Okay, so obviously, I've gotta start by apologizing for leaving this story for so long. I don't know why it took me almost a year to find the motivation to write this out, but alas, it's here. For anyone who reviewed the second chapter all that time ago, it's much appreciated.

Hope you enjoy!


Chapter Three -
Village Of The Dead

The bright yellow sun was shining heavily from the clear blue sky. The air was pretty warm to the touch, and overall, it was a day you simply couldn't spend inside. So, to get the girls out of the house and temporarily away from recent events, Dru thought it would be a good idea to take them out to the nearby park.

And to give him credit, it seemed to be a success so far, since the moment they took their first step outside, Edith and Agnes brightened up a tonne. Maybe it was escaping the confines of the house, or maybe it was the happy atmosphere of the sunny world outside, but they'd been possessing wide smiles the entire way there. Dru had to admit it, he absolutely loved seeing their little faces glow joyfully.

However, the same couldn't be said for Margo, who was, unfortunately, growing more and more depressed by the second. Even though it made him feel a little guilty, Dru decided that he would rather just not look at her, since every time he did, he couldn't help but join her in that pit of worry.

Don't get him wrong, he completely understood. Even though he'd only known her for about half-a-year, he'd comfortably concluded that Margo was just a worrier. She always got herself worked up over things, and no matter how hard she tried, the prospect of things going wrong always got to her.

Though he absolutely loved her for the person that she was and he would never want her changing herself or her personality for anything, Dru couldn't help but wish that she didn't hold that trait.

Finally, the four of them made it to the local park, which was completely empty. One had to question why, considering it was a super sunny day and this neighborhood was predominantly made up of families with children. Either way, they weren't going to say anything. Having the whole park to themselves wasn't a thing to complain about.

As they all made their way down the small, concrete path, Dru's eyes were caught by a certain something in the distance, and the squeal that emitted from his voicebox was almost enough to damage the hearing of everyone within his vicinity.

"Yoo deedn't tell me dis place had a JUNGLE GYM!"

Not wasting a moment, Dru raced over to the aforementioned structure and leaped up on to them, climbing across the bars at pace. He absolutely used to love these as a kid. Simply just seeing them now brought back memories of his childhood, when his father would endlessly pressure him into climbing faster or with more agility.

Looking back, Robert was probably hoping he would grow up into an expert climber if he used these from a young age, something that could probably aid with perpetrating villainous heists and the like.

That may also explain why he always seemed so disappointed when he would slowly crawl across them...

Either way, with all of that time spent practicing as a kid, and through all of the experience he'd gained over the past few months while conducting some of his own heists, he'd actually developed into a pretty decent climber, evident by how quick he could traverse this jungly gym nowadays. Even though it was a skill so small, he couldn't deny that he was kind of proud of it.

"Hey! Wait up!"

His attention caught by the young voice calling, Dru turned and watched as Edith ran up and climbed the bars with him, very quickly making her way up to his position. Within around seven or eight seconds, she was hanging off the bar just in front of him, looking at her uncle with a proud grin.

"Woah..." Dru gawked, smiling a little back at her. "I deedn't know yoo were good at climbeeng."

"I'm good at lot's of things." The tomboy replied, shrugging before throwing herself across a few other bars, some of which she did one-handed. "Plus, ninjas have gotta be good climbers. Otherwise, they'll get captured and stuff."

"Hah, of course." Dru replied, chuckling a little as he pulled himself upwards and sat on one of the bars. "Now eet makes sense. Can yoo do dis?"

Intrigued, Edith turned and watched as her uncle twisted his way through several bars, going at an almost blurred speed. After a second, he threw himself back down to the floor and rolled comfortably onto his feet, before looking up at the nine-year-old with a challenging smirk.

"Pfft...easy." Edith mocked, as she accepted the challenge and launched herself across a multitude of bars. In an attempt to out-do Dru, she added a few unnecessary twists and turns in places, swiftly flowing through the gaps with flair and ease. However, in a momentary lapse of judgment, she lost her grip and fell dangerously towards the floor, making the girl fearfully yell a little.

