Elizabeth reveals the truth
“Yes, he was one of the fourteen. You know his name correct? Elizabeth asked.
Elizabeth glanced at those seated before her. “Then speak the name so all here will know.”
“Lazarus.” Casey said her voice strong.
“Yes, Lazarus. That is the name he was known as by the mortals, the last name he took before his existence was ended.”
“Ended?” Casey whispered.
Elizabeth nodded, “Yes.”
Suddenly confused voices were heard throughout the room. His Excellence came to his feet. “Silence.” He demanded. “What Elizabeth will reveal must be heard.”
Once the room quieted he returned to his seat but not before placing a kiss on Elizabeth’s cheek.
“Thank you.” She whispered then turned her attention back to the room. “I offer a lesson of our history. A history obviously that has been lost. In the beginning the Supreme Being placed fourteen Pures on this earth. Each of us instinctively understood our place. We were caretakers for the Supreme Beings children, the mortals. We walked amongst them knowing it was our great honor to care for them. We healed when we instinctively knew it was the correct action and we offered comfort when we knew death should not be stopped. Never did we question, we simply knew. But time passed and more and more mortals were born. Soon it became too much for us. Four hundred years later the first Pure born to a mortal appeared. It was I who felt the birth of this Pure, it was I who collected the infant knowing he must be cared for until he could rightly take his place in our world.” She turned to His Excellence and gently caressed his cheek. “I am honored to have been the Pure who cared for him.”
“The honor was always been mine.” His Excellence said softly.
Elizabeth tore her gaze away to continue. “Sadly I believe now that it was the birth of the first Pure which caused discontent. As the years passed and more Pures were born several of my brothers and sisters voiced their displeasure. Until that time it was understood that our need for human blood to survive tried us to the mortals. However, the knowledge that our kind now depended on mortal women to continue angered them. Some had grown drunk with power. The fact that they could stop death corrupted them making them believe they were superior to the mortals.” She paused a moment then in a clear voice continued, “We are not superior to mortals, my friends. We were never meant to believe that.”
Again there was murmuring however this time His Excellence made no move to quiet the room. When at last the sound quieted Elizabeth continued.
“What those brothers and sisters did not understand is that while given the gift to heal if it is not the will of the Supreme Being it will not be done. Believing any other way oversteps our bounds.”
“Your words are true.” Atticus said from his seat.
Elizabeth smiled, “Yes, very true and must be heeded. But sadly for those brothers and sisters that truth was lost. Drunk with power they defied. And sadly over time because they had turned their backs on our true calling they were lost.”
“Lost?” Jacob repeated softly unable to remain silent.
“Yes, lost.” Elizabeth nodded sadly. “For several losing their way meant they terminated their own existence, for others they made the fatal mistake of letting mortals know their true nature.”
She let this truth wash over the crowd for several minutes then continued. “Know this now as a truth…Pures just as the mortal children of the Supreme Being are each created differently. The original fourteen attest to this fact. Among my brothers and sisters some only were capable of feeling Pure emotions but the others like myself felt more.”
Marcus, who until now had sat with is head bowed, looked up as hope filled his mind.
“Please explain.” A Pure who until this moment had sat quietly asked.
“Of course.” Elizabeth nodded, “But first I must ask, how long have you walked this earth?"
“Four hundred years.” He replied.
“A baby to me.” Elizabeth smiled slightly. “Yet that does not lessen the importance of your question it only makes it easier for me to understand. When I say I am capable of feeling more I say this with complete honestly. I feel the emotions of a Pure but I also feel those emotions of mortals. This ability given to some for whatever reason was done so by the Supreme Being. Never did the fact I could feel mortal emotions cloud my judgment. I healed if it was correct or comforted when I knew it was not to be.”
Again the room erupted in a frenzy of confused voices. Gerard looked over at Anna and saw her eyes were wide as she listened closely.
Elizabeth held up her hand to quiet them. “I know my words shock some in this room.” She paused looking around and catching the eye of some before adding, “And I know some here are not surprised.”
“But all I was taught.” The Pure who had asked the question sputtered.
Elizabeth locked eyes with him. “What you were taught is a lie born of fear and hatred. Once mortals learned of our presence, sadly through the careless actions of Pures, their fear turned to hatred. And sadly we let that hatred corrupt our way.”
Another Pure spoke, “You are saying the mortals changed us?”
“Yes, I can attest to that fact. In the beginning the original fourteen knew and accepted that we were all different. Those who could feel mortal emotions were not ostracized. We embraced our differences. As a Pure who could feel mortal emotions I never felt those who were unlike me were any less a Pure. My love for them never wavered.” Again she turned to His Excellence. “I never had difficulty loving a Pure who unlike me could not feel mortal emotion.”
His Excellence smiled, “Thank you, Elizabeth.”
