Our captive Helenus, just happens to be the prophet son of Priam.

Early this morning, Odysseus appeared at my tent, once again accompanied by Diomedes and Agamemnon. -Nestor and Calchas were there as well.

Odysseus looked a bit frantic, and upon seeing his entourage, I immediately broke into an anxious sweat, assuming something terrible had happened.

Jumping from my bed, I stood to attention and asked Odysseus what I could do for him.

Sharply, the General asked: “Captain Eurylochus, what is the name of our second prisoner?”

In response, I replied: “His name is Helenus, General Odysseus.”

Then hit me, Helenus was that Helenus, the prophet son of Priam.

I had felt that he looked familiar, but until the moment Odysseus asked me, I wasn’t able to place his face.

Helenus was there when we delivered Priam’s birthday presents, the day that Achilles died. -I guess the events of that day made his face less memorable.

Apparently, Odysseus and Diomedes had failed to place his face as well.

I immediately became pissed at Helenus for not telling me.

Anyway, I then asked: “General Odysseus, do you mean he is Helenus, son of the King of Troy?”

The General nodded gravely.

Odysseus explained that late last night, a Trojan courier delivered a letter to Agamemnon. The letter was from King Priam, requesting that we release his son, Helenus.

It seems Agamemnon knew that we had a second prisoner. However, he was only witness to Dolon’s interrogation and hadn’t seen Helenus in person.

Therefore, Agamemnon was rather surprised to learn that we had captured Priam’s son.

Furthermore, the fact that Odysseus and Diomedes had neglected to identify Helenus must have been somewhat embarrassing for the generals.

Doing my best to save face for Odysseus, I quickly responded: “I am very sorry General Odysseus, I did not realize the value of this prisoner. I wrongly assumed that Dolon was the prisoner of greater interest. I should have consulted with you first.”

At hearing this, Odysseus seemed to relax. He then graciously, but sternly excused my mistake. -Diomedes gave me a small nod of approval.

That being settled, Odysseus asked to see Helenus.

However, Calchas interrupted, and beseeched the commanders to first consider an alternate plan.

With much ado, Calchas impressed upon us that Helenus’ visionary abilities were legendary. As Helenus had yet to identify himself, Calchas recommended that we use this as an advantage to derive valuable prophetic information.

Although this sounded like flatulence to my ears, the commanders seemed genuinely interested in the idea.

Prudently, they formulated a strategy.

Knowing that Helenus was aware of Dolon’s fate, the generals designed to treat Helenus as if he were a common soldier.

Predicting that Helenus would reveal his identity to avoid torture, they could then demand proof of his visionary abilities in order to establish his identity. -Thus, we Achaeans could extort the revelations of a Trojan prophet and use them to our own benefit.

The plan was almost as ingenious as it was asinine.

Never mind that prophecy is crap. Even if it wasn't, I couldn’t see why the commanders thought we could somehow use it to our advantage. Nor could I understand why they assumed Helenus would surrender ‘real’ prophecies when he could just as easily feed us complete bullshit.

Nonetheless, Agamemnon was very impressed with Calchas’ plan. -As Agamemnon happily lets Calchas kick around the bones of his dead grandfather, I wasn’t too surprised.

Although none of the other commanders appeared to have any reservations, once Agamemnon was on board, it would have been impossible to tell.

At any rate, Odysseus ordered me to ready the interrogation tent once again. -With Misenus’ help, I did.

The commanders agreed to conduct the interview after dinner.

This time, as we readied the tent, I made sure that Helenus could watch Misenus carry the various implements of torture inside. Furthermore, although he was some distance away, Helenus also could view Dolon’s corpse hanging on the outskirts of our camp.

As we made the arrangements, I explained the commander’s plan to Misenus, who predictably found it as idiotic as I did. However, Misenus did identify a possibly critical flaw that I had missed.

Seeing that Helenus was Priam’s son, we could only keep him so long before the Trojans would be forced to respond.

The commanders hadn’t discuss it, however, I assumed that they planned on releasing Helenus after extorting his ‘valuable’ prophecies. -Anything else would all but guarantee a Trojan retaliation.

But, Helenus had been captured inside of the Wooden Horse.

Dolon hadn’t guessed the purpose of the Horse. However, there was no reason that we could assume the same about Helenus.

