Dresden Files Fool Moon Ch18

I tried to make my stunned body respond, to get to my feet, to unleash every ounce of magic at my command to protect Murphy, and to hell with the consequences.

That’s not right.

It’s wholly understandable for someone to care more about people they know than people they don’t but to act upon that is a moral failing of ours. Everyone should matter. And the closer you get to being a superhero, the more important that becomes.

The man who was just murdered has better claim to heroism here – he went toward the people screaming for help, he fought back against the monster that then came after him, and he hit the alarm as teeth tore through him. Harry just stood and watched.I think this is really a pattern with Harry’s flaws – he may not succeed, he may outright screw up, but he refuses to view that as a way he’s fallen short of anything. He did the best anybody in the whole world could do, and sometimes that’s not enough, and maybe if he’s feeling extra woobie he’ll be sad not even he could manage it.

I mean, I have the whole magic geek joke, but it tells you a lot about Harry that no matter how obvious his ignorance is, he still views himself as having all the answers and he feels no urgency in figuring it out, let alone guilt or shame at not already knowing even as his mistakes kill people. And similarly, when he freezes up here, it isn’t really a flaw in the sense he wants to overcome it, or he’d strive to do better next time. It’s just that things are so scary that even the most badass guy in the world is scared and so you’d be even more scared!!!

Harry will now go on to give us a horrible description of Murphy:

Murphy, standing at her full five-feet-and-change tall, was shorter than the loup-garou, its eyes on level with hers. She was wearing jeans again, hiking boots, a flannel shirt rolled up past the elbows, a bandana around her throat. She was without makeup or jewelry, her earlobes curiously naked and vulnerable without earrings.

You’d think the imminent death would get in the way of this sort of creeper stuff, but no! He has barely begun.

Her punky little haircut fell down around her eyes, and as she raised her gun, she thrust out her lower lip and puffed out a breath, flipping her bangs up out of her vision.

Yes, she’s so Girl that her bangs get in her eyes because why would Murphy prioritize being able to fucking see when she could be cutely puffing them out of her eyes on the rare occasion she needed to do things?

She started shooting when the loup-garou was about thirty feet away-useless. The thing had laughed off bullets fired into its skull at point-blank range.
I noticed three things at that point.

What Harry means here is, he notices the actual gun part last. When he finally fucking gets to that, he mentions that she’s carrying a different gun and it is, in actual fact, kicking the werewolf’s ass.

Sadly, before she can blow its brains out, it runs away.

“And I told Aunt Edna I’d never get any use out of those earrings,” she muttered.

Harry goes on to be baffled by how Murphy accomplished it despite her saying how right here, presumably because he automatically edits out any information around the word “earrings” as irrelevant girl talk.

Murphy, not being fucking Harry, is concerned about how he’s all bloody but also still going to arrest him, so she’s better twice over.

“You have the right to remain silent. What do you think happened, moron? I read your report. I make my own loads for competition shooting, so I ran off a few silver bullets last night. But they’re only in twenty-two caliber, so I’m going to have to put one through his eye to take him out. If that will do it.”
“Twenty-two?” I complained, still breathless. “Couldn’t you have made some thirty-eights, some forty-fours?”
“Bitch and whine,” Murphy snarled at me. “You have the right to an attorney. I don’t make my loads for work, and I didn’t have the materials for it. Be happy with what you have.”

Oh Murphy. Why isn’t this a book about a hard working police detective and that asshole she has to wrangle occasionally.

Harry is just all y u arrest me??? :(

Murphy stays on task, asking things like if tear gas will work (dunno, I’m a magic geek not someone who knows how magical creatures work, says Harry.)

“Murph. Listen to yourself. We’re stuck in a building with one of the nastiest creatures around, and you’re still trying to arrest me. Get some perspective.”

Murphy “trying to arrest him” has amounted to telling him he’s arrested while discussing how to actually deal with the damn werewolf and promising to get him medical help, but to Harry, that’s still a ridiculous amount of arresting.

She then registers that he’s fucked up another pair of her handcuffs and complains, which suggests that she actually has been digging up old-timey ones just for him and isn’t looking forward to yet another night on ebay getting herself a third pair and a spot on a government watch list.

Harry says that that his vision is jumping back and forth again, indicating the potion is wearing off despite the potion doing that last chapter.

