After our talk, I gave the go ahead and Jasper went to work on preparing our children to enter human society. He called up the American prison system and arranged to acquire ten serial murderers to test out a new form of execution that he was allegedly inventing.
"It was as easy as taking candy from a baby, the Americans were so eager to get rid of their murderers," Jasper said when he came back with ten humans sentenced to death. "I just showed up with my transfer orders and my squadron of prison guards and promised to return the corpses as proof that the executions had been carried out."
There was a time when the Americans would insist on executing their own prisoners, but they were long since over that and would now gladly pay other countries to take their criminals off of their hands and we were doing it for free.
"And the children? Are you sure they're prepared for this?" I asked concerned.
"We've been discussing it in class for months now. And we've been covering human rights once a year since they were in Kindergarten."
"Alright. Who's first?"
"I think we should go in order of age and let the younger children watch the video footage. That way they see what they're up against."
"Where are we doing this?" I asked.
"The school house. I already have the room and video camera set up. Do you want to watch?"
"Is anyone else coming?"
"Just Emmett and Edward. The three of us will be more than enough to keep ten children under control."
"I'd like to see how my boys do and if all of the other fathers are there, then I don't want them to feel left out," I said.
He nodded and I followed him to the school house to check on the prisoners. We did not tell the humans the truth about what awaited them, but we did tell them that we were going to test a new method of execution on them and that beforehand we wanted to interview them each separately.
The next morning we had one final preparation session at school for the children and in the afternoon, we started the tests. I waited in the classroom with the children while we watched what was happening in the interrogation room, aka the modified music room, on the big screen. Edward brought in the first prisoner and said, "We want you to meet our children before you die, as sort of a scared straight program. The kids aren't that bad, but Warden Jasper's daughter Allison has a thing for rockets."
"It's not me you've gotta worry 'bout, I'm not the child killer in this group," the man replied.
Edward nodded and then opened the door to let Jasper and Allison in. Jasper introduced Allison to the human subject and she shook his hand. She paused a moment to smell him and then calmly sat down at the table and he followed her lead. She and her litter mate had lived amongst the humans for their entire first year of life, while this compound was being built, so if anyone could do this, she and Jackson could.
Edward and Jasper stood back and let the human give a, "Don't be like me," lecture that he must have learned in American prison. At the end, Allison shook his hand, smelled him again, and thanked him for his time. Then she came back and we all cheered and congratulated her, before sending Jackson in. Jackson's meeting went as well as Allison's had, but he came back saying how delicious the human had smelled. After Jackson we switched to a new prisoner and repeated the process with Eliza and Masen, who both managed to leave their humans alive, but were clearly more tempted than the first two.
Aiden kept his cool during his test and I was so proud of him. The first time we had to intervene was when Lily entered the room and went straight for her prisoner's neck. Emmett grabbed her and got her to focus and she was able to continue and keep herself under control for the duration of the meeting. It must have been going too well, because Lily's mishap was the beginning of a slew of them.
We switched prisoners again, before Ashley's turn. She entered the room, fell to her knees, and started screaming. Jasper tried to calm her, but it was not working and the human got up and approached her as if to attack. Ashley must have gotten the child sex offender, because Edward intervened and held him back saying, "You won't touch this one you disgusting repulsive vile creature. I cannot stand animals that would do such awful things to children. You are the lowest of the low."
Between the predator misbehaving and Ashley screaming, Jasper escorted Ashley out of there before her time was up. She did not even get in a solid sniff.
Jasper let Scryan have the same human that had tried to attack Ashley, which was probably a bad move. Scryan was taller than the human and male and the human only had a thing for helpless little girls, so the sexual predator probably would not try to make a move on him. And even if he did, Scryan was more than capable of defending himself against a human, but the sexual predator was not safe from him. He was upset over the audacity the human had had to think such impure thoughts about his sister. We learned after the fact that Masen had given Scryan the play-by-play of the human's thoughts and of course Scryan had not been able to see his own encounter with the human beforehand, because he could not see humans. Or maybe it was his bloodlust, but either way, the human did not survive and neither Jasper nor Edward stopped him.
We all watched as Scryan failed. At first he snapped the neck and drank deeply, but then he paused mid-suck as a vision overtook him. He was frozen in place kneeling over the dead human as the vision consumed him and a small stream of blood trickled down his victim's neck onto his shirt. Not even Edward or Jasper moved to remove the remaining temptation from Scryan's grasp as they too stood frozen in time. And on my side of the wall, Masen and Eliza seemed equally entranced by what Scryan was seeing, while all of the other children just sat in silent confusion.
