Twinepathy (Part 40): Drain Pipes And Punching People

Hullo, everyone! I hope you’ve had a great week and a nice Good Friday so far. I completely forgot to play up that cliffhanger last week, didn’t I? I’m sorry. Sort of. 😉 If you’re new, check out the first part.

Blaze sees the man holding Ezra’s limp form at the same second that the people around her notice. Most of them back away from him and some of the women squeak or scream and run away. Several people pull out their cell phones and tap the screens frantically, probably trying to call 911, or whatever it is in England. But apparently they don’t get any response, because they all drop their phones and flee. If their phones aren’t working, something must be really, really wrong. Ezra controls electricity, so does it have something to do with that? Or does this guy have something to do with it?

I reach out frantically, and relief washes over me as I feel Brooklyn’s mind. Need help, tell Data we’re in trouble. Brooklyn immediately begins asking questions, and I consider shutting her out, but instead I just tell her, Stop distracting me and get help. Her questions stop, thankfully, and I turn to see the man taking Ezra into the alley. I hurry to the edge of the building we’re on.

“Albany, wait,” Blaze hisses, grabbing for my arm and missing. “We need to get Data and get out of the way. This is something for—”

“We can’t let them out of our sight!” I exclaim. “We’ve got to help! And I’ve already told Brooklyn to get Jen.” I watch as the man pulls Ezra toward the back of the alley.

“No,” Blaze insists. “We have to follow protocol.”

“I’d guess we’re already not following protocol, just by being here,” I point out. I spot a drainage pipe on the edge of the building and rush over to it.

“Albany, please!” Blaze begs, hurrying after me. “Don’t be an idiot!”

He’s one to insult my actions. Bringing me here was idiotic, so I might as well continue that course of action. I choose to ignore Blaze and swing over the edge, clinging to the drainpipe and sliding down to the ground.

Sliding down drainpipe things is absolutely stupid. Don’t do it. If the drainage pipe is covered in oil and you have protection on your hands, go ahead. But otherwise, no.

When I hit the ground, my hands are raw and bloody. Blaze appears next to me, taking the cheater’s way out by teleporting, and I send him a glare before taking off in the direction the jerk took Ezra. Blaze yells something at me, but I ignore him and keep running.

I’m not a runner, and I’m certainly not fast, but the guy is moving pretty slow, probably because he’s overconfident – and he’s carrying Ezra. I catch up to him quickly. He glances behind him, probably hearing my footsteps, but his eyes pass over me. I’m surprised he doesn’t see me, but I don’t have time to stop and think about it. I lunge forward and swing my fist at his shadowy face.

Denver’s taught me some martial arts stuff, basics he’s learned while taking a class for some kind of college credit, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never hit a real person before. And I never expected it to hurt so much.

I yelp and stumble back, cradling my definitely bruised, maybe broken fist. Sure, it makes the man stumble a little bit, but I think it hurts me more than it hurts him. He looks around wildly in confusion, acting like he doesn’t even see me.

Blaze appears next to me, but even though the guy is looking right at him, he doesn’t react at all. Is he blind? Blaze shoves the man hard and pulls Ezra away from him. He grips my arm firmly, and the next second, we’re gone.

Twinepathy (Part 39): Signature Purple Hair

Hullo, everyone! I hope you didn’t miss the big announcement this weekend… if you did, check it out here! And read part one if you’re new…

In the past week, I’ve learned that teleporting makes me a little disoriented – at least, the few times I’ve done it, it has. But when I catch my bearings this time, I’m still confused. We’re on top of a building, and I look down on gray-tinted streets. The clouds hang low, and I can taste the moisture in the air. I turn to Blaze. “Where are we?”

He smiles, a strained smile. “London.”

London. Wow. I’ve wanted to come here for a long time. It looks just like the pictures. Foggy, distant, hurried. British. Yup, I’m in love. After I tear my eyes away from Big Ben in the distance, I scan the crowds for Ezra, looking for her signature purple hair. I finally spot her, chatting on the phone and strolling casually down the sidewalk.

“See, she’s fine,” Blaze states.

“What’s she doing?” I ask, ignoring his statement.

Blaze sighs. “I really shouldn’t tell you, but… she’s following someone.”

I scan the crowd, trying to find the person Ezra is following. “Who?”

