A/N: Harley is (was) my beloved long-haired dachshund and Roper’s twin sister. Twin, at least, in biology. In reality they couldn’t have been more different. Harley was always more adventurous, playful, clever and fearless than poor Roper.
“I told you that Aunt Harley was brought in as a consultant during the New Money security crisis. It took some convincing to get her to come live in The Under Dome. She was busy with her traveling and her flying whale and the like. Now, an interesting note here – Roo, Cookie, Myself, even Bruce were all sent to the thereafter by the Okinawa. I know, it’s strange how Roo and Bruce ended up working for her for all eternity … I suspect that there’s some kind of evil pact involved, but I don’t want to delve to deeply, if you know what I mean. Anyway, Harley actually had a good life up above. She was treated well and she traveled and didn’t have the constant threat of the Okinawa hanging over her. But one day, the Bastard went crazy and poisoned her stew. It swell’t her, ruin’t her and kill’t her all in a matter of days. She says she’s forgiven him after reading some newspaper accounts that said it wasn’t the Bastard’s fault – the stew was tainted by the Chinese – but you never know about Harley.”
“So Harley came to visit and see the condo I’d had built for her. She said she needed more room, started building the brownstone she lives in now and the next thing I know, she’s moved in. Then she brings in this flying whale, an alien and two buffaloes. Of course, we found out pretty quickly that alien was an agent of New Money and he just had to go. But the buffaloes are good people. They’re big and that represents the kind of strength The Under Dome needs to project in today’s world. Plus, a pair of Noble Bison really jazzes up a parade. And we all love a parade.”
“Aunt Harley has been a good fit in The Under Dome, overall. I do wish she’d embrace the grub-lovin lifestyle a little more, though. It’s kind of embarrassing for me on a political level, but in general, the voles and moles seem to love her. I guess she pays well.”
The telephone on Roper’s desk rang suddenly, startling him. He jolted in his chair and spilled the tumbler of mole waters in his lap. “Iienh!” he yelped, as the icy liquid plopped onto his boys. Frantically, he clutched the handkerchief from his vest pocket and mopped at the moisture seeping into the plush mohair upholstery of his desk chair. He reached convulsively for the telephone and snipped out a sharp, “Hello!”
As he listened to the caller, he continued dabbing himself with the handkerchief. “Oh, hi, Harry. What’s going on? Oh? Really? Uh huh. Uh huh.” Roper nodded as he listened to his Executive Vole. “Oh. Well, I don’t know about that …” he trailed off as he leaned toward his desk drawer to retrieve a blow dryer. An electrical outlet installed inside the drawer allowed him to simply pull out the appliance and turn it on, which he did, after adjusting the air speed and temperature with the knobs and buttons mounted on the front of the dryer. He aimed the air flow at his ‘boy area’ and leaned back slightly to allow maximum drying. “Listen, Harry, why don’t we meet for a snack at the Café and we’ll discuss this in more detail. I’ve got the twins right now, but I’ll call the Au Pair to come get them. Okay, then, I’ll see you in about 20 minutes.” He hung up the telephone.
Roper finished drying himself, put the hair dryer back in the drawer and turned to the twins. “Children, Pa Pa has to take care of some business. Granny Cookie will come get you and take you to your Croquet Lessons.” He tapped the communicator pinned to his vest and said, “Roper to Granny Cookie.”
“Uuhnnn!” came the reply.
“Cookie, I need to cut Story Time with the twins a little short today. I have a meeting and I won’t be able to take them to their Croquet Lessons so you’ll need to come get them at my office.” Roper stated into the communicator.
“Uuhnnn.” The voice came from the communicator.
“Okay, then. Roper Lee, out.” Roper tapped the communicator again. “Alright, children, I’ll see you later. Remember to focus on the ball and take deep shallow breaths. Granny Cookie will be here shortly to pick you up.” He patted each of them on the head and exited the office.