I survived.

That’s the only positive thing I can say about tonight’s siege.

My day started early, as a nervous and sweaty Achaemenides was at my tent before the sun had even risen. Feeling a bit agitated, I grilled Achaemenides pretty harshly about his recent leave of absence.

Achaemenides gave me some kind of discombobulated explanation for his disappearance. -I am still not sure if it made any sense.

From what I gather, one of Achaemenides’ cousins is old friends with some guy in the Minyan army, and this guy’s wife recently died, and Achaemenides was trying to help him and their child because his cousin who was going to help the guy was recently pressed into some kind of Cretan merchant company because he had slept with the heiress of someone or other.

I don’t know. His story was too strange to be total bullshit. However, I know that Dolon’s gruesome interrogation had something to do with Achaemenides real motivation for leaving.

It’s strange to me that Dolon’s torture affected Achaemenides so deeply. -Especially considering that he has been such a badass on the battlefield.

Anyway, because Achaemenides needed to be punished, and because he is such a badass on the battlefield, I ordered him to accompany me on the raid tonight. -That is, after reminding him that the customary punishment for desertion is death.

Achaemenides bowed meekly and thanked me for my leniency.

It’s a good thing I didn’t settle upon the customary punishment for desertion. -Achaemenides saved my life tonight.

In addition to Achaemenides, I brought six other Ithacans with me. -These men are now dead.

Initially, I had planned on bringing Misenus with me too. However, I came to realize that if I were killed, Misenus would be next in line to command the Ithacan army. Following Misenus, it would be Elpenor.

For that reason, I decided to leave Misenus behind.

Aside from preparing my men, the day was uneventful.

Just after sundown, I brought my small contingent to the Locrian encampment.

Little Ajax was in the midst of a tirade as we walked up. I guess one of the General’s aides had fit his horse with the wrong saddle. As we approached, Little Ajax was shouting: “It’s too late now, you Stymphalian shit!”

Upon arrival, I became acutely aware that I was the only general who was not mounted.

Polypoetes, Idomeneus, Sinon and Eumelus were all present, and on horseback. As a result, I felt kind of silly plodding up amongst the soldiers. -I swear Ajax never said anything about horses.

Each general had brought with five or six soldiers with him, giving us a force of about thirty men.

Anyway, after Little Ajax put on his show, he climbed into his horse and we got underway. -Actually, the general was boosted into the saddle by his aides.

Under Little Ajax’s direction, we made a wide circle around the Trojan plain, keeping to a long ridge that runs along the west side of no-man’s-land. -It was behind this ridge that Thoas hid his unused calvary in that three-day low-intensity battle we had with the Trojans some time back.

Without incident, we got within one hundred meters of the western wall of Troy.

At that point, Ajax and the other generals dismounted. This made me feel somewhat better.

It was then that Little Ajax unveiled his plan.

Little Ajax’s plan was to rush around to the northern wall of Troy, and attack anyone who happened to be there. Unfortunately, Little Ajax didn’t so much communicate, as much as demonstrate his intentions.

Apparently, only Little Ajax and General Sinon were privy to 'the plan'.

With a simple: “Let’s do it!” Little Ajax and Sinon charged the Trojan city, followed by their dozen men.

Nearly a full minute passed before us remaining generals realized the full extent of 'the plan', and what our role was to be in it.

With a reluctant: “Mother of Zeus”, Idomenus lead our second wave of the attack.

Predictably, by the time we had reached Ajax and Sinon, whom had courageously slaughtered a shepherd and his two sons, the Trojan guard was alarmed.

Standing amongst a flock of sheep, and under a thickening hail of arrows, our raiding party watched as more than one-hundred Trojan soldiers appeared from behind the east wall of Troy.

Needless to say, all hell broke loose.

Seeing the Trojans, Little Ajax screamed: “They knew we were coming!’ just before he turned and ran.

Sinon, on the other hand, rushed the Trojan horde, followed by a few brave souls.

As for the rest of us, we hesitated a bit too long.

It seems the bulk of the sheep had been interposed between us and the Trojans to the east. However, startled by a blasting horn and one-hundred charging Trojans, a flock of terrified sheep led the Trojan charge.

I can still see Sinon and his comrades valiantly fighting against the current, only to be washed off their feet by a wave of wool.

Then the wave hit us. However, this turned out to be a blessing-in-disguise.

Although their little hooves hurt terribly, lying sprawled out amongst the sheep, we were somewhat sheltered from the arrows that fell from above.

Still, I could hear the Trojans approaching, and I knew that our respite would be short. Anticipating my last battle, I clutched my sword, and waited for the flock to pass.

That’s when I heard Achaemenides shout: “Captain Eurylochus, grab a dead one!”

Looking to my left, I saw Achaemenides on his knees, holding a dead sheep over his back. –Immediately, I understood.

Due to the constant barrage of arrows, there were many sheep to be had. Grabbing a half-dead lamb, I swung it over my back. Soon after, the flock around me began to grow thin. As a handful of sheep rose above the rest, I could see that the other generals and a few remaining men had followed Achaemenides’ lead.

Struggling to our feet, we made our retreat. -A group of tall, staggering sheep amongst the flock.

My sheep took two arrows before we were out of range.

As we ran away, I passed a few of our Achaeans that just didn’t get it. One of my Ithacans stared blankly at me as I raced passed him, hauling a bleating lamb. -By the look on his face, I can’t help but wonder if he thought I was rescuing it.

I shouted for him to do the same, but it was too late. He died, completely perplexed.

Lucky for us, the Trojans didn’t make a whole-hearted pursuit. I think it’s because they caught General Sinon. As we dropped our sheep and scurried over the ridge, I looked back to see a circle of Trojans closing around Sinon’s shrieking voice.

Ten of us made it back.

Although Polypoetes and Idomeneus stayed up to grill Little Ajax in Agamemon’s presence, Eumelus and I excused ourselves and headed back to our camps.

When we returned, I thanked Achaemenides for his sheep strategy, and ordered him to inform the men of who was lost.

Achaemenides nodded dutifully and marched off.


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