Wonder Woman : The Artemis Gambit  

By JR

Wonder Woman

Based loosely upon the story by William MessnerLoebs
and Mike Deodato Jr. featured in the Wonder Woman
comic book, issues #95-#100, and Justice League #100.
Now without any damn censoring.

DISCLAIMER: The following story is an adult-themed
parody of the Wonder Woman comic book. Wonder Woman
and all related characters are property, copyright
and trademark of DC Comics, an AOL Time Warner company.
No copyright infringement is intended. The author
received no payment for this story, and no money shall
be earned by its distribution.

WARNING: The following story contains adult themes
and explicit descriptions of extreme sexual events.
MINORS MUST NOT READ THIS. Many so-called adults
shouldn't, either. If you are below your country's
age of legal majority, kindly bugger off.

WONDER WOMAN: THE ARTEMIS GAMBIT
PART ONE: THE OL' ORDER CHANGETH

The city's main square was crowded. Virtually every
Amazon in the island of Themyscira, including those of
the splinter tribe of Bana-Migdahll, had gathered to
watch the investiture of the new Champion of the
Amazon Nation, called by the outside world Wonder Woman.

Artemis of Bana-Migdahll stood before Queen Hippolyta,
fidgeting uncomfortably in her new attire. The blue
star-patterned bottom rode high on the tall redhead's
athletic hips, seemingly determined to bury itself
thong-like between the cheeks of her muscular, round
buttocks. The strapless red and gold top with the
stylized eagle motif, though newly re-tailored to her
figure, felt too tight on her slim torso. She wondered
how the oversized globes on Diana's chest had managed
to stay inside it while walking, much less fighting.

Princess Diana, the previous holder of the title of
Amazon Champion, stood silent on the sidelines, her
close friends Mala and Eurydice by her sides. She
wore a simple white long robe fastened at the hips,
and her bright blue eyes were fixed not on the woman
wearing her former colors, but on her mother, Hippolyta,
Queen of the Amazons, as she went through with the
ceremony.

"As our Champion and Envoy To Man's World, you shall
wear the colors of the country called United States
of America, to symbolize our endorsement of their
ideals of Justice and Freedom, and you shall wear
the tiara of your office as Ambassador," Hippolyta
said solemnly.

Mala glanced at Diana, noticing that the Princess's
long black hair was bare of all adornments. Though
her status as Princess of Themyscira gave Diana the
right to still wear a tiara, she had obviously chosen
not to. She had also disdained a place of honor in
the Queen's retinue, to Hippolyta's aggravation.
Mala wondered with what other decisions may Diana
still surprise them.

"To aid you in your Mission of spreading our Amazon
Credo in Patriarch's World, we present to you the
Golden Lasso, so that the fire of Hestia may guide
your hand, and the Winged Sandals of Hermes, to give
you the holy gift of flight."

Diana nodded her approval. At least her mother had
taken her warnings seriously, and was giving Artemis
suitable tools to act her role. Diana had worn the
Sandals herself in the past, to augment her intrinsic
gift of flight and transverse the breach between
worlds, but though they would indeed give Artemis the
ability to fly, Diana feared that for what a Wonder
Woman must face, that would not be nearly enough.

"And finally," Hippolyta announced. "The Bracelets
of Atlas, to multiply your strength and resistance,
so that no task will be beyond your power."

Diana stared with surprise at the bracelets, brought
by Phillipus in a carefully held cushion. She had
no idea that these were in possession of her Mother,
and wondered how much they would augment Artemis'
strength. Perhaps enough to match her own? For
Artemis' sake, she hoped so.

Artemis, rising from having fastened the winged
sandals to her feet, received the bracelets with a
furrowed brow. They were also a surprise for her,
and she was distrustful of all things magical.

The Bracelets were deceptively simple, twin coils of
slender golden metal, malleable enough that Artemis
easily opened them and coiled their lengths over and
around the traditional Amazon bracelets she already
wore. They seemed to tighten of their own accord,
and become embedded into the old metal, resembling
more golden raised-patterns than separate objects.

Artemis opened her eyes widely. She felt the surge
of power run through her frame, her tissues now
virtually bursting with enhanced strength. So this
was what it felt to be a demigoddess, she mused.

"Thank you," Artemis said, bowing her head to
Hippolyta ever so slightly. "My Queen."

Even Hippolyta seemed surprised by the sincerity in
Artemis' voice, Diana noticed, as the crowd erupted
in a myriad whispered exchanges. Diana wondered if
Artemis had surprised herself as well.

"AMAZONS!" Hippolyta proclaimed. "I GIVE YOU YOUR
CHAMPION!"

Artemis smiled with pride and satisfaction, and
turning to face the crowd, she raised her arms in
a gesture of triumph, the Golden Lasso in her hand
flowing along her long and radiant mane of red hair.

The crowd burst into cheers and applause, and Diana
joined her sisters in clapping, though her mouth
remained tight and unsmiling.

Diana moved through the throng of Bana-Migdahllans
surrounding Artemis, most of whom still regarded her
with clear hostility.

"Congratulations," Diana said, extending her hand
towards Artemis.

Artemis doubted for an instant, before clasping her
hand briskly to Diana's bracelet-wearing wrist,
as both completed the Amazon greeting.

"I earned this, Princess," Artemis said, her words
filled with cold challenge and distrust. "I was the
one who truly risked death. You know that."

"I never disputed your courage or worthiness, Sister,"
Diana said, using the precise word of the Themysciran
dialect that implied more than mere ethnic fraternity.
"You know that."

Artemis looked baffled for an instant, her green eyes
looking with Diana's, exploring her blue depths for
hidden meanings. Finally, Artemis just nodded with
reserve.

"I can help you master the use of the Sandals, if you
wish," Diana offered. "The air is not an easy road
to travel."

"I can find my own ways, thank you," Artemis replied.

Mala and Eurydice looked at each other, breathing
deeply.

"You caught that?"

"Of course."

"They did it."

"No."

"They did. They slept together. Their eyes said it."

"No. They did not, and their eyes said that both
now regret it."

"Mmm... Perhaps."

"Both know that now it may never happen."

"Oh, you just love your tragedies way too much."

Diana entered the rooms she was sharing with Mala
and Eurydice, finding both busy at the ancient art
of gossip.

"Diana! Where were you?" Mala said, standing up to
greet Diana with a peck on her cheek, while Eurydice
stood up and bowed her head formally. "You just have
to know-!"

"Had things to do," Diana said, after clasping
bracelets with both of her friends, her brow furrowed
and her eyes troubled. "Things that didn't go well."

"May we ask?" Eurydice queried.

"I went to see Megala," Diana said, breathing out
and sitting down at a low couch. "To ask for a favor,
and also to probe about what happened."

"And?"

"I could not get anything from her about my... being
deposed as Champion. My very questions seemed to
pain her somehow."

"Sorcery does no good to the mind," Mala said,
pursing her lips. "It has been centuries. Megala may
be growing unstable."

"They are hiding something," Diana said, shaking her
head. "Mother and her."

"What do you suspect?"

"I don't know enough for suspicion, yet."

"Anyway," Mala said, brightening up as she changed
the subject. "You should have been at the fields
this afternoon. Artemis was practicing with the
Sandals, and she fell flat on her ass at least a
dozen times."

"Well, she's a hard ass...," Diana said, smiling at
last.

"A cute one, too," Mala said with a wicked smile.

"Yes, that too."

"You did sleep with her, didn't you?"

"You would really love to know, eh?" Diana said,
her smile wider than ever, as she shook her head
from side to side.

"Oh, come on! You've said you slept with half the
monsters in Tartarus-"

"I did not say THAT!"

"-And you expect us to believe you didn't sleep with
that hot piece of ass?"

"You are as refined as ever, Mala," Eurydice sighed.

"Why, I hate her guts, and I'd still do her without
question!" Mala added.

"We don't doubt that," Eurydice said.

"Of course, most of the monsters in Tartarus may have
had better dispositions than Artemis, though."

"I did not sleep with half of Tartarus!" Diana
repeated.

"She was like a wild cat in heat, wasn't she?"

"Oh, you are terrible!"

"You are sure about this?" Eurydice asked.

"Yes," Diana replied while Hippolyta completed the
speech for Artemis' departure.

"She will take it the wrong way," Mala said. "She
always does."

Unwrapping the bundle in her hands, Diana walked up to
Artemis. "For your journey," she said. "Good luck."

Artemis looked at Diana in surprise, her eyes moving
to stare at the longbow held before her. "A gift?"
she asked with sincere bafflement. "Why?"

"To replace the one lost in the bridge, back in the
NetherWorlds," Diana explained. "Made it myself."

"You did?"

"And Megala wove her art into the wood. This one
will not break so easily."

Artemis took the bow with troubled eyes, running her
hand along its length. "It's a fine work," she
admitted, before raising her eyes to meet Diana's.
"I'll be honored to use it, Princess."

"Fly true, Sister," Diana said, extending her hand.

"Always," Artemis said, clasping bracelets without
hesitation this time.

The crowd of Bana-Migdahllans looked at Diana with
new eyes, and something seemed to change in the way
they stood among the Themyscirans.

Picking up a large duffel bag which she slung at her
side, Artemis nodded towards the Queen, her people,
and finally at Diana, before turning to face the
western coast. After only the briefest instant of
uncertainty, she took to the air, flying towards the
horizon, the sunlight highlighting the golden symbol
in her Wonder Woman garb.

Artemis had long disappeared in the distance, and the
crowd was dispersing, when Hippolyta and Phillipus
approached Diana, as she stood talking to her friends.

"We commend you on your behavior, Daughter," the
Queen said. "We were pleased."

"Was anything else expected of me, My Queen?" Diana
replied, bowing her head with ceremonial formality.
"A dear Sister of mine went into a difficult mission.
I could only wish her the best."

"This new bond between Artemis and you will do much
good for our people," Hippolyta said, smiling.

"I hope so."

"Come with me now, Diana," Hippolyta said, reaching
for her daughter. "You must be introduced to your
new duties-"

"I'm afraid that will not be, Mother," Diana said
with a half smile, taking off her ceremonial robes,
revealing the incongruous clothing beneath.

"What is the meaning of this?" Hippolyta asked with
bafflement, staring at the denim shorts and white
t-shirt hugging tightly Diana's curves.

"It's time for me to leave, Mother," Diana said,
taking the backpack that Eurydice offered her with a
smile.

"Leave? But how? Where-?"

"To Man's World, of course," Diana said, turning to
hug first Mala and then Eurydice, kissing each one
briefly in the lips before turning back to her mother.

"That is ridiculous!" Hippolyta protested after a
moment of stunned silence. "You lost the Contest!
Artemis is our Envoy there, not you!"

"I am a free woman, Mother," Diana said, shouldering
the backpack. "Perhaps now more than ever. And my
place is out there, where I am needed."

"You are needed here!"

"For what vital function, My Queen? Can you explain
to me, to all, your particular, all-important reason?"

"You belong here!"

"My heart tells me that I belong out there, where the
World needs my power."

"It has Artemis for that!"

"I have a feeling that my Sister may need me as well,
and I think I should be close to her."

"Oh, I know how we used to call that feeling..."
Mala muttered to Eurydice.

"AS YOUR QUEEN, I ORDER YOU TO STAY!"

"And I respectfully refuse, My Queen," Diana said,
her feet beginning to lift slowly off the ground.
"I believe I have earned the right to choose my own
way. Or perhaps Man's World has indeed corrupted me
into disobedience."

"NO! YOU CANNOT LEAVE! YOU MUST NOT LEAVE!"
Hippolyta yelled, rushing forward to grab at Diana.

"Good bye, Mother," Diana said, moving up in the air,
beyond reach. "Good bye, my Sisters," she said,
smiling, before turning and flying away, faster than
any bird alive.

"NO! YOU CAN'T! YOU DON'T KNOW!" Hippolyta raged,
while Phillipus tried to hold her.

"You think the Queen will take it out on us?"
Eurydice asked casually, as they walked away.

"Maybe," Mala said, shrugging. "We always get blamed,
you know."

"Yes," Eurydice agreed. "We do."

Unknown to Diana, in her absence, Mala and Eurydice
had become almost pariahs among their people. Most
Amazons, including the Queen, had not taken lightly to
their having become intimately involved with Diana,
who most still saw as a child, the sole child to have
walked Themyscira in long centuries.

Mala still loved Diana the child, but she also loved
Diana the woman, who she realized few other people
among the Amazons really saw. And what a woman Diana was.

"How could those two have NOT slept together?"

WONDER WOMAN: THE ARTEMIS GAMBIT
PART TWO: WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

"Oracle?"

"Who's asking?" Oracle said, immediately tracing the
call, and reviewing the short list of people who were
aware of this particular number, for possible leaks.

"This is Diana of Themyscira, I-"

"Diana? Wonder Woman?"

"Just Diana now, actually. I was given this number
some time ago at a Justice League meeting, and was
told that you could help me getting information."

Oracle was surprised. She had not thought he would
trust Wonder Woman enough to share such information.
Of course, from what she had heard, most men did
behave uncharacteristically around the Amazon.
Perhaps he was human after all, Oracle thought.

If this was indeed Wonder Woman.

The trace led to Boston, which was consistent with
her past residence.

"You would have been given a code for this number."

"'Clock'"

"You're all over the latest news feeds, Princess,"
Oracle said. "Several incidents in the middle east."

After a brief pause, the voice on the phone continued:
"That wasn't me. That would be Artemis, the new
Wonder Woman."

"New Wonder Woman?"

"It's a long story."

"I'm listening."

"So you're planning to continue to... continue your
operations despite all that?" Oracle asked. Clearly
she had not been given the whole story, but the idea
of Diana being replaced as Wonder Woman by another
Amazon was strange enough. Far too little was really
known about the Amazons and their island, she realized,
making a note to do some research later. "Have two
different Wonder Womans?"

"I'll not use that title. Yet I cannot stop doing
what needs to be done."

"I can understand that," Oracle muttered, leaning
back on her wheelchair, and the glow of the computer
monitors cast a pale light on the bitter smile on
Barbara Gordon's face.

