From The Forest She Came is the thirty-second chapter in Gunnerkrigg Court. It starts .
We start with a row of what looks like five capsules underwater. The panel zooms in to one of the windows and we see Reynardine's face, in his wolf form. He looks depressed. He pulls away from the window and paces around the room, which looks like a bedroom, until he hears a 'Clonk' sound. He looks up.
Annie walks in, dressed in forest garb down to the leaves in her hair, and says his name. He replies 'Child'. They look at each other for a moment before he embraces her, his tail wagging. He comments that she smells like the forest, and she laughs. He says 'Look at you! You stayed with the Anwyn? I know them!' She replies, 'Yes! Khepi had a baby boy!' Reynardine replies, 'Good for them!'. Annie pulls back her sleeve to reveal the binding Coyote put on her. It unwinds and vanishes. Reynardine asks why Coyote would do that. Annie tells him it was because he didn't want her telling anyone about the tooth, and Reynardine says that 'there's no telling what that fool will do'. He tells her that he kept the tooth safe and that he also put Kat's book back after Annie left. She thanks him and he tells her that he's sorry for what he said.
Annie says that she's glad he told her, but she's sorry for being so cruel to him and pushing him to tell her. She tells him that if he wants to return to the Forest, she'll let him, no matter what the Court says. He tells her not to ask that of him. He says that while Surma may not have loved him, his feelings were real and they haven't gone away. Besides, without him, who would take care of Annie?
Annie asks about the new dorms. Reynardine says he thought he saw something swimming out there. Jones moved all her things and he made sure they weren't damaged. Annie says that Ysengrin explained what Jones was to her... or at least, he tried to. Reynardine says diplomatically that Jones can be interesting company. Annie tentatively asks if anyone else is there, to which Reynardine replies no, though Kat's room is next to hers. Annie says happily that she should be here at any moment as they walk into a room with a giant pool. She taps on a computer console and comments that she doesn't know what it does as it says 'SRZ6'.
Kat walks in, looking tanned and very sober-faced. Annie greets her with enthusiasm, but Kat simply replies, 'Hey, Annie. Rey'. She walks past them and down to her own room. Annie rummages through her bag, takes out a pair of boots and offers them to Kat, saying that she made them for Kat. Kat replies 'Right. OK'. She tries to excuse herself, saying that she needs to get more of her things. Annie desperately apologises and asks how Kat's holiday was. Kat explains that when she first heard that Annie ran off, she was devastated. She and Anja both blamed themselves. Then they heard the reason, and Kat was incredibly worried. Then Jones told her that Annie was staying in the Forest. They went on holiday without Annie, and Kat worried about her a lot, and wished she was there too. She admits that she felt a little angry that Annie would ditch her like that, and that made her feel worse... and now she doesn't know what to think.
Annie apologises. Kat says that she knows Annie's sorry, and it's not like Annie planned to run off... but sometimes Annie makes it really hard to be her friend. Kat walks outside and along a walkway over the sea.
At another building, Kat begins to collect her bag and encounters Robot. She greets him, but he begins to act strangely before kicking over her bag and proclaiming that he has to annoy and cause inconvenience. Annie runs in, calling out that Robot has gone mad and that Kat needs to help fix him. She does something with her blinker stone to trap him. Kat, catching on, frowns. Annie suggests that she could hack him. Kat keeps frowning. Finally, she tells them to have fun and leaves.
Annie thanks Robot for his help. Robot says he hopes that he didn't inconvenience Kat too much, and says that she grows more beautiful by the day. Annie says that the situation calls for an even more complex scheme that will make Kat her friend again. She asks Robot 'Wait, what?' and Robot repeats his last comment, minus his ode to Kat's beauty.
