remained behind, wanting to spend quality time with Karma. The
child was an angel in disguise, she was sure of it.
she fed her the remaining goat's milk from the supply Hippoppih
had given her, the Goddess spoke to her about her life. The
child - near 7 moons old - looked at her mother and drank in
every word she said along with the milk from the skin offered to
her. Her tiny hands began to hold the skin, held firmly in place
by the older woman.
spoke about Mariko at length. She missed her mentor and wondered
where exactly she went... and how exactly she escaped her aunt's
she didn't answer the question with her entrance, any mystery
surrounding her current whereabouts was solved when the Eastern
Woman walked in through the front door. Samsara looked up at her
mentor. "And where have you been?" she queried.
you, your new sister, and Akvoryai," she quietly answered.
did you leave?"
diminish Caesar's numbers."
Master of War's eyes widened. "Caesar? Last I
headed west. Lies. He sent a legion southwestward from Rome,
dropping to the south of Greece near Thrace and landing in
Cruen. Where you and your sister lived for a while," she
dropped her knapsack onto the ground.
circumvented Dachus' sphere!" Samsara exclaimed. Karma's
eyes darted from her mother to the Japanese woman. "By the
Gods... by Me!"
you must go help your sisters; they've walked into a trap."
am I supposed to do?" the Princess-Heiress demanded,
standing up. The child's green eyes looked up and searched for
Samsara's which looked directly at Mariko's black eyes. "I
have a child to care for! A child who is to perpetuate the
Teloans. I can't go into a war in which the Themiscyrans have no
need for me."
not so much for the Themiscyrans, but for your aunt,"
Mariko explained, placing her hands on her hips just above her
kens. "I fear that Caesar will capture Jadea through no
fault of Zia's. Now, will you involve yourself?"
was no time to answer that question, for Karma made
stomach-churning choking noises. Samsara pulled the skin from
her daughter's vice-like grip in fear.
charged with the rest of her sisters when they heard Zia's
shout. The plan was abrupt, but in fact, in the making during
their stay in Teloq. Her moves were fast and deadly, just as her
father Ares had taught her. Soldier after Roman pig soldier fell
at the end of her blade. Seriana Ritani, Silver Hawk and Fire
Demon, was a sight to behold.
she got separated from the rest of her sisters. She turned
around and found nothing about her until a bright light blinded
her line of vision. In its place appeared Athena, Goddess of
Wisdom. Her arms were crossed and she wore an angry look on her
well, well, well," she said. "If it isn't the older
sister of that demon spawn my brother begot. Once I'm done with
all of you related to her, my life will be so much easier, so
much more comfortable. I finally get to have it out with the
Princess of War, she who believes she has the right to sit in
Ares' place on the Olympian Council. That is almost as laughable
as when your snotty, brat of a sister decided she was an
Olympian after one bite of ambrosia," she shook her head.
do you want, Athena?"
just a bit of revenge," she pointed at Seriana.
"Samsara may have been the one to do it, but my blessed,
Athenia, died at the end of your blade!" With a zap,
Seriana was gone.
landed in Themiscyran grounds just as Samsara was rushing out of
her hut with a sick Karma in her arms. Wide-eyed, she stopped,
looking at Discord in utter surprise. "W-What are you doing
here?" she demanded. Karma was breathing again, thankfully.
smiled as she threw one hip to the side and tossed her hair.
"I came to claim what belongs to the Gods, mongrel, Rhea's
Ruby. And if I have to kill that horse of yours to do it, then
so be it."
had a dilemma; her child, or her horse, both of whom meant the
world to her.
Mariko was back and happy to help her apprentice. She flipped
down from the trees and knocked the Goddess of Mayhem down,
drawing both of her kens. She turned to Samsara and said,
ran at lightning speed just as Xanthea was answering to the
call. The Goddess faltered, not because she was tripping over
her two feet, but because she sensed something wrong with
Seriana. She pushed Karma into Xanthea's arms.
Medic brought the young child into the hut. The women inside
perked up, some of them Shamaness-Priestesses of Asclepius
trained by Aratus. They surrounded the child immediately.
happened?" Xan demanded. Samsara told her the
circumstances. One of the Priestesses exampled the child's
heart clenched at the words.
. . .
was in a heap of trouble, but she wasn’t aware of it until an
old adversary appeared.
ye killed me, didn't ya?" came a female voice. The voice
echoed in the forest, but only the Sorceress heard.
