Casey: Good luck with time and things!
Christina: Good choice. Homelessness affects all of us, even indirectly, and its causes are many.
Cassie: I hope you’re having fun in NY! Also… I miss you already too. I’ll be back through town soon! : ) Also I feel lucky to have had a warning that this notebook post of yours was coming. Neville is freaking awesome. ALSO I am writing this post without any reminder! : P
Alexandra: Ditto Barty’s actor…
As much as I love HP, my adoration is recently vivified and not quite in-depth. So due to the fact that I have a pretty serious punishment to conquer, I’ll give slight mention to my favorite things about the series and get to fanficking.
My very favorite thing about HP is how brilliantly crafted each character is within such an incredible context. The character I know best in terms of development is probably Neville, and that’s mostly due to talking to Cassie about him ( ::sticks tongue out at Cassie:: ). But I agree with her—at the end, he became the only thing he could have become.
I am equally smitten with the casting of the movies. How in the world did they pick those kids?? Neville in Movie #1 was a stubby little awkward kid. Neville in Movie #7.2 is a handsome hunk of a BAMF. And most, if not all, of the other characters were as well cast. Nearly a decade of movies made, and at the end, all the actors suited their characters just as well as they did at the beginning. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
And now… My challenge. Nine hundred and twenty-four words of Twilight fanfic continuation.
I’ve included the first portion just above the new one, in italics. The continuation starts in Roman text below the second set of asterisks.
A burst of light.
A brisk breeze that neither cooled nor warmed.
A popping sound, then tearing.
The wind picked up speed.
Her eyes cracked open, and then shut again, exhausted and angry at the brightness that assaulted them.
The tearing sound grew closer and closer, until Bella was forced to open her eyes and expose them to the offensive light that had somehow engulfed her.
There was nothing to see, apart from a blindingly luminous glow. She assumed that she was outside, as that would be the only way to explain the wind that blew with increasing intensity. Bella opened her eyes fully and tried to sit up, but found that she was unable—and sit up from what? She realized with dawning confusion that she was not, in fact, laying down on anything at all, but seemed to be hovering. There was no up, there was no down; there seemed to be no boundaries whatsoever. Bella’s wonder began to mix with panic.
There!—a flash of something… something metallic? Bella tried to turn her head to follow the direction of the flash, but soon found that she was unable to move at all. She glanced around, squinting through the haze that was beginning to form on the edges of her vision. Of her own body, she could only see her arms stretched out in front of her, her skin sparkling like diamonds. She was outside, then, and this was sunlight.
She shut her eyes tightly for a moment, glad to have at least that slight ability of movement. When she opened them again, the ripping sound had grown to a roar, and she saw something in the approaching distance. She couldn’t tell what it was, but it sparkled like diamonds.
The haze overtook her.
Sudden silence awoke Bella from her unconsciousness. The tearing sound had ceased abruptly. She opened her eyes cautiously, anxiously, tiredly, and saw that the sparkling thing was still approaching. But that’s not all she could see: the blinding light had subsided somewhat, and she could see that she was, in fact, in midair. And, gauging by the rapid movement of the earth below her, she appeared to be flying.
Bella knew she did not have the power of flight; the only vampire she had ever met with that particular ability had been a young woman they had encountered at the Massacre of 3015. That had been many centuries ago—a mere drop in the bucket, though, of Bella’s already two-millennia-long life as a vampire.
So why was she flying?
Clearly, that answer would not come of its own accord. She could still not move any part of her except her eyes, so she could see nothing to any side of her save for that which was in front of her.
The sparkling thing continued to approach—or, rather, she continued to approach it, she reasoned. She focused her improving sight on discerning its shape.
Soon, Bella realized that the object had been approaching her after all, just as she had been flying towards it. It was a personal transport pod, a very antique model from the late 4500s. These days, people traveled by mindport. Who would be zipping around in a pod?
The transport pod slowed as it reached Bella, and just as she caught up with it, it changed direction, matched her speed, and flew next to her over the vast expanse of clouds and earth below. Its smooth silver surface glittered in the sunlight.
Bella tried to call out to whoever would be flying the pod, but she found she could not open her mouth. She attempted to call out with her mind, in case the person could read her thoughts (though no one had ever been able to in her entire existence, save one person, and that person was long gone). But to no avail: while her mind could project, all she got in return was the tearing sound that had awoken her mid-flight in the first place, however long ago that had been.
The silver sunshield that covered the pod’s surface retracted partway, revealing a video recorder’s glistening eye. She stared into that eye and, to her surprise, it seemed to blink.
“What the hell kind of video recorder blinks?” Bella wondered. She knew technology had made immense progress in recent centuries, in part because of Edward’s contributions to the fields of technogenetics and electrobiology.
The sunshield folded back along the egg-shaped inner glass windshield. Within the pod was something she never could have
expected. The eye was attached to a monstrous face, one she had grown to love, then know, then understand, then hate, then fear:
***** (CONTINUATION STARTS HERE)
A burst of light.
… though her mechanical eye adjusted to the brightness almost instantaneously. The hangar’s dodecahedral aperture opened quickly, revealing the grey-yellow of the Venusian sky. The sun was visible thanks to mid-34th-century terraforming, and it bathed in golden light the interior of the carbontube structure surrounding her. If she’d been able to appreciate beauty anymore, she would have found the sight captivating.
A brisk breeze that neither cooled nor warmed.
… though the windshield and climate control of her personal transport pod didn’t allow her to feel it. As if she’d have been able to feel it anyway.
Her pod was an antique model she’d had difficulty acquiring during the Ore Crisis. Only through back-alley dealings—and yes, she allowed herself to admit, a bit of intimidation and telepathic manipulation—had she finally gotten hold of it. Normally Renesmee used her, ahem, abilities only in accordance with the law. After all, a girl needed to make a living, and her job with the TEA (Technogenetic and Electrobiological Alliance) would be terminated immediately if they ever discovered her breach of the Ore Conservation Act. But her pod was necessary, she reasoned. Her technogenetic enhancements made mindport impossible, and she needed some way to travel quickly. Slow travel was not an option. Not in her line of work.
A popping sound, and then tearing.
Bella was on the move, then. And at least somewhat conscious, if the intense ripping sound was to be an indication. Renesmee looked on removedly as her mother began to ascend up and out of the enormous hangar into the luminous sky.
With one well-directed brainwave, Renesmee launched her transport pod and zipped past Bella through the aperture into the open air.
As she zoomed along, Renesmee meditated on what would be asked of her. Jacob had been very clear: He would have no part in the destruction of one he had loved for so long. That complicated things somewhat, but Renesmee knew she could accomplish her task alone. Not that this would be an easy burden to bear, though; the convoluted mission of the TEA prevented that. “Advance the Cause,” she muttered to herself in the silence of her soundproofed pod. The TEA’s public motto, on all the e-letterhead and at the top corner of every consumer broadcast. Laymen knew the Cause as the preservation and advancement of science, but Renesmee understood a far darker truth.
Suddenly Renesmee’s attention was drawn to her dash screen. Against all odds, against all prevention, a primitive sonar system had picked her up. Good thing she had installed the detection system, she thought, even though it had seemed unnecessary at the time. Sonar like that hadn’t been used since at least the early 3000s. It had been obsolete since the surprise technological advances mercilessly unveiled at the Massacre of 3015. Renesmee had been away at the time, seeking leads for a job, but word had gotten to her by way of telepathic connection with her mother. That connection had ended around the same time as the sonar. Renesmee recollected that her mother had pathed images of a flying vampire, and the irony of Bella’s current flight struck her as morbidly humorous. If she’d still been able, Renesmee would have let loose a chuckle that had once resembled that of her father.
Her father. Renesmee could scarcely allow herself to be distracted right now, but memories long gone of Edward began to fill her mind. Early memories, memories of swingsets and, a little later, schooling and biotech labs. Memories of smiles and laughs and the last warmth Renesmee had really known. Jacob’s high body temperature these days did little to bring warmth to what was no longer recognizable as anything but grotesque manmade spectacle.
A panicked siren began to sound from the dash console. Renesmee begrudgingly sent a brainwave to the pod’s central nervous system, and in one immediate and smooth motion, the pod reversed direction. Back from where she had come. Back toward Bella.
Renesmee slowed as she caught up with Bella, changed direction, and matched the flying vampire’s speed. The carbontube sunshield was still up, so Bella could not see the interior of the pod. But Renesmee could see Bella clearly. For a while they flew that way, right beside each other. It seemed that they were stationary and that the whole planet was speeding past below them.
Abruptly the tearing sound reentered Renesmee’s consciousness, and she realized that it had been silent through the rest of the flight. Bella was reaching out with her mind as she was unable with her body, sending out telepathic threads in an effort to understand what was going on. Renesmee was glad the pod had telescramblers; any connection to her mother at this point would be ill advised. The thought threads were reduced, in the minds of both sender and receiver, to nothing but the grating sound of tearing fabric. Renesmee was amused that she could remember such ancient things as that particular sound.
And yet… Something within her begged Renesmee to turn off the scrambler, to receive the distress call her mother must be sending out. She had her mind just barely attuned to that control, almost thought the scrambler down—but stopped. It was just too big a risk. There was too much at stake. But she couldn’t continue without letting Bella in at all. She came to an internal compromise: Pull back the sunshield. Let Bella see what was in the pod.
The sunshield folded back along the egg-shaped inner glass windshield.