(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Monday, September 14, 2015

STOP BEING SO AWESOME

No, don't stop.  But that comments section was getting kinda full.

You guys have had some really good guesses on some things, but not so much with Penny's powers.

Here.  Have some fan art.  This is a character from the third book, drawn by one of my alpha readers who totally adores her.


The third book is finally coming along okay.  I wrote the big Bull Reunion scene that I've been looking forward to for a long time!

81 comments:

  1. First! ;-)

    Nice picture of ... Aqua Girl?

    And, of course, very nice to hear the book is coming along and that the Bull Reunion will be in it :-).

    Regarding Penny's Power (you gave us a fresh place to discuss, so we can use it, right?):
    What if Penny is not a mad scientist at all? What if she is a Medium for dead mad scientists? All her copied tech so far was from dead people (including Conqueror Tech), she has blackouts and it urges her to do things and punishs her if she holds ideas in. Buuut that would be a bit crazy, so not a totally serious idea, more a crazy one....

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    1. I've said my theory. Basically I think she is a mad scientist, with tier 2 knowledge and abilities but her power appears to be tier 3 hence the black outs (where I gather this is uncommon amongst super scientists).
      As for where these advanced designs come from, I used to get the feeling we were supposed to think what you think; but that makes me think it's misdirection. Who knows though, it might be true!

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    2. My current theory is something like yours but with a difference. I think Penny has a Jekyll & Hyde ability. Notice how she blackout when inventing Tier 3 gadgets, but generally fine when inventing Tier 1 or 2 items? I think her ability is Tier 1 or 2, but when her power "need" to invent a Tier 3 gadget, it takes over Penny. That would explain why Penny's personality changed during the blackouts and what Mourning Dove meant when she offer to get rid of "it" at the start of book 2.

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    3. The Jekyll/Hyde thing crossed my mind, too. References to super-me and regular me, that kind of thing, plus it being 10% for mental powers apparently ... It's probably not it, though. Penny's personality doesn't come off different as such, just really obsessive and wrapped up in what she's creating.

      I'm gonna hazard a guess at she's sort of a host for something/has developed some weird resonance condition/is an alien in disguise (okay kidding).

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    4. Since everything is from Penny's POV, we had never seen how Penny is during the blackouts but both Ray and Claire had commented before that Penny becomes a different person during the blackout. She's so different even Penny was afraid of herself by the end of book 2. I could be totally wrong but I do hope Penny's internal conflict is something Richard Roberts can write more on.

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    5. The biggest clue we have into the nature of Penny's powers is when Mourning Dove says "It will turn against you one day. I can kill it for you now, while it's safe."
      The fact that Dove points to her head makes me think that there is a parasite of some sort that hijacks Penny's brain when it is time to science. When she blacks out this thing in her head has taken over over its only goal is science and cares little for anything else. I wouldn't be surprised if Penny's control begins to slip even further as this bug tries to assert more and more control over her.
      As to where it could have come from? Her affinity for Conqueror AND Puppeteer tech makes me think that they're involved somehow. Perhaps Penny is a Trojan Horse of some sort.

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    6. Well... as Pupeteers and Conquerors hate their guts inside out I really don't think Penny is involved with them, much less a Trojan Horse.

      As for what the thing in the back of her head could be: Her fathers power derives from a brain mutation, so it could be some kind of ... benefactory tumor or something like that.

      Another big clue we have is the limited control she has. Mostly she wants a general function the result should perform and her power gives her something which fulfills this requirement. But their can be things Penny really does not want, like the Conqueror "bazooka" ("I want a weapon") or the sugar-only-blackhole ("I want to fill sugar in the tank without it leaking out").
      But she can somehow specify the theme, as she did with the Zombie Ragdolls, her Candy tank and the Computer Lab-trap-disarming clock. Or from the teaser: Her spring-powered flight contraption or her corresponding super spring machine.

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    7. There's nothing in the books to indicate Penny has a parasite of any sort. It's simpler to think that it is her power that hijacks Penny's brain when it is time to build Tier 3 inventions (Jekyll & Hyde).
      Personally I hope it's not a parasite, but Penny's power that cause her to go mad at times. It will be much more interesting to see what Penny and her parents decide to do if/when her control begins to slip. Would they still be proud of their daughter as a mad genuis (someone that will go down in history like Tesla) or would they rather have a good but non-genius hero (someone like Mech)?
      Decisions, decisions...

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    8. Well.. as Puppeteers and Conquerors hate their guts inside out, I really don't think they are involved, much less Penny being a Trojan Horse for them.

      As for what the thing in the back of her head could be: Her fathers power derives from a brain mutation, so it could be some kind of ... benefactory tumor.

