Beautiful People: Albany’s Childhood | Fantastic Friday

Hullo, everyone! I kind of… forgot about posting, didn’t I? Whoops. I was trying to figure out what I could do for a Fantastic Friday post this week, and I had pretty much decided to just wait and do the Monday post I was planning, but then this month’s Beautiful People link-up appeared in my inbox! So why not? I was originally planning to use Anvil for the next Beautiful People, but since this one is a childhood edition, I decided it would be better to use Albany, since Anvil’s would be… not happy. Well, let’s get on with the questions!

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  1. What are their first childhood memory? Albany has a lot of vague “first memories,” but the first one that’s actually clear is the first time she and Brooklyn communicated telepathically, which was when they were about three. That was the first time they realized they were doing it, at least. It was a very traumatic moment and consisted of lots confused baby talk in their heads.
  2. What were their best and worst childhood experiences? Her best childhood experience was probably the time she spent with her dad and Denver at a playground for three hours. That’s one of her older memories, but a favorite one. Her worst childhood experience was probably the time she fell off a tall slide, off the side, or any other time when her curiosity got her into trouble.
  3. What was their childhood home like? It was an averaged sized house, but it was an older house, so it had lots of fun nooks and crannies to hide in. It was certainly a happy place, and they were sad to leave it.
  4. What’s something that scared them as child? Albany was absolutely terrified of heights when she was younger. Bugs and snakes she could handle, but put her up on a tall ladder and you would find out how loud she could scream–and how tight she could hold onto something.
  5. Who did they look up to most? Her older Denver, for sure. To her, he was the most awesome person in the world, and she would follow him around everywhere she could. Until he got too cool to have his little sister hanging around him. But he got over that phase pretty quickly.
  6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?  I’m not sure she had a least favorite food, but if she did, it would probably be broccoli or something like that. Her favorite food growing up was Mac and Cheese. Any kind, anywhere. Especially if it had breadcrumbs on top.
  7. If they had their childhood again, would they change anything? Albany would probably say no. She loves they way her life is, and she wouldn’t want anything to change that. Plus, she had a really good childhood.
  8. What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious? Heh. Need this even be a question? She was the most curious child on the face of the planet–still is, in fact. She got into trouble quite a bit, and relied on Brooklyn to help her out.
  9. What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like? Albany was close to her parents when she was little, and told them everything (still does, if she can), but she was always closer to Denver and Brooklyn. She and Brooklyn went everywhere together, since they were twins, not to mention they had their telepathic connection. And as I mentioned before, she adored Denver.
  10. What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become? When Albany was little, she wanted to be a character in a book. Not kidding. Because don’t all bookworms want that at some point? (Don’t tell her, but she got her wish!) There were times when she wanted to be a princess or an elf, and sometimes she decided she wanted to be a spy or a president. Nothing normal, that’s for sure. As of yet, all she’s become is a superhero, so…

I hope you enjoyed getting to learn about Albany’s childhood! She’s an adorable character, and I can’t wait for all of you to read Twinepathy in its full and final form soon!

Twinepathy (Part 43/44): Some Trouble

Hullo, everyone! Guess what, I remembered to post today! Will wonders never cease! It’s been a while since I last posted, so I figured I’d post an extra part as an apology. If you’re new, start at the beginning!

43

Blaze grimaces. “Ah, yes, we did leave kind of suddenly, didn’t we? I guess we should head back.”

Oh yes we should. We never told Denver we were leaving, and Mom and Dad didn’t know either… oh boy. This is a big mess.

I follow Blaze to the meeting room and that’s when I get smothered in a Brooklyn hug. “What happened? You scared me so much! What were you even thinking?” She’s definitely in mother hen mode now. Finally, she lets go of me and holds me still for an inspection. “You look all right.”

“We weren’t in too much danger.” Mostly. Just a little bit. “Volt was the one who was really in trouble.” I give her a meaningful look.

Brooklyn’s face stays blank for a second, and then realization dawns on her face. Her eyes widen. “Oh no! Is she okay?”

I shrug. “She’s with Data, resting.” I purposefully don’t give any details. No need to worry her until we get somewhere private and I can tell her the full story. “But we need to get home before they try to put us on some missing people list.”

Brooklyn’s eyes widen again. “Oh, I totally forgot!” She motions for Maddie to come, and now I notice that Finch and Keller are here.

Blaze nods and turns towards Finch and Keller. “If Data asks, tell her I’ll be back soon.” And with that, we teleport.

