A/N: I Don't own these characters so don't sue me.
Special thanks to Lady Isis for the beta and for her agreeing to co-author this story with yours truly. Also many thanks to DaisyJane for her input on my original idea.
This story takes places after the events of Paradise Lost Episode of Justice League.
The Superman Paradox
Chapter 1: Paradise Lost and Found.
Clark Kent exited the front door of the Daily Planet, his face like thunder. The busy people all milling around him didn't notice - why should they?
The reason for it was that his latest gamble to get Lois to have lunch with him had backfired. That pretty-boy adventurer Lois was seeing, Hank Smith, had shown up and just whisked her off to lunch.
Suddenly his ears picked up a sound which caused him to stare north. Clark ducked into a alleyway and in an instant transformed into his alter ego Superman. The next second he was sailing into the sky at an incredible speed. Within five minutes he was at his Fortress of Solitude - more than ten thousand miles away. He landed in front of an alien-looking control panel.
He pressed a button and a holographic display showed Orion's - of New Genesis - face. "Superman, we need your help. Come as quickly as you can!" the masked man said quickly. The message ended abruptly.
Wasting no time, Superman flew towards a shelf of ice and picked up a hand-sized square box. He activated the boom tube that would send him to New Genesis.
He entered the tube - an instant later he was standing...on a tropical island? The island itself wasn't what bothered him, though it was unexpected. Normally he'd be able to see waves of radiation beyond the normal visible spectrum - it never bothered him because they'd been there all his life, and he normally blocked out such minor distractions. But now he couldn't see any artificial waves in the sky. In addition, he couldn't hear any of the normal background chatter he was used to. He did pick up voices a few miles away from his current location though.
Superman looked at the Mother Box, pressing a few buttons on it to activate another boom tube and leave this place. The Mother Box proved uncooperative; it beeped out a negative sound, but looked to be working. Superman frowned then used his x-ray vision on it. Even inside everything seemed to be correct; but then again the Mother Box's design was exotic to even Superman. He couldn't begin to know where or why it had failed.
He stopped trying to get the device to work and flew high into the sky to see if he could spot the people he'd heard. He stopped a mile above the large island. Down below looked to be an ancient Greek city. His thoughts immediately landed on Diana. Come to think of it...the buildings were slightly different, but it did look like Themyscira. Superman slowly descended toward the city, gasping when he was several hundred feet about it.
The sight sickened shocked him. Below were the Amazons - dressed as he'd expected in chitons. What was unexpected, though, and frankly horrific, was that they were all in chains. Men dressed in ancient Greek armor yelled commands at the women, pushing them along roughly. The men laughed at the women as they did their bidding.
Clark felt his blood start to boil.
Hippolyta sat on the dirty floor of the cell she was in, her eyes closed as she prayed her to the goddesses for help. Her people had been tricked by Heracles and his men. Her bound hands were locked tightly together. The humiliation and treatment her people had endured for the past few months caused her mind nearly to break - her heart had broken weeks ago.
She had defeated Heracles in combat and wanted to resolve the situation like civilized people after that. They had held a magnificent feast in his honour - but the Greeks had drugged the wine. Then Heracles and his vile men raped and imprisoned she and her people. Hercules had left with her golden girdle a while ago. That particular humiliation was still hard to think of. The men continued to drug the food, and though they knew about it, the Amazons had no choice; they were forced to eat or starve.
Hippolyta had continued to pray for salvation from this awful situation, never losing faith that her goddesses would deliver it. A brilliant flash of light in the dark and dank cell forced Hippolyta to open her eyes. There stood the goddess Athena. The look on her face was that of anger.
"My child," she cried, "I'm so sorry for allowing this to happen." To the queen's utter shock, the goddess dropped to her knees in front of Hippolyta.
She looked at her goddess in confusion and growing rage. She was silent for several seconds before speaking. "You allowed this to happen?" she hissed finally, tone unmistakably angry now.
Athena shook her head violently. "No, I would never allow this to happen to anyone, let alone you my child," she told her.
"Then why was this allowed? Have my people somehow offended the gods?" Hippolyta cried.
Athena shook her head once again. "No, my child. Your dedication to us is the envy of others."
Hippolyta still could not understand why this was happening, and shook her own head.
"I am forbidden to interfere with this situation," Athena growled in frustration. Her face softened. "But I've sent a man to help free you, but heed this warning. You or your people must not kill any of the men that have done this..." Athena looked like she wanted to throw up at the thought of allowing those vile men a free passage away from Themyscira after what they had done.
Hippolyta's still-drugged mind agreed to the deal. Anything was better then what they had been put through.
"I promise anything, as long as my people are free!" she yelled.
Athena smiled down at her. "So be it." She vanished from the cell.
The door cracked open and a scarred brute of a man walked in. "Shut your mouth, woman!" he screamed. He continued to walk towards the half hysterical Hippolyta who was still mumbling and crying. The man kicked her in the face, knocking the once-proud queen unconscious. He grumbled about the annoying woman as he exited the cell and closed the door.
