25: Freewill

They walked up the metal staircase, stepping on a solid metal platform that extended from one wall to the next. This room was much brighter, lit by dozens of lights, one area tucked away in a corner was nearly blanketed in darkness. Jack walked half-way across it before he stopped and looked down. “What is this?” she asked though she suspected she knew the answer.
“It’s where the magic happens.” She looked down, several people in white lab coats walked around two people on separate hospital beds, they were motionless and were hooked up to life support systems. They moved smoothly around the tables, never in each other’s way, making notes on clipboards in their hands.
“What are they doing?”
“Making sure nothing is wrong.” She looked back down. None of the doctors looked alike: two were short, one with red, straight hair, the other with dark curly hair. Two others were slightly taller though still short, one with dark brown hair, the other dirty blonde. The last three were all remarkably tall, two with hair much like Jack’s, the other had very light brown hair. She turned her attention to the two on the hospital beds. One was male, the other female, the male appeared to be in his early thirties, his hair was medium brown, the female was younger than him, late teens, her hair was long and blonde, close to Rosalie’s. She then saw that they were held down by restraints. Sticking out of each arm, which was turned so the palms faced up, was a long metal tube, it was inserted about mid-way on each arm.
She turned away then. “You ok?” Jack asked, turning his worried gaze to her. She nodded though he didn’t trust it. A few of the doctors had turned their attention from the patients to Rosalie and Jack.
“Welcome back Jack” said one of the tall black haired ones. Jack turned and nodded. They went back to their work then, again moving swiftly around the tables. Rosalie forced herself to turn, to look at it again.
No matter which direction she looked, her eyes always came back to the metal tubes. She couldn’t tell what they were made of but it must have been very strong if it could pierce through the tough exterior of the skin. “Come on” he said, leading her across the platform and down another set of stairs. She held on to his hand tightly as he stood aside from the doctors, watching them work.
The dark-haired one that had called out to Jack turned. “Welcome, Rosalie Lillian Hale. There were some times we’d have to beg Jack to shut up about you.” Chuckles broke out amongst the doctors, two staying totally silent, absorbed in their work.
Jack grinned. “Rose, Dr. George Adams, one of our cardiologists.” He smiled at her warmly, she returned it. “And the one next to him is Professor Alden Walsh, chemist.” The other dark haired one looked up and nodded at them. He pointed to the tall one with light brown hair. “Dr. Cyril King, biologist.” She blanched at the name. “No relation to…him.” From there, Jack finished telling her who everyone was: the short red-haired one was Dr. Charles Mann, he and the dirty blonde haired one, Dr. Dean Reed, were geneticists, the short curly-haired one was Dr. Martin Tannen, a physicist. The last one, the dark-brown haired one, was Dr. Peter Taylor, a surgeon. This surprised Rose though once Jack explained why he was there it made sense.
“See, when Tristan was first trying these experiments, a big problem they had was failure of the heart-that is, after they are human.”
“Speak of the devil” said Dr. Adams, nodding towards the left. Tristan strode towards them. Almost all of the doctors cleared out, Dr. Adams and Dr. Reed being the ones that stayed where they were.
Tristan nodded at the two and waited until they had left before he turned to Jack and Rosalie. “So, like what you see?” She looked around, trying to keep her face expressionless but couldn’t. “I know-the tubes are the worst part about it. But after they’re in, the hard part’s over.” Jack nodded in silent agreement.
“When?”
“Whenever you feel ready. There is no rush.” Rosalie nodded and pursed her lips together and turned to Jack.
“What about you?”
“I’ve waited this long for you, I can wait a little longer if that’s what you need.”
Dr. Adams, Dr. Reed, and Dr. Payne came out suddenly, standing next to the girl. Jack, Tristan, and Rosalie all took steps back. They waited in anxious silence until the monitor showed life. A single beep indicating the working heart, followed by another, and so forth. They worked quickly and smoothly, removing the tubes from her arms, then the medical equipment quickly followed. They waited until her eyes opened, her fingers flexed, and from where Rosalie was standing she could hear her heartbeat, the pulsing of blood in her veins.
She was human.
Completely and totally human.
Dr. Reed and Dr. Adams stood back while Dr. Payne checked blood pressure, heartbeat and heart rate, reflexes. “Everything seems ok. I’ll let you two be the final judge.” He stood next to the end of the table while Dr. Adams and Dr. Reed did their own tests. The girl didn’t seem to mind at all-already she had color to her cheeks and a smile on her face. The two doctors came to the same conclusion Dr. Payne had. He handed her a card. “Take care dear. We’ll send someone to see you soon.”
“Thank you so much Dr. Payne. And Dr. Adams, Dr. Reed, all of you.” She smiled as she sat up from the table and on the ground. She took in a deep breath and closed her eyes, sighing softly.
“Let us know if anything changes” Dr. Payne said.
She nodded. “I will. Thank you again.” Dr. Payne nodded and she walked to a door that led her to the outside world.
“Best thing about what we do-right there.”
“Here here.”
“Wow. You guys are amazing.” The doctors chuckled as they quickly sanitized the bed and area around it. “Just…amazing.”
“We like giving people second chances” said Dr. Adams, sliding his coat off before he walked up the stairs and across the platform, into the tunnel and back to the main room. Dr. Reed walked into the area that was closed off from the rest of the room, covered almost entirely in darkness.
“What’s that?” Jack and Tristan shared a look. “Geez, you guys have a lot of secrets.” They both remained silent, Jack having the courage to look at her. “What time is it?”
“Five-thirty.”
“In exactly twenty-four hours, I want to be going through the transformation from this to human.” Dr. Payne and Tristan nodded.
“Certainly.”
Jack took her hand.
<Are you sure?>
<Positive.>
<Ok.>
She smiled and squeezed his hand, nodding. “And no one is forced to do this?”
“God no. Like I said before, everyone who does this has done so with their own will.”
“How long do you think it will take?”
“Depends. How long have you been a vampire?”
“Almost seventy-six years.”
Dr. Payne’s eyes wandered her body, his mind calculating height and weight. “I’d say the removal of poison will take twenty-four hours, after that I’d say around forty-eight to seventy-two hours. Could be more, could be less. No one is the same.”
“But Jack will take longer?”
“Yes. Not by much but yes.”
“Alright. Five-thirty tomorrow.”
Master saw all this-few things concerning Rosalie Hale got past master. “Yes, you become human again. Will make what I have in store for you so much better.” From down-stairs, master heard IT let out another loud snarl as Dr. Crane continued to work on IT. IT had been in rough shape, but Dr. Crane said that IT would most likely make it.
Now, master had the agony of waiting for IT to heal. But it would be worth it.