Miss Gemini’s Homecoming: Zodiac Opposites Meet on a Journey to True NorthRobin Wildt Hansen / Science Fiction
Miss Gemini’s Homecoming
Zodiac Opposites Meet on a Journey to True North
By Robin Wildt Hansen
Copyright Robin Wildt Hansen 2016
All rights reserved
Uranus symbol: By Lexicon - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1241303
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Table of Contents
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Hermetica Gemini swore.
It was 9.45 AM. She knew this because her alarm was blasting through her head like a bus crawling with schoolchildren.
Children. Hermetica grit her teeth at the thought. It was time to get up so she needed to banish such things from her mind.
She struggled with her duvet. It took a while before it let go of her and she strode to the kitchen. She picked up her phone from on top of the espresso machine and turned off the alarm which had been sounding through a pair of speakers mounted in the corners of the ceiling.
She slumped down on the kitchen counter with her effervescent painkiller and triple espresso, checking her Facebook feed as her kitchen TV set shouted out the morning’s news.
It was that prima donna Leonora who was presenting this morning. Anyone who had eyes could see that Leonora wasn’t really thinking of the news she was presenting; all she cared about was what figure she was striking and how the words looked between her lips.
At the TV station, Leonora was always waving her big hair about, involving anyone who would listen in the frequent dramas of her personal life.
However – unfortunately for Hermetica – Leonora always narrowly escaped being a bore; she had a magnetic way about her, and although she usually spoke of trivial things, she always ended up as the centre of attention.
Well, not always; Hermetica knew that she herself struck an imposing figure. Only she wasn’t comfortable with it like Leonora was.
She swore again. She had finished her coffee, and it was time to get ready. She left the TV on in the kitchen and went to the bathroom. She turned on her bathroom TV set and washed and applied makeup as she listened to Leonora’s narcissistic voice.
She looked up from her mirror for a second when she heard the word “Northford”. How in the world had the middle of nowhere made it to the national morning news, she wondered.
Unfortunately, finding out involved looking at Leonora. She weighed the pros and cons and decided it might be worth the aggravation.
Leonora was shaking her locks and hunching her shoulders. Hermetica could just imagine how she was enjoying the sound of her own voice.
“In these moments,” she purred. “The nation is asking itself: can it really be true that King Jupiter has an illegitimate son, sired in his youth, who would be older than Crown Prince Mercury? What would this mean for the line of succession to the throne? As mentioned, the trail leads us to Northford, where, so far, it has gone cold. Of course, we mean no disrespect to His Majesty with this enquiry.”
Hermetica hunched over as she entered the lift and descended to the basement of Mercury Towers. She walked out to the basement carpark and bent even deeper as she squeezed into the driver’s seat of her Mercedes and sped to work.
“You wanted to see me, Mr Capricorn?” she said as she caught up with her boss in the hallway.
“Yes,” he replied, stoically lifting his fish-like gaze from her chest and looking up into her green eyes. She observed him as he regained control of his breathing and rearranged the folds of his face in an indifferent expression.
Men are so predictable, she thought to herself. Even the successful ones.
“You are from Northford, aren’t you?” he said.
She had to admit that she was, originally. However she hadn’t set foot in the place since high school graduation. She was a little ashamed to have to admit her origins, but she didn’t miss the fact that he was putting on a show of not being sure where she was from.
“It will have to do,” he said. “You must have some contacts there who can help you. See if you can find out if the rumours are true about King Jupiter’s illegitimate son in Northford, and see what proof you can find.”
An hour later, Hermetica Gemini was on the Lunar Highway trying to take in the full meaning of the sign:
You are now leaving South Node City. Have a safe trajectory and mind the holes in the road.
Incredible, she said to herself. Instead of mending the holes, they warn us about them. I suppose that’s what happens when you leave civilisation.
Hermetica had been driving for three hours at reduced speed. She was proud of the fact that she had been watching out for holes in the road, and that she had only checked her Facebook feed once every fifteen minutes during that time. She had even turned down the radio for a while.
Now, however, she was growing restless to the point of explosion. What had been the meaning of that sign? She hadn’t seen a single hole in the road.
The radio started playing I Will Survive. Hermetica squealed with excitement. She threw caution to the wind, cranking up the volume and stepping hard on the gas.
She rolled down the front windows and felt the wind beating against her face. This was the life. She lifted her legs and slipped her red high heels back on. Her knees beat against the steering wheel and she felt the leather cover rubbing against her thighs.
She sped on, growing increasingly confident that there wouldn’t be a single hole in the road. The thought did cross her mind how ironic it would be if now finally there would be a massive hole in the road and she would fall in at this speed.
She wondered what the consequences would be. Would it just be a shock? Or would she end up in hospital or even die? She wanted to care, but she didn’t really feel anything.
However, nothing happened. She arrived in Northford, safe but with an unpleasant, dreary feeling of returning to something she had long grown out of.
On her way to the hotel she passed the church. Shivers ran down her spine and her breathing stopped. She tried to breathe in, but couldn’t. Then the wheezing started. She looked around and quickly spotted a pharmacy. She strode in, wheezing, skipping the queue and demanding an inhaler.
It was when she saw the worry in the pharmacist’s eyes that she felt humiliated. Far more humiliated than she would have been by the offended reaction she was used to from the big city.
The pharmacist made her sit down on a chair with all the customers looking at her as they got the inhaler for her.
She got her breath back and left the pharmacy with many reassurances to the pharmacist that she was all right and didn’t need any further help.
She checked in to her hotel room, clutching her handbag with the inhaler inside it.
God, she thought, then corrected herself – God didn’t have anything to do with it. She hadn’t used an inhaler for years; but here she was, afraid to let go of it.
She sat down on the bed with her phone and confirmed the next day’s appointments.
She undressed and let herself sink into the hot water, the inhaler on the ledge of the bathtub. She stayed there for more than an hour, making sure that the water was always piping hot. The TV was on full blast in the room and the door to the bathroom open.
Hermetica leaned her head back and allowed the agitated sounds from the TV to wash and wring out her brains.
All heads turned as she walked into the café. She was used to this reaction to her physicality, but it was still unpleasant to her. Thank god she only had to make this catwalk once; she had placed all her appointments in the same café.
She met with people from her school and high school days. Each one seemed in awe of her – no, not only the men, but the women too.
She was sure that people remembered her height from when she lived in Northford; but now her style was metropolitan, and she had learned to face the world without hiding her curves.
Every person she met with seemed to shrink back in their seat, intimidated by her presence. Even the men who couldn’t take their eyes off her curves still kept their distance. She was thankful, at least, for this effect that her physical appearance had.
It was probably also her physicality that made them tell her exactly what they knew. When Hermetica felt that there was something left to discover, she simply stopped talking and contemplated her victim in silence. Each one of them would become so uncomfortable with the vacuum that they would seek to fill it with anything that came to mind.
Invariably, they could only think of the details that Hermetica was interested in, so they would soon find themselves telling her exactly what she wanted to know without much beating about the bush.
Hermetica knew that whereas Leonora shone in groups and especially in the spotlight,