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Author's Note: This story takes place during the spring break, after summer and Christmas vacation.
The Family Tracker
Ferb Fletcher’s eyes snapped open, pulling him abruptly out of the first nightmare he’d had all year. He lay there for about a minute, letting his breathing return to normal, then sat up, shoving the green hair out of his eyes. He’d always had green hair, for some reason, but nobody he knew really cared. He observed his surroundings. His stepbrother, Phineas Flynn, was still snoring in his bed on the other side of the room. Their pet platypus, Perry, was still curled up next to him. The walls were still blue, the floors still wood. Nothing had changed. According to the clock on his nightstand, it was 11:42 pm. He’d been asleep only a few hours. Any ordinary guy would just shrug that fact off, but Ferb wasn’t exactly what you’d call an “ordinary guy”. He knew that people rarely experience long dreams until late into sleep. Maybe I’m not a person he thought jokingly. He closed his eyes, but he couldn’t seem to go to back to sleep again. His dream had been extremely vivid. He sat up again and groped around the nightstand, selecting a random gadget that sat there. He clicked it on, and his hand-held GPS blinked to life. It was the same GPS Phineas had Jerry-Rigged into a Cute-Tracker to find their friend Meap. The device had been fried in the process of that adventure, but Ferb was very skilled at fixing things. The little machine was currently getting a signal from the Garcia-Shapiros’ house across the street. Ferb smiled at Phineas for a second, then set to work.
Tinkering could get Ferb’s mind off of anything. If you needed to get his attention before he was finished, you’d probably have to do something mildly painful. Within fifteen minutes, he’d re-calibrated the GPS from a Cute-Seeker to a Corn Dog Locator to a Platypus-Finder (Who knew there were so many in Danville?) then finally to a Family Member Tracker. His mind clear of the dream, Ferb was about to go back to sleep, but sheer curiosity won him over. He licked his thumb and pressed it against the DNA registering pad. Within seconds, several dozen glowing purple stripes zipped across the screen. Some of the signals stopped only two yards away from him, others went halfway around the planet. Some were glowing green, others red. Green meant related by blood, red meant by marriage. Phineas’s signal was six feet from him, Candace was asleep in her room, Mum and Father were asleep in theirs, Uncle Bob and Aunt Tiana were in Michigan, Grandpa Clyde, Grandma Betty Jo and Great-Aunt Lorraine were in the middle of nowhere, Grandpa Reg and Grandma Winnie were in England, Uncle Angus and Aunt Maura were in Scotland, along with his cousins, Nigel, Hector and Bridget. Several other aunts, uncles and cousins dotted the map. Ferb was about to turn the Seeker off, when something caught his eye: a signal, just outside the boundaries of Danville, that didn’t seem to be in any sort of house, apartment, hotel or any other place of residence. The stripe leading to it was surrounded by a green hue, so it was a blood relative. With the press of a few buttons, the signal read:
- Name: Jessica Grace Fletcher
- Gender: Female
- Age: 11
- Relation: Unknown
- Time to Location: 1.47 Hours
Ferb stared at the words. A million questions tangled in his brain. Who was this girl? Where had she come from? Why hadn’t Mum and Father told me about her? Why was she living in the outskirts of the city? How is she related to me? Somehow, in the deepest, most distant part of his mind, he felt like he should know her very well, but didn’t. She had something to do with his identity. There were two ways for Ferb to find an answer to all these questions. One, he could simply wait until morning to ask his parents about her. Naturally, though, he went with the second option.
Half an hour later, after much writing and re-writing, Ferb placed a note on the nightstand, crumpled pieces of paper littering the floor.
Dear Phineas and Candace,
I will probably be home before you read this, but if I’m not, there is no need to worry about me. I am not running away and I intend to be back very soon. I cannot tell you why I’m leaving, but it does not involve or harm you. If I’m not back by morning, I will most likely be somewhere outside the eastern border of the city. The likelihood of this endeavor being life-threatening is extremely low, I promise.