      Another big clue we have is the level of control Penny does and doesn't have.
      She can require her power to build something which performs a specific task, but the result can be something undesirably. Examples are the Conqueror "bazooka" ("I want a weapon") and the sugar-only-blackhole ("I want to put sugar in the tank without it leaking out").
      Sometimes she even specifies a theme, e.g. with the Zombie Ragdolls (Will they return in the upcoming book? Pretty please?), the Candy tank or the Computer Lab-trap-disarming clock.

      So what could be the nature of her power be, that gives her that level of control?

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    9. Well, Ray & Claire stated that she was not mean, or really difference, more 'urgent' or 'desperate.' So, a parasite or controlling entity is unlikely.

      I wonder what the maniacal laughter is about though...

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    10. I would like to say at this time. I asked Roberts whether Morning dove's "That will kill you" line meant Penny's power was going to fry her brain. And he outright said "No, metaphorically kill her, not literally" - so it's not a cancer or a tumor and probably not a parasite.

      Of course Mr Roberts didn't give me anything to guess what it could be either.

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    11. Oh and Luis, you don't have to be crazy to laugh maniacally. Trust me, I do it often, it's very therapeutic!

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    12. Penny's mom is described as acting like a different person when she becomes 'The Audit', so maybe Penny's power really is just a combination of her parents. Dad's super science and mom's super inference, letting her take a tier 1-2 super science concept and thru super inference/deduction draw out a distant conclusion in the form of a tier 3-4 device.

      For simple devices Penny doesn't really need to generate any extra concepts or information and so only relies on the dad's super science power, but when she pushes it (or maybe when the science power doesn't come up with a good enough solution) it begins to draw on her mom's inference/deductive power and her personality gets suppressed (or shifts) by the use of it, just like her mom.

      Further guessing I would say maybe the mom's power works by hijacking the parts of the brain the are used for emotional processing and using them for increased logic and calculative ability.

      As for the blackouts when she makes something big, maybe the cost of running two brain powers at the same time simply is too much, leaving no brain power for her consciousness to run in. Since the blackout ends when she is done, I wonder what would happen if her powers got stuck on a problem with no real conclusion...maybe never wake up? Could be what Mourning Dove meant by her powers metaphorically killing her.

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    13. Ok, that's a good one. Penny's power being a combo of her parents' makes sense. Could explain a lot of things including why in book 2 Penny felt that her powers sometimes belong to someone else.

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    14. Blogspot needs like buttons. Nice piece of theory Zhalfrin, although I don't think brains technically work like that, I can understand the idea of parts of her brain being overwhelmed and it's certainly one of the best theories so far.

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    15. FWIW I believe Penny has essentially two related abilities. The first is her basic Clockwork mad science ability. It CAN cause her to zone/fade but often she can use it without the extreme symptoms. (that is the blend of the parents, yes)

      The second is the thief, the ability that can make ANYthing from any theme but its usually stolen or adapted from another Mad Scientist. I have my suspicions about what that one is about too, which is only supported by Mourning Dove's cryptic comment.

      I don't believe MD would have "killed" her Clockwork skill.

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    16. Perhaps not thief, because they do not seem to be missing. No one is after then. But, duplication, now that seems a possibility.

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    17. I love that knowing hehehe from auther. I think that what Dove meant was her powers could build something outside her control that pupter spaceship was iffy controll wise. Imagine if she make another orb but smater and not friendly. That would be her power indirectly killing her.

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  2. Boya! Bull is back! Hope we get to meet his daughter!.

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    1. Pretty sure we have already met her. :)

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    2. What what? When did Penny meat her?

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    3. Red believes that Bull's daughter is a character already in the books. You'll find out if he/she/it is right when I get this one finished!

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    4. Ah, I can hardly wait!
      So, any idea of when we might see it?

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    5. I was looking back through the books and found the most likely candidate, who could possibly be Bull's Daughter, and I found her. Someone fierce, imposing, and dangerous,

      Obviously, it can only be Sabrina!

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    6. I am willing to be wrong, mind you, which is why I didn't go around naming names. Besides not wanting to irritate the host.

      Heh, we used the term "yog" on another forum for non-gender specific. Xe was another one I have seen used.

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    7. Bull my have more than one child. But, in book 1 he only mentioned his daughter.

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    8. Bull called his daughter Cat. I assumed that's short for Cathy or Catherine. Don't recall anyone with that name in the school so far. Outside the 3 main characters, we know Marcia is the sidekick of the Original, Claudia is related to Mourning Dove in some way, and Charlie is the grandson of Hagfish, but that's it. Before you start, book 3 is not out yet so Cassie's relationship with Rage and Ruin don't count.
      Let's we see who the daughter is in book 3.

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    9. Claudia's not related to Mourning Dove (well I suppose not necessarily, anyway) -- Penny just thought some things in their style seemed similar. Businesslike, not hugely talkative.

