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Christmas Day, 2009, 6:00 PM, Central Time Zone, GMT

Jack's House, Anaheim, Saskatchewan

Kiko laughed as Yelina bolted from the room, wanting nothing to do with a makeover. Mary and Penny were likewise sprawled on her bed, checking out Kiko's arsenal of cosmetics.

'Wow! Check out these nail polishes!' Penny showed her twin sister. 'Lookit! They change colour when you move around!'

'Jack got me these for Christmas, too,' Kiko told them, proffering a transparent plastic pouch full of tiny oddments. 'Arley must've shown him.'

'Rad!' Mary breathed, jealously. The pouch contained a dizzying assortment of tiny stick-on nail accessories, from faux precious gems to patterns to gewgaws of every type and description. 'Can I use some eyes?' There were plenty of these. 'Wow! They look so real!'

'I got a new streaking kit, too,' Kiko said proudly. Her hair was already streaked and highlighted to the limit, as was Mary's and Penny's.

'We should corner Yelina and do her up,' Penny suggested.

'Don't even go there!' Kiko pouted. 'She'll punch and bite and kick. We need more than just three of us to hold her down.'

'Let's get Tina to hold her down,' Mary grinned.

Kiko and Penny gave her a withering look. 'You want to get our asses kicked?' Penny said incredulously. 'Tina'd never go for it.'

'And anyway, I have to live with her,' Kiko griped.

The object of their conversation rejoined Tina and Asta in the downstairs rumpus room. They were playing a head-to-head video game, using the enormous wide-screen television as a screen. Tina's avatar was a chicks-in-chainmail warrior, Asta's was a grotesque alien gargoyle with super powers.

'Who's winning?'

'Hiya, Short Stuff,' Tina greeted her, not taking her attention from the game as she kicked the alien-gargoyle into the wall. The gargoyle rebounded and began flailing away at her with its fiery whip.

Yelina watched for a while, then, bored, she went hopefully back upstairs and to the kitchen, where Jack, Ian, Arley and Mike were working on supper. Jack smiled when he saw her.

'Gettin' hungry?'

'I am hungry,' Yelina pouted, prompting chuckles from the others.

'Well, we got the bird started late, so we're a little behind schedule,' Jack told her. 'It'll be ready in half an hour.'

Yelina dithered a few moments, looking with longing at all the food already laid out on the table, including the black olives she'd been filching until Jack put the run on her, then shrugged and made her way to her room.

She found herself wishing that Jason and Carly were back from their errand: they'd gone to pick up some more firewood. With a sigh, Yelina closed her door, propped a chair under the knob to keep the others from intruding, went to her closet and opened it, and dug out one of her projects.

After Jason and Carly's mother had died, Jack had rebuilt the house, expanding it in all directions. Each of the kids now had a private room, although it was no secret that Kiko rarely slept in her own bed.

Yelina's "projects" were ongoing: they were devices she was making from the cornucopia of electronics she'd stolen from the Control Room of the Special Ops' base. The one she selected was nearly finished. And she intended to finish it- now.

The urge was upon her because she found that she was worried. Matthew had seemed funny, somehow, when he told her he was going up north to visit relatives. His brother, Hank, had also seemed funny, like they were hiding something from her.

Fine! She was determined to find out what it was.

With jewelry screwdriver-set, soldering-gun and duct-tape, she began disassembling the old and assembling the new.

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The following comments are for "Boom Boom Kitty -40-"
by gsmonks

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