[size10 [+white xxxxx] [b [size12 I]]t was a bit of a shock, to know that the townspeople had entrusted them with an [i actual] case. Linnea was skeptical at first, when her best friend had been telling her about it. The townspeople had been distrusting of them at first, annoyed by their meddling. Or well, rather annoyed with Penelope's meddling. Linnea herself was merely along for the ride, offering input when she could and mostly staying in the background. Deep down, she knew that Penelope didn't need her, as the girl had a gift and could solve almost anything. Linnea's detective skills were about average, maybe a bit above, so she merely went along to be company. At least, that is what she fully believed.
[+white xxxxx] And, once again, she was merely going along to be company. She did not know the missing girls in the way that Penelope did. She knew them from meeting them once, with Penelope, but never really spoke to them. Linnea did not shine in the way that Penelope did. She was easily overlooked, partially because she was so quiet, and Penelope was such a people person that she easily stood out. Linnea also felt that Penelope was quite beautiful, so much so that Linnea's own looks went unnoticed.
[+white xxxxx] Despite being overshadowed by Penelope, Linnea was content and happy, just to be with her best friend. She was never jealous of Penelope, and enjoyed the time they spent together. Both were orphans, and Linnea herself knew nothing of her family, unlike Penelope. Penelope knew a bit of her family, and had questions about them. Questions that Linnea was trying to help her figure out, though she knew that Penelope was content with not knowing, as she had already came to terms with what her parents did. Still, she wanted to help in any way that she could, which was one of the main reasons she tagged along.
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[+white xxxxx] Their case had them going to a small town, about 40 minutes away. Linnea could sense the excitement from Penelope, who had always enjoyed a change of scenery. It made her smile ever so fondly, a smile she made sure to hide from Penny. Once in the town, they interviewed relatives and friends of the girls, and even went to local hotels to speak to those that worked there. It was certainly a mystery , as none of the people they spoke to had any idea what had happened. It was the same story from all of them, the girls were good people that no one disliked. There was no indication that they would have been kidnapped , or worse, [i murdered]. Linnea could feel the sympathy and concern radiating off of Penny, as they spoke to family friends of the missing girls.
[+white xxxxx] Penny's sympathy and concern is what lead her and Linnea to the cabin the girls disappeared at. The cabin was gorgeous, but it paled in comparison to the lake in front of them. Linnea couldn't take her eyes off of the lake. She didn't hear Penny speak, nor did she notice anything else as she began walking towards the lake. She couldn't explain it, but the lake was drawing her in. Leaving all of her bags behind, and Penny, she walked into the lake, with no concern for her clothes or even herself. Soon, she was fully submerged by the lake.
[+white xxxxx] .... Only to open awake in an entirely new place. [b "W-what?"] Linnea looked around, entirely confused, searching her brain for an explanation as to what just happened. She looked around, hearing whispers of other people. [i Strangers.] She wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly scared. [b "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore,"] she mumbled under her breath before picking herself up.
[+white xxxxx] Despair coursed through her veins, as soon as she realized she was separated from Penny. She scanned the crowd, but couldn't see if Penny had followed her. All she could see was strangers, giving her odd looks. [i I wonder if this is what happened to those girls ...] If that was so, they were more than likely still alive, and somewhere within this ... Place. Whatever it was. As much as Linnea wanted to find answers now, she more so wanted to find Penelope. The two had never been separated for more than a few minutes, and being without her felt agonizing. [b "Penny .... Where are you?"]]
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In all their years together she never thought their town would have finally entrusted them with an [i actual] case. They had been known for their meddling which had progressed cold cases before. Soon enough they became a small private detective duo only known by a few and referred by said few. Eventually they were known by everyone.
The duo were the go-to when you needed answers. It was almost... unnatural. Penelope never felt out of place with her long time best friend. When it felt like the world abandoned them, the only place natural was by her side.
Penelope never had a special face but she was always a people person. She enjoyed being around people and people seemed to enjoy being around her. It just made sense.
So of course she wanted to be a private detective. Find her past and why her parents did what they did. But she came to terms with it before she found out who they were. She was content being with her best friend. That's all she needed. Her past didn't mean anything.
A group of friends they were acquaintanced with had gone to a cabin in a small town, 40 minutes away. And gone missing. When authorities were contacted it was made clear that they weren't the only ones that had gone missing in the woods of this town. It was important to Penelope that they were found. These were people she knew. She couldn't sit by and wait for nothing when she knew she had an almost supernatural ability to find answers. And so everyone in they had know their entire lives supported them. From orphans to the most successful private detectives around. They had raised money for the two girls and they were ready to and nervous to find these girls...
When they arrived to the small town, everything had appeared sweet and quiet. It was a nice town to settle in. She loved it. Penny had liked the change of scenery. They came from the outskirts of a city. It was a 20 minute drive to get downtown where all the craziness was. While she liked knowing her neighbors and loving by a mall and downtown, she took fancy to change. She adapted easily.
They had visited local hotels and talked to families all day of the missing girls. The entire time she empathize with the families and friends, it was all so.... eerie. What were these poor girls thinking? What was happening to them? Who could do such a thing?
Penelope and her best friend were headed to the cabin where the freshly graduated girls were planning on staying for the summer before they headed off to college. On their way, she caught a glimmer. It was a lake. The most beautiful lake she had ever seen. "[#578559 Look! We should go visit it later, yeah?]" She smiled, it was almost like they were in vacation. She turned back onto the path to the cabin. But as soon as she dove back in thoughts, she heard twigs snapping. She turned to see what it was, and it was her friend headed towards the water. Strange. "[#578559 Hey, are you alright?]" She asked softly, trying to coo her back on the dirt path. But her friend didn't stop. "[#e1c766 Something isn't right, you need to go to her!]" Something inside her, almost like a voice had urged her. She was frozen watching her friend. Who made way into the crystal clear lake, then dropped.
Dropped. The body of her long time partner. Penny dropped her bags and broke into a sprint. Her feet hit the floor quickly, bushes snapped on her, tugging her back. Soon enough she made way to the lake and dove into the water. Streams of rainbow clings blinded her eyes, and soon enough it felt like she was being yank out of the water. She popped up and looked around to see... they weren't at the woods any longer.
They've somehow arrived elsewhere. A bright yellow raptor was perched nearby the lake. "[#e1c766 Penelope, your friend is gone. You have to find her.]" The blond woman gasped. But quickly nodded and walked out of the lake. She had arrived in a park that looked up at a beautiful city. It had waterfalls that poured out the city's edge. The water sprinkled a veil of rainbow over the city. It sat ontop a bluff. The skyscrapers looked as if it was made of sole chrome.
She looked and saw a group of onlookers. Whispering. "Another one?" "Should we help?"
Penelope walked out of the park quickly. [i Where was her friend in all this craziness?]