(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

This Will Be The Day We Waited For

Book is out!  Book is OOOOUT!


For those of you who have been patiently waiting, because I don't THINK I handed out many beta read copies, you finally can read the rest of I Did Not Give That Spider Superhuman Intelligence!

If you have time after reading the latest chapter of Penny's continuing story.  Chapter Three!  I probably can't provide many more, but I'd like to at least give you Four.

EDIT - I just found out from my publisher, they now will give out epubs or pdfs for those people who use other ereaders beside a kindle.  What you do is, you buy the Amazon kindle version, and email them the proof of purchase at marketing@curiosityquills.com


  1. "Dad tapped the nearest pipe. “Sea water comes in here. Output brine to that pipe, and the purified
    water to the other. Fresh water should be at least-”
    I waved him off. “He doesn't obey anyone but me, dad, and if I say pure, the water he gives us
    will be pure. Period.”"

    Hopefully he doesn't remember when "Bad Penny" made the machine eat the science fair in book 1. If her mother learns this tidbit of information. . .

    1. Ooh, someone is good. Bravo. This is exactly why Penny is getting increasingly strident about the need to confess. Little pebbles add up to a mountain.

    2. I've been waiting for this bit to become apparent since Ray borrowed the Machine in Moon. Penny is on borrowed time until her parents figure out her secret. She has so many little pebbles adding up.
      Plus the fact that so many other people know that she is Bad Penny makes it that much worse. "Three people can keep a secret, if two are dead." How many people know Penny's secret I wonder? At least 3 dozen and I wouldn't be surprised if it was over a hundred.
      It's only a matter of time.

    3. Yep, the 'three can keep a secret' problem is also weighing on her. I think that got mentioned in Henchmen. But she's 13 and confessing to her parents is more terrifying than any physical risk, and her life is SO distracting...

      I promise, by the end of this book, it will be resolved. Book Five, the last Penny book, is not about the 'her parents finding out' problem.

    4. Whoah. Totally missed that one. Well spotted, Trevor :)
      I only noticed that Penny showed her dad the Machine can grow to a size of a car. Mech would probably have some image data on that from his first encounter with the Inscrutable Machine. I figured he would show it to Brian Akk, since they were discussing them anyway.

    5. Penny made quite sure Mech did not get to see that. As I recall, she both blew out his cameras AND blocked the Machine with her body as it fed.

    6. Actually, the first encounter with Mech, Penny was riding The Machine at the school.

      But, the "mistake" is only a little pebble IF you are looking for evidence. He automatically 'assumed' she had programmed it to not eat the living. Assuming that Penny is NOT Bad Penny, it would make sense "after" the Science Fair that she would order it to only obey her.

      And, the machine actually does obey Ray, while they were in space, if I remember right. So, maybe during the interim she in fact did order it to only obey her. Sensible.

    7. I can't remember how, but I made sure Penny addressed the machine obeying Ray. That was on my mind at the time. At the school, the Machine was in a shape very different from its original and not readily recognizable. There's a lot of mad science mechanical-looking bugs out there!

      A lot.


    8. I think that Michal is referring to the time that Penny and Co rampaged at a nearby middle school, the incident with a jade statue and the dragon.
      A few things to recall about that incident though. The Machine had grown to such a size by eating and old junker, and we know that how the Machine looks depends greatly on what it eats. It likely looks very different from how it looks in this chapter after ingesting some pipes. You also need to remember that Mech arrived after they had dealt with the Pseudo-Dragon, and during the fight with said dragon it had bathed the Machine in fire, which probably further marred it appearance.
      Also it may be possible that Mech has already made the connection between Penny and Bad Penny but it keeping silent to avoid going 'personal'.

    9. In Moon Ray didn't give the Machine any orders. He just used it as a hammer, taking advantage of its ability to absorb energy. The Machine just sat there, no commands required.

    10. Actually, at the school, The Mini-Machines melted, but the original resisted the flames of the 'dragon.'
      I was only attempting to say, that IF you were looking for evidence - of a mechanical 'thing' that absorbed energy "like" The Machine, it would be one more little pebble. If you were not - well, one could accept that there are thousands of mad science machines.

      As the story put it, "The very instant the possibility of my being Bad Penny stopped being a bizarre mathematical outlier, the Inscrutable Machine jig was up." Absolutely.

      I am so very much anticipating the next book!

    11. Oh, also, up until that point, I do not think that either of her parents had seen The Machine 'bulk' up from eating other things. I do not think that they had even seen it 'fill out' from eating other things.

      Little Pebbles, IF you are looking for them. A "mathematical outlier" or part of the background scenery if you are not.

    12. Of course, I also completely missed Cassie's Romantic Interest.
      Little Pebbles, indeed.

    13. Another Pebble is that she mentioned that the Machine eats garbage just fine, like the landfill she excavated in book 1. She really gets sloppy when she isn't on guard against her mother it seems.

    14. At the science fair didn't she have the Machine set up for other people to feed it? That's the impression I got, That she had told it to recycle what ever the people told it to.

    15. Yes, she did.

      At the science fair:
      "I'd Managed to pretend the experiment was using The Machine to determine raw materials of household items, and set out a small tray of scissor, batteries, crayons and so forth for people to try themselves, with lists of ingredients that would be produced."

      "Ray fed a battery to The Machine to watch it separate water, crystallized base, organics, and metals into little bins."

  2. Mr. Roberts, I just finished I did NOT. Brilliant!
    I especially love the heroes and villains - especially Delicious, Pong, Accessorize, and Bismuth!

    I hope you are planning more books in that world, I would love to spend years reading your work.

    1. Remember to review on Amazon! Good reviews on Amazon are gold to any author.

      On a personal note, I'm really glad you like my secondary characters. Delicious and Pong won my heart.

    2. I did post my first draft on Amazon, it is up. I will lengthen it when I have the chance.
      I really enjoyed the book!

    3. Ok, much longer review posted on Amazon.
      I had to think about it - didn't want to spoil anything, but wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
      Please tell me that you are going to be writing more in this world!

  3. That was fun. I'm with the others that Penny is soon to be revealed. Probably right after she goes full bad penny one some super villain then turns around and does penultimate on a hero.

    1. I think her father already knows. I think her mother is in denile.

  4. I've got to re-read Chapter 2 (and the earlier books) now that I've had a chance to read I ... Spider.

    It filled in a lot of the backstory questions - and gave many new ones. Mourning Dove is even more tragic now that we know more about her, while Spider is even more enigmatic. Though I'm getting a strong feeling that Spider has talents extremely similar to The Audit's.

    1. I would say that she is merely very intelligent, selfish, and ruthless.

      Spider cuts mutually beneficial deals, and profits as the deal maker.
      The Audit could influence someone by standing still (book 3). Similar, but not in the same league really.

    2. I hope I have convincingly depicted Spider as intelligent! As for potential superhuman abilities, she has none that are not built-in to being a giant black widow spider. Granted, some of those are not obvious unless you're an entomologist, like being able to hear sounds through solid objects much better than through air. Some, like a bite that will kill an elephant dead in its tracks, should be quite obvious.

    3. OOOH! Ive got another one! How about the ability to create massive amounts of extremely strong spider silk? I read somewhere that Black Widow spider silk is like the second strongest type of spider silk, right behind the Darwin Bark Spider.

    4. SHHH!!! Don't give away secrets like that! What if I wanted to make it a plot point!?

    5. Isn't the poison in her bite almost redundant? Against anything less than elephant sized she wouldn't *need* poison.

      I had been wondering if her analytic intelligence crossed the border into "superpower", though. So she's merely extremely intelligent and skilled at information gathering and deduction. Sherlock or Mycroft Holmes, then, rather than The Audit.

    6. Yes, and since she can hear through solids and has/had a cadre of cyber-animals, she has exceptional information gathering capabilities.

      I seem to remember some scenes from shows, where the 'smart guys' put listeners or sound pickups in lounges and elevators, to catch the unguarded comments from people coming in and out.
      People saying things such as, "now remember, don't mention this," or "this is the most important thing," and thereby giving the 'smart guys' the advantage in negotiations and meetings.

    7. You nailed one big thing here, Luis. She learns from Starfish fast how important information-gathering is. Yes, throughout her career spying on people is a major, major part of her success.

    8. And it's just a coincident that she makes her home in basement of a giant stone building in the center of Super Grand Central Station. I bet she can hear almost everything that happend in ChinaTown.

    9. Fyi - I also bet she has like an army of electronically enhanced robots or insects that spy for her.

    10. If any of the experiments are still alive I could see them working for her. But I doubt she would have more made. But Robots totally. probably has the whole place wired for sound as well. Can't Fart in a back ally without Spider knowing who dealt it.

    11. Hmm, thinking of Spider, if any were left they would work for her, and not allowed to work for anyone else!

  5. Just finished all the sample chapters, they and the previous comments made think of this: what if the next book is title "Please Don't Tell My Parents I Am Breaking The Rules AGAIN" or "...back on the game"

    PD: Are you going to fully explain Ray's home situation at some point? its got me really curious because i find it hard that Penny's Mom doesn't know something about it, and given the closeness between Penny and Ray i find it harder that she didn't do anything.

    1. The titles of the last two Penny books will be 'Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis' and 'Please Don't Tell My Parents You Believe Her.'

      My current plan is that more will not be revealed about Ray's home life. The limitations of protecting an abused child, the vagueness of what Penny knows, and much more besides are based on my own experiences with friends whose backgrounds were worse than my own.

    2. The reason why i don't really understand why they don't do anything is because they are not normal people, powers aside is obvious they must have more influence and resources than most persons, and even if there is some moral or by the rules actitute reason that prevents them acting i really can't see Claire's mom letting those reason stop her from doing something good for her daughter's friend.

      Although after saying all that i realized it may be a moot point since with his money i think there are perfectly legal means by wich Ray could have gotten out of the house (with RL counterparts even)

    3. Also sometimes the best thing you can do for a child of abuse is to simple give them a safe place to go.
      I don't think his parents are being Physically abusive, that would be too obvious and would of be resolved with his upgrade.
      I would think it's much more emotional and mental abuse. Always treating him like worthless unwanted trash. Yes it's abuse, but the legal options are almost non existent. And going there and threatening them is illegal in it's own right. Also has the potential to make it worse. That type of abuser would resent any interference from outside and would cause the abuse to intensify in retaliation.
      So both Penny's parents and Claire's mom, treat Ray like family. They encourage him, let him over when ever, and always give him a safe space to hang.
      The Audit is smart and observant. I wouldn't put it past her to know just what she needs to say to Ray during each encounter to keep him from breaking. Ray is smart and a strong person, it's not ideal but he can handle the abuse. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have huge impacts on someone in a situation like that.

    4. Again like i said: they are not normal persons, the same point you mentioned about the Audit makes it perectly reasonable that she could find a way to influence or confront the parents without aggravating the situation for Ray, also i too was thinking the abuse is emotional and psycological, it may have been physical at certain points (it always is) but that should have stopped after book 1 (unless they are supers, wich may have something to do with the abuse).

    5. Unless otherwise stated I find it safest to assume things not mentioned are the same there as here.
      They are not normal. But the situation is a common one. I doubt Ray's parents are supers. It's his fascination with all things super powered. If he had an abusive super powered parent, resentment towards all supers would be the most likely outcome.

