(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Friday, December 4, 2015

I Guess A Teaser Would Be Pointless

Book three, tentatively titled Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis, secretly subtitled The World Will Be Saved By Tech Support, but actually in my soul titled No One Wants To Hide Their Super Powers, is done.  It is written.  I have shipped it off to my beta readers.

No, you cannot be a beta reader, although I think it's super sweet some of you want to be.  It has to be people I know well enough to really understand their reactions and what those reactions mean.

If you have any questions or want any spoilers about it, let me know.  All I'm sure of from early reactions is that people really, really want to see a thirteen year old girl suplex a 6'10" metal supervillain.

UPDATE!

 My brain went 'pbbbt' after finishing the book.  It took me until today to realize I made a mistake.  THIS book is Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have Henchmen.  (The other two titles remain correct.)  The NEXT book, book four, is Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis.  That's the one with the heart of gold / heart of steel conflict.

134 comments:

  1. I always vote yes to a young girl suplexing a man twice her size.

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  2. "No, you cannot be a beta reader"

    (whimper)

    ... wait, what about a gamma reader? Is that a thing? Or am I stuck being a delta reader again and pre ordering it on Kindle like MOON? ^¿^

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  3. I want more teasers!!! Btw, when will the book be out?

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    1. I just sent my publisher the email that the manuscript was done today. I didn't even send them the manuscript, since I'm hoping to get at least one or two of my beta readers through it before editing.

      So... I don't know the answer to that, yet! But it IS something I'm specifically asking my publisher about.

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    2. Generally, it takes most publishers - whether self or thru a company about a month or so for the final version to get released. The big time sink here is how many versions get proof read & corrected before there is a "final" version of the book. I am ok with it taking as long as needed to be awesome :)

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  4. Very excited! I know the characters in book 2 will most likely be important, but am looking forward to the dual identity Penny/Bad Penny is playing with in school

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  5. Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis? I hope that's Claudia. Please let it be Claudia!

    Claudia: I'm going to quit being a superhero!
    Penny: No, you can't!
    Claudia: Why not?
    Penny (after thinking for awhile): Because you're my Nemesis! You can't quit before I beat you!

    BTW; the subtitle The World Will Be Saved By Tech Support is great.

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    1. I really like the idea that the world being saved by Tech support means Claudia and Penny make friends, when Penny has to give Claudia over-the-phone advice on how to beat something.
      ^_^

      I rather get the impression that Penny's nemisis would fall into the, I'm her nemisis but she isn't mine group. Where 'hero' is always dedicated to beating Penny but Penny is all "Hey, you wanna go down the mall after this, my treat!"

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    2. Actually, I think that her Nemesis will be Cassie Pater - her biggest fan and personal Nemesis.

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    3. But who's on which side. Is it a hero or villain nemesis. I would prefer Claudia as a frenemy and not a nemesis. As for Cassie I haven't seen her enough to have an opinion about her. Although she's the best suited. With the similar power set and prior history its a natural choice.

      I would think that a previously unseen person will be the nemesis. In order to function as a proper nemesis, their secret identities should remain secret. Cassie knows too much about Penny.

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    4. Well, if it is Cassie must be the 'hero' side. If Claudia, it would be BP's - unless suddenly E-Clair or Reviled become the main story tellers.

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    5. With the whole Good Penny (Penultimate) / Bad Penny duality she could easily end up her own nemesis. :)

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    6. I still don't like the name Penultimate, it's flat out saying someone else is better then her. I'm a traditionalist and like my super names to be a bit 'on the nose'

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    7. Personally I'm horrible with names, so I shouldn't criticizes others for their choices. Roberts has been doing a decent job at coming up with names so I'm not worried about it.

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    8. I still like Clockwork Queen for her hero name.

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    10. Clockwork Queen is a strong name, and would work as a ‘fake’ super hero name - but not as a long term, permanent name. She is faking a limit to throw off suspicion and keep her parents in the dark. When she finally emerges as a full super it will not suit her.

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    11. I can see a classic conflict situation with Bad Penny and Generic Girl (if not Penny and Claudia). Brains vs. Brawn is a classic matchup, comparable to Braniac vs. Superman, Megamind vs. Metro Man, Dr. Chaotic vs Phantom Justice.

      The conflict between Penny and Claudia is more… problematic – especially if Claudia and Bull reconcile through the assistance of Penny and Company.
      Or, perhaps they could become antagonistic because of that? If T.I.M. has a relationship with Bull, Claudia could become an enemy the way that Remy did - through jealousy.

      Ghost posted - "You can't quit before I beat you!" That is a possibility. However, considering how serious Claudia appears to take hero business, I doubt it is likely. It would take a significant change in either her outlook, or situation for her to ‘fake’ a nemesis relationship with Bad Penny.

      Truly, at this point, I am going to stop speculating, and just wait for the book... breathlessly.

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    12. Thinking about it further – Sue Storm was originally the Invisible Girl, but eventually she outgrew her ‘name,’ and changed it the Invisible Woman. (Not exactly a ‘great’ change, but it did show growth.)

      The Clockwork Girl might work well for Penny while she is pretending to have a limit. Then, when she ‘grows up,’ she can take on a permanent name that better suits her. Something that better encompasses her full potential, and which might have “Queen” in it.

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    13. I've listed in the other post why I don't think Claudia is a good fit for nemesis.

      As for the Clockwork name, it is a decent fit for what people will expect from her.

      But the Inscrutable Machine is such a great name that I think she has to keep it. so either she defeats TIM and takes the name as a prize or her secrets gets revealed.

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    14. She can call herself the Clockwork Queen, and then if anyone calls her the Clockwork Princess, she can charge them $5.

      The club can call themselves the Deterministic Finite Automaton, natural enemies of The Inscrutible Machine. The club's weekly newsletter can be called The Regular Expression. (Too obscure?)

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    15. pfogg. I like. ^_^
      Although the group name is a real mouthful. I do like the name of the club paper :D

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    16. Claudia is a major character in book three, and you folks are definitely going to find her arc interesting.

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    17. I was hoping we would see more & learn more about her - thanks!
      Southard, you lost me on the The Regular Expression, what's that about?

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    18. Dark that was pfogg making jokes. his club name is a play on words.
      I didn't get The Regular Expression either. I unfortunately lost all my nerd cred a long time ago.

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    19. When I wrote that it was late and I may have been a bit punchy.

      Randall Munroe makes a decent living making humorous drawings that occasionally reference things like regular expressions. Not sure how he gets away with it, but he's managed two New York Times Best Sellers and a Hugo award, so he clearly does.

      (The Machine is analogous to a non-determinisitic push-down automaton; a
      deterministic finite automaton is a simpler alternative that's mathematically equivalent to a regular expression, so the newsletter actually has the same name as the club. It all makes sense if you free associate after a long evening reviewing automata theory. Like I said, I was a bit punchy).

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    20. Xkcd, of xkcd.com/, is brilliant. I reread his work whenever I learn something new in technology.

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    21. They named an asteroid after him that's big enough to cause a mass extiction. I don't think that qualifies him as a supervillain unless he can take possession, though. Even then, he'd probably just install a microgravity ball pit or something.

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  6. Hallelujah!!! I've been going nuts trying to find something to read near a good.

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  7. First, this book will be much less about adventure, and more about relationships. Every book I write is different. I hope you guys will like that.

    Second, my publisher actually wants to try for Christmas. I don't know if we'll GET it, but, now you know the intent.

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    1. Christmas is ambitious since u just finished it yesterday but I hope u guys can make it. The sooner I get my hands on the book, the better. We all need something other than Star Wars right?

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    2. I don't think we can do it, but I suspect pre-orders will be up, and editing and the cover will be done by then. My publisher really wants to get this out.

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    3. Maybe pencil a goal in for New Years?

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    4. The sooner the better in my view but even New Year will be a rush. There's almost no time for pre-orders or any promotion of any kind.

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    5. Yay! I'm glad to hear that! If it misses Christmas but is out by the end of January I'll still be happy!

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    6. Relationships AND adventure ftw (it can lean much more to either direction and be awesome).

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  8. So the next teaser, probably this month, will be a pre-order page with cover art, a release date, and a descriptive blurb. Works for me.

    I've been secretly hoping the inactivity on the blog meant "big push to finish". I was afraid it might take until next June or something (you posted first drafts of chapters 1-2 in July, and you don't write short books).

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    1. 'Big push to finish' is EXACTLY what the inactivity meant. I moved into a new apartment, and then spent the next three months doing nothing but writing - more and more obsessively, even. 13,400 words on the final day, and the book itself is only 100,000!

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    2. wow... Although to be fair I've seen worse from my little sis when she writes MLP fanfiction so scale is important.
      But wow.

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    3. More than a tenth of the book in one day. Scary.

      The title is "Henchmen" instead of "a Nemesis".... is the secret subtitle still "The World Will Be Saved By Tech Support"?

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    4. Yes. The world is saved by tech support. That's how it happens.

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  9. Glad to hear :) Can't wait for the release date so I can preorder it.

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  10. Henchmen? Guess that'll be Cassie and Will for starters.

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  11. thank you for the update, cant wait for the book.

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  12. I have a theory, some kid is dreaming and we're all stuck in .... ..... wait wrong series.

    I have one comment for the secret title. I must assume that Penny's tech support will be provided to a hero. Now there are two ways you can take this - one of her Henchmen (probably cassie) saves the world via tech support. Or Penny has to provide tech support to an established hero. Such as Mech, or Marvelous. Either way it would be a can of worms because we're going to have a known villain helping a known hero or vice verser.

    I personally vote for whatever is most complicated on account of lols :D

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    1. I'm assuming the tech support provided by Penny will be to her henchmen. From the teaser of the first 3 chapters, heroes are a no-go area for her due to her parents so that just leave the villains. Young villains like Cassie, Will, and maybe Charlie will need an edge so I am assuming this means Bad Penny will be providing tech to them like she did with E-Clarie (ragdolls) and Reviled (gloves).

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    2. It's not too far fetched to think Penny as herself, provides the tech support. If she happens to be around when her father gets a call from someone, he can't figure it out, put Penny standing over his shoulder sees the solution. BAM her parents are forced to except her powers are fully active.

      It's a good way to introduce the full extent of her power to her parents, without a comparison to Bad Penny being made. Also may force them to except her as a budding Hero, and ease up on the ban. Maybe allowing her to do some sidekick work. which then leads her to have to take down her own henchmen.

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    3. There's also the remote possibility that the tech support call could be very-long-distance. While I'm assuming along with everyone else that it involves Penny and company on at least one side of the conversation, we still have friendlies (and not very friendlies) with space-eating tech in orbit around Jupiter, a space fish carrying Juliet and a remarkably well-informed alien who's the advance agent for one of three potential alien invasion forces (all of whom were undoubtedly pinged during that gate business before Kalyke blew up), and a giant spider with questionable intentions and an inaccessible space-lair containing a high-tech/magical superweapon/resource.

      Each of those could represent the source of either the problem or the solution in (possibly unintentional) planet-wide doom, and a tech support call could go to or from any of them.

      Juno the Jovian Relay is now on Earth, but I can't think of a way to figure her into a "save the world" scenario, except as an existential threat someone else has to deal with.

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    4. I'm sorry, but as far as Jovian interference is concerned, Remmy does not show up in this book.

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    5. Remmy needs a good repeated slap up side the head and good lecturing until she realizes Penny and company were not the ones at fault or the bad guys.

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    6. What did I miss that said Juno was on earth now?

      I don't see the Jovian's being a problem anytime soon. If they were able to come and conquer the Sol system on there own wouldn't they have already. The impression I get is that they required the portals to invade.

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    7. Last thing we heard about Juno, the Space Witch, was that she went through the portal to a very familiar room. The Earth-side of the portal to that clinic. It sure sounds like Juno landed on the Earth - beat up, and broken, but on Earth.

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    8. Well, not exactly 'went' through - Claire threw her through the portal right as it switched to that dirt packed room.

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    9. OK, so we don't know for certain she's on earth.

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    10. We don't know for certain she's alive, either. I'm assuming she is, but strictly speaking she was really badly injured, and this author plays around with tropes.

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    11. That and who knows if she's still possessed. And if she's not possessed anymore, what kinda affect did it have on her.

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    13. Here is the part from book 2 - “The brown of Jupiter flickered out, replaced with the brown of the dingy half-collapsed basement I’d last seen through the gate in the Red Panacea Clinic.”
      Then, “with a whipping motion, Claire catapulted Juno through the gate, where the battered body landed in the basement and didn’t move.”

