AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2021

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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/07/2020

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

Thanks for the update Tally and hopefully we will see Amazos again in one month's time!

DrAvatar, please get in touch if you can, and condolences to our writing team member, our thoughts are with you.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/07/2020

Post by tallyho »

Dr Dominators story continues...


Part 49


This final alley in the twisting maze of them that the old beggar had pulled Diana through on their way out of the village was dark and filthy and long. It was also quite thin, situated tightly between the deeply-shadowed backs of two poorly maintained houses. Her bare arms almost scraped the sides of the rough flaking stucco as she stepped over broken crockery, startled rats and dead flowers lying across the packed dirt pathway. Tired as she was, Diana’s sandals barely cleared the clay shards as she trudged through the gloom.

“We’re almost out of the village,” her guide declared. “You’ll want to shield your eyes though. Even though dusk approaches, the sun is fearsome at the end here.” Pointing at the glow not far off, Diana squinted at the white haze where she was headed.

“Hera, that looks brutal! How long do we have to trek through that before we find an oasis or a settlement?”

“Half of the evening is all.”

“Is that all?” Diana’s sarcasm was clear.

“Better the heat and glare than the bludgeoning club of some over-eager guard.”

“I can take a guard if need be.”

“And the squad behind him? In your condition? Were you any more tired and I thirty years younger, you would be over my shoulder by now, woman! Anyway, the sun will set before long. Then you’ll be muttering over the cold I suppose.”

“How cold?”

“Cold enough to make the tip of your breasts pop through that tunic of yours, jI’d wager.”

“You keep your language cleaner or lose your tongue, old man!”

“Gods and goblins, such whining. Tell me, is that your regular nature? A constant complainer?”

“It is not! I am known among my people for my forbearance.”

“Well, clearly you’re having an off day, mistress. Now keep up, I think I heard a dog. I hope they aren’t using the dogs to track us. Hurry!”

The duo walked out of the gloom of the alley into a solar oven, it seemed. Diana put her tilted hand over her forehead and the sun seemed to draw the sweat out of her palm in a moment. She was about to utter a curse when she saw the old gent glancing back crossly at her and she swallowed it. If there were guards and if he was her only chance to find an oasis in this blast furnace, she had to keep him on her side. The fact that he was there at all seemed providential, she supposed.

She trudged past spiny scrub, myrrh bushes, thirsty stunted cypress trees and rounded broken boulders, half as high as her tall loping figure. Diana kept her head down as she walked, only glancing up occasionally. All around her the sand was the color of curry, a sallow yellow that stretched as far as the eye could see. The ragged pauper was maintaining a surprisingly brisk pace along a hard, dusty track that led in a straight line far off into the distance. He was certainly spry for his age which had to be almost seven decades she figured. She wondered about his mental sharpness though.

“If we are being followed, dogs or not, do you think it wise to be treading on this, the only path for miles. It seems obvious and dangerous.”

“More whining?! As soon as we get over that slight rise in the distance, we’ll leave the track a bit. But once we’re over that, no guard in his right mind would follow us past that point.”

“Because we’re not worth the effort by then?”

“Hah, a jest and a good one,” her aged companion laughed. “No, the price we’d fetch for breaking curfew would buy them a flagon of mead for which they’d gladly spear through our guts without so much as the blink of an eye. No, dear lady, it’s the cut-throats, thieves and chance Bedouin scum that rule the desert night that would have them turning back before they dare cross that hump there. And the blue men.”

“Do tell. And we’ve no call to fear of them why?”

“They know me and they owe me, the Bedouin. I’ve saved half their worthless lives in one way or another in my many years in this desert. You? Well, if we can convince them you have some ghastly womanly infection, they might leave you alone. Especially being with me.”

“And the Blue men?”

“Shhhh! ‘Tis ill luck to speak of them!”

“Can you at least tell me why they are called so?”

Her guide sighed. “They say they are cursed to wander this heat by the Gods. And no, I do not know why. It is said they believe in their own Gods not Zeus, perhaps that is why. But they say too Lady Fortuna has deserted them, but Demeter the Earth Goddess took pity of their plight and told them of an herb which, when crushed with water forms a shield on the skin, a balm that protects you from the heat. But the more you use it, the more your skin is tainted by its use. So were born the Blue men of the desert. They are fierce. Even the Bedouin fear them.

Diana thought she caught a smirk from the old man but his head turned and the blinding glare off his bald pate shot blades into her eyes before she could be sure. She trudged on, more tired and sweaty and thirsty right then than if she’d run from Marathon to Athens in an hour’s time.


* * *


The wine flowed generously from tipped jugs offered by smiling young maids. Golden arcs and sparkling ruby streams endlessly refilled handsomely wrought silver chalices at a waved request. Table after table contained a mountainous variety of meats and cheeses, fruits and vegetables in arrangements that delighted not only the taste buds but the eyes as well.

Gods and goddesses moved among the tables plucking artfully-carved radishes and carrots, fat cubes of cultured cheese, spicy disks of ground meats packed into translucent skin and thin crisped seasoned bread stamped with a zig-zagged bolt of lightning on each tasty square. All the food, though human in form, was heavily laced with ambrosia.

Zeus knew how to throw a party and this one was a celebration of either late mid-harvest or the annual grape squeezing or a river overflowing its banks to water thirsty acreage. Artemis wasn’t sure, she just knew it was some minor event of importance to mortals which those who reigned on Olympus used as an excuse to binge, revel and gossip.

The young flaxen-haired goddess brushed her curls from her face and frowned at her decision to forego the usual ponytail hairstyle for a much more glamourous hairdo this evening. Such nonsense this was! She could be out hunting down a six-point stag and honing her bow-work rather than demurely sipping her nectar wine and exposing her cleavage in her tightly draped emerald green dress. But Hera had asked her to look ravishing tonight for a change so she had acquiesced politely. So now here she stood looking over the rim of her goblet surveying the room and being surveyed by male gods with raised eyebrows.

Yes, I do have a figure, toads! You think hunting and trapping and canoeing doesn’t hone muscles? Look closer next time, drooling swine.

The hand on her shoulder made her jerk in surprise and she almost tipped her wine out but steadied it with reflexes worthy of the Goddess of the Hunt.

“I’m sorry, my dear. I didn’t mean to startle you,” Hera said softly, “but you were scowling at Hermes there with such scorn I wondered if he’d delivered some horrible message to you for which you were casting blame. It’s so rarely his fault, you know.”

Artemis turned to Hera and curtsied appropriately and rose on acknowledgment. “No, my queen, no news. The only news conveyed was to him, and that was that I seem to be more attractive than he gave me credit for.”

Hera tossed her head back in a good laugh at that. The sound of it was like the bells of a temple on a glorious summer day. “Well, I appreciate you dressing up for the occasion. You should do it more often, my dear. You look astounding. And I love your hair.”

“Demeter helped me with it.”

“The goddess of fertility herself. Keep your loins tight tonight then, young one. The stags at this party already have your scent.” Hera smirked as she sipped from her own chalice.

“As if they have a chance! I can outrun old Apollo there without breaking a sweat.”

“Perhaps, unless he shines his full light on you or chases you with his chariot. You’d sweat then. He’d put his glow to you and mark the long day doing it.”

“Perhaps a change of subject, my queen? Speaking of news, has there been any of the Oath Taker?”

“Not a hint in the three mortal days since your rude ejection from Hades' realm I’m afraid.”

“That is worrying.”

“Indeed. But we promised ourselves a full moon’s passing before I take any action. We must be patient.”

“As you command my queen. May I ask why you wanted me so flagrantly displayed this evening?”

“Two reasons. To draw the attention of the males away from our subterfuge regarding the Oath Taker. Men love to ogle and you are a feast for them this evening that surpasses the joys of the food and drink arranged here. You take their minds away from schemes, except where those schemes involve your lost chastity.”

“You make me blush, my queen.”

“I think not. Blushing is not in your makeup. But the second reason is that this is good for you, your self-image. You hide yourself in manly togs far too often. You have to show those long glorious legs of yours, my dear. They are your crowning feature.”

“You would have me wrap them around some lusting male’s waist?”

“It wouldn’t do you the harm you think it would, Artemis. Take it from me, the act has its charms.

“And no doubt it is for that same reason that you have summoned so many of Demeter’s nymphs to be here?” Artemis said casually looking at the various clusters of nubile young women draped two or three at a time over several of the male gods as they reclined on the eating couches.

Hera smiled. “Well though they are known even among the mortals for their sexual appetites…I’m sure it’s just a coincidence…” Hera said with a smile her eyes coyly avoiding Artemis' gaze before they met as she smirked a drink from her golden kylix. The two handled drinking goblet was not solid gold, rather made of jet with the characters upon it picked out in gold. It showed Hera taking the throne beside Zeus. But the black background gave its golden figures a shining power such that it caught the eye far more than Zeus’ solid gold one. It was subtle, but powerful, like its user.

“I am sure the nymphs will serve you well enough that I will not be needed…They have such voracious appetites. I understand the Greeks have taken to calling someone with a lusty propensity for sex as having the madness of nymphs upon them.”

Hera smiled. She had heard such a tale too. “They tend to Gods and Goddesses alike…maybe you should try to catch this 'nymphomania' yourself?”

“Usually they do, but tonight I see all are at a male Gods disposal.

“Not all. One seems to seek you out…” Hera nodded to where a dark-haired young girl had peaked out from behind a golden pillar, made awkward eye contact and was heading towards them. “But now I must circulate. There’s so much lovely fruit to pluck I see.”

“And the food’s nice too,” murmured Artemis to the departing figure clad in glorious gold silk. That set the sound of temple bells ringing again.


* * *


To Diana, it seemed that Apollo’s chariot would never finish traversing the sky. The glowing disk simply refused to drop below the horizon. It insisted on roasting her flesh and searing her brain and eyes as she endlessly plodded across the bleak, unchanging desert terrain.

They had left the well-worn track after crossing the rise and curved around until they found a dry wadi and walked between its blessedly shadowed walls for a brief time. But then the ancient riverbed rose and put them back into a different track that led to a set of small white hills in the far distance. And now the sun dried her like venison on a rack. They walked and walked and yet her guide seemed not to falter in the least whereas Diana took an occasional odd stumble here and there on uneven ground or rocks that nature had yet to batter down into the sand which surrounded them.

“I hope those far hills are not our destination?” Diana was ashamed at her grumbling tone but her strength was pouring out of her in her sweat. Her armpits were dampening her tunic and barely cooling her. There was only a rare breeze to feel and even that was overly warm. She wiped her brow with her forearm as the old pauper halted and turned to address her.

“You’ll make some man a horrible wife some day with that barbed tongue of yours.”

“I’m sorry. Before you roused me in the village, I’d fought a fierce battle that took a good portion of my energy it seems. Harpies and such.”

“One would have thought you’d be kissing kin with harpies considering that demeanor of yours.”

“I apologized, you old coot. How can you be so lively still in this unbearable kiln out here?”

“Good living and a cold strong drink at day’s end that I keep in the front of my mind is how. Keeps me moving forward. You should set your thoughts on that and ignore the white sky we sojourn under. Ever heard of ice?”

“Of course, I’ve seen it glaze a tree like a silver and blue coat. Each stretching branch with its own clear shell.”

“Well, there you go, woman. Keep that in your mind’s eye and it will lighten your step.”

Diana put that image in her mind and it seemed to help for a while. When the heat had her seeing the branches drip their clear coats and saw the drops turn to mist on the baked earth, she switched images to the frozen waters of the Northern Sea she’d heard tales of. Waters there were so cold she’d heard that they held mountains of white ice like floating warships, the sea barely melting their bulk. That image held her for just long enough that the bottom edge of the sun touched the horizon and the white hills seemed actually reachable now.

The sky went from white to blue to finally a pale peach and the relief was palpable at last.

As they walked on, Diana’s companion dropped back from his lead and paced even with her, sternly advising her, “There will probably be a motley collection of evil doers at the oasis in those hills. Say nothing. I will talk for us both.”

“I know how to talk to evil,” Diana glowered.

“And get me killed in the process, I’m sure.”

“I think not.”

“Hold your tongue amongst them or you will have it cut out before you finish your sentence, woman! Don’t give me that look! Keep your peace and I can keep the peace my way. I told you I know these people. I can deal with them. I have dealt with them… longer than you’ve walked this earth.”

“Perhaps not.”

“In any case…” The man went on sourly, “if you don’t promise to be silent. You can walk back to that village we left so long ago because I refuse to bring you into their camp without your vow to not speak until I give you a nod.”

Diana weighed her options and realized she had none. Her energy was low. She needed the rest and refreshment that the old man seemed to think would be given to them upon their arrival. But she did have a condition she needed to clarify.

“You will not bargain my virtue to these men or you and they will fall to my wrath.”

“That your wrath could make me and dozens of others fall readily enough I have no doubt,” the wizened old fellow said with a smirking smile. “Let’s just say your virtue will not be on the table with them. Or your ass. I give you my word on that.”

Diana searched his deep blue eyes. They were cold but she believed them. This man was an enigma to her but she certainly felt the strength of his presence and believed he was resourceful enough to have hard men owe him favors.

“Fine,” she agreed and nodded at the hills nearby. “Let’s go meet our generous hosts.”

“Generous is not how I would describe them,” the man scoffed. “Begrudgingly yielding is more like it.”


* * *


The dark-haired little nymph timidly crept from the sidelines, head bowed, flicking a gaze left and right, shrugging off the attention of Geras the God of old age politely before she finally reached Artemis. She had taken so long to reach her that by the time she did so Artemis had been joined by Demeter and Athena.

Just as she approached the final few paces a second nymph grabbed her saffron tunic and tried to pull her away.

“Naria! No! You cannot do this!” hissed the newcomer. Like all nymphs she too was beautiful....and very well proportioned.

“Let me go! Lia, let ME-GO!!!” Naria had said the last two words very loudly and the three Goddesses all turned their puzzled gaze on the newcomers.

“A war among the nymphs, Demeter? Why was I not told?” Athena smirked as she took a sip from her own kylix, hers bearing the engraving of a golden owl chased in silver .

Demeter bristled at her words but extended a palm at the nymphs and flicked her two forefingers in to beckon their approach.

Lia let Naria walk hesitantly towards the trio but stayed where she was.

“You also,” Demeter said before her tone softened. “Come children of the earth, why the discord? Ate, Lady of Strife is over there well away from you?”

“G-great Ladies…” Naria stumbled with her words. “I have..I have come to-"

“No Naria!” hissed Lia pulling at her gown once more.

“Speak child. You need not fear.”

“I have come to tell you…”

Hera stepped up beside her causing all present to dip their heads in respect

“Do not tell me, Zeus has gotten you pregnant…” Hera said with a resigned bitterness that did little to hide her anger.

“N-no , great queen. I have never laid with your husband..”

“Well, there’s a first..” muttered Hera as she took a sip of nectar.” Then what child?”

“I..I have to say…that…that…” Naria took a deep breath and raised her head defiantly. “That the way you treat man is wrong!”

“SHHH! “Lia hissed “She did not mean that Great Ladies...”

“Yes, I did!” Naria said forcefully.

“Naria you mustn't!” Lia said imploringly pulling at her friend by the wrist.

“Silence!” Hera demanded. “Speak. Impudent nymph"

“You…all you great Gods…you toy with their lives too much! You have slain their piety in your anger,” Naria said.

Athena put a restraining hand on Demeter’s forearm and stepped forward as she pulled her sister goddess back.

“You? An impudent little whelp like you dare to lecture us First and Prime deities on how we should behave? Begone! We deal with matters greater than your glade or stream, go concern yourself with those.”


“I cannot. They are destroyed. “Naria held up a hand that was slightly opaque “the last of those who believed in me and honoured me are slain and butchered. There is no one left to do me honour in the world of man...”


“Ah! I beg forgive her,” Lia pleaded. “…her impudence, my Queen, my sisters...for she is but afeared of nonexistence.”

Demeter spoke up, “Fear not child we have followers in abundance, we will guide one of our priests to do you honour and sacrifice. You may work your charms upon the next souls who visit you and so you will go on"

“No. My trees are felled for a Dorlian watch tower. Without them the banks erode and my stream silts up. My brook runs shallow before it becomes but a stagnant pool. No one knows my name in the lands of the Amazos and so I will be ended…”

“You are not listening, child. We will guide followers to you. All will be well. Your name will become known again and we will guide the new folk to dredge your stream and plant anew,” Athena said more soothingly.

“No. YOU are not listening great lady. I do not wish to carry on. I have seen your pettiness and cruelty. I have seen you destroy those who have honoured you all their lives for a single second where they spoke ill of you. I have seen you slay pious children due to the sins of their father just so he could watch them die and Nemesis’ lust is sated. I want no more to see such things. It aches my heart.”

“YOU DARE CASTIGATE US?!!!” Athena bellowed. Her anger causing her embodiment to grow until she towered over Naria. “I shall turn you to dust this INSTANT!!!”

“Athena!!” It was quietly spoken but the command in the tone from Hera was implicit. Athena stayed her hand and shrank back to her normal size, though her face was as black as thunder clouds.

“So…if not to live…what do you want of us…hmmm?” Hera asked.

“NOTHING. As I said I have come merely to say goodbye.”

“You will disappear to nothingness…” Hera said sadly. “A waste of such beauty.”

“I am not afraid,” Naria said proudly.

“No…no you are not…” Hera said, troubled. “Say your farewells.” She waved a hand dismissively and strode away, her party mood soured.

“You are fortunate to be spared the time for goodbyes!” Athena hissed, still angry.

“You, Great Ladies do not see what you are doing…The Amazos were a pious race…destroyed by the wrath of Zeus…and their piety did not save them…”

“So? It was the will of Zeus. We did what we could to save some of them….” Athena said looking away.

“But it has set a trend all across Greece. If they do not do honour and give sacrifice, mortal man may incur the wrath of the Gods. Yet if they do…they incur the wrath anyway…” Naria looked to Lia. “All across Greece we are hearing the same..” Lia nodded head bowed. “In the fields and in our glades and streams we nymphs hear the whispers of man…”

“What? What do they say? Well?”

“They say the Gods of Greece are cruel. And that this time is their end.”
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/09/2020

Post by tallyho »

Good work again Doc and thanks once more for picking up the ball with these chapters


Dravatar, if you are still out there please let us know you are ok and if you want to pick up this chapter by all means do so, none of us mind
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/09/2020

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

You've done well, DrD. I am intrigued by Diana's guide - a hardy survivor in harsh world, and I am wondering if we will get some backstory about him. At any rate he seems to know how to survive there, leaving Diana at his mercy almost.

The latter scene with the nymphs has impact too. The various Amazos writers have considered the fall of the Greek Gods or at least their diminishing powers and this little section reminds us of that (I sense Tally's hand in there too maybe). Athena's reaction is a little harsh though, but perhaps she does not know the source of the danger she warned Diana about before gifting her the lasso is as near as she realises!

Now, the end of September draws near! What awaits our heroine on the dawn of October?
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/09/2020

Post by tallyho »

Thank you for the comment AEM, and thanks to all who have taken time to read it. Docs piece continues with the big 5-0


Part 50


“Stop here,” the old man commanded as he came to a sudden stop under a lone palm tree in the gathering dusk. This was the first tall growth that Diana has seen since they’d left the hamlet that morning. After miles and miles of their trek across the unforgiving desert this plant spoke of water at last. They have made their way to the oasis in the yellow hills even as night had started to draw upon them. The air was cooler now but still very dry.

Diana almost bumped into her companion, his halt being so abrupt. Even as she took a step back, the wiry gent reached over to Diana, palms spread wide, and shockingly thrust his hands into the thick hair on her head and pulled at it quickly as if he was tossing a salad.

Diana drew her blade from her hip and brought its point to the underside of the man’s chin with the quickness of a striking snake.

“Don’t make me repay your kindness by spilling your blood, old man,” Diana hissed.

“Hush! I am merely trying to make you look less desirable, you ungrateful snipe. Put that away and pray you haven’t given us away. I told you I know these men. They would fuck a sheep with comely eyes. You they would ravage for days. You must trust me.”

“I barely know you. Do you even have a name?”

“People call me Old Posh, for what it’s worth. Can you rend your garments a bit? You still look too good. But don’t display any breast. They’re far too prominent as they are. Rip the sides of the tunic perhaps? Maybe tear the skirt. Or break the sandal’s strap?”

“I will do none of that. These are the only garments I have. I need them in good condition for I don’t know how long.”

“You really do not understand the situation, child. You yourself will have no good condition if we don’t hide your beauty from the men I believe are nearby. I will not put my life in danger any more than I have to. Nor yours, for that matter.”

Diana looked at the area around her. She saw only dirt and rocks and some broken twigs and not much else. “Is there a pool of water in this oasis?”

“Yes,” the gent replied.

Sighing the lovely Amazon warrior bent down, scooped up a cupped handful of dry dirt and closed her eyes, then threw the dirt right in her own face. The leftover sweat not yet dried by the cooler air helped a good measure of the yellow dust to cling to her face. Diana rubbed it all around until she was a filthy mess. She did the same again with her arms and legs, then scrambled her own hair moreso than what Old Posh had accomplished. She cocked her hip and stood in a way that she appeared gimpy if not a bit humpbacked.

“Will that do?”

“That should help to quell any fires in their loins. I know it’s shrunk my stones a bit.”

“That was much more information than truly necessary.”

