The Grandmaster's Mansion, Forgotten Hollow, 2028
Lauren's funeral ashes were kept in a jar at the Grandmaster's mansion. It was placed above a fireplace opposite where Paris sat contemplating. It had been two months since Lauren's funeral and it had been two months since Paris left the mansion.
There was a knock on the door. Paris ignored it. The knock turned to a persistent thumping. Paris narrowed her eyes in frustration.
Damn you Edith! Reluctantly, Paris eased herself off the couch and headed over to the front door.
She opened it to discover Edith's furious face. "Paris," she growled, "we need to talk, whether you like it or not."
"No," said Paris, "you are not starting a war against a teenager."
"That teenager," cried Edith, "murdered two thirds of our nieces and nephews!"
"I know!" Paris replied. Her eyes scoped the area. "Let's take this conversation inside."
Edith stepped inside, closing the door behind her.
She shook her head. "Is Lauren's death not worth avenging?"
"Of course and I'd gladly avenge her death, but I will not kill a teenage boy."
"Then we shall wait till he's twenty!"
"Charlize!" sung Gemma, waltzing over to the caged Duchess of Newcrest.
"What?" sighed Charlize, exhausted from all the activities Talula had commanded her to do, using the voodoo doll.
That woman is one big child! she thought, thinking back to the latest activity involving a bouncy castle and hot air-balloons.
"Oh no need to be grumpy. I could be here to tell you that your daughter McKenzie is engaged to King Eduard of Champ Les Sims."
Charlize raised her head.
"But.... no! I'm about to give you good news - although it is... fiendishly delightful."
"Oh." Charlize lowered her eyes.
"Oh stop it!" sighed Gemma. "The news is reassuringly delicious... for us, that is."
Gemma stepped closer to the unamused Charlize, who pretended to ignore her.
"You see, Charlize, my son, the King, is eighteen today, and you know what that means? He gains absolute power over the throne. Oh it's hard not to be a proud mother." Gemma beamed. "And yes I have plenty planned for him. As you well know, we wish to maintain the Royal line of Evil Geniuses. Just imagine, Charlize, my little king ruling the world, the good old fashioned 'Evil Genius' way. Living it up in the Royal Palace, surrounded by Evil Genius princelings."
"And... the kids will be his, I assume?" said Charlize and she raised an eyebrow.
"Why yes! Who else would they belong to?"
"Any particular... partner.... you have in mind for him?"
"No!" said Gemma. "I'll let him decide, but he must choose someone closely aligned with us. Maintaining these alliances is crucial if you want to succeed as a world leader."
"Can't he just be happy ruling Simsland?"
"No!" cried Gemma, "and because you have deeply offended us, I shall tell you your first real assignment will not be pleasant."
"But your first assignment is not for a while."
Charlize relaxed, but was still uneasy.