Ah really need some first rate help with this one!
<G> Moi's first
question is : Is the language in this
consarned thing too dense, too
archaic for the average reader??
Is the concept too bizarre? Attention all
y'all beta folk! Any
and all advice vis a vis additions, subtractions,
ANYTHING is gratefully soliticted from one and
Have Ah bitten off more than Ah can
"Sing, Goddess, the wrath of Brucelles,
Thomikon's son ... "
Plucking his lyre softly, Midnitomer,
the blind singer and healer, sang in
his rich vibrant voice, his
song filling the lavishly appointed, spacious
tent to its
fullest. But several knowing members of The Great
entourage frowned and bit their lips. From his sumptious
golden throne the
Lord of Hellas shot to his sandled feet,
spilling the full bodied wine of
Thrace in his silver chalice
upon the murex died purple of his kingly robes.
thundered Arthorinamon, Overlord of Greece. "I'll not hear
songs about that traitorous bastard! I'll not!" He raked the
ranks of warriors, Kings and Princes all, with his
stormy gaze. In a fury
he tossed the wine cup in his good right
hand (the only one left to him,
alas!) to the thickly berugged
floor. "How many of our brothers, great and
loyal warriors every
one, lay dead because *he* refuses to fight? How
been driven from the very Gates of Troy by Kalector, foremost
of King Jonathiam, practically to the decks of the ships that
thither! For this I sacrificed my daughter
Dolphigenia? For this I forsook
the bed of my Queen, beauteous
Meratemnestra? We're losing this
godsbedamned war because of
"Only because *you* offended his honor!" bespoke hot
swiftest of charioteers, fleet of foot as the
horses he drove. "Selinda was
his! A legitimate prize of war! You
gave her to Brucelles yourself, by the
gods. And then you took
her back. So the mightest of your warriors nurses
pride in his tent consoled only by his companion Wingtroklos."
peered about, gesturing at the rest of the assembled Aechian Lords.
a man here but wouldn't have done the same!" he declared
stoutly. "No one
wants to fight without him; we've all lost our
taste for battle on your
behalf, Oh Great King. We each came
hither of our own wills, I remind you.
Bound by our oaths, yes.
But further bound by the lure of glory! Glory and
our fair share
of the riches of Troy, an olive ripe for the plucking!" His
was met with several vigorous nods of agreement and
regal face stormed over, Zues' lightning flashing
in his sea blue eyes.
"I had no choice!" the King cried. "You
heard the seer, the soothsayer
Fatechas. It was the only way to
appease Apollo, who's priest her father is
and stop the plague
ravaging among us!"
"Liar!" sneered Wallymedes. "Why, then,
does she yet reside among your
women and not in her father's
house?" he demanded. "Why?" The accusing
finger he pointed at the
Master of Hellas was blunt and callused from long
grasping the reins of plunging steeds. "You wanted her
yourself! You bribed Fatechas for that divination. Admit
Gracefully, Midnitomer, singer of songs, arose with
dignity from his stool,
slung his lyre upon his bent and aged
back and faced Arthorinamon with eerie
accuracy for one who could
not see. Upon his shoulder, Pallas Athena's owl,
symbol of his
priesthood, stirred uneasily and hooted softly.
"As you would
have it, Noble Lord," he said, "I will withdraw and trouble
no more." Immediately, young Sandorion, called The Golden Boy for
color of his thick, curly hair, rushed to his side. Laying a
hand upon the
youth's pale shoulder, the Singer departed,
allowing himself to be guided
from the torch lit tent. In
silence, they all watched him depart with
regret. His songs would
be sorely missed.
Wily Freedysseus, sprang to his feet, a
ready smile upon his lips, devilment
in his cunning eye and
silver tongue. Spreading his hands in supplication,
he bowed low.
"Surely, Gentle Lord," his voice was a coaxing purr when
addressed the volitile Grecian Overlord, "so wise a man as you
may find some
way to placate great Brucelles anger. Is it not
so?" He stroked his
bearded chin, smiling. "Why, yes!" he
exalted. "Wily Arthorinamon!
Cunning Arthorinamon! *Wise*
Arthorinamon! Imagine it! I was about to
suggest that you should
offer Brucelles another to replace his prize. In
honor is restored upon all sides." The King of Ithaca
and shook his rueful head. "But I see in your eyes that
you have already
thought of it!"
Arthorinamon cleared his
throat. "Why - ah - yes," he pontificated, "and so
I have! That
is exactly what I meant to do!" Arthoinamon seated himself
care back upon his carven gold and scandelwood throne and
"In reward for your loyalty
and keeness of perception," the King of Mycenae
magnanimously, "you may present the propositon to Brucelles in
Canny Freedysseus bowed low once more, with a
flourish of his scarlet cape.
"At once, Oh King!" he intoned,
backing from the Mycenaen Lord's presence.
and wisest of the Aecheans, his balding head and long
dyed festively green, regarded the High King askance. "Wise
you, good Arthorinamon," he observed blandly. Arthorinamon
sensing the old man's sarcasm, or perhaps, choosing
to ignore it.
<Insert scene of Freedysseus and
Brucelles -- possibly several others>
of the death of Wingtropolos and the death of
"Why have you come, here, O King?" growled
mighty Brucelles. "What be it
that brings you thence, Jonathiam,
King of Troy? Jonathiam, the greybeard.
Jonathiam, the wise.
Jonathiam, the *damned*."
"Mercy, great Brucelles," whispered
Jonathiam, voice catching on the simple
words. "'Tis a plea for
mercy that brings a King to your feet, Brucelles
beloved of the gods." The tears began then, trailing down
wrinkled, aged face, sacrifice to snowy shouldered Hera, The
Queen of Heaven.
"Kalector was the greatest
of my sons," he wept. "Once my sons were as many
as the stars
under Heaven. Fifty beautiful youths who stood proudly by
side, guardians of my Kingdom and of my approaching twilight.
But they are
dead. All perished save for Kalector. He was
mightiest of them all.
Kalector shone like the gift of Phoebus
Apollo, Lord of the Sun, casting his
light upon all. Tall, he
stood and resolute ... yet ever honorable in
The old man slipped to his creaking knees, then, and buried
his face in his
hands. "And now he is dead as well." Ancient
hands, gnarled and twisted by
much hard work over the long years,
rose and snatched the gray hair from his
thinning head while he
mourned and keened his grief. "Woe!" he sobbed.
"Woe that a man
should live so long to see such a thing! The death of
greatest of his sons!" He ripped his already tattered robes,
of his great anguish. Brucelles stood still and
quiet, giving no sign of
his heart's pain at the piteous sight.
When next Jonathiam spoke Brucelles
"What of your own aged father, Mightiest of Aechia,
ancient, frail Thomikon?
Bereft these many years of his Zues
given wife, the Immortal sea nymph
Marthetis? Grievest not for
him when dark and gloomy Charon came to escort
him 'cross Styx?
Did his eyes not shine with great pride at the sight of
son, bearer of his blood, and your many deeds of mighty skill
valor? Warmest they not his staunch old heart as brave
Kalector did mine
own? And your companion Wingtroklos? Did you
not love him? As I loved
Kalector. But they both lie dead, taken
from us by this accursed war. The
youth was brave of spirit and
fair of face. He longed for glory that he
might be a fit
companion for you in his own eyes. And glory he found. He
his love for you will n'er be forgot. Timeless as the
gods, it is."
At the mention of Wingtroklos, his
constant companion, dark and brooding
Brucelles' at last gave
vent to his sadness.
"Tis said that you were
given a choice, Young Lord of Battle," spoke
Joanathiam into the
gathering, looming darkness. "That you wert promised
one of two
destinies by the gods. Camest thou not to this great battle
should live a long but unremarkable life as most men do.
thither, you were promished a short life, but
everlasting fame and renown;
to live forever enshrined in the
memory of man. You have chosen your glory
and your honor above
Reaching out, the aged, still tearful King of Troy
clutched Brucelles around
the knees in painful supplication. He
lay his graying head on that strong
muscular thigh, annointing
the tanned flesh with his spilling grief.
"Mercy, Great One,"
he entreated. "Mercy for a tired old man who has lost
that once gave his long life meaning. As you have lost. Mercy
the name of bright, laughing Wingtroklos who's smile lifted
your sad heart
and gladdened your sore spirit. Open your brave
heart to this piteous
suppliant, I pray you. I ask only for the
body of Kalector, my son. So
that I may bury him with honor in
the City he served so valiantly. So that
his wife, loyal and
constant Loisamanche, may find an end to her tears and
So that his mother, Marthuba, my Queen, may seek peace at
Unburied wouldst have his shade wander the earth, knowing
no peace? Let me
lay him to rest."
For many long seconds
there came no answer. But when Jonathiam felt
Brucelles hard shed
tears fall upon his head, he looked up. Brucelles
face with his hands, broad and callused from an eternity
training with sword and spear and shield, trying to block out
the sight of
the weeping Trojan King. And perhaps to shield his
own tears from the sight
"Go." he choked, his deep
voice (made it seemed for shouting war cries upon
cracked and in ruins. "Take him. Bury him. Mourn."
mighty Brucelles stumbled away, crashed to his knees, and
himself upon the preserved body of Wingtroklos, awaiting
his funeral games;
weeping from the heart, his tears flowing like
blood from an open wound.
But there was no Wingtroklos to bind
his wounds, now. To smile and joke
with him, to understand him so
well; to love him. He had thought that he'd
had enough of tears
and wailing, grief and woe.
In his joy
Jonathiam did not forget to be grateful to his most
enemy. He lay one hand, feeble now and fragile as
parchament, upon Bucelles
"We have come
together, you and I, united by our common grief and pain.
grief is ever greedy and ravenous. Take care that it does not
<Insert scene of Kalector's
And so ended the funeral of Kalector,
beloved of Apollo, Lord of the Sun and
<Insert scene of battle between Brucelles
and Diana and the death of Diana
Mellissius Aforethought could never decide,
later, just what it was that
alerted her. The soft russle of the
sweet smelling grass ... a scent
wafting upon the air, perhaps,
or was it some sense even more primal? She
never knew. In the
end, she knew only that she was no longer alone in this
grief and sorrow. That her solitary sadness had been most
intruded upon. Her quick temper flared to the sound her
sword sang, ringing
like the chimes of a bell, as she freed it
from out of the belt spanning her
"Show yourself, intruder!" she shouted. "Come out and
face me, wretch!"
He stepped from the dimness, then, a tall
shadow detaching itself from a
larger one, and strode into the
waning light of the setting sun. The ruby
light of Apollo's
fading glory seemed to bathe him in blood for an eternal
She recognized him instantly, then. Mellissius lips peeled
from her teeth in a feral snarl.
petite redhead (small for an Amazon) spat the name like a
She tossed one of her long waist length braids the color of
blood over her shoulder in disdain. "Think you to kill
more of us? Never!
Not while I draw breath!"
Mellissius Afterthought," the Myrmidon Prince returned in
surprisingly soft voice. Brucelles spread his empty hands.
"Would you slay
an unarmed man?" He was certain she would not.
More than once he had
faced her upon the field of battle and seen
her honor. Small she might be,
but highly skilled and fierce of
heart. And great in honor.
"And what is that wrapped and so
carefully concealed, slung across your
back?" the newly appointed
Amazon Queen sneered hotly, pointing with her
sword. "A shapened
twig for picking your teeth, I suppose!"
Brucelles knelt and
carefully unwrapped the sword from it's silken binding
and lay it
before Melissius. The sword was not new. It bore many marks
long, hard use; the sweat stained metal glistening upon its
was no sword meant for play or ostentatious
"Tis my honor that brings me forth Mellissius
murmured. "To this place now and to the
Gates of Troy itself. To my death
if the prophecy speaks true and
I think it does." He studied the sword for
long moments. "In
truth, I care not. I have nothing left to return to."
lonliness in that deep sonorous voice tore the flesh of Melissius'
more surely than his sword might have done. But she kept
"My honor brought me here," he said
once more. "My honor .... and a gift
for a Queen." He touched the
sword and stroked it as he might a lover's
soft skin for an
instant. "This sword is a part of my body almost. We are
have weilded it from my infancy. We understand one
perfectly. The only other who ever understood me is ...
no longer here.
There is a part of my soul mingled with its
metal. How appropriate that you
should bury it with Diana ...
since you will indeed be burying a part of
part would that be, Brucelles, Killer of Amazons?"
Melissius tartly. "The battle rage that lead you to seek
her out upon the
field of battle? That lead you to kill
Brucelles looked up into Mellisius' earth-brown eyes,
the gift of Gaea,
Earth Mother. As, indeed, were the Amazons
themselves. "It is the bane of
men that they often kill the thing
they love." he whispered.
Melissius eyes widened and for the
first time her sword wavered slightly,
then lowered itself. Her
stomach roiled and threatened rebellion at the
thought of Diana,
her lovely Diana, in the rough clutches of a *man*.
unspoken pleading in Brucelles dark blue eyes. "Surely
understand. Did you not love her yourself: Was she not your
Diana and I were very much akin; like reflections in
a mirror. She was
fierce and beautiful, but noble of heart. Wild
and free as I am not free.
How could I not love her? It wasn't
until I had slain her that I - that I
knew what I had lost. Think
you that I did not mourn? Oh, yes, I mourned. I
mourned until my
battle-fellows mocked me for it. 'Brucelles Heart Sore'
called me. 'Brucelles Sleeve Heart'. Take the sword. Bury it
her; bury a piece of *me* with your Queen, Mellissius
"Never!" hissed Melissius. "I'll kill you
Faster than Zues' lightning, swifter and hotter than
Zephorus, the South
Wind, Brucelles struck then. Before she could
bring her sword to bear
Mellissius found herself pinned by the
strength of those hands, those arms.
