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“Hey,” says Tam, frowning. “You notice this? Fourth Form Stone and Seventh Form Metal match each other.”

“Like a dance?” says Winter.

“Or a scripted fight.”

“It makes sense. Kata must start somewhere.”

“Then why don’t they tell us that?” says Tam. “Why aren’t we ever supposed to mix styles?”

“Maybe you’re wrong.” Winter grins, then bounces up. “Wanna find out?”

Tam laughs, stands, bows and takes Metal Stance. They begin to spar, and it’s fun, and it matches perfectly. They’re enjoying it, almost at the finish–

Until Winter blocks a strike, and bang, flash, sparks skid from their astonished hands.