    6. Yeah well, i will just cross my fingers and hope that by the final book there is a sort of offhand mention that he used his money to move from his house, just to try to stay positive about the whole thing. And maybe see a posible spin-off from Ray's POV

    7. Ok i am re-reading book 3 and i just realized the whole parents thing may already be fixed, i didn't remember this line from ray during their date in the musseum "I'm not afraid of my parents anymore. They're afraid of me." it sounds like whatever abuse he was suffering stopped when he gained powers, GOOD!

    8. Up to a point - he also said they would do everything possible to hurt him if he left them, and stayed in LA.

      That is the moral dilemma for Ray.

    9. He's got 3 options the way I see it.
      1) leave now and never look back. This is a bad choice for multiple reasons.

      2) Wait until he's 18 and leave, cutting off his family completely. This is the most normal route.

      3) Somehow put the fear of God(or the Devil) into his parents so they want nothing to do with him. I think the easiest way to do this would be invite someone like Lucy over to pick him up and leave her alone with his parents for an hour.

      Of course California allows for Emancipation at 14. So he could go that route and then give his parents the rundown on what happens to them if they try to reveal his secrets after that.

    10. I think Ray's future hangs too heavily on whether he and Penny's crew end up being hero or villain. I do think that they can only solve his homelife by interfering as a group. These kind of (implied) families are not something that can be typically solved. Southard - I do like your no 3 :)

    11. Emancipation at 14 would be good - if he could qualify.

      I looked up the basics, and one of requirement is that you must be able to support yourself.

      Unless he reveals his alter- ego of Reviled, how would he show a means of self-support?

    12. And, would they allow a supervillain minor to run off unsupervised. And, finally it would reveal Penny and Claire as well, unless he creates an additional identity.
      Which would be complicated considering the number of people that already know the truth.

    13. Ahh but that's just it, This is about Ray Viles, not Reviled. Anyone bringing up his super powered persona is breaking rules. Plus Ray doesn't want to be Hero or Villain. Which isn't uncommon from what we've been told.

      If Ray proved he had a substantial chuck of money in the bank it would prove he could support himself until he was old enough to work. He wouldn't have to tell the truth about where he got it. Hell I sure Spider went made in near impossible to trace.

      Also I was thinking that if he was serious about it, Penny's parents, as civilians could speak on his behalf. I don't think that would break any rules and go a long way to prove his case.

      If Ray was gonna run off and go all Supervillain, would he really bother to get legally emancipated? Besides it's California, they do lots of stupid stuff.

    14. Well, if he were to run off, then he does not need the emancipation.
      I believe he stated that his parents would try to make him miserable if he left them, and still stayed in L.A.
      A 14 year old with multiple thousands of dollars in the bank would have to show that a.) it is his, or b.) that he has his own income. His parental units could say that it is theirs and that he stole it, as bad parents might. And, he cannot reveal that his income comes from super villainy, which pitching to a court appointed counselor would seem to be a hard sell.

      Emancipation requires showing that you 'can' take care of yourself, and giving a 14 year old a large amount of cash and leaving them unsupervised seems to be an ill advised recommendation as well.

      As Ray stated, he could take off, and take care of himself. But, he would have to leave L.A.

      Finally, Mr. Robersts stated, "My current plan is that more will not be revealed about Ray's home life." So, I do not believe that it will come to emancipation.

    15. California tends to have some pretty serious laws about minors and money. A result of Hollywood and child actors. And I got the impression that they have at least 6 figures in the bank, possible more.
      His parents would have to prove the money was theirs, although thinking about it, didn't Claire put the accounts in their Villain names.

      I think Ray could get Emancipated without too much difficulty. Even keeping his money secret, He's a good smart student, By all appearances he's well behaved and has no criminal record. If he got some good upstanding people to speak on his behalf.

      Getting Emancipated it doesn't mean you have to take care of yourself. There just needs to be a support network. Ariel Winters got emancipated from her mom, and moved in with her adult sister. As long as Ray had a place to live and people to provide for him. At it's core Emancipation just eliminates any legal rights the parent has towards the child.

      Some places will appoint someone to check in on the minor on a regular basis, but that's normally for the 16 and 17 year olds.

      I don't think any of this is going to be in the stories. It doesn't fit with the tone of them. At most I could see a mention of it by ray after the fact

    16. Well, the problem would be that if he keeps his money secret – he still has to show some source of income to the court to prove that he can take care of himself.

      The only option I see is creating a fake ‘career’ to explain his access to large amounts of cash. Possible, but I do not know if it matches what is happening in the series.

      So, I also do not expect to see it in the series.

    17. Unless someone else takes him in, as you said.

    18. Oh, I have it.
      Rogue Archaeologist Emilia Rivka Nikita St. Daphne.

    19. That would be interesting, but unlikely. He could go live with Claire, a bit awkward at first but it would work.

      I don't think it would be hard for him to find someone to take him in. Especially if he can support himself.
      If this was a typical Young adult book or a show on the CW he would end up moving in with Penny. But it isn't.

    20. So basically we're promoting that Ray moves in with Claire (no not penny, living with your boyfriend/girlfriend is never a good idea - especially at their age). I could see them being okay with that and Ray could get in on training that way.

    21. I think that's the the best outcome.

      Personally I would love to see his parents get framed for some pretty bad crimes, sent to prison for a really long time. Then Ray just lives on his own.

    22. I would not say "best outcome."

      If you are talking about preserving the trio, it would basically be 'neutral.' No change in Penny & Ray's relationship, and Claire would be, again, the chaperone.

      But, that seems a bit to pedestrian for Mr. Roberts. His plots are always more dynamic, and unpredictable. I would bet that something more interesting will happen.

    23. I'm thinking about Ray whats best for Ray. It doesn't matter that he has no longer a helpless kid. Then can still do all sorts of things to make is life hell. And a relentless torrent of hate aimed at him from the two people who are suppose to love him unconditionally. That will wear down even the most steadfast of people. It would be best for Ray to leave that house and never see those people again.
      Going to live with a friend who's mother will treated him with respect if not simply love him like her own. That's better then any foster home, the state would send him too.
      At this point I would imagine Ray's relationship with his parents is no longer
      salvageable, the only course of action is to sever it completely. Before Ray does something he might regret for a lifetime.

    24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    25. The relationship is (apparently) toxic. I know that you discount anything said by characters as not being worth believing. So, the only ‘proof’ of the bad relationship comes from what Ray has ‘said.’

      However, if we assume that what Ray says is true, if he did not leave L.A. his parents would try to make his life hell. I do not see how moving in with Ms. Lutra alone would improve that. And, Claire likes to flirt and Ray likes to leer, that is a bad combo in one house.

      The best solution would be repairing the relationship - obviously.

      Second best would be removing the treat the parents represent, and then finding a place for him, a good place.

      Simply moving him would not solve the base problem.

      Framing the parents, as you said, might remove them - if it does in fact remove both of them, and does not end up with ray in 'protective custody.’ That risks revealing his powers (due to his huge appetite and heavy weight for his size).
      So, going with removing them, and moving him to a good place is second best.

    26. Wow, the conversation just died....

    27. 'Coz I decided I might as well write all three of the remaining chapters I want to share with you, and post them at once. You'll get more to talk about soon enough. Oh, yes.

    28. Ah, Mr. Roberts, thank you much.
      I surely cannot wait.

    29. I had to take a break. Between extra holiday hours at work and a minor car accident. I didn't even have time to check here much.

      And to partially continue the convo, the framing of Ray's parents is what I would want to happen, because I'm a very spiteful vindictive person. It isn't about getting Ray away from them, as it is about punishing them in an appropriate way. Sending them to prison (preferable a high security one) for a crime the know they didn't commit is so much better then threatening, hurting, or even killing them.

    30. So, just to be clear –

      1) You ARE accepting the words of a character now? (The only evidence of their wrong-doing is Ray’s words.)

      2) Your “best case” result would be their punishment, not their reformation?

    31. 1) You really need to stop harping on this issue. I'm not stating anything as fact this is simply my opinion of what I would do in Ray's situation.

      It has been said by the author that statements made by the characters are not always to be believed as truth.
      I personally expanded on this to include the fact that most of the characters will make statements and observations, colored by their own desires. All the Villains will say Penny is born to be a villain because that's what they want.
      Which means we can not conclude anything as hard fact unless we have witnessed it first hand.
      It is a fact that their are schools in the US that have had teachers give lesson about how early man rode around on dinosaurs and that the earth is only something like 4 or 5 thousand years old.

      2) When did I ever say I wanted his parents to reform? Its about retribution and revenge. There is no point in trying to fix something that probably was never there in the first place. But I have Zero sympathy who mistreats their kids.

      Of course none of this should happen in this book as Ray is a decent person, and it is a book for young adults.

    32. I believe you yourself stated that, "I'll argue... about something for days" even when you agree.
      If you find it irritating when done to you….

      Anyway, you stated before, “I'm thinking about Ray whats best for Ray.”

      It is unlikely, but I think that it is obvious that the best outcome for Ray would be a reformation of his parents, where they become supporting and good examples for him.

      Best for Ray, but not likely – based only on what the characters have stated in characterizing his parents.

      I can understand wanting revenge, and that would be a more likely result based on the resources T.I.M. has available. They have much more contacts that they can call on from the villain community then from the ‘hero’ side. And, villains would be more likely to help them pursue vengeance than ‘reform.’

      However, that is another point in the, “they are more villainous than heroic” column for Penny & Company.

    33. I will debate a subject for days, even if I agree with you. But your not debating, your just throwing a single statement I made back at me repeatedly.
      I try to provide evidence to support my theories or I say that it's my opinion. I want you to support your statements with something other then bias statements by characters who might be out right wrong or just lying.
      In Penny's case we can trust her words about her own feelings, intentions, and ambitions, more then anyone else. But less so for anything external. First person omniscient.

      And yes I find it irritating when someone tries to debate with the skills of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

      If Ray was younger I would agree trying to turn his parents into what parents should be would be the best for him. But he is too old, and there is too much bad blood now. No matter what you do you can't erase 13 years of mistreatment. They are a cancer in Ray's life, the only healthy thing to do is cut it out.

      Besides now that he has super powers his parents will most likely resent him more. Maybe even attempt to exploit him. We don't know if he told or showed them his powers. But they are his family and it's hard to hide such things for long.

      And again this is what I would do, or want to happen, my opinion. I know this is not going to happen. Like I said Ray is a better person then me.
      Getting others involved would defeat the purpose of doing it. You would want to do it all your self so that you can tell them someday to twist the knife a bit more. The best revenge is 90% psychological.

      This has nothing to do with the hero vs villain discussion below. This isn't going to happen for the simple fact that this kids aren't bad people.

    34. Well, if you were to address the point…
      It strikes me as odd that on a board to discuss the books of a series, you would even say out of hand, that you will not take any of what is written as a support of anything? Seems odd… And, then to take Ray's statements as factual.

      We only have Ray’s statements on the issue of his parents, and as you yourself say – “support your statements with something other then bias statements by characters who might be out right wrong or just lying.”

      Why are you willing to out of hand refuse any statement by other characters, except the highly subjective ones by Ray?

