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 Two Kinds of Twins, Frances&Zoe
Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jun 6 2012, 08:11 PM
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The museum trip was, in theory, supposed to be for her edification. In fact, it was so that she would see and be seen, and people would note that the Hales had been there, and made a very generous contribution, as well. Donating to the practice of historical preservation was very fashionable, right now. Very in. She did think about that, quite a lot. If she was a perfect daughter in all other ways, it hedged against the already unlikely possibility of another marriage offer (with all the whispering about her and how oddly "the twins" acted, Cornelius Temple had been a fluke, but flukes could happen more than once). So she was wearing some of her most in clothing--blue for one body, dark violet for the other (which she was fully aware didn't exactly match, but sometimes she preferred that to be the case; for one thing it helped her tell her bodies apart)--and waiting for her father to finish his transaction.

Miranda-Penelope couldn't go very far, because her father (bless his soul) had neglected to arrange a chaperone. Therefore she was obliged to stay in the general area of the main hall, and not move from it (thank God she hadn't had to stay in the hall where the office was; for one that would have made her feel like a naughty child at a boarding school, and for another it would have been unutterably boring). So she expected two different exhibits at once, simply because she could. The front hall, however, did have a finite number of things in it, and by the time she was finished looking at all of them, her father was still not quite done.

"What on earth is he doing in there?" she muttered. With her opposite body (the violet-clad one), she replied, "I'm sure I don't know." She reached over and linked hands with her other body. It was only slightly comforting. "I suppose we simply keep waiting." She sighed, only realizing when she was done that she'd done it with both sets of lungs.

Well. Some things simply couldn't be helped.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jun 6 2012, 11:46 PM
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Francis was meeting with another contributor to the Museum. It was a dull day so far, the office needed him more than the tours did. He was barely listening as another pompous noble was going on about how much he liked the museum, how history should be preserved, blah blah blah blah. It was even boring for Francis, but because of the image the curator of the museum had to maintain, so he had to fiend interest and appreciation. In his head he was ticking away the minutes he had wasted listening to this windbag go on and on.

When the contributor had left, Francis sighed and logged in the man's donation. He should feel great that the museum got a great sum from the man, but he just wanted to get out onto the floor and observe the people, give explanations to the great times in history, and how they have changed the world. Instead he was stuck behind the desk, doing invoice for this paper work.

After a few minutes of finishing up the adding in of this latest contribution, Francis was finally able to leave the office and venture outside that box, to see the wonders of his museum. He took a big breath after first stepping outside the stuffy room. The museum was well ventilated, to keep the artifacts cool and mold free. It was still warmer than it was outside.

Taking a walk around the museum, he talked to a few of the patrons. Zoe hadn't been out in nearly a week, and Francis feared it was going to happen soon. He was writing notes in their notebook increasingly day after day, giving more reports, and the goings on of the days. Francis started to get those weird feelings again this morning, he could tell when the shifts were going to happen now a days. It wasn't a complete science, but it was pretty damn close.

He felt the shift a minute before it was going to happen. He quickly excused himself from the person he was talking to, an excuse about him forgetting an appointment. He quickly retreated to his office and locked the door. He had the glass glazed over specifically for this reason. He took out his notebook and wrote a last minute explanatory note before it hit him.

Francis fell to his knees, skin rippling over and becoming smoother, more hairless. His face warped and reshaped itself, the hair on his head growing. His chest expanded into the form of breasts, and his hands became slimmer and more streamline. He shook his head and rested it on the tiling as the transformation finished. The whole process took less than a minute.

Zoe looked up from the floor and blinked a few times, adjusting her eyes to the light. She had been out nearly a week, and it was good to be back. She stood up and stretched. She took the opportunity to examine Francis' choice of clothing. She sighed at the normal white shirt with a light brown trouser, and boots. Zoe liked the boots. Immediately she took out the notebook, lightly flipping through the past few pages, and looked at the last sentence he had sprawled. "At least wear a skirt."

"Ha, as if brother." She said out loud, enjoying the sound of her voice, finally free to roam again. She decided to keep what he had on before. She was sure the spare set of clothing they had for her in the office was still there, but she didn't really want to change. Dresses and skirts just didn't have the range of movement that trousers had.

