Allies & Enemies


Reaching down, Jadea gently touched Thalia who reverted to her human state. She winced somewhat and tried to get up.

"Easy, now," Jadea said softly and offered her hand to help Thalia get to her feet. Though appearing a bit disoriented, the Amazon seemed unharmed. She gave a faint smile, her embarrassment at having been ambushed by an unseen attacker quite evident.

"How did you two get here so fast?" She asked after a few moments. Jadea gave Seriana a look. The latter caught her meaning and began speaking to Thalia.

The Sorceress Empress wandered off the path a ways, examining the ground and the trees that lined the hills on either side. She was searching for evidence that would lead her to the darkness reeking the area.

A soft, low whistle found her ear. Abruptly, she whirled around on her heels, her sword raised with both hands. She was met with a devilish smile, accompanied by two black eyes.

"Very impressive. Would you have been able to do that if I hadn’t whistled?"

"Hades. It was you who struck Thalia down. Why?"

"I admire the way you handled my brother, Ares. He’s quite content with playing out of his league." Though the God of the Underworld spoke quite honestly, a partial smile remained in his expression. Of all the Olympian Gods Jadea had ever met, Hades was the only one who had yet to anger her or to be angered by her.

"Why did you attack my Sister, Hades?" Jadea’s voice became stronger. Her sword remained raised between them. She took a step forward to illustrate her point.

Hades put his hands up. "I didn’t come to fight you. I just needed your undivided attention."

"Well, ya certainly got it. Now, what do you want? I’m pressed for time." Though sounding as irritated as she actually was, Jadea still did not consider Hades a threat. He didn’t have the will to be one. At least, not against her or the Amazons.

"Artemis, my sister . . . she has an unusual attachment to the Amazons. I, myself, am fond of them. But their suffering does not concern me the way that it does with her."

"Is there a point, or some kind of divine revelation buried in there somewhere?" Jadea quipped briskly.

"Just this. Consider the consequences of your actions. If the Amazon tribes divide, they will be wiped out."

"So . . . what? You're worried that the annihilation of the Amazon Nation will crush your sister's spirit? Come on, Hades. Even Ares could come up with something better."

Jadea turned and headed back to the path. Hades stopped her by appearing in front of her.

"Think about this, Jadea. You know your niece is a Goddess, but she was born of the Amazon world. So were you. I just hate to lead good hearts into my domain . . .especially when it can be averted."

With that, Hades disappeared. Jadea uttered a low growl. Gods. She thought to no one in particular.

A rustle behind her made her jerk her head. She eyed the bushes where the sound had derived.


She jumped out of the protection of the brush and landed before her aunt, staff in hand.

Jadea smiled at the presence of her niece. "I see you didn't take Ares' Godhood."

Samsara said nothing, then suddenly jumped up to the trees. Just as quickly, Jadea vanished, avoiding the assault of a volley of daggers. She reappeared and opened her eyes again, smiling.

The screams of a man came before a loud thud as he crashed onto the ground. Samsara followed him, landing deftly on her feet, crouched over his back. She sat on him and pulled his head up by the hair. "Samsara," she whispered, slitting his throat with her own dagger.

He gurgled protest and pleaded with her to spare him. Jadea merely watched, knowing his comrades would come soon.

"How about," she said, "you tell me who sent you and I let you out of this?" He paused in his answer. She became more forceful, pulling his head higher, tearing the wound more open. "You see, I'm not like Xena. I don't have a conscience. You make me sweat, I make you die."

Jadea knew it. The Themiscyrans knew it. So did the Teloqians. And now this man as the rest of Greece would come to this realization. Samsara equaled ruthless. He assented with wide eyes.

She placed her hand on his wound and the cut disappeared, curing him instantly. "Spill," she demanded.

And at that moment he called out a name she would never expect to be involved in this. "K-Kakistos! It was Kakistos the Cruel!"

Samsara was taken aback. Kakistos the Cruel? She thought wildly. She shook her head. "You LIE!" she screamed. Her sister? How could her sister be involved? Did her sister possess so much hatred for all the Amazons that she would do this? And why against Themiscyra and not Teloq? After all, it was the Pentad of Elders Council of Teloq that banished her for the term of Regent Ephiny's life. She was confused, but that did not matter to her. She pulled back her dagger to stab the man in the neck, but Jadea stopped her.

"You promised," she said, hoping to sway her.

She was successful, but there was no time for thanks or congratulations. The sound of an army of hooves was fast approaching. Seriana and Thalia ran to them. "What's going on?" Thalia demanded. "I didn't see them!"

"You weren't supposed to..." Jadea remarked.

