The Peripheral – S01E04 – Jackpot | Transcript

Flynne's health takes a turn. Wilf visits Flynne in Clanton, deepening their relationship. Flynne learns the truth about her future.
The Peripheral

Original release date: November 4, 2022

* * *

[Flynne] Aelita says I’m likely not to exist in ten years.

What does she mean by that?


The trauma leaves a mark.


When I can’t sleep, I try to solve the riddle of your sister and you.

We were only planning to adopt one.

Well, perhaps in that case we could…

I’m not going without Wolf.

What’s it feel like when you link up with your haptics?

It can kind of feel a lot like love if you don’t know any better. [laughs]

Some dumb fuck said you might have a job for me?

I’ve got a carrot, and I’ve got a stick.

I’m curious about the stick.

[Burton] Next one’s in your fucking ear.

♪ ♪

[Angus] Aye, Wolfy, oi, into the pot.

Come on.

That’s it.

So what you’re telling me is that’s it from the borough?

Omar’s crew got there first.

You nicked some, didn’t you?!

Angus, stop!

You damn liar!

You thief!

Angus, let go!



Quit mucking about, Angus. Get on with it.

What’re you doing?

I’m being fair.

He ain’t pulling his weight.

I’m pulling enough for him.

Then give him your lot.

I don’t want it.

Fine. I’ll give it to the mouse.

Then what will happen?

Then… he’ll ask for a splash of milk.

[both laugh]

[woman] Next in line!

[crowd chatter]

What’s that?

They’re giving away free food.

[girl] Give that back!

[indistinct chatter]

[Aelita] Dodgy, innit?

I never seen that place before.

You know what, Wolfy?

It’s about time you earn your keep.

Go have a look for us.

He’s not doing that.

Kids are getting snatched.

I’m sorry.

Do you need your girlfriend protecting you?

Good lad.

The city wants to clear the streets, and that includes us, too.

Don’t be stupid, Wolf.

You see that? You see that?

That’s the last time I’ll see you, Wolf.

I’m not getting scooped.



[indistinct chatter]

[woman] Just one for everyone!

[overlapping conversations]

[high-pitched rumble]


[high-pitched rumbling]











[Aelita screams]


[Lev] An implant and two peripheral CPUs?

This is all that’s left of Aelita?

This is all quite distressing.

I’m half tempted to just dump these in the river and have done with it.

Ash and Ossian should be able to trace where the Peripherals were piloted from.

And if they can unlock Aelita’s implant…

Doubtful, given the encryption.

All I’m saying is there are other avenues for us to pursue.

And rather a few for others to pursue, starting with a corpse, which will be discovered soon, no doubt, if it hasn’t already.

And your DNA, we must presume, is scattered rather liberally all over the place.

I would send a… team to scrub the site, but if they were discovered there, well…

At the very least, you must gird yourself for the harsh reality of Aelita’s death.


Without the immunity boost of her implant, how long could she last?

♪ ♪

♪ ♪


[cap rattles]

[panting softly]

What the fuck?



[heavy breathing]

[knock on door]

[Burton] Flynne! We’ve got company.

[heavy breathing]

[Burton] What’s the word, Tommy?

Oh, just thought I should come by.

Say hey.



Saw you and Corbell Pickett shaking hands.

Down at Jimmy’s.

It had me a bit concerned.

All the abandoned vehicles.

That bullet.

All them drones you got up.

So, thought I’d come by for a visit.

My own clothes, my own truck.

Just to make it clear, I’m here as a friend.

Not as a deputy.

Appreciate that, Tommy.

Everything you’re saying, but, uh…

you don’t have to worry about us.

What about you, Flynne?

You okay?


Yeah, we both are.

[Tommy] Well, all right, then.

Said what I had to.

You two, uh, think on it maybe.

And, uh, Burton?

Try to remember… the part about me being your friend?

Look like you could use one.

I surely will.

[vehicle door opens, closes]

[engine starts]

[vehicle departing]

[Flynne] I fucking hate it, Burton.

Lying to him like that. I mean, I… I can’t keep doing it.

There’s a dozen dead bodies out back.

