THE ORACLE OF PÉOS
1. ἀνερρίφθω κύβος
So this is a story with oracles, bravery and a lot of gonads. I can imagine that the first thought when told this is a story involving oracle, bravery and gonads one might think of ancient Greece. A time when a messenger ran 42km to Athens dropping dead after revealing they'd won some battle or other. A time with dust and horses and spear wielding warriors.
In all honesty it could very well have been such a story. Maybe once upon a time it was but in this day and age, it isn't.
Today it's a story with not a durst trotting horse but a gravel spitting muscle car. The driver of said car isn't a warrior and specially not a spear wielding one. As a matter of fact nobody in his or her right mind would call him so but he's a good-hearted kind person, even though the kindness is deep down and not many people have ever gotten close enough to witness it. You see he's what you'd call a lone wolf. Sounds proper mysterious doesn't it?
Well that's kind of the point.
Odilon, though most call him Odi and others would mark him as odd, drives along the roads of the continent in perpetual search. What of he wasn't sure, though confident once he'd find it he'd know. Not the most breathtaking of reasons to be sure but some people don't need existential meta-thoughts they just get in their cars and drive.
Odilon was one of those people and by the time this story catches up with him he'd been on the road for a number of years. Leaving a trail only a few could track through the countries of the continent. We see him as he's driving away from a bright lite city. Odi is happy to leave the smog and noise or the overcrowded and crawling Rome. Seeing it grow smaller and finally disappear completely from his rearview mirror. He's made enough money to travel further and grasp at a string of news. A string he's about to follow all the way to Geneva.
Meanwhile off the beaten track of touristic Genéve, is a house. It's a simple innocuous house, with a wooden door sporting an engraved 8 in it's woodwork. Yet the house itself isn't really of importance it's the elevator inside that is. It goes all the way down to a maze of undisclosed vaults. In a small antechamber several severe looking men and women stood awaiting, awaiting their turn.
Before long the great door of the Grand Vault creaks open. Now if one knew where we where one would have expected a hooded robed figure to mystically drift forward, instead a butler like man in a crisp pressed suit with a collar starched to the high heavens stepped up. We are in the 21ste century after all.
"The Oracle will see you now, your Majesty." A slight bow of the head and an open hand leading the way accompanied this message.
An elderly woman dressed in fine clothes and velvet gloves walked through. The Grand Vault was just that, a vault what else would you expect in Genéve? This vault's floor plan is that of a octogram and every wall containing a heavy door. In the middle of the room stood two what would once have been referred to as priests yet were now obviously bodyguards. Between these two men in their dark blue suits stood a young man. This young man had his back turned to the entrance door, he was dressed in a long brilliantly white tunic matched with equally white and with loose fitting trousers. He stood serenely between his two 'priests' his shoulders relaxed and his air patient.
The women leaned into the butler-like man whispering into his ear.
"This is to guarantee total discretion from the Oracle ma'am. It is a means to ensure the prophecy is free of any outside influence." The butler-man explained.
After quite a long minute of silence this was curtly approved with, with a slight nod.
Another whisper followed.
"Yes, you may present your query via proxy yet the aid must be given personally or the prophecy would be invalid. We guarantee satisfaction, it is one of our most highly viewed watchwords." Again after due consideration this as well was met by a curt nod.
Another whisper and the butler-man removed himself from the woman's presence. He quietly walked over to the young man in white spoke to him in a low almost inaudible voice. The young man in white nodded once then slowly and methodically sank to his knees. The bodyguard in blue to his left presented him with a white blindfold, which he took and proceeded to cover his eyes. He opened his trousers, laid his flaccid penis out, rested his hands on his knees and waited. There was a certain reverence to his graceful movements, a ritualistic pentameter if you will.
The woman approached him noting the young man's feet though unshod were spotlessly clean. A small stool had materialized beside him and she sat down facing the entrance door. Loosening her right glove finger by finger she removed it and directed her stare at nothing at all before her. Leaning down she graciously grasped the flaccid penis is her hand and proceeded to slowly stoke it.
