April 19th starts as a blustery morning as Felix & John Crow meet their mysterious informant at the Starbucks. Despite the informant conducting the Worst Dead Drop Ever, the pack acquires his leaked materials and manages to leave with none the wiser. John Crow takes down the license plate of the informant for use later.
Chatter in the aforementioned coffee shop focuses on the protest at a Ceres research station scheduled to take place at noon, as organized by the Facebook group trying to get to the truth behind the mysterious crop deaths. The pack mulls it over, and decides not to attend.
This leaves the matter of tracking down the locust hosts themselves. The plot of locust activity suggests that their foraging will cross the river that night, providing an opportunity to catch them outside of cover. Felix plans out a strategy which focuses on catching them at a pair of narrow crossings, but the overall area to cover is a little over 7 miles. Ongoliant decides to reach out to the Islanders for backup; a deal is struct with Allnighter, in exchange for a promise to provide reciprocal aid to the Islanders later on down the road.
With both packs lining the shore, they wait. A little before midnight, Gunner intercepts a trio of flying forms skimming across the lake – two clouds of locusts accompanied by a human-sized hybrid form. The locusts reform into humans once they land on the short, but a downdraft pushes the hybrid into the water, separating him from the others. Gunner kills one in a single blow, and tears a chunk out of the other while letting it escape into the wilderness. He then faces off with the hybrid and batters it into submission. The rest of the packs catch up to Gunner, and the majority of them chase off after the remaining humanform locust host while Sam remains behind with the Islanders’ ritemaster (River) to interrogate the hybrid.
The hybrid reveals that he is a devotee of Baalphegor, known to the Uratha as one of the maejin, primal spirits of sin and vice. He claims to be looking for something on behalf of Baalphegor’s high priests, described as “orphan’s crop”. He proves unwilling to divulge any more, and Sam sets him on fire while going to rejoin his packmates….
…who have tracked the surviving humanform to the nearest highway, where he appears to be trying to rendezvous with a panel van parked on the side of the road. The wolves circle their unwitting prey, and assault with deadly force. The van is overturned and left at the side of the road, and various fast-food and delivery receipts are the only clues found in the vehicle. One humanform is taken prisoner, and a second round of interrogation ensues.
Sam allows the humanform to bargain for his survival, in exchange for more information on what they’re looking for and the location of the main nest. Sam undergoes a modified version of the Shared Scent rite, and as a result learns the distict taste (including some extremely exotic but not unfamiliar notes) of the orphan’s crop, although part of the gluttonous nature of the Sziraku comes along with the ride.
Once telling the packs that the nest can be found at an abandoned supermarket on the outskirts of Peoria, the humanform is allowed to go free and told to never show his face again. He bounds northward while the pack heads south, gathering their forces for the assault upon the lair contained within the Mister Savings supermarket.