* It is time*, Earthla said. < Already? >, Luno asked. * Yes*, Earthla told him. * Our resting period of six thousand years is over, my elements have commanded me to choose their warriors. You must create the battle world*. Luno sighed. < You overwork me so much, just as Plutonor overworks Charonia. Cant you get more assisting satellites?> Earthla grabbed him by his plain gray cloak. * Stop complaining you piece of rock and get to work*, she hissed.
Apollus was sick of war. He hated it. The blood, the violence, the awful slaughter and suffering. Although he was one of the greatest warriors in Greece, he wanted to be an artist, a musician, a philosopher even. He wanted to learn and understand things. But in his family, no one did anything but go to war. His brothers were soldiers, his father was a soldier, his grandfather was a soldier and so forth. His father had been ashamed of him when he confessed his desire to participate in the arts. " Character is built from blood and sacrifice", his father told him, " not from reading a scroll". He said this just before Apollus left to become a soldier.
Its all worth it", he would try to tell himself, " The only thing that matters is the honor of the Gods, Greece, and my family." But he never really believed it. He never believed that honor was the most important thing on Earth.
He had left home when he was seventeen. He traveled to a training camp near Athens. His instructors immediately saw that he was a great fighter. He was sent to a battle post quickly. By the time was eighteen he was a lutenient. He wasnt proud of it. He had earned this position because of the number of brave young men that hed butchered. Now, at twenty-four, he was a minor commander. Seven years," he thought. " Seven years of killing, seven years of slaughter, seven years of death." Apollus wished that the fighting could end, and he could return to his home, and celebrate with his family. But that was not possible. Greece was trying to conquer Turkey. They had taken most of it, but certain militias just didnt give up. So, Greece was still fighting to expand the Empire. Apollus post was on a beach on the west coast of Greece. A group of scouts spotted an enemy ship trying to sneak up on the Greeks. It would be there in less than an hour.
" Apollus", somone said. Apollus was jarred from his thoughts. He looked up into the face of his friend, Helionus. "Its time to make sacrafices".
In any situation where you knew that the enemy was coming, it was standard procedure to make sacrafices to the Gods.
Apollus and the other soldiers lined up at the altar, each with an animal in his hands. Apollus was first in line. He put his goat on the altar and drew his daggar. He made a quick upward thrust into the animals throat. Blood sprayed onto his hand but he tried to ignore it. He slowly divided the goat into fourteen parts, giving an extra large piece to his favorite God, Apollo, who he was named for. He then put the pieces of meat in the sacred fire and recited the prayer ritual. Then he stepped aside, letting the next man make his sacrafice.
"Its ridiculous, were using our best animals to fill the bellies of the Gods, while we starve. Those animals should be for us, Zeus warriors," Helionus said. Apollus just smiled and nodded. This was why they were friends, they were so alike.
" The enemy is upon us!", one of the watchmen shouted. The soldiers all stampeded to their tents to get weapons and armor. Apollus raced into his tent. He strapped on his breastplate and arm protection. He slung his bow, arrows, spear and shield over his shoulder. He replaced his daggar and hung a sword on his belt.
Last, he threw his helmet on and ran outside.
Most of the archers were on the hills, starting to shoot their flaming arrows at the ship. The footsoldiers and officers were right on the beach waiting for an attack. As the ship came near, hundreds of soldiers poured out of it. There were immediate cries and the sound of metal striking metal spread across the sand.
One soldier came at Apollus, screaming at the top of his lungs. He swung his sword, which Apollus easily deflected with his shield. The soldier yelled in frustration and struck again. Apollus blocked with his shield and lifted the soldiers weapon away from him and made a downward thrust with his own sword. The soldiers eyes widened in shock, his mouth opened as if to say something, but instead of sound coming out, blood came. The soldier dropped to the ground, lifeless. Apollus finally got a good look at the soldiers face. He was very young, no more than eighteen. Apollus cried in his heart. He probably had a mother and father at home, worried sick about him. They wouldnt see him again. And it was all Apollus fault. Apollus tried to focus on the fight. A battlefield was no place for tears. But all he could see was that boy, no doubt trying to make his father proud of him, only to be cut down by a more experienced Greek soldier.
Another soldier came towards Apollus. He and Apollus started to fight, deflecing and striking. Then Apollus backed away, and started to charge. The soldier held his sword in a defense position. At the last second of his charge, Apollus stuck his sword in the ground and used it to propel himself into the air feet first.
His sandals smashed into the soldiers face. As the soldier fell, Apollus stabbed with his sword. The sword pierced the soldiers heart. Apollus retrieved the sword, feeling sick.
Apollus sensed the presence of another soldier behind him, ready to attack. Apollus quickly turned around and sliced through the mans neck. The man's head never hit the ground. It froze in midair. Apollus realized that no one was moving except for him. They all just stopped. What in the name of Artemis... Then he saw a funnel of water coming out of the sea, straight towards him!
" Aaaahhh!", he screamed. The funnel consumed him and shot him into space.
The next thing he remembered was lying on a soft bed, with a gaunt man in a gray cloak standing over him. He could tell that there was someone behind the man, but he could not see her. "This is Apollus, From 500 B.C.", then he stood aside, and Apollus beheld the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Stay tuned each week for each chapter