Thankfully, she fell right above where Dru was standing, and the blonde villain easily caught her in his arms before she hit the ground.

"Woah, woah. Jeez, dat was lucky." Dru replied. For a moment, Edith looked up at him with a small look of gratitude, but upon remembering her failure, frowned and turned her head away in a sulk. "Let's not go crazy weeth de climbeeng. We don't want yoo breakeeng your spine now, do we?"

Huffing, Edith leaped back down to her feet and crossed her arms, staring down at her pink jumper with an irate expression.

"It's just 'cause I'm wearing this. That would never have happened if I had my ninja costume."

Chuckling, Dru shook his head and smiled as he watched the tomboy climb back up and swing across the bars at the same speed as before, seemingly unfazed by the fall. He had to admire her fearless spirit. That courageous attitude she held that he'd always struggled with possessing.

In a way, he sort of envied her...especially with last night's revelation.

Within a moment, his worries came flooding back. Those same ones that possessed his thoughts last night and this morning. They came to him as if it was just on cue. Doubts and questions spun around his head at speed, toying manically with his feelings.

What if they don't come back? What if you lose your brother and sister-in-law? What if the girls are orphaned again?

What if your whole life FALLS APART?

With that thought, Dru shook his head and pushed himself out of that pit, the same darkened, upsetting one that he kept falling into. In an attempt to improve his mentality, the blonde spun and tried locking his eyes onto something, just so he could concentrate on something else.

What use was he to the girls if he was just a nervous wreck? They didn't need to see his stupid upset face when they had their own worries to deal with.

Nope, he had to keep himself happy!

As he continued rotating his line of sight across his surroundings, he caught a glimpse of Agnes nearby, the youngest sister making her way towards the swingset with a giggle. Smiling, he followed and ran in her direction, just as she turned to look up at him with an expression of excitement.

"Can you push me, Uncle Dru?"

"Sureeee theeng, kiddo!" He replied loudly, as he scooped her up and placed her inside the swing. "Now, how do yoo wanna be pushed? Do you want de leetle gurl swing or de big gurl swing?"

Lowering her head in thought for a moment, Agnes scrunched her face up tight, as if she was wracking her brain senseless. It was as if this decision was the most important one of her life, something that Dru couldn't help but giggle a little at.

"BIG girl swing!" She exclaimed, jumping up and down a little.

"Are yoo surreeee? Because de big gurl swing ees gonna be fassstttt?"

"Uh...well..." She lowered her head again, making that same concentrated expression from before. "How fast is it?"

"Dis fast!" Before the six-year-old could even register what was happening, Dru flung his arms forward and then jumped out of the way, as the swing flew back and forth at speed. An audible waft of wind sounded as it went past, and for a moment, Dru thought he'd maybe overdone it.

But when he heard Agnes's giggle loudly and cheer with elation, he was proved incorrect.

"This is so AWESOMEEEE!" She yelled. "I LOVE the big girl swing!"

Chuckling, Dru shared glances between the two younger siblings, the both of them smiling and laughing happily while consumed by their activities. Seeing them happy never ceased to give Dru that elated feeling inside. It was as if their joy was the medicine to all of life's issues.

But, there was still one sibling unaccounted for, and even though he already knew what she'd look like right now, Dru spun and snatched a glance of Margo. She was sitting alone on the bench, her head down low and her back slouched sadly. With that sight, the blonde uncle decided that he'd officially had enough of her dejection.

She shouldn't have to feel like this while her sisters are contented and happy. It simply wasn't fair.

Upon agreeing to the idea of coming to the park, Margo originally thought that it would provide her with a distraction away from the world. Unfortunately, it wasn't panning out that way. When they usually came to the park, her and Gru would always search around for rare flowers in the field, something that he knew was her favorite pass-time activity.

However, without him here, that idea no longer sounded appealing.

She was really trying to be happy right now. To just forget about the situation like her sisters were doing. But for her, the concept of forgetting worries had always been a challenge, ever since she'd lost her biological parents. Maybe it was because she could remember the day so vividly. Since Edith and Agnes were quite young, it appeared that the day when they lost their biological parents had been lost in their heads. But for her, it was a different story.

