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Healthy Fear

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To say Hippolyta was proud of Diana was an understatement. Her daughter was only eleven and she had already won many sparring matches against her trainers, had great accuracy with a bow, and was showing great promise with the amazonian bracelets. Not only did she show promise as a warrior. Diana was a kind and honest child. Though Hippolyta could not help but feel sorry for her a bit. Whatever mischief Diana got into she got into alone because she was the only child on the island. But it was not as if the other amazons did not give Diana more than enough fun.

Her mind was full of memories of her daughter as she walked along the beach. The memory of her daughter’s first cries were as clear in her mind as if it had just happened. Hippolyta had sculpted her little hands and feet. With only a drop of her blood she was made her own daughter. The lightning struck down from above and from the sand formed a perfect little baby. A child that had not been made by another man and only by her hands alone. When Hippolyta lowered her hands and looked in awe at her bundle she honestly could not believe how full her heart had become.

When she gave birth to Thrax, Ares had whisked him away from her arms. The next time she saw her son was on the battlefield where she took his head herself. Even if Ares had allowed her to look on her son for even a moment she knew she would not feel as she did now. Thrax had not been a choice she made. Ares used her to have a son and from her womb she had created a creature of carnage. No, her daughter was nothing of the sort. She was quite the opposite.

Hippolyta knew her daughter was a keeper of peace and a defender of the weak. Though Hippolyta prayed Diana would never have to fulfill those roles because she never wanted her daughter to see the horrors she did. But Hippolyta knew she had no control of the future. No one knew that better than her. So she trained Diana for the day that would inevitably come when her daughter would have to fulfill the purpose the gods had for her. They never did anything without a ulterior method anyway.

She stepped out into the water and let the water crash up onto the shore wetting her feet. She need not worry about the future for now. Diana was progressing fine and for now no danger had even come near her daughter. Save for the monster she had in her dungeons, but he could not touch her. Besides with those bands on his wrists Hippolyta doubted he could even defeat her eleven year old daughter.

Hippolyta stepped from the water and moved back onto the white sand where her horse was waiting. She had just reached it when she could see three of her warriors riding hard towards her. She froze in her place when she saw Artemis was at the front and she actually seemed to have fear etched deeply her face.

Once she was before Hippoltya, she swung down from her horse and knelt before her. “My queen, Princess Diana is trapped on the side of the cliffs. It is my fault. I was supposed to be watching her, but she slipped away.”

Fear seized Hippolyta’s heart and she took no time to scold Artemis for losing sight of Diana. She mounted her horse and Artemis did the same. “Take me to her.” Hippolyta ordered. The group of three along with the queen snapped their reins and led her down the beach. Hippolyta had a good idea of where they were going. There was one particular cliff that Diana would often comment that she wanted to climb. Hippoltya could see the appeal since it had many indentions and places for her to grab, but she was hardly at an age when attempting such a feat was wise. Also it was too high for even her most seasoned warriors. Likely Diana’s ambition had gotten the better of her.

Hippolyta took the lead when their destination was confirmed and urged her horse ahead. “Do not head for the bottom!” Hippolyta ordered. “Ride with me to the top!” They took their horses up the incline and upon arrival Hippolyta swung down quickly and sprinted to the edge. The cliff was upraised with a small amount of land at the bottom where water stretched out between two mountains. Hippolyta had rode with Diana to the top many times, but her daughter was currently trapped in the middle of the cliff. She had her body pressed up against the side on a small ledge where she if she moved even slightly she would plummet to her death.

“I had urged her to come down and when she finally gave in the rock broke under her foot.” Artemis explained to Hippolyta. “She grabbed the ledge above her as quickly as she could and pulled herself up, but there was no where else for her grip to come back down.”

Hippolyta looked down and was not surprised to see tears were staining Diana’s cheeks. She was only a child and she had yet to face danger like this. The queen quickly took the lasso of truth from her belt and took the loop and pulled it down over her waist. “I want you to lower me down to her.” Hippolyta ordered.

“I climbed up to where she could jump to me, but she was frozen with fear my queen.” Artemis said, but taking the end of the rope from her hand anyway.

“I’m her mother.” Hippolyta stated simply before she pointed to the other amazons and then to a tree that was not far from there. “Wrap the lasso about that tree and keep it tight. Artemis, direct me down to Diana from the edge.”

Artemis nodded and moved to where the queen had instructed her. The amazons did as their queen ordered and wrapped the lasso about the tree to keep it from slipping from their grip. Hippolyta sat down on the edge and turned herself using her upper body strength to lower her down down onto the side of the cliff. Artemis laid down on the ground to keep herself from sliding and two other amazons helped adjust the slack for her from behind. Hippolyta looked down and could see Diana still had the front of her body pressed against the cliff tightly. As her body lowered, she could see clearly now how Diana was forcing herself to stay still and the wind was making her grip the stone for dear life. Her fingers must be aching terribly with how long she has had to hold on.

