JE: The Hermetic Garbage of Jenny Everywhere Act I, part II
mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 08:19:48 PST 2021
Jenny wracked her brain and let out a heavy sigh. "Yeah, I got nothing."
Glendalf frowned in exaggerated disappointment. "Nothing? Doesn't your
mind exist on a level beyond infinity?"
"I guess," said Jenny. "I just haven't been feeling it lately, for
"It's probably because spacetime is collapsing, I suppose," said Glendalf.
"I guess. I try not to think about it. You kind of have to, just to get
on with the day."
By now, the orcs were done making dinner. Once the feasting was done,
Jenny and Glendalf sat and drank together for a while, and reminisced
about the good old days--battling Lord Grallyx on the astral plane,
besieging the Tower of Zirma with Octobriana, getting high with the
Magician of Mars in Washington to levitate the Pentagon--while the orcs
argued leftist theory and had loud sex.
It was then that Jegrekk Gnashtooth, the Orc computer hacker,
overhearing Jenny's reminiscences of reality shifts past, said "Have you
heard about all those teens reality shifting on tiktok?"
Jenny reflexively groaned at the mention of tiktok, along with everyone
else, even though in another life she was tiktok's most famous
Jegrekk regaled them all with the story of how teenagers were
hypnotizing themselves into believing they were reality-shifting into a
wizard school to pursue a certain wizarding bad-boy. Some people thought
it was tied to the reality shifting experiments of the CIA. Jenny knew,
of course, that this was all bullshit because reality shifting wasn't
What Jenny said was, "You could send your mind anywhere you can imagine
and you'd go there? Why can't anyone read another book?"
"It's unfortunate," said Glendalf. "Through her bigotry she's ruined the
good name of magic and alchemy, and made billions of dollars off it."
"You know," said one of the other Orcs, Absoldar, "we could break into
her mansion and steal all her money."
"And," said Jegrekk, "they say that in her basement she keeps the
Legendary Time Crystal!"
"Well that's settled then," said Glendalf. "That's our adventure. Are
you on board, Jenny?"
"Yes," said Jenny. Most of what she felt these days was either anger or
exhaustion, and she was angry now.
After they'd spent a little bit of time drawing up plans and drinking
some more of the mead Glendalf had brought, the visitors all laid out
their sleeping bags on the apartment floor and went to bed. That night,
Glendalf had a bad acid flashback. He dreamed there were spiders
crawling all over his body. They actually were. That happens sometimes
when you're a wizard. Jenny helped nurse him through it, as he'd helped
her when she was struck by memories of shifting through the overvoid.
The next day, they were all pretty short on sleep but champing at the
bit to get on with it. Jenny and Glendalf packed their things and set
out with four of the orcs--Jegrekk, Absoldar (who'd been a hitman in the
Orc mafia), the con artist J. Barrington Boartusk, and the cat burglar
Agrzaan Lurgpin. The rest of them had all vanished because they were too
many for the narrative to keep track of.
Glendalf rummaged around in his purse and pulled out a miniaturized
airship. Chanting his magic words, he expanded it to full size, and they
all boarded it and set out for Scotland.
As the airship sailed through the clouds over the ocean, the orcs
regaled Jenny and Glendalf with an ancient song of their history. They
had been formed long ago by a god of great power, who they refused to
name, to conquer the world. In time they had risen up against their
creator and killed him with their own hands. Now every Orc trained for
battle every moment of their life, for the moment of their death when
they went to the afterworld to battle their god and ensure he would
never return. They were famed all over the world for their strength and
skill at arms, but the orcs gathered here were of the opinion that other
kinds of strength--strength of mind and imagination--would be useful in
the unending battle too. Although, as Absoldar pointed out, it never
hurts to have a big gun.
Reaching Scotland, they passed over a thick forest, where they saw
figures scuttling which may or may not have been human and heard
snatches of song and cries that might have been of terror or ecstasy.
These were the woods of Faerie.
"We should touch down here," said Jegrekk.
"Why?" said Absoldar.
"Don't you want to hear what's making all those noises?"
"Not really," said Absoldar.
"We could pick up more treasure there!" said J. Barrington Boartusk.
"Or get ourselves killed," said Agrzaan. "We've got to keep our eyes on
the prize: the Legendary Time Crystal. Isn't that right, Glendalf?"
"Well," said Glendalf, "I'm thinking maybe we should stop here."
"Well, what's the point of an adventure without digressions?"
Jenny, as was so often the case, could see both sides of the issue.
"OK," she said. "Let's come back here after we get the Time Crystal and
the rest of the moolah, deal?" The others uneasily agreed to that, and
the ship sailed on to its destination.
The plan was simple. Jenny and J. Barrington Boartusk would pretend to
be filmmakers making a documentary about the writer that would assert
her side of the story. She would never be able to resist the opportunity
to unload her petty resentments for hours and hours. Meanwhile, Jagrekk
would hack into the mansion's computer network and transfer all the
money from her bank accounts and Glendalf would take care of the magical
defenses, while Jenny would join with Agrzaan in sneaking into the
basement and stealing the crystal itself, administering the coup de grace.
The ship closed in on the mansion, a Georgian edifice with bizarre
Gothic excrescences built onto it. It had been built up into something
larger than a castle, joined to several towers and treehouses. It might
have been charming once but had been built up into a huge, bloated
structure that was a disastrous combination of banality and bad taste,
aptly mirroring, as Glendalf noted, the state of her book series.
The plan went off without a hitch. The billionaire writer was so eager
to pontificate about why trans women were the greatest threat to free
speech that she scarcely noticed everything going on under her nose.
Soon, Jenny and Agrzaan had snuck in through the mansion's elaborate
network of secret passages and made their way to the basement.
The endless rooms of the basement were stacked with detritus and
memorabilia of the British Empire—old photographs, school ties, military
uniforms, fist edition Enid Blytons.
Jenny grimaced and slammed a door shut. “It’s got to be here somewhere,
“Shhhh!” said Agrzaan. “We're nearJust be careful. Don't make a noise!”
Just then, Jenny heard a harsh beeping sound. It was her phone.
It was her mom, texting her from the end of time. “Goddamn it, not now!”
Agrzaan sshed her but it was too late. The alarms were blaring. She
heard a hideous clanking noise coming their way.
It was a vintage East India Company mobile drone cannon, which had been
restored and polished with considerable effort. The large gatling gun
emplacement clanked awkwardly on its spider legs, but Jenny knew from
many battles where she'd faced such things how dangerous they could be.
Agrzaan pulled a smoke bomb from his pocket and threw it at the drone,
confusing its sensors. Jenny whipped the scarf off her neck and dodged
and weaved around the drone, entangling it. Its heavy, swift-moving
spider-legs had a nasty kick to them, but Jenny shifted between the
different martial arts styles she'd learned in her many lives and had it
on the ropes. Agrzaan finished it off by stabbing it in the engine with
his thunderbolt-iron dagger. The drone screamed, spun around and fell to
By now, though, the alarms were going off and all the other security
measures of the basement had been activated. They rushed off to the
vault where the Time Crystal was held to take care of it as quickly as
The vault was already open. The case that held the Legendary Time
Crystal was suspended in midair, surrounded by laser cannons, above a
pool full of robotic sharks, but none of that mattered because it was
Just then, Jenny got a call from Jagrekk. "Jenny, Agrzaan," he said,
"the billionaire's dead. Someone snuck into the house disguised as one
of her servant robots and shot her. They--"
"I know," said Jenny dismally. "Whoever it was got the Time Crystal."
"Indeed," said a voice from behind them. Jenny turned around. There was
a woman in a sort of deep blue Napoleonic military uniform with a white
cape, holding a sword at her side. It was, of course, Laura.
Of course it was her. Jenny knew that the good state of things between
them could only last for so long. The forging and breaking of the bond
they shared seemed to be part of the structure of the multiverse.
"Laura," she said, "I need the Crystal to save the continua--"
"Then why didn't you save it in the first place? You were the one who
was supposed to prevent all this from happening. You failed us all. I
will use the crystal to restore the multiverse properly--"
"With you in charge, right?" said Jenny.
"Naturally. I am the only right person for the job."
Jenny shook her head. She'd heard all this before, many times in many
lives. "Here we go again," she said. She pulled the collapsible staff
from her jacket pocket, pressing the button on the side, expanding it to
full size. The staff vibrated in her hands and glowed an eerie shade of
"It would seem so," said Laura. She drew her sword, which hummed and
buzzed and turned an angry red. The sword struck out at her, and the
staff clashed with it, and the vibrations made Jenny's flesh tremble.
Her body shook and quivered as the fight went on. The world flashed and
shifted around them, becoming all the places they'd fought before--a
high tower, an alien battlefield, a city under the sea.
The world dissolved around them.
And Jenny screamed.
END ACT I
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