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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 114)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(114) by Chloe Neill
  • “In the meantime,” my grandfather said, “is there any chance we can reason with it?” It was precisely the kind of tack he’d prefer. “It can think, communicate, right?”

    “We can talk to it,” Catcher said. “But can we change its mind? That seems unlikely, especially if she’s got power over it.”

    “And we know the fireball juju doesn’t work,” I said. “So what will?”

    “The world’s largest bear trap?” Mallory asked. “Extra-large elephant gun? Freeze ray?”

    “Excellent ideas, Wile E. Coyote.”

    Mallory growled.

    “Maybe you should switch her from kale to chocolate,” I suggested.

    “Could we unmanifest him?” Jeff asked. “Turn him back into the Egregore?”

    “Even if we could,” Mallory said, “we’d still be left with a very pissed-off Egregore, which puts us back to where we were yesterday—with too much magic in Chicago. We need to eradicate him completely.”

    My grandfather’s phone rang, interrupting any follow-up questions.

    “I really don’t want you to answer that,” I said, knowing what he’d be called about, what monster was awaiting us again.

    “That’s the job,” he said, then rose and walked to a corner, spoke quietly into the phone. And when he came back, his expression was grim. “It’s back.”

    • • •

    It wasn’t just back. It was perched atop the Water Tower, according to the photos that were already making their way across the Web, from humans who’d been either unlucky enough to be downstairs when the dragon returned, or stupid enough to seek out the dragon so they could take pictures.

    It hadn’t been the mayor who’d called my grandfather. It had been Arthur Jacobs, a detective and friend on the force. “Eighty percent of the city has been evacuated,” he said. “The mayor has ordered everyone who remains to shelter in place. The CPD is enforcing that order. She’s handing the ‘situation’ to the Guard.”

    “She learned nothing,” Catcher said, words tight with anger. “She tried to apply human strategy to a supernatural situation, and it failed. She was bamboozled by the Order, and they failed. All due respect to our men and women in uniform, but what is the Guard going to do? They can’t use jets. The dragon can fly and walk. It can evade anything they send at it. They put a plane in the air, and she’ll blow it out of the sky, and kill everyone unlucky enough to be standing beneath it. They’ll end up setting missiles on the city, and destroying it in the process.”

    “They’ll use armored vehicles, I suspect,” my grandfather said. “Try to get it on the ground in order to contain the collateral damage, at least as much as they can.”

    “So they’ll roll tanks down Michigan Avenue? Shoot mortars at Willis Tower? She’ll destroy more of the city that way, too, and for what? That’s not going to take down the dragon. They need pinpointed magic.”

    “She’ll have decided—or the polls will have decided for her—that a joint human-supernatural approach wasn’t effective. That last night was a failure because we were involved.”

    “Last night was a failure because she involved the wrong people.”

    “She had a magical problem, and she sought a magical solution,” my grandfather said. “The problem has only gotten bigger—”

    “And scalier,” Jeff put in.

    My grandfather nodded. “So it was a failure, and she’s going in the other direction.”

    “We stay home,” I said, “and she gives the city to the men and women with guns.”

    “That’s about the way of it,” my grandfather said. He rose, water bottle still in hand. “I suppose we should be going.”

    “Going?” Jeff asked. He looked crestfallen, bummed we wouldn’t be joining the fight.

    My grandfather’s smile was grim, but determined. “If we’re going to step in and try to fix this nonsense, we’d better hit the road before the CPD comes.” He looked at me, Mallory. “She’ll do as much damage as she can as quickly as she can, because she’ll want your attention. Give it to her, and take her down.”

    He walked to the door, leaving all of us staring after him.

    “And that’s where your wife gets her moxie,” Catcher said, rising.

    “Apparently so,” Ethan said, and glanced down at me. “Sentinel, is your sword ready?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire