JE: The Hermetic Garbage of Jenny Everywhere Act III, part II

Jeanne Morningstar mrfantastic7 at
Thu Jan 6 10:09:57 PST 2022

[Note: in the version of this story posted on Tumblr, there were a 
couple of font tricks I can't really replicate in this version. The 
Archondroids used monospace font, while Glendalf's spell was written in 
Lucille and colored pink.]


Beneath the sign adorned by a heraldic image of (naturally) a red lion, 
she saw another that said: GOOD LODGING FOR TRAVELERS. "I... think I 
remember this now," she said.

"I think I might too," said Glendalf. "Shall we go?"

"Sounds good to me," said Jenny, and opened the door.

She was struck by the smell of delicious food, the sound of laughter and 
arguments. The place was a true dive, but it had life and joy in it that 
immediately lifted their weary spirits.

There were many inns and restaurants that called themselves the Red 
Lion, but there was only one true Red Lion Inn. The Red Lion Inn was one 
of the great disreputable interstitial bars and taverns of the 
hypercosmos, shifting its location across time and space to avoid the 
attention of the powers that be such as ARCHONET. A maze of hidden 
tunnels and exits in the basement led to many dimensions. Here came 
heroes seeking quests, criminals on the run from the law, queer people 
seeking hookups, and anyone looking for a place to stay. The Bartender 
had set the rule that anyone could stay at the Inn for free as long as 
they needed, and in return she could call in one favor from them at any 
time in their life.


The bouncer, was an enormous alligator-man who wore sunglasses, jeans 
and a pink crop-topped tshirt of a simply drawn Sanrio alligator with 
"BIG CHALLENGES" written on it. "Jenny!" he shouted. "What brings ya 
around these parts?" He spoke in a wildly exaggerated, cartoonish 
old-timey Brooklyn accent.

"Just the usual, Lockjaw. Got caught up in an Adventure and now I could 
use a break." The alligator-man ushered them into the bar and Jenny 
staggered in bar, supporting Glendalf on her shoulder. They took a seat 
before the bar.

Looking around the bar, she saw a huge variety of people--cyborg 
soldiers and supermen, elves and orcs, witches and detectives, gods and 
demons, and some who just looked like regular people and may even have been.

She saw Anansi chatting up Osiris in the corner. Tieresias was having an 
elaborate discussion about magic and transness with Morgan Le Fay. The 
Whore of Babylon was advertising her services to Irene Adler. Achilles 
was having an arm-wrestling match with Gilgamesh, and Loki was taking bets.

"Y'know," said a husky voice from beside Jenny, "I heard Achilles was 
getting into pro wrestling. But he quit."

"Why?" said Jenny.

"Because they wanted him to do a heel turn."

"Ow!" said Jenny. "Why are you like this?"

"You've made worse puns, believe me," said the Bartender.


Jenny looked up and met the blue eyes of the woman with glossy auburn 
hair, who stood tall in a plaid shirt and jeans. Her biceps were adorned 
with tattoos of the various divine and demonic powers she'd made pacts with.

"Hi, Mary," said Jenny.

"Hiya, Jenny. So are you just stopping in to stop in or are you looking 
for anything?"

"Well first of all," said Jenny, "I'll have a raspberry beer, and a 
mimosa for my friend here." She indicated Glendalf, slumped on the bar 
and resting his chin on his hands.

"Looks like he's already three sheets to the wind," said the Bartender.

"Things are bad out there."

"They sure are. Does he have a problem?"

"The Wild Hunt's on his tail."

"Shit," said the Bartender. "He shouldn't be here. He's a marked man. 
Nothing I can do for him. Your man's a Jonah."

"Well, I'm not staying here without him," said Jenny. She crossed her arms.

The Bartender looked him over carefully as she mixed the drinks. She 
could no longer tranform or take the power of the gods, but she still 
had the Wisdom of Solomon.

"I can't help him," she said. "But maybe someone else here can."


Amid all the different patrons of the bar, Jenny saw a figure sitting at 
a table alone, hunched down and staring into her drink.

"Be careful around that one," said the Bartender. "She's trouble. Got 
into a fight with Skadi last week. It was ugly. Damn near wrecked the 
whole bar."

"I know her," said Jenny.