      So, yeah, Juno is on Earth, somewhere. Probably alive, because I really don't think Mr. Roberts is into killing characters - it would be 'out of character' for him, if you know what I mean.
      Wonder if she could be the Nemesis in book 3?

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    14. Oh, and about the Red Clinic Gate, Penny said - "The room couldn't be physically here, on the asteroid.... We were looking at a portal to Earth."

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    15. @Van - My sincere hope for Remmy is that sooner or later she shows up to earth (probably in next book since it's got Nemisis in the title) and gets to see how heroes and villain on Earth are mostly punchclock. I foresee her then being invited to the club, where Penny and Co in their non-villain forms are working with and or training heroes.

      And just the dichotemy of all this will have a "How can you do this, How can you be Evil one minute and this the next!" etc etc.

      Possibly followed by nearby hero kids covering their ears and pretending not to listen.

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    16. But do we really know it was earth? A portal to earth open for decades and they never went through it once. No one on earth ever found it?

      If it is on earth then it's got to be so well hidden, so secure that if the severely injured Juno is alive, then she is trapped in a super secret secure bunker somewhere in Europe, on a world she knows almost nothing about. Add in the possible disconnect from her masters.

      Remmy on earth would be an entertaining read.

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    17. Nah. I think she is more the psychotic vengeful type of hero. Like Batman - cool, but not exactly funny. Unless she does the 'My name is Remmy Fawks. You killed my brother. Prepare to die' thing.

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    18. And, yeah, Juno is stuck in a bad place - hopefully. If she is like the other tools of the Jovians, she is probably self-willed, but brainwashed (as in totally nutsoid).
      But, don't forget - she is a villain. As hard to kill as cockroaches.

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    19. Uh...isn't Juno dead due to a broken neck? Also, if Remmy come to Earth in Book 4, it will be fun.
      Generic Girl/The Kludge/Miss A vs T.I.M- Let the under-14 battle royale of the century commerce!

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    20. Why would Remmy come to Earth? She told Earth to stay away from Jupiter, I would imagine she has zero interest in going to Earth.

      Plus I don't see Miss A and Generic Girl in a team up. GG probably saw through Miss A as quickly as Bad Penny. I don't see Claudia being able to forgive that quickly, Penny was never mean to her so she had no hard feelings going in.

      Wouldn't it be funny for the Kludge to come to Earth and her actions get her mistaken as a Villain. She won't be use to Earths legal system and social rules. It wouldn't be hard for her to make a few missteps and get on the wrong side of the law.

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    21. Remmy's my guess for the nemesis of the fourth book, but it's possible there's also a big throw-down coming between Penny and Bad Penny, and wouldn't that be a mess? Each of them making moves to block the actions of their antagonist-future-selves, and one of them has all the inventive resources of Bad Penny.

      I've noticed normal-Penny has been showing signs mad scientist skills independent of Bad Penny, so if this happens, it still could involve mad science vs. mad science, but normal-Penny seems to do more clever strategy and high-level planning than Bad Penny, and she also has a lot more sense.

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    22. I just don't see any reason for Remmy to come to earth. Unless it was to hunt down Juno. But she wouldn't know she was there. Both brothers while pissed off should be alive, and at least half of their ships would destroy the earth if they got close enough.

      The Penny vs Bad Penny conflict is something that I think has to happen. But things never work out for TIM the way they plan. Remember the Jade statue at the school. I still think the fights going to end with Penny being revealed as Bad Penny. Her secret needs to come out in the end.

      Everyone who knows about Penny knows she has Mad Science powers. It was just believed they would take a number of years to develop instead of the days it took.
      From the sounds of it you're implying that Penny and Bad Penny are different personalities or something.

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    23. Nothing in-story implies there will be further contact between Earth and Jupiter's moons, but from a storytelling point of view, there's a Chekhov's Gun argument for further developments in that direction. As to Remmy, we have a reference to her at the close of the second book: "A supervillain has truly arrived when a superhero arises just to stop her." Could be a throw-away line, could be a hint.

      I was using "Bad Penny" to describe Penny when the back-of-her-head power takes over. Sloppy usage, but it was the only concise phrasing I could think of. Her "power" is looking more and more like a separate entity or a different personality, rather than a different state of mind. And she's showing indications of mad scientist abilities operable in her normal state of mind.

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    24. I just don't think Remmy would make that great a nemesis. She's got some mad skills but can't hold a flame to Penny's powers.
      Ideally a nemesis has powers or abilities of a contrary nature to person. Pyro vs. Iceman. Batman's Logic vs. Joker's pure insanity.
      They also need to be on the same theoretical skill/power level.
      Penny is on the path to being the strongest Mad Scientist possibly ever, so she needs someone who can give her a challenge, and be challenged.
      Generic Girl is too much of a power house, she's too fast, strong, and tough to be challenged by Penny currently. I think Miss A is the opposite, she's got some fighting skills but Penny's tech is too strong for her to handle. Cassy and Remmy have the same types of powers as Penny but not as versatile or strong, so not a good fit.
      All of this is why I think it will end up being someone else. Potentially a brand new face, that's not a local. It would make for a more suspenseful story if we don't even know who the person is outside of their Super persona.


      I can see why you said it that way now. I still like the explanation Cybermancer gave best. That the blackouts are caused by her brain being unable to handle the superpower. Like a surge protector. She's been able to influence her power from almost the beginning. When she builds things she understands the concepts of she tends to retain more control. It's when the builds are way beyond her comprehension she blackouts completely. At least that's how I see it. In Moon, she really only blacked out when she was messing around with puppeteer goo, something she has no frame of reference for.

      Book three will hopefully give us a better idea of whats going on with her powers.

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    25. Remmy IS Penny’s Nemesis.
      She is a real threat to Penny and she will murder her if she gets the chance. And, she will kill anyone who gets in her way. Remmy’s Power is as strong as Penny’s and she is stronger in the body to boot. Her limit is that she can’t make from scratch. So, the more toys that Penny makes the more material she gives Remmy to work with. She's the dark reflection of Penny.
      But, I don’t think it will be her.

