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Every Time, Everywhere #0005: Going Nowhere Fast

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A woman named Jenny Everywhere exists, has existed, or will exist in every universe in which it is possible for a woman named Jenny Everywhere to exist. In your personal experience, the vast majority of cases happened because you happened to enter said universe; you hardly ever meet another Jenny Everywhere who was already there. Broadly speaking, each Jenny Everywhere is more-or-less identical in looks, personality, and abilities; you are therefore comfortable referring to your alternates in the first person singular.

Conversely, a woman named Jenny Nowhere exists, has existed, or will exist in every universe in which it is possible for a woman named Jenny Nowhere to exist. The similarities between them begin and end with the name and "she doesn't like Jenny Everywhere very much"; in practical terms, a given Jenny Nowhere could be anyone or anything. They aren't even consistent about how dangerous they are; the last one you ran into was a cashier at a convenience store who was passive-aggressive at you when you bought a snack, for God's sake. The one before that was a literal goddess, and the one before that was a small-time supervillain. (One of your alternates once got stuck in this weird Japanese pocket-dimension where she ran into a woman who called herself Jenny Nowhere when you introduced yourself, but who was revealed to be a local reality-warping asshole who usually went by the name Yukari Yakumo; you're inclined to say this counts, though.) You're pretty sure that if you ever discovered an explanation, a grand unifying reason as to why there are so many Jenny Nowheres in existence, the next Jenny Nowhere you ran into wouldn't fit the explanation.

You read over the news article. Nope, it doesn't say anything useful or intelligible about Jenny Nowhere, it just drops her name in there. You've got to find out more, fast.

Oh right, duh. You pull out your smartphone and head to Wikipedia (via a WLAN called "Fin Dining Fishing Net").

A chubby young woman with red hair in a ponytail smirks back at you from the web page. "Jenny Nowhere" is the handle of Jennifer Norway, a grey hat hacker (it links to an article titled "Computer hacker (superpower)" which basically tells you everything you need to know about IT security in this universe). It says she's helped save the world a few times, and she usually only performs "ethical hacking," but she has something of a superiority complex when she hacks on her own initiative; she has justified not-quite-so-ethical hacking by saying, "if they don't want me breaking in, their security should be less shitty." She has identified her philosophy as "probably Objectivist, mostly moral relativist" and has mostly just shown herself to be entirely coasting on semi-enlightened self-interest. (Hot damn you can see why you and she wouldn't get along.) She disappeared a week ago, on December 4th at 12:11 AM, and her disappearance was attributed to Prayer's Mania.

You wiki-walk a bit. The article on Prayer's Mania is very short, has no photo, and has a big message announcing a general uncertainty as to whether he is notable enough to exist outside "List of supervillains in Brighton N through P." He's currently being chased by the Legion of Lethal Heroes, a group of well-meaning individuals whose powers are more-or-less inherently deadly. You decide to save looking them up until you've found out more about Prayer's Mania.

Unfortunately, the news articles are somewhat sparse, too, and Google Image Search has three images repeated endlessly: two blurry photos of a man in a skull mask, one of them at night with him surrounded by green glowy shit, and one bathroom-mirror-selfie on a bloodstained flip-top phone, held aloft by green glowy shi. His head tilted and he's doing a sideways peace-sign with his hands. The selfie lets you see the skull-mask more clearly; its't this stylized thing with vertical lines for teeth like The Punisher, except shaped more like something out of Darksiders or possibly Scream.

The waitress appears with your Flounder Aimlessly at that point. "Here you go."

"Ah, thanks," you say, putting your phone away. Then you stop suddenly. "Oh god ..."

"What is it?" she asks.

"'Fishing net' in your wifi thing, I just realized the pun."

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4 Comments (auto-closed) (rss feed)

Dizzy H. Muffin

1. Jenny Nowhere not even the same in two versions of the same story!

2. If anyone's surprised that I'm not upd8ing today/tomorrow I have REALLY bad news for you

Dizzy H. Muffin

Hm, having a bit of trouble getting through the next page. This'll take a bit ...

Ununnilium

Coming back to this, and might I say, the idea that Jenny Nowhere is different in every universe is one of my favorites.

Dizzy H. Muffin

That's actually part of Jenny Nowhere's official profile.