happiest place on earth

If I have to eat one more ‘Mickey Bar’… I’m going to kill someone. Which would be quite the feat considering I am the only someone I know. Don’t get any ideas, Dom. We’ve talked about this already & there will be no killing yourself. Not yet anyway. I’m not letting you off the hook that easily. 

Can you just focus for a second? Food. You need… food. That means I need to head toward the train station; there should still be more at Carnation – if the rats haven’t eaten it all… as if they’re not fat enough… I hate this place sometimes. Okay, okay, I take that back, that’s not fair… I hate it all the time. Especially lately. I could deal before the food ran out. Running out, I guess, but pretty damn close. Too close, which is just the opposite of how my clothes are fitting. 

You’re doing this all wrong – you didn’t even introduce yourself to the camera! You can’t just start rambling. If anyone ever sees this, you’re going to look ridiculous. You finally interact with another person for the first time – in any way – & this is what they’ll see?! Get yourself together. Start from the beginning – &… go. 

Alright, ahem, I am the Magic King, Dom.

I’ll pause for your applause – I rhyme all the time – see, not even on purpose, don’t let it make you nervous – & don’t say I didn’t warn you! …it eventually makes sense though, & that’s probably the first thing you should learn about me: I’ve grown up, alone, teaching myself, or learning through my surroundings – or watching TV. So I’m probably different from you. Whatever I’ve learned has been through movies in which there’s a lot of rhyming & a lot of singing. I don’t sing that often though. I’m not sure how it ends up sounding so good in the movie but out here in the silence, I do not sound like that. Trust me, because I’m not going to prove it. 

I was pretty smart to begin with though – not to be arrogant, I’m no Gaston – not that I can remember per say, how smart I was, but I do know I was already speaking… because I uh… remember talking, to um, someone… a man… my Dad probably, I don’t know, it’s stupid, I don’t want to talk about it – but anyway, yeah, I could already speak, maybe I was five? Six? Either way the movies kind of just… made sure I continued to learn new words. Then at a certain point I started to explore & discovered the All Residents who talked to me for hours & hours – before eventually they began to repeat themselves too often. There are other machines I could talk to – just not as many as in there – I still love going there, honestly. 

I learned the concept of machines through Wall-E. You’ve seen Wall-E right? You’ll have to excuse my manners if I’m rude at all. I learned everything from those films. Well, not everything. Sometimes I’ll sit in the surveillance room & play through all the footage. There’s weeks & weeks of it. I’ve spent years watching, listening, learning. That’s where I spent most of my time because I’m pretty sure that’s where I was when it happened. I know it was bombs – it sounded like bombs anyway – & by the look of things outside, it was definitely some kind of explosion. But I can vaguely remember hearing a loud noise & when I woke up, everyone around me was… dead. Which I’ve only realized is strange because I haven’t seen it in a movie yet – & it didn’t look like the park visitors would have liked it very much either. I don’t mind it. If The Nightmare Before Christmas means anything, I have to assume dead people smell – but I never notice that either. It’s just... normal for me. Being here. Alone. Surrounded by dead bodies… the happiest place on Earth! Well, maybe the only place on Earth…

Oh! & there’s a castle! That’s pretty cool right? & not at all scary. Now yes, it is collapsed in on one side & growing plenty of …stuff. I’d say they’re plants but I’m not entire surely that’s accurate… okay, so maybe not totally scary…

That’s where we are now, the castle… my house… but enough Kingly bragging – we need to find some food… & fast… Clicks off.

silly old bear

If I hear hooves – I’ll be running – just …don’t make fun of how I run, okay? I’ve never seen myself doing it & I am certainly not filming this to invite ridicule; only someone, anyone, to my castle – someone to survive with. 

The boars, though, I hate more than the hail showers – & those will scare the pants off you. These swine are about twice the size of yours truly, with tusks the size of each of my legs – but sharper, much sharper. There’s also nothing more revolting smelling in all of Alt World than a piggy. That’s what I call them. Most of them.

“Here piggy, piggy…”

Don’t worry, they don’t respond to my calls – they generally snort, loudly, & charge right for me. I’ve dodged two, outran four, & accidentally killed one. I mean it too, it was an accident, I swear it, I promise you, trust me completely when I say… it was an accident. …if you don’t believe me, I even buried it – & one day, maybe, I’ll show you. You probably think I’m stupid, burying at least two week’s worth of perfectly good food… but like, how different are they really? The pigs. They may be bigger & scarier & they may even smell worse – if, only barely – but they’re just looking for food. Hell, they have families!

