In Themiscyra, the air was tense and felt by all residing there. The Sorceress Empress escorted the young Zia to Valkyra, instructing that their newest Sister be afforded the proper training. Valkyra, as Weapons Master and already current mentor to a handful of Amazons, had enough on her plate. Still, she did not refuse Jadea. Something in the way she'd seen the woman kill her opponent hours earlier...a feeling she could not name...concerned her deeply.


For comfort, Thalia entered the Med hut. She visited with Xanthea for a few minutes. The conversation soothed her nerves. The Healer possessed a natural ability to help her Sisters in such times. Thalia left soon after, though, heading for the Mess hut where food preparations and dishes awaited her.


Meanwhile, Jadea had gone off by herself. Her condition had gradually degenerated from the moment she'd brought him back with her. Now that she'd betrayed her Nation with her act, Callisto's sister began to feel her strength ebbing away from her. She had learned long ago the price a secret can demand. Knowing that this secret had been her darkest placed fear into the Amazon's heart.


When the Sorceress returned to camp from her solitary journey through the forest, Queen Medea stood waiting for her with a clear irritated expression.


"So good of you to come back, Jadea!" She exclaimed as her hands flew up from her hips.


Her co-ruler walked past her, replying as she did so, "Don't start with me, Medea."


But Celosia's sister had never been one to let go of something easily. She turned right behind the woman and followed. "Oh, I'm goin' to start all right! You bring our enemy here, fine. You challenge him, fine. That was your right. You kill him in fair combat, fine. But strangely I find that I've had a damn ROMAN in my lands! Tell me, WHY didn't I know about this?"


The Amazon Sorceress didn't answer. She entered the command hut, plopping down in the one and only chair present. "Breahdora!" She called out, noting that Medea stood near her with an exasperated look.


An Amazon entered immediately and placed her first to her chest with a bowed head. "Yes, Queen Jadea!"


"Bring us some water." She ordered in a calm voice. Despite Medea's anger, Jadea herself was a great many things - but not angry.


Breahdora instantly left, returning shortly with Thalia in front of her. The Scout held a tray with two silver goblets containing cold, crystal water. The Queen Regent came within one moment of snapping at her.


"Thalia, I believe Garrett is looking for you. Why don't you find him?"


Her Sister looked at her, glancing a couple of times at Medea. She fumbled for a reply. "I...I-"


"She has mess hut duty, that's why," Medea broke in with a scathing glare.


"Since when?" Jadea stood up to ask.


"Since I ordered she did," the Queen Regent countered and stepped once.


For a moment or two, it looked as if Jadea would counter her order. In a sense, she did. Turning her head to Thalia, she gave a soft smile. "Very well. Thalia once you've finished your chores with our food, I command you to find Garrett. Tell him that I am sorry I could not bring Angus back with me, but that I am certain the two will see each other in the future."


Thalia gave a slight nod, a joyful surprise in her eyes. "Yes, of course. Thank you!" She turned and left. Medea gasped at the scene.




"Oh, stop it! I realize that Seri's not here for you to pick on anymore, but using Thalia instead is beneath you," She observed, sitting back down as her head turned briefly. "Besides, we may have to prepare for war. We don't need our Queen persecuting our Head Scout because a Roman boy came to warn us that Caesar's men march toward us," Jadea added, her voice ringing of seriousness.


Queen Medea paused for a moment, astounded at how swiftly Jadea's mood could alter. She'd gone from a livid Co-Queen to a concerned Amazon warrior in nearly three seconds flat.


"What about Samsara's army? That...Dachus is supposed to be our front against any attack," Medea took her goblet up and gulped the water.


"Her army is strong and Dachus is a good commander. But they're nothing against Caesar. No, no what I need is my niece as Queen of Teloq. Athanase could join us. Whatever legions he sends would not be enough to defeat two Amazon tribes and an allied army."


"What did you just say?" Medea ejaculated suddenly. Jadea's head came up, confusion in her eyes.


"I said whatever legions he sends-"


"No, before that. You said, 'Athanase could join us.'" Her eyes pierced the depths of her Co-Queen's.


"I did?" The sorceress slightly shook her head. "Huh. Well, Athanase is Samsara." She seemed merely fazed by the reference she'd used. Medea, however, seemed greatly upset.


"I KNOW who Athanase is! The point is, you called her Athanase!" The Queen Regent looked as if she might hit Jadea to knock some sense into her.


"What is the big deal, Medea?" The woman asked casually.


Celosia's sister stepped back, eyeing Jadea as if for the first time. "You've never called your niece that before."





Samsara and Seriana moved about their old village. They hadn't known each other when they lived there. In fact, one never knew the other existed until they reached Themiscyra at different times. Seriana felt safe despite the circumstances of her leave. The person who betrayed her trust and informed Ares of her whereabouts was promptly executed. Both women were worried about the impending "Uelled" - Death Joust. The day went by quickly although the days were getting longer. This didn't help the sisters any.



The Highland Elder reached them. "It is almost time, High Princess."


Samsara looked at the woman and smiled. "You can go back at any time, Elder," she responded. "You really have no business here."


"Queen Jadea sent me. I have to stay," was the woman's response. "I'll be sitting with the Pentad in their Tower and I'll be watching your fight. Seriana I assume will sit by me?"


Silver Hawk nodded. She hated the entire idea of the joust, almost as much as her younger "sister" but she knew what duty entailed. She merely feared for her sister, considering her way of handling Medea when she attempted to challenge her. If Sami won't fight she thought will she survive ten candlemarks with Athenia? "Yes, I'll support my sister from the Tower." She pulled out her Ruby Dagger and handed it to her sister. "When you go for the kill, do it with this. I can't feel anything but disgust for Athenia and I wouldn't mind her blood on my blade."


Samsara took the dagger and gave a thank you. "I'll use it well, you know that right?"


Seriana nodded. They looked toward the setting sun. The moon was already out, still reflecting her brother's rays at half-strength. It was time.


They walked toward the center of the village. They were between the water tower, the Pentad Tower, and the various watch towers that dotted the dusty ground. Samsara went into her old hut, still intact since she left and dressed in ceremonial battle clothes that she intended never to wear again. A long, sleeveless tan tunic with green embroidery, long green pants and boots. She pulled up her ponytail into a twist. She armed herself with her Hephaestian sword, long dagger, and Seriana's dagger, both short blades at her legs.


She turned to Seriana again. "I know this is too much right now, but I want to give you something," She bowed her head and removed the necklace on her. "I want you to be Protector of the Blood in my place."