Cirran froze. She knew that voice. She knew it well.
moved at Zia's sudden cry, bewildered as to what the Amazon was
up to. Nevertheless, she fought her way throughout the camp,
blade swinging true. She should have stayed far enough away to
use the crossbow, but she was needed on the ground.
of the corner of her eye she caught a flash of light, a God?
Quickly morphing into a squirrel she raced through the trees to
see Seriana disappear! Athena, standing near, disappeared as
is going on? She was startled out of her thoughts as she was
almost crushed by an Amazon foot stumbling through as she fended
off an attacker. Quickly taking the form of a bear, Thalia took
out Valkyra's attacker in one swipe and charged through the
camp, roaring. I need to find Celosia!
held on to her dagger against Caesar's neck. She could feel his
breath against her arms. There was a look of fear in his eyes.
this is how you repay me, Zia," Caesar said. "I have
given you everything that any young Roman girl would want."
have given me everything including pain and sadness when you put
my mother and father in the arena and slaughtered them!"
mother was a disgrace. She was an Amazon and your father
betrayed Rome by loving her. You were the outcome of all this. I
could have killed you too Zia, but I saved you. You were like my
would rather die and rot in hell than call you father," Zia
sneered while fire blazed in her green eyes. Zia’s dagger
sliced across Caesar’s neck. His eyes opened wide as blood
began to pour down his neck.
seconds, Octavius appeared and took his sword. He pushed it
against Caesar’s chest. "This is what you get for making
Rome a disgrace to us all."
began to laugh and moan. "My dear nephew, even if I am
dead, you still have the rest of our family to deal with."
The Emperor closed his eyes and his lolled to the side.
killed him." Zia said. "Now I am like him!"
wait!" Octavius cried out.
his voice fell on deaf ears. Zia ran out into where the fight
between Caesar’s army and the Amazons was being held.
eyes widened at the sight of an old adversary popping up.
woman began to circle her. "If only Rumyna could see you
now. Fierce and beautiful," She created a force of energy
in her hands. "But this is the end, Jadea. It's finally
come down to that."
Samsara exclaimed. She looked at her child. "How?
looked up at the Teloan Queen. "The goat's milk. There was
something in what you were feeding her."
shook her head. "No, there couldn't have been! I fed her
that for days and nothing! She was fine!
…Hippoppih, no..." She thought of the Imperial
Guard, the one she herself trained, giving her child the goat's
milk. The only thought that coursed through her mind was of
Athena seeking revenge.
knelt down to her crying daughter. Karma was in immense pain.
The Goddess looked up at the ceiling and closed her eyes. She
scooped her daughter into her arms and touched her forehead with
her two forefingers. A glowing light surrounded the two Amazons.
Samsara transfered the pain from her daughter to herself, into
her own body. She stumbled again.
looked at her in surprise. "Samsara..."
took my daughter's pain. By the Gods, it won't last long, but
it'll give me enough time to settle things," she sniffled
as the pain was beginning to course through her body violently.
She gave the child to Xan with these stern words. "Guard
her with your life. Feed her what you know is best." Her
eyes became misty. "She's an Heiress. She can't die."
raced to Medea's aid. The soldiers knew who to attack and they
went after the current Queen.
Thalia cried as she morphed back into human form. She raced in
with her sword and felled a man about to attack from behind.
came a voice. Pause. "Samsara!"
Goddess was startled. She reached for her dagger. A hand moved
roughly stopped her by grabbing her wrist. She attempted to
wrest out of the grip, but her eyes softened when she recognized
the insignia of a wolf burned onto the hand.
looked up. It was Dachus.
were in her hut and it was early evening.
sat up, still shocked. "D-Dachus??" she demanded.
Great Destroyer, it's me. I came to report personally."
the room were Jadea, Seriana, and a beaming Medea.
in the Hades is going on?" she cried. "MY DAU-"
said Seriana. She had Karma in her hands and was feeding her the
goat's milk Hippoppih gave her from a skin. "You'll agitate
Goddess stood. The look on her face was puzzled. Had she...?
"Report," she commanded of her Commander.
smiled as he stood to her. At six feet, he was strong and of
medium build. He wore his Hephaestian armor and a great smile
that almost mirrored Medea's. "I came to report that with
the help of your Amazons, we've been able to fend off Caesar's
Caesar's... He's sending an army southwest-"
landed in Thrace and attempted to go through Cruen. He knew that
area was not
patrolled," Jadea responded. "Zia unintentionally led
him there when she met with Octavius. I sent Ardra with a
warning to your General. Seriana decided to send a legion to
fortify and the Thermodonians were gracious enough to send
troops as well."
