Hidden Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 9

Now that the league of lobotomy survivors has convened, Thanatos can bring about their first order of business.

“Neferet must be stopped,” Thanatos said with no preamble.

Great, it only took nine previous books to come to that conclusion. Aphro is apparently the only person to echo this while everyone can’t wait until “humans” get to hear all about it. Again, no one seems to realize that Neferet won’t be stopped with a stern letter and a poor interview on the local news.

It would be interesting if PCK were trying to juxtapose this story against others with this. Where maybe Zoey wanted to avoid killing, even the villain, because it’s all too easy to resort to violence to remove the bad guy as death is a rather final and irrevocable resolution. They could have gotten some solid, almost artistic conflict out of Zoey realizing that Neferet won’t stop as long as she’s alive.

Instead PCK seems to be making the characters lazy as shit. They’d rather sit around and prove how Neferet is truly evil rather than leave the school grounds. Thanatos points out that vampires are under Neferet’s spell so humans won’t have any protection. Which should mean Aphro is screwed as she’s been a human for awhile now but PCK probably forgets about that when it’s not convenient.

The easily distracted council of feeble minds then talks about how they’re going to stop Neferet. Let’s see, the vampire council won’t intervene because there’re humans mixed up in it. Thanatos also says that they have no proof that Neferet killed Zoey’s mother. I guess the whole truth revealing ritual wasn’t just a big waste of time to me as a recapper but to everyone in the story.

Thanatos says she’ll show them the problem with trying to get human help on this. She holds out her hand and a magic globe appears which Zoey tells us is so amazing and not boring like the ones in school. What kind of school still bothers with a physical globe? Has the internet not reach Oklahoma? Anyway, there are bright sparkles on the globe which represent the souls of vampires. And the gist of it is, that there are too few of them.

“So, even if we could get the humans to listen to us we’d be opening a door to our world that’s better left closed.” Aphrodite spoke calmly, sounding mature and uncharacteristically non-bitchy. “They start thinking their rules apply to us, that we need them to keep us in line, and that means they start putting out our lights.”

Yes, that’s the problem. How dare humans expect vampires to obey the same rules as humans. Don’t they know you’re all too fucking special to adhere to human laws? This is the thing that makes my skin crawl every time it comes up. These vampires don’t act like the power they wield is a responsibility but a privilege. To get a mark means you get super strength, speed, possibly some magic and the right to tell humans to fuck off. The moment a vampire starts thinking they’re above the law of humans, they believe they’re above humans.

Everything PCK’s characters have done have reinforced that constantly. The vampires shut humans out and consider it the high point of chaos when there are some employed on the school grounds. There are numerous murders throughout the city perpetuated by blood thirsty vampires and they do not aid the police in identifying or stopping them. And worst of all, Zoey has killed people before without a single tear shed in remorse. Yes, I’m still counting it as murder when Zoey threw those two guys under a truck.

Anywho, Thanatos agrees that is in fact the real problem. That once involved, humans might start thinking that the other group of sentient beings, who are really just genetic minorities of humans anyways, might need to play by the same rules. Shaylin says they have to fight her fire with fire. Thanatos is then interested in Shaylin’s gift and we have to sit through a monstrous page of back and forth about it. Also we are assured Shaylin is incredibly brave because she doesn’t share everything she knows about people with Thanatos.

Finally, Thanatos sets to delegating tasks to each of them that will bring about the downfall of Neferet. She tells Aphro to watch for signs and basically try to have a vision. She tells Stevie to stop being led by Zoey and become a leader herself. She tells Zoey to use her seer stone and that’s it. All Zoey has to do is look at things through her magic lens and work on finishing off the world’s stockpile of aging seasonal cereals.

Thanatos doesn’t have much for anyone else. She then says they’re going to have their own press conference and try to make Neferet look like a disgruntled employee. Also, they’re going to take applications in a job fair for seemingly no reason now. Plus they’ll be doing some fundraising for the cat shelter.

Chapter 10

As if we hadn’t wasted enough time going in plot circles, we’re over with Butthead now. I know that it’s a bit backwards now, what with Shaunee being the fire-pire and traditionally Beavis is the fire wielding maniac of the duo. I slapped the names on them prior to their magic showing up and I refuse to change how I think of these morons just because PCK’s elemental assignment doesn’t fit.

Butthead is telling the “warriors” how to stack the logs so that they’ll burn better. I don’t know about you, PCK, but just because someone is in possession of a magic fire, doesn’t make them an expert at funeral pyres. It might make her an expert of singed eyebrows or of starting a fire without matches. Some of the guys are telling vague stories about how Dragon used to pick on Darius. They also talk about how much of a badass he was but Ana could stop him with a look.

Butthead then hears Beavis chatting with some guy. She becomes instantly defensive because she recognizes Dallas as the guy. He’s asking her if she knows what happens when electricity and water come together. Besides that it kills the power technician it apparently makes lightning. Butthead sneaks over to the fountain where Dallas is dropping the ultimate cheesy lines to bait the dumbest of the fish.

That it somehow works on enticing her is mind boggling. Beavis is standing in the fountain, I think, and her skin is coated by a layer of water. Dallas is staring at her top which has turned translucent by nature of being wet. Beavis then takes off her tops and bra and her panties for reasons. Butthead then runs off crying as they start to bang. I guess there aren’t any other students that might walk by the fountain during their school day.

Over to Zoey who’s talking to the slaves before they disperse. Shaylin is going to the library to read about her power. Why she didn’t do that beforehand, we’ll never know. Stevie tells her she did good in there and I’m starting to think the dialogue was written separately from the scenes and then inserted by the world’s first typing parrot. Then Krammy comes over and says that some of Dallas’s undeadlings are “actin’ like they wanta help clean up the stable”. How dare the volunteer their time to clean up after a fire! And their ulterior motive in helping with the clean up would be what, PCK?

Look, there are people in the world who only do things to make themselves appear better to their peers. Folks who will volunteer if everyone can see them as they wear the volunteer t-shirt and take pictures. The kind of people who will throw money at a cause because it’s big news. And yes, they’re shallow but as long as they’re helping it’s better than not.

Shaylin dares to say that maybe they’re trying to change and Zoey says they don’t trust them. Stevie then says she’s going to get practice leading and Shaylin will get practice with her aura vision. She orders Shaylin to come to the stables and spy on the undeadlings there. With them gone Zoey wanders off to look at stuff with her seer stone.

Thanatos must be cogent of the plot because she didn’t bother telling Zoey to look at anything specifically, just look through the stone. Zoey happens to wander over to the oak tree Kalona was under and looks at it through the rock. She sees’ dead spirits that look like rotting corpses which frightens her and she runs off. A page break later, she muttering how she’s not crazy. It makes sense that she’s shaken as Zoey’s never seen spirits before or god or been to vampire heaven.

Stark finds her and can tell she’s upset. Zoey tells him how she say the spirits around the tree and they smelled really bad. Then she saw some magic light zap them and she ran away. They make a reference to True Blood, again, and Stark says that’s fiction and this is real. In a series this is where the actors would have a five second pause to glance at the camera.

Zoey then tells Stark about seeing Heath in Aurox through the stone. Stark says no, that can’t be and then stops fighting it. He says no biggie because they made peace together in vampire heaven and he’d be alright seeing Heath again though not as happy as Zoey would be. Zoey then cries a bit and Stark asks if she’s seen other stuff through the stone around the school. That’s when Zoey says she saw something when looking at Stark.

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