Awakened Chapters 7 & 8

Chapter 7

So PCK keeps bringing genies out of bottles without thinking about what it means. For example, reincarnation. It’s been mentioned twice that there are souls drawn to each other, most recently with Jack and Damien. There are just so many questions that opens up and there aren’t good answers.

For example, if Jack and Damien are soul mates, or whatever PCK wants to call it, does that mean that Damien is destined to suffer for the rest of his life? Will he be alone and unhappy until he dies or will he only have to wait until Jack is reborn? Who decides how long that will be? What if Jack is reborn but not a vampire, will Damien be forced to find him and love him only for the limited time available then go through it again?

Speaking of changes, are souls in PCK’s universe sexed? That is, can Jack’s soul only be reborn as a man every time? What if he were reborn a woman, would Damien be forced to fall in love with her? How about proximity to Damien and/or religious upbringing? What if Jack is born to a family on the other side of the earth who’s taught him that vampirism was the mark of the devil?

Also, if Jack and Damien are soul bound, what about everyone else? Are there only a select few that have soul mates? Or does that mean that everyone that isn’t perfectly happy has a soul mate that they’re not with right then? If so, why aren’t they with their soul mate instead of living in Miserytown? Threse are the kind of dumbshit questions your made, PCK. Just by blindly going ‘oh, reincarnation sounds so nice…’

Anywho, we now switch over to Rephy who’s observing gases change around him.

The moment before his father appeared the consistency of the air changed.

It went from gas to solid and everyone died, the end. Rephy reminds us that he knew the moment Kalona returned from his vacation in the “Otherworld”. Again, PCK, go fuck yourself for being so lazy. When will people learn that just capitalizing a word doesn’t make it interesting or a proper name. Couldn’t you have at least used the Cherokee word for the spirit world? Or are you dropping the whole Native American motif now in favor of a Scottish one?

Stevie Rae … It had been less than a fortnight since he’d been in her presence, spoken with her, touched her, but it seemed that their time together had been an eternity ago.

Less than a fortnight? Has Rephy been watching a lot of British television since he’s woken up? Does he call it a bloody lorry and live in a flat? I’m guessing PCK’s editor graduated to sniffing paint thinner to get through this slog and that detail went roaring by along with a host of brain cells checking out. I’m pretty sure the last time someone in the U.S. said “fortnight” was back when John Wilkes Booth was considered an actor.

While Rephy is standing around thinking, he’s busy lamenting the loss of Stevie. He’s also whining about how he could have loved her, protected her and picked light over darkness. Which anyone else could make interesting. I’m curious to see how a character like this can or can’t resolve their nature and upbringing with the desire to change. PCK just makes him sound like a petulant teen who wants to mope about and listen to music about blood raining on a funeral.

Why this terrible hollowness in his soul since Stevie Rae had been gone? Why did he feel only partially alive without her?

Hollowness. So one minute, Rephy’s narrative vocabulary is expansive enough to encompass Britishisms, the next he’s flailing about with a clumsy homonym for emptiness. Rephy then paces back and forth and we learn he’s still in Oklahoma. He’s hoping Kalona makes it back to the States so he doesn’t have to make the author’s describe things they’re not familiar with anymore. Kalona then suddenly lands from the sky, after Rephy senses the air becoming heavy with immortal power though, and they say their hellos. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what mortal power feels like and how immortal power differs. Kalona and Rephy update each other in a long winded drone.

‘Hey dad!’

‘Hey, kid. Just got back from Italy. Neferet had me trapped. Why weren’t you there eating spaghetti with everyone else?’

‘Ah, ya know, I took a bullet and fell and only just now got better.’

Then Kalona mentions the bulls and Rephy says they manifested right there just last week. Kalona demands to know how and Rephy’s unsure if he should say anything. Kalona demands it though and Rephy says it was the “red one”. He says she did it to help Stark, help Zoey.

“How do you know this?” Kalona’s voice was like death.

So his voice was bony, robed and carrying a scythe? Rephy then lies to Kalona, saying he saw the invocation but could do nothing because he was weak. Kalona then whines about being held to an oath to Neferet. He says he’ll give her what she wants so she’ll be distracted and then he can figure out a way to break that oath so she’s not in charge of him anymore. Kalona says he’ll start the war between vampires and humans.

Rephy says that maybe they should just leave Tulsa for now and go visit Cancun or something. Kalona says he already explained why he can’t go and why is Rephy pushing to leave so much. Kalona says they’ll relocate to a building Neferet has “acquired” before getting the undeadlings together to fight humans.