I love you both,
P.S. Don’t let anyone else see this note.
Writing the message made Ferb feel guilty, but not as guilty as he would’ve felt if he hadn’t written anything at all. He patted Perry’s fur, gave the room one last look and had just turned around to creep out, when a groggy but very familiar voice said: “Ferb?”
Oh, drat! Ferb thought. He spun around. Phineas had had awoken and was sitting up, his red hair tousled, his eyes glazed with sleep.
“What’re you doing up?”
Ferb was thinking up a fib, but Phineas was too quick for him.
“And why are you dressed? And why are you holding a GPS? And why do you look so pale?” He gasped. “You’re not running away are you!?”
Ferb shook his head firmly.
“Then where are you going?” He slid of the bed, looking half-suspicious, half-curious. Ferb sighed. He had no choice now. He walked over to his brother and handed him the GPS. Phineas stared at the screen for about a minute, his eyes wide, his jaw dropped. He looked at Ferb, then at the note on the nightstand and then back at the Tracker and seemed to put two and two together. He looked at back at Ferb with a strange expression. “You’re gonna go look for her.” It wasn’t a question.
“I’d let you come with me if I could.” Ferb said “I’m not being noble or anything, but this is something I have to do alone.”
“Don’t even need to say it, Bro.” Phineas said with a grin “Just promise me a few things.”
Ferb raised his eyebrows.
“When you find her, tell her I said ‘Hi’, and if she needs a place to stay we have a spare bedroom that never gets used. And make sure you’re not gone too long, because it’s sub night tomorrow.”
Phineas have him a hug. “Just don’t get yourself killed out there.”
He meant it.
The Crash Site
It was a chilly, cloudy night, with the possibility of rain. The grass was damp, the ground soggy. Beneath he apple tree in the backyard that was just starting to grow buds, puddles of mud lay where the boys usually sat. The roads were quiet, insects fluttering silently around the streetlamps. Ferb examined the GPS, his breath forming clouds of fog. He followed it’s direction out of the yard, down the street and past the houses of all his neighbors. From the porch of a house, a grey cat stared at him with reflective amber eyes. Once in a while a car drove by, abruptly breaking his concentration. Ferb followed the trail of his electronic guide for over an hour, past every home, every backyard, every garden, every garage, until he found the road that led him out of the city. After traveling about a mile, Ferb climbed up a tall hill covered in knee-high grass and turned around. The entire city of Danville shone before him, sirens and dog barks piercing the silence. It seemed every light in every window in every building was turned on, turning half the city gold. It was a pretty cool place to live, but you don’t really know a city until you’ve seen it in its complete magnificence in the middle of the night. Ferb made a mental note to stand here with his family later and show them. He returned his gaze to the GPS and felt his blood run cold. According to the screen, the person he was looking for was right behind him. Very, very slowly he turned around and looked down. At the foot of opposite side of the hill lay the very last thing you would expect to find there: a spaceship.
It clearly was not a normal spaceship. It was far to small; Ferb doubted two people could comfortably fit in the cockpit. Its wings and tail fins were sharp, almost jagged. The hull was silvery grey, with purple markings, the polycarbonate window was a blood red. A single, air-lock-type sliding door was built into the side. But the strangest thing about this space craft was not what it looked like, but that it had clearly crashed at top speed: the nose was buried in a crater four feet into the ground, the metal bent and crumpled from the impact. The window was spider-webbed with cracks, but was somehow still intact. The back half of the ship was suspended several meters in mid-air. The crash must have occurred months ago, because the ship was encrusted almost entirely in rust, moss and dirt. This was his destination. Ferb felt a shiver that had nothing to do with the cold night. Somebody was in there, some long-lost relative that lives in an extra-terrestrial space vessel, someone who’s been kept out of Ferb’s life since as long as his memory served. Half of Ferb felt like running to it at top speed and ripping the door open, half of him felt like spinning around and running away in the opposite direction, never to return. This girl has been gone from me for eleven years he thought, I must be loosing my mind. Like a sleepwalker who was dreaming a very lazy dream, Ferb walked down the hill. He hesitated at the door, then, feeling like he was about to bungee jump from a balsa wood frame, he knocked.
