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May your survival be long. May your death be swift.
— The Washington Liberation Front's slogan[2]

The Washington Liberation Front (WLF),[3] informally called Wolves, are a militant paramilitary organization and an antagonistic faction that exists in The Last of Us Part II. They are located in Seattle, and are currently at war with the Seraphites for control of the area.[2]

History

Creation and war against FEDRA

During FEDRA's control over the Quarantine Zone, anger grew towards the military and its control over the city. Isaac Dixon, Emma and Jason Patterson were three of countless residents enraged by the expulsions, food shortages, and executions the military conducted under Lt. Torres and Sgt. Ward's rule.[4] By the mid-2020s, the Pattersons formed the WLF, nicknamed "Wolves", to fight for better living conditions for civilians in the zone. However, their protests quickly escalated into an anti-FEDRA campaign, with the Pattersons, Isaac and their small group of members distributing anti-FEDRA propaganda, stealing the military's supplies and inciting sedition among the Seattle residents. Their actions led to Ward marking them all as wanted terrorists.[5]

Eventually, the Pattersons were eliminated by the military, along with most of the other top officials of the Wolves, leaving Isaac as one of the last remaining leaders of the rebellion.[5] In retaliation for their deaths, Isaac killed three FEDRA soldiers. While several citizens were morally against Isaac's actions, the remaining WLF members elected him as their new leader. Over the coming weeks, the WLF committed attacks on military checkpoints, assaulted convoys, and committed open armed conflict against the military.[6]

To counter the WLF's growing aggression, Torres ordered the soldiers open fire on any and all WLF protests, including peaceful ones. The order led to the Thursday Market massacre, an event that saw the military's brutal response to the WLF march cause a surge in WLF support and membership among the Seattle residents. The action was particularly controversial as the protesters were campaigning for food for their families and ended the military's propaganda campaign to frame the WLF as a terrorist group filled with murderers; the WLF now became known as the citizens' own freedom fighters.[7] The increased membership led to increasing success for the WLF, with even FEDRA soldiers defecting to join the militia group.[6]

In time, the military gave up on their campaign to defeat the WLF, with Torres ordering Ward to evacuate FEDRA and military personal from the city.[8] The WLF did not allow the soldiers to leave peacefully though, instead using a tip from a Seattle resident to corner the soldiers on the highway, where they slaughtered them in open combat. Torres and Ward's squad managed to escape the battle but the WLF chased them to the courthouse, where they finished the fight in a final skirmish, successfully killing the military's leadership and officially ending their reign over the city.[9]

Within a few months, the WLF successfully captured all of FEDRA's military checkpoints in the city. With that, the WLF had successfully won the war against FEDRA and now controlled the QZ.[10][11][7] However, some FEDRA personnel fled into the city's suburbs. Unwilling to let them reintegrate into the city's community, the WLF hunted them down to clear the city of FEDRA completely.[12][13][7]

Consolidating power and community building

With FEDRA and the military now gone, the WLF were the city's primary faction, containing and ruling over thousands of survivors across Seattle. However, they soon broke their promise of liberation, instead pushing for everyone in the city to join the group as members of their militia and to swear their loyalty to the group.[14][15] Further, they experienced problems transporting supplies across the various districts in the city, a problem caused by the mass hordes of Infected on supply routes that the military failed to solve.[4] To fix the problem, Isaac ordered the WLF's soldiers to forcefully move Seattle's civilians from their homes to SoundView Stadium to contain everyone and centralize the supply distribution. Many civilians resisted, but the WLF expressed no mercy, instead forcefully expelling dissidents from the suburbs and stealing their supplies.[16][17] The WLF's dictatorial actions caused several residents to conclude that they were worse rulers than FEDRA.[16][18][19]

