"In the story as written, the wolves all leave before Jane's party arrives because they are not to be seen. So the Cullen's would have to explain why Bella is not there if she leaves with them. "
What if they told Jane that Bella had been changed but was destroyed by the new born army and therefore a pile of ash?
There were already several piles of ash that probably could not be identified. It would be very rude of Aro to require a Cullen to come to him so that he can personally touch them. As long as the Cullens avoided Aro for the remainder of Bella's human life then I do not see how Aro would find out that Bella is actually alive. The Cullen could say that they are in mourning for the loss of Edward's mate (which wouldn't really be false because Edward would be very sad and miserable). It was time for the Cullens to leave Forks anyway and as long as they lay low for the next 70 years I don't see how Aro would find out about Bella really being alive.
By the way I agree that this option would completely destroy the love story that Ms. Meyers created, but thought that an alternative could be possible other than everyone being killed.
"How can you kill a vampire?"
He glanced at me with unreadable eyes and his voice was suddenly harsh. "The only way
to be sure is to tear him to shreds, and then burn the pieces."
So the Cullen's would burn Bella instead of putting her back together?
She could have been burned by one of the newborns towards the beginning of the battle. Who says that the Cullens started all of the fires?
It makes sense that Victoria could have told her army to immediately burn any of the Cullens who they dismembered to prevent them from being able to be put back together.
“They are different from you?” Edward asked for Sam.
Carlisle nodded. “They are all very new — only months old to this life. Children, in a way. They will have no skill or strategy, only brute strength. Tonight their numbers stand at twenty. Ten for us, ten for you — it shouldn’t be difficult. The numbers may go down. The new ones fight amongst themselves.”
“All brand-new,” Carlisle said dismissively. “They were unskilled.”
“And this Victoria — did she create you?”
“I don’t know,” she said, flinching again. “Riley never said her name. I didn’t see that night . . . it was so dark, and it hurt. . . .” Bree shuddered. “He didn’t want us to be able to think of her. He said that our thoughts weren’t safe. . . .”
Bella would have been even more of a "newborn" than the newborns and so therefore even more unskilled. So them being able to overtake her makes sense.
One of the Cullens told Jane (I think it was Edward) that he personally destroyed Victoria and that SHE created the other newborns. So the Volturi didn't need Bree's testimony but based on the text believed Edward. So it seems likely that Jane would have believed what Edward or Carlisle had told her, and take them at their word without needing additional proof (from Aro personally) that Victoria had been destroyed. The same could be true of Bella being "destroyed".
I would still have problems with your scenario as there would be no cataylist for being there. The scent they were to follow was human and not vampire. If there was no human scent from her clothing to follow, the Volturi would had known that much beforehand. In addition, Bree would have said this. The fight to have was over who got to have the human girl. There is no need to follow this path without her human scent being present or a need for the newborns to be there at all. There would be no reason for the Cullens to want to meet up to fight them. Alice would know their goal.
Personally, the fact that Edward is alive would be all Jane would need to know it was a lie. She has first hand knowledge of how Edward would respond to the death of Bella.
And yes, based on Edward's reluctance, Ciaus would question this and Aro would read the Cullens to learn the truth.
I stand by what I initially wrote...they would all die.
Thank you. I enjoyed thinking it out with you!
I have enjoyed it as well.
As you point out, there would be plenty of Bella's human scent left in her closet that the newborns could be following. Bree didn't know the identity of who they were following only her scent. Bella's blood was for added affect, but was far from necessary.
You bring up another excellent point about Edward being alive. The Cullen family ALSO have first hand information of Edward's intentions to end his life and if Jane came upon a scene of Edward begging his family to kill him, but them refusing, it would seem quite believable. Edward claims to be a skillful liar therefore I don't see why he couldn't give them a wonderful performance, which would be half true since he did lose Bella.
My understanding is that human and vampire scents differ so if Bella is a vampire, she would not have her human scent.
“There’s not enough time to make you helpful, Bella,” she disagreed coolly. “Do you remember how Jasper described the young ones? You’d be no good in a fight. You wouldn’t be able to control your instincts, and that would make you an easy target. And then Edward would get hurt trying to protect you.” She folded her arms across her chest, pleased with her unassailable logic.
This for me supports why newborns must be trained and it takes a lot of time to my understanding. The Cullens would not risk Bella that way and Aro would know that.
Edward fought Victoria and Riley alone and also away from the family. Again we would need to know what brought these more mature vampires to seek the Cullens out without a human scent to follow to Edward and if Bella was there fighting as a new born (which I believe no mature vampire would believe the Cullen's let alone Edward would allow), Edward would not allow her to be with his family as oppose to by his side and again that leads me back to his being wherever she was burning and not with his family.
That said, had Riley or Vikki managed to kill Bella, Edward would have allowed them to kill him too no matter who she chose.
Yes vampire scent and human scent are different, but Bella would have a whole closet of her human scent even if she were currently a vampire. And considering in this scenario Bella is actually still human, so her human trail would be easy to follow and easy to explain due to her closet full of clothing.
Based on this scenario the Cullens changed Bella but due to her lack of skill tried to keep her away from the battle which is why Edward and Bella were not with the other Cullens. As for Riley and Victoria killing Edward after they killed Bella, Edward was never the target, but Bella was. Victoria would have refused to kill Edward because she wanted him to spend the rest of his existence without his mate the way Victoria had to. After Riley and Victoria burned Bella in front of Edward, filled with rage Edward killed Riley and Victoria, but was helpless to put Bella back together.
As stated before, Jane arrives on the scene with Edward asking his family to kill him which of course they refuse but sets the stage perfectly for Jane to believe that Bella has been destroyed among the other ashes.
No still say they all die. Vampire senses read far more acute than what you present. Jane would know Bella was still human and even the direction and how long she left upon her arrival. This would happen because Jane would want to catch the Cullens in a lie to have a reason to punish them. She would follow that scent all the way back to LaPush where an ill Jacob can do her no good.
Actually Bella would have left with the wolves so their scent would have covered over Bella's human scent. If Jane was going to be that particular about smells then she should have noticed the wolf stench in Eclipse and she did not. Again she took the Cullens at their word with very little research. She asked questions of Bree, but she was worthless as a witness.
I never had the impression that Jane disliked the Cullens as a whole. Aro on the other hand seemed to be envious of them or considered the Cullens a threat. Jane did however have animosity towards Bella. She did not like the idea of Aro getting a new "favorite". So I think Jane would like that Bella had been destroyed and happily passed on that information to Aro. Aro would be disappointed that he wasn't able to experience Bella in her vampire form, but nothing he can do about that disappointment.
I'm not trying to get you to change your answer, but so far none of your rebuttals have been substantial for me to change my answer. I also do not discredit your answer as a possibility. However you have consistently challenged mine as a possibility. Many of your challenges have been thought provoking and resulted in added details to my scenario but none of your objections have been impossible to overcome.
I do not see why we can not both acknowledge the others idea as a possibility.