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Musical Chairs

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Martha was standing by the window late that night when she saw it. "Dear, come look at this," she said, and her husband put down his newspaper and strolled over.

"A meteor?" Thomas Wayne speculated, peering out.

"It seems awfully close," she said, and a moment later the windows of their summer house shook with the impact.

Thomas immediately went to the door. His wife protested, "Are you sure it's safe, dear?"

"We have to make sure it didn't cause a fire!"

Only hesitating for a moment, Martha followed him. They both hurried out onto the spacious lawn, slowing when they drew near enough to see that it wasn't a meteorite.

"A spaceship?" Martha whispered aloud.

"Or a satellite, it's so small. But whose? I don't recognize those markings."

Then they both fell silent, because the door to the little craft opened, and an unmistakable sound emerged. A baby crying.

Martha ran forward instantly, scooping the child out and cradling it close. "The poor little thing!"

Thomas had moved to her side at once. "Martha, we don't know who...." His voice trailed off as the baby stopped crying and looked at them both with apparent trust, and he knew they were both lost.

"Who could put a helpless baby in a spaceship? All alone! Thank heavens he wasn't hurt!"

Thomas's jaw set grimly as he softly touched the child's tiny hands. "I don't know, but if they try to take him back, I'll sic every lawyer in Gotham on them."

"No one needs to know he isn't ours," Martha said slowly. "That is... that he wasn't born ours."

He put a protective arm around her shoulders. "That's true, Martha. Now let's see if we can find something he can eat in the kitchen. I'll send Alfred out for baby food in the morning."

They walked slowly back to the house, never taking their eyes off the child from the stars.

"Clark Wayne," he murmured aloud experimentally as he held the door open for his wife and their son.


When Jonathan Kent got home that afternoon, his wife wasn't in the house. A quick look around the fields didn't show her, but her pickup was in the driveway. He finally found her out in the orchard, down on her knees digging in the dirt with her hands, her back to him.

"Martha?" he asked, tentative, as he moved towards her.

He knew she was aware of his presence, but she didn't answer or look up, just kept digging. He got close enough to look over her shoulder and his heart sank. She had formed a rough little statue of a baby from the red clay.

Finally she sat back on her heels. "I went back to the doctor today. He says I can't." She stopped there before she could start crying again.

He put a hand on her shoulder. "Well, now. Doctors don't know everything, they just think they do." And there he had to stop, because a lump came into his throat.

She put her dirt-smeared hand over his, and neither of them said anything for a minute.

At length she raised her voice in prayer. Both of them had gone to church most Sundays all their lives because it was the done thing, but neither had ever been particularly devout. Which probably accounted for the form Martha's prayer took.

"If anybody is listening," she said to the sky, "please, please let us have a child."

Somebody was, as it happened, listening.

The baby statue began to glow. The Kents hardly had time to stare at the glow before it dissipated, but when it was gone, the red clay statue was no longer there, and a living, breathing, flesh-and-blood baby girl was in its place.

"Jonathan!" Martha gasped, but she couldn't say anything else. She gathered the baby up, and it was still a real baby, wriggling and waving its tiny arms.

Jonathan dropped to his knees beside her and put his own hand on their miracle child – his work-roughened hand covered nearly half the tiny girl's body. The Kents held each other's eyes for a long moment of awe before returning their attention to the child.

After that, the Kents with their new little daughter Diana became avid churchgoers, but those on Olympus didn't blame them for the error.


Having dwelled on an island with only women for three thousand years, when Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons, began to yearn for a child, her only recourse was to ask the gods for a blessing. And after several months of prayer, she began to notice certain symptoms. Not quite daring to hope, she consulted the physicians, who gently prodded her stomach and confirmed, with awe for the gods in their voices, that her request had been granted.

When the news of the queen's blessing spread through Themyscira, the Amazons planned a great celebration to be held on the child's birth. Everyone rushed to offer gifts and allegiance to the new princess while she was still a thickness at their monarch's waist. Hippolyte began to be annoyed, though she graciously concealed it, at the way her sisters treated her as if she were crippled, unable to lift a stylus on her own.

For millennia the Amazons had been spared the attendant discomforts of pregnancy, which made Hippolyte's perhaps a bit more trying than most. And when the princess was ready to enter the world, Hippolyte could not help being afraid, remembering the agony she had witnessed in the women of patriarch's world so long ago. But if an ordinary woman could endure it, surely an Amazon could, and she bore the labor as bravely as she had borne battle with armies of fierce men or the great monsters trapped beneath Themiscyra.

She named the princess Briseis.