A Testimony

IC Time: Late evening, April 8
Location: Deep in the forest, near Forks.
Synopsis: Stasia asks to meet with Jacob Black, before departing Forks. They are later joined by Aset and Abbey.
Submitted by: Stasia

Jacob arrives, and for a while he's alone. He looks out of place just sitting there, without camping gear or other incumberances. He checks his watch, "Aww. I'm late… she probably left." He sighs, starting to get up when he spies movement in the trees. Oh, just a rabbit…", chuckling because it managed to startle him.

"Thank you for coming." The voice comes from the trees, but opposite where the rustle was. "I wasn't sure you were going to." Smoothly, the vampire leaps down from the branch, where she is joined by her mongrel dog, the peanut butter colored half-grown pup.

Jacob nods, "I wasn't sure I was going to be able to. I'm sorry I'm late. What's this about?", he asks, though not unkindly — he's just curious.

"I will be leaving Forks immediately. I will be followed and I do not know if I will be alive this time next week." Though the vampire speaks calmly, there is something in her eyes, something about the set of her jaw, that hints at deep emotion. Fear, perhaps even terror. "I have a couple requests of you, that I would make. First, I need to find a place for my dog." The fear is overshadowed by sadness. "I… cannot bring him with me. It would be too dangerous. He likes children. Do you know of a family that would take him?" Her jaw trembles. If she had tears, she might have shed them.

Jacob looks at the dog, "I'm sure we can find a good home for him… I'm not sure where but… is he, safe?" "I mean, if I give him to one of the families at school, he's not going to … "

"He's just a dog, Jacob Black. Just a street mutt I found in the alley behind the Thriftway. I don't do anything to creatures. I can't change them or make them different than what they are." Stasia ruffles the mutt's ears fondly, sadly. "He's been the best friend I've had since I've come here. I want him to be happy, grow old and fat."

Jacob smiles, "Does he have a name?"

"Leopard-bait." Stasia smiles at that. "Because I told him that if I brought him back to Africa with me, he'd end up being leopard bait." She chuckles.

Jacob nods again, "I'll take care of him… find him a good home. What else is on your mind?"

Stasia sits back on her heels, petting and scritching her beloved pet. "I want to tell my side of this. As I said, I don't expect to be alive for much longer. I want someone to know. Because nobody else will speak for me."

Jacob chocks his head, "Should I be writing this down or something? I mean, I'm not sure who's going to come asking or anything but, if its your last words maybe I should go get a… a notebook or something."

"I trust your memory if you do." The vampire half-smiles, wryly.

Jacob says, "Okay… go ahead. I'll just prtend it's like, one of our legends or something. They tell us those so many times I've almost got em down."

Stasia cants her head to the side. "I wonder if I should start at the very beginning or if I should start from recent events and work backwards. How do your legends go?"

Jacob says, "They usually start from the beginning."

"The beginning then." Stasia pushes up the sleeve of her right arm, showing the luminous skin beneath. She turns her wrist, exposing the forearm. Embedded there is a tattoo, old, crudely done. It is a number, several digits long. "Do you know what this is?"

Jacob nods. "I do." "The Tribal school's paint may be a little flakey, but the education isn't so bad." "That's a registration number for a concentration camp."

Stasia nods. "Auschwitz." She confirms. "The transformation process generally heals everything, scars, old wounds, disease… a curious twist of irony that it left this intact. But it is a reminder and I am thankful for that." She pauses, "When the Germans invaded Austria, they were welcomed as heroes. It wasn't so much as an invasion, as it was an invitation. I was younger than you are now, my twin sister and I. When the propaganda against the Jewish people was kicked up a notch, when families started disappearing, we were slow to grasp the implications. Our father, however, saw the writing on the wall. So you see, when the Cullens say that they had to make a choice between helping someone and endangering their family, or doing nothing and keeping them safe, I understand that choice. We made it. And we suffered for it."

Jacob nods, listening carefully now, "Go on."