Shadow 2 greets Kat. He asks her if she's fallen out with Annie. Kat replies 'No... I dunno. Why, what's she put you up to?' Shadow 2 says he's supposed to tell Kat that Annie's been kidnapped by evil dino-demons. Kat apologises to him. Shadow says that it's all right and that he hopes they patch things up. Elsewhere, Mort in dino-demon form tells Annie that he doesn't think Kat will fall for it. Annie tells him that he needs to look more evil and suggests more horns.
In the library, Kat compliments Basil on his new goatee. She asks what Annie told him to ask Kat's help for. Basil admits it was a 'mad fairy uprising'. Kat laughs. Basil asks if they're fighting. Kat says no, she's not even mad at Annie. Basil reminds her that Annie really cares about her- she's been running all over the place trying to set things right. Kat admits that Annie's been very sweet around it, until she's interrupted by Red, who screams at her to be friends with Annie again.
All over the school, Annie surprises Kat until Kat screams at her 'Enough already!' She walks along the walkway and says out loud that she knows Annie's just trying to say sorry, and that Kat shouldn't keep Annie hanging like this. Near the walkway, a huge monster best described as an enormous, monstrous crab surfaces. Kat laughs and says that now she's impressed. Thinking the monster is Annie, she tells it that she accepts its apology and says that she didn't know how to feel. She wishes they could have gone on holiday together, but she understands how upset Annie must have been. She says that she hopes Annie knows she could have talked to Kat about it, and that she really missed Annie, who is standing nearby. Kat turns, sees Annie and says, 'Oh, there you are! What is this thing? It's seriously creeping me out, haha.' Annie's responding look of horror tells Kat all she needs to know.
Both girls bolt back inside, a claw following them. Kat screams that she touched the monster with her hand. Annie asks what it could be, as she's never heard of anything like it. Kat says that what she thought was a swimming pool is actually a moon pool- it opens out to the water in the tank. Crab claws surface in the water.
Annie, blinker stone in her hand, tells Kat to stay behind her. Reynardine wanders out, asking what's going on out there. Annie calls out to him to watch out. He looks up as a claw hangs near his head. The claw begins to type on the computer, which says 'Okay that is quite enough thank you'.
Reynardine introduces them- the crab is Lindsey, who he met while they were running around. Lindsey types 'Sorry I didn't introduce myself earlier I was at work'. Annie asks if Lindsey works at the Court. Lindsey replies that the Court employs her as a consultant, and that she has a PhD in structural engineering. Kat asks why the Court would put Lindsey in their tank. Lindsey types that technically they're in her tank. She helped the design the dorms and is keeping an eye on things, making sure they don't spring a leak. She then says that springing a leak isn't likely to happen.
Lindsey says that Renard told her what happened. She says that it's a new year and it would be a shame if friends didn't experience it together. Annie agrees. Kat tows her out of there, calling back that they've got something to think about. Once they're outside, Kat shudders, muttering 'Oh my God... so creepy..." Annie tells her that she doesn't know how else to apologise. Kat says that she doesn't have to apologise since Kat isn't mad at her. She thought she needed some space from Annie when she got back, but it didn't help, since they haven't seen each other for six weeks. Annie says that she ran away without thinking and that it was a weak and selfish thing to have done. Renard points out that he didn't really help there. Kat tells them not to worry and that Lindsey was right- she just wants to go back to being friends again. Also, she loves the Princess Mononoke look Annie's got (which Annie is puzzled by).
Later, Kat tries on the boots Annie gave her, laughing that she can't believe Annie asked Red to help. Annie replies 'Desperate times!' as she tries on a hat. Kat loves the boots, which fit perfectly. Annie tells her that she made the boots so that they will always fit Kat perfectly. Kat says that it's crazy talk. She thanks Annie, who thanks her for the hat. They hug. Kat's eyes pop open and she tells Annie that she loves her very much, and so, with love, Annie needs to go take a shower. Reynardine protests that Annie smells wonderful, and the chapter ends.
Characters and Places Introduced this Chapter
Notes and Trivia
- After this chapter there are two black-white pages of Kat showing the movie Princess Mononoke to Annie and Rey.