Gio Zatara sucked on his smoke, the red tip burned bright in the darkness.
"Doctors." He said, blowing smoke. "We're becoming a cliché. Men in trench coats meeting in a dark alley."
"Doctor Occult." Zatara shook the first man's hand. He in turn looked at the G-Man from under the broad brim of his Fedora, Occult's chiselled features looked stark in the moonlight. "This location lays at an intersection of Earth Energies." The older Mystery Man explained.
"That makes it a fitting place to meet." The third man noted shaking Zatara's hand in turn.
"Doctor Fate." Gio greeted him, or is it Doctor Nelson - archaeologist tonight?
"Bit of both I guess." Nelson replied.
"Your right Kent, this is a fitting place to meet." Zatara agreed, "but still, I'd prefer somewhere more comfortable."
Kent Nelson laughed. "If I was chairing this get together I think I'd have provided chairs.
"Perhaps I should..." he began his hands began to glow with a golden light.
Then from the shadows emerged a fourth ghostly figure.
"Doctor Fate, as considerate as your intentions are – such magic in this time and place is unnecessary."
Taking form the green caped and cowled figure's chalk white face appeared before them. His voice echoed deep within the heart and mind's of each man.
"James, I'm grateful you were able to join us." Doctor Occult stated.
The Spectre nodded. "I am compelled by common purpose to be here."
Fate began, hiding his suspicions behind polite civility, saying. "You Sir," have me at a disadvantage, James..."
"Corrigan." Occult replied on the Spectre behalf.
"The Avenging Angel has taken human form." Kent Nelson observed, his preternatural occult knowledge grasping who Corrigan had been chosen to become.
Zatara coughed with surprise, he too understood who the Avenging Angel was, and looking directly at the hooded ghostly figure recognised the face and the name. "Corrigan, Detective Jim Corrigan."
"It is complicated." The Spectre replied.
"I'd say it is." Zatara agreed. "Especially given that you're dead."
"I have found death to be of little consequence."
"James, if you would be so kind." Doctor Occult asked without explanation. The Spectre did not seem to need any as his cape billowed out around him and they sank into the hard pavement beneath their feet as if it were a mist rising to meet them, until darkness blanketed them.
Light from Fate's hands illuminated the nether world, an wooded landscape extending beyond the horizon. Around him, Nelson's trench coat unfolded into a fluttering golden cape, his face disappeared behind the light, now obscured by a similar golden helm, worn over a royal blue close fitting body suit, adorned with a golden belt and ending in golden boots.
"I fail to see why the Spectre should possess the only cape in the room." He stated crafting from the golden light in his fingers, glowing chairs for each of the men present.
"These maybe unnecessary." He said. "But I find the unnecessary things in life are sometimes the most important."
Zatara laughed, appreciating Fate's sentiment and as an unspoken act of agreement he added his own signature; with a flourish threw his cigarette into the midst of the arranged seats where it followed his backward spoken words exploding into a crackling fire, from which warmth and light blazed into the vast nothingness of the Spectre's nether worldly room.
Fate settled into the magically generated armchair. "Interesting." He said, taking in the subtleties of his surroundings. "We are no longer in time, but rather this is the shadow of the past – these ghostly trees stood here before Metropolis rose and concreted over the land, before men walked into America.
"We are even seated at ground level as it was in this time."
"Ever the Archaeologist Kent." Gio chuckled, taking his seat, joined by Dr Occult. The Spectre this time raised no objection, rather he, ghost like, walked through the remaining golden chair before becoming solid once more and sitting down into it.
Fate pressed his fingers together. Zatarra waited. The Spectre was ever so still like a marble statue; lifeless but imposing.
Doctor Occult removed his hat, ran his fingers through his hair. "Gentlemen, James has graciously taken us into the shadows of things that once were, so removed from our present times, where the forces of evil work."
"Here we can talk freely, and unobserved." Doctor Fate agreed.
"I have called you here because the purpose behind the theft of the Spear of Destiny is finally revealed, and it is a dark purpose that will unleash destruction and chaos on the world.
"The Nazi's have crafted themselves an olden god."
Doctor Occult let the gravity of his words sink in.
"And before this decade ends they mean to dominate the world.
"We have the advantage of operating in the shadows, because we are not yet known to the world, the attention of the Nazi's war machine will be directed at visible targets; but I fear it is only a matter of time before even our sphere of influence falls sway to their new sciences."
Finally the uncomfortable silence was broken by Doctor Fate. "What of the peoples champion, this Superman?" Kent Nelson asked. "Doesn't he just undermine the whole idea of Aryan ubermesch superiority?"
"That he does." Occult agreed. "And for that reason he is a primary target.
"Each of us works in the shadows, Superman is all about light and spectacle, he gives the common man hope."
"Superman is incredibly powerful, for a mortal man, unbelievably so, but he is a man." Zatara replied, his voice heavy with regret.
"What the Nazi's are unleashing on the world is not in any way mortal." Doctor Occult stated, echoing his friends fears.
Fate understood this, it was as he had surmised. "Then Superman is vulnerable to this new god's immortal power – as all mortal men are." Nelson looked to the Spectre.
"I must obey the Voice that directs my purpose." He answered.
The other three understood the limits of the Spectre's otherwise incredible powers.
"Then what can we do?"
"Divide and conquer." Occult replied. "I will continue to work in the shadow worlds. The Spectre is free to travel between dimensions. While Gio has already established himself in law enforcement."
"And I must concentrate my energies in the substantial world – such is my mission." Fate replied. Saying. "I shall go out and assist the new heroes that are arising in Superman's wake. For it is a new age of Heroes and Villains, one the world has not witnessed for millennia."
Doctor Occult nodded. "Indeed we understand each other."
"What of Superman?" Zatara asked. "What will become of him?"
Occult shrugged. "Mortal man's life is short and full of tears. That is the Hero's journey."
"Sacrifice." Fate stated.
"What you mean is you are both as blind as I am!" Zatara spat frustrated. "That beyond the German tyrant wanting his head on a plate, we have no idea what is going to happen."
Neither Occult nor Fate denied his accusation.
Doctor Occult nodded. " Yes this is the strangest of times, where the future is no longer tangible and as fixed – it has become akin to this fire before us, flickering and without substance, but entirely dangerous."
"Superman will attract to him all the ire and wrath of Third Reich, and the demons unleashed by it's perverse sciences." The Spectre said without emotion.
"How can a mortal man, even a super man withstand such magics?" Zatara asked the Spectre directly.
"He cannot." The one who had been Jim Corrigan replied.
"Then will you help him – you are the agent of Vengeance – are you not?" Gio pressed the chalk white man, understanding the Spectre's unique otherworldly status, did not stop Gio wishing him to be more proactive in these dark days.
"It is not yet my war."
"Then whose is it?" Zatara demanded.
"The World's." The chalk lips answered.
"What mortal in the substantial world could hope to stand beside this Superman, to keep pace with him, to be his equal and not just a liability?"
The Spectre rose upwards leaving them but saying as he drifted into insubstantial mist. "An immortal one."
Steve Trevor restlessness was growing, the hospital where he was been kept was about the strangest place he had ever seen.
His first thought was to dismiss this as a dream, but as his strength returned to him, so he found he remained conscious for longer periods, and as he fought to stay awake, he decided the Doric columns and marble floors and walls were real enough.
Wrapping himself in the sheet from his bed he eased to his feet, and stepped to the window beside him, from where he could hear the sound of surf breaking.
Leaning on the ledge Trevor looked out to sea, the sun shone reflecting off a golden beach, lush tropical and sub tropical flowers, shrubs and trees dotted the landscape; and half naked women cavorted around in flimsy silk dresses.
Yes. Trevor thought to himself, if being dead meant that stone felt hard and cool underfoot, that his fingernails could dig into the flesh of his hands, and the sun could warm his face while a sea breeze cooled his skin, then this must be some kind of heaven.
To be fair cavorting was a poetic description. The women approached carrying bags, they laughed and smiled to each other, intent on their conversation, so much so they were not aware he was watching them, that their path brought them past the window where Trevor now stood, leading on towards a impressive Temple like building beyond.
"Hello ladies!" Steve called out, waving.
The magic spell was broken.
One of the women dropped the bag she was carrying, something inside broke, and liquid leaked through the canvass onto the stone path.
More striking was the sheer horror on the faces of her friends.
Their soft warm tones changed and they shouted and ran from him. Trevor was stunned, was it shock, horror, or disgust? Or was it all three.
The language sounded like Greek to him, but he was not sure. That made no sense – while the tropical island was understandable, he had been flying in the vicinity of Bermuda, the language and architecture did not fit. Steve chose not to dwell on what he had seen immediately before the crash, because that did not make sense either, not at all.
He stood watching the puddle of colourless liquid seep out around the dropped and abandoned bag spread slowly across the stone in the sun.
"Where on Earth am I." He said to himself.
Trevor turned, still unsteady on his feet, his hand grasped the window sill firmly for support.
She was beautiful.
"Beautiful." He said, without really thinking.
Diana cocked her head to one side.
"Forgive me. I am still learning your language. I am not certain how to respond."
She held out her hand. "Handsome." She said.
Steve reached forward, his left hand still grasped the sill, his right took hers.
"Thanks." He said embarrassed. "My name is Steve Trevor."
"Diana." She replied as she shook his arm, firmly.
Too firmly, he winced.
"Guess I popped some ribs when I came down... Did the plane make it?"
Diana looked back at him blankly.
"No – of course it couldn't have."
Trevor collapsed back onto the bed. He sat there and sighed. "I can't believe it, standing for a couple of minutes makes me feel like I've been on forced march in full kit."
"You are weak. But you are much stronger than you were."
Steve wrapped an arm around his sore ribs, and looked at the woman who was learning his language.
"What's with the bathing suit?"
Again she met his question with blank incomprehension.
"Why would one need a suit to bathe in?" Diana asked.
"This is the strangest Hospital." Trevor said more to himself than her.
He looked at her though, how could he not, her long dark hair, fell across bare shoulders, her costume was red gold with a pair of the briefest blue and white star covered shorts he could imagine; that reminded him of old glory's star spangled banner.
No he reflected it was not a bathing suit, the bodice was made of leather and gold coloured metal, a stylised eagle on a red background.
She also wore a tiara-like crown.
"Are you a Queen?" Steve asked. It seemed a stupid question as he spoke it. Maybe it was the accident, he thought, smacked my head and now I'm speaking my thoughts without thinking.
Diana smiled. "The Queen is my Mother."
Trevor chuckled – thinking – and saying. "Now everything makes so much more sense, so that makes you a Princess?"
"What is funny?" Diana asked.
I have no idea where I am.
"Yes – but where is that?"
"Well you are not on Themyscira proper, rather on the Island of Healing."
"Yes – okay, when then do I get to go to Themyscira?" Steve stumbled over the odd sounding name.
Diana appeared surprised. "You do not. No man may set foot on Themyscira."
"You say that as if I should know."
Diana this time looked at him as if he were addled.
Trevor shook his head and winced.
"You should rest." Diana scolded. "The journey back to your America will be a long one."
"When?" Trevor demanded. Adding hastily. "You really mean that you are sending me back to the States?"
"Rest Steve Trevor." Diana told him.
Trevor recognised a voice of command, maybe she really is a Princess he though as he swung himself back onto the bed. "Okay Princess Beautiful, whatever you say Ma'am!"
"I need to get back home – if resting means I get there all the quicker, then rest I shall."
"I am honour bound to see that happens." Diana replied.
"Why?" Steve blurted out.
"Because I saved your life." She replied, and with that Diana left him more confused than ever.
"You say that the American is back on his feet?" Queen Hippolyta asked of her Daughter.
"Yes Mother." Diana answered. She wore the costume of her new office, the clothes of the Champion of Themyscira, it was an act of defiance – a statement of her new found status.
"He must be expelled." Philippus stated. Her mind ever that of the General. A man was a threat to security, to their paradise.
"I am aware that Trevor must leave this place, but I must ensure he arrives back with his own people." Diana countered. "To that end he had to be well enough to undertake the trip."
"I thought your Purple Ray had healed him?" Phillipus asked pointedly.
"It is an ongoing process, but yes he is much improved."
"Clearly it has worked well enough for him to leave his bed." Hippolyta noted. Quickly she made up her mind.
"I shall instruct a ship to made ready." She gestured to her General.
Then looking to Diana. Her eyes lingered on the costume of the Champion. "You shall sail in the morning." The Queen stated. Adding. "You are clearly anxious to begin your role as Champion and Ambassador.
"The Man can convalesce in bed aboard ship just as well as he might on the Island." Hippolyta determined.
