A/N Okay, we're getting to the cusp of all the teams about to fight vamps and get really into some heavy action. So, I hope you are all read up with LKA: Superhero Saga; Stage One, and, FPI: Superhero Saga; Stage Three. All of them coincide and for understanding at certain places it's important.
Thanks for reading. : )
Splitting Up the Teams
I'd finally seen my dad after all these years. And then he brought me to see the others and Edward's parents, Dr. Carlisle and Dr. Esme Cullen. They were very involved in all of this. They had been using Leah's little brother and his friend in experiments and Leah was to be tested later in the evening. I didn't really know if I could trust them. I only remembered Edward's parents were very polite neighbors, but in way of ethical or moral individuals, I wasn't sure. They worked in this clandestine capacity for all these years.
But Leah… there was something else going on. She and Jane looked like if they were left alone in a room they'd kill each other. Jasper, who was also a vampire, didn't seem to invoke the same reprehension and hate if this was just a vampire/wolf thing.
[The above scene covered extensively in LKA: Superhero Saga; Stage One, Chapter 5]
I actually felt sorry for Leah. Her whole life had been changed; but then, all of our lives had been disrupted. To think that just yesterday I was a 911 operator and worried over if Mike was going to eat my entire box of Lucky Charms and drink the milk out of the carton when I wasn't looking. Now, I knew there were vampires who'd stolen a serum to make them stronger and wanted to take over the world. It was a real nightmare.
And to think I lost sleep over the fear a meteorite would crash into earth. This was much more macabre – we were talking about monsters overrunning earth. Okay, now I was scaring myself.
I had so many thoughts and as I sat in the mess hall, joining the others, I knew Edward was reading my mind. It was strange knowing someone could invade your privacy like that. I could see he was irritating that Agent Rose Hale and Leah by reading their minds; but then, everyone pissed off Leah.
Edward laughed, instantly covering over his mouth. He definitely heard that and in my mind I said, 'I wonder if anything makes her happy.'
Edward glanced up at me; his dark green eyes enlarged by his glasses, and nodded slowly, almost thoughtfully and I knew he'd seen something in her mind that she'd probably want to make him feel some pain over knowing.
We had a busy and long day and I really had no idea what time it was. I figured since we'd eaten lunch it was afternoon or early evening.
I walked over to Edward to have a talk about my dad with him. The others watched, the way kids watch in cafeteria's wondering if the two are getting together. I really had no interest in Edward, other than he was an old neighbor and I felt the bond of him being someone I knew before all this happened.
Sitting down beside him I asked in a quiet voice, "Are you able to turn off the mind reading?"
"Yes. Also, when there are a lot of people I have to pick and choose whose mind I want to read."
Edward smiled thoughtfully and relaxed again - and I found that his most charming look. It was when he wasn't thinking too hard, and just living.
"Did you find out my thoughts on meeting my dad, the General?" I asked.
"Good – that saves me explaining."
"I thought you'd be upset."
"I could, but I like to weigh options and figure I'll look at the positive – such as, not having to explain everything since I am pretty upset with my real father."
"I sensed that."
We became quiet as I looked out at the others. Alice spoke to Jasper a lot and it didn't look like Leah was happy with that. It's as if they'd known each other their whole life. I thought Jasper and Alice were cute together. The two agents spoke together, as well, and I sensed they were a couple.
I turned back to Edward, who was staring at me intensely. It made me gulp and feel a little hot around my cheeks and neck.
"Um," I started, "I'll ask you, since you talked with your parents and know more of the inside scoop with the serum and strengthening vampires and wolves – why are we here? I have no powers. Alice is small and sees the future and you are obviously knowledgeable, but not exactly combat material. Don't they need an army to handle this?"
Edward looked pained as he told me. "You'll find out why. But let's just say there are others who see future visions that advised Agent Jane to pick this group. That's what the doctors told me."
"The doctors? Your mom and dad?"
"I," I laughed, "It's just weird that you call your parents that."
"They're doctors, I don't see why not. It makes it easier to call them as one unit rather than mom and dad which use more effort."
"Never mind." I'm not sure I'd ever understand Edward.
"Anyway, when the little one, Alice, escaped James and found Leah Clearwater it set into motion a change. That's what the advisor told the doctor's and Agent Jane."
"Alice escaped James? What do you mean?"
We were still speaking quietly amongst ourselves, though I noted Leah's head turn, realizing she could hear us talking, and Jasper was a vampire and probably already knew all this. I had a feeling Jasper was the most knowledgeable with all this information, since he'd lived so long and had been helping the doctors for years.
"I'm not sure I understand what your question is, Bella," Edward asked, his eyes again watching me closely.
"I meant, why did Alice escape James?"
"He kept her – like a pet. He kept her to foresee the future for him and where his next move should be."
"She helped him?"
"Not of her own free will. He forced her."
I glanced over to that little pixie, thinking over how she was so starved and the way she looked so pale when we first saw her standing at Edward's door.
"Yes," Edward answered my thoughts, "it was probably worse than what you just imagined. I saw Leah's mind, who knows every detail of what happened."
I wanted to push these thoughts out of my head and when I looked up I saw Leah glaring at me. But then she saw the hurt, I think, that I felt for Alice and she stopped.
I asked Edward, "So that's why Alice came to us to help her find Leah and save her. Leah was taking care of the one, James, who hurt Alice. She didn't know there was more to this than that? Leah went into it blindly, only wanting to help Alice."
Edward nodded. Leah and my eyes met and then she turned away again. My feelings for Leah changed. She was a superhero. She was always trying to help someone else. If anyone was being used it was Leah, who only wanted to do the right thing and now the government and men like my dad and that Agent Jane were taking advantage of her and her gift as a shape shifter.
Speaking of which, Agent Jane walked in, ordering us to follow her. Good, we'd finally be briefed on why we were here and what we'd be doing.
Leah fell instantly behind Jane and Alice tagging along. She was always with Leah. I knew now why they were so close and the bond they shared.
We sat through my dad's explanation of how an army battalion was overrun and changed into vampires that are now working with James. I saw women and children be changed at the base. I saw a horror movie on the screen with that James vampire grinning and laughing at us – taunting us to do something.
[Full Back Story, and this video of James on the base running amok, must be read in FPI: Superhero Saga; Stage Three, Chapter 3]
My dad continued to glance at me, but I wouldn't side with him. I wouldn't believe him to be anything other than the General who started this by experimenting with our own army to become powerful vampires and watching it backfire as they joined James' army to take over the human race.
Afterward, we were to split up into two teams. Mine was Team Edward. I had to travel to Europe and find a vampire leader named Camros. I'd never been to Europe and always wanted to travel since I'd never seen anywhere other than the Phoenix area, but this wasn't my idea of how I'd travel. I didn't want to go as an operative looking for a dangerous vampire and I was scared.
Agent Hale looked over at me like I was a child and she was put out. When she was told she was in charge of me, and Edward and the cute little brother of Leah, Seth, she breathed the loudest sigh of frustration I'd ever heard.
She followed with a lecture to Agent Jane about how ill-trained we were – and she was right. What were they thinking?
And then I kept dropping the guns and that Neutralizer thing that Agent Jane gave me. It didn't help that I had absolutely no idea about weaponry, and fighting, and spy stuff.
Alice wanted to use the big guns and they gave her a smaller one like the one I had. I didn't even know what they were called. I just knew I didn't like guns and didn't want it.
Team Jacob was led by Agent Jane and the two biggest guys in our groups, Agent Emmett McCarty and Jacob Black. They were both really handsome, and the Emmett guy was really into Rose Hale on our team. Jacob, from what I gathered, had a history with Leah Clearwater. She didn't look happy with him. If she didn't want him, I'd go for it.
But Leah was really worried about her little brother. I could see that's who she really cared about and seeing him seemed to rip out her heart. She didn't want him to be part of this, and here he was in the middle of it. It felt painful just watching her eyes when she looked at him.
"You have a strong sense of empathy," Edward whispered to me, surprising me he was so close. Again, I was thinking vividly and forgetting he could read my thoughts.
"I'm not so sure about that," I told him.
Agent Jane announced that we'd be leaving in an hour and to say our goodbyes. I could see the two Agents, Rose and Emmett, canoodling and whispering sweet nothings to one another. And then Alice took Jasper's hand, wanting to share something with him before they were separated. I found that interesting and wondered if I should ask Edward to read their minds and tell me what they shared together.
Edward said a low, "No."
I know you heard that thought, but what if she had a vision that would help our group? I asked him.
Edward shook his head again. "Sometimes it's best not to know the future – just as sometimes it best not to read what others think. Sometimes you get hurt."
My view brushed across his stern brow for a moment before being interrupted by Leah yelling at Jacob. When I looked over he was hefting her onto his shoulder, carrying her to a back room, as she kicked and screamed the whole way.
I walked over to the room, hoping someone wasn't going to get hurt, when she kicked the door closed in my face. Then I turned and saw her little brother, smiling carelessly.
"I can't believe you and Leah are related," I told him.
"We get that a lot," Seth agreed grinning.
"You're so young," I remarked and Seth shrugged.
"I'm not the youngest in our pack. In fact, I'm pretty mature considering…."
And then Seth excused himself to go inside the room when we heard things being thrown.
Edward took my forearm, which sent a shudder along my arm. "Bella, I have something that I want to show you."
"Please tell me it's not some weird gadget."
"Actually…, it's a surprise."
I bit my lip, feeling nervous because his hand was still touching my forearm gently. I said, "Sure… okay."
And we left for a small room adjacent to the one we'd met in. I sat on the edge of a plain table and Edward sat beside me.
Edward held his finger to his lips, showing he wanted us to speak quietly. I nodded, showing I understood.
"I was listening in on thoughts while in there as the General shared."
I grew curious and sat up on the edge of the table.
"He is actually very concerned over you, but this is a job and our country and humanity is first priority. I just thought you'd like to know that he is concerned for you."
"Well, he could have visited more often when I was growing up if he was that concerned."
I thought over childhood hearing stories relayed by my mom about how my dad was a General and very busy. If he could he would visit, and soon I just didn't care.
"And I found out something else while listening to Agent Jane's thoughts," he said.
"She really hates Leah and is enjoying every dig a little too much."
"I didn't have to read minds to see that."
"They planted a device in her, which makes them control her. It can keep her from shape shifting. I think they've planted it in the other wolves too. They have total control over them."
"Do the wolves know that?"
"Leah does, but I don't think Jacob and Seth know."
"We should tell them." I got up and walked to the door to leave.
"Wait…" Edward started, but I left the room.
I saw Seth and Jasper walking toward a utility closet. I heard noises coming from the closet and quickly made my way to where the two were standing. Edward was just behind me.
Seth opened the door and we all saw Rose and Emmett making out. Various "whoa's" and gasps came from us. I know I said something incoherent and then Jasper shut the door and told Rose we needed to leave through the door.
Rose and Emmett walked out, still buttoning shirts and dressing and I decided probably best to keep quiet.
Jane walked in. "Team Edward – time to go."
Team Edward – what a stupid name, I thought.
Edward was looking directly at me.
I thought Team Jacob was dumb too, I spoke in my mind, knowing he was reading it.
Edward followed Jane to the door and I looked back to Alice. She ran up to me and gave me a big hug. She held me for a long moment and then looked up into my eyes. Her big, dark brown eyes were like pools of melted chocolate. "Don't think too hard – just do what you need to, Bella. Use the Neutralizer and trust your team – all of them."
"Okay." Her advice had such an ominous warning to it.
She closed her eyes momentarily and then looked like a heavy weight had been placed on her back. "Thanks for being a friend." She smiled and then left me to walk past the others, and to the back of the room.
I looked over at my team and Jasper was watching Alice as if he'd break down and cry. What had she seen? What did she and Jasper talk about? I looked over at Edward, hoping for an answer, and then Jasper and Seth came up to me, Seth casual and sweet, said, "Let's go Bells."
"Sure." I waved to Leah, who only gave me a head nod, but then quickly told me, "Don't die, Lucky Charms. You might be missed."
I nodded in assent, and ready to go, surprised that I saw a glint of emotion in her eyes toward me. It actually made me feel kind of happy.
Rose and Emmett were kissing goodbye again, but she was instantly beside Jasper and headed to wherever Jane was taking us.
We walked through a corridor and then out some heavy metal doors and to a tarmac. It was night and the sky was littered with tons of stars. We were out in the middle of nowhere by what I could see. There was dark blue or black plane waiting for us and we all boarded.
It was a medium sized plane and was set up fairly nice. We sat in an area that looked like first class.
Jane handed us all a manila envelope, stating, "Your instructions, papers, and everything you'll need. Jasper knows where you are headed. Rose is in charge of the group. I hope you all the best, and please… try not to die." She smirked, looking like she didn't care one way or the other, and then disembarked the plane.
"What a bitch," Rose breathed. "Not like she'd have to worry about dying."
Seth laughed and looked like he was ready to go to a theme park. Did he realize this was dangerous?
This was it. We were headed on some mission, a bunch of civilian rookies, except for the vampire, Jasper Whitlock and Agent Rose Hale. We were going to die.
The plane lifted off, turbulence rocking us all over, and then kept lifting. I think I was going to be sick. I quickly found a barf baggie, just in case, and Edward gave me a smart-alecky look, which made me want to barf on him.
And I'll do it, I told him in my thoughts.
He considered changing seats, I think.
Agent Hale looked back at me, shaking her head and then to Seth, and in her eyes I think she actually felt sorry they were sending us. I think she was professional enough to know this isn't how it was supposed to be. I think I was going to like her. I remembered what Alice told me, and I wanted to trust them all. She told me to, and that's what I would do.
A/N Okay, they're about to meet the leader of the vampire insurgency, Camros, and maybe die, or at least play around with the Volturi. We hope you like the story so far. Remember, REVIEWS save lives. ;D