Time went on. The oldest and most respected of the tribal elders of both the Iroquois and the Navajo died. The next oldest of the elders took their place and the old Chiefs gave up shifting to take their place among the elders. New young shifters with open minds took their places as Chiefs and the tribes became more open to the suggestions they received from the Quileutes. In fact, the Quileutes began to wear them down and make them question their belief that the hybrids were a threat at all. Jacob and the other Quileutes were slowly but surely able to bring them over to their side. Eventually they got to the point where Jacob felt safe showing Link off to the Navajo Chief and since Link does not even drink animal blood and prefers human food, the Chief agreed that he was harmless and that the shifter vampire hybrids should be allowed to live.
The Iroquois leader took a bit more convincing, but after half a century of disagreement, he was finally forced to concede that the hybrids were harmless. And so Nessie and the other hybrids once again moved back to La Push and I went back to work planning the first vampire congress. I never stopped planning it and going on trips to talk with the other coven leaders about it, but with the threat of a shifter war, I had put the first congressional meeting on hold indefinitely. Now it was back on, but there was still a lot of work to do.
Most importantly, we needed a congress for the new government. Eventually we would hold open elections for congress positions, but for now, we were asking for the head of each coven of four or more to come. And everyone who was not in a coven of four or more and wanted to come, we were asking that they put their name in a lottery. Not everyone who we invited wanted to come, so we were going to pull however many names from the lottery to get our total number up to fifty.
I did not want to simply send out invitations to join congress or make an announcement that applications were welcome, because I wanted to do this right. I took Edward and Alice with me and the three of us went to every single coven of vampires in the world and tracked down every single nomad. We made the announcements in person and that took a lot of time. And we all had children at home waiting for us, so we tried to make our forays away from the island as short as possible to limit the amount of time we spent away from our kids.
And as always, my main mission of establishing the first congress was continuously interrupted by vampiric disputes, which were becoming increasingly egg centric, like when Imogen of the Brisbane coven showed up requesting genetic testing. She had been in a coven of three with her mate Hayden and another female named Skylie, but when all three of them disgorged eggs the same week, Imogen got suspicious and came to us for help. Skylie denied cheating with Hayden and claimed it was a local nomad, Patrick, who had fathered her egg.
We brought all four of them and their eggs to Cullen Island so that Allison could perform genetic testing. It took her some time, but she was able to develop a procedure for the isolation of vampiric cells both from adults and from eggs. Imogen's egg belonged to her and Hayden, as expected and also as she expected, Skylie was proved a cheat. Hayden was the father of Skylie's egg and she was the mother of his. But she was also the mother of Patrick's egg, only Patrick was not the father of his own egg. Hayden was the father of Patrick's egg, proving that gametes could be picked up and implanted into any vampire, regardless of whether or not he or she is the biological parent.
Patrick had been about to implant his egg before we called him in for genetic testing, but once he got the results, he decided to abort. Normally I am against abortion, but in his case, I thought it was understandable since he turned out not to be the father of his own egg. Skylie too destroyed her egg, because she was really in love with Patrick and did not want Hayden's child. Hayden in return did not want Skylie's child, so he aborted his egg as well. Imogen broke up with Hayden and was about to make it even by destroying her egg, but Hayden asked for it and she let him adopt it. He really was in love with her, despite his affair with Skylie, and now that Imogen had left him, that egg was all he had left of her, so he decided to adopt and implant it.
Two mated couples were broken up over the results of the genetic testing of their eggs and one man was left to be a single father to the egg he adopted from his ex-mate, and that was only the most extreme example of the egg-related drama I had to deal with as acting ruler. Another example that hit closer to home was a dispute between Jideofor and his mate Malik. Jideofor was good friends with Emmett and Rosalie and was the creator of Uwa, Stefan's mate. He, like the rest of vampiredom, wanted an egg, but unfortunately, since Malik was also male, they were unable to create one together.
Jideofor's solution caused quite the uproar with Malik. Malik was a relatively young vampire and it did not bother him so much that he and his mate were unable to conceive eggs, but Jideofor was thirteen hundred years old and very much wanting to be a father already and to do that, he planned on obtaining an egg donor. He wanted to mix his sperm with the unfertilized eggs of a female vampire and swallow. He was even willing to mix a sample from his mate in there, so that there would be an equal chance of them each being the father. There was not even a need for sex with the donor, so he thought it was a wonderful idea.
Malik, on the other hand, thought the idea sounded disgusting and repulsive. He did not want a child from a random stranger and he did not like the idea that the child would only contain the genetic material from one of them. Jideofor had come from Classic human stalk, while Malik had been Sudanese, so it would be blatantly obvious which one of them was the father, because the child would either be one race or the other. So Malik did not want to do it and he did not want Jideofor to do it either, therefor the bickering pair turned up on our doorstep asking me to settle their dispute.
