awoke with a start just before Apollo's rays reached Themiscyran
territory. She dressed in a brown tunic and wide pants and
quickly strapped her kens to her sides. She rushed out of
Jadea's hut towards the gates of Themiscyra.
whistle was heard.
cried Alex. She was on duty for the night. "Who goes
envoy from the Teloan Amazons!"
seek you?" Alex demanded.
seek she who was the Boar and the Wildcat and most importantly
of the Royal Teloan House of the Wolf," the envoy answered.
"I have an urgent message for Samsara, High Princess of the
sought her immediately. Samsara came running with the Eastern
what is it?" she demanded, alarmed. She was alarmed for
good reason. A grey wolf accompanied the girl and walked to
Samsara, sitting on its haunches. Samsara looked up at the envoy
and knew immediately what was wrong. "No. This is a
handed her the parchment.
the High Princess called. Her sister appeared before her in an
instant, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
what is it?" Samsara handed her the parchment.
what it says..."
Hawk's mouth dropped. "To the High Princess Samsara,
Princess Heiress to the Teloan Throne:
Teloan Pentad bids your return to take over the Affairs of
Amazonia. It is our sad duty to inform you of the Passing of
Queen Ephiny II and as part of the ruling House of the Wolf, you
must return to Amazonian territory as soon as possible.
Undersigned, the Teloan Pentad Council."
looked at Seriana. The Amazons around them were stunned as well.
The only audible sound was the panting of the wolf by the
the news found Queen Regent Medea, the woman could not help but
smile faintly at the thought of getting Samsara out of her way.
The satisfaction was short-lived, however. Medea remembered that
her Co-Queen had ordered Samsara to remain in Themiscyra. She
shook her head to think of how the Sorceress Empress would take
it happened, Jadea knew of the news before the message had been
brought to them. Samsara found her Aunt in the stables with
Prince. She cleared her throat softly.
don't want me to go, do you?" The High Princess asked.
turned around, solace in her eyes. "I will not keep you
from Amazon duty. You may go to Teloq...just not with
Mariko." The Goddess' jaw dropped as she readied to
protest. Jadea shook her head and firmly stated, "Mariko
Samsara could speak her mind, Valkyra stepped inside with her
eyes scanning right to left as they settled on Jadea. The
Weapons Master bowed her head slightly. "Queen Medea wants
to see the both of you right away. She said she'll not allow
Samsara to leave without a meeting."
mocked Medea. "...not allow Samsara to leave without a
meeting." Jadea shot her a reprimanding look. In many ways,
the young Goddess was still a child.
you, Valkyra," the Sorceress nodded. "After you,
Sami," she said and waved her hand gracefully.
the news of Samsara's ascension spread like wildfire through the
camp, the reaction was split between those greatly saddened and
those greatly uplifted.
rode on horseback with her trusty horse, Midnight. She had
arrived at the Amazon village at last. All the Amazons looked at
Zia, wondering who this young Amazon was. Zia jumped off of her
horse and stood on the tallest rock.
shouted out, "My name is Zia. I am the daughter of Romelus,
a most trusted solider to the late Caesar and of Kosha, a fellow
Amazon warrior. You may think of me as you enemy because I am
half Roman and many Romans have killed your loved ones, but let
me assure you all, I am not a enemy. My mother died with a dream
that I will live up to the destiny of being an Amazon. Now I am
here as a young sister, who will live and die for our
lifted up her sword into the sky. As the sun glittered against
the sword, releasing a ray of light to the village, she let out
a loud warrior cry.
claims to be both Amazon and half-Roman," Thalia informed
Valkyra who immediately ordered the stranger be brought in
her name?" The Weapons Master asked, wary about anyone with
allegiance to Rome.
Thalia answered in turn.
Queen Jadea's hut . . .
Medea and her Co-Queen spoke with Samsara.
meeting was not going well. The High Princess of Teloq insisted
upon leaving with Prince, Karma, and Mariko. She also indicated
that Seriana would be going with her. Jadea was opposed to
Mariko accompanying her, and Medea opposed to taking Karma out
I won't permit it! Period!"
screamed frustrated. "You have NO say, Queen Regent
HADES I DON'T!"
Medea! Queen Jadea!" Valkyra stood in the entrance of the
two women turned heads in unison. Samsara Athanase kept her eyes
narrowed on the Queen Regent. "Report?" Medea prompted
immediately, annoyed at the interruption.
have a woman we believe to be Amazon. She claims to have Roman
blood but seeks admission into the tribe," the Amazon
informed with a steady voice. She glanced from the two Co-Queens
to the Goddess near the corner and back.
she unarmed?" Queen Medea questioned. Her look conveyed
that she disapproved of the inconvenience this imposed on her.
have disarmed her without protest, my Queen," she replied
with a slight nod.
Medea could utter another syllable, Jadea interjected.
"Very well. Hold her under guard until we come," she
glanced to her Co-Queen Regent who looked upset but didn't
nodded and turned to leave just as Samsara called out.
"What's her name?"
Amazon guard turned back. "Zia," she then left.
three women exchanged looks. Their meeting was not over, but a
new subject had been introduced which had the trio on a
different train of thought. It didn't sway the Goddess, however.
can't keep me here!" Samsara growled and moved forward as
though she might strike Celosia's sister.
wouldn't dream of it, you sniveling little-"
that's enough!" Jadea yelled and threw a wave of energy
towards both women, sending them backward.
Queen was the first to get to her feet. She gave Jadea a
scathing look that warned her she'd better not attempt the move
again. The Sorceress Empress ignored her, looking instead at her
niece as she stood up.
you will leave Themiscyra for Teloq with your Sister, Seriana.
Both of you will take two of the horses in the corral. Prince
will remain in camp where he can be defended if the gods decide
to strike. Karma will also remain here for the time being. When
you settle things in Teloq, you may send for her or come
personally. Mariko will not be going with you to Teloq. She will
not leave Themiscyra. And there will be no negotiations."
Jadea's pendant filled with a burgundy hue and her eyes
glistened with sparks of determination. She would not lose her
family! The Sorceress Empress turned her head to look at Medea.
"Queen Medea...do you have any objections?"
Amazon straightened up and shifted her gaze from her Co-Queen to
the Goddess. "None to speak of."
Samsara, you'll want to pack some belongings as I suspect your
affairs in Teloq will take some time. I'm sending one of the
Highland Elders with you, as well."
niece opened her mouth to protest but found nothing came out.
She had much to argue, she thought. So, just why was it that she
could not defy Jadea?
Teloan exited the hut, leaving the two Themiscyra Queens to look
at each other.
you ever pull rank like that again!" Medea snapped sharply.
your tongue, Medea. I'm in a bad mood," Jadea left the hut
with her Sister close behind her.
Queen Regent soon strode beside the Amazon. "I don't like
to be shown up, Jadea," her voice was calmer than it had
know. Don't put me in a position to do it again. Sami is my
blood, and I'll deal with her."
passed between the two as they continued to walk, heading for
where Amazon guards held Zia. When they were still yards away,
Medea grabbed her Sister's arm and stopped.
right, look. I understand that you're going through something.
This Celt we have in custody...he affects you, doesn't he? Don't
try to deny it, Jade. We can see that he does. This Mariko
obviously rubs you the wrong way, even though I think her
heart's in the right place. And now, your nieces are about to
leave for Teloq."
your point, Medea?" The sorceress asked in exasperation.
can I help?" She asked with a sudden sincerity and
gentleness. That broke any defense Jadea had left to fight Medea
with. She closed her eyes and sighed.
sorry," her voice whispered as her eyes reopened.
Medea nodded. "Okay." She gave her Co-Queen a
meaningful look and smiled.
Jadea repeated with a nod. The two women then went to
investigate their latest issue.
must be Zia," Medea stated as she stopped in front of the
woman bowed her head respectfully. When her eyes came back up,
she noted that someone else stood beside the royal Amazon before
her. Both women looked strong and intimidating, but something
else suggested they held more authority.
you, Queen Medea," she returned quickly.
bear the markings of an Amazon, Zia," Medea noted with an
enlightened tone, mildly sarcastic if you knew the Queen Regent
am Amazon, my Queen,"
well, that name must be earned," the Queen countered
the sorceress said the name quietly. Celosia's sister turned her
head and nodded.
stepped up to the stranger and placed a hand on her forehead.
Zia's reaction was to close her eyes. She felt a light tingling
sensation flow through her followed by a wave of warmth, as one
might get from laying in the sun. As the Sorceress Empress
lifted her hand, Zia's eyes opened.
Amazon and Roman. I believe her heart rests with
us," Jadea stated before promptly asking Medea an
unexpected question. "Can you handle this?" Her tone
implied she had something she needed to do, and that she'd like
to tend to it.
a problem," Medea responded confidently. She smiled as
Jadea nodded, gave one last glance to Zia, and left.
the Queen Regent turned her attention back to the new woman, she
still held her smile in place. "That is the Sorceress
Empress, Zia. She's acting Co-Queen of this tribe."
gave a rather bewildered look. "How did she know I am
Roman?" Medea's smile beamed through her eyes. She
displayed a strong sense of pride just then. "Because she
knows Amazons and she knows Romans," the Queen
Regent's composure changed in a flash, however. Her following
words covered the secret she kept. "Come now! Let's
in her hut, Jadea knelt down with closed eyes and conjured to
mind the image of Celosia. She intended to brief her Sister on
what all had happened since she'd left the village. The Amazon
Sorceress never got the chance. For, the moment she'd forged the
link between Celosia's mind and her own, a gentle tap came from
away!" Jadea shouted, desperately trying to keep her powers
And Jadea couldn't refuse her niece. With a heavy heart, she
severed the link and stood up. Rather than invite her Sister in,
her normal course of action, she stepped outside.
Seri jumped up and threw her arms around the woman. Her
greeting nearly knocked her off her feet.
miss you!" She said through teary eyes.
Samsara wasn't wasting time. She had herself, Seri, and the
Sisters accompanying her all ready to go. The only thing that
remained to be done were saying the goodbyes.
journey, Seriana," Jadea whispered. She had a quirk about
the word goodbye - never say it unless you absolutely mean it.
started thinking about all the events that had taken place since
she entered the village. These Amazons could not believe that
she was half-Roman and half-Amazon. But thanks to the co-Queen,
they would all believe now.
mother Kosha would have been proud to see me taking her place
and becoming the Amazon that I am deep inside," she
started thinking about Rome and how much Romans hated Amazons.
She thought how Caesar had requested Amazon slaves for
entertainment. She thought of the screams of those Amazons as
they’d been separated from their sisters, sold into Roman
households or sent to the arena.
these Amazons had known that instead of sitting here in a hut,
she was supposed to be married to Octavius, nephew of Caesar and
next in line of Rome, they would probably not be as welcoming.
knew that the Amazons wanted to kill every Roman, but she
somehow had to prove to her sisters that not all Romans were
bad. Octavius always talked about something called Pax Romana
which would bring peace to every one, including the Amazons. She
wanted to share that message with them, trying to solve the
problems between Amazons and Romans.
Zia polished her sword, she heard a fellow Amazon call to her.
She went out to greet her new sister.
walked silently towards Seri and their Aunt. She carried a
sleeping Karma in her arms. Medea chose that precise moment to
walk out of the Queen's Hut. She observed the three women from a
distance, quietly fearing the impact the separation would have
on her co-Queen. As much as it pained her to admit it, Medea
needed Jadea as co-ruler. What was more, she needed Jadea level
headed and she was afraid that would be a grand task with her
Teloan Goddess kissed her child's head before handing the girl
over to Jadea. She could not help but show wet eyes. The tears
were not shed, but everyone watching the scene could tell they
my sword and staff..." Jadea's voice streamed out into the
my dagger and wits..." Samsara added as she gave Silver
Hawk a glance.
promise of life..." Seriana finished as each woman reached
out an arm and laid hand upon hand.
expect you both to return to us safely, the Sorceress
Empress sent to her younger niece. Seriana had also heard her
and both Amazons nodded with a faint smile.
Sorceress watched as the Amazons mounted their horses. Medea
pressed herself to see them off. She looked up at the Goddess, a
woman she'd hated for a long time. "Don't do anything
stupid," the Queen advised.
simply smiled sweetly. She understood that it was Medea's
fashionable way of telling her to keep everyone alive and stay
out of trouble. "I won't if you won't," she returned
smoothly and kicked her horse before the Queen could have the
Mariko did not see her protégé off. It would be discovered
hours later that Mariko was no longer in Themiscyra.
IN THE NAME OF
OLYMPUS DO YOU MEAN 'SHE'S GONE'?"
voice boomed inside the Mess hut where Pike and a sister Amazon
had found the Queen and reported their findings. The younger
Amazon jumped back a step, shuddering from fear. Pike held a
more steady look, though she deeply feared Medea's temper.
you ANY idea what Queen Jadea is going to . . ."
about Queen Jadea?" The soft hint of a Celtic brogue
filtered into the hut as the Sorceress Empress stepped inside.
She, like many other warriors in camp, the prisoner included,
had heard Medea's indistinguishable scream. Like any good
Co-Queen, or anyone with too much gall, she'd come to
sister faltered from sight of her Co-Queen. She did something
out of character, which was stutter a couple of times. At last,
rising to her feet, Medea managed to find herself again.
"Mariko isn't in Themiscyra."
NOW...would be the perfect time to run! The Queen thought
silently. The reaction she received was nearly as shocking as
the news Pike reported.
kept her eyes on Medea for a minute, silent and motionless as
the information sank into her. Finally, her gaze shifted onto
Pike, who'd been assigned with sticking to Mariko.
The Sorceress said the name slowly and deliberately.
a dignity that few could manage, the Amazon warrior walked up to
Jadea and stopped in two or three steps. "Yes, Queen
Amazon ignored the title addressed her. She believed her role to
be but a temporary one, which in essence was true.
are having an execution tomorrow. Find Valkyra and see to the
preparations," Jadea instructed with such calmness that all
witnessing Amazons feared a delayed eruption was inevitable.
was Pike's only response. She made a hasty retreat, escorted
immediately with her younger Sister.
