Issue 7 Review

Midnight Nation 7 Synopsis

"Decisions, Decisions, Decisions"

David Grey dreams again that he is a Walker. He chases a victim up the stairs. He revels in his power, but he senses that something is wrong.

David isn't dreaming. He is really chasing a hapless innocent. Laurel rushes into the room and warns the bystanders out of the way. David looks back at her through the eyes of a Walker and with his lips pulled back in a demonic grin. Laurel plows into David and carries him through the upper floor window.

On the ground below, David comes to his senses and realizes what he has done.

That night, David and Laurel sit by a fire in an abandoned warehouse. David is afraid that he hurt someone. Laurel assures him that she stopped him in time, but she won't always be able to stop him. She promises that he will eventually hurt someone. That's what always happens.

Laurel says she must ask David a question, but she is hesitant because of its nature. She must ask him the question three times before they finish their journey. Laurel asks if David wants her to end his life now. Knowing his fate, does he want to stop now while he still has the ability to choose?

Laurel says he must decide without her interference. She pulls up the garage door and heads outside, promising to return for his answer in the morning. As she leaves, she says that the others should be there soon.

David closes the garage door in frustration. As he heads back to the fire, he hears a noise from outside. Thinking it is Laurel he opens the door.

Four Walkers have arrived in a pair of black vans. They greet him with their one-word vocabulary, "Shah." David stands ready to fight, but the Walkers turn their backs to him and head back to the van. They remove a covered object from the van and carry it into the warehouse. They set it on the floor and remove the cover to reveal an old-style radio. One of the Walkers sets a chair in front of the radio.

Throughout the entire process, the Walkers continue their "Shah" conversation. One of them puts his arms around David in a brotherly embrace. Another Walker turns on the radio and adjusts the tuning. Highlights from decades of history issue from the radio as the Walker searches for the proper setting. Finally, with David seated and the Walkers waiting attentively, the radio begins speaking to David.

The voice tells David that they are here to help and save him. It tells him that everything he believes is a lie.

Outside, Laurel sits in the snow under a tree. She presses a clump of snow against her arm, which is still bleeding from her fall through the window. She throws the bloody ice pack against another tree in frustration.

Laurel is crying, and she finds it difficult to talk to her higher power when she feels this way. She looks to the sky and says she isn't strong enough to do this anymore. She begs not to be asked to do this again.

The radio tells David that Laurel wants him to die. It's easier for her because then she won't have to deal with him. The Walkers, on the other hand, want him to live. The voice points out that they have never attacked him. They only defended themselves when he attacked them. They could have killed him at any time, and they could kill him now if they wanted to. He has killed or wounded many of them, but they don't want him dead.

David asks why. The voice tells him that they will show him if he touches the dial. He balks, but the voice reminds him that Laurel knew the Walkers would come tonight. She knew what they would ask David to do. If David trusts Laurel, then he shouldn't have any reason not to touch the dial.

David mutters, "What the Hell," and touches the dial. The voice responds, "What the Hell, indeed."

David suddenly finds himself and the radio on a rooftop in Hell... and New York City. Towering buildings appear similar to familiar landmarks, but these buildings are all made from rough stone. Fires blaze everywhere, and the red sky is full of smoke.

"Welcome home," says the Other Guy. The shirtless, grey-skinned man is bald and has a braided goatee. A small Walker tattoo adorns his forehead.

The Other Guy tells David that he built this city himself, and adds that David will see it better when he arrives. David protests that he is going to New York City and this is definitely not it. The Other Guy asks why David thinks they call it the city that never sleeps.

The Other Guy tells David that he has brought him here to tell him the truth, just as he has done with each other person like him who came across to the place in-between. He says that his opposition hates this part, but those are the rules. They get their chance for twelve months, but he only gets his chance twice, once right now, and once when David arrives at his destination.

David asks if that is what he meant by everything being a lie. The Other Guy says that he's been lied to about everything, not just his current situation. He launches into a lecture.

Creation is built on the promise of hope that things will get progressively better, but that isn't true. He launches into a list of examples: urban decay, overpopulation, lack of courtesy, violence, pollution, and much more. Nothing tastes good anymore; there are even permissible amounts of rat-droppings in a hot dog. The neighborhood that one considers safe has shrunk until everyone is hiding in their homes from the outside world.

The Other Guy asks if that sounds like a kept promise. He says that his followers come to him freely because they believe the truth that the maker of all things is a liar, fraud, and pretender. He promises that David will come to believe as well. Their goal is to prove their belief.

David asks what happens then, and the Other Guy says that he wins. David asks again. The Other Guys says that there are no words to describe the new world, but it will be glorious.

The Other Guy says David understands the truth because he's seen it. That's why the Other Guy chose him. He asks David not to let Laurel kill him. He challenges him to finish his journey... to come home.

David finds himself back in the warehouse. The four Walkers carry the radio back to their vans and depart.

The next morning, Laurel returns to the warehouse and asks David if he saw the Other Guy. David begins to tell her what he said, but she cuts him off. She already knows what he said.

David asks if his only two options are to become the first person to win his soul back or become a Walker. Laurel reminds him of his third option, which is to end his life now. David says that the Walkers want him to live and asks what Laurel wants him to do. She wants him to decide. She quietly promises that she can make it painless. She's done it before.

David is adamant that he doesn't want to become a Walker. He doesn't care what the Other Guy's motives and reasons are. However, he understands that if Laurel doesn't kill him now, he will probably become a Walker.

David reflects on his life. He remembers all the times he believed he would never see another happy day, such as when Sarah left and when his father died. He believes that everyone reaches times in their lives when they want to give up because it's too hard to go on.

The night he lost Sarah, David put his gun to his head. At that point he believed everything the Other Guy said. Nothing would ever get better. Then a friend called and asked him to go to a Dodgers game. David was stopped on the brink of suicide with the phone in one hand and his gun in the other. He went to the game and ate a hot dog. He decided that it was a start. He could always pull his gun out later if he changed his mind. Some time later, he found himself laughing at a movie and realized that he was having a happy day.

On that day, David decided that he would never give up again. He believes that everyone gets at least one more happy day. He'll stay alive and take his chances with the journey, the Other Guy, and Laurel.

Laurel hugs him and says they should go. As they start off, David finally notices that Laurel's arm is still bleeding. Laurel dismisses it. It's not the first, and it won't be the last.

Laurel says she knows where they can find some hot dogs. David is excited.

David asks Laurel if she will really ask him her question twice more. She says yes. When he asks when, she merely says, "You'll see."

The Other Guy watches David and Laurel walk off into the new day.