Short one today.
So Cyrus hands over Croesus, his prisoner-vizier, to his son. His son is Cambyses, about whom we’ll have a fair bit to say, but not for a while.
“Go rule the Persian Empire until I get back, all right son? And listen to Croesus!” Cyrus waggled his paternal finger, Polonius style. “Although of course Operation SITTING DUCK will go off smoothly I have no doubt. I’ll be done subduing the Massagetai and their so-called queen before the end of the month.”
The first night over on the other side of the river, while they were still setting Operation SITTING DUCK up, Cyrus got some shut-eye and had a terrible dream. He dreamed that one of his generals, Hystaspes, had a son who was a giant winged monster and rampaged Mothra-style across the civilized world!
When he woke up he called for Hystaspes. “Hystaspes,” he said, “I had a dream where you Mothra’s father.”
Hystaspes nodded, slowly. “Okay, sire.”
“It kind of freaked me out.”
Hystapes held up his hands in mock surrender. “You got me! I’m Mothra’s father!” He laughed, in hopes of breaking the tension, but it was a hollow laugh because Cyrus just glared at him.
“The dream was a metaphor, you idiot. It means your son Dareios is planning to rebel against me.”
Hystapes was nonplussed. “I don’t think that follows. My son is… heck, my whole family! We’re all of us completely loyal to you!”
“I wish I could believe that. I really do. But I had this dream, so, you know.”
“I am absolutely certain my son is not plotting against you.”
“Don’t care what you think. Go to Babylon and check in on him.”
“Okay then.” Hystapes knew better than to argue when Cyrus got like this. “He’ll be fine, you’ll see. If he is treasonous I’ll execute him myself,” he added over his shoulder as he turned to walk away. “But he won’t be treasonous. I promise!”
“Whatever,” grumbled Cyrus.