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 Post subject: Wonder Woman #1
PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:44 pm 
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My first contribution to a Main-steam character, Wonder Woman for the website DCA. If anyones interested, PM me for URLs, I don't want to dirty up the site and look like an advertiser!

“Things Past”
By Ed Ainsworth

Prologue

A hundred life-times ago

Mnemosyne, known to many if not all as the Greek Goddess of memory, stood before the swirling Vortex in front of her. A mass of Gods stood in the mouth of this beast, the swirling mass of energy and thoughts.

Zeus put his hand on her shoulder before slinging a lightning bolt into the mix, almost nonchalantly. Hades, Ares, Hephaestus and Apollo barred the way as Hydra and Hecatonchire tried to claw their way from the grey mass of nothingness. A tear came to the eye of Mnemosyne as Artemis fired arrow after arrow into the swirl.

“It is not your fault, Mnemosyne. This life, this world, was never designed for beings such as they.”

“It is hard not to feel the loss of something creating from your own flesh and blood. They are but memories now...yet memories are all we need.”

“Allegedly,” Ares added sarcastically before putting his powers once more to restrain the beasts.

“You birthed the Muses for me, Mnemosyne, and the world was put right into a beautiful state by those children. They were born of Gods. These beasts, these monsters, they were born of human dreams and nightmares. These are sins and hatred given form, as well as our own follies. “

“I know, Zeus, but still…it is as if this world has rejected them. As if their mother has rejected them.”

“You are not their mother, Mnemosyne. Monsters are born from monsters and born from men, not from Gods. We are above such acts of mindless violence and senselessness.”

Hades looked up from him position within the group and simply smiled a shrill, sly smile.

“Well Met!” Hephaestus, god of the Forge trundled towards the group; his legs had always been weak and he seemed to be struggling to hold the huge golden doors. Each door must have been at least 7-8 feet thick, runes of every possibly religion and ideal etched into the sides.

The other gods aided Hephaestus in fixing the huge doors into their location, their divine powers adding to their own strengths in an attempt to keep them locked in place.

As the final hinge was fitted, a great sigh relapsed from all the gods, save Mnemosyne, who simply wept into Zeus’ shoulder.

“It was for the best,” he said simply.


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Beyond time and Space

“Barriers. It’s always about barriers with the Gods. Limitations.” She sighed, pushing some of the purple bangs from the edges of her face with two slender fingers.

There is a place, a hidden area between the memory of old and the modern world, tucked into the recesses of the human mind. Once thought by most mystics to be an empty place, only very few have stumbled upon it. She knows it as the Gates of the Pale Wall. Circe ran a hand through her long, curled hair a second time and pulled her cloak around herself. Anticipation sent electrical impulses up her spine, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. She was ready, it was there, and the great moment was almost upon them. Improbable power almost at her fingertips. Her hands quivered with the possibilities. No more Wonder Woman, no more Gods; just an all-powerful Circe.

The tension was almost palpable, as she moved closer and closer to the enormous golden gates. Studded with Runes of Greek, Norse, Roman, Aztec, Welsh and every other pantheon of gods imaginable and a few more even Circe couldn’t decipher. The Runes prevented the Doors from being opened from the inside. For the Gods to unite on this front was something Circe had never seen before. Normally at war with each other simply because of their different beliefs, for them all to pool their resources into this one protective spell caused her to pause for a moment. Perhaps the powers that lay beyond should not be disturbed; perhaps some things are better left to their own devices? Yet, Circe had never been one to be waylaid by thoughts of doubt, or indeed she had never been well known for her ability to step away from powers greater than her own.

“Gods above, it feels…it feels.” A sudden wave of empathy over came Circe. It hit her like a freight train, knocking her off her feet, her body and head snapping back with the ultimate flexing of her spin, dropping her to the floor. Tears rolling down her cheeks, she stared up at the ceiling. She ran her hands over her face she let out a small laugh.

“Empathy Spells? For me? I’m shocked that I was even taken aback for a moment. Are you not, Hercules?”

The Greek demigod floated in the far corner, blood running from the open wounds on his chest and over his arms. His godly demeanor was being tested, as Snakes spiraled around his arms and waist and bit into his flesh.

“To Hades with you, Gorgonite!” he spat, the venom in his voice comparable with the snakes that bit into the corners of his mouth.

“Oh, I do hope so,” she snarled.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Outside of Space – Africa

Circe paced silently inside the meeting place she had created for her partners in crime. Recently, changes had spread over the kingdoms of the world and, most importantly, a divergent strain of Felid magic had asserted itself over the world. Circe, and she was sure many others, had noticed its pronounced expression.

Many thousands of years ago the Felid Magic, much like other strains of Animal Magic, had dropped to almost immeasurable levels. Many Animals, such as the Cheetah, faced complete extinction and only narrowly survived the genetic and evolutionary bottlenecking that occurred.

Finally recovering, the Cheetah magic grew stronger every day, enough to support two Cheetahs’s roaming this world’s plains. Sebastian Ballesteros and Barbara Minerva were a pair now, a mating pair of Cheetah’s. Though mutual hatred caused by the coveting of their powers had once made them enemies, this new natural magic drew them closer than ever before.

