Betrayed Chapter 4

Since PCK introduced the third point in the love triangle, or at least I assume so, I’d like to talk about adults and teens for a bit. The reason that scene with Loren is so creepy is because he’s an adult and Zoey is a kid. Yes, she’s sixteen, almost seventeen, and he’s in his twenties which isn’t that much time but at that point in her life a few years is a gulf between Zoey and Loren.

To top it all off, he’s in what they call a position of trust. We don’t know if he’s a teacher but we did see him at the one ritual we saw presided by Neferet. So we know that he’s part of the staff if not a teacher which still puts him in a place of power. If he wanted to sleep with Zoey and she went along, how much of her consent would be given because she wants to versus the part of her that just wants to obey the authority figure is questionable. That’s why people who’re in positions of authority are usually forbidden from mingling with those below them, because the lines of right and wrong can blur real fast. Add the fact that Loren is flirting with a girl who’s not an adult and things get messy.

So Zoey meets back up with Stevie and wants to tell her about last chapter. Then decides against it because her other friends are there and she can’t stand the thought of being mocked by them. Zoey goes silent and acts suspicious when Stevie asks her why she looks strange. ‘No reason. I don’t have twelve kilos of heroin hidden in my pants. I’m just happy to see you.’

Zoey distract everyone by telling them her new power structure for the DDs. As Zoey’s Unicus has gone almost a whole two pages without being fed, all her friends praise Zoey. Usually when people fawn over a character this much it’s done to illustrate how they’re surrounded by useless yes men who wouldn’t dare peep without permission. I have to quote Damien’s part because it’s physically sickening.

“Oh, Zoey! You’re going to be an awesome High Priestess.” Damien was all misty-eyed and his voice cracked adorably. “I feel like I’m in the court of a great queen.”

What the hell is getting him all emotional? ‘I can’t believe all those plagiarism lessons I gave her are starting to pay off. I’m so proud.’ When I copy things off the internet all I ever get is a notice of copyright infringement. And again, the idea of a hierarchy is so mind bendingly obvious that there’s no way it hasn’t been done before.

Zoey has decided that there needs to be an odd numbered council. Then she says that even with them they’ll need two more and she figures they should be older students. Mind you, Zoey isn’t making them prove they belong on the council like anyone else would have to. Maybe that’s why her friends were so happy, they knew that they’re guaranteed a position as part of their due.

So now that they’ve decided they need a couple of older students, the question becomes who to pick. Yes, who to pick, Zoey? Perhaps you should talk to Neferet and see if she has any suggestions or maybe start asking students who weren’t allowed to join the DDs previously. Instead, they just sit there stupidly until one of them blurts out a name. Damien suggests Erik.

All the girls start berating him and reminding him that Erik isn’t gay. Damien says that’s not why he suggested him and Zoey says it’s a good idea but not just because she likes him or because he likes girls. Actually, that’s probably the only reason Zoey thinks it’s a good idea. The others say he is talented and a great guy and hot. Zoey says that they’re not basing their membership on looks though I’d wager a solid dollar that Elliott would have been denied by Zoey because of his looks.

Then Zoey takes a deep breath and prepares to make her most mind blowing statement. She suggests that they put one of Aphrodite’s former friends on the “council” before she was deposed. This is the only smart thing she’s said so far. It’ll demonstrate that they’re not biased against Aphrodite’s pals and go a long way to smoothing over ties with some of them. Everyone else is, of course, too dumb to understand and protests until Zoey shuts them up by holding up a hand and telling them this. Then Damien says that’ll be more like putting a serpent in their midst.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, Damien, but aren’t snakes closely allied with Nyx?” I spoke quickly, following the intuitive feeling that was prompting me. “Haven’t they gotten a bad reputation because historically they’ve been symbols of female power, and men wanted to take that power away from women and make it something disgusting and scary instead?”

Wait, what? Why does PCK turn everything into a blow in an imaginary gender war? First, it’s every legend is about women and men fearing them. Now it about people disliking snakes. Next, it’ll turn out that the belief that ionizing radiation is dangerous is a myth perpetuated by the patriarchy because atoms emitting radiation is seen as similar to women having children. Hence why they refer to the element after radioactive decay as a daughter element.

At least her friends react appropriately. They just nod and say that doesn’t change the fact that it would be dangerous. Then Zoey wins them over by saying that it’ll be a way for them to live on if they don’t make it all the way to vampire. And that seems to be enough to allay their fears though Stevie wants something a little more. She wants there to be a plaque that all the prefects name gets engraved on it.

Then Shaunee says that’s nice but they need something cooler than a plaque. How about a tombstone? Maybe a coffin to go with it? Your families can pick out them out after I flatten you all with a steamroller. Erin says yeah, it should be something unique like them. So, something that’s mass produced and incredibly common like a sponge.

Damien suggests handprints because those are unique. So they decide on cement casts like those outside Grauman’s Chinese theater. And Zoey says they should go in the courtyard that way people can walk all over them. Plus the occasional hobo can leave them a surprise after they’ve climbed the wall, eaten a couple of day old hotdogs and drank a quart of cheap rye whiskey.

The bell rings and they split. Zoey tells Stevie to tell their Spanish teacher that she’s going to see Neferet. Zoey should also remind her that she could be fired if Zoey gets anything less than an A on her next test. If that doesn’t happen, Zoey will ask the harpy in the sky to make her the victim of a rare virus that only strikes vampires who were born in South America in the late eighteen hundreds.

As Zoey approaches Nefert’s office, she hears Aphrodite talking to her. Aprhodite says she “saw” something and Zoey wonders if she told Neferet about Loren flirting with her. So she decides to eavesdrop by taking off an earring and pretending to look for it. That’s how she hears Neferet tell Aphrodite that if her visions are “questionable” then it’s clear the goddess has revoked her favor.

Aphrodite begs Neferet not to say that and Neferet says she doesn’t have to. She tells Aphrodite to search her soul because she knows it’s true. Aphrodite says that it tells her that she’s made mistakes but not that she’s been abandoned. Neferet says that Aphrodite should look closer. Zoey says she’s never heard Neferet sound so mean so she picks her earring back up and leaves. What an exciting chapter. Maybe next time PCK will treat us to a discussion about the yearbook.

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2 Responses to Betrayed Chapter 4

  1. maeverin says:

    damn, Neferet is 300 going on 13!
    Not the most welcoming, forgiving priestess, is she?
    “Nyx told me she hates you now”
    “I’ve made some mistakes, but I don’t believe the Goddess has completely abandoned me…”
    “oh no, you were totally abandoned. Also? you’re looking kinda chubby.”

    Nothing like having your mentor tell you God hates you.

    • vivisector says:

      It’s true. It makes me wonder if Neferet’s end goal is to convince Aphrodite to find a length of rope and do the honorable thing on her own.

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