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A World Of Sadness; [Open!]
Topic Started: Aug 13 2016, 08:19 PM (1,142 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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((G013 - Penelope Fitzgerald, Start))

The changing rooms were dim, cold, damp, and smelled. Recently disturbed dust slowly filtered through what little light was making it into the dark changing room, having been kicked up by the room's first occupant in a long, long time. The sounds of sobbing echoed around the walls of the dark room.

Penelope sat curled into a ball in the inky blackness, her arms wrapped around her legs, tears staining her leggings. Why did things have to end up like this? Her life was so happy, she was so happy. Her parents had enough money to buy everything she could possibly want and live comfortably while doing it, she had a great boyfriend, nice friends, she was well liked, she was doing well in school, she had started developing video games casually... she had everything she could possibly want as a sixteen year old girl. Now all that has been taken away from her. A group of terrorists stuck her and her classmates in a game and are forcing them to murder each other. Rather than having the common decency that other terrorist extremists have where they just kill their victims quickly with either bombs or bullets and minimize overall suffering, these terrorists stick them in situations where the suffering is maximized but act like it's okay because they dangle the carrot of survival for one lucky person.

One lucky person that couldn't possibly be her. She wiped some of her tears away. All the crying she had done has made the residual mascara that she had put on before the bus was attacked streak down her face.

She had no chance of possibly surviving. She had a crippling fear of blood and was a devout pacifist- she wasn't about to let this situation break her moral code. Even if she somehow did make it to the end she would just be kidnapped again and thrown into the next game that the terrorists put together. Plus, would she even want to survive all the way to the end? Most of her classmates and friends would be dead. Her boyfriend, Samuel, would be dead. Was that a world that she would be okay with living in? A world where almost everyone she loves is gone?

Penelope tugged at her skirt, mindlessly wanting something to fidget with. No chance of survival, no chance for happiness even if by some miracle she did survive. All she could hope for was a potential rescue but the terrorists have no doubt learned from their mistakes in the past. She knew for a fact that their fifth deadly game went off without a hitch, and everyone save one girl died.

Penelope couldn't take this. The crying wasn't enough to alleviate the knot in her throat, the butterflies in her stomach, the tingling of nerves. She wanted to scream, vomit, hit something. She had never felt more hopeless in her life. She saw her favorite teacher, one she shared so many school afternoons talking to, die right in front of her. Now she was doomed to die with him, along with her friends and boyfriend while some random kid that breaks and goes completely psycho gets to go home. And what about all the people she leaves behind? Her parents will never be able to recover. The internet communities that she was so popular on and knew so many people from would likely be torn asunder with the news of her death. She squeezed her head with her knees.

Penelope released her head from her knees and decided to tug at the collar around her neck. She knew how these things worked. Tug too hard and they explode, killing whoever was wearing it instantly. That would probably be better than getting shot or stabbed multiple times and dying alone, in pain. It would be like how a regular terrorist attack would have been. She would be dead, and she wouldn't even realize it because her mind and consciousness would be gone forever. That's how it should be. Her hopelessness took over her hand as she tugged harder on the collar until-

G013 - Penelope Fitzgerald: Deceas-

-the collar beeped. Her hand stopped tugging on the collar. Just a little further and it would be over. Just a little further and she'd never have to worry or feel this hopeless or sorry for herself ever again.

But Penelope couldn't tug any further. She relaxed her hand and gently put the collar back in resting position. Despite everything that happened, despite the fact that she should have already been dead, Penelope was still alive. And as a living creature, Penelope was still too scared to die. She sat relaxing her legs a bit and staring at the barely visible floor, her crying having ceased for the first time since she awoke. If she was going to die, she needed to find Samuel, she told herself. That way they could have one last night together before dying in each other's arms. It would be poetic that way, and it'd be the ultimate way to stick it to the terrorists that did this to them.

Penelope slowly stood up from where she was sitting and picked up the duffel bag she had been given, the number thirteen emblazoned on its side. She checked the contents by feeling around inside the bag, making sure they were all there. She felt the book that she had been given as a "weapon" and pulled it out, gazing at it for several moments before putting it back inside and zipping up the bag. Despite how useless her weapon was, any weapon she would have gotten would have been a useless weapon- she would have never used anything that she got. A book might be useful for the future regardless, so better keep it safe and sound for now. Penelope walked towards the door of the changing room and opened it up, emerging outside into the gym.