"That is why I needed some help from someone in...
the field, both for keeping tabs on Artemis, and for..."

"Yes?"

"Maybe some advice of more frivolous nature."

"Like what?"

"Well, regarding attire."

"Oh, sure," Oracle said with a smile. Diana's voice
had sounded clearly embarrassed. "I can help you
directly with the first thing, and I know just who to
call for the second one."

"Sorry for-"

"Nonsense. Of course you'll need someone to help you
go shopping. You can both help each other."

"Dinah Lance?"

"Who wants to know?" the blonde woman asked, not
looking up from her beer mug.

"My name is Diana."

"What, there's an echo here?" the blonde asked before
downing a long drink.

"Oracle said you could be here."

"Oracle?" Dinah Lance asked, turning to look with a
frown at the tall black-haired woman standing by her
side. She blinked once in surprise as she recognized
the world-famous face. "What the-? Wonder Woman?"

"I am Diana of Themyscira," Diana said. "We had
met before, but-"

"Hey, I didn't know you came down to mingle with us
mortals! Cool, grab a seat and-"

"Goddamn! Will you look at that!" a voice exclaimed
from a corner in the bar.

"Oh, great, now you stirred up the yuppies," Dinah
muttered. "Just ignore them."

A young man rose from the corner table, the wolf
whistles and laughter of his companions following
him. "Yo, babes! Wanna party?" he called out.

The other patrons of the bar looked with hard faces
at the young men in fancy ties and power suits, even
more out of place in the blue-collar environs than
the attractive young blonde in loose canvas pants and
battered military jacket, or even the tall, beautiful
brunette in tight jeans and oversized sweater. But
no one moved. It was unspoken policy at Callahan's
that everyone minded their own business, up to a point.

"So, Wondie," Dinah asked. "What're you having?"

"She can have me!" the tipsy young man said, as he
leaned on the counter besides the two women. "Or all
of us! Whattabout it?"

"Go play elsewhere," Dinah said curtly, making a
point of not looking at the guy, as Diana noticed.
Not smelling the alcohol in his breath was more
difficult.

"Just a couple of drinks with us, blondie. On us.
For starters," he added, turning to wink at the
corner table where his friends leered and whistled.

"You've had too many alcoholic beverages," Diana said.

"Oh, but we still have plenty left, to party!" he
said, placing a hand on Dinah's back, and letting it
slide down, while his eyes ran up and down Diana's
figure. "You two're models, right?"

"Take your hand off me if you wanna keep it."

"C'm'on, babe, we'll all have lots of fun!"

Dinah spun in her seat and slapped the yuppie's
hand away. "Just leave us the fuck alone, ok?"

"Oh, playing hard to get, are you? So you're the
tight ass and Boobs there is the tight what?"

"Maybe we should leave," Diana suggested.

"Haven't finished my beer," Dinah said. "They're
the fuckers who should leave."

"Let's find out how tight your ass really is, blondie.
You know you want it, too."

"Sure, like I want a third leg," Dinah said, stepping
off her stool and pushing the guy away with one hand.
"Fuck off. Last warning."

"C'm'on," the guy begun, grabbing at Dinah's wrist.
"Be nice to me."

The blond woman spun her wrist in a tight circle,
reversing the grips, and grabbing the man's hand
with both hands as she stepped forward and to a side,
her thumbs pressing the twisted hand back while her
rotation locked the whole arm. Completing her
lateral displacement, the wrist lock made the man
spin in the air before crashing to the floor.

"You bitch!" the man yelled from the floor, cradling
his wrist, while his friends rose from their table
with a jumble of curses and overturned glasses. One
of them took out a shiny handgun.

"Oh, tough guys," Dinah muttered with a smile.

"Need any help, lassies?" the bartender asked with a
thick Irish accent, a shotgun in his hands. On the
other side of the bar a tall young man wearing dark
sunglasses and a trenchcoat, and a fat black man with
a colorful hat, both drew large handguns as well.

The point had been reached.

"There's no need for violence," Diana said calmly,
stepping towards the first man. "You'll not shoot,
will you?"

"I-I..." the man stammered, staring at the lovely
dark-haired woman as she smiled and extended a hand
towards him.

"They broke my hand!" the man in the floor yelled.
"Blow the bitches away!"

"I don't think so," Diana said. Her hand closed
around the gun and squeezed.

The man stared open-mouthed at the mass of distorted
metal that remained.

"Could we leave now?" Diana asked, turning to the
blond woman.

"Ah, ok," Dinah grumbled. "You spoiled the fun
already."

"I'm sure the gentlemen will take care of your tab,"
the bartender said, his shotgun still aimed. No one
disagreed.

The whole place remained silent until the two women left.

"'Blow the bitches away'?" the man with the dark
glasses muttered, shaking his head. "Natt?"

"Yo, Tommy," the fat man with the hat replied.

"Time to deal out some education."

"That was a nice move," Diana said. "Aikido?"

"Jujutsu," Dinah replied. "The whole bar did stare
at your own moves as you walked out, though. How the
hell can you get into those jeans, Wondie?"

"Why? They make me look fat?"

"Sorry about the mess," Dinah said, pushing bundles
of dirty laundry aside to make room on the couch.
"Wanna beer?" she asked, taking half a six-pack from
the fridge.

"No, thanks," Diana said, smiling.

"Oh, come on. Don't look at me like that. I only
had a couple before!"

"Oracle did say-"

"Oracle should mind her own fucking business."

"She's concerned about you."

"Well, it's my own fucking life, so if I want to drink
all day till I puke, and fuck all night just about
everything that moves, it's my choice, get it?"

Diana looked at Dinah in silence, while she drank.

"You really miss him, don't you?" she finally said.

Dinah stared at her before sitting down with
downcast eyes. "All the time."

"He was a good man, I understand."

"I thought he'd come back, you know. Most everyone
does. They even fucking buried Superman on National
TV and he came back! Why Ollie can't-?"

"You never know."

"I-I just don't know how to go on. I-"

"Oracle thinks you should get back into the work."

"I started on my own, you know. My mother was the
first Black Canary, see? So I kinda followed the
family business. I don't really know how we ended up
together. I didn't even like him at first! He was
so damn stubborn, and chauvinistic, and talked out of
his ass most of the time, but-"

"That's ok."

"It's not like I was his sidekick or anything. We
were partners. Black Canary and Green Arrow. Colors
thing going and all. I should be able to do it alone
again, but... Ollie's gone, Hal went insane, and
even damn Itty went away-"

"That's ok."

"No it isn't! It just doesn't make sense anymore.
I just can't- Oh, why the fuck am I telling you this?
Like you care about my pathetic life!"

"I care. And it's good to let things out."

"Sure, that's why we wear what we do, right? Oh,
forget it. Bad joke."

"There are things in my life that don't make sense
either."

"Yours? No shit?"

"Wow, that's pretty fucked up."

"Yes."

"It's always tough to get along with your folks, but
this is something else," Dinah said, and sat back on
the couch, placing her feet up on the cluttered coffee
table. "And you think this Artemis gal won't cut it?"

"She's really brave and determined."

"No, really."

"I have my doubts."

"How is she? As a person, I mean."

"Well... she's brash, outspoken, individualistic,
impulsive, distrustful of others..."

"That sounds like Ollie, actually."

"Quite beautiful, too."

"A real bitch, then."

"Actually," Diana said, after both had laughed aloud.
"I like her a lot, if only My Mother hadn't..."

"Ah! So it's true, then?"

"What?"

"What they say."

"What do they say?"

"That you're... you know, whole island of only women
thing and all."

"Lesbian?"

"Well, yeah."

"I do like women, sexually, yes. But not exclusively."

"Oh, cool. So you swing both ways?"

"Too many ways, Mother thinks."

"Ohhh... Now THAT you have to explain."

"Why is my sex life so interesting?"

"It's a compliment, really. If you were a dumpy ugly
chick nobody would ask, believe me."

"You are beautiful, too-"

"Uh? Me?"

"Yes."

"You think so?"

"Of course," Diana stated as matter-of-fact. "So
does everyone ask you these same things again and
again? About what gender you prefer, and who you
are having sex with?"

"Sure, at every bar I go. But I didn't grow up in
an island with no men, you know."

"You would like it there."

"Really?"

"I'm sure my friends would like you a lot. I know
a couple in particular who would fight over you."

"Come on!"

"Really."

"You really think I'm that beautiful?"

"Of course you are."

"Come on, you're just trying to make feel better."

"No, really, you're just lovely."

"Yeah, sure. I'm not even a real blonde."

"I really love your eyes and mouth, and you have a
great body."

"Oh, please! Like I could ever compete with you.
Your butt is just unreal! And no plastic surgeon
alive could give me tits like those!"

"Why would you want that? Your tits look great."

"What? Next to you I'm flat as a board!"

"Nonsense. Your breasts are just right for your body.
And the way that black corset you wore pressed them
together made you look fantastic."

"Oh, it did help, sure, but compare them to yours and-"

"Please! Mine are just too big!"

"Are you nuts? Power Girl's are too big. Or that
chick with the Titans. Yours are fucking perfect.
And don't start with the can't-find-clothes-to-fit
whining. I wish I had such troubles."

"That's ridiculous. Your breasts perfectly balance
your hips. And your legs are great! Those stockings
you wore-"

"Oh, the fishnets?"

"Oh, yes, those."

"Everyone likes the fishnets. I should really use
them again."

"You looked so hot."

"But your legs are way longer than mine, too."

"Oh, so everything is about size for you?"

"Of course!" Dinah replied before sighing. "Ollie
was hung as a rhino, you know."

"Really?"

"Oh, yes! And he could use it, too. God, I miss him
so much."

"It's alright to miss those we loved."

"He could cook, too, you know? He did the greatest
chili. Me, I can't cook shit."

"Oh, don't start crying now."

"And could he eat pussy! God, he could go for hours!"

"Oh, come here."

"I can't believe we just did that."

"You didn't like it?"

"Oh, like I was screaming with real boredom."

"Want to do it again?"

"I can't believe we just did that. Again."

"Want to do it again?"

"Oh, God. Don't you dare ask me again. You'll
fucking kill me. Stop doing that!"

"You don't like it?"

"You know I do!" Dinah exclaimed breathlessly.
"I had no idea I was so out of shape."

"I like your shape, a lot."

"What are you, my personal support group?" she asked,
stretching with a smile. "I really can't believe this."

"Why?"

"I mean, sleeping with THE Wonder Woman! I was never
much into the girl-girl thing, but-"

"I don't have the title anymore, remember?"

"Technicalities. And really, all that you did! Wow!
I used to think you were such a goody-two-shoes and all!"

"A what?"

"Well, you always look so nice and prim and refined
and all that. Like the whole sex thing is so below you."

"Really?"

"I mean, who doesn't drool after you? But nearly
everyone I know would be too scared to even ask you out."

"Why?"

"You seem so unreachable!"

"I can be reached. Too easily, actually, according
to my mother."

"Really?"

"She hasn't exactly approved of my sex life."

"Well, Mom never liked Ollie. Said he was too old for me."

"So I'm too threatening, then?"

"I guess so."

"I don't want to be threatening."

"Maybe you need to... I don't know, loosen up a bit
more around the guys, or... Look, who have you dated?
In the business, I mean."

"Well..."

"If it's too private..."

"Superman. Twice."

"Just twice? You guys were all over the papers a few
years ago."

"Yes, but-"

"God, is he as good as he looks?"

"It didn't work out."

"Bummer."

"That's it, I guess. I was interested in Captain
Marvel a while ago-"

"Marvel? Isn't he kinda weird? Like childish?"

"-But nothing came out of that, either. Same as with
J'onn J'onzz, sadly."

"J'onn? But he's an alien!"

"So is Superman."

"Well, yes, but-"

"That's it, I guess."

"That's it? What kinda shitty love life is that?"

"The work does take a lot of time."

"Then what was your Mother complaining about?"

"Oh, I do have sex often enough, just not in what
you'd call a relationship."

"Really?"

"Always in the...what did you call it? The business?
But not necessarily in our side."

"Oh."

"Yes."

"And I thought I was the... Ah, I really didn't
figure you for the kind to... well, sleep around."

"Not much time for actual sleep, either," Diana
said with a smile.

"Oh, I walked into that one," Dinah sighed, before
continuing uneasily. "So who then did you-?"

"It's not really-"

"Ah, well, if it makes you uncomfortable-"

"But about this unreachable image people have of me,
well, that's actually something for which I wanted
your help."

"Really?"

"I can't use the old look anymore, so..."

"Hey! You want a makeover? Why didn't you say that
before?"

"I thought about just using one of these tunics..."

"What? A freaking toga? No way! You fly, girl!
Literally! Maybe Supergirl gets off on the whole
up-the-skirt thing, but unless you have tons of
really great undies you want to show off-"

"I could-"

"Look, all these robes and things may look great at
receptions, but you need something that lets you move.
You do have something else besides jeans and T-shirts
and flannel shirts, right?"

"Well..."

"What the fuck is THIS?"

"Oh, I worked at this Taco place..."

"You worked at a taco place? Why?"

"I needed money, and I thought getting to know people
better was-"

"Don't you have, like royalty kind of money and all?"

"Not then. Not now."

"Fuck, I'm broke, too. But a fast food joint?"

"It did make me glad that I don't eat meat."

"Ah, makes sense, your being a veggie."

"Uh?"

"Forget it. Bad joke. Now, what's THIS?"

"Oh, that jacket is a sample from when Mindy Mayer
was trying to commercialize my image-"

"It has the W-symbol and all!"

"It's a stylized eagle actually."

"This is it."

"Really?"

"You want to ditch the boring nice girl image?"

"In a way, yes, but-"

"Believe me, nothing says bad girl more than leather."

"I did swear to honor the symbol..."

"It's settled."

"But I must wear something besides it!"

"Oh, sure. I'll find something in my stuff. What
size are you?"

"I don't know. The flannel shirts were labeled 'large'."

"Figures. Got an idea. Try these boots. Where the
hell's that measuring tape?"

"They are a bit loose."