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    26. I don't think Remmy's power is as strong as Penny's. She is a real powerouse but the fact that she can't make new things is a monumental drawback. It takes time for her the work her power. Not to mention I doubt Penny's going to just leave her tech laying around for her to use.
      Also we've mentioned before. Sure Remmy was furious at her at the end of Moon. But that was rage building up to a boil. By this point she's calmed down. Few 14 year old's are able to murder someone in cold blood, and not one who reacted so negatively to the thought of people being killed.
      And Penny never once even tried to use her powers against Remmy in any serious way. She was too worried about hurting the girl. If she had she would have trounced her.
      Remmy isn't Penny's Nemesis simply because there is no conflict between them as long as they stay away from each other. Remmy has no reason to come after Penny. The only reason Penny would go back to Jupiter is to make up with Remmy and she's smart enough to not do it any time soon.

      And a side note. There are negative effects to spending time in zero G. decreased bone density is one such thing. I'm sure the Jupiter people have adapted to it, but it also means there would most likely be some problems with them going back to a place like Earth.

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    27. Woah, events and posts running quickly. The thing you need to remember is that Roberts already stated book four will be a "magical artifact" episode. My basic theory is that the story will focus on the statue she's been using for the cursed pennies, meaning the statue is connected to either the Jovian's or the Puppeteers;

      Most likely scenario is that Remmy finds out not all the puppeteers are dead. They get tracked back to Earth and Penny ends up finding out - her statue and the Pennies she's been using, and the monster that Mech bottled up are all connected.

      Which is reason enough for Remmy to come to Earth and investigate.

      As for what happens when she arrives, I think the main focus will be how different Earth is. The fact that heroes and villains willingly ignore each other "outside of work" I don't think Remmy with her upbringing could come to terms with that.

      If she came to Earth I see her getting on everyones nerves by trying to go after Penny in her home or at school, and other heroes having to step in.

      As for Juno. I always half suspected that either the puppeteers or the jovians are basically the Elder Gods. The fact that we've seen an eldritch abomination in relation to the pennies and therefore the puppeteers...

      Yeah - Juno is probably in the basement of some cthulu worshiping temple somewhere. Which could be all kinds of bad.

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    28. That sound's like an overly complicated and convoluted plot.

      Cursed Statute might be interesting to see. But the Extra Dimensional thing connected to it might be stronger then TIM can handle.

      I don't think Remmy is gonna go hunting for puppeteers and Jovians without a damn good reason. I could see her dumb ass brother sneaking off to Earth in search of Juno is lost love, but even that's far fetched.

      I think Remmy would get her self Labeled a Villain right away, just like TIM did. Which would be entertaining. And I don't think she would approve of it like you said.

      Elder Gods doesn't feel right. Highly advanced aliens with their heads up their own asses I think is more likely.

      The pennies and statue are magical. The Puppeteers never really showed much in the way of Magical powers. Bio-tech, Psychic powers, possibly advanced technology.
      Penny adding pennies to the goo mix before making the cat and the fish, is what linked them to the pennies. Not a pre existing connection.

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    29. Remmy turned a lot or regular tech in to mad-science tools. She took a car engine and made a space ship drive out of it, created her own mecha-suit, and used Penny's own phone as a Penny-tracker. Remmy can use her power any time, to make what she wants. She can repeat her inventions, and repair with her power. And, Remmy is only 9years old. She has room to grow.
      Penny has to hope her inventions do what she wants and they always have surprises. She can’t repeat her inventions, and can’t repair with her power. Penny said that she envied Remmy's Power, and thought it was as powerful as her's.
      I'd say they are matched in power. Plus, Remmy is physically stronger.
      We don't know if Remmy's Brother died, but if he did that is reason enough for Remmy to eventually track down Penny to kill her. You don’t have to be grown up to commit murder, plenty of young kids have done it. Gotto also take into account that Remmy is a full blown crazy mad-scientist. She' nuts!
      Penny is not Remmy's Nemesis. Remmy may not be the Nemesis in next book though. Just saying that Remmy is definitely Penny's Nemesis. The most dangerous one so far... I bet she will have more eventually.

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    30. If the Jovians come to Earth, I think Remmy would ignore them. Unless they give her a reason, or tick her off big time.

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    31. Wait, the 4rd will be a magical artifact book? I think I missed it. I remember that the 3rd was going to be some contest of champions thing, but I don't remember the next ones being revealed. What were they, and where did you see them? Where was that posted?

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    32. Darkall, it was stated in a previous thread on the blog. Roberts said book 3 will be "Dramatic Showdown" story, 4 the "magical artifact" story and 5 the "end of world scenario" (according to memory)

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    33. Minor points: Remmy is eleven years old. Maybe twelve, by book four. I never decided on her birthday.

      Juno is alive, and completely mindless. As Harvey described, the Jovians scooped out her personality and capacity for independent thought, making her more of a meat puppet than even the Puppeteers think is moral. Speculate on where that may go however you like!

      The third book is indeed a contest of champions, and the fourth an evil magical artifact arc. I again warn you that the way I write, I don't think those are useful spoilers.

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    34. I gathered from the language used, humans are inhabited by Jovian possessors, not just remotely operated by them from Jupiter, so I'm assuming Juno being alive means a Jovian is operating freely on Earth. There's a gate on the Earth, too, right? Else how did all those people get to space? Wouldn't the Earth gate probably be in that basement, right next to Juno?

      The statue monster, Jovians and Puppeteers could be mutually unrelated. Suppose the statue represents a fourth independent threat to Earth, and the emphasis on tentacles is a coincidence? Penny's connection to it might not be an accident. What if Penny is on her way to becoming the advance agent of an extradimensional horror, to which her power is directly connected? Maybe she's not immune to the statue's curse, she's actually more influenced than anyone else.

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    35. Dark first thing. Remmy can't fix things. That was one of the big draw backs to her power and something she was picked on about. From what I remember her power only works by taking 2 separate things and merging them together. We've also never seen her repeat an invention. Although she does have a greater understanding of mechanics in the mundane sense then Pennys
      She didn't turn a car engine into her brothers ships drive. She merged the two factions different engines. The mech was cool but she again re-purposed one of the guard one she used the typewriter on before. Remmys younger yes, has time to grow yes, but Penny's power is getting stronger by leeps and bounds.

      The Reason I always say Penny's power is so much greater then all other mad scientists is her versatility. It's been pointed out through out the two books not so subtly that all M.S. powers have a theme and stick too it. Remmy is Kludgeing(jury rigging), cybermancer is the interaction of magic and chemicals, Cassy is electrical i believe, Mech is he Mech suit. Penny doesn't have one. And she is gaining more control over her power daily. By all appearances she could literally make anything she wanted.
      Remmy is in the same league as Penny, but she's a light weight, Penny's a super heavy with a shot at the belt.

