"They say most of your brain shuts down when it happens. They say that you loose all humanity when you transform, like your soul goes to sleep as soon as the full moon rises. Then there's nothing left but the most basic instincts, the primal side that hasn't changed since the day humans first appeared on this earth. Maybe that's what's kept us alive all this time. Those ancient survival skills that were built deep into our blood. I know this, they will never stop hunting us. They have tried to exterminate our race for over a thousand years now but they will never succeed. Not now that you exist. My beautiful son...you are the future."
Child of the Moon
Carlisle Cullen shifted anxiously in his seat. Normally he would just be patient, allow them to say whatever they needed to and then leave as soon as possible but this time was different. Something in Aro's letter had troubled him. It's urgency and tone, almost as if he had been begging Carlisle to attend the meeting. And as the minutes had ticked away with still no new information about what this was all about, he was becoming increasingly worried that something was very wrong.
The sheer mass of vampires in attendance was another thing that made him nervous. He hadn't seen this many different covens together since they had arrived at Forks to destroy Renesmee. At least thirty of them were in the room with him and none of them were part of the guard. There were many there that he didn't recognize and a few that he thought wouldn't be caught dead having dealings with the Volturi.
One of the biggest shocks had come from seeing Vladamir and Stefan arrive just after he had. They had nodded curtly at Carlisle after seeing him but both looked extremely paranoid, like they might be attacked at any moment. He also spotted a tall middle-eastern vampire with a large entourage. Carlisle was sure that he knew him from somewhere. Next to the middle-eastern man was an incredible looking young woman with long slender black hair and olive skin. His mate, no doubt.
While wondering why it was only Carlisle and not the entire Cullen family that had been summoned, the large wooden doors to the waiting room were opened and Marcus floated through. For the first time, Marcus actually seemed to have some emotion on his face. It almost resembled the same worry that was on Carlisle's. Something was very seriously wrong.
"Thank you all for answer our request and coming at such short notice." he said in a louder voice than usual.
"What's this about Marcus?" a vampire called out.
"We are just waiting for a few more friends to arrive and then Aro will explain the situation. He wants everyone to get the right information and not be confused by fragmented rumors or guess work." Marcus announced. "Please make your way into the main chamber."
The congregation of vampires moved through the doors and into a large chamber where three seats stood on a raised platform for the three elders. The Volturi guard along with many other vampires from the world over were already waiting inside. Aro and Caius glided up to the seats where they were met by Marcus. They took their seats as the vampires watched on.
"Felix, please ask our guest to join us." Aro said smoothly.
Felix nodded and left the chamber. A few moments later, an terrible stink breezed into the chamber. Every single vampire hissed or gagged as they got a whiff. Even Carlisle found the stench to be truly rancid.
Felix returned, dragging a chained up and blooded man into the chamber. He had obviously been beaten repeatedly but didn't seem too badly damaged. Many of the vampires growled and looked eager to attack him.
"I apologizes my friends. I ask that you tolerate this," Aro gestured to the man. "for only a while longer."
The man, despite being in obvious pain and surround by dozens of angry and blood thirsty vampires, didn't seem the slightest bit afraid.
Aro stood from his chair. "Something most disturbing has happened my friends. Something important enough for us to put aside whatever animosity we may feel towards one another. Something that must be dealt with immediately." his voice seemed almost sorrowful.
The chained man gave out a huff of amusement.
"Some of you may be familiar with our former friend, Daedalus."
Carlisle's eyebrows furrowed. He knew Daedalus but hadn't seen or spoken to him in years.
"Daedalus....has betrayed his people in a most disgusting manor. He blatantly disregarded our laws, our trust and our friendship...he took a werewolf as a bride."
As soon as Aro announced this, the vampires around the room went into a frenzy, hissing and spitting at the idea of it. "I know my friends, we had such high hopes for him. But fear not, he has already paid for that transgression with his life. As has the beast he joined with. However, something far more troublesome has occurred."
The vampires stood in silent shock. What could be worse than that?
"Well, I'll let our guest explain the rest." Aro said looking down at the chained man.
"You were a fool to think that you could keep them apart!" the man hissed. He sounded German.
