The aftermath of the assault on Abel.
Run Now, Don't StopEdit
Runner 8 wakes you up, telling you she can't stay with you. You hear Nadia talking to her Runners. Runner 8 tells you she thinks she's been bitten, and is going to lead the horde north away from Abel. She gives you an important message to tell Janine, if Janine is still alive: the same tones have been heard before every attack. Then she runs into the woods, calling out for the horde to chase her.
They're all goneEdit
You hear Nadia celebrating the return of her cameras, despite not knowing how they came back online. She tells her Runners to fall back to New Canton. She says they can't risk looking for survivors from Abel: "Something blew them up. They're all gone."
Nadia spots the signal from Lem's headset - the one you're wearing. She tells her Runners to intercept the signal and either rescue Lem or shoot whatever else is wearing the headset.
A New Canton runner spots you. Nadia is disappointed to discover that you aren't Lem. She pulls her runners back, then addresses you over private comms. She tells you that her people will be "very interested to bring you in and talk to you."
Nadia explains that you should return to New Canton to speak to the council: with Abel gone, it's your only safe choice. She is angry with you for pretending to be Lem, but retains her composure. While she's directing you back to New Canton, you begin to hear a faint signal from Abel: A test of the Emergency Broadcast System. As this overrides all comms in the area, you hear Major De Santa telling you that she has returned, and to stop running.
[muffled gunshots, mysterious ringing tone, explosion; echo of SARA SMITH saying “Holy Mary, mother of God!”, “They’ve got a rocket launcher!”, “I guess we know who left that out in the wilderness.”]
SARA SMITH: Five! Five, wake up! Come on, stand up, Five! I’ve got to go! Open your goddamn eyes, Five, you can’t stay here, and I can’t stay with you!
NADIA AL HANAKI: [static] I can’t see anything! Cameras aren’t working! Runner Twenty-two, say again!
SARA SMITH: That’s it, that’s good, stand up. You’ve got to be ready to run when they come. I’m going to lead the pack north. [gunshot] That’s right, over here! Don’t worry, I’ll save one bullet for myself if the time comes. There is a possibility I’ve been bitten. When the blast hit us, I fell over. There was a crawler in the long grass. I have a scrape on my ankle. I can’t know for sure, but I have to be safe and get clear of you and the township. But I’ve checked you - you’re clean.
Here they come. Listen, Five - Abel might be gone. Their comms are silent. There was a zombie with a rocket launcher, and everything’s gone crazy! But if she’s still alive, tell Janine something. It’s important! Tell her that she was right. [coughs] I’ve heard those tones every time, just before they attacked, just like we discussed! Tell her exactly that, okay? You were always a good runner, Five. Run, now! Don’t stop! [distantly] Over here! Over here, you goddamn freaks!
NADIA AL HANAKI: Runner Twenty-two, say again? No, we don’t know what to do either. My cameras are still… Wait, wait! All runners, cameras are coming back online. Just a few, but… aw, this is fantastic! Did you do this, Allison? Huh… okay, then. Whatever voodoo it was seems to be working.
Guys, I can’t see everyone, but I’ve got cameras to the east and some to the south. There are still a lot of zoms heading in the direction of the Abel Township site and… no, Runner Twenty-two, I can’t see anything in that direction. Can’t raise any communications with them, either. I think…
Orders are for you to head back as soon as it’s safe. I think there should be a clear pathway if you stick to the course of the river. Yep. Stick to the banks of the Bailey, you should be safe. Come on in, everyone. No. We can’t risk looking for Abel Township survivors. They’re gone, guys. Something blew them up. They’re all gone.
NADIA AL HANAKI: Wait, are you seeing this, guys? Look at this - the signal’s come back again! No cameras available in that section but our beacon’s still good! It’s Runner Thirty-eight, there he is again! Lem, respond if you can! … Nothing. No, he’s not responding.
Okay, Runners Thirty-one and Thirty-four, head towards Peacock Park, that little park where we set those construction work zoms on fire. Lem’s not responding, but if you hurry, you can intercept him. Bring him home. Yes, I understand. Intercept him, or put a bullet in his head. I know it might not be him. Just get him and we can find out.
Wait, he’s speeding up! Runner Forty-five, head in from the left, down Scott Road. Runner Forty-three, come in from the right, by Pewpid Hall. Come on, he’s getting quicker! Pincer attack! Whoever or whatever is wearing that beacon, we’re gonna get ‘em. Run!
NADIA AL HANAKI: All runners in the area of Peacock Park, report! Do you have visual contact with Runner Thirty-eight? Runner Forty-five, report! What do you see? … Oh. Are you sure, Runner Forty-five? The light’s not good, and all the smoke from the … yes. Okay. I understand. Yes. All runners! The signal from Runner Thirty-eight is not Lem. Repeat: not Lem. We think an Abel Township runner is wearing one of our headsets. Come back, guys. That Abel Township runner’s not worth risking your lives for.
So, Not Runner Thirty-eight, not Lem. I’ve switched to a private comms channel. It’s just you and me. Not that you can talk back, but… I have to wonder who you are. I’m going to have to tell our people about you. I think they’ll be very interested to bring you in and talk to you.
NADIA AL HANAKI: I’ve spoken to the council, Abel Township runner. They want you to come in. I said, “Why would the Abel Township runner trust us?” and they said, “Well, Nadia, that Abel Township runner has no choice. We’re the only safe haven within fifteen miles, and Abel Township is gone. Enormous explosion, no comms - gone. So that runner will have to come in to us eventually!”
Oh yes, I see you now on my cameras. Funny, imagine my thinking you were Lem, just because you’re wearing his headset. Imagine how you ran around letting me think that all this time. I should direct you into a swarm! … No. Because I don’t lie, and I have a job to do! [static] Abel Township runner, head straight on. You’ll be with us soon enough.
[static obscures an indistinct voice]
NADIA AL HANAKI: Yes, Runner Forty-five, come in from the west, there are some zoms to the east still. Runner Twenty-two, thanks for your status report. We’re gonna ask you to run sentry for the next twenty minutes while we bring the cameras up. Runners Thirty-one and Thirty-four, can you check the camera at the northern perimeter before you come in? We think that zom attack shook loose some wiring. [static] Huh? No, I don’t hear anything! Is there a problem with the transmission? Runner Twenty-two, can you tell me exactly what you’re hear-
AUTOMATED VOICE: This is a test.
NADIA AL HANAKI: What was that?! Are you doing something, Abel Township runner? Have you done something to my comms sys-
AUTOMATED VOICE: This is a test of the emergency broadcast system.
NADIA AL HANAKI: Did you hear that? No, I don’t know what it was! I don’t know who has the capacity to override my comms like that! [static] No, it’s not in the goddamn manual, it’s [static drowns out NADIA AL HANAKI’s voice]
MAJOR DE SANTA: Runner Five, it’s Major De Santa. I’m back. You can stop running now.
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