IT’S DRESDEN O’CLOCK
It couldn’t possibly get any worse than this, I thought.
Well the moon could, like, explode. That would be worse.
Harry is worried that he might have gone seriously overboard and “burned out some internal circuitry” for good.
had pushed too hard and my body wouldn’t conduct the power I needed to utilize the forces I was accustomed to commanding
Wait, now you’re “conducting power”? But I thought magic was Life, and energy, and baby’s giggles or whatever the fuck
It was a loss of identity. I was a wizard.
Harry you’re stuck in a garage with three different battling factiona, all of whom also want to kill you. Priorities, man.
Marcone and his goon leap into a truck and smash through the garage door, sailing out into the night. Bye Marcone! I look forward to you popping up randomly in the narrative again at some later point.
Meanwhile, Denton and his two FBI wuffles start tearing the lycanthropes apart.
Denton reached into his jacket for a fresh clip for the Uzi, and I saw something across his belly that I noted for future reference, should I have any future.
Oh come on, you can’t have Harry notice something interesting and then not tell us what it is.
Another wuffle starts digging under a loose section of wall right next to Harry so he gives it a wallop with a wrench or something. Of course, it turns out to be Tera making a rescue attempt. Before she can bail our man Harry out someone grabs her from behind and fisticuffs ensue. Then we get some dialogue from agent Benn, who, uh
“Dammit,” Denton growled. “The wizard knows too much. Wilson, go help Roger.”
“What about me, lover?” the female voice said, a husky laugh added to the end.
Agent Benn sounded like she’d just had too much sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and was hungry for more.
I guess she’s some sort of, like…. sex werewolf now.
And who the fuck says “what about me, lover”?
Anyway she urged Denton to transform as well.
“Fuck smart,” Benn purred. “Come with me. Change.”
“It’s not why we did this. Not why we made the bargain.”
LET US SPEAK IN EXPOSITORY DIALOGUE THAT WILL INFORM THE READER AS TO THE NATURE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WHILE ALSO GIVING TANTALIZING PLOT CLUES
Harry watches (this might be a good time to make a run for it, dude) as Parker interrupts Benn and Denton’s impending blood-soaked wuffle orgy and promptly gets ripped apart.
And then the wolves started to eat him. They bit off chunks of muscle and gulped them down, ripping aside clothing to get to more meat
Seriously, dude. Run.
Instead he starts digging through the hole that Tera made. He finds Tera and a bunch of wolves (presumably her goth kids) holding down yet another giant werewolf. Okay I think I’m suffering from werewolf overdose here, I’m losing track of who everyone is. Is the big wolf another FBI agent?
Anyway Tera tells Harry to run and find MacFinn while her and the goth kids sacrifice themselves to hold off the wereagents (this is for the benefit of the injured goth kids they don’t want to leave behind, not Harry) but Harry is like “fuck that” so he gets really pissed and tries to hit the big wolf with a wrench. It doesn’t work.
Unfortunately Harry manages to execute his Clever Ruse before he gets killed. The clue he noticed earlier is that the wereagents are Hexenwolves, the type that use magic belts to transform, so Harry rips the belt off of the wereagent attacking him and discovers it’s Roger Harris, the red-haired guy. I think it would have been better to just tell Tera about this and let her do it instead of trying it himself but whatever. Harry’s a hands-on sort of guy.
Harry manages to wizard at Tera long enough to convince her and the other goth kids to take human form and escape instead of putting up a pointless fight, then goes to interrogate Harris.
Harris’s mouth twitched a few times before he managed to speak. “If you kill me,”
he said, “Denton won’t stop until you’re dead.”
“Give me a break, Roger,” I said back in a reasonable tone. “Denton wants me dead anyway. I could kill you now and it wouldn’t make any difference in what he has to do.”
I think this is the first moment where Harry actually legitimately comes across as a cool badass and not a blundering idiot. My perception is that he’s supposed to be more the former than the latter.
Harris explains that he doesn’t know who provided the Hexenwolf belts, as Denton handled all of it, and they did it to try and take down criminals who kept getting away from the law. As the resolution to the mystery goes this is actually pretty good- the plot has seemed overly convoluted until now but this actually ties everything up fairly neatly (although we still have about a quarter of the book to go so we’ll see).
Predictably, the wolf squad went after Marcone first. They tried to get the streetwolves framed in order to cover their tracks because
There would be a full investigation, forensics, the works
I don’t care how many people got torn to shreds, unless the wereagents got filmed transforming no one in any law enforcement agency in the world would jump to the conclusion that werewolves were to blame. The only forensic evidence that could lead to them would be their own DNA at the scene of the crime, in which case framing the streetwolves wouldn’t actually help.
Anyway the wereagents lost control and committed all of the lobo murders, apart from the people MacFinn killed after they sabotaged his containment circle. So I guess those were basically their fault as well.
Denton,” the kid said. “It was all him. He said there was someone else we could also set up to take the blame, to be certain we’d be in the clear.
A brief moral argument ensues in which Harry and Harris argue over whether their actions were justifiable. I largely side with Harry on this one, except that he seems to regard MacFinn as being blameless since he only killed when his circle was destroyed whereas I am of the opinion that even though being a werewolf isn’t his fault he still has a moral responsibility to limit the amount of damage he can do and really shouldn’t be living in a major population center.
“You’re going to give Denton a message for me. I’m sick of dancing around.
Tell him that he’ll get his shot at me at moonrise, at Marcone’s place.”
MacFinn is also gunning for Marcone, so it looks like there’s going to be an epic werewolf pileup at Marcone’s house. Really hope he has insurance.
Harry badasses off down the alleyway to where Tera is waiting.
“Animals do not do what they have done. Animals kill to eat, to defend themselves or their own, and to protect their territory. Not for the joy of it. Not for the lust of it.” She looked back up at me. “Only humans do that, wizard.”
For fuck’s sake, animals murder each other all the time. Cats over-hunt prey animals to the point that they can literally depopulate areas, lions murder cubs that aren’t their own and dolphins kill porpoises apparently just for the lulz. I’m also wondering why killing to “protect their territory” is somehow noble and blameless when the vast majority of wars are motivated by precisely the same territorial instinct, just on a larger scale.
Look at my adorably fuzzy cat:
I have personally witnessed him incapacitate birds, then slowly torture them to death and leave their bodies on the ground, uneaten. He does it just for fun. People have to get off this “oh we humans are so bad, we should be more like the other animals” thing, nature is filled with horrific, senseless violence.
I grimaced, but couldn’t really refute her. “I guess you’re right.”
No she is not fucking right are you even listening to me
“I’ll try,” I said. “But I can’t let his curse claim any more lives.”
She nodded, her eyes dark. “He would want it that way. He thinks of others before himself.”
Apparently not enough to go live in a cabin in the wilderness. Keep in mind MacFinn had an entire month between killing sprees where he was trying to get his circle fixed instead of just moving to the arctic circle or something.
Anyway Harry says he might need to kill the FBI agents. I don’t know why anyone is acting like this is in question, they’e clearly dangerous.
So it looks like the myriad plot strands are finally coming together. I gotta say, I like where the book is going in terms of a climax. So far it’s been an incoherent mess so it seems like Butcher had some clear idea of where he wanted the story to end up, just not how to get it there.