      As to what you did respond, I actually have a friend that is a Social Worker and Licensed Counselor - a frustrating and in many cases heart breaking profession. And, while I will not reveal what few details I know (nor should I), there have in fact been cases of children who have reconciled while as underage minors, or even passed into adulthood, and who have then reconciled with their ‘bad parents’ who tried to be better people. So it is possible, neither time nor ages are factors. It does not matter that he is thirteen now (in the imaginary series).

      Consider this though, it is a world of super powers. It might even be considered a ‘good deed’ for someone (for example, Other-Clair) to perform some ‘emotional reconstruction’ to help a friend… Immoral, but possibly a good deed.

      I do however agree with you on several points, and have posted several things in the past on the possibilities. Specifically about how, his abusive parents (if they are in fact abusive) could try to exploit Ray’s abilities.
      I agree that they likely know of his powers. And, you will have to pardon my quotes of the series, but Ray said, “I’m not afraid of my parents anymore. They’re afraid of me.”
      Additionally, I posted that if they are thwarted in controlling him, they might then turn to trying to destroy what they cannot control. Again, as Ray stated, “If I move out from my parents, I have to leave L.A. They can’t do anything, but they’ll try. They’ll try every single thing they can think of to make my life miserable.”

      And, I agree that seeing this scenario is unlikely, due to the nature of the series - too much of a tender subject.

    35. But, having someone ‘fix’ his parents with superpowers, would be ‘mark’ in the ‘more villainous than heroic’ column – a shove in that direction.

    36. See I wasn't trying to ever state that Ray's parents are or were abusive. We were discussing the hypothetical situation of Ray's parents being abusive. As such it was only natural to, in this situation, accept certain unproven statements as truth.
      I also never once said anything in this thread about not believing the words of the characters because it didn't apply.

      I also have known children of abusive relationships and a few parents. Sure it happens, But the it only really works when something happens that forces the parents to want to change. In this case I don't think that's a possibility.
      Even if someone rearranged their heads, Ray would know or notice and it would poison any reconciliation.

      And again of course miracle's do happen. Ray might crave the parental love enough to forgive and forget.

    37. Southard, you said it several times - even on this thread. "Support your statements with something other then bias statements by characters who might be out right wrong or just lying.” And, “using the words of other characters proves nothing.” On an older forum you worded much more strongly, if you can remember.

      But, it does not appear to be worth following up on it. I shall drop it, and let it pass.

  6. Ok, just finished this yesterday, amidst procrastinating on things I should have been doing instead. It was great. I loved Team Tiny and another look at the Bad Penny Universe(or whatever you're calling it). I assumed the reference to the boy on the beach playing with Bubbles(?) is Brain Akk, but I have to admit, every time Accesorize used her abilities, I couldn't help but wonder if she was the teen version of The Audit just using her calculative abilities for projectiles instead of projections.

    I did have one question, and to be honest, I'm not expecting an answer at all since it would likely be a spoiler. But, what are the odds Penny's parents, or at the very least, her mother, in the role of The Audit, already knows about her time spent as Bad Penny and is just playing out of her risk assessment scenarios in order to give her child freedom and steer her back to the side of good? Like, don't pressure her because it increases the likelihood of her staying villain in the future from 11% to 65% due to parental interference and judgement.

    I know love is blind, and causes some pretty big blind spots as well, but I can't imagine by the end of the third book that her mom wouldn't have already known. They've seen enough video of Bad Penny in action, as well as the fact that her daughter is never around during these events and that it is a trio that is nominally female, female, male, since no one sees E-Claire out of costume. Added to the tech based powers, the only snag would be her not knowing about Ray's abilities, and considering how bad he was at hiding them in Book 1, I can't help but assume she knows.

    I just picture this scene in Book 4 where she goes to tell her parents, nervous and embarrassed, ready to bolt, and when she finally works up the courage, her mom(probably not her dad, but maybe b/c of the tech) says she already knew about it for almost the entire time.

    1. Well if you think about it, Penny never really did anything wrong. Marcia did, she attacked them, twice even, started fights that were not even justified, cheated in the science fair, labeled Penny a supervillain without them actually having done anything. Marcia was the real supervillain.

    2. It's possible, but it's just as likely that she is suffering from the blind spot most parents have for their kids.

      Although at first Penny did nothing wrong. They did kinda trash a school. And breaking into Mech's lair and trash it as well.
      So she isn't completely innocent.

    3. Well, a few things they did were bad. Real bad.
      • Trashing a school (Destruction of Public Property – state owned),
      • pushing down the guard (assault),
      • stealing the jade statue (Grand Theft in the Third Degree, of property (easily) worth over $300),
      • releasing the dragon/monster (?),
      • disturbing the peace (fighting in public with Lucy),
      • trespassing (the landfill),
      • stealing the bottle of Dragon’s Blood (trespassing, assault, Grand Theft – easily in the Second Degree),
      • selling the bottle (Criminal Redistribution of Stolen Property),
      • breaking down the door of the bank (Destruction of Private Property),
      • assault again (the guards, and threatening the people there),
      • entering the bank’s private property, their offices (trespass),
      • trashing Mech’s Home (invasion of private property, and destruction of private property),
      • stealing his armor (Grand Theft in First Degree – his armor is easily worth over $100k),
      • stealing & selling Mech’s Secrets (corporate espionage?),
      • the bomb scare (issuing threats to the public),
      • breaking and entering (Happy Days Medical Supplies),
      • making a psychic cat (internationally illegal because it included Penny’s/human DNA),
      • fighting in public - at the university (disturbing the peace again ), and
      • stealing the disintegration rod and the repair web (Grand Theft in the Third Degree, again).

      And, those are just the crimes that I remember easily.

    4. You forgot the biggest crime of them all; destroying a moon!!!

    5. - Pushing down the guard, if you mean the one at the school the statue came from. He shot first and it could be considered self defense.

      - The Jade Statue might not have actually belonged to anyone so it's questionable.

      - Lucy attacked them and they defended themselves in self defense, not a crime.

      - Landfill, they were doing a public service cleaning up a ecological hazard.

      - The dragons blood is a questionable one, especially cause Marvelous was there to get it too.

      - They didn't steal Mech's armor, they destroyed it, they stole his computer files. Which is still theft.

      - The inclusion of her blood in making the cat wouldn't change the legality of it. At least in our world. She wasn't cloning herself. The rest of it may or may not be illegal, with so much mad science who knows if cloning is legal or not.

      - And I would make claims Blowing up the Moon was a hero thing to do. She destroyed a large presence of a invading alien force. She destroyed a cache of ancient weapons of undetermined power and great potential for harm. She permanently closed off a dangerous portal that could be used to invade. On top of all that she did it with minimal harm to innocents.

    6. Actually,
      *The 'Guard of the School' was acting to protect it, and the children in it's care. Penny said, "Submit to our power, and we'll finish out business here and be gone again." That is a threat, and he was bound to act.
      * The Jade Statue belongs to someone. It was not theirs, and they made off with it. And, the ‘dragon’ that they released did damage to the school as well.
      * Then, they left the scene of a crime.
      *Fighting in public - whether you caused it to or not, is a crime. If you didn’t start it, the punishment may be less (or nothing), but participating in a fight in public is a crime. The only defense is if you were acting to protect someone else, which they were not.
      * The landfill is not their property – they trespassed and then left with goods belonging to the city. That is theft. If they had asked, received permission, and shared the materials with the owner, that would not be a crime. But, what they did was a crime. The city may not decide to prosecute, but was still a crime.
      * Marvelous is a recognized, and responsible crime-fighter. I don’t know the legality of her actions, but the actions of T.I.M. were not crime-fighting. It was fun to read, but they were committing trespass, damage to private property (the fence, the door, and the car of random people that got ‘gunked’ up by Vera), multiple assaults, and theft.
      * The Machine ‘ate’ Mech’s Suit, and then left with the parts. We don’t know what Penny (or The Machine) did with the parts, but they left with it all - so damage and theft.
      * It is against international treaties to experiment with Human DNA. It may be different in that world, but since the cloning of supers is not allowed, she was obviously breaking some serious rules to make Archimedes.
      * There are no laws against blowing up space objects. It may piss off a lot of people, nations, and religions, but there are no laws on Earth that I know of that prohibit it. On her world, well, I cannot say.

      Again, it was a lot of fun, and now I am rereading the 1st book again (joy), but the fact remains they have committed serious crimes.

    7. Actually (again), I did post a theory awhile back that the Audit was secretly a criminal mastermind, and was pushing Penny to follow in her footsteps. It would explain a lot.

      If the Audit is NOT secretly a criminal, and is truly law abiding as she appears, then that seems to indicate that she does NOT know about Penny at all.

      As I posted above, anyone with a regard for the law (crime-fighters, police, etc.) would not overlook what T.I.M. has done, without a powerful reason.

      I expect that Brainy must be oblivious, because there is no way he could hide anything from the Audit for all this time (unless there is a super-secret power or device he has been using all her life).

      One possibility is that they are both secret criminal masterminds, and fully aware of Penny’s activities.

      But, that doesn’t fit a lot of what we have seen.

    8. Yes Penny made a mild threat, but did she threaten violence? did she physically threaten anyone prior to the gunshot? Her actions didn't warrant being shot, so her 'assault' could be considered justified.

      If the Jade statue was simply stashed in the school, hidden in some secret space. Then it could be considered Abandoned property, especially if the original owner is dead. It's a magical artifact, Penny gained ownership of it which is why she's the only one who can hold it. So I would guess it didn't have an owner at that time.

      Defending yourself when being attacked is not a crime in any place I have ever lived. As long as you don't prolong the fight.

      They trespassed on the landfill property. But in almost all municipalities, garbage is considered abandon property, once it's placed in a dumpster or on the curb. So the theft part is debatable. Also in some cases things like landfills are considered public property.

      The machine did eat the suit, but it wasn't big when they left so it most likely just spit the raw material back out.

      I would argue that Penny wasn't experimenting with human DNA. It is much more likely she added the blood and cursed penny to form a link. Besides using blood in medical experiments and engineering isn't illegal. It's how so many advancements are made. Nothing implied she manipulated the DNA in anyway.

      The Moon is in no way under the jurisdiction of Earth and earth laws. Especially US laws. Space is generally considered to be governed by international law. But since Jupiter has been colonized unless the colony recognizes the earth laws.

    9. Not exactly accurate.

      * at the gym she pointed and fired a deadly weapon at the head of a minor (Marcia) and only avoided killing her by missing. That is assault with a deadly weapon, and possibly attempted murder, or at least manslaughter. And, it was on the news. So, she now has a history of being dangerous.

      * publicly brandishing a deadly weapon, using it to blast a solid stone table so that it “smashed onto the asphalt with a boom,” is not a minor threat. That is a credible threat, obviously. The only thing she did right was not pointing it at the kids, just threatening them. It is still assault – publicly threatening people is assault.

      * Ray laid hands on the boy (who was “defending himself” as you say) and then forcing him to the ground. That is classic assault.

      The ‘Guard’ was defending himself, the children, and the school from “villains.”

      * the Mini-Machines broke through the windows of the school, roamed around, and then brought the statue to Penny. You cannot assume that something is ‘abandoned’ and then just take it at will. It does not work that way.

      * Defending yourself is not a crime – but when you can teleport away from a fight, and then come back to continue it, that is not defending yourself. She or Ray could have left at any time – they both had other options. They chose to continue the fight in public, which makes it “disturbing the peace.”

