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3 yrs ago
Current Off Hiatus?
3 yrs ago
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3 yrs ago
"Mecha Cowboys" has less than a thousand hits on Google. I've never been more upset.
4 yrs ago
RP Concept: "Screw just the plans, we're stealing the Death Star and taking that baby for a joyride!"
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4 yrs ago
The VeggieTales theme song has been stuck in my head for at least three days now. Can't decide if it a good or bad thing yet.
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Bio

Writer of schlock dressed up in some decent clothes.

Most Recent Posts

@The Ghost NoteSo are we gonna get a big happy family tree once we (read: slow bastards like me) get more characters up?

Also, how big do you plan on having the Vanburen family be? We gonna fill the line up with a big, meaty cast of expendable siblings and spouses?
I'll see if anyone else bites then I will throw the ooc up.


Well now you're gonna have to do it.






It had been an unfruitful couple of weeks for Penny. With Rowan and Kimberly spirited away to some government blacksite, it was left to her to continue the task of tracking Annabelle. Penny soon realized it was something for which she had no talent. Throw Annabelle at her face and she’d be ready to go for as long as her body would hold together, but actually finding her proved to be a mountain of a challenge. Penny imagined an unstoppable killing machine that turned people into flesh-eating monsters wouldn’t be so hard to find—just follow the piles of corpses and go—but there wasn’t even a drop of blood as far as she could tell. Either the attacks were kept from the news, perhaps buried beneath the exploits of Florida-Man, or Annabelle was in hiding. By the end of the two weeks, Penny had accomplished little more than clean up the room that the DENS had trashed and convince the Coven to let her use it for the time being.

At the very least, the DENS agents had taken care of the Dollhouse mess. The last thing Penny needed was a throng of angry apparitions hunting after her while she played detective. Still, it didn’t forgive them for booking Kimberly. A larger part of the reason why she even bothered to hang near the Coven was to hopefully get a lead on where they were keeping her friend. Orchestrating a full on jailbreak fell under the category of “even too stupid for Penny”, but if she could somehow get a picture to the girl? The exact plan never formulated, largely because she couldn’t find one that didn’t end up with her getting unpersoned also.

These frustrations stewed in the back of Penny’s mind as she leaned against the railing of the deck and observed the Coven meeting, wide-brim hat blocking out the beating sun while an ignored cigarette threatened to jump from her fingers. For a second the cigarette did free itself and began its free fall to the poolside below, but in a blink of an eye the sigil between Penny’s collarbones flashed and the cigarette’s attempt was thwarted as it reversed back into her hand.

She took a drag and glared at Emily as she spoke up when Lyss said there would only be two cures available. It was unsurprising that Emily would want one of them, although Penny’s stare softened and she felt a slight tinge of guilt as Emily explained why she needed one of them. Suddenly, Emily’s fuck-you attitude seemed, whle perhaps not necessarily justifiable, familiar. Penny knew the pains of losing a sibling. Meanwhile, the big guy, Herik, had nearly lost his mom. Penny sighed. She should probably call hers. When was the last time they had talked?

Nobody seemed to fight against the vote, which came to Penny as a surprise, although the girl who had given up her cure looked dejected. Penny didn’t know what her deal was, but it must’ve not been anything major. With all of that figured out, Madison brought up something that Penny was actually interested in: Annabelle. She smashed her cigarette out against the railing and straightened herself up, arms folded over her flowery sundress.

“Yeah, so about that: I’ve been trying to pick up her trail this entire time and there has just been nothing, like, literally nothing,” said Penny, a hint of exasperation at her failure to locate the abomination breaking through. As she spoke, a phone began to ring. “I don’t know if the Forgiven have managed to pull off some media blackout or if we got lucky and she bit it or if—” Penny interrupted her own thought with an annoyed groan as she shot a look towards Lyss. “Dude, just answer it!”






Penny smirked as Emily began to freak out over this Babylon person, although admittedly Penny was in the dark on who the hell was Babylon and why they deserved any sort of excited response. Madison floated the idea of it potentially being someone else. Penny tilted her head. The only other person she knew of with any sort of borderline interest would have been Saul, and that man, despite his denial, would want Annabelle dealt with more than anybody else in the world. At least that was what Penny had originally thought, but the dude did lead a cult and any good cult needed a doomsday prophecy. Annabelle was that for the Forgiven—end of the world type shit.