"If Hades set a trap," Samsara whispered. She turned and saw ahead of her. Her mouth gaped open. The Highland Amazons were making their approach and they wanted blood. Ares and Kaia were working together... "We're being attack at both ends!"


"Hades didn't set this trap. Ares did. I have to get to Vorgeen before he does," Jadea stated.

"Who's Vorgeen?" Seriana asked instinctively.

"The leader of the Highland Amazons. This has set-up written all over it," Jadea answered and growled. "Seriana, you and Samsara do what you can to hold of Kakistos. Thalia, there's a pass next to the river about a mile from here. Ardra will show you where it is. You get to Queen Celosia and tell her what's happened. With any luck, Ares will get his war but played by our rules."

And to think that I ever thought you had lost your touch. An intruder's thought invaded Jadea's mind. She ignored it for the moment.

Samsara was displeased with her aunt's plan. But the time for discussing alternative solutions was at an end. They would only get one shot at this.


The sisters looked ahead of them and saw the army fast approaching. At their head was a warrior in a faceless mask.

Samsara looked at the leader and clapped her hands above her head making all three horses appear. Prince and Deinus were charging at each other as Thalia's horse stood and merely watched. Thalia mounted her steed as Samsara and Seriana attempted to quiet the mounts.

Seriana grabbed hold of Deinus' reins and screamed at him. Samsara jumped on Prince as soon as she could and pulled back on his bit. "You attack on him, Prince," she warned, "I will change your bit and you will not like it!"

There was no time for argument but the horses continued their attempts. Each stood on their hindquarters and screamed challenges as their mistresses attempted to calm them.

Thalia had her sword ready. She was not a fan of killing, but if she was the only one to fend these men off, then so be it.

"Prince!" Samsara screamed. Deinus was beginning to calm once he understood the urgency of the situation. "Smell who you'll attack!"

Prince immediately landed on his front hooves and reared his head. His ruby eyes seemed to glow in anger when he knew who was coming.

The three pulled out their swords. "Let's go!" The three charged into battle.

What seemed a bad move was proven to be a good one. The sight of three women running into battle against an army of 150+ stunned the men, because this wasn't any trio. This was two daughters of Ares and a Biomorph.

The men quickly surrounded them as Samsara created a force field around the Amazons for protection. The faceless leader trotted around them for a bit, not saying a word.

It was unmistakably a woman. She wore a blood red dress that fell in slits around her legs. The mask was black and created a void around her head to mask her identity. As she went around them, she studied Samsara especially.

"You didn't think you were obvious?" Samsara shouted. "Those slavers you sent a bit back? Those weren't Father's forces. They were yours all along!"

The mask disappeared and out was Kaia's pale face. Her cold blue eyes bored into Samsara's dark chocolate brown. On her head was the golden, bejeweled headdress she kept from one of her raids. Her hair fell down to the waist and was just as raven as Samsara's. She tossed her long mane and laughed. "Took you long enough. But, that only means that I'm good at what I do."

"What's this an omen for?" the older sister demanded.


Samsara put her hand on her dagger, ready to kill her sister if need be.

"No, no, no," Kaia said. "See, if you kill me, you risk my army going ahead with its plan. And goddess or not, dear older Sister, you can't stop them alone."

"I took down Criton's army."

"But do I have to remind you that Criton still lives?" Kaia said with a smirk. She stopped her steed. "Why don't we make a deal?"

Samsara spat in disgust.

She merely laughed. "You know this isn't my entire army. And you know this is the way to Themiscyra. You also hopefully note that the Highland Amazons want your blood and they are marching onto the Thermadon River as we speak. So if you turn over power of your army, perhaps I'll tell Daddy to call off the dogs."

Samsara laughed. "Makes sense now. All of this was for you to get my army, and in the process, Father turns me dark. The pieces fall into place. You want me to turn over my army, and with a consolidated force of 600 men you intend to do what your little black void of a heart desires. Meanwhile, Father, being afraid of the Amazons, wants to either unite and subdue or divide and conquer. He asks you to attack the villages in hopes of wiping them out, and with the remaining numbers put them together and weigh their survival on how fervently they revere him instead of his sister...

"Of course, by then, I'm Dark Samsara, doing Father's bidding and not caring about my sisters. Not only would he have the Amazons dead or worshipping him, but he would have the power of hind's blood in his possession through me. Subsequently he would overthrow Zeus and Hera and start a reign of War Worshipping. You get possession of my army in the process and you will be content doing small-time raids." She laughed. "Not bad, not bad."

Kaia looked at her, but knew Samsara had it all figured out. Seriana smirked at Discord-spawn, having figured out most of her plan as well. She knew Ares well. Thalia meanwhile, tried to send a message to Samsara, but to no avail. She sent to Seriana in hopes she would hear it.

