Lawndale and Sandi Griffin’s Genie Prologue Lawndale, Pennsylvania, United States of America Wednesday, February 17 1999 It was a bright sunny day in Lawndale, a not-so-typical American town-suburb. Almost no-one knew what was going to happen that afternoon. Those that did know had been preparing for the upcoming events for the last three months. It was an event that would set off a chain of events that bring about massive changes to the town (or suburb, though Lawndale was certainly separate from the nearby settlements, many of which also considered themselves towns). Only a minority of people knew what was about to happen that afternoon, after school had finished for the day. Lawndale High School was the domain of Angela Li, a dictator of a Principal, who tended to put security above other concerns, like the budget for the maintenance of the school’s buildings. However, even she was not aware of the secret meeting that was taking place beneath the school during the last period of the school day. The attendees of the meeting were students, who had been excused from class for a variety of reasons, and two or three teachers who didn’t have a class for that period... “Now, does everyone understand what you need to do?” the convener of the meeting, who stood in a shadow that the meagre lights of the room did not reach, asked. “Yes!” the teachers, and most of the students, said enthusiastically. “Yes, Of course I do. There was no need for the repetition,” the remaining student said. As she had been sitting separately from everyone else, she quickly exited the room. “Excellent! Meeting is adjourned,” the convener said. The students who attended the meeting then returned to their classes via various secret passageways beneath the school buildings, re-emerging into the corridors, or the basement, where Li’s cameras had blind spots. The last of the students whom had attended the secret meeting had returned to their classes 20 minutes before school finished for the day. Sandi Griffin, sophomore and President of the school’s Fashion Club (and who had not attended the secret meeting), did not know as she exited the school’s front entrance what role she would play in the history making events over the next few weeks. “Quinn, where were you?” Sandi turned to the source of the question. It was two of the other members of the Fashion Club, Quinn Morgendorffer and Stacy Rowe. “I was in the bathroom, Stacy,” Quinn said. “For half an hour?” That is a very long time, even for you, Quinn,” Stacy said, not entirely convinced. Sandi had to interrupt, something was happening that she might take advantage of. “Maybe, Qui-inn, like, you were somewhere else?” she said. Quinn blushed. “Ok, Ok, I was in Study Hall,” Quinn said, not entirely convincingly. “I miss-read my timetable,” she said. Sandi could tell that her Vice-President rival was lying, but she saw that Stacy believed her. To accuse Quinn now could cause problems within the Fashion Club for the rest of the month, Sandi reasoned. “I suppose so, even though the time table change was 3 weeks ago,” Sandi said. “Thank you, Sandi,” Quinn said. “Besides, I have misread my timetable many times,” Stacy said, in support of Quinn. “Thanks, Stacy,” Quinn said. Sandi talked to Quinn, Stacy and the fourth Fashion Club member, Tiffany Blum-Deckler, for about ten minutes before heading home. Her thoughts were full of plans for the months ahead, regarding school, and the Fashion Club. ‘I hope that Quinn’s weird sister will not interfere,’ she thought as she turned into her street. Little did she know that all her plans would come to naught. After an hour of looking at fashion websites (such as they were in ‘99) Sandi went out to her backyard. After a minute of observing her two brothers playing she noticed a glint in the grass. She went over and picked it up. It was an emerald. “How did we not notice this before?” she asked herself. She took it to her bedroom. When she had placed the emerald on her bedside table, her phone rang. She quickly forgot about the Emerald, as she talked to Tiffany about her choices of clothes for a party on Friday night. After her conversation with Tiffany she did some homework. She did not give the emerald another thought until the next morning.