Only a few months have passed since the Cullen's encounter with the Volturi, and Renesmee is growing with each passing day. However, she longs to explore the world and find her own destiny. Meanwhile, forever is looking considerably shorter when the winter incident provokes a mysterious shadow organization to step into the light...
Plasma Knight is back with another fic. Yes, I've read Twilight, don't look at me that way D:
This idea's been churning around in my head for months actually, so I went "what the hey" and wrote it for NaNoWriMo for 2012 :D Spent most of the last two months finishing it and now I'm ready to post it :) I'm highly interested in criticism of both kinds, so don't hold back.
As the summary implies, this is a post-Breaking Dawn continuation fic involving several new OC's to muck up the vampire world. Hope you enjoy!
Oh yeah, and, Twilight and its peeps belong to Meyer. Only the OC's belong to me.
"Forever and forever and forever"
"A small but perfect piece of a forever"
And yet, forever is so long.
Just understand that tomorrow may not be like today.
Forever isn't for an eternity if it ends
Souls can vanish in the blink of an eye.
It is easiest to see the light when you stand in the darkness...
Lord, lend us thy strength...
Inside a long hall of tan-colored stone, three women knelt on one knee. Opposite the only entrance was an alter, and a stained glass window behind it. A deep red carpet lead across the hall towards it. The altar itself was chest-high, bearing only a cross on its center. On either side of the carpet, spaced evenly, were eight candelabras on four foot stands, each bearing three white candles. The stained glass window at the back of the room dominated the hall, bearing the image of twelve figures standing tall and as one against a sea of deathly-pale creatures.
Guide us as we carry out thy great work...
Two of the women, each kneeling at either side of and slightly behind the center figure, wore simple robes. They were ankle-length, parted past the hips, and had wide sleeves. They were dominantly white and pale blue in color but bore no marks or insignias. Both were completely silent, while the central woman was quietly murmuring a prayer.
Forgive us foolish humans of our transgressions...
The center woman looked to be in the end of her twenties, but her eyes had the deep and sad look of a person more experienced than someone twice her age. Unlike her companions at her left and right, her robes bore marks and sigils depicting some status. Around her neck she wore a silver chain, from which dangled a pure white broach in the image of a stylized sun. Her long blonde hair was tied up into a bun, and was very orderly in the front, combed back neatly such that no strands hung over her face. Her soft skin and sad eyes contrasted with her sharp facial features and neat hair, giving her a beautiful but striking appearance.
And forgive the Lost Ones. May they be bor-
The doors leading into the hall swung open noisily, and another girl dashed into the chamber. "Lady Adella, please forgive my intrusion!" she cried breathlessly.
Adella slowly rose to her feet, her movements careful and precise. She turned and smiled at the girl. "It's quite all right. What is so urgent?"
"They're here." The girl said in a low voice.
In an instant Adella's eyes sharpened and narrowed, her warm demeanor gone. "Leave me, all of you," she said. The two girls at her side stood and left without a word. The third girl spared Adella a worried glance before following them out.
Adella passed the time she had to herself in silent prayer, though now she remained on her feet. She softly exhaled and steeled herself for what was to come. The quiet didn't last long; the doors swung open wide again, this time striking the walls with a loud thud. Another woman, the youngest one yet, entered.
Her youthful appearance clashed with the coldness in her eyes. From her long silky hair to her soft facial features and voluptuous figure, it was easy to call the woman beautiful, but, there was something off-putting and unnatural about her allure. She was shorter and thinner than Adella, but held herself in a haughtier standing. She was smiling at Adella, but her smile didn't reach her eyes. "I don't need to have my way shown by humans."
Despite the address, Adella smiled and made a slight bow. "We of the Third Generation are ever pleased to receive you. What brings the Second Generation here?"
"You grovel well enough," said the other woman. She crossed her arms and continued to smirk at Adella. "Perhaps the rest of the Twelve Sides should be shown what their Mother is like when she meets her superiors?"
Adella closed her eyes, and continued to return her guest's smile. "Indeed, some of those children are entirely too arrogant. It could be a good lesson in respect for them."
The other woman frowned and let her arms drop to her sides. "I've been to see the Six Fathers today. I suspect the Third Generation may not know who they are?"
"Oh, there is no need to worry. We know very well of the six great ones," said Adella.
The other woman's eyes narrowed. "I have orders for you, and a chance to make the Third Generation useful at last. You're to move, all of you."
