Thank you very much to The Walrus and the Carpenter for helping me Beta this document.
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Chapter 14: Team up.
We follow the group to the living room of the house; the Denali's, Jacob, the Cullen's, William and I. It looks so strange; everybody is dress up so elegantly but considering the situation, it looks completely out of place. Everybody looks expectantly at Alice and then to Edward.
"Alice, can you please tell us what you saw?" Carlisle asks, his tone amicable, but there is clear note of concern in his voice.
"They will come after us, again," Alice says, her tone serious. "It's still not decided when."
"We knew that was bound to happen," Emmet says, a grin on his face. "We're ready."
"But, this time there is going to be more vampires—some we haven´t met before," Edwards says, looking at Alice in the eyes, "and some that have helped us in the past are going to be with them now."
"That can´t be right." Esme sounds surprise from this piece of information.
"Why?" Rosalie asks with a trouble face.
"Right now, it's still not very clear. I can only partially see their faces," Alice says. "It has not been decided yet."
I look up at William, and he looks back at me, his eyes worried.
"We can take them," Emmet says, smiling and punching one of his fist into his other hand. It seems he is looking forward to the confrontation. "We have Bella to protect us."
"It is not so easy, Emmett, there will be powerful vampires," Alice says, her eyes looking nowhere specifically. "There'll be some abilities that we have not seen before. I don´t think Bella will be able to protect us from some of them."
"But Maya can help? Right?" I hear a voice coming from the back of the room. I turn and see that Jacob was the one who asked this question.
Everybody looks expectantly at me.
"Of course." This time I won't let William make the decision for me; they're our allies.
"It isn´t enough," Edward adds his eyes remaining on Alice. "there'll be too many."
"Why would so many vampire go with the Volturi?" William asks the whole room. "I mean, what reason would they have to join them?"
"Because Aro will recruit them without giving them any choice," I automatically answer, not aware that I was thinking aloud. Everybody turns and looks at me. "He'll use any means necessary in order to get those vampires to join them."
"He has done that in the past," Eleazar is the one that speaks. I look at him; he looks from Carlisle to Edward. "He already tried that with you, but he was not successful."
"But if he already has those vampires, why come for us?" Rosalie looks around the room, waiting for somebody to answer her.
"Because there are too many talents in this room that he really wants," Eleazar says, looking at Alice, Bella, Edward and I.
"Plus, he feels that after the display that occurred some years ago, the Volturi's reputation has been a little bit shaky. It left quite a few vampire questioning how impartial the Volturi are. Word has gotten around, and Aro thinks you … might be planning a revolution," I explain, seeing in Aro´s mind how he has thought of that.
"That is ridiculous," Tanya says, her face full of anger. "We have never tried anything like that in all of our years."
"Well, we know we are not planning a revolution," Carlisle adds "but he might think some vampires see us a potential replacement for the Volturi, so why wait for that revolution to come? Instead, stop it before it starts."
"Well, actually, stop it before we get more powerful," Jasper says, eyeing me as everybody looks over at me.
"I should leave," I say, knowing that I am the reason Aro has decided to go forward with his plan.
"It is not Maya's fault," Edward says, looking at Alice and then around the rest of the room. "We knew he went looking for Maya to use her against us; this only means he's speeding things up, but with you as an ally we have an advantage now"
"Do you think some vampire's won't join the Volturi if they are able to hide from them?" Bella asks. I look at her, understanding her reasoning. "I mean, Maya was lucky to escape from them, but what would happen if the Volturi are not able to make their proposal to the rest?"
"With Demetri, there is no way to hide from them," William says, knowing firsthand how fast he was able to track us down.
"He can´t track every single vampire in the world at the same time. Having a heads up might give them a chance to prepare themselves, or try to hide," Bella explains.
Everyone glances around at each other.
"Plus, with Eleazar not with them, he won´t know as easily which vampires are gifted," Carmen says, eyeing Eleazar lovingly.
"Well, he won´t as easily know which vampires are gifted, but if there is one in a coven, a single touch will reveal that information to him," I add, knowing firsthand how his mind work.
"It would make his job harder," Rosalie snaps at me.
"But how do we give a heads up? We don´t know all the gifted vampires in the world either," Esme says, her face full off worry.
"We might not know every single one of them, but we do know some," Carlisle speaks up and looks at Esme, his voice, as always, kind. "They are our friends, and some have helped us in the past. It's the least we can do, and maybe they are aware of others that we can notify."
"We know some other vampires as well," Garret speaks up. "They might be interested in knowing that the Volturi might be looking for them."
"But, how easily can we reach the vampires to make them aware of the situation?" Jacob asks, raising from the couch where he was seated next to Nessie. "I mean, it's not like we can grab the phone and give them a call and say, 'Hey, you might want to get on the run, the Volturi are coming to get you,' now can we?"
"You might have a point in that, Jacob," Edward says, looking at Bella.
"Can you see who Demetri will track? That way we can try to contact them," William asks, looking at Alice.
"I can do that, but this will not guarantee us reaching them before the Volturi," she answers, I assume thinking of some specific vampires. "Demetri will know where to go, and in our case, we don´t know where they are."
She has a point. I mean, they knew Demetri was looking for William and I, but Alice didn´t know where we were, and therefore weren't able to give us a heads up.
"So, we go and find them before they do—at least the ones that we know—and give them a chance to be in touch with us, and get in touch with them once we see Demetri going after them," Emmett says.
Somehow this sounds like a more reasonable plan than just to wait.
"But, how would we do that? Jasper asks. "I mean, right now Aro has not attacked us, because he see us as at threat together, and it helps that we are close to the pack."
He is right; out there by ourselves, Demetri could detect we have split and go after us.
"Well, he can´t follow my mind," Bella says, "and from what I understand, he can´t follow Maya quite right either. We could both go."
"No!" Edward and William say in unison.
"Bella, you are not a fighter, and your power only repeals mind attacks," Edward reasons with her.
"Maya can attack them, right?" Bella looks back at me, her eyes full of hope.
I start to move my head side by side. "I could up to some extent, if you could separate the innocent members of the coven from the guards." My mind is still fresh on the scene in the kitchen of the cabin with William on the floor suffering from the pain that I was unintentionally inflicting on him.
"You are thinking only of a mind war," William says. "It would only take a small physical attack to get you down, and then you would both be in trouble."
This makes me feel ashamed, but it´s true; being so physically weak is an issue.
"Besides, you are no longer a newborn, Bella. Your strength is average. I don´t think you would be able to protect yourself and Maya against someone like Felix," Edward says, looking at both Bella and I.
"If we could come with you, that would be a different story," William adds looking over at Edward.
"That won´t work," Alice speaks, her voice full of certainty. "Jasper is right, Demetri would be on your trail right away. Besides, just the two of you won´t do the trick; it would be too slow."
That stops the plan on its tracks.
Everybody looks at each other, searching for a solution.
"Alice, can Demetri track the pack?" Jake says, smiling.
Alice starts looking into the future. "I don´t know, Jake. I can´t see much if the pack is involved," Alice says, her face scrunching with the effort, as if looking for something that is too far away.
"I remember when we met in the battlefield six years ago, how Aro's mind was working," Edwards says. "It seems that the pack might confuse him greatly, considering the link that you form once you become a shape shifter, and being able to communicate among yourselves as wolves. He won´t know exactly where you are. There'll be too many tenors in one mind, just like Maya´s. You might even be able to masquerade the rest of us and confuse them." He's quiet for a moment as he looks at Jacob. "That might actually work, Jacob."
"What?" various vampires start ask.
"We'll need to form different teams and have a member of the pack in each, to repel Demetri's ability," Jake says, smiling widely. "That way we can actually be a lot faster and cover more area without Demetri knowing where to go."
"Most of the other covens have heard of us after our little display some years ago, so they might give us a chance to explain, even if we bring the shape shifters with us," Edward says, his face actually lighting up a little.
This might actually work.
"Except us," William adds, looking around at the crowd. "We have dropped off from the vampire world during all these years, plus anybody that knows me would think of me as part of the Volturi guard."
"That is right," Edward says, looking at both of us.
"I could show them, and explain that you are part of us now," Renesmee says.
It seems she has kept quiet all this time to avoid being kicked her out of the meeting.
All of the Cullens and Jacob look at her horrified.
"That is not even an option." Jacob´s voice is mad; he was obviously not counting on Renesmee being part of the plan.
"You are not leaving this house!" I hear Rosalie at my back; she sounds even madder than Jacob.
Renesmee ignores them all and sits straight in the sofa taking her time, as she looks at everybody. "Too bad. That would mean, somebody needs to babysit me, and then, Demetri will know that some of the Cullens are home alone. They might be tempted to attack us. Additionally, an extra team will cover more area in less time," she says, her face set, her eyebrow shooting up.
"It would probably be safer if you stay in the reservation near Sam. His pack will be able to protect you," Jake says, and I can see the relief in everybody's faces, except on Renesmee's; she is pissed.
"You know I won´t stay there." She looks at Jake, her eyes are threatening. "I am part of this family, and I know I can help out. They need me," Nessie says, pointing her finger towards William and me. "And whatever other vampire we can warn."
Reality sinks in; everybody knows she is right.
"That won´t work," Edward says, answering someone's thought.
"It has too," Jacob, says. "If she goes, I´ll go wherever she does. That is not up for discussion."
Edward eyes Jacob, his sigh not leaving his eyes.
"If we decide to go with this plan…" Carlisle steps in trying to ease up the tension between Edward and Jacob "…we at least need to know where we are going and how many teams we would need. Maybe it will not come to the point where we need everybody."
That actually eases some of the tension of the room.
"We know the Amazon coven, in South America, they have Zafrina, and we know Aro is interested in her," Esme says, following Carlisle in an attempt to distract Edward and Jacob.
"There is the Egyptian coven with Benjamin. I know that Aro wants him." Edward decides to stops staring at Jacob and adds his opinion.
"How about the Irish coven? They have Siobhan and Maggie," Rosalie adds to the list. "Siobhan might not believe in her power, but it could be really dangerous in the wrong hands." Her voice sounds worried.
"There is Alistair, but having Demitri, Aro won´t be tempted to get him, if he can." Emmett laughs. "It wouldn´t hurt us to warn him, or maybe he'll decide to hide under a different rock, just to be safe."
"I met a Nomad coven a long time ago," Garret adds. "They had a member with the ability of Telekinesis."
I notice some heads from the crowd nodding.
"And I once met an interesting Nomad, but I can´t recall what his ability was," William says. I look up at him. What did he mean 'he met an interesting Nomad'? "I might know how to get in contact with him though."
It seems that he and I need to talk about this nomad.
Everyone looks at me expectantly. I look through Aro´s mind, looking for other gifted vampires that he'd once heard about. "I can see some that might be interesting. Aro refers to them as mermaids?" I glance expectantly at everyone, hoping someone has heard about them. Their faces are blank, and it seems nobody has. "It sounds crazy, but there might be certain truth to the myth of them." This time everybody looks at me like I'm a crazy person. "Think about it, vampires are good swimmers, we can hold our breath indefinitely, and the humans find us very attractive. What if? There is a vampire with an alluring voice who can trick sailors to get near them so they can feed upon them. It sounds to me that we aren´t far off a mermaid."
"Except, for the fish tail," Emmett says, and everybody ignores him. I assume thinking of the case that I proposed.
"It sounds plausible. But, do we know how to reach them?" Carlisle asks.
"Aro has a theory that they might be located in the Atlantic Ocean, but it's a long shot. I mean, there are legends of mermaids all over the world," I say, remembering the theories that Aro had about that coven.
"If they have never seen them, Demetri can´t reach them, right?" Bella asks with a hopeful face.
"There was a vampire that claimed to have seen them a long time ago. I don´t know if Demetri will be able to find them," I add as I continue going thru Aro´s memories. "One thing is for certain, if we are able to find them, it's going to be hard to get near them. The vampire that saw them thinks of them as a vain coven, so not all vampires will be allow to get close." Everyone looks over at Rosalie, Tanya and Kate. "Although, they might be able to."
Rosalie's face changes momentarily; she is happy to be recognize as a beautiful one. It is so obvious that her ego just burst up, but I do not want to stare too long at her; I don´t want to be glared at again.
"So the Amazonian, Egyptian, Irish, three Nomads and Mermaids. That is seven covens, and that means seven groups. Plus, we don´t know if they might know of other covens, but it is a start," Jasper adds, doing the math. He looks at Alice, and she nods. "That will mean we need to split into seven groups using your help, Jacob."[L4] Jasper says while looking at Jacob.
"We have Seth, Quil, Embry, Leah and Me." Jacob counts a finger with each name. "I can ask for Sam´s help to get us to seven."
"You might want to check with Leah, Jacob. After all this time on her own she might not be happy about being recruited," Edward says, and I assume he read something in someone's mind.
"I´ll talk to her," Jacob says, his face showing that he is not very fond of the idea.
"So we have the support from the seven shape shifters; what would the groups be?" Emmett asks, his expression getting excited.
"Well, Carlisle and Esme could be one, then Alice and Jasper another; Edward and Bella,; and Rosalie and Emmett," Kate puts in, doing the math.
"Kate, Garret could be another group," Tanya adds, "and Eleazar, Carmen and I could be another one."
I can see everybody doing the math, and am aware that Nessie is needed to cover more covens.
"Nessie and Maya could be another team." Emmett is the brave one to say who the last group is.
"No, we can rearrange the last group," Bella says a little too desperately, looking for an alternate possibility. "Tanya and Maya could be another group, then Nessie can stay with Sam, and there'll be no need for you to come." She smiles at Nessie, and there is logic in her grouping.
Nessie looks at her mother defiantly. "How certain are we that the mermaids are in the Atlantic Ocean?" She looks at everybody's faces, but stops when she reaches me.
"Not very." I look at her knowing she is right. We are only speaking in theory, but reality has shown us that there are legends of mermaids all around the world.
"Because, if you ask me, they are an important coven to warn. An alluring voice is a dangerous ability in the wrong hands. We might actually need to put two teams, or more, tracking them." She looks around at everybody in the group and smiles knowing she just outplay all of us.
There is a dead silence in the room.
Edward sighs; he is not happy about the logic, but knows she is right.
"The moment we warn them, you are coming back home." His voice is composed, but you can tell he is worried about her. "I don´t care if your team is not able to warn other covens. We will deal with it, you got it?"
Nessie looks as if she is about to start a fight.
"No, Nessie, it's not up for discussion. You are coming back home." Bella's voice is gentle, but there is a command in her tone that I´ve only ever heard in human mothers.
"Using Nessie's logic, we might need to add another group. Tanya, William and an additional shape shifter could be another one." Jasper looks at Jacob, who starts nodding, agreeing with him.
"Well, actually, that is not going to work," William says. I look up at him, Jasper is right; an extra group is what we'll need.
"Why do you think that might not work?" Emmett asks. "Demetri can´t follow Maya, or maybe even Nessie, considering she is not a full vampire. It should be more than enough for one shape shifter to cover them."
"No, William means from a physical attack," Edward says, reading William's mind, and everybody looks at Nessie and me
"With Nessie being a hybrid, I´ve been told that her strength and speed are not as potent as a true vampire's." William says, looking at the rest of the group. "And Maya´s physical abilities are … well, you saw it a while ago." My mouth drops in that instant. How dare say this twice to my face, as well as in front of the whole group? I can accept being humiliated once, but that is as far as my pride is willing to go. My bad temper creeps back up. "Could one shape shifter protect both of them? We just agreed that Bella and Maya were not a good group, based on the same premise."
"I agree with you, William, Alice says. "It might be safer if one of us go with them."
"But why? Are we expecting an attack?" I ask, around the room. "I mean, I'm small and I wouldn´t represent a threat to a coven or Nessie." If William is going to play the weak card, then I might as well use it in my advantage.
"But we are not certain that at some point we might cross paths with a Volturi." William looks back at me, his face serious.
"Alice could warn us?" I look back at Alice, hoping she'll back me up.
"Maya, I might be able to look at the decisions Aro, Caius and Marcus are making, but they know how it works. I have blind spots, and somebody else might be calling the shots, and then what?" Alice looks back at me. "Plus, I don´t get to see a lot with the shape shifters and Nessie in the picture. In a way your group would be blinder than the others."
"Plus Edward and I would feel more comfortable if there was one full vampire with you, guys," Bella says, looking at William and then at Edward.
"I´ll go," Edward says, making the decision.
"No, I´ll go," William says, looking at Edward. "It looks like Bella is also one the Volturi are after, so she might need your mind reading ability, Edward." They look at each other; something is obviously going on in William's mind that Edward is reading, and I can see some understanding in Edward's eyes.
Edward nods back at William, and it seems like it's settled.
"Welcome aboard to Team Jacob," Jacob says, as everyone gives him an unkind look.
"I don´t think you´ll be the right shape shifter for that team," Edward says, and there is an edge to his voice.
"If you get to decide what vampires are teaming up, then I get to decide what shape shifters are going with each team." Jacob looks back at Edward, not breaking his stare.
"Edward," Bella touches Edwards arm, and he looks back at her, "he would do everything in his power to protect her."
Edward closes his eyes. He is obviously not happy with Jake being with Nessie.
"I don´t agree with William coming with us," I pipe up. "It means one less team, and the more teams we have, the more area we can cover faster."
"Maya, I don´t think it's up for discussion anymore," William says, his tone is serious.
"Well, then I´ll go with Tanya, and that will make an extra team." I look back at William.
"I´ll go wherever you go." He looks back at me, his face is deadly serious.
"If both of you go with Tanya, then Nessie and Jake can´t go," I hear Edward saying. "At least not alone—which would not accomplish anything."
"WHAT?" Nessie and Jake say at the same time.
"That won´t work," Alice says, smiling back. "We need every possible team available." This time her face is serious, and somehow I know it's true.
"If that's the situation, I don´t mind going by myself with a shape shifter," I hear Tanya saying from behind me, but I don´t turn back; I'm still looking into William´s eyes.
"See, it's settled," William says with a smile in his face.
"I don´t think so. It's too risky for her to go alone," I say.
"I believe Tanya can defend herself"—he is not backing down—"which is something you can´t."
This only infuriates more.
"And I think Aro would rather look for you than Tanya." His voice is becoming stern.
"And that is exactly why he'd be looking for you, isn´t it?" I know I've hit homerun with this one.
"Well we have the shape shifters to masquerade that." He's also getting mad. "Besides, I know how to take care of you."
"I can take care of myself!" Again, I don´t take my eyes off him. It has become a staring contest.
"Okay, fine. If that is the case, let's make a little test." He smiles. "If you can jump the creek by yourself then I´ll go with Tanya."
Oh, no, he didn´t just say that! It was a low blow, and it makes me fume. I look around, and I actually see Alice shaking her head at me, a silent warning that I am not going to make it.
Before I can do or say anything else, William takes my hand, not giving me a chance to pull it back. "If you will all excuse us, I need Maya to see my point of view," he says, looking at everybody, and I see questioning in Emmett, Jasper, and Rose's eyes. There is knowing in Edward's eyes, and Alice is actually smiling and nodding?
"I feel like I'm having déjà vu," I hear Emmet say before William pulls me out of the office, down the stairs, and out of the house.
I hope you like this chapter and would love to hear your comments.
Next update is Schedule for: December 4th, 2013 ;)