Zoe unlocked the door and stepped out of the stuffy office. Anyone watching would wonder where her brother had went, or if he was a very good cross-dresser. Zoe could care less as she shifted among the people, taking in everything. She liked the museum. Not as much as her brother maybe, but she could get into the history, if she found something that interested her.

Today it wasn't the features that caught her eye. It was twins. The other kind, the kind that looked the same. They had to be a good decade younger than her and Francis, but she could tell they were two pair of the same shoe. Something was off however. It wasn't just the fact that they were twins. It was the fact that they synchronized movements quite a bit. Most people wouldn't have taken on to that fact quickly, but the Tellerman twins always had great eyes for detail.

Zoe had a hunch, she wasn't completely sure, but she had an inkling that these two were no normal identical twins. Zoe quickly skip-walked up to the pair and skirted around to face them. She looked at each face, noticing the similarities. Not in the features, but in the mannerism. It was the reaction that gave them away. After that she was damn certain.

"Hey there, enjoying the museum?" She said in a pleasant voice, so not to completely spook them. She had so many questions. "I couldn't help but notice your both twins!" She was enthusiastic that there were other twins similar to her and Francis. "I'm a twin too. My brother is the curator of the museum. I hope you like it so far." She was being polite as possible, so not to scare the two, They may be younger, but Zoe bet they got frightened easier.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jun 12 2012, 10:53 AM
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She jumped (as one, although that was something she didn't notice). Where had the woman come from? She wasn't the most alert person, true, but she did have two sets of ears with which to hear. She should have noticed. Or, she decided as she took a better look at the girl, perhaps not. She looked a bit common, although not excessively so (but honestly, what sort of grown woman wore trousers?). Perhaps she was good at that sort of thing.

"Very much," she said (with one mouth, she made very sure). She kept her tone pleasant, but bland. Was there a polite way to drive this woman off? Because it wouldn't do, to be seen with someone as...unorthodox in dress habits as this woman was. Miranda-Penelope already had a tarnished enough reputation, given the certain restrictions being doubled like this had on her. It didn't need to be made worse. More conversation would surely draw her in, so Miranda-Penelope chose not to say anything else on that subject.

She'd thought it was a bit obvious that she was twins (and that still felt odd to say, even after four whole years). Miranda-Penelope managed a pair of smiles at the woman--small and perfunctory, and hopefully carrying the message leave me alone now, please as clearly as possible. "That's very nice," she said, for want of anything else.

"We think your museum is excellent," she added with her other mouth. She did so want this woman to go away, but she couldn't quite bring herself to be rude. Years and years of engrained politeness weren't the sort of thing that deserted one when one needed them to, more was the pity.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jun 13 2012, 11:50 PM
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Zoe was getting her signals loud and clear. She didn't care. They say curiosity killed the cat. If Zoe was the cat, she would have been dead over twice than the cat's nine lives. She couldn't just walk away, this was the first twin she had ever met, let alone the first twin wonder besides herself and Francis. She may never have the opportunity again.

She looked down at the twin's dresses, then at her own outfit, and got one of the reasons why they were so apprehensive about her. She smiled and said, "Oh, sorry about the outfit," Some times she forgot about the fact that women didn't often where trousers. "I work here too, as a requirement, all employees here must wear trousers. It wouldn't do to have a broken antique vase due to a full set of skirts."

She shrugged as if to say "what can you do?" It may be strange to have a woman in trousers, but the reason was legitimate, at least in the back of the museum, where the general public are not allowed to enter. "My name is Zoe Tellerman. As I said previously, my brother is Francis, the curator of the museum. You might recognize the surname from our father, Jakob, he owns the New Venice First National Bank."

She could tell that the twins were from the higher part of society, due to the clean, well tailored clothing. Zoe thought that if they knew that she was of the same class, as much as she disliked that fact, giving so much prejudice, both good and bad, she would use it to her advantage.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jun 14 2012, 07:46 PM
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"I...see," Miranda-Penelope said. She didn't, in fact, see. But it was only polite to say so. She didn't see why a museum would hire a woman if the woman would then be required to wear trousers. Not that she would say as much out loud, that would be very unmannerly of her. She didn't quite believe the woman, either--what sort of banker's daughter would have a job? Surely someone whose father was that rich and affluent would have been married by now, perhaps even with children.

