Chapter 5  Unresolved Tension

    “What’s the worry, my dear?”  Duplica tries balancing kindness with a tight schedule, but the need of a student will always take precedence over a lesson.

    “I don’t feel good.  I’m having trouble adjusting to the ancient environment of alien worlds.”  Tiffany shakes a bit.  “I’m so very sorry, Lady Duplica, but I’m not sure I can keep going.  I may hurl.”

    Putting her hand on the girl’s shoulder, Duplica offers her generous consent for the teen to go home, or at least stay in the cafeteria with Jo until she feels better.  “We teleport all over creation.  It’s no different than stepping out for a drink of water.  Take a breather and you can join us when you feel better.”

    The answer is not enough.  Thinking of the best persuasion possible, Tiffany bluntly states her concern.  “Lady Duplica, I can’t say it any other way; I think we are in danger, and I believe we should all go home, or at least choose a different route for this trip.”

    This takes Cat Rug off guard.  “You think we’re in danger?  What on Earth for?”

    Shrugging, the girl says the all-too-easy, “Idunno.  I didn’t think you’d believe me, since I’m just a kid, and a new student at that.  I guess I’m not experienced enough to sense danger like the rest of you.”

    Cat ponders what could have been said to upset her.  “Are you afraid of Ultimax showing up on the trip, or one of the other villains?  That’s silly.  I’ve chosen a route free of all those goons.  Besides, because we are time travelers, we can even visit the hot spots undetected.  You’ve nothing to fear, baby.”

    Turning in tearful anger, Tiffany shouts, “Is it that simple, Duplica?  Is it that easy to ignore someone’s advice?  You think you’re the big, bad teacher.  Well, let’s all go die because….”  This disrespectful rage would’ve gotten the kid disciplined if it wasn’t interrupted by her bursting into tears.

    The confounded young woman doesn’t know what to say to her student.  Staring at this blubbering mess, Duplica tries again.  “Tiffany, can this big, bad teacher ask you why it hurts so much if I disagree with you?  It’s my job to regard what’s best for everyone.  If my information shows we’re safe, why do you find that so insulting?”

    Sniffling, Tiffany pouts, “Information can be wrong.”

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