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Delivering a Champion was a virtual representation of one of Kassandra's genetic memories, relived by Layla Hassan through the Portable Animus HR-8.5.

Description

Escorting the Spartan Pankration champion to the Olympic Games of 428 BCE, and ensuring that Sparta won, was easier said than done.

Dialogue

As instructed by King Pausanias, Kassandra met with the pankration trainer to provide an escort for Sparta's fighting champion to the Olympics.

  • AlkonYou're new. If it's training you want, we don't just take anyone.

  • Kassandra: Do I look like I need training? I was sent by King Pausanias to collect the pankration champion.
  • Alkon: My apologies, I didn't realize you were here for Testikles.

  • Kassandra: Next time think before opening you mouth.
  • Alkon: Typical Spartan... Don't understand that honey can get you more than vinegar.

  • Kassandra: Don't worry about it. I don't exactly look the part.

  • Kassandra: I'd appreciate training with a master such as yourself, but that's not why I'm here.
  • Alkon: Oh?
  • Kassandra: King Pausanias asked me to bring the pankration champion to Elis.
  • Alkon: Forgive me. I didn't know a royal messenger was coming. I'm Alkon, Testikles's trainer.
  • Kassandra: Kassandra of Sparta.

  • Alkon: If I may offer some advice before you get him, Testikles can be... difficult. A gift of oil is known to put a person on his good side.
  • Kassandra: Oil?
  • Alkon: A muscle rub. He believes it imbues him with the power of Herakles. Look in the Village of Gytheion. His favorite merchant is there.

(If players asked "What's Testikles like?")

  • Kassandra: Winning the wreath is important for Sparta. You think he can do it?
  • Alkon: The other day he knocked out six men and a bull... and he only went to the market to buy fruit. That's why I had to send him to the island.

(If players asked "Where can I find Testikles?")

  • Kassandra: Where can I find your champion?
  • Alkon: I sent Testikles to train on a small island in the Bay of Hades. It's good for him there — isolated. Away from people. Look for the Shipwreck of Nestor on the southern shore.

(If players asked "What is pankration?")

  • Kassandra: Can you tell me anything about pankration?
  • Alkon: It's a mix of boxing and wrestling, a fearsome test of skill. Champions come from the farthest corners of the world to compete in Olympia... but not all walk away.
  • Kassandra: I can't wait to see it.

(Leave — "I'm leaving")

  • Kassandra: I need to get this champion of yours to Elis. I hope he lives up to your promise.
  • Alkon: Oh he will. Look for his camp on the southernmost island in Messenia. Good luck!

Kassandra took her leave of Alkon.

  • Kassandra: I should get that oil. Anything that'll make it easier to get Testikles to the Olympics.

Arriving at the Village of Gytheion, Kassandra found the oil maker's assistant with the help of Ikaros.

  • Kassandra: I see her.

She overheard her talking to herself.

  • Slave: Another slow day...
  • Slave: I hope he comes back soon.

Kassandra approached her, and the slave worriedly waved her off.

  • Slave: Sorry. Closed.
  • Kassandra: I need oil, then I'll be on my way. There's a special one that Testikles uses?
  • Slave: Ah, for pankration fighters. That one has to be made fresh by the master, and he's gone.
  • Kassandra: I'm not leaving without it.
  • Slave: You don't understand. I'm nearly free...
  • Kassandra: You're a slave?
  • Slave: Yes, and in a good postition. Doing this would be stealing from him.

  • Kassandra: Tell me, or I'll make you.
  • Slave: Why would a misthios care about a slave? I'll tell you, but not help you.
  • Slave: Light a fire, and gently heat oil of Athena to aid the infusion. When it's warm, just add a touch of cinnamon.

(After saying "I can pay you.")

  • Slave: Light a fire, and gently heat oil of Athena. This will aid the infusion. Once the oil is warm, add myrrh.

  • Kassandra: Thank you.
  • Slave: I hope it's worth my freedom.

Kassandra walked to the open-air fire nearby with a bowl hanging over it and knelt beside it.

  • Kassandra: Let's see if I can get this right.

Step One - Heat
("First, I light a fire.")

