Disclaimer: I do not own the Dark Knight Rises or the rest of the Nolanverse Batman and I make no money off this work.

The characters Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle as used in this story come from the Dark Knight Rises movie. The characters Queen Hippolyta and Princess Diana of Themyscira originate with DC Comics, and Hermes from Greek mythology. I revised their origins to fit this series.

Thanks to Nrgburst for the extensive beta reading she did on this story.

This story is set after Batman: Partners and before the final scene in the Dark Knight Rises. Also because I don't know Latin, when the dialogue is spoken in that language, I gave you the translation in curly brackets since that punctuation mark doesn't have another job in fiction.

Batman: Entwined Fates
Part One

Selina pinched the bridge of her nose. There was no way she heard him right. "An implanted tracking device, is that what you said?"

"Yes. Can't be removed, the frequency is so narrow passive scanners miss it, not that you'll have to worry." Bruce's voice was light, like they were discussing paint colors for their new house back in Florence instead of how she couldn't sneak a tracking device past the terrorists that almost blew up Gotham. "The League keeps their bases old-fashioned. Master the basics first philosophy."

"That's the only positive thing you've said about the group. Now back to Lojacking my body."

"You don't like the idea?" His puzzled glance was genuine. "I thought it would make things easier."

She looked at the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea below the Cessna Skyhawk. "It sounds like you don't think I can play my part in your plan."

"A lot can go wrong with my plan. Starting with if you're wearing one, they can take it off you."

"Only if they find it first. Why would the criminal taking them over have a tracking device? I wouldn't, so they won't look."

"We avoid the whole issue with the implanted one. So what's the real problem?"

"It's permanent." She stopped from elaborating on ways why that would suck when he shook his head.

"Why does the permanent part always upset everyone? I don't sit at the computer all day watching what people do."

She ignored his pique in favor of curiosity. "How many of these devices have you implanted?"

"Gordon and Blake each have one. Alfred and Lucius turned them down."

"I have got to hear how you convinced Gordon to give him one." Bruce didn't answer as he stared out the windshield. "You never asked him; you just did it! What paranoid reason made that okay?"

The plane shuddered. Bruce's attention snapped to the instrument panel. The plane shuddered again and the controls wrenched out of his hands.

"What's wrong?"

"Don't know. Strap in." She checked the latch on her seatbelt while he fought with the steering wheel.

Lightning flashed, coming from nowhere in the clear blue sky. The plane spun like a Tilt-a-Whirl while all the alarms on the instrument panel shrieked. The blue of the water exchanged itself for the blue of the sky with a flash of green.

The spin stopped with a crumpled lurch and all she saw was black.


Selina groaned and blinked. The sun still shone, but the world outside the cracked cockpit tilted. Green scrubby trees grew at an angle above the sandy strip. She hung by the seatbelt and the world heaved back into place. Water was up to her right knee. The airbags had inflated and deflated and she tasted the gritty dust in the cabin air. "Bruce?"

The left side of the Skyhawk was higher than the right, so he slumped against the seatbelt above her. Her heart lurched. So many blows to his head; she shoved Bane into her mental box of things not to think about and looked at her door. The right wing had dug into the sandy soil. The door could maybe open an inch, and waves pushed water in through a crack she couldn't see. The instrument panel was dead, except for the backup compass which didn't stop spinning. The Cessna wouldn't tip, so she balanced on her seat to reach Bruce.

His airways were clear, breathing strong, and pulse steady. She slid her hand between his back and the seat, and felt his spine. The awful crack that reverberated in her nightmares had been his armor giving way when Bane smashed Batman on his thigh. Bane had intended to break his back, but had only managed to dislocate some vertebrae. That had paralyzed him for weeks until the Pit's primitive health care worked. The doctor in Florence was amazed at the healing, but still gave them a long list of what could reinjure his back. Selina had taken a few days to manage her panic over it. The same panic that clawed at her as she felt the vertebrae through his shirt.

Everything felt normal to her. "Bruce, wake up." No response. She put her mouth against his ear. "If you wanted to go skinny dipping, you didn't have to crash the plane." His body didn't stiffen, which typically happened when she purred like that. "Stay put until I figure this out." She climbed past him, opened his door and pulled herself out.

She sat on the edge of the hatch and propped open the door. The propeller and the engine had been sheared off, exposing the firewall of the cabin. She tore her disbelieving eyes away to look at their surroundings. The deserted beach was nestled on the inlet formed by two spurs of rocky cliffs jutting into the water. "Great, we crashed on an unpopulated side of the island." Pulling Bruce out the door alone, she groaned at the thought.

She eased down the Cessna's side to the cargo hatch. Luckily, she had never handed the keys back to Bruce after they had loaded the plane. She pulled out the most important bag-the first aid kit. The wing strut made an excellent dismounting pole and she landed in waist-deep water. She dropped the first aid kit in the sand close to the trees and trudged back for the second most important bag-the one with all the Batgear in it. She ended up soaked from head to toe, but she got the monstrosity of a hardback suitcase next to the first aid kit.