Far ahead, behind a pile of boulders tumbled together at the edge of a rise where a small grove of stunted palms stood, glowed the flickering light of a campfire and the sound of voices raised now in a loud argument.

“The only horned viper in the space of a day’s walk and you let him escape, Juzzah” A tall lean warrior with copper colored skin, neat gray hair cut short to his head and a tightly-belted outfit of orange antelope skin sneered at a much younger black man with his hands on his hips. The young buck was not chastened in the least. The frizzy black halo of hair, dirty red tunic and long black leggings covered a muscular body. There was not the hint of slouch in it even though the older man continued his complaint.

“You are worthless! He was big enough to have fed all five of us.”

“There’s no need to thank me for saving your life, Fellal,” The younger warrior replied. “I should have let him sink his fangs into your leg and then we could have roasted him and your lifeless carcass together for a meal!”

“Better that than dried goat meat for another night’s portion. And damned dates.”

“Well then, forget the snake. You are portion enough. Let’s carve you up.”

The men glared at each other, hands poised to grab their knives at their belts, circling counter clockwise in a dance of dangerous intent. Cold calculation edged both of the men’s eyes.

“See how rampant hunger makes men rampantly foolish, slave? They would slice each other into table scraps while leaving their camp unguarded.” Old Posh’s voice stopped the duo in their tracks, and the startled two men, and the woman sitting on the ground around the circling pair all jumped to their feet and pulled their weapons to the fore, ready to fight. The threesome not engaged in the fight peered hard into the dusk at the pair walking toward their campfire. With the flame at their back, it was hard to see the newcomers but that voice was familiar.

Fellal, the older of the two quarreling men kept his eyes on his opponent Juzzah, but spoke to the man who entered his camp with a bristling anger, “Foolish doesn’t begin to describe the man who walks into my camp and expects to live after tossing insults like worthless coins into a beggar’s cap.”

“You know me better than that, Fellal. I have no money to toss into someone else’s cap. I don’t have enough to put under my own cap.”

The two men broke their stare, their argument forgotten for now as they slowly straightened from the crouched fighting stance, eyes still on each other until the very last moment when both looked at the new arrivals. The older one’s face suddenly issued a broad beaming smile at the sight of the old man walking up to him. Every ounce of hardness melted into warmth like the sun gliding out from behind a dark cloud. He extended his arm and gripped the reaching hand of Diana’s guide by the wrist as his own wrist was gripped back, shaking it once, hard, and then slapping the old gent firmly on the back with his other hand.

“Welcome to my camp, my friend. I did not think to ever see you again. Old Posh here, he barely escaped some cranky caravan master when last we broke bread together. He stole a week’s worth of wheatberries from the caravan’s food cart and ran off into the distance leaving only an old dog for payment behind.

“But I liked that dog,” Posh declared.

“I liked him too…braised with onions.”

“You didn’t eat my dog? Not you Fellal?!”

“No, but I should have. He was just as much a thief as you, stealing canvas straps from everyone’s carts and worrying them with his teeth and his slobber so that no one could bear to touch them or try to steal them back. But enough tale-telling for now,” Fellal said, nodding at Diana’s humped form. “What sorry cur have you trailing you now, old man?”

“This is Delphina. A slave whose life I saved back in Bahlasha just yesterday. Her master was beating her fiercely for her slowness due to her back infirmity. I took her off his hands for the price of my jade clasp.”

“If that was jade, I am Zeus himself,” Fellal scorned.

“Her master didn’t have to know that. Serves him right for not knowing his minerals. Even so, that malachite clasp was still worth more than this young hag is worth. She eats her weight in food in a month, I’m told.”

“Come by the fire, slave, let’s have a look at you,” Juzzah commanded. Diana did not move.

“Does she not understand our tongue?”

“Very little from what I can tell. She might be mute for all she’s talked in our trek. Keeps her own council. She grunts a lot.” Posh slapped his thigh lightly in a beckoning motion and Diana hesitantly made her way over to his side.

“She is disgusting,” declared Aestipha, the young Greek woman with olive skin and piercing brown eyes. The blouse the rough maiden wore under a bright blue vest with ornate yellow stitching might have been white once but now was a dirty gray at best. Nevertheless, she sniffed at Diana like a dog but did apparently find her scent objectionable. She didn’t wrinkle her nose. “We’ve no food to share with you. We almost had a snake but it slithered away under that boulder there,” she pointed out for Posh’s benefit. Diana’s gaze followed the pointed finger and tilted her head questioning as if not understanding.

“Snake,” the short dumpy man of the grouping said, motioning a slithering pass with his hands. He and his companion were both clad in black vests and pants with light brown shirts. They might have once been matching uniforms but were too tattered now to be worthy of any army. Both men also wore soft, close-fitting brown caps with blue tassels. The men were a matched set though the second man was rail thin even while boasting the same short stature. They might have been brothers, Diana speculated.

“Sn…ake..” Diana repeated slowly and made the same slithering motion with her own hands and pointed to the rocks.

“Well, she seems smart enough,” said the thin man of the pair, observing Diana’s fixed stare at the set of boulders 20 paces away. “Is she afraid of snakes? She looks concerned.”

“We didn’t encounter any on our trek today. I couldn’t say,” Posh shrugged. “We haven’t been together long, as I mentioned.”

“Well, you’re both welcome to share our fire for the night. I don’t suppose you have any foo…”

Before Fellal could finish his sentence, Diana had run with a scrambling lope but at an amazing speed over to the rocks, slid on her knees and thrust her hand through a cleft in the rocks. When she brought her hand out, she was dragging a hissing and writhing three-and-a-half foot long horned viper captured behind its head. The crazed serpent twisted and pulled with every scaly muscle on its body, going so far as to wrap itself around Diana’s forearm but to no use, he was securely held as the Amazon shuffled over to the astonished group in the flickering firelight.

“Sn..ake!” She said, humbly bowing and offering it at the group which moved back a step, all in unison except Juzzah who stepped forward. He pulled the curved knife from his belt, gently pointed to the ground so Diana knew what he wanted. She pulled the snake off her forearm and held it by head and tail against the ground in a straight line for the dark Arab’s benefit. He nodded once and cleaved the reptile’s head from its body with a quick chop. It twisted in a loop and then relaxed completely in death, stretched out on the cooling sand.

Diana made to toss the head into the cluster of boulders but her wrist was grabbed suddenly by Juzzah. He twisted it harshly and Diana gasped and dropped the head on the sand. It bounced over to its long body as if to try to rejoin it. The Amazon’s eyes lit up with fury at Juzzah’s betrayal, ready to fight. Seeing her tense, he instantly raised his left palm up in a submissive motion, then he crouched down and lifted the head gingerly off the ground and smiled at her.

“There are many uses for snake heads, tell her, old man. I meant no offense,” Juzzah said softly, pointing at the head with his knife and miming to Diana that it was something he wanted.

“Delphina, the head is Juzzah’s,” Posh pantomimed in a similar motion that Juzzah had just done. “Be calm.”

Diana played at meek but still gave Juzzah a quick cold glance for the wrist twist.

“It seems you have provided us with dinner, Poshny,” declared Fellal. “Come let us split this serpent and roast it! I have some curry in my belongings.”

“And I have some dried onion shavings among my items,” Aestaphi said.

It was a grand feast of curried snake covered in onion flakes roasted to perfection over a yew-fed fire. Cool water from the oasis pool tasted like the finest wine to Diana after such a hot, exhausting day. Everybody ate slowly not just to savor the snake but to make it last and to let their stomachs know there would be nothing else coming. Still, it was a tasty meal and the firelight and moonlight and scattering of stars engendered a fulfilling sense of camaraderie amongst the group.

While fetching the water for Old Posh’s meal and her own, Diana had taken a drink from the pool, squatting down and then bending over to sip from her hand dipped into the cool water. Behind her, the two brothers gathering yew wood stopped and watched from the shadows as the old man’s slave’s rear end stretched provocatively in the moonlight. They nudged each other, goggle-eyed while spying the generous breasts as they hung there while she sipped from the water.

Around the fire, the brothers carefully scrutinized the slave as she sat beside Old Posh, watching her chest and face as the flames shifted and waved between them and the object of their quiet lust. The dirt on her face had been smudged off by the back of the slave’s hand and they both saw that the hag wasn’t really much of a hag at all.

“That was excellent,” Fellal said, smacking his lips and leaning back against the base of one of the anemic palm trees. “Thank you again, Delphinia. I can’t tell you how much I needed something that wasn’t dried up goat.”

Diana just nodded her head and kept her face low. The fatter brother, Zora, burped appreciatively and looked at Fellal who’d cooked the snake with a wide grin at what he saw as a complement to the older Arab. His thinner brother, Kora, let a fart rip as further confirmation of the brothers’ delight at the repast. Diana’s mouth twitched at what she considered a major rudeness by them both. She had no idea how rude things were about to get.

“How about a dance from your slave, Old Posh?” Zora put out his request



“Hmmm, a dance by a hump-backed hag?” Posh answered slowly, sadly shaking his head. “We’re not that desperate for entertainment, I think. So, Fellal, have you been to Memphis since we last saw each other? I hear the city has grown huge.”

“Speaking of growing huge, I think your slave is not so much a hag as you say,” Kora jumped in. “My loins declare otherwise.”

“Your loins say otherwise when a sow crosses your path,” Fellal snorted. “Leave the poor woman alone, you two. They are not only our guests but tonight our providers. I won’t have you bothering my friend or his property.”

Diana’s entire body went rigid at the very concept of being declared the property of a man.

“Look, there, you’ve made her self-conscious,” Fellal continued. “The woman probably has never laid with a man and won’t likely do so for the length of her days. The very idea of not knowing how she should use herself to please a man makes her hate herself. See how she clutches her arms about her, protecting her barrenness like a trophy.”

“Yes, and I hope she is not diseased in some way,” Old Posh added. “She’s woe enough as it is, am I not right.”

“I think maybe you are not right,” Aestaphi chimed in. “Beneath all that dirt are clever eyes. And, hump or not, her grace in catching that snake was a marvel. Eye-opening for such a low-born creature, I would add.”

“She has a quickness to her when it suits her but she was a tedious drag on the way here. In fact, I would say after this day’s length and challenges, I am ready to make up my “nest” over there in the palm fronds, as it were,” Old Posh announced. “I bid you all good night. Come with me now, property!” Posh put emphasis on that last word to reinforce to the group that as a guest in their camp, what was his was his and not to interfered with. He suspected that would not be the case with these brigands. Diana had provided the meal and had drawn attention to herself, something he’d cautioned her strictly against. Poshny figured he might not be able to save her life after all. They would come for her when they slept. How many would it be?

“You are breaking up such a nice gathering, you old poop,” Aestaphi chided to the man’s back, chuckling loudly. "Sorry, Old Posh I meant.”

Everybody guffawed at that. Even Fellal. But it was Juzzah’s laugh that pierced through the merriment most clearly.

“Goodnight, Poshny! Goodnight Delphinia!” The brothers called out. The underpinning of both amusement and threat from them was palpable.

Maybe they all will fall on us in our sleep
. Old Posh and Diana shared the same thought.

Smoothing out the dirt with the palm fronds as best as possible, Old Posh and Diana then laid the long leaves down in a criss-cross pattern on the sand. It helped cushion the hardness slightly. The desert does not make for a restful night’s sleep so this was the best they were going to get. At least the air was clear and the moon offered decent light for a night battle.

Surprisingly, her old companion fell off to his slumbers with remarkable suddenness. As he’d said, the day was very taxing on the elderly fellow. For herself, sleep wasn’t an option. Diana remained rigid with her eyes wide open looking at the stars. Her hand rested on the hilt of her knife on her belt. She was ready.

In the end, the attack came exactly when one day gave way to the next: midnight.

Diana heard the brothers circling noisily off to her left and right. She suspected that Juzzah would be the one to attack from behind which would mean a leap off the boulders near her back. That would put the woman, Aestaphi, coming straight at her. How would Fellal play it? She supposed he would act the commander, looking for a weakness and directing himself as reinforcements just when Diana might gain an upper hand? Who would be targeted first, herself or Posh?

Diana feigned sleep and opened her ears to the universe. The brothers were clumsy oafs and could be dealt with easily. Branches snapped beneath their feet, pebbles rolled underfoot as well. The others would be trickier. She just knew that all three had cunning skills. Taking out Juzzah first would probably be key. Unless they switched up and Fellal came first. That seemed unlikely. Diana gripped a palmful of desert sand and waited, trying to hear any scrape of sandal on boulder behind her. It would be far better if Old Posh wasn’t snoring. She jabbed an elbow into his back and he shifted, his snores stopping for the moment.

It was the whisper off to her left that surprised her most. The low baritone of Juzzah gave out a soft “Psst..psst…Delphinia. Watch yourself, the brothers mean to attack you. They’re plotting rape! Be ready.”

The man had crept up over the last ten paces to her left as silent as a panther. She’d never believe it possible. With Juzzah on her left, that meant the brothers were probably paired off to her right. There was certainly enough noise over there for two.

“Will you help defend me?”

If he was surprised by her understanding his words and answering back he did not show it. “Why do you think I’m here?"

An excellent question. Friend or foe?

“What of the others? Fellal and the woman?” Diana rasped.

“They are back over there, asleep.” Juzzah waved his arm in the direction of the campfire. Diana went up on one arm, following the arc of his hand, backlit by the soft orange glow of burning yew wood. She saw at least one figure huddled in a blanket against the cold night air. Distracted, she wasn’t prepared for the hurled stick from the darkness directly in front of her. Like a javelin but one featuring a stumpy end rather than a point, it thumped very hard into her chest, knocking the wind from her and sending her onto her back. Out of the night, the short dumpy Zora ran at her with a second stick that matched the first. Long and thick and swinging downward at her head. She rolled to the right instinctively, not trusting Juzzah at all. She rolled right into a harsh kick to her ribs by the swift and silent Aestaphi. Diana groaned from the aching shot but had the presence of mind to toss the gathered sand in her fist into the woman’s face, drawing a yelp. The young woman reeled away to clear her eyes.

The appearance of Aestaphi confirmed Juzzah as a liar. The figure by the fire was either a dummy figure to confuse her or Kora or Fellal. She didn’t have time to give it much thought when the stick came at her head again from another overhead swing by Zora. With her breath back, Diana leapt to her feet only to find herself choked from behind with a dry harsh twine by Kora.

“Gggkkkhh!” One hand sprung to her throat, her powerful fingers forcing their way under the twine, pulling it out. The other hand yanked up the knife in her hand and cut the cord easily, dispelling the threat of being ruthlessly garroted. Diana realized she probably should have stabbed Kora in the chest with the knife rather than cutting the cord. But there was no time to dwell on her foolish mercy. Juzzah stepped out of the darkness on her left and clocked her hard with his fist right on her chin. The strong young man had quite a punch and the disoriented Amazon went down on one knee, seeing stars for the moment. And just like that the Amazon was encircled by four adversaries just as Old Posh lifted himself on his elbows with a sleepy mumbled question in the air.

“What’s going on?”
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2020

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

Oh no! Treachery at the oasis! And the motive for this betrayal? We have to wait and see, damn you you tease, DoctorD!!

Tally - congratulations on this, the 50th installment (How on earth did we get to that amount? Oh yeah - Void certainly helped lol)! Sure, you've not written this all yourself, but as the project leader it is your guiding hand that has kept everything on track, well done for sticking with it.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2020

Post by tallyho »

It's all true I'm bloody amazing.
And modest. Dont forget modest.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2020

Post by tallyho »

Part 51




The young woman walked solemnly through the marbled halls of the temple, the soft footfalls of her sandals padding a slow drumbeat towards the high altar. Before her in two hands she bore the black glazed votive cup by her fingertips, the liquid within as black as the container that bore it. She was silently mouthing the libation prayer of acceptance , as within the cup the offering oscillated gently against the side of the vessel. Goats milk for the Goddess Demeter, for the Earth on which she stood. Wine for the Goddess Hera, Lady of the Heavens, though at this time that merely meant the sky. Finally a few drops of her own blood for the temple Goddess Athena , to symbolize that which lay between the Earth and the Heavens. The realm of man.

She was beautiful, this Priestess. She had preserved her piety and purity against Kings and Princes, nobles and peasants. All had sought her affection and favour, all had tried to lure her from the path she followed. Some offered gold, some offered a life of ease, some offered love and one had even offered goats! She had spurned them all, to follow the path of Athena. To be true to her vow to honour the Goddess of wisdom.

She wore a blue satin dress, broached at one shoulder, the other shoulder bare, that cascaded in loose folds down her slender body, giving the barest hint of the form beneath where it touched her skin. Golden thread formed a hem in the Greek key pattern, the square spiral. Some might call the dress beautiful, but only if they hadn’t seen the wearer.

Her hair was midnight black, braided into multiple plaits, pinned tightly to her head, but their length meant they wound around each other as they cascaded down her bare back like black mambas slipping effortlessly over the smooth brown rock of her skin.

She stood before the altar, lifted the cup to her lips , taking the three sips for Demeter, Hera and Athena, then placed the cup on the lap of the statue of Athena. She bowed her head and backed away three steps before she straightened, dipping her head three times in respect for the three Goddesses.

She gave a contented sigh, her tasks completed for another day. A sense of fulfilment came over her. She turned away and began to leave the temple hall before she froze as a half shadow seemed to flicker on the far wall for an instant, thrown by the light of the many braziers that formed an aisle of light up the middle of the temple. She suddenly became aware of the silence in the temple. She cast a concerned glance about her but there was nothing to see. She looked to the sightless eyes of the Athena statue, painted bright blue against the white eyeball, accentuated by the flesh pink skin, and mouthed a prayer of protection.

She suddenly became aware of a sound, a soft tinkling sound of dripping water that began as one drop but now was several, falling at once like the spatter of rain. She looked around but the sound echoed from the stone and marble walls on all sides. She felt the air chill slightly, and suddenly she could smell something in the cool evening air. It was fresh, a scent that almost seemed alive. It was ozone, and it was the smell of the sea.


********************

“HUUUUUUUUUHHHHH!” Athena gasped as she snapped back to reality on Olympus, her mouth agape, her eyes wide. She was unsteady on her feet and her arms reached out for support and found it in the arms of Artemis.

“Royal sister,” she said with concern as she gripped Athena’s forearm, ”are you unwell?”

“ N-no, I , I am alright....” Athena panted, calming down.

“I will summon Asclepius" Demeter said, turning away to call for the God of Medicine.

“N-no. No.” Athena answered more forcefully. “I am well.” She swallowed and nodded assurance to her sister Goddesses. She smiled weakly and straightened. “Where is Morpheus that he would plague me with such a vision?”

“You were not asleep, noble sister. What you saw was not a dream"

Athena swallowed once more. “ A prophesy then? Yet what I saw was the past...” she said, confused.

“What did you see?” Demeter asked with concern.

“It ..it was nothing. A mistake, from the past.I am fine. I am well.”

“Goddess of Wisdom ...” Artemis addressed her as she looked away from Athena hesitantly. “ A waking dream...that is not a dream. Would that not be a prophetic vision? “

“No.” Athena said forcefully. “I saw the past"

“Was it the Oathtaker?”

“No . It was before her time. Another mortal.”

“A mortal you wronged?”

“No. YES. THAT IS UNIMPORTANT!” Athena snapped angrily. “Enough!” she pulled her arm free of Artemis' support. “What of the Oathtaker?”

“We cannot see her.” Demeter said as Hera joined them at a cloudy watching pool. The Goddesses present bowed their heads and stepped aside for Hera to see the waters. She frowned and waved a hand over them, yet they did not clear. A grim look crossed her face and her jaw locked in tight annoyance.

“We cannot see her Highness. All have tried.”

Normally, thought of the subject was enough for the pool to show what you wished to view, but for the benefit of her daughters Hera spoke aloud.

“Solon of Athens " she declared and the pool cleared to show a Greek man carefully scribing upon a wax tablet.

“So. Sappho of Lesbos...” the image changed to show the young woman who had aided Diana against the Harpies. She was sprawled on her back beneath the shade of a low bough. Her right leg was bent, revealling a tanned, smooth thigh, her bare arms were wrapped around another, their golden blonde hair falling down to hide Sappho's face as they kissed passionately. Their hips gyrated over Sappho's hips in the slow grinding act of mortal intercourse. Sappho for her part was raising her abdomen slightly to meet the rotating thrust of her lover, and then released her grip on their shoulders to slip off their garment peeling it down to their waist. Her lover, still kissing her passionately, used her far arm to sweep her hair out of the way revealing a beautiful blonde woman with blue eyes that gazed longingly at the darker haired poets eyes beneath her.

“Ahh" the watching goddesses relaxed as their curiosity was sated with regards to the young woman’s lover. “I see she has moved on...” Hera said with a slight smile.

She waved her hand again , once more declaring aloud, this time “Diana, Princess of the Amazos.”

The pool clouded over and no image formed. She watched tightlipped.

“My Mother...”Demeter said hesitantly. "This may be related"
Hera flicked her gaze upwards to her daughter though her head remained angled towards the cloudy pool. “My sisters and I...we have been having...waking visions"

“I told you I am fine!” Athena snapped angrily.

“I do not speak of you. Artemis and I were speaking earlier. What we saw was not the past. And yet we have seen a similar vision. It is of this I wish to speak. ‘

“Go on" Hera said straightening to look at her.

“I saw a strange warrior. A female , clad in armour of the Amazon style . She ...she did grow...above the height of mortal man , with each stride that she took towards me. She shone dazzling in the sunshine as with each step she was bigger , taller, stronger. We were all here, upon the balcony at Olympus. She rose higher than the mists that surround our lower slopes upon this mountain, she was as a giant, yet still she grew. Taller than Atlas she became, bigger than any Titan. Until she finally stood before us, looking us in the eye though she stood in the valley below. She was as a Colossus. Yet she was made as of glass, you could see the light through her, though the land became indistinct behind her. She was not afeared of us, we had no power over her. Then she drew her sword...”

“My dream was the same, great queen. Save it was not glass but crystal that she seemed to be made of...” Demeter added.

“What then?” Hera asked.

“That is where the vision ended, my Queen..” Artemis said as Demeter nodded.

“You awoke? Where is Hypnos and his brother?!” Hera turned angrily looking about her

“No, my Queen, we were awake, it was not the work of Morpheus "

The Queen turned to Athena with a frown “You have seen such a vision also?”

“No my Queen, she-" Demeter began.

“Yes, but not today. “ Athena said surprising her fellow deities. “But they are wrong. She was not glass or crystal"

“You have seen what happened with the watching pool. You know what that means!” Hera asked.

Athena nodded

“Then do not hide your vision from me the way someone is hiding the Oathtaker from us all. Did you see the end of the vision?”

“ I did, my Mother. “

“ And?”

“Her sword fell upon us all...”

“We were slain?!” Hera asked in surprise.

“No. But her giant blade did cleave Olympus and reduce the great halls of Zeus to dust"

“Yet we were spared?”

“We were. Olympus was destroyed yet we carried on.”

“If she was not glass nor crystal what was she made of in your dream?”

“You could see her features and see through her yet...all was distorted, amiss. Nothing as it should be in the land behind her where she had walked...”

“Your dream is indeed prophesy made manifest. We cannot see through her anymore. We do not control her path as we once did. Where she goes the world of man is forever changed in her path...We do not know what she is made of, as her very nature has changed.”

“I do know what she is made of, Great Hera.” Athena said head bowed.

“Oh?’”

“She was not glass, nor crystal. In my vision she... she was diamond. I saw the Diamond Warrior"

“ A warrior of diamond? But then she would be...?"

"“Indestructible, as a diamond is." Athena said.

"Yet someone hides her from us in the watching pool. She may become as diamond...but she is not as diamond yet. If they hide her they do so to deny her our help. And that means she is indeed in danger..." Hera said softly.

"Mortal danger" Artemis added.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/11/2020

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

Beautiful imagery once more :D
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/11/2020

Post by DrDominator9 »

The hint of a future where Olympus no longer holds sway over man? How interesting. Wonderfully done, Tallyho.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/11/2020

Post by tallyho »


Thanks for the comments . Well it has emerged that Drav is stil breathing so why the silence I dont know but it's good news at least.

But now Dr Doms tale wends it's way through the desert....



Part 52

Shaking off Juzzah’s hard right cross, Diana looked around with barely any true concern. The odds against her weren’t particularly daunting; she’d certainly fought against much larger adversary counts before. The two brothers Kora and Zora were laughable contestants against her. It was Juzzah and the sneaky Aestaphi that concerned her. Not to mention Fellal, who might be lurking somewhere nearby ready to pounce if that wasn’t him still slumbering by the fire off in the distance. She was a bit troubled however that perhaps Old Posh might become injured in the fight should he try to step in to protect her. She tried to forestall the likelihood of that with a warning to him.

“It’s nothing Posh, just a bit of a disagreement with our hosts. Stay put. I’ll handle them.”

“I hope never to be so old that I will stand by and let a woman fight my battles,” Posh declared and rose quickly, drawing a knife from his boot. At the same time that Posh pulled his knife Diana returned hers to the sheath on her belt. She didn’t need it to handle this lowly assortment of foes. Her hands and feet were weapons enough. She wasn’t out to kill anyone, merely to stop and defend.

From off to his side, Aestaphi growled as she snatched up the thick wooden staff she’d hurled that had rebounded off Diana into the dirt at her feet, “I wouldn’t worry about getting much older, Posh. You may not live through the night.” With a lunge she went at Posh with her rod raised over her head, swinging it down at the old man’s head. He dodged that and swung his knife in a horizontal arc that the woman also dodged, stepping back quickly.

“It seems we both have decent reflexes,” Posh stated with quiet admiration. “Let’s see what fighting skills you possess.” The wizened old man in beggar’s clothes advanced, jabbing his knife forward as Aestaphi retreated carefully, feinting with her staff held in both hands to keep her opponent wary.

Diana, in the mean time occupied the other three assailants with a flurry of spins and kicks and straight arm thrusts that landed with impunity even as she bent and twisted out of the range and force of missed attacks by the ungainly Kora and Zora and even the more adept Juzzah.

The grunting and angry barks from her opponents filled the air as her fists struck home on their arm muscles, her feet drove their heads around with kicks to their chins and her elbows drove the air from their lungs with sharp jabs to their bellies. A whirling dervish of pain and retribution for their sneaky midnight attack, Diana delivered a beating to the threesome that had them falling in all directions only to spring back up and attempt to press their attack.

She parried their blows and drove them back with a grace and ease that filled Juzzah with angry respect and furious desperation. He couldn’t get past her defenses; hadn’t, in fact, even landed a single blow of note. The wild bitch before him seemed possessed with a goddess’ uncanny ability to foresee his fighting tricks almost before he launched them. A swing of his short club drew a stinging blow to his wrist. A leg sweep at her calves brought a skip over his extended leg and a driving heel strike to his thigh that numbed his leg to rubbery ineptitude for nearly half a minute even as the woman turned and beat the snot out of Kora’s nose and the blood out of Zora’s.

How I ever thought this Delphina was some sorry humped creature I’ll never know! Her trickery and warrior skills are nothing short of witchcraft!

Both the bumbling Greek brothers were staggering like drunks in the face of Diana’s relentless assault. Recklessly, they rushed simultaneously at her from opposite sides and got rewarded with a leaping mid-air split by the raven-haired warrior that knocked them both on their backs. Kora landed into a bramble of sharp thorny bushes that drew a piercing yelp from him. Zora fell hard onto a rock that jabbed into his kidney. The loud scream from him was unnerving even to Diana. She never liked killing her opponents but that sounded like a death wail. Zora stayed down, moaning softly.

Instantly, a scratched and bleeding Kora leapt from the cluster of bushes and ran over to his brother’s side, grabbing his hand and peering into the dulled eyes.

“Zora! How bad are you hurt?” The forlorn brother knew the answer before the rasping wheeze passed from his sibling’s quivering lips. His face was ashen and a trickle of blood seeped from the corner of his mouth.

“I’ve been better.” The smiling eyes of the dying man broke his brother’s heart and Kora gasped out a sobbing laugh in the moment. “Don’t come with me into death though, brother. It is pointless to try against this unnatural bitch. Surrender and live instead.” Zora coughed out a spray of blood onto Kora’s tunic and gripped his sibling’s forearm with the last of his strength. “I mean it, Kor. Live to tell of our adventures. Do not yield to matching grave mounds. There’s no worth to it. Tell of our travels over drink in taverns. I will live through your words and mem…ries.” The final wheeze was accompanied by the dimming of the light in Zora’s eyes and ultimately a blank stare into eternity.

The tableau in the desert was quiet, washed in moonlight as everyone stopped their battles for a time when the scream had rent the air. All watched the huddled brothers until one slumped and was slowly lowered down to the desert sand by the other. Diana kept one eye on the pair and one eye on Juzzah who seemed stunned.

“Is he…dead?” The tall Arab was shocked at this sudden possibly calamitous turn of events. He peered through the darkness, straining to see movement from the limp form on the sand.

What did he think we were playing at? My death would not bring him a moment’s despair were he to best me. In fact, he would boast of it endlessly the rest of his life.

“YES!” Kora’s wailing shout pierced the night, his neck arched, his eyes searching the starry heavens for answers. They were only silent specs on velvet, some with light from stars now dead for eons. Kora didn’t know this. Except possibly in his heart. He only lowered his head and wept some more.

“Will you yield now, Juzzah?” Diana’s tone was soft and respectful of the life lost in this moment, in this battle. “You cannot win. There’s no need for others to die.”

“Should I simply relent and not honor the life of that man?” Juzzah pointed at the limp form lying on the desert floor.

“Honor? You launch a sneak attack in the dark on a woman and an old man whom you hosted at your fire and you speak of HONOR?!!” Diana fixed Juzzah with a cold stare across six feet of hard-packed desert sand. “You have no conception of the word’s meaning.”

“End it as this tigress suggests, Juzzah,” Aestaphi proclaimed from her guarded stance before a wary Posh. “There is no victory to be gained here. No purpose to this battle now. The brothers thought to have sport with the maiden. We joined with them to partake of her spoils and that of Old Posh here, whatever pathetic treasures he might be carrying. There is no lust left in the air now, no passion for loins or loot. Let’s be done with it. Be done with all of it.”

Standing his ground with his feet planted, watching the tall dark-haired woman who had repelled all his best efforts, Juzzah’s shoulders squared back with stubborn bearing and he looked over at Kora, still hunched over his brother, his face buried in shadow so the moonlight could not gleam off his tears.

“I will leave it to Kora as to whether I slaughter this haughty cow or send her out to the desert with her companion and let the sun and snakes make better work of them than we have been able to.”
Diana simply rolled her eyes at this.

Slaughter this haughty cow? You and what legion, miscreant?

Kora slowly looked up from his brother’s broken body, barely aware that the discussion revolves around him, about what they should do.

“…w..what…?...”

“Your decision, Kora,” prompted Juzzah. “Shall we retire from the field and bury our dead or seek to prevail against these heinous foes and deliver justice for Zora?”

“I...think…he’s beyond justice,” murmured Kora, barely audible by those present. Then his voice grew a bit stronger. “He whispered dying words to me of other needs, other choices. I will obey those wishes. Lay down your arms, everyone. There is a hole to dig and this earth, this land is hard and unforgiving.”

Old Posh nodded and returned his knife to his boot with a cautious glance at Aestaphi who lowers her staff. Diana looked at the short club in Juzzah’s hand. He tapped it rhythmically into his palm, thoughtfully contemplating his next action. Ultimately, he nodded at Diana and He put the cudgel into his pocket before turning toward the brothers with a scowl. “Then we shall dig I suppose.”

Diana turned toward the brothers as well, taking a step forward in their direction. She was positioned slightly to the side of Juzzah as they walked, her face drawn with concern. She didn’t notice the hand at Juzzah’s far side pulling a very tiny dagger out from the pocket in which he’d just placed his cudgel. Her stride was a bit longer than Juzzah’s and he lagged back just a bit in the six paces it took to reach Kora and his slain sibling. Just as Diana began to bow down to comfort Kora, Juzzah acted. He turned into her body with his hand striking out, the palm clutching the deadly pointed weapon and thrusting hard at her stomach.

The dagger never reached its target.

From off to the side, an arrow streaked across the hard plain of moonlit sand, only the whizzing sound of the wood shaft slicing the air cut into the silence. Until Juzzah’s grunt.

“HHUUUNNGHH!” The arrow buried in his chest and the tall Arab spun a quarter turn in helpless reflex from the blow. His eyes fixed out to where the arrow flew and Diana’s head spun to look in the same direction. Standing beside the tumbled collection of boulders was the dark shape of Fellal in his antelope skin. His stance was fixed, his bow still held rigidly in place. Only the burning coal of his eyes beneath his brow was easily seen in the gloom. The rest of him was in shadow.

Juzzah dropped to one knee and then fell backward onto the sand. A dark spot on his red tunic gleamed a slightly brighter red in the silver moonshine. His eyes opened wide in surprise. These things didn’t happen to him. He was the one who sprung his deadly deceits on others. At least up until now. Then the cur died on the sand with an arrow in his heart.

“Well, now there will be two graves to dig,” Aestaphi said, frowning at the extra work.

“Just so,” replied Old Posh, also disgruntled at the impending chore.

Diana nodded her thanks to Fellal who slowly walked over to the group.

“Sorry for cutting it so close, Delphina. I didn’t believe Juzzah would comply with the truce but I had to be sure. I’ve seen that dagger trick before. When he made his move I released the arrow.”

“So you were asleep by the fire all this time?”

“I may have partaken in too much wine over dinner,” smiled Fellal

“Well, that’s the second dead snake in the same evening,” Diana observed. “This is a very dangerous desert.”

“True but it has its hidden beauty. Not unlike yourself.”

“Can we put the compliments aside while we bury these men,” chided Aestephi. Now that this Amazon-like woman had revealed herself in the fight, she wasn’t surprised that Fellal was entranced with her. It was hard not to be.

They dug the graves over the course of the next several hours and said words over them. Kora spoke his heartfelt promise to honor his brother’s final wishes. Fellal tried to find a kind word or two about Juzzah and ended up saying he was a good hunter and didn’t fart much.

With three hours left til dawn, everyone returned around the single campfire, built it up just a bit and settled down to sleep. Old Posh declared the next day’s travels would be harsh across an unforgiving desert with no oasis or water for the entire day’s journey. They would decide in the morning which parties would go where, who would split off and who would form a new group.

Diana had no fear of retribution from Kora. His words seemed very honest and real over his brother’s grave. It was Aestaphi who concerned her. She slept on the other side of the fire from the woman and kept one eye open for a while until tiredness overcame Diana and she fell into a very deep sleep.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/01/2021

Post by tallyho »

Part 53


“My Lord King?”

“Ah! Hermes! Come , sit with me a while."

“As you bid, Lord Zeus.” Hermes nodded as he took a perch upon a reclining couch in Zeus’ hall

“I am troubled, Hermes, troubled”

“That grieves me, Great Lord.”

Zeus stood quickly and began to pace about his hall. He said no more for long moments. Hermes knew him well enough to say nothing until he wished to speak.

“Yes, I am troubled. Many machinations are at play. The female Gods seek to protect their charge, this...this Amazon of theirs...lest her oath is unfulfilled and all their power is therefore diminished. As you know I have, in the past, sought to stop her" he waved a hand vaguely as if his efforts were not important. “But now, now she is upon an errand for me, difficult but...necessary.”

“An errand , my King? Of what nature?” Hermes feigned ignorance but Ossa Phema had done her work, casting the rumour around the halls of Olympus that Zeus could not...perform for his Queen.

‘Oh of no import.” Zeus said irritably. “No import to any save myself" he threw a ‘leave it alone ‘ flashed gaze at Hermes. It would seem both were aware of Rumours tales “But I too can scheme and plot like those damned harpies....” He stopped his striding and turned to Hermes. “ Even now, Hypnos and Morpheus do my bidding in my brother’s household...”

“They are in Hades’ realm my Lord?” Hermes asked, already knowing the answer.

“They are...Yet I worry they have their own agenda...”

“Those two have always been...
competitive.” Hermes said diplomatically.

“Reign them in, swift Hermes. Take my word to them. One of them hides the Amazon from the watching pools. It makes the female Gods anxious. By Hades it makes ME anxious. It sets the women on edge, gets them plotting. Tell whichever is doing it to stop.”

“I am swift great Lord, but perhaps you should summon them here for your message it-"

“I cannot. I do not wish my Dark Brother Hades to think I am conspiring with two of his residents by summoning them here. He will think I plot against him. Go tell them, Hermes. It must stop. “

“What if it isn’t them Lord?” Hermes asked.

Zeus stopped, midstride and turned on his heel.

“Not them? Not them, then if not them who would it be?” he asked with an annoyed frown.

“Perhaps Hades himself?” Hermes ventured tentatively.

Zeus paused, deep in thought. “Hmmn. Hadn’t thought of that. It’s possible. Definitely possible. Go to Hades first. Ask his permission to enter His Lands. . Gauge his reaction. Then find those two. Mark how they respond too.”

“I carry the messengers staff my Lord. I do not need his permission. A herald may go wherever he must. Permission or no.”

“Ask him anyway. As a courtesy. Explain your mission. It will put him at ease that we do not sneak about behind his back in some scheme against him.”

“I shall great King.”

Zeus nodded, strode to his own drinking couch and reclined, staring at Hermes. “You are the fastest among us. Yet Rumour always arrives ahead of you. How so?”

“I carry the burden of truth in my messages sire, She has hearsay and lies and half truths. They are as air. Mine is a heavier burden to carry.”

Zeus nodded once more. “Just so...just so...” He suddenly stiffened and raised a finger , extending his head to look past Hermes “ My Dove! My pet!” he called as Hera and a small retinue of the female Goddesses walked passed the open colonnade pillars at the end of the hall.

“Boomer" Hera paused and acknowledged with a smile and a brief nod before she resumed her journey.

Zeus watched her go anxiously. “Bloody woman...” he muttered under his breath. But the truth was the sight of her had stirred him once more. The sooner he had the Elysium Botanical Oil, the better.

“Go Hermes, reign them in. Release their hold on the watching pools. Go! “

Hermes stood, clasping his fist to his breast in salute and made to turn away.

“And Hermes...” Zeus called, causing him to turn back to face him.” Tell no one.”

Hermes nodded and faded away in an instant.



Hera and the other Goddesses paused on one of Olympus' balconies. “My husband sends a message...” she said aloud to no one and everyone.

“Watchful rumour says it is to Morpheus...”said Demeter.

“Hypnos, his brother I heard...” said Artemis.

“Yes that is the trouble with our sisters whispers...” Athena said.

“It is forbidden to use the watching waters to spy upon other gods...” Nike added “ But we can tell he is no longer here among us on Olympus...and we can see what Gods are here... Poseidon is in the banqueting room, not in his deeps...”

“Ares and Geras are in the world of man. They do not seem likely confidants for a message”

“It follows then the message is for one in the realms of the dead. “ Hera nodded. “But luckily we have a spy in Hades camp. Ossa! “ Hera summoned the Goddess of Rumour herself and a moment later Ossa Phema appeared.

“My Queen?”

“ Take true word to our sister in the Underworld. Tell Persephone we need her eyes and ears.”



Old Posh swung a boot at Diana’s feet but she moved them at the last minute, causing his feet to scuff the ground as he tottered and nearly fell as he over balanced.

“Oh!” he cried in surprise as she got to her feet as he steadied himself, leaving him glowering after her.

“Sleep well?” he asked with a curious edge to the question.

Diana noted his tone but made no comment on it, merely answering the question. “Well enough, in a hostile land with a bunch of people who had tried to kill me .”

“Not I! “ he jabbed a thumb at his chest. “Not old Poshny, I stood with you!”

“You slept through most of it" Diana muttered gathering up her bed roll.

“I was like a coiled cobra, ready to strike if you needed me!”

“A coiled cobra who snored.”

She stopped, straightened and squinted to the early rising sun, putting a forearm shadow over her eyes to shade them and see better.

“We may have need of the Cobra in you yet...” she said gazing at the horizon.

“What is it?” he turned to look as she was. His older eyes were not up to the task.

“Desert riders. On beasts. Camels or horses I cannot tell. 10 or more". She narrowed her eyes and speeded up her movement.

“We have strangers to the East!” she called aloud to alert the others.

Posh looked hard at the line of black specks in the distance. Slowly he brought down his shading hands. If it were not for his aged and weather-beaten face, she would have seen the colour drain from him. He licked his dry lips, his breathing heavy and ragged. He turned to look at Diana.

Something in his demeanour made her slow down herself until they were staring at each other in silence as she waited for him to speak.

“Oh, Zeus aid us! It is the Blue Men!”
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/02/2021

Post by DrDominator9 »

Thank you, Tallyho. Not just for the month's respite but for authoring an interesting chapter... with yet more threads for me to untangle. Gaaaahh! Ah well, that's the price of success. People think you can do stuff easily that takes some doing. Anyway, enough of my bitching. These two lines from your chapter above would have been worthy of applause on their own:

Zeus nodded, strode to his own drinking couch and reclined, staring at Hermes. “You are the fastest among us. Yet Rumour always arrives ahead of you. How so?”

“I carry the burden of truth in my messages sire, She has hearsay and lies and half truths. They are as air. Mine is a heavier burden to carry.”


They are wonderfully true and beautifully written.

The next posting shall be forthcoming on March 1st, people. Anybody else out there reading this series? Let's hear from you!!
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/02/2021

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

DrDominator9 wrote: 9 months ago Thank you, Tallyho. Not just for the month's respite but for authoring an interesting chapter... with yet more threads for me to untangle. Gaaaahh! Ah well, that's the price of success. People think you can do stuff easily that takes some doing. Anyway, enough of my bitching. These two lines from your chapter above would have been worthy of applause on their own:

Zeus nodded, strode to his own drinking couch and reclined, staring at Hermes. “You are the fastest among us. Yet Rumour always arrives ahead of you. How so?”

“I carry the burden of truth in my messages sire, She has hearsay and lies and half truths. They are as air. Mine is a heavier burden to carry.”


They are wonderfully true and beautifully written.

The next posting shall be forthcoming on March 1st, people. Anybody else out there reading this series? Let's hear from you!!
You know, you're right, Doc. I had read the chapter when pressed for time and hit "like" rather than comment - but that passage is a brilliant piece of well explained imagination - and there has been bucket loads of it since the beginning. I will be here again for the next update, no doubt before the Ides of March!!
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/02/2021

Post by tallyho »

Thank you both very kind of you to say so

Now Dr Dom takes up the mantle once more...



