Chapter 17 – Alliance
You know, this chapter is supposed to be a biggie in relation to the plot. I find it to be incredibly boring, and really just a(nother) chapter to talk about how rich as fuck the Cullens are, and how awesome the Cullens are, and how the Cullens can do everything.
Bella is about to walk through the door of the Cullens’ house when Wardo comes leaping up next to her like Legolas and once again tenderly crushes Bella against his side before swooping in and kissing her—and that’s crushing too. It’s described as urgent and all that, except I don’t know how that’s possible—their kissing is all the same. Nice, nondescript, and chastely Mormon. But, anyway, Bella quickly tells us all about how THIS kiss obviously means that Wardo is thinking that they “only had so much time left to [them]”, and then immediately forgets about that because she’s gotta put on a façade for the party—bullshit! When has she EVER been falsely pleasant for the sake of guests?!
So, Bella tries to go in, and Wardo tries to be reassuring about how he’s gonna keep her safe—probably by wrapping her in cotton and burying her in his backyard—and she yet again tries to make us believe she is selfless by talking about how she’s not worried about herself, only about Wardo there, and he, as always, falls for it. Then he opens the door, “keeping his arm securely around [her] waist”, because that’s how you guarantee someone’s safety. Just attach yourself to them like a big, giant leech. Oh, wait—I can’t call them that, Bella might give me the Mary Sue Death Glare.
Anyway. Bella looks inside and it turns out Alice has turned the Cullens’ house into a nightclub. Apparently, it’s “the kind that didn’t often exist in real life, only on TV”. That’s telling, don’t you think, Miz Self-Insertion Wish-Fulfillment Meyer? Alice is fiddling with speakers, and when they come in, she hollers at Wardo. Here is their conversation.
"Edward!" Alice called from beside a gigantic speaker. "I need your advice." She gestured toward a towering stack of CDs. "Should we give them familiar and comforting? Or" —she gestured to a different pile— "educate their taste in music?"
"Keep it comforting," Edward recommended. "You can only lead the horse to water."
Need I remind these people that they listen to Linkin Park and Muse and all those “familiar and comforting” bands as well? I think we can all just have it understood that they are ostensibly throwing this party for the school, which is ostensibly just a cover because it’s ostensibly a party strictly for Bella, but the reality is that it’s strictly to give a last huzzah—they’re not going to be seen by the town much after this, so they are leaving on a big note of reminding everybody how much better they are and how far beneath them all the plebes of Forks are.
Anyway, Alice is wearing “a sequined tank top and red leather pants”. She found it in JC Penny’s “Look At Me!” Hooker Wear section. Alice whines that she’s underdressed—she’s perky, you see—and Wardo tells us all about how no one is gonna miss out on this party because: “They’re all dying to see the inside of the reclusive Cullens’ mystery house.”
Blending in? Not calling attention to yourselves? Trying to masquerade as humans?
Nonsense! Why do that when you can be smug about the fact that everybody wants to be you and wants to know what you’re all about?
Oh, and just to add a cherry of disgust to that sundae of pompous, Bella whines.
Meanwhile, Wardo refuses to let her go, because somehow, his logic lets him believe that keeping her safe means not letting her out of his grip EVER. They chat in a summarized paragraph with Carlisle, who says that they don’t have any help at all with regards to the showdown that’s coming up with Victoria (who they still don’t know is behind all this—yeah, that’s what I said). It’s basically the Cullens versus the newborns, and Jasper doesn’t like it—not the killing part, anyway. Just the fact that he’s outnumbered. Important thing to remember.
By the way, this whole part? It’s supposed to be tense and frightening because oh no, we know what’s happening, and later on we find out that the evil vampires are coming, it’s supposed to instill us with a sense of dread and urgency, but…it doesn’t. Her writing is so poor from all directions that it just doesn’t. From the overall plotting and pacing—how are we supposed to think things are serious if they’re partying and crap?—to even the simplest syntax choices: “"Fabulous," I moaned.” Yeah, that sounds real anxious. I can tell she’s terrified for their safety.
