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Odysseus and Aeneas

Troy is burning. Odysseus happens upon Aeneas, who is supporting his elderly father with one arm and cradling his infant son with the other. 

ODYSSEUS
My, my, if it isn’t the great Aeneas. And your father, Anchises, I presume? And who is this little chap? Oh, do not be frightened of me, good fellow. I have done my part in this war, you have nothing to fear. You know, I’ve always admired you. Your quick wit, combined with a wonderful physique–it hardly seems fair, really. Trojans I spoke to–and I have spoken to a great many here–have told me that you are like myself and Achilles combined. Yet here we are. Achilles struck through the heel by a coward’s bow and you, the smartest and strongest, fleeing, defeated. I can think of no more fitting end to this war, son of love, nor one that would make me more hopeful for the future of the human intellect. Therefore, fear me not, for I will let you go your way with your family, and return to mine own. My family, which did not transgress and, hence, is still very much intact.

Odysseus leaves.

AENEAS
Bitch.

Aeneas leaves with his father and son. 

 

Scene II

Odysseus lies drenched on the shore, panting and sunburned. Aeneas approaches, followed by many men. 

ODYSSEUS
My, my. If it isn’t the son of Aphrodite herself. How’s your father? Did he die a warrior’s death? Or a lover’s?

AENEAS
He died content.

ODYSSEUS
More fortunate he. And this must be–

AENEAS
Don’t tell him your name, son. He can use it against you.

ODYSSEUS
O wicked Hermes with your iron tongue, stainless as steel. You’re a much more sensible man than I am, friend, I’ll grant you that. Would I had kept mine own name such a secret. And now, Aeneas? It’s your turn at dice. How do you roll? What is to be the fate of the wily Odysseus?

AENEAS
I have no desire to kill you. Oh, my men do, make no mistake about that. You killed their wives, smothered their babies, burned their topless towers to the ground and salted the Earth beneath. But I do remember you left me alive.

ODYSSEUS
Yes. I would of course apologize for all that, but uh…

AENEAS
But what?

ODYSSEUS
I just wanted to get back to my family. I never wanted to go to Troy, never wanted to commit such genocide against your people, but… I just wanted… I just wanted to get home to my family.

AENEAS
By destroying ours? Odysseus, my dear, dear mortal enemy. You left your family. You may claim you did not choose, but you swore an oath to defend the honor of the most beautiful woman in the world, a woman you yourself never thought was that honorable. You could have broken that oath. You could have had the sense not to make it in the first place. But you left your home to destroy ours. I hope you reach your homeland, Odysseus, I truly do. But I can promise you this: when you do, it will never be the same. It will never be the way you left it. You will never really find home. And I have to say, I am comfortable with that. Come, Ascanius. We will do this man no harm. We haven’t any need to.

They leave Odysseus alone on the beach. He weeps. 

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About Polypsyches

I write, regardless of medium or genre, but mostly I manage a complex combined Science-Fiction/Fantasy Universe--in other words, I'm building Geek Heaven. With some other stuff on the side. View all posts by Polypsyches

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