Ata folds her arms.  “If you’re saying he kicked me out or that we had an argument, you’re sadly mistaken.  I’m his pride and joy, have been for literally eons.  He and my mother Mel have ruled the world for almost two decades now, but with these seven children out and about, there’s always a chance that our domination will be ruined.  So, I requested to be allowed to search for them, now that they’d be my age.  I was going to kill them on the spot, but I never expected them to be so stinkin’ handsome!  My Aunt Kat would probably vaporize me on the spot for trying to date one of our enemies, but I can simply brainwash him when we get back, so I don’t see what her big grief is.”

    Grace turns to Ron with a look that says, “You’re an idiot,” and tries to reason with him.  “You hear what she obviously plans to do, right?  Why are you even bothering with her presence, dude?”

    At first, he keeps his positive smile, but then goes into a more pensive stance.  “It’s not so straightforward.  I’m not actually her boyfriend.  Ata, being Ata, just designated herself as such, so everyone just assumes I’m on board with the program.  We fought when she first showed up, but if you listen to her, she’s as transparent as they come.  If she’s wanting to understand why everyone hates her father, then I feel like I have to give her a fair shot.  We’ve had this discussion many times.  If she changes, I’ll make sure her life is safe.  If she goes back to her old, violent ways…I’ll personally destroy her.  It’s not like I just met her, and as you can see, we’re accompanied by my two siblings, so I have help with this generosity.  I just think that a person who is seeking the truth, regardless of how they start out, should have the opportunity to find it.”

    Faye cheerfully quotes the familiar phrase, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!”

    Kammy is still not convinced, nor is Gigi.  Crystal asks, “You made it sound like you started the journey with just the two of you.  Doesn’t sound safe to me.”

    Ron can’t believe he’s being grilled by a bunch of teenagers over this issue.  “I started this journey living alone, wondering where I came from, when some psychotic ninja girl tried to kill me.  When she saw I look like her dad, she also became curious about my origins.”

    “Guess it’s true what psychology says about people gravitating to romantic interests that remind them of their parents.” Faye states.

    Ata rolls her eyes and brushes this off.  “I’m not some weirdo.  It’s just my dad and my dead Uncle A-Tron were the only two people to look like this.  For one of Rowan’s descendants to magically resemble one of my family members intrigues me.  I’m Ron’s girlfriend simply because of the utter gentlemen he is.  Gotta’ admit my dad isn’t half as kind or compassionate as anyone I’ve met so far.”

    Faye slowly walks up to her.  “It’s nice to not be threatened or assaulted for once, isn’t it?”

    Ata tries to not answer this, but as she feels the light hug of the understanding student, her words escape on their own.  “Yeah, you have a point.”

    Elf walks over as well, but there’s obviously no hug accompanying this motion.  “So, you’re trying to decide which you enjoy more, being able to do what you want with your dad in charge, or having friends who love you and care about you and make you feel safe enough to be yourself, even if it angers them.”

    “Exactly,” is the admission.

    Faye sways from side to side, causing Ata to do the same.  The short one then graces Ata with the most loving grin and says, “I can tell you what will always be the better option.”

    Ata has to admit that the trip has been the most enjoyable experience she’s ever had in her entire life.  As she starts to explain how long this has been, she explains that Blaze always had her and her other companions digitized in a safe backup location so that every time they “died,” they simply went back to the safe spot.  Now, however, they don’t have this luxury.  This is what has Ata so meditative about her future.  Will she risk being destroyed when Blaze is finally dealt with, or will she risk her father’s anger bringing about her own death?

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