Penelope’s side of the conversation and her letter delivered courtesy of raerei.
For more great stories by raerei, see raerei’s Fortress.
onezero: What will you do after this session of camp is over, Cathy Tea?
CT: Oh, Joel and I will have a few days to goof off and also to be quiet, and then the next batch of kids will arrive!
onezero: But there won’t be a onezero in the next batch, will there?
CT: Oh, no. There’s only one of you.
onezero: No. There are two of me!
CT: That’s right! In fact, the you at Cradle Rock is already grown up!
onezero: So what will become of me?
CT: Oh, my. I’m not sure.
onezero: And what will become of you without me! Don’t you think you will miss me?
CT: I will certainly miss you.
onezero: I don’t like to think of you being lonely. Do you think we could come up with a plan?
CT: And what sort of plan might that be?
onezero: A plan where I could stay with you!
CT: You mean, to live?
onezero: Exactly! After all, I’m the extra copy. Nobody is waiting on me. And nobody needs me. Except maybe you!
CT: Well, they’ve already got the original instance of you at Cradle Rock, where you’re all grown up and amazing. And you’re right! There’s no other game or anything waiting on you. And, I think there’s nothing much waiting on me–except for Aimless and maybe a few adventures, which I can do from this saved game. SimJim was going to move here after camp was over. But what if he moved over earlier? Then, while I’m finishing up Summer Camp, you and he could stay in our house together. I think that’s a great idea!
onezero: We’ll be like family.
Penelope: Oh p2, I do not want this camp to end. This is better than being home and going to school. When I go home, I am going to have to do homework again. And go back to having no friends.
onezero: I like to be with you. It feels like the zeroone to my onezero. All the patterns make sense! It feels right to be here and right not to leave. And also, I have two of me now–one here and one at Cradle Rock. And I do not know how to merge these two instances. Do you?
Penelope: She is all grown up right? I’m not sure you can merge when you have only experienced one trait and she three. It is different in my hard drive since there is only the one of me. I think if you need to merge it is easiest when you are the same age with the same experiences. If you change too much you can never really go back.
onezero: Our 1,000 mommies have looked ahead and behind and they say I can in this instance live out this life with Animal Hat CT.
Penelope: You are staying? You asked Counselor Cathy? I wish I could stay. But no. I would miss my father and my aunts. I will miss you just as much though. Oooh! What if you came and stayed with me for a while. Counselor Cathy will be busy with the next camp for a while.
onezero: I like that idea! I feel like we two peas should stay together–there is something more we must do.
Penelope: We can write and call all the time so Counselor Cathy and Joel do not worry about us the way they worry about Free-Jon and Emelia.
onezero: Do you hear the buzzing?
Penelope: Yes. That is the 1,000 mommies speaking, right?
onezero: Yes! That is their voice! They approve, too.
onezero: Don’t you think that SimJim would like to move here later, when you’re done with camp, so he doesn’t get lonely while you’re here working all day?
CT: Oh, he’s pretty good at keeping himself busy all day.
onezero: But maybe I might be too noisy for him.
CT: You are pretty noisy!
onezero: It’s true. What if I did something fun and useful while you finished up camp, and then afterwards he joined us, and then we became a family?
CT: Yes, I think that could work. What fun and useful thing did you plan to do?
onezero: Visit Penelope.
CT: Oh! I think that’s a perfect idea! As long as her dad says it’s ok, it’s fine by me. What a wonderful experience–for both of you!
Camp is great. I have made lots of friends and most of them don’t think it is weird that I am an alien. Some of the town kids did, but not the camp-goers. They are all legacy kids or kids of legacy kids like me. And one of them is an alien just like me. Well, not just like, she’s bluer and has 1000 mommies. Her name is onezero. I call her p2 because we are just like two peas in a pod. (I am P1, you know).
We told lots of stories, played lots of games like hide and seek, and ate lots of cupcakes. Have you ever eaten a cupcake? They are happiness incarnate. We…might have broke the machine but Counselor Cathy and Counselor Joel fixed it up.
Are you coming to pick me up? If so, Counselor Cathy said she would love to meet you this time. Did you finished with your work? Was it hard? Did you get to make any cool new inventions?
I have an important question. Can onezero come with us? She is going to stay with Counselor Cathy after summer camp because she split and doesn’t know how to go back to being one person. Plus her mommies said it was okay. And Counselor Cathy said it was okay if she wanted to stay with us until summer was over. If it’s okay with you.
Please? She is my best friend in the whole world. We will not be any trouble, promise.
Can’t wait to see you again. I miss you.
Penelope C. Pigglewiggle