"Lace them tighter. How can anyone as big as you
have feet smaller than mine? Stay still, I'll
measure you."

"Mmm... I like that."

"Down, down! Holy shit! You are big!"

"I told you."

"What's the other-? Damn. Thirty-eight, twenty-two
and... thirty-eight. Fuck! You are sure all this is
natural? Didn't have any ribs taken off or anything?"

"Please!"

"These speedos should fit you. Made my ass look like
dough, but yours... What cup size are you?"

"Uh?"

"Your bra. 'D' cup at least, right?"

"I don't know. I've never worn a bra."

"I hate you so much."

"Ok, Ollie got me this bustier. He was really into
the Frederick's leather undies thing, the poor dear.
Try it on."

"You don't have to-"

"He would have been the first to applaud. Let me
help. Damn, your back is huge!"

"It's tight."

"It's supposed to. Let me see... Oh, oh. Well, at
least a D-cup then, maybe double 'D'. Strange, you
seem even bigger than that. Must be the shape and
position as much as the size. Oh, I hate you so much."

"So this is a D-cup?"

"Oh, no. It's C-cup, that's the trick."

"But-?"

"It covers your nipples, right?"

"Just about, yes, but-"

"Oh, you're going to kill them."

"Who?"

"Everyone. There's this big Justice League meeting
tomorrow, didn't you know?"

WONDER WOMAN: THE ARTEMIS GAMBIT
PART THREE: DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

"Would ya look at that!"

"Damn, that's a nice pair."

"And that butt! Who's she?"

"I think she fought Superman once. Some kind of alien
barbarian Queen."

"Alien? J'onn never looked like that!"

"Maybe you didn't ask him sweet enough. Maxima.
That's her name."

"So she's a bad girl?"

"A bad girl now trying to be good."

"Works for me... Hey, is Captain Atom really wearing
anything?"

"What?"

"It doesn't look like he wears anything besides the
boots and gloves, does it? But you don't see his thing."

"Like I want to see his thing? Why the hell would I
want to see his thing? Or even look at him at all?
I've never looked at him, ever!"

"There you go being all homophobic again, Beetle."

"Booster, how the hell do you go from Maxima's butt
to Captain Atom's thing? Wait, better don't answer."

"BoosterGold-BlueBeetle-howyaguysdoing?"

"Slow down, Flash."

"Oh, sure, sorry. Want some? No?" the Flash said,
a platter of small sandwiches appearing in his hand,
and then disappearing. "It seems everyone is here!
Isn't it great?"

"Sure," Bettle said. "Hey, is that Jade?"

"Alan Scott's daughter? The green one? Yep."

"Did you see her layout in Maxim? Has that girl
grown up real well or what?"

"Sorry, I don't leer at girls anymore."

"What? You, the official JLI horndog?"

"Way in my past now. Linda's making a new man out
of me. Hey, is that Metamorpho? Wasn't he dead?"

"Not this week, it seems."

"Hey, gotta run. Bye, guys."

"Wally's growing up? What's this world coming to?
Is nothing sacred?" Bettle complained.

"Did Fire get a new boob job?" Booster asked,
frowning with studious concentration.

"Now, that's more like it."

"Looks like she did... Wow, who's that?"

"Who?"

"There. Is that Wondie?"

"Wonder Woman? Did she dye her hair? Wait, she's
turning around-"

"Isn't her."

"Nope."

"That's a real great ass, still."

"Great legs, too. Almost as good as the real one's."

"Tits nowhere close, though."

"Yeah, that top just doesn't look right without the
big boobs."

"She's cute, though."

"Yeah. Why is she wearing Diana's clothes anyway?"

"I am Wonder Woman now!" Artemis said.

"That's what you say," Fire said. "But I've met THE
Wonder Woman, and you ain't she."

"Not close," Blue Devil said.

"Princess Diana is no longer the Champion of the
Amazons. That role is now mine, thus I should take
over her position as part of this group."

"That's an interesting situation. I did read about
this on the papers. You are the one who made a big
mess in the Middle East, right?" Blue Devil asked.

"The atrocities committed there had been ignored far too-"

"Oh, sure. Pity now there's a bloody civil war there
as result."

"Hi, I'm the Blue Beetle! This is Booster Gold, my
sidekick. And you are?"

"Actually, he's my-"

"I am the new Wonder Woman," Artemis said with a
slow monotone.

"The Amazons had her replace Diana," Blue Devil
explained. "Some kinda coup, I guess."

"See, I told you that not all Amazons were so stack-
ah, looked like Diana," Booster whispered.

"As Wonder Woman, I-"

"Oh-my-God," Beetle muttered.

"What?"

"Look."

"Is that...?" Booster began. "Holy shit!"

"Now THAT's the way to fill a top."

"You cannot justify being the aggressor!" Nuklon said.

"We can't just wait placidly for the menaces to make
their move!" Captain Atom replied. "There's too much
at stake! Preemptive strikes are effective strategies-"

"I prefer making the first move, too," Maxima said
in her strangely accented English, her one-sided smile
filling her regal features with smug arrogance. "Why
are Earthlings so timid to do what should be done?"

"What must be done is make the League more pro-active!
Strike first, strike harder!" Captain Atom stated,
spurred by her support.

"You had to be a soldier," Nuklon said, shaking his
head. "Violence is the last-"

"-Resource of the incompetent?" a soft voice behind
them cut in.

Captain Atom opened his mouth yet failed to speak.
The silence was echoed by the many others staring
around them. Even the Flash was standing still.

Nuklon, having turned to stare as well at the tall
woman joining them, blushed and stammered: "Ah, uh-
He-Hello, Miss Diana. Didn't know you lo-you read
Asimov."

"A friend lent me that one," Diana said, smiling at
the exceptionally tall young man with the Mohawk.
"Nuklon, right?"

"Uh, yes."

"Captain, Your Highness," she continued, adding a
formal nod of her head, as she greeted the statuesque
alien queen.

"You are the Amazon Princess," Maxima said, arching
an eyebrow as she examined the newcomer from head to
toe with a coldly critical gaze.

The Amazon wore a short black leather jacket with
the stylized Wonder Woman symbol, sleeves gathered
up to the elbows, to expose the metal bracelets on
her wrists, while its open front failed to cover the
spectacle of the generous bosom almost overflowing
the skimpy black leather bustier, whose thin buckled
straps matched both the choker on her long, graceful
neck, and the belt double-looped around her hips.
The low-riding black skin-tight shorts drew attention
to the shape of her hips and muscular thighs, and
the slenderness of her waist, while the bare midriff
exposed the taut lines of her abdominal muscles and
the delicate belly button.

"Please call me Diana, Your Highness," Diana said.

"We met during the WarWorld thing, did we not?"
Maxima continued without pause, while shifting
slightly to arch her back and push her own curves
into more dramatic display. "I really like your new
look."

"Oh, man..."

"Sexiest belly button ever."

"You know, her normal look leaves so little to the
imagination, that you'd think she couldn't ever look
any hotter, yet-"

"I know. It's not like you could ever take Wondie's
bod for granted, or anything, but the black leather
thing..."

"I am Wonder Woman now," Artemis cut in.

"It does make her look more daring, yeah. Less aloof.
More down-to-earth womanly."

"Who cares what's she wearing? I AM WONDER WOMAN!"

"She's wearing her hair less curly, too," Fire added.

"Just because that slut shows up with her big teats
hanging out, you-?"

"She should've worn pigtails. The mixture of nice
and bad motifs? Even hotter, guys."

"I don't think I could stand anything hotter,"
Beetle replied. "That would be too much!"

"You are all pigs," Artemis muttered, striding away.

"How does she get her butt to look like that?" Fire
sighed. "Carajo. I hate her so much."

"Oh-My-God... Is she showing cameltoe?"

"You cannot expect reality to comply with convenient
catch-phrases," Diana said. "Situations must be
evaluated for themselves and even then, selection
among multiple options may not prove easy."

"So we should just wait and debate when productive
action could be taken?" Maxima asked, fingering the
shiny curls of her luxurious red hair.

"Productive to whom? Perhaps goading the opposition
into action is the enemy's strategy."

"Perhaps it is."

"Violence is most often wrongful use of force, and
as such to be avoided if possible, but-"

"Then you would not make the first move yourself?"

"Depending on the situation. A first strike does not
necessarily equal initiating the conflict, as battles
are sometimes already being waged below the surface,
and attacks, physical or otherwise, have already been
perpetrated. Sometimes force is the most expedient
resource indeed-"

"Oh, yes."

"But too often is force used just because it's the
easiest way or the one serving ulterior motives,
instead of the truly necessary way."

"Oh, I don't like easy. You can ask."

"We Amazons love peace, but peace is assured only if
the capability to respond to force is present, and
what matters then most is recognizing the nature of
the battle, and establishing clearly a position that
allows the proper actions."

"So you make your willingness to engage clear?"
Maxima asked with a coy smile.

"All options must of course be explored-"

"Oh, I'd agree to that."

"But indeed you must always assert your willingness
to take action," Diana continued. "Historically, the
military power of the Spartans hinged not only in the
ability to fight but also in the use of their
reputation as deterrent, enabling them to judge when
not to fight."

"Uh, sorry, miss...?" Nuklon mumbled, clumsily
getting out of the way of Artemis.

"A word in private, Princess," Artemis said, eyes
blazing. "Now."

"We are busy, wench," Maxima hissed, eyes narrowing
with her own quick anger. "Wait your turn."

"'Wench'? What do you-?"

"Please excuse us, Maxima," Diana said, stepping
between the two volatile redheads. "I must attend my
Amazon sister, if you allow us. I really hope we may
continue this exchange some other time."

"Oh, I look forward to it, Princess," Maxima said
with a suggestive look. "When there may be less
nuisances to distract us."

"What-?" Artemis began.

"Let's go, Sister," Diana insisted, leading her away.

The assembled heroes and heroines watched them go.

"Oh, that one, I can understand what the Kryptonian
sees in her," Maxima finally muttered in her alien
language, biting her lower lip, and letting a finger
play with one of the hardened nipples poking very
noticeably through her skin-tight clothing.

Nuklon looked away, embarrassed. He never knew what
to say around women like these. He doubted any of
them were Jewish, anyway.

"I should have known!" Artemis raged.

"What's the problem?"

"All that Sisterhood crap! All was staged to deceive
my people! I should shove that 'gift' of yours up your-!"

"Nothing was staged! What are you talking about?"

"What the fuck are you doing here?"

"I never said I'd remain in Themyscira! This is my
world, as well, and these are my friends-"

"I am the Champion now! I earned it!"

"I'm not challenging that-"

"Only one can be the Wonder Woman!"

"Gods! I don't need to be Wonder Woman to help the
world, or to help you! That is why I-"

"I don't need your help! And I certainly don't need
you to come in half-naked, trying to undermine my
position!"

"I'm not trying to-"

"You can keep all these friends of yours! I don't
need any of them!"

"That is ridiculous. The support of the Justice
League-"

"I should've known that a bunch of men would be
nothing but imbeciles!"

"Hera! What are you-?"

"Come on! You did it all on purpose. You just had
to parade around, dressed like a whore, flaunting
your body!"

"So it's all about my clothes? Why does it-?"

"You just need to be the sole center of attention!
That's all you care about! Being lusted after by
anyone with a pair of eyes!"

"It's not-!"

"Keep your drooling idiots," Artemis spat, turning
away. "You all sicken me."

Diana stood speechless, watching Artemis walk towards
the transporter room.

"Damn, she didn't take it well at all."

"I should've known it would happen," Diana sighed.
"Artemis is so very susceptible-"

"She's gotta have the hots for you," Dinah stated.

"What? Oh, no, that's not-"

"She does protest too much."

"That's how she is. Her people-"

"You want her, too, right?"

Diana blushed. "I do find her attractive, yes, but-"

"Dumb bitch doesn't know what she's missing," Dinah
said before diving again between Diana's spread legs.

"Stay still! I'll cut you!"

"It tickles!"

"Oh, can't the Big Busty Amazon Princess stand it?"

"Oh, you'll pay when it's your turn."

"Wait, we agreed I could shave you, but no one said
anything about your doing me!"

"Oh, I'll do you, you'll see," Diana laughed, letting
a handful of soapy water fall over Dinah's blond hair,
as the shorter woman knelt in the shower's tiled floor
just before the Amazon, who had her back to a wall and
one long leg raised with her sole pressed against the
opposite wall.

"Do that again and you'll get a free circumcision."

"Ah! Getting feisty?"

"Could too! That's the biggest clit I ever saw!
didn't you Amazons do ritual self-mutilation anyway?
Cut off breasts for better using a bow and all that?"

"Some did in the past. I was not that interested in
archery. Should I have done it?"

"What? That would've been a crime against mankind!"

"I must go back to Boston full-time, Dinah," the
Amazon Princess said with a sigh, her fingers playing
with the wet blonde locks of Dinah's hair.

"Really? Why?"

"There's a Mob War brewing there, which could turn
into far more. The White Magician is now backing
Paulie Longo's side and-"

"Pity. Gotham could use having you around. You're
lots sexier than any guy dressed as a bat."

"Oh, but he's actually very attractive, too. Don't you-?"

"Oh, sure, if you like them tall, dark and damaged.
You wouldn't believe the crap he pulls on his people
sometimes."

"Really?"

"Now, Nightwing, that's a whole different thing.
No guy that young should be so hot."

"Oh, yes, beautiful athletic body. Lean and graceful."

"And those tight buns!"

"I'm trying not to mix work and pleasure, though.
Present company excepted," Diana added with a smile.

"I'm not fooling myself, Princess," Dinah sighed.
"I know this is just a fling."

"Is it?"

"We may be lovers, but we're not in love," she said
with a wistful half-smile. "I know that. We're just
friends."

"Very good friends," Diana added, moving down to her
knees and reaching for her partner's nipples.

"Oh, cut that out! You want to kill me? Look, I've
had sex with friends before, just for fun and all,
and... Sure, it's great, but it doesn't last. It
should not last."

"It can last as long as you want. Want to visit
Boston for a while?"

"Oh, no! We'd never leave the bed or the shower or the-"

"I'm serious."

