Charlie catches up with the others after their close encounter with the dead Fuck Sisters on the road. He fills them in on a few things.
After returning the bike to Hammer Charlie spent a few nights with The Flames. Mostly partying, but did a few runs with them for Parcher. After they got back, Bones turns up in Gusher, helped out of an old sedan, one arm mangled and shiny bandages wrapping up the terrible damage. Pale and grey she's buying in town. Spreading the jingle and making friends, but mostly buying a load of gear which'll turn a flat-bed truck into a war rig.
Word is that Colonel has put out a big bounty on some entertainers in a colourful and flowery van. They're to be taken alive for him. More worries about what'll happen if that war rig gets going, Charlie buys a bike and heads back up to Maersk.Anyway, Charlie's a bit horrified at the prospect of people getting back up after they're dead, not least when he gets to see one do it in person. It shambled back up towards Maersk, but the climb up the rockfall is too steep and treacherous for it, and eventually it ends up back at the front gate. Chaplain suggest they fix a rope to haul it up to the top of the ridge without going through the hold, and Vision's people jump to it.
Vision opens his brain to see a glorious sunset in the mountains beyond. It needs more. Vision is starting to identify with whatever's there - is it the mealstrom? His sense is that they are going to him.
Angel gets Gabe in to visit him - he thinks it's wise that the young medic get mobile, with the fighting heating up, the hold will need a second infirmary. They pick out a start to renovate a small truck.
When Charlie reunites with Sheila, he finds her with Duke and Odell - they've left the cult and have shacked up in a small place on the second level.
Chaplain brings Charlie scouting for that new war-rig, maybe they can intercept it on the road from Gusher, otherwise they'll have to plan an attack before it's fully kitted out and ready to assault Maersk. Gabe tags along for medical aid, and Vision assembles his followers to charge the main gate if it comes to that.
They find it parked inside the courthouse, with a new ramp set up so that it can drive straight out.The outer perimeter is weak, more of a trip wire to alert the hard core of the gang on the inside. They find a badly guarded breach in the perimeter - the river is low, more of a stream now, but everyone in Leafy Hollow must still think it's a full-blown river and impossible to walk through.
They make it to the town square just shy of the courthouse and instead of sneaking across the open ground, Chaplain just walks casually up to the double-doorway. Anyone who spots them doesn't think twice. The sentry sitting outside is still asleep. Inside, Dust is pulling an all-nighter, struggling with armour-plating sheets for the flat-bed. As Chaplain enters, Dust half-turns and is turning back to his welding torch when his brain catches up with him and makes sense of the silhouette at the doorway. He dives for his gun but Chaplain opens fire with his assault rifle and any of the return fire goes astray as Dust is distracted by the appearance of Charlie alongside him. Gabe takes care of the waking sentry with his taser and runs to the cabin of the truck to get her started with Chaplain and Charlie covering the stairwell and the square.
Gabe completely messes up the ignition and it doesn't look like the truck will get going in the short-term. Chaplain ushers them out and backs calmly back to the bridge, laying down suppressive fire as the local gang stands to and the bell starts ringing. Turning there for a moment, he sends a grenade into the ground floor and the explosion catches the ammunition and fuel there, turning the courthouse into a funeral pyre.