Idiosyncrasy - Prologue (revised)
By: Alyssa Kimberly Cabildo
This story takes place in the year 2182.
The scholars, scientists, philosophers were wrong. The world didn’t end. Armageddon did not commence.
Human beings had survived the toughest catastrophes Mother Nature has to offer. Today is a new aeon. It is the era of the 1st glacial age after the last Glacial Period of the Pleistocene epoch. The utterly drastic freezing of the huge bodies of water, forming continental glaciers, had covered the majority of the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere; completely altering the whole makeup of the Earth’s surface. This phenomenon baffled the entire globe.
How? Just how did this happen?
Nobody can answer. There’s not a single scientific explanation to serve as a concrete backbone as to how this enigma took place right before everyone’s eyes. Philosophers, scientists and scholars can only make their soundest speculations; and, you can’t miss those private groups who won’t give up on claiming that the end of the world is near…again?
Nevertheless, the age of Neo-Glacial of the 21st century opened new doors and windows to the human civilization.
Though people continue to thrive in advancing their technology and economic growth, they’ve learned the real meaning of balance. Balance economic growth to be in harmony with nature. People became conscious of the environment that they persevered on preserving and flourishing it. They started living sustainable lifestyles. Mother Nature taught them well.
The diminished ocean and sea levels had emerged new land masses on the different parts of the world. These new lands were later on, inhabited by people as well; inaugurating several new countries and another continent to the former 7 continents of the Earth.
The eighth continent was then named Terranova, meaning “The New Land.” It constitutes 8 new countries including the archipelago of Bellona, named as the Heart of the Neo-Glacial Earth.
It was a beautiful, non-apocalyptic future. The world was perfect. Every race is in harmony…yet, those who are keen would think strongly that it’s just too good to be true.
It is…for they were gravely mistaken.
Somewhere, behind those technologically-advanced skyscrapers in reforested ecosystems; behind those smiling faces of phony commercial models plastered on eco-friendly promotional billboards; and behind those that are supposed to be the most sacred places lurk the most ominous secrets; secrets that are kept hidden from the society, from its people; for it would be too overwhelming to be unravelled.
The world is under invasion.
We are beleaguered and controlled, and we are unaware of it. It’s the era of witches, of superhumans, of mentalists. They walk the streets in disguises, concealing their identities in ordinary human flesh.
No secrets can be kept hidden for eternity; thus, the long hidden vendetta shall be revealed. The question is: Who is the enemy? Who is the ally?
Fourteen years ago…
“Mama! Please tell me a story before I go to sleep.” The young girl with rubicund cheeks pleaded to her rather tired mother.
Despite of her extreme exhaustion due to work, Mrs. Sevilla just can’t say no to her only daughter.
And so the story begins as she sits on her little girl’s bedside while she tells her the story of the Greek goddess Athena; a story that’s absolutely off any mythological accounts:
It is said in a popular account how Athena was born in her full armor out of Zeus’ head after an acute and persistent headache. Athena is the offspring of Zeus from molesting Metis, a mere mortal.
Her birth whilst in full armor from the head of a god crowned her as the goddess of craft, of knowledge, of warfare and of wisdom. On the other hand, people oftentimes overlooked how the goddess Athena is also a goddess born out of Zeus’ tainted love, of his deceit of Metis and of his wife’s-- Hera’s wrath.
Nobody is of any knowledge how Athena felt completely dishonoured and radically mortified of her roots. With this, she gave birth to three magnificent beings out of her own likeness. The first one was a young, ethereal girl with long golden-yellow locks. Athena created her out of her soiled existence, to cleanse her very being. She gave life to this entity using the same covetousness, treachery and rage that cultivated her existence. The first child was the best strategist and was considered the most beautiful—beauty that would pale even Psyche’s, Helen of Troy’s or even Aphrodite’s beauty if compared with hers; yet, underneath her captivating splendour lies her cunning and devious nature. Among the three siblings, she is the most domineering, temperamental and bipolar; has the natural urge to conquer, to offend and to inflict harm on her younger siblings. She was named Ava, which translates to ‘serpent’ in Hebrew. Athena then breathed in her power, strength, and artisanship to her second child - a beautiful young boy with glowing peachy skin, white blonde hair and dark amethyst eyes. The boy has the physical strength and skills that outmatches even the strongest and most adroit of the demi gods and gods; and was also believed to be an accomplished shapeshifter. Athena named her only son Caleb, which means faithful. Finally, Athena gave her worldly knowledge and wisdom to her third creation: a girl of lustrous long black hair and light brown eyes. After she had created and breathed life to it, she couldn’t help but stare as it bats its long curly lashes at the first sight of sunlight. “Look at you…” She smiled as she kneels in front of her delicate Willow – the name that she had given her; gazing at her seemingly translucent irises and whispered, “You’ll be the wisest among men and perceive the world far more than anyone can. You’ll grow up just like me, Willow…”
“Mama, I don’t remember the story of Athena going like that at all!”
“Why? You’ve already heard of this story?”
“Not really. But I like Athena! Because…she’s the only one I know from that mythology. But, her name sounds cool, and Willow sounds cool too!” She sighed, “Now I’m thinking maybe you should’ve given me that name instead.”
“But you know, Greek mythology has many versions, and this is just one of the many hidden stories.”
She scowled. “You mean to say that goddess Athena really came down to our planet to leave three weird freaks?”
Mrs. Sevilla laughed heartily at her daughter’s probing. “No baby. This is a myth right? So there’s no way anyone can really tell if it’s true or not. Anyway Hallie, let me finish the story so you could go to sleep afterwards, alright?”
The three children were left wandering the vast barren lands of the earth. Throughout the days, they have lived like normal children, spending all their time playing with each other, not caring what’s ahead of them. Years passed by and the three grew up. Willow, who was once always condemned by the gods and goddesses as an ugly duckling, eventually evolved into a very beautiful young maiden, making goddesses her age envious of her. Caleb, on the other hand, has always considered her most beautiful since the very beginning. This made Ava furious. Given that she has developed deep romantic feelings towards her own brother, Caleb’s affection towards their little sister only set more lumber to her old fire; knowing that Willow also has the lion’s share of their mother’s favour and affection. She tried to murder her own sister by vivisepulture, choosing such a method with the objective of giving her a very slow and agonizing death. Thinking that she’s too powerless to cheat her own death, she goes back to Caleb and tries to steal his heart. However, things didn’t turn out as planned when Willow communicated with Caleb in secrecy: through his mind. The young man was so enraged that he hit Ava in the face. The impact was so powerful, it would’ve broken her jaw…if she were a normal human being. With Ava left crying, Caleb sought for Willow, trying to track down her scent, for her voice in his head is beginning to weaken. There’s not much time left. He reached the heart of the forest and dug the earth with his bare hands as he keeps on screaming her name. After digging 10 feet under, at last, Caleb found her lying unconscious on bare soil, alive, yet almost as good as dead…