Flashes of purple.
That is all you would see if you were watching Nathaniel as he sat in his second year History of Creation class. He could not believe what he was hearing and his erratic blinking reflected his utter disbelief. The peers who sat around him were just as mystified.
The entire Second Year cohort was sat in the Celestial Gardens and they had been ready for yet another lesson concerning either the creation of angels or humans. They had assumed Elder Eve had brought them to the gardens because of its historical significance. For when the Garden of Eden was decimated in the great flood God recreated it to the finest of details within the Heavens. After the creation of the Celestial College he then had it moved to the grounds. Usually they just had their lessons in the Cathedral or any empty space that they could find on campus, as Elder Eve could so wilfully capture your attention that the atmosphere around you was deemed irrelevant.
However today Elder Eve was dropping a bombshell and she felt that such a serene atmosphere would provide an environment that would allow it to be received more calmly.
“So you mean to tell me that everything we have believed about creation up to now is a lie” Sablo exclaimed. The others stared at Eve displaying the same looks of betrayal, suggesting that the green-eyed angel had voiced the thoughts of the group not just his own.
“Not a lie exactly, you have just viewed creation through a very small lens and now I am widening the aperture with which you look at it through. All that you learnt in first year is true, it just fits into a much bigger picture.” She suggested.
“Even Afriel hid this from us” Imra stated, her voice displaying a tone of hurt and vulnerability that many of her classmates had yet to hear from her. Felicity quickly reassured her by rubbing her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. Imra responded and rested her head on her friend’s shoulder.
“Afriel is as honest as they come. There are somethings in this world a young angel is just not ready to hear. It is rare but there are cases where certain angels don’t fit into any of the Celestial Houses. God has other plans for them that don’t require knowledge of the information that I am telling you now.” Eve said starting to work her powers of persuasion.
“This information is very dangerous in the wrong hands. I personally don’t care if your fragile feelings were hurt by us keeping it from you. It prevents these other races from being placed in grave danger.” Elder Eve continued firmly.
The first signs of understanding flashed in Daniel’s eyes.
“Can you just repeat what you said one more time so we can all wrap our heads around the bombshell you just dropped on us” Daniel felt the Elder was being a bit unfair since she had taken them by such surprise and he wanted to remind her that they were still wrapping the heads around it all. Even if she felt her reasoning was perfectly justified.
“Humans and angels are not the only beings in creation” Elder Eve said reaffirming the fact. As more and more students seemed to start overcoming their disbelief, she took it as a sign to continue.
“Humans are also unaware of the presence of the five other races that exist with them on Earth” As she spoke the Second Year students seemed much less upset, since they were not the only ones kept out of the loop.
“The Fey, The Mages, The Shifters, The Vampires and The Sirens make up the five nations” Elder Eve declared with absolute certainty. All the students leant forward, their previous anguish concerning the half-truths they had been told had been completely forgotten, now only curiosity remained.
“Our Father thought that by granting humanity no powers of their own, they would live a life guided by humility. However, the moment Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden humanity started on a course of self-destruction. The humans on the Earth before the great flood were truly evil and God realised that it was not power that corrupted their minds but the thirst for it.” Enraptured by her words, none of the students noticed her voice quiver with emotion as she mentioned the first humans.
“God then decided to create five nations, each bestowed with particular gifts and powers. He felt the Earth had a greater capacity than that just for humanity, as long as the humans were not made aware of their new roommates. For he feared that the humans would just manipulate them for their own benefit.” Eve continued.
“The great flood acted as the restart button for all creation. The flood did in fact kill all life on Earth but new life joined humanity on Earth soon after it. The first were Adonis and Rhea the siren King and Queen. The ocean acted as their domain and all sirens are their descendants. They have lived in isolation for a very long time and so they see their rulers as God’s in their own rights. For reasons unknown to us, God left them to their own devices and as a result they have suffered many civil wars in the present day. The royal family had to go into hiding and their latest ruler controls the citizens with an iron fist. A siren’s voice can leave any being under their complete control but it has no influence one a fellow siren” Elder Eve explained.
“The Fey settled into a veiled realm connected to the what the human’s know to be the Amazon Rainforest. They wield a form of celestial magic that is connected to the Earth and they are very kind and gentle in their nature. However, they are fiercely protective of one another and their royal family which descends directly from King Alvar and Queen Iridessa. Yes, I know what you are all thinking, they do have wings. However, they are not miniature like the human stories suggest they are in fact just a little smaller than ours.” As she spoke Felicity found herself growing a great appreciation for the wonderful creatures the Elder was describing.
