The class ponders these words, these hard words that they’ve heard time and time again but now sting like never before as the three girls responsible for all this tell the events, and with such agony as they recall how evil and heartless and selfish they were, and yet how the ones who were supposed to save the day were just as cruel, with the only one in their story who had the kind heart to reach out with helping hands being the one to get the worst beating from both sides.  Each one present has found several ways of more than making up for the time lost and to heal the pain, and Cici has given her guilt to God, even having had the privilege of meeting and serving the ones she hurt, now that they’re all in the Drawing Board.  Even so, the class is in tearful silence as they understand the one in the middle of all this, Tat, was the one who benefited the most, even though she, too, was ready to accept her punishment.  Think of that from Mary Melissa’s perspective.  Knowing the aunt she grew up loving was actually the person that she tortured as Tat and that her aunt was forced to suffer in a way unfathomable because of Tat’s doing.  Mary’s emotional torture weighs on her heavily all the time.

    What solidifies the fact of this guilt is Cici sadly adding, “I was locked in the VR machine for a hundred years, only a hundred, but both AB and I have caught this guilty gizzard locking herself in the VR machine on multiple occasions, to the point we had to ban her from using it until she came to terms with the true meaning of forgiveness and grace.  Does Mary Mel deserve to get off so easily?  No.  But that’s what grace is.  We are blessed with things we don’t deserve.  That’s not to say we let criminals go unaccounted for or given a punishment less than what they should get, but when there’s a legitimate chance to show grace, just do it.  Instead of wasting her time taking the grace shown her and dumping it in the trash, this girl started to truly shine as a new person when she decided to use that grace to be what she was made to be as a PAC now.  She uses this opportunity every day to help others rather than focus on what she’s got.”

    Stunned, Doug looks at his notes.  “That’s what Cat wanted to show us.  She wrote down that you three were supposed to be the guests for Juniper, and now I see why.  And you, Lady Ina, you are a surprise that added so much to this conversation.  Ina, Cici, Yvie and Mary Melissa, thank you for teaching us today.  Cat wanted us to hear the story of forgiving others…and the story of forgiving yourself.  When we bring our sins to God, no matter how disgusting they are, He forgives them.  It’s not up to us to determine what punishment we deserve.  Instead, we should use that energy on figuring out how we can best use his lovingkindness, his grace and mercy, his compassion, to best serve Him in gratitude while reaching others with this same type of love.  That’s a lesson that both PACs and real-worlders can use.  Please, ladies, keep going.”

    They look at each other only for a second before Cic blurts out, “That’s all I wanna’ say about that.  For twenty years, we’ve been over it, more for me and AB as we’ve made sure to spend hundreds of years together in the VR machine, ha ha.  I’m like forty thousand years old in my mind, but stuck in the gorgeous body of a…yeah right.  When you have auto-age, there’s no reason to keep counting after thirty-five.”  Yup, now that this story is told, Cici is back to her carefree, bubbly self.

    “Um,” Mary says, “I guess if you guys call me Tat on occasion, I won’t care, but I still prefer my new name.  BUT one blessing I’d like to point out is that we just held our first System-wide CFA Infinites tournament and I happened to win it.  Dad was so proud of me!  So, yeah, now that I’ve confessed to you guys who I really am and my dark past, I hope…” Mary thinks of her words carefully.

    “I have a horrible past.  I was a monster, and I went unpunished.  In addition to this, me being remade as my creator AB’s daughter might sound awkward to some people, so I guess all around, I feel like an odd duckling in this universe.  I’d like to be honest and ask that you not merely see me as an unpunished murderer or as some weird freak story of how I became Mary Melissa.  I’m just as weird as everyone else in this System, so I’d like a chance to be seen without the baggage.

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