Evil Geniuses' Camping Grounds, Granite Falls, 2028
The Evil Geniuses, with the addition of Cas (who had arrived that morning confused, as she thought she'd been heading for Champ Les Sims), lined up for battle against the Sweglords, who stood waiting in front of the Granite Falls river. Lauren's cousins, nieces and nephews had arrived the previous night from San Myshuno at Lauren's request. They had been waiting for the Evil Geniuses to come out of their lodging for over an hour. There were about twice as many Sweglords as there were Evil Geniuses. Lauren you have no idea how much family we're going to lose today, thought Henry. His stomach churned at the thought.
“Shouldn’t we wait to fight till morning? It’s been a long day and everyone might be tired,” said Luka.
“Oh yes,” said Alex. “I’m sure everyone’s very tired – particularly all the jetlagged family Lauren hired.”
Lauren stood at the front of the block of Hellewells and Healys (her mother's side of the family).
Alex stood between Luka and Adrian, his closest friends after Henry.
Both Lauren and Alex stared at each other for a moment.
"How do you like my hat, Lauren?" said Alex.
"Ridiculous!" Adrian replied.
"How about ...'distracting?'" Alex teased.
"Who cares about your stupid hat!" snapped Lauren. "As long as you don't mind being seen dead in it! Shall we begin?"
“You tell me,” Alex replied.
The Grandmaster's Mansion, Forgotten Hollow, 2028
Paris sat wearily on the sofa. Every inch of her body felt heavy, as if a giant weight was slowly crushing her.
“Paris?” Lilith appeared in the archway.
“Lilith - you’re still here,” Paris twitched.
“Oh… uhm… you asked me to hangout with you.”
“Did I?” Paris said vaguely. “I might have done that.” I must have wanted advice about how to deal with dreary children, she thought. Been having trouble knowing what to say to the parents at parent-teacher interviews and Lilith might know what to say, since she's another energy-sapping person.
Lilith crept closer to Paris. “Is anything the matter?”
Paris bowed her head, her eyes peered gloomily up at Lilith. “I got a call from Alex…”
Lilith gasped, “What did he say? Is there peace?”
Paris shook her head. “Far from it… they had a bit of a fight - slaughtered much of our family… and Lauren’s missing... I thought Alex wanted the same thing... peace between Evil Geniuses and Sweglords... I guess not!”
“Oh Paris!” Lilith muttered. “I’m... sorry!” Although Lilith wasn't so sure Alex was entirely to blame. If only Paris was aware of Lauren's murderous tendencies, she may never have sent the Sweglords to Granite Falls.