Fuck,” said Penny, throwing her head back. She’d assumed Saul played dumb about Annabelle because he didn’t want to admit her existence. What if he’d wanted to protect her? She couldn’t decide if her theory was completely stupid or just stupid enough that it might be the truth. She didn’t have a chance to voice it as a swarm of insects buzzed overhead. Penny snapped her head over to the lamppost and spiraled a ring of coins around her hand, in the process shouting out one loud, “Fuck!” as a Dollhouse croney appeared.

Penny’s eyes narrowed as Johnny appeared as well, but she held her hand and heard them out—clamping a hand tightly over her mouth as she snorted at his suggestion of them making an alliance. Fucking christ, the dude sees one deal go south and he’s ready to stab the entire organization in the back? Yeah, no way teaming up with a creep like that could ever possibly backfire. Fortunately, she wasn’t in the Coven. She didn’t have to go along with their choice, whichever one they picked—but it seemed like the girls were leaning towards the sensible option.

Penny shook her head in denial as Johnny listed off Kimberly’s sins. It had to be utter bullshit. He revealed to them that the girl with shitty dreads was none other than Sharon. Penny bite back her lip as the idiot girl she’d executed had the gull to wave at her. She returned Sharon’s greeting with a disgusted huff but resisted the urge to strike. However, the look of malice softened as Penny recalled her conversations with Odessa. A look of guilt crossed her face as Penny lowered her head.

She fell deaf to the rest of the conversation, tuning back in as it seemed like the Coven had made its decision to not work with the Dollhouse rejects to stage a coup. Penny watched as the DENS booked Johnny and Sharon before she turned to join Madison in her car, taking the spot that once would’ve belonged to Claudette. Penny paused before entering the vehicle, told Madison to hold on, and marched over to Sharon as she was being escorted by the agents into the back of their black car. Penny called out to the agents to stop and held her hands up, showing that she meant no harm, and gave Sharon a soft smile.

“Hey, I want you to know that I forgive you. Don’t fuck up your second chance more than you already have. I’m pretty sure this is the last one you get,” she said, with a hint of genuine concern lingering at the back of her strained voice. Penny quickly turned, not wanting to hear what Sharon had to say, and walked away. However, she stopped after a few feet, looked over her shoulder, and with a wrinkle of her nose added, “You should really do something about your hair.”

With that, Penny hopped into Madison’s car.







Vashti was lucky. She was lucky because Cindy didn’t lock her up alongside Kimberly. She was lucky because Meifeng didn’t let her grudge about the truck stop her from taking the girl to the hospital, although a part of her felt like the only reason she’d been kept alive was so she could cash in on that debt at some point. She was lucky that her wounds had healed quicker than anticipated. She was lucky because despite Kimberly fucking things up (and it was Kimberly, probably), the DENS agents in Miami had managed to get their hands on a few cures when they had hunted down the Dollhouse.

Actually, that last part hadn’t just been pure luck: if not for Vashti, DENS wouldn’t have known that the Coven was dealing with the Dollhouse. Claudette was dead, which Vashti felt more of a weird tinge of guilty relief about than anything else, but nobody else had died thanks to the girl narcing the group out. Vashti hoped the Coven would recognize that she’d tried helping them, as little as she could do, but as she kicked water at the edge of the pool she couldn’t help but feel uneasy. Her jacket and her headscarf sat folded on a deckchair, holding a seat as far away from Madison as possible. Vashti lifted her head as Lyss joined the group.

"To put it plainly, there are only two potions to give today…”

“Huh?”

Vashti felt her heartbeat quicken. She closed her eyes and gripped her chipped nails against the siding of the pool. Slowly, she counted backwards from ten. It’d be okay. They’d recognize that she deserved one for sending backup their way in Miami and then she’d be cured and then she’d no longer have to deal with this merry band of jerkasses. She opened her eyes and heard Emily start roaring with laughter. Vashti shot her a look. This was not funny. Okay, maybe it was a little funny. Of course this is the way things would be. Soon, Vashti heard her own laugh. The sound was almost foreign. She stopped laughing as Emily started to talk.

"I'm gonna be nice here and inform people of a few things; my sister is dying. Herik's mother is also dying. The other person with a curse just throws a magical temper tantrum," said Emily.

