Howdy, folks:):)

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,
changes ... ANYTHING is gratefully soliticted from one and all!

Have Ah bitten off more than Ah can chew?


By: Dannell Lites

"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 King's
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.

"Enough!" thundered Arthorinamon, Overlord of Greece. "I'll not hear sad
songs about that traitorous bastard! I'll not!" He raked the assembled
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
many!? We've been driven from the very Gates of Troy by Kalector, foremost
son of King Jonathiam, practically to the decks of the ships that brought us
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 him!"

"Only because *you* offended his honor!" bespoke hot blooded Wallymedes,
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
his injured pride in his tent consoled only by his companion Wingtroklos."
He peered about, gesturing at the rest of the assembled Aechian Lords. "Not
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
foray was met with several vigorous nods of agreement and Arthorinamon's
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
years of grasping the reins of plunging steeds. "You wanted her for
yourself! You bribed Fatechas for that divination. Admit it."

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
you no more." Immediately, young Sandorion, called The Golden Boy for the
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 he
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
that fashion honor is restored upon all sides." The King of Ithaca chuckled
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
with care back upon his carven gold and scandelwood throne and Freedysseus's
smile broadened.

"In reward for your loyalty and keeness of perception," the King of Mycenae
offered magnanimously, "you may present the propositon to Brucelles in my

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.

J'Onnestor, eldest and wisest of the Aecheans, his balding head and long
white beard dyed festively green, regarded the High King askance. "Wise of
you, good Arthorinamon," he observed blandly. Arthorinamon beamed, not
sensing the old man's sarcasm, or perhaps, choosing to ignore it.

<Insert scene of Freedysseus and Brucelles -- possibly several others>

<Insedrt scenes of the death of Wingtropolos and the death of Kalector>

"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
SwiftSword, beloved of the gods." The tears began then, trailing down his
wrinkled, aged face, sacrifice to snowy shouldered Hera, The Compassionate,
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 my
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
battle ... "

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 the
greatest of his sons!" He ripped his already tattered robes, outward sign
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
listened in silence.

"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
thee, his son, bearer of his blood, and your many deeds of mighty skill and
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
and and his love for you will n'er be forgot. Timeless as the Immortal
gods, it is."

At the mention of Wingtroklos, his constant companion, dark and brooding
Brucelles' at last gave vent to his sadness.

He wept.

"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 you
should live a long but unremarkable life as most men do. Camest you
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 all."

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
everything that once gave his long life meaning. As you have lost. Mercy in
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
anguish. So that his mother, Marthuba, my Queen, may seek peace at last.
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
covered his face with his hands, broad and callused from an eternity of
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
of men.

"Go." he choked, his deep voice (made it seemed for shouting war cries upon
a battlefield) cracked and in ruins. "Take him. Bury him. Mourn."

So saying, mighty Brucelles stumbled away, crashed to his knees, and threw
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.

Not so.

In his joy Jonathiam did not forget to be grateful to his most fearsome
enemy. He lay one hand, feeble now and fragile as parchament, upon Bucelles
night-dark head.

"We have come together, you and I, united by our common grief and pain. But
grief is ever greedy and ravenous. Take care that it does not swallow thee."

<Insert scene of Kalector's funeralgames>

And so ended the funeral of Kalector, beloved of Apollo, Lord of the Sun and
Tamer of horses.

<Insert scene of battle between Brucelles and Diana and the death of Diana
at Brucelles hands>

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
place of grief and sorrow. That her solitary sadness had been most vilely
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
pleasingly plump waist.

"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
moment. She recognized him instantly, then. Mellissius lips peeled back
from her teeth in a feral snarl.

"Brucelles!" the petite redhead (small for an Amazon) spat the name like a
curse. She tossed one of her long waist length braids the color of drying
blood over her shoulder in disdain. "Think you to kill more of us? Never!
Not while I draw breath!"

"Hold enow, Mellissius Afterthought," the Myrmidon Prince returned in a
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 of
long, hard use; the sweat stained metal glistening upon its pommel. This
was no sword meant for play or ostentatious display.

"Tis my honor that brings me forth Mellissius Aforethought," Brucelles
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."

The lonliness in that deep sonorous voice tore the flesh of Melissius' heart
more surely than his sword might have done. But she kept her silence;

"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
one. I have weilded it from my infancy. We understand one another
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

"And what part would that be, Brucelles, Killer of Amazons?" demanded
Melissius tartly. "The battle rage that lead you to seek her out upon the
field of battle? That lead you to kill her?"

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*.

There was unspoken pleading in Brucelles dark blue eyes. "Surely you
understand. Did you not love her yourself: Was she not your innamorata?
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'
they called me. 'Brucelles Sleeve Heart'. Take the sword. Bury it with
her; bury a piece of *me* with your Queen, Mellissius Aforethought."

"Never!" hissed Melissius. "I'll kill you first!"

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
them firmly about the pommel as if he did not wish her lose the weapon now
resting in her hand.

"Then strike, Mellissius Aforethought!" he cried. "And do not count the

She raised her sword to do it. Her heart burned with the need for it. To
strike him dead and spill his blood, sacrifice upon Diana's tomb.

And then she remembered and lowered the sword.

"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
off his body in great stifling waves, writhn and coiling like a living thing
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 is?"

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
same reason, she suspected. But in the back, it spilled forth like a long,
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
Amazons quick enough to take Brucelles from behind. Not for nothing was he
know as Brucelles *Swift* Sword. And not simply for his readiness to use
it, either. But, then, she'd just had ample evidence of his speed hadn't
she? Furiously, she beat back the flames of resentment until they lay like
charred, smoldering embers within her breast.

"Tis not for such as I to slay you, Brucelles, Man Reaper. The Gods
themselves will do that."

She could have sworn that he almost smiled at her curse. Slowly, she
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
sisters perish before the gates of a city not their own? With her life,
Diana has purchased your freedom from the oath you swore unto Jonathiam.
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 sword.

"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
of Amazons.

His back stiffened and he held his head proudly erect. "We are as the gods
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
nerveless fingers.

'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
made rough 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
gloom of night as if he'd never been there at all.


Midnightomer=Doctor Midnight=Homer
Brucelles=Bruce Wayne=Achilles
Arthorinamon=Orin (Aquaman)=Agamemnon
Donnalen=Donna Troy=Helen
Diana=Wonder Woman=Pentheseleia
Guyjax=Guy Gardner=Ajax
Loisamanche=Lois Lane=Adromanche
King Jonathiam=Jonathan Kent=King Priam
Queen Marthuba=Martha Kent=Queen Hecuba
Selinda=Selina Kyle=Briseis
Sandorion=Sandy=boy servant to Midnitomer
Timon=Tim Drake=boy servant to Brucelles
Thomikon=Thomas Wayne=Peleus
Marthetis=Martha Wayne=Thetis
Wallymedes=Wally West=Diomedes
Fatechas=Doctor Fate=Calchas
Jonnestor=J'onn J'onzz=Nestor
Freedysseus=Scott Free=Odysseus
Barbarssandra=Barbara Gordon=Cassandra
Gartheigisthus=Garth (Tempest)=Aeigisthus
Ibnoptolemus-Ibn Al Xuffraish
Rasalomedes=Ras Al Ghul=Lycomedes, King of Scyros