Title: Doom of Ilium
Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia or Greek myths.
Note: Answer to challenge 8: Destiny. I told ilysia I would try to post this on the day after Thanksgiving. I'm about an hour late, but it's the thought that counts, right? Anyway, as some may have guessed by my attempt to write a Greek tragedy in Petros Basileus, I am a classics nerd. So it should not be a surprise that, as I was reading Seneca's play The Trojan Women, I was hit by a plot bunny. This fic is the result and takes a ton of inspiration, and even a few words and descriptions, from Seneca's play.
The irony of that terrible day was that the train was named The Myrmidon. Like the infamous king whose rage destroyed Troy, destroyed her champions, so too that iron beast destroyed three of the greatest heroes of Narnia. And with them, hope for Troy, hope for Narnia, was lost.
Hektor, the golden prince of Ilium, was the first protector of the Trojans to fall to Achilles' sword. The pillar of Troy, as his mother lamented of her city: "she fell with you the day you died. Your last day, Hektor, was her last day too." Golden Peter the High King was greater than he, the shield of Priam's city. While he lived, none could conquer Narnia of the Lion's Blessing, nor would she fall into total destruction. Without the High King's sword, Narnia teetered on the brink of despair and only revived by his return and sacrifice. For he not only risked his life in dueling the fell Telmarine, but then gave up his crown to another for peace and the Lion's will. Yes, while Peter lived, Narnia survived, though never to the glory she held during his reign. In the end, however, Peter was first to fall to the Mymidon, the dutiful and pious Tamer of Horses fallen beneath a steed of steel. Before his death, the golden king spoke of the great danger he fear assailed the land of his heart; that threatened the lofty mountains, the winding rivers, the rustling forests of his Narnia. Now, Peter, doom should hold that your last day be her last day too.
Valiant Penthesilea fell too soon after Hektor, that hope coming from the East and leading her band of warrior women. Where sons of Priam fled and kings of Achaia shook with fear, she, brave Amazon, stood forth against Achilles with a stalwart heart. It is said even the fierce son of Peleus, though invincible in body, was not immune to more tender emotions; that even as he slew her, he loved her. More brave than Penthesilea, mighty though she was, stood Queen Lucy of Narnia. For Lucy, courageous in war, was valiant in more than battle and bloody deeds. She had faith that the Amazon, in her blood-guilt and hopelessness, could never reach. Though also in exile from her home, Lucy remained true in her good faith in Aslan, never gave up the full-hearted belief that she would see Him again. Penthesilea fought fiercely for walls already doomed to fall; Lucy was loyal to the One who could create and destroy worlds with His roar. And she remained steadfast and true in her knowledge of Him and in her faith in His plan to the day she died by the crushing embrace of the Myrmidon.
Last hope of the Trojans, the dark hero Memnon, fell mirrored to Hektor. King in Susa, he came West to the aid of Hektor's people, to take up that fallen shield and bear arms against the Danaans. But as the Fates decreed, not even this son of a goddess, who fought clad in Hephaestian armor, could withstand the rage of Achilles. The last of the great heroes fell, and the dawn was pale as his mother wept. As Memnon was last to succumb to fate, so too was Edmund. Dark, noble Edmund who was always at his brother's side, never swaying in his loyalty to the golden High King. It was said that, after the train crash, workers searched fruitlessly for survivors into the night and the hours before dawn. Only at the first rays of the sun did they find Edmund beneath steel and dirt and blood, body broken, struggling for each breath, each heartbeat. The rescue workers watched in stunned awe as Edmund held Peter's mangled body with one, crushed arm and weakly worked to free him from the wreckage, murmuring soft words of vain hope to his already departed brother. For a moment no one moved, until a kind-hearted man knelt beside the Narnian king. Taking Edmund's free hand, he whispered "It's alright, son. You saved him. Rest now." With a sigh, Edmund smiled at the man and closed his eyes, when Sleep and his brother Death took the last hero of Narnia. And the sun kissed his face before hiding her grief behind the morning's rain.
There was no fourth hero to stave off the end of Troy. No golden prince, no valiant warrior, no dark king. All that was left of the great city of Ilium was the grief of widowed women, led in their lamentation by the fallen Queen Hekabe. Once the queen of mighty Troy, in the end Achilles and the Greeks stole her husband, killed her children, possessed her life. Enslaved by cunning Odysseus, her only escape was the kindness of the gods, who changed her into a carrion-devouring dog, lowliest of animals. There was a Queen of Narnia like her, once. A noble queen, a great beauty, who possessed every blessing. But this queen denied her kingdom, denied those who fought to protect it both from foreign danger and a doubter's derision. She, too, lost everything to a Myrmidon. Forbidden to share her family's fate, she gave them the funeral rites, wept until no more tears would come. Then she wandered, with the hidden hope that perhaps God would have mercy on her. What her fate is, I cannot tell, for it is yet to be written. All I have is the hope that my destiny will be kinder than that of the Trojan Queen.
For Peter was the mighty Hektor; Lucy, the fearless Penthesilea; and Edmund was loyal Memnon. But I, once Queen Susan the Gentle, I am Hekabe, fallen Queen of Ilium. May Aslan have mercy on my soul.
Yah, a little weird and depressing. This is what happens when you read too much Seneca. Anyway, please ask if you have any questions concerning the classical allusions I used, because I tend to forget that not everyone knows that the Greeks were also called the Achaens and the Danaans, or that Hektor was called the Tamer of Horses. I apologize if it was confusing. For those of you who do know the classics, yes I know that Memnon was King of the Ethiopians, but in some versions his capital was at Susa while his brother ruled in Africa, and it just fit better.