The WLF escalated their expulsion policy to execution, notably killing Sofia Legasov in retaliation for her defacing numerous WLF banners in Hillcrest.[19] Their brutality led to a short guerrilla war against the Hillcrest community, principally fighting their leader (and Sofia's father) Boris Legasov.[18] Despite Boris successfully killing numerous WLF soldiers, fear of further WLF retaliation led the Hillcrest community to betray Boris, revealing their intent to leave Hillcrest and join the WLF, leaving him to fight alone.[20] However, Boris kept up his attacks, trapping residents of his community in spore-infested areas and bombing a WLF patrol. Boris eventually turned into a Stalker, and the remaining residents joined the WLF, marking an end to the guerilla war.[18]

By the early 2030s, the WLF had transformed their centralized community at SoundView Stadium into a safe haven, with solar panels and wind turbines installed to provide power. They turned the weight room into a training area for the soldiers, created classrooms for children, made use of the dining halls, maintained a library, and turned the field into a large farming area to grow their own food and raise livestock. They also gathered all of the military's fuel, trucks and weapons, consolidating themselves into an effective fighting force.[2] Many residents expressed gratitude to the WLF for successfully securing their children's safety and providing working medical bays for the sick.[21][22] Those in the WLF came to know one another well, typically going on patrols with close friends.[2]

At some point prior to 2028, the WLF crossed paths with the Fireflies. The two groups held an amiable relationship, enough that Isaac extended an offer to accept members of the group into the WLF if they ever desired to join.[2] Tommy Miller also met the group, learning their name, location, insignia and dress code. He concluded they were a powerful faction that arguably surpassed the strength of his community in Jackson.[23]

War against the Seraphites

Over the years, the WLF became xenophobic, trusting only each other and acting hostile towards outsiders. This ruthlessness manifested in a growing conflict with a large segment of survivors living in Seattle who had left the suburbs and lived on a nearby island, the Seraphites, referred to as "Scars" by the WLF. The WLF considered the group a death cult. In time, their hostilities escalated into full-blown violence when the Scar leader, known only as the Prophet, bombed a WLF supply platoon, destroying their trucks and killing several soldiers. This marked the start of a new war between the WLF and the Scars.[24]

Both sides committed atrocities. The WLF originally only captured known Seraphites living in the city, but soon began executing and assassinating them instead.[25][26] To ensure their protection, several people who had been hiding from the WLF in the suburbs traveled deeper into the city to join the WLF.[27] To improve their fighting capabilities far from the stadium, the WLF converted former FEDRA outposts into their own bases to control more of the city. They also transformed a hotel into a military barracks and interrogation facility, where they tortured numerous Scar prisoners for information.[28] Many in the group took part in the torture methods, with some expressing a sadistic pleasure in the act. Their leader Isaac dubbed the area their Forward Operating Base (FOB).[2]

By the early 2030s, a ceasefire was reached between the WLF and the Seraphites, with the WLF agreeing to leave the Seraphites living on their island alone so long as their patrols did not interfere with WLF supply routes. Co-existence now occurred between the the groups, though resentment remained.[29]

In time, a group of Seraphite teenagers attacked a WLF patrol and were gunned down. The skirmish led to Seraphites breaking the treaty, demonstrated in their large-scale attack on the WLF's civilians living in the stadium.[30] In retaliation, the WLF unleashed the military's weapons on the Seraphites, reigniting the war.[31] The WLF eventually managed to capture the Seraphite Prophet and imprisoned her. However, the Prophet began to preach to the WLF soldiers guarding her, leading some members to question the point of conflict against the Seraphites.[32][33] With defections to the Seraphites growing, Isaac decided to have the Prophet killed instead.[34] However, this martyred the Prophet, leading to an increase in fighting from the Seraphites. Their rising ferocity was best demonstrated in their successful capture of the WLF's outpost where they had killed the Prophet. The WLF were forced to retreat and concede the area (dubbed "Martyrs Gate") which the Scars turned into a shrine for the Prophet.[2]