Blaze throws his hands up in the air. “I don’t know! I’ve told you everything I know. It’s not my mission, after all, and it’s not yours, either.”

He has a good point, but I don’t mention that. I lean forward, trying to figure out who she might be following. I don’t see anyone who looks suspicious, or that she seems to be following. If I didn’t know she was following someone, I would never guess she was. “Do you know why this person is being followed?”

Blaze shrugs, giving up on me. “No idea. I think something’s been going on here in London, a threat or something, but I haven’t heard anything definite, just rumors.”

I nod, studying the crowd. I notice a man step out of an alleyway behind Ezra. At least, I think it’s a man. The person is bundled up a ridiculous amount considering it’s only a little chilly. His hat is pulled low and his collar up, and he walks with his hands in his pockets. I roll my eyes. Weirdo.

“What kinds of things have you heard rumors of?” I ask curiously.

He shrugs again. “A couple of unexplained cases of amnesia, mysterious disappearances… nothing that has any real proof behind it that I know of.”

“Have you asked Jen about it?”

Blaze pauses. “No… I guess I could. And Data, remember.”

Right, right, code names. So hard to remember sometimes. “She’d probably know if the rumors are true.” I look down at Ezra and notice that the bundled-up person is getting closer to her. A warning flag goes up in my head. I reach towards Blaze to get his attention but freeze. The man stops behind Ezra and puts a hand over her mouth. She stiffens and her eyes grow wide, but the next instant, she goes completely limp.

Big News (Alaska-Sized) and Twinepathy Part 38

Hullo, everyone!!! As the title says, I have HUGE news for today!

I HAVE FINISHED WRITING TWINEPATHY!!!!!!!!

lotrpartygif

I think that’s worthy of some dancing and celebration, don’t you? 😀 It’s been about five or six months since I started, and I’ve found that I really enjoyed writing this story! Now comes the hard part – the editing. We’ll see how that goes! 😉

In the meantime, enjoy a special extra part for today! (See part one if you’re new!)

———

Jen frowns at me. “Volt?”

I nod. “Yeah, you know, pretty, tall, purple hair…” Jen gives me a look and I clamp my mouth shut.

“She’s on a little mission. Why?” Jen asks, almost suspiciously.

“She was on a date with our brother and had to cancel,” I explain, tilting my head.

Jen nods. “This is more important than a date. And speaking of that mission…” She gives Blaze a pointed look, and he leaps to his feet.

“All right, let’s head back out to the lobby.” He begins herding us toward the door, motioning for Keller and The Finch to follow. We pile out of the office, leaving Jen alone at her desk. Blaze shuts the door behind us. Com glances at us disinterestedly, and Blaze leads us down a side hall that we haven’t been down before. The Finch and Keller follow us, Keller because she has no choice and Finch probably because he doesn’t have anything more exciting to do.

Blaze holds open a door, and we step into a large room with a bunch of circular tables with chairs around them. Quite a few people are in the room, talking, working, or just hanging out. Blaze has us sit down at a table and then teleports to who knows where, leaving us in awkward silence.

I glance at Brooklyn as she scoots her chair around to sit next to Keller. She starts by introducing herself, and before I know it, they’re having a casual, friendly conversation. Who knew? I look around for Maddie and notice that she’s talking to Finch. You’d never put the two of them together if not for their similar amnesia experiences.

Blaze reappears suddenly, a huge grin on his face and two boxes of donuts in his arms. He sets them on the table and slides into the chair next to me. “I hope you guys like donuts. You’d better get what you want before everyone else catches the scent.” He winks and plops two chocolate-glazed donuts on a napkin.

Brooklyn reluctantly takes a donut, probably thinking about how guilty she’ll feel later. Keller refuses, and Maddie takes a plain one. Finch grabs a couple, and I take a chocolate one, too. Might as well.

The other two conversations resume and Blaze turns to me. “So, how are you?” he asks in a conversational tone.

“Oh, I’m doing just wonderful,” I reply sarcastically – my go-to response when anyone asks me how I’m doing. “My sister is stressed out and keeps having monster headaches, there’s a serial amnesia-causer on the loose, and I’m…” I trail off grumpily.

“You’re not doing so hot, either, but no one’s really asked about that,” Blaze finishes, lifting an eyebrow.

“No,” I retort. “I’m frustrated with everything and all I want to do is hit something. Hard. Preferably whoever messed up my wonderful life.”