The most polite thing to do, however, was to introduce herself. So she did. "My name is Miranda," she said (with the blue-clad body, and perhaps that was incorrect, but it didn't really matter). "And this is Penelope." She nodded with the violet-clad body's head.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Tellerman," she went on, extending her hand.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jun 16 2012, 10:15 PM
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Zoe took the extended hand, giving one of her lightest handshakes shakes ever. She usually gave a hearty, vigorous one. She decided that this was not one of the times she should. This was a delicate operation, in her mind. This, to Zoe, could be just as fun as her explorations into the other parts of New Venice.

"Quite nice to meet you." She said, purposely dropping out the "two". She knew that the other pair would just see her as some kind of lunatic, which wasn't the case. So she had to use tact to let them know that she knew. Not that it was hard to see, but some people tried to hide it. Zoe's father was one of them. Whether from shame or just safety, which could be a real factor, with all the animosity towards wonders lately.

She smiled her sweetest, it's-ok-I'm-not-an-insane-nutjob-here-to-bother-you-or-gawk-over-the-fact-that-you-are-identical, smile. "I'm sorry, I know I must seem like a bother. It's just I have never met another pair of twins before. I know you must seem I'm strange, with the outfit and all, but I'm just excited." She wasn't use to apologizing for how she acted, but in this case it may be the right thing to do.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 2 2012, 10:04 AM
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No plural. How odd. Or rather, it was odd that the woman didn't correct herself a beat later. People often forgot plurals around her, but usually they amended it a moment later. Not here, however. Perhaps Miss Tellerman just didn't care. (Or perhaps she knew. Miranda-Penelope dismissed that thought as soon as she'd had it; what logical basis did Miss Tellerman have for assuming she was a wonder? None at all. And it wasn't as though she was obvious, like that poor murdered boy had been.)

"It's nice to meet you as well," she said, and put on a pair of chilly smiles. Regardless of whether Miss Tellerman had any idea of what she was or not, she wanted to stop being in proximity to the woman, preferably as soon as possible. Before her father appeared, definitely, or she would have to switch from this brand of politeness, which was specifically geared to drive people away, to actual politeness, which she was certain would be amount as much fun as having her teeth pulled.

"It's perfectly alright." It wasn't, and her tone didn't quite make that clear. Certainly twins were uncommon--it wasn't as though she'd ever met another set--but that wasn't any reason to be all, all--well, like this. "I haven't either." She used one pair of eyes to look about for her father discreetly, if she could find him she could say she was supposed to go to him and then tell him that she wanted to go home now. And that would be the end of this.

But he was nowhere in sight. Blast it.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jul 2 2012, 07:21 PM
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Zoe internally sighed. She was trying her best. Social etiquette was never her best area, especially with the upper class. Still, she had never given up on anything before, and she wasn't going to give up now. Not with the first set of twins she had met. There was never another first, and she was determined to make this work. She knew that if this set could just open up to the fact that they were not alone as a set of wonder twins, then, well then she wasn't sure, she just knew she wasn't giving up.

"No, it'snot alright, I'm just an excitable person, and I can't let anything slip by me." She looked away, the next part was kind of hard for her to acknowledge, but it may help these two understand. "You see, I have a condition, It only leaves me conscious for half of my life." She turned back, hoping they-she would understand. "The rest of the time I'm well, I don't even dream. That is why I'm excited, I don't want to scare you, or make you think I'm strange, even if that is how I come off, I just don't want to miss anything in life, and I'll never get another first time meeting another set of twins."

She had an idea then. "Say, if you don't believe me, would you please come and meet my brother? He can explain everything much better than I can. He was talking to someone about a donation, but I think he is free now." It wasn't a total lie, because everything she said was technically the truth, she just left out the part about her brother being fused inside of her at the moment.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 3 2012, 08:06 PM
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Miranda-Penelope said nothing for a moment, because she had nothing to say. That was like no "condition" she'd ever heard of--although, perhaps, it was not a condition at all, but the manifestation of a Wonder. Or perhaps it was a lie meant to lure what looked to be a pair of rich girls into an area where they might be mugged. She didn't have any money, on either of her bodies, but her jewelry was quite valuable. And her mother did insist she wear an appropriate amount.