The Amazon lifted her voice.
the Queen hesitantly answered.
That treacherous spawn of Tartarus isn't gone for one day and
already her Aunt's claws are extended! I'll be relieved once she
kills that pig. Might be just the medicine to cure her of
this...this, whatever the HADES is she's going through!
the Queen Regent's fortune, Jadea did not hear her Sister's
thoughts this time.
the only thing to have gone well that day was the arrival of
Zia. Some of the Themiscyrans were wary of her, but others
greeted her with open arms. Garrett and Thalia were among them,
the former oddly being the introductory party between the Head
Scout and Zia.
questions were left unanswered that day. And as the two Queens
spoke together, both became aware of those questions. A specific
one preyed persistently upon their minds. Where was Celosia, and
what was she doing?
they spoke, Jadea revealed Celosia's message to her when she was
in Eire. She couldn't certain how Medea took the news. She
seemed neither happy nor sad and as the news was a bit old,
Jadea let it pass.
you heard anything from her since?" the Queen Regent asked
Sister shook her head. "No, but she can contact us anytime.
She knows the Twilight Bark, now."
passed between them for three or four moments. After which,
Medea began to chuckle in her seat. Jadea's eyebrows raised
curiously. She found herself smiling soon at her Sister's
behavior. Medea's chuckle rolled over into a laughter that the
Sorceress Empress soon joined.
do y- what do you think she'd...say if she found out we've got a
Celt for a prisoner, a Roman for a Sister, and a Goddess who's
just become Queen of another tribe...?"
that was not entirely true, Jadea couldn't help but shake her
head and smile with amusement. Indeed, things had become chaotic
since Celosia left her sister and her Sorceress Empress in
charge. The situation resembled leaving an adolescent in charge
of a family of children. Yet, to give the women credit - they'd
obeyed Celosia's instructions...mostly. Strangely, the idea of
how much trouble they'd be in when Celosia returned struck both
women simultaneously. This got them to laughing riotously all
last, though, they each subsided with a long sigh. Queen Medea
picked up the clay cup beside her and drank a hearty gulp before
setting it back down. She looked across at Jadea and noticed the
somber mood that'd overtaken her. "We'll find Mariko,
Jade," she stated quietly, eyes remaining on the woman she
be all right, Samsara and Seri," Medea added instinctively.
Again she heard the same response. The Queen understood Jadea's
state. She felt it herself but for different reasons. Celosia's
absence burdened her more and more each day that passed. To keep
herself from dwelling on it, Medea tried her best to remain
involved with something. A good strategy...and one that required
little effort since some task or new predicament seemed to
constantly sneak up and demand attention.
Jadea would say no more, her Co-Queen found the silence to be
noticed you sent Akvoryai with them," she commented, her
tone inclining for effect.
Amazon's eyes came up. "She agreed to go."
looked moderately suspicious. Akvoryai was a Highland Elder and
the Queen Regent knew that the Elder wouldn't agree to go Teloq,
another Amazon tribe, unless Jadea had a special task for her.
Medea was right, only she had it the wrong way around.
had to promise I wouldn't kill Mariko before she'd go. She seems
to be under the misguided belief that Mariko is somehow good for
shrugged slightly. "She might be right." She found the
Highland Elders to be quite different from her experience with
Serena, the Teloan Elder. Queen Medea rather approved of the
Highlanders, though she didn't admit it to anyone else.
shook her head. "I don't know. Since I met her, I've been
feeling this strange vibe from Mariko. I think she means well.
The woman is clearly a capable warrior."
Themiscyra's Regent, but now Themiscyra's Queen Regent, Medea
was unaccustomed to chit-chatting like this. She found the whole
ritual to be...odd but strangely addictive. "Mariko cares
about your niece. And Artemis knows that's not
easy." Per her intent, Medea got a smile out of her Sister.
I admit Samsara has faults. But which of us doesn't? Medea,
we're not perfect. We're Amazon, yes. But we're not stronger
because we are Amazon," Jadea met with Medea's eyes. The
latter nodded once as she completed the thought. "We're
Amazon because we're stronger," She smiled as the
candlelight flickered against her cheeks.
other things, yes," the Sorceress Empress added while
rising to her feet. She walked five steps to retrieve an item.
As her back faced Medea, the woman cleared her throat to
question, "What about this...Bruce?" She asked
reluctantly, not certain if she'd remembered the correct name.
All of Jadea's implications suggested that "Bruce" was
not the man's birth name. Although, then just what his birth
name was...Jadea had not said.
turning around, she responded "He'll speak for himself
tomorrow before he's executed."
with Themiscyra custom, Medea knew what question to follow up
with. "Are you confident that no one will stand with him
this, Jadea did turn back around to face the Queen Regent. She
seemed to be angry. If she was, her anger did not lash out.
"Perhaps, your question should be 'stand for him'. And yes,
I'm confident no Amazon will," she turned back around,
skimming the words of a scroll on the table.
there something about this man you haven't told me?"
Without seeing her do so, Jadea knew that Medea had stood on her
feet to ask the question. She paused before once again moving
back to face her.
the Sorceress spoke clearly but carefully, as if one mistaken
word would upset the impression she desired to make. "That
man is the reason an entire tribe of our Sisters is extinct. He
betrayed me on the battlefield and nearly got me killed. He
allied to Rome, sending half his army to them so they might
devour more territory. He looked into the eyes of his own
daughter - and because she was Amazon - he plunged his sword
through her body. So, don't you dare question my motives for
executing him in a camp of Amazon warriors!"
although deeply affected by what she heard, retained her stately
composure. "So...there was something," she commented
after awhile, long enough for Jadea's eyes to lose their look of
Sorceress broke the gaze for but a second. "More than I can
say, my Sister. More than I can say. He must pay for his crimes!
Our law demands it."
Yes, it does. But we also demand justice. Just be sure that you
know what you're doing...and why you're doing it." And with
that, the Queen Regent gave a respectful nod before leaving.
turned as she heard footsteps approaching her. "I thought
you might be thirsty so I brought you this wine."
smiled warmly and said thank you. She took the cup and drank it
in one gulp.
know, many Amazons do not like you because you are Roman. Many
Romans had killed our fellow sisters and many of us are still
angered by it." Thalia said.
know how you feel, but there must be a way we can end this. Not
all Romans are bad. I know a man who is actually a nephew of
Caesar and he wants peace for the Amazons."
Zia, Caesar is still ruling. With him on the throne, all of us
are in danger."
glance at the fire and thought of this. "One day, this will
all be over. Now I must get my rest. Goodnight..."
is my name," Thalia responded.
walked away and Zia was still glancing at the open fire. If the
Amazons only knew she was supposed to have been the next Roman
Empress. But the draw of Pax Romana had been the better choice
and she was now trying to pursue it.
closed her eyes, but she heard loud moaning. She stood and
followed the sounds, realizing that was coming from the
jailhouse. Curious, Zia went inside.
had been told by Medea that no Amazons were to go inside without
the Queen's permission, but she had to find out where this noise
was coming from. Inside, she saw a man tied up and moaning from
Zia said. She smiled and began to chuckle. "You always were
the type to get caught so easily. Caesar was foolish to give you
a command. Then again, Caesar is foolish himself."
dare you speak of Caesar this way! You are Roman Zia, you can't
deny it; you are one of us."
