The Power of a Dream. 

“I am Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, Hegemon of the Hellenic League, Shahanshah of Persia, Pharaoh of Egypt, and Lord of Asia,” he thought to himself as his ship set sail and he breathed in the salty breeze from the East. At his prime, Alexander sought to reach the ends of the earth to fulfil his dream of becoming master of the universe, to immortalize himself among the gods. He had triumphed against the formidable Persian Empire and now set his eyes on uniting the East and the West and creating the greatest empire in history.

Alexander’s eyes scanned the distant islands of Indonesia as the trade winds filled the masts of his naval fleet. Despite the prophecy of the Oracle of Siwa that he would meet his end at sea, he decided to set sail. He had also been warned by his closest generals that his fleet was ill-equipped to launch an attack against the indigenous tribes of Sumatra. Nevertheless, Alexander was certain that it was his destiny to conquer the last territory known to mankind. He had even suppressed his own doubts. He had never learned how to swim, and his army had never conquered by sea before, but that would not deter him. He would see his dream come to fruition no matter what. 

As the fleet of three hundred ships entered unchartered territory, the clear morning blue sky turned grey and gloomy with heavy clouds. Gusts of wind blew from all directions. The ships’ masts rattled intensely, making the white sails appear like giant ghosts approaching from the horizon. What were calm, quiet waters only a few hours earlier soon became raging, wild waves. Bright white lightning struck in the distance behind the surrounding dark grey clouds. Alexander’s ships were in the eye of the storm. 

The soldiers on board Alexander’s ship began muttering to each other how reckless their leader had been for insisting on this hazardous expedition. With the lightning reflecting in his eyes, Alexander kept his eyes fixed on the islands that were his next target. He remained oblivious to all that surrounded him. As the ships rocked violently from side to side, it was clear that Alexander’s fleet was in grave danger.

“I am the master of the seas,” he proclaimed out loud to his soldiers. “I alone will see us through this storm,” he roared as his soldiers began to voice their concerns. The more he grew in pride, the higher the waves rose.

Amidst all the commotion, time seemed to pass by more quickly. The storm got worse. Waves crashed against the ships from all sides. Lightening ripped through the sky in all directions. Despite the madness, Alexander kept his calm and would not look away from the islands. 

Suddenly, almost half of Alexander’s fleet disappeared. A misty fog enveloped the remainder of the fleet. Alexander could hear faint shouts and screams from the other ships. He ordered a sailor to climb to the crow’s nest and see what was going on. The sailor quickly climbed the ship’s main mast and jumped into the nest. He looked in all directions before descending just as quickly. “No sight of the other ships my lord,” he reported to Alexander. 

“Does Poseidon seek to play games with me?” Alexander scoffed. “Does he forget that I am master of the universe?” 

Looking around, Alexander saw the look of fear in his soldiers’ eyes. Despite their valour at war, the Greeks feared the gods. They knew the gods, especially Poseidon, could be whimsical and ruthless. Alexander’s men feared that they had invoked Poseidon’s wrath. They blamed their leader for their misfortune, but no one dared confront him. 

As the waves continued to hammer the fleet from all directions, ships began to collide against one another, crash, and sink. Soldiers jumped off the ships and into row boats, striving to escape the carnage but it was futile. Hundreds were losing their lives by the minute. 

Not even in his most fierce battles had Alexander experienced such a humiliating defeat. He began to feel something that he had not felt in many years. He could not tell what it was. The emotion was foreign to him. As he looked around and witnessed his mighty army of warriors shatter into pieces, his pride gave way to despair. 

Within a few weeks of setting sail from the east coast of India, the proud Alexander who had conquered the greatest empires on the planet was at the mercy of nature. For the first time in his life, he realized that he was not invincible. He was fallible. It dawned upon him that, alas, he might not fulfil his dream. As he reflected on the unexpected turn of events, he felt defeated - not by his enemies but by his own blind ambition and arrogance. The moment of introspection ended when he looked up and saw a colossal tidal wave tower over his ship and come crashing down.


Panting, Alexander woke up drenched in sweat. When he came to his senses, he realized that he was in his tent. He could hear crickets outside. He was on land, in his camp. It was a dream. A nightmare to be precise.

Alexander stood up, walked to the entrance of the tent, and stepped outside to see hundreds of his soldiers loading provisions and arms on the ships bound for Indonesia. 

“The trade winds are picking up. We shall be ready to set sail within an hour”, whispered Craterus into Alexander’s ear. 

Without saying a word, Alexander returned to his tent and began preparing for the expedition.