After a measurement of time the flaccid penis grew. It grew into a hard straight staff. The woman continued her aid with little emotion to her manner. The man leaned back grasping his ankles as his body started to slightly shake and shiver. The stroking quickened yet still she didn't spare him a glance. The minutes ticked by in this lockless room it was awhile yet before the young man's body trembled, his stomach jerked and his hands gripped his ankles so hard his knuckles whitened.
In a low rumble of a quiet roar he came, ejaculating onto the dark brown floor tiles he trembled on. As his convulsion subsided the women retracted her hand sanitized it and slipped on her glove while standing up stance behind the man facing away from him.
Catching his breath the man ripped the blindfold from his eyes reading the pattern of cum in front of him as it cooled. The swirls and ropes scattered on the tiles told him stories as if he read the entrails of a freshly slaughtered cock.
"New blood has fueled the lines of old with a new order over the horizon."
The woman's face didn't alter at the uttered words her gaze remained steadfast. The young mans eyes continued to dart across his freshly made pattern, he leaned in low and took a long sniff the breathe in the scent, images flashing in front of his eyes.
"Succession will skip a generation and one day you will receive your deepest wish and be with a woman."
The woman spun around is shock her string of pearls glinting in the light. "I say!"
Once the woman with the pearls had been lead away, the oracle's priests/body guards disappeared. The butler-man reappeared with a small bowl of warm water and a fresh cloth. He handed it to the Oracle still kneeling on the floor.
"There is one more after this one." he told the young man, his voice soft and empathic.
The Oracle sighed as he started to clean up his oracular matter. "You know four a day is stretching my abilities. Can't one of the others take over?"
"This one only wants an audience." The butler-man said his voice lowering in a more familiar sympathetic tone.
The oracle dropped the soiled cloth into the bowl and sat back frowning.
"Well that's what he said, prepare yourself for an prophecy nonetheless."
The young man rubbed his eyes tiredly, "I'm getting too old for this Cosmas."
The butler man immediately lost his calm voice and soothing manner. "Don't talk like that Spyro! Talk like that could get you killed." He implored.
"Cosmas how many of us have you seen come and go in all the years you've been here? I know where I'm going to end up and I don't want it anymore than you do but what else is there? I'm tired Cosmas. Everyday I wake up with less energy than the last and it's been years since I've been able to handle more than four clients a day. I'm sure the order has taken notice of this already."
"There are medicines to help with that."
Spyro shook his head. "They muddle up the visions and if the high prelates knew I was taking stimuli I'd quietly vanish one night just like Milo."
This brought silence between the two, both knew the reality of their situation, it was the way of the world down here.
"We'll figure something out Spyro."
Spyro looked up at his life long friend, the older man sat hunched beside him. "Why would you help me Cosmas? Why?"
Spyro saw the man hesitate; his eyes made a plight of confession but quickly turned dull. "Cause you're an Oracle Spyro and you deserve to live." He straightened up and patted his suit expelling that non-exciting dust.
Spyro lowered his head and nodded picking himself up from the floor. "Who's this client that wants an audience anyway?" Spiro wasn't always allowed to know much of anything about his clients but that didn't keep him from asking.
"Hessestein?" Most of his clients were nobles or other such dignitaries however he'd never heard of a family Hessestein before. Spyro shrugged it off, in all honestly he wouldn't know a Freiherr from a Baron let alone the significant of their surnames.
"Apparently a minor German noble, no influence or great wealth to speak of but contacts enough to find us. That alone shows his provenance."
Spyro nodded but had stopped listening, he was tired and wanted to get this over with so he could rest. Drift off in dreams that showed him a life fare freer than this one. Though it would never be his own.
"Let him in." Spyro turned his back to the entrance door.
Cosmas laid a hand on his shoulder. "No need for that, it's a man and trust me you'll like this one even it is just for an audience."
Spiro turn around and scoffed at Cosmas's words. "I'll believe it when I see it."
Cosmas walked over to the entrance door and pushed a button. The two bodyguards in blue entered the vault through one of the other doors taking their place next to Spyro.
