A knock on the Winnebago's door interrupts Jones and Smith - seemingly oblivious to the spectacle outside (a screaming demon dying in a huge bonfire surrounded by thousands of ravers screaming in ecstasy) - in the middle of a long argument over food and eating arrangements. Smith, still arguing out of the side of his mouth, walks past the befuddled Jessica Lange and Sam Sheppard and opens the door.
It is a local weirdo called Bob, naked and painted in fluorescent pink body paint. He seems friendly and offers hugs. Both our heroes accept. Smith tells Sam and Jessica to stay near the Winnebago and keep it at present location, using The Voice and very deliberate phrasing, and he and Jones head on after Bob to see what's going on.
They head for the center, where the burning man is burning (like duh) on top of a cement bunker. Upon entering the bunker they discover an eclectic art gallery inside, with works depicting the burnage. Amidst the paintings is an empty spot with an elevator which most people seem to be ignoring.
Fearing a trap, Magenta scans Bob, and Smith uses the voice on him. This causes Bob to sit on the ground and shut down in an orderly fashion. Smith thinks this is some kind of a mental trigger, and therefore an infringement of his Voice copyright.
Anyway, there are many people milling about, and Magenta notices several supernatural auras. One of said sups heads into the elevator and vanishes, and the duo takes his lead. They enter the elevator and are transported (teleported?) to what seems like an underground complex.
In front of them is a sparsely populated lounge, with people drinking espresso and reading the paper and such. A few doors and corridors are visible beyond. Behind the elevator there are clicking cabinets, stacked as far as the eye can see and later identified as switchboards of Technomantic design.
Smith walks to one of the lounge lizards and asks him a question. The guy responds with a weary sigh and a faint hint of disgust and tells them they are expected. They go into an Office where they are joined by Anna, a cute chick in a summer dress and bare feet who turns out to be half metal (arm, half her head).
Anna is some kind of an important Technocratic functionary. She explains that this place, with the festival surrounding it and the burning of the man (“you would call it a demon, we call it a YETZIRATAN”, she explains), is a form of communication port into the Dreaming.
She also points out that no Verizon computer should be able to locate transmissions originating from the Black Rock, which means they were deliberately led here. “Either a trap, or a frame-up”, she guesses.
There is much talking, and a great deal of it is done by the Cat - which Anna neither sees nor hears - or by Magenta in response to same Cat. Anna politely keeps the conversation going on her side, but Smith is bored with this. He makes a not-so-subtle lesbian innuendo and goes to get himself a drink.
Magenta, with the Cat on her lap and in her ear, milks Anna for some more information. She learns that Anna, or the people she represents, can be hired at extreme costs to investigate the Fairy angle of this whole Gehenna thing, and indeed were hired to do just that by a Prince Arafel. She also asks some questions about the workings of the “open relay to the Dreaming”, to which Anna reacts by sketchily explaining how weird Fae energies (“intentions”, she called them) are analyzed and converted into things that make (limited) sense in our world: Faxes, SMSes, even video conference calls should be possible (although not probable). Magenta wants to know if there were any transmissions coming from the Dreaming when the thinbloods started dying, Anna admits that there is something, because there is always some background noise, but says it's nothing. Magenta insists, and Anna, being terribly helpful and probably trying to get into Magnenta's pants, supplies her with a magical USB-drive containing all the transmissions from that timeframe, pre-analyzed and pre-compiled for Linux.
In the mean-time, Smith is in the lobby, flirting (successfully, naturellement) with a fangy chick called Dana who shows him how to summon a steward that brings him a drink, and a minute later brings him a phone with a rumbling “a call for you, sir”. On the other side is a lispy girl voice asking Smith to get up and walk down the corridor. Smith promptly complies, with barely an apology to the chick. Almost like he is Dominated. The voice continues to guide him through the complex to a Chamber of Visitation, a dark room with a glass divider, on one side a counter (upon which the Cat immediately pounces) with a built-in microphone and speakers and on the other side a large screen showing shifting colors. Pretty as a screen-saver.
As Smith approaches the counter, the shape of a girl begins to manifest on the screen. As the picture becomes more focused and the long facial features become clearer, Smith realizes it is not a girl, but something else, probably a Fairy. He places his hand against the glass, as often seen in popular culture, and is weirded out when the fairy takes his hand and moves to sit on the counter, next to the Cat, on his side of the divider.
The fairy greets the Cat and then examines Smith with great interest. “You are too complacent”, she declares, still with a lisp. Smith is bedoogled by this greatly. He tries to point at his most recent escapades as prime examples of non-complacent behavior, but the fairy continues her chastising: “Yes, you betray everyone. Very big. You betray your kind, you betray the Camarilla, you even betray your friend there, but now you must already betray yourself”. Smith does not like this talk of betrayal, but the Fairy insists. “If you were someone, once, you are no longer this someone, because you changed into someone new, and the new someone is not bound by what the old someone did”. Smith thinks he sees where this is going. He puts on his biggest smile-of-denial and shakes both head and finger. “Same person, they are! Always the same”. The fairy takes this outburst as reassurance of her preliminary assessment of Smith. “See? Too complacent! How can they be same? If you were the same person, you would not be yourself! How can you be yourself without betraying your old self? Now be quiet. They are coming. Remember what I told you”.
At this point the door opens and in walk Jones and Anna. Apparently, they were in the middle of a hot discussion about ideals and motives, which explains why they are both a bit flushed1). Anna was just explaining how everything is anonymized and how information really wants to be free when an aid broke the sexual tension by informing her of the “quasi-solid Dreaming event” taking place in room 5m\7h, which is where everyone are now.
The fairy greets the new arrivals, and tells Magenta that she must be careful and observant, and that her biggest mistake is sticking to writing. She should express herself otherwise. Possibly with large plastic things, floating around or kept in some other visually pleasing spatial arrangement. Is she talking about balloons? Is she talking about routers? Hard to tell with fairies. Anyway, this line of conversation is derailed in favor of more pressing matters. The fairy is asked what killed the vampires, or where it came from. She speaks of a thing that is constantly moving, elevated above the earth. Routers again? Maybe a satellite?
The fairy, to whose name no one inquired, also confirms that “thine childer are dying” did not originate in the Dreaming, but somewhere else in the Weave, and she even offers strange fairy coordinates that Anna is able to translate.
Smith and Jones, not wanting to waste a second, thank the fairy and turn to leave, but as they do the fairy calls Magenta back for a word in private. Actually, she calls “Hope”, but Magenta is what she gets. She explains to Jones that her time has come, and that she is called to perform her duty. She hands her a crude blade. “It is his brother's knife”, she whispers, “none of you can withstand it”.
Smith, so it seems, is about to make an important decision, and the fairy is very keen on Magenta keeping her eyes on him and making sure he makes the right call. By any means neccessary.
Finally Smith and Jones leave the complex, go back out to the festival and head for the Winnebago. It is an hour or so before dawn.
Approaching, Jones can hear small Jessica Lange noises from inside the RV, presumably the love-making of movie stars. She wanders about Dana, and what way she swings and Smith opens the door of the RV and the RV explodes into a fireball.
Magenta realizes Smith is dead, and she is hungry, and there is a Gehenna going on, and the fucking flames in her face and she just loses it. the Beast takes over.
Miraculously enough, Smith did not die a horrible death, but instead just got thrown the fuck away. His clothes are singed and he is slightly stunned, but otherwise unharmed. When he shakes his head clear and looks up, he sees a frenzied Magenta shillouted by the flames, holding a mean-ass knife in her hand.