Anyway. Bella declares that she’s not just going to sit down in Forks while they are off fighting in Seattle—no, she’d rather be up with them and in the way and distracting Wardo. That clearly shows that you care. But, before we can talk much about that, the guests start arriving. Our perfect Cullens start up their perfect lying, and the friends turn out to be some familiar faces, along with a bunch of people that Bella refers to by name but that we have NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN OUR LIVES. That is very bad form—you can’t just start throwing random names around with absolutely no reference to how Bella knows them. Oh, you can say that she knows them because Forks High is so small, but dude—does she pay any attention to any people except the obligatory human characters we’ve already heard about and the Cullen family? NO. So this fails on a whole lot of levels and I’m left completely confused. But Meyer doesn’t stop—more people we don’t know start showing up as well.
Suddenly, Meyer froze, her fingers still over the keyboard. “Oh my heck!” she exclaimed. “With all this love triangle stuff I’ve been putting into my book, I’ve forgotten to mention how the entire town of Forks revolves around Bella—and this is her graduation party! I won’t have much of a chance to do this again!”
And so she put this in.
Though the party had been billed as a joint event for Alice, Edward, and me, there was no denying that I was the most popular target for congratulations and thanks. Maybe because the Cullens looked just slightly wrong under Alice's party lights. Maybe because those lights left the room dim and mysterious. Not an atmosphere to make your average human feel relaxed when standing next to someone like Emmett. I saw Emmett grin at Mike over the food table, the red lights gleaming off his teeth, and watched Mike take an automatic step back.
Probably Alice had done this on purpose, to force me into the center of attention—a place she thought I should enjoy more. She was forever trying to make me be human the way she thought humans should be.
Maybe it’s because you’re a Mary Sue, Bella. Ever think of that? I mean, for one, none of these people ever really talk to the Cullens, because you’re the only human they’ve ever deemed worthy of their time because they consider you attractive enough to join their clan. No, it is not because the Cullens are vampires and humans instinctually shy away—because nobody ever does that in your books. Ever. I mean, if they did that, you wouldn’t have any fun at all when you finally get to be a sparkly vampire. And the comment about Alice trying to make you act like she thinks a human should?
A) Alice supposedly has no memory of being human. YET SHE ACTS JUST LIKE A HUMAN.
B) A spoiled brat human who wants to be at the center of attention at all times. Just like you, Bella. Oh, you’ll whine and moan about it, but we’ve seen you when you aren’t the center of attention. You hate it. So, really, Alice is just complying with your deepest desires. But you’re such an ungrateful harpy, you’ll never thank her for her efforts.
So the party is described in flowery prose made to best emphasize on how awesome the Cullens are, and how these stupid small-town hicks have OBVIOUSLY never seen anything like this before, because there is no way somebody could throw a party like this. The small town putdowns are starting to grate on me. I am from a small town. I was not absolutely stunned the first time I saw party lights.
Bella circles the room, taking a few moments to pointlessly badmouth Jessica to the audience (that’s starting to grate on me, too, Meyer; yes, we know, you hate all blondes because they are the mean girls, so you wrote them as airheaded, babbling nitwits and Scary Sues in your story, WE GET IT), and tells us this little tidbit about Wardo:
Edward was at my side—still refusing to let go of me. He kept one hand securely at my waist, pulling me closer now and then in response to thoughts I probably didn’t want to hear.
Amazing—he’s got her so conditioned that she says what he wants is what she wants, rather than saying “thoughts he didn’t want her to hear”. And what thoughts are these, exactly? Considering Wardo wishes to violently murder and bathe in the blood of anyone who so much thinks, “You’re pretty,” I hardly think you don’t want to hear them. I mean, you do nothing but whine about how ugly you are, and Wardo has to consistently remind you that the entire male population of Forks either wants to bone you or thinks you look nice.
