Chapter 25 – Mirror
Last thing this arrogant jackass needs is one of those.
So, Meyer is still incapable of saying anything remotely interesting regarding this scene—point being, she is calling Victoria’s detached head “the oval object wrapped in tendrils of shivering, fiery hair”. But, hey, why say one perfectly fine word when you can say ten stupid ones and get a higher word count and thus, by her standards, higher quality? No time for that, though, for we are quickly and immediately given this sentence with regards to Wardo: “Swift and coolly businesslike, he dismembered the headless corpse.”
People say Meyer has no talent. I disagree. I’ve never seen anyone manage to so perfectly blend complete bland disinterest in one’s own writing and pure sociopathy in my life. Or maybe that bland disinterest is the talent—by writing it sterilely and in a boring fashion, she accomplished that emotionless and completely detached manner that characterizes a classic sociopath. Because that’s what Wardo is—a complete and utter sociopath.
He is always committing or telling the audience that he will commit unspeakable acts of horror. He’s murdered countless people, has often talked about how he wishes to mutilate and torture people who even think about Bella too much, told us in loving detail all the things he wanted to do to the men who were going to rape Bella, and now, we are actually “watching” (in quotes because, you know, we didn’t and don’t see it because Meyer actually does suck on that front) Wardo kill two living creatures. And he is showing absolutely no emotion. Key point of a sociopath or a psychopath. “Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another” (link). We have never, ever seen him be remorseful. Ever. And he is constantly justifying any kind of murder he commits—he is most pleased to have Bella now, because his excuse is ALWAYS “for Bella”. Men were threatening Bella. These vampires were threatening Bella. Those boys were displeasing Bella. As such, he is perfectly justified. And the ones he committed before Bella? Well, they were bad guys. It’s fine. Threatening to murder the entire tribe at La Push? They broke the treaty, no matter how accidental. It’s perfectly legal for him to do it.
In simplified terms…
HE’S A GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING EMOTIONALLY-STUNTED PSYCHOPATH THROUGH BAD WRITING.
Hmm. It’s not a good sign if I take the two first sentences and go on for a page about them.
Our sociopath is capering and prancing, which relieves Bella. But then we hear she’s completely frozen with horror. Get used to this. Bella repeats about fifty times that Wardo won’t look at her. He also mentions to Seth that they must “get every piece” and burn it. I know it’s probably for the secrecy thing, because what would a human think if they found a piece of a Meyerpire, but, really, he makes it sound like a vampire will grow from any bit not burned. I want to plant vampires this year…
So, they burn the remains, and “it smelled like burning incense” and the smoke is like soup. Seth and Wardo then fist-pound to a job well done.
I would get back to recapping, except what follows for the next three pages is yet another favorite of Meyer’s—Wardo thinking one thing, Bella being completely stupid and not being able to understand what he thinks, and them having a huge misunderstanding with lots of heavy-handed “WHAT ON EARTH IS HE THINKING, LOOK AT HOW HE IS BEHAVING, IT IS LIKE HE THINKS THE EXACT THING HE IS THINKING AT THE MOMENT, BUT IT COULDN’T BE THAT, WHY WOULD IT BE THAT?” *buries face in hands* Dear God. How am I going to finish these last fifty pages?
Basically, Wardo thinks Bella is utterly horrified and terrified of him because he just killed another living—or “sentient”, as he puts it, except that’s not technically correct, the proper term is “sapient”—being, Bella doesn’t understand why he’s being all patronizingly calming until he all but spells it out for her because she is a complete and utter DIMBULB. And this whole scene fails on a whole lot of levels.
1) Bella is the one who’s all patronizing this time around, mocking Wardo for thinking he scared her. And yet we are constantly being told how horrified she is. Just what, exactly, is horrifying her, then? The body parts? Hardly—they’re little more than rocks.
2) Wardo seems very eager to jump to the conclusion that his girlfriend is utterly terrified of him. As such, I can only draw my own conclusions—he wants her to be scared of him.
3) Uh, Wardo? This line? “So sorry. I didn’t want you to see that. See me like that. I know I must have terrified you.” You didn’t want her to see you like that, huh? See you like a complete psychotic who enjoys killing things? Yeah, can’t let your girlfriend know that you’re a murdering bastard, right? Have to keep up the façade that you regret killing things, like you so often preach to her, parroting back some of Carlisle’s words. But don’t worry, Wardo—you don’t have to hide it. Your psychopathy is one of the things that turns her on the most.
4) Actually, it turns her on because she’s one herself. She’s snorting and eye-rolling and, in her own words, “blasé” with regards to him killing things. Maybe I should change my mind with regards to them being a horrible ship—they are obviously made for each other.
Wardo also tells us that the battle is over, and that everybody is completely fine. Yeah. We saw nothing. Doesn’t that make you feel good? Oh, and I feel the need to point out that everybody apparently had no trouble whatsoever taking on these newborns. That’s important for Breaking Dawn.
Anyway. Bella then mentions her trying to emulate the third wife without actually doing anything and, although it was only described as an exasperated sigh in the last chapter, Wardo talks about how stressed and crazy with worry it made him, all while giving her a Death Glare to put his little wimmins in her place (to which she goes willingly). She whines about how she was just trying to help, citing that Seth was in a bad way, but is quickly informed that he was faking it to fool his opponent. And, for some reason, him not being able to see her pondering using the rock to do some vague thing meant he had to “step in” and do something with Riley. Liar—you only did that so you could make sure that Bella remembered vampires rule and werewolves drool. See? He couldn’t even defeat a newborn by himself without the help of a vampire.
What’s Seth doing right now, you ask, while Wardo is putting his wimmins in her place?
We both looked at Seth, who was studiously ignoring us, watching the flames. Smugness radiated from every hair in his fur.
Do not adjust your computer screen. It really says that.
She thanks her editors at the end of every book, you know. But, then again, so does Neil, who wrote “Hogwarts ‘The Balance Of’ Exposed”.
Bella decides now is a good time to switch to bitch. She says she didn’t know, and that “it’s not easy being the only helpless person around”. Sure looks that way to me, hon—you just kind of lay there like a slug, because it’s your only defense, and everybody carries you around and you can swoon like on “Mystery!”. She then says, “Just you wait till I’m a vampire! I’m not going to be sitting on the sidelines next time.” Nice callback to New Moon, Meyer, where she revealed that she mostly wanted to be a vampire so she could intimidate and/or murder people who annoy her.
Wardo is “amused”, and we get another reminder that Bella is a very unrealistic and stupid “danger-magnet”, they mention that it’s all over, and then Meyer throws in this line: “Or… was it?”
