Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Mike Anderson
Series Notes: In the 23rd century, Earth is a technologically-advanced society that practices the ancient institution of slavery. As Bruce and Clark continue to juggle being lovers as well as Master and slave, Bruce continues his Abolitionist work, and a shocking Family Secret is revealed. Meanwhile, the Queen Family welcomes a new member, and Steve and Hal meet their Destinies, although neither one realizes it yet. The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Drama, AU
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: Steve learns of what-might-have-been.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): July 3, 2008
Date Of Posting: May 18, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1092
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Land Of Columbia.
Is at stake.
Hold a great contest
And choose a champion
The Amazon Way
Of Peace and Love
So sayeth Aphrodite
"The Amazon Chronicles"
Steve toured the city with Diana, feeling better but still shaky. He held hands with her, needing the support even with the cane. He was also glad of the excuse to do so, and not make it seem as if he was angling for sex. Diana saw that angle far too often.
Now that he knew that the Amazons were being drugged, he noticed the almost dream-like quality of their movements.
I wonder if this drugged state numbs them to the constant degradation.
“Are you all right, Steve?”
“Oh, yes.” He smiled at Diana, his stomach fluttering as she smiled back. She looked incredibly beautiful in the morning sun, a light breeze ruffling her hair.
He saw Anderson lounging around the communications building. Squeezing her hand, he said, “Wait here, please. I need to talk to the major.”
She nodded, and Steve made his way over to the Army major.
“’Mornin’, Major Trevor.”
“Major Anderson.” Steve brushed a lock of stray hair off his forehead. “I’d like to talk to you inside.”
Steve followed him inside. The small building was empty. Perfect.
“Call me Mike, sir. Too many majors around here.”
Steve answered the smile with one of his own. Call me Steve.” At Mike’s nod, he continued, “The Amazons are controlled by drugs?”
Mike nodded. “Their food, mostly. Sometimes we lace the drinks.”
Steve frowned. “I suppose it’s necessary.”
“Damned right it is! Otherwise they’d be plotting and figuring out ways to slit our throats.”
“Hell, even without their strength and speed they could take us if we didn’t send them to La-La Land.”
“And they lose their strength by…?”
“…chaining their bracelets together. Has to be by a man, too.” Mike leaned against the wall, arms crossed. “It’s why only men are assigned here. In case the chains are broken, a woman wouldn’t work.”
“Do they ever break the chains?”
“Once in a great while. The drugs here keep them docile and hazy enough not to try, usually, and the chains are made of extra-strong materials mined on Janus VI.”
Steve sat down, suddenly tired. “The men here are strictly hands-off?”
“Most of the time. The men stationed here are given the choice of partner once a month. Guess the brass figured that a taste every now and then would keep people in line.”
Slightly stick to his stomach, Steve asked, “And are they kept in line?”
Mike sighed. “Most of the time.” At Steve’s frown he said, “There’s always that 1% that gives the 99.9% a bad name.”
Steve’s hand clenched at the thought of Diana…
“Any violators are dealt with severely, of course.”
“Of course.” Curiosity flickered through Mike’s eyes. “Why so interested?”
“Oh, just curious about the set-up here.” Steve hoped that his shrug seemed casual enough. “Now, is the purpose of the men here just for guarding, or are studies being made?”
“We occasionally get teams of academics here: historians, archeologists, that sort of thing.”
Steve nodded. “Good. I know this is a pleasure island, but there’s a lot of knowledge and history here.”
“It’s a giant brothel,” Mike said, his voice indicating he wasn’t leering about it.
Steve felt saddened by the description, because Mike was correct. The entire island was a giant whorehouse, the proud Amazons reduced to servicing every freeman or freewoman who came in on their rich pleasure cruises, in addition to any military granted special usage.
“Uh, thanks, Mike.”
As Steve rose to leave, Mike asked, “How are you feeling?”
“Better, though I still tire easily.”
“Will you be staying another week?”
“I think so.” Steve thought of Hal too far away to offer any comfort. “It’s beautiful here.”
“That it is.”
After Steve left, Mike went over to the communications console and picked up a piece pf paper. He folded it and put it away in his shirt pocket.
No need to tell Steve yet about his MIA buddy. Let the guy have a relaxing convalescence. Hanging out with the Princess was a good deal if he ever saw one. Why upset the man until he was stronger?
“I would like to show you something, Steve.”
He nodded and Diana led him through a new part of the Palace. They reached a room with framed newspapers on the walls, but the eye-catching part was a glass case in the middle of the room.
Draped upon a mannequin was a bright costume: red bodice with a gold eagle, a gold belt and lasso, and a long blue skirt patterned with white stars. A gold tiara with a red star completed the outfit.
‘It’s beautiful,” Steve said. He was struck by the American symbols.
“It was designed by my mother.” Pride tinged Diana’s voice. “We had been hearing of the Great War in the United States, and how the North was fighting for freedom. It was decreed by Aphrodite that an Amazon should be sent to America to help the Union. There was to be a contest and the winner was to go to America.”
Steve read the framed newspapers, yellowed with age, all news of the Civil War. He grimly noted the headline screaming about the Northern loss at Gettysburg. Many historians believed it to be the turning point of the War.
“Admiral Stark’s ship crashed on our shores and invasion happened soon after, so there was no Amazon to America.”
Steve felt that sadness wash over him again. What a symbol for freedom an Amazon in such a costume could have been!
He realized that the hand he held was suddenly icy-cold. He turned and looked at Diana, whose expression was unreadable.
“It’s a beautiful costume,” Steve said softly.
She roused out of her reverie and smiled gently. “Mother was quite proud of her designing skill.”
“I’m sorry.” For everything.
She squeezed his hand. “I believe you are,” she said, sapphire-blue eyes looking into his soul.
Steve felt a rush of emotion, but he settled for squeezing her hand. She smiled a genuine smile at him, his heart fluttering.
“It is time for lunch. Would you care to join me?”
Diana led him from the room, sunlight glinting off the costume’s gold accessories.
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