Character, Hound


[aesop_character img=”” caption=”Bernhard” align=”left” width=”300px”]


Full name: Bernhard Elberg

Current address: Bergen (Norway)

Norwegian, 14 years old, born in Bergen (Norway).

High scool student: webmaster of




Bronze, Character



[aesop_character img=”” caption=”Lynx” align=”left” width=”400px”]

Real name: Saïd Rajavi

Current address: Prague (Czech Republic)

Iranian, 24 years old, born in Isfahan (Iran)

Bronze knight: support agent

Character, Olympus


[aesop_character img=”” caption=”Hades” align=”left” width=”400px”]


Real name: Gert Bestent

Current address: Palo Alto (California)

Belgian, 25 years old, born in Antwerpen (Belgium)

Olympus: founder of Zodia and Dowey

Character, Olympus


[aesop_character img=”” caption=”Poseidon” align=”left” width=”300px”]


Real name: Steve Darcy

Current address: Palo Alto (California)

American, 25 years old, born in Wilmington (North Carolina)

Olympus: god of Zodia, founder of Dowey


Chapter, Part I


[aesop_chapter title=”CHAPTER Ε – GEMINI” subtitle=”PRAGUE (CZECH REPUBLIC)” bgtype=”img” full=”on” img=””]


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[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]He’s handsome enough. Self-confident and proud. The easiest type. He’ll come around by himself. Just have to lay there for a while…



[aesop_character img=”” caption=”Gemini” align=”left” width=”300px”]


Creepy dude – What are you reading, miss?

Me – Nothing, get away. I’m waiting for someone here and that’s not you so don’t stand in my way.

Creepy dude – Ouch… You’re a bit of a tiger, aren’t you…

Me – Man, look at me, read me well. No way, get away from me, right now.

Creepy dude – Ok, easy bitch… I was just trying.

Me – Yeah yeah. Bye.


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]My target hasn’t even flinched. He hasn’t noticed me yet. That’s even stranger from what I know of him. I’m gonna have to show off a little bit… Let’s get a little closer, this is my chance.



Me – Omlouvám se, Madam, I’m looking for a book called The Universe in a Mirror by Robert Zimmerman… It’s about the Hubble telescope. I’ve been told you had it here, but I can’t find it anywhere.

Librarian – Well, it is supposed to be here, on those shelves behind… Let me look at our intranet… Yes, look, on this shelf. I guess it’s on the upper one. I’m gonna get a step ladder to reach it.

Other creep – May I help you miss? I can reach that for you.


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]Damn, not you idiot. At least Rajavi looked up from his book and saw me… But I’m gonna have to push this one away too now…



Me – Oh thanks, you’re a real sweetheart.

Other creep – So you’re interested in Astronomy?


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]Dude, comment on the book I picked? In a library? Much too easy path. Go away…



Me – Yes, I really need to read this. I think I’m gonna sit over there. Thanks again.

Other creep – Wait, do you mind if I join you? I’m also very interested in looking at stars…

Me – Well, yes I do mind… I don’t have that much time and I need to be focused, sorry.

Other creep – Ok, hum, right… But maybe… What about a coffee afterwards?

Me – Sir, thank you for getting me the book, but really… No. Have a nice day.

Other creep – Alright alright, have a nice day…


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]Ok, let’s pretend we’re pissed off by all that. One should never make things too easy. Especially when the target is a skilled seducer… He IS looking at me now. On my side at least this is going to be all too easy. Let’s look even shyer for a minute more and then I’ll make the kill. So, this book… Wow, this must be pretty boring to say the least. I’m so glad all that university period is behind me. Studying has never really been my thing anyway…

Ok, boy. You’ve looked at me long enough. Let’s toss my hair a bit, just to be sure his body temperature is going in the right direction… They should make contests of that. Hair-tossing. I would be unbeatable. Alright, now, steady boy. Don’t look away. Now let’s go… NOW.