I am Roman, but I am not a heartless killer. I know what you did
to your daughter, you bastard. For that, I will laugh at your
face when my new sisters kill you at sunrise. I can only wish to
kill you myself," she took her dagger and put it on his
neck. “But I won't kill you like this. That would make me a
heartless killer, just like you." Zia had an urge to push
the dagger deeper, but she couldn't. "You will pay,"
she whispered. The sun began to rise and Zia left the jailhouse.
Apollo's face began its first ascent into the sky, the two
Themiscyran Queens were wide awake and preoccupied with various
tasks. Pike had been up all night carrying out Jadea's orders.
At last, she'd finished arranging drums and weapons,
constructing the large make-shift arena in which a challenge
might be fought...if someone chose to defend the prisoner.
hands on hips and a clear expression of satisfaction, Jadea gave
Pike a smile and a nod. "I commend you, my Sister. You've
done tremendously well."
Amazon warrior smiled, feeling the embarrassment sweep through
her. She was unaccustomed to receiving such praise from the
go to bed," Jadea instructed in her most authoritative
voice, despite the smile that remained on her face.
opened her mouth to protest, but it was too late. Her Queen
Regent had just walked up behind her and caught the last four
words spoken. "You heard her, Amazon."
woman in question hesitated, mild defiance in her eyes. Jadea
knew the reason and responded before Medea had the time to
reprimand the young Amazon. "I'll see that you're awakened
in time for the event."
reassurance like that, Pike had no choice but to comply. She
made a respectful nod and left.
began to walk toward the guest hut where Zia had been
accommodated for the present time. She dismissed the two guards
outside, directing them to "go ingest something." With
snickers and nods, both women departed.
come out here, please," the sorceress called out. She
became startled with Zia's speed when the young woman appeared
in front of her almost instantaneously.
that her Sister Queen watched from afar, Jadea spoke to Zia with
her back facing the Queen Regent. Although this annoyed Medea,
she knew better than to accuse her co-ruler of intentionally
blocking her from spying on them.
know there are Roman tribes of Amazons scattered throughout the
Empire," Jadea stated in a neutral tone.
simply nodded, though she was confused as to where this was
going. "Yes, and Caesar has expressed his desire for peace
with them." She managed to remark, still overwhelmed with
the towering stature Jadea seemed to possess.
Sorceress scoffed. "Caesar has killed more women
than he's spared. Don't defend him to me."
to be ashamed and afraid, Zia stood in silence. She knew that in
coming to the Amazons, she would face contempt from some of
them. Yet, her heart told her that she stood precisely where she
belonged - among her Sisters.
many tribes reside inside Rome's borders?" Jadea
questioned, intruding into Zia's thoughts.
thought, her eyes skyward for a few moments. "Um, about
seventeen I think. Unless . . ."
they've been wiped out. Yes. I understand," Jadea
interrupted, paused, and took a deep breath. "Very well.
Thank you. Oh, and...you will be attending today's ceremony,
will you not?"
nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, Sorceress Empress."
smiled and made a short nod. "Good." She then
teleported directly into the cell.
o' the morn' to ya, sunshine!" She called out cheerily to
the startled man.
got to his feet, groaning once or twice in the process.
"All these years...and ya still pull that same trick."
And all these years later...and ya still fall for it." Her
eyes beamed in pleasure. She lifted the spell off the cell and
escorted him outside.
blinked as slivers of sunlight caught his eyes. He made the
innocent act of glancing to his right. There he saw a face he
back," Jadea told an Amazon approaching her as she lead the
prisoner across camp. The warrior halted her tracks and glared
at the man.
are we goin'?" He asked quietly, receiving a hard shove
with his answer.
The Sorceress snarled.
two soon came upon the ring, and Bruce's eyes widened. He knew
much of the Amazon ways - enough to know what his Jade had
planned for him. The Sorceress Empress lead him to the center
then took a step away from him.
Jadea the Sorceress Empress of the Amazon Nation," her
voice rang out into the air and gathered the attention of many a
warrior. "Presiding as co-ruler with Queen Medea, do on
this day challenge the warrior Bruce to a fight to the death! As
an Amazon, I invoke this right!"
if on cue, the Queen Regent stepped out onto the high platform
used primarily for ceremony and keeping watch. Never before had
Medea looked so regal. Her face was calm but eyes expressive.
Her arms were bare as she sported a sleeveless top that just
barely covered her midriff.
she spoke, all heard her words. "I, Queen Medea, blood
sister to Celosia, adhere to your right to challenge our enemy!
Is there any Amazon present who wishes to counter Jadea's
had poured out of their huts and streamed into camp from the
trees. Pike had managed to obtain a short nap before hearing the
call. With a restless kind of invigoration, she took up her
weapon and went outside.
found herself standing beside an awestruck Garrett. The crowd
grew around the arena. A hushed silence and spread across the
Amazons when Medea spoke. Xanthea watched from the side, unsure
if this was the biggest mistake ever or not. Karon joined
Antigone, Valkyra, and Pike. All had their eyes on the two in
the center. For a few moments heads turned at angles, all
searching for any signs that their Sisters might turn traitor
and challenge Jadea.
and anxious for the fight to proceed, Queen Medea drew her sword
from its sheath and brandished it before all her Amazons. She
opened her mouth to sound the order to begin. "Then, Jadea,
Sorceress Empress . . ."
A voice suddenly shouted. Heads turned toward the sound and
gasps were made. "I demand the challenge!"
eyes moved through her Sisters and locked onto the speaker. The
man beside the sorceress turned to see as well. His breathing
raced when he saw who'd spoken. "Zia," he uttered
under his breath.
what grounds?" Medea called down to young Amazon warrior.
The Queen Regent knew full well that her co-ruler would soon
strike Zia down if she didn't intervene.
felt the angry looks from her Sisters. She fumbled for the words
she needed to aid her. "On what grounds? On the...on the
grounds that this man is not a Roman!"
whispers flooded the crowd. All eyes, including the man in
question, turned to Zia. Some then looked to Jadea.
sensed the tension and recognized the possibility for a conflict
between her Amazons. She flipped down with three turns and
landed beside her co-ruler.
this true?" She asked softly enough that only Jadea heard
a man need to be Roman to slaughter innocent people?" Jadea
returned somewhat defensively, her voice rising just high enough
that the nearest Amazons overheard.
