Our heroes are led to the school where upon investigation they scare off a little girl, and then find the body of Janitor Joe (coincidentally sharing the name of a fictional janitor Joel made up to scare Ben during the investigation). Alice finds more than the body, she finds its ghost, who only she can see or hear. The ghost proves its existence to the others by punching several party members. He rants about there being cesium in the water, which can’t be true since it would react violently.
Further investigation turned up a knife as the murder weapon, and a sealed note on Joe’s chest addressed in sloppy handwriting to the Brothel Queen, Diane. The group takes advantage of their pack totem (“The Cartographer Of Ways” at this point) to bring the little girl in for questioning. After scaring the bejeezus out of the girl, as she keeps trying to leave and keeps finding herself at the abandoned school’s doorstep, she is eventually snagged and questioned.
It turns out the little girl lives at the whore house and Joe was going to buy her. Not in any weird way, Joe just wanted to have a kid. She wrote a suicide note so that no-one would accuse her of murder, but it’s clear from the evidence that she couldn’t have done it. They then find Joe’s stash which he intended to use to pay for the girl: guns. A bunch of them, stored in the clock tower of the school. Some of them being the missing guns from before. The ghost eventually grows tired of hanging around and rants off into the great beyond.
The boys decide that they are no kind of father figures, and that the whorehouse is no good, so they take this kid down to the Williams family, and though the husband does not think he’s up to having a little girl at his age, his wife grows attached and nothing can be done to stop it. Then they negotiate the payment with the brothel while Alice makes gay jokes about Henry and Joel. They also bury the aforementioned corpse of Janitor Joe. Jacob starts using his crafting skills to work on fixing up the school more with Ben, while Henry and Joel attend to other business but not before Joel ends up in trouble with Alice for rating her attractiveness and they fight tooth and nail until both are quite beaten, and Alice concedes the bout.
It is off to the bar to meet the city council leader and report the death of Janitor Joe, a first genner of the town (a big deal), upon Alice’s recommendation. They make their way on horse and dirt bike retrieved by “Carter” (the pack totem’s nickname). Some Houston gang members show up spotting Joel and, relatively certain of his involvement in the disappearance of another two gang members, they come and try to intimidate Joel and Henry. Henry follows Alice’s lead, turning a comment made by one of the assailants into a homosexual innuendo about himself and Joel. Joel runs with it, looking the Houston posse directly in the eyes, telling them “You see that twinkle in my eyes? That be devotion.” It puts a pause in the conversation. It’s awkward. The hostile ambiance has momentarily been dropped. This is their out. They don’t take it. The barman tries to stop the approaching conflict with words regarding the tab owed by the Houstons, but they insist on trying to start something.
Joel gets excited. He leaps up from the table, cracking his knuckles menacingly. The Houstons are still unmoved and unperturbed, but so is Joel. The Houstons press for conflict one more time and, before anyone knows what’s happening, Joel is being held back bodily by Henry just by virtue of Henry’s reflex. Joel is reaching with furious anger for the neck of a Houston. “I will mangle you!” escapes his lips, his voice strained with blood lust. The Houstons are a little bit shocked by his sheer force of will, but not enough for them to back down.
The council leader, a large well-dressed African American man, arrives, shooing the gang members off threatening to enforce their tab to the best of his ability. He goes on to recommend not paying those punks a cent of what they say they’re owed. Joel and Henry report the death of Joe, and their school squatter status.
Jacob and Ben end up discussing the death of the Manolith and decide it is safe to cut down a tree near the farm for wood, and find that a couple drifters still disapprove of the activity silently. Alice, Henry, and Joel get back at around this time, and despite the drifters lack in tongues and conversation skills, agree to trade wheat for wood. One bushel of wheat the same diameter of any tree they need, and, seeing as the boys had a yard full of wild wheat, it was a good deal.
Later on Jacob finds himself in the woodshed attempting to focus entirely on cutting down logs into planks in hopes of distracting his mind from troubling issues. Unattended, however, his MPD turns on, and Jacob (as “The Wolf”) goes off to the whorehouse to find a life mate, leaving his lathe on in the process. The team, noticing the absence of their cohort, track him to the whorehouse (luckily Henry had tasted his blood). “The Wolf” finds a prominent member of the house staff and they fuck like animals, one more literally than the other, and the wolf leaves satisfied (a status shared by the whore), finding his pack waiting for him outside.
They go to a diner and explain some things to him and question him about the events at the whore house and are worried when “the Wolf” expresses the belief that he and the whore are now mated for life, and has to be corrected regarding his cultural ignorance. They take him back to the whore house in order to set the record straight on the matter. There is a lot of commotion getting in, explaining things to Jacob’s other self, and to the whore, and all sorts of things, including what to do if she blabs the werewolf secrets. Luckily in this town of crazies, they decide everyone would think that this was just part of her craziness.