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    10. I have a sneaking suspicion that at least one of the teachers is a hero. :)

      Hopefully Mourning Dove, I really liked her character once we met her. Her line about her own reputation was priceless. "you're not the only ones with that problem.." Heh.

      Both Lucyfar AND Mourning Dove would have fit the Rogue/Vigilante (resepectively) category in CoHeroes so well.

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    11. Hahaha, wait did you just theorize that morning dove is one of their teachers ?? That would be awsome - but considering she's an undead zombie cyborg (apparently) it would be hard to hide. I do get the idea Claudia and Morning dove are related though as well.

      I guarantee there are villains or heroes either on the staff, or in the PTA. With so many kids of heroes/villains supposedly in their school (and or the high school nearby) it would be stupid for there not to be.

      Side note - I Think Bull's daugter has to be older than our main cast. The book said he was 50 plus years right? It seams unlikely someone that age would have a 13 year old daughter, more likely a daughter in her late teens (high school age...)

      ^_^ Maybe his daughter is She who Wots
      (sincerely doubt it)

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    12. Kirsty is right that Mourning Dove is not a teacher. She's just too ugly to hide who she is. She has a certain amount of stealth powers, but you can't use those to disguise yourself to teach.

      And yes, good catch that Bull is over 60. It was involved in my thinking!

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    13. Actually, if know someone who waited a long time to get married. Had a hard time finding the right person. So, they are now hitting 50 and have a 13 year old daughter. So, not that hard to imagine that Cat could be near their age.
      And, if she were not near their age, were significantly older, the comment about 'being a parent' would be less significant if she were already grown.

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    14. @Roberts, yeah I wasn't willing to commit to too high a number, but the book clearly stated Bull was "in his prime" fourty years ago. Now allowing for a tendency for people to round up when talking like that - I was guessing anywhere between 50 and 70 years. In his 'prime' usually meaning late teens to early thirties.

      From the way he talked and acted (and comparing to my own relatives) I say Bull is 62 and four months. No idea why so random and specific a number just claiming :D

      Since most people have their first child within the 20-40 age group range (maybe a little later due to career villainy)

      I just don't think there is any way Bulls daughter can be younger than 15. 15 is generous!
      More likely cat is a young adult. Certainly to a 60 year old 13 and 22 look more or less the same !

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    16. It is entirely up to the author, not us. Considering that this is a 'novel' about 'super-heroes' we are talking about, anything is possible.

      Can we really say anything about the love life of Giant Man-Bull?

      (Actually, that is different type of fiction, and I really don't want to read that one.)

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    17. Does it help if I say Bull's wife is older than he is?

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    18. Huh interesting. I was just about to comment that it's more dangerous having kids for older women than older men, and that his wife could be younger.

      I'm going to guess maybe having superpowers has something to do with it? Extend their fitness/lifespan somewhat, maybe?

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    19. Oooooooooh theory time. Bull's (ex)wife is Marvelous. We do know she's over forty plus magic. And their daughter is (drumroll) either rage or ruin (I'm tossing up between them)

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    20. I should tease you less. Assuming Cat's mother is young enough, there is no reason Bull's daughter could not be Penny's age. There is a small increase in genetic disorders when a man passes forty, but it's a few percentage points. It certainly hasn't stopped men historically. Women having children past forty-five is very rare, and yes, usually very dangerous for the mother, but not impossible. Genetically Bull is human, he just looks weird, so there's no problem with fertility with a normal human woman. There might be practical problems given his size and strength, but the same superhero shenanigans that make that a problem might suggest solutions. Penny has a strong desire to not analyze Bull's sex life. I will note that Bull has been a supervillain for over forty years, has met absolutely every kind of person you can imagine, and is friends with a lot of them. He's a friendly guy.

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    21. Tease away devious host, it's all to the fun. *gets out popcorn*

      (So Irene isn't actually older, or just by a year or two or ... ?)

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    22. ^_^ @Roberts, We theorize like this solely for this very reason. In the hopes that you will respond to or tease us with tidbits! It makes it more fun!

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    23. I can't believe nobody has figured it out yet. It's so obvious. Has fur. An animalistic face but humanoid body. HORNS!

      His daughter is clearly Juliet. Now, I know what you're thinking. Juliet was trapped in the Red Panacea Clinic for about a century, and Bull isn't THAT old. But that isn't really a problem. Having children who are older then you is perfectly possible. Zaphod could tell you how it's done, but you're probably better off not knowing. ^¿^

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  3. I really didn't want to guess about anything, it would spoil the fun. I am just going to wait for the book.
    So, like, when can we expect it? Any sort of guess would be great!

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  4. I'm a little confused here. What are the first two books, precisely? I've been meaning to find and read your stuff at some point.

