The two women hug, and Vahnna continues her story.  “Man, we’re not getting anywhere, are we?  I know we discussed the neat environment.  Ken had Warner.  Jack had, ya know, Jackie.  The two cousins eventually married because royal customs are weird like that sometimes.  Tank Kid from the pirate adventure had a granddaughter, deemed Charlotte Tank, who made all the robo-creators from last generation look like amateurs.  There are other cool characters, but they’d just be a bunch of names to you.  Oh, and then there’s the nation of Celron.  You know that dinky little country where A-Tron encountered Max for the first time?  Well, in this era, we’re a great nation with a beautiful queen.  I mean, she’s not the youngest fish in the pond, but she apparently did something right to be so popular.”

    Noin is getting excited.  “Tee hee!  This is where I come in.  My grandmother is my hero.  As Queen of Celron, she is the wisest around.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for everyone in my family.  After my grandfather died, the elections started.  You see, in Celron, even though the throne passes through the royal bloodline, if there are multiple children, they have to be elected as the heir.  This meant a lot of ugly campaigning.  My mother and her siblings were already…hm, I must be respectful to my mother, but let’s just say you should be glad I’m not as, eh, proud as she is.  There’s my older uncle, then my mama, then my aunt, after which comes my younger uncle.  I told you about my cousin with the angel droids.  Spoiler alert: Her dad, the oldest of the siblings, wins the election.  My mom was sad, but the loss did help her mature some.”

    Paul can be heard snoring.

    “PAUL!” Grace screams at him.  “Act like a System Guard already!”

    “H-huh?!” He slowly wakes up.  “Oh, sorry, Gigi.  Thanks for waking me up.”

    “Yeah.  Just be more careful.”  Grace thinks about the earlier scolding.  “Please, Paul.”

    Vahnna’s visage grows sorrowful as she caresses her own arm.  “Noin, your poor aunt.  Even now, I don’t think I can talk of her without wanting to break into pieces.  I tried to be good to her, but her older sister was so cruel, always putting her down, and occasionally bullying her to follow along with the other siblings’ debaucheries.  When she finally married, life was still cruel to her.  As we shall soon discuss the bigger matters at hand, you will soon know what it was that took her husband and both sons away from her.  As if her lot was not bad enough, she eventually died of a horrible disease.  There was very rarely a moment in her life when she wasn’t bathed in tragedy.”

    Noin shares this sorrow.  “She’s why…she’s specifically the reason why the System Director created the Drawing Board.  We’re imaginary, so we don’t have souls.  The Director didn’t see a need to pretend like we do, and he didn’t want to play around with a false heaven.  However, when he saw how my aunt suffered, only to not exist, to never know happiness, he decided that, even though we’re fake, with no souls for heaven, he could still give us something that fits the physics and properties of our universe.  We are PACs after all, cerebral programs.  Thus, the Drawing Board is a database that we go to when our physical hardware expires.  There’s no theological illustration involved.  It’s just simple practicality.”

    There is a moment of silence for the girl who was the Drawing Board’s first occupant.

    Patriarch chimes in.  “Of course, all the other previously deceased good thoughts from System history poured in right behind her, so she wasn’t alone.  She was merely the first.  Now, I think we should talk about the great conflict of the age.  There were five generals that joined forces to bring Ruyngard’s joys to an end.  General Freddy, General Romeo, General Alligator, General Newt and Lady General Kat led the coalition known as FRANK.”

    Vahnna laughs at this memory.  “I prefer to say it backwards.”

    “These vandals,” states Patriarch, “were a nuisance, but their mech unit was the real problem.  All those giant machines to deal with!”

    Faye jumps.  “Hey!  That reminds me; how could we forget Hero and Sarah?!  They’re still alive, right?  And that Air Gal who married the apparently old Antar Lizard’s-Brother-Guy?”

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