Superman hovered there in total shock and disgust at what he was watching. He would not allow this to happen to anyone. In a flash, he landed next to a group of men laughing as a two women fought in a makeshift arena.
Superman stood behind two of the men and listened to them cheer and taunt the women. The solider to the left of him laughed and said, "Rip her hair out, if you expect to eat!"
The two were forced to fight for food. One would eat, the other would not. Twelve days without food would force anyone to do what they wouldn't under any other circumstance.
"Yeah, rip her heart out! She's one ugly Amazon anyway!" the other one laughed.
At first Superman couldn't understand the language. It sounded totally incomprehensible to him. But the Mother box in his hand beeped. Suddenly he could understand the vile men's words.
Their treatment of the women enraged him. Superman grabbed both men and slammed their heads together, knocking them both out. The rest of the men standing around the two fighting women turned and looked at the strangely-attired man.
Suddenly they all extracted their swords and rushed towards him. The first man's sword connected on a downwards strike at Superman's chest. The sword bounced off the Man of Steel without a scratch. Superman swatted him away, ending the fight in the man when he went sailing thirty feet away into a building, knocking him unconscious.
In a matter of thirty seconds the remaining twelve men joined the first, unconscious and weaponless. The two women stopped fighting in the dirt and looked up at him in total awe. He went to them and offered them his hands. They didn't move for a second, still disorientated. "It's alright," he said gently, not knowing if they could understand him.
The two women finally took his offered hands and allowed him to pulled them back to their feet. A quick flash of laser from his eyes cut their bindings; the women stared at the man with ever-widening eyes.
He ignored their dirty clothes and bodies as he helped them towards a table that had some food and drink on it. Superman watched without surprise as the two women attacked the small amount of nourishment there was. His attention was pulled away from the two women when he heard a group of soldiers marching toward him.
"You will pay for what you have done!" one of them yelled out as the rest growled out in agreement.
Superman, not wanting to waste time, used his laser vision on their unsheathed swords. In moments they'd all dropped their burning hot weapons, howling in pain.
"Run and never return!" Superman commanded.
The men stared at him in total shock - but then nodded. In moments, they turned tail and ran away as fast as their feet would carry them. The two women stood up from the table; they still looked exhausted, but determined to run these invaders from their lands.
"By Apollo..." the taller women of the two said in awe. Then her features hardened. Suddenly she looked angry with him. "Who sent you?" she asked him harshly.
"I was transported here by mistake," he told them carefully.
"Thank you for freeing us, but we will handle them ourselves now," she said firmly.
Superman's brow raised in question. They were half-starved, dehydrated, outnumbered - did she really think they could win the day without his help?
But her sister spoke up in opposition. "We need all the help we can get, it doesn't matter that he is male! We need his help!"
The other sighed deeply. "As you command, General Phillipus," she said.
Phillipus turned and looked at Superman, giving her name. "And your name stranger?" she asked.
Superman smiled and said, "My name is Superman, and I will help any way I can."
Phillipus bowed to the man then stood straight and tall. "Our people have been held captive for many months. We are weak and disoriented by drugs in the food. We need for you to help us free as many as you can," she told him.
Superman nodded his head, "I will."
"Good. I will go in search of weapons and as many troops as I can get," she said as she went to pick up one of the weapons lying on the ground. Superman placed a hand on her - bare - wrist before she touched it. The harsh stare she gave him almost made Superman release her hand, but not before he cautioned her.
"They're still extremely hot... Allow me," he said as he picked one up, using his freeze-breath to cool the metal. He handed the now-cool weapon to Phillipus. Her grip on the weapon was shaky, but the vengeance in her eyes drove her forward.
Superman flew into the air. He had a lot of work to do. He figured the fastest way was to used his super-speed to rush through the city and release the women while knocking the men out. In minutes, the women were freed and the men lying on the ground, unconscious.
Superman used his x-ray vision to do a quick scan of the island's buildings - he saw one woman trapped underground in a dungeon. Locating the entrance, he zipped in and knocked the lone male guard out.
He opened the door and saw a blonde woman, curled up in the ball against the wall.
Superman walked up to the female and gently touched her shoulder. Her head shot up - seeing her face he realised it was Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta.
"Queen Hippolyta, are you okay?" Superman asked in worry.
She looked up at the man in confusion. "Do I know you?" she asked him.
Superman smiled and shook his head. "Not in this time." he said cryptically.
He used his laser vision on her bonds and cut them off. He gently helped her to her feet. With an unknown strength Hippolyta shook off his helping hand and stood straight and proud.
"I must free my sisters!" she said with determination.
"They have all been freed," he told her. Hippolyta looked at the man and sighed as if the weigh of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.
"Then Athena has done as she promised," she said.
"Let's get you out of here and tend to your wounds," Superman suggested quietly.
Hippolyta nodded as she allowed him to lead her out of the dungeon. Once outside, the carnage and destruction that had been wreaked on her queendom hit Hippolyta. A single tear fell down her check, but she brushed it off quickly as a small group of Amazon warriors carrying bloody swords approached she and Superman.