The woman was tall, muscular, her majestic silver hair raked up into an 
enormous ponytail. As was so often the case, she wore an outfit that 
left little to the imagination, in this case cut-off jean shorts and a 
ripped t-shirt that just said "TRANS RAGE." On her forehead she bore a 
tattoo of a red star. Even here and now, she radiated strength and 
power. She was beautiful in the way a mountain was beautiful.

She was Octobriana.


Octobriana. Sometimes known as Nadezhda Pacenikov, the Spirit of the 
October Revolution, hero of the Soviet Union. Some said she came from an 
utopian Communist civilization in the far future to help guide us there. 
Some said was the daughter of a family of godlike beings that ruled an 
ancient empire, but was cast out when she turned against them and slew 
her own kin. Some said she was manifested psychically from the will of 
the proletariat itself. All these things were probably true somewhere.

Exiled from the country she loved when the reigns of power changed 
hands, she wandered the world fighting oppressors and exploiters of all 
kinds, the anti-James Bond. Some called her a terrorist. Some called her 
a liberator. Jenny called her a friend.


Jenny sat down on the table by Octobriana, who didn't notice at first. 
She slouched down with her elbow on the table and rested her face on her 
palm. "Hi Nadia," she said. There were few who had earned the right to 
call her that name.

Octobriana blinked, slowly surfacing from the deep sea she had been lost 
in. "...Jenny?" she said.

"Yep! That sure is me."

"I... God, I thought I'd never see you again." Octobriana's eyes were 
filled with longing and loneliness. "This doesn't feel real, seeing you 
again," she said. "Nothing feels real anymore. Sometimes I fear I am 
still in the Tower of Zirma, tormented by visions of what was and what 
can never be."

"Well, it's real, and I'm here." Jenny smiled at her. She reached out to 
touch her hand, but Octobriana quickly pulled it back.


"Octobriana! Fancy meeting you here," said Glendalf, restored by the 
revivifying influence of the mimosa. He pulled up a chair beside them.

"Glendalf? You're here too?" said Octobriana. "Now there's another face 
I never expected to see again."

"I have a way of cropping up where I'm never expected, you know," said 
Glendalf. Octobriana laughed a little bit, and seemed more at ease; that 
was such a characteristic thing for him to say that he had to be real.

Jenny, Glendalf and Octobriana had once been teammates in the League of 
Liberation, a branch of the Sixth International. A secret organization 
that battled evil and oppression all over the world. It had been formed 
to fight the Sixth Column, a cult that worshipped the fascist space god 
Stardust the Super-Wizard. The League of Liberation was the Sixth 
International's frontline cadre of seasoned adventurers and 
super-champions: the Magician from Mars, Butterfly, Ace Harlem, 
Trashman, Madam Fatal and many more. Throughout the 1960s, the Sixth 
International had grown in power and strength, but by the end of the 
1970s it was all but gone. Occasional attempts to start a Seventh 
International had largely gone nowhere.


"It's good we found you," said Glendalf. "You see, Jenny and I both need 

"I hope you're not trying to drag me off on some adventure," said 
Octobriana. "I told you, I'm done with that."

"OK," said Jenny. "Do you just want to sit here, stare into your drink 
and do nothing for the rest of your life?"

"Yes," said Octobriana.

Jenny sighed. "Look. I know that--I know things are hard, with the way 
it all ended. I know we all blamed ourselves for, that, and it's hard to 
get over--"

"Trashman," said Glendalf.

They all looked at each other and said nothing. "He was a deeply 
frustrating man," said Glendalf after a while. "It was a shame a man 
with so much leather had to be so desperately heterosexual. And yet--" 
He sighed.

"Sometimes I still have dreams about his death."


In 1968, the team had finally defeated Stardust the Super-Wizard, but 
Trashman had lost his life in the battle. He'd been hard to work with 
sometimes, and Jenny, Glendalf and Octobriana had all frequently gotten 
into arguments with him. But he'd been the true believer in the Sixth 
International's cause. When he'd died, it was the beginning of the end. 
Without his motivating energy, and with the original enemy the team was 
formed to fight now gone, they'd lost their sense of purpose and drifted 
apart, going the way of the Companions of the Black Star before them.

"I remember," said Octobriana. "And that's exactly why I don't want to 
make that mistake again. Whatever you need, I can't help you."

"Look, the Wild Hunt's on Glendalf's tail," said Jenny. "You're the only 
one who can stop them. The Wonder Machine--"

"The Wonder Machine is broken. No one knows how to repair it."