First Bruce and then the rest of the gear before the adrenaline wore off. She took out his utility belt and grapple gun, and headed back to the plane. He was still out cold. "You owe me so much for this. And don't you dare think I won't collect." Once she figured out the winch device on the belt, it felt like she was playing a new version of the claw arcade game. She reeled him up and out of the plane, lowered him into the water, and dragged him to the splash zone of the beach before laughing.

He better wake up soon, while this was still funny.

Selina didn't bother to time how long it took her to unload the plane. She dropped exhausted next to the last duffle bag and stared at the ruined vehicle for a minute. She wished she hadn't always found something better to do when Jen watched Survivor.

She checked on Bruce again. He groaned and his pupils constricted under the light from the flashlight, and despite his not waking up, she felt better about scouting. She took a pair of binoculars and the grapple gun with her to the top of the closest rocky spur. All the islands in the Mediterranean had people on them, even if they were privately owned. She just needed a high enough vantage point to get her bearings.

Unfortunately, higher ground blocked her view to the other side. She scanned the visible area: no people, no clearings, and no water rushing out to the sea. Water was a problem. Bruce had intended on getting that and more food supplies when they landed in Georgia before heading into Uzbekistan. "Best laid plans of bats and cats," she muttered.

A rustle through the trees caught her eye. It moved against the breeze and Selina's instincts kicked her in the gut. She dropped, belly crawled to the trees' shadows, made sure no reflection gave her away, and watched through the binoculars. Her eyebrows crawled up her forehead as the troop of women emerged from the woods.

Breastplates, skirts, and helms-had they crashed on an island of reenactors? But these women moved with the precision of professional soldiers: spears ready to throw, pivoting to look for enemies, scanning the beach, no talking and gesturing orders with hand signals. Where was the backboard stretcher? The unease in her stomach doubled. Two of the women sprinted to the wreck and thrust the spears through the open door. She wished she had her gun when the rest surrounded Bruce's prone form on the sand.

They checked him instead of stabbing him. That eased her desire to kick them, but didn't dent her thief's instinct to stay hidden until they left. One pointed at something in the sand, and two of the women followed it. Crap, it was Selina's own footprints. She froze. The women stopped where the sand met the rocks. Their argument floated up to her, and she wished she knew more Greek than a few cuss words. They rejoined their pals. More discussion followed the pair's return before four of the women grabbed Bruce's arms and legs and carried him behind their leader. The last woman fell into step behind them.

Selina scowled. No friendly cries of 'hello, we're here to help' even in Greek she didn't understand. They came for a fight, took Bruce, and bolted. They also knew she was around, which meant they'd go home and heighten security or come back to find her or probably both. But right now, they left a trail back home, no breadcrumbs required. She climbed down the rocks, grabbed snacks from their supplies, and started after them.


Hippolyta sat at her tapestry loom and added a thread to the image. This blue thread matched the shade of her daughter's eyes. Someone knocked on the door of her gynaikon*. She lowered material over the loom. Others would not understand the theme of the tapestry and that would worry her subjects needlessly. "Enter."

Captain Aikaterine closed the door and knelt on one knee in front of her. "We have returned from the mission, my Queen. A strange ship wrecked on the far shore, and we recovered an outsider man."

"What kind of man?" Hippolyta's hand tightened on the shuttle.

"Injured, he is with the healers under guard. Well-muscled, has all his teeth, as tall as we are, in the prime of life, and numerous scars." Captain Aikaterine bowed her head again. "I did not remain at the healers for the final tally."

Hippolyta smiled. "That does not matter when I shall see them. What injury prompted you to take him to the healers?"

"We could not rouse him. The healers suspect he took a blow to the head, but he will waken."

"When he awakes, I wish for him to be presented in my andron*. My daughter should attend as well."

"My Queen, there is more. Someone removed him from the wreck before we arrived, but they had left. Either a companion traveled with him-"

"Or an Amazon is a traitor," Hippolyta finished. "Take as many guards as you need, Captain, and find whoever it is." Aikaterine bowed her head again before leaving the gynaikon. Hippolyta uncovered her tapestry and stared at the uncompleted image of the laughing little girl. Was this outsider the answer to her prayers?

*Gynaikon is a private room for the females of an ancient Greek house. The Amazons of Themyscira treat them as private parlors.

*Andron is the public dining room/business office of an ancient Greek house. In patriarchal ancient Greece, it was the domain of the men and off-limits to women unless they were serving or entertaining a diner party. Hippolyta's andron functions as her throne room.


The bay dogs howled like a play's chorus and the sound bounded through the stream's valley between the two hills. Diana pointed her spear toward the noise. "They have found the boar."

