Twinepathy (Part 20): Hacking Skills

Hullo, everyone! Happy Monday, the first one of 2016! A very happy, wonderful post today, so I’ll let you get to it! 😉 Enjoy, friends, and if you’re new, check out the first part here.

Two people? Fighting? In my sister’s head? Jen leans forward, looking very interested, and places her hand on Brooklyn’s arm. I get the weird feeling that she’s looking at something, but not something visible. If that makes any sense at all.

Jen pulls away and heads over to her desk. She begins typing away on her computer. “What are you doing?” I ask.

“I just looked at Brooklyn’s memories of what happened. Apparently two telepaths were fighting in her brain. That’s what made Brooklyn scream, and why she’s in so much pain. She was, essentially, their mental battlefield. One of them had almost a physical presence in Brooklyn’s brain and left enough of an image, however vague, that I could probably recognize—” She growls, glaring at her computer. “If only I could hack into the CIA database. Where’s Com when I need him?”

“Too bad Denver’s not here,” I half-joke. I’m so relieved that Brooklyn doesn’t have amnesia, but I feel a growing anger at whoever did this to her.

Jen sighs. “Blaze, can you get Volt? We need her hacking skills.” Blaze gives her a short nod and then disappears.

“How are you feeling?” I ask Brooklyn.

She gives me a half-hearted smile. “You remember when you dared me to climb the neighbor’s tree and I fell and had to get half a dozen stitches?” I nod, grimacing. I cried after that for ages because it was my fault, even though Brooklyn didn’t blame me. “It’s about ten times worse than that,” she finishes. I wince.

Jen comes over to us. “What about your telepathic connection?” she asks.

I completely forgot about that! I feel for it in my head and slump in relief when I realize that our connection is back.

“That’s right,” Brooklyn says, remembering. “When I felt someone in my head, I broke off the connection as best I could. I remembered how Jen got to me through you, and I didn’t want us both to end up with amnesia.”

Jen nods. “Good thinking. It’s a good thing the connection wasn’t lost forever.”

Brooklyn’s face pales at the thought. We keep the connection a secret and try to use it as little as possible, but it’s still our special connection. It would be terrible for us to lose it. “I think your connection must be pretty strong if it can withstand being disconnected like you did,” Jen says. She heads back over to her desk.

Suddenly, Blaze appears, alone. “She’s in the middle of something really important. What do I tell her?”

Jen groans. “Tell her she gets to hack into the CIA’s system. She won’t be able to pass that up.”

Blaze grins. “Of course.” He disappears, and Jen glares at the computer again.

Maddie scoots over next to Brooklyn, who smiles as soon as she spots the little girl. “Do you need anything?” Maddie asks, her voice soft.

Brooklyn shakes her head. “Were you having fun with J – Data?”

Maddie nods. “She already taught me a lot. And she’s going to get someone named Push to help me work on my powers.”

Push. Appropriate, I guess, if the person has telekinesis-whatever like Maddie does. I really need to check and see if that’s actually what it’s called.

“What’s taking so long?” Jen growls impatiently. “This is import… Ah, there you are! Finally!”

I turn around, curious about the person who earned the code name Volt. My jaw drops. Same height, same awkward expression, same purple hair…

Volt is none other than Denver’s genius girlfriend, Ezra.

Next Part –>

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Interviews From The Writer’s Desk: Database/Jenna Archer

Hullo, everyone! Here’s the interview you’ve all been waiting for!!! Thanks so much for being so wonderful! 😉 Check out Blaze’s interview, too, and if you’re new, check out the first part of Twinepathy here.

I’ll admit it – if I’ve ever been nervous about an interview… this is it. Blaze was pretty easy, but he was also very easy to talk to. Jen… well, I have a feeling it might be harder to pry answers out of her. After all, she’s the head of a top secret organization. She specializes in secrets… and she probably wants to keep them.

The door opens and in she walks – Database, head of IDIA and superhero. She’s tall, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair that has a few streaks of gold in it. She’s wearing black pants, a forest green shirt, and a brown leather jacket, which is somehow as intimidating as all black would be. She seems calmly confident, like she could handle anything anyone could throw at her. She gives me an encouraging smile and sits down in the chair without being instructed. “Ready whenever you are,” she states.

I nod awkwardly. “I’ll try not to ask anything that you wouldn’t want to answer, but feel free to refuse to answer any of them. A lot of the questions are submitted by fans, too…”

“I’ll do my best to answer them all,” she says with a smile.

I look at my computer. “What’s your real name, if you’re comfortable with sharing that?”

“Jenna Archer. Most people call me Jen now.”

A good start. “Do you have a family?”

Jen pauses, thinking. “That’s difficult to answer. In the biological sense, no. But I feel like a lot of the IDIA members are family. It’s like I have a lot of brothers and sisters. The kids are especially great.”

I nod. I’d ask about her family, but… too awkward. Besides, that’s a perfect lead in to the next question. “Who’s your closest friend?”

“I don’t really have one,” she admits. “I’m friends with all, but close to none. It’s not exactly what I would chose, but there’s no one in IDIA, or anywhere else, that I really identify with. I’m too different.”

