They could never have possibly known that it was in their fate to go up in flames. They were children, playing in the streets and caught in the game of youth. What was there to possibly worry about, when they lived with all the time in the world? This was their kingdom, and they ruled it with the frenzy in their hearts.
On the island of Crete in the city of Knossos there were two boys, both of them barreling through the streets of the agora, the sound of their laughter filling the awakening morning as they raced to the upper town. The taller one was ahead, his legs long and built for speed. He leaped over the moving street cargo, his timber colored hair bouncing with every stride he took as he dodged the foot traffic. The other was three years younger and two inches shorter than his companion—fast, but not soaring; just seconds behind as he slid beneath a large crate that two men were carrying, determined to keep up with his partner.
"Hurry up, Adrastos!" the older boy called from over his shoulder, hurdling over a rolling barrel and bounding up the stone stairwell that led into the upper town. "Hurry up, or we'll miss it!"
The younger boy leapt over the barrel as it came for him, landing on both of his feet with a grunt, reaching the stairs. The older boy had slowed down enough for the younger one to reach his tail, and together they bounded up the stairs, charging into the upper town. Had they gone any faster, they would have been flying.
Rising from the horizon, the sun began to make its appearance over the far shore of the eastern Mediterranean; radiating, like the infinite lights in their eyes. The boys entered the shipyard just as the bells began to ring, and, as though it were fated, the wind picked up. Ushered to go faster, the timber haired boy balled his hands into fists, sprinting through the yard while beating his chest and exhilarating a travelling war cry that could be heard to the ends of the east. By the time they reached the hill that overlooked the harbor, the war ships were off, sailing their way to Troy for their fifth year of war.
Leaping into the air, the boys bellowed out their renditions of patriotism to the vessels below them.
"For Minoa and for Greece, let Troy burn in the east!"
Within the spur of the moment, the older boy cupped his hands around his mouth, side glancing at his friend with a beaming expression, then jumping high and shouting, "I am Aetos, the Eagle! Son of Nicodemus, and someday king of kings!"
The younger boy jumped with him—quieter he was—though his marvel of a grin had strength of its own. He watched his companion boast his identity for the world to hear, smiling even if he himself had nothing to outburst; no father to claim.
He didn't need either.
Aetos smiled down at him, reaching down to take his wrist before lifting it high into the air, screaming from the top of his lungs at the disappearing ships, "Ajax, the fearless; my brother, we are reckless but we are kings!"
And they were. Surely they had nothing—no riches, nor title to their names.
But this was their golden age and they would never be forgotten.