Motherland: Fort Salem (2020) s01e01 Episode Script

Say the Words

We are the Spree.

Hey. Your daddy let me in.
- Did you have school?
- I had a half day.
Here. Um, there's a little extra there.
I know you're off to Salem
tomorrow, God bless.
Yes, ma'am.
Permanent government vacation
till I'm old and grey,
if I make it that long.
Well, I just want you to
know how grateful we are
for what you do, for the
sacrifice you make.
- Truly.
- Thanks.
- You can come on through.
- Oh, right. [CHUCKLES] Yeah.
- It got worse.
- We'll fix you up.
With me now.
[BOTH] Ask, and it shall be given you.
Seek, and ye shall find.
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
one that asketh receiveth,
and he that seeketh findeth
[BOTH] And to him that
knocketh it shall be opened.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
forever and ever.
Thank you.
It's cold. You should
come back to the bag.
Can we say goodbye again?
I can't see you again
after I take the oath.
Remember? We talked about it.
Come on, we can be subtle.
- Paul.
- I need to see you.
This can't be the last time
Listen to me.
This is when you go to college,
find a girl, get married,
everything nice and good.
This is when I go grind our great
nation's enemies into dust.
I should take off.
And don't walk into traffic.
[ANNOUNCER] a cowardly
attack on Conscription Day.
- Let's go back to the scene right now.
[REPORTER] Here's what we know.
Sixteen hundred people
are dead today,
the result of an unknown bomber
who may have fled the scene.
This is obviously
[REPORTER 2] what
happened today redefines
"suicide bomb" in a way that
shocks me to the marrow.
The ruthlessness of this attack has
all the earmarks of the Spree.
Not to mention the timing,
on Conscription Day,
when so many of our
bravest are called up
[WOMAN] You know what? This is abusive.
Turn that off.
I give up. Cook your own goodbye dinner,
'cause you're in such a hurry
to get yourself killed.
Mom, I'm sorry.
I have given this so
much careful thought.
I want to help. I want
to do something good.
Have you ever thought that maybe
I want to get away from here?
Will you imagine for two seconds
what it was like for me
to lose my sisters
Mom, I can't do this again.
I spoke to the attorney.
When the call comes, just
don't say the words.
That's all we have to do right now.
Tally, Tally!
[LAUGHS] What did you tell
Paul, the poor thing?
I sent him on his way
with a little oomph.
You better save some
oomph for War College.
Gotta get through basic first.
Don't even joke about that.
You're not gonna let this
family down either, correct?
No, ma'am.
Because the first Bellweather to
serve in this army was a slave.
- She deserves better.
- Yes, ma'am.
You are her wildest
dream, understood?
[TV REPORTER] This is breaking news.
[REPORTER 2] A terrifying
attack on Conscription Day.
- The Spree?
- The army has set up a perimeter.
We do not know if this
is an act of terrorism.
No one has claimed responsibility.
- It certainly has all the hallmarks
And when you say the
affected, that means anyone
in audible range of the
balloon's popping noise?
[WOMAN] Correct. The Spree
are using sound here
to carry and spread the curse
to the general public.
The Spree are a radical
militant organization,
whose stateless army wreaks havoc
[MAN] Any minute now, huh?
Yeah, pretty much.
This was your mama's,
and her mama's before her.
Going back and back, passed
down through the generations.
Supposed to wear it in combat.
Keep you safe.
I can't lose you too.
Please do not say the words.
If you say the words, they've got you.
Do you know how hard I worked to get
you out of the lottery of death?
Tally. Tally, Tally!
Tally! Tally! You're
smarter than this! Tally!
I, Tally Craven, do solemnly pledge
to protect and defend the
United States of America
against all enemies
foreign or domestic.
I will faithfully serve and
obey the rules and articles
for the government of the army
of the United States,
all secrets keep,
all lawful commands willingly perform
as dictated by the Salem Accord.
- Have a great flight.
- Thank you.
Next, please.
- Hello.
- Hi.
Hi. Welcome.
- I will be happy to help you.
- Thanks.
Okay. We do have a flight to Boston
boarding in 11 minutes
and it is fully booked,
but I'm sure someone
will happily surrender
their seat under the circumstances.
Tell you what, I'll walk you over there.
I'm on the Boston flight.
This young lady can have my seat.
Thank you for your
service to our country.
[MAN WHISPERS] She's a witch.
[MAN] She won't need a return flight.
Thank you.
- You're very brave.
- I haven't done anything yet.
- I am General Sarah Alder.
Welcome to Fort Salem.
