Saturday, May 7, 2011

Iliad, Book 1.2

See previous here.

"HE HAS BEEN KILLING THEM FOR NINE DAYS! NINE DAYS! I mean, when he was just shooting his arrows at the dogs, I didn't really care," Juno huffed, petting the cat on her lap a little harder than was necessary, "but then he started in on my Achaeans! And they are being decimated."

Demeter shook her head disapprovingly, her long brown hair swishing side to side as she gave Juno a pat on the shoulder. Athena did not look up from the book she was reading, but mumbled a noncommital "Mmm-hmm." Hestia kept her eyes on the fire.

"There's not much use talking to Apollo at this point," Demeter said, looking over at the fern in the corner, which grew slightly under her gaze. "Ares is down there with him. They're beyond reason."

"Well, I've had it." Juno stood up suddenly, and her cat fell to the ground with a loud yowl. "Jove is off gallivanting who-knows-where. If not for me, nothing would ever get done around here. It's no wonder I'm always on edge. It's all of the stress of keeping everything together."

Athena's grey eyes took on a steely hue, but she kept reading.

"When Jove comes looking for me, tell him I'm with Achilles," Juno said. "With Achilles."

"Of course," Demeter said. "It'll serve him right."


Achilles and Patroclus were lounging around the tent, watching Briseis as she tried to straighten up the mess around them. The girl's dark hair and dark skin looked almost warm in the light of the lantern. She grabbed a bundle of blankets from the floor, her black tunic inching up as she did so. She suddenly realized the men had grown quiet, and whipped around in time to see Patroclus bending over to get a better look. Scowling, she wadded the blankets up, threw them in Achilles' face, and stomped out.

Patroclus was laughing so hard he almost drowned out Achilles' loud "RAWR!" The younger man left the tent to throw a few more teasing insults after the woman, and when the tent flap closed behind him, Juno stood there, radiant and proud.

Achilles hastily stood up, shoving the blankets behind him while inclining his head slightly, rather less than most would in the presence of the goddess.

Juno, of course, noticed this, and her face took on a bit more of an edge than it usually had. "Achilles."

"My Queen," Achilles said, raising an eyebrow, but inclining his head lower this time.

Juno rolled her eyes. The nerve of some these half-mortals was almost comical. "Let's just cut to the chase, shall we?" She swung her golden plait around her shoulder, stroking it as she spoke. "Apollo will not rest until Agamemnon returns the girl to his priest. You are going to do whatever you need to do to calm him down." She ignored Achilles' muffled groan. "I would suggest an assembly. Calchus may have something to say. And straighten up in here," she said, looking around the tent. "Your mother would be ashamed of you."

"That's what Briseis is for," Achilles muttered.

Juno's eyes lit a little at this. "She is not your slave."

"Actually, she is," Achilles retorted. "Agamemnon gave her to me because I am the best warrior he has. To the victor go the womenfolk," he said, imitating Juno's overdramatic emphasis.

"We'll see about that," Juno snapped. "An assembly. NOW." She disappeared before Achilles could reply.

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