Chapter 28: The Future
Carlisle and Edward go after Irina and come back empty-handed, so everybody goes on with their planning like, “whatever, I'm sure SHE won't be a problem later.” Bella's still set to go to Italy soon, and then everybody's heading down South America way. Jacob's even coming with them—they plan on using him as an ambassador to the native people they need to question. Of course. Send the brown guy to deal with the other brown guys! That's how white folks'll do ya. Carlisle also has vampire friends in the Amazon, but Bella says they probably don't have “anything to do with the legends of vampire hybrids” they're looking into, because they are all female. Another bitchy aside from Bella—“Ha! I got to reproduce and none of y'all did! Na na na na na na!” Also, uh, Renesmee is female! WHATEVER. Also, all of Carlisle's Amazonian friends are chicks? (“How do you know these women again?”-Esme)
Meanwhile, Alice is watching Irina, but she's just wandering, distraught, through the “snow-swathed wilderness.” They can't figure out what she's up to, and her family in Alaska hasn't seen her for months anyway. Huh. Well, I'm sure it's nothing.
So here's the scene: Carlisle and Edward are theorizing, Esme and Rosalie are packing, and Emmett and Jasper are talking about the animals they'll get to eat in the jungle. Alice is absentmindedly working with flowers again. “I could see from the way her face fluctuated—aware, then blank, then aware again—that she was searching for the future,” Bella says. Alice heads toward the kitchen, then abruptly drops a vase which shatters on the floor in front of her. (Picture this with Zack Snyder-esque slow-motion speedramping.) “I had never seen a vampire drop anything by accident,” Bella says. And then Alice turns toward them.
Her eyes were halfway here and halfway locked on the future, wide, staring filling her thin face till they seemed to overflow it. Looking into her eyes was like looking out of a grave from the inside; I was buried in the terror and despair and agony of her gaze.
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE, ASHLEY GREENE. Everybody starts shouting “What?” and Jasper starts shaking a frozen Alice. Then she and Edward speak in unison. “They're coming for us,” they say. “All of them.” That's totally going to be in the trailer, I'm calling it right now.
The dialogue here is kind of amazing—mostly unfinished sentences and repeated phrases. There's a page where Alice just repeats “I can't see” three times—it's like a Pinter play. This is the kind of thing that makes me think S. Meyer is more lazy than untalented. There are few unforgivable plot elements in Twilight, but couched in some better writing they might have been more intriguing than outrageous. I mean, that's not the only thing that separates Jacob Black from Humbert Humbert, but it's a big hurtle.
“The Volturi,” Alice moaned.
“All of them,” Edward groaned at the same time.
“Why?” Alice whispered to herself. “How?”
“When?” Edward whispered.
“Why?” Esme echoed.
“When?” Jasper repeated in a voice like splintering ice.
So, this scene is cool. Alice has apparently seen the Volturi coming for their asses, wives and all, and apparently that's a big deal. Jasper maintains that the wives "never leave the tower," whatever the fuck that means. But they're leaving the tower this time! Oh no? So what's the deal, are the Volturi all Sharia about women? Come to think of it, if vampires pretended to be Muslims, that garb could be really helpful in sunny weather situations. But I digress.
Bella realizes, before anyone else does, that when Irina saw RNSM she must have thought of those immortal babies we heard about way back when. Well, it was only at the beginning of this book—it's not like S. Meyer planned so far ahead as to put any of this in an earlier installment—but it was so many boring words ago I barely remember it. The immortal children were really bad, out of control, but Irina's “mother” had such an overactive biological clock she just HAD to have one. Women be shoppin' (for evil babies)! And for that she got killed. “Carlisle had said that losing their mother to the Volturi's justice had made Tanya, Kate, and Irina purists when it came to the law,” Bella says. In other words: Irina is totally narcing on them. Very uncool, Irina.
Of course, RNSM is not one of those immortal babies—she's far more boring than that. But we get the sense that the Volturi are going to be willing to let a good story get in the way of the truth. Alice says even though Irina hasn't arrived, the Volturi more or less have their minds made up already; they've just been looking for an excuse to take out the Cullens. “It's as if they're waiting for her” even thouugh they don't know she's coming, Alice says.
Okay, two things:
- This plot development is closer to being “earned.” We learned way back in New Moon that the Cullens are the second-biggest gang of vampires around. I mean, that's ridiculous, right? There are like fifty Volturi and nine Cullens. Those are the only vampire gangs there are, at all? Statistically, that's just improbable. But whatever, I guess we're supposed to take S. Meyer's word for it. Point is, it's believable that the Volturi would be threatened by the Cullens.
- But on the other hand, the threat presented by the Volturi last time turned out to be basically fake. We heard from Edward and Alice how bad and evil and scary they were, but then Aro was nothing but nice to our heroes. Ever since, Edward's been indicating that Aro's intentions are less than pure, but again, that's just hearsay. I'm not convinced, despite this new round of doom-saying. I think Aro's an alright guy.
Meanwhile, Alice is behaving strangely throughout the scene. At one point she shudders, looks at Carlisle, then looks at the floor. What's up, gurl? When she goes into her last trance, this happens:
She blinked slowly when it was over, her eyes peculiarly opaque despite the fact that she was clearly in the present.
“There is so much. We have to hurry,” she whispered.
“Alice?” Edward asked. “That was too fast—I didn't understand. What was—?”
“I can't see!” she exploded back at him. “Jacob's almost here.”
Rosalie took a step toward the front door. “I'll deal with—”
“No, let him come,” Alice said quickly, her voice straining higher with each word.
She abruptly drags Jasper from the room, but something tells me it's not to go off and fuck this time. Everybody's sort of confused (I mean, look at the above exchange! It's kind of awesome) and Jacob comes padding in happily, asking what everybody's so gloomy about. Taylor Lautner will be good at that. “It's over,” Bella tells him. “We've all been sentenced to die.” Oh, come now, don't be so dramatic.
So a bunch of photos have been released featuring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart--the latter with a barely-attached bikini top, the former shirtless--doing what I guess are re-shoots for Breaking Dawn. I've posted them here, and you can have them incomprehensibly described to you here ("Plus, from the look of these new pics and the dish onlookers gave the mag, Robsten are madly in love—if PDAs are the key. Kissing and grabbing each other between scenes is now the Robsten standard, even on the set"). So anyway, that's that if you are in need of masturbation material tonight.