Oh my God. That is so stupid, cliché, and DUN DUN DUN that I’m going to ignore it.
Bella suddenly remembers that Wardo, back in chapter twenty-three, mentioned something about complications. So, naturally, she first has to angst at the audience about Jerkoff and her somehow having deluded herself into thinking she’s in love with him, too, just to try and stir up a little conflict. She asks Wardo what he meant by complications (after, as she puts it, “[soldiering] on”. Don’t make me laugh, Meyer). As he doesn’t want to unnecessarily worry Bella, as she is, of course, a delicate and fragile female, he promptly launches into a huge production about it, being very obvious about it being something to definitely worry about before telling Bella not to worry her pretty little head and that they are in absolutely no danger while making it more than evident that it is indeed something highly dangerous. Thanks, Wardo.
Naturally, Wardo telling Bella not to be scared sends her spiraling right into “sudden terror”, and she wonders, “[How] much more could I handle before I collapsed?” Not much. You collapse a lot.
Well, now that Wardo feels he has appropriately built up Bella’s suspense, he quickly turns to Seth and does his favorite thing in the world—starts having a private mental conversation with him. Have I mentioned how much I hate those? Because I do. Meyer seems to be under the delusion that having Wardo read minds and keep the vital information to himself while speaking little hints of what it might actually be about is a legitimate substitute for actually trying to build some suspense. It isn’t. What Wardo is doing would be hard enough to successfully pull off once or twice—this is ten bazillionth time that Meyer has done it. No, it does not make us go, “ZOMG WHAT IS IT?” It makes us go, “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WOULD YOU JUST TELL US ALREADY, THIS IS GETTING ANNOYING!” Because this isn’t building suspense. It’s drawing it out. And when your audience already doesn’t give a shit, that’s painful. Besides, this isn’t even trying to draw it out—this is just you going, “I know something you don’t and I’m not going to tell you, but I’m going to be exceedingly annoying and drop little hints just to try and drive you insane!” Well, I’ll give her that much—it is definitely driving me insane.
The hints provided as to what’s going on are Wardo asking, “What’s she doing?” and Seth whining. One second later, Wardo spazzes right out, Seth howls like he’s getting neutered without anesthesia, and Wardo “fell to his knees at the exact same moment, gripping the sides of his head with two hands, his face furrowed in pain”. Bella, in true fashion, promptly kills any and all potential drama (not that there was any) by “[screaming] once in bewildered terror”. That just made me laugh, due to the hilarious mental images it presented. Like this, for instance.
Bella starts pawing at Wardo, but he doesn’t notice her, because he’s too busy doing this.
His eyes focused on me; with obvious effort, he pulled his clenched teeth apart.
"It's okay. We're going to be fine. It's—" He broke off, and winced again.
"What's happening?" I cried out while Seth howled in anguish.
"We're fine. We're going to be okay," Edward gasped. "Sam—help him—"
And I realized in that instant, when he said Sam's name, that he was not speaking of himself and Seth. No unseen force was attacking them. This time, the crisis was not here.
He was using the pack plural.
I’ll keep this short.
Wardo has never, ever behaved like this with regards to his telepathy. In fact, here’s an even bigger plothole for you—a werewolf with Sam’s group has obviously just been hurt and in a bad way. Wardo is feeling his mind through Seth’s mental link. So, now Meyer is spontaneously telling us all about how Wardo feels their pain. Except he didn’t react in the slightest to tearing Victoria and Riley apart. Has never reacted negatively to any of the people he’s killed, and he has apparently killed a lot.
*picks up her Scrabble board*
*folds it nicely*
*tests its weight*
*smacks Meyer in the face with it* And that is for once again patronizingly explaining everything to me!
Bella promptly falls over after that quote up there. Because Meyer loves stuff like this—
—Wardo catches her. He starts bossing Seth around for no reason, telling him to “go straight home”. And you know what? His dialogue sounds like he’s scolding a bad dog that’s followed him to school. *rubs forehead* So, off Seth goes, and Wardo crushes Bella against his side again before dashing off in another direction. Bella demands to know what happened in the clearing. Hey, bitch, you demand nothing from A Man. As such, Wardo won’t answer the question. Instead, he says that they have to get back to the clearing ASAP because the Catholics are making their merry way towards them to clean up the newborn mess. That was the complication—apparently, Alice Saw that they were coming and they were having to coordinate with the werewolves to make sure everything was all squared away before they got there.
Is that so. Pray tell, how did she See them coming IF THE FUTURE GOES BLANK WHEN THERE ARE WEREWOLVES AROUND???!!!!
That right there was the biggest insult ever to my intelligence regarding Alice’s deux ex machina. Fuck you, Meyer, right up the cornhole with your own books.
Mrs. Hyde: That was uncalled for.
Mervin: Who asked you?! *snarls*
Well, the mere mention of the Catholics sends Bella swooning. Wardo continues to run, and the trees apparently “jolted” past them. Meanwhile, a Thesaurus flies away, cackling madly at having deceived Meyer once again. Wardo starts expositing some more, telling us that the Catholics are merely coming to clean up—but they are suspiciously late with regards to their job, so he tells Bella that he thinks the Catholics waited so long with the hopes that the Cullen family would be culled. How did they know that Victoria was out to get the Cullens in the first place? Not to mention that they were willing to allow this huge risk of exposure strictly to kill some of the Cullens—particularly risking killing some of the Cullens they want to draft into the Swiss Guard?
Bella starts swooning again, asking if they are going to the clearing so Wardo can read their minds and find out the whole truth. He says partly, and that the other reason they need to get to the clearing and been seen by the Catholics is that Jane’s there—you know, that wasted character. He says, “If she thought we were alone somewhere away from the others, it might tempt her. Like Victoria, Jane will probably guess that I’m with you. Demetri, of course, is with her. He could find me, if Jane asked him to.”
Yet again. WHY? Tempt her to do WHAT? Do a headstand? And you know, Wardo, people wouldn’t come to those conclusions if you weren’t a predictable dickweed who can’t stand to have Bella out of your sight and out of her protective cotton cocoon for more than two seconds.
Bella starts swooning some more at the very thought of Jane. Why so terrified of Jane? She can’t do anything to you. Meyer is so damned shallow. The vampire that can brainwash you? Eh, who cares. Jane gives you owies. Wardo also says that the werewolves all got out of dodge because the Catholics wouldn’t be happy to see a bunch of them prancing about. Bella starts hyperventilating and does some more swooning. Then she swoons some more. No, I’m not joking. She then says that “the trees were a racing blur that flowed around him like jade waters”. Yes, she’s swooning and this close to passing out, but she just has to tell us all about how poetic it looks as she’s about to faint.
