Gremlin is driving Adele, with George in the passenger seat, as they drive west. A conversation about art ensues. George asks if Gremlin likes art, he says he hasn’t thought much about it, and that back home most of what passes for art is leftover NASCAR stuff. George asks what his favorite car is, and then he opens up a bit, and says the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen was a 1957 Ford Fairlane. George tells him about Pablo Picasso. Gremlin realizes art is where you find it.
The group has formed up and is heading west away from The Party. Some of Greaser’s guys riding in the back notice a group of vehicles approaching them from the rear, and Maude alerts the rest of the group.
The vehicles get close enough and Troy can see there are four cars, heavily armored, and a couple of outriders on bikes. He scans for communications, and picks up their chatter. They are searching for someone female, and are not looking to engage the group if she’s not with them.
Greaser and Gremlin agree that outrunning them is not an option, so they pull over, using the prison bus as cover to block the road, cutting off the soldiers from the other cars.
Troy gets on the CB and asks them to identify themselves, as their outriders scramble to not collide with the bus when they all skid to a halt. Troy gets a response that the soldiers are looking for someone, and the description they give seems to match Maude.
The outriders approach the bus and knock on the door. Right at that moment, the back door of the VW van bumps open slightly for a moment. This causes the two soldiers approaching the bus to dive for cover, but not before one of them gets a shot off at Troy.
Greaser yells at George to gun it, and orders two of his guys to follow. Adele lurches to life and takes off, the two bikers barely getting out of the way, and then scrambling to get after it. Gremlin maneuvers to use the VW van as cover, and waits for someone to pop their head out. A grenade lands in the bus, and Troy doesn’t get out of the way in time, and the concussion knocks him out.
The back door of the van flies open, and there’s another explosion, this time on the far side of the bus. There’s a voice on the radio ordering the soldiers to fall back and grenade it out. Greaser comes around the side of the bus to attack, and he sees the results of Maude’s attack (at least one of the vehicles on fire). He takes aim and takes out one of the soldiers. A female soldier who has emerged from the moon roof of one of the rear vehicles with an assault rifle takes a couple of shots at him.
Gremlin heads back to the bus, opens the side door and attempts to pull Troy out, but a hail of assault rifle fire forces him to scramble back.
Some of Greaser’s guys have made their way onto the back of the bus, and they start firing out of the windows on the side, inflicting terrible harm against the rest of the soldiers. At that point, more soldiers exit their vehicles and use the car doors as cover.
Gremlin makes it onto the bus, but it’s going to take some time to get Troy back out.
Greaser rampages his way through the intervening guys in an effort to get to the bitch with the assault rifle, but takes a shotgun blast for his trouble.
Gremlin is able to get Troy out of the bus and onto the ground, just as Maude sends another grenade over the bus to land directly on the lead vehicle, which explodes spectacularly. The rest of the vehicles attempt to pull a u-turn and peel out.
Greaser snatches up a lever-action rifle from one of the fallen soldiers and takes a shot at the bitch with the assault rifle. They exchange fire, and the soldiers take off.
Once it quiets down, Greaser’s guys start looting the bodies, just as George pulls up. George freaks out a little bit as everyone brings Troy back into the bus. Fortunately, he had just set up a makeshift life support area in the back of the bus, and Gremlin is able to get him stabilized.
Greaser is able to get some information from one of the soldiers before they die. Their leader, Captain, woke up that morning and said he’d seen where Maude was in a vision.
Maude is prepared to leave the group over this, but Gremlin won’t hear of it.
They check Gremlin’s road atlas, and decide to take the first available exit off the highway and head north, to try and find a hardhold and an Angel.
First big combat. Would have gone way worse without a Gunlugger around.# OnTheRoad