January 3, 2013
Ever since the changes people went through in Asia and Oceania on December 21, 2012, things have been hectic the world over.
By hectic, I mean revival-of-old-religions hectic.
Something like this was unprecedented. Mother Nature was a real entity? She turned everyone in the Asian and Oceanic continents into a race of plant people? I have read up on all the stuff speculated to happen on December 21st, but I never thought that it would all actually happen. Some people have indeed proclaimed it to be the beginning of a new era.
My question is...of what?
To my family, Mother Nature has another name she goes by: Gaea of Greek and Roman mythology. With the revelation that Mother Nature is real came with the belief of many people that ancient religions and the figures featured within them might be real. My father even began praying to Poseidon of all people after the revelation. Unlike many, my family held on to the Classical religions. "There is a God," my father said, "but there are also other Gods in this world."
I didn't think much of it at first, but how was I to know that the New Year would bring upon another transformation.
But it was not from Mother Nature; it was from something else.
It began on New Years' Eve. My family and I had gone to sleep after the stroke of midnight, as we do every year. I went to bed and tried to sleep over the torrential waves. That should have been my first hint something was about to happen, because the waves were unusually large, especially at that time of year and phase of the moon. I had managed to get to sleep, I had...strange dreams. Like that kid on Vlog, there was a voice whispering in my head.
But what it said was different. There was a promise of a "gift", but there was nothing of "a return to nature" or of "helping us". It was exciting and ominous at the same time. It said: "Come to the sea. There I will give you a gift. A new age is upon Humankind."
All of the sudden, the voice addressed me directly. "Felix Maxim, will you live in peace...or will you fight my mother?"
My eyes opened in shock as the dream ended. I had no idea how to explain what I dreamt, but it is not like I had time to ponder either: the sea was calling me. It asked what my choice was. It kept asking when I and my family came out to the living room. My mother had passed away after giving birth to me, and I and my sister were living with our father for now.
Wordlessly, as if in a trance, we walked out of the house, and towards the sea. It wasn't just us either; the entirety of Athens was walking towards the sea. The voice grew louder as we neared the water, and it came through clear as crystal when my feet entered the cold sea water. "To you, I give a gift. You will live in the sea as well as on land; to live a new life exploring the wonders of the sea; to bring that knowledge to the surface."
Again, he addressed me as if my choice was more important than everyone else's. I know this, because only I and a few others – including my father and sister - were addressed in this way: "You can choose to accept my gift and live in peace, or to fight my mother."
Knowing what I know now, should I have said yes? Pontus was born of Gaea. That means Gaea was his mother. To fight his mother means to fight Mother Nature...Does it mean to fight those she turned?
...I'm getting ahead of myself.
I would only learn later that only a few other people heard the voice ask that question, my father and sister among them.
I knew what the voice was asking at that time: it was asking for help. I could never resist the urge to help anyone who was in need, even some spooky voice from an eldritch being.
I said yes. I learnt later my father and sister also said yes.
"Thank you", the voice said sincerely. "Disrobe, walk deep into the water, and accept my gift".
I was taken aback. How blunt and straight forward could the voice be? Unable to control ourselves, I and the people around me, including my family, began to remove all our clothes. This was frightfully embarrassing, I will admit. I forced my eyes to focus on the water, and only the water. Especially because she was older than me, there was no way in hell I wanted to see my sister naked.
After the city-wide "disrobing" as the voice so formally stated, we waded out into the water. We were spread out along the coastline, and it wasn't until later I found that this did not happen only at Athens; it happened in every coastal city in the Mediterranean. We waded deep into the water until it was up to just below our
ribcage. The water was chilly, and remarkably calm for what happened last night.
"Accept my gift" was the voice's only response.
Suddenly, a ripple went through the ocean.
The change first hit my feet. I felt my muscles stretch or contract as I found my toes pushing further apart from one another. Just as it almost felt like they were about to split apart, it stopped and I felt something grow out from the front and back of my heel. When I looked at them later, I saw what had changed: the space in-between my toes were now webbed like a fish fin, stopping at the instep of my feet, and what I felt growing were caudial keels.