Tell her to make it seem I'm still here . . . I need to get to Celosia and warn her!

Seriana mentally nodded and used her biological connection to reach Samsara, but that did not work. She tried again and finally got her attention, letting her know. Samsara mentally nodded and with as much free power as she could, she created a solar eclipse.

The men, not ever having seen such a phenomenon, were hushed and afraid that the world was coming to an end.

Thalia, Samsara said, Here's your chance. GO!

Thalia morphed into a gopher and burrowed her way out. Samsara meanwhile created a solid image of Thalia, hoping that Kaia would not call her bluff. Soon, the eclipse was over and with that power, Samsara created another force field around the entire army.

"Don't think you'll be going anywhere soon," Samsara said, straining. She had stretched her ambrosia-less power to the max. Seriana smiled.

I was right. Sami's a good person. She smirked at Kaia.

Kakistos crossed her arms. "Well, we'll see how long you can hold this."

Meanwhile, Thalia got out as soon as she could. She'd have told Samsara to just open a portal for her, but that would raise Kakistos' suspicions as to where she was. Getting to Celosia demanded that there be an element of surprise. Maybe Highland and Themiscyra could join forces and attack Kakistos.

She burrowed out of the ground and transformed into a greyhound. She had to get to the Queen and she had to get there fast!


As the Sorceress reached Vorgeen, she became aware that she was not alone. A loud hiss escaped her mind.

Queen Vorgeen had flaming red hair and emerald green eyes. Around her neck, she wore a Celtic torque, which signified her status in her tribe. Around both arms, she wore gauntlets that bore the mark of the Highland Tribe. She was a fierce warrior and had as sharp a blade as she did tongue. The armies in her homeland feared Vorgeen, only the most foolish or wisest would challenge her tribe.

"Whoa, hold!" Vorgeen raised her hand, halting her warriors. She set her eyes upon the woman approaching her. When Jadea was within earshot, the Amazon smiled. "A pleasant surprise, indeed."

"Vorgeen," Jadea gave a nod of recognition.

"Jadea, my Sister. I did not expect to see you . . . alive." Her tone was acrid but her words were honest.

"He did not kill me, Vorgeen. There are times I wish that he had," Jadea responded, knowing full well why the Amazon thought her dead.

"At times, I second that wish. He crushed your spirit with his cowardly act of deceit," Vorgeen glowered a bit when she spoke of the man.

"No . . . he simply wounded it," Jadea returned, her eyes set in an unusual nature. She hadn't come to speak of him or debate any issues surrounding their past relationship.

"I see from your eyes that it is healed. May I then ask why you are here?" Vorgeen took one step forward, for reasons that only she might know.

"I should ask you first, but I have since discovered the reason. You sent Angus to warn me about Ares. And now you are here . . ." Jadea let her sentence go uncompleted. She searched the Amazon's eyes, but she could find no ill intent against her or her Themiscyra Sisters.

"You want to know if I came to fight by your side . . . or your enemies'." Vorgeen completed what Jadea had left unspoken. The Queen of the Highland Amazons knew the Sorceress Empress well. Their hearts derived from the same lands, and their blood held many of the same ties. In like respect, the thoughts of one could easily read or be the thoughts of the other.

The fiery redhead stepped back, her eyes remaining on Jadea's. Vorgeen's expression was steady and quite serious . . . until the moment she broke into a wide smile. One that Jadea instantly returned. They both had noticed the widespread quietness of the warriors as each of them wondered and worried if their Queen was about to fight Jadea.

Vorgeen laughed softly and stretched her hand out to Jadea who instantly clasped it.

"'Tis good to have you back, Emerald Jade," she said, and bowed her head. Emerald Jade was a name that only the Highland Amazons knew her by. No one really knew who first began to address her with it, but it had become a tradition for them.

"Thanks. Feels good to be back. Now . . . about this war-" She began, her smile quickly fading into a more authoritative look.

"We're fightin' Kaia Kakistos and her army. Am I right?" Vorgeen cut in, her expression also now set into a grim look.

"We're fighting more than that, my Sister. Ares, God of War, has concocted this little scheme. Kakistos is just half the piece of the broken key to it." She replied and made a quick glance over Vorgeen's shoulder. The awe in one of the warrior's eyes had caught her attention. She flashed a gentle smile when she saw that Jadea had met her eye.

"What are we waitin' for, then? Let's do some damage." At that, all the Amazons behind and around her gave a loud war cry.