The battle of Martyrs Gate left a lasting impression among many in the WLF. It was their first significant defeat in the war and caused many to question their loyalty to the group. Soon, many in the WLF saw the militia group as fanatical and morally gray, deciding to put their own concerns first, and defect to the Seraphites. Ji-So Huang, Andrew Dominguez, Chris Marsh and Adam Peters even deserted the WLF and hid in the city to avoid the war entirely.[35] To deter further defectors, the WLF began hunting and executing them.[36] Even loyal WLF soldiers came to betray their own people by revealing valuable intelligence to the Seraphites when captured to avoid death,[37] contrasting with how many Seraphites would undergo significant torture without revealing information when captured by the WLF.[2]

Events of The Last of Us Part II

Around 2034, former Fireflies Abby Anderson, Manny Alvarez, Owen Moore, Nora Harris, Mel, Jordan, Nick and Leah arrived in Seattle. As the Fireflies had disbanded, the group desired to join the WLF. With the Seraphites having recently gained an advantage over the WLF, the militia group accepted the combat-trained group into their army. The former Fireflies proved themselves as capable soldiers, with Abby and Manny in particular becoming the two best soldiers in the militia.[2]

Around 2036, the WLF launched an amphibious invasion of the Seraphites' island in an effort to defeat them in their home territory, but the attack failed to cause significant damage and ended with the WLF retreating in their boats. Isaac later put their defeat down to their failure to attack the island with all of their soldiers.[2] By the winter of 2037, the WLF were winning the war once again. As such, Isaac permitted Abby to take her group (dubbed the "Salt Lake" crew) to Jackson, Wyoming as a reward for her success in the war.[24] By March, 2038, the eight WLF soldiers tracked down and murdered Joel Miller, who had killed Abby's father, Jerry Anderson, while rescuing Ellie from St. Mary's Hospital.[23]

In April 2038, the Salt Lake crew returned to Seattle. In their absence, the war against the Scars had shifted against the WLF yet again, with Isaac calling for all patrols to focus on securing supplies in their outpost areas and concentrate them at the FOB and stadium. Jordan believed the gathering was the WLF actually falling back and conceding territory they had previously taken from the Seraphites. The former Fireflies were quickly reintegrated to the front lines, with Leah posted to a TV station outpost, Nick sent to the company at the Serevena Hotel near the city's walls, Nora assigned as chief medical officer at the FOB and the others placed on patrol duty.[2]

Owen was sent on a WLF patrol into Scar territory, where a skirmish broke out. At the end of it, only Owen, Danny and an old Seraphite soldier were left alive. Owen, no longer wanting to fight in the war, refused to kill the old man. Danny rebuked him for it and went to kill the man. Owen jumped to the man's defense, leading to a scuffle that resulted in Owen mortally wounding Danny, and the Seraphite escaping. Owen subsequently fled to the aquarium. Danny stumbled back to the FOB, where he revealed Owen's betrayal to Isaac before dying.[2]

Tommy Miller, having traveled from Jackson to avenge Joel, made his way into the city. He encountered the WLF company based at the Serevena Hotel and attacked the group, killing all except Nick and another WLF soldier. He interrogated them for information regarding the WLF's movements in the city, before killing them and proceeding deeper into the city.[38]

Jordan went on a WLF supply excursion to the local elementary school with WLF officer Mike and his company. While there, two trespassers (Ellie and Dina) set off one of their traps on the road while riding their horse. Mike killed the horse, captured Ellie and brought her back to the school.[38] Wishing to remove distractions, Isaac gave Mike and all WLF soldiers a new order: kill all trespassers on sight.[39] Mike subsequently returned to kill Ellie but was stopped by Jordan, who argued that Ellie was from Jackson, so he suspected the Jackson community were launching an invasion against the WLF in retaliation for Joel's death. Dismissing him, Mike moved to kill Ellie, but Dina ambushed them. The attack led to a large shootout at the school, leaving several WLF soldiers (including Mike and Jordan) dead and the trespassers gone. A WLF patrol also found Tommy nearby, leading to a shootout; while they managed to kill his horse, Tommy escaped the ambush.[38]