“I am sorry.” Ellis said making his voice heard, “But I am still confused. From the time I was old enough I was taught that those in the Healer world who felt mortal emotions were considered to have a fatal flaw.”
Marcus tensed waiting for her answer.
“Because you were taught by Pures who sadly believed that to be a truth. The mortals fear turned to hatred and in turn we allowed that hatred to define our world. While we still believed our gift to heal was one we were meant to use, that gift became a symbol of what was believed to be superiority over those who feared us, those who ultimately ended the existence of some Pures.”
“And Lazarus?’ Casey asked softly.
“Child I understand there is much you wish to ask about him. I promise in good time I will speak of him but for now I must further explain my words knowing they have caused much confusion.”
When Casey nodded Elizabeth continued, “As more and more Pures were lost at the hands of mortals our kind struggled. We feared it signaled the end for us. But we received a revelation.” She smiled, “A revelation revealed to us by he who is now known as His Excellence.”
All eyes turned to him. Slowly he stood first locking eyes with Elizabeth before turning to speak. “I had been on this earth for a little over two hundred years. At that time only a hand full of Pures had been born to mortal mothers. Our numbers were small but we continued doing our best to care for the mortals. I had left Elizabeth’s side many years earlier moving to Britain. It was there a truth was revealed to me in a dream.”
“A dream?” Was whispered over and over throughout the room.
His Excellence smiled, “Yes, a dream. A very personal and private experience. However I knew what had been revealed must be shared with my fellow Pures.”
“It was revealed that Pures could turn mortals.” Casey whispered.
“Yes, child.” His Excellence smiled, “It was revealed we could turn mortals who we believed would be worthy to share our gift.”
“You did not know?” Jacob asked.
“We did not. Until that time we simply believed we had the power to heal. None understood our gifts could be shared by turning a mortal.”
Casey suddenly felt overwhelming sadness. “But learning it could be done came with a high price.”
“Your understanding astounds me.” He said softly. “Yes, that is true. Once Pures realized we could in a sense create more of our kind there were those who allowed their hatred of mortals take over. Mortals who never should have been given our gift were turned.”
“Why was this allowed to happen?” Another voice asked.
His Excellence sighed, “I believe to further demonstrate to us that our kind is not superior, that we can be flawed the same as mortals. That truth is clear. Just because one is born a Pure that does not guarantee they can not be ruthless and cruel. It does not guarantee they will use their gift as intended. The Pure removed from this room earlier attests to that truth. Once I was told of his recent actions his past was carefully researched. For most of his existence he has been abusing his gift, abusing mortals. Sadly he has caused several mortals to lose their lives.”
“But because Pures are held in higher esteem his actions were ignored.” Marcus said with regret.
“Ignored until another Pure reported his actions.” His Excellence said locking eyes with Marcus. “Ignored until a Pure who understood those actions went against all we are, reported him.”
Marcus glanced down filled with regret for turning a blind eye for so long to things he believed in his heart were wrong.
Gerard was started when Miles suddenly stood. “Your Excellence?”
“Yes?” The Pure turned to him. “Your name?”
“My name is Miles.” The Healer answered nervously.
“Please Miles, speak what is on your mind.”
For a moment Miles was frightened. However when he saw that Casey had turned in her seat and was smiling at him it gave the Healer courage. “I believe myself to be a good Healer.”
“The fact you are here speaks of that truth.” His Excellence nodded.
“Thank you. However, I am troubled. My Maker I too consider to be good, he has always been wise and fair. But he taught me that turned healers who felt mortal emotions were wrong. I do not believe he did this out of hatred it was simply what he was taught.”
His Excellence nodded, “I believe you are correct. Your Maker was born into this world when the belief that feeling mortal emotions was considered wrong. He accepted what he was taught as a truth.”
“When that belief became accepted as truth was when I knew I could no longer be a part of our world. It was one thing for our kind to foolishly believe they were above mortals but when we turned on ourselves…” When Elizabeth continued her voice was full of emotion. “When we allowed ourselves to believe that feeling the same emotions as mortals was something wrong, something considered wrong enough it was worthy of destroying our own I could not be a part of that world.”
“Elizabeth you could not change it.” His Excellence said taking her hand in his.
“My failure, my deepest regret is that I did not see what was happening before it was too late.”
Again he tried to comfort her. “There were so many of our kind spread out around the world.”
“It still fell upon me to right the wrong. As the last remaining original Pure it was my duty. I failed my kind. My failure cost many turned mortals to be destroyed. Mortals who were given our gift and would have used it as intended only to have their existence ended by those who had given them the gift.” She shook her head sadly, “Perhaps if I had tried to stop this when it first started. But as the centuries pasted more and more Pures were born to this earth and taught what was accepted as truth.” She turned back to Miles, “Tell me child, tell me what is in your heart. Do you believe one of our kind who feels mortal emotions is wrong?”
