Of New and Old is the seventh chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court. It may be found .
This chapter starts in medias res with Annie standing at the Court's side of the Annan bridge. An alarm is going off inside the school. Kat is standing on the steps of the Court watching the scene as well. Annie reflects that she shouldn't be here. Reynardine is tugging on Annie's jumper for her to go, and Eglamore is running along the bridge, looking angry and desperate. To our surprise, Robot is back, and walking from Gillitie Wood toward Annie. The TicTocs, ticking birds who have been featured throughout the story, are also gathering around the bridge as the scene unfolds. Something is wrong.
The story shifts to that morning. Annie, Kat, and Eglamore are in the Donlans' house (which is inside the school, as all teachers live in the Court). Mrs. Donlan asks Annie to call her Anja (outside of class, of course) and introduces her husband Donald. Anja invited them here to talk about Reynardine, and also knows that Kat knows about Reynardine. Eglamore states that it was unfair of him to burden Annie with such a secret. Anja says that they were all working on a way to extract Reynardine from Sivo (see Chapter 3), and Donald states happily that that chapter of their lives is over now, and Reynardine can't hurt anyone anymore. They don't know that Reynardine in fact possessed Annie's toy wolf. Anja also shows them a picture which shows Anja, Donald, Eglamore, Surma, and Anthony as students at the Court, along with That Girl. (Kat comments on the cuteness of one of the boys in the picture, to which Eglamore replies that it's him, much to Kat's embarrassment.)
It turns out that the five were a close-knit bunch back in the day. Donald says that Anthony always had a habit of disappearing for a while without telling anyone where he is. Eglamore grumpily says that it appears he hasn't changed. Donald continues, saying that they also have no means of contacting Anthony; when he wants to disappear, he does so. However, he says that Anthony has provided everything Annie needs at the Court and that she needn't worry. Annie understands. Eglamore continues to grumble. Kat claims that this is really no help at all, and Eglamore outbursts as well, claiming Anthony never thought of anyone but himself, saying "First Surma, and now his own child...".
Annie cuts short an argument by revealing her stuffed wolf, which she had been carrying in her pack. Anja immediately cringes as she sees the doll, claiming something is wrong with it. Annie commands Reynardine show himself, which he angrily does, to several reactions. Eglamore whips out a knife and Anja creates a binding forcefield of some sort. Annie stops them from attacking Reynardine, and tells Reynardine to tell them the truth: he is now under Annie's control. Eglamore demands Annie turn the demon over to them. Annie refuses and leaves, Reynardine snickering from Annie's bag.
In the room, the three adults discuss what just occurred. Eglamore blames himself for this mess, but Anja comforts him. Donald looks at Eglamore's pocketknife, which he is still holding, and says "You still carry that thing, Jim?" Eglamore replies "Always." On the knife we see the inscription James, with love. Surma.
That night, Annie apologizes for being so blunt to her parents. Kat says its alright. Reynardine asks if the two are going to start kissing, which he'd enjoy watching. Annie angrily commands him not to speak until she tells him to. Kat notices a glint outside the window on the bridge. Annie looks and, thinking it might be Robot, decides to go see. She puts Reynardine in her bag and she and Kat go to the bridge.
Annie sees that it is Robot, and runs off the steps to see if he needs help. This sets off the alarm in the school, because Court students aren't allowed on the bridge. Annie, realizing there's no turning back now, runs along the bridge to Robot, leaving a confused Kat behind.
Annie runs up to Robot, who now sports a right arm (see Chapter 1) made entirely of organic material. He greets Annie kindly enough, and Annie also notices Shadow 2 beneath his feet. Reynardine sneers at Shadow2 inexplicably.
Eglamore suddenly bursts from the school building, carrying a long object wrapped in cloth. He asks Kat, who's still watching, what's going on. Kat explains that a robot has come from Gillitie Wood, at which Eglamore suddenly springs from the steps and races toward Annie.
This leads to the scene at the beginning of the chapter. Robot explains that "The Very Nice Man" gave him his new arm. Reynardine is pulling at her jumper, trying to get her to leave. Annie remarks that Reynardine is being quite rude, when she notices Eglamore running up to her. Robot hears Annie say "Reynardine" and says that "This makes things much easier!" He clamps onto Reynardine's neck with his robotic hand. A TicToc makes a BEEEE! noise instead of its usual ticking. Eglamore uncovers what he was carrying, a glowing purple sword, and hurls it at Robot.
Robot turns after snatching Reynardine and pushes Annie off the edge of the bridge. The sword then strikes Robot, severing both his arms and causing Shadow 2 to seemingly dissolve into nothing.
A TicToc takes flight. Annie falls off the edge of the bridge. Eglamore finally catches up and reaches out a hand in a futile attempt to save her, crying "SURMA!"
The chapter ends.
Characters introduced in this chapter
- In the second panel of bismuth and an alternative symbol for antimony can be seen. This symbol is often used as the court's symbol. , the alchemic symbol for
- On the bonus page it says "Ora lege relege labora et invenies" which translates to "Pray, read, reread and you shall find".
|Gunnerkrigg Court Chapters|
|Volume 1|| |
The Shadow and the Robot • Schoolyard Myths • Reynardine • Not Very Scary • Two Strange Girls • A Handful of Dirt • Of New and Old • Broken Glass and Other Things • Questions and Answers • Doctor Disaster Versus the Creepy Space Aliens from Outer Space • Dobranoc, Gamma• Mainly Involves Robots • A Week for Kat • The Fangs of Summertime
|Extra Comics||Bonus Pages • City Face (comic) • Annie in the Forest • Traveller|