H.I.V.E., the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, is a top secret school hidden inside a still active volcano. The school is a part of G.L.O.V.E., the Global League of Villainous Enterprises, and was built for the purpose of training children to become criminal masterminds. Only children who have already been seen to have some villainous skill are accepted to the school. The school has four streams; the Alpha stream, Henchmen stream, Technical stream and the Political/Financial stream. Each stream is associated with a color, and their uniforms reflect this. Alphas have black, Henchman has blue, Technical is white and Political/Financial is grey. Otto Malpense is a thirteen-year-old criminal genius, who has been handpicked along with others-the smartest, most athletic, technologically advanced kids in the world to be part of H.I.V.E. In the first book Otto has entered the school, he discovers that it is not all what it seems, and sets out to unfold the mystery behind the school and its organization. Otto and his friends, Wing, Shelby, and Laura try to defy the headmaster, Dr. Maximilian Nero and try to accomplish something no one has ever succeeded in; escaping H.I.V.E. alive.