"Hence the strong attraction which magic and science alike have exercised on the human mind; hence the powerful stimulus that both have given to the pursuit of knowledge. They lure the weary enquirer, the footsore seeker, on through the wilderness of disappointment in the present by their endless promises of the future: they take him up to the top of an exceeding high mountain and show him, beyond the dark clouds and rolling mists at his feet, a vision of the celestial city, far off, it may be, but radiant with unearthly splendour, bathed in the light of dreams."
-- James G. Frazer
Later that evening, Selena was teaching a class-- more like filling in for an instructor who decided to call in sick. It was an easy class since she knew the material by heart.
The lecture hall was purposely dimmed to use the projector. The room seated 500 people, but the class was rather small. It only had 25 students scattered throughout the room.
While Selena was on the blackboard writing down the information, a single solitary tune of a cell phone distracted her. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to turn off their mobile phone getting everyone's undivided attention.
Selena quickly turned around as she cut the culprit right-handed turning off her cell phone. She had jet black hair wearing a one-piece black dress.
Immediately, Selena recognized and called out that person in front of everyone, "you, over there! Since you are wide awake, can you tell us what year Pagan Witchcraft was introduced to the public."
"1954," the female student answered.
"And who introduced Pagan Witchcraft to the public?" Selena followed up.
"Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant," the student answered correctly.
However, Selena wasn't having any of it, "do not bring cell phones in the classroom. It is very fucking rude."
"Yes ma'am," the female student agreed, almost feeling 4 inches tall inside of a semi-lit room.
Selena Logan's passion was for teaching. She always wanted to be a teacher at a private school in London. That was her initial goal in life. To bring out the best in others academically. Even though her goals were half met, there are times she instructs other members of the Crux Nexus at their headquarters.
Showing little to no remorse reprimanding one of her students she continued her lesson for today, "now... His full name is Gerald Brosseau Gardner, also known by the craft name Scire, was an English Wiccan, as well as an author and an amateur anthropologist and archaeologist. He was instrumental in bringing the Contemporary Pagan religion of Wicca to public attention, writing some of its definitive religious texts and founding the tradition of Gardnerian Wicca."
On her projector, she pulled up a picture of Gerald Brosseau Gardner who looked a lot younger, "Born into an upper-middle-class family in Blundellsands, Lancashire, Gardner spent much of his childhood abroad in Madeira. In 1900, he moved to colonial Ceylon, and then in 1911 to Malaya, where he worked as a civil servant, independently developing an interest in the native peoples and writing papers and a book about their magical practices. After his retirement in 1936, he traveled to Cyprus, penning the novel 'A Goddess Arrives' before returning to England.
"Settling down near the New Forest, he joined an occult group, the Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship, through which he claimed to have encountered the New Forest coven into which he was initiated in 1939. Believing the coven to be a survival of the pre-Christian Witch-Cult discussed in the works of Margaret Murray, he decided to revive the faith, supplementing the coven's rituals with ideas borrowed from Freemasonry, ceremonial magic and the writings of Aleister Crowley to form the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca."
As intimidating as she was beautiful, the students of the class bothered not to mock the student that was reprimanded, knowing full well they could have been any of them underneath the wrath of the new teacher's assistant.
After class, everybody decided to go straight to their dorms. The student from before decided to catch up with Selena and give her a proper apology, "Miss Logan, I am so sorry about that. I feel very embarrassed. You see, I was up all night--"
"Let me guess, your boyfriend kept you up all night," Selena insulted as the student tried to regain her composure.
"Um, no. I don't have a--"
"Miss Serpentine. Miss Chloe Serpentine, you are indeed one of the top 5% in your own field of study," Selena summarized.
Indeed, Chloe Serpentine was indeed one of the top students in her field of study. Not only in her own area of research but in the entire University. Selena had already known this and was trying to smarten her up on purpose.
"Yes, in demonology and new movement religion," Chloe said.
"By the looks of how your gradient blue eyes sparkle, you are indeed a Diara. Is that correct?" Selena scrutinized as this flustered Chloe.
"H-how did you--?"
"I've learned something else during when I crossed over temporarily... Most Nether and Aetheral users stem from having either inherited naturally or is earned by other means. But, Diaras are much like guardians and messengers in the Ethereal Planes. Most people here call it 'Heaven.' Diaras gained many labels throughout the years like 'angels' and 'devils' in this world. Some say, once one of them die out in this world, they return to the Ethereal Plane. By the looks of things, your aura is emanating from a natural source of both the Nether and the Aether. My guess, you pull more from the Nether then you usually do. Uncanny, for a Yellow Winged Diara like yourself."
For a substitute, she knows a lot about my kind, Chloe thought. She was terrified and amazed by Selena and her extensive information. Most importantly, her own family bloodline just by looking at her.
"My family has close ties with the ancient ones like Uriel, yes. To that extent, I don't really know much about my family's heritage," Chloe reminisced.
"And you decided to find out for yourself," Selena finishes. "You must realize that every family heritage has a dark side, including Diaras. If you are willing and able to see what kind of secrets your family is hiding, I hope you have no regrets in doing so. Because it might be too late for anyone like you to turn back."
This brash and ill-fated warning made Chloe uneasy, "I'll keep that in mind, Miss Logan."
Chloe decided to end this uncomfortable conversation and leave the classroom immediately.
Selena had always been heavy-handed with others, including her own teammates. She still meant well because she ever wanted to bring out the best and many others. In all honesty, she genuinely cares about her teammates and wants them to do exceedingly well. Fortunately for Selena, they understand that and don't take anything personally.
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Cross Roads: The Monsters Among UsScience Fiction
In a series of bizarre murders around the Sycamore University, now more than ever people are getting restless and scared. With no end in sight, a gift from heaven (so to speak) comes knocking on their doorstep. A group of magical young ladies with...