Seriana's eyes began to tear up. She accepted the Hind's Blood Pendant and wore it around her neck. "You will come back to me, you realize that, Sam," she said. "Don't you give up on me."


The Goddess smirked. "Have I ever?"


Seriana and the Elder walked out. It was time for them to go to the Tower. A horn was sounded. Samsara finished her preparations and stepped out just as the drums started. The Teloans on the ground were chanting. The fires licked high into the sky as the bonfires were lit around the fight circle. The women's voices began to harmonize and melt into each other. The ancient tribal sounds filled the air until Samsara with her staff - the challenger - was within the confines of the circle. Suddenly, the music took an ominous turn as Athenia walked out of her hut, dressed for battle. She wore all black and each braid of her ponytail was laid over either shoulder. She eyed her prey through slit eyes and with a smirk across her face.


"Time to die, Samsara," she whispered. She was armed with a sword and various smaller daggers. As soon as she was within the confines, the chanting stopped.


Serena stood. She wore her Phoenix mask and her ceremonial clothes. Solari, Second-in-Command, pulled out her bow and prepped it with an arrow dipped in fire. As soon as the arrow met with the dusty ground, the oil spread across it would catch on fire and the two contenders would be trapped inside.


"As ancient Amazonian law dictates," the Chief Elder began, "the contenders must use their primary weapon until it is of no value to them. Samsara Athanase Achala Kakistos, High Princess, demands to use her staff. Athenia Cordula Mellicent demands to use her daggers. The joust will commence once the flames have met and will ensue until either fighter is dead. Petitioners must request the permission of the Chief Elder before killing." Solari squeezed and let go of the arrow. The circle fired up immediately. "Fight!"


Samsara twirled her staff. "I didn't want it to come down to this, Athenia. You can still abdicate if you do it within the first couple of candlemarks..."


Athenia grabbed two of her many throwing knives. "Not a chance, Goddess. This title is mine!"





Samsara Athanase's aunt rose to her feet. Before she could speak, though, another image flashed suddenly into her mind. The vision lasted longer than her first one had in the arena.


Jadea saw the Amazon Goddess in a ring of fire, a focused expression marking her face. She saw the face of Athenia, Samsara's opponent, just as the warrior flung two daggers at her. Cheers went up when one of the blades nicked Samsara's hand. The image vanished, and Jadea dropped the goblet in her hand.


"Jadea, what is it?" Medea asked cautiously. She'd seen enough of the Sorceress to know when something was amiss.


"Sami's in trouble. She's in a death joust with a Teloan. I must go," she started to walk out when Medea caught her arm as she passed.


"No, Jadea. This is her fight. You told me that yourself, remember?"


Medea looked into her eyes as she spoke. The eyes looking back at her were filled with a range of emotions...mostly fear. Fear was one emotion that Jadea did not show often. Between Rumyna's training, her Amazon conditioning, and the life experiences she'd accumulated, Callisto's sister had achieved the ability for masking her fear without the need to try. That said, when Queen Medea recognized the terror in her Sister's eyes - she began to feel fearful herself.


"But she needs my help. I can't just let her die!" Jadea tore her arm out of Medea's grasp and moved for the exit. She stopped with one spoken word.


"Jade," Medea's voice had never been so calm nor so desperate. She didn't speak again, but she didn't have to.


At that precise moment, a shout erupted outside followed by what sounded like a scuffle between Amazons. Jadea charged outside with Medea promptly at her heels.


"What the blazes is goin' on?" The Queen demanded in a tone reminiscent of her days as Regent.


"A message arrived from Teloq, my Queen. The language is Highland, I believe," the eldest of the Amazons in the group answered.


"Give that here," Jadea instructed and broke past her Co-Queen.


The Sorceress read the epistle silently. The Highland Elder to travel with Samsara and Seriana had written Themiscyra to inform that their arrival had been anything but welcoming.


Jadea looked up at Medea. "Athenia."


The Queen Regent raised a brow at the name. "Velasca's prodigy?"


The Sorceress Empress nodded, handing her the message. "Samsara's challenged her for the Mask of the Queen. I know my Highland Sister. She sent this as speedily as she could...which means the death joust is under way as I speak."


Medea looked up from the message in her hands. "What do you intend to do?" Her voice edged on the side of caution.


"Rumyna once told me that a person with faith is ten times as stronger as one without," her eyes skimmed over the Amazons around them. For some reason, the reception of a message from Teloq had stirred the women up.


"Rumyna was a wise woman. But you avoid my question. What do you intend to do?"


With glints of her former self igniting in her eyes, Jadea smiled wide. "I'm going to give faith a kick so powerful that Rome shall feel it."


As her feet turned away and lead her off, Jadea called to certain Amazons. "Antigone! Arm yourself with a fresh quiver and take to the trees! I don't want any more Roman visitors. Leda! Take as team of Amazons and ride along our borders. If I'm right, those Majie medallions should still be hanging from our trees. If so much as one of them is missing, get your Sisters back here immediately!"


"Jadea, what are you up to?" Medea yelled as she caught up with the sorceress.


"We're going to keep Rome at bay without disobeying Celosia's order. Even if I must turn over our catapults to Dachus to do it. Now, are you going to fight me on this - or will you help?"


Flabbergasted, and only in partial agreement with Jadea, the Queen Regent nodded in a half-shrug and a sigh. "Fine. But when sis gets back, this falls on your head, right?"


She gave a smile and nod. "Right. Now get to work," Jadea stated, again going off in another direction.


"Wait! Since when do you trust me to handle strategies?"


With a beam, the Amazon simply returned, "I told you before. Celosia has faith in you. Besides, I have to buy Sami some time!" Jadea yelled, turning as she disappeared.




"Hello Athena!" The Sorceress Empress greeted the Goddess sweetly before making herself shown. "My, my! Quite the busy Olympian, aren't we?"




A fireball shot out from Jadea's hand, knocking Athena in her chest. "Tsk tsk tsk. A Goddess of your Wisdom should have more sense...not to mention a decent set of manners."


Athena got up almost as quickly as went down. Her demeanor exhibited a warrior's worst qualities - anger, hatred, and absolute frustration.


"And as for how I dare - quite easily when my family is in danger. What about you Athena?"


The Goddess charged forward with her sword raised. The move was undeniably impulsive, not at all in her character. Jadea, of course, vanished before she could be harmed. Yet, the Sorceress had not gone far. Remaining cloaked, her voice carried like the whistle of certain spears as they speed through the air.


"I warned you. Callisto warned you. Samsara warned you. For Zeus' sake, Ares warned you. I fear, Athena, that you have exhausted all chances. Target my Sister and I contend that you will die."


Jadea returned to Themiscyra. There, she found some pleasant news.


"You'll never believe this," Medea began as an Amazon passed her, "but the Romans have retreated. I sent Ardra to be sure. She said that an order was given for them to return to Rome."


"I'd like to believe-" Jadea's reservations were interrupted.


"I haven't finished. Ardra also told us that a second legion had broken away from the Roman troops. You'll never guess what direction they went in."


But Jadea did guess. The soldiers her Sister Queen undoubtedly referred to were those previously under Bruce's command. With news of his "death," they no longer had reason to serve Rome.


Clever move, that one. You want to prove that the Amazon Nation means more than Rome to you. Clever, indeed. I wonder where you will send your men, though. If they return to Eire, Conor will crush them. If they return to Britannia, the Highland tribe or the Iceni tribe or some other Amazon tribe would crush them, Jadea's thoughts caused her heart to escalate the internal war waging within her.


"Jade? Jade, didn't you hear me? I said the legion was heading for the seas! They're leaving."


The Sorceress snapped back to the conversation. She seemed to have preferred her thoughts to Medea's newfound enthusiasm.


Ordinarily, Medea would have been overjoyed at the idea of a war. The problem was that Celosia explicitly stated her desire for the Themiscyrans to remain in Themiscyra. What made it all the more worse for the Queen was that she didn't want Celosia to return to a list of fallen Amazons.


"I heard you," Jadea said quietly, though she was clearly someplace else. By now, she could only hope Samsara had won the death joust and now presided as Queen of Teloq.


For the next couple of hours, Themiscyra was calm.






As the second set of daggers whizzed by Samsara deflected them with her staff.


Seriana and Akvoryai watched on either side of Serena. Both were quite worried for the well-being of the Goddess. Both knew she didn't want to fight Athenia, but simply had no choice. Samsara was only throwing defensive moves, deflecting knife after knife with her staff.


"Sami, use your sword," Seriana whispered. "Just end it! Use your sword!"


At that second, Athenia faltered. Samsara took it as a sign. She always knew Athenia to be strong by the grace of Athena and if the Amazon were to falter it would be because of Athena. The Goddess suddenly lunged for Athenia with her staff, knocking her opponent down onto the dusty ground. Sand clouded up and dissipated from the force of the fall. Samsara forced the butt of her weapon down onto Athenia's chest and looked up at Serena.


The Chief Elder gave the signal and Samsara immediately reached down her leg for Seriana's dagger.


Big mistake. Athenia used the oldest trick in the book to deflect a death blow. She gathered up a handful of dirt and threw it violently onto Samsara's face. The grains embedded themselves in the Goddess' eye and sent her stumbling back, dropping her staff. Athenia kicked herself up and pulled out her sword. She twirled her weapon and screamed: "FIGHT IF YOU DESIRE SURVIVAL!"


The words reminded Samsara of her old self, the one who told Xena: "Forget dying standing," in the midst of the Majie war. The inflection of Athenia's voice enraged her. How dare she forget the warrior code? She pulled out her sword and charged for the Amazon. They clashed blades immediately. The Great Destroyer was back and she would fight Athenia to the finish, no matter how long it would take.


"Abdicate or I will defeat you, Athenia," Samsara growled.


"Not on your pathetic life, Pretender!" the other snarled.


Perhaps Athenia focused too much on her threats for she faltered again. With one swipe, Samsara knocked the sword from her hand. Defenseless, the woman stepped back then charged for the Goddess again.


The Great Destroyer blocked the blow with a kick of her own. Oh, she was beginning to relish this. She wanted to extend this battle until Athenia was begging for her mercy. She threw her own sword down and walked to Athenia, grabbing her by the collar of her black tunic. She hoisted her to her feet again, then smacked her. Then a serious uppercut made Athena's protectorate step back, holding her nose.


Seriana was watching from the stands with the Elders. She eyed her sister. Would I venture to say that Sami's back? she thought quietly.


Meanwhile, Samsara kicked and punched a defiant Athenia. The woman countered with jabs of her own, but they were of no effect on the High Princess. Soon, the archer began to moan in severe pain. That ticked off the Great Destroyer. With every kick and punch, she drove home the following words: "You will not tell me when you have had enough. I will tell you when you have had enough, for I will be Queen Empress of the Teloan Amazons. I am your ruler. I will ascend to the throne."


She finally pushed Athenia down to the ground and placed her boot on the woman's stomach just under Athenia's diaphragm, forcing her to gasp for air. She looked up at Serena with Seriana's dagger in hand and uttered the very words that would compromise the question: "Serena, Chief Elder of the Teloan Pentad Council, I ask for a warrant. What say you?"


"Serena, Eraelterinob Teloan Rat, rageum'f Efehlb umze Od'teh! Aswah agst's Íes?"


Serena stood and waved her hand gracefully.


And that was the last that Athenia saw. The flames were doused immediately. Seriana rushed down the winding stairs of the tower and rushed into her sister's arms. Samsara shut her eyes tightly.


"By the gods, I knew you'd be ok," Seriana breathed.


The Goddess exhaled strongly. "I wasn't so sure for a while..." Indeed the Teloan was not confident that she could defeat Athenia. The shock of the victory surprised the re-affirmed High Princess.






Cradling Karma in her arms, Jadea hummed a lullaby she'd learned in Celtia. Her eyes gazed at the sleeping baby with tenderness. The Amazon was lost in a pool of thoughts when another image decided to intrude.


This time, though, Jadea became relieved at what she saw. Her sister's one and only daughter had defeated Athenia without falling prey to her darker self. Somehow, motherhood had realigned Samsara's priorities, as well as some of her methods.


The Sorceress smiled and gently placed Karma in her cradle. Her eyes remained on the child, fixated almost in a trance. Jadea had learned to take every precaution possible, which often meant using her powers without others knowing or consenting. The Sorceress Empress placed a spell upon Karma, rendering the child incapable of being harmed by any god. Her better instincts warned her that Athena would not heed so quickly.


"Why is it that when I think I have finally found some peace in life a god feels the need to interfere?" She asked herself aloud, looking up from the infant.


The truth was that Jadea's generous visit to the Goddess of Wisdom had quaintly put a damper on Athenia's stealth. The Sorceress Empress suspected but did not know this for certain. She'd simply gone to distract Athena from attacking. A modest little plan, to be sure, but one that nonetheless appeared to have succeeded.


Unknown to the woman, however, someone had slipped into her hut and overheard her counsel with herself. That someone chose to answer Jadea's question.


"I believe..." A male voice stated and paused just as Jadea turned with a defensive movement. Her guard relaxed slightly to see that it was Garrett. "The gods would be bored without us to entertain them."


He came forward before stopping suddenly when the Co-Queen threw up a sword between them. "You may be right about that. But is it worth your life to find out?" The Sorceress quipped in a deadly tone. She'd never been too fond of surprise appearances.


"I'm sorry. I came to see you," he fell quiet and his solemn expression convinced her to lower the sword.


"Why?" It was bluntly asked.


"Thalia told me about Angus," Garrett replied softly and gestured for permission to sit. Jadea nodded reluctantly. An interrogation, albeit an innocent one, was not what she wanted right now. As fortune favored, Garrett didn't have one in mind.


"And what did she tell you?" The Amazon inquired, her voice rising curiously.


She'd never once asked if either Seriana or Samsara had revealed everything in the message she'd sent when in Britannia. If Thalia knew about Angus' treachery, it was likely that she may have told Garrett. However, Thalia had a protective instinct similar to that of her Sisters which may have led her to withhold the information.


"Only that affairs back home prevented him from accompanying you this time." He eyed her thoughtfully, recalling the way she looked when she'd killed that Celt in the arena. Garrett found Jadea particularly difficult to figure out. More so since she'd never displayed such aggression toward him or Angus.


"I apologize, Garrett, on his behalf," she paused before questioning, "Have you and Thalia spent any time together?"


The inquiry struck the young man off guard. He shifted his weight uncomfortably as he tried to answer. "Umm, well no...but I understand that she has responsibilities . . .and training."


"True, but all work and no play makes for a weak woman. I tell you what. . .since we have the luxury of some peace, I suggest that we make the most of it. I'll make sure that Thalia will be free tomorrow so that you two can do as you please."


Garret stood up with a shocked look of gratitude. "B-but won't Queen Medea-"


Jadea smiled, shaking her head, and cut him off in mid-sentence. "Queen Medea will be just fine. Now, go on."


The man nodded while grinning from ear to ear. "Thank you! Thank you!"


"Sh, don't wake Karma," Jadea whispered as she chuckled.


"Right. Sorry. Thank you again, Queen Jadea." He was beside himself with joy as he skipped out of her hut. The Sorceress laughed to herself to see such childish excitement in a grown man.


"Ah, I tell ya Karma, men are just tall boys," She mused while gazing down into the cradle. "I just hope a certain tall boy doesn't come back. Or else," Jadea sighed gently, "I just may have to kill him...for the last time."




"Seri, I must tell our Aunt what's happened." Samsara whispered quickly before Akvoryai came within hearing range.


The Highland Elder's eyes gleamed with pride as she smiled at Samsara. "You performed admirably, Queen Empress of Teloq."


"!" Serena was the next to approach followed with a handful of High Guards behind her. "You speak half the truth, Highland Elder Akvoryai. Samsara did perform admirably. Yet, she is not the Queen of Teloq."





Her mouth gaped open at Serena's very words.


"I am not Queen Empress?" Samsara responded. "How dare you? You put me in this match to reaffirm a title you already gave me! I won this Uelled, Chief Elder, and you will not deprive me of my right."


"Normally I would not, contrary to popular belief," the Chief Elder began. "However, as far as the books are concerned, Gabrielle is Queen you have yet to complete your acts and labors."


This made the Goddess livid. "Oh, no. No, no, no. First of all, Gabrielle is not recognized as Queen by the entire tribe. The Pretender has not led affairs for years. Secondly, as the Pretender is away, the tribe is in need of a ruler. As I am the Heiress to the Teloan Throne, I must take over the affairs or appoint someone to rule in my name. These are my Teloan rights, acts and labors completed or not."


Serena sighed. The woman did make a good point. She snarled. "Only because this is a time of crisis, Samsara. Upon Gabrielle's return she will assume the duties of this tribe and your power will roll back to her. Should she produce an heir, your claim is finished."


"We shall see about that," the Amazon countered, seething. She knew Gabrielle would not return for a long time. If only she could have challenged the Queen for her Mask, but that was strictly against Amazon Law. She called out to the Amazons around. "See to it that preparations are made for my ascension and my sister and daughter's naming and casting."


Serena looked at her aghast. "Daughter?"


Samsara nodded. "Ishtar's child, my heiress. Seriana, I want you to go to Themiscyra for your niece." Then she sent: After this is over, no one will dispute our blood.





Seriana reached Themiscyra as fast as she could. Alex was at the gate and let her sister in. It was around the middle of the night and Silver Hawk knew she wouldn't be sleeping much. Her arrival home was that of an urgent matter. Besides, she knew that Medea would be sleeping and wouldn't have the chance to pick on her.


I wonder who her latest victim is, she thought as she entered the camp. She headed directly for Jadea's hut. She wondered how would Jadea take the news of Karma having to leave for a day.






Silver Hawk found the Sorceress Empress sitting with various scrolls spread in front of her. The camp was deadly quiet, save for the various sounds of night creatures. Jadea had but two candles lit inside her hut. She didn't need to look up to know Seriana had entered.


"You're home safely," her voice startled the Amazon, who'd expected to speak first.


"You knew I would be," was the only reply she could think to say. Her eyes shifted a few feet away to an empty cradle. "Where's Karma?" She asked abruptly, immense fear in her voice.


Jadea turned her head, stood up and came forward. "You needn't worry. Medea wanted an hour or so with her. She's in the Queen's hut right now."


Seriana couldn't help but crack a smile. "What would Medea want with a baby?"


Her Aunt simply chuckled and shook her head. "I don't know, but she's probably telling Karma all about the stresses of being an Amazon Queen."


Silence passed between them as Seri's expression grew sorrowful. As Seriana suspected, the Sorceress Empress knew she'd been sent for Karma. "I'll get her for you. Wait here," the woman instructed softly. To save time, she teleported directly to Medea.


The Queen and her enemy's child were quite a sight to see together. Medea had set Karma down on some cushions and blankets. The child's eyes watched Medea walk around and talk to her as if she understood and agreed with her every word.


"Ya see, Karma, I never wanted Celosia to leave so I could be Queen. So, what does she go and do? She leaves! That's not to say that I'm ungrateful, mind you. I am meant to be Queen. It's's just lonelier somehow...without her."


