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Accessing the Current Opportunity Object

I'm just starting out with this API, so forgive me if my question doesn't even make sense.
How do I access the "current" Opportunity object. I assume that I could do a retrieve command passing in the current Opportunity_ID, but I was wondering if there was already a handle to that object available.

If you just have the 'id' as a merge field from a custom link, then you will need to retrieve it via a soql query.