Vorgeen walked over to a horse in her cavalry. The magnificent creature was pure white without a speck of any other hue. He had no rider, but did not object to being led from the group over to Jadea. Vorgeen smiled and offered the reins to her. The Sorceress Empress looked up from the horse only to say, "Just when I think I have lost a piece of my heart, you show up to give it back to me."

Jadea mounted and whispered to the horse beneath her body. He reared up on his back legs and charged down the valley. Vorgeen was quickly mounted and charging beside her.

We're going to have split up. You take half one way and I half the other. Kakistos came as one unit.

A loud whistle was given and soon, two branches of Amazons were fast approaching the battle. Their hooves made a terrible thunder shake the ground.

They arrived just in time, it seemed. For Samsara was growing weaker by the moment. She had recently learned what Rumyna taught her apprentice long ago: Never exert your powers too long or too quickly. The grander or more prolonged the spell, the more it weakens the spell caster.

"Sami, they're here," Seriana told her Sister. She could hear the Amazon cries, for an Amazon war cry is distinctive no matter the tribe or variation of it. To a fellow Amazon, it can be the most exhilarating and inspiring music . . . or the most terrifying and death-foreboding sound . . . depending on whether that Amazon is fighting with her own or against them.

Vorgeen lead those that approached behind Kakistos. Her goal - to keep them from retreating and to push them into the forest. On the other side, nearest Samsara, Jadea lead Amazons of her former tribe into battle. All the while, she secretly prayed for a miracle - that Thalia and Ardra would soon be arriving with the Themiscyrans.


Thalia felt the branches clawing at her face as she whipped through the forest, racing as fast as she could behind Ardra. The woods raced past her as she ran as fast as her four thin legs would carry her. Just a little further before . . .


The ground exploded in front of her. Startled, she tried to stop, but her momentum carried her, clawing at the ground, until she rammed into a bush. Quickly getting to her feet, her eyes darted around, looking for the source.

"Well, well, well, what have we here?" Ares stood over the greyhound, arms crossed and a smirk on his face. "Did you really think you Amazons could fool us that easily?"

Thalia stood her ground, her legs braced should she need to sprint out of the way.

Ardra, she sent to the bird, hoping she could understand. Ares doesn't know you're here. Get to Celosia, see if you can warn her or bring her to the others. Give her a hawk feather. A hawk feather was a symbol from long ago between Thalia and Celosia that something was wrong, to be prepared for danger. I'll hold him off for now, I'll join you if I can get past him. The bird hesitated, but Thalia barked. Go! Ardra took off through the forest.

Thalia was caught off guard as Ares grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and held her to his face. "You think you Amazons can defeat me?" He snarled. "Your petty fighting will be no match for this God."

Thalia snarled and bit his hand, he howled in pain and dropped her, sending a lightening bolt after her. Thalia barely managed to dodge it. "So, you wanna play rough, eh?" Ares rubbed his sore hand. "I can play rough . . ."

Thalia bared her teeth, knowing that her sisters would do more damage with Ares distracted. She only hoped Celosia would understand Ardra's message . . .


This is great! This is just great! Here I was thinking things couldn't possibly get any worse . . . and that stinking, leather-clad, good-for-nothin' God of War shows up. Ardra thought angrily. She wheeled higher to get a better view. The Themiscyrans weren't far away, but there was still the obstacle of getting them to the battlefield.

Know what reeeaaallly ruffles my feathers though? She asked to no in particular. Speaking to myself to keep from going utterly insane in these situations.

Hello Ardra! My you're looking well up there.

The hawk slowed her flight and looked down and to her left in time to Angus on horseback. The sight of him was just the boost she needed.

Medea! Celosia! Heads up! She used all her mental energies to warn them. It must have worked, for several heads tilted upward and someone's arm pointed up. Diving down, she landed on the pommel of one of the horses’ saddles.

All right, now how do I make you understand?

Angus rode up. He smiled at the hawk before turning his attention to the Amazons.

"Lovely day for a battle, ladies. Don't you think?"

Great, just what I need, a baby-sitter. Ardra’s thoughts were clear to Angus, and she knew it. She gave a cry out loud to voice her displeasure, hoping the Amazons would take the hint.

Medea drew her sword, ready to cut out his heart.

As appealing as that was Ardra, she knew it wouldn't sit well with Jadea. The hawk flew up from the pommel and dropped down on the end of her blade.

The startled Regent stared open-mouthed at the strange actions of the little creature. As she watched, Ardra began to inch carefully along, finally pricking a feather loose.

About that time, Queen Celosia moved her horse closer to her sister. She saw the feather on the ground, looked from Ardra to Medea and then to the stranger.

