It didn't have to happen.
But, it did.
It could have been avoided had we just...
...talked to each other.
But, we didn't.
...the bombs fell.
I wasn't on Earth when it all went down.
Instead, I was hibernating in an LD-sleep pod on a resupply mission to the colony on Alpha Centauri IV. Even with all the advancements in propulsion technology, the back and forth on that run is still over ten years. So, by the time my ship came home, the war was already over and not much was left. We tried scanning for survivors but, we didn't find very many...
...at least not ones you could still consider fully human.
To make matters worse, immediately after we set down, our little party of six was cut to two by a pack of em. They were like animals, scarred and deformed by the residual radiation.
Wayne and I barely escaped with our lives, but his injuries did him in within 72 hours.
I guess I was the lucky one...
...that is, if you consider being left alone to die slowly in a nuclear ravaged wasteland lucky.
For the record, I don't.
With the colony over four light years away, meaningful communications are impossible so, to keep it flush with provisions until it became self-sufficient, missions were launched every five years to make sure there was always a boat on its way, and another on the way back.
My ship was the most recent one to return...
...just two years after the world fell apart.
Which means, there's still one ship out there and, since it's been almost five years since I got back, it's due any day. That's what this thing is for.
Before the mutants completely destroyed my ship, I was able to salvage a decent number of useful parts and I used some to construct this crude radio beacon. I figure, with the dead transmission tower acting like a giant antenna, I could boost the beacon's signal enough to contact the other ship's crew once they enter orbit and maybe...
...hitch a ride off this rock.
...if I live that long.
This where I live now.
Most manmade structures were leveled when the shockwaves hit, and the ones that are still standing are unstable at best, death-traps at worst. I built this place out of whatever I could find and added a scant few modern conveniences using leftover technology from my ship. It ain't much, but it's got a certain charm and it's solid.
Plus, it's near an underground, uncontaminated spring so, at the very least, I have fresh, clean water to sustain me.
Clean water source also means something else: access to plentiful small game, which is basically all that's left.
Most of the bigger animalsyour deer, your livestock, horseswere vaporized alongside 99 percent of the human population.
The ones that were spared quickly starved to death or died of radiation sickness.
As a result, with the benefit of shorter generations and a distinct lack of predators beyond me, the little critters continue to thrive.
So, I have shelter.
I have water.
I have food.
And, I have time. Lots...
...and lots of time.
Which ain't all bad.
At least, not compared to the solitude.
That ain't nothing but bad.
...I thought it was.
Someone! Please! Help us!
Hope, come here.
We don't want any trouble, mister.
Looks like trouble already found you.
Well, we don't need anymore!
I don't plan on causing any.
What're you doing out here?
Where did you come from?
We're not telling you.
How do we know you're not one of them?
One of what? These things?
I can assure you, I am not.
For one, I can speak.
For two, do I look like them?
I'm not talking about them.
We gotta go. Come with me.
How do we know you're not one of them?
It ain't safe out here.
You need to come with me.
How do we know?
Young lady, I How do we know?
Know what? What are you talking about?!
One of what?
Fine. Suit yourself.
But, from the sound of it, there's a pack of em heading this way and I only have so many bullets and they need to last. So...
For what it's worth...
...thank you for helping us.
My name's Faith. This is Hope.
I'm sorry to be so suspicious.
...if you'd seen half of what I've seen...
No need to apologize. I get it.
All due respect, mister, I don't think you do.
Now, what would make you say that?
Who the heck do you think you are to presume to tell me what I do and do not get?
I'm sorry. I didn't mean any Why are you two are out here Unarmed in the dark?
That's a bit of a long story.
Were you not aware those things come out in force at night?
And, if not, how is it possible you've survived this long without knowing that?
Get behind me.
This ain't good. Take this.
Wait! This way!
They'll figure it out soon enough.
Hope... are you alright?
She gonna be okay?
It's water. It's safe.
Go ahead. It's safe.
This is safe, too. Trapped and dried it myself.
Don't give me that.
We don't have any choice.
Hope. Eat. Please.
Hope... Look, I'll show you!
Okay, Hope. Your turn.
Hope. You can do it.
Stop being stubborn!
