“See?” encourages Kammy, “Not letting romance bother you is helping you improve.”

    “Eh, heh,” Faye’s not so convinced, “No, I’d have to say my grades weren’t affected by my change of focus.  I used to intentionally do bad so I wouldn’t look too smart.  Now that I don’t give a hoot what people think, I can make all the perfect scores I want!  Well, I can try as much as I want.  I still miss a question here and there, but you get my point.  Alright, headband, your turn.”

     This means Gigi.  With her opportunity ample, she plants her feet in power mode and waves her hands in scene-setting style.  “Guys, I think I’ve figured out the final kingdom that will be in the Tribulation.  It’s robots and demons!”

    “Uh,” Faye is concerned.

    “You did finish reading the rest of All Cheerful & Rosie, right?  This subject’s been touched upon.” Kammy is sorry to have to burst Gigi’s bubble.

    “I’m totally kidding,” Gi laughs and gets to her actual point, “I have been reading in Revelation though, keeping a body count of the people who fall victim to the various judgments mentioned.  Considering it’s based on real-world population statistics, I’m not liking my calculations for the number of survivors by the end of Jacob’s Trouble.”

    “Yee!” Faye replies to this grim result.  “It’s a good thing the System Director won’t be here, which means we won’t be stuck in whatever frame of mind he would be in while having to run around, avoiding falling stars and demonic scorpion minotaur.”

    Caught off guard, Kammy takes a breath and says, “You have such a way with words, Faye.”

    Somewhere in the sky, Elf and the boys talk about things not quite as theological, or gloomy, with their conversations consisting of things like, “Hi-yah!” and “Take that!”  The point of today’s training is to teach Paul some new moves to keep him from depending too much on his speed alone.  The other two boys figure they might as well teach him A.J. Scar’s move set since Elf fights like AB and Owan fights using James Scott’s attacks.

    “That’s not cool though, guys,” Paul says.  “Kammy uses A.J.’s moves.  Who else do we have?”

    “Kam uses A.J.’s rookie moves, not his doulos attacks,” replies Owan.

    Elf also states, “And as a System Guard, you shouldn’t have to ask us what other heroes’ moves you can learn.”

    “Wait, now.”  Paul is ready to defend his position, at least to Owan.  “Kammy uses her hair to tie up her opponent.  That’s basically A.J.’s chain attack.  Your point is invalid.  I guess I could learn the Lion Roar that Lyger’s kids use.  That’d be cool, and it matches my color scheme…kind of.”

    “Fine,” concedes Entoni, “getting you used to roaring might get you over your mousy disposition as well.  You and Gigi may be friends now, but not every girl you meet will be as patient with your shyness as she is.”

    “What are you talking about, Elfie?” Paul sharply points out, “Gigi isn’t even patient with my shyness.  That and, well, other things which we resolved last year.”

    “Then you see my point,” says Elf.  “You need to toughen up a bit.  I’m not saying get a major personality overhaul.  I’m just saying you need to find a confidence in Christ and not let the second guessing hold you back.”

    “I guess,” says Paul.

     “Besides, Paul,” Owan joins back in as he positions his hands in a formation neither of his friends have seen before, “you have to be strong, because you never know when you’ll face a brand new attack that’s been invented by someone who refuses to take every step in the footprints of others.”  With this, Owan whips his hands in a way that surrounds him with several shapes of energy, all moving as if they are alive.  “You like it?  I call it my Energy Patrol.  Now, run boys!”  Owan releases his army and watches his friend scurry.  I wonder if he will keep this attack or if it’ll lose its coolness by next year.

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