RECAP: This sequel follows my first JL/Lovecraft Mythos-crossover fic "The Red House." Please read it first! It also follows the events of the first follow-up sequel, "The Hyades Shall Sing." It also features another uniquely Mythos-related crossover, to be gradually revealed (if you can't wait, just PM me and I will spoil it for you), similar to the style of "The Red House." I imagine this fic will be much longer (shorter chapters maybe too, just easier for me to write that way), and will start off very slowly, focusing on the drama and relationships between Diana, Clark, and his new in-law and extended family: Queen Hippolyta and the Amazons. It will not be so much horrorish stuff at the start. The prologue may last for several chapters, before we get to "present day" which is set a couple of weeks after the events of the Red House. Most of the story will be set on Themyscira. Batman will be in it much more too, good news for all you Bats fans! No he will not steal Diana from Clark. Lois Lane will be a major character too, and yes she is a lesbian in this AU. Sorry Clois fans. The title of the story comes from the Lustmord CD of the same name, also related to the crossover. You can hear some tracks on YouTube if you'd like background music with this fic, or with the Red House ;) It fits!
A note on the Amazons: This story follows New 52 a bit, but I have my own AU-y take on the Amazons, which I've always wanted to do! Like some of you (maybe most?) I'm not that wild about the New 52 WW storyline; without giving too much away if you haven't read it yet, they've pretty much flushed the idea of the Amazons as peace ambassadors down the toilet, since they do some really nasty things (to men), and the Olympians also seem pretty dysfunctional and (IMO) very Neil Gaiman-esque. Which is not a bad thing necessarily, but maybe not for WW :/ So there will be no Olympian Gods in this story (other gods though ;), but some aspects of the New 52 Amazons are kept intact (hint: WW #7), just my way of working with what I've got. One major inspiration I'm also using to write the Amazons is Stephen Pressfield's novel The Last of the Amazons. Great historical fiction, if you like concept of warrior women, read it! The Amazons are pretty violent there too.
Enjoy! And always, reviews are awesome!
Prologue – The Body on the Shore
Themyscira – The (Not So Distant) Past
The hot yellow sun blazed radiantly down on the white sand beaches of the great island, providing light and warmth to the many varieties of vegetation and animal life which thrived due to the centuries of isolation from human interference in Nature. As a result, the land and its coasts resembled no less than a vision from the very dawn of time: pure creation, unspoiled and untouched, perhaps as true a vision of Paradise as could be imagined by Earth's great writers and poets. A biologist's dream. A virgin land, minus the sounds and smells of Humanity's most treasured works: the burning of coal and rubber, the exhaust of the internal combustion engine, the deadly heat of nuclear fire.
Yet occasionally things would appear on Themyscira's shores which dispelled the illusion of the purity of wildlife and nature existing in isolation – washed up debris from the distant lands, other items which puzzled or disgusted (or both) the inhabitants of this realm. Broken and discarded machines of strange and unknown design and purpose, faded and waterlogged books filled with mysterious and infuriating words, jagged scraps of wreckage from ships of the sea and even ships of the air. Yet even these were all mere curiosity, unimportant. More rarely, a corpse would wash up, greenish and decayed and partly devoured by the ocean-dwellers: a victim, perhaps of the vagaries of the sea, or of the violence of Man's World. Such proof as presented of the other lands' perfidy or foolishness, or both, were, when discovered, promptly burned and the ashes scattered, albeit without such funerary rites as were afforded the island's more pious inhabitants.
The last body to wash up on Themyscira's shore, however, was different.
Two mounted and fully armored Amazon warriors galloped along the coastline. Both of them wore the livery of the Queen's Guards, crimson plumes flapping from their golden crested helms, their arms secured on the flanks of their painted horses. Their manes were braided, identifying them as property of the Queen's own stables. One of the women pointed, and shouted something to her companion, upon sighting the body that lay pulled out of the surf onto the hot sand, and they both spurred on their mounts. Further down the shore, another Amazon, clad in the sparse animal skins of the hunter/scout, awaited them patiently and emotionlessly, standing barefoot and knee-deep in the water.
The foremost of the horsewomen pulled up and dismounted, and approached the scout.
"Merope!" The Guardswoman demanded loudly. "Is this the body?"
The scout was a slender woman who appeared to have no more than fifteen years, yet her movements and eyes suggested many more than her appearance suggested; the women of this land grew up quickly, particularly those in her profession. Her hair hung in blonde dreadlocks secured in a loose braided cord, and her exposed skin was burnt and tanned by the sun. She spat salt into the sand by her feet, and shrugged.
"Is there a body anywhere else?"
The tall and muscular woman scowled at the impertinent answer, but the other Amazon brushed past her companion and walked up to the body without hesitation, crouching beside it for a moment to examine its wretched state, her handsome features creased deep in thought. Finally, she looked up at Merope, puzzled.
"How can you be sure it is a sister?"
In truth, there was not much body left. All that remained was the trunk, and the stump of a left arm, strands of stinking kelp tangled all round it. There was no head, no clothing remaining. The creatures of the sea had clearly partaken of the decaying flesh. Merope, however, was no stranger to peculiar or unpleasant sights. She gestured towards the corpse's remaining limb. A thin leather cord was wrapped tightly around the upper arm, sunken deeply into the skin. She bent down, drew her long knife from her thigh-sheath, and cut it off. She held it out to the two Guardswomen. They saw it right away, the embossed leather, the familiar handicraft. A typical decoration, sometimes worn as a charm.
"This is Amazonian work," Merope said quietly.
The tall Guardswoman was not yet convinced. "But how can you be sure?"
Merope shrugged again, her face and voice impassive, as if she did not care one way or the other whether or not she was believed.
"I know. It is the one I made for my sister, before she departed with the others."
The two Guardswomen exchanged solemn glances. They knew then, for certain who and what this body was. A sister, one who had once gone forth, and - like the others - never returned to Themyscira. Before this, nothing, no news had ever reached their land of what had happened to them.
"Queen Hippolyta must be told of this."