Phillipus looked surprised. "Majesty. How is our ship to leave the Islands? How will the boundary between worlds be safely crossed?"
"That is a matter for the gods." Hippolyta stated. "That this can happen is evidenced by the Man's arrival, we will have to trust the gods who commanded Tournament, to appoint an Ambassador for an answer to that dilemma – after all Diana as our Ambassador is fated to leave us." The Queen's words were coloured with both regret, and faith in the guiding wisdom from Olympus.
Diana had long wondered about this problem herself, leaving Themyscira was not as straightforward as simply sailing away, there was a boundary between worlds to be breached, but she too accepted if this was the will of the gods, then the voyage would happen.
"I shall inform Steve Trevor. He is anxious to return to his home."
The Queen frowned. "It is not necessary. You should avoid all unnecessary fraternization with him and his kind, sunrise is soon enough."
"Am I not the Chosen Champion - Ambassador to Man's World?" Diana asked.
"Yes. That however does not change my instruction to you one iota regarding men."
Diana properly bowed her head. "As you command my Queen. As you say Mother."
As the Princess left her mother's presence, General Phillipus said to Hippolyta. "My Queen I fear she will do exactly as she wishes."
"I fear you are right old friend."
Leaving the Palace Diana strode purposefully into the courtyard where her horse awaited her, and with effortless grace she sprang into the saddle before driving her mare forward and out of the gates into the open countryside, eastwards towards the setting sun.
It was a magnificent sunset, a good omen Diana considered for her journey to Man's world and the western continent called the America's.
When her horse suddenly twisted beneath her, Diana was caught out, but not unaware, for her mind and body were as one, and as the poor animal bucked and snorted in fear, so she sailed upwards and somersaulted through the air, to land on her feet ahead of the startled horse.
"Shhhh now." Diana cooed. "Whatever startled you so?" She asked.
The horse snorted and took a step back and yet it pushed forward it's head towards her outstretched hand.
"I fear it is I who startled your mount."
Diana spun around. She recognised the baritone of a man's voice now, she had heard the American speak often enough, but this was not him.
The language was her own. The speaker as yet unidentified.
Diana struggled to see something she felt should be there in the twilight of the day, a figure, a man – a giant of a man.
So it was that shimmering in the fire of the setting sun, Diana saw the god Hermes take shape, and become substantial before her eyes. His winged helmet and sandals identified him, as did the staff he carried, the powerful symbol of his might - the Caduceus, a winged rod wrapped around about by twin entwined serpents.
Focusing on his statuesque form she fell to her knee in homage. "Lord Hermes. Only a god can set foot on the sacred ground of Themyscira unchallenged. Your humble servant bids you welcome."
"Child arise from your knees, I have business with you."
"I come bearing gifts from the gods."
Hermes had a bag hung from his shoulder. He reached into it with one hand and with the other he plucked from her head the crown of Amazon rank. Beside him the Cauduceus hovered free of his grip.
Hermes placed upon Diana's head a simple tiara of gold, with a single red ruby cut star.
"I crown you Champion of the Amazons and Ambassador of Themyscira.
"This tiara is god-made, forged from the Discus of Apollo, it will always strike true, and always return to your hand."
Diana bowed before Hermes, her hands placed together as in prayer, she acknowledged his gift. Then with alarm she found his hands taking hold of hers, fixing around her wrists, as the adamant bracelets of Themysciran manufacture fell away to the ground at his touch.
For a moment she was ashamed, she felt naked before him, but the moment passed as the cool touch of metal once again encased her wrists.
"These vambraces are forged from the Aegis Shield of Zeus himself, and they are indestructible."
"Great Hera!" Diana mouthed her shock and surprise. She felt weak and childlike before such divine generosity.
Hermes reached into the bag a third time and withdrew a golden rope made of the finest golden links.
"This Lasso is beaten from the Golden Girdle of Gaea and imbued with the fires of the goddess Hestia, it is unbreakable and whoever is bound by it cannot escape, whoever is bound by it is bound to tell the truth, and only the truth, no lie can pass their lips." This too Hermes passed to Diana.
"I cannot tell you how much this means..." She gasped.
Hermes then reached down and fluidly removed his own winged sandals, tucking them together, he gave these to Diana.
With these you will be able to pass freely the boundary between many worlds, between Themyscira, and the world beyond.
Diana held the sandals in her hands, they were huge, far to large for her more delicate feet. Her confusion was written in her face.
"All will become clear my Child." Hermes replied, with a wicked grin.
Then the moment was disturbed by the sound of horses, and jangle of Armour. Phillipus and the Royal Guard crashed into the clearing.
"Princess!" The General called out.
Diana stood her head bowed, her back turned to them.
"We saw fire fall like lightening from heaven, and there was a crash of thunder that shook the island."
"All is well." Hermes said.
For a second the Amazons struggled, with their skittish horses, and with their own senses, as they saw the visage of the god luminescent with their own eyes.
The General and her Guard fell from their mounts and down to their knees; yet even as they reacted with a flash of light the Herald of the gods was gone.
Diana knelt beside the surf, before her on the sand was the outsized sandals of Hermes. Night gave way to the dawn, and the sun rose across the water. Whereas the other gifts of the gods had been familiar to her, comprehensible, part of her training, her culture, indeed they had been made for her as an Amazon, the Champion of the Themyscira, in comparison although equally divine, Hermes' winged sandals were an otherworldly artefact.
Yet Diana was not without her own unique talents.
The wisdom of Athena and the speed of Hermes, to name but two. Intuitively she understood the ways of the gods, and the nature of their world.
"It is not what something is, so much as what it represents." Diana said out loud.
"Words have power."
"It is not what I say, so much as what I mean. What is the spirit behind what has been said.
Above her gulls cried out a stark answer, the birds soared above the beach, above the paradise Island that was home to the Amazons.
Diana closed her eyes. "Winged Sandals speak of flight."
Extending her arms wide she felt the wind through her fingers, the warm air rising from the sand the cool air driving from the sea.
Opening her eyes Diana found she was soaring above them all, flying with birds across the Islands.
Climbing and diving, dancing and soaring, Diana understood the power Hermes had given her was to step above and beyond the limits of Themyscira.
In time she alighted back onto the Island of Healing, elated and yet sombre, she knew the time had come for her to leave.
Excitement was tinged with sadness, and more so when she saw her mother had come to make sure the American truly did leave with the dawn; and to say her goodbyes.
