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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Penelope closed her eyes and sighed, before standing up.

"That's okay, I understand. It's not an easy decision to make," Penelope said to Asuka.

"I..." Penelope looked at the ground for a few seconds. "I just... want to say. Before we go our separate ways." She swallowed, considering her words. "Just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean it can't happen now." Penelope glanced at a beam of light coming from one of the windows, dust particles floating through the air. "There's no other option. You either die doing what's right or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Penelope closed her eyes again, pausing. "You can try your best to remain good while trying to mess with the terrorists. But what are you going to do? Break a few cameras? Try to escape? It won't work, they'll just blow you up. They'll blow all of us up if you actually succeed." Penelope paused for a few seconds, searching for words, before continuing, "They're probably already watching you like a hawk just because of what you said right there. No, I think... I think instead you'll be too scared to die, and you'll give up on whatever plan you'll have brewing and do exactly what they want."

Penelope opened her eyes, staring directly at Asuka. "It's better to take a stand, make a statement on what's right. If we all get together and decide not to fight until the terrorists end it, we'll win. Their goal is to show how horrible everyone is, deep down. How people will break under pressure and act no better than animals. And if this game goes like all the ones before, they will be proven right. They'll win again."

Penelope closed her eyes again, her head turned downwards, speaking only loud enough to be audible. "But if my plan works, for the first time in history, they will truly lose."

She lifted up her bag and slung it over her shoulder. "Goodbye, Asuka. If you change your mind, hopefully you'll be able to find me."

Penelope turned to leave, before briefly craning her head back in Asuka's direction, one final thing to say. "No matter what happens though... don't let yourself lose control. Don't do what they want. For any reason." She turned her head back towards the door. "I'm going to make things right. I guarantee it."

And with that, Penelope left the gym, her stalwart determination burning ever brighter.

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued in Quickdraw))
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