Deep in the heart of one of the world’s largest cities sits Mansbridge High, a high school with a proud pedigree. Once the jewel of the state’s educational system, the school has fallen on hard times and under the thumb of a rough student body. Under funded and understaffed, it is on every politician’s shortlist for immediate demolition.
Mansbridege High symbolizes the worst of inner city life: gang violence, vandalism, drugs and crime. The school is a recipe for trouble for any of its eight hundred students -- and the perfect place to hide its newest secret: a night school for Vampires.
The Night Students do not mix with the day students.
Each Vampire is responsible for his fellow clan-member. If one falls, they all fall.
Never question Murdoch’s authority.
Do not meddle in the affairs of man.
Basic nature can be controlled and ultimately changed through education.
The humanization of Vampires requires a comprehensive study of humans themselves: their history, laws, basic nature, poetry, music, and of course affairs of the heart.
This last category is the most difficult for a Vampire as it is an assault on his basic nature which is to distrust, to distance himself and ultimately vanquish those who would draw near.
There is a final part of the curriculum that is almost a paradox of the entire experiment in humanization – and that is to learn to annihilate their enemy, the FURY in their final confrontation.
The human martial arts are inadequate to protect this last hope of the CONVOCATION and so the students are schooled in a very ancient art of self-defence: MIRAT.
Long buried in the ancient tombs of their ancestors, this powerful tool has been disclosed by the Elders who have protected its secret for over 1,000 years. It is the only weapon that can defeat the FURY but in the wrong hands, it can turn the world into a fiery hell from which it would never recover.
And therein lies the ultimate contradiction of the Mansbridge experiment: to enlighten these young creatures to protect and preserve life while at the same time empowering them to ruthlessly and systematically take it.
When not studying their lessons in secret by night, the Vampires are boarded in nearby tenements and hostels in the inner city. There is a risk to having them live at large in a human world, but the Elders believe that to isolate them would be to prolong the experiment: they must learn to observe humans close-hand, to learn their mannerisms, their figures of speech and to develop fundamental social skills.
Before daybreak each morning, the Vampire students make their exit from the basement windows of the high school and wind their way through the back-alleys of the ghetto to their lodgings. Murdoch worries most about this nightly exodus as any one of them could find themselves in some kind of trouble – and that trouble could lead to their responding in classic Vampire style.
Such an incident would draw immediate notice not only of the authorities but also of the Fury. And there goes the experiment and the war lost before the ultimate battle was ready to be fought.
Each Vampire is therefore warned to avoid trouble and not to mingle in human affairs. NO MATTER WHAT.
Easier said than done in a neighborhood where gang warfare, drugs and violence are a way of life.
THE DRAMATIC ARC
Surrounded by human conflict and the sad state of man, the Night School Vampires often see little difference between man’s basic nature and that of their own: desperate, violent, quick to kill.
To become human then, to have compassion for one’s fellows, is not reserved only for the Vampire race, but for the human race as well.
STYLE AND FORMAT
Though the subject matter of the series is highly dramatic, with high stakes, studying to become human is not without its humorous moments as the Vampires fall prey to the same foibles as everyday mortals. The lesson becomes obvious: that a sense of humor is an essential part of the human experience.