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As plans go, Harold’s wasn’t bad.  They would all have the same name, but from different generations:  they would be each other’s sons.  At the very least, Harry would be listed as Harold’s legal son.  Unfortunately, Doctor Harold Smith had never been married.  A mistress or an ill-fated love affair with a married woman could have produced a child, who Harold may not have known about, until she brought it up in her will.
“No, no married women.”  Rold sniffed.  “When was the last time you went on a date?”
Harold thought about it.  “Quite a lot of the women my age, they don’t worry about those kinds of things.  I could have had a married lover, a long time ago.  Besides which, we’re making all of this up as we go, so why not?”
“Let’s say no, Harold.”  Harry tapped his fingers on the table.  “Actually, let’s say yes.  She could have been some woman who passed away recently, who was a single mom.”  He lifted up a hand for attention.  “The less people we involve, the better.”
“Yes, and also if she’s passed away, maybe you were so broken up about it, you forgot all about her, and then bam!  Fully grown kid!”  Rold brainstormed.  “We just need to find some oldster who passed away and who’s about Harry’s age.  Heart attack or something.”
“I really wish we wouldn’t mention dead people.”  Harry said dolefully.  
“We don’t need them, just records of them.”  Rold rolled his eyes.  “As for me, I’d be an paladin with the Alliance before I could be related to any of you jokers.”  Rold sat on the counter.  “Make me adopted.  We could have me be Harold Smith, the fourth.  Hey, that makes you Junior, Harry!”
“How would we get you if you were adopted?”  Hare leaned against the kitchen door jamb.  “Wouldn’t we need some kind of proof?”
“That’s the brilliant thing, see, kids get adopted all the time.  I bet its a piece of cake to fake adoption papers.  Then we can pretend like we lost my papers, and we don’t know what to do!”  Rold but his right hand up in a victory sign.  “Then, like magic, I’ve got a whole new identity.”
“Fine.”  Harold snorted and put his hands up in defeat.  “Which one of us adopted you?”
“Harry . . . because he wanted to impress a lady friend.”  Rold pointed at Harry.  “And when he moved on to some . . . other trollop, we had to move and we lost all of my papers.”
“I like this, I’m a Don Juan.”  Harry tilted his head upwards.  “I’m a Casanova!  I love all the ladies.”
“Not that I don’t think you’d be a ladies man, Harry, but no one seems to think I am either.”  Harold held his guffaws in.
Hare chortled.  “I’m not laughing at you Harry, but I think its ludicrous.”
“Its all pretend, right?”  Rold giggled.  “We can be whoever we want to be.”
“I’m not sure how that would work.”  Hare admitted.  “In fact, I don’t think any of this will work.  It’s illegal.  Identity fraud is illegal.”
“Which is what we’re doing.”  Rold argued.  “Or what we’re planning to do.  Its what we need to do.”
“He has a point.”  Harold agreed.  “You both do.  What we’re doing is illegal, and if we get caught, we could be exposed, and not only for the identity thing.”
“We know, we know. That’s why we have to construct the most plausible lies we can, not sit around bickering about what’s right and wrong.  Rold rubbed his hands together.  “I’m adopted by Harry, then, that’s settled, and we can figure out the other details later.”
“Fine, then I’m adopted, too.”  Hare muttered.
Both Harold and Harry shook their heads no.
“Now Rold is the genius?”  Hare complained.
“No, we’re all geniuses.”  Harry explained.
“Thank you.”  Harold chimed in.
“No problem.”  Harry put his palm out facing Hare.  “Its not that its a bad idea, but Rold thought of it first.  We shouldn’t have truths that repeat, that would look too neat on paper.”
“Too easy to spot,”  Harold tapped a his thumb against his lip.  
“And having us all named Harold Smith isn’t?”  Hare griped.
“No.”  Rold smirked.  “Because we’re all related, see?”  He indicated everyone using his arms.  “We’re guys, and we don’t have better names or different names because there are no ladies around.”  Setting his hands on his hips, Rold continued to beam.  “Pretty good, huh?”
“Fine.”  Hare’s nostrils flared.  “So, I’m reunited and living with my birth father, then, who is Harry and his adopted son, Rold.”
“No doubt I had you with a lovelorn strumpet.”  Harry struck an affected pose.  “On one of my many travels a decade ago, yes, I espied you at a bistro.  No, while on holiday, I noticed you at a pub.  The cigar smoke cleared, and there you were, a dead ringer for myself at your age.  A young whippersnapper who I knew I had to take home to America, for great opportunities.”