"Look, ladies . . . as much as the thought of submittin' to you is tempting, we've got trouble. As I speak, the Highland Amazons along with your own good Sisters are fighting Kaia Kakistos. Thalia would have come to tell you, but Ares waylaid her. She sent the hawk," he indicated the bird settled on the tip of Medea’s sword. "On ahead. Now, we should be getting’ off."

Ardra flew up from the sword and dropped down beside the feather she’d loosened. She grabbed it in her beak and flew over the Queen, letting it float delicately down. Celosia caught it and eyed the stranger on horseback and the bird. The meaning of a single hawk feather was not lost on her.

"Lead on," she told the man.


"Are we ready?" Medea shouted. The women were mounted on their steeds, ready for a fight. She looked at the bird and cocked her head. I need to get a swipe against that upstart, Samsara, she thought wildly.

"You heard her, ladies," Celosia said. "AMAZONS UNITE!"


Kaia merely watched as her older sister grew weaker by the second. "It's only a matter of time, Samsara!" she said. "Only a matter of time before you lose your power to sustain that bubble. So how about we make that deal? If you don't listen and that bubble dies . . . well, Seriana dies, and I think I'll be the proprietor of that little pendant of yours. Either way I win. You decide by how much."

"You won't win a damn thing," the Goddess responded. She knew and her sister knew that help was coming and even if the forcefield were to die at that very instant, they knew help would come. "So how about you just take your men and leave before they fight a losing battle?"

Kaia laughed again. "Why do you insist on fighting for these shrieking women? They will die but the gods live on."

Seriana sensed more danger. Thalia's in trouble, she sent to her sister.

Samsara mentally nodded. She can fend for herself right now. Father has her.

Kaia took note of Seriana's expression, but before she could say anything, she snapped her fingers and her men took arms.

"Did you think you could distract me long enough to not notice an offensive by those Highland witches?"

Samsara's bubble vanished. "Yes," she said, feigning weariness. She gripped the reins of her horse, but fell off on her left hip onto the dusty ground.

Kaia laughed. "Hiyeeeeeeeeh!" she yelled, sending her men into battle as Vorgeen’s Amazons appeared behind them. She rode her horse toward her older sister. Seriana rushed to defend Samsara from a soldier, fighting as well as ever.

Kakistos reached her in seconds. She had her sword drawn. Reaching down she said, "Dance."

Samsara propped herself up with her elbow and with her right hand she pulled out her sword. She stuck the blade into the ground and pushed herself up with it and held the weapon in front of her. "Dismount," she said weakly.

The hotheaded younger did and laughed. "Time for you to realize that being the older means not being the stronger." She smirked.

"Shut up and fight." They fought, Samsara playing weak. Soon, Kaia had her on her knees and the sword on the base of her neck.

"Give me the pendant."

Samsara held her sword in her hands. She looked up at Kaia and glared. "Never."

Kaia cackled. "How about you spend all of eternity in six pieces?" She raised her sword high, ready to swing down, when Samsara jumped up and kicked her in the chest.

"How about not?" she said, snarling. She mounted her horse and sheathed her sword, pulling out her staff and charging into battle. She felt Jadea coming. It was time.


Denius surged through the battle, in his element, following his breeding and training. Steel-shod hooves trampled anything that moved along the ground. Seriana could barely control him enough to keep him from beating down wounded Amazons. She just had to hang on and try to survive the ride.

A scream rose from somewhere quite nearby. Not a normal battle-scream, but a real scream of phenomenal suffering. Seriana froze and turned towards it.

Kaia had an Amazon girl by the throat and cut it . . . just enough to let her stay alive on a battlefield where no healer could possibly reach her.

"And she is of my blood . . ." Seriana hissed. "Come on, Denius. Come on."

He turned like black lightning, leaping over several Amazon wounded and charging for Kaia.

The goddess' blue eyes met her sisters', one sharp and the other bright. Kaia smiled. Seriana kept her face stony and buried her mortal terror deep inside her, to come out in a rush of tears once the battle was over.

Denius halted and shook his mane, snorting. Seriana steadied herself gracefully on his back and ordered, "Fight."

Kaia Kakistos

Kaia laughed when she saw her other do-gooder sister charging toward her. She knew Seriana wanted her blood. "So I see you've come to have some fun," she shouted over the din of battle.

"Fight," Seriana simply said.

Their swords clashed. Seriana meant business.

Kaia was reminded of a time when her sister had trained with their father, Ares. She did not let the memory of that long-ago mock-battle ruin her concentration. She did win, her wayward mind reminded. "Not bad for a Xena sympathizer," she observed.

The Themiscyrans are coming, Ares said inside Kaia’s mind. She frowned at the news, although she was pleased the plan was moving along the expected route. However, her army was losing ground against the Amazons.

