More Deader in my Hair! Ack!

I didn’t start this one out of a desperate need to get it out of my head (the usual thing) but rather as answer to a couple of enquiries and to show just how shaky speculation can be. This is why you don’t trust speculation – not a hundred percent. But once I got the last piece of speculation out of my head, this alternative popped up. And then I started liking it more and more. Doesn’t mean this one is right – but it’s just as possible as the other as far as I’m concerned. And I’d bring a snack pack too – this post is looooong. Oh, and I’ve preordered my copy of Deadlocked already – and had a little baby squee at the screen just looking at the picture. For those of you who are Australasian and always want the pretty art but can’t get it, I use Fishpond. I don’t have a credit card (never have had one), so Amazon is out for me. And I believe last year I got my book before other Australians who bought from Amazon.

So, firstly, you simply must have read this piece – Ack! There’s a Deader in my Hair! – I’m going to write this as if you’ve read it.

If you haven’t, you will possibly be lost, dazed and confused. Mainly because the Jannalynn stuff and the Mustapha stuff is leading up to telling the reader how it’s going to work out, but it’s not something that bears repeating over and over. That’s not what’s changed. I have a new identity for the vampire, and a new identity for the devious threat.

Again, both theories might be wrong. But my odds aren’t bad – if you wonder how close I can get, have a look at my fanfic predictions immediately following my reading of Dead Reckoning. Mind you, people who write fanfic tend to be a hell of a lot more predictable than CH – but that’s why she gets the moneyz from me. I was wrong about the book being re-written in its entirety, but there’s still time! All the other short odds, I have read. Many times. *Epic Picard facepalm*. Now is the season of the increasing Sookie hate, though, so we won’t see too many fanfics that break the mould – we’ll only see more saintly and deified Eric prepping for the big fall from grace that will come when the new book comes out. Yay?

So I’m picking up with the abduction attempt by Kelvin and Hod. I think that whoever hired them has to be someone who doesn’t know Sookie so well. They didn’t know that Bill lived alongside Sookie and they desperately underestimated her – by sending two humans to her home, and woods they don’t know so well. So, for example, if it was Bill (the common designated fanfic bad guy) he would know that it would be sensible to send an armoured tank and a regiment to acquire Sookie, otherwise she’d wriggle free. Bill’s seen enough of Sookie that he would do some sort of overkill, and he’s no fool. Bill wouldn’t do it anyway because he’s no fool but I’m using him here to demonstrate the point. Anyone who knows Sookie well would increase the amount of power they used to take her. I know I would.

It seemed to be a really botched attempt to take Sookie – it was poorly planned and poorly executed. Now, it would catch someone like me being that I freeze in the moment and have woefully bad battle skills, but it wouldn’t catch someone like Sookie who is relatively used to acting on the spur of the moment. That attempt seemed to be based solely on the idea that she’s a woman, and human – which implies whoever it is hasn’t heard much about Sookie. If someone were to actually try and get her, and they knew her, they’d have contingency plans. They wouldn’t try the two humans with no backup plan at all. And these humans are so fucking bad they don’t even know about fairies:

“Did you see the ears on that guy? That was pretty incredible. You
can’t rule out nothing, these days,” Kelvin advised his buddy.

Dead Reckoning, p. 227

And that lends credence again to the fact that it’s not Victor – because he knew there were two fairies living in Sookie’s house:

“But you have two of your kind living in your house.”
This was not classified information, and I was pretty
sure Eric’s new vampire Heidi had told Victor.

Dead Reckoning, p. 84

It also means that you can probably rule out Felipe and Freyda as the people behind Kelvin and Hod – they would have sent more humans if they thought there was extra people to corral. Anything known by Victor or any of Eric’s vampires has a chance of getting out to his boss, and the woman who wants to marry Eric. That’s because we know that other royals have spies in the area – Eric has told us that Freyda has spies in his Area:

“Felicia, of course. She is weak, and it’s not much of a secret that she must
be in the pay of someone; probably Stan in Texas, or Freyda in Oklahoma.

Dead in the Family, p. 156

Any weak vampire trading in information is going to trade on stuff that is commonly known, and stuff that is not. Eric keeps a bit of a lockdown on information, but he’s really not effective. After all, as I’ve discussed before, the information leak on Sookie having fairy relatives most likely came from a vampire she knows, not from someone around Bon Temps.

While vampires spy on each other, it would be sensible only to spy on your neighbours or credible threats – and why Eric undoubtedly had no clue that it was Las Vegas coming for the takeover. He knew someone was coming, but not who. And that would be because there’s a limit to how many areas one can spy on. So for example, it’s doubtful Felipe has a spy in New York, because it’s far away, and of little use strategically. Felipe would spy on his neighbouring states, and he’d have spies in states he wanted to keep an eye on. For anything else, you’d rely on gossip, and step up to spying if need be.

