“The most effective way to do it, is to do it,”
I read over the document countless times, scanning over different statistics and the lifestyle reports that were too detailed and thorough to be falsified. The conditions of living varied from pack to pack, some worse than what I endured and some considerably better. The most common aspect that I noted was the decrease in population, or rather the lack of growth. Since Roman came into power, the prisons were destroyed and inmates whose criminal activity lined up with pack laws were either sent to labour camps or killed on the spot. Wolves follow a strict order, there isn’t a legal system so to speak when it comes to wolves, they more often than not will own up to their crimes and ask for mercy and if they chose to lie then the Alpha can use his power to make them speak truthfully. All the twists and turns, loop holes and structures of the system we had were scrapped, years and years of changes to a constitution that no longer exist don’t matter anymore. If you commit a crime, you face punishment and if you don’t, then you won’t. Roman didn’t adapt any notes onto that section about change and simply put on the statistics of reduced criminal activity and other notes that basically translated to he’s not changing his mind anytime soon. Still, I highlighted the aspects I didn’t agree on and made various notes on the computer.
His structure for educational reform was impressive however, set over a six year plan the school’s that weren’t destroyed will be renovated and reopened; abiding by a new curriculum that will be established by an education board. It was also pointed that pups hadn’t been attending school until his Father’s rule, most were taught at home by their parents to achieve the basics and then trained in different aspects of the pack much like an apprentice would. The school system would be strictly public, there was no need to create an institution that could be paid for by the richer considering there weren’t many rich to start with. I didn’t oppose much to that idea either, it was always absurd to me even before why children with money were more deserving of better quality education than those without. All children should have equal access to education regardless of their parents financial circumstances.
I also made the effort to include notes on trying to get all trained teachers from before back into their profession, put on fair wages and given the resources they need to properly help the kids they teach. It was a part of the six year plan that wolf children and human children be taught separately until the next generation of kids were born. This was to eliminate prejudice behaviours on both parts and hopefully prevent any outbreaks of violence amongst the students, particularly those older. Honestly, I don’t know much about how the current teenage wolves feel about humans or vice versa but there would no doubt be a rift. Roman may have the right approach with his plan but even then, maybe there could be events or functions to try and assimilate the existing kids.
The work force was much more of a complicated situation to handle, many major companies that still functioned from before utilised the cheap labour offered by humans to produce their goods and so enforcing fair pay was more difficult. Roman put forth his decisions to financiers who were still working on a solution to give humans a sustainable amount of money for the work they did which in turn meant that they would have to pay taxes.
The section for medical advancements was pretty straight forward. It entailed the building of new hospitals to accommodate the influx of residents they would surely receive and the opening of wolf hospitals to human residents. The healing abilities of wolf blood have also meant that new advancements have been made in research centres, mainly in the packs where humans were still allowed to practice their profession in various jobs. This meant that there were cheaper ways to cure illnesses and treat human patients, a fact that startled me slightly. The doctor I trained to be all those years ago may not even be useful.
New living quarters or renovations to the ones humans reside in now were scheduled to start soon, all the new buildings would require jobs as well, ones that would be operated by wolves but employ a large amount of human workers and help to finance some of their lives. I haven’t looked much into the financing of all this but I know just by glimpsing at the proposals that this will take a lot of money, like a lot. I suppose that the wealth Roman acquired after naming himself dictator would be large but he is going to be forking out quite a sum for this.
The only other section that I made it up to in the span of the morning was population. Notes on a global scale weren’t included which was something I added immediately to my list of things that needed to be assessed more properly but the bottom line was that he planned on initiating a large scale population control. In the last five years births have been on a steady decline, not by much, but enough where it is notable. He wanted to raise the living standards of humans but ensure that it didn’t mean there would be any growth to the population that exceeded a sustainable amount and in doing so meant taking measures that were not specified but couldn’t be any good.
I drop the pen in my hands and let it bounce on the wooden desk, moving my fingers to rub my temple. I relocated into this meeting room that adjoins to the office about an hour ago, ready to bring up my issues of debate to Roman who is in still at his desk, finalising some work apparently. We have an hour to talk through what we will present to the other Alpha Superiors and draft up a debrief to outline our main points. I don’t know how long the main meeting will go on for and I am guessing it is a matter of how everything goes over. I’ve never attended anything like what I am about to with Roman, let alone a meeting with the most influential people in the world.
