Iíve been going to summer school for nearly 2 months now. It pretty much s---, stinks, but it is part of me getting to have a real life, and I got to chose which school. They showed me this private, Spanish-language school that was real nice. This college runs it and itís real spendy. I figured Ďno wayí but I wanted to find out how for real they were, so I picked it.

Jim and Jacque didnít bat an eye, Jim just asked if I was sure I was up to it cause it was supposed to be a hard school. I was still testing them, so I said yes.

Since I got myself into this, I have to get myself out. That is one of the things I learned on the street. Jim and Jacque say they are really proud of me for thinking that way and sticking it out. It just never occurred to me that I might actually get my choice. Iím still not used to choices, itís really nice though!

Anyway, after two months, they said I doing really well and I had won this trip to this Education Conference. Thaaaat, sounds like fun, NOT! Still it was here in San Diego and kids from all over the country were going to be there and they were gonna hold it at this hotel you hear about and never get to go to cause itís so expensive. I went. I pretty much expected Jim to go along when they asked for parents to go along as chaperones cause most the Dads at school have to work all the time. I was right.

First day was pretty boring stuff. I thought the second day was gonna be boring too, looking at a bunch of animals stuck in cages. I was looking forward to the third day. It was gonna have this really fancy party at the end of it. Do you know how cool it is to always have really great clothes for parties?

The second day wasnít just pretty boring, it was really, really boring most of the day, I stayed cause Jim likes to spend time on me and I like it when he does that. He such a softie, I can have pretty much anything I want, all I gotta do is act nice and listen to his opinions on stuff sometimes, but he really gets into this ĎDadí thing. Heíd be pretty cool as a real dad.

It was afternoon and we were just coming out of the Nocturnal Tunnel where they have all the animals that go out at night when the real excitement started. This like 20 foot robot was standing there and called me by my real name and said I was under arrest for attacking a bunch of government agents! I panicked and I changed.

Every few weeks I have gotten these real weird dreams for a couple maybe three days, then Iím ok again. I was thinking it had to do with the once a month thing but I guess not now. I look weird and do stuff in these dreams then I go back to being me again. Well, when I panicked and changed, I looked like in these dreams, all white and almost, but not quite glowing. Without even thinking about it I wanted to hide and I made everything dark outside in the daytime. People were screaming and stuff, but I was safe, for just a second. Then this robot starts talking about Ďenvironmental change: artificial darkness, threat negligible, probable source, me!í I am freaking out about the time it attacks me and wipes out a bunch of kids who were in the group with us. I didnít get hurt too bad, but all the other kids were wiped out, lying everywhere. I could see cause it had these big spotlights in its head. Then American Pryde from the news shows up and gets in its face and tells it to back off cause its not acting legal.

This was a first! A real live Super Hero telling some government thing that it was doing something illegal by trying to arrest me. Youíre my new best friend, girlfriend! This hanging out with old squares was looking better all the time! Sheís not that old, sheís maybe 20 something, so, yeah, sheís old.

It tells her it has all this authority and she just holds her ground and tells it to take a hike. So then this Sentinel robot keeps thinking out loud and asks for permission to arrest American Pryde and then it says Ďpermission denied.í People talk to themselves, but robots?!?!?! Anyway, this Starfire guy comes out of nowhere and gets in the way too, telling this robot to leave me alone! This guy Starfire, is the same guy I though was on the news breaking all bad with street gangs siding with the cops. Now he is here sticking up for me and Iím used to being under arrest, no questions, go-to-jail type stuff. Except for I have white skin and I glow a little bit and look weird, having Ďthe Maní protecting you is pretty cool! I was gonna like hanging with all the squares if I ever got back to looking normal.

Anyway, I didnít like being helpless, but so far all I did was break one of its lightbulbs which grew back. Weird. I tried to mess with its brain, but that didnít work. American Pryde told me to make a run for it. I figured that was really bad news, so I booked. When I ran, the Sentinel did its ĎIím Mr. Spockí bit again and basically told everyone that it was gonna come after me, so I was like Ďgo feet, go!í

Next thing I know, Iím hearing the gates of hell open behind me. Iím hearing stuff fry, Iím hearing stuff that sounds like light sabers out of the movies, I hear the robot sputtering about all the stuff going wrong with it and then there is this huge hammershot sound and then the a real heavy crash that makes the ground shake. Last noise I hear is another really loud sizzling electric attack sound like when the robot fired at me, so I figure I gotta keep booking but then this other girl from TV news flys up to me and tells me the fight is over and Iím safe.

I check it out, no more noise, no more robot voice, and there are people cheering. So I go back with her and I see it flat on itís a--, on its back and it is wasted! They ripped it a new one, like they stuck it in this blender and hit puree. I wish I had seen it, cause one second I thought I was in for it, then next thing I know, American Pryde and Ďthe Maní kick this robots uh, trash for me! ĎThe Maní is gone when I get back, like he didnít even want to tell me to mind what I was doing or anything, and these other two TV news Heroes are checking me out, am I ok and stuff?

Jim is there too, and he says we need to go before the cameras get here cause itís none of their business if the robot was after me or what. I get his drift quick. Before I got adopted, Jill Malarapa had the police down on her all the time. Now all the squares like me without me having to do stuff for them. I didnít want the old Jill back, so I was ok to leave, and we split-out.

We went home and come to find out, not just Jim was cool with me turning all white and weird and doing weird stuff and turning back again, but so was Jacque, and they both knew it was going to happen someday, and they still adopted me. Yeah, I lost it and cried and that was cool with them too. They just let me and we watched TV together and talked. Jim told Jacque about American Pryde and Starfire and everything, and all she said was, Ďwell Iím glad youíre safe Jill.í They didnít even care if I was a freak.