“Who do you look up to?”

Jen hesitates. “No one in particular, I guess. I respect many people, but…” She shrugs. “No one in particular. Next?”

“Someone just told you they loved you. What is your reaction?”

She picks up a pen from my desk and fiddles with it, twirling it around her fingers. “It depends on how they mean it, I guess. My first reaction would be suspicion, no matter what, and if I found out they truly meant it… well, I’d go from there, depending on the situation.”

Not exactly the type of answer I was looking for, but we’ll move on. “How’d you get your powers?”

“I don’t really know.” Jen sets down the pen. “I’ve had them for as long as I can remember – which is pretty much my entire life, including my younger years – but since I never knew my parents, I don’t know how I got them. I was put up for adoption as a baby.”

She’s opening up more, that’s good. “Do you like being a superhero?”

“Yes, definitely,” Jen states with a tinge of a smile. “It makes life much more exciting.”

“How did you become part of IDIA?” I ask.

Jen grins. “A very good question with a very simple answer, unless you want lots of details. I created IDIA.”

I give her a surprised look. “You did?”

She nods. “I knew that many superheroes were living in fear, alone. IDIA was created to lessen the fear and create a sense of community, so people with powers could find others like themselves. There’s more, obviously, but that’s the original reason I created IDIA.”

I may have underestimated her. Not just head of a top-secret organization, but the creator, too! “Is there a different power you wished you had?”

“Not really. There are so many cool powers out there, but mine’s really unique. There are tons of telepaths, but I’ve never seen anyone with my power. I’ve learned to love and appreciate it, and I wouldn’t wish for anything else.”

That’s good. “If you could erase one memory, what would it be?”

Jen smiles. “I wouldn’t do it. If I took away even one memory, I might not be the person I am today. The past is what shapes us, and I wouldn’t change mine for the world.”

I smile. A perfect ending. “Thanks so much for coming today, Jen. I really appreciate it, and I’ve definitely enjoyed this.” And it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.”

Jen stands up. “Thank you for having me.” She leans across the desk and places a hand on my shoulder. “Call me if you ever need me. I’d love to come back again, too.”

“I might take you up on that,” I say with a grin.

There you go, friends! An interview with Jen! What do you think of her? Any speculations about her? Comment below with your thoughts… or someone else’s, whichever. 😉

Twinepathy (Part 10): Like The Finch

Hullo, everyone! I was checking my e-mail this morning and catching up on blog posts when I realized… that today was Monday! Yay for another part!!! Like the new story banner? It’s based off the cover, of course. Anyway, let’s get on with this! If you’re new, check out the first post here.

Jen seems pleased with our decision. “Good. Blaze will be your contact person, the only one you should ever go with without approval from me first.

Brooklyn glares at Blaze. It takes me a while to figure out what’s upsetting her, but then I see. In spite of his fancy clothes, Blaze didn’t tuck in his shirt.

I roll my eyes. “Right. Just a question. Why is he so dressed up?”

Blaze smirks. “I was in the middle of a funeral when Data contacted me. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, as soon as she buzzes me, I’m there.”

Well then. Maybe this is more serious than I thought.

“Now, we need to make code names for you two,” Jen states. She pushes away her empty cup. “They need to be something you’ll respond to, and we’ll never use your real names, just those. Also, we need to talk about her.” She nods in Maddie’s direction.

I’d almost forgotten about Maddie. She stiffens next to me and slides back in the booth as far as she can. Brooklyn squeezes her other hand encouragingly.

“We usually try to choose code names similar to your powers,” Jen says. Should I start thinking of her as Data? “Like, say, Voltage for one of our members who can manipulate electricity.”

So Data kind of makes sense, but… “What about Blaze?” I ask, frowning at him. “What does that have to do with teleportation?” It sounds more like a name for someone with superspeed.

Blaze grins and waves a hand. A person appears next to him, but it’s… Brooklyn? I look over at my sister and then back at the imposter. “I can manipulate light, too. That’s what my code name is based off of.” The creepy copy of Brooklyn disappears, thank goodness.

“He can turn himself invisible and create illusions, that kind of thing,” Jen explains. “But since we already have several people with code names based off of mind powers, it would be hard to come up with names like that for you two. Since you’re twins, we should do matching names, but ones that won’t get mixed up. Any suggestions? It has to be something that you’d respond to.”

I glance at Brooklyn and shrug. “Our brother has lots of different nicknames for us. We could try some of those.”

Jen nods. “Good. Any short ones that you’re used to?”

“Jazz and Pop,” Brooklyn says, smiling a little. Those are her favorites. “Albany’s Jazz, I’m Pop. Denver based it off our different musical tastes.”

Blaze laughs. “That’s easy enough.”

“I think that’ll work,” Jen agrees. “Neither are being used, so we’ll go with that. Now, what about you?” she asks, leaning towards Maddie, who shrinks into Brooklyn.

“It’s okay,” Brooklyn tells Maddie, squeezing her hand again.

Jen looks over the three of us, then focuses on me, probably knowing that I’ll be able to give the most clear and concise explanation.

