3/21/2010

Volturi's Bane

Author's Note:

I still have the updated 'Bionic Woman' TV show from a couple of years ago on my DVR. I was watching it again recently and I thought a Bionic Woman story might be fun to write. Lately, I have mostly been interested in cross-over stories, so I got to thinking what would be fun and different from what everyone else is doing. Plus I usually prefer to mix stories of different genres meaning mixing two magic-based stories seldom work in my opinion, but mixing a science story with a magic story can. Now, as a middle-aged guy, I know I am not supposed to like the Twilight series, but I have enjoyed listening to the audiobook version of the first three in my car (I haven't read the fourth book yet). So I thought a Bionic Woman – Twilight story might work. I mean with her enhanced strength, speed, vision, and hearing the Bionic Woman has similar abilities to the vampires and werewolves in Twilight.

This story is set shortly after the end of the third Twilight book since I haven't read the fourth book yet. It will almost immediately head off in a different direction than the book series, as I find it more fun to do original stories. At least for the first chapter, it is going to be told from Bella's perspective in a first person style, because I was curious if I could capture the 'feel' of the books.

Updated Note 6/27/2010 – I was originally calling this story 'Bella Swan, Action Figure', but I didn't really care for that. One of the few things I hate about the serialized form of fanfiction is that you have to pick the title right in the beginning before you necessarily know where the story is eventually going to go. With several of my other stories, I later came to wish I had picked a different title, but stuck with the original. This time I really didn't care for my original title and since there is only one chapter out there so far, I have decided to rename it 'Volturi's Bane' at the same time as moving it from the Twilight category to the Twilight-Bionic Woman crossover category. If you have already read 'Bella Swan, Action Figure', this first chapter is unchanged. I am feeling motivated to do another chapter, but I am about to leave on vacation so it may be the end of July before I get it written.

Oh, and the usual disclaimer, I own none of these characters.

Now, on with the story,

Duane

Chapter 1

Part 1

Bach's 'Largo' from the Concerto for Two Violins in D minor began. Alice had insisted on the traditional processional to go along with the turn-of-the-century wedding theme she had selected. A small quintet of two violins, a cello, a harpsichord, and one trumpet were situated just to the left of the altar.

As I watched, all two hundred guests turned in their seats on the white folding chairs set up in neat rows in the small glade behind the Cullen's house. As Jasper, Emmett, and Edward moved to their places at the front, I saw Carlisle clasp Esme's hand. They shared a quick smile before turning in their place in the front row to joined the rest of the assembly in looking back to the garland laced trellis through which the bridesmaids and I would make our entrance.

Rosalie flashed me a brilliant smile before turning and striding majestically down the white satin runner which formed the central aisle of the make-believe chapel in the woods. Rosalie had ultimately gotten into the spirit of the wedding and had insisted on selecting the bridesmaids' dresses since Alice had selected the wedding gown. Now she and Alice were adorned in pale gold gowns, which Rosalie claimed best suited her hair, but which I thought better matched the gold-colored eyes the Cullen clan all sported today.

Rosalie was halfway down the aisle when Alice reached over and clasped my hand. "This is your day, Bella. I hope it is everything you dreamed it would be."

Vampires can't produce tears like humans, but at the moment Alice's golden eyes shimmered in a way I had never seen before. After a final quick grin in my direction, she forced a more somber expression onto her face before taking her turn in walking down the aisle.

"Are you ready, Bells?" asked Charlie from beside me.

I glanced over at him as he stood there in his rented black tuxedo. I didn't think I could ever picture him in anything but his sheriff's uniform or perhaps his fishing gear, but at this moment my father seemed to almost glow.

Then I took a moment to reflect on his words. Was I truly ready to marry Edward? I had fought against this day for much of the past year. Oh, it wasn't that I didn't want to be with Edward for the rest of my life or more accurately the rest of my upcoming undead existence. No, I had wanted that on at least some subconscious level since the day I found out about Edward's true nature. But wanting to be with him wasn't the same as wanting the whole formal wedding and marriage rigmarole. However in the end I had capitulated to Edward's desire and then had forced myself to wholeheartedly participate in the seemingly endless preparations.

And focusing on the wedding preparations had helped distract me from thoughts of the upcoming event that would form my true everlasting commitment to Edward – my transformation from human to vampire. Deep in my heart I knew I still wanted it more than ever, but it didn't prevent thoughts of how it could all go wrong. What if I didn't survive the transformation with my mind intact? What if I turned into some slobbering monster? What if I came back to Forks and destroyed my father and all my former classmates and friends?

Quickly to distract myself from the potentially endless loop my mind frequently got trapped in when started down this path, I glanced up to the small altar where Edward patiently stood. And it reminded me of the reward that made the risk worthwhile – getting to spend the rest of eternity with my true love. Or if not eternity, at least thousands of years like the ancient Volturi.

"Yes, Dad," I responded, as I clasped his proffered elbow. "I'm ready."

Charlie took a moment to stare into my eyes before giving a small nod. Then he led me over to the entrance to the fairy-tale chapel and paused for a moment beneath the trellis, as he waited for the current musical selection to end and Wagner's Bridal march to begin. As always, Alice had outdone herself with the decorations. Even with all the impossible speed and strength of the vampires at her disposal, this time it hadn't been enough. No, after I had first seen the twenty-five thousand white streamers hanging down from every branch of every tree surrounding the impromptu chapel, I had gotten her to admit to hiring three crews with cherry pickers who had spent the last two days working from dawn to dusk.

Pulling my attention down from the nearly solid white canopy formed by the streamers, I took a deep breath as the congregation all rose to their feet. Then, as the traditional music began, I found myself wondering for the hundredth time why we hadn't simply eloped, even though it would have been patently impossible to thwart Alice's gift. I forced a big smile onto my face before taking the first step down the aisle.

Step. Pause. Step. Pause. The march down the aisle somehow managed to be both interminable and yet ever so brief.

My stride only faltered once on that trip to my ultimate destination. Halfway down the aisle, my eyes flicked passed Charlie and abruptly I spotted Jake and his entire clan lined up in one of the rows. What was he doing there and how was it I hadn't spotted him until this moment? As always he and his wolf brothers towered at least a head taller than anyone else at the ceremony, so why hadn't I seen him when I had scanned the crowd over and over during the last twenty minutes?

The rest of the Quileutes were decked out in their finest Native American garb, but Jacob was dressed in the traditional black suit and tie. For a moment it made me think he was dressed for a funeral rather than a wedding. But then I realized from his perspective a funeral was probably closer to the truth than I cared to admit. He knew it was my intention to be turned as soon as possible and he had said I would then be dead to him.

And that was why I had explicitly told Edward and Alice my one serious stipulation before going through with the whole wedding ceremony was that I wanted final veto authority over the guest list and I didn't want Jake to be invited. I still cared for him and didn't want to put him through today's whole ordeal. And I knew if he was invited, he would feel compelled to attend.

Even as I continued the slow steady march up the aisle, I shot a glance up to Edward, as he had to be the one who had sent the invitation to the Blacks and the rest of the Quileutes. Perhaps it was fortunate Edward couldn't 'read' my mind like he could everyone else, or he wouldn't be standing there with the utterly serene expression on his face.

Five more paces and we were level with the first row of chairs. We paused and Charlie lifted the sequin-covered veil away from my face and smoothed it down over the back of my head. Then he leaned down and kissed me on my cheek.

"I am so happy for you, Bella," he whispered before straightening and moving to the vacant chair next to Renee, my Mom, and her second husband, Phil.

For a moment I just stood there and basked in the warmth and sincerity behind Charlie's words. This had been the whole reason I had agreed to the large formal wedding – to give Charlie, Renee, and all my old friends a sense of closure and a final happy memory of me. For after I was turned, I knew it would be a very long time, if ever, before I would see any of them again.

With a final tear-filled nod to my parents, I turned forward to where Edward and the rest of the bridal party waited. Edward smiled as soon as our eyes met and then he extended his left hand towards me. I quickly reached out my right hand and felt Edward's cool touch. Gently and ever so gracefully, Edward guided me to my position beside him. Surprisingly, I made it without a single stumble.

"Friends and family," began old Reverend Mason, the Methodist Minister in Forks. I had been surprised after all of his comments about his lacking a soul to learn Edward had been attending services at the Methodist Church almost the whole time the Cullens had been back in town. And I was even more surprised when both Reverend Mason and Edward had insisted we go through the traditional pre-wedding counseling.

But none of the things discussed during those meetings were on my mind at the moment. Nor were the actual words the minister was saying, as they seemed to drift passed me just beyond my grasp. No, suddenly my eyes were again tearing up and my throat was so tight and constricted I was certain I would be unable to say my vows when we reached that point in the ceremony.

In reaction to my mental state, my nails must have been digging into Edward's hand like claws, but he merely ran his thumb along the outer edge of my hand in a calming manner. I focused my entire attention on the way his thumb caressed my skin until I felt like I was getting myself under control.

Turning my attention to Reverend Mason's words, I realized he was just getting to the point where the congregation is asked if anyone has 'just cause' why we could not be lawfully married.

And then I heard what I had never expected. Jacob called out in a loud, yet calm voice. "I do."

If there were going to be any 'I do's' this afternoon, they were supposed to come from me and Edward, not the congregation.

A startled gasp rippled through the two hundred assembled people, as everyone in attendance turned to stare in Jake's direction.

Slowly, Jake stood. Towering over everyone else, he stretched out his right hand and pointed at Edward.

I heard Edward let out a low growl as his gift gave him forewarning as to what Jacob was about to say.

"Don't do it, dog," Edward hissed so softly no one except the vampires and werewolves could have heard it. And, of course me, since my face was barely a foot from his.

But if Jake heard Edward's warning, he paid it no regard. "Edward Cullen is an inhuman monster. Hell, they all are. This ceremony needs to be stopped."

I couldn't believe Jake was doing this in the middle of my wedding. He knew I wanted to be with Edward more than life itself. And he had to know this interference at best would only slow things down, but not stop anything if my heart was set on going through with it.

And no one was going to believe such an outrageous claim about the Cullens – particularly since half the town, or at least half the people in attendance today, knew of the bad blood between Edward and Jacob. No, they would all chalk it up to a case of sour grapes.

Then in a coincidence so unlikely, it almost seemed like it couldn't be a coincidence, the nearly impossible happened. At that moment a brilliant ray of unfiltered sunlight found its way through the thick canopy of trees and hanging streamers and struck Edward and his family. Immediately, their skin began to sparkle and shine like they were coated with thousands of tiny diamonds.

For at least ten seconds an unnatural silence held. Then it was broken by a child's sharp exclamation. "Look, Mommy, they glitter." I think it was Mike Newton's little sister, Sara.

"They are monsters," repeated Jake.

I tore my eyes away from Jake and looked at Edward. How anyone could consider Edward a monster at this moment when he looked more than anything like an angel was beyond me.

But then I saw Edward's eyes abruptly change from gold to black and then on until there was even a hint of red and I was suddenly afraid.

"You WILL pay for this, dog," Edward snarled, this time loud enough for everyone to hear.

He had barely taken a single step forward and I was just trying to put a restraining hand on his arm, when Jake abruptly released a deafening bellow and then with a sudden ripping and rending of cloth transformed into the wolf in front of everyone.

After more than a year of dancing around each other, they were finally going to fight and right in the middle of my wedding. It was like my worst possible nightmare was coming true.

Part 2

For a moment the tableau remained frozen with Edward and Jacob lunging towards each other and everyone else beginning to pull away in sudden terror. And then everything began to fade away - the congregation, the trees, the Quileutes, the Cullens, my parents, Jake, and last of all, Edward. Finally all that seemed to be left was the multitude of white streamers and then everything faded to white.

What was happening? For a moment there was nothing but an all encompassing white. Then slowly I began to make out what sounded like electronic equipment making an assortment of beeping and buzzing sounds which seemed vaguely familiar. Then voices entered into the mix and while I couldn't immediately make out individual words, I recognized the frantic, hectic timbre. I was in an emergency room like I had been so many times before in my life.

Struggling to shake off the impossible lassitude that was encompassing me, I tried to take stock of my situation. And that's when I became really afraid. I couldn't feel my arms or legs. And my head was pounding like the time my body had been beaten against the rocks after I jumped from the cliff into the ocean. But this time I wasn't seeing the soothing image of Edward I had been searching for on that previous occasion.

Fighting for more contact with the real world, I forced my eyes open or at least my left eye, as the right one seemed to be taped shut and I was suddenly aware of a sharp pain in it as though a knife had been jammed in hilt deep.

At first all I saw with my one partially functioning eye was red. Blinking rapidly, seemed to wash enough blood away until I could make out vague shapes.

I was lying flat on my back. Much of my limited field of view was blocked by a ventilation mask covering my nose and mouth and the balloon shaped bag that was slowly inflating and collapsing. Occasionally, blurred forms would pass through my field of view.

And then I realized through my haze the nightmare wedding had been just that, a nightmare. The actual wedding was still three weeks away.

More of my memories slowly slipped in around the edges of the pounding in my head. I was in San Francisco. Alice had insisted we come down here shopping for the final 'special' items needed for the wedding and, more importantly, the wedding night. She had been insistent on today as she foresaw dreary, wet weather all day, which would allow her to be safely out and about.

I had finally agreed to come to appease her, but after our arrival at the airport, everything became hazy. All I could remember was that my extreme lack of coordination had once again struck. Somehow I had ended up falling into the street in front of a speeding car. I remembered hitting the hood of the car and rolling over the top. I think I may have been hit by a second car and then everything had gone blank.

Slowly my mind was drawn back to the present as I realized my view of the white ceiling was mostly blocked by a large blob of turquoise. I blinked my eye again and it was just beginning to resolve into a human face mostly obscured by a cap and mask heavily splattered with blood, when the face pulled away.

As if from a great distance, I heard a voice say, "Doctor, I think she is coming around."

"Damn it, Chris," came the reply. "Get her under. We don't have time for her to be awake if we are going to have any hope of saving what's left of her life. Kelly, where's that bone saw?"

I saw a hand move into my field of view and begin turning valves on the control panel for the tubes leading to my oxygen mask.

I felt my panic rising at the Doctor's careless words. What did he mean by 'what was left of my life'? How extensive were my injuries?

And where was Alice? I had no recollection of her being there at the accident, but I had little recollection of anything except the speeding white car. But why hadn't Alice foreseen the accident and been able to prevent it?

Slowly I felt my consciousness slip as the anaesthetizing gases in my breathing mixture began to take effect. I wanted my last thoughts to be of Edward holding me, but I found myself back at the beginning of the wedding dream. Wagner's Bridal Chorus was just beginning and the congregation was rising from their seats, as I slipped away.

Part 3

I awoke with an abrupt feeling of clarity. Normally, I am slow to come awake and it takes at least five minutes before I seem fully functional. And on particularly bad days it takes a shower and a cup of coffee before I am truly alert.

But not today, as I opened my eyes my last memories immediately came rushing back. I had been in an emergency room very seriously hurt.

Quickly, I scanned the room. I was lying in a hospital style bed in a relatively large room of at least twenty by thirty feet. The walls were solid unpainted concrete without a single window and only a couple of heavy steel doors in adjacent walls. Both of these doors were currently closed. One wall contained a large recessed mirror that looked like a one-way observation window from some cop show or a bad spy movie.

The room had three other occupants, all of them women. Two of them were dressed in standard medical scrubs and were focused on a bank of electrical equipment along the left hand wall. The third was a woman who looked to be in her mid-twenties and was dressed in a pair of jeans, a light blue pull-over shirt, and a short black jacket. She had been sitting in a battered old leather chair in the far right corner, but now that she could see I was awake, she rose to her feet.

As she walked closer to the bed, I studied her face. She had straight black hair extending down just passed her shoulders. She had light blue eyes, high cheek bones, and a pale complexion. She was extremely beautiful. Well, extremely beautiful for a human. If Rosalie, Esme, or Alice was in the same room, she would barely rate a second glance. But compared to someone plain and average like me, she was stunning.

"Hello, Bella, how do you feel?" the woman asked as she half leaned, half sat along the edge of the bed.

"Where am I? Who are you? Where's my friend, Alice?" I asked ignoring her question.

The woman turned and glanced at the large mirror for a moment before looking back down at me. "You were very severely injured in a hit-and-run accident. Saving you, or at least leaving you with a useful body, was beyond the capabilities of the doctors at San Francisco General. Therefore, since you met some of the requirements of our organization you were transferred here for treatment. This is the Wolf Creek Biomedical Research Institute, a facility managed and funded by The Berkut Group. This facility is located about thirty miles north and a little east of San Francisco.

"As for me, my name is Jaime. A little over three years ago, I went through much the same procedures as you did. Therefore it was decided I might be the best person to have this initial conversation with you.

"And as far as your friend, Alice, I'm afraid I know nothing about her, but I will be happy to make inquiries."

The other woman, this Jaime, paused for a moment before continuing. "Now, how are you feeling? How do your arms and legs feel? Can you wiggle all of your fingers and toes?" Then she proceeded to move her hands in demonstration in a pattern that looked like she was playing scales on a piano.

It seemed like a childish request, but I decided it was best to humor her for a moment in hopes to get past this and on to more important things like locating Alice and getting a message to Edward or Charlie to let them know where I was and that I was okay.

I began lifting my hands from where they were lying on top of the sheet spread across my body. I was just about to perform the demonstration the woman had requested when I suddenly realized the tingling in my right hand I had experienced ever since James had bitten me was gone. I stared down at my hand and slowly turned it so I could see first the top and then the bottom. The whole scar was gone.

"I had a big scar on my hand," I said at barely more than a whisper as I continued to flip my hand back and forth.

Jamie reached over and clasped my hand in hers and then squeezed almost painfully hard to get my attention.

"Bella, your arms and legs were mangled when the second car ran over you. They couldn't be saved; they had to be replaced."

"What do you mean replaced?" I asked not yet understanding what the other woman was saying.

"This facility is on the cutting edge in the field of synthetic organ and limb development."

Suddenly, it began to sink in. "You replaced my arms and legs with prosthetics?" I could feel a panic attack coming on. What had these people done to me?

"Bella," the other woman almost shouted as she grabbed my shoulders to restrain me, as though she thought I was going to go crazy, and perhaps I was.

"Bella, do your arms and legs feel like machines or do they feel like your arms and legs? Trust me, I know. As I said, the same thing happened to me three years ago. I went a little crazy at first just like you, but eventually I got past it and you will, too. Your synthetic arms and legs look just like the real thing. They will respond like the real thing. They will feel like the real thing. Go ahead, wiggle your fingers, do they feel any different?"

I could feel my eyes tearing up and rather than wiggling my fingers I clenched them into fists. But they did respond just like the woman said. I could feel the fingertips pressing against my palms. I could feel the fingernails digging in slightly. I commanded my hands to open again and they responded just like my real hands. And except for the missing scar, they did look just like my real hands. Had my arms really been replaced or had they just managed to remove the scar and were now playing mind games on me?

I let my hands drop back to the bed. "What is going on? Why did you do this to me?"

The other woman stared into my eyes for a moment and then slowly released the grip she had been maintaining on my upper arms, as though she had decided I wasn't about to go berserk in the next couple of seconds. Then she turned to the large mirror and gave a short nod.

I lay there staring at her for another fifteen seconds until one of the large steel doors swung open and a balding, fiftyish man stepped in carrying a blue manila folder. He quickly crossed the wide room before stopping a good five feet short of the bed.

"Bella Swan? My name is Jonas Bledsoe. I run this operation."

"Mister Bledsoe, you need to let my family, my fiancé know where I am," I said with a pleading tone. I think that was the first time I had ever referred to Edward as my fiancé out loud, which told at least me how shook up I was.

"We will handle that shortly. We have no intention of keeping you here indefinitely. We just need to come to an understanding of what we expect in return for the enhancements we have given you, which will let you lead a normal life instead of spending it as a quadruple amputee in some nursing home."

The woman had implied the same thing about the damage I had suffered in the accident, but had never put it so baldly. Suddenly, I couldn't get the image out of my mind of lying in some bed with my arms and legs hacked off.

"Jonas!" the woman said sharply to the man before turning to me. "That's why I wanted to be here. The bedside manner of some of these people is . . . utterly atrocious."

I almost felt a small grin forming on my face for the first time since awakening here. Obviously, the woman had wanted to use a more colorful four letter adjective, but had restrained herself.

"Sorry," responded the older man with only a hint of contrition in his voice. "As I was saying, your replacement limbs, eye, ear, and assorted other internal repairs cost this organization just over sixty-two million dollars. And I'll be frank, we don't do charity work. You will be working for us for the foreseeable future."

His 'foreseeable future' remark brought thoughts of Alice back to the front of my mind. Why hadn't she foreseen the accident? Why hadn't she seen where they had taken me?

I shook my head. "I have to let my family know I am alright. They must be going crazy with worry. How long have I been here? Weeks? Months?"

The woman shook her head and then appeared to peer off into space for a couple of seconds. "No, you arrived by helicopter from San Francisco General fourteen hours, thirty eight minutes ago."

Now it was my turn to shake my head. "Is this all some kind of sick joke? I may have just graduated from high school and I may not know a lot about technology or medicine, but I know you can't replace half of a person's body and then have them completely healed in fourteen hours."

The woman grinned. "This is not the 1970's. People go in for heart bypass surgery one day and go home the next. It is the same way here. Part of the secret of this new process is that about a quarter of your blood has been replaced with anthrocytes. They are molecular scale machines that help your synthetic body parts interface with your natural body parts. And as a side benefit they allow your body to heal incredibly fast. And, while we don't have a long enough database to be one hundred percent certain, the anthrocytes also appear to arrest the body's natural aging process. So not only is your body better than new, but you may stay young forever."

I just stared at the woman. What she seemed to be implying was that I suddenly had the primary advantage of the vampires without any of the associated drawbacks. Oh, Edward was so going to love this, if it turned out to be true.

"Now, if we could get back to what I was saying," began Bledsoe again. "In return for what we have done for you, we expect you to carry out assignments for us."

"Why did you pick me for this? I mean I just graduated high school and live in a small town up in Washington State. There must be a lot of better candidates than me."

Bledsoe glanced at his watch then took two steps away to grab a straight backed chair and pulled it over close to the bed.

Sitting down, he responded. "First, for technical reasons I don't personally comprehend, at present the process seems to work better on women than men. Second, we have tried the process on military personnel in the past, but something about their mindset seems to drive them crazy. Jamie, here, who was a bartender before joining us, was our first real success. Third, a petite woman is less likely to be suspected of having superhuman abilities."

"What do you mean 'superhuman abilities'?" I asked.

The other woman grinned. "Oh, I didn't get to the good part yet. All of your enhancements haven't been brought on line yet or brought up to full power. But you will be about twenty times as strong as a normal person, be able to run seventy miles an hour virtually all day, have vision two hundred times better than anyone else and hearing five hundred times better. And that's only the easy to explain advantages. There are also a bunch of computer augmentations as well."

My god. It sounded like I would have all the advantages of a vampire and none of the drawbacks like a reaction to sunlight or needing blood.

While I was ruminating on what the woman had said, Bledsoe had opened the folder he had been carrying. "Finally, were you or weren't you in Volterra, Italy on March 20th of last year?"

I was so surprised by this unexpected turn in the conversation, I'm sure my mouth dropped open.

"How do you know about that?" I stammered.

He shrugged. "We have access to all passport and visa activity via the Homeland Security Department. Finding that you flew from Seattle to Florence, traveled straight on to Volterra and then boarded a return flight for the States less than twelve hours later was enough for an initial sign-off on your procedures.

"I have had a team researching you and your boyfriend, sorry, fiancé, Edward Cullen, and his family for the last fourteen hours. I think you may find this dossier interesting reading."

He paused to close the cover on the folder before looking me directly in the eye. "I intend to give you a series of assignments to help you fully develop all of your new abilities and they will all be important tasks, but they are only stepping stones to your long term assignment. The Volturi possess too much power. You are going to help me take them down."

The fact this Bledsoe even knew about The Volturi and by implication the world of vampires was shocking. But nowhere near as shocking as the audacious concept of going up against them with the idea of unseating them. For good or evil, The Volturi had been the secret powers behind mankind's thrones for thousands of years.

And as that thought percolated through my head I almost forgot what these people had done to my body. Almost.

End of Chapter 1

Please drop me a review or PM telling me what aspects of the story you like or what parts you hate.

Have a great day,

Duane