Eleanor - Chapter 13
'Hold on' Eleanor confronted, 'he's just told me that all this mythology stuff exists and you want me to forget it, you’re an Angel for Christ's sake' Eleanor froze, 'er sorry should I not use the lord’s name in vain.'
Astrid laughed at her, a high musical laugh like someone gently tickling the keys on a piano. It was so enticing and drew her attention in. She had to shake her head to regain focus.
'This is what I mean, I'm not an angel in the sense that you think, just as you’re not a mermaid in another sense.'
Eleanor looked at the pair of them, her eyes darting between them.
'When it comes to mythology' Astrid began. Eleanor could see she was in for a long, confusing lecture so she sat back down.
'Firstly, the way mythological creatures are portrayed today is completely wrong, almost stereotypical if you may. Just because a Minotaur is part bull doesn't mean that he is physically part bull. Well Risha does have horns'. Astrid mused to herself. 'That is too say, on the whole our kind look like humans, just our DNA is wired differently to the rest. Throughout history there have been instances of our kind popping up in the human world and the only way for humans to rationalise it to believe that these creatures are exactly that creatures. To some we are seen as God, or monsters or passed off in fairy tales.
Eleanor nodded, she could kind of understand this. She remembered watching Thor and how they had explained that the humans had believed the Asgardians to be Gods.
'But aren't werewolves like bad' Eleanor asked.
'There is no such thing as purely good or bad. You cannot assume all angels are good in the same way that all werewolves might be bad. That's simply a movie ideal. Everyone has the ability to be good or bad within them and usually at the age of becoming an adult your choice is made that is to say at 13. You can't stereotype someone into characteristics set down by previous generations. Both Hitler and Gandhi where human but they were on opposite ends of the scales, you understand?'
Eleanor nodded. 'How did these other creatures come to exist, have they always been around'
'Ah, that is not fully known, through time our stories have gotten lost, changed but we believe that the heavens have the answer. And not the kind of heavens you’re thinking of child.' Astrid interjected seeing the question form on Eleanor's lips.
Astrid pointed to Mr Constavalos pictures of the zodiac signs on his fire place. 'As you may know the zodiacs are based on the suns path through the sky. It's trajectory passing through the constellations. Just as the moon has powers over the tides. These constellations had powers over mankind and bestowed upon mortals the powers of the zodiacs. Some say it was the Gods of Ancient Greece who passed on these powers but there are records of our kind going back way before then. One thing that is known that humans couldn't cope with such powers and it drove them mad, but as with the origin of the species, the strong survived. In turn they passed on their gifts to the next generation. With each generation their powers grew. They grew to the point where they were no longer human and a new branch on the evolutionary tree was created.
All Eleanor could think was that she sounded like she was describing some kind x-men situation.
Astrid continued. 'The first recorded Leo was a man named Simbah. Yes the irony is known. Being the Zodiac for Leo, he was gifted with extreme strength, speed, bravery and agility. He also had dominion over cats and can speak and ask of them to do his bidding.
Eleanor was now sure that Walt Disney must have been in the loop on all this, Simbah for Christ's sake.
'But like I said the power of the Zodiacs changed the humans into what we now know as today as so called mythical creatures. That is to say Simbah became a kind of part lion. The best description would be to call him a sphinx or that was the name that was given to his kind by the ancient Egyptians.
'Hold on I thought you said most of this was Ancient Greek.' Eleanor interrupted and instantly regretted it seeing the look on Astrid’s face shift.
'Every culture on earth has records of mystical creatures dear, it just seems that these days most people only know of the Greek ones. Amun, a dear friend of mine is Aries, the 1st zodiac and he is what would be called Khanum, the Egyptians believed him to be a God. Paulo the 11th Zodiac is an encantado, which comes from Brazillian history. But back to Simbah. He didn't grow a mane, or fur but I am led to believe that he grew a tail. He simply took on some of the characteristics of his zodiac. The same is true of Taurus, that where the legends of the Minotaur came from. Pieces, being the fish spawned mermaids, pardon the pun and Sagittarius the archer is what we now call centaurs. Some of the others aren't as well-known but they all took on the characteristics of their sign.'
'So your telling me that there are real life Zodiacs out there, I mean like real Gemini's and Scorpios.'
Eleanor sat back dealing in this news. 'Are all mermaids Pieces" she asked.
Smiling at her Astrid replied. 'No child, with most species thought history, each new zodiacal race grew, and into each race a Zodiac was chosen and then passed down through their genes, the strongest of their species and all'
'But what about this thirteenth sign Mr Constavalos told me about.' She again asked Astrid.
'Ah I see he's filled you in on that one' Astrid smiled looking to the seated man. 'Into each generation twelve zodiacs are born, but there has never been a thirteenth. Which is believed to be the most powerful. And many of the oracles have foreseen that the thirteenth has already been born.'
'But why now, it's been thousands of years.' Eleanor asked.
'That we do not know,' she replied. 'But we do know that the Directive have been trying to force the birth of this thirteenth through genetic mutation and testing in order to control the power.'
'That’s why they took my mum' Eleanor blurted out rising to her feet.
'Yes we believe so, she was captured by them in the past and was tested on, forced to bear a child.'
Eleanor stared at the Seraph and didn't like what she now saw in the woman's eyes. A kind of pity and Eleanor didn't like it. She could feel the woman's gaze burn into her and she had to look away as tears prickled her eyes. That's why her mother never spoke of her father. She was that medical experiment. And she thought of her pregnant mother had turned up on Mr Constavalos front door. How her mother refused to speak of her father. And she remembered what her mother had once told her.
'It doesn't matter who your father was, I still love you.'
She wiped the tears from her cheeks and turned back to Astrid. Her thoughts falling into place.
'That's why they came to the apartment for me, didn't they?'
'Well' Astrid hesitated, we actually believe that they don't know of your existence. Since your mother fled them. They weren't able to keep track of her and what became of her child. They knew she detested the thing so...' Astrid let the end of the sentence hang in the air.
‘Wait, she detested me?’ Eleanor felt sick, her own mother hated her?
‘You must understand child’ Astrid pleaded with her using her most soothing tones.’ You mother had been captured, tested on, held hostage and forced to bear a child against her will. At first she believed you to be a genetic experiment and yes she detested you but once she discovered that you were part hers, she grew to love you’
Besides this story, she still felt a sense of anger towards her mother for hating her. Eleanor thought about this and what she had been told about the Directives medical experiments to force the birth of the thirteenth Zodiac.
'I’m the thirteenth Zodiac aren't I, I'm the thirteenth sign?' Her voice toneless.
The two adult exchanged a knowing glance before Astrid answered.
'We believe so child, and if what we believe is true, may I formally introduce myself. I am Astrid, leader of the Seraphs and the 6th and 7th zodiac, Virgo and Libra.'
Before Eleanor had time to take that in Mr Constavalos sighed and stood up slowly.
'Dear child, I am Pan Constavalos, Oracle to the Satyrs and the 10th zodiac, Capricorn.