Because of that, she couldn't help but fear that feeling. That almost unbearable feeling of grief that accompanies losing a loved one. Even when Gru and Lucy simply left for work to complete their usual standard AVL missions, some part of Margo grew fearful.

I guess that's why she always filled up with relief when they came back through the door. It was another day of everything being great.

Another day of having parents...

"Margo?" The twelve-year-old jumped a little and looked up, as her uncle dropped on the bench space beside her. "Are we feeleeng okay?"

"Oh...uh...yeah, I'm fine." She replied, shrugging as her head fell again. "I was just...thinking."

"Hmm, well...how about we do less theenkeeng, and...start haveeng more fun!" Margo looked up at him for a moment, her face still solemn and downcast, before dropping her head again with another prolonged sigh. "Come on, Margo. Yoo know de rules of de park. No frowny faces allowed, only super happy joyous smiles!"

At this point, just wanting to be left alone for a little while, Margo looked up at him and presented a fake toothy smile, as well as raising her shoulders to add to the authenticity. However, Dru saw right through it, and upon realizing that he really wasn't going to get through to her with words, wrapped his arms tightly around her side.

He held her close for a few seconds, in the hopes of absorbing her pain away, but he knew that this was a situation he simply couldn't solve. He just wasn't skilled enough with consoling to be of any support here.

He really would be a terrible father...

"Hey, Dru!" Edith called, gathering his attention. "Race ya 'round the park!"

"Ooo, yoo're on!" He called back, his smile quickly returning. Excited, he jumped back up onto his feet and was about to dash over to her, but at the last moment, stopped himself and turned back towards Margo. After he'd let go, she squirmed a little and dropped her head for the umpteenth time, staring at her feet sadly.

He couldn't leave her like that. He had to give cheering her up one last go.

"Margo, look..." He began, kneeling down to her level and attracting her attention. "I know dis ees hard to deal weeth and everytheeng ees pretty...scary, right now. But yoo can't be spendeeng de rest of your life worryeeng about de future. Eef theengs do go wrong, den we can all deal weeth eet together when eet happens. But right now, we just have to smile and enjoy yourselves. Otherwise...yoo're gonna regret eet."

Turning away, Margo simply considered his words, understanding fully that he had a point. She shouldn't be sitting here worrying. She shouldn't be all sad and down when everyone else is enjoying the present. She shouldn't allow her fears to hold all control of her actions.

But, unfortunately, while her fears are in control, there wasn't much choice at her disposal.

Reaching out and putting a hand on her shoulder, Dru spoke one last time in possibly the softest voice she'd heard him use, one of which kind of reminded her of someone...

"No matter what kiddo, yoo're not gonna be alone. Just...remember dat, okay?"

With that, Dru stood back up and ran over to Edith, who was bouncing on the spot impatiently. Margo watched closely as he raced her tomboy sister, managing to keep up with her blistering pace very well. As they ran past Agnes by the swingset, which had now slowed down to a crawl, he gave her a quick, powerful push and carried on running, as both her sisters giggled happily.

He was a very good uncle. She had to give him that. All three of them were truly lucky to have met Gru, Lucy, and Dru, three people that always seemed to lift their spirits.

What would she do without them all...?

"Hey, Margo!" A voice chirped beside her, startling the twelve-year-old to no-end. "How's it going?"

It was Avery, Margo's best-friend. She would always come to the park with her little brothers, so it was no surprise to see her here. Sure enough, she caught a glimpse of one of her siblings near the swingset, simply gawking at Agnes's super-speedy swinging.

"Oh...uh...yeah, great!" Margo replied, re-equipping that prior fake smile as Avery jumped up on to the bench with her. "How about you?"

"Pretty good." She responded, shrugging. "Just tired from all the homework we got last week. It should be illegal to give out that many math questions."

"Haha...yeah." Margo responded, turning away a little. In truth, she was actually quite happy they were given so much work to do. It sort of helped to take her mind off of stuff.

"So, where's your mom and dad? Don't you usually come with them?"

"They're...away." That was probably the best way for Margo to put it. I mean, how else can you say 'gone on a flight to Portugal to take down one of the biggest and most lethal cults known to man so that they can keep their jobs at an organization that fights villains' in a simple way? "So...our uncle brought us today."