Eric is sensible to use Sookie’s trips to Dallas and Mississippi to keep his ear to the ground and cultivate informants. He’d also want to spy on other states like Missouri and Arkansas (even though it’s part of Felipe’s empire it’d be sensible to spy anyway) just so he could keep a watch on his borders. Wouldn’t want to have to foil Texas’ plan to take over Shreveport when the vampires are actually already in Shreveport. You might want to catch them somewhere in Texas first. But Eric wouldn’t bother to have some spy up in Rhode Island because those vampires have a lot of boundaries to cross before they get to Shreveport.

So all the relevant information about Sookie doesn’t  make it everywhere – yes, information on Rhodes would be heard, but who lives in her house would be locked down and not spread around. There’s no reason for detailed information to make it everywhere – it’s only relevant if you want to get your hands on her and have a chance of getting your hands on her. There’s no point in installing extensive spies if you have nothing to do with the information. You wait for gossip to get it to you first, and then maybe put a spy in place. As I mentioned before, I betcha Eric doesn’t take too kindly to gossip about his wife. So gossip is clamped down as much as possible.

But perhaps, if you didn’t know anything about Sookie and the things she has faced down, you wouldn’t put too much effort into acquiring her. And that’s what’s given me the most information on who the other possibility is. It has to be someone who doesn’t know about the fairies. That was why it occurred to me that the vampire in question doesn’t have the leverage a royal would have, and thus doesn’t know some of the inside information, like the fact that Sookie has fairies living in her house.

That would be something Hot Rain would have difficulty finding out. No one would tell him without reason to tell them. A young vampire (so someone who’s not powerful at all and thus ‘weak’ enough to be a spy) may not know anything about fairies. I’d say that any fairy discussions wouldn’t be taken too kindly by Eric either – the only fairies in the US are the ones in Sookie’s house. The fairies don’t deal with vampires either – and although other Fae do (Mr. Cataliades is a demon, but comes from the Fae world like all demons, and is included under the catch-all term of “Fae” but not a Fairy) they wouldn’t know about what the fairies are doing.

Victor or Felipe, or any other vampire would keep a lockdown on the fairy information, merely because it makes them more vulnerable. I mean, if Louisiana has only one of the two working telepaths at this time, that makes it an attractive target. But if it’s a weak and overstretched state, with a working telepath and that telepath is the sole connection to the fairies – the only available fairies in the US, then whoo boy – that looks tasty as hell. Sookie is the key to political favour with creatures who can travel by portal, and have been to war with vampires – like real war:

“So in the past the vampires and the fairies have fought each other? I mean, like, pitched battles?”
“Yes,” Eric said. “And if it came to that again, the first one I’d take out is Niall.”

From Dead to Worse, p. 72

So out of all the supernaturals, fairies are the most able to rival vampires – unlike weres, they’ve fought each other in pitched battles – lined up like in Braveheart (though obviously not on such an epic scale and fewer skirts in general) and tried to kill each other – and neither was ultimately defeated.

It always makes me roll my eyes when I see fanfic Eric ordering Niall around the room as if he is the boss. Niall would kill him for that – he’s been to war with vampires and he isn’t cowering in the face of Eric Northman. He’s offered to kill Eric to end the bond, and Eric was worried bringing him in the night of the takeover would lead to the death of many vampires (and fairies). As Niall says – he’s a fairy Prince, not a figure of fun. Niall would never cower in front of some lowly Sheriff – he’ll use him, but he’s real clear on who the boss is – and it’s not Eric. The idea that Eric gives the orders is a preposterous one. I don’t see Claude asking for Eric’s permission to exist – and I highly doubt Niall was more of a mind that they were equals. Otherwise Eric wouldn’t obey him:

“Off her, vampire,” said my great-grandfather in a very soft voice.
Eric raised his head, his eyes shut with pleasure, and shuddered
all over. But then he collapsed beside me.

Dead and Gone, p. 304

Eric is smart enough to know that the last surviving Fairy Prince is not some prancing lightweight, and the fact that Niall wasn’t killed off by Neave and Lochlan – he’s no vampire teddy bear. He’s someone that you listen to, even if you’re in the midst of having a nice victory lick of your wife. Eric might want to kill Niall, but that doesn’t mean he’d actually do it. Eric is nothing if not an optimist, but  as I’ve written before, that doesn’t mean he’s right all the time, and that his claims will win out. He’s certainly not provoking Niall ordinarily – he’s mostly doing as he’s told – well, as much as Eric generally does as he’s told anyway.

A good example is what an optimistic vampire might think will happen – through the prism of Pam and Victor:

“If he challenged Eric, it would be Eric’s right to send me in first.
I would so love to fight Victor.”

Dead in the Family, p. 72

versus what actually happened:

…and just then Victor knocked Eric to the wall and pushed Pam down on her
back, throwing himself on top of her right in front of me. He bit her neck,
his hands locking her shoulders down.

