M3 Margueritte: Bodanagus

The young man set his helmet on the ground and brushed back his dark hair.  He looked over the battlefield and tried to figure out what they could do better next time.  The image of a woman flashed through his mind.  He felt instantly curious.  It wasn’t Isoulde.  This woman looked remarkably like himself, with the same dark hair, green eyes and round face.  She might have been his identical twin, except she was a woman, of course.

“Margueritte.”  He breathed the name before he got interrupted.  Then he moaned as he felt a great wrenching on his heart.

“Son!  What’s wrong?”  His father came up the rise.  “You have just won a great victory.  You should be celebrating.”  Father looked all smiles.

The image of Margueritte was gone from his mind as quickly as it had come.  “It would have been a greater victory if your chiefs followed orders,” he said, as he came out of the pain.

“Son.  You told the chiefs to hide in the woods.  I did not even know if they would do it.  Nervii do not hide from battle.  They meet it, head on.”  Father punched his fist into his gloved hand.  “But I must say, when they came pouring out on the side of the enemy, I never saw men quit and run so fast.”  He laughed his great big laugh, but the young man did not laugh with him.

“But father,” the young man spoke plainly.  “They came out on the flank too soon.  It should have been a slaughter.”

“Spoken like a true Nervii.”  The old man said and laid a hand gently on his son’s shoulder.  “But Bodanagus.  You are just sixteen.  You have plenty of time for slaughter but listen.  You are never too young to learn this.  Peace is always better than war.”

“Yes, father,” Bodanagus responded.  “Only in this case, too many escaped.  They may reform and try again.”

The old man patted his son’s shoulder and laughed again.  “We will just leap that chasm when we come to it, eh?  Isn’t that what you say?”

Bodanagus nodded, but both heads turned as a rider approached.  The rider leapt from the horse, let the horse run free, and came running up to the others.

“What news, Verginex?”  The old man asked.

“Father.”  Verginex spoke.  “They had archers cover their retreat.  We couldn’t get close enough to find the Roman.  The prisoners say he led them into a trap.  I would guess they won’t let the Roman live much longer.”

“I would guess the same,” the father said.  “Never underestimate the Belgae and their ability to hold a grudge and blame others for their misfortune.”

“Never underestimate the Romans,” Bodanagus said, half to himself.

“Eh?”  Father spoke up.

“You bloodied your sword.”  Verginex interrupted and pointed.

Bodanagus looked down at his sword and spoke matter of fact.  “I had to kill him.”

“Father!”  Verginex began to whine.  “You made me stay with the horses, but Bodanagus got to bloody his sword.”

“It was his plan,” Father said.

“I know.”  Verginex raised the whine up a notch.  “He gets the victory, besides.”

Father put his arm around his other son and began to lead him back down the hill, only he could not stop smiling.  “Son?”

“Tell Isoulde I’ll be along in a while,” Bodanagus said.

“And he gets the girl, too!”  Verginex complained.  “What do I get?”

“Son.  You get to be king one day.  Don’t begrudge your younger brother his talents.  Instead, as future king, you need to learn to take advantage of them.”

Verginex looked back once.  Bodanagus saluted.  Being king was something Bodanagus wanted no part of, and fortunately, Verginex knew that.

Bodanagus stood alone again, but he could not draw up the image of that woman, Margueritte.  Even trying to imagine what a female version of himself might look like did not help.  He felt ready to give it up when he got startled by a different woman, one with a bit more substance.  She stood a few feet away and stared at him, though how she managed to get so close to him without him noticing was beyond him.

“Not much of a battle,” the woman said.  She brushed back her long blond locks and gave her armor full view of the sun.  She looked very young, but at the same time there seemed something ancient about her.  “I can smell Zeus’ pawn from here.”

“The Roman.”  Bodanagus understood that much.  He took a wild stab at the truth.  “Don’t you belong on the other side of the Rhine?”

“Very good, Kairos,” she said.  “But I knew it was you when I couldn’t read your thoughts, young as you are.”

“You will have to help me with the rest, like a name,” Bodanagus said.

“Not important,” she said.  “Let us just say Aesgard is concerned about which way Rome may turn now that Carthage is dust and Syria is being beaten down.”

“My concern, also.  And the concern of Tara, I suspect,” he said.

“Quite,” she responded.  “Thus, I have a request.”

Bodanagus felt startled.  A goddess making a request?  Such a thing was unheard of.  “I am listening,” he said at last.