      You don't have to be an adult to commit murder no. but the thought of her friends being killed had a major negative impact on her, seeing her brother lifeless sent her into a rage. If she had gone after Penny on the Moon, yes I think she could and possibly would of killed her. She was in a rage, seeing red. But without any of that. She's too nice and emotional to kill someone. It's called cold blooded murder, because it is done without that rage she had before. Killing someone outside of self defense would destroy someone like Remmy in real life. Either sending her into a spiral of self loathing and depression with no bottom. Or turning her into an emotionless killer, which would be just as bad for her.
      Someone of any age can kill, Remmy just isn't one of them.

      Remmy was a bit crazy at the end of the book, but it was temporary. She befriended 3 kids, lead them around, only to have them turn out to almost kill a bunch of her people, including her family. She felt betrayed and responsible for all the damage Penny caused. She didn't know Juno was basically a Puppeteer, still doesn't i bet. Once she calms down she won't be cray anymore

      Thanks for the clarifications Mr. Roberts.

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    36. J, your descriptions of Remmy are all pretty apt.

      If there is one place where I feel I really failed in book two, it's that I failed to make people understand Remmy. She is an 11 year old with a major inferiority complex doing what 11 year olds with major inferiority complexes do - being paranoid, throwing tantrums, and attacking the people trying to help.

      I guess the self-esteem issues did not come across clearly enough, but I tried. In a culture that reveres mad scientists, she is the strongest mad scientist, but gets no respect for it at all because her power doesn't work the way anyone else's does. She comes from a very broken home, with dead parents and two older brothers who hate each other to the point of violence, while making her a bone of contention between them. They love her, but they have serious issues and there are definite abusive elements to how they take care of her. She has lost two homes, friends, loved ones, and family, killed in an attack by two alien races.

      Remmy is a mess, and acts like it. That very few people got that means I failed badly somewhere along the way.

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    37. It's possible that the self-esteem issue didn't come across strongly enough, but I'm not sure the problem was that people didn't understand her character. A good comparison is Claudia, who is paranoid, swings between diffidence and barely restrained hostility, actively interferes with TIM on occasion, and yet has everyone's sympathy. Her background has only been touched on a little, but she acts like someone who has things hard but isn't naturally mean-spirited, and that's enough. I got an analogous impression from Remmy, and we even get to see enough of Remmy's background to see why she is the way she is. The character was well established.

      I think people objected to the role, not the character. She serves as the source of several setbacks for the main characters. That's inherently unsympathetic by itself, and since her actions are deliberate and not really justified (just understandable for an 11-year-old in her circumstances), the audience tends to blame her for the consequences.

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    38. @Roberts, I gWhat I saw very clearly having now read book two a few times, is that over half of the book was Penny and Remmy being jelous of each other for different reasons.
      emmy was Jelous cause Penny acted like she had everything figured out, she had loyal friends who would willingly fight and die for her, a happy home life on a planet far away where everything (from Remmy's Perception) was perfect.

      And from Penny's Perspective, Remmy had the advantage of being able to openly show her awesomeness to the people around her, living in a culture that doesn't villify tech savvy characters by default, and has the ability to consciously control her power in a way Penny only wishes for.

      Basically this is actually where the book was the weakest. It felt like the story was supposed to be about two bratty kids being jelous, but all the setting and war got in the way of the characters. It took three read throughs before I got that the Puppeteer Thinkgies Penny made taking over that colony, was because Juno had taken some kid, infested him and was using it to control the puppeteers.

      Heck Juno had probably been using the same technique to keep the colonists busy since Harvey (for the past 100 years) had clearly not been in the mood to invade, possess or infect anyone.

      Which brings me to an observation.
      I noticed this agess ago but I have no idea how to work it or apply it into any theory regarding Penny's power.

      Every time Penny blacked out while inventing, she either had cursed pennies in her pocket, or had recently touched the statue / added pennies to the statue...

      Which is why I think the statue is connected to the Jovian's somehow. And how I think Juno was so aware of Penny's inventions and where Penny was during book 2.

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    39. Not having a theme might not be an advantage but a disadvantage. Also I don't understand why so many people are saying Penny is getting more control of her powers.
      Penny's power goes all over the place, especially when inventing Tier 3 items, and that might not be a good thing. Even with blackouts, all the other mad scientists knows basically what they will be inventing. Penny don't and we have seem that at times, she can get into trouble because of it.
      Take the Red Herring. Penny was going for a spaceship, but got a bio-spacefish that is treated like an enemy on Jupiter. Even if you discount the fact that she didn't know about the war on Jupiter, getting a bio-spacefish when you are going for a spaceship is hardly what you would call control.

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    40. Yeah but I think the red herring , Ahmideus and her willingness to go "I believe you and want to hel" whenever Juno was in the room are connected. The evidence is purely circumstantial but since Harvey was a stout pacifist , and we are shown (rather weakly) that all the attacks by the puppeteers were Jun's doing; then add that when TIM met Juno Penny was wearing a puppeteer "cat" giving her psychic abilities and flying a 0uppeteer ship : I assume that the Jovians led Penny to Juno somehow.

      Add to that the realisation that Penny didn't start blacking out with her inventions until after she got the statue...

      All my evidence is circumstantial at best bet part of me thinks the Jovians have been trying to manipulate Penny from the statue event onwards.

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    41. Kristy - Penny blacks out a few times before even getting the statue. But it does raise a interesting question. What if the Statues Guardian is exerting some control over Penny, or at least who ever created the statue. I personally don't think it is connected to the Jovians but can't discount it completely.

      Ray points out that Penny most likely didn't actually invent the Red Herring, just press the button for space ship. I think this is true and that Her adding the cursed penny was a modification by her power to allow them to control the ship. If that is true then the same could be said about Archimedes, not a true invention.

      By the end of book 2, Penny is blacking out less, and her power is following her desires more. She might not understand the inner workings of her tech, but that can be explained away by it's advanced nature. But she tells her power to make a weapon against Puppeteers, it does. Tells her power to blow up the portal, it does. She tells her power to jump start the space station power engine, it does. Towards the end of book 2 even Penny comments about the greater control of the power.