Oh, come on now, it ain't that bad!
Alright, I take it back.
This is not good at all.
Must've been a bad batch.
Don't eat that, darlin'.
Sorry about that.
Try this one.
Hey. You alright?
Is it? Morning, I mean?
I believe it is, yes.
Did you... sleep?
A little. Enough.
She yours? Daughter?
Why were you out in the wilderness in the middle of the night?
We had to escape and I had to save her.
Special... like... slow?
No. Not even close.
Then... special how?
Are you expecting someone?
No, I am not.
Don't move. Don't even breathe.
Who is it? Who's there?
Please! I mean you no harm!
Then tell me who you are!
I am a survivor, like you!
What do you want?
I only seek to trade!
What is it you have to trade?
Tools. Medicines. Wine and spirits!
Alright. I'm coming out.
What're you doing? I told you to stay put!
They found us.
Him. Them. We need to leave.
We? What's this "we" stuff?
We're not safe here. We need to go.
Look, sweetheart, I've been perfectly safe here for years. I'm not going anywhere.
You two, on the other hand, are free to go at any time.
But, if he could find us, there are going to be others!
With as easy as it was to take him down, I'm not particularly worried about any more of his kind showing up.
No! You don't understand what these people are capable of!
I want you two out of here.
Wait Right now.
What's she doing?
What do you want?!
I think she wants you to take her hand.
Just, take it.
I don't want to.
Stop being a baby and take her hand.
I said no.
What's it going to hurt?
I don't know! But, this is weird.
What was that?
Alright, you both warm enough?
Good, because I was not kidding when I said this is going to be a very long, very cold walk. Understood?
As long as we stick to the back trails, we should be able to steer clear of any mutants and, God willing, make it impossible for anyone to track us.
What happened to the man from before?
Don't worry about it. I took care of him.
What'd you do?
I promise you, there are some questions you don't want answered.
Okay. We'll need to keep the pace brisk if we're going to make it to the Governor's before dark.
The Governor? Governor of what?
That's just what he calls himself.
I have no idea why. He's a bit nuts, but we can trust him.
He can help us get you two to safety.
Alright. Stay close.
Why are we here? What is that?
Don't you worry about it.
I am worrying.
You said we were going to see some crazy person who could lead us to safety.
And we are.
What is that thing?
It's of no importance to you.
I think I should be the judge of that.
Look, do me a favor, and stop asking questions, because the sooner you do that, the sooner we'll be back on our way. Alright?
...received. ETA estimated 1530, three days hence.
Rendezvous point: transmission source. Repeat.
Message received. ETA estimated 1530, three days hence. Rendezvous point: transmission source. Repeat. Message received
Alright, now we can go.
What is it?
Footprint. And not the usual kind.
What do you mean by that?
What's the "usual kind?"
Mutants don't generally wear boots like this.
What kind do they wear?
The kind made of scavenged junk and scraps of old cloth. Mutants are essentially high functioning wild animals, more instinctual than self-aware. Whoever was wearing these has access to high quality provisions and the brainpower to take advantage.
Most likely another survivor.
Not many in these parts but, you come across them from time to time.
You think it's the Death Dealers?
And who are the Death Dealers?
The men in black with the black lips and eyes. It's what they call themselves.
Hand over the abomination.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
The kid. Hand over the kid!
And why would I do that?
Either you turn her over willingly...
...or I kill you and take her.
No matter which you choose, she will be leaving with me.
Is that a fact?
So, you're saying, If I refuse, you'll shoot me...
But, if I simply let you take them then...
...what? I'm free to go?
No one is free in this world.
The only true freedom is death.
In that case...
...enjoy your freedom.
Hey! What's this about?
We're just grateful.
Yeah, well, spare me your gratitude.
You have a lot of explaining to do.
This is the second of these things we've run into and they are clearly looking for our little friend here, but...
...not you. Why is that?
Who are you?
Who is she?
I can handle complicated. Try me.
I'll make you a deal.
Get us someplace safe and I'll tell you everything I know.
Fine. But, we need to change our route to the Governor's place. If that one found us, there exists the distinct possibility others might be close behind.
The sun is starting to get low.
