Enter Mizera


The small holding cell was getting awfully crowded. Most of the Amazons were now packed into the small space, with a few notable exceptions.

Thalia had convinced Iolaus that screaming wasn’t helping anyone and Hercules ordered the blonde man to stop with a few well-timed threats. Aurora and Belen formulated a plan to escape, aided by the rest of the Amazons.

Just after dawn, two of the captors brought water and food. Kat and Danae hurled themselves at them, taking them by surprise. The others joined in the melee, but the Themiscryans won their way free.

"Now, to find their leader," Aurora said.

The Amazons fought their way through a maze of tents and rogue Amazons. Mizera was in the largest, most luxurious tent. She beckoned to the Amazon leaders nonchalantly, sipping from a bejeweled goblet while her former prisoners faced her with weapons drawn.

"What are you doing?" Iolaus harshly questioned.

Aurora stepped forward. "I am Aurora, Head Priestess of the tribe of Queen Celosia. I demand to know why you attacked us like that."

"Silly girl. I know who you are. Don't worry, I'm not after you. I have my sights set on a much bigger prize. I won't hurt you...too much."

"What do you want?" Aurora forcefully asked.

"That's easy. I want your Queen. Dead and bleeding."

The Amazons gasped at this open threat against their Queen.

"But why?" Hercules asked.


Without speaking Mizera focused her cold eyes on them. She gave a wave of her hand, and roots sprouted out of the ground, quickly wrapping themselves around the Amazons.

"What's going on?" Thalia struggled to break the plants grip, but it was far too strong. "You never had any sort of power."

Mizera grinned evilly. "Ah, my dear Thalia. I'm sorry we're all not as gifted as you with having special powers," she stood and traced her finger along Thalia's jaw. "Now I'm the one with the power, not you."

Thalia glared. "It's not always considered a 'gift', Mizera. And I would never use it to hurt anyone."

"Who says I'm going to hurt you?" Mizera feigned shock. "Then again, who says I'm not..."

She walked across the line of Amazons, as if studying them. "We have some new members to the tribe, I see. Has my dear Celosia been letting any old Amazon in?"

"You'd better shut up now." Aurora gritted her teeth.

"I believe I can to anything I want, my dear." Mizera smiled, sending a chill up Aurora's spine.

"Our sisters will find us." Belen snapped as Mizera passed her.

"Oh, they can try." Mizera waved her hand nonchalantly. "I have more control over what’s happening than you think. Oh, and Thalia?" She whipped around to glare at the Amazon. "No more sending messages to your wolf, or I'll give you something worse than a headache."

Thalia set her teeth, knowing Desdion was their only hope to warn Celosia, and bring their Amazon sisters.

"You'll never win." Aurora growled.

"I wouldn't bet your dinars on it," Mizera laughed a cold, evil laugh that sent chills through the Amazons.


Haven’s spirit self opened her eyes and saw the tent that Mizera called home. Ranged before the Amazon were her sisters and the two blonde men they had fought for. No one sensed her presence; so she allowed her spirit self to walk around.

To her horror she watched tree roots spring from nowhere and entangle her sisters. Mizera advanced toward Thalia, her voice a threat and a warning. The Amazon snarled something in return that made Mizera very angry. The woman blasted Thalia with a force that sent the Amazon across the tent and left her unable to breathe.

Haven had seen enough. She pulled everything she had from inside her focused it on Mizera's back. It sent Mizera flying through the wall of the tent and out into the surrounding field.

Haven’s attack had done its job. She sensed that Mizera could not control the roots any longer, and watched as Aurora, sensing the roots give a little, moved to get loose. The others followed her lead and they all ran out to continue the battle with Mizera.

Having used all of her strength, both physical and spiritual, Haven collapsed against the mossy bank of the river. She had only saved enough energy to keep her heart beating. Her eyes shut and she went into a deep sleep, hoping she had given the others a chance.


Thalia delivered the first blow to Mizera. She punched her with such force that the rogue Amazon fell back to the ground.

Mizera realized her powers and her physical state were weakened. She knew she would have to wait for the right time to use her powers again, if she didn't she would have no chance in wining this battle. She opened her mouth and let out a loud scream that startled all the Amazons. Their captor disappeared.

