“Today marks a big day in international news,” the perky blonde newscaster on TV said. “The youngest member of the triumvirate, Abed Hamutal, turns thirty-five today. In his home universe, Abed is the eldest son of Saudi Oil Tycoon, Eli Hamutal the richest man on earth-alternate. Mr. Hamutal has put some of his considerable wealth to good use by giving thirty-five different orphanages worldwide a quarter million dollars each. Happy birthday indeed.”

“Wait, I did what,” Abed asked, straightening his tie.

“I may have made a slight charitable donation on your behalf,” Gaia said, checking her pinstripe skirt in the mirror.

“Slight- that’s almost nine million dollars.”

“Which you wouldn’t have even noticed if she hadn’t said anything.”

“Still, it’s my money and I would like to be consulted before you go spending it for me.”

Gaia stopped her primping for a minute to give Abed her full attention. She patted his shoulder soothingly. “I’m sorry; I was just looking out for your best interests. You’re the richest of us three and polls show people don’t think you’re charitable enough. These donations will help boost your popularity.”

“And we all know how much you want people to like you,” Peter added, polishing his snakeskin shoes.

“Oh, like I’m the only media whore in this group,” Abed complained.

“Fifteen minutes guys,” Abigail announced from the main salon, cutting short a potential war of words between the guys.

“Hopefully, our gracious leader is enjoying his birthday out on their private yacht, The Power Mad,” the anchorwoman continued.

Peter groaned, “Never again do you get to name anything Abed.”

“Well, if you hadn’t unilaterally named yourself Head of Public Relations I wouldn’t have had to placate him with the yacht,” explained Gaia.

Peter made a rude gesture and marched off into the salon.

“On a darker note Soone Kim, Korean dictator, announced a thirty million dollar reward for the location of the triumvirate’s yacht. He says he wants the pleasure of eliminating them from this world himself. This has put the Tri Guard on high alert.”

“Seriously, it’s my birthday.” Abed raked his hands through his slick black hair in aggravation. “Does he have to make threats on my birthday? This universe blows.”

“Three more years to solidify our power base here, then we can go home and take a trip to moon base, like we planned.”

“Ten minutes.”

Gaia downed the rest of her liquid breakfast, a tasteless protein shake, checked her teeth, and moved into the main salon where the plasma TV and video chat hookup was all laid out. Less than seven hours ago they were eating dinner here, reminiscing about the good old days when they first met in college.

Oxford opened its doors to three special freshmen, Peter, fourth generation Oxford royal. Gaia, a scholarship kid, hoping to reshape the world. Abed, a billionaires math prodigy son. Eight years after graduating, they ruled their world. They were best friends the instant they met and recognized the zeal for change and power found in the others eyes.

Then the greatest invention in the multi-verse was invented. The Gramin-Cordova Gateway, literally a hole in the universe. With the proper application of tachyon particles, Dr. Sheena Gramin and Walter Cordova manipulated the p-membrane that separates this universe and the next. They proved all of the naysayers’ wrong when neither this nor the other universe imploded and the first inter-universal traveler took his first steps unto a new world. He was quite surprised to land in Topeka, Kansas. His sudden appearance in a golden spacesuit stirred up a considerable amount of attention.

For the triumvirate, who wholly supported the Gramin-Cordova project, the world was suddenly not enough. There was a multi-verse out there for them to explore. Their world didn’t really need them anymore. They put the rules in place, hired the right people to take over the day to day. The original planners were no more than figureheads, faces to go with the ideal. Now they had a chance to start anew and help more people in need.

“Five minutes,” Abigail said pulling Gaia from her daydream. “You all have your information packets already. Please do your best to stay on point this time or you will be all day at this, again. Remember Peter, don’t mention Corrigan. It may have been slightly amusing the first time but it won’t be tolerated again. And please remember to stay friendly, smile. You’re brokering a mutually beneficial trade agreement here so pretend for a moment you are mature adults with considerable intelligence.” She tucked a stray sandy brown hair behind Peter’s ear. “You all look so handsome and professional.”

“You say that like you’re surprised. Believe it or not we can manage to dress ourselves without assistance,” Abed said sliding into position next to Gaia.

“The way you three act sometimes, I’m surprised you manage to find your mouth to stick your foot in it.”

“Mmmm, I love you Frenchies, so feisty,” Peter commented with a mischievous smile popping out those infamous dimples of his.

“Put those away, they don’t work on me. You know good and well without me as your personal assistant you three would be lost in a sea of crazy.”

Gaia smiled. “Too true, and that’s why we love you, Abby.” She gave her two air kisses cheek to cheek.

“One minute until you begin the first inter-universal trade conference,” Abby announced. “You’re about to change this world, forever. Goodness sake, smile.”