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Rambling Writer


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More Blog Posts141

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May
18th
2018

In Which I Tolerate Eclipse: Chapter 13 -- Newborn · 2:05pm May 18th, 2018

Guess what time it is! Well, okay, I guess it is five o’clock somewhere, but that’s not what I mean. Not only is it backstory time, but we get a truly fantastic entry in the Awesome Stuff That Twilight Never Uses Series!

Jasper’s covered in scars because wounds left by vampire venom don’t heal. Then he takes a detour to talk about how different vampires have different outlooks. In the North (I’m assuming he’s talking mostly about the United States), vampires very much prefer anonymity. The South, on the other hand, has vampire mob wars. Vampires fight each other for control of cities and the “cattle” that dwell within, only keeping themselves secret from humans because of the Volturi and their enforcers. If a vampire is the only vampire in any given city, they could feed multiple times a night without attracting too much attention.

One vampire named Benito managed to seize control of multiple cities, defeating the covens that were already fighting for them, by creating an army of newborn vampires. Vampires are strongest when they’re newly-created, as the body still has large reserves of blood from its past life, and these newborns are volatile and hard to control. However, they run almost purely on instinct and are predictable. Strength for strength, a newborn could crush an older vampire easily, but in a real-world situation, an older vampire would bring their experience to bear and outthink the newborn. Benito overcame this problem with sheer numbers. The other vampires, seeing this tactic working, made newborn armies of their own to fight him. Things got incredibly bloody, to the point that the humans noticed the population slump and attributed it to a disease. The Volturi stepped in and, over the course of a year, massacred every newborn army and everyone associated with one.

However, the Volturi did not forbid the further creation of such armies, only the exposure of vampires. The idea was still there, so the vampires simply went about it more secretly. Newborns were chosen carefully and given training, and as long as the humans never notice, the Volturi let it continue. Jasper was in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War when he was turned to be part of a newborn army. The vampire who turned him liked him, so when combined with his military experience, he was put in charge of training and leading the newborns, a position he accepted with gusto and performed admirably in. This also allowed him to survive for as long as he did; newborns who survived until their strength began to wane were put down. With him in military charge of that particular coven, it took city after city. However, his interest slowly started to dwindle as he grew sick of the constant fighting.

Eventually, Jasper became attached to a newborn of his own, one named Peter. Peter became basically his second in command. One night, when they were putting down newborns past their first year, Peter kept trying to persuade Jasper to spare them, to no avail. Eventually, a newborn Peter had feelings with was due for execution; Peter snapped and fled the coven with her. Years later, they returned, told Jasper of a life in the North with no fighting, and begged him to come with them, which he did. As he lived and years passed without senseless killing, Jasper became sickened with himself, with the way he’d lost his humanity in the years of bloodshed and carnage, and every time he fed on a human, he could feel their terror as they died.

After a while, Jasper wandered off on his own, and it wasn’t long before he met Alice. Alice had had a vision of the two of them meeting, plus one of Carlisle and his way of life. They went to find Carlisle and the other Cullens, and that’s how everyone got together.

So Jasper thinks there’s a newborn army being created in Seattle, which baffles him; there’s no one in Seattle to fight against, no need for an army. If it gets too out-of-control, the Volturi will step in, so if the Cullens want to avoid that, they’ll need to kill the newborn army themselves. This gets Edward thinking: what if the Cullens are the army’s target? Someone could be creating that army to take out the Cullens for whatever reason. Alice comments that her irregular visions are like someone’s exploiting the fact that she can’t see a solid future until a decision has been made and keeps changing their mind. But the only person the Cullens can think of who would know that is Aro. (You know Victoria has a “talent for evasion”, is still trying to get to Bella, and has been unsuccessfully hounded by the Cullens and a werewolf pack in her attempts, right?)

Whoever’s behind it, Edward asks Jasper to teach them how to fight newborns. Jasper also says they need help and proposes calling another coven they’re friends with. However, that turns out to be a dead end; Laurent had stayed at the coven after leaving Forks in the first book, one of the vampires there fell in love with him, and since the werewolves killed him, that vampire wants the Cullens to kill the werewolves before they’ll help. But Carlisle’s ethics won’t let that happen. In other words, if the Cullens are going to take down the newborns, they’re on their own.

Clinginess Meter: 16

Fucking hell. Vampire mob wars in the Confederate South. Why aren’t we reading about that?! Or, you know what else was happening in that time period? The settling of the Wild West. Cowboy vampire mob wars in the Wild West. WANT. But, sadly, this is Twilight. Good ideas are smacked down.

Speaking of getting smacked down, while it’s a good backstory, nothing about Jasper’s behavior has really implied any of this. Shouldn’t backstories inform a character’s behavior, rather than being an “oh, by the way…” sort of thing? The more complicated and/or in-depth the backstory, the more it ought to shape a character’s actions.

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Comments ( 4 )

The South, on the other hand, has vampire mob wars. Vampires fight each other for control of cities and the “cattle” that dwell within, only keeping themselves secret from humans because of the Volturi and their enforcers.

Well, this got unexpectedly World of Darkness-y. Why couldn't the Twilight fan fiction that made it big be about Wild West vampire posses?

Also, if you can blur future vision by changing your mind, sheer numbers of deciding minds say that the ability should be nearly useless beyond around an hour ahead.

4863370
Just blame human pre-decision instinct and the Noosphere.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

And now there's good world-building for vampires? O.o

I have no doubts that a story about these background things written by Stephanie Meyer would have been atrocious. But at least there would have been something interesting at the forefront!

Cowboy vampire mob wars in the Wild West.

This sounds like the premise for a crackfic and we all love it. Pinstriped Stetson and a Tommy gun that’s just a Winchester with a revolving magazine, anyone?

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