Yeah, so I cried some more cause this really was for real. Later American Pryde and her sister that told me the fight was over came to see us at our house, checking to see if I was ok. Man, these squares are really tight, looking out for each other and stuff. Gangs donít know nothing about getting each others back like this!

I had to rethink lots of stuff. All these rich types and official types were all like together on stuff, but they were really together. Not like the hood where youíre supposed to be together on stuff but really itís only when its good for you. The news has this Starfire painted up like a Hero and all, but I only figure he was out to get homies and help the Man keep you down. Here tourists at the zoo on TV all said he was protecting me and just vanished, didnít talk to the cops afterward or nothing. So I had to rethink, maybe he really wants good stuff just like he says when the papers talk to him. That Kirby guy that is on TV all the time is cool, but heís funny too. Like all his stuff is staged. I think itís real, but lots of people are talk about that.

Anyway, the Pryde sisters left and then Jim has this thing he has to tell me. So Iím like Ďok,í and then he lays it on me that he is Starfire. He just stands up in the middle of the room and turns into Starfire. Jacques is holding me, which is good cause I felt like I needed to run, cause here it is, Ďthe Man,í is right here and heís got me. But no, itís Jim inside the suit and heís really cool about me being a meta and he is not gonna let the Sentinels get me cause Iím his daughter. So, Ďthe Maní is not just gonna protect me once, heís permanently on my side. Yeah, so I can cry a lot, whadda you gotta say about it, huh?

He says heís gotta go let American Pryde and her sister talk to Starfire, but heís gonna be back as soon as he can and then he goes off and I go to sleep.

Next morning I wake up and Jim tells me he talked to some folks and he thinks that the trouble is over, but there is a Hero Channel van in our driveway. So he gets on the phone and breaks bad on the phone. Iím like get real, they arenít gonna listen, but then heís talking to them and telling them where to get off and the van just leaves. I never saw a news van leave without a story before, not even for the cops! And this is just Jim and he did it on the phone! No super suit stuff or nothing. Yeah, my new Dadís a heavy! I figure a guy like that, probably my new mom is a probably a heavy too. Talk about feeling safe, this works! I never been safe in my life, now every one is doing stuff to make me safe. What I did to get this I donít know, but I wish I could go back and do it again a couple times.

Anyway, next the Feds come up, the FBI, no kidding. So Dad lets them in and heís all, Ďwould you like something to drink, some refreshments?í Like all that weak stuff, except I know he isnít weak. He took control of the situation and put the FBI in the drawing room and had them sitting down waiting for him, but he did it all real nice and they didnít even object. Yeah, my new Dad is smooth. Not bad for a square! I need to rethink more stuff.

Anyway, Dad tells me what he told, and who he told it all to, then he says whatever I want to tell these guys, heís with me. I can spill my guts or I can dummy-up or whatever. I get to choose again. This could get old. I go in and the FBI lays these pictures on me and then they show me pictures of me now and the old me and ask me if they are the same person. I am freaking out, Iím so busted. The FBIís tell me that they have sworn statements from my Dad! I am thinking he is ratting me out, and I feel sick and like I knew this was all too good to be true.

Dad though, he just sits bolt upright and says, excuse me? They ask him didnít he sign these statements. He looks them over and asks where they came from. I knew it! He did say stuff on paper! But when the FBI tells him where the statements came from, he just shut them down. He told them he never talked to the FBI before, ever. They tell him they are sure he did cause the Governor got the statements and gave them to them so they were the real thing, but Jim just says, ĎNo! Never talked to any FBI before, go get your facts straight and well talk again,í and he gets up and shows them the door! Yeah, my new Dad is REAL heavy! Nobody throws the FBI out but my Dad!

They get all quiet standing there and then real nice and all, they ask if they can please talk to Dad privately. They asked with a please! So he sends me out with Maetta and closes the door. A few minutes later he calls me in again and tells me its ok if I just tell the FBI if the picture of the new me and the old me in the police pictures look like the same person. So thatís the scam now. I say they donít look like the same person but the picture of the new me is really me. Then the FBI will go away with its investigation and say Iím not Jill Malarapa. The FBI is covering up my past. My past is really gone. I canít ever go back. Yeah, like I really want to, NOT! I am so free I am FBI free! Later on the news itís on TV, Jill Malarapa is really the girl the robot was after, but she is in FBI custody in a coma somewhere now, and I am sitting here watching it on TV.

Dad explains the Sentinels to me, too. The Sentinel was destroyed so fast it never got to tell its buddies I got away. The Sentinels and the people who have them only know what the FBI and the news is saying now, and they got no trails to follow. I figure they know there is a cover up going on, but they got a lot of government to go through to get to the truth, and no one can cut through all that red tape!

Squares really know how to cover for you! And my Dad can kick your Dadís butt!

Anyway, day three turns out to be bo-ring compared to yesterday! Conferences in the morning lasted forever. Theater-in-the-round that afternoon was pretty cool, the actors all had to like, sneak on and off the stage without you noticing which was cool. There was an awards dinner that evening and Jacque came to that too. Dad dropped some bucks on the "Concierge" and the buildings sound system started playing music after all the speeches were done. Mom and Dad got up and did this jitterbug to "Wipeout." I knew Mom was live wire, but now I know why she hangs with Dad. For a square, he is an animal! He doesnít know the new dances very well, but I still liked dancing with him. I was really gonna like this new life. Choice is cool!

There were no robots.