She’s giving birth and is in considerable pain. Her werewolf lover is on one side holding her hand, and her rapist/baby daddy is on her other side, also holding her hand, which is a little odd when you think about it.
She pushes and out pops a beautiful baby boy. Okay, I have personally witnessed births and I can confirm that babies are not beautiful when they come out. They’re water-crinkled, off-color, and covered in what looks like mucus and sriracha sauce.
However, the pain does not lapse. Xanthippe explains that this is part of the prophecy: she’s going to have twins, a boy and a girl. After a bit, the girl pops out. Harlow is concerned because they aren’t crying. Master Smith reassures her that it’s because they have a “high level of inelegance, even at birth”, which is standard for prodigal children.
“What shall you name them, Harlow?” Roswell supported me by holding my shoulder. Jafar shot him a resentful look.
“Yes, Harlow. What shall you name our children?” Uncomfortable tension built in the air (loc. 3404)
Okay. I feel a little bit like I am beating a dead horse here, but HE’S A MOTHERFUCKING RAPIST.
Harlow names the girl Aurora Dawn and the boy Judah Ryne. O…kay. They’re decent names – well, the girl’s name is decent and the boy’s name is atrocious – but this doesn’t really mean much to us, considering that we have no idea why Harlow chose those names or if they have any special significance. And if you’re going to have a Naming Scene, you might as well provide some reason, even if the reason is only “they sound pretty”.
After Harlow and the twins fall asleep, Roswell heads outside the tent with everyone else. He begins talking to someone but because of the general lack of dialogue tags we have no idea who s/he is.
The person explains that their team, including Xanthippe, Zosime, Pallas, her/himself, and others, all are part of a group called The Angels of Sin, which sounds like the title of a pornographic film. They’re all very talented beings with many gifts, and they’ve been around for thousands of years to serve as peacekeepers. And we get…much backstory:
“My son, Avery-Oliver, grew very evil and power hungry. He wished to be among the gods. He fancied a girl who was otherwise infatuated with Von Lon Bach and blindly believed he could become the strongest and greatest man in all the world, and Alyssia would then fall for him. He created a book, Fel Nerr Zu San Vech or The Book of Incomprehensible Pain, which contained such vile and powerful evils, that one could not be near it with out being sickened or killed. After he had wasted nearly six Zapatos of his life devoted to his lust, he went to Alyssia’s home, where she lived with Von and their three children. And when she refused his heart, the last thread was cut. He killed her family, and when my wife, his mother, Ever Pine, tried to calm him, she was also slaughtered. He used a spell of his own device to summon the Hell Gates, unleashing the most heinous of demons. Ultimately, he was killed, but the spell lingered, leaving the world with no chance. After nearly two thirds of all men, women, and children had been killed, we discovered the way to stop it, what needed to be done. Lyssandra, an Angel with the ability to create impenetrable barriers, sealed the book and all its powers inside” (loc. 3442).
If he wants to become the strongest and greatest man in order to win the love of a girl, why is he creating a book called The Book of Incomprehensible Pain? Wouldn’t it make a bit more sense to create that AFTER she rejects him and his life is in shambles? Also, why do these villainous characters summon heinous demons that will kill him? Why do the villains always have to be holding the Idiot Ball?
Anyway, Avery Oliver’s (now suspiciously without the hyphen) soul is tied up within the book, much like the One Ring. Unlike the One Ring, they used his blood to awaken him, much like a horcrux. And then:
“We found Harlow because she is of my descent, but she is a woman.” (loc. 3459)
“Does she have a brother? For only a male descendant can access the books powers.” (loc. 3465)
Gotcha. Sexism. Makes sense.
They chat about powers. Thea can control things from nature, so she’s Mother Nature. Zosime is capable of weather control like Storm…wait, wouldn’t that be the exact same thing as controlling things of nature except much less powerful?
Harlow asks Xanthippe if he has powers. He asks her what book she is interested in and conjures it out of thin air, then explains that he cannot summon Fel Nerr Zu San Vech because it’s impervious to magic, which seems reasonable.
Xanthippe continues his story. Eventually Avery-Oliver returns. He has the book “over his back”. Wait. Is this an extremely large book? Why does it need to be carried over his back? At any rate, this begins the First Demon War which lasts for seven years. They manage to corner Avery-Oliver, so as a last resort he opens the Gates of Hell, believing that he would be able to control everything inside. He isn’t and he’s “overrun”, whatever that means.
Okay. Let me see if I have this straight in my head. Avery Oliver is evil and powerful, even though his name does not inspire fear so much as remind me of a mild-mannered accountant. He creates an evil book, kills a lot of people, summons the Hell Gates, unleashes a bunch of demons, and is temporary killed. Eventually he comes back, and OPENS the Gates of Hell (different gates? Same gates? Who can tell?), releasing demons, except this time he can’t control them for reasons that aren’t clear and is promptly killed for a second time.
He really has a one-track mind. More importantly, how did he unleash a bunch of demons the first time and was more or less fine and the second time it killed him? Or did they kill him the first time, in which case why the fuck would he be stupid enough to open them a second time?
Anyway, Gates of Hell are open and demons are pouring out:
“We knew that we must close it before a truly devastating creature was unleashed.” (loc. 3518)
And they immediately change the subject without discussing whether or how the gates were shut.
Xanthippe pulled from the pocket of his flowing cloak, a strange, slender, and silver device (loc. 3539).
It’s a cell phone. He places a call and chats with Media and explains it’s 5066 NM. I’m not sure what that means but it seems like an awfully short code to tell someone how to travel through time to precisely the correct moment and place in the universe. A vortex forms in the sky and a young man and a young woman come out, the woman doing a front-flip.
Her hair was jet-black with streaks of fluorescent pinks and fuchsias that matched her exquisite eyes, illuminated by face paints (loc. 3551).
There’s more description, but basically they’re both dressed like modern teenagers trying to be unique snowflakes by conforming to shitty fashion trends. We learn the guy is Hippolyte and the girl is Media. Xanthippe asks them how 2011 was. They talk weird.
“We, Hyppolyte and I, were added 76ers game. Seventy six couples got married. Shaque Through rice and missed them all,” (loc. 3569)
Why is it “added” instead of “at a”? Is Breeanna trying to write this phonetically to tell us how they sound, and if that is the case, why does it say Through instead of threw since these two words are identically pronounced and why is it unnecessarily capitalized and why does it say Shaque when his nickname is Shaq and why is Hippolyte misspelled?
“Cute babies, Thea. I see you haven’t lost the postpartum weight yet though,” Media scoffed (loc. 3571).
Probably a snap judgment, but I have the feeling that she might be a bitch.
Thea explains the babies aren’t hers.
“Well, my bad,” Media elongated the word my, making point that heavy sarcasm was afoot. “Could’a fooled me, the way you whore around.” (loc. 3574)
Xanthippe calms everyone down, explains that Avery-Oliver has the book and they have to stop him.