This was the bombshell the woman had been waiting for, the blow that finally cracked Adella's careful emotional control. She gasped and stared wide-eyed at her guest. "The entire Third Generation is to move?" she whispered.
The other woman stared directly into Adella's eyes. "Yes, including the Twelve Sides," she said. She paused and grinned again at Adella. "By all means, gather your children. Just don't disappoint us, 'mother'."
Adella nodded numbly. "What are our orders?"
The woman from the Second Generation spent a brief time telling Adella what she was to do, and left without another word. Though the meeting was brief, Adella was left in stunned silence for some time after it was over.
Orders to move out!
A meeting of the Twelve Sides!
A red-headed young woman watched the growing city beneath her as she ran her fingers along the rain-smeared window of the airplane. It was already long past nightfall, so few people still had their blinds open. Even under the rain and clouds, the sea of twinkling lights that was the Seattle skyline was an impressive sight. Taking a closer look at the Space Needle in particular, the girl wondered if she would have a chance to see it closer.
She reclined her chair, grateful for the chance to relax - it was one of the only good things about long air travel. She was one of the few people still awake at that hour, but she could use some sleep. Just as she had settled back and was about to nod off, she heard the buzz of the intercom. As fate would have it, it was at that moment that the passengers were told to put their seats in the upright position.
Fairly typical. She had just finished putting down an uprising in South America, and now she had been ordered out to Seattle by her brother. Normally she might have been able to put it off for a day or two, but the order had come down directly from Adella, leaving her with no choice but to comply immediately. She couldn't properly rest aboard the plane, and the minute she landed - utterly jet-lagged - she'd have to attend her first full meeting as a member of the Twelve Sides.
At that moment, Meryl Brandon was sure she'd be feeling sore in the morning.
Meryl was a relatively tall young woman with a body like a rail line - thin but firm and strong. Her green eyes were currently slightly sunken from her tiredness, and her red hair was pulled into a messy ponytail.
The rest of the flight went without incident, and the plane went through the slow and familiar landing procedures.
Roughly half an hour later, Meryl wandered into the central lobby of Sea-Tac international airport, her sparse take-on bag clutched in hand. She pushed past the crowd carefully, trying not to harm anyone. Once she got out into a more open space, she began looking around tiredly, wondering which way she was supposed to go. Usually somebody from the Third Generation would wait to meet a member of the Twelve Sides when they were due to arrive somewhere. She only hoped she wouldn't have to wait very long for her pickup.
She paused when she found the individual dispatched to find her, and broke into a wide grin despite her tiredness. Aaron. Aaron was a large, dark-skinned young man, his black hair in a shoulder length ponytail and his eyes covered in a black blindfold. His large size and stoic expression might have seemed frightening to others, but Meryl knew from experience that he had a warm heart. His stoic expression was betrayed by a small smile when Meryl called his name.
"I wasn't expecting you to greet me, big guy," said Meryl. She rushed over to him slapped him on the arm (thought gently, because it felt like hitting a rock).
"It's always nice to hear your voice, Meryl," Aaron said. Meryl giggled and nodded.
The pair walked over to the conveyor that would be dispensing the rest of Meryl's belongings shortly.
"Busy as always?" asked Aaron.
Meryl groaned and rubbed her eyes. "At least it's not as bad as that time last summer."
"Bad times," Aaron muttered as he shook his head slowly.
"Well we probably wouldn't be friends if not for that," said Meryl.
Aaron chuckled and patted Meryl softly on the shoulder. "That's true."
"So what are you doing in Seattle?" asked Meryl.
"Probably the same thing as you," Aaron said with a shrug. "Heng suddenly demanded I head alone to Seattle, right in the middle of hunting a vampire halfway across China!"
Meryl narrowed her eyes at the conveyor belt. "Aiden and Adella wanted me specifically to come here, too."
"I guess Aiden must have been talking with the Old Man," said Aaron. "Something big must be happening."
Meryl sighed and rubbed her eyes again. "It might have to do with that incident with the Volturi last winter," she mumbled. Aaron was right, but it was too late in the night for her to have to puzzle out mysteries. "I don't know, I suppose Mother will explain it at the meeting."
Aaron nodded and rubbed his chin. "Actually, I could swear I've felt Arshaka and Lelu hiding in the shadows all day, following me," he added, rubbing the back of his neck.
Meryl felt a jolt shoot through her body, and hastily turned towards Aaron. "Wait, them too? They're practically sending half of the Twelve Sides out to Seattle?"