Miles was shocked he a lowly turned healer was being asked this by Elizabeth. He found himself unable to speak.
“The truth.” Elizabeth pressed, “I must hear the truth.”
Miles spoke softly. “I am a turned healer who completely lost my mortal emotions. However the belief that those who do retain those emotions and should be destroyed has always deeply troubled me. It seems to go against everything I believe we stand for. Hearing you say our kind was once called Caretakers touched something deep inside me.” He smiled, “For that is what I believe I am.”
Elizabeth nodded, “Thank you for your honestly.”
“Thank you for allowing me to speak.” Miles answered.
“Child, do you honestly believe your words are less important than the words of anyone here?” Elizabeth asked once again shocking Miles.
“I am a turned in the presence of the most respected of Pures.” He answered softly.
“Your words are just as important as mine.” Elizabeth said. “Sadly what you believe is yet another testament to how we have lost our way. Wither born or turned we all are Caretakers. Your actions should speak to your worth at least that is how it should be.”
His Excellence stood. “Elizabeth’s words are true. Our actions should define if we are worthy to be called Caretakers.” He looked around the room, “All here have heard Elizabeth’s words and understand their meaning. For a very long time I too have felt our world had lost its way. Like Elizabeth I retreated believing we could never regain all that had been lost.” He smiled as his gaze fell on Casey. “But meeting your mother gave me hope.”
Casey smiled. “She was sorry she could not be the one.”
He nodded, “I understood. Your mother was too deeply rooted in the mortal world.” Suddenly he turned to look at Marcus. “I understood that if it is not truly the deepest wish of a Ingredior Utriusque to be turned it can not be done.”
Marcus stared into his eyes understanding the deeper meaning. We he nodded slightly His Excellence continued as he turned to Casey.
“But when Marcus bound you to him my hope was renewed. Speaking with you I knew you were correct, your place is with us.” He raised his eyes to look around the room. “The time has come for complete honestly. It is my deepest wish that today will be a new beginning for our kind. That we will heed the words of the last of the fourteen and change what we have become. No longer will we persecute our own kind. We will accept that each of us, Pure or turned, is different and unique. But that all of us share one beautiful trait, we are Caretakers placed here by the Supreme Being to watch over the mortals. It is what we will be until the end of time.” He paused then added softly, “And I believe that when that time comes we too will be welcomed home along side the mortal children.”
Anna was shocked to see Carolyn, standing off to the side of the table, was wiping tears from her eyes.
Now Jacob stood alongside His Excellence. “As head of the high council I stand with His Excellence and Elizabeth. Today must mark the start of a new beginning for our kind. Unless challenged I move to immediately stop the practice of judging our kind simply on what emotions they may or may not possess. We shall be judged only on our actions.”
Anna was gripping Gerard’s had tightly. Both knew that what was decided today could change their world for all time.
Heads turned when Atticus stood. “Marcus I have always believed you to be one of our wisest Pures. I was pleased when His Excellence chose you to head the High Council. But I must admit I have concerns. Centuries of what I believe was injustice will be hard to erase. So many now walk this earth that were taught a falsehood but one they do believe.”
His Excellence nodded, “Atticus speaks the truth.”
Jacob sighed, “Yes, but if we do not try to right this wrong now it will never chance.” He turned to face Elizabeth. “It is my deepest hope that you will help us. I do not believe any Pure or turned who hears your words will deny their truth.”
Elizabeth nodded, “Never again will I retreat from our world. However let it be known it was the Ingredior Utriusque who brought me back to my rightful place amongst my kind. Knowing Lazarus’s blood ran through her veins gave me the strength to return. He was a wise and just Caretaker. I still morn his passing.”
Jacob sat down and for a few moments he, His Excellence and Elizabeth conferred in soft whisperers.
“Sugar, I can’t believe this is happening.” Gerard whispered into Anna’s ear.
“Jacob is torn.” Anna said turning to look into her husband’s eyes. “This chance to admit the truth is all he has ever dreamed for and yet he remains silent afraid that his actions may still affect me.”
Gerard was about to speak when Jacob’s voice quieted the room. “As the head of the high council it is my decision that the Ingredior Utriusque Casey be welcomed into our world.”
Marcus showed no emotion.
Casey glanced at him then looked away.
“If anyone wishes to challenge my decision those who could rightfully overturn it stand ready to hear your complaint.” He nodded towards His Excellence and Elizabeth.
The room was deathly silent until first one, then two, then three…the oldest Pures stood followed by the turned Healers. They stood and clapped welcoming the newest Healer. Casey smiled acknowledging their acceptance.
When finally the noise died down Jacob again spoke. “There is one more matter….” He stopped suddenly and looked down unable to continue.
