Adonis Diaries

Wild Goose Chase (fiction, continue 15)

Posted on: November 22, 2008

Artax to cross over the Old World


Artax decision was firm; His army is to be smaller and lighter of any superfluous encumbrances.  Wives and concubines are not to follow the officers, much less the soldiers and cavalry.  The number of Imperial palanquins was to be reduced to the bare minimum and so many other traditional requirements that the personnel in management were so nerve wracked that their energy stopped flowing to their brains.  How to begin the re-design of the organization of this peculiar army? What are the specifications? There were too many unsolvable questions and nobody to refer to for even general resolution.  It was out of question to bother the Son-God Incarnate for details and the right hands of the Monarch, oh how numerous and redundant, never dared to approach the Monarch for further clarifications.

It was a huge mistake not to have retained one of those mixed Macedonian trained divisions, Artax kept lamenting in his mind.  An ingenuous idea leapt to Artas; it was necessary to intercept the arrivals of the fresh Greek recruits whose purpose was to share the glory of their beloved Alexander, not the “Afghani” Iskandar.  The Monarch had dispatched a messenger to Cyrus, his loyal “servant”, summoning him to detach one of his divisions to join His army.  The Imperial messenger never returned but a messenger of Cyrus reported events confirming that the Imperial messenger had not delivered the scroll. Consequently, the Imperial caravan was not moving forward even at a snail pace.

At every stop, circumstances and urgent intelligence carried Artax into different directions.  Strong suspicions of deliberate obstructions, the idea of sabotage was not in the Imperial lexicon, retained Artax’ reflection. Nevertheless, the zest and excitements of youth should never allow Artax to backtrack to his Capital and to indulge in the lures of magnificent comfort.  

After two years of permanent wandering within the confines of his vast Empire, the Monarch reached the decision to cross the borders of his Empire.  He doesn’t really care of conquering new lands.  He just wants the right of passage to explore the vast Universe.  Preliminary negotiations taught him the reality of life beyond his borders.  Bribing worked fine most of the time but there were exceptions to the rule.  He had to show force, determination and harden his heart while wasting valued soldiers. It was the price for the luxury of discovering new lands, people and civilizations.

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November 2008

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