Dead Reckoning, p. 296

If not for Sookie cleaving a sword through Victor’s back, Victor may have given the final death to Pam. So just because Eric says he’d take out Niall doesn’t mean he’d actually be able to achieve that end. Eric is a relatively incautious and optimistic vampire, and all of his boasts about stuff is not to be taken at face value as if they are true – particularly if he hasn’t done them yet. Eric is certainly obeying Niall to his face, and would only attack him in event of another pitched battle with fairies, so he’s not leaping in to give fairies what-for.

Fairies are a powerful trump card – not the Arthurian types seen in romance writing, but grotesque fairies with bite. Sookie has the scars to prove it. Knowing fairies at such a high level is a tactical advantage – and that’s Sookie’s advantage, not Eric’s. It sure would give an advantage to have not only magic, but the ability to move in and out of day chambers and such. Whoever has Sookie has an insight into fairy politics and that sort of advantage, so even though the information is out to more than just Eric and Bill, it’s still something to keep quiet if you know it, to stop the rest of the country making Louisiana the number one takeover state.

That’s because, well, imagine this scenario – Louisiana vampires go to war against Mississippi vampires. In order to keep his granddaughter safe during this takeover, Niall agrees to send in fairies to kill key difficult vampires in Mississippi, so that it’ll go easy. Now, we know Sookie well enough that she wouldn’t use her family that way, and that she wouldn’t encourage wholesale murder to further Eric’s ambitions, or Felipe’s ambitions. But other vampires aren’t in her head like we are. They don’t know her so well. And all they’ve heard is she obeys Eric in everything and “heels well”. Information on fairies would be something any encroaching royal would find out (in their strategic discovery) but it’s doubtful it’s common vampire knowledge. If it was, Felipe would have to worry about almost every single state trying to get to this biddable asset with the power to call Fairy assassins.

And if Felipe heard about it, despite his various cape wearing activities, he wouldn’t be bragging to everyone. Nor would Freyda or Stan – if they happened to find out – they’d keep it quiet so that other vampire royals didn’t try to horn in on the Sookie action. Better to let them think you’re going after “just” a telepath than let them know you’re going after the key piece of leverage you need to make Niall want to do your bidding. A vampire who spread that information around the country is making sure that everyone else will want a slice of that pie, and be able to put plans in place to make sure that they counter Sookie’s influence. A lot of bulk-buying of lemon groves and iron, I would suspect.

Whoever sent Kelvin and Hod didn’t know about the fairies – which means that they’re from some low-level vampire, or they’re from someone who doesn’t know about fairies at all. Just to reiterate the blurb:

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down. Source

Whoever is her enemy, it has to be someone who either doesn’t know the supernatural world so well, or someone who is very low level. So the other possibility I was thinking about….The Fellowship of the Sun. The FotS is a big enemy for Sookie – she has just been a thorn in their side, ever since they came at her – and they’re devious as hell – that’s how they do things.

There is a long list of stuff they would hold grudges for – without a doubt. Firstly, there’s her initial incursion into the FotS thanks to her work in Dallas, and she ruined the ‘nice guy’ image that the Fellowship had going on:

Arriving to find the members dashing in turmoil around their building, claiming vampires had attacked them, the police entered the building to search it and found a basement torture chamber, illegal arms adapted to shoot wooden stakes into vampires, and a corpse.
Dead as a Doornail, p. 128

Not only did she foil them, but she revealed the criminal plans that the FotS had for the vampires. Sookie did more out of any of the supernaturals on taking the Fellowship down. She forced them to go underground – forced Steve and Sarah Newlin to go on the run thanks to the things that they found in that basement.

Since then, she hasn’t exactly made it all easy peasy for the Fellowship either. She’s made sure to ruin Steve Newlin’s plan to stake Betty Jo Pickard, and got a stake in the side; she made sure to foil their plans as much as she could at Rhodes; she made sure to bring the FBI into an investigation into FotS members in her town, like Arlene; and finally made sure that Sarah Newlin was arrested in Wright in Small Town Wedding. But in all of those cases, the FotS was able to get a hold on Sookie thanks to a couple of guys – Gabe, the staker and Arlene – the Fellowship has been sending a couple of guys to do damage to Sookie for a while now. It’s their modus operandi – small cells and expendable people who are willing to give their lives for the cause.

Sookie has always been worried about the FotS too – making sure that when she was at the Queen’s palace in New Orleans that she kept her photos out of their hands, and making sure to do the same thing to Sarah Newlin’s camera in Small Town Wedding. It’s not as if she’s done anything more than foil them repeatedly and try to stay off their radar. Of course, during Rhodes, someone took a picture of her and it got into FBI hands:

“That’s you, Miss Stackhouse,” Lattesta said.
“Yes, it is.” Pointless to deny the woman in the picture was me,
but I sure would have loved to have done so.

