Faraway Morning is the thirty-fourth chapter in Gunnerkrigg Court. It starts .
The students of Queslett House are sneaking off again for the night. Since the Court can track the students' locations, the girls plan to leave behind robots with a couple of transmitters to mask their signals. The boys, meanwhile, bring along Lindsey's husband Bud to cover their tracks. They go to a pub-like building and spend the whole night there.
Annie has been pretty distant from Jack, and starts talking with him, while the rest of the group parties in the lobby. Jack admits that he made the transmitters to help cover his tracks while he explores at night, and asks Annie about the summer in the forest. As she does, however, we switch to John, who shows Margo a mandolin that he promises is not haunted. The others ask about this, and they tell a story.
Last year, after a string breaks on John's guitar, they find a perfectly in tune mandolin in a storage room for used instruments. As he begins to play and Margo begins to sing, two horrifying ghosts appear and terrify them for several days. They think back to the song, but realize neither knew the words or the melody, and just came to them as they played it. So they finish the song, and the ghosts return to a more living appearance, giving them peace.
Jack asks how the blinker stone works, and Annie tells him about its etheric properties, and that her abilities are beginning to outgrow it. He asks if he can use it, as he apparently possesses some etheric ability, and promises that he won't steal it this time. She hands it to him.
As Margo sketches the pair, and Kat shows Bud some scientific diagrams, William and Janet are performing a finger trick which Paz is eager to try on Matt. William asks if Matt has told everyone about the girl he met, which surprises everyone else and embarrasses Matt. At Paz's and WIlliam's insistence, he tells the story.
Matt was walking from his class when he met a rabbit in the hallway. A girl carrying several notes on the moon was chasing after it. She was on her way to a presentation to the Court astronomers, to explain what caused the giant fingerprint shape on the moon. They enjoy each so much, that they are sad to part ways when they reach the conference. He never saw her again.
Embarrassed by the story, Paz leaves and Kat chases after her. Kat assures her that he was just upset over losing such a special person so quickly, and that Paz is far prettier than this girl could be. Paz draws away, insisting that she's not "like that". Kat quickly backtracks from this, insisting she didn't mean it that way. Both dodge the subject, and Kat insists on bringing the guys over as they awkwardly leave.
Annie and Jack are on an upstairs balcony. Annie is telling Jack that Bud can still see them from this distance, although he probably doesn't know she can see him. Jack pulls closer to Annie, and Annie tells him she doesn't like him that much. To her confusion, Jack is relieved to hear this, as he didn't know how to react around Annie, and reveals that he is in love with Zimmy. He agrees that the spiders might have planted something, but he genuinely feels something for her. Annie still holds a grudge on Jack for hurting Reynardine and leaving them at the power plant, which Jack says he's already apologized lots of times for something he had no control over. She argues why he was trying to "get cozy" with her, and he felt like it seemed the appropriate thing to do, and is really not upset over the whole thing. The two have a laugh over the thought of Zimmy winning over Jack's parents with a nice dress and new hairstyle. Annie starts to apologize for her outburst, but Jack knows "this wasn't some 'flash of anger' thing." She undoes the knot in her hair and humbly asks for an apology. Jack accepts, and tells Annie that she's got some things to figure out. Annie doesn't know what she's doing, and Jack asks if there is anyone who does. After she mentions Jones and Coyote, he tells her to shut up.
The other students are sharing snacks and sodas and starting a song, but William sings the girls' part, causing Janet to rebuke him. The other students remark at how friendly they've gotten, and the two finally reveal that they've been in a relationship for years, and they are tell their "story".
William an undercover cop, had infiltrated the street racing gangs when he met Janet. Janet corrects him: she was riding her horse through the flaxen meadow when she saw the handsome and rugged stable boy William. So William, undercover as a stable boy, stole all the gold from her father and kidnapped Janet and the horse, but the horse turned out to be a spy, and would not reveal their relationship if he won the street race, which he did.
None of the students pay attention to this story, to which the two are mildly annoyed. They happily share one more kiss.
Annie is still surprised that Jack is in love with Zimmy, but Jack insists that one can't choose your emotions. Annie says that a friend told her that burying emotions makes one stronger. Jack suggests that such a friend must not be happy.
As the sun rises, Jack decides to head out, telling her to sleep. Annie asks if he still wants a kiss; Jack says no. They hug as Kat watches them. Annie asks to share the chair with Kat, who asks if Jack and she are going out. Annie says no. As Kat falls asleep, Annie eavesdrops on Bud telling his wife that the kids are just having fun, unlike the trouble their parents caused. She cringes as the two merostomatozons kiss.
Characters introduced in this chapter
Notes and Trivia
- Tom was planning to make a whole chapter about the ghost story Margo and John told.
- The print Chang'e is talking to Matt about is most likely the one Annie left when she touched the moon on page .
- Bud and Lindsey's names are taken from the movie The Abyss.