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Issue 3 of Outlast: The Murkoff Account was released on November 4, 2016.[1]

Plot

Paul Marion continues confessing to the FBI agents who are interviewing him at the on-site hospital. He goes home to see his daughter Alice between jobs. On one such night, the two watch a horror movie together. Paul worries that the film is too scary for Alice, and she seems annoyed by his assumption, interrupting him. He changes the topic, asking her why she doesn't like the doll that he brought her. Alice smiles, replying that she is fifteen. Paul tiredly asks her what she would prefer for him to bring her when he returns from work trips, and she responds that she only wants him to come home more often to spend time with her. Alice falls asleep at his side while Paul appears to feel guilty of his absence at home.

Pauline Glick continues telling her own story to the mitigation officers at the Murkoff Rehabilitation Center. A brief flashback to footage of the Mount Massive Asylum Incident is seen as she explains that things "got out of hand" at the asylum and that "something new was created". Both of the Pauls are sent by the Legal Mitigation Department to investigate Mount Massive several hours after the ending of Outlast. Upon seeing the barely identifiable remains of Jeremy Blaire, Pauline comments that cleanup is going to be expensive, while Paul wonders what could have killed him. Investigating security footage leads Paul to conclude that the asylum's video drives were wiped of all evidence sometime before dawn. However, he believes the incident is totally fatal and that there are no survivors left.

The Mount Massive Incident.

Pauline tells the interviewing agents that they weren't so lucky; Waylon Park had escaped Mount Massive and had made contact with Simon Peacock and Miles Upshur. One agent interrupts her, mentioning that Simon is their chief concern due to the damage he has done before his death. However, he questions Pauline on Park having met Upshur due to Murkoff officially stating that he was neutralized in the Mount Massive event. Pauline smirks to herself and seemingly agrees with the disbelieving agent.

At the FBI hospital in Detroit, Michigan, Paul tells the agent interviewing him that their chief target was initially Waylon Park. However, a few days later, the Pauls uncovered a connection to Billy Hope, the most sensitive patient at Mount Massive. His mother, Tiffany Hope, still lived roughly eighty miles from the asylum. Tiffany is revealed to be shocked upon finding Billy at home, and mother and son embrace.

Pauline says that the two traced the Jeep Waylon had stolen to a truck stop that offered bus service. They find no evidence in the vehicle and Paul theorizes that Waylon hitched a ride at the truck stop and could now be anywhere. Meanwhile, Pauline receives a ping on Upshur's bank account, which had been accessed online from a cell tower in Nathrop, Colorado. Miles obviously had no connections to the town, but the Pauls discover upon running the location against patient files from Mount Massive Asylum that Tiffany Hope lives there.

Paul and Pauline visit Tiffany at her home. She claims that she doesn't know Miles Upshur and hasn't heard from Billy since he had gone to Mount Massive, and that she has been by herself for several weeks. Pauline asks if she has visited Billy once in all the years, to which she replies that Murkoff did not allow their patients visitors since it might interfere with treatment. Pauline seems suspicious of her cheerful demeanor and implies that Billy should be a painful topic for her, to which Tiffany responds that there's always comforts in the world. Paul, who had been investigating the trailer, asks her if she has had any male visitors. Tiffany mentions her ex-boyfriend doesn't come around much anymore. He assumes that he would miss his hat and asks if she is sure it doesn't belong to Miles, to which she repeats that she has never heard of him and asks if his name is foreign.

Paul then turns his attention to a photograph of Tiffany and Billy, asking her about her son. She fondly says that the photo was taken on Halloween. Paul recognizes Billy's costume as the character "Alien Uberman: The Invincible Alien Hero!" from comics that Alice also used to read. Pauline remarks on Tiffany's extensive collection of glass figurines. She irately corrects her that they are made of crystal and asks what they actually want since she has other things to do. Upon closer inspection, Pauline realizes that the figurines are Swarovsky crystal and asks Tiffany how she can afford them. Offended, she answers that her money is her business and asks the Pauls to leave. Billy silently watches the pair depart in the hallway.

Two silhouettes watch the Pauls.