"Uncanny how well you hear, Princess." Chrysanthe ran ahead. "I can barely hear Argos and his bark is the loudest of the pack."

Pelagia snorted as she fell behind Diana. "We are blessed that the Princess joined our hunt. Who knows how lost we would be without her skills?"

Diana ignored the older woman's disdain despite how it jabbed and the younger woman's awe. "The boar will hurt someone if not stopped." Her attempt at unconcern sounded haughty instead.

"I know my duty as a hunter, Princess." Pelagia hurled the title like an insult.

Chrysanthe, a child just initiated as a warrior last full moon, shushed them both. "You shall scare the beast," she said as an excuse.

Diana accepted the rebuke, but heard the grey-haired warrior mutter "Baby-faced twit." Chrysanthe did not and continued ahead of them through the forest. Diana watched the blonde braid swing between Chrysanthe's shoulders. Pelagia had the right as eldest warrior to lead this hunt, but Diana's position and skills took it away from her. Women have grumbled over less.

The squeals of the enraged boar pierced through the din of the hounds. Chrysanthe stopped and turned to the older hunters. Diana gestured for the younger warrior to flank left. Pelagia was already moving to the right. Diana hefted her spear and moved forward.

The dogs danced around a monster of a boar. Its belly could brush the ear tips of the tallest dog in the pack. That didn't stop the dogs from forcing it against a boulder. Diana eased into the clearing. No wonder the entire crop in the western fields was destroyed.

The boar's coal-black eyes focused on her through the leaping dogs braying around its head. The massive snout with its sharp tusks lowered to the ground.

Diana lined her spear with its chest. With the luck of Artemis, the boar would impale itself if she kept her arm steady.

The hind legs bent, then straightened, and sent the bristling black-furred body through the pack of sleeker-haired dogs. The snout and tusks caught one dog by the belly. The boar never broke stride as it tossed the yelping dog aside.

With a shrill war cry, Chrysanthe charged out of the underbrush to Diana's left. The boar turned and headed for the blonde woman. A white dog bit down on the boar's ear, but was slung toward Chrysanthe. Her gaze shifted from the boar to the dog and her spear drifted away. Her attention snapped back, but not her spear.

Diana stabbed her spear into the boar's shoulder as she ran. Her arms wrapped around the boar's head like it was a wrestling opponent. The tusks scraped against her skin. The boar pushed her back into Chrysanthe's legs, and the younger woman fell. Diana's feet kicked against the ground but found no purchase to push against.

All she heard was the boar's ragged breathing and enraged squeals. All she saw was one murderous coal-black eye surrounded by bristles. She stared into that eye. "Stop fighting!"

She said it out of frustration and fear that the boar would slip out of her grasp and kill Chrysanthe. The boar stopped moving forward. It shook its head and she clung on. Before it charged again, its entire body shuddered and it screamed before slumping to the ground.

Pelagia pushed her spear further into the carcass from behind the boar. Her dark eyes under sweat-drenched bangs met Diana's. "Do you bleed, Princess?"

"No." Diana pried her arms off the boar's head.

The gray-haired warrior nodded before stomping to Chrysanthe. "What fool-urged act was that?"

The young woman looked up tearfully from a whimpering dog. "It was killing the dogs and you both were letting it!"

"No dog is worth ever a man's life, much less the Princess'."

"Like anything can hurt her? She's not even hurt now!"

Diana turned her back to them, especially the note of fear in Chrysanthe's voice. The tusks had torn her chiton, but her skin was undamaged.

Pelagia inhaled. "What would you do if you were hunting with the rest of us who bleed! Your sister Amazons depend on you as a teammate."

Diana remembered this speech well from her own training. And it was not learned faster with an audience. She seized the boar's carcass and dragged it away from the other women. "I will take this meat to the butcher."

Pelagia waited until Diana had reentered the trees, which took time as she bent over to drag the carcass behind her. The older warrior dropped her voice, but Diana heard whispers as well as she did shouts. "It is impossible the Queen bred with a mortal man to produce her, but you do not speak of it with anyone. Hippolyta killed the Princess' nursemaid for such talk."

Diana's shoulders slumped. Why had she fooled herself that she could go on a hunt like a normal Amazon? She heaved the boar onto her shoulders and marched toward town.


Did they crash land on M. Night Shyamalan's sequel to the Village? Selina frowned as she crouched in the underbrush outside the small city, built like an ancient Greek city that had learned how to build balconies on their buildings. She also ignored the quiet voice in her head telling her she was acting just as paranoid as Bruce while she watched the women populating the city. They wore knee-length togas with sandals or bare feet. Not one person in jeans that she could approach for help. Time travel wasn't possible, so what was these people's deal?

No one watched the forest and she eased to the rear of the nearest row of houses. One medium-sized house gave off good vibes. She fired the grapple gun and it anchored around the railing of the second-story balcony. No one ran around the houses or onto the balcony to examine what had made the noise.

