Friday, April 12, 2013

Alice and the moment between the darkness and the light

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[Context is that Edward is at risk of killing Bella and in canon-Twilight no one is overly concerned about the fact that Bella would die from it, it's more about Edward's pride and inconvenience to the Cullen Clan, and such.]
"Hi Ms. Cope."
"Hello Alice. What can I do for you?"
"I just wanted to give you a heads up. I'm not going to be in school for a while, possibly permanently, you should be getting paperwork in the next few days but the short version is that members of my birth family have been located and there's some stuff going on that means I should be there in person.
"So first you're going to be getting things saying I'm skipping school, then you're going to get something asking for you to do the paperwork for me transferring to another school."
"Ok... so... uh..." Ms. Cope paused to collect her thoughts, Alice waited patiently watching as the possible futures altered in probability eventually converging into a single vision before Ms. Cope said, "I don't know where to start."
"Anywhere is fine," Alice said. The words cut off seemingly infinite possible futures but also brought those that remained into sharper focus and she was able to see as the possible futures collapsed into reality.
"I'm glad that you found your blood relatives, I know how much finding out where you came from has meant to you," Alice wished that she had really found out where she came from, that she really had located relatives, if any still lived. Still, the best lies were close to the possible truth. "But it sounds like there's been some kind of emergency."
"Oh it's nothing to worry about. Just the kind of thing that doesn't really work out over Skype. And it's kind of personal so..."
"You don't have to tell me anything more. As long as everything's ok."
"Thank you for understanding."
Edward returns, "I'm sorry I left like that, I assume Carlisle," pause as he reads their minds, "didn't fill you in."
Carlisle, "Doctor patient privilege, Edward."
"I needed some time to clear my head, and my nostrils, before I gave into bloodlust regarding one particularly fine smelling-- Where's Alice?"
"Off on one of her, 'I can't explain right now but it's important to the future,' trips," Jasper said.
Edward scanned their minds rather than asked. None of them knew whether the trip had anything to do with him and the girl with the inviting smell.
As much to prove to himself he could do it as anything, Edward attempted to be polite to the girl that had stirred up such bloodlust in him. Her mind was shielded from his abilities somehow. Was it just him or did Jasper have similar difficulties, he wondered.
As he wondered an uneasy feeling crept over him, like he was being watched, but that couldn't be. The only mind he couldn't read was one he knew was looking at him, one that he could see was looking at him, one he had no problem with it looking at him. So where was this creeping paranoid feeling coming from?
Out of range of his senses Alice carefully watched Edward through the scope of her rifle. One of the benefits of seeing the future was that she'd never needed to learn how to aim, she could see where the shot would land, adjust accordingly, and pull the trigger when she saw it landing where she wanted it to. Windage, the fact a bullet traveled in a parabolic arc rather than a straight line, the fact her target might be moving, none of these things mattered to her.
The rifle itself was something never intended for civilian hands, designed to be able to shoot through tanks it was one of the few human weapons effective against vampires without resulting in serious collateral.
Most futures ended just fine, but in some Edward indulged in his darker side. Her finger hovered near the trigger. If the delta streams of probability collapsed into one of those futures she'd make sure Edward died before anything could come of his ill intent.
Edward was, historically, very bad at taking responsibility for his actions, that gave little confidence that he could be counted on to do the right thing. So Alice was ready to make sure that he wouldn't do the wrong thing. She would hold him responsible, if need be.
And she would do it in that moment between when he passed the point of no return and when he actually acted. The twilight between the day of proper action and the night of injustice. That twilight was where Alice was forced to act. Any sooner and she'd kill someone who might yet choose the right path, any later and the damage would be done.
Alice had long since accepted that she lived her life in that twilight, but she never thought her target would be her brother, not even an adopted one.


  1. My word, someone might think that Edward wasn't the acme of masculine perfection.

    Good for Alice!

  2. Out of all the wonderful Twilight-inspired pieces you've written, I think this is the most excellent.

    Good work.

  3. I really like the depth that this adds to Alice's character without doing anything to fundamentally change her.