“That you keep Rome out of Germany,” she said.

“But I am not German.  I am Nervii.  I am Gallic.”

“Your mother is Frankish.  This is enough,”

Bodanagus paused to consider.  He knew some day he would have his hands full of Romans.  “I will do what I can.”

“Very well said, Kairos.  The gods never make promises.”  She smiled at her own, private thoughts.  “Perhaps this will help when the time comes.”  She gave him something.  Bodanagus felt the electricity of it course through his body.

“Thank you,” he said, just to be polite, though he had no idea what the gift might be.  She, however, had already vanished.

Too many women, he thought, but not the right one.  He decided to find Isoulde.  She was all he really needed or wanted.

Avalon 2.12: Celtic Dreams

After 3266 BC, Near Coasts of Brittany  Kairos life 32: Danna

Recording … 

            “Hush.”  Roland’s ears picked up something.  He and Boston dismounted and tied off their horses.  They snuck forward to the back of a boulder and climbed up to look down on a strange scene.  Two groups of dwarfs with spears and shields were separated by a few trees so they could not see each other, but Roland and Boston could see them both.

            “When I said who goes there I meant are you friend or foe?”

            “How would I know?  Who am I talking to?”

            “Who am I talking to?”

            “I asked you first.”

            A little, well bearded dwarf stepped up and nudged the leader of his group.  The leader spoke again.

            “Fair enough, I’m Grubby McDirk.”

            “I’m Goram Flocker.  And I would not say friend.  You owe me a meat pie with all the trimmings.”

            “I do not, Goram, and you’re no friend of mine either.”

            “Grubby McDirt.”

            “That’s McDirk.”

            “Oh, that’s worser.”

            “Come here so I can punch your nose.”

            “You’re not getting my nose all dirty, McDirt.  Maybe I should punch your nose.”

            “Flocker, why don’t you just flock off.”

            “I gotta keep the woods clear of foes.”

            “I gotta do that.  Where did you get your orders?”

            “Direct from the Lady.”

            “You don’t know any ladies.”

            “That does it.”  The dwarf threw down his spear and finally stepped forward, his fists up and ready to fly.

            “Right.”  The other threw down his spear, spit on the palms of his hands and rubbed them together.

            “Ahem.”  Boston stood and Roland stood beside her  “Can you help us?”  she asked, but got no more out.

            “Cheeze it,” Grubby said.

            “Human mortal lady.” Gorman said, though it sounded like swear words.

            “And she’s got an elf with her,” Grubby added.

            In a heartbeat, both groups of dwarfs vanished into thin air.  Boston blinked.  Roland helped her back down the back of the boulder.  “We will lead the group by another route,” he said.

            “Why?  The woods are empty now, aren’t they?”

            Roland shook his head.  “The dwarfs are still there, just hidden by glamours or maybe invisible.  We best go around.”  They paused at the sound of a high pitched wail.  They knew that was the sound of the bokarus, the one that had been on their trail since the beginning.

            “I just hated to see them with bloody noses,” Boston said, but Roland said no more.

            “Well?”  Lockhart asked when Roland and Boston came back to the group.

            “This way,” Roland said and picked a path that would take them well around the group.

            “I don’t like the smell in the air,” Lincoln said to Alexis.  “Smells like more than fires.  It smells like war.”

            “Do you think?”  Captain Decker asked, but it was hard to tell if he was being serious or sarcastic.  Alexis took it as serious.

            “Oh yes,” she said.  “I trust Benjamin’s smeller.”

            “Better be ready,” Lockhart said as he checked his pistol.  “But don’t shoot anything until we know if they are friend or foe.”  Boston started to laugh out loud, but she could not explain why.

            It was not much further along when Elder Stow pulled the group back beneath the darkness of the trees.  There was a flying ship moving slowly overhead.  They looked up from the dark, but it was impossible to identify the ship.  The majority thought it looked like an Agdaline ship, but the evidence was inconclusive. 

            “This is beginning to look more and more like Tetamon’s world,” Katie said.  “Aliens hunting overhead, armed little ones guarding the forest ways.”  Roland had told them that much.  “Are you sure we did not take a wrong turn somewhere?”

            “No snow,” Elder Stow pointed out. 

            “And no snow storm.” Boston gave a big nod.  She had gotten separated from the others in that snow storm.

