Penelope quietly nodded at Raina's comment about the helicopter while motioning for her friend to sit down completely alongside her.
Her head soon found it resting on Raina's shoulder, her arms tucked around her body. It was chilly, with a breeze gently blowing over the top of the helipad, but for the first time since she got here she felt true warmth. She was here, with her friend. The person she had wanted most to find after her boyfriend. They were together again, even if it was only for fleeting moments in the grand scheme of things. In this moment, it was like they were back home. This was all that mattered, it was all that needed to matter.
Her eyes closed. The world around her slowly grew distant, her mind slipping away from this wretched place, its denizens, her troubles, and the best laid plans of mice and men.
She soon found herself lost in a wild, beautiful ocean of thought, her boat of consciousness sailing onward through it, with no true destination in mind. The sun glowed over the horizon as the warm, shimmering waters of knowledge rippled and hummed in response to the winds of perception catching her sails. Her chest of memory sat idly in her boat, waiting eagerly to gain new passengers.
Part of her had forgotten how much she missed these chances to simply think to herself. To let anything come to mind. Some of her best game ideas came during these moments of true clarity.
A small bottle with a note inside floated towards her boat. Picking it up out of the water, Penelope unfurled the message contained within.
"ARE YOU REALLY OKAY WITH THIS?"
Her eyelids twitched.
The boat rocked back and forth, as the waters grew slightly rougher, almost as if in response to the message. She didn't quite know what the message was talking about, or why she had found it. A second bottle was slowly approaching the side of her boat, waiting to be picked up. Placing the first bottle into her chest of memory, Penelope reached down and pulled the new bottle out of the water before glancing once again at the horizon. Small, wispy clouds could be seen over the horizon. She quickly unfurled the note, an uneasy discomfort starting to take over her thoughts.
"DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS WOULD MEAN?"
A wave rolled underneath her boat, jostling it slightly and requiring her to hold onto its rails. Her head suddenly felt painful. She looked again at the horizon, the clouds having seemingly grown larger. The sun was slowly sinking below the edge of her ocean of thought.
Penelope reached down for another note, wanting to put these strangely uncomfortable, cryptic messages out of her mind. The new bottle was cracked, the note soggy as she pulled it out.
Her fingers curled more tightly around something that she was holding onto.
The waters grew fierce as black, billowing clouds took over the horizon. The sun was no longer shining, the waters were no longer inviting.
Notes in bottles seemingly swarmed her small vessel as lightning lit the void of her mind moment to moment.
She pulled bottle after bottle out of the waters, hoping to find something that would calm the increasingly violent sea.
"YOU HAVE TO STOP."
"PLEASE THINK OF OUR FAMILY."
"THE WORLD NEEDS US. WE ARE TOO IMPORTANT FOR THIS."
"WE CAN DO BETTER. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE"
"THINGS DON'T HAVE TO END THIS WAY."
The next note she pulled out was devoid of words, covered in only what seemed to be mindless scribbles.
Every note thereafter was similarly garbled and impossible to read. The storm grew closer to her boat as the ocean grew even more wild and dangerous.
Finally, a seemingly unique bottle was pulled from the now icy, vicious waters. It was cracked, and filled with waterlogged black sand, the note was as slimy as the sand mixture viscous, and Penelope spent several moments cleaning it of debris before she was able to read it.
"ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU WANT US TO DIE?"
A wave crashed over Penelope's boat, knocking over her chest of memory, spilling thousands of bottles out of the seemingly bottomless box. As she sorted through these bottles trying to get them back inside, as the clouds twisted themselves into images of a small girl and her mother.
The clouds spoke in echoed, garbled tongues that were nonetheless intelligible.
"Mommy, where do people go after they die?"
The images of the mother contorted, becoming wild, twisting, spiral-like shapes.
'Well... sweetheart... I guess you can say that you don't go anywhere after you die.'
"But... how can someone not be anywhere? I thought... I thought everyone would always have to be somewhere."
The spirals twisted less violently, its swirls becoming gentle, possibly even thoughtful.
'Well... You weren't anywhere before you were born, right? Being dead is like that. Like... sleeping for a long time, with no dreams. Doesn't that make it sound nicer?'
"No... mommy that sounds scary."
The clouds began repeating the last few words that they echoed out, repeating over and over again only to become a deafening chorus.
Was it trying to tell her something? She understood that she was going to die soon. Raina's escape plan would never have a chance of succeeding, even if Penelope helped as much as she could manage. The end was nigh, no matter what the two of them did. Penelope was okay with th-
Waves crashed over the side of her boat as rain pounded her sails, the winds growing malevolent and tearing holes in it.