Jessica G. Fletcher
“Eel Thiaf Hakeber!?” snapped a girl’s voice from behind the cold metal.
Ferb was dumbfounded. Somehow, he’d heard that language before, but couldn't remember where.
“Um...do you speak English?” he asked awkwardly.
“Yes, who are you? What do you want!?”
“Would your first name happen to be Jessica?”
There was a terribly long, tense silence. When she responded, the sharpness in her voice was gone. “Yeah...w-would your last name happen to be Fletcher?”
Ferb felt his hands shake. “Yes, yes it would.”
In spite of himself, Ferb felt a pang of annoyance; he’d always despised his full name. “Yes.”
There was another suspended pause. Then, with a horrible, rusty screech, the door slid open to reveal a girl wearing checkered turquoise and blue pajamas. The GPS clattered from Ferb’s hand onto the ground.
She was precisely the same height as Ferb was, with the very same deep blue eyes. Her thick, tangled, curly head of hair, which was so long it almost reached the floor, was exactly the same shade of leaf-green as his. Her cubical nose was just like every other member of the Fletcher family’s, only much smaller. Her ears were long and pointed, like an elf’s and a huge, curly cowlick. Her face was very pretty, but looked like it should be wearing a feisty, sly expression, not one of blank shock. She looked like someone who’d been living on the streets: her pajamas were torn and dirty, her face and arms were flecked with scrapes and small bruises. A small, fresh cut glistened above her right eyebrow. Ferb had no doubts now: either he had been involved in some illegal trans-gender/cloning science experiment without his knowledge, or he was gazing into the stunned, white face of his twin sister. Neither of them knew how long they stared at each other, wearing identical, stunned expressions. Maybe it was several minutes, maybe it was an hour, maybe it was a whole day and the sun had simply decided not to rise. Eventually, though, Jessica cracked a tiny, weak smile and offered a handshake. With a hand that had only two fingers and a thumb. Ferb looked down at the dismembered hand and his eyes stung. When he returned his gaze to her face she was shivering all over. “I never thought you’d find me.” she whispered, hardly able to speak. Ferb swallowed painfully. Then he flung his arms around her. And the moment he did so, she completely broke down, hugging him back so tightly he felt bruises for a week. And no matter how many times Ferb has denied this when telling this story, he was crying too. Eleven years was an awful long time, after all.
The TwinsFerb was honestly expecting Jessica to weep on his shoulder the rest of the night, or at least for the rest of the hour, but apparently living on the streets had toughened her up because she regained control of herself pretty fast. But she was still shaking, her breath shuddering. She felt unhealthily thin.
“Jessica, where’ve you been the last decade?” Ferb asked as they let go of each other half an hour later.
She sniffled “It’s a really long story.”
“Well, we haven't seen each other our whole lives, and it’s two in the morning." Ferb said "We appear to have plenty of time.”
“Fair enough.” she said with a quick smirk “Okay, here it goes: You’ve never met your mom, right?”
“Of course I-” then he understood the question “...you mean my birth mum? No.”
“And did Dad ever tell you anything about her?”
Ferb struggled to remember, that was so long ago “He told me she vanished after I was born.”
“Did he tell you anything else?”
He shook his head. That seemed like the answer she expected. Ferb felt his stomach drop “Do you know something about her?”
Her expression was grim “Yes, as a matter of fact I do know a thing or two about her. Okay, I’ll start from the beginning, the very beginning.” She closed her eyes. “First thing you need to know, Ferdinand-”
“Call me Ferb.”
“Okay, Ferb, first thing you need to know is that our mom” she hesitated, trying to find the right words "...wasn’t...from...here.”
Ferb raised his eyebrows in an inquiring way.
Jessica sighed “She wasn’t from this planet. She was an alien.”
