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Carlisle and Edward follow Irina's trail, but with no success. Alice tries to read her immediate future, but the picture is hazy.
Bella's attention is soon turned to her trip to Italy, followed by their trip to South America. The Cullens decide that Jacob should come with them, because people who fear vampires might be more likely to share their stories with him instead.
In the midst of travel preparations, Alice has a horrible vision: the Volturi are already coming for them. The entire army.
Bella recalls her nightmare of the Volturi advancing on her and her need to protect the precious child behind her. Alice foresees that the Volturi will arrive with the first snow.
After some debate, they realize the reason for their attack: Renesmee. Irina mistakenly believed her to be an immortal child. Having lost a mother to the Volturi for creating an immortal child, the Denali sisters have become purists when it comes to the law. Alice sees Irina tell the Volturi about the Cullens' alleged breach.
Bella is devastated. She wonders if she's being punished for too much happiness:
Was there some natural law that demanded equal shares of happiness and misery in the world? Was my joy over throwing the balance? Was four months all I can have? (28.78)
Jasper believes that they can't win, even with the help of the werewolves. And Bella doesn't want to endanger the werewolves. Carlisle also refuses to ask family friends to die for them, but the family agrees to call on them as witnesses to force the Volturi to stop and listen.
Alice leaves with Jasper, claiming she needs to concentrate and can't see with Renesmee and Jacob around. When Jacob arrives, Bella tells him, "It's over. We've all been sentenced to die" (28.124).