“So… Data, then?” Blaze says skeptically.

I pause. “Well, no. More like this amnesia-causing person.”

“Serial memory killer,” Blaze offers with a grin.

I glare at him. “This isn’t a joke, you know. It’s serious.”

“Well…” he says slowly. “Not all jokes have punch lines.” I groan, and he leans forward earnestly. “Really, Albany, when’s the last time you let loose and had a little fun?”

I shrug. “The last time it was appropriate.”

Blaze sighs, but then gets a twinkle in his eye. “If I take you to where Ezra is, will you promise to do something fun soon?”

I narrow my eyes at him as his question sinks in. “Are you asking me out?”

His face darkens suddenly. “No. I’m not. I don’t date.”

I give him a skeptical look that turns to curiosity as I see the hardness and distance that has taken over his expression. “What? Why not?”

Blaze shakes his head, and his expression nearly returns to normal, but it lacks its usual spunky, mischievous look. “Never mind. But will you?”

I pause, curiosity heightened, but I stuff it down. “Sure.”

He grabs my arm, and we teleport.

—Note: This is not the final part. Just so you know. ;)—

Twinepathy (Part 37): Dismissed

Hullo, everyone! I’m going to be honest here and tell you that this part was one of my favorites to write. Just because… well, it was fun. Still working on that special announcement for you guys – hopefully I’ll get that finished soon! 🙂 Check out part one if you’re new.

Everyone in the room goes still, except for Jen, The Finch, and Keller. Jen responsible? Causing amnesia somehow? That seems absolutely ridiculous, but… it’s possible, isn’t it?

“What?!” Blaze nearly shrieks. “That’s nuts!”

I hear a low growl from Anvil‘s direction and turn to see his eyes flashing and his fists clenched. I shrink back in my chair and quickly look over at The Finch. He’s leaning forward, contemplating Jen with an interested look.

Jen sighs. “If I could, I would let you go in my head and see that I had nothing to do with it. But I can’t.”

“You mean you won’t,” Keller says, lifting and eyebrow.

“No, I mean that I can’t,” Jen says firmly. “I told you no one’s ever been able to get in my head. I’ve tried to let people in, and it never works.” She motions to the door. “Com can’t even get in – he has to do a special signal thing.” She gives a lopsided smile that looks a little sad. “I’m not really a telepath, anyways.”

“And how do I know that’s the truth?” Keller retorts.

Jen’s computer starts rattling on her desk, and I see Brooklyn grab her earrings out of the corner of my eye. Everything metal on me – zippers, the little metal circle thingies on my shoes, my empty locket necklace – starts vibrating. Jen leaps to her feet. “Cade, you’re dismissed,” she says firmly.

Cade?

Anvil‘s voice is thick with anger. “Data does. Not. Lie,” he growls, stepping towards Keller. She looks at him, eyes wide, and I think this must be the first time she’s truly been afraid of someone.

“Cade.” Jen’s voice sounds as dangerous as the look in her eye. “You. Are. Dismissed.”

Anvil‘s anger seeps out a little, and the metal in the room stops vibrating. He exhales slowly, then spins on his heel and disappears through the door. Jen relaxes and sits back down in her chair. “Back to it, then. Keller, I can’t prove—”

Keller holds up a hand. “Stop. You’re just going to completely ignore what just happened? He…”

“He did nothing,” Jen says calmly. “You made him angry, but nothing happened, and he didn’t threaten you.”

Keller stares at Jen, then rubs her forehead. “Right. Sure. Go on, then.”

“I can’t prove that I’m not involved,” Jen says quietly. “But we need you if we’re going to find out who is behind it, and as much as I’m sure you hate to admit it, you can’t do it on your own.” Jen leans forward and looks Keller in the eye. “You need us, Keller. Will you join?”

Keller looks from Jen to Maddie, then back to Jen. She sighs. “No, I won’t.” Jen straightens, and Keller continues. “Oh, I’ll help you find this jerk. But I’m not going to join this group. I don’t do well with rules or other people or their secrets.” She gives Jen a pointed look. “I’ll help, but I’m keeping my independence. Got it?”

How can she bargain like that with Jen? Jen’s frowning, but she has a look of quiet respect, too. “We have a deal.” She offers a hand to Keller, and they shake on it.

I clear my throat, and Jen turns to look at me. “I just have one question. Where’s Volt?”

