Surviving vicious competition and surmounting overwhelming obstacles Kippy K emerges victorious. Throw kudos and well wishes at this dedicated man....
We Fight as One!
“Onward, mighty Greeks! Syrians! Cilicians! We fight as one! We fight as one!”
My voice is hoarse. I can barely hear my own words above the chatter of iron and bronze; I suppose my Stentorian chant is for my own benefit more than it is for my men.
For a captain of the Seleukids, a commander of Alexander’s chosen heirs, I certainly am humble. I feel neither fear, nor bravery. I feel nothing but inevitability.
We fight as one? I nearly laugh at my own lies. My company contains Ionians, Syrians, and the odd man that has no clearer a descent than the bastard horses of our antiquated cataphracts. Their dress? Colorful as the mist beneath a bubbling cataract. Their skin? The palest white to the burnished browns of the desert, all are among my company. These men are different, down to their very bones. The only uniform they wear is the silver of their blades.
The Medes, the tragic sheep that were shorn by Seleukos himself – they fought as one. The Thousand Nations suffered their defeats, but they also conquered the world. We inherited the world. We are coming to learn that inheritances are hard to hold. Just as the Persians fell to unified Greeks at Plataea, and to the Greek host of Alexander, we will now surely lose to our own unified enemy.
Our phalanx carries heavy shields. I carry a heavy heart.
“Steady!” I cry, my lungs sore, my tongue burning. A shaft whistles overhead – I hear a metallic pang as it strikes a nameless shield in the rear ranks. Another whistle. Another. The sky erupts in high-pitched screaming, like the refrain of song birds. I would mistake it for a spring day in my native Antioch if it weren’t for the human screams that accompanied the melody. “Quicken the pace!”
The rumble of our footsteps drowns out the screeching arrows. I see them take shape in the distance, beneath the shedding trees. Forms. Shadows. Faceless creatures dealing in death and conquest.
My banner bearer falls, a shaft buried in his chest. I glance behind me. I will it to raise back up. Syrians! Armenians! Fight as one! It doesn’t fly again.
I turn my head back forwards. Lions. Bears. I am confronted by beasts.
I see the javelins take flight, loosed from the skilled hands of Roman skirmishers. They are ravenous falcons. We are but meat.