Related article: Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:51:50 BST From: Michael Gouda Subject: I am the enemy you killed, my friend "I am the enemy you killed, my friend." ====================================== A Story from Ancient Greece --------------------------- Michael GoudaConversation in Hell: --------------------Do you see how the grey mist swirls? And how through the grey mist the spirits wander? It is neither daytime nor nighttime for here in Tartarus there is neither day nor night. So where does the light come from? If you have eyes (and some do not being blinded in battle) there is just enough light to see that the grey mist hides nothing. Nothing? Yet surely the spirits must walk on something, light though their frail footsteps are, so there must at least be ground. Or do they float, these vague, insubstantial beings, float through the grey swirling mist? Those bloodless shapes that were once men yet are now mere shadows. Darker greys in the greyness, images of dejection and despair in the obscurity. Who are they? Once they were heroes but now they are no more. Champions once hailed by all and now brought down by the supreme champion whom no one can defeat. Kings or subjects, all brought low by death. Their once handsome eyes, dark pitted holes set in an indistinct scream of a face, powerful chests reduced to hollow rib cages, thighs of steel to fragile struts, almost too weak even to support a body that weighs nothing. 'By their dead smiles they knew they stood in Hell.' What are they doing? They wander through the pallid gloom searching for friend or enemy, he that was loved or hated, he that killed or was killed. Look! Here is Achilles, Prince of the Myrmidons and Patroklos, his lover. Here is Odysseus, the wily negotiator and Ajax, the hero. Here is Hektor, the mighty Trojan and Paris, whose abduction of Helen started the Trojan War. And the three great Kings, Agamemnon, High King of Achaea, Menelaus his brother, King of Sparta and Priam, King of hundred-towered Troy. All dead. When their shades meet do they recognise their brothers or their foes? Does a smile of welcome or a frown of hostility transform their anguished faces of wretchedness? Is the grey miasma of which these shapes are composed even capable of such human recognition, of love, of hate? No! Only their memories are clear and sharp.And Achilles, Prince of the Myrmidons, thinks: --------------------------------------------- I first saw him on the battle field, his lithe young body twisting and feinting to avoid the thrusts of his opponent. His sword parrying and flashing in the harsh light of noon. His sun-bronzed face under the helmet with the nodding horse hair plumes. His muscled arms shining with the sweat of exertion and battle. The leather kilt which all but hid his swinging manhood. His powerful thighs and calves protected by the metal greaves. His mouth - those lips so full and sweet - opened in a shout of joyful combat. He stood and swung his sword and his enemies fell. And he was valiant yet generous even to his enemies, so that, if they surrendered he spared their lives. And I was in love - for this was Patroklos. But I had my own combat to attend to and for a while I lost sight of him in the blood-lust of war. Hand to hand, hip to thigh - it is very like the act of love. And you strain against your opponent but the dagger with which you plunge into him is not the sweet one of love but the cold hard bronze of death. And his cry is not the one that announces the culmination of desire but the shriek of agony as his smoking bowels empty themselves onto the unyielding ground. And the merciful kiss is to cut your enemy's throat to end the torment and bring to him peace as you would to a friend. In my own combat for a while I forgot Patroklos. And then the battle cleared as it often does and left an open space in the confusion, and the shouting of men and neighing of frightened and wounded horses quietened for an interlude. And I saw my Patroklos standing alone, a statue in bronze, but then he was leaning on his sword, the blood running from a wound in his leg where a Trojan spear had ripped the tendons under his vulnerable young flesh. But as I watched he wiped the sweat from his face and would have carried on to another part of the battle had I not crossed to his side and grasped him in my arms. Then and only then did he seem to Russian Models Nn realise that he had been hurt for his leg gave and he sank down onto his shield which he had dropped to the ground. His head bowed and his helmet fell revealing his lustrous hair which we Achaeans like to wear long. Though sweat-encrusted it was glossy and bright in the sunshine and purple-black as the plumage on a raven's breast. There was a sudden shout from my brave Myrmidon troops as the Trojans turned and fled in a rout back to their many-towered city to craven-cower within its walls. Then I knew we had won the day. I bent to tend my Patroklos and to bind that importunate tear in his flesh from which the blood, bright and clear, ruby-red as the juice from the passion fruit, pulsed. I bound it with a bandage and my brave Patroklos turned away his head so that I should not see the grimace of pain that he could not conceal. I loved him even more for this and would have embraced him in my