We don’t land in the bedroom, like I expected. Instead, we’re in a deserted alley. Blaze points toward a main street. “Head that way. You should know your way from there, and you’ll be home soon. Anything else before I go back?”

I desperately want to ask him about that beach we landed on, but I figure it’s best to wait on that. Might as well get out of the doghouse first. All three of us shake our heads, and Blaze disappears.

I look at Brooklyn and Maddie. “Well… might as well get this over with.”

Blaze was right – it doesn’t take us long to get home. When we step inside, I get the sinking feeling that we’re in even bigger trouble than I thought. We check the whole house from top to bottom, but no luck. No one’s here.

Brooklyn calls Mom, and I wince when I hear Mom through the speaker, even though it’s not on speaker phone. I think Brooklyn will do much better in this delicate situation than I could. We haven’t worked out a story yet, but Brooklyn says something about helping Ezra and not having a chance to call them.

I give her a look. That might be too close to the truth. She waves her hand dismissively. I guess it’s a good enough story. If anyone asks Ezra about it, we know she’ll vouch for us.

My thoughts flash to the guy who attacked Ezra, but I push the anger and curiosity away. This is one thing I can’t investigate on my own. After all, I have no way to get across the Atlantic without Blaze. My only option is to get over this little bump at home and hope Jen calls us in to help. Soon.

44

Mom, Dad, and Denver all converge on the house at the same time. Then it’s a mass of questions and confusion and hugs and lectures and… I don’t even know what. I’ve just got the phrases “I’m sorry,” and “We’re okay,” on repeat.

We get off lighter than I thought we would, with Mom and Dad reminding us to at least leave a note before leaving. Brooklyn gets lunch duty for a week and I wash the cars and rake the lawn, but I figure that’s a pretty easy sentence. We’ll just have to warn Blaze that he can’t just whisk us away.

Denver is a way different story. After Mom and Dad get busy, he corners Brooklyn and me while Maddie’s upstairs. “What’s going on? You two have been acting so weird lately. And it’s not just stress. Even I can tell that much.”

He doesn’t get demanding very often, since he’s usually pretty passive and easy-going. But he’s smart, and it won’t be easy to get around this. I glance over at Brooklyn. There’s no way we can tell him the truth…

Brooklyn sighs. “Denver… it’s kind of a secret. We can’t tell you.”

He crosses his arms. “How did I know you were going to say that? Is it something dangerous?”

“No,” I say before Brooklyn can say anything.

Denver gives me a skeptical look. “You’re just saying that to make me feel better, and I don’t believe you one bit.” He pauses. “Is Ezra in on this secret?”

Brooklyn and I exchange glances. “Yes,” Brooklyn says reluctantly.

He stares at the wall, thinking. I really wish I was in his thoughts right now. “Tell Ezra before you do anything. Hopefully her common sense will beat out your…” He looks at us. “Just please, please be careful. And whenever you’re able to, tell me what’s going on.” I see the worry and fear in his eyes, and I get the feeling he’ll keep thinking about this.

Brooklyn places a hand on his arm. “We will. And don’t worry, there are responsible adults involved.”

I nod in agreement. Jen’s certainly responsible, and an adult, and I guess there are probably some other agents that qualify as that, too. Hopefully that’ll be good enough. Denver relaxes a little, thankfully. “That’s good. Just make sure you stay safe, okay?”

We both nod, and he heads past us upstairs, muttering something about stubborn sisters and stress. But despite his nonchalance, I can tell he’s really worried about us. Does he even suspect that Maddie’s involved, or the international scope of everything? I get the feeling that he’d worry even more if he knew the whole truth.

“We should get Data to talk to him,” Brooklyn says, facing me. Her voice is low, to avoid being overheard. “And maybe Mom and Dad, too.”

I just give her a tired look. “Do you think that she’d actually agree to that?”

She pauses, unsure. “Maybe. I don’t know. She’s a puzzle.”

I shrug. “We can ask. But I don’t think that she’s got very much spare time on her hands right now. I doubt she’d talk to them, anyway.”

The doorbell rings, but Mom calls to say that she’s got it. “We shouldn’t keep this from them,” Brooklyn says, her tone somber. “I want them to know.”

“Girls!” Mom calls. “Your friend Blaze is here!”

Twinepathy (Part 42): Big. Time. Trouble.

Hullo, everyone! Had a good week? I forgot about posting on Friday, but never fear! I remembered today! Check out part one if you’re new.

