“I was just a kid when it happened.  Max had punched AB into our world, and there I stood, not realizing what a moment in System history that was.  A younger Astro Bomber rose to his feet, having just met the legendary Ultimate Machine that everyone in every storyboard had been warned about since the beginning of time, and our hero was fighting him on a strange planet, not realizing he was back in XI, but in the future, about to protect the very colony that he would help start one day.  Epic.”

    “It sounds cool,” says Roxy, “but while the recent dreams brought back nostalgia for Axer, other people around our world had other opinions.  Emperor Cigula of Lyger had discovered the ancient schematics for a second Ultimate Machine, and he was going to find this monstrosity and take over our colony using it, after which he planned to conquer Earth.  This soon led Lyger to hastily declaring war on everyone and going into senseless, almost suicidal, battles that seemed like anything but the evidence of a reasonable tactician.  Meanwhile, my buddy boy was busy trying to get a job.”

    “Yes, that no-good Topaz Supershop had just let my brother go, after all the good he’d done as their bagger and such.  Can you believe that?”  Kim huffs angrily at the thought.

    Appreciating the sympathetic rage, apparently still lingering decades later, Ax says, “Well, we’re all glad they did let me go, sis.  You know what happened because of it.”

    Roxy cruelly rubs her shoulder on Axer’s in a romantic fashion and says, “You got to work with that super gorgeous girlfriend of yours, didn’t you, Hotrod?”

    Laughing, he adds, “Yep, and I got to work with Mandy, too.”

    Roxy is shocked and pleased at her husband’s sweet rebuttal to her teasing about his teenage crush.

    “Oh,” Axer jumps in inspiration, “I should probably point out the technological environment of Ruyngard before getting to the next part.”

    “Please use the picture of me lifting the car,” begs Kim, “pleeeeease!”

    “Are you happy?” Axer asks with a chuckle.

    “I just told the System Director that he was the coolest.  Weren’t you listening?” pouts Kim.

    Looking around, her brother says, “Didn’t hear it.  He must have cut the conversation because the critics will just complain about the fourth wall being violated…in an openly fictional story…about openly imaginary characters whose entire existence and mission revolves around better influencing the real-worlders by telling them our admittingly fictional stories.  Because of our simulated PAC design, their real enough, but I find it funny how people complain about—”

    “Politics, Mr. Darcy,” Roxy stops her husband’s impending rant.

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