Her gloves barely protected her hands from the monofilament wire as she climbed up the building. If Bruce needed something constructive to do while waiting on the League of Shadows, she'd ask him to install a winch system in her suit's belt. That had more use than his stupid tracking device implant. She crouched and listened to the house. Satisfied it was empty, she entered the bedroom. Colorful woven blankets draped the bed and hung on the walls, but Selina headed straight to the wooden chest. It contained extra togas.

She found a bag and shoved her crusty, preppy camper outfit, her boots, and the grapple gun into it. Then she dressed in a dark blue toga that pinned over both shoulders, belted around her waist-covering the bruise from the seatbelt-and ended at her knees. She copied a ribbon-wrapped hairstyle she saw worn by others, and carried the bag right out the unlocked front door.

No one on the cobblestone street gave her a second glance.

She reached the public square on the town's outer edge and spotted more breast-plated women led by the same woman who took Bruce. They left the largest house, a three-story building next door to the larger temple. The military women marched past her, straight for the path that led to the plane.

Where do they put prisoners? Two military women stood guard at the largest house's door, but two more did the same at a much smaller house across the square. And there were a whole slew of them in the mowed meadow beyond the square. Other women loitered to watch them, so Selina wandered to the onlookers.

She sat in the shadows and divided her attention between watching the guarded spaces in the square and the military drills. A line of archers faced the woods and fired primitive bows, but most hit near the bull's-eyes on their targets. The rest paired off for duels with swords and shields, though a few brought different weapons like spears, poleaxes, and maces. Beyond the practice field, she saw plowed rows and toga-dressed people working among the plants.

The crowd called out for their favorites. Selina let the names roll over her. The door of the smaller house opened and Bruce stepped out. Her heart thumped to see him, even as four guards surrounded him with his hands tied behind his back. She'd known she had it bad when she turned the Batpod around to save him from Bane, but it still surprised her after all these weeks. The merry group marched straight across the square, ignoring the women who gaped at them, and entered the largest house.

She mused about entering it while the crowd continued to rally for different fighters. She never matched any of the names with their owners as the shadows lengthened. The drills ended. The participants gathered the weapons and carried them to a shed adjacent to the largest house. Selina grinned when she saw there was no lock on it as she let the crowd sweep her up. A few men and young boys also dressed in knee-length togas joined the crowd from the farmland. Most women were as tall as Bruce, but none of them noticed when she slipped into the temple. Braziers and torches burned in the inner sanctum, but no priestesses appeared to have evening duties.

Statues of the goddesses towered over the space. Their heads brushed the ceiling. Their stone hair and faces were painted and gilded, but their togas were actual cloth and four of them hung all the way to the floor. Altars at their feet brimmed with tokens of devotion. She didn't remember the ancient Greeks separating the pantheon of gods like this. Temples dedicated to one god or goddess, yes, but she recognized Hera, Athena, Demeter, Aphrodite, and Artemis all equal in importance.

The houses bolted up tight against the night. She slipped out of the temple. Even the guards had gone inside. She strutted to the shed's door. "Too bad it isn't my birthday."


Bruce groaned his way to consciousness. He had no idea where he was. He could hear Alfred's sardonic voice through the thundering headache. "Shouldn't you be used to waking up in strange places by now, Master Wayne?"

Funny it was Alfred telling him off and not Selina. "Selina?"

The voice that answered him was not Selina's and she spoke a language he didn't know. The oldest woman he had ever seen bent over him and repeated herself.

"I don't understand."

Strong and callused hands forced him to sit up. The old woman held an earthenware cup to his lips. He choked the bitter beverage down and she hobbled across the room. He took stock. His shirt was off, but he still had on his pants, boots, and Batman's belt. Why was that buckled on him? This room was made of mud bricks, lined with wooden shelves filled with dried herbs and earthenware jars. The old woman explained something to a teenage girl as they worked over a table under the only window. He sat on a cot across from them. The four hands that gripped his arms belonged to two women dressed in bronze armor. And Selina wasn't present.

He remembered fighting with the Cessna's controls. What had happened to Selina? He breathed to quell the sudden surge of fear. If she was injured, she'd be here. He hadn't lost her. "Does anyone here speak English?"

The woman holding his right arm barked a command at him. The old woman turned and approached him. She tilted his head, and the sunlight hit his eyes as she studied the pupil reactions. She commented to the girl, who nodded as she peered over the old woman's shoulder. The old woman let his jaw go and waved at the door.

His guards twisted his arms behind his back and bound his wrists. They never noticed his trick to increase the space between his hands, and pushed him out the door when they thought he was secure. His headache was better and the bright sun tolerable as the guards on the door joined their mini-parade. The buildings looked like a recreation of ancient Greece. It matched the knee-length chitons all the women wore. But wasn't that the male version? They crossed the paved square and passed a bubbling fountain in the center. Civilian women stopped in their tracks and gaped. He still hadn't seen Selina, and if they considered him a prisoner, mentioning her wouldn't keep her safe.


