Smith, Jones, Primogen O'hara and Arafel are in the prince's chamber. Their cellphones all flashing with a message about dying childer, which is also emanating (in fine calligraphy) from the Prince's gargoyle-shaped Fax machine.
“Well, it looks like The Gehenna has arrived,” exclaims O'Hara.
“Are you sure? Isn't Gehenna just a myth? There must be a rational explanation to this,” objects Jones.
“The End Times is a rational explanation!” insists O'Hara.
“No, this isn't Gehenna,” says prince Arafel with a casual air, “that isn't due for some time yet.”
There is a pause of stunned silence.
“So what do you think is happening? What could do this? Sorcery?”
“Sorcery could do this,” asserts Arafel, but does not elaborate.
“Do we know if all the thin-blooded have died?” asks Mrs Jones.
Everyone turns and looks at Smith.
Smith explains that he doesn't think this will affect him, because there was something unique about his Embrace. He admits that his embrace involved Sorcery. O'Hara protests that the vampire he knows as Smith's Sire did not exhibit any interest in the O'Ccult arts, and Arafel is pissed at Smith for not telling him something that important during the "word of acceptance" interview. The Prince and the Primogen confer and decide to keep a close watch on Smith until they have the time for full investigation.
The conversation is deflected to the question of where the message “All Thy Childer Are Dying” was sent from - something that the technology savvy Smith is eager to investigate. The Prince dismisses them as he has urgent business to attend to. O'Hara warns Smith that he is being placed under supervision pending an inspection of his blood, and gives Mrs. Jones the job. Smith gives of the air of agreeing to this supervision thing only because he wants to run along and investigate the message, but Jones knows full well that neither of them really has a choice in the matter. The Princes word, after all, is law.
Inquiries are made at Verizon, the local cellphone provider, Smith leads the way to their offices, commandeers a tech support guy and gets him to trace what number sent him the text message about “All Thine Childer…”. Turns out the message just popped onto the cell network from a non-existent cell somewhere in the vicinity of Reno. The message to Jones' cellphone - and to the Prince's fax - comes from the same area. Smith also gets the tech support guy to give Magenta a new phone, which causes her much anxiety, especially when she is told it is a “Third Generation device”.
Smith insists on going there at once, but Magenta the cautious protests that the journey might be long and hard, and difficult for Kindred. Smith bahs to himself profusely, but they still end up trying a couple of local options before crossing Domain lines.
Sisko the Malkavian scientist, an hour away, might help. Supplied with two twin celebs (the Olsen twins, if you must insist on knowing) and a writer (“and director, a hack!” claimed M.) for food and transportation, the duo head for Mt. Kisco.
Leaving the food to scout location for their next flick (which basically involved getting high in front of the night view of the hills, explains Smith), they proceed on foot, up the obfuscated hill, to the derelict mansion where Sisko dwells and experiments. There they have a confusing conversation with Sisko, who tells them about routers, about dispersion mechanisms (flowers that open in the night was his favorite), about Vitae being a virus on reality (every generation being a vector of the virus, evolving in quantum leaps and seemingly backwards, like a Malkavian playing hopscotch), about Tremere black ops blood research and particularly about the Assamites, whom he fingers as the prime suspects. He also mentions having some trouble with them in the past.
When Sisko goes to change his invisible baby's diapers, a cat shows up and engages our heroes in a more constructive conversation - offering theories of satellites and such. All to explain the pattern in which thinbloods died out: with the rotation of the Earth.
When Sisko returns, he thoroughly denies having a cat - invisible or otherwise - but our heroes merely smile knowingly to themselves: “them goofy Malkavians with their invisible familiars…”
The cat continued to accompany the duo on the way back, where they discovered that the Olsen twins do not see the cat (“mortals!”, sneers B.). Even Magenta seems to notice he is fading away, until she reaches out to pat him, at which point he regains realness. In any event, the cat continues to be far more helpful than his master. It is his suggestion, eventually, that leads them (sans the cinema trio, which were put back in the city safe and a little dazed, if you must know) to a USAF base, to check any suspicious satellites.
In the base, after Smith arranged a guided tour of the facility with a big entourage (“please follow me, private sector bigwigs, I will ask no questions!, right this way to the nucleaar wessel”), they come upon a lowly tech who refuses to succumb to Smith's gifts (“ask your friend to stop his lame domination tricks on me, before I tell on him”).
After a short show of not being afraid due to being an oh-so-cool Technomancer (“if it's that important, go fetch me a note from your Prince”) he agrees to cooperate in exchange of a lesser boon. Using strange devices that plug in to his head he examines the astral security tapes and states that there is no correlation between the spread of the “disease” and any satellite he can see. Upon further prodding he finds a constant angle between the moon and the earth where the thinbloods were dying, but he also explains that there has to be one, so it's really no big deal.
Said Tecnomancer also confirmed the hotzone was indeed that Reno spot, designated as The Black Rock, which he describes as “an open relay into the Dreaming”, and casually mentions that the local vampire Prince has gone just there.
Before they leave, he tries to inject Smith with something (“to seal the deal”), but Smith teaches unto him that vampires are faster, and he has to settle for a contract signed in Vitae.
Smith wants to go to Reno right away, but Jones insists on sleeping first. She puts Smith in a room he can't leave without setting off an alarm and goes to sleep somewhere else. She also talks to Coney and learns that the Prince is away on important business, which lends strength to the Technomancer's claim.
When “morning” comes she sets him free and goes to take care of some business (lit. club) while Smith takes care of his. This he does by sitting at the Smoke café, drinking a mean bloody mary and running tests on the cat, which is feasting on several cans of tuna that might have been actually eaten by Smith himself.
Eventually, the cat grows tired of the fish, and just before Magenta makes the scene he claws Smith (cat's are quicker still), draws vitae, retracts the bloody claw and leaves.
Magenta ghost-touches the tuna can, attempting to discern whether the cat is really there or is just a dementia passed to Smith from Sisko. She penetrates the haze and gets a vision of Sisko, in his house, but then she feels she can see even deeper, which she instinctively does, and then she sees what is behind Sisko.
The shock drains her, so Smith, ever the perfect host, grabs Woody Allen (a celeb and a writer) who happened to pass by, and they ménage à trois his ass.
Thus rejuvenated, Smith and Jones fly to Reno and, having acquired yet another Black Winnebago, they head for the desert, where a Burning Man's worth of winnebagos are all gathered around in a circle, at the epicenter of which a huge man can be seen burning up and collapsing. And as he collapses, he screams with the voice of a thousand throats.