Title: Jewels In The Crown V: The Amazon Way (1/3)
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Lois, Diana, Mala, Queen Hippolyta, Idella, Artemis
Genres: Drama, Slice-Of-Life
Rating (this chapter): G
Warnings (this chapter): None
General Summary: Lois arrives on Paradise Island to write a story on the Amazons.
Chapter Summary: Lois finds everything new and exciting on Paradise Island.
Date Of Completion: September 9, 2020
Date Of Posting: April 9, 2021
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count (this chapter): 2701
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: This series deals with Diana’s Amazon heritage. The entire series and this story’s chapters can be found here.
WELCOME TO PARADISE
Come to Paradise
And know Peace.
Lois looked in awe at the gleaming white buildings of Paradise Island. They were all Greek in architectural style, and the morning sun illuminated the beauty of the Island.
“It’s beautiful, Diana.”
Diana smiled. “We like it.”
Lois laughed. “I can see why.” She shaded her eyes and looked up at the top of the cliff “Is that the Palace?”
“Yes.” Diana smiled as her friend Mala approached. “Hola, Mala!”
“Hola, Princess! Your mother is waiting in the Throne Room.”
“Excellent. Come, Lois.”
Lois walked with Diana from the dock up the marble steps to the top of the cliff. There was a ceremonial guard at the entrance to the Palace, and Lois took it all in. She was scribbling in a notebook. The Amazons had requested no pictures, and Lois had agreed. She was getting a big enough story.
She wore a tailored suit of sunny yellow and comfortable flats. Diana carried her suitcase in a hospitable gesture.
Inside the Palace it was cool and quiet. Colorful mosaics lined the walls, and marble busts were set on golden pillars. All were depictions of females.
They reached a set of heavy oak doors lined with gold. Diana grasped the large brass handle and pulled it open. Marble columns lined a long, red carpet, and Lois noted the high vaulted ceiling and large windows. The only furniture in the room were two marble thrones on a raised dais, one throne slightly back of the other and smaller. On the more prominent throne sat a beautiful woman in a flowing white gown and with golden Crown on her blond head. Dark-blue eyes regarded Lois with a regal coolness.
Queen Hippolyta’s fingers grasped her golden Scepter. Both Crown and Scepter glittered with jewels. She said, “Welcome to Paradise Island, Lois Lane.”
Lois bowed slightly. “Thank you for inviting me, Your Majesty.” She was impressed with Hippolyta. There were no pictures of her in the outside world, so this was a momentous meeting.
“Diana, show our guest to her chambers.” Diamond earrings swung as she moved her head.
Lois followed Diana out of the Throne Room. They walked down several corridors and reached the guest chambers.
“Oh, it’s a beautiful room,” Lois said, pleased at the canopied bed and the tall wardrobe. A vanity table with a gilt-edged looking glass and a writing desk were charming additions.
“Luncheon will be in an hour.”
“So formal,” Lois commented with a smile.
“This is not The Daily Planet cafeteria,” Diana said with a smile of her own.
Diana left and Lois set about unpacking. She hung up her clothes in the wardrobe and used the drawers built into the bottom for her socks and underwear. She was looking toward her week here. This was a plum assignment.
When she finished unpacking, Lois sat on the bed. It was firm yet soft. Just like Baby Bear’s: not too hard or too soft. She looked forward to a good night’s sleep in this bed.
She frowned over her scribbles in her notebook. Damn her handwriting! She blew out her cheeks and translated some of the scribbles. She needed Clark. He could read her handwriting, even if it took him a few minutes.
Time passed and she went over to the window, pleased at the breathtaking view of the sea. She gazed at the scene and felt a rare peace settle over her. She took a deep breath and smelled ocean air.
Lois decided to change. She chose a cobalt-blue pantsuit and flats again. She suspected she would be doing a lot of walking, so high heels were out.
A knock sounded on her chamber door. “Come in.”
Diana entered while carrying a chair. “I noticed it was missing from your room and tracked it down. It was being repaired in the woodworking shop.” She set it down in the corner.
Diana had changed from her Wonder Woman costume to a gauzy white chiton trimmed in gold. She wore lace-up gold sandals and her hair was pulled back into a full ponytail tied with a gold ribbon. She wore a simple gold necklace.
“Goodness, you put my pantsuit to shame.” Lois put a set of sky-blue beads over a matching knit jersey.
“I can get you some Amazon clothing if you would like.”
“That’d be great.”
“Ready for luncheon?”
Lois followed her friend to a balcony overlooking the ocean. A table was set with fine china and gleaming silverware on a white linen tablecloth embroidered with colorful flowers. A large golden bowl held grapes, plums and pomegranates, and there was a carafe of wine set next to a Grecian urn filled with ruby-red hibiscus. Goblets were set at each place setting.
“Have a seat. Mother will be along.”
