Jared’s return brings with it complications and questions. He was sent out as a scout one and a half years by General Alan Mercator, who was Secretary of Homeland Security before D-Day and by chain of succession, President of the United States, at least to hear Jared talk. He says he has been scouting communities through the Midwest, offering them the opportunity to get a one-time set of supplies from the government. If they take the supplies, they also have the opportunity to go back to the base and community that is being set up in Montana.
Langston also knows that Jared was, like him, a member of Project New Guardians, a pre D-Day government project designed to build the government their own team of powers. The head of that Project? General Alan Mercator. Langston questions Jared about the current existence of the project. He says while a good portion of the lab did not survive, that the Project is still continuing to some effect. That the government is still working on trying to solve the nanobot problem in addition to creating their own powers, including a legacy portion which has ominous overtones.
Maddy is interested in the gear that Jared was carrying with him, including a backpack with a locked bag inside and a lightweight portable solar powered vehicle that Jared used to travel across the country. But she is caught by Rick Farrington before she can break into where they are storing Jared’s stuff. And speaking of which, Natalie helps him out by making sure he knows not to wear a uniform in the presence of real military who would know whether it was authentic.
Jared is happy to see Natalie and tells her that he always intended St. Louis to be his last stop. Whether or not they allow him to send his signal to the government, he would like to spend some time at Refuge Point. With her.
And if things weren’t complicated enough, the survivalist group from Lumiere Casino (represented by Wayne Petralia and Rich Berthold) arrives and lets the council know that they are leaving – that the wild plant growth is much more focused in St. Louis than outside the city limits and with it heading west, it’s time for them to execute on the plan they’ve been working on for months. And they are offering to take some people with them, if those people can bring their own supplies – to act as a guide to get them out of the city. And Rich (whose idea it seems to have been) suggests that they will be more open to the Twisted and formerly Powered.
There is much debate among the council about what to do about both offers but eventually decide to open the offers to a public vote a week later. The group seems to lean toward staying at Refuge Point, and definitely not letting the government know where they are. But that is not necessarily a widely held sentiment, especially with a cold harsh winter coming. Those government supplies might keep them alive at the end of the winter.
Let the campaigning begin…