Jenni is almost as old as I am as far as reality is concerned, and has grown and changed right along with me. She began life very simply as a member of a species of fox know to themselves as Eek-eeks because of the sounds they used to communicate with one another. I did not recognize her as a separate entity at this time because I was in preschool when my best friend and I came up with the concept of Eek-eek foxes. I was still young enough to "play pretend." (On a side note, I do not think that inventing species at the age of four is normal.) As time went on I came to the realization that my fox persona was a good deal different from my own personality. She did things that I could only dream of. She could make a passable meal from what she could glean from nature. She was a good deal bolder than I. She cared deeply about people, and was not afraid to do what had to be done to allow for herself and her friends to survive. As a separate being, she needed a name of her own--a real name. Still in preschool, I toyed with the typical ones--"Crystal," "Diamond," and the like. Those didn't fit. I gave up and didn't think about it much for several years. I was getting into grade school; and then we moved, so there wasn't as much opportunity for that kind of play anymore. My friend was a long drive away.
It wasn't until I was about eight or nine that an idea hit me. I had made new friends and discovered a new way to play. This involved making characters to fit in with the world of Sonic the Hedgehog and company, the world called Mobius (all of which are owned by Sega or some such company). The Mobians were animal-like, but they walked on two legs and talked with words. Sonic was the leader of a group of Freedom Fighters, sworn enemy of the very human-like Robotnic, who was turning the Mobians into--who would've guessed--robots to fulfill his evil schemes. Well, I wanted to be a part of this. My friends seemed to be having a lot of fun with this game. So I needed a character. I had one. After much thought and a flash of inspiration, in my mind the nameless Eek-eek fox got up on her back legs, smiled winningly, and introduced herself to the world as Jenny. She remained in that form for some years more.
It was during this time that she developed her penchant for healing. In a game inspired by a session of Oregon Trail (an oldish computer game), the characters of my two friends and I (as well as several NPCs along for the ride) were on a long journey to somewhere or another. One fell ill, as happened so often on the Trail. I don't recall exactly how it happened that I, as Jenny, came to be the caretaker of the ill, but it did, and she was good at it. I say she and not I because I didn't actually have any skill in medicine at all, and I still don't, though I know a good deal more about things now. The vicarious emotional gratification of caring and being cared for generated by that game kept us going back to a similar plotline for years. Eventually it developed into something... odd.
My two friends invented a sickness comprised of what were probably the worst symptoms they could come up with ay the time. The course of the disease started out fairly normally: a slight fever, a headache. Then it turned flu-like with nausea and vomiting. The aforementioned symptoms got progressively worse. It became nearly impossible for the victim to keep anything down. Still just a really bad flu, though. However, the worst was yet to come. They would start dreaming. Horrible dreams. Nightmares. The worst things lurking hidden in one's memory came back to haunt and torment. The disease had still not run its course. Likely from lack of sleep and nourishment (not that we thought about that at the time), the victim would start hallucinating in a manner similar to the dreaming. If there was a phobia, it would come out full force. They were forced to re-live everything horrible in their past. Without just the right sort of attention at crucial intervals, the sufferer would slip into despair and die. This was the dread exswyzie virus.
What? We were kids!
Generally speaking, exswyzie victims would die from one thing or another. However, with the right treatment they could pull through. Enter Jenny. It seemed that not only was she a good friend and nurse, but a good healer and therapist. People treated by her survived. She had a flair for staving off depression and building self-esteem critical to recovery. She never seemed to get sick herself.
On the last occasion of this game, for we were getting older and growing out of playing pretend altogether, that became a problem. My friend confronted me about that immunity. She had a point: it wasn't really fair. So I compromised (and thoroughly complicated the plotline) by giving Jenny a broken leg. This did not go well. Jenny, it seems, hated being ineffectual. She refused to admit that anything was wrong and snapped acerbic remarks in response to inquiries. This was completely at odds with her normal character, which was sweet, kind, compassionate, and never ever one to lash out. However, I had to allow for this heretofore unknown side of her, so the new traits remained. In addition to being kind and caring, she was witty and sarcastic. Her tongue, so clever at uttering just the right things at the right time, could also be used as a weapon.
At about this time, other things were beginning to influence her, as well. Between the ages of eleven and thirteen--late elementary through middle school--I was reading ever more, and discovering new worlds that I wished to be a part of. Real life is no fun, yes? The first main influence was Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in which I learned that herbs could be used for healing purposes. The next was K. A. Applegate's Animorphs series, which, with a little help from "The X-Files" and later the most excelent "Farscape," got me thoroughly hooked on science fiction. The third was Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. In this time Jenny's name went through several revisions. She needed a last name to be a real human person with some experience and history under her belt. She went from the rather anonymous Jenny A. to the clearer but ridiculous Jenny Alien; to the more obscure and therefore dignified Jenny Andalite. That stuck for awhile, while I was on my Animorphs kick, but Tolkien and McCaffrey came to her rescue. By now she had touched each of these worlds and their inhabitants in the realms of my imagination, and they in turn had touched her. I wanted to represent them with her name. She became Jennifer Arwen-Elessar Robinson, though she was still known simply as Jenny.
