Episode V - Relinquishment
I was losing my mind. I could not see anything straight, wondering every second whether these thoughts were mine or someone else's. Sometimes, I would have to go far away, isolated from anyone except Bella, the one with the shield that I was sure my powers could not penetrate. Even then, I felt as though I was being compelled by the thoughts, emotions, and actions of every living creature around me. One second I'd find myself walking down the stairs, only to howl loudly in a way I didn't know I could. Another second I would be focusing on trying to ignore the incessant urge to feast and within minutes I'd be lost circling in the mind of one of the Cullens, not knowing how to escape.
"Dave!" I didn't know if Bella's voice echoed through her thoughts that fluttered through me or whether it was truly my ears that had heard.
"You crossed the line," the overgrown teenager snarled, his large, blazing hot hands wrapped around my neck.
"Stop it, Jacob," Edward said, placing a firm grip on my assailer's arm. I couldn't determine whether I wanted to apologize or if I wanted to sink my teeth in the warmth that was bursting through Jacob's veins. His grotesque scent didn't bother me as I heard the chaotic melody of his beating heart. Was a werewolf's blood toxic to a vampire? I didn't think I cared as I slammed my knee into his gut, causing him to groan and weaken his grip just enough for me to pin him on the ground.
"Emmett! Jasper!" Bella hollered as I quickly knocked Edward against a wall before he could pull me away. "Dave, stop!" the girl squealed as I dug my teeth into the struggling male's neck. Before his warm blood could kiss my begging throat, I was crushed against the wall by four sets of arms.
"Nobody eats my puppy," Emmett snarled.
"Are you CRAZY!?" Jacob hollered as he rubbed his neck flowing with the sweet honey that I craved. I didn't have the strength to break free from the four who struggled to hold me back. Could I use my powers to help?
"Dave, please relax," Carlisle said calmly as he placed a straw into my mouth. "Drink this, it will help. Jacob, Esme will attend your wounds in the back room."
I quickly guzzled down the contents of the plastic cup he held, and the cold liquid was hardly satisfying to the ache in my throat. The blurring in my mind was getting worse as the thirst nominally receded. I didn't want the frozen back-stock of blood that Carlisle kept for his patients; I wanted the warm, running currents of a living creature.
"God this kid is strong," was that the voice or the thoughts of the burlesque Emmett? Rosalie, the fiery blonde that he dated, why was I thinking of her now? Was she one of the ones that was holding me back or was she smiling lasciviously into her lover's eyes.
"He's got hold of Emmett!" Jasper shouted as he pressed me harder against the wall.
"I wouldn't do that bro," Emmett grinned before slamming his fist into Jasper's face. Within seconds I had Jacob pinned on the ground again, my thoughts muddled between the beauty of Rosalie, the desire for fresh blood, and the guilt that came with harming an innocent youth. The room filled with the same chaos that muddled my mind as I once again sank my teeth into the flailing boy's neck.
"Dave," I heard a soft voice breaking through the labyrinth. Did I care to look up at who spoke to me or was it another mysterious call from some other's thoughts? "Dave! Wait, please!" the childish voice called to me again. I looked up as I saw the little brunette running through the ocean currents, fighting the strong waves that continuously beat down on him.
"David, please help!" he screamed.
"He'll be fine, he needs to learn," an older, drunk male muttered.
"Dave! I'm gonna dr-" my brother hollered as he was engulfed by a powerful wave. My heart stopped at the thought of the ocean swallowing him, but I wasn't strong enough to help. My legs froze in fear and the guffawing drunk refused to aid my dying brother. I had failed him so many times before, and I could not fail him again.
"Brad!" I screamed out and again I was pinned against the wall, and could clearly see that Jasper, Rosalie, and Edward struggled to prevent me from reaching my necessity of blood, of the invigorating strength that would help me save my brother. Jacob now lay unconscious on the ground with Carlisle dabbing at his wounds.
"Where's Brad!? Is he okay!?" I shouted out.
"He's losing it," Edward muttered. "Carlisle, we can't hold him forever."
"Dave, you need to relax," Carlisle spoke quickly. "You need to focus on controlling your powers. You need to isolate your own thoughts and memories from the voices and emotions of others. Can you hear me?" What was he saying to me? I shuffled trough the darkness to find him, find my brother. Was he lost in the ocean? Was it already too late?
"Dave," Edward's voice echoed. He was with me, daringly leaving the protection of Bella's shield and entering the horrors of my mind. "Look at me. Focus on me." I saw his worried face peering into my blank eyes. What have I done?
"Can you hear me?" he asked.
"Yes..." I mumbled, though I could still not determine exactly what had occurred. Had I attacked Jacob, fought with Emmett, been with Rosalie, or watched my brother drown in an ocean?
"Bradley will be fine, but you must first learn to control this if you wish to help," Edward explained.