Ferb let his brain process that. Okay, I’m half alien. That explains a lot. But it doesn’t explain everything. “Continue” he said. And Jessica began her story: “Our mom was the matriarch of her planet. In order to keep her position as queen, she needed a female heir to the throne, a daughter. She had no time to find a husband on her planet, so she resorted to a very questionable alternative: having a child with an earthling. Her species is capable of manipulating and controlling simple brains, see, and a human’s neuron structure would be far less complicated than one of her own kind. And she was a master at this art. So she came to earth, brainwashed Dad, then had us. She obviously never planned to have a son, because when she left almost immediately afterwards she left you behind. When she released Dad from the mind control he had no memory of her. She planted false information in his head that his newborn son’s mom had been an ordinary human who had simply left them. Mom took me to her planet and that’s where I lived for ten years, never knowing who my dad was or where I came from or why I looked different from everybody else. Almost one hundred percent of the time I was cared for by my nanny. Mom wasn’t exactly the...best...mom in the universe.” She paused, her eyes looking sadly out into space. Ferb suspected that she was making an understatement. Then she cleared her throat and continued “Then, about a year ago, interplanetary war broke out. Half of the people I knew got killed, and Mom got fatally wounded. Knowing she was about to die, she told me the truth about Dad and about this planet I was born on called Earth. She gave me the keys to an emergency escape jet and, with her dying breath, she told me about you, and that she was sorry for ever separating us. Only decent thing she ever did.” She stopped for a second, then took a deep breath. “I have no idea how long I was in hyperspace, but eventually I crashed here. It was the closest to the coordinates my ship gave me that I could get. I can’t say how long I’ve been here because I can’t measure earth time. I tried to find you, but I had no idea what you looked like and I couldn’t ask anyone about you. For some reason, nobody responded to one ‘Ferdinand Fletcher’. And then tonight... well ...you know the rest.”
There was another long, long silence. Ferb felt everything he’d been told sink in, filling in all the cracks in his memory, killing every question he had. That’s why I’ve never met Jessica. That’s why I have no photos of my birth mum. That’s why Martian came so naturally to me. That’s why I have copper-based blood. That’s why I have green hair. Eventually, though, only one thought was in his head: I’m an alien. How cool is that? Phineas is gonna be exhilarated when he hears this. His thoughts were eventually interrupted by Jessica’s voice
“So what’s your story? Where have you been the last decade?”
Ferb spoke more that one night then he had every other day of his life combined. He told his sister about everything: his family, his home, his friends, his school, Perry (Jessica found the absurdity of a platypus hilarious), and eventually ended up telling her all about last summer, down to every last adventure he’d had with his brother and every law of physics they’d broken. It was daybreak by the time his voice wore out and he wasn’t even done telling her about Vanessa. But Jessica didn’t need to hear another word; her eyes were bright with excitement.
“You think you’re family would like me?” she asked.
“I don’t see why not!” Then he remembered his promise to Phineas, “We have a spare bedroom that never gets used. Care to come with me, Jessica?”
She grinned widely “Would I ever! And by the way, Ferb, it’s Jessie. If I have to call you ‘Ferb’, you have to call me Jessie. Deal?”
Disclaimer: This epilogue was written by Lotta Potato Salad. All rights go to her.
"Whoa! What is that thing?"
"That's Perry. The platypus."
"Oh, yes! And he lives with you?"
"Yes, but he disapears once in a while."
"Where does he go?"
"We still don't know."
"Wow." Jessica flopped down on her stomach and studied Perry closely. After a few moments, she announced, "I like him. I think he's from my planet."
Ferb raised an eyebrow and smiled. He opened the front door to his house. "Shh, I think everyone's still asleep." He turned and found the Jessie was gone.
"Look at THIS!" She was holding up a spoon. "What is it?"
"That's a spoon. You eat with it."
Jessie needed no persuasion. She held it up to her mouth and licked it. "Hmm. No, I don't like it." She began opening drawers and cabinets, rifling through kitchen supplies and commenting on them.