Besides, even if Helenus didn’t deduce the Wooden Horse strategy, he did know that it was hollow. -That alone could spell disaster for our plan.

Fortunately, after moving Helenus into the interrogation tent, I discovered Misenus’ concerns were likely unfounded.

Up to that point, I hadn’t really interacted with Helenus very much. Although I had fed him and tied him up a few times, I had yet to speak with him. -I always assumed that his silence was a natural response to his situation.

However, upon moving him into the interrogation tent, I came to realize that Helenus was quite insane.

After tying Helenus to the restraining table, I decided to prep him a little.

In the most malicious tone I could muster, I said to him: “Well, Helenus, it seems you are going to share Dolon’s fate. That is, unless you give the generals what they want…”

To that, Helenus softly replied, “My wristies hurt. Could you please loosen the rope on my wristies? ...Please?”

Not expecting such a response, and not so sure that Helenus wasn’t just fucking with me, I shot back: “Look asshole, the generals are coming soon, and they’re going to cut you up and feed you to the goddamned dogs if you don’t get with the program. I think your ‘wristies’ are the least of your worries.”

Helenus then began to cry.

Not because he was afraid of the torture, but because I was yelling at him. -I know this because he told me so.

He tearfully shouted: “No, please don’t yell at me. Now you hurt my earsies too! Please don’t hurt my earsies! -I can make a hat out of grass!”

At that, I gagged Helenus and went to get something to eat.

Shortly before dinner, I stopped by Odysseus’ tent. Not only did I want to apologize for failing to identify Helenus, I wanted to inform him that the Wooden Horse had been completed. -I figured he might be able to use this good news to safe some face with Agamemnon.

Odysseus was appreciative of both my apology and the news. -He told me that he would inspect the Horse tomorrow.

I went to inform Elpenor and Epieus, and then returned to the interrogation tent.

Helenus was fast asleep and snoring loudly. -I ate my dinner with Misenus outside.

Just before nightfall, the four generals and Calchas appeared.

This time, Odysseus asked that I remain outside.

Although I couldn’t hear the dialog of the four-hour interrogation, I did hear enough of Helenus’ crying to surmise his ‘earsies’ had taken a beating.

It was nearly midnight when Odysseus and the other commanders emerged. -Calchas had a wild look in his eyes.

Odysseus informed me the commanders intended to discuss the results of the interview, and that I should keep Helenus under guard until further notice.

I nodded and wished them all a goodnight.

Entering the tent, Misenus and I found Helenus, not on the table, but instead lying in a tangle of ropes beneath it. He was very disheveled, and covered in dirt.

Across the floor was a mural of strange symbols and drawings, likely etched with a twig Helenus was slowly chewing.

We cleaned the prophet son of Priam, fed him, and tied him back up.


Today was Dolon’s interrogation.

Although I was planning on sleeping in, Achaemenides woke me not long after sunrise. I am sure he didn’t sleep. However, by his energy level, you wouldn’t have guessed it.

Knowing that Odysseus wouldn’t be awake for some time, I escorted him over to Misenus’ camp.

To my delight, when we arrived at the build site, Misenus was helping Epieus prepare for breakfast. Epieus had concocted some sort of odd looking, but very tasty fish stew.

Anyway, as we ate, Misenus and Achaemenides related to Elpenor and Epieus the discovery of the two Trojan spies.

Dolon and his cohort (whom we discovered was named Helenus), were nearby, gagged and tied to a post next to Misenus’ tent.

Elpenor and Epieus were extremely distraught when they learned that the security of the build site had been compromised. They were especially grateful to Achaemenides, and consequently stuffed him full of fish stew.

After breakfast, we spent the rest of the morning watching Elpenor and Epieus’ crew put the final touches on the Wooden Horse.

After about two hours, and Achaemenides’ twentieth inquiry about seeing Odysseus, we took the two captives to see the General.

When we arrived at Odysseus’ tent, I was surprised to see he was up and about, drinking tea, and eating some leftover pork with Diomedes. -Apparently, Sthenelus and their lady-friends had already left.

Odysseus was looking chipper, and as he rose to greet us, he smiled and shouted: “Oh yes, our Trojan guests! I was wondering when you might stop by, Eurylochus.”

At hearing that, I looked to Achaemenides’, who to his credit, restrained from giving me an I-told-you-so look.

