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a shame you seemed an honest man

So Penelope is in Xanadu today looking somewhat less chic than usual. For anyone who knows her, this would be cause enough for concern, but when she lights her cigarette and takes a drag, the way her hands shake is more than a little unsettling in itself.

Besides that, she looks just about as annoyed and jaded as usual.

"So, bitches be trying to kill me now. Those of you who know me", and the way she stresses that phrase shows more than a hint of irony hitting its mark, "know I've got a little problem with stalkers from beyond the pale, which has been fun. It's like having my own little paparazzi, only they didn't ever take pictures, they just stared at me with their empty eyes."

Penelope pauses to smoke, here, and stares at the ground, like the memory of it is trying to manifest on her face and the only way she can prevent that is the generous application of nicotine. Heaven forbid she allow anyone to think she is capable of emotions other than "bitchy" or "trolling".

"Except for how now they're actively trying to kill me, which involves putting their actual hands on me and shoving me out into traffic. Like it would be one thing if they did it directly but the fact that they're apparently trying to make it look like an accident is just the worst ever fucking thing, because how do you even prevent that, besides never leaving your house? And I have to do that, I mean, bitches got to get paid. I figured since this place is full of fucking weirdos and madmen that maybe somebody would have some relevant advice."

Her cigarette makes its way back to her lips, and she mutters, "Worth a shot, anyway."

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
obscuronoctis
Jan. 30th, 2011 02:29 am (UTC)
THNMY slenderman can't stop bruce and penny okay
Somehow, amidst all the insane shit that's happened in the span of time in which Bruce has known Penelope, she's managed to neglect to mention that dead people stalk her. Maybe it didn't seem relevant, or maybe she thought some rich guy who's probably participating in a real life Fight Club wouldn't understand or care (which ... fair enough, really). But now he knows, and he is pretty damn concerned.

Which is why he's here, like he said he'd be.

Despite having no idea about dead people. Still.

"Hey."
meanwhileback
Jan. 30th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
ain't nothin' gonna break their stride. NOW IT'S IN YOUR HEAD
"Hey." Penelope exhales a cloud of most probably extremely noxious smoke, but is kind enough to do it in a direction other than At Bruce's Face. This is because she is a caring friend. (Right.)

"I'd ask if you think I'm nuts or something but whatever, I actually don't care." She does, it's just that whether he believes her or not isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things, where things outside of her control or comprehension are trying to kill her.
obscuronoctis
Jan. 30th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
GDI ANNA
"I don't think you're nuts, Penelope."

If she was a Gothamite and telling him this at home, maybe he would - but really, it's not like he has room to talk about relative sanity even there. Here, though, seeing what he's seen, between elder gods and being abducted by aliens and alternates stalking him into bathrooms and Enfys existing at all, it's not that much of a stretch. It just irks him, because he hates knowing she's mixed up in this when she should really be designing and bitching about assholes and doing her nails, or whatever it is normal people get to do.

"You ... want to talk about it?"

It also irks him - a lot - that this is probably going to be outside his realm of experience and thus leave him with doing little about it besides holding somebody's handbag while they take an axe or a ritual to the problem. It means that his capacity for help is probably going to be relegated to 'being there for a friend', and he's really terrible at that. But he's here. Awkwardly. For you, Penny.
meanwhileback
Jan. 30th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
HAHAHA YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME
"What is there to say that I haven't already said? It's pretty self-explanatory." This is sort of muttered in the vague direction of the ground, because Penelope is, not subtly, frustrated with her own situation. It's one thing to have freaky shit going on in her periphery, where it doesn't effect her life, but since it's started bleeding in, it's quite clearly jolted her.

"And besides that, somehow I doubt you've got much to say on the subject. No offense." Mr. Bruce "Terse As Fuck" Wayne.
obscuronoctis
Jan. 30th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
nnnnnnnnoooooooooooo
"Well, I don't know how it started, or if you have any idea why, or if there's been stages of escalation before." He speaks calmly, like he's used to figuring out things like this - harassment cases, if not tales of the undead. But he doesn't sound like he's nagging her, and is just presenting it gently. Maybe he does have something to offer, even if it's just getting it off her chest.

"Do you want to get out of here for a bit?"
meanwhileback
Jan. 30th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
it was either that or "love is a battlefield"
He's really calm about it, and it's both comforting and really fucking weird, and honestly Penelope is not going to question it one way or the other. He's somebody she trusts, if not someone she knows a hell of a lot about, and at the moment that's honestly good enough for her.