"Actually, I've been thinking about going along with
Oracle's proposal."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I need to get back up there on my own, and
maybe Oracle's just hands-off enough, you know?"

"That would be great."

"As long as there's no corny name like Broad Justice
or Vigilante Birds."

"I'm sure Oracle will think of something tasteful."

"Maybe I could visit after-?"

"Anytime. You'll always be welcome in my life, Sister,"
Diana said, smiling. "Or bed, or shower-"

"Oh, I just love it when you call me Sister. It's
just so kinky."

"You like it kinky, eh?" Diana asked, taking the
disposable razor away from her friend's hand.

"Well, I had sex with Itty, you know."

"You haven't seen kinky yet, Sister."

WONDER WOMAN: THE ARTEMIS GAMBIT
PART FOUR: CHOOSING SIDES

"Wait here," the beautiful blond woman told her two
tall and muscular companions, with the relish of one
clearly enjoying the pleasures of new-found authority,
as she stepped into the large dressing room adjunct to
the even vaster bedroom.

Julianna Sazia took off the Versace black dress, its
color her only acknowledgement of her husband's recent
death, and let it fall to the floor in a heap, making
sure her bodyguards had a clear view from the room.
Even if her new widowed status now gave her more power
than she had ever dreamed of, she still loved best to
exercise the basic power her sexuality gave her over
men.

She examined her nude figure in the large full-height
mirrors, and expected her men to be doing the same.
She wanted them to desire her, even if it was their
job to please her no matter what, a job she had once
held herself. Yet she doubted they would complain,
admiring her taut stomach and the rounded fullness of
her large breasts. She had worked hard to remain
trim and firm, knowing well how easily Old Man Sazia
had tired of previous wives, and had kept him fully
interested to the very end, with the help of the best
personal trainers and plastic surgeons that money
could buy. She had certainly given him his money's
worth, in every way.

But it was her money now. She had certainly earned
it, bedding his repulsive wrinkled body nearly every
night, until her demands had proved far too much for
his meager strength.

She smiled as she decided not to take off the various
items of overstated jewelry. She would bed his men
in his bed wearing the jewelry he had bought her.
It was only fair.

She put on a long sheer nightgown that exposed more
than it concealed, and walked back into the bedroom.

Her men, Geoff and Moot, were kneeling on the floor,
with heavy guns pointed at the back of their heads.
Another such gun was now leveled at her.

"You shouldn't have tried to take the mobs from
Mr. Longo, bitch," a heavyset man in dark clothing
said, waving his handgun nearer her. "Now you'll
pay for it."

"Whatever Longo is paying you, I'll double it," she
said calmly.

"Paulie never said we couldn't have some fun with her
first, eh?" another said with a leer, his beady eyes
running hungrily from her prominent chest to the
trimmed strip at the nexus of her legs that hinted at
her not being a real blonde. "Fuck, she's a hot cunt."

"I'll forgive your rudeness if you chose to join my
side now, boys," Julianna said with a half-smile.
"Otherwise you'll die."

"You'll see rude when I ram my cock up that hot, tight
ass of yours, bitch-"

"Ah, too late, now. Moot. Geoff. Kill."

The intruders stared at the long sharp metal spikes
suddenly piercing their bodies.

The man behind the one called Moot managed to shoot
once before falling down dead, but his bullet just
tore the scalp over the metal skull plate of the
bodyguard.

Both Geoff and Moot stood up, retracting the multiple
killing devices that had been activated in their
massive cyborg bodies. Their now-tattered tuxedos
were drenched in blood. Julianna noticed that her own
nightgown was stained as well. Amazing how far blood
could spurt, she thought.

"Very effective," she said softly, with a pleased
smile, stepping over one of the still twitching bodies
as she moved towards the bed. "Now, where were we?"

"Should we remove them first?" Geoff asked, gesturing
at the dead and the dying.

"No, you can do it after we're finished. It makes for
an interesting backdrop, now. Ah, and leave your head
like that," she added, letting her nightgown slide off.
"Let's see now how the other improvements work out."

Downtown Boston was a battleground.

Cybernetically enhanced men were engaged in a deadly
face-off with eerie creatures of living flame and rock.
Technology opposed magic, and Princess Diana was in
the middle.

Diana blocked the burst of high-caliber fire with her
bracelets, and took to the air barely instants before
a fire elemental bathed with raging flame the area
where she had just stood. She was likely the only
thing that the respective minions of Sazia and the
White Magician hated more than each other. If they
were not endangering the lives of innocent civilians,
Diana may have let them settle their differences by
themselves. But she would not allow Boston to become
a wasteland in order to decide petty rivalries.

Diana flew fast before the rock golems, too swift to
be grabbed, and easily outrunning the flames of the
fire elementals, whose attack bathed their stone-hewn
counterparts harmlessly.

Diana twisted in mid-air and grabbed a missile sent at
her by a cyborg, and spinning, she threw it to strike
close to its original launcher, making the cyborgs
fall back. Moments later, she rushed back towards the
combat grounds again, dropping a large water tank on
the elementals. The water extinguishing the fire
creatures and the drastic change in temperature cracked
into pieces the rock golems that had shortly before
been exposed to flames.

Now only Sazia's cyborgs remained, but Diana could not
allow such dangerous men to go free, either.

It took her almost fifteen minutes to corral and
overpower all of them. It would have been much easier
if she still had her Golden Lasso.

She turned around instantly at a sudden noise, and saw
another cyborg, one that she had believed disabled,
fall face-down to the ground again, its weapon-laden
arm still extended towards her back. An arrow now
protruded from the back of its thick neck.

Diana recognized the arrow's style.

"Careless, careless," Artemis said, standing in the
other side of the ruined square, her bow in her hands.
"Maybe you are nothing without your old toys?" she
added, and raised the bow up.

Diana stared open-mouthed. Coiled tight along the
body of the bow she had made herself for Artemis,
with a taut part of its length stretched between the
ends, her former lasso glowed.

"I did not think it would work for this, at first,"
Artemis said with a tight-lipped smile. "But it
proved quite adequate."

"The lasso's not to be used for aggression!" Diana
protested, indignation flaring inside her. "It's a
tool, not a weapon!"

"Everything is a weapon," Artemis spat back, before
flying away.

"I wanna hire you."

"Excuse me?" Diana asked, arching one eyebrow in mild
puzzlement. Sitting before her, in the only available
chair in her newly-opened detective agency's makeshift
office, was the sweaty presence of Paulie Longo, the
would-be head of the Boston crime mobs. He smelled of
olive oil and fear.

"Ya just opened dis joint of yers, with dat crummy
friend of yers, right?" Longo said, nodding towards
Diana's new business partner, private detective Micah
Rains. "So ya need customers, I bet. Well, I'm one.
Da Sazia broad's nuts, she gotta contract on my head,
so I'm needing some heavy duty protection."

Longo's massive bodyguards seemed to confirm this by
the nervousness of their stances. Diana wondered if
Longo could actually be sincere.

"I thought the White Magician was on your side, Longo."

"Guy's half-bonkers, too. Can't rely on him keeping
me alive no more, but hey, you're a superheroine and
all, ya wouldn't let dem kill me, wouldya?"

"There's a question."

"Dat's what ya heroes do, save lives, no? Well, I'm
willing to front ya a nice bundle to do dat job, so
ya'll keep dat cute tight ass of yers real close to
me at all times, Sweetheart."

"Never call me like that again, Longo."

"Whatever, Toots. We gotta deal?"

Diana noticed the nervous glances from both Rains and
Donna, her friend and lawyer. Their new detective and
security business could surely use the money, but in
the Longo's world, people were never simply hired, she
knew. They were bought.

"Sorry, but-"

Diana was already standing up, ready for violence, an
instant before the glass pieces filled the room and
the noise of the shattered window was registered by
the others. She moved fast, to shield her friends
with her body, her hands moving furiously to deflect
the glass shards with her bracelets.

The woman who had jumped through the window was short
and compact, and dressed in a bright green outfit and
boots. Longo's men had barely unholstered their guns
before she had taken them down with brutal efficiency,
using vicious kicks and open-handed claw-like raking
strikes.

Longo yelled incoherently, but Wonder Woman already
had stepped forward between him and the assassin,
blocking the opening kicks with knees and shins and
using her bracelets to protect herself against the
tiger-style hand-attacks. From how the bodyguards had
fallen after even the lightest scratches, the woman
was likely using some kind of drug in her nails, and
Diana was taking no chances.

The green-garbed woman was good, very good, perhaps
even a match for Black Canary in her mastery of the
Asian martial arts, but while Diana was not proficient
in the intricacies of the Chinese styles the assassin
was using, she need not be.

Trapping her opponent's wrist with one hand, Diana
tugged, and effortlessly threw Chesire against the
farthest wall of the office. In fair combat with a
nonpowered opponent, Diana would limit her strength
to that of a normal Amazon, as honor demanded, but
when innocents were endangered she could not afford
such sporting luxuries.

"Micah! Get Donna out, fast!" Diana said out loud.
"Everyone, out!"

"Chesire it is, right?" Diana asked, turning towards
the woman in green, one of the world's deadliest
martial artists, just as she attacked again.

Chesire and Diana crashed through a window, their
bodies tight against each other as they grappled for
leverage, even as they plummeted down to the street.
It was only one story. Diana had to call upon just
the barest enhancement of her Amazon resilience to
endure the impact of her back against the sidewalk.

Chesire had closed in to best use her drugged nails,
but her martial skills worked best at stand-up combat,
and for Diana had managed to pull her into grappling
distance where her experience in Amazon wrestling was
clearly superior. She had both of Chesire's wrists
grasped tightly, spreading her hands harmlessly apart,
while holding on to her body with her legs. Chesire's
eyes sparkled with anger as she tried to struggle free
of Diana's leg-guard. Using Chesire's own motions,
Diana adjusted her position, and raising her legs to
the level of her foe's ribs, she crossed her ankles
securely, and lifting her rear and hips off the ground,
stretched and tightened her legs. The powerful torso
compression had immediate effect on Chesire, and after
some futile struggling, the small but deadly assassin
found herself fighting for breath, all strength
leaving her limbs fast.

Inverting their positions with ease, Diana twisted
Chesire onto her back, and straddling her, she brought
her forehead hard against the woman's face, knocking
her unconscious.

Diana stood up, exulted by her victory in the match
of skill against skill. Chesire lost the advantage
of her formidable stand-up training by seeking to use
her drugged clawed attacks over all others. Such
over-reliance on one tactic or weapon had proved a
serious mistake.

"Oh, thanks Heavens you stopped that awful woman!"
cried out a small, slender woman with reddish hair,
dressed in a tasteful suit of tans and greens, as she
ran towards Diana. "Oh, thank you-thank you! "

Diana frowned as the woman rushed to embrace her,
baffled at the abrupt show of affection, and grabbed
her wrists with instinctive caution. The delicate and
comely features were dominated by large, bright green
eyes, and Diana doubted for just a second on whether
to push her away or not. Taking advantage of the
Amazon's brief hesitation, the woman leaned up and
forward, on tip toes, and her mouth met Diana's.

Her lips were soft and sweet. Too sweet.

Diana pushed the woman away gently, blushing. Whoever
the effusive redhead was, she was attractive, but it
was not the time or the place.

The lips were green, too, Diana noticed with a start,
before her eyes suddenly clouded and her consciousness
started to fade.

"The pleasure was all mine," Pamela Isley said with
a smile.

As always, Asquith Randolph wore an immaculate,
perfectly-tailored white business suit of impeccable
taste. It nearly matched his bright silver hair, as
fit a man called the White Magician. His relaxed but
arrogant demeanor contrasted with Paulie Longo's
febrile nervousness.

"You went to the Amazon," Randolph stated softly.
It was not a question.

"Ya bet I did! Dat Sazia bitch almost nailed me!
Wot use's yer power, dammit?"

"My elemental golems would have destroyed Sazia and
her pathetic mechanicals if the Amazon had not-"

"Dose tricks of yers were useless! Cantcha do nothing
better?"

"Greater magicks would be dangerous to us all, Paulie.
A magician must take care not to overstep certain
limits."

"Limits? Da Sazia cunt, what limits has she, eh?
I need ya ta do more!"

"No, no. It would mean becoming more powerful."

"And dats bad? Wotta crock o'shit's dat?"

"I do not need to be any more powerful, Paulie," the
White Magician replied, his eyes becoming narrower and
his voice colder. The cloth of his white suit seemed
to shimmer unnaturally. "You would not want me to be
any more powerful."

"We should finish her now," Chesire said, with her
musical exotic accent that could be traced to neither
Cantonese nor Mandarin.

"Why hurry?" the green-eyed redhead in the tight,
green leotard replied, letting one hand caress the
length of Diana's muscular thigh. The Amazon lay
face-up on a marble bench, with her hands bound over
her head and both legs spread apart, held both my
thick metal chains and by coils of thick vines
growing from the ruptured floor around the bench,
the work of Poison Ivy. "We could have much fun by
doing it slowly, very slowly..."

"Dangerous," Chesire muttered.

"She was bound by one of my men," Julianne Sazia
said, standing by the bound Princess Diana, pointing
at the chained bracelets on the Amazon's wrists.
"She should be powerless now. Why else would she
pretend to be still unconscious?"

Diana smiled mirthlessly, and opened her eyes.
"Julianne Sazia, I presume?"

"The famous Wonder Woman... Pleased to meet you at
last," Sazia replied.

"Just Diana."

"Oh, yes. I've been following the exploits of your
replacement, my dear. What's that all about, really?
Trouble in Paradise?"

"What do you want, Sazia? Do you really expect to
hold me for long?"

"Not really," she replied. "I want to make a deal
with you."

"A deal? I don't-"

"Hear me out, please. We're both women, we understand
the need for compromise."

"We are not the same kind of woman, Sazia."

"Aren't we both women of power, earning our rightful
place in a field dominated by men? We should be
allies, dear, not enemies."

"Allies? Please!"

