Dresden Files Fool Moon Ch21

“Are you sure there’s someone following us?”
Tera glanced back at the traffic behind us. “Two cars back. And three cars behind that one. Two vehicles are following us.”
“How can you tell?” I asked.
Tera turned those odd amber eyes back to me. “They move like predators. They move well.

Yeah noooooooo. Cars move like cars. We easily personify them as predators because they’re big and fast, but if these cars are moving noticeably different than the rest they shouldn’t manage to stay several cars back. Cars being in the middle of a stream of traffic just move like the stream of traffic.

I’m also not convinced being a beast-soul ragemonster would let you move “well” in cars compared to regular drivers.If I was going to guess, they might be noticeable for driving badly – constantly speeding up and then having to jam on the brakes. Because predators who are into chases would probably be frustrated as hell by all the stuff in the way, and predators not into chases would be even more pissed off about it lasting this long in the first places.

The author appears to know this is bullshit, because also she claims to “feel” them and Harry clarifies that’s “instinctual” and we all know when women give their womanly intuition in detective stories, that’s absolute fact.

Harry says that okay, they should go to a gas station.

She flashed me another nervous look, and I had the time to note that she was gorgeous, like some sort of Latin goddess.

Why is this happening.

He suggests they call the police. Tera says he’s needed to deal with MacFinn, though I reiterate, the police would let him deal with MacFinn. Harry, instead, says they should meet up at the abandoned building he saw her the first time, but in code so Rodriguez will have no clue what he means, and Tera acknowledges this is him protecting his mate.

So the part where Non-Banter Harry suggested maybe telling the truth for fucking once was only for Murphy, as apparently women can only be told things if he’s not banging them.

He then hops out of the moving car, admits it was stupid, But it made a sort of chivalrous, cockamamie sense at the time. so again, not actually a real flaw since we’re supposed to be impressed.

Also he says that the wolfsoul berserkers will be worse on a full moon because REASON NOT FOUND.

Susan had no idea of the level of danger she was in, and if I stayed near her I would only draw her more deeply into it.

Therefore explain nothing so she keeps having no idea. She definitely won’t poke things she believes aren’t dangerous! Anyway he can’t possibly get an innocent person involved. Remember that for a few paragraphs down.

Also he explains that never mind the whole previous chapter, actually he doesn’t trust Tera.

In conclusion he’s gonna solve all his problems himself because otherwise he’d be involving an innocent person.

He drinks the potion.

It tasted like stale cardboard and too-old pizza and burned coffee beans.

So somehow bad coffee mixed with stuff you eat while in rapid decline is super coffee.

I could feel the power in the brew spreading out into me, active and alive, as though I had swallowed a huge, hyperkinetic amoeba. My fatigue quite simply vanished, and energy came rushing into me, like it sometimes does at the end of a really good concerto or overture. The pain receded down to levels that I could manage. The soreness lifted out of my muscles, and my cloudy, cloggy thought processes cleared as though someone had flushed my synapses with jalapeno. My heart rate surged, and then held steady, and I came to the abrupt conclusion that things just weren’t as bad as I had thought they were.
I pushed myself up using my bad arm, just to spite the injury that Agent Benn had dealt me, and brushed myself off. My jumpsuit was torn and there was fresh blood on it, scrapes from the asphalt and darkening bruises on my arms and legs that I could already see-annoying little bastards. I held them in contempt.
I shook my shield bracelet loose around my left wrist, took my blasting rod in my right hand, and turned toward the access road. I drew in a breath, smelling the odor of the rain on the asphalt, and more distantly the crisp, clean scent of autumn, almost buried by Chicago’s stink. I considered how much I loved the autumn, and composed a brief poem about it as I watched traffic force Susan’s car along and out of sight. I turned my head to view a pair of cars cut frantically across traffic and cruise down the access road. The lead car was a two-ton pickup, one of the really big ones, and Parker sat behind the wheel, looking around wildly until his eyes lit upon me, standing there in the tall weeds beside the road.
I smiled at him and contemplated his shocked expression to my own satisfaction.
Then I drew in a breath, and my renewed will with it, lifted the rod in my right hand, murmured a phrase in a language I didn’t know, and blew the tires off his fucking truck.

I still hate Harry but yay, magic!

Although also blowing out the tires means they’re now a danger to everyone else on the road, so yeah, when Harry says he doesn’t want anyone innocent to get hurt, he’s speaking specifically of people he knows.

There was an enormous crunching sound. Car wrecks, when they happen for real and not on television, are surprisingly noisy.