Jadea felt as if she were intruding, but she had to get Karma. Softly, the co-ruler cleared her throat. Medea spun around on her heel, staring at Jadea with utter shock.


"Ugghhh! Ever heard of knocking?" She quipped sharply. Karma giggled then and the Queen's eyes looked at her with mock anger. "Oh, hush you. Medea, I need Karma now. Samsara has sent for her," she stated, avoiding the detail that her N=niece had sent for her daughter by sending Seriana. If Medea knew Silver Hawk was in camp, Artemis knows what kind of a tangent she'd go on.


"That figures. Just as the tike's growing on me, her rotten excuse for a mother...I'll never understand Ishtar-"


"Medea!" Jadea broke in, fearing her Sister would go on another rant. "Karma."


"Fine! Fine! Take her before she messes on my rug," Medea reached down and lifted the baby into her arms. She smiled at her and Karma grinned back, arms hugging the Queen's neck. Jadea came toward her, and Medea handed her over only after warning, "If anything happens to her in Teloq, I'll-"


"She'll be safe, Medea. But I'll relay your concerns all the same," Jadea made a hasty vanishing exit before the Queen Regent could delay her further.


Seriana got up from her seat when Jadea appeared with Karma. The Sorceress was reluctant to let the child go, despite her agreement with Samsara.


"Jadea, Sami only wants her for one day. Just long enough for the ceremony in Teloq," her voice wavered, hands trembling when she saw the woman's expression.


"Very well," the Sorceress sighed, not yet giving Karma to her. "However, this tells me that Samsara doesn't believe Teloq safe for Karma yet. So, if she wants her daughter back, then I'm coming with her."


Her niece shook her head in absolute protest. She knew her sister would have a fit, and Medea wouldn't like it one bit either. However, compromise and Jadea were not two words often found in the same sentence.


"Jade, you can't come!" She argued futilely. In the end, it would be a strange twist of fate which changed Jadea's mind. For the moment she opened her mouth to declare she was going...a voice, not her own, trespassed into her mind.


Ya've always been resilient, Jade. Ach, ya stil are, to be sure. But tell me, ya think thah Olympian gods don't know about Celtia? Ya think they've not figured out that ya've a terrible tendency tah put the land before all else? Ya didn't kill 'im. I know that because ya can hear me now. Caesar has sent Rome to Britannia, Jade.


The voice faded from her mind; but the message of its speaker did not. The color drained from Jadea's face, her eyes staring hard at the air.


"Jade?" Seri asked cautiously. "Jadea!"


The Sorceress appeared to come out of her illusion only partly. She met Seriana's eyes and handed Karma to her. "Tell Samsara she must keep Karma until she returns to Themiscyra. The babe will remain with you or her at all times, understand?" She commanded fiercely, a wild desperation in her eyes as if she feared some danger she would not tell.


"Al-all right," Seri nodded, at a loss for what else she could say.


"Good. I'll send you back to Teloq myself. The gods can't harm Sami's daughter...but others can and they will try. Safe journey, Seriana. And you, too, little one," Jadea kissed Karma's head. She aimed her hand at the Amazon, gave her a reassuring nod, and sent them into the Teloan camp.


Her face grew dark as she stalked out of her hut to find a particular Amazon.





The Goddess pulled the child into her arms immediately. "By me, I've missed you," she said, holding the child tightly to her bosom. "Thanks, Ser' for bringing her back. How's Jadea?"


Seriana shook her head. "Something came up and she looks a bit worried. She did tell me that either you or I keep an eye on her at all times..."


Samsara looked at her older sister with a sharp glare. "Of course, I would never leave my daughter with anyone I didn't trust!" My daughter she thought. Oh, how wonderful that sounds... Her face softened. "Rest. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow."


Seriana nodded and laid on her sister's bedroll. This hut was very similar to the one Samsara occupied in Themiscyra. Samsara hung her Mask in its rightful place on the wall, hanging over the looking glass. In the floor was a trapdoor filled with some of Ishtar's poultices, just like the one in the Themiscyran hut. The only difference was that there were two bedrolls, both of the finest snow tiger's fur.


"Why do you have two pallets, Sami?" she queried, her eyelids extremely heavy.


Athanase settled on the other. "Kaia used to live with me until she got 'too old' to share a hut with me. She built her own after we came back from Cruen the first time. Go to sleep, Seriana," she placed Karma next to her on the bedroll.


"No, I want to stay up..." she said, yawning. "Can't you do your healing thing when I have to be at the ceremony?"


"No, that would defeat the purpose of sleep. Besides, sleep is good for you," she smiled. "Silly girl. I hope we have more time together." Her smile disappeared instantly.


Seriana managed to keep one eye cocked open. "What are you talking about? You are the silly girl, if you ask me! Of course we will have lots of time together! I'm not leaving you."


I don't think that's what it is, Samsara thought silently to herself. She didn't know what was bothering her, but something was and she didn't like it one bit.


Meanwhile, far off somewhere else...


This Ean person was growing greatly on the Queen. They moved on from Nerida that day, but not before Queen Tenga could bestow a few words on the Themiscyran Queen.


"You realize that when you return to Themiscyra, things will be vastly different?" she said.


"Yes, I know," Celosia responded. "You went on a similar journey when you were an Heiress and when you returned, you were so much stronger and more level-headed, your own sisters couldn't recognize you. I hope I learn as much as you did on your Nok'tana."


Tenga smiled. "I bid of you one last favor, Ce'losah." The Neridian was still struggling with the name, but her accent was falling away. Celosia taught her some of the Themiscyran dialect, should the woman decide to trek southbound some day. "What shall I name my child?"


And indeed Tenga was with child. The botched Krahn'kee ceremony had still been a success. Three-quarters of the women who went to the male settlement were with child and the knowledge that the Queen was to deliver hopefully an heiress yielded much feasting and celebration in the couple of weeks Celosia and Ean were in the camp.


"Lysippe," was her simple response. The utterance of her mother's name made her smile. She missed her dearly, and sent a mental prayer that she was at peace. "Now, Ean and I must be on our way." Apollo was sending word of his arrival, the skies turning a deep violet.


"I apologize again for how we met," Tenga answered. She took Celosia's forearm as a salutation.


She smiled. "Not a worry. You do what you must to survive." She hoisted her bag over her shoulder and kicked Ean slightly. "Let's head out."


And out the gates they went. Ean sent her side-long glances every so often, and Celosia pretended to ignore them.