  • Kassandra: It had to be heated.

Kassandra stoked the flames and looked over at the two pots of oil nearby.

  • Kassandra: Now what oil did I need...

("Fire will burn the oil.")

  • Kassandra: I don't need to light this...

Kassandra decided against lighting a fire and looked over at the two pots of oil nearby.

  • Kassandra: Now the oil. I think I need...

Step Two - Oil
("Oil of Apollo")

  • Kassandra: Oil of Apollo? Sounds good.

She poured it on the pot.

  • Kassandra: Now what did I need?

("Oil of Athena")

  • Kassandra: This one, the oil of Athena. I'll take some of this.

She poured it on the pot.

  • Kassandra: Almost done. Now to add...

Step Three - Infusion
("Rose petal.")

  • Kassandra: For the final touch, a rose petal. Testikles will smell so good.

("Myrrh.")

  • Kassandra: Just a bit of myrrh. Testikles is going to smell great.

("Cinnamon.")

  • Kassandra: This smells good. Everyone loves cinnamon.

Kassandra stood and smelled the completed mixture it before filling a jar with it.

  • Kassandra: I hope he appreciates this. It smells so good I almost want to keep it for myself.

  • Kassandra: That's too much trouble. Testikles can live without his oil.

The slave was vexed.

  • Slave: After all that — nearly throwing away my freedom — it was too much work for you?
  • Slave: Maláka! Get out.

The slave spat before her.

  • Kassandra: I know I'm asking for a lot, but I need this oil now. I could come back and talk to your master — maybe explain the situation?
  • Slave: What choice do I have? It's not bad, this life, if I have to stay... I'll give you the recipe, but that's as far as I go. You make it yourself.
  • Kassandra: I can do that.
  • Slave: Light a fire, and gently heat oil of Athena to aid the infusion. When it's warm, just add a touch of cinnamon.

(After saying "I can pay you.")

  • Slave: Light a fire, and gently heat oil of Athena. This will aid the infusion. Once the oil is warm, add a rose petal, and it's done.

  • Kassandra: Thank you.
  • Slave: I hope it's worth my freedom.

Kassandra walked to the open-air fire nearby with a bowl hanging over it and knelt beside it.

  • Kassandra: Let's see if I can get this right.

Step One - Heat
("First, I light a fire.")

  • Kassandra: It had to be heated.

Kassandra stoked the flames and looked over at the two pots of oil nearby.

  • Kassandra: Now what oil did I need...

("Fire will burn the oil.")

  • Kassandra: I don't need to light this...

Kassandra decided against lighting a fire and looked over at the two pots of oil nearby.

  • Kassandra: Now the oil. I think I need...

Step Two - Oil
("Oil of Apollo")

  • Kassandra: Oil of Apollo? Sounds good.

She poured it on the pot.

  • Kassandra: Now what did I need?

("Oil of Athena")

  • Kassandra: This one, the oil of Athena. I'll take some of this.

She poured it on the pot.

  • Kassandra: Almost done. Now to add...

Step Three - Infusion
("Rose petal.")

  • Kassandra: For the final touch, a rose petal. Testikles will smell so good.

("Myrrh.")

  • Kassandra: Just a bit of myrrh. Testikles is going to smell great.

("Cinnamon.")

  • Kassandra: This smells good. Everyone loves cinnamon.

Kassandra stood and smelled the completed mixture it before filling a jar with it.

  • Kassandra: I hope he appreciates this. It smells so good I almost want to keep it for myself.

  • Kassandra: That's too much trouble. Testikles can live without his oil.

The slave was vexed.

  • Slave: After all that — nearly throwing away my freedom — it was too much work for you?
  • Slave: Maláka! Get out.

The slave spat before her.

  • Kassandra: If it's a question of drachmae, I can pay you for the oil.
  • Slave: It's a question of trust. I know my master. He's kind, but strict. My freedom depends on it.

Kassandra had to consider another approach.

  • Kassandra: Don't worry. I won't get you into trouble.

Kassandra decided to make do without the oil and not jeopardize the slave.

Regardless, Kassandra turned away and made for the Adrestia.

  • Kassandra: Time to get Testikles.

Kassandra sailed to the island in the Bay of Hades to retrieve Testikles. Ikaros located him near the lone hut on the island.

  • Kassandra: That must be Testikles.

She approached him and heard him muttering to himself as he drank.

  • Testikles: Just another drink... For fortification, improves the stamina.
  • Testikles: Testikles!
  • Testikles: Another sip, then training. Good for the constitution.
  • Testikles: Yeah, Testikles the champion!

As Kassandra eyed the empty wine amphorae, Testikles turned around and walked up to her, jabbing her in the shoulder.

  • Testikles: Whadda you want from the great champion Testikles? Can't you see I'm... busy?

Kassandra adjusted her breastplate where Testikles jabbed her.

  • Kassandra: I'm here to take you to the Olympics.
  • Testikles: Olympics? Fuck yeah! I'm gonna be the champion...

Testikles vomited, narrowly missing Kassandra's boots.

  • Testikles: Champion! 'Cause I'm Testikles!
  • Kassandra: Good. Let's set sail.
  • Testikles: Oh no, can't possible go now.

He gestured to the amphorae of wine next to him.

  • Testikles: Training, see? And I don't know if I'm up to goin' sailin' on your boaty.

  • Kassandra: Enough. Get on my ship, or I'll drag you there.
  • Testikles: Don't yell at me! I was coming anyway.
  • Kassandra: Maláka!

  • Kassandra: There's nothing to be nervous about. We'll be there cheering you on.
  • Testikles: But... what if I don't win?
  • Kassandra: They'll build statues and write poems about you... But first, we need to get you there.

  • Kassandra: I have something for you. A certain oil...
  • Testikles: My oil? Oh, I could kiss you!
  • Kassandra: No. You couldn't.

  • Kassandra: Here's your oil. Take it.

Testikles sniffs it.

  • Testikles: Ah... Just like mater used to make. Will you rub it on?
  • Kassandra: Gods no. Get on the boat.

  • Kassandra: I've got your oil... You'll get it when we arrive.
  • Testikles: That's no fair.
  • Kassandra: You don't want to use your special oil before the big fight, do you?
  • Testikles: Good point. Very good point.
  • Kassandra: Let's get you to the Olympics, then.

  • Kassandra: Here's your oil.
  • Testikles: Ah... Wait. What is this stinking piss?

Due to the foul stench of the oil, Testikles once again vomited.

  • Kassandra: Are you all right?
  • Testikles: Yeah... Actually feel much better. Cleared my head right up. Time for a little drink to celebrate!
  • Kassandra: Sail first, drink later.

  • Testikles: To the Olympics! The people needs me!

He ran off flinging out his arms, swatting Kassandra to the side. She massaged her collar where Testikles touched her. At the bottom of the hill, he turned to look back at her.

  • Testikles: Well? We going?

Kassandra adjusted her armor once more and muttered to herself.

  • Kassandra: He'd better fucking win.

Kassandra undocked the ship and they began sailing north to Elis.

  • Barnabas: Testikles, it's an honor to sail with you. Your victory at the Pythian games is legendary.
  • Testikles: Yes... I am!
  • Herodotos: What made you kick him in the head instead of going for a grapple?
  • Testikles: Felt like it.
  • Herodotos: Ah, improvisation. Keep your opponent off guard — a good strategy.
  • Testikles: Strategy's for people who don't hit hard enough.

After a long journey up the Peloponnesus, they drew near to Elis.

  • Testikles: Nike! I'm gonna win!
  • Barnabas: Are you excited for the Games, Kassandra?

Kassandra replied sarcastically.

  • Kassandra: Thrilled.
  • Testikles: Sparta! Woo!
  • Herodotos: Stand warrior stand - feet firmly planted, even in sand. Our spirits soar on high, for a Spartan never truly dies.
  • Testikles: Huh?
  • Herodotos: It's a poem. A Spartan poem...
  • Testikles: Oh. SPARTA! Woo!

Arriving at Araxos Point, Kassandra met with a familiar face jumping up and down enthusiastically.

  • Alkibiades: Welcome to the Olympic Games! The party has officially begun.
  • Kassandra: Alkibiades? I'm surprised you're... wearing clothes.
  • Alkibiades: The day is young, little goat.