Harry watches a great deal of TV, after all.

Anyway the theme of this book is apparently that werewolves are just fuzzy terminators, so naturally they just punch their way through the windowshield.

They are kind of scared, though. And Harry’s more than kind of terrible, so he doesn’t do anything to take them out but decides to grandstand more, stalking toward them and using his bracelet to reflect all the bullets. Then he chats with them while thinking about how fucking awesome he must look.

The woman snarled at me, and for a second I could feel a wild, savage energy, the same that had surrounded the frenzying lycanthropes at the Full Moon Garage, starting to build in the air around me.
I gave the bitch an annoyed look and slashed my hand at the air, drawling, ” Disperdorus.” I forced out an effort of will I might have found daunting on another night, one when I was feeling a little less all-powerful, and the woman jerked back as though I had slapped her in the mouth.

See it’s funny because he slapped a bitch in the face, but with magic and also she’s literally a dog except not. Look at all the ways his chivalry holds him back in daily life! Like, another guy might not have wasted the energy to bitchslap her, but Harry just cares so much you guys.

He keeps grandstanding. The potion starts to run out. He keeps grandstanding anyway. He starts to realize what’s happening. He doesn’t stop fucking grandstanding and keeps fucking talking instead of doing stuff, only now it’s because he’s getting nervous, except that if he’d just fucking act he could still take them out, but no, as always plot says Harry stands around like an idiot while explaining his decision makes so much sense, so then when the guy tries to call his bluff finally, it actually is just a bluff and the magic fizzles. Not sure how that works when he has plenty of terror to call on.

So he pulls out his gun, reminding us that seriously, Harry is never the underdog, at which point Harry switches back to talking because obviously talking.

Parker, who I now like better than Harry so I’m going to start using the name of, is all fuck you and comes forward, and Harry shoots out his kneecap. Parker then manages to have a perfectly reasonable conversation as if he’s not in pain at all, having evidently figured out that Harry’s just going to fall over on his own in a minute or two. He informs Harry they’ve spent sooo much damn time on finding his dumb ass for killing!

Harry, not realizing this guy is up to something, is smug about how the police will arrive soon. Parker explains that no, dumbass, there were two cars. She fucking told you that, Harry. The others attack Harry.

We then get an actual noir beating! I’m honestly shocked.

I don’t like thinking about what they did. They didn’t want to kill me. They wanted to hurt me. And they were good at it. I couldn’t fight. I couldn’t even curl up into a ball. There wasn’t that much spirit left in me. I could hear myself making choking sounds, gagging on my own blood, sobbing and retching in pathetic agony. I would have screamed if I could have. You hear stories about men who keep silent through all the torture and agony that anyone inflicts on them, but I’m just not that strong. They broke me. At some point, the mind says “no more” and it gets the hell away from all that pain. I started going there, to that away-place, and I wasn’t sorry to do it at all.

Actual consequences for Harry. Actual suffering. His endless bad decisions have resulted in bad things happening to him as opposed to other people he manpains over.

Parker, blessed be his story-salvaging name, then has to beat the rest of them off, which involves a whole bunch of broken bones, and also he’s somehow walking on the leg despite the fact joints don’t work that way, and so okay they have super healing? Why would they have super healing? I guess if we say they’re jacked up on magic testosterone then they get magic-boosted testosterone wound closing, but that’s just going to slap scar tissue into his knee until it solidifies. Humans don’t heal kneecapping, you need surgery. And wolves don’t either, so you still need surgery.

Harry is thrown in a trunk and sees the awkward redhead FBI drive by without slowing, because redheaded people aren’t just awkward and useless but also pure soulless evil. I’m really glad this series has been sure to take on all aspects of the ginger menace since god knows it’s not like any other media dares speak up about it.

16 Comments

  1. GeniusLemur says:
    “I had the time to note that she was gorgeous, like some sort of Latin goddess.”
    Harry’s neurotic focus with the fuckability of every single woman continues. At this point, I think we’re getting into clinical obsession.
  2. GeniusLemur says:
    Yep, about the middle of Harry’s grandstanding was where I had to put the book down for outside reasons and never picked it back up. I thought about it a couple times, but then thought, “Hell with that shit.”
  3. GeniusLemur says:
    “But it made a sort of chivalrous, cockamamie sense at the time.”
    No, it didn’t Harry, you’re just that amazingly stupid. Just be glad you’re a goddamn Mary Sue, or you’ve have killed your battered, shot, just-blacked-out-from-exhaustion self just by rolling out of the car.
  4. Socordya says:
    There’s no cut, is it on purpose?
    1. Farla says:
      oh god i just pasted this in from notepad and forgot to edit
      i didn’t even take out the chapter top
      i have to get sleep
  5. Roarke says:
    I considered how much I loved the autumn, and composed a brief poem about it as I watched traffic force Susan’s car along and out of sight.

