Faced with fighting zone ghouls while injured (and at night) or escaping and giving up their newly gained truck, the group decides to opt for the better part of valor. Camping in the zone that night, they decide between a defensible location exposed to the weather or better cover, they decide to try and keep warm. It pays off as their meager supply of cold-weather gear barely keeps them safe through the night. Talking with Steve (the automaton), they realize that returning to the hospital as “patients” will likely end in their deaths.
The next morning they come out to find their truck has been taken. Juey has Pup catch the scent of the zone ghouls and they track them back to a industrial area where the trail ends at an auto shop center. The group decides to rifle through one of the open shops and then try to open the door where they believe their truck is. After a couple failed attempts to open the door (making plenty of noise), the door suddenly rolls up – just as the zone ghouls who have climbed onto the roof start shooting down on the party. The zone ghouls inside step up to bat.
After a short fight (with the zone ghouls focusing on stealing the party’s weapons), the group grabs their wounded and flee. They make it safety, heavily wounded and begin their schemes to re-capture their vehicle. Realizing it may be beyond their reach for the moment, they decide to move to another new sector.
The new sector turns out to have high rot levels, but the prospect of an artifact draw them in. An hour into the zone, they find an expedition from The Other Ark, and this one has Krin the Stalker leading it. She speaks with Lelu and they agree that the will work together to overthrow The Chairman (though they don’t know how). As they go to head back to The Other Ark, the group comes across a nearly intact train station.
They enter the station and find a mint condition, in the bag (with cardboard backing) #1 Iron Man comic book. The group (other than Victor) is excited as it’s a book they can finally read (it’s all pictures!). Unforunately, they stir up a nest of Zone Rats which quickly put the hurt on them. Juey uses this mutant power to create the image of an ENORMOUS cat trying to pounce on the rats, and they flee, allowing the group to escape.