Dead and Gone, p. 51

Now, it should be noted, I don’t think the Fellowship was working with the FBI – I’m not into conspiracy theories – but there’s a short story set in the SVM universe wherein Dahlia – a female vampire – helps capture some of the Fellowship involved in the Rhodes planning – those who could have been taking pictures of Sookie:

The newspapers were happy with their pictures, the firefighters were happy to be alive and mostly uninjured, the Fellowship fanatics were secretly glad to be out of the tunnels and to anticipate reiterating their inane credo at their trials, Cedric was happy that his vampires had obeyed his direction, and the vampires felt they had at least made a beginning on their revenge for the Pyramid bombing.
Dahlia Underground, Crimes by Moonlight, p. 54

As an aside, Dahlia’s point of view is useful in a big way for understanding vampire mindsets in the CH world – unsurprisingly she does well at controlling herself not to hurt humans accidentally. And she rarely thinks of puppies, rainbows and meeting the Sun after the death of those she loves. She does give a tidbit that Thalia slept with the original Odysseus – and that he was great in bed, lol. But Dahlia helps in this arrest a couple of days after the Rhodes bombing – meaning that the pictures of Sookie and Barry probably got taken in the FBI seizure of FotS materials, leaving them a couple of months to track down Sookie.

Of course, Eric mentions regarding the FotS blowout in Wright:

First message – “I’ve seen you on the evening news. Call me.”
Small Town Wedding, The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, p. 77

Yes, this was the final piece of footage, but it’s not as if Steve Newlin hadn’t identified Sookie as a big threat and enemy before – it’s only a matter of time before some Fellowship members see pictures of Sookie and start saying “Oh yeah, that fangbanging whore was at Rhodes” or “I wish I’d stopped that Satanic slut in Dallas when I saw her bloodied up”. This time it was news that made it over state lines, and they had some sort of way to track down Sookie’s identity through Sam. And Sookie is all of a sudden seen as a threat you want to think about taking out, since she’s a commonality in so many of the Fellowship’s failed plots.

Just think – in a timeline where Sookie doesn’t exist, and Bill’s dating a fangbanger like Selah, Farrell is still somewhere under the Fellowship in Dallas, and Stan has to break into the church to get him out – that’s if he can defeat Godfrey who would have defended the FotS members before Sookie talked him out of his thoughts with good Christian reasoning – and the furore that would cause. Imagine how well that would have gone in the papers – self proclaimed vampire citizen with rights to live in community breaks into church and kills a bunch of people – not so media friendly, right? Or even if it went along projected FotS paths, and Farrell and Godfrey burn up in the morning sun, live on television. That sort of thing doesn’t confine itself to just Texas – it becomes a model for crazy shit to be done everywhere.  I don’t see Selah going in and doing what Sookie did – or even being slightly willing to do it.

Or think, in the scenario where Eric is seeing his own version of a fangbanger, and he and Pam are at Rhodes, because there’s no Barry if there’s no Sookie. The hotel collapses in rubble, and while some vampires make it out, almost all of the humans Sookie got out by pulling the fire alarm die along with their vampire masters. FotS makes a point about how if you’re willing to associate with vampires, and help vampires, they’re not going to go easy on you. How many people would be willing to take jobs with vampires if you could be blown up, and your concerned ‘masters’ are somewhat immune to the violence, and walk away, leaving the people who helped them in the rubble? The FotS agenda would work so much better if Sookie wasn’t around.

I know that there’s a lot of contempt for the Fellowship generally – but I don’t see them that way. Fanatic groups can be remarkably innovative, even if they come from a situation with limited knowledge and absolute poverty. It is their fanaticism that drives them – and they only gain traction in the environment the vampires build. As I’ve discussed before, Eric’s job as Sheriff seems to be to keep vampires out of the shit, but that just builds a kind of case for hatred.  Every time a Sheriff lets someone like Mickey rape and hurt someone like Tara, that creates a real problem – it radicalises the population. This is why Eric was willing to keep it secret, and why he doesn’t pull a Frankenstein and randomly murder all the humans who piss him off, flailing around hurting people without good sense to his surroundings.

Of course, Eric isn’t the only vampire Sheriff – there are lots of them. And each one of those people who know someone like Tara, who gets hurt and raped, and in the case of some of them – killed – then it becomes a reason to radicalise the population. Tara getting nice gifts from a vampire is not the reason as to why she deserves death. Someone who gets raped and murdered by a vampire often has their story bandied about – even if they blame the victim, it shows how stuff is going down – and it’s happened before:

But the three vampires were behaving in such a way that people wanted to blame
them for something, wanted to get rid of them, and since Maudette and Dawn
were both vampire-bitten and habitués of vampire bars, well, folks just
cobbled that together to pound out a conviction.