Diana knotted her girdle around her waist and the clean, red chiton. She rolled her neck and shoulders, not that they were stiff from carrying the boar. Protect love and peace will follow. Fight for love and respect will follow. Live in peace and love will flourish. Knocking down the next sister who claimed Diana was not normal would not uphold the Amazon ideals. Nor would it be suitable for a Princess. She sighed as she walked onto her bed chamber's balcony.

Sotiria, her nurse, died from burns when Diana was four-years-old. She remembered Hippolyta's sadness. It was ridiculous that Pelagia believed her mother capable of killing in such a way. Fear could serve a ruler, but love was better. She stared over the training field, the cropland beyond it, and the people of Themyscira she would someday rule. What did her father matter in the light of all this responsibility?

Her hands rested on the sun-warmed stone railing of the balcony. It did not change that she wanted to at least meet the man, and the goddesses had never answered any of her prayers about what Diana must have inherited from him. She was not a monster for she had never harmed anyone. It would be nice to have confirmation she was not related to any monsters.

Diana shook her head. She knew better than to dwell on these things. Her compassion will win the hearts of her subjects, eventually. She'd spend the rest of the day at the Academy and see if Panagiota needed any help with her water wheel improvements. Someone knocked on the door when she reentered her bed chamber.

Thekla, one of the house servants, shifted her feet as she turned her head from Diana's door to look down into the courtyard. "Oh Princess, the Queen wishes to see you immediately in the andron."

Her heart sank. Chrysanthe or Pelagia must have said something. She had been careful to drag the boar's carcass once she reached the town. Now she had to face her disappointed mother and explain publicly how she lost control during the hunt. She hated disappointing Hippolyta, and repetition did not ease the guilt. The least she could do was appear like a proper princess. She plucked her gold laurel-leaves crown off the shelf. Thekla craned her neck to see three floors below. "Do you know why my mother wants to see me?"

Thekla's head jerked back to the door and she rubbed her hands on her yellow chiton. "The Queen did not say, but it must concern the prisoner the guards led into the andron. He must be an outsider; his legs are swathed in a garment I have never seen pictures of."

Diana stepped onto the porch to look into the courtyard herself, but everyone was out of sight. The first outsider on Themyscira in seventy years, of course her mother would want Diana to witness that. Maybe she should be suspicious of his arrival, but if he kept Hippolyta from hearing how she wrestled a boar unscathed, she was inclined to offer him life-long thanks. She headed down the stairs.


Bruce's parade approached the largest house facing the square and the two guards at its gate opened it. They stopped in a courtyard while one of the guards talked to a woman in a yellow chiton who greeted them. Covered porches on all three floors ringed the courtyard on three sides. A set of straight wooden stairs left the courtyard to the second story porch on the side opposite the outside gate. A set of stairs, one on the left and one on the right, started on the second floor near the ends of the porch, and reached the third floor. They had never learned the architecture trick of landings apparently.

The woman in yellow hurried up the steps to the second floor and knocked on the door closest to the stairs. A few minutes passed and another woman stepped out of the room, wearing a full-length purple gown. Unlike the chiton, the fabric pinned together on her shoulders was folded over so a second layer hung loose to her belted waist-a peplos. The brooches on her shoulders matched the gold diadem sitting on her salt-and-pepper hair. She came down the stairs in perfect debutante-style while the woman in yellow scurried up to the third floor. Her gaze swept over their group and locked onto him. He met it and kept his expression blank. She reached the courtyard and swept into a side door in the left wing with a command to his guards. They pushed him into the room after her.

The guards placed him in the center of the rug. The woman in purple sat on a padded bench in front of a purple and gold wall tapestry. The guards stepped back, two angled closer to the woman in charge and the other two blocked the doors out of this room. More padded benches circled the room under painted murals of women sailing ships and building a city. He caught that much before focusing on the woman in purple again.

Her brown eyes calculated something before she spoke. None of the guards responded. She repeated herself and pointed at him.

He let his expression crack into confused playboy. "I don't understand. Does anyone speak English? My name is Bruce Carton."

She looked annoyed and Bruce wished he hadn't indulged in a fit of teenage rebellion when a tutor wanted him to learn European languages and he chose East Asian with the exception of Latin instead. She repeated the question and he shrugged.

One of the doors behind him opened and the woman in purple smiled. "Diana."

He twisted his neck and saw a woman in a red knee-length chiton and a gold crown of laurel leaves set atop her wavy black hair. Her blue eyes opened wide as they rudely looked him over. She passed him, approached the woman in purple, and listened as the woman talked to her and waved her hand at him. They both looked at him when she finished.

