Questions were getting raised, she could tell. You don’t get to the top without knowing what people say about you, whether you like it or not. “Penthesilea, o!, a mighty queen,” they’d say. “And so devoted to chastity. Never even looks at a man. Always too busy, o, yes.”
“Innuendo,” she counters. “Figments! Slanderers, the lot of you.”
“O! Certainly. You don’t have to tell me. I always speak up when I hear it. But people are starting to talk.”
All in all it’s mildly irritating. She makes a mental note to do something about it when she gets back, and cuts the head off the soldier she’s fighting for a reminder. “Don’t let me forget,” she tells it as she ties its ponytail to her saddle.
As luck would have it, there’s a messenger waiting when she gets back to court. “O most noble queen,” he begins.
“Save the balloon juice, shorty. What’s the deal?”
“The topless towers of Troy are falling, o my queen. Priam and his son, the dauntless Hector, have sent me to beg your aid. In trust of this I carry–“
She lets him natter on while she thinks. Hector, eh? He’s well spoken of, certainly, and so handsome, to hear it told. A mighty fighter, too, which is really the important thing. They could make wonderful daughters together. “All right,” she says, cutting off the nuncio. “I’m in. Ladies, we ride!”
Of course he’s dead by the time she gets there, which annoys her so much she kills an entire Greek fleet in retaliation.