So it’s clearly been awhile since I’ve managed to get this going. I’m going to blame this guy here.
Does a cute puppy wearing a hat help with the delays? If not, look back up at it for full effect.
Anywho, with a nippy pup distracting me on one side and Fallout 4 on the other I haven’t focused on this too much. Which is a shame because I always forget how much fun it is. Then something wondrous fell into my lap. I mean, besides the puppy, clumsy as he is. The tenth anniversary of Twilight dropped. Not an occasion I would mark and care about but I noticed the “bonus” material.
When my eyes alighted upon those words, taunting, angering words I knew something had to be done. My hunger for sporking material, numbed by the pounds of drywall mud that PCK has shipped in buckets, was awoken anew. Of course that means I have to finish what I started first. Consider this a warning Meyer. I’m coming back for you.
So, we join Neferet who’s busying taunting Grandma. Neferet is asking if Grandma know why darkness can’t feed on her blood. Probably because it’s lacking in essential vitamins. Try giving Grandma an Ensure first. That way she’s packed full of the nutrients needed to get her through the day. Grandma says it was because she had time to prepare herself. Nothing quite like slathering yourself in dog poo to keep the darkness away.
Being a classic lame villain, Neferet then begins the theology mind games. You know the one, where the main character has faith in their religion and the big bad asks “where is your god now?” So when Neferet asks why Nyx doesn’t save her, the answer is simple. Because the plot demands Zoey do it. Grandma says she hasn’t asked the “great earth mother” for aid, only strength. I guess strength isn’t aid. I’ll make a note of that when I’m arguing with the judges of the Tour De France regarding doping.
Grandma redirects the conversation by stating that Neferet killed the professors. Uh, duh? Grandma even knows that it was to create “chaos” but doesn’t understand how that benefits her. Well she’s aligned with a local chaos cult and wants to destroy the Imperium of Man. Also it gets her more power. Grandma asks how come she needs more when Neferet had a lot prior. Neferet says she discorvered control is the ultimate expressions and what better way than by killing.
Grandma says, nu uh, that’s not true. She doesn’t even mount an argument, she just says that Neferet is wrong. That’s how you win an argument. Don’t counter them with a tangible statement, just assert they’re wrong and it’ll all come out in the end. Neferet then has her dark tentacles jab at grandma again before we switch over to Kalona.
Kalona is telling us that humans don’t look up. Considering how many people take pictures and video of what they believe to be alien ships, I’m kinda going to argue that one PCK. But sure, they don’t look up or else they’d see a flying man and some smart ass would begin quoting the old Superman bit. He sees the kids at the hotel then reports back to Thanatos to tell her they’re in position. It’s a good thing they have a flying immortal to provide recon and relay that back. Too bad there’s not some form of almost instantaneous communication that would work without the risk of being spotted but that’s more science fiction than an urban fantasy.
Kalona suggests salt, to bind, and Thanatos says she will need a lot of salt and gestures to a large bag of it. Kalona says he hopes there’s some luck in there as well. Thanatos says she thought immortals didn’t believe in luck. Kalona says they’re rescuing a human, not an immortal and, besides, humans do that so he’s just following suit.
Wait, what? One minute, how does Thanatos know enough about immortals to know they don’t believe in luck? Is this written down in a book somewhere? Is there a compendium with what immortals believe stored in an ancient library? Do they do interviews for the school paper? Or does everyone, not just Zoey, get to have a sit down with god and talk about the daily news?
Thanatos then summons the elements which basically plays out like the last scene in The Fifth Element. While this goes on, Erebus shows up to offer Kalona help if he wants it in exchange for leaving vampires alone. Kalona says he swore an oath and means to stick to this one. Not like that time he was in court and testifying against the mafia.
Over to Aurox who’s riding the elevator upwards. He can feel the spell Thanatos cast and surmises that means Neferet can too. Why and how he knows this is beyond me. Sure it’s possible that he, being a golem of darkness powered by the blood of Zoey’s mom, might have senses that differ from Neferet’s but that doesn’t cross anyone’s mind. Least of all the author’s.
Aurox gets to the hotel room and Neferet, in villain tradition, berates her one loyal henchman. He makes a lame excuse about not being able to find her. She begins “flinging” tentacles at him which makes me imagine a crazed fishmonger throwing limp eels at passerby because they can’t sell them. He’s been a very bad beast and needs to be punished. Aurox just manages to keep “the beast” in check during this abuse.
Aurox blames Dragon for his tardiness and that gives Neferet an idea. She says Zoey is “is neither mature nor wise. When Kalona so stupidly killed her human, she shattered and I was almost rid of her”. All of that checks out with me. Grandma then says Neferet doesn’t know the power of love. Really, Neferet? You should probably look it up and give it a listen. One of Huey Lewis and the News better songs and it still hold up. Neferet gets mad and tells Aurox to “call the beast” and kill Grandma.