Much of the room went into shock. The idea that a lycanthrope would dare speak to Aro like that was unthinkable.
"Jane." Aro said simply.
The man suddenly began yelling and writhing around on the floor in agony as Jane's sadistic smile crept over her angelic face. Aro raised his hand and called her off after a few seconds.
"Let's try to be polite shall we? Explain."
The man lay on the ground, breathing heavily. After a second he spoke as he started to pull himself up to his knees.
"It's not like you've never heard the story before. Forbidden love is often the strongest after all. They would have never stayed away from each other, not matter what you did. We knew it was a risk but Eleanor was one of us. We wanted her to be happy," he croaked. "we kept their union a secret and tried to hide them as best we could. But we knew it wouldn't last forever...of course, when she announced that she was with child..."
Utter astonishment cut the room in half then the frenzy began again, worse before. Shouts and growls filled the room followed by cursing and threats.
Aro raised his hand to quiet them.
"Naturally you would all think that...," the lycan smiled. "it's perfectly normal. You know that you are no longer top of the food chain. You know that something greater than yourselves has been made. A miracle child, one that can bridge the gap between our races."
"Never!" Jane spat.
"Sooner than you think! You were too late. He has already been born!"
A wave of gasps fell from mouths around the room. Caius looked especially uneasy. A hybrid had been born. Something thought to have been impossible. A half-breed was an amazing rarity but a hybrid was something else entirely, something unimaginable.
"It must be destroyed!"
"Half vampire, half werewolf but stronger than both! The future!" the werewolf laughed triumphantly. "Soon this coven will lie in ruins! A new power is about to rise!" he looked up at Aro. "And I die, happy in the knowledge that your time on this earth is almost up!"
Aro looked ferociously at the beast before smiling sadistically. "As you wish." he looked up at the vampires around the room. "Kill him."
There wasn't a moments hesitation as over a dozen vampires pounced on the helpless werewolf and began tearing him to shreds. Carlisle looked away. No matter what it was, he hated murder, in any form. By the end, there was nothing left except a few chunks of bloodied flesh and ripped clothing on the stop where he had been.
"It'll take a week to get the stink out of here." Jane murmured. Alec grinned.
"Now dear ones, we are faced with a choice of how to proceed." Aro said diplomatically.
It was just for show, they already knew exactly what would happen next. They would organize hunting parties, track the child down and kill it. Werewolves were the only natural enemy of vampires and if an even more powerful type of wolf now existed, it would be viewed as their greatest threat.
"There's no choice!" a vampire yelled out. "It must be destroyed!"
There were cheers of agreement from around the chamber. Carlisle stayed silent. He didn't know what to think yet.
"We are not an unruly lynch mob my friends, it will be put to a vote as all important matters are." Aro said calmly. "Those in favor of destroying the creature?"
"Aye." both Marcus and Caius stated.
"Aye. Very well. Unanimous decision. We will begin immediately. From the information we were able to obtain, the creature, a male, in now in the care of it's lycan uncle named, Davian. There are two other lycanthrops with him. Not difficult to deal with at all but if the creature grows at an accelerated rate which is highly likely, time is against us. We must find it quickly. Demetri, you will take members of the guard and start at the last known location of the wolves."
Aro seemed to have a plan of attack figured out long before this meeting was held. Carlisle now realized exactly why he'd been invited to the meeting now.
"The rest of you will use all of your resources to track down these things. Our guard will give you all the details we have gathered before you leave. Once we have their location, we will attack together with speed and force. Carlisle..."
He sighed and looked up at Aro.
"We will be requiring the wonderful talents of your family. Alice and Edward especially. Return to Forks and inform them of the situation. We will contact you shortly...unless you have a problem with this?" he smiled.
It was bait. Carlisle knew he didn't have a choice in the matter. If he refused, the Volturi would see it as the perfect opportunity to eliminate the Cullens once and for all since this time, they would have no support whatsoever. In house fighting between covens had always been an issue in the vampire world but the moment a werewolf was mentioned, they joined together to face their common enemy.
