Hasdrubal sighed at the coming battle and hoped for victory. Too long had he been gone from his beloved family in Carthage.
Even after his brother Hannibal's victories over Rome, they were still locked in a stalemate. The last few years they had spent in frustrated pursuit of Senator Fabius's legions.
All that was about to change though, supplies, reinforcements and detailed reports of their enemies, had arrived from North Africa. Hasdrubal was most happy to receive messages from his wife and drawings from his sons; he knew victory would be in their grasp.
Hannibal had wasted little time and summoned his commanders. Hasdrubal regarded his senior with awe. The warlord was responsible for numerous, impossible victories over the Romans. Hannibal had carved a timeless legendary reputation, while Hasdrubal was a mere footnote.
The general gave details to his leaders on how he was going to trap Fabius's forces, and afterwards his Nubian servant handed out orders for them to follow. Hasdrubal knew his brother's plans required timing, coordination, and spared no room for deviation.
Hasdrubal looked at the papyrus orders and his jaw dropped. They made no sense. The maps were a mess and barely resembled the land. The ranks and directions of his armies were crudely represented by dots, squares and arrows. Hasdrubal saw there were random Xs scattered on the battlefield, and assumed they were his elephants. He stared at the orders, and thought they were more akin to scrawlings of a fool.
"Sir...I don't think this will...", began Hasdrubal.
"Is there a problem?", boomed Hannibal as he gazed at his sibling.
Hasdrubal considered what he was going to say. He wanted to tell his brother that these plans were the machinations of an idiot. He wanted to shout out that his time had passed and challenge his right to lead. He looked at the other leaders and saw no support from them. Were they all crazy? Did his brother's presence scare them into obedience?
Hasdrubal appraised his brother. He wasn't just a simple madman, he was the Great Hannibal. They called him insane when he marched an army across Iberia and over the Alps. They called him mad when he attacked a superior foe at Cannae instead of retreating. He not only defeated his enemy but drove them into the sea. Numerous times, his brother had an impossible plan and led them to victory.
"No problem sir. ", replied Hasdrubal finally. A footnote had no right to challenge a legend.
Hasdrubal took the orders and left. Regardless of the plans, he still had faith in Hannibal.
Hannibal sighed at the coming battle and hoped for victory. Too long had he been gone from his beloved family in Carthage.
He searched his papers and after a few minute he called his servant in frustration. "I'm looking for the picture my son drew on papyrus for me. I wanted to hang it on my tent . I think it was a picture of ants or something. "