When did this happen?" The Goddess Kakistos was now more
than perplexed. How in the Hades did she get back to her hut?
Last she remembered she was about to dismember Discord.
went to another ceremony and you felt a bit tired and
sick," Medea responded. "So your sister took you back
to your hut where you passed out. You have to stop it with the
blinked. She took Karma into her arms and drew the skin away
from the child's lips. "Stop feeding her this stuff. We'll
find something else to suckle her with."
Seriana tried to protest, her younger sister cut her off.
"It's poisoned. Hippoppih poisoned it!"
laughed. "Look, we're done with the poisoning bit. It's ok!
The Majie are gone, remember?"
forced a smile. "Yeah, yeah, I know..."
the way," Medea interjected. "You're little friend is
back. Dachus, time for you to leave before any of the younger
Amazons develop feelings for you." Dachus was a looker.
Brown hair, brown eyes, dark skin, muscular. Talk, dark, and
handsome ladies. But his heart belonged to his Great Destroyer
kissed his leader's hand. "Until we meet again, Great
we meet again," she responded. He left. Mariko walked in.
Samsara ushered the others out so she could have a private talk
with her mentor. "Where have you been?" she hissed.
followed you to Teloq and to diminish Caesar's numbers. I
returned because I sense you gaining a new power," she
dropped her knapsack.
power?" Samsara scoffed. "Okay, I'm done with this.
Done. Please leave, Mariko. Please."
business with you is not over, Athanase. Touch your daughter's
forehead. What do you feel?"
did as told and found a slight amount of poison in her
daughter's system, which she immediately removed with a bit of
concentration. She looked to Mariko wide-eyed.
got a glimpse of the future. Your new power is that of
screamed with the realization of what she had done. She fell to
her knees and took the bloody dagger that was still warm with
Caesar’s blood. "I killed Caesar! I killed Caesar! He is
dead because I took his life!"
Amazons looked in shock at Zia. Of all the Amazons in the tribe,
she was not the one they would have expected to kill the great
Caesar. After all, she was still a young teen and a Roman. Now
she was a young teen with open eyes.
dark cloud appeared and thundered blazed all over the battle. It
was Ares, God of War. He smiled approvingly at Zia. "Hello
little one," he said.
I admired what you just did. I have never seen an Amazon with
enough courage to kill the great Caesar. Now the Empire is yours
at your command"
Get away!" Zia shrieked.
well. just remember, with one whisper of my name, I am at your
command, little one," Ares said. When the dark cloud left
and the thunder seem to stop, the Amazons looked in horror and
got on horseback and shouted out. "I will deliver
stood outside and spoke privately with Medea. Neither woman
looked too pleased with things. "Something's wrong here,
Medea. Gravely wrong," she told her Co-Queen.
Queen Regent was inclined to agree with her. "Yes, well
you're niece seems to be losing her mind faster than any of us. I'd
say that constitutes as a problem, since she is now Queen of
Teloq," her voice streamed with some sarcasm that got her a
don't like this," Jadea shook her head. "Find Zia. In
fact, I want a headcount of Amazons. If anyone's missing, alert
me immediately," she stated with no room for compromise.
she was seconds away from vanishing, Medea questioned her
intentions. "Wait! Where are you going?"
Sorceress Empress illuminated a circle of light, her hair flying
up in a gust of wind that swirled up around her. She brought a
giant fireball into her hands. At last, she answered and her
voice pierced through the winds. "Where I died and Jadea
that, she was gone. Medea stood with wide-eyes, appearing to
have been blindsided. Finally, she shook her head in dismay.
"Could she be any more cryptic?" Her head turned in
time to see Pike leaving the mess hut. "Pike! I'm
commanding a headcount of all Amazons! Sound the horn!"
nodded and quickly took off across camp. A minute or two later,
a strange noise reverberated throughout the forest.
in Cirra, Jadea felt the wind sweep around her as though some
force stirred the elements. She stood on the ground where her
house once had been. The spot was but mere grass and bush now.
The Cirra Valley had long since grown over and hid the scars of
devastation that Xena's army had brought.
Sorceress Empress closed her eyes, her arms slowly raising on
either side of her body. She lifted them higher until her hands
very nearly touched. A ring of silver mist encircled her
followed by burst of flames to her right. Gradually, Jadea
lowered both arms and opened her eyes. She turned herself to the
right, the ring of mist still hovering in the air.
lives?" The Cirran asked, mortified by the thought she had
the flames, a female voice answered. The voice was calm but
solemn. The voice was familiar. As it should have been.
"She lives, Jadea."