“Wait…” Magical temper tantrums? Every time the Leviathan attacked she nearly got herself killed. Every time the Leviathan attacked it nearly killed somebody else, too. Son of a bitch, Vashti was pretty sure she’d eaten a motherfucker. She needed it more than the others. She deserved it more than the others. The only reason they had any cures was because of her. The Coven would’ve came back empty handed if at all otherwise. “Emily!”

"I'm sorry Vashti, but it's the truth. We can get you another cure."

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. This was some sick fucking joke. Vashti scrambled up from her poolside seat and turned towards Emily, a verbal beatdown held fast on the tip of her tongue, ready to unleash a flurry of blows. Vashti sharply inhaled and said, “Okay.”

Okay? No, no, no, not okay. The word had come out in Vashti’s voice, but it hadn’t been what she wanted to say. She wanted to call Emily out for being the world’s biggest fucking bitch. Vashti wanted to let her know that being dead would’ve be better than being related to Emily. She wanted to let Herik know that his mom was old and had a good run and might not even really be cursed in the first place so why waste a potion on her when Vashti clearly deserved it more? She wanted to yell at them for failing to have her back, as if promises made at a Red Lobster meant nothing. No, no, no, this was unfair. This was so unfair.

“It’s okay, Emily. You’re right. They need it more than me. I’ll manage,” said Vashti.

Her words came out slow and strained, the Leviathan forcing her will over Vashti to deny the girl of a cure. Perhaps the Coven would think that Vashti had taken Madison’s words about her selfishness to heart, unaware that she was internally screaming herself ragged. The Leviathan forced Vashti to smile an unnatural smile at Emily, as if two spectral fingers had pushed the corner of her lips up for her. She turned and walked towards her deckchair in a near catatonic state, sat down on the edge of it, and stared at the ground in horror.






Penny’s eyes narrowed as Emily insulted her, the vaguest hint of a smile curling on the corner of her lips as the Coven’s resident asshole insinuated that Penny would be stupid enough to smart a fight. She was cocky, not suicidal. But, if there was a fight, Penny knew for certain that while she might lose, it would be a pyrrhic victory for the Coven. Her attention turned to Helena. She shook her head as the DENS agent refused to play ball. Penny was tempted to send a warning text to Kimberly, but with Emily watching her she doubted she’d be able to pull out her phone without it being considered an open act of hostility.

"ENOUGH!"

Madison yelled at the group, unleashing the trio of dinosaur skulls around herself as she stepped in to defend Kimberly. Penny was mildly surprised until she remembered that Madison had been the one to contact their mutual friend in the first place. She smiled wryly and folded her arms as Madison called them all, Penny included, dumb. She wasn’t wrong. Of course Penny had thought there was something strange about the way Kimberly had acted, but she had been too pissed off to take a moment and piece together the evidence. It didn’t help that her head was still throbbing with a mild migraine.

Still, she felt like an idiot for not considering that it hadn’t even been Kimberly in the first place. Penny had been too focused on trying to come up with a justification for why Kimberly would do something like that when she should’ve just realized that there was no way Kimberly would’ve done something like that. Kimberly was too obsessed with Annabelle to ruin a chance to get a method of dealing with her. Even if she wanted the Dollhouse dead, she would’ve gone after them after they had taken care of Annabelle. Likewise, she would probably know that the Dollhouse was chock-full of apparitions. She didn’t even try to seal a single one of them. She didn’t even stand and fight with them. None of it made sense if it was actually Kimberly; a kind of doppelganger, as outlandish as it was, seemed less farfetched.

“You’re, like, totally right. Thank you, Madison,” said Penny. “Look, Kimberly gains nothing from pitting the Dollhouse against the Coven except for a shitload of enemies and loses her best chance at finding a cure for Annabelle. Unless she’s completely batshit insane, which she isn’t, then it had to be someone else trying to fuck us all over. Someone who either wants Annabelle to keep raging, or wants you girls to get screwed over”

“Now, I’d find it hard to imagine with the oh-so-cordial treatment I’ve been given,”
said Penny with a roll of her eyes, casting a look of scorn towards Emily and Maya. “But has your little Coven made any enemies that’d benefit from this? That one gold bitch who joined late seemed to have a bone to pick with the lot of you.”






