(note: this story has some sexual innuendo, though it is not at all graphic)
Diana stood at Doom’s Doorway. It had been a long time since she had proven herself to the gods by venturing past this doorway. Since then it had been a relic of past sacrifices and no longer a duty of the Amazons to protect. Diana stood her now for a different reason. The connection with the gods was always tenuous, but Diana was drawn here not this time by divine edict rather by an unconscious feeling of a need to return to where she had proven herself to the gods. Diana was going prepared, she had her lasso as usual but had chosen heavy battle armour and a strong sword. For her journey ahead. She had fared well enough here before with only her regular armour, but in reality she knew not what to expect. The force or power calling her here was beyond compression, only to know that it was a force.
This underworld had been cleared of the creatures that had once inhabited it, but as she had returned since, each time this area seemed to be inhabited by a new evil. Diana unsheathed her sword and looked into the pitch darkness. She would be at her most vulnerable as her eyes adapted to the modest light in the interior. The first steps were interrupted by a moment of silence. It was here where the great door once stood where so many Amazons, as well as Diana Trevor, had lost their lives. The stairs downward revealed no traces of Cottus who she had once fought here. All there that stood in her way was the unforgiving darkness.
Despite her years of battle experience and godly wisdom she was acting prudently. She did not perceive any threats and therefore assumed there were none. This was irregular behaviour but the same force which attracted her here also gave her a sense of ease at these sites as though nothing was here. The sites of battle against the Cyclops, the gorgon, the minotaur and the hydra lay abandoned, save for the signs of the forgotten lives of these creatures whose escape from this pit had been through death. Diana was now confused. The great cavern lay empty, the passages onward were areas which only the gods roamed with any chance of returning. Still Diana somehow knew that her goal was not there. Apparently she had misinterpreted the impulse which had brought her here and it was now time to leave. She was as always more needed elsewhere, but as she so very rarely here, she would take a moment at the place where Lord Hades had introduced her to the soul of Diana Trevor.
Diana ventured over. She secured her sword against a wall, and removed her armour. It was not in the spirit of war that Diana paid homage to her namesake, but rather through love and peace. The ground was rough with damage but a quick sweep of her hand gave Diana a clean spot to kneel and say a quick prayer. No sooner than she had started though she heard her name, “Diana.”
Diana looked up and saw Lord Hades before, and quickly bowed again.
“Please child,” he said, “your faith and humility is acknowledged, but one such as yourself does not need to bow before a god.”
“Lord Hades,” Diana said as she stood, “I did not expect to see you. Have you come for me?”
“Come for you?” Hades said with a smirk on his face, “you mistake the King of the underworld with one of his servants. No Diana, I am not here to discuss death with you, rather life.”
“My lord?” Diana asked.
“I sense some hesitation?” he asked, “Many confuse me with a diabolical force of death, but it is only my place to unsure the dead stay where they belong. I fought for justice against our parents the Titans as did all my siblings.”
“Of course my lord,” Diana said, “It is just as mortals we fear what you guard.”
“I know this,” Hades answered, “it took my sweet wife Persephone some time to understand this.”
“How may I serve you?” Diana asked.
“You must listen,” he replied, “for while I do not bring you harm others wish to do so.”
The young woman sat before the fire. Though not allowed by decree of the elders she still stole glances at her lover on the other side of the camp. It had been decided that they would not marry because she would make a significant enough sacrifice to the outsiders who were beginning to inhabit these realms. These new peoples enjoyed war more than the other peoples they had known, but their thirst for battle was easily satiated by the promise of a fertile young woman or two. It seemed after all what they were most interested in the raids. And so while her virginity was a valuable commodity in terms of peace, it was no longer a thing which she had. Her lover was among the strongest members of the tribe, both mentally and physically, a young man who would likely some day be chief. She had given her virginity to him two days previous, and when they could they enjoyed the same release of human passion in the days since. They were taking some risk with their actions but what they felt was not just attraction but actual love.
As she sat by the fire, she noticed the shadows move in a way which one would not expect from the lights, and in an instant the camp was in chaos. The invaders had known to attack the men first. The women would offer little resistance, and this was indeed the case. These were the outsiders again, this time more aggressive than previously. Most of the men had barely any chance at all to gather themselves before their deaths, but she watched her love fight valiantly. Instead of going for his own weapons he chose the weapons of the enemy. He disarmed the first that attacked him and became a flurry of action. But his colleagues did not fare as well, and as they fell he became more and more outnumbered. Finally he did fall, and she let out a scream both for him and for them. The women were not harmed, not yet anyway, but they were rounded up and guarded while the men finished the meal the now dead men had been eating. She took only solace in the words of the holy men, who were also now dead. They had recently become aware of powerful deities who help shape the path of man. The one known as Addas would guide her kin to the underworld.
When they were finished eating, the man who was clearly the chief came to the women. They were separated into two groups by his orders. Most of the women along with most of the children were in one group, whereas a few women remained in the other. They all knew what was about to occur. She looked at her mother in the other group and tried to relate her feelings with her eyes, but as she stood and watched they too were butchered to death. All that remained were the mostly young and fertile women, and with what she faced ahead she was not sure whether to be thankful for life or to be jealous of the release which death had brought.
The darkness of the night hid their path, and her feet were not accustomed to the rough terrain. Still falling out or complaining would result in only one course of action, and she did not crave death. Not yet anyway. They walked the remainder of the night and well into the morning. When they finally arrived at a new camp she collapsed from exhaustion. When she awoke she was not in the same place as before, rather she was in the presence of a man, and one man only. This was to be her husband, she assumed, and it was not long before her assumption was confirmed. Her previous experiences with sexual intercourse were not like this, he was not gentle, but rather aggressive, and although she despised his presence, she thought better than to fight back. Again afterwards she collapsed into exhaustion. Her next coherent thought was being kicked awake by an elder female and screamed at in a tongue she did not understand. It was time for her to work, and work she did. She had had a lot of duties with her previous clan, but here she worked twice as long and as hard. And so life went on, being surrounded in the day by the hateful women of the outsiders and at night being forced to have sex with a beast of a man. This went on for how long she didn’t know, but she knew that his intrusion of her would not be fruitful, at least not soon. For she bore the child of her first love within her, and her life became about protecting this child, the as yet unborn result of a moral union.
Her days went on and she began to show signs of the seed within her, but her husband seemed uninterested in the child. He still beat her mercilessly. She did not know how to contact him or to reach past his rage. Finally the day came when he returned home his hand bloodied. Despite her hatred of him she attempted to care for him, hoping that her efforts might result in mercy later. When she found his hand missing, she knew it was severe. He saw the look in her eyes of pity and feeling disgraced and humiliated he decided to teach her the ultimate lesson. As she lay dying from his repeated blows, she thought of her child and that Addas would soon reunite their small family together.