No seriously, who the fuck was Anastasia? I mean, other than a character PCK killed in a cheap attempt at drama. I could look her up or browse the HoN wiki I’m sure undoubtedly exists but fuck that. If PCK couldn’t be bothered to make an impression on me with them, then I can’t be bothered to actively look for them.
Whoever she was, she was apparently only important to Stevie who gasps. Darius wants to know if there are any ravens left alive. Lenobia says no and may their souls rot in the “depths of the Otherworld”. Well that’s an incredibly lazily named realm of the afterlife. Zoey asks if anyone else died and Lenobia says no but there are some wounded and now that they’re short of a healer who knows.
“Then Zoey needs to get to the wounded,” Stark said.
And since when did Zoey go through medical school? Or is this going to be another moment where we learn her magical powers are basically a Swiss Army knife? Lenobia and even Zoey begin to protest at this but Stark says she’s the high priestess now and they need her. Darius says that her affinity for spirit could help soothe the wounded. Because that’s something we all know the spirit element for, I guess.
“You are correct, of course,” Lenobia said, brushing her long white-blond hair back from her face. “I’m sorry. Stasia’s death has taken a toll on me. I’m not thinking clearly.” She smiled at me, but it was really more of a grimace of upturned lips than a true smile. “Your help is welcome and needed, Zoey.”
Translation: ‘Wow, uh, sure. I mean we could use medical professionals or someone with actual healing powers. I’m sure everyone will be fine having a moron walk among them telling them to feel better and waving smoking herbs at them.’ They say they’ll all help out which still hasn’t impressed Lenobia. They wander inside and Beavis mentions feeling sadness through the flames. Then everyone tells Zoey she can do this and it won’t be difficult compared to what’s come before. They stop when they get to the funeral pyre.
My feet stopped without me consciously telling them to. The scene was just so awful that I couldn’t make myself move forward. The funeral pyre was an enormous mound of firewood that had been placed under and around a wooden picnic bench. I knew it was a picnic bench because even though it was burning, the structure was still completely recognizable, as was the body that lay on top of the table. Professor Anastasia, the beautiful wife of our Fencing Master, Dragon Lankford, had been dressed in something long and flowing and covered by a white linen shroud. Horribly, her body could still be seen through it. Her arms were crossed over her chest and her long hair fell toward the ground, lifting and crackling in the fire.
Wait, read that first sentence again. Zoey’s feet stopped without her consciously telling her to, meaning she normally talks to her feet. That adds a whole new dimension as now I’m picturing Zoey walking about the school, staring down at Lefty and Righty—no one said Zoey is creative—telling them to walk or run or turn left. Does she have to comand all her body parts? Are they sometimes unruly? ‘No, no! Not into Loren’s bedroom! Stop undressing me, hands! Don’t you dare get on his dick and like it, vagina!’
Back to the world of sanity, how can Zoey recognize the body like that? Beavis sensed this thing burning from quite a distance so it has to have been going for a little bit. Once a fire gets going, things like hair and clothes don’t last long. Hell, skin doesn’t stay untouched for very long around heat. But it wouldn’t be dramatic if Zoey couldn’t see this lady being burned. Also, thanks for finally clearing up who this lady was, PCK.
Dragon is very sad and for good reason. Zoey and slaves decide to help out. Beavis makes the fire burn hotter, for some reason, while Butthead makes the air cooler around him. Damien uses air to blow the smell of cooking flesh away from them, because pyres look romantic but smell like roast sasquatch, while Stevie summons earth to make things smell nice. Then Zoey uses Spirit to make him feel a bit better.
I want to ripe every tendon out of Zoey’s body, weave them into a rope and strangle her with it. Where do you get off halting the grieving process for this guy? Who are you to intrude on what’s clearly a private ceremony. I don’t see any other vampires so I imagine he wants to be left alone. But you come barging in and ruining everything.
I get that PCK’s trying to tell us Zoey cares but she really doesn’t. There’s nothing more obnoxious than people forcing themselves into your world while you’re dealing with something personal. What if Dragon wanted to watch Anastasia burn and breathe in the foul scent of cooked flesh and hair because he never wants to forget. Maybe he wants to burn that image into his mind as her body is burned by the flames to steel himself for the task of living or even revenge.
“How will it ever be bearable, Priestess?” His voice was rough. He sounded completely broken.
I wouldn’t ask Zoey. She’s never lost a damn thing, not even her car keys. If someone she’s not done with dares to die on her they get resurrected so they can continue to serve. Zoey panics, rightfully so, because she’s only seventeen but feeds him a line about how Anastasia will be reborn and find him again in this lifetime. Because nothing’s creepy about a guy who will now set out to find a girl who will grow into an exact replica of his dead wife. Don’t worry, his priest told him it was going to happen so just accept it future forced bride of Dragon.
Lenobia comes by and Zoey asks how come he’s alone. She says it’s because those that care are in the infirmary and the rest are asleep. She blames Neferet’s “poison” and that it remains. Zoey and her elemental slaves go inside while everyone else volunteers to hang out with Darius.
Zoey arrives at the infirmary, informing us that it’s only three rooms and there are three pallets setup in the hall. Why would they setup uncomfortable, makeshift beds, PCK? I would figure at the very least the vampires could find a room nearby and let the wounded rest easy. Or was that just a poor word choice?
Zoey talks to one of the nurses “the short, Asian one was Margareta” who tells her that they done have a healer. Because nursing school only teaches you things like Ikea furniture assembly and catheter insertion. She laments that they have no idea how an injury can affect the “change”. Because that would be so horrible if they died only to come back.
The nurses don’t take Zoey seriously when she says they’re there to help. Naturally, Zoey doesn’t get angry or even bristle at them for their impudence. She has people to do that for her.
This time Stark cut her off. “We have a High Priestess, so it’s time for you to step aside and let her, and her circle, help these kids.”
“Yeah, back off,” Aphrodite said, literally getting in the vamp’s face.
They ignore the people with medical training and begin meeting with students. Oh look, it’s Aphro’s friends who are now good as well. PCK keeps dropping names on us like we care about one note characters. Nope, sorry ladies, no sale today.
There’s a part where one of the girls tells Beavis that Cole, a boy she was attracted to a few books ago, didn’t stand up to the ravens. Everyone makes a big deal about this like he’s a traitor and a bad guy. That’s not really fair, PCK. Obeying a bad guy because you’re under mind control isn’t the same thing as putting on a uniform and swearing allegiance of your own free will. You can’t really blame any of the people that did obey Kalona. Now if they’d had free will, then Beavis could be disappointing.
Darius says he also wants to know why Cole didn’t do anything. Then they talk to an injured girl, name not important, who the nurses saw get injured. Everyone gets mad at them for not doing anything because how dare they. Uh, PCK? I hate to break it to you but it’s actually kind of acceptable for medical professionals to not get involved in conflict directly. It’s like how Red Cross volunteers will go to war zones to treat battle wounded but don’t take action against people, regardless of how they feel about it.
Once Zoey and slaves are done putting the nurse in their place, they finally get down to the business of doing their mumbo jumbo. Zoey tells the elements to help the wounded. Zoey stands there for a bit while the elements flash around, causing people to gasp in shock. Then she gets tired and says that’s enough, breaking the circle and falling to the floor. Because having the elements soothe people is much harder than carrying yourself over a wall with air. I suppose I should be grateful she didn’t fall and go unconscious.
I don’t know that I’ve ever hated a fictional character as much as I hate Zoey. I could see how some dreamy teenagers could like Bella Swan, but I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could like Zoey.