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 –>

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Twinepathy (Part 9): Lava Java Coffee Shop

Hullo, everyone! Excited for the next part? It’s a nice long one, too! Today we get some answers, and we get to know Blaze and Data better. Yay! Like the new banner? If you missed the cover reveal, you can check it out here, and if you’re new, you can find the first part here. Enjoy!

The Lava Java coffee shop is always busy, even when it seems like no one should be there. Today is no exception. Data leads us to a corner booth that’s mostly secluded. We all slide in, but she heads over to the counter and orders. Minutes later, our coffee comes out, fresh. She hands Brooklyn and me our favorites, and she gives Maddie an ice water. How in the world does she know that Brooklyn only drinks fat-free lattes, and I love peppermint hot chocolate? She hands Blaze something that just looks like a ton of caffeine and sugar, and she sits down next to him, in a spot where she can see everything that’s going on in the coffee shop.

“We definitely owe you an explanation,” Data begins, stirring her iced mocha. “You see, I’m the head of a top-secret superhero organization. The details are complicated, but we’ll get to that later. My power is complicated, too, but to put it simply, I’m a mind reader that works through physical contact.”

Blaze chokes on his drink and looks at us. “Trust me, it’s way more complicated than that, and way bigger.”

Data gives him a look, and he backs off. “I brushed against you, Albany, two days ago, when I was on a jog. Because of your connection to your sister, I was able to read both of you. I couldn’t turn around and talk to you then, but—”

“Are you saying you know everything about us?” I interrupt, abandoning my peppermint goodness.

She nods. “Pretty much.” Brooklyn and I exchange glances. “Everything from before I touched you, that is, not since,” she amends, glancing at Maddie. “Anyway, part of my job is to catalogue superheroes and give them a way to contact us in case of emergency. That’s what the volleyball with the button was for. I knew about Brooklyn’s little volleyball and decided this would be a good hidden contact device. I sent someone to give it to you.” She takes a sip of her iced mocha.

“Who?” Blaze asks. “Who made this royal mess?”

Data gives him a fierce glare. “That is confidential information.”

“Why?” Blaze taps his fingers on the table. “Because you know that I’ll harp on them when I get back?”

“No. You don’t even know this person,” Data says, giving him an angry look before turning back to us. “Obviously, something went wrong, and they simply left it on your porch with no explanation.”

I frown. “So you’re trying to recruit us to work for your top-secret superhero thingy?”

She smiles. “Pretty much.”

“Then we’ll need more details,” Brooklyn hints. Good for her, actually speaking up.

“And since you know our real names, I think it’s only fair that you tell us your real name,” I put in.

Data focuses on me, and I squirm. Usually I can handle a stare, but her stare… she already knows so much about me. I feel like that earthworm in biology class. A simple, easy dissection. “My name’s Jenna,” she says, leaning back. “Everyone calls me Jen now.”

That seems to fit her, somehow. But was that a touch of sadness in her voice when she said “now”?

She sips her coffee. “The organization is called IDIA, the International Defense and Intelligence Agency. To outside observers, we seem to be just like the CIA or the FBI, but on the inside, we’re a superhero recruiting and freelancing operation.”

“Freelancing?” I ask.

Jen nods. “When someone – say the FBI – has a case or a situation they can’t handle, they’ll send someone to me. I look at the situation objectively, unlike them, and then decide what kind of powers or abilities would be most useful in the situation. Then I put everyone in contact with whoever – using our superheroes’ code names, like Data or Blaze, to protect their true identity. It’s very efficient and safe. We also provide support, counseling, and protection, even for people who aren’t on working status.” She pauses. “I also help put together superhero groups on occasion, too, but that doesn’t happen very often.”

I exchange glances with Brooklyn. The two of us have been on our own for a long time, not trusting anyone with our secret. For us, it’s been easy to keep it under wraps and pretend it’s normal. Some others might not have it so easy. And this… this could help us.

“What do you mean by people who aren’t on working status?” Brooklyn asks cautiously.

Jen leans forward. “We allow members to choose whether they want to go on missions. Some empowered people want to live quiet, normal lives, without the chaos of missions or world-saving fiascos. So they go in ‘dormant’ status – they have code names and contact devices, in case of trouble, but they don’t go on missions. We could always start you two off on that level if you’d like?”

Again, Brooklyn and I exchange glances. Yes, I say.

Brooklyn pauses, her brain whirring. “Yes,” she says quietly. “We’ll do it.”

Whoa, what are the twins getting themselves into??? What do you think of Jen? Enjoying this? Comment below!

Next part –>

Tales From The Writers’ Desk: Crazy Drivers

This tale has been sitting for a long time… in my imagination, that is. I started writing it when I got my drivers’ license… three months ago. 😀 Enjoy!

I slam the door to my office and slump down into my swivel chair. I blow out a breath and growl, pushing my hair out of my face. The door opens slightly and Benedict steps in. “Trouble on the way here?”

I groan. “I hate driving. Honestly, what’s with people on the roads? Everyone drives so slow!”

Benedict sits down in the interview chair. “Really?”

I sigh. “Yes! There was this jerk in front of me who was just inching along! I was stuck behind him for over a mile, and I couldn’t pass him, thanks to all the other cars whizzing past. So I had to wait until I got to Lava Java.” I growl. “Thank goodness he didn’t stop, too.”

“That’s interesting,” Benedict says.

I frown. “Why?”

“Well, on my way to work today, there was a person riding my bumper almost the whole time.” He leans back in the chair. “I was quite relieved when they turned into Lava Java Coffee Shop.”

My face heats up. “Um…” This is awkward…

Benedict gives me a half grin. “Don’t worry about it. But you may want to work on patience… and your driving.”

Time to chat! Do you drive? Which one are you: the speeder or the slowpoke? (I’m the slowpoke…) Ever had an experience like this? Comment below!

**Author’s note: I’ve got a surprise coming tomorrow… **