She fought harder against Seriana. Her blade sliced up and arched down with blinding speed. Her sister parried and thrust in at stomach level, missing by mere inches.

Kaia smiled. "Missed me." She looked over at her other half-sister, Samsara and winked broadly. There was no way Seriana could win this battle. Do you think I can finish her off? She mentally asked her Goddess sister.

Samsara, fighting against Kaia’s main leader Stephanus, caught the wink and the message and understood the malicious thoughts driving it. Her power was weak, however, after having caused an eclipse so Thalia could escape. She thrust against the man, trying to shove him away so she could reach Seriana and protect her from Kaia.

The evil Goddess signaled her leader with a quick hand gesture. He nodded understanding and held his ground against Samsara. His battleaxe moved into a killing position.

Samsara said nothing, but as Stephanus brought his axe to killing level, she dropped her sword and grabbed her staff.

Kaia paused. The accursed staff I made into her talisman. Her sister had no clue why it was the key to her powers before ambrosia, but she knew to keep it nearby. Samsara lifted the thing high in the air and seemed to grow stronger. She created a fireball in her hand and Stephanus’ eyes widened and looked to Kaia.

Gods, that woman has Callisto in her! Kaia thought.

Samsara’s fireball slammed into Stephanus, killing him in a blaze of heat and power. Remnants of the force washed over Kaia, causing her to stumble away from Seriana who had also turned to watch her Amazon sister kill the warrior.

Samsara turned from the smoking spot where Stephanus had been to face Kaia. The Goddess launched herself into the air, did a somersault and impacted her feet against Kaia’s chest, knocking her over. Both dropped to the ground, Samsara rolling and coming to her feet while Kaia sprawled across the ground.

Lazily, Samsara moved around and put a foot against Kaia’s chest, holding her down. She smiled and straddled her sister, sitting on her stomach as she drew her dagger with her free hand. Leaning in, she whispered, "How about you call off your troops?"

"Hiyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!" Kaia screamed. Her troops began backing away from the Amazons, holding their weapons in non-threatening positions. Vorgeen and Jadea looked at each other and smiled.

They claimed victory. But Kaia intended on claiming one of her own.

"We're taking your troops now," Samsara said to her in a low demonic voice.

Kaia laughed. She has too good a heart to kill me. "You wouldn't kill me. Killing your sister is worse than killing your father," she reminded. "The Furies will haunt you till the end of time."

Samsara shook her head. "Perhaps. But I'm better than killing you." She moved off her sister’s chest and raised her staff toward the Amazon whose throat Kaia had cut. The girl stood and clutched her healed throat, looking around in a confused daze.

Damn her. Damn her to Tartarus! Kaia thought as she stood.

The Great Destroyer pointed her dagger at her sister. "Take your men, yourself, and what little dignity you have left and get out of here."

Kaia waved her hand and her men backed away to positions behind her. She eyed her sister for a moment, measuring Samsara’s resolve. Kaia found coldness in her sister’s eyes and a steely purpose to her movements.

Kaia smiled and bowed to her sister with exaggerated motions. Then she turned and followed her army off the field of battle.

The victory here was mine, Samsara, Kaia thought. You threatened me and meant it. You are turning dark. I can feel it. Father will be so pleased.


Let me kill her, Jadea, Vorgeen sent what sounded like a plea to the Sorceress Empress.

Jadea ever so slightly shook her head. She glanced up in the sky and saw her guardian hawk. Angus isn't with me, Jade, Ardra told her Mistress who already knew the reason.

Patience, Ardra, patience, Jadea returned in her Celtic brogue. She looked at Samsara and saw that the Goddess was still watching the retreating army and her sister. Her niece might be willing to allow the army to leave, but she was not.

"Amazons attack!" She shouted and instantly there was a ruckus of battle cries and screams as the Amazons ran toward the retreating army. There was the sound of clashing swords as Kaia's men turned to face the women.

Queen Celosia searched for Samsara and Jadea. She found the latter first.

The Sorceress Empress fought with both her sword and her powers. Alternating between sending a man flying backward to piercing the flesh with her sword - Callisto's sword.

"Jadea!" Queen Celosia yelled over the battle. Before Jadea could turn and answer, she sent a fireball into three men charging towards Queen Vorgeen. "Jadea! Where's Samsara? And Thalia?"

"Thalia's getting help. Samsara . . ." Jadea looked around for her niece. She spotted Seriana putting a dead Amazon onto a horse. Where IS she? Jadea thought in desperation. She was usually exceptional at keeping track of where people were in battle.

She's on her horse, Jade. I saw her and Kaia on mounts heading away from the battle. Ardra said grimly.


Good? Ardra asked in a shocked voice.