"I don't expect you to join me in my business, of
course. I'm not an idiot like Longo. I just need an
assurance of your neutrality, of your noninterference
in my simple, worldly matters. After all, your kind
is always saving the world, dealing with the big
threats to humankind and all that, so what do you
care about small things like my marginal business?"

"Marginal? Trafficking drugs and-?"

"Such things will exist as long as there's desire for
them. Don't be naive. If not me, someone else will
provide it. But I can keep myself low profile and not
interfere with your kind's affairs, if you promise to
stop meddling in mine as well. And I can give you
something valuable in return: I can give you the White
Magician."

"What?"

"He has a known weakness for beautiful women, dear.
Maybe that's why he never tried to hurt you directly.
But I can arrange to have him discreetly removed."

Diana saw Chesire and Poison Ivy smile. Both were
indeed more than beautiful enough to seduce Randolph
or most other men, as well as being ruthless enough
to kill under such pretenses.

"You're crazy, Sazia," Diana said softly. "How can
you think I'd accept that?"

"Was worth a try. Well, I can still offer you your
life. Killing you may bring undesired attention from
your friends in the paranormal circles, but that's why
I hired these lovely ladies here. Both are already
part of your world, dear, and will keep my involvement
in your demise hidden for the right amount of money.
And you costume-types kill each other for your own
reasons all the time, no?"

"Do your worst, Sazia. You cannot buy me, at any price."

"Ah, what a pity," Sazia said with a sigh, as she let
her eyes run over the prone Amazon's body. "We could
have been such good friends."

"People like you have no friends."

Julianna Sazia shrugged. "Kill her," she said.

Poison Ivy smiled broadly. She ran one hand over the
tangle of vines growing around Diana's legs, while
muttering softly to them. Slowly, the vines began to
grow in response, tightening around the Amazon's lower
body, and extending additional growing tendrils that
began to inch along her legs, up towards the union
between the spread legs.

"We'll have lots of fun, won't we?" she said with a
breathy rasp.

"Yes, we will," Diana replied, and stretched out both
legs and arms, tearing to pieces the restraining vines
and metal chains with equal ease. "Lots of fun."

"Impossible!" Sazia cried out, stepping back. "You
were bound by a man! You should be powerless!"

"You need better sources of info that the tabloids,
Sazia," said Diana, casually getting up, and kicking
Poison Ivy aside in the process.

"KILL HER!"

Chesire feinted high, and kicked low, aiming at
Diana's knees, while slashing with double tiger-hand
attacks.

Diana stepped aside, and swung out with the length of
broken chain still hanging from her wrist, forcing
Chesire to spring back. Sazia was already running
towards the room's doors.

Alarms started to blare, filling the room with their
discordant noise.

That was fast, Diana thought, before the walls on one
side of the room caved in suddenly, and half a dozen
monstrous figures made of rock walked in.

Diana adjusted her guard. From Sazia's gasp, this
was likely a surprise for her as well.

"Capture females, punish females," the intruders
intoned in unison, with deep, gravely voices. They
were twice the height of a man, their humanoid limbs
and torso several times thicker and impossibly massive
in proportion. The small, deeply-set eyes glowed with
eerie light as they muttered again: "Capture females,
punish females."

They were elemental golems, nonliving constructs
animated by dark magic. Diana did not need to hold
back when facing them, and her punch smashed the
leading rock golem against the farthest wall, but the
creature stood up again immediately, despite most of
its face being gone.

"Capture females, punish females," it said in its
dry monotone, echoed by its fellow rock creatures.
"Capture females, punish females."

The golems were more powerful than before.

Fine by her, Diana thought, preparing for combat.
She glanced to a side, and saw that the other women
had fled the room already. She wondered briefly if
they would manage to escape.

She surged forward.

Things had become too ugly for Poison Ivy's taste.
Helping trap and kill the Amazon was dangerous enough,
but dealing now with the freed Amazon and those rock
monsters was too much for her. Chesire could help
Sazia to escape, but Ivy now cared only about her own
safety. If Sazia bought it, returning the advance
payment may be unnecessary.

She ran through the extensive gardens, her passage
through the dense foliage nearly noiseless. Her dear
vegetal friends would not trip or scratch her. But it
did not mean she was safe yet.

A tree shattered into pieces a couple of feet to her
side, and Ivy fell to the ground, dazed.

A monstrous rock creature loomed over her.

"Capture females, punish females," it stated. One
huge hand grabbed her, while the other tore away the
tight green fabric of her outfit, exposing her soft
pale skin.

"Capture females, punish females."

Ivy's eyes spread open in horror. The creature had a
huge rocky erection growing from its groin. Its idea
of punishment was clear enough.

Ivy panicked for an instant and tried to crawl away,
but the creature easily pulled her back towards it by
tugging on one of her arms. Its strength was truly
irresistible. Ivy stared again at the monstrous
stone phallus, desperately wondering what to do.
Surely she could not survive having such a thing
forced into her.

As the monster knelt before her, holding onto her arm,
Ivy changed her strategy. She knelt up and moved
closer to the creature. She opened her lips as far as
she could, and took the monstrous erection into her
mouth.

"Punish females?"

The creature stalled, confused by her actions, as she
furiously sucked and licked at the stone shaft, while
her free hand moved around the creature's hips and ran
over its rocky posterior. The being was extremely
lifelike, and as Ivy had hoped, it had not only a
working penis, it also had succedaneous buttocks and
even an anus. Her fingers explored the cleft between
the rock mounds, and found the entrance to its anal
passage, even as she continued to fellate the being's
phallus. With practiced ease, she slid a single green
bead into the crevice and pushed in inside.

A few instants later, while her mouth ached more and
more with her efforts, a small cracking noise was
heard. More soon followed, louder and louder.

The creature began to tremble, and its hand lost its
grip on Ivy's arm. Suddenly, its granite-like skin
split apart with loud cracks, and green vines spurt
through the openings. With a single loud noise the
whole golem shattered into fragments, destroyed by
the unnaturally-fast-growing plant Ivy had seeded
into its body.

Poison Ivy spit bits of gravel and dust. Monster
or man, it got them all the time, she thought.

She hoped not needing to do it again too many times.
Her jaw ached already.

Diana stood amidst the ruins of the Sazia mansion, the
remains of the destroyed golems scattered around her
feet along with the myriad bits of debris. Most of
Sazia's cyborg army had perished facing the golems,
and Diana wondered if Julianna Sazia and her hired
assassins had managed to escape. If Sazia was smart,
she would better leave the country. The White
Magician was raising the stakes.

It had taken much of Diana's full power to defeat the
elemental army. Much more than she had suspected.

Was Randolph becoming much more powerful that before?

WONDER WOMAN: THE ARTEMIS GAMBIT
PART FIVE: WANDS AND CUPS

"Dolls? You want me to approve dolls?"

"Action figures!" the pudgy man with the gold-rimmed
glasses said.

"For young girls?"

"Ah, well, they can buy them too, I guess. Todd said
that the prototypes would be ready by-"

"Look, I agreed to work with you to improve my public
image, but-"

"Then you really must do Letterman tonight," said the
thin, smartly attired man with the perfectly-white,
expensively-bonded teeth. "But, please, you must not
repeat the mess at Leno, ok?"

"I do not take offenses lightly," Artemis said,
turning to stare out the wide windows. From these
heights, New York City appeared even colder and more
indifferent.

"These TV-show hosts always make some jokes about
their guests, my dear, you must not mind-"

"Is my 'cleavage' a joking matter?"

"No, no, of course! But a certain amount of levity-"

"And of course I won't accept this actor's 'invitation'."

"Oh, please! It's just dinner!" protested the pudgy
one. "His people said he was really interested in
meeting you! It would-"

"I will not engage in such frivolities."

"But it's Clooney!"

Artemis closed her eyes. How had she become tangled
in all this?

"The Middle East thing aside, she's done some good
work here and there," Oracle said, her voice muffled
and distorted through the secure phone connection.
"Various rescue and humanitarian relief works. Even
the occasional crime-fighting, but..."

"But?" asked Diana. She felt uneasy about asking
Oracle to keep track of Artemis, but it seemed the
less obtrusive way, and she was worried about her.

"There were several high-profile incidents involving
very topical situations like sweatshops, environmental
conservation, battered spouses, and so on, all loudly
picked up by the media, of course, that do smell kinda
fishy."

"Fishy? In what manner?"

"She faced some male antagonists with really corny
codenames, you see."

"Yes, I heard of those. But Artemis defeated them, no?"

"Yes, but there are no records of any of these men
being indicted for any such crime. And it seems that
no real changes in the local situations resulted from
Artemis' involvement, either. Ah, interesting..."

"Yes?"

"All these 'antagonists' were kept out of jail by the
timely intervention of the same legal firm, Gerber and
Wolfman."

"Can you track down who employed them?"

"Piece of cake."

Asquith Randolph watched the evening news with little
interest. The slender, carefully coiffed anchorwoman
was her current lover, but he was starting to find her
obvious charms tiresome.

He barely raised an eyebrow as she spoke of the death
of Paulie Longo, victim of a car bomb. It did not
matter. He had already grown tired of being involved
in such a petty thing as the mob war with the Sazia
woman, and had always cared little for Paulie, anyway.

He had a new perspective now.

His eyes filled with interest, however, as the news
spoke of the Amazon, mentioning a recent encounter
with the Joker, and showing some recent footage. She
looked simply ravishing in her new, darker outfit, he
decided. That ridiculous clown had no chance against
such a woman, of course. She needed someone of the
appropriate stature.

Shadows swirled on the fabric of his suit, which was
not white anymore.

Flying over the busy cityscape of Manhattan, Diana
reached the skyscraper housing the New York offices
of Jemas and Quesada, the advertising outfit handling
publicity for Artemis. It was not far from where
Mindy Mayer once held her own offices, Diana thought,
remembering her own experience with the manic world
of advertising and wanton commercialism. History
tended to repeat itself in ironic patterns.

"Diana!"

The Amazon Princess turned around, as Artemis flew
swiftly towards her. She knew she had to get used to
it, but it remained a shock to see someone else using
what she still thought of as her Wonder Woman outfit.

"What are you doing here?" Artemis asked in a shrill
voice, as they both hovered in midair. "This is my city!"

"I need to speak with the men who handle your media
affairs, Artemis, there are things that-"

"I knew it! You cannot handle my success, can you?
You had to come and interfere, as you did with your
friends in the Justice League, as you-"

"Shut up and listen, will you?" Diana cut in angrily.
"They have been fooling you, they-"

"YOU ARE THE FOOL!" Artemis cried out, and struck out
with a furious kick, sending the Amazon Princess
hurtling backwards, barely missing the nearby building.

"You've mastered the Sandals of Hermes," Diana said
grimly, flying back towards Artemis. "Good for you."

"I've mastered everything you failed at! I've-!"

"Shut up, I said."

Diana struck Artemis in the midsection with twin open
hands, in what seemed an almost gentle push, yet it
propelled her violently up and away, towards the
Hudson River. Maybe a good splash would cool her down,
Diana thought.

Diana ignored the protesting receptionists and the
astounded security detail as she barged into the plush
office.

"Jemas and Quesada?" she asked as the two men in
expensive suits stood up nervously. "We need to talk."

"Ah, surely my secretary can set up an appointment for
next week," the pudgy one with the glasses said, while
the slender one squirmed uneasily, inching towards a door.

"Now."

"This is highly irregular, we can't-"

"Gerber and Wolfman work for you, as did the
Chauvinist, and every other fake menace you set
up for Artemis to conquer."

"Such matters are confidential and we can't-"

"So who hired you, then?"

"YOU BITCH!" the sodden Artemis screamed as she rushed
into the room, striking at Diana's back with a nearby
file cabinet.

"Artemis! She's been threatening us!"

Artemis hoisted a massive desk of dark wood to slam it
onto the fallen Amazon Princess, turning it into mere
splinters.

"Oh, fuck, that was my desk," the pudgy one muttered.

"You think you can barge in here and threaten my friends-?"

Diana brushed aside the wooden remains and stood up.

"Artemis, these men have deceived you. Most of the
men you faced were fakes, hired by them to-"

"LIAR!" Artemis cried out, and her leg struck out in
a front kick, followed by a lead fist, but both found
only air.

Diana had sidestepped and walked diagonally into the
rush of Artemis' attack, her arm slipping under the
thrown punch, blocking the chest and enveloping the
neck from the front, while her other arm completed the
hold as she stepped behind Artemis. Securing a grip
on her own wrist, Diana held Artemis firmly from the
back, in a side choke and immobilization that trapped
neck and shoulder together.

"They are the liars, Artemis, I swear-"

"You're just jealous!" Artemis protested as she dug
her elbow in Diana's side in a backwards strike, and
sought to stop on her feet.

Diana twisted, and threw Artemis through the air, so
she struck a wall filled with fishing trophies.

"DAMN YOU! You cannot stand my being a better Wonder
Woman than you!" Artemis grunted, getting to her feet.

"I'll show you the truth," Diana said, lifting up the
bow that she had just taken from Artemis, and in one
swift motion, she grabbed the nearest of the two
publicists and pulling the golden lasso that served as
the bow's string, wrapped it around the struggling man.

"Who hired the men Artemis faced?"

"My assistant did," the pudgy publicist replied, his
face growing red.

"On whose orders?"

"Mine."

Artemis stood motionless but for the trembling in her
lower lip.

"Why were these charades orchestrated?"

"To keep Artemis busy and gain her trust."

"And who hired you to do-?"

"NO!" came a shout from the other side of the room.
Unnoticed, the slender publicist had suddenly ripped
his expensive suit apart, as his body began to grow
larger and more muscular, while his skin took on a
sickly greenish color.

The receptionist recovered her wits enough to scream,
just as the transformed man jumped at Diana.

Releasing the pudgy man, Diana stepped aside and let
her right hand meet the incoming creature in a clean
heel-hand strike to the jaw. The attacker fell back
to the floor, its body still changing into an even
more inhuman shape. Diana jumped to escape a slash
from the growing talons of its hands, before kicking
at the creature, making it grovel in pain.

Something whistled past her head, and she twisted to
see a throwing knife strike the pudgy man behind her
in the throat, his face and body having already begun
a similar transformation to that of his partner.