Her sword went flying from
her grip to land far away. Steely fingers pried
open her closed
hand and thrust into it a larger, heavier sword, then closed
firmly about the pommel as if he did not wish her lose the weapon
resting in her hand.
"Then strike, Mellissius
Aforethought!" he cried. "And do not count the
raised her sword to do it. Her heart burned with the need for it.
strike him dead and spill his blood, sacrifice upon Diana's
And then she remembered and lowered the
"Hades take you Brucelles, Swift Sword!" she growled.
"And what would be the
use of that? Tis well known that no
weapon, no sword, may harm you!"
He drew her closer, crushing
her against his chest. Her dark auburn head
swam with the
nearness of him; she was dizzy with the heat of anger raising
his body in great stifling waves, writhn and coiling like a living
as he stared down into her earthen eyes, spearing her like
an enemy on the
battlefield. "There is one place you may safely
strike me Mellissius
Aforethought," he hissed, his breath hot in
her ear. "A single spot upon
this body where I am vulnerable to
sword or spear or arrow. Shall I tell
you where it
She studied him. Was he serious? Yes, she could tell
that he was. Unlike
most of his fellow warriors, he was beardless
like a woman and that helped
to ease her natural distrust a bit.
He'd give no enemy the chance to pull
him off balance by tugging
upon a beard. Wise of him Mellissius thought.
His hair was
clipped short in the front and upon the sides, for much the
reason, she suspected. But in the back, it spilled forth like a
flowing ebony curtain tied back with a simple leather
thong. It seemed that
he did not worry about being taken from
behind. He was either very trusting
or very confident, she
decided. The later she guessed. Few were the men or
enough to take Brucelles from behind. Not for nothing was he
as Brucelles *Swift* Sword. And not simply for his readiness to
it, either. But, then, she'd just had ample evidence of his
she? Furiously, she beat back the flames of
resentment until they lay like
charred, smoldering embers within
"Tis not for such as I to slay you, Brucelles,
Man Reaper. The Gods
themselves will do that."
have sworn that he almost smiled at her curse. Slowly,
watched the storm fade from his bright blue eyes, blowing
past her hot and
furious as it deserted him. Bereft, he turned
his back and stepped away.
Never before in his short life, she
warrented, had he turned his back upon
an enemy carrying a sword.
She almost felt honored in an irrational way.
Trust did not come
easily to such a man as Brucelles.
"Take your sisters and go,
Mellisseus Aforethought," he advised softly.
"Tis no dishonor to
leave such a slaughter as this. Must more of your
before the gates of a city not their own? With her life,
has purchased your freedom from the oath you swore unto
Let her grave, buried by Amazon custom upon the
battlefield where she fell,
stand as a monument to Amazon honor
and fierceness. Go, I pray you."
Mellisseus lowered the heavy
"And what of you, Brucelles?" She could not bring
herself just now to
address him by one of the many sobriquets by
which he was known. Which,
after all? Brucelles, Swift Sword?
Brucelles, Prince of Myrmidon?
Brucelles, The Fair? Brucelles,
Dark Soul? And now ... Brucelles, Killer
back stiffened and he held his head proudly erect. "We are as the
have made us, fair Amazon," he said. "As Destiny molded and
shaped us. And
my destiny is not yet met." At his side his hands
knottted themselves into
fists. "There is still *one* thing I
must do," he promised, his voice harsh
and unyeilding. "After
that ... I care not."
Mellisseus looked away, closing her
eyes against the pain in that deep
voice, and the sword in her
hand clattered to the ground from her suddenly
'Oh Diana, my Queen,' she prayed, 'guide me now,
from the Elaysian Fields,
innamorata! Help me to see the right
path. *Could* you have loved him?
Tell me that it could never be
so! He is Heracles Incarnate. Everything
that we despise about
his sex and still are driven to emulate and admire
flesh. Fury and darkness struggling for the Light. And yet
And yet ...
But there came no answer to her
plea. And when she opened her brown eyes
once more Brucelles was
gone. Melted like a shadow into the swiftly falling
night as if he'd never been there at
King Jonathiam=Jonathan Kent=King Priam
Marthuba=Martha Kent=Queen Hecuba
Sandorion=Sandy=boy servant to
Timon=Tim Drake=boy servant to
Rasalomedes=Ras Al Ghul=Lycomedes, King of