My first thought was to turn the couple away and tell them to sort this out themselves, but Edward pointed out that it could easily turn into a legal issue if Jideofor went through with it. What if he kissed his mate and transferred fertilized embryos and Malik ended up with an egg he did not want? What if somehow Jideofor ended up in para with Malik's baby, like with what had happened with the Brisbane coven? What if Malik tried to stop Jideofor? These were all questions I did not have the answer to.
I asked Alice, but she said she could not see. Scryan also could not see, but he said he had a feeling it would all work out in the end. Jasper said not to get involved until one of them had broken a clearly definable law. But it was Rosalie who came up with the solution Jideofor and Malik went with.
"If you don't like what your mate is doing, then break up," Rosalie said.
Jideofor, having known Rosalie and Emmett for almost his entire existence, decided to take this advice and broke up with Malik. Last I heard, he was still looking for a fertile female to give him an egg donation. Rosalie and a few other females were considering it. There was a female of Classic origins in the Nigerian coven and Jideofor had met a female of Sudanese heritage that was also willing. But Rosalie was currently with egg, as was the Nigerian, and so neither of them would be able to donate unfertilized eggs for years. The Sudanese female vampire was in a position where she could produce viable oocytes anytime she wanted, but her mate was against it and she was friends with Malik too. So although Jideofor's plans did not fall right into place, there was still hope for the future, especially because Scryan still says everything will work out in the end.
With all of the drama, Fifty-five years passed before we finished our mission to contact every vampire in the world and then another five before we heard back from every coven with news of whether or not they would come. Once we knew how many were coming we drew the remaining names from the lottery and waited to hear back from them. And then some of the winners had to decline because they now had eggs to look after and we had to draw more names and send out more announcements and wait to hear back again.
In the end it was seventy three years after the end of the Cullen Volturi War before we were ready to move south to Manitoba Canada. Manitoba was perfect, because it was not too far from Cullen Island. Any vampire could make the journey in only a few hours. And Manitoba was in the belt of what is considered prime nomad land and the center of the vampire population. The band encircled the globe and was not particularly thick in Manitoba, but it was thick enough. Besides, the largest density of vampires corresponded to large human cities in the north, and we did not want too many humans around, so large cities were out and Manitoba was perfect.
We wanted to stay in Canada instead of going back to America, because the United States has been a second world country ever since the last revolution, while Canada was still clinging on to first world country status, but barely. We had become accustomed to a certain way of life and our wealth would stand out like a sore thumb in a poor country like America. We would still be considered wealthy by Canadian standards, but at least we would not stand out so much.
Before we left for Manitoba, Jasper came to me again with another suggestion.
"We've been keeping the children here for their protection from the Volturi, but now that we're moving south, we really need to expose them to humans more and vampire society needs to see them out in the open. They need to see that they're real and healthy and wonderful and they need to know that they aren't a threat. The easiest way to do that is to show them interacting with humans. I think it's time to enroll the kids in human school," he said.
"But they look so young," I protested. The kids had already finished learning everything we could teach them and were at the post-Bachelorette level in a dozen subjects. They could get graduate degrees with the humans, but they were pre-teens and looked far too young for any of that.
"They'll go to junior high. It's not about academic learning, but learning proper human interaction and how to control their thirst. I'd like to bring some humans in here to test them with."
The children had rarely even seen regular humans. They had all seen helicopter pilots from a distance, but have never gotten close enough to truly test their control, so that did not count. Allison, Jackson, and Eliza had all lived in human territory for a short period of time after their births, but that was so long ago and they were just babies then. They never had any up close and personal contact with a human who was not a host. There was no reason to think that the children would be able to resist human blood or be able to blend in with humans their age.
My boys had some experience being around hosts, because of Kenwei and Kadia, and there were enough hosts on the island that all of the children had been exposed to them at one point or another, so we were confident that no harm would come to the hosts. But hosts do not smell appetizing like regular humans do and so we would still have to test them against regular humans before returning to human society.
"And you'll stop them if they get too close?" I asked, concerned for the human test subjects.
"No, I want to really test them and see if they can stop themselves. They're more than old enough to exhibit self-control, but the test subjects will see too much and will have to be destroyed. I'll use serial killers from death row. They won't be missed," he said cool and calculating.
I thought about it for several minutes, but in the end I realized that this would have to come sooner or later and Jasper was right, because if one of the children slipped, the human would see too much and have to be destroyed, so it was best to use humans that would die either way.
"Alright, let's do it," I conceded against my better judgment. I did not like the idea of killing human test subjects, even if they were monsters, but it was more important that our children learn not to harm innocent humans than to keep tainted blood off of our hands.
Author's Note: Aloha! There is only one more Carlisle chapter left. In other news, I just got back from 5 weeks vacation in California and 1 week in Hawaii. Mahalo for all the reviews!