Time to pay Professor Van Ark a visit
It'll Be FineEdit
Sam and the Doctor explain that you're heading out to Professor Van Ark's house to search for evidence about his whereabouts. Maxine wants to return to the corner shop in Hertston herself, to investigate the remains of the laboratory. For now, though, she needs you to follow every lead, and that means visiting the house of Professor Van Ark.
Halfway to Professor Van Ark's house, Dr. Myers tells you what little she knows of his character. She relates a particular story in which he lost his temper at a lab assistant, smashing a tray of glass beakers against a wall.
You come within sight of the house. Sam marvels at its situation: on a rock spur in the middle of a gorge, accessible only via footbridge. Runner 8 points out that the bridge is covered with zombies, and that you'll need to distract them before you'll be able to cross.
Having gained enough distance from the zoms on the footbridge, Runner 8 tells you to head towards a nearby forest, where you'll drop the noisemaker.
With the zombies successfully distracted, you and Runner 8 cross the bridge to Van Ark's house. As you do so, Dr Myers spots the man himself in the grounds and bids you chase him down.
Back To The BridgeEdit
Runner 8 catches Van Ark and disarms him, but not before the sound of his pistol shot can draw the attention of the nearby zombies. With Professor Van Ark in handcuffs, you and Runner 8 retreat to the bridge, racing to beat the oncoming horde.
Van Ark hears you talking to Dr Myers via the headpiece and is extremely relieved to hear she's alive. He then tells her that Pandora Haze kidnapped him and his team, imprisoning them at the Jeffro Complex where they tried to get him to create a vaccine. Sam warns you that you're too late - the zombies have already blocked the bridge. Van Ark reveals there's another way out of the compound and you head in its direction.
A Few MomentsEdit
Dr Myers questions Van Ark about Paula's report that he was instructing his staff to burn their notes at the university. He admits to it, saying he acted out of fear; he was worried that he'd be held responsible for the outbreak. He tells Maxine that she would be welcome at Jeffro, should she want to help with the research - they could cure the virus together.
Van Ark is surprised by a zombie while opening a door during your escape and is bitten.
Van Ark demands to be left behind - he'll turn before long. He directs you and Runner 8 to a nearby water tower, where you'll be able to hole up until rescue arrives. He implores Dr Myers to head to Jeffro to help with the work on a vaccine, before leading you up a ridge toward the water tower.
Head To JeffroEdit
Runner 8 frees Van Ark, who says he'll lure the zoms away from the two of you. As he leaves, he tells Maxine that he believes he saw Paula alive at Jeffro.
Sam reports that he can see you, safe on the water tower, and that rescue will be with you soon. Dr. Myers confirms that your next destination will be Jeffro.
AM YAO: Runner Five? Runner Eight? Ready?
SARA SMITH: Ready!
SAM YAO: Raise the gates! [gate siren, gates raising] Covering fire! [gunshots] And… go!
SARA SMITH: We’re on our way! Couple of those zoms were a bit too close to the gates, but the guys on the roof got them.
SAM YAO: Always do. Well, mostly do. [laughs] There was that one time, with that bloke who claimed to have been a sharpshooter.
MAXINE MYERS: But it just meant he played a lot of Red Dead Redemption.
SAM YAO: Yeah. Turns out there’s no auto aim in real life.
MAXINE MYERS: Shame. Okay, are you all clear on where you’re going?
SAM YAO: Yep, yep, we’ve got it. I’ve briefed everyone. Straight down to Professor Van Ark’s house. How do you know where that is?
MAXINE MYERS: Paula got invited to a cocktail party there once. We both went. It’s a pretty fancy place. It’s up in the hills, in a compound where there’s a sort of bridge over a ravine to get to it. He had it specially built.
SAM YAO: And we’re looking for…?
MAXINE MYERS: Anything we can find to work out where he might have gone or what he might be doing now.
SAM YAO: And we’re not going back to the lab in Hertston that we thought was just a corner shop, because…?
