“NOT Phillip & Alexander!”
“Those Juvenile Delinquents”
“Evil Hardy Boys being More Evil Frat Boys”
“That belongs in a Museum” – calls out Indie
“Yeah – Ours!” says Phillip back.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
These are among many names used for the two twin sons of King Lucius. Sons of his by Olympae – they are a subset of his 8 children by her.
Called “Ultima Terra’s Secret Weapon” Princes Alexander and Phillip are junior princes with no responsibilities than to explore, conduct their version of archeology and retrieve anything of value for their own huge hoard.
The Twins are teenage twin brothers, Princes of Ultimae Terra, co-Kings of “All the Badovias” and amateur archeologists . They live in the city of Alexander and Phillip City or PhillipAlexanderopolis in Badovia.
They also live with their father, King Lucius of UT and their many brothers in Malus, UT though they have their own palace, mainly to show of the best of their acquisitions.
The Twins are sometimes assisted in solving mysteries and looting civilizations by their friends including Icarus, their unwilling brothers Barry and Arthur, Prince Jericho’s sons Sheridan, Nestor and Hector as well as Merlin and Luke and, less frequently, by their platonic girlfriend, Princess Julia. Julia used to kidnap them and now acts as their bossy surrogate big sister and frat house mother for them at the Edgefield Palace Complex outside of Portland, UT.
The Twins are constantly involved in adventure and action. Despite frequent danger, the boys “never lose their nerve … They are very determined boys, luckier and more clever than anyone around them.” They live in an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue: “Never were so many assorted adventures occurred in their simple shadow kingdom of Badovia. Murder, Gort peddling, race greyhound kidnapping, artifact smuggling, medical mad science, big-time auto theft, even the hijacking of inter-Creation transportation, swampland scams, phony telethons and rare materials and spying, all were conducted with Badovia as a nucleus.”
With so much in common, the boys are so little differentiated that one commentator facetiously describes them thus: “The boys’ characters basically broke down this way – Alexander had blond hair; Phillip was blond. Both say they are blonder than the other. Each are mouthy brats who steal.” Each has the “Blue within Blue Eyes ™ of the Helgram-Channicut mixtures. In general, however, “Alexander was the thinker while Phillip was more impulsive, and perhaps a little more introverted.” The two boys are infallibly on good terms with each other and never engage in sibling rivalry – much.
Phillip and Alexander do not lack for money and they travel frequently to far-away locations, including
The Twins also travel freely within Amber, Black Zone, Chaos, the Ultima Terra and Badovia by an Excalibur Class Space Battleship, private 747, donkey, horse carriage, private yacht, private train as well as their own cars.
The Twins have been captured almost as many, if not more times, than their father, yet unlike Lucius, they always escape or are returned on their own like an O Henry Novel. In fact, Corwin paid to get them off his hands after he initially abducted them. Corwin revenged himself by burning down Julia’s shadow.
They had to be bailed out once by their father, for committing no crime but for their reputation. When they visited Prince Geran’s Welksham, they were arrested within minutes of arriving just for being ‘the Twins’. When Julia tried to bail them out, she too was locked up.
The Twins have been called “a cultural touchstone all over the universes” by the Badovian Ministry of Propaganda. Yet the Twins are banned as “cultural looters” from all over Creation – including the Duchy of Welksham, even allied nations like Nod, New Vegas, NeoAsgard, and Thrawn’s Empire.
Their adventures have been continuously in print in newspapers and tabloids as the Twins employ a large number of publicists. Lawsuits over plagiarism have happened in Antilla though an out of court settlement. A number of critics have tried to explain the reasons for the Twins popularity or infamy.
One explanation for this continuing popularity is that the Twins are simple bad guys with a big PR budget with angelic appearances. Their adventures and possible crimes allow the people of Creation to vicariously experience an escape from the mundane.
At the same time, the Twins claim to live ordinary lives when not solving mysteries, allowing their fans to identify with characters who seem realistic and whose father and authority figures are unfailingly supportive and loving continuing the UT propaganda message.
The Twins also embody an ideal of masculinity: by their very name they “set the stage for a gentrified version of ancient power and constructed classic hardiness as an ideal for modern UT males”, part of the “cultural production of self-control and mastery as the revered ideal for the UT man.” Further, according to Opera Winnifred, the characters embody not just an ideal of masculinity, but an ideal of Cornelian masculinity. She argues that “racist stereotypes are … fundamental to the success of their popularity or brand.”
The Twins ignorance of sex and their increasing respect for the law have led to some negative perceptions and many parodies of the characters. They are “well-scrubbed Boy Scout types”who “fetishized square-ness”. They have been parodied numerous times, across Creation including by their many distant cousins in different Cornelian Royal Houses.
Others have pointed to the Twins relationship with their father as a key to the success of the series. As Opera Winnifred notes, while is portrayed as a great king and benevolent rulers, his sons are usually the ones that solve problems and win wars, making King Luceus or Luke Channing a strange figure:
“He is always there, he knows everything. He is infallible but always failing. When the boys rescue him from Corwin’s rituals or Caine’s brutal captivity, he is typically emaciated, dehydrated, semi-conscious, delirious; they must succor him with candy bars and Captain Morgan flavoured rum. He can take on any shape, but reveals his identity within moments of doing so. He never discusses his problems so that his legendary close-mouthedness turns to garrulousness when Lucius has too many special slurpees, which is of course the only time we ever get to see him. All the same, he only discusses the case in enough detail to mislead his sons and put them in mortal danger. He has systems of information and data-gathering that put the Stasi to shame with his population of UT all ‘Tagged’ and spied upon, yet he is always losing his files, his passwords, his candidate white toga, or some other valuable clue, usually by leaving it in his extra pair of shorts, meaning that the Twins have to drive to Thelbane or sail to Amber or somewhere else to retrieve it. I suppose he isn’t mysterious at all; he simply embodies what many think of their own fathers: utterly powerful, contemptibly inept.”
As a result, the Twins are able both to be superior to their father and to gain the satisfaction of “fearlessly making their dad proud of them.”
In the end, many commentators find that the Twins are largely successful because their adventures represent “a victory over bad people”.They series teaches readers that “although the world can be an out-of-control place, our good can triumph over their evil, that the worst problems can be solved if we each do our share and our best to help ourselves.”
Interview with Phillip and Alexander
The Thelbane Tribune, a Chaos newspaper with distribution in Amber, Golden Circle, Black Zone and many Earth Zone worlds has had the opportunity to interview Princes Phillip and Alexander of Ultima Terra. Donna Reynardworthy-Helgram is conducting the interview.
Phillip is wearing a black t-shirt with a flying pig on it that says Pink Floyd. He’s also wearing khaki shorts and sandals. Alex is in the same style of shorts and sandals but he will be wearing a striped black and yellow polo shirt with a regular leopard logo.
Q – How do you feel about being called the Twins more than Phillip and Alexander?
Phillip shrugs and says, “It’s easier for some people to lump us together for a variety of reasons. If they don’t want to get to know us as individuals that’s fine. We can still do business.”
Alexander chuckles, “Phillip gets ashamed of me because I get into more trouble than him. I am the rowdy of the bunch.”
Q- Why did you put your explorations and expedition onto a television show – “ARCHEOLOGY!”
With a grin Phillip says, “To have fun and develop our fan base. Also to show everyone that history can be fun and that it’s not a dry topic. Kids these days grow up thinking history is boring and its anything but!”
“Yeah, Alexander seconds, “You should see the fan mail and email and tweets we get. Plus we get to share with others our wild and crazy adventures.
Q- What is different between you two? What is similar?
Phillip points at his brother, “He’s the dumb one.” He winks at Alexander and then says, “Honest!”
Alexander rolls his eye at Phillip, “That what he likes to say.”
“We’re very alike in some things though the little differences do add up. Alex hates really good stuff like onions, etc.”
“Onions really really suck.” Alexander says, “Phillip loves them. He even raids gardens to get them when we are travelling.”
