I scratch Pegasus' ears, leaning against the wall of her stall. Ellie's out with Capricorn today - training again, as usual. I haven't seen Aries or Illiana for a while, although I've heard the other consorts gossiping about them. Apparently both of them have been in major huffs since the "pipe incident" as it has become known. Most of the consorts seem friendly, even if a few are still slightly nervous of me. I'm thankful that no-one really likes Illiana much, otherwise things could have gotten a little... sticky.
Pegasus snorts in my face, her breath smelling of hay and horsey-morning-breath. I give her nose a gentle push, rubbing my eyes as they water with the smell. I think I need to remind Ellie to clean out Pegasus' stall soon, it's getting a bit smelly. I would do it for her ... but I really don't want to ruin the chance for the two to bond more closely. Well, that's my excuse anyway.
I leave the stable and start roaming around the courtyard again, hoping to find someone to talk to. I spot Gemini standing over by a wall, listening intently to something. I raise an eyebrow at them, and they gesture to me to come closer and listen.
"It's them." Gem mouths, her ear pressed against the wall. I join them, and am surprised to hear not only Aries and Illiana, but Titan as well.
"I know you don't like them." says Titan. "I can see that for myself. But I cannot banish them for the sake of a joke, even if it was a little alarming for you."
"Alarming? They were mocking us!" Aries' voice. "I'm telling you, letting them stay here will bring ruin on us all. Do you really think the other Reapers will respect the Zodiacs with those two acting like fools?"
"They will learn." says Titan evenly. "They are both still young."
"But they're animals!" Illiana shrieks, her voice so loud it makes me jump. "They don't deserve to be here! If I were in charge-"
"But you are not in charge." Titan says forcefully. "If you are ever elected head of the council then you may do as you please with the council's consent. Until then, I suggest you both swallow your pride and get on with your lives. The election is not far off, you will get your chance then. Good day to you."
Gem, Ini and I flatten ourselves against the wall as Titan strides past. He doesn't look back, and I hear Illiana and Aries storm off through the building in the opposite direction, slamming the door behind them. I look at Gemini.
"The election's in a few days?" I say. "What happens there?"
"Candidates for council leadership present their case to the rest of the Zodiacs. The ones who get the most votes are elected head of the countil. Titan's head now, but any Zodiac can be elected. I think Titan's got hopes for you and Saggitarius in future. You see, the election can only take place when the council is whole - until you and Sagittarius arrived we were still one short."
"Oh great." I mutter. "So he's going to be grooming her for leadership. Honestly, we've not even been here a few days, who'd vote for us now? Especially after the incident with the draugs..."
"Don't worry, you can't be voted into power unless you want to be." Ini grins at me. "I think Capricorn's just trying to teach Sagittarius the ropes just in case she ever wants to be a leader later on. Aries and Illiana have been trying to take command for years, but they've had enough support. Not yet anyway.... hey! Where are you going?"
But I'm not listening anymore. I'm already sprinting in the other direction, trying to think where Illiana and Aries are going. If they see Ellie as a threat to their chances, they might try and get rid of her. I want to know what they're planning ... if I can find them.
"Alright scumbags," I mutter. "Let's see what you're planning. Titan might think you're harmless, but I don't agree. Now, where have you slithered off to?"