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5 Ways the Twins Don't Meet…

I've always enjoyed fanfiction where the fan authors re-interpret characters and events. One of my favorites is where a main character go through the same event but with different supporting characters for different outcomes.

As I started to plan the fifth book of the Elfhome series, one of the naturally reoccurring events is how the twins would meet various people. Who would they meet first? How would they meet? How would the established characters react to the sudden arrival of the twins? Unfortunately while there were many possible 'first meetings' possible, because space is limited, probably only one will make the final cut.

After two or three possible introduction scenes occurred to me, I decided to go ahead and write out possible fun meetings.

Be aware that the point of the exercise is merely to have fun.

None of This Really Happens!

1. How the Twins Don't Meet Lain Shenske


Lain Shenske had discovered long ago that the only sane way to talk with her niece was face to face. On the phone, Tinker's attention was what was on hand, so most of the girl's remarks were addressed to the piece of machinery that wasn't cooperating, or the math formula that she was scribbling, or whatever other pursuit was occupying her mind.

Over time Lain had trained her niece to come and talk to Lain about mundane things. Telephone calls, thus, were when Tinker was knee deep in trouble and sinking fast.   Those were crazy making conversations with improbable events playing out and the expectation that Lain could actually do something the solve the problem at hand.

Over the years, Lain had learned that the first tinge of a headache often was just a forewarning that her peaceful life was about to implode. She had to train herself to wait for the phone to actually ring. Occasionally she would slip and pick up the phone before it rang. Not that it mattered much; due to some oddity the connection was made prior to her phone actually ringing. Tinker rarely noticed that she'd been dropped into silence. She would normally launch in full expository mode before Lain could get the receiver to her ear.

But once in a great while, there would only be puzzled silence on the other side.   This was one of them.

After a moment, Tinker said, "That's weird, it didn't ring, but the graphic changed."

"Did you dial the right number?" Tinker asked herself.

"It came up with Lain Shenske on the connection ID."

Lain covered her mouth to hold in a gasp of surprise. It was Tinker's voice from years ago, when she was a child. It was a subtle change in timbre that Lain didn't realize until this moment. Years shouting over the noise of large machinery had deepened Tinker's voice slightly so it wasn't child squeaky. It wasn't Tinker on the phone.

"Maybe you got her voicemail." The child said. "Maybe it's broken. We can call Orville."

"We don't know where he lives."

"How many Orville Wrights could there be in Pittsburgh?"

"I don't think there's any kind of help app on this phone system. It's very primitive."

"There's Nigel."

"I can hear breathing." Christopher Robin interjected, or at least, a small boy that sounded like him.

"My breathing," a girl asked while another said "Her breathing?"

"Someone else." Christopher said firmly.

"Hello?" One of the girls said.

"Who is this?" Lain asked.

There were two startled squeals on the other side. Definitely not Tinker; squealing been firmly squashed by the time she was four. The duet was glass shattering in pitch.  And the connection was cut.

2. How the Twins Do Not Meet Director Derek Maynard

With Pittsburgh trapped on Elfhome and one major dragon fight in downtown section of the city, plate glass was becoming scare. Thus it took nearly three weeks for Maynard to have all the windows of his office replaced.

He sent his secretary out for coffee and collapsed into his chair. He had hopes that his life was returning to something that resembled order.

That hope, along with two of his new windows, were shattered by the sudden arrival of the Dufae twins. He knew what they were immediately; he learned who they were much later. At that moment, he was too surprised to greet them properly. Tinker always had that affect on him; doubled, it was only moreso.

They didn't seem to notice him as they pushed up goggles and eyed the broken glass sprayed across the wood floor.

"I told you that the building was in the way." One of them complained. They were inches shorter than Tinker but otherwise twins to her. Same spiky brown hair, dusky skin, and causal human dress. Same destructive ability.

"Details, details, details." The other twin cried as she crunched across the glass to peer out the bank of windows on the other side of his office. "There, see, we'll make it easy with the next jump."

"I don't know," the first girl joined her twin. "I think we'll just plow into the hillside."

"We'll clear it!"

"That's what you said about this place." The doubting twin clapped her hand. "Recall!"

They turned and watched the window that they smashed through with an air of expectation.

Maynard was just about to say something polite but firm when an Easter Island Moai Statue smashed through the window beside the broken one.

"I'm not sure I like this." The statue complained in a little boy voice. "It seems a very awkward way of traveling."

"Well, we can't move you any other way." The optimistic twin said.

"If we had a big enough lever…" The pessimistic twin said.

"Jumping!" Her sister cried. She clapped her hands. "Shields!"

The other sighed and wrapped her left hand tight around her twin. With her right, she aimed at the top of Mount Washington. "Jump!"

They soared out the window as if on a bungee cord anchored on Mount Washington, twin screams of fear or delight or both. A moment later a puff of smoke and a sudden scattering of birds marked their landing a few feet shy of the hilltop.

"Oh, you're Director Maynard," The Moai Statue said. "Nice to meet yooooooooou!"

The last word was yelped as the statue shuttered across his wood floor, gouging a massive hole into it. It hit the edge and vaulted into the air to soar after the twins.

Maynard stood staring after them. Oh god. Three Tinkers.



The other three ways will be in an upcoming anthology of Elfhome shorts.  And the REAL ways that the twins meet the various established characters will be in book five.           


» Wood Sprites Cover by artist Steve Hickman
» Free Novella from me and other free stories from others
Baen changed its front page long ago but my novella is now in its free library section
» Hawaii SF Convention
Hawaii is paradise until you're an SF fan looking for a fix of like minded people. That's why I'm excited that a group is putting on this convention on my island. They're doing a kickstarter to raise the initial money for hotel space. The prizes for support are very cool.
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