            “Soil is all wrong for the Ardennes.  This is sandy, rocky soil good for apple trees, maybe.  This has to be Brittany, or at least Normandy on the edge of Brittany.”

            “So what is with the aliens and armed Little Ones?” Alexis asked.

            “And the armed men,” Lockhart said, and all eyes shot to the front where some thirty men with bows and spears blocked their path.  Lockhart and Katie pushed up to the front and dismounted to see what these men wanted.

            “Lockhart,” Lockhart introduced himself and stuck out his hand and introduced Katie.  “Katie Harper.  How can we help you.”

            The man shook Lockhart’s wrist and then appeared to change his mind and shook just the hand instead.  “We are creating a whole new world, after all.  Name’s Mathonwy, but my sister just calls me Math, unless I am being bad.  Then she calls me Mathy, like a child.”  Mathonwy laughed at some memory before he looked again at the two in front of him.  I think you better follow us.  I will explain what I can on the way.”

            Lockhart waved to the rest and people dismounted to walk their horses.  Boston had to shout.

            “Grubby, you might as well come, too.”  She was surprised to hear Math shout from the front.

            “You too, Gorman.”

            “Oh, we’re coming … ouch!” came the response.

            “The one you are looking for came up from the south.  The gods kind of pressured her.  Thus far she has claimed Iberia, France and the lowlands, as she says.  She has been given the key to the old Vanheim claim since it was getting to be a big muddle.  Aesgard claimed the whole thing, but realistically they could only hold the north.  They are too spread out as it is over Germany, Scandinavia and nominally over Russia.  Egypt, that is North Africa wants Iberia.  Olympus wants the coasts to as far inland as they can get away with.  Before hostilities really broke out, though, they all knew they had to deal with Domnu across the sea.  She is the sister of the old Queen Nerthus of the Vanheim and she and her Formor children claim it all, and she holds the islands.  So the gods decided to make a new house and give it to Danna and her children as a relatively safe bet.

            “Yes, what about Danna?”  Lockhart asked.

            “Oh, she is fertile enough to have bunches of children.  Bile raped her when she was really a child, yet she had children.  She was married to Apollo for some years.  You know Apollo?”

            “Not formally,” Katie responded.

            “Well, they had children.  Their eldest married Morrigu, the nasty offspring of war and battle; but I suppose they are happy.  Now Danna is hanging out with Mangi, son of Thor.  Of course it won’t mean anything if she can’t figure out how to defeat Domnu.”

            “What’s with the aliens and armed Little Ones?” Lockhart asked.  “And the armed humans?”  They arrived on the edge of a sea of tents.  There were easily a thousand men, all armed and prepared for war, though certainly there were plenty of women and children running around as well.

            “These men have suffered for generations from incursions by the people of the islands lead by the Formors.  They can’t wait for the opportunity for pay-backs.  We will invade the islands, once, as I said, Danna figures out how to overcome Domnu.”

            “But the –“ he looked up as a small ship flew overhead.

            “Complications.  An Agdaline fleet returned at a bad time and Domnu captured half of them and has them brainwashed.  Danna is also concerned to set them free and send them to their rightful new home.”  Math pointed to the sky.  “Her job, you know.  There are also Shemsu setting up standing stones along the coast.  I have no idea what they signify, but man those people have OCD really bad.”

            They came to a very big tent and stopped out front.

            “And Domnu?”  Katie wondered.

            “Yeah.  She figures if she can defeat and kill Danna, she can hold on to the islands by treaty and let the gods fight over the continent.  The thing is, the real people, the humans that belong to Vanheim are mostly the urnfeld people – the Celts, and they will be moving west over the next couple of thousand years.

            “Wait a minute,” Katie looked squarely at Mathonwy and felt like a veil was suddenly lifted from her eyes.  “How do you know all these things like Scandinavia and Russia and Egypt?”

            “You know full well how the young and immature gods leak all over those close to them.  My big sister leaked all over me when we were growing up.  Some of it was from just inside the BC, but much of it was from the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.”  He shrugged and stepped to the tent door where two women came out to greet him.  He kissed both in turn like a lover.

            “But that means you are –“  Lockhart started.

            “Yes, I am one of them,” Math interrupted, “and I believe these are old friends of yours.”  He stepped into the tent and disappeared. 

            Boston ran to give Ahn-Yani a great hug.  Lincoln grabbed Alexis by the hand to introduce her to Kim-Keri.


Avalon 2.12:  Setting the Stage … Next Time