So that short excerpt that I mentioned? I actually turned it into a full-on monologue with the help of my decorated director friend Morgan Chase. Here it is for your enjoyment and critiquing.
My brother, I know and understand your reservations. Do you really think that I, your captain and most loyal friend, would ever ask your life of you in this way unless there were truly no other option? Do I mean so little to you? Do you value your freedom as a man of Xanthos, the pride of Lycia, so lowly? Does the prospect of dying for the land and people you love not excite you or arouse a sense of a duty fulfilled? Look back to the lives of your father and your father’s father. They lived in a land of great democracy and stability – of self determination and independence. No matter the wars or the political conflicts, they maintained a fierce drive to preserve the integrity of what made the Lycian men. They tried to make us change our currency, but we refused. They tried to change our art and literature, but we refused. We Lycians are not Hittites or Greeks or Romans – we are our own people with a history and identity no dictator or emperor should dare to alter. Listen to the hills, sir! Hear you not Brutus’ forces coming to take that from us? Are you deaf to the sound of leather-and-iron clad perpetrators coming to strip you of who you are with crude, brute force? [pause] I see that philosophical talk and pride in your people does nothing for you. Perhaps being Lycian does not mean as much to you as I thought it did when you joined my squadron to fight. My brother, I know the price I am asking you to pay is weighty, but the gravity of this situation is too large to stop at mediocre measures. Ah! I see what it is – your eyes betray a longing for your wife. Is she what is keeping you from your duty as a Lycian soldier? Do you worry about not being able to care for her and provide for her from the grave? You ignorant man, so dumb and cowardly, surely you do not realize what is happening as we speak! If Apollo has found some mercy on your pathetic life he would ensure that she is already dead. Think of what she would have to see and endure if she is alive right now. Every smokey breath she drew would be in agony as Brutus’ men burned down all your family’s earthly possessions. Your livestock would be running around bleating at ear-splitting octaves in desperate hopes of quelling the fire consuming their heads, and she would have to hear that. She would have to look on as the Romans smashed and pulverized all your earthly treasures until one object was indistinguishable from another – all your love letters, all your spoils of war, all your son’s clothing and your daughter’s toys. Oh, and your children, good man! Do you miss them? Do you care for them as you do your wife? Imagine their fate! Your wife, so gentle and fair, would watch as Brutus’ forces murdered them, killing them slowly and forcing her to see them die the death of a thousand cuts. And as they lay bloody and dying, they, now burdened with the trauma of war and death before they have even learned to love, would watch as those same Romans flogged her, raped her, cut off all her hair and fingers just to dishonor and humiliate her before leaving her disfigured limbs to rot on the street of Xanthos as a lesson to others. Man, you have my blessing to leave. But be aware of what it entails. You will have to drink Roman wine from Roman chalices. You will learn to fight like a Roman, to revel in Roman victories, to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving to their gods, just like the men who destroyed your family. They will force you to laugh and be proud of what they did to the likes of your wife and children whom you loved so dearly. You will no longer be a man, but a Roman. But, my good man, if you want to preserve your name, preserve your identity as a good man of Lycia, join me. Think of your wife and children and how best to love them in this moment. Shed not one more tear, my friend, but take my hand, and together, we will surrender our souls for Lycia – and for love.