MENTOR: Marieke Nijkamp
ALTERNATE: Patrice Caldwell
TITLE: ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA'S BOX
CATEGORY / GENRE: MG Supernatural Thriller
WORD COUNT: 44,000
PITCH: When a high-tech energy cube codenamed Pandora’s Box goes missing, twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Alex is hired by The Agency—New Atlantis’s secret intelligence service—to retrieve it from supernatural creatures who wish to use it to destroy the city in return for a cure for her comatose sister.
Alex licked her ice cream cone, wondering why she’d decided to do business on a day like today. The sun shone directly above her, peeling her skin as easily as one might a Clementine. All the concrete didn’t help. It added a sense of despair that the trash littered streets of South Atlantis didn’t need. Unlike the pristine, urbanized ones of Upper Atlantis, where she lived, these streets held a much a grittier past. However, the ice cream in South Atlantis was second to none. It was rich and creamy, far better than the stuff in the main city, but Alex could hardly enjoy it with the sun beating down. Her treat had started making sticky tracks down her hands the second she’d bought it, and if there was anything Alex hated, it was sticky hands. Unless, of course, they were sticking to trinkets in passerby’s pockets.
Beside her, a messy brown-haired boy slurped at his matching vanilla cone as Alex drummed her fingers on the splintery bench. He looked up from his treat. “Have the doctors said—”
She shook her head, then looked down. Why did people keep asking? Even her principal, who hated her, kept asking about her sister. She bit her lip and gazed into the distance, inhaling the crisp air. She sighed. Camilla would’ve loved this.
Ignoring her friend’s sidelong glance Alex pulled out a thin, black screen and checked the time on her Reader. She tapped her foot. “Two minutes to go.”