The pair padded into the meeting place, through the glowing doors, Minerva nuzzling Sebastian as he growled a greeting to Circe.

“Please, save me the Animalistic preferences. I know you’re minds are perfectly intact in those bodies; at least have the courtesy to address me as a human.”

Minerva let out a long sigh and got to her feet, crossing her arms and looking away from Circe.

“What you do want, Witch?”

“I want to make you a very generous offer, Barbara. If you help me with my plans then I can promise you power beyond the paltry abilities you possess now.”

“Power?” Sebastian’s head snapped up at the mention of what both he and his mate coveted above all else. Power, the ability to dominate, to be the predators they both fashioned themselves to be.

“Yes. I would even grant you the boon of Africa, for yourselves. To kill and maim and disassemble as you would have, save for the women. They are to be kept alive.”

Sebastian growled at the ultimatum. Unlimited killing, so long as it was kept to the males? It seemed a bit sexist to him, but at the end of the day, it did not matter.

“We agre…” Sebastian was cut short as Barbara swiped at him with her left hand.

“Be quiet.”

“Why should this time be any different to the last times, Circe? We’ve been beaten back time and time again by Wonder Woman; every time we’ve sought to do something we’ve been browbeaten and defeated at every turn.”

“Why, Minerva, what an intelligent question for such a big cat.” She paused while her barbed comment took hook in Barbara’s mind, releasing a growl as it sunk in.

“This time it is not just our power that is to be put against Wonder Woman, or even the other heroes. This time it is the combined power of every mythological entity known to man and god. Every Titan, every beast, every bird of fire and every fish of Doom are ours to command.”

“Well then?” Sebastian asked, nuzzling against his mate.

“Yes,” Minerva said simply.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New York, America

Diana, Princess of Themyscira, sailed through the air, her arms and legs dangling like those of a rag doll as she exploded through the side of a building. The Grecian princess got to her feet and wiped a tiny trickle of blood from her mouth. She hated being hit in the face, even though it aroused her, stimulated her in a way nothing else did. She felt alive in the heat of battle, truly alive. Whilst other intellectuals had religion, theology, science, magic, all mainstays of the Greecian way, she enjoyed some of the more ‘barbaric’ aspects of her life, and the Greek way. Her mother had joked that she’d been stolen away from Sparta.

She enjoyed punching things and training with swords; the weight in her hands, the force behind her fist. It made her feel as though she were the center of the Universe, if only for a moment. Almost playfully, Diana leapt to her feet, twisting out of the way of the Cheetah’s second attack, her female form shooting past, claws raking the debris and rubble instead of the flesh it had intended to strike. Diana smiled, a broad, beaming smile as the second Cheetah, the male, shot down on top of her, his fists landing neatly in her hands with the slight slap of skin on skin. His wrists click from the halting of the murderous forces coiled in his forearms.

“Your tenacity never ceases to amaze me, and now, like and like pair together? There’s a subtle poetry to it.” Diana’s voice almost sounded jovial. A long, long time ago she would have rejected the violence, rejected it and tried to find another way, but the world was changing. Violence was the mainstay, destruction of ideals, and twisting of life what it’s about now. If Violence was the currency of the world, then Diana was a very, very rich lady.

“Let’s see how far we can go, shall we?”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Cave of Rectitude
Himalayas

Silence.

It enveloped the great windy cave where she was sat, a quiet and small fire gently burned beside her, filling only a few feet of the cave with its warmth. However, it had been a long time since she had felt the warmth, from the sun or the fire or even from herself. She looked to something else for warmth these days. Her former husband, or current husband depending on which point you looked at it from. The great Green face of Swamp Thing looked into the eyes of his wife, as he removed his large arm from around her, the mulch underneath their bodies rustling and moving like a bed of soft animals.

Her white hair fell about her shoulders, touching the ground below her as Swamp Thing sat bolt upright, vines and trailers that had grown over night snapping under the stress.

“What is it, Alec?” She’d seen the look in his eyes before; something was coming. As a former Planetary elemental, Alec had a better intuition about impending doom than anyone else on the planet. He could be considered an early warning system of sorts.
“The Forces…are being tampered…with, Abigail,” he said in his slow plant like drawl. His eyes were distant as he stared out of the mouth of the cave. Since his stepping down as Elemental, things had changed in the natural world, not necessarily for the better. The Elementals were raising their heads again, Parliaments erecting themselves from the rubble of before.

“What forces?” she inquired, touching his face gingerly with a tiny hand.

“The…Pale Wall…” he said starkly, reaching out with a moss coated hand to touch something that he could see, but was obviously elsewhere; he was just moving his hands through the air until he balled it into a fist.