Later that day, a skirmish erupted between the WLF and Seraphites at a TV station in the city. The Seraphites successfully killed or captured all WLF soldiers in the building, including Leah. WLF reinforcements arrived an hour later to assist, only to find Ellie and Dina there. They ambushed the pair, but the women escaped into the subway station. The soldiers pursued them but were killed by Shamblers and Clickers in the area.[38] Elsewhere in the city, another large battle with the Scars went horribly for the WLF, with over eighty soldiers dying during the morning's conflict.[2]

News of the staggering losses the WLF suffered during the day convinced the WLF's leader Isaac that the Scars' success in skirmishes meant the WLF would lose the war in the long term if the WLF did not launch a large-scale invasion of the Seraphites' island to totally annihilate them. As such, he mobilized all WLF fighting forces to the FOB in preparation to capture the boats at the marina and coastal area, preparing all available soldiers to take the fight to the Seraphites' island.[2] By this point, WLF scouting teams had already sneaked ashore on the Seraphites' island to determine the best area to land, and several soldiers had been interrogating Scar prisoners for similar information for over three days.[28][40] Isaac held a meeting with Manny and Abby at his apartment in the FOB, informing them of the planned invasion and asked them (as his two best soldiers) to lead the army into battle in three days' time. However, Abby declined unless Isaac allowed her to bring Owen back into the WLF. Isaac refused, angered that Abby would think Danny would have used his dying moments to lie to him. Not giving in, Abby fled the WLF to find Owen, with Manny's help.[2]

The next day, Jesse arrived in the city from Jackson. He was spotted by a WLF patrol in Hillcrest. He successfully blew up one of their trucks, but was injured while fleeing from the group. Ellie arrived in the area and helped him escape by stealing a truck and luring the WLF into Infected territory.[37]

Later on, the WLF sent Nora and her company to the hospital to clear it of all the remaining supplies. There, Abby was found trying to barter for medical supplies, but the soldiers were under instruction to capture her for desertion. However, Nora helped Abby escape.[24] A few hours later, Ellie arrived searching for Nora, whom she found and chased through the hospital. The WLF cornered her near an area infested with Infected.[37] At the same time, Abby turned the power on while traversing the lower floors, alerting the Infected, who attacked the WLF soldiers. The battle allowed Ellie to corner Nora and interrogate her for information about Abby's whereabouts.[24] Both Ellie and Abby eventually escaped the hospital, their actions disrupting the WLF's supply gathering.[37]

With Abby now an enemy to the WLF, Isaac decided to put Manny in command of the army instead, and sent him to secure the boats at the marina with his platoon. However, Tommy Miller was there searching for Abby, and killed Manny and his platoon. Soon after, WLF reinforcements arrived and secured the boats. Isaac decided to lead the WLF invasion himself. The assault was initially successful, with the army securing the beachhead, taking key positions on the coastal areas, and Isaac's company pushing deep into the island's interior towards the Seraphites' villages.[41]

Along the way, a WLF soldier found and shot Yara. As he moved in to kill her, Abby attacked him. The soldier initially fought back, but quickly recognized her, his shock enabling Abby to break his arm and take his gun. However, Isaac and his squad caught up, only to be surprised when Abby shielded the former Seraphite Lev. Abby reasoned with Isaac, who agreed to take her back to the city and reinstate her, so long as she helped him win the invasion and let him kill Lev. She refused, leading Isaac to motion to shoot her. However, Yara shot him dead with her own gun, prompting Isaac's squad to open fire on her, enabling Abby and Lev to escape. The island erupted into a war zone, with Seraphites and WLF soldiers killing each other across the terrain. By nightfall, the Seraphites launched a counter-attack from their inland villages, pushing the WLF back to their city, Haven. It was here the WLF made a last stand against the Seraphites, burning the city to the ground and engaging the Seraphites in close-quarters combat.[41]

Hours later, when Abby and Lev reached Ellie's hideout, they found the radio that Dina was using to track the WLF's actions. A message came through from Echo team revealing the Seraphites had proved too much for them, with team Alpha and Bravo all dead, Isaac deceased, his company defeated and Echo themselves reporting hundreds of casualties. The woman on the radio ordered all battalions on the network to retreat from the island, though soon mentioned only Echo team had reported back since the army landed on the island. Therefore, despite the significant damage inflicted upon the Seraphites' island, the invasion proved a failure, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of WLF soldiers and crippling their strength and manpower.[41]

