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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Love and Again - 11. Chapter 11: Rules of Engagement Part IV

Part 4 of 6 in this mini-arc with my series. Rules of Engagement is a double entendre, hope you see what I mean.

Rules of Engagement (Part four)



After the Battle of Issus, Darius had to retreat to his capital in the ancient lands that were once known as Ur. The Persian army had been dealt a serious defeat by the well-trained cavalry forces of Alexander and Hephestion.


A day after the battle, Alexander's scouting cavalry captured several family members of King Darius including his pregnant wife, the Queen of Persia. Alexander and Hephestion wished to inspect them together and they headed into the tent.


The Queen, upon seeing the two young men entering the tent, fell to her knees and began to weep for their attention. "Oh honorable king of the Macedonians, I am a weak woman with child. Please, allow me to leave and my husband, Darius, shall immensely reward you with riches beyond your wildest dreams."


The Queen looked upon the two; one looking weary from battle and the other looking fresh with a renewed sense of worth. Persians had the view that a king should be calm and collected on the battlefield and be a figure of serenity to their troops. She went to a foot of the fresh young man and began kissing it in the tradition of supplication.


Alexander saw this woman kissing his beloved's foot in surprise.


The Persian Queen then looked up at the golden haired young man, "Oh King of Macedon, please allow me and my family leave. Your countenance exhibits the wisdom of ages, your stature is grand symbol to your troops, and your beauty is unequal to god or man."


Hephestion turned toward Alexander and realized the surprise look on his lover's face. Yet, he did not see something else boiling within Alexander's heart, jealousy.


Alexander responded mockingly, "Persians have no sense of what a true king should be. I am Alexander, son of Almighty Zeus and King of the World. Queen of Persia, your husband has wronged me with his outrage. He has attacked his king and thought himself an equal to me. In thought and deeds, I am the greater man and king. Yet, you should fear not in supplicating to my companion, Hephestion, who is my second and kissing his foot is a privilege equal to kissing my own."


They left the tent afterward without speaking a word to each other as Hephestion felt uneasy and Alexander was still forming his thoughts. Later on that day, Alexander secretly ordered the gifts of certain herbs and wines to the Queen, who would be poisoned to death within the Macedonian camp. Alexander felt slighted by the woman as she gave supplication to Hephestion rather than him, who had fought the hard won victory at Issus.


The soldiers heard of the act secretly among themselves and thought Alexander had overreacted to the libelous comment of the Persian Queen. Alexander sent the body of the Persian Queen and her unborn child back to Darius in Persepolis along with the rest of Darius family members unharmed.


Hephestion had seen through the act as one of two overt measures: 1. Alexander wanted to send a warning to the Persian people that he will not tolerate anyone questioning his rule, and 2. Alexander wished to dispel any observance by his officers that he was being commanded by Hephestion as the "receiving" partner in their relationship.


Yet, Hephestion did not see through another reality; Alexander had changed after Issus; he had grown darker after the feelings that he willfully sacrificed Hephestion in order to reach his goals. The rationalization that his mission, to unite the world, was greater than even his lover brought out the darkness that had been dormant. Alexander was now ready to go to any lengths, make any sacrifice, and kill anyone that stood in his way. Hephestion was still blinded by loyalty and love to see his lover had become this new man.


Alexander had secured a wide range of territory and held control of the northern Aegean trade routes, but he had still not taken the crucial crux of Persia, the Egyptian grain trade. Egypt for the last three centuries under Persian occupation had become the leading exporter of foodstuffs to the entire Persian Empire. Alexander knew that to take Egypt; he must secure his land supply lines as his navy was borrowed from the Greek states, which were again close to the point of rebellion as Demosthenes' faction had taken over the entire Athenian council with a rebellious tone of rhetoric and Sparta had openly rebelled against Macedonian rule.


Alexander knew he had to take care of the Greek situation, but if he allowed Darius to regain his strength and his army to lose momentum, then he would not be able to accomplish his dreams. One night, Hephestion suggested that he alone goes to Athens to seek Demosthenes.


"My love, I was spared your loss of innocence once before, why dare the gods again?" Alexander pleaded for Hephestion not to go to Greece for his sake.


"Beloved Alexander, there is no choice; I am the only one that understands Demosthenes well enough to negotiate with him. Fear not for my innocence, your support in Macedon is now stable and your mother is in need of a new lover as Antipater has ended his relations with your mother," Hephestion addressed calmly at his love, who realized what Hephestion would be attempting.


"In order to do this, we must seduce both to one another, but will it be our undoing?" Alexander said with a bit of worry.


"Demosthenes would make a strong ally against the Spartan king, Aegis, during his current rebellion. Your mother and Demosthenes will not be able to plot against you without Antipater noticing. Antipater will not join in the plot as he has lost his love for your mother and lovers spurned rarely will help their successors. So, we will have stabilized Greece and end a possible a royal issue between mother and son," Hephestion told Alexander.


"How do you come up with such meticulous stratagems that rival my own on the battlefield?" Alexander said with suspicion in his mind as he began to lower himself and lick his lover's navel.


"Oh, I love the praise that you reward me. Your skills on the battlefield are unmatched by any general alive. I am your lover and partner; my brilliant stratagems are your stratagems," Hephestion stated. He moaned a soft purr due to Alexander's probing tongue sliding down his trail of hair toward the target.