MAXINE MYERS: We’ll get back there eventually. Runner Five and Runner Eight looked around while it was burning. There was clearly more there than just a corner shop, but uh, I should take a look out there myself, to see if I can tell what the equipment was being used for. In the meantime, we need to pursue every lead we have. Especially if someone’s trying to destroy evidence. Professor Van Ark’s house might contain useful clues.
SAM YAO: Yeah, it’s just about three kilometers away. Should be an easy run.
SARA SMITH: Has no one ever told you, Sam, never to say, “It should be an easy run”?
SAM YAO: It’ll be fine! Apart from the zombies.
MAXINE MYERS: You’re halfway there, guys! 1.5K down, one and half more kilometers to go until you get there. You’ve got a good pace going.
SAM YAO: So, this Van Ark, whose house we’re just about to break into -
MAXINE MYERS: - if the zombies haven’t broken in already.
SAM YAO: Sure, sure. What’s he like then, Van Ark?
MAXINE MYERS: I never really knew him, you know. I think we only met a couple of times. He was quiet, hard-working, really dedicated, very ambitious. Paula respected him, intellectually. Though…
SAM YAO: Though?
MAXINE MYERS: He had a temper, that’s all. Some lab assistant mixed up some slides, and he threw a tray of glass beakers against a wall. That’s a story I remember about him.
SARA SMITH: Hmm. And we know he was trying to get them to cover up patient zero.
MAXINE MYERS: We think so. We don’t know for sure. But we might find some clues at his house.
MAXINE MYERS: There’s the house. Do you see it? There’s the fold where the hill dips down, and the gorge. And you see how his house is in the cut-off part of the gorge on the far side? That twenty foot high fencing cuts the house off from the rest of the land. The only way into the house is via a footbridge, which you’ll see when you get over the hill. Our cameras can’t see it from here.
SAM YAO: A house on a rock spur in the middle of a gorge, accessible only via a footbridge? Is he a Bond villain?
MAXINE MYERS: I think he inherited money and spent it on modern architecture. He almost got into Grand Designs when he built it. Except someone was converting an old castle into a -
SARA SMITH: Guys!
MAXINE MYERS: … Oh, or was it an old swan tower?
SARA SMITH: Guys? We’ve come over the ridge. We can see the footbridge. There’s just one problem. [zombies roar] It’s swarming with zoms. I don’t think they’ve spotted us. If we want to get into that house, we’re going to have to go some way away, and set up a noisemaker to distract them. Come on, Five. Run!
SARA SMITH: Okay, this is far enough away that we’ll be able to stay ahead of them. Come on, Five - let’s make some noise! [noisemaker siren] And why not do some knee lifts, too? I hear those attract the zoms’ attention. [zombie growls] Ah, that’s grand - they’re after us. Did I just say it was “grand” that the zombies are after us? Come on, Five. We’ll get them to chase us towards that forest, and then dump the noisemaker out there, and come back quiet as mice. Come on! Run!
SARA SMITH: Okay, that’s good. I’ll just leave it here, and then there’s a clear way back. You’re going well, Runner Five. We’ve already run four kilometers. Come on! The zoms can’t see us yet, but we can’t let them. Run!
SAM YAO: Hey! That was a good plan. The zoms have mostly drifted away from that Bond villain-esque footbridge towards the woods. Mostly. Looks like there are still one or two slow coaches, but you should be able to take care of them with your - [SARA SMITH grunts as her weapon smashes a zombie, zombie splatters] … yeah, that’ll do it. Now, hurry over the footbridge. We haven’t got cameras over that way, but the headcams can give us some grainy footage so the doc can advise you on where to look, what to bring with you. That’s if there’s anything left that’s any use for… whoa! That’s quite some estate he’s got there!
MAXINE MYERS: Yeah, a fortress home standing on more than a square mile of its own land.
SAM YAO: And you reckon he bought all that from money he inherited? No chance he was a bit - well, you know - dodgy?
MAXINE MYERS: Hey, yeah, we know he was a bit dodgy. I only wish we’d known it then. But maybe there’ll be something in his home that sheds a light on…
SAM YAO: What?
