Amazonos: Ch.3 Heracles Cometh Picture

Time would pass for the Amazons, as well as Amazonia, who would grow up to become a proud Amazon warrior. Tempered by her promise, Europa kept the values that Lygos asked of her; to teach her of the true meaning of freedom and equality, unlike many of the other Amazon cultures. Some deem men as a resource, keeping them as slaves for labor and mating. Often the male children born are cast into the sea, or left to fend for themselves in the wilderness. Hippolyta beliefs in the follower of Artemis had forgone these barbaric ways by making a contract with the Gargareans. All the males born are sent to them to be raised, which gave Europa plenty of opportunity to see Lygos. She had told him the progress of their daughter, and their admiration for each other had transcended into love. For eight years they would continue, with a promise that one day both would leave their tribes and become one as a family. But the ninth year saw the Gargareans preparing for war. Theseus, ruler of Athens, had been scouring the land of Pontus, attacking various Amazon and Gargarean villages. King Arcas had taken most of his good warriors to battle, which include Lygos, his general. Lygos left word with his replacement Zagreus of his departure. He informed Europa, who feared this may be a long campaign and he might not return until they are victorious. He also told her every evening to look towards the village, and if she sees a large bonfire, then he has returned.

Europa took heed to his words, knowing this may be his last campaign, and he was resolute to the goal of marriage and companionship. She told no other of her decision as she didn't believe that even Amazonia could comprehend what she has planned. Yet she knew the longer she waited to tell her, the harder it will be for her to leave if she decides to.

At age sixteen, Europa finally confronted her about the prospect of leaving Themyscira. At this time Amazonia had many friends, her closest was Achillea who was born the same day as her. They were considered inseparable and rivals as for strength and the next to be Europa's replacement. Amazonia had heeded her mother’s upbringing and her values were of freedom and love. She found it noble of her father to risk his life for other Amazons as well all of Pontus, and knew she would not be happy if her mother left and she stayed in Themyscira. Europa was surprised by her decision as she now knew that maybe the time to rest her sword and shield was soon to come.

She then had to inform Hippolyta of her decision which would be difficult. Yet Hippolyta was truly understanding of Europa's feelings. It was not a crime for an Amazon to fall in love, but Hippolyta had concerns that now was not the time to leave. She received word that neighboring tribes have spotted Greek vessels looking for Themyscira. They said that Heracles was on a quest to take the Golden Girdle, a quest that he was certain to prevail at. Hippolyta needed every strong and experienced warrior ready for battle, as the coming days, she believed there would be a battle for their very existence. Europa heeded the queen’s words, and decided that this shall be her last quest.

The following year would bring more tales of Heracles and his approach to Themyscira. Yet Amazonia and Achillea trained long and hard to be the finest warriors. The Amazon expected an Army of men to come and prepared for just that. Yet that day would arrive shortly after Amazonia's eighteenth birthday. As his ship approached, it was obvious that they were misled by the reports. None the less, Hippolyta was not taking this lightly as she had Europa bring a small guard of her best warriors.

Amazonia was left in charge of defending Themyscira, as rumors of Greeks plundering villages throughout Pontus were still fresh in Hippolyta's mind. Of what she knew of Heracles, his strength was no match for the strength the wearer of the Golden Girdle possesses. She believed an audience with him would prove to defuse the situation, and he and his men would travel back from where they came. Yet Europa was uneasy by this strategy. She feared treachery, and exposing the queen to such danger could be foolhardy. Yet Hippolyta had made her mind up about this meeting on Heracles ship as her guards remained on the dock, ready for any wrong doing from his crew.

As the day turned into evening, Amazonia was busy attending to her responsibilities of securing Themyscira. It was then she noticed along the banks across the river a bonfire was burning. The signal that her father fore told her mother that he had returned. Yet Europa was with the Queen at the dock. Amazonia could not ignore this, and she went to find her friend Achillea. Finding her, she took her aside a moment.

“Is all clear, my sister?” asks Amazonia.

“Yes, very quiet. From what we can tell his crew is maybe thirty or less men. We don't believe any of them are part of the Greeks militia.” replies Achillea.

Amazonia seemed a bit anxious as she looked to see the dark smoke from the bonfire in the twilight skies. “I need a favor, my sister. I must travel to the Gargarean village.”

“What for?” Achillea asks.

“My father told he would signal my mother when he returned. Maybe he has some insight as well to this Greek incursion in Pontus. Truly we can use their knowledge to better protect Themyscira.”

Achillea pondered a moment to what Amazonia stated. “Antiope would not let you do this sister. Unlike her sister, she would rather distance us from the males.”

“None the less sister, I must go. We must find out something about this foe we face.”

Achillea could not argue against this, as Amazonia took a small boat to cross the river from the beach. As she crossed, she was unaware that other forces were at work. Another small boat with four of Heracles’ men hugged the coast and landed unseen. They would hide their craft and make their way to the Queen’s palace with intent to abduct Antiope.