arms to comfort him except that I knew it would have caused him embarrassment - there on the open field, in full sight of the men. Then my lieutenant came up to me and asked whether the men could begin the searching and stripping of the Dead which is customary after a battle. A tenth of all they find goes to me, their General, of course and I told him also to gather for Patroklos who had fought bravely but who was wounded and whom I would take to my tent. First he helped me support my beloved and I felt the warmth of his body down my side and the weight of his arm around my shoulder and I was almost jealous that my lieutenant should have an equal share in the bearing of that sweet body. I smelled my Patroklos' sweat and it was a rich, manlike smell which told of his Russian Models Nn fierce exertion in the battle. I hoped that mine smelled the same. When we got to the tent I dismissed my lieutenant, carried Patroklos to my bed and took off the armour, the cuirass from his chest, the metal greaves from his legs and lastly the leather kilt embossed with bronze which protected his loins. His limbs were long and lean and the skin glowed with the freshness of youth. It was covered with a down so fine that it seemed like a tender ripe peach. His eyes had been shut but, as I touched him gently, the eyelids flickered open and he tried to protest. "My General," he said, "it is not fitting for you to care for me . . " But I stopped his mouth with a kiss and his eyes widened even more - but he did not protest and I knew then that he was truly mine. Then I got water from the amphora which stood in the corner. I bathed his body with a cloth until it was sweet and fresh. I poured a cup of strong Samian wine, which is a known restorative, lifted his head and put the cup to his lips and he drank thirstily. Almost immediately he revived and his strength returned so that he was able to sit up. "My Lord," he said, and naked, he reached out his arms for me. I stroked his smooth skin with the palms of my hands and it was like the feel of warm silk. But underneath was hard man-muscle. I felt his iron ribcage and the hollow that was his flat stomach beneath it. With my mouth I worshipped his golden flanks and the hard, strong thighs. I nuzzled the springing hair that sprouted from his loins. It smelled of the fresh young grass that grows on the plains of Arcadia. And from the young grasses sprang a tree, a tree of magnitude, of magnificence. I clasped it in my fist, drawing the foreskin back so that the glans appeared and from Patroklos came a gasp of excitement. With my tongue I brushed the head with tender butterfly strokes and a shiver went through his whole body so that it quivered in a paroxysm of rapture. He groaned so I opened my mouth and enclosed his member inside, my tongue wrapping itself around it like a warm cloak. With my hand I caressed his eggs in their skin casing, easing them until the flesh grew taught. He opened his legs so that I could gain easier access. My fingers crept under between his thighs, along the perineum towards the cleft and the hole, all the while my mouth keeping a constant movement up and down that princely shaft. Patroklos thrust his head backwards and thrust his body up so that I knew he would would not be long in coming. I redoubled my frotting and with my long middle finger I pierced his arse, the muscle first tensing against the intrusion then relaxing to allow its entry. His breath came in a loud gasp then changed into a wordless cry. Again he forced his body and his member filled my mouth, my throat, my being. His emission was long, the quantity of his seed being without measure and the length of his orgasm without time and I savoured it for I was in love. Afterwards we lay together and, although I had myself not achieved orgasm, I was satisfied. The rest would come later when Patroklos was healed and well again. And he was mine.And Agamemnon, High King of all the Greeks, thinks: --------------------------------------------------We, the Kings of the Achaean Federation, my brother, Menelaus, the red-haired King of Sparta and I, together with Odysseus and Achilles, the Princes of Ithaca and Myrmidon, went into the war from the highest of motives, the restoration of honour after the rape of Helen by the lascivious Paris. Of course the common soldiers expected a reward of a rather more tangible nature, booty. The pickings from the dead are their right - though undeniably a certain percentage belongs to their betters - and Death or the sacking of Troy will be their eventual payment. Nevertheless it is not seemly that the richest loot goes to any but the highest of the land (for that can give lesser people ideas above their station) and when Prince Achilles, renowned hero though he may be, took the armour of Sarpedon, King of Lycia, for his own, it seemed an affront to the dignity of ourself. We did not wish to offend the noble-hearted Prince, mercenary though we thought his action was at the time, but our own standing with the troops might have suffered had we Russian Models Nn ignored the incident. We dropped a few hints - which were unfortunately ignored. And eventually had to insist - nay, demand - the handing over of this particularly richly embossed suit. The cuirass was of glistening gold with depictions of the Gods