"What’s wrong, Mizera? Too scared to stay and fight?" Thalia called out to the nothingness.

"Run, run, run away! Live to fight another day!" Mizera's disembodied voice taunted.

Thalia sighed and turned back to the Amazons. Most were pounding their fists, angered that their revenge had been taken from them.

"Should we return to Themiscrya?" Belen asked.

"No! Mizera is weak now. If we leave we may never get this chance again," Thalia responded.

"Maybe we should send someone back to warn the Queen. The rest of us can stay and fight," Aurora suggested.

"Good idea, Aurora!" Thalia complimented. She looked around, her glance settling on the first expendable person.

Iolaus’ blue eyes widened, realizing what she meant. "Oh, no," he said.

"They need you, Iolaus," Hercules said, clapping his friend on the back. "You’ll be fine."

"All right," he said with a sigh. "Which way is it?"

"Danae, go with him. You’ve the best chance of figuring out where this camp is. It can’t be far from Themiscrya, considering the number of us they’ve captured. Track it back," Thalia ordered.

The younger Amazon nodded. "Come on," she beckoned the blonde man. Together they jogged off into the forest.


Thalia stared at the spot where Mizera had once been standing, seething in fury. How dare she threaten the Queen and her friends!

What had happened to Mizera? Once a good person and friend, she had begun detesting Thalia for her power to morph. She seemed jealous of anyone that held any sort of power. Slowly she had become a different person. She wasn't the Mizera that Thalia thought she knew. The other Amazon had grown colder, more distant; she seemed focused on power and revenge and developed a lust for killing.

As her anger ebbed, Thalia could feel the pain of her injuries beginning to rise again. The blast from Mizera in the tent had hit her wounded shoulder, and it felt like it was on fire.

"Are you all right?" Belen asked, concerned as she saw the Amazon's face.

"I'll be all right." Thalia sighed. "We need to be on our guard, Mizera will come back, I know it. She's not far off, I can feel her."

Alcina nodded. "We'll be ready."

Belen agreed. "At least we know some of what she's capable of. And Iolaus will warn Celosia. Let's get your arm seen to, I’m sure there must be a med tent around in all this. We'll watch out for any attacks by Mizera, I'm sure she's not going to lets us go this easily."


Iolaus and Danae jogged through the forest, stopping every once in a while so Danae could track where they were going. Eventually she found the Thermadon and they followed the river upstream toward the village.

"What’s that?" Iolaus asked, spotting a mushy-looking lump of deer hide.

"That’s . . . Haven!" Danae cried, rushing to the side of the unconscious girl. She checked the Amazon for a pulse, relieved to find a weak throbbing under her fingertips. "She’s alive, but barely," she looked up at her companion.

Iolaus bent down and lifted the girl. "Which way now?"

"We can’t be far. Come on," she picked her way up the bank and back inland.


Celosia and Tern made a full circle of the village, but found nothing. They returned to an empty village square, devoid of anything but rumpled bedrolls.

"Where did they all go?" the Queen demanded. They’d been in this village less than a week and had already been attacked three times. First by an army of men after their prisoners, then from the spirit realm, now by a mysterious force that had somehow managed to kidnap all of her subjects.

"I have no idea," Tern offered. She was wondering where her cousin had gotten to, hoped she was still safely invisible.

"Damn!" the Queen swore, tossing her belt knife toward the nearest hut.

The blade barely missed Iolaus’ ear. The blonde stumbled with his burden and dropped to one knee. Danae supported his back to keep him from falling over under the extra weight. Both turned curious eyes up to the Queen.

"Sorry!" she said, rushing toward the unlikely threesome. "What happened?"

"Celosia," Danae addressed the ruler. "The Amazons were kidnapped by Mizera and a band of rogue Amazons! They have broken free of their captivity and tried to attack the woman, but she vanished before our eyes. Thalia ordered Iolaus and myself to return home to warn you and the rest of the tribe," she paused to catch her breath. "We found Haven unconscious by the edge of the Thermadon."

"Mizera?" Celosia asked, alarmed. She had once counted the errant Amazon among her closest and most trusted friends.

"Yeah, she's behind all this," said Iolaus, gesturing to the empty square.