I don’t even have that…

What I need though… is food – actual nutrition. The good stuff. Anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup – I find anything with that written on the box under ingredients & it makes me feel great. For a little bit, anyway. There’s nothing here though & I’m starting to get nervous. The boxes I tried to leave up in the cabinets last time must have been raided by rats – & the rest is worthless with the roof half caved in. It’s mush. I’m not above licking foil though so I’ll take it. I’m not ready to starve to death & I’m certainly not killing anything. 

Look, Bambi messed me up, alright? Get off my back about it.

I can feel the judgment & I haven’t even made eye contact with anyone yet… this is not getting off to the best start – I should’ve shown you my costumes first! Think Dom, think –think, think, think. That would’ve been much more impressive. I should’ve saved the ‘fend for myself’ angle until I knew for sure there was food… oh well, this is more accurate anyway, because I really have been winging it. By my count it’s been eight years since… whatever, & that would make me fourteen. But Snow White was fourteen too & I’m way tougher. She ate apples, I eat candy.

There is one option though, but I was hoping to avoid it.

I’ve known for some time there’s another park connected to mine – it’s called E CO. The entire grounds surrounding it are jagged rock formations of exploded Earth & the ‘it’ in question is a very large, circular… thing… blackened with ash, concave on both sides from impacts – several miles from the edge of the train station – but any piece of map I find always shows it there, definitely there, but always barely, labels missing – but I guess that’s story of my life right? 

Always just enough for something vague, none of the strength to make it clear.

…it would give me the ability to show you around though? & it’s without a doubt my best chance of finding some sort of broadcast tower to send these tapes off – & if I die trying, well… hopefully someone finds them …one day… okay, that’s it, I guess it’s settled then! – one last trek across the park for old times sake – & I’ll either set up shop in a new home or just, I don’t know, who cares right? I wasn’t even supposed to live this long. No one will miss me. 

I’ve got no Rafiki to promise my return. 

Whoa, if the boars didn’t hear how loud my stomach is growling right now, they’ve all gone deaf – we need to get out of here & find some place safe. We’re in the Frontier so we’ll need to hurry if we have any hope of reaching the castle before the sun goes down. It’s not far but there are wolves who live in the area too. They come out in the later hours – mainly to feed off of the boar – who survive off of the rats I told you about the other day – it’s the circle of life…

Until then, let’s try & make it to the castle – grab a few things & keep out of harms way – besides, it’s about time I showed you where the King sleeps… Clicks off.

just can’t wait to be king

It’s not as well decorated as say, Beast’s castle, but I don’t have a village to buy from. I don’t even have any money, come to think of it... I suppose I could create my own! Dom dollars! Okay, I need to remember that one for later – & it’s already on camera, perfect! Couldn’t hurt to be prepared, right? If this plan works – & someone gets these tapes – then I need to be ready to lead! No one is going to follow a King without their own money, I mean, that’d just be ridiculous.

All Kings are rich!

King Triton of course, but I mean in real life too. How do I know anything about ‘real life’? That is offensive, I am offended, I read the news! Well the bits of it I find littering the streets… & if I’m reading the bits of paper correctly, the last King before me was some guy named Don. Cool name, I guess, but Dom just has a better ring to it. Stronger… ya know? Makes sense though – he was a boy & I’m a girl. I’ve seen enough movies to know boys just mess things up & need a girl to come & fix everything. 

It’s honestly a bit redundant.

I’m cool with it though – I am a girl! I think I am anyway… isn’t that what matters?

I’ve never had anyone around to tell me much, or, anything, really. I had to kind of just piece it all together. What happened to everyone, what happened to me, what I can do to survive, what I can do to stay sane. With sanity, though, there’s no one around to test that. I’ve certainly had a fair share of luck too – like how there’s still electricity in the park – & that it was stocked with weeks, no, months worth of footage for me to watch – without even getting to the nearly 600 movies I had at my disposal. From animated to live-action, from Fantasia to The Lizzy McGuire Movie all the way to Infinity War. I didn’t do much but watch video & walk the park until about two or three years ago now maybe. Not only isn’t there much to do but I wanted to see it all – & some of them I wanted to see more than once.

They were all kind of my society, my family.

They taught me how to speak & right from wrong & how to behave properly – & they did a pretty darn good job didn’t they?! I survived this long haven’t I? Anyway, I’m sorry, lost my manners again – but like I said, not much in the way of decorations or fancy, gold wall hangings, or chandeliers, or anything royal like that. No incredible technology that’s a secret to the outside world. No roaming plains & circle of life to watch over. You might even think I wasn’t a King of anything at all, which, please, don’t actually think that, please? It’s mean. If it hadn’t been the first thing I learned to read, I might agree with you. 

