Author: delos13 PM
Time travel is fascinating. Many of us wish to have the ability to do so and change the past to our liking. But what if you are forced to travel in time and when you do so you have no idea whether it is in order to change the past or witness it?Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 28 - Words: 166,445 - Reviews: 160 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 03-24-13 - Published: 06-29-11 - id: 7130393
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note #1: I have this story going for a couple of years now. I never posted it here since I wasn't sure that the story involving RP would be welcomed here. However, thanks for the bravery of I'veAbandonedControl and her wonderful story "Far, Far Away and Long, Long Ago" I decided to share my story with you as well. I've already wrote a number of chapters but I will post today only two of them. I hope they will be well received. I will post the other that I wrote over the next days.
Disclaimer # 1: I am fully aware that the movie with the same title exists (on DVD);
this story was born out of that movie but took turn to AU where it will
reside with no intention of coming into a conflict with the original
Disclaimer # 2: This story is a pure fiction. I don't know the real people involved,
everything they do and say in my story has nothing to do with the actual
lives of those people.
Note #2: The story is divided into 3 books. Each book consists of several chapters.
This is Book I – Siwah. Chapter 1 of 7
Comments: I would really like to know your opinions and appreciate your feedback.
Siwah Oasis, 2006
"Here, my Head of Logistics and Logic coming," and Colin motioned in with his hand to Jared to join the group of his fellow actors, "he will explain it all to you very clearly, my dear Cassander.
"What's up?" asked Jared, plumping himself into a vacant seat.
"I want to know," very theatrically declared Jonathan, "why we are here?"
"Why we are here? In Siwah? That is your question?"
"Yes, that's my question."
"Eh, because we are shooting Alexander's visit to Siwah….?"
"Yes, I know that we shooting Alexander's visit to Siwah, and that's exactly my question – why we should shoot it in Siwah? We went for Asian scenes to Morocco, we did India in Thailand, we shot the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the middle of UK, for the god sake, why we were dragged to Siwah for Siwah scenes?"
"Ah, very philosophical question indeed," calmly commented Jared. "You should ask Mr. Plummer for explanation. Or, if Aristotle can't help, ask Thomas More, before you behead him."
"Well, our dear Chief of Logistics and Logic," with a mixture of mirth and surprise in his voice started Gary Stretch, "Though I unfortunately missed all the fun you had in Mieza I can understand why you suggested to Jonathan to ask Aristotle's advice, however, you completely lost me on Thomas More beheading."
"Well," and Jared lazily stretched himself in a chair, "Jonathan, tell them."
"I was offered the role of Henry the VIII in TV series."
"Wow," Colin almost jumped in his seat, "Congratulations, Jonathan! Why are you being so modest and hiding this fact from us? Jared, I officially appoint you as the Head of my Spy Office; I do have one, right? Where is my Chief Entertainment Officer? We have a great reason to celebrate! As one king to another I have to tell you, Jonathan…"
"Will you invite Pharaoh to your celebrations?" merrily asked Elliot Cowan.
The whole group started laughing. Jokes and laugh were good distractions. They sat there for some time already, all dressed up and ready for the scene because at the last moment something went wrong, and they had to wait, and wait, and wait. They tried to hide their worries from each other that with so many things deviated from the original plan since their arrival in Siwah, they may be stuck here far longer than was originally intended. And they all had plans. And they all were a little apprehensive about this second version of Alexander; was it such a good idea to redo a movie? True, it was Oliver's pet project for many years, but when the movie was released, it didn't do so well, and it was criticized by almost everybody, and Oliver wanted to correct, and to explain, and to make it better. They all said "yes" to this new version, they couldn't abandon Oliver, but was his decision wise?
"Ok," said Jared standing up, "I actually have to go and but I am leaving you in a capable hands of our King who will be wise to remember that his Chief Entertainment Officer is not supposed to show up until we reach Babylon."
The joke drew a new burst of laughter but Colin caught Jared's hand at the last moment.
"First of all, you are not supposed to leave my side, but on a more serious note, where are you going? We may be able to resume shoot any moment now."
"As your newly appointed Head of Spy Office, I can tell you that it won't start for at least another hour, and I am going to visit some nearby caves."
"There are caves here?" asked Elliot.
"Yes, Massoud, our location guide, showed me where they are, it's just over there," and Jared pointed in general direction of dates palms orchard. "I already asked Deirdre to find me a flashlight so I can go inside."
"Deirdre, ah? She is not even a blond."
