This is my first 'Twilight' fic. It's a crossover with the anime 'Vampire Princess Miyu' and takes place a few years past BD, with Nessie all grown up. Concrit is welcome.

Chapter One: Flames

Volterra, Italy

Flames erupted all around the pair. Explosions shook them, causing even the most surefooted of them to stumble. The screams of the dying and stench of the dead wafted through the air, adding to the chaos already permeating the Volturi's fortress.

Jane paid the screams no mind as she led her leader through the dimly-lit corridors. Although the flickering torches weren't necessary for her to see, they still provided some comfort from the encroaching darkness. "This way," she said, turning slightly to glance at her master. "We should be-"

A brick wall slammed into her, knocking the diminutive blood-sucker into the wall and sending shards of stone flying. Her ruby-red eyes looked up at the towering form of Felix, hands clenched. "YOU MADE ME DO IT!" he screamed, eyes wide. "SHE DIED BY MY HANDS, AND NOW-" His tirade was cut off by a howl of pain. The Volturi enforcer dropped to his knees and clutched his sides as Jane stared at him.

She rose to her feet and brushed her clothes off, her glare boring into Felix. "Yes, I did," she spat out. "How the hell was I supposed to know?" She stepped forward. "Tell me, Felix. How?"

Felix trembled in agony. He slowly rolled to the side… and screamed once more. "No!" he yelled, scrambling on the floor. He jerked to the side as clawed hands emerged from his shadow, grabbing at his legs. "Jane, help me!"

Jane stepped back from him and turned to the last remaining member of the Inner Circle. "Master, I believe-" She stopped as she felt something grab her legs. She looked down and saw identical hands emerge from her own shade, this time reaching far enough for feathers to emerge.

She held her hands out. "Master?" She was pulled to one knee and her right leg sank into the darkness. "Master, help me, please?"

The vampire shuffled back before turning and running, his legs kicking up under his robe. Jane struggled, but the darkness soon enveloped her body and soul.

Aro spared no time as he flew down the hall. Jane's death was… inconvenient, but necessary. He had to get away. He had to find them and warn the Cullen's about them. He had to-

A fist struck the Volturi leader in the face, sending him flying back and crumbling to the floor. His hand went to his face… and he found part of it missing, broken off. His nose twitched as he scrambled up to his hands and knees, his glowing eyes glancing down at the stone and eventually his missing jaw.

A moan came from the shattered remnants of his mouth. He crawled over to the wall and grabbed onto the stone blocks jutting out, using them to rise back to his feet. Aro looked over at his attacker. He held his skeletal hands out as his attacker raised his arm high, the dewclaw extending from his wrist glinting even in the pale torchlight…

The attacker suddenly lowered it and stepped aside, pointing down the hallway to the door at the end. "Go, he commanded, his beak cutting off the words with a clack. "What can you possibly do, old fossil? The vampire's time has gone. Now, it is our time to rule!"

Aro paused for a second before summoning his strength and dashing down the hall. His attacker continued to talk and taunt him as he escaped. "Tell them, Aro! Tell the Cullen's and the Denali's and all the other covens and strays that they too shall die! Tell them the name of their new masters, tell them of the Shinma!"

Isle Esme, the Atlantic Ocean

Isabella Cullen stood at the edge of the beach, waves lapping around her pale feet as she stared out into the ocean. Her hair whipped about, the only part of her body that moved. Gulls even circled around, swooping down before veering off in seeming fright.

She stayed still even as her soul mate approached from behind, silent as death. Edward walked up to her and focused on the horizon. "What's Aro doing out there?" he asked.

Bella shrugged. "You're the mind reader, not me," she teased. She shrugged and took a step forward. "She narrowed her eyes and focused on the vampire. "He looks… incomplete." She shook her head and looked back at Edward. "I can't describe it any better."

Edward nodded as Aro finally stood up, waves crashing around him as he waded onto shore. He visibly stiffened as the full extent of Aro's injuries became apparent. "My god," he murmured at his appearance. He stepped forward and held out a hand. "Aro, what happened?"

Bella's head turned sharply. "Can't you read it in his mind?"

Edward's head shook slightly. "It's too jumbled. All I see is fire and stone." He placed his hands on the sides of Aro's ruined face and held his head steady. "Aro, please concentrate! I can't get anything from this!"

Aro's eyes coal-black eyes darted wildly about and a low moan came from his mouth. He placed his hands on Edward's chest and pushed away. He swayed from side to side before placing his own skeletal hands on his head.

"I am… sorry," Edward suddenly said, his voice low and neutral. He held his hands out, palm down. He locked eyes with Aro and continued. "I have not fed for some time. I was weakened by the battle and by the flight from my former home."

"'Former home'?" Bella asked, interrupting. She focused her golden eyes on Aro and her hands clenched somewhat. "What happened, Aro?"

Aro turned to her and shook his head. "Ah, Bella," Edward continued, speaking the ancient vampire's thoughts. "A shame you and Edward found each other. You might've been spared the pain of what comes-"

Edward blurred and was right beside Aro, grabbing his robe and tugging him forward. His fangs were bared and a low growl came from his throat. "You said your former home, Aro. Does that mean the Volturi are no more?" His fangs glinted in the sunlight as he pulled the old one closer. "Answer me!"

Aro's eyes widened. He held up his hands and Edward let go of his robe. "I am sorry," Edward said, speaking once more for him. "I'm still somewhat in shock. Yes, Edward. The Volturi are no more, the remnants absorbed into a new clan. And they are coming for you."

"A new clan?" Edward asked, his voice back to normal. "Alice hasn't seen anything like that."

His voice changed once more. "Alice would not. She has no experience with these creatures, for they are not vampires, nor shape-shifters, werewolves or any other she has experienced. In fact, only Carlisle will know what to do, if any of you do. Please, you must tell him what has happened!"

"Who are they?" Bella barked. "Aro, you're not giving us anything to go on! Stop being so damned mysterious and just tell us!"

"The Shinma," Edward said, his eyes betraying his inner confusion. "Creatures of the Darkness, from before vampires and others of our kind. They feed off negative emotions and can turn your life into a living hell before ending it. Most victims beg for death before the end."

Bella sucked in a breath, still instinctive after all this time. "Why haven't we heard about them?"

Aro shrugged. "They kept to the shadows, and were held in check by the Guardian, a half-Shinma being. He or she strode the line between light and dark and kept them at bay, sending them back."

"What happened to this Guardian?" Edward asked.

Aro wobbled a bit and moaned once more. He turned his eyes to Bella and her husband's voice once more took on the neutral tones of telepathic translation. "Oh, oh! Bella, my dear, sweet Bella. Do you remember before you were human, when Victoria attacked? Do you?"

Bella involuntarily shuddered as the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness came back to her. Although the memories were vague, the feelings were as fresh as when they first formed. "I remember all too well." She paused. "What does that have to do with-" Her eyes widened. "Oh, don't tell me!"

Aro shrank a bit into his robe. "Yes, Bella. Like all things, Guardians grow old and tired. Some die, some choose to die. This Guardian has held on for too long, Bella. She was supposed to find the next one in Seattle, but fate intervened…"

Bella covered her mouth with her hand, ignoring the smell of the blood she drank before coming to the beach. "No, way. It couldn't have been her, Aro!"

Aro nodded sadly, the corners of his upper lips curving down. "Indeed, Bella. It was-"

"Victoria?" she shouted, golden eyes wide. "That psychopathic freak was supposed to hold back the night?"

Aro held up his right hand. "Peace, Bella. No, it was not the rogue, but one sired by her mate Riley. Tell me, do you remember one named Bree?"

"How can you stand it? I want her!"

"I remember."

Aro paused and looked to the waves crashing around his soaked robes. "She was to be the next," he said through Edward. "Bree was to be the one."

Bella snorted, the sound mutating into a snarl. "Oh, right. A stable authority figure just like the world needs!"

"Your family would've tamed her," Aro admitted. "At least enough so when the Guardian came for her, she'd be ready." Aro turned his eyes to Edward, who continued to speak for the former Volturi leader. "Edward, please. Carlisle knows of this. Of all the vampires and other beings in the world, he is the only one I know of who might be able to reach the Guardian."

Edward nodded. "Of course," he said in his own voice.

The corner's of Aro's upper lips curled up and Edward's voice became neutral once more. "Thank you. Now, I have one more task for you to-"

"What?" the younger vampire blurted out. "Aro, are you sure?"

Bella's eyes twitched between the two. "Wait, what does he want, Edward?" she asked, walking over to him.

Edward's eyes slid to the left, but he kept his primary focus on Aro. "He wants us to kill him," he stated.

Aro nodded rapidly and held his arms out. He looked to Edward, then to Bella. His black eyes widened and his fingers clawed the air.

Bella stood still for a moment as her mind processed his request. "I… can't," she finally sputtered out. "Aro, I've never killed anyone. Human or vampire!"

Aro's head bobbed up and down and he looked to Edward. The two were silent for a few seconds before Edward slowly nodded. "I'll do it," he finally said. "God help me, but I'll do it."

Aro leaned back a bit and his shoulders slumped. "Thank you," Edward translated for him one last time. "Now, soon please. I am anxious to see Caius again. And my wife."

The flames of Aro's funeral pyre had long since sputtered out, but Bella's nose was still assailed by the lingering smell. She lifted her arm and sniffed her shirt. Might have to throw this out, she groused.

Edward approached from behind. He had his cell phone to his ear and was talking quite rapidly, almost too fast for even Bella to follow. "Are you sure, Alice? Nothing at… yes, yes. I know you would if you saw-yes. I'm sorry." He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Well, can you call Carlisle? No, this is too sensitive to ask over the phone." he sighed and nodded. "All right, thanks." He flipped it close and walked over to Bella. "Alice will get in contact with Carlisle and Esme. We should all be seeing each other in two days."

Bella glanced back at Edward and held out her hand. She waited until he took it and wrapped her up in a hug. "I'm scared," she admitted. "These Shinma… Edward, they humbled Aro and reduced the Volturi to nothing. What can we do against them?"

Edward broke the embrace and kissed her on the forehead, savoring the moment. "We'll do what we can. They can't be as bad as Aro claimed. The Volturi were old, stagnant. We can weather this."

Bella sighed, more of reflex than anything else. "Promise?"

Edward smirked. "Cross my heart and hope to die."

Bella regarded him. "But sticking a needle in your eye won't do anything."

Edward rolled his eyes before tweaking Bella's nose. The two soul mates laughed before the older vampire took Bella by the hand and led her to a waiting boat. He paused and turned to Aro's final resting place, his amber eyes burning a hole into it. "Rest in peace, Aro."

The Darkness

The Shinma known as Shidon paced in front of a dozen vampires, each one staring out into infinity. His pacing was muffled as he walked on the dirt of the his home, the Darkness, as he inspected his new troops. The birdlike Shinma raised his arm and poked at Felix's chest with his dewclaw. "Excellent, excellent!" He turned his eyes to the black-robed figure beside him. "You did well to summon us. You alone among the vampires shall live and retain free will."

Marcus nodded and bowed to Shidon. "Thank you," he said, straightening up. "But you let Aro go, Shidon. He's undoubtedly warned the Cullen's."

Shidon waved him off. "He is dead, and his warning meaningless. Those of my clan shall rip the last obstacle to our dominance apart. Not only vampires, but humans as well shall kneel at our feet." He turned to the twelve vampires. "Go. Slaughter the Cullen's and the Quileute shape-shifters!"

Felix, Jane and the others jerked to life, turning and moving. They disappeared in a mist, leaving the alternate dimension. Shidon turned to Marcus and his beak opened in a sneer. "Now, all we must do is wait."