After breaking their restraints in the lab and beating Ben senseless and doing morphine most of the group is present, minus one Alice Tumbolt. She finds herself at the bottom of a pit (having not yet actually had her first change) which proves difficult to climb out of, yet still has a grate at the top anyway.
Things must have gotten bad. There’s a raging inferno all around. Terrible roaring and gunshots. A man in a military uniform calls out for civilians and Tumbolt promptly responds. After some brief briefing on the nature and profession of the female doctor, the military man gets to work on helping her out, but not before having to fire at unseen beasties before doing so. They soon work their way to the “hospital’s” comm room passing a few more pit cells along the way and our military man Lt. Ronald Jameson radios out for help while they hole up together, but as things seem to get more heated, literally, he starts losing his cool, figuratively, as he opens fire on the encroaching massive beastie.
Meanwhile, the males of the campaign party are trying to figure their own way out when they eventually hear a voice from a nearby speaker radioing for help. Our sausage party doesn’t have a mic to respond with, but they follow the surprisingly well kept wiring in their burnt up building to the comm room, where they find in addition to the six inches of ash on the floor, a shot up door and some surveillance cameras to go with the microphones.
They have some spirited words with Jameson who is on the comm and calm him down to stop him from flipping his apparently werewolf shit on Alice who they see is being menaced by him on one of the security monitors. They establish visual contact and werewolf status and make headway, but can’t figure out where to go to reach each other until it becomes apparent that army wolf thinks it’s the 70s, and with some other evidence about (the ash and the fire, as well as the shot up door which Lt. Jameson shot up on his end) they come to the conclusion that this is the same comm room, just a different year.
Eventually everybody has to try to make it out and the Lt. gives Alice his knife to help her on her way (as well as important documents to get to the military). The whole place has bad vibes, and on the man filled end of time the bad juju picks that time to coalesce into the biggest damn locus the good ol’ boys, the gangsta wannabe, and Ben, have ever seen.
To make matters worse, some kind of secret government project involving creatures created with data extracted from experimenting on tortured werewolves are on the loose and heading for them while some hostile spirits take notice of them. The experience forces Jacob into his secondary “Wolf” personality, which tears a path through the burning hospital with unnatural speed. By slipping in and out of the shadow and avoiding the skinless ape beasts’ silver claws and gnashing teeth on the material plane, and equally silver but flame wreathed traps in the shadow, and fire spirits who begin moving from one plane to the other, while causing explosions, the separated male portion of the team work their way out, but not before being taunted by an unknown spirit manifesting as laughter over the comms system. The voice promises them that they will return, and soon.
Alice on the other hand works her way to a laundry room and takes a ventilation shaft out to freedom, only to find the shaft inhospitably hot despite the precautions of trying to blow smoke out of it with a fire extinguisher, and insulating herself with dirty clothes. Her skin covered in terrible burns and her body literally unable to go even an inch further she finally gives up. Everything seems lost until she gets some moisture from a weird vine and flips her werewolf shit for the first time ever, breaking her leg and her arms in the process, but breaking the vent shaft just as thoroughly.
Lt. Jameson signs off with no ammo and an urge to pistol whip his enemies as they bring him down. He comes off sounding like he’s given up on trying to get out alive, and loses a respect point from both Joel and Henry in the process. Jacob Nice speeds ahead of everyone as Ron guides them over comm to safety, and finds Alice outside with a vine around her neck and her limbs mangled.
Upon getting the fuck out, the time confusion has seemed to have merged quite handily and everyone makes it out to find Jacob setting these injuries into less macabre orientations. The group, reunited gets going and they find some sabotaged jeeps, to which Joel makes a minor repair and turns it into an engine-less wagon to roll down the hill in, away from this lab base thing.
This kicks off a couple weeks of wandering the drifter infested 4 miles of forest between them and the nearest “civilization” of Wayward. It wouldn’t have taken so long if the forest had not been rearranging itself to ruin the party’s collective lives. Over this time they don’t meet drifters. Only spirits of violence and their victims, while the redneck veterans try to teach the new kids, Alice, Ben and Jacob, the ropes.
Of course, during this time, Jacob’s split personality reveals itself by writing in the dirt while in wolf form (he refuses to leave that form for the duration of his stay as the dominant personality). Jacob’s other self is both accepting of his lupine condition, and to everybody’s relief, not a poser gangster wannabe. The alternate self, labeled by Henry as “Rescue Ranger”, seems to think that if Jacob stops denying what he is, he’ll cease to exist.
All this aside, with Werewolf teachings and advice given and violence spirit pelts covering their bodies since the labs took their normal attire (except for Alice’s now absolutely shredded clothes), they by some insane fluke, escape the demonic grip of the evil forest that jerked them around for two weeks.
Wayward… it’s better than the wilds. It’s better than the labs.
What a terrible world.