"So we did the right thing. I'm not sure how many people we helped smuggle across the mountains. There were forged documents, bribed officials.. all of it down to a science. But, eventually, we were caught. Betrayed. And we were loaded up and sent to work camps, making munitions." Stasia half-closes her eyes, remembering. "Auschwitz didn't come for some time later, not until after there was nothing left of us to work. My mother didn't make it that far. My father didn't make it past the first sorting in Auschwitz. I didn't know what suffering was, until the work camp. Or starvation. The camp commander was paranoid. He believed all of us were plotting against him…. which we were, of course, when we had enough strength to think of such things. He had a method, you see. It wasn't pulling out fingernails or hacking off limbs. He would call us in, one at a time, and sit us at a table. On the table was a huge bowl of stew…beef, vegetables… it smelled like heaven. We were starving, you see. And after awhile, the hunger forms a knot in your belly and you can almost forget about it. But the smell of the soup made it rear up like an angry tiger. That smell made you want to tell them everything you knew, then make up things that might please them, just for the soup. I remember wishing they'd pull fingernails instead. But, it prepared me for what was to come, in a way. When it gets… difficult… I remember the soup."

Jacob nods. "… you escaped after your… after you became a vampire?"

Stasia half smiles. "Not exactly." She continues, "So when there was nothing left, we were sent to Auchwitz. My sister and I were pitiful, I'm sure. And probably would have been selected to go to the showers immediately. But we were identical twins. And the medical officer of Auschwitz preferred to use identical twins in his experiments. You've read about them, I'm sure. I won't go into the details. But one experiment didn't make the history books. Dr. Mengele…. *Uncle* Menegle, he liked us to call him." She sneers the word, almost snarling. "He had been given something new. A serum… that was supposed to create an invicible army for the Germans. But he wanted to test it. So he chose four of us. Each had identical twins, so he could measure the effects of it. It was very secret, everyone was almost frightened about it. But the four of us were removed and the serum… the venom… was given to us interveneously."

Jacob's sharp intake of breath betrays his surprise, "What vampire would give him venom? Can you milk a vampire the way you milk a snake?" This is a terrifying new possibility.

"I don't know." Stasia admits. "I don't know who did it or why. I am not sure how it was extracted. I've never felt the need to experiment on myself. I believe the vampire is dead. That is what Menegle believed, years later, when I found him again in Argentina." She pauses. "One thing vampires prize is our secrecy. The idea of one revealing him… or herself to humans is not tolerated. And there are those who take it upon themselves to enforce that secrecy. When I was awakening from the transformation, my first conscious thought was of them breaking into where we were and killing everyone. I broke through a wall and escaped. But seeing them in action has terrified me like nothing else, before or since. I was very confused, bewildered, trying to fathom my new self… not to mention the thirst. But I was keenly aware of the fact that if they caught me, they would kill me."

Jacob says, "So that's it, you just… ran?"

Stasia nods. "Ran like hell." She affirms. "I eluded them, but not without a lot of luck. I imagine that they decided they had bigger fish to fry. So, I learned to live as a vampire. I really don't remember much that first year or so. My human memories were vague, like half-remembered dreams. My entire world was feeding and hiding. I wasn't really thinking… just operating off of instinct. Fortunately, my instinct for self preservation was strong. I do recall that there was something important that I needed to do. Something that didn't involve feeding or hiding. Something that I just couldn't quite grasp. When I came to myself again, I remembered what that was."

Jacob nods, "Let me guess — you wanted revenge."

Stasia shakes her head. "I wanted my sister." She says simply. "I'd forgotten her. I left her there. I made it back to Poland and tried to find her, but by then, the camp had already been abandoned. I could find no trace of her and presumed that she had been killed." She pauses. "Then I wanted revenge, yes."

Jacob says, "Have you been looking for your sister since then?"

