Nine months later in Philadelphia, Eph wakes up when he hears dogs barking. He cooks himself some food, then arms himself and goes out. He tells a homeless man to stop sleeping on his steps, and then goes out on the streets where dogs are eating corpses. Eph makes his way out of the no-access area and joins the people walking down the street. People wait in line to give blood donations for the Partnership, and strigoi watch from the rooftops and patrol the streets in the nuclear darkness. When Eph realizes that the strigoi are moving in, he runs and the other pedestrians panic. More strigoi cut off the route ahead of Eph, and he moves to the side. Another man runs and a feeler brings him down and stings him. Eph continues on his way.
The new government boasts that humanity and strigoi are moving into the future as the two races work together. At their freedom centers, medical professionals are eager to provide comprehensive health care as long as humans keep their blood donations up to date. The strigoi no longer have to confine themselves to the darkness, and they work together with humanity to achieve a better future.
Eph continues on his way, and ducks into an alley. He sees strigoi loading up a tanker and one of them drives off while the other goes inside. Eph checks the pipes and finds blood on the nozzles, and then goes to where his contact Karl runs a warehouse. Karl says that his propane guy Nick will be back later today, and warns that fuel goes fast. Eph says that he'll take a job, and Karl tells him that most people don’t' want to go to the Freedom Centers. One seller has liquor to trade, and Eph asks about the tanker parked outside the apartments where the strigoi leave. He explains that there was a tanker was filling the building with blood, and had guards to make sure no one saw it. Karl doesn't want to hear about it, and warns Eph to be careful about his curiosity. Eph is still surprised that humanity lost,, and Karl tells him that it's pretty much over.
At the Empire State Building in New York, Zach is playing with his personal feeler. Eichhorst comes in and says that the Master has planned an activity for Zach. He gives the boy the rifle, and the Master comes in and says that they're going on an outing. First he feeds Zach the white to keep his asthma at bay.
In North Dakota, Vasiliy and a woman, Charlotte, drive down the road in a motorcycle. They arrive at a human encampment, and Vasiliy says that they came to trade. The survivors take Vasiliy and Charlotte to their leaders, and Vasiliy says that New York still exists despite the rumors. Charlotte says that they're looking for a government missile base, and the survivalists point out that Vasiliy and Charlotte are unarmed as they move in. Vasiliy insists that they should be on the same side against the strigoi, and one leader draws a knife on Vasiliy. He says that Vasiliy is going to take them back to his camp, and then they'll kill Vasiliy and takes his woman. Quinlan kills several of the survivalists and Vasiliy disarms the leader and asks if he wants to help them now.
Vasiliy's people drive up, and Vasiliy admits that all he did was kill more humans. Quinlan says that he's losing patience, and Vasiliy refuses to leave. He asks if there's still a live site or if the strigoi and their human collaborators have found. Quinlan figures that they'll find it if it exists and walks away. Charlotte gives Vasiliy some water, and he wonders if he's in hell searching for something he might never find. He then kisses her.
Eph goes to an apartment and meets with the person offering the liquor. The man, Ross, lets Eph in and introduces himself and his wife Karen. Karen is sick, and Eph tells Ross to leave so he can treat her one-on-one. Karl says that she's afraid of going to a Freedom Center because they allegedly ship people off, and says that she aches all over. She says that she can't eat the Partnership Freedom Bars, and Eph tells her that she has scurvy. Karen needs more vitamin C, and Eph tells her that the Bars have the nutrients. He gives her multivitamins and powdered Vitamin C, and Karen thanks him for his help. Ross comes back in and complains that Eph is profiting from Karen's illness. Eph tells him that they're all trying to get by and leave.
At the Central Park Zoo, Zach moves through the environments, rifle ready. He comes to a cage and a tiger steps out on the ledge above him. Zach trips and when the tiger leaps at him, the boy shoots it dead. The boy touches the blood leaking from its wounds. The Master and Eichhorst watch from above, and the Master says that Zach can feel the power over lesser creatures. Eichhorst points out that Zach fires four bullets when one would have been enough, but the Master tells him that there is dark potential in Zach.
Zach hallucinates Kelly appearing to congratulate him. She says that she's proud of him and they hug. Zach says that he was thinking about the times that they would come there, and feels bad that he killed the tiger. Kelly tells him that it's Eph talking, and Zach shouldn't let Eph's way of thinking hold him back. Zach says that he won't and admits that he's lonely, and Kelly assures him that she's always there if he needs him. She tells him to listen to the Master because he knows what's best for Zach. Eichhorst watches and smiles, as the Master projecting a vision of Kelly hugs Zach.
