“This is Cat we’re talking about,” Ally jokes.  “She is AB’s ‘granddaughter,’ so I wouldn’t put it past her to sabotage all of time and space for the sake of a history lesson.”

    Fiona seizes the opportunity for a jab at her cooking rival of a daughter.  “Your Catherine is named after Keb, so of course she’s going to be as unpredictable and bizarre in her hobbies, he he.”

    Rolling his eyes, James agrees with Doug.  “I’ll look into it.  I know what it’s like to be surrounded by a bunch of women who think your ideas are crazy.  Ha ha!”

    Turning to her husband, Emily disagrees.  “Darling, I’ve never said your ideas are crazy,” kissing his cheek, she slyly adds, “just you.”

    “Ooooooh,” the teens all cheer the well-spoken taunt.

    In the midst of the jokes and affection, Faye looks around, seeing the love between James and Emily, then watching the comradery of A.J. and Amy, with Faye looking strongly at A.J. in particularly, her eyes would find a tear or two if not for quickly looking at Elfie.  Fortunately for her, he is too distracted at the moment to realize she’s watching.  He’s so at home, and she loves that thoroughly.  As she sees his passion, it drives her to want to push him toward Christ and being whatever God wants him to be, which Faye hopes is the greatest System Guard in all history.  However, her apprehension of this dream eats at her.  She wonders if she’s the right person to help him.  She wonders if he’ll find someone better suited to push him.  Faye would rather give Ent up than hold him back from his dream.  She’s not about do that if she can help it, but all the things she’s experienced over the last few years have her gripped in fear.  Her discouraging thoughts conclude, “I have my orders.  That’s all I can rely on.

    “Hey kid, what’s that fake smile for?”  A new voice sweetly enters Faye’s mind via nano-chat.

    “Lady Jaqui?”  Faye is surprised.

    “Don’t give me that.  It’s Jaqui, and that’s what it’s always going to be for you, Fifi.”  This is a thing Faye needs to hear.  “Now, what’s bothering you?”

     “It’s me,” Faye summarizes.

    Jaqui Scar understands.  “Hey, you don’t have to burden yourself with the future.  It’s not yours to control.  I love you, kid, and as I’ve watched you, would you believe me if I told you that you’re a teacher and hero to me?”

    In her mind or not, a thought like this definitely makes Faye’s eyes water.  “Stop that, or you’ll make me cry, then we’ll have to talk with everyone.  I do love hearing you say that, you of all people.  You’re my hero, too, Jaqui.  Thanks for talking to me.  So, tell me how your day is going.  How are Wes and Jake doing?”

     “Oh, they’re absolute angels, as usual,” Jaqueline triumphantly declares.  “They ask all the time when you’re able to come over and hang out, or eat supper with us.  Of course, with Jake grown and on his own now, it’s fun when it’s just you and me so we can have a little buddy time, ya know?  Always good to have another girl with all these guys around, he he.”

    “Oh, I totally get ya, you poor dear.”  For the rest of the time in the control room, the two girls are able to maintain their chat without it affecting their interaction with the room, so they can distract themselves until Faye’s anxiety about the future goes away.  It’s good to know she has someone who understands.

    As this time together progresses, James asks Zakura to show the others the way to Juniper so that the rest of the gang can finish things here in time for the big party.  Doug politely declines this offer since he already knows the way.  He appreciates the generosity, but wants to give the Changs the opportunity to do anything they may need to accomplish before heading up, even if that’s just a few minutes of down time together.

    With her hand on his shoulder, Mercy gently asks him, “You really were looking forward to this field trip with Cat, weren’t you, Doug?”

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