Let’s play “Twenty minutes on Google.”
Alice and Bella started their day before the sun came up in Forks. It’s about mid-March, so the sun is rising at about 6, 6:15 in the morning. Jacob and friends show up at a reasonable hour for a weekend, before Charlie comes back from the funeral — we’ll say 8 am. The whole debacle wherein everyone realizes there’s a plot coming takes maybe 20 minutes. Bella and Alice leave the house for the nearest international airport (SEATAC Intl). The drive is 3 and a half hours long, on a good day.
So at around noon, Bella and Alice arrive at Seatac, and catch their plane “just in time.” Given that they’ll need to sneak through security, baggage, etc, we’ll say it’s 12:45 when they board their plane. Pre-flight, post-boarding preparations generally take around 15 minutes, again, on a good day, so I’m assuming they’re in the air at 1pm.
The average flight from Seatac to JFK (I’m assuming they’re laying-over in JFK, anyway) is 5 and a half hours long. However, thanks to time zones, they’ll be landing at 8:30pm instead of 5:30. Now, they have to run for their flight to Florence, Italy. All of these tickets were bought on the fly, by the way, and they all manage to line up perfectly without any layover times. I’d also like to point out that, even giving Expedia.com a month of leeway, it can’t find a flight connecting directly from New York to Florence–you have to at least stop in Rome. So that’s already out.
Okay, so, buying the improbability of them getting perfect times and perfect flights with no layover, they jump on the shortest flight to FLR from JFK at 9pm, and it takes 10hrs, ideally. Italy, however, is six hours ahead of New York, so they land in Florence at 2pm the next day. It’s too bad this situation is highly improbable to the point of being impossible, but still. 2pm.
Remember this time.
Alice and Bella share exposition on their long, long, long flights. They are essentially going it alone from here–if Edward makes a scene and the Volturi have to put him down, they’ll probably kill anyone who tries to stop them, which would be any of the male Cullens. Alice doesn’t want to drag Jasper into this mess, and, well, Rosalie probably told Emmett he wasn’t allowed to help, so off they go into danger!
Bella asks how Edward can’t just read Alice’s thoughts and know that she’s okay. Why, isn’t that one of those plot hole thingies? Alice explains that you can still lie with your thoughts, and Edward knows she’d lie to save him. Well. Okay. That’s still pretty lame.
The Volturi, it is explained, are like the mafia of vampires. They rule everybody because they’re powerful and rich enough to. “Rule” is sort of a loose term, since apparently the only rule vampires have (in this book, anyway) is that they can’t be recognized for what they are by the mortals. Oh, uh, oops? They keep bodyguards and protect their city, Volterra. They won’t even eat the people in Volterra, actually, they have foreigners shipped in. Not kidding.
I’d like to point out that Volterra is a real town in Tuscany. I’m not sure why she insists on butchering real events and real places instead of just making up her own random crazy city in Italy. It’s not like any of her readers have actually been there.
Anyway, the Volturi are the exterminators of other vampires, primarily. The three of them are ancient, somewhere near 3000 years old. And Edward is counting on them to kill him when he starts eating their cityfolk
It was amazingly easy to say his name now. I wasn’t sure what the difference was. Maybe because I wasn’t really planning on living much longer without seeing him. Or at all, if we were too late. It was comforting to know that I would have an easy out.
Yes, Bella is comforted by the fact of her impending doom, for as much as she despises that Edward has decided to commit suicide simply because he thinks she’s dead, she’s just as willing to make the same decision herself.
What happened to deciding a few chapters ago that you couldn’t bear to think of what it would do to your mother and father if you died? Are you that bereft of sense?
“We’ll do what we can, Bella. It’s not over yet.”
“Not yet.” I let her comfort me, though I knew she thought our chances were poor. “And the Volturi will get us if we mess up.”
Alice stiffened. “You say that like it’s a good thing.”
“Knock it off, Bella, or we’re turning around in New York and going back to Forks.”
Ha, I love Alice. She further threatens that she’s going to do everything in her power to bring Bella back to Charlie alive. Bella’s like “yeah sure whatever,” already planning for the emo poetry she will leave behind on her Myspace.
Alice tries to stir up some visions, and we are left alone with Bella’s thoughts–a horrifying prospect. She continues to dwell on how she doesn’t really want to live if Edward dies, which is soooo romantic. Alice finally snaps awake to let her know that the Volturi have decided to say no, so this buys them some time while Edward finalizes his plan for how to get them to change their minds. Bella asks how Alice’s visions have got so sharp, and she answers that she’s all “attuned to Edward” or something. Bella sighs and whines about how she wishes Alice’s vision of her becoming a vampire had been true.
“Actually, Bella…” She hesitated, and then seemed to make a choice. “Honestly, I think it’s all gotten beyond ridiculous. […]
Amen to that, sister.
[…] I’m debating whether to just change you myself.”
Yes, Alice is basically saying “This shit is bananas,” and offering to just bite Bella herself so she’ll stop whining. Bella, of course, is freaking beside herself.
“I thought that’s what you wanted.”
“I do!” I gasped. “Oh, Alice, do it now! […]
[…] I could help you so much–and I wouldn’t slow you down. Bite me!”
Bella acts like she’s just won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse. Please please please make me a creature of darkness! I won’t eat much and I’ll project forcefields and I’ll totally be beautiful and dead just like you! Pleeeeeease please please!
Alice tells her not to be ridiculous, she’d be in pain for days and they need to be sharp when they land in Italy. You know. As sharp as they can be, after 20 hours straight of traveling.
The plane finally lands in Florence. Bella asks if there’ll be enough time to stop Edward from eating people, and Alice says there should, since he’s changed his plan. He’s just going to step out into the sunlight.
Right. Because if he stepped out in the sunlight, everybody there would immediately know that he must be a vampire, and not… you know… fabulous.
“Right now, he’s leaning towards the melodramatic. He wants the biggest audience possible, so he’ll choose the main plaza, under the clock tower. The walls are high there. He’ll wait till the sun is exactly overhead.”
“So we have till noon?”
Yes. Edward was going to step out into the sun at noon. You could have stopped him if you hadn’t arrived in Florence at 2pm. Minimum.
It’s okay, because they steal a Porsche and one of Alice’s superpowers is she can drive so fast the Earth rotates backwards. Eating people is bad–but stealing their stuff is A-OK.
Also, hey, guess what, there’s a festival going on, celebrating when Saint Marcus drove vampires out of the city. How ironic and also convenient? Marcus, it turns it, is also one of the Volturi. If they’re so powerful and mastermindy, why have they settled with just ruling this one town in Italy? Why haven’t they formed some kind of vampire Illuminati?
Also, there is no such thing as Saint Marcus or Saint Marcus Day. She just totally made it up! So we know she’s capable of that, and incapable of most research, and now I want to know why she couldn’t just make up a city instead of using Forks, make up a Native American tribe instead of using the Quileute, make up an Italian town instead of using Volterra…
The presence of Edward makes the chance of plot holes and headaches increase to 90%.