To say its daunting would be a massive understatement. This is an opportunity that millions of humans would kill to have. Just to be allowed to speak their truth about the inequalities we face would be an immense gift let alone actually having some power and influence behind my words, even if it does take the form of a person I don’t particularly like.
“Sorry about that, it took a little longer than I expected to send through those emails.” My head snaps to the door Roman walked through, the large meeting room seeming a lot smaller with his presence already. He takes a seat at one of the many comfortable chairs on the circular table and turns his attention purely onto me.
“Okay, where do you want to start?” I huff, adjusting the glasses on my face that were delivered to me only an hour or so after I asked for them. Roman leans over and picks up a piece of paper, his eyes furiously scanning over the highlighted parts and the annotations I have made. His face is in full business mode, his expression hardened and any inkling of a smile long gone.
“Go through the list you have complied from beginning to end and if the conversation goes its own way then we will follow it through. This is your opportunity to change things Mae so tell me what you want done and we’ll discuss it,” he responds formally, throwing down the piece of paper and staring at me intently.
“Fine, let’s start with the punishment system then. I don’t think people should just get killed on the spot because they do things that go against the laws that are followed by the pack system. There needs to be some kind of orginisation that allows them to understand the law and be able to defend themselves, you know with lawyers and whatnot,” I state and he removes his finger from his plump lips, resting his head on his hands instead.
“Our laws are quite simple, in fact they parallel those of the laws before the new age. Changing ancient laws isn’t going to happen and the retribution that is handed out by the Alpha is in almost every case fair and just. Any punishment that is given is recorded in our data base with a full report and if anything suspicious arises then it comes straight to my desk for further analysis,” he says back, his tone still even and composed.
“You can’t punish someone who hasn’t been given the opportunity to understand the law, if you are going to rip someones head off for stealing a loaf of bread then fine-the injustice part can be dealt with later. But at least let them know that decapitation is the price to pay before enacting the punishment. Train up lawyers or create some kind of constitution that is accessible to any human to read and scrutinise without retribution,” I argue back and he purses his lips. It is unusual for him to be called out or to have his authority challenged in the way that I am but it is what he asked for and it is what I will give.
“I agree, the pack laws should be made known to the humans. A part of pack laws however means that retribution-in any form-needs to be orderly and go through proper processing. Protests and rallies are not acceptable under our system, if there is a point to be made then it can be lodged through the pack applicable and the level in which it needs to be considered-be it the Alpha of said pack or to me directly-must be stated and reviewed. From our level, we can control what the basis of pack laws are but within a pack itself, changes can be made out of our jurisdiction,” he informs me and I scrunch my brows, jotting down notes on what he says as he explains.
“I thought that the Alpha’s were under your control? Don’t you all just have the same set of rules to follow?” I question, staring at him intently.
“Not exactly. Think of it like what you once had as international human rights, we in this scenario are the acting UN except the rights that we establish are actually enforced. Some packs can and probably will dismiss what we put forth but if there is a case where the Alpha goes too far out of line then they will be exiled from our pack and thus made into rouges. A rouge pack can be legally overtaken by a neighbouring pack and an Alpha that goes rouge looses their bond to me and the greater community, therefore also sacrificing their powers to a large degree,” he elaborates.
“What is the point of making the rights if they are optional?” I push and to my surprise he doesn’t become frustrated at my questions, merely readjusting himself in the seat to continue answering.
“Pack law is different to what you know and understand, generally speaking, the laws and the changes that are made at this level are enforced in our packs. If for any reason they are not then like I said before, the pack will face going rouge as a result, which no pack ever wants to do. So whilst they are optional it is only to a degree, if the Alphas have an issue with the laws they can come and voice their objections to the both of us and we will sort it out from there,” he explains and I nod.
“How can it be made sure that humans aren’t just going to continue to be held to a different standard? Without lawyers or a judge, how can equality before the law be upheld?”
“The laws that are in place right now do not hold prejudice to humans, anyone who decides to go against them faces the same level of punishment. Wolves do not care to protect those who wish to harm the pack like many humans do; if someone wishes to harm the pack or its way of life then it doesn’t matter if they are family, friend or foe, their punishment is accepted. If we wouldn’t protect our own we wouldn’t protect a human, put it that way,” he finishes and I think over his words.
“Okay, for now then I suppose getting publications of the current laws for each pack should be a top priority and then the changes that we want to make can be put in once we have talked more on them,” I agree and he nods, jotting down notes on a piece of paper.