She brings the subject back around to what Seth was wailing about, and of course, Wardo does little but hesitate and try and build some more suspense. JUST TELL HER, WOULD YOU?! SHE’S GOING TO FIND OUT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!!! NOT TO MENTION THAT FARTING AROUND LIKE THIS HAS ALREADY MADE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR THAT JERKOFF’S THE ONE WHO GOT HURT!!!!!!
Wardo continues to speak haltingly and mysteriously because Meyer thinks nobody in the audience knows it was Jerkoff (we do) and that this is very suspenseful (it’s not). Wardo says that the werewolves, being all stupid and stuff, didn’t count all of their vampires before declaring a victory. And…yeah. This needs to be quoted.
"One of the newborns was hiding… Leah found him—she was being stupid, cocky, trying to prove something. She engaged him alone…"
"Leah," I repeated, and I was too weak to feel shame for the relief that flooded through me. "Is she going to be okay?"
Well. I think a bullet list is in order. You know how I love them!
- You know, when Wardo briefly started describing the battle with the newborns, Leah was holding her own very well. Now all of the sudden she’s stupid because pah, as if a woman could take on a vampire alone.
- Bella Swan, our main protagonist, is very happy when she thinks it was Leah who got horribly injured and doesn’t even know if she’s going to be okay. She could be dead, for all she knows. Well, that speaks for itself.
- I notice that Bella is often too weak to feel much shame about anything.
- Bella, why would Wardo be hesitant and worried for your constitution with regards to Leah being hurt? I mean, you obviously don’t care. Even though you talked about how guilty you would feel if any of the werewolves got hurt, you are very glad to think that Leah got smushed.
If I hold it in, I’ll die.
Wardo tells her that it wasn’t Leah who got it, and Bella kindly spells it out for us that Wardo said he, not she back there. Wardo says they’re about to hit the clearing, and Bella notices that there’s a huge purple haze over the trees and Jimmy Hendrix is playing in the background. Dude—how is that keeping things secret? People are going to see that and think somebody is not obeying Smokey the Bear, which is going to draw all kinds of attention.
But Meyer will not be happy until she gets her dramatic orchestra hit, so Bella swoons again and asks Wardo who got hurt for a page before he finally says it was Jerkoff, and she does her biggest swoon yet and passes right out.
And time out now.
Bitch—and Meyer, you’re the one I’m calling bitch—I have heard you tell me all about how Bella is a strong person and empowered and handles all of these ridiculously horrible situations (even though they aren’t). But all your character does is sit around and swoon and cling to Wardo and demand he make it all better. And when the situation gets even remotely stressful? She faints.
*flips her off*
When Bella starts waking up, the vampires are all apparently laying hands upon her. That’s not weird at all. The most discomfort Bella feels upon coming out of a dead faint is feeling “disconnected” before immediately angsting about how Jerkoff got hurt, oh, whatever shall she do. Meyer, have you ever fainted before? My mother has. You are not “disconnected”—you are disoriented at first, and then you feel awful. Headaches, nausea, weakness—it’s not pretty at all. However, Bella is coming out of a movie!faint, so she is merely mildly but prettily disheveled and can easily find her bearings and wangst some more so the audience will think she is selfless.
I don’t. She was relieved at the thought of Leah getting horribly mangled so long as Jerkoff, a source of her entertainment and angst, wasn’t hurt.
Alice is bright and bubbly and talking about future events with exact times involved and she can go get gangbanged by porcupines, because that little bitch’s stupid, inconsistent power is making me hit myself in the face with a baseball bat. Nobody can bring Bella around until Wardo says that Jerkoff is gonna be fine. Insta-Awake! And perfectly all right, no ill feelings at all. Carlisle chimes in, saying that he examined him and, while he’s healing fast, his injuries were so bad it’s going to take a while to heal even for a werewolf. Bella asks the extent of said injuries. “He knocked [Leah] out of the way, but he didn’t have time to defend himself. The newborn got his arms around him. Most of the bones on the right half of his body were shattered.”
How…how does that even work? He’s a wolf the size of a horse, and a bear hug from a vampire the size of a normal person crushes most of the bones on his right side? This…whatever. I don’t care. I do not care.
Oh, and what proof do we have that Leah was in trouble? As far as I can see, they pretty much just assumed she couldn’t handle it and jumped in front of her. As such, no sympathy from me.
Bella swoons some more at the concept of Jerkoff’s bones getting smooshed (yeah, she wants that bone more than anything!), and then Alice announces they’ve got three minutes before the Catholics show up, so Bella purposely flops around so Wardo will pick her up and put her on her feet, which he does, and then we get to a good look at the scene before us.
And now, we are going to have a very extensive spork. Or rather, this isn’t going to be so much a sporking as much as it is going to be a dissection. This portion of the chapter is pretty much one of the most disturbing and hypocritical things I’ve ever read. It can’t possibly be summed up—I would be quoting every other sentence. Unfortunately, it is also extremely painful. So I recruited help for the first tedious half! My I present one of my first LJ friends ever and my modern-day pen-pal, kermit_thefrog!
Kermit: *waves* Heigh-ho!
The Cullens stood in a loose semicircle around the bonfire. There were hardly any flames visible, just the thick, purple-black smoke, hovering like a disease against the bright grass.
Mervin: Any clue on how fast this dissipates? Because if somebody finds this, there is going to be some talk.
Kermit: To say nothing of the huge pile of weird ashes that is going to be left.
Jasper stood closest to the solid-seeming haze,
Mervin: Semi-solid is out of style.
in its shadow so that his skin did not glitter brilliantly in the sun the way the others did.
Mervin: *facepalm* Meyer, seriously—this is supposed to be a scene of death and destruction, Bella’s supposed to be stressed, and yet you are constantly throwing in sparkling and glittering during scenes like that. It’s really not good.
He had his back to me, his shoulders tense, his arms slightly extended. There was something there, in his shadow. Something he crouched over with wary intensity…
Mervin: (Jasper): Careful, folks—that rabbit there killed a man.
I was too numb to feel more than a mild shock when I realized what it was.
Kermit: Yet again, too numb to feel. Do you ever feel ANYTHING other than “ME ME ME ME ME”?
There were eight vampires in the clearing.
Kermit: They were forming a small, organized group and clearing throats, preparing to practice singing Christmas carols. They kept casting annoyed glances at the Cullens and Bella, wondering why these people were hanging out unwanted in their rehearsal space.
The girl was curled into a small ball beside the flames, her arms wrapped around her legs. She was very young. Younger than me—she looked maybe fifteen, dark-haired and slight.
Mervin: You know, unless she had potential in the extra powers department, this was just illogical. I know Meyer was simply trying to tug at our heartstrings and horrify us by using a person of a very young age, except A) she does nothing but praise youth, so fifteen is a pretty great age to be frozen by her standards thus far, and B) Victoria was trying to create an army. Why would she make it out of children?
Her eyes were focused on me, and the irises were a shocking, brilliant red. Much brighter than Riley’s, almost glowing. They wheeled wildly, out of control.
Mervin: No surprise—according to Meyer, vampires have googly eyes. *giggles*
Kermit: Everybody, get out of the way of the wheeling out-of-control EYEBALLS!
Edward saw my bewildered expression.
“She surrendered,” he told me quietly. “That’s one I’ve never seen before. Only Carlisle would think of offering. Jasper doesn’t approve.”
Mervin: …yeah. Our heroes. Only one of them is willing to offer the choice of surrender rather than death. The others? It not only doesn’t even enter into their heads, but when it is suggested, they don’t like it. They just want to kill everybody, even if they don’t want to fight. Mmm. Set-up #1 for later in the chapter.
I couldn’t tear my gaze away from the scene beside the fire. Jasper was rubbing absently at his left forearm.
“Is Jasper all right?” I whispered.
“He’s fine. The venom stings.”
“He was bitten?” I asked, horrified.
Mervin: Some help you were, Jasper. With your ability, you could’ve easily lulled the newborns into lethargy.
“He was trying to be everywhere at once. Trying to make sure Alice had nothing to do, actually.” Edward shook his head. “Alice doesn’t need anyone’s help.”
Kermit: You know, I can understand wanting to protect someone you love. But that is absolutely ridiculous. That just reeks of Jasper not wanting his delicate little wimmins fighting, because she’s way too small and fragile to do a MAN’S job.
Alice grimaced toward her true love.
Mervin: Oh. Thanks for that. *groans*
Mervin: See, that’s not the word I would’ve chosen.
The young female suddenly threw her head back like an animal and wailed shrilly.
Kermit: Kind of like me when I read this dreck.
Jasper growled at her and she cringed back, but her fingers dug into the ground like claws and her head whipped back and forth in anguish.
Mervin: She’s in obvious agony and pain. We all got that? Good.
Jasper took a step toward her, slipping deeper into his crouch.
Mervin: There is a time and a place for everything, Jasper.
Edward moved with overdone casualness,
Kermit: —and overblown prose—
turning our bodies so that he was between the girl and me. I peeked around his arm to watch the thrashing girl and Jasper.
Kermit: Bella just can’t resist reveling in the pain and suffering of others, and PRETENDING like she’s so appalled and horrified by it. That way, she gets consolation and praise from Eddiekins.
Carlisle was at Jasper’s side in an instant. He put a restraining hand on his most recent son’s arm.
Kermit: “Most recent son”? Gee, thanks for randomly reminding us of the pecking order of the Cullen “kids”, Meyer.
Mervin: Well, it’s good to know.
“Have you changed your mind, young one?” Carlisle asked, calm as ever. “We don’t want to destroy you, but we will if you can’t control yourself.”
Kermit: OUR HERO. “We don’t WANT to hurt you—but we WILL IF YOU DON’T STOP SNIVELLING!”
Mervin: Not to mention that Jasper and all of the others clearly DO want to hurt her. They want to tear her apart! Wardo said so up there!
“How can you stand it?” the girl groaned in a high, clear voice.
Mervin: Truly, I can’t. These books are terrible.
“I want her.”
Kermit: Woo-hoo! After all of Wardo’s gayness, it’s nice to finally get some femmeslash!
Her bright crimson irises focused on Edward, through him, beyond him to me, and her nails ripped through the hard soil again.
“You must stand it,” Carlisle told her gravely. “You must exercise control. It is possible, and it is the only thing that will save you now.”
Kermit: What is this, an exorcism? He sure sounds like a priest.
Mervin: What it is is cruelty. She’s a newborn, obviously very new, and Bella smells like bacon to pretty much everybody, and they’re sitting here, shoving he right under the girl’s nose. Do they feel badly for doing that? Nope. They threaten her and just tell her, “Exercise control.” Yeah. I imagine that these are the kind of people who would give swimming lessons by throwing a person who has no idea how to swim into a very deep lake and then yelling, “Stop drowning so much, you aren’t doing it right! If you don’t start swimming properly, I’m gonna get in there and drown you myself!”
The girl clutched her dirt-encrusted hands around her head, yowling quietly.
Kermit: How does one “yowl quietly”? I got an image of her as a thrashing cat just then. *Apologizes to PJ et al*
“Shouldn’t we move away from her?” I whispered, tugging on Edward’s arm. The girl’s lips pulled back over her teeth when she heard my voice, her expression one of torment.
Kermit: (Random Vampire): You brought a MARY SUE to this little torture session?! That’s beyond evil!
Mervin: No kidding. It’s bad enough they are dangling a human in front of her. Tempting her with an exceptionally tasty one is awful. They really are torturing her. I really think Wardo brought her here strictly with the hopes that the newborn would snap and go for her so they would have an excuse to kill her.
“We have to stay here,” Edward murmured. “They are coming to the north end of the clearing now.”
Mervin: The giant ants?!
My heart burst
Kermit: —out of my chest—
into a sprint
Mervin: *snorts* Was it a chagrinned sprint?
as I scanned the clearing, but I couldn’t see anything past the thick pall of smoke. After a second of fruitless searching, my gaze crept back to the young female vampire.
Mervin: Well, back to ogling vampires.
She was still watching me, her eyes half-mad.
Kermit: *a la Guardian’s Song* EYEBALLS.
I met the girl’s stare for a long moment. Chin-length dark hair framed her face, which was alabaster pale.
Kermit: NATURALLY. We get it already—VAMPIRES ARE PALE WHEN TURNED. Can’t have any nasty ethnic vamps in Meyerworld, now can we?
It was hard to tell if her features were beautiful, twisted as they were by rage and thirst.
Kermit: That is all Bella cares about—are they pretty or not? Never mind that this is a newborn vampire experiencing her very first uncontrollable bloodlust, which everyone else is acting like they don’t even REMEMBER, and doesn’t really need to be ogled by a human right now.
Mervin: I’m just amused that the first thing she looks for is prettiness.
The feral red eyes were dominant—hard to look away from. She glared at me viciously, shuddering and writhing every few seconds.
Kermit: *dryly* I know just how she feels. I can’t be around Bella for more than a few minutes without wanting to drain her of blood myself.
I stared at her, mesmerized, wondering if I were looking into a mirror of my future.
Kermit: OH MY GAWD. CALLED IT. It is all about BELLA. No sympathy, no empathy, just “Gee, is this what I’ll be like?” Me, me, me, me! Selfish BITCH.
Mervin: To say nothing of the fact that Bella has been begging and whining and foot-stomping to be turned into a vampire this whole time, and has not given any thought to this downside until about chapter twenty of this book. Meyer, you can’t just randomly drop in indecisiveness about her wanting to be turned! She’s been whining about it for a year, and now when it’s zero hour, “Oh, well, there are actual downsides. Maybe I should think about that.” GAH!!!
Then Carlisle and Jasper began to back toward the rest of us. Emmett, Rosalie, and Esme all converged hastily around where Edward stood with Alice and me. A united front, as Edward had said, with me at the heart, in the safest place.
Kermit: Nobody even considers TAKING HER BACK HOME or anything.
I tore my attention away from the wild girl
Kermit: —WHO WAS GETTING NO HELP FROM THESE GOODY-TWO-SHOE HYPOCRITES WHEN OBVIOUSLY IF ANYONE COULD HELP, IT WOULD BE CARLISLE—
Mervin: Also, because I know what happens later—why didn’t somebody take her away in the first place? They could’ve just left, gotten her out of there and away to safety. But we’ll find out why in a moment.
to search for the approaching monsters.
Kermit: Let the wild rumpus begin! *dons her wolf suit*
There was still nothing to see. I glanced at Edward, and his eyes were locked straight ahead. I tried to follow his gaze, but there was only the smoke—dense, oily smoke twisting low to the ground, rising lazily, undulating against the grass. It billowed forward, darker in the middle.
Kermit: We get it, THERE’S SMOKE ALL OVER THE PLACE. And how is she not coughing or anything from it? She is the only one who can breathe, after all.
Mervin: Twenty-one completely pointless and unnecessary words, all describing the smoke. WTF, Meyer?! And WTF to her editor!
“Hmm,” a dead voice murmured from the mist.
Mervin: ‘Cause they’re evil, after all.
I recognized the apathy at once.
Kermit: You are one to talk about apathy, little Miss “Everything’s About Me”.
Mervin: Come now—she isn’t apathetic about herself at all!
“Welcome, Jane.” Edward’s tone was coolly courteous.
Mervin: Read: Snobbishly patronizing.
Kermit: Oh, I don’t know—given that he’s not the one with the advantage here, he may actually show some deference—the mark of a true coward.
The dark shapes came closer, separating themselves from the haze, solidifying.
Mervin: They’ve been beamed in.
I knew it would be Jane in the front—the darkest cloak, almost black, and the smallest figure by more than two feet. I could just barely make out Jane’s angelic features in the shade of the cowl.
Kermit: Stop ogling the vampire girls, Bella. One would think you’re more into them than you are into Edward.
Mervin: Have you seen the way she looks at Rosalie’s body? I had already pegged her for a total rug-muncher.
Well, Kermit, the Catholics have arrived. That means you’re free to go. Thank you so much for helping me get through that first bit—ta!
Kermit: Oh, thank you! Thank you! I hate to leave a comrade in arms, but— *flees*
Mervin: No hard feelings at all!
*ponders* Hmm…I still need a partner, though.
Sands: *leans in, leering* Oh, do you now?
Mervin: *sour glare* I’m don’t need you to do the whole job. This is just sporking. I didn’t need you to save my bacon, so THERE.
Sands: How true—you don’t smell like bacon. Only Bella does.
Mervin: Just shut up and sit down.
The four gray-shrouded figures hulking behind her were also somewhat familiar.
Mervin: How that is possible is beyond me. She only saw three people actually in cloaks while in Italy, and one of them was Jane, to say nothing of the fact that even I have no idea who two of them are. All I know is that Demetri is there, and later, Felix is confirmed.
Sands: “Hulking”? As a verb in gerund form?
Mervin: *peers* Huh. *whips out the Thesaurus and Dictionary* “Hulked” can be used as a verb, as in “hulked out of the smoke”, but it implies huge, bulky, and cumbersome—not at all our graceful, dancing Meyerpires. And the Thesaurus came back with nothing but adjectives on “hulking”. I’m not really sure what hoops Meyer jumped through to get that sentence, but I suspect they were numerous—and on fire.
I was sure I recognized the biggest one, and while I stared, trying to confirm my suspicion, Felix looked up. He let his hood fall back slightly so that
Sands: —Meyer could somehow include one of the biggest Sue clichés in the book—the big reveal.
I could see him wink at me and smile.
Mervin: Because he’s evil.
Edward was very still at my side, tightly in control.
Jane’s gaze moved slowly across the luminous faces of the Cullens
Mervin: Would you stop mentioning that they are sparkling?!
Sands: No kidding—I hadn’t done a chapter yet that involves the sparkles, and I was perfectly happy maintaining that track record!
and then touched on the newborn girl beside the fire;
Sands: *singing* When I think about you, I touch myself!
Mervin: Oh, dear God, don’t REALLY touch yourself!
the newborn had her head in her hands again.
“I don’t understand.” Jane’s voice was toneless, but not quite as uninterested as before.
Sands: Okay, so she’s displaying interest, which in and of itself is a tone of some sort, but it’s still toneless. These sparklepires are talented.
Mervin: Well, she has to make sure we understand they’re evil.
“She has surrendered,” Edward explained, answering the confusion in her mind.
Sands: No, he clearly spoke that out loud. There was no mental conversation.
Mervin: Relax—Meyer just sucks when it comes to wording. And I hate it when Wardo does that—he’s just showing off.
Jane’s dark eyes flashed to his face.
Mervin: Her eyes are dark? I thought they ate like kings—why would her eyes do that stupid color-change into dark, indicating hunger in a Meyerpire? I thought for sure she’d have them be red to indicate the depth of her evil.
Sands: See? Even the EEEEEEEEEEEVIL Catholics are shocked that the Cullens didn’t just slaughter her for the hell of it.
Felix and another shadow exchanged a quick glance.
Mervin: If they are just shadows, how could she tell?
Edward shrugged. “Carlisle gave her the option.”
Sands: (Ed): I didn’t want to—I mean, I only got to kill one out of the whole ordeal. *high-pitched, insane giggling* I begged him to let me kill her, but he wouldn’t let me. Imagine the screams she would make as I tore her limb from limb and burned the remains!
“There are no options for those who break the rules,” Jane said flatly.
Sands: Because they’re evil—did I mention that?
Mervin: *crabby* That makes no sense.
Sands: You expect sense in this universe?
Mervin: No. But I am pointing it out anyway.
Carlisle spoke then, his voice mild. “That’s in your hands. As long as she was willing to halt her attack on us, I saw no need to destroy her.
Mervin: Yeah, but you DID see a need to shove a tasty human under her nose and then threaten to kill her. This is like a twisted version of the cupcake dog!
She was never taught.”
“That is irrelevant,” Jane insisted.
Sands: They’re evil, you know.
Mervin: How is it irrelevant?! She didn’t make a newborn army!
Sands: THEY’RE EVIL! *punches Mervin*
Mervin: Hey! Stop that! This makes no sense! She didn’t make a newborn army, and nobody ever taught her the rules—not to mention that she apparently didn’t even break any, because she never exposed their secret!!!
Sands: EVIL!!! *starts whaling on Mervin*
Mervin: WOULD YOU STOP HITTING ME??!!!
Sands: EVIL EVIL EVIL EVIL EVIL!!!!!
Mervin: *stabs Sands in the thigh with a pen*
“As you wish.”
Sands: *tosses them both down a long hill and into the Fire Swamp*
Mervin: Where they will hopefully be eaten by ROUSes.
Jane stared at Carlisle in consternation. She shook her head infinitesimally, and then composed
Mervin: —a symphony. In her head! She’s a vampire, they can do that.
“Aro hoped that we would get
Sands: —it on.
far enough west to see you, Carlisle. He sends his regards.”
Carlisle nodded. “I would appreciate it if you would convey mine to him.”
Mervin: I’m supposed to think this is tense, right?
Sands: I think you are. I don’t.
Mervin: Neither do I, because, as usual, this entire scene is lacking in emotion.
“Of course.” Jane smiled. Her face was almost too lovely when it was animated.
Sands: And Bella wants to have sex with her.
Mervin: No kidding—she calls Wardo her Truest of True Loves and won’t stop talking about how gorgeous he is, and she can’t stand going more than two seconds without talking about Jane’s untold beauty.
She looked back toward the smoke. “It appears that you’ve done our work for us today… for the most part.” Her eyes flickered
Mervin: —and went out.
Sands: *snarling* You wanna repeat that, whore?
to the hostage. “Just out of professional curiosity,
Sands: “Professional curiosity”? What the hell does that even mean?
how many were there? They left quite a wake of destruction in Seattle.”
“Eighteen, including this one,” Carlisle answered.
Mervin: What—you don’t try to lie and tell them that there were fewer?! Here, allow me to show you why that it stupid, folks. Read this bit.
Jane’s eyes widened, and she looked at the fire again, seeming to reassess the size of it. Felix and the other shadow exchanged a longer glance.
“Eighteen?” she repeated, her voice sounding unsure for the first time.
“All brand-new,” Carlisle said dismissively. “They were unskilled.”
“All?” Her voice turned sharp. “Then who was their creator?”
“Her name was Victoria,” Edward answered, no emotion in his voice.
“Was?” Jane asked.
Edward inclined his head toward the eastern forest. Jane’s eyes snapped up and focused on something far in the distance. The other pillar of smoke? I didn’t look away to check.
Jane stared to the east for a long moment, and then examined the closer bonfire again.
“This Victoria—she was in addition to the eighteen here?”
“Yes. She had only one other with her. He was not as young as this one here, but no older than a year.”
“Twenty,” Jane breathed.
Sands: *facepalm* Brilliant. You’re trying to hide the fact that the werewolves were around, and they definitely have left a strange stink around, but then you just tell them there were eighteen, instead of bending the truth and saying, maybe, only twelve, or fourteen.
Mervin: Eh, I think they’re just taking this opportunity to puff out their chests and show the Catholics how truly rad they are.
Sands: That’s also incredibly stupid—GazzAro already thinks they’re a threat for some vague to nonexistent reason. Now he’s gonna think it even more.
“Who dealt with the creator?”
“I did,” Edward told her.
Mervin: (Wardo): It was glorious. I jizzed my pants twice when I tore her head off.
Jane’s eyes narrowed, and she turned to the girl beside the fire.
“You there,” she said, her dead voice harsher than before.
Sands: She does this because she’s evil.
The newborn shot a baleful glare at Jane, her lips pressed tightly together.
Mervin: *rolls eyes* That’s intelligent. The obvious authorities have arrived, you are in no position to be a smartass, so you promptly start doing just that.
Again, little bit bigger quote.
Jane smiled back angelically.
The newborn girl’s answering scream was ear-piercing; her body arched stiffly into a distorted, unnatural position. I looked away, fighting the urge to cover my ears. I gritted my teeth, hoping to control my stomach. The screaming intensified. I tried to concentrate on Edward’s face, smooth and unemotional, but that made me remember when it had been Edward under Jane’s torturing gaze, and I felt sicker. I looked at Alice instead, and Esme next to her. Their faces were as empty as his.
Finally, it was quiet.
“Your name,” Jane said again, her voice inflectionless.
“Bree,” the girl gasped.
Jane smiled, and the girl shrieked again. I held my breath until the sound of her agony stopped.
“She’ll tell you anything you want to know,” Edward said through his teeth. “You don’t have to do that.”
Jane looked up, sudden humor in her usually dead eyes. “Oh, I know,” she said to Edward, grinning at him before she turned back to the young vampire, Bree.
Sands: I believe what Meyer is trying to convey here is that the Voles are evil.
Mervin: Yes, and she’s doing a piss-poor job. Done well, a sadist can be a very creepy villain. Someone who enjoys delivering pain to an unwilling subject is scary in and of itself, but introducing a character who just has to think and inflict the most terrible pain imaginable? That had potential. But Meyer here just kind of threw it away, because she’s never got into the character—she’s only using it to show us how EEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL she is.
Sands: To say nothing of the fact that having someone who just uses the power willy-nilly is probably not the best thing—her just inflicting it whenever she wants for no reason is not conducive to a smooth operation. It is much more effective for a character to only use the torture when necessary—and looking forward to those times when they can.
Mervin: I’d also like to point out that having Jane bounce along torturing people is her trying to say she’s evil, right? Look at her, torturing the poor girl before they murder her. Meyer, your characters were mentally and emotionally torturing her just a few pages ago, and still are!!! How are you any better than the Catholics?! Just because she’s using physical torture of a sort?!
Sands: Merv, Meyer never, ever acknowledges mental torture in her series. It doesn’t exist to her. So stop trying.
“Bree,” Jane said, her voice cold again. “Is his story true? Were there twenty of you?”
The girl lay panting, the side of her face pressed against the earth. She spoke quickly. “Nineteen or twenty, maybe more, I don’t know!” She cringed, terrified that her ignorance might bring on another round of torture.
Mervin: I am seriously supposed to think Jane’s evil, aren’t I?
“Sara and the one whose name I don’t know got in a fight on the way…”
“And this Victoria—did she create you?”
“I don’t know,” she said, flinching again. “Riley never said her name. I didn’t see that night…
Sands: You didn’t see that night? So what night did you see?
it was so dark, and it hurt…” Bree shuddered. “He didn’t want us to be able to think of her. He said that our thoughts weren’t safe…”
Mervin: Oh, so she DID know how Wardo’s telepathy works, but is STILL incapable of guarding her moves as she fights? TWIT.
Sands: In reference to Meyer, right?
Mervin: Of course.
Jane’s eyes flickered to Edward, and then back to the girl.
Victoria had planned this well. If she hadn’t followed Edward, there would have been no way to know for certain that she was involved…
Mervin: Indeed she had planned it well—because she was operating on the stupidity of these people to completely forget she was out there in the first place and ignore any and all possibilities that it might be her! Yeah, that is smart.
Sands: But she apparently wasn’t smart enough to take her army of newborns towards Ed’s scent. If she really thought that’s where Bella would be, she wouldn’t have just taken one newborn with her.
Mervin: …dude, you’re right. Why the hell didn’t she take more newborns with her if she was positive Bella was over there?!
“Tell me about Riley,” Jane said. “Why did he bring you here?”
“Riley told us that we had to destroy the strange yellow-eyes here,”
Sands: So you apparently turn into some kind of native when you turn into a vampire.
Mervin: … “yellow-eyes”. *flatly* That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.
Sands: Why is she calling them strange? She’s probably only a few weeks old, a couple of months at the most. Riley was only a year. What do they know?
Mervin: *sigh* I have a feeling it’s just Meyer touting how Unique and Special the Cullens are again.
Bree babbled quickly and willingly. “He said it would be easy. He said that the city was theirs, and they were coming to get us. He said once they were gone, all the blood would be ours.
Sands: I am completely lost due to the situation with the pronouns here.
He gave us her scent.” Bree lifted one hand and stabbed a finger in my direction.
Mervin: I guess saying, “Bree pointed frantically at me,” isn’t pretty enough.
Sands: Nor is it as many words.
“He said we would know that we had the right coven, because she would be with them. He said whoever got to her first could have her.”
Sands: A noble cause!
Mervin: *golf applause*
I heard Edward’s jaw flex beside me.
“It looks like Riley was wrong about the easy part,” Jane noted.
Bree nodded, seeming relieved that the conversation had taken this non-painful course. She sat up carefully.
Sands: Ah, so, now that the Catholics have come to take over the “Torture the Poor Random Newborn”, she’s completely over Bella Bacon.
Mervin: *buries face in hands* I am so fucking sick of the inconsistencies with the bloodlust she writes about.
“I don’t know what happened. We split up, but the others never came.
Sands: Those kinds of orgies are never fun, because people just get all pissy and feel slighted.
And Riley left us, and he didn’t come to help like he promised.
Mervin: Right, because the cunning, year-old Riley will solve everything.
And then it was so confusing, and everybody was in pieces.” She shuddered again.
Mervin: Meyer, does your incredible suckage come naturally, or do you have to work hard to achieve that level of crap?
Sands: You know what happened on the Day of the Dead? It was so confusing, and then everybody was on fire.
“I was afraid. I wanted to run away. That one” —she looked at Carlisle— “said they wouldn’t hurt me if I stopped fighting.”
“Ah, but that wasn’t his gift to offer, young one,” Jane murmured, her voice oddly gentle now.
Mervin: And how the Catholics killing her has any bearing on whether or not the Cullens do is beyond me.
Sands: That strikes me as incredibly sinister. “Oh, we promise we won’t kill you, little girl. We’re going to turn you over to the people who will.”
Mervin: And I’m still supposed to think the Catholics are more evil.
“Broken rules demand a consequence.”
Mervin: Because, you know, they’re evil.
Bree stared at her, not comprehending.
Jane looked at Carlisle. “Are you sure you got all of them? The other half that split off?”
Carlisle’s face was very smooth as he nodded. “We split up, too.”
Jane half-smiled. “I can’t deny that I’m impressed.” The big shadows behind her murmured in agreement.
Mervin: You know, I never heard anything about the Catholic guard being huge and imposing the last time we saw them.
“I’ve never seen a coven escape this magnitude of offensive intact. Do you know what was behind it? It seems like extreme behavior, considering the way you live here. And why was the girl the key?”
Sands: Because this universe revolves around her. Especially the world of the pretty people. They all think about her, they all know about her, and every single one of their plans now revolve around her ever since she found out about it.
Her eyes rested unwilling on me for one short second.
Sands: *stiffly* Must she describe people looking at each other that way every single time?
Mervin: Yes. Because that’s all she is capable of.
“Victoria held a grudge against Bella,” Edward told her, his voice impassive.
Sands: Surely it isn’t just me—but aren’t the Cullens talking in the exact same tone the Voles are, all dead-voiced and bland?
Mervin: It’s not just you. They are just two sides of the same coin—a group of ultra-powerful bullies who like exerting their power over creatures weaker than themselves.
Jane laughed—the sound was golden, the bubbling laugh of a happy child.
Sands: Would you just admit you want to shack up with her?
Mervin: I’m getting rather annoyed with it myself.
“This one seems to bring out bizarrely strong reactions in our kind,” she observed, smiling directly at me, her face beatific.
Mervin: That is because she is a Mary Fucking Sue and I fucking hate it.
Edward stiffened. I looked at him in time to see his face turning away, back to Jane.
“Would you please not do that?” he asked in a tight voice.
Sands: I agree. It’s completely pointless.
Jane laughed again lightly. “Just checking. No harm done, apparently.”
Mervin: Ah—see? Meyer is cleverly writing out how evil these people are.
Sands: Oh, foul, you said that exact phrase less than 100 words ago.
Mervin: Does her editor serve any purpose?!
deeply grateful that the strange glitch in my system—which had protected me from Jane the last time we’d met—was still in effect. Edward’s arm tightened around me.
Sands: Sorry to change the subject, but is that “strange glitch” ever explained?
Mervin: Mmhmm. She told everybody in an FAQ.
Mervin: *clears throat* “Bella has a very private mind. She can’t be touched there.”
Sands: *waits a few moments* Wait—that’s it?
Mervin: That’s it.