A few moments later Cosmas returned with a man shrouded his long robes, his had a full beard and wore a karakul hat. The man looked every bit the eccentric aristocrat, his eyes had a young touch to them.
The Freiherr's eyes scanned the room as if committing every detail to memory. He eyed the two body guards and turned to face Cosmas. Spyro had expected the Freiherr to whisper to Cosmas hiding their voices as many who visited him did. Cause even though the prophecy of an Oracle is always highly sought after, the act of doing so seemed to be steeped in displaced embarrassment. Spyro knew he wasn't viewed as a person by his clients, he was an object they used and the less 'contact' the better.
This gentleman did not whisper however his voice ran clear and deep through he vault.
"Are the bodybuilders necessary?" he asked in heavily accented English his German ancestry ringing through every syllable.
"I'm afraid so Freiherr." Cosmas head inclined respectfully.
"No disrespect to your colleagues but I'm a very private man."
"I assure you Freiherr we are the pillar of discretion. It's one of our most highly held watchwords."
The only responds Cosmas received was an icy stare backed with generations of men looking through it. Men that weren't used to hearing no and refused to acknowledge it until it turned into a yes. Cosmas's eyes flittered towards Spyro who nodded invisibly.
"There is a way for a one-on-one audience yet certain measures must be taken for that to happen."
The two bodyguards left Spyro's side; one walked to the wall on Spyro's left opening a hidden compartment and pulled out a shackle attached to a long chain. The other walked to the wall closest to the Freiherr, opening a similar compartment and retrieving an identical chained shackle.
Two chairs were brought in and placed opposite each other with some distance between them. Spyro took his seat and held out his left arm, to which the bodyguard shackled him. The Freiherr did the same although the chair was eyed with some skepticism.
Once both men were seated and sufficiently shackled the bodyguards left. Cosmas gestured towards a button next to the entrance door. "Call us when you're done Freiherr." He said and vanish through again another door.
Spyro took the subsequent silence to take a good look at the man sitting opposite him. Something wasn't quite right but he couldn't immediately put his finger on what that was. This was truly a unique situation for him. In all his years here an audience had only been requested a hand full of times. Every time without exception the audience had been followed up by a prophecy. A private audience such as this one was practically unheard of. Spiro was seldom left alone, only in this bed at night in his small cell of a room could he ever be by himself yet even then he never had complete access to his own body.
The Freiherr's eyes scanned the vault once again before settled them on Spyro.
"Will our conversation be listened to?" he asked.
"Not to my knowledge Freiherr." Spyro replied.
"No need for titles with me. In this room at least we should be equals."
"If you wish so sir." Equals indeed...
"What's your name? I assume you weren't born with the name Oracle." the aristocrat asked.
Spiro cracked a smile. What a strange question..."No, I wasn't but why do you want know?"
"Call it morbid curiosity, you can lie if want to. I wouldn't know it not to be true either way."
"You know that curiosity killed the cat?"
"Ah!" The Freiherr gleamed eyes sparkling "But satisfaction brought it back."
"You speak from personal experience?"
"In a way don't we all?" he shrugged his body language contradicting his tone and words.
Spiro grinned intrigued; this for once was going to be fun. "Spyro."
"Yes, you do have the Greek look to you. Do you have a surname?"
"Do you have a first?"
The aristocrate tried to suppress a grin. "Ah touché, I do of course but I'll keep that to myself for the time being."
"Your accent is slipping." Spyro remarked casually.
"Yes, it does that sometimes." The aristocrat conceded but didn't elaborate and Spyro didn't push it. They sat there opposite each other for a long moment of silence with only the clink in their chains on the brown tiled floor for sound.
Before the aristocrat spoke again, "How long do we have until your handler comes back?"
Spyro's brow furrowed at the terminology. "Until you push that button."
"They won't come in before then however long I'm here?" he questioned.
The aristocrat lifted his shackled arm. "What is this for?"
"Protection." Spyro simply said.
"Yes and myself." Spyro added or better said let slip before he could stop himself. The aristocrat's eyes narrowed for a split second before he rearranged his features more amicably.
"How long have you been with the order?"
