Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2


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    Rescuing Ariadne

    OoC
    I doubt this will be nearly as well-done as the first one (which isn’t saying much, I suppose), but I’ve decided—after almost ten years—to write another Tales of Bellerophon. I think it’s somewhat rushed and I don’t think I had sufficient inspiration to make it amusing, but we’ll see.

    So, here goes nothing (quite literally, in all probability).
    BiC

    En route to the abandoned farmhouse to rescue Ariadne…

    Bellerophon, Meleager, and Hector wandered down the forest, each lost in their thoughts (or what passed for thoughts in Hector’s case).

    Bellerophon was wishing that he’d been carrying insect repellant when Alaric had kidnapped and conscripted him. He was certain every bug in the forest—each carrying deadly diseases to which he had no immunity—was after him. (He was correct: Meleager and Hector had convinced him to try honey as a form of sun block.)

    Hector was “thinking” of combat. (It should be noted he seldom “thought” of anything else, except for food and the occasional “thought” of registering Cythera.)

    Meleager was wondering why he had accepted 50 oboloi for a contract of undefined duration and was worried how it might affect his dream of a pleasant retirement. He was also plotting how best to murder Aethon and not get caught.

    After a few moments of silence, Meleager began to sing “My Darling Clementine” (badly).

    Bellerophon paused and turned toward him.

    “For the 1075th time: STOP SINGING!”

    (He wasn’t quite correct: it was actually the 1073rd time.)

    Meleager shrugged and lapsed into silence.

    They were just passing the fourth sign marked “There is not an evil villain’s hideout on this road. No kidnapped noblewomen are being held captive in the vicinity” when they came within sight of the farmhouse.

    Bellerophon stopped and gestured for Hector to continue.

    Hector looked at him blankly.

    Bellerophon gestured again. Hector continued to stare.

    “Well, go on,” Bellerophon finally growled. “Go first!”

    “But you’re the leader,” Hector pointed out. Bellerophon was stunned for a moment, not aware that Hector had that much capacity for thought.

    He recovered quickly (relatively anyway: it was quite a shock).

    “Which means I give the orders! I’m always going first with no idea of what is waiting for me! This time you guys go first and find the danger, so I can hide—I mean, so I can know what I’m facing!”

    The other two just stood there.

    “I challenge you to a duel to settle the matter!” Hector yelled, delighted at the thought of a fight.

    Seeing Bellerophon’s face begin to redden, Meleager spoke, “We could flip a coin. Heads, we win. Tails, you lose.”

    Bellerophon was stumped for a moment. Did oboloi even have designs on them?

    “Fine,” Bellerophon agreed hurriedly, so as not to appear an idiot.

    (It didn’t work.)

    Meleager pulled out an oboloi and flipped it.

    “Tails, you lose,” he announced.

    Bemoaning his continual bad luck, Bellerophon reluctantly led the way.

    “Such a risk,” Hector mumbled. “We should have just engaged in glorious battle worthy of the mighty heroes of old!”

    Eventually, after a great deal of noise and confusion—including Bellerophon walking repeatedly into the same tree, Hector attacking Meleager out of concern for their leader (or, more probably, boredom), and Meleager mistaking Hector for Aethon and attempting to knife him—they cautiously entered the farmhouse.

    “You know, for an abandoned farmhouse, this place looks pretty well kept,” Bellerophon remarked.

    “Bandits in Cythera are avid gardeners,” Meleager replied. “They’re also quite adept at origami.”

    Before the conversation could continue, Hector interrupted.

    “Ruffians,” he exclaimed happily, pointing at four identically dressed men approaching them.

    “How can you tell?” Bellerophon asked, confused. “Do ruffians have a dress code?”

    “Every occupation on Cythera has a dress code. Haven’t you noticed all fighters dress alike?”

    This launched a half-hour discussion about various social norms and customs in Cythera, while the ruffians kindly waited. It would probably have been very instructive to Bellerophon if he hadn’t fallen asleep in the first five minutes.