“Great, I will have the orders sent out for the drafts to be made and finalise them some time later this week. As far as changing it goes it shouldn’t be massively hard, all that needs to be completed is some basic refinery to include humans under the protection of pack law,” he concurs and I nod my head, satisfied for now on that dilemma.
“Alright then, with the other Alpha Superiors meeting, how are we going to make them implement similar laws and structures in their own packs? We can ensure change here but what about the rest of the world?” I ask and he lets out a sigh.
“Look, many of the Alpha’s run their packs differently when it comes to humans, like I said before. Merging the two worlds took a lot for us all to do and the ways in which some gained control was a lot more brutal compared to how I seized my power. Plus, they don’t have a human Luna constantly arguing with them to change their ways,” he semi-grumbles the last part and I narrow my eyes despite the fact that he does have a point.
“There are a few ways we can go about it, the first and most obvious way is to persuade them through meetings like the one we are holding today. Our pack has influence due to the power that we hold but keeping international relations at a peaceful level is important to consider. To go and force our laws onto another pack could initiate a world war which would not be good for anyone, least of all humans.
“Other than that we need to develop the system to make sure economic growth occurs, if the changes lead to less profits then the chances of them wanting to implement them won’t be very high. Also mending the relationship between the species-be it through the schooling program or community functions-could work in favour to make human mates more accepting of the bond,” I flinch at that-an action that makes him pause his explanation and give me a hard stare.
“Of course that would be a lot easier to do if the Luna of the nation accepted it herself,” he quips, an annoyed expression passing over his face, “which is why keeping up appearances is important, though we can get to that later. If all else fails then I will talk to the Alpha King and try to convince him to change the pack laws at an international level so it would have the same effect if we did it. That option is a last resort however, the Alpha King is a difficult man to deal with and getting him on board is a process I don’t want either of us to endure. Having said that, if he does agree and push forth with the laws then there is a high chance of one continent going rogue-or at least attempting it-in which case we could legally amass more land.”
“I thought that going rouge was an option that Alpha’s wouldn’t take for that risk exactly? Why would an Alpha Superior do that?” I question and he shrugs.
“My money would be on South America pulling from the pack alliance in the hopes that they could function as a rouge pack with their current Alpha being named king,” he answers and I think back to the Alpha Superior of South America, from what I can recollect he was an older man, not as old as the Asian Alpha but not as young as some of the others.
“And you’d then take his continent legally,” I reiterate and he nods. He wants to just take over an entire continent? The thought makes my stomach twist, Roman really doesn’t need to amass any more power but at the same time if he wants to create positive change then it couldn’t be the worst thing.
“That would be the plan yes, I want to give our heir something more to take over than just the lands we have now and their continent is probably most in need for reform out of them all,” he states and just like that my walls get built back up higher than before. His heir- our heir. The thought alone makes me want to vomit up the food that was delivered to the office and ensure that what happened yesterday morning never happens again.
“Okay, moving on...” I mumble, pushing my glasses up and ignoring the look that Roman gives me-the look that says we will continue this discussion at some point. I’ll just have to push that point as far into the future as I can.
“Education. I actually agreed with a lot of what you said in the file about the joint schools and the elimination of private education and as far as I can tell it will work really well in the six year plan. It wasn’t specified as to who the teachers of the school would be however and I was wondering if the draft of the curriculum was going to be created by both wolf and human educators,” I question, pen ready in my hand.
“Valid point, as of now the only members on the board are wolves so I suppose looking into getting more teachers of human descent is a good idea. I think that one of the gammas from each pack should serve as an enforcer, or a principal if you like, in these schools to keep everything in check,” he adds and I purse my lips in thought, its like there is bad sandwiched between everything good. At this point however I honestly think that making any change at all is a big step so I need to take what I can get.
“For the start that’s probably not the worst idea. How are you going to get qualified human teachers for the schools? It was my understanding that most belongings were destroyed five years ago,” I comment and his lips turn up in an amused smile.
“The internet didn’t cease to exist, love. We have simply modified the way in which it operates and you can rest assured knowing all data on both humans and wolves is stored safely in our data base. It will only be a matter of creating an algorithm and then training the selected human teachers,” he informs proudly but I don’t gleam at his organisational skills, simply moving onto my next point of discussion.
“When it comes to punishment there was no set distinction for age in the law section, surely children are excempt from retribution under pack law.” His expression turns from proud into morose quickly.
