Trojan War on Tuesday | Teen Ink

Trojan War on Tuesday

May 26, 2022
By Anonymous

Author's note:

This piece was made as a project for my junior year English class.

The makeshift metallic contraption smacked against the ground. “I think it worked,” said Lilly.

I always thought that the day we finally got this thing working would be the most exciting day of my life, however, I sat paralysed at the thought of what would be on the other side of the hatch door. We had no way to track our position in time, anything could have been outside of that door. For all I knew we went 2 million years back and there was a tyrannosaurus rex or maybe we went a few hundred thousand years into the future and earth had become inhabited by aliens. Lilly and I sat for what felt like forever gaining the courage to open that door. Finally after not hearing any commotion from outside of the capsule, we inferred that it was safe to go out. As I turn the handle, the pressurized air from inside of the capsule hissed out. The rusty hatch door squeaked as I jolted it open, I noticed the lack of sunlight, it was night time. We turned on our flashlights in order to gain some sense of where we were and what environment we were in. We looked out, there was little visibility through the fog. However, we were able to make out large trees all around us. As we stepped out, I felt the soft green grass below my feet. We were in a time before mass pollution and climate change, as well as minimal intervention into natural environments. It was clear to me the drastic differences between our time and theirs. There was much more life around and everything seemed to belong. We tagged the location of the Falcon and began our venture through the forest. We had named the capsule the Falcon because of our  obsession with the Star Wars franchise. The trees towered above our heads into the night sky. Our flashlights were not able to reveal the tops of them. The sounds of the night were rather faint, with a few cricket chirps and a slight breeze. I watched my step as I meandered my way through the thick, unkept brush of the forest. Lilly and I were still unaware of our exact location and time. We had to find a way to obtain this information. We knew we were in the past but not sure how far back. Our GPSs did not work because satellites had not been created in this time period yet. Due to the fact that Lilly had a background in Biology and Botany, my first thought was to have her find any species of plants or animals that were native to a certain part of the planet. “Hey Lilly,” I began to ask, “do any of these trees look familiar to you?” Lilly scanned the nearby plants quickly, looking for anything she recognized. “Yeah, I actually do!” she said in an excited tone, “over there!” I turn to see a patch of flowers I had never seen before. “Those are lilies,” she exclaimed, “my favorites! They only naturally grow in some places in Europe.” She looked up at some trees overhead, “and those are Juda trees, we must be somewhere in Turkey!” Turkey, I thought to myself, how the hell did we end up here. We knew we would deviate from our original position in the lab by a little bit, but we were now on the other side of the planet. “Its getting kind of dark Don, maybe we should find a safe place to sleep and wait for the morning.” I agreed, and started looking for a tree to climb. Soon after we found one, scaled the branches  leading to a large branch, big enough for both of us to rest on. “We should be safe up here for the night”  I said, and Lilly nodded in agreement. We dozed off after awhile, and woke up to the blaring sun. Lilly was already up, examining our surroundings. She seemed excited, staring off into the distance at a plume of smoke rising from the edge of the forest. “Smoke! Other people!” Lilly said excitedly. “Let's go see who they are” I exclaimed. We started down the tree and through the forest, watching our steps for stray roots and branches. After a few hours of hiking through bushes and shrubs, we emerged through the edge of the forest to the sight of an ocean expanding over the horizon. We then saw that the smoke was coming from the beach. We had thought that perhaps a camping group had made a bonfire in the sand the previous night and had done a poor job putting it out. As we approached the tops of the large dunes before the beach, we had gazed upon a marveling sight. Our ascent over the dunes had revealed hundreds of ginormous ships anchored just off of the shore. However, they weren’t modern at all. They looked like ancient warships… because they were. The army of ships inhabited the entire bay area. As we stoop atop the dunes, we were astonished by tents that covered what looked like the entire beach. Among the tents, were tens of thousands of soldiers. 




