The Duality has returned, in the form of two close friends and lovers. Accompanied by Ganymede, cupbearer to the Olympian Gods, the trio are sent into the underworld of Tartarus to rescue the captured Oracle of Delphi. Yet there are those who are keeping the truth of their quest from them. Nothing is quite as it seems.
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Chris and Mike by now had been living together for a couple of
months, and during that time their relationship only grew in strength
as they shared in everything. The young men had even started doing
regular work there on the farm, Chris having left his job at the radio
station, citing economics, (he couldn't afford the mileage anymore
given his meager salary which the station manager, surprisingly
enough, believed to be more than adequate. Let them try living on it
for a while).
It wasn't always easy for the pair. A couple of the less open minded
farmhands found themselves afforded with the opportunity to find
work with some of the other ranches in the area after they made crude
and malicious comments about the guys situation, and occasional mild
displays of affection in the field. (Mostly hugging, but some people
have a talent for blowing everything out of proportion). On the whole
however, they were accepted.
One morning, when Mike's mother brought the mail to them, one
letter was addressed simply 'to Mike and Chris', with no return
address nor was their address on the yellowed envelope. The
envelope looked to be very old, and when they opened it, the letter
inside also appeared to be quite aged. It was odd, but both young men
felt an unusual sense of familiarity when Chris carefully unfolded the
paper. It looked to be an ancient style of letterhead, with only a
symbol at the top. The writing of the letter was in a calligraphic style,
and as they read the contents a consciousness began rising in both of
A long time it has been since last we were
together, and yet a small forgotten part of your
being will remember us from so long ago.
I am pleased that you are, once again
together as you are, the fates have certainly
kept this impossible for far too long.
Sociability's must now, I'm afraid be set
aside as you are once again needed. There is a
part of you that is familiar with the symbol at
the top of this page, it is that of long ago, that
of the Duality, a symbol you wore and kept
precious to yourselves.
It is imperative that you make yourselves
available to depart on a journey five suns from
this. You will receive a visit, and message
soon from one you once called not merely
friend, but father. It will gift you more
specific information to help you to prepare
yourselves for the quest, which has chosen
you. You will be visited upon the third
morning from this, Gracious love to you both.
Fare you well, my brother.
"Argath?" Questioned Mike, "I don't know why it should, but that
name sounds kinda familiar, though I don't think that I've ever heard it
before. And I don't have any brothers anywhere either that I know of,
what do you think?"
"Same here," Chris responded, "but as far as the brother comment,
many believe that all men are brothers with each other. However that
'Duality', and the feeling that he wrote to us as one person, did you
notice? Lets wait, in three days we should be hearing something else
again. Until then, there's not a thing that we can do about it. We
might just go ahead and tell your folks about it, let them know that we
may be going away for a while. When we do go, we'd be travelling
light anyway." Chris didn't know where that last came from, but he
somehow knew that it was true. That evening, Mikes' parents were
shown the letter, and told that it was important that if a package came
on the indicated day, that they would be leaving in five days.
During the course of the next few days, both Mike and Chris were
subjected to visions out of the corners of their eyes, and hallucinations
of other sorts from just outside the corner of their consciousness'.
Occasional sights, far away whispers and imperceptible sounds that
would just barely make themselves apparent to their conscious minds.
The young men were sorely tempted to mention these things to each
other, but opted to keep them quiet for the time being.
Three days later, as if on schedule, and early in the morning Chris
was gently awakened by a presence. He was not generally a light
sleeper, but with odd things happening lately he didn't wonder about
it. When he opened his eyes and looked around the room to the foot
of the bed, there was a luminous being standing there, His glow wasn't
bright, nor did Chris believe that Mike would have seen him should he
awaken. The entity was indicating with a finger to his lips that Chris
remain silent. As Mike remained asleep, in Chris' mind he thought
almost aloud the name "Apollo". At this time a soft and gentle, yet
commanding voice entered his head.
"Your hidden memory serves you well, my son. Your instincts will
continue to refresh that memory as Olympus serves to refresh others
of our existence and being. Though many things you have forgotten,
many of these memories shall return to you with the tokens that you
will receive upon this day. Names and events of long ago shall gently
relive themselves upon your mind.
You and your companion are once again as you were thousands of
your centuries ago, this has been done in the form and purpose of
necessity, as your experiences of so many long ago pasts will be of
need. Some will make themselves clear before the sun expires upon
this day. It is not expected that you understand all at this time, but
soon you will. Rest now, and reveal nothing of this talk with Michael
until late in the evening, when the knowing is reborn in you both.
Peace be your guide."
As these words echoed through Chris' still foggy mind, the vision
faded and disappeared, and the young man returned to a deep and
peaceful sleep. Unknown to Chris, while he slept his mind was being
filled with memories and information that would remain hidden until
the knowledge was called for later.
