# The Younger Man

The old man had told you to forget it all, it can't be done... The young man had told you to trust your intuition. But what was your intuition telling you?

My gut feeling is that Cal is really a good man, and is only doing this because, for whatever reason, he's being forced to. I believe he really wants my help, so he sent me to Nicolas Dias for a reason... Dias must know something about Cal's situation, he must be able to help somehow.

Without further ado, you turn around and walk back. The old man was bogus, but the young man... he seemed just as out of place in this scene as you do. In fact, he sort of reminded you of Cal.

He doesn't notice you approaching as he leans over the table, staring fixedly at the same cards he had layed out in front of you. You sit in the chair, and he looks up. He doesn't seem at all surprised to see you again.

"You're a hard man to read," he says.
"Do the cards really help?"
"They would, if you would open up and talk to me."
"I know how to learn about people by talking with them. If you practice, you can find out a great deal more than just what they tell you. So you'll forgive me if I'm hesitant to believe that the cards have anything to do with it."

He appears to give your comment some thought, before suggesting,

"Pull the chair around here. I'll explain how the cards help."

You move the chair and sit next to him, looking at the cards the way he sees them. They are layed out in the form of a cross. The center of the cross is a verticle card with another card layed horizontally across it. There is a card to the left of the center, and to the right, and on top; and three cards below it to create the stem.

"In a Tarot reading, there are three things to consider: what the card itself represents, the position of that card in the spread, and the relevance of the card, in that position, according to the question asked. Since you didn't ask a specific question, I'm relying only on the first two meanings. You'll have to relate them to your situation on your own, if you don't want to share any information with me.

In the spread here, the two cards in the center represent the central dichotomy of your situation... the primary factor and its opposition. In position one, you have the Ten of Cups, which represents family, joy, and peace. But in position two it is opposed by The Devil, signifying bondage, hopelessness, and ignorance.

The positions to the left and right indicate your past and future, respectively. The King of Swords means that you are analytical, intelligent, ethical and just... but it's in the past position, which means that something has happened recently to change this quality. In the future position, you have The Moon, which represents bewilderment, illusions and sometimes fear."

The moon, you think. How appropriate. You make sure not to stare at that card, just in case he is Nicolas Dias, and just in case all that nonsense about the moon really is true and he knows it.

"These three cards underneath are the stem; the aspects leading up to the central conflict. The base position represents your subconscious, which is often the root of the problem. In this position you have the Eight of Swords, which signifies restriction, powerlessness and confusion. Above this is the position of the conscious mind; the Two of Swords. Are you following me?"

Startled by the break in his explanation, you quickly nod. The picture on the Two of Swords had intrigued you. A man sat blindfolded with his hands across his chest, holding a long sword in each. He looked as if he were avoiding something; protecting himself. Behind him was the ocean, and the moon.

"This card says that you are avoiding making conscious decisions. You are blocking your mind."

This is true, you reason, but surely I could find truth in almost any random selection of cards in these positions...

"The third card in the stem represents the environment, or the objective view of the situation you're in. In this case it's the Five of Wands. You can see the five men fighting in the picture... this means that your problem cannot be resolved internally; there are outside forces that you will have to contend with."

True again.

"And lastly, the card at the top of the cross. This is the position that represents the most likely outcome; what everything that's going on now is leading up to. And for you, it's the Ten of Swords, which... well, as you can see in the picture... it doesn't look good."

The card shows a man lying face down, with ten swords all in a row sticking out of his back. And blood.

"And... what exactly does the Ten of Swords mean?" you ask.
"Martyrdom, usually. Or being a victim, betrayed by your friends or allies."

A moment of silence passes as you look down at the cards, taking in all the information they have to give. So many ideas are racing through your mind... You want to speak, to relate to this man. You believe that he can help, but you don't know how. Your only plan is to begin some sort of relationship with him; learn about him, and open yourself to the vulnerability of letting him learn about you. He breaks the silence.

"What is your name, by the way?"

Before meeting him, you were sure you would not do this, but...

"Edward." ... "And yours?"

The End