We said in sync. As we finally had realized exactly when and where we were. “We need to go back,” said Lilly. I, however, did not agree with Lilly. I wanted to get as close as possible. I had always found this time period so fascinating. Lilly tried pulling back down the backside of the dune. I would not budge. I could not give up the chance to experience this period firsthand. As I looked in the distance to my right, I saw the walls of the city of Troy at least a few miles away. “Lilly” I said,” We gotta go down there, imagine how much information we could bring back. We’ll be rich.” Lilly was very reluctant. She knew that if they were found, they were likely to be executed on the spot. I knew that too. We needed to be very careful. We layed down prone atop the dune to reduce our profile while we made a plan. “I wanna get as close as possible,” I said. “How” Lilly inquired. “I’ll sneak down and watch them for a while to try and understand how things run. After, and I’ll need your help with this part, remember when Luke and Han knocked out those stormtroopers and stole their armor to sneak around? Basically, we're gonna do the same thing here.” “Are you f*cking crazy?” Lilly said in an aggressive whisper because she did not want to risk being heard. “You’re gonna get us killed with that plan. You do realize that in order for that to work, we, two nerdy lanky scientists, need to take down two soldiers who have spent their whole life training in combat, and have a hundred pounds on us right.” While yes, that was true, I then reminded her of the fact that we have thousands of years of collective human knowledge over them. So as long as we use our noggins, we can take on anyone in this era. “Remember, these men, though they are very advanced in hand-to-hand combat, they are dumb as a rock.” Lilly began to feel a little better about this plan, however, she still wished to just not intervene and just observe from a distance. We waited for nightfall for me to start making my way toward the camp. Both of our stomachs were growling; we had not eaten since we had gotten here. I was gonna need to find food and water once I finally went down. We sat tight for a few more hours. Getting bored, we found some things to do to pass time. We played tik tac toe in the sand and slid down the backside of the dune. Eventually, it was dark enough to go down. As I watched the sunset, the gravity of the situation began to press harder on my shoulders. “Don’t die” Lilly said. “Thanks” I said, exhaling deeply. I got up from the ground, and stared down at the camp. I held my breath and slowly stood up on the sand dune, peering over the edge to make sure no one was looking. Cautiously, I started to slide down the other side of the dune, making sure not to lose my footing. Eventually, I made it to the bottom and looked up to Lilly for a sign of reassurance. She gave me a smile and a thumbs-up, and urged me with her hand to go on. “Well this is just great,” I muttered under my breath as I turned back towards the camp. I steadily made my way towards the camp, making sure to stay out of sight of any guards. Eventually, I found myself next to the cloth of a tent. Not sure what my next move should be, I sat down on the sand of the beach to watch for any soldiers. I peeked around the tent, scanning my surroundings for anything that looked like supplies. Suddenly a soldier came around the corner out of nowhere! Reacting suddenly, I slipped under the cloth of the tent to hide. “Whew,” I thought “that was a close one.” I quickly checked my surroundings, and saw that I was alone. The tent was filled with boxes labeled in Greek. Luckly I studied Greek all of college, so I was able to translate it quickly. “Τροφή” it said, meaning food. I had landed myself in a supply tent, it was perfect. Now I just had to figure out how to get food and water out of here and back to the dune. I grabbed a box from the corner, one that no one would miss. I checked under the wall of the tent, then i shoved in out onto the sand. I followed soon after, checking both ways to make sure I wasn’t seen. I then hiked the box up on my back, and making sure to hold it tight, ran as fast as I could away from the camp. Surprisingly I made it all the way up the dune and over the other side without being seen. “Well that was fast” Lilly stated, “I wasn’t even sure you would make it back.” “Hey!” I said, rather offended, “I think I did great.” We needed something to pry the sealed box open with, so Lilly decided to go look for a branch on the edge of the forest to use. She soon returned, branch in hand, and wrenched open the wood box. As the lid strained open, I peeked inside, and saw grains, so many grains, like chickpeas and barley. “Makes sense,” I thought “they last a long time.” There were also a few fresh fruits that looked recently picked from the surrounding plants. “Ew” said Lilly, “all I want right now are some gummy worms or something, not whatever this is.” I laughed, and bit into a fig. Lilly resentfully picked up a banana and started to eat. After our feast of grains and fruit, we decided to sleep until the morning, and figure out what to do then. We settled into the sand making ourselves comfy, and I was out like a light. We were awoken by the sound of swords clashing in the camp. “What is that ruckus?” asked Lilly, rubbing her eyes with grogyness. I peared over the edge of the dune, and surveyed the camp. “Looks like early morning training” I said. “We need to figure out a way to sneak in there unnoticed” Lilly said, scanning the beach for any entry that wasn’t guarded. I noticed two soldiers on patrol a way down the beach, and a bright idea popped into my head. “Those