It’s easy for Tommy to say he’s our friend, as long as he doesn’t know about ’em.

But as soon as he does, he’s also gonna remember he’s a cop.

There’s no way around that.

Why can’t we just tell him what we’re telling everyone else?

You can’t really deny that we need some help right now.

I guess I’m worried you’re not thinking clearly.


You can’t be rational about this.

You fucking kidding me, right now? Rational?

Why? ‘Cause I’m a woman?

That’s not what I’m saying, Flynne.

Not everyone is as cold-blooded as you and your fucking jarhead friends, all right?

Not everyone wants to be.

You’re too tangled up in this.

Tangled up in what?


Have you been going through my fucking trash?

It was right there, Flynne.

You need to leave.

Get the fuck out of my room, Burton, now.



I know a lot of terrible shit happened to you off in the war.

I get that, and I fucking hate it.

But you went because you chose to.

And you got to see a whole lot of stuff before the bad stuff happened, okay, but I had to stay here.

Okay, it was me who picked up the pieces after Dad died.

And when Mama got sick and then when your ass got home.

That was me, Burton! It was all fucking me!

And I didn’t have nothing, Burton.

I know it, Flynne.

I had nothing.

I had nothing, just sims and a stupid fucking crush.

And I know it’s dumb, okay? I’m not an idiot.


But it mattered to me.

Flynne. Flynne!

It mattered to me because it fucking helped.

And you have no fucking right at all, no right to come in my room and say that shit to me!

Flynne. Flynne?

[rapid grunting]

Oh, fuck.

Hey. Hey. Flynne?


[Cherise] Wasn’t he a bit lighter?

Thinner around the shoulders, I mean?

[Barstow] We used his most recent scan, Doctor, from seven weeks ago.

Perhaps once we input gait and posture analysis, his gestalt impression will be different.

I assumed you’d already done that.

No, ma’am.

But if you…

Yes. Please.

By all means.

Mm, better.


Model X409-27A.

At your service, ma’am.

Have you input anything?

We were told you wanted a clean system, Doctor.

Voice scan and sense of self, please.

I’ll take care of the rest.


[high-pitched] It’s nice to see you again, Dr. Nuland.

The pitch is rather high.


Does this fit your recollection?

I’ll handle it from here.

Poor Daniel.

No pun intended, but things did take a rather sharp turn for us there, didn’t they?

I’m afraid so, ma’am.

This is our most recent model, if that’s any solace.

There’s only a few in service yet.

I suppose one could see it as a sort of honor.

I’m delighted to hear it, ma’am.

Oh, no, you sound far too agreeable, though.

Um, adjust, please.

Decreasing amicability.

By what percent?

Try 20.

If that’s what you really want.


Now… what do we have from your unfortunate encounter with mortality the other night?

Wilf Netherton.

Adoptive brother to Aelita West.

Also known associate of Lev Zubov.

There’s our Klept connection at last.

Which would seem to rather unhappily complicate the situation.

I defer to your judgment, of course.

Here and always.

Although in this particular case, I would tend to disagree.

You want to kill him, don’t you?

Oh, very much so, Doctor.

Tell me, where I can find Lev Zubov now?

Scanning localization data.

Subject geolocated in Virginia Water.

[Flynne] This is stupid, Burton.

I feel fine.

[Burton] You didn’t look fine 20 minutes ago.

You still don’t.

I thought that we were supposed to stay quiet, not tell people stuff they don’t really need to know.

You had a fucking seizure, Flynne.

Tyra Ansted had a seizure in tenth grade, remember that?

In the middle of chemistry. Never happened to her again.

Tyra Ansted wasn’t using a headset so she could travel to the fucking future.


It’s not time travel. It’s data transfer.

And all she’s gonna tell me is to not wear a fucking headset.

Then we’ll deal with it.


You’re not putting on the headset again if it’s harming you, Flynne, period.

[sighs] Goddamn it.


You okay?

Fucking seriously?

You just got to give me a little bit of fucking space, Burton.

Hey, hey.


It’s Dee Dee in there.


And she’s Tommy’s fiancée. Are you cool with that?


Jesus Christ. I mean, it seems like you got…

Look, remember when you were 12 and you and Conner hid that fucking weed in the attic and I found it?

What happened?

I flushed it down the toilet.

And said?

“Let’s never talk about this again.”

Uh-huh. This is the first time I brought it up since then.

Ain’t it? How about you try doing that for me?


[Dee Dee] Well, I’ll be honest with you, Flynne, we have ourselves a bit of a mystery here.

The way Burton is describing what happened makes it sound like a classic tonic-clonic seizure.

What they used to call “grand mal.”

But if that were the case, I ought to be seeing the aftereffect on your EEG.

And I’m not.

This all looks perfectly healthy.

Also a tonic-clonic is generally followed by a postictal phase… deep sleep, confusion, amnesia… but it sounds like you just popped up, more or less, and came on in.

Anything else going on in your life?

New or out of the ordinary?

She’s been playing a new sim.

[Dee Dee] VR, you mean?

Uh… it’s a little more elaborate than that.

Sort of a full-body experience.

New sort of headset.

What’s it called?

The new tech.

I can check and see if there have been any studies.

I don’t believe it has a name yet.

Well, where’s it from?

Colombian company.

It’s kind of a long story, actually.

[Dee Dee] Okay.

Well, stop using it.

That seems like a no-brainer.

To use a technical term.

I’ll run your blood work, get you in for a CT scan at the Hefty Mart.


And in the meantime, rest, fluids, all that good stuff.

Call me if there’s anything unusual.

And by “anything,” I mean anything.

All right?

Sure thing, Dee Dee.

Thank you.

Oh, and, Burton, will you do me a favor and send me the contact info for your Colombian company?

I wanna call them about that headset.

♪ ♪

Trick or treat!


[chuckles softly]

I think she might’ve meant all headsets, Flynne.


Yeah, she might’ve meant all headsets, but she sure as hell didn’t say that.

What are you gonna do about that anyway?

Her asking us what the name of the company is and all.

Dodge and delay.

My most impressive skill set, some might argue.


I knew we shouldn’t have told her.

She’s got a lot coming at her, running that clinic.

Which’ll do wonders to erode a person’s attention span.

[chuckles softly]

What are you playing?

Nothing actually.

Just watching a… home movie.

Which one?

One of the old ones.


Hey, listen, uh… I’m sorry.

For what?

You’re getting a fucking brain scan.

We can start there.

And then we can keep going, I imagine, till I run out of things I need to apologize for.

Yeah, but, Burton, Mama’s seeing again.

Want to apologize for that, too?

Talking about you here, Flynne.

I’ve been to London, Burton.

Hell, I visited the future.

None of the bad stuff happening right now… none of it can hold a candle to what it’s like to go there.

You have no idea how magical it is.

So it’s fine, okay? Don’t worry.

You don’t need to say sorry.

[Leon] I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it.

But if you’re gonna do it, you better have a good argument for the doing it.

And by “good,” I mean not just, “I want to see what it’s like.”

But I do want to see what it’s like.

I get that, and I wouldn’t mind seeing myself, but we can’t afford having you end up on your back,

kicking your heels against the floor and frothing at the mouth.

Given the unknown contingencies we’ve been encountering in the here and now.

If this shit is harming Flynne, then someone’s got to go there and knock those assholes back on their fucking heels.

I mean, they got these cool things called phones.

I mean in person, Leon.

[Leon] I think that’s the wrong way to put it, but I-I get what you’re saying.


In a body.

Slamming up against theirs, if need be.

She’s scheduled any minute. Now’s the time.

Surprise the fucking shit out of ’em.

I hate to keep saying this ’cause it seems like you don’t want to hear it, but if you end up WIA, we’re all…

She’s got a body when she goes in there?

A real one?

♪ ♪

I’m so sorry.


Disturbing you.

Inexcusable, isn’t it?

Interrupting me whilst I sip my tea?

You have a strikingly feline manner slinking about the house, Wilf.

Always slipping out of rooms when I appear.

I’ll confess I always found it rather unappealing.

Your constant slipping away.

Seemed like a form of shiftiness, as if you couldn’t be trusted.