Jadea took a step forward and fists clenched tightly. When she
moved, the circle of mist moved with her as though a part of her
Callisto?" Her voice cracked somewhat with the mention of
her sister's name. She knew her sister lived. That had not been
what disturbed her so greatly. Jadea wished Callisto be returned
to her. But the voice did not answer.
She screamed violently, her pendant glowing a fiery red.
cannot help you, Jadea," the voice answered. Unmistakably
she can!" The Sorceress Empress cried out so fiercely that
the winds picked up in gusts that whipped her hair wildly
is not Amazon, Jadea. You are!" Rumyna told her. The woman
could not be seen, only heard.
good is it to be Amazon? Huh? Tell me! What good is that name?
An Amazon is persecuted from the moment she is conceived and
born until she dies! The only way an Amazon has a chance to
survive is to become as ruthless as the men she loathes! Tell
me, Rumyna, is this what you want? Is this what you meant when
you said I must choose between my blood and my heart?" With
every word she spoke, Jadea's agony intensified until she could
no longer hold back the water from her eyes.
to the Sorceress Empress, a god watched her with intent eyes. He
observed her as though his livelihood depended on knowing the
outcome. The god would soon send Themiscyra help...against
the wishes of his fellow Olympians.
held her peace until her protégé had spoken hers. At
last, her voice sounded out from the flames once again.
"You are born of Cirra. You are bred of the Amazon world
and life. You lived, loved, and hated in Celtia. You forged
alliances between enemies. You met and defeated formidable foes.
You twice spared the life of the man who betrayed you in both
love and war."
fell deathly silent. The wind became suddenly still. Her fists
unclenched, but the mist around her remained. "I have to
save my family," she said quietly. The flickering flames
seemed to agree in their own way.
is with you, Jadea. I am with you," Rumyna told her in a
clear, straight manner.
Amazon's expression altered dramatically. She suddenly held a
determined, hopeful, and understanding look. Nodding, Jadea
replied, "I know what I must do."
moment later, the flames vanished, and so did Jadea. She
appeared in Themiscyra. Unintentionally, her exact
"landing" spot was in front of Medea, who nearly died
How many times-"
cut in, a stern look on her face. "Where's Samsara?"
blinked uncertainly. "In your hut with Karma, I believe.
time to answer. Jadea vanished again and entered her hut.
Indeed, her niece was there lying on a pallet with herbs around
her. "What do you think you're doing?" Jadea
questioned and startled the Amazon goddess.
Samsara closed her eyes. She could barely keep herself awake.
Jadea immediately knelt down beside her and placed a hand on her
Perfect," she got up to grab an elixir out of a drawer.
"Remind me to send Athena to Tartarus," Jadea quipped
and knelt back down. Her left arm slid beneath Samsara's neck to
tilt her head up some. "Easy...easy. Just drink."
the Teloan drank for a few moments. Jadea laid her head back
down on the pillow when it became clear Samsara could drink no
wish I could say you'll be cured soon. Unfortunately, this takes
time. Stay here. I'll get Xanthea." Jadea walked out of her
hut and straight into Thalia, who appeared to have something on
her mind. "Not now, Thalia."
she walked on by, the Head Scout sent her: Xanthea couldn't
help Sami. That's why she went to your hut. Queen Medea ordered
a headcount. Zia is missing.
of course, stopped. Where's Karma?
Seriana in Samsara's hut, the scout looked distressed but in
control of herself. She'd seen worse in her time.
we send a search party for Zia? Thalia asked after a long
shook her head. Zia was half-Roman. The Sorceress Empress knew
where she'd be. No, but when she returns, make sure Medea
gets to her.
nodded and left Jadea standing on the far side of the camp. She
was in the middle of a thought when a pricking sensation took
hold of her. Angus, show your face and I'll shoot you right 'tween
to say, the mischievous Celt did not "show his face."
He never entered Themiscyra. But there was no doubt Angus was
and Seriana were in Samsara's hut. Mariko wanted to hold Karma
in her arms, but knew that asking Seriana would be a futile
exercise, so she paced the hut. She sensed Jadea's arrival. The
Eastern Woman had been the one to put the herbs by her
apprentice in an effort to keep her stabilized. Of course, the
herbs - which were smoldering - would only work for a limited
time. "I hope Samsara can be cured," Mariko said.
looked up at her. "She has to be cured."
woman stopped pacing and looked at the Amazon. "I fear,
Silver Hawk, that the gods have started their retaliation
against the concept of athanase and to do so, they have to
retaliate against samsara."
don't understand," Seriana said, shaking her head. Karma
gripped her aunt's finger as she listened in. She understood
more than they thought she did.