Bruce focused on Diana. "Do you understand English?"

Diana turned to the woman in purple and shook her head.

The woman in purple shrugged and asked Diana something else, with the inflection of an order. Diana circled around Bruce. He didn't watch her and looked at the woman in purple instead. The oil lamps hanging from the ceiling tinted her grey hairs orange. Her brown eyes gazed at Diana's inspection with the same calculation she had before. Diana crossed in front of him and he catalogued enough similarities between the women to call them mother and daughter. The younger skin was tanned a darker tint of olive.

Diana spoke to the woman in purple without taking her gaze off him. The woman in purple responded smugly, and then added something else as she stood. Diana whirled around, and shock twisted her calm expression away. Her voice rose in protest.

The woman in purple set her hands on her daughter's shoulders. Her voice soothed and cajoled. Diana bit her bottom lip and glanced at Bruce again. The woman in purple's voice turned coy. Diana nodded. The woman in purple embraced her, and then clapped her hands before giving an order.

The guards behind him pulled him out of the room. In the courtyard, he realized the sun had set. A fire burned on a waist-high stone stand close enough to the pillars holding up the second story porch so it was protected. The smell of cooked fish drifted from somewhere deeper in the building and he clenched his empty stomach. The guards escorted him up the stairs to the third floor of the right wing and into a bedroom.

Diana passed their group and closed the heavy tapestries across the opening to the balcony. She turned to them with annoyance fighting with regality on her face. Regality won out as she gave an order.

The guard on his right glanced at the wooden-framed bed, and made a suggestion.

Annoyance filled Diana's face and she told them off. The guards dropped his arms and marched out the door. Diana bolted it behind them. She set her crown on a shelf before sitting at the table. She straddled the bench to face him, and her chiton slid up to reveal her knees. Her legs were almost as pretty as Selina's.

So far, this beat waking up in the Pit even if he was a prisoner. The headache lurked on his mind's fringes, but right now he needed to learn this woman's intentions and make an escape plan.

She said something slowly in their language. She didn't point to anything in the room, just watched him.

"No, I still don't understand you."

She tried again, but this time the unfamiliar words reminded him of the Greek he heard in Athens many years ago when Alfred decided it would be good to get sullen teenage him out of Gotham for the summer. But he had never bothered to learn Greek because everyone switched to English for the rich American boy.

"Amerikanós," he remembered that. Her blue eyes narrowed. "Den xέrw ellhnikά." He hoped he hadn't butchered the pronunciation of the decades-unused phrase.

She moved onto a different language. "Tu loquerisne Latinam? {Do you speak Latin?}"

Bruce nodded. "{My name is Bruce Carton. Where am I?}

Diana smiled with relief. "{You are on the island of Themyscira. I am Princess Diana.}"

"{I crashed my vehicle here. Why am I a prisoner?}"

"{We have learned that men from Man's World use violence to escape their fate. No one has. Do not believe you will be the first.}"

He smirked. "{Tell me this fate and let me judge that.}"

Her lips quirked to the side, unimpressed with him. "{You can never leave. In a few days, we will hold a series of games and all Amazons of breeding age will compete. The winner will own you, and you will sire her children, perhaps sire other Amazons' children if the bloodline keepers approve. You will work to provide for the community. You will die in peace. That is something you have not experienced enough of.}" She looked at the scars covering his torso.

Alfred always said the womanizing act would get him in trouble. He doubted this is what his old friend had in mind. "{No wonder men behave badly when they hear that; no one wants to be an imprisoned slave. So why was I brought here instead of a cell?}"

She bit her bottom lip again and jumped up from the bench. "{My mother.}" Her agitated pace turned her back to him and he palmed a Batarang before she faced him again.

"{The woman in purple, your mother? Is she the queen of Themyscira?}"

"{Yes, Queen Hippolyta.}" She pulled on a lock of black hair. Nervous, why? "{My mother wants a granddaughter, and there is a chance I would not win the games.}"

"{So you are cheating.}"

"{What does that matter to you?}" Her blue eyes flashed as her face reddened. "{All men chase the pleasure of the deed. Commitment to the women sharing their bodies factors not in their desires.}"

"{That is not true of all men. I have a partner who I will not disrespect with infidelity.}" His face hardened. He didn't know what had happened to Selina, and didn't trust this princess enough to ask. The edge of the Batarang pressed into his palm. Only Selina could have put Batman's belt on him. He clung to that thought.

Diana pressed her lips together before she spoke. "{Your life out in Man's World is dead now.}" He chuckled. "{That was not a joke!}"

"{That is why I laughed.}" She didn't know it would be his fourth declaration of death and he didn't want to explain. "{Putting my feelings for my partner aside, I have a quest to complete in a land far from this island, so yes, I will be leaving without siring yours or anyone else's children.}" He sawed the Batarang against the rope.