Yes. Ares wants Samsara dark, at any price. He'll get his wish. Ardra follow them. If it looks like Samsara is about to kill Kaia . . .don't let anything or anyone stop her. The Sorceress Empress ordered.

Jade? Is that wise? Ardra circled around in Vorgeen's view. Vorgeen understood the reason and began knocking men out of her way. She gave a loud cry that signaled to her warriors to push the men farther forward.

Wise? No. Clever . . . oh yeah.


Thalia gasped and panted as she dove out of the way of another fireball Ares casually sent her way. He wasn't giving her time to morph.

Stupid, stupid, STUPID Gods! She thought angrily to herself as a fireball singed her fur. He was keeping her from the battle. There was nothing more she wanted than to fight alongside her sisters, they needed all the help they could get. Amazons are strongest when together.

"Growing tired, are we?" Ares smirked, summoning lightening in his hand. "As we speak your Amazon sisters are being defeated by Kaia Kakistos and her army."

Thalia glared but kept silent. She knew Ares was just cocky enough to believe that, and if she could keep him with her then the Amazons still and a chance with one less God to battle.

CRACK! She yelped in surprise as the lightning exploded beside her, sending her flying. She scrambled to her feet, panting.

"Not so easily defeated, are we?" Ares crossed his arms. "Well, you see, my little biomorph, I have a little animal help of my own." He snapped his fingers and three wolves appeared behind him. Thalia knew these were no ordinary wolves, her ability to speak to them would be useless.

She looked around. Should she run? Could she get him distracted enough to let her morph? Before she could think, the wolves attacked.

Ares smiled at the snarls and yelps of the scrambling flashes of fur. "This should be fun."


Seems I've arrived just in time.

Thalia heard a foreign tongue send a thought to her. She recognized it immediately as belonging to the charming stranger, Angus. He strode up on horseback and Ares turned his head.

His eyes got a thoughtful, almost humored light to them. "You! Haven't I killed you somewhere before?" Ares asked, the cockiness of his tone was minute but still there.

Angus smiled, shifting his eyes to Thalia who was having a time of it fending off Ares' wolves. "Here's a little tip for ya. Never pit a wolf against an Amazon. Know why?" He began speaking an incantation in Gaelic.

Ares conjured a lightning bolt to stop him, but it was too late. The wolves turned on their conjurer. The God of War turned and began running with the wolves at his heels. After a few minutes of this hysterical sight, Angus and Thalia saw Ares come to his senses and wink out. The wolves vanished with him, the spell broken.

"Because a wolf and an Amazon both have terrible mood swings," Angus cheerily answered his own question. He dismounted and walked over to Thalia, offering his hand. She reluctantly accepted it, and pulled herself up to her feet.

For some reason she hadn't had time to mull over, when Angus did whatever it was he had done to the wolves, she had reverted to her human self. There were many things about the man she didn't know. But because he DID save her life, she had to give him some trust - if not the benefit of the doubt.

"Up you go, milady," he said, offering her his horse.

"I have to get to Queen Celosia. I have to . . ." she began.

"You have to help your Sisters. And they're on the battlefield. I have my orders. Now you can ride the horse, or I can rope you and drag you there," he said, completely serious. Deep in his eyes was a glint of his natural charm.

"But wait, how will you get back?" Thalia asked after she'd mounted.

"Don't ya worry about me, none. Just go straight back the way you came and head right. There's a big, bloody battle a stirrin' there. Ya can't miss it. Good luck," he said, slapping the horse's rear. By the gods, I hope Jade knows what she's doin'.

She does, and if you weren't so bloody damn daft, you'd see it. A voice behind him caused him to whirl around. In front of Angus, stood a rather large, rather ferocious looking white wolf.

Neeko, Angus said, half-smiling. So, who sent ya? Bounty hunters?

Ach, no. Much worse than that. Jadea sent me to fetch ya. Said that ya were in over your head, that I might need to catch the seam of your pants to keep your arse from catchin' fire.

Neeko and Angus weren't exactly the best of friends. But they had one thing in common - their mutual love for Jadea. Both knew it.

Climb aboard, Neeko said. The man eyed the wolf dubiously. I’m strong enough and Jadea wants you back at Cirra. Just don't get too comfortable. I can throw ya harder than a horse.

Meanwhile, on the battlefield . . .

Vorgeen saw one of the Themiscyrans on the ground, fallen from a mortal wound. A large soldier hovered over her, ready to strike the death blow. He never got it in, though. A dagger pierced the back of his neck. Vorgeen rushed over and kicked him out of the way. She reached down to take the mask off the Amazon.

"By the gods..."


As she followed her sister, Samsara's mind raced at about the pace of Pegasus himself. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do to her sister, but it was going to be some kind of damage.