Part . 54


Once the far-off riders drew closer to their campsite among the rocks, even Old Posh could tell by the sway of the figures in the saddles that they were mounted on camels. The tall beasts loped slowly but steadily across the dusty yellow sand until the band of 10 men came upon the group that had packed up all their gear, ready to begin their day’s journey. Diana and her troupe watched the band of blue men with very wary eyes.

The party stopped a respectful distance away, determined to be non-threatening. Only their leader continued towards them at the slow rolling gait that camels take when not prodded to race. The man’s head was bowed, deep in shadow from the angle of the sun just to his left. It made the dark pigment of his skin seem almost black. As he drew closer Diana could see the pigment that blocked the sun was more of a dark purple hue than blue. When he finally raised his head, though, the sun caught his swarthy cheeks for the first time. Now she could see for herself the deep bruise-blue color of his skin. On some of his companions behind him, astride their camels and watching carefully with their faces well lit, they burned a brighter blue. Of course, they were younger and clearly the pigment had had less time to go deep into their skin.

At last, the leader’s well-trained beast was urged by the pull of reins and hard-pressed knees to kneel at the edge of the campsite. Many yards back, half the entourage of blue men dismounted behind their tall leader. His hair was long and jet black and pulled into a ponytail. His men wore turbans but he did not. He raised his palm in greeting , gave praise to Allah on them meeting, and spoke to Fellal

“Allah has a sense of humor. I did not expect to see you again in this lifetime, Fellal.”

“Nor I you, Tzemus. When last we met, we were dodging arrows at the Al-Ahsa oasis. Always those disagreements about water rights, eh? Did you get any ration?”

“A pittance for me and my men,” the blue-tinted leader scowled. “And you?”

“A canteen’s worth at best,” Fellal declared.

“Twice what we got each and we were hard-pressed to get that,” Tzemus explained. “The Bedouins at the well demand kingly ransoms of thirsty men. Knives and clubs flash and swing there every day. I thought I saw you struck down with an arrow in the back. I mourned your loss until this very moment.”

“Aahh, I was lucky. The arrow struck a cooking pot lashed on my back in my kit. Still, it was a wound I would not recommend even to an enemy,” Fellal frowned, remembering.

“The water here, it is clear and good?” Tzemus asked, nodding at the stream in the distance.

“Excellent,” Fellal replied.

“Then, if you have no objection, we shall partake of it,” Tzemus said. At Fellal’s waving gesture at the water, the Blue Men’s leader nodded to his second in command, a larger swarthy type with deep set angry brown eyes. That man motioned to the others and they moved away toward the water, clearly eager to fill their parched throats. “To where are you bound, if I may inquire,” Tzemus asked Fellal while eyeing Diana with particular interest. The glance he cast at Aestaphi was much more cursory.

“For myself, I am headed to Dumat. I have a nephew there about to begin his male rite of passage. I actually don’t know where my companions are headed. We only came together last night and have been….uuuhh…busy since then.”

“I would have to agree. Two fresh graves there. I hope that nobody of value was lost,” Tzemus offered.

“My brother,” frowned Kora. “A worthy man of much value.”

“I am sorry for your loss, my brother,” Tzemus bowed his head solemnly which was returned by Kora.

“For ourselves, we go to Hegra,” Old Posh revealed.

Tzemus and Fellal both turned halfway with raised eyebrows at that declaration.

“That is a most arduous trek, old fellow,” Tzemus spoke gravely. “What takes you on such a perilous journey?”

“We are heading there for jewels, comfort and safety for this woman,” Poshny stated dramatically, indicating Diana with a sweep of his arm.

Tzemus gave the old beggar a long quiet stare for a good ten seconds. Nobody else spoke until at last the blue leader quietly countered, “Jewels, comfort and safety are the last thing one may find when setting such a destination, brother. None is a likely result. None is worth the passage. Least of all comfort.”

“That is only of our concern,” Old Posh replied before smiling. “But I thank you for your advice, Tzemus.”

Weighing that response for another long-measured moment, the blue-skinned man then nodded and said, “I see.” Then he turned and reached into the dark brown leather saddlebag strapped to his kneeling camel. He withdrew a blue and white ceramic pot decorated with intricate scrollwork of black spades marching around the circumference of the vessel. It was capped with a simple tan cloth and a matching blue top affixed over that with tight sisal twine. Tzemus took a step toward Diana and held out the vessel to her with a genuine smile.

She looked at it with some trepidation.

“Take it,” the pony-tailed man gently commanded, adding his reasoning. “You are not as fair as some women I’ve met in my travels but you are not dark-skinned enough to withstand the rigors of the sun you will be assaulted by over the course of your journey. This blue cream shall help protect you against the harsh beating of the sun as you go.”

“You need it for yourself,” Diana shook her head.

At that Tzemus let out a very hearty laugh, as did the several men of his troupe who returned with full canteens. “I can easily spare this amount for such a fair woman.” His emphasis on ‘fair’ lingered as did his eyes. Diana lowered hers for a moment even as she nodded her thanks and took the jar.

“And have no fear of lasting tinting of the blue,” Tzemus mentioned as an afterthought. “No matter how long it is pasted to your skin, it washes away completely with a scrubbing by a rag soaked with very old wine, the kind that some people splash on their salad greens.”

“I am grateful to you, Tzemus,” Diana said.

“Not at all. You have made my day…uuhh…” he hesitated.

“Delphina,” the Amazon offered. Now clad again in old clothes and assuming her hunched appearance, nonetheless it seemed that Tzemus saw through the disguise and dismissed it entirely from his mind. He knew quality women when he saw them. Even the older one behind her had some merit despite her age.

“I wish you good fortune then, to you all,” Tzemus said with an upraised palm. “Certainly, you will need more than your fair share of it to reach Hegra … unscathed.”

With that, he headed toward the small thin stream to fill his canteen. And from the woods, he watched between the feathery cypress limbs with deep concern as Fellal and his party trudged its way out of the oasis into the harsh and forbidding desert. His swarthy second in command came and knelt by Tzemus at the stream. He, too, watched the five sojourners pace their way down the beaten road through the sandy terrain.

“That is madness to make such a trek without either camel or horse. They will die.”

“Perhaps they will, Guidam. Yet I think the fair one may not. She bears a rare strength I believe. Her companions? Their fate is unsure, at best. Hegra. Hmmpff!” Palming a hand full of water, he slurped it from his hand and nodded with satisfaction. “The water IS sweet. We will stay here for a few days. Make camp. And watch for snakes. They will be our dinner. Or we theirs if not alert!”




Hera beckoned to her handmaiden Hebe, who approached with a silent bow of deference. “Sweet Hebe. Provider of our nectar. Bring word of Rumour as soon as she returns from Persephone. Hermes has always favoured you. Use your sweet wiles upon him when he returns. Find out who he bore his message too. “

“He will never reveal such a thing, great Queen “ Hebe said worried at her task.

“No of course not child. But find out whom he has NOT seen this day, then those that are left…”

“Will be who the message was for.” Hebe nodded. “ A plan worthy of Athena herself, great Queen" Hebe said appreciatively.

“Hardly, child.” The Queen said with false modesty “But it will do for now".





It wasn’t even 20 minutes walking on the beaten down track heading east before Diana chose to pause in the middle of the dusty road and pull the small jar of blue sunscreen from the burlap bag hung on her belt. She carefully opened the twine, removed the cloth cover, twisted open the cork top and scooped two fingers into the jar. She withdrew a hefty glob of paste and sniffed it. It was some sort of palm oil base and a dark berry scent, not quite sweet. There was a waft of something else there too. The dust of some ground up gem perhaps? There was an earthiness there. Not wanting to keep her cohorts waiting, she rapidly worked the pigmented paste into her cheeks, across her forehand and over her chin, spreading it out and smoothing it down until her face looked like the moon over the Blue Nile.

“How do I look?” Diana asked Aestaphi, who stood beside her scowling at the delay.

“Like a dinner plate I’d like to crack in two. Can we go now, princess?” Aestaphi’s contempt was sharp and stinging in the bright heat of just the early morning. “Some of us didn’t receive gifts from the Blue Men group and would like to make it to Hegra before turning into prunes!”

“Go ahead then, you bitter crone. Nobody asked you to stop. I can catch up easily enough.” Diana snapped back. As Aestaphi walked off down the road indignantly, Diana took another two fingers of the blue salve and coated her exposed arms from the elbows down before closing up the jar and putting it safely into the bottom corner of her bag.

Barely on the road under this white sky and beating heat for a fraction of the day and already our patience thins. How will we fare at midday with Apollo’s chariot barely halfway through its passage and at its height?

The sky was such a pale blue it was almost white. The group’s five shadows shortened with every passing hour as the sun moved relentlessly toward its zenith. Oppressive heat made the vision swim with objects and shadows floating in the distance. Reality itself seemed to flirt as rocks wavered and disappeared then reappeared. Tree fronds danced even though still and hanging limp. The shimmering heat off the land created wavy distortions that had Diana closing her eyes every now and then to give herself relief. The dancing shimmery impossibilities assaulted one’s eyes.

Every now and then watery pools spread in one’s sight, growing at the edges and lengthening. But these were merely pools of the imagination. No water was to be found anywhere in this desolate landscape except that which seeped from one’s brow. Or that bounced against one’s hip from the ever-lowering levels of their canteens and water bags.

The party’s sweat drizzled down their cheeks through the grime on their faces from the dust. Oh, yes, the endless dust. It clung to everyone as their feet disturbed it in their passage. The sand itself seemed to rise up in anger, attacking them in plumes at the merest drag of a sole against the track on which they journeyed.

The desert showed no pity. Not the bleached sky. Not the glaring orb beating down on them. Not the sand that caught in their throat and came out as brown phlegm and least of all the oven-like heat. All the elements attacked them without mercy until Old Posh finally called for a break when they came upon a sequence of three flat stones by the side of the track.

“This is worse than I expected,” the old man said, using his sleeve to mop his forehead as he sat on one of the rocks. Sweat had darkened his tunic from light tan to a chocolate brown. Aestaphi’s hair hung in a limp frame around her face as she took the second rock.

Fellal motioned to Diana to rest on the remaining empty rock. She paused for a moment at the chivalry and in doing so, lost it to Kora who was oblivious to all of it. He grunted as he dropped down and spat in the dirt. Fellal took a step toward the leftover brother but Diana raised her palm and just shook her head. She sat down in the dirt beside the pounded dirt road, stretched out her legs and arched her back, cracking it slightly as her breasts expanded her shirt. Fellal appraised that pose with keen eyes. Then he took his place beside her in the sand, kneeling as Diana brushed her hot hair away from her face.

“This land is crueler and more dangerous than any I’ve traveled through,” complained Kora, not even looking up.

“That may be true for me as well,” Diana agreed. “Although I was on a pitching sea once where I feared for my very life. Ocean waves higher than a mosque crashing all about, threatening to swamp my boat and push me into the depths of Poseidon’s realm.”

“Sounds nice,” Fellal said. Everyone laughed hard at that, appreciating his irony in the midst of their scorching agony. Once the chuckling died down and canteens and water skins were drained down of yet more of their precious silvery contents, the group rose and trudged on.

The trek was endless, the road, such as it was, going forward straight to the horizon for mile after mile, hour after hour of unrelieved scenic monotony: yellow flat sand, misshapen rocks, stunted trees and nothing but the sun overhead. Not even lizards deigned to provide any interest. They crouched silent and unseen in any shadow they could find, content to outwait the scorching sand.

When the shadows began to lengthen again, now to following partners rather than leading ones, the road finally began to curve, the tedium breaking at last but for an uncomfortable cause. Sand dunes began to rise from the flatness. The new terrain altered quickly, within 500 paces. The road twisted through head-high dunes that obscured the horizon. Within 1000 paces the road was barely visible under the sand that drifted disappeared completely and the trek got much more difficult with every footfall sinking into ankle-high sand. The heat and the exertion seemed to double and after just a short while, Old Posh called a halt and the group gathered in a circle.

“We have one more hour of this before the road splits and you head off to Dumat, Fellal,” the wizened old man said, wiping his brow with his sleeve.

“Do these dunes continue forever?” Kora wondered aloud, a wheeze in his whine. The dust was thick on him from dragging his feet overly much.

“I’m told the way to Dumat gets better after the split,” Poshny answered. “Only a sliver of the shadow on a sun dial before the road reappears and thin palm trees begin to show themselves.”

“Then if you don’t mind my company, Fellal, I shall continue on with you,” Kora declared. “I have no desire to be the lunch of some sharp-eyed nasir.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry much about vultures, my friend. They will leave you be. You reek too much for even their indelicate senses,” Fellal said with a wink at Diana.

“That is the type of companionship I can expect on the way to Dumat? Some choice I have. Devoured by carrion eaters or pecked to death by sarcasm?” Kora scowled.

Diana nodded at the direction ahead. “And what of the journey to Hegra, Old Posh? Dune after dune?”

“…after dune after dune I’m afraid,” the old man nodded sadly before his face brightens. “Eventually though, an oasis city that will fill your heart.”

“If your lungs don’t fill with sand long before that!” Aestaphi growled. “My blisters have blisters under this cursed sun! We should have travelled at night. Why did we not think of that? We could have spent the day back at that stream with the Blue folk.”

“Generous as their leader may have been to the fair Delphina, they’ve been known to kill and steal as soon as look at you. We were lucky,” Posh declared.

“Generous perhaps,” Diana declared, scratching at the thin shell of blue on her face and then her forearms, “but while his ointment shields me, it now itches like the Devil’s scales!”

“Oh, is the pretty princess, blue?” Aestaphi mocks. Diana simply scowls at her while scratching uncomfortably at her neck and then her wrist.

“Enough! Let us continue on. Our rest time is over,” Old Posh barked and headed off around the edge of a large dune. The rest of the troupe followed him, trudging forward into the blazing afternoon.




Zeus waited impatiently in his banqueting hall, a goblet of nectar in his hand, sighing heavily every few seconds though he was deep in thought and barely conscious of it. He saw his son stride past the colonnade.

“Ah! Apollo! Is there news from my brother's dark realm?”

“News? Not that I have heard Great Zeus.”

“Hermes has not returned?”

“No my Lord . But I have heard his mission went well, nothing more."

“Excellent!” Zeus declared downing the remaining liquid in celebration, his tense mood lifted by sudden euphoria. Then he froze.
“You said he had not returned…and you had no news, then how…?”

“Ossa Phema was whispering loudly to the nymphs in the Royal Gardens, my Father" Apollo declared ." I merely heard her say Hermes' mission had gone well. But as it
was from her I do not consider it news yet…”

Zeus slumped once more. He snorted derisorily. “ A wise course where my daughter is concerned…”

He took a sip but after his euphoric mood earlier somehow the sweet nectar tasted almost bitter. He looked dejectedly into the goblet then threw it away with a clatter. He snorted once more. When he spoke he barely addressed Apollo, but more mumbled to himself.

“You heard a rumour….but of course you did.” He said bitterly.

Apollo looked at him as an uncomfortable silence descended between them. He was skilled in prophecy… but he didn’t think Zeus was ready for what he could tell him.




The hard-packed dirt road came and went, sometimes exposed as hard earth under a skimpy layer of ochre sand, other times buried completely under several inches of blown desert across its surface. It wound its inevitable way through and around the dunes and the occasional scrub cactus. And the five travelers trudged their weary way, sweating and sighing, pausing to catch a breath and to take a precious little water. They all rationed their supply, barely wetting their dry, cracked lips, and swishing the water in their cheeks before swallowing the gritty residue down parched throats.

Finally, they reached the splitting off fork to Dumat. Fellal’s face brightened immediately, knowing he was now close to an easier journey. Kora raised his head after bumping into Aestaphi. Dizzy with heat, he had been only concentrating on putting one sandal in front of the other while wondering if his brother had been the more fortunate one in being granted a quick death.

“Mind your step, clumsy oaf,” Aestaphi barked, shifting to the side and glaring at Kora.

“If that is the best farewell you have, you nasty cow, you can walk into the fires of the underworld with my blessing,” Kora retaliated, bathed in sweat and self-pity.

“Feels like we’re there already,” Fellal said, trying to lighten the mood.

Aestaphi said nothing but raised her arm quickly to clout the younger traveler. Diana caught her wrist at the top of her swing and held it firm. “Save your strength for our upcoming slog, Staphi,” she advised with a cold eye and a voice filled with fatigue. “You will need it if what Old Posh says is true.”

“It is truer than you would care to imagine,” Poshny said with a frowning nod.

“It has been a joy seeing you again…and alive, old man,” Fellal said with a smile, opening his arms wide for a goodbye embrace. After that he offered to embrace Diana as well but she waved him off politely, taking his one arm and grasping it and shaking his hand.

“Thank you for saving my life, Fellal. May you have a safe journey to Dumat.” She released her grip and offered it to Kora. “I am sorry about your brother. I never meant…”

“I know,” he interrupted. “Fate cut his thread and that is that,” Kora took her offered hand and held it still, looking in her eyes. “Our plans for you were evil and he paid the price immediately. I will pay it the rest of my days.”

“It is over with the lesson learned,” Diana replied, looking into his sad brown eyes, his wounded soul. “Be a good man for the rest of your days and you will be forgiven. Forgive yourself and share your brother’s story as you’ve promised. Life may not be as hard a road as it seems.”

“It can only get easier I suppose,” Kora nodded at the surroundings. “You are more generous than most. When we make it to the oasis city of Dumat I will raise a toast to you, Delphina: The fastest humpback I ever met!”

Even in the harsh sunlight and the arid air at this lonely fork in the middle of nowhere, the laughter of humans resonated, affirming the perseverance of life among the silent dunes. Fellal and Kora walked off to the left and headed towards a different horizon while the remaining threesome of Old Posh, Aestaphi and Diana stayed to the right fork and trudged onward.

As forewarned by the old beggar, the desert only got nastier for them once the fork was a mere thousand paces behind them. The road vanished under the sand with only the sun’s angle in the sky to guide them. The dunes grew higher and higher. Every step became arduous, lifting one leg after another out of the sloping mounds of gripping sand. And the endless hills of sand all around them threw off the sun’s heat straight into their faces, blinding them with glare and sweat that ran into their eyes, down their necks and soaked their clothes. There was no respite from the heat and the sand and the endless searing sunlight bearing down on them, baking every ounce of moisture from their pores.

Diana reapplied the blue sun cream to every inch of her exposed body parts and that was a different sort of torture to endure. She was thickly encased in blue clay, all of it itching underneath with no way to get at the tickling irritations, no way to gain any measure of satisfaction. Every time her face twitched, she shook her head hard, the sweat from her hair flinging off to the side. Fortunately, they were walking in single file so Aestaphi behind her wasn’t hit by the shower of drops flung off. And Old Posh didn’t seem to feel the drops spattering his back.

By the time the sun hung 20 degrees off the horizon and the unforgiving oven heat of the day relented to merely being oppressive, Diana could barely walk in a straight line. Her canteen was empty as were the water skins of both her companions. The young beauty couldn’t believe that Old Posh was not only still striding at a steady pace but Aestaphi was keeping up with it. Behind Diana, she was almost stepping on the younger woman’s heels, urging her forward every so often with a shove of the flat of her hand against Diana’s back, with an urging grunt or a “Keep going. It can’t be that much longer!”

How can this be? I am a fraction of their age, an Amazon warrior, yet I am the parched and broken one?


Another 2000 paces or so had Diana begging to stop. She was clawing at the blue shell on her arms, ripping it off in shiny sweaty pointed shards. They scattered to the earth like flung sapphire gems, twinkling in the light. She pulled and scraped and tore at the azure sunscreen like a woman possessed, whimpering with frustration. And when her arms were covered with only a gauzy blue powdered hue, she scratched at herself with her short fingernails until red welts raised between the blue dust.
Then she started on her face. There too, she clawed and pulled at the mask with the brunt of her final energy. Yanking off wide flat pieces of the azure crust and flinging them away into the dunes around her, blue shrapnel raining down on yellow hills.

“Gaaaagghhh!” Diana raked her face until the itching stopped and then she fell to her knees, weeping on her haunches. She looked down at her hands. There was a smear of blood on two fingers from one welt where she’d scratched too deep, too frantically at the impossible itch.

“Delphina! Stop! Stop it. Get hold of yourself!” Old Posh knelt beside her, gripped her wrists together in one hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “Be calm. We are almost there. I am sure of it. You just need to go a little further. The horizon beckons. Hegra is not far off.”

“I’m so hot, so tired, so weak and thirsty. Please. Let me rest. Please!”

“Yes, of course, for only a moment. Without the blue paste, you will burn,” Poshny warned her. “We only have a walk of three or four thousand paces perhaps. But the sun can burn your skin to blisters if we tarry too long. Even at this angle it still has strength.”

“…three or four thousand paces…?” Diana murmured. It seemed impossible to take another single step.

“Do you have any water left, Posh? Or Staphi? Either? I have no spit. My…my throat…so dry!”

“We have none,” Old Posh stated, rising up, hovering over Diana with a brusqueness now. “All is dry. Take a minute. Compose yourself, woman. We must go on.”