“It’s a beautiful view,” Lois said. “From my room, too.”
“There is a grand view from nearly every window,” Diana said. “Please, have some fruit.”
“Don’t mind if I do.” Lois took a bunch of grapes while Diana took a plum. “Mmm, wonderful flavor.”
“We are blessed on the Island when it comes to our harvests.” Diana cut open her plum with a small knife.
“Abundance of food and flowers,” Lois laughed.
Diana smiled. “Very true.”
Queen Hippolyta swept out into the balcony. “Hello, ladies.”
Diana and Lois rose to their feet. Hippolyta took her seat and the other women sat down again.
“So, Lois, you have acceded to our rules for this visit.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Good. We do reserve the right to review what you have written before publishing.”
Lois took a breath. “Yes.” She did not like the restriction, but there would be no visit without it. “You don’t want me spilling state secrets.”
Hippolyta smiled. “We need to keep some mystery.”
“I can keep that, but delving into your society here will be inspirational to women and girls everywhere.”
An Amazon from the kitchen brought lunch. Lois noted the fresh wheat bread and discovered the contents were equally fresh baby lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and chives.
“This is a delicious sandwich. Your gardens must be well-tended.”
“They are. We try to plant different things as much as possible, but we have our favorites.”
Lois figured that living for centuries would create a sharp need for variety.
Not sure I’d want to live forever. The boredom must drive you crazy.
“So, how is it growing up in Man’s World?” Hippolyta asked with genuine curiosity.
“Well, I was lucky enough to be born in the United States. Certainly not perfect, but better than a lot of other countries when it comes to treatment of women.”
“Yes, we are aware of the treatment of women in certain societies.” The Queen’s voice held an edge.
“My sister Lucy and I were Army brats. Dad was career Army, and he dragged Mom and us to various bases around the U.S. and the world. We saw different cultures and realized that we had it pretty good. That didn’t mean we didn’t encounter sexism in the States. We certainly did, and Lucy and I had to fight the good fight.”
“It must be exhausting.”
“Sometimes it is.”
Diana smiled. “Men can be so silly.”
Lois laughed. “Truer words were never spoken.”
Hippolyta was amused. “We shall show you the society we have built here. I think you will find it of interest.”
“I’m certain of that, Your Majesty.”
“I will bring you into the marketplace when we finish luncheon,” Diana said.
“That sounds like fun.”
The women chatted about the view and other light-hearted things. Lois suspected that weightier topics would be broached at dinner.
& & & & & &
“These are beautiful,” Lois said. She touched the various silks, attracted to a cobalt-blue sample.
“Thank you, Ms. Lane,” said the silk seller. “Would you like one?”
“Oh, no, I couldn’t accept such an expensive gift.”
Lois relented and placed the bolt of silk around her shoulders.
“A perfect match to your clothes,” said the seller in satisfaction.
“Idella knows her silks,” said Diana.
“Thank you so much,” Lois said to Idella, who smiled. Lois looked at the shops surrounding the square. “There must be a jewelry shop.”
“There is. This way,” said Diana.
They entered the jewelsmith’s shop. Lois’ eyes brightened as she saw the display of sparkling jewelry in glass cases and on marble busts.
“Exquisite,” said Lois.
“Artemis is very talented.” Diana pointed out a necklace and Lois took a closer look. “She maintains the Crown Jewels.”
“Pretty prestigious.” Lois was impressed by the golden fretwork on the necklace. Diamonds sparkled in delicate settings.
“Artemis!” Diana called.
A beautiful blond Amazon (they were all beautiful, Lois thought wryly) entered from the back room and said, “Hola, Princess. And this is Ms. Lane.”
“Yes, Lois Lane, Daily Planet.” Lois held out her hand. Artemis took it and they shook hands, the Amazon obviously aware of the Western custom. “Such beautiful work.”
“Not even Tiffany’s or Cartier’s could top this.”
Artemis smiled. “These pieces, of course, are new. Our ancient treasures are kept in the Museum and Royal Vault.” Artemis had noticed Lois’ beads.
“Oh, dear, noting to see here. This is just inexpensive costume jewelry.” She refrained from using the word ‘cheap’.
“But still well-made.”
“True, it cost more than a few bucks.” Lois looked around the shop. “You get gold and precious gems from the Island?”
“Yes, and we also have both materials in the Royal Vault.”
Lois and Artemis talked for awhile longer, then the reporter and Diana left the shop. Diana guided Lois to the beach, taking a stone staircase down to the sand.
“Advantage of living on an island, eh? Close proximity to the beach?” Lois asked.
Diana nodded. “This is a special part of the beach for me.”
“Right out there is where Steve’s jet crashed and I dove in to rescue him.” Diana pointed out at the sea.
Lois knew that she was being granted a gift. No one knew the details of how Diana had met Steve Trevor.