It was Emmett who moved first. "Stay here and watch the children Carlisle," he said rushing out of the room.
It was only a second latter that Emmett could be seen on the screen entering the interview room. He pulled the dead human away from Scryan and then Jasper and Edward snapped into action. Jasper went to help Emmett with the body, while Edward put his hand on Scryan's shoulder. I had thought it would be the other way around and that Jasper would go to comfort his son and Edward would help Emmett clean up the premises, but there was clearly something else going on, because Scryan did not seem to be upset with himself.
A huge smile lit up Scryan's face long before he came out of the vision and said, "I can see. I can see them all!"
"He saw the humans," Eliza explained, turning to Allison. "How's this possible? I thought your Mom said that they can only see what they are or have been?"
"Why are you all looking at me?" Allison asked incredulously. "Just because I know everything about the natural world doesn't make me psychic! I have no more insight into individual vampire's powers than anyone else. All I know is that Scryan's powers stem from the prefrontal cortex of the brain and work the same way as Mom's do."
"Mom drank human when she was new, so she can see humans?" Jackson asked looking at Allison who shrugged in response.
"No, Aunt Alice could see the humans before she ever drank one. She had a vision of herself drinking him before she ever saw him," Eliza said.
There was silence for the next few minutes while Emmett, Edward, and Jasper cleaned up and Scryan went back into his visions, clearly enthralled by his newfound sight. They were silent when Jasper came into the newly cleaned room and took his son into his arms. Then they all came back into the classroom. I would have hoped Scryan would be repentant for what he had done, but instead he still had that smile on his face.
"Mom could see humans when she was turned because she still had her own human blood in her system," Scryan began when he walked into the room. He had everyone's rapped attention. "I couldn't see humans when I emerged, because I never had any human blood of my own. I had my host's blood, but that was different, because it was fed to me through my umbilical cord. The placenta within the egg filters and modifies the blood to make it perfect for fetal consumption. Even when I severed the cord and drank freely from it, the blood was still from the cord and had passed through the placenta. And the synthetic blood we drink is also modified; it's only now, that I've had pure unaltered human that I can see them."
"How do you know all that?" Jasper asked.
"Allison will figure it out now that she's decided to think about it. She already knows the clues; she just hasn't put them together yet," Scryan replied.
"Okay, but even if that's true, then why can you see werewolf?" Jackson asked. "You've never had werewolf blood."
Scryan shrugged, but Allison answered for him, "Werewolves don't have blood, like us, and they're closely related to us. He probably doesn't need a sample of their blood and DNA to see them."
"Then why can't he see the shape-shifters? They're closer to us than the werewolves," Jackson replied.
"The shape-shifters are hybrid shape-shifters. If there were any full-blood shifters he could probably see them," Allison said.
"Scry, can you see the hybrids now?" Jackson asked curiously.
"Let me see," Scryan answered, before entering another vision. He searched for several minutes before returning with a shake of his head. "No, I still can't see them."
"He's never had hybrid blood," Allison replied. "Maybe if he drank a hybrid shifter he would be able to see them."
"Well he's not going to drink one, so we'll never know," I said ending that line of thought. "It's bad enough that he just took human blood into his system."
A few of the children agreed with me and nodded their heads, but most everyone else, including my three adoptive adult sons, were so intrigued by this new discovery that they were not thinking about the life that was just lost. No one was particularly sad to see that the vilest human specimen we had did not survive, which saddened me. I had hoped that my family would have more compassion, despite what he had done. These prisoners were serving a purpose for us and although I knew they could not be rehabilitated, I was upset about the death just as I would be upset over any death.
And I was bothered by the fact that Edward and Jasper had not tried to prevent it and that my grandson had taken a murderer into his body. But the worst part was that Scryan said that he had not even tried to resist, because he was so mad about what the human had thought about Ashley. He was very protective over his littermate. And after a lengthy discussion on human rights, we decided to stop for the day and regroup tomorrow to continue with the human tests.
The next day Jasper and Emmett went over the same lecture they had given the children the day before and espoused the value of human life and the negative effects of drinking humans. Then it was Violet's turn. She was fine at first, but she got inappropriately close to her human in order to get a better whiff of him. Then she just kept sniffing the guy and Emmett had to pull her off of him, although she had kept her control the entire time.
Adriel did better, although he did sniff his human four times, and then it was Scryan's turn to go again. And again, Scryan lost control and went right for the neck, but this time Jasper and Edward both stopped him before the human died. But it was too late, because Scryan had broken the skin and his venom was already in the human's blood stream. This time Scryan had a vision of it, but not until it was too late and already happening.
Jasper and Edward decided that the best thing to do was to kill the human so that he would not suffer and because we could not allow him to be turned. Once he was dead, they made Scryan stay in the room and smell the blood without drinking any of it. After that we had to let the kids out for the day to clean up the room and prepare the body to be sent back with the other one from yesterday. It was worse today because a lot of blood had spilled this time, when yesterday it had been a clean kill and the victim did not bleed much, because his heart had stopped before his skin was broken.
"I think the kids have done remarkably well considering," Edward said while we were cleaning up.
"I agree. Eight of the ten are still alive," Emmett added.
"I think we should keep going until Scryan drinks them all," Jasper said, somewhat disappointed in his son.
"He was trying today Jasper, he really was determined to resist until the moment he smelled him and all thought and reason left his mind," Edward replied.
"I know he feels really bad. I had just hoped that it would be someone else's kid who messed up," Jasper said.
"Well you've got twice as many kids as the rest of us, so odds were pretty good that one of yours would slip. Look how well Jackson and Allison did. And I think we can safely say that Ashley will never slip, because she can't even get close to them," Emmett replied.
"Don't remind me. I think her response was the worst," Jasper said sighing.
"Well we can start from the top tomorrow and maybe someone else's kid will mess up. I know both of mine were a tad too friendly to take out in public. Can you imagine going to the mall and Lily and Violet just walking up to some random stranger and sniffing?" Emmett asked laughing.
"You shouldn't be laughing about this, it's a very serious matter," I said scolding my grown sons.
"Sorry Dad," "Sorry," "You're right," Emmett, Jasper, and Edward replied in unison.
We cleaned up the room and the next day was day three of testing the children. This time Lily and Violet did better and behaved normally, but Jackson sniffed his human a little too closely and Ashley freaked again. Eliza, Aiden, Adriel, and Allison did wonderfully again, but Masen did not. Masen started off sniffing his human a little too closely and then had to be restrained when he lost control. Luckily Jasper was right there grabbing his arm and holding him back, so he did not manage to get a bite in.
The big news this time around was that Scryan's human survived, although I think it was more vigilance on Edward and Jasper's part than control and restraint on Scryan's part. Scryan's eyes went black and he lost control, but Jasper and Edward each grabbed hold of him when he entered the room and they did not let go when he lost control. The good news was that Scryan was able to regather his control and finally had a successful meeting with a human.
We all celebrated when Scryan left the room with the human still intact and breathing, although now we were left with a bit of a problem, because we had two humans who had been attacked by our children and we did not want to put them back in the same holding cell with the ones who did not know what was going on. But we did not want to kill them either and they were both rather traumatized by the experience, so I ended up sedating the pair before placing them back in the holding cell.
We repeated the tests day after day until the surviving humans went crazy, because they all knew that we were vampires. At first they were in denial, but after two weeks they had each been in the room with a thirsty vampire child who had given us away. One man was particularly disturbed by what he had seen and he just kept screaming that he wanted to know what we were planning on doing with him.
"Relax; we are just using you as cannon fodder so the little vampires can learn to control themselves," Edward explained. "You were sentenced to death and the state doesn't really care if you die by lethal injection or if you bleed out."
"That big blond one that tried to eat me wasn't no child," the human replied.
"He is a child. He's only eleven and he's my youngest," Jasper replied. "He's even twins with the tiny black haired girl who screamed at you. Now I'm sorry that my children disturb you, but you can either get over it and help us teach them to control themselves, or we can kill you right now."
"Which will it be?" Edward asked holding up the needle.
That particular human chose the needle and by the end of a month, all of the surviving humans chose the needle too. Not that there were that many left, because Masen, Violet, and Jackson had each killed a human and Scryan had killed three more, so in the end, only four humans chose lethal injection. It was the humane thing to do and we now felt confident that we could take the children out into human society and they would be fine. Well everyone except for Ashley, because she never did stop screaming at the humans and she will have to stay away from them when we move.
As for the corpses, we sent them back to America with a note explaining that the new method of execution was not successful and that four of the prisoners had to be killed by lethal injection and that several more accidentally broke their necks in the process. We thanked them for the use of their humans, but we would not need them again.