Artemis rolled in the floor and picked up her fallen
bow before turning to shoot an arrow past Diana's
shoulder, at the greenish creature that had risen
again. The shaft hit it in one eye and it fell dead
with a short gurgle.

"A live one would have been useful for questioning,"
Diana said.

"They deceived me," Artemis said laconically, rising
to her feet, awaiting Diana's inevitable jeers, the
verbal slaps she had earned with her foolishness.

Diana looked at both fallen publicists, and smiled.
"Guess they are fired now, no?"

Artemis stared for a moment at Diana before smiling
in return. "Hated the whole publicity thing anyway."

One of the stunned security guards standing by the
door spoke up: "Should we call the police?"

"Do so," Diana said, kneeling by one the dead beings.
There was a strange carved stone embedded in the middle
of its chest. Grabbing a shred of torn clothing, she
tore the object out.

"This was magic. Dark, evil magic."

"Circe?"

"Randolph, most likely."

"Who?"

"Asquith Randolph, the White Magician."

"Let's find him, then."

"We'll need confirmation. Proof of his involvement.
He was a hero, once," Diana said, lost in thought as
she turned the amulet in her hands. "I'll need to
contact a magician I can trust. Zatanna, perhaps."

"You do that, I'll start questioning him myself."

"No, we need to know better what we are dealing with.
What we faced here was more than a glamour, Artemis.
These men had been truly changed into demonic beings.
But Randolph was never that powerful before."

"So what? Are you scared of him now?"

"It's sound strategy to know the enemy before combat,"
Diana replied, feeling her irritation with Artemis
returning. "So please, do nothing until I find out more."

Artemis did not reply.

She had not managed to contact Zatanna, Madame Xanadu,
or the Phantom Stranger and she knew that Artemis
would not heed her advice for long. It was best to
lose no time, and there was one sorceress she knew
where to find.

Princess Diana breached the perennial cloud cover, and
approached Themyscira, home of the Amazons.

"Megala!"

"Princess?" the Amazon sorceress asked with surprise.
"You are back? But-?"

"I'm sorry, Megala, but there's no time to explain,"
Diana said, handing the small artifact wrapped in
bloody cloth to the aged sorceress. "I need you to
tell me who fashioned this amulet, and anything else
you may glean from it."

Megala nodded, and took the object. She sat back in
a low bench, and began to mumble while she unwrapped
it slowly. As her hands touched its bare surface, she
frowned and began to speak out loud: "Ah, I can sense
him. A man, a powerful man, dressed all in white."

"Randolph," Diana sighed. It had to be him.

"But-he-" Megala muttered and her eyes bulged.

"What else?"

"He changes-he-he-What?-NO!" Megala suddenly cried
out, and nearly fell off the bench, shaking violently.
"NO! NO!"

"Megala?"

"It-It is Him! HIM!"

"'Him'? What-Who do you mean?"

"The one from my visions!"

"What visions?"

"What-What I saw in the brazier, when I- Oh, child,
please, tell me shall not-"

"What did you see?"

"Please, Princess-!"

"WHAT DID YOU SEE?"

"Your death, child, your death!"

"DIANA!"

The Amazon Princess turned to see Queen Hippolyta
running down the hallway towards them, her robes
fluttering behind her.

"Diana! You have returned! Thank Olympus!" the
Queen said, her face full of relief fighting anxiety.

"Megala saw my death," Diana said calmly. "And you
knew it?"

Hippolyta stopped several paces away, like fixed in
place by her daughter's voice and eyes.

Hippolyta looked past Diana and her voice trembled
as she asked Megala: "What did you tell her? WHAT?"

"What did you-?" Diana began.

"WHAT DID YOU TELL HER?"

"This-" Megala began, weakly lifting the amulet as
if its weight was far too much for her. "It belongs
to him, My Queen! To the monstrous One! Merciful
Athena help us, she had it! The Princess had it!"

"What monstrous one?" Diana asked.

"She knows Him already!"

"How did you get that?" Hippolyta demanded. "Who
gave it to you!"

"I found it. I needed Megala to name its maker."

"Why, daughter? What for?"

"That is my business, Mother."

"No! You cannot! YOU CANNOT!"

"I cannot what? I cannot face the maker of that
amulet? Why?"

"You do not understand!"

"I think I am beginning to do so, actually."

"You will die if you face that monster!"

"What did Megala see exactly, Mother?"

"I will not allow it! I-"

"What did she see?"

"He will kill you, child," Megala muttered in a weak,
broken voice. "The Monstrous One will defeat you,
rape you and finally kill you. I saw it. Oh, Hera,
I saw it!"

"I-I cannot let you die, Diana," the Queen whispered.
"I cannot."

Diana stood speechless for an instant, and turned to
face her mother with narrowed eyes.

"So you made Artemis go instead of me?"

Artemis slammed the man, a former henchman of Paulie
Longo, against the brick wall, and pressed her forearm
hard against his windpipe as she moved closer, until
her face was inches away from his. It had taken her a
long time to track him down, and she had no patience
left. There was little mercy either in her deep green
eyes.

"Randolph, the White Magician, I want him," she said.

"NO! YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!"

"Did Megala see this when you spied on my sex life,
Mother?" Diana asked as she strode briskly towards
the temple's exit, still shaking her head. "Or did
you really even care about that at all?"

"It was an accident!" Hippolyta protested running
after her daughter. "Of course I worried about your
actions, but we did not mean-"

"All that you did, the public accusations, the
Contest, it was all a ploy, an excuse to keep me
here, to-"

"I could not let you die!"

"So you arranged to have me replaced, so someone else-
so Artemis could die in my place?"

"It was-"

"HOW COULD YOU!"

"I HAD TO! You are my daughter! I cannot let you die!"

"HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO ACCEPT THAT?" Diana yelled,
tears filling her eyes, as she stepped into the open
courtyard.

"What else could I do?"

"ARTEMIS IS AN AMAZON! SHE IS MY SISTER! I LOVE HER!
I WILL NOT LET HER DIE FOR ME!"

"DIANA! PLEASE! YOU MUST NOT-" Hippolyta cried out,
weeping openly. "YOU CANNOT! PLEASE, MY DEAR! PLEASE
DO NOT-!"

"I-I know you did it out of love, Mother," Diana said,
closing her eyes and looking down. "I forgive you.
But I cannot allow it to happen. I must save her."

"NO! DIANA, YOU WILL DIE!"

"Perhaps," she said, almost reaching for her mother.
Almost. "But I refuse to believe we're slaves to Fate."

Diana flew into the night sky, and her mother's cries
echoed in her ears.

Artemis kicked down the warehouse's metal door, and
strode in, cocking an arrow in her bow. The place
was dark, but there was a figure in white that stood
out without need for light.

"Why, you aren't Diana," Asquith Randolph said with
just a hint of annoyance.

"Yes, everyone tells me that," Artemis said, aiming
at him.

"I was expecting her. You are-?"

"Wonder Woman," she replied, before adding: "Artemis."

"Ah, yes. I thought I had arranged to keep you busy
elsewhere."

"You played me for a fool, sorcerer," Artemis spat.
"But no more. Your foul game is now over."

"Is it? How arrogant of you." He smiled.

Artemis did not reply, but her bow did.

The arrow struck Randolph in his right shoulder,
driving deeply into his flesh, and the white cloth
began to turn red around it. He glanced down at it
with a frown.

"Is this the best you can do?"

His white suit began to change, with a wild whirlpool
of shades of red and black fighting for supremacy,
while the flesh under the fabric began to grow and
bulge grotesquely.

Artemis shot at him again, one arrow after another,
each with enough power behind it to pierce metal, but
they just stuck on his expanding torso with no apparent
effect. His chest and limbs had expanded in gruesome,
disproportionate, fashion, until all his clothing was
ripped to shreds and gone, and Artemis could see that
the kaleidoscope of colors continued yet in his skin.
The still protruding arrows seemed like small, flimsy
toothpicks on the vastness on his frame.

"Let me show you what I can do," he hissed, his smile
turning into a hideous leer, as his face shifted and
changed, taking on demonic features, with long curling
horns growing from his skull as complement.

"Demon, I've killed your kind before!" Artemis said,
as she fired again and again, aiming for the eyes and
throat, but he slapped the arrows out of the air with
ease, despite the speed and power which her enhanced
strength and special bow gave them, until she finally
found her quiver emptied.

"I am one of a kind now, human," he roared, and flames
burst from his mouth, narrowly missing Artemis as she
jumped aside.

Artemis dropped her useless bow drop and charged at
him with a loud yell.

"This may be fun," he hissed.

He swung at her, but she ducked low, her high charge
a feint, and she kicked low at his thick legs, aiming
for the knobby knees, her full Amazonian strength and
speed multiplied tenfold by the Bracelets of Atlas.
The kick would have broken a tree trunk, but it barely
made him stagger.

She feinted moving to a side, and twisted the other
way instead, throwing a hooking punch at his groin.
But just before she could land her blow, he grabbed
her arm and swung her up above his head, to slam her
against the floor like a rag doll. Artemis cried out
in pain, and before she could get her breath back,
he hit her midsection with a huge hammer-like fist.

She felt him straddle her while she fought to regain
her wits, too dazed to stop him from pinning her down.
His massive arms were thicker now that her waist, and
he grabbed her wrists with his oversized hands, his
eyes narrowing with interest.

"Ah, external power augmentation," he hissed as he
examined the golden coils in her bracelets, flames
flaring from his mouth each time he spoke now. "Very
old magic, transhuman magic. Interesting."

"Fuck you," Artemis gasped weakly. Her lower ribs
burned with pain. She wondered how many were broken.
She forced herself to open her eyes and saw his deep,
glowing orbs fixed on her. His tongue licked his
slavering fangs with obscene relish.

"You're really attractive, woman. Not in Her league,
of course, but still quite fetching in a bottom-heavy
way. I think I shall enjoy you. As an appetizer."

"You sick bastard," Artemis muttered. "I'd rather
die first!"

"Oh, no. You'll die during it."

"His house was empty, and it seemed that no one had
lived there for weeks!"

"There's a warehouse registered as his property at a
disused airfield in Boston's outskirts," Oracle told
Diana through the Justice League communicator.
"Purchased mere days ago, without any intermediaries.
But why do that after all the care taken to hide his
involvements before?"

"He wants me to find him," Diana stated.

Artemis struggled with furious desperation, but his
strength easily dwarfed hers, and she lacked adequate
leverage to aid her efforts. Her gold-plated bustier
had been easily torn to shreds by his clawed hands,
leaving bloody rakes on her chest and belly, and his
inhumanly-long and impossibly hot forked tongue licked
obscenely at her exposed skin, coating her with
viscous, burning saliva.

The fanged mouth moved lower down her torso and ripped
away most of her outfit's star-spangled bottom with
one bite, exposing the thin strip of her pubic reddish
hair. Grunting, she first struck his chin with one
knee, and then his face with a shin, but neither blow
made him even flinch, and his response was to casually
grab her booted foot and twist it viciously.

Artemis cried out in pain as her ankle was dislocated,
yet still tried to twist and use her other leg to knee
his groin, but he easily grabbed that leg as well and
turned her face down against the floor. Before she
could try to turn around, he grabbed her whole head in
a vice-like grip and slammed it down against the hard
concrete surface.

She felt him pull her head back, finding it hard to
breathe or even think. Seeing the red stain on the
grimy floor, she knew it for her own blood, and just
managed to twist her head slightly to a side before
being slammed down again against the floor. Artemis
wondered absurdly if a shattered cheekbone was better
than a smashed nose and broken teeth.

The creature which had once been Asquith Randolph held
onto the woman's head with his oversized hand, easily
pressing it down, keeping her pinned in place while he
used his other hand to force her legs apart, to kneel
between them. His sharp claws ripped away the back of
her bottom, and he grabbed first one trembling buttock
and then the other, kneading the smooth, firm globes
with savage glee as he marveled at their creamy
roundness and fullness.

Artemis increased her struggling despite the painful
pressure on her head, while his free hand grasped at
the meeting of one of her muscular thighs with its
round buttock, forcing her to spread her legs further
apart and rise her rear up. Her efforts seemed to
achieve nothing, and she screamed her frustration and
fury through gritted teeth.

Just as she felt something inhumanly big and hot touch
her from behind, a scream of anger and pain suddenly
filled the room, and she felt the pressure on her head
and rear vanish.

"It's me you want, Randolph," a clear voice said,
above the creature's roars.

There was nearly nothing left of the dapper and trim
White Magician who Diana had known. Only the silvery
hair growing wildly around the ridged, curling horns
recalled the human that Asquith Randolph had once been.

He roared in anger, clawing at his face, trying to
remove from his now ruined eye the deeply embedded
golden tiara that Diana had thrown, after picking she
had picked it up from where it had fallen off Artemis'
head. After finally succeeding, with black blood
flowing over his contorted visage, the enraged monster
stepped over the fallen Artemis, to face the defiant
Amazon Princess standing several paces away.

"Ah, Diana," he hissed. "You always knew how to make
an entrance."

"What have you done, Randolph?" she asked. Horror
filled her eyes at his transformation, but there was
also deep relief at the sight of Artemis still alive,
even if not fully unharmed. Thankfully, she had
apparently defended her virtue long enough for Diana
to arrive, and though the Princess knew that the proud
redhead would hate being rescued, it was a small thing
to bear compared to what such an affront would have
done to her character.

"I finally reached for greatness, my dear Princess,"
the monster said. "True power lies in the extremes,
in the breaking down of boundaries. I was never pure
enough for the Apollonian, and was too timid to give
in to the Dionysian. For far too long I cowered in
fear of my real potential, dabbling in minor magicks,
while the power to transcend mortality beckoned to me.
But no more!"

"You've lost your humanity."

"I've gained the glory I deserved! Power beyond my
wildest dreams! Beyond that of Zatara's daughter or
the Hunter child! I finally took what should've
always been mine!"

"You've gone insane!"

"I've awakened! And I'll now take something else that
should've always been mine!"