“Oh, bullshit,” said Penny with a shake of her head as Emily dared to fabricate some story about Kimberly holding Maya up. She continued to refuse to believe it even as Maya corroborated it, although Penny was struggling to come up with a reason as to why they’d lie. At the same time, she was beginning to see plenty of reasons as to why Kimberly would want to turn a gun on them. But to actually fire it? Utter horseshit. None of this felt right, but there wasn’t time to parse through it all because the look in Maya’s eyes had turned hostile. Bring it on, then.

However, before it could be brought a wall of squawking birds emerged between the girls, their caws echoing through the parking lot and drowning out the sound of their screaming match. Penny’s eyes turned to Helena as she tried to gain some control of the situation, her lips drawing thin as the woman claimed that they would handle Kimberly. No, they would not. It didn’t matter if they were, apparently, government agents. The absurdity that a group like the Coven were even aligned with an agency was utterly baffling. Penny was about to voice her objection to this clown when Maya continued her barking.

“I don’t even know who the fuck you people are,” said Penny. Even if she were in a calmer mindset, she wouldn’t have pieced together that the Liao she knew was related to the Liao mentioned by Helena. She was going to reiterate her stance on nobody going after Kimberly, but she was too beat to take on the entire garage. Plus, the agents Helena had mentioned likely were already on the case, but did they know that they were going up against a teleporter? Kimberly probably wasn’t even in Miami anymore.

“I’d have less objections if I knew what your entire deal is,” said Penny, gesturing towards Helena as she pressed her for information. “Are Agent Liao and Keagan here or could I speak with them? Also, what will they do to Kimberly if they catch her?”






Penny smirked as Johnny doubled over and disappeared. She spun back towards Luis and stepped forward, intending to get herself within a close enough range to have full control over her coins, plunge them into his body, and whip them around to start shredding his insides like an industrial blender. She made it only one step closer before a wave of black energy blew past her and slammed Luis and the golden girl up against the wall. Penny let out an excited whoop and glanced over her shoulder to see Lyss, the source of the spell, getting lifted onto the lion and...retreating?

“What are you doing?” hollered Penny, unintentionally smearing the blood streaming from her nose across her cheek as she wiped it with the back of her hand. “We have this!”

They didn’t, but it didn’t matter. A blue mist descended upon the room and by the time it was gone the remaining members of the Dollhouse had vanished. Penny swore, poked her head out of the door, and caught herself against the frame as she started to feel faint. Her head was racked by the most audacious of migraines, a full on orchestral symphony of pangs like the cannon blasts at the end of the 1812 Overture striking right behind her eyes. The coins that were trailing behind her clattered to the ground as she groaned. With the Dollhouse gone she’d intended to go after Kimberly, but the presence of the police forced her to stick with the Coven.

Penny had no clue who the fuck they were, but one of the DENS helped patch up her scratches. The dress would be beyond saving. She had saved the tags too, just in case. When they got back to the hotel the first thing she attempted to do was call Kimberly. The phone rang, and rang, and rang until it hit an automated message informing her that the owner of this number had not set up their voicemail. A loud “FUCK!” could be heard echoing around the corner of where the witches were meeting with the feds. Penny slammed out an angry text that ran the whole rainbow of colorful language, erased most of it, and sent Kimberly this:

FUCK YOU
call me


She took another minute to finish her cigarette, catch her breath, and cool her head. Then, with a flip of her hair, she walked around the corner looking calm and collected, as if she wasn’t fazed at all by her friend using her and the others as bait. The few eyes that met hers didn’t seem friendly. Could she blame them? Penny was totally in the dark on what Kimberly had been planning, but why would anyone in the Coven believe anything but the opposite? She knew if she was in their spot she wouldn’t be giving herself the benefit of the doubt. She also knew that if she left it’d all but seal the idea in their head that Penny had been a part of the whole grand fuckup, even though she’d been there to prevent a fuckup in the first place. Good job on that, by the way. Penny sighed and lit another cigarette as Emily opened up on her.

"You need to get out of here, we don't want you."

“Noted,” said Penny cooly as her blue eyes stared down Emily. Her tongue wanted nothing more than to unleash a beatdown on who she was beginning to see as the Coven’s resident asshole. She wanted to call her out for not being there in the room to fight the Dollhouse, to point out that without Penny it’d be very likely that this parking lot meeting would be a lot less crowded. Don’t want her? Those fucking idiots needed her. Her teeth smartly held her tongue down.