MAXINE MYERS: Yeah, there’s something in his home that sheds a light on him.
SAM YAO: What are you seeing? Five and Eight aren’t even into the house yet, just coming through the grounds at… [gasps] Oh!
MAXINE MYERS: It’s Van Ark! He’s there! Down by the summer house on the grounds! Run now, get him! I think he spotted you.
MAXINE MYERS: There he is, there he is! You’re almost on him! Boy, was he that fast a runner back in the day?
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: Who are you? Who are you! What do you want? I… I’ve got a gun! I’ll use it! Don’t think I won’t!
SARA SMITH: Hey there, steady now! We just want to talk to you, Professor Van Ark.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: If you want to talk, then stop chasing me! I tell you, I’ll use this pistol, I tell you!
SARA SMITH: For the love of God, would you stop waving that thing around?
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I’ve done nothing wrong! I have - [gunshot]
SARA SMITH: Would you put that thing away? You could have killed someone, you know. If you knew how to use it.
SAM YAO: Uh… still might have done, guys. The zoms look like they’ve been attracted by the noise. They’re on their way back to the footbridge, moving pretty fast!
SARA SMITH: You move that way, I’ll head him off! You can’t get away from us, we just want to talk to you. Would you put that gun down? [SARA SMITH and PROFESSOR VAN ARK struggle] Got you! Cuffs, just like we use in the military. [handcuffs clicking shut] Now you can’t get away from me.
SAM YAO: That’s great, guys, but you gotta drag him with you and get back to the footbridge. There’s a horde closing on the only way off that fortress home, now run!
SARA SMITH: How are we doing, Sam?
SAM YAO: Well, I can’t see the footbridge on our cams, but the horde hasn’t reached the hill yet. If you keep going, you can make it in time. You’d better make it in time…
MAXINE MYERS: Ask Van Ark what he was doing at the house, anyway. Ask him!
SARA SMITH: Doctor Myers wants to ask you -
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: Doctor Myers? You’re with Maxine Myers? Oh, thank God. Thank God! You’re not with one of those other groups. Not Pandora Haze, not any of the militia. Oh, thank God. You have no idea how I’ve been - God, Maxine, you survived! I’m so… I can’t tell you how relieved I am! Can you tell her that?
MAXINE MYERS: Wait, he’s not with Pandora Haze? But he was in their helicopter!
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I heard that! Those earpieces are terribly loud, you know, bad for your hearing. No, I’m not with Pandora Haze! They airlifted us from the university, of course, and they tried to keep me captive, get me working on a vaccine for them. They’re working on that up at Jeffro Tower Complex. You know, that old science park, about fifteen K north of here. They had us all working there. Keeping us safe, but I wanted to… well, you know I had to try to find Matilda, so I escaped! And came back here to see if she’d left me a message, which… she hadn’t. The zombies surrounded the complex, though, and I thought I’d wait until they’d wandered off before I tried to get away, and… well, at least there are a lot of fruit trees here. Oh, Maxine, I’m so glad to hear you’re alive! Do you know if -
SARA SMITH: That’s a great story, Professor, but we’ve got to keep moving, or we won’t make it across the bridge before they come back.
SAM YAO: I think you’re too late.
SARA SMITH: Oh, yeah. We see that.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: But there’s another way out, actually. If they’re all coming from that direction, they might not have got to it yet. A gate in the fence at the far side of the grounds.
SARA SMITH: Sounds good to me. Turn around, run!
[mysterious ringing tone]
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: Come on, it’s only another few hundred meters this way. Gosh, this is quite fun, isn’t it? A bracing run through the woods, handcuffed to a beautiful woman, news that my old friend Maxine Myers is still alive. We could do without the undead on our heels, of course, but nonetheless, very bracing.
MAXINE MYERS: His story just doesn’t add up, though. Eight, can you make me loud enough that Van Ark can hear?
SARA SMITH: Sure thing.
MAXINE MYERS: Professor Van Ark. Paula told me you ordered people at the university to burn their notes, because you were involved with patient zero. You wanted to cover something up, didn’t you? What were you trying to hide, Van Ark?