Dead Until Dark, p. 170

Maudette and Dawn were probably girls that the regular Fellowship folk would probably spit on – call them whores, and sluts, much like readers do – but that doesn’t mean they’re above using those stories to radicalise the population. Tell little tales about how low these girls have gone, and once the vampires get rid of the ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’ well then, they’ll start preying on the good girls. Even ‘whores’ and ‘sluts’ have people who love them too – Maudette had parents and friends, as did Ginger, Dawn, Amy and all the other girls. Hadley was undoubtedly a fangbanger, and if Sophie Anne had murdered her and not turned her, then Sookie might feel a little different about that death.

Indeed, it is lucky for Eric and Bill that Sookie doesn’t have many human friends. Can you imagine what it would be like to see Sookie limping around because she took a beating (one in Dallas for example) and coming home? Sookie would know better than to spill what vampire business she was in, so what is the assumption going to be? The assumption is not going to be that vampires are cool sweethearts who don’t do anything mean:

“Those vampires treat you so bad, why do you hang around them?”
“People did this to me,” I said. “Not vampires.”

Living Dead in Dallas, p. 195

The default assumption is that vampires – you know, those beings that kill humans – are the sort to beat up women. You can find all kinds of justification in the community for that idea. I can’t count how many times I’ve read that the hard bite is vampire nature or that Eric is one of nature’s rapists by virtue of being vampire – so even those who apparently adore Eric believe that he is a naturally violent creature with no impulse control or the will to dominate and control lesser species. Eric is seen as the ultimate rabid dog who goes with his uncontrollable urges or like a calculating rapist who is too boneheaded or arrogant to contemplate an idea as bewildering as enthusiastic consent without a little forcing thrown in. It isn’t hard to radicalise a population if even the people who purport to love vampires such as Eric are prepared to believe that they are violent by nature and have no control or that they are violent by nature and plan how to brutalise others with exactness but without caution.

It’s even easier since a whole bunch of people tend to look for easy answers and polarisation. So the FotS gains traction with every single person, because if even their fervent supporters believe that vampires are violent Frankenstein-type fuckheads, and can prove it with the deaths of fangbangers, well, it’s just a matter of time before it gets so personalised that you can radicalise sections of the population. So, usually, when looking at the hard bite, readers will say Sookie has to deal with it and love it – but they probably wouldn’t feel the same if it was their friend or sister being bitten and coming home upset because her boyfriend made her feel like shit because she didn’t help him enough. Even if you didn’t mind vampires before that, that would quickly make you think vampires should be shunned and definitely not dated. I don’t think you’d be inclined to leap to your feet and pronounce it unfair to bomb their hotel if the fangbanger they killed was your sister or your mother.

Sookie is at a convenient distance from readers – they couldn’t give a shit for the most part if she gets hurt – and so it’s when it becomes personal that people start to change their views. When it is their friend coming home with big bruises on her, upset, or when it is their mother or sister or brother who starts getting more and more battered as time goes on. Every fangbanger who doesn’t come home is a risk to vampires. This is why the vampires disappear them or cover it up – so that connection isn’t real clear. But I’m sure that anyone close to them would know, one minute they’re involved with vampires, next minute mysteriously dead.

Sookie has done the vampires huge favours by not encouraging them to murder people. The rate of deaths are already pretty high without Sookie assuring that there is just this black hole vortex of badness – if you enter Fangtasia, it’s 50/50 if you come out again. While there is still an element of danger being in the bar (how many times has a bartender tried to eat Sookie in the bar now? Three times I think – Longshadow, Milos and Jock) it’s not somewhere where someone goes in, and it’s dicey if they get out. The bar would have been burnt down long ago if it was that sort of black hole vortex of badness, where coming in and thinking bad thoughts gets some blonde chick to sick her gigantic vampire boyfriend on you.

Why Fellowship of the Sun, and not just some random Eric/Sookie hater? Well because they could be assured of getting Sookie, and have the double bonus of ruining vampires:

“That’s a good point. But finding a body in Eric’s house would mean bad press for all vampires.”
Dead in the Family, p. 276

Pretty perfect enemy targeting both Eric and Sookie, I should say. That would make the Fellowship really happy – getting at Sookie and doing a PR disservice to the vampires. Dumping some poor fangbanger dead on Eric’s lawn has something to do with Sookie – it would bring her world crashing down. In the midst of all the Oklahoma bullshit and the Victor bullshit, and Sookie being tied to a prominent vampire who has to mainstream? Bad news:

“It’s good to see our vampire citizens getting along with our human citizens,”
Katherine said heartily, looking around the bar, which was so
thinly populated it almost wasn’t open.