True to his instructions Chris said nothing to Mike of his early
morning visit, but he thought he noticed a different look in his
partners eyes, as if seeing a ghost from the corner of his mind. It was
a look of long ago from deep within his memory, and though he did
not make comment about it he silently wondered as he shaved if there
were something different about himself this morning as well.
Though the two men didn't realize, or even notice, they went
through the morning chores and duties with an increased vigor and
stamina that prompted comments of "where's the fire?" and "you
don't have to kiss up to the boss, slow down!" and even "we work by
the hour, not the mile per hour," from the other farm hands who
usually joked with them about paying more attention to each other
than their work. At one point, Mike turned to the men and said that
they were just getting in enough of an advance to rate an extended
vacation, which prompted comments like "honeymooners!", which
was met by Chris with a smile and the return accusation of "jealous?"
As the pair returned to the house, sweat soaked and shirtless for
lunch, they found a package outside by the door, once again addressed
solely 'Chris and Mike'.
Inside, Chris took his knife from his belt sheath that he had taken to
carrying for work, and soon had the tapes cut and the box opened. As
the flaps were pulled aside, the stagnant fragrance of old air and the
dust of ages filled their nostrils. When the two looked inside, there
was an aged, but carefully crafted and decorated box of some kind of
exotic wood, and having several symbols carved around the top,
surrounding a single symbol in the center of the top of the box. The
same symbol from the letter that they had received earlier in the week.
Opening the lid, the two found carefully arranged within, a pair of
gauntlets made of tarnished bronze. They had the look of having been
forged by hand a long time ago with designs on the gauntlets that
were unfamiliar. In their minds and memories, the symbols seemed to
signify the progression of youth-age-youth-death, as a circle of events.
These gauntlets were arranged in a head to toe formation. Next to the
toe of each gauntlet was a ring by one, and next to the other, a
medallion. On each of these items was the symbol from the page that
they had received three days earlier, and on the box's lid. Suddenly it
was remembered by them to be described as the symbol for the
Duality. Also in the package was a scroll.
As if reclaiming long lost possessions, Chris took up the medallion
and one gauntlet, and Mike the ring and other bronze band. After
these items were put on, Chris took up and began to read the scroll
which was in a tongue that neither could recognize, yet both could,
inexplicably, understand fluently.
To my very good friend,
Long has it been, indeed lifetimes since we
were last in contact. And though I write to
you as one, I do indeed and fact refer to both
of you as will be made clear.
As a reminder solely to your physical
beings, the items which you have found in this
package and are, I'm certain now wearing, I
shall explain. The medallion you Christopher,
once called Alan once removed from the
remains of a wall in a place now long gone. I
was encased within the stone of this medallion
and you released me. The amulet now carries
the powers of wisdom and guidance, use them
selflessly and liberally.
The ring was given the one known as Troy,
a centaur, now you Michael. It was once
used to separate and yet connect the two
across the fabric of being which you would
call the dimensional layers. It later served as
a link between the two halves of the duality.
It now carries the capacity of intelligence and
The pair of gauntlets, one of which each of
you now posses, belonged to one who was
once a threat, and later became a close
companion and comrade. His name was called
Langor, the Windwalker. These he made as
a reminder to himself of his past and his
future. His past as a slave to greed and
power, his future as a servant to frailty and
destiny. These now hold the qualities of
identity, compassion, and patience. May all
of these things once more serve you well.
Of the task upon which you are soon to be
set, I can tell you nothing at present, save
that you will have an assistant who will join
you soon. You must first visit the waters
that have no origin. These will be found from
within a cavern two days foot travel towards
the setting of the sun. Once there, you will
find a message in the walls of stone, heed its
warning, but you are to drink of the waters.
You will also meet others there who will
assist you in your preparations, heed their
council and trust their words. You must
remain there until the time is come to continue
upon the rest of your journey. You must
drink once only from the pool, lest your
destruction be assured. The waters will make
known all memories, and release past abilities
for use as you will have need of these powers.
You must take care however, for as the
waters of lethe erase the memories of the past
the waters of life, Amrita will restore all.
The collective joys and pleasures, the pains
both physical and emotional endured by you
from time immemorial to this day will relive
themselves upon you in savage abundance, and
all at once. This is, for the constraint of time
a necessity as you will need the collected
experiences of so many lifetimes in order to
best your adversaries.
After you have awakened from drinking of
the waters, you may summon me that I may
join you, and we shall share once more in each
others companionship. Until that soon time,
I bid you farewell, my brother.