Ouuuuuuhhhh that was smooth… Dude, you’re so mine now. You don’t even know it but this is like a done deal. A fraction of furtive eye contact, a tiny blush and the simple hint of a smile. It’s all it takes. Women around the world might be debating everything from the way you dress or put on make-up to the way you play with him like a cat with a mice, but real women know. It only takes one glance. The one where you let him see. Everything he wants. Everything he ever dreamed of. The hook. Ok, now, it’s like pulling the fish onto the boat. Second pass.

Now he’s caught. I can just feel the way he’s trying to look at me. He’s not reading anymore. He just thinks about it. Be obsessed, darling. You know I’ve seen you. You’ve seen me pushing away anybody else. You know you’re special. You’re the one who can… Just try, baby… Third pass, my favourite.

I can feel he’s been watching me from the corner of his eye for five minutes so I just turn straight, look at him directly, a bit pissed off, and I give him a stare that says ok, boy I can see you’re looking at me but please stop staring cause I’m not available and this makes me utterly uncomfortable. Classic.

Of course you hate that. Who am I? You know I’m smoking hot but you’re not any lambda guy trying to hassle a beauty with loud jokes… You think yourself a gentleman and you’re not used to staring. That’s alright, handsome, I know you… I’ll give you that fourth look with a shy uncomfortable smile that says it all… Fourth pass.

That’s right boy. Come see mama.



[aesop_timeline_stop num=”GMT+1 11:45″ title=”GMT+1 11:45″]


[aesop_character img=”” caption=”Saïd Rajavi” align=”right” width=”300px”]



Rajavi – Hi, I don’t know why you have to read this. But it sucks. You won’t find anything useful in there.

Me – Could you please stop staring at me?

Rajavi – What? I… I wasn’t…

Me – Come on… And you just want to help with my lecture?

Rajavi – I’m… I’m sorry, I don’t want to bother you. I just thought…

Me – Look, you’re the third guy who has tried to ‘help me’ in the last five minutes. I’m not gonna repeat myself. I’m here to read. I’m not looking for boyfriends.

Rajavi – Well, alright princess. Sorry. I’m here to read too, you know.

Me – You didn’t seem to be reading that much.

Rajavi – Oh come on. Like you haven’t been watching me since you sat down… Those eyes you’ve been making at me.

Me – What? I’m sorry, sir, but you’re really mistaken. I was looking at you because you were staring like a predator ready to skin its prey.

Rajavi – Really? You’re quite sure of yourself, little girl. You’re not that hot.

Me – Am I not?

Rajavi – Well… I mean yes you are really fit. But my gosh, don’t you just know it…

Me – Oh, that’s sweet. Very rock’n’roll. So because I just don’t open my arms to you, I’m a proud bitch… You know what, little boy, you’re not the first one to do it this way.

Rajavi – I didn’t say that… I…

Me – What are you reading anyway? What’s this? The Handbook of Accelerator Physics and Engineering… You’re majoring in physics too?

Rajavi – Optics. I told you I read The Universe in a Mirror. It’s part of my actually.

Me – Oh… So what, you wanna work for SpaceX or what?

Rajavi – Hum… Well, maybe… That would be great… We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves somehow, don’t you think?

Me – …

Rajavi – I’m sorry, I should let you read. You’ve stated that clearly enough.

Me – No, you’re gonna buy me a cup of coffee.

Rajavi – What? I’m… Am I? You…


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]He’s cute but we’ll have to harden him a bit if he’s to be part of the organisation.



Rajavi – Alright… Let me take my stuff… Where d’you want to go?

Me – Why don’t you man up a little bit and decide for both of us?

Rajavi – … If you want to play hardball I’ll quit handling you with care.


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]That sounds promising.

They have been watching Saïd Rajavi for quite a while I guess. Brilliant student in optical engineering, fierce sportsman, speaks four languages fluently, holds three passports… Most importantly, the man is a lonesome soul who’s experienced terrible traumas in his Iranian childhood when his parents and sisters were executed by Ahmadinejad’s government during its 2009 re-election. He’s angry, thirsty for justice, he has been approached by Islamists to turn to Jihad but noticeably turned them down while feeding German BND agency with information about the people who had been contacting him. Athena had given me information about the guy’s ethics – his engagement with freedom of speech through various collaborative websites. I myself have found a lot of other interesting information about him, like how he had been fencing at Karlova University and been captain of the volleyball team. No parent, no girlfriend… A shame with such a lovely face…

The NTK library is a funny building, with drawings and schemes everywhere on the stairs concrete walls. Modern and arty. It suits Prague’s student life somehow. He hasn’t said a word since we moved towards the cafe downstairs. He’s a silent one. Even better.



[aesop_map height=”300px” sticky=”off”]


[aesop_timeline_stop num=”GMT+1 11:57″ title=”GMT+1 11:57″]


Rajavi – So what owes me the pleasure of you bringing me here? I thought you weren’t looking for boyfriends.

Me – I’m not. But I’m definitely looking for something.

Rajavi – Ok… So what is that?

Me – Well… You know…

Rajavi – You’re looking for that in a library?

Me – Where else? You get information on anything you want in a library. You just have to open your eyes… I’ll take an espresso please, Madam.

Rajavi – Make it two, děkuji moc! … But you were looking for the Hubble book specifically. Do you want to work in the space industry? Are you one of those who want to put a million people on Mars?

Me – No, not really. I have other intentions. Is that your goal?

Rajavi – Space? No, I don’t think so… I mean, I don’t know. I guess I’m not that clear on what I want to do either.

Me – Isn’t it a problem for you? You seem to be ok with that. But I know I can’t.

Rajavi – Of course it’s something I think about. All the time, actually. But I guess somehow you have to understand you won’t always know what life is all about. I’ve already had a lot going on in my life. I know it’s silly to plan too far ahead. There is always something that will get in your way at some point.

Me – So right now how do you imagine things in your life? You’re gonna graduate… From what by the way? Masters programme? And then what? You’ll find a decent job and settle down?

Rajavi – I’m starting a PhD in the university’s Institute of Physics. So I’m not yet asking myself which job I’ll get. And what’s so wrong about settling down?

Me – It’s unsettling.

Rajavi – You seem like a girl any man would settle down with.

Me – But maybe not a girl to settle for any man…

Rajavi – Maybe. I don’t know… I have had a rough life you know. I’m Iranian. I was cast away from my country six years ago. I’ve been a homeless migrant. True story. Now I’m just glad I’ve been granted permission to study here. Prague is a beautiful city. What more could I want?

Me – But aren’t you mad at the world for all that?

Rajavi – I’m mad at the Iranian government. That’s for sure. But not at the world, no. I can’t say I was warmly welcomed when I arrived in Europe, but I’ve been given opportunities nonetheless.

Me – Maybe you’re not the one I’m looking for then.

Rajavi – Am I not? I thought you were looking for something to do with your life…

Me – I’ve never talked about my life.

Rajavi – So you WERE looking for a man?

Me – No. I’m not. I was looking for you.

Rajavi – For me?

Me – Yes. I thought I could help you. I thought I could give you answers. And purpose. Something to live for. But since you are so certain you don’t need it…

Rajavi – What? What are you talking about?

Me – I’m sorry for the inconvenience, have a nice day, sir.

Rajavi – Wait! What did I say? I don’t even know your name!

Me – You’ll never know my name. And you didn’t say anything wrong. I’m just realising you might not have the inner fuel I seek.

Rajavi – Oh seriously miss, what do you know? Because I don’t seem completely lost in life to you, then I have no inner strength? What do you think? I don’t shake when I talk. I’m at peace with myself and I don’t need anybody to give me purpose. Do I want to make a difference? Sure. I’m not all about changing the world, but I definitely think about what I can do to be proud of myself at night. And there again, I don’t need anybody for the task. You judge me like you already know all about me. You’re really a beauty lady, I can’t tell you otherwise. But you should learn how to refrain from being over-confident, because it blinds you. Just go then.


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]It’s a gamble. I can’t say I’m a one hundred percent sure about him. But anyway, Athena’s instructions didn’t let allow for much interpretation. I feel the pin in my pocket. The angular Z. The circle around. Saïd Rajavi, here comes the hammer. Let’s put it out there, on the table. Tadaaa!