"Danae, see what you can do for Haven. Be on guard for more of those sneaking rogue Amazons. You," Celosia ordered, grabbing Iolaus by the collar. "Lead me to them."


"No, wait!" Danae protested. "They wanted us to warn you that Mizera is after you."


"She wants you gone. Dead. Deceased. Out of the picture."

"And I should care about that, why? She’s no threat to me."

"It turns out Mizera has some weird kind of power," Iolaus said. "We escaped and fought our way through to her tent to confront her. She told us she wanted you dead, but the Amazons wouldn’t say where you were. Mizera argued with Thalia and blasted her with some sort of ray or something."

"But there something distracted her," Danae took up the tale. "Mizera’s concentration was divided and we chased her away."

Queen Celosia nodded toward the unconscious Haven. "Projected herself into the fight, no doubt. That would explain why she’s senseless now. It would take a lot of power," she looked at Danae and Iolaus. "But that threat isn’t going to stop me from saving my tribe." Her voice was firm. "Now, as I said . . . show me."


"Wait a minute!" Thalia screeched to a halt and all the Amazons bumped into one another.

"What?" asked Belen.

"Why do you think Mizera gave up so easily?"

Aurora thought for a moment. "You're right! She must be following us to find out where Celosia is!"

"We won't let her do that," Belen shook her head.

"Right," Thalia nodded. "We'll lead her away."

"Be careful, when she finds out we tricked her she's going to be MAD," Aurora warned.

Thalia found a fallen branch and picked it up, studying its strength. "Grab some branches, Amazons. We'll be helpless unarmed." The others agreed and found suitable lengths to use as staffs or sharp enough to be wooden stakes.

Thalia studied the woods. It was getting dark and they were in unfamiliar territory. "You guys wait here, I'm going to morph and scout ahead to make sure it's safe," she handed Belen her staff.

"All right, be careful," Aurora warned.

"I will. You be careful as well, be on your guard." Thalia closed her eyes and slowly shrank into the form of an owl for night sight. Flapping her wings she took off into the air, swooping around trees and disappearing into the darkness.


The young Regent groaned. My gods this wolf is NEVER going to lead us to the others! She thought impatiently.

She had become bored at playing panther behind Léda, Alcina, and Xanthea about a mile back and what was more, her head throbbed to the point of dizziness from remaining invisible for such a long period of time.

"Okay, no more playing follow the leader!" she declared. She reappeared right between Léda and Xanthea. They both jumped and drew their weapons startled by the Amazon's sudden appearance.

"Medea, you-"

"Yeah, I followed you. Didn't wanna have to talk with little miss perfect over there," the blond interrupted tossing her hair and ignoring Léda 's angered glare. "Look, I don't think this wolf is taking us anywhere. Something must have put a glitch in its head."

"The wolf has led us this far...I say we continue on. It seems to know its way around the forest...unlike some people. I can't believe you stalked us like that, Alcina was worried!" The Weapon's Master admonished.

"Call of the panther baby. Stalking's what we do best," Medea grinned and growled deeply. "Anyway, I heard some footsteps back a little ways...I'm going to check it out. If you guys feel like coming, you can. If not, you can follow the wolf. Your call."


Desdion turned to the Amazons his green eyes seeming to glow in the darkness.

I see your discomfort. If you do not wish to continue with me, I will go on alone. He nodded to them. Thalia is in animal form and moving quickly. It will be harder to follow her now. Although I can sense her, she is not nearby. Mizera is not far from her and the others.

He paused a moment and pawed the ground, snorting the night air. The evil one’s power is not to be underestimated. She is stronger than she leads you to believe. My loyalty lies with my cub, so I will continue to follow Thalia. If you wish to go with Medea I will understand.

The wolf closed his eyes, searching with his mind for the Biomorph.


Xanthea sighed. She looked from the wolf to Medea and back. "What if you get caught, Medea?" she said. "You can't fight off a horde of evil Amazons on your own, but if we end up in trouble, we could use your help. Just . . . let's follow Desdion for a little while longer. If he can lead us to Thalia, all the better." She looked up, hearing the cry of a falcon. "Damn," she muttered.

"What is it?" Alcina asked.