The gym was significantly less dimly lit than the changing room that she had just been in, but was just as dusty. She sneezed from all the dust she was kicking up with her movements, shortly before recovering and looking around the gym to see if anyone else was there. The only things that greeted her were the sounds of the outdoors and her own sneeze reverberating around the room. She looked over towards the changing room on the opposite side of the gym. Maybe someone else had been placed in there, just like how she was placed in a changing room? Maybe it was even Samuel, she thought to herself. Penelope slowly trudged through the dust, carefully trying to avoid stirring up as much as she could manage, towards the changing room on the opposite side. She needed to sate her curiosity, she had to.

She had to find Sam.
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Penelope came to a halt as she saw someone peek around the edge of the door frame before quickly retreating back into the room at the sight of her. She called out to them. "H-hey! Wait! Come back! I don't bite!"

It was obvious to Penelope that whoever it was, it wasn't Samuel. She sighed before she began moving towards the door again. At least she was right about someone being in there, similar to herself. Even if it wasn't Samuel, maybe it was someone she knew? She could really use some company, and even if it wasn't someone she knew, Penelope was always up for making a new friend, death game or not. And if the person wasn't going to come out to her, she would go to them.

Penelope stopped moving again. What if the person she was moving towards was dangerous? What if they had a weapon more than capable of serious injuring and killing her? She could be walking into a trap. Or maybe the person wasn't dangerous but instead scared, and scared of what she might do to them in turn? What if they attacked her not because they wanted to kill but out of fear for their life?

Penelope pushed the thoughts away. She'd clearly announce her intentions, slowly and calmly. That should make sure the person doesn't attack her out of fear. Although that still left the concern of being attacked out of malice. Penelope stood still and considered things for a bit. All of them had just woken up recently from being unconscious. People might be scared, but there's no way that they'd gone completely crazy. Humans are good, and humans liked thinking of themselves as good people. She refused to believe that anyone would let violent urges take over so quickly. People usually do evil not out of malice, but stupidity. Unless this person tripped and shoved a dagger into Penelope's heart, she would probably be fine.

Penelope shuddered at the image of a grizzly seen like that. The blood, oh the blood.

Penelope shook her head and pushed the imagery out of her mind for her own sanity, before continuing her walk towards the doorway of the changing room. She called out. "Hey, just so you know, I'm not going to hurt you! I don't want to hurt anyone! I promise!"

Penelope stopped just short of the doorway before saying, "Please, if you're thinking about it now... don't hurt me."

Penelope carefully leaned her head around the doorway, peering into the darkness of the changing room in front of her.
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Penelope jumped back slightly when she heard the thunk of a leg against wood and the whump of a bag hitting the floor.

Penelope sat and listened to the boy hiss and moan slightly for a few seconds, before hearing the gym door open. Penelope turned her head towards the source of the noise and saw a girl standing in the doorway, light pouring in and obscuring her visage. Penelope froze, staring at the girl for a solid six seconds, before pulling herself into the changing room with the boy and closing the door behind her. She had no idea who that girl was or what she was doing here, but Penelope didn't want anything to do with her. It's one thing when she has the opportunity to approach someone on her own terms and tell them that she's no threat, but it's another thing entirely when she's caught completely flat footed.

Penelope glanced around the now almost entirely dark changing room, the only light coming from underneath the door she had just closed. She might as well call out to the boy that's in here with her. "Hello? I heard you hit something. Are you okay?"

Penelope shuffled slowly around the musty room, feeling her way slowly around the walls until she suddenly jumped back, right after bumping into the boy she was looking for.
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((GMing approved.))

Penelope stood awkwardly as Brendan left, not knowing what to say as he bolted out of the door of the changing room and, presumably, out of the gym. She slowly walked over to the now ajar door while holding back a sneeze brought on by the musty air. She was still slightly concerned about the girl she had seen in the doorway potentially being dangerous, but she didn't hear any gunshots when Brendan ran out the door, so that was good. Penelope stuck her head slightly out of the doorway to see the random girl... sobbing? Penelope watched as the girl dropped the gun she had been holding and let it clatter against the gym's floor, before letting out a few more sobs and asking for a hug. Penelope stepped out of the doorway. "A... hug? Well, I don't know you but-"

Penelope was interrupted as the girl quickly ran up and embraced her. After a small moment of apprehension, Penelope returned the hug, wrapping her arms around the girl's waist. The two of them were almost the same height, Penelope just two inches taller. "I... uh... as I was saying... I don't know you, but I'm fine with a hug. I think most people would need a hug in a time like this."