“For all we know she was feeding that bitch information the whole time!” yelled Maya, pointing an accusatory finger at Penny. Penny scoffed but didn’t get a chance to reply.

“Hey, Penny wouldn’t do that,” said Isla.

Penny smiled at her friend with a hint of sadness. Isla was wrong: Penny had totally been doing just that, although she never thought this would’ve been the outcome of keeping Kimberly in the loop. It just didn’t make sense. She knitted her brow. Kimberly said she wanted a cure for Annabelle. If she wanted to hunt down the Dollhouse, she would’ve just told Penny. Right? Kimberly probably could’ve convinced her it was the right thing to do, and maybe Penny would have convinced Kimberly to not act so rashly. Penny scoffed. It still weirded her out when she was the one being the voice of reason.

A pained look crossed Penny’s face when the feds showed up and told them that Claudette had died. Son of a bitch, if she’d only reacted quicker she could’ve repulsed the fatal bullet away from the woman. She hardly knew their leader at all, but knowing that she could’ve prevented it hit hard. She hung her head and bit her lip, tightening her hand into a fist as she replayed the moment of Claudette getting hit over and over in her head. Penny noted every single moment where she’d failed to stop it, each one feeling like a knife to the gut. Acting like she was fucking Supergirl was goddamn childish and stupid when people still got killed. An unstoppable force wasn’t so damn impressive when it couldn’t stop the worst from happening. Her shoulders shook.

“We can’t just let them get away with this. We’re not going to get any fucking cures from them, so we might as well just destroy them,” said Maya. She was right. She was so fucking right. Even though Penny knew getting payback always felt so hollow, they could just call it justice to make themselves sleep better. Penny wiped her face, lifted her hand, and was about to throw in her support.

Then Maya said, “Kimberly too.”

Fuck you, said Penny, her voice as a jagged and cold as shattered ice. “Seriously, go fuck yourself. I am angrier at Kimberly than you can ever be, but none of you are touching her, get me?” She rolled a quarter between her knuckles, her narrowed eyes scanning the Coven and the DENS for challenges. “Things don’t add up. I don’t know what the fuck she was thinking, but she had to have a good reason. And if she doesn’t...”

Penny shot Maya a withering look full of hate and disgust. Then I’ll fucking take care of it. But you? You’re going to do nothing.” A wicked smile curved on to Penny’s lips. “Nothing seems to be about what you’re good for, anyway, so I don't doubt you'd nail it.”






Penny cursed as the girl she had targeted with her coins shifted into a mass of insects. It wasn’t the first time Penny had dealt with a massive swarm like that, but still caught her off guard. Even though she splattered a few bugs of the swarm, it was obvious that wasn't enough to do any major harm as the swarm buzzed out of the room. Her other attack proved equally ineffective as the woman’s skin turned to gold, the bones slamming against her before dropping to the ground. Reflexively, Penny attracted the coins and the bones back within her range to restock her supplies, but the bones faded away with the disappearance of Molly.

"Burn in hellfire!"

“Seriously?” scoffed Penny, twisting away as Babylon fired a sigil off at the ground. The explosion of flames and plume of smoke was accompanied by twisting, horrified faces. Penny was honestly surprised that the woman hadn’t just blasted her directly, but then she noticed the faint black prism being cast around her foe by Lyss. Did Lyss’s ability create a one-way defense against abstractions? No, if that was the case Penny wouldn’t have been able to pull her coins back. It was something else. Something powerful. And, clearly, something that the Dollhouse was aware about, because they were all going after Lyss.

Penny shouted as Luis hit Lyss with a throwing knife, her words muffled by another blast of hellfire that hit nowhere near close. The sprinkler system opened up and immediately doused the flames as Penny turned towards Luis. She unleashed the coins swirling around her towards the leader of the Dollhouse. She doubted it’d do much with his rapid healing, but she had a plan to keep him out of the fight. The moment the coins hit, she’d attract them back to her and then repulse them into him again.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught a man appearing behind Lyss before the girl was whisked away by a goddamn lion. Disappointment set in as the lion didn’t turn and immediately maul the attacker. Most of the Dollhouse had fled, but it seemed like the Coven were the ones taking the beating. Penny twisted and sent a few of the coins meant for Luis towards Johnny, potentially creating an opening for the leader to act against her. Her head was pounding like a motherfucker. The sooner they ended this fight the better.
Maysah was more distant than usual as they rode to the complex, a merry little band of washed-up heroes now turned criminal. She was trying to determine when it happened exactly, it of course in reference to completely fucking her life up to the point where taking part in a barely planned heist against a major corporation seemed like an acceptable course of action.

