The LeMonic Iliad

Originally written by request for Team Huey Newis & The Lose for the 2010 24 Hours of LeMons: Arse-Freeze-Apalooza race application form.

The ancient Greeks had a hero, born of a goddess, that was dipped in the River Styx, and in the process became nigh invulnerable. He was the great hero of his day: both his beauty and his rage were unmatched among gods or men. Battles turned on his actions, rivers were choked with the bodies of his slain enemies. So deadly was he that a host of gods was called upon to defend the city of Troy, lest his attack result in the pillaging of the city, a city that Fate itself had decreed should stand. So great was his skill, so powerful his rage, that he possessed the ability to upset the balances that were set by the very creators of the universe.

This hero had a shield created by the god Hephaestus, known to the Romans as Vulcan, the god of technology. The shield was wrought with such skill and beauty that, in the Iliad, Homer used over 100 lines to describe it. Life and death, peace and war, abundance and famine were all captured in the metalwork. The shield was a metaphor, but a metaphor for what, scholars still disagree. Some say it represents the world itself, and the balance that exists between joy and sorrow. Others say it represents the calm before the coming storm of the bloody Trojan War.

That hero, born of a goddess, with a shield crafted by a god, was Achilles. His feats were legend. His powers unmatched. And he decimated the forces of the Trojans, feasting upon their fear, and driving them to the very brink of destruction. But Achilles had a secret, known to only a few. His weakness was his heel, the only part of his body not baptized in the River Styx. And when climbing the gate of Troy, Achilles was struck by a poisoned arrow, shot from the bow of Paris, the coward prince of Troy. The arrow, guided by Apollo, the god of archery, found its mark in Achilles’ heel, and ended his quest for triumph on the Trojan field of battle.

If Thunder Hill is the Troy of our modern story, then the shield, crafted in the foundry of a River Rouge god, is the Mighty Mustang GT. Written on its flanks is the history of the world; success and failure, the scars of battle, the joys of victory and the agonies of defeat. Twice has it been carried to this field of battle, twice has it survived.

And if Thunder Hill is Troy, and if the Mighty Mustang is the Shield, then the Achilles of our tale, baptized in the oily Styx of LeMonic competition, is the crew of Team Huey Newis & The Lose. Their beauty is unmatched. Their rage is pure. And if they have a weakness, a secret known only to a few, it is their utter lack of skill or talent, and the fact that the very gods of the heavens are set against them.

And so, let them race; let the Homeric Epic run its course.

Fate will have its day.

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