She pointed over to Dru, who was desperately gasping for air as Edith pointed and taunted him with a smile, probably because she'd won the race. It didn't appear Dru had much of a problem with that though, considering how much he was laughing...

"Woah, he looks so much like your dad." Avery marveled, laughing a little. "Except for, y'know...the baldness."

"Yeah...I guess." She replied, shrugging. Edith was now seemingly using Dru as her new set of monkey bars, based on the fact that she was climbing all over him at speed. It appeared his muscles couldn't take much of it, since after a few seconds, the two of them fell to the floor in a fit of giggles. "I mean, they are kinda similar, but...

"...they're just not the same."


As the designated AVL car came to a stop, Gru and Lucy jumped out into the coarse dirt below, dead leaves crunching underfoot. The cold night air immediately pressed hard against their skin, even though they were donned in their usual thick attire. Considering that Portugal was usually quite a warm country, even at night, it was odd that this forest was so...chilly.

After taking a moment to examine the woodland around them, the couple turned to thank the driver of the vehicle, but before they could even open their mouths, he pressed his foot on the gas and sped away at speed. The distant sound of a car engine and tires screeching emerged after a little while, but within a few seconds, was replaced with total silence.

Obviously, he didn't want to be around here for any longer than required...

"Well...dat's a confidence booster." Gru muttered, giving a small sigh. After sharing a glance with his wife, who anxiously returned it, the former villain spun his head around his surroundings, surveying the scene. They'd been dropped off around 200 meters from The Surto's village, because according to the driver, getting any closer was a very dangerous decision. Apparently, any vehicles that get too close just...disappear.

Suffice to say, that driver wasn't very much fun to converse with.

"So...shall we..." Lucy mumbled, trying to catch a glance through the trees, but only being met with blinding darkness. "...get started."

"Yes..." Gru replied, stepping forward with a small shiver, either from the cold or his rampant nerves. "Good idea..."

After equipping their night vision goggles, the couple trudged their way through the pitch-black forest, the eerie sound of complete and total silence causing them deep fear. Surely there should at least be wildlife around here, right? Or...a species of insect? Like a cricket or something?

Well, judging on the complete lack of sound, only trees populated this area now...

Eventually, they emerged out of the trees and come face to face with tall, dark fencing, that seemed to expand far into the distance. They moved forward and investigated the scene closely, where they caught sight of the fence gate, accompanied by a little grey speaker. That must be the entrance, and judging on the speakerphone, a password was required to be granted access.

So then...why had the gates been left open?

"I really don't like this, Gru..." Lucy whispered, shaking her head as she came to a stop. "This...I mean...just none of this seems right. Can't we...go back to the hotel and...tell them we failed and just...go home. I don't wanna lose the girls over some stupid AVL mission, Gru. I don't wanna lose the girls at all. I just wanna...I just wanna-"

"Lucy. Stop eet." Gru stated firmly, grasping onto her shoulders, as she looked up at him with an expression of panic. "We can't give up. We don't give up. We've never given up een de entire time we've been together, and I'll be darned eef we're gonna start now. Dis cult might've killed a bunch of weak agents, but we aren't weak. Yoo know dat. Just...where's dat Lucy dat doesn't take notheeng from nobody and kicks de butt of every bad guy een sight? Because...I really need her right now."

Staring at the floor for a moment, Lucy took in a long breath and calmed herself down, steadying her nerves. After a little while, she nodded and looked back up at her husband, a venomous frown consuming her face.

"You're right." She stated, balling her fists together. "Let's show these guys what we're made of..."

Grinning, Gru returned the nod and punched the air, a sudden surge of adrenaline pumping through his veins.

"Now dat's de spirit."

Pacing quietly through the open gates, the two entered the village, which apart from the extreme lack of light sources, just looked like any old standard village. A myriad of wooden houses surrounded them, with the odd more modernized structure standing in some places, but overall, the entire place was a little overwhelming.

"Where should we start?" Lucy questioned, glancing at her husband.

