- "I’m Sam Yao and I’m Abel’s chief Operator. What that means is I’m the guy who spends his days hidden in a corrugated iron shack talking to myself."
- —Sam Yao, introducing himself to the player
Sam Yao is one of the major characters of Zombies, Run!. He serves as Abel Township's lead communications operator and makes sure that Abel's runners return to the township safely. His base of operations is the comms shack, where he guides runners safely during supply runs outside the township.
Before the Zombie Apocalypse Edit
During S1M9 (A Voice in the Dark), Sam reveals he was a university student majoring in an unspecified branch of engineering, but was unhappy with the course and was at risk of failing. In general he seems to be a poor student, and had drawn the ire of his father for failing French class. He had gone into engineering in an attempt to please his parents, but his real passion had been radio; he hoped that he could get his degree in engineering so that his parents would let him do what he wanted. While at university, he spent much of his time working at the school radio station. His parents had praised his younger sister, who had gone into law, for doing well in her first term in university. Her current whereabouts are unknown as they couldn't get a hold of her during the apocalypse.
Before Season One Edit
Sam came to Abel after the Major and the current Runners did a sweep of a nearby town and found him hiding in a garbage bin. He eventually becomes Abel's communications operator and guides runners during their missions outside Abel via long range cameras, scanners, and head-mounted cameras (head-cams) later on. Prior to Runner 5's arrival in S1M1 (Jolly Alpha Five Niner), he had had 3 prior Runner 5s. It's implied that he fancied or had a relationship with the previous Runner 5, Alice.
Season One Edit
Season Two Edit
Sam survives the events of season One and makes his way to New Canton in between seasons. He is involved in the decoy mission to lure some of Van Ark's fast Zombies for testing in the first episode of season 2, 'What's my name?' after which he accidentally reveals to Nadia that it was Runner Five who wore Lem's headset, turning her against the player. After episode One of season two he returns to Abel as it is being rebuilt.
Sam saves Runner Five's life after Nadia tries to kill Five in 'We Used to Be Friends' by warning Five that they were in Deadlock territory just in time. He furiously berates Nadia and tells her to grow up when she tries to defend her actions, reminding her that if the positions were reversed, New Canton would have done exactly the same thing. He tells Five to come back to Abel as he refuses to send them go back to New Canton after such an incident.
Season Three Edit
Season Four Edit
In season 4, Sam worries over the pregnant Maxine and exhibits more absent-mindedness than usual. He soon becomes fiercely protective of his daughter, Sara Myers-Cohen-Yao, especially when she's kidnapped moments after birth by Runner 5's zombie double. While retrieving baby Sara, Sam is bitten by "zombie Runner 5" and becomes trapped in the building. The runners leave him to return Sara to Maxine. When 5, Jody, and Amelia return to put Sam's body to rest, they find that he's traveled a significant distance from where he was bitten. They eventually find him shivering in a dumpster, still waiting to turn.
At Veronica's insistence, Sam returns to Abel for bloodwork. Veronica confirms that Sam is immune to the zombie virus and then uses his blood to treat a dying Paula. However, the treatment can most likely only be done once.
After Runner 5 patches General Bakari's radio to Sam and Janine, Sam overhears The Minister discussing "standing stones." He recalls that his maternal grandparents lived near chalk cliffs that once featured six white standing stones. With the revelation that these stones may be the "six white fingers" the Edda of the Wakened Warrior spoke of, Sam leads Janine, Maxine, and Runner 5 to the entrance of the adjacent sea caves.
In a ploy to distract Sam and retrieve Veronica after the planned cave-in, The Minister reveals that Sam's immunity was passed to him through his mother's side. She then reminds Sam that he killed his mother before she showed any symptoms, prompting Sam to have a minor breakdown. He recovers well enough to ready the Jeep, and then he joins the others in vowing to stop The Minister from harming Abel or baby Sara.
Sam is generally an upbeat and talkative person and takes great pride in guiding his runners safely during their missions. When nervous, he tends to make jokes and fill silences with words. He has shown that he can be quite thoughtful and introspective despite his joking nature.
He loves Marmite, Curly Wurlies, Demons and Darkness, and the color green.
|Runner 5 (player) • Runner 3 (Simon Lauchlan) • Runner 4 (Jody Marsh) • Runner 7 (Evan Deaubl) • Runner 8 (Sara Smith) • Runner 10 (Chris McShell)|
|Sam Yao • Maxine Myers • Janine De Luca • Major de Santa • Jack Holden • Eugene Woods • Dr Lobatse|