A station wagon comes rumbling up the road to Madison, past where Leah is working with the Stonies for fortifications for Madison. She’s working on, for some odd reason, a moat – but it makes sense to her. The Mercurian, who pulls up next to the Leah, drives the station wagon. After thinking about it, Leah and Eliam decide to head to the locked garage down on the docks. The garage is a little mom and pop job named "Redneck’s Garage" down on the far side of town. There are two bays and a door to the office. The office is, of course, padlocked. Leah locates a pipe and breaks the lock right off with a swift smack. She opens the door and gets hit with a wiff of stench. Redneck is still in there, fermenting behind his desk. He took himself out with his own .44, around the time that the sky started falling. The Mercurian is retching, so Leah sends him off to go get another Stonie, Ishpah, to bury Redneck. Leah collects the keys and gets into the garage. She finds one oil drum, and it’s filled with something that is kind of scummy. She finds a second barrel, which has much less oil in there, and it’s far less nasty. She carries it to the Total station on the other side of town, and pours the oil out into a container. She throws the oil drum and as many 5 gallon plastic containers as possible into the back of the station wagon and drives toward Wheatley.
Leah gets to the (s)Hell station, and updates on Blitzen and Maxwell on what she had found. Maxwell and Leah then start filling up the canisters of gasoline and filling up the tanks. After some dealings with Blitzen, Leah resonates on their captured woman, and sees almost nothing honorable about here, but apparently some eight months ago she was approached to become a Soldier of Hell. Leah used her song of healing to heal the woman’s arm, thinking about death and honorable combat. The woman runs, and Blitzen chases her down. They want to know when she was approached to become Hellsworn. (Her name is Elise.) Leah and Blitzen decide what to do with the woman. Blitzen is all for this killing the heretic and leaving her body thing. Leah offers to take her to work at redeeming her.
They go back to the cars - there are four of them. They leave the cars, and the gas, at the TOTAL station.
Maxwell goes to check on the Stonies. Fezzik updates about the state of fishing and notes that the hatchery on the docks smells really rank. Abana had sailed down the coast toward the west and saw the beginnings of civilization. Penninah and Eben-ezer comment that the moat idea for fortifications is particularly silly, but they’re big on this whole wall concept.
Blitzen discusses the concepts of survival and putting together guard posts and hunting down the rogue dogs out there. On the way to the jail, Blitzen and Leah talk about long term plans about the town. (Note: there are _no_ skeletal geese anywhere. Period.) They get into the jail, and it looks broken out of, or broken into, or something. There’s an emaciated, squishy corpse in one of the cells of someone who was left to die slowly over a long period of time, and had recently done the job. The cells are powerlocked, though, and there’s no way to turn them on. Blitzen teleports Elise into a cell, and teleports the corpse out into the parking lot.
Sun is down. It is now night.
Maxwell meets up with Dr. Winters, who is locking up the school and welcoming in the night shift. She makes some suggestions to Maxwell to help the town before she goes off for the night.
They decide to bring the other four humans to the police station, and leave one of the Stone Malakim to stand guard while Blitzen tries to talk to Elise all night. Maxwell finally meets up with Blitzen there.
Leah breaks into the library and gets a county map. She learns where the courthouse is located, and goes out there. The pound is a mess – most of the animals are long dead. Three dogs and three cats have survived, barely, but the rest are dead. She makes a big bonfire and burns the bodies in the parking lot. In the county jail, there’s the same problem with the local lock-up, a few festering bodies. Here, the vending machines are still filled. Leah empties the vending machines of all the food. He finds several sacks in the pound, along with several large bags of dog food.
"You see, I went to the city pound, and I didn’t find any machine guns." - Shade
Maxwell and Blitzen go wandering around in the countryside. They discover that most of the farmhouses and barns are burned down, and exploded grain silos. Horses, cows, and pigs are wandering around loose – most of the dogs haven’t gotten to them yet, and the wolves are long since dead in the area. The fields look overgrown but harvestable. Blitzen gathers some horses. They discover a little disturbance, and track it… to Leah and the courthouse.
3 am - The three of them are together at the courthouse. Then they discuss rounding up some animals to bring back to the town to feed the people.