Each of those three worlds are home to a character I like best. In Middle-earth it is Aragorn. In the Animorphs' world, it is Aximili-Esgarouth-Isthil. On Pern, it is Robinton. As Jenny, I could visit them and interact with them--all in my imagination, of course. In my mind, those characters all had something in common: They needed a friend. Jenny was very, very good at being a friend, but she needed an excuse to get close without breaking the canon. Even then I was something of a writer myself and I respected that sanctity of plot. Remember, all this was right around the time of the demise of the exswyzie games; but it did not die in my mind. I am embarrassed to admit that I used the evil as a tool for self-insertion. Jenny saved the lives and thereby earned the friendship of all of the above, and several others. It was a very successful ploy. I derived much entertainment from my dramatic musings.
However, logic soon kicked in once again. The presence of Jenny in so many different places all at once begged the question of how she managed it. The solution was derived from sources too numerous to name (though I must give a nod to Irene Radford and the Dragon Nimbus novels, as they inspired my version of the Void), but the end result was that Jenny became non-corporeal. Her natural state was energy, her home realm the Void between all worlds. I know this line has been used before, but the Void is where you are when you aren't anywhere else. Whether you call it the Void, the astral plane, Ea, Base Prime, between, n-space, or z-space, however you describe it, it is the energy plane, from which all others derive themselves--for as we know, matter is energy, though energy isn't necessarily matter. Jenny's Void is without light, yet full of color. All things begin and end there, yet it is infinite. It is timeless, though one can observe the passage of time from within. It will drive any being insane if they find themselves trapped there without a guide or the wits to learn how to navigate it--and with only one exception in several billion, most beings can't handle it. Being ethereal, you don't have your typical senses in the Void, and if you can't interperet the massive input in a way that your mind can handle, it will drive you mad and then destroy you utterly.
If you do learn to interperet the raw time-space around you, you may be able to make out the strands of color twining away all around you. Each strand represents the timeline and essence of a being, whether that being be a shrub, a person, a planet, or an entire Universe. Each strand has its own specific colors that represent the essence. The strands twine when beings interact with one another, particularly if one has a profound effect on the other. For example, the twining of lovers comes close to being merging. It sounds simple, but imagine every person you've ever met twined about your strand; then every person each of them has ever met twined about theirs, and so forth; and all that inextricably bound with your planet of residence and everything on it; it with its solar system; it with its galaxy; it with its Universe, and the Universe, finally, to the Multiverse which holds all. To focus on one strand and one alone takes incredible concentration, to say the least.
Jenny, being a denizen of this realm, had these abilities and more. Not only could she observe and move about the Void at will, she could choose to enter the timelines and even create her own when she had a mind. Her natural form was a cloud of green-blue-brown-silver. When she entered the timelines, she took corporeal form. That has not changed much over the years, since she became human, and can be found in her descriptions in the role-playing section of this website. When she manifested herself, she still had a host of abilities at her fingertips due to her connection to all the energy of the Multiverse. Not the least of these was, of course, healing energy, along with telepathy; empathy; telekinesis; clairvoyance; and precognition. In short, near-omniscience. Even from the start, though, she did not make a practice of using these powers if she didn't absolutely have to, and she kept her true nature a secret from those she was trying to help lest she frighten them or give them cause to mistrust her. People from Middle-earth in particular are not given to trusting unknown people with strange powers. They learned their lesson from Sauron the Deciever, and learned it well.
In the midst of this development came more changes in my life. I was getting into high school, and was beginning to discover the joys of the internet. I wrote my first fan fiction after becoming part of the "Farscape" fansite known then as FaDoP, the Friends and Defenders of Pilot. The story required a Jenny-like character, but I was unwilling to use Jenny herself. Thus was born Jen'ra Star-destined. Jen'ra had some of Jenny's abilities and appearence--the same green eyes, for one thing--but very little of her personality, in the end. Jen'ra was softer, milder, and displayed little or none of Jenny's witty sense of humor. This started me thinking that Jenny could not remain one person for very long with two disparate personalities inside her. It was when I started role-playing on Neopets.com that she was finally split, and went through one more name change.
Jenny became Jenni and Ame. The i-ending to Jenni seemed more mature to me than the y-ending, befitting my own status as a high schooler. Ame is a French word that means "soul," though I daresay I pronounce it differently than the French: I say "AH-may." The two were and are nearly identical in looks and are often played as twin sisters in some worlds, though they may have nothing to do with one another in others. However, Ame became the Yin-side: milder, quieter, less willing to take charge and draw attention to herself. She was all for the other person, no matter what happened to her. Jenni became the Yang-side, retaining most of the original personality but less of the Ame-ish traits. She was bold, witty, and loved a good debate. Both were out to help people, but they went about it in different ways. Jenni was a busy-body and tended to stop at nothing to beg, tease, or otherwise manipulate the problem out of a person so she could help them fix it. Ame never offered unwanted help even if she knew she could help them, and tended to be more of a medicine-person than a talk therapy-person. As such, she got little of the spotlight when I did play as her, and I didn't do that often for a while. Let us leave her for now.