Jen has us go over the story twice – first from my perspective, then from Blaze’s. Blaze informs me that the man couldn’t see us because we were invisible to everyone but each other. He apparently forgot to mention that tiny detail. I feel like an idiot, and now I realize how many smarter, less risky things I could have done after catching up to the guy. But what’s done is done, I guess.

After we both describe what happened, Jen presses us with questions, asking about everything from the color of the guy’s eyes (neither of us noticed) to the exact spot we left him. I have to say, I don’t think we’re very helpful.

Ezra’s still not awake. Before we started, we moved her onto the couch, which I’ve unofficially dubbed the Couch of Pain… but it seems more like she’s just a sleep instead of being unconscious. I feel a spark of anger toward the jerk who did this to her. Then a thought punches me in the stomach, making me gasp for air. “Do… do you think this is related to all the amnesia stuff? Could she have amnesia?”

Jen looks over at Ezra with a frown. “I don’t think so. This seems completely unrelated, and it doesn’t have much in common with any of the memory thefts. There’s a small chance, though.”

Memory thefts. That makes it sound so trivial. But I’m glad that Ezra most likely won’t have amnesia. She might make Brooklyn grumpy sometimes, but she’s not all that bad. Not to mentions what Denver would do if Ezra got amnesia… “That’s good.”

“For Ezra, yes,” Jen says. “But if we had some clue that this was related to the amnesia situation, it would help us a lot. Now we have two mysteries.” She narrows her eyes slightly and leans towards us. “Although this one shouldn’t have involved you two.”

I lower my eyes. I really, really just want to pin this all on Blaze, but I have to admit that it’s not all his fault. He didn’t make me go after the guy. That was my choice. “But it’s good that we got involved, right?” I ask. “We saved Ezra.”

Jen rests her elbows on the desk. “Yes, you did, but there was a lot that could have gone wrong. For instance, if Blaze hadn’t turned the two of you invisible, or if someone had started shooting. I really like you, Jazz, but you need to work on controlling your impulsiveness. A little self-control would go a long way.”

I gape at her. “Self-control? Ezra could have died!”

You could have died, too,” Jen growls. “Blaze could have died. There are reasons that we have things set up like we do. The better, safer choice would have been to come back here right away, and Blaze could have grabbed one of our agents with physical powers to take him down.” She pauses. “We might have also been able to bring the guy in.”

Ouch. I hadn’t thought of that. So much for Anvil messing up missions – here I am, destroying one of my own. “I’m sorry,” I say quietly.

Jen nods. “What’s done cannot be undone. Blaze… you should know better than to take another agent into the middle of an assignment. You know that there will be consequences… but for now, I’ll let you two go see the others.” She holds up a hand. “But you are not allowed to speak of what happened to any of them without prior permission from me.”

My heart sinks. I can never keep secrets from Brooklyn. Well, I can, but it always hurts, especially when she knows that I’m not telling her something, unlike the whole Keller and Genesis incident. And she will definitely know I’m keeping a secret from her now. “Can I have permission to tell Pop?” I ask. I think I’m getting the hang of these code names now. Maybe.

“Why?” Jen asks, studying me.

I shrug. “Because she’s going to pester me and bug me and be grumpy until I tell her anyways, so I figured I might as well get your permission to tell her so I don’t have to go through all of that.”

I may be mistaken, but it looks like Jen’s struggling to hold back a smile. “All right. You have my permission to tell Pop and only Pop.” I get the warning and nod in thanks. “One more thing. I’m moving the two of you to active status, since you have an agent, Maddie, at your home.”

I tilt my head. “Maddie’s an agent now?”

Jen nods. “And since you’re both active, you’ll need to come to an orientation meeting here.”

I try to see if she’s joking, but her face looks natural. “You’re… serious?”

She nods. “The next one is tomorrow evening. Are you open then?”

I shrug helplessly. “I guess?”

“Good.” Jen hands me a thin, spiral bound stack of papers. “This is your list of rules to look over before the meeting, both you and Pop. Be prepared.”

Well, then. I look at Jen and sigh. “This is absolutely…” I shake my head. “What happened to Lava Java?”

Jen frowns. “What?”

“We tried to go there this afternoon,” I begin. “Maddie and I did. It was closed and empty, and it was as if it was never there.”

“That’s because it wasn’t,” Blaze says with a grin.

Jen gives him a look. “That’s a long story that can wait. We’ll get to that later. In the meantime, I have some important things to get to…” She motions towards her computer, and she doesn’t even have to say another word. Blaze and I both nod and leave her office.

