Desperate to switch vehicles (because they assume they are being followed), Smith & Jones keep driving the truck for a couple of hours till they get to a truck stop. Smith attempts to commander a driver, but his hunger gets the better of him, and he find the local popularity of the proprietor's niece (a cute mechanic) palatable. He drags her to the restroom and drinks greedily until Magenta stops him. They leave the unconscious girl on the ground, where the cat's wails will hopefully bring her timely assistance.
Smith - telling himself that he would have stopped drinking before killing the poor girl, knowing that he is lying to himself - is shaken up by this; but not shaken enough to ignore the truck that is stopping near by or the plump truck driver emerging from within its bowels.
Determined to not let this become “another Vietnam”, Smith briskly approaches the driver and dives into his mind. But such is his hunger (the mechanic girl did nothing for him, not really being a celeb and all), that instead of bending the guy to his will, he finds him appetizing. Apparently, this guy sometimes escorts a local troupe of boy-scouts on their excursions, and being a man of acceptable outdoor-skillz and taking ever so much comfort in showing off said skillz to wide-eyed we-mouthed children… Suffice to say that he has become something of an idol to some of the younger members of the troupe. “Almost better than a celeb”, thinks the hunger-crazed Smith as he attempts to dig his fangs into the truck driver's neck - not even bothering with Dominate.
The driver is taken aback, mumbles a what-the-fuck, reaches for a supposed weapon and then levitates off the ground and bend his neck at a fatal angle to a cheerful crack! - all with the kind assistance of the disappointed Ms. Jones. As was previously demonstrated, Ms. Jones knows better, and she therefore gives Smith the look reserved to those who most aptly demonstrate exactly how much better they know.
Jones takes the truck (with the dead driver) and Smith takes the Winnebago (yes, again). A few miles up the road they move the staked Piven to the truck and dump the hot Winnebago, then they proceed to Louisville, Kentucky. Smith makes arrangements for a celeb laden party upon his arrival, which should be about two hours before dawn, if they drive fast. At first he wishes to invite the Prince of Kentucky, in lieu of a proper introduction, but Magenta dissuades him, desperately trying to explain how close Arafel probably is to calling a blood-hunt on both their asses.
While Smith attends the party, Jones visits a local paper and uses her feminine wiles to get into the brilliant night editor's collar - an extremely talented asshole. On her way out, she bumps into an old Toreador acquaintance who claims to have been spying on the same brilliant editor. He shares his own personal tragedy with Magenta: before the world started ending, he hoped to embrace the brilliant night editor, with whom he is somewhat obsessed; but now that he is a sterile twelfth generation he feels like he has nothing to offer. Besides, with his luck he is probably dying, and all in all he feels a lot like a fag with AIDS back in the 80's.
Cold hearted Magenta does not buy this likely story, and has no qualms about being vicious about it (“so when did you realize you were impotent?”). The mood becomes so tense, that when the guy begins to spasm and reach to her in desperation she mistakes his desperation for aggression, tries to kick him and fumbles badly (karma). Only after she lands on her ass and see him decompose and deteriorate to dust does she realize what is really happening.
Magenta hurries back to Smith's party to share the news. She finds Derek and makes sure he eats and drinks real food, and not just Vitae. This she does mostly by pouring her own on top of some BBQ chicken, which is so motherly it almost makes one cry. It also makes one wonder, is she compensating out of guilt over the Toreador, or is she just better disposed towards the living? In any event, she proceeds to talk to O'Hara, who confirms it is the Twelfth Night - this time spreading westwards from the west coast - and who wants her and Smith back in NYC ASA-fucking-P. He tells Magenta that a plane will await her at a private airstrip in Cincinnati first thing tomorrow night, and that both her and Smith better be on it. He also advises, again, that she preemptively stakes Smith. A lot of that going around lately, it seems. Jones also asks O'Hara if she is in any kind of trouble, and he assures her that she is not. She knows his voice well. He is lying.
The Cat overhears some of that conversation, and - worried and responsible feline that he is - tells Smith all about it and advises on precautionary measures.
After about ten minutes, Magenta grows concerned. She goes out to look for Smith, and finds that he has taken Piven and left her with the dead truck driver. She calls him, and as he does not pick up a single word forms, first in her mind, and then on her lips.