Every generation Nokis is there to die.
According to Ares that made him a coward.
Nokis had had enough. He is sinewy muscle and gold skinned from ten years fighting a war. The dirt and blood and disease and the constant pang of gut crunching fear. Injury and infection. Blistered feet. Broken fingers. Chapped lips. Lacerated scalp. The never ending fear of death. Of wanting to die, but waking up every day in the same nightmare. Sucking in dust with every inhale. Blowing out snot and blood with every attempt to tear down that fucking wall.
He did not run from combat he ran from the lunacy of the fuck shit king, Agamemnon and the crazy asshole warrior Achilles and his dead lover Patroclus.
Paris can have the whore Helen.
Why does he care?
They can have the whole bloody affair.
He doesn’t want the glory. If he never again kills another human being he can die happy.
Then the Gods got involved. When the Gods get involved it’s never a good ending for anyone.
So he ran.
He ran until he had to walk and then he strolled along a stony path.
He dropped his armor back a few miles ago. He threw his spear and shield in a fast moving creek. He tossed his helmet at a cow that mooed at him in anger before running off.
He wears his kynodesme and his sandals and nothing else save a deep smile on his face.
It’s the smile of one who knows peace after war. Someone who owns himself again after being a slave so long the taste of freedom quenches all his desires.
The road glows white in the midday sun. Birds chirp. Bugs buzz. The rustle of dry olive branches sing to him to come rest under their shade.
What the Hades, he decides and does and quickly falls into a deep sleep.
He dreams of a God. He dreams of Ares the God of War. He points and calls Nokis a coward.
Nokis tries to argue that he is not.
But Ares can’t hear the words of a mortal and instead curses him to live war for the remainder of time.
Nokis wakes and he is cold. The world is a blanket of ice. He wears blue paint. His hair is ragged and his skin is thick with callous. A rough hand shakes him.
“Wachen Katzen, sie Schlact heit!” The man has red eyes he thrusts a huge iron two handed sword into the Greek cowards hands and with a screams stands and races toward a thick wall of smoke.
Nokis doesn’t move he just sits and listens to the sounds of death approaching. He smells shit and blood. He hears ball shrinking shrieks of life ending injury. He stands just as from out of the smoke a legion of men dressed in red leather skirts with red brushes on their helms emerge formed in a tight box moving with lightning quick speed. An organized nightmare. They come for him and he feels his head leave his shoulders while smooth sharp swords disembowel his insides. The pain is short lived.
He wakes again.
He is surrounded by the din of thousands of thundering horses with riders and bows. He feels arrow after arrow enter his body. He falls. A horse tramples him. The pain is intense every bone in his body feels broken. He sees a fast moving river running red with blood and black with ink.
He wakes again.
Bitter cold rain falls. Heavy iron encases his body. He moves slow. He slips in the muck. His gauntlet enclosed fist is tight on a mace. He sees a man with a pike and a black wool jerkin checkered with yellow. He has a metal cap on his head. Still on his knees Nokis swings the mace at the pikeman and misses just as the tip of the pike enters his unarmored throat. He chokes on iron and thick blood.
He is naked and brown. A cold knife enters his chest. His heart is pulled out still pumping uselessly at the hot humid air. He collapses to his knees as six hundred soldiers march under a white flag marked with a red cross.
White cold hell. A frozen river. The sun rises. He turns and gets the butt of a musket to his face.
On a frigate. A cannon roars. he falls overboard his body punctured with bits of wooden shrapnel. He can’t swim. Water fills his lungs. He see others around him struggling to live.
He is in a wood fort. He smells burning wood. Smoke and bloody screams of men being cooked alive. Shadows of soldiers come. Musket fire. In his hand is a musket. It is empty. In the other hand is a big knife. It is coated with slick blood. An enemy in a blue coat and tall hat, comes. He stabs out with the knife but his arm is uselessly too tired to lift. The soldier reaches him and fires his musket. The ball rips through Nokis’ sternum. The musket butt comes down on his head. He collapses in agony.
He is wearing grey the world is covered in a hot wet fog. He holds a rifle in his hands. He shakes. From out of the fog a blue uniform soldier sprints. He screams. His face is dark brown almost red. His eyes are hatred. He stabs hard with a bayonet and twists it free from the breastbone he punctured and then stabs again and again and again.
He is in mud. He falls. He feels feet stepping on him. standing on him. He sucks in lung fulls of mud.
He dies with the boom of artillery echoing in his mud clogged ears.
He is hungry. He is scared. He is being Shepherded into a shower. He is told to get naked. He does. He is scared. He wants to live. He wants to see his wife again. She is near he can feel it. He wants to hold his children. The looks on their faces when they were pulled from him haunt his mind every time he blinks. There are a least a hundred other naked skeletons around him. He strips off his clothes. The clothes are collected and thrown through a thick steel door. When everyone is naked the door is closed and locked. Thick greasy sweet smelling smoke drifts from vents in the ceiling. He coughs. The men begin to fall. one by one they die. He holds his breath.
But it doesn’t matter he was already dead when he walked in and says fuck it taking a deep breath and dies.
He is a child. He is weak with hunger. A blossoming huge explosion with no sound engulfs him.
He is a woman standing barefoot in warm brackish water. She holds an automatic weapon. She fires the weapon into the trees. Something heavy plunks into the water next to her. Followed by a huge explosion. She feels her body leave her legs behind. She dies.
He is the pilot of a plane. A huge building fast approaches. All is fire.
He dies over and over and over again.
He preys to Ares to release him between deaths he preys for forgiveness.
He will go back.
He will fight.
Please Ares he begs let me go back and fight.
And he wakes naked save for his kynodesme and sandals.
He cries as he sprints back to Troy ready to die for his king.