Follow up the lead Professor Van Ark gave you.
In a breach of the Major's rules, Doctor Myers will be accompanying you on this run. You'll be travelling back to Hertston to investigate the remains of Simpson's Cornershop; the Doctor is along for the run so that she can analyse the lab equipment. Sam and Maxine bicker about a previous mission to an abandoned carnival before she assures him everything will be fine and you set off for your run.
Sam is dubious about the run to Hertston. He's convinced there'll be nothing left to look at after the fire. Maxine tells him she may be able to reconstruct some of the setup, which triggers an excited rant about CSI from Sam. After she calms him down, Maxine speculates on the nature of the "cornershop's" research: was it medical? Scientific? Perhaps Terrorist?
Making It UpEdit
Doctor Myers asks Runner 8 for her impressions of Van Ark, specifically his state of mind & how trustworthy he seemed. Runner 8 asks if she's thinking about Paula. Maxine admits she is. Runner 8 reassures the Doctor that Van Ark didn't seem to be making up the things he said, for which Maxine thanks her.
Sam alerts you to a strange signal at your 3 o'clock. He identifies three jeeps carrying around 40 people. Runner 8 thinks its likely a raiding party, but points out that they're not heading for Abel. Sam tries to convince you all to head back, but the Doctor insists you press on.
Sam refuses to allow Jack and Eugene into the Comms Shack to broadcast Radio Abel. Runner 8 reports that you're within sight of the cornershop. In the distance, you hear a voice trying to get your attention. Runner 8 spots him: he's made camp near the burned-out building and is wielding a rifle. He warns you away from the store; there are zombies in there, but it's too late and they begin to chase you.
Make it QuickEdit
After escaping the zombies, the man with the rifle introduces himself: Ephraim Whately. Runner 8 plans a distraction so that Doctor Myers can investigate the ruins of the cornershop.
Ephraim is pleased that you're not from New Canton; he believes them to be "hard". He shows you his radio, with which he has been listening in to New Canton transmissions. You overhear Nadia telling her Runner 5 and Runner Twenty that there are 130 people en route to the Jeffro Complex from New Canton.
Sam tries to dissuade Maxine from going to Jeffro. She insists it's important: not only do they need to learn about Jeffro's research into the outbreak, they also need to warn them about the approaching force from New Canton. Sam is adamant that it's a bad idea. Runner 8 agrees to go with Doctor Myers, no matter what Sam says. Ephraim advises radio silence to minimise your chance of being discovered. You set off towards Jeffro.
Ephraim observes New Canton soldiers in all directions. Maxine and Runner 8 say that this has the feeling of something big about to happen. Runner 8 gives Doctor Myers the option to go back to Abel, but your route home has been cut off by zoms. Your only way out is forwards.
Ephraim asks if you're armed. He then offers some guns he and his sister, Patty, picked up during the outbreak. Runner 8 accepts his offer.
Long Way AroundEdit
A radio broadcast from Nadia alerts you to New Canton soldiers about a mile ahead of you. Ephraim suggests you take a detour to avoid them.
You Know What To DoEdit
Runner 8 marvels at Ephraim's underground weapons cache. Ephraim is suspicious of her interest and hurries you out after giving you some pistols. Runner 8 asks you to go back for her knife, saying she must have dropped it. As you go, she whispers "you know what to do".
Not Far NowEdit
Ephraim tells you about his history with the Jeffro Complex. They used to pay him and his sister to gather food and supplies for them. This leads to him expounding his views on religion and the apocalypse; "We're those who need to be punished before He decides whether to let us into Heaven."
A Research StationEdit
As you approach the Jeffro Complex, Ephraim warns you not to approach the main gate in case they shoot you. Runner 8 thinks this may be a good idea, but Doctor Myers wonders at why a research station would shoot visitors.
Ephraim leads you through a break in Jeffro's defences that his sister discovered. Once you're inside, the trap is sprung. Professor Van Ark's voice issues from nearby loudspeakers. He thanks Ephraim for bringing you to him and informs you that running would be futile: you're surrounded. The situation seems hopeless, but Runner 8 throws a flashbang to blind the soldiers and you escape.
Commencing Second PhaseEdit
Doctor Myers and Runner 8 agree that they've just seen Van Ark. Alive, and with a healed bite wound on his arm. Maxine says this seems impossible. Runner 8 says it must be possible as she directs you on your escape.
Out Of Our WayEdit
As you continue your escape, you overhear a voice from a nearby building. Maxine asks if you all heard it too. Runner 8 confirms: it sounds like Paula. She allows that you could take a chance to look in through the skylight, but nothing more.
As you climb the building, you see inside through the skylight. There's no-one inside, merely a recording of Paula's voice. You see a series of deep-freeze units containing people connected to medical equipment which appears to be cleaning their blood. Amongst the units you see one labelled "Patty Whateley": Ephraim's sister.
Your escape is thwarted by soldiers guarding the perimeter of the base. You double back in an attempt to find another way out.
Your way is blocked once more. Van Ark taunts you through the speakers. As he threatens you with a worse fate that zombification, you hear a distant explosion. In the ensuing confusion, Runner 8 bids you run. As you do so, the explosions continue, growing nearer.
You escape the Jeffro Complex through a hole in the outer perimeter created by the explosions. A Runner from New Canton introduces herself as the cause of the explosions, but says that Van Ark escaped. She introduces herself as Runner 20 and says she used to be a colleague of Van Ark's.