Neanderthal Messiah — 195
City Military Tribunal led by Critias, Sokrates’ former Student | -IV
[Known previously as the Areopagus, Athens’ court of democracy.]
[Aide-de-camp to Critias:] ‘Careful, Sire! They play a game
With the truth here in Athens.’
[Critias:] ‘You visited my home at dawn, but left.
Did you not ask at my door for Leonidas?’ [motioning to his aide.]
[Sokrates:] ‘Yes, since that great man was of freedom’s cause
Who’d heeded the Oracle
Laid down his life for Greeks
To but only delay the inevitable Persian tide -
Yes - I asked of you him.’
[Critias:] ‘This trial is about your student, Youth.
His father who killed… a slave.
You’re your student’s character witness.
Does he regale too in this truth game -
As I understand it — look to be corrected?
The game’s goal is to elicit pedantic superiority?’
[Sokrates:] ‘Yes, it’s also called The Philistine
It was played at my Symposium
Where a rape occurred too.’
[Critias:] ‘Can you give an example of this Correction Game’s virtue?’
[Sokrates:] ‘Our wrestler Milo has bested your trained warriors.’
[Critias:] ‘What — No! Not true.’ [gavels his sword at gallery laughter.]
[Sokrates, effortlessly:] ‘Vanquishing your agoge specimen without a fight.
Auto defeated, conceding pre-match, opting out.’
[Critias:] ‘This never happened and the Great Milo is from Croton
Not yours, Athenian. Sorry!’
[From the back of the gallery:] ‘Opa.’
[Sokrates, chances it:] ‘Defeated before he even got out of bed -
Pinned before standing.’
[Critias:] ‘The Spartan!…. comes home on his shield, no.
Not in combat, never beat.’
[An adolescent voice from the Gallery:] ‘Tessera!’
[The aide-de-camp approaches the general and whispers.]
[Sokrates smiling to the student filled gallery:] ‘Okto, actually.’
[Chorus of cheers.]