"I...I don't know," I mumbled. "Where am I? Who am I? Am I...with Rosalie?" I asked confused and Emmett guffawed loudly.
"You like what you see here?" he asked, tapping his head.
"Couldn't be much," Rosalie rolled her eyes.
"David," Edward spoke again. "I need you to focus on something, anything you like. A memory, a person, a voice in this room. Think of only that and ignore anything else."
"How...?" I mumbled, finding it difficult to ignore a single voice that fluttered through my mind, let alone the burning sensation in my throat that still begged for blood.
"Focus on something important, something capable of consuming every aspect of your mind," Edward whispered. Could I really do this? I shuffled through the chaos of my mind, pushing aside thoughts of Rosalie, Emmett's hobby of cars and destruction, the still lingering scent of Jacob's blood. Somewhere in the haze, I remembered my brother's face. So different from mine despite our similarities. His features were tougher, more rugged in comparison to my softer skin. He lived a tougher life than I did. I was always the adult and respected as such, while he was a child, bullied and never taken seriously though he was so intelligent. Everyone around me believed in me, I had a great job. Everyone loved me and thought I was the better twin. But Brad, he faced constant torment with everyone thinking he was a demon. He hated people, so cynical and jaded from the experiences he faced, though I desperately tried to make him have more faith, believe that hope existed. He needed me to save him from the darkness of the Volturi and show him that good things like the Cullens existed. It saddened me to know that like before, he suffered a squalid torment of negativity as I basked in the kindness of my vampire brethren. He would quickly lose faith in the possibility of good in these creatures that we've become and would think that we were all monsters, unable to see the truth of the situation due to simple misfortune. Could I blame him? His entire life seemed to attract negativity until it consumed him and compelled him to run away to New Hampshire.
Brad was someone who could easily master the torrent of my mystical power. With all that he faced and the maladies that permanently wounded his heart, this collection of guilt, hatred, and ire would have no effect on him. Unlike me, he would easily be able to sift through the endless void and find himself, like he had done time and time again. I wondered, what special abilities he acquired upon his transformation, and had he already mastered it? I knew he would have by now, and I knew he would be strong enough to destroy the Cullens himself. I couldn't allow that to happen.
"I'm sorry..." I mumbled, ashamed for having attacked Jacob in desperation to feed. "I'm a monster..."
"Stop it," Jacob said weakly, still a bit dazed from the series of attacks. "Good as new," he flashed his trademark smile. He would have been Brad's favorite of the bunch.
"I need to go," I mumbled. I had to get away from everyone before I hurt them all. I had to stay as far from the Cullens as possible. A newborn was hard enough to deal with, but I had the monstrous ability to compel others to do my bidding, though at most times they were not even my desires. With my uncontrollable powers and insatiable thirst, I knew the safest place for me was to be as far into the woods as possible where no humans would reside and I could only hurt animals. This was not appealing to me, but it was the best I could do in my current situation.
"And where is it you plan to go?" Edward eyed me, and I wondered if these were thoughts or spoken words.
"I don't want to hurt anyone..." I muttered, covering my nose to try and douse the alluring scent of blood.
"We're here to help," Carlisle said, hesitantly placing his hand on mine. Suddenly I heard chaotic screams shattering in my ears.
"It's happening again!" I thought I heard Edward shout out. I saw him press his hands against his temples as though trying to drown out the noise that cluttered my mind. Of course, he heard it too.
The image of the struggling male quickly changed into a crowd of men, women, and children. They all cried desperately as they tried to escape the inevitable fate of the marble-skinned ones who ripped through them quickly. One man stood silently, his face covered in his strong hands. A woman huddled closely, holding tightly onto him as though facing demons. I tried to focus through the fog, the chaos of darkness and deathly rancor. I pierced through the heavy cries of the deer outdoor and the cheery music that lifted Nessie's spirits. I had to see who this mysterious man was, motionless in the torrent of dying victims.
"Dave, focus," I felt Edward prodding through my thoughts, trying to help me pick away at what I already determined a false image, a memory that did not belong to me. But this time, I didn't want to leave. I had to know who he was.
"Dave! Snap out of it!" I felt shaking and the image was quickly being engulfed by itsy bitsy spiders and the pain of bear claws slashing at my hind legs.
"Brad!" I shouted, and it was gone. The image of my brother in the Volturi throne, refusing to take part in whatever activity the malicious vampires were enjoying. He was different; I still had a chance to save him.
"Dave...are you with us?" Carlisle asked again, staring intently into my eyes. His kind face showed confusion and anxiety.
"He saw her vision," Edward shook his head and Alice frowned.
"We saw him," Alice explained, and Carlisle nodded in understanding.
"I need to save him..." I mumbled, recalling the demonic repast, the hundreds of innocent lives being sacrificed for the diabolical Volturi. And above all else, Brad was not a part of it.
