After a day's sleep in the truck, Magenta Jones rises, expeditiously does her hair, and goes to find the wayward Smith, who skipped town on her and who had spent the day with the staked Piven in an untraceable safe-house he just purchased.
Magenta easily traces the safe-house (not many places in Louisville would stand up to Smith's standards) and comes for a visit, but Smith and Piven are no longer there. She calls O'Hara and tells him she lost Smith. He is disappointed, but tells her to make her way to the Cincinnati airstrip anyway, which she does.
As she parks her car, her phone rings. Unknown number. She answers, and hears a strange noise on the other side, something like a digital interference sort of thing. Then there is a monotonous voice that sounds like a recording, but filtered. Stretched. The voice says “take out your notepad and start writing”. Then there is more noise and the call hangs up. And in the voice, scrambled as it is, she detects more than a slight lisp. So she writes.
When she is done writing, she has a conversation with the cat, who tries to talk her out of going on the plane, but also makes a point of staying with her regardless of her decision. Then she phones Smith, who explains his sole motive for deserting her (with a dead body) was letting her make an independent decision. He wants her to come with him, which means not getting on the plane (an act Smith rightfully considers suicidal), but it has to be her call.
The most Magenta is able to put into it is “agreeing to disagree” and telling Smith they'll meet in NY if they come through - each in his own special way. And so, with this display of crippled emotions, she disposes of her phone in the public washrooms, hides Derek in a locker1) and then boards the private jet without even noticing that the Cat - as a precautionary measure - has rendered her invisible.
On board the plane she is surprised to see Bertie talking on the phone, and to O'Hara no less. Bert is not the first person one would send on such a delicate mission, being an official executioner of the Camarilla and all, but there he is, packing his favorite stake, telling the nervous O'Hara that Magenta did not yet arrive and promising to call him as soon as she does.
In spite of the accumulating evidence, Magenta refuses to take advantage of her invisibility, so the Cat scares Bertie out of his wits by appearing before him and unveiling Magenta. Once Bertie recovers from the initial shock (“Shit! You can't sneak up on people like that! Did you see a cat just there…?”) he starts asking Magenta all sorts of questions about her recent transgressions, and eventually admits he's been ordered to stake her on sight - which he does not consider very sportsmanlike. He wanted to talk to her first, and now that they did… Well, if she could only be so kind as to undo her blouse so he doesn't make a hole in it.
Magenta, finally snapping to her senses, tells Bertie she will just go and fetch Derek. Bertie, not being that fucking slow, gently offers to send one of his men to get Derek instead, to which Magenta reacts by explaining that Derek is training an RPG thingy on this very private jet, and that he is ordered to pull the trigger unless she comes to get him with the right password.
Bertie is astonished by this criminal attitude from someone he knew and trusted, and as the great gears in his mind grind to formulate an attack plan, Magenta reaches into her purse and shoots him with her secret weapon, this time taking the shape of a large Peacemaker. Bertie blurs a bit, from dodging so fast, but the bullet badly scratches his arm. His face contort with horrible surprise and like that, he's gone. To the dust bin with him.
The Cat relays Magenta's latest follies to Smith, who has already picked up an RV and a hitchhiker chick to drive it to New Jersey, but is only too happy to U-turn and pick Magenta up. And so the whole party heads back to NYC together, and on their own terms.
Smith's shiny new RV is equipped with a hidden but spacious vault, and after a few hours of driving and chatting Jones and Smith and Piven enter it, lock it and go to sleep, leaving Smith's hitchhiker to drive, Derek to keeps a tired eye on her and the Cat to keep a sleepy eye on him. The vampires are still asleep when the RV is stopped at a roadblock, by what appears to be a small platoon of soldiers. Derek fiercely hides under a bed as the soldiers order the shocked and terrified driver/hitchhiker off the RV and down on the ground.
The sudden sound of automatic weapons firing wakes the vampires. They can hear some screaming and smell a massacre going on outside, and then the strong scent of werewolves as they board the RV and hijack it. The cat obfuscates the three helpless vampires as one of the werewolves searches the back. He ignores Derek and finds the safe, but complains to his partners that he can't smell the vamps. One of his friends advises him to make sure and he starts hacking the safe, but - strangely enough - not before he closes all the shades so as not to hurt any vampires that might be in it. Before he tears any substantial holes the Cat un-obfuscates Piven (“For him, I don't carez”), and the safe-cracker is immediately content. Found them. Must have been a sealed vault, or something.
Helplessly, they are driven to Pennsylvania.
In the stronghold of the Black Spiral Dancers, S,P&J meet Drinks-Alone-and-Nothing, who lectures them on the mysteries of the universe (Wylde, Weaver and Wyrm and all that) and offers his help - for a fee.
In exchange for their story of Faerie encounter, he reveals his Burzmali contact, somewhere in India, and even arranges for cross-Umbra transportation. Smith specifically asks for Theodore as guide, which is arranged.
Teddy is not so happy with meeting them again (“Some friend you are” said Smith), but he does with his claws, and the bubble of reality bursts around them.