Dead in the Family, p. 241

Contact with Eric leads to scrutiny by government agencies. The BVA isn’t like the Authority or the AVL on True Blood. There is actually a vampire ruling body envisioned in the books over and above the royals themselves but we haven’t seen them – and may never see them in the books. They don’t deal with Sheriffs – they’re the bosses of the royals. I’m not even sure if Eric would be able to take his “I don’t want to be Freyda’s toyboy” case to that body – so we undoubtedly won’t see them, and Sookie would surely not see them. The Authority on True Blood seems to be each vampire, called a “faction” and they try to install their favourites as royals and don’t do much else but change leadership, ensuring stable vampire governance (not). The AVL meanwhile seems to be a pointless PR machine on the show with no real discernible purpose other than to double up doing Sophie Anne’s job and inform everyone about the factions within factions and agendas upon agendas – the ultimate useless bureaucracy. I don’t think Book Eric needs anyone to give winning smiles on his behalf – he’s smart enough and pretty enough to do that himself. Felipe too does his own PR by smiling a lot and wearing a cape.

The BVA is a human government watchdog on vampires, making sure that vampires aren’t killing people at random. Making sure that the vampires are registered, that Eric doesn’t have a sex/torture basement (the sex/torture basement – impossible in the high water table in Louisiana anyway – Eric would have to be a numbskull of the first order to put it under his club for the police raids the first night Sookie meets him to find – ah, True Blood, thy logic is not high) and that no one is feeding on the premises. Katherine Boudreaux checks in often enough that you would want to abide by the letter of the law….well, as much as Eric does, anyway.

If Eric gets some girl he’s been feeding on dumped on his lawn, that’s a whole bunch of trouble for Eric – and since Eric has Bill and Sookie investigating, he surely is worried. I would be if I were Eric. So is Sookie since she loves him, and since the synopsis tells us she’s investigating the death of the girl Eric fed off. The Fellowship dumping a body there would bring a lot of personal hassle for vampires, have a chance of radicalising sections of the population, and cause trouble for Sookie from the government and from home. I mean, how well do you think it would go down for the townspeople surrounding Sookie if they thought she was permissive of her boyfriend killing people? I don’t think they’ll be making any distinctions that that’s all Eric’s doing, and has nothing to do with Sookie.

It’s not exactly winning popularity contests to go out with vampires. We see vampires through Sookie’s eyes, who humanises and familiarises them. But that’s not what happens in Sookie’s life:

“You need to hang with better people, live people. The city’s overrun with the dead, now. It was better when everyone here was breathing, I tell you the truth.”
Definitely Dead, p. 179

I choose this quote out of many about how unpopular vampires are because all too often, fundamentalist Fellowship/Christians are blamed for prejudice, or the fact that Sookie lives in a backwater town. But this is New Orleans and the speaker is a paramedic. It is completely erroneous to believe hate speech exists only in Bon Temps, and big cities have educated types who are as sweet as pie and love everyone. That’s not true. You find uneducated bigots in big cities as well. It’s complete crap that only backwater towns or fundamentalist Christians are prejudiced. In fact, Bon Temps has dealt well with the vampires in their midst for the most part – Charles as bartender raised the revenue at Merlotte’s Bar.

As for the devious part of this? That’s easy – there’s indications that stuff is being done to maybe try to discredit Eric without it being brought to our attention immediately. Often times CH tries to distract the reader from little bits and pieces. So you get the Kelvin and Hod incident sandwiched in between killing Victor and finding out about Freyda. The next quote was sandwiched into the action as well – in between Andre’s forced bonding and the soda can bomb at Rhodes. But the Fellowship is sure working on some kinds of weapons innovations, just like they were in Dallas:

He resumed staring at me, and though all the other people in the cavernous space were having blank, neutral thoughts, Joe’s were not blank. They were shielded. I’d never encountered anything like it. Someone had put a metaphysical helmet on his head.
All Together Dead, p. 185

For some reason, it’s assumed that this is to fend off telepaths. While that may be its sole purpose – I’m not so sure. After all, this is a pretty big red flag saying “I HAVE STUFF TO HIDE” when all the other servers are avoiding Sookie and Barry. But it occurred to me that the purpose might be two-fold – keep out the telepaths, and keep the vampires from being able to glamour the ringleader. Fellowship people would want to keep their self-determination, so I’m sure that they would figure out a way to stop the glamour. It’d be much easier to employ a witch to do that – for something she can test out – than put something untested to try to foil telepaths. It may work to stop vampire glamour with the added benefit of stopping telepathy as well.

