This is a continuation of a story begun in the post “Chapter 1. Part 1.” If you enjoy it, please like and share it with others!
CHAPTER 2: WELCOME TO THE SYLLOGY
“Don’t be afraid to open your eyes Nicholas. If you don’t, we’ll never get anywhere.” The man sounded lighthearted, almost jovial. His entire demeanor had changed from what it was on the beach of Troy. Here, wherever here was, he sounded like a regular person. I opened my eyes to take in his appearance again. They stung initially from the brightness, but shortly, the pain receded, and I could see everything clearly.
The man who stood in front of me had changed. His skin still shone slightly, as if his body contained light, but it was more of a twinkle or a shimmer than a steady stream like before. He looked much less like a bolt of lightning and much more like a man, though his rough edges still remained, but softer than they had been. His hair and dress were the same as well, but there was less flash in the gold around his waist, and the metallic glimmer of his hair seemed to gleam more slowly. His appearance was royal and welcoming instead of spectacularly frightening. The place I stood was as flat as an altar and extremely white. It looked like a beach only instead of loose sand I was standing on hard rock.
The man saw me eyeing the substance and said, “That’s concrete. One of your human inventions actually, you haven’t gotten there yet. Don’t let it bother you too much. Just take a look around!”
I did, and what greeted my eyes was the most beautiful sight that’s ever been seen. On my left was a sharp drop off about two hundred feet to the canopy of a huge jungle.
Instead of the usual green, there were treetops of every color scattered throughout. There were some orange and red a few purple and even a powder blue here and there. Its effect was a wavy look on the top of the jungle. Contributing to this were a few huge poles that jutted up out of the trees. They looked like massive silver masts of ships with vines draping up and down them as ragged sails. On the right was a colossal white wall that extended into the clouds and was long enough that I could not see where it ended ahead of me or behind.
A fifty-foot opening was carved into the wall and filling the opening was what looked like a mix of blue fire and blue mud, but it was contained and solid, filling the hole, never spreading beyond it. I looked back at the man and asked, “Is this Olympus? Am I in the presence of the gods?”
“Pssh, please. Those gods you worship are the rejects of this place. They just get a kick out of you thinking they are all knowing and super powerful.”
“Then where are we?”
“Believe me when I say that you wouldn’t understand.”
“Ok… who are you?”
“Oh my, where are my manners?” He was so cheery now I couldn’t help but smile a bit. “I am,” at this point he made a sound that most closely resembled a ship crashing into a rock wall and filling with water if it were to happen all in one second. “But I don’t expect you to be able to pronounce that, so just call me Chak.”
“Chak?” I said slowly. “Alright. Well, you already know my name… so… what is this journey that you mentioned earlier?”
“Oh don’t worry about that. We’ve got some time. Right now why don’t we have a look around? I realize that there are probably a ton of questions running through your head, but the best way to answer them is to spend some time acclimating yourself to this place. Why don’t we go into the city and find you something to eat? You must be starving after that journey.”
“Alright,” I said, a little bit dazed. I walked toward Chak, and now that I got to see him up close he was much smaller than I first thought. To be fair, he was still much taller than me, but I guessed that he only reached about six and a half feet, which, in comparison to the fifteen he had been in Troy, felt downright short now. He turned toward the blue goo archway and passed through it like nothing at all. Gritting my teeth and hoping for the best, I followed.
As I walked through, the most wonderful joy came over me. It infected my entire body and wiped away all my fears, doubts, and questions about this place. Suddenly I was full of energy and could feel every part of myself right down into my toes. It was so pleasing that I let out one big laugh. Chak laughed also.
“I know how you feel. It gets me every time as well. So what shall we eat?”
The question made me realize how hungry I was, and the awareness of my body that came from walking through the blue goo made it all the more necessary. It was a strange feeling to be extremely hungry but not worry about it at all. The joy that enveloped me had the thought, “I sure am hungry, isn’t that wonderful?” running through my mind.
Chak looked around and I did the same. The city that lay before me seemed to unfurl like a cloak after having been bundled up and lying in dirt. Little specks of something or other floated off of it far into the distance and the longer I looked the farther I could see. Directly in front of me was a cobbled stone street that closely resembled the roads we had in Athens. To the left and right, as far as the eye could see, there were white buildings of varying heights some with designs resembling the Athens that I knew. One building had beautiful white columns all around it.