I felt a tingling in the skin on my legs, and I shifted my eyes to the man beside me, because I could not look down at myself to see what was happening. A blue line seemed to move up his legs as fish scales took the place of skin, which I reasoned was happening to me. Along with the blue line there was a vertical line forming behind, which I assume is our version of a fish's lateral line. The scales continued forming up to his pelvis,
and... I took my attention off him because I could feel it for myself.
Along both sides of my pelvis, I felt bony spines grow out from my pelvic muscles, covered by my skin, and I could feel them flapping about slowly in the water. I felt a row of spines jutting out of my front from my belly button down to my...well; suffice to say my Human reproductive organs were replaced by a fish's gonopodium. That in itself indicates we would still be giving birth to live young.
As the scales moved up further, I felt another change directly along my spine, probably more disconcerting than the prior two changes. The points on my spine extended out backwards as the scales went up my body, and I felt new skin forming to connect these new extensions of my spine, which could only be a dorsal fin forming.
When the scales reached my chest, yet another group of fins – obviously my pectoral fins - formed just below my armpits, and they grew down to just above my pelvic fins, forming just like the others. I moved them experimentally. They slowly flapped around, making small waves in the water. I would only notice after the change that my chest was now a flat expanse of scales, with no indication of a certain mammalian trait.
The scales reached my shoulders and went down my arms. Unlike my feet, my fingers did not spread farther apart, but I did feel a webbing grow out to connect the fingers and thumb on each hand to one another.
After that, it reached the back of our necks below our heads. This was the most disconcerting part. I could literally hear my neck rearranging as gills developed in my pharynx, and slits opened in my neck, and an operculum developed to cover them.
After that, the changes came swiftly. As the scales covered the rest of my head, I saw my hair falling from my head, and my nasal passage closed off from my mouth, leaving our noses as just holes in our heads, like the nares of actual fish, but a greatly heightened sense of smell- probably as good as a shark's. My sense of taste also improved, and I could literally taste the salt in the air. I felt a slight stinging in my eyes as they changed – believe me, seeing ultraviolet and polarized light was the first hint. It was damn disorienting.
My teeth grew sharper – not shark sharp in my case – and I felt my ears reshaping themselves into two dome-like shapes. I later discovered that these remain open when on land, and close air-tight when I'm about to go underwater, acting like the "inner ears" of actual fish while underwater. At the back of my head, I felt a tail-like structure growing out of the back of my head.
After all of the changes were done, the voice spoke to us again through the water. "My gifts have been given to you. Begin a new life in this age where myths return to being reality."
Suddenly, I saw a man before me. I do not know if it was in my mind or in reality, but he walked up towards me through the water, and touched my head. It was reassuring – almost like my father's own when he checked my head for fevers.
"I am Pontus", he told me, "the Sea personified and father of all things living in the sea. To you, I give unique gifts – gifts that will benefit you in this new age."
"Fight her, my child. Fight my mother Gaea."
As quick as he appeared, he vanished.
With it, came a new feeling. It felt like that in the water, I was home. I heard splashes all around me as people dove into the water to see what their new bodies could do, even if we were already told in that same instance the trance ended. We knew how to swim, feed and – I kid you not – reproduce with our new traits.
There was also other things we were told that we did not feel changing, at least for some of us – there was a retractable spike in our forearms that was poisonous like a manta rays, poison glands in our canines, and even electrical organs in our hands to generate electric fields, as well as in our faces to detect electric fields as well. I would learn later that these traits were sporadic and varied among those changed. I was one of the few who wound up with the whole package – and then some. But my mind was blurry on what that "then some" was.
In short, the best of all the creatures in the sea had been given to some by Pontus – including me – for the sake of fighting his war.
I turned to look at my sister – despite my earlier misgivings about doing so when she had no clothes on – and she was gone.
I turned to my father. It was unsettling to see him much different from before, but it also felt natural now. This was who we were now. Still, I had to chuckle a little when
I saw his face: he had a beard when he was Human, but now he had barbels like a fish. I asked where Lucia went once I stifled any more chuckling, and he pointed towards the open ocean.