But then quite by chance, Lev and I went slumming it one night at SHUM.

And we saw you there dancing.

And then I realized what I’d taken for sneaking about was actually just a form of dancing.

A way of skirting free from any entanglement.

Because that’s what you fear, isn’t it?

Someone getting hold of you?

Literally or metaphorically?

Dance with me.

I’m sorry?

Indulge me.

[snaps fingers]

[music begins]

Just for a moment.

And I’ll stop tormenting you.

[♪ Caro Emerald: “The Ghost of You”]

I promise.

♪ You can’t read my mind ♪

♪ ♪

♪ It’s 4:00 a.m., I sashay with myself ♪

♪ Couples all surround me ♪

♪ So in love, eyes all aglow ♪

♪ Oh, say you found me ♪

♪ All my steps are memorized ♪

♪ Swaying to a rhythm so nice ♪

♪ Patterns of my feet tattoo the floor ♪

♪ They’re frozen there like ice ♪

♪ I dance with the ghost of you ♪

♪ What else can I do? ♪♪

[song stops]

So sorry. Did I startle you?

You obviously put a tad too much faith in your perimeter monitor.

May I?

[birds chirping]

I wouldn’t ordinarily drop by unannounced, but I wanted to grab a rare moment of privacy with you, Lev.

May I call you Lev?

May I call you Cherise?

I prefer not.

You stole something from me.

I don’t know what you mean.

Aelita West.

How much were you paying her?

If someone, theoretically, stole something.

One would think that you would go to the police.

Unless, you didn’t want the Met to find out about this theoretically stolen thing.


What is it you’re missing, by the way?

You see now, I’d accuse you of playing dumb, but you seem to be forgetting quite a bit of vital information recently, including the realpolitik that governs us all.

So… let’s you and I have a quick review, shall we?

We live in a house with three walls.

The Klept oligarchy, through the application of extreme violence, managed to bring order from the chaos of the Jackpot.

And now, in exchange for rather an open hand and blind eye when it comes to the free pursuit of profit, it helps to maintain that order.

The Met Police keeps the Klept from straying beyond certain implicit boundaries.

The Research Institute benefits from the peace and prosperity that results, and in turn provides a technical assistance for society to function and thrive.

It’s a wondrous edifice we’ve managed to construct.

But it’s also rather fragile, I’m afraid.

And what’s the roof meant to be?

It’s a metaphor.


For the thing that will come crashing down on all of us should one of the walls overstep its bounds.

In other words… the end of the world, Lev.

Oh, dear.


Your description of the Klept left a bit out.

You mentioned the “application of extreme violence.”

There was no shortage of that in the Jackpot certainly.

But the Klept simply succeeded where others failed through a sort of atavistic tribal unity.

Strike one of us, strike us all.

And suffer accordingly.

I’m sure that you could express this all far more eloquently than I can, using my toast as a prop.

What were you watching when I walked up?

My wife, as I’m sure you’re aware, is a member of the Zolotov family.

Apex predators in the Klept world, you might say.

So if Dominika wishes to play with a family pet, who am I to question her?

Is that how you view Mr. Netherton?

I’m rather fond of my pets.

Far more reliable than my friends.

Yuri Samsonov was a friend once.

Wasn’t he?

Poor Yuri.

Such a tragic fate.

But also rather a relevant example in terms of our three-walled house.

You see, Yuri Samsonov overstepped.

The Met Police resolved the problem with the technical assistance of the RI, but…

it was the Klept who handed Yuri over.

Someone he trusted.

A kiss to the cheek.

Do you know how the RI accomplished the task?

An assembler swarm.

Tweaked to seek out Samsonov DNA.

An entire lineage eaten away to nothing.

Your thoughts, Lev, I can… sense them.

Can you now?

I hope so.

I hope you’re thinking, “My, what a powerful weapon.

And it’s just been sitting in the RI all these years, waiting for the next sample of DNA.”

[Cherise grunting softly]

Think on that, Lev.

Have a lovely day.

♪ ♪

What’s he up to, Wilf?

[song continues]

No more dancing away.

