Gremlin and Paris take a walk, and they head south out of the camp, near what has become the shoreline. They talk about The Day Before, about what Paris and Amy were doing just before the Big Day (livestreaming an online coop video game). Gremlin talks about his travels up north, as far up as Virginia. Paris mentions the hulk of an aircraft carrier called the USS Barak Obama off the coast of Virginia Beach, and says she was supposed to go to college up there. He tells her about his visit to Winston-Salem (the best beer he’s ever tasted). She asks him what’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. He tells her about his cousin Frank’s 1959 sky blue Ford Fairlane.
One thing leads to another, and she puts the moves on him. For his part, he figures it’s likely to be quite a while before he gets a responsible opportunity again, so he goes with it. They hook up, but it’s casual.
Troy and Greaser decide to make their exit from Sally’s camp before things turn ugly. Troy catches sight of River in her truck exiting the camp and heading east on the highway at a very high speed, and notes that the flatbed is empty. He speculates that she’s on her way to talk to someone, and it has to do with the crew (he catches her throw a glance in the direction of the bus). He’s discussing it with Greaser when they hear the unmistakable sound of a three-round burst. They take off running toward the camp.
Behind the bus, they come across Maude confronting a man who’s stuck his head out of a tent. He’s got a shotgun (currently lowered), but she has a pistol aimed at his head. In her other hand she has an assault rifle, which was the source of the gunshots. Next to the tent is a dead man, and a handgun lying on the ground nearby. Troy makes his presence known, and Maude tells him to disarm the man in the tent. The altercation has attracted attention, so Greaser works crowd control, telling everyone to mind their business and move along. Troy heads onto the bus. George and Amy are still there. He confirms they’re alright, and explains what he knows of the situation outside.
Maude tells Greaser to move the body, wrap it in a tarp, and stash it under the van. Maude explains it was one of Captain’s guys, one of the two on the motorcycles.
Gremlin and Paris hear the gunshots, and get dressed as quickly as possible and take off running toward the camp.
Maude boards the bus, and Amy questions her about the incident. Maude explains the situation quite matter-of-factly, without embellishment. Amy gets on the bus’ radio, and speaks several code phrases on several channels before giving an order to stand down.
Troy asks about River, and Amy explains that she got the tip-off about Captain’s guys, and that Captain likely has a force at Bargain Betty’s waiting for confirmation. She doesn’t want Captain rolling up behind her in the middle of the bigger conflict with Leon. Amy says that she’s going to send some of her girls to make a pre-emptive strike, and wants Maude to go with them, as a way of doing penance for creating the security situation in the camp, and for bringing this problem to her doorstep to begin with. Maude seems okay with this.
Gremlin and Paris show up just as George quietly announces that they have a plan. Leon is a slaver, so George figures if they offer themselves up, that might be enough for him to simply pack up his goons and leave. Gremlin expresses his concern for putting George in the line of fire, and George points out that it’s not his call to make. It becomes very clear that George and Amy had discussed this while they were alone in the bus.
Troy and Amy bring Gremlin up to speed on the plan to assault Captain’s group back at Betty’s to take care of it before it becomes a problem. It comes out that Paris and Gremlin hooked up.
Amy details more of the plan. She has 6 ATVs, she will send them up north to find the sump and launch a sneak attack, laying explosives long the way in case it goes wrong and Leon tries to come across that way.
Troy opens his brain and picks up Captain’s “scent” on the dead guy under the van, and uses that to try and track the other one. Greaser goes with him to take care of the guy once they find him.
Gremlin discusses more of the plan with George and Amy. Gremlin doesn’t want to let George get any further than halfway across the bridge, and he wants to make sure that once the bridge is deployed it won’t be retracted again. Gremlin also doesn’t want to have to fight the Corps as well as Leon’s guys, and the key to that is retrieving Lester’s daughter from Leon’s camp and making it known that she’s safe. Amy broaches the prospect of Troy concocting something to render the inhabitants of the bridge unconscious, and George seems receptive to this. Gremlin is open to the idea as well, but it’s anyone’s guess if Troy would have enough time to do this. George muses that if they were able to get close to Leon, things would be a bit different. Amy suggests that if she herself were to come out to negotiate terms, he would likely come out to meet her.
Troy follows the trail, but it just leads to the dead guy’s bike. Just at that moment they hear the other scout gun his own bike and take off out of the camp. Greaser jumps on the remaining bike as Troy hotwires it. The bike starts, but is definitely not operating as well as it should be. Troy jumps on the back of the bike, Greaser guns it, and they both take off after the scout.
They’ve got a lot of ground to cover, and the bike isn’t moving as fast as it should. Troy attempts to repair the bike while it’s in motion, but botches it, and flies off, landing hard on the blacktop and rolling. He blacks out, but comes to only a moment later, as he can see Greaser retreating.
Greaser pours on the gas, and the scout realizes he’s not going to make it to reinforcements, so he draws a submachingeun and hits the brakes, and is about to take a shot when Greaser slams his bike directly into the other, and launches himself at the guy. They both go down on the other side of the bikes, and as Greaser is Not to Be Fucked With, he has little trouble engaging the scout in single combat. The scout gets a couple of wild shots off, but they fail to connect, and Greaser impales him on his machete.
Just then, the radios on the bikes squawk, and he hears a voice: “Report.” He’s able to successfully bluff them and tells them “Nothing yet, still looking.” They tell him to report again at 0800.
Troy is able to use his healing touch on himself, and on the whole is not as bad off as he initially believed. He’s still in a tremendous amount of pain, but his arm is no longer useless. Greaser picks him up, and then doubles back again to grab the second bike and the body. Greaser picks up the scout’s gun, and Troy retrieves a set of tools from the saddlebags. He also finds a notebook with a list of codes for the radio.
Gremlin and Amy discuss the plan further. It’s decided that Gremlin should accompany Amy and pretend to be George’s current owner.
Maude hears the sound of the motorcycles approaching a couple of seconds before everyone else does, and responds instantly. After a moment, it’s apparent that it’s Greaser and Troy. Everyone relaxes until they march the body onto the bus and drop it on the driver’s seat. Amy and Paris go nuts, and slam through everyone to get at the body. One of the people who takes a hit is George. The good news is that it’s not too serious in an of itself. The bad news is that this sets Janus off. Troy attempts to intervene to calm the dog down, but fails. Janus attacks, but Troy is able to hold him off long enough to calm him down.
Maude emerges from behind the shower curtain with her rifle and marches toward the front aiming squarely at Amy. Gremlin interposes himself and tells Maude to check on George. Maude reluctantly lowers the rifle and checks on Troy first. Gremlin works to close the bus door and cover up the windows. Greaser, Maude, and Troy all check on George, who has been knocked unconscious.
The scene at the front of the bus is gruesome. Amy and Paris are doing their best to tear the body apart, but they don’t have any supernatural strength beyond sheer adrenaline. Gremlin is able to keep himself under control, and polices the front of the bus while Troy brings George in the back.
Eventually, Amy comes to her senses, and is of course exceedingly embarrassed, but the crew is fairly understanding. Amy is concerned that she hurt someone, but Gremlin assures her that while George took a knock to the head, they’re alright. Paris finally snaps out of it when Amy speaks her name. Greaser and Troy have the idea to carve up what’s left of the scout, as well as his buddy under the van, and dole out the pieces to Amy’s girls to help them with the withdrawal they’re going through.
Gremlin brings Troy up to speed on the plan they’ve been coming up with, and asks him if he could come up with some knockout gas. He can definitely prepare gas grenades that can be fired from bloop guns.
They spend time ironing out the details of the plan.# ontheroad