Aaron shrugged again. "Like I said, I only suspect it. Their feeling is distinct, just being around them makes my hair stand on end."
Meryl shuddered. She had only ever heard of Arshaka and Lelu, the Black Sage and Disciple, and didn't know what to make of them. Aaron wasn't one to spook easily.
While she was in the middle of her thoughts, her baggage rolled down the belt. Aaron had to give Meryl a gentle shake to get her to notice it. Setting aside her concerns, Meryl hauled her belongings off of the belt and out of the airport lobby.
Outside, the pair slipped into a car prepared by the Third Generation. In the back seats, Aaron and Meryl settled back and prepared to join the meeting. Meryl grinned at the sight of Aaron's screwed-up face. It came much easier for Meryl, but the process of entering a meeting was still awkward even for her. She gave a deep breath and tried to set herself at ease. The feeling of separating her mind and body felt strange and made her stomach writhe. It made her feel terribly exposed.
A few minutes later, the waves of color over her eyelids indicated that she had succeeded. She opened her eyes and found herself looking upon something very unlike the back of the cars she had been in.
Meryl nearly jumped in surprise when her arrival was announced, "The Twelve Sides recognizes Red Disciple Meryl Brandon."
Meryl shivered in her seat. Somehow, hearing it said like that made it sound official, like that she was an equal to the others there.
The room Meryl was in was circular, made of tan stone, and had only one door in or out. At the left side of that door were two chairs, only one of which was occupied. In the occupied chair sat the silhouette of a man. Because he was currently a silhouette of light and color, Meryl couldn't make out the details of the man's appearance. She didn't have to look down at herself to know she looked the same - it was the mark of the projections they used to hold meetings. Although she couldn't full see him, Meryl knew the man was Sabal Sarin, the White Disciple.
The two chairs were at two o'clock in the room, and between them was white carpeting, contrasting the dull stone elsewhere. Next to the white set of chairs were two more chairs, with blue carpeting between. Once more, only one chair was occupied. The man there was the Blue Disciple, Sergei Chirkoff.
Sets of chairs with carpets between them circled around the remainder of the room, with a black set to the left of the door, at ten o'clock. The other three sets were colored red, yellow and green. The green set was completely empty, and only one person sat at the yellow set. It was the Yellow Sage, Guan Heng.
The Black set was fully occupied by a slight-looking feminine figure on the inner side and what seemed to be a bulky man on the outer side. Next to Meryl sat a man, Aiden Brandon, Meryl's older brother and the Red Sage.
Aiden saw Meryl shivering and leaned close. "Take it easy," he whispered.
"I'll try," said Meryl.
Seconds later, Aaron appeared in his own chair amongst the yellow set.
"The Twelve Sides recognizes Yellow Disciple Aaron Williams," said Sabal.
"You took your time, pup," said Heng. His voice was raspy with age.
"I'm sorry, that's actually my fault," said Meryl. "My plane ended up arriving later than expected. I hope that didn't cause any trouble." The heads of the black side turned to look at Meryl, making her wish she hadn't spoken up.
Shrill laughter erupted from the feminine black figure. "No need to worry, Meryl. You weren't the last to arrive anyways."
Meryl suppressed a shudder and simply sat back, hoping to avoid undue attention. The girl was Lelu Durand, the Black Disciple. Fortunately, Lelu and her mentor began to talk to each other in a whisper, and Meryl was spared their attention. Silence reigned for a while after that, and Meryl tried to make herself comfortable, but this only resulted in her fidgeting in her chair.
"I forgot, this is your first full meeting isn't it?" asked Aiden.
"Yes, I'm a little nervous," said Meryl. "I feel out of my league in the Twelve Sides."
Meryl couldn't be sure, but she felt that Aiden was giving her a reassuring grin. "Don't worry. You wouldn't have received your position unless Mom and I believed you've earned it," he said.
Just after Aiden stopped talking, two figures appeared in the green seats. One was a rather thin and short woman. The other was somewhat broad and sat in a sort of loose slumped position.
"The Twelve Sides recognizes Green Sage Mafuane and Green Disciple Kim Eun-mi."
"I'm sorry that we were late," said Eun-mi.
Mafuane sat back and said nothing, as if she were bored with the proceedings.
"Managed to wake your mistress this time?" asked Heng.
"I, personally, am impressed to see Eun-mi's dedication to ensuring we could all meet together," the Black Sage, Arshaka, spoke up.
