DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter or Twilight - they belong to J. K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer, respectively. Also, within this story I make use of a few small ideas from Supernatural, Vampire Diaries and Anita Blake - the credit of which goes to Erik Kripke (& Co.), L. J. Smith and Laurell K. Hamilton, respectively. No copyright infringement is intended.
It's my own design
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most of freedom
And of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
»Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World«
Snippets of hushed conversation could be heard around the well-lit room. Despite being sparsely furnished, with only one large elliptical oak table surrounded by fourteen matching high-backed chairs, there was a level of warmth and comfort to it that was almost tangible. This was offset, however, by the grim faces of the thirteen current occupants.
"Shall we begin?" the man at the head of the table enquired, though not really asking anyone.
Immediately the voices died down. Everyone focused their attention on the speaker.
"I've had word, from our most trusted informant, that activity in and surrounding our area is to increase – considerably."
Someone took in a sharp breath; others seemed to forget to breathe all together for a beat.
"Anything specific?" asked a strong female voice, knowing she had to keep steady at such a precarious time.
"Mostly vampiric, however, that could change and no one, no one knows when or how."
"Is there an estimate on when this will begin?"
"We believe it already has, but will increase, and at a faster rate. The first victim, whom we know of, is the kid that went missing in Seattle – Riley Biers."
"That was months ago!"
"Slow build-up before the explosion seems to be the intent. We believe that they required another Vampire who has reasonable control first, before all out attacking the city."
For a moment, the room was filled with silence; the anxiety almost thick enough to feel physically.
"Why now?" asked another voice, his confusion not enough to hide his tension.
"The true reason cannot be known, not when we have little clue as to the endgame. We can only make educated guesses at this point. However, what is certain is that new players have entered the game, and more resources are now available."
"For us or for them?"
"Where do we go from here? What's our plan of action?"
"We're to uphold our purpose, as we always have. The only difference is we may be called on a lot more frequently now. Much more may be asked of us now than ever before."
"We can handle it."
"But we must not be reckless. Now's not the time for playing heroes – there is too much at stake. The room for error is vast. We are unclear on a great deal, and should we couple arrogance with that ignorance – we will not live long."
"The Cullens –"
"Are unaware of us! And it shall remain that way until such time as it is unavoidable, or absolutely necessary."
"It may well become absolutely necessary, and much sooner than any of us anticipates."
"Then things will play out as they must."
"There is still the Quileute tribe."
"And their wolf-pack."
"Most of those boys have barely past the second level of training. And the Descendant is not yet of age."
"The tribe Elders are in agreement: it will happen soon. After that, it will be up to the Descendant whether he wishes to lend us his knowledge and power, and the power of his pack."
"Probably, but it is not something we can ask of him. He must make that decision on his own, with as little outside influence as possible. Should he ask for advice or more information, we have a responsibility to be objective. Our goals, our needs, must not factor into it."
"So it may end up being just us against the world?"
"I thought we could handle it?"
"Don't get cute. You know what I mean. We can take on a lot, considering, but if we're to have no help at all…"
"That won't be the case. We await the arrival of our informant. In a few weeks time, come the new school year, he will be here with a small, but formidable group. They will help."
"Let's hope he's as useful as we've heard he is."
"His power is unparalleled; he will be of great assistance."
"If he has so much power, why can't he just get rid of the problem? Save us the risk."
"This risk is our chosen responsibility. A duty we'd undertaken where ignorance and vulnerability were the worse of two evils!"
"Indeed. And while our champion's potency may be colossal, he is not a god."
"Our sheer strength will rely on our unity – our ability to band together and lend our help in something far, far greater than us. Our faith – in ourselves, our abilities, and what we stand for – will see us through. We will fight for what is just and we will do all we can to preserve what is precious – humanity."
"Humanity's destruction is upon us!"
The declaration was neither soft nor harsh. It was said merely as a statement of fact – an indisputable, inevitable truth.
The speaker, a ginger-haired man, well-built and looking to be in his forties, seemed gentle at first glance. However, not in any light could he ever be deemed unassuming. The power which radiated from him was immense; he commanded deference naturally, and it was easy to see why so many bowed to him, feared him.
Presently, a large crowd surrounded him. They filled a cold cavernous chamber, beautiful stone architecture all around, antique paintings on the walls at intervals.
Everyone paid rapt attention to the unspoken leader of them all. His words sent a thrill through them. The very air buzzed with anticipation.
"For too long have we lived in secret, hidden in shadow," he continued, voice filled with what could be compassion, if not for the sinister edge, ever present.
"We are, all of us, superior. In every way conceivable, we excel, surpassing every expectation. We are faster, stronger – in body and in mind. Our senses are incomparable. If the law of nature is "survival of the fittest", we are supreme. By right, we are the rulers of this world! Or we should be." The speaker paused here, looking significantly at each being in the room. "We should be."
There was silence for a moment, the powerful statements being absorbed, when the stillness was shattered.
A bloodcurdling scream tore through the night. Harsh panting and pain-filled whimpers punctuated the silence that followed, before another scream, just as terrifying, just as thrilling rent the air once again.
Their commander left the large room swiftly, with a quick order for the rest of them to remain. Excited murmuring started up then. There were plans, grand plans, which were now being set in motion. So intoxicating was the feeling of anticipation, so strong the belief that victory would be theirs, they could taste it.
"Please – pl-please… help me…"
They all heard the exhausted, pain-laced and, to them, pathetic pants of a woman beseeching their master.
"Alas, my dear, you have fulfilled your purpose," was the soft, seemingly sorrowful response. "There is no more for you."
"I don't – what do you –"
Abruptly, the anguished query was cut off; the unnaturally loud sound of her neck snapping could be heard. No one flinched. A few smirked with pleasure.
Not long after that, the head of the gathering returned, a small, covered and squirming bundle in his arms. A viciously gleeful expression could be seen on his face. Carefully, he removed the rough material.
Previously hidden by the cloth, the large group could now make out a cub, much like a wolf, though larger than a regular newborn. Its coat was a dark gray, thick and still a bit matted. It growled at the crowd watching it, giving all a clear view of its extraordinarily sharp rows of teeth; the canines slightly longer than was normal. Young as it was, the animal's eyes, pitch black with no differentiation between the pupils and the irises, were wide open and malevolent. It began to struggle in earnest now, wanting to escape the hold on it – most likely for no reason that could be considered pleasant.
The master being's grip tightened, allowing no such thing. A laugh escaped his lips – a sound to raise the hairs on the back of one's neck, and send a shiver down one's spine, in expectation of peril. A few of his followers even felt some trepidation upon hearing it.
"It has begun!" he called out, his exhilaration plain for all to see. "Our time is upon us, friends!"
A collective cheer rang out. They had waited, bided their time making endless preparations. Their plans were finally coming to fruition, and none could deny the brutal joy felt by the gathering as a whole.
"Soon!" their leader and master thundered; his voice more forceful than ever in his fervor. "Soon, the world will know our domination! Soon – We. Shall. Rise!"