Strange Happenings

IC Time: September 15, 2007 @ 7pm
Location: Forks - Forest: Nature Center
Synopsis: Information is nearly leaked.
Submitted by: Staff

It's close to seven o'clock, the time listed on a very strange flier circulating around town about a very different topic - 'Strange Happenings.' As can be expected, there's not a huge crowd here; the flier was too dubious for most of the conservative, small town folks. However, a few individuals here and there have opted to arrive, some quirkier looking than others. Notably, there's an older couple wearing hippie-styled clothes and some nerdy looking college students. There's a pouty-looking newspaper reporter for the Forum, obviously not enjoying herself as she tugs a meticulous Anne Klein suit down a bit and frowns before taking a seat on the marred bench.

Strings of lights illuminate the area and there's a dingy table with refreshments, but the main attraction seems to be the stage, where Lenka, the spokesperson for the group, smiles a bit dauntingly down at the seats. "Come in, have a seat. And please, don't sit too close. There will be times when you won't want to be close to the stage." There's a television, too, a long orange extension cord snaking back toward the dimly lit Nature Center.

Anastasia, Amaya, and Beverley approach the cleared area in front of the nature center in a small knot, chatting quietly among themselves. "Wow, very Smokey The Bear," Ana observes, in a relatively low voice. "Sort of rustic… um, tacky, I guess. Anybody ever heard of these people?"

Beverley crinkles her nose at Ana's enquiry. "Yah, the SSI. They think Forks has some big dark secret with secret fantastical creatures hiding in the woods," she offers towards the vampiress with a shrug. Clearly the teen is being deliberately vague, undoubtedly due to the number of unaware humans present.

Slowly, cautiously, a slight little figure with flaming red hair appears from the woods, dressed in all black with her hood up over her face, as if trying to be inconspicuous. And as Sawyer nears the stage, her eyes happen to be wide with awe and some fear - but determined. Her will is unwavering, and it reflects in the way she glances around, before moving to sit herself near the stage - but not too close!

Carlisle walks in along with his wife and Bella. He went down near the stage finding a comfortable spot waiting for the ladies to have a seat first. Giving a quick glance around at those that have shown up he gives a light nod to the one standing behind the podium.

Amaya is one of those humans. She shakes her head a bit, "I've never heard of them before the flyer and all." She laughs a bit at Bev, "Fantastic creatures?" She bites back a grin, and likely a corresponding comment about giant owls. Still, her slight nervousness is betrayed by how her hand loosely holds her necklace.

Lenka watches Beverley and her friends arrive, raising her eyebrows at the words she just barely makes out. "It isn't just a theory, my dear," she calls out, the microphone set up in front of her catching some of her words and magnifying them out. "I hope to show you that tonight." The carmel-skinned woman takes a step closer to the microphone and plasters a wide, but somewhat sinister smile on her face. "Welcome, friends. Take a seat, relax. We will be safe here tonight; my friends will protect us. Hurry, hurry. We will start shortly." As if to hurry things along, the named 'friends' appear from around the fence — tall, ashen men and women of African descent with rose-colored eyes. There's five of them total, and they quickly surround the perimeter of the classroom.

It takes a moment, but quickly, one of them steps forward toward Carlisle, Esme, and Bella. "Excuse me," the male says in accented English. "You will come with us? And her." He points to Stacy. "Special seating arrangements. Inside."

Lenka watches from the stage as some are persuaded to be led away, but continues to move things along. "To start, I'd like to know your expectations for tonight, each of you. Why'd you come? Have you noticed anything has been… off? Really, this will be more of a dialogue. /Something/ drew you here. What?" Her eyes meet with the people in the crowd, waiting for their answers. In the meantime, the television is turned on, and silently, roll of news stories play — murders, disappearances from the Forks area.

Esme follows her husband, and soon settles into a chair, hopefully ensuring Bella to be between them, though she won't, personally, instruct Bella as to where she should sit. As for Lenka's question, she doesn't bother answering it.

Bella moves into the sitting area with her parents, her brown lensed eyes looking up to the woman on the stage. A woman she has seen before and there is a wariness about her. Yet here they are. Is it for knowledge of her and her people or to keep their own knowledge protected. As the question gets asked Bella remains quiet, her breath slow, as she copes with the largest amount of humans around her since she was turned. Her hands reach out to either side of her to take the hands of her 'parents' for support.

The fact that they pointed out specific people made Carlisle wonder about it. "We are fine here thanks," he assures. Sitting down he holds onto Bella's hand giving it a gentle squeeze. As the question is posed by the speaker he doesn't answer either other than just waiting and listening to what any others may have to allow.