"I...am not sure. Dis leader guy could be anywhere een dis place." Gru replied, giving a little shrug. After a moment, his eyes caught onto the nearest wooden house, which appeared to be rotting away with dampness. "I guess...we can start dere."

The two crept over to the building and tried opening the door, which pretty much fell of its hinges. The smell that instantly trapped in their noses was enough to make Gru gag out of pure disgust. The air was totally clouded with all forms of flying bugs, and throughout the entire room, maggots were crawling and digging into every piece of furniture.

Bowls containing rotting fruits and vegetables had been left on the tables, and laying on the floor, plates holding molded stains of...something were scattered all around. A picture frame containing a torn-up photo of a family hung loosely on the wall, and placed awkwardly on a nearby chair, was half of a striped shirt.

Whatever happened to the other half, that was undeterminable...

"I'm gonna throw up..." Gru mumbled, holding a hand across his mouth as he turned and left the building quickly. It didn't take long for Lucy to follow him out, not before giving the interior one last thorough search with her gaze.

If this leader guy really was hiding in here, then it would be a wonder how he hadn't rotted away with the place.

They gave a few of the other houses a quick search, but after being met with the exact same disgusting sights, decided that it was no longer worth bothering. Instead, they made their way towards the nearest of two modern buildings, the both of which again held no trace of light.

They opened up the door to the structure, and thankfully, the inside of this building was clean and well taken care of. Tables holding computes were scattered around in places, and even some pieces of healthy-looking unrecognizable plant life were sitting in pots. When compared to the other buildings, it was hard to believe that this belonged to the same village.

Splitting up, the two agents investigated each half of the room, in order to more efficiently examine the place. Gru started by taking a look around at some of the desks, which all held random issues of newspapers and magazines, nothing too strange of note.

All apart for one, which held a large beige-colored folder, laying there as if someone had absentmindedly threw it on there. Curious, Gru made his way over and picked it up, not wasting any time in opening it and examining the contents. Inside was a single piece of A4 paper, which he swiftly removed and read.

CASE #1834:

Recruit S-R has informed us of phase 4. Boss has been alerted. Profiles being burned for confidentiality reasons. Once case has been completed, return this folder to the 'Completed' file cabinet. Before then, ensure to keep this document safe and secured.

Totally unsure of what it was referring to or what any of that even meant, Gru shrugged and placed it back down, deciding to just move on and start searching the next nearest desk. Even though the two of them arrived with the intention of possibly gathering answers, they were so far only being provided with a bunch of new questions.

Lucy had started by searching a few desks, just like Gru had been doing, but after her attention was caught by a series of pinned-up notes on the wall, she found more interest in examining those. Unfortunately, a lot of them had been ripped up and torn apart in places, obscuring some of the words and the meaning of them as a whole.

Whether that was intentional or not, who knows...?

Either way, Lucy read as much of them as possible, in the hopes of finding something that could provide more context to where she and Gru even were or why this was happening. She decided to start with the one that actually hadn't been destroyed, since obviously, that one would hold the most clarity.

JGIC-09: COMPLETED.
JGIC-11: COMPLETED.
ILE-26: COMPLETED.
BMA-7: COMPLETED.
MWSS43-4: PENDING.

Welp, so much for clarity...

Shaking her head and giving a slight sigh of irritation, Lucy moved onto the other notes, deciding that it wasn't even worth trying to decipher those random set of letters and numbers.

ALL OF US, AS ... TREATED EACH ... OUR DIFFERENCES IN GOALS BEING UNKNOWN. BUT, WHEN WE ... AND PUNY, WE CHOSE ... FUTURE OF THE CHILDREN ... STRONGER WILL, WE KILLED ... TO ENSLAVE SOME. NOW ... OURSELVES, THE NEXT PLAN OF ... AND CLAIM THIER ... START WITH JGIC-09. FROM ... WILL EXPAND OUR ... AS POSSIBLE. FOR THE ... WILL BE KNOWN. ... BE FEARED. WILL BE VICTORIOUS.

As she guessed, without every single word, the note made absolutely no sense. She took a few seconds to think about it, to try and fill in the gaps, but it really was an impossible task. Rolling her eyes, she moved onto the next note, giving them one last chance to start making sense.