I could taste the blood in my mouth, from where I had bitten into my tongue, and I either had to spit or swallow. I swallowed.

So-

No comments, please.

Dammit.

The cruel arresty police then hand him off to some rookie with directions to let him sit in the office and call a doctor as soon as possible. Truly, Harry is always so mistreated by Murphy and the rest.

“Who is this guy, anyway?”
Carmichael glared at me. “He’s the guy who knows. If he comes to and says something, listen to him.”

So here’s a thought – why does Carmichael oscillate between this and Harry being a fraud? Perhaps because Harry usually refuses to do the work and just passes them bullshit because he’s lazy and doesn’t give a fuck.

Meanwhile Murphy is explaining that all that matters is the gun so if she dies someone else needs to get it and keep firing, because Murphy is a good person.

Harry sees that the rookie is also freaking out and is all I don’t suck as much as him so I have to be less scared. He tries to actually think, which is never his strong suit, and eventually remembers he’s a wizard and can use bits of things to work magic on them and Murphy drew blood and blood is a thing.

“Hey,” he said, feebly. “Maybe you should sit down. You don’t look so good. And you’re sort of under arrest, still.”
“I can’t be under arrest right now,” I said back to him. “I don’t have the time.”

Harry contines to pretend he’s totally not doing stuff he could do just as well from a jail cell.

He then decides he can still fit a little more asshole in.

“I hope she didn’t leave her computer on,” I mumbled and went into Murphy’s office.

She did, in fact, leave her computer on, because that’s how computers work.

So far, the guy he’s with has obeyed every request and was in fact specifically told only Harry knows what’s going on and to listen if Harry perks up and starts talking. If Harry asked for him to go in and get his stuff, he would. Even if you argue that maybe the guy wouldn’t, it’s likely enough to bother asking. But no. Harry explodes her monitor and lights her harddrive on fire.

“You didn’t see that, Rudy. Okay?”
The rookie had a stunned look on his face as he stared at me and at the smoking computer and monitor. “What did you do?”
“Nothing, never came close, didn’t do anything, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” I muttered.

See? The guy is right there. Harry could have just asked. And indeed, now that wrecking all Murphy’s work isn’t on the table, he’s happy to order the guy to go get a stuffed animal from Carmichael’s desk, because he doesn’t hate Carmichael half as much as he does Murphy. And when the kid doesn’t do that, Harry aims his “blasting rod” at him, because Harry is just a pile of different ways to be horrible.

The webcomic Stand Still, Stay Silent has just added yet another thing to recommend it for! In a world where there’s a highly infectious deadly disease that spawns monsters, one of the immune characters just threw themself into the path of a monster so it bit them rather than a non-immune character.

Because if you have an advantage another person doesn’t, if you’ll survive and they won’t, you have a responsibility. The powerful should help the powerless. The strong should protect the weak. This is not what always happens, but when it goes otherwise you give up your claim to being a good person.

16 Comments

  1. GeniusLemur says:
    The monster’s maybe thirty feet away! Everyone in the room might be seconds from death! Obviously, this is the perfect time to have a longwinded description of Murphy, down every single accessory, whether she’s wearing earrings, and how much makeup she’s got on.
    YOU’RE A SHIT WRITER, BUTCHER!
    1. Farla says:
      He HAS to. He could die any moment and then who’d meticulously judge Murphy’s appearance?
  2. Socordya says:

    Yes, she’s so Girl that her bangs get in her eyes because why would Murphy prioritize being able to fucking see when she could be cutely puffing them out of her eyes on the rare occasion she needed to do things

    While it makes no sense considering her characterization, I still like the image of her casually puffing up her bangs like a bored high school student while Harry is cowering in terror. Because that’s just how she rolls.

    webcomic Stand Still, Stay Silent has just added yet another thing to recommend it for! In a world where there’s a highly infectious deadly disease that spawns monsters, one of the immune characters just threw themself into the path of a monster so it bit them rather than a non-immune character.

    Even thought it was an apparently useless character she was against being there to begin with! I mean if it had happened in The Dresden File, Harry would have let him die “failed to save him” and pseudo-angsted about it while the narration made it clear it wasn’t Harry’s fault at all.