Stacy arcs an eyebrow at the pointing man and his 'invitation' before looking back to Amaya and Beverley. "/Weird/ people here…" she murmurs, executing a perfect Valley Girl eyeroll. "Don't wanna make a scene, so I'll go with them. Be back soon." She gives them a grin with a confidence she doesn't feel.

Beverley nods slightly towards Ana as she looks around suspiciously. "Stay close," she almost orders of Amaya. With that she moves to a seat near the very back of the gathering, intent on not being anywhere near the stage, but still having an easy escape, should it prove necessary.

Sawyer looks around, quite warily, as the 'friends' surround the perimeter. And as much as she'd like to fight it, to pretend like she's not kind of freaked out - she is. In an attempt to regroup, she ends up shifting toward the few humans left. Needless to say, she's not in the front of the group any longer. "What do we…I want to know the truth." She speaks out, firmly, with more bravado than she actually feels. "I want to know why things keep happening in the woods, and why we need protection, and why the people here are…" She trails off at this point, seeing as calling the residents of Forks 'weird' might come off as insulting.

Amaya nods at Beverly. No problem, there. She furrows her brow a bit, her exspression nervous as Stacy leaves, and she grips her necklace a bit tighter as she shifts in her seat practically as soon as she sits in it, not comfortable with being surrounded. Looking at the TV on occasion, she pretty much dismisses it- most of what's there, she likely saw on her own TV or heard about.

The dark vampire trying to summon the Cullens and Stacy into the Nature Center does not look thrilled at Carlisle and company's decision to stay put. His brows rise a bit. "Ah, okay, friends. We just hope there will be no trouble," he whispers in their direction, knowing full-well they can hear. To Stacy, the man smiles and offers an arm. "A special presentation for the friends of ours. Come," he says simply, leading the blonde back toward the Center, where he holds the door open for her before disappearing inside. Once inside, it may take a moment for one's eyes to adjust — it's very dark. There are more vampires inside one could detect by scent — and almost instantly, one leaps upon Stacy, trying to restrain her and muffle her mouth at the same time.

Outside, however, is a much different story. Standing tall on the lit stage and glancing occasionally at the television, Lenka stands and faces the rather tight-lipped crowd. "Quiet tonight, are we? Oh!" She smiles as Sawyer speaks up and listens intently. "Yes, yes. You remind me of myself." She jumps off the stage and makes a sudden movement toward Sawyer. "Young. Curious… scared." She inclines her head to Sawyer and stares for a moment before leaping back on the stage. "I will tell you all the truth tonight, but it comes with some risk, sadly. You must understand that there are those that do not want you to know. I will try my best to shield you from danger, but it can happen, still. So, if you wish to continue your life in ignorance, just go on right now," she says softly. "But just as a taste… come, Shemsa." One the vampires standing guard along the perimeter does as asked — literally. With a fluid grace and truly unbelievable speed, the woman makes her way to the stage. A mere blur to human eyes, if she isn't stopped. "If you still want to know, I need your verbal commitment."

Esme easily moves her hand from her lap to hold onto her youngest daughters hand, hopefully her grip is both reassuring, yet restraining, if necessary. "Make sure Edward takes you out for dinner later, Bella," she suggests with a light squeeze and a smile, which falters when she see's Anastasia moving with the one doing the luring. "I don't like the looks of this, Carlisle," she gives, her voice far too quiet for human ears as she beckons towards the nature center, where Stacy and the others went.

Bella looks with growing worry and apprehension on her face. She is worrying her lower lip before looking between her in laws. "I…we can't leave the humans here unprotected, but I fear for ourselves as well if we stay." She says in a whispered undertone to her parents, her brown lensed gaze not leaving Lenka's face. She remembers the field. There was a hint of longing then, could all live in peace, live together in harmony as suggested, but it is indeed mixed with the feet of the Volturi and their own 'agenda'.

Beverley cringes slightly. "Maya, maybe we should go," she suggests as she moves to grab the other teens hand. "I don't like what she's saying," more like, she's trying to preserve Amaya's total lack of knowledge when it comes to some of the denizens of Forks and surrounding area. "I'd feel better if Ana hadn't of left," is stated, as her eyes dart towards where Stacy went. "Maybe we should go find her and take off?" is suggested, with a nod of her head.

Amaya nods, still nervous, "Yeah. These people surrounding us are…" She misses most of the movement, but blinks as the woman suddenly is on the stage. She nods, tightening her grip, both on her necklace and on Bev's hand, and nods again, "Yeah, we should go and try to find her."

A yawn escapes a man who has just now come to the end of the trail leading to the Nature Center. In Trent's hand is a peculiar flier he had gotten ahold of earlier, which he stares at curiously. The pawn shop owner hadn't anything else to do today when he saw it, and if he's lucky there'll be some refreshments or something. In any case, he's merely looking for a way to pass an otherwise boring evening. Looking up from the flier after shoving it in his pocket, he spots a stage and some seats. Trenton decides to approach but only enough to see what's going on.

Carlisle rises up to his feet, "Let's go." he tells Bella and his wife. No he doesn't feel safe here at all, nor will he put his family in danger. Staring towards Lenka he just shakes his head before glancing at the ladies, "Come on."

Stacy ignores the offered arm, with a sarcastic smile. "Of course," she replies, softly, moving to the invitingly opened door she is directed to. She has just enough time for her nose to twitch as the door is opened, the whiff of vampire on a sudden rush of wind displaced by a…

And on instinct she drops nearly flat to the ground as another vampire inside rushes at her! "Have you two met?" she yelps, unable to mimic her creator's devil-may-care reckless calm. Hoping that the attacker and her 'escort' will be busy with one another for a moment, she scrambles clear and to her feet, dirtier from the experience but momentarily free.

Sawyer quite literally, jumps back with a squeal when Lenka approaches her swiftly. In fact, she nearly trips over her own feet as she retreats, clutching her hand to her heart. What follows is the furious reddening of her cheeks, and her brows are drawn together stubbornly. Suddenly, she "You're doing this on purpose! You're trying to scare everyone. Play it up and all. I don't get what you're trying to do here, but it's ridiculous. You're not getting my money." Shemsa is gaped at as she does her little trick, and suddenly? Little Sawyer isn't quite so fiery. Still quite audible, but not as determined. "Wh- How! How'd she do that!"

Lenka shrugs at Sawyer. "I'm not." She watches Shemsa's stunt and then gives a smile, as if to say, 'see?' She dismisses it with a shrug. "Please, stay." She notices the unrest of many in the audience. "Or don't. But I give no guarantees to your safety beyond the gates. It is a full moon, after all." The woman takes a few steps on stage and then faces Shemsa. "I asked for verbal commitment. I didn't get much; but silence is agreement, right? So, here. I'm here to tell you that there are forces at work here that we, as humans, have little defense against. Our only defense is knowledge, and that is what I seek to give you. Shemsa?" There is a pause, and then the dark-skinned vampire on stage turns and looks at the crowd. Her eyes are strangely red, her skin a bit too pale. "We," she gestures to all around them, "are vampires." And that is let to sit with the audience as Shema leaps up and moves in a blur toward the fence, balancing on the edge of it. Some laugh. Others stare.

Inside the nature center, the vampires growl lowly as Stacy manages to avoid their capture. "Stay. We can't have you ruining the reveal. Unless, of course, you want to be a part? Maybe demonstrate our abilities?"

Beverley gets to her feet and keeps very close to Amaya. "C'mon, we need to find Stacy," she mutters as she makes her way towards the Nature Center, where she last saw Stacy go. Hopefully Amaya will come with her, it's that or the teen will let go of her classmates hand, which she'd really rather not do. "Ana!" she calls out, though her voice is quiet, she is already well aware of vampire super-hearing, and knows that there's a good chance that Stacy will hear her.

Amaya doesn't let go, and follows Bev. She's perfectly willing to just follow at this time. She blinks at Bev, "With all of this, how is she even going to hear you?"

Bella nods to Carlisle and rises to her seat, but not before noticing the varying reactions on the people here. There are at least a few /not/ horrified. Some curious, awed. She tugs on Esme's hand and motions her to look out over the crowd as well. The youngest Cullen is clearly caught on the balance of coming and going despite Carlisle's insistence. She still has family among the humans. She looks up at Lenka and shakes her head, whispering to her. "You are risking them all…"

Esme doesn't let go of her daughter's hand, nor does her husband. "We can't stay, Bella," she hisses, shaking her head. "They'll look at them, and then look at us, they'll see the similarities, it's too dangerous," she gives, shaking her head as her eyes dart about the crowd, towards Lenka, the look on her face is furious.

Trenton merely shakes his head in response to the outrageous statement by the person near the stage. "You've gotta be kidding me," he mumbles to himself. Is he watching a play? If it is, it's a very horrible one. At least the evening won't be boring, if only because he'll have something to laugh at. From his spot on the outskirts of the presentation setup, he begins to walk closer to the stage, looking for a completely open bench to lie on by himself.

Stacy blinks. "Wait, what? Is /that/ what this is all about? Geez, you could've just /said/ that, instead of all this 'Grab her!' stuff." She grins. "A demonstration? Sure! Let me know if you can use this." And she begins to sing softly, struggling to both remember the words to 'Winds of Morning', and to keep from showing her anxiety as she hopes she at least has the seconds needed to ensnare them into the song's spell…

Lenka's gaze focuses in on Bella, catching Esme's angry glare as well. "Debatable," she says back lowly. "Am I? Or are /you/, living among them?" She at least has the decency to whisper that part, and after a moment, she straightens and re-approaches the mic. "Not kidding, my friend. We don't have the special effects of staging to do /that/. She has super strength and speed. She has no pulse, no need to breathe. Go ahead, go and feel. Cold to the touch." Shemsa jumps down from the fence and approaches Trenton, lending out her arm as she attempts to sit next to him. Likewise, another one of the 'guards' approaches the fiery redhead, offering a wrist for her to contemplate, completely non-threatening.

All is not calm, however, in the woods. Several figures move silently through the branches, donning black cloaks, red eyes glinting with the night. No doubt within minutes they will be upon the scene. And they won't be happy.

The others, hidden from view in the nature center, are distracted by Stacy's song. It's a bit odd, to be sure, and three of them quickly fall under her spell. The last slides past to report to their human mistress.

Beverley shrugs towards Amaya. "Just don't wanna draw any attention to ourselves, at least not anymore than usual," she gives with another faint shrug before she finishes her trek to the door, where she pokes her head inside the nature center, presuming she's not stopped. "Ana, we need to get going. I don't think things are gonna stay pretty out there," she gives with a shake of her head.

Amaya lets go of Bev's hand, and tightens her grip on her necklace as she heads off, sticking to the trail.

Sawyer can only /stare/ at Lenka once the revelation has been made. "…Vampires? Like, Dracula and all that? Lady, I don't know what game you're trying to play," she begins, fortified by her mistaken faith in her rational mind. "But vampires? Really? That's ridiculous! It's folklore, fable. Next, you're going to be saying that werewolves are real, and that Big Foot is like, haunting the woods here." She even draws enough courage to laugh, though she winces in fear when the guard approaches her, as if expecting pain. Reluctantly, she does as she's told, feeling his arm. "…They must have abnormally faint blood circulation to their arms. I do - my hands are always cold." …But, no pulse… "I'm not a nurse, I can't read peoples pulses."

Stacy breathes a mental sigh of relief as three of them, at least, fall under the spell. The fourth one, leaving by another door, seems no threat for now. She keeps singing, determined to deepen her control enough that her captors won't object to her leaving…

And then Beverley opens the door, and she glances over, hitting an off note but maintaining her song. She nods quickly to Bev, singing, "They're not very pretty in /heeeerreee/ right noooowwwwwww… Please stay /heeerrreee/, my friends… I've gooott to /goooo/ nowwww… ta-/taaaaa/aaaaaa…" before hurrying out the door and closing it behind her.

"Let's go! Hurry!" she hisses at Bev. "They'll come out of it in a minute or two!"

Trenton turns his attention to the speaker at the mic as she catches him off guard. Did she really hear him mutter 'You've gotta be kidding me' that far away? He decides to sum it up to coincidence. She was probably talking to someone else. After finally lying down on a lonely bench by himself, the alleged 'vampire' walks off the stage and sits by him, wanting him to touch her wrist. An interactive play? Definitely not at this point. Crazy cult gathering? Most likely… He raises a brow at the one holding out their arm. "Fine, I'll play your game." He touches the arm. No pulse and very cold. Pulling his hand away, he scratches his neck. "Alright." This is spoken loud enough so everyone can hear it. "So, give me a sharp pointy object or a gun. I'll shoot you or stab you. And if you don't die I'll believe you. How about that?" Obviously they're not going to let him do either of those things.

Beverley nods as Ana walks out. "Damn, now I know why you should be the lead singer for Ramona's band," she gives with a shake of her head as she quickly follows Stacy, at least as fast as her human feet can take her. "Why were you singing to them?" she questions, shaking her head to get past the dizzy spell. "Shouldn't you have been hauling your ass out of there? Not offering up a free concert…" she trails off, shrugging as her gaze darts towards the group, grimacing slightly. "Scary prospect, all of Forks knowing about you guys. I don't like that idea, at all…"

Bella looks at the humans present; the vampires then back to Esme real worry on her face. She looks purely divided here. Will they notice what she is? Do they need to know? Bella tightens her grip on Esme's hand for a moment before releasing it. "What…what if we can all live together…openly. What if I don't have to lie to my father?" She whispers to Esme, only loud enough for Esme to hear, "What will THEY do? Will they erase an entire town? Would They?"

Shemsa, the vampire next to Sawyer, sits calmly as she's touched. "I could bite you, to demonstrate?" She laughs and leans in close to the red-haired teen, flashing straight, white teeth. No fangs.

The other vampire blinks calmly at Trenton. "Fine." He hops back on stage, when Lenka has gathered the various items of fable: garlic, stakes, mirrors. He takes the stake and hops back down, offering it to the pawn shop owner. At the same time, Lenka waits, watching the skeptical reactions, and watching others leave with not so happy faces. "We won't stop you from leaving. We agree to disagree." Nonetheless, she looks unhappy about them leaving before she speaks: "Believe me or don't, but do let me explain your defenses. Garlic, mirrors, stakes, weapons? None of that will work," she insists, holding up the objects in turn. "In fact, the only thing that will is —"

But she has no time to say whatever it is; the four cloaked figures descend upon the scene, one tackling Lenka, the others grabbing for the two vampires near the humans. They speak in a hiss, almost inaudible, and their ruby eyes flash toward the other vampires on the scene. "Go. This will be taken care of," grunts the Volturi guard in charge of the operation toward the other vampires in the area. There is a pause as Esme and Bella are considered, and then the guard adds, "We will leave no casualities, true to our own laws."

Esme shakes her head, and grabs her daughters hand. "We /have/ to go, Bella," she insists, and this is only strengthened by the appearance of those in black cloaks. "We don't want to anger the Volturi, and she doesn't know what she speaks of," her head motions slightly towards Lenka as she and Carlisle both move towards home, hopefully with Bella in tow.

As her fears become reality, Bella's grip tightens onto Esme's hand and nods. Though there is a backwards glance towards the human's present before turning quickly to follow her in laws into the forest, keeping a human speed until out of sight then running like the wind once out of sight.

Sawyer backs away from Shemsa at that half-tease, clearly cautious of the woman. "Bite me? Uhm…I'm sorry, miss, but I don't go that way. It's against the Bible." She attempts to politely explain, while firmly removing herself from the immediate situation. In fact, she's /about/ to excuse herself from the whole affair, when suddenly, the Volturi attack. Cloaked men? Attacking said 'protectors'? There's never been a more perfect time for Sawyer to scream her head off and try to run and escape, her own self-preservation instincts rising above all else.

Trenton takes the stake he's handed and stares down on it. They can’t be serious… He looks back to the one who gave him the stake, but only catches them being pulled away by some weirdoes in black cloaks. He looks around as the same thing happens to the other 'vampires'. At first, he doesn't bother leaving. In fact this show has become quite entertaining. However, it's also because, despite common sense saying that this is all set up, the small itch of wonder has appeared in the back of his mind. Common sense winning in the end, he drops the stake, shoves his hands in his pockets and walks away. Once he gets a decent distance between himself and the benches, that itch causes him to turn around and look back at the barely visible stage… simply out of curiosity.

Beverley makes her way out of the area as quickly as she possibly can, attempting to keep up to Stacy, or surpass her, but, either way, she just knows that her best bet is to get as far away from this motley crew as fast as she can.

Esme makes her way towards the woods, calmly, or, as calmly as she can. Neither she nor Carlisle exceed a suitable human rate until they're both in the forest. Just like Bella, both of the older Cullen's run at a vampire's speed, though Bella definitely has the advantage on speed, still being a newborn and all that.

Indeed, the two vampires close to Sawyer and Trent don't get much time to reply. They are dragged off by the cloaked figures, toward the stage area. Within moments, all of the SSI gang is up there, being circled and talked to by the leader. The words aren't audible to the humans, but the vampires would surely hear murmurs of the gang being transported to Italy. Soon.
One of the cloaked figures stands before the remaining humans. Bev, Stacy, Amaya, and the Cullens are allowed to escape, if only because the Volturi don't seem to have enough manpower at the moment, though each one is eyed carefully and noted, likely to be visited at some later date. To those remaining, the cloaked figure drops her hood. A beautiful woman, a movie star perhaps, with bright violet eyes stands in front of them. "I hope you enjoyed our performance tonight," she purrs happily. "We're a relatively new company out there, so if you enjoyed the show, we'd appreciate your business again sometime. But if you can, try and keep it under wraps, okay? We do this in lots of cities and we like the ending to be a surprise." She smiles very attractively. "Have a wonderful night. Travel safe… never know what's out there!" There's a wink and a girlish giggle before she stands with her hands on her hips, obviously wanting them all to leave. Quickly.

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