Gods' actions are causing the fall of the Pantheon. It began
with Callisto, taken out of Tartarus to kill Hercules and it
will end with their own scheming. They are retaliating against
the concept of immortality and to do so they have to make sure
that their souls cannot return to the material world..."
Amazons watched in horror as Zia kept screaming out, "I
will deliver Rome!" While she was riding on horseback. Any
man of Caesar's that dare pass Zia was killed by her sword or
dagger. Her hands were covered in blood and tears filled her
liquid green eyes.
grabbed Zia's arm and both women fell to the ground. "Zia,
this is not like you! What is going on?"
I killed Caesar, the man who killed my family, and instead of
feeling victorious, I feel .....empty. I am like him......"
sleep was fitful and she tossed in Jadea's bedroll. These
thoughts of Zia killing Caesar were rather disturbing to her.
Dachus got rid of the Roman legion marching north from Cruen, so
she had nothing to worry about, but this did not help at the
vision faded and out of the fog stepped Ishtar. "My
child," she said. She wore the Amazon clothing she had been
dressed in for her pyre. A smooth leather long-sleeve tunic,
long and loose matching pants, mask of the falcon-wolf over her
head, and tan moccasins. Her hair was long and flowing as
Samsara remembered it.
the younger Amazon responded. "Mama, what are you doing
Lady of the Dead has allowed me to speak to you from beyond from
time to time. She understands my attachment to you," Ishtar
clasped her hands before her. "I came to warn you about the
know they'll come for me and Karma. Mama, what about this path
Mariko wants me to go on? I'm raising your child, I can't become
Shamaness Priestess walked closer to her ward. "Samsara,
when I was accepted into the Teloan village, I was given a name.
Terreis gave it to me, knowing my background and having once
been to Babylon. I am named for the Sumerian goddess of war and
destruction, Ishtar, who can both be unforgiving as well as
kind. She named me this because when I escaped the slave
traders, I lost my memories. I have bits and pieces. I know I am
a Babylonian. I know I was a woman of high caste. I remember the
atrocities committed against us when we were taken prisoner. And
I fought. I remember fighting. Lots and lots of fighting. It was
as if I never slept and when I did, I kept a firm grip on my
sword. This was when I learned the use of a staff. Long before I
was a Teloan, I used a staff to defend myself, but defense was
not the point of survival for us. We had to kill to escape, so I
picked up a sword.
your path is clear. You must learn how to be a mother. Your
interaction with Medea when she challenged you - that is what
you must strive to always do. You, my child, you are a capable
warrior. You must learn how to handle that."
afraid that Mariko may lead me back to what I was..." Her
voice cracked. She hated the fact that Ishtar may have known of
Uzbek the Khan.
Great Destroyer of Greece?" the Sumerian Teloan
interjected. "I knew of that before you became it. Be who
you are, Samsara. You are the Great Destroyer of Greece. You
mete out justice as you see fit. You are Master of War, Goddess
Kakistos of Destruction, vengeful, powerful, and mighty. You can
be forgiving and creative as well. Let Mariko guide you on your
way. The Gods are planning retaliation for you having saved
Prometheus from half his punishment. Rhea's Ruby is important to
them. Be sure to stay alive, Samsara Achala Athanase Kakistos. I
know you will because that is what you are: the indefinitely
repeated cycle of birth, misery, and death fueled by karma in
which deeds of past lives are dealt with; indefinite; immortal;
worst of the worst." She started to fade. "Defend your
sisters and rise as Queen Empress of Teloq, my child. I demand
Amazons were comforting Zia after the bloody, but short war. Zia
could not stop crying after she had killed Caesar.
you are an Amazon. You are not a killer. Remember, he killed
your family. You are your mother's successor and successor to
every other Amazon that was killed by that bastard," Jadea
now, friends of Caesar will be angry about what I did. All of
Rome will stop at nothing to wipe out the Amazons because of me.
I am to blame," Zia whispered as tears fell on her cheeks.
matter what happens, the Amazons will be here for you and we
will destroy those who defy us. We are Amazon!" Thalia
the Amazons started shouting with praise and happiness. This
made Zia smile. She whispered something to Thalia's ear and soon
she shouted out.
young sister has a request. Zia wishes to communicate with her
Amazon mother. May our Amazon Sorceress step in front!"
looked around expectantly for Jadea to step up, but she could
not be found. Jadea was not the only sorceress in Themiscyra. A
few of her Sisters also possessed a great deal of magic and not
by the Olympian gods' association. However, Jadea was the most
sought after sorceress when magic was called for or being dealt
with. Hence, her sudden disappearance was not altogether a
surprise to the Amazons...but at the same time, it was.
exchanged worried looks with Thalia who stood a few steps away.