"Jonathan, stop being so sarcastic. She is a production assistant, she is supposed to help us."
"No, you are wrong, production assistants are not supposed to help actors, but I can understand that since you recently almost completely abandoned your acting career in favor of a music one, you forgot those tiny details."
"Is it your petty revenge for me giving away your secret?"
"Guys, stop quarreling," stepped in Gary. "Jared, I don't think it's such a bright idea to go into the caves all dressed up. You may score favors with production assistant but wardrobe people will freak out if you show up after your cave adventure all dirty, and Oliver won't be happy either."
"I'll be careful. See you later."
"See you later!.."
Deirdre waited for Jared besides the caves with a torch. She couldn't find any flashlight but thought the torch would do. They already shoot the scene where Alexander goes into the temple of Ammon and her props buddy felt it save to lend her one. Of cause, she didn't tell him why she needed it, but nobody asked Deirdre why she needed anything. She had a marvelous ability to help anybody with anything and people usually never said 'no' to her, who knew when they may need her help. Besides being very efficient she was also very discreet, unobtrusive and never asked for personal favors. As a matter of fact, many people wanted to do her favors, not only to get credit with her but as a genuine thank you but she laughingly evaded most of those attempts.
At last she saw Jared approaching and inwardly smiled. She liked Jared. She liked his sense of humor, she liked his friendly attitude (at least towards her) and she liked how he balanced his absolute dedication to his job with ability to satisfy his very curious nature.
"Wow, that's a real torch. Where did you manage to get it?"
"Well, you know, props, don't you recognize it from yesterday? Apparently, they don't have a flashlight in their arsenal, but this," and she gave Jared the torch, "do you still want it?"
"Yah, I suppose. I hope I won't set that cave on fire or something, Massoud told me it's absolutely dry inside, no water. Oh, well. I won't be long anyway."
"Does anybody know where you're going?"
"I told the guys, they weren't very receptive to my idea, I guess I will have this cave all to myself."
"OK, just don't get lost."
"I won't. See you later. I promise I return the torch."
Jared stepped into the cave and waived a torch in front of him, just to have a better impression of what was inside. It was rather spacious, just as Massoud said. "OK," he whispered, "let's see what do we have here. May be I'll get lucky as Ali Baba did. Band can actually use some free cash."
His thoughts turned to his brother and others. He felt very guilty because he had to leave so abruptly, and not only they already made some plans for these months, a couple of weeks before he got his "summons" from Oliver, Shannon wanted to go on vacation with his new girl friend, and Jared made a scene and Shannon cancelled his plans. When Jared told his brother that he has to leave unexpectedly for the new version of Alexander, Shannon went amok with anger. Matt tried to reconcile them but Shannon was still fuming and didn't talk to his brother until his leave. Jared called him several times but it was no use. He spoke to both Matt and Tomo but there was no relenting from Shannon side. Jared only hoped that he can somehow patch the things when he get back but it looked like his month stay was about to get extended and he didn't have the courage yet to mention it to the other members of his band. He tried to write some songs but couldn't concentrate on either words or music. He started to question his self assurance that he can successfully dedicate his time to both acting and music but he really couldn't make a choice. He would never accept any new script if the timing of the shoot was in conflict with the time he set aside for band but the reshoot of Alexander was completely different matter though it came at the worst time possible.
Jared tried to be his usual jovial self around everybody else but it was becoming more difficult task with each passing day. He forced himself more often to get into Hephaistion mind set hoping it will distract him from his own problems but that guy life wasn't sugar coated either. When one night he woke up sick with worry because he dreamt about Alexander succumbing to his wounds after the ill fated siege of the Mallian capital, he decided that he didn't want to take on other person's problems when he has plenty of his own.
So now, he was there, alone in a cave, escaping the necessity of acting around his fellow performers. "Actor, looking for excuses not to act and musician not capable of producing a coherent string of notes, that's just great!" Jared waved the torch in annoyance in front of himself and realized that he came to a dead end. "Just great!" he said again loud, "that's what I am really facing, a dead end." He sighed and then realized that he completely lost track of time. He brought his hand up to check the watch, then remembered that he of cause wasn't wearing one. "Oh, crap, I hope I wasn't here for too long; Oliver firing me, that's what is missing in my life."