“Maddie knocked on our door, and when I opened it, she passed out before she could say anything,” I begin. I explain everything that happened, and Jen’s frown deepens as I continue. It only takes me about five or ten minutes to finish. “And then Blaze came, and you know the rest, I guess.”

Jen’s frown could hold an upside-down watermelon slice. Blaze looks serious, too, for the first time since we met him. Blaze turns to Jen. “Just like The Finch,” he says solemnly.

Just like who? Who’s The Finch? And do they have amnesia like Maddie? Guess we’ll find out next week…

Next Part –>

Twinepathy Cover Reveal (!!!) And BONUS Part 8: Lemonade (!!!)

Hullo, everyone! ARE YOU EXCITED??? Because I’m MORE than excited!!!!! 😀 You guys have been so awesome and supportive of Twinepathy, and I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover with you! And because you guys are sooooo awesome, I’m not even going to stall before I show you the cover. (And also because I’m too excited to stall. :P)

HERE IT IS!!!!

(c) 2015 C.B. Cook. All Rights Reserved

(c) 2015 C.B. Cook. All Rights Reserved

Doesn’t it look WONDERFUL??? *cough* If I do say so myself, that is. 😉 It took me twelve tries before I got a cover that I was actually happy with, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! Does this make you even MORE excited for the book? I hope so! 😀 And now, part eight…

Part 8: Lemonade

Brooklyn inhales sharply. Maddie looks at me, unsure of whether she should be happy or scared. I place a gentle hand on her shoulder. “That’s neat,” I tell her. “So you have… um…” I wrack my brain for the word I know is there. “Telekinesis,” I finally say.

“Well, here they—” That same annoying voice breaks off mid-sentence. I whirl around to see Blaze standing just a few feet away, this time without his mask. Next to him is a tall girl, probably in her mid-twenties. Her brown hair is cut short, and her eyes are full of… of something, making you think she might know everything about you. But she looks friendly enough as she runs her gaze over us.

“Albany, Brooklyn,” she says with a slight smile. “It’s a pleasure to officially meet you.”

I probably look like a frozen rabbit because I’m so freaked out. How does she know our names? I don’t recognize her. She doesn’t even look vaguely familiar. Her eyes come to rest on the kitchen. “Do you have any coffee or tea? Explaining might take a while.”

“Lemonade,” Brooklyn squeaks.

She’s offering lemonade to a creepy stranger lady who knows our names and just got teleported to our house. “Who are you?” I manage to find my voice, but it sounds much less threatening than I’d hoped.

“I’m Database. You can call me Data,” she says, going into the kitchen.

I exchange glances with Brooklyn. “There’s no way that’s your real name,” I growl.

“You’re right,” she comments, coming back in with a glass of lemonade. “But usually we tend to stick with our codenames at first.”

We? I open my mouth to ask a question, then close it. She focuses on Madison. “Who are you, sweetie?” Her voice is calm and soothing, but Maddie still cowers behind me. Data sighs and reaches towards Maddie.

“Wait, she’s—” I use this as an excuse to grab her arm. I use the physical contact to boost my mental connection to her and then go in to read her mind.

Nothing.

It’s not the same kind of nothing as Maddie’s. It’s not like walking into a mostly empty warehouse. It’s more like walking straight into a brick wall. She’s watching me curiously, then her mouth quirks into a smile. “You’re trying to read my mind, aren’t you? I remember that physical contact helped you…”

I shove her away, making her stumble back a few steps. She’s older than me, taller, and probably stronger, too, but I’ve done a little bit of martial arts and strength training. “I don’t know who you are, but you’d better explain yourself or leave before Denver gets down here. He won’t be happy to see you here.”

Blaze grins impishly. “Oh, I can make sure he won’t see us, if he does come down.”

Data gives him a glare, then turns to us. “Listen,” she starts gently. “We have a lot to discuss. Why don’t we head to the coffee shop down the road, Lava Java? We can talk there, and we won’t have to be worried about being interrupted.”

I exchange glances with Brooklyn. I can tell she doesn’t want to go, and she keeps glancing nervously up the stairs towards Denver’s room. In spite of not wanting them here, my curiosity has definitely been piqued. And when my curiosity’s involved… well, there’s no way anyone can sway me any differently.

“How will we handle Denver and our parents?” I ask.

Data nods, pleased. “You can either go tell him you’re leaving or you can leave a note. We won’t be gone too long, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your parents, depending on when they’re going to come back here.”

Brooklyn makes a sound that tells me she’s not pleased at all, but I ignore her. “We can leave a note.”

Brooklyn makes the sound again. “No, I’ll go tell him,” she growls, giving me a look. She hurries upstairs, and in a minute she comes back down, grumbling under her breath.

“All clear?” I ask.

She nods. “He’s so distracted I don’t think he even heard me. I told him we were going shopping. He was putting on a flannel shirt. Flannel. I can’t even believe…”

I roll my eyes and nod at Data. I grab Maddie’s hand, which she squeezes tightly, and we follow Blaze and Data out the door, Brooklyn trailing, as we leave possible safety behind.

SO THE COVER!!!!!!! What do you think? And the part? Database seems like an interesting character… should the twins trust her and Blaze? Guess we’ll find out!

Next Part –>