Time to settle into your new role as Runner 5. Accompany the Head of Runners on a tour of your new home, Abel Township.
With Runner 7
Sam hands command over to Runner 7, the unofficial head of Abel's Runners. He tells you that you'll be taking a quick tour of Abel today. Sam's worried that something might go wrong, but Runner 7 reassures him that you'll be able to handle it.
Check It Out
Runner 7 confirms your designation as Runner 5, and informs you that you'll be stuck at Abel until Mullins Military Base are willing to pull you out, which might not be for some time. The first sight on your tour is the Abel's bunker, where the first survivors to arrive sheltered. Runner 7 also points out Janine's Farmhouse, the heart of Abel, before spotting something caught in some trees.
Pick Up The Pace
Runner 7 identifies the object as a government supply drop, but there's a zombie between it and you
On The Main Road
Runner 7 tells you that, due to a shortage of bullets and fuel, Runners are essential to the functioning of Abel. He promises that, if you perform well, you'll be rewarded.
Another Practice Run
Runner 7 points out the major cities nearby. They're full of supplies, but also of zombies. He then points out a castle on a nearby hill: New Canton. It's the largest settlement in the area, but there's little communication between it and Abel. A burnt-out area nearby is all that remains of Skoobs, a settlement of students.
Back To Abel
Runner 7 tells you that some people in Abel were nervous about taking you in, due to the rocket launcher attack just prior to your arrival. Skoobs had also had a visitor from Mullins Military Base just before the fire which destroyed the settlement, a fact which seems to arouse suspicions at Abel.
SAM YAO: Raise the gates! [gate siren, gate raising] Runner Five, ready… and… go!
EVAN DEAUBL: Thanks, Sam. I’ll take it from here.
SAM YAO: No problem, Evan. I’ll keep the comms link operational in case of trouble. Runner Five, Seven here is our head of runners.
EVAN DEAUBL: That’s not an official title, Sam.
SAM YAO: Oh, unofficially.
EVAN DEAUBL: That’s what I get for surviving longer than most of the others. [laughs] I’ll be taking you on a quick tour around the perimeter of the base today, and show you the main routes into the city. Should be a quick, easy run.
SAM YAO: Oh, you know what happens when you say that.
EVAN DEAUBL: Whatever happens, we’ll handle it. We always handle it.
EVAN DEAUBL: We’re sad to lose the old Runner Five, but that’s the reality of life on the ground. We’ve spoken to Mullins, the base you came from, and they’re not willing to send down another helo until we know who fired that rocket launcher at you.
So, this is your new home. You’re the new Runner Five - congratulations! They’ve told you nothing about us, I suppose. That seems to be the way up at Mullins Base. Send people in, take them out, don’t talk about where you’re going, don’t let anyone get attached. It’s not the way I’d run it, and it’s not how the Major runs it here at Abel Township. We care about our people here, and as long as you work hard, we’ll take care of you.
So, you see, we’re circling clockwise around the base. The bunker to your right is half the reason any of us are here. Take a look at this - narrow slit windows, built into the ground. We use it as an armory now, but at the start of the outbreak, some of us spent three weeks sheltering in there whilst the world went mad around us. Thank God for survivalists building well-stocked fallout shelters, and for the owner of this place. She still lives here with us.
The other half of the reason we’re here is that building in the very center of the compound - that old farmhouse? Thick stone walls, good high vantage points, particularly as we’re on a hill. You can see why those of us who knew anything about tactics came here. With just five rifles, we fought off three hundred of the walking dead in our first week here. We’re under the command of Major De Santa. She had lost most of her squad but managed to keep us all going. That’s how we earned our place.
Hmm… what’s that over there? Can you see it, caught in the trees downhill? Something white and fluttering, just past that zombie lurching towards the pines. Might be nothing, might be something… A good target for a quick run, anyway. Don’t worry - if that zom gets too close, our sniper on the roof will be covering you. Go!
EVAN DEAUBL: Ah, I think I see what it is. Mullins said you’d been at the base almost since the outbreak started. It’s a government drop. Do you see that part hanging down - the green tab? Pull that, and it should come straight out of the trees. Ah, we’ve got company. Our position between two large cities does mean that we get a steady stream of wandering dead. You should be able to do it, just put on a burst of speed now, and you’ll get the government drop and outpace the zombie. But don’t wait – run!
EVAN DEAUBL: That’s good, I can see you’ll be a valuable asset to us at Abel Township. We don’t have bullets to waste on zombies, not unless we have to, and we certainly can’t waste them firing wide, so we rely on runners. You’ll be well rewarded if you do a good job. Run along the main road here with me for a while. I’ve got something to show you.
EVAN DEAUBL: Here we can get the best view of the land. There are the major cities. We’ll probably send you in there looking for supplies, but never try to spend the night there. Crawling with the undead.
And see that castle on the hill? That’s New Canton. They’re the biggest settlement of living humans within one hundred miles, we think. For the most part, we don’t talk to them, they don’t talk to us, and that’s the way we all like it.
And see over there? The burned mountains to the west? That used to be a little settlement, called themselves Skoobs. Mostly teenagers. They were about the size of Abel Township. We… don’t know what happened to them. One day they were doing fine, swapping DVDs with our runners, keeping chickens, growing their own marijuana, next day - burned out shell. [sigh] Probably a zombie attack caused the fire somehow. Right, another practice run. Let’s outpace those zoms and head back to Abel!
EVAN DEAUBL: You know, some people at Abel Township were worried about taking you in, Runner Five. That rocket launcher attack spooked us all, of course. We weren’t aware that anyone in this sector had that kind of capability, and Mullins Base haven’t always been straight with us.
Funny thing, Runner Five. Just before Skoobs settlement was destroyed, they’d had a man sent in from Mullins Base. Arrived on a helo, just like you, but without half the supplies they’d been expecting. Strange.
Right. More zoms approaching from the east. Let’s head back into Abel. You’ve done well today, Five. We’ll have use for you soon.
From an old copy of the Vermanen Times:
Three men are in a critical condition today after a fire at Bolker University’s biotechnology research building.
The police have released a statement confirming that they are treating the fire as suspicious. It comes in the wake of three similar fires at various biotechnology facilities around the country in the past 18 months. No arrests have been made, but the extremist anonymous Twitter group @netrophil has been implicated.
The @netrophil Twitter group actually exists.