We’re still with Aurox who’s not feeling so hot about being told to murder a senior citizen. At least I assume he’s bothered. Being as all of PCK’s characters only feel emotions in some sort of stomach ailment, it’s hard to be sure.
Though Aurox needed the command to get close enough to Grandma Redbird to save her, the words made his stomach tense and his heartbeat speed. He stood and began moving toward the cage made of tendrils of Darkness.
It’s one of those things that makes me wonder if maybe I’m the alien wearing a human mask. Am I the only person who doesn’t feel all of their emotions as a persistent gut ache? Or is it that PCK figures their diet of homeless people slathered in Cholula isn’t what’s responsible for filling their birdcage with a slick white tide but rather the emotions they believe they feel when they watch True Blood.
Aurox is busy planning out his rescue. He mouths “balcony” and “run” at Grandma as he approaches her. I always love how characters turn into perfect lip readers when they need to be stealthy. No one ever misinterprets it when the protagonist silently talks at them. “Balcony, run.” “Bat country, Nun?” “Balcony, run.” “Conney Island Gun?” “Balcony, run!”
Neferet says to only break Grandma’s neck. She wants to be sure that Zoey can identify Grandma. Neferet then gets supicious when Aurox doesn’t “call the beast”. He tries to play it off that he has no need to do so in order to kill an old woman. Neferet then comes over and slaps him in an attempt to rile him up. She then keeps hitting him when she doesn’t sense anger from him. She can also tell the elements are with him and demands to know where Zoey is.
Neferet then wraps Aurox in her shadow tentacles. Lucky for Aurox he’s not a school girl wearing a gym uniform or this would go rather differently. She tortures him and demands the beast come out and kill Grandma. Aurox tries to tell Grandma to flee but it’s too late. PCK plays weasel words though by saying the best roared and obeyed.
We go over to Zoey who’s spending her time wisely by mentally criticizing Aphro for drinking. Why she’s had three drinks while sitting around waiting. Personally, if I had to be stuck at a table with Zoey I’d probably be racing toward drunkenness. No really Zoey, tell me more about how Stark is your soulmate. Just hold for the waitress to line up the shots and you can keep talking.
Of course Zoey’s stomach hurts and suddenly she feels her element come back. She runs over to Thanatos and takes a candle. She says she’s going upstairs as there’s been no sign of Kalona or Grandma. All of the slaves gather around and say Zoey’s not going up there without them. So they also grab candles and cram into an elevator. They try to tell Zoey Aurox won’t be himself and Zoey asks them to try not to kill him. Then they step out of the elevator and Zoey smells something which Stevie somehow identifies.
“Turquoise,” Stevie Rae said. “I can smell it.”
And I can taste the square root of brick. The beast is roaring and Grandma is weeping Aurox’s name. Which is kinda weird as Aurox’s beast form is a bull who aren’t really known for roaring. Also, I thought the beast roared and obeyed? Me and PCK have apparently have different dictionaries. That or they’re shooting for cheap, bullshit tension.
Neferet then says not this time. She tells her magic to seal the door then she says she didn’t invite the undeadlings in. This causes Shaylin and Stevie to go flying at the door. Good thing that PCK established that all those tropes about vampires, which were incorrect before, are suddenly true but only for the undeadlings.
I understood what had happened. Different rules applied to red vampyres. The sun burned them. They could control humans’ minds. And they could not enter a home without being invited.
Yeah, she understood. The authors decided to change the rules at the last minute. Everyone is scrambling to get their shit together. Stark is yelling for his bow, everyone is trying to use their magic to hold Aurox in place. Then Neferet mutters a spell and everything seems hopeless. Then Zoey remember that poem about her saving the day. She decides that was actually a spell and pulls it out of her pocket.
Zoey mutters the spell and her seer stone transforms into a reflective stone much larger. She then aims this at Neferet who is amused. Then she starts shying away from it. Zoey then looks at it and sees a younger version of Neferet who’s about Zoey’s age. The younger version of Neferet is covered in bruises and bite marks. She screams “never again” which breaks her concentration.
Zoey yells at Aurox to fight it. He begins changing back but charges at Neferet. Naturally one of his horns pierces her heart and his momentum carries them both over the balcony. Wow, if that’s how Neferet dies that’s going to be a disappointing capstone to a miserable series.
Awww, puppy! ^w^ so cute!
Btw, isn’t Stark also a red vamp? Has he been invited in earlier or are the rules different because he’s a shaman or something? O.o
He probably was thrown back too but it gets so hard to follow what all these pointless characters are up to. Half the time PCK writes a name I just mentally fill in their part with a crash test dummy because they’re basically interchangeable.