Queen Regent fell silent for a moment. She noticed that the
Amazons were quieting with anticipation of what the next order
or action would be. Medea let her eyes slide off the warriors
and met Jadea's gaze.
would you do in my place, Jade?" She asked with just a hint
of desperation in her voice.
must know him. That's the only reason she could make that
claim," the Sorceress responded quietly. She became still,
her thoughts directing toward the man in question.
didn't answer immediately. For a second, he doubted he had heard
her. The lightning flash look of her eyes told him differently.
friend of mine. Just a Roman with a claim to the Empire's
throne, his tone sounded apprehensive to her.
are you talkin' about? She snapped instantly.
told you what I know. Given my predicament, why would I lie?
Bruce seemed to have raised a point, the Amazon was ready with
the answer to fight it. Because, the right lie just might
save your sorry arse!
this time, Medea had to make a move. "I, Queen Medea,
revoke your challenge, Zia. his man has admitted his crimes, and
he will fight the Sorceress Empress to the death! Sound the
drums!" She yelled and made her way out of the arena.
the fight commenced, the Themiscyrans forgot about Zia's rise to
defend the Celt. Much to the young warrior's relief, as well as
the relief of the two current Queens, the Amazons failed to hold
the surprise objection against Zia.
beat like death knolls. Jadea took a few steps from Bruce.
"No powers. No tricks. Choose your weapon!" She
offered with a sweet smile.
shook his head, his blue eyes sparkling in the morning's light.
"I won't fight!"
smiled at him and arched her left eyebrow. "Won't you,
though? Sword!" She shouted and instantly caught a thrown
blade. Not just any blade, either, but Callisto's sword.
second later another sword was thrown into the air. Because he
refused to catch the blade, it landed near Bruce's feet.
it up, Bruce,” Jadea said in an all-too-calm tone. She stood
several paces from him, looking like a kitten with a ball of
won't fight ya, Jade!" he answered, backing away from the
sword and the woman both.
shouts ejected from the watching Amazons. Some simply gave
whoops and hollers of encouragement. Others still looked on with
silent suspense. Queen Medea had the nearest seat, accompanied
by the Highland and Themiscyran Elders.
what ya say, and that's what ya think..." Jadea commented
slowly with a grin on her face. But we both know you want to
fight me, Bruce. Come on, admit it! Ya've been dyin' to face me
sword to sword for years, haven't ya? Haven't ya?
Sorceress took deliberate but patient steps toward him. The very
next thing to happen...would be the very last thing she could've
we've arrived in Teloq. I know you didn't want me to use my
powers, but I had to hasten our journey. Seri's fine, just a
little tired. The whole tribe is in mourning. Mourning...and
confusion. I must go answer the call of duty again. Give
Themiscyra my love.
Sorceress Empress stopped short and shook her head. Those
closest to the edge of the ring noticed something amiss. Medea
resisted her impulse to physically intervene.
Bruce mentally questioned a split-second before Ardra. The
hawk flew down from a tree and landed in front of Queen Medea.
Uh, I wish you would warn me when you plan to do that," the
Queen stated. She got a blank and somewhat innocent look from
distracting as the message from Samsara had been, it failed to
deter Jadea from fighting Bruce. "Let us talk, shall
we?" Her eyes came up with a bright expression. Jadea
continued to edge near him and frequently changed her direction
to keep him moving. He'd fight of his own will or be provoked
into fighting of his own will, either way, he would fight.
Amazon tribe in Eire...the one ya ambushed and slaughtered? Did
ya happen to know the tribe's name, Bruce?"
of Jadea's style, the Celt kept his tongue silent. He
unknowingly let his eyes answer for him. In truth, the question
had been rhetorical.
was it not?" She hid her emotion when she saw that the man
neared the sword laying on the ground. "I've a secret to
tell about that tribe. Did ya happen to know one of the Amazons
looked at her suspiciously, knowing that she had an angle she
was playing but he didn’t know what that angle was.
her perch in front of Medea, Ardra felt she might fall to the
ground. Do not tell him, Jadea. Do...not...tell...him.
Ardra's pleas went ignored as Jadea circled her enemy. "Ya'd
remember this one, Bruce. She'd dark hair like yours and the
deepest emerald eyes ever to be given a mortal."
Celt now stood to the right of the sword. He'd stopped moving to
counter Jadea's position. His crystal blue eyes began to darken
as he listened. Word by word, Bruce began to put the pieces
together. When the Sorceress continued, her blade was raised
between the two of them.
favorite weapon was a fightin' staff Vatrao's Amazon Princess
carved and bestowed to her at her seventh Winter Solstice. She
hated to kill, so she asked that she be trained to master all
weapons she could for defense only. Her smile could light the
goodness in the cruelest man. And her temper could bring the
bravest warrior to tremble on his knees. She used to talk about
everlasting peace between Eire and Britannia. Her Sisters loved
to listen to her sing because she had the Muses blessing. And
before she fell asleep each night, she'd hum that same lullaby
you caught me singin' so many times," She paused, catching
the flicker of knowledge in his eyes.
the two in the arena became oblivious to all others and all else
excepting each other, Themiscyra was listening to its Queen
speak. The Amazons were listening and watching. Most were too
overcome with emotion to speak. Others found that they didn't
speak for the disrespect involved.
Celt bent down slowly with his knees and picked up the blade on
the ground. His eyes never left the woman in front of him.
he raised the sword, Jadea spoke again to him. "She was
your blood. She was my blood."
An Amazon screamed out in agony, struck down by the horror of
what she'd heard. Her two Sisters beside her caught her as she
tried to lunge forward through them. The moment following her
scream, Bruce charged toward Jadea and clashed his sword against
hers in an attempt to hit her stomach.
could not believe all the events that had taken place. She could
not believe that she actually defended Caesar and Bruce, and yet
she spat and cursed their names.
decided to go into the forest and have some time to collect her
thoughts. While Zia was walking deeper into the forest, she
heard footsteps behind her. "I could have sworn I heard
something. Maybe it is an Amazon or a animal after me," she
continued walking and the footsteps became louder. She quickly
took out her sword and swung around. "I know you are there.
young man, no younger than the age of 18, walked out of the
bushes and held his hand high in self defense.
ran to the young nephew of Caesar. They both held on to each
thought I would never talk to you again, and here I am,"
pushed back. "You have to get out of here. This is Amazon
territory. I am now an Amazon and if I have to take you back to
Caesar myself, then let it be."
I have come to warn you and your Amazons. Caesar is going to
send a troop of men. He might actually come with them, himself.
He is going to talk to your Queen and try to make truce, but
this is not his plan. Instead, he is going to attack the
you so much for warning us, but you must leave," Zia
insisted. "If my sisters find you, they will think you are
an enemy and they will surely kill you. This is Amazon
territory. Leave now! I will tell my sisters about this.” Zia
hugged her friend and Octavius kissed her on the cheek.
know, you can still be a great empress of Rome."
rather be an Amazon and continue my journey as one. Get out
Octavius was about to run, a group of Amazons caught the two.
"Zia, explain why this Roman is here!"
noticed the new young Amazon as she left the fighting circle
area. She was focused on the fight before her and paid little
attention until two other Amazons decided to follow the Amazon.
