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Birthday Fic for Quinara: Foot Soldiers (BtVS/Dr Who) - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
speakr2customrs
speakr2customrs
Birthday Fic for Quinara: Foot Soldiers (BtVS/Dr Who)

Happy birthday to quinara and to wildecate


Here is a birthday fic for Quin. I would have done an Ancient Roman one for you, but nothing funny happened on the way to the forum; instead my mind went back to an earlier age and the Siege of Troy. BtVS/Doctor Who/The Illiad crossover, 1,000 words, PG.

Foot Soldiers


“We have to avert an anomaly in the time-stream,” the Doctor told Spike, “that could have catastrophic consequences for the development of your civilisation. The wrong side is winning the Trojan War.”

“What, you want me to teach the Greeks how to build a Wooden Horse?” asked Spike. “Should get Xander for that, mate, he’s the sodding carpenter.”

“No, it’s not that part of the war, it’s much earlier,” the Doctor said. “The Trojans are winning on the plain around the city. The Greeks might be forced to lift the siege altogether. It’s got me baffled.”

“S’ppose the Trojans are a bit low tech to be affected by a sonic screwdriver,” Spike said. “Okay, mate, I’ll take a look.”

The Tardis took them to Turkey in 1194 BC. Spike and the Doctor watched as the armies of the Greeks and the Trojans engaged in a bloody battle.

“I’d forgotten that they didn’t use the phalanx,” Spike remarked, as he saw the chariots carrying the Greek and Trojan heroes across the field to engage in hundreds of individual combats in front of the mass of ragged and ill-equipped helots. “Bloody long time since I read the Illiad, y’know, and I’ve seen loads of crap movies about the Three Hundred Spartans and all that.”

“Your skills will still be relevant,” the Doctor said. “Greek didn’t change much between the Mycenaean period and the Classical age. You won’t be able to read here, though, unless you can decipher Linear B.”

Spike shook his head. “Can only read the alpha, beta, gamma stuff,” he said. “Still, not expecting to have to sit a written test. Let’s see what they’re doing wrong.”

Both sides were using identical tactics. The chariots would race along in front of the infantry lines, their crews hurling javelins, avoiding actual contact. When two opposing chariots came into proximity they would halt and the heroes dismounted. They faced off with spears, swords, and shields. The Trojan shields were wooden, rectangular in shape, and had scalloped edges. The Greeks bore shields entirely unlike the round hoplite shields Spike had been expecting. Some carried wasp-waisted figure eight shields, of wood studded with bronze, and some used large rectangular shields of wood or wicker. Both sides wore bronze armour; either bell cuirasses of beaten bronze or else leather hauberks with many plates of bronze fastened to them. The minor differences in equipment didn’t seem to be affecting the combats in any significant way.

Spike studied the fighting for a while and then snapped his fingers. “Got it!” he said.

The Doctor raised his eyebrows. “So, with the benefit of your century of combat experience, what mistakes are the Mycenaeans making?”

“None,” said Spike. “Oh, the tactics are crap, but they’re probably right for the gear they’re using, and both sides are doing it the same. Would take too long to train the Greeks to fight in phalanx and that would bugger up history anyway if they started doing it this early. No, it’s not the tactics. In fact I think the Greeks are probably a bit better trained when it comes to sword-fighting and, if everything else was equal, they’d be winning. Just, take a look at them, mate. The Greeks are all little blokes and the Trojans are a couple of inches taller. That’s all there is to it.”

“Hmm,” said the Doctor. “That’s not something that’s going to be easy to fix. Unless I go back fifteen years earlier and make sure that the Greek heroes get a high-protein diet as they’re growing up.”

“No need for that,” Spike said. “Little trick that Angel uses should sort things out. Let’s go and have a word with that bloke Odysseus. Should be able to come up with a Cunning Plan.”

As soon as it grew dark, and Spike could move freely without catching fire, the pair of time travellers paid a visit to the Greek camp. They consulted with Odysseus, the Greek mastermind summoned the craftsman Epeius, and Spike’s scheme was set in motion.

The Greeks avoided battle the following day, staying behind the wooden barricades that protected their camp, and ignoring the taunts of the Trojans. The next day, equipped with certain modifications to their sandals suggested by Spike, they sallied forth in strength.

This time things were different. The Trojans were shocked to find that they no longer had a height advantage over their opponents. The Mycenaeans, now fighting literally on level terms, won more of the individual combats than they lost. This gave heart to the helot infantry, who charged their Trojan equivalents and routed them, and the Greek chariots harried the Trojans as they retreated. By the end of the day the Trojans had been driven back behind the walls of their city.