"We will do all we can," Carlisle reassured me with a strong grip on my shoulder. I tried to shake away the shadows and ghosts of memories that were still haunting me. I tried to cage my mind safely into a protective sphere where foreign thoughts and images could no longer penetrate. I was hugely unsuccessful, but it helped to know one thing for certain. I saw Brad, alive and well. With an ally.
I still needed help. My powers were taking over me, and Edward wasn't enough. I needed to ask someone who would be able to tell me what was going to happen to me, someone else who dealt with the crazy things that fluttered unwanted through the mind. Someone else that couldn't control every aspect of her power.
"I was wondering when you were going to ask me," the girl giggled. Of course she would know that I wanted to speak to her, she could see it as soon as I made the decision.
"How...how do you control it?" I asked, knowing she didn't really have absolute control over her powers, random images always flashing before her eyes. What I really wanted to know was how she dealt with it, how she lived so normally when everything happening in the world sent image after image rushing through her head. Edward had random voices echoing in him all the time, but he could tune them out, he had the training to do so, but Alice, she couldn't tune out an image if it blinded her vision suddenly. How did she deal with it all?
"Sometimes it's hard, but Jasper helps," she smiled. "You get used to it eventually, you just expect it. Sometimes, I cheat."
"Cheat?" I wondered what she meant.
"There are some things I can't see. Anything to do with werewolves, and Nessie." she explained to me, then sighed and rolled her eyes. She knew what I was thinking. "And yes, I can see your brother."
"Can you see what he's decided? Will he fight?" I frowned. This was the one thing that bothered me more than my weird, uncontrollable powers. My brother was different, I knew that he was able to control his powers flawlessly, he always mastered things quickly. I also knew that he ignored the burning in his throat with ease, not having to think twice of whether the sweet taste of human blood would be worth the pain of killing. I tormented him daily about his meat consumption, he a crazy meat lover, but he would never deliberately hurt anything if he had the choice. He was always a moralist, putting everyone else ahead of himself. Yes, I knew he thirsted, but he would ignore it if it meant killing humans to feed. I always worried if he would die from lack of feeding and wondered if he had figured out that he could feed on animals. Would Alice know if something like that happened to him? I still didn't understand the extent of her powers as the future was ever-changing.
"I can see that he is powerful, and that there is no threat to him in the Volturi coven," suddenly her face was grave and she talked reluctantly. Was she holding something back?
"If there's something you know, I would like to be informed," I tried to be genuine, but I knew my words came out harshly. "Even if it's bad," I added as kindly as I could, embarrassed at my sudden outburst.
"There's nothing I can say," she looked away from me as though ashamed. It angered me that she would not share what she knew, and I considered tapping into her mind, but I still feared my powers.
"Why won't you tell me!?" I shouted too loudly, and she winced. Suddenly Jasper appeared, blocking my path to her.
"He's fine, just upset," she explained to him, placing her small hand on his scarred arm.
"I'm sorry," I said once again ashamed for my inability to control myself, and Jasper relaxed. I was sure he could feel my embarrassment. "I just need to know...I mean I know there is a chance he will choose to fight, but I need to prepare myself so if there's anything you could tell me..."
"There's nothing," Alice sighed.
"Nothing?" I didn't understand.
"He's like the werewolves, but different," she made a confused face. "I can see his strength, his unique powers, the girl that's working with him, but I see nothing as far as his decisions, choices, future."
"How can you see nothing?" Again, my voice was starting to get off edge, and Jasper reacted accordingly. I was frustrated that she could not see him, she could not tell me the one thing I needed to know, and I pondered over the possibility that she may be lying.
"She's not lying," Jasper said coldly. Since when was he the mind reader?
"I just don't get it. Are you saying there is something wrong with him?" I snapped.
"Do you know how hard it is for me to not be able to see!?" Alice finally lost it. I had never seen her upset, but now she screamed at me. "I can see everything! Everyone relies on me for everything! I know when everything is going to happen. Do you know the torment I face when a black hole blurs my vision when normally I see it all!? Nobody can possibly understand!"
"I can try..." I whispered before staring at her intently. Jasper snarled, but Alice held him tightly. She wanted me to try. Like Edward, she had a very powerful mind, I could see that clearly. I had not yet figured the true extent of my ability or how to use it, but I knew that the thoughts and memories of everyone around me constantly invaded my mind, and seeing what another saw simply involved my succumbing to all the anonymous thoughts that I usually tried to fend off.
Suddenly, millions of images flashed before my eyes. I could see Brad's face, so beautiful, majestic. I could see the girl he was with, a wrinkly faced vampire, the Volturi twins, one boy and one girl, I could see Edward, Bella, Carlisle, random strangers I didn't know. I saw too much, I saw gaping black holes scattered throughout and I couldn't handle it, I was losing it, my body was aching and my mind was about to burst. I saw the flurry of vampires swarming the innocent bodies of unarmed humans as they ripped through them like a cloud of locusts. The image of Brad holding his ally was now clear to me, as they both fought the need to feed. The same image I saw before, Alice's vision I had tapped into earlier.