Shortly afterwards, another figure appeared to fill the empty blue seat. It was another woman. She leaned in forward and looked a little small in her chair. The woman's uncertain posture starkly contrasted Sergei, who sat comfortably in his own seat.
"The Twelve Sides recognizes Blue Sage Huihana Moon."
"S-so sorry everyone, I couldn't find somewhere to concentrate! I had to look around for somewhere properly secluded, and then I wasn't having any luck and that's why I'm late! I-I... I'm sorry," said Huihana. Her head swiveled left and right, and then she slumped down further in her seat.
Meryl stared at her, wide-eyed. "She's even jumpier than me."
Aiden chuckled. "She hasn't been the Blue Sage for much longer than you've been in the Twelve Sides. Some of the others claim that Sergei is the brains behind the pair."
"That's kinda mean," said Meryl.
"Don't worry. Those of us who know better believe that Huihana will be fine with time," said Aiden.
Sabal stood. "All are present. The Twelve Sides now recognizes White Sage Adella Allington."
This time, a flesh-and-blood figure walked into the room and moved to take the remaining seat. Meryl gasped at the demeanor and poise in Adella's flowing purposeful strides and in her piercing gaze.
"She's striking, isn't she?" Aidenasked. Meryl could only nod.
Aiden turned back to look at Adella. "It's why we follow her. She has this unusual aura, she makes you think anything is possible."
Adella settled herself into her seat and looked out upon the other eleven individuals. "Thank you for coming on such short notice. I understand that all here work very hard to see our goals accomplished. I must thank you for your determination, and ask that you continue your vigilance."
Most of the other members fell into a palpable hush, but Arshaka leaned forward, laughing very quietly to himself. Meryl only barely heard it, despite sitting close to him. "I'm quite glad to see all of us together. It makes me so happy I could cry," he said. Meryl had a strong hunch that he was smirking, wherever he was.
"Enough, Arshaka," said Sergei.
"I have to agree with Arshaka. This is all very unusual," said Heng. "For what purpose were we called together?"
Adella sighed and closed her eyes. "I met with a messenger of the Second Generation five days ago." Adella paused, and swept her eyes across the other eleven individuals. "The entire Third Generation has orders to move out," she said. Her words stirred up an immediate commotion.
"All of us? Together?" Huihana asked. She looked around at the others again, as if expecting an answer. "Is that even done?"
"Never!" cried Eun-mi. "If we all go to one place, it'll leave the rest of the world vulnerable to the vampires!"
Arshaka laughed, the first bit of genuine amusement from him. "The Second Generation has gone mad!" he exclaimed.
Lelu laughed as well. "They must dearly want a coven destroyed," she said.
Aaron nodded and folded his arms. "Lelu's right. Who pissed off the Second Generation that badly?" he asked.
Aiden stirred and glared at Aaron. Meryl glanced at her brother, realizing only then that he, Mafuane and Heng alone had remained calm. "We all know exactly what coven we'd dearly love to see eliminated," said Aiden.
Aaron and the rest turned to look at him, and a hush fell on the assembled individuals as Aiden's words sunk in.
"We're finally doing it? We're going to attack the Volturi?" Sergei finally asked, speaking for most of those there.
"I never imagined it in my time," murmured Heng.
"Nor mine," said Adella. In that moment, it seemed to Meryl that Adella looked weary. There was a tired depth to her eyes, but it vanished quickly. "A recent incident has shaken the vampires, and the Volturi with them."
"That's the gathering of the vampires that happened late last year, right?" asked Eun-mi.
Huihana gave a start and looked at Eun-mi. "Excuse me, but I haven't heard of any incident at all! Sergei and I were busy containing a really bizarre uprising in Italy of all places."
"Yeah, that uprising has some relation to the incident we're talking about," Aiden said offhandedly. "You see, during the early winter of last year, the Volturi suddenly moved out from Volterra. From there spent some time meandering across Asia and Europe, gathering a number of small vampire covens. Meryl and I were involved with that incident."
"Around that time, the Olympic Coven started gathering a lot of vampires of their own," Meryl said, pleased to have something to contribute to the meeting. "We only became aware of it when the incident was nearing its boiling point. By then there were way too many vampires gathered there to risk any action unless we were to bring the entire Third Generation together."
Sergei practically leaped to his feet. "So we did nothing while vampires ran amok across the United States, slaughtering innocent people?" The collected members turned to stare at him.
