Endgame

CHAPTER 22 – III

Three months passed with no action or counter-action between the two Champions. Then everything changed forever. The sky dimmed, followed by a flash of light. An immense sense of dread burrowed into Aricame’s stomach. He had been so eager to lure Stievo into his trap that he didn’t realize Stievo accepted the psychic link a little too readily. Stievo had opened himself up for exploration as a way of distracting his opponent into letting down his own guard. Stievo was able to extract some vital memory snapshots from Aricame’s psyche in order to piece together his methods for capturing/holding/releasing massive amounts of energy. It was not much information, but in a few month’s time, Stievo was able to replicate the devastating display of power. The strike was targeted in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, destroying untold millions of animal and plant life, though no human lives were lost. What was lost, however, was Aricame’s advantage over his Other. He immediately lamented his refusal to act sooner, his dereliction of duty. He should have killed Stievo when he had the chance, he thought, no matter the cost. Right then, he collapsed to the ground and pulled into something not of this world…

Both Aricame and Stievo found themselves disembodied, floating in space, aware of each other’s presence. With them were three other beings: Pure Light and Pure Dark, in opposition to each other, plus a third entity, distant and dispassionate. A shared nature/purpose/destiny washed over them.

The twelve-thousand year war for the soul of homo sapiens, between two opposing forces, is nearing its end
The oldest man-made structures of Anatolia commemorate the first victors of those first battles
Since the inception of their Great Game, there has been one contestant per side per generation – the Champions
Their lineage passing from parent to first-born, with a 50-50 probability they would be Light or Dark
Thus a lineage can either unite or fracture; reign for centuries or fall into subjugation
When there is no heir, the God of that Lineage selects a new bloodline from among the newly born
All living Champions share the Well of Power amongst themselves, with youth in constant ascension
The Power is drawn, in small doses, from each living person; the Well’s depth grows with human population
Championship nature is pure, undeniable; one’s human nature can either work with or against this divine seed
When they synthesize their two beings they become immensely more powerful; when they deny themselves: psychosis
Champions are so magnetic that they compel all those in their orbit to greater good, or greater harm
Great world events are merely repercussions of the actions of these supernatural beings
Champions who maximize their potential become the smartest and wisest, fastest and strongest
The most advanced can manipulate energy waves and chemical reactions
To heal or harm; to master self-healing to the point of not aging;
To telepathically control the thoughts of the weak or link minds with their equals
The ability to conquer The Board is the pinnacle of the Champion’s journey toward individual mastery
Two final Champions…Endgame…one side will claim Ultimate Victory

The trance broke and both men slowly made it to their feet, left to ponder what was just bestowed. There were still many questions (not least of which was how to understand their piece of the Victor Strife board that was so important), but the rules of The Game were now defined. Faced with their shared future, the countdown had begun. They would never have children. The fate of humankind would be decided within the lifetime of these two greatest of Champions.

Strong Force-Weak Force
The ties that bind
In kind unwind
Betray; decay
Arrow of time