Which, that’s also a funny story so let me tell it! Since this tour is going horribly…

Great, I think a bat just pooped on me… anyway… so I learned to read through a combination of watching Mary Poppins, Disney Sing-A-Long movies, & a book I happened to find on a family in the street here. Now before you go thinking I’m stealing from the dead – okay, well, yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing, but what else can I do? I think if they knew I took it, they’d be cool with it! Like I said before, we’re all family here, it’s just… my relatives are dead. Sadly, it’s not like Coco either, if that’s what you’re thinking. None of them jump up & start dancing with me – I’m glad, now that I say it out-loud. I had been wondering my name for awhile – everyone had them! Even the animals in these movies had names & I just… never knew! Some days I’d pretend I had a cool name like Aurora or Moana – but to be fair, it’s not like it came up often… when do you use your name? When you introduce yourself! I haven’t done much of that – until I knew I needed one – until I made this plan. 

Until then I was just a number: Park Guest 2,298.

That was just a mouthful anyway.  

Luckily, a few months ago, the answer fell to my feet – literally, actually. While I was out front – trying to lodge a Nutter Butter free from under crushed remains of a car – the word DOM – all together in a smooth plummet – giant & plastic & covered in ash. I always knew I was special in some way – being alive & all… having a castle… – but to be a King?

That came as a surprise, even to me. 

Yet, I look up & there it is… “THE MAGIC KING.” 

Pretty cool, huh? Clicks off.

a friend in me

I’ve always been able to go wherever I wanted. A fact that hadn’t really been noticeable to me until today. There are some things out here that you avoid thinking about – like, “what’s going to crawl on me as I sleep?” Or, “should I be eating this?” – but there are many other things you just never question; that was one of them for me. All of that changed though, today. I’m going to be honest with you – a lot changed today. 

For starters, I’m not alone here anymore! 

I know! Isn’t it amazing?! Well, don’t get too excited because she ran away before I could get a name, introduce myself, or even hear her voice, so I wouldn’t exactly say we’re friends yet – but I saw her right in the morning as I was leaving the castle to get some things I’d left in the Surveillance Room – that’s where I’d go to watch footage of the park on the days before… it happened. She was carrying a box of tapes & other odd ends from the room & she was in quite the hurry to leave. She didn’t scream when she saw me, she didn’t say a word, just looked at me quickly – scared, almost, but pretty, very pretty, just scared – sad maybe? – but she ran away as fast as she could – as if she were leaving our park for E CO. 

I was going to run after her but I was too in shock. 

Maybe I could’ve convinced her she had a friend. I couldn’t even believe it was real though. I think I thought I might’ve been dreaming because I just froze, in awe at the sight of another person – a real, live human being. It wasn’t a movie or a hologram or a machine – it wasn’t some fuzzy video of people having stupid conversations ten years ago about which cotton candy to get – especially because they’re all delicious. It was real.

I went inside the Surveillance Room after I regained control of my body & I couldn’t find much that was gone – the most recent tapes that were left, the ones from the day of & the day before – a notebook with some notes from a woman named Darlene – I didn’t know who that was but I had read everything in that room a hundred times & I knew it was missing, I’m just not sure why – & why bring it to E CO? You could just watch them here & be done with it, couldn’t you? 

None of this makes any sense.  

To make matters even stranger – & of course it happens right as I get here to the edge of the park, about to start some crazy journey – I, for sure, heard music – but only an instrument, no singing – my ears were ringing at just the beginning & I have felt so happy all day! Isn’t it wonderful? Music? How or where I heard it from, I can’t be sure – I can’t be sure it wasn’t all my imagination either but I heard it. It was a slow strumming guitar – peaceful, mournful, beautiful. I was mesmerized & it felt like a dream… not like Fantasia or anything but still, like a dream – maybe it was, I don’t know.

I told you, a lot changed today. 

The good news is I’ve made it to the edge of the park – as you can see it’s night time so I spent all day walking. I decided to stop here at the only other known bed in all of Alt World. It’s a pretty nice one too, super comfortable & great for jumping on. This place is called the Rand Lorian – most of the rooms are under the swamp there – don’t ask me why it’s purple, because I don’t know – let’s just say things do not look like the Hundred Acre Wood here – although some of the boar could be confused for a Heffalump or a Woozle I guess. The plan is to sleep here tonight, get the most rest that I can & then, tomorrow. make the long trek to E CO. It’s mostly a watery marsh with large patches of ashen ice & rock. 

Everything is smoldering – it’s kind of a mess.

I’ll turn you back on when I wake up in the morning. Goodnight for now. Clicks off.


Somewhere dark. Someone else. Someone dark. Somewhere else… speaks…

Do you have the tapes? …I said do you have the tapes!? Don’t make me ask you anything twice, you should know the rules by now, girl. While you can’t answer, I know you can hear me; I don’t know what that sign means! Read my lips, girl, you better show me, make a gesture, I don’t care, but just pick one or it’ll be another monorail hanging by the ankles for a few hours, how’s that sound? …I didn’t think so. You remember what happened to your brother… These tapes are the key to getting out of here. These tapes are the key… to the girl.

something there

Okay, I think he’s asleep… I know, I know, who is he? You don’t know anyone, Dom, I’m sure you’re exclaiming to yourself right now, falling over with glee like Charlotte La Bouff – well let me tell you something – I do know someone – & his name is Peter & he’s asleep right now. Right there, yes that’s him, oh my gosh, be cool will you?! 

So yeah, I woke up this morning about to head out for E CO when I heard it again – the music, the guitar, so I knew I wasn’t dreaming because duh, I had just done that – so I grab my pack as quietly as I can because it is close, very close to me & I don’t want to scare them away. The room I was in is part of a single preserved floor that juts out from the swamp at a certain angle & goes up for about five hundred feet. You have to climb through a door carefully not to fall into the swamp – I’m not sure what swallowing that would do to you but I don’t think it’d be anything good – & once you avoid that, then you have to climb the walls to make it into any of the rooms. The first time I ever visited, there was no way to make it up – but luckily for me, I’d brought a hammer & some nails from the offices behind the Surveillance Room. I used the claw end of the hammer to make divots in the wall large enough for me to climb up – I told you, I’m tough, & I’ve got Aladdin arms, I can swing & climb no problem. 

It’s a pretty good skill to have out here if I do say so myself.

Anyway, focus, Dom, focus – Peter – Peter, I could hear, was in one of the rooms above me – although at the time, I didn’t know what was making the music, let alone who. So I carefully, quietly, climb up, slowly, closer & closer to the room where the music is coming from. Whenever I heard a pause in the strumming, I too would pause briefly, waiting for it to begin again & resume my climb. Once I made it to the room I knew it was coming from – two above mine – I had to think of a way in. I decided on, well, not really deciding at all. I just swung upward, kicked the door in, landed on it in a smooth flip, which is exactly what I did with my hair, before I said… “Hi, I’m Dom.”

He screamed – loudly & shrilly – kind of like Ling when Mushu scares him in the lake. I kind of snorted & turned away while he regained a little composure. His hair wasn’t long but it wasn’t clean cut either, it was rough like he’s cut it himself a bunch of times – I can’t tell if he’s gotten better at it or if it’s just always been this bad. It’s cute though, I guess. He has tan, even skin with brown eyes but they’re not plain at all – they almost grab you & force you to look at them. It was a good thing his dark hair kept falling in front of them so I could concentrate. Two people in two days after three thousand seven hundred & forty-four – not that I’m counting – well, that’s a lot to get used to isn’t it? But I have to tell you. I think something was there between us right away because he didn’t run, he didn’t try to attack me, he didn’t do anything really. 

He just sat there, staring at me. I have no problem talking as you know so I crossed my legs & plopped down on the door I had so awesomely Hulk smashed in & started to talk. About who I was, what I was doing, where I’m going – kind of like I’ve started doing with you, which, thanks for the practice buddy! I’ve got a friend in you. But after awhile of my talking, eventually he started to respond when I would ask questions. The first actually was why the song didn’t have any words! Because I love music but singing along is the best part! Maybe it’s me, I don’t know, but he said he couldn’t think of the words. I told him I’d help but he didn’t seem to think that’d work. He looks down at the ground, a lot. He looks a little older than me but it’s hard to tell. 

Maybe that’s why he’s so sad. Maybe he just remembers more. 

Suddenly. Violently. Darkly. The recorder falls to the floor.


D: Who the heck are you?! …oh hey, I’ve seen you before, who’s this guy?

P: He’s… he’s Ark Raider.

D: He’s what? Is that even a thing? Ark Raider? Are you sure that’s not from a movie? It’s a cool name & all – I just never heard of him – & how many people are there here that I don’t know about? Did no one ever think to visit or what –

A: Silence! I am Ark Raider – & I’m here for you… Maria.

unfortunate souls

D: I’m sorry, who? I’m pretty sure you have me confused, which is understandable, I mean, you’re wearing a wolf skull on your face, it’s got to be hard to see out of that thing – & not to be rude because we just met, but killing animals is really kind of pointless & barbaric don’t you think, I mean—

P: Dom, don’t, he’s dangerous…

A: Do you see what is in my hands right now? Do you know what this is? …I don’t either but I call it a ‘blood maker’ …because when I pull this little lever here, it makes you bleed, until you die… do you want to die today, Maria? Or do you want to come with me? I’m here to help you, you can believe me—

D: Okay, first of all, my name is Dom, & for your information, that’s not a ‘blood maker’ because I’ve watched enough security footage to know that’s called a ‘gun’—

P: What’re you doing, he’s going to kill us—

D: How can you not know that? You’re definitely older than me, it looks like you are anyway, I guess it’s hard for us to tell right? I think I’m probably about fourteen, give or take, do you think we’ll ever find out—

A: Silence! I can’t think with your constant rambling!

D: Well how else was I going to distract you long enough to do this!

Suddenly. A smash. A struggle. Clicks off.


Some time later. Clicks on.

Alright, so I’m alive, I’m alive… a couple bruises but nothing major. I had distracted Mr. Raider long enough that he hadn’t seen me angling the leg of the camera stand into a position where I could swing it easily from my side. He clearly hasn’t watched as many action movies as I have. I had to angle my swing up to make sure I smashed him clean, right on the side of his head. His two heads if you count the skull. 

Which: gross

I hated being in the same room as that thing. Which is why once he fell to the ground, I grabbed Peter up off the floor & swung straight out the window, both of us sliding down the side of the Rand Lorian – just like when Esme escapes with Quasimodo, only I was helping him escape. It was pretty cool but… I was a little scared… not like I’m a baby or anything just… now that I know people, everything feels different. Like the fact that I feel awful for leaving that little girl. Not forcing her to come with us. She immediately cowered there near Ark’s body, like if she weren’t there tending to him when he came to, something really bad would happen. Peter looked in pain the entire time we ran, like something were tearing at him. It didn’t look like fear – I’d seen that a million times on surveillance footage, kids on rides, parents who’d momentarily misplaced a child or a stroller – I knew fear… this was something else. 

P: You do know I can hear you right?

Suddenly. The recorder fumbles.


D: Why didn’t you say anything? You just let me keep talking while you sat there listening? Isn’t that like, spying, or something?

P: I wasn’t spying, I just didn’t want to interrupt… but you’re right, I wasn’t afraid. I was angry. Angry I couldn’t kill him. Angry that after all he’s taken from me… I still couldn’t do it... the little girl he was with… that’s…that’s my sister – we had planned to escape together but before I could notice she wasn’t running at my side anymore, he had her. When I got back to the entrance & saw him standing there, screaming that if I ever came closer or tried to get her, he’d kill her first …& make sure I watched… I ran.

D: …I’m sorry.

P: Don’t be. When I saw you just take him out like that today, I felt hope, for once. You made me think we have a chance out here, & I even, um… I even thought of some lyrics – for that song? Now don’t judge just yet, it’s only the beginning but I hope you like it… 

‘For U, From…’

bare necessities

Okay, they're finally all asleep. 

I thought it'd be good to catch up — just you & I. 

No annoying interruptions. 

I've got so much to tell you & I'm sure there's plenty you're dying to know too… but where do I start?! 

How about where I started in the first place!? The castle. 

As you can tell by this magnificently dry, sandy landscape, we're in the desert — very, very far away from the park. 

You may have been tipped off by that sand storm earlier. Kind of a dead giveaway.

& we crashed the car so now we're stuck here…

Anyway, no more park, no more castle…

How'd we get out!? Why'd we leave? Patience my friend, I'll get there! 

It wasn't an easy decision. That I can tell you. 

It literally took years & I fought so hard to stay, you have to believe me! 

I would never give up my Kingdom easily & I will return one day to reclaim my throne! 

…ugh, I promised Peter I would stop saying stuff like that. 

He doesn't understand what it's like to not remember anything before [mockingly] "the incident." 

Neither does Ark because he's like a thousand years old. 

Okay, he's like 23 but still… they don't get it.

E: [through a computer] I get it.

D: Don't scare me like that!

E: [through a computer] I'm sorry. But I understand. I remember nothing.

D: Oh my gosh, really!? It's so different right, I mean, that was home, that was …everything I knew… every movie & all the footage, my scars, the boar attacks! & it was mine! Dom's Kingdom & I just… left it, because oh "you don't know what happened Dom, you don't know what's normal Dom, you don't know you're not supposed to be surrounded by dead bodies Dom…" …I'm sorry, I talk a lot… how do you feel?

E: [through a computer] I don't know. No one's ever asked me that before.

D: Well I am! So think about it, will ya? I want to get to know you.

E: [through a computer] I feel interrupted. A fragment. Untethered. I have no home. No family. No voice.

D: Wow, you know a lot of big words.

E: [through a computer] The computer has a thesaurus.

D: Speaking of, how the heck did you build a computer!? I know when Ark left that year to look for other ways out you had time to yourself but I didn't realize you could do all that!

E: [through a computer] Machines are all I understand… & I don't know why, or how. They just make sense.

D: I think I get that. This is more than a camera. I understand how she feels. To be one sided. To only watch & never be seen. I relate to her I guess.

E: [through a computer] That makes sense. [silence]

E: [through a computer] You're very pretty.

D: Aw, well thank you! I thought the same thing about you when I first saw you four years ago. Hey, you're the first person I ever saw in real life! I never thought about that… [silence]

D: You're even prettier now… [silence]

A: I hate to break up the tea party but we have a problem.

D: You are such a creep! What have I told you about pretending to be asleep when I'm recording!?

A: Better wake up your boyfriend because I think we're in trouble.

D: He's not my boyfriend!

P: Wha-, What's going on? What's wrong?

D: I have no idea but Ark is being a butt face.

A: I am not a …butt face.

P: Well then why wake us all up so early? The sun isn't even out yet.

A: Listen, fools! Be quiet for one second & listen…


D: I don't hear anyth—

E: [through a computer] I hear it.

P: Me too… what is that? It's like a humming. Dom, can you hear it now?

D: I think so. It sounds like it's getting closer…

A: We need to hide. Now!

D: Why are we always hiding!?

A: So we stay alive genius!

D: Ugh, fine.

E: [through a computer] Back of the car. Under the tarps. Now.

A: Since when are you giving the orders?

D: Do you have a better idea?! …I didn't think so, now shut-up & hide.



W: This is Field Agent Weiss.

W: What do you mean you found someone?

W: Well how many of them are there!?

W: Damnit… Well what'd their scan say?

W: & you're sure?

W: No, no, don't report it yet. Bring them back here. I'll take care of this.


Don't panic. Don't panic. Don't panic.

So… we're moving!

I'm not sure where we're going but we're moving!

[Quickly, high-pitched] This is fine. I'm fine.

I'm not sure what that is because {slowly] I'm fine.

That humming we heard coming toward us turned out to be a big black van.

Five or ten men in suits, all carrying shiny pieces of glass no larger than a sheet of paper, flooded out.

They found us hiding under the tarp pretty easily.

Which makes sense, Ark's ideas are pretty stupid.

A: Will you shut up already?

I'm still not sure how they did it though…

If they could see anything out of those sunglasses, I'm a monkey's uncle!

Next thing I know, we're all waking up inside this thing attached to the van.

It looks like a glass cube but it's not glass because Ark shot at it & nothing happened.

I'm also not sure how we're breathing because there's no air holes or anything.

Pretty much none of this makes sense & we've been moving for awhile now in some direction.

I'm going to see if you can get a clear shot of their faces through the glass stuff here…

A: Will you put that stupid thing away? You're going to get us killed.

D: They can't hear us! Not while we're stuck in here.

P: What do you think this is, even?

E: [through a computer] It seems to be a compression pod for transporting prisoners.

A: Ark Raider is no one's prisoner!

D: That's cute. 

A: Ark Raider is not cute!

D: Ew, I didn't say you were!

A: Do you want to fight!?

P: Can you please just stop?! Maybe focus on the whole being kidnapped by strange men in suits? You would really think by now you'd have realized there is an enemy bigger than each other, it's called death.

E: [through a computer] We're here. 

D: We're where though? I say when they open this thing we demand to be released immediately!

A: That's stupid. We should all attack them, right away.

P: How about instead of threatening our captors, we try to, I don't know, talk to them?

D: What if they don't want to talk?! What if they're here to hurt us? We don't even know who they are!

E: [through a computer] Caldwell Enterprises.

D: Is that English? [compression pod opens]

D: I demand you release us immediately… well, didn't you hear me!? Release us now!

P: Dom, just stop.

D: No! Look, there must be a mistake here, jail is only for the bad guys!

A: This isn't a movie.

D: You're not helping!

E: [through a computer] It's him.

W: Hello, hello, hello, I am Field Agent Weiss, Chief Officer here at the Southern Blast. I have been charged with… well, many responsibilities really, but we meet today as part of my duties to—

D: HA! He said "duties." [shocked] OW! What the fudge was that?!

W: As I was saying, we meet today as part of my duties to secure the blast perimeter. I'm going to begin asking you a series of questions. Any sharp movements, any answers I don't like &… zap! Sound fair? Wonderful. Let's begin. Now, the first thing I'd like to know is… which one of you is Maria?

smile at a crocodile

W: No need to be shy. Why, I'm not a monster! I don't look like one, do I? I'm a simple employee, doing my job. You can understand that right? Now, one last time… which one of you is Maria?


W: Solidarity… I like that, well… I respect that at least. What I certainly won't like is listening to your wailing… your pleading for me to stop as my friend here with the syringe administers a little truth serum so we can loosen those lips a little bit. Not pleasant. No pleasant at all.

A: It's her. That's her. That's Maria. Right there.

D: What the heck?!

A: Sorry, Ark doesn't do needles.