But she would like to meet another Wonder. And if the girl was a twin, then her brother might be a Wonder as well. If she could make certain it was safe...yes. She would go. She would simply make sure the situation was to her advantage first. That shouldn't be too hard; this was a museum, after all.

"And where would I be going to meet your brother?" she asked. She made certain her tone was friendlier this time. Not too much, or anyone who saw them would talk, but enough that Miss Tellerman might interpret her as being receptive to the idea of meeting her brother.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jul 3 2012, 09:56 PM
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Zoe nearly jumped and clapped her hands. She was glad that her story had swayed them a little bit. She could tell they-she was cautious, as anyone with common sense would be. It was understandable, but she couldn't show Francis out in the open, their father wouldn't like it, and Francis would be just as livid with her.

"Thank you!" She said, then turned her voice down, it wouldn't be too smart to raise her voice now. She thought for a bit. Where could they go that wasn't too far from the public, but at the same time close enough that the twins would agree.

The office was out, it was a secluded room. It had to be one of the exhibits. The main party was in the civil war area, which was their newest installment of the museum, and it was to showcase their newest project. She knew where they could go.

"My brother would most likely be in the "History of Wonders" exhibit. It's his pride and joy, and he's always adding new stuff to that. It's just in the next arch," She said, pointing to the archway that led to the exhibit. "You can see it from here, He wanted it near the entrance."
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 4 2012, 01:54 PM
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She didn't know quite what to make of Miss Tellerman's enthusiasm. It might be to throw her off her guard, or it might be genuine, and she wasn't entirely certain which it was. If it was the first, it wasn't working. Most likely the second, then. Any criminal would be good at what they did, therefore it was highly possible for it be real. Which would mean, in turn, that Miss Tellerman was telling the truth.

It wasn't as though that had ever been impossible, really. Just improbably. And not something she ought to hope for (although Miranda-Penelope did find that she was). "Well, then," she said, linking hands with herself. "Lead the way, Miss Tellerman." She only hoped her father wouldn't come back before she was able to deal with this.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jul 4 2012, 04:37 PM
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Zoe smiled, "Thank you, my brother can clear everything up!" She moved to the archway, making sure the twins were actually following her. This was going to be interesting, because, apart from their family, the twins hadn't shown or even told anyone they were wonders. Their father was very afraid of the fact that if they were found out, someone might storm their house and drag them off in the middle of the night to butcher them for some kind of perverse revenge scheme.

She moved into the next exhibit, the "History of Wonders". How appropriate, she thought. By the way they acted, she had a hunch they knew as well. While there was narcolepsy, which causes people to sleep at odd times, and comas, this might have seemed a bit too out there. those don't often sleep half of their lives.

The next part was risky. She looked over her shoulder, turning a corner around an exhibit until she would not be seen by the other even goers. The two twins could still be seen, she knew this, and hoped it gave them some comfort. She stopped, and without turning around, said "I know."

She turned around, looking at the two. "I know what you two are. It's not that obvious, but I know what to look for, better than most. You see, we are as well. Me and my brother are wonders. Now, I did not lie when I said that he would be here. You see, He's been with us this whole time. That is our ability." She rested her hand on her own heart. "He is inside of me, right now, at this moment. I told you that you would meet him, and you will."

She breathed slowly, because this next part hurt. She could feel herself nearly splitting apart, as though it was her very entirety that was being cut in half. Mainly because it was. She felt herself shift as she took a step backwards. While she moved, a foot, then a leg remained. It traveled up through the body until there were two people standing there, a man in front of a woman.

Francis fell to his knees, dazed. It took him a second to realize what had happened. It looked the same as if it was the same night. He looked up to see a set of identical girls, no more than twenty, no less than fourteen standing before him, staring at him. He looked back and saw his sister, a strange smirk on her face as she looked down at her brother. He felt the anger rise.

"Zoe! What the hell do you think you just did?" He said, standing and spinning to confront his sister. "What is the meaning of this? Didn't father tell us never to do anything that revealed ourselves to anyone! What was this? Some kind of strange bet, or a game or something?"