And it’s still creepy, how he does that.
Bella immediately gets suspicious when Wardo leaves her side, and Bella tells us all about how she’s ignoring Jessica—how many times are you going to tell us you’re ignoring Jessica? This is four times now. The one thing you actually haven’t done is actively listen to her. Bella sees where Wardo went—he’s chatting with Alice, who has had a vision, apparently, and this one’s a doozy. Bella rudely dismisses Jessica and takes the time to tell us that she really doesn’t care if she hurt her feelings or not. Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen. The sensitive, selfless, “I put others’ feelings before my own” girl that Wardo is always telling us about in Midnight Sun.
Bella quickly gets to Alice and asks what she Saw. Meyer ups her word count a little by adding on this pointless little sentence: “My hands were clutched in front of me—begging.” Yeah, that was so much better than just saying, “I begged.” And then Wardo hides under the stairs. Seriously.
The doorbell rings—Alice didn’t See that coming, so that means there are werewolves. Alice whines about it, because gawd, werewolves don’t belong at a party like this. Bella whines with her, and Alice tells her to take care of the situation before zipping off to talk to Carlisle. Wardo is still hiding under the stairs. So…he’ll hover over her and keep her in the restraints that are his arms in the face of guys who think the occasional stray thought about how nice Bella looks, but when the guy who actually sexually assaults her shows up, he hides under the stairs. Anybody else see something wrong with this picture? *shakes head*
Bella resolves not to answer the door, and instead just kind of stands in place, looking for Alice. You could MOVE AROUND, Bella, that’s an idea. She hears me, and starts towards the stairs. But then we find out that Jacob pretty much just barged in. He’s with his cronies, Quil and Embry. Yeah, good—bring the pedo, Jacob. Good effort in trying to make yourself look better. “Yeah, I tongue-raped her, but this guy’s a pedo!” The other two are notably afraid, but Jacob’s yet again an arrogant douche. *grits teeth* Bella dismisses him (and for once I support her) before going back to find Alice. So Jacob does this.
He came out of nowhere, his hand on my shoulder pulling me back toward the shadow by the kitchen. I ducked under his grip, but he grabbed my good wrist and yanked me from the crowd.
*kicks him into the room*
*STORMS OFF TO DESTROY DOWNTOWN TOKYO*
Sands: *rubs his butt irritably* Goddammit. *eases himself into his usual chair* I have a feeling that she’s pretty much gonna do that any time Jacob shows up. So…get used to this, children. *pours himself some tequila and settles in with his pibil*
Jerkoff manhandles Bella, it sounds like he’s dragging her off into the shadows so no one can see them, and she just takes it; her only response is to get petulant and petty and pouty. We hardly expected anything less. We all caught up now? How nice.
Bella continues to be pithy, reminding Jerkoff that she thought she’d made it clear that she didn’t want him here when she punched him. She’s saying this to a guy that thinks her struggles and protests against him kissing her and forcing his tongue down her throat are her responding positively. He counters her by saying he’s got a present. She says to return it. He says he can’t, because he made it and he goes on about how long it took him to make it, and then whines that she’s not paying attention to him. I do wonder if rapists do this with their victims. “Come on! Don’t call the cops! Look—I bought you a gift voucher to Victoria’s Secrets! You can buy some sexy panties—because I must say, the ones I ripped off you and kept as a trophy were really bland.”
Jerkoff decides to fondle her some more, and she actually stands up for herself a bit and tells him to back off. He pretends to be contrite—I say “pretends”, because he says that he guesses he “deluded [himself] into thinking [she] wanted [him] to”, but I know for a fact that later on he’s saying the exact same things he was saying before, about how she wanted it and how she really loves him. And if you don’t think that’s proof, one sentence later, he gets pithy when Bella doesn’t immediately fawn all over his apology by saying, “Be nice. You could accept my apology, you know.”
