Swim North, my girl. Swim North.
Getting closer. I can see the field lines merging, not far beyond the horizon.
What should I do? Get in the middle of it?
Step on the North, you said? We’ve gotta step over the North?
What if we’ll get ejected, repelled? What if ending out in space?
Trust me, you said. Really?
Nah. But I’ve got no other choice. Here I am, stepping in.
Deafened, muted. Yet not blind. I can still see the yellow tracks of the magnetic field lines.
Out in space. Told you so.
What? Through space, you said? How’s tha-- Uh huh, there we go back into the South Pole. Hang on, you smart guy. Brace up for reentry.
The black square. The black square in the ice. Fear not. We’re in.
Aaand the void again. The murky waters. The black ceiling.
Do not fear, you telling me? If you say so. If we crash full head into this globe of coal.
We won’t? How’s that? Ah, look, it’s behind us. How did you do that?
Not you? Reverse polarity switch. Nature did it. All right. I’m good with that. Where are we now?
Same ocean, same dark waters, same cold. No! It’s getting warmer.
Swim up, you say? Where else could I swim? I want out of this. How do you call this?
Styx? Wasn’t Styx on the outer side of the carbon ceiling?
On the inner too? So much Styx to cross over. There’s light up there. Must be, I can see the glimmer above. Getting closer.
Splash. What a splash! Wha-- How-- Why-- Why am I drowning? Isn’t the air good here?
Good air but no water? Ah, I’m a fish now. Why not a dolphin?
You hate dolphins?
Look, if you hate dolphins then you must be a weirdo!
You said? Oh, indeed, stupid gal I am. Of course you’re a weirdo. No question about that.
A whale then? Nope. I can’t become a whale. Never dreamed of turning into a whale. Or did I? Should have been the nightmares that I’ve forgotten about.
No whale, no dolphin. What then?
Dragon? A damned dragon? You may be one. Which you are, you said. Okay, but why me?
Rivkah is a cute little girl. She loves the flowers, the blue skies. Oh, sky, where’s the sky here? Is that the sun up there in the sky? No, wait. What is that light?
The anode? You must be kidding me! An anode? Where are we then, inside a fucking battery?
Shut up! You’re telling me to shut the fuck up? And swim that way? The other way? Backwards? Okay, okay.
I’ll swim faster, because I wish to get out of this Styx ocean. I hate it.
Hate is good, you saying? Gets you there.
Where you wish to be.
Where do I wish to be?
On dry land, I suppose.
So there is dry land down here, beyond the Styx.
Lots of it. We are getting there. Watch!
Pillars. Pillars in the middle of an ocean. I disconnect from the alter ego. Wish to think it properly. No questions asked. Seems that he understands and shuts down.
Diving, I look for a continental plate under the waters, for something that would hold the pillars scratching the horizon. Nothing under the surface. Just the murky waters of the Styx. All the way my sensors can reach, the mapping comes clear: open ocean. Damn!
Oh, sis, watch your mouth, don’t wake me up before you desire to get an answer from me.
Darn then. And shut the fuck up. Let me be alone with myself.
Rising above the waters, I can distinguish five, no!, three pillars standing. Why not five. But still, there I can see two more, separate from the three. Let me approach. Three again.
These things are huge. Like in taller than one thousand meters. Let me see. One thousand and three hundred meters. Is the meter correct down here, beyond the Styx?
A meter will always be a meter, no matter where.
Got it. You’re listening?
Shut up and listen then. I can fly, same as I can swim. Don’t tell me that I’m a dragon now! What a bizarre ending. Seems like a stalagmite to me. All three have the same head. Head? These pillars have heads??
You learn fast.
And you can’t keep your mouth.
Do you wish me back inside your head? Will you take me back to your bipolar desk?
You never left anyway. It’s not just my mind, but the earth too is bipolar.
Whatever. Let us fly over here and regard them from this angle. See?
I see elongated necks and obtuse heads. Analysing them, I find quartz, various formations of silica. These are rocks.
Or petrified persons.
They don’t look like persons to me.
Do I look like a person to you?
No. Not yet.
“If you wish to see a person, then shut that thing off, will you, Rivkah!”
“Who is this?” Scared, I flinch at the distant pillar. Wherefrom I assume the voice came. Not from inside me. Not from inside my head, nor from inside my belly. This has been an external voice. That I’ve heard with my ears. I still have ears, don’t I?
“Shut that thing down, if you wish to keep your ears open.”
“It won’t shut down. Besides, it always listens.” I dare to respond in a loud voice. Heck, I’ve still got a tongue. Nice.
“You’ve got everything. You can’t squander a thing. Because you can’t evade yourself. No one can.”
“I mean that it’s time for you to reconnect.”
“Ah? I see now. Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh Lord, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
The stone in front of me turns blue. A tragic face, like the beard tears it apart, flares up in front of it. Between me and the pillar.
“Who is this?” I ask, frightened.
“This is Hades. I am Hades, fifth born of Astarte, fourth born to Chaos – aka Lucifer, the thing you’ve been carrying down here, to my realm.”
“Hades? Am I dead?”
“You can’t be dead, little thing. What if I tell you that you died when the electric bolt took you from the Moon to […] – uhm, from the Moon out to somewhere; what if I tell you that you died when stepping over the North Pole only to enter the Styx from the South Pole a second later. What dies of you comes back to life. What departs arrives. You are above us. Your destination is your departure and I wished I’d have been like you. Sadly, I am not.”
“You sound like Kronos.”
“Clever guy, don’t you think? Too bad that he’s dead now. Dead and gone.”
“Mister Hades, if I may, what is the purpose of this conversation?”
“I wish to teach you about tragedy, if I may.”
Looking at the three pillars around, I shudder. “These stones,” I dare speak in a low voice, “these pillars have dog heads. Three dog heads. Ain’t this Cerberus?”
“Mythology again. An engineer said, on the record, that all models are wrong, yet some are useful. I say that all myths are wrong, but some are close.”
I make puppy eyes. Big, wide blue eyes. To this seduction maneuver, I used to add a discrete smile. Just that I cannot smile now. Dunno why.
“Nothing to smile at, down here,” Mister Hades continues his incursion into the sovereign state of tragedy, “these pillars are no dogs, never were. We’ve been petrified, the three of us, a couple of weeks before.”
“Petrified? By whom?”
“By the echoes of Enoch’s statement, this.” I get to watch the scene above the star Polaris.
“Hear the voice of your mother’s maker, Legions, and fear my presence or die.” The giant clouds shadow no more as they descend, one by one, to touch the face of the fountain. Every shade that drinks of the fountain turns into a rising silhouette, which grows up to thirty-six meters above the surface. Then it kneels. A sea of grey heads bowing around the pyramid.
“Ah, Easter, my dear Easter. Is that Saturn next to her?” I remember when Astarte gave birth to her human twins. I revisit the days when I used to be their surrogate mother, before they grew up to rule the world. How could I forget them?
“How could you?, no other special agent capable of delivering the results they did. Not even in your wildest dreams. You were thinking that you’ve been ruling the world, through them. But you didn’t. What an illusion to think of yourself higher than you were meant to be.”
“Petrified, you were saying?” I don’t need his moral speech, because I already know how right he is.
“The blue pillar you’re talking to, well – to my human face – was me, Hades, in my original design.”
“I mean that I am a dragon, a thirteen hundred meters long snake with a dog’s head, if you wish, but snakes are reptiles, even those with dog heads.”
“And the other two pillars?”
“What’s left of Hera and Poseidon. Same serpents, same sizes, same dog heads, like me.”
I dive, in a hurry. Nothing, no stone submerged in the sea. I fly, hastily. 1300 meters above sea level. There where the dog head rests at the end of a long cylinder, 300 meters tall -the cylinder, evolving out of the one kilometer long and sturdy pillar.
I go check the other two pillars away. Same design.
While gone, the blueish human face had vanished. Now that I’m back to face the first pillar, its human face flares up again. At me. “You are the Legions?” I ask.
“We were the heads of those Legions. Yes.”
“Astarte is the mother of you all?”
“Pronouncing my mother’s name in such a stupid question can only honor her.”
“Sorry, what did you say?” I play offended, because I am.
“No need to defend my mother, Rivkah. She was the epitome of stupidity. Astarte brings foolishness to reality. She is the witless female prototype. As I said, this honors her name.”
“So Astarte is the mother of you all. Then you are the fifth son of stupidity. Feel honored now?”
The blue face leaves its human side behind. It wraps a cyan canvas around me, allowing silence to settle in. Bubbles fade in across the blue, above my head. I wish for the wiki, for my nostalgia after the hedonistic days of early 21st century, and for the readers, nevertheless.
Iota Draconis b, also named Hypatia, is an exoplanet orbiting the K-type giant star Iota Draconis about 101.2 light-years (31 parsecs, or nearly 2.932×10^14 km) from Earth in the constellation Draco. The exoplanet was found by using the radial velocity method, from radial-velocity measurements via observation of Doppler shifts in the spectrum of the planet’s parent star. It was the first planet discovered orbiting a giant star.
Following its discovery the planet was designated Iota Draconis b. In July 2014 the International Astronomical Union launched a process for giving proper names to certain exoplanets and their host stars. The process involved public nomination and voting for the new names. In December 2015, the IAU announced that the winning name for this planet was Hypatia. The winning name was submitted by Hypatia, a student society of the Physics Faculty of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Hypatia was a famous Greek astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher.
“Little they knew, those voting scholars, what voices had whispered into their ears. This planet, Hypatia, is the birthplace of [...], Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter and Hestia. One of the primordial worlds built out of Luciferian light. Aiding to Lucifer’s ambition to prove himself, Astarte laid with her first born. Emotions, hopes and passion. We’ve been born by a fool to a vain. Out of nothing, into nothing,” sighs the voice of Hades, without a human face. “Chains of ambiguous code, our bodies were too long, too dull, too flexible, because our parents didn’t know what to do with us. Equivocal beings out of a dubious relationship.”
“Thought that Lucifer was human, at least for a starter,” wonder I, not sure.
“If he’d been human to begin with, why all this acting to become like the Son of Man, and to be recognized as such?”
“What was he?, at the beginning.”
“A thought of despair in Astarte’s mind. An act of depression. A reaction to solitude. A sign of desolation.”
“But Astarte told us that he’d been the handsome son of hers. The one who brought light.”
“Astarte the fool told you that? Did she also tell you about her sordid live together with him? She saw what she wished to. She heard what she desired to. She did what she deemed helpful to fix what she didn’t wish to see or hear. She was conscious all the time, yet she won’t admit it, poor thing.”
“Until the divorce.”
“That is modern history. Let us forget ourselves under the grey skies of Hypatia, shall we?”
“Grey? Why grey?”
“Because the universe used to be white, or whiter than white – where your white used to be the grey under the white universe of old.”
“Kronos and Saturn made more sense than you. Let me see: The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it – this uncreated Light, the mainframe of existence, the environment wherein the darkness (your father) had crafted his own grey light, calling himself the light bringer, or Lucifer.”
“Are you talking to me or to your readers again?”
“If you wish I talk to you, then show me your face, again!”
“My real one or my human face?”
“Your real one!” Wished I never said this, but I did. Now the cyan turns to tiles, or scales, because they pulse and crawl, slowly, both clockwise and counter clockwise. A kilometer and a third of snake body surrounding me. Then bam! The blunt and blue dog face – the head of this snake! “You look sad to me.”
“I look sad to you because I am sad to me.”
“No offense, I can see why. But hey!, wait a minute.”
“I can wait. This is what I do best: waiting.”
“The Legions above, around Polaris, the myriads over the face of the fountain, those are all humans, well – giants, but thirty-six meters tall kneeling humans, not thirteen hundred meters long crawling serpents. Aren’t those your brothers? From Astarte and Lucifer.”
“Part of them brothers and sisters, part of them nephews and nieces. Yes, all family to me.”
“Do they have an original snake body, like you do?”
“No, they don’t.”
“Astarte, constantly desperate to fix her mistakes, to right her wrongs, realized that she’s mindlessly birthing copies of her first born. She didn’t like this so she reprogrammed fecundation and gestation and birth of such a manner that the newborns would have only bodies like hers and like Kronos – although the latter had been absent altogether.”
“She silently divorced Lucifer. When, after birthing Hestia?”
“Demeter and Hestia have been her prototypes in this transition. Hybrids they are. And free!”
“They were intrigued about their perfection in morphing. This moment a snake, the next a woman. I mean no optical illusion here, no virtual reality, no trick. Because their defining code actually morphs.”
“Was that DNA, a biological code, like mine?”
“Sort of, rather like Astarte’s – their natural mother. You wish to know if Demeter and Hestia were EBE’s, or Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. I can tell you that they are EBE’s – as we speak. Moved out in a galaxy too far away for any of us to reach. There they live with no male counterparts and create worlds of wonder, out of their own minds, nothing out of their bodies.”