“The crash had knocked him unconscious. He was strapped into the cockpit. He told me later that the ejection mechanism had failed. He would have drowned.”
Lois looked at the calm blue sea. She imagined a large, silver jet falling out of the sky with a contrail of smoke smudging the clouds and the shriek of metal as it hit the waves. She could see the young Amazon running to the surf and swimming with strong, clean strokes.
“I unbuckled him and brought him to the surface,” said Diana. “I brought him to shore and helped him to get rid of the water he had swallowed. He coughed and looked up at me and said, “’An Angel’ and passed out.”
“Was he the first man you had ever seen in the flesh?” Lois asked.
“Yes.” Diana hugged herself. “I guess I could say it was love at first sight.”
Lois smiled. “That’s beautiful.”
Lois laughed. “Only in Paradise.”
The rhythm of the surf was soothing as Diana said, “Let us walk through the Gardens.”
Lois took one last look at the ocean before following Diana up the cliff.
& & & & & &
“This is the flower section of the Gardens,” said Diana. “And here is the fruit and vegetable section.”
“Oh, I knew it. Such ripe pomegranates.”
“We can come down early tomorrow morning and talk to the gardeners.”
“How early?” Lois asked warily. She was definitely not a morning person.
“Breakfast at 8:00, Garden visit after that.”
Diana smiled knowingly, and Lois bet that Clark had blabbed about her predilection for sleeping late. Never trust a busybody Kryptonian.
“Dinner will be in an hour.” Diana plucked a pear off a tree and offered it to Lois, who shook her head.
“Don’t want to spoil my supper, as my mother used to say.”
Diana laughed and she bit into the pear. “My mother says the same thing.”
“Motherhood’s wisdom is universal.”
Both women laughed. They parted inside the Palace to dress for dinner.
Lois closed the door of her chambers, removing her jacket. She kicked off her shoes and went to the wardrobe and opened it, surprised at several new additions.
“Well, Diana did say she’d provide me with Amazon clothing.” Lois riffled through the silks and chose a long gown. She doubted that dinner in the Palace would be an informal affair. She noticed the lace-up sandals in the bottom of the wardrobe.
Lois quickly undressed and slipped the gown over her underwear. She noticed a gold belt and necklace laid out on the vanity. She also saw a pair of golden Amazon bracelets.
“Wow, I get to be part of the sisterhood tonight.” Lois looked at her reflection in the looking glass. “And why am I talking to myself?”
She put on the jewelry and laced up the golden sandals. She wiggled her toes. Comfortable footwear, yet attractive.
Women’s fashions back home ought to take note.
Lois brushed her shoulder-length bob and said, “Come in,” as she heard a knock on the door.
Diana entered in a long gown and her own golden jewelry. “Ah, you are looking beautiful, Lois.”
“Thank you, Diana. May I say the same?”
The two women chatted as they headed to the dining room. It was a large room with a long table covered with a delicate white tablecloth and set with gold plates and utensils. Gold candlesticks held white candles and a white ceramic bowl featured flowers as the centerpiece. Hippolyta was already seated at one end of the table.
“We will keep the courses simple,” said the Queen. “We will start with tomato soup laced with tarragon.”
The soup was served and Hippolyta asked, “So what do you think of our society?”
“Intriguing,” said Lois. “You are a self-sufficient society, out of necessity, of course.”
“Self-sufficiency is an Amazon trait.”
“Certainly.” Lois spooned her soup. “I’m looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.”
“What are you planning to see?” Hippolyta asked her daughter.
“Gardens, Library, perhaps the Museum.”
Hippolyta nodded approvingly. “All worthy sites that clearly display our culture.”
“Your culture is so unique,” Lois said. The soup bowls were cleaned away and baskets of warm bread brought out. Lois drank from her goblet of wine.
“I certainly hope so.” Hippolyta broke bread and applied honey to the crusty slice. “As you say, we created this society out of necessity, but also by choice. The world of men was no longer for us.”
Lois sensed a story but Hippolyta took a bite of her bread. Lois ate her own slice. “Bad experiences?”
Hippolyta’s eyes were chips of blue ice. “It is best that Aphrodite and Athena guided us here.”
Lois was a persistent reporter, but those hard eyes deterred her from further questioning. Perhaps Diana would be more forthcoming.
The next course was fish and vegetables. Lois ate enthusiastically. “Fresh fish.”
“The freshest. Right off the dock.” Diana squeezed her lemon slice over her fish.
“Your diet is very healthy here.”
“It is true. Fish, vegetable and fruit are our staples, though we occasionally have boar or venison.”
“No one has to be on a diet?” Lois asked with a smile.
“Exercise and tasks keep us fit in addition to training.”
“Ah, yes, training. I’d like to see that.”
Lois put down her fork. “Excellent. She picked up her wine goblet. “As an Army brat, I’m especially interested.”
& & & & & &
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