"Yes," she says, not exactly shouting but raising her voice to put a point on it, and tosses what's left of her cigarette away. It's not so much that she wants to get out of Xanadu, as it's the only place she really feels safe now, but more of an existential thing. Yes, she would like to get out of here.
obscuronoctis
Jan. 30th, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
i am going to blank out the subject line, now what
He will, if Penelope lets him, dissect the situation to the fullest extent of his ability; if he needs to call Mabel, or someone else, he will. The idea of not picking at the problem in some way, however, would drive him nuts. So he wants to hear about it.

"Okay. You don't hate New Jersey, do you?"
meanwhileback
Jan. 30th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC)
i am going to keep writing things there just to render your efforts meaningless
"Nnnnot the Jersey you told me about, with actual green places and no guidos." Paradise. Penelope is pretty sure it's better than her universe-- if it doesn't have the dead people following her around, it'd almost have to be, wouldn't it?

It'll be a long story, explaining everything. She hasn't even told her roommate about it, or her mom. Pretty much just Angus knows, and that's because he'd know anyway, being a mysterious creature like he is. In her head she's already trying to formulate a way to describe the events of the past couple of years without sounding like she's completely fucking insane. It is not easy.
obscuronoctis
Jan. 30th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
Bruce still doesn't know what a guido is. He feels like he's happier in life that way.

He digs his PINpoint out of his pocket and punches in coordinates (or rather, confirms where he left his car and that they'll be popping up where he wants them to) and then offers her his hand.

Look, it has to work like this.
meanwhileback
Feb. 2nd, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
Penelope momentarily gives Bruce a very strange look, like she can't decide exactly what to do with the hand he's offering her. She shouldn't, but she associates it with a kind of emotional connection that she's personally uncomfortable with, so it takes a minute for her to actually grab his hand and hang on.

It wouldn't be so unnerving if she didn't know him. Oddly enough.
obscuronoctis
Feb. 2nd, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
He waits, patient and determinedly unawkward, because the other option is putting the coordinates to his Gotham in Penelope's PINpoint, and as much as he likes her, he doesn't do that - only Enfys has those, and he's made her promise not to give it out. His paranoia is only slightly irrational - it's more like well-reasoned vigilance, all things considered. (It's not that he thinks people will pass out the keys to Gotham, but that someone could hurt his friends for it.)

Bruce takes her hand, pushes the button, blinks once as they're now suddenly in the study of his sky-rise apartment, and then releases her hand and pockets the device. This particular room has no windows, and locks from the inside - which is why it's where his auto-home coordinates are stored. He gives her a half-smile and nods to the door, staring to walk. "I'm always pleased when I don't get blasted apart to a million particles doing that."
meanwhileback
Feb. 3rd, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Somehow, to Penelope, arriving in a room with no windows that locks from the inside would be just a teensy bit more alarming than the specific physics behind teleportation. Thankfully it does look like the sort of place an ungodly rich guy would avoid trying to spend a lot of time, so she's not too put off.

"Yeah it's uh, not a thing I think about, a lot of the time. So I don't like, go insane. You know." She's not wasting any time on following him out of that room, though. Something in her repels her from it, like there's something fundamentally telling her she doesn't belong there. Not that she really needs to be told-- it's all so shiny. Penelope is keeping her hands to herself.
obscuronoctis
Feb. 3rd, 2011 07:38 am (UTC)
The reasoning behind teleporting into a room like that is quickly made apparent as they step outside (you know, besides the bat-paranoia) - behold, ridiculous floor to ceiling windows; the upper level has a panoramic view of the city, even, with only auto-tinting glass for privacy. Paparazzi and other ambitious creepers don't need to see people appearing and disappearing out of thin air up here.

(It would look more pristine and Scary Rich Person if there weren't stray pairs of shoes, a jacket he should really hang up properly, coffee cups, etc. Alfred has been staying at the manor, and Bruce knows he's in for an earful eventually.)

"I don't have anywhere less pretentious to show up," he says, an apology in his voice. At least the view is nice - if Penelope isn't scared of heights.


Edited at 2011-02-03 07:39 am (UTC)
meanwhileback
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Penelope is a little wigged by heights, but as long as she's not like, on a balcony, or in any danger of being shoved off of said heights, she'll probably be fine. Anyway, she's kind of digging the view.

"This is so not my New Jersey," she says. And she sounds pretty happy about that, Bruce, so. Don't feel bad or anything. "Hey, though, thanks for tidying up for me. Really shows you care." She nudges a stray shoe with the toe of her boot. Yeah. Those shoes probably cost more than her entire outfit.
one_drafted_man
Jan. 30th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Uh. Holy shit, dude. I've heard some fucked up shit over the years, but that could possibly take the cake.

