The missing chapter from Ben Bova’s novel the Hittite .. now archived away in rendsz’ world active.
Out of touch with the web for a few days.
Normal service will return of Wednesday August 3.
Meanwhile … to keep the blood pressure up …..
…. a short three-part story will be posted intermittently.
Thanks for the patience, guys
All good things must come to an end.
Paris has put a lot of thought into it. Each line expertly crafted. Every word of his missive to the High King rigorously selected. His reply to Agamemnon finished off with a flourish.
Stamped. Put in the post. All he waits for now .. the High King’s response.
Paris has no doubt what it will say ……
Was it ever the way of the world? That it’s the little man that takes the heat? Pays the price for the mistakes of those that govern? A pawn to be sacrificed on the chessboard? Bait to lure in the bigger prize?
Lukka – stuck between the pride of two implacable nations.
A nothing. The plaything of mighty warrior-kings.
THEY are the stuff of legends. It’s THEM Homer writes about.
A faithful Hittite soldier? Worth nothing. To be sacrificed. Dispensable.
A hired help. A mercenary. Of no consequence. If the Trojans cut off his every limb and sent him back in pieces .. what had he lost? Agamemnon had sent the Hittite, dispensable. A Greek noble, now that was a loss he could not afford.
It was an insult .. sending a foreigner .. a mere soldier. But, then, Paris had never intended to send Helen back
This muscle-headed hired hand .. a body as good as any to send his message back.
The most beautiful woman in the world. For her Greece had set out to war. Agamemnon had recruited every ship in Greece to bring her back. And punish those Trojans for this crime.
Was she worth it? The cost, the lives lost, the harvests not brought in. Lukka wondered .. all this for one woman? .. as he sweated, hurting. Only a woman. What was that saying back home?
All cats in the dark are black ……
It wasn’t their war. But selling your sword was useful if you wanted to eat. Greeks masters or Trojans – it was all one to Lukka.
But this Paris, he was changing that. Lukka had not expected to be popular with the Trojans. He suspected Agamemnon’s motives in selecting him.
But Lukka did not take to being pushed around ….
Did he trust the Trojans? They’d got so far above themselves, Agamemnon never expected them to accept his offer. But the whore was his brother’s wife. He had to be seen to be trying his best.
For him, best thing was .. beat the bastards into the ground. Smash down their walls, put the city to the flames. And send his boats through the straits .. trading .. without needing any say-so from those idiots cowering behind their walls.
That Hittite? Never expected to see his hide again. Didn’t matter one way or the other.
The High King had been seen to try his best.
It was the proverbial love-at-first-sight. Did an educated warrior-prince believe in such drivel? But when Paris first saw her, then wife to the King of Sparta .. Helen took his breath away.
And not for one moment since had those passions receded.
Give her back? Over his dead body.
Annoying hours .. stuck in this cell .. made to attend some prince’s wish .. inevitable that Lukka’s thoughts turned to the vision. Helen in all her beauty. The way she looked. And the cheeky way she dressed. Had that been for him? Toying with Agamemnon’s herald? Who was offering an end to the war in return for Troy sending Helen back.
If he was Paris .. would he let Helen go?
A man of action .. kept too long kicking his heels. Itching to get on with things.
Feeling out of his depth.
And instincts warning him something was wrong.