Mar 25

a peak into Sword of Achilles

Well hello again from Afghani land! It’s been a few days since my last post and I wanted to get a quick up date in before I go on to the post. I’m doing pretty well. I have received several posts on my fan page and PM’s that have wished me well and I appreciate that. It’s almost April so I’m definitely on the down-hill slide. I passed my most recent PT test so I should be getting promoted to the rank of SGT on the 1st and that is a big deal and a very good thing. Jules has made it home safe and is trying to adjust to being there with the kids. In the meantime they’re working hard at school and looking forward to spring sports. My mom is still there helping take care of them during the transition for the wife. We’ve had a lot of weather here lately so I haven’t flown as much, but when I do it’s still a great time and I enjoy it. The temps are rising, especially during the day but when the sun goes down its still cold enough to want a jacket. I have been running and lifting in the gym again and so far my joints aren’t hurting as much so I still hope to go home with some bigger muscles and a smaller belly.

This post is about my new project. I’m letting the cat out of the bag a little early because I’m so very excited about it. The title of the book (so far) is called the Sword of Achilles. I know it’s a dead giveaway as to the subject of the story but I kinda wanted that. I’m still not sure what genre it will be categorized under. Many of my friends in the writing community say it’s a steam punk version of the Trojan War… but I’m not so sure. A steam punk is usually a Victorian story told with more modern and more specifically steam powered technology. My story is older for sure but it’s using today’s tech and weapons.

The story has the same basic characters and plot, Helen is the most beautiful woman the world has ever seen, and Sparta has her as their queen. Prince Paris of Troy falls in love with her and she goes back to Troy with him causing the war. We also have Achilles, Patroclus, Ajax, Odysseus, Hector and many more from the original stories. However the means of fighting are very different.

As many of you know I am a soldier with the Army and currently on my second rotation to combat in Afghanistan. I’m not an infantryman, nor am I a Spec Ops guy. I crew on Chinook helicopters and it’s a kickin job! What I do is I am a maintainer or mechanic for the bird if you will, but in addition I also fly on it as a member of the flight crew. In the back we fly from one of three positions. There are two “doors” in the front a left and right. The left is basically a window with a gun mounted in it, and the right is an actual door used to enter and exit the aircraft, but when the lower door is shut it also has a gun mounted there that we shoot from to defend ourselves from attackers on the ground. At the aft of the airplane is a large ramp that is opened and closed, or raised and lowered if you will by hydraulic power. When flying at the right or cabin door you provide suppressive fire if need be but you also help the pilots guide the aircraft safely and help call it down to the ground. On the ramp we control what’s going on inside the airplane and help guide the aircraft with feedback (which we call “Calls”) from there. From the left gun, we give guidance calls and again provide covering fire if need be. As a crew member I have seen and done lots on this rotation. Our main task has been to support the ground guys by providing transport and resupply to forward operating bases (FOB’s) and on direct assault missions. We’ve had lots of different “customers” as we call them come on and off the aircraft, and have supported many different mission sets. I’ve had Rangers, Seals, SF, CIA, Other Defense Assets (ODA), British SAS, Polish Special Ops and Afghani commando’s on board to name a few. I’ve loaded and unloaded under dusty, snowy, or any other crazy conditions vehicles, as well as personnel that have the harder task of finding and killing or capturing bad guys. I’ve heard what combat calls sound like as we’ve supported these missions and also what has been going on, on the ground when coming in and going out. I’ve been amazed at how impressive the communications are, and how precise the timing and targeting is by the US forces. I’ve also made many friends in these groups that have so kindly been willing to tell me what it’s like for them on the ground, how the planning works and what exactly goes through their minds as the helicopter lands and it’s time for them to do their jobs. It’s from this perspective that I’ve taken up the task of writing this story so if you like military stuff, you’ll love this.

The prologue which I’ve posted on my FB fan page as a note will be added to this blog today, it is very accurate to what I hear on short and final on nearly every mission I’ve flown. I’ve had to change some names and had to omit a few details because they are classified, but needless to say, when my crew member friends and my Spec Ops buddies read it, it got all their adrenaline pumping (as well as mine when I wrote it).

Basically, we’ve got all the major players from the legend. The Spartan’s in history are some of the most feared warriors every assembled. I’ve given them a group called the Spartan Elite that are their Special Forces very much like Rangers. We also have the Myrmidons, they are Achilles special trained warriors and they are my Delta Force. There is also the Ithaca Navy and Marines, the Spartan main infantry so on and so forth. Then we’ve got the Trojan opposites. The Apollonian Guard are like Navy Seals led by Hector, Paris leads an elite group of snipers, and there is the Trojan infantry as well. Cool side note, in some of my research I found some theories that say the Trojan exiles after the city burns end up in Italy and basically found Rome, becoming the very deadly Roman Army and Legionnaires. So they were definitely capable warriors themselves some speculate spawning great warrior leaders like Julius Caesar.

The entire country of Greece goes to war so the smaller kingdom of Troy is vastly out- numbered but their city is protected by super advanced defensive technology. This is real tech, the Phalanx system for example is a real defense used by modern military and the short range fighters are basically A-10’s. In order to make it a little fairer I gave the Greeks a massive Navy and supper powerful ground force, I also gave them my Chinook’s so they are good fighters. The Trojan’s I gave a more advanced air force and technology overall. In an open field battle the Greeks would win, they have the Spartans and their army dwarfed the Trojan’s, but as they are trying to lay siege to a city with massive protective walls and very strong defensive tech, those numbers are negligible.

Helen is a seductive power hungry woman who uses all her “skills” meaning her body and her sexuality to control men’s minds and get to her over all goals. It has been a lot of fun to write her, though I feel a little dirty when I’m done. Achilles is the most skilled warrior and his men are the most feared in the known world. Patroclus and Ajax are his two LT’s and are very capable. Hector as you might imagine is a true hero, only fighting to protect his people and his family. Next to Achilles he is the best warrior in the story and his men are nearly the equal of the Myrmidons. The Apollonian Guard is a “water to land” fighting force, which comes into play in the story. Their main mode of transport is stealth subs, but I don’t want to give too much away. My Paris isn’t the same as in other stories. He isn’t weak, he isn’t scared and he isn’t stupid. He is one of the best warriors in the book. The Trojan’s are known as having great archers, so it wasn’t a stretch to make them snipers and Paris is the best of all snipers revered worldwide. I did a lot of weapon research and need to thank my buddy Eric Kirkwood for his input in the weapons selections for the story. The battle between Menelaus and Paris in my book will be epic! Not as biblical as Hector and Patroclus and then Hector and Achilles will be, but awesome none the less.

I don’t want to give away what the Horse will be that eventually sacks the city, but…rest assured it’s not made of wood. Here’s the skinny if you like realistic military lingo and action from a guy who has seen it and with input from people who live it, as well as a super sexy female trying to rule the world with her body then you’ll love this. On a side note, I wanted to say that the Myrmidon aircrews on their CH-47M (Myrmidon) aircraft are taken from the unit I currently serve with, the Bravo company, 6th battalion 101st CAB Pachyderms the best in the Army! As a matter of fact I’m still debating calling the unit in the book the Pachyderms, just haven’t decided for sure yet.

Well that’s it for now hope you enjoyed a look into Sword of Achilles, more to come on this score. My goal is to have this ready to publish by fall of 2013 but we’ll see. In the mean time I will be updating you on the progress of this WIP as it gets closer to being ready to release. As always I’m proud of my kids and my wife. Play to Win!! And you stay classy planet earth.

About the author

Jon Pew

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: