Tila waved at the strange flying cart of metal and glass which carried the scared Cyme and priestess back to the smelly and primitive world.
The waitress did want to feel sorry for watching her co-worker leave but she just couldn't find the heart for it. Cyme was a different animal compared to the broken thing that she had been living with before. While it sickened her to her core to think of such a thing she had preferred the beaten and destroyed Cyme that she had worked with.
This Cyme had been strong, independent, and full of pride. It was this stubborn pride that had cost in the end. Frank offered her adventure that she could have only dreamed of before and wealth that would be outside a king's reach. War was her people's world, and that path lead to only one end.
The world that Tila now found herself in was one of metal and glass. Great stone and glass structures that reached up towards a green and pink sky, a world where horses were obsolete. It was noisy and chaotic place that was filled with monsters who acted more civilised and were wealthier than those of Thebes.
Tila looked to her master who watched Cyme and Urus leave, his expression was unreadable “Master, what is to become of us now? The Abstract is gone. We are homeless and you said that we can not go back to my world.”
Frank gives a mighty stretch, “Yeah, losing the bar was a pain in the arse. I still have some money left,” he looked down and smiled at Tila. “What about you Tila? I can take you home if you want. As far as anyone is concerned my business sunk, you're free.”
“That is nice of you to say Master, but you will not be free of me that easy.” Tila had invested herself far too much into Frank's business to let him off that easy. She glanced around at the odd stone world and the menagerie that was its citizens. “Is this to be our home now?”
“Oh Hells no. While I can't go back to your planet, my prospector claim does cover your galaxy. Once I buy another Abstract we can go to another place, set up shop and lay low until the investigation is over.”
“There are other planets out there, Master?” Tila said shocked at the idea.
“Life is rare, but it's not impossible.” Frank said with a smirk. He spent a second appraising his employee with a mischievous smirk, “It would be incredibly unprofessional of me to sleep with an employee. You could sue me for sexual harassment.” He leaned in and kissed Tila's lips taking her of guard, “It's a good thing that my business is ruined then.”
Tila felt a shock run through her body and she found her arm wrapped around her master's neck, not daring to let him pull away. “Really Master, that was the reason that you didn't touch me. Because of a silly rule like that?”
Such silly rules. While Thebes had been a cesspool it was expected for a servant to sleep with her master, and while uncommon Tila had heard that a few women servants encouraged it.
“It would be a mistake. I'd be taking advantage of you.” Frank whispered and he held his ex-employee in his arms.
“You damn well better,” Tila demanded and went in to grab another taste.
A woman with blonde hair put into a tight no-nonsense bun glared out at a classroom full of attentive children. She carried the look that many older men fantasized their teaches of being, with a white blouse, black high heels, short skirt, and blood red lip stick she caused the boys in her class to sit up straighter and the girls jealous.
Fernie looked upon her substitute teacher with the annoyance that only a pubescent teenager with image troubles could.
It wasn't easy for a young girl from India to feel comfortable in a nearly all white society. Her father had come to Britain due to business and had made a small enterprise for himself.
Fernie didn't feel the bullying from her peers as her mother had feared but she did feel like an ugly duckling locked inside a glass case. She was bright, which her father detested, she wasn't pretty which caused the boys to ignore her, and India was seen as a less advanced civilisation that was in the middle of civil wars, which somehow leaked onto her social status. She supposed it could've been worse.
Ms Phillips wasn't especially mean to her, the substitute had come into the classroom with no warning and in a few days had the boys and several girls eating out of her hand. Not only had she so casually become popular she had also thrown out the schedule and brought out a topic that Fernie had been unprepared for.
“Now, who can tell me their most favourite Mycenaean myths.” Ms Phillips asked.
A dozen hands went up and it was not missed by Fernie that most of them belonged to the boys, who were trying to hold back from drooling over their substitute.
Mel leaned into Fernie, “It's like watching dogs look at a bone.”
“Only dogs can be house trained,” Fernie replied with a smile.
Ms Phillips looked to a young boy with red hair and freckles, “Yes, Mr Evens.”
“The Captain Ghazi and the Princesses.” The boy said.
“Ahh yes. Captain Ghazi was a pirate who used his magic carpet to steal countless treasures including the Princess Sonya. I admit that it is a fun tale but the stories got most of the facts wrong. It was not Sonya but Princess Keramídi. One of the heirs to the Orian throne. And there was no romance or love. The Enseen Empire at the time hired Ghazi, a pirate to kidnap the princess. And I will tell you this now, she was no gentle flower.”