"A falcon," Xanthea said in a near whisper, looking up to watch it circle her and her Amazon sisters. Sighing, she turned her attention back to the rest of them. "It's a sign. Trouble's coming," she announced. "We shouldn't split up. Not yet. Not until we find Thalia and the others."



Medea grumbled, then agreed. "Fine. We'll follow wolf-man here until we find someone else," the Regent conceded.


"Celosia, listen to me," Iolaus said trying to argue with the Queen. "We can't just go after Mizera like this."

"Why not?" she asked. "Mizera kidnapped my sisters right out from under my nose. She has a lot to answer for. Besides, I have a few tricks up my sleeves. So tell me Iolaus," she said, turning to face him, "why exactly are you, a man, telling me, the Queen of the Themiscryan Amazons, that I can't do something?"


Nodding, Xanthea turned to the others. "Well, we might as well get on our way," she said. "I don't think the danger cares if it gets us here or somewhere else."

She looked up again. The falcon was still circling them. It looked like it wanted to follow them. Xanthea sighed. "Just what we want," she muttered to herself, "more trouble."


Medea grumbled as they followed Desdion through the forest. "This is taking forever."

Xanthea turned to her, holding her finger to her lips. When she turned back around, Medea stuck out her tongue.

Patience, young ones, Desdion looked at them with his deep green eyes. I have not found Thalia, but I believe I have found your sisters.

The Amazons exchanged excited glances. "Where are they?" Asked Léda. "Are they all right?"

Desdion cocked his head, as if he were thinking. This way, he said, loping off into the woods. The Amazons had to run to keep up.

They burst out of the bushes behind the other group. They whirled around, prepared for an attack. "Xanthea? Léda? Medea?" asked Aurora. "Thank the gods we've found you! We have an evil Amazon on the loose."

"Is this everyone that was captured?" Medea asked, looking around.

"Iolaus and Danae went back to Themiscrya to warn Celosia that there's an Amazon after her. Some woman named Mizera. I gather that she used to be a member of your tribe," Hercules explained. "Your Head Scout, Thalia, turned into some bird and flew off to see if she could find Mizera."

"An owl," Aurora interjected.

"Where were you headed?" Xanthea spoke up. "This isn't the way to Themiscrya."

"Mizera is following us." Belen explained. "We can't let her follow us back to Themiscrya or she'll attack Celosia."

"We won't let her." Léda nodded.


"For the good of your tribe," Iolaus answered. "They sent us to warn you, to keep you safe. You mean more to them than their own lives."

"Yes, that sounds like my sisters. However, it means nothing. I am going to help my tribe," Celosia was determined.

Iolaus grabbed the Queen by the arm, struggling to hold her back. "No! They don't want you to! Mizera will find you!"

"Please, listen to him, Celosia," Danae pleaded, still cradling Haven.

Celosia looked down at Iolaus’ restraining hand. He quickly removed it. "If it's me she wants, let her have me. I will not put my Amazons in danger."

Iolaus sighed. This was getting impossible.


Thalia coasted through the trees, dodging the branches that whipped by her. She scanned the wood, but saw nothing moving on the ground below her wings. Suddenly, she felt a shock rip through her owl form and she tumbled wing over tail to the ground. Rolling, she sat up, realizing as she did that she was back in human form. "What the..."

Cold laughter came from behind her, sending a chill up her spine. She knew who it was before she turned around. "Mizera," she growled. She climbed to her feet and turned to face the woman, her hand on her sword.

"Is that any way to treat an old friend?" Mizera feigned surprise.

"What do you want?"

"I already told you what I want," Mizera glared at the Amazon.

"If you want to get to Celosia you'll have to go through us," Thalia snarled through gritted teeth.

"Us?" Mizera looked around. "I only see you, my dear. Your little friends are quite a ways off with your little wolf." She leaned closer, her cold blue eyes burning into Thalia's brown ones. "And I have ways of getting what I want."

Thalia decided to try to send a message to Desdion. Perhaps it would reach him before Mizera could catch it. Des...

"Ah!" she screamed as a searing pain shot though her. She clutched her head and dropped to the forest floor, curling into a ball.

"Now," Mizera twirled her staff. "About that Queen of yours."

"You'll never get to Celosia!" Thalia challenged.

"We shall see." Mizera smiled.



Exit Mizera


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