I've had enough of this, she thought, feverishly. Kaia must pay for what she's done.

Suddenly, "Ahhhhhhh!" the Mistress Kakistos was pushed off her horse. She fell onto the ground and her horse continued on. "Raven!" she screamed. The horse stopped and snorted as he turned around. She propped herself on her elbows and blew her hair off of her face in time to see Samsara ride up.

The Goddess dismounted and stood before Kaia. She pulled out her dagger, still stained with blood. She took her staff and pushed her sister down onto the ground roughly.


"Down," Samsara held her head up high, studying her sister's appearance.

"How did you set this trap for me?" Kaia knew Samsara had placed this ahead of time. The only question was how she had the time to do it. Samsara had had no clue about Kaia's involvement until it was too late.

"It doesn’t matter now," Samsara answered. She threw her staff down and put her foot in its place, kneeling down on Kaia’s chest. When she was within inches of Kaia's nose, she whispered, "Samsara . . ."

That very word was known to have determined the fate of everyone she had ever privately killed. My life has come full circle, she thought.

Taking a firm grip on her dagger, Samsara garroted her sister, mouthing something in the process. Kaia disappeared soon after.

Samsara’s eyes became entirely black as she stood. The effects of the ambrosia had worn off some time ago, changing her eyes from bright red whites to ice blue. Now they changed again, this time to a color that was blacker than night.

She stretched her arms out and an updraft lifted her loose, jet-black hair. Instead of her brown one-sleeved tank, her shirt was now black sleeveless tank top. A black leather gauntlet, this one just for the forearm, appeared on her exposed left arm, made of Hephaestian black steel.

She turned. "Father," she said.

He appeared as if on cue. "You called?" Samsara has gone dark! He thought gleefully, surveying her changed appearance. She'll now come at my beck and call!

She stretched her arm toward her father and created a thick force field around him. "Not so much," she responded. "I am my own woman. When will you understand this?"

He attempted to get out of the trap by hitting the field, and got an electric shock in the process. Frustrated, he threw lightning bolts, but those bounced back and hit him as well.

"There’s no point in attempting to escape, Father," she said, picking up her staff. "You'll be spending a good while in there. You've done enough damage to my Tribes and my Sisters."

"And who will be God of War?" he demanded.

She smiled and stepped close to the field she’d created. With a word, she reached into the field and extracted his sword. "I will be. I will take your place until you've cooled in your interest in my Sisters."

He snarled. "You are Dark Samsara. You killed Kaia Kakistos. Now the Furies and the Olympians will be after you."

She fondled the pendant around her neck. "When will you realize that this is mine and solely mine? No God or Goddess will assail me. And with you momentarily out of the way, no one will be unnecessarily hurt."

She snapped her fingers and the box he was in disappeared into the heavens with him in it. She smiled as she held the sword in her hand. She created another scabbard around her waist and sheathed the weapon. She mounted her horse and made Raven, Kaia's steed, disappear to the Olympian stables.

As she picked up the reins, Prince snorted and bobbed his head. She threw the staff into the catch on the saddle and yelled, "Yah!"


Looking around her, Jadea caught wind of a familiar stench. A reeking odor that was utterly distinguishable from the blood and death on that battle grounds. Suddenly the sky blackened and a horrendous thunder blasted from above. Jadea bent her head back and gazed upward, a slow and satisfied grin beginning to take shape on her lips.

It is done. She thought, a growing sense of relief and victory flooding the veins in her body.

"Kaia Kakistos is dead!" She shouted to the remaining men who fought the Amazons. "Lay down your weapons, and you will all be spared!" Jadea had a natural gift for making herself heard when she wanted.

Kaia's men abruptly stopped each looking around at the other, exchanging curious and questioning glances. One of the men, with blood on his face, stepped forward and laid his sword on the ground. The rest of the men followed his action.

"Jadea! Come quick!" It was Vorgeen. She was still with the fallen Amazon. The Sorceress Empress was by her side in a flash.

"That is not all. Look!" Vorgeen's arm pointed westward.

"Impossible." Jadea muttered, knowing she was wrong, desperate to believe otherwise. Vorgeen hit her arm and Jadea came to her senses. "Help me get her on a horse. We have to pull back to the forest near the temple."

"Wait, we can't retreat." Vorgeen said, taking the Amazon's arm around her neck.

"We won't. But with the forest and Artemis' temple, we'll make a stand against them."



Cost of Victory


All material contained in these archives belong to the authors who created them and the community they wrote them for. Removing, reprinting or reposting these stories in whole or in part is copyright theft. ©1999-2010 Themiscyra Amazons