*Spoiler Alert: The following scene is from an early draft of Love and War, which comes AFTER the events in Aphrodite*
The Caribbean music grew louder as Ares and I walked to the the dining hall for happy hour the next night.
“I’ll get you a drink!” Ares called over the music.
“Thanks.” I worked to keep a smile on my face. Swimming had not gone any better today, I was wearing a red sundress that looked like it’d been repurposed from a fricken bandana, and it had taken nearly an hour to get my hair to cooperate as opposed to the two seconds it would have taken to cast a glamour. Stupid things to be upset about big picture, but enough to thoroughly ruin my day.
The demigods stood talking and laughing in clusters, and my mind flitted to Persephone’s assertion that the island was too much of a paradise for the residents to question Jason’s decisions.
“Elise,” Medea called, forging her way through the crowd.
“Medea!” I smiled thinking of yesterday afternoon, and brayed at her with a snicker.
Her eyes widened, and she shushed me, crossing the distance between us in a matter of seconds to grab at my hands and whisper, “he’s like right behind you.”
I turned to see Zeetes giving me an odd look. “So?”
Medea dissolved into giggles and yanked me through the crowd and away from him before he could catch on to what we were talking about.
“Wait, wait!” Medea’s eyes caught on something in the crowd. “Glauce!” She called, rising to her tiptoes and waving. “Over here!”
“Hey, Elise,” Nester said as he passed by. “Did you want a drink?”
“I’ve got one on the way,” I said with a smile. I turned down three more drink offers before Otrera and Glauce joined us.
“Oh my god,” Otrera snapped when Idas paused to offer her a drink. “We’re hydrated. Thanks.”
Okay, so brief recapping. Jason is trying to regain his rightful place as ruler from his evil uncle, Pelias. Pelias gave him an impossible quest to find the Golden Fleece. Jason assembled a very large group of heroes, and they are all getting ready to set off in a boat called the Argo.
Jason tried to elect Hercules as their leader, but Herc wasn’t having it. Hercules insisted Jason lead since it was his quest. Good thing for the Argonauts too, as Herc had a tendency to kill people in fits of insanity when placed in positions of authority. The Argonauts pulled away from shore, sacrificed two bulls to Apollo, then spend the night partying and listening to Orpheus sing songs.
Their first stop was the island of Lemnos, where the Argonauts discover the women, led by Queen Hypsipyle, murdered their husbands and every other man on the island. Why, you may ask? Well, it seems the women hadn’t worshipped Aphrodite enough so she made them stink so bad that their men-folk had no choice but to sleep with their slaves on another island. These women may have smelled bad, but their B.S detector worked just fine, and they murdered the cheating scoundrels in a fit of rage.
They thought the Argonauts were downright pretty, so they brought them on to the island to have lots and lots of sex. Everyone enjoyed themselves and started thinking, hey, maybe we should forget about the stupid fleece and live here.
Everyone except Hercules.
Hercules had this tendency to kill the people he sleeps with in a fit of rage, so he was understandably wary of romantic entanglements. Plus at this point in time he was crushing on his best friend, so sex with women was really not that appealing to him. He convinced the Argonauts to leave the island.
Nine months later, a new race was born on the island of Lemnos: Minyae, or Minyans. Jason swore he’d come back for the Queen, but didn’t and ends up in the 8th circle of hell for his broken vow in Dante’s Inferno.
Interesting note, Hypsipyle spared the life of one man, her father, but when the other women found out, the Queen, now pregnant with Jason’s twins, had to flee, was captured by pirates, and sold into slavery. She ended up playing nanny to King Nemea’s son, and ended up accidentally getting the child killed when the events of the Seven against Thebes unfolded. But more on that in another Mythology Monday.