Farewell

Author: Lysis (Copyright 2012 by Lysis)

Alexander bids farewell to his army.


Alexander slept and as he slept, he dreamed.

Awake his eyes searched the shadows of the room until he saw them. As promised in the dream, they had come. Standing tall and proud – Hephaistion waited. Kalanos, the small dark little man, the philosopher from the Indias, darted in and out among the crowd, smiling, waiting his dark eyes full of joy, full of light.

He struggled mightily to pull himself upright. Bagoas, ever mindful of his smallest need was there propping pillows behind his head. Cool cloths laved scented water across his face, his hands, but with the narrowing of his eyes, he showed his refusal, he pushed him away. Non, for this, for them he must be as their general, one with them, no one else must come between. Once more he tried, the words were there in his mind, but he could not give them voice. It was gone as was his strength. It had shattered him, after the dream he knew. It must be now he had been saving himself up since daybreak. It must be now. Already he could feel the pull, the tug to let go. It must be now.

They passed slowly, a long steady parade of men, young men, fresh to war and new enough not to know what lay before them, their skin unmarred by what would come, older men, weathered men, veterans of a hundred battles tough as ancient oaks that nothing could bring down, broken men, seamed with scars, devoid of limbs - men who had followed him across the empire, across the years, marched with him on and on throughout the seasons of war, throughout the burning seasons, through it all. Ah, but these men, his men, such strong hearts beat within their breasts. They were the stuff of his victories they were Macedon, the empire, his very heart. They left a river of tears at his feet.

I see you. His eyes spoke – a sharing with each man who passed before his bed. He saw the tears on faces that had long shown nothing but contempt and fearless laughter in the fanged face of Phobos, given the finger to Demois, coming face to face with the Keres and taunting them as a school boy on a lark wagging his tongue at the promise of punishment. For him, with him, these men had broken the backbone of an empire old and weak and together they had brought forth the beginnings of a new world. They were its architects, the labourers of the long projects giving their blood, sweat, fears and sorrows all as offerings with open arms. He loved them for it. They had given their best, they had given all.

He paused, sighed he was tiring. His vision was beginning to blur as the shadows of the day grew long lengthening toward twilight. For a moment he would close his eyes, just the smallest moment he would rest then begin again. There were still so many on and on they came, endless as the sands of the deserts. Weary now, his eye lids drooping he saw them still giving through his gaze all he had left, until at last against his dearest wishes his head fell back, his eye closed and he slept. In his mind he heard them still, he saw them still, spoke to them…cried for them.

I…see you… all.