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Epic - A Huge Novel19.7.11
A multi-layered, asynchronous tale of monsoon romances, ancient religious conspiracies and quantum mechanical behaviour.
Epic - Part V - Chapter 1
The Girl with the Girl Who Played with the Girl Who Kicked the Girl with a Thousand Hardcovers
Maria Frederica Morales wasn't really brought up as a typical freelance assassin. Which is to say that her parents Raul and Maritza Morales always wanted her not to entertain the idea of joining the family occupation and instead always urged her to concentrate on more professionally, financially and socially... well... amiable fields of suburban-friendly, dinner-party entertainable professions such as particle physics or global capital market analysis or evolutionary paleontology, etc.
Pfftt... she'd have none of it.
(Actually she majored in all three from Ivy League colleges: billionaire parents tend to pester you into studying nevertheless, you see.) Maria worked two summers as a research assistant for a boson and graviton study group at CERN..., spent a 'most vain and worthless' spring formulating complex manipulative financial derivatives at Merrill Lynch..., and once toured with the Royal Society's year-long expedition to Papua New Guinea (the most fun of them all other than kicking your victim to make sure he/she wasn't breathing - after 'completing' a human contract assignment.)
When your 3rd birthday present from dad is a do-it-yourself, actual replica kit of 9mm Carl Gustav M/45 submachine gun unassembled, your 11th birthday present can only be a 14-week grueling combat training 'vacation'... naturally on your 19th birthday you take mum and dad on a nerve-wreckingly crazy tumbly-barfy show-off trip flying an ex-Soviet Kamov Ka-50 Werewolf attack chopper which you had secretly acquired through a 3-weekend boyfriend's uncle in Kazakhstan during a 'summer camp.'
The senior Morales knew they had made a big mistake by not trying for another offspring when they should have. Their only progeny had turned Lara Croft - obedience already-done-and-folded - and was hellbent on being anything but a clinky-lemonade-tray-holding cheeky-smily hostess willing to spend a relaxed weekend driving a hybrid minivan.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt when mom and pop happen to be the most legendary team of assassins themselves, often feared and referred to as The Mort-ales by despot dictators or bulls-eyed drug lords's security details around the globe (frequent projects, those.)
Yessiree, Bob. This Venezuelan family was responsible for (later occasionally joined by their daughter only when sufficiently begged/bribed/emotionally-blackmailed to help out on a assignment) contracts that would put this Amigo and his Amigas from their exotic continent a subject of rock-star like celebrity awe amongst almost all parties in all continents rich enough to pay their fees for services rendered.
And so when Maria Morales was rumored to have taken a semi-permanent sabbatical this early in her career, and disappeared completely, the observers and critics only assumed that the sultry almond eyed Devilish Elvira they'd nicknamed 'Delvira' so longingly (and most of them never actually lived to enjoy the thought for more than a fleeting moment) had finally been either outclassed and outmaneuvered by a worthy adversary (i.e. killed) or had hopelessly fallen in love with a man (if there existed such a human specimen who could invite her fancy, let alone a second interested look) and gasp... called it a day.
Then again, everyone's a critic.