Not only with their weapons advancement and stockpiling, there’s a whole bunch of seemingly insignificant incidents that have happened, and they’re quite devious – suggesting that Eric’s bar has maybe not just been breached by vampire agitators, but by human ones as well:

Eric had his own political problems, and the representative of the Bureau of Vampire Affairs was breathing down his neck about a violation of one of the rules for operating a vampire-owned business. A barmaid had promised a female customer that she (the barmaid, Cyndee) could bribe one of Eric’s vamps to bite the woman. Cyndee’d been blowing smoke, but the BVA had to investigate the allegation.
Small Town Wedding, The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, p. 22

All by itself, that looks like a regular problem that Eric might have. But in that case, why was the incident reported? Why did Cyndee promise such a stupid thing? Looks like a bit of entrapment there and it’s easy to think Cyndee and the woman were in cahoots. It might not be Fellowship machinations – could just be regular brand stupid – but it could be the Fellowship as well. That’s not the only place where the Fellowship and other radicals are agitating – as I said above, Sookie has few human friends – almost all of her friends are supes. And much in the same way Victor can be one giant gadfly, so can the Fellowship:

“I’m here to protest!” yelled a woman who looked like anyone’s grandmother. She had a sign, and she hoisted it up. NO COHABITATION WITH ANIMALS, it read, and
you could see that she’d written “cohabitation” while she looked at a dictionary;
each letter was written with such care.

“You’re not Sam Merlotte, or his wife. You’re that girl who dates
a vampire,” she said venomously.

Dead in the Family, p. 266

This protester knows Sookie’s reputation well enough to know that Sookie’s dating Eric (only vampires know about the marriage) and they’ve come to protest Sam – who has Sookie working for him. They’re certainly not out at Hotshot, or standing in the middle of Shreveport doing this stuff – but targeting Sam who’s out in a small rural bar in the middle of nowhere. And the biggest problem is that once you get one radical, then you can start radicalising the population like so:

But the mere fact of the incident had set some of the previously indifferent
townspeople to thinking about the issue of the two-natured, and about the
legislation that proposed to take away some of their rights.
And some of them were all for it.

Dead in the Family, p. 273

Throw in some dead girl and that’s a recipe for radicalising the indifferent or even the unhappy – making them more fervent. Bon Temps has always been relatively friendly to Sookie. Yes, there is Arlene who tried to crucify her, but there was also Catfish Hennessey who stood up for her, and the town that helps her. If you can ostracise those who associate with vampires, then you can demonising them as worthless sluts worthy of death. I mean – look at the readers in the fandom. It’s not exactly hard to find people being unconcerned at Ginger’s death, and calling her a worthless slut. Or anyone else who’s a rival for Eric’s affection – fangbangers are easy targets for the fandom. It’s not difficult to get people like that – people from big cities even – calling these women sluts and whores and not batting an eyelash at their deaths. Ginger’s so ‘inconsequential’ people forget she died in Dead to the World, and put her in canon fanfiction long after her death to be kicked around by Eric and Pam.

It’s not really that hard to turn the people of Bon Temps against Sookie – get at her through her work and through her boyfriend. They even have someone in town who wasn’t caught up in the whole crucifixion thing. See how vigorously the FBI (not just the Bon Temps police here) prosecuted a related person to the whole incident:

“What about Helen Ellis?”
“She told Andy Bellefleur she just came to the trailer to pick up the kids because they’d done really well on their report cards, and she’d promised to take them to the Sonic for an ice cream treat. Any more than that, she doesn’t know diddly squat.”

Dead and Gone, p. 215

Helen Ellis is one of the people who can spread her brand of hatred to some of these people, radicalise them and make sure that they pass it on to others. And she was the one who told Arlene that Sookie would be “getting what she deserved” for being with vampires. She’s no uninvolved party who thinks vampires are fine and dandy. Getting the local people to turn against her would be relatively easy, and she can’t be stopped from saying things to sympathisers, and working with those protesters to whip people into a frenzy – much like happened with Malcolm, Liam and Diane.

Not only that, but the Fellowship may have been working with witches for a while now, or sending moles into the supernatural world. Steve Newlin and his friend got into Club Dead in order to stake Betty Jo Pickard – so they know there are vampire and were bars, and they have ways of getting in – either through casting spells so they’re immune to the magic, being a magical null, or being friendly to weres and vampires, like Sookie got in. This is why it’s a mistake to just sideline them as stupid inconsequential humans Eric can ‘solve’ by killing:

“You mean the twoeys were also alerted early? By the same…?”
“By the same people who alerted the anti-furries.”
“To make this a confrontation.”
“To make this a confrontation,” I agreed.
“My brother’s wedding was a test-drive?”
I shrugged. “That’s what I think.”

Small Town Wedding, The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, p. 62

No vampire can just disappear the Fellowship – that will radicalise the population. The only way to get them to stop spreading their hate is to expose this sort of thing. You’d never be able to get rid of all the vampire hate in one fell stroke, but you could take a lot of impetus out of the Fellowship if their plans like this were exposed.

And there may be more ways that the Fellowship can get at vampires, the two natured and Sookie:

I wondered how much the FBI would pay for it. Despite all Bill’s attempts to make
sure only vampires bought the CD, it would be truly amazing if no one else had it.

