Everyone is getting ready to go the next morning, and George gets the camera out for a group photo. As they head out, the last ritual is the waving of the checkered flag. They make their way west out of town, along the highway that is now right on the edge of the water.
Gremlin is driving Adele, his 1969 Mustang, with George in the passenger seat and Janus sitting in back. Behind him, Troy is driving Mabel, the former prison bus. Maude is bringing up the rear in Francine, the VW Van, with her machinegun bolted to the top. Gremlin, like most of his contemporaries in Tallahassee, prefers older vehicles, as the lack of computerized systems generally make them easier to repair and use. Quite a few cars and trucks from the 1990s onwards are simply unusable due to the electronics being fried from EMP blasts.
Troy notices something on fire down the road. He radios to Gremlin, and they slow down. As they approach, they see it’s a person. He’s part of a group of people that are running near what used to be a service station. The group dives into an open storefront, and shortly after, a group of headlights appear. It’s a group of motorcycles. They pull up and the riders hastily pursue the other group into the storefront.
Gremlin decides that it’s not his business, and the group presses on. A few miles down, there is a collection of vehicles, including a house and swimming pool on wheels. It all has the feel of a circus, or a giant block party. Gremlin exits the car and approaches them, and George follows. Troy and maude hangs back to watch the cars.
There are a couple of vehicles parked across the road, each with a metal pole welded to the back. Stretched between them is a large banner that reads “Welcome to The Party”. Also attached to the poles are several body parts, including a head wearing a headband with the word “Thief” written on it in blood. A group of girls hanging out on top of one of the vehicles offers Gremlin a beer. George asks if they can take the girls’ picture, and all attention is on them. Gremlin asks who’s in charge. The girls tell him about Prez and Gary, who can be found near the pool, so that’s where he heads toward.
Troy is watching out for trouble, and sees George approaching what appears to be a live horse. He notices a severely dressed woman start to make a beeline for George, but she is stopped by a large musclebound man wearing a leather vest. Troy calls out to George, and the other two shrink back, still watching.
Troy notices that Maude’s metal hand is bothering her, and offers to take a look at it when he gets a chance.
Greaser and his biker gang, The Lost and Found, have been riding with The Party for about a week or so, earning some extra jingle as security. Joseph, the musclebound man with the vest, approaches him and tell him “We found them.” He hears the bikes of the guys he’d sent out earlier returning, and is intercepted by Gary, who is anxious to know the results of their efforts. Greaser heads over to his people.
Troy clocks the bikers coming back from the service station. There’s a moment when they lock eyes, each trying to read the others.
Greaser’s four buddies approach him to give their report. The group they were pursuing was “weird”, they just kept repeating “Help me, help me”, and didn’t act at all rationally. The bikers are a little freaked out about it, they followed Gary’s orders and used the flamethrower on them, but they’re not happy about it.
Gremlin is confronted by two individuals apparently working security. One of them asks a couple of questions that seem a bit strange without any kind of context. He asks Gremlin if he’s feeling okay, and asks to smell him. Gremlin thinks it’s a bit odd, but no harm done, so he agrees. The man asks Gremlin if he remembers the first thing he said to him. Being that it was only a minute before, Gremlin replies “You said ‘Welcome to The Party’,” and the guy replies “Enjoy The Party”, and moves off.
Troy and Maude discuss getting supplies. Troy has the idea to sell some of the excess biodeisel he’s been producing in the back of the bus.
Gremlin speaks with Prez, who is fucking insane. He explains that he and his friends are passing through, and he just wanted to say thanks for the beer. She tells him that if he comes across anyone that doesn’t smell right, he should come to her and Gary, and they will make it worth his while. These people don’t smell like people, she says, they smell like dust, and their heads are empty. She says these people are dangerous. Gremlin agrees to do this, and heads off to find George.
Greaser, meanwhile, has found George, who is talking to two elderly women who are selling bones and skulls that have been painted all different colors, laid out on a blanket on the ground. Greaser strikes up a conversation. He reveals that he and his people have been looking for George, and wants to join in the mission. George says they have to run it by Gremlin.
George and Greaser head back to the cars, and it turns out that Greaser and Troy know each other already. Gremlin shows up, and George explains the situation. Gremlin welcomes Greaser and his gang aboard.# OnTheRoad