      The Jovians would have had to been influencing Spider as well. Spider is the one who asked them to go to space in the first place. And seriously, ask any 13/14 year old super powered geek if they want to go to Jupiter and the answer will always be yes.

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    42. Penny had a blackout when inventing The Machine, and that's well before she got the statue. Also, there's no reason to believe Spider had been influenced by anyone. Asking TIM to space may be more of a case of them being new, young and expandable.

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    43. Mr. Roberts, don't worry about the relationship between Penny and Remmy. It did come through - at least to me anyway.
      But, I could swear that you wrote that Remmy was 9? After the shower scene I think, Penny was thinking that Remmy was small and thin even for a 9 year old.

      About the rest... I don't thing the pennies have anything to do with Penny's black outs. Penny blacked out making the Machine, and the Super-Cheeleader Serum, Claire's frictionless insoles, and the light-bike - before finding the statue. As far as I can see she blacks out for Tier 3 Devices.
      And, if the Jovian could reach to Earth, Jono, a telepath, would not be the only one to hear them. I think Harvey called her the relay, not the possessed, so I bet she is out of range on Earth. She wold make for nasty tool form some other telepath though.
      And, Penny blacked out several times in space. But, she was able to use some sort of big-brain power during the trip. To fix the space station for one. But, not while she was inventing. She may be developing an new facet, but inventing still blacks her out.
      Southard, you're right, Remmy cannot repair. But, she can repeat. She made a second Automaton Override out of a typewriter on the spacestation, and she knows what she is doing. So, I still think she is a serious rival and a threat to Penny.
      And, considering how messed up she is, I really can see her taking a shot a killing Penny. Yes, it would destroy her, but if her brother dies, and she gets the chance, I think she would.
      I was lucky, and had a decent childhood. But, I grew up with kids who did not. I managed to avoid getting involved with them, but Gangs did exist around us, and some of those kids were in fact, killers. Two of then 'went off' in Junior High and killed another kid. They paid for it, but dead is dead.

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    45. Oh, just saw something. Southard, there are three kinds of murder. Accidental, premeditated (cold-blooded) and crime of passion. Remmy went after Penny with a gun on the colony - pretending to be unconscious to lure her in. Then, when she thought her brother was dead she was crying and going for Penny. So, that is premeditated and passionate. She only stopped because she thought she might be able to save her brother. Who knows what she might do if she spends time brooding about Penny.

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    46. But, again. From what I can see I don't think Mr. Roberts is going portray that sort of stuff in the books. It would change the tone a lot.
      Now, I could totally see it in the Wild Children Universe. Wow, what a change of tone!

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    47. Penny originally thought Remmy was younger because of her size, but she is later mentioned to be older then she originally thought.

      I have to agree that I don't think the Jovians have the range to get to earth. I think the idea of Juno being physically possessed is because when Penny looked at her through Archimedes she saw what we now know to be a Jovian surrounding her.

      I never said Remmy wasn't a threat or rival. Hell catch penny without any of her tech and any norm is a threat. I just meant that given equal time and tools, Remmy wouldn't stand a chance.
      Yes originally Penny would think I want a weapon, and her power would make something that Penny had to figure out. Eventually she started guiding her power at least in the early stages. She doesn't have the control over her power like Remmy, but she is slowly gaining control. It may only be in small increments, but it is still there.

      If Remmy's brother had died, I imagine the message to Earth would have been more of a "i'm coming for you" message.
      And yes kids of all ages kill all the damn time. Some are Sociopaths who lack a traditional sense of right and wrong. Some are so desensitized to violence that it's just a way of life for them. Some do it to protect themselves or others. Others a just plain screwed in the head.
      I'll say it again, yes i think Remmy could have and possibly even would have killed Penny had she been able to reach her in the end of the book. But what she was feeling at that moment had been building the entire book. and most of it will have burn out by now. At this point even if her brother did die, I don't think she would kill Penny on purpose.
      I can relate to Remmy more then I can any other person in the books.

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    48. When Remmy went after Penny originally it was to stop her from hurting more people. She may have planed ahead, but it was still more a crime of passion. Also there is no proof she was actually trying to kill her at that point, only stop her.
      The Cold Blooded of premeditation is indicative of there not being any Hot emotions such as anger.
      A guy finds out his wife is cheating on him and he sits on the sofa for 3 hours and shoots her as soon as she walks in the door is a crime of passion.
      Waiting 3 weeks, cutting the breaks on her car when you know she's will be driving along a winding mountain road is premeditation.

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    49. Just was reading again- when they met, Penny thought that Remmy look around 11, so I guess I was wrong on that one. 11 not 9.
      And, Remmy cannot repair, or create. But, she kludged a phone into a tracking device, and powered a space drive with a car engine. Give her access to tech and she can make serous mad science - say coming to Earth surrounded by all sorts of high tech tool, the market of China Town, or becoming tech thieves the way the Inscrutable Machine is supposed to be...
      Penny might be the strongest Mad-Scientist on Earth, and a better one than Mech, but his armor outclassed her when they met. Imagine what Remmy could kludge together with Earth-Tech, or Puppeteer Tech if she could over her hate for it. Man, watch out!
      On a totally different subject… Having met a couple of the damaged kids that I was talking about, as, well… adults, they are still nuts, and I wouldn't turn my back on them.
      So, unless Remmy gets some counseling I only see a dark road ahead of her. My opinion is that she could easily go after Penny, if she had the chance.
      But, since this is all a story, I guess we just have to wait and see how it plays out.

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    50. I think Remmy could really shine if she did become a tech thief. She could be truly terrifying. Although would her power even work on Puppeteer tech? Hell is it even considered tech? I'm still iffy on if Penny actually did anything other then use the per-programmed commands.

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    51. I would like to point out that blacking out is not the same as not knowing what you're doing. When Penny made the machine she was aware of the process just not how it worked. The book specifically said penny remembered using machines , crimping pipe etcetcetc. The only times I saw she specifically 'blacked out' with no memory of what she was doing we're : the candy gear, Vera, her cat, the ship, and anything puppeteer related. Oh and spavesuits. I want to count the bubblegum monster containment (the only other one that sounded like a blackout) except is says the only thing she remembers was movement
      .. but that is still remembering something.