“I’m afraid not. Pups are disciplined less severely of course, but if a child fails to listen to their superior then they receive fair punishment depending on the extent of their behaviour. It can vary from detention to pack clean up duty to physical responses.”
My blood runs cold. No child, ever, should have to face a punishment that is dealt to them physically. I can understand discipline and the use of a wooden spoon perhaps by parents to teach their children but an institution legally being capable of dishing out what they deem to be fair retribution is a recipe for corruption.
It occurs to me that it isn’t even the wolf teachers that I fear abusing their power the most in this regard, clearly they follow their sacred ways strictly. But the human teachers wouldn’t be bound by that same devotion, there is no telling who a bad person is until it is too late in so many of these cases. If the institution that I grew up in was legally allowed to do some of the things they did without fear of imprisonment then my childhood would have been far, far worse.
“No. Garbage duty and detention I can get behind but striking kids is not okay. If a child or a pup acts out in their school then their parents can do what they deem acceptable to discipline them at home. Letting teachers have that kind of control is a foolish idea, children should grow up and learn around love, not violence.”
“When I was ten I got seven silver lashes for skipping out on a training lesson to read, handed to me by my father himself and let me tell you he wasn’t easy about it either. Those seven scars were for every hour that I missed my training and took months to heal,” he replies firmly, and I look at him with wide eyes, my nose scrunching and my lips twisting in disgust.
“That’s terrible! You aren’t proving any point here, Roman.” I scold but his demeanour doesn’t change.
“Ever since then I never missed another training session and today I am grateful for his punishment. Regular wolves don’t face as much severity from their parents as perhaps I did but that boils down to the fact that my responsibilities were greater. If a child doesn’t have respect for their teachers then they need to get it someway. When it comes to teaching respect is learned and not earned,”
“So you expect me to pop out a child for you just so you can whip them when they do something you don’t like?” I sneer and his gaze hardens.
“It is our way of life. Our child will be a werewolf and they will therefore follow the teachings of their ancestors, I would never harm any kid to a point that was cruel, not to the extent in which my father punished me but they would learn to be disciplined either way. There is so much more too raising a pup, especially one that has my bloodline running through their veins. This is a discussion that can be had in our own time, not right now-I will take into account your proposal and once the education board has been created they too can help to decide.”
He’s probably right, bringing up children around him, let alone directly to him, isn’t the greatest idea. It is a conversation that needs to be had at some point, a point in which I will adamantly refuse any suggestion of the idea so ferociously that he’ll hopefully give up.
“Fine, but I am being serious when I say that I want to see the final draft they make before it is sent out.” I shoot him a stern glare and he gives it right back.
“You’ll just have to stick around to find out I guess, won’t you?” He snaps back, brow raised in a challenge I don’t accept. Instead I just look down to my watch and let out a sigh, the other Alpha Superiors will be here soon and we are no where near close enough to have a solid case that we both agree fully on. Roman is correct when he says that our chances of making an influence are much higher if we go in there knowing what we want and as a united front.
As much as it pains me to admit, there is no way that any of the members in todays meeting would take me seriously if I went in as an angry little human girl who wanted them to stop their shit. No, they have probably heard pleas much greater than any I could forge, without Roman behind me and my ties to the power this pack holds... my words would fall on deaf ears.
“We don’t have nearly enough time to go over all these things before the meeting,” I huff, kneading my temples with my fingers to cease an oncoming ache. Roman’s hand doesn’t miss a beat, clasping onto mine-not with affection-more of a robotic movement that pulls the pain from my skull.
“Trust me, we won’t be getting to any of the specifics today. Going through what we are now is important but I can almost guarantee that the mere proposal of making positive change to the pack laws regarding humans will cause quite the stir. Many of these continents profit greatly from the system they have- South America being a prime example,” he comments and my lip raises into a disgusted snarl.
“You mean the slavery they have,” I correct and his lean fingers extend out from his knuckles to confirm my suspicion. Bastards.
“Effectively, yes. But there are others who object to such practices quite vigorously and therefore I can tell you that the meeting we have today will get heated. Plus, this will be the first time that any of these people will have been told what’s what by a human. They are expecting it to be easy to make you fold, that I am a fool for considering putting a weak woman by my side but what you don’t match for physically you excel ten fold in mind. And it’s not like you brawl in meetings... most of the time.” His confidence in my strength comes as a shock.