Paul notices two wispy silhouettes, one resembling The Walrider, on the roof of Tiffany's trailer as they go to their vehicle. Pauline believes Tiffany is lying about what she knows. He agrees with her sentiment and brushes off what he sees as his imagination as the silhouettes dissipate. She places a hardline security officer on a stakeout as the two leave to begin a forensic gaslight on Waylon Park. The two visit a local diner, accessing the internet to steal Park's identity, posting a backdated history of conspiracies and delusions under his name. Meanwhile, a hooded figure watches them through the window. Pauline mentions that this was the most fun Paul let himself have working on the case.

Simon Peacock following the Pauls.

The Murkoff grunt watching the Hope residence contacts Pauline on her cell phone at the diner once he obtains a visual on Tiffany and her boyfriend. The couple goes inside to argue, which eventually leads to the boyfriend striking Tiffany. This action deeply angers Billy. He follows the boyfriend as the swarm after he leaves the house, appearing in his vehicle and murdering him. The Murkoff agent watches the vehicle crash and goes to investigate the scene at Pauline's behest. After relaying that he sees nothing but blood, he opens the door and tells her he sees The Walrider. The swarm causes him to bleed from his eyes and murders him in the same manner. Billy returns home to his mother, who seems to be drinking copiously, in an agitated state. He destroys her figurines as he approaches and promises to take care of her. Tiffany, realizing that Billy is not fully "human", is terrified and seemingly paralyzed by the revelation.

Pauline says that the word "Walrider" unleashed the full monetized wraith of the Murkoff Corporation. Several vehicles surround the Hope residence as the Pauls return to the scene. A Murkoff Tactical mercenary tells Paul that the trucks can kill the Walrider, but they only have one chance to do so and they need the full manifestation to be focused in one area. Paul asks what exactly the Walrider is, but the mercenary has no idea. He correctly assumes that Pauline is withholding information from him. She responds that she "maybe" knows what the Walrider is. Although she won't tell him anything, she confirms that it can most definitely kill them. Paul concedes to the answers she gives and accompanies her into the Hope residence.

Paul gives Alice a doll.

The Pauls are greeted by a terrified Tiffany as she accuses them of holding her hostage in her own home. Pauline says she needs to persuade Billy to show himself. Tiffany repeats that Billy hasn't been home in years. Paul takes notice of the shattered figurines and the new one taking their place, which is a giant "Alien Uberman" figurine. He compares this to what his daughter did to the doll he gave her as a present a few weeks prior. A flashback shows Paul asking Alice if she hates the doll. Alice responds by saying that she likes it but "made it special" for herself. Because of her similar actions, he correctly believes that Billy has returned home.

Despite Tiffany's continual denial, Pauline verifies Paul's faith in his assumption and decides to trust his intuition. She reveals that she knows where Tiffany got the money to purchase all of her figurines. Tiffany suddenly seems frightened and says that no matter what Murkoff has done to him, Billy is still "her little boy". Pauline says that she was paid well to give Billy over to Mount Massive and that Murkoff is more generous with their compensation when test subjects don't have any faults to begin with. She reveals that Tiffany sold Billy and he wasn't even sick. Billy appears in front of his mother and tells her that he "loved her". The Pauls flee as The Walrider gruesomely kills Tiffany.

The trucks outside of the trailer emit a frequency that causes both of the Pauls to collapse on the ground. A unknown figure in the background congratulates the agency on killing The Walrider. Paul questioningly looks at his hand, where he notices several black particles fleeing. He says that while Murkoff believed they had killed The Walrider and continued with cleanup, it wasn't the case. He climbs a nearby hill to notice a swarm of ants surrounding the area. The issue ends with Paul stating that "it hadn't died... it had just switched hosts".

Characters

List of characters in order of appearance:

Trivia

  • Simon Peacock makes his first appearance in the comics in the background of this issue, although he is officially introduced in Issue 4.
  • Although it has not been confirmed, a background character who congratulates the Pauls on killing The Walrider at the end of the issue strongly resembles Rudolf Wernicke. This could be entirely plausible given that he is not confirmed to be dead at the end of Outlast.

References

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