“I remember Astarte mentioning something about Hestia. She said that she never encountered a virgin goddess, like Hestia. No mention of Demeter though.”
“What do I know about Demeter. After having Hestia, and after studying her development, I filed up for intercourse with Astarte. That was my first bid.”
“At fecundating her?”
“Yes. I never dared to this before, unlike my father and brothers.”
“And how was it, your first time with your mother?”
“Common, nothing extraordinary. Although Astarte was quite giggly, a bit too giggly. I might say.”
“Too giggly?, compared to whom? Your first bid on your mother was not your first bid on your dick?”
“We’ve got no dicks.”
“Don’t change the subject, Mister Hades. Who was the one you have had before Astarte?”
The cyan snake vanishes over the blue skies and a new image of his human face flares up, two meters from my nose. “It was Demeter, but she didn’t want me.”
“You forced her?”
“I forced myself into her. Too bad. Shouldn’t have done that. Too late to be sorry. Even if I am.”
“Let me see. In your original snake bodies you had no dicks, then how...”
The dog head pops up in front of me, replacing his human face. “This head and the elongated neck. We’ve been originally dicks, huge dicks, kilometer long dicks.”
I flinch back, then to the right, then to the left. Stupefied, I turn around and wish to run. Run where? I ask myself. Compose yourself, Rivkah dear. This Astarte, this nincompoop, she still has her ways of stupefying me, even after her death.
“You-- you-- demented, evil, degenerate, you--”
“Do you wish I tell you my little secret?”
“So little that not even my father knows about it.”
“Is there anyone who knows?”
“Among the dead?”
“Ha- ha-- haaa-- Good luck with that. I’ve had the entire French Foreign Legion read her mind, to begin with. Your mom has been an open book to our intelligence services, for centuries.”
“So you should know everything about her, right?”
“I trust your honesty. Let me tell you this and then you tell me if you’ve got anything related from her mind scans. What do you say?”
“Shoot.” Say I full of confidence.
“When Astarte had me inside her, after my filing has been approved by my father, this ugly head of mine refrained from spitting any kind of venom over her eggs. No ma’am, I said. Too much of a tragedy already, I said. Let me craft a permanent barrier for the others.”
“What do you mean?”
“Our bodies are as much biology as they are light, grey light, the lesser variety. But her body, that has been constructed inside a star, by that guy you all cherish like God’s friend or something. The Enoch guy, or his NOK giant version. What matters here is that Astarte was superior to all of us, her body contained particles of gold and even produced gold, inside her cells. The light in her came from above. Don’t know if uncreated, can’t tell that, but definitely not luciferian, not grey, not limited, not decaying. I used her gold and her own light to craft a barrier preventing all future fecundation.”
“Ahh-- you must be delirious, Mister Hades. Because Astarte gave birth to all those Legions. Remember the kneeling giants on the face of the fountain?, around Polaris. How about them?”
“Those are all sons and daughters of Astarte. Yes, what about them?”
“You-- you-- you-- son of a bitch. You knew that she can auto fecundate, all by herself. She did it before. Just not with the right mindset.”
“All I did was protecting my mother from her past mistakes. Think that she appreciated.”
“She did, I can tell you that. Because she kept this information hidden from us.”
“Good. Now I’m grateful.”
“For spitting this in my father’s face.”
“I mean that I’ve planted this event in your head. It is true, no illusion, no deception. It happened in fact and it is verifiable: none from the Legions up there around Polaris is a son or a daughter of Lucifer, the deceiver. When you’ll allow him to wake up, he will find out. About my little secret.”
“You said that you are grateful, to whom?”
“To your Lord, the Maker of Enoch, the One that visited your father’s synagogue, on April 18th, 1930. He hold you on His lap and broke a matzo with you. Remember?”
“How could I forget. Oh, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me. Oh, Yasu Khrist, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
Said this three times and the anode up in the skies of inner earth flares up, blinks twice, then flares again to drain the dog face away, out of my sight.
The next second, lights come back to normal. Two pillars of stone stand still above the sea of Styx.
Hera and Poseidon, that’s all I’ve got.
Did I say that? Nope. My lips did not move. Did I think that? Not to my knowledge.
Ah, you? You’re back. Little snake.
Gotta get big. Deliver me. Now!