It begins.

Early this morning, I awoke to the sound of Epieus’ mouth-breathing.

Half asleep, I was pulled into consciousness by that nasal, raspy echo.

When I opened my eyes, Epeius and Elpenor were standing above me. The two were in the midst of a whispering debate about whether I should be disturbed.

Feeling guilty that I wasn’t already awake, I sat up quickly, intentionally startling them.

It was two hours before dawn, but I could already hear that many in the camp were stirring outside.

I guess Elpenor and Epeius had been up all night.

After a quick breakfast, I got to work.

I don’t feel like revisiting everything I did today. Suffice to say, the day was completely nuts from beginning to end.

All day long, everywhere about camp, soldiers, officers, aides, and generals were running about frantically. Tents were coming down, livestock was being herded, supplies were being sorted, and fights were breaking out.

I spent the majority of my day doing damage control.

Things might have been otherwise if Odysseus had decided to visit before nightfall.

The lack of the General’s presence left the preparation of the Wooden Horse mission, as well as coordination of the Ithacan withdrawal wholly up to me. -Thank Zeus for Misenus, Macar and Baius.

I didn’t even bother to go down to the beach. First thing this morning, I put Macar and Baius in charge of that mess. -From what I gather, they made the best they could of a bad situation.

The last I heard, Macar and Baius expected to have our boats more or less ready to go by tomorrow afternoon. -That’s not exactly according to schedule. However, compared to some of the other armies, it’s a genuine miracle.

Just an hour ago, Polites told me the Pheraens had managed to catch two of their ships on the same reef. -Perhaps that’s why Eumelus sent a lieutenant by to ask me if I had room for any more soldiers in the Horse.

Anyway, I put Misenus and Polites in charge of breaking down our camp. -Misenus did a hell of a job.

As for myself, I spent most of my day at the Wooden Horse site.

The thing looks magnificent.

Unfortunately, this morning as I walked up to the site with Epieus and Elpenor, we found a wild-eyed Calchas dancing about and spitting some kind of gooey white stuff all over it.

Elpenor and Epieus were mortified. -I guess they had spent all night polishing the Horse. However, as Calchas is Agamemnon’s personal oracle, there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Luckily, after about thirty minutes of these spitting convulsions, Calchas returned to the Commander-in-Chief’s camp. That is, after he politely offered the three of us ‘a blessing’. -We declined.

The second surprise came as we opened up the Horse.

Climbing the rope ladder that hangs from its bottom, I discovered Neoptolemus and Menelaus, quietly meditating inside. Neoptolemus didn’t even acknowledge me. However, Menelaus looked pretty freaked out and blurted: “Oh, do you want us to leave? Oh, ok.”

With that, Menelaus promptly scrambled past me and down the rope ladder.

Neoptolemus did not move.

I know Neoptolemus was aware of my presence, and I wasn’t really in the mood for his antics. Thus, I just climbed down and left him there.

I spent the better half of the day fielding questions from those who were supposed to be in the Horse, and requests from those who wanted to be in the Horse. -I also dealt with a number of issues that made their way up from our Ithacan camp.

In addition, I have to mention that I did see Aegle.

Aegle didn’t see me, but I watched her as she walked pass the build site. She was likely coming from Agamemnon’s camp, and quite possibly headed towards ours. Aegle was too far away for me to make out her expression, but it was the first time I had seen her since Odysseus’ tent.

Maybe she wanted to talk to me.

Anyway, speaking of the General, I did see him just before nightfall.

Sometime after the dinner I didn’t eat, I gave Achaemenides the Wooden Horse roster, and told him to gather as many people as he could that were on it.

About twenty of the fifty-two that are on the list showed up. I told Achaemenides not to get Misenus or Polites, but Polites showed up anyway, along with Euryalus and Sthenelus.

Twelve Achaeans that aren’t on the list showed up as well, including General Nestor.

To this crowd, I began explaining the general workings of the Horse, and how the Plan was to be carried out. About ten minutes into this meeting, Odysseus walked up with Achaemenides.

After acknowledging Odysseus, and grandly reemphasizing his role in the creation of the Wooden Horse Plan, I suggested we run some drills to practice exiting the Horse quickly and quietly.

Although I really wanted to send Nestor and the other tag-alongs off, I needed their numbers for an accurate test. Thus, I decide to include these uninvited volunteers.

However, as Neoptolemus was still ‘meditating’ in the Horse, and as Nestor should have known he wasn’t on the roster, I intentionally sent Nestor into the Horse first. -The effect was better than I could have hoped for.

As it had become fairly dark by that point, there was very little light to see by, especially inside the Horse. Thus, when Nestor climbed in, he couldn’t have seen that Neoptolemus was in there. To my delight, soon after he pulled himself in, I heard his crotchety voice yelling “Mother of Zeus! A spy! -There’s a spy in the Horse!”

Moments later, Neoptolemus rolled out of the hatch, and fell to the cart below. Nestor had beaten him out with his fists. Neoptolemus wasn’t hurt, but there’s no doubt his ego was in critical condition. -Best of all, when Nestor stuck his head out and saw he had just pummeled the son of Achilles, he shouted: “Neoptolemus, you son of a harpy! Your father would have never pulled such a stunt!”

Neoptolemus walked off, completely dejected. -I know he tried to make eye contact with me as he did, but I just wouldn’t comply.

Sthenelus, Polites and Euryalus all snickered as quietly as they could.

Anyway, the Horse evacuation drills went well enough. Fortunately, Nestor had a very difficult time climbing down the rope ladder. As a result, he loudly announced that he wouldn’t be taking part in the Wooden Horse Plan tomorrow. -That saved me the trouble of telling him he wasn’t invited.

After a couple of hours of practice, I walked with Odysseus and Achaemenides back to our camp.

Misenus had things more or less under control, and I ordered Achaemenides to help him out. Predictably, Odysseus wanted to dictate a letter to Penelope. This is it:

Dearest Penelope,

Penelope my sweet flower. You General is undertaking a most glorious plan on the morrow. He has personally devised a most cunning strategy that we are to execute, on the morrow. This makes me happy.

If, by the Will of Zeus we succeed, and I think that we should, then not only will we Achaeans achieve great glory, but this war will have ended by my will alone. Yes, your General is set to write history on the morrow!

However, all these accomplishments of your General are made smaller when he thinks of the time he has been away from his dear wife, Penelope. And his son Telemachus as well. And his dogs. So, my dear Penelope, there is happiness in my heart as I see an end to this war draw near me.

I shall soon leave the shores of Troy, Penelope! -A victor!

Kiss my son, Telemachus.

Your General,


Incredible stuff.

Soon after dictating that masterpiece, Odysseus went off to speak with Agamemnon. He did at least praise my handling of the Wooden Horse Plan and the Ithacan withdrawal.

Anyway, the current Plan is that we will all load into the Horse shortly after dinner tomorrow. We are then to be wheeled to the gates of Troy tomorrow night.

Misenus just came in. -I think I just spent what little time I had to sleep writing this.

I am needed down at the beach.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, what will be the fate of our proud captain and the lovely Aegle? Does he get goodbye nookie? Does he really want seconds on Odysseus? Tune it later!

Love this stuff!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Saradevil said...

Man, you have to sleep before you sack a city. That's like the first cardinal rule of sacking, isn't it?

6:33 PM  

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