E: [through a computer] I hate you.

A: Don't look at me! It had to be done! That was the plan all along right? We spent damn near four years pushing her, trying to [mockingly] "be her friend," so we could get the hell out of there! I wasn't doing it for fun, ya know… I did it because we needed her to get through that stupid door.

P: Ark, shut up, now.

A: Look, I didn't want it to come to this either but that's the truth & Ark doesn't do needles.

D: Wait, what are y'all talking about? Get me through the door? Ellis, Peter, what is he talking about?

[Dom, Peter, Ark, & Ellis are all shocked until they hit the floor]

W: I don't mean to interrupt whatever is going on here because quite frankly it's fascinating. All of you should be dead. May still end up that way but getting this far is impressive! We've scanned you all & I'll be damned if not every one of you were there at the Bay Lake Blast of '88. It's a verifiable miracle, really. The only way you would've made it this far is with a lot of luck… & a little help from Caldwell… which means that you must be Maria—

D: Get your hands off me—[shocked until she passes out]

W: She's a stubborn one, isn't she? —oh what's this… how adorable, a video camera… hey Sarah, take a look how old this thing is, you remember these!?

[camera clicks off]


W: Yes, I can confirm they are in custody.

W: We've separated them & will begin questioning in the morning.

W: No, currently it seems like there's no recollection at all.

W: Well, for starters, she won't respond to her name.

W: No, they understand everything. I think they used her to escape.

W: I am well aware of the gravity here, you know I take this job very seriously

W: Don't worry, I'll take care of this 


I am so sorry, I thought you were lost forever! 

I woke up in this gross dungeon totally alone & screamed & kicked until they brought you back. 

I'm pretty sure it was just to shut me up but whatever, I won. I have you back now. 

& I'll be honest… I need you now more than ever. What the heck was that back there before?! 

"We spent damn near four years pushing her, being her friend, so we could get the hell out of there"?! 

What was Ark even talking about? & why'd Peter & Ellis look like that when he was saying it? 

Like they were more scared of me than the suits… 

I've got a really bad feeling here…

I can't even explain it either, it's like an extra sense…

Something is just off…

Like why wouldn't any of these people have come to check on the park? Not once!

Why not pick us up years ago?

It doesn't make any sense & to be honest… I'm scared…

— & I wish I were home again. 

I want to be home again… in my castle, in my kingdom with my loyal subjects… I'll be King of Corpses, I don't care! 

At least they can't hurt me… I don't understand, why would they use me? 

Why did they need me in the first place? 

If they wanted to go they could've just gone

I would've been fine, I was fine without them… 

I didn't need them… 

Not one bit… 

W: I'm happy to hear that. It might make this easier for you… so what do you say, shall we begin?

better than people

[four years earlier]

I'm not going anywhere. 

I'm not even sure if you're working or not but I need to get this out. There's no way, no matter what Peter or Ark or Ellis say… heck, Mickey Mouse himself could waltz in here right now & I'm still not going anywhere

What hurts the most is why

"You're not a King Dom." "This isn't a kingdom Dom." "Those are corpses, you shouldn't touch them Dom." 

What do they know anyway?! They're the same as me! It's not like they have some magical knowledge I don't! …right? 

They seem to think there's some big world out there & we shouldn't be here & that's completely ridiculous, isn't it? 

Haven't they ever watched a movie before!? 

Sure, there's other towns & cities & stuff but wherever you start is usually the best place for you 

— & most of the time it's where you're meant to stay. 

"It's dangerous to stay here Dom." "The acid rain keeps killing your plants Dom." 

"You shouldn't eat the nacho cheese from that machine Dom.

It's very easy for everyone to point out problems with my life, & even easier for them to avoid offering any solutions. 

Oh, they say they have one, but it falls on, you guessed it, me changing my entire life. 

If the world around me is so wrong, why am I the one who has to change!? 

That seems the complete opposite of everything I've ever learned. The message was always very clear, if you stay true to yourself & if you do what feels right, what makes your heart happy, then something good would happen. 

It might take some time, it might take years but eventually love won, the world changed, the bad guy lost. Even when you might think it's the end & all is lost, you just have to wait it out, be strong. 

Quitters never win! Doesn't anyone watch the Mighty Ducks!? 

That's what they're asking me to do. Quit.

[two years pass]

P: That's not on, is it?

D: That is a she, first of all — & I don't think so… not since last year. I just keep her turned on, charging, hoping she'll come back.

P: Oh, okay, I just saw the light so I didn't know.

D: Yeah, that happens sometimes, but keep going, you were saying there's a door you found?
P: I shouldn't of said anything.

D: Well now you have to! I've known you over a year now, don't you trust me yet!?

P: No, of course I do!

D: So then tell me.