Sands: What the—!
Mervin: Save it! I have to discuss that in the next chapter.
“Well, it appears that there’s not much left for us to do. Odd,” Jane said, apathy creeping back into her voice.
Mervin: What is with vampires having wild mood swings?
“We’re not used to being rendered unnecessary.
Sands: *bursts out laughing* That’s hilarious, considering you people are about as useful as a hangnail!
It’s too bad we missed the fight. It sounds like it would have been entertaining to watch.”
Mervin: Lemme go get Chauncey Gardiner.
“Yes,” Edward answered her quickly, his voice sharp. “And you were so close. It’s a shame you didn’t arrive just a half hour earlier. Perhaps then you could have fulfilled your purpose here.”
Mervin: Do these people have NO BRAINS WHATSOEVER?!
Sands: Yes, Ed, antagonize the vampire who can cause pain with her mind and is fond of doing it for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Jane met Edward’s glare with unwavering eyes. “Yes. Quite a pity how things turned out, isn’t it?”
Sands: Wow—I am beginning to think that they are evil.
Edward nodded once to himself, his suspicions confirmed.
Mervin: And they Catholics apparently have no brains, either. They know Wardo can read minds, and so send their brigade with the full knowledge that they delayed strictly so the newborns would eliminate a few of the Cullens and don’t bother trying to hide it, even though Aro, having touched Wardo, would know exactly how to keep Wardo from knowing certain things. *throws up her hands*
Jane turned to look at the newborn Bree again, her face completely bored. “Felix?” she drawled.
“Wait,” Edward interjected.
Mervin: Incoming disgusting!
Jane raised one eyebrow, but Edward was staring at Carlisle while he spoke in an urgent voice. “We could explain the rules to the young one. She doesn’t seem unwilling to learn. She didn’t know what she was doing.”
Sands: *kicks his feet up* Ed never fails to impress me.
Mervin: Yes, folks—you see that? Now Wardo’s all, “Let’s train her and teach her! She doesn’t deserve to die!” Even though at the beginning, he was all for killing her and made it clear that only Carlisle was willing to offer the choice of surrender. However, now that the Catholics here, he does a complete about-face in order to look oh-so merciful and make them look to be evil.
Sands: *waves his dick at the computer* Choke on it, Meyer.
Mervin: *glances over* GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!! *falls over*
“Of course,” Carlisle answered. “We would certainly be prepared to take responsibility for Bree.”
Sands: (Ed): Oh, yes. We will definitely take responsibility for her.
Mervin: (Jasper): *giggles like the psycho he is* We would dearly love to take care of her.
Jane’s expression was torn between amusement and disbelief.
Sands: Huh—you think she’s evil?
“We don’t make exceptions,” she said. “And we don’t give second chances. It’s bad for our reputation.
Mervin: …your reputation of needless killing, backwards rules, pointless torture, and of basically doing nothing but finding ways to be evil?
Which reminds me…” Suddenly, her eyes were on me again, and her cherubic face dimpled. “Caius will be so interested to hear that you’re still human, Bella. Perhaps he’ll decide to visit.”
Mervin: So…they apparently do make exceptions and give second chances, because here she stands before them, still human.
Sands: As always, I repeat that which has been said already: Yeah, Meyer, we know you don’t think about what you’re writing.
“The date is set,” Alice told Jane, speaking for the first time. “Perhaps we’ll come to visit you in a few months.”
Mervin: (Jane if she were sensible): I remember a similar promise a few months ago. That clearly didn’t happen. *pains her into submission* We are not leaving until you bite the human. Get to it. We may be immortal, but we do not have all day.
Jane’s smile faded, and she shrugged indifferently, never looking at Alice.
Mervin: Oh, how evil.
She turned to face Carlisle. “It was nice to meet you, Carlisle—I’d thought Aro was exaggerating.
Sands: Exaggerating WHAT, exactly?
Mervin: How hypocritical and pompous these people are?
Well, until we meet again…”
Carlisle nodded, his expression pained.
Sands: (Carlisle): Check it out! I’m imitating Jasper!
“Take care of that, Felix,” Jane said, nodding toward Bree, her voice dripping boredom. “I want to go home.”
Sands: Meyer’s just so subtle—you’d never think they were evil.
“Don’t watch,” Edward whispered in my ear. I was only too eager to follow his instruction. I’d seen more than enough for one day—more than enough for one lifetime. I squeezed my eyes tightly together and turned my face into Edward’s chest.
Mervin: Oh, so she’s blasé about Wardo tearing Victoria’s head off and Seth ripping Riley apart, but oh, this is just too much for her to handle.
But I could still hear.
Sands: I’ll fix that. *sticks guns in both her ears*
There was a deep, rumbling growl, and then a high-pitched keen that was horribly familiar.
Sands: I don’t know. Are we almost done?
That sound cut off quickly, and then the only sound was a sickening crunching and snapping.
Mervin: What? No metallic screeching? I feel slighted.
Edward’s hand rubbed anxiously against my shoulders.
“Come,” Jane said, and I looked up in time to see the backs of the tall gray cloaks drifting away toward the curling smoke. The incense smell was strong again—fresh.
The gray cloaks disappeared into the thick mist.
Sands: That was boring.
Mervin: That was sick. Watching the Cullens torture that poor vampire, lead her on, and easily dispose of her while finding a way to make sure that they didn’t get their hands dirty as well as somehow looking noble?! Dear God! They know how the Catholics are, they knew they’d kill her no matter what! And yet they kept her there instead of getting her the heck out of dodge! They risked her exposing them or at least arousing suspicion as to how they killed so many newborns, promised they wouldn’t kill her so long as she surrendered and wouldn’t hurt anyone. But then they put the tastiest human ever right in front of her! When that didn’t work, they just held her there until the Catholics arrived, did an about-face and sounded like ALL of them wanted to keep her alive even though it was made clear earlier that only one person was even willing to consider offering the choice of surrender, and then just let the Catholics kill her! These people were doing nothing but looking for reasons to destroy her!
Sands: Don’t forget to mention that they were all eager and willing to kill all of the other newborns, who were of the exact same teaching and mindset as she was. And they did kill them—were having fun doing it, too, spent weeks looking forward to it.
Mervin: And yet people think that this group of psychos are just the best people ever.
Sands: I don’t care what they are. I’m leaving.
Mervin: *tiredly waves goodbye* Until next time, my audience. We’re in the home stretch, folks. Hold on tight—two more chapters, an epilogue, and acknowledgements left. I hope we can survive.
Stinger: “Smugness radiated from every hair in his fur.”
( Chapter 26 - Ethics )