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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 125)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(125) by Chloe Neill
  • “Do not be mistaken,” he said. “The dragon was created by Sorcha Reed to terrorize this city. And though she may be gone, she has succeeded at that. The city is destroying itself in an effort to kill a creature that clearly has defenses to human weapons.

    “Unlike others, we will not discuss blame. We will not talk about failures or missteps, because that solves nothing, and because it takes the focus away from where it should be—on the perpetrator of these crimes. On a woman whose self-centeredness and egoism have wrought destruction over the city. We will note that destruction, in part, was caused by this city’s willingness to believe human over supernatural, to give deference to humans with wealth and power, and to blame others for their failures. That attitude must change.

    “Chicago is not perfect. But Chicago is ours, and it has been ours for a very long time. We have protected it as we’ve been able, and we will continue to do so. We are not the city’s enemy. We are Chicagoland’s vampires. Human solutions to this problem have not worked. When you’re ready to discuss a real solution, you know how to reach us.”

    With that, he turned on his heel and walked inside, leaving reporters yelling questions in his wake.

    Ethan’s phone rang before he’d even made it back to his office. He answered it, eyebrows lifting. “Madam Mayor.” A pause. “Yes. We will.”

    The call lasted less than a minute, and then the phone was put away again. But the smile on his face looked pretty damn good.

    “The mayor has formally requested we step in and handle the dragon in the manner we feel most appropriate. The CPD and National Guard await our instructions.”

    Now we could begin. And a good thing, because we had a lot of work to do.

    • • •

    We assembled the Ombuddies in the Ops Room again, and the energy was much different from the last time. Lindsey picked “Bad Blood” as our preparation music, and the vibe made us all feel pretty vindicated.

    Scott Grey and Jonah showed up, as did Gabriel and Morgan. I’d wondered if Claudia would put in an appearance, but she wasn’t the helping type. Besides, we didn’t yet know what Sorcha’s death had done to her newly replenished power; she might not have been interested in destroying the dragon.

    “And so,” Ethan said as everyone gathered coffee and filled seats at the conference table,“we find ourselves here again.”

    “And with authority,” Scott said, raising his mug to Ethan. “Kudos.”

    Ethan nodded. “This is a rare and important moment, and we need to capitalize upon it. That’s why we’re here—to create a plan for dealing with Sorcha Reed’s creation once and for all.”

    “Hear, hear,” Gabe said, and lifted his mug. I guess even shifters with flasks needed coffee sometimes.

    “In that case,” Ethan said, “I believe our Ombuddies have an update. And one honorary Ombuddy,” he said as Mallory, Jeff, and Catcher stepped to the front of the room.

    “Clicker?” Jeff said, and Luc tossed the screen remote to him. Jeff caught it handily, turned on the large view screen.

    “So, Mallory and Catcher figured a sorcerer who’s taken the time to explain how to manifest an Egregore is also going to explain what to do when things go bad.”

    “When the Egregore acts out,” Gabe said.

    “Exactly. Since we’re short on time, we’ll skip the programming details. Suffice it to say, while we snoozed, the program worked through the many, many combinations of arrangements that would explain how to, basically, dismantle the Egregore.”

    “Like a Lego pattern in reverse,” Mallory said.

    “Kind of like that,” Jeff said with a smile. “At Northerly Island, we learned magic pretty much bounces off the dragon’s scales, and they’re very hard to permeate. At least part of that is because of its nature, the fact that it’s a creature born of magic. Like you have immortality and shifters have strength, the Egregore has a certain resiliency.”

    “So we’re out of luck?” Morgan asked.

    “Not entirely,” Jeff said, and held up the remote. “Because of this.”

    A blocky white sword filled the screen.

    “A Lego sword?” Scott Grey asked, eyebrow cocked.

    “Not Lego,” Jeff said with a smile, and zoomed in. “Just reordered.”

    It wasn’t a sword made of blocks; it was a sword made of paper. Each “block” was actually a page of the Danzig foldouts, carefully organized into this new shape.

    “Computer hit on this arrangement after about seven long hours,” Jeff said. “And when you look at the illustration unlocked by this magic and the arrangement, you get this.” He held up the remote again.

    This time, the pixelated sword was replaced by a line drawing of a sleek, two-handed broadsword with a gleaming jewel in the middle of its hand guard. Below the sword lay the split body of the manifested Egregore.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire