A few days later, Helen introduced a new level system to the boys. Mr. Danny stood by as she demonstrated how it would work, and why it was there.
"In response to recent events and their cause, Mr. Danny and I have teamed up to bring a special behavior system to the class. We start at Level 4," Helen explained. "The teacher and I both have clipboards. Whenever you act up, you get a mark. Take 3, and it's a step drop. If you get physically or verbally aggressive..." She reached for Steven's pawn to demonstrate... "You get a chart drop, meaning that you drop from wherever you were to Level 1."
Steven looked repulsed. "Why me?" But Helen gave him a cold stare that immediately prompted him to step down.
Days later, a victory celebration in their base was held by the Boy-Team to celebrate their victory over the Girl-Team. A band of boys had brought their trumpets and drums from home and marched in a parade. Jay held a puppet show, and several games were present for the boys to play, including pool, Monopoly, and free air hockey. Fireworks erupted in the air. Although the boys had suffered a lot from the war, it was now over--and they had won it.
Steven invited Summer to the podium with him. Finally, he made an announcement: "We have achieved peace!"
Everyone cheered. After joining the boys in the applause, Jay finished up his puppet show before dancing playfully with Anakin.
Andrew was having fun as well, so much that he was finally willing to make a confession he'd been holding in for weeks. He spoke into the comlink attached to his pod. "Hey! Helen!"
"Yes, Andrew?" Helen replied from the other side of the spacious, noisy room.
Andrew cleared his throat. "I...I've always liked y--"
Knowing what Andrew was going to say, Helen cut him off. "Just a second..." Her hands began to shake. "Let me make an announcement." With a jerking motion, her pod hovered to the central podium where Steven and Summer were. Once in range, she leaped aboard.
Atop the podium, Steven handed the sphere of peace, an artifact that rightfully belonged to Anakin and Jay's parents, to Helen and Summer. Both of them stood on the podium's railing and held it high. "Peace!" they both shouted together.
Everyone cheered. Helen stepped down and grinned at Andrew. I like you too.
"You know why there were so many boys with us?" Steven said over the announcements. "Some of them were replicas! Although several of us entered the battle, many boys that fought with you were actually robots. In whole, only 23 boys were killed. 23, during the entire war!"
Everyone cheered. That answers a lot, Summer thought. The question I've wondered since our mission to save Zira's baby.
"Now let's party!" said Steven.
The celebration lasted long into the night.