Eph is going down the street and imagines seeing Zach. The boy looks at Zach and walks away, and Eph continues on to Karl's place. He gives the bottle of liquor to the black marketer, and Neil bursts in and says that they have strigoi coming in. The men step out and open fire on the strigoi, and the creatures soon overwhelm Karl and his men. They grab Eph as well and toss him into a bus with the others.
As the bus heads across the city, Karl demands to know where the strigoi are taking them. He yells at them to just kill them and get it over with, and their guards attack them. As Eph joins in the fight, the bus explodes and flips on its side, skidding down the street. Eph is thrown clear. He calls to Karl and Neil, but the burning bus explodes, throwing him back. As Eph staggers off, an injured man on the street begs him from help. Cursing, Eph helps him into a nearby alley and makes a tourniquet. A woman, Alex Green, puts a gun to Eph's head and demands to know what he's doing. Eph says that he's trying to save his life, and the brother tells Alex to lower the gun. Alex does so and complains that her brother didn't get clear, and Eph realizes that they set off the bomb and blew up the bus. Eph tells them that there were six human prisoners on the bus and he was the only one who made it out. Alex insists that they couldn't wait for the perfect moment to revolt, and Eph warns that the strigoi will close off the block and follow her brother's blood trail. She says that she knows a place and leads them off.
Vasiliy and Charlotte have sex, and late Vasiliy wakes up and discovers that Charlotte is gone. He goes out to find her, and sees a campfire. Vasiliy goes over and finds Abraham sitting by the fire. Abraham says that he's there waiting for Vasiliy, and warns that humanity are being extinguished. He points out that Vasiliy and Quinlan are humanity's best hope, but Vasiliy says that they're just food soldiers. Abraham is the one that they're counting on to turn it around, and Abraham says that face of God is the key to his demise. He tosses pages of the Lumen into the fire and tells Vasiliy that the end is near so he should hurry. Vasiliy hears Charlotte in the darkness, and when he turns back he discovers that Abraham has turned into a strigoi.
Vasiliy wakes up from his nightmare and tells Charlotte that his people back in New York are depending on him. He feels like he's failing them, and Charlotte assures him that their luck is going to change. Vasiliy wonders what he'd do without her and they kiss.
The next morning, Vasiliy and Charlotte go out to gather corn for supplies. She disappears while they're talking, Vasiliy's back to her. He goes to look for her, and a hooded figure knocks him out while two other figures reveal that they've grabbed and gagged Charlotte.
Eichhorst goes to the penthouse and tells the Master that Zach has no interest or aptitude in their work. The German insists that Zach is incapable of showing any serious responsibility, and the Master tells him that leaders are forged, not born. He plans to tailor Zach as his next host. Eichhorst insists that Zach is unworthy, and the Master tells him that there are many reasons to keep Zach. He figures that Eph won't allow Quinlan or Abraham to move against him as long as he has Zach. The Master tells Eichhorst to bring them to him and then they will no longer need Zach, and says that he has an idea for a reward for Zach making the kill.
At James River in North Dakota, the masked men take Vasiliy and Charlotte to their base and reveal that they're all women. They women chain Vasiliy up in the barn, and a fellow prisoner Roman tells him that the women took Charlotte to convert her to their cause. Pp says that he's slave labor, and no one is coming for him. Vasiliy says that he hopes he has people coming for her, and Roman explains how he got drunk after he found out his girl was cheating on him, and he woke up there. He says that he had food, gas, and ammo not far away, and Vasiliy realize that he's referring to a government missile silo since Roman's shirt says that he worked there. The exterminator asks if Roman launched, and Roman says that they didn't get the command. A couple of months went by and they got pirate broadcasts from the surface world that New York and San Francisco were gone. Vasiliy asks if Roman can give him directions if he gets them out, and explains that he's after a warhead.
Zach is playing video games in his room when a human female maid comes in. The feeler snarls at him, and Zach orders it to back off. He assures the maid that the feeler is mostly harmless. The maid goes to work and Zach admits that he should probably clean it up himself. He asks if she'll be working there all the time, and says that it's cool when she figures that she is.
Eph stitches together the brother's wound as best he can and warns that the next 24 hours are critical. When he starts to leave, Alex draws a gun on him. Eph tells her that his mission is staying alive and staying human, and a disgusted Alex tells him to go. She says that he's the reason the world is like it is, and after a moment Eph agrees to take care of her brother for 24 hours in return for food and gear. Alex agrees to the deal.
Roman calls in the guards and Charlotte, and says that Vasiliy collapsed. One of them goes over to check on the exterminator, and he grabs her and takes her hostage. Quinlan attacks the compound, and Charlotte grabs a shotgun and tells the women to drop their guns. The women surrender and hand over the keys to the chains, and Quinlan comes in and explains that he followed their trial. Vasiliy introduces Quinlan to Roman and explains that Roman used to work at a missile base. He frees himself and Roman and they leave to get the warhead.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 17, 2017