[NEW SKILL: Animal Husbandry. Default: Will -2]
Leah says he’s going to go up to Heaven, and they discuss things they need. "Bring an Elohite," says Blitzen. "We need an Elohite and a Seraph." Leah ascends to Heaven.
Maxwell and Blitzen play sheepherders until morning. This only serves to help Maxwell’s budding Messiah image.
Leah ascends to the Groves. He (now out of his female vessel) waits in line to see Michael. He asks permission to get some help, and receives it. He goes to the Halls of Lightning, permission in hand. He talks to Jean, who has already assigned a Seraph and a Kyriotate to the project, who are waiting for him in the lobby. Sure enough, they are waiting for him in the lobby. Then Leah goes to the Savannah. He waits and waits and waits to see Jordi, and eventually he does. Jordi assigns to Leah one of his Malakim to take care of the potential wild dog (and other wild animal) problems. Leah then descends, gathers up the horses, and returns to Madison.
Maxwell and Blitzen, in the morning, herd their animals into the town. Waiting there is a tall thin woman with a mouse on her head. The woman is named El-Bezek, you can call her El-Bezek. The mouse is a Dominiation of Lightning named Sephar. Sephar is transferred to Blitzen, while El-Bezek is sent to the police station to deal with the woman.
They put Fezzik of Stone on dealing with the cattle and rounding them up and dealing with them. They decide to herd the animals into the elementary school yard. He gives the angels the business about being goofballs. A huge BBQ is planned, in an effort to get people out of their homes.
"I’d like you to say hello to my leetle friend." - Blitzen in reference to Sephar
The activity draws Katherine Winters out of the school, to talk to the angels. Yes, food will bring people out of their homes, she says.
Maxwell takes El-Bezek to the jail, briefs her, and leaves the Seraph with Elise in the cell. The Seraph tells Maxwell that this will "take a while". Maxwell is summarily dismissed.
Maxwell delegates and supervises.
"A talking mouse! Clearly there’s a God!" - Allen
Blitzen and Sephar follow the power lines around, and fix those that are downed – with Sephar in a bird. They get to the power station, and it looks like people have been here. It takes most of the day for Sephar and Blitzen to get the equipment back up and working.
Blitzen sends Sephar back to town (or at least, Sephar mouse). So Blitzen and Maxwell talk through Sephar.
"You’re just as good as seducing people as you are at sheepherding." - Allen
Leah is working with Fezzik with the animals. The Malakite of Stone points out which animals are diseased, and they’re killed. Leah sends off the Sociologist Cherub of Stone off to go find a bull, even though the Cherub has no idea how to go about doing this – but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Leah gets to tan the hides of the cows where are killed for food. After finishing that task, Leah goes up to the grocery store to get cans of food – and a lot of spoiled goods. Leah gets a few other Stonies to help her make a big pit to bury the spoilage. Since the Malakim who went on the boats the day before went fishing, they will have fish as well.
Maxwell and El-Bezek get to the Desalinization Plant. It looks like it’s stopped because there is no power and the pipes are caked. They get to work.
6pm – Maxwell starts wandering back to town, and it smells really good. Sephar alerts Blitzen that the party is about to start, but there’s still a few hours worth of work.
"I know how you like bonfires…" – Maxwell to Blitzen
Leah has discovered a cache of beer hidden in the grocery store, and decides that beer is required for this party. So it’s bad beer, and it’s warm, but it’s beer, and it’s required for this party. On the end of Sephar, Blitzen is asking, "Is there any beer?" And Maxwell is saying, "Well…" as Leah carries it right back him.
Maxwell takes El-Bezek out to the desalinization plant to help get it up and running. They leave SepharMouse with Leah.
Once the power starts getting up, Blitzen comes through the power lines and appears before Leah (and his clothing.) This starts the Great Beer Argument 1999.
"If you want to summon Gabriel and scare the shit out of everybody and ruin the barbecue, fine." - Leah
While the argument is going on, they can hear the Stonies trying to coax people out of their homes in the background.
"… and basically both religions are bad and beer is good!" - Leah
"… I’m not going to force beer on people!" - Leah
"On this day, it was deemed that either Jean or Marc invented beer." - Jason
As the sun goes down, and Dr. Katherine Winters stands outside the elementary school with her arms crossed, and Leah and Blitzen argue endlessly, the Stonies coax people out of their homes with fresh food and real meals and a show of a change in the future of Madison, RI.