Mercenary Creed

January 10, 2008
By Solomon Tahir, Philadelphia, PA

This story takes place in the Neo-Assyrian kingdom known to many archaeologists as the end of the Assyrian empire. This is the story of the man who fought vainly to keep the Assyrians in power. Not because he is forced to, not because he loves Assyria in fact Assyria is not even his home country he fights because that is his way of life and it is all he knows how to do this is the story of a mercenary and his creed.

This chronicle takes place toward the end of the Assyrian empire; the year is 612 B.C, in the Assyrian home capital Nineveh. If you were there you would see a man, who though his face says otherwise, is only in his mid-thirties. He has no gray hair but his face tells stories of pain and agony clear as day. He is exceptionally large for his size because his profession recommends it; his skin resembles that of copper though it is a tad darker as if he had spent some time in the sun to travel here. Though the easiest way to distinguish this man from all others is not his naked head or bulk size, it is the large scar that intimidates even the most menacing men. He stands roughly 6’8 and the only visible hair he has is a large tamed beard that he toys with from time to time. He has on a brown cloak and has traveled here on a chariot dragged by camels not native to his land. Indeed, this was no ordinary, man this man was a murderer. He had robbed many men of the pleasures of life and had stolen the souls of many fathers, husbands, and sons. His name is Ako-Nebi (tired-panther) a name he had given himself because any origin of his past life and name was lost in the sands of time and could only be revealed in the afterlife. If you know anything about the Assyrians then you probably guessed that this man was not Assyrian. He came from a faraway land known to the people of ancient Mesopotamia as Kemet or “people of the sun” most likely they are known to you as the Egyptians.

Ako-Nebi is here on request from the king himself and if you were a guard outside the door this is most likely what you would hear. “It is said that you are the best in the land is this myth or fact” said the contractor who we will leave unnamed. “I get the job done” replied Ako-Nebi as if this question had been asked countless times before. The unnamed contractor constantly attempted to strike a conversation with the man only to try to get to know him better. These attempts were in vain because he soon realizes that the man was not for small talk but he then asked a question that even the man could not refuse to answer. “So you have no objections against killing another’s enemies for money” asked the contractor. “Should I?” remarked Ako. “I’ve been doing this for a long time you have no reason to question my loyalty to my contract.” “Than I will ask no more questions” said the nameless contractor in dissatisfaction.

Laws of another’s land did not strike his conscience, because he had created his own laws. No one could understand them even if they had tried. When a man has lived alone long enough, experienced many of the tortures of life by his self, in that mans head he is outside all laws anyone else’s morals and opinions did not apply to him, thus he created new laws intended only for him and that is what he lives by, that is his creed. Ako-Nebi’s unwritten creed was (1) Do what one has to too survive, (2) Kill or be killed, (3) No ones life but yours is to important, (4) Always obey the contract given, and lastly (5) Live by the sword die by the sword. Ako-Nebi had figured out that he was an excellent killer countless years ago. They were not countless because he did not want to remember but countless because he couldn’t.

Ako had one day before he went to the battle-grounds. The Chaldeans were advancing much more quickly than expected. Ako noticed how closely the Assyrians Semitic language was closely related to his native tongue. Ako noticed how mixed the Assyrian cultures were because the Assyrians had conquered so many different cultures and civilizations, there were all types of peoples. He could tell that all of the people there were not Assyrian because of the way they talked, dressed, and also by their physical features. He knew that Assyria had ruled the Mesopotamian region for hundreds of years. He also knew how much of a threat Assyria was to his home country Kemet but because he did not consider himself Kemetan or any other race for that matter, he just didn’t care. He refused to use any Assyrian weapons, or armory. It was nothing personal it was just that on every one of his missions he always used his own supplies. Though this was different, in Egypt they did not specialize in iron-welding technology. The Assyrians were somewhat experts in using iron for weapons so he decided that he would buy an iron sword and shield.

He couldn’t sleep that night, something felt different about this mission. Everything seemed to be moving in slow-motion, it was nauseating. Maybe it was the fact he didn’t know what he was up against. The contractor had informed him earlier that the Chaldeans were bent on destroying mighty Assyria and that his mission was to save Assyria. The contractor also told him that he would be a hero and that it would go down in history that he was one of the many mercenaries who saved the great Assyrian empire. Yet he could not help thinking that something was wrong. He tried to convince his self that it was just paranoia, but in the back of his mind he knew that he was soon to die. Through all of his thinking and wondering he did not notice the sunrise. A few minutes after he realized he had to get up there was a knock on the door. “It is time” said one of the guards. He let out a short inhumane grunt, but instinctively the guard knew that it meant he’d be there in a few seconds. They left the sleeping quarters in less than 10 minutes and in about 3 hours they had reached their destination. It was quiet, not a normal quiet like if you are reading a book alone in your room, it was a quiet before the storm. The soldiers thought that they knew what to expect but none did. All of a sudden the ground began to shake, Ako prepared himself, and he was between two other beastly men so he knew that they would pose some protection. Something was definitely wrong; the earth around him began to get darker war cries of intimidation swallowed any from of humanity surrounding the area. There were at least 300 Assyrians the Chaldeans seemed to have an endless army of monsters. The Assyrians began to lose men one by one, then twenty by twenty and eventually there were only about 15 men left. It had only taken the Chaldeans about an hour and a half to kill the other 245 men. Ako-Nebi and the other 14 men (who coincidently were mercenaries) died protecting a land that wasn’t their home. For Ako death had never occurred to him the reason being because he was death. He faced his final judgment and his life was being revealed to him, he realized that he had died countless years ago. These men were just like him they lived as death; they survived by becoming what was killing them. They died because they followed the unwritten laws of death otherwise known as the Mercenaries Creed.

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