Chapter 2: A familiar start

“So how was summer?” Naia looked up from her book as Erin dropped in the seat next to her. She frowned, being absolutely sure that Erin had heard everything about her summer. Everyone seemed to have and it annoyed Naia to no end that everyone looked at her funny. This was university for heaven’s sake, not high school where everyone gossiped! But reality seemed different, as she’s been hearing other rumours as well.
Before Naia could answer she saw Marisol walking into class, sitting down in the front row as she always did. They used to be friends during high school but live decided otherwise and they grew apart, bringing them suddenly together when they walked into the same class even though Marisol did a completely different master. Naia heard Marisol spent most of her summer in the hospital, after she collapsed during field work. She seemed to have woken up from her heat induced coma on the same day Naia woke up from hers. The doctors had decided that she must have had too much nitrogen still in her body after she went down for her night dive. Even though none of the tests showed any signs of nitrogen in her system. But Naia had realised quickly that doctors don’t like it when you point out extremely obvious things that they cannot explain.
“So?” Erin poked her so hard that a bruise would certainly form quickly. Naia sighed. “Well, what I remember was great fun, I saw this amazing octopus from up close.” Of course this would grab her nerdy friend’s attention more than her mysterious coma that lasted for three straight weeks.
“Wauw! You got pictures?”
Of course she got pictures, but that was where things had become really strange. The pictures were all really dark, Naia was only able to see those beautiful rings on the octopus’ skin after she altered every bit of lighting in the picture. Did she not remember correctly how bright the moon shone that night? She was sure she didn’t, but the subconscious gnawing started as soon as she showed the pictures on her phone to her friend. Maybe she did remember incorrectly, just as she remembered a female voice speaking to her in Greek as soon as the light of the moon enveloped her. Right before she remembered nothing until she woke up again weeks later.


“Hey Sol! How are you sweety?” Marisol looked up, looking into the soft smiles of Sarah and Charlie as she sat down in her usual spot next to them.
She nodded. “I’m feeling great guys, don’t worry about me. And Charlie, what are you doing here?” He didn’t take journalism-classes at all.
Her friends frowned, ignoring her question all together. “How can we not be worried? You were in a coma for almost a month!” Unfortunately, that was true and thanks to it her parents were even more worried about her then they normally already wore. Sometimes it was annoying to be the only daughter and to have three brothers who had a habit of getting into trouble. And because of that she sighed. Until this summer she had never sighed in her life!
“Guys, really I’m fine! They say it was because of heat stress and that I am completely fine.” And she chose to believe the doctors, even though she had never suffered from any heat-related health issues ever before in her entire life. She loved the heat! But she had also learned not to argue with the doctors if she wanted a smooth and easy clearing from the hospital and the following check-ups. Quite obviously she didn’t tell a soul about the male voice she heard right before she collapsed, speaking to her in what she figured out was ancient Greek. Talking about the gift of knowledge, about the sun giving her strength. Her parents would have her locked up for all eternity of they heard any of that. Or they would take away her phone, laptop, and any time she had to watch a movie. They already weren’t happy that she moved back into her own apartment the day before the new university year started.
Before either Sarah or Charlie could say anything else the professor walked in. Saved by authority, thought Marisol with a grin on her face.


“We’re going to change things up a bit this semester,” the professor continued a seemingly endless lecture. Naia felt as if she had gone braindead. The room was so warm, her eyes and head were so incredibly heavy. She felt Erin poke her in the side with her elbow.
“Stay awake dude,” her friend hissed. Even though they were sitting in the back of the big lecture hall, it always looked bad if you fell asleep during class. And professor Mölln was known far and wide for his hawk-like gaze that seemed to see everything. With an incredible effort Naia pried open one eye and grumbled something non-understandable.
“What?” Why did she have to pay attention to something that had been repeated about seven million times already?

“As you all know half of this class consists of practical assignments, but I’ve noticed lately that it is always the same pairs. So, I took the liberty to pair everyone up with someone myself. As well as assign you the topics you’ll do your assignment on. So no half-ass’ing this time!” Naia growled, not even silently.

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