Kalona then takes off and the random ghost girl—who’s name hasn’t been mentioned yet, by the way—appears to tell Rephy he can’t let Kalona harm Stevie. Rephy says he’s a monster and therefore she can mean nothing to him. Ghosty says he’s also part boy and that means one day he’ll die and there’s only one thing you can take with you. Rephy asks whay and she says love, of course. I suppose hate, anger, resentment or even smugness can’t make it beyond into the afterlife. Just love.

Chapter 8

Speaking of flat, lifeless love interests, we’re back with Stevie. She’s busty telling everyone to stop being so hard on the protagonist, she deserves a vacation. And isn’t that what we all love to read? Remember the part in the Hobbit after Smaug dies when Thorin says, fuck it, this war of five armies can wait. I’m sitting on the beach, eating some dragon steaks and having a mai tai while I just relax.

The issue of Zoey coming back or not gives everyone an excuse to whine and worry if she will or won’t. They cover ground that’s been so well trodden that archaeologists will find the ruts, thousands of years later. Look, PCK, we already know that Neferet had Kalona lashed. You’ve mentioned it like six times now. You’ve also mentioned that Zoey isn’t coming back right away. I do not care about the other characters and their reaction to the news.

Then the clock chimes midnight and Neferet appears. Are you sure a flock of birds didn’t take wing at that moment as well, PCK? Maybe a cock crowed too, just to be a bit more ominous. She’s wants to know why there’s a kid—I’m done saying fledgling—at the adult meeting. They say Kramy, the kid in question, is their poet laureate and they want to know why she’s there.

Neferet starts trying to do damage control and convince everyone that she’s still a priest and in charge. Dragon wants to know why they haven’t heard from the council and Neferet says because they know he’s still grieving over his “mate”. He says that’s her fault as Ana was killed by a raven who was under control of Neferet’s consort. Neferet says that was a misunderstanding caused by them thinking they were under attack when Zoey started the fire and stole horses.

Dragon repeats that they killed his mate and Neferet says she’s sorry as Ana was her friend. Stevie then says that she threatened them and told Stark to shoot Zoey.

Neferet’s beautiful face seemed to crumple. She leaned on the table, and sobbed softly. “I know … I know. I was weak. I let the winged immortal taint my mind. He said Zoey had to be destroyed, and because I believed he was Erebus Incarnate, I also believed him.”

Why are they still talking to her? And what the fuck is Neferet bothering with taking back control of the school? Is there some stupid artifact that’s buried there and she needs to find before she can rule the world? Doesn’t Neferet realize that these people aren’t going to be swayed by her? And, in turn, doesn’t everyone else there realize that Neferet is evil and there’s no point talking to her?

Or everyone is just too stupid to love. Dragon and another professor seem to think that, yes, it was clearly all a misunderstanding and it’s best to move on. Stevie can’t believe they’re buying it and neither can I. These people saw Neferet summon Kalona and then work with him. Even if she was under mind control, I wouldn’t let her back in with open arms. They sure as hell don’t trust the students who are still under Kalona’s spell, why would they trust Neferet? Because there wouldn’t be a plot otherwise. Suddenly they hear a noise which distracts everyone. Don’t worry, they know what it is without having to investigate.

“It’s an animal. And it’s in pain.” Dragon instantly pulled himself together, his expression shifted, and he was, once again, a Warrior and not a heartbroken mate. He got to his feet and crossed the Council Chamber to the window.

Neferet says it must be the dog and there’s only one on campus because vampires are notoriously anti-canine. Then they hear someone “keening in grief” and Stevie recognizes it as Damien. I guess he has the kind of keen that’s very unique and oft used so everyone knows. They run over and Stevie is shocked by all the blood. How could this have possibly happened to someone perched precariously on a ladder near a sword stuck in the ground, point up? It’s just like that guy who died hand feeding the starving lions by wearing a steak suit. An unforeseeable tragedy.

Stevie then begins to yell at Neferet, saying it’s not just a coincidence that Nefert came back. Neferet acts hurt that Stevie would accuse her, saying Stevie use to be so nice. Damien then says he saw it happen and Neferet didn’t do it, Jack just fell. Good thing no one seems to remember Neferet can change memories on a whim.

All of the other slaves gather round Damien and give him a hug. Dragon says Neferet couldn’t have done it because she was in the council chamber with them. Because magic doesn’t exist in this world or something. Stevie shuts up and knows that Zoey would have agreed with her. She then thinks that Zoey has to come back because she’d help expose Neferet.

Not that it would do any good. These people would, apparently, just take the word of anyone as long as they’re not actively strangling puppies. ‘Hey, you’re evil!’ ‘No I’m not, I’m actually very nice.’ ‘Oh, well welcome back then.’

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