Twinepathy (Part 36): Finch And Anvil

Hullo, everyone! For those of you who were interested in Finch… you’ll get a better look at him in this part! And… we get to meet one of my FAVORITEST characters. *rubs hands gleefully* I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on them… oh, and look out for a special post some time this week with big news… Speaking of news, if you’re new, check out Part One.

The Finch looks at us and gives us a polite nod. He looks disinterested, but I can see the truth in his eyes – pain. I feel a pang for him. Maddie lost just eight, nine, ten years… how old is she?… due to the amnesia, but he lost so much more, probably over twenty years. I’m sure it’s changed him, hurt him. And he might never get that back. Maddie might not get her years back, either, and then what of her relationship with Keller? They were clearly close before, and yet I’ve seen Keller’s pain, too. And what of The Finch’s siblings, parents, family… girlfriend? “Nice to meet you,” he says, his voice flat.

Jen motions to some chairs that I know weren’t here the last time. They must have been brought in just for this occasion. We all sit down, and I notice Keller watching Maddie, her expression pained. “Now all we need is Anvil,” Jen says.

Blaze noticeably perks up at that. “Really? I get to meet the mysterious, elusive, efficient Anvil?”

Jen gives him a withering glare. “Don’t start, Blaze.”

Blaze leans forward, interest sparking in his eyes. “But I haven’t even seen this guy, Data! I haven’t! He’s been here for how long?”

“Three years,” Jen says tiredly.

“Exactly!” Blaze waves a hand in the air. “And I haven’t seen him once. Neither have any of the other agents I’ve talked to.”

“Blaze.” Jen’s voice is tight with warning.

“I just don’t get why this guy’s so special and secret,” Blaze continues, ignoring Jen. “I mean, it’s not like his powers are that different from other manipulators…”

“Hello, Anvil. Have a seat,” Jen says politely, tossing Blaze something between a glare and a smirk.

We all turn. Behind us stands a tall guy, probably close to Jen’s age, his posture forced casual and his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket. I get the feeling he’s uncomfortable, but his face is a mask, not giving anything away. His eyes, though, have a spark of… danger. It makes me glad that Keller and Jen are here, in spite of Keller’s hostility and Jen’s secrets.

“I’ll stand,” he says, his voice quiet but strong.

This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen Blaze embarrassed, but he definitely is. Jen nods at Anvil. “All right.”

“That’s definitely him,” Keller speaks up, eyeing Anvil suspiciously.

“I assumed so,” Jen says with a small smile. “Ca… Anvil, why don’t you go ahead and report on that mini-assignment I gave you last week, so everyone here can know what happened?”

Anvil gives us all a suspicious once-over. “Trav dropped me off, and I headed over to the house. I noticed I was being followed. It was her,” he adds as an afterthought, nodding at Maddie. “She didn’t seem like much of a threat, so I stopped her and asked her to deliver the ‘package’. I watched her go up to the house and then slipped off to a safe observation point and saw her,” he motions toward me, “take it inside, so I figured the girl had dropped it there…”

“You?!” Blaze exclaims incredulously. “You’re the one who messed this up?”

Anvil‘s eye’s flash, but a warning look from Jen is enough to subdue both of them, at least temporarily. “No one messed anything up. In fact, this has turned out better than I could’ve hoped, except for Maddie.” Jen gives Maddie a sympathetic look and receives a shy look in return. She turns to Keller. “Does this satisfy you?”

Keller crosses her arms. “It explains how L… Maddie ended up where she is, but it still doesn’t convince me that you’re not responsible for her amnesia.”

Twinepathy (Part 35): I’d Like You To Meet…

Hullo, everyone! Ready for another part? I am! And there are a few new characters here, too. Enjoy, my friends! Check out Part One if you’re new!

I push the button. But this time, we know what it’s going to do. I look over at Brooklyn. “We really need to get a non-emergency way to contact them.”

She nods. “We can ask Jen about that.”

The instant I had pressed the button, I also started the stopwatch on my phone. I’m just curious. And exactly two minutes and forty-three seconds later, Blaze appears. He looks exhausted. “What?”

“Do you know where Voltage is?” I ask.

Blaze frowns. “No, and if I did know, I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you.”

I gape at him. Is he, Blaze, in a bad mood? Because he sure sounds irritated to me. I look over at Brooklyn, who looks just as surprised as me. “What’s going on?” I ask curiously.

