During his pack’s and his own stay in the hospital Henry sneaks off to finish off the last of the Houstons in intensive care while Alice is sedated and dragged off to perform surgery by the hospital administrator. Henry arrives in the room of his victims un-scrutized and surveys the situation. Alice’s death sense notices what seems to be the spirit of the unconscious girl she’s working on who is also a Houston, but quite young. The spirit pleads with Alice to go check on her mother as the scary dog man is going to kill her. Alice sends another staffer to check on it and paint the nails of the burned Houston clan members. This delays Henry’s dark task a bit, but he acts as though he is tasked to wash the people being treated and waits out the intruder on his work.
Alice does an exceptional job treating the young Houston girl’s burns and injuries and has her returned to her room with the other Houstons in time for Henry (who has permanently silenced the Houstons in the room at this point) to have to think long and hard about snuffing her life in addition to her already snuffed family members. Henry eventually decides that the girl will not pose him or his pack a threat anytime soon and let’s her live. He slinks off for the bodies to be discovered later on without him in the room.
That night while everyone stays in the hospital an old man knocks on the door of the room the pack of protagonists is resting in and glares in while holding a bloody pipe. The group finds this odd, but Joel simply closes the blinds and calls security who agrees to come down and deal with the issue. The old man and the somewhat elderly security guard end up getting in an extremely rousing battle until the security guard beat the old man to death with a chair. The pack decides this is way too much, and exit their room to intervene. Unfortunately they find their opponent almost supernaturally resilient. Even through Alice finding a tranq’ gun and Joel employing it on the man, he does not seem to be deterred.
They try to grab and immobilize the man but are repeatedly thrown off of him in a surprisingly violent manner until finally after some trash talk, Joel lands the lucky tackle of the century and takes the kung-fu fighting senior citizen from master to disaster in one strike so violently that the spirits are forced to recognize his power.
The team investigates this odd occurrence and make note that it sounds like things aren’t what they should be outside as well. The alleged spirit of the girl Alice sutchered up had apparently neglected to take her leave and manages to get the idea across to Alice that it’s strictly the first generation Wayward residents who are going at each other’s throats. Something about a horseman and people dancing to his tune.
The team decides for the safety of the hospital patients to advise them to remain in their rooms via intercom and lock their doors, as well as barricade the hospital to prevent the entrance of any geriatric thunder. They eventually find the administrator who threatens Joel which leads to the administrator being tranq’ed (which, due to drug abuse by the man, is super effective.) and restrained thoroughly. They grab keys from the admin and the downed members of security and investigate further. When they hit the admins office they find a dead staffer and a checklist of patients that the admin has been using to cross off first genners he had killed.
They stock up on tranqs and other supplies and steal a sports car owned by one of the deceased security guards and take note of the flames outside and the rabble in the heart of the town. They head to the school to pick up their weapons and go deal with the central issue. Joel takes gas out of his fancy new car he stole, and puts it into his dirt bike in order to not ruin another car and they head towards the danger zone.
Pockets of the shadow plague them as the approach town unleashing occasional close calls with hellish shadow silver claw apes. There is a supernatural sense of anxiety. The pockets are bizarre due to their mobility. Of course, it turns out the apes aren’t a big worry yet, as someone shoots the tires out on the vehicles forcing them to stop.
The team makes good use of cover, and Joel counter snipes the sniper (whose identity remains a mystery) but the apes close in and Joel has to be rescued from being crushed by the truck he’s using as cover as they fight the apes off. The spirits who commended Joel’s brutality show up to ease the difficulty of the conflict and the team finds the apes have spirits inside them who seem to want the apes dead so they can be freed. Regardless of all these things happening, they finish the fight and try to move on.
The racket of the flaming center of town. The crashing and screams and violence. They all work together to create a sinister rendition of “A Little Less Conversation” as the boys head toward ground zero. In a mixed blessing, the spirit, Mother Lunacy shows up for the first time since she was noted as a figure of worship by a cultish portion of the town and at the most coherent she’ll probably ever be, to warn the wolven men that if they go to meet the horsemen at the center of town where the first genners are fighting to the death to see who is the strongest and therefore the new manolith (or something like that) they’ll be drop kicked straight to hell. She also takes the edge off of the group fighting supernatural emotions with less anxious supernatural emotions, though she makes it hard to function while she’s around.
Just like that last sentence, she imparts a lot of information quickly with little warning, including the fact that Carter, their totem, is being held by the Ruth clan. The group decides to heed the advice of a spirit who is crazy by definition, and fuck right off to fight when the horsemen is weaker, or they’re stronger.
The next day is a busy one. The town is down a lot of wise first genners, and the group tries to get their ducks in a row. Among the things they do, they steal tires from the scrap yard and retire the vehicles they drove the night before as well as retrieve them. They talk to the hospital admin and keep him somewhat abreast of the situation. They realize the Williams have probably died and pick up their adoptive child and take her to Alice’s apartment for safekeeping.
They check on who is the current mayor and end up coercing a mayoral gofer to step up and take the position after talking to him in the bar (They get him to the city headquarters in the post office and he ends up taking the position of mayor at that point). After a surprisingly effective speech by the new mayor, the group gives him some friendly advice, including, help the people, but don’t take shit from anyone. Before heading to their next order of business, they learn they’ll be a mass funeral scheduled for those who lost their lives during the retirement.
They head to what use to be Smith & Sons on behalf of the new mayor and find it should now be Smith Bros with the dead father and all, though the Smith’s had already messed up their sign a bit too much to make the name change easy.
They discuss the possibility of a law enforcement agency in addition to what the Smith’s and some other groups are in the city (recompense organizations designed to get compensation for you in the event of wrongdoing, which the group had been given pamphlets on by the new mayor earlier on). The group picks up some holsters from the Smith’s as well as discusses the Ruth clan, who apparently were the Smith Bro’s only failed recompense job.
They also ask who keeps killing the scrapyard mechanics and are led to believe that it is the guild that’s guild-ty of the crime. Joel uses this info to cook up a scheme where he uses Jacob as the front man to a new auto garage and the business stays safe because his father is in the guild.
So they decide to pay Papa Jacob a visit, (which used to be a problem with the Houstons wanting Jacob dead, but since the Houstons are history… problem solved.) but forget that he’s a first genner and find him and his wife dead, having brutally killed each other during the first genocide. Jacob, understandably, flips out and runs off, and the rest of the pack cleans the death out of the house as a courtesy to Jacob.