And so with the children properly prepared and the estate built, we moved and the first all vampire congress was called to order in Manitoba Canada. The first thing on our agenda was writing a constitution and we spent months and months going over every little detail that should and should not be in it. Almost a year passed before we even wrote anything down, besides the draft that Jasper had produced for us, and then we spent even more time debating every single little nuance of each word. This was the first time a vampire constitution was actually being written down, because of our need for secrecy, and I wanted to get it just right. We were still worried about secrecy, but our computers had the latest encryption software and Allison assured us it was safe.
And while I was busy working on the constitution, Edward, Esme, Jasper, and Emmett took the children down to the local middle school and enrolled them all, except for Ashley. Ashley had never gotten used to human emotions and Jasper had a story in place to explain why she would not be attending school with the others; he was going to claim that Ashley was mentally ill, which was the same excuse he and Alice had used when they had first started going to high school together.
Back in the nineteen sixties we had told the humans that Alice had epilepsy to disguise her visions as seizures. And since Scryan and Jackson also had visions, the default plan was to claim that they also had epilepsy, if an unexpected vision hit. The boys were instructed not to use their powers at school, but visions were not always controllable, so a backup plan was very important. Epilepsy had been cured a thousand years ago, but a new form of the old disease was back and growing increasingly common, so it would be the perfect cover story.
But Ashley did not have visions and epilepsy did not fit well with her powers, so she would be claiming to have a different mental illness. Schizophrenia was a better fit and although that disease had also been cured, there was another new disease, called Markov's Disease, growing in prevalence with similar symptoms. Markov's Disease had all the classic symptoms of Schizophrenia, but was caused by a retrovirus that infected the brain.
Ashley, Scryan, and Jackson were not the only ones with powers, but they were the ones with the most noticeable powers and we were hoping that the others could all learn to hide their gifts from the humans. They had had practice with not eating humans, but they had yet to practice being in a situation with lots of human children and blending in, which was why we chose to move to Manitoba at the beginning of the summer, so that they would have the entire summer to meet, interact with, and blend in with humans.
Jasper normally would help out with this type of thing, but he could not do so this time, because he had to stay home with Ashley. Our compound was secluded enough that Ashley would be fine, as long as no one stopped by for an unexpected visit, but there were hundreds of thousands of humans in Manitoba and Alice and Scryan could not ensure that none of them would suddenly change their mind and decide to drop by unexpectedly, so Jasper had to stay. Alice might also be useful to go with the children, but I needed her here with me working on the constitution and giving me insight into each little facet of the law and the other vampires in the congress. And with Scryan already there with the children, sending Alice was redundant.
Edward was chosen to supervise the children and devise a series of increasingly difficult challenges to test the children, because with his mind reading, he could tell when something was going wrong more quickly than the others. And since Emmett was the usual teacher, he was assigned to help Edward with the children. Since coming out of his depression, Emmett has been doing better and returning to his old duties more and more. He was making lesson plans again, and with Edward's guidance, I was confident that he would return to his normal gregarious self.
The two of them planned on starting with simple exercises, like taking the kids hiking on secluded trails and happening across a few stray humans. All nine of Edward and Emmett's pupils passed the first test, because they all had experience with single humans at a time, because of the helicopter pilots that regularly visited our island. The children had never gotten very close to the pilots before, but that experience combined well with the training with the convicts, and prepared them for the lone hiker scenario. They quickly moved on to meeting a dozen or so humans at once in the park, which took a lot more practice and not just because of the increase scent concentration. With the park, the children actually began to hold conversations of their own with human children.
Once human interaction was mastered at the park, Emmett and Edward took them on other outings chosen to be more similar to what they could expect from school, such as children's art classes organized by the city and volunteering at children's homes. But by far the assignment that was most challenging was shopping at the mall, because of the sheer number of humans involves. There were a few close calls, but all of the children passed, so we were sure they were ready for human school.
Author's Note: This was the last Carlisle chapter and I hope you can see how we've now come around to the beginning of Masen's story. Although, I haven't finished everything Carlisle has to say, so I think I will have to have a few Carlisle chapters in the next installment of this saga, which I've already begun thinking about. I think it's time that the hybrids form a new species- I'm thinking more like Nessie and less like Jake, so drinking blood and not shifting. What do you think? What should they be called? First one to volunteer a species name gets to choose the species name.