He sighs. “I should be asking you two that. You contacted us just to ask about your brother’s girlfriend?”

“She got an emergency call from her ‘work’ saying that she needed to go in,” I explain. “She ditched Denver for that, so I’m guessing it wasn’t the computer shop calling.”

Blaze tilts his head to the side. “Well. One more thing to check on.” He nods at us. “Don’t worry about her, I’ll check with Jen and get back to you.”

“Wait!” Brooklyn says, grabbing his arm before he can teleport away. “Take us with you. I want to meet Maddie’s sister and talk to Jen about her.” She hesitates. “Besides, I have a feeling something’s wrong.”

Blaze looks at me. “She’s not going to give in, is she?”

I shake my head. “She’s more stubborn about her feelings than I ever am.”

He sighs. “Fine. But you all have to be on your best behavior. Data’s really stressed with all the craziness.”

What craziness? She seemed fine the last time we saw her. What happened? Does it have something to do with Keller? Blaze looks normal, not like he just left a battle or something. Does IDIA do battles? I force myself to relax. “When are we not on our best behavior?” I ask sweetly.

Blaze gives me a death glare. Apparently now is not the time for humor. “Let’s go.” He teleports us, and my eyes adjust to the bright white of the IDIA lobby area. We walk towards the door into Jen’s office, and I notice that there’s a guy sitting at the desk outside Jen’s office. He lifts an eyebrow as we approach and then stands up, blocking our path to the door. We stop in front of him. He’s fairly tall, but not muscular. In spite of that, he’s definitely imposing. I’d guess he’s in his thirties, maybe.

“Do you have clearance?” he asks, his voice deep.

Blaze smirks. “I was enjoying you not being here, Com. You finally finished your vacation, huh?”

The man – Com, apparently – levels a glare at Blaze. “You cannot pass without clearance from Data.”

Blaze sighs. “Still no sense of humor, I see. Data’s expecting us.”

Com’s eyes glaze over, the pupil and iris turning cloudy gray. My jaw drops in shock, and Brooklyn squeaks, her freaked-out squeak. His eyes return to normal a moment later, and he nods. “Data will see you now.”

I pause, grinning, while trying to forget his weird eye thing. “Is that like ‘The doctor will see you now’?”

Com gives me an indifferent stare, and Blaze elbows me. “No sense of humor, remember.”

I frown and follow him into Jen’s office, Maddie and Brooklyn trailing behind. Jen is sitting at her desk with Keller sitting across from her. Keller’s back is to us, but there’s no mistaking that hair. A guy I don’t know, with spiky blond hair and a distracted expression, is sitting on the couch Brooklyn was on before. He’s staring up at the ceiling, not seeming to care about us, or anything for that matter. I’d guess he’s about Denver’s age.

Jen smiles at us. “Hello, girls… and Blaze. Just the people we needed. Pop, this is Keller – your sister and Maddie already met her.” She motions toward the blond guy. “And I’d like for you three to meet The Finch.”

Twinepathy (Part 34): Brooklyn Finds Out

Hullo, everyone! Look at me, I’m so awesome! I remembered to post today! XD I have to admit, Brooklyn is one of my favorite characters to write, because she’s really unlike me and adorable. So enjoy, my friends! Part one is here, if you’re new…

Denver, now pacified, picks up my book again and begins reading it. Apparently it sounded good enough that he couldn’t wait. I place a hand on Maddie’s shoulder as Brooklyn joins us. It’s time to tell my sister what’s been going on.

“Do you want to take your books upstairs now?” I ask Maddie. She begins gathering them up.

Upstairs, I tell Brooklyn. She gives me a sideways look. “I can clean off one of my shelves,” she volunteers, and the three of us troop upstairs.

As soon as we’re alone in the bedroom, Brooklyn turns on me. “What’s going on? Why are you two acting so weird?”

I knew she would notice. “It’s a long story.” I tell her. “And I’m sorry for not telling you about this sooner.” I look to Maddie. “It’s your story, if you want to tell it.”

Maddie shakes her head. “You can tell. You’ll do it better than I’ll be able to.”

Brooklyn looks back and forth between the two of us, eyes wide. “What’s going on?”

I tilt my head, searching for the best way to start. “We found Maddie’s older sister.”

Too blunt, but also not blunt enough. Too blunt for her to take the news calmly, but not blunt enough to shock her into complete silence. Her eyes get as big as pancakes, and her confusion almost makes me laugh. But then her mouth opens and I know we’re in trouble. “What?!” she screeches.

I clap a hand over her mouth before she can make any more noise. I glance nervously at the door. Did anyone hear? They had to! Brooklyn relaxes in my grip, and I know it’s safe to release her. She immediately grabs my arm. “What happened? When? Why didn’t you tell me?”

I sigh. “I’m sorry. You were so stressed out, and you had your headaches and everything, and I just didn’t want to bother you.”

“Just didn’t want to—” Brooklyn shakes a finger at me. “I am your sister! Your twin!” You should not keep secrets from me, no matter what!”

I put on a penitent expression. “I know, I’m sorry. To be fair, we didn’t find out until today.”

Brooklyn frowns and sits on the edge of her bed. “Tell me everything.”

I open my mouth to speak, but there’s a knock at the door. “Is everything okay?” Denver asks, his voice muffled by the closed door.

I pull the door open, facing him. “We’re fine. I just scared Brooklyn on accident.” It’s almost scary how easy it’s gotten to lie now. But it’s for everyone’s good, right?

Denver nods. “Good. Just wanted to check.” He heads off down the hall, his nose back in my book. I grin. It must be a pretty good book.

Brooklyn gives me her signature glare as I sit down on my bed, facing her. Maddie sits down on the floor, making us form a sort-of triangle. “Tell me,” Brooklyn insists.

So I tell her the whole story, from tracking down Genesis to meeting Keller, and everything Keller told us, too. Brooklyn listens wide-eyed. Somehow, I mention what Denver said about Ezra. “Do you think she’s okay?” Brooklyn asks.

“I don’t know,” I admit. “I think we should contact Jen and ask.”

Both of us look at the mini volleyball.

Twinepathy (Part 33): Acting Kind of Strange

Hullo, everyone! Oddly enough, I forgot about the post on Monday (I posted it on Tuesday, though!) but I remembered to post today! My brain must be very confused. Enjoy! If you’re new, start at the beginning.

Jen asks Keller a few more questions, and then tells her that she needs to go to IDIA headquarters. Keller reluctantly agrees to go, but Maddie and I leave. We’re probably going to be late to lunch, but at least we’ll have a good, truthful excuse – we lost track of time.

But my big worry right now is Brooklyn. What is she going to think when she finds out I did all of this investigation stuff without her?

Mom’s already got the food for lunch out, and Brooklyn, Denver, and Dad are already at the table. Mom turns when we come in. “What took you so long?” she asks.

“We lost track of time,” I say, doing my best to act normal.

“You and bookstores,” Brooklyn says, grinning.

I can’t help but smile back as Maddie and I take our seats at the table after I set our shopping bag in the living room. Maddie’s quiet, but isn’t she usually? I don’t know. I’m expecting her to act differently, so I’ll notice it more than the others. Right? I hope so.

We dig into Mom’s delicious homemade beef enchiladas. To be honest, the enchilada sauce is my absolute favorite part. That and the delicious melty cheese on top. It’s one of my absolute favorites – but then again, I say that about pretty much every meal she makes. I do my best to keep up a normal chatter during the meal, but it’s hard because my brain is buzzing with all the new information. We have so many answers now, but we still have so many questions. It’ll be just my luck if Brooklyn notices how distracted I am.

Brooklyn volunteers to help Mom with cleanup, so that leaves Denver, Dad, Maddie, and me to entertain ourselves. We go into the living room to show Denver our books while Dad heads to mow the lawn. Maddie and I show Denver our books, and I give my book to Denver for inspection. He doesn’t read as much as I do, but we have similar interests – mystery and thriller books. I tell him when I find a really good book, and if he likes the description, he’ll probably read it.

Denver flips through the book absent-mindedly and then hands it back to me. He leans forward, his eyes worried. “Are you okay? You’ve been acting kind of strange.”

He noticed, and Brooklyn didn’t? Or is he talking about the past week? True, Brooklyn hasn’t had a chance to ask me, so maybe she did notice. I’ll find out soon, I guess. “I’m fine. I’m just a little stressed out with school. And Brooklyn having her headaches and stress isn’t exactly helping.” Definitely not a lie. Not the whole truth, but it’s definitely true.

