Year Zero


Political upheaval starts in many ways, but at its core is always an idea. Queen Hippolyta had presided over an absolute monarchy since the beginning of the Amazons. At first no one question this, as it seemed to be the will of the Gods themselves. Recent revelations about the Queen's 18-year-old daughter, Diana's actual father caused many to question their most basic assumptions about the nature of things.

Over the years while outsiders, especially men were strictly forbidden their ideas were not. As the old guard was replaced by the new, so too did these ideas find receptive minds hungry for a change. The addition of the Bana tribe to the mix only accelerated this rethinking of the way things had been. The rumblings reached the Senate when an outsider, Steve Trevor was spared. Calls for change, once unthinkable on the island, suddenly began to be heard. The traditionalists and original Amazons bristled at this. In their minds the Senate was only there to advise the Queen, while she always had the final say.

Talk of change soon turned into confrontations between the two sides. Amazon sisters began to take sides and things began to escalate. Revolution, a word once unknown on Paradise Island, was now openly spoken. As the rush towards action and the inevitable bloodshed loomed, the woman at the center of all of this sat alone on her throne.

In the distance, Queen Hippolyta could hear General Phillipus talking with Princess Diana. They were making plans for the possible battle to come. Looking at her daughter, Hippolyta was struck again how young she was. This was never how she imagined things would play out. As Queen, she felt responsible for all the Amazons, even those that were actively working against her. Her greatest fear was what civil war would do to their society. It would be a fight to the death and both sides would be the losers. Hippolyta knew she wasn't perfect and had certainly made her share of mistakes, but she had always put the needs of her people first.

Heavy was the crown and never more so than at this moment. The fate of her people was in her hands. Whatever decision she made would change the course of the Amazon nation forever. Hippolyta just hoped the Gods would grant her wisdom.


21-year-old Clark Kent stood in front of the family farm silently saying his last goodbyes. His adopted parents were gone and there was nothing else holding him here anymore. His friends Pete and Lana where waiting in the old truck to drive him to the train station. From there he was heading to Metropolis to begin the next phase of his life. With his abilities, the possibilities should have been limitless but from experience he knew that wasn't the case. Too much attention always brought with it questions. Many of those questions frightened people and when people are frightened they usually don't act on their better angels.

He didn't have it all worked out yet, but Clark knew he wanted to make a difference. Smallville had become just that, too small for him anymore. If he was going to make an impact it would have to be on a larger scale, so he was off to the big city. Through not just his actions, but also through his words he had decided he would make his mark. He'd read All the President's Men and knew how words could change the course of history. Somewhere out there perhaps a small struggling newspaper might give him a chance. That's all he needed.

As to the other side of his life he simply knew there were plenty of people in need of help, maybe even a champion to show them those with money and influence had to play by the same rules as everyone else. He'd heard some stories coming out of Gotham about a new urban legend that had sprung up. Someone or something called The Batman was taking on the corruption that was legendary to that city. The stories made The Batman sound like half man, half demon, but whatever he was, he'd certainly shaken things up. Gotham wasn't the only place that needed a little shaking up, Clark thought.

"Hey, Clark, come on, you'll miss your train!" Pete called from the truck.

Clark waved and then looked at the old house one more time.

"Ma, Pa, I'll try and make you proud,' he whispered.


Diana entered the Senate main hall at her mother's side. Her hand instinctively went to her sword as she saw both sides were gathered. She was ready to fight if that was what was necessary. While only 18, Diana was by far the best warrior on the island. Up until recently she believed this was because her Gods endowed her. Now she knew it was because Zeus was her father. That revelation still unsettled her. It seemed she'd been in a whirlwind since she found out.

Things were happening so fast. She had just won the tournament to become her people's champion and then Steve Trevor had landed on the island. Frankly Diana was shocked when her mother allowed him to live. Before she had time to question this decision, the long held truth about her true origins came to light. It was as if her whole world had slipped its moorings.

Diana was still trying to come to terms with what it all meant when the rebellion began. Whatever else she might be feeling, she knew her place was at her mother's side. She would fight ever last Amazon sister if she had to, to defend her mother and Queen. General Phillipus was already making up defense plans and Diana was a part of all of them. If the rebels wanted to tear the island apart with their treason, then Diana vowed to hunt every last one of them down before she was through.