Then she decided she needed to show a little more interest and
took to the sky. It wasn’t long before she hovered over them,
shocked to see that they had captured a young man who presumably
Queen is going to like this, her mind raced to for a
decisive course of action.
luck, one of the Amazons at the man’s side happened to be
Thalia. Her instincts alerted her to the hawk's presence.
let him go! He's no threat to us! I give my word as an
Amazon!" Zia pleaded, unaware that Ardra recognized her
order his release. I'll follow him to see where he goes, Ardra's
tone was deeply directive and dark.
Head Scout shook her head. I can't. I have to let Queen Medea
decide. Thalia looked from the boy to her youngest Sister.
"You can explain this to Queen Medea after the fight. In
the meantime, return to camp immediately or I'll have you
please. He just came to warn us that Caesar's men are marching
toward us. Please, my Sister, he's done nothing wrong!"
Zia's consistent anguish resounded through her voice and the
look in her eyes. As she defended the young man, he stood silent
and motionless, never once resisting the two guards beside him.
Jade and Medea have enough to deal with right now. Let him go,
and I'll see if he speaks true.
Amazon fell quiet, weighing the arguments of either side. Her
instilled code of conduct warned her not to break with
procedure. Any interloper caught in Amazon territory was to
either be killed or taken to see the Queen. And yet...and yet
Ardra raised a valid point as well as offering some insurance
lest blame should fall on Thalia.
him to edge of our forest and release him," Thalia's
command met with protesting looks. Her eyes hardened on her
Sisters, and the order was obeyed.
him like a hawk, Ardra, Thalia mentally sent the bird. She
didn't like it one bit - not one bit.
know I will, came her response.
Liolanne, Martyka, and Zia returned to the arena. As the Head
Scout moved back to Garrett's side, she got a questioning look
from him. Before he could verbalize his inquiry, she stated,
"I'll tell you later."
it happened, Jadea seemed to have the upper hand in the fight.
She'd nailed Bruce with her heel twice and barely cut his arm
with her blade in a swipe initially meant for his chest. The
Celt, on the other hand, had merely caused the Sorceress Empress
to work up quite a sweat with frequent downward strokes and
movement of his feet. Neither stood in the same spot for very
when it happened...as the Bruce knew it would. Jadea began to
incorporate Amazon fighting techniques. Until now, she'd simply
kept it simple. Backing away quickly she ran five steps and
leapt up into the air, flipping over him and landing opposite of
where she'd been. From the time her feet left the ground until
the time they touched down again, she'd belted out the shrillest
war cry the man had ever heard out of a woman's lungs. And he'd
heard quite a number of terrifying war cries in his time.
things were just as exciting in Teloq.
and Seriana arrived at the gates followed by the Elder and the
grey wolf. She sent her message to her aunt, just as precaution.
She already knew various things were amiss. She sensed Mariko
missing, she knew a band of Romans were intending on slipping by
the defense her general had set up around the forest, and
something told her that her reception wouldn't be entirely
welcome in Teloq.
whistled for the Guard to open the door. The response she got
was... interesting to say the least.
language caught Samsara off guard. Seriana vaguely recognized it
but knew not how to answer.
onse Stedesu?" came the question again.
Rincessapre Ieresshe Samsara Kakistos, Ishtarijah Amanesshe
Ristesspe, n Rincessapre Seriana Ritani. Osotras'n enimosve ede
Themiscyra astahe Teloq arape sumirsae al Ronat. Enimove on'c
nua Elder Highlander." The words flowed from the Goddess'
mouth like honey. We are Samsara Kakistos, daughter of Ishtar
the Shammaness Priestess, and Princess Seriana Ritani. We go
from Themiscyra to Teloq to assume the Throne.
Highlander looked at Samsara. "That sounds vaguely
High Amazonian. Hardly anyone speaks it anymore in this camp,
just three of the Elders," she looked toward the opening
gates. "There is something gravely wrong... Gravely
trotted into the camp and were immediately taken hostage.
in the Hades is going on? Samsara demanded of no one in
particular. The Teloan Amazons trained their spears and
crossbows on the three women and hound. What scared the women
was that they recognized no one.
you realize who I am?" she screamed. "Why do you train
your weapons on us?" They were escorted immediately to the
Queen's chambers. Or what had been Ephiny’s chambers.
inside, the woman at the other end of the room stood. She wore
the Queen's mask of the Eagle, a sign that sickened Samsara, for
the last time she saw it, one Amazon in particular was wearing
a wave of her hand, the Elder was pulled out of the room. She
turned to Samsara and Seriana, then looked down toward the
hound. Slowly coming up again, she asked the same question:
sighed, agitated. This was not how she was planning on returning
to her homeland. Oddly enough, the two Amazons were not stripped
of their weapons, but both knew they would be attacked should
they turn to them.
Kakistos Rincesspe Ieresshe lae Ronat Teloq, Ishtarijah. Laele
Rincesspe Seriana, Ritani’ijah." She was not for
questions, but if she was to get anywhere she'd answer.
uéqe eséasde Stedesue?" And what do you want? came
the next sharp question. Seriana rolled her eyes. She had been
at that camp and she knew they didn't speak that language out of
sumirsae al Ronat." To assume the throne.
woman laughed a cold guttural laugh. Samsara stiffened. She knew
the sound well. She had dealt with someone like this before.
Again she waved her hand and the two were taken hostage.
Samsara Kakistos Rincesspe Ieresshe umze Ronate Teloq!" The
inflection of her voice was violent. "Chi’eh ügele iene!"
She screamed in this second, more formal language: I am
Samsara Kakistos, Princess Heiress to the Teloan Throne! I never
lie! The women released them both.
see you also know the royal language of the Courts," the
woman behind the mask said. She removed her mask. Her brown hair
flowed down from a high ponytail divided into two separate
braids. Her clear as water grey eyes bored into both sisters.
Samsara breathed. The two women stared at each other, the former
with an angry look, the latter with a mixed look of disgust and
see you haven't forgotten me either," came the woman's
response. In the joust for High Guard, Commander of the Teloan
Armed Forces in which Samsara ended up with the title of
Princess-Heiress, the Goddess fought Athenia, a woman blessed
with Athena's powers on occasion. Samsara won the joust and ever
since Athenia had held a grudge, which came to a head today.
"I'm so happy you are able to make a visit."
suggest you step down, Athenia, because I am Queen."
both know that we fail to recognize the Pretender," Samsara
then sent to her sister, Just politics... you know I don't hate
her... "She is otherwise preoccupied in Libya as of yet.
This isn't about Gabrielle."
right, this isn't about the Pretender. This is about you and me
and how I will ascend to the throne," she smirked.
you realize you wear the Mask of the Eagle..."
why I am to be Queen. It is time that we returned to the real
line. Terreis was killed, and as such, Velasca - as the adoptive
daughter of Melosa - should have become Queen upon Melosa's
death. However, that sniveling Gabrielle took the rite of caste
without ever becoming an Amazon. As Velasca's protégé, she
would have given me her caste."
your information, honey," Samsara responded, "My
sister Kaia Kakistos, former Teloan, would have received the
since she is no longer an Amazon, the title would have defaulted
to me. But why argue semantics? I defeated you in battle-"
a title that wasn't in play until the final joust."
will not ascend, Athenia. No you will not." She turned to
the guards in the room with them. "Ehen'g Íes!" Leave!
