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- "Mister, you can't ride around like that! Where's your mask? Take one step without it, you'll be coughing up bloody foam."
- ― Samuel in the vignette Now Arriving: City 17[src]
Samuel appears in two early story fragments written by Marc Laidlaw featured in Raising the Bar. The first, a proposed timelapse opening dated June 2, 2000, only contains a single line for the character reacting to Gordon's appearance on the train. The second piece, a lengthier shorty story called Now Arriving: City 17, was written to help establish the game's sense of atmosphere and location for the development team. It exhibits a larger role for Samuel. After Gordon is dismissed by the G-Man, he wakes up in a decaying train cruising through a desolated landscape, the car walls covered by identical posters of the Consul. Samuel notices him and quickly gives him a spare gas mask, needed to survive in Earth's atmosphere due to the Combine's Air Exchange replacing it with a gas poisonous to humans. Samuel then explains to him the train is going to arrive soon at a so-called City 17 and wonders why the train was stopped in the middle of nowhere, which is apparently when Gordon was placed inside the train by the G-Man.
He further explains that the authorities hand "Notices" to people, telling them they have to move from their city to another. He states that this population shuffle is to keep people confused. He also says that he spent the last trimester in City 49, which, according to Samuel, is very similar to City 17 and City 40, and has never been in the same zone more than six months. The Consul is said to be stationed in City 17, like Breen in the final version. He seems to be grateful to the Consul's attitude for humanity towards the Combine (suggesting the same background story as Breen's). At the end of the ride, the train passes through a tunnel, a portal of sharpened steel and razor edged doors retract, and they arrive in City 17.
The introduction scene in the train was heavily trimmed in the final game, excising Samuel's character but retaining some of his lines. When the game begins, Gordon is only a few meters from the City 17 Trainstation. The two passe