Here, I’ll reply for you, Bella. Mervin does those ficcy things—I’ll try it out, too. *clears throat*
“I could. I could do a lot of things. But I think I’ll go ahead and add that suggestion of yours to the ‘don’t’ list. Now I know it’ll be difficult, but I’m gonna risk over-taxing what few brain cells you have by making you understand me—we are not friends. I don’t want to see you anymore, I want you to stay away from me, and I couldn’t care less about your stupid fucking gift. I don’t like being friends with people who force themselves on me and then try to defend themselves by not only saying my skirt was too short, but that I was just playing coy when I protested. You broke my fucking hand and then blamed it on me—lemme guess, if I hadn’t struggled, it wouldn’t have hurt, right? Well, by that same logic, if I had a few of my vampire friends hold you down and I sodomized you with a baseball bat, I could blame you if it hurt, couldn’t I? I mean, if you hadn’t have struggled and just would’ve relaxed, you might have actually enjoyed it at little! And you clearly wanted it—look at the way you run around on all fours all the time! Your ass was just asking for it!”
*smokes a cigarette* All me, folks. But you all know you want her to say it.
Bella tersely accepts the apology, like a good little woman, and then tries to bug out again. So Jerkoff decides that, obviously, physical coercion isn’t gonna work. Assaulting her just made her mad—so let’s do a little emotional manipulation!
"Okay," he mumbled, and his voice was so different from before that I stopped searching for Alice and scrutinized his face. He was staring at the floor, hiding his eyes. His lower lip jutted out just a little bit. "I guess you'd rather be with your real friends," he said in the same defeated tone. "I get it."
I groaned. "Aw, Jake, you know that’s not fair."
"You should." I leaned forward, peering up, trying to look into his eyes. He looked up then, over my head, avoiding my gaze.
He refused to look at me.
"Hey, you said you made me something, right?" I asked. "Was that just talk? Where’s my present?" My attempt to fake enthusiasm was pretty sad, but it worked. He rolled his eyes and then grimaced at me. I kept up the lame pretense, holding my hand open in front of me. "I'm waiting."
Doesn’t matter if it’s about on par with a sulking second grader—it still works like a charm. Say, if I were to go out and rape me some people, do you think they’d let me do it again if I gave them Bambi eyes? And don’t any of you bitches DARE SAY A WORD.
Jerkoff gives her a little woven bag. He’s a redskin, you see—they do that. Bella is incapable of opening the bag, because she’s an idiot, so Jerkoff does it for her and out falls a charm bracelet. It turns out to be a “miniature wolf” and “was even carved out of some red-brown wood that matched the color of his skin”. So, he gave her a little tiny picture of himself. Again—do rapists often do this? “Here, have a picture of me—don’t wanna forget those good times, right?” *listens further* Apparently they do. Because Jerkoff says, “I figured that maybe it would make you remember me once in a while. You know how it is, out of sight, out of mind.” I gotta remember this next time I go out raping. It’ll come in handy—I never knew there was such complex etiquette for the situation.
Jerkoff helps her put it on, and Bella promises to wear it always. She then forgets about Jerkoff and goes back to looking for Wardo and Alice. Great—Mervin saddles me with another chapter that features that fucking bitch. Jerkoff knows she’s distracted and demands to know what’s going on, citing that the wolves have a right to know. She says that she’s not really sure herself, and they deduce that Alice had a vision about something big. He summons his cronies, and how nice, they are pretty much scaring Bella into telling them the truth. I say good on them—she lies if you don’t force her into telling the truth, after all. Unfortunately, before she can tell anything, here comes Alice, who goes from sadface to bitchface when she sees the werewolves. Alice tries to get Bella away from them, but they quickly demand to know what is going on and prevent them from leaving.
Unexpected Jasper is unexpected, making it clear that he’ll pretty much tear everybody apart for daring to demand what kind of vampire business is going on in their territory. And that’s his property you’re messing with! Bella tries to smooth the situation over, and of course, they ignore her—she’s not only a stupid female, but she’s also a human. That’s two X’s against you, and they don’t just mean your chromosomes. Bella finally demands to know what Alice Saw.
