The survivors return to Troublesome Creek as heroes, having ended the raiders and brought back some long-overdue mail. Pappy and his clan celebrate their victory, as well as giving them a reward—not much, but the best the small community can manage. The next day, Pappy asks the heroes if they would mind running another errand for the Fugates. Ever since raiders started threatening the area, the few merchants friendly enough to trade with a clan of mutants have stopped coming around. If the Fugates want to get things back to normal, they need someone to take a message to their contact in Gaptown, a week’s journey to the south.
The heroes agree and set out right away, choosing to follow a shorter route past an abandoned and forsaken town called “Hazard.” They decide to stop into the old town despite its cursed name and reputation, hoping to find some good salvage. Their first encounter with a large pack of feral ghouls is an unpleasant one, but Murphy’s “sight” leads them to a place of safety in the town: a building shaped like a giant duck, apparently known as the Mother Goose House.
The group makes their way inside through an adjoining garage complex, stomping a few radroaches on the way, and proceed to search the Mother Goose House thoroughly. There are a few bits and bobs worth their time, but the next few days see a decent amount of scavenging from the surrounding Apple Ridge section of town. In an old, abandoned National Guard depot, they find a real treasure: a stripped-down suit of T-45 power armor! Unfortunately, they have no fusion core to power it.
Having seen a trickle of smoke over a nearby ridge indicating a settlement, they decide to travel there and see if the community has a merchant to trade with. They find a rambling farm with an attached corn maze. The leader of the community introduces himself as Brother Isaac, and his home as Holliday Farm. After doing a fair bit of bartering, the heroes manage to barely scrape together enough caps to afford the single fusion core the Holliday Farm has to offer.
Before they can make their way back to pick up the power armor, Murphy lets it spill that she’s psychic, to which the merchant reacts poorly. While Brother Isaac is being fetched, Murphy runs off into the corn maze to hide. Isaac comes back to find her already gone; his people frown on “seers” and “witches,” but if she ran off into the maze, then her fate is already in their god’s hands. Apparently, the Holliday settlement worships a corn god called “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”—and their god lives in the corn maze.
The other rush off after Murphy to try and catch up with her before something awful happens. Alone in the maze of maize, Murphy hears something big approaching her. Right before it arrives, she realizes with terror what it is: He Who Walks Behind the Rows is a super mutant!