Another wave hit the boat, washing a bottle onto it and directly in front of Penelope. She picked it up and pulled out the crumpled, damp paper inside.
"WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO PROVE?"
Penelope twitched where she was, blatantly disturbed in her thoughts.
The voice of the clouds spoke up again, in a veritable symphony of vocal octaves of all kinds.
"WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO PROVE?"
It was shouting at her, angry. It wanted answers. It wanted blood.
She called out into the darkness, doing her best to make the storm cease. "I just want to make the best of a bad situation! I can't leave here, I'd never be able to live with myself!"
"WE ARE SCARED. YOU ARE SCARED. ADMIT IT."
Penelope curled up into a ball, her clothes getting soaked. She hid her face away from the dire clouds. She was okay with dying. She was okay with dying. Death wasn't scary, if anything it was just-
"ADMIT IT!" The clouds screamed at her, somehow even louder than before.
Tears rolled down her face, becoming one with the waters sinking her boat. "Fine... I'm scared... I don't... I don't want... I don't want to die. I want to live."
"I just... I just want to be back home." She said, her hands covering her face. "I want to see my sisters and my mom and my dad and I want to be able to spend time with Sam and I want to edit together silly meme images with Raina again and I want to message Emilia about my games and art again and..."
The clouds swirled down towards her, ominously enveloping her ship.
"I just want to go home."
Penelope opened her eyes with a start, her breathing heavy. She was lying down, her head resting on Raina's lap and being gently stroked by her friend's hand. Her own hand was clutched to Raina's leg, holding on fairly tightly.
She felt the urge to speak.
She stayed silent.
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17:32 Mimi: Everyone has their place in society. His is with tractors.
19:26 Harbinger: Manhunt is like victorian porn
19:26 Monad: Isn't that bad like, quality? Or isn't as bad as they say in terms of nastiness?
19:26 Kilmarnock: Aside from Piggsy's shadowy schlong.
22:45 SpiralAgnew I'M TALKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT IS TO WORK AT NINTENDO
22:45 Medic SPIRAL
22:45 Courtney Hey Medic
22:45 SpiralAgnew IN FRONT OF MK
22:46 Outfoxd ..Wait, do we punch Spiral in the dick now?
22:46 Outfoxd FUCK YOUR DREAMS
22:46 Outfoxd OoO
22:47 TurtleTyrant we are punching him in the dick?
22:47 Courtney That'll be the most attention his dick has gotten...ever.
22:47 Guest13519 He'd probably like getting punched in the dick though.
22:47 Courtney Only if by androgynous looking girls.
22:48 Guest13519 Who look and act about 12?
22:48 Courtney I really don't know.
22:48 Courtney Ask him.
22:48 Courtney I mean he's right here.
22:49 SpiralAgnew Sorry, I couldn't hear you
22:49 Outfoxd I gotta go to bed
22:49 SpiralAgnew I was too busy riding that Nintendo high
22:26 Mumu: robots are sexy
22:26 Mumu: like that bitch from The Jetsons
22:27 TurtleTyrant: do you find this robot sexy?
22:27 Slayer: :|
22:27 TurtleTyrant: [Image of Bender]
22:27 Lancer: Who wouldn't?
22:27 Kilmarnock: If anything, Bender's sexier than Rosie.
21:42 Flarez: MurderWeasel - You can tell what kind of site we're on because we get confused on which particular infirmary massacre we're discussing.
21:42 MurderWeasel: Welcome to chat and SOTF!
21:21 Espi: I want to have at least one non-white person perversion.
20:44 Raft: Um.
20:44 Raft: Can't tonight Ricky. I'm promised to another.
20:46 Kilmarnock: YOUR ANUS IS MINE
22:37 Mimi: SOMETIMES I DO PENIS
22:00 Sansa: Vagina. <3 OTP till the end of time.
18:30 Outfoxd: that would be the slow inexorable path of evolution mocking you
20:00 Naft: Jokes on you
20:00 Naft: Turtle replaced my mind with a turtle on a hamster wheel
13:00 Zarina: I DON'T ONLY PLAY HORRIFIC YAOI H-GAMES RACHEL
13:00 Zarina: SOMETIMES I PLAY OTHER THINGS
13:00 Zarina: LIKE HORRIFIC HETEROSEXUAL H-GAMES
23:33 Zarina: I tried to buy condoms discreetly once
23:33 Zarina: I ran into my mom at the register
19:35 Christian: I JUST LIKE SHAGGING HANDLERS, KAY?
14:56 Slam: but then I wonder where's the romance without a schlong