Dead in the Family, p. 213

As an aside – an anon *waves* recently asked me to make a post about “the bombs in the garden” – this line is one. But taking that statement and extrapolating out whether this bomb will go off and how it will go off proves to be an impossible thing. This one could go off this way, or it might be left to rot. Just like all the bombs about Sookie being turned haven’t gone off – but they exist in the construction of the CH world. But if the Fellowship got its hands on the vampire database – which wouldn’t be too hard, since vampires have human companions – then they’d be able to research all kinds of information about vampires. It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that a vampire would work with them. We so far have Godfrey and Jake Purifoy who hated what they were so much that they plotted with the Fellowship. It’s entirely feasible – and more than likely probable in view of a fuckhead leader like Victor, who’s prone to torturing his underlings in a way that makes them fearful and desperate to get away. I mean, one of those underlings, he thought to punish by letting his wife get tortured by a couple of psycho fairies, and that underling’s wife had enough and plotted his death.

But what if the vampire realised that it wasn’t just Victor. Killing Victor doesn’t make the world of vampires entirely sweetheart, and nice. Not matter how many vampires get killed, there’s always some new nasty one showing up. It’s just as possible to radicalise vampires through the world of vampires, particularly if they thought they were getting into some sort of friendly brotherhood, but they were really being dumped in a world full of Victor, Alexei, Lorena, and Mickey. As I’ve mentioned before, those vampires might be dead, but all of them thrive in their world. Godfrey, Appius, Andre, Sophie Anne, Felipe, Thalia, Dahlia – all old vampires who are cruel – some of them older than Eric – who do a whole lot better than say Hadley or Bill, who in the grand scheme of vampires are rather fluffy. Eric isn’t the oldest or the cruellest by a long shot.

How hard do you think it would be radicalise a vampire who got turned post-Revelation and thought it was going to be like some wonderful life where you fuck and party and do what you want…cause Eric and Bill and Pam do that right? They don’t work their guts out, right….wait… Of course it’s not one all night party, and not only is it dangerous for a vampire to do what he likes to humans, it’s dangerous for a vampire to show disrespect for his superiors even ones with capes or jaw-cracking smiles:

He gave up his life like some lesser asshole would get a tattoo. ‘It’s cool, let’s do it!’ And then he kept on being an asshole, talking shit to Victor, not understanding. Not getting it.”  Colton put his head in his hands and shook it from side to side. “Until that night. Then he got it. But our mom was dead. And Chico wishes he was, but he won’t ever be.
Dead Reckoning, p. 196

So Chico wants to be dead, and he won’t ever be? Sounds like Godfrey and Jake Purifoy – both of whom turned to the Fellowship to take out as many vampires as they could, in their rage at their afterlife. How hard would it be to persuade a vampire like Chico into co-operating with them and getting them to give information to the Fellowship? Not hard I would think. And the beauty of Victor’s scheme to frighten the living shit out of all the vampires under his command? It could be a whole heap of vampires we haven’t met, low level vampires who turned recently and just got the memo that it’s not party-time. Chico just gives us a name to put with the motivation.

As for the idea that now Victor is dead, Chico would be able to go fess up to his scheme and get help from Eric? Lol – yeah, like Longshadow, Milos or Charles totally skated on the wrongs they did Eric and Sookie. Eric isn’t the cruellest boss, but even Felicia, who isn’t the brightest of vampires knows Eric is no softy. It doesn’t make much of a difference if Eric is a better boss, the vampire world is still full of guys like Mickey, Felipe and all the other vampires who thrived there. Eric would give Chico his death straight away and deal with the Fellowship in his own time. A radicalised hateful vampire doesn’t want to fix things – they want to bring the whole vampire world down, with its full of guys like Mickey, Felipe and all the other vampires who thrive there. Expose the wrongs done to them in order to fuck up the world that spurned their party-fun-happy-times in favour of torture.

So that’s my alternative speculation. As I said above, both of them have pretty equal validity. Chico or Hot Rain could have it in for Sookie, for different reasons because Eric is a target as much as Sookie is in this. Eric isn’t being let out of things – he’s a target for both the vampires and he’s a target for the devious threat. But the key is that it’s aimed at Sookie on the whole, rather than Eric. They’re just going to get to her through Eric. Both of them are just as possible – and so is a third option I haven’t even considered. I love that CH can surprise me – and she still could.

But Sookie needs to deal with the Fellowship before the books are over, and Steve Newlin can’t be left out there to roam the wilderness and remain undefeated. As I’ve mentioned before, Sookie is destined to do something wonderful, and one of the wonderful things would be being able to put the Fellowship down so everyone knows that they’re kooks. It’s not going to stop other radicalised people popping up, but it would stop a widespread organisation and put the brakes on the radicalisation of people through that organisation. Eric hasn’t succeeded in preventing any of the Fellowship plots, so that’s down to our girl Sookie. She can do it.