The answer didn’t come to her in the form of some grand revelation, but rather a mild acceptance of something she’d realized awhile ago. The mistake hadn’t been calling herself Stardust, dressing up like a nitwit, and challenging the most powerful and dangerous people in the world—it had been stopping. She’d stopped because the corps had falsely named her a criminal, outted her secret identity, and directly caused the murder of her husband. But why? They had used all of their ammunition against Maysah, and she had lived through it. They had practically made her indestructible, and she had waved off the gift so she could be depressed and hideaway as a sad, aging widow.

Imagine the things she could’ve accomplished in twelve years without having to worry about the repercussions of her actions. The corruptions she could have exposed, the corporations she could have collapsed, the systems she could have destroyed, all allowed to fester and spread like cancer while she stocked books for a sum barely above minimum wage. Stopping wasn’t just a mistake; it was malicious. A petty act of revenge against the world whose only crime was indifference.

Was it too late to set things right?

Maysah swallowed hard and balled her hands. She looked up, caught her glamour staring back at her, and grimaced. The effect had a few more minutes before it would fade, and the pill felt heavy in her pocket. She put her hand over the lump in the gray jumpsuit that they’d been given to better blend in but didn’t pull it out. Arbiter, for the trillionth time, said he thought the plan was stupid but offered no alternatives.

“And?” asked Void, obviously annoyed with the complaining.

“And that means we must be the biggest fucking idiots in the world since we agreed to it,” rasped Maysah, her throat strangely dry.

She moved her hand from her pocket and watched Arbiter, who didn’t seem to hear her. Seconds later, she heard his voice over her headset telling them that, predictably, things had already gone to shit and they had a railgun humming to life against them. Maysah cursed and began to move, slipping out of the door that was somehow already open. Had the Tower hit some button to automatically slide it open or something? Maysah shook her head. This wasn’t a concern. Her eyes fell on the railgun platform: that was a concern.

It took a matter of seconds. It might’ve just been enough time for the railgun to get off its first shot, but it wouldn’t fire another. The plasma crackled to life around her in a radiant purple glow as Maysah shielded herself and bolted towards the platform. If Arbiter tried to reach her, it would be impossible for the second she activated her powers his handy dandy headset was instantly fried. In a similar fashion, Maysah fried the railgun as she touched it. Simultaneously, her body harvested the plasma generated by the railgun powering up its shot. The purple light around her danced violently as she sent a twisting blast of plasma slicing through the barrel, rendering it impossible to fire even if they managed to get the railgun back online.

Maysah rolled her shoulder as she felt her glamour fade away. As if she needed it, there wouldn’t be a doubt in any corporate goon’s mind that the woman who’d just blown up their railgun was anyone other than Stardust. She chuckled. The subtle approach had lasted a grand total of ten seconds. She supposed that meant she was the distraction then. She could handle that. Maysah fired off blasts throughout the platform, melting through support beams to prepare it for a collapse while holding back just enough to let any operators flee in time. She dropped from the platform and began spraying plasma blasts skyward, a signal to the others that they should go on. Let Carolex think that Stardust was working alone. Let them think that Stardust had finally come back to right all of theirs and the rest of the Big Six’s wrongs. They wouldn’t be far from the truth.

And even if they did fuck this heist up, at the very least she could hurt their profit margins by causing a few hundred million dollars worth of property damage in the mean time.






"... Everyone in this room is unnatural."

Penny rolled her eyes. Sure, she’d once held hands with a bunch of college kids turned demigods in a giant church camp prayer circle singing kumbaya to eradicate the most dangerous entity in all of the universes, inadvertently creating an alternate timeline, but she still considered herself fairly normal. Penny managed to keep the curt comments that came to mind to herself as the Coven took hold of the conversation. Kimberly would be proud. Penny had managed to speak with someone without starting a fight or getting a gun pulled on her. She rolled the cigarette between her thumb and her forefinger as she tried to not look phased by the staggering price for a Dollhouse potion, feeling satisfied for once that things seemed to be going off without much complication.

And then, "Ooooooh, Luis!"