Penelope wondered just who this girl was. She knew the names and faces of pretty much every junior at Cochise, but only knew a handful of the seniors. Presumably this girl fell into the latter category. "So uh..." Penelope began, as the girl kept maintaining the hug. "If you don't mind me asking... what's your name? I think we might be in different grades, it's why I don't know."
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Penelope stood still, blinking as Asuka rattled off about herself.

Penelope wasn't sure what exactly to say in response. "I uh... wow. That was a lot of stuff."

Penelope sat down in front of Asuka, the dust on the gym floor scattering out in multiple directions. "So... I don't think I can introduce myself as quickly as you did. Let's start slow. My name's Penelope, it's nice to meet you."

Penelope tapped her chin as she thought of things to say. "I play a lot of video games! Like making them too. The ones I made weren't... that good though. Pretty mediocre, actually. I'd offer to show them to you but... yeah... uh..."

Penelope shook her head. "Nevermind all that..." Penelope rubbed the back of her head, thinking. "Oh, wait, you said you draw, right? I draw too! Got a decent number of followers on Tumblr because they like my art..." She paused, frowning. She hadn't even considered her Tumblr followers. They knew her full name. It wouldn't take long for them to realize that she was caught up in this. Penelope bit her lip, looking away from Asuka and at the ground. She hoped they didn't feel too bad knowing that she was gone. The last thing she wanted was her death to make others sad.

Penelope looked back up at Asuka. "I uh... sorry about that. Anyway... if you want a little tidbit about myself. I sometimes have weird lucid dreams that last several nights in a row that tell like, a single story over the course of the different dreams." Penelope began fiddling with her bag's handle. "It's uh... kinda cool? Also kinda annoying when I get a dream that's not so fun."

"...And I guess that's all I really have to say about myself." Penelope finished. "I'm kind of boring, to be honest."

The two of them sat in silence for a few moments. Penelope's emotions started getting the better of her. The two of them were going to die. Two three-dimensional, one-of-a-kind, beautiful, yet flawed human beings were going to have their lives cruelly taken away before they were even allowed to begin. Penelope tried to hold back her tears, before a thought came to her.

"...Heh." Penelope sniffled. "What have we gotten ourselves into, huh?"

Penelope tried her best to chuckle. Barely even a joke, but humor was the only way she knew how to cope with things like this. "I guess... I guess the best thing to do would be to try and... I dunno, get out of here? See if we can gather other people up?" Penelope sniffled again. "I know I want to see my boyfriend, at least one last time. One last chance to be together..."
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Penelope sat quietly waiting as Asuka no doubt considered what she should say.

Penelope could easily tell which people were the awkward types, she used to be fairly awkward herself. She knew how she handled situations during those times, and it wasn't hard to see the same behaviors in other people. Penelope thought for a moment after Asuka finished was she was saying, awkward pauses and all.

"My boyfriend? His name is Samuel, Samuel Howard. Although I just call him Sam." Penelope pursed her lips slightly before she continued. "There's a lot that I can say about him, not much of it bad. He's a big sweetheart that I can talk for hours with about anything, he bakes the best sugar cookies, he's so understanding about everything, and he's so humble about how great he is."

Penelope adjusted her skirt briefly, before continuing. "And he's not so bad in bed if you know what I mean." Penelope raised both her hands as finger guns, pointing them at Asuka. "Pew pew! Haha..." Penelope paused. "That... was a bit awkward to say, in hindsight," she said sheepishly, as she rubbed the back of her head.

"To uh... change the subject," Penelope began. "...That uh, thing about people being afraid of being boring I uh... get that, a lot. I'm so afraid of being entirely irrelevant in my life." Penelope looked at the floor, curling her legs up towards her chest and wrapping her arms around them. "I guess I had my worst fear realized."

Penelope's eyes flickered back and forth between Asuka and the floor. She had such a tendency to dominate conversations and not leave a whole lot of room for responses to her. She continued anyway. "I uh... besides my blood phobia, at least. Worst fear besides that." Penelope paused, before whispering into her knees. "That's probably going to be a huge problem soon too..."

Penelope leaned her head back to face the ceiling. "Eugh, this small talk is nice but... I think we're both ignoring the elephant in the room here." Penelope brought her head back down, looking once again at Asuka as she lowered her knees. "Do you want to know what I'm thinking of doing? And do you want to join me?"

"Because no matter what, if my plan comes to fruition, all of us are going to die, but on our own terms. Not theirs."
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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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