He abruptly turned around and started to go back when he heard voices in front of him. "Great, they came searching for me. Let's hope that Colin got bored and dragged everybody with him here." He saw reflection of the approaching fire on the wall and then could hear that somebody was calling for Hephaistion. "Thanks god," Jared felt relieved, "it must be really Colin." He speeded his walk and almost immediately saw two guys dressed in short chitons coming in his direction. Neither of them looked like Colin. When he came closer he realized that he didn't recognize either of them.
"Ah, probably shoot got delayed even further and Jonathan decided to play some joke on me convincing somebody I don't know to dress up and go in my search. I think I am up for a challenge, let's play, it may distract me."
"Well, fellas, what are you doing here?"
"Alexander sent us back to the cave to look for Hephaistion, did you see him?"
"Of course I did," smiled Jared, "he went further to investigate the underground lake. We were told it's very beautiful and he wanted to check for himself before surprising Alexander. He sent me back so the king won't worry."
"We came with Hephaistion to the entrance of the cave, he went in alone," uncertainly responded one of the guys.
"Well, of course, I was waiting for him inside. He probably didn't deem it necessary to mention it to you. Need to know basis, sounds familiar?"
"Then we better go further and ask him to come back with us, please tell Alexander not to worry," and guys brushed past him in somewhat of a hurry.
"That's the scenario that Jonathan came up with?" astonishingly thought Jared. "He'd better stick to his acting career." But he decided that it was time to get out of the cave anyway and continued in the direction of the exit.
When he saw the daylight, he extinguished the torch and stepped out of the cave.
"What's the hell?" he thought to himself, "did I take a wrong turn and came to another exit? But there wasn't any forks in the cave, there can't be another exit…" He looked puzzled at the scenery before him. There were those date palms, but nothing else, nobody in sight, the place was completely deserted, not a live soul in view. He jumped around when somebody tapped him on a shoulder.
"Who are you?" asked the man in front of him. Jared stared at him in amazement. He didn't know this guy nor did he recognize anybody in a group of men standing nearby and all looking in his direction. They all were dressed pretty much the same way that he was dressed himself. "Did Oliver cancel scenes scheduled for today and decided to shoot something else? But what? And where did he get all those extras loitering around and messing with other people's business? And where is everything?"
"Can you talk?" asked the same man. "Are you scared? I won't hurt you. What did you do in that cave? You are dressed like a Macedonian but I don't know you, what is your name?"
Jared shook his head trying to collect his thoughts. It was too sophisticated to be a prank. "What the f… is going on here?" he thought again and then turned his attention to the man in front of him, "And you are?"
The man tilted his head to the left and a smile appeared on his lips. "You don't know who I am? My name is Alexander, I am a king of Macedon, and now a Pharaoh of this land."
"Yes, of course you are, and I am Hephaistion, your best friend and lover. Did Egyptian sun melt your brain and you didn't recognize me?" Jared was fuming because he couldn't figure out what's going on.
Next second he felt roughly grabbed by his chiton and his body almost collided with the guy who called himself Alexander.
"How dare you?" thundered the man. Out of the corner of his eye Jared saw other men closing by.
"If you wanted to claim being Alexander the Great you should have arranged for the corresponding lenses to match his different eye color. Now, let me go." Jared tried to no avail to disentangle himself from the man when he felt that the grip loosening and he was free.
"Alexander the Great, ah? You definitely know how to offend and how to flatter. So, who are you?"
"My name is Jared."
"I never heard of such a name, it sounds very strange, how would you even write it?"
For some unexplained reason Jared decided to oblige and started to write his name on sand with a tip of his sandal when to his horror he realized that his letters weren't English at all but Greek.
"What's going on?" Jared went into a complete shock. "Was it me who got a sunstroke? But how can it be? I was in a cave. Or that cave have some mold and I am hallucinating now, or I got bitten by a poisonous snake or a scorpion?"
His thoughts were interrupted by the shouts of the men hastily exiting the cave.
"Alexander, Hephaistion is not there, but we saw a man who said…." then they pointed at him, "this is the man we saw in the cave, he said he had seen Hephaistion who went further into the cave to investigate some underground lake. But we didn't find the lake and we didn't find Hephaistion either. The cave ends with a dead end and there are no other tunnels or anything."
"I am not amused anymore," said Alexander, "what did you do to Hephaistion?"
"I am not amused either," replied Jared, "and of all the people I am the last one who would ever try to harm him."
"Then what happened?"
"I don't know, I don't understand it myself."
"But you saw him. Why did you lie to the guards about the lake? You did see him in the cave, right?"