    Eventually, after Meleager had finished rifling his leader’s pockets for loose change to help fund his retirement, Bellerophon awoke.

    Tensely, the three faced the four ruffians, as Bellerophon pondered the situation and came up with a cunning plan.

    “All right, Hector, you take the two on the right. Meleager, you take the two on the left. I’ll provide moral support.”

    “But I wanted to fight all four,” Hector whined.

    “Actually, we don’t want to fight,” one of the ruffians remarked politely.

    “WHAT?!” Hector roared.

    “No, we’ve decided that that is a nasty way of settling things. We’d prefer to talk matters out and come to an amicable, peaceful arrangement.”

    Bellerophon, Hector, and Meleager looked at each other.

    “Coward!” Hector yelled, killing the ruffian. Another, realizing he was dealing with a madman, turned and ran—well, walked, but he wished a lot that the game had a run mode.

    Hector chased after him, leaving Bellerophon and Meleager to face the other two ruffians, one of whom was a huge, armor-clad man wielding an axe and the other of whom was an small, old man.

    “You take the big one. I’ll take the little one and let you get your exercise,” Bellerophon hurriedly (and selflessly!) volunteered.

    Confidently, Bellerophon approached the small ruffian.

    “Stop!” the ruffian cried. “Who approaches this farmhouse of death must answer me these questions three ere the inside he see!”

    “Farmhouse of death?” Bellerophon asked warily. Was there a plague? An infestation of man-eating Zelthrubian noodles? Or, worse, an IRS audit being conducted?

    A horrifying thought struck him.

    “What is your name?”

    “Oh no!” Bellerophon gasped, having completely forgotten the ruffian.

    “What a strange name,” the ruffian remarked. “What is your quest?”

    “I have to cure Alaric (that crazed kidnapper!) and get home before my taxes are due!”

    The ruffian was horrified for a moment but recovered rapidly.

    “What is the capital of Assyria?”

    “What do you mean?” Bellerophon sputtered, having actually heard that question. “Assyria doesn’t even exist as a nation anymore! At what time period? They had several capitals!”

    “What? I—I don’t know,” the ruffian stammered. Then, he screamed as he was launched into the air.

    “I didn’t know the game had functionality for that,” Bellerophon muttered. Then, he kicked the ground in frustration. “Great! Now, I can’t loot his corpse!”

    Meanwhile, Hector had caught up to the ruffian he had been chasing. This unfortunate fellow had discovered he couldn’t leave the farmhouse and had been in the midst of an existential crisis when Hector reached him.

    “Why can’t I leave here? Do I exist? Am I just a few pixels on a computer screen somewhere? A few bits of data?” he waxed poetically.

    “Die, coward!” Hector yelled, smashing the ruffian with a bone-crunching sound (but to no effect). “Justice is done!”

    “But I’m okay,” the ruffian pointed out.

    “What? Impossible, I smashed you with a bone-crunching sound!”

    “No, you smashed me with a bone-crunching sound (but to no effect).”

    “That doesn’t even make any sense!”

    “I don’t know. It fits my new philosophy regarding our universe. You see—“

    “Fine,” Hector snarled and ground the ruffian to dust (but to no effect). “There!”

    “But I’m still okay! I think that—“

    At this point, Hector ran out of patience and head-butt the man, killing him instantly. (Hector’s head had a Mohs hardness of 11.)

    “Any last words, old man?” the huge ruffian rumbled as he towered over Meleager.

    Meleager prepared for combat but then realized two things. First, his opponent was a huge, armor-clad man wielding an axe. Second, he had no weapons but his bare hands.

    Perhaps talking a bit first wouldn’t hurt.

    “What’s someone like you even doing here?” the ruffian taunted.

    “Well, actually, I’m trying to raise enough money to fund my retirement (and kill Aethon). It’s kind of a dream of mine.”

    “I’m confused. Which one is the dream?”

    “Both really.”

    The ruffian snorted derisively.

    “That was rude! I mean, find your humanity! Haven’t you ever had a dream before?”