Queen Medea was not among those gathered, either. Most of the
Amazons knew about Samsara. Several commented that the Sorceress
Empress had likely gone to see about her.
be right back," Thalia told the young Amazon looking at her
for guidance. She quickly took off to find a Queen.
her hut, Jadea gazed at Samsara as she turned on her side. The
poison had been meant for Karma, the Sorceress knew. It was
obvious since her niece was having difficulty fighting it. What
concerned her most about the poison was a dark thought she'd
been refusing to linger on until now.
in Teloq tried to poison Karma. And since the gods can't get to
her because of the protection spell, that means that a Teloan
had to have... Even now with her niece weakened as proof,
Jadea couldn't bring herself to believe that any Amazon would
poison an infant.
she gazed down at Samsara thoughtfully, the Queen Regent stepped
in behind her. Jadea recognized Medea's footsteps but did not
turn around. Every hour that passed, she became more enraged and
her powers waged a war against her. The angrier she got, the
less Jadea wanted to remain in control. The powers she possessed
knew this well, as they fought the remaining self-discipline she
had left. So great was the inner turmoil she masked from her
Sisters, that Jadea even thought once to wage war against the
entire Roman Empire, and every warlord between Themiscyra and
the Far East.
sound of a throat clearing came from behind the Cirran. She let
her eyes move up from Samsara. "What now?" Jadea asked
in what sounded like a sigh. Ordinarily, such a tone would
prompt Medea to snap something back at her. But things had not
been ordinary for quite some time.
got a report that those Majie medallions we've been keeping in
the trees have suddenly started to glow. Border watchers say
they are sending out beams of light. You wouldn't know anything
about that, would you Jadea?" Medea questioned her Sister
with a mild tone of suspicion. Mostly, though, she sounded a bit
miffed that she was being kept in the dark about affairs in her
to keep the Romans away," Jadea said simply and raised her
arm. Callisto's sword flew across the room into her hand. She
quickly sheathed it in place.
Hawk quickly stepped in and looked timidly from Medea to her
aunt. "Yes?" She had Karma in her arms again. The babe
never left her sight.
inside with Karma. I'll bring you some food shortly," she
stated and moved for the door. Medea watched with a distorted
nodded and placed Karma in her cradle. The Amazon looked up
quickly to ask, "What about Sami?"
could tell by looking that Silver Hawk was an Amazon through and
through. The tears were in her eyes but there they remained for
now. Jadea looked to Samsara and faintly smiled.
be right as rain come morn. Medea," she said as the two
women turned in unison to leave. The Queen Regent grabbed her
arm once outside.
has gotten into you lately?"
no thing and no man has gotten into me lately. I assure you.
Now, if you're done with the third degree..." She hinted
and gestured with her hands for them to leave.
the Sorceress was thankful that her Co-Queen didn't ask why
she'd kept the two Amazon guards outside her hut. Initially, the
guards had been Medea's order, but neither Medea nor Jadea had
ever dismissed them.
as the two Queens passed the mess hut, Thalia ran up to them
both. Celosia's sister was less than thrilled at the spectacle
of her Head Scout charging toward them only to say, "Jadea,
I think Zia wants to talk to you in the square." She was
breathing hard from the run.
you tell that girl that Jadea had more-"
Sorceress Empress held up her hand before cutting in.
"Thalia, disarm and then place Zia under guard until
an order! She left Themiscyra. And furthermore, she left camp
without permission. Now place her under guard or I will have you
both arrested for disobedience!" Jadea commanded in anger
so sudden that Thalia backed a step with fear. She nodded
hesitantly and scurried off nearly in tears.
don't start with me. Your sister left us with one bloody
order...and we can't even follow that."
tall spiked-hair woman looked solemnly at her Sister. She'd just
been given astounding insight. Her voice was gentle, but clear,
when she inquisitively asked, "This is about you leaving
for Celtia, isn't it?" She didn't get an immediate answer,
but she knew by the ashamed look in Jadea's eyes.
one brief second, Queen Medea came dangerously close to
discovering her Sister's lie. But the secret evaded her when the
Sorceress remarked, "Medea, it was one order. She gave one
order, and I couldn't follow it. I've broken it twice. And then
Zia breaks it and nearly gets herself killed," Jadea had
never sounded so angry at herself.