So, Diana sat there while Old Posh and Aestaphi gave her some privacy, the two of them walking off behind a dune together to talk in hushed tones. Diana couldn’t hear them. She wiped her forehead with her bone-dry sleeve. All her sweat had baked out of the cloth. Her forehead felt impossibly hot. She desperately needed water. It was life itself to her now. If it took the inner strength to walk four thousand paces to reach it, she would do it. The Amazon gathered her will and slowly she arose. After a shaky moment, she steadied herself and walked to where the old man and woman were conversing.

“…might not be strong enough to make it. She looks so exhausted,” Aestaphi was saying. They broke off their discussion when she rounded the dune.

“I will make it,” Diana declared. “I am an Amazon. I will make it.” Diana gave them both an earnest look and walked past them toward the horizon to where Hegra and its water waited, a wet promise in a dry world.

It wasn’t four thousand paces. It was five and the last thousand was brutal. While the dunes shrank, the angle of the sun dropped until they were walking westward into a blinding white beam that stung the eyes. Every step took energy that Diana had to consciously muster. Her breath was hot, she was dizzy and shuffling through the now diminishing sandy mounds like some dead soul meandering in some forgotten canyon in the underworld.

I feel like that. Like a dead soul.

When the hard road reappeared under the sand, Diana almost tripped, so unused to the sensation of firm ground beneath her feet. It felt foreign. And then, miracle of miracles, there was the shadow of a city in the distance. Hegra was in sight! It was real. The impossible was real. Their journey was coming to an end!

There was no energy to run, of course, but Diana’s plodding took on more purpose. Her gait was a bit less awkward, her eyes a touch less glazed.

“Where is the well?” She asked Old Posh who had taken the lead of the trio again with Aestaphi bringing up the rear.

“There is no single general well in Hegra. There are designated community wells for each section of the city. I know the man who manages the Oshbar Canteen. It is a building that houses the well. We will go there and drink our fill.”

“Is it far?”

“Comparative to what we’ve endured. Not at all. Do you see the tall pale green gate in the city wall there?”

“Yes, I do,” Diana replied. Her lip cracked when she smiled at the sight. That hurt! There was no saliva in her mouth to ease the split and no tear to shed at the pain. She was completely empty of moisture. She felt faint and wavered in her step. She couldn’t fail now. Couldn’t falter. She straightened herself and plodded on until the green gate loomed over her head.

Old Posh knocked on the gate in the city wall and a basso voice behind the wooden door called out. “Who would enter Hegra through the Olive gate?”

“My name is Old Posh. I am a friend of Mehdi, manager of the Oshbar Canteen.”

“I know that voice! I know you,” the excited voice called from within. The sound of a wooden bar being drawn along its tracks was followed by a squealing creak and the large olive door swung open. A very large bald man in a black leather vest, brown tunic and pants and sandals stood before the trio, his face beaming down at the beggar and his companions. “Old Posh. What a shock. You are alive!”

“People keep being surprised at that!” The beggar grumbled.
Diana had no energy or time for niceties. “…w…w..water…” she croaked.

“Sorry,” Poshny apologized for her. “It has been a long and arduous journey. We need to get to the canteen, the well.”

“You know the way. Should I carry her?” the huge man offered.

“’Her’ doesn’t need to be carried,” Diana said, holding herself unnaturally straight with the best try at dignity she could muster in her condition. “’Her’ just needs to be shown to the well.”

“This way,” Poshny said, leading the way. Diana caught up to him and then so did Aestaphi. Together the trio held each other up and shambled through dusty streets past old stone buildings, canvas market stalls and a large mosque. Finally, the weary trio reached an odd building, more like a giant boulder with a dark brown wooden door. A hanging sign over the door read “Oshbar Canteen. All welcome.”

The wizened old beggar pushed the door open and all three companions filed in one after another. It was a large open room with battered old wooden tables and chairs scattered about. Some old worn benches lined the flaking plastered wall to the left. A long varnished wooden plank resting on old barrels ran along the right side of the room. And in the far corner of the main room was another small room with a circular red clay tub surrounded by curved benches. Several people were seated on those benches, leaning on the wooden platform surrounding the tub. A round bar of sorts.

The Oshbar well! It stood before Diana beckoning her. She shakily made her way to the corner room, feeling lightheaded now that her wishing well loomed so close! She collapsed heavily on one of the curved benches, both her arms on the round wooden bar, propping herself up. Old Posh scurried over and picked up a huge wooden ladle resting on the circular bar. He reached over and dipped the ladle into the silvery surface, filling the bottom of the huge spoon with life-giving water. He carefully lifted it out of the well and brought the edge of the ladle to Diana’s quivering lips. She slurped the water greedily until Poshny pulled it back. The water was hard to swallow her throat was so dry. Dinah feverishly whimpered for more. “Please!”

“Easy, girl, not too much at a time. Your body can’t take it all at once.” But he gave her another shot at the ladle despite the admonition and the Amazon felt the miraculous water from the gently tipped ladle wash down her throat a bit more easily the second time. By the third hefty gulp, it didn’t hurt at all.

Poshny himself wasn’t drinking. Nor was Aestaphia. They were just watching Diana as she straightened up a bit. She dabbed her fingertips in a tiny puddle of spilled water on the bar and stroked the cooling liquid on her brow. It still felt hot and feverish.

“I still feel haaa….” Diana fell off the bench onto the hard floor. She felt delirious! She must be delirious because Poshny’s face was shifting and changing. And so was Aestaphi’s face. They were wavering and then they solidified into the shocking visages of the two people she’d confronted when she came through the Ivory Gate when entering Hades’ realm. It was Hypnos and Pasithea. They were leering down at her. Diana struggled to get up but was suddenly far too weary to even lift her head. The tall brutish god and his lean and canny wife peered down at their quarry, very satisfied with their long con.

“…wha…what…how…tricked me…how long…what have you done…you monsters…?...”

“I told you not to drink too quickly, Diana,” Poshny now Hypnos taunted her. “To do so from the River Lethe can be very troublesome, you know.

Aestaphi now Pasithea continued the mocking of the fallen Amazon. “But she was so thirsty, my love. That trek through the desert made her so tired and thirsty. Forty times around the perimeter of Hades realm. That would tire anyone. All that infernal heat.” Pasithea laughed loudly. “Ans so, as we planned it, you drank heavily from the River of Forgetfulness, dear. Why, one drop can make you lose your very identity. And you drank a full ladle’s worth, Amazon. I think that will be too much for even you to handle.”

“…wh…why…”

“For Dolos, Diana,” Hypnos declared. “For his takeover of Olympus. Your failure will ignite his triumph!”
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/03/2021

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

:o - What a rotten deception !! And now Diana is at the mercy of this cruel pair!! I don't know about everyone else but like Diana I was taken in by Posh too - very well done Doc, wickedly well done!!
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/03/2021

Post by tallyho »

Just an update in case anyone is missing not seeing the next chapter yesterday, Doc is trying to get his post finished as soon as possible, but doesn't want to rush it, so the next chapter will be up as quickly as it can be. I'm sure it will be worth the wait, stay tuned...
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/03/2021

Post by DrDominator9 »

The chapter has been unusually tricky for me this time out. I even had to (gasp!) rewrite a scene or two. Anyway, it's sort of a time travel affair requiring research into world events and such so I'm sorry for the delay. Best guess, some time this upcoming week. Will it be worth it? Sure hope so. Hmm, should I go for Diana having sex with the short French emperor?
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/03/2021

Post by dravatar »

I finally got caught up and can think of only one word to describe it.

Amazing!

My gratitude, Doc, on not only taking over the story four or more months early, but in doing such a spectacular job of tying up the many loose threads I left lying around. I particularly enjoyed the subtlety of Hypnos and Pasithea's deception. I suspect that she and Dolos had more to do with its design than did Hypnos himself, but your telling of the tale was truly masterful.

I should like to point out that, although Doc and Tally were kept up to date on the ROUGH outline, neither had any of the details, which existed solely in my mind. This fleshing out of this part of the tale was none of my doing.

Many thanks to both of you for picking up my slack.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/03/2021

Post by tallyho »

Thanks for the comments Docs update is here


Part 55

Lying flat on her back on the hard floor, Diana felt herself drifting. Her eyelids slowly slid lower, her irises going dull, her conscious thoughts dispersing from her mind like gray smoke caught in an updraft: pulled upward into the nothing air. Everything she knew herself to be seemed unimportant, distant and barely memorable. She tried to gain a secure grip on her reality by fixing on solid memories of the hunt with her sisters, of wonderful sex that lit up her brain, of searing pain that brought tears to her eyes, of the deepest sorrow that scorched her heart.

None of it worked, none of it mattered, none of it meant anything to her. She drifted off on the floor of the cave. Her final thought was that the Oshbar Well room seemed to magically transform into some sort of apartment, still a cave with rock walls that curved into the ceiling but richly decorated. And then even that thought fled as the lovely chosen one of Zeus and the goddesses fell deeply into complete unconsciousness.

“She is ours now, my love,” Pasithea gloated, looking down at Diana’s slack face, her limp figure, those slightly parted lips still showing glistening drops of the River Lethe at the corners.

“She is merely ours to keep safe,” Hypnos cautioned his wife, “until such time as Dolos chooses to unveil her downfall, bring her soulless husk back to Zeus’ own home and drop her there at his feet to shake the confidence of gods and mortals alike. That will be the lock that releases that old fool’s hold on his kingdom. Dolos will have Olympus and we will share in the bounty of his favor.”

The grinning god knelt down and ran his hand over the shoulder of the senseless brunette beauty, enjoying the feel of her muscle beneath her sweaty tunic. “We shall deliver her to him at his beckoning but until then, she is ours indeed. We can do with her as we will as long as there is no permanent damage or disfigurement.”

“So many ways to guide her fragile mind. What an exquisite time we shall have, my love,” Pasithea declared, beaming down at her quiet captive.

“Are you addressing me or this lovely lost soul?”

“Both. Let us transfer her to the divan in the alcove. She will lie there undisturbed, in state, as it were until we’re ready to play. For now, I am thirsty and could drink two pitchers of purified water. Even I am sorely parched by our false trek.”

“As am I,” agreed Hypnos as he easily hoisted the oblivious Diana in his arms and carried her from the river’s edge in the back corner of their cave apartment through the main living area to the plush divan in the small alcove just off to the side. He gently laid down the limp figure onto the soft yellow sofa and arranged the arms in a folded position across her slowly rising and falling chest.

“She will be all too comfortable here as her soul dwindles away to nothing,” Pasithea said, leaning over to pull one of Diana’s eyelids upward to show only the whites of her eyes. “Already she is adrift in the vague memories of her life as they pass away from her. I can feel her sorrow and her confusion. It is delightful.”

“Let us go get our water and perhaps some wine as well to toast to our success,” Hypnos suggested.

“An excellent idea, my husband.”

* * *


Diana felt herself rising and looked down to see her body lying prone on a long yellow sofa or chair of some sort, her hands crossed over her chest. She wondered if she was dead. Was her soul ascending to make a journey to the Underworld? If so, it will likely be a very short trip since she is in the heart of Hades’ realm even now. But as she drifted above herself, she passed through the ceiling into a thick bank of clouds that was imbued with golden light. She was not concerned about this. She was completely at peace. Realizing this, she was filled with a warmth of spirit that she’s never quite felt before.

There is no longing, no need to achieve, there is only the pleasure of existing and watching and waiting to see what will happen. The freedom of this is exhilarating to her. She peered into the puffy white clouds which were filled light gray shadows that shifted and danced in her vision. And then they slowly parted, the golden light seeming to focus on a scene before her of the figure of an old bearded man with his hand raised high. He holds a short blade in his hand and beneath him a young male figure is bound before him, his neck exposed. He is about to slaughter the young man, a horrible scene that fills Diana with dread and remorse. And then she sees the man falter in his strike as he suddenly calls out.

“Here I am!” The man says loudly, looking around. He cocks his head for a moment and then nods. Off in a nearby thicket, Diana sees a ram struggling futilely to free itself from the brambles that ensnared its horns .The old man rushed over and grabbed the ram by one horn, then slaughtered it with just a few strokes. He freed the young man who seemed placid and quite shaken but shockingly, the young man called the older one father and together they built a fire and burned the ram in it. They did not even eat the animal but just let it burn in the campfire, the smoke rising and forming with the clouds that thickened as the scene faded. Only the words of the old man drifted to Diana’s ears at the last. “The Lord will provide.” The profound moment left Diana wondering why a man might ever consider killing his son but the moment mesmerized her. She had no idea she had just witnessed the birth of the monotheistic religion of Judaism.

After Pasithea and Hypnos finished their water and wine and a simple meal of bread and ambrosian paced lamb, the God of Sleep went of the sleeping chamber to nap for he was very tired. The irony was lost on him but his wife pecked him on his cheek and watched him go. She returned to the alcove to ensure the Amazon warrior was still unconscious and found the creature still prone but her sleep was not very peaceful it seemed. The goddess of relaxation knew immediately when someone was not restful even when still and this figure on her divan clearly was charged by some inner source. The goddess put her palm on Diana’s forehead and tried to draw in the young woman’s thoughts.

Pasithea saw within her own mind a cloud bank separating to reveal a golden light and then a scene of some great room. It seemed to be an enormous and beautiful temple of some sort but there is no prominent statue that lets the goddess understand to whom this temple is dedicated. There are walls and walls of spaced wood shelves that go on and on, all filled with scrolls. All the knowledge of men could be stored here. It is wonderous to imagine that men could undertake such an endeavor. The design of the woodwork is foreign too. Is this Diana’s memory from some journey she’d made? The scene seems unreal and the goddess of the mind is unsure. Souls who drink from the Lethe River are easily confused with memories that get released to forever drift away. This might be one of them but Pasithea has never heard talk of such a place. The scene shifts to the outside of this storehouse. It is a vast building with column after column on two levels with doorways and balconies that stretch far into the distance. There is a word that floats from the mind of the woman on the divan: Alexandria.

“Curious, most curious,” mutters Pasithea. She removes her hand from Diana’s temple. She is too tired and dizzy from the wine to play now with her captive. She decides she too could use a nap and heads off to the bedroom to join her husband.


* * *


Artemis paced up and back on the marble tiles of the columned hallway like some caged jungle cat. Each spin flared out the hem of her short skirt revealing long tanned legs of rare beauty. But Hera was exhausted with the view since she’d been subjected to it for most of the morning.

“Please do come to rest, child,” Hera pleaded. “You are wearing pathways in the stone with your nervous energy.”

“It has been half a moon’s phase since Diana passed me at the Ivory Gate and there is still no word of her fate. Nothing from the three sisters. No mutterings from Morpheus. No dropped nuggets from Zeus either, I expect?” The younger goddess raises her eyebrow at Hera with a tremor of hope.

“Do you think I would keep such news from you? Really, Artemis, you test my patience. Look at Athena. She is as concerned as we all but she sits quietly with a pleasant demeanor.”

“Like an owl in a cypress tree. Bored but vigilant. For myself though, I can’t be what I am not, my queen.”

“Be careful I don’t strike and rend you to pieces, little mouse,” Athena swiveled her neck and glared at Artemis with wide eyes. “Who, who, who … are you to call me names?” The mimicry of the owl’s call was eerily well done from the goddess who gave a smirk before continuing her banter with the younger goddess. “You’re the huntress. I suggest you hunt up some manners when addressing your betters.”

“LADIES!” Hera’s bark silences the banter. “This is tiresome to the extreme. No word from our best sources in the underworld for far too long and the pair of you are screeching like raptors over a kill. Where in Hades has our Oath Keeper gone for all this time?”

“She must be in the clutches of Hypnos and Pasithea,” Artemis declares yet again as she has for the entire time since she was rushed past Diana at the Ivory Gate.

“I have little doubt as to the quality of your assumption, my dear, but repeating it so often does not make it any more truthful in the retelling. I have used my best resources to try to uncover further information along such lines, but as of yet I’ve heard nothing on which to base any sort of plan for the Oath Keeper’s rescue."

“So there’s nothing to be done?” Artemis began to pace yet again.

“Not nothing, sweet Artemis,” Athena offered. “You could attach wax-coated cloths to your feet and polish the marble. That at least would serve a purpose!”

“You’re a real hoot, Athena!”

Hera considered asking Boomer to strike down both annoying goddesses with a well-placed lightning bolt but decided that would be too rash, by just a hair.


* * *


As Pasithea slept, Diana’s mind travelled even farther forward through time. Through the clouds she saw the building of a colossal statue of Helios, the Titan god of the sun and precursor to Apollo. She saw it come together quickly in the harbour of Rhodes as men swarmed over its surface like ants and time flew by with unimaginable speed. It stood there proudly commemorating the victorious defense of the city for many years until one day Diana saw the ground itself shake the statue like a weasel with a mouse and the great construction tumbled into the harbor killing dozens in the collapse. That scene continued for a while, with the broken remains unmoved and still visited by hordes of people, such was the greatness of that monument. And then the scene faded away, the clouds reforming themselves and blocking the view.


Diana thoughts drifted, gaining no lasting purchase in reality, a swirling jumble of flash images of her winning the javelin toss at one of the Amazon games. That javelin transformed into a spear singeing the air as it struck home in the exposed throat of a charging boar, only the third kill of her life. The beast’s blood flowed to the ground and became a campfire around which she and her many sisters of the hunt were laughing and teasing each other. When the moment came inside her vision that Diana snuck off with the blonde Galicia and the young princess experienced her first kiss, the nipples of the prostrate beauty stiffened and her crotch warmed. The kiss went on and then the fingering began and Diana’s body trembled on the yellow divan, drenched in the moment, excited, fulfilled and lost in the pleasure. She climaxed in the moment although she didn’t remember climaxing during the time that she’d snuck off to experiment. The sweetness of the life moment in her mind outpaced the truth of that day but Diana didn’t know why or how. She was quickly lost in another vision.

She hovered above a range of sharply peaked mountains their crests topped by thickly laid snow. There was a fierce wind blowing across the peaks, howling along bare rock walls stripped of snow here and there. Below Diana she saw an army of thousands and thousands of men and animals making its way through the mountains. Amongst this gigantic throng Diana was captivated by a long train of beasts the likes of which she had never seen: great gray beasts with tails coming out of their faces, swaying wildly back and forth in the wind. The wide wrinkled face tails were hooked around the far thinner rear tails as if not to lose contact with each other in the raging snow storm. Perched upon the backs of the lumbering beasts, astride huge saddles big enough to carry a king’s entire wealth, sat men clad in brown fur with all manner of turbans and headgear. Spears and bows and an endless variety of weapons of war were strapped to the sides of the great nose beasts. Horns grew low on the head but she realised then they were at the mouth and were tusks like the tusks of a boar. The size was incredible , many feet in length, and thicker than a mans arm at the base. Their ears too were as big as feast platters, flat grey and wide. Periodically they gave a shrieking bellow that was terrifying.

This seemed a madman’s folly to launch such an extreme plan against any foe. Diana was certain this attack would fail. The man at the lead of the expedition did not have a fur hat but rather a red fabric helmet and scarf affair that protected his head and kept it warm in the driving wind and snow. He was not riding one of the huge gray beasts but a very large and stout horse. There were more horses in the caravan than the other beasts but it was impossible not to fix upon those massive beings as they plodded forward slowly and relentlessly along the mountain pass. The leader was exhorting his army to move faster but the big gray beasts seemed oblivious to his shouts, keeping their own pace even as with the men on their backs struck at their flanks with whips. The horse whips were barely noticed by the large animals.

Despite all that, progress was made. Constant and steady and inevitable. As the scene shifted and time seemed to jump, the train came down out of the mountains and but a handful of the great two tailed beasts had survived, but their impact was terrifying in a great battle that began at what was called the Po River according to one ethereal cry from a soldier that seemed to float in her consciousness. It was the first of many battles and the army swarmed across the countryside. The results shifted back and forth and soon the vision faded and the results of the war were hard to glean. Perhaps victory was gained, perhaps treaties were signed. It mattered not to Diana. It was the crossing of those mountains and that daring plan that captured Diana’s imagination. The death and destruction of the battles themselves? That was something with which the Amazon was far too familiar.




When Pasithea awoke, she went immediately to check on Diana’s condition. She was shocked to see the sweat-soaked tunic that revealed the nipples prominently, not to mention a significant wet spot at the Amazon’s crotch.

“This wench is quite the harlot. So easily excited by the simplest of dream fantasies I see. This is excellent. I can use this to wonderful effect.”

Putting her hand on the woman’s warm forehead, Pasithea yanked it back in shocked recoil. The vision she glimpsed was a madhouse of death and destruction, the very heart of a battle raged inside Diana’s mind with her in the very center of it. Elegant soldiers with polished silvery armor and red rooster-like crowned helmets were fighting hand to hand with filthy men in tattered clothes using rakes and hoes and broken tree limbs as weapons against shining steel swords. It was some sort of slave rebellion and the desperation on the faces of the men grappling to their death with each other was a horror show to sense.

Pasithea dashed back to bring Hypnos into the alcove, screaming “There’s something wrong with the Amazon. She is caught in the most horrible vision and it hurts me to even delve into her mind. I am frightened she might die. This is not what I expected. Nobody else who has drunk from the River Lethe has responded like this. What are we to do, Hypnos? What are we to DO??!!
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/05/2021

Post by dravatar »

Not easy to see where all this is going and another good cliff hanger. The glaring question in all this: where is Mnemosyne?

