’m an Alpha instead of a Looker. I can’t swallow the mystical shit.

DANI:

Second thoughts about helping me, Martha? As I recall, you volunteered for this. Are you planning to ghost me, like you did to Carrie Kray?

MARTHA:

It killed me to let her down, but helping her fight a war no one could win was obviously pointless.

DANI:

And me?

MARTHA:

What Derek did to those women was beyond the war. And I saw him right before it happened, picking up the barfly that saved them all, while I was off sipping my regrets. Me being there couldn’t be a coincidence. It was a message that I had to do something.

DANI:

I know, diplomatically, that I should keep this opinion to myself, but what you describe sounds like precisely the mystical excrement you expressed distaste for earlier.

MARTHA:

You’re right.

DANI:

It is good to hear you be so-

MARTHA:

No I mean: You SHOULD keep that to yourself. Let’s wait quietly.

DANI:

We won’t be waiting long. A pivotal moment is coming, I can feel it.

MARTHA:

Oh Jesus.

CUT OUT.

One thought on “5.1 – Damaged

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