two” I said, “those are the ones we are going to take out.” Lilly had a devious smile spread across her face, and she nodded slowly. We then formed a plan on how we were going to get the armour off the guards. It consisted of hiding behind a dune next to the path the soldiers walk to patrol, and knocking them out when they least expect it. We gathered a few logs from the woods before sneaking around the dunes to the one closest to the path the guards walked. We waited for a few minutes, then the guards started to get closer. “Ok,” Lilly said, “they are close, swing when I get to three.” I took a deep breath, “One, Two, Three!” We both swung our logs, hitting the soldiers straight in their helmets. They both fell into the sand groaning, and we dragged them behind the dune. We quickly stripped them of their armour and dressed ourselves in it. We then stepped out from the dune like nothing ever happened, and kept walking down the beach. “Well that went well” Lilly said calmly. I stared at her, “what do we do when they wake up?” I exclaimed. Lilly just smiled and said “we can figure that out later, we need to focus on the task at hand, getting into that camp.” I sighed and followed her up the beach towards the camp. After a few minutes of walking we arrived at the entrance of the camp. “Remember Mulan?” I said to Lilly,”How she had to disguise herself as a man so that she would be able to fight?  Well, if you wanna live, you need to do the same.” The Greek army, at least on record, did not allow  women to be soldiers. They had very strong beliefs about gender roles in their society. Luckily, Lilly was on the taller side. She stood at  5’11’’ and could easily pass for a Greek soldier as long as she managed to hide her hair. “I got this” said Lilly, ”watch” She cleared her throat. “Sup bro” she said in a deep and immitative voice.”Ha ha ha, so funny” I said in a sarcastic tone. “I remember seeing them do a weird salute thing from the dune, maybe we should try that” Lilly said.  I agreed and we walked up to the entrance. Lilly did the salute to the nearest soldier, and he returned the gesture. “Whew” Lilly muttered under her breath, “glad that one worked out.” We continued through the entrance, trying to act as normal as possible. My heart was pounding. Not only from fear but also excitement. I felt so out of place. We belonged in a lab, not amongst ruthless warriors. Lilly and I marched around looking for things to take pictures of. We had already taken pictures from far away and some selfies in our new gear. There was a group of soldiers training to our right. They were practing throwing spears at some hay bales. The commander of the training group was yelling very loudly at the soldiers, similar to the way a drill sergeant would in the U.S army. I grabbed the camera from my pocket, made sure the flash was off, and took a quick picture of the men training. “Boom, that has got to be at least a few thousand for that pic right there” I said to Lilly, “We gotta try to get as much as possible.” Lilly began to grow more fond of what we were doing now. It seemed too easy and felt as though there had to be some kind of challenge. And of course. “Hey” We heard a yell in Greek from behind us. “Where are you two supposed to be going?” Our hearts sank. I had to do the talking because I don’t think that Lilly’s man voice would have been satisfactory. “Hello sir,” I said, “we are on our way to this tent right here.” I pointed and started walking to a random tent close to us, pulling Lilly with me. I was so under pressure and did not think straight. When we had walked into the tent we were greeted by a group of men surrounding what looked like a table for strategizing. On the table, was a figure of a wooden horse. “Hello sir” one of the men said, “you must be Odysseus.” I responded, “yep thats me.” No way, I thought to myself. Those were not just guards earlier, we had just knocked out the Odysseus from the Odyssey. “We need you to gather a group of your men for this next operation, if we do it right it could end the war once and for all. It will be our only way to get into the city.” “Uhh, yes sir,'' I responded. And where exactly are my men right now?” I was really hoping he did not find anything suspicious. “Were you not just with them?” he asked. “Uhhhhh, no sir, I left them a while ago to use the restroom” He then “reminded” me that “my men” were in the group of tents at sector C5. Still having no idea what that means, Lilly and I walked out of the tent and tried to find sector C5. Luckily there were labels for the different clusters of tents. We were in the A section, presumably for higher ranking officers. We walked our way further into the camp passing the sign for the B section and finally making it to the Cs. The tents in the area all had numbers on them. We looked for the group with the number 5 on them. Lilly and I needed to discuss our gameplan before we confronted “our men”. We assumed that these men had seen Odysseus before. So we could not impersonate him in front of them. I had an idea. We could just tell them that Odysseus needs the men up in the A sector in the strategy tent. After conversing with Lilly, we decided that that was the best way to go. So I gathered the courage to walk up and enter one of the tents. “Attention, Odysseus needs you all in the strategy tent in the A sector, tell the others and get there as soon as you can.” I tried to sound as professional as possible to make it believable. “Yes sir” the group responded. I left the tent, “Damn” I said to Lilly, “were pretty good at this sh*t” She agreed excitingly. We went back up to A sector where we waited for the rest of “our men” so that we could be