And you know, I was supposed to be in suspense, what with Meyer dragging it out and all. Except I wasn’t, because we were all busy gushing over what a lovely little charm bracelet Jerkoff had made.
Alice informs everyone involved (after deigning the werewolves worthy to hear this news) that the vampire army is coming to Forks and that they are carrying Bella’s red shirt like a little flag on their way. So Victoria risked the wrath of the Voles strictly so she could kill one stinkin’ human. These people have no idea what subterfuge and scheming are, do they? We also learn that “Jasper’s expression was disapproving”, because apparently “he didn’t like discussing this in front of the werewolves”.
‘Scuse me. Assburger, you are only living in Forks because those werewolves gave you fucking permission. For one who’s always calling the werewolves dogs, you sure do like biting the hand that feeds you.
Jasper informs us that there aren’t enough Cullens to protect the town, so they have to keep them from getting to Forks and meet them halfway. But Alice kills that buzz by saying there just aren’t enough period, and that they’ll still come for Forks looking for Bella bacon. Does she smell That Good, or somethin’?
Mervin: *looks up from destroying a building* YES.
Sands: Oh, yeah. Forgot. Moving on.
Things turn purple on us as Bella goes Drama Queen:
The noise of the party overwhelmed the sound of my denial. All around us, my friends and neighbors and petty enemies ate and laughed and swayed to the music, oblivious to the fact that they were about to face horror, danger, maybe death. Because of me.
I thought it was established you had no friends. Neighbors, yeah. And I don’t really get the bit about the “petty enemies”. More than likely, she’s just calling the any enemies she has petty. I mean, she certainly isn’t, or anything. And anyone who dares not like her is clearly petty.
"Alice," I mouthed her name. "I have to go, I have to get away from here."
"That won't help. It's not like we're dealing with a tracker. They'll still come looking here first."
"Then I have to go to meet them!" If my voice hadn't been so hoarse and strained, it might have been a shriek. "If they find what they're looking for, maybe they'll go away and not hurt anyone else!"
Uh-huh. Like Wardo would permit that. It ain’t no sacrifice or selfless act when you know there are people who can and will forcibly restrain you from doing it. Eat it.
Jerkoff reminds us of his presence and demands to know what’s going on. Alice, of course, is totally bitchy to him and says that there are lots of vampires coming to Forks so they can feast upon Bella’s blood, because the both the human and vampire worlds revolve around her. The following exchange happens between Jerkoff and Assburger.
"There are too many for you?" he asked.
Jasper bridled. "We have a few advantages, dog. It will be an even fight."
1) I tend to think “bristled” would sound a lot better there.
2) That was a legitimate question, Assburger. He wasn’t being derogatory. He wasn’t insulting your tiny whipper. No need to get all butthurt and racist.
3) YOU JUST SAID UP THERE LESS THAN A PAGE AGO THAT THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH OF YOU, YOU CONEHEAD.
4) If it’s an even match, why would the Cullens not be able to contain and kill the newborns?
I suppose triumphant music was swelling in Meyer’s head when she wrote Jerkoff saying, “It won’t be even.” I didn’t hear it, though. This is deadly dull.
Alice is extremely pleased about this, and knows that the wolves are gonna be involved because she can’t See anything now. Jerkoff speaks the truth for once—that this is actually more of a werewolf problem than a Cullen problem, because, you know, it’s werewolf territory and the Cullens are just squatters. Alice is, naturally, a patronizing little shit to the people who just agreed to save their smug asses, saying they “aren’t going to be picky”, meaning they are rather reluctant about allowing these vampire slayers to come and save them. That is some very deeply-ingrained racism. You should go see a therapist.
Bella finally catches up with the rest of us—hey, it takes a while for her one brain cell to work—and realizes that this means the werewolves are going to be working with the Cullens.