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    1. just look at his amazon page ^_^ :: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005XOLGVU

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    2. Uh, look at the top right of this page, first book listed - Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain.

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  5. Yay for Bull! (Hope it goes okay.)

    Looks like the club may be getting some interesting members. No idea who Aqua Girl really is but I like her look.

    Is book 3 going to jump perspective between Penny and other characters or just be her throughout?

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    1. All five books will be from Penny's perspective throughout. In general, I need a good reason to ever jump perspective! Immersion is something I'm proud of, and changing perspectives is a big blow to immersion.

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    2. That makes sense. I agree it would sort of jar the immersion in this case (I can think of some books where it wouldn't, but her POV/personality are pretty defining here), so ... cool.

      *now wondering what she has to do in the big Bull reunion scene*

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    3. Maybe they will help him fix his retirement problem.

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  6. I have a question for Mr. Roberts.
    Back in book 1, the Dragon's Blood Job puzzles me. Why did Penny ask Claire to set up a 'job' for them to pull?

    It seems like a change in direction for them. It was right after they acquired a lot of good materials from the landfill, so they were not in need of anything at that point. And, she didn't care about the money, or for what she got for it from Little Mother's Shop.

    I can see that it introduced some of the working of the 'magic' in the world, and introduced the rivalry between magic and tech. And, it was a meeting ground for Lucyfar.

    I just can't figure out why Penny would want to go looking for a job to pull.

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    1. For fun. Cut out all the details, and the story of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain is Penny learning to love being a supervillain. The ups and downs of that process control most of the story.

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    2. Plus side note; it was their first actual Intentional supervillainy if you think about it. Until then they had mostly been "accidental villainy". She needed a defining moment where she went "Alright, lets be villains" and Roberts delivered really well with that.

      Again, I hope to see more casual/intentional villainy this book :D

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    3. Wouldn't her assaulting the school count as actual villainy?

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    4. No, she went to the school to stop Ray. The only one at that point who was being a supervillain was Ms. A, aka Marcia. Of course being a cheerleader, Marcia was already well down the villain path.

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    5. I think Dark All meant the "rampaging" at the other middle school (with the big Machine made out of wrecked car, the statue, the not-dragon, etc.).

      Which if I'm remembering right, they did totally for fun/ to help their cover/ to get everybody else out of school.

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    6. Assault, assault with a deadly weapon (air cannon), destruction of school property, etc.
      Philanthropic crime, but still a crime, and a rampage.

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    7. Cheerleader: Breaking and entering, assault, multiple assaults, also rampaged. Still crimes, still villain.

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    8. Well, I agree that cheerleading is a bit of a crime, but not up to the level of assault. More of a misdemeanor, maybe.

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  7. Wait, who's sabrina again? All I can think of is a teenage witch!
    [starts re-reading like bonkers]
    I wish I was better at remembering names !!!!

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    1. Donovan's Fiance on the colony, set up by the Automatons.

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    2. aah, thankyou. That makes it unlikely that the suggestion further up the page of Sabrina being Bulls daughter is correct. But thankyou anyhow.

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    3. Homer Simpson: "Oh, I get it! I get jokes!"

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  8. Random question, just curious -- we going to see any more of Mech or Marvelous in book 3 (or later)? I really liked them.

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    1. I don't expect them in book three, although there are places they could show up briefly. Marvelous will certainly be in book four, even if I haven't planned her role. I would be surprised if Mech in particular doesn't have a place in book five. Yeah. I think that would have to happen. Ooh, am I getting ideas.

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    2. "Double, double toil and trouble;
      Fire burn, and caldron bubble."

      "By the pricking of my thumbs
      Something wicked this way comes."

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    3. Awesome! Glad we'll get to run into them again.

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    4. So, Kirsty, are you witchy? Or, is that your superpower?

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    5. Hai, I'm witchy. I talk with dead people, and internet trolls. Plus I'm a scot living in rural western australia. So I am literally the "Wicked witch of the west!" ^)^

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  9. i know who the next supervillain is:

    its: Richard Roberts

    he lets us read some of his plans then leaves us haging like a good supervillain

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    1. That would be self insertion, but also totally awsome!

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  10. I am wondering since penys powers can read blueprints and even see mistakes in how to build stuff from em. (Book one looking at her dads stuff) Why she dosnt build something to tecord what she dose while in tranve and make blueprints from it. Also she could then build a machine to mads produce from those.

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    1. Grr record (to lazy to redo post on phone atm)

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    2. I had a similar idea myself. At the very least she should set up cameras all over the lab so she can watch back what she did while blacked out. And a tier 3 or 4 device that could reverse engineer any technology would be like, the King and Queen of mad science. If an obvious dues ex mechana.

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  11. Really nice girl art for kids and i also read this book and its tell us an old men story thanks for sharing nursing research problem statement .

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