fighting at the beginning of the world. Here Mighty Zeus threw his thunderbolt at his brother, Dread Hades, while Poseidon, the Earth Shaker summoned up his potent seas to drown all. The kilt was of the finest leather, made from the hides of Arcadian oxen, renowned throughout the civilised world for their softness and strength. It was studded with thick bronze plates which overlapped so thickly that there was not a chink through which an arrow or point of a sword could slip. The greaves were of silver but mixed with a special alloy so that they were strong enough to turn aside the sharpest spear. Prince Achilles, of course, was offended. He has, it must be admitted, a rather inflated idea of his own importance and usefulness. We have had to remind him on more than one occasions that no man is indispensable. I admit he took it badly and Odysseus, my counsellor, warned me that our offensive might suffer if the Myrmidons were not with us. For that is exactly what Achilles did. He retired to his tent with that new favourite of his, Patroklos I think his name is, and refused to allow his men to join with us in our next attack on hundred-towered Troy. A grown man sulking! Gods, who would believe it - and over such a paltry matter! I wore King Sarpedon's armour and it greatly enhanced my demeanour and bearing. Several people remarked on its fineness and on how it suited me. How like a God I looked. Prince Hektor, son of King Priam of Troy, of course took full advantage of this reduction in the strength of our forces and made punishing forays against us, his charioteers inflicting havoc on our foot-soldiers. Many of our bravest men were slaughtered by the Trojans at this time, though of course we gave as good as we got, and the news of our defeats were never published in despatches.And Hektor, Prince of Troy, thinks: ----------------------------------Without Achilles and his Myrmidon troops, the war went badly for the Achaeans. My spies told me of the split in the enemy's camp and immediately we Trojans took advantage of the quarrel. My father, King Priam blessed us and my lover Paris and I, leading our forces to the right and left, marched out from the safety of the many-towered fortress city and advanced on the waiting Greeks who had formed up on a slightly raised mound just south of the city. Our brave forces shouted and beat on their shields with their spears and swords making a great noise so that the craven Greeks were stilled with awe. The sound of our marching feet made the earth shake as if Poseidon himself were stirring under the ground. and vast clouds of dust rose into the air almost hiding our advance. Then we were on them and the bosses of our shields and the armour of bronze-clad fighting men clashed together. Men shouted and cursed and raged. Men stabbed and thrust and cut down their opponents. Men screamed in their agony. The stink of sweat and blood and opened entrails filled the air. Truly Ares, the God of War, must have smelled this incense from the highest pinnacles of Mount Olympus and rejoiced. But if I had not been so occupied with my own battle, I would have wept to see the flower of manhood - both Trojan and Greek together - cut down on that bloody plain. After that, according to plan, the trumpet call rang out from the ramparts where the wounded but still warlike Polydamas sat propped up so that he could view the battle from on high and gauge its progress. At the sound our footsoldiers stood aside while the chariots of our cavalry rolled out. I leaped into one as it came alongside and Dolon, the charioteer, saluted and cracked his whip so that the coal-black stallions reared and then charged forward. With my spear I ran through any who stood in my path and not a one was able to withstand us. Then ahead I saw a tall figure wearing a distinctive headdress and I recognised immediately the figure of Odysseus, King of Ithaca, who ranked high in the Achaean war council. Here was a worthy opponent so I shouted to Dolon to slow down. As he did so I leaped from the chariot and called to Odysseus who looked poised for flight. "Great King of Ithaca, here is Prince Hektor of Troy. Do not leave the field of battle without tasting my sword. Odysseus looked startled but I give him his due for he turned to face me and his face expressed his contempt. "Ho, boy," he sneered, "have you at last emerged from the safety of many-towered Troy? And do you expect to return? Is Paris keeping your slippers warm?" This angered me and I sprang at him with my sword drawn but he caught it on his shield and the strengthened hide deflected my stroke so that it passed him harmlessly by. At the same time though his own sword whirled round and down and I had to twist athletically to avoid it. Then we battled, feinting and parrying, striking and dodging until the sweat ran in rivulets from under our helmets and coursed down our bodies. My palms were slick and slippery and the hilt of the sword slithered from my grasp as I aimed a blow at his head. My weapon spun away and was lost. Immediately he gave a shout as of victory and lunged forward, aiming the point of his sword at my entrails. But he was too quick. As I sidestepped to avoid the thrust, he over extended himself and I grabbed at his arm with both my hands, bringing my knee up so that it cracked against his forearm. Then it was his turn to lose his sword which whirled away into the battle around us and we were both left weaponless. Notwithstanding we grasped each other and wrestled though the sweat made our grip on each other difficult to hold. I had him round the waist and he had my head in a bear-like clasp. My ear against his chest, I heard his gasping breath and smelt the sweat of his body, sour and strong. He was crushing the bones of my skull and I knew that I would have to break free or be lost. Again I brought my knee up but this time into his groin where it found and made a mess of his testicles - and the howl of rage and pain that was forced from his lips was loud enough to quieten the sounds of battle immediately around us. His grip on my head relaxed and I was about to tighten my grasp on him when he brought his heel down hard on my foot. I heard the bones crunch and the agony shot up through my leg so that I was scarcely able to stand. He doubled up, clutching his private parts and groaning, while I hopped around like a one-legged stork and made similar noises. Thus we stood apart for a short time but those few minutes were enough for his men - and mine - to surround us and drag us away to our respective camps. The Achaeans withdrew, leaving the battle field to us, victorious Trojans, while the dead and dying lay around us - and those that survived would live to fight another day.And Odysseus, King of Ithaca, thinks: ------------------------------------Great Zeus! A knee in the balls is an ignominious way to end a conflict with a hero - Trojan though he may be. And stamping on an opponent's foot is not much more heroic! Still both were effective blows. But the battle that day went to Hektor and his forces. Having withdrawn from the field to the safety of our camp, and bathed my bruised and battered parts with warm and soothing unguents, I pondered on our situation. The dispute between Agamemnon and Achilles was proving too costly for us. Both men were proud and obdurate but without the help of Achilles and his Myrmidon hoplites we were losing the war. It needed all my powers but eventually I persuaded King Agamemnon to send some gifts to Achilles and with Ajax went to his tent bearing them. We found the great General with his squire, Patroklos. "Great Achilles," I said, using my most persuasive tone of voice, "I bring you greetings from the High King, Agamemnon, together with gifts from his Russian Models Nn Majesty." At the sound of his name, a frown crossed Achilles' noble brow and I knew immediately that I would not have an easy time persuading him to relent. But he and I always got on well together so I continued. "The Great King values your assistance and that of your brave Myrmidon troops, so much that he has commanded me to bring this great treasure box to you. The rich contents will show how much he values your continued support in our war against the Trojans." "Our troops are being destroyed," added Ajax. "Your comrades are dying." "Does he apologise for the slight he has done me?" asked Achilles, trembling. "In front of the assembled Greek company?" This was my weak area for Agamemnon had refused to apologise, growing almost apoplectic when I had urged him to do so. "Apologise to that poncy man-fucker?" he had stormed. "Rather would I suck shit from the arse of the meanest soldier in the camp!" He always had a rather coarse streak in him, did King Agamemnon. "He regrets the affront," I compromised. "He needs your support. WE need your support. The Achaeans need you and the Myrmidons." "Will he apologise?" repeated Achilles, lolling back on the bed. He was wearing a short, soft chiton under a flowing mantle and sandals on his bare feet. Patroklos sat beside him and handed him a two-handled cup of wine. In the corner of the tent a young boy plucked a lyre and played a sad tune in a Lydian mode. I could not answer and Achilles smiled. Patroklos tore off a piece of bread, new bread, fresh bread. I could smell the rich, baked smell of it. I thought for a moment that he was about to offer it to me but instead he took it into his own mouth and then transferred it in a kiss to Achilles' mouth. This public display of emotion embarrassed me. Nor could Ajax meet my eye. "The king is a proud and stubborn man," I said weakly. "Can you not . . for the sake of the common good . . . " "Have some wine before you go," said Achilles and I saw his hand rest upon the thigh of Patroklos and slowly stroke Russian Models Nn the naked flesh. "There is roast meat, olives, figs. Anything you wish." Ajax and I left.And Patroklos thinks: --------------------My Greek comrades are dying. Here is the latest roll call of the dead: Aiantes the two brothers, sons of Oileus Aias the Lesser who bled to death Antilochus speared through the liver by Memnon Atreides had both his eyes pierced with a dagger Eurypylus whose wound turned gangrenous Idomeneus burned to death Menestheus wounded in the lungs and died gasping Pheonix a spear through the throat Sthenelus whose head was crushed, the brains pouring out Talthybius who was dragged behind a chariot for a league and a half Teucer suffocated under the weight of his dying comrades Thersites sword thrust in the groin Tlepolemus cut in half Tydeides run over by chariot wheels and trampled to