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    52. In other words I'm not saying the statue or pennies are giving her plans or controlling her. Rather the behavior of the coins is that those effected become easier to manipulate or con, and more prone to mistakes. So maybe the coins and statue do effect Penny after all. Just that whatever force is bound to the statue recognises Penny's mad science skills and is putting hinting ideas in her head, then sitting back and seeing what Penny's power makes of them.

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    53. Wait, wait, and wait. We're all fans of Bad Penny here but let's back up a moment. Calling her the top mad scientist in the world is stretching it. Organism One, The Expert, and her father are the guys at the top of the mad scientist game. Right now, Bad Penny is a young villain with great potential but that’s it. Penny had admitted on several occasions that she had no chance if adults took her seriously. She still has a lot of growing to do before reaching the top league, much less becoming the strongest mad scientist in the world.

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    55. In the first part of book two, just prior to their assault on the secret weapon facility, The Audit put Penny statistically in the top ten percent of mad scientist, and she stated that if her progression continued she could be the greatest mad-scientist of her generation.
      That appraisal only includes the inventions that both parents appear to know of, and also while apparently believing that Penny was limited to a clockwork theme. (“Apparently” - I do not wish to speculate on what The Audit really knows.)

      Red Eye is apparently a benchmark mad scientist and is used as a comparison by Ray. She has three known Tier Three devices and is limited to a beam energy theme. Organism One has multiple Tier Three Devices, and can "branch out a little."
      Penny made more than three Tier Three Devices in her first month, and has no limiting theme. Based on that alone, Penny is ahead of Organism One.
      Note: Organism One’s actual theme is not known to us. If it is very broad he may not actually be branching out – it could just appear that way to outsiders. If it is bio-mechanical integration for example, he might be able to have biological and mechanical devices that make it appear that he is ‘branching out.’ And, if he is clever he might be hiding devices, and actually be a more comparable to Penny. It is pure speculation at this point.

      Also, this is assuming that there is no obfuscation or exaggeration on the part of her parents.

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    56. My mistake - her mother put in the top 1%.

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    57. When I talk about Penny being the best, I'm talking about when she comes fully into her power. She could be right now, but her power is still controlled by the immature mind of a teenager. It's still only just a game to her.

      And at the moment if any adult super tried to seriously hurt them it would be a close fight.

      The problem with the "blackouts" is the descriptions are too vague and inconsistent. I get the impression that it is not uncommon for Mad Scientists to have blackouts during inventing, I bet the laughter is part of the origin of the name.
      To me it looks like the level of blackout is relevant to how advanced the tech is. Vera and Puppeteer goo, resulted complete blackouts. But the things that are based in concepts she already has some understanding don't seem to be total blackouts.

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    58. South - there is a lot of credence to that too. I'm trying to base the term blackout based on wording and when I go over her tech, there seams to be a lot of flexibililty.

      Penny seams to have four main stages of inventing.

      Mechanical Genius: This is like her smeltery, her suit, claire's gloves, jump starting the station. This also includes the clock device she made start book 2 and most if not all of her clockwork inventions. Almost all of this stuff (regardless of the tier) is mechanical in nature, the only exception I can think of being the

      Weird Science: Most of these are tier 2 or tier 3 like Ray and Claire's gloves, the batteries, the cheerleader syrum, these are mostly non-mechanical but she tends to be at least aware of her surroundings, or of her actions even if she doesn't understand the science invovled. The Machine is the only thing that fits in this.

      Extreme Thinking: I add this category for things where, I mostly just went "Who thinks of this!". Stuff like the zombie rag dolls, her ray gun/bomb, the air cannon, bubblegum thingie. Most of these she was described as not being herself but - more importantly - before entering the fugue she knew exactly what she wanted to make and after she came down from it, could tell you about it afterwards.

      And Finally complete Blackouts. Where she literally knew nothing before or after. These blackout were usually accompanied by migraines and they became more frequent in book 2. The first of these happened when she made Ray's gloves and the candy stuff. We were told this much, Vera was made about the same time. Another one she busted when the headaches started was the love potion. No idea what that was connected to. Then in book two they're all over the place. Nearly every major thing she invents causes a blackout and while the inventions are all tier 3 (space suit arguably) to me it means she's sacrificing control for power.

      It was enough that I asked Roberts after reading book two if the warning about "that power will kill you" meant it was actually frying Penny's brain somehow. And I am seriously hoping Penny and Co start questioning that in this book.

      It's also where my current theory is that - Penny handling the coins and statue have me worried for the character.

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    59. wow those first two paragraphs got stuffed up. I was going to write the Machine into group one, then changed my mind, it fits in group two with all that stuff. Sorry for bad grammar, wish I could edit posts.

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    60. The magic words there are “statistically” in the top percent of mad scientist, and “if” her progression continued.
      Guys, she’s 13. She “could" be the greatest mad-scientist of her generation but that’s a long way away from where she is right now. She has a lot of growing to do physically, mentally, and power-wise before then. I personally think watching her grow is part of the fun.
      Also I think numbers aren't everything. To our knowledge, Mech only created 1 Tier 3 item. However that Tier 3 item, his suit, is so good it can beat the crap out of almost everything else on the table, including The Machine. To me, how powerful the item is is just as, if not more, important than the number of Tier 3 items you can create.

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    61. Kristy I agree with pretty much all of that. Although I've been ignoring Morning Dove's comment most on the grounds of her being a potentially unstable cyborg zombie 3 quarters short of a dollar. Not saying it wasn't a honest and sincere warning, just that she probably isn't the most stable of people.

      Ghost, I'm not entirely sure Mech would win against the Machine in a serious fight. It can eat anything, It can absorb all forms of energy(including magic and kinetic), once it's going it doesn't appear to run out of power.

      Depending on how quickly it absorbs energy, I bet you Penny could block a punch for Claudia with the machine and not even feel it. Theoretically It should be able to adsorb anything Mech throws at it. If he grabs it or wraps it up, it just eats it's way out.

      There are a lot of if's in that situation. There is no real way to know who would win or who is greater until we see the two square off.

      It was stated that it was not uncommon for a Mad Scientist's first invention to be their only tier 3 invention, like Mech. Could she hit her wall before she leaves puberty sure. But if she stays on her current trajectory they will be adding additional Tiers before she's hit 30.

      Should I being saying could instead of is or will be? Yes. but I think it makes for a better story if she Is and will be the greatest. So I treat it that way. But even still she is in the top presidential.