As my primary role-play character, Jenni has visited many more worlds, met lots of people, and continued to grow in knowledge and wisdom, and as a person. As I learn, so does she. Nowadays, she has stopped using power altogether except in the most dire situations, when she feels that the victim truly deserves another chance. She prefers herbal remedies for physical illness, if such a remedy is required. She continues to be more of a counselor, though, and probably always will be. Her age varies from world to world, depending on when she entered it and how the timeline runs in role-play. As an adult, though, her views on intimacy and sex are liberal. She views the latter as a perfectly natural behavior of particularly close friends--something to be enjoyed whenever possible; and body language and touch are second nature. She would have no difficulty getting close to anyone she liked well enough but for her worries about hurting them with her nature, for she realizes that most people do not feel the same way she does. As a result, she generally tends to uphold strict boundaries as to how far she'll go. However, all of the above modifies slightly to fit the world she happens to be in at the time and to accomodate the person she's dealing with. This makes for confusing and often outright contradictory impressions, but whatever she does, she probably has the best interests of others at heart.
In a medieval fantasy setting, she is a wandering healer, alone but for her mount, if she has one. She will offer her services to anyone who needs them and expect little or nothing in return, except perhaps a conversation. She is a gregarious being and likes to have people around her. However, being what she is, she knows that she isn't really a part of the world and can't settle down with one place or person for long. She always feels the Void calling her on to her next task. However, she is very human in her needs and desires. She gets lonely and wishes she could settle, make some permanent friends, and perhaps even start a family. In one timeline, she is attempting to do so. The country is Heldon, and its people--particularly their king, who is a good friend of Jenni's but nothing more--have enough troubles to keep her busy for a good while. Recently, she has been very busy with the victim of a magical mishap and the people around him. She has been stressed out, but is finding surcease with her widened circle of friends. She still vanishes from time to time, though. In a modern fantasy setting, she has a career as a freelance writer who moves about in constant search for inspiration, lending an ear and a helping hand when called to do so. She doesn't mind vampires and the like, as her thought is that human beings would do better if they were part of an active predator-prey cycle.
Jenni may also be found at StarShadow Hall the Red, a nexus--that is a meeting of Universes--of her creation that acts as a safehouse for the Misunderstood, Used, and Abused of the Multiverse; namely Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, and Dr. Henry Jekyll (as well as his alter ego, Mr. Edward Hyde, but no one speaks of him much). Together with other denizens of the Hall, she works to give these men the chances that life never offered. If only she and Erik could sort out what exactly their relationship is, things would almost run smoothly. She finds that a hard conflict to solve, though, because she loves everyone as a rule and cannot in good conscience pick one person over all the rest of her "charges". The Void will always call her on to the next [piece of] work.
Jenni is happiest in a Pernese setting, where she no longer has any need to remember that she is come of the Void. Being a dragon's rider means that you always have someone. A dragon loves you unconditionally and will always require a certain amount of care. As the Weyrwoman and rider to a Queen-ranking dragon, Jenni has all she can ask for in love between herself and her dragon, occupation in running her Weyr and fighting Thread, and freedom to remain unattached and thus open to all. She has one child, as well, and couldn't be happier.
She is least content in the Harry Potter continuum, home of my longest-running role-play association. In this world, she came into contact with the Void via magic, whether she began there or not. After graduating from Hogwarts a year behind James Potter and Company, she put all her accumulated knowledge together and vanished without a trace. She was not seen throughout the Voldemort years. During this time, she developed the skills and experience as detailed above, but with a more deleterious effect on herself. She finds it harder and harder to remember that she is indeed born of the Harry Potter continuum and is seeking ever more desperately for something to tie her down. As of now, the call of the Void is beginning to take it's toll on her sanity. It will be up to the one to crack the shell of light-hearted good humor she wore to disguise the gaping loneliness and wanderlust beneath to find a way to heal the healer. Ame in this world knows something of her twin's trouble. Perhaps she has an idea of what it will take to help Jenni, but both of them realize that it is not Ame's task.
Whether Jenni will at last lay down the burden on her shoulders and find peace in all realms, I can't say. She certainly seems to be working to that end, and she definitely deserves a vacation! She won't ever be able to stop caring about other people, though, so we'll all just have to wait and see. Thank you for reading this. It is probably disjointed right now and perhaps makes less sense than it could, but I will endeavor to smooth it out in the future.
If it isn't mine, it belongs to someone else. If it isn't someone else's, it belongs to me.
This page last updated 9.16.03