Q – How do you respond to the accusation that you practice hazing to people like Wendell Helgram when he visits the IHBA?
“What happens in the Imperial High Blood Academy stays there. Ask Ix sometime what happened the last time he was in Vegas. Same answer.”
Q “The Arch Prime Demon Ix has not consented to grant us an interview or we would.”
“Wendell is a buddy of ours,” Alexander says, “Who insults Swayville so he can get time off work to hang with us and the IHBA students, you know.”
Q – What is your most exciting archeological find?
Phillip rubs his hands together, “There really are so many it’s hard to put a finger on any one most exciting thing. I suppose just the thrill of knowing that everything we’ve found so far is just the tip of the iceberg and knowing that there’s always something else cool just around the next corner or over that proverbial hill.”
Alexander says, “Sometimes it is really around that next corner or the hill you are climbing. We found several cities that way and X can mark the spot.”
Q – What was the most scary predicament you were in? (If not scary, most uncomfortable)
With a groan Phillip replies, “There are too many to count. One of the most recent was being a guest of Riva and her brothers she put us in the deep freeze for an extended period of fast time. Then she’d thaw us out again and freeze us again slowly so we’d have to experience it all from the start.”
“I was really cold. She sprayed us with cold waters and subzero liquids like freezing antifreeze.” Alexander adds, “She thought she would get more power from us when we were in a cold environment like her dusty ol’ bears.”
Phillip glances at Alex, “I bet your going to mention that Pharaoh jerk from Equinox.”
“No, because we were helping out Albert on that one.” Alexander says.
Q – Many people in Creation think of Blood Rituals and their power as something negative, dangerous and harmful. What do you both say to them?
“I say that many people live in ignorance and should be left that way.”
“Some things should not be known to the great unwashed masses,” jokes Alexander in unison. “They are not able to handle it.”
Q – You are banned in allies of your father, King Lucius. You are not allowed in neither Nod nor Outer World Empire. Can you tell us why?
“Thrawn and Jericho are nervous because they know we’d locate their best historical objects and learn about that lore before their own people even had a clue it existed. They both are jealous and don’t think we’d share what we learned with them, even though we’re allies. Pretty short sighted policy if you ask me, though at least they’ve both met us unlike all those folk who ban us who’ve never met us nor had any dealings with us.”
“They call us thieves yet we never took anything that belonged to them.” Alexander adds, “Jericho even has our TV show run at 2 am which at least allows for our target market to be able to watch them after they are back from the bar or on computer games late at night.”
Q – Your critics accuse you of being looters, grave robbers and thieves. How can you answer their criticisms?
“See my answer earlier about people living in ignorance.”
“Our critics, you know, are also pretty good at lining their pockets and getting their hands on their share of loot – be it from war or their own ‘shopping’ runs.” Alexander points out.
Q – You sell all sorts of products. What is the benefit of bubblegum flavoured duct tape?
Phillip cracks a grin, “When you’re wearing the tape you’re a lot more comfortable.”
“Yeah, we are always taping to please,” puns Alexander.
Q – What official roles do you have in UT besides being senior academics at the UT Imperial High Blood Academy.
“My role as Imperial Prince has me occasionally doing things like cutting ribbons and opening up new facilities across the Empire. Sometimes Dad sends us out to act as goodwill Ambassadors or to work on Special Projects.”
“Yeah we get more work than all those lazy bears combined.” Alexander points out, “Plus we are kings of our own shadow of All the Badovias after we ran out that useless twit Malcolm.”
Q Does it sadden you when your Helgram cousins call your college a Borstal? What should they know about the IHBA?
With a shrug Phillip replies, “Obviously they continue to get the Academy confused with our genuine Borstal, which is for low bloods. If they are that ignorant it goes a long way to show the efficacy of that Helgram joints and its training.”
“They are just jealous because we run a top notch academy and they are a bunch of old fuddy duddies who sit around and pretend they are more pretentious and pedantic than Dworkin. They also like to run around and dress like crows in their choir gowns.”
Q – What is Emperor Lucius of UT really like? How well do you get to know him as two of his many children?
