among the many memories that penny has to herself now that diana occupies every nook and cranny of her body, is the one of the women in suits approaching diana months ago. diana hadn’t been fooled by them; she had known they were steps behind her, had purposely made her way into a crowded market and had waited for them to approach her.
the way they had spoken had been measured, cheerful, polished; almost full of pump girlpower in order to sway her to their cause. their faces had been young, clearly handpicked to appeal to the fact that diana was themysciran. probably ex-military, or participation in the peace corp or something similar.
the notes with the card had been waiting for penny; she looked at them warily, looked at the scrawled names, before putting them all underneath a stack of papers, and chosen not to pursue the name or the numbers there.
now, she looks at the card carefully. turns it over in her fingers in consideration of the many layered memories in her head of a scowling veronica cale, of the steve who warned her of what governments did to marginalized people; the entanglements over the years with the US government, the difficulties of being an ambassador.
none of it was easy then in diana's world.
penny considers what it would mean to open up the doors of the themscyira house and the wonderdome here. it was one thing to do it when creatures were running amok, to have amazons assisting in what to do. it was another thing to want to represent them: to even consider wanting to do so in a world like this, in a government like this.
maybe they didn’t have access to kryptonite, maybe they didn’t have aliens working with them, maybe they didn’t have psychics to attack her or magic at their disposal. there were more insidious, human things at their beck and call: a government willing and able to spy on their citizens through something as innocuous through a cellphone; agencies with the ability to track her and her friends, and little incentive to do otherwise. that was without considering what made the headlines each and every day, or the man sitting in the white house now.
and on a deeper, more personal level, it was different for diana herself to be here in this world without a mother. the throne of themsycira was unoccupied, and even though diana could take the throne for herself in an instant, it didn’t feel correct to do so. she still shared her body with penny, who had no experience in governing amazons. there was no true telling if the situation would change at any moment or if penny's own obligations would keep them alfoat.
there was only so much memory could do and provide. diana still had hope in talking to others, to work with them, while penny did not.
she could already imagine what they might’ve known now with her open face and the news. if there would be more agents offering to recruit her, if there would be demands made of her that seemed to benefit her, but were an entrapment.
her stomach curdles at the consideration, even without the knowledge of her old life, acknowledgement of old wounds. stories of gods offering salvation only for it to turn into a trick aren't nearly as prominent as current events in her mind, of injustice and selfishness penny had been aware of even as a child to say nothing of adulthood. she flips the card over in her fingers, over and over in consideration. weighs her options--and decides that a hasty decision wasn't the best idea.
penny puts the card back; not among a pile of papers, but on her desk, beisde the rope and her cellphone.
she turns her mind to other things. goes job hunting, goes jogging, walks her dogs. still, at the quieter times, her brain goes back, tries to turn over her options with diana over and over again. they have little arguments with each other, piled up to do lists, scratched out ideas and memos to consider. no easy solution presents itself. the semantics of declaring themyscira’s existence, the potential danger in doing so looms. even with a magical barrier, even with the fact that she would be the only amazon easily available, there are things neither penny or diana are fully up to date on: the extent of surveillance on them all, those aligned with the CSA itself, or if it revealing themyscira even mattered in such a world, with heroes and villains scattered and formless.
of all times, it's when the shift starts to edge through that the solution presents itself.
arty reid's twitter feed is repulsive, irritating. but as the jarring ads pop up on the side, advertising for every super hero related thing under the sun, penny frowns and inquires, "why can't we do what they're doing?"
diana, not always present whenever penny was browsing, comes to attention, but says nothing.
"i mean--," penny draws out the thought, "they're going around to everyone, pulling them off of the streets. trying to do what the army does with recruits," penny explains, fingers working across the phone screen, "why don't we do the same, with honey not vinegar? that's what superheroes do--they get together all the time, plan together. we could do what they're offering--on our terms."
diana is silent for a moment. penny knows that she's thinking of several angles, ones she might not have seen. penny stands up, reaching for a notepad and a pen, allowing diana the moment to think. she flicks away from the intenret browser, and into her contact list.
i think this is a good plan, diana responds, it would be good to not have to be alone. and to give people an alternative to what awaits them when they come here.
"no buts at the end of that sentence?" penny starts to write two columns, and shifts her legs when pris comes to rest between her legs.
no, diana says, only memories.
penny hums and after a beat, says, "do we have to go by the justice league, though? think someone might complain?"
something like a laugh is diana's only response.