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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Penelope smiled and nodded her head, more than happy with the fact that her friends were still supporting her–even if they seemed to be hesitant to do so.

She walked forward and wrapped her arms around Raina, hugging her as tightly as she could manage. "Thanks," she muttered, into Raina's ear, "that means a lot to me..."

She held the hug for a long time, trembling slightly as she tried to contain all of the conflicting emotions she had felt in this room over the last half hour. She hugged Raina even tighter, trying to express just how much she appreciated her friend, how she appreciated her in ways that could not be expressed in mere words alone.

As the hug was held, Raina eventually whispered into Penelope's ear that she was hugging her a bit too tightly. She relaxed the hug, only to nuzzle her head against her best friend's shoulder.

Times of crisis nearly always brings out the worst in people, but it also brings out the best in those who shine the brightest. You always look for the helpers, you always find people who are helping. They were the helpers, they were doing what's right in a world so inherently wrong.

For the second time ever on the island, Penelope felt truly good about herself.

She eventually let go of Raina, only to take her hand in Penelope's own. "Let's just... stay here for a while. I think we should all get a chance to cool down after all of that. Maybe we can move somewhere else later."

She sat down at one of the cafeteria's tables, the only one sitting untouched in the room, taking care to face away from the pool of Kizi's blood that lay festering on the ground nearby. She motioned for Raina and Johnny to join her, and she did what she had not done since before the trip; she decided to meditate.

She took a moment to focus her thoughts, she took a moment to relax, she took a moment to clear her head. Good would always win, in the end. Even if their little group of pacifists would wind up dying in the here and now, the terrorists that had murdered them wouldn't be able to do so forever. Their deaths may be just as pointless as any other, but she could take solace in the fact that no matter what, the tragedy would eventually stop.

She breathed in, and breathed out. Even with all of the broken dreams around her, even in her time of great distress, she could still find peace with those that she trusted.

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued elsewhere...))
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Minus Something · The Cafeteria