Alkibiades looked back to a similarly muscular athlete surrounded by admirers, then returned to Kassandra. (If players asked "Why are you here?")

  • Kassandra: Are you here to compete, Alkibiades?
  • Alkibiades: Of course. I enjoy other physical exertions from time to time.

Testikles belched loudly and staggered back. Alkibiades' wry smile faded. Kassandra looked up at Testikles and grimaced.

  • Kassandra: Sure.

Herodotos and Barnabas exchanged puzzled looks, with the latter shrugging.
(If players asked "Who will win this year?")

  • Kassandra: Who do you think will win the most wreaths this year?
  • Testikles: I will!
  • Alkibiades: Athens will surely rise to the occasion.
  • Barnabas: I say Messenia.
  • Herodotos: Has the sea air addled your mind? Sparta always takes pankration and many others too.
  • Barnabas: You might know a lot about the past, but you know little about the future.

(If players asked "Who's the fighter?")
Kassandra looked over at the athlete Alkibiades was ogling.

  • Kassandra: Who is that?
  • Alkibiades: That is Dorieus, the reigning champion. He's bloodthirsty, competitive, and has endurance to spare. Jealous?
  • Kassandra: I don't think so.

(Leave - "To the Olympics.")

  • Kassandra: We've haven't come all this way to stand on the dock.
  • Alkibiades: Quite right. Should you ever need a personal sparring partner...
  • Testikles: You? A skinny little Athenian? I'm the champion, or gonna be. SPARTA!

Alkibiades chuckled.

  • Alkibiades: A pity your brain isn't as big as your muscles.

Testikles stared at Alkibiades with intimidation, but brushed it off with a swat of his hand. As he moved away, Alkibiades shrugged at Kassandra.

  • Kassandra: Let's get going.

The crowd applauded upon the arrival of Testikles to the Olympics.

  • Testikles: I needs to be oiled 'fore I goes to the Games.
  • Alkibiades: Well, I would have been happy to... assist, if you were in any state to compete.
  • Testikles: I likes to be oiled.
  • Kassandra: Well, that's obvious.
  • Testikles: Yeah, you knows.

Testikles lightly tapped Kassandra on the nose.

  • Testikles: Ahh, come here, gives us a hug.

Kassandra dodged Testikles, causing him to trip over a bowl of fruit and fall off the dock and into the sea. The bystanders gathered at the edge.

  • Kassandra: Surely, he can swim.

A shark swam by as the water turned red, indicating Testikle's fate.

  • Alkibiades: Oh... Well, looks like you're the champion now, ah?

Kassandra's entourage was in shock over this turn of events.

  • Barnabas: I can't believe he's gone.
  • Herodotos: Unprecedented!

Kassandra spoke with Alkibiades.

  • Kassandra: And... you want me to compete in the Olympics?
  • Kassandra: Stepping into a dead man's sandals... and Testikles isn't even digested yet.
  • Alkibiades: Come, dear Kassie - show them what you're made of! And show me while you're at it.

(If players asked "Where do I need to go?")

  • Kassandra: Where do I go to fight in the pankration?
  • Alkibiades: The stadium in Olympia, naturally. I do love a good rough and tumble.
  • Kassandra: You know people die in these events.

Alkibiades simply shrugged.
(If players asked "What else should I know?")

  • Kassandra: What else goes on apart from the pankration?
  • Alkibiades: There's javelin, which - of course - you know how that works. The athlete thrusts the long, smooth spear forward...
  • Kassandra: Yes, I know.
  • Alkibiades: And then there's the foot races and the horse races. Sweat everywhere. A delight for the eyes and the nose.

(Leave — "To the Olympics.")

  • Kassandra: I need that wreath for Sparta. If it means I have to compete, so be it.
  • Herodotos: The event doesn't start just yet. We could look around first — Olympia at truce is quite extraordinary.

Outcome

Kassandra successfully delivered Testikles to Elis, but he met a tragic end after a slip and fall into a shark's maw. Kassandra was compelled to compete in the pankration in his stead.

Gallery

References

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