      * the landfill had a fence around it with warnings, and was city property. It is obviously not ‘public’ - so trespass and theft. Ray said it himself – “Health and Safety Issues.” The city is responsible for it, and it is not open to the public. And, it was in fact on city land, not out in public, not on the street in a public dumpster – which by the way are not public property. Many of them have it marked right on the side – not for public use. A lot are ‘locked’ to prevent use or ‘dumpster diving’ by the public. People pay to have it hauled away, and locked from the public so that they do not have to risk the liability from dumpster divers.

      And so on.

      And, this is just from me giving it a little though. Imagine trying to explain it to The Audit, that it was not a big deal! It simple would not fly.
      Look at book 3, the Audit torn down Penny's actions, and laid out where she went wrong - and she had not actually broken any laws as far as they knew.
      She did not use violence, and stopped the danger, but she did not engage in fighting in public.

      Once the Audit finds out what she has actually done... that is not going to be pretty.

    10. Sorry Southard but come on man. :) You can’t be seriously arguing that Bad Penny did not commit some serious crime in her young career. I mean in Book 1, she ordered Ray to throw a reporter off a building so that they could escape! T.I.M may be villains with hearts of gold but they are villains and their list of crimes is long and illustrious.

    11. I doubt the guard had the slightest clue who she was. And was it ever mentioned that the gym video was released publicly. Again I doubt they would.

      At worse it's vandalism and menacing. If she didn't threaten actual violence then it's still an over reaction. If like the difference in robbing a bank. Case 1. walk in pass a note saying "this is a robbery give me all the money in your till." Case 2, you imply you are armed and add "or Else" to the end. It's the difference between a couple years and a couple decades. I'm not saying that she wasn't a threat and that the guard was wrong in trying to stop her. I'm saying that when he fired he had too little justification, Penny had the right to end the threat to her life. It was panic and over reaction.

      Actually it's Battery. I looked it up, assault in the threatening, Battery is the physical action.

      I'm not arguing that the guard wasn't trying to protect everyone. But it's and giant no no even for cops to fire a weapon on school grounds or around children. They guy was way over his head and panicked. His actions could of gotten lots of people hurt or dead.

      I know she was there to steal something. But unless someone comes forth claiming the statue as theirs then you can't get her on theft. Cause what the hell was a super dangerous magic artifact doing in a middle school to begin with. probably stashed their by someone who's lair is hidden on school property like Penny's is.

      I'm sorry but if someone like Lucy wants to fight you, you're going to fight. The teleport bands have a limited range and a major cost. Besides I would hazard a guess there are specific laws enacted just for that type of situation. No one thought much of it, it's as normally as going to pick up a 6 pack in your pajamas.

      Most city land is considered public land. I didn't argue the trespassing, that they did. It's the theft part. It's all about the garbage and not where the garbage is. Once you throw it away it's considered abandoned period. Which means you relinquish all rights to it. Be it setting in on the curb or a dumpster. If your caught dumpster diving it's trespassing not theft. Why do you think Cops and Feds can go through your garbage looking for evidence without a warrant. But what it boils down too is, you can't steal garbage.

      At this point I will simply point out I'm looking at this from a legal perspective. I live in NY and CA has sooooooo many different laws it might as well be a different planet.

      The Audit is not going to be surprised by the reveal I think. She already suspected it, possible still does to some degree. Whats going to get Penny in the biggest trouble, is the fact that she lied a bunch of times. Because even though they were committing crimes, they did it in a mostly professional manor. They never caused serious injury to any bystanders, in fact they often went out of their way to insure no one got seriously hurt. But she lied to them a bunch of times. This is what is going to cause the most problem for Penny.

      Ghost, I just like debating/arguing. I actually agree with most of what Luis says above. My best friend hates me because I'll argue with him about something for days, even though I share his opinion.

    12. Hey Southard,

      I have this mental image of certain members of the school staff acting as custodians of a statue that is sitting in a nice display case in the secured back room of the library. Something that is too dangerous to move, so it is hidden away – and them the Mini-Machine crashes in and takes it away!

      This is a “children’s” series, so it would be out of character for Penny and Co. to be stalked by a secret cult trying to get the statue back, but it would be very likely in a regular comic book series. That could be an entire arc!

    13. And, on the subject of things that might bring down the tone of the conversation…
      I have several friends with skin tones darker than myself, and they warn me that in their community it is advised to not ever wear hoodies after dark. As I was told, “It is like waving a red flag at the bulls (police).” And, considering the (increasing) number of young men of color who are gunned down by police, I take that as serious advice.

      You can in fact get killed while being completely innocent - which Penny was not.

      Basically, the guard might be put on trial for shooting Penny, but he would have had a good defense based on her actions at the gym. She said herself, she could have actually killed Miss A. And, looking at the number of cases where police (and others) were found ‘not guilty’ in the shootings of unarmed civilians, I would say he would have had a very good chance of escaping incarceration himself – even in California. His defense team could legitimately have cast the “villains” (T.I.M.) as “dangerous” and “threats to the safety of children,” and pointed out the laws under which they could have legitimately been prosecuted – Assault, Battery, Destruction of Public Property, Reckless Endangerment of Minors (releasing the Faux-Dragon), etc.

      And, against Lucy – she stated herself (and looking at what she did against the team of super kids in the third book I believe it), she was just having fun, just “testing them.” She was not really trying to kill them – so the Self Defense Argument does not apply. Penny teleported away, out of the fight, and Lucy lost track of her. Her life was not in danger any more. Ray avoided all of Lucy’s Attacks, he is much faster than her – he could have in fact escaped. What he could not do was get in close enough to hit her.
      Then, Penny teleported back into the fight, grabbed Ray, and then instead of teleporting away, they jumped behind Lucy and hit her - hard. As Penny put it, "If she'd been a regular human, that would have meant "goodby, spine."

      They would not leave until they got their hit in. That was not self-defense, that was ego.

      Now, maybe there are laws that allow for something like that between villains, but we do not know. What I do know is this, because of the inherent danger of innocent bystanders being injured, fighting in public is against the law, and it is a serious offence.

      And, actually, if the public pays the city to pick up the trash, then it becomes city responsibility, and city property – not for public consumption. That is why it was locked up, behind a possibly electrified fence. Landfills are different from dumps – you can pick through dumps, but landfills are off limits and behind fences. T.I.M. mined the landfill, and walked away with thousands of dollars’ worth of materials. In reality, that is theft of city property. It does not matter that the city was not using it, they do not have the right to walk away with it.

      Again, the city might not prosecute – but I expect the Audit will not consider it ‘non-criminal’ and ‘harmless,’ (it would not be in character) – and that is the main point of this argument. What they have actually done, and what her parents will do in response.

      And, yes, you are right in that she is in serious trouble for lying, and only in that she acted professionally does she have any defense.

    14. Yeah I was figuring that some former staff member got their hands on it, and stashed it in the school to keep an eye on it.

      I still don't think the public a large knows about Bad Penny's first appearance. so at that point she was just some dressed up kid. There were 3 villains, he had a single gun. He had zero hope of stopping them all before they got him. Again using the bank robbery example. Bank employees are told to just hand over the money and let them leave. Guards are only suppose to interfere if there is immediate danger. Pulling a gun and shooting one of a group is the best way to start a bloodbath. And no one is going to congratulate the guard for shooting a 12 year old girl, legal or not, justified or not.

      She could argue her fight with Lucy was a overzealous sparring match. No one got hurt, I don't remember anything getting damaged, and they didn't cause a disturbance. Sparring is not illegal.

      Landfills are off-limits as a safety concern. I don't think even the Audit would criticize Penny for the landfill. The worse they did was misdemeanor Trespass. They avoided causing property damage. And the city has little claim on the stuff inside, they buried it to get rid of it. They don't want it.

      Which brings up something I've been thinking about since book 1. Once Penny's secret is revealed she really should just go to all the landfills around her and recycle them. Junkyards, dumps, any similar place. She could get enough resources to last years, get goodwill for cleaning up ecological hazards. She could even donate half of the recovered material.

      I still honestly think her parents, once they hear the entire story. Will be fairly forgiving of her misadventure as a villain. She's a 'teenager' who suddenly gets powers she can't control and doesn't understand. She got caught up in a bad situations, things got out of control. I get the impression that her parents are both fair and forgiving. They will insure she makes proper reparations and is grounded for an appropriate amount of time. But with them that could be as simple as community service for a few years.

    15. Sorry Southard, I think you misunderstood.
      The guard may or may not have recognized Penny and Co., but if he shot her, the videos (plural) would have given him a good defense that they were in fact criminals.

      And, they did commit breaking and entering at the bank, but that is not the same as showing up at a school, brandishing a weapon, and threatening children. Different standards apply – money is not the same is children. I do not believe that the standard is to surrender, and give up the children to armed criminals.

      Actually, looking at the ‘zero tolerance’ that is the current guideline, I think that T.I.M. could be charged with serious offenses.

      As for the sparring match in public, it looks as if you agree with me that it is not ‘self-defense.’ But, as someone who has seen several public fights, in ‘public areas,’ it depends on the officers that show up. What I have seen is the most aggressive one being arrested most often, with several others – participants and even spectators being arrested as well if the police officer is inclined. They can get out later, AFTER they show that they were not involved, but that is much later. On the spot, they can be arrested.

      I would suggest a simple test – ask a police officer if it is allowable to ‘spar’ with anyone on a public street. I ask police officers how they would enforce the laws regularly. That is how I found out about the left turn on a one-way road rule.

      And, landfills are still city property, and not for public use – hence the fence. Penny may have gotten better use out of the ‘trash’ than the city, but it was not hers to take. It is in fact theft. You could say that it is minor theft, or not worth prosecuting – but it is still theft. The city (or contractors in my area) is paid to perform a service – picking up the trash, and safely disposing of it. It was not for Penny & Co. to take.

      I agree, and have had many thoughts about how Penny could clear out the landfills. I have even though about how she could clear up the State Nuclear Dumping Facilities – if they trust her with the resulting materials.

      But, I disagree about her parents. Looking at how they reacted to her ‘heroic actions’ at the football game, they did not at all take that lightly. She did not use violence, or dangerous weapons, and ended the conflict safely and professionally, and was still reprimanded by both of her parents. That does not speak to me of ‘leniency’ to me.

      One last thing – I wanted to get some details of what the local schools are like for a project of mine, so I did the obvious thing, I walked onto a high-school campus to look around. I ended up being escorted off campus by an armed security guard (who may have been a moonlighting police officer), and informed that if I did not have legitimate business with the school, I was trespassing on public property and could "be taken to jail on the spot." The guard had no sense of humor, and was not at all friendly, or open to discussing the legality of the situation.
      That does not indicate that the school, or the landfill, would easily overlook anything that Penny and Company might do either. And, looking at the case of Rodney King (among others, but I point it out as it occurred in California), I think it could go very badly for them.

      I hope not, because I really enjoy the series, but it could.

    16. Ah, found it. I had the site but lost it when constructing the previous posting.
      “When juveniles illegally possesses weapons, they can be charged just like an adult would.”
      “Though the possession of firearms is a constitutionally protected right, states typically make it a crime to possess explosives, exploding ammunition, automatic or “switchblade” knives, gas guns, or similar devices.”

      Penny had what could be called either a “similar device” or something like a “gas gun,” on school property, and could be charged with possession of a deadly weapon on school property.

      She might have been charged with a minor crime, but depending on the attitude of the police, prosecuting attorney, and judge, she could be charged with a serious crime, and as an adult.

      It all depends on what Mr. Roberts wishes to occur.

    17. Is everyone forgetting that she helped break Chimera out of prison? I mean thats gotta be the biggest offense BY FAR. You've got assaulting guards, destruction of property, collaboration with known criminals, and letting Chimera loose. Pretty sure he's a killer.

      Also, I think that her parents might be fairly lenient, since as was stated in book 1, the Audit could find out the identities of T.I.M in short order if she actually tried. Im sure she knows all the crimes that TIM have committed, yet she still has done nothing. In fact, I don't believe that the police have even requested her assistance with apprehending TIM, though I suspect that is because Supers deal with Supers.
      Also, a lot of her B&E stuff occurred on property owned by villains, so in order to be charged with something, wouldn't someone have to file charges and/or report items as stolen? Reporting illegal property probably isn't a good idea.
      And as to the legality of her weaponry, she built a high powered leaf blower... I don't think there are any laws in our world that covers that.

      Im sure she has done a great many illegal things, but in her world, I doubt she ranks that high on any Wanted lists.

    18. I wasn't actually referencing their attack on the bank. Honestly I'd forgotten it.

      Security guards have much different rule book then then the Police. And have a much high standard for the use of deadly force. Bad Penny had never actually harmed anyone. She wasn't shouting kneel before me or die. Her actions, Super Villain or not. Prior history or not. Did not warrant the use of deadly force. He shot at her, she wasn't even pointing a weapon at him, then he held pointed it at Claire, someone who also had no weapon. At she didn't attack him, the attacked the gun. Sure she was committing a crime, but doesn't mean anyone with a gun has the right to blow her brains out.

      Her fight with Lucy is a moot point, no one cared. No damage was done, no injuries. They didn't even stop traffic. So I doubt the cops or her parents care about this and if no one cares the legality of it is pointless.

      I happen to agree that they were trespassing at the landfill. Originally I was just pointing out that if it's owned by the municipality it could argued to be public land. And you can't steal abandoned property, you can't steal something that's not owned. It all depends on where the landfill is and which laws govern it. And again like with almost all of her crimes, someone has to make the complaint for it to be a crime. It's only illegal if the landfill owners wants her to return all the garbage she "stole." If they don't care then it's not illegal, in fact she probably did them a favor and now they can put more stuff in the landfill.

      There reaction to the beginning of book 3 is because they didn't want her entering into the game at such a young age. And if I'm not mistaken they told her afterwards she was barred from doing Super stuff. And they quite fairly didn't count that time. When she later broke the rule, they enforced their rules.
      That said books 1 and 2 don't follow under that rule. Only the Bad Penny actions of book 3 and on would fall under that rule, and I think they would honor that.
      That not to say that they wouldn't punish her for doing all the things she did. But half of it was accidental, bad luck, or extortion. She's going to get punished, I just don't think it's gonna be a grounded until she's 30 punishment. Her parents are very loving and very logical. Harsh Punishment tends to build resentment which could push Penny more solidly into the Villain side. A few months grounded, no allowance and making her make reparations to the victims of her crimes. Their already having her use her powers for community service, I feel that would be increased.

      Do you think Mech has a state or county issued license for his suit and all the weapons on it. Weapon laws are rarely vague. Her cannon was created as a means to keep her lair cool. Many things can be used as weapons but aren't them selves weapons. A Swiss Army knife can kill, but it's not a weapon. A large zip tie can kill but it's not a weapon. That why the laws are filled with specifics of what constitutes a weapon and a deadly weapon. So I wouldn't bet money on it meeting the laws specifications.

      The Audit didn't and won't use her powers to identify TIM, even if asked by the police, because as stated in the book it would be getting too close to being personal.

      With the exception of a few things, Mech's Lab and Chimera for examples, most of her actions would fall under the good intention and youthful hi-jinks categories.

    19. Hmm, it looks like your main point is that if no one cares, then there is no "law breaking."

      But, if Penny comes clean, and is identified, well, that would depend on what the "wronged" decide to do.

      But, 'youthful hi-jinks' are not legal. T.I.M. threatened people, children on school property, unleashed a monster, tore off the door to a bank, broke down fences (multiple), trespassed (multiple), took thinks that did not belong to them (multiple times), etc. Those are real world crimes, and they could truly be prosecuted.

      Not to speak ill of police, but, someone who was (past tense) a friend became a State Trooper and some of things he bragged about, laws he used to arrest people on, as you say - "hi-jinks," are the reason we are no longer associated. I am not kidding, that does in fact happen.

      As I said before, go speak to a law enforcement officer, and see what they say. Ask, "If they could be prosecuted."

    20. Everyone citing Penny's crimes needs to remember that in a lot of states, there are still laws on the books that could get you serious jail time, even if you had not done anything wrong.
      So that kind of argument falls apart real fast. Besides, if look at the legal side of things, most super heroes would be breaking the laws themselves simply by having super powers.

    21. You're forgetting the most important thing. No one looked twice when she rode a giant metal bug down the street, Crowds didn't gather when they had their fight with Lucy, the kids didn't react when she arrived at the school until she messed up the table.

      It's a world with Super Powers. Most of the things that she did that would be major crimes here, are common place there. It's has nothing to do with "Could" it's all about "would". It's not that they aren't committing crimes, it's that it doesn't matter. In the real world every super hero would be a vigilante and in turn be committing felony's every time they fought crime.

      We can argue the legality of her actions until the sun burns out. In the end nether one of us can prove a damn thing until we know the actual laws of Penny's world. Here she would damn near be labeled a terrorist. In her world she might just be labeled a over exuberant teen with a super power.

      Penny's parents are going to punish her for the damage she caused. And with the exception of accidentally releasing an Outsider (which who would ever suspect that being in a school), and helping Chimera break out of prison. Nothing they did was all that harmful. Destructive yes, but not harmful. They will punish her more for the danger she put herself in, then the danger she put anyone else in.
      These are her loving adoring parents, not some cold hearted DA looking to make a name for himself.
      Hell some of the blame could be laid at her parents feet. When her power started to manifest, instead of encouraging her they simply ignored it as unimportant. Had they instead embraced her power, listen to her, and helped her bring her power to fruition she wouldn't have ended up in the down ward spiral.
      She makes the Machine and they basically tell her to come back in a few years when she gets her full powers. Yes I'm being harsh and exaggerating what they did. But to a 12 year old girl who admires her parents and desperately wants to measure up to them, it's probably even worse.

      Her parents will probably lay a chunk of the blame on themselves. Had they showed more interest, had they paid more attention, had they been around more, would it have gotten so far out of control? She only started doing the stuff in secret because she wanted to surprise them with her power when they said it wouldn't fully manifest for years. And that is where is all started. That's why I think they will be forgiving of much of her actions, because they are partly to blame.

      I've known a few cops over the years. One was one of the biggest scum bags I've ever met. Another was a great guy. Most are just normal people.

      I don't think in the US it would be constitutional for them to make laws that made having super powers illegal. I've seen the movies, read the books, played the games, and so on. It's a major plot point in most. Me being born with the ability to shoot fireballs out my whatever, should be no more illegal then being born with extra toes. Now using super powers could be made illegal. And Giving super powers could be illegal.
      Not that the government/military wouldn't try to do it anyways, for our protection. But I honestly think that would end poorly for everyone involved.

    22. So, two things.
      You are saying that their actions at the bank are not crimes, and would not get them prosecuted here or there? Tearing out the front door, and their other actions?

      And, as for the rest, we will find out in the next book, hopefully. For, which I am quite anxious to read.

    23. Ohh no the they messed that building the Bank was in up. That was all sorts of criminal. I honestly had completely blanked out on the hole bank break in.
      In truth I have discussed bank robbery with a judge in detail. And years later met an actual bank robber. So I know a bit more then I should on the subject. There were plenty of things they did that could put them in jail.

      I was just pointing out different views on their actions. I don't think they will end up suffering any real legal repercussions. But they did plenty that could lead to them.

    24. I do not expect that it will be that easy.

      Of course, there are really two experts on how things are dealt with in the Inscrutable Machine Universe; Penny (subjective) and Mr. Roberts.

      Now, Penny herself was worried about going to jail, right after helping break out Chimera. She came home and starting worrying about that, but got sidetracked.

      But, of course, Mr. Roberts is the ultimate authority, and will eventually show us how it really plays out – sometime soon I hope!

      I expect something completely surprising. That is the best thing about this series – how much it has surprises me.
      I never saw anything like the villain rant-off coming! I have never even seen anything like it before. And, I can not wait to see what comes next!

    25. @Brian - I would like the series to actually end with a showdown. Whether Bad Penny or Pennultimate(?) I would like to see the series end with Penny surrounded by all the people who know who she is, and her mother in the middle of a giant stadium with the remains of previous tech-based battles all around her - and Penny explains to her mum "If you can beat me - I'll retire!"

      (Preferably with the ending being that they both realise they can't beat the other without killing them, resulting in an EPPIC DRAAAAW)

      ^.^ I make more detailed comment about Spider and whether I see Penny as Hero or Villain in threads further down.

    26. I'd rather see it end with a showdown between Bad Penny and Penultimate. That would be an Epic battle.

    27. There was mention of another girl named Penny, that did not join the group.

      I wonder, could she be the Nemesis, who takes on Bad Penny's Identity. That would be one way for the Bad Penny vs. Penultimate Showdown to occur.

    28. Oh no I want to version of actually Penny to fight it out. Not some pretending to be Bad Penny, or a robot, or anything. Because anything less then Penny herself would be a let down.

    29. There was another Penny I think. But I was thinking the Sound girl from the last book would be it.

    30. Ampexia?

      She could be a good Nemesis – she is foolish enough to cause a lot of trouble.

    31. But, to be honest, I do not think she is bright enough to be a true Nemesis to Penny.

    32. I think "other Claire" might be a good Nemesis. She is not good at doing things herself, but her power is using others. So, she could be a good mastermind/Nemesis.

    33. No, it must be GG. Claudia and Penny had been going at it since Book 1 so it’s only fair she gets to be the Nemesis. Beside, she’s the only hero in their age group that could take on all 3 members of TIM and come out on top. It must be GG! Please let it be GG…

    34. Because you guys are so sweet, I am going to give you one big spoiler. Penny's nemesis is not Remmy.

      Stay tuned for the next and final chapter dump in a few days!

    35. Isn't Generic Girl semi retired. Her and Penny had a talk, and Penny told her she didn't have to be a hero just because she had powers it was her choice, Which also lead to her being the ref for the Club and her hanging out with her Dad more. Of course it's been a while since I read it so I could be remembering it wrong.

      Besides, Claudia is so far out of Penny's league It's like trying to make Killer Croc, Superman's nemesis.

    36. It's more like Lex vs Superman; Super-smarts vs Superpowerful. Besides it's not just Penny, it's all 3 members of TIM and if not her...there's no more else unless some of the other kids form some sort of supergroup.

    37. Hmm, the title is "I have a Nemesis." That would indicate her nemesis, as opposed to "We have a Nemesis," which would more indicate a group foe.