Her face hardened and she stepped closer. "{I can force you.}"

"{Now who is introducing violence?}"

Her expression twisted with self-contempt. "{Please consent and I will guarantee to make your life on Themyscira a good one.}"

It was easier to turn down the begging from bimbos who were only interested in his wallet. The last fiber of the rope parted between his hands. "{I am sorry, but I will not.}"

Her bleak face stared at him. "{I cannot disobey my mother.}"

"{Tell her the truth.}" He shrugged, threw a smoke bomb at her feet, and dived through the tapestries. On the balcony, he leapt and grabbed the edge of the roof. He pulled himself onto the terracotta tiles.

"Fancy meeting you here."

He looked up at the ridge. Selina perched there dressed in a dark knee-length chiton showing off her mouthwatering skin. "You're okay."

"I was waiting for the household to go to sleep before going in." She clasped his arm and helped him up. "Should've known you wouldn't. Rope?" She tsked. "All my fantasies use cuffs."

"Can we talk about that after we get me off this island without a paternity suit?"

Her eyes narrowed. "Maybe I should go in anyway."

"We need to go to the plane." He tightened his grip.

She led the way across the roof on her bare feet. "The plane is a no go."

"I can fix it."

"There's nothing to fix. The engine's gone." They reached the opposite side of the building next to a taller one resembling the Parthenon. She unwrapped what he thought was a belt from around her waist and unfurled a bullwhip. She snagged one of the decorative projections, and then used it as a rope to climb to the higher roof.

He waited until she was up before making the climb himself. "What else did you find?"

"Don't take that tone with me. I'll leave the clothes behind, but they didn't lock the armory." He touched the pair of Tekko-Kagi, hand claws on a forearm bracer, tied to her belt. "I thought they were cute."

"Or too claw-like for Catwoman to pass up?" He rubbed his head when she smirked. "Did you find a boat?"

She shook her head as she retrieved the whip. "I was busy finding you. Plus the soldier gals sent after me haven't come back yet."

"What did you do?"

She led them across the shallow-inclined roof and tossed her head. "I got your unconscious ass out of the plane all by myself so all they had to do was pick you up off the sand. You're welcome. They didn't see me, but they know you weren't traveling alone." They reached the roof's summit and she pointed to a dusty road leading from the square into the woods. "That's the opposite direction from the plane, and it's more used. If they have a marina, it's probably at the end of that road."

"Can't hurt to look. Let's get down before the alarm is raised."

"Your department." She unclipped Batman's grapple gun from her belt. "Getting up here killed my gloves."

He fired the line at the roof peak, set the winch controls, and gathered Selina in his arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and curled into him as he took a running leap and flung them into the air. His bad leg stumbled on the landing.

She planted her feet on the grass. "You okay?"

"I'll be better once we've left." The brace was working. He wound up the grapple line while she retrieved a bag left behind the Parthenon-copy and put on her hiking boots.

"An island filled with women who want to have sex with you and you can't wait to get away. The tabloids would have said this was paradise for Bruce Wayne." Her sarcastic voice covered the apprehension her eyes gave away.

He pulled her to her feet and into his arms. "It wouldn't be much of a paradise without you in it. And I doubt they'll let you keep me. Let's go."


Diana coughed and staggered away from the smoke. How did he make smoke without fire? He was a warrior, not a sorcerer. The stance of his body and the scars it bore screamed that. Blindly, she grabbed the window tapestries and yanked them open. The balcony was empty.

She scowled. A man loose on Themyscira and it was her fault. She should have had the guards tie him to the bed like Nomiki suggested, but she wanted... to not cheat, unlike her mother asked of her. And he had deduced that!

The empty ground below the balcony taunted her. Did he grow wings? A piece of tile rolled off the roof and fell onto the balcony floor. She glared up. Most prisoners would have broken their bodies to reach the ground, but not Bruce. It spoke well of his intelligence. Without wings, he still had to find a way down and then she would recapture him. If she brought him back, no one would be the wiser that she had let him escape.

She pulled the coil of rope from her chest, tied it to the railing, and swung off the balcony. The grass cushioned her landing. She left the rope dangling and headed around the rear of the house. Her scan of the roof almost lost her the target. He and an Amazon headed down the road to the harbor.

Was that sister Amazon insane? Diana froze with shock. Hippolyta would kill any Amazon breaking the laws like this. Diana shook off the stupor and ran, moving as silently as possible to not raise the alarm.

Bruce heard her approach despite her care and whirled around. He didn't stop Diana's hands from seizing her target, and tossing her aside. The Amazon in a dark chiton rolled into a crouch. Her face twisted in anger, but Diana yelled first. No one could hear it from town. "Are you so ready to die?"

Her flash of anger hardened to determination, but she stayed down.

"{Diana, no!}" Bruce grabbed her arm, but she broke the hold and swept his legs out from under him. He tucked into a roll as he fell.

