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Drawn To The Blood; The Flight of a One Winged Dove
Topic Started: Mar 14 2017, 06:11 PM (738 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Penelope Fitzgerald continued from Haemolacria))

Penelope leaned up against the wall, covering her ears with her hands to drown out the announcements.

It didn't take long after they came on for Penelope to regret even trying to listen to them. All it took was hearing that Astrid was dead for the tears to start and the agony to come back. Astrid had been an idiot, but she didn't deserve to die. None of them deserved to die.

So she didn't want to hear them, she didn't want to know who had died. As much as it hurt her to acknowledge it, the dead didn't matter anymore. They were gone, and there was nothing that she could do about it. Having a mental breakdown every time she heard a name she knew would just hurt her productivity and make her too preoccupied with things that she could never change.

She bit her lip, doing her best to suppress the tears as the muffled announcements stopped playing. Tentatively taking her hands off of her ears, Penelope sniffled once, before wiping her tears away. She needed to be strong, for the sake of everyone. They were all standing at the precipice of oblivion, and she needed to find anything at all that she could latch on to.

She leaned further into the wall before glancing over at Raina. They hadn't been able to find Johnny in the warehouse, or anywhere nearby for that matter. He had apparently just disappeared entirely, and while Raina had seemingly taken it relatively well, she was still worried for her friend's mental well being.

She sighed, rubbing her eyes again, before turning the corner to see where Ben had run off to.

Perched in a door frame, Ben met her gaze and eyed into the room he was standing just outside of. She cautiously leaned over into the doorway, only for a smile to grow on her lips.

"Lili! Kizi! The fuck are you two nerds doing here?"
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VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Penelope couldn't contain her excitement as Lili finished talking, letting a small, enthusiastic noise escape her lips as Lili finished talking.

"That's... exactly what I wanted to do!" She said, before energetically barging her way into the room and sitting down next to Lili, stirring dust into the air. "Like basically," she began, her voice tinged with energy, "I wanted... I wanted everyone to get together and then... stop fighting completely until they... kill us all."

Penelope rubbed the back of her head, unsure of how to continue. "It... never sounds as good out loud as it does in my head, but like... the idea is in a normal terrorist attack, we would have all died instantly." She paused, dust particles floating past her vision. "We would all... we'd already be dead. And I think that we should all be able to just... accept that."

She gently took hold of her left arm and averted her gaze, the usual awkwardness of the situation becoming steadily apparent. "It sucks, I know it does. But it happens. We aren't any more special than anyone else. We don't deserve to live more than anyone else." She swallowed, her words almost certainly being difficult to internalize. "We'd need to be strong though, and accept that not everyone gets to live a long, happy life. And that at least if it's us, it means that someone else doesn't have to suffer in our place."

Penelope paused, briefly teething her bottom lip before continuing. "All of that perspective is important, and I think we'd be able to convince plenty of people if we just talked things out with them."

She looked back up, glancing at Raina before smiling. "And of course, if we could escape, that's the better option. Right, Raina?"
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"Yeah posters might be a... bit hard to come by."

Penelope tapped her chin absentmindedly, eyes darting around the room between the various occupants. "The bell tower though..."

She smiled, her excitement growing even stronger. "I was thinking we could go there too! At least we were planning on going there after we found Johnny but..." She shook her head, quieting her anxiety. "I'm sure he's okay, though. And maybe if we head to the bell tower and start making a big fuss, he might show up!" She said, her voice tinged with its usual constant hope. "And then if we get a large enough group together then maybe..."

Her eyes cast downwards, her speech stopping as she remembered her dream the other day. "...who knows. Maybe my dumb plan of essentially peacefully protesting ourselves into oblivion won't ever have to come into play. Maybe nobody else will have to die."

She curled her arms together, resting them on her lap as she reflexively brought her knees slightly upward. Her thoughts strayed towards Kimiko, to Alessio, to that Isabel girl. Could she really convince people who already took the plunge to come back from that? Even people she knew and trusted decided to kill. Even seemingly reasonable people like Kimiko weren't above killing someone as sweet as Cristo. How could they possibly be brought back from that?

More importantly, what would she do if she couldn't manage it?

Her voice quieted down, remaining barely above a whisper. "Maybe... maybe not, though."
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"I think we should probably stay here, at least for a little while," Penelope muttered, as she tugged on Raina's sleeve in response to her friend's touch.

"I don't know about you two, but the three of us," she gestured to Raina and Ben, "spent the entirety of yesterday walking around, and we're a bit tired. And uh... yeah."

Penelope rubbed her eyes, still slightly puffy from the constant crying. The mascara that had so thoroughly stained her cheeks was finally beginning to fade. If she had a future to look forward to, she would remind herself not to put it on so thick next time. Unfortunately for her and all of her friends, there wouldn't be a next time.

She sniffled, going silent as everyone else continued talking. She had tried to avoid thinking about everything that she would be losing out on. The fact that she had time to reflect and consider the future was the worst part of her dire circumstances. Had she just been blown up, with everything she was and ever would be gone in a single instant, she wouldn't have had time to mourn the life that she wouldn't have been able to live.

But as it stood, she had more than enough time to consider everything she had to lose. All the friends she would never make and all the conversations she would never have, all the food she would never eat and sights she would never see, all the games she would never play and all the code she would never write...

It was easy to just say that she was okay with everything going away. It was easy to say that her life ending so someone else's life could continue was a good thing. But when it came time to pay her dues, to face her own mortality before her life had truly even had a chance to begin, it wasn't so easy to just let everything go. She had only survived this long by ignoring the reality of the situation, by pretending that everything would be alright and refusing to internalize the danger until the bitter end.

But as more time passed, as more of her friends died to the things that went bump in the night, it became harder and harder to ignore the reality that she would soon never be able to laugh or cry or experience anything ever again.

And that scared her.

She leaned her head into Raina, the frown that had formed on her face dissolving as she took comfort in their proximity.

At the very least, she still had her best friend.
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Penelope leaned up against Raina as the group rested, trying her best to keep her fear about what lay ahead of them under control.

Her thoughts strayed back to the uncertainties, to the people who had already killed. How long would it be until they ran into someone that words and offers of comfort alone would not stop? The list of known murderers had only grown as time went on, as more of even her good friends had succumbed to the pressure, to the allure of another chance at life, and had ended the life of another person. Even of the people that had not yet killed, how many of them were like Astrid, already convinced to take the plunge and simply without the chance to act on it yet?

Penelope munched on a calorie bar that she had absentmindedly pulled from her bag, doing her best to ignore the dry texture and unpleasant flavor. She rested her head on Raina, staring at the wall of the bedroom they were in.

She swallowed as she looked around the room and at everyone in it. There was little hope that her plan could possibly succeed when even some of her friends, even sweet Alessio, had gone off the deep end in a way that couldn't be reversed. There was little hope that they could possibly somehow outwit a terrorist organization with years of experience and a vast difference in available equipment and escape.

She stared at Ben, who was absentmindedly looking off in the distance. If they couldn't win, if they couldn't beat the terrorists, then how many of the people around her right now would she see die before her very eyes?

And if she died before them, how many of them would see her die? How many of them would have to live with her death until they died themselves?

She gulped and resumed staring off into the distance, doing her best to breathe and relax. Despite her best efforts, however, she couldn't ignore the gnawing thoughts in the back of her head.

She was afraid.

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued in Hyphaema))
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