Sunday, April 29, 2012

Avenging Jessica

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[Avenging is a participle modifying Jessica, just to be clear that Jessica isn't the object here.]
[Previously: Bella's response to Edward eating Jessica]



(From Jessica's POV)
He was too strong to fight, I'd tried that, I'd failed. I'd failed so badly that any further attempts wouldn't just be hopeless, they'd be tantamount to giving up. If I wanted to live through it I'd need another strategy. So I tried playing dead. I let my body go limp and hoped he'd think his job was done.
I heard someone come into the room, my eyes open but out of focus, looking in whichever direction my head happened to hang, didn't help me know who it was. Then an infatuated, "Hi," told me all I needed to know. Mike and I had been worried about the effect Edward was having on the new girl, if her response to seeing him killing me was simply to say, 'Hi,' then clearly she was too far gone to help.
I ignored her. My thought was, basically, "Let the bastard eat her. I don't care."
The pain of him trying to answer with his fangs still within me was almost unbearable, it was all I could do to stop from crying out. Bella said something, I didn't pay attention. He pulled his fangs from me, told Bella it was nice to see her, and then sank them right back in. Bella asked if he was having a good meal, I decided that when I was elected god I would create Hell just to send her to.
Edward said that I could use more spice, the expected population of Hell doubled.
Some more pointless chitchat, and then I was falling, Edward dropped me to the ground. I was still alive*. Hopefully lovebirds wouldn't notice.
Bella stepped on me. Bastard.
Eventually they left and I was able to assess the situation. Mike was dead as dead could be. I had lost much blood, I was somewhat faint, I was fading in and out of a dreamlike state, and I was in pain that defied description. Though perhaps it didn't defy simile. It was as if someone had tried to give me a blood transfusion, in my neck, but instead of blood they'd gone with boiling water, only actual boiling water would naturally cool down as it come into contact cooler things and thermodynamics did its thing. The pain just seemed to build and build on itself, reaching new heights that seemed impossible to surpass, and then surpassing them almost immediately.
I couldn't unclench my fists and could smell the blood from where my fingernails broke the skin.
I realized that this would be a long day.
I tried to overcome the sensations using things learned from fiction, but I slipped from fandom to fandom. I started with I must not fear, mostly because I didn't know a similar thing for pain, but also because fear is the mind killer, it's the little death brings on total anniliation, you see, but then I was thinking that life is suffering, and suffering is apparently step three of the path to the dark side, so life must lead to the dark side, the inevitable destination of us all, and then I slipped into the question of the value of pain:
You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!
And my response: Screw you, Kirk. This hurts like hell.
I was able to drag myself from the room, crawling mostly on my elbows, and eventually disappear into the woods. But the pain continued for days.
And then I was a vampire.
I returned to Forks under cover of darkness. It took a few nights to figure out what had transpired in my absence. Bribes had gotten larger. There was an attempt to sweep Mikes death under the rug, but it was proving difficult as the rug could only hide so much, dust and absences from school were one thing, bodies were another question entirely.
My disappearance was being largely ignored. Which I suppose was better than, say, having me blamed for Mike's murder. Charlie Swan seemed resistant to the idea of just brushing off a dead teenager. His daughter was doing a pretty good job of manipulating him though.
Tracking Edward revealed that he spent every night in the Swan house. I briefly considered arranging things so that Charlie would discover the little murderer in his daughter's room, but that seemed more likely to work out badly for Charlie than for Edward.
Still, the Swan house was the ideal location for revenge. At any other time, in any other place, Edward was surrounded by reinforcements. His visits to Bella were solo.
I worried, though, about his sister. Three times I was sure that Alice had noticed me, but all three she seemed to decide it wasn't worth looking into.
I broke into the chemistry labs at school, and prepared my attack.
-
(From Alice's perspective)
The future isn't something you just see. It's a probability distribution, the further forward you look the more muddled things become until it's nothing but an incoherent blur, even so some things can be clear, and it's always interesting watching things come into focus.
I knew that Edward would be arriving in a panic for five hours before he did, and suspected it 37 hours in advance, but it wasn't until 23 minutes beforehand that I knew the exact timing of his panic stricken arrival.
His attitude was, as expected, notably altered from his usual smugness, but the degree to which it was different was on the outer corner of the bell curve and really a rather pleasant surprise.
He was ready to break down the door, presumably because he was in too much of a hurry to unlock it, but I opened it before he could. When he saw me he said, "Alice, you have to help me." So, still an entitled jerk, as if I have to do anything he says, but the tone of voice was sweet nectar to my ears.
"I've told you all along, Edward, actions have consequences. Sooner or later you have to take responsibility for what you've done."
He pushed passed me into the house, called out the names of the members of our family, and only got silence as a response. "Where are they?" he asked me.
"I told them that I'd looked into the future and it was vitally important that they be in Seatle tonight."
"You what?!"
"Funny thing, after I told them that, them being in Seatle went from incredibly unlikely to the most probable of all possible futures. It's amazing how much a small change can alter the course of events." Speaking of which, continuing the conversation was bringing certain outcomes into greater focus while shuffling others off the scale of probability.
"But she'll be here any moment."
"Yes, she will. Maybe you should have thought of that before you bit her."
"Alice, I need help." In fact what was needed was for him to stay just a few moments longer. Strangely, suggesting that he run made him more likely to stay. So that was what I did.
"You are faster than her. If you keep running she might never catch up. Just be aware that she'll never stop."
"There has to be a way out of this."
"You tried to kill her, Edward. Broke our treaty with the werewolves while you were at it. What did you think was going to happen?"
"Nothing! She's a nobody. Her life never mattered, why would her death?"
The future crystallized. "Well, why don't you ask her?" I said, stepping out of the way to reveal Jessica.
There wasn't a lot of space to maneuver inside the house. Edward's speed advantage didn't account for much.
I offered Jessica the blood of a grass fed bull, but she didn't want it. As expected, she was somewhat pissed off at the entire concept of murderous vampires running rampant across the face of the earth. So I gave her the plane tickets to Italy I'd acquired for her earlier, some quick pointers on how to carry out a coup, and wished her luck.
The events in Italy weren't in focus yet, but they were tending toward good.
I lit Edward's body on fire.
-
* The temptation to have Jessica quote Still Alive was strong, but she's not a time traveler and that was well after Twilight.

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3 comments:

  1. "She's a nobody. Her life never mattered"

    This is one of the classic signs of bad writing, really. Even if the story is all about "rah rah for war", nobody's death is trivial to that person.

    However... you know the old World of Darkness RPG setting? I was never much of a fan of angsty posey vampires. So if I ever run it - I'll need to gather together just the right group of players - the campaign story will be a bit different, along the lines of "they made you into blood-drinking monsters who can never see sunlight again... and they expect you to be grateful". So the PCs split their time between doing missions for their overlords and plotting the downfall of those overlords, probably by manipulating their tendencies to believe themselves more politically astute than Machiavelli.

    The reason I mention this now is that this piece is something I'd get the players to read in order to set the mood. Thanks!

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  2. I've been watching too much Revenge: the first thing I thought about when vengeance came up was "She'll need bandage dresses. Lots of them." Of course, the Emily Thorne method of disappearing for years, switching identities with a girl you met at juvie, and then turning that assumed identity into the newest member of the Hamptons socialite scene doesn't really work when the target is a mind-reading vampire.

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