"There's not that many of us in the Third Generation, and we have a whole world to watch out for," snapped Eun-mi. "It's lucky enough when we get word of uprisings in a matter of days after the body count begins to rise, and luckier still if any of the Twelve Sides are anywhere near the area in question when do learn of it."
"There's too few of us in the Order at all," murmured Heng.
Adella rapped a single note on the arm of her chair. Her eyes remained closed as the rest of the Twelve Sides turned their attention back to her. "The important point of it all is that this Olympic Coven did something to provoke the Volturi, and a confrontation followed," she said. "We were ordered to investigate whatever they did to lure the Volturi from their safe places in Volterra."
"What a shame. The Volturi found themselves challenged and tried, but not one of the monsters died," said Lelu.
"Damn," muttered Aaron.
"Aiden and I were able to contain the situation after it ended," Meryl spoke up. "We managed to slay a couple of the vampires that the Olympians and the Volturi called upon, but that's all. The vampires were able to reach a diplomatic end to their confrontation."
"What a disappointment. It would have been better if they just slaughtered each other," said Sergei.
"Excuse me, but I - I have a question," said Huihana. "I thought the Volturi were restraining the vampires? Isn't that what we do? Why - why are we trying to slay them?"
"Because the Volturi restrain vampires for the sake of vampires," said Heng. "We slay vampires for the sake of Humanity. Our goals are similar, not identical."
"I have a question of my own. Who are these Olympians that provoked the Volturi?" asked Eun-mi
Aaron laughed humorlessly. "They're a family of seven vampires living near a nowhere town called Forks in northwestern Washington state," he said. He paused for a moment. "Well, they supposedly moved to California a little under two years ago, but I guess they came back since then. They're a bunch of standoffish snobs called the Cullens that survive off animal blood."
"Vampires with conscience?" Arshaka asked, chuckling.
Eun-mi sighed. "That makes our work more complicated."
"No it doesn't," said Aiden. Eun-mi turned to look at Aiden, but he said nothing.
Meryl looked at the pair for a moment, before turning her attention back to Adella. "Is that why I was ordered to Seattle?
Adella nodded and turned her attention to Meryl. Meryl quickly averted her gaze, but Adella didn't seem to notice. "Meryl, Aaron, Arshaka and Lelu are already on-site in Seattle. They will begin the initial investigation," she said. "Aiden and Heng, you both are to join them," she added, glancing at the Red and Yellow sages in turn.
She turned her gaze to the Blue and Green set of seats. "Mafuane, Eun-mi, Huihana, and Sergei. The four of you are to report to our holding in Los Angeles. Sabal and I will be there ourselves before long."
"Do we have any other specific orders?" asked Aiden.
"For now, I only want you to investigate this coven and learn what they did to provoke the Vulturi. Once we've learned more, we'll plan for our next move," said Adella.
She looked around the room, at each of the other eleven members. "If there are no other points of interest that any of you would like to bring up, then I will conclude this meeting," she said. A short pause, nobody spoke. Adella nodded and rose from her chair. "Then this meeting of the Twelve Sides is complete. Do your duty, prove the worth of the Third Generation. We will meet again."
Meryl came to her senses back in her own body, at the back of the Order-owned car that was pulling up to the Westin Seattle. Meryl looked up at the massive towers that comprised the hotel; the better to distract herself from her reeling thoughts.
"Fancy hotel," she murmured. "Who chose this out?"
Aaron was looking at it without actually registering the sight. "Somebody from the Third Generation booked it ahead of us. I guess it could've been Arshaka, but I'm not gonna bother wondering where he got the money."
Meryl sighed as she stepped out of the car and stretched her sore arms and legs. "We're gonna be busy."
Aaron patted Meryl on the shoulder as he walked past her. "Yup," he said. He paused on his way in. "Still, it's great working with you, Meryl," he added, turning to smile at her.
Despite her confusion and tiredness, Meryl smiled back. "In that case, carry my bags for me!" she called after him.
Aaron scowled as she held out the bags for him. "You're more than strong enough to carry them," he grumbled, but he took them just the same.
Meryl sighed again, rubbed her arms and shoulders, and looked idly northward as she wondered what their investigation would turn up.
Okay, so I fooled you all; chapter 1 just introduces the OC's, haha XD
Don't worry, we'll be seeing the vamps next chapter.
People used to reading my work understand that I update only on Friday, so keep an eye out then for updates! I'll still be doing my main fic (This one is, in fact, currently finished and needs no more time spent on my part, so there :D )
Like I said before, please review and critique my work. See yas.