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Mortality Race

Humanity. Everybody wants it. Everybody would do anything for it. Now that re-transformation is possible, how far will the vampire population go in order to obtain it? And what if not everybody wants it? The race for mortality has begun.

This story was beta'ed by TRDancer of fanfiction.net. A big thanks to her! All the chapters are written out and ready to go, so you can expect fast updates. I know -- I'm shocked too! The story has been my little project for a while now, so naturally I'd be very grateful for some feedback. It's just no fun writing something when nobody tells you how they liked it (it's very depressing too!). Please remember to always review the stories you've read -- you'll make the author's day :) The POV changes quite often so you can get a glimpse of what all the characters are thinking and feeling. Enjoy! :)

8. The Weather-Beaten Warehouse in the Middle of Nowhere

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__Chapter Eight__
The Weather-Beaten Warehouse in the Middle of Nowhere

Demetri's POV

All good things come to an end.

I recognized the truth in that saying when we met Jane and Alec after our visit at 2560 Hemlock Street. As expected, Jane immediately took control of the situation.

"You two are utter fools," she snapped at us. "You should have been more careful. How could you leave the witness alive? How could you make such a grave mistake?"

Oh, goodness. Why, out of all the people in the world, could Jane never fall out of character?

I shared a glance with Felix. We'd known she'd have something to protest about our mercy and therefore had an excuse prepared. Jane exercised a strict "live or let die" policy—and always chose the latter option when it was her call to decide.

"It'll look good on our records if we leave someone alive for once. The girl won't be a problem."

"Oh, I'm sure it'll look excellent on our records when we fail," Jane spat out, but was clearly already thinking of other, more pressing issues. "Are you sure the information she gave you is correct?"

"We aren't amateurs, Jane." The image of a terrified young woman begging us to spare her life filled my mind. "Trust me—she didn't lie to us."

The car entered a darker part of the forest and I savored the thick woods around us, noting just how easy it would be to disappear in such a jungle. Dorothy Mace had found a perfect hiding place—it was only her friend that had been the weak link of her escape plan. The trees were thick and bulky, and blocked the few rays of sunlight that weren't already thwarted by a thick blanket of clouds. Where there were no trees to impede my sight, there were abundant ferns. The forest was a sea of green.

Suddenly a large, gray building came into view and broke the strict color code of the thriving woodland. Its weather-beaten walls contrasted with the life of the forest and its size violated the delicacy of the nature around it. Its only consolation was the fauna that had begun to cover the exterior and paint the lifeless building with color.

It was remote and hard to find—the perfect hiding place, I noted once more.

We all eyed the house with either curiosity or greed.

"She's in there. I can feel it," Jane commented before getting out, and I had to agree with her. There was someone in that lifeless building, and that someone was most likely the exact someone we were looking for.

But like Jane, I could only trust my instincts and feel it.

Rosalie's POV

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap…

Two of my senses informed me of our problem: my sight and smell.

"Is that a car?" Emmett asked from beside me, and I pitied his slow wits. He was about five seconds too late with his observation.

As we drew nearer at breakneck speed, my nose, too, registered our unwanted adversaries. The smell of four different vampires hung in the air, and I was instantly able to label the scents.

Jane, Alec, Felix and Demetri. Of course.

"Uh-oh," Emmett finally said. "The Volturi."

Five seconds late, as usual.

"How long have they been here?" I asked Edward, trying desperately to think of a solution to this problem. I'd been an idiot to not think of a plan B before coming here—after all, we'd all known the Volturi were ahead of us. Why had we been so darn idiotic? Was Emmett's disease contagious?

But Edward seemed calm enough and his answer brought some of my hopes back. "They just arrived."

I pressed down on the brakes, bringing the car to an instant stop. Both Tanya and Jasper followed my lead, and we hastily got out of the three cars. My head was in a flurry, making it impossible for me to think right—only emotions were in control now.

Fear, agitation and worry. Hope, determination and want.

"We have to get to Dorothy before they do. Let's split up—quickly!"

I grabbed the person nearest to me, only to realize—to my great horror, I assure you—that out of all the dozen vampires around us, I'd picked Edward. Edward. The eternal nagger. And on top of that, it was also too late to turn around and choose someone less annoying—a squirrel, for example.

But, to think positive, at least his mind was synced with mine. That meant less reaction time and more actual action. And then he wasn't as dim-witted as some in the company, and he was certainly much more motivated. That meant less screaming on my part, and less whining on his.

So actually, I could have been much worse off. That conclusion immediately lifted my spirits.

Letting me know that he approved of my logic, Edward glanced at me without a smile. Maybe he was still offended about the squirrel part. Maybe he was just too focused.

Either way, I was pretty sure his thoughts somewhat resembled the jumble in my head:

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap…

In this fashion, Jasper, Alice, Tanya, Kate, Emmett, Bella, Edward and I joined Jane, Alec, Felix and Demetri inside the abandoned building.

Dorothy's POV

Someone was there—I could hear him.

No, not him—them. There was more than one vampire downstairs. I could clearly perceive the sound of their feet tapping against the concrete floor. How many were there, exactly? I could count at least three… five… eight…

Twelve. There were a dozen pairs of feet downstairs, all running towards the same target.


Oh, God.

Kate's POV

Jane made her presence known by hissing at Tanya and me as our paths crossed in one of the vast rooms.

She went right, we went left.

"Let's try the basement," I whispered.

Dorothy's POV

What now, oh Lord, what now?

They were coming upstairs, I was sure of that. Both sides of the building were being guarded. I was sandwiched between the two staircases.

As always in life, there were two possible directions—up or down.

"Down" was occupied. "Up" was free.

But "up" was also a dead-end. Oh, why had I been so stupid to leave the bottom floor? I'd ruined all my chances of escape!

I listened intently as one group entered the building, and then a next. They all spoke in muted voices, but I could still hear scraps of their conversations. They were either discussing where to look first, assigning teams to different parts of the building, or ordering others around—what sort of organized mob was this?

"You two, take the basement. Alec and I will check upstairs," a female voice commanded. At some point, that same high voice hissed at someone else, not sounding very friendly at all. If they were working together, why did they seem so unorganized?

Maybe they weren't working together.

Thank God for small favors! There had to be a meaning in their disorganization. Perhaps God hadn't abandoned me, after all.

But even if it was some heavenly miracle, it didn't solve my problem of being stuck on the upper floor. Should I risk sneaking down the stairs and out the back door?

Maybe God had been kind enough to make them blind, as well.

While automatically scolding myself for thinking such unrighteous thoughts, I tiptoed to the eastern staircase. I couldn't remember ever being more scared than I felt then—my head was almost dizzy from the panic and my insides bulged as if I was about to puke. Maybe I would have puked if I'd had something in my stomach. But as of now, I could only hold back a dry gag.

My mind was all over the place, switching from prayer to concrete begging. I was too incoherent to see the insanity in some of my wishes: Lord, please let them be a vampire-rescue team that help fellow vampires in need! Please, please, please let them spontaneously combust! Lord, please do something!

My foot was just above the first step when I heard two voices that shifted my whole world around:

"Jazz, wait up!"

"Shhh! I think she's upstairs, Alice…"

My immediate reaction was to freeze. My next was to run.

Even before my joints could unlock themselves again, my body was flying towards the other side of the room, to the other set of stairs. Had any vampire ever tripped? I sure felt like I was about to. Now, out of all the times in my life, had to be the day to feel ungainly.

But once again, my body froze in panic when I heard two other voices echoing from behind the one last corner that separated the upper and lower steps.

"Do you want me to torture her before you knock her out?"

Torture me? That sounded even worse than the other option.

I stood there helplessly, not breathing, not moving, and just staring at the staircase in terror. My mind was far from silent as some deeply buried instincts told me to make a run for it. Somewhere in my head, I knew that not moving was a terrible idea. But I was in shock.

Right at that moment, my whole life flashed through my mind. I felt the presence of myself more than I ever had before. My eyes focused on a bright light that wasn't coming from this dimension. I seemed to separate from my body, to float into space…

But I wasn't dead yet, right? Right?

And then I snapped.