I've no doubt that we shall soon learn what is to come. Strictly top drawer stuff, Doc.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/05/2021

Post by tallyho »

Thank you for the comments . Docs story continues


Amazos - Chapter 56

Pasithea was in quite a state of alarm when she rushed into the bed chamber and awoke Hypnos who always slept quite deeply and was not easily roused.

“Hypnos, my mate! Awake! Quickly, come with me. There’s something wrong with the Amazon.”

“I’ve barely slept at all, Passy! Can’t this wait until the morning? I’m tired,” the bearded god declared irritably.

As if barely hearing him, the distraught Goddess of Vision dragged on her husband’s arm, nearly yanking him out of his bed. “She is caught in the most horrible vision and it hurts me to even delve into her mind.”

“Then don’t delve into it. Let me sleep!” The big man grabbed a pillow angrily and dragged himself back under the bedcovers and he punched the pillow before dropping his heavy head on it. “Let things wait until the morning.”

“I’m frightened she might die!”

“Don’t be absurd woman. We’re in Hades Realm. Nobody dies here. They’re already dead.”

Begging Hypnos in a raspy whisper, Pasithea pressed the issue to her grumbling mate. “You know she is not dead. She is only in transition and has been since she walked through the Ivory Gate. Besides, if anything happens to her, Dolos will place all the blame on us!”

Hypnos knew his wife speaks the truth in those words . Crankily he asked “What is her problem? What are you seeing in her mind?”

“It’s not what I expected. Nobody else who has drunk from the River Lethe has responded like this.”

“Like what? Calm yourself, Passy. Tell me what you’re seeing.”

“I don’t know for sure. Nothing from the histories I’ve read. It’s all jumbled. Some sort of slave rebellion. Bloody and vicious. And other scenes too, all from some far future of man I believe.”

“The future of man?” The old god scoffed. “Then how important can it be? Really?”

“It’s bad I tell you. Oh, what are we to do Hypnos? What are we to DO??!!”

“I can see you will not let me return to my favorite realm so I guess I must go see the woman and address what has terrorized you so.”

Hypnos changed from his sleep tunic to his regular house tunic and trundled out of the bed chamber and over to the alcove where Diana lies on the bright yellow divan, breathing deeply.

“She doesn’t seem overly distraught to me,” Hypnos waved at the somnolent figure with scorn.

“Wife…if you are playing some game here, I am not amused!”

“Maybe she’s between visions. I should peruse her mind but I am concerned less I get embroiled in any maelstrom she may conjure while I do so.”

“You woke me up and NOW you are concerned for your welfare? You will seek her mind and her visions right now or you will have reason to fear your well-being from me more than her, wife!”

“Fine, then, you old coot. I will delve her thoughts but if I get embroiled or dazed, pull me away from her instantly. If I go simple in the head due to this bitch’s thoughts, I will never forgive you.”

“Yes, yes. I tremble. Do the thing,” Hypnos waved his hand dismissively, and prompted his wife on with a jab pointed at the prone Diana.

Composing herself, Pasithea clasped her hands together under her bosom and stretched her mind out, connecting with the sleeping Amazon on the divan. All she sawwwere clouds, a great roiling soup of them, powdery blue and gray in constant motion.

“She is between visions. That horrible scene of battle in which she was immersed is over it seems. Her mind is naught but clouds.”

“I guess I mist all the action. Get it? Mist. Clouds!”

“Hush, you fool. This is serious.”

“You’ve yet to convince me. Shall I return to bed or is there a second show?”

“You vex me, husband.”

“Then we are well matched but that I am more vexed for being roused needlessly.”

“You know my talents. Be patient.”

“Married to you I am nothing but!”

“The clouds are thinning.”

“I tingle.” Hypnos folded his arms across his chest and waited, skeptical but slightly intrigued now.

“Through the parted clouds I see the vision as from Diana’s eyes,” Pasithea narrates. “She is watching a woman at a market stall. The woman in a bright yellow shawl is young and smiling at a grizzled vendor of chickens. Clearly the woman is there to trade but what’s unusual is that I see no animal or tool or item of clothing with which to barter. She is picking out the hanging chicken carcass she wants.”

“This is riveting. Is there more?”

“Hush!”

“Yes, I don’t want to break the tension. Is the chicken fully plucked? No pin feathers?” The sarcasm from the angry Hypnos drew a scowl from Pasithea but no retort.

“How odd. The young woman has pulled something from her apron fold. She is handing the chicken vendor a tiny stone disk with an emblem engraved on it. It looks like some crowned monarch’s face. He is pulling the chicken from the string and putting it in a cloth bag and just handing it to her. She is leaving and he is smiling.”

“He won’t be a chicken vendor for long making horrible trades like that. Are you sure there wasn’t a precious jewel embedded in the stone disk?”

“There was not. He took the worthless disk and gave up the chicken. The clouds are obscuring the moment now.”

“A horrible trade? This is the calamity that drove you to wake me?! I swear, Passy, if you weren’t so good in bed…”

“Quiet, Hyp. She is moving through the clouds very swiftly now. It feels like an arrow flying through the air, piercing the clouds. Oh, they are parting now and OH, GREAT ZEUS! It is not an arrow it is some bladed axe embedded in a soldier’s forehead. He’s falling dead to the ground spouting blood everywhere. She is in the midst of another battle. Two forces wrecking horrible death upon each other. One force is white-skinned with striking eyes the color of the sky. That force is brightly clad in red with a white emblem on many uniformed chests. The emblem is a vertical line with a shorter horizontal line crossing it two thirds up the way. The counter force is darker skinned with dark hair and many of those carry a strange curved sword. The battle is fierce and desperate. Diana is hearing words shouted by the blue eyes. ‘He-then! He-then.’”

“He then what?”

“Nothing else. The dark faced forces are yelling “In the field?’ No, that’s not right. Diana is mistaken. I believe they are shouting ‘In-feh-del.’ But the battle is horrific and Diana is simply turning in the midst of it all, watching all the death being dealt by swords and battle axes and HERA’S HEART…WHAT MANNER OF WEAPON IS THAT?!!”

“Describe it, Passy. Calm yourself and tell me what frightens you so.”

“It is some sort of club with a curved wooden handle and a steel pipe fitted into it. The soldier in red and white just pointed the weapon at his foe and a tiny ball sped from the pipe and pierced right through the dark man’s shirt and buried in his chest. Blood splattered from the hole and the man fell to the ground, face down, unmoving. What a dishonorable bloody end for that soul. So sudden. So barren of any glory or dignity. And she is watching so many thus slaughtered. The brown-skins cannot win against such weaponry. And Diana feels the horror. She is giving it to me. She is transferring a wave of ….oohhhhh.”

Pasithea swayed unsteadily, gathered herself briefly before another terrible vision filled her senses.

“Where the sands are white….where the sands are white…” She said her eyes wide with the horror before her “ a terrible ball of fire…bigger than Olympus” her voice was a breathless whisper. “Where the sands are white …a ball of fire and tree of grey smoke, miles high…more powerful than any thunderbolt of Zeus…earth turned to glass…winds like a tempest …nothing can live…NOTHING. Heat and fire like Hephaestus' forge…a column of smoke like an eruption of lava…but…man did this! MAN MADE THIS…where the sands are white. Oh! OH WEEP , WEEP! Man MADE this happen. A terrible weapon…and they will use it upon each other! Huge cities, all dead! Buildings and men, gone in an instant! Dead without number! More than in this realm of Hades! What dark future is this? Where man has the power of Zeus to make the earth tremble. Wars of millions dead! And they use the weapon. No honour in this! No invocation to Nike or Ares…the power of the weapon is all! Man does not need us! Yet all they do is slaughter each other.”

Pasithea swooned and almost collapsed to the floor but Hypnos moved quickly and catches her in mid-faint, cradling her limp form in his arms.

Diana screamed out “NO! NO MORE!” and then her stiff body slackened and she too dropped into a lethargic stupor. She slumps deeper into the divan, her hand dropping from her stomach to dangle near the floor, the fingertips just grazing it.

“Passy! Wake up. Wake up, my dear.”

The Goddess of Relaxation and Visions did not respond, all consciousness gone for now.

“I believe you are right, my love. This is not good.”

Hypnos carried his exhausted wife back to their bed chamber and arranged her there in a comfortable position. He sat on the edge of the bed and wondered to himself if Dolos’ plan was worth all the bother this Amazon was presenting. The God of Sleep was no longer tired.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/06/2021

Post by tallyho »

Great stuff DrDom, looking forward to seeing what you have coming up next
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/06/2021

Post by tallyho »

Apologies but due to an act of God/ inherent laziness (just kidding Doc!). DrDoms next update will be delayed by about a week.
Stay tuned!
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/06/2021

Post by tallyho »

Doc is still labouring on his magnum opus but the update will be ready now on the 1st of August
Apologies for the delay I'm sure it will be worth the wait
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/06/2021

Post by tallyho »

Here is Docs continuing saga

Part 57

Smoke once again filled her vision but Diana knew this smoke had a far different, far more noxious character: it was not just obscuring. The smell was so pungent, so thick in the back of her throat that the Amazon gagged in an autonomic reflex that was both necessary and alarming. No one was around her to see or hear the commotion of the dozing Diana’s distress. Hypnos was tending to Pasithea back in the bedroom while the raven-haired Amazon thrashed weakly on the divan.

Finally, the smoke cleared a little and Diana found herself looking at a strange village street with two carts spaced a poor javelin’s throw apart. The carts, rustic wooden platforms on misshapen wheels that didn’t meet the quality of even the poorest Roman slave tool, were piled with heaps of old clothes. The smoke didn’t come from the carts but from behind the simple hovels that fronted the street. The few signs around the village were written with modernized Roman letters.

They must be burning the clothes Diana assumed and the carts ladened with the dingy gray were next to be wheeled around for their burning. Diana was assessing the village and its grimy quality when a swarthy dark-haired fellow who looked like a Roman who’d fallen on hard times, walked out of a broken door of a sad little house. He was wearing a scarf around the lower part of this face, the fabric stretched out by a prominent nose. About his neck was a small posey of lavender tied on a twine The door that the man had come through was painted with a prominent black X. He made his way over to the cart and looked ready to push it into the alleyway between the hovels for its turn at delivering the stinking rags.

Diana wondered why the clothes required burning. Some ritual perhaps? And then, before taking up the handles of the heavily ladened cart, the man did a strange thing. He went through the pockets of the clothes. Hoping for a forgotten item of value, the Amazon suspected. Fortune favored him for he withdrew something from one of the pockets. It did not come easily though. Whatever it was had caught on the pocket in the clothing. And when it finally did come away with a harsh yank, Diana saw the clothes slide off the cart onto the ground. Oddly, the clothing thumped loudly. How could that be?

And then Diana saw a ghastly gaunt arm sticking from the pile of clothes. This was not just clothing. This was a body! Whether male or female, she couldn’t tell, but looking closer at the cart, Diana gasped in horror. These were not just clothes. This was a cart loaded with dead bodies. As was the other cart further away. What catastrophe had befallen this unfortunate village? Carts of the dead? And that arm, covered in horrific black pustules. This was a plague village! The high piles on the carts spoke of a terrible time. When was this? Where was this?

Diana saw the man reluctantly bend over and lift up the corpse as gingerly as possible and drop it back on the cart before lifting the handles and wheeling the wooden platform to the entrance of the alleyway. Suddenly from one of the houses nearer to her a scream of anguish that sounded more animal than human split the silence of the hot day. The man looked over to that house, his shoulders slumping forward in resignation. He lowered the cart back down, the weight thumping on the dirt road. Then the scarfed man trudged grimly toward the house where the screams became sobs. Looking over at the crude black X on the door across the street, Diana grimaced.

Black. Death. Terrible.

She had no idea just how terrible it would be for Italy, for Asia, for Europe, for all mankind. The disease would kill over 50 million souls over the course of four years. Someone with a cough at night could be dead by morning. This small town was not far from Venice. After a while, ships would not be allowed to dock in the Venice harbor for a period of 30 days which was then extended to 40 days. Quarantine it would be called.

The smoke thickened heavily now, as if the burnings of clothes and bodies of an entire continent were set alight. With the vision clouded, Diana slumped in the divan, gaunt and exhausted in spirit as she fell back into an uneasy slumber.



* * *



Back in the bedroom of the Gods of the Underworld, Pasithea was slowly awakening from an uneasy sleep of her own. After fainting away at the horror of Diana’s vision of some apparently holy crusade as seen through the Amazon’s eyes, Pasithea woke up feeling disoriented and a bit ashamed. Had she actually fainted like some young novice warrior facing the horror of battle for the first time? These were mere humans fighting which she had no deep interest in nor concern about and yet she was overcome. Already she was trying to fashion some excuse to give to Hypnos. What must he think of her?



She opened her eyes and saw him looking at her with deep concern even as he took her hand in his and rubbed it gently.



“How are you feeling?”



“Silly. I feel silly for letting the bitch’s visions disturb me so. For Olympus’ sake, I am a Goddess!”



“We all have off days, Passy. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Shall I contact Dolos and tell him the woman died and just kill her and toss her in the Styx?”



“Are you mad! No, after all the trouble we’ve gone through to get her here in our clutches, you would abandon the plan now? Zeus could fall under Dolos’ plan but we would take no glory or spoils from his defeat if we abandon our role now. No, we shall not abandon our mission. I was simply tired from all endless hours of clouding the Amazon’s thoughts during our circuitous path through Hades’ realm. I hadn’t rested enough…clearly. Her visions startled me is all and the tiredness overwhelmed me.” She looked at Hypnos who was nodding thoughtfully.

“The symbols on the armor of the combatants were unfamiliar to me,” Pasithea said as an aside. “I felt tired to from something else. There seemed to be no thoughts anywhere of us gods and goddesses but rather of singular Gods in the warrior’s minds. One who they called GeeZeus or something close to that. And the dark-skinned warriors were praising Ahl-Lah. Strange. Do you think Zeus is called this in the future? GeeZeus?”



“I have no idea. He will soon be Jupiter among the Latins. Maybe. Humans are so driven by forces earthbound and frightening to them, they cling to any idea that calms their souls.”



“Well, that is true enough. But it was tiring to me not to have any worshiping of us Gods in that vision. And a bit infuriating.”



“Are you too tired to go back into the woman’s mind? You don’t have to, Passy. We can wait another day or so.” Hypnos gently rubbed the hand he hadn’t ever released.



The Goddess of Relaxation, Meditation and Hallucination smiled across at her husband’s furled brow. “I’m fine now, let us go see what the poor woman is enduring now. While I slept I sensed she foresaw some sort of diseased time. Seemed very bad. And again, the dearth of supplication from believers in we the true gods and goddesses was unsettling. It makes me angry to think of so little gratitude from the human race after all we’ve done for them.”



“Yes, well, they are beings of very limited scope in their short and fevered lives. We can’t be too harsh on them when they cling to the latest style of theistic interest. They’ll come back to us, I’m sure. Olympus will reign for millennia yet, my sweet, but with Dolos in control and Zeus banished. GeeZeus or NoBeZeus, that tyrant will fall and we will reign in his stead. Let’s go see what other visions the Amazon has. It’s sort of entrancing when you recount them, Passy.”



“You’re not the one immersed in them. It’s less exciting and a bit more terrifying from the inside, my love.”



“Maybe I can help you by guiding her into a deeper sleep so she’s less alarmed.”



“That’s the best idea you’ve had in ages, my dear. You will be rewarded for that!”



“Will you do that thing we discussed?”



“Maybe. If things go well. It’s on the table.”



Hypnos took his wife’s hand and guided her off the bed and toward the alcove where Diana slumbered fitfully. He didn’t actually skip but his step was light and his mood was most favorable.





* * *





The resplendent golden dining hall in Olympus was lavishly decorated and crowded with many Gods and Goddesses, most of them standing beside the dining tables spread about the hall. They were simply awaiting the arrival of their King and Queen to start the grand banquet. It wasn’t long before the regal pair walked into the hall together, holding hands.


“Noble husband,” Hera said with a gracious nod as he held her fingertips, steering her to their seats as he gazed around the room and nodded to his assembled sons and daughters in the banquet hall. As they sat in unison Zeus suddenly frowned and looked at his seat, a lavishly embellished golden chair.


“What is this? I want my dining couch'" he said irritably, his mood suddenly changing.


“It is how mortals will eat in centuries to come. Times are changing. We must change with them. We will soon be Roman after all…”

“BAH!” Zeus growled “And Roman’s too eat on couches! Sitting upright is not natural!”


“The common folk manage it"


“We are NOT common folk!” Zeus glowered at her.” Couches! NOW"


The various Gods and Goddesses exchanged glances. They had seen this bickering between their parents many times, over many things.


“We are in for a fine meal it would seem,” Dionysus said in a sarcastic whisper, hiding his words with the goblet he drank from.


He and the other Gods were already on couches it was only Zeus and Hera who had chairs before a high table.


Hera dipped her head in acceptance and with a wave of her hand changed the table to a low one and their chairs shrank and morphed into the more usual dining couch they were used to.


“Ahh! That’s better!” Zeus said happily rubbing his hands before slouching across his new seat. He then spread his arms wide to his children. “Let us dine and make merry!” His children nodded and murmured in agreement.


Hera secretly smiled to herself. Give him his small victory. To put him at ease. All the better to exploit him later. Things were off to a good start.



“I see you invited our daughter Rumour...I thought this was an exclusive gathering.” Hera nodded to her daughter and smiled as Rumour raised her goblet in saluted greeting.


“Why should she not be invited? The girl can't help her nature,” Zeus said, biting into a stuffed pheasant egg.


“And also Ate, Goddess of Strife. A rare outing for her...few would want Strife at a party…” Hera looked at him askance, a knowing smile upon her face. His plots were so simple to spot.


“She has to eat,” he said sulkily, enjoying the egg’s flavorful spices. “And there is so much good food here.” He popped a second egg in his mouth, savouring the ambrosia within it.


“Oh Boomer...you are so adorable when you try to scheme...” she pinched his bulging cheek playfully.


“Get off me Woman!” he beat her hand away. “Wine!” he held his arm behind himself and Hebe, the handmaiden of the Gods, dutifully refilled it with nectar laced wine.


“Let's see...” Hera began, her index finger tapped against her lips as she scanned the hall. Not all of the gods had been invited but that was not unusual. Inviting Ate and Ossa Phema, THAT was the unusual part.


“You have Ate to cause trouble and Rumour to spread false word of the trouble amongst those not here...Hermes is here to spread true word, I assume to just the male gods not present...so who would be the source of the trouble, Hmmm? Ah! I have it! You have Athena next to Ares. The brutality of War and the Tactics of War. That’s an argument waiting to happen. Then what...? Rumour will spread her falsehoods on it? No...no, not enough. Ah! Rumour will spread her falsehoods about...me, perhaps? How I reacted? Undermining my authority among my daughters by spreading lies? Yes. Yes, that has you all over it.” She smiled. “How did I do?” she popped a grape soaked in nectar into her mouth as she looked at him with an amused gaze.


He deliberately avoided eye contact and that convinced her she was at least partly right.


“You are so adorable when you try to be devious.” She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. As he turned his head to look at her shyly she moved in again, kissing him passionately on the lips. She felt him start to respond with his tongue and pulled away. Always leave them wanting more...she thought to herself with a smile as she made banal conversation with Helios Apollo a few feet away.



He laughed dutifully at her weak jest and, as he turned away, she hissed back at Zeus. “Call it off, Boomer.”



Zeus waved his fingers at Ate and then gave an imperceptible shake of his head. Ate gave a more obvious nod.


“It is done"


“Good. Now, I asked the Muses for some entertainment for this little...whatever you would call it...” she clapped her hands and the Daughters of the Arts appeared. “It is a specially composed piece…Of great battles and heroism and kingdoms fallen,” Hera explained.


“Excellent!” Zeus clapped and rubbed his hands delightedly.



“It is called ‘The Lament of the Amazons'.” Hera nodded and the music started only for Zeus to stand suddenly glaring at her in his anger.



That’s him nicely off balance
. Hera secretly smiled to herself. Build him up, tear him down all the easier to build him up again in a more...compliant way



Zeus waved a hand and the Muses froze mid-dance as the music stopped.



“This displeases me! Something else! A tale of Troy or some such!” Though he spoke to the Muses his gaze never left his wife. He glowered at her, his breathing angry and heavy. “You are a devious, deceitful cow!” he hissed too low for any to hear.



She looked at him with smiling eyes over the rim of her goblet. She knew she had him.


“And you love me for my schemes,” she whispered back


“I want you, woman,” he growled in a low, raw, passionate grumble.


“I know Boomer, I know. But you...have your... problem...” she said quietly, flicking her fingers so the rest of the room would continue with the conversations. The Muses began the Song of Achilles.


“The Amazon will secure the Elysium Botanical Oil. She will succeed. She MUST!” Zeus had raised his goblet to his lips to cover their movement so none would read his words so fervently hissed to his wife. This secret was too dire to share with anyone.



“I am sure she will, great Husband. You just need to make sure no Male deities interfere...”



Ate rose elegantly from her couch and crossed the room. Unlike the others, who sat in paired couches, hers was isolated and alone from the group. She was known to be trouble and as such the Goddess of Strife was kept at arm’s length, particularly after that business with the Judgement of Paris. Shunned from the wedding of Hephaestus to Athena she had turned up anyway, left a single golden apple as a present for one of the guests and left. But the apple just said ‘Kallistae' ‘for the fairest'. Athena, Hera and Aphrodite had squabbled over who it should go to and so had turned to the Trojan Prince Paris to decide. And his choice won him Helen of Sparta as a reward from Aphrodite and began the Trojan War. Ate smiled at the memory. Her crowning achievement. She had been looking forward to similar endeavors at this feast, but now Zeus had called it off. Zeus was so weak sometimes.



