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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 102)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(102) by Chloe Neill
  • The spark from the Egregore’s page was there, and beside it what looked like a complex arrangement of alchemical symbols. And after that, presumably created from the working of alchemy on the Egregore magical spirit, was a large animal-like form that loomed over a sleepy village. The Egregore’s spark was barely a dot in the middle of its broad and jagged forehead.

    “She’s going to give the Egregore a physical form,” Mallory quietly said.

    “We said she wanted a weapon,” Catcher said. “Someone to fight her battles for her. We were right.”

    “How could she do this?” Ethan’s voice was tight with concern.

    “That’s the really clever bit,” Mallory said. She moved to the next set of images, moved these into different positions, and made another symbol. This time, the lines rearranged themselves into a mass of clouds over the same village.

    “She did it with the weather?” I asked, confused.

    “Not weather,” Mallory said. “That’s coincidental.” She looked back at us. “We thought the clouds over Towerline were a heat sink—that she was pulling all the heat out of the city, and that’s why the weather turned, the lakes froze, whatnot. But what is heat, really?”

    Understanding widened Ethan’s eyes. “It’s energy.”

    Mallory touched her nose. “And the vampire gets it. It wasn’t a heat sink, or not as its main purpose. It’s an energy sink, because that’s what heat is—the effect of solar radiation and whatever. She wanted all that energy”—Mallory pointed back at the animal—“because she’s got big magic to do.”

    “This is good work, Mallory,” Ethan said. “This is damn good work. She wants the Egregore to be physical, and she’s pulling energy to make that magic. What form will she pick?”

    “That,” Catcher said, “we can’t tell you. The spell doesn’t specify a form. She could pick whatever she wants.”

    “Narwhal?” I asked.

    “Or swamp monster, wooly mammoth, polar bear, griffin,” Mallory said. “She just needs something that can hold the Egregore’s magic, and its sentience.”

    “So we’re going to meet her at Northerly Island,” Ethan said, pacing to the bookshelves, then turning back, “and she’s going to bring a monster to fight us.”

    “Or she’ll manifest it then,” Mallory said. “She may want to work the magic in front of us—show off a little. And if she does that, I’ve got a little something that may help.”

    She reached over, picked up something small and round.

    “A Color Bomb makeup compact?” I said, reading the gold script on the top.

    “It’s a governor. Like on a car. I mixed it up while Merit was on campus.”

    “A governor?” Ethan asked. “As in the elected official?”

    “As in speed governor,” Mallory said. “Like on a car, except this is for magic. I didn’t have much time, but it’s supposed to limit how much power she can use at one time. It might keep her from gathering up enough power to manifest the Egregore.”

    Even Catcher looked impressed. “How did you come up with that?”

    She smiled. “You don’t want to hear the full tangential train, but I thought of it on the way to the bachelorette party. Well, kind of. I was thinking about being chauffeured, and I wondered if Ethan put some kind of governor on his car so that Brody could only drive a reasonable speed, like, for safety. And then I thought, no, that might hamper things if he needed to get away in a hurry, and that’s no good. And then I started thinking about other kinds of governors, or things that operate like governors—like how ovens can only go up to certain temperatures, and planned obsolescence, and why pencils are exactly the length that they are, instead of some other length, because they’d last longer.”

    “Your mind is a weird little labyrinth,” I said.

    She grinned. “Sometimes the randomness comes in handy. Not always, but sometimes.”

    “Good thinking,” Ethan said. “Very good thinking. That gives us another line of defense.” He looked at Catcher. “You need to tell Chuck, and he needs to alert the CPD.”

    “On it,” Catcher said, pulling out his phone.

    Ethan looked at the clock, something we’d been doing a lot of lately, then glanced at me. “A moment, Sentinel?” he asked, then drew me back to the other side of the room. When we got there, he looked down at me, silence between us, full of words unsaid. But this wasn’t the time to say them, to talk about futures that seemed so suddenly uncertain. Not with half a dozen people in the room.

    “You will take no chances with your life.”

    “I will take no irrational chances with my life.”

    An eyebrow lifted.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire