Hippolyta makes an announcement about a contest of champions to determine who will escort Steve Trevor back to Earth.
The Justice Society: Four Seasons
Volume 1 “Autumn”
Chapter 4 – Hippolyta
The last time a male had walked on their island had ended in disaster. Heracles and Theseus escaped with her girdle and the cost did not end there. Half of her sisters including her closest sister Antiope left the island in search of the two. As Menalippe stated she never saw them again. Now they intrude again to Paradise Island and would likely cause even more problems. She had to get the male off the island before they had another disaster like the one before.
“Mala please go find Menalippe for me.” As Hippolyta sat on the balcony of her room looking out towards the healing island she wondered how the mortal managed to make it to through the fog that protected the island. There had to be a hole in there somewhere and it meant they were still on Gaia and not in Elysium as she suspected. The Door to Tartarus made her wonder, the only door she was aware of was in Elysium. She was so lost in thought she didn’t hear Menalippe joining her on the balcony.
“We are not on Gaia my Queen, we are still in Elysium. The mortal male has only passed through the veil”
“What do you see, Menalippe?” Hippolyta knew the oracle, her friend long before the goddesses recreated them. That was the difficulty in hiding things from people you knew so well.
“You will not like it.” Menalippe made her way over to the balcony edge pointing out towards the healing island. “He must be returned and one of our own must take him back to the land of mankind… and there represent us to the mortals. Athena suggests the wisest among us, Artemis suggests the best hunter. They, however, did come to a conclusion. We should have a set of games to determine the most worthy among us to send. An Age of Heroes is returning to Gaia, one of our own must be among them.”
There was something Menalippe wasn’t telling her. What would she hold back? No, the Amazon was already determined; there was no other reason to not say it. They were convinced Diana would win, Hippolyta was certain of it. “I just have one condition.” She watched as Menalippe raised an eyebrow but when her friend made no protest she continued “Diana will not be participating in this contest.”
She expected Menalippe to say something, perhaps even that her condition was rejected but Menalippe surprised her. “Very well, you should make an announcement so that those who wish to participate may prepare.”
As she waited in the Throne room she wondered what Menalippe was thinking. She thought she knew her friend so well but perhaps there were things even now she couldn’t predict. As the Amazons began filling the throne room she wondered again at the ends. Something felt it like was moving to introduce them into the world again. The last two times they walked the world were bad enough, what could warrant their being dragged down from paradise?
"Long ago we used to walk out in the world beyond on Gaia. Many of us suffered horrible fates while in the world of man. The Goddesses gave us a second chance to live another life, a better one than the one we lost. When the rest of the world interfered again the Goddess took a hand in our fate and moved an entire island for us. They bent space and time to bring us here to Elysium. Since that time we have known peace on this island. This island had not seen an outside visitor until Diana came to us. She brought us news of the outside world that we have had no access to. I knew that we would again have another visitor but that visitor came far sooner than I would have imagined. It is the second time a visitor has come to our shores and the first time a male has ever been on our island."
"I cannot imagine the Goddesses did not have a hand in this. Just as they brought Diana to us they brought this man to us. Why they have done so is more difficult to explain. But the Goddesses as before have given us an answer"
“Menalippe has received a message from the Goddesses that he must be returned to the world of man but he will not be going alone. We cannot send him back on the device he came to this island in, it is far too damaged to fly again. I know that I ask much from you when I ask that one of you, the greatest among us, must leave this island and escort him back to the world of man. While you are in man’s world you must represent not just us but our gods and goddesses to the world of man. Something is moving in that world and our wisdom must temper the aggression often seen by mortals.”
“Those of you who wish to represent our island will meet with Phillipus and Princess Diana so they prepare the games to determine who should venture into the world of man. To those of you who will participate I wish you luck“. She could tell from the look on her General’s face that she was upset, but she could not afford to lose their best strategist. Despite how upset Phillipus might be about the situation she would still do her duty. Her own daughter would be far harder to handle. The temptation of something new would be too great. Unlike the other Amazons she only knew this island and nothing of what her sisters experienced in the world of man.
She spotted Diana standing in the crowd next to her closest friend Mala, were it not for their hair color the two would be identical sisters. The two were apparently taking names down for the contest. There was one thing that disturbed her more than anything else, the number of Amazons who had signed up. Far more of her sisters seemed willing to reenter the world of man than she ever expected. She had anticipated only a dozen but from the look of the line it might be in the hundreds plus only a fraction of the island’s population was here for the speech, the others carrying on with their jobs. Menalippe must have seen this, was the appeal of Paradise Island slipping?
With the speech completed Hippolyta sought out the temple of Athena, she hoped the Goddess would pass some of her wisdom and that hopefully that the crisis she was imagining was just that. As she passed by the temple of Artemis she could see a number of her sisters lining up, no doubt seeking favor in the game.
Only Jiroe, the high priestess of Athena, was at the temple when Hippolyta arrived. Jiroe’s assistants were no doubt spread across the island studying or leading classes elsewhere.
“I would have thought more of my sisters would be here.” Hippolyta glanced around the virtually empty temple.
“They will in time but at the moment it is their hearts that are moving them not their heads. For a number of them I believe they are joining only for the competition, they have no true desire to leave the island. With a few of them, there is a longing.”
“Longing? I would have thought our last time in the world was enough.”
“We’ve lived for so long that it becomes easier to look on the past differently. They no doubt still remember why the Goddesses saved them and brought them back, but they also remember the other times as well. Those with possess more happy than sad memories appear to want to try again. When Diana crashed on our island, I began noticing this shift.”
When she left the temple she felt more at peace but disturbed at the idea that some of her sisters no longer viewed Paradise Island as what it was intended to be. These thoughts surrounded her as she returned to her apartments wondering just what the Goddesses had in mind when they allowed a man to land on their island.