Under the cover of the night, Iowa walked to Maxwell’s lab. There was no doubt that she wasn’t there. Iowa knew that woman better than anyone. He knocked on the entrance and waited.” I didn’t expect to see you again. At least, not with you being willing,” Maxwell said as she opened the door.” So what brings you here?”
Iowa showed her his arm.” I want you to remove these.”
Iowa sat on a table.” So you can’t just pull them out?” He shook his head.” It’s painful.”
“Can you describe the pain?”
Iowa paused to think. Every time he pulled on the vines, he felt a sense a great dread. It even brought him to tears. Besides that, pulling anything out your body was unpleasant.
“I feel... bad.”
“I see,” Maxwell deadpanned,” Did you anger a fairy of some sort?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“Then what would you say?”
“A reaper. A reaper did this to me.”
Maxwell nearly laughed. Instead, she just stared at Iowa’s arm, tracing over the vines.” So that Marcus man is real. Interesting.”
“You know about him already?”
“Of course I do. It is my job to know. My question is what he wants with you.”
“Am I wrong in assuming you already do?”
This time, she did laugh. Iowa was right. However, there was nothing she could do. She was powerless against the son of a demigod.
“You’ll have to ask him to stop. I can’t do anything.”
“You heard me.”
Maxwell held Iowa’s arm to his eye level.” You have to deal with this on your own. Consider it a part of your emancipation.”
Iowa pulled his arm away with his other.” Forget it, I’m leaving!”
“Oh, no you’re not.”
Just then, Maxwell placed her hands on Iowa’s core. Through her fingertips, electricity flowed from her body to his. Iowa shrieked until he was rendered unconscious. Maxwell then laid Iowa on the table.
Marcus liked visiting Lolli, it seemed. This time, he invited her to go to the park with her. He wanted to “show her something special.” But Lolli was more concerned about where Iowa had gone. Plus, she was hungry. “You are? I don’t mind cooking for you,” Marcus had told her. But Lolli didn’t trust his food. He had lead her deeper into the forest. Marcus had made some soup on a campfire. He didn’t have a tent in sight, either. A bowl filled with greenish liquid was placed in front of her.” So, what is this?” She asked.
“I used a lot of herbs and some shrimp and tomatoes.” Marcus answered. Lolli brought the bowl to her lips and gagged. She hated things that weren’t sweet.
“Ah, so you don’t like it.” Lolli felt afraid again.” That’s alright, I suppose.” Marcus took the bowl away. “I’ll just have to eat it myself.” He poured it’s contents back into the pot. “I’m sorry, Marcus,” Lolli said.
“It’s alright. You can’t lie to your soul. That’s why I like you so much.”
“Then again, your soul isn’t very genuine.”
“What are you talking about, Marcus?”
“There’s a quality that makes it different.”
Finally, he stopped. He turned and smiled at Lolli, fully attendant. “I really can’t understand you,” Lolli told him. “You don’t have greed like other humans. You seem to be made of pure curiosity. And I doubt the creator would make such a mistake. You’re here for a reason.” He said. But that didn’t make sense to Lolli either. She clutched Fluffy tight- though he was in her arms the whole time.” I have no reason to touch you, Lolli. You’re a good human. But faulty.” Marcus’s smile grew into a grin.” I can’t wait to see what you bring to me!”