Without hesitation, I went after her.
I was shocked at how fast I could move now, but also exhilarated. I even jumped out of the water vertically and right back in like a dolphin, all the while laughing inside. But as much as I laughed, that quiet voice reminded me of what I was going to be part of now – a war. I did not know who or what I was going to fight, or why I was fighting – well, I knew I was going to fight Gaea, but how was the real question. All I knew is that I made this decision, and I had to live with it.
Finding my sister was easy. I thought it was because of my new sensory organs. I would later discover otherwise – it was something more miraculous.
When I saw her, my jaw dropped in disbelief.
Unlike the blue and green patterning of my scales, Lucia's were a vibrant patterning of purple and red, off-setting her natural green eyes. Her upper body was similar to what I saw with myself and my father – she still had a female curvature (which I find odd now that we are part-fish now), but her chest was a flat expanse of scales, lacking what would warrant some movies and literature M-ratings.
But her lower body – by god, she was a mermaid! Her legs had fused together into one five-foot long tail and ending in a caudal fin. It was a remarkable sight.
As to the "more miraculous" that Pontus gave us, my dear diary...I will write down word for word, and thought for thought, the revelation:
"L-Lucia" I blurted out upon seeing her. My vocal cords didn't do the talking – my electric glands did.
They reached Lucia quickly, and she turned and smiled. With one flick of her tail, she swam towards me.
"Felix," she conveyed in our new method of underwater communication, "this is incredible!"
"I know," I said, slowing comprehending what I was seeing, "I know..."
"What Pontus said," I replied. "The war we are going to fight and you..." I grimaced. "You can never come back on land again. You love running, but now-"
"Felix," she interrupted, and I could feel the happiness in her voice, "I was not changed into this by Pontus. I made myself into this by other means."
I blinked. "How?"
"Let me show you," she whispered, and raised a hand palm up. All of a sudden, I saw an azure light spinning around above her hand. It was something that Lucia and I loved most about the stories Dad told us; it was, truly, a miracle to see it in my lifetime.
"Magic," I whispered, "you – we were given magic."
She nodded with a smile on her face. It all became clear. Unlike Lucia, I had given up my belief on magic a long time ago. My sister never stopped believing.
"Magic is something you believe in," Lucia said, paraphrasing what she once remembered Mom telling her. "Once you do that, anything is possible."
It all became clear to me what I had the potential to do. I focused on my lower body, and a ring of pulsating red light formed. As the light ringed around my legs, they slowly fused into one mass, and my spine extended down along that mass, the bones in my legs fusing and reshaping into the new bone. I began to sink, but I kept on focusing. As the ring of magic reached my feet, they fused at the instep, and I felt the joints in my toes fuse as they became spines, and lengthened out to form a large cordial fin. I changed from a fish man to a merman – all through magic.
"Dad is not going to believe this!" I said, excited.
"Race you back to him!" Lucia exclaimed.
It was a truly marvelous day. The three of us spent the day exploring the ocean floor, seeing what our new life would be like.
Eventually we returned to land. While the ocean was a miraculous, unexplored second home, we can never forget our roots on land.
I might as well enjoy these peaceful days while I can. If there is going to be a war that Gaea will cause, then I need to fight so that this new life – this new age – will be a peaceful one.
"Felix, come quickly," Lucia called to me.
I looked back. Even if we are now fish people, we still had some sense of modesty about us. Lucia is wearing a black tank top and a skirt, the stomach fin folded against her body while on land.
"What is it," I asked.
"It is happening again," Lucia exclaimed, "look outside quickly."
I set down my pencil and looked at her confused, and glanced down at the floor. I then saw the light coming through the window on the floor. Was it...multi-coloured? I looked out the window.
Why the hell am I seeing a full moon? The last one was on the 28th of December, so why-
I noticed that the moon was oddly radiant; as in rainbow-light radiant. I opened the window, and looked at it. I could not see any ultraviolet light coming from the side of the moon that should be dark tonight, but my eyes saw something else: a pale sinuous magic was snaking down from the moon.
"Are you kidding me?"