In Cullman, Steve freaks out, the area is declared a FEMA site. Steve's got over a hundred bodies worth of bones buried, from poaching and selling bulk meats to big city Meat Partiers.
Bubby Creeder's Deforastating Robot kills him accidentally in a fight with an elephant who was startled by the machine. Perhaps elephants are rendered deaf in captivity? Giant hogs are also watching from the woods, the young walk upright. They are like gorillabears.
Heidi, and Vernon motivation: witness Steve murder/cannibalism. Fight & Flight to Magic City (funktopia) where they are captured/rescued by BPS. They are followed by double agent cannibal/drug lord Willy Mach (AKA William McDank, albino Afro-Mex mix, a bored GenZ - it is illegal to leave the utopian city without surveillance, so it provides an exciting lifestyle for some singulars, so he is a demigodlike criminal, evil, but like Loki, mostly out for entertainment and for self, manipulating everyone).
Magic City: 2 main bipartisan factions - the Elders (female dominated priest caste) and the Panzers (male ordered martial caste system)
Elders - conservative spiritualists, pscionisists, Peace Church, Hexagon Presence, debate on whether to go singular fully or incrementally
Panzers - Radical Liberators, Leftovers, Black is dominant ethnicity
Other castes delineated by color code
Heidi & Vernon travel by longboat, less conspicuous. They are followed by dolphins, it is not revealed that they are singular semi-immortal dolphins, who save them during an ambush by Riverrats, cannibalistic inbred boat people. The Dolphins sink their boats with cyber-amplified sonic shock, a sort of localized EMP.
In the NOLA Sub-base - the Crew will transport Heidi, Vernon & Uncle Dale to Hexico City, the mobile base of sage towers of the Order of the Hexagon.