death I grieve for my comrades. I weep for their bodies, twisted and knotted in the agony of their deaths. I despair for their souls, wandering sightless in Tartarus. Eventually I speak to my General, my Lord, my Prince. "Achilles," I say, "Lover, friend, bravest of heroes, son of Peleus and the sea-nymph, Thetis, whose body whilst still a child was dipped into the dread river Styx so that you became immortal." "Though she held me by the heel," interrupts Achilles. "My friends are dying while we and the Myrmidons stay in our tents." Against my will I can feel the salt tears forcing themselves from my eyes and running down my cheeks. I brush them away but Achilles sees. "Ah, Patroclus," he says and tenderly touches my face. "I wish that I could go out and fight without being humiliated." "I will take the Myrmidon hoplites," I say. "I will lead them to battle. They will follow me if you tell them." Achilles fixes me with a stare from those steady grey eyes of his. Eventually he nods though I can see he is not happy with his decision. "You will wear my armour," he says. "I will prepare you for battle." Tenderly he strips off my chiton, drawing it over my head so that I stand naked in front of him. He kisses me on the mouth and I feel a wetness on his cheeks. He also is crying. Against my will, my cock hardens. Achilles clasps its hardness with his hands and the warmth of his grasp increases my excitement. He says nothing but pulls off his own chiton so that we stand, naked body against naked body, hard flesh against hard flesh. Then he turns and my cock fits into the cleft of his arse. I attempt to draw back - I have never done this to my Lord - but he puts his arms behind him, drawing me into contact then bending so that he is exposed and my cock, almost against its will, it seems, probes into the waiting hole. There is a moment's tension and then I pierce the sphincter muscle and I am enclosed in his flesh. It must be Russian Models Nn hurting him but he does not betray it with a wince or a grimace, instead he forces himself back onto me so that I am buried right to the hilt. I withdraw slightly then plunge in again, slowly working up the rhythm of love. My hands enclose his shaft and I rub it so that it becomes hard. Then we are as one, our movements in contrast, mine forcing in, his forcing back. A tingling, provocative rousing starts in my groin, suffuses my whole body. My legs tremble, my back arches back as I make my last lunge. We come together. Afterwards we lie on the bed and exchange our private, intimate thoughts. Then Achilles acts as my servant and washes my body before anointing it with oils. Then he puts on the leather loin guard and the skirt made from overlapping strips of metal. He straps on the cuirass, breast-plate and back armour and the greaves for my legs and I am dressed in the armour of Achilles. In my right hand he puts his sword and on my left fore-arm, the round shield made from toughened hide. Finally he ties back my long black hair with a leather string and covers my head with his helmet. I go out to fight the Trojan army, and Hektor, their General, and at my back are the Myrmidon troops. I wish Achilles were at my side.And Ares, God of War, thinks: ----------------------------Enough! I am filled! I am satiated! The stink of death which rises from the plains of Troy gluts my senses. The bodies pile up under the Russian Models Nn sun. They swell up and the skins split exposing the raw entrails, the shit, the corruption. Flies feast in their noisome millions and lay their eggs to hatch into ravening maggots on the rotting flesh. Nine years of War, of killing, is enough even for me who glories in War, who rejoices in the reek of slaughter, exults in the incense of carnage. The young men of Greece, of Troy are no more and I mourn their passing. To save his comrades, Patroklos set out from Achilles' tent, leading the Myrmidon forces and was cut down by Hektor. Achilles, his lover, distraught, almost mad with guilt that he had allowed his friend to fight while he himself had stayed in his tent, slew Hektor and disgraced his body by refusing to allow it to be buried, rather dragging it around the tomb of Patroclus behind his chariot. Yet even the great Achilles had Russian Models Nn his weak spot and Paris, Prince of Troy and brother to Hektor, shot him in the ankle and Achilles died. And Philoctetes, deserted for so long by his Greek companions was eventually remembered and brought to Troy to slay Paris with the bow and arrows of Hercules. Russian Models Nn Enough, I say. Let there be no more killing. Let them sleep now.And in Tartarus the Kings, Agamemnon, Menelaus and Priam think (and weep as --------------------------------------------------------------------------- they think): -----------My sons are dead. My heroes are dead. My enemies are dead. My Russian Models Nn friends are dead. We are dead. Now we are all the same. The only thing we cannot remember is the cause of the war and the reason for the slaughter. And people say, There is no finer thing than to die for your country! The title and quotations are from Wilfred Owen's World War I poem, 'Strange Meeting'. -- _ _ _ _ _ / | / (_) __| |__ __ __ | | / |/ | |/ _| / _/ _| | /_/|__/_|_|__|_/_|_,___ |_|

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