She approached Athena and Ares, nodding hello to both. The strained look on their faces told how pleased they were to see her.



“Lord Ares...Athena. Be at ease. I was here to cause trouble but I, like you both, am no longer needed...” She walked on, bowed before her parents, then headed for the doorway. Just before she walked through it, she turned back to Ares. “Remember...”



“What did she mean?” Ares asked anxiously with a frown as she left, whilst Athena simply smiled.



“She plays her games, Lord of War, so that for her the night is not wasted. You are now anxious and suspicious, our parents are in dispute as to what has happened and Rumour is here to spread it around all Olympus, even though there is nothing to actually spread. Bravo, Ate. Well played."



“What is this treachery Boomer?! You had said it was at an end!” Hera cried angrily.



“I did my sweet, my pet, you saw me!”



“Don’t you ‘my pet' ME!” Hera raged before an owl swooped down from nowhere and settled upon the dining table before her. It was so surprising everything stopped including the music.



She stopped and raised her head to look at Athena, the owl’s owner. She realized the message it conveyed. ‘Be wise.’ She calmed herself. Ate was merely being Ate.



Its point made the owl flew upwards, disappearing as all eyes looked between Athena and the High Table. All save Ares who merely glanced then drank once more.



“Forgive me, husband,” Hera whispered, patting Zeus’ thigh softly. “We are all on edge these days. You scheme for one thing and I scheme for another. Our children do our bidding and plot for themselves. We are soon to be the Roman Gods...all is in turmoil.”



Zeus stared at her in silence. “Sing! Play, you Muses!” he commanded without taking his eyes off her.



“Our parents are again at peace...” Athena commented.



“For now...” Ares muttered.



“And us, Lord Ares? Are we at peace, you and I?”



Ares smiled ruefully as he looked into his goblet and took a large draught. “Who would talk to the God of War about peace?” he said without looking at her.



Athena looked at him for a long time. “You are not the bloodied bull you would have us believe...” she said finally.



“I do like her, you know. Your Amazon,” he said drinking once again, but avoiding eye contact. “Would that she were MY instrument instead of wasted upon you.” He looked at her over his cup rim with smiling eyes. “She is magnificent in battle and the gifts you have bestowed upon her make her even more so...I would bed her and make such a son!” he declared with zeal. He was draining his kylix almost as fast as it could be filled.



Athena tilted her head. “Yet you will not. I see it in your gaze. You will not take her. Or try to. Why?”



“Oh, I may yet...but not as I feel now. I admired her people! Dedicated to battle! Matchless in war! They were born for me, to worship ME...yet none did. They followed you and Demeter and Hera … and all the others, even the Goddess of the Hunt. Yet not one of them raised an offering to me. So, I hated them for it! And I reveled in their downfall. Yet now...now my world is empty...save for the Spartans. I had sought them to unite, you know, at some point. Make a race truly born for War. Spartans and Amazons! But I am a blunt instrument. I do not know how to make such things happen.” He drank again and held out his cup for a refill. “When Enyo fought me for her to escape...that was clever. You women are the clever ones...and you, Athena, are the wisest of the wise. So, tell me...” he drained his goblet once more and called for a refill… “tell me why I miss those Amazons and mourn their loss? When I helped destroy them.” He again held out his kylix for more.



“You are drunk, Lord Ares.”



“I want her so badly I do not wish to take her!! How does that make any sense, hmmm?” he again drained his cup and beckoned another. His mood was becoming melancholy. “How does that make sense, hmmm? How?”



Athena’s eyes were locked across the room with a Goddess who stood partially behind the pillars at the edge of the hall. From where she stood, only Athena could see her. The Goddess gave a brief smile and a nod, that Athena returned before turning back to the ever more drunk Ares.


“How?” he said once more, looking at her with slightly bleary eyes. "TYCHE!" he called as the Goddess of luck walked past.


The passing Goddess smiled and stopped to gaze at him, swinging her arm easily out of reach as he made a lecherous grab. "I use my Roman name, these days great lord. I am lady Fortuna as well you know."


"He is in his cups.." Athena said with a polite smile to her sister Goddess.


"I never would have known..." Fortuna smiled. She nodded to Athena and strolled on her way.


“You are drunk, Lord Ares,” Athena said again, dismissively. Drunk and in love she thought to herself as she looked at Amora, a handmaiden of Aphrodite, who was liberally topping up Ares’ cup constantly. Athena smiled to herself and looked once more at Aphrodite, who was grinning from ear to ear. Idly, she wondered what drug Aphrodite was using. But then she decided it did not matter. It wouldn’t win Ares to their cause...but it might make him more hesitant about helping Zeus when asked. Such things were not tolerated by their father...but he was busy with Hera and hadn’t noticed. It was a dangerous game Aphrodite played. But it seemed that she had at least won this round.



Rumour was watching Athena and Ares closely, and Athena looked at her and smiled in polite acknowledgement. She knew by tomorrow it would be all over Olympus that she and Ares were an indiscretion. Not what Zeus had in mind at all, but it would serve Hera well enough.



Quietly to himself Ares mumbled into his goblet. “I will have her one day.”





* * *



Standing over the Amazon who was currently sleeping very deeply, her ample chest rising and falling with a slow quiet rhythm, Hypnos and Pasithea were mollified to see their charge so peacefully sprawled before them.



“She is between visions,” Pasithea whispered. “That is a relief.”



“I was hoping for something more entertaining,” Hypnos grumbled. “Maybe I will fetch us a plate of stuffed grape leaves so we can watch her in the comfort of a small meal.”



“You are impossible, husband. She is not here for our amusement, like some dramatic play your Greeks so love to write.”



“Isn’t she? We captured her. We are bidden to hold her here until Dolos commands her to be brought forth in chains, humiliated and broken, before those who reign on Olympus…to demoralize them before the great battle. Why should we not enjoy ourselves. Dolos wants her broken. Maybe we should start that process? What’s the fun in having an Amazon under your control if you can’t squeeze her a bit? Make her squeal?”



“And squeal she will, Hyp my sweet,” his goddess wife replied with a cold gleam in her eye. “But these visions she is having are an untold event which I must carefully measure and decide if they are to our benefit or not in her ultimate role.”



“Well, she rests peacefully so I don’t know how you can measure her now. I will fix a plate.” The God of Sleep walked off to the kitchen to do so while Pasithea remained to watch their captive. Musing, she took a knee beside the divan and hesitantly puts her fingers against Diana’s temple and gathered her thoughts to probe the quiet mind under her touch.





There are no clouds in the Amazon’s mind, merely a wide empty white space where only the gentle plucking of a lyre can be heard. A simple peaceful repetition of calming notes that barely form a tune. It is a tantric rhythm that is both comforting and almost boring. Clearly the Amazon is pleased and sedated, her mind restful after all the violence she’s endured earlier. Pasithea’s own eyelids drifted lazily as the lyre repeats and repeats and repeats the same low, medium and high and then low notes in their steadily plucked order.



“Want one of these?”



Pasithea jerked back, shocked at the intrusion of her husband’s voice. She turned to him. “You brought that back quickly,” she snapped. “I barely had time to connect with her.”



“Quickly? I spent quite some time stuffing and rolling new leaves and spicing them with oil and celery seeds. We were out of them.”



“No!”



“You doubt me. I recalled you finished the others off days before we captured this woman. You never made new ones.”



“I do not doubt you. I am just astounded that I lost so much time in connection with the Amazon. It seemed but a moment!”



“It was not, I assure you. No bad visions then?”



“A quiet void filled only by the plucking of a lyre.”



“Boredom incarnate,” Hypnos said, gesturing with the plate toward his wife. “Will you join me”



Starting to rise, Pasithea replied, “Well, I suppose I could…” Before she could finish her sentence, the shapely Goddess spasmed and fell forward, one palm flat on the floor while her other palm clutched the hair at the Amazon’s temple with a death rigor grip that tore some of the hair at the roots.



“AARRGGHH!” The Goddess screamed like a banshee and so did the suddenly rigid Amazon, her back arching violently. Hypnos dropped the blue ceramic plate of grape leaves. It shattered on the hard floor by his wife’s knees.



“Passy!” He dropped beside her and pulled her hand away from Diana’s temple, taking not a few strands of hair with it. “Let her go. Release your grip!”



Retching, the gaunt Goddess of Relaxation was anything but. She heaved, gasping on her knees and did release Diana’s hair which floated in a whispery tuft to the ground. The Amazon slumped weakly on the divan with her eyes wide, unseeing. Her mind couldn’t comprehend the vision she saw. A great explosion beyond anything she’d known or heard tell of or could even imagine. Air sucked from your lungs. A giant cloud, a great grey tree of death, and expanding to the heavens followed by a hot wind that blast past her and turned her white with fear.


"Indivisible... It is indivisible..." she mumbled to herself.


"Passy!? You make no sense! What is? What is indivisible? You keep saying it, what is indivisible?"


On her knees, Pasithea mumbled sickly, “…it's name... It is indivisible.... an indivisible bomb…wh…what…in Hades’ realm…is a bomb…?...atomos... its name... they call it after our word atomos... Indivisible... this is a device...a dark and terrible instrument of death... With the power of a thousand armies... But what is an atomos bomb…?...”
How strange are the ways of the gods ...........and how cruel.

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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/08/2021

Post by DrDominator9 »

Sorry for the missed month, folks. I want to thank everyone for their patience and support. And I especially want to thank Tallyho for his middle section of the Greek Gods banquet with all its subterfuge and machinations. Diana's visions should last another chapter or so max before I return her to her original assignment of finding the Elysium Oil ... and other errands.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/08/2021

Post by tallyho »

:nuke: In a rare show of punctuality Docs awesome stage of the saga continues....
:giggle:

Chapter 58

Diana was once again asleep on the divan in the alcove of the Gods, resting in a deeply peaceful slumber for now. Her right arm was bent behind her head, her forearm supporting it while her left arm lay squeezed between her body and the cushioned back of the long couch. Off in the kitchen, Hypnos stood at a smoothed board set up near a well pump, carefully separating the broken crockery from the rolled grape leaves as he spokej with a distraught Pasithea.

“Honestly, I am not attacking you, my love. I am merely inquiring what made her dream vision so terrifying to you.”

“You cannot begin to understand the horror of what we envisioned, Hyp! It is futile to even attempt it.”

“You do not think I have the imagination to comprehend it?” He flicked a final particle of crockery off a stuffed grape leaf that he’d meticulously cleaned then popped the tasty morsel in his mouth with great satisfaction.

“I am not sure I have the words to describe it. That is more the point,” Pasithea lamented. “Think of the very air itself on fire. A halo of it around you. Searing your lungs. Blinding you. Scorching your soul. Melting your existence from REALITY ITSELF!”

“That does sound distressing.”

“Distressing he says,” Pasithea responded with scorn. “Imagine being dipped in one of the many fire pits of torment here in Hades and left there to burn like some poor mortal until the flesh drips off your bones.”

“Quite graphic. And insulting as well. A mortal indeed! You have made your point.”

“I hope so! But even that image is not enough to convey the horror.”

“And you believe this atomos bomb device actually exists.”

“At some point in time. I know not when. Clearly mankind will learn to harness the elements themselves. Fire, water, earth and air will all be at the beckoning of man it seems. How horrifying that idea is.”

“Does the Amazon provide any clues in her dream of when or where this bomb explodes?” Hypnos starts brushing off another rolled grape leaf.

“It was murky and odd. I could see it falling from a great height but how it got there was not revealed. Just the view of this strange iron tube with metal fishlike fins attached to it dropping down to earth. There was some incredibly congested city-state of some kind below, with a mix of buildings both tall and short. Some sort of mechanical-sounding screaming rose in the air from that city as the metallic device fell toward it through the clouds. And then all was light and wind and, well, death!”

“This woman is acting as pipeline to mankind’s future, it seems.” Hypnos continued “I am not sure if this does us any good to learn these things. Perhaps Dolos can use it at some point in his conquest of Olympus. Or maybe after the conquest?”

“I can relate the Amazon’s visions to him I suppose, although I do not know how it would aid Dolos in his plans at any point,” Pasithea declared.

“Ares will delight to learn that man will find devastating new ways to make war,” Hypnos mused. “Truth be told, if Dolos’ plan did not require this Amazon, I would spear her where she sleeps and be done with her.”

“I fear that will bring dire consequences to us, my dear Hypnos, but I cannot say I am not sorely tempted to agree with you and be done with the bitch.”

“Will you attempt to read her thoughts again, Passy?”

“Though I dread it, I fear I must. Also, my love, we may need to force more of the River Lethe down her throat. She is a strong one and what she has imbibed may be lapsing in strength. Though I dread her visions, I dread a cognizant and empowered Amazon more. She has battle skills and tricks which could lead to her escape. And that we cannot allow.”

“A good thought, Passy,” Hypnos agreed. “I shall retrieve another several ladles worth and return quickly.”

“And I shall prepare myself to see what she dreams. Perhaps it will be a calm and energizing vision.”

“One can hope,” Hypnos called back at her as he headed off to the River Lethe with a small bucket and ladle in hand.



* * *


Diana stirred on the divan. She gently awoke,
filled with a sense of peace from the restful dreamless sleep she had finally enjoyed. She was confused momentarily as to where she was and then it all came rushing back to her. The endless desert trek, the attack in the Well building, the shocking appearance of Hypnos and Pasithea before her very eyes and then the deep unconsciousness and the many streaming visions both wonderful and horrifying!

She is not bound but she felt exhausted even with the brief restful sleep from which she’d just awoken. She doubted if she had the strength or intelligence to outwit two very cagey gods. In fact, she was surprised they are not hovering over her as they had been every time she'd come back to her senses.

How can I escape these two? They are powerful deities and I am but a mortal. Admittedly an Amazon but still a mortal. Still, I have been given gifts and talents by the Gods. I must consider how to employ them. My mission here in the underworld must be completed. I have no idea as to how much time has… Is that a bow and quiver set over there? Perhaps all is not lost.

Diana moved to quickly step off the couch and reach for the weapon when she heard heavy footsteps pounding on the stone floor arnd the deep voice of Hypnos coming toward her. She flung herself back against the divan’s cushions with despair and feigning sleep.

“She slumbers still,” Hypnos declared, striding into the alcove. He was worried about his wife and the meaning of the visions, and that distraction meant he didn't pay attention. If he had he would surely have realised. But God's and men both make such small mistakes. “Perhaps she does not need more of the river’s effect.” The large brutish god stood over the Amazon admiring the slow rise and fall of her ample breasts. His hand heldk a large cup filled with river water.

“You could be right, my love,” Pasithea replied, taking the cup from her husband’s grasp as she passes him and circled behind the couch to stand behind the Amazon’s head. “I suspect this Amazon is not the powerhouse she would have us believe she is. It seems she is just an overachieving warrior with an inflated sense of confidence.”

Diana concentrated on her jaw, relaxing its tightness at the insult. If she was to have any hope against these gods, she absolutely required the element of surprise. But the surprise camr from behind her, lightning quick and devastating. Pasithea’s fingers clamped tightly against Diana’s nose, cutting off all air supply there. The Amazon moaned as if waking up at this sudden attack but with a brisk nod from Pasithea, Hypnos landed a stunning punch to Diana’s gut and her mouth gaped open with a wheezing gasp. Pasithea quickly poured the river water from the cup down her victim’s throat and though there is much sputtering and gagging, more than a third of the cup drains into Diana’s stomach. She wrenches away, falling on all fours to the floor beside the couch. Immediately she pushed off the floor and stood up to face off against Pasithea, her hands like blades ready to attack. The smirking goddess stood her ground with her arms crossed, bemused.

“You thought to trick me, Amazon? I don’t need to be touching you to know your thoughts. Oh, is that an awkwardness I detect? A problem with balance? Is the floor shifting beneath you or are those merely your knees turning limp on you?”

Indeed, Diana was having great difficulty orienting herself. Whether it iwas solely the effect of the River Lethe’s somnambulant quality or the combination of that with the powerful influence wielded by the Goddess of Hallucination and Relaxation, Diana cannot know. All she knew is that she is too tired and confused all at once to put up any fight at all.

How quickly defeated I am!

Hypnos steps in behind her to catch her under her arms before the beautiful Amazon completely embarrasses herself by crumbling into an ungainly heap at the feat of her foes. She is summarily dumped on the divan and stretched out. Each eyelid seems to weigh as much as a heavy iron pot lid. She falls into a deep sleep with Hypnos and Pasithea smiling overhead.

“You were right, Passy. She was awake and faking it just as you expected. I adore you, you know!”

“I know, Hyp. And I you.But did you not sense your touch had left her? Getting old my dearest. No matter. I will give her a few minutes and then see what new vision drifts through her from the river’s cruel effect.”

“Maybe it won’t be a bad one, maybe it will include sweet ambrosia, mead, and pickled peacock tongues. And I'm not old! ”

His wife smiled. A palpable hit. Then her mood darkened a little.

“Do you never stop thinking of food?” Pasithea lamented crossly.

“Why should I?” Hypnos grinned and set off back to the kitchen.



* * *

Secure in the knowledge that the Amazon was incapacitated by the river water she’d been forced to ingest, Pasithea went off to her bedroom to meditate for a short while. She needed to clear her mind of that horrible atomos bomb vision and settle her nerves a bit for the upcoming melding with Diana. She sat in her comfortable armchair, her arms resting at ease, her eyes closed. She concentrated on her heartbeat, her breathing, her core. Slowly her pulse slows and her neck muscles relax and she is at peace. Her chin dipping slightly, the goddess reached out for the souls resting in the blissful Elysium Fields and let their peace drift into her. In only a few moments, Pasithea was deep in meditation and imbued with renewed calm.


* * *


While Hypnos was scrounging around in the cold larder for leftover sweets, Diana found herself enshrouded in a new vision, another battlefield just outside a walled city. The fighting is fierce but what is most stunning is that a young girl is leading one contingent of forces against their determined foes. The armored lass brandishes a sword with remarkable skill and passion. Her eyes seem to almost glow with determination. Diana can’t help but admire the girl’s spirit but is suddenly alarmed to see an arrow strike her thigh . The girl let out an immediate shriek which turns into an angry growl. She ducked back into a niche in the city wall and field dressed her wound quickly, her eyes casting up and about for danger. She is clearly judging how her troops are faring while she neatly binds her thigh.

She’s eager to return to battle even as she bleeds!

The wound bound, the young maiden charged out of her protected crook in the wall and takes on a pasty-faced young soldier whose sword work is rudimentary at best. It costs him his life as the young brunette warrior parried his awkward thrust and runs him through.

“Avancer, mes freres!” The girl’s throaty shout seemed to rally her troops even more and Diana’s heart lifts with delight as the lass’ enemy turns in a full rout, streaming from the field in hasty retreat. Some of the girl’s foes die with arrows in their backs even as a great shout of triumph rises from the victorious horde.

The cloud of battle thickens and closes in around the scene of victory just as the girl is lifted on the shoulders of her troops. To a man they are shouting her name, “Joan D’Arc! Joan! Joan!”

Such a glorious conquest for such a young girl.


Diana thought the vision was concluded but the cloud slowly parted once more to reveal a very different scene in an ornate room in some austere stone fortress . The girl is there, her hair closely cropped, her eyes still fiery with anger. She is shackled to chair while she is being interrogated by a stern, thin-lipped man in a red cloak.

“We will put you on trial for heresy and burn you at the stake, my dear,” threatens the Bishop.

“Best make the fire hot, Bishop Cauchon, else I shall escape and bring destruction upon you and your English lapdogs who fight no better than school children.”

“Hah! You are barely older than a child yourself, Joan. And do not worry, the fire will roast you and your miserable French soul well enough. Now, do you admit the crime of heresy of repeatedly dressing as a man while held here within our walls?”

“Of course, I admit it! They allow me to fasten my boots, hosen and doublet together as a shield against rape. Dresses offer no such protection…as one great English lord was well aware. He visited me last night when all that was left to me was this miserable frock,” Joan sneers, flipping up the skirt she’s been forced to wear in disgust. “He tried to take me by force. He found me somewhat unaccommodating. He may never sire children. So much the better for France, n’est ce pas, Bishop?”

“You are an intemperate child who will be severely punished. I will personally see to it,” seethes the angry cleric. “But tell me, Joan. Surely you will declare that you are in God’s grace?”

“Well, if I am not, may God put me there: and if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest creature in the world if I knew I were not in his grace.”

“Foul creature! You toy with words! Confess your knowledge of being in his grace. Confess it to me!”

“You have my answer, Bishop. I will say no more!”

“Bah, you insufferable little frog!” The bishop stormes out of the room, his face fuming scarlet that this illiterate girl would so adeptly avoid his theological trap. Had the little wench admitted she knew she was in god’s grace that would be grounds for heresy. No one can ever be certain they are in God’s grace and to declare so would be confessing one’s own guilt.

The smirk on Joan of Arc’s face as the Bishop slams the door behind him brings a huge smile to Diana’s face in her sleep.