I guess he figures it takes balls to go up against someone as ‘high and mighty’ as himself, making me the bravest person to have lived. But the ultimate truth is that I don’t feel half as strong as he makes me out to be.
“How long will the meeting go on for?” I dodge his appraisal skilfully and he pays it no mind.
“Depends, it can vary with these things but I presume it will end in a couple hours. The topic will no doubt carry on tomorrow and perhaps make appearances throughout the week but only time will tell,” he answers and I let out a sigh, adjusting the glasses on the bridge of my nose and focusing back on the screen.
“Okay, so I guess next thing on here is the workforce,” I point out and he raises a brow, waiting for my next spur of opinions with the slightest smile lingering on his face.
“Alpha Roman, with all due respect. Humans are the weakest members of our packs, their living conditions reflect their capacity to provide for the community. We are happy with the system that we have in place, it is only fair they live this way. After all the years of torment we went through, the hiding and the secrecy at the hands of humans, they deserve it.” The Alpha of South America rebukes, a few mummers of agreement floating around the large table.
“The only reason you believe that, Alpha Nicolas, is because you prosper from it. We agree fully with the New Moon pack, reform must be made at a global level before it is too late to change.” The Asian Alpha, Akeno, states and there is some more support for this claim.
Roman presented his idea of a human rights bill, one that ties into an international pack law agreement, signed by blood oath and unbreakable in bond. Throughout his presentation I sat down next to his chair, scoping out the reactions of the other leaders in the room. A few of the Luna’s decided to join, Tsuki, Alpha Akenos mate has been the most responsive of them all aside from me, not backing down on pointing out flaws or adding different points. Most of the others however sit back and watch with wide eyes, soaking up every word that falls out onto the table.
“The treatment of humans will only get worse if we do not acknowledge it now and make things right. My mate and I firmly believe that with the right guidance, we can achieve a better working economy than the one we have now simply due to the adjustments of human rights. Financially, it will take a dent to establish the system but within the next eight to ten years I am certain that our GDP will have doubled,” Roman states, his words perking many ears around the table.
“Let it be known that my pack stands with Alpha Roman, we may not have any humans to have to deal with but our support lies with what the moon goddess wishes. Clearly she has sent us a sign through the new Luna that we need to create a change,” The Alpha of Antartica speaks up, he and his mate have both been relatively silent up until this point.
“Leave it for you to lecture us all on religion,” the European Alpha mummers and is met with a glare.
“I just don’t see why this is such a hard thing for you all to accept,” I speak up, breaking my silence. All heads on the table turn to me and an eerie silence fills the room. I gulp thickly.
“Giving humans equal rights is only beneficial to you and your packs, not to mention the fact that it’s morally right. I don’t know the full extent of the hardships wolves faced at the hands of humans and I’ll never understand the persecution given to you but I do know that two wrongs don’t make a right. You can’t hold every person with human blood running through their veins to the same standard as those who hurt you, especially since those same people probably hurt other humans as well. The issue has never lied within the species, it lies within the belief system that its okay to treat others like compete shit. If you all really want to sit around here and preach that what you’ve accomplished is greater than those before you then fine, but deep down it’s going to be you who has to live knowing the truth.”
Nobody utters a word, the faces of the worlds most powerful leaders all looking onto me with wide eyes save for Roman who stares with a proud glint covering the icy blue. If they can hear my heart thundering in my chest they don’t make any move to acknowledge it. Alpha Nicholas stares directly at Roman and every muscle in my mates body stiffens and coils.
“The packs of South America won’t abide by these ridiculous laws and we most certainly won’t be berated by your stupid human whore either,”
I have literally got so much to do, but at the same time, I have absolutely nothing to do and it is quite possibly the weirdest thing ever. Also, I am three weeks into any last year of school and have seen THAT many people break down in tears that I am wondering whether me not being fussed is an issue at this point. Literally, the amount of crying mirror selfies have gotten to a code red level, like C’mon. On a serious note though, good grades aren’t the back bone of life and there is so much more out there than achieving A’s in school.
Alsoooo this chapter was probably hard to read (it was hard to write) and some of you may need to read it twice. Things are getting kinda political at the minute and navigating how to write this section I guess has been a little bit of a challenge. So PLEASEEE keep in mind that I am still learning :)
Also THANKS to everyone who gave me some ideas for the instagram page! I’ll for sure be trying to figure out what works in the near future :)