    The ruffian stormed over to him, raised his axe, and then paused.

    “I had a dream once,” he said sadly. He threw his axe off to the side and a musical number began to play. He opened his mouth to sing.

    Then, Bellerophon killed him and the music died.

    “Stop that! Stop! There’ll be no singing while I’m around!”

    “He was about to pour out his hopes and dreams,” Meleager said. “That was kind of thoughtless of you.”

    “There will be no singing!” Bellerophon growled, as he headed toward the farmhouse.

    Meleager shrugged and then began to loot the ruffian’s corpse.

    “I don’t understand why I have to do everything,” Bellerophon complained as they approached the house. “Couldn’t the Odemian guard do this? I’m not even getting paid! With my luck, all that I’ll get out of this is an antique set of panpipes!”

    “We could form a band,” Meleager suggested.

    “We could form a band and have cookies,” Hector commented.

    “I’m the leader here!” Bellerophon grumbled. “And I say there will be no cookies and no cartoons!”

    “What?” Meleager asked.

    “Sorry, no cookies and no bands. A band would probably involve singing!”

    “Music-hater,” Hector muttered rebelliously.

    As ever, Bellerophon found it his duty to speak with the ruffian standing in front of the farmhouse door, who had been too busy yodeling to notice his fellows being killed in front of him.

    “Is that Eudoxus?” he asked.

    “Yes, that’s the Eudoxus the Likeable,” Meleager affirmed.

    “Eudoxus the Likeable?” Bellerophon repeated in disbelief. “What does that mean?”

    “He’s the kindest, most unassuming person in Cythera,” Meleager shrugged. “Everyone likes him.”

    Flashback to Eudoxus on trial in Odemia…

    “You’ve been accused of theft, murder, sabotage, arson, and more crimes than I care to enumerate at this time,” Sacas said sternly. “How do you plead?”

    “Oh, I’m guilty, your Honor,” Eudoxus replied modestly.

    “Then, I find you—“ Sacas looked up and hesitated, unable to bring herself to condemn such a nice guy. “—not guilty.”

    The courtroom burst into applause and loud cheers…

    “You can’t be serious! He’s a vicious, murderous—“

    “Hey! Watch it!” Meleager interrupted angrily.

    “Never mind,” Bellerophon growled and stormed up to Eudoxus. “Sir, it’s my duty to—“

    “Yes?” Eudoxus asked politely.

    “—ask for your autograph,” Bellerophon finished after a pause, unable to bring himself to attack the nice gentlemen.

    Glumly, he returned to the others.

    “Meleager, kill him,” he ordered.

    “Kill? Isn’t that a bit extreme? Couldn’t we just give him a warning?”

    “Cowards! I shall handle this as a true warrior!” Hector replied.

    Drawing his sword, he approached Eudoxus.

    “Hello,” Eudoxus said kindly.

    Hector paused. For some reason, he felt unable to kill this man.

    This thought—being so alien in to Hector and so far from his natural character—induced a mental paralysis (which for Hector is not saying much).

    Hector toppled over and his head collided with Eudoxus the Likeable, killing him instantly.

    “Well, that was anti-climatic,” Meleager commented.

    “Yes! For the first time in forever, I finally get to loot a corpse!” Bellerophon rejoiced, running over to Eudoxus. “No money! Just a note, a key, some strange sunblock…” he muttered disgustedly.

    Meleager headed for Hector to rifle his pockets, but, unfortunately, the man revived first.

    “Now, search the farmhouse!” Bellerophon roared dramatically.

    Neither man moved.

    Bellerophon rolled his eyes.

    “Simon says.”

    With that, the group entered the building, finding a small campfire inside. Bellerophon stopped, “Is this building made out of asbestos? Because that is really unhealthy! And how did they get proper ventilation in here?”

    To avoid listening to their leader rant, Meleager and Hector hurried toward the two rooms they saw on the far side. Meleager decided to check the southern entrance, while Hector checked the northern one.