It is a solemn day.
Much like the day, 327 years ago,
when I made a deal with the
Massachusetts Bay Militia.
My terms were simple:
honor me,
make a place for me and my kind
and we will win your wars.
That was before we were even America.
- All of you have answered the call.
Just like your mothers and
their mothers before them.
You are the daughters of ancient lines.
You are called to greatness.
You have bravely pledged to serve
and defend this great country.
I assure you, dark days await us.
We live in a time of ancient
hatred and emerging threats.
The Spree are ruthless and savage.
We will need all of you
to meet what's coming.
And we will meet it with storm and fury.
You are among your own kind now.
Take comfort in it.
Find strength in it.
A blessing on all of you,
a blessing on this place,
- this witch's place.
Oh, hi. Hi. Hi.
Welcome to all-suites Circe
Barracks, the finest on the base.
I am Drill Sergeant
Anacostia Quartermaine.
My job is to keep you
alive through basic
so the Military High
Council can determine if
you go on to War College.
Or not.
Starting this year, you
will rise or fall as units.
That means how anyone in your
unit performs during basic
is how everyone in your
unit performs during basic.
Your job is to be effective soldiers,
displaying at all times those
most military of virtues.
Suite numbers on the
back of your medals.
Go, meet the rest of your units.
Now, ladies!
- You must be Raelle!
- Hi.
I'm Tally Craven,
and this is Abigail Bellweather.
Sounds like we're going
all the way together.
Onward to glory, soldiers.
Well, rah, rah, rah.
Sounds like a poster.
I assure you, the sentiment is sincere.
Bellweather, huh? Sounds familiar.
Army's crawling with Bellweathers.
I'm good with lower or upper.
No way is that gonna pass inspection.
Cross that bridge, I guess.
Where are you from?
Chippewa Cession, near Carolina.
Lookin' pretty pale
for Chippewa Cession.
My family was there before it was
the Cession. Where are you from?
- New York and Annapolis.
- How can you be from two places?
- We summer in Maryland, by the water.
- We summer where we winter.
Me too.
I'm from Norcal. Sacramento.
I grew up on a matrifocal compound,
so it's really far from the city.
- A what compound?
- Matrifocal.
No dudes, like, ever.
But lots of heirloom avocado
growing conscientious objectors,
weavers, knitters, midwives
I'm sorry, I'm still on
the "no dudes" part.
So like are you a virgin?
Let me see your mark.
It changes when you have
sex for the first time.
- It gets better, shinier.
- [TALLY] Oh.
- The way it catches the light.
- [LAUGHS] Where's yours?
Literally an inch from my vagina,
so maybe when we get to
know each other better.
But is it is it shiny?
My mom lost four sisters to combat.
When she turned 18, they
gave her dispensation.
She didn't have to serve.
The army said that our line
had become unduly depleted.
She reopened the case to get one for me.
And then I ruined her life by coming.
You came when you didn't have to?
That's some heroic
stuff, Private Craven.
I I guess I felt like
I did have to come,
I mean given the state of the world.
The Spree.
Every attack is worse than the last.
I couldn't just watch while
innocent people die.
- I couldn't
- [ABIGAIL] You did the right thing.
This was the smallest draft in years.
We need everybody.
[TALLY] Who have you lost?
[ABIGAIL] Aunts, so many cousins,
both grandmothers died in their 50s.
One in the air when her salva ran out,
and the other rotting in a tent
crawling with plague rats.
What about you, Raelle?
My mom died in a firefight
in Liberia last year.
On a beach.
The sand turned to glass around her
and they had to crack her out.
What was left of her.
She died an honorable death.
I think my mom was tired when she died.
And scared. And used up.
I think she wanted to come home.
[ALL] For those who dwell in the earth.
For those who gave their lives.
For those, we remember.
Sounds like a freight train.
Who knew wind can cut rock?
Wouldn't mind learning to do that.
Yeah, well, with my luck, I'll
wind up a medic like my mom.
Didn't work out so well for her.
Shouldn't you be in training?
Shouldn't you?
[WOMAN] Medals.
Hand over your medals.
Where are you two
supposed to be exactly?
- I was looking for the infirmary.
- Me too.
[WOMAN] Yeah, the infirmary
is right by the PX.
How'd you get over here?
You two have seven minutes
to find your drill sergeants
to discuss your demerits.
And they already know.
They were loads of fun.
Yeah, I hear they do birthday parties.
- Walk you back?
- I'm Scylla.
I'm Raelle.
- First week?
- Sorry.
Are you?
Do you know what happens to
soldiers who shit the bed in basic?
War meat, Private.
Front line disposable war sausage
in some of the worst places on Earth.
Officers die just as good as enlisted.
Seems like you don't want to be here.
It's not just you your
bad behavior affects.
Makes me look bad,
your unit takes a hit every
time you do this type of thing.
They see everything.
Take some advice.
Pretend you're not yourself
for one minute and listen.
There's a Bellweather in your unit.
I'm guessing Abigail is a lot.
The gifted ones always are.
Yeah, I got it.
There's more four-stars in
her line than any other.
Ride it all the way to War College.
You'll live longer. Trust me on that.
This came for you today,
from your father.
Stop blowing it.
Daily rankings?
Wouldn't want us to get too
competitive or anything.
This isn't gonna go like this.
Where were you today? We were worried.
- Didn't feel good.
- Oh, no. Anything I can do?
Doubt it. Your mom ever tell
you anything about Greenville?
Last spring? Seem to remember
my mom saying it was a mess.
They're all a mess.
She said Greenville was no different.
We had training all day.
None of this is elective.
- Your absence was noted.
- Call the commander-in-chief.
Look, I know this is a lot for you.
- [TALLY] Guys?
- But it is just the beginning.
Please? Let's all take a breath.
Look, this is not a vacation, Tally!
It's life and death out there!
- You think I don't know that?
- Then act like it.
We're supposed to have
each other's backs.
I will not have you
holding me back,
or Tally for that matter.
[WOMAN] Hey!
[REPORTER ON TV] another
attack from the Spree,
this time in the North
Atlantic where all passengers
on a commercial cruise liner have
jumped to their deaths today.
As with the mall attack, the Spree
have claimed responsibility.
Why would you come if
you didn't have to?
How can you ask that after this week?
Malls, cruise ships, where does it end?
- Maybe they have a point.
- Who? The Spree?
Conscription is slavery by another name.
Oh, come on!
You get to travel the world,
do something great,
protect the innocent.
[SCOFFS] None of that's real.
It's a grind out there.
That's all it is.
I mean, I plan to
get deployed early,
get blown to bits, end of story.
It's so much more than that.
Like Alder said
Now you're gonna start quoting her?
I get that she's controversial.
No! No witch in history has
more blood on her hands!
Part of what she said is
agenda-less and true.
That Fort Salem is a witches' place.
It's the only place where it's just us.
I mean, how beautiful is that?
[ALL] Ha!
[ANACOSTIA] The Spree prey on
the ideologically vulnerable.
They say they want to dismantle the
global military industrial complex,
liberating the witches around the world
who fight their nation's wars.
They call the system tyranny, slavery,
but all this is a distraction
from their true aim.
The Spree has no great
leader, no field army.
They're composed of
parallel hierarchies,
clandestine cell systems
designed to collapse under scrutiny.
How can we fight them if we can't
even tell who's one of them?
Like Alder said, with storm and fury.
They will appear normal in every way,
and maybe even are normal in many ways,
except for being agents of the end.
[GROANS] How is it even possible
that I got mud in my butt?
We all have mud in our butts, Tally.
- I think I'm gonna puke.
- Again?
- Is the ground spinning?
Technically, yes.
I think that might have been a joke.
- What? I'm funny.
- Yeah, like a puppy funeral.
Hey, guys, I'm gonna be there in a few.
Yeah, okay.
So how come you get to skip
out on all the fun, huh?
I'm necro. We work with the dead.
They keep us away from
the general populace.
[LAUGHS] Well, lucky you.
- Come with me.
- Um, I'm all gross.
No, you're not.
- Live a little.
- Okay.
- Where are you taking me?
- You'll see.
Tie the other end to your foot.
- I don't know
- Sh
- What's this?
- Salva. Government issue.
It's how they do combat drops.
[ANACOSTIA] What were you thinking?
We need to get you
both to the infirmary.
[NURSE] Where'd you get the salva?
Do you have any idea how
dangerous that was?
I'm surprised you're not dead.
Nice work. You drew that
mess off a civilian?
Yes, ma'am. Mama taught me how.
You might be a great medic someday.
I'll come check on you in a bit.
I don't know what your game
is, but my eyes are on you.
Stay away from her.
Far away.
As if your life depended on it.
- Does this mean we're through?
- [ANACOSTIA] Nearly.
You may be able to course correct,
but I can't promise anything.
You okay?
She'll see you now.
Abigail. What a pleasure.
I just saw your mom in Prince Frederick.
She drank all the milk punch as usual.
What's going on? What's on your mind?
So many questions, sit down.