... IS QUITE A ... EXPANSES OF ... RIGHT ACROSS IT. IT TRULY IS A PLACE TO ... QUITE WEAK. I SAY WE ... AS OUR FIFTH.

With that one literally making even less sense than the last, Lucy was finding herself growing more and more frustrated, evident by how tight her fists were scrunched up. She wished something in this stupid place could just provide some form of context. Something that would help give her the answers without the need for useless guessing games. However, it appeared her wish was not going to be fulfilled.

The rest of the notes on the wall, just like the ones she'd read so far, were all a random collection of words.

"Well...dis room ees a bust." Gru mumbled, as he tiredly wandered over to Lucy.

"You can say that again." She replied, turning to her husband. Sighing, she pointed over at the far wall behind them, where a grey door stood there ominously. "Let's see if the others give us more than just a series of stupid little notes."

Nodding, the two traversed through the room and opened it, where they were met with a short corridor. Again, it was totally pitch black, and the only things to occupy it, were six doors of the exact same color. The couple huffed in unison, before sharing tiresome glances.

"Guess we got another guesseeng game."

"Mm-hmm. How fun."

Thankfully, this one didn't last as long as the prior search, since five of the doors were completely locked. When they finally did find the one that opened, the contents of the room behind weren't much to celebrate about. It just looked like a standard office with a desk, some furniture, a few cabinets, and a lone gas canister in the corner.

Wait...a lone gas canister?

Sharing perplexed glances, the two hurried over and examined it, a small feeling of hope building up. Maybe this could finally provide some answers. Kneeling down, Gru scanned his gaze across the exterior of the canister, where he was met with a bold label reading 'HALOTHANE VAPOR'.

"Halothane vapor?" Gru read aloud, narrowing his eyes. "Now...where do I recognize dat from?"

However, he didn't have much time to think, since when an odd sizzling sound erupted from it, the couple jumped a little in surprise and took a step backward. Fearful of it exploding, the couple continued to tread further and further away, their eyes locked on the canister closely.

But, when an odd moaning sound came from behind them, they quickly spun and faced the other direction, where they were met with a hunched figure at the door. Not wasting a second, the two of them got into a fighting stance, awaiting the person to lunge or make a move. But, instead, they simply stood there. Continuing to moan, as if they were in pain.

While they stood there, watching the figure closely and attempting to decide upon a plan of action, Gru's face suddenly completely fell, when he realized something very concerning...

"Lucy?"

"Yeah?" She kept her eyes locked on the person at the door, not wanting them out of her sight.

"Uh...I theenk I remember what halothane vapor ees?"

"W-Well...okay, but...is this really the time to be explaining?"

"Uh...well...yeah, 'cause..." At this point, Lucy finally glanced at her husband, and when she saw his drooping eyes and almost comotosed expression, couldn't help but grow extremely concerned. "...I theenk eet's...knockout gas."

At that point, as if on cue, his face totally fell and he passed out onto the floor, hitting the wooden ground hard. Before Lucy had the chance to react, she too was consumed by a huge drowsy feeling, and she joined him in collapsing.

The last thing she heard before everything went black was the canister's sizzling abruptly cutting out and the sound of slow, eased footsteps...


When Lucy finally woke up, her eyes stung from the sudden rays of light surrounding her. At first, she thought someone had a huge flashlight in her face, but when her sight eventually adjusted, she realized it was only a few candles...

...on the other side of the cell bars.

Immediately freaked out, Lucy spun her gaze around the dirty little prison cell she'd been thrown into, and when she noticed her husband wasn't anywhere in sight, jumped up onto her feet out of both shock and fear.

For a few seconds, she was completely unsure of what to do, what with the question of 'where the hell is my husband' spinning around her head. But when her eyes finally caught sight of a guard facing away from her, their backs placed against the walls beside the bars, an instant surge of anger pulsed through her.

"HEY!" She screamed, running over and peaking her head out of the cell. "YOU BETTER LET ME OUTTA HERE, OR I SWEAR TO GOD, I'LL CRUSH EVERY BONE IN YOUR PATHETIC LITTLE BODY!"

