A Dead Town somewhere around North West Texas, not too far from Abeline.
Two men, Ben Collins and Cleibold Hammond, make their way across Texas towards Near Dallas. There are reports that the residents are having some less-than-kosher dealings with travelers. The two companions were making great time when an engine fire in their dune buggy slowed their progress.
Ben and Hammond walk through the dusty plains towards a small town. Few buildings remain intact, though they can make out the remains of some duplexes, an old office building and a gas station with a service bay. The two move in towards one of the houses hoping to find salvage. Things are eerily quiet, and they notice the town seems to have been abandoned suddenly.
They venture into a house and begin rummaging around for supplies. Ben enters the living room and finds several bodies strewn about the floor. Strangely, they are stiff and dried out with small puncture marks from head to toe. They check the remainder of the house; more bodies piled up on the bed.
Unable to determine what occurred, they attempt to make best of the situation and try to salvage what they can. A few minor supplies here and there, but mostly just tools and useless nick-knacks.
As they search the town for clues they find more bodies along the way. It appears the same fate befell all of the residents of the town. Disturbingly, some of the bodies are arranged in odd or grotesque manners/positions, as though someone had been “playing”. Then they find a house with several bodies in it, but this house shows signs of a struggle. Bullet holes and blood stains litter the walls and floors.
Finally a break-though. One of the bodies is a “normal” looking corpse (not dried out) and is pinned to the wall, impaled by a large piece of re-bar. Ben searches around for more supplies. Hammond looks closely at the pinned corpse when suddenly it lunges forwards lashing out at him. The zombie catches him, scraping with it’s jagged finger nails. Ben blasts it with his double-barreled shotgun and Hammond smashes it with his mighty hammer. They quickly dispatch the fiend and proceed with extreme caution.
They eventually come to a small family home. Curiously they find no bodies nor blood stains. This house seems almost normal. There is evidence in the kitchen of someone’s crude attempt at cooking a meal. Hammond spots a figure dart by the door towards the bedrooms. The men take off in pursuit of this figure.
Hammond follows the figure to a small hole in the wall. Ben attempts to flank by cutting through a door, which turns out to be a guest bedroom. Inside the room he finds that all of the furniture, as well as some from other rooms/homes, has been used to build a small partition in the room- a fortified den if you will. They poke around, trying to inspect inside when BLAM, a loud gunshot rings out from within. Ben uses his power to blast some of the debris, knocking the figure back. Hammond bursts through the wall with his hammer and comes face to face with a young girl pointing a Sharps big .50 right at his face.
A tense stand-off ensues. Ben and Hammond try and calm the girl down, but don’t make much progress. Eventually Hammy reveals his Templar tabard and makes it clear they they mean her no harm. Seeing this sign from him, she emerges and hesitantly approaches. Her name is Marilyn Chambers, she’s around 12/13 years old.
She fills them in a little about what happened in town. A caravan of buses pulled up one night and “they” came out and attacked everyone. Dozens of “them” came out and quickly slaughtering the townsfolk. The girl hid in her room, terrified to even look or move for fear of being found. When she emerged everyone was dead. She’s been there for a few weeks on her own. She’d holed up in the small fort in her room and snuck around scrounging up little bits of food and water where she could find it.
In the interest of survival, Ben and Hammy ask her where there may be food/water. She directs them to an old office building, there were some vending machines etc. that still had some items in them. Marilyn warns them that there were many people left in there, and she herself doesn’t go there (there is a hint in her voice that suggests perhaps some of her family’s bodies are there).
Marilyn stays pretty much attached to Hammond’s hip while they search. Ben scrounges around within the building finding a mass of bodies on the second floor. They also venture into the basement and find a water source from deep underground. The flow is just a trickle, but it’s clean and drinkable. They gather some jugs and take what they can carry.
Inside the office Ben finds a body holding an object- it’s a grenade! He attempts to grab it, but as he removes the grenade, he notices the booby trap and tries to leap away; the pin pulls out and the grenade blows up. Fortunately, he escapes will little more than a few minor wounds- and a good lesson learned.
Ben continues searching and manages to find a box of grenades, this time, they aren’t booby trapped. Marilyn leads Hammond down into the basement, as there is a source of fresh water there. They find it and fill up some nearby containers for the road. Ben gets Hammond to carry out the box of grenades- they may be useful at some point.
Reality sets in very quickly. The town has limited resources, and while they are equally ill-equipped, they cannot leave the girl in this place alone. Additionally, it’s several hundred miles to the closest major trading town (Near Dallas). They’ll need to find some way to transport themselves and their supplies.
The three look around for a wagon or something to carry their supplies. Ben spots an econo-box car that could be workable with some minor engine repairs. While searching Marilyn happens to check the gas station’s repair garage. There’s a decent looking truck there pinned beneath the collapsed roof, but they can still get to the engine.
Ben checks out the engine and finds the parts needed to repair the econo-box. He patches up the car. Marilyn finds some canned goods and other provisions. The gang gathers up enough gas to fill most of the tank.
After a quick look back at the place she once called home, Marilyn joins Ben and Hammond on their journey. Nervous and frightened, she clings on to these two strangers as her only light in the dark of the unknown.