Pairings/Characters: Lois Lane, Diana Prince, Etta Candy
Series Notes: This series will star various DC characters as they live under the new regime in America. The entire series can be found here.
Summary: Lois interviews Wonder Woman during the Amazon’s visit to Hera’s Haven.
Date Of Completion: January 29, 2017
Date Of Posting: February 16, 2017
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1507
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
From the rocks
Of my life,
A battered soul,
“In The Shadow
Lois watched Wonder Woman as she spoke to the circle of women listening to her intently. She had given a speech and now was circulating informally amongst the occupants of Hera’s Haven, the local battered women’s shelter funded by the Amazons. Diana was gentle and charming, speaking softly as she encountered women with bruised faces, broken noses, missing teeth, and casts on various body parts. Most women’s eyes reflected anxiety, despair and misery. Some had dead eyes, not even possessing the energy to reflect even negative emotions.
Lois admired the Amazon’s approach. As for herself, she understood Battered Women’s Syndrome, but a part of her would always wonder why these women just didn’t get up and leave their abusive husbands and boyfriends, especially if they had children. Even just a generation ago it had been difficult to do, but now there was awareness and places like Hera’s Haven to go for help. She just couldn’t envision herself allowing some man to batter her.
Lois flipped her notebook open to a fresh page. She fished around for a pen in her purse.
“She’s pretty amazing, isn’t she?”
Lois looked up and a pleasant ginger-haired woman with cornflower-blue eyes smiled at her. “Hello, Lieutenant Candy.”
“Hello, Ms. Lane.”
“She is very amazing.”
Etta’s gaze was fond as she watched Diana talk with the women. Etta looked crisp in her blue Air Force uniform. As an Army brat, Lois could tell that her companion was militarily turned out down to the last shiny button.
“Are you here to generally cover her visit or conduct a private interview?”
“Both.” Lois checked her notes. “Are you her press agent today?”
Etta laughed. “I wish. But she and I are going to lunch after her visit’s over.”
“I promise not to keep her too long.”
“Interviewing superheroes seems to be your specialty.”
Lois smiled. “I guess you’re right.”
“You’ll have to interview Batman to complete the Trinity.” Etta watched as Diana bent over to speak to a woman.
“That would be interesting, though I’m not exactly a Gotham fan. The city’s a little too Gothic for me.”
“It’s a cesspool,” Etta said flatly.
“Well, there is that.”
Wonder Woman bid her farewells and strode straight to Lois and Etta. She was wearing her cape and short skirt today.
“Hola, Ms. Lane!”
Diana smiled serenely. Lois suspected it was an expression that appeared often on her beautiful face. Wonder Woman did not project the coiled intensity of the Bat or the restrained power of Superman. Calmness was her watchword, yet when she wished to project power, it was easy and somehow non-threatening.
“Etta, I shall meet you here after my interview. Please select a restaurant suitable for luncheon.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Etta said with a grin.
Lois and Diana walked across the street to a small park. At least this women’s shelter was in a nice neighborhood.
The park was pleasant with the usual bushes and trees, though Lois was not fooled into thinking it was spring. Instead, it was unseasonably warm for early December, and most of the trees were bare. Only the evergreens and spruces gave them privacy.
There were two white wrought-iron chairs set by a fountain. Water splashed from the vase-like center in a last hurrah before being shut off for the winter. The two women sat in the chairs, Lois crossing her legs to prop up her notepad. She rested her phone on the edge of the fountain.
“Do you mind if I record this?”
“Not at all.” Curiosity lit Diana’s eyes. “Why the notepad?”
“Just habit, I guess.”
“You prefer your own observations in addition to mechanical notes.”
Lois knew she could never underestimate Wonder Woman’s perception. “Yes, I’m an old hand at deciphering my own scribbles.” She squinted. “Though sometimes I need my partner Clark’s help.”
Diana laughed. “Ask away, Lois.”
“How do you think domestic violence should be addressed?”
“Through education and awareness. Hera’s Havens are more than just shelters. We are pro-active, as you say, and intend that women not fall back into old patterns.”
“So you encourage self-confidence?”
“Most assuredly. My study of Man’s World shows that from birth, girls are conditioned to consider themselves less than boys. Even with the women’s movement since the 1970s, pejoratives are still widely used by boys and men: ‘throws like a girl’, ‘cries like a little girl’, ‘why don’t you just put skirts on them’ and so on, which is amusing in some ways.”
“Amusing?” Lois frowned.
“Yes. Do you really think that men could handle the discomfort of monthly periods or, Suffering Sappho, childbirth itself? If any gender is the strong one, I do not think it is the male one.”
Lois smirked. “No argument there.” Somewhere in the trees a bird trilled. “How do you encourage self-confidence in women so completely lacking in it?”
“By giving them a history of the Amazons. We found Man’s World to be distasteful and entreated Aphrodite to give us a place of refuge to call our own.”
“Yes. We built up a civilization that could dazzle the world.”
“But you don’t allow visitors to the island?”
Diana shook her head. “We value privacy.”
Lois sensed more to the story but she also knew that Wonder Woman was not about to blab Amazonian secrets.
“Would you allow a woman from Man’s World to visit and see first-hand the wonders of the Amazons?”
“You mean ‘report’ on the wonders, do you not?”
“Ha, you caught me.” Lois smiled as Diana met her merriment with a smile of her own. “But I would love to visit your island.”
“Perhaps it can be arranged.”
“Thank you.” Lois poised her pen over her notepad. “Whose idea was it to fund these shelters?”
“My mother’s. I described to her the high percentage of women who were battered and she wanted to help.”
“Admirable.” Lois scribbled quickly and hoped she could decipher it later. Oh, well, there was always Clark “I’m sure it was shocking for you to see how many women in our society are severely mistreated.”
“Yes, I had hoped that men had improved since the Amazons had withdrawn from Man’s World, but it seems they have not changed at all.”
“That’s interesting. You share your sister Amazons’ opinion of men yet are openly in a relationship with one?”
“Not all men are misogynists, Lois. I believe you learned that Superman is one of the good ones?”
Lois felt the warmth of memory. “Yes, I did.” She sighed. “I’m afraid we don’t present a good picture as a society, though.”
“Not just your society. Despite America’s faults, it is like Paradise compared to some societies.”
Lois nodded. “Well, you’re doing good work.”
As Diana spoke in more depth about the shelters’ work, Lois wondered what it was like to be an Amazon from a world of women and seeing the sexism and misogyny of the outer world. She had been born into it and knew how to handle her rage, but would an Amazon be so willing to let things slide? She hoped that Diana would arrange for a visit to Paradise Island. It would be the scoop of a lifetime. She continued to listen to Diana’s enthusiasm for Hera’s Havens.
After several minutes, Lois asked, “I know you’ve opened shelters in Boston and here in Washington. Do you have plans to open more?”
“We do. New York and Chicago, then we will see about further expansion.”
“I’ve heard that you might be starting up a different set of organizations?”
Diana smiled. “Perhaps. But we will see if anything new will be necessary in this new political climate.”
“Oh, I think you will find it necessary.”
Diana’s smile remained though her eyes glittered, with what emotion, Lois could not tell. “You may be right, Lois.”
Lois flipped her notebook shut. “Thank you for the interview, Wonder Woman.”
Lois reached for her recorder and knocked it off the edge of the fountain toward the water. “Oh!”
In a blur of motion, Wonder Woman quickly grabbed the recorder and held it out to Lois. “Here you go.”
“The speed of Hermes, eh?”
“I hear you like to live on the edge.”
Lois took the recorder. “The Man of Steel’s been blabbing.”
Diana laughed. “Kal is a sweet man.”
“He is.” Lois stood as Wonder Woman rose from her chair. “Are you planning on attending the Inauguration?”
“I think…I shall wait to decide if I get an invitation.”
Great dodge, Princess.
“I wish you great success, Wonder Woman.”
“Thank you, Lois.”
The two women walked out of the park and Lois watched as the Amazon waved to the shelter women and met Etta on the sidewalk. She put her arm around the lieutenant’s shoulders and they sauntered off toward a restaurant for lunch.
Lois was going to make sure she attended that Inauguration.