Anyway, after some deliberation, Diomedes and Odysseus decided to interrogate Dolon first.

Odysseus instructed me to prepare an Ithacan tent for the ‘interview’, and asked that Helenus be present. The ‘interview’ started shortly after dinner.

I am not a fan of torture. But, unfortunately, torture is what happens when you get caught by the enemy. -Especially when you’re a common soldier like Dolon.

Misenus prepared the tent, equipping it with a restraining table, and an array of nasty instruments. We Ithacans don’t have formal ‘torturing gear’, so Misenus had to get a bit creative, borrowing some tools from our barber and some from the Mycenaean blacksmiths.

Out of pity, I kept Dolon and Helenus outside of the tent while it was being readied. In fact, I purposely tied them so they couldn’t see Misenus carrying the various implements inside.

I even allowed the captives a bit of water, and I gave Helenus something to eat. -Unfortunately, I didn’t think Dolon should be fed, and by the look on his face, I could tell that he knew why.

Shortly after dinner, Dolon’s ordeal began.

Odysseus and Diomedes arrived with Agamemnon, and Odysseus asked that Achaemenides and I be present.

I have no desire to relate the details, but suffice to say, Dolon had a very bad last day.

For the most part, Odysseus and Diomedes took turns asking questions, and administering the torture. -During the entire interrogation, Agamemnon simply stood by and stoicly watched.

Dolon’s cries echoed about our camp for nearly three hours.

Thankfully, Odysseus never requested that I administer the torture myself. However, sometimes he would require my participation by asking me a rhetorical question, like: “Captain Eurylochus, did you not observe that Dolon had gone missing at the same time as my prized goat, Hermes?!”

To these questions, I would very gravely reply something like: “That is correct, General Odysseus.”

Unfortunately, at one point, for lack of hands, Odysseus asked I hold a rope and that Achaemenides apply pressure to a pry-bar handle. -The effect was enough to make Achaemenides throw up his fish stew.

I have to admit, I was somewhat stunned by the deliberate viciousness of Odysseus and Diomedes as they tormented Dolon. -Perhaps it was because Agamemnon was looking on.

At any rate, I never felt Dolon was making much of an effort to withhold information. In fact, sometimes it seemed like the generals were asking him difficult questions just as a pretense to applying more torture.

I have seen Odysseus kill a lot of men in a lot of gruesome ways. However, after Dolon’s interrogation, I have to say, I kind of see the General in a different light.

No doubt, finding Dolon in the Wooden Horse was a big deal. I also understand that finding out what the Trojans knew was very necessary. However, it wasn't just the method, but it was Odysseus' and Diomedes' cool application of the method that really disturbed me.

Anyway, after three bloody hours, the generals had revealed that Dolon had taken Odysseus’ goat, and that Dolon and Helenus had sneaked into the Wooden Horse. -That’s about it.

Dolon didn’t even know what the Horse was for. -As a matter of fact, I think that’s why he suffered so long.

After about an hour of denying any knowledge of it, Dolon began desperately guessing at why we Achaeans had built the Horse, obviously in hopes of satisfying his tormentors. -Several teeth and fingers later, Dolon guessed the correct answer, and was at last given reprieve.

That’s how it ended. -Dolon guessed the Wooden Horse was being built as part of an attack on Troy, and Odysseus and Diomedes were content.

That being accomplished, Odysseus wiped his bloody hands, looked to me and said: “String him up. We'll deal with the other one tomorrow.”

Then, nodding silently in agreement, the three commanders walked out.

Odysseus never asked me about the Horse, and I neglected to tell him that it was complete. -I guess I can tell him tomorrow.

Soon after the commanders left, I excused Achaemenides, who had long since lost all his color. He nodded and dashed out of the tent.

Dolon was left somewhat unconscious, but he was still breathing. After covering him with a blanket, I went to find Misenus and related Odysseus’ orders. -He offered to help.

To my relief, when we returned, Dolon was dead.

At that point, I think Misenus could see that I had had enough. -He told me he would take care of things, and insisted that I rest.

I thanked Misenus and left. However, instead of going to my tent, I went to the beach and swam for a couple of hours.

The moon was near full tonight, and while I was in the water, some sort of large fish or sea turtle swam past me.

It was pretty big. -However, I didn’t feel the least bit scared.

I didn’t even get out of the water.