The act starts out with Manuel "Manny" Calavera, a travel agent (or reaper) working for the Department of Death in penance for unknown sins he committed while alive. Manny, in need of a large commission to help him out of a slump, illegally picks up Mercedes "Meche" Colomar, a dead saint, and unwittingly uncovers a web of corruption within his department. He is approached by Salvador "Sal" Limones of the Lost Souls Alliance, an undercover revolutionary group, and is offered passage out of El Marrow in exchange for his loyalty to the cause. Manny cooperates and travels to the Petrified Forest in search of Meche, who has gone missing. Manny and his friend and driver Glottis face many dangers and ultimately find their way out to Rubacava, a small seaside town. Upon learning that Meche has not arrived at the town yet, Manny takes a job from his previous client Celso Flores to wait for her. The first act ends with Manny Calavera mopping the floor of the Rub-A-Mat.
In order of appearance: