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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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 –>

Twinepathy (Part 7): For Now

Hullo, everyone! NO IT’S NOT MONDAY. 😛 I apologize for this post being late. I forgot to pre-schedule it, and I wasn’t able to post it yesterday. Onward! (P.S. Now’s your last chance to join in on the cover reveal! Let me know if you’re interested…) Click here if you’re new!

Brooklyn and I both stare at the spot where Blaze – or whoever (who would name their kid Blaze?) – was standing. I slowly reach out my hand and feel the air where he was. Nothing. I glance over at Brooklyn. “What are we going to do?” I whisper.

She looks at me, frightened. Maddie peeps out of the cushions. “Is he gone?” she asks, looking around.

“For now,” I answer, disliking how ominous it sounds. “He kept referring to ‘us’ and ‘we’. What do you think he was talking about?” I ask Brooklyn, my mind going into mystery solving mode.

She shrugs. “For all we know, he could have multiple personality disorder or something.”

“Like Gollum…” I say thoughtfully. “And by enhanced… Somehow he knows we have powers.”

“He clearly has powers as well,” Brooklyn points out matter-of-factly.

Well duh. “He said something about going to talk to someone, and fixing the problem…” I muse aloud. “And he’s coming back.”

“He’s also cute,” Brooklyn mentions absentmindedly. I roll my eyes. Just what we need. Brooklyn falling head over heels for some weirdo. Brooklyn perks up. “What if we hide, and when he comes back, if he does, we can bash him over the head with something?” She reaches for Mom’s Italian vase again.

I groan. “No, we can’t do that. We’re already sort of hiding an amnesiac, underage kid. We don’t need to add assault to our list of possible crimes.”

She shrugs. “Then you come up with a plan.”

I glance over at Maddie. She’s watching us with fear. Fear of us, or fear of the Blaze guy? Then a thought occurs to me, and I send it to Brooklyn. Do you think she could have powers, too?

Brooklyn and I have always thought we were alone. We’ve never met anyone with powers before, and we know that Mom and Dad and Denver are all “normal.” But now we know for sure that there are other people out there with superpowers. And who knows how many there really could be? Anyone could have powers. Maybe comic books were based off true stories, and superheroes are really real.

Brooklyn just looks shocked at the idea. I sit down next to Maddie on the couch and lean towards her. “Maddie, you said you felt and urge to do something with your hands earlier. Could you show me?”

She looks worried. “I… I could try. I don’t want to hurt anything, though.”

This may not be the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had, but we can hope she doesn’t do anything like start earthquakes or set things on fire. I nod. “Go ahead. But don’t direct anything at me or Brooklyn.”

Maddie nods and turns her gaze to the glass of water on the table. She narrows in on it, then stretches out her hand. Something about the angle of her fingers or her wrist is weird. She closes her eyes and her brow furrows, like she’s trying really hard to concentrate and remember something. I notice the water in the glass slosh a little bit, and then the glass slides across the table into Maddie’s hand.

Whoa! Maddie has powers! Boy, I can’t wait to see what happens next… 😉

Next Part –>

Interviews From the Writer’s Desk: Slade Ellery

I’m so excited for you guys to finally meet Slade! He is currently my favorite character in the Teen Warriors series, the fourth of the five main characters. See Haven, Ellis, and Iris by clicking on the links. Enjoy! Feedback is appreciated!

“Help!” I hear Benedict squeak. The door of my office slams open, sending me flying across the room to catch a falling vase. Benedict floats into the room, five feet off the ground, lying face-down. I gape at him. “Help,” he yelps again.

Benedict suddenly falls to the floor.A cute teenage boy with a cocky grin waks in through the open door. His very dark brown hair almost looks black, and his eyes are a chocolatey brown. He’s medium height, and fairly skinny. “He wanted to show me in,” he tells me “I wanted to show myself in.” He says it as if it explains everything.

