Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hegemon Book 2: The Betrayal of Arope

Theyetes may have the looks of Apollo, but his heart was as vile as Ceberus, the Dog of Hades. Little did we know until later that he would win the second contest of Mycannae by trickery and deceit, and it is shameful to admit that my mother, Arope, would have a part in this shameless deed.

The nobles of Mycannae assembled before the great chariot track where my father Atreus and uncle Theyetes readied themselves for the great race. Initially, my father led for a brief moment, but as though the gods’ favor hath turned from him, the spokes of his chariot careened off, sending him crumpled and injured on the ground as Theyetes sped ahead. Now, the two princes of Tiryns were drawn, for Atreus’ victory in archery was matched by Theyetes’ triumph in the more popular chariot race.

But my brother Agamemnon was suspicious of foul play, and that night, he urged me to be his lookout, while he investigated. We found the spokes of the chariot wheel sabotaged, but who could have done it? For the chariot hath always been a property of the House of Atreus, and no one would dare come near the precious vehicle without our notice.

As our mother Arope was out with the ladies of the court, we crept into her room and found shameless letters between her and Theyetes. They were in love, and in her affair, she hath tried to help Theyetes defeat our father. My brother and I bought this sad tiding to our father, but Atreus so loved his wife and could not bring it upon himself to punish her. Instead, he vowed that Theyetes would pay for this heinous crime one day.

Finally, the third contest came, and it was one of swordplay. Everyone knew Theyetes was a great swordsman, and I feared for my father. He hath displayed his great skills before our mother the week before, and I feared that Theyetes may now know of his prowress and how to defend from it.

But that day,  miracle hath happened. Theyetes was confident he knew how Atreus would attack, but he was badly misguided, for the attack that Atreus performed hath nothing in common with that which he performed in the family courtyard earlier on. Our mother Arope was greatly dismayed, but it was clear that her lover would lose to our father.

In seven strokes, Theyetes hath lost his sword, flown far from him, and his brother’s sword was at his neck. “Surrender to me, Theyetes,” our father said, “before the great noble houses of Mycannae lest you forfeit your life.”

Theyetes was angered and shamed, but he hath no way of resisting, so he replied, “I yield…to thee, my brother and king.”

And with that, Atreus lifted his sword from Theyetes’ neck, and the nobles of Mycannae hailed, “Long Live King Atreus!!.”

But do not let this fool you into believing  a happy ending was in store for us, for the House of Atreus was truly cursed.

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