told our task. I, caught up on my history, knew exactly what were were gonna be asked to do. We were gonna be the group to go into the Trojan horse and ransack the city. When the men finally made it up to where we were, we stood in structured lines awaiting orders. “Ok men, you are tasked with an effort that should bring an end to this war. Do you see that big wooden horse we have had built over there. You see it is hollow, and you all will go inside. We will drag it to the city gates at nightime and present it as a gift of peace. We will take down our camp and make it appear as though we have left. This however, will not be true. You will have reinforcement nearby hidden among the trees. We hope the Trojans will open up their gates to let in the horse. And when the horse is within the walls, and all is silent at night, you all will jumo out, re-open the doors from the inside, and let the reinforcements in. The rest is easy from there. We will have more than enough soldiers to take the city.” Just from hearing the plan alone, the men began to fill with visible excitement. “We will take the horse to the gates tonight, so rest up now and eat plenty.” The prep speech was so good it even got Lilly and me excited to get in that horse. We waited for nightfall with the rest of our men. Lilly and I knew that the Greeks would win, but the others did not know that. They were treating it as though it may be the night they die. So they all sat together and told of their favorite memories with eachother. It was a very wholesome sight. Eventually, we were called out to the outside of the camp where the horse was stationed. “Ok men, bring us glory” said the man in charge. We piled into the horse one by one. We climbed a latter up through a hatch door. When we were all in place, the door was shut, and we began to get rolled toward the walls of the city. It was a rather far trip, and the horse was very heavy so it took a very long time to finally get there. Lilly and I sat next to eachother. As we could tell we were getting closer, Lilly began to resent at our situation. She and I were both riding the high of power that we felt among these people. We hadn’t really stopped to realize how far we had deviated from our original plan. We were just here to take pictures. Now we found ourselves on the literal Trojan Horse. How in the hell did we end up here? Lilly began whispering to me,” There’s got to be a way to get out of this. I hate violence, maybe I can change the outcome here.” Sure, peace sounds great, however, I did not think there would be much one person would be able to do to create a peace treaty between the Greeks and Trojans. Plus, changing the outcomes of major historical events would have drastic consequences for the future. We were not exactly sure what type of pop culture time travel rules we should follow. But to play it safe we needed to intervene as little as possible. And I reminded Lilly of this, however I do not think she was willing to listen. “Our actions are going to result in a bloodbath and massacre, we need to do something to stop this.” “We can’t do anything,” I said, “this is how it is supposed to happen. We can’t rewrite history.” I saw a look in her eye that told me she was going to do something stupid to try and effect the outcome. When we had reached the gate, we all sat as silent as possible. We heard men speaking from the tops of the walls. Telling other Trojan men inside the walls what they were seeing. None of us spoke their language so we had no idea what was going on. Then we began to hear loud creaking. It sounded like the gates were opening. I looked over at Lilly again, she was about to do something that would end in our demise. Lilly whispered to me,”We can’t let all those innocent people in there die. We need to do something about it.” She then took a deep breath. “NO” I said in an aggresive whisper. “Were in here!!!” she began to yell, banging on the inside walls. Everyone in the horse glared at her. All of us inside of the horse were doomed. Before any of the men in the horse could grab her to make her stop, Lilly ran to the hatch, opened it, and jumped out. Lilly was fast. So after she quickly recovered herself from the fall, she bolted out of the walls of the city and made her way towards the forest. The Trojan guards were startled initially, one of them chasing after her outside of the walls. But when they finally realized what exactly the Greeks were doing, they quickly alerted the rest of the men on duty and rang a very loud bell. One of the men on duty tried to chase down Lilly. However, Lilly had already disappeared into the night. Since we had been discovered, the rest of us in the horse jumped down and prepared to defend ourselves. Instantly, the Trojan warriors began charging at us. I was never trained for this, so I just ran out of the gate and tried to find Lilly. On my way out of the gate, the reinforcements ran past me. “Lilly” I yelled out, “where are you?” I looked around, pulling my flashlight from out of my pocket. I heard some rustling around me to my left. I shone the light in the direction, to find the most terrifying sight. The man that chased after Lilly, standing over her body, with a sword in his hand. I fell to my knees. I could not believe this had happened. It was my eagerness and greed that made us go down into the camp. I felt as though it were my fault she had just died. As I sat on my knees weeping, the man looked up at me and started walking toward me. I was next. I couldn’t gather the strength to get up and fight. The footsteps approached me, the man made a grunt as he raised his sword, and then…

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