"{The Queen will kill her for helping you!}" Diana turned to chastise the girl further only she leaped onto Diana's back and wrapped her arm around Diana's throat.

This Amazon promised something full of malice in Bruce's tongue. How had she learned it so quickly? The other Amazons didn't bother, content with the royal family's translations. Her arm tightened against Diana's throat.

"Selina!" Bruce stood. Why was he calling upon Artemis? The attacking woman's hold weakened. Diana flung her off.

The shorter woman twisted in the air and landed on her feet, but Diana grabbed her and slammed her against a tree trunk. She didn't recognize this Amazon. "The Queen ordered me to copulate with him before the Games. What is your excuse, Sister?"

"{Let her go!}" Bruce pulled Diana back. The stranger kicked. Diana's stomach caught the shod foot and she staggered back. He swung her away from the stranger.

Diana dug her feet into the dirt and stopped the swing. She grabbed his throat, only hard enough to stop him. "{Do you want her death on your conscience? The Queen will kill her and maim you!}" She lifted him off the ground.

He clawed at her fingers. Lightning tore across the sky. The stranger jumped between them and brought the clawed bracer she wore down on Diana's outstretched arm.

The blades shattered against her skin.

Diana's world shattered with them as she released Bruce. Lightning skipped across her skin. Bruce tackled the shorter Amazon to the ground before the energy tore through the air where she had stood. It slammed into a tree across the road. The tree split apart and Diana threw herself aside as the burning wood fell across the road. She stared at the flames as her mind leaped and blazed among her thoughts in a similar way.

Diana remembered Sotiria, a woman older than her mother who cared for her when the Queen was busy. The bronze knife reflected the lightning flash as Sotiria screamed over her cries. "Great Queen Hera, accept this sacrifice of the desecration to your honor!" The knife sliced through the air and the lightning bolt shattered the vision.

Sotiria died from burns when she was four-years-old. No one had ever told her how Sotiria was burned.

She remembered confronting her mother gravely for her age after Sotiria's death and before formal lessons. "Who was my father? Other children know who sired them."

Hippolyta drew her onto the purple-covered lap. "He is not on Themyscira, my lightning child. When I decided to have an heir, none of the men we kept here were worthy. I slipped to Man's World, like our foremothers did before founding Themyscira, and left your father there once you were in my womb."

That answer did not stop the whispers that the Princess' father was not a mortal man. How could he be with everything she could do and her mother could not?

Lightning flashed in the sky and Diana flinched. She heard the running feet growing fainter. Bruce and the other Amazon had fled, but she could not let them frighten the rest of Themyscira. She ran after them.


"I didn't think I had to tell you to turn off the crazy bitch magnet after we hooked up. That was a mistake, so please turn off your crazy bitch magnet." Selina followed Bruce down the dirt road.

He turned his head and scanned both sides of the road. "None of it was Diana's idea."

"Acting under orders forgives everything."

He turned through an opening between two trees. "From what she shouted at me, she wanted to prevent the rest of them from killing you. And her mother ordered her-" He broke off as he looked back for pursuit.

Selina didn't feel the same reticence. "To rape you."

"Diana wanted consent."

"How long did that last before coercion started?" Anger and dread collided in her stomach while he rubbed his forehead instead of answering. He had been hurt and it was her fault. Again. She should have fought off those soldier women and never have let them take him. She was worse at this partner stuff than she'd feared. She slashed through the underbrush with the claws on her left hand before changing the subject. "Did anyone tell you she was part electric eel?"

"Did you see the look on her face?" He led them down a barely-there trail through the forest. He latched onto her hand so the broken claws wouldn't cut him. "I don't think she knew she can generate lightning."

She had been busy tugging on him to run like hell to look at his want-to-be-his-baby's-mama's face, so she'd take his word on that. "How is that possible? Did a freak storm have the best timing ever?"

"You have to have clouds to produce lightning." He pointed through a break in the trees at the bright stars. "Diana caused it, some how. Nothing I've seen here points to anything as advanced as a steam engine, much less genetic engineering."

"And just where is here?" She didn't hear anything behind them, but she kept her voice down.

"They call the island Themyscira. My geography class skipped it."

"Mine too." She swiped at another branch.

They broke into a clearing that surrounded a building matching the larger temple in the town square, but only about the size of the smallest houses Selina had noticed. A hill rose behind it. He swiveled back the way they had come. She heard the rustle of moving underbrush. "We have her outnumbered," he whispered.

"But can we hurt her?" Selina whispered back as she untied the bullwhip from around her waist. "I didn't even cut her with these claws with the shitty warranty."

"Get inside. They don't want to kill me."

Selina grabbed the hand that released hers. He wore less protection than when he faced Bane, and Bane hadn't shot lightning. "You used up all your self-sacrificing gestures. We both hide."