“For all the Kebs and Missys you’ve seen across time and space,” Doug says, “have you never stopped to look in the mirror, my precious children?  None of you, nor any of your parents, look like Keb or Missy, even if some of you have only recently begun to dress like them, and that’s fine.  I know an entire family, however, whose face model was specially chosen after the two people whose hardest, longest time-traveling lesson shaped the very foundation of everything we are as System Guards.  They made mistakes, and they saw the consequences of those actions.  Yet, they didn’t blame others or try to run from their sins.  They faced them…together, and they have chosen to extend that comradery to others, even when this kindness was spat upon.  They wanted to be a living lesson of what it means to show others the grace that God has shown us.  THAT is why you have the face that you do, Elfie…and Grace.”

    Everything that has been said while on Juniper resonates in the hearts and minds of the class, with a determination burning in each student to follow in the footsteps of kindness lest they relive the painful road of failure others have walked.  Meanwhile, Elf and Gigi smile at each other, basking in the privilege they have of the face models chosen for them, with Ent poking Grace’s cheek for the fun of it.  “I guess that includes you, too, Aunt Abbie,” Elf says to Abigail, letting her know it should be her turn next while also reminding her that she’s a “Grace head,” too.

    “Thanks for remembering I exist, Elfie,” she says, trying to focus more on her nephew’s heart than her brother-in-law’s mind.  “I hate to bring up my husband, as your dad clearly forgot something else about me.”

    Knowing he’s in trouble, Doug asks, “What?  What’d I do?”

    With a sigh, she blows this off.  Abbie puts her hands in her pockets and regretfully decides, “You know what?  This is Grace’s story.  You’ve had a long day, and the party is going to be soon.  You should probably get back to the school, and then when you return later, I can talk a little about my history.”

    Being somewhat of an expert in Sky women after a millennium, Doug demands, “Tell your story now and stop threatening me with your passive aggressiveness.  I know Cat’s attitude when I hear it.”

    Giving in to her frustration, Abbie replies in as controlled of a tone as she can, “I don’t know what’s to say.  After that brave speech about how none of us have the face model of Keb or Missy, I hate to point out that my husband has Junior’s face model, which is Missy’s brother.  You know this, Doug, and you know very well why my husband, of all the men in Juniper, would definitely be the man to have the male equivalent to Missy’s face model.  Do you really think this is the best time to tell them what happened to me, and why I chose to stay out of Dogwood?”

    Now, this is a loaded question.  Doug technically sees Abbie’s logic, but he knows she’ll jump on him if he denies her the chance to speak now.  “Abbie, I’m sorry for not being the fairest teacher in letting you speak earlier.  What do you want to tell them?  You’re a grown adult, and I respect you.  I always have.  I trust your judgment.”

    Sighing again, she apologizes.  “It’s okay, Doug.  I forgive you, too, for making me wait.  I really hate to tell you all this under the circumstances, but I think it may be vital, to your knowledge of history, to the spiritual lessons that could come from it…and your understanding of Catherine Antonia Sky.”

    Not wanting to seem angry about what she’s going to say, she hugs her nephew and niece so they know she’s okay.  “Before we were the Dogwood Galaxy, we were the fledgling storyboard colony XXII, the duplicate of XI.  This wasn’t our home, but was taken after the first inhabitants, the literal Political Ballerinas, all died off naturally.  Our ancestors were the counterparts of AB and such from what storyboards weren’t going to join the Great Unification of the multiverse.  Of course, not all of them came here.  Some of them joined the GU while their friends stayed here, and other old universes did the same.  With this, the DNA of everyone from every storyboard up to that point was brought here.  We’re the descendants of everyone else.  I won’t get into the history of our genetics or the face model tech, since that has all been covered before.

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