[two years pass]

D: No, you can't just kiss me & think it's okay now, that's not how this works. You lied to me — you let me ignore him for years & you were just as guilty

E: [through a computer] I didn't know how to tell you.

D: Oh, I don't know, how about, "Hey Dom, I don't think you're meant to be a King either, Ark & Peter are right, we should leave"?

E: [through a computer] You would've cut me off. I can't lose you.

D: Don't you mean, "we can't lose you?" That's all this was, wasn't it? Keeping tabs on crazy Corpse King Dom, right? Making sure one day I'd help you with some stupid door or something? You know what, just leave, okay?


D: Just leave, okay!

E: [through a computer] Next full moon at midnight. Meet us at the door. Please.

[24 days pass]

A: She's not going to show up, is she?

E: [through a computer] May as well wait. Nowhere else to go.

A: Don't you think I know that, girl? I've been stuck here longer than everyone, remember?

P: You never let us forget.

A: Well maybe if you didn't ruin our chances, Peter, we wouldn't be in this mess, would we?

P: You think this is my fault?
A: Considering it is your fault… yes, I do.

P: How could you possibly think that?

A: If you would've just listened to me & taken her by force, we'd already have Maria—

D: My name is Dom.


D: Don't just stand there looking stupid & tell me why I'm here… before I change my mind.

no way out

W: This is quite the antique you've got here, I must say… I haven't seen one like this in so long that I couldn't believe it still even worked. Where did you come across something so preserved in that wasteland of yours?

D: She.

W: What's that now?

D: She. She's a her, not an it or this. She's a her.

W: Well, alright then. Tell me how you came across her.

D: I don't know why you care but okay, it was… I want to say 5 years ago now? I was dodging a boar I found foraging in the security room & this big gray cabinet fell over… a drawer broke free & flew open &… she was inside. The cabinet was always locked so I have no idea what was in the other two drawers. I didn't find her right away though. The first thing I saw was a black box with white & gold trim. It was so pretty! Everything else was covered in dust & dirt & blood but this was so… clean. She holds 240 TB on her, but she should hold 500 TB… never was able to access those files. I don't think she's hiding them really. She's just been through a lot.

W: Interesting. Not quite the answer I expected but useful none-the-less. Can you tell me the first thing you remember?

D: Ever?!

W: Yes, ever. Do you not have a memory?

D: I have memories! Like look at this scar right here… not that scar, this one, on my forehead here — a chunk of metal I was using to pry the security door open flew back & nearly took out my eye! I woke up covered in dried blood & didn't feel normal for awhile after that… not until a couple days later when I nearly finished all the water… this mark right here, on my arm… this is probably my first memory actually, so instead of trying to get out the door I started out trying to make it through a hole in the wall but it was collapsed in & the further I crawled in, the more cuts I'd get & this was the killer… I cried all the way back out…

W: So your first memories are being in the security room at Park A? 

D: I guess so… yeah.

W: Right. Now, that's all you remember? Nothing else? Just the park?

D: Well considering I'd never even left the park until those jerks pressured me? What'd you think I remembered? Flying on a magic carpet?

W: [scoff] Well, that's just wonderful! Whatever your friends seem to have remembered or learned, you're blissfully ignorant of! Which will definitely make this next part a lot easier… well, for me anyway… so just hold still, this won't hurt at all.

D: Well wait, before you shock me again or whatever this thing does, can I ask you something first?

W: [chuckle] Well it's a little more than a shock but, sure thing, ask away!

D: Am I a King?

W: [loud, mirthless laugh] Bless your heart. Come here sweet child, it's okay, I won't hurt you, I'll answer your question… No. You're not a King. & that's okay because we don't really have Kings anymore, not people at least, but you are very special Maria. You see, someone very important, someone who I work for directly, had worried that something — someone — like you, would happen. You have a lot of …information in you. Have you ever heard the name, Caldwell, before?

D: Well it was all over the park security rooms & the bunker — the one we used to leave the park — you know, that stupid door they wouldn't go through without me.

W: Couldn't. They couldn't go through that door without you. It was never meant to be opened.

D: Who builds a door they don't want opened? Seems kinda stupid if you ask me.

W: Well there's a lot you don't understand, but I think that's enough stalling for now, love. Time to deactivate.

D: Wait, wait! Just one last question, please!

W: Fine, but make it quick?

D: How did you not realize what I was doing?

W: Doing what?

D: This

[Dom quickly & with all her might thrusts her wrist bone up into Weiss' mandible, knocking him out immediately]

D: Boys… 

[Alarms blare. Five heavily armed security flood into the holding cell.]

D: [nervous laugh] oh, hi y'all! I don't know what happened to this guy but he said to just let me go, so… I'll just head on out… [shocked until she passes out]