Several candlemarks into the day Samsara roused her sister. She trusted that one of the younger Elders, Teal, saw to the preparations for the Naming and the Ceremony of the Caste adequately. It was to start with Athenia's funeral pyre. The Goddess hoped for no interruptions this time, but she was sure that Athena would make some kind of appearance. If not to disturb the Great Destroyer, then to watch the burning of one of her blessed.


Karma had been awake for a couple of hours and she was finally showing signs of hunger. Samsara called for Hippoppih, one of the Imperial Guard that she herself had trained.


"Could you acquire some goat's milk for her?" she inquired with the glowing smile of a mother. Samsara was beginning to trust her Teloans more now that she was back and with an heiress. Morale had been low and there was no telling what may have happened to a leaderless nation had the High Princess not returned to Teloq.





Queen Medea found her Co-Queen in the command hut bright and early. Across from the Sorceress Empress sat a now-wide-awake Zia. Jadea stood at the end of the table, looking down intently at a map of Rome's territories.


"Jadea, what's going on?" Celosia's sister inquired acridly. She'd sensed tension between Jadea and the young Zia before, but this had been unexpected to say the least.


"Rome. Always bloody Rome!" Jadea answered and glanced back up to Zia. "All right, Zia. So, they retreated from our lands. Where would Caesar send his fleet?"


The map stretched across most of the table. Zia skimmed at her end of the map, noting the rivers leading to the seas. She didn't understand the Sorceress Empress, and part of her even feared the woman. But Zia held a strong sense of loyalty to her Sisters. She would help them no matter what enemy they faced.


"If he really is campaigning for Britannia...then he'd want to use Gaul. Here," she said, pointing to an area on the map. Medea came up and leaned onto the table to examine just what the Hades the two women were talking about.


"Damn!" Jadea leapt from her chair and headed out of the hut. 


Queen Medea gave the young warrior in the chair a quick look. "Stay here," she instructed and quickly followed her co-ruler. "Jade! Jadea, halt!" She screamed suddenly in her old voice.


The Sorceress Empress was, by that time, mounted on her snowy horse. Her eyes flashed brilliantly with fire. She fixed her gaze on the Queen beside her.


"The best time to stop a war is before it begins, Medea. Caesar gets Celtia over my dead body," she stated in all certainty as the wind blew her hair behind her.


"And what about Themiscyra, Sorceress Empress? We have no guarantee the Romans won't return. And suppose Celosia comes back while you're gone? What the Hades am I to tell her? That I let my Co-Queen go gallivanting around the Roman Empire in a crusade to stop Caesar?" Her voice raised while her fervor increased steadily. She looked up at the Amazon sorceress with eyes that silently pleaded.


"Tell your sister I have gone of my own will to protect the future of the Amazon Nation. Don't...argue with me, Medea."


"Fine! But it's your hide on the line for this!" The Queen Regent screamed back as Jadea galloped toward the gate.


Just outside of their borders, the Sorceress Empress caught sight of fresh tracks. Puzzled, she followed them all the way to a small pool of water where the trail ended. "That's odd," she quietly thought aloud.


"No, that's me," a voice answered, startling Jadea to draw her blade and spin around. Her eyes narrowed angrily and she kicked her mare to charge forward. Jadea's opponent, also mounted, bolted towards her. Their swords clashed with a deafening clang, both horses neighing wildly.


The Amazon's breathing quickened, her heartbeat pounding against her chest. For the first time, the pendant she wore filled with a spring green color. Apollo rose higher into the sky, and soon the sun beamed down onto the two.


A surprise shock from her left hand caused Jadea's opponent to fly backward off his horse. She caught the reins of the brown beauty before he could trot off. Flipping off her own mare, Jadea landed within one step of the fallen man. The point of her sword pressed into his chest just deeply enough to warn him.


"Ya shouldn't have come back, Angus!" She retorted while catching her breath. He blinked against the streaming sunlight in his eyes until she shifted her position, shading him.


"I came to help ya, Jade!" He exclaimed with full awareness that his life was in jeopardy.


"You attacked me! How the blazes was that to help me?" She quipped lividly, placing her right boot onto his stomach.


"I'm sorry." Angus answered softly. She studied his eyes and saw he meant his apology. Though sincerity did not remove the sting of his attack, it provided him with some credibility. Jadea lifted her boot off of him and pulled her sword away.


"Ya want to help? Stay out of my way!" She vanished only to appear on her mare, whom she promptly kicked and left.




By that same evening, Jadea had arrived at an abandoned command post. Or, nearly abandoned. She whistled with three short calls and two longer ones. Two men came out of hiding, both armed, and approached her with hardened stares.


"Who goes there?" The left one shouted, his bow and arrow ready to shoot.


Jadea answered in a rough Gaelic dialect. The man standing to the right several feet away turned his head to question his partner. The left one, attired in a gray tunic and vest with a darker cape, answered, "Pass."


She nodded and slowly strode up to them, dismounting a few steps ahead. She wore her own cape with the hood drawn over her face. Jadea let her right hand move up to pull the hood back. As she did, both the men dropped to their knees. "Sorceress Empress! Forgive us, please!" The older one cried out.


"Rise to your feet and I shall," Jadea smiled gently at them both, feeling invigorated by their loyalty.


"We had no idea that it was you, Sorceress Empress," the shorter, younger man added to his friend's plea.


"I can see that. Let us not dwell on trivial things, though. How many do you number here?" She questioned, her eyes moving behind the two warriors to spot any others that might be hiding.


"A mere dozen, my Empress. The others were killed while fleeing."


Jadea stepped closer to them, eyes going over their appearance. She was able to soon identify both. "Corvus and Titus." She addressed with a smile that hid her despair from hearing only twelve men were present.


Both men bowed their heads, a faint smile curving their lips. Much time had passed since they'd last seen the Sorceress Empress. Indeed, some rumors had her dead while others had her captured by this enemy or that. Obviously they had been nasty lies.


"Only twelve?" She sighed suddenly as her mare came up behind her. They walked through into the compound.


"Sadly, yes. We attempted to move out, but our orders were to remain until command's return." Corvus, the older, replied grimly. He stopped short and met Jadea's strong gaze. "We heard that killed him. Of course, none of us believe..."


Corvus silenced when he saw Jadea's solemn look which confessed she had killed him. He lowered his eyes to the muddy ground. "Corvus, his treachery against the Amazon Nation demanded retribution. I could not help him escape it a second time," Jadea spoke softly though her voice was clear and unwavering. She had now just lied about a lie, since in a sense Jadea did spare Bruce a second time.


"I understand, my Empress," he responded, looking up with a new composure befitting the men Jadea led. "You have command."