      I wonder if it will develop that one of the "un-developed" characters will become the main opponent. There are three that I can think of - Sue (the Gathering Shadow), Claire Winter (or is it Deletere - the name she used when she introduced herself), and as yet introduced other-Penny. As Claire put it, "there's a Penelope in the sixth grade who has brown hair and super powers."

      Sue has the intelligence gathering ability, which could be formidable. That, plus shadow-telekinesis, and projection apparently.
      Other-Claire has emotion manipulation, so she could influence the whole school to turn against them.
      And, the other-Penelope... well, who knows?

    38. I don't think it's going to be a nemesis for TIM. But if it was it would be even worse for it to be Generic Girl.

      Truthfully Lex vs Superman was never a great match up. Superman vs anyone is rarely a good fight. Batman is the only one who's ever consistently won against Superman, buts because he plans ahead and cheats.

      Lex is almost always the aggressor in the conflicts, and tries to keep his involvement secret for as long as possible. Because Superman is a lousy character. He's too powerful in order to make the comics exciting they have to come up with increasingly more convoluted story lines to make is a challenge for him.

      And again Claudia doesn't want to be a hero at least for now.

      I hope it's a new character, one we haven't seen. Half to the fun of it is not knowing each others secret identities, or it being one sided.

    39. Agreed, Superman is a lousy character. Clark is interesting, but Superman is less so.

      Supergirl is another character that would seem to be interesting, but they keep re-writing and rebooting her character because she is just not that successful in her own book. The best written book of hers that I have seen is “Many Happy Returns.” And, that mini-series involved the Other-Supergirl (Linda Danvers), with Kara really as a co-star.

    40. Claudia’s 'retirement' will likely have to be addressed in some way. She arrived late to the museum… and I wonder… what she was going to do if she actually had arrived in time? Would she have detained everyone? Would she have listened if Bad Penny stated that they were on a date, not a crime spree? What would she have done? I do not expect to actually find out in the series – but if I had an opportunity, I would read that story. (Also, her mother mentioned that she, Claudia, speaks of Penny “a lot.” I would really like to know what she said. How does she see Penny?)

      But, if they (T.I.M.), or anyone else, does something criminal right in front of her, or if she hears about it, even if she does not show up for the fight, I expect that she will feel responsible. She has the actual drive that I mentioned before – the need, the feeling, that she should do something. It is only that she suffers so much from the fighting that makes her, well, not emotionally equipped to do the job.

      I still do not think Penny has the drive to ‘fight crime.’ If I were to point to a character that has it, I would point to Batman - he is driven.

      Unless there is a big change in store for her, Penny looks more like an ‘adventurer’ than a ‘hero.’ She appears to prefer to do what is fun, more so than what is ‘right.’

      Thinking about it, a counter-force opponent, who might push her to realize what she is doing, might be someone more like the Original. From what Mr. Roberts has posted, he is a ‘celebrity’ crime fighter, in it for the battle, fame and fortune, and not truly to ‘do what is right.’ Marcia is not currently inclined in that direction, and has in fact rejected the role entirely.

      So it would seem to me that a new character would be needed for that sort of story arc. Or, one of the existing characters could evolve into that sort of character.

      It would fit either way – Penny (in either role as hero or villain) has a lot of fame, and respect. A Lex-like character who wants to be seen as the ‘great hero,’ who rises to oppose her, would fit.

      Now, Lex is not a character I like either. He seems to only exist to show that ‘smart character’ are the evil ones, and only naturally ‘clean shaven, square jawed, athletic, and physically powerful’ characters are the natural ‘true’ heroes.

      That Penny, the smart character, is the interesting, lead character is one of the reasons that I so like this series.

    41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    42. I was thinking of Batman, and remembered the Dark Knight Returns.

      Joker was in the asylum, and a counselor was working to reform him. That counselor actually appeared on television blaming the Batman for the violence that drove men like the Joker to crime. He wore a shirt with the Bat, with a strike through it to say “No Batman.” He gained political influence and had some of the city officials turned against Batman.

      And then the Joker gassed him with his laughing poison, killing that counselor and the audience that turned out to see and support the Joker’s Reform.

      That sort of character would be a threatening nemesis for Penny. Or even, someone who recruits Penny to stand against the evils of Bad Penny, who temps ‘minors’ to crime due to the fame and respect that she gets.
      Or, vice versa – someone who crusades against Penny herself, and watches her, to ‘prevent’ Penny from further being a bad influence on the ‘innocent juveniles’ of the world. Someone who blames Penny for getting other kids in trouble by making them think they can get into the ‘game’ the way she plans to do.

      It would have to be a light touch, and played for humor, but that is truly a nasty potential nemesis – especially if they had a mind influence power to back them!

    43. Oh, I cannot wait to read the next book!

    44. Yeah I don't see Claudia ever ignoring crime in front of her. I think most of her 'depression' comes from her being too damn serious. Which is understandable as if she doesn't maintain control she could easily kill almost anyone.

      I would bet Claudia likes Penny. In the friend sense. She wants to be friends with her, but is a bit fearful. And Penny becoming a villain didn't help much.

      A new person seems most likely. As none of the current characters pose much of a challenge.

  7. This book was amazing! I did like reading about the rivalry between Bismuth and Palooka Joe. Also, I was wondering. Could Psychopomp have, through some accident with the scythe, become Apparition? Because they're around the same age, and though they have somewhat different personalities, that could have changed over 40 years or so.

    1. I believe that in the first book they mention Apparitions origin- part of one of Mourning Dove's Rampages. And, I got the impression that she was physically older than Psy.

      She is much more aware of modern pursuits - she likes computer games and Psy didn't even know how to use a phone.

    2. Besides, Psychopomp is way to good a character to kill off, especially off screen.

    3. Found it - Apparition, "Believed to be the ghost of Polly Icarus, accidentally killed by Mourning Dove during the battle when she captured the leadership of the Scarlet drug cartel."

  8. Eening.
    (Sorry. My "" key isn't working.) Bought the book, loe the book, but I'e a question. I'e gotten an email saying that it has been updated and "Significant editorial changes have been made." What kind of changes?


      Listen, folks, apparently we're up to the third edition already. The first one had spelling errors. In fixing those, somehow, OTHER things went wrong. The last line of the book was removed, even!

      So now we're up to the third. If you haven't read yet, do redownload, yes.

    2. I have a tablet, with the Kindle Ap. I do not see an option to re-download.

      Is there enough of a change to risk a delete/reload of the book?

  9. Shouldn't Penny be protected from any retribution from her parents finding out she's Bad Penny? She's an officially accepted Super Villain and her secret identity should be protected by Spider's Treaty, so her parents punishing her if they found out should fall under "getting personal". Of course, if her parent's didn't stop and think about that, it could be all kinds of bad, as then someone like Mech would have to hand Penny's parents over to Spider for violating the treaty.

    1. I doubt that the getting personal rules apply to families. They will be parents punishing their daughter. It's not Audit and BrainyAck, punishing Penny Ack.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I agree, it would not be a case of super heroes verses villains, it would be parents punishing their child.

      I had though the Penny might run away from her home problems, and taking Spider up on her offer. But, I think Spider is too intelligent to get involved in that sort of inter-family dispute.

      However, Spider verses The Audit would be a fight worth seeing - from a good distance away.

    4. Penny loves her parent way too much for her to run away. She might go hide in her lab for a few hours, but actual run away never. She especially wouldn't go to Spider. She may enjoy being a 'villain' but she has her heart set on hero, she's too good natured to be a true villain. She also knows better then to get too deep into Spider's debt.

      I think the Spider vs Audit battle would be boring. It would be them standing there staring at each other for an hour before turning around and going home, kinda like a true mage battle.

    5. I think you missed something. Claire said it best – “You want to be a villain. You just think you should be a hero.” What an awesome line.

      I think Penny’s Story is encompassed in that – she has a talent (and taste) for super-villainy, but fells like she should be a hero.

      However, she doesn’t have the “calling” to be a hero. She is decent, and helping, but the fact that she fell into villainy so quickly shows that she does not have the deep driving desire to be a hero.

      Penny said it also, to Claudia, “being a super hero if you hate it sounds like something that doesn’t turn out well.”

      She is making a lot of ‘bad’ moral choices, but is having the time of her life!

      As for her joining Spider, now that I have a more ‘stark’ understanding of how selfish and ruthless Spider can be, I would not want her to run to her. It was merely a fanciful thought. Much like my thoughts of Penny constructing a hover-motorcycle, and running off with Ray to be a treasure hunter.

    6. But, back to the question.

      As I said, I do not think a minor, living with her parents, counts as getting personal the way the super-community means, and I truly doubt that anyone would intervene due to the ‘treaty.’ It is a parents - child issue, not super hero versus villain issue.

      It is the wrong sort of “getting personal.”

    7. Claire wants to be a villain, and wants her best friend to join her.

      Penny has a great talent for using her powers and making the most of a situation. Pretty much Penny will be great at what ever side she chooses.

      She fell into villainy so easily because Claire nudged her into it, and Marcia drop kicked her into it. Like I said in the other post had her parents showed more interest in nurturing her power, she wouldn't of been doing it all in secret. She wouldn't have had to destroy the gym to keep them all out of trouble and been labeled a villain.

      Penny is having a blast being a super villain. Not because she enjoys doing crime, but because she gets to use her powers. She's probably in the early stages of puberty. And that can make anyone a little crazy.

      The whole reason most of their crimes involved villains and criminals is because of her morality. I think she will end up like Irene, she does the right thing regardless of which side it's on.

      Making bad choices is part of being a kid

    8. Ah, it is the parents fault. I see...

    9. Actually I think most of it is Ray's and Claire's faults. Mostly Claire. She was branded a villain because she was trying to keep Ray out of trouble. And Claire is the one who has been whispering in her ear the whole time about going villain.

      I don't think it's the parents fault. I do think that had they been more supportive of her budding powers that we would be reading a much much different book. Her parents are very loving and supportive people, who trust their daughter. So they did the logical thing. It just turned out poorly.

      I think they will see it as being their fault. If the Audit looks back at everything, she's gonna see all the little things that they could of done to prevent it.

      Of course I could be completely wrong. It's how I see it all playing out.

    10. I agree that we will have to wait and see. And, I can barely wait!

      But, I believe that Penny is much more like Bull, and strangely – Marcia, than her parents. She said it herself several times, how much she enjoyed using her powers and playing the villain.

      But, when faced with people in danger they would jump in – her, Bull and even Marcia.

      As Sue put it about Bull, “Like, he has a reputation, and even if he’s on the wrong side of the law, he’s the guy who heroes wish all the villains were like.”

    11. I think her just being good at what ever she does, is being mistaken for her being good a supervillain. Sure she's having a blast doing it. But that doesn't mean she wants to do keep on doing it. She simply starting her rebellion phase. Lots of kids like Penny go through them, they do little things to break the rules. Rules they've always followed. Of course add super powers to the mix and you switch the words little and rules, for big and laws.

      I've always pictured her as becoming a reserve Hero, who only goes out when something big happens, or she gets board. The rest of the time she invents things for others. And now that we know what Ray wants to do, help him out when ever she can.

      I really just don't see her ever being truly happy as a villain. She's just too good a person.

    12. Her joyous laugh after pulling off a great heist, and trouncing the heroes, to me, indicates something a little be different.

