History rushes forth to bend her beauty. But she remains still, unmoving but not unnerved. Her beauty strides across an empty throne room, the sole survivor of a murderous realm. At the end of the room she sees someone like her, a child of an Olympian god. Achilles utters his own name, desiring to hear it echo across the now- limitless throne room. The room contracts before expanding. Achilles hears his name's echo die instantly. Then he sees that Helen is at the same distance he desired his echo to reach. He rushes at her, his demigod speed bridging the near-infinite distance. He feels threatened by her beauty, fearing that it will outlive his name, his own life's chosen brevity. His coarse laughter shreds the distance between her and his death-filled gaze. A laughter as inaudible as her beauty's breath. Achilles and Helen are both children of gods. They both feel the quiet magnitude of the gods' muted reproach. But Achilles is unrelenting in his deadly advance. Mortality gazes upon his seemingly impenetrable heel, but he ignores it. Death gleams in his eyes. Helen looks into these eyes in fearless silence. The demigod roars a muted roar as he waves his blade downward for the kill. But Helen remains, her beauty completely untouched by the laughing darkness descending. Achilles withers with a mere precious glance passing from her eyes onto his. He becomes an echo drifting across a roaring sea: her beauty will outlive my name. The demigod vanishes from her sight. Then she stands before a staircase spiraling down toward the view of the sea. She descends to find an ocean resplendently bare. The ocean shines against her marble thoughts, thoughts now gleaming white. She imagines Paris joining her in this strange moment, the indivisible second in which war bruises dreams once beyond bruising, now bruised beyond dreaming. This is where her beauty begins. This is where her beauty ends. Her mind's perfumed silence drowns in the ocean's crashing noise. A noise that moves unheard, pulsating against a crystal rib cage of sound. The balcony faces a blue longevity, a sparkling expanse that laughs a laughter made morose by its own inflated echo. She observes the scene below. She imagines Paris waiting for Achilles to breach the golden walls and shatter the royally-induced calm. Paris' shadow flits across her lofty view, which rapidly diminishes due to the now- besieged silence. The war has already begun. Helen breathes a calm undisturbed, untouched by the moment's incessant ebb. But time will break this precious moment. She realizes that she is the one who triggered the moment when two armies collide. Helen sees waves colliding below. She remains still as she imagines the ocean rising to swallow her and the palace. Paris stands invisibly by her side now. He sees Achilles break through liquid walls of fury. He sees the demigod soaring aloft on war-wafting winds. But then the mere thought of Paris skirts along oblivion's edge. The man who stole her from Menelaus becomes a pale imitation of an echo. Helen stands before the tumultuous scene. But then a hand shakes her awake. She nearly rises and falls out of bed as the voice shouts, "My love, the Greeks are here!"