Now you can be my ally here or my enemy.

Your choice.

But I assure you it’s not an easy path to walk, being my enemy.





[chuckles softly]

Who the fuck are you?

Ossian, get up here. Now!

[song continues]


[both panting]

What’s happening?

Fucking polts.

Hacked the connection.


[Ash] Friend of the brother’s.

The triple amputee.

Heading for the gates.

[Conner shouting]

[Burton] You okay, buddy?

[Leon] Hey, hey, Conner!

[Burton] Conner?

[Leon] We’re with you, man.

We’re right here.

What do you need?

Tell us what to do.


Send me back.

Send me back.

[heavy breathing]

[girl] Trick or treat!


[indistinct, muffled chatter]

♪ ♪

This is a private space, Mr. Netherton.

I don’t remember inviting you here.

I had no idea.

Ash arranged it.

I’m very sorry.

I wanted to address some issues that have arisen.

May I?


What is this?

It’s a home movie.



My mother filmed it.

There’s a company that takes them and turns them into sims like this.

That you?

Me, Burton, and that’s my dad.

[Wilf] Your father’s wearing your jacket?


I’m wearing his.

[Wilf] Burton looks like him.

[Flynne] Oh, yeah, and he is more than a little bit conceited on that fact.

[Wilf] It’s a cultural trait, I gather, from your part of the world, to mock the ones you love?

What makes you think that I love him?

You don’t?

[laughs] Of course I do.

It’s my brother.

I’d do anything for him.

Do you have any siblings?

A sister.

Then I imagine you probably understand.



So what are these issues that have arisen?

[clears throat] Your friend made a visit.



It’s true.

In your Peripheral.

He informed us of your seizure.


Which he seems to believe the headset caused.

And I bet you’re here to tell me it didn’t.

Well, I have no idea if it did.


You know, that might be the only time that I’m… 100% sure that you didn’t just lie to me.

Well… [chuckles]


I looked that up, by the way.

It means, “He who wants peace.”

You know that?

I looked some other stuff up, too.

Didn’t find very much, except a Lev Zubov.

That exists in my time.

But I imagine it’s a common name where your boss comes from.

What did you find?

Mafia thing.

Him, his wife, his children, daughters, sons, they were all murdered, shot.

The house was set on fire.

Pretty gruesome stuff.

But no connection to your Lev?

None at all.


Get your scan.

In the meantime, we’ll investigate the headset.

We’ll only ask you to return if it’s safe.

I give you my word.

You and your word, huh?

I mean it.

The truth twice in one conversation.

Be careful now, Wilf, it might become a habit.


There’s one thing I haven’t shared.


She’s my sister.


[door buzzes]

[female voice] Da?

I’m here to see Lev Zubov.

Please put this on, sir.

♪ ♪

Was that absolutely necessary?

Some of the club’s more elderly members don’t take kindly to being glimpsed by interlopers.

I take it you have good cause for this intrusion?

I, um… I met with our polt.

She shared some unexpected information.

[clears throat]

Y-Your family in the stub.

All of them.

They were killed.

A few weeks ago.


No. [laughs]

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

I-I… It’s just that I can… forget how kind you actually are.

Maybe you do, too.

Makes me worry for you a bit.

That softness under the shell.

Someone targeted them, Lev.

Someone from here, I presume.

What do you think I was paying Aelita to do for me?

I have no idea.

You made it quite clear that you don’t consider it any of my business.

We wanted to learn how to open a stub of our own.

Why would the Klept want a stub?

Why would we want anything?

There’s money to be made.

In a stub? How?

The only limit is one’s imagination.

And morals, I suppose.

[clears throat]

For example?

My brother Alexei purchased a pharmaceutical concern.

Even with AI, at some point, one has to test a new drug on a human population.

It’s a process that medical ethics could make rather tedious.

And costly.

So you tested it out in a stub?

Yes, that’s just a for instance.

As I said, the possibilities are… essentially infinite.

But one thing troubled me, though.

The idea of different versions of myself in another world.

The existential nihilism of it.

I just couldn’t abide it.

You killed your family?

No, no, no.

Not personally, no, of course not.

No, I transferred funds and hired the appropriate personnel.

And I’ll tell you something, Wilf.

I felt better.


In fact, once we gain the ability to open these things ourselves, it’ll always be the first task I’ll address.

I would offer to take care of your lineage, but I realize your origins are a bit… murkier.

Was there anything else you wanted to share?


Better put that silly thing back on and be on your way.

♪ ♪

[coffee pouring]




[Burton] What about, uh, Ms. Oswald?


Ms. Perry? Ms. Travantine?

Algebra Ms. Perry or Chemistry Ms. Perry?

Shit. I forgot about Chemistry Ms. Perry.

Never took her. Can’t even picture her.

Aw, shit, Burton.

The “fuck” is easy, ain’t it?

Ms. Travantine, huh?

Copy that.


And then, I guess I’d marry Ms. Oswald.

She’s like 90, man.

Yeah, I know, but…

Ms. Perry’s the one who got me to join up.

Said I’d regret it if I didn’t.

[laughs] Chance to do some good, see the world, all that bullshit.

Gave me a whole fucking speech.

I thought that was your speech.

Yeah, I took it from her.

Gave it to you and those other fools.

Okay. She’s definitely the “kill.”

A person with manners might knock.

That same theoretical person might be a little scared off by that weird-ass game you two were playing.

Probably wouldn’t be eavesdropping, though, would she?

I’m not so sure they would not be rude enough to eavesdrop.

Would you two both shut the fuck up?

[sighs] Please?


Thank you.

Is there a reason you’re here, or you just want to piss me off?

[sighs] I’m looking for advice, actually.

You know this Aelita woman?

The one that hired us in the first place.

Well, we finally found out where she was living.

And she had this… this diorama thing of our house.

This trailer.

And of y’all.

Like these little… toy soldiers.

Leon, Reece, Carlos. All of y’all.

Your whole unit.

So I guess I’m just wondering: What the hell do I do with all that?

[clears throat]

They said it was a sim.

When they sent the headset.


Never saw one you couldn’t master.

That’s the thing, Burton. This ain’t just another sim.

But you thought it was.

What if you kept thinking it?

Like Conner with his chessboard.

He makes these moves that set everything in motion.

What do you call ’em?


Gambits, yep.

What’s your gambit, Flynne?

What’s the first thing you do when you get in a sim?

Break script.

Do the exact opposite of what’s expected.

And what happens?

[chuckles softly]

I die a bunch.

Look pretty stupid.

And then?

I figure out the rule set.

And then?

I take control.

[Conner] Fuck yeah.

Easy Ice.

Let’s do that.

You and me go in there.

Start dying.

[Burton] Not without me, motherfuckers, not this time.

More boots we got on the ground, the less likely we are to get our asses kicked in there.

That’s just basic tactics, ain’t it?

You are so full of shit, Burton. You just want to see it.

And what if I do?


Besides, it doesn’t matter ’cause you’re not going back in there till we get your seizure sorted out.

It’s all sorted.

It ain’t sorted till we see the scan.

I feel fine.

I want to go back, Burton.

Okay? I need to.

So you go on ahead and call Macon and Edward.

It’s not like we got time to waste.

How long do you think it’s gonna be till someone else comes around wanting to kill us?

How’s your hand?

Everything’s back to normal.

Okay? I told you.

I’ll get you bodies.

Both of you.

♪ ♪

[ball bouncing]

What’s wrong?


Where’s your father?

Flynne? The children.

Inside. Now.

Am I being used as a toy when I’m not here?

They needed a fourth.

It seemed harmless enough, but I apologize.

What are you doing here?

How long does it take to make one of these?


‘Cause I need one. For Conner.

Another one for Burton, too.

Where are you going?

You see, sim jockeys tend to have a specialty.

Achievers, Explorers, Killers.

I’m an Explorer, Ash, so I think now’s a pretty good time to start.

Cut her connection.

[Ossian] Working on it, luv.

But the polts are countering.

Rather adeptly, I’m afraid.


She’s leaving.

Best follow, don’t you think?

Where in the bloody hell is Zubov?

