Title: Jewels In The Crown V: The Amazon Way (3/3)
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Philippus, Lois, Diana, Medea, Mala, Minerva, Queen Hippolyta, Nubia
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 contributes to the Amazons’ way of life.
Date Of Completion: September 21, 2020
Date Of Posting: April 24, 2021
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count (this chapter): 2113
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.
SKILL AND STRENGTH
An Amazon is skill,
An Amazon is strength,
An Amazon is will,
An Amazon is stealth.
Philippus, Captain of the Royal Guard, was conducting the training session under the morning sun. Philippus’ black hair was pulled back into a bun, her well-toned body clad in a simple belted tunic and brown leather lace-up sandals. She spoke to two combatants, correcting their technique.
Lois and Diana were observing the Warriors below them on the plain. There were several Amazons on the training field. Most were in sword-and-shield combat, but some were performing high kicks and tumbles, while others practiced archery.
Philippus allowed the two Amazons to resume their battle. They clashed and Lois watched the ferocity of the duo.
“How do you maintain it?” Lois asked.
“What?” Diana said.
“Well, the training…”
“…is important, but doing it for centuries without practical application might dull the edge.”
“We keep sharp by helping out in other dimensions and alternate universes when called upon.”
“And other planets in this dimension and universe.”
“Well, as Superman’s former girlfriend, I am not surprised that you take this all in stride.”
“You get experience.” Lois watched an exceptional high kick. “I’m guessing you don’t want those trips publicized.”
Understanding dawned in Lois’ eyes. “Why let the world know that you’re sharp in your military skills?”
“Exactly. Underestimation is a powerful weapon.”
“Wouldn’t it be an advantage to deter potential attackers if they thought you were sharp?”
“We are hidden away, but if we are attacked, whether we are perceived as sharp or not is probably irrelevant, but we might as well try to out-psyche our enemies.”
Diana looked relaxed, but Lois observed that she was avidly watching the training.
“Can we get up-close-and-personal?” Lois asked.
They took a path down the hill and reached the plain. They could hear the Warriors’ grunts and see the rippling of muscles as they moved.
“Philippus, this is…”
“Yes. Show her some hand-to-hand combat, will you?”
Philippus indicated a pair of Warriors circling each other warily like wrestlers, then they attacked in a flurry of moves.
“Impressive,” said Lois.
“You could do better?” A tall redhead walked up, bristling with armor.
“Hola, Medea,” said Diana.
“Hola, Princess. So, you are the visitor from Man’s World?”
“Yes.” Lois noticed the contempt in Medea’s voice. “And I could show your Amazons a thing or two.”
“Oh, really?” Icy tone now.
“Yes, I know Klurkor.”
“What in Hades is Klurkor?”
“A combination of karate and judo, Kryptonian-style."
Medea scowled. “Show us then.”
“Certainly. Diana, will you assist me?”
Lois and Diana squared off, and proceeded to give a demonstration of Klurkor. The Amazons gathered to watch. When the demonstration was concluded, the watchers applauded with vigor.
“Teach us,” said Mala.
“Happy to,” said Lois.
Medea’s arms were crossed. She said nothing but her displeasure was obvious. Lois set about teaching the Amzons, ignoring Medea. The Amazons were quick learners despite Klurkor’s complexity. Diana was able to help, since Superman had taught her Klurkor, too.
The session ended and the Amazons chanted, “Klurkor! Klurkor! Klurkor!”
Lois laughed. “Thanks, ladies.”
“Another weapon in our arsenal.” Philippus sounded satisfied.
“Could always use another, Captain.” Lois smiled sweetly at Medea, who stomped away. “Not a fan of Klurkor, I take it.”
“Not a fan of Man’s World,” said Diana.
“With good reason,” said Philippus.
Lois wondered at the Amazons’ history before they came to Paradise Island. She caught Diana’s eye. Diana shook her head. Curiosity afire, Lois nevertheless remained silent.
“Something new,” Mala said. “Thank you, Lois. Novelty is prized here.”
Lois had no doubt of that. “Not just another day in Paradise.”
Mala smiled. “Enjoy the rest of the day, Lois.”
Diana escorted Lois back to the Palace. “We worked up quite a sweat. The Baths is our next step.”
“I like the sound of that.”
Diana led Lois to a large cave located close to the seashore. They went inside and Lois was astounded to see it break off into a series of caverns with hot springs bubbling away. Mica glittered on the walls as stalactites reached down from the cave ceilings. Sturdy stalagmites jutted up from the floor, ringing the pools.
Diana began to disrobe and Lois followed suit. The women slipped into the pool and Lois let out a happy sigh.
“Why is this place empty?”
“It will be full after the training session is over.”
“Ah, then we’d better enjoy our private time now.”
The women floated, the warm water soothing aching muscles. Lois closed her eyes.
“This is better than a Jacuzzi,” she said.
Lois let herself drift in mind and soul, thinking of all she had learned since arriving on Paradise Island.
I wouldn’t mind hanging out here, though I’m not sure I’d dig it for centuries.
She thought of the wonders she had seen, reminiscent of the Fortress of Solitude. There were wonders there, too, from the crystalline surroundings to the zoo to the trophy room. There were exotic flowers in the conservatory and an A.I. that held vast stores of knowledge from Krypton and other planets.
“Is your knowledge all stored in the Library?” Lois asked.
“And the Museum.”
“We have Mother’s Magic Mirror. We have kept up with Man’s World through it to some degree.”
Lois thought it was wonderful that the Amazons had a Magic Mirror. It seemed to match Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, her bracelets, tiara, the Magic Lasso. Superman’s powers were scientifically-based, as were the wonders of the Fortress. It seemed fitting that Wonder Woman was surrounded by magic, or Amazon science that seemed like magic.
Lois fell asleep under Diana’s watchful eye.
& & & & & &
That evening, Lois walked up the steps to the Temple, a circular building ringed with Ionic columns. It was open and airy, much like the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials in Washington, D.C.
In the cool interior Lois saw the rows of pews, the mosaics on the walls, and the statues of Athena and Aphrodite with an altar set before them. Candles flickered at various points around the building. Lois was reminded of a Catholic church with the candles and statues and a censer that exuded the piercingly-sweet odor of incense.
Lois sat in a pew, letting the quiet soak into her soul. Her life in the newspaper profession was constant chaos and she was always scrambling for the next story. This assignment was allowing her to catch her breath. It was a good thing. She could use time to collect her thoughts.
It’s so beautiful here. I can see why Diana loves it so much.
Lois was not sure if she could live here. For her, it was too quiet. Vacation, sure, but the crazy outer world was home. She liked the rat race. Well, most of the time, anyway.
Lois crossed her legs. She smoothed her tunic skirt. It was a silky sensation, one she enjoyed.
She let time pass, cool air drifting into the Temple. She was so relaxed that she eventually fell asleep.
& & & & & &
Lois opened her eyes, gasping as she saw the marble statues step down from their bases.
“Yes.” Aphrodite’s skin glowed as her chiton rustled in the breeze. Marble no more. “You seek rest.”
Athena was dressed in her familiar armor. “A fine demonstration of Klurkor today.”
“You will serve our Amazons well with your reporting skills.”
“I hope so.”
“Be kind,” said Aphrodite. “But be accurate.”
Lois blinked. “I’ve never had Goddesses give me editorial advice before.”
Athena pointed her sword at Lois. “Take heed, Lois. Our Amazons are important to us.”
& & & & & &
Lois abruptly awoke. She started at the statues, now marble again and immobile.
Yikes, you’re got quite an imagination, Lane.
Lois rose from the pew and bowed toward the statues. She left the Temple, the dream still vivid in her mind. The statues’ eyes glinted.
“Hola, Lois!” Mala was coming up the steps.
Mala pushed back a lock of chestnut hair. “A good place for contemplation, eh?”