He simply nodded and waited for one of the Volturi guard to fill him in on the rest of the details.
An over night flight and a day later, Carlisle was walking towards the front door of the Cullen home. He didn't even get a chance to reach for the handle as the door burst open revealing a shocked Edward. His skin glistened as the sunlight outside bounced off it but that didn't seem to matter to him at all.
"A hybrid?! Tell me that's not possible!" he had read Carlisle's thoughts from all the way down the street and had probably been going crazy during the five minutes it took for him to actually reach the house.
"Clearly it is." he said simply stepping inside the house.
Inside, his wife Esme greeted him first, pushing a kiss onto his lips. The rest of the family, including Jacob Black were sitting in the living room waiting patiently for his return. Edward had no doubt told them the moment he first found out.
Emmett and Jasper seemed slightly confused and were waiting for more information. Rosalie looked outraged, naturally while Bella, Edward and Jacob looked quite worried. Alice was sitting at the table with her eyes closed, clearly trying to get an idea of what was going to happen. Renesmee was the only person that seemed impartial and curious.
She had reached maturity only a few weeks prior and was now about as tall as Rosalie. She had grown up to be every bit as beautiful as Bella had imagined. Her slightly pink skin was glowing lightly from the sunlight peering through the windows and her big brown eyes were wide with intrigue.
After giving Carlisle a few minutes to relax and explain things, the opinions started to come out.
"What would possess a vampire to want to mate with a werewolf in the first place?!" Rosalie huffed.
"Hey!" Renesmee objected.
Both she and Jacob went slightly flushed as they realized exactly how her objection had probably sounded to the others.
Rosalie rolled her eyes, not interested in their embarrassment. "I wasn't talking about shape-shifters! I meant the children of the moon! Those uncontrollable monsters!"
"They only become monsters three nights out of the month Rose, otherwise they're just people with a terrible curse." Esme stated.
"Daedalus was known for being a bit of a odd one. He was a pretty eccentric guy. Loved all the myths and legends about werewolves and vampires." Carlisle remarked. "If anyone was to fall for a werewolf, it would be him."
"Most werewolves hate vampires, even in their human form." Emmett added.
"They've been hunted to the brink of extinction by vampires. They aren't exactly going to be pleased about that are they?" Bella said.
"But this child," Renesmee spoke up in a strangely sorrowful tone. "he's not like them, is he?"
"We don't know sweetie. We thought it was impossible." her mother said with a sympathetic look.
"In all fairness there's nothing to suggest that it's impossible, it's simply never happened before. Theres no evidence that it isn't possible for any lycanthrope in the world to bare a vampires offspring." Carlisle said. "It's just that most of them can't stand to be around a vampire...especially long enough to have a relationship with one."
"How did the mother survive the birth?" Bella asked, obviously wanting to compare her own experience.
"Her regeneration. Werewolves heal even faster than vampires. Some of that stays with them in their human form."
Bella actually seemed a bit jealous about that.
"That's if she gave birth in her human form." Rose remarked.
"She's right," Jacob agreed. "there was a full moon last week."
"A transformed werewolf giving birth? Thats an image I could do without." Rosalie cringed.
Edward cringed and shook his head as he picked up on what she was thinking. "All right, best case scenario, hows this child going to turn out?" he asked, trying to change the subject.
"That's impossible to say...unless Alice has anything?" Carlisle
They looked over at the pixie like vampire but she simply looked up with frustration. "Sorry, lycans are even harder to see than humans. This might take a while."
"Well, we can assume that the kid'll have some vampiric traits, right?" Emmett said.
"Probably. The Volturi believe it'll grow a lot faster than -"
He was cut off by Renesmee. "The child."
"You said 'it', he's a child, not an 'it'. Did you used to call me an 'it'?" she actually sounded quite angry.
"Nessie, he didn't mean anything like that." Edward said quickly.
Renesmee didn't say anything else. She simply waited for Carlisle to carry on. He looked a bit guilty for actually classing the hybrid as something non-living. "It's highly likely that the child," he said the word 'child' very clearly this time. "will grow much faster than normal. Probably faster than Renesmee did because of the werewolves ability to regenerate. I'm not sure what age they consider maturity though."