As she settled to the ground beside the Queen, her mother's stunned expression said more than a thousand words. Her mother had seen her fly, seen her soar, seen Diana defy gravity.
"Hermes has granted me the power of flight." Diana stated.
"This much I see, although I hardly believe it." Hippolyta replied.
With the Queen had come her court, her advisers, and her General.
They too now looked upon their Champion with stunned faces of amazement and admiration.
"The boat is ready for your journey." Hippolyta told her daughter, her hand rested on Diana's arm, tears welled in her eyes.
The Princess shook her head. "Thank you, but no.
"I can carry Steve Trevor to the western continent far faster than any boat can sail." Diana explained.
"Majesty." The General spoke up after a stunned moment of quiet. "Then I should ask the crew to stand down?" Phillipus asked.
"Princess." Doctor Althea walked forward. "The Man is much stronger, your purple ray has worked a miracle, but I must ask - how can you imagine carrying him through the air?
"Exposing him to all manner of weather, of hot and cold, he is but a man, he needs the comfort of a bed, of warmth – of protection from the elements."
The assembled Amazon's murmured. Diana felt again her judgement was being questioned.
She stiffened, unconsciously mimicking the regal bearing of her mother, coupled with the authority of Phillipus.
"Althea, you are right of course; but the gift of Hermes is more than it appears.
"You saw me fly above the Island, and this part of this gift, but not all of it – because his gift is defined by his purpose – Hermes gifted me his ability to travel between worlds – yes to fly, but more than that to cross boundaries, all these things he does as the Herald of the gods, but he has another role - that of the guide of souls."
Steve Trevor looked on at the women as they talked in their peculiar tongue, the Princess seemed to hold there attention, she wore her colours, distinct from the flowing robes of the other women,
Then the matter appeared settled between them, and he marvelled as Diana approached him. He struggled to rise from the chair where he had placed, he could not be certain, but he suspected he was being taken home.
Diana placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Come Steve Trevor." She said in English, as she picked him up easily, as if he were a baby.
He protested, but there was metal in the blue of her eyes, steely determination.
"I am taking you home." She told him.
Diana carried the airman through the assembled Amazons who parted to allow their Princess to pass.
Then framed against the sea and sky, Steve Trevor's eyes saw something appearing from out the blue like a glass bird.
He stared questioning the evidence of his eyes, and as he focused Trevor realised this apparition was an aircraft. Indeed it was not unlike the prototype he flown and crashed into sea, yet it was subtly different, larger perhaps, certainly sleeker and more intimidating. He permitted himself to acknowledge that much – subtly different he thought, but only if I ignore the fact that it was until a moment ago entirely invisible, and even as he was taken inside the aircraft, the strange vehicle remained glass like in its translucency.
"Oracle!" Queen Hippolyta called out to Menalippe. "Explain this wonder."
The fair haired Amazon doyen of the mysterious nodded and spoke.
"It is as Diana said, this is the gift of Hermes, this invisible aeroplane is flight, just as the sandals were never merely sandals, neither is this aeroplane simply a aircraft, it is the gift given form – flight is the purpose.
"We perceive the gifts purpose expressed as something real, something that substantial in the substantial world, in previous centuries people imagined winged sandals might allow a person to fly, now we know an aircraft from Man's World achieves the same, so together we now see such a machine."
Hippolyta nodded understanding. "It is fitting Diana should enter Man's World in command of such an amazing device, having mastery of their skies."
"And just as the Ferryman has a boat to carry souls across the Styx to Hades, so Diana has a craft to ferry the American back to the western continent." Menalippe observed.
"And neither craft are simply what we observe them to be." Hippolyta acknowledged. Saying "For if they were simply what they appeared to be, then they would not be able to cross the expanse between worlds."
Struggling with the evidence of their eyes the assembled Amazon's realised they could no longer see the form of the aeroplane, and yet they could hear the roar of her powerful engines, and could feel the wind of it's passing, as Diana guided the invisible plane into the air, and away. Then silence returned to the Isle of Healing.
High above them, unseen Diana carried Steve Trevor away from Themyscira, westward, she observed the curtain of coloured light that marked the boundary between dimensions and with confidence born from faith in Hermes gift, Diana crossed the barrier between the hidden Amazonian Islands and into the harsher reality of Man's World.
Steve Trevor awoke. He could hear the distant comforting hum of engines, quietly almost too quietly propelling this incredible plane through the sky.
Framed by clouds through the translucent hull was the beauty of Diana. The Princess was leaning over him.
"Here drink this." She said.
"Who's flying the plane?" Steve asked as he sipped from the flask she had given him.
"I am." She replied.
Steve felt like saying, but you're not, this time he kept his own counsel, much to his relief, and reasoned that a plane that could fly itself was no more ridiculous than one which appeared out of thin air whilst being invisible.
"Where are we?" He did ask.
"According to my Lodestone we are approaching the coast of your country – a region called Florida. I believe that is where your home is?"
"I was based their, Steve replied.
"That is what you told me." Diana stated.
"Yes I mean that's where I took off from." He said.
"Then it is only fitting I should return you there."
Diana turned away, sitting down in the forward cockpit. "We will land shortly."
Steve wondered how long he had slept, he remembered flying though what seemed to a kaleidoscope of colour that had filled the sky, and then he realised he had fallen unconscious, the two events had to be connected, he still felt weak, but not tired so that he would fall asleep in mid flight.
The cool water was refreshing however, and he reluctantly relaxed and thought about how he was going to account for the loss of the Atalanta prototype and his return to his superiors.
On the ground at Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the sound of the approaching aircraft was met with confusion and shouts of puzzlement, because as the technicians, and ground crew looked upwards seeking the unscheduled arrival they could see nothing at all.
The confusion was even greater by the time Diana strode into the base's Sanatorium carrying effortlessly in her arms the somewhat embarrassed lost airman.
The duty Doctor stood ago, stunned into silence.
Finally a nurse said with surprise. "Isn't that Captain Trevor?" Adding more personally. "Steve is that you?"
Her colleague spluttered. "But Trevor's dead."
"Guess again Doc." Steve coughed.
"He suffered serious injuries, but he is well on the way to making a full recovery." Diana declared.
She waited for a response, and when non was forthcoming Diana added.
"I shall leave him in your care."
She placed the Captain down on an empty bed, saying. "Farewell Steve.
"I must make my leave. My work here is done."
Steve took her hand. "So soon Beautiful?"
Diana looked at him bemused, but she smiled non the less.
"Washington will want to know of this." The Doctor declared. He recovered his sense and came over to Trevor, casting a long look over Diana, then visually checking over the airman. "You were reported as lost at sea weeks ago."
"Who is Washington?" Diana asked cautiously.
"Historically, or Geographically?" Steve chuckled. Waving the medic away, so he could concentrate on the Amazon, adding. "In this sense it's a place, the seat of my countries Government."
Diana nodded she understood. Steve tried to reach out to her once more, but across the wider base Diana's arrival had not gone unnoticed. A woman walking across an airfield carrying a man was unlike the plane they arrived in, very visible.
"What the Devil is going on here!"
Trevor winced as he sat up. Men burst in the room. Military Police, led in by a familiar face.
"Colonel Darnell." He said. "I've made it back." Steve waved, adopting a comical grin.
"Trevor?" Darnell spluttered. For a moment he too wore the mask of disbelief, before regaining something of his usual demeanour of command. "Where has that half naked woman gone?"
Steve immediately looked around in vain, Diana had used this moment of confusion to vanish – or so it seemed to him, he felt a strong sense of regret and longing.
"What kind of Woman was that?" The Colonel demanded.
"A Wonder Woman." Trevor sighed as he collapsed back into his hospital bed.
Westpahlia Germany. Architecturally striking the Castle Welwelsburg dominated the landscape, its unique triangular design had captivated Himmler, who in 1934 made this seat of the prince-bishops of Paderborn the headquarters of the SS.
Dark clouds gathered above the towering stone walls as the dark Mercedes staff car carried the Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler to his self proclaimed 'centre of the world'; chosen because of confluence of mystically divined lines of energy, identified through the metaphysical art of Geomancy.
Sweeping through the Castles gates and into the inner court yard the SS leader is escorted into the Fortress.
Deep inside the substantial walls the bespectacled Nazi leans over the scale model of planned complex which was to engulf the surrounding village, and at it's heart the geometric triangular castle he has claimed as his own.
Lifting his gaze Himmler is alerted by the parting of his personal guard as they turn aside to allow an older and deeply jowled man to enter the room.
"Ah. Karl." Himmler snaps a greeting.
Karl Maria Wiligut salutes. His thin greying hair pulled back, thin moustache and dark brows, heavy nose. Willigut looks like an old raven.
" Reichsfuehrer." He greets the small man.
"Colonel – how goes the preparations." Himmler asks quietly.
"The land is ready, the energy readings are high, our subject is eager to serve." The Nazi occultist had long being called Himmler's Rasputin, the SS leader nodded allowing a thin smile to cross his lips. "Lead on my friend, I would like to meet our volunteer.
Willigut nods, and gestures for his leader to follow.
The two men walked together, closely shadowed by Himmler's SS bodyguard.
Himmler and Willigut, the guard, they all wear the distinctive silver death's head emblem on their hats, and are dressed in sharply tailored black uniform of the Schutzstaffel. This same deaths head motif is represented on the special rings each man wore, every one a personal gift from Himmler himself.
Given only to the elite of the SS, the ring itself had been designed by Willigut.
"How is your health old friend." Himmler asked as they walked.
Willigut replied with a nervous cough. Adding, "I am well for the moment."
Himmler nodded. "This conceit is best."
The older man laughed. "I am better among the dead."
Himmler agreed without any sign of amusement. "The strain of your work – dealing with such forces from the netherworld; the common man cannot hope to understand."
"Yes Reichsfuehrer." Willigut acknowledged that the wider world believed him dead, that this was a good thing. "You sir, more than any have appreciated the personal cost that wrestling with ancient powers to master the mysteries of the Irmin. To the uninitiated the awakening of consciousness would seem like madness."
Himmler accepted the compliment with a simple nod.
Shortly the two men entered a chamber deep within the fortress. Decorated with runes, and swastika, chalked patterns on the stone floor transcribed from millennia old inscriptions in the rocks of the Black Forest juxtaposed incongruously with modern devices. Cold metal boxes, bristling with switches, covered in dials and fed by heavy insulated cables.
A tall blond haired young man in his early twenties snapped to attention. He wore a leotard like a gymnast.
Himmler walked around the taller man like a cattle dealer looking over a prospective purchase.
Finally he looked him in the eye.
Wiligut gestured to the subject saying. "This is Wilhelm Bastian."
Himmler nodded. "An Aryan. Good. This means you expect success." He smiled. "No more volunteers from the workers barracks." He noted refering to the concentration camp that had been instituted specifically to assist with the works at the castle.
Approaching the blond youth Himmler stood tall, his head held back slightly, looking up he said. "Colonel Willigut tells me you have memories of previous lives?"
It would be an odd question outside these walls, but not here.
"Yes Sir!" Bastian snapped.
Bastian shifted for the first time he appeared uncomfortable.
"I was a woman Sir." He answered hestiantly. "I think – nothing is very clear; it is confused."
"A long time ago, in the time of cavemen."
"Truly?" Himmler demanded.
"He remembers being violated." Willigut stated. Bastian's jaw clenched.
"Then?" Himmler asked the blond man once more.
"Then I am male, a Priest in the time of the Pharoahs." Bastian replied with more certainty.
"And again in Babylon, a Priest, also again in Rome; then I was a Knight – a Templar." He continued becoming more confident.
Himmler smiled, the Knights Templar were a subject that greatly interested him.
"There were others, I am not certain of some things." Bastian admitted. Adding with fervour. "Today I am loyal soldier of the Reich."
"Excellent." Himmler stated. "You are ready to begin the process."
Bastian swallowed, terror flashed across his eyes. "Yes Sir!" He said.
The Reichsfuehrer recognised his apprehension, and approved of it, no sane man would enter into this tryst with the old powers without fear.
"Good man." Himmler turned to his colonel, and occultist Wiligut. "Karl how long must we wait?"
Wiligut consulted his watch. "We should prepare Captain Bastian directly. I estimate a little less than an hour remains until the confluence of earth energies begins."
"Very well, let this be done. Good luck Captain." Himmler turned and left the chamber.
Diana released the controls of her invisible plane, which unfolded behind her like paper, fluttering in the breeze, collapsing into itself beyond human sight. Diana swooped like the eagle of Hera, Athena and Zeus. Down from the sky into the city of lights below. She was intrigued by the lights, the cars, the sounds and smells of Washington.
Diana did not know what to expect from the capital of Steve Trevor's United States.
Alighting to the pavement she walked in the cool of the morning, taking in the sights. In time the empty streets began to fill as people began their day. Diana walked among them - this throng of people hurrying to their places of employment. Initially she was enchanted by the other worldly difference, Diana was like a tourist. The Amazonian Princess was initially bemused by startled reactions around her, but her preternaturally keen senses bombarded her with the truth. Lingering open mouthed stares, whispered words of surprise, some of lust, others of disgust. This reaction troubled her. Diana felt no shame about her appearance, and she did not understand why many of the Americans did.
Stopping before a Ladies outfitters, she stared at the shop's window display, where arranged mannequins were dressed in the latest fashions, she paused and reflected – contrasting her Amazonian garb with the oddly dressed men in their long pants, and the women in their dresses and skirts. So much more material than I am used too, she thought.
Inside Diana could see money was being exchanged. She understood the principle, coin for goods and services, although on Themyscira the Amazon's had no need for it. However here the implication was obvious, if she wished to blend in here in America she needed American clothes, and to get these she needed money. This Washington; Diana considered, was a strange an alien world.
The rattle tat tat immediately caught Diana's attention. Spining around she tensed for action. The wind carried the sounds from further afield, now following on were screams of terror, cries of panic, and angry voices. Her instincts led to unhesitating action, and Wonder Woman leapt above the street below, leaving astonished faces behind her.
Outside the bank the gunmen let rip once more, the police were pinned down, people huddled behind what cover they could find as hot lead flew between them.
Diana alighted gently to the ground.
She turned to a startled woman beside her.
"Sister, what is happening here?"
The woman mouth opened, and hung there. The man with her looked up from under the brim of his hat. "They are robbing the bank lady. What's up with you, get down, there is shooting going on!"
"Robbery." Diana replied. Another alien concept.
Walking forward Diana observed the field of battle, she saw the path of each bullet, calculating trajectories, she stepped into the line of fire, faster than the human eye could make sense of she ricocheted fire into the ground, intercepting bullets from both sides.
Logically she deduced which was which.
"There is a dame." One of the bank robbers said.
"In the street, in a bathing suit." Another gasped.
"Gentlemen please put down your weapons. Return the money you have stolen." Diana began, indicating behind her to the uniformed men she said. "Surrender to the Officers of Justice who serve Washington, America." Her instructions were strong and clear above the hubbub.
"Don't know what you've been drinking doll face, but pretty gal or not, I'm going to have to plug ya' if you don't move your pretty ass out of here." One of crooks threatened.
Diana reached for the automobile that stood between them, and effortlessly moved the car aside.
Stunned by this incredible display of strength the armed robber let rip with his hand gun, yet the bullets were met with metal forged from the supernatural Aegis Shield in a blur of movement as Diana directed the deadly hot metal to ground.
"She's playing catch with em!" He blurted.
"I shall play catch with you!" Diana responded.
His colleagues were stunned, at first hesitant to shoot at an unarmed woman they raised there guns fear overcoming any prejudice.
Grabbing the man before her, Diana identified him as the leader, or least the most vocal of the bunch, her iron grip forced him to drop his weapon, and in a fluid motion, and good to her word, Wonder Woman threw the rugged faced man into the air spinning him around and directing him at his colleagues. The big man smashed into them felling them into a chaotic tumble.
Now she stood back as the dark blue uniformed policeman approached.
"Lady I don't know how you did that." One of the cops said, adding. "But thanks."
"Got to be Superman's sister?" His buddy wondered quietly.
Answering him by leaping into the air Wonder Woman left them, she could hear them calling out to her, ordering her to stay and answer questions, but Diana felt no obligation or inclination to given any other answer to men, than to take to the air.
"Thank you Darling." The stunning woman took the wine glass from the officers outstretched hand.
"Colonel Darnell may I introduce Baroness Paula Von Gunther."
"Ah Colonel Darnell, a pleasure to make your acquaintance.."
"Indeed not young lady." Darnell countered, taking her proffered hand he kissed it. "I'm sure the pleasure is all mine."
Her dark eyes looked across black lined lids, rep painted lips pouted, and golden hair fell across her shoulders, the Baronesses voice purred with a German accent all to reminiscent of Garbo. "Colonel how kind of you to come to our little gathering."
He false modesty roused a wry smile from the seasoned soldier. Whose military green looked all so drab next the silvery excess of the Baronesses' resplendent cocktail gown.
"I could hardly refuse an invitation to fund raiser for veterans."
"From both sides of the Great war." She added.
Darnell looked out across the floor of Washington Hotel Ballroom where the Baroness was hosting her party. There were men in uniform, others older veterans wore their medals. Among them German Americans who had served the Kaiser as boys and had emigrated in the intervening years.
"It is regrettable that Europe is again at war." He said directly.
"A war Germany does not want." Baroness Paula replied. "But as much as I fondly remember the land of my birth, I find your America has charmed me."
The Colonel nodded politely, he knew from her file that Von Gunther had flown into New York aboard a Zeppelin in 1935, she had been in the US ever since.
Beside his beautiful host Darnell's people at military intelligence would check the backgrounds of all these veterans. Since Britain's declaration of War on Nazi Germany, while publicly pledging to keep America neutral, FDR had been in close contact with the Firebrand First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.
America walked a fine line constrained by the isolationist legislation of the recent past and the rapidly changing world's descent into conflict.
Darnell smiled sweetly at the stunning example of Aryan perfection. Paula's file made it clear she was a person of interest to military intelligence.
"I hear you received back one of your own." She purred.
Darnell raised his brows, as he sipped from his own drink.
"Captain Steven Trevor."
"Has that made the papers in Washington?" Darnell replied blithely.
Paula smiled sweetly. She did not say either way, instead she leant into him, her face lifted up expectantly.
Darnell slipped into the agreed story. "Yeah. Trevor back home, got banged up – rough landing in the Caribbean, he was out of it for a long time, and you know how laid back those folks are, it took a while for him to come round, and so get in contact – and then get home."
"Really?" Paula said. Darnell could not tell whether she believed his lie. He face was a sweet portrait of innocence.
"I heard he was brought home by an Amazon."
"Steve Plane went down off Bemuda, no where near South America." Darnell laugh was kind of hollow.
