Hearing this news, the queen is very furious, but not at Faye.  She jumps up and marches toward the door, being stopped by her friend.  “You need to move, Faye.  I am not the kind to deal with this daintily.  I am patient and always willing to listen, but I am also direct.  Putting this off won’t help anyone.”

    Taking the queens hands in her own, Faye warns her, “You don’t understand.  Phillip is the reason the machines are here.  Cat is sick, having heard so much of Ultimax and Arion Jekel and all those villains at the Feast of Demons, she tries to be like them to quiz us, and it’s gone to her head.  Now, she want to be like Allure and do dirty things with everyone.  When she saw Elfie wouldn’t do such things with me, let alone his own mother, she insulted us by having her Female Phantoms turn into doubles of me, so now I have to go everywhere with people trying to kill me, too, all because I wouldn’t be dirty for Lady Duplica.”

    Keb understands the severity of the situation.  “If I go barging out there, I’ll have to choose between giving in to those kinds of things and death.”

    Faye is silent as she doesn’t want to admit the severity of the situation.  Finally, as she is still holding Keb’s hands, she slowly pulls them behind her back, then tenderly wraps her arms around the queen’s neck.  “I’m scared, and with Elfie giving in right before I left, I know it’s only a matter of time before I have to make that choice.”  She hesitates to get to the point, but she eventually arrives there.  “You know, I’ve never kissed a…well, anyone, heh heh.”

    The tot doesn’t have to say anything.  Keb can finish the rest in her mind.  If this is how the universe is going to be, why fight it?  So, the queen lays her head on Faye’s shoulder and asks, “May I pull you closer?”  Delighted, the tot obliges, only to find that this gesture is a violent tug, followed by a fatal piercing sensation.

    “One other thing this patient, merciful queen happens to be is experienced with your kind.”  Then, pointing to the center of her belt, Katie reveals, “I knew there’d eventually be another time when someone would apprehend me in a way that I couldn’t reach my gun, so I made sure my armor has several secret compartments with which I can defend myself, as you just found out.  So, my dear, I guess the answer to your filthy question is no.”  And for the record, Katie may not know all the details, but she knows this thing wasn’t the friend she met last year.

    As she joins her husband back in the war room, she sees no need to ask him about the tot’s accusation, but his heart can typically read hers, so he takes a guess and asks, “So, did that red woman send her spy to seduce you like she tried with me several times?”

    “Yes, yes, she did, and you see me standing by your side all the same,” the queen says while she wraps her arm around his.

    “A shame,” the Prince chuckles.  “That woman might have had better luck with me if she used your face as her ‘irresistible trap.’  I guess even computers can make miscalculations.”  This quip is all Katie needs to know that the prince’s heart belongs to her alone.

     And with this, we have taken a survey of all the galaxies, and it seems like the war is very much in our favor with the shield probably on its way any time now.  Keep in mind, all these events happened simultaneously, so the shield has only made it so far at this point, especially considering the scenes we saw were not comprehensive of the entire conflict spread across the cosmos.

    But wait!  There’s one battlefield I took for granted, even claiming it was immune to the struggle.

-Next Chapter-

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