His face freezes. He’s mute. He stares at the pin blankly, realising what I really am. I remember the feeling when it had happened to me. It was just a few months back. And nobody had heard about Zodiac back then, certainly not me. Still just by looking at this pin I had known. This is about something big. Something bigger. I’m being recruited. And not for any job.

His eyes raised to meet mine. A stark look, mixing defiance and pride, confusion and awareness. Saïd Rajavi is a handsome young man.



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Rajavi – Is it a joke?

Me – Do I seem to be?


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]His glance goes back to the pin. A symbol of justice in the shadows. A way to avenge orphans from orphan-makers. A dark path to a redeemed light. I am not a dark lord young padawan. My proposal is not to join evil. I’m not asking you to do something you would not want to do. I’m just giving you the opportunity to finally make sense of you existence. I want to enlighten you.



Rajavi – Are you recruiting me?

Me – I’m asking you.

Rajavi – So you don’t study optics.

Me – I know you had bought this book a couple of months back.


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]His stare is somehow becoming even starker. He feels betrayed. Played. Spied. He looks around him as if someone was listening. Then comes back to me with a glance of mistrust.



Me – Only you can know. We know you could be part of it. But you’ll have to be up to the task. Only you can decide whether you will.

Rajavi – Can I refuse?

Me – Of course you can. This is not about a big evil here. Zodiac doesn’t harm anyone who hasn’t expressly deserved it. And that takes a lot. Whether you refuse, or quit after several months, or fail somehow someday, there is no other consequence than ceasing to hear from us again. No harm done. Ever.


[aesop_content color=”#352611″ background=”#333333″ columns=”1″ position=”none” img=”” imgrepeat=”repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]He’s grave. But I know he’s curious. I knew from the file I had. But I had also got it after two minutes discussing with him. Everything I represent appeals to him. And I’m not talking about my body here. Not even about myself. But Zodiac. I’m sure he’s heard about it. I’m sure he’s read about it online. I’m sure he’s been dreaming we do something in Iran. To avenge his parents. I’m sure he values what we stand for.



Rajavi – How does it work?

Me – I won’t tell you that. I will let you think about your life. What you expect from it. What you want to do with it. I’ll let you figure out who you want to be and what you’re ready to do to reach it. I’ll let you have several days to think about it. Then I’ll find you. I won’t tell you why, nor where. I’ll find you and there, you will give me an answer. Only then will you start receiving instructions.

Rajavi – I will never know anything or anyone else? I’ve read people in Zodiac know only tiny bits of what’s really going on there…

Me – That’s correct. Since we’re a secret organisation, but we don’t want to kill anyone who comes to know about us, we keep relationships and knowledge very cloudy to avoid jeopardising security of other knights. You won’t know much. You won’t know who you’re working with. But you will know why you’re doing what you’re asked to do. That I guarantee.

Rajavi – Can I set targets myself?

Me – No. You can’t. And won’t. I will not go into details, Saïd. You already know everything you need to know to be able to make your decision. And therefore I will leave it there.

Rajavi – Wait… Can’t I… Just… Don’t you have anything to say to sell it to me? I don’t even know your name… Can’t we just go and have dinner or…

Me – You won’t know my real name. And after giving me your answer, you won’t ever see me again. Zodiac is not about finding friends, or a girlfriend. I’m a filter to avoid anybody reaching you. You want me as far away from you as possible.

Rajavi – But how do I know? What made you join? The first and foremost reason?

Me – Life and death are sacred taboos in our society. But they’re just empty concepts you need to fill by yourself. If you wonder about what they are and what is their meaning. If your personal experience makes you reflect on all that, thinking it just doesn’t make sense… If you want to find better answers, just do it. It will turn everything upside down. You might discover things you hate about mankind, people, or about yourself. But you will not regret having tried to learn.

Rajavi – You make it sound like a religion, or a sect…

Me – This is both. This is about looking at the stars and finding your place among them. Taking a step back from this world and trying to balance the universe.

Rajavi – You are a mystical lady.

Me – Call me Gemini. Goodbye Saïd.


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