If we don't hurry, these "Death Dealers" won't be the worst things we run into. You get me?
We get you.
You know how to use this?
I do, yes.
Then it's yours.
That's it? That's the Governor's house?
It looks like it's made out of trash.
Building materials out here aren't exactly easy to come by. You take what you can get.
Which is a roundabout way of saying it's built out of trash.
Oh, how I love to eat my soup!
It's delicious and nutritious!
If you see a critter and your belly's shouting dinner, Just pop it in the pot and make some soup!
To what do I owe the pleasure?
How many seasons has it been, anyway?
Well, well, well... you brought a friend!
How do you do?
I do well. Most days, anyway.
Somedays, not so much.
And another one!
Hello, little friend!
Oh, it's okay! I ain't gonna hurt you! I promise!
Are you hungry, little friend?
Good! Because I just made me a big old pot o' soup and there's plenty to go around.
Come on in!
You sure about this guy?
I said soup, friends! SOUP. Was I not clear?
So? Soup? Yes? Delicious? Yes?
Very much so, yes.
Uh, yes. Quite good.
Excellent! I'm happy to have been able to share my not-quite-world-famous critter stew with such a wonderful group of people!
What kind of "critters" do you think he means?
Probably better if we don't know.
Friends! Old friends!
I humbly request your attention!
I assume you did not brave the mutant-filled wasteland to enjoy my not-quite-world-famous critter stewalthough, I'm guessing you're glad you did! That being said, I very much appreciate your company.
As a token of said appreciation, I come bearing gifts! Well... gift.
As in singular. A gift.
But... not for you two.
Of which, is it okay if I give the little friend a present? I promise she's gonna love it!
I... don't see why not.
Excellent! Now, little friend, this is something very, very special I found many, many years ago while out hunting for scrap. I've been holding on to it for the most special-est of special people and I think you might be the mostest special person I've ever met. Are you ready?
Are you sure?
Are you absolutely, positively prepared to receive an amazing gift, the likes of which you have never seen before?
What do you think? Pretty nifty, right?
And, I promise you, it has neither fleas nor mites!
...why are you here and how can I help?
Do you really think this hidden sanctuary the Governor mentioned exists?
If I'm being honest, I've never heard of it.
That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.
Now hold on a minute.
If the Governor says it's there, it most likely is. This man may be a kook, but he's always been someone I felt I could trust. He's never given me any reason to doubt him.
Okay, but you still didn't answer my question.
Do YOU believe this sanctuary exists?
As far as my people were able to determine, close to nothing survived the war.
I would think we would have been able to detect such a large enclave of survivors, If it is what he says it is.
Your "people?" That's an interesting phrase.
Did you ever hear of the Genesis Project?
Can't say that I have.
I'm not surprised. It was a well-funded, though well-hidden experiment started over a hundred years ago by a brilliant scientist named Michael Shelton.
Doesn't ring a bell.
The main idea of the experiment centered around human evolution. Basically, Dr. Shelton surmised that since humanity had evolved to the point where it could recognize evolution for what it is and make conscious decisions to determine the course of it, it was only natural to assume the next stage Was to purposely direct it towards bettering the species to ensure its continued longevity.
We're all that's left of that experiment.
I was a scientist working on the project and...
She is literally the culmination of over a century's worth of cutting edge science.
We've been living in an underground facility, safe from the war and radiation...
...until they found us.
They killed everyone and torched it all.
Hope and I barely made it out alive.
They? As in... the Death Dealers?
Yes. They're a cult of fanatics.
They'd been searching for the project for years.
They believe the work we were doing was pure blasphemy. Man trying to play God.
From a certain perspective. Admittedly.
But, why would God give us free will if not to use it to unlock the secrets of his creation?
I don't know. I never went to Sunday school.
When she grabbed your hand, you experienced something... unique, right?
That's one way to put it.
Like the abstract concept of love suddenly became tangible and your mind, body and soul were flooded with it?
Yeah. That about sums it up.
Do you feel the same now than you did Before you experienced that?
No. Not by a long shot.
Think about that.
Really think about what that means.
Think about the current state of this planet and humanity in general and then think about what she could do!
What she could teach us!
She's only a child and already, this is what she's capable of!