Everyone talks it out a bit (the whore flustered by all these men and a town doctor commandeering her room), and then the wolf speaks privately with the whore. Jacob (as “the Wolf”) promises to take care of her better than being a whore does in order to be her life mate. Jacob’s pack leaves them to their business. They consummate their relationship further when “the Wolf” sadistically allows Jacob to suddenly find himself balls deep in a strange woman. Jacob is forced to finish up for “the Wolf” (while weeping and being talked to in a very dominating fashion by his partner) and in order to suspend his disbelief regarding his MPD he concocts a tale where the wolf kidnapped him again and made him watch all these terrible things.
Jacob leaves pissed, and the pack who is outside, relieved that they can finally use human words to speak with the wolf aspect of Jacob’s personality, is surprised when normal Jacob starts trying to give the pack an earful regarding how he saw them speak to the wolf and how they just left him with the wolf this whole time. Joel says “That’s what you think happened?” and he is no longer willing to tolerate this MPD bullshit, so they drag Jacob home by the ear.
Joel demands Jacob repeat what he thought happened and then cuts him off at the first sign of ridiculous denial. Joel then does what Joel does best and flips his shit, yelling at Jacob about how hard they have tried to tolerate this crap, about how stupid Jacob is, about how they live in a whole town of people who all have their own crazy “thing” to deal with, (which, it is noted by Ben, earlier on, that it is rude to talk about someone’s “thing”) then loudly, clearly, and furiously explains that Jacob and “the wolf” are the same fucking person, and that that is his “THING”. Joel successfully makes it nigh-impossible for Jacob to deny his problem any longer, and through a tremendous amount of volume and anger, gets the truth about Jacob’s MPD lodged deeply to Jacob’s thick skull, leaving Jacob to now begrudgingly negotiate with himself about how to live his double life.
On one of the mornings preceding the funeral Ben has the misfortune of waking up and looking for breakfast, only to find human body parts in the freezer. Joel had already noticed it, but brought this to the attention of Ben to freak him out. This leads to the discussion of Alice’s taste for human flesh, and after hearing it’s only the flesh of those who died without any assistance from Alice, the group makes peace with the fact, though it is something to keep an eye on or try to fix.
Everyone is a bit stressed out and so Joel enthusiastically suggests going out as wolves and mauling some prey for a more legitimate werewolf meal, and a much more pleasant werewolf experience. This goes swimmingly and the newcomers enjoy themselves thoroughly. An animal is killed and eaten, and blood lust is satisfied.
Henry and Joel go talk to the head doctor (who has been wanting to speak with them), who is apparently aware of some shiftiness in the temporal continuity of Wayward, and the boys ask about the documents that Alice gave him. He examines them up and down, but can’t seem to get any meaning out of what appear to be shipping orders for toiletries. Henry begins to think that the orders were in large enough quantity to hide something else in the moving trucks, but the thought is unverifiable and minorly ridiculous. They look forward to seeing him at the funeral. He mentions that marijuana is sort of a funeral tradition in this town, in an offhanded way, which is odd, and it ends up turning out that Alice has a lot of the stuff on hand.
In getting ready they are recommended the world’s greatest thrift store for clothes, and Alice gives the boys an amount of money which unbeknownst to Henry and Joel, is a ludicrous amount of cash due to the 50s prices in town. They set up a pre-paid account with the cashier knowing their penchant for destroying clothes (the password is “Rawr” with an accompanying werewolf claw hand motion") and get some nice digs before heading off to the funeral.
Over the course of the funeral festivities Joel says some words about the newly departed because no-one else will, and manages to not fuck it up. People get high, and do a weird reenactment of Wayward’s secession. They are served ludicrous amounts of delicious meat by Wayward’s version of the Epic Meal Time guy (Storyteller unintentionally channeling him at the time, having no knowledge of the internet phenomenon).
Jacob is forced to show up by his new whore lady friend who he’s bribed into being his goil by saying he’ll provide for her in the ways she’s accustomed (fancy things and pretty rooms). Despite being worried he’ll see his father at the shindig, manages to avoid such shenanigans as the father doesn’t show up.
Then realizing that they would be the only ones not hung over from the funeral (a conversation originally held in jest in regards to the advantages of drinking as a werewolf), they decide to take care of the Houstons during this town-wide stupor. The stealthy Jacob attempted to approach the Houston compound as a wolf (THE WOLF) but was spotted. The shit hit the fan at that point.
Jacob had to be to pulled to safety after he was shot in the head (but not to death). At the same time someone accidentally set the Houston distillery on fire with a lucky gunshot, which was their goal in the first place. The Pack manages to not get caught, while killing most of the Houstons, and taking a lot of collateral damage. Later they find that aside from the Houstons now in the burn ward there are 5 mysteriously unaccounted for.
The group decides to use Alice and her hospital as a get-well point after all their collateral damage from this and the preceding fight, but Henry feels the need to finish the job….