Chapter 1  The Final History Course

    So far, the six students of Dogwood Galaxy HQ’s System Guard Military Academy have spent the last three years looking forward to each year’s big field trip into history followed by an examination more exhilarating than the ones before.  The teens have learned about their existence as PAC Programs, Partially Autonomous Cerebral Programs which is a fancy way of saying fictional characters with enough sentience to recognize their own artificial intelligence.  This, however, does not negate their importance to you and me in the real world, as I give my characters the freewill, as much as my own noggin’s “software” is capable, to choose whether they will participate in illustrating real-world Bible truths or fight against the principles of God for their own selfish ambitions, which could always negatively affect some reader out there to be like one of my villains.  Don’t be a villain; be like the System Guards, the heroes who guard this endless imaginary world known as the System.

    Our class has also learned of other universes within the System, called storyboards as there is only one real universe but every author has multiple potential versions of his ideas.  The kids first visited Storyboard XII to view the history of Ruyngard, and the following year, they went to SBXL with the original System Guard star, AB, and his sisters in homage to their history trip to SBX during their training years.  In XL, we met amazing heroes such as Acer, Lyger and the Baylors, but we also made some startling discoveries surrounding Project SUSIE and a minor villain who turned out to be exponentially more dangerous than anyone had ever guessed.  Finally, last year was about the SG colony planet New Ruyngard located in the home storyboard, XI.  Starting with the pioneer days and ending with the epic clash against the wicked woman Destiny Allure, our class added even more events to their notebooks that exemplify the importance of following God’s principles versus one’s own ambitions.  There were also a lot of lessons to learn regarding honesty that I hope have stuck over the past year as this fourth trip will have quite a different feel than the rest.  It may interest you to know that this will be the last time Cat Rug, known to the class as Lady Duplica, will be taking the kids on a tour through history.  Why is this?  Well, next year will be a trip around the current universe, which has combined all the storyboards to be a tad friendlier to those who can’t handle such a big multiversal story.  I mean, five books in is kind of late, but nice try, Duplica.  Either way, this announcement simply means we should make the most of our time-traveling antics while we can because after this, it’s all present day.

    And speaking of present, Cat’s husband Doug Rug has found our favorite green teacher and is now surprising her with a little treat of gold before she leaves.

    “Aw, how sweet!” Cat sings.  “What is it?”

    Looking at it like he, honestly, has been staring at it half-interested since he bought it, Doug shrugs and admits, “I don’t know.  It was gold and looked weird, so I knew you would want to spend the trip figuring it out.”

    Aggressively hugging him, Cat chimes, “Eh,” giddily bobbing her head back and forth as she stares at him, “You know me so well.  So, whatcha’ gonna’ do while we’re gone?  Patrol New Cambridge?  Visit the Milky Way’s New Cambridge?  Write me a love poem?”

    Trying to subtly move her as a hint, Doug chuckles and suggests, “Let me check my calendar to remind myself.  You know, the calendar I can’t reach with you squeezing me like a straitjacket.”

    “You’re so not innovative.  No, resourceful’s the word I’m looking for, and the word you’re so not looking for, apparently.”

    As his wife lets go and furiously investigates the strange new puzzle he gave her, Doug observes her in wonder before asking, “Is this why you teach history and not vocabulary?”

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