"Since I was twelve." A ready answer, the last day he saw the sky.
"So you've been here for what? Twelve years?"
"More or less." It was nearing thirteen actually. Thirteen years of rooms without windows.
The aristocrate leaned forward, "Why do you stay here?"
"Why did you come here?" Spyro retorted unconsciously angling his own body forward.
"Could you leave if you wanted to?"
Spyro lifted his shackled wrist. "One day." One day he'd vanish from his room like those before him..
The aristocrat straightened his back again and Spyro mirrored his actions their little bubble stretching open again.
"Spyro." The aristocrat sang letting the name roll over his tongue, it sent a shiver down Spyro's spine. "Are you happy here?"
Spyro took his time before answering. It was a serious question and it warranted a serious answer. "Have you ever heard of the bromeliad?"
"Yes, the flower. Some frogs use this flower as a nursery, they lay their eggs in the small bromeliad pools. The frog that grows and matures is this flower knows of nothing else outside it. They may remember some existence from before, they hear sounds and feel events around them but remain separated. Some even die before they ever leave the bromeliad."
The aristocrat waved his had around the room. "Is this your bromeliad?"
"Do I look like a toad?" Spyro asked pokerface in place.
The aristocrat blinked and laughed earthly in a young pleasant voice again something nibbled at Spyro's thoughts. "No, you most definitely don't look like a toad!" his laughter died down and his questions resumed. "Are you allowed to tell me how the mechanic of a prophecy works?"
Spyro cocked an eyebrow at this. "Wouldn't you rather have an actual demonstration?"
"No. I have no need to see my future or hear my fortune."
"Then why are you here?" Spyro asked confused once again.
"Please, indulge me."
Spyro thought he's already been indulging this man the while time. "Alright." He sighed, "If you would have come for a prophecy you'd have asked me a question. Then you'd have to aid me with my instrument."
Spyro tired to hide his smirk as he gestured to his crotch. "Ah." Was all the aristocrat added.
"Exactly. Once I've expelled my prophetical fluid I read it and relay what I see."
"How do you read it?"
"Images form my thoughts and words fill my mind." Spyro shrugged it wasn't something that could be described very accurately to an outsider or anyone for that matter.
"Is there any joy in for you?"
"No." Spyro immediately answered.
"Not for a very long time."
The aristocrat frowned unhappy with the given answer. "How does that work out for your private life? Do you find satisfaction elsewhere?"
Spyro smirked bitterly. "Private life? I'm an Oracle. I have no private life and until I am an Oracle no more satisfaction is out of my reach. Why are you asking me all these questions?"At this point the conversation had obviously hit a sore spot for Spyro. His indulgent disposition waining.
"Is there any way for you to stop being an Oracle?"
"May I ask what they are?"
"You don't need me to tell you, surely a knowledgeable name such as yourself should know, and all you need is a history book."
"Tell me Spyro. Do you long for a life outside?"
Spyro grinned leaning forward as the aristocrat had done before created that illusion of intimacy while shackled to a chain. "Is the atomic weight of Cobalt 58.9?"
A blink and the aristocrat burst out in a heartily laugh, with this he stood up from his chair. "I should bid you goodnight before you handlers grow restless. You look like you could use some rest. I hope to meet you again some day." he smiled warmly
"Will you ever be wanting a prophecy?"
"Then there is little chance you'll see me again." It was matter of fact a certainty in Spyro's world.
"We shall just have to see about that shan't we?" The aristocrat made way to the entrance door.
"Can I ask you a question?" Spyro called from behind before he could push the call button.
"Nothing would please me more." The aristocrat turn with that easy smile he entered the Vault in.
"Why the deception? Why disguise yourself?"
A slight pause one of calculation more than anything else. "Protection."
"From me?" What a thought, I couldn't hurt a fly even if I wanted it.
"No." The aristocrat's smile vanished his tone and stature morphed into one of guarded seriousness. "To ensure yours."
- Hope you liked it guys more on it's way
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This is a piece of fiction. My piece of fiction which may not be borrowed, altered, taken or copied without my explicit permission. These stories are registered under my name.