Life & Death Chapter 18

What was the point of the vampire baseball game? It got the vampires out into the woods with Bella/Beau so they can run into the antagonists. So it drove the plot, I suppose. That’s shouldn’t be the only reason to have a scene though, especially when it’s not actually driving the plot. Meyer could have easily had them go out to the woods to start playing baseball and they immediately meet James. No time wasted with the Cullens running bases like Barry Allen after pounding ketamine.

That doesn’t mean the baseball scene had to go. It could have been a whole chapter and told us a lot about the characters. Maybe explained how they modified baseball, beyond spreading the bases out, to accommodate their vampire family. Does one person play against the rest of the family, trying to get a run before rotating others in? Does Alice/Archie cheat with their future sight? How about Ed? Have the rest of them figured out ways to mess with Ed’s mind reading so they can’t see a pitch coming?

Bullshit padding scenes are fine when you’re banging away in your bedroom or office. Sometimes you just need to keep the flywheel spinning before you land and meet road. Revisions are when you fix things like that and either make if fit the story or cut it entirely. That this moment is here tells us that the editor is just as much to blame for Twilight’s shittiness as is the source of the manuscript.

The antagonists appear, having also passed through the same transporter the rest of the Twi-verse used to swap genitals. The nameless mook who dies in the next book notices she’s in front and falls in line behind the girl formerly known as James. Why she was walking in front if they have such a rigid power hierarchy is beyond me. Or is it the realization that they’re in public and she has to pretend to be the bottom again? Also, there’s a red headed guy who was Victoria. If Meyer doesn’t just call him Victor, I will be incredibly disappointed.

Beau can immediately tell they’re different from the Cullens as their walk is catlike which some how equates to being on the edge of shifting into a crouch. What? Crouching isn’t threatening, Meyer. When cats crouch, they’re “stalking” things. Sure it’s part of hunting behavior but that would make them slower moving and less dangerous. Maybe you should have said how they appeared to walk in an almost crouch, ready to leap at prey or something.

We get her description which is pale but having an olive tone. She’s beautiful but not too beautiful and strong but not strong like Eleanor. How can you tell that last bit, Beau? You who were shocked when the Cullens were running around, leaving dust outlines behind not five seconds ago. Where the hell did your expertise in their strength come from?

Lauren is name of the girl in front while Joss is the girl that stepped back and the boy is Victor. I’m vaguely recalling the part where the disposable henchman was the one doing the talking in Twilight while James hung back. But really, Meyer? Joss? Do you just tag your characters with names from movie credits that are passing your eyes?

Lauren “analyzes” Carnine. Again, I’d like to know how Beau knows this. If you want to talk like the omniscient god-author you are Meyer, feel free. It’s one of the advantages to writing in that style. Otherwise, you and your editor need to check this at the door. Lauren says they thought they heard a game and wandered over to investigate.

How did they know it was a game, Meyer? Vampire superhearing just means they could hear the sounds. It doesn’t mean they know what it is. It’s be like if I amplified the sound of your heartbeat as you hid in the crawlspace. You’d nod your head in understanding once I told you but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense beforehand. Unless you were secretly a cardiologist.

They exchange pleasantries which in the world of vampires is talking about your hunting range. That makes sense as the first thing people discuss when meeting is how many pounds of General Tso’s chicken you can get from the local Shady Dragon buffet. Carnine mentions their permanent residence, along with the one in Alaska, which confuses them. Carnine invites them to her house to sit down and talk about it.

Just as Carnine sends Ed to take Beau and get the Jeep, the author miracles a breeze into being. This ruffles Beau’s hair and Joss suddenly looks over at him. She growls and lunges at Beau while Ed growls back. Beau tells us it’s terrifying because Meyer doesn’t know how to describe it otherwise. Lauren then asks what “this” is. It’s a rather sad attempt to rehash romance between two star crossed lover who can’t be for reasons unexplored. Oh, you mean Beau.

Joss says they brought a snack. The Cullens say that he’s with them and repeat it a few times. For some reason, the antagonists are puzzled at the idea that vampire, being basically human, would hang out with humans. I don’t buy that for a second, Meyer. I’m betting there are vampires who eat humans but still have human friends in your universe.

Lauren speaks up, saying that it appears they have a lot to learn from each other. Like how to gain some of that wondrous plot armor that protects Bella/Beau and Ed. She says they won’t harm the boy and certainly won’t hunt in the Cullens’ territory. She asks if they show them the way home to have that talk.

Ed, Archie and Eleanor run with Beau to the Jeep and strap him in. Can I ask what may be the obvious question here, Meyer? Why is the family of seven vampires running from a group of three? I get that Joss has somehow gotten a murder boner by Beau’s scent so she’s got motivation. Even if all three decide to attack, they’re outnumbered just over two to one. Sending Ed off with two other vampires effectively decreases the defenses of Beau in this case.

Archie is attempting to tell Ed to stop driving stupid and calm down. Ed begins shouting that she’s a “tracker” over and over. I’m going to assume that means she’s a vampiric Suzuki wearing a Geo badge which means she’s under powered and poses no risk to the Jeep you’re in, Ed. Archie tells Ed to pull over right now. Ed says that she wants him and she’s already begun.

Archie asks how long it would take for Joss to get beau’s scent when wandering about town. Beau, having a flash of insight which promptly burns out his brain, says they can’t leave Charlie behind. Ed is against it until beau says they can go home, wait until they’re sure Joss is watching then Beau will leave. That way Joss will follow them and not hurt Charlie. Because someone intent on killing you will leave your family when thwarted and not kill them for revenge or a snack for the road.

Lucky for us, Archie is there to confirm that Joss will leave Charlie alone if Beau follows through. They then talk through this plan of Beau’s, who’ll stay behind and when it will happen. Ed is supposed to stay there so Charlie doesn’t assume she murdered or eloped with him. We wouldn’t want Charlie suspicious after Beau suddenly says he wants to leave his dad without packing.

Beau tells Ed to wait a week to ensure the “hunter” sticks around and gets bored. Archie and Jessamine can go with him to Arizona, get some rays and relax by the pool. Ed declares this to be a terrible plan. Joss will hear Beau tell his dad that he’s going back to Arizona. Charlie will just say they can’t ever go back to Arizona and Beau will have to break cereal bowls in rage.

There is also the detail of Joss, being a vampire and having super senses, will hear this declaration. Being as they need her near by so she won’t hurt Chaz, this poses a problem. Beau says that Joss will know they know she’s listening and should surmise that this is a ruse. Archie says that’s diabolical. I guess if your definition of clever is Wile E. Coyote, then Beau is brilliant. Also, Joss will think Beau is with Edythe so she’ll stick around anyways.

Again, why not make the first move here? If Edy couldn’t read minds, you could argue that preemptive murder is bad. You can’t really know what someone will do until they pull the trigger. Edy and Archie can though. Edy can tell what Joss is thinking and Archie can read the future. Between the two, they can predict within ninety nine percent accuracy whether Joss is dangerous. So why run if she won’t stop?

It makes absolutely no sense. Meyer hasn’t established any reason for it prior. Ed isn’t a pacifist nor are the rest of the Cullens. There isn’t any mention of rules being enforced from the Volturi at this point or a vampire code. My guess is that Meyer had the showdown between Ed and James in mind and she wrote backwards from there. Which is fine if you justify it on a later pass but she never does.

Beau says Edy will have a better chance at fighting Joss if she stays. The prospect excites Eleanor while Ed mulls it over. Beau says that Archie and Jessamine can look after him for a week and then Edy can trade places. Ed asks if Jessamine and Archie can handle this and Arch says yes.

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