The staging point Agamemnon had chosen was located at Aulis. Here, the allies gathered their forces, a thousand ships strong. All appeared to be ready, but no favorable wind blew. The collected forces could not set sail to Troy with the wind against them. They waited for many days with no change. Agamemnon was persuaded to consult the soothsayer Calchas to discover the reason for the ill wind.
Taking only his most trusted companions, Diomedes and Odysseus, (yes, Odysseus was one of Agamemnon's most trusted companions for some reason), Agamemnion consulted the seer. "Oh great oracle!" he said in his booming voice. "Tell me what fool is responsible for this affront to me! How can I possibly gain any glory if my Zeus-damned ships won't move!?"
Calchas rolled his eyes. "It's your fault, you idiot. The auspices say that you killed a sacred deer in Artemis' sacred grove, and now she's pissed off at you."
Agamemnon grinned sheepishly and scratched the back of his neck. "Oh, that," he said quietly. "Umm. Well, there must be a way to appease her, right? I mean, it was just a deer."
Calchas shrugged and sighed deeply. "You could sacrifice your daughter, Iphigenia, to Artemis. A virgin sacrifice always appeases her."
Agamemnon stared at Calchas, mouth agape. "That’s it? That's fucking easy!" He leaped to his feet enthusiastically. "Ody, Dio, my buds, go fetch my daughter. It shouldn't be hard to get her to come with you."
At Mycenae, Odysseus and Diomedes found Iphigenia playing in a field of wild flowers. Odysseus smiled slyly as he turned to Diomedes and said "Piece of cake.” Diomedes just shook his head slowly as Odysseus strolled confidently over to the young girl. "Hello, little girl, we were sent by your father, Agamemnon, and we..." Before he could finish his sentence, a large rock struck his head, as a shrill whistle pierced the silence of the meadow.
"Stranger danger! Stranger danger!" the little girl called as she ran across the field, occasionally blowing the whistle for good measure.
Diomedes helped a wobbly Odysseus to his feet. "Ah dun wanna go te skool t'dee, Mummy," was all Odysseus managed to say before several armed men were bearing down upon them.
Diomedes, the more intelligent of the two, raised his hands to show that he was unarmed. Unfortunately, Odysseus had not yet regained the ability to stand on his own, and fell flat on his face.
He awoke several hours later in a dungeon cell of some sort. Diomedes was sitting next to him, silently contemplating the bars in front of them. “Odysseus awoke several hours later in a daze,” he said, “He found himself in a dungeon cell of some sort, and he noticed that his boon companion Diomedes was staring at him disapprovingly, for reasons that he could not fathom.” Odysseus shook his head once to clear it. "So, that went well," he said as cheerily as he could muster (which was surprisingly much). "Where are we?"
Diomedes looked at his companion with the eye of a father measuring up a son who has made a dreadful mistake of judgment. "We are the guests of honor in Agamemnon's palace. Iphigenia wanted so much to introduce us to Clytemnestra that she had some heavily armed guards escort us here right away. Brilliant plan, Ody, just brilliant."
Odysseus smiled winningly. "Naturally," he said without a hint of sarcasm. "But come, Diomedes, let's not dwell on the mistakes of the past. We're here, in Agamemnon's home. I'm sure once we explain ourselves, Clytemnestra will release us and we can be about our business."
Diomedes just shook his head once again as a guard approached the cell. "You two, on your feet. The queen will see you now," he said with a sadistic glee that can only come from prison guards.
Odysseus got quickly to his feet and dusted himself off with enthusiasm. "See, I told you it would all work out," he said glibly to his companion before turning his full attention to the guard. "Lead on, kind guardsman; we are eager to clear our illustrious names of these heinous charges."
Odysseus and Diomedes were brought before Clytemnestra and cast down to their knees. Clytemnestra rose from her seat and looked haughtily over the prisoners. "Well, you scoundrels thought my husband's home would be undefended in his absence, did you? Well, you were wrong. What have you to say for yourselves, varlets?"
Odysseus smiled his winning smile and tried to rise, but was quickly cast back down. After brushing himself off a bit, he spoke. "Greetings, madam," he addressed her with the proper respect, but something in his tone was more flirtatious than was appropriate, causing Diomedes to cringe and the guard to mutter angrily. Clytemnestra, however, blushed slightly. He continued. "I am Odysseus of Ithaca, and this is my boon companion Diomedes of Argos. Your husband Agamemnon entrusted us with an important task. We are to bring young Iphigenia to him at Aulis. We are only following the wishes of your great husband."
Clytemnestra, though thrown off guard by Odysseus' charm, regained her composure. "Impossible!" she said curtly. "Agamemnon is in Troy by now, fighting the likes of Hector and Aeneas, winning great glory! However, I know your names! You are tricksters of the worst sort! Agamemnon is constantly taking about the wiles of cunning Odysseus, and cursing his name! Though, you Diomedes, he spoke highly of. Why you would throw your lot in with this scoundrel will surely be a mystery to Agamemnon!"
Odysseus was flustered by this revelation, but Diomedes was unperturbed, and rather invigorated. "Odysseus speaks the truth, my lady," he said in a courtly manner, bowing his head ever so slightly. "The winds have been foul these past months, and in that time Agamemnon has grown so fond of young Achilles, that he wishes for him to marry Iphigenia, to cement their friendship and to bring Achilles into his house!"
Odysseus looked at Diomedes with mixture of shock and admiration. "Dio, you clever devil... I mean, uh..." he cleared his throat. "Yes, Iphigenia is to be the bride of Achilles. And, as part of his dowry, Agamemnon is going to make Achilles admiral of the whole fleet, so that his mother Thetis may intervene with Poseidon and grant us safe travel and favorable winds!"
Diomedes stared in disbelief at the preposterous tale of Odysseus, but had no choice but to confirm it. Clytemnestra was unsure how to act, but just then a letter from Agamemnon arrived. For some reason, she read it aloud with the prisoners still on the floor.
Dear Clytie Muffin,
I am greatly pleased to inform you that I have grown so fond of young Achilles over these past months, that I wish for him to marry our daughter Iphigenia, in order to cement our friendship and bring him into my house! I have already made him admiral of the entire fleet, as part of the dowry. Please send her to Aulis straight away. Oh and i you happen to see that bumbling oaf Odysseus, and that dear sweet boy Diomedes, please tell them that they are incompetent buffoons and probably bungled up the simple task of bringing my daughter to me. If they didn't, I will not only resign as commander of the expedition and grant the title to Diomedes, but I will also give Odysseus an atomic wedgie.
Diomedes slapped himself in the forehead and Odysseus smiled that insufferable smile of his as they were released from their bonds.