Odysseus was wounded today.

He took an arrow to his thigh, but I think his pride was hurt the most.

As planned, Odysseus captained the Lil’ Tethys today in search of the mystery ship.

I thought the General would ask me to stay with the fleet. However, he requested that I join him and left Misenus in charge.

Our crew consisted of Odysseus, Baius, Antiphus, Elpenor, and four of our men.

Elpenor came along at my behest. The General shot me a frown as Elpenor came aboard, but I felt poor guy needed some cheering up. As I expected, he was more than happy to come along.

We set of just after daybreak and sailed to the northwest of our fleet. It was an unusually windy morning, and the Tethys really clipped along. Baius was working the sails non-stop. I don’t think we let any wind pass us that couldn’t be caught.

Due to his efforts, it wasn’t long before we lost sight of our Ithacans. A couple of hours later, we saw the mystery ship once again.

Upon spotting it, Odysseus became very animated. In an oddly salty voice, he shouted: “There she is Biaus, my boy! Don’t let her loose of us this time!”

At that, Biaus gave Odysseus a nod and went to work.

The General then immediately proceeded to the bow, where he conspicuously remained with one foot propped up upon the bulwark while we closed the distance.

Shortly after Odysseus took this dramatic pose, Elpenor walked up and assumed a similar stance close behind. Elpenor shouted something to the General, but I couldn’t hear what it was. Whatever he said, Odysseus didn’t look back to acknowledge it.

A couple of minutes later Elpenor strolled back from the bow and started to look about the boat purposefully.

Elpenor's pathetic behavior pissed me off. I shouldn’t have brought him just because I felt guilty. As his commanding officer, it isn’t my job to console him. No doubt Odysseus would blame me for his lameness.

Anyway, the General maintained his theatrical pose for the better part of an hour. -By that time we had drawn within a few hundred yards of what was a large bireme.

Polites has sharp eyes, and he was the first one to identify the craft to be Ciconian. Odysseus’ suspicions were confirmed, -they were indeed Trojans.

Obviously pleased with himself, the General charged back to Biaus, and ordered to be brought up alongside the Ciconian vessel.

Biaus dutifully nodded. Polites, who was standing next to me whispered: “Oh shit.”

I still can’t see why Odysseus wanted to get close to such a large enemy ship. Nor do I understand what we were supposed to do when we got there. Nevertheless, Biaus carried out the Odysseus’ wish.

As the Lil’ Tethys made it’s way nearer to the Ciconian vessel, my heart sank as more and more faces appeared on her deck. We weren’t flying any colors, and they were obviously curious about our little boat.

When we were no more than ten yards from the Ciconian’s churning oars, a low voice hailed from above us.

“Ahoy there! We travel to Ismara from the shores of Troy. -Be you friend or foe?”

The addressing figure was likely a general. He wore a large feathered hat, and was shouting through an orator’s cone. -He was flanked by no less than fifty Ciconians.

Odysseus asked for our cone, but we didn’t have one.

Frustrated, he waved his hands and hollered: “Friend or foe?! You withered harpy tits, we’re the same Ithacans that ran you out of Troy!”

A sharp silence followed. Obviously no one expected Odysseus’ response. Not us on the the Lil’ Tethys, and obviously not the Ciconians.

After several long seconds, Odysseus got his answer. -This was an arrow in his leg.

As I had been watching for the Ciconian general’s reaction, I didn’t see where the shot came from. Odysseus who was standing next to me just suddenly yelled: “Mother of Zeus! Arrrggh! Shit, shit!”

With that, the General hopped backwards and fell onto a pile of rope. He then screamed at Biaus: “Sail dammit! Sail! Apollo’s ass, get us out of here!”

That’s when a barrage of arrows and spears began to fall upon us.

Given that I wasn’t armed with anything but a sword, I immediately ducked behind a crate near Odysseus. I tried to pull him towards me, but accidentally grabbed his wounded leg. Furious, he screamed: “Fucking Zeus, Eurylochus! What are you doing?!”

Letting go, I forced myself to stand up. I didn’t want to, but I felt kind of dumb cowering while the General lay exposed.

Strangely, for the moment Odysseus was glaring at me, I almost wanted to get hit.

Fortunately, my wish wasn’t granted. In fact, besides Odysseus, only Polites and one other crewman named Perimedes were wounded. Perimedes looks the worst. He took a short spear to the gut. Amazingly, he pulled it out almost immediately after he was struck. Polites got an arrow in his two-fingered hand. -Go figure.

As the Lil’ Tethys is light, it didn’t take much for Baius to break off from the Ciconians. In fact, he simply let out the main sail and turned hard. As a result, the bireme quickly outpaced us. By the time they attempted to come-about, we were well on our way back to our fleet.

Seeing the General was wounded, Elpenor instantly tried to help. Of course, Odysseus wasn’t having it. After several attempts to dress the wound, Odysseus loudly called Elpenor a ‘Nereid’s daughter’, which sent him quietly to the bow.

It took about three hours before we located and caught up with the rest of our Ithacans. I spent that time trying to look purposeful while avoiding Odysseus.

Not more than an hour after we got back on our flagship Odysseus came to see me. By that point he didn’t seem upset at all. In fact, Odysseus proudly showed me his wound, and seemed pretty pleased with a Trojan walking-cane Macar provided him.

No doubt Odysseus’ injury impressed the rest of the fleet more than it did the crew of the Lil’ Tethys.

Anyway, after laughing off our ‘little adventure’ Odysseus informed me that we were changing our course to the Ciconian city of Ismara.

That's right: We are no longer heading directly home.

Instead, we must first undertake a military action on account of our General’s ego. -After all, this is why wars are fought.

Odysseus plans to inform the fleet tomorrow.


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6:36 PM  

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