The Amazon looked beside him to Titus, whose own expression conceded his comrade's. She nodded then, adding, "I want every man fed, packed, and ready before dark. We leave then."




For the hour after departing from Nerida, Celosia did not speak a word. Her mind filled with an array of thoughts and emotions she had never before had time to wade through. She missed Themiscyra greatly, but her appetite for adventure had not diminished.


Ean consistently glanced at the Queen from time to time. He'd never met an Amazon like Celosia, and the awe not to mention the affection he felt captivated him. They stopped briefly for a rest, having made good ground thus far.


"I'm going to fill these skins," Celosia announced rather simply as she trotted off to a stream they had passed a few minutes back.


"I'll come."


"No!" She answered firmly. He drew back, a sudden fear in his eyes. Celosia shook her head. "I'm didn't mean to snap. I can handle it, though. Stay here and alert of any trouble."


Ean nodded and sat down on the ground while gazing around him. The land was truly a view to behold, if you could.




Feeling obligated to send word back to her Sister, Jadea informed Medea of her plans. The Queen Regent had only one thing to comment: You'd better hope that it works, because if I have to mobilize this entire tribe to save your'll wish you were dead.


Such confidence! Jadea appreciated the concern, however well-cloaked beneath a threat. Jadea's powers provided her men with more supplies and arms. Under the cover of darkness, she lead them on an intersecting path to the Romans.


"Shhh!" She hushed a few men in the back as they crouched low. A hundred yards away, Romans were camped for the night. With silent motions, the Amazon deployed three men to the right, three to the left, and the rest were to come with her. Cautiously, she lead the remaining six warriors around to the opposite side of the camp.


Twenty men in one camp? She seemed baffled, not to mentioned suspicious. This smells like a trap.


You used to tell us that what smells like a trap is a trap.


Alarmed and angry, Jadea quickly scanned around for him. Angus, I'm going to kill you! She narrowed her eyes and spotted him behind a tree. About five steps from the tree a Roman sat on guard. He looked half-asleep or half-drunk. Angus approached with light steps and with his sword raised. As he brought the sword down to strike, the Roman fell backward asleep. Shocked, Angus leapt back with a bewildered and then amused look on his face.


"Easiest one yet," he whispered while Jadea cursed him from across the camp. Her men would soon attack the Romans. Two of them had released the horses, another two stolen as many weapons as they could, and one - Titus - located the commander of the particular camp they were ambushing.


"He's in that tent," he whispered, pointing to an unguarded tent.


This is a trap. Jadea could feel it. With her eyes on the remaining Romans, she instructed, "All right. Move out now."


Titus looked as if he would protest, but he nodded and quickly pulled his comrades away. Jadea's eyes lingered on the Roman soldiers for a few moments. Another time.


By the afternoon of the following day, the Sorceress Empress had returned the twelve men to Celtia. Along the way, she sank three Roman ships headed for Eire and seven more that had been bound for the upper shorelines of Britannia. The Iceni tribe along with the Highland tribe were prepared defensively in case of an attack. A successful aversion to war had been made. Rome would not add Celtia to its empire - not this time anyway.


When Jadea returned, she had a surprise for her Sisters. Two chests of gold sent from their Amazon Sisters in Celtia were brought as offerings of gratitude. With the two chests came two messages, one each from the Amazon leaders of both tribes.


For the first time in quite awhile, Jadea sighed heavily with relief. Whether the Roman Empire and the Amazon Nation would ever face off...was uncertain but probably inevitable. However, it would not be soon.





The sisters were pleased there were no interruptions to the ceremonies. Athena failed to make an expected disruption at Athenia's burning. There were no scuffles among the Teloans, no double-crossing warlords and their armies infiltrating camp, no angry Amazons challenging the ascension. All in all, it was a good day, except for Karma's incessant crying. Even her mother couldn't calm her until Hippoppih brought more goat's milk.


Samsara fed her child as they sat at the head of the feasting table. Meanwhile, the Goddess fed herself sweet grapes as the women danced and ate and drank. The barrels of aged wine saved for the occasion were blessed by Dionysus. The weapons forged that day were blessed by Hephaestus. When Samsara took Karma to Artemis' temple, the Goddess of the Hunt blessed the child with the ability to rule favorably.


That had been a conversation to behold. Samsara handed the child to the Matron of the Amazon. "Thank you for coming to bless my child," she said.


Artemis looked at her and smiled. "You and I may have our differences, Master of War, but we have the same intentions in mind. Our petty feuds mean nothing to this little one you're raising. I want to ask for peace."


A smile cracked the stoic face of the younger Goddess. "You read my mind, haven't you."


Artemis shook her head. "There was no need to. I will side with you should my family decide to attack. You are one of the few chosen to perpetuate the Amazon race, and I will do everything within my power to make sure that no one trifles with the Tribes."


Samsara nodded. Although she didn't agree with how Artemis refused to reunite the Tribes, she did agree with laying down one's life to protect them. Artemis blessed Karma and had handed the child back to Samsara.


Back at the feast, the Goddess Kakistos looked about her. Seriana was by her side, wearing a phoenix feather much like her younger sister's. She looked a bit perplexed and failed to enjoy the festivities as she normally would have.


"Ser'," the younger started.


Silver Hawk looked up from her goblet with a start.


"You ok? Let's go to my hut for a sec, we have to adjust your clothes," they got up and went to her hut. Once inside, Seriana spoke.


"Of course, I'm not okay, Sami," she said in a low tone. The women danced to beats drummed out by other Teloans as they worshipped Pyros and Panos. "We just lied to the entire Tribe. You just said to them that we are sisters-"


"You are my sister," Samsara stressed. "Nothing will change that, do you understand? Ares or not, because of his act, I was born. Whether I'm related to him is inconsequential. As far as I'm concerned, Ares begot me and you are my sister. End of story. And if anyone disputes it, it won't matter. You are now part of the Royal House of the Wolf and you will be my Regent. Understood?"


Seriana looked down. She hated lying. She was a good kid. She also knew that her sister was right. Any dispute was pointless. The ceremony could be undone.





"What am I supposed to do with two chests of gold?" The Queen Regent questioned Jadea while staring like an awestruck child given the toy of their desires.


The Sorceress Empress shrugged indifferently. She truly did not care one way or the other what happened to the gold. "Acquire more land or horses," she suggested casually while picking up a small strawberry and popping the sweet treat into her mouth.


What became of the gold was of little importance to Jadea. She'd another pressing matter that preyed on her mind. And of course it was a man.