"I'm going to see if Phineas is awake." Ferb told her. "I'll be right back."
Jessie didn't notice. She was too busy playing with an egg beater.
"Careful with that," Ferb called as he walked up to his bedroom.
"Phineas, wake up! You won't believe it!"
Phineas opened his eyes instantly. "Your sister?"
Ferb nodded, and his step-brother grinned. "Where is she?"
The brothers ran out of their bedroom and quietly, to not wake up Candace or their parents, opened doors, looking for Jessie. They found her in Candace's room. Jessie was staring intensely at the sleeping teenager, her eyes wide.
"What IS that?" Jessie asked nervously.
"What's a Candace? And who is that?" Jessie pointed to Phineas.
"That. And this is my brother, Phineas." Phineas smiled.
"Hi, Phineas. Can I touch it?" Jessie gestured at Candace. Before Ferb could object, Jessie reached out and poked Candace on the cheek. Candace awoke instantly, and screamed at the green-haired visitor. Hearing the Candace scream surprised and delighted Jessie, so she screamed as well. This caused Candace to scream at whatever-was-in-her-bedroom's scream, resulting in a mini-concert of hysteria that lasted for about five minutes.
Finally, an exausted Jessie collapsed to the floor, laughing hysterically. "Let's do that again!"
Then Candace spotted her brothers in the room and growled. "Phineas and Ferb!" She lept out of her bed and threw her pink and purple pillow at their heads. Jessie immediatly got off the floor and went over to Candace. "What are you?" the two girls asked at the same time.
"Candace, meet Ferb's twin sister. Jessie, meet my sister."
"It's very wonderful to meet you," Jessie grabbed Candace's hand and pumped it up and down.
Candace jerked away. "Ooooh, you guys are so busted! I'm telling mom and dad!"
Jessie's eyes lit up at the word "dad". "I'm finally going to meet my father! Where is he?"
"In his room, but Jessie, don't wake him-"
It was too late, Jessie was already running out of the room.
"We'd better follow her, who knows what kind of trouble she could get into?" Phineas said.
But Phineas had hardly finished hs sentence when their parents entered the room.
"Phineas! Ferb! What are you two doing up so late? It's not even six o' clock in the morning!" Linda growled.
Phineas looked over at his stepbrother. "Well, Ferb found..." How would he explain this?
Then Jessie ran into the room. "Where are they?" she asked, out of breath from running all over the house. Then she noticed the parents.
Lawrence stared at her. "You look so familiar. Where did..." He looked at Ferb, who just nodded slightly. There was a long silence as Lawrence and Jessie stared at each other.
"Jessica?" He said finally. She nodded, tears coming to her eyes. She ran to her long-lost father and hugged him. Lawrence, just as tearful, hugged her back.
"What is going on?" Linda demanded.
"It's a long story, mum." Ferb said sheepishly.
"Well, you better start telling it." Candace said, coming into the room.
Trivia and Background Information
- "Gemini" means "Twins", hence the title.
- When Ferb first wakes up, the clock reads 11:42. This is a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- According to the first chapter, Uncle Bob and Aunt Tiana are living in Michigan. The author of this story also has an Aunt and Uncle living in Michigan.
- Ferb mentions that his blood is based on copper instead of iron, which would make it green instad of red.
- There was originally going to be a scene where Ferb discovers Candace saw him leave the house and had been following him the entire time. This scene was removed due to pacing issues.
- Jessica's middle name, Grace, is homage to the author's sister, who's middle name is also Grace. This sister also helped with the editing of this story.
- The twins' mother is an homage to the Alien Queen from the Aliens films, though the author has not seen these films, so the homage is only based on the small amount of information she has read.
- Also, the twins' themselves being half alien and half human is homage to Spock of Star Trek fame.
- The title of this story was originally just "First Contact", the same as the eighth Star Trek film. The author did not know this until after the story was finished, so the title was lengthened.
- This story is followed by "A British Werewolf in Danville".
- This story has a page on Tvtropes.org.