Anyway, your options...
  • You could possibly hire a bodyguard (or more than one, like from an agency or something), but that shit could get expensive, and depending on how commonly known shit like undead stalkers is in your world, you might have difficulty finding one who'll believe you.
  • Alternately, you can look into increasing your own ability to protect yourself. Self-defense classes, protective clothing, weaponry that you should probably make sure to also take classes on how to properly use, etc. Possibly less costly, and I'm personally in favor of people being able to defend themselves in general, but the learning curve means a while where you may still have problems before you're equipped enough to handle it.
  • You could possibly consider relocating to another universe. It's not a great option, but it's available as a last ditch. It doesn't even have to be permanent; you could check into a hotel (or even do that in the Nexus/Xanadu -- the Voltaic seems like a nice place, at least from the party I went to there once) if you needed some time to unwind.
Of course, these are all stopgaps. Even with a bodyguard, top-notch training, and all the weaponry in the world, if all you do with it is try to keep living your current life, you're probably going to keep getting this trouble. The best prevention would be to find out why this is happening, track down the source of it, and take that out, either yourself or with the aid of whoever you can find with experience with that. (I would offer my assistance, either as an instructor or with the source-removal, but unfortunately I'm currently on another job.)
meanwhileback
Jan. 30th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Okay, one: I am poor. Also I am apparently the only person who can actually like... tell that these people are anything other than normal? Like they're just faces in the crowd and nobody else can tell there's anything wrong with them. So that first option is definitely out.

Option two is problematic mostly because they are already dead how the fuck do you hurt someone who is already dead. And even if there was a way, which honestly I am not about to experiment with and find out, I am a small-ass person and I am pretty sure my cat is stronger than I am.

Option three is out of the fucking question because my family is here and I'm not leaving them behind.

And I mean what the fuck am I supposed to do, I'm a fashion designer for god's sake. I work retail. I reiterate, what the fuck.
one_drafted_man
Jan. 30th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Hm. Okay, lack of funds do make at least some of these options less viable, I will admit. I also totally hear you on how this situation is totally fucked up and that you shouldn't have to deal with it. The thing here, though -- and I'm sorry if this seems harsh or whatever -- is that it is your situation, and if you want to come out the other side of it alive, you will have to find a way to deal with it, even if it means becoming resourceful in ways your current profession didn't previously prepare you for.

I can understand taking self-defense off the table; I know some tiny people who do pretty well, but as I noted, that does take time to build up to. If you can't afford to hire people to help you, do you have any capable friends who you can impose on? (I recognize that if you do, it may be a sufficiently obvious thing to do that you would've done it already, but I feel it better to ask anyway, particularly in case you've avoided doing so because you didn't think you should have to involve them.) Or maybe some other people in Xanadu who have the free time might offer, I don't know.

If the undead are able to disguise themselves from people other than yourself, then you'll have to work on practicing the art of situational awareness. If you're able to spot them, you might stand a better chance of avoiding their attacks, and/or pointing them out to whoever you have helping you. I think I might have a field manual or two I can forward you explaining the concepts and offering exercises for developing the skills, or you could check your local bookstore/library. For that matter, you might try doing some research into the occult or whatever, see if you can figure out a thing or two about just what these things are, where they might be coming from, etc. That might help you track down the source of the problem, and in the process you might meet up with local people who know about that sort of thing.

Do they go after your family? If not, you may find it's a good idea to either minimize contact with them until the matter's settled for their own safety, or relocate them so they're somewhere you know is safe. I get not wanting to abandon family, but sometimes temporary sacrifices are necessary so you're around to be with them again later. ...As it happens, I do occasionally evacuate people from Zombie Earths, and there are some nice, mundane Earths that I have relocated them to... as well as trust funds to help get them back on their feet. Since you are being troubled by the undead, I suppose I can technically make that option available to you if you want.

(As for hurting things that are already dead, well, speaking as someone with zombie and vampire experience, at least, there are ways. Beheading, for example, tends to work wonders. So does fire, sometimes, particularly if you have plasma weapons, which you probably don't, I'm just saying.)
(Deleted comment)
meanwhileback
Feb. 2nd, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Woo, okay. Penelope sort of feels a little bit bad for this girl who appears to have tumbled directly out of some kind of fetish video and into Xanadu. Maybe she makes a good living that way; she's not judging. Especially if she can help somehow.

"Um, like a year and a half ago? And no it was like pretty spontaneous. I just started noticing these people around, just faces in crowds. Then there were more and more of them... I don't know. It's been getting worse. I feel fucking paranoid."
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