Tempted Chapters 34 & 35

Chapter 34

I thought of a fascinating side effect of PCK’s vampire world. Actor’s salaries. Think about it for a moment. Actors could not command the kind of salaries they do in our world. There’s just too many of them out there.

For one, being pretty isn’t nearly enough when that’s a default super power all vampires have. They have to have some talent to make it in movies then. But with a constant, growing population of beautiful people, some of whom want to act, and very low mortality rates that means increasing competition every day. ‘Oh, you want millions? Well I’ve got a young vampire actor who’s dying to break in and he’ll do it for a few thousand. We don’t need you.’ Only human actors could still, plausibly, ask larger sums and they’d have to have talent to compete and they’d be a bit rare. Sure there might be one or two vampires who could pull millions but it’d change the face of business in film.

Why am I the one thinking about this universe, PCK? That’s your fucking job. You should be the one exploring the incidental consequences of how it’s built. I’m just some internet jackoff who likes to hone his comedy and critical skills. Probably because I spare thoughts about things like that rather than just vomiting words at a page, patting myself on the back and collecting my check from the publisher.

Anywho, they blessedly skip the trip over by having Zoey sleep through it. I’m glad the mother and daughter team could both agree nobody, not even the fan who rank ten on the Moh scale, needed to know how Zoey whiled away the eleven hour flight. Though I don’t know how she slept that long as she just woke up a couple of hours ago.

She notices everyone is crying and they say it’s because they just watched “Milk” and it was very sad. I guess I was only part right when I said the inflight movie would be a pop culture bomb. It’s just a lazy pop culture reference that has no bearing on anything. Zoey goes to sit by Stark who’s reading. This makes her gush about how he does really like to read. Zoey says she’ll have to read that author, who I’m not mentioning because no one should be associated with PCK even by accident.

Zoey then gets ready to go all girl power when he says that author doesn’t write “chick books”. It’s a horrible stereotype that girls only like fluffy, pointless books. Because Stark said “empty headed romance fantasies for over sensitive vaginas” in between “chick” and “books”. Her rant is interrupted by the plane coming to a stop and they deplane.

They run right into Erce, their personal tourguide. She’s made preparations for Stark to protect him on the boat. They worry about getting him across to the boat until he says that, as long as the sun is behind the clouds, it won’t hurt him.

Can I ask a stupid question then? Why can’t Stark just wear a full bodysuit, mask and welding goggles? Something like the vampires wore in Blade 2 when whey attacked him early on? It doesn’t have to be body-hugging leather either. Erce says they have to hurry and get them settled so they can go over the rules. Aphro asks if the rules will allow her as “just a human” to speak.

“The rule about humans has nothing to do with them not being good enough to speak before the Council,” Erce said as we moved from the wharf-like part of the hangar and boarded the boat, stepping down into a dark, luxurious cabin. “Consorts have long been allowed in the Council Chamber because of their importance to their vampyres.” She paused here to smile at Heath, who was totally, obviously human. “They are not allowed to speak before the High Council because humans do not have a say in intimate vampyre policies and issues.”

Are you sure about that, Erce? Because the way you said it indicates that humans have no business over “vampire” affairs. Which means humans aren’t good enough to listen to and the only time they can tag along is if they’re housebroken and silent. They have made an exception for Aphro though so she can speak, unlike Heath. Also Neferet and Kalona are already there and waiting to speak as well.

These aren’t exactly the world shaking villains, are they? They have all this power and magic and the best they’re going to muster is showing up at a vampiric PTA meeting and claim to be in charge. Even if they didn’t attack the vampire council, why no ust break off and form a new sect of believers? It might piss off the council but they can’t do anything about it.

On the boat ride over, Aphro starts clutching her head and whining about being hot. Zoey thinks she’s having another vision and wants to know what she sees. Aphro says it’s her bond with Stevie and that something bad is happening to her.

Chapter 35

We rejoin Stevie who’s coming back to consciousness when the chapter starts. She’s up in the tower, locked there and waiting for the sun to come up and fry her. She’s bleeding and throwing up which indicates that things were seriously rough for a second there. Too bad we missed it all and are forced through a recounting rather than first hand.

Stevie had gone to the meeting and found Nicole was late. This wasn’t reason for concern but then two other undeadlings had shown up and they were recently fed and giving her “jerklike” responses. Again, it would be better to show but it’s easier to tell. She tries to convince them to come home but they say they like it there.

Then Kurtis shows up, another undeadling, who says he saw Rephy and bit him. He baits her by telling Stevie where he is and then she tries to convince them to come home again. They say no, she can keep the weak ones at the school and they’ll stay there. Stevie then causes an earth tremor to scare them, saying they had better learn to “act right” or leave.

Stevie then goes outside to climb up to the roof. She spots Rephy and goes to him, he’s bleeding and genuinely hurt. He tries to warn her that it’s a trap and then she got knocked out. The sun is coming up as she’s awakening and Rephy is shaking her. Stevie checks the cage and it’s pretty solid though Repy finds a weak point where it’s a bit rusted. He Shades her with his wing while they both try to force it open.

The rusty bars break and there’s enough room for one person to carwl out at a time. Looks like someone has been buying their victim cages from discount warehouses again. I try to tell these amateurs, you’ve got to buy quality or make it yourself unless you want victims escaping. But then their account starts crunching the numbers and they can save a few bucks by buying used or, worse, renting. And then you have a cage that hasn’t has an escape test since it was made and who knows how many captives have been in there.

They both crawl out and Stevie carries him a nearby tree. Stevie is smoking and burning from  the scant light which is hitting her while they slide down the trunk. She uses her earth magic to open up a hole just as they land. She closes it above them and they’re now safe from the daylight and the undeadlings.

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