And Bella’s immediate reaction is to be horrified and start objecting to the idea.
"You didn't honestly think you were going to keep us out of this?" Jacob asked.
"You are staying out of this!"
"Your psychic doesn't think so."
"Alice—tell them no!" I insisted. "They'll get killed!"
I’ll…wait until the end. Probably for the best.
Jerkoff and his posse laugh at her, and Alice and the werewolves go over the details while Bella pisses and moans and whines and GODFUCKINGDAMMIT, I want to shoot her. For once, I’m glad these people are pretty much just tuning her out and ignoring her. Jasper then takes over, talking about strategy and instructing the werewolves on how to kill newborns, and then throws out another racist remark about how the thought of joining up with the werewolves never really crossed his mind. Like, ever.
Like I said. You should go see a therapist about that racism.
Anyway, Jasper’s back to being excited about the prospect of killing things. So, we see that he hasn’t given up much of his old ways at all—remember, he only got tired of the vampire wars when his team started losing? Same here—he’s guaranteed to win, he’s pleased as punch and has no problems with it. Chance he might lose, is a total downer and talks about how bad it is and how he hates killing and doesn’t want to do it. Loser. Can’t walk the walk, can you? Anyway—the two groups arrange a meeting place in the forest for their little lesson in killing newborns, and then they bug out, Bella whining for them not to fight the whole time.
Uh, where was Wardo for this little exchange?
Mervin: *stomping around in the ocean to clean off* UNDER THE STAIRS.
Sands: …under the stairs. Doing…what?
Mervin: HIDING. *picks up a boat and throws it*
Sands: Well. That’s…interesting.
Anyway. As I said, I’d wait until the end. It’s the end.
Let’s analyze the situation, taking all of the writing into account.
1) Back in chapter thirteen, the very end featured a dramatic orchestra hit because oh no—there are newborns in Seattle, and the Cullens must go kill them. Except there are not enough Cullens and it is not an even match and they can’t find any help, so that means some of the Cullens will die.
2) The orchestra hit was promptly negated by the Cullens being not just blasé, but excited at the prospect of going out and killing the newborns in the very next chapter.
3) Suddenly we realized that the newborn army wasn’t meant for killing the Cullens, it was meant for killing Bella. How the hell this changed the situation when we all know every single Cullen is willing to die for Bella, I don’t know. But somehow, it did change the situation. I guess them dying for themselves is better than them dying for Bella—they’re still dying, you know.
4) In this chapter, it goes from an even match back down to an uneven match with the Cullens not being able to contain and/or kill all the newborns no matter what happens, because they are coming to Forks and, as there is no back-up, they will kill Cullens and Forksians and Bella. Dramatic orchestra hit is dramatic.
5) Two sentences later, it’s back to even. If it’s even, no newborns would slip through the cracks, but we’ll ignore that.
6) The werewolves volunteer their services and both species (pretend to) look past their racism in order to work towards a common goal—saving Bella, that is. United they stand and all that nonsense—both sides agree that the battle will be easily won so long as they stand together.
7) Bella, who has been angsting about the Cullens dying throughout this whole situation, freaks out at the idea of the werewolves joining the fight.
8) Bella demands that the werewolves not fight, because surely the
9) …thus condemning the Cullens to death because they have stated time and time again that, without any help, it’s not an even match.
I’m pretty sure Bella’s just pissed off that the werewolves completely ruined her act of selflessness by joining up. Now that she can’t offer herself up like a virgin sacrifice to the vampires and be heralded as a saint for it, she’s trying to still be selfless by asking the werewolves not to die on her behalf. As I pointed out above, it failed. But I’m confident that this superscilious bitch will find a new way to be all sacrificial.
No word from Mervin. I’ll probably see you next chapter. *crabby* Bitch.
Stinger: “"I guess you'd rather be with your real friends," he said in the same defeated tone. "I get it."”
( Chapter 18 - Instruction )