but she didn't get killed, did she?" Medea asked,
surprising herself that she was defending an Amazon for
disobeying the chain of command.
killed Caesar and led the Romans to us!" The Sorceress
exclaimed in an unprecedented flare. At last, though, she came
down to quietly add, "No one leaves Themiscyra, Medea. No
one leaves and no one enters. We'll have to postpone uniting the
Amazons. Teloq will be upset, I'm sure."
before the Queen Regent could stop her, Jadea left her standing
there. She didn't do it out of disrespect, however. The Amazon
Sorceress knew Medea well enough to know that the Queen would
soon find her again. Celosia's sister had a knack for finding
you when you least expected - and least desired - her to.
and Valkyra brought in a boar just as the sun began to descend.
By the time a bonfire had been built and lit, Samsara was awake
and playing with Karma. Seriana slept now on the pallet,
protected by a constellation of charms placed upon her. Mariko
entered Jadea's hut and smiled to see Athanase sitting up and
the Teloan nodded.
Mariko returned and stepped further inside. "I spoke with
your Sorceress," she said plainly, but her voice held a
great sense of warmth.
arched her brow. "Jadea?" She asked having never
before heard Jadea addressed to her as "your
Sorceress." Mariko nodded, and she inquired cautiously,
"What did you two talk about?"
Mariko answered shortly. She beamed proudly when Karma looked at
her and smiled.
visited Zia as the Amazons feasted outside. The young Amazon was
not bound but kept under guard nonetheless. She was confused and
upset, not to mention still in terrible shock from what she'd
done. Seeing the woman who'd ordered her imprisonment did little
to raise her spirits.
stand, Zia," Jadea ordered in a quiet voice. The Amazon
complied, though she held a degree of defiance on her face.
"I apologize for disappearing earlier. Samsara has been
deathly ill and needed my attention. You've been placed under
guard because you left camp without permission." She paused
to study Zia's eyes. "I understand that while you were
gone, you infiltrated a Roman encampment and killed Caesar,
nodded silently. She held some resentment for being in custody.
placed me in a difficult position, Zia. I no more wish you
punished than I wish Rome to enslave the Nation. But as of this
moment, you are to remain in camp at all times. Celosia gave the
order that no Amazon leave Themiscyra. I fear I've failed her
and our tribe when I broke that order. But that burden is mine
to bear and mine, alone."
gazed at Zia who still would not speak. She barely seemed
willing to keep eye-contact. With a small movement, so minute
that it unnoticed by the young Amazon, Jadea dismissed the
guards. When she saw that Zia would say nothing to her, she
said, "There's a spring feast under way, Zia. I see no
reason you shouldn't join it."
no immediate reaction came from Zia. Jadea sighed in her mind,
turned, and stepped to leave. A shocked Zia watched as she
realized the Co-Queen meant to release her. A few seconds later,
Zia followed. Once outside, she found Jadea had already gone to
a far corner and now spoke with two other Amazons.
Zia could formulate a clear thought or intention, Thalia
approached with a wide, relieved grin. "Zia I am so sorry.
When I told Jadea you wanted to-"
shook her head and interrupted. "It's okay, my Sister. It
can wait." A while, she thought.
looked at her intently, as if to determine whether Zia put on
airs. The Scout could sense the young Amazon was hiding
something, but she let it be in light of the occasion.
the next morning, Zia, Queen Medea, Co-Queen Jadea, and the
border watch were the first awake.
had never been so in shocked in her life. All she ever wanted
was revenge for what Caesar has done to her, and now he was
dead, by her hands. Not only that, but half of the tribe was
angry at her for nearly getting herself killed. The Queen had
demanded that Zia be locked up for now, but
Thalia secretly let her out.
will promise to return the favor Thalia."
was thinking about what the Queen had said and this made her
angry. She refused to be treated like some child. She would
prove herself to them all, somehow. "Out of all the
Amazons, I am the one they need now. I know Rome; I once was
decided to walk in the woods. She walked as quietly as possible.
Roman and Amazon guards were all over the place. All of a
sudden, a hand grabbed her arm. Zia did a flip and jumped on top
of the attacker. Once she saw his face, she realized it was
out! I am already in enough trouble as it is!" Zia
now that Caesar is dead, it is time for me to take control and
take my place as Emperor. The only problem is that Caesar’s
men are still here."
I already killed Caesar and more than half of the Roman army. I
refuse to shed more blood!"
is not the only reason I came Zia. I came here to tell you....I
looked back in surprise. Then Octavius grabbed Zia and their
lips met in passion. What they did not know was that there were
two Amazon hiding behind two bushes watching them.
