May 27th, 2020
The players wake up in their pods, but no staff members are present. Dawn is very uncomfortable being naked in front of the other male participants. Hours go by and no one arrives. The men decide to find help, but are trapped in the level by a locked stairwell. Lucky offers to scale the elevator shaft to the next higher level. Instead they all decide to go as a group.
On the floor above, a scuffle ensues with the Orderly-bots as the party exits the elevator shaft. After a short brawl, a bearded man in a lab coat exit from the stairwell and quickly ends the conflict by issuing orders to the robots. He explains that he is there to help them. He further warns against cryogenic recovery symptoms they should expect shortly. In time, everyone succumbs to lightheadedness and fainting spells as the reactive drugs wear off. The man and Orderly-bots aid them to nearby beds.
Later in the day, Ben Packard arrives with a woman and two teenagers; introducing them as his family. Cautiously, he explains that the year is 2020 and the world they knew is far behind. Tensions in the Middle East escalated into a nuclear war, but the impact was felt worldwide as the fallout clouded the sky for all nations. The United States, China and Russia we’re dragged into the fight by regional allies and the globe felt the burn of radiation on March 24th 2006.
Doctor Noble panicked at world events and impulsively reset the awakening times for all of his patients. Perhaps in some twisted moment of clarity he saw them as the last hope for mankind. The good doctor then killed his staff and himself leaving the sleepers to their own fate.
Ben and Kristin were sent by the University to check on the facility. When they arrived they found the entire facility staff dead and the pods soundly sleeping. Both are deeply religious and seeing it as a sign from God, they decided to remain as guardians to the sleeping people. In the ensuing 14 years they lived in ignorance of the outside world, knowing only that all communication had been cut off everywhere and that the bombs had dropped. They survived. In that time they have created a family, fought off scavengers and witnessed two pods awaken prior to Sleep Group Five.
The party reaction is calm, most likely driven by disbelief and skepticism. The Packards offer them a tour of the facility and the outside world to witness how much it has changed. They offer no concrete proof of their claims, knowing the group will not believe them. A lone survivor that came to the facility ten years ago leads the party around the area. Trees around the facility are tens of feet taller than before and small plots of vegetables grow in the courtyard where a lawn once was. Lucky attributes it to Hollywood special effects. The others are not so sure. While walking them around, Harvey Wagner tells a more visceral tale of events. He has seen the outside world and it is mad. No one is safe alone and everyone out there will eat you as much as look at you. He calls the Packards saints and vowed to protect them for nursing them back to health. He’s helped them fend off bandits and helps them care for the facility. He ends the tour at a small makeshift gravesite outside the compound where he points out the graves of Doctor Noble, his staff and Sleep Group Two. Part of the facility lost power when lightning struck the solar panels a few years back.
The Packards tell the party they are welcome to stay at the facility, but supplies are low. If they choose to brave the outside world they equip to survive in the outside world. The party chooses to leave the complex.
Over the next few days the Packards outfit them for cold weather and dangerous encounters, as well as providing each a few days of fresh food. Harvey gives them a crash course in survival techniques and reinforces the need to stay alert and trust no one. Most take his advice earnestly, except Lucky who still doesn’t believe any of the stories of the Fall of Man. Harvey asks each of them to vow not to speak of the facility to any outsiders so the Packards can continue their work.
The party heads down the hill into the high country desert.