Oh, how I so admire this girl’s grit, her spirit, her passion and her faith! That I should have any measure of it I would consider myself just as gifted as by what the gods have already bestowed upon me. No wonder her troops followed her into battle and seized the day. She seems imbued with a godly light! Yet she spoke of a god, not the gods. Did she mean Zeus? The red cloaked man looked like no acolyte of Zeus that I have ever seen

It is with a sudden sad clutch of her heart that Diana sees the young maid break down in tears with the Bishop gone. Alone and in shackles the girl looks like the frightened teenager she truly is. With no one around to inspire, the young woman sighs and looks at the ceiling, speaking to her God in supplication.

“This then is your plan for me, my Lord? Burnt at the stake? A martyr for the masses? I would have preferred a nice country house in Arles and a garden. But alas, it seems that is not thy will.”

The sunlight through the thick glass window glows brighter and brighter until all is a blinding light and the vision is ended.

I am sorry for your fate, Joan, if that is how you end, but you must know that you will be an inspiration to women everywhere; that with faith, dedication and a fighting spirit, one can move mountains. Such may it always be so! Zeus had not answered her. But such was the will of Zeus. Another God then, did she follow someone more benign? Yet they had failed her too. Did all gods fail their followers then? Would Hera, Athena and Artemis fail her? No, they had aided her and saved her race. She had to believe they would not fail her now.


When Pasithea returned, calmly prepared for the worse vision the Amazon can send into her mind, she found Diana somehow deeply serene, her mind shining and cleansed, almost as if a scrub brush had been used on her soul.

Pasithea did not welcome the remarkable strength she feels emanating from her charge. She delved into the mind of the Amazon. And, as if bringing destruction with her, Pasithea is rudely thrown into the midst of some obviously Asian hospital ward with horrific burns on the faces and arms and legs of row after row of dark-haired raw-skinned patients. Dozens of others gather in the hallways clutching their stomachs in agony. Many are vomiting in the hallways. All is chaos. Clearly this is the horror of the aftermath of what that bomb atomos has wrought!

Pasithea is forced to flee from the Amazon’s mind with a cry of alarm and horror that brings Hypnos running yet again to her side.

“Not again, Passy? Surely not again?!”

“D…d..different…but somehow …w..worse,” Pasithea said, enfolded in Hypnos’ embrace. Her teeth chatter in stuttering revulsion. Her previous serenity obliterated into sharp shards of despair and fear.
How strange are the ways of the gods ...........and how cruel.

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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/09/2021

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

What curious and deep forays into the future Diana is making. I took her there a few times, far forward on the daymare to catch up with a wicked arsonist ... but these visions are something else. I wonder ...
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/09/2021

Post by tallyho »

Thanks for the comment and any who take the time to read these chapters please take a moment to say if you liked them,


Dr Dominator's story continues...


Chapter 59

Once again, Pasithea had retreated to the large bedchamber after Diana’s latest horrific vision, forced back there by the terrible images the Amazon has imbued into her mind. The prone goddess on the bed couldn’t get the image of people with atomos burns all over their faces and bodies out of her thoughts; nor the idea of others bent over and violently retching in a building filled with calamity itself. Her husband dutifully applied a cool wet cloth to her head while he tried to comfort her. She could still feel the heat of the vision on her skin as if it were real, blistering, burning her flesh beyond pain, beyond any scream of agony, a terrible hopeless burning feeling, a fiery agony that she struggled to ignore.

“Passy. This cannot go on. We need to release this bitch despite what Dolos has required of us. The burden is too great on you. Whatever rewards we might gain should Dolos overtake the Olympian Gods would be worthless were you to be ruined in the scheme. I could not bear it!”

The shifting eyes and trembling mouth of the Goddess of Meditation belie that peaceful aspect of her nature. Instead, her troubled visage reflects her other skill, the domain of hallucination. Because she is so adept at that art, her link to the Amazon’s visions under the influence of the River Lethe has the tensile strength of steel in her soul.

“Hypnos, you may be right. This task feels too formidable. We have erred I fear, by inducing her to drink so much of the potent river water. Its properties are too drastic for our purpose. And they cannot be undone at this point.”

“Do you even need to read her mind anymore, my love?” Hypnos asks. “Why not just let her lie there until she shakes off the effects of the river. We can simply bind her and hold her for Dolos, yes?”

“She may not wake up for days with what she’s imbibed, Hyp. And I need to know she will not go into some catatonic state from which she can’t emerge. Dolos would have no use for her in such a state.”

“You do not know that. You cannot be sure of how he plans to use her.”

“That is not true. Do you not recall he wanted her distraught and humbled, humiliated before the Olympian rulers as evidence of their downfall? A limp, near dead body of an Amazon will not have the effect he requires. He told us as much.”

“Did he say that? I do not recall.” Hypnos frowned as he dips the cloth back into the bowl of cool water and reapplied it to his wife’s forehead.

She snatched the cloth from her forehead before it even settled. “You were drinking wine to seal the bargain. It is hardly any wonder your memory is spotty.”

“So, it is your intention to link yet again with the raven-haired bitch and risk yet more horror?”

“They have not all een terrible,” Pasithea murmured in quiet dissent. “Some have been intriguing and even peaceful.”

“Those have been rarer and rarer,” Hypnos points out accurately. “As you said, the River Lethe has almost poisoned her thoughts.”

“Well, so it may be. I will have to make the best of it.”

“I will not let you.” Hypnos declared, rising from the bed and pacing.

“You can be very sweet, my dear Hyppie. How about this. If she has one more terrifying vision, we will release her into the Underworld and let Hades have her soul for the rest of time.”

“If he would even accept her. She has not officially died and thus does not belong here. He will know this. She has the stench of life about her.”


“True, it might be breaking one of Hades’ laws,” Pasithea consented. “But we can leave that up to him. We will just cast her out of our cave and be done with her. Tell Dolos it did not work. Her mind was broken. We will come up with something.”

“I suppose it is a plan but I do not like the fact that you will be melding with the Amazon yet again,” Hynos lamented.

“Not until the morning, my love. Now come to bed. I need that sweetness you just displayed poured all over my needful body.”

“Your wish is my command, my love.”

“Rumour has it that Ares and other Gods have fallen for the Scythian. Some say even Zeus himself lusts for her. Does she not awaken stirrings in the loins of the God of Sleep?” his wife asked mischievously.

How could a husband answer such a question from his own wife? Hypnos tried to be diplomatic.

“She has qualities…and is comely…but she is not my Passy.”


* * *


In the alcove at the other end of the cave, Diana’s mind was churning but not with visions of horror. Rather, through the parting thick clouds she saw a bearded man kneeling on a rock studying the plants around him, as well as a unique looking bird sitting on a tree branch over his head. His clothes seemed tight and constricting , lying close to his body. Not the free flowing forms of the Greek tunics and Roman togas. A far future vision again. “A mockingbird,” he said, thoughtfully. Standing, he drew a quick rough sketch of the bird in his leather notebook. “Yet it is different from the one on the island we visited earlier. Interesting!”

Behind him, anchored in the bay was a sailing ship, its prow engraved with the name, Beagle. The man sighed aloud. “Too soon. I don’t wish to return. That vessel’s tossing on the waves makes me sick as a beagle! I shall stay on land whenever possible and study the plants, birds and volcanic rocks of this immature island and those nearby. There is much to learn here!”


The clouds of her vision thickened and then thin out almost immediately. Diana noted a man in his early 20s sitting in quiet repose under an apple tree. He had an outlandish hat of false hair in tight horizontal curls that offered neither protection from a blow nor was appealing to Diana’s eyes. He was studying a text filled with paragraphs of words and many notations of what may have been numbers. As a Princess, Diana could read and write Greek, but these characters were strange to her. He leaned back against the tree with a resolute satisfaction of some kind, doing so with a hearty thump. This shook the tree enough to cause a perfectly ripe apple to loosen from its stem and drop summarily upon the ground in front of the man.

He picked it up and stared at it for a long moment , as if it were some unknown object, a gaze of almost wonderment upon his face. Then he looked up at the branch overhead and saw more ripe apples there. He gave the slender tree trunk a hefty shove and observed another apple fall to the grass. His head tilted slightly as if realizing something important, and a slow smile grew across his face. Excitedly, he took a pencil from his pocket and scrawled into the margin of the open page before him: Gravity. Universal law?

Some would mark that moment in Diana’s vision as the start of what was called the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. Her vision switched to some sort of indoor amphitheater with scores of bearded men murmuring excitedly. They were listening to a man describe his paper on biology. Questions are shouted, ideas are exchanged between the man on the stage and the audience. There is a palpable sense of immense possibility in the air.

The vision changes now to well-dressed men in vests and waistcoats with earnest expressions sitting around a table in a dimly-lit drinking establishment. “Paine’s Common Sense is a clarion call, gentlemen, I tell you,” Diana heard one man say. “The time has come to free ourselves from the shackles Britain imposes upon us. Independence from her clutches is past due. If she will not release us willingly, I say, then we shall have to fight for our freedom.” Diana wondered who this Britain was, she seemed a despotic queen by the sound of it. She would like to meet such a powerful woman, even if she was a tyrant.

That scene grew dark and then the darkness lightened to reveal a street in a large city of hard stone where many people in tawdry clothes are shoving against the heavy wooden doors of a fortress. “We must take the Bastille,” one man shouts. “Get in, find the weapons and gunpowder if we are to stop the military coup. France must have liberte! Take the Bastille, my French brothers, and take your destiny in your hands!” Their words, like those in the other visions, were foreign, alien to her. Yet somehow she could understand them.

Diana’s heart swelled at the yearning for freedom the last two visions had shown her. Her breath quickened but she does not awake. Within her though, she was imbued with delight that man will continue to grow, to learn, to expand his domain in the world by analytical thought and hearts keen to learn. And to yearn always for freedom.

The joy Diana felt transforms into sudden shock and horror as a new vision comes upon her. A tableau of men in blue charging through a cornfield on a brilliant morning in late summer. So many of them, oh so many, are cruelly cut down as they run, their bodies falling into piles upon piles of their comrades as lead shot sprays through them from the line of gray soldiers standing on the western edge of that same field. The carnage is breathtaking and yet it continues, even to the point where the cornfield, the dry yellow stalks sprayed with blood, changes hands and now it is the soldiers in gray who fall in lines as neat as if ruled on paper by the guns of the army in blue. In the distance, the farmhouse with the name Miller hung on it bears silent testimony to the horrors of this bloodiest single day of warfare man has ever seen. To the south the tiny Antietam bridge awaits its own moment in history. The sound was like a dragons roar, mixing with the screams of the dying.

Diana’s heart beat faster and the troubled woman stirred uneasily on the divan until the clouds condense together obscuring the terrible scenario and the moment quietly lingers. There is dread and hope and sorrow and joy within the Amazon with the varied visions she’s been granted.

Ultimately there was another parting of the clouds and Diana viewed a huge black metal carriage larger than any she’s ever seen. Some great metal engine on giant wheels sits before her. Attached to this are what seems like hundreds of metal carts linked one after another loaded with black rocks. The engine and all the carts sit on shiny silver tracks that extend across the landscape as far as the eye can see. The tracks bend around the sides of mountains, run along the edges of a lake and disappear into the distance. It spoke of power just by its size, and she wondered if this was some gift from the Gods, a chariot like Helios Apollo as surely only a God could control such a beast.

Suddenly there is a great whistle and a burst of white steam and Diana hears a man leaning out of a window of the lead engine shout to a man standing before a small wooden house on a wooden platform beside the great machine. “See you next week, Jasper. This coal won’t move itself to New York.” The man on the platform shouted back, “Careful on the down hills, Pete. You’ve got about a million tons of momentum behind you!” Neither were young, and neither looked like gods.

Diana is stunned at the ingenuity of man and the industry of it all. It’s a revelation to her of what man will accomplish in the future. Not just a revelation but a revolution. From the simple ways of her own time to this. It catches one’s heart to think of it. Is this progress good or bad? It’s impossible to tell. Like always, her thoughts tell her, it’s a mix. It just is.

There is no more to see for now and the tired Amazon beauty drifts back into a deep sleep. It matches the deepness that Hypnos and Pasithea share after a lusty bout of lovemaking elsewhere in the large cave.


* * *


Morning is announced by a pounding of the huge wooden door of Hypnos’ and Pasithea’s cave. Diana stirs fitfully on the divan but does not awake. A sleepy Pasithea sends Hypnos out of the bed chamber with the admonishment, “Send away whoever that is. Some sad soul needing a sleep cure no doubt.”

Grumbling, Hypnos puts on a thick woolen robe and clomps over to his front door. He pulls it open with annoyance, announcing, “Whatever you need, you’ve just earned yourself a year without restful sleep!”

Standing on his doorstep is the Lord of the Underworld himself, Hades. His long dark hair, parted in the middle, frames his deeply creviced face. His prominent nose sits over a thick black mustache and a long black beard that flows in cleanly combed streams down to the middle of his chest. He wears a dark brown short coat and black pants. The bushy black eyebrows rise in amusement at catching Hypnos off guard.

“I sleep like a bear in hibernation, my old friend. It would be a mistake I feel for you to change that.”

“No. Yes. Of course, Lord Hades,” Hypnos blusters, with a quick bow of the head. “I did not know it was you. To what do I owe the honor of your presence?”

“I have heard tales from those in my court that you may be entertaining a guest here?” The thick eyebrows rise inquisitively as Hades leans against the door frame.

“Have you? Really? Who spreads such gossip?”

“Several souls with sharp eyes and a desire to please me.”

“Well, they should have their vision checked. We have no guest.”

“None? Is that a fact?” Hades tried to peer past Hypnos to the interior of the God’s home.

“It is indeed. Pasithea!” Hypnos shouts back into the house, “Would you please get some warm honeyed wine for LORD Hades. He has come to visit our humble abode.” He had emphasised Hades name deliberately to warn his wife of his presence. It was a fact not lost on the Lord of the Underworld.

“If it is no trouble,” Hades smiled in a way that would make a daisy wilt.

“None at all. She’ll just be a minute. She needs to straighten the place up a bit. You know how house proud women are. We were partying a bit late last night.”

“Celebrating something?”

“Our half-anniversary. It is a silly custom but there you have it.”

Inside the alcove, Pasithea lifted up a limp Diana, carried her quickly over to a rear pantry in the farthest corner of the cave. She dumped her inside it, propping her in a corner, shoved a corn cob in her mouth and quietly closed the door.

“Be right with you, Hypnos!” She dashed over to the dead fire and spurred it into a roaring flame with a flick of her wrist. Then filled a vessel with water and hangs it on a hook over the fire. She smoothed her green silk robe and carefully and as casually as possible, sauntered over to the front door.

“Lord Hades! What a joy to see you. It has been quite some time. Do come in,” Pasithea pulls the front door open wide and bowed to usher him inside.

“Good morning, Pasithea. Congratulations on your blessed event.”

“Event?” She pushed hair from her face with a nervous flip of her fingers.

“Your Half Anniversary. Hypnos was telling me you celebrated late into the night.” The Lord of the Underworld took a seat in the large reclining couch in the living room as the godly couple sat stiffly upright on the couch opposite him.

“Hypnos, I hope you haven’t been too descriptive about our ‘festivities.’” Pasithea swished her hair off her shoulder in a flirtatious flip and put her delicate fingers on Hypnos’ broad shoulders.

“Not at all, Goddess,” Hades replied before Hypnos can utter a word. “I cannot linger, I am sorry to say. I have a new batch of souls that Charon has just admitted and I have to lead their orientation.”

“I thought you had delegated those to your minions years ago.”

“I did but I like to keep my hand in. Keep up appearances and give the new intake something to think about. I usually tell them about Sisyphus to impress upon them the importance of following the rules. New souls… and honestly even some old souls and even minor Gods and Goddesses can forget the importance of rules, do you not agree, Pasithea?” That flower-wilting smile made) another appearance.

“Yes, of course. Rules are meant to be obeyed.”

“Indeed they are. And infractions must be dealt with firmly, as I am sure you agree,” Hades said templing his fingertips together. “Otherwise, things would descend into chaos and we cannot abide that here. After all, if you break the rules in the Underworld, there’s no place lower to go. We are the final stop in the punishment parade, as I like to say. The last flagellation, as it were.”

“Let me get you that wine,” Pasithea declared, rising swiftly.

“You know, please do not bother yourself, Pasithea. I really am running late. I just came by to clarify something with Hypnos. I had heard, mistakenly it seems, that you had a guest here.”

“Here?” Pasithea froze in place, half a step from heading into the kitchen.

“But Hypnos has assured me that such was not the case.”

“No. I mean, yes, it is not the case. Are you sure you do not have time for warm wine? Remove the chill?”

“Sadly, no. Duty calls. I have souls to terrorize into behaving.” At this little joke the Lord of the Underworld gave out a great loud guffaw and rising , slapped Hypnos on the shoulder. “You two go back to bed. You look quite … bedraggled.”

Hades moved away from the couch, turned and headed for the door. Behind his back, the godly couple gave each other anxious glances as they walked him toward the door. Hades pulled the door open just as a loud moan came from deep inside the home. He paused and turns in place.

“What was that?”

Pasithea yawned loudly and then morpged it into a moan, before she goes red. “I am so sorry. Gooseberries. They do not agree with me. I had them in a pie last night. Clearly a mistake.”

“It sounded…” Hades began, before tailing off, listening.

“I know, so rude. I hate to rush you, in fact, I need to dash. Hypnos, see our guest out. I simply must use the facilities.” Pasithea bolted toward the rear of her home.

Unsure of himself, the Lord of the Underworld stood in the doorway. Finally, he asked, “Will she be okay?”

“Oh, she will be fine. I will mix her some warm honey to settle her stomach. Thank you for coming by, Lord Hades. I am glad we could clear up this mistaken information. If and when we do have company, you will be the first to know.”

“I shall summon Asclepius"

“No need, no need great Lord, no need of the Healer. It will pass, she will be fine. As I say, if and when we do have company, you will be the first to know.”


With a shrug, Hades accepted that comment and bowed his head brusquely. “See that you do.” He left and when Hypnos closds the door, the God of Sleep leaned heavily against it with a gasp and a hand on his heart.

“Dolos. I am going to make sure you do not sleep well for a century,” Hypnos cursed to the empty room.

****

Breath, a cloud in the cold evening air, colder now than it should be at this hour of the day. The sound of the water dripping like rain drops on the tiled marble floor of the temple, loud in the stillness, echoing around the temple hall. The young priestess, terrified yet drawn to the out of place sounds, her breath drawing shorter gasps as her heart quickened. She saw him then, tall, dark , handsome but terrifying in his beauty. A golden circlet at his brow, studded with pearls. His hair and dark beard wet and matted. His torso bare and rippling with muscle and power, a rich dark blue robe wrapped about his lower body. Just to make sure the young girl was in no doubt, Poseiden even bore his trident. He stood in a puddle of the sea water that dripped from him.

The girl gasped, and the God of the Sea saw her cloud of breath. He shook himself and his hair and body instantly dried, to a well groomed finish, and the temperature instantly rose. He had come from arctic climes. Deliberately , knowing the effect the chill would have.

Beneath her robe the young girls nipples stood prominently out from her body. He smiled.

“You are aroused by me" he said with a sly smile hidden beneath his beard that the girl could not see. “As am I by you"

“N-no great Lord ! I am a priestess of Athena! I have forsaken the pleasures of the flesh to serve her !”

“Your body says otherwise…” he nodded to her now semi hardened nipples, but her fear made the blood pulse into them once more, causing them to swell and harden even as she looked down at them. It was a cruel trick on one innocent in the ways of the world. It had worked for Poseidon many times before

“No, no my Lord ! I am Athena’s servant!”

“This night…you will serve my needs…”


*****

“HUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!?” Athena gasped her eyes wide in shock as she emerged from the vision.

Artemis and Demeter were with her and supported her now as she sagged in their arms

“The vision, again ? The Diamond Warrior?” Artemis asked with concern.

Athena couldn’t speak but shook her head.

“The other vision then, the one of which you do not speak?”

Athena looked away, her head buried in the arm held by Demeter. She nodded.

“I think you need to tell us of this tormenting vision" Artemis said as they set Athena down upon a bench and holding her shoulders straightened her up to stare into the face of the Goddess of Wisdom.

Reluctantly Athena nodded , before dropping her gaze to her hands now in her lap.

“You say it is not the future you see but your past. What then haunts you so?” asked Artemis

“Athena, you should tell us " Demeter urged.

Athena took a deep sigh and nodded once again.

“I see…I see Poseidon. And the rape of Medusa.”
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2021

Post by Abductorenmadrid »

What an interesting relationship Hypnos and Pasithea have, so loving and with a very human feel about their existence. Truly they do know how to move unnoticed among their mortals. And Diana, what an introduction into her long life she is getting, perhaps filling in some blanks that her journey chasing Grexos had left her pondering. But Athena, perhaps you have the most difficult journey, coming to terms with all that surrounds Medusa.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2021

Post by tallyho »

Just a quick update, Doc pulled on his underpants over his tights to help someone in need at the weekend so he's been a bit held up with this months post, so he's hoping to get it up this weekend. And the post as well.
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Re: AMAZOS - a WW origin story UPDATED 01/10/2021

Post by DrDominator9 »

Due to personal issues that I have been challenged with, as well as some problems confronting Tallyho, the update for the Amazos chapter was put on hold for November. December's update will be posted within the coming week if things go as expected. Thank you one and all for your patience.
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