Artemis crawled painfully, spitting blood, feeling the
urge to turn and look back, but knowing that she had
to save her strength, that she must get out of the way.
The sounds of the battle ringed in her ears, and the
floor beneath her knees and elbows shook with every
single impact.

She burned with anger and shame at her defeat, at what
had almost happened to her, and at the damn Princess
having seen her like that, and coming to rescue her
like she was some helpless damsel in distress. She
would never forgive the buxom cunt for that.

She would certainly kill the damn Princess if she ever
mentioned any of it to anyone, or if she failed to
massacre that damned monstrous fucker properly.

Diana's fist struck the transformed White Magician
with the highest level of power she could manifest.
Even Superman could be knocked off his feet by such
a blow.

"Ouch," he said, with a twisted smile, still standing.

Diana cursed under her breath. Even though her full
Olympian-given powers far exceeded what Artemis could
reach with the Bracelets of Atlas enhancing tenfold her
Amazonian strength, Diana was not having much more
success in facing the White Magician that her Amazon
sister had. Somehow Randolph was deflecting the full
effect of her power, perhaps even absorbing it, she
realized, noticing that the warehouse around them
still stood even after several minutes of full combat.

Perhaps she had to keep him off-balance, not prepared
for the nature of her attacks, she thought, and after
evading his next attack, she swerved improbably and
flew low and fast at him. Her rush swept him off his
feet, and he crashed to the ground on his back, but
as she tried to use the advantage, a furious blast
of unnatural fire threw her backwards, and she had to
roll on the floor to put out the lingering fire on her
jacket and hair. As physically powerful as the
transformation had made him, Randolph remained far
more dangerous than what just his new brute strength
allowed, she realized.

"You're mightier than the redhead, of course," he
said. "But it won't do you any good, of course."

Diana stood up slowly and pressed the center of her
choker, to activate the Justice League communicator
there, but nothing happened.

"Trying to call help?" he asked mockingly. "I made
sure we'd be alone in this. I prefer my liaisons one
on one."

Cursing herself for not having requested assistance
earlier, Diana jumped to a side, where she had seen
a golden glitter before, reflecting the light given
off by the eldritch flames that now coated most of
Randolph's mutated body. Finding her goal, she picked
up Artemis's bow, and broke it in pieces, to release
the golden lasso. She had to fight magic with magic.

The lasso broke the sound barrier as she threw it at
the White Magician, its unbreakable length enveloping
him in a flash. The lasso reacted to creature's
eldritch flames and bathed him in Hestia's fire in
return.

"AAARGHHH! BURNS! IT BURNS!" he roared.

"Return to your true nature!" Diana shouted, but the
lasso burned brighter and flames exploded all about
in response, and after the shock had passed, the White
Magician remained in the epicenter, still monstrously
shaped, his transformation unchanged.

Diana stared with horror. The shape-shifting was not
a temporary spell. Randolph had permanently forgone
his humanity, and was now truly a monster of magic.
The lasso could only confirm that truth.

"It burned," Randolph rasped. "And felt good. Pain
now gives me clarity, purpose," he added, and pulled
on the lasso with irresistible might.

Diana's effort to resist the sudden tug was futile,
and she was pulled towards the monster, but twisting
in midair, she leaned to a side, and hit his belly
with the back of one out-stretched leg while throwing
her other leg behind his short, twisted legs. Before
he could grab onto her, she scissored her legs with
her full strength and slammed him backwards against
the concrete floor. Instantly she lifted her lead leg
up and brought it back down in a heel-strike on his
stomach, making the whole warehouse tremble.

She kicked at his side and pushed, freeing herself and
forcing him face-down, before moving onto his back.
With the lasso taut in her hands, she leaned forward
and wrapped it around the thick neck. With a grunt,
she tightened her hold.

Several seconds later, she felt laughter resonate in
her head.

It is not air which sustains me anymore, a soundless
voice said, before Diana found herself thrown forward
and down. She tried to turn and rise, but his fists
found her first.

She fought to stay conscious. He had hit her hard and
often, but had avoided her face and breasts, for quite
suspicious reasons, and now he straddled her, holding
her hands together above her head with his left grip,
while his right hand caressed her face.

"You are most beautiful, Diana. Royalty among women,
indeed. Nothing less would do."

Diana muttered a curse, and Randolph's inhuman mouth
broadened in a smile, showing his glistening fangs.

"You are more than a lovely face and a luscious body.
More than just big bouncy teats and round, tasty ass.
You are magic made flesh. Your soul is human, but
ancient godly powers created your perfect body, made
it alive, and your body retains still the appeal of
the ideal, of pure beauty now made concrete reality.
No living being may be indifferent to your appeal,
Princess, and nothing less would suit me."

Diana cleared her throat and spit at him.

"Do your worst, Randolph. I don't fear you."

"Oh, no. I'll do my best. We both will," he said,
ignoring her spittle on his face. "I hunger for your
beauty, but I'll use you for more than just sating my
lust. The powers of the Olympians or other such old
Pantheons are not available to normal human magicks,
but through you, I can access those aspects of power
to increase my might."

"You are insane. My powers are gifts that-"

"I understand it better than you ever could," he said,
fire flaring off his remaining eye. "Your powers are
magic, but you do not work magic yourself. Magic is
passive inside you, awaiting manifestation, invocation.
When you use your powers, then you are magic. Magic
fills you. Such is the feminine principle. You take,
receive. You are the chalice, the cup, the grail.
Passive power awakened by will," he had begun to
gesture, and she could sense the webs of power taking
shape around them, patterning a spell. "But all true
magicians are males. It's our Will to seek to find
and master that which is outside us, that which powers
the world. We must then penetrate the veil of Maya,
pierce the semblance of self, and impose our Will on
reality. We are active Will, the male principle.
Ultimately all great magicians must enter and possess
the grail, the essence of reality, the female aspect."

His gestures grew more complex and the power became a
nearly tangible presence coating them.

"I must possess you and master you."

"Better than you have tried," she muttered, trying
to squirm into a position of leverage, feeling her
strength fail under the irresistible grip of his
hands. She had to escape.

"Stare at my will made flesh, at the symbol of the
Highest Art, of the Magician: the Wand!"

Diana's eyes opened wide at the sight of his raging
erection, more enormous even what than his grotesque
body could suggest. Longer than a centaur, thicker
than a troll, larger than anything human could be,
and unnaturally bathed in burning fire, throbbing
with the pulse of the web of power enveloping them.

"My will shall enter you deeply, wand into chalice,
and be one with you, to drink of your self, to quench
my thirst of you and your power, until only I remain,
and all you are is mine, fire and water made one," he
hissed as he loomed over her, pulling her leg apart.
"And when you are mine, the power of the Olympians
will be mine as well, and I will become a true god!"

"Oh, fuck that!" a raspy voice said behind him, and
Artemis landed on his back, grabbing onto his mane of
silvery hair. She snapped off the end of an arrow
lodged in his shoulder, and drove the splintered shaft
into his remaining eye.

He screamed in anger, reaching back, grabbing her long
ponytail of reddish hair, and threw her, with an
inhuman roar, to the ground at his side.

"You think I need eyes to see? I am far beyond human
limitations!" he hissed, and his claws reached for
her throat. "If you had disturbed the spell-"

"NO!" Diana cried out, and she drew one leg up to her
chest, before kicking out hard at his exposed erection.

He gasped in pain, but did not fall. He just turned
his blinded face again to the Amazon Princess, who was
still face-up on the ground, seemingly too weak and
battered to move.

"It's me you want, isn't it? Come and take me, then!"

"I'll have you after I kill this meddler," he said,
and his claws scratched the pale neck of Artemis.

"NO! DON'T! I'll-"

"You'll what?"

"Spare her and-"

"And?"

"I will let you-let you enter me," she said with a
grimace, and breathing deeply, spread her legs apart.
"Without resistance."

"Is this a trick, Amazon?"

She grabbed her lasso, still fallen over and around
her, with loops draped over her legs and hips. "The
lasso would not let me lie."

"I can sense that," he said, nodding, and his smile
broadened. He grabbed the unconscious Artemis and
pulled her along as he again approached Diana. "You
have feelings for this one. Good, your cooperation
will ensure her remaining alive. For now."

Diana was breathing heavily, staring at the enormous
quivering erection between his legs, unharmed by her
recent attack. She did not reply.

The monster moved closer again, kneeling between her
open legs, as his horned head waved strangely about,
feeling out for her with inhuman senses. He extended
one hand forward, the clawed index finger cutting
through the center strap of her bustier, freeing her
breasts. The claw slid over the curves of her large
teats, lingering around the circles of her aureoles,
before flicking the stiff nubs of her nipples.

"Hard already, I see," he hissed, and began to mutter
words in strange languages, while his hand continued
to run unchallenged over her trembling body, and the
air around them seemed to thicken with built-up power.
His hand slid down her tense abdomen, and with a slow,
deliberate motion, the sharp claw began to cut down
through her tight black Speedos, reaching down to her
mound, so the fabric peeled to the sides and her sex
was fully exposed.

"We've had enough foreplay already, my dear," he said,
letting the claw slide once along her slit, its sharp
edge gathering moisture in its passage.

Diana held her breath, but he did not try to enter
her yet. Instead, he reached for Artemis and lifted
one of her limp arms. His claws worked gingerly and
he removed one of the Gauntlets of Atlas from around
her bracelet.

"It's always wise to use protection," he said, with
a snort that turned into awful laughter, as he opened
the golden coils of the Gauntlet much wider before
carefully sliding it onto his massive erection.

Artemis had almost surrendered to the allure of sweet
oblivion, to the tempting escape of unconsciousness,
but at the end, she would not, it was too easy, and
she did not like easy, never had.

She could not muster enough strength to open her eyes,
much less move.

Yet she heard her. Heard the Princess offer herself
for her sake. Heard Diana save her life again.

The dumb bitch never knew when to stop.

Diana felt cold fear threatening her resolve, but she
ignored it. She knew what she had to do.

This was what her mother had denounced her for, what
she had used as an excuse to strip her of her rightful
title of Amazon Champion. She was about to let a foe,
a hideous monster, enter her sex willingly. But it
was not surrender, it was what she had to do. She
knew it would work. It had to work.

She was nowhere ready enough for it. She had tried to
prepare, thinking about suitably exciting scenarios,
even the expectation of the present act, could have
been stimulating under the just right circumstances,
despite Randolph's new shape, or maybe because of it,
but she was too angry and revolted by him to feel any
real desire, to feel anything but fury and disgust
and pity for him.

He entered her and she barely held back a scream of
pain. He was huge, as much as anyone she ever had,
if not more, and she could feel every single coil of
the Gauntlet of Atlas coiling along his thick shaft,
as it thrust hard and deep into her, and she felt like
she could never catch her breath again.

What Megala had seen could be changed. It had already
been changed. Artemis was here now. And both were
Amazons. They would not be defeated.

He who had once been Asquith Randolph, and had once
been human, groaned loudly at the delicious feeling of
the Amazon's tight sex, and the intoxicating warmth of
her silken insides and her radiant soul-self, which he
could sense as easily as others may see her full chest
bouncing up and down with his frenzied thrusts.

She was magnificent, he thought, as he felt the Great
Spell he had patterned take up the rhythm of their
coupling, merging with it, shifting them into the nexus
of a maelstrom of power and feeling and self beyond
what any human could contemplate.

Artemis heard the groans and grunts, the moans and
cries. They almost seeped through her tired flesh,
filling her with their rising, savage rhythm.

She had to admit it scared the shit out of her.

She gritted her teeth and fought against the dazed
clouds in her mind, against the numb heaviness in her
limbs, despite knowing that trying to move would only
bring back the blinding pain of her injuries. But
she had to choice. She would not give up.

She was an Amazon.

The Gauntlet almost made it bearable.

The slick golden coils rose over the rock-hard length
of thick, oversized phallus, caressing her just right
with each inhumanly powerful thrust. In another place
or time it may have been extremely enjoyable. If the
monstrous piece of hard flesh entering her had been
that of someone else.

She could also feel his pleasure echoing in her flesh,
as the magic made their minds grow closer and closer,
in what may have made sex blissful under different
circumstances, if the deepening touch of his mind, of
his careening dark lusts did not fill her with utter
revulsion and sadness. But it did, and she refused
to accept the pleasure, and she felt Randolph building
to his climax through the connection of the complex,
overlapping magicks.

He was getting lost in the pleasure, surrendering to
the magic and joy, and she felt her own flesh pulled
along, her senses longing to surrender as well.

But she chose not to.

She was an Amazon, and she would not give in.

She was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, and she would
not give in.

And whatever her Mother did or said, she was Wonder
Woman, and she would not fucking give in.

Diana saw Artemis move, almost imperceptibly, and knew
she had to gamble on her. It had to be now.

She had sworn to let him enter her, without resistance,
but nothing else.

It had to be now.

Randolph, or what remained of him, was lost in their
coupling, grunting and groaning like a savage beast,
though she had known sex with actual savage beasts
that had been far gentler and softer. But he still
held her in place and she could not do it alone.

She tightened her hold on the lasso, wrapping its end
around her bracelet.

Artemis was just a step away, and the other length of
the lasso was just within her reach.

The magic and pleasure were becoming one, and it was
almost too much to resist. Even for her.

It had to be now.

Diana had to gamble on Artemis and her strength, her
indomitable will and stubbornness.

She had no doubts.

"ARTEMIS!" Diana cried out. "THE LASSO! PULL ON IT!"

Artemis heard Diana yell, calling out to her, telling
her what to do, and grew instantly angry, at Diana, at
her damned arrogance, at her thinking that she could
just command and be obeyed. Who did the damn buxom
bitch think she was?

Artemis held onto that sudden, furious anger, and used it.

The lasso had been carefully laid out in a loose loop
around Diana's loins, a trap set out in plain sight.
He had entered her right through it, unaware, his
mind clouded by lust of flesh and power, too drunk in
his own power to sense the simplest of traps.

Artemis had been right, in the end. Everything could
be a weapon.