Strength

Having defeated the military in Seattle,[8][9] the Washington Liberation Front are experienced fighters and possess much of the military's equipment, notably Semi-Auto Rifles, Military Pistols, Pipe Bombs, Hunting Rifles, 9mm Pistols and Revolvers. Their strength is such that many who entered their territory were killed over the years, and they currently control more territory than the Seraphites. Their overall numbers are in the thousands, as they took in most of the surviving civilians of Seattle and brought them to SoundView Stadium.[2]

Their fighting forces are big enough that they are split into large units. Known units are Alpha, Bravo, Echo, Gamma and India.[42][41] These units are spread throughout the city, notably occupying and protecting the FOB, SoundView Stadium, Hillcrest, the TV station, the elementary school, the Serevena Hotel and Lakehill Seattle Hospital in the days before the attack on the Seraphite island.[38][2] However, they did not control the aquarium, marina, Pinnacle Theater, or downtown Seattle, which is infested with Infected.[37][24][43]

The WLF uses guard dogs, which are well trained in tracking and attacking trespassers at their owner's command. This complicates stealth, as the dogs can pick up Ellie's scent, even if they do not see her.[37] The dogs are lethally efficient, able to tackle and kill both Infected and human enemies like the Seraphites, as demonstrated by how Abby's dog Alice was able to kill many while on patrol with her[2] and even almost killed Ellie when attacking her at the aquarium, who only managed to stop her by using her switchblade to stab the dog.[42]

The group is well supplied, having many trucks that they use for patrols and, with several mechanics and engineers in the group, are able to repair them and make ammunition for weapons they stole from the military. Furthermore, the group has a strict discipline for the formalized soldiers in their community, with there being regular training sessions in marksmanship and combat and gym routines that the soldiers take part in, including boxing. However, they do lack body armor, contrasting with the Rattlers. Even medical personnel, like Mel, still possess basic firearms training to ensure all able-bodied members are capable of holding their own in combat.[2]

Their regular patrols and strict training has enabled them to effectively control most of the city and overpower Seraphites on numerous occasions. Their large size means they control many portions of the city to the extent that makes it difficult to both sneak in and attack bases without being seen. Their main base at the stadium is heavily guarded with regular patrols watching the perimeter and a fifty-foot wall surrounds the area, preventing attack from all sides.[2]

However, according to Isaac, the group's victories are not absolute as enough small skirmishes are lost that there were a considerable number of dead WLF members at their FOB, and Isaac personally believed the group could not keep taking such losses without losing the war in the long term.[2]

When invading the Seraphites' island, the WLF initially proved successful, capturing the docks and successfully pushing inland towards the villages deep inside the island. However, once the Seraphites launched a counterattack, the WLF began to suffer numerous defeats. They made a final stand at the Seraphites' city, Haven, killing hundreds in the large scale battle. Judging from a radio call Abby and Lev listen in on, it appears the Seraphites successfully forced the WLF to retreat, with the counterattack at Haven resulting in the annihilation of at least three WLF units and the loss of Isaac's company. The radio call further indicates that the losses are substantial enough that the WLF would not risk a second attack in the near future, with it being recorded as their single biggest defeat in the war.[41]

Despite their skill in defeating Scars during skirmishes, they do struggle to defeat Infected. While searching for Ellie and Dina in the Seattle subway, a group of WLF soldiers were killed by Shamblers and Clickers.[38] Another patrol in an apartment building were also overwhelmed and bitten to death by Stalkers.[37] A group of Runners even killed three WLF soldiers on lookout duty.[44] However, Abby and her squad were able to defeat a group of Infected while clearing out a warehouse.[2]

Gallery

Trivia

  • Some of the WLF soldiers the player can kill while playing as Ellie are encountered by the player as allies when playing as Abby, notably Bear and Whitney.[37][24]

References

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