“The Mages are very similar in appearance to humans but they possess some extraordinary powers. They too are divided into Houses based on their powers which will be explained in further classes. They are not wizards and do not take kindly to being described as such. They take their study of the magic the wield very seriously and understand the true blessing that God has bestowed upon them. They also don’t carry magic wands but they due use portals connected to Sanctuaries across the globe to gather and improve their skills. They are governed by the Society of Mages which has a Chief Minister in each city and a Grand Master who represents each country.” Whilst Eve described the mages, Daniel grew a liking to this particular race as they seemed to be very disciplined and purpose driven.
“Then you have the shifters. As their name suggests they have the ability to transform into a certain animal. This animal spirit is placed in them in a ceremony not dissimilar to the Changing. They are divided into families based on the specific animals they transform into. They act as the guardians of all animal kind. In the past they lived in tribes, including within the first Native Americans. Over time they spread across the globe and can be found in any remote village. There is great diversity amongst shifters which reflects the diversity amongst animals. They can use mind links to communicate within their packs.” Eve informed the students.
“Last but not least there are the vampires. Who are perhaps the most involved of the five nations in human society. They are divided into families under the guidance of the Medici Family. They are the descendants of the first vampires Emile and Sofia Medici. They too have their good and their bad but the majority live on a solely vegetarian diet of animal blood. They have evolved over the years becoming much more tolerant to sunlight however their aging process is very similar to ours. They can be a bit more feral and perhaps savage just like their shifter counterparts. They also share super strength and agile reflexes with shifters.” Eve concluded.
“Any questions?” Eve asked hoping they could clear the air and refute as many ridiculous myths the angels had read about creatures in their studies of humanity as quickly as possible. However, it seemed the class was hesitant as they didn’t want to ask a question she might think ridiculous or particularly stupid.
Luckily Sablo was the one student who didn’t care if he made a fool of himself, especially if it would encourage his classmates to ask their burning questions.
“Is Count Dracula real then?” Sablo asked. He was pretty sure that Dracula was not real but he felt the more ridiculous a question he asked, the more comfortable the others would feel with asking their own questions.
“Interesting question, I can neither deny or confirm Count Dracula’s existence at one point or another in history” Elder Eve replied her eyes twinkling with amusement.
Her reply was enough to start rounds of quick fire questions about one race or another and like a true teacher Elder Eve gave as good as she got in each of her responses.
“Can any of the races turn humans into their own kind?” A student asked
“ There has not yet been an instance where this has occurred and we believe the gifts to be genetic, passed down through lines. However if a human and one of the five were soul mates their child could obtain one of the gifts. The human partner also obtains the aging process of their mate as soon as they connect their bond, so in a way they have been turned. Next.” Elder Eve grinned as she said it, she hoped that the more questions she answered today, the less she would have to answer in future lessons.
“Can Sirens live on the Earth’s surface?” Another student questioned.
“Since in the past they have never needed to, that theory has never been tested” Eve quickly responded.
“What happens if a human finds out about one of the five races?” Nathaniel questioned in a worried tone. With the lengths the Elders had gone to in order to keep their existence a secret, he couldn’t imagine the price a human would pay for such unwarranted curiosity.
“Well it is very rare as many humans would not believe the evidence even if it was staring them right in the face. However the mages are in charge of controlling such instances. If the human is insistent that they believe what they have discovered to be true then they are given a choice. They can have their memories carefully removed or they can keep what they have discovered to themselves. To guarantee that the secret is kept a special mechanism is put in place, that will carefully wipe their memory of all supernatural existence if they attempt to tell someone after they promised not to. As you can imagine no human that has chosen the second option has even been able to keep the secret unless they were mated to a member of one of the five races. Therefore no humans that don’t have a connection to the five nations have ever maintained the knowledge of their existence” Eve turned to Nathaniel expectantly to check is her answer had satisfied his concerns. After seeing that they had she continued her question time.
“How do all the five nations live in peace?” Micah asked as he could imagine the bravado that would be generated by such extraordinary beings.
“The Treaty of the Five was created by the founding members of each race and it states the key lands of each of the five nations. Along with a peace agreement ensuring that no harm should befall any human or another race. In special cases disagreements are taken The Celestial Court where the Elders of each race help to settle any unresolved issues.” Eve stated and after seeing that there were no more questions she decided to quit while she was ahead and wrap up the class.
“It seems that will be all for today and our next lesson will look at the History of Siren-kind along with their strengths and weaknesses” She said ending the class.
A flurry of voices rose up, her class had been a success. Many of the students had expected the Second Year to be a repeat of their First but in more detail.
They had been happy to be pleasantly surprised.