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Soldier

Summary:
The story of Jasper's life.
Starts in his human days and goes through the darkest times of his life to the very brightest points (Alice heehee)
My second story. It's like The Final Sunrise but about Jasper this time not Alice. Anyway, it's not a great summary but please read and review!


Notes:
Disclaimer: I’m only going to say this once because I always forget to put it at the top of every chapter but, sadly, I don’t own any of this. That’s right I own El Zilcho. Especially not Jasper (sob). Only the wording and possibly a few little scenes are mine. Everything else belongs to the one and only Stephenie Meyer.


3. Fire and Blood

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3292   Review this Chapter

I could feel fire and I could hear screaming. But that was all. My mind was empty of everything except those two awarenesses. I was like that for a long while. I had been unconscious before I remembered that. But I didn’t really acknowledge it; it didn’t matter. But I wasn’t unconscious now, was I? No, I was awake and I was screaming. It took me an unbelievably long time to get to that conclusion. It was hard to think through fire. I couldn’t see. Sometimes my voice failed and I couldn’t scream either. I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know where I had been. I didn’t remember my own name. I didn’t recognise whether I was human or animal. Nothing really matters when you’re in such pain. I didn’t note the passing of time either. I could have been in that state for an hour, a day or only the time it takes to intake one breath. I was only aware of the state I had been in at all when it changed. The pain stayed at exactly the same pitch but my senses seemed to return. For a moment all I felt was shock that I had been in such a mess only a moment ago. Then that too faded and I listened to the voices. They were beautiful voices, somehow angelic but I knew better than to trust them now. Because with the return of my senses came my memory. It had been the owner of that beautiful voice that had done this to me. She sounded demonic to my ears now. I would have felt anger if I had the strength. It wasn’t even enough for her to have taken my life but now she had done something to draw out my demise too. I wouldn’t have lasted this long on my own without some intervention. I gritted my teeth against the continued torturous agony and the growing ire in me. I didn’t try to open my eyes. There was nothing I wanted less than to see that sadistic fiend. I tried to calm my ragged breathing and I prayed to God. I prayed for death. And justice. I felt the smallest glimpse of hope as my mind faded again. But death didn’t come, only the same fever-like condition I had just risen from. *** I did get death although not of the kind I wanted. I didn’t get justice. The pain faded eventually but I knew I wasn’t dead. I could feel a strange detached excitement. It was odd, I had no reason to be excited and the emotion didn’t feel like it belonged to me but it was there nonetheless. I took stock of what I knew of the circumstances. No pain; that was a relief. I was breathing, which was a good sign. My heart was still, which was not such a good sign. I though about that for a moment but as it definitely didn’t seem about to start and I could come up with no explanation for my beatless existence I moved on to what else I knew. I could hear the sound the wind makes as it brushes over dry ground; I reflected that it must be a strong wind for me to be able to hear it so clearly. I could also hear someone breathing nearby. Very close judging by the sound and by the scent. I could smell this person almost painfully clearly. At this point I got sick of not understanding anything around me and I opened my eyes. I had been lying on my back so the sight of the ceiling above me wasn’t unexpected. However the clarity unnerved me. I could see every line and scratch on the decrepit wooden beams. I had never seen wood like it before; it was like someone had picked out all the natural variation in the colour and grains of the wood and had exaggerated it. And now that I looked at the wood I recognised that I could smell it on the air too. How could I smell the wooden ceiling when I was lying on the floor? Now that I thought about it I could pick out the scent of the dusty earth, the fragrance of the stone walls, the lingering hint of horse on my clothes. Completely disturbed by my own senses I jolted upright. And then flinched as the excitement crashed over me with the weight of a boulder the moment I moved. I turned to see a blond girl in a white dress leap to her feet and race from the building. I got a blast of her scent as she passed me. As she reached the door she called out a name: Maria. She had been one of the girls from last night. Or at least the last night that I remembered; I wasn’t sure how much time had passed. My throat was burning with thirst so I concluded that it must have been a while. With her exit the overwhelming excitement I felt faded, almost as if she had taken it with her. Maria had been the one who had done this to me. I scowled; I didn’t like not understanding. And my throat was burning. Her scent forewarned me before I saw her. I identified it as not being the blond girl. I stepped outside of the small building; we appeared to be in the middle of nowhere; there was no sign of anything at all. Except for her. The one who had bitten me. The one who had been in command of the others. They had called her Maria. She ran up to me and stopped a few feet away looking at me appraisingly. It was good that she didn’t come any closer because I wanted nothing more than to rip her apart. The pain was too fresh in my memory and I wanted vindication. But she seemed unaware of my fury because she smiled a satisfied smile, as she looked me up and down. “Yes,” she murmured to herself, “I knew he would turn out a good one, I don’t think he’ll disappoint.” Speaking about me as if I couldn’t understand her only served to fuel my hatred and anger. “What the hell did you do to me?” I snarled as I stepped towards her. My voice surprised me a little; it wasn’t how I remembered it. And much to my chagrin she didn’t seem at all intimidated by me. “I made you useful.” She responded calmly. “But that wasn’t the answer to your question was it.” She was enjoying this I could tell, it was like she was playing her favourite game. I wanted nothing more than to attack her and hurt her. But I held back, she was still a woman after all and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. “Your throat’s burning isn’t it?” It wasn’t really a question so I didn’t answer her. “If you do well I’ll reward you and give you want you need to stop the burning…at least for a little while.” All this was said with a sinister, evil smile on her angelic face. Smiling didn’t really make her more beautiful; it just made her look more wild. I frowned; all this wasn’t making any sense. I still felt like I was missing the crucial point. I felt her amusement rise. That too was odd. How the hell could I feel her amusement, and the excitement of the girl before? It wasn’t enough to coax me into speech again. She seemed to be waiting for me to speak but I held back everything I wanted to say. This might be a game to her but I wasn’t going to play along. Finally she grew impatient. “You don’t seem very curious, do you?” she snapped at me her eyes narrowing. “Maybe that’s a soldier thing. I suppose you’re taught not to ask questions. Well I’ll tell you the answer you want to know even if you’re being stubborn. You’re a vampire now. Get used to it.” And with that revelation she turned abruptly and strode off in the direction she came. I stood just as still as before. My mind tried to reject and deny what I had just heard. But instinctively I knew it wasn’t a lie. It fit with everything that had confused me before. It explained all the changes and the other earthliness of the girls that night. They hadn’t seemed human and they weren’t. And now neither was I. I raised my hands to my head and ran them through my hair, surprising myself as I did it. That was such a human gesture and now I wasn’t. I wasn’t the same type of creature as my family anymore. I couldn’t call myself their son or brother when I was a completely different kind of animal. How the hell could I go back to my old life now? Everyone would see the differences in me I couldn’t hide it. I glanced at my own hands. They were the same alabaster pale as Maria’s and the other girls had been. That if nothing else would raise suspicion when everyone around here was inevitably tanned by the intense southern sun. And then a worse thought hit me. What about the burning in my throat? Vampires were blood drinkers, I knew that much. The sensation was so intense, would I be able to control myself around humans even around my family. Or would I just kill them. Or turn them into vampires too like Maria had to me. It would have been better if Maria had killed me. Almost as if on cue the sun emerged from behind a cloud at that moment. I yelled out in shock. I glittered. More like some precious stone dug out of the ground than a living creature. I heard Maria laughing. She had stopped and was watching me struggle with what she had transformed me to. I stared into her dark eyes that gleamed from her sparkling face. Why had she done this, what was meant by making me useful? With a motion of her head she indicated for me to follow her and then took off at that inhuman speed. I hesitated for only a fraction of a second in indecision before resolving to follow her. Well, what other option did I have, she was the one with the answers. So I began to run after her. I was glad of my choice just because of the sensation of running if nothing else. My spirits soared. My speed was incredible. This was easily the fastest I had ever travelled in my life. I could feel myself begin to grin. Perhaps there were upsides to my transformation. I drew level with Maria easily. She was pleased to see that I had chosen to follow and that I was clearly enjoying myself now. The run ended far too quickly. Before long I could smell others. I recognised the scent of the blond girl amongst them. But Maria stopped before we reached them. She turned to me, stared into my eyes for a moment and then she explained. *** After I knew everything about being a vampire, why she had changed me and what I would now be Maria introduced me to my new brothers. There was five of them, six now that I had joined. They had already begun their training and now I would join them. These were my new comrades. I instantly disliked them. They were violent and full of irrational hate. I nearly drowned in it as I first approached them. I wanted to leave at that point and not become one of them. But Maria had told me how a lone vampire would not last long in these wars. I was impressed by how calm Maria was around them. Their violence and anger instantly put me on the defensive but she was completely unafraid. And they all quieted respectfully as she approached. I was beginning to think my anger towards her was unjustified. The other soldiers seemed almost worshipful of her. And then I was amongst them. They were wary of me at first. But I could feel the fight lust in them growing. I think they wanted to test my strength or maybe to attempt to show off for Maria. One of them was particularly reckless. I could feel how he was devoid of the wariness the others possessed. He was tall, about 6 foot 3 like me. He had dark hair like Maria and had an arrogant tilt to his head. He wanted to fight. His eyes skimmed over the uniform I still wore. “A Major, huh?” he commented a little scornfully. I felt my muscles tense unconsciously, readying myself to fight. “Don’t expect us to treat you with any deference here, boy.” He snarled derisively. My temper rose. I felt my lip pull back into a snarl of my own. I could feel a growl building in my chest. Ok, so this man was probably older than me, I was accustomed to being the youngest around. But that didn’t mean I was prepared to take this man’s condescending shit without proving him wrong. In fact I positively relished the idea of putting him in his place. He was laughing now, anticipating my reaction. I didn’t reply to his words even though a part of me wanted to. I was going to catch him off guard and move without warning. I’d show him who he was messing with. Without even thinking about it I was already strategising my first move. It was an act of habit I suppose. He expected me to lose my temper and leap straight at him. Well, I wouldn’t be doing that then. I feinted to the left and he jerked that way too, surprised that I hadn’t attacked head on. I moved as quickly as I could and caught his arm and twisted it behind him. I meant to just immobilise him by pulling his arm into a painful angle but I underestimated my strength. His arm snapped clean off in my hand. I threw it aside. My mind told me to stop there but my anger was out of control. I fell upon my opponent and ripped him apart, using both my newfound strength and unbelievably sharp teeth. And I enjoyed every second of it. I only calmed down when there was nothing left but small pieces. I staggered to my feet, horrified not so much by the death but my complete loss of control. I’d never been in a situation before where I wasn’t in absolute control of myself but I’d felt like a wild animal in that fight. It struck me then how I really wasn’t human anymore. I wasn’t even something close. The four other men held back from me now. I could feel their surprise at what I had just achieved and I could also feel that they were impressed. “Nettie, dispose of the pieces.” I heard Maria drawl. I whipped round to look at her expecting to see either anger in her eyes or the boredom her voice had held. But instead her eyes were burning with a feverish excitement. Again she indicated for me to follow her and walked off. She led me a little distance away before turning to face me. “Well I knew all along you would be a success but I never dreamed that it would happen this fast. You really are a natural, aren’t you? You don’t even fight like a newborn. Perhaps I shouldn’t leave you in amongst the other boys, as you’re clearly superior to them in skill. I’ll have to think about that.” She mused in her melodic voice. I was surprised; I could feel no anger in her at all. “Why aren’t you angry that I killed one of your soldiers?” I asked her. She smiled at that. “I must admit that it is a bit inconvenient that I will now have to replace Nathaniel but I am not going to begrudge you that when you’ve turned out to be just what I was hoping for. I have a feeling that victory is going to be easier with you on our side. I’m not going to punish you for that fight; I’m going to reward you Jasper. Wait here.” And with that she turned on her heel and raced off. I watched her head towards a distant patch of trees. I turned to look up into the sky. It had clouded over again, which I was a bit relieved about. Watching my skin glitter like a living diamond was unnerving. I felt like I had a headache even though my head did not actually ache. I felt weary but I wasn’t tired. Maria had said I would never know tiredness again. And my throat was still burning like I had drunk fire and scorched the flesh. It all felt a bit surreal; it was too much to take in. I kept waiting to wake up, probably after being injured in battle or something. It all seemed like the kind of thing that my mind might invent as a fever-induced dream. But deep down I knew this was real. There had been no injury, just one single life-altering bite. I wasn’t going to have the luxury of waking up. My head snapped up as the most wonderful of all scents reached me. I looked in that direction to see Maria carrying a woman back towards me. A human woman. As she neared me she said, “I had been intending to give this to Harrison for his progress but I think you’ve earned it more.” She dumped the woman back on her feet in front of me. She stared at me with wide eyes. She looked to be in about her mid-twenties. I could feel her fear laced with a kind of transfixed fascination. Maria had mentioned the physical perfection that came with being a vampire and I had seen it in the others if not in myself yet. I knew that it was my beauty that held the woman stunned, it was testament to it that it overrode the horror she must feel at seeing my vivid red eyes. I didn’t really consider any of this. Because at her scent the burning in my throat trebled and for the second time that day my control left me. My mind went blank. I don’t remember moving at all. I do remember how it felt that first time that I sunk my teeth through the soft thin flesh of a human’s neck. I remember the warmth of her blood on my tongue. I remember the taste, more delicious and more satisfying than anything I had ever tasted as a human. I remember how she struggled for a moment against me, her hands scrabbling at my shoulders as she tried in vain to throw me off. I remember how she went limp as I drained her. I remember that when I dropped her body to the ground I didn’t feel any remorse for taking her life only pleasure at the lingering taste in my mouth and relief that the burning had ceased.