The Telemachus Story Archive

Soldiering On
Chapter 2 - Secundus
By Anddrew Greggory

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“Tully, no one must know.” It was unclear exactly what Philodorus referred to. “No one.”

“Philip, there is someone who should know.”

“No, Tully. No one. I do not wish to be one of those retired commanders whom the men talk about in the latrines, or late at night around the dying fires.”

“No, Philip. Of course not. The men will not know. But there is someone. His name is Emopocles or Empocolese, or something like that. Everyone calls him “The Greek Doctor,” as if there were only one instead of the crowds of them. He specializes in, well, men’s concerns. And he should know.”

“What? Oysters and asparagus at breakfast? Unctions of olive oil and stallion sweat? Eels, leaks, and sour wines? I am not some tired old man, or some overworked bricklayer who needs ‘the medicines of Eros’ to perform with his woman or his slave. I simply do not have the….. the equipment….. to fight this battle and I am done.”

“Philip you’re wrong.”

Philodorus stood up and tossed on his tunic. He turned his back on his friend. He was not accustomed to being told he was wrong.


“You are wrong Philodorus. And you need to be corrected.”

“Marcus Drusus Lentillus Pervine you forget yourself. And more to the point, you forget me. I am grateful for your friendship, and grateful for your…… attempt, even now. But it is not for a Centurion to tell me, Primus Pilus that he is wrong. It is insubordinate.”

“Mailor Servius Philodorus Pompey Draconis, Primus Pilus of Rome, Glorious Warrior of the Aguilar, Career Soldier and advisor Par Excelsior to the Legate, you are wrong. And I too deeply respect and … I will say it….. too deeply love you to not say so. Emopocles Athenion Rector, The Greek Doctor, can help you. You are not without equipment as you say, and he can help you. I will send him to you tomorrow. And now, my Lord, I take my leave.

When Philodorus turned to answer his friend, he found himself alone.

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