Denver nods, looking satisfied with my answer. “Okay. Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

I smile at my wonderful big brother. “Don’t worry. I’ll let you know if anything’s really wrong.” As long as it doesn’t have anything to do with IDIA, I add mentally.

He grins. “Good.” He turns his attention to Maddie’s book, but I pause.

“Wait, weren’t you on a date with Ezra? Why’re you back already?”

Denver sighs. “She got an emergency call from work, so we had to reschedule.”

Now that worries me. Is this something related to IDIA, or is it her real job? Does this have something to do with our discoveries this morning? She wasn’t at the meeting or anything, and she must have got the call around that time. I manage to collect my thoughts. “Did she give any details?”

Denver frowns at me. “You’re starting to sound as suspicious as Brooklyn. No, she didn’t but it’s not any of my business, anyway.”

But if she’s discovering the truth about all of Maddie’s past, then it is my business. And if she’s in trouble… then it’s definitely my business.

Twinepathy (Part 32): A Bit Of Explanation

Hullo, everyone! Can you believe I forgot to post yesterday? Well… I did. 🙂 Here is the part that should have been posted yesterday! If you’re new, check out part one.

“About two weeks ago, I started noticing a lot more people suffering from amnesia than usual,” Keller begins. “As a telepath, that made me curious. I managed to sneak in and investigate a couple of patients – I have a couple friends at one of the hospitals. Anyway, after reading their records and getting into their heads, I was able to figure out a bit of what had happened, and some of the pattern that was occurring. I figured out that instead of their memories being erased or something else, their memories had been stolen.”

“Stolen?” Jen looks genuinely surprised. I haven’t seen her more than mildly surprised at anything. Go figure.

Keller nods. “Someone has been stealing people’s memories.”

“A serial memory stealer,” Blaze mumbles, grinning to himself.

“Do you know why?” Jen asks.

“No.” Keller looks at Maddie – or Lila, I guess. “I haven’t figured out who, either. I thought it was someone associated with IDIA, which is why I asked Lila to trail someone that I knew was a super, and was pretty sure was with IDIA.” She looks at the floor. “Obviously it didn’t turn out well. I couldn’t find her, and I couldn’t reach her mind.”

“Why would you send your little sister out into a dangerous situation like that?” I ask, maybe a little too harshly.

Keller looks at me, and I see the pain in her eyes. “If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have made her go. But it was simple, and I knew she could handle herself, and I didn’t think that anything would happen. I couldn’t follow him myself, since I’m too conspicuous.” She points at her red hair.

That makes more sense than I wish to admit, so I don’t say anything. “What about the incident in Brooklyn’s head?” Jen asks.

Keller looks over at Jen, contemplating her. “You’re a telepath, aren’t you? But something else, too, because I can’t get in your head.”

Jen tilts her head, still looking at Keller, intrigued. I feel like there’s an invisible battle of tension going on between them. Who’s smarter, more experienced, better? “I’ve known plenty of telepaths who can shield their minds,” Jen comments.

Keller’s eyes narrow. “Not like this, without any effort.”

“No one’s ever been able to get into my head,” Jen says, lifting an eyebrow slightly. “Not even my old trainer. And if she couldn’t do it, then no one can.”

Keller thinks on that for a second. “But I gather that you are some form of a telepath,” she says slowly. “So maybe you’ll understand what I say. Everyone seems to have a special mental ‘signature’ type thing, like a fingerprint or whatever. For me, I can feel it, not see it or anything. When I was in each of the amnesia victims’ heads, I could sense a common air, the person’s mental fingerprint—”

“Mindprint,” Jen supplies.

Keller gives her a surprised look. “Sure, that sounds good. Anyway, after I was able to find the common mindprint in all of their heads, I kind of…” She pauses, searching for words. “I was able to track it back to the source, in a way. It’s shielded, but the person has to reach past their shields to get into heads to steal memories. I stayed on guard, searching for the mindprint. It gave me something to do other than worry about Lila.” Keller looks down at her hands. “Anyway, I traced the mindprint to – Brooklyn, right? – to Brooklyn’s head, and was able to keep him from stealing her memories.”

Jen nods. “Thank you for that. We definitely have some more questions to go over, though.”

Blaze clears his throat. “I have an idea for her new code name.” He motions towards Maddie.

Jen rolls her eyes. “And?”

He grins. “She can be Maddie.”