"Alexander, I think we should question him with more convincing means", started one of the men who were in a group surrounding Alexander.
"Who is he?" ventured the question Jared. Strangely, Alexander responded, "His name is Ptolemy, his is…"
"I know who Ptolemy is, I probably know all of them," and Jared nodded in their direction, I just need to place names to the faces."
"Well, I know your name now, but I don't know who you are and what you are doing here and where is Hephaiston?"
"Alexander, you must be careful," worriedly said Ptolemy, "he may be a hired assassin."
"I missed a lot of chances then," parried Jared, "Alexander, we need to talk. Alone. Please."
Alexander thought for a moment, then motioned with his head to Jared, "All right, let's hear what you have to say," and he stepped out off earshot from his friends. Jared followed.
"Alexander, I am not believing in what's going on and I don't have an explanation. Maybe it's all just a dream."
"Well, it's doesn't feel like a dream to me."
"That's a problem, because it doesn't feel like a dream to me either. It's all so real. I just can't comprehend it. It can't happen in reality."
"What can't happen in reality?"
"What's the time travel?"
"That's exactly what it is. Travel in time. Going back into the past or forward into the future. And how the hell I speak Macedonian? I speak Macedonian, right?"
"Sounds like a perfect Macedonian to me," smiled Alexander, "maybe just with a little bit of…."
"No, not Athenian accent, you use some strange expressions. Why would you mention Athenian accent?"
"It's a common consensus that Hephaistion was from Athens, or at least spent some years there, long enough to pick their accent."
Alexander frowned. "Nothing of the kind. And why would you be having his accent?"
"I wasn't joking when I said that I was Hephaistion. I am an actor. We are making a movie about you, and I am playing his part."
"Yes, it's like a performance in a theatre."
"You don't look much like him."
"Yeah, I figured that out by now. Colin doesn't look much like you either."
"Colin, is it a name of a guy who plays me?"
"Sounds more pronounceable than Jared."
"Alexander is also sounds more pronounceable than Hephaistion."
"So, you came from future?"
"You don't seem much surprised?"
"Why would I? Gods can do anything with men. Including transferring them from future to the past. So, how exactly you got here, in Siwah?"
"We were shooting part of the movie about your visit to Siwah. Shooting, it's like, eh, have no idea how to explain it; you know what, we were rehearsing the part where you went to Siwah. And for that we went to Siwah. Jonathan, the guy who plays Cassander, was actually complaining about it."
"Cassander is not here, he is back in Pella with his father. Didn't you know that, in future?"
"Yes, of course; ever heard of poetic license?"
"Oh, I see. Go on."
"So, we had a break in rehearsals, and I went to this cave, because…well, just because. I started to think about some problems that I have currently in my life and I don't really know how much time has passed, but not much really, and then I came to a dead end and decided to turn back. I met those guards. I thought my friends playing a joke on me, so, I fed them bunch of lies, and then I came out of the cave, and, and, there was nothing, none of the people or equipment, or wagons, nothing. Then you tapped me on my shoulder. You know the rest."
Alexander brow darkened. "Those guards, they came with Hephaistion to the cave. He didn't explain to them why he wanted to go and see it. He instructed them to stay outside and wait. I was looking for him and was told in what direction he left. I ordered those guards to go inside and fetch him. You know the rest."
Alexander was silent for a moment. "If you ended up here, does it mean that he ended up in your time?"
"I have no idea how does it work. But it sounds logical. At least I hope so."
"So, how do you switch places back?"
"I wish I knew. I don't even understand at what moment it happened. There is nothing unusual about that cave. As a matter of fact, it's the most prosaic cave that I've ever visited. Not that I visited many caves. There was nothing. Not some fancy flashes, no ominous sounds, and no animals leading the way. Absolutely nothing happened to indicate that something happened.
"I need to get Hephaistion back."
"Tell me about it."
"Maybe we should go back into the cave and see for ourselves."
"We can try it; somehow I don't believe it would help."
"Let's try it anyway."
"All right. Alexander," and Jared touched the king's hand, "did you really believe me?"
"Yes. Are you lying to me?"
"No. But I can't believe it."
Hephaistion couldn't really explain what made him to want to go and see the cave. Some local guy told him about it and Hephaistion, on spur of a moment, decided to go and explore it. But there was absolutely nothing interesting inside and, after hitting the dead end, he turned back. He was sort of lost in his thoughts approaching the exit of the cave when some girl jumped on him from seemingly nowhere.