“Damn.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Manhattan, New York

Barbara Minerva, the second Cheetah was thrown high into the air. Her feline body hit a flagpole squarely in the small of her back, re-bounding her into the asphalt below, landing on the ground hard. The pavement had spidery cracks formed across its surface and she coughed blood and hair onto the ground. Even as the more masculine Cheetah collided with Wonder Woman’s body, his shoulder hitting her centrally in the stomach, knocking her off her feet, her own hands gripping his ragged mane. The two tumbled in a dreadful clinch into a swimming pool, with a cascade of water that threatened to hit Minerva.

The pool exploded, a decadent rainbow cast over the battle as Wonder Woman soared into the sky, the Cheetah coughing water and looking limp and dazed, held by his foot by Diana, before he was thrown to the ground, leaving a impact crater in the paving and a puff of vaporized mortar.

“We’re not winning,” Minerva hissed, pulling herself onto her feet, only to be struck in the stomach by a brick flung by Diana, who twisted in the air like a dolphin playfully skipping the surf of the ocean.

“Are we stopping? I was just getting into it!” she laughed, landing in front of Minerva and stroking a hand across the top of her head, patronizing the villain. “I’ve always enjoyed our chats you know, Minerva. You might be evil, but there’s always been a soft grace to your movement, power belayed by fur and beauty.”

Diana was obvious on a high of adrenaline, on the power she held over these foes. Never before had they been beaten so easily. Perhaps there was more to the situation than Diana had first expected, or perhaps she was just used to the ceaseless and futile dance they always played out.

Minerva and Sebastian’s minds were filled with a voice of terror. Circe, whose voice normally instilled fear and panic, was a concoction of exhaustion and pure, unbridled terror. Her words shook inside their heads, a notion which worried Sebastian.

Diana cocked her head to one side as the two Cheetahs’s appeared to zone out and shake with fear.

“What’s this now?” She half smiled her jovial nature fading.

“Sebastian, we must go to her,” Minerva whispered, as she turned from Wonder Woman, making a break for a clear area some few feet away from her.

“Where are you…AUH!” Sebastian, using his enhanced strength, crushed a brick into the ground in front of Wonder Woman. Normally a futile gesture, as they would never get far enough away from her to use it in a normal battle, but this time their flight would be aided.

A temporarily blinded Wonder Woman groped the air, as the pair charged towards the pink portal opening in front of them, energy spilling and burning the pavement.

“Circe,” Diana said quietly, charging towards the Portal, her vision slowly clearing as Minerva and Sebastian disappeared.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beyond time and space

The two cheetahs quickly appeared at Circe’s side. The Grecian witch was covered in sweat, drenched from head to foot as she desperately held the gigantic golden doors closed with her hands, mystical energy crackling from her fingertips.

Her face was drained of blood as she snapped her head around to see the two Cheetahs bowling through the portal she had created.

“Gods help me; I’ve made a terrible mistake, Cheetahs. Help me restrain and close these doors or we’re all doomed.” Her voice was barely audible above the growls and howls coming from the other side of the barrier.

Minerva said nothing as she slammed into the golden doors, throwing her full weight into it. Normally full of bluster and bravado, seeing someone of Circe’s magnitude brought low by what remains behind the doors drove terror deep into her heart, a cold sweat drenched her fur long before her physical efforts did.

“What fresh hell have you wrought upon us, Circe?” Hercules spat, his blood still dribbling from the wounds, though he was no longer bound to the wall, nor covered in Snakes. Circe’s energies had been spent trying to keep the door closed.

“Gods help us all, Hercules.”

“The gods have no domain here, Circe. Your plan comes to an end now!” Diana came hurtling through the portal, her arms stretched outwards and balled into fists. She was cocky, she never made mistakes and she knew her business better than anyone.

“DIANA! NO! STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING!” Circe yelled, though she might as well have just said nothing. Her pleas fell upon deaf ears as Wonder Woman’s fist caught her on the jaw, sending her flying away from the golden Doors.

“To Hades with you, Diana! You must stop!” Hercules threw in, wrapping his arms around Wonder Woman and pulling his muscle tight to restrain her. “You’ll damn us all!”

“Philanderer! Bastard!” Diana broke free of his grip, wrapping her slender but strong fingertips around his arm. She twisted her body weight and launched Hercules towards Sebastian, knocking him from the golden doors.

The weight of the beasts was behind the doors blew them open, throwing Minerva across the room. Minotaurs, Centaurs, Giants of all kinds, titans, beasts from around the world, from Manitcores, to Zombies, vampires to skin-flukes, fables to legends, The Red Dragon and Baba Yaga. All these myths and legends exploded from the Golden gates, washing over Diana, and knocking her from her feet, though whilst they felt real enough to her body, as they trampled and snapped at her, she could find no mark for her fists, as each blow passed through their ethereal forms.

“Damn you to Hades Wonder Woman! We tried to stop you, I tried to warn you, but you were to have none of it! Now look! Look what you’ve done! Pandora’s Box is opened once again and Mnemosyne’s shame that was once held inside is turned loose, to prey upon this world again! DAMN YOU!” Circe spat from across the room, nursing her jaw with tears cascading from her eyes.

“Damn you…” she whispered again, as Diana got to her feet, looking listlessly into the gaping blackness of the gate.

“What have I done?”


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