11 SEEK COVER. You must use your next action to move away from danger and find a safe spot if possible. You are allowed to make a
retreat roll (p. 59) if you have an enemy at ENGAGED range. Your STRESS LEVEL is decreased by one, but the STRESS LEVEL of all
friendly PCs in SHORT range increases by one. After one Round, you can act normally.
So this wasn’t really an issue that Inoticed when I ran the game…but I imagine that’s because I was running a cinematic scenario that was very much in line with the source material. So someone seeking cover didn’t stand out to me as out of place.
But is it that bad? A result of 11, which means you have at least 5 stress, which isn’t insignificant, it seems that a person might decide to seek safety of some sort. Cover specifically implies combat or some other physical threat like a storm or such, but that can be easily reskinned. The mechanical impact is described and could fit a slightly altered scenario.
A Scientist, for example, could raise his head from a microscope and then say something like “we need to abandon the facility immediately” or some other cryptic bit. The mechanical impact of raising stress in those around him seems to be the meaningful consequence, and applies here. The loss of the next action seems potentially less significant since you may not be in a turn based scene in all cases.
I can see your point, but I think it’s pretty easily handled. I could also see a campaign or scenario specific panic table. Perhaps that’s something worth considering. Or an alternate one for non-combat threats.
I do agree that the game is a bit unclear on whether a panic result negates the present action or not. That’s something I remember being very annoying.