“Well, this has been a long day,” I grumble as we step out of the office. Thank goodness I don’t get tackled by Brooklyn – in fact, she and the others are nowhere to be seen.

“Ready to head home?” Blaze asks.

I pause, my eyes widening. “Home! Oh no, Denver’s going to be freaking out…” We are in big. Time. Trouble.

Twinepathy (Part 41): A Bit of Trouble

Hullo, everyone! Well, look who missed two parts… I didn’t mean to hold you in terrible suspense, but… it kind of happened. Sorry (sort of)! 😉 New? Part one is here.

The fuzziness clears – will I ever get used to this? – and I look around in surprise. A light breezes waves little strands of loose hair off my face, and palm branches flutter slightly overhead.

I jump in surprise as cool ocean water splashes against my ankles, soaking my tennis shoes. The water pulls back and buries my feet in the wet sand. It’s nearly impossible to get my feet out of the sand without my shoes coming off, but somehow I manage and slog over to where Blaze is. He’s laying Ezra out on the hot sand and is checking her over.

“Why are we here? Shouldn’t we go to headquarters?” I ask grumpily. My hands ache like crazy. My shoes are fairly new, and now they’re covered in mud. I may not be a girly-girl like Brooklyn, but unnecessary waste like this is… wasteful.

“We will be going to headquarters,” Blaze growls through gritted teeth. “I just want to make sure she’s alive.”

The blood drains out of my face. I hadn’t considered the fact that Ezra might be dead. I’d just assumed she was unconscious. I’m suddenly very grateful that Denver’s not here. What would he say? Probably nothing, he’d probably be hyperventilating. My legs get weak and wobbly, so I kneel down next to Blaze. “Is she okay?”

He nods, sitting back on his heels. “Her pulse is fine, I think, so she’ll probably be okay. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, but I’m not a doctor or anything.”

No, he’s not. Neither am I, but I can tell that something’s wrong, from her unconsciousness and pale, bruised face. I really hope she’ll be okay. “So let’s go to headquarters.”

Blaze nods, and after a second, we’re kneeling on the icy floor of Jen’s office. Jen is heading towards the door, but she stops in surprise when she sees us. She recovers almost instantly and hurries over to us, kneeling next to Ezra. Jen’s hand flies to her ear. “Com, cancel the call for Trav and bring in Medic. Volt is here, 33. Tell Pop and company that Jazz and Blaze are back.”

Jen closes her eyes, inhaling slowly, deeply, calmly, and places her hands on Ezra’s arm. I notice a few small flashes of blue light where her hands are touching Ezra, but that might be my imagination, since nothing else changes. Jen removes her hands with a frown on her face.

The door opens, and a boy enters. He’s skinny, which makes me think of Maddie, and I’d guess he’s about her age, too. He kneels down next to Jen, only giving Blaze and me a passing glance.

“Thanks for coming so quickly,” Jen says, smiling at him encouragingly and ruffling his hair. I’m shocked by how casual and laid back she is with Ezra lying unconscious on the floor in front of her. I’m about to give some kind of snippy remark when Blaze nudges me and gives a pointed look in the boy’s direction. I get the message: this is for the boy’s benefit, for whatever reason, so I keep my mouth shut, for once.

“She just has some chloroform in her system,” Jen begins. “If you can get that out, and heal the bruises, that would be great.”

The boy nods and places his hands on Ezra. Her face gets a little less pale, and the bruises disappear. He removes his hands and looks at Jen for approval.

“Great job, Medic,” Jen says in a fake solemn voice with a smile. “You’re free to go.”

“Wait,” Blaze says, gently grabbing my wrist. Medic pauses, looking between the two of us, and Jen lifts an eyebrow. Blaze turns my hand over, revealing my raw, bloody palm. “You might as well take care of Jazz’s hands while you’re here.”

Medic hesitates, but a nod from Jen is enough to make him come over. He gently touches both of my palms, as if he thinks I’m going to break. The torn skin moves back into place and fuses together in a slow, mesmerizing pattern that should be disgusting but really isn’t. He also touches my knuckles where I punched the guy, and the bruises disappear. He gives me a shy, adorable smile and hurries out of the room after another nod from Jen.

Ezra shifts slightly on the floor, her eyelashes fluttering as a soft moan escapes from her lips. Jen lays a gentle hand on her arm. “Now that that’s taken care of, we can talk.”

I have a feeling this might not be pleasant.

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!!!!!!!!

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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.”