Zoe was slightly taken back, but she knew he would immediately become pissed off. These were the only times that she saw her brother without their father's hand up his puppet ass. "It's alright, Francis, these two are also wonders." She whispered to him, loudly "They didn't tell me, but I can tell." She looked at him and beamed. "They are twins, just like us!"

Francis sighed, he knew his sister meant well, but he wondered if she couldn't have just a little more tact about this. He turned around to the other set of twins. "I'm so sorry my sister lead you on like this, but she is right. My name is Francis Tellerman, Curator of this museum. I apologize that my sister has probably scared the living wits out of you, she isn't the most tactful person in our family." he was rewarded with a raspberry from his sister in the background.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 4 2012, 08:01 PM
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Oh, blast. Miranda-Penelope froze for a moment. She'd been so careful. So meticulous. And now this woman had seen right through her carefully constructed defenses. Not to exactly what she was, because Miss Tellerman had after all said you two, but she still knew. She squeezed her hands so tight she left nailmarks in her palms. This could be bad, the ruin of her father. Or it could be used for blackmail. Would you like the public to know your daughters are abominations unto nature, Mr. Hale? No? Then might I suggest a sum of one thousand dollars? Cash, of course. Miss Tellerman didn't look like the sort of woman who would do that--but appearances could be deceiving. She'd already lied. There was no one else there.

Or perhaps there was. Miranda-Penelope knew, rationally, that she ought to run now. To find her father and tell him that one of the museum workers had been overly familiar with her and that she would like to leave now. But she was rooted to the stop, both sets of her feet, with equal parts horror and fascination. It wasn't precisely disgusting, what was happening. But it was unsettling. And then, mercifully, it was done. There was a man there, quite obviously Miss Tellerman's brother. He was angry, she explained the situation to him, he turned to them and apologized.

Well, at least this Tellerman had some class. She offered him a pair of nods, although not her hands. "My name is Miranda Hale," she said with the body in the violet dress, "And this is my sister, Penelope Hale." With the body in the blue dress, she nodded--and realized she had switched them. Blast again. She could only hope Miss Tellerman hadn't noticed.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jul 4 2012, 08:36 PM
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Zoe gave a smirk as Francis ran his fingers through his hair, thinking how to make sure this situation wouldn't get out of hand.

"See! I told you!" Zoe said to him, nearly bouncing. Francis turned to her with a near scowl and disbelief on his face.

"What are you talking about, Zoe? Look, I don't have time for you..." He stopped as the other set of twin's names registered in Francis' head. He turned to them. "Hale, as in" insert father's name here, "Hale? I just met the man, charming enough, I suppose, contributed finely to the museum." He had an idea, He looked over at Zoe, at her almost puppy-like enthusiasm that he was actually doing what she said, even though it was slightly forced.

He turned back to them, "Alright, it looks like we are in some kind of a bind here. You know we are wonders, which our father wants to keep in some way a secret, and we now know that you are wonders, which I again apologize for my sister for nearly exposing the both of us... er all of us.

"Let us come to an agreement that we will keep both of our secrets. You see, our father is also an important man in society, and well," He thought for a second, thinking back to listening about all of his father's new rich clients that he was proud to have wrangled. "in fact I believe your father is also a patron of our father's bank."

That gave him an unsettling thought. He was surprised that his father, in his almost over endearing way was trying to get his son, forget about the daughter, to find interest in some kind of marriage pact with some female. He was surprised that that his father hadn't tried pairing him up with this... pair, one of them of course. Maybe he didn't know, which was a blessing, or this would have been even more awkward of a situation that it already was.

She shook his head of the idea, which would be strangely embarrassing if that if his father knew that he had met these two, he would go straight to Mr. Hale for some kind of meeting again. "Would you accept, it would save us both..." He didn't really know who to talk to, so he changed his wording, "er, all of us a lot of trouble."
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 4 2012, 08:56 PM
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"Of course," she said. It ended up coming out of both mouths--her control always slipped when she was rattled, and she was very rattled right now--but it could be forgiven occasionally. She did, after all, appear to be twins. And ordinary twins sometimes spoke in unison. But she would have to watch herself much more carefully after this.

It was a good deal, however. The owner of the bank certainly couldn't afford to have it get out that his child--or children, although she suspected strongly that the general public only knew of his son--was a Wonder. It wouldn't do anymore than it would do for her father. The current climate was...unfriendly. Even to people as well-off and sheltered as they would be in some danger, although certainly not in as much as those poor, wretched souls on the streets.