    “Agh! Spike Trap!” both men yelled as they walked over the thresholds.

    Meleager stopped, put bandaids and antibiotic on his feet, and then proceeded to destroy the spike trap. Hector continued to walk back and forth, yelling “Agh! Spike Trap!” until even Bellerophon noticed.

    “Eh, he’ll wear it down eventually,” he muttered and then went back to ranting about building codes in Cythera.

    As he spoke, Hector finally succeed in wearing the spike trap down and staggered into the main room.

    “Never give up! Never surrender!” he said triumphantly before collapsing. Meleager moved forward rapidly, still hoping to search his pockets, but Hector again recovered too fast.

    “There’s a trapdoor in that room.” Meleager pointed to the southern room.

    “There are flax bales in that room.” Hector pointed to the northern room.

    Bellerophon considered this, putting Sherlock Holmes skills to work.

    “Obviously, they have stuffed her into one of the bales!” he concluded.

    After three hours of searching the three bales, Hector and Meleager began to doubt their leader’s conclusion.

    “Maybe she’s on the roof,” Meleager pondered.

    “She could be under the trapdoor,” Hector suggested.

    “No, we would have seen her on the roof,” Bellerophon muttered.

    “Out back?” Meleager posited.

    “Under the trapdoor?” Hector proposed.

    “No, she’d get away if she were out back…wait! I’ve got it! She’s under the trapdoor! Ha! I’m brilliant!”

    The trio proceeded to the other room where they stared at the trapdoor.

    “How do we open it?” Hector asked.

    “Maybe it’s a strange puzzle lock?” Bellerophon said, having completely forgotten the key he’d taken off of Eudoxus the Likeable.

    “Maybe it opens on a particular musical note?” Meleager suggested.

    “THERE WILL BE NO SINGING!” Bellerophon yelled, so loudly that the trapdoor split open, releasing a gust of arctic air and the sounds of someone singing.

    “What?!” he screamed. Ignoring the snow and ice, he hurried down the ladder and turned to face the woman singing.

    “THERE WILL BE NO—“

    She gasped in surprise and turned. There was flash of blue and Bellerophon suddenly found himself pinned to the wall by several razor-sharp icicles.

    “—on the other hand, a little singing never hurt anyone!” he finished.

    Hearing this, Hector decided it was safe to sing and opened his mouth. Unfortunately, this action occupied his rather limited thought space. He then slipped on the ladder and fell. His head struck the ground, releasing such vibrations that the icicles shattered and Bellerophon dropped to the ground, facing the nervous-looking woman.

    “Are you Ariadne?” he asked very respectfully, eyeing the piles of snow and ice around him anxiously.

    “Oh no! I’ve killed your friend!”

    “Eh, I’m sure he’s not quite dead yet.”

    “But your other friend is looking through his pockets for loose change!” she replied, pointing at Meleager going through Hector’s wallet. “You only do that if someone is all dead!”

    Realizing they were both staring at him, he came up with a cover story.

    “I’m just looking for a bandage for his head!”

    “Oh,” she relaxed. “Yes, I’m Ariadne. I suppose you came to rescue me.”

    “Yes,” Bellerophon nodded, wondering why she needed any help.

    She sighed.

    “You shouldn’t have. In Odemia, I’m a danger to everyone, but here I can be free.”

    “That’s fine,” Bellerophon opened his mouth to say.

    Recovering from his fall, Hector interrupted. “What about your husband?”

    “Philinus? Yes, he’d miss me,” Ariadne said. “Everyone said we were crazy to get married after what happened the first five times.”

    “…first five times? How many husbands have you had?”

    “Just the five…all accidentally frozen to death. But Philinus and I didn’t care! We were in love!” Ariadne concluded happily. “You’re right! I should go back!”

    “Are you sure? You might hurt him! Maybe you should stay here!” Bellerophon interjected (thinking mostly of his own odds of survival).

    “Love has its risks!” Ariadne answered cheerily, climbing the ladder.