Who knows what else she might be able to do as she matures. Imagine the possibilities!
Now, imagine all that power in the wrong hands.
Right. We need to rest.
The Governor said this sanctuary place is just under a day's walk from here, so we'll need to set out at first light.
That's it? That's all you have to say?
Hey, now! You're awake!
And, just in time for breakfast!
Eat up! There's more where that came from!
Thank you for visiting and introducing me to my new friends! Safe travels and make sure to stop on by on your way back.
And to you...
...it was very nice to meet you.
Likewise. Thank you for your hospitality.
Anytime, young lady. Anytime!
And to you, little friend.
It was an honor to be in your presence.
We've been walking for hours.
I think we need to take a short rest.
We don't have the luxury.
There's still a long way to go and I don't think it's safe.
Hope is getting tired and I'm getting hungry.
We need to take a break.
She's only a child and I'm going to start getting very cranky.
I promise you, you will not like me when I'm cranky. Surely we can stop for a couple minutes to have a snack.
What is it?
What is that?
I don't know... but, I don't trust it.
It sounds like someone in pain.
Exactly why I don't trust it.
It might be a trap.
Set by whom and for what purpose?
Mutants? Cannibals? Death Dealers?
Take your pick.
What if it's not?
What if it's another survivor and we're just leaving them out there to die?
If they die, they die. It's not our problem.
That's horrible. Absolutely horrible.
Yes. It is. But, it is what it is!
If we're going to make it to this mythical sanctuary Mythical? You said you believed the Governor!
Then why would you use the word "mythical?"
You do know what it means, right?
Of course I do!
I don't usually go around using words I don't know the definition of.
Then why would you say it?
Just forget it. I told you we need to keep moving, so let's keep moving.
We have to help that person.
We really do not.
We have to. It's not right.
Look, woman, there's no such thing as right or wrong anymore.
Yes, there is!
No. There is not!
There is only life and living. Survival.
Mine. Yours. And Hope's!
Where is she?
What do you mean, "where is she?"
Just that, where is she?
That was amazing!
We need to go. Where there's one mutant, there are bound to be more.
You ready to go?
Who goes there?
Is she alright?
I don't know.
I don't know!
Is she alive?
Yes. I think she just... passed out.
Can you wake her up? We are not safe out here.
I don't know! Hope?
Are you okay?
Can she walk?
Do you think you can walk?
I don't think we can move her. She needs to rest.
We can't rest. Not here.
We have to...
...unless you can carry her.
At this rate, I don't think we can make it to the sanctuary before dark.
Carrying her is really slowing us down.
I can try to carry her for a while but, I don't think I can move any faster than you can.
Maybe we should try to find somewhere safe to camp for the night.
No. We can't.
We have to.
We can't. Look, I've been carrying her for over an hour.
She's rested long enough. I think she can walk.
Hope. You look pale. Are you feeling okay?
No, you're not. You're burning up!
It's not that bad.
Yes, it is. We can't stay out here.
That's what I just said.
We need to turn back.
What? No, we don't. She's not that warm!
Yes. She is. She's sick and she needs shelter and medicine. We need to return to the Governor's place.
We're miles away by now.
Yes, but we're closer to the Governor's than the sanctuary, right?
If it's there, yes.
We need to turn back. The Governor can help.
No. We need to keep moving forward.
We're running out of time.
There's still plenty of daylight left.
Even if we have to take turns carrying her, we'll make it back before dark.
NO. That's not what I'm talking about.
You're not making sense right now.
If we turn back, we lose a day.
If we lose a day, there's no guarantee I can get you to the sanctuary and then make it back in time.
If I miss the window, I am stuck here.
We keep moving forward.
Window? What window? Stuck where?
What are you talking about?
It's not important.
Don't you dare give me that!
We keep moving forward!
No, we don't! Not until you tell me what in heaven's name you're talking about!
Help me, please?
Where... where are you?
I need your help.
Of course. Yes.
Where is Faith?
Don't worry. She's here with me.
I don't see her.
Wow. Thanks, kid.
Not good at all.
Back off, man!
Yeah. Yeah, it's me. I'm still alive.
Those mask-wearin' psychopaths thought they could take out the Governor.
