Once the details of the plan are ironed out, George decides they need to go to sleep. Gremlin says they can take Adele for the night. They exit the bus with Troy, and they ask him if he thinks the plan is the right course of action. They also ask Troy knock Janus out before the plan goes into action, so he won’t inadvertently get in the line of fire.
Troy gets to work carving up the bodies. The clothes get divided up, and it becomes apparent that he has done this before. Amy explains movies to the crew, specifically horror movies and cannibalism. Gremlin starts to realize how sheltered he was in Tallahassee.
Upon seeing the very elaborate tattoos on the legs of one of the dead guys, Greaser opens his brain to the Maelstrom. As Troy removes one of the scout’s legs, the body flops over, and he stares at Greaser, and asks, “What happened to the other guy?” Greaser responds that he took him out. The guy tells him about his buddy, who used to play the guitar and sing, and how they got matching ink. Greaser asks him what it’s going to take to get Captain to back off, and the guy says it might be impossible, before closing his eyes for good. Troy notices that Greaser is talking to a dead guy, and says “Don’t name it”, as he continues to butcher the body.
Amy expresses her reservations about George’s role in the plan. All agree that it’s not ideal, but it’s the only plan they have. She asks Troy if he can pull the encrypted radios off the bikes, with the aim of using them to keep in contact with the scout team. He agrees, and also suggests using them to draw out Captain’s crew from Bargain Betty’s, so they can ambush them.
Amy and Troy discuss what terms they should offer Leon in order to ensure that he comes over to deal with it himself. After that, Amy and Paris excuse themselves, and the crew are left to their own devices.
Gremlin helps get the bus cleaned up. Troy catches Maude staring out the window, lost in thought. He engages her in conversation about their part of the plan. She disabuses Troy of the notion that Captain himself is anywhere near them, telling him that Captain almost certainly sent a lieutenant out to deal with this.
Troy describes Captain in exacting detail, and Maude immediately becomes suspicious. Troy explains how they made contact while Troy was in the Maelstrom, and Captain offered him a job in exchange for turning Maude over to him (and that he said no, of course). He broaches the prospect of giving Captain his coffee table, and Maude tells him that’s the worst idea ever. They discuss the possibility that a diversion won’t draw all of them out, and whoever stays behind will almost certainly start killing Betty’s people once they realize that something’s up. They change up the plan, figuring that if they wait until the battle is joined, then the whole crew will detach itself from Betty’s and head in, and then there would be a perfect opportunity to spring the ambush they want, and keep Betty’s out of it.
Maude asks Troy why he cares. Troy has to admit that he has become somewhat attached, and the fact that Captain is her problem is what makes him care about it. She tells Troy stay behind, as he has to help with deploying the gas.
Gremlin has the idea to let Captain’s crew hear Maude’s voice on the encrypted radio, relaying orders to Amy’s scout team. Maude thinks this is brilliant, as that would certainly get all of them running.
Gremlin continues cleaning up the front of the bus. Greaser tells Troy that he’s not nearly as big a prick as he purports to be. There’s a three-way discussion of where the world is headed. Gremlin is of the opinion (naive though it might be) that you don’t have to go back to the way things were to make the world a better place. Troy doesn’t believe for a moment that George’s mission is actually going to save the world. Gremlin is on the fence, but is interested enough in knowing the result to see it through. Everyone gets some sleep.
- Amy’s strike team heads east to deal with Captain’s crew at Bargain Betty’s. Maude goes with them. They set up an ambush along the highway.
- The scout team takes the ATVs north to cross at the sump and come around Leon’s camp from behind, with the aim of disabling the tank.
- Amy contacts Leon to ask for a parley, and to offer up George.
- Amy, George, and Gremlin head to the bridge, and hopefully Leon meets them there.
- The gas grenades are fired at the bridge, knocking everyone out.
- The shock and awe team (led by Greaser), rushes forward to retrieve George and take control of the bridge. If possible, they will take Leon hostage.
- The mercenaries cross the bridge and attack Leon’s camp.
- Maude lets Captain’s crew hear her on the radio during the battle in order to draw them out from Bargain Betty’s. Hopefully they will run straight into the ambush.
In the morning, everyone wakes up. Troy prepares the box lunches for Amy’s scout team, and grills some of the meat for Gremlin, who figures he’s got to start sooner or later. Maude pulls on her combat armor. They hear the vehicles pull up, and Troy advise her to keep clear of the rest of them when shit starts up, especially if she gets wounded at any point. She heads off with the strike team.
One of Amy’s girls shows up in disguise to bring Gremlin to a meeting. Amy’s camp is a buzz of activity. Along the way they pass several tents where various classes are being taught, and he is enthralled by the sight of a driver’s ed film being projected.
Gremlin is brought in to meet with Amy. She says she’s just got off the radio with Leon, who wants to talk to Gremlin.
Greaser is by the encrypted radio when it squawks and a response is expected. He gives the code and his rehearsed report: “Not located yet, but confirmed that she’s in the camp, and there is a large assault scheduled to begin approximately midday to take the bridge.” He is given instructions to continue the search, and be in a place that’s visible when the reinforcements arrive. Troy thanks Greaser for helping with this situation, and admits that he doesn’t get close to people.
As Troy is walking back to the bus, he becomes aware that someone is following him. He knows he can’t run and can’t fight, so he just stops and turns around. Turns out it’s one of the scout team. He explains what they should be looking for when they head up north, and gives whatever advice he can on how to disable the tank. He says that in return he has a lot of questions for them afterward. They get back to the bus, and he tosses the first of the box lunches to her so she can eat it right away, then she boards the bus to bring back the other ones for the rest of her team. She explains that she has a daughter who is not infected, so she hasn’t been able to go near her for several days due to the hunger. Troy asks if they’d be able to link up with the girls that were already on the other side of the bridge. She says that with the extra two bikes, they can afford to bring a couple extra, and send one of them up the road to try and find them.
Gremlin talks to Leon on the radio. Leon asks what Gremlin is offering that’s so valuable that he’d consider taking him up on it. Gremlin says, “Purity”, which intrigues Leon, who says he’s going to send a doctor over to inspect the goods. He also threatens Gremlin with a long and painful death if it turns out to be a lie, or if his doctor is harmed in any way. He gives them 30 minutes.
Gremlin goes to bring George up to speed and convince them to consent to being examined by the doctor. George is nervous enough that they vomit. Troy offers them some weed, and gives some advice on how to act during the examination. Troy feeds Janus some of the meat that’s been dosed. George stays with him until he goes to sleep.
Gremlin leads George to a tent that’s been commandeered for the exam. They can see that the doctor has already made his way across, and Troy can see the bridge is in the process of retracting. He takes the opportunity to make some corrections to his calculations, and is certain that his part of the plan will go off without a hitch.
Gremlin and Dr. Lee exchange greetings, and Dr. Lee leads George inside the tent. Gremlin stands guard outside. When Dr. Lee emerges, it’s clear that he’s been crying. He asks Gremlin why he would give up something so valuable. Gremlin says that’s his own business. Dr. Lee makes his way back to the bridge.
George emerges a few minutes later. They have also been crying. They say they want to talk to Greaser, and only Greaser. Gremlin tells them to wait inside the tent, and he’ll send Greaser in. They ask Gremlin for his gun.
Gremlin brings Greaser to the tent, filling him in on the way. Greaser enters the tent. With racking sobs, George throws down the gun, runs to Greaser and buries their face in his chest. After the crying subsides, they ask Greaser to make sure that the doctor doesn’t survive. They say that he reminds them of one of their fathers.# ontheroad