Diana swiped her card through the electronic lock and pushed open the stairwell door, her duffle bag slung over her shoulder. Her office was on the second floor of the Devon wing and she always prefered to walk. The sun gleamed through the windows breaking through the low lying morning fog and lighting her climb. When she arrived at her desk, there was a package waiting for her. A white rectangular box, no return address.
“Alex, did you see who brought this in?” She asