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Spitefic: Of Sense and Sunlight

Title: Of Sense and Sunlight
Author: gehayi
Rating: G
Word Count: 1,175
Inspiration: Part 8 of das_mervin's sporking of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
Disclaimer: Definitely not my universe, and I'm not making a profit from this.
Summary: One of the vampires in Victoria's army publicly points out a few logical flaws in Riley's plan.


"Four times a year, the sun shines at a certain indirect angle. During that one day, four times a year, it is safe… for us to be outside in the daylight. One of those special days is beginning now. The sun that is rising outside today won't hurt any of us. And we are going to use this rare exception to surprise our enemies."

"Um...Riley?" said one green-haired vampire girl named Petra. "That doesn't make any sense."

Riley glared at her. "Of course it does," he said, in a tone that brooked no quarrel.

"No. No, it doesn't." The girl squinted at him. "Look, you're saying that on the summer and winter solstice and on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, we can go outside and not burn up, right?"

A cautious nod.

"Okay. So. It's June. Obviously not the vernal equinox, because that's in late March. And clearly it's not winter or autumn, agreed?"

"Yes, of course!"

"Thing is, today's June 14th. The summer solstice is June 21st. That means that the summer solstice is not today. We've got a week to go before one of those 'special days.' And sunlight doesn't hit the earth at an indirect angle during the solstice--the sun reaches its apex in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole. And the sun stays in the sky for a long time on solstices. Hence the word. It's from the Latin. 'Sol'—sun. 'Sistere'—to stand still. Get it?"

Riley was staring at her, looking both angry and ill.

"But that's not the real problem," Petra continued. "It's not impossible for someone to get confused on dates or how solstices and equinoxes work. I could give you a pass on that, if it weren't for one thing."

"What?" Riley demanded.

Petra sighed. "You just finished telling us that there are only four times a year that vampires can go out and not spontaneously combust. I haven't seen any proof of that, but…okay, fine. But then you said that we were going to use one of those days to launch a surprise attack on our enemies."

"Yes, damn it! They won't be expecting that--"

"Why not?" the girl asked, looking puzzled. "After all, they ARE vampires. Why wouldn't they know about those four safe days? Why wouldn't they try to use those days for their own advantage? This isn't something they couldn't anticipate, like the mental farts that make Fred so repulsive to everyone. This is something that you'd expect a vampire who's been around for a few centuries to know. They wouldn't be surprised at all. They'll be waiting for us." She smiled nastily. "If such a day exists, that is.

"Not that it matters," she added. "We're already screwed."

"Why?" That was Bree Tanner, looking baffled as usual. "We're stronger and faster and--"

"And outnumbered, idiot!" Petra said impatiently. "You assholes just sank a ferry and ate everyone on board. You think that's not going to attract attention? The U.S. Coast Guard and the British Ministry of Transportation and I don't know what all are going to be all over Puget Sound, searching for the ferry--and for bodies.

"And once they find even one body, there's going to be an autopsy. Where, surprise surprise, the humans will find out that people died from being completely exsanguinated. And they're going to find tooth marks on the bodies. What do you think that's going to suggest? That they drowned and their blood just evaporated in the water?"

"Animals," Riley whispered. "They'll think animals did it. Or fish."

"Nope," Petra said. "Human teeth marks are distinctive. And our teeth may be tougher now, but they haven't changed shape. It won't take an hour after the first autopsy for the press to start calling what happened 'the vampire murders.' And then the cops will delve into all the other unexplained deaths that have hit Seattle in the past six months—even more than they have been doing. And they'll look for other things. Fibers. Tissue. Blood. Oh, they won't find conventional tissue, not from vampires. But they might find petrified tissue and venom. Which will get analyzed by a dozen or so labs.

"And that's just the local human police. How much do you want to bet they'll ask the state police if there have any similar deaths anywhere in Washington? And when someone says yes, there have been—because that other coven lives here, too, and I doubt if they've concealed every single corpse any more than we have—then the word 'serial killer' will cross a few minds. That will get the FBI profilers involved. And they'll check the entire country to see if there have been any similar deaths. They might even check with Interpol to see if there have been any deaths like that in Europe as well."

"Maybe…maybe they won't think that we're serial killers," said a vampire that Petra had overheard arguing about Spiderman recently. "It's possible."

"Great. So they'll think that we're domestic terrorists? Because that's the other option. All these unexplained deaths happening, for the past six months, in a major city? A city with an Air Force base, two Naval bases, two Naval stations, a Naval hospital and an Army base? Every branch of the military—not to mention Homeland Security—must want to find us yesterday. And I'd bet that they're all scouring the city, too…even if we haven't seen them. After all, the military has things like satellites and reconnaissance aircraft. We don't. They could spy on us from a distance and we'd never know it.

"How long do you figure it will take for the yellow-eyed coven—or maybe a much older one—to figure out that humans are learning about vampires VERY quickly, and that this isn't a danger they want to deal with?"

She shook her head. "So forget attacking the jaundice-eyed vampires. And forget listening to this stupid liar. There's only one thing we should do right now. Run."


End Notes: On March 22, 2006, around the time that Meyer would have been writing this, a ferry DID go down in the Inside Passage, which starts in Puget Sound. No one died in real life, thanks to disaster drills and flawless teamwork.

The Seattle-Tacoma area is indeed home to a number of military bases: Fort Lewis; McChord Field; the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound; Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor; Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton; and Naval Station Everett. There's also a Navy hospital in Bremerton. Finally, at this time, there were not one but two Coast Guard patrols in Washington--USCG Group Port Angeles and USCG Sector Seattle. As of July 30, 2010, the two groups have combined to form USCG Sector Puget Sound.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC)
Nice use of facts to deflate their "brilliant" plan.
Jul. 22nd, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
Jul. 23rd, 2012 02:39 am (UTC)
If I could grant you an internet, I would. Petra just tells it like it is, over and over and over.
Jul. 23rd, 2012 03:29 am (UTC)
Thank you! (I like to think that Petra's superpowers is being able to reason.)
Jul. 27th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
Ahhhh, soooooothing logic bitchslaps. Delightful.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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