    1. Wright of Void says:
      Sigrun really is the best. She’s a cliche archetype, but I think she’s a good example of it: an acrimonious, boisterous fighter who still focuses on protecting those under her care when things get serious. It justifies her attitude, because she really is that good, and she uses her skills responsibly. Harry, meanwhile, is just snarky and full of himself.
      1. Farla says:
        Also, she’s not quite the one we were led to believe – she’s fooling around a lot, but that’s not bad judgement, it’s because she’s got good judgement in what is serious. Only real mistake she’s made is not realizing Sparklehair is more sparkly than he is experienced, and he wasn’t exactly making that clear.
      2. Anonny says:
        Wait, are you referring to Sigrun Gard, the Valkyrie character who shows up in Dresden Files book 5 as Marcone’s magic consultant? Acrimonious, sure, but I’m not sure I’d call her boisterous. She’s usually pretty serious.
    2. Farla says:
      I think she should have puffable bangs because she needs every way to express disdain she can get, I just demand that they’re short enough she doesn’t have to puff to fire a gun. Not just for practical reasons but ergh, hair in eyes is horrible! My face is itching just thinking about it. I would never want that for the best character.

      Even thought it was an apparently useless character she was against being there to begin with!

      One who went on to be even more useless than she expected and now has managed max uselessness in not even understanding poofkitten. And she doesn’t even hesitate to consider it and have it be a big deal that she decides to save him, she just does it.

      (I remember the early days when everyone was like, “Braidy’s gonna be some mysterious supermage with lots of silent world experience to help them out while derpcat’s gonna derp all day being useless.” Look upon poofkitten’s poof naysayers.)

      1. Katrika says:
        Hahaha. I still think Reynir could be quite useful – just NOT while he’s so inexperienced. He’s not stupid, he’s just got no real understanding of what’s going on, and a good part of that is bc his parents didn’t TELL him bc they didn’t want him moving away from them.

        That said, he is definitely The Load right now, while Sigrin’s arm could actually be useful, and yet she still got bit for him, bc she’s a good person.

        1. Farla says:
          Yeah, but that’s because we know he actually does have mage skills, plus we know he was ridiculously sheltered/actively lied to and is actually doing pretty good considering. As far as they know, he’s some idiot who knows so little about maging that he thinks he’s a mage.
  3. illhousen says:
    “Because if you have an advantage another person doesn’t, if you’ll
    survive and they won’t, you have a responsibility. The powerful should
    help the powerless. The strong should protect the weak.”

    Only if they’re PCs. NPCs are just here for flavor so the GM can show off cool monsters and sometimes hint at their weaknesses by showing them doing something peculiar during mauling the NPC. They aren’t real people.

  4. Roarke says:
    I give thanks Butcher couldn’t seem to have contrived a way to call Murphy a bitch.
    edit: Wait, she implied that Harry was a bitch. Best chapter so far, imo.
    1. Farla says:
      Which in turn implies that Murphy is being a bitch for saying that about Harry, thus completing the circle.
      1. Roarke says:
        Recursive bitchiness?
  5. GeniusLemur says:
    It’s also very telling here that Harry learned that inherited silver is necessary, and did jack shit about it. Murphy got the information and used it.
    But since a shit writer wrote this and Harry is that shit writer’s Mary-Sue, it’s going to end up being Harry who saves the day here, when he pulls a deus ex machina powerful spell out of his ass.
    And between what we’ve already seen and what Harry’ll do to temporarily solve the problem, you’ll never believe there could possibly be a masquerade in this universe, despite Butcher’s quarter-assed efforts in that direction in later books.

    And yet somehow people whose opinions I respect think this is a good series.

  6. Roarke says:
    Part of me is wondering if this whole hullabaloo about “arresting” isn’t just some attempt at being noir. I wonder if Butcher himself has a bit of a naive concept of what getting arrested means.

    Like, to arrest literally means “to stop”. Getting arrested isn’t a one-way ticket to prison. Often, people who get arrested aren’t even charged with anything. They’re detained, questioned, and either fined or let go. I wonder if Butcher/Harry actually assumes that only criminals get arrested, so obviously being arrested leads to prison 99% of the time, or a dramatic case followed by exoneration 1% of the time. And Harry obviously can’t go to prison, because becoming someone else’s bitch would be unfaithful to Morgan.

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