Setting: Edward has left Bella and she has suffered through unspeakable horrors since his departure, the Volturi have taken her in as their own and now she ventures forth to confront her past, which will lead to her destruction unless she accepts aid from one who abandoned her. AU- rated M for dark themes, OOC because of life-changing events
-We Are The Broken-
Chapter 1: Origins
She was alone.
Her past was hidden, her future unknown, and her present endured.
Utterly consumed by her sorrow and heartache to the point where one could simply look at her face and have to turn away because the pain reflected in her eyes was too much to bear.
The creature was heartbreakingly lovely, making it all the more tragic to see such agony exhibited in her every move. Delicate pointed features, doe-like golden brown eyes, and mahogany curls framed her ivory face. Her petite figure, which moved with such inhuman grace and agility, was enshrouded by darkness, only the reflection of light on her pale skin gave indication of her presence.
A dark cloak rested gently across her shoulders, billowing slightly in the wind. She stood atop the square's clock tower in an alcove gazing down at the milling crowds below. Shadows enveloped her lithe figure, caressing, and welcoming her as an old friend. The shadows had been one of the few companions she had these days.
It was a sort of self imposed exile though.
She had no desire to befriend others, she simply continued enduring a painful existence day by day, giving no thought to the future and letting the past kill her slowly. The little contact she had with others was only with her masters, it was impossible to ignore the Volturi.
She'd come to them thirteen years ago to the day. They had summoned her from America after learning about the tragic death of her father. How they knew she did not know. But upon seeing that she had no ties left with her human world she was given an ultimatum.
Die or be changed, death or immortality.
After all that had happened, she had chosen death; her pain was too much to uphold through eternity.
She'd been contemplating it for a while but lacked the initiative, and then there were the Volturi gifting her with an easy way out of her miserable existence.
Yet their fascination and curiosity of her caused them to change their original offer. Because none of their gifts worked on her while she remained human they were curious to see what would occur once she was made vampire.
Since vampires had eternity, days were no more than minutes, and they persuaded her to become like them just to see if her immunity would apply itself in her undead state. Then, after satiating their curiosity, they would grant her death.
It was not a proposal but rather an order, a command.
They were excellent at giving the illusion of free will, but she was not fooled. If there was one thing she was good at, it was seeing the true nature of people. So she had readily placed her life into their hands hoping for the end to come soon.
The end did not come though.
To say she was surprised would be a lie.
Aro's fascination with her had been a little too fervent, and deep down she understood that death would be hard to achieve.
In life her mind had been shielded from the immortals gifts'. In death she had retained the shield, and acquired a new gift. It was somewhat similar to Jane's.
Jane caused them physical pain that was the same to whomever it affected, yet her own gift was much more terrible.
She could see into a person's soul, despite what he had believed; declaring that vampires had no souls. They did have souls. And their souls were more tormented than any other creatures on the planet. She saw their bonds with others, their desires, their fears, she saw their true natures. With that insight, she could cripple them. She could delve into their souls and destroy all happiness and hope, she trapped them within their minds to face their nightmares and demons. Sometimes she could even give them a glimpse into her own broken soul.
That in itself was a form of torture so agonizing that some did not even survive. Her soul was so broken and torn that some would die after seeing the horrors that lurked within. She reserved that punishment for very few. The first time had been somewhat accidental. She'd been given a man to experiment her gift upon to determine its limits and boundaries.
He was a human. He had been out of his mind with fear after being tossed into her chambers. She'd known she could destroy him with his own demons in seconds but she waited to see what he would do.
As a vampire, humanity really was fascinating.
The man, upon realizing that he was not going to be killed immediately, had seated himself on her bed and tried reasoning with her.
"You don't have to kill me you know, we can run away, and I can help you."
"…I am beyond help…" her angelic voice ghosted to his ears making him shiver.
"How old are you?"
"You are too young to be subjected to whatever cruelty these people have done. Please let me help you."
His voice was despairing and urgent.
"I am a psychologist; I can help you with whatever pain you are dealing with."
The human whose life had been forfeit the moment he walked through her doors was trying to help her. The situation was almost amusing. He wanted to know her and her past and give her a future. Well perhaps she could show him her past. She was able to see their souls, perhaps she could draw them into hers…
"Please…" he begged, already losing hope.
She slowly approached him, capturing his eyes with hers and reading his soul, he was a decent man, if she'd been human she might have felt pity, but emotions had been burned from her soul long ago. Then she reached inside herself and grasped the torn, frayed, broken pieces of her soul, without hesitation they dragged him viciously into her very essence.
His eyes glazed over in anguish almost instantaneously and he let out an agonizing scream. His body doubled over and collapsed on the floor convulsing, his hands clutched his head tightly, and his fingers drew blood. Then a moment later she felt his heart stop and heard the breath leave his lungs.
She could not say exactly what killed him, but her soul was the bane of life. One glimpse at it would send them into death's waiting arms.
When Aro learned of her gift, he was intrigued and wary, but most of all delighted. It was no secret that he was fond of her and the vast destruction that her gift could wreak only elevated her in his eyes. His curiosity was so immense that he asked if she would use it on him.
She refused, she'd become somewhat fond of him over the years and did not want to be the one to possibly destroy him.
She warned him that it would cripple him if she did so, but she would exert the milder torment of his own soul upon him if he truly wished. Of course, he did.
That was when she reached into Aro Volturi's soul and let his demons ravage his mind. At the time she expected him to scream and weep, like all the others but he was stoic for the entire ordeal. It almost seemed as if he was frozen, the only indication of torment was his eyes.
She released him after a few seconds and he almost fell over. He looked feverish for a vampire and his eyes were crazed. He spared her not a single glance, but a quick look at his brothers had them carrying him to his personal chambers.
Never had anyone seen Aro so vulnerable. It was disturbing to say the least and everyone's respect for her grew tenfold with that one encounter.
Later Aro sought her out and embraced her in his arms. He was gentle and his red eyes were full of sorrow. She just stared at him with slight confusion.
"Isabella… I regret that you must bear the burden of this gift…" he whispered mournfully against her soft curls.
An immense sorrow then descended upon her and she tentatively lifted her arms to clutch on to his cloak. All the feelings she'd kept locked behind a shield in her mind tore free and she let out a sharp cry before collapsing into his arms and sobbing her heart out.
Aro had retired with her to his chambers and held her weeping form close to him all night. The experience drew the two of them closer but never again had she allowed herself to seem so weak in his presence. He had gained her trust that night but also gained awareness to the constant torment that inhabited her soul.
For several nights after the incident, Isabella had found herself in Aro's rooms desiring to feign sleep and have him hold her, comfort her.
He always did. The ruthless leader of the Volturi allowed her to take comfort in his arms night after night. Words were hardly spoken; they were neither needed nor desired. The silence was filled with memories, regrets, demons, and despairs. If any were to disturb them during these times the mere memory of the atmosphere in the room would be enough to send them to tears.
Eventually she rebuilt up the solid steel shield encasing her memories, stabilizing herself and preserving her sanity. Then the ritual-like visits slowed. Yet even though they no longer soothed each other night after night, their bond remained strong and Aro always allowed her to indulge in the few desires she still had.
Back in the clock tower she remained immovable staring hauntingly down at the masses below. Many of them would die. Some sooner than others. But death was so very far for her. She knew that whatever she did, the Volturi would not concede to her only wish.
A sigh escaped her pale lips as she waited for Alec and Jane to announce their presence. She knew they were watching her; it was all they did nowadays. Aro had commanded it, but she knew they were genuinely concerned for her anyways.
Despite their cold exterior, Isabella knew they were compassionate creatures, if only for their family.
"Isabella…" Alec began, waiting for her to turn around, "Aro has an assignment for you."
It had been awhile since he'd given her a mission. Over the years she'd only been sent out a few times for dangerous cases. She was by far the most effective means to execute a punishment or convince rogue vamps to return to Volterra to receive their sentence.
She enjoyed roaming though she knew why Aro kept her close. He'd lost his first son hundreds of years ago when he'd been sent to take care of a coven of exiled vampires. They'd been causing trouble up in northern Russia and he was sent to silence them but he never returned. It was said the minute he died, Aro felt it, and Isabella had no doubt that was true. Aro had left a trail of mass destruction on his journey to the coven and ripped them all to shreds by himself.
Vampires who knew him said he was never the same, and he was more cautious about sending those he was fond of out to deal with the rogues. His actions were understandable and she harbored no ill feelings towards him because of it but the time had come for her to travel her own path.
She could feel things changing, aligning, and preparing for something important. And she knew that Volterra was not where she should be in the coming months. Now it was time to leave and find out what the fates had in store for her.
Isabella turned and met their accepting crimson eyes with her haunted gaze. Jane offered her a slight smile and then disappeared, Alec following in suite. She gave the humans one last pensive look before receding into the darkness.