Celtic Goddess of Sex was hiding as well and a mischievous smile
appeared on her face. "We need some chaos around
here," she said.
premonitions still haunted the Goddess as Apollo continued his
movement across the sky. She was confused. Only half the fortune
had came true - or so everyone else thought.
knew Caesar wasn't dead. In her heart of hearts she knew his
still beat. Although that idea upset her, she knew that things
would be better this way. Yes, this meant that he would strike
soon, but for the moment, his numbers dwindled with Dachus and
Mariko having diminished a good legion.
stared out her window as the sky brightened, her daughter
sleeping lazily in her crib.
slammed her fist down onto the armrest of her throne. "Damn
that Samsara. Damn her meddling Sorceress aunt." An
incessant crying perforated the remaining silence. "SHUT
THAT MEWLING INFANT UP!"
isn't an infant, Athena," hissed Discord. "She's my
daughter. Samsara and that stupid witch Jadea have reduced Kaia
to a sniveling toddler!"
came Kaia's childlike voice.
looked young and acted young, but her mind was a bit more
advanced for her age. Inwardly she screamed louder than her
voice could. She was angry at Samsara for taking away her powers
and for taking her out of commission for a while. She hated this
other plane she had been sent to and in her mind, she created a
devious plan to get back at her sister.
She came waddling in, her long hair dragging on the floor. It
was indeed a comical thing to see. She had no reason to call
Discord, she was just doing it to be obnoxious.
looked at her niece with disgust. "Will you EVER learn to
be QUIET?" she demanded. She shook her head. "The
whole purpose, Discord, was to make Samsara sick. Yes, it
worked, until Mariko and Jadea came into the picture
again." She looked at the Goddess of Mayhem and smiled.
"At least this means that we may cause some internal
tensions in Teloq. Samsara knows who gave her the milk and it
will be interesting to see how she deals with this. Imagine her
having to kill an Imperial Guard SHE trained," she smiled.
“Delicious, isn’t it. And she has no idea Hippoppih not only
didn’t poison the milk, but had no idea it was even bad!”
laughter bounced off the walls of Olympus.
was still alive, as Samsara suspected. He got word that his
decoy had been killed. He was
plotting now to kill Zia and Octavius both. Zia betrayed him by
going to her Amazon roots. Octavius was treasonous for loving
her. His nephew had little clue how to treat women. He could
never have taken on a ruthless Xena as he had done so many years
smiled as he dragged his fingers along the edge of a marble
table. On it was a rolled out parchment: the map of Greece and
Macedonia. He positioned statuettes of soldiers at various
points, all leading to the center of Amazon territory. With one
fell swoop he would crush three Tribes: Teloan, Thermodonians,
cried someone from outside.
man wearing messenger robes burst into the command room with two
guards chasing him. He dropped to the floor in front of Caesar
and offered up a papyrus. "A note, Emperor! This is urgent
and you must see it immediate--" One of the guards speared
the man through.
the guards came Pompey and Crassus.
stunned Caesar looked at his guards and snarled. "Rodion!
HOW did this man get in here? GIVE ME THAT PARCHMENT!" He
snatched the note from the deathly grip of the fallen man and
turned red immediately, and with one violent swipe of the hand
he cleared the map of it's stone statuettes. "CLEAN THOSE
UP, MARCELIN!" he demanded of the other stunned guard.
"Rodion, clear my central room of this mess."
looked to Crassus and Pompey, seething. "Who ... failed ...
to inform ... me that Teloq's Queen Gabrielle has returned? If
Gabrielle has returned, then the Warrior Princess is in Amazon
territory as well."
would imply, sire," Rodin said as he pulled the
messenger’s body away by the arms, "that you are afraid
you may lose against the Warrior Princess."
snarled again. Rodin smiled inwardly at his barb. The Emperor
looked at the other two-thirds of the Triumvirate. "The
whole entire purpose of the Libyan campaign is to draw Xena and
Gabrielle away from Greece. The fact that she has returned only
proves to me that you two are incompetent at your job."
Julius," Pompey remarked. "Gabrielle has not returned.
Teloq's new Queen is Samsara--"
reared his head. "THE GREAT DESTROYER OF GREECE?" he
said incredulously. The name struck him. He immediately waved
the three out of his room and called on Mars. "Your
merely picked up one of the red soldiers that were in a heap on
the table and placed him on a particular point on the map, then
smiled. Caesar smiled. Now, how to sell the plan to the