Disclaimer - This is a non-profit effort. No copyright infringement is intended. My story is written out of an affinity and respect for the characters involved.
This is a short Wonder Woman story based on current continuity. The setting is the mid 21st century. 'It's Time' is an intentionally solemn look into a potential future of the character.


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Bright sunshine lights up the rich blue sky on this unseasonably warm spring morning. Pure white, cotton-like clouds are sparsely scattered above. The last remnants of winter snowfall melt away. A light, steady breeze stirs the air. Birds chirp their merry songs, welcoming in the new season. By all appearances, this should be a beautiful day. Alas, appearances are deceiving.

The invisible plane flies above eastern Ohio, just underneath the cloud cover. Although capable of traveling at light speed, the craft cruises at a mere one hundred miles per hour. Wonder Woman is in no particular hurry. She is too lost in thought to even notice the glorious weather below. The expression on her lovely face is one of great sadness. Many tears have been shed recently; her red eyes provide the telltale proof. Princess Diana is in mourning.

*****

Sixty-six years ago, Diana first journeyed to Patriarch's world as the Themysciran ambassador of peace. Soon afterward, her extraordinary talents and presence earned her the moniker Wonder Woman. Her gallant deeds drew the attention of the super heroic community and she became an invaluable and long-standing member of the legendary Justice League of America.

Themyscira, often referred to as Paradise Island, exists outside of conventional time and space. Its Amazon population is ageless. Although its inhabitants all appear to be between the ages of 25 and 40, the Amazons have lived over 2000 years. Princess Diana is the lone exception, having been 'conceived' in the aftermath of World War II pilot Diana Rockwell Trevor's ill-fated visit to the sacred isle.

Princess Diana forsook her eternal youth by entering the outside world as Wonder Woman. It was presumed that she would live a mortal lifespan which would likely be 50% longer than the typical person. Transfiguration into godhood forever altered these dynamics. She was the Goddess of Truth for a very short period before Zeus decreed that her true destiny was that of a mortal woman. Although she was not long for their ranks, the gods of Olympus still held the princess in the very highest regard. The great-granddaughter of Zeus was too special to be condemned to such a short existence; therefore much of her agelessness was restored. While in Patriarch's world, she ages one year for every twenty calendar years; on Themyscira she does not age at all.

The Amazon champion was unaware of this happenstance for several years until she began to notice friends and colleagues aging while she seemingly was not. It was not particularly surprising to Diana to see older friends such as Steve Trevor, Etta Candy and Julia Kapatelis slowly yielding to father time. It was quite another matter when her own peers did likewise.
The changes were subtle. Gray hair slowly emerging. Waistlines expanding. Hairlines receding. Skills and strengths diminishing. The effects were seen throughout the Justice League, with the notable exception of Wonder Woman, who remained powerful, youthful and beautiful as ever.

The virtual restoration of her eternal youth was intended as a blessing; little did her almighty gods anticipate what a curse it would seem to be. The entire roster of the Justice League eventually turned over during her tenure. Some of her comrades retired after distinguished super heroic careers and passed the mantle along to the next generation of heroes. Others died in the line of duty. Of those, the most painful for Diana was the demise of the Batman. Hopelessly driven in his crusade against crime and corruption, Bruce Wayne never acknowledged his own human limitations. Ignoring the well-meaning advice of the Amazon princess and the Man of Steel, he refused to adjust his manic routine. At the age of 48, an injured but stubborn Batman was no longer quick enough the overcome the gun-toting hoodlum who took his life.

As the years passed, Diana worked side by side with the ever-changing Justice League. Members of the Titans and Young Justice gradually made their way onto the roster. Nightwing, Troia, Tempest and Arsenal teamed with Wonder Woman and Superman to form the core of the new JLA. Impulse, Superboy, Wonder Girl and Robin matured into adulthood and became valued contributors and teammates.

Diana kept in touch with some of her former colleagues. Wally West retired the Flash so that he and his wife Linda could raise a family and live a 'normal' life. Kyle Rayner was very shaken by the Batman's death. As such, he vowed not to make same mistake as Bruce Wayne. The moment Kyle began to notice that he was slipping, Green Lantern gracefully resigned from active service. Black Canary endured sprains and strains for many years before nearly losing her life to a bullet. Unlike her close friend Barbara Gordon, Dinah Lance recovered fully from her near fatal shooting. She was done as the Black Canary, but joined Oracle in providing intelligence information to those in the field.

Most of Wonder Woman's mortal friends from her early years in mans' world have by now passed away. Of the early incarnations of the Justice League, only two others are still living. J'Onn J'Onzz has a longer life span than Earth natives. He spent many years on Terra before returning home to Mars two decades ago. Kyle Rayner now enjoys his later years in the comfort of his family, entertaining his grandchildren with stories of his youthful adventures as Green Lantern.

*****

The funeral took place yesterday, yet her tears continue to flow. Throughout the cosmos, the death of Superman has been keenly felt. Representatives from thousands of worlds journeyed to Earth to pay their respects to the greatest force for peace and justice that ever lived. It was widely known that Kal-El had been seriously ill for the past several years. Nevertheless, his actual passing eight days ago was still quite a shock.