Throughout the reading of the scroll, either by the items that they
had claimed from the package or some other means, neither could
consciously determine, but thoughts and memories began to enter the
minds of the chosen lovers. Scenes and faces that had no known place
or name in their current memories, but that were as real to them as if
they had happened within the last year of so. That afternoon, after the
pair had returned to work again in the fields a particularly painful
sight appeared in both of their memories at the same time. The scene
was that of a set of twins, young adults running for their lives from the
collapse of a cave and the thought of a third companion who
seemingly wasn't so fortunate as to escape the crushing debris. The
vision was gone as rapidly as it had appeared, and all that remained
was a heaviness of heart, the name Langor and a tear on the cheeks of
the two young men. Mixed with the sadness however, was a sense of
a final peace for their lost friend, one far too long overdue.
That evening as the two relaxed on the sofa, they discussed the
vision that had overtaken them, remembering what was said in the
scroll, of Langor having been a one time foe, turned close friend and
indispensable companion. They determined that this was the memory
of a fate that was ten thousand years overdue to their old companion.
The two vowed to remember this friend with the honor in which he
was once held in that long ago time.
The next day the lovers had taken the day off from work in order to
make themselves ready, and were preparing the things which they felt
that they would need on the outing that was apparently preordained to
begin the following day when a knock came at the door. When Chris
opened it, the sight that beheld him was breathtaking. Standing out
his door was possibly the most beautiful boy that he had ever seen.
"Good day friend, Chris I presume, " the young visitor said holding
out his hand, Chris seemed too amazed to speak, but slowly grasped
the strangers hand. "I am sent to be with you and Mike on your trip.
My name is Ganymedes, but you can call me Gan if you please."
Chris was still too taken with the boys looks to acknowledge much
yet, Gan must have been not more than eighteen, smooth features as
could not be molded by any but only the most careful and loving of
artists. Light brown hair with just a little wave to it reaching down to
gently caress his slender shoulders, and frame his gentle face, and
highlight his ocean deep green eyes. His body was well defined,
muscular, but not obscenely so, and lean. After he had taken in all of
this, Chris soon composed himself enough to ask who it was that sent
him, and for what purpose.
"I'm sorry," Gan said, "but I'm afraid that I'm not allowed to answer
all of your questions right now, I am only allowed to say that I am
sent by the one who destined you for your journey, and that I must
accompany you. So that you may know that I'm sincere, I offer you
the name of Argath."
Sensing truth as well as mystery in what the lad said, Chris invited
him inside, and to have a seat while he went to get Mike. As the three
talked, Chris tried to gain answers from Gan to questions like, who
was it that sent him, how is it that you know about the trip, and what
is the purpose of this trip at all. As well as information about the
contacts that had been made with them and who was Argath. All of
these questions however, were met with the same response.
"I cannot tell you right now," was all that the youth would say. "I
can only ask that you trust me, I'm here to help you on your quest. I
know that you're leaving in the morning, and that is why I'm here
tonight." Then Gan paused for a moment, looking off to the side as if
listening to someone whispering in his ear. "I can say that we have a
mutual friend, he spoke to you early yesterday morning."
Mikes ears picked up at this, naturally curious about a meeting in
the early morning that he was unaware of.
Chris had forgotten to tell Mike of the vision that he had had with
the one who answered to the name Apollo. After Chris now related
the incident, Mike led him into the kitchen for a moment where they
conferred privately, and agreed that Gan could stay with them, "at
least for the night."
Back in the living room, they found Gan sitting in his chair, looking
toward the ceiling with a blank expression on his face. Soon the boys
nodded, and looked back to his hosts, who were looking at him as if
questioning themselves on the lads' mental stability.
Quietly, Chris whistled a few notes from the song, "Running on
empty", which drew a grin from both Mike and Gan. Afterwards,
they told Gan that he could stay the night, and Mike asked about his
"It's shortened," the youth explained, "the full name is Ganymedes,
also Catamitus sometimes, from the ancient Trojan and Roman. You
may be familiar with the story from mythology where Zeus was so
taken by the beauty of the youngest son of the Trojan king Tros, that
he descended Olympus as an Eagle and seduced young lad, carrying
him away to be his lover, and cupbearer to the gods. Tros was repaid
for his son with a pair of magnificent, magical horses the likes of
whom have borne the gods themselves, and were said to be so swift
that they could travel upon the waters. These horses were in fact
gifted to the gods by Hercules after one of his tasks"
(This is the legend as it appears in my records. The Librarian)
"Alright Gan," Chris said. "Since there is only the one bed, you are
welcome to the sofa if you like. As you seem to know so much about
us, you may think our bed a little too, … crowded."
"Either way is fine with me," Gan stated. " Frankly whatever you
wish of me is fine. As I said, I'm sent to be with you."
As it was expected to be a cool night, the three retired to the