Today wasn’t any better.

Just after sunrise, Agamemnon called a general assembly in the center of our small barricaded square.

Unfortunately, the assembly wasn’t so general. At best, there might be a dozen of our Achaean commanders now residing within or nearby this center of Achaean command. Of that dozen, seven showed up for the Commander-in-Chief’s rally. Including their aides and some curious troops, about fifty Achaeans were present.

Maybe the turnout would have been better after breakfast.

Anyway, I’ve never been a fan of these speeches. However, today I was somewhat eager to hear what Agamemnon had to say.

During the unabated chaos of these last days, I was certain the Commander’s low profile meant he had been hard at work, formulating some sort of plan. As this was the first time an assembly had been called, I thought this morning’s address might be the first step in setting things right. -Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case at all.

In fact, the subject of this morning’s rally was Menelaus’ estranged wife, Helen.

Agamemnon didn’t mention his brother’s mishap in the Horse. However, it was apparent Menelaus had since recovered, and was now eager to find the wife that walked out on him ten years ago. -Or, likely closer to the truth: Agamemnon was eager to restore Menelaus’ lost honor.

Or, maybe even closer to the truth: Returning Helen is actually about Agememnon restoring his own honor. -It was Agamemnon who convinced Helen to marry Melenaus in the first place, after all.

Maybe the Commander-in-Chief felt that Helen’s elopement with Paris was a slight to him personally.

Mother of Zeus, the egos...

Anyway, the quest to retrieve Helen was announced to excited cheers to all those present.

Yes, most of our army had gone astray. Yes, we had been attacked by our own Achaeans. Yes, a good fraction of Troy was burning. Still, we musn’t forget what this is all about.

Personally, I hadn’t forgotten. I’ve been keenly aware of the pettiness of our objective all along.

Even so, I suppose that deep inside, I’ve unconsciously harbored the notion there might be some rational, or at least nobler, reason for this decade-long war. -Agamemnon’s oration this morning laid those delusions to rest once and for all.

I can’t even say that we’ve actually taken the city. Yes, Troy has been destroyed. There can be no doubt about that. Hell, we’ve even killed old King Priam.

However, in my mind, I always imagined the sack of Troy would be something much more orderly and complete. -I guess I had visions of Agamemnon, sitting upon Priam’s throne, making decrees, and dividing the treasury amongst his generals. -All the while, the Trojans nobles we subjugated would look on sullenly, yet somehow honorably understand.

Instead, we’ve been holed up in an obscure residential district, neglecting the city as it collapsed and burned around us.

Nonetheless, before Agamemnon had finished speaking, the few generals present emphatically proclaimed their support. -Neoptolemus, somewhat gracelessly, declared: “We won’t sleep until the wench is ours!”

At that, most everyone winced. However, it didn’t seem to register with Menelaus. In fact, Menelaus hadn’t said a word. Instead, Agamemnon’s pasty sibling just stood at his side, watching his older brother with a look of uncertain admiration.

Odysseus, who was already armored, broke the silence following Neoptolemus’ declaration, announcing that a party should be assembled immediately. To this end, the General grandly ordered me to gather two dozen of our ‘finest’ men. -I nodded, and thankfully excused myself.

As I left the square, I ran into Polites and Euryalus. -They had just finished their breakfast.

After relating the plan to them, I charged Polites with assembling the party. For some reason, Polites seemed grateful and excited.

The expedition for Helen set out just before noon. Excepting Eumelus, every one of the local generals left. -I suppose this is what they’ve all been waiting for.

All told, about two-hundred Achaens went in search of Melenaus’ wife.

Flanked by his brother and Odysseus, Menelaus awkwardly led this contingent out of the square, wearing a bright red cape and his enormous winged helmet.

Now the sun is now setting, and the search party hasn’t returned.

I can’t help but wonder if they weren’t too late in getting started. Personally, I would guess that if Paris and Helen had not escaped immediately, they wouldn’t have lingered long after the death of Priam. To be honest, I hope Helen did escape.

As for myself, I spent much of the day with General Eumelus. -He was left in charge of defending our camp.

After watching him sitting alone by the fountain for some time, Elpenor and I decided to go down to chat with him.

General Eumelus comes off as a little dim. However, he isn’t such a bad guy. In fact, after talking for some time, I got the impression that he and I shared many of the same misgivings about this whole operation. In fact, I think he volunteered to defend our square for this very reason.

Unfortunately, not long after we began our discussion, the three of us made a grisly discovery.

As Eumelus and I sat upon the fountain, reflecting upon the state of things, Elpenor noticed an unusual number of men had been visiting the residence of Little Ajax. -Since Little Ajax had left with Menelaus’ troupe, Eumelus thought we should investigate.

To our surprise, when we arrived, the Locrian guards outside Ajax’s home warmly welcomed us in. Soon after being escorted downstairs, we realized why. -Little Ajax’s cellar was full of young Trojan women.

Beaming, one of our Locrian hosts informed Eumelus that for him, everything was free of charge.

Dumbfounded, the three of us just stared at each other for a moment. Then, as politely as we could, we excused ourselves.

Two hours later, General Eumelus and I seized the Locrian harem with the aid of a few hundred Pheraens and Ithacans.

Luckily, we took them by surprise, and no blood was shed. -However, the Locrian guards were incensed.

Since then, Macar and one of Eumelus’ captains named Oineus have kept the square secure with a large host of men. -I’m sure Macar will keep a close eye on those Locrians.

As we didn’t think it safe to set the Trojan women free, Elpenor and Epieus have been looking after them in our own cellar. I can only hope that Odysseus does the right thing when he returns. -I assume he will.

Even so, as odd as it seems, I recognized one member of the Locrian harem as the Trojan princess, Cassandra. -I remember Polites pointing her out back when Patroclus and Hector fought. -As no one else seemed to recognize her, I didn’t say a thing.

Now, I’m not sure what to do.

No doubt, the Trojan princess has suffered enough. Yet, I don’t think I can just let her go. Still, I hate to think what her fate might be if the commanders return without finding Helen. -It won’t even matter whether or not she knows anything.

Maybe I can just sneak her out and not mention it.

Apollo’s ass, this sucks.

I’ve watched the sun has set upon the city of Troy once again. The wind is picking up, and it looks like there are more fires burning.

I guess I’ll go down and check on Macar.


Blogger Saradevil said...

I don't know about this Cassandra chick, you can't believe anything she says.

11:34 PM  

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