Jeez, I'm on a roll here! Hope you enjoy this. Thank you for all of your reviews and such. They make my day, honestly.
"This is incredible," I whispered, my hands reached up touch the glass as I watched droids hum and float through the air above the glittering mass of the hovering city. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this. I always thought you had gone to another planet like they said in those ads. Never…never a city in the sky!" My eyes flickered across the ceiling of the dome again, as the pictures and advertisements changed: 'NEW SMOOTHIE FLAVOUR: ROAST CHICKEN DINNER; THE WORKS! BOILED CARROTS AND PARSNIPS, ROAST POTATOES, HOT GRAVY AND TENDER CHICKEN! FINGER-LICKIN' GOOD! BUY ONE NOW AT YOUR NEAREST NOORY!' "Well I never…" I muttered as a picture of a smoothie carton revolved across the dome.
"Come on," Esme murmured, as she took hold of my elbow and led me down the plush corridor Carlisle following closely behind us, "the others are waiting for you and Aro Volturi is wanting to meet you." Her usually kind face took on a tight lipped grimace, "he finally takes an interest in you after all these years." Her kind smile returned, "We'll deal with that later. In the mean time, the others have been asking for you."
She led me calmly through the corridors to what appeared to be an elevator, it was like a glass pod in shape and hovered by the glass of the dome. The outline of doors glowed in the glass as we approached and dissolved as we stepped in front. "Ladies first," Carlisle spoke, gesturing for us to get in first.
We stepped into the bubble. Once inside it spun away from the dome's surface shooting across the space. I stared down at the city as we moved above it. I still couldn't make out the people, I guessed we were about 100 feet in the air, so they were still like multi-coloured insects that chattered and laughed. They were people who had never felt pain or known hunger or had to fight for their lives. They were beautiful, perfect.
"How many people in total live up here?" I asked.
"This one is thought to have nearly a million people on board Utopia. Utopia is actually for first class ticket holders. Everyone else is in various other platforms throughout the atmosphere of earth. This one is in fact the smallest and the most luxurious out of all of them," Carlisle answered, "This is where all the survivors have been taken to."
"What? There are others from Earth as well?" surprise sparked my voice and I turned to face them again.
They glanced at each other, a nervous look flashing in their eyes. They weren't supposed to tell me that. "Well…when you were rescued there was an outcry from the people and so the Volturi had everyone rescued from the planet. But you're the first. You're the one they're interested about."
"Oh…so they knew about all of us. There was more than just me, there were other people down there and they didn't even try?" No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep the bitterness out of my voice.
"As I said, we tried sweetie. All the families pulled in for an appeal, but all the families were stretched out between the Platforms and it was hard to put up a good fight for-"
"No, no, no, no, no, no, I'm not blaming you. Its just… I am so going to give Aro Volturi a piece of my mind when I meet him-"
"Don't," Esme said, a panicked look flashing in his eyes, "Don't make him angry Bella."
I frowned, "Why? What's the worst he could do to me?"
"Just be polite, alright? As far as he's concerned, you're his guest and you must act that way. Show him those manners Charlie taught you," she smoothed the shoulders of the clothes I was wearing.
"What am I wearing," I said suddenly, not realising that my clothes had been changed. I was now wearing the same kind of jumpsuits as the others when they first arrived on the planet except it was a deep blue. My fingers reached up to touch my hair to find it tucked up into a twist at the back of my head, the brown locks feeling smooth and sleek under my fingers. "Wow, space clothes," I said lifting the sleeve of my arm to see if Alice's bracelet hung there. And it was, wrapped around my wrist. Jake's cold nose suddenly pushed into my hand jolting back to him.
I kneeled down to his level as the elevator continued to spin across the void. "You excited Jake? We're finally up here. After all those years of waiting," I said, burying my hands into his fur, "Though…"
I looked up to Carlisle and Esme, "How could they let him on? Didn't they have a policy that no dogs over a certain size could go on the ships?"
"They made an exception," Carlisle said, also bending down to stroke Jake's fur, "He's part of the whole look."
"What?" I asked. Look? What look?
His brow creased, "Aro will explain."
The pod continued to move onwards until it entered into a crevice of the dome. It weaved along the winding tunnel until it stopped by set of silver oval doors. They slid open and the glass separating us from them dissolved to allow us to pass. We walked out and it was like stepping into one of my memories again. The room was an exact replica of the Cullens sitting room back on Earth. Same Persian rug, same leather furniture, same painted pictures on the walls, even the same fireplace. It was just surreal.
"BELLA!" I was suddenly rugby tackled from all sides by the Cullen children. I staggered and dropped to my knees as everyone gathered in for a group hug with me squashed in the middle. My hair came undone as it was ruffled by a large hand. "Its good to see you Hells Bells!" came Emmett's braying voice.
When they had dispersed I got up, beaming at everyone. It's good to see your all ok."
"Belliebaby, is that you?" I froze, the voice I'd nearly forgotten.
Mom stood in the middle of the room, staring at me like I was an apparition. Her brown hair was neatly pinned back like mine had been, pink one strap dress fitting her form. Her brown eyes crinkled with laughter lines, stared at me as if I was about to disappear. "Mom?"
"Oh Bella darling, you're here!" tears glistened on her lashes as she flew forwards, grabbing me into a tight hug. Her fingers stroked my hair as she sobbed into my shoulder, "My baby has come home!" she cried as my arms circled her. She was smaller than me now, tiny in comparison to me. The revelation shocked me, just like most things did nowadays.
"Its good to see you Mom," I whispered, inhaling her scent of soap and lilies. She pulled away and cupped my face, looking at me critically for the first time.
"My how you've grown. My little girl is a woman now. And so tall," she smiled, tears still dampening her cheeks.
My cheeks reddened as she spoke, "Mom, you and Phil got out. First class and all."
"Our life savings, but it was worth it," she said, continuing to cup my face, "Charlie should have said to me, we would have helped."
"It wouldn't have worked out," I said, "But it doesn't matter now. Its all in the past."
"Exactly, we should now focus on the future. And that future includes you," this voice I did not recognise. I frowned looking around to find its source. A man with coal black hair and equally dark eyes stood by the fireplace, staring at me. He was wearing a pure white suit with a black tie, his papery white hands clasped in front of him. His eerily handsome face smiled a shark tooth grin at me. The hairs on the back of my neck rose and my gut twisted. My instincts were telling me to run, and my instincts had never been wrong. "Isabella Swan, it is a pleasure to finally meet you. My name is Aro Volturi, C.E.O. of Volturi Corporations. May I give you the company's deepest apologies for not rescuing you sooner. We did not have the resources to rescue you."
My urge to shout and scream at him was tied down by my impulse to stay alive. Jake was still by my side and he began to growl, his hackles rising. "Thank you," I managed to say in clipped tones, while yanking Jake's collar to get him to shut up.
Aro smiled even wider, "But may I also congratulate you Isabella Swan. You have done something we never thought possible: breathing." He suddenly grabbed my hand in his own. It took my all not to recoil. His hand cold, soft and slightly damp, it felt strange in my hard dry warm hand. He lifted my hand and turned it in his own, staring at it like it was a fragile piece of glass. "You are proof that life will out. Such strength in one body, my my…" his nose ran along my palm and I suppressed a shudder. I really wanted him to stop kissing my ass and telling me what he wanted.
He eventually dropped my hand and opened his arms, still smiling the smile that sent chills down my spine, "you could be very useful to us Isabella. The news of your arrival has spread across the Platforms and you have quickly become an icon."
"An icon?" I asked, liking this less and less by the minute.
"Yes an icon: one representing humanities struggles and trials, showing the human spirit will never be crushed. Not only that you are a fashion icon.
"F-fashion?" I said, trying not to giggle. But the idea of being a fashion icon just made me want to crack up. I was teased at school for my baggy clothes and jeans that were ripped from wear. Alice and Rose would drag me to the shops where I would sulk in changing rooms while they tried things on.
"Yes, everyone is demanding for those boots you wear, everyone is dying their hair brown, Pookies are being made to look like your dog. What's his name by the way? He reached forward as if to pet Jake, but Jake snapped his jaw and a fresh wave of rumbling growls filled the air.
"Jake! Stop it!" I snapped, yanking again on his collar, "Behave yourself!" I then quickly smiled at Aro, who's hand was now a fist and was staring at Jake murderously, "His name is Jake. I don't know why he is like this," I continued to yank on the collar, wishing he would shut up.
"Right," he said, staring at Jake as if he was road kill before focusing back on me, "The public at large sees you a hero, a celebrity. You're hot gossip. People want you. And that's what we'll give them. Your celebrity status will promote the idea of moving back to earth, which has been proven unpopular with the general population. You will be given your own suite and you will be treated like the hero you are. What do you say?"
"Uhm…" I stuttered, a little overwhelmed by the whole concept, "That's very generous of you Mr Volturi, but I don't think I would be a very good celebrity. I've been out of contact with normal human beings for so long, I think it would be a bad idea to be commercialised like that. To be honest, I just want slip into this life with as little fuss as possible."
He continued to smile, but there was something hollow and rotten in that smile, "Please my dear, call me Aro. Let me ask you a question: You love Earth, don't you? You want humanity to come back to it don't you?" I paused before nodding at him. "Well think of it as a service to the planet you love so much. If you glamorise the idea of moving back down there, people will do whatever you deem as acceptable. If you are famous enough they will follow your every word and will make the Corporation's job far easier at convincing people."
"But the world isn't ready yet! The Hounds are still down the-" I tried to cut in before Aro waved my comment aside as if it meant nothing.
"We are already working on it," he said vaguely before continuing eagerly, "There is no need to worry about whether you are going to be a good celebrity or not. We will have team of stylists, P.A.s and managers helping to keep your image and organise everything for you. You won't have to lift a finger. Just do as they say. You'll be the face of Volturi Corporations! Other girls would kill for what I'm offering you."
"Sounds wonderful,' I said through gritted teeth, "I'll think about it."
"I need an answer now, Miss Swan. The team is dying to meet you."
"Wait… you already have a team set up for me? I haven't even said yes yet!"
"Yes or no Miss Swan?"
I licked my lips and looked at the others. There faces were a mixture of excitement and worry. Mom was practically glowing, "Oh just think! My little girl, the face of the Volturi! What an honour and from the man himself!"
Some however were not so ecstatic. Carlisle was frowning and Esme was looking anxious, twisting her fingers into painful knots. When I'm in situations like these, I listen to two things: my gut and my head. My gut was telling me to get the hell out of there before I got in too deep. My head was telling me that yes there was something definitely weird going on, but maybe I should just see what it is before I go running for the hills. Who knows, it might be nothing. And if its something I had plenty of people on my side to support me. I also did not want to get on Aro's bad side so early on. My gut and my head warred on for what felt like hours before my mind won. I acted nonchalant as I shrugged and said, "Sure, whatever. DO what you want."
He smiled triumphantly and reached forward to shake my hand, sealing the agreement, "You won't regret this Miss Swan. I promise you." His breath smelt of antibiotics. It stung my nose it was so strong.
"Right," I said, shaking his cold damp hand, "Nice to meet you Mr Volturi."
"Pleasure's all mine," he said evenly, heading to the pod, "You're team will be here to meet you tomorrow at 9. They'll -oh what's that old phrase?- show you the ropes."
"Ok," I said, giving him a thumbs up. Jake snapped a threatening bark at Aro as he stepped through the door.
"Shut up, Jake!" I hissed through my teeth as I smiled and waved as the pod spun away from the suite.
What have I gotten myself into?
I'm sorry this is so short and bad. This was really a filler chapter, but I promise next one is going to be better.
Please review! I love it when you do!
P.S. Happy New Year when it comes!