Her own plans would have to wait. As she glanced at the main doors, her thoughts turned to Steve Trevor. Diana had grown up on the horror stories of what the Amazons had endured at the hands of men, but she had never seen one in the flesh until he arrived. Like many she had wanted to run him through with her sword when she first saw him, but her mother had forbid it. As she watched him, Diana was surprised how weak he seemed. She wondered if all men were like him, what magic did they possess that had so beguiled the original Amazons back in the day?

As she listened to him and eventual spoke with him, she began to understand a little better. He told Diana about the outside world and all the amazing things in it. The original plan before the rebellion had started was for her to study another year and then venture out into that world as Themyscira's ambassador. Listening to Steve talk she had to admit to herself, she still hungered for that adventure.

The other part of it was that the more she was around this man, the more Diana found him attractive. This surprised her. She certainly knew how it worked between a man and a woman, as many Amazons volunteered to lay with them to help strength and grow the tribe, but the thought had never appealed to her before. Perhaps it was because she believed she had no father of her own that it just never really interested her. Now she could admit privately to herself she was starting to understand some of the appeal.

Again, those thoughts were put away, as more immediate and important issues were at hand. Moving into position, flanking her mother as she sat in the Queen's seat at the head of the Senate, Diana slowly let her eyes move over everyone in the room. She would memorize all their faces this day and when the battle came she would seek them out to make them pay for their treason.

Hippolyta sat, her features a placid mask that gave no hint to the emotions swirling just below the surface. Slowly her eyes moved over each of her sisters. They were more than just her subjects, they were her family. The thought of taking up arms against any one of them sickened her. She also knew there was no putting this genie back into the bottle. A wave of change was coming to Themyscira one way or another. She had been going back and forth over her decision for weeks; yet even up to the point of calling this last meeting she wasn't sure what the final verdict would be. Now she knew. Hippolyta would not fight and force her sisters to remain under her rule. That was the way of a tyrant and she loved both Themyscira and all her sisters too much to become that.

The room finally became quiet and Hippolyta slowly rose to her feet.

"There will be no war."

Every eye in the hall was looking at her. She could see the shocked expressions on both sides and waited as the reactions came fast and furious. She calmly stood silent until they died down again before continuing.

"We are all Amazons, first and last," she said. "When it was time to raise a sword we always did it together against our foes, never against one another. I have had the privilege of being your Queen and ruler all this time. I hope I have ruled well and just, but I always understand that times change for everyone, even us."

She paused, looking at each of her sisters in turn.

"I am not your enemy and you are not mine. Themyscira is sometimes referred to as Paradise Island because we Amazons have learned through hardship how to live together in peace. This is our greatest achievement. It was not the Gods that did this, but us, we Amazons. It was our sweat, our blood and yes, many of our lives that made this so. I will not be the cause of its loss."

A murmur went through the crowd, but quickly stopped as Hippolyta held up her hand.

"I will not stand in the way of change,' she said. "As Queen, I charge you all here, each of you members of the Senate, to not let our shared dream die. For me, I will step aside. I abdicate as your Queen and charge you of the Senate with forging a peaceful transition to a new government."

The room erupted in an uproar. Diana gasped in shock and turned to look at her mother.

"What?" She managed to say, totally taken off guard by the pronouncement.

Hippolyta asked for quiet and waited before she continued.

"Plans were already in the works for our island nation to open up to the outside world. As my last official act as Queen I appointment myself as our first ambassador to the outside world. I do this so all of you can get on with the business of setting up a new government. It is my hope that you will always allow me to play a part in this my home."

Hippolyta bowed to all present and then walked out of the room. Both sides of the rebellion were flabbergasted and bedlam ensued. Diana cared nothing for what they were saying as she took off after her mother. She finally caught up with her. Hippolyta was standing on an outside balcony looking over the city.

"Mother! I don't understand, what are you doing?" Diana exclaimed.

"Trying to save what I've spent a lifetime building and protecting, Diana,' Hippolyta replied.

"But you've always been Queen, it's your right!"

"Not if it means I rule at the end of a sword,' Hippolyta explained. "If that happened, then the dream we've created here would end. I will not allow that if I can prevent it."

"But-But what will you do? What will we do?" Diana asked in confusion.

Hippolyta smiled at her daughter and then pulled her into a hug.

"We will venture out into the Man's world,' she whispered. "You will take your young man, Mr. Trevor, home and I will become Themyscira's first ambassador."

Diana pulled back just a bit and looked at her mother in shock.

"Oh, don't act so surprised, I know you secretly have wanted to leave for some time, daughter,' Hippolyta said. "Ever since you won the tournament, I have noticed that look in your eye. Now you get your wish."