“There was also an inconstancy with the story of Ghazi. From what she had read on the subject matter, Ghazi was actually a Persian folk tail, not a Mycenaean. Carpets were a rarity in Mycenaean and even the name Ghazi is Persian in origin.”
“Anyone else?” Ms Phillips asked.
While the other boys were attempting to dislocate their shoulders, Fernie casually raised her own hand. To her shock or if waiting for her, Phillips looked right at her Indian student, “Yes, Ms Haridash.”
Trying to gather her thoughts, Fernie said. “The Lizard Kings.”
“I never heard of that one.” Another child said.
“Oh, it's really out there. Supposedly there are these cursed golden cups with dragons on them, only nobody knew what a dragon was. I saw one in a museum. There is supposed to be seven but a lot of them were destroyed when Thebes was sacked. One of the cups is worth like two million euro.”
While others liked the big fights and monsters, Fernie had remembered going to an exhibit on ancient Mycenaean some years back and while it had board a young Fernie to tears she couldn't forget the ruby cup that she had seen.
“I am unfamiliar with this legend, Ms Haridash.” Ms Phillips admitted. “How about you tell us about it.”
“The cups were said to be made from the world's most renowned jeweller. When he died the jeweller told Hendes, the God of the Underworld that he will never truly die just as long as one of the lizards survive. So the God uses every chance he can to destroy the cups.”
“Mmmm, I will be sure to look that up. Good work Ms Haridash.” The substitute teacher said.
She looked at the class who were staring at her. For a teacher to admit to not knowing every piece of trivia or fact there was in the universe was like pouring blood in shark infested waters. Children were like wolves in that they smelled weakness and fear.
As if sensing her mistake, Ms Phillips let out a cough. “You have to understand something about stories class. Stories mutate and change over time. Before there were books people told stories by the fire and tended to leave out the parts they didn't like while embellishing the romance and fights. Many of the heroes that we think of today would be considered monsters. Can someone give me an example of a Mycenaean hero?”
“Rufio.” The boy called out, at hearing the name the other children let out groans. Fernie rolled her eyes, the boys were running out of chances to impress their new crush.
“Quiet.” Ms Phillips called out. “Yes. In the stories, Rufio was a hero who was said to be the son of Jupiter. In the stories he would steal his enemies’ strength and fought many mythical creatures including the great hydra and the demon general Werwerci. Who can tell me who Werwerci was?”
This time only five hands went up. “Yes, Mr Leonard.”
A boy with black hair spoke, “Didn't he have like four big arms?”
“Half right. Werwerci was a Titan who was the size of a mountain range and lead an army to conquer Thebes.” Ms Phillips smirked, “This of course is just make believe. There is no evidence of Werwerci having existed outside a few bits of pottery. And the after the sacking of Thebes the only evidence of Werwerci was a four armed monster fighting a man in armour. The man in armour is presumed to be Rufio, as he was popular during his time.”
Ms Phillips sat down at her desk, “The reason that I am asking about this is soon your school will be celebrating its centennial anniversary.”
Raising his hand the boy called Evans asked, “What do Mycenaean stories have to do with us.”
“I would like you to wait until I point out to you Evans, but it is a reasonable question. While most of the civilised world has much to thank to Mycenaean, one of these is the public school system.”
“Over three thousand years ago schools were meant for the privileged sons of nobility. Most of it was about grumpy old men trying to debate about the will of the gods and the meaning of life. That was until several powerful women decided to open a school for young girls and women.”
“I thought that was the Enseens.” Haridash said, confused.
“Oh, they would like to take credit for that one.” Ms Phillips said as if it was an old joke that she heard too many times. “While we can see the old Empire's work here and there, in the old crumbling abbeys, Istate and Hermonia are present. Not Enseen’s Helkate and Herfesta. When they took over, Enseen's tried to root out some of Mycenaean original teachings.”
“Like what?” Evan's asked, this time not bothering to raise his hand at all.
“For one thing, they tried to forbid female teachers. They also tried to force non-virgin girls from learning.”
Fernie held her hand up as she found the proper entry, “But Emperor Jucus made the schools co-ed didn't he?”
“Yes, but he made the mistake of using incompetent and lecherous advisors who used the system to make their own harems. Also, they made the schools for wealthy families and not citizens. Parents found that it was safer to put their daughters and sons in the care of foreign schools. Now... Who can tell me what this school is famous for?”
Born in Australia I am a late bloomer when it came to books. I started writing when my grandfather died and it just sort of turned into a hobby.
I like science fiction, but not space opera. I like fantasy but I am picky when it comes to epic and urban types. I try to stay away from vampires, zombies and romance novels when I can.