"No." Paula insisted, for the first time Darnell felt an edge to her voice. Then sweetly she continued, laying her hand on his arm. "I meant Amazon in the poetic sense, a tall beautiful athletic woman."
Darnell felt his mouth twitch. Then quickly he recovered. "Well if you knew Steve, you'd know he can find em' pretty much anywhere he lands."
The Baroness laughed.
"I see, it was just something someone said."
"I forget. You know parties around town, so many faces, hard to keep track."
Darnell nodded folding his arms.
"I thought perhaps this was another those 'mystery men' well mystery woman in this case, you know the ones reporters have been writing about?"
Darnell did not commit an answer. She persisted. "There seems to have been an explosion of this..." She paused and smiled saying deliberately in her distinctive accent. "Phenomena - over the last couple of years."
"You shouldn't believe everything you read Baroness." Darnell said seriously.
"Of course." Paula replied, laughing again. "How the press exaggerates!" Staring with her dark eyes fixed on his.
Glancing at his wrist watch Darnell said. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to excuse myself, I have an appointment I must attend."
As Darnell left the Baroness he could almost feel her eyes following him, and it was with relief that he climbed into the army car. Barking at his driver, the big sedan took him across town to Constitution Avenue and the Munitions Building, home to the department of War since the previous year.
Hurriedly he strode to his appointment within the sprawling complex. With a sharp knock at the requisite door Darnell paused and then entered.
"Colonel take a seat." Leslie Groves indicated to the empty chair across from his. The small conference room was occupied by a third officer of their rank, who he recognised as Colonel Lane from Metropolis.
"Good to see you again Sam." Darnell shook his hand.
"And you Phil."
Once seated Groves efficiently moved to the task at hand.
"Tell me about this.. Wonder Woman character."
Darnell shrugged. "Everything I know. Everything Trevor told us is in that report. Frankly a lot of it sounds frankly crazy."
"We've seen a lot of crazy lately." Grove noted, looking across at Lane. "And not just from Metropolis." He leant forward passing a manilla file across to Darnell, with the red 'top secret' stamp on the cover.
Darnell opened the folder, picking through the photographs and notes he held up the stills of Superman, shots from the Fire Bird incident. There was another of Superman in what appeared to be armour.
"I had the President asking me about this 'Traffic Light Man' Grove growled, this hot on the heals, if you'll pardon the pun, of this Flash character, that has been charging around Keystone city.
"You mean the Green Lantern" Darnell suggested looking up from the file he was reading.
Grove nodded. "Yes I think you're right.
"Green Lantern, not Traffic Light." Grove scribbled across his notes, as he shot a questioning look in Darnell's direction.
Darnell read it's meaning. "Military Intelligence... I mean I have been concerned about the rise in these 'mystery men' - whether this was orchestrated in some way, and regardless of that, whether these individuals represented a threat to national security."
"Which is why we've invited you here today." Grove explained. "Our Organisation, "he tapped his papers to draw Darnells attention to the name printed on the top of each page – that read Alsos, "has a remit to research anything that falls outside the ordinary; and Captain Trevor's disappearance – reappearance clearly falls into this category."
"What can I do to help." Darnell responded.
Groves sat back in his chair, he toyed with his pen, as he talked. "Trevor is the only contact between this Wonder Woman, by that I mean particular this undiscovered culture, this island paradise – and America.
"We know that the Nazi's have allied themselves with a hidden civilisation with outposts around the world."
"It's in the file." Groves stated.
Lane indicated that Darnell should leaf through to the final part of the report.
As he did so Groves continued. "On the basis of what Trevor observed we are keen to establish diplomatic relations with these Amazons."
Darnell scanned the file. His face became grave. He nodded grapsing the logic. "As a counter weight, to balance out the Nazi's alliance with this hidden group." He pointed to the disturbing rendering of the subterranean reptilians that illustrated Superman's encounter with the Annunki.
"Exactly." Grove stated. "And judging by Trevor's file he is more than well equipped to lead this charm offensive, even without the added advantage of making first contact with these women.
Himmler watched as Willigut worked the controls on the board before them. In the centre of the room Bastian the volunteer, their chosen test subject was strapped to a contraption that looked more like a medieval instrument of torture than a device of cutting edge science.
The young SS officer was stretched across what appeared to in all intents and purposes a wrack, only the heavy duty cables that wound serpent like from the metal shackles that held him in place splayed out like Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.
A nurse secured the final fixing, a mouth guard which would stop him biting his tongue. Quickly the area within the geometric drawings was evacuated, leaving only Bastian alone among the machines.
"My initial designs utilised the finest quartz crystals." Willigut informed his superior. Himmler nodded, watching the Colonel as he prepared for the experiment.
"My work was built upon that of the radio, with modification I was able to detect the distortions in the background magnetic field, and from there began divine the flow of mystical earth energy.
"It was not until you, Reichsführer, directed Ahnenerbe to give to me one of the green meteor crystal's for experimentation, that I found a way fine tune and amplify my early work."
Willigut directed Himmler to a cylinder from where a eerie green glow seeped through the small inspection window. "Now with this crystal modulating the frequencies, I can charge a capacitor with this channelled earth energy – the very spirit of the Greater Germany, and direct this into a vessel."
Himmler nodded. "I hope this subject proves to be more resilient than the others."
Willigut shrugged. "They were but stepping stones along the way.
"Bastian is unique in several respects."
"Indeed." Himmler nodded. "This is why I am here."
Willigut inspected the dials on the panel before him once more. His wrinkled hand then paused as it hovered over the control board. He looked at Himmler. "With your permission."
"For the glory of the Third Reich." Willigut stated and he threw the switch.
Immediately Bastian began to spasm violently, as arcs of flickering energy sparked across his torso, his back arched as he fought with his restraints.
As he thrashed against his bonds a odd transformation began to take place. His skin took on a green hue. Willigut in turn dialled up the power, turning a large selector all the way to eleven, lightening like bolts crackled out around the room, breaking open the invisible barrier of Willigut's arcane circle, then the white fire engulfed Bastian in bright phosphorescent flash. Then everything went dark.
Himmler stopped shielding his eyes, shaking his head as he adjusted to the sudden darkness, confused cries rang out, and then the hum of a generator could be heard engaging and electric lights flickered back lighting the dungeon.
Bastian still strapped to the device shook and twitched, but slowly his convulsions stopped, his skin no longer glowed, but it remained green, and his grey leotard had been transformed, bizarrely now a vivid blood red.