Wherever he is, he won’t be happy to hear our polt’s gone a’wandering.

If the Met Police encounter her again, this could be the end of us.

And I mean all of us, luv.

Alert him.


This is really quite stupid, Flynne.

If you want a tour of the city, I can happily…

Show me exactly what you want me to see? No, thank you.

That’s not really exploring, now, is it?

Maybe you can explain the point of this exploring.

I want to see all the shit you haven’t been showing me.

I assure you, there is absolutely nothing…

Damn it, look me in the eye when you say it.

I want to see the expression you make when you lie to my face.

Apologies for the interruption, Mr. Zubov, but we have a situation that is turning somewhat urgent.

The polt has made an unscheduled visit.

Mr. Netherton’s assistance may be in order.

[Lev] I’ll send him straight there.

Not here, I’m afraid.

More-more toward Paddington at the moment.

Though this appears to be rather fluid.

[Lev] Oh, for fuck’s sake, Ossian, cut her connection.

Aye, sir. Brilliant idea.

And-and-and we’re working on it, but in the, in the meantime, if you could just dispatch Mr. Netherton…

Oh, you fucking prat!

Not you, sir.

You don’t need to do that.

Yes I do, Edward.

You’re overcomplicating this as usual.

You just got to keep him at bay.

I’m aware how a hacker battle works, okay? I never lost.

Move. Move.

No, man, you don’t know what to do.

Get out my way.

If you simply tell me… Aelita told me I’m likely to die in ten years, Ash.

What do you think she meant by that?

And where are all the people?


Did you not hear my roar of victory echoing across the rooftops?

“Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of the…”

Return to the Zubov residence.


What about…?

No, no, no, no, no, no.

Hey, Burton? Yeah. Tell her to shut her eyes.

Shut them now!

That sneaky little prick.

Come on, move, move out of the way.

What? Wait, I got to…

Come on, I told you you’d fuck this up.


Back again, are we?

What happened to the people, Ash?

You’re certain this is the place?

[Lev] According to Ossian.

Head through the gate and bear right.

[Ash] We call it the Jackpot.

It wasn’t one thing.

Or all at once.

It was everything together.

Building over time.

Even now, they’re still arguing about when it technically began.

It’s started, though? Already in my time?


Nice place for a stroll.

She has a right to know, Mr. Netherton.

A moral right.

Send me the damn code.

[Flynne] What is this?

[Wilf] Our past, your future.

A museum of sorts.

Each of these shapes represents a different phase of the Jackpot.

Why “the Jackpot”?

[Wilf] Gallows humor, I suppose.

And it’s less portentous than “Apocalypse.”


[Ash] This is the moment commonly pinpointed as the edge of the cliff.

After which there is no turning back.

The Jackpot was unstoppable.


A hack of the North American electrical grid.

Complete blackout.

Monthslong, continent-wide.

An increasingly common phenomenon, as it turned out.

Across the globe.

That’s just seven years off in my world.


A filovirus.

We called it the Blood Plague.

It attacked the viscera.

The liver, spleen, intestines filling with blood till the abdomen burst.

[Wilf] Environmental catastrophe.

Droughts. Famine.

Antibiotic failure.

[Ash] Agricultural collapse followed.


[Wilf] Full population collapse.

[Ash] Bit more than seven billion people.

Over four decades or so.

And then came the end.

[explosive popping, rumbling]

A domestic terrorist attack in the United States.

[explosion rumbling]

They blew up a nuclear missile silo.

Spring Creek, North Carolina.

[Flynne] Jesus Christ.

That’s where I live.

[voices screaming and wailing]

Geez, just make it stop.

[voices and rumbling stop]

You okay?

[Conner] You get us bodies?


I’m working on it.

♪ ♪

[Bob] There are moments when fate can go one way or another.

[Flynne] Thousand ways it could have gone wrong back there.

[Burton] Can’t dwell on the past, Flynne.

[Aelita] What mysteries do you oversee, down there in your secret burrow with the big steel door?

It’s getting real hard to keep this under wraps.

[Flynne] I’m starting to trust you.

Is that a mistake?

♪ ♪

♪ ♪


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!