She extended the right--that was to say, unencumbered by holding on to herself--hand of the blue-clad body. "Shall we shake on it, Mr. Tellerman?"
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jul 4 2012, 09:54 PM
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Francis smiled and took the lady's hand in his. He placed his other hand behind him, on his sister's shoulder, as she tried to jump in to steal the hand shake. To him, she was so predictable. "Great, I'm glad we could clear this up." It was a relief that they were so receptive. Then again, both of, well all of their asses would have been on the line, and frankly, Francis wouldn't have liked living his life in fear of his father bursting into his office one day full of rage, or worse.

He smiled as he let go of her hand. "I know you may be here for the party, but I have to ask, how do you feel about the museum? I know I may be intruding, but I like to hear how I can better the exhibits. Especially this hall," He said, moving his hand as if to showcase the hall. "This exhibit is my pride and joy, as you can why. There is a lot we don't know about how wonders have effected our history, or who was a wonder. I wouldn't be surprised if some of our greatest minds were wonders themselves."

Zoe rolled her eyes at his antics. He was always like this, going on about his exhibit, or some other piece of history. It wasn't that she wasn't interested. She just wanted to live now, not in the past. She moved around him to the side, and loudly whispered to the twins. "See, I told you I wasn't lying, but now comes the boring part, him talking about history." She smiled her broad not-doing-anything smile, to his deadpan look at her.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 6 2012, 08:47 AM
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"I hardly think we're qualified," she said. In truth, she wasn't interested. Perhaps if there was an exhibit on the mechanics of clockwork...but her mother had made it very clear that this was not an interest that was proper for well-off young ladies, and that ordering the various parts and tools she required for her "diversions" (as her mother called them, she preferred to think of them as "works") was the farthest she was willing to allow. If Miranda-Penelope were to reveal this interest in public and it somehow got out, her mother could make things unpleasant. Very much so, in fact.

"It isn't boring, though," Miranda-Penelope added, with her other mouth. It paid to be diplomatic, especially around someone with whom one had just made a rather dubious deal.
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Francis and Zoe Tellerman
 Posted: Jul 7 2012, 12:24 AM
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Francis looked back over at the twins. The other set, not him and Zoe. "But of course you are qualified. This museum is for the people, not some stuffy professors." Zoe had to agree with him on that aspect. She couldn't stand most of Francis' "colleagues", they were so boorish, and she just could barely stand being in the same room with them.

Zoe rolled her eyes at the other twin's reply. It was obvious they were being polite, which is what they have been doing all night. It must be so boring to be so polite all the time. Zoe knew she was about to piss off Francis, but she couldn't just say nothing. "Lighten up you, we're just trying to get to know you. There is no need for all this politeness. It must be so dull, talking like that all the time!" She didn't need to turn around to know Francis was staring daggers at her.

"Zoe! That was extremely rude, I'm sorry, she is very outspoken." He said, trying to get Zoe to back off. She could be so abrasive some times, especially with the upper class. It was just that she had so little training with such people. That, and she didn't really care. He gave a sigh.

"Look, I know you really don't want to talk to us, but Zoe is really trying, in her own, special way. She just doesn't understand tact very well, but she just wants to be your friend." Zoe nodding silently in the background, giving her friendliest smile.
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Miranda-Penelope Hale
 Posted: Jul 11 2012, 09:43 PM
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"We're not very knowledgeable about history, Mr. Tellerman," she started to say, and then Zoe cut her off. She didn't say anything for a moment, because, well. Because no one ever spoke to her like that, and it was a bit...disconcerting. Nor was it something she liked very much. (She made a mental note to discover ways to avoid meeting these two again. Wonders or not...she didn't want to.)

"This is how our parents taught us to speak," she said stiffly. She had to consciously relax her grip--if she wasn't careful, she would draw blood. She must take not to communicate too many stress signals.

"Oh, it's perfectly fine." Miranda-Penelope managed a pair of smiles. "I understand completely." Miss Tellerman couldn't possibly be expected to know proper manners, as she spent so much of her time as part of her brother. It wasn't her fault she was so--so common.
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