But, I tell you, it's gonna take more than a few bullets to put me down!
Alright, you crazy old goat, take it easy now.
Crazy old goat, eh? Bah!
Governor... what happened?
Two of em... with the black clothes...
...they was lookin' for my little friend.
I told em I didn't know where she was.
But... I'm sorry.
I'm so, so sorry!
Why? For what?
I wasn't strong enough.
They got it out of me.
I told em where you was goin'.
Chips. Hey, now! Stay with me, old man!
What? What's happening?
I need you to stay with me.
But... I'm ready to go.
That hurt, dang it!
You can't leave me yet.
Not before you tell me where they went.
To look for you and my friends.
Did they get em? Did they get my friends?!
Yes. They did.
No... all is lost...
No! You know more about what goes on around here better than anyone.
Do you have any idea where they might've taken them?
How about the direction they came from?
Oh, Hope. I'm so sorry about all of this.
Please be okay!
Good morning, sister.
I said, good morning.
I must say, despite the world being in such a state of disrepair, I find your refusal to acknowledge my pleasantries...
What is your name, sister?
Where are we?
You're safe in one of my underground compounds.
Let us go.
No. Now, I asked you a question.
What is your name?
I said, let us go.
I'll try one more time.
What... is your name?
Go to hell.
You have one last chance to answer my question.
What is your name?
Well, well, well! That is a very pretty name.
And, quite apropos, if I do say so myself.
Do you know who I am?
Why have you brought us here?
I'll be asking the questions around here, sister.
And I won't be answering any more until you've answered mine.
Must we play this game?
The one where you act like you're in control of this situation. Because the truth is, no matter what happens...
...the only way that game ends...
...is with my friend here putting a bullet...
...in your forehead. Do you understand, sister?
The only true freedom is death...
...and I am honored to bring about yours.
I am going to ask you again.
Do you know who I am?
You're the leader of this cult.
Indeed, I am.
You're the reason this planet burned.
Yes. Yes, I am. And, don't think for a moment that I am not proud of my achievement.
Achievement!? You're responsible for the deaths of billions of people!
Now, wait one second there, sister.
I was not the one who dropped the bombs.
...facilitated the events which led to the eventual destruction of the human race!
There is a difference!
Either way, ultimately, it was all your fault.
My fault?! I'm just a scientist!
"Just a scientist?" Do you not realize I know who you are? Who she is? What she is?
I know all about the Genesis Project!
"Just a scientist!" Just "following orders," were you? No! You are not allowed to use that excuse. You knew exactly what you were doing when you decided to play God and create this...
She's just a kid!
No! She is everything that was wrong with the modern world!
She's the very personification of the degradation of mankind!
The arrogance of man's belief in his own corrupt infallibility! To create human life Without parents?! From nothing.
Can you seriously not see the perversity of it?
For any man to create a living, breathing person in the image of himself and only himself denies God entirely.
For we were created in his image.
This... "child," is but a crude facsimile, and, therefore, is without a soul.
Do you now see why humanity had to be destroyed?
"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die."
Do you know what that is from?
The story of Noah and the flood.
Yes. From the book of Genesis.
So, what? You looked upon the Earth, determined it was too corrupt and decided it was time to start over?
Exactly! We are the flood and we shall bring death to the entirety of the human race so that the Lord may begin again!
Who's playing God now?
Untie me, you coward!
Where'd your people take the girl?
I don't know what you're talking about.
Try again. Where's the girl?
I don't know anything about any girl.
She was carrying this.
Seems a little too convenient a coincidence that I found it right over there...
...exactly where I was when you decided to shoot at me!
She was obviously brought through this area.
And yet, you want me to believe that you never saw anything which might have resembled a young girl carrying this ugly thing?
Threaten me all you want.
I will never tell you what you want to know.
I do not fear death.
I have sworn allegiance to The Flood.
I have willingly received the holy poison which runs black through my veins and, just like my brothers, I will one day ascend into heaven as a celebrated martyr!
Good for you.
Now, say you're sorry.
For disrespecting me.
I will never apologize.
What is it?
We may have a problem.
What kind of "problem?"
Someone is coming.
The man... I...