"Dave!" everything went blank and I felt hot hands on my shoulders. This incredulous heat could only come from one person. "Dave! Are you alright!?" Jacob shouted, shaking me lightly. I was trembling, and my mouth was hanging open. I couldn't think, I still couldn't see, and I could not move a single muscle. The voices, the visions, everything that cluttered my psyche and enervated the rest of me into nothingness.
"Jasper called me in, what happened!?" the young werewolf towered over me, looking anything other than young. I had regained my sight slightly, and I could make out the haziness of his kind face. Rough, rugged features resembling a tough life, much like Brad. His musky, earthy scent mixed with oak reminded me of my brother who most definitely faced much more difficulties that I could imagine. I only faced the nightmares of my thoughts, things that could never really hurt me, while he was surrounded by a deadly coven that could kill him instantly if he made the slightest error. If he could survive this, I had to make every effort to survive my hardships. Feeling weak, I melted into the warmth of Jacob who comforted me only in the way Brad could.
"I can't...how can you...I just," I couldn't form a sentence, remembering the absolute chaos, the muddling agony of the young girl's mind.
"Like I said, it takes time," she smiled at me, no resentment in her cheery voice.
"I'm sorry...I can't imagine dealing with that every day," I shook my head trying to clear the mess that still overwhelmed me.
"I can't imagine dealing with what you have," she scrunched her face. "Edward tells me how horrible it is."
"Oh it's nothing compared to...that," I said, reluctantly remembering what I had just experienced.
"No," Alice sighed. "It's worse...you deal with it all. All the voices, the images, the feelings, everything. You see it all, you feel it all, and you face every torment that fills the entire body of another person. I couldn't imagine having to go through all that, and not having any control."
"It's not that bad," I lied, trying to lift the mood. I tried to scramble to my own feet, but Jacob still held tightly onto me, concern in his muddled face. "Can you tell me what you doknow about my brother?"
"He's powerful," she smiled, and I couldn't determine whether that was good or bad news. Of course I knew he would be strong, and of course I thought of this as a good thing, but it may also pose a threat in the coming battle. If we fought, I would lose. Unless I could somehow control him, but I refused to let it get to that. I could never get him to do what I wanted, and I didn't think it would be different now, even if I mastered my fearful ability. Somehow, he would be invulnerable to my mind control.
"How does his powers work?" I asked.
"Carlisle thinks that twins usually come in pairs," Alice explained, once again confusion spilled over her usually omniscient face. "Like Jane and Alec. Jane causes immense pain and Alec creates a complete lack of feeling. Jane works with the mind and Alec works with your five senses. She works in the ethereal world while he works in the corporeal."
"So you're saying that Brad works in the physical world?" It was hard to comprehend what that meant.
"It's only a theory," she shrugged. "I can see that he manipulates a lot of things around him. The ground, the air, time, space, everything. Something similar to Benjamin, but much more potent. But he also affects my visions significantly, and we wonder if he can alter the future, like Siohban."
"That sounds..." I couldn't think of a word to explain the absolute power that thrived in my brother. It seemed almost unreal that one vampire alone could control every aspect of the corporeal world, including the future, but I knew how unreal my brother was.
Yes, I could remember how he selflessly destroyed himself for all those that did not deserve it. Everyone at his job knew to call him when they needed a shift covered, even if it meant him working 24 hours straight. They never respected him, they never thanked him. Everyone knew to go to him when they needed money, even if it meant they could never return it. And that one person he spent countless hours, gave his entire heart to and she crushed it. She never loved him, yet knowing this he treated her the way she wanted, like some royal queen. I never understood him, and living with his pain, his relentless giving and never getting back. When he was finally selfish for once, I couldn't refuse him. While I disagreed that running away from everything was a good idea, I couldn't deny him the one thing he actually did for himself. It would make sense if his powers allowed him to hold the world in his hands. After everything he gave, he deserved to have it all.
"Dave," the petite girl looked at me sternly. "You know that if I could help, I would." I did know, and it wasn't necessary for her to tell me. But somehow, the fact that she voiced it made me feel slightly better.
"You think you can stand now?" Jacob lifted an eyebrow. "Your smell is making me sick."
"Like we enjoy stinking of dirty dogs?" Alice scowled. Jacob flashed his winning smile before scooping up the small girl in his arms and rubbing his hair on her cheek. "Jacob! Stop!" she squealed. "I'm going to puke!"
I couldn't help but laugh. They really were such amazing people, and somehow I was confident that with their help, I really could help my brother.