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    62. I think it's quite clear the suit would beat The Machine in a fight. The Machine is a very powerful support item but it has no combat ability to speak of. Mech's suit is for combat and according to everyone, it could be upgraded.
      I don't know if anyone had noticed but almost all of Penny's Tier 3 items are support items. The Machine, Red Herring etc; I think only the ragdolls and the teleport bands can be considered a Tier 3 combat items and even then they are not purely for combat.

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    63. Penny does tend towards defense more then offense. And her offense is more disable and distract then maim and kill. This is because Penny is 13 and she is having fun playing a game. She is not currently the type of person to make death rays.

      Mech's suit is very offensive, but he's not playing. and Also Mech didn't make most of the weapons and systems on the suit. Penny's dad made a lot of them, as did other people. Mech's tier 3 invention is the suit, not the stuff attached to the suit.

      And it's not clear the suit wins in the fight. We've only seen one fight with Mech in it and it was against a horror from another dimension. Then the Machine Ate his suit, it destroyed the suit. So technicly it did defeat the suit, so what if Mech wasn't in the suit at the time.

      until the two of them actually fight for realzy, this is a moot argument. Most of what we've seen of Mech is stuff The Machine has potential to counter. We have no real idea of Mech's defenses.

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    64. Well, I think Penny is ALREADY the most powerful mad-scientist, depending on how you score that. In terms of the number of Tier 3 devices, she has really set the new bar. Red Eye is credited with 3. Penny has lots more than that! Her only problem is control, and I’m guessing that might come later.
      Now, if you’re talking world-shaking effects…. She could use the machine as a full scale recycler and she could really clean up a lot of problems. Ray said it that, the only reason it didn’t revolutionize industry is because there is only one. But, I can see it eating oil-spills, radioactive dumps, and toxic zones, things that a Suit of Armor couldn’t. And, it can eat ‘kinetic’ energy, so I’m guessing it could take a hit from a punch without any problem. I mean, Ray used it as a hammer in space. It stopped Magnificent’s Spells without any problem.
      So, if she can get The Machine in play she would have something. Imagine if she can hook it up to her lab suit, with all those pipes for connecting other devices, it would be an awesome start on her own suit of armor!

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    65. But, that is raw talent and power. She has a long way to go if she wants control. You know, assuming it doesn't kill her...

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    66. I mean, right now she has that rep too. She had all the other mad scientist excited. They were impressed, right?

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    68. Oh, hey, I forgot about her big gun. The one she wanted to destroy cause it scared her. Bet Mech would feel that one if she used it.
      Assuming she still has it.
      Never did say if she used it to make that phony bomb, or if she stashed it away and them made the 'bomb' at the end of the book.

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    69. I think pure invention wise, Penny is the top dog out of what we've heard of. Combat wise she is lacking. Strategy and leadership she is also doing really well in.

      T.I.M. as a unit is kicking ass, separate them and they won't be doing so well. So it's the ranking is very dependent on how you look at the situation.

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    70. From descriptions the bomb was made out if the ray gun
      And the big problem with using the machine to beat Mech in a fair fight is that it's instantly recognizable. Unless she finds a way to disguise it as a gun or sword the moment she uses it against any hero her s3cret identity is toast. Good if she decides to go full time villain but story as it is now not likely. As for Cassia Patters I can't help think she knows about Penny but is keeping it on the low down her big sis and or care takers know who Penny is and her best friend the speedy has seen her face. Cassy just knows better than to blab it openly.

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    71. Ooh disguising the machine as gauntlets could work I mean it's default state is a bracelet

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    72. Side note I think it's too early to judge if penny is best scientist. Until we know why she blacks out or isn't herself during tier three inventions it's hard to judge.

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    73. Yes, I'm pretty certain the Gun got made into the bomb. Penny need it to be real enough to keep the attention of the Heroes.

      I don't think Rage and Ruin would tell Cassie that Penny and bad Penny are the same person. And the Speedster might not actually know the secret either. He grabbed the helmet and ran. It's possible he would say anything either.

      I think this cause Cassie has been challenging Penny and not Bad Penny. The bit we've seen makes me think shes a bit of a glory hound. I think if she knew she would like have challenged the one with the reputation.

      The Machine still absorbs energy in it's dormant state, we just don't know how much. Yes Mech is one of the few who have seen the thing up close and personal, so he'd know in seconds. But I don't think Penny would ever seriously fight Mech, so it was all hypothetical anyways.

      I still maintain that there is no "other" when Penny is inventing. A cryptic comment from a unstable undead cyborg. and a bad statistic that may or may not have anything to do with her, from a preview that Roberts said didn't reveal anything important. There is no actual evidence for me to suspect that it's not Penny inventing the stuff.
      A perfectly suitable explanation was given, one that is back by evidence. Roberts isn't writing an season of Lost here. Every situation doesn't end with a convoluted and absurd explanation.

      If it is the case kudos to you for figuring it out, but until then it's not really worth considering to me.

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    74. I also believe Penny is still Penny when she goes into one of her blackouts. I think the blackout is just part of her inventing process, especially for Tier 3 items. From what Cy said, it's not that unusual. Even Remmy's father has a mild form of it.

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    75. Oh I believe Penny is still Penny too. I just think there's something on her back.... [cough] I mean looking over her shoulder... [stares at myself]
      Too many cultural references, sorry.

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    76. I am pretty sure the reactor got put into the 'bomb,' but with Penny's ability to invent... well, can't be 'sure' until Mr. Roberts say it happened.

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  13. Any chance we could get another teaser?

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  14. Can't wait. Henchmen sound promising. Personally, I like character relationships almost as much as I like adventure, and I especially like them WITH adventure. So this sounds fun!

    Also, The World Will Be Saved By Tech Support is one of the best secret subtitles yet.

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  16. Any chance (and if so when) would book two and after that three will make there way to Audible?

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  17. I had guessed that it would be "Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm My Own Nemesis." Not too far off.

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    1. I realised something. Maybe Penny can put Cassie in her suit, give her a mech, and fight herself that way. It's obvious now I think about it.

      Also I'm getting more inclined to hope "The day will be saved by tech support" IS Penny showing her parents that her powers are fully here.

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    2. I'm pretty sure ATM Cassy isn't in on "The Secret" and I don't think it would be a good idea for her to know.

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