"I demand this on my Teloan rights!"
looked at Athenia for approval, then left. Samsara then looked
at her. "You will ascend upon the dead Royal House of the
Wolf," Samsara vowed. "Concede."
Amazons watched in awe as Jadea and Bruce were having a match to
the death. The sounds of swords clashing was like thunder in the
jumped over Bruce and kicked him in the head. He fell and
grabbed his sword and almost stabbed Jadea in the leg, but she
was too quick to easily get struck. She grabbed the end of her
sword and smashed it against Bruce's cheek. Blood rushed against
his face as he fell on the ground from exhaustion. Jadea grabbed
his sword and faced it against his heart.
you will pay for what you have done to the Amazon tribe. Your
daughter will now be able to rest in peace knowing that her
father, and murderer, is now dead," Jadea sneered.
looked at her with a look that could have been mistaken for fear
in his eyes. "Even if you do kill me, you and your tribe
will die very soon," he whispered.
Hades I said hello," Jadea said. With a loud Amazon cry,
she struck his own sword against his heart. "Now your evil
heart will no longer beat."
looked at her tribe. "Let Bruce be a reminder that no man
can ever destroy our nation. We are Amazon!"
Amazons cheered and preparations for a celebration were soon
made. Jadea could not smile with them.
went up to Jadea with a look of worry. "I am sorry to be
the one to destroy the celebration, but Octavius, the nephew of
Caesar is here.”
Amazon land? How dare he!" Jadea shouted.
Zia ran up to the two. "He is no harm to us. He came to
he is a Roman and the nephew of our enemy. I cannot make any
decisions without speaking to him myself. Take me to the
location that he is now."
Ardra watched Octavius, just as she had been told. Octavius had
a look of worry and anger in his eyes, but his thoughts were on
Zia. What was happening to her?
for Themiscyra's chief leader - she viewed Bruce's death
with a kind of conflicted grief and satisfaction. What Queen
Medea didn't know, however, was that her co-ruler had used the
same type of trickery her niece had resorted to when
"killing" Xena in the war against the Majie. For,
before the Celt's second "death," he'd communicated
once again with the Sorceress through mental use.
you and I fight each other, Caesar marches against your tribe.
following moment saw the Amazon strike her sword down again only
to meet with his. Why should I believe you? Ya've lied
before, and ya 'ave no reason to be truthful now!
ducked, narrowly missed another swipe. From someplace in the
recesses of Jadea's mind, she heard stray thoughts from several
of her Sisters. While shaking her head to lose them, his voice
entered her mind again.
words will prove nothin' to you because you see me as the man I
was - not the man I am.
growled audibly and heard the cheers of her Sisters all around
have ev'ry right to hate the man ya knew. He and I are not the
same, but through your eyes - he never died.
she could respond with anything, the Sorceress Empress received
a flashing image of Teloq. All she could make of it were the
faces of both her nieces...and the guards on both their sides.
Again, she loosely shook her head, eyes resting on the bloody
man before her.
Sisters hate you, Bruce! After but a second, she added, and
I'm not too fond of ya meself.
me, he sent directly back. The man's eyes lost their fire
but not their strength.
didn't answer. Instead, she spat in his face thereby causing a
large wave of enthusiasm from the audience.
thah matter, beloved? Has learnin' of your daughter made ya feel
remorse? She acridly asked him, knowing her words wounded
him more painfully than her sword ever could.
not the man who murdered our daughter, Jade. I'd give anythin'
to deliver 'er justice...even my life. After another silent
moment, he repeated his earlier instruction. Kill me if ya
will, but do ...and he wins.
flipped again and grabbed the end of her sword, smashing it
against his cheek. The blow surprised him greatly.
I've a better idea. I'll kill thah both of ya. That way, neither
escapes Amazon justice. Oh, and Bruce... "Tell Hades I
wait! He screamed and she hesitated.
Medea rose to her feet. Her Amazons leapt to theirs as well.
death comes rebirth. 'Til our lives meet again...
struck her blade swiftly into his heart. As far as the Amazons
were concerned, the man they knew as Bruce...was dead. Years
would pass before the truth of the challenge's end was revealed.
news of the Roman met with the Queens' ears, only one of them
would investigate, leaving the other to perform the two actions
which would cover her deceit. Jadea had come close to dying in
the fight. But she knew what she'd seen in those blue eyes she
knew so well. The man couldn't kill her. And it hadn't been his
guilt which stopped him, though he felt remorse for his crimes.
The one thing to stop him from pressing the single advantage he
held during their combat and that one thing was something the
Sorceress Empress had not seen in him for a long, long time.
the time the Queen Regent, accompanied by several of her
strongest Amazon warriors, reached the outskirts of their lands
neither Ardra nor the Roman boy were found. She'd allowed him to
leave and followed him closely.
when does Ardra's fun begin? Ahh, yes. Queen Celosia leaves
Themiscyra and in her wisdom places her sister and my Mistress
in charge. To honor her word, Jadea is forced to return to the
Isles after Ishtar delivers her child into Samsara's care. I
must be the only one left with a fully functioning brain.
hawk swerved around a tree just as a sudden gust of wind carried
her a foot or two higher. So far, this Roman seemed to heading
back toward Rome via the most inconspicuous way he could find.
and then we have Mariko. Truly an amazing woman, so naturally
Jade is wary of her. And why not? She's wary of any power she is
not familiar with. Although, I grant her that Mariko seems
intent on reviving Samsara's old ways. Let us not forget, lest
we should be untimely reminded in some horrid way, that Jadea
brings her long former mate back to Themiscyra! The next I see
of that blasted Conor, I'll tear his eyeballs out for lettin'
with thinking to herself and tracking the young Roman, the hawk
failed to realize that she was being tracked.
had slipped out in some of the confusion that proceeded the
fight's conclusion. She chose this particular moment to alert
Jadea's hawk to her presence. With a somewhat humored yet
somewhat grim tone, she asked, Just what makes you think that
Conor let Jadea do anything?
clever Amazon had transformed into a moderate-sized, chestnut
horse. She galloped at an easy pace, since neither the Roman nor
Ardra seemed to be rushing nor crawling. When the Scout
returned, the only thing that kept her from Medea's wrath, which
would be aided by her Co-Queen, was Ardra.
she passed Antigone, Thalia heard her Sister give her a warning.
"Queen Medea is on the warpath. She's had our Sisters
combing Themiscyra in search of you."
nodded and gave a look of thanks for the gesture.
The Queen was on horse when she approached the warrior in a
trot. Beside Medea, the Sorceress Empress and Zia were mounted
as well. Both felt the need to keep the young Amazon warrior
close by. Some suspicion circulated, and the two agreed on
erring on the side of caution. First time the two women had
agreed on anything, really.
could use your help, Jadea, Thalia glanced from one to the
other, finding the latter's expression to be nearly as dead set
as the former.
have considered that before you disappeared, the Sorceress
answered, then noticed the sudden presence of her hawk.
