ϙδ′

We’ve destroyed Troy.

A strong wind blew all night, and the city burned to the ground.

What’s left of our army is sitting on the Trojan plain, watching an enormous coloumn of smoke rise from within the charred walls.

I don’t know how many Achaeans were lost, but if I had to guess, I’d say at least one-fourth of our army is missing. -That’s about thirty-thousand men.

No doubt some of these Achaeans had followed the Trojan refugees to the north. However, I am sure a number of them burned within the city last night.

Not long after I had gone down to visit Macar and Oineus, it became apparent there was going to be a problem. -The winds about Troy can pick up quickly, and last night they were especially swift to do so.

These heavy winds fueled the fires in the north of the city, and then spread them over the rest of us.

Ten minutes after I had walked into the square, we noticed a warm glow over the rooftops to the north. Ten minutes after that, we were frantically grabbing everything we could carry.

Thankfully, our little neighborhood was just a few hundred meters from the main city gates. As a result, we Ithacans were amongst the first to evacuate. -I don’t think we lost a single man.

Furthermore, as we hadn’t needed many supplies, not much had been brought into the city. -In fact, our Ithacan losses were extremely light.

As soon as the city’s fate was obvious, I ordered Epieus and Elpenor to release the Trojan women.

At that point, I had no plans to reveal Cassandra’s identity. However, once I announced the city was burning, she did it for me.

As a matter of fact, after I related the news to Elpenor, the Princess raced across the cellar, clutched my shoulders, licked my face and squealed: “Really? Is it so?! Oh, please, please tell me it’s so!”

To her impossibly even greater delight, -I told her it was so.

Coyly, the princess then asked me: “You know I am a daughter of Priam, don’t you, Mr. Captain.”

I acknowledged that I did.

“And, you know King Agamemnon, don’t you?” she teased.

Once again, I nodded.

Moments later, Cassandra was gleefully dancing about our little barricaded square.

For all of King Priam’s greatness, he wasn’t so great at passing it along.

Anyway, after the rest of the Trojan woman had scattered, I got to the business of saving what we could.

It wasn’t until we had evacuated the city that I began to consider that Odysseus might not have made it out.

Hours later, as I watched the sun rise with Misenus and Macar, I began to consider what to do with the command of our army.

Our boats were still ready. The city was destroyed. -It didn’t take long before I decided we needed go.

The only question was: How long should we wait for the General?

No doubt, food was going to be in short supply. We were sharing the plain with about eighty-thousand soldiers. Eighty-thousand soldiers without a war. -Not to mention that I good fraction of these men had just lost their leaders.

We couldn’t wait very long.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to.

Just before noon, the 'Helen recovery expedition' returned. -Odysseus, and everyone else, was fine.

Oddly, Cassandra was with them. So was her crazy brother Helenus.

Apparently, Agamemnon and his troupe left Troy soon after setting out. -It seems Helen had escaped the city, and they easily tracked her to one of the small villages to the north.

I never did see Helen, or Menelaus, for that matter. Those of us who received the party were told the ‘happy’ couple was residing within an ornate Trojan coach pulled by a few horses. -Calchas was sitting atop of this carriage.

Maybe Helen and Menelaus didn’t want to spoil their reunion with fanfare.

Anyway, Polites later related the story to me.

In short, Diomedes had payed off a Trojan aristocrat for information regarding Helen’s whereabouts.

Helen was found on a small estate, in the company of a few Trojan nobles, and Paris’ brother, Deiphobus. According to Deiphobus, Paris had died sometime ago and he was Helen’s new husband.

Polites heard that Paris died of an infected hangnail. -I don’t know about that.

In any case, I guess Agamemnon and his men surrounded this estate, and called for Helen to surrender herself. That’s when Deiphobus came out with a few Trojans, and asked them to leave.

Polites said Deiphobus thought a truce should be called, since Helen was no longer with Paris.

Of course, Agamemnon didn’t see it that way.

In response, Deiphobus challenged Menelaus to a duel.

That would have been a joke. No doubt, Menelaus would have been slaughtered. However, before Agamemnon needed an excuse for his brother, Odysseus tossed a javelin into Deiphobus’ chest.

The Achaeans then killed the remaining nobles, and raided the house.

Polites said that according to Agamemnon, Menelaus’ wife was found locked inside a closet, -an unwilling captive of Deiphobus.

Helen’s brother Helenus was found within a closet as well. -A captive of his imagination, I’d guess.

Anyway, most of the Achaens, including Polites, never saw Helen personally.

Euryalus, however, claims to have seen her. In fact, his exact words to Polites were, that he: “…had never seen, nor ever expects to see again, such total hotness”.

Polites doubts Euryalus’ story. I have my doubts as well. -However, maybe Polites is just bitter that he missed out on seeing 'such total hotness’.

In any case, the party found Helen and Helenus, looted the house, and then returned to find the city engulfed in flames.

Oddly enough, Polites said that as the commanders made their way around the city, they came across Cassandra, whom was lying in their path, tending to an injured ankle.

Moved by her plight, Agamemnon ordered her to be put atop his horse. -Cassandra was with the Commander-in-Chief when they arrived.

Strangely, Helenus seems to be adopted by Neoptolemus. -They shared a horse as well.

Of course, Odysseus wasn’t available most of the day. However, I did speak to him just moments ago.

The General dropped by my tent to inquire about the state of our supplies, and how many men we had left.

I told him that it would take me some more time to figure that out. -He nodded and smiled.

Odysseus also asked that Macar see Diomedes’ supply officer tomorrow. Apparently, Diomedes’ Argosians had been looting the Trojan treasury during the last few days. Odysseus wanted Macar to see that our spoils were properly stowed upon our ships.

I was surprised to hear this, but I just nodded without expression.

After that, Odysseus did something unusual.

Just as he turned to leave, the General stopped, turned back, and pulled a large ornate sword from his belt. Odysseus then presented the sword to me and said: “Eurylochus, I want you to have this. -You’ve earned it.”

Somewhat stunned, I took the sword and said: “Thank you, General”.

At that, Odysseus smiled and left.

However, just after he had exited, Odysseus stuck his head back inside my and said: “Could you get me a tent for tonight, Eurylochus?” Smiling, I informed him that his was the next one over. -Odysseus left laughing.

The sword is sitting next to me as I write this. -I’m sure it was the heirloom of some Trojan aristocrat.

It looks old. It’s probably solid gold, and is covered in jewels. -I could probably trade this sword for a few ships, including the crews to sail them.

I wonder if I’ve earned this sword.

I wonder if any of its previous owners ever did.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good read...

Is it finally over?

4:38 AM  
Anonymous MarkDM said...

It probably is over, except for the trip back to Greece. And how long could that possibly take?

4:51 PM  

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