“Diana.” Hippolyta called, just three feet from her and with her arms out. “Come to me, daughter.”

Diana turned to her and shook her head. “Mother…what if it breaks when I move? What if you don’t catch me?”

“I will not let you fall.” Hippolyta said. “Move to me. I would never let anything happen to you.”

The princess looked down at the small ledge beneath her feet and the sharp rocks at the bottom of the cliff. If Hippolyta did not grab her then she would fall to her death, but Diana knew her grip on the rock was weakening with every passing second. She had to make a choice. Hippolyta saw no more risk in the situation. All that was left was convincing Diana the space between them was not as far as she believed it was.

Diana took a deep breath and threw herself into her mother’s waiting arms. The ledge beneath her broke from the force of it, but Hippolyta wrapped her arms around Diana tightly and hoisted her up into a tight hold. She could feel her daughter shaking slightly, but knew it would pass. This was her first brush with danger of course.

Artemis called for them to pull them up and Hippoltya felt Diana stiffen as they began to move. The queen herself was ready to be free of the stifling grip of the lasso around her waist, but she kept it from suffocating her by gripping the rope with one of her hands and holding Diana with the other. Soon enough the Amazons pulled them up and Hippolyta let out a deep sigh as she loosened her hold on her daughter, but she was not intent on letting her mother go. Hippolyta smiled weakly and pressed a kiss to her forehead before standing and helping Diana up.

Artemis bowed down before them and pressed her fist to her chest. “My queen, I accept my punishment for losing track of the princess and endangering her.”

Hippolyta shook her head and gestured for Artemis to rise. “No, Artemis. I think all the fear we have felt today is enough punishment.”

The ride back was awkward. Diana kept her head down now out of shame for disobeying her mother and Hippolyta did not really want to scold her in front of the other amazons. She did it enough over losing concentration or not trying hard enough in an exercise. Soon enough the palace came into view and the amazons watched as Hippolyta dismounted and brought Diana down with her. They were all worried for their princess when the word reached them she had been in danger. Whispers of gratitude to the gods she had not been hurt badly could be heard around them. Even Persephone had emerged from the dungeon to check on Diana.

Hippolyta assured them everything was alright, but the princess would be retiring to her chambers. Training was to be postponed for the day.

Diana followed her mother inside and felt like she was walking to the executioner’s block. She had done it now. Never had Hippolyta had to come rescue her from danger and Diana knew her mother was furious with her. She did not speak a word to Diana, but then again neither had the princess. Once they were at the door of Diana’s room Hippolyta stepped inside first and Diana followed. Hippolyta sat down on her bed and Diana hopped up too by her side. She kept her head lowered and wrung her hands worriedly.

“Diana, a warrior does not cower away from a scolding.” Hippolyta said. She watched as Diana’s body jerked slightly with a sniffle. She could not lift her head. She could not let her mother see she was crying. “My daughter, please look at me.”

“No mother, a warrior does not cry. Artemis doesn’t cry. Persephone doesn’t cry.” Diana hiccuped. “You don’t cry.”

“Of course, I cry.” Hippolyta said, making Diana finally lift her face in surprise and show her tear glistened eyes. The queen cupped her daughter’s cheek and smiled gently down at her. “I cried when you were born. I cried when you caught a fever as a toddler. I cried many times before you were born as well.”

“B-But mother…I was frozen with fear. I could not even jump to Artemis.” Diana said. “And you’re not scared of anything.”

“That is not true, Diana. I am scared of many things.” Hippolyta said.

“What? You are?”

“Of course, Diana.” She said, wiping away a tear from Diana’s cheek with her thumb. “I’m afraid of a great many things. But most of all, my greatest fear is losing you. I had to face that fear today. You disobeyed me, Diana. You put yourself in danger.”

“I know.” Diana said, lowering her head again. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to show I could do it. I wanted to show I was as brave as you.”

“Diana, with bravery there must be wisdom as well.” Hippolyta said. “No one lives forever and one day you will have to take my place as queen of the amazons. As queen, you may have enough bravery to face war but that does not mean you should seek it out. But you should also have a healthy amount of fear for the sake of self preservation.”

“I suppose…even warriors get scared sometimes.” Diana sniffled, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. “But…you know what mom?”

“What is it?”

“I think your enemies are way more afraid of you.” She said, smiling and making Hippolyta chuckle. The queen scooped up her daughter and spun her around playfully. She sat down with Diana in her lap on the couch that sat beneath Diana’s window. The princess leaned her head against her mother’s chest and Hippolyta sat against the wall with her arms wrapped around her precious child.

“Diana, you are my sun and stars.” Hippolyta said, rubbing circles on her back gently as they looked out the window where the sun was lowering over the distant line of the ocean. “If I lose you I do not know what I would do. Promise me, you will never put yourself in needless danger ever again.”

“I promise.”

“I love you, Diana. I love you more than anything in the world.”