The lead woman bowed to her queen. "We have made sure no man is alive on this island, Majesty!"
Hippolyta remembered Athena's rules for the help she would send. Her eyes suddenly held a look of panic. "You did not escort them back to their ships?" she asked.
The soldier looked at her in confusion. "No, we killed them all!" she said with venom.
Superman and Hippolyta gasped. "No..no.. no.." Hippolyta whispered. Her promise to Athena had been broken. What terrible consequence would the goddess bring for this betrayal? Before she could say anything more, another woman pushed to the front of the group. Clark stared at her in shock; she looked exactly like Diana, except with blonde hair.
"Sister!" the blond haired Diana cried.
Hippolyta ran towards the other woman and hugged her tightly. "Antiope, you are well!"
"Yes, I am fine. We have made those vile monster pay for what they have done!" she cursed.
Hippolyta released her hold. "We are doomed now," she stated flatly.
Antiope raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Why? They are all dead, sister. We have nothing to fear."
"No, Antiope. I made a promise to Lady Athena. She would free us, but her only decree was that we not harm the men."
Antiope's eyes widened in shock and rage. "How dare you make a deal like that?! I would never have agreed to such a thing!" she cried.
"But I did," Hippolyta said.
Antiope released her sister and took a few steps away from her. "You would allow what those men have done to us because of a promise to a goddess who did not stop this in the first place!" Antiope yelled.
During the two sisters conversation more women showed up and surrounded the two.
Superman stood there and watched as the whole island's population eventually stood around the two women arguing, wondering when or if he should intervene.
"Yes, I did," Hippolyta said proudly. "I made that promise to free our people." She squared her shoulders.
Antiope's eyes turned to slits. "You had no right. We both rule the Amazons together. Anyone who agreed to that deal is a fool."
Hippolyta's expression turned shocked. "You dare to call me a fool?"
Antiope folder her arms across her chest as she nodded her head. The two's bickering was stopped as a flash of light appeared next to the two. Both sisters turned and looked at the Goddess Athena. Hippolyta bowed her head as Antiope sneered at her.
"You have broken your word, Hippolyta." Athena said emotionlessly.
Hippolyta's head bowed deeper. "I could not stop my sisters before I was freed," she humbly stated.
Antiope shook her head in disgust at Hippolyta behaviour. "I would do it again and again," she said defiantly. "And no so-called goddess will deny me my vengeance." Half the women standing around cheered her bold statement.
Athena looked around at the gathered women. She turned to Antiope and said, "Is that so?"
Antiope took a step closer to Athena. "I will not bow or pray to any divine being who allows what happened here," she said with venom.
Athena sighed. "Then you will be banished from Themyscira forever," she stated.
Antiope's smile grew larger. "Anyone who wishes to leave this place - that allows women to be raped and enslaved - raise your hand!" she yelled to the women.
Superman watched as the same women who cheered Antiope on raised their hands.
Athena shook her head in disgust at Antiope. "So be it. Those of you who wish to leave must be gone in one hour! Take the ships of the men whom you hate." She turned to Hippolyta. "Once they are gone, I will return and we will discuss what has happened here." With that, she vanished.
Hippolyta grabbed her sister's shoulder and spun her around. "What have you done?" she demanded, voice full of fear for her younger sibling.
Antiope brushed off her sister's embrace. "Something you should have," she said as she turned her back on her sister. "Sisters, follow me. I do not ever want to see this place again. We do not need an hour to leave, we go now!" Antiope said as she ripped off her golden girdle from her waist and dropped it to the ground. She marched off towards the docks where the ships awaited her and the other women.
Hippolyta dropped to her knees as she watched her sister walk away - never to be seen again. Superman moved toward Hippolyta and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. She looked up and, noticing the other women staring at her, quickly stood, wiping away the tears.
She turned to the remaining women and said, "We must clean up this place."
The women slowly went off to start cleaning up the mess that the men had left. Superman's Mother Box beeped, he looked down and saw it was working again.
"Queen Hippolyta, I have to go," Superman said.
Hippolyta turned and looked at the noble-looking man. She bowed her head to him and said, "Thank you for freeing us. You will be remembered as a champion of Themyscira."
Superman smiled and nodded his head. He was already a Themysciran champion, but in a different time. Did this mean she would recognise him when he returned as part of the League with Diana?
"You are more than welcome. I have a feeling you and your people will do well."
He pressed the button on the Mother Box. The boom tube opened and he walked in as Hippolyta watched him leave.
Superman exited the boom tube. And saw that he had returned to the exact same location he'd just left. The tropical island's breeze moved his hair as he closed his eyes and sighed in frustration. A female voice behind him made him open them again.
"Welcome back, Champion of Themyscira."
A/N: Lady Isis will be writing the next chapter. Expect way to much drama and not enough action in it. LOL I'm kidding. Please don't hurt me Goddess Isis!