POV: “Professor” Julian Teng
Welcome, dear friends, to the world that remains after Rezarta. The colony’s founder, Arturo Reza, was a valued colleague of mine, and his support made it possible to do what I’d always wanted to do but that most sorcerers thought was pure madness: experiment on vampires. My experiments proved that vampire rehabilitation is not only possible, but entirely worth the trouble, and these endeavors depended on having a lot of magic-handlers all in one place. In a sense, Rezarta was a victim of its own success. We managed to convince the vast majority of the nation’s magic-handlers to come join our colony, and more still to come study with us for at least a few years, but it also left the rest of the country with a lot of vampires they couldn’t control. While we were having a grand old time in Rezarta, the vampires who were not brought to my research facility were turning more people and preying on far more. The situation grew progressively more unpleasant over decades, and the mundane government did little about it except perhaps to encourage mundane citizens not to open their doors after dark.
Miranda “Godzilla” Hutchinson was the first POTUS to take action to address the vampire problem that Rezarta’s success allowed to flourish, but even she waited until December of 2001, when Rezarta declared its secession from the US. While I agree that the secession was ill-advised, I can’t help but think the Hutchinson administration could’ve done better. Our deceptively adorable president not only squashed the secession like a bug, she gave the colony its pink slip. With the Magical Resettlement Act, Rezarta ceased to exist as a cultural and educational entity, and 90% of its resident magic-handlers were forcibly relocated throughout the rest of the country. Hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted from their neighbors, their jobs, and their businesses’ customers, but they were able to help their new mundane neighbors keep safe from vampire predation, and that’s all that really matters, yes?
There’s no denying that most of the nation’s mundane citizens are safer and happier since the Resettlement, but it would be a mistake to say the end of Rezarta has put an end in sight to vampire predation. Most of the new vamps turned during the Rezarta period are still around and still preying on people. Perhaps a tiny percentage were easier to stake after the magic-handlers were dispersed throughout the population, but mostly the vamps just prey on more desperate and downtrodden people. The end of Rezarta didn’t create any more slayers than we had before. It may be creating more magic-handlers, as the Resettlement appears to have precipitated a tremendous rise in magical/mundane marriages. The presence of magic-handlers tends to make it more difficult for vampires to feed, but it doesn’t make them cease to exist.
My experiments yielded a breakthrough that could actually lead us to the end of vampire predation, but it’s still a touchy subject to bring up in polite company. We rounded up a dozen vampires during the Rezarta period, and we gave them an alternative to preying on mortals. Now they protect mortals and feed only on donated blood. Many pundits and commentators would have you believe that my vamps can’t be trusted, but in the years since the Resettlement, their human communities have had not a single predation incident between them.
The problem is that since Rezarta no longer exists, I cannot expand my pool of non-predatory vampires except through the occasional capture of one newly turned. To revert older ones back to their human dispositions, I need slayers to capture them, I need facilities to hold them, and I need people to run those facilities. I had all of those things in Rezarta, but now I lack the resources to do what I did before. My staff are all volunteers, and mostly mundanes. They are diligent and enthusiastic, but their abilities are limited.
I want to be able to capture more established predators, and get them back to their humanity. The more vamps we fix, the fewer new ones turned, and the fewer mortals in danger. That extends all the way to the most vulnerable humans, not just the ones who vote and pay property tax. It combats the vampirism curse more effectively than simply finding predators and staking them.
Unfortunately, combating the curse has become just as difficult as it was before Rezarta was founded. We could have had excellent, and now we’re back to merely average. This is the legacy of the Resettlement.