“That one is modeled after the Parthenon. It’s going to be built in Athens in about six hundred years according to your timeline. Of course that’s happening right now since you’re here and not there. Also in a place called New York, on earth, they’re building that one over there.” I looked in the direction he was pointing and a tall brown building that was full of little square holes sat nestled in between a cluster of buildings that completely dwarfed it by comparison. “Yep. The empire state building. The Americans brag about that one a lot.”
I looked up at his face completely baffled.
“I know you don’t understand. Don’t worry about it.”
I shrugged and looked back in front of me. The cobbled street slowly became wider and flatter as it wound into the city, and only then did it dawn on me that there was no one else anywhere around. I asked Chak about this peculiar fact.
“They’re there. You just can’t see them yet. I promise that will make at least a little bit of sense once you settle in. So what about that lunch, huh?”
Chak started walking at a rather brisk pace and I jogged along with him to keep up.
“We’ll go back to my place and I’ll fix you something. I think I have some of your food around somewhere.”
We walked down the cobbled street a bit then took the second left turn available. One right, another left, then a long straight stretch followed by a staircase down a few feet, and one more left. We arrived in between two buildings that reached about fifty feet in the air and were extremely close together. Nestled in the small connecting wall between them was a plain looking purple wooden door. We entered the door to an odd sort of room that had huge metal shields covering three of the walls and the remaining wall had three doors lined up in a row. We entered the middle door and I saw what I now know to be a forty third century Scorstavian kitchen, but at the time I thought it was a Spartan torture chamber.
Thankfully, the joy of the blue archway kept me from passing out as Chak moved from contraption to contraption preparing two very different meals. The one he gave me ended up being a leg of lamb prepared in a kingly fashion for an extremely expensive banquet back home in Athens. The meal he ate looked like purple goop with a few solid chunks of rotten fish mixed in.
He explained to me that it was a cuisine in his world that would be an average lunch. I suppose in twentieth century American terms it was like a ham sandwich. Chak said little else as we ate. I did my best to eat politely, but my hunger got the better of my manners and more than a few flecks of food fell from my face. When I had finished my meal Chak stood up and cleared the eating surface – I hesitate to use the word table – and sat down across from me. He stared right into my eyes with a glimmer in his. I was going crazy with anticipation.
“For the next few minutes,” he said, “you can ask all that you want, but then I must tell you the reasons for which I have brought you here, and the tasks you must complete before leaving. Do you understand?” I nodded. “Then go ahead and ask.”
My head swam in thoughts, so it took a moment to pick one out of the storm.
“What did you mean when you said that I couldn’t see the people here yet? Will I be able to see them soon?”
“Yes, sort of. The beings that inhabit this place are invisible to humans at first. I can’t really explain why that is, but once the humans know what they’re looking for, and start looking for them, the inhabitants become more visible. The more you know about what you’re looking at and the more focused you are in that endeavor the more clearly you will be able to see the creatures who live here. To make them fully visible and audible they have to want you to see them. So you can get a glimpse of them, enough to get around here, but to see them fully they have to make the final connection.”
“Why can I see and hear you?”
“I overrode some of the rules to get you here. We can do that kind of thing on occasion. But that gets into what I will tell you in a moment, so just hold that question in the back of your mind for now.”
“Alright. Well the other big question on my mind is: Where are we?”
“That is an excellent question and one of which you will understand very little even after I tell you, but I’ll do my best. There is a lot more in this universe than you are aware of. There are other dimensions and other realms that humanity, as a whole, will never reach. A select few, like you, will get to see a bigger portion of the picture. This realm is called ‘The Syllogy of the Universe.’ This city in particular is the capital of the Syllogy and bears the same name. Basically, this realm is every time period that exists on earth combined, and inhabited by Umbili like me who are like messengers for the Higher-ups. We all have different jobs, skills, and personalities, but all have the same basic goal, to do the will of the Higher-ups.”
“Don’t even bother trying to fathom them. They are to me what we are to you, and to be honest I don’t really even understand you. The Higher-ups are the ones in charge of everything, here and on earth. The gods you thought were real in Athens are really just creatures from this place pretending to be Higher-ups. The Higher-ups are the real deal.”
It didn’t faze me too much to learn that the gods of Athens were not really in control. They always seemed weak to me. I always suspected that there must be something more powerful than them, and the feeling given to me by the blue goo made it even easier to let go of the gods of Athens.
“Okay, well then I guess that brings me to the question you told me not to ask. Why am I here?” I asked it hesitantly, honestly a little frightened as to what the answer would be.
“For that I need to tell you a story.”