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Smartphones. They're everywhere. All those kine wandering about on the street, hunched over their little glow boxes, laughing at nothing, browsing inane photographs with the flick of a finger, ignoring the world around them.

They're both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because not since television has there been such an effective tool for manipulating the Masses and keeping them quiet - and unlike television, which had the effect of rooting people in their place, making the kine a sessile species, smartphones allow them the freedom to move about, leading to, paradoxically, a far fitter generation and richer sources of Vitae.

It is weird to see kids with green hair and piercings, wearing vintage punk-era clothing, stumbling about the night-lit streets, their faces pallid on the glow of a tiny little box of light, wandering aimlessly and blindly through The Rack alongside hipsters and business people skirting the edge of karoshi.

The Rack itself is changing, too. All the kine used to cluster around nightclubs, brothels and the like. Nowadays, it's all the wifi cafes. We hunt out prey in the modern nights within invisible cages of infrared and radio signals, where the kine never wander far from their overpriced macchiatos for fear of getting out of range of the signal.

And oh, what a curse they are. Social interaction's right out the window, unless you've got them on speed dial or use an app to connect your smartphone to the prey. Otherwise, the little walking blood bags won't even notice you. How hard is it for them to actually lift up their heads to look at you long enough for you to Dominate them, anyway? I almost envy those rare bloodlines who've learned to refine their Dominate to work solely through the auditory canal, or even through scent. Perhaps I could work with the Ordo to develop a new version of Dominate that operates via the medium of wireless technology. That could work.

Of course, the curse runs deeper than you think. Because of all those little black dots on the back of all their iPhones, Androids and iPads. Those little black glassy circular dots that can only mean one thing to a vampire flexing her Disciplines in public.

Cameras. Lost Visage. Blurry pictures appearing on Facebook and G+, going viral. Things That Should Not Be, broadcast all over the web with location information and date and time stamps for those fine folks of the Malleus Maleficarum, Task Force Valerie and the local hunters with their sharpened pickaxe helves. Even one small breach these days could lead to a thousand photos all over the web, and Null Mys and Network Zero crowding the unfortunate neonate who thought he now had super powers just because he'd left his breathing days behind him just last week.

And now the world knows that we're out there, walking among them. And that we do not, in any way, sparkle.


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