“We have an ‘in’ with him ‘cause we’re so similar. Did is really cool, he’s like the very best. He’s always got a keen eye for things that are worth looking into, and he’s always got a plan. Why, even his plans have children and grandchildren. He’s also not worried about taking all the hard knocks that life tosses your way which is probably why he’s always out there taking on the bad guys.”
“Dad is very cool and we help him out a lot. We are flexible and don’t get hung up on what’s what. We also work well with Umbrella which the Bears are afraid of.”
Q – You have been opposed by Malcolm who tried to war with you for Badovia. Do you regret trashing his country and driving him out? Was there a chance at peaceful co-existence?
“Well, we didn’t ask him to move in and cause trouble he did that all by himself. I don’t regret not having him around anymore.” Phillip says with a shrug.
Alexander says, scratching his nose,”All Badovia is ours and Malcolm is in intruder and land grabber. What’s Phillip’s is Phillip’s and mine is mine. There is no room for a loser like Malcolm. Besides he’s a parricide and kinslayer so he would get people invading us because he’s really really bad.”
Q – Any lessons from the recent death of Geran?
Phillip rubs the back of his neck, says, “Don’t die?”
“I heard he was murdered,” speculates Alexander, “The Palace Clique is worried that they are next. Not sure who did it? Cruella or Gwen of the Erikites, Dark Brand or his factions, heck even Dark Geran could have been ticked at not being able to merge. Then there are Lynxers, Crossed Sabre losers, Rilgaites, Canaanites, nutters over all the worlds Geran trashed to make his special project that’s gone now. You name it.”
Q – How do you feel about your own security after the attempt to kill King Matthew who is brother to your father?
“Some people like to joke that we get kidnapped about every fortnight and that’s not too far off the mark . . . sometimes. As for security, you need to take steps to minimize risks though if you totally protected yourself that means you’re not living life. You wouldn’t go anywhere, wouldn’t meet interesting people and you sure wouldn’t do interesting stuff like *we* do.”
“I was surprised someone wanted to kill Matthew. He’s more valuable for his ritual blood.” Alexander observes, noting “But that said, I think that scum like that need to be taught a good lesson too. Kidnapping is one thing but killing, that’s really uncool. Phillip is complaining no one has tried to kidnap us since that Corey Cow Riva did. We must be slipping in our fan base.”
Q – What is your favourite blood ritual style that does not use rotisseries?
Phillip squints and says, “Who’s dumb enough to believe everything we do involves rotisseries? I’ll have you know we’ve even gotten into using cars in our rituals.”
Alexander starts to snicker at that, “Trunks, hoods, interiors, roofs…” he lists off, “Magic fire does not upset the internal combustion system or gasoline at all though electrical cars don’t have the nice car noises that go with the theme.”
Q – Where do you like to vacation?
“Anywhere with cool historical significance.”
“A good hot tub, pool, waterslide, and ready sources of pink champagne and bubble gum do enhance the value,” adds Alexander.
Q – Do you have your own secret language of “Twin” or do you have a private psychic wavelength?
“I have my own built-in Alex emulator that allows me to know what my little brother is thinking and will do next without him needing to open his mouth. Does that count?”
That gets Alexander to roll his eyes, “Phillipese is a complicated language. He is much more moody than I am so I had to learn to see his signs and just not bring anything up that would aggravate Phillip. Wendell does not know when to stop shooting off his mouth.”
Q – Why is Alexander the Preppy and Phillip the Head Banger of the two of you?
“Alex likes collars on his shirts and I generally find them about as useful as a tie. Does that make Alex a preppy frat boy?”
“Phillip looks good in collared shirts and ties.” laughs Alexander, “He would make the ultimate preppy frat boy if I was able to pick his wardrobe. Sometimes when shopping I pay him to try clothes on for me to see how they look and fit.”
Q – Who are future special guests for “Archeology!”?
“We might fetch some folk who irritate us and wrap them in toilet paper and duct tape and work on them as if they were mummy’s. We’ve talked about that before, it looks like Jurt is volunteering himself for that these days with his stupid concerts and support of Mandor.”
