Motherland: Fort Salem S1E1 Script

Say the Words (2020)



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. Yeah.

It got worse. We'll fix you up.

With me now.

Ask, and it shall be given you.

Seek, and ye shall find.

Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth...

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.

A cowardly attack on Conscription Day.

_ Let's go back to the scene right now.

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... 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...

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!

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?

This is breaking news.

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?

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...

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.

She's a witch.

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. Oh.

The way it catches the light. 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... You did the right thing.

This was the smallest draft in years.

We need everybody.

Who have you lost?

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.

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?


Hand over your medals.

Where are you two supposed to be exactly?

I was looking for the infirmary. Me too.

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 timeyou 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.

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.


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.

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 witch's place.

It's the only place where it's just us.

I mean, how beautiful is that?



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 tel 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.

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.

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.

What were you thinking?

We need to get you both to the infirmary.

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? 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.


brave... 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.

Get out of my sight.

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.

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.

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."

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?

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.