Zia spoke true. The Roman is heading back home through the old
path used for traveling between temples. He's taken care to keep
away from other travelers or villages.
an answer, the bird suddenly felt the impulse to ask a question
on her mind. What happened? Her inquiry referred to the
challenge, naturally. The Celt was nowhere around, to be sure.
Yet, Ardra knew her Mistress could not have possibly killed
him...or she'd for certainly felt the deed when it was done.
This left her with a curious trepidation.
word to Dachus. Tell him to regroup and prepare for battle, Jadea
instructed without conferring her partner-in-authority. The hawk
left without either protest or response.
the meantime, the Sorceress Empress turned to Zia. "Come
with me." She nudged her horse and the young Amazon
followed. Medea gave but a brief look of annoyance at Jadea's
decision to depart. She felt a moment of abandonment before the
sudden potential to rile Thalia came into her mind.
hope you enjoyed your escapade. You just earned a fortnight of
mess hut duty, followed by another of night post!"
can't believe this is happening! I could wipe the ground with
her in one movement! Samsara thought silently as she
contemplated what to do next. Her eyes blazed angrily.
did not merely resent Samsara, she absolutely loathed the woman.
In her contempt, the Amazon had lost the common sense which
would have allowed to her be aware that Samsara, in most
respects, was far more powerful than she.
will ascend upon the dead Royal House of the Wolf," Samsara
laughed. "Never. I will ascend."
will take this to the Pentad Council."
mid-afternoon the five Elders met in the square. The benches
were set up on a raised platform reserved for ceremonies. It was
the same platform Gabrielle stood on to accept her mask in
Terreis' place. The only reason this "trial" of sorts
was so public was to be sure that the person who wins the
victory is not suspected of treachery.
Chief Elder, was not entirely pleased that Samsara Athanase was
back, partly because of the utterance of her entire name. She
never got it right. Samsara Athanase Achala Kakistos. It was the
name given to her by her tribe. Samsara Immortal Indefinite
Worst of the Worst - Kakistos being her mother's title. The
Chief Elder never got the pronunciation of Achala correct. It
was very back of the mouth and Serena hated it, but she accepted
it. Ishtar had given Samsara that name.
the petitioner had decided to plead her case before the
impartial Teloan Pentad Council - her Amazon right-" Serena
began, "-the presentation of the case must be made in
and Seriana were on one side of the Pentad and Athenia and her
supporters were on the other. Samsara be damned if she were to
let Athenia take over the affairs of Teloq without her consent.
Besides, if Athenia won the sisters' veil of protection would be
blown. If anyone were to find out the secret they both knew, the
family would be ripped apart. Seriana would no longer be
afforded the protection of being a Princess, not that Samsara
would be a Princess anymore herself. And if Samsara lost her
claim to the throne, her entire purpose in Themiscyra - to learn
her acts and labors necessary to become Queen - would be lost.
sides pleaded their cases on logic and family lines. Samsara
stressed that the Pentad itself was the one to give her the
title, while Athenia demanded a return to the old caste system.
much consultation the Pentad reached a verdict. Serena stood.
Her face was stone cold as she unrolled the parchment before
her. She wore her red wrap with the Phoenix insignia around her
silver toga. Her hair was in a long braid and fell across her
left shoulder down her torso. Her crystal blue eyes read from
the parchment and she voiced what she saw in a loud, booming
íede Inung'me Teloan Pentad: se'e íede öglich'unme inee
Inung'me. Samsara Athanase Achala Kakistos uelledes Athenia
Cordula Mellicent (Courageous Brave-Strength). Sundown. The
Pentad has spoken."
looked at Samsara. "That isn't good is it?"
shook her head. "You know what it is, don't you?"
fighting Athenia," Seriana recognized the word "uelledes".
Joust. Death Joust.
don't want to fight for this," the Goddess responded.
"That's why I wanted to go through the Pentad. I had hoped
to get through them that way," she shook her head.
"You realize she could kill me. Seriana, if she does,
please, take my rite of caste." She took off her Phoenix
feather and tried to press it into her sister's hand.
Hawk shook her head. "Sami, Sami no. I won't take it. What
use will it be?"
refuse a gift from your sister, especially your Amazon
sister," Athanase's words were stern. She was trying not to
waver. Athenia was watching them from afar and she knew it.
"You realize Athenia and I could both die? I'm a Goddess
and she is empowered by Athena. This does not look too good at
all. Seriana, take care of my daughter and assume my place as
Queen Empress of this Tribe. Athenia ascends upon the dead Royal
House of the Wolf and as far as I'm concerned it's guaranteed
for another two generations."
. . . be careful."
know, Ser'. This doesn't look good at all." Samsara's face
was wrought with worry as she contemplated what may happen.
Mariko watched from the trees. She knew how to hide from the
it does not look good for you at all, mongrel. I will expose you
and I will take back Rhea's Ruby once and for all," said
Athena as she viewed from her bowl on Olympus. She smiled. She
was going without Zeus' consent. She wasn't waiting for him to
formulate his plan. She wanted that stone back and she was
getting it anyway possible.
observed the map of Themiscyra. He was aware of the death of his
most trusted solider, the Celt Bruce. "Another reason for
the Amazons to pay," he sneered.
had thought that his nephew had been kidnapped, but instead,
according to his guards on watch, he was with a group of
Amazons. Not only that, but one of his people, Zia, was there.
Caesar had never been this angry. Jarus, a soldier of his, came
up to him.
the men are ready to go up to the Amazons. What shall we
must not make it so obvious that we are going to attack. I will
ride ahead and speak to their Queen. We will make it look as if
this was a truce. Then, when they least expect it, we
shall we kill them all?"
you fool," Caesar said. "Yes we will kill most, but we
could use some slaves for the people of Rome. They will do just
what about Zia?" Jarus questioned.
is a very clever girl. I do not think she will abandon her
people so easily just to join a group of savages. I have many
plans for her," Caesar whispered.
Octavius?" Jarus asked for one last time.
doubt that he has reached Rome yet. He must be in Amazon
territory. I'll deal with him later."
looked at the young Roman boy from head to foot. Because of
Caesar’s men surrounding the area, she did not want to let him
go so easily. It could ruin their plan. Even though Zia told the
truth, she was still cautious of having a blood of her worst
enemy in Amazon territory.
doubt that he just has feelings of friendship for Zia,"
Thalia said. "It looks more like love."
know," Jadea said.
was in her hut getting her sword ready. The battle of all
battles was coming. As she was about to get out of her hut,
Octavius, bumped into her.
Zia," he managed to say.
this is not a good time to talk," Zia said quickly.
Zia, after this battle, why don't you become Empress of Rome?
You and I, side by side. Wouldn't that be great?"
I already told you my reasons and I refuse to repeat them,"
Zia said and walked away.
started thinking while she was taking a walk. Now is my
chance to do what I must do. Kill Caesar, for the sake of my
mother and father whom he slaughtered in front of the arena.
let out a loud war cry that all the Amazons heard.