Valerie’s gaze followed her son’s as she stared out over the sparkling ocean. The orcas ghostly visage flashed in and out of the deep blue waters, their presence adding another majestic detail to the ethereal island. As more and more mutants gathered in Venezuela and its island capital, nature itself seemed effected by their potent genetics. Rare and beautiful creatures flocked from land, sea and sky to inhabit Venezuela, and the already verdant landscape grew more vibrant flora and fauna than ever before. From the outsider’s view, the modern Venezuela seemed entirely a worldly paradise.
However, the nation’s princess knew the dark reality of the actions taking place within the Royal Family. She had watched her father silence those who raised question as to why mutant-human interactions were fiercely discouraged. Anyone who questioned the principles of King Alaric seemed to quietly disappear. Most of the nation was too busy enjoying their own peaceful existence to take notice of these strange occurrences, and those who did were too afraid to speak out about them.
None of this behavior escaped Rafael’s attention. And Valerie knew her husband’s patience for her father’s antics was running thin.
“I know you would have, darling. And your instinct to protect those you love is one of the many reasons I love you,” she said as her husband delicately teased the petal-soft flesh of her leg. “However, I know what he is capable of. I’m not entirely sure who would come out alive if the two of you ever took things that far. This is another reason I need to find another way. Vicente and I…we wouldn’t survive without you,” she stated coolly. Her vulnerability had vanished and in its place an icy demeanor took hold. When it came to harsh realities, Valerie abandoned all emotion in exchange for pragmatic solutions.
“We cannot expect an immediate solution that will permanently handicap my father. Therefore, we need to find a way, for now, to keep the collateral damage of his reign at a minimum. Which is why I’ve been entertaining an idea for a while now. The Hellfire Club has become a rather dull group, since my family’s attentions have turned to ruling Venezuela. I believe I can reinvent its purpose, and give it a new place in the world. If we cannot yet openly challenge my father, we can use the secret cabals of the Club to minimize the effects of his tyranny from right under his nose. With the right team of people working across the globe, we can undo the damage of his blind anger without his knowledge,” she explained. She felt this new chapter for the Hellfire Club, and herself, would give her an opportunity to rectify some of her own moral crimes.
“I believe this is our best option. We still have many other enemies, besides my father, who would do us and Vicente harm, my love. He is worth more to us as an ally, one kept at bay, than as an enemy. For now.”