      "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
      But I have promises to keep.
      And miles to go before I sleep,"
      and so many months to go before we find out!

    13. HAHAHAHAHA! I always thought the opposite. I really just can't see Penny ever being truly happy as a hero. She's just too good of a villain and enjoying it too much.

    14. The way I see it, the problem with saying she enjoys being a villain so much. Is that we haven't really seen her do much Heroing.
      I say much because had they dressed up as someone else, some of their actions would be Heroic, IE(fighting Sharky, The Library battle, blowing up the moon, taking down the medical supply company, stealing the Dragons Blood.)
      If they hadn't already been labeled as villains during those incidents, would they have been considered the actions of Villains. Excepting that Marvelous would have had a slightly less hostile reaction to them.

      Can't say she would only be happy being a villain, until we see actually get to be a hero.

    15. As I said, she is more like Bull, on the other side but still respectable. Or, like Lucyfar - on whichever side she feels like that day.

    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    17. My concern is the she does the right thing - but she does not have 'calling' to be a hero, the drive to fight for right. Claudia has it, but Penny does not appear to have it.

      She is nice, and will help, but that is not her what drives her.

      Right before she went to Happy Days, "I woke up on Saturday morning, and everything snapped back into focus. I was a supervillain again."

      I think that indicates something other than the drive to be a hero.

    18. My understanding is Bull is a Villain because he loves to smash things, and fight.

      Lucy is a touch insane so we won't delve into the mire of endless darkness.

      I still think you're mistaking her excitement at using her powers and natural gifts, with her being a supervillain.

      Being good at basketball normally means you really like playing. Doesn't mean that's your calling. Same with any other sport, Cooking, Video Games, painting, and just about anything that requires skill.

      She's not allowed to do super hero things, her parents won't let her. So her only real outlet in putting on the mask and being a supervillain.

      She has an amazing and powerful ability. But she can't show it off except in secret or as Bad Penny. It's what drives kids to rebel.

      What drives Penny is getting to use her power and proving her worth. It's not being a hero, it's not being a villain.

      It's her nature that I think will push her into being a hero.

    19. I really ought to check this more often, lol. So as to my original comment, I think I have to agree with you guys, with a few caveats. Penny's parent's could disown her and kick her out of the house. What they could NOT do, is tell anyone WHY, as THAT would be exposing her secret identity.

      As for Penny being a Hero vs a Villain, remember what the Apparition said in the first book. "You're not sure which side you're on yet. It's written all over your face. Trust me, Bad Penny, you just proved you're meant to be a supervillain"

      So I really have to agree with Luis Garcia, and I think it was Claire in the books. Penny doesn't actually want to be a hero. Just look at how she behaves when she isn't self consciously correcting her own behavior - the maniacle laughter, the villinous monologuing, she loves being a supervillain, she just THINKS she's supposed to be a hero.

      I think that's mostly because her parent's were heroes, and she's afraid they'll disown her if they ever discover her secret identity. She loves her parents, but their path is not really the one she want's to walk. But she's a teenage girl and she is terrified of loosing the people who matter most to her.

    20. True, but you also have to remember, Penny has obeyed the rules and conventions of Hero/Supervillain behavior more than the heroes who tried to stop her. It took her raiding Mech's base to get them to accept her.

    21. A villain or someone planning on being a villain telling Penny she really wants to be a villain doesn't mean jack. Same with Hero's telling her she wants to be a hero.

      Both sides see her as an asset, a potential ally or rival, and both sides think their side is better.

      It has zero to do with what other people think Penny should be. This is about Penny being true to herself and her nature. And we've only seen her play at super villain until now. I'm hoping we get to see some of her hero side this book.

      Until we see her be a hero we can't make any real comparison.

    22. I don't agree that thus far Penny has only been playing at supervillain. On many occasions, we had seen her enjoy villainy and get very upset when heroes get in her way. When Generic Girl beat T.I.M at the junkyard, Penny went back and designed a bunch of weapons, including Vera. People just playing around don't take as much pride in their work as Penny does.

    23. ooh long thread. Glimpsed over most of it - the problem here is three fold. The world of heroes and villains in Robert's universe isn't following any format we currently use. The current era of comics uses dark heroes and anti-heroes predominately to combat psychopaths, criminals and crazy people. The villains of the silver age are gone, and the heroes have changed to fit that strata.

      It has been shown in Roberts world however that there are Generations of heroes here. The Older generation, the A list heroes and or parents of the current generation are still trying to promote a standard, and maintain the agreed upon rules of conduct. But it's been hinted that the darker heroes and villains still exist.

      Right now - Penny and her friends are young. And so Both sides are actively protecting them. The villains are protecting them by trying to encourage them to make all the right types of villain friends. And the Heroes likewise. But at soon as they reach 17(ish) those protections will come off - and Hero or Villain Penny and Co will have to deal with the dark underbelly of the industry.

      I think If Penny's parents thought they could talk her out of joining Either side - they would. Chapter three shows some hints of that - with her father encouraging her to find mundane applications for her powers.

      But I think Mrs Ack is doing the maths and trying to prepare her daughter for well... War.

      If Penny came out to her Father as a villain - or a Hero. I think Mr Ack would support her. But if Mrs Ack found out she wouldn't have a choice - She would throw her own daughter in Jail rather than allow her to take that path. So the problem then becomes. No matter which side she would prefer to be on - Her mother is and will not be happy about it.

      The one thing that I find interesting however - is that Most of the "Current Generation" of heroes in Robert's world - are back to treating all villains as nonredeemable. But in the course of these books Penny has found out and promoted the idea that "Villains are just like us" to Her generation of Heroes.

      I feel - She could help more people and do more good for people on the Villain side. As on the Villain side she can get to know, help and intervene with people who would otherwise be abandoned by the heroes. Where on the Hero side her hands would be bound from helping villains.

      We even see examples of this behaviour back in Spider... Just seeing how Annabelle was treated by heroes and villains alike. There needs to be people out there who stand up for those who can't be protected, yes?

    24. I can see that approach as being sensible.

      But, the point I had been trying to make before, is that Penny:
      * revels in monologues, villainous laughter, and wielding super-science weapons (her words).
      * loves the access to and respect of the villainous community.
      * enjoys using her power, and taking on any and all challenges, or challengers.

      Lucyfar said it, “Let someone else just if I’m a hero or villain. I’m free to enjoy my powers however I want.”

      Marcia said it, “but supervillains get to enjoy our powers. We can knock down buildings, escape jails, claw our way back from getting burned in half by red hot rivets…”

      Penny said it, “Yeah, I knew what I wanted. I wanted my life to be full of not normal super powered things, and I would do what it is I do, and people would slap their own label on that.” “Maybe I didn’t care what that label was.”

      Sounds like she is going to go her own way, and may work both sides of the line.

    25. Ghost - I really don't think Penny has been doing anything other the playing in these books. So far it's all a game to her. With the exception of battles at the end of each book, she's hasn't been truly serious. In the climatic battles she is different, not much but enough to notice.

      Kristy - But wouldn't Penny be able to do more for those Villains, from the Hero side, like Goodnight? I agree with almost everything you said, but you obviously want her to end up a villain, and I want her to be a hero, so we read the signs differently.

      Luis - Monologues aren't just for supervillains. Villainous Laughter is fun, try it some time. And Wielding super-science weapons can be done regardless of what side she was on.

      She likes some of the villain community, she disliked how Bull was relegated to punching bag, she was almost murdered by Jagged Bones, a merchant tried to sell a deadly book to one of her young club members.

      What it comes down to for me is that Villains are mostly ends justifies the means. Most villains don't care about the collateral damage. How many people were hurt and could of been killed in the Library Battle? Penny has always gone out of her way to avoid such things. And I'm not talking about property damage. In book 2 she freaks when people get hurt because of her actions, Book 1 when she almost takes off Marcia's head with her cannon, or in the library she delays her mission to protect and help civilians.
      And I already said using the words of other characters proves nothing. Robert's himself in other context said not the trust anything the characters say in the books there not always right.

      If she were to forgo the Hero/Villain labels, I see her as the opposite of LucyFar.

    26. I do find myself wondering how much of this is just we speculators hoping she comes down on one side or the other. I know I personally hope Penny keeps on being a villain, mostly because there's something about the heroes that just rubs me the wrong way.

    27. I have no problem with Penny going either way but I do think if she finally do drop being a villain, then Richard will need to show a big twist in her character. Right now, Penny is having fun. She got respect, money, success etc, with only the downside being her parents' approval. Why would Penny drop successful villainy for unknown heroics? Something drastic need to happen for that to work, maybe someone getting seriously hurt.

    28. Just because a girl is really really good at stripping, and makes tons of money doing it, Doesn't mean she should quit law school and give up on her life long dream of becoming a Judge.

      Just because you're good at something, enjoy it, and get mad props for doing it. Doesn't mean it's what you should do with your life.

    29. Actually, if you are successful at something, and enjoy it, and your heart is in it, that does indicate it is something you should pursue – at least until it is no longer enjoyable.

    30. Hmm, I have been thinking overnight about what you said, Southard.

      Two thing.
      First, you were using the stripper vs judge comparison, and I do not think that is valid. It is considered that Judges have higher social value than strippers, but the evidence from the real world (which I do know you do not like to be used here) of corrupt judges, or arrogant activist judges (such as the one that posted the bible on the courthouse in spite of the constitution, or in refusing to allow marriages between mixed race couples) can cause much more damage than a stripper.
      And, I know that you have roundly rejected quotes from the book, but I think there is merit in what Penny said, doing something when you hate it, can turn out badly.

      However, If we reject everything that comes from Penny (the first person protagonist) – her thoughts, and words, because she MIGHT be mistaken, we are rejecting the only presented evidence. And, if we reject comparisons to reality – because we do not have super heroes/villains, and it is different in their world, well….

      What does that leave?

      I would prefer to use the evidence that we have, which is only the books. Otherwise were are merely expressing opinions that lack any evidence to support them, or that we retain in spite of any evidence against them.

    31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    32. This comment has been removed by the author.

    33. Ah, I just re-read what I posted, and realized that essential this is belief, or faith – “Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” (Dawkins)

      Which lead me to another thought – the Church of the Inscrutable Machine! Come join the in wonder of the irreproducible, singular, “The Machine.” Penny – “It was obvious wasn’t it. You could recycle anything. Even energy.” (Penny)
      Even souls – come to the machine and have your sins recycled!

      I would join – “Because I am in. I am so in. I could not be more in. Let’s do this.” (Marcia)

      And, it is set in California, so it would not even be the craziest religion to come out of there!
      Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!!!

    34. I think we can trust some of Penny's words. Mostly because we are sort of in her head while reading. It's most her observations of the exterior world we can't take as absolute truth.

      You can replace Judge with Doctor, Lawyer, or any other job really. A corruptible person is a corruptible person, doesn't matter if they grown up in the Hampton's, or in Podunk. And there are plenty of Doctors, Lawyers, Librarians, and possible even judges, out there who at one point or another stripped to pay the bills.

      What it boils down to for me is this. Penny may enjoy her antics as a super villain. She may even be an allstar at it. But it doesn't suit her Nature. Just look at everything she has down. Look at her reactions to the more destructive things shes down. She almost had a complete breakdown when she found out people got seriously hurt possible killed because of something she did on the Space Station. Because she's young and has the support of Ray and Claire to pull her out of it. Both of which are more suited to the Villain life.