"I thought she'd been killed. I thought I was the last of my line." Stasia says mildly. "I did find her. Here. After I'd spent my years and my wrath on getting revenge. I was indirectly involved in the formation of the Mossad." That gets a wicked little smile. "Ruthless bastards that they are. I learned a great deal from them. We worked together bringing the fugative Nazis to justice… not that they knew -I- was there. I used to be quite subtle in my political mechanations, before I decided that meddling in human politics is too depressing. But I was there when they caught Eichmann. Mengele, as you must have surmised, was mine. I had many questions answered then. See, I stayed away from vampires. Sometimes that wasn't always possible and I had to fight to defend my territory or myself. This Joyce wasn't the first vampire I've destroyed. I was sure they were all trying to kill me. All of this, I had to learn on my own. No mentor. No "father" or "mother". No mate. No coven. Just me." She sighs, "Until I ran across a young man who looked too much like my father to be coincidence. That led me here. My sister was dying of cancer, but I was able to see her one last time. And for the first time, I really spoke to other vampires. And I met the Cullens."

Jacob picks up the name, "Joyce?", with a question in his tone.

"A few weeks ago, Alice Cullen came to me for help. She had just come from a ski trip with some young humans from the school. They had been attacked by a small coven. Their leader, Joyce, was in a word, insane. She had it in her head to change one of the girls, Beverley. This girl had been under the protection of the Cullens. Alice was worried she had seen too much and asked me if I would consider changing her myself. She said that her family and the treaty would never allow it." Stasia shakes her head. "I wasn't interested. Newborns seem to be a good deal of work and I was still woefully ignorant about a great many things. Besides, this girl is typical of the children of this time. Spoiled, pampered. They've never really known what it is to suffer, to have to endure. How can someone whose mettle has never been tested, survive as one of us? My human life prepared me, gave me strength. When the only time you've been hungry is when your parents sent you to bed without supper, how can you be prepared for what the thirst brings?"

Jacob nods more emphatically now, as if some puzzle piece in his brain just clicked into place, "Ah… I've met Beverly."

"Shortly thereafter, Alice had one of her… visions. That she was in Forks, looking for Beverley. Again she asked for my help, to spy on her." Stasia pauses. "I'm very good at that." She says simply. "So, I tracked Joyce's movements in Forks. She was pushing a baby carriage with dolls in it. Very.. odd. But as it turned out, she was going after Beverley. So, since I'd agreed to help and if one insane vampire reproduces, it invaribly becomes /two/ insane vampires, I intervened. That was when Joyce promised that she and her coven mate would track me down and kill me. I sent Beverley to the Cullen's home and made sure she wasn't followed. We told Alice everything… I abbreviated things when necessary, of course. We decided to send Beverley and her family away, until things were taken care of. Alice was going with them. Alice told me that she was sure I could "handle them." So while they were safe, I started planning. Unfortunately, none of the other Cullens were available to assist me. While I was alert for Joyce and her coven mate to make good on their threat, I ran into one of the other wolves, who offered to help."

Jacob nods, "I heard about that part of it, of course."

Stasia nods, "After it was done, I waited to hear from my allies. I still had the other one, who swore revenge and I feel safer in the forest. I can defend myself better here. Then a few days ago, Carlisle Cullen came to see me. He apologized for his family's lack of assistance, promised his help against the other one. Then he dropped a bomb. A vampire killing another is "illegal" you see. And the Volturi were here and taking notice of it. This was a fact that Alice had neglected to mention when she was encouraging me to "handle things." A most convenient omission." She says dryly. "Naturally, I was angry. Very angry. I had endangered myself on their behalf, without their help and now the Volturi were coming." She pauses. "I'm sorry, do you know the word? These were the ones who tried to kill me upon my awakening."

Jacob frowns just a little. "Hmm."

"So my thought was that I'd just been manipulated into destroying their enemy for them, then facing the wrath of the Volturi for it, while the Cullens were all safely out of danger. I'm still not entirely convinced that's not the case. Remember, I used to dabble in human politics Vampire politics can't be that different. But I like Emmett Cullen a good deal. He doesn't seem the type for such mechanations. It could be this was done without his knowledge." Stasia shrugs. "It matters little now. Emmett came to me last night. His family decided to abandon me completely. They are closing ranks to defend their own and are not supposed to have any contact with me at all. Emmett came to warn me." She sighs… still angry, but she's been angry for so long that it's more of a resignation. "I can't stay here. I don't know if they will give the Volturi their "full cooperation" or not. I know this forest well now, but so do they. I will have lost a tactical advantage. So, I have no choice. I need to run. If I can't outrun them, I need to pick a battleground for a last stand."

Jacob raises his eyebrows, not liking the sound of that.

"I have no intention to… as they say… go quietly." Stasia murmurs grimly. "I think I'll go north. Far north. The ice will be thin as the waters warm with the season. The weather is unpredictable. The wildlife abundant and powerful. Sometimes the entire course of battle can be decided by the venue." Her tone isn't hopeless, but still, there is determination in it. "If they follow me, with some luck and planning, I may make them regret it."

Abbey has arrived.
Aset has arrived.

Stasia is sitting on her heels, in a position only a vampire would find comfortable. Her mongrel dog is curled up next to her, sleeping. She and Jacob appear to be having a very serious discussion, but due to the relaxed body language, it's not a tense or threatening one.

The rather terrain here may be difficult for some to trek through, but it proves to be little obstacle to the large black wolf that effortlessly speeds into the area. Aset leads the parade of two, slowing only when a pair of new scents filter through his nostrils. Swiftly, quietly, he manages to slow and stop within the span of a blink. A pair of red-amber eyes observe the area, his footsteps taking up pace again as he slowly pads forward to bring the unknowns in sight.

Jacob looks toward the oncoming wolf, almost phasing out of instinct for his own protection but he manages to control it. "Geez… don't startle a guy.", he says lightly, trying to control a slight twitch in his hand.

The other following Aset is a large reddish colored wolf, pale gaze drifting over the area while the wolf keeps pace with the other. There is a pause though an Abbey stops before running into Aset as she catches the scents that drift by. A faint snort escaping her at the scent of vampire hits her. Though there is another scent there, one of a wolf, and seemingly one from the other pack.

Stasia doesn't like being snuck up on any more than Jacob does. Her body posture shifts to a defensive crouch, between the oncoming threat and her sleeping dog, in an oddly protective gesture. She stops then, recognizing the wolves and slowly eases out of her aggressive posture.

Aset's body skitters forward a step when Abbey's body bumps into his own, and an amused hoot escapes the wolf who glances back to the other briefly before returning his eyes to the other pair. Stasia's manner is observed first, seemingly the more threatening of the two until she relaxes. Jacob's own demeanor chimes in with the first to quickly calm his nerves. The large wolf pads closer still until he stands at a relatively familiar distance, and then his body shifts as suddenly as he and Abbey had arrived into a man. "Sorry about that," he offers, holding up a hand though his expression appears relaxed. His eyes on Jacob for a moment, the wolf turns his gaze to the vampire and offers her a nod. "Stasia, hello. I have news for you… A volturi came to our home asking questions about you. I did not tell them anything," is gotten out of the way before his gaze turns to Jacob. "Hi, I'm Aset. And this…" he begins, gesturing back toward Abbey though he leaves the introduction for his companion's lips to breath.

Abbey gives Aset an surprized look and seems to grin at him before nipping at his side and wruffs out a moment. Her tail lashes before her gaze returns to the pair. She turns for a moment and shifts back the way she and Aset came dropping the pack she was carring. Movement is heard while she shifts back into her human form and she then goes about pulling some clothing on, unlike Aset she isn't going to stand around in front of others bare thank you. "Abbey.." Is offered as she makes her way back and stands at Aset's side, clothing a mere tank top and cut off jeans.

Jacob smiles in Abby's direction first. "We've met.", he says, tilting his head politely. "I'm Jacob…. Jacob Black." "Hatch'awi." He looks more than a little alarmed at the news, "Voulturi…. coming here?" He seems to know the whole story now, for the look he gives Stasia is bleak. "How much time?"

Stasia nods slowly. Aset's words are no surprise to her. "What do they know already?" She asks the ancient wolf. "I wouldn't be shocked if the Cullens have already told them everything." Her lips tighten. "If they're asking about me then it's past time for me to be gone. I will try to leave a false trail, throw them off."

Aset glances back to Abbey briefly and his cheeks flush ever so slightly though it is veiled to all but the most observant due to his dark complexion. "You brought clothes…" he pauses to comment, feeling a little odd as of the two of them now he's the only one wearing a birthday suit. "Well, it never bothered me before," he decides aloud before grinning to the others in spite of their alarm at the news they've brought. "Nothing really, not from what I can tell. They know that a vampire was murdered by another, but are unaware of…the vampire's identity," he explains, his eyes focusing on Stasia. "They want answers though, and I'm sure they have agents in humble guise all over. Best thing you can do, Stasia is to keep quiet, and not look guilty…" Mention of the Cullens draws a curious expression from the African wolf. "The Cullens, you think that they would sell you upstream?" he asks, brow furrowing as he looks to Jacob then. "…I think they're bluffing, a little bit. We have time…a little bit."

Jacob gets to his feet, "Well, maybe we do have some time but why are we wasting it debating?" Jacob has direct experience with them. "I can think of better ways to use the time."

Abbey peers at Aset and ohs a moment while grinning a tad. "Sorry deary.." She offers while slipping forward to stand in front of him, as if they might help any. Her gaze turns to Jacob and then to Stasia slightly, watching the vampire a few moments. "I don't think it'll matter if you leave a false trail or not, the damange has been done here." Even if Stasia leave the Volturi will still come after her family, which doesn't set well with her to say the least. A faint humm escapes her as the Cullens are brought up, but she waits for Stasia to answer Aset no reason to ask basicly the same question again. "An what would you suggest to do Jacob?.. Unlike you, the Volturi don't care for other wolves.."

"They already have sold me upstream. It's now a question of to what degree." Stasia replies flatly. "I'm leaving. Tonight. If they don't know you were involved, all the better."

Jacob starts to walk some distance away, looking for a place where he can phase, "I have to warn my brothers.", he takes one last look at Stasia and says under his breath, "Good luck… I hope your plan is enough."

Aset breathes a laugh at Jacob's enthusiasm, and his brow hardens while a smirk is etched onto his face. "She's got a point there," Aset offers to Abbey's statement to Stasia, as well as to her question to Jacob, and his arms fold across his chest. This other wolf seems strong enough, at least in his mannerisms, and he thinks perhaps they lucked out with this meeting. Shaking his head to Stasia, Aset sighs, "I'm sorry. I wish you well, Stasia…" To Jacob, Aset offers a sound nod. "Jacob," he calls before the man can leave. "When you've warned your brothers… Let us talk?"

Jacob nods, "Okay.", he says in his direct way, agreeing to a meeting. He departs, taking Stasia's dog with him, as promised.

Abbey glances over to Jacob and nods lsightly as she watches the other leave before she looks to Stasia and smirks a moment. "I don't think it would have matter if we told them I helped or not.. being a wolf is enough to get them to beat down the door." She pauses slightly. "She told us to run.." Which she doesn't want to do but she isn't putting the pack in anymore danger that's for sure.

"What they don't know can't hurt you," Stasia agrees, nodding to Abbey. "I wish you both the best. Keep your heads down. If they're after me, they'll follow me soon enough." She pauses. "Just… be careful who you trust. I learned that one the hard way and if I live through this, there will be a reckoning." She pauses, gold eyes filled with both fear and determination. "Good luck to you."

As Jacob darts off into the night, Aset shifts away from the man to look to Stasia and nods at Abbey. "She did say to run, but… We have some time. You have time, Stasia. Spend it well," he offers with a light nod that turns into more of a bow before his head lifts. "We will always help you if we can," he adds, his brow fixing as he meets the vampires' gaze. A hand moves to rest upon Abbey's shoulder then, his grip gentle yet firm before he steps back and returns to his wolf state with an audible crackling noise.

Abbey smirks faintly as she hears Stasia but she shakes her head a moment while taking in a breath. "Ya.." Is offered softly while she looks to Aset at the touch. Another glance is offered to Stasia. "Good luck.." This offered while she turns moving back into the forest, and once the clothing is off and back in her pack she too is turning back into a wolf. A heavy paw batting out towards Aset once she catches up to him.

Stasia turns then, sprinting through the trees… headed north….

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