Trying to calm the girl, Sunset reminds her, “Hey, I’m just mimicking how the friends talk about each other.  Anyway, while on the mission, I got to see the quiet Night Gale open up to be a real talker, thanks to the energetic Nova Shine.  We kept dealing with the creepy Mr. Bagger who had something to do with Raptor.  I saw Wolf Woman without her helmet and learned her real name was Rachel Winslet.  We learned the real threat was in Corpus Christi, Texas.  We learned, the hard way, that Bayle Hey was a child of SUSIE and had some powers she couldn’t control, kind of like Night Gale before Commander Fox helped her.  In fact, Raptor was the one who told us that he, Bayle and Gale were all SUSIE kids.”

    Taxi takes a breath and makes a slight, anxious motion.  “He knew I was, too.  He was just kind enough to never say so.  It’s why I’m so unnaturally strong and fast, and why I was a wanderer when Fox recruited me.  I literally chose the name Taxi because it’s what I saw pass by while reading his letter.”

    This moment of openness earns Taxi a hushed, absorbed audience.  “Well, it wasn’t my turn, but here we go.  On our side of the mission, not much happened, besides Lyger constantly ‘mentoring me’ and Logoya doing to me what you two girls keep doing to each other.”

    Faye and Tiffany are now dead.

    “We fought some morons, like Pride, a ‘friend’ of Lyger’s as I recall.  At some point later in the mission, I think when we all met in Texas, Salt Teen faced his cute little girlfriend Sodium.  It was hilarious because she was duped into thinking her squad was going after criminals, only to learn she was working for them.  Yeah, she was definitely a perfect match for Salt Boy.  Lyger, you say something about Raptor and his origin story before all these juvenile eyes get my anxiety flaring up.”

    Lyger rubs her shoulder and follows her instructions.  “When did you start having anxiety, my tough little tank?”

    Stopping his hand in its place with a simple pinch, she sets him straight.  “Call me your little tank again and I’ll blow your face off.”

    Lyger is happy.  He now has a new nickname for her.  Add it to the list he’s built over thousands of XL years.

    “Ah,” he happily declares, “Centuries later and you’re still just as fun as ever.”

    All the talk of Drawing Board time has finally reached its limit with Kammy, but she’ll wait until the lesson is done, if she can help it, to ask her question.  We’ll see how long this lasts.

    “Oh, yeah,” Taxi remembers a thing.  “I guess the biggest thing that happened on our side of the trip happened between me and Logoya.  I’m sure you’ve noticed the scar on her face.  Don’t worry; she had it before I came along.”

    Everyone, look at Logoya.

    Poking her friend’s nose, Taxi explains, “Because of this beautiful battle trophy, my good friend used to always wear a mask over her eyes to cover up the scar.  I didn’t think much of it when we met, but the more we worked together on the mission, the more that mask really bugged me.  We had a little talk and we both decided to stop wearing masks.  She became comfortable with her scar and I, well, I tried to stop being such a rude jerk.”

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