never contested his will over anything, merely did as she was told, no
matter what that was. Helen only ever followed the instruction of my father,
unquestioning, and likewise that of Andromache, of Briseis, even of my
cousin Scamandrius, less than a single year older than myself.
She never seems to hear a word that comes from my mouth, however. When I
speak to her, she says my words hurt her ears. "Aganus," she says to me,
"Take your self away. Your voice wounds me."
Did she ever have a heart and mind? Or was she always this vapid and lovely
Perhaps Father believed I would be more like him, prefer the bow to the
blade; but I was made of the sterner stuff, like my uncle whom I never saw,
I wish Hector had lived, to guide me in my path to be a man. Likely his tale
has grown in the telling, and he was not so great a leader as Father always
made him out to be. Even so, I despise my father for taking from me the life
as a prince of a beautiful and powerful nation. I should have had a palace
to live in, and not this glorified shepherd's hut.
When the dust of the conflagration settled, the carrion crows made their
feasts, and the Greeks finally abandoned our lands, Father retook the blade
from Anaeas. Coward that he was, and is to this day, he feared its loss from
his own hand. Father held it himself for many years, but as soon as my
cousins and I grew to strong youth, he looked to pass the burden on to one
more suited to battle with it.
Why did he give the Sword to Scamandrius? Why? As Paris' eldest son,
I should have had that blade. Without false humility, I must say that of all
the men I know, my skill is the greatest with the forged bronze. I'm the
burliest of all my brothers, and have the curliest hair. My chest is like a
barrel, and the hair there grows thicker than any of our people. Surely
these signs show I am the warrior best suited to wield the protective weapon
of our people.
I am the Bear. Scamandrious is merely a willowy weasel, in contrast.
The sword must remain in the hand of a Strong Son of Troy. Scamandrius must
be made to see this.
I have my mother's blue eyes; Scamandrius has Andromache's brown.
But who is his father?
And who is mine?