Grace looks at him, too annoyed to make eye contact.  “Sorry….”

    He smiles at her awkwardly, though it goes unnoticed.  “It’s okay, Gigi.  You can yell at me all you want, haha!”

    Elf raises an eyebrow.  “Trust someone who knows.  You don’t want that.”

    Faye is beside Elf.  When did this happen?  “Elf,” she slyly suggests, “we could send Grace to be Paul’s sister, then I could move in and be your sister.  Wouldn’t that be so cool?”

    Grace laughs her to scorn.  “That’s the most counterproductive idea you’ve had yet, hahaha!!  If you become his sister, you can’t marry the guy, genius. Although, it’d solve my Paul problem.”

    Faye crosses her arms and looks at Hero with fury.  “Don’t you have a story to tell?”

    “So, this…” he asks, “is what it’s like to have offspring?  I pity you humans, Lady Duplica.”

    Using her powers to hold the kids back, she offers positive feedback to her host.  “Don’t worry, Hero; if they get too out of hand, I’ll just reprogram them.”

    Jo can see the bad idea of this pun.  “Hero, she’s not serious, haha.  Please don’t go around reprogramming human children….”

    Sarah sinks down.  “I was starting to see a silver lining in this concept.”

    Jo eyes her warily.  “Um, yeah, so about that tournament….”

    Hero continues, “The time finally came for the finalists to meet.  I had just defeated the green bot, and Sarah was my next opponent.  It was then that I made a companion, my first companion besides Master Jack.  I think you understand me saying my companionship with Sarah seems to exceed that of my master, if I am allowed to be honest without speaking treason.”

    Duplica assures him, “No, no, dear; your master is your friend and creator, but romantic love, indeed, grows closer, so don’t feel like you are betraying your friends if you love your female friend in a different way.  So, when’s the wedding?”

    The droids look at each other.  Sarah feels like she should blush now, but just continues to look at Hero for what to do next.  He finally speaks.  “Your assessment seems appropriate, Lady Duplica.”  He begins to say something else, but thinks about his wording.  “I have considered asking Master Jack about what to do in such a scenario.  What do you say, Sarah?”

    She has yet to change her posture.  “I…I could care less.  This is my answer.”  Jaws drop everywhere, and the class listens intently to her further enlightenment.  “We are not humans, so I have little desire to emulate them.  However, as this is the highest token of love exchanged by romantic individuals, as well as being a part of the proper moral structure, then…of course, Hero, you know that I would gladly do this for you.”

    Everyone breathes a large sigh of relief, and Hero, not understanding what the big deal was, nonchalantly continues the history lesson as if nothing happened.  “I won the fight.  I successfully defended my country’s honor in the ring of combat, and attained a new friend.”

    Sarah’s lack of emotion has found a grave exception.  Her fist grips and her eyes wince.  “It was not long after that…they came and ruined everything.”

    “Indeed,” Hero agrees, “that is when our peace was taken.  Like a rain of death, enemy droids came from the sky, pouring down upon Ruyngard in wicked fury.  We acted as quickly as we could, but with all the other machines having returned to their homelands, our ranks were severely limited.  The sharpest sting was to learn that a cruel assassin had made his way into the home of the elder Dee late into the night and left her to die in the flames of her own house.”

    Sarah looks at the ground in sorrowful anger.  “We managed to survive until help finally came from the other countries.  It was a horrible nightmare that no human nor android should ever have to endure.  And what’s worse is that Hero and I were built for this type of attack, yet here we were, lollygagging, not prepared when this invasion took place.”

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