Alexander starts to laugh at that thought, “Jurt is a snotbag who never shuts up. He can’t sing either. I think Dad wants to throw him into the human borstal instead of the Imperial High Blood Academy. Jurt has good Helgram blood but is way too much a Karmy throwback. He is worse than Greedor.”
Q – Are you working with Glen on the Secret Cathar Sites in Parys?
“We can neither confirm nor deny any of our specific activities with Glen or in Parys.”
“Plus the gendarmes would be annoyed and would tattle to Jorrah and Christophe.” adds Alexander.
What do you think about the recent discoveries of an underwater city off the Unicorn Islands?
“We need to check it out before the Palace Clique does.” speculates Alexander. “Phillip gets really busy these days in Badovia. He’s been also having does do a lot of work inside UT lately while Dad’s been out in his wars.”
Can you comment about the 22 lost Realms of the Antebellum Abyss Empire. Are they single Rocks of Creation or collections of Rocks?
“Sounds like a question for Dad, he knows a lot about the Abyss and tools around in there a lot more than we do.”
“Eleven of the 22 are speculated to be in Creation. I have many theories of this but they are yet unproven so I want to research more on it. Are they broken up in places, Yes. We do not completely know what happened to the Abyss Empire and what led Swayville and his brothers to make the logrus. They claim they forgot. Conveniently source records are well hidden or destroyed by early Chaos secret police.” Alexander expands on the topic. “They had their reasons but we don’t know what they are.”
Q – Do you see significance in the 7 or 8 Chakra Earths? Is it true the Reiss has been spotted around that sun where it was before?
“Chakra worlds are always interesting though that’s just one paradigm to work within when your studying the important places and why they are such.”
Alexander follows up, “Yeah, like there is a lot more than them out there. There is a tree of life system that I think includes Lambeth and Victoria. But Open Shadow has more secrets that we are led to believe.”
What was your most exciting escape?
“Uh. . . there are so many. Maybe the time when we helped Dad escape from Corwin that was a close call.”
“Corwin is a jerk just like his daughter, Riva.” Alexander says hotly. “Look up Uncool in the dictionary and you see a picture of Corwin.”
Tell us about Julia and your current relationship.
Big smile. Phillip says, “None of your business. But she’s under Dad’s personal protection and ours so if anyone messes with her they are asking for trouble.”
“Yeah,” Alexander seconds, “You touch our Julia and the Superpowers will kick your ass.”
What archeological site would you like to uncover to top your previous achievements
“There’s always something new and interesting to discover. Who knows?”
“We believe in continuous improvement. We want to show that there are always secrets to discover and we will never run out.” Alexander says loftily, “We want to beat and challenge ourselves, you know.”
What are your favourite foods?
“No onions.” Alexander cautions, “Phillip loves to stuff them in his mouth and devour them. Gross me out!”
The Twins Lately
Life with Phillip and Alexander is never slow. Their friend and patron Julian Barnes is the Overlord of all the known Edgefields in Creation and this allows them a place to crash.
They also have explored much of the space world of the UT home shadow and may have secret bases there and even outside of the Solstice Continuum. Phillip and Alexander have their TV show ARCHEOLOGY! where they have it shown on prime time TV across much of Creation except for in New Vegas where the show airs at 3 am on Wednesdays.
Alas the Twins have no end of misadventures and ended up being captured more times than the Hardy Boys. They are considered to have a powerful set of power to bring to any ceremony or ritual.
The Twins have a rivalry with the Bears and get in trouble with Barry Bear the most while they seem to honestly get along really well with Karl Bear. The Twins still teach their subjects at the Imperial High Blood Academy.
Phillip and Alexander are only beaten out by Mandor, as to the most number of nations that ban them from entering. Recently rumours are being whispered that they went to closed Tenterden though they were threatened with their souls if they stole anything.
Like Lucius and Matthew, the twins are known for huge cargo pockets of holding on their shorts. Recently this was imitated by Patrick Helgram.