Mala smiled as she went up into the Temple. Lois proceeded to the bottom of the stairs and walked to the marketplace. She dallied at the various stalls but noticed a shop that interested her. She went in, tiny bells over the door jingling.
The Golden Scroll was filled with books and scrolls, and she saw some bestsellers from the States on display. A woman with snowy-white hair looked up from a table scattered with scrolls.
“May I help you?”
“Yes, I’m looking for a book on Amazon history.”
“I have just the thing.” She went to one of the bookcases and plucked a large tome off the shelf. “Here you go.”
“Thank you, Miss…”
Lois flipped through the book. “It’s interesting, but I was hoping for some of the history of the Amazons before your arrival on Paradise Island.”
“Ah, well, that could prove problematic.”
“We treasure our privacy in this case.”
“Could it be that your experiences during that time could be inspiring?”
Minerva looked sad. “I doubt it.”
“So you can’t say anything?”
Lois let it drop. She had other avenues to pursue.
She chose to take the history book and also picked up a book on Amazon jewelry. As she left the bookstore, Diana hailed her.
“Tomorrow we go out on Nubia’s fishing boat.”
“Okay, sounds good.”
Diana noticed the books. “Good choices.”
“I thought so.”
& & & & & &
That evening at dinner Lois steered the conversation to Ancient Greece.
“For that time and place, an amazing civilization,” Hippolyta said. “Art and philosophy that would stand the test of time.”
“So why did you leave?”
The Queen paused, her goblet close to her lips. She lowered it. “We were betrayed and suffered greatly for it.”
“You had nothing to do with it.”
Lois drank her wine. “Do you wish to speak of it?”
“It has to do with degradation of the vilest sort.”
There was an awkward silence, then Lois put down her goblet. “If you ever wish to tell your story, I’ll listen.”
Hippolyta said, “Do not hold your breath, as your people say.”
A chastened Lois was glad when Diana changed the subject. And yet, she still wondered…
& & & & & &
The next morning saw Lois come down to the docks and board Nubia’s boat. Diana was already aboard.
“Welcome, Lois,” said Nubia.
“Thanks, Nubia.” Lois had seen Diana at breakfast but nodded to her, anyway.
“Ready for some fishing?” asked Nubia.
Nubia smiled. “Then we are off.”
They cast off and Lois watched the sparkle of sunlight on the water. Nubia showed Lois what to do and when she said, “Cast nets!” Lois and Diana followed instructions.
“Fish are plentiful here,” said Nubia. “I will be checking on my lobster traps.”
“Lobster in these waters?” Lois asked.
“A gift from the Gods.”
Nubia smiled. “Sometimes.”
Lois helped with the traps, hauling them up from under the water, Nubia and Diana taking out the lobsters, banding their claws and putting them in a tub of water. After her trap line was secure, Nubia said, “Bring up the nets.”
The nets were full and Lois helped empty them into the hold. When they finished, Nubia said, ”Now for some old-fashioned fishing.”
Lois watched in fascination as Nubia picked up a spear and small net. “Steer the boat twenty degrees starboard.”
Lois was an old hand at piloting boats, so she pulled off the command easily. They arrived at a spot where sailfish were flying in and out of the water. Nubia flew through the air and speared a fish, scooping it up with the net. Amazon strength kept a firm hold on the flailing fish.
“Old-fashioned, huh?” Lois said as Nubia came aboard.
“Skill and strength.”
As Lois and Diana served as crew, the reporter wrote her article in her head. She had gone through several drafts in previous days, but it was now all coming together. She would start actually writing tonight.
The Amazon heritage could inspire girls and women all over the world. Despite decades of the women’s movement, inspiration was still desperately needed. Diana was the perfect Ambassador. It was up to Lois to be the scribe.
Nothing is ever perfect. Centuries of the same routine can dull the sharpest knife, but the Amazons seem to have adapted. All in all, not a bad place to spend a few thousand years.
Lois took a deep breath of sea air, feeling like an Amazon.
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