    Roses are red,

    Autumn leaves brown.

    Rhyming’s as hard

    As my ‘Chivalry’.

    – Harry Dresden’s magnum opus

    Actual consequences for Harry. Actual suffering. His endless bad decisions have resulted in bad things happening to him as opposed to other people he manpains over.

    And other people he doesn’t manpain over, like Carmichael or the other heroic cops. Why would you manpain over men, after all? They know the risks, unlike Susan or Kim, the dumb bitches.

    See it’s funny because he slapped a bitch in the face

    It’s a slap you use on a dumb bitch. A dumb-bitch-slap, if you will. Honestly, Farla, you needed to keep a count of this word/phrase, the way Act was doing for FiOS.

    I don’t like thinking about what they did. They didn’t want to kill me. They wanted to hurt me. And they were good at it. I couldn’t fight. I couldn’t even curl up into a ball. There wasn’t that much spirit left in me. I could hear myself making choking sounds, gagging on my own blood, sobbing and retching in pathetic agony. I would have screamed if I could have. You hear stories about men who keep silent through all the torture and agony that anyone inflicts on them, but I’m just not that strong. They broke me. At some point, the mind says “no more” and it gets the hell away from all that pain. I started going there, to that away-place, and I wasn’t sorry to do it at all.

    Now we’re talking. That’s the best paragraph in the book so far. Speaking of which, have you seen Brick? You should watch it. It’s noir.

    If I was going to guess, they might be noticable for driving badly – constantly speeding up and then having to jam on the brakes. Because predators who are into chases would probably be frustrated as hell by all the stuff in the way, and predators not into chases would be even more pissed off about it lasting this long in the first places.

    Wasn’t Tera tailing Harry/Murphy earlier in the book, and both of them picked up on it without telling the other? That scene is suddenly now hilarious to me, because I now imagine Tera being the most painfully obvious tail ever. Harry sees the tail and doesn’t tell Murphy because he thinks she’s a dumb bitch, and Murphy doesn’t tell Harry for exactly the same reason.

    1. Farla says:
      Honestly, Farla, you needed to keep a count of this word/phrase, the way Act was doing for FiOS.

      The problem is it’s hard to know you need to keep a count until you’re knee deep in it (or if you’re warned in advance.)

      I can tell you the final count will be fifteen, two of which are preceded by “son of a” so thirteen that are aimed at women.

      1. Roarke says:
        So he’s averaging more than one use every three chapters, or more, considering the time it takes to establish the premise. Should I congratulate him on pacing himself?
        1. Farla says:
          He actually starts off the bitch train with the FBI woman, which perhaps the author thought was hilarious foreshadowing but in universe that’s just the word Harry uses for women in general, and this time when it comes out he sometimes giggles and tells us that hey, this time it’s a pun!
          1. Roarke says:
            He probably genuinely believes that the pun is justification for using the word. Like, Harry’s too chivalrous to call a woman a bitch unless he can claim he meant it literally.
            1. Farla says:
              But he totally didn’t know the FBI woman! Maybe the fact she’s gotten maybe the least sexy description made her an honorary man so he could insult her before he knew it was okay because pun.
              Reply
              1. Roarke says:
                Handwave it with wizard foresight, or a sixth sense, or a third sight.
              2. sliz225 says:
                It’s getting to the point where I’m seriously considering the possibility that he literally included werewolves in this book just to have a pretext to call a lot of women ‘bitches.’
              3. Roarke says:
                I’m sure that for Butcher it was just a happy accident.
  6. PostguestivePostistPhase says:
    “Why is this happening.”
    Dresden is a teen boy whose hormones are yet to settle.

    “It tasted like stale cardboard and too-old pizza and burned coffee beans.”
    So what’s the difference between stale and fresh cardboard taste and how come Dresden knows it?

    “as though I had swallowed a huge, hyperkinetic amoeba”
    There’s a strange number of strange things he recognizes the sensation of eating.

    1. illhousen says:
      “So what’s the difference between stale and fresh cardboard taste and how come Dresden knows it?”

      He cut pictures of models out of cardboard.

      And licked them.

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