"What do you think will happen on the full moon?" Jacob asked.
"I don't know. If a transformation takes place, my guess is that it'll be a hell of a lot worse than a normal lycanthrope." he said honestly.
Jacob nodded. "Most lycanthropes retain some of their strength and speed when they're in their human forms. The child will probably be the same." he added.
"They do?" Bella asked realizing how little she new about these types of werewolves.
"They're no where near as strong or fast as a vampire, Bells. But they're...more than human, more agile, heightened scenes, that sort of thing. Nothing you couldn't handle but I doubt you'd want to meet one on the full moon." Jake explained.
"The only thing they won't attack when they're transformed is each other. They've been known to kill shape-shifters though." Rosalie added.
"Didn't you say that Caius had a fight with one once?" Bella asked Carlisle.
"Yes. He barely survived that."
Bella looked at him, clearly wanting more information.
"Werewolves are...well, like rabid animals. They don't fight like vampires or shape-shifters. They're just consumed with rage and the need to destroy things. They go into such a frenzy that logic, reason even pain no longer registers. That's why they are so dangerous towards vampires. Most vampire gifts wouldn't work against a werewolf. Like Jane's, they wouldn't care how much pain she made them think they were in, they'd just keep coming," he turned to his son. "if you ever tried to read the mind of a transformed werewolf, I doubt there would be anything there. Just instinct and anger."
"That's a lesson for all of you," Esme added quickly. "never try and take on a transformed werewolf alone."
"I wasn't planning to." Bella remarked.
"But he's just a child! He doesn't know what he is!"
Everyone looked pretty impressed by Renesmee comment. They all knew how big her heart was and how gentle she would always act. The thought of killing a child because of it's parentage was a disgusting one and very hypocritical considering what the Cullens had been through but it didn't change the situation. If they refused to help, the Volturi would have reason and support for finally destroying that family once and for all, if they did help, they'd be assisting in the murder of an innocent child.
Almost every vampire in the world hated werewolves and would not stand with the Cullens if they chose to try and defend them. The allegiances that had be struck to defend Renesmee wouldn't hold for this. This child was a true anomaly and no matter what it could turn out to be, it's existence wouldn't be tolerated.
This was probably the worst situation the Cullens had ever been in.
"I won't murder a child!" Renesmee cried as if she were able to read Carlisle mind.
"Nobody is murdering anybody!" Bella stated. "But we do need to think of something. If we refuse to cooperate on something like this, the Volturi will probably rule it as treason and have us all killed."
"Maybe we could give the Volturi false information? Just pretend that we're helping them?" Jacob suggested.
"That would probably work until Aro wanted an update and touched one of us." Edward grimaced. "And if Bella stopped him from reading us, he would know."
"For now, I think that we'll have to go along with it. If we get the chance to safely steer them off in the wrong direction we'll take it but I won't risk the lives of this family again. Not after everything we've been through already." Carlisle sighed.
"So you're just going to help them hunt this child down?!" Remesmee yelled in outrage.
"No sweetie," Bella said softly as she wrapped her arm around her daughter. "for now we have to make it look like we're helping them. We're going to walk in the same direction but arrive in very different places. I promise."
Renesmee still seemed uncomfortable but also didn't have an alternative.
"I see them!" Alice suddenly breathed. "they're on a train!"
"Can you tell which?"
Alice's face scrunched up. "No..." she let out a gasp. "I see him..."
Edward focused trying to get a look at what she was seeing but it was like trying to watch a football game in a room filled with smoke. He caught a glimpse of a large rectangular window with trees and houses shooting past. Then he started to make out the carriage and the seats.
Then he saw him.
He was wrapped in a blanket and sleeping peacefully with someone, a woman, lying next to him on a seat. She was singing to him. Some kind of lullaby.
"Dark hair...his skin...he looks human..." Alice's face suddenly dropped into complete shock. "you said he was born last week?!"
Edward realized what had caused her so much surprise. The child looked at least two years old. He was growing a lot faster than they had expected. He would reach maturity in months, not years, maybe even sooner.
This child was certainly special.