Benedict picks himself up and hurries out of the room, sending an indignant glare over his shoulder at the dark-haired teenager. The door wings shut by itself, but it was probably helped a little by the boy. He sits down in the interview chair and smiles at me. I finally recover enough to speak.

“You must be Slade,” I say, stating the obvious as I sit down behind my desk.

Slade grins. “That would be me.”

I settle down and pull my laptop in front of me. “I assume, by the way you treated my secretary, that you’re ready for the interview,” I raise an eyebrow at him.

He runs his fingers through his dark hair, that perpetual grin still on his face. “Of course. Adira’s always accused me of being way too eager to talk about myself. I think she’s right. Oh, and I’m sorry about the thing with Benny,” he adds. “I enjoy dramatic entrances.”

Benedict, not Benny,” I growl under my breath. My voice switches into cheerful mode. Forced cheerful mode, that is. “All right, let’s get this party started.” And over with as quickly as possible. “What is your full name, and how old are you?”

He leansback in his chair and puts his hands behind his head. “My name is Slade Ellery, at your service, m’lady, and I’m eighteen.”

I nod, typing in his reply – minus the embellishments, of course – and move on to the next question. “Can you tell me about your family?” I ask.

He laughs. “Can I? I definitely can. The question is, can you sit through my ramblings on that subject.” He winks. “Well, how do I start? First there’s my mom. She’s so sweet and strong and patient. She’s been so amazing, especially after my dad left when I was nine. My only sibling is my little sister, Mendi. She’s thirteen, five years younger than me. We’re really close. All three of us are. Mendi’s super energetic, polite, and cheerful, and she’s almost always smiling. And Adira, my cousin, is almost like an older sister to me. She’s twenty-nine. She spent most of her teenage years living with us, and a little after that, but… well, it’s a long story,” he finishes.

I nod. My fingers are already getting tired. “Any other important back story info I need to know?”

He makes a face. “Well, I spent five years looking for my dad, and found him when I was fourteen, but, well, I was three days too late,” he finishes, sighing.

My hand flies to my mouth. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know…”

He waves me off. “It’s okay. I’ve mostly gotten over it.”

Mostly. Not completely. I move hurriedly to the next question. “What is your Gift?” Much less painful, but I already learned the answer, didn’t I?

Slade grins, the sorrow evaporating from his eyes. “I already kind of demonstrated. Telekinesis, basically. Sometimes, I use my hands, but I don’t really have to. I can just send a mental command, in a way. Basically just thinking about it.”

I raise an eyebrow. “That’s really neat,” I tell him. “Now, how would you honestly describe your personality?”

He snorts. “Honestly? Ha. That makes it a lot harder. Mot people would probably describe my personality as annoying. Which I don’t mind very much. Annoying is better than wimpy, and it’s a good mask, too. Sarcastic, protective, funny, a show-off, practical joker, comedian, things like that are what I normally get.”

“What are some of your bad characteristics?” I ask.

Slade raises an eyebrow. “Me? Bad characteristics? I’m kidding,” he adds, seeing my annoyed look. “Okay, so maybe my sarcasm is a bad characteristic, and Adira accuses me of not thinking things through before i act. I tend to just jump into things. I’m not exactly the most friendly guy, and some people think I’m rude. And I guess my overprotectiveness.” He grins. “And my lack of humility.”

I hold back and unladylike snort and manage to keep a congenial smile on my face. “All right. What are your strengths?”

Slade smiles, a real smile this time. “I throw myself wholeheartedly into anything I set my mind to. I’m passionate and I’m pretty good at getting out of, um, situations. I’ve put a lot of work into my Gift, too.”

“Last thing,” I tell him. “What is your Name, the one the King gave you?”

“The Suspender,” Slade tells me, grinning.

I finally grin back. “Thanks so much for coming. And do me a favor: don’t mess with Benedict on the way out.”

He frowns, fakely; his eyes are laughing. “All right, I’ll try not to.” And we both laugh.