      Someone pointed out that think there would need to be a drastic personality change in Penny for her to choose to go Hero. I think it's the other way around she would need some major changes to be a true Villain.

      She could choose, like others have suggested, to play both sides. But I think she would need to be a Hero who occasionally sides with the Villains. Unlike Lucy who's a Villain that occasionally sides with the Heroes.

    35. Hmmm, thinking about it, I have to say Penny is 'nice,' or 'decent,' but not heroic.

      Again, I think she is more like Bull. He did engage in villainy, but would always protect the innocents (see the story about him and the Third Horseman), and pay for any damage he himself caused (see the fight with the Goldman in the bar).He was in it for the fight, the challenge.

      I was looking at how Penny reacted to scheming, facing and defeating heroes, planning heists, etc. That does not speak to me of ‘heroism.’

      She did not get that thrill from her hero actions at all. She, like Bull, did not like seeing people hurt, but planning to go out and "defend the city," or "fight for justice," is not something she has mentioned at all. She fought Lady Wisp because she was challenged, not because she was staking out the football as a potential target of villainy. And, as her mother stated, if she was really out to protect the innocent she would have informed the adults (or even her parents) before-hand.

      I know that you do not accept quotes, as “using the words of other characters proves nothing.” But, as this is coming from the Audit herself, it carries weight.

      What I do believe (as in have Faith in - ha!) is what Penny told "The Fabulous Mr. Fawkes," which was that they were 'outlaws.' That is not the same as 'villains,' but not heroes either. I think it more likely that she will always follow her conscience, but not worry so much about following the law.

      To me she screams 'adventurer,' or ‘outlaw,’ not 'champion of justice.'

      Which is perfectly appropriate for the High Priestess of the First Church of the Inscrutable Machine! By Tesla's Sainted Brow, I await the next sermon from the mount. Do not bother passing the collection plate, E-Claire has already picked everyone's pockets.

    36. Actually, thinking further about it, I wonder if Mr. Roberts is having an in-joke on us.

      In the computer game, Penny the typical adventuring character – an outlaw basically, but saved all the innocents, and got the good ending. Because, as Ray put it, “Penny is exactly the girl we knew she was.”

      Is that an indication, or a hint, of where she is going, I wonder?

    37. I bring this back to a comment I made in another thread. The truce between heroes and villains only protect them from each other. And while heroes would never go after other heroes at their home etc - villains will. Hero's can help Heroes, they can help civilians. But they can't help or protect villains without breaking the truce. I can't help but think that a villain with the morality of a hero can do more good saving innocents related to or involved with the villain community.

      I would love to see Penny earn the loyalty and following of the villain community not by threatening or bribing them like Spider does - but just by virtue of being so good at what she does, and her willingness to go out on a limb for villains she cares about.

    38. Actually, Spider enforces the truce. So, Villains can complain to her - the way 7 and one-half did about T.I.M. That was the point of their failed ambush in book 1.

    39. I think she could make a wonderful criminal but not a villain. It's like with all the Pro Vampire stuff going rampant the last 10 years. I don't see the appeal I think it's all garbage (the subject matter not the actually quality.)

      So I'm a bit prejudice against her becoming a villain.

    40. I'll give you outlaw. But I would say more Vigilant.

    41. Outlaw: a person who refuses to be governed by the established rules or practices of any group; rebel; nonconformist: a person excluded from the law and deprived of its protection; any fugitive from the law, esp a habitual transgressor

      Vigilante: a self-appointed doer of justice; a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); one of an organized group of citizens who take upon themselves the protection of their district, properties, etc;

      I do not know - she could be either really.

    42. She refuses to be governed by rules, but also seeks justice on occasion (not against her friends of course). But, she enjoys planning and executing crimes of her own, and of her friends (ex: raid on the science experiments). So, she flouts the rules, and also seeks justice.

      So - Outlaw Justice? Justice Outlaw? Just Outlaw?

    43. I have some more possibilities.

      Heterodox - not in accordance with established or accepted doctrines or opinions, especially in theology; unorthodox. (Not a good fit, but interesting word.)

      Renegade - any outlaw or rebel

      Scofflaw - a person who flouts rules, conventions, or accepted practices.

      Villain - a mischievous person; rogue (one definition).

      What do you all think?

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. After finishing the book, I can see how a lot of things came to be. As for Penny making "bad" moral choices, I see her choosing neither villain or hero, but like Ray, treasure hunter. There are even in our world, a lot of stolen treasures that are still out there that are in hidden places or places too dangerous for normal treasure hunters to recover them from. And I think that this would appeal to her more than going supervillain or superhero. As for being a villain, everyone needs to stop and think about all she has done, and realize, that she has done a lot more good than bad. Sure she has had to work with villains and do bad things to do the right thing, but sometimes that is really necessary.

    1. Agreed, the series would not be nearly as enjoyable if they were not doing good.

      Irene as a good example, was able to walk on both sides of the community, but also had to accept certain limits - being regarded with suspicion by both sides, as one thing she had to deal with.

      I wonder if that is something we will see Penny deal with in the next book.

    2. I can't help but want Penny to go Anti-Villain. You know - a Villain who at the end of the day, steels, fights, causes trouble. But who has Morals and Etiquette that are lacking in the world of Heroes (the opposite of an anti-hero).

    3. Which would apparently be someone who steals from thieves - 'outlaws' as she put it in the second book.

  12. So did everyone else find the fact that everyone, looked up while saying hi to Irene. I damn near laugh out loud every time.

    1. I hope I demonstrated throughout the book why they would do that!

    2. Yes, and I imagine it has a lot to do with her choice of a name.

    3. Delicious, “So we have fallen, that my evil sanctuary opens to heroes. Mischievous Goodnight, a unique brand of trouble, shall be tolerated.”

      Or, “Tasty. Absolutely tasty.” (Lab Rat.)

    4. I have a personal theory that Lab Rat was trained by Delicious. ^.^ Or that I can't resist the pun... I do find it funny that Irine for all her camoflage powers is most known for the tech she uses... I also thought it was extremely pitiful that Irine had a Black Magic Mobile Phone... Cmon - she could have at least used radio puns and terms :P

    5. Of course Goodnight is known for her tech, because she is stronger then her size would indicate, but not much stronger then a strong human. She does seem rather agile. And she can change her skill tones. She doesn't have any abilities that standout really.

    6. Didn't she comment that - relative-power-wise - she should probably count as Psychopomp's sidekick, rather than the reverse?

      Compared to many of the other Supers, she's really not all that powerful. And she was frequently fighting well out of her weight class, substituting tricks, agility, and cleverness for unstoppable attacks.

      I got the feeling that on a purely physical level she was about like eClaire, and well below Reviled.

    7. Irine and Penny are very similar.

    8. Well, Penny is taller, however she does have the push rod also.

      I wonder if that is a hint...?

    9. I like the comment that Irine and Penny are similar, but to be honest most of Robert's characters are similar. Heck - some names even have the same personalities. Like Lucy :P

    10. Everyone named Lucy in my books is a reference to a real life friend of mine. That is why the similarity of personalities, and why the name crops up so much!

  13. Mr. Roberts, you mentioned something awhile back – that;
    * the first book would be “the origin book,”
    * book two would be “heroes in space,”
    * three would be “the contest of champions,”
    * book four would be the “artifact story,” and that
    * book five would be “the climax of the story,” (or as pfogg put it, the “end of the world.”

    Is that still on track?

    1. It is! Although I also warned you that those descriptions would not help you much predicting what the book is like. I would say Henchmen is an excellent example of that. Strictly speaking the Evil Artifact Story part has not begun in the parts of book four I've written so far, but you know how it is. Groundwork and context.

    2. Yes I do.

      It really looked to me that it would be more like - "avoiding the contest of champions."

      So, I can see how it would not be a 'spoiler.'

  14. Hoyo peeps, been off from here a long time. Read the story (spider story) did most of the things I thought it would - but it was cute all the same. Felt like their were too many plotlines but it worked. I still don't get why people didn't want Annabelle around - but then I like spiders. Also read the DTMP new chapters - Is it just me or has Penny pretty much blown her cover and not realized it yet? I can't help think her Father at least knows - although her mother might still be in denile? Or at least up the creek. :D

    1. Welcome back.

      At this point I almost think that her parents are almost certain about her being Bad Penny. And that their doing the training to both confirm and comfort her. I wouldn't put it passed the pair to have found out, but are waiting for Penny to tell them herself or for her to do something they can't ignore.

      If not it won't be long before her mom analyzes her fighting style, and compares it to Bad Penny. Her tech might be a bit harder, cause she uses only gear tech as Penny and everything as Bad Penny.

    2. I keep waffling back and forth on whether Penny's parents have already figured it out or not. Sometimes I'm almost certain they've already figured it out, but then something else will happen where I'm not so sure. I will say that if Penny finally comes clean and her mother just says something like "yes dear, we figured that out 2 years ago", I won't be surprised at all.

    3. Yes, I also think so. In Book 3 especially, I thought I read some hints that the parents, especially the Audit, at least suspect their daughter is Bad Penny. Would be a fun scene to read either way.

    4. In Book 1 I think mom has split concerns that Bad Penny was either out to get Penny. Or they were the same person. There was a definite concern of her part I think.

      Besides it's a open secret in China Town that Penny is Bad Penny. Not to mention Lucy knows and she might be dating a Hero. It would take much for it reach the superhero community.

      I think they pretty much know, even if they aren't certain. But they want Penny to tell them, they might even suspect she's trying to work up the courage to tell them. So they agree to let her use her powers some. And they start training her. Giving her opportunity to tell them. Also giving her the support I spoke of before that the lack of helped lead to her becoming a super villain.

    5. I do not remember any point the story where The Audit indicated at all that she 'though' that they (Penny/Bad Penny) might be the same person. In fact, her speech/analysis in book 2 indicates she has jumped right to the conclusion that Bad Penny is a separate person. She even, apparently, bought into the lie that Bad Penny was already in high school at the end of the second book.

      I would ask where in the book you found an indication that she 'wonders' about them being the same person, but I know you do not have any faith in quotes.

    6. I am with Ghost on this one - "I really just can't see Penny ever being truly happy as a hero."

      Or at least, as just a hero.

    7. [shrug] Actually I don't think it's so much about "being happy"... The truth is that she has friends on the villain side - knows about their home life, famalies, etc. She's seen the villain side much more than most heroes (using Marcia as a baromator for the hero community).

      Even if she wants to do hero stuff - I cannot see her leaving the villain community. She has too many ties there.

    8. I don't think her parents know.
      Brian might suspect something is going on, but all private conversations between the parents show they have bought the disguise, as shabby as it is getting at the edges.

      most villains know, but they won't talk, some heroes might suspect, they also won't talk.

      But the thing with the stasis field in book 2 was fairly good alibi to have.
      And the "crime wave" of "not actually Bad Penny" in book 3 probably helped as well.

      Personally i hope they don't find out on their own, it would be funnier having Penny tell them and see their reactions.

      And i'll note my agreement that Penny would be truly happy as only a hero (really hopes she takes the offer of becomming Spiders apprentice).

  15. Just wondering, what happened to "A Sidekicks Tale"?