They didn't even react. Not even a muscle twitched in his face. That just proved to fuel Lucy's rage.

"DON'T YOU DARE IGNORE ME! YOU CAN'T IGNORE ME! I'LL...I'LL...MAKE YOU REGRET EVEN...EVEN BEING BORN!"

Again, not an ounce of a reaction. It was as if they were completely deaf. Maybe they were deaf. How would she know? There were no stones or rocks on the floor to throw at them, all of her possessions had been taken off of her, and every idea of escape she conjured in her head currently seemed impossible.

Now, she felt the worry return. The worry she'd been trying to hide, to suffocate, as Gru had told her to do.

Gru...

Where was he? Was he okay? Was he in another cell? Had he been hurt?

Had the cult made him...disappear?

Feeling the tears catch in her eyes, the AVL agent fell and sat against the wall, holding her head tightly. Now that he wasn't here, her fears were regaining complete control of her thought process. Every single one that passed through her head threw her further and further into a pit of worry, something she'd been struggling to stay out of this entire time.

This couldn't be happening. Please, someone, tell her this wasn't happening. This truly was the end, wasn't it? She'd been trying to tell herself it would be okay, just as Gru had told her on the balcony a few hours ago.

"We gotta believe in ourselves! Eef we theenk we're goeeng to die, den we will die."

Well, it appeared he was right. From the moment they landed in Portugal, Lucy thought they were going to die. When they entered the AVL hotel, she thought they wouldn't be coming home. When they arrived in front of the village's tall fencing, she thought the girls were going to be orphaned...

...and now, those thoughts were going to become a reality.

Now crying hard, Lucy lifted her head and caught a glance through the barred window in the wall, struggling to see through the almost blinding wave of tears. From behind it, she could see a small light coming from the distance. It appeared to be emanating from a nearby building, possibly the modern one that they never had the chance to investigate...

"Where are you, Gru?" She whispered, her voice cracking up. "Just...where are you?"


As Gru's mind regained consciousness and he opened his eyes, he was pretty much forced to close them again when they were met with a blinding light. He shook his head for a few seconds, trying to get out of the intense beam of total white, but eventually, when his eyes built up the resistance to open up without pain, Gru had the chance to examine his surroundings.

He was tied up in what appeared to be a dentist's chair. Right in front of his face was a large spotlight, being manned by a figure in a hood. Surrounding him, three other tattered up people stood there, their expressions looking almost lifeless. With their slacked posture, they reminded him quite a bit of the figure at the door, when he was investigating the room with his wife.

His wife...?

"Wh...where..." Gru stuttered, as he turned his gaze around the derelict room in front of him, spitting his words out venomously at the four people controlling the spotlight. "Where am I? What's goeeng on!? Where ees my wife!?"

"She is in safe hands, Felonious. You have no reason to be panicked." An olive-skinned man donned in a white lab-coat strutted into view, giving Gru a coy smirk. The AVL agent narrowed his eyes threateningly at him, in an attempt to scare him into setting him free. He wasn't having much luck. "Now, may I request that you keep your voice down? I don't appreciate how rude you are being."

"I do not give one, yoo idiot!" Gru yelled, thrusting forward in his locked position. "Let me out of dis god-damn chair before I MAKE YOO!"

"Hmm...well, I tried the polite route. Never seems to be an effective measure." The man spoke, grinning as he nodded his head at the four men. "Guess we'll have to silence you with...different methods."

Before Gru could shout out another threat, the hooded figure lunged and stabbed an injection into his arm, immediately sending a spark of great pain up the AVL agent's arm. For a moment, Gru could feel himself freaking out. Complete terror taking over his body. But, soon, it disappeared. And along with it, so did every other possible feeling...

The color in his face fell and the life in his expression completely disappeared. His pupils dilated and his veins faded into a darkened shade of grey.

As every muscle in his body went limp, the man in the white-lab-coat stared on with a grin, a quiet chuckle escaping his voicebox.

"Now...that did the trick."


Well...

I hope you enjoyed.

All reviews are seriously appreciated. Will update ASAP.