"While you pursue the course of diplomacy, I will move down the ancient states of Canaan and Phoenicia toward my desired target, Egypt. I shall take Egypt as I am taking unique pleasure in our boyhood fancies," Alexander said and engaged Hephestion in oral pleasures.


While Hephestion executed his plans in Macedon and Greece, Alexander moved the army southward and managed to convince or threaten most of Canaan into submission except for two major cities: Tyre and Gaza.


Tyre was one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean and home to many squadrons of the Persian fleet. If Alexander could capture this city, then he would have complete control of the sea routes of the Mediterranean. At the moment, the Persian navy was still dispatched in the western Mediterranean, since Darius had not recalled them after Memmon died. However, Tyre was also an island city, which had no natural connection to land, so Alexander needed to take the city by sea. Alexander devised a great engineering project to bridge the gap between land and sea. A long stone causeway was designed by Alexander to cross the kilometer between the island city his troop's positions. The world had never seen such a feat of military engineering, nearing completion by the end of the month; it was simply amazing. Alexander's skill at design, troop deployment, and rotational work shifts of 24 hour construction on this causeway marked the first of many grand engineering projects that he would envision.


The people of Tyre desperately wanted to stop Alexander's bridge building, but they knew that facing him in battle would be disastrous. The leaders of Tyre decided to engage a risky maneuver, another first in world history;"Fire-ships tactics". Fishing boats and small trading ships were filled with dry wood and combustibles.


On the day Alexander began advancing his siege catapults forward to soften the walls, the people of Tyre set these ships on fire and sent them towards the new causeway, which was partially made of wooden support beams in order to smooth out the rocky path for the passage of heavy siege equipment. The combustible material created a great conflagration in which half of Alexander's siege catapults and engineers were lost.


Alexander had no recourse; it would take the engineers too long to clear out the burnt material and reconstruct the causeway to Tyre. Though, the Persian fleet was displaced in the Greek islands; they would be coming his way soon as word of his attack would reach them by messenger.


The next day reports came in about a fleet of warships off the horizon, which Alexander thought was the dreaded Persian reinforcements. He was about to give the command to retreat, when a small vessel had arrived in advance of the large flotilla out at sea. Hephestion had arrived back earlier than expected with a fleet of Greek warships that he had retained service for from Demosthenes.


Alexander approached his lover in surprise, "Hephestion, why are you here?"


Hephestion having just attained a firm footing on the land, "Alexander, Your mother is a divine instrument of the Gods. Demosthenes was completely taken by her whims."


Alexander was taken aback, "By the Gods, How did you do it?"


"Well it was a difficult task, your mother had no love for him and Demosthenes had no love for woman even your mother. She was able to persuade him to an alliance due to two issues: 1. His sexuality had become a political storm in Athens as his opponents in the Athenian assembly had brought charges against him for manipulating a youth to get a rather large inheritance from the youth. Though, it might be beneficial to have him killed by his opponents in Athens; he is someone we can work with and a new leader of his faction may not be as amenable. I need not say anymore on Athenians charges of sexual indiscretions, renowned after Socrates' state enforced suicide. 2. Aegis is consolidating his power over the southern areas of Greece and Demosthenes will not allow Athens to be second place to Sparta. It is a matter of tradition between Athens and Sparta; neither wants the other's success if it means supplication. Your mother knew this fact as I do. Your mother offered Demosthenes support with a large shipment of grain for the Athenian forces" Hephestion retold with jovial expression at the accomplishment.


Alexander's joy was near complete until he heard the last statement, "What grain did she give to Demosthenes?"


Hephestion knew the unhappy answer, "It was our intended grain supply for the army."


"Then, we have no choice, but to acquire Tyre within the week," Alexander said. Alexander began drawing battle plans for an amphibious invasion of Tyre with their Greek Navy. The invasion would be made in three waves: a faint attack at the eastern harbor closest to the shoreline, an attack in the northern harbor with cavalry detachments off the ships, and an attack in the southern harbor with Alexander's main infantry. Hephestion took over the command of the Greek fleet and provide logistical support to entire operation, brining in reinforcements as needed for each front. Cleitus, the man who saved Alexander at Issus, would take command of the northern cavalry forces. Alexander will command the southern infantry detachments. It was an amphibious invasion plan, which no one shall see again for a thousand years.


Alexander succeeded in taking Tyre along with her rich granaries. He spared most of the cities inhabitants due to the need for their support and the grain in their stores for his invasion of Egypt. The Persian fleet had come back to Tyre and realized with shock that Alexander had taken their island home; they supplicated their forces to Alexander, who was now the ruler of the Mediterranean.


Darius was still building his grand army to fight Alexander, when word came of Tyre falling to Alexander. He knew without Tyre that a majority of his Mediterranean fleet would surrender to Alexander, leaving him outnumbered now 3-1 in the Mediterranean as only Egyptian ports and the port of Gaza within the ancient lands of Canaan remained at his command. Darius sent a strong army to protect Gaza as it was the gateway to Egypt by land, which Alexander would need to take to cross the territories. The Canaanites were descendants of Lot, the destroyers of Sodom. They vowed to defend their land against Alexander and his "whore" with their dying breath. The Canaanites had for centuries purged their people of this "moral perversion" and believed their single God will bring about ultimate victory for their "good deeds".


The old souls will see their ancient oppressors from the House of Lot again and it shall be this battle that decides the fate of Canaan, Egypt, Persia, and the Dream of Unified World under Alexander.

Copyright © 2011 W_L; All Rights Reserved.
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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