Penny didn’t know any of the three girls that entered the room, even the one that stuttered her name in surprise, but she could feel the tension in the room hit a new high. She cocked an eyebrow as she studied the girl attempting dreads and, through the cloud of cigarette smoke, imagined she smelled patchouli. Penny definitely didn’t know her, because there was no way she’d forget someone looking like that. If she hadn’t been on edge before, Penny was now. She sat upright to further study the girl, but then everything began to unravel.

"Okay, okay! Simmer down!"

Penny’s eyes shifted over to Natalie and locked on her. So much for no guns. It was almost becoming a mundane inconvenience at this point now, more on par with not being able to find her lighter than feeling like her life was on the line. Penny activated her abstraction in case the bullets did start flying, muttering under her breath about the woman with the gun being a fucking idiot for trying to make people remain calm by threatening them with an assault rifle. She tried to listen as Lyss attempted to keep the meeting from veering off the cliff, her eyes never moving from Natalie. As the negotiations continued, Penny found it more difficult to hear anything but the blood pumping in her ear drums, which then began to turn into a more constant ring as her abstraction continued to overload her vision. Even then, Penny still heard the gunshots from below. Her head whipped in the direction they came from as Kimberly emerged from the doorway with her gun in hand.

“Kimberly, what are—” Penny’s words were cut short as she watched the bullets emerge from Kimberly’s glock and punch holes in the cowgirl’s body. Penny jumped to her feet, adrenaline hitting the ceiling, as she looked back at her friend. This had not been the plan at all, because if it wasn’t Penny wouldn’t have agreed to it. Maybe that was why Kimberly hadn’t given her any sort of hint that she intended to come down to Miami and start a goddamn shootout. DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK!?”

No time to listen for a response because Luis was already opening fire on their couch instead of the stupidass, dumbass, bitchass excuse for a friend that Penny had made the mistake of helping out. With hardly an ounce of effort, the bullets that came for Penny instead blasted back towards Luis’s couch. Penny growled. Once they were through here, she was going to make Kimberly wish that she’d gotten dematerialized by a tentacle or devoured by a wendigo. Claudette screamed as she was hit. Fuck! No time to worry about her dickhead friend, Penny was now on damage control. She did not need both a coven on witches and a black market potion shop gunning for her.

Penny began to dart side to side like a goalie. While she could see each one, she wasn’t fast enough to intercept every shot. Still, she managed to repulse a decent amount of the barrage away from the Coven before Madison began going to town on Luis and ended the shooting. It didn’t excuse Penny from playing defense, however, as one of the new girls readied herself to spray an assault of bones at Lyss after the other one pointed her out. With Claudette writhing on the ground between them, Penny wouldn’t make it to her on time—by foot. A second sigil, that of a bird on the back of her left shoulder, glowed as she used an air blast to propel herself over Claudette and between Lyss and the bones. She buckled as she landed and reactivated her primary abstraction, which had been forced off.

As her abstraction clicked on, a surge of pain shot through her skull and it clicked off. Fuck. She knew that this would happen, but in the moment she’d forgotten her own limitations. Penny grimaced and went to repulse the bones unassisted, knowing that the momentary drop of her abstraction had completely fucked up her timing. Still, being aware that it was coming didn’t change her reaction. She screamed in pain as a dozen or so bones pierced her skin.

However, instead of shooting straight through or embedding themselves deeply, they stopped the second they pricked her. As the bones pulled away from her body small little streaks of blood began to seep from what were mostly fleshwounds. They floated in front of her outstretched right hand in a spiral as her telekinesis took complete control over the bones. At the same time, she lifted her left hand as the fanny pack unzipped itself and a parade of coins floated out of it. Like the bones, the coins spiraled in front of her left hand. Penny shot an angry look towards Molly, but the girl was already being dragged into hell by the chain gang. That left the other two girls that had interrupted their meeting.

Perfect.

Penny was done playing defense (not to mention, no longer capable of doing so), so she pressed the attack. She repulsed the bones at Babylon, while the coins rocketed towards the dreadhead. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Kimberly take off, but she didn’t move to follow. Penny would see to it that the Coven didn’t get massacred thanks to Kimberly’s idiotic ploy, and then she’d get some fucking answers. Already, more coins were pull themselves out of Penny’s pouch and floating around her, ready to get repulsed at the next Dollhouse asshole who tried to make a move on them.
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