Greaser rolls out of the tent to find the guards pointing rifles at Gremlin. One of the guards directs Gremlin to a smaller tent off to the side, and informs him that he’s under quarantine. Gremlin tosses Greaser his car keys on the way in. Once inside, he begins the process of cleaning up. Outside, everyone else goes about their business. Maude begins cleaning her guns.
It does not escape Greaser’s notice that a couple of the sentries at the gate saw Gremlin toss him the keys, and are considering if this is going to be a problem as well. In response, Greaser strides right up to them and informs them that he’s Kenzie’s 3 o’clock. This is enough to get him inside the gate, and he makes his way back into town.
Troy exits the hardware store along with Sueña, Franklin, and Jose. The moment he’s outside, someone touches him on the shoulder, causing him to jump slightly. The young man who touched him is also startled. He introduces himself as Leo, and says he heard Troy talking about the computer equipment in the hospital, and that he’s read a lot of old tech manuals, and tells Troy about the giant computer network that existed in The Day Before. He asks to be included if Troy is going to work out some deal with Kenzie to get access to the equipment. Troy agrees.
Greaser runs into Troy on the front steps of the town hall. Greaser brings him up to speed on what happened outside during the dust storm, and that Gremlin’s in quarantine.
Gremlin is in the tent when Maude contacts him on the CB. She informs him that she was able to sneak into the town and is currently in his car. She offers to drive it out of town and start killing people to get everyone out. He tells her to get back out of town and stay close to the tent and keep an eye on George instead.
Troy gives Greaser some advice regarding his gang. Before Greaser can fully respond, they see the town gates open, and a jeep drives into town and pulls up. It’s the guard that dealt with the situation in the tent with Greaser. Greaser gives Troy the abridged version of the story (“guy in the tent had a weapon, he had to be put down”) before heading up into the building. In the rotunda, he sees the teacher with a group of children, telling them about the various paintings.
Greaser and the guard leave Troy in the waiting room and head into Kenzie’s office. Greaser sticks to the story put forward by the guard, and Kenzie buys it. Kenzie brings up Gremlin and the quarantine. He tells Greaser about a hardhold called Highwater that ceased to exist because they succumbed to the infection, and that he’s determined not to let that happen to Alpha. He also mentions that two of Greaser’s group (Mary and Sue) had expressed interest in staying with the town, and is blunt about it not happening. However, he offers Greaser a chance for employment, saying that he needs assistance in a salvage operation, and any help in maintaining the town’s vehicles would be appreciated. Greaser agrees.
Once Greaser is done, Troy is ushered into the office. They discuss Troy’s plan to improve the town’s power situation. Kenzie offers to have several of the locals help with the heavy lifting. Troy mentions Leo wants to be present, Kenzie agrees, but wants him supervised at all times, as he considers Leo’s wild-eyed naivety to be a liability, and that he has some unhealthy ideas. Troy convinces him that Leo can be useful, especially in maintaining everything that Troy sets up after the fact.
Greaser works on rounding up his guys, dividing up the work between the mechanics and the salvage crew. He is careful to keep Mary and Sue close to him on the salvage run.
Out at the camp, he finds George and Janus holding court. Everyone is sitting in rapt attention as George is in the middle of telling a very dramatic story. Greaser notices that every once in a while someone from the crowd comes up and tosses something on top of George’s steamer trunk, completely unsolicited.
Troy heads back out to the camp to find Maude. When he gets a little too close to the quarantine tent, the guard standing in front of it warns him off a bit loudly, and George’s spell is broken. The crowd starts breaking up, and George comes running up to Troy. George tells him that Gremlin’s in quarantine, but Troy knows, and responds he’s going to be in there for at least a day.
As Greaser is assembling his crew for the salvage op, the heavily bearded man approaches with offers of many wondrous things if Greaser gives him George. Greaser politely refuses. They are interrupted by a couple of sharp barks from Janus, who is guarding George’s steamer trunk and the offerings sitting on top, and one of the locals was getting too close. The bearded man excuses himself and leaves, but not before delivering what could be considered a veiled threat.
Troy runs into Franklin, one of the guys from the hardware store, and introduces him to George, and asks if they need Troy for anything, to get in touch with him. Franklin agrees, and offers Troy a mug of coffee.
A scent catches Troy’s attention; it seems to be George’s usual scent, but mixed with smoke and gun oil. He searches for the source of it, and it seems to lead to a pile of scrap across the highway from the camp. When he investigates it, he discovers a sewer grate that had been recently disturbed. Unfortunately, he attracts the attention of some of the locals in the process.
Maude approaches the back of the tent, and gives Gremlin an update on the situation outside. She offers to cut a hole in the tent and then they can escape. Gremlin refuses, as they still have people inside. She warns him about the hocus who was looking to buy George. Gremlin directs her to continue to keep an eye on George.
Troy meets up with the sheriff in his office, a converted fallout shelter. He has several prisoners in cells that he volunteers for the job, telling him to have them back before dark. They head over to the barbeque pit to get something to eat first, meeting up briefly with Leo on the way. Troy explains the deal he made with Kenzie. Leo’s brother says that Leo can go with him when he’s done helping with the food.
One of the prisoners, an old man named Simon, speaks with Troy, saying that he was instructed to come here and wait for a sign. They have a debate about the future of the town, and Troy’s role in changing the world. Troy maintains that he doesn’t cause change, he merely fulfills the role of facilitator, and that he’s there merely to bear witness. Simon tells Troy that there are three armies within Troy’s circle; one will stay with the town, one will follow Troy, and one will simply disappear.
They head to one of the low buildings near the edge of town and head into the basement to find a neglected diesel generator, that seems to be in good enough condition that it could be dismantled and moved somewhere where it can be maintained. There’s an old hotel near the town hall that would be a good spot. He also gets the idea to convert the generator to biodiesel, and gets paid 3 Barter. He explains the inner workings of the system to Leo. It becomes clear to Troy that A. Leo is attracted to him, and B. he’s looking at Troy as his ticket out of town. Troy tells Leo that the town will need him, as someone will need to be able to maintain the equipment that Troy’s setting up. Troy manages to convince Leo that he will have a place of authority some day, as eventually the rest of the town will realize the power that Leo holds.# ontheroad