Superman remained his formidable self until the forces of nature worked in ways unanticipated by all. Throughout most of his life, his immune system easily warded off the effects of the stray Kryptonite radiation which is found everywhere in Earth's atmosphere. It was only in close proximity to a sizable quantity of the element that he was in any real peril. As Kal reached his early seventies, his metabolism slowed to the point where he became more susceptible to Kryptonite. He soon contracted the Kryptonian equivalent of cancer. Although methods were initiated to slow the progression of the disease, it was incurable and became increasingly debilitating over time.

Diana was there for Kal-El whenever needed, but she knew her place. Clark was married to Lois and she tended to him in his waning years. Their love remained as resolute as ever. Lois was the inspiration which drove him fight for life. He had vowed to always be there for her and he was. Pushing ninety, Lois passed away in her sleep one year ago.

The Amazon princess was at Kal's side at the very end. She has spent the past week grieving with his three sons, Jimmy, Perry, and Pete and his daughter Lana. Wonder Woman has always been Aunt Diana to the four kids, who are now adults and accomplished members of the Justice League. They each possess roughly half the powers of their legendary father and proudly carry on in his footsteps.

*****

For Diana, the time has come. As her invisible plane passes over New York State, she hearkens back to recent conversations with her fellow Justice Leaguers. Some were surprised at her decision to return home for good to Paradise Island. A Justice League without Wonder Woman as its cornerstone is almost inconceivable. Everyone genuinely understood her decision however. This was not a rash choice in response to the death of her best friend; rather this was a matter she had privately anguished over for years. None of her colleagues could truly empathize with the heartache she has experienced watching everyone around her inevitably slip away over time.

Wonder Woman leaves the JLA in very capable hands. Her good-byes were brief and often difficult. The Amazon desires no fanfare and she refuses to make any public announcements. Nothing should remotely detract from the proper memorial to Superman. Clark's children know that the princess had stayed as long as she did for him and they graciously bid Aunt Diana a tearful farewell.

Princess Diana once again yearns for the peaceful and eternal haven of Themyscira, but there is one final person she must still visit. She disembarks in midair from her wondrous aircraft and effortlessly glides down to the ground below. The Amazon is very nervous. She would almost prefer to battle her long since deceased nemesis Barbara Minerva (a.k.a. -Cheetah); this is the toughest good-bye of all.

Seeking not to draw unwanted attention, Diana wears a baggy sweater and slacks over her costume as she enters the building. She quietly slips through the halls. The nursing home is a depressing place where many elderly patients spend the last few, trying years of their once productive lives. The princess would like to help all those who suffer so in latter stages of their stay on Earth; alas time is something even a Wonder Woman can not control.

The resident's room is unusually bright, given the somber atmosphere. The blinds are open to take advantage of the warm spring sunshine. The senior citizen sits in her wheelchair and looks out the window onto the perfectly maintained courtyard. Her back is to the doorway and, given her failing hearing, she does not detect Diana's arrival. The Amazon approaches cautiously so as not to disturb her friend in the event that she may be sleeping. The heroine notices family photographs posted throughout the room. Diana recognizes most of the particulars, her friend's two children, late husband, and of course her mother. The picture that most jumps out at the princess, however, is of the two of them taken shortly after they had first met sixty-six years earlier.

"Nessie?" Diana speaks softly upon ascertaining that she is awake. The Amazon repeats herself as she gently places her hands upon the shoulders of Vanessa Kapatelis-Perez. Although momentarily startled, Vanessa is pleased to see the Amazon princess. "Diana!" she exclaims with a smile reminiscent of the innocent teenager she once was. The pair embrace.

These two have been through a lot over the years. Fast friends during Diana's early years in Boston, they drifted apart as their lives took them in different directions. The evil witch Circe manipulated young Ms. Kapatelis, transforming her into a new version of the nefarious Silver Swan. Although Wonder Woman defeated her mystical nemesis, Circe's vile influence had lasting repercussions. Nessie had been conditioned to hate Diana and to blame the Amazon for everything that she saw as wrong with the world.

As the Silver Swan, Vanessa fought Wonder Woman numerous times. These encounters were always crushing to Diana; she could barely bring herself to strike back against her 'sister'. Eventually, the Amazon apprehended Nessie, who then received the psychiatric help she so desperately needed. Through Diana's persuasion, the authorities chose not to charge Vanessa for her misdeeds. She lost eight years to the Silver Swan, but Nessie was finally free to pursue her dreams.

Diana wheels Nessie into the courtyard for some fresh air. The two women have communicated regularly since the end of their feud. Vanessa offers her condolences on the death of Superman. She understands the Amazon's personal anguish and her mindset towards Patriarch's world. Diana wants to return home and Vanessa knows she has come to say a final good-bye.

Both women cry as the reality of the moment strikes home. "Vanessa, I love you as though you were my sister." the choked up Amazon begins. "I have learned a lot from you, Nessie, and I will always cherish our friendship." Equally struggling to voice her words, Vanessa responds "Diana, Circe turned me into an abomination. By rights, I should have been forever ruined, but you never lost faith in me. You rescued me from the ashes and gave me a chance to reclaim my life. I was happily married for forty three years and have two offspring to be proud of. None of that was possible without you. You're the best friend I could ever imagine having!"

"I will miss you, Diana." Vanessa continues. "And I will miss you, Nessie!" Wonder Woman insists. Tears stream down their cheeks as they hug one last time. "May the glory of Gaea be with you!" they proclaim in unison.