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: What are you talking about? Paula told you? But how did you - oh. It’s true. It’s all true. There’s no sense denying it. I did try to cover up the fact that patient zero was part of our trial. But can’t you understand? I was ashamed. I was afraid! We’d caused the downfall of civilization. I panicked!
I… I know it was wrong, I’m sorry. Just another item in my list of shameful wrongs. But we can put it right! Or try to. Maxine - I think Matilda’s gone. But you and I can help with the research at the Jeffro Complex. You’d have a warm welcome there, I know you would! They’re not bad people, just very focused on their research, and very anxious it shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. Some Netrophil-like organization that might want to enhance the zombie virus instead of combat it.
SARA SMITH: And the people who destroyed Simpson’s Corner Shop?
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I don’t know anything about that. There might be some other group involved. But listen to me! I know I did wrong, but we can decide to do right, now! Look, the door’s just along there. Come along, we’ll be there in a few moments!
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: There we go! That should do it. Come on, quickly! Squeeze through after me, and - [zombie growls, flesh crunches, PROFESSOR VAN ARK shouts in pain]
SARA SMITH: Come here! [gun clicking] Duck! [gunshot, zombie groaning and splattering to the ground] Got it! One damned zom waiting just by the door! How do those things always seem to know where to find -
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I’m bitten. Here. Made a blasted mess of my arm, too. Hurts like anything.
SARA SMITH: Jeez… those zoms from the bridge are right behind us. Come on, run!
SARA SMITH: Come on! We’ve got to keep moving! Come on!
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I can’t! I’m going to - [coughs] You know I don’t have long. It takes some people… [laughs] It takes some people more quickly than others. I always wondered why. Listen. You have to listen to me.
SARA SMITH: I’m listening.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: There’s an - [coughs] An old railway station to the west of here. With a water tower. You can climb up it, rest on the top until your people come with reinforcements to get you. Can they do that?
SAM YAO: We can do that. Tell him.
SARA SMITH: Yup.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I’ll show you where it is. But then, you have to uncuff me. You can’t be cuffed to a zombie. And you know I’ll turn before long. [coughs] I’ll lead them away from you. But listen. I didn’t mean any of it to go this way. You have to believe me! It was stupid of me to try to cover up what I’d done, stupid! But they’re very close to a vaccine at the Jeffro Complex. If Maxine can get there, tell them what she knows, it might just save humanity. Tell her to do it, for me.
MAXINE MYERS: Tell him I’ve heard. Tell him I’ll go.
SARA SMITH: She will.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: Let’s just push on to the top of this ridge, shall we? I can show you where to go from there.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: There!
SARA SMITH: Yes, got it.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: You see it?
SARA SMITH: [handcuff clicking open] There, you’re free now.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: I’ll head back into the woods, make some noise, get them to chase me. Keep them away from you, should give you time to get there.
SARA SMITH: I… thank you.
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: [coughs] One more thing: I don’t know… I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but Maxine. Tell her - just before I left the Jeffro Complex, I thought I - [coughs] They kept us all so far away from each other, I can’t be sure, but I - [coughs] I thought I saw Paula. Her Paula. Alive.
MAXINE MYERS: Paula…
PROFESSOR VAN ARK: Good luck. Remember: go to Jeffro.
SARA SMITH: Come on, Five. Last push for that water tower. I guess that easy 3K turned into a hard 10K. But we won’t let his death be for nothing, eh?
SAM YAO: There, you’ve done it! I can see you. There you are, on top of the water tower. A few zoms gathering by the base, but we’ll be along within forty minutes to pick them off and bring you home. You rest for now, yeah?
SARA SMITH: Yes. I think I can still see Van Ark from here, and that pack he’s leading away from us.
MAXINE MYERS: A brave guy. Braver than I’d expected.
SAM YAO: Yeah.
MAXINE MYERS: And we’ll go to Jeffro. For him.
SAM YAO: And Paula.
MAXINE MYERS: And maybe for Paula.