“Hey, man,” says Elf, “we all grow at different rates.  Who are we to force you to grow at a speed that pleases us?  Either you get there when you’re ready, or we get in your way and make you give up.  I’m sorry, bro.  I was being a jerk, ha ha.”

    “Thanks for the lesson, sensei,” Owan says to Paul.  “You taught us not to be impatient dictators.”

    “I’m sorry, too, guys, for losing my cool.”  Paul quickly drops straight down to ground level and taking his stance shouts, “Now, try all that again and see what happens!”  The crowd cheers at Paul’s zealous comeback.

    Now, let’s see how the girls are doing.  Or rather, let’s hear how they are doing, specifically Gigi as she uses nanochat to send a very important mental message.  “You okay over there?”

    “Gigi?”  It’s Paul she’s talking to.  “I’m fine.  I just needed to catch my breath.  How is your fight?”

    “Pff, what fight?  I’m not doing anything.  At least you’re making more of an effort than I am.”

    Laughing, he says, “I didn’t have a choice.  It was made for me.  Speaking of which, I’m glad you checked on me, but can we catch up later?  It’s hard to concentrate.”

    “O-oh yeah, sorry.  Bye.”  And with that, Gigi realizes why she contacted him.  She was lonely, not in the sense that she needed to talk to her friend, but she is standing there, feeling scared and insignificant as these two monsters tear each other apart, and they don’t even remember she’s there.  What happened to The Three?  “Guess I’m The Third…Wheel.”  It’s not at all that she feels abandoned by her friends, but she feels empty for not realizing how much stronger the two of them seem to be to her right now.  She tries to tell herself that she’s overthinking things and that her strategy of waiting is good, but you know how procrastinating can make a problem seem bigger than it really is.

    “Well, it was nice talking to someone who can relate for a second,” Gigi mumbles, referring to Paul.  “I suppose this moment is to help me see how he feels all the time.  I’ve tried to be patient, but I guess I wasn’t patient enough.  I’m never patient enough, and I’m never going to BE patient enough.  He he he.  I’m not that thickheaded.  I only need to seek the source of patience…and courage, incidentally.”

    Only seconds after lifting up a prayer, Gigi hears Faye screech, “Are you a help or a threat to me?”

    Getting the message, Gigi stops dawdling and goes to help Faye.  “I hope I timed it right.  I don’t want to help her too much, he he.”

    So now, we have the development that Kammy did not want, both the girls at once.  “Gigi, what the worlds are you doing?  Do you always mindlessly default to helping Faye without thinking?!”

    “Be quiet, Kammy!” is all Gigi can think of as an answer.

    “Look, neither one of us is going to win if we take for granted fighting a girl who can literally control a Powered.  That’s why I’ve been researching everyone so much.  I don’t want any more surprises.  Now, are you going to help me or let Faye take advantage of your undying loyalty?”

    Gigi loudly roars, “I’d rather lose than team up with your irritating mouth!”

    Silenced, embarrassed and slightly hurt, K.C. takes the info constructively and tries to find a survivable rhythm as she thinks of another strategy.  “The answer is going to have to be get these two in a fight.  That’s the only way.  Even if I can somehow slow down or intimidate Gigi, until Faye’s out, I don’t think I can win.”

    And going back to the comment of Gigi roaring, she sees this a good time as ever to test out the latest move she recently downloaded from the Shotspot Super Skill Store website.  As soon as she finds an opening with Faye decently out of the line of fire, Grace takes a deep breath and exhales a might blast of sound in Kammy’s direction.  This is the Lion Roar, a favorite of Lyger’s daughter Lioness, as well as of Adam Baylor.  It doesn’t hit Kammy directly and Gigi’s version is anything but intimidating, but it served its purpose of catching Crystal Z off guard.

    “Nice job!” cheers Faye.

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