“You heard me,” says Cat.  “Last week, your little Jerko came sneaking into my school.  Actually, I beat her little behind a thousand years ago, even though she wasn’t even important enough for me to know who she was at the time.  Okay, so I kind of beat her…kinda’.  Anyway, I definitely took her down this time.  She tried to sneak in and be buddies with me, but when she learned we were visiting the era of the angels, she flipped out, trying to protect her precious little daddy.  I burned that little puppet.  Should’a heard her scream, since you like pain and all.”

    “That was a bit much,” scolds Adam.

    “Eh,” Duplica’s glad the kids aren’t around, “Yeah, I guess it was.  Sorry.  Suppose being a teacher and an adult doesn’t automatically make you wise and mature.  Duly noted.”

    Even so, Grille goes hysterical at learning he couldn’t even have the joy of unveiling his “greatest scheme ever” without it already having been thwarted a week before.  Well, at this point, the only thing for him to do is take his wrath out on everyone present.

    Yeah, well, we still have an exam to follow.  So, how’s that going?

    At one end of the battlefield, we have Elf and Paul embarrassing Bird Boy and Jungle Man.  JM is just too slow for Paul, and Birdie is too afraid of getting clipped by Ent’s blade attack to swoop in.  Did you have any idea Elf was that good with his weapon already?  Jungle Man is soon taken out with Fried Chicken quickly following.  That just leaves Owan versus the Ani and the girls storming the Powered.

    “For a child, you are well-trained,” says the lone Ultiman.  “Are you an Ani as well or of Ultimen origin?”

    Owan puffs out his chests and informs his foe, “I am naturally of Ani descent, and of Ancyro, and of Siderian, Lyrenian and the preciously classic human.  I’m from the Dogwood Galaxy, hombre!”  With his spirit kindled, the red soldier prepares another Crimson Cannon and fires away.  Seeing this as a show of overconfidence, the Ani easily leaps into the air, only to find that this was a trap.  Owan hits him with another James Scott standard move, the Thanatos Driver, plowing into the target like a human torpedo.

    Seeing this opportunity for a good team follow-up, Elf dashes toward the falling victim, but looks at Owan for confirmation.  Red O sees Elfie but makes it obvious he wants to finish this alone, for sake of Ani team spirit and all.  The Ultiman catches himself on the ground and prepares for the teen, but this was foreseen.  The rivals exchange various blows before Owan notices his opponent’s speed start to decline.  Now, we capitalize!  O starts with a few distracting swats that let him get in two or three stronger hits to further slow the competition.  Once he’s prepared the field, Owan plows his fist into the guy’s side, landing a vital blow.  Having knocked the wind out of the Ultiman, O goes for the kneecaps, securing the speed gap for the rest of the fight, which isn’t very long.

    As the Ani lies on the ground, he congratulates the boy on his powerful victory.  The two rivals both voice their healthy respect for one another which prompts Owan to at least make an effort at reasoning with the guy.

    “Ha, my friend,” admits the defeated, “you truly are a warrior.  Perhaps my nationalist obsessions blinded me from my prejudices.  Alright, I shall give your way a worthy go.”  As the Ultiman lies on his back, he contemplates where his pride has gotten him.  He smiles at Owan and says one last thing as he fades away.  “Thank you for teaching me today.”  He may have just been a simulation, but this is the System after all.  Perhaps he can be remade as a real character someday.  Stranger things have happened.

    So, now, the six kids can gang up on the Powered who has, surprisingly, yet to claim any of them as a victim.  The girls were handling things alright, but they aren’t going to deny that they really appreciate the extra muscle.  It is kind of annoying how tough Duplica made the armor on this thing, but that’s life.  Then again, it is a giant robot built to handle superhuman attacks now fighting rookie System Guard children, so there’s only so much you have to do for this to be hard.  The team is still doing very well, having taken out FIVE Ultimen on their own.

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