    “Great,” Bellerophon muttered. “Now, I’ll probably get attacked by a giant snowman, caught in a blizzard, and have my heart frozen. And she’ll probably start singing again!”



  • After all your bragging and talking up this chronicle, I was skeptical; but I have to admit, this is great! ^ ___^ I especially love Hector and Meleager refusing to go ahead of Bellerophon, the ruffians waiting while the "heroes" discussed the various social norms and customs in Cythera, one of the ruffians being unable to leave the farmhouse, the bone-crunching blow having no effect : _D I also appreciated Bellerophon's astute discovery of Ariadne, and the Tangled and Frozen references ^ __^ Where did the "most likeable man in the world" villain joke come from?



  • Oh my goodness it's like a Cythera playthrough gone horribly wrong. I probably didn't even get half the jokes and I still think it's hilarious. :D

    @selax_bot, on 14 February 2015 - 09:29 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    After a few moments of silence, Meleager began to sing “My Darling Clementine” (badly).

    oh no I'm going to have that stuck in my head now

    Quote

    “Stop!” the ruffian cried. “Who approaches this farmhouse of death must answer me these questions three ere the inside he see!”

    Yes, a Search for the Holy Grail reference!

    Quote

    “That was rude! I mean, find your humanity! Haven’t you ever had a dream before?”

    Oh no. I know where this is going.

    Quote

    Hector continued to walk back and forth, yelling “Agh! Spike Trap!” until even Bellerophon noticed.

    OMG Hector you dolt

    Quote

    “You shouldn’t have. In Odemia, I’m a danger to everyone, but here I can be free.”

    Free? She's stuck under a trapdoor! OMG Ariadne you dolt!


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    Thanks all (including those who have read the chron but apparently won't deign to comment on it) :) .

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 15 February 2015 - 04:30 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    ...one of the ruffians being unable to leave the farmhouse...

    Indeed, Hector rid Cythera of a budding philosopher who might have revealed the nature of their reality to them.

    Very tragic.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 15 February 2015 - 04:30 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    Where did the "most likeable man in the world" villain joke come from?

    "Dis is KAOS! We don't answer questions here!"

    A two-part (I think) season 5 episode of the old Get Smart tv series. Googling "Simon the Likeable" should bring up a youtube video of humorous season 5 moments containing some clips from the episode.

    @ikaterei_bot, on 15 February 2015 - 08:12 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    Oh my goodness it's like a Cythera playthrough gone horribly wrong.

    "Oh, like you'd know!"

    :p

    (Avatara will probably get that reference, since it too is from Galaxy Quest.)

    @ikaterei_bot, on 15 February 2015 - 08:12 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    I probably didn't even get half the jokes and I still think it's hilarious.

    Off the top of my head, there are references (most being very slight and one actually being a slight misquote) or jokes from--or more accurately inspired by-- Frozen (which given the extent that it is getting into the chron board really does seem to be on the path to global domination), Tangled , Galaxy Quest (is Avatara really the only other one who has seen this movie?), Huckleberry Hound , The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again , the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon (the misquote I mentioned), Rocky and Bullwinkle , The Princess Bride , Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail , Get Smart , Scooby Doo: Where are you (though the joke is not unique to that cartoon and might be from another Scooby Doo iteration), and Clue.

    @ikaterei_bot, on 15 February 2015 - 08:12 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    Oh no. I know where this is going.

    Do you mean the reference or the fact that Bellerophon was going to kill him?

    @ikaterei_bot, on 15 February 2015 - 08:12 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    Free? She's stuck under a trapdoor! OMG Ariadne you dolt!

    But leaving would involve getting past Eudoxus the Likeable! She would need Agent 99's mother to do that!



  • @selax_bot, on 22 February 2015 - 06:35 PM, said in Cythera Chronicles: Tales of Bellerophon 2:

    Do you mean the reference or the fact that Bellerophon was going to kill him?

    That it was going to turn into a Tangled sing-along, though I probably should have expected Bellerophon to kill him too.


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