It was then the green man's dark eyes snapped open, and without effort, he slipped out of his bonds.
Himmler stared wide eyed as the man who had been Bastian freed himself, the thick leather straps that had held him fast seemed to age instantly, falling away, benneath him metal rusted, and wood crumbled.
Black eyes stared out at the Reichsführer, as the man who had been Bastian roared in anger, clenching his fists before him, golden fire erupted from them, and then with a crackle and snap the figure was gone, only the strong smell of Ozone remained.
Himmler excited and wide eyed turned to Willigut, barking an order. "Get me a phone, I must place a call to the Fuhrer in Berlin immediately."
Diana wrestled confused with the foreign otherworldliness of this land, man's world. If she were not honour bound to be an ambassador of peace she would have turned away from this America and flown herself back through the veil to Themyscira; but she was beholden to complete her mission.
Gracefully she soared over Washington, and as the sun set, she took solace in the monumental buildings that reminded her of the Grecian architecture of her homeland, one in particular had the pattern of Temple of Athena on Themyscira. Yet it was not the goddess that Diana found within, but a great statue of a man.
As she looked upon this seated giant Diana was aware of another woman's presence.
"Diana?" The voice called out. Turning she stepped out of the long shadows and smiling she greeted the American, wondering how it was this stranger knew her name.
"Good evening Sister. Is this a place of worship for your people?"
The voluptuous young woman appeared more than surprised, gasping she took a step back.
Blinking she recovered, and answered. "You could say that. Although I wouldn't." She spoke with a Texan drawl.
"Worship isn't what I'd say, some folk would take exception to using that outside of Church, so I'd go with honour, sure honouring Lincoln is what this memorial is all about."
"I'm sorry if my choice of words offended you. I'm Diana, I am visiting man's world for the first time."
The woman chuckled, her full face lit up with a smile and her heavily curled strawberry blonde hair bobbed about as she laughed.
"Woo woo! Sister, you got that right, this is a man's world and you can go double for Washington for sure." She smiled broadly once more and extended her hand. "Etta, Etta Candy."
"I am Diana, Princess of the Amazons – but you called out my name, so I thought you knew that?"
Etta confirmed her suspicions. "I was coming here to meet my friend – Diana, another Diana. I've been here for ages, and she hasn't turned up – I took a walk around the monument and then I met you. That is a coincidence I guess."
"I don't believe in coincidence." Diana replied. "The gods themselves must have meant us to meet."
"Wait." Etta said. "You're a Princess, I mean for real – you're not joking are you?"
Diana nodded. "I am from the Island of Themyscira."
Etta swallowed. She seemed upset about her friend. Diana looked at the buxom woman across from her, and she recognised the elements of the clothes she was wearing, a style familiar to her, it reminded her of the uniforms she had seen back in Florida at the air base. Etta wore military green, with a beige trench coat draped over one arm.
"Do you know Captain Steve Trevor?"
"Can't say I do." Etta replied. Asking almost immediately. "Is he your sweetheart?"
Diana looked back blankly.
Then Etta asked. "Aren't you cold honey?"
"Not at all." Diana replied honestly.
"It's just that – well you look like you're dressed for the beach, and there isn't a beach here."
"I see now that I am inappropriately dressed." Diana admitted. "This would not be true at home."
Etta's face hardened. "Sister you should be able to wear what you want; you're not wrong, it's crazy when you stop and think about all the rules that exist about what you can and can't wear to this and that."
"This world is complicated." Diana acknowledged. "Are you a soldier?"
"Me?" Etta laughed. "I'm a girl honey! Silly, no I'm in the voluntary corps. Actually it's a long story, but short of it is I'm a student at George Washington University."
"Yes I believe Washington is a man as well as place." Diana observed without irony. She also remembered women were not soldiers in America.
"Just where are you from?" Etta asked. "Where is it you called your home?"
"That too is a long story." Diana laughed. Adding. "Can you help me find more suitable clothes, I thought to try earlier... but I seem to lack the right means of exchange, that is money I mean."
"Heck – don't we all." Etta laughed not quite understanding Diana's predicament. Then she said more to herself. "Why not."
Etta came across to Diana and reaching up she said. "Here you go!" As she draped Diana in her long trench coat. "I'll introduce you to the girls, and we can swap our long stories."
Hitler sat at his desk in the great office of the New Reich Chancellery in Berlin. His hands rested on the polished surface in his hands he grasped the shaft of the Hofburg Spear, the Vienna Lance, the Longinus – the Spear of Destiney. The Fuhrer waited.
Himmler had told him of the success at Wewelsburg. How the project had reached it's conclusion.
Hitler had waited the allotted time, giving the new god time to adjust to his nature; but he could wait no longer.
His hands rested on the Spear, and with his mind he willed the new god to hear his call.
As the seconds ticked by, so the anger and impatience of the Fuhrer grew; then as he growled a curse, a sudden burst of bright light appeared and the silence of vast room was shattered by a crackling roar like thunder.
Before Hitler the creature appeared. The entity roared.
"You are as glorious as Himmler promised." The Fuhrer exclaimed.
In the darkness the tall figure's green skin glowed like a radium dial, the livid hue contrasting vividly against his red leotard.
"Wotan!" Hitler called out. "I name thee Wotan." He stood to his feet, his voice now carried all the invective of his great public speeches, full of command and confidence.
Holding the Spear of Destiny high above his head the Fuhrer roared.
"Prince of Greater Germany I bind you by the power of this Spear. As I rule the Germans, their lives and this land. I also rule your Spirit.
"Answer me Wotan!"
The man who had been Wilhelm Bastian growled. "I am Wotan!"
"Whom do you serve."
"I serve you Fuhrer." Wotan declared. Energy crackled around him.
Hitler laughed, lowering the Spear he let the shaft rest on the polished floor beside him.
Wotan knelt before the Nazi dictator. "What is your will."
Hitler suddenly lifted the spear once more, swinging around until its point rested inches from Wotan's dark eyes. "You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? Even the Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us. Why Wotan did it have to be this Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"
It was a rhetorical question. Wotan's dark eyes flashed non the less.
"Now we will have a new religion, one which will fight to safeguard the existence and the reproduction of our race. So that our people may mature for the fulfilment of the mission!
"You Wotan will become the symbol around which the unity of blood and soil will be restored, you will be the tool in my hand, the weapon against all who would stand against us."
Wotan rose to his feet. "I stand for you – I stand against all who would oppose you."