“Sending us?” Ent rehearses.

    “You’re not coming along?”  Gigi also heard this.  “You had better not skip out for two years in a row, especially with this being the last trip.”

    “Oh, I’ll be going, I just might be a little late, heh heh heh!”  Cat’s cryptic wording has the class intrigued, yet uneasy.

    “I know where we’re going!” Jo yells out, quite randomly as she was reading the instructions to a new purse she got recently.  Yes, this one comes with instructions.  That’s the future for you.  “We are going to Vacation Carniland!  I just love that planet, and it’s about time you took us all there, you cruel teacher, you!”

    “No,” Cat says, concerned for Jo’s mental state, “we’re not going to the amusement park today, Jo.”

    “Why not?!” Jo asks, quite agitated.

    Mercy preaches to this moocher, “because you need to learn to pay for your own children instead of scheduling all your family trips along with ours to bum off of us, woman!”

    “It was only once, and I had a perfectly good excu—uh—reason, Mercy Mercury!”  This attempt was very commendable, but the guilt was a bit obvious.

    “Children, children,” Duplica says, snapping her fingers, “shall we really be this way in front of the teenagers?”

    “Maybe I was planning on paying for you, Cat, unlike accusative Mercy believes,” Jo remarks, sticking her tongue out at poor Merc.

    “Wait, you were going to pay for me?”  Realizing this, Duplica quickly looks at her notes, taking several minutes to run the pros and cons through her mind.  “Stink!  The schedule wins.  Why do I have to be so responsible?”

    With a big sigh, Mercy suggests, “We can just go together over the weekend, girls, provided I’m only paying for my own this time.”

    “I was actually going to pay for me and Kammy, Mom,” Paul inserts, partially to be helpful and partially to be heroic to his girl.

    “Oh, you’re a doll!”  This line is said by both Kam and her questionable grandmother Josey, earning an accusative glare from Mercy.

    Scratching her shoulder, Duplica comments, “I’m kind of curious who all you’d be paying for, Jocelyn.  Even without Paul, John Scott is obviously old enough to pay for himself, his wife and their own daughter.  You’d only have Owan to worry about, and I’d imagine Darius would be the one paying for you guys.”

    “That was the plan,” Jo says, rolling her eyes.  “Last time, it was just the two kids and I, but being the goober I am, I forgot the password to my bank account and had to ask Mercy for…well, ya know…mercy.  I thought we were friends, but apparently I’m buddies with a banking miser.”

    “Hey, don’t bring Tea and her husband into this!” Mercy warns.  If you didn’t get that, read the last book.

    “Girls, we don’t have time for you to squabble over Jo’s attention span.  We have a field trip to be taken.  Are we going to grow up and be mature, or is this the time for your psychiatry session?”

    “Well, I guess I do have a few things I need to get off of my chest, doctor,” Doug adds.

    “You say a word and you’ll need a doctor,” Cat says to quickly shut this down.  “Now, please go get me another salad while I make the final speech.”

    “A third?”  Doing the calorie count in his head, Doug asks, “Isn’t that starting to tip-toe into the opposite of healthy?”

    “We’re Infinite Warriors.  We have auto-heal.  I make my own diet.”  Cat blows a kiss and winks at her intended waiter.

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