Zeb’s technique for dealing with Shai’s fear owes a lot to my Dad, the ex-Marine’s, pep talks to my sister and I, which were not quite “suck it up, little soldier” but sometimes close But he and Zeb were both right that it helps to focus on something, particularly something you can do instead of your fear. With Shai wanting to be a Guard, it’s easier for Zeb to get him to be brave. It’s Zeb; he’ll get out of it in true Honor Guard form. Boo-yah! Thank you! This is one of those cases where fanfic lead me to research some strange things; living in Central Illinois, we don’t have many dust storms, so I combed the ‘net for information on dust storms in Arizona and re-read a chapter of a fantasy novel set in the pseudo-Sahara about six times. But now if I’m ever caught in a dust storm or sand storm, I’ll know what to do! Yes, he fortunately has a chance to make things right and show that he possesses true honor. And with Zeb, can there be any doubt that he will? Thank you! Shai is one of those characters who just take a life of their own when you start writing, and I think he’s one of my favorite OC’s now. He owes a lot to my nephew and my Youngling for youthful enthusiasm and chattiness, and of course, there’s more than a passing similarity between him and a another scruffy-haired youngster whose exuberant attitude drives Zeb up a wall. I think that this Zeb ethos has been there in his heart all along, or at least it’s been building there, thanks to the redoubtable Herleva, but this is the first chance he’s really had to put it into practice. And it is awesome that he doesn’t shrink from his responsibility even though it means putting himself in harm’s way. That’s real honor, and Herleva will surely be proud. Yep, a real Honor Guard can solve any problem with spacer’s tape and ice-on-a-stick sticks...Zeb probably should have grabbed some while he was at it And Shulma...certainly her stripes are very attractive, but you know Zeb would never go for some shrinking violet type. Heck, he’s got to find a girl who can hold her own against the the strong women in his family! Shulma’s resoluteness in the face of the storm shows she might just be one BOO-YAH! Sir, yes, sir! (Insert “Halls of Montezuma” here) Hesitant as Velibor is, he’s at least willing to do the right thing in the end. That big bantha bull (headed) Gunvar is ready to leave Shai in the wilderness alone. He’s quite fortunate Zeb doesn’t have time to demonstrate another part of the Zeb ethos—bashing. At fourteen, I think Shai’s at that age where he is SO NOT A KIT, at least in his own eyes. But with everything that’s happened to him, with his carefree festival day shattered, he wants to reach out for help. His Zebby rejecting him for stupid friends and even stupider girls (sorry, Shulma) has hurt Shai terribly, though. And it occurs to me that Shai is what Ezra might have been if he’d had his family all along (go away, plot bunnies, I don’t need any more of you!) He really does love his big brother, even after everything that’s happened, and some of that Orrelios Honor lives in Shai’s heart, too. Greater love hath no Lasat... putting himself in between his helpless brother and the storm, Zeb becomes a living embodiment of the Honor Guard motto i endeavor to give satisfaction. I knew all the vocabulary words I learned for the SAT would be useful someday.