“Well, it looks as if the course of history has been restored, thanks to your innovation,” the Doctor said to Spike. “I’ll take you back to the twenty-first century.”

“Right, mate,” said Spike. “Shame I didn’t get a chance to take a look at Helen of Troy. See if she lives up to the hype.”

“I’ve seen her,” the Doctor said, “and it wasn’t really her face that launched a thousand ships. It was another part of her anatomy that attracted the attention of Paris. She looks, in fact, rather like a younger version of Ilona Costa Bianchi.”

Spike’s eyebrows rose. “Definitely wouldn’t mind taking a look, then, mate. Sure we haven’t got time?”

The Doctor wagged his finger at Spike. “Naughty, naughty. That really wouldn’t be a good idea. You speak Greek, not the Luwian Hittite language spoken by the Trojans, and if you enter Troy they’ll execute you as a spy; especially if they recognise you as the designer of the new Greek sandals.”

“S’ppose you’re right,” Spike conceded. “Okay, mate, I’ll give Helen a miss.” He grinned. “Y’know, I’ve originated a whole new saying for the Trojans to hand down to the Romans and from them to us. ‘Beware of Greeks wearing lifts’.”

Tags: , ,
Current Location: Troy VIIa, near Çanakkale, Turkey
Current Music: Nancy Sinatra, "These Boots Are Made For Walking"

22 comments or speak 2 me
Comments
ffutures From: ffutures Date: March 29th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ouch! They're getting worse...
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think it's any worse than, for instance, "Every night I shave you" and that was in one of my first Buffyverse drabbles.
audela From: audela Date: March 29th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I knew you were going somewhere like that, just not exactly where. Ouch! That's a 10 out of 10 in groan points

f
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
gillo From: gillo Date: March 29th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear. Didn't see that one coming.

Spike has reasonable Greek, we know, and it's good to see he retained some of his Ancient History course as well. I like teh detail about the shields.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! You know I'm a Military History geek, of course.
quinara From: quinara Date: March 29th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
‘Beware of Greeks wearing lifts’

I may well still be a little tipsy from lunchtime, but that is brilliant! The similarities between Angel and Achilles are suddenly becoming rather apparent. Tee hee hee...

And thank you more in general!! Who doesn’t love Iliad crossovers? Especially since it makes perfect sense that the Greeks would write the lift-wearing out of their history. :D

Let’s go and have a word with that bloke Odysseus. Should be able to come up with a Cunning Plan.

Damn right!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Glad you liked it. Hope you had a lovely birthday.
quinara From: quinara Date: March 29th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope you had a lovely birthday.

It's been faboo - and made so by things like this!
nothorse From: nothorse Date: March 29th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
*pelts you with peanuts*

Evil punster. And Spike with the historian-ness? Cute.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't resist punning, especially in birthday ficlets. Quinara, who is a friend of mine in real life as well as on LJ, is a history fanatic and the historian-ness is for her.

Thank you!
nothorse From: nothorse Date: March 29th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I can't resist either. I'm just jealous. ;)
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: March 29th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, there just aren't enough Buffy/Dr Who/ Illiad crossovers.

Beware of Greeks wearing lifts

Oh, that's why! :D
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was going to be "Beware of Greeks gifting bears" but I couldn't work that into anything that made sense.
mymatedave From: mymatedave Date: March 29th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really do love these.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 29th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
evilawyer From: evilawyer Date: March 30th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, the lifts, the lifts! What, I wonder, would the Greeks have been able to accomplish if Spike had introduced them to Angel's hair gel?

Excellent return to the Doctor's "teach us some history, please, Doctor" era, and excellent choice of companion. Except --- I don't like to think that a little thing like the threat of execution would scare Spike off of getting a look at Ilona-rivalling breasts. (Oh, and by the way, Helen's boobs might be perkier, but Ilona's had that fantastically experienced look to them). Excellent crossover!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 30th, 2009 10:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Carole Davis, who played Ilona, went topless in 'Piranha II: The Spawning' (1981). That's what I was thinking of when I said 'a younger version of Ilona'.

Thank you!
wildecate From: wildecate Date: March 30th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
*snorts* Fantastic.

And thank you!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 30th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: March 31st, 2009 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
The story went on for so long that I was quite enjoying it, and totally forgot that you'd be waiting to ambush us at the end ...
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: March 31st, 2009 09:36 am (UTC) (Link)
It wouldn't have been right to do this one as a drabble when the Trojan War dragged on for years.

Thank you!
22 comments or speak 2 me