Thank you for seeing me.
You look troubled, child. Talk.
- There's a girl in my unit.
- Uh-oh. Here we go.
- Attack of the shitbird.
- What's her story?
Seems to have some kind of
front-lines, blaze of glory,
death-wish nonsense knocking
around in her head.
She can't make the sounds,
she can't sing the songs.
To be candid,
I begin to wonder whether this
girl has the work in her at all.
As you know, we move up as units.
It's possible that her attitude
could keep me from
attending War College.
I had one too, in the early days.
A real big, fat shit-turkey, this one.
No technique, this wretch,
couldn't sing a storm to save her life.
Hardly call her a witch, really.
I want to be reassigned.
That soldier I was telling you
about saved my life a dozen times.
Gibraltar, Tripoli, Solomon Islands.
That soldier once dropped into the eye
of a class five hurricane
to rescue a couple kids
trapped in a grain silo.
While lacking certain
hereditary advantages that you
and I are both blessed with,
while having the audacity
to be born of an undistinguished
line of combat medics,
that shitbird happens to be the
finest soldier I've known.
loyal beyond measure.
Your request is denied.
This is on you, Private.
You bring that girl
round till she's right.
You're lucky I don't call
your mother about this.
[ALL] Get out of my sight.
[ANACOSTIA] Ladies, remember
your voices are your weapons.
It is imperative that the
entirety of your vocal apparatus,
from frontal sinus to larynx,
must remain functional
and sound producing at all times.
Inability to vocalize can
render a soldier powerless.
[WOMAN] We dropped into
Liberia last night
under the cover of a monsoon.
But they knew we were coming.
The Spree's militia sings
some evil song at us,
day and night, and now we can't get out.
I pray this is not your
experience when you are called.
I blame our fearless leader.
She has endangered us needlessly
on numerous occasions,
most critically this last drop.
She's done this to us,
her high haughtiness,
General Petra Bellweather.
- Shouldn't you be in bed, cousin?
- I'm not your cousin.
Aren't we all cousins, cousin?
Well, I mean I'm no
illustrious Bellweather.
What's that supposed to mean?
Daughter of American greatness herself!
Backbone of democracy.
Your mom was the C.O.
on my mom's last tour.
You're blaming my mom for that?
Soldiers die all the time.
That's the job!
Is she pompous like you?
Was your mom a useless
shitbird like you?
Break it up.
Abigail went to Alder to
request reassignment.
This is so bad.
- When?
- Today.
I just heard you tried to bail.
- It's not you.
- Oh, I know.
But you were still willing
to throw me away.
She's holding you back too.
I heard your request was denied.
Yeah, denied is an understatement.
You're both weak.
Raelle in her avoidance
of responsibility,
and you in your contempt
and superiority.
I'm the one who should walk.
So that was your big plan, then?
Just ruin your chances for War College,
get deployed too soon, and
get blown up on the front lines
because you suck so bad.
Die young, waste all
that youth and beauty
and fury.
Yeah, kinda like that, but faster.
Your plan was hot garbage.
Even if it worked, it's
winning by losing.
Yeah, well, I hate to break
it to you, beautiful,
because there's no way out.
I know a way.
Tell me.
Let them train you.
Let them make you powerful.
The way over is under.
The way out is is in.
[ANACOSTIA] Find your units, everyone.
We'll pick up where we left
off with choral sequences.
In the lower register of Seed Sound 32,
the seed of reversal, one at a time.
Very good, Private Collar.
That seed is a beast to master.
Maintain it.
Well done.
Did you see how the older
officers were clucking about us?
"We haven't heard harmonics
like that in decades."
[LAUGHS] We're special, you guys!
I need more tea.
That was incredible in Vocal today.
I'm very sorry about your mom.
Whether my mom had anything
to do with it I can't say.
But I do know that she
cares about her company
more than she does herself.
We got off to a bad start.
Can't have helped.
I'm sorry, really.
I accept your apology and I look forward
to continuing to find ways
to be an efficient unit.
But we don't have to be friends.
Abigail's in the shower.
We have seven minutes.
Lucky us. Have you noticed she
says her own name in her sleep?
She tried to ditch us.
What, are you surprised?
[TALLY] What's that?
That is, um
That's my mom's combat charm.
My dad gave it to me.
It's a bowerbird's foot.
They love anything blue.
It's been in our family for generations.
Passed from mother to daughter.
It's supposed to keep you safe in war.
I wanted to ask him
was she wearing it?
How come it didn't work for her?
But I didn't.
Because I try to be nice, sometimes.
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