Focusing on her unshakable resolve, and ignoring the
wild vortex of magic and unspeakable pleasure calling
to her, Diana pulled with all her strength on the
short length of the lasso she had left to her side,
just as Artemis did the same, pulling on her side of
the lasso, trusting her, doing her part, like a fellow
Amazon, like a Sister.

The unbreakable golden lasso had instantly coiled
tightly around the base of the monstrous shaft even
as it still thrust into Diana. For an infinitesimal
moment it had been a stalemate. His flesh was far
stronger than metal in its transformed state, and the
Gauntlet of Atlas on the shaft increased its might
even more, while both Amazons were tired and battered,
and Artemis wore now only one Gauntlet herself. But
Randolph had been right about the melding aspect of
the sex, and for an instant, joined suddenly by the
magical link of the golden lasso, they were indeed one,
and their strength, augmented or not, was one as well.
In their unorthodox instant of communal trinity,
resolve and duty overcame ambition, and two overcame one.

The coiled lasso tightened even more, and the thick
shaft was cleanly cut off at the base.

The being once called the White Magician fell back,
shrieking as it clawed at its mutilated loins, blindly
seeking to find what was there no more, losing control
over his power and mind, while the magic swirling all
around became an unchecked storm of wild fury.

"Guess you lost your Wand, Magician," Diana said,
her breath still labored, weakly moving to her knees.
With a grimace, she pulled out from inside her the
still-throbbing severed phallus.

"That must be bad, no?" Artemis asked, letting go of
her grip on the lasso, seeing with casual detachment
the deep bloody cuts left in her palms. She was still
amazed at being alive. Maybe it was a mistake somehow.

"Very bad," Diana agreed, watching for a moment the
thick rod of moist meat at her feet. The glistening
golden coils of the Gauntlet still enveloped it.

The creature still shrieking pathetically before them
started to spasm violently, and white fire began to
consume it, until with a final scream its body broke
into charred pieces.

"Some men really turn to crap after sex," Diana muttered.

Artemis stared until the remains of the monster had
smoldered away into ashes, and then looked up.

They were both surrounded by a swirling cocoon of
fire and shadows, which grew faster and
darker every minute.

"Sorry to interrupt your post-coital bliss, Princess,"
Artemis said with just the smallest bit of initial
self-consciousness. "But things still look bad."

Diana frowned and looked around as well.

"The incomplete spell seems to be going wild," she
said, as if that explained everything. Artemis would
have smacked her if she had the strength.

"We wait it out, or what?"

"It may destroy us eventually, as it destroyed him."

"What then? Can we fly out?"

"I doubt it's safe," Diana stated, and turned to kneel
before Artemis. "We must reset your ankle and splint it."

"Yeah, sure. What the fuck do we do, then?

"Fuck. Yes, that's it."

"What? Oh-OW! DAMN!"

"Sorry. Done now," Diana said, continuing to feel
carefully around Artemis's swollen ankle. "It was a
clean dislocation, so it should heal well."

"Yeah, thanks. What now, then?"

"We should try to complete the spell, I think."

"Complete what?"

"The spell," Diana continued as if she was stating
the obvious. Artemis could have really slapped her.
"It was patterned around a sex act, and was interrupted.
It should be completed."

"What?"

"We must complete the sex. Otherwise it may grow even
more dangerous, maybe even menace the very structure
of our reality." She used the broken shafts of a pair
of fallen arrows and torn strips of leather from her
jacket to splint the ankle.

"Well, your lover-boy's gone, woman, so what-?"

Diana looked up. She had the barest hint of a smile.

"You've got to be kidding me," Artemis muttered.

"It may be our only chance."

"Can't you just finger yourself and finish, or
something? Damn, it sounded like that thing got you
pretty close anyway!"

"Randolph spoke of dualities. Two individuals are
most likely needed."

"You're doing this on purpose."

"It's your choice. I would never coerce you."

"Oh, sure! What's the fucking alternative? Burned
to death alive?"

"We may just be shunted to another dimension."

"Sound lovely, too!"

"It's getting worse," Diana observed, looking around.

"I would still hate your guts, you know."

Diana just smiled.

"We're even now, too," Artemis added. "You... helped
me. But I helped you, too."

"Yes. Would not want it any other way."

"And even if I did it, it would not mean anything!"

"For you? Fine. If you say so."

"You may be damned beautiful and everything but you're
just not my type!"

"You are beautiful, too."

"You are enjoying this, aren't you?"

"So will you, Sister."

"Don't bet on it."

"I would."

"And would you stop looking so damn smug?"

"I love it when you get angry," Diana said softly
and their lips met.

Her lips were softer and sweeter than she remembered.
The kiss was slow and tender, full of promises but no
demands. Not yet. She was giving her time to accept
and respond. Or maybe she was worried about her
injuries. She was that kind of person, the damn buxom
bitch.

Artemis tensed as she felt a hand gently caress her
leg, and she shifted uneasily. She felt Diana's body
press lightly against hers next, soft and hard at once,
and her fragrance filled her awareness, still subtle
and exciting despite the sweat and burns.

Artemis sighed, remembering their first kiss on the
bridge, and opened her mouth to sucked on Diana's
plump lower lip. She would not let her take charge
again.

Lips were bit and tongues danced soon, one with the
other, reveling in each other's taste, their breaths
becoming one, while hands explored skin more and more
daringly.

Artemis found that those tits were indeed real, firm
and full yet yielding under her fingers, and the spot
between her legs was hotter and wetter than she would
have believed possible.

Artemis gasped as Diana's mouth went from nuzzling her
neck to biting on her erect nipples, and she felt
nimble fingers trace taunting patterns in her inner
thighs, before dipping to explore her own wetness.

The caresses felt at times maddeningly slow or far
too fleeting, and soon Diana's sex was over her mouth,
to be kissed, licked and sucked, while she felt lips
and tongue and fingers correspond in her loins. The
taste in Diana's core was even more intoxicating, and
Artemis had to force herself to keep pace and not just
lean back and relish the pleasure she was being given.
She would not let Diana get the better of her.

Their orgasms were slow but powerful, and both held
still in each other's arms while their pleasures
wind down and their bodies stopped trembling.

"It isn't working," Diana said after a while.

"What?" Artemis asked with disbelief. Who could
believe that? She had to have enjoyed it as much as
she did. She certainly moaned and cried enough.

"The spell is still growing wilder."

"Oh," Artemis said, flushing red, as she noticed that
indeed the twisting rings of power surrounding them
seemed closer and more rabid than before. "Fuck."

"Wands and cups, he said. Penetrating and receiving,"
Diana mused. "Male and female principles. We need
the other part of the equation to balance the magic."

"What?"

"We are both females. We need a male element, or it
won't work."

"A male element? What the fuck? Who's supposed to
grow a dick then?"

"It may need to be just symbolic. We need some type
of phallic implement to represent maleness, the wand."

Artemis sat up, and saw that Diana was staring at
something in the ground. In a puddle of clotting
black fluid was a think, long piece of flesh, still
hard, and still wrapped by a coiled Gauntlet of Atlas,
which had clearly preserved it from turning to ashes
like its original body.

"Fuck, you can't mean-? That's disgusting!"

"It may work."

"You stick that rotten piece of corpse into you if
you want, but-!"

"Um? Oh, that? No, I didn't mean that," Diana said.
"It must be cold by now, and that's icky. But it did
gave me the idea."

Diana then gathered the golden lasso, and taking one
end in hand, she began to coil it tightly around a
stretched section of its own length, wrapping it in
a twisting cylindrical shape, coiling it again and
again along the same length, until she had a thick
and long flexible shape made of coils over coils of
gleaming metallic rope wound tightly upon itself.

"I did say the lasso was a tool," Diana said.

Artemis opened her eyes wide. Was Diana kidding?
Did she think everyone was a size queen?

"Ah... Have you done this before?"

"With the lasso? No, but it should be interesting.
Are you up to it?" Diana asked, her bright blue eyes
all innocence and concern.

Artemis tightened her lips. Like she would ever
back down on anything before Diana.

"Piece of cake," she shrugged.

"Now we'll need to start again from the beginning."

"Ah, well, we'll manage."

"Oh, fuck...!"

It felt even bigger than it had appeared at first,
Artemis realized, but the ridged surface of the
multiple tight coils did have something to it, and
Diana had certainly made her wet enough.

The magic maelstrom had closed in around the two of
them, forcing them to remain close together, but it
caused no complaints.

Diana licked playfully at her lover's swollen clitoris
while she slowly continued to insert the thick rod of
metallic coils inside her moist sex. She drove it as
deep as she felt Artemis could take comfortably, and
then began to gently slide it in and out fractionally,
letting it caress her.

"Oh, fuck! Damn!" Artemis exclaimed in appreciation.

Diana sat up, and moved closer to Artemis, sitting
down so both faced each other, while she kept holding
the remaining length of the improvised dildo. Moving
her legs to overlap those of Artemis, she lifted her
hips, and proceeded to slide the free end of the golden
implement into her own sex, gasping at its delicious
size and texture. She could have willed the lasso to
contract and made the dildo larger, but she preferred
to err in the margin of excess, and after sinking close
to seven inches inside Artemis, at least a foot more
of length remained for her.

Just about right, Diana thought, moaning as she moved
forward, taking more and more of the massive tool.
When she had accepted over nine inches, she sat down,
her thighs and buttocks against those of Artemis, and
began rocking back and forth, her hand keeping the
length of the rod still outside them from bending.
Artemis gasped in return and began to rock back and
forth on her own.

Both Amazon began to moan and gasp as they matched
paces, and their loins pushed forward with more and
more insistence, until the buttocks slammed one with
the other, and most of the flexible dildo had already
vanished inside their feverish bodies.

"FUCK!" Artemis gasped. "Why can't men be like this?"

"I just need to introduce you to the right... people,"
Diana said with a broad smile.

They had switched positions several times already,
managing to keep the connection between their loins,
hindered only by Artemis's ankle and ribs, but after
trying it back to back, and one over the other, they
finally returned to the overlapped, face-to-face
sitting position, where they could both stare at
each other's eyes and reach to playfully squeeze
a breast or two.

Diana had already orgasmed twice but Artemis was
taking longer, and Diana reached down to fondle her
lover's protruding clitoris while she oscillated back
and forth with greater force, until Artemis finally
shuddered and cried out her climax.

"OH, FUCK! FUCK-FUCK! OH, DAMN! I HATE YOU! I HATE
YOU SO MUCH!" Artemis screamed as she convulsed.

"I love you, Sister," Diana gasped feeling her own
pleasure rise.

"THAT TOO! FUCK! OH, FUCK! I LOVE YOU TOO!"

Joined by the lasso in more than just simple physical
fashion, Diana felt the trembling of the redhead's
climatic joy and reached a last, delicious orgasm as
well.

Artemis collapsed forward, and Diana hugged her
tightly, their lingering shudders shaking them gently,
while both caressed lightly their damp hairs and skin.

"I-I've never-Damn!" Artemis began, before shaking
her head. "That-that was fantastic."

"Oh, yes."

"Gods! I never really liked sex that much before."

"Really?" Diana whispered.

"I had no idea, no idea-" Artemis muttered, trailing
off, and both remained silent, embraced, for a long
while.

"Can we get along after this?" Diana asked.

"I-I don't know," Artemis replied, with nervous
sincerity.

"Let's not force it."

"Yes."

"It's over."

"Uh?" Artemis asked, feeling a wave of regret wash
over her.

"The spell," Diana explained. "It's over."

Artemis looked around and saw that indeed, the air
around them had cleared of the wildly swirling magic,
and dawn was beginning to shine through the windows
of the empty warehouse.

A broad band of badly burned concrete floor surrounded
them, several feet wide, with just a dozen feet of
untouched surface at its center, where they sat.

"It was close."

"Yes," Diana said, and kissed lightly her long red hair.

"We should-"

"Yes, we should-" Diana agreed.

Both separated awkwardly, and gasped in near unison as
the improvised golden dildo slid wetly out of them.
Diana picked it up before standing up.

Artemis frowned, and stood up as well. Her ankle did
not hurt anymore. Neither did her ribcage. Diana also
seemed somehow refreshed. She always looked gorgeous,
sure, but she had no longer any burns in her hair or
skin.

"The spell?" she asked.

"It seems so. Maybe not what Randolph expected, but
the overflow of power seems to have done some good."

"Um, that... thing's gone," Artemis said, looking
around them.

"Yes, it must have been taken by the vortex as it
closed in. A pity."

"Uh?"

"One of the Gauntlet is now lost, I mean."

"Ah, yes. Damn."

"But we did it. Together, we defeated the White
Magician. We proved Megala's vision wrong."

"What vision?"

"It's a long story. You may not like it."

"I don't like many things. Don't worry about it,"
Artemis shrugged.

"Here," Diana said, and extended the coiled lasso
at Artemis.

"What?" Artemis asked, looking at it and flushing
nearly as red as her hair.

"You are Wonder Woman, you must keep it."

"Oh, please. Who are we kidding? You're Wonder Woman.
I know that now. We both know it. You keep it, and
wear the damn costume, too. It's your right."

"Are you sure?"

"Damn thing made my ass look fat anyway. Don't know
how your tits even stay in-"

"You won the-"

"Come on! It was all bullshit anyway!"

"My Mother-"

"Screw Hippolyta, ok? I quit. You take the position.
You should have won and we know it. You're Wonder
Woman, and my place is with my people, not playing
silly games out here."

Diana smiled at the veiled barb. That was Artemis alright.

"We must help our people live peacefully."

"Yeah, sure."

"If we two can-"

"Look, this was... an irregular thing, ok? Sure we
had sex and it was fucking fantastic and all, but it
wasn't that big a deal, right?"

"You think so?"

"We have more important things to do, responsibilities
and all that. I cannot let something between us blind
me to standing up for my people."

"I would never want that."

"So if we are friends, great, but if we must fight, we
fight, no matter what happened."

"I look forward to it."

"I... respect you, now. But that must be it. We have
our duties."

"Yes, we do."

"So one more kiss and that's it!"

Diana smiled, and they slowly embraced. Maybe she
would not unwind the lasso just yet.

THE END
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