If you killed him, how is he on his way here?
I don't know!
Then I suggest you stop standing around and flapping your gums at me and go.
Yes, your holiness.
Give me your gun.
Go with him. And, once this "problem" is dead, punish your brother for failing the first time.
...go stand in the corner.
Because I told you to.
Do it, or I will end you right here and now.
You're just going to kill us both anyway!
Where's the kid!?
Tell me where she is!
You know, I may as well just tell you...
...since you'll be dead shortly.
The child you seek is in a small, underground compound about a mile further down this path. She's safe. For now.
And the woman?
She's there as well and will be for as long as the Reverend finds her...
Thanks for the information.
That being said, you're an idiot.
Now, why would you say something so hurtful?
Believe me, in a few seconds, my words will be the least hurtful thing you're going to experience.
What're you laughing at!?
I'm simply excited!
It's not every day you get to kill a man twice!
I fail to see what's so funny.
Because... you missed one.
He never saw it coming!
Now, help me up.
Come on, now! Help me up! I've been shot!
Wait! What're you doing? Hey!
Thank you for that.
I said get in the corner.
Fine. I was going to spare your life and offer you the opportunity to become one of my...
...special lady friends.
However, you're far too spirited and, honestly, no man wants that.
As such, I have changed my mind.
You don't have to kill us!
Young lady, yes, I do.
You said it yourself, I am indirectly responsible for the destruction of the entire human race.
Not completely, no, but, it's only a matter of time until I finish the job.
Even the soldiers in my holy army won't survive.
Every one of them has ingested a slow-acting poison with no known antidote to make sure, once they've carried out humanity's end, they, too, will fall.
Have you seen one of their faces uncovered?
Proof the poison is working.
And yet, clearly, you haven't taken it.
That's true. And, I never will.
You're a coward.
Since you're not going to last much longer, I want to let you in on a little secret.
After all is said and done, and the last of my soldiers succumbs to the poison, all that will be left in this world besides a bunch of sterile, soon-to-be-dead mutants...
...will my special lady friends...
So, in your version of this story, you're not the flood. You're Noah.
Yes. Yes, I am.
You know... I've changed my mind.
I do like your spirit.
Might be useful after the purge is complete.
I think I'll let you live.
She has to die.
...I've already made up my mind to spare your life.
But, you try anything like that again, and I swear to you, the next bullet hole won't be in the wall.
Do you understand what I'm saying?
I'm sorry, I couldn't hear that.
I still couldn't hear you.
Good! There it is! There's that spirit!
Now. I have a little business to take care of.
Why, hello there, little sister.
I'd apologize for what's about to happen to you but, you being what you are and all
You're... you're okay?
But... you were sick.
No? I don't understand.
You were holding on to the pain and suffering of the others.
You took it away and healed them in the process.
Until you gave it...
No. You hear me? No.
You did the right thing.
He was a very, very, very bad man.
You saved us. You saved us all.
Oh, my word!
He's still alive!
It's okay! It's okay! It's just us!
But, how? I was... I was coming to get you and then... I got shot in the back!
How are you here? How'd you escape?
It's a long story.
How long as it been since you were captured?
I... uh... less than 36 hours... I think?
...I think there's still time!
Time for what?
...three days hence.
Rendezvous point: transmission source.
We made it.
Repeat. Message received.
How long will we have to wait?
Based on their transmission and the reading on this chronometer, it should only be a matter of hours.
In fact, they should already be in orbit and preparing to land.
What do we do until then?
Wait. Where are you going?
What do you mean?
There's no room on their rocket for all three of us.
Yes, there is! Those rockets are designed to haul thousands of tons of supplies!
True. But, there's no way for them to refuel, so they're going to have to get back to the Alpha Centauri system with only their emergency reserves, most of which they're going to have to burn through to escape Earth's gravity. That means they'll have to take as little weight as possible.
I've spent most of my adult life working on these ships. I know how the math works.
There's only enough wiggle room in the calculations to allow for me...
...or the two of you.
But, nothing. This world is dying and it'll soon be gone.
It had its chance and it failed.
Miserably. That colony is the best...
...Hope humanity has for a future.
It needs her.
And, it needs you.
Take care of her.