Anna kissed Gerard tenderly hoping he would understand what she must do.
He nodded still holding her hand as she stood. “Jacob.”
Jacob lifted his head to see his child standing, waiting. When she smiled and nodded he found the strength to continue. “In the wake of everything that has happened today I respectfully offer to step down as head of the high council. His eyes glanced over at Katherine praying she would understand. Much to his surprise she crossed the room.
Placing her hand on his arm she said softly, “I stand with you.”
Jacob turned back to face his child. “Annabelle.” He whispered.
Slowly Anna began to walk towards the table. Gerard followed closely behind. When she stood before her Maker she smiled, “Jacob, you must.”
He looked into her eyes. “I love you, Annabelle.” He then looked out at those who’s eyes were trained on the scene. “I love Annabelle as a Maker loves his child. I love her with the mortal love I have always possessed. If any feel this is wrong, I will step down as head of the high council. I understand that what has happened here today will not be easy for some to accept.”
His Excellence stood. “Jacob, I have always known. When I appointed you as the head of the High Council this knowledge did not affect my judgment. You have always been a most honored Pure. However now that Elizabeth has agreed to become involved in our world her wishes as our oldest Pure come before mine.” He turned to Elizabeth as they all waited for her to speak.
“Jacob you show great courage. Although you have hidden the truth about yourself that does not change the fact you are a respected Pure who has used his gift wisely.” Her eyes went to Anna. “Child, once turned did you retain your mortal emotions?”
“Yes.” Anna answered. “A fact my Maker taught me to hide out of love.”
“And your child?” Elizabeth asked looking at Gerard.
Anna nodded, “Yes, my child also retained his mortal emotions.”
“They are both excellent Healers.” Jacob said softly. “The way they have used their gifts brings me great pride.”
“And they were chosen to raise our newest Pure, correct?”
Before Jacob could answer His Excellence spoke, “That decision was ultimately mine.”
Elizabeth nodded, “I see.” She turned her attention back to Anna. “Tell me, when you were told you and your child had been chosen to raise the Pure how did you respond?”
Anna was surprised by the question. “I understood it was a great honor.”
“Yes, of course. However I am more interested in your true thoughts and emotions.”
Anna slipped her hand into Gerard’s before answering. “I was frightened. When the child was first put in my arms I knew we would love her.”
“Yet you believe you would always have to hide that love.”
“Yes.” Anna nodded.
Elizabeth gazed deeply into Anna’s eyes. “Tell me child, knowing now that the Pure may or may not possess the ability to feel mortal love does that change the way you feel towards her?”
Anna’s voice was clear, “Gerard and I understand the great honor we have been given. From us Elena will learn to use the beautiful gift she has been given. We will do our best to teach her to everything she must know to take her place in our world. However wither or not she can return the mortal love we feel for her changes nothing. We will still love her.”
Elizabeth turned to once again face the others, “It is my decision that Jacob shall remain as head of the high council. His child Annabelle along with her child shall continue to raise our newest Pure.”
His Excellence nodded, “Yes, Elizabeth.”
She smiled, “Now I wish to walk among my family.”
Taking her hand His Excellence placed it on his arm then led her from behind the table. Immediately they were surrounded by Pures honored to have the chance to speak to Elizabeth.
Jacob turned to Katherine still standing at his side. “Thank you for standing beside me.”
Katherine laughed, “Jacob, did you honestly believe I wouldn’t? If you went down we all went down together.” She glanced over expecting to see Anna and Gerard but they had disappeared. “I’m sure they are celebrating.” Katherine said dryly.
Marcus was still standing completely still, his eyes locked with Casey’s. Slowly he rounded the table going to her. “You knew all along this would happen?”
“This is what I prayed would happen.” She answered softly.
“And you knew it was His Excellence who had tired unsuccessfully to turn a Ingredior Utriusque?”
“Yes, he told me.”
Marcus’s Pure blood was still finding it difficult to accept all that had happened. However when he suddenly felt his child was growing weaker he took her arm. “You must learn to feed. The blood you were given was not sufficient.”
“The hunger is strong.” Casey admitted.
“Come.” He said taking her arm. Suddenly he stopped and looked into her eyes. “Unless you wish another to teach you.”
Casey was shocked, “What? Why would I want that?”
“You are my equal.” Marcus said flatly. “I accept that.”
“I know how difficult this is for you.” Casey said softly.
He glanced away, “I was born into his world in 1493, so yeah, all of this is difficult to accept.”
Casey understood. “Marcus what has happened today has not changed who you are. You are still the Pure I fell in love with, the Pure I want to teach me the ways of our world.”
He sighed, “Then come, let’s find a blood bound. You will learn to feed then return. I understand you wish to speak to Elizabeth about Lazarus.”