Vyolet summed the explorers to her inner chamber where the entire Dawn Vault Committee were gathered, including Regal of the Toadies. They were disappointed at the lack of artifacts the group were returning and suggested that they double their efforts. On the upside, however, they promoted Dex to the number two stalker of the group, right behind the cocky Bojangle. After a disagreement between Roz and Vyolet, Roz excused herself. The Dawn Vault Committee asked that Dex and the rest of the group make an expedition towards The Monarchs, in an effort to set up a trade route – booze for fuel.
After the meeting Garrick tried to smooth things over with Roz and Spike was approached by Regal. Spike and Regal had a meeting where Regal said he was impressed with Spike and may have a use for him in the Toadies. As a way of helping Spike think it over, Regal offered a case of some of their finest booze.
Riddle went to speak with Soot, Ender and Ogre, seeing if Soot needed any tools or equipment from the outside world. During their discussion, a pair of traders arrived named Odin and Pain. They claimed to be looking for items to trade as well as looking for helpers in a treasure hunting salvage expedition. Dex and Spike looked over their goods and a member of the Ark, Marsha, approached as well, seemingly interested in going with them.
The group was intrigued by the beast of burden that they used to pull their car-cart. This rot goat seemed like it would be the perfect creature to add to the stables if they could find more. Odin said the creatures could be found to the east. When Roz arrived, she instantly recognized the two men from her vision as the rapists and murderers from whom they had rescued Cooke. As soon as she brought Cooke to see if she was certain, the group instantly turned on them, killing them and taking their loot, not to mention the rot goat.
The group set out the following day towards The Monarchs. They traveled through some new areas, spotting an unusual metallic beast they best decided to avoid. They came to the rot goat fields and saw there were plenty to be captured but would likely do that on the way back. Later, when approaching a crashed airplane, they suspected there could be lots of useful items in the wreckage but were beset upon by ruthless and savage morlocks. The morlock mutant leader was enormous and almost caused grave injury to the explorers, but in the end, they were victorious.
The explorers rested, bound their wounds and made their way towards where they felt The Monarchs made their base of operations, not knowing what to expect. As they got closer and closer, however, they found that the landscape was not nearly as disastrous as they were used to. But there were abandoned cars placed in a maze format, preventing easy access through the roads, and pushing them through narrow streets with plenty of buildings. As they cautiously made their way down the street, a voice called out.
The lookout introduced himself as Umber and wanted to know their business. After explaining they were here to trade booze for fuel, be brought them along, mentioning their protection was to keep out The Fallen. He also explained that things were complicated with his settlement now as there was discussion of revolution against their leader, Madame Monarch.
The expedition saw an example of Madame Monarch’s management style as she shot those workers who were threatening to quit, force her out or ask for better rations. She made it clear that her utopia was hers and hers alone.
Umber led them into the building which said ‘Monarch’ which Tasty and Lambda said was once a theater where people in the old world would watch moving pictures and watch a story unfold. To their shock ,the theater was in working order and the group waited, watching a movie as Umber went to explain to Madame Monarch what they wanted, namely, a trade route.
Upon getting an audience with Madame Monarch, she and her slave assistant, Zombi, listened to them. Madame Monarch proved to be an eccentric and erratic negotiator. She did not agree to the trade route immediately, but invited them to stay for a day while she pondered their offer.
But what did she have as a counter proposal?