"The Magician from Mars does."

"And no one knows where they are. They left without telling us anything. 
No one's heard from them in decades."

"I can find them," said Jenny. "I really can. Just give me a bit. And 
then, I can fix the Wonder Machine and find the Legendary Time Crystal 
and save the hypercosmos from collapsing..."

"The legendary what now?" said Octobriana.

"Ah, that was something that was supposed to be important earlier that I 
kind of forgot about," said Jenny. "But I think I need it, and if we 
have the Wonder Machine and the Magician we can find it. So how about that?"

Octobriana shook her head.

"Look," said Jenny, "we can't undo Trashman's death. But we can make up 
for it by making sure we don't lose another comrade from the old days. 
How about that?"

Octobriana looked deep into her eyes and pondered. She was about to 
speak. But at that moment, the choice was taken out of her hands.


The music stopped. The motorik beat of Hawkwind's Space Ritual, which 
had been chugging along in the background, came to a halt. A cold 
silence fell.

"Shit," said the voice of Tieresias from nearby. "The cops are here." At 
this, everyone stood up as one and mobbed their way to the back of the 
bar, heading to the entrance to the tunnels.

"I see," said Octobriana. She stood up, proud and tall. "Then I will 
fight them."

"No," said the Bartender. She'd strode from behind the bar as soon as 
she could, no doubt familiar with the kind of trouble Octobriana could 
create. "They're Archondroids. Even you'd never be able to take them. I 
can't shift the inn in time--you have to head to the tunnels"

Jenny's face flushed with rage and guilt. She'd have to have words with 
her mother if she ever got back to Redoubt.

"I can, and I will," said Octobriana, clenching her fists and her jaw.


"No, you don't understand," said the Bartender. "It's not like it used 
to be. In the old days if they caught us they'd just shake us down, take 
the fine and arrest a few of us. It's been different ever since the 
Collapse. Now, ARCHONET really wants us gone."

"If they want me, they can have me," said Octobriana, "and we'll see 
who's left standing."

"Let me handle this," said Glendalf. "In the words of the immortal 
Hollywood Montrose, there's two things I love to do: fight and kiss 
boys. But this isn't the time for either of them." His staff glowed with 
a bright pink light. [Sleep], he recited.

Octobriana's eyes snapped shut and she fell on the floor. Glendalf put 
his arms around her and tried to pull her up, but she was quite heavy 
and a full head taller than him. "Ah," he said. "I should have thought 
this through."

"Let me handle this," said Jenny. "We used to do this all the time when 
we went out drinking." She put Octobriana's other arm on her shoulder 
and lifted her off the floor.

But it was too late. She heard a harsh, mechanical voice ringing out:



The gleaming Archondroids burst through the door, scattering splinters 
of wood before them. Flanking them were power-armored human soldiers, 
jackbooted nobodies hopped up on borrowed power. Typical fascists. They 
had a sickly eager gleam in their eyes. The people still left in the 
bar, even the gods, mages and myths, were frozen in fear. So, too, was 
Jenny, pulled back from the desire for heroism and adventure that had 
been slowly rising within her into the helplessness of the convenience 

So this was it, thought Jenny. Her quest had come to an end. The best 
she could hope for was to get her mother to bail her out, and maybe 
Glendalf and Octobriana too. She'd never be able to find the Legendary 
Time Crystal, never be able to save Glendalf from the Wild Hunt--

"Wait. Hold on," whispered Jenny. "If we've got two different implacable 
forces of destruction on our heels, then maybe--"

"Maybe we can use them against each other," said Glendalf. "Capital idea!"

Jenny put her fingers to her lips and whistled on a frequency only those 
of Faerie could hear. She heard the roar of the Wild Hunt in the distance.


The Archondroids stopped their implacable march and turned their heads 
around. Some of the power-armored soldiers whipped around and pointed 
their guns there, while others kept their eyes on the bar or swayed back 
and forth.

The Riders of the Wild Hunt burst into the room, shattering what was 
left of the wall. They cackled and chittered to themselves. EMERGENCY, 
EMERGENCY shouted the Archondroids. The Riders struck them, and a battle 
began, the walls of the bar flashing with the cold light of the 
Archondroids' energy blasts and the flickering hot light of the burning 

And Jenny and Glendalf, holding Octobriana as best they could, staggered 
to the entrance to the tunnels.


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