“What are we, British?”  Rold wrinkled his brow.  “I don’t think we’re British.  Or English, Irish or Scottish.  Forget that.”
“Well, no, you’re American.”  Harry pointed an index finger at Rold.  “I am a member of the British Empire, who has lived long enough in the Americas to have lost most of his accent.”
“Don’t look at me, Rold.”  Hare groused.  “You’re the one who said we can be whoever we want.  He wants to be British, let him be British.”
“Dude, you do not talk like that.”  Rold addressed Harry directly.  “That’s not even close to some kind of accent.”
“We’re not from California.”  Hare smirked.  “Dude.”
Harold intervened.  “The closer to our real personalities these personalities are, the easier it will be to lie.  We’re going to have to lie to officials and even neighbors or people I used to know.”
“We’re going to meet people.”  Harry clapped his hands together in excitement.  “Wow.”
“I think we need to not act like that, dude.”  Rold put his hands down by his side.  “In public, we need to be cool.  Calm.  Collected.  No clapping.”
“Oh, I can do that.”  Harry bobbed his head up and down.
Hare covered his face with a hand.  “This is gonna be a long afternoon.”  He sighed.  “All right, so we’ve established names and some . . . kind of relationships we have with each other.  We can figure out our countries of origin later.”
“I think we should be American.”  Harold declared sheepishly.  “If we can, since that’s what we are, sort of.”
They all agreed, since none of them, like most Americans, knew much about the reality of living in other countries.  Certainly, they knew where important countries were on a world map, but they had never been there, as they had never had proper documentation to travel.  Only Harold had been out of the country and his travels had been years ago when he was younger, mostly to pleasant tropical islands.  If asked a question related to something as mundane as banking or parking, they would have to fib or invent and add onto their already humongous tall tale.
“Even if we pretend to be from another country,” Rold explained.  “We can always say that we’ve lived in the US long enough to forget.”
“Since everyone forgets anyway.”  Hare concurred.
“At least people our ages,” Harry indicated himself and Harold.  “No one expects us to remember anything.  We should use that.”
“People always want to help people who are confused and kind of helpless, right?”  Rold quipped.  “You’re perfect for that.”
“Thanks.”  Harry crossed his arms.
“Oh, I didn’t mean that you are, but that you could pretend to be.  You’re not in the best physical health, and you’re aging kind of quickly . . .”  Rold trailed off.  “Anyway, its a good thing.”
Hare covered his mouth with a hand.
Harold cleared his throat.  “When everyone has a legal identity, we sell the house.”  He looked at Harry, then Hare and lastly, Rold.  “Is everyone okay with that?”
“Okay.”  Hare formed a fist with his right hand.  “I can understand that we have to sell the house.  I’m not sure what happens after that.”
“The house probably won’t sell quickly.”  Rold offered.  “Houses can take some time.   We can plan while the house is up.  We could travel!  We could go to video gaming conventions, or maybe some kind of scientific society meeting.”
“I’m not sure that we should do that.”  Harold put both of his palms forward.  “I might actually know people at those things.”
“Exactly, a sea of nerds to hide a set of nerds.  We do look like nerds.”  Rold explained.  “No one would think we’d look out of place.”
“He has a point.”  Harry admitted.  
“Maybe we should think about moving someplace with a lot of retired scientists.”  Harold rubbed his chin with his forefinger and thumb.  “Not in my field, but some other field, computer programming or something.”
“That would be awesome.”  Rold gave Harold a thumbs-up.
“I hate to be the person who says this, because I’m always the person who says this, but  what if we fail?”  Hare licked his lips.  “If we can’t get identities before we have to sell the house, we have to have another plan.  We have no idea how to do this, guys.  Not really.  I mean its nice to plan like this, as if we’re spies, but we’re not spies.  We’re flying by the seat of our pants.”
“So, a plan B, then?”  Rold glanced around the room.  “Some kind of a fallback plan?”  He made eye contact with Hare.  “Any ideas?”
“No, I, I was mentioning it because we haven’t been planning expecting that.  So far,”  Hare pointed at Harold.  “Harold didn’t think we would have to do any of this.  Before that, none of us expected him to get fired.”
“There were signs, though.”  Harry shrugged.  
“We should really think this through, is all I’m saying.” 


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