Rising star Chloe Neill is ready to raise the stakes — literally and figuratively — with Biting Bad, the eighth installment in her Chicagoland Vampires series. In the book, an anti-vampire group called "Clean Chicago" begins targeting the vampire population and holding them accountable for the city's problems, placing Merit, Ethan and their fellow vampires directly in the line of fire. But there are always two sides to an issue, and today we have an exclusive report from the book's fictional newspaper, The Chicago World Weekly, featuring a discussion between Mayor Kowalcyzk, who supports the "Clean Chicago" efforts, and vampire representative Ethan Sullivan. Unsure of where you stand on the great vampire debate? Then keep reading to decide!
"Vampires In Chicago: A Special Report By The Chicago World Weekly"
By Jamie Breckenridge
The city of Chicago continues to struggle with supernatural relations.
Are recent weather events, upheavals and bouts of violence caused by the city's supernaturals, or are the supernaturals simply reacting to human phenomena? Are the police enough to deal with supernatural violence, or do supernaturals pose a threat that requires bigger guns, stronger force? Are supernaturals entitled to the same rights as humans?
My take? The Windy City hangs in the balance between the magic and the mundane, and it's not clear which side will win — or if Chicago will survive the fight.
We invited two people on the front lines — Mayor Diane Kowalcyzk and Cadogan House Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan — to address this crucial issue.
Point: Diane Kowalcyzk, Mayor of Chicago
I love Chicago. Grew up on the north side. Live now on the south side. I've watched the Cubs and White Sox play, graduated two daughters from UIC, just spent my grandson's birthday at Navy Pier.
I love this city. I challenge you to find anyone who loves it more.
But this city is changing. Why? Because there's a new kind of world, a new kind of darkness, living beside us.
And frankly, citizens, that world is terrifying. Monsters reside in our neighborhoods. Creatures who feed on us. Witches who control the elements.
What, I ask you, have we gained since supernaturals became popular? Since they became active parts of our communities?
Fear. Violence. Chaos.
They'll tell you they aren't the root of the problem. They'll blame Chicago for what they are, for the magic they do, for the curses they bring with them.
I'm the mayor of the entire city, that means humans, vampires, witches and whatever else they happen to be. But I'm not going to give supernaturals a pass just because they're different. If they want to act like us, like upstanding and responsible citizens of this great American city, this unique and wonderful American city, we will be ready to embrace them with open arms.
But if they do not, and they reject our peace, our work ethic, our traditions, then we have nothing to say.
The choice is theirs.
Counterpoint: Ethan Sullivan, Master of Cadogan House
There has not been a night since the dawn of this city in which vampires have not been part.
Vampires were in Chicago when it was swampy shikaakwa, when the Mascouten and Miami lived and hunted here. Vampires were in Chicago when Joliet, Marquette and de Sable trekked through. Before the lights of the Loop shone overhead. Before it was the Second City, the Windy City, or the city of the big shoulders.
We are not interlopers. We are the founders of this land. We are part of Chicago's life blood, and we live and work here just as humans do. What's more — we have fought and died to protect this city from its foes, and we have asked for nothing in return.
And yet ...
And yet. We are blamed for what it lacks.
Chicago is not perfect. What city is?
But we are not the cause of its problems. We do not take blood, or anything else, without the consent of humans. We do not wage war unless war is made upon us. We pay taxes, respect city ordinances, vote. And when no one else will take on the "witches," the "monsters," we do it. We stand with steel in hand and face down the things that roam in the dark — human and supernatural alike — which humans pretend do not exist.
Chicago is not perfect; nor are we. But ignorance is no excuse for injustice. Find the true problems of this city and root them out.
In the meantime, we are willing to live with you in peace. To accept our human neighbors as they are. To value their cultures, their traditions, and perhaps to introduce them to ours.
We will help make this city, this Chicago, better. Chicago deserves as much.