Angus had somehow left Celtia and managed to come all the way to Themiscyra. The fact that he could do such a thing wasn't what vexed Jadea. She knew that as a previous warrior under her command, Angus had developed a strong skill for improvising and the gift for using resources. No, it was the fact that Angus had given the effort needed to pull off such a stunt.


Suddenly feeling the need for some air, the Amazon sorceress rose out of her seat and left. Halfway across camp, Jadea spotted Thalia with Antigone. The latter seemed to be giving the Head Scout a lesson in the techniques of shooting a crossbow. The Sorceress sat down on a bench and watched from a distance. She let her eyes gaze dreamily at the activities of her Sisters.


To think, he almost won, she quietly thought to herself. But like most times, Jadea's thoughts were not hers and hers alone.


Perched on the top of an Amazon's hut, Ardra watched her Mistress worriedly. Which he might that be, Jadea?


The Amazon's eyes skimmed across to find her guardian hawk. She smiled faintly and shook her head. No one of consequence, to be sure.


Ah, but he has always been of consequence. And always shall be, I think, the hawk stated.


Again Jadea shook her head. She refused to think of such things now. Instead, she focused on her future plans. The gods had made no move against Themiscyra. This both pleased and displeased the Sorceress Empress. Themiscyra had Prince in her lands and Prince still held Rhea's Ruby. The only way to retrieve the ruby was to kill the horse. And killing a Pegasus guarded by a tribe of fierce Amazon warriors would be no day in the park, even for the gods.


You need some rest, Jade, Ardra advised gently. For once, Jadea seemingly agreed. She silently stood up and headed for her own hut. When she arrived, the Amazon found two guards standing in front of her hut.


"What's the meaning of this?" she asked, her tone lilting on the side of anger.


"Queen Medea's orders, Sorceress Empress!" One of the answered with a clear, trained voice.


She felt too weak to fight the ridiculous order her Sister had given. With a wave of her hand, she replied, "Very well. Just don't wake me unless the matter is life or death."


Both Amazon guards bowed their heads slightly in respect before allowing Jadea to pass. Once inside, she used her powers to make the hut utterly dark. A little peace, quiet, and rest were the things she needed. For but a single hour, Jadea would sleep undisturbed.




In Teloq, the only remaining matter which needed to be dealt with was the naming of Samsara's successor. Once all affairs were in proper order, Samsara intended to return to Themiscyra. She named Seriana as the tribe's new Regent. Upon Silver Hawk's and Samsara's untimely demise, or lest something should befall the both of them rendering them incapable of ruling Teloq, Karma would be the next in line. Of course, with Samsara being a Goddess and Silver Hawk being under a number of protectors the likelihood of both of them being unable to rule was minimal to none.


Sami walked with her baby in arms through the Teloan lands. She spoke softly to the child who now peered around with wondrous eyes. Indeed, Callisto's daughter had come a long, long way. But soon, very soon, Samsara Athanase's loyalties would be tested. For at that same moment, Athena enlisted the help of a troubled and vengeance-minded Discord.


The plan was simple. Discord would stir up some mischief with the Romans which would lead both the Sorceress Empress and the Warrior Princess far away from Amazon lands and keep them busy so they could not make a hasty return. Athena would find a way to isolate Seriana from her Sister. Discord would be permitted to destroy as many Amazons as necessary to kill Prince and reclaim the Rhea Ruby for the Olympians. Samsara, of course, would try to intervene and stop her, but she'd be distracted when her daughter's life hung in the balance.


The scheme never saw stage two, though. With Samsara as Queen of the Teloan Amazons, word spread rapidly throughout the Nation that the tribes were uniting once again. Instead of a number of tribes scattered across vast distances a rather large assembly would be formed. The trick, aside from the feat itself, would be to establish a central territory for the Amazons without losing the lands they presently kept.


While the two Co-Queens of Themiscyra worked on the details of such a tremendous mission, Teloq awaited its orders from their new Queen. When Samsara, Seriana, Karma, and Akvoryai returned, they were welcomed with a celebratory feast in their honor. Naturally, it took some coaxing on Jadea's part to get Medea's commitment. In the end, the Queen Regent welcomed any excuse for her Amazons to unwind and relax.


While the music and festivities flourished in the camp, Jadea took her two nieces aside for a chat. "I am more pleased to see you both than either of you could know!" She beamed before promptly asking in a somber voice, "Were there any complications?"


Seri and Sami exchanged looks. Samsara shook her head. "None to speak of, no. Athenia..." her voice trailed off when she broke her eyes away.


"I know," Jadea said softly. That had not been easy for Samsara, she knew. "She made her own choice, Sami."


The Goddess nodded and looked up. "I know."


By that time, Leda had snuck off to find the three Amazons. When she caught up with them, the woman was out of breath. "Wh-what are you all doing standing around here?!"





Zia looked angrily at her hut while many thoughts had run through her head. Caesar and his men were here, ready to attack at any second. Not only that, but Jadea dared to talk about her people in such an awful way. It deeply hurt her. She can still hear the screams of her parents being killed by Caesar.


No matter what happens to me, I will die killing Caesar and making Rome peaceful once again, Zia thought.


Zia was aware that a group of Amazons, including Jadea, were at the location of the Roman hideout. What the Amazons did not know was that Caesar himself was in one of those huts. Zia went on horseback to the hideout. She saw the Amazons looking at her strangely from behind the bushes.


What in Hades name is Zia doing? Ardra asked her mistress.


It is easy to suspect that Zia is an enemy because of her Roman blood, and yet I feel that she is one of us. Let us see what she is doing, Jadea answered.


Zia went up to Jarus, a loyal soldier of Caesar.


"Welcome back, Zia," Jarus said with a surprised look on his face.


"Hello Jarus. I came here to talk to Caesar. I know he is inside his hut."


"Go in Zia. He is expecting you."


Zia went inside the hut and saw Caesar taking his daily bath while his servants washed his back. "Hello Zia," he said. He told his servants to leave the hut.


"Hello Emperor," Zia said. She took off her armor and her slender naked body slipped inside the tub. Her legs wrapped around Caesar’s waist. He did not know that she had her dagger in hiding. She started kissing him. "Emperor, if I give you a night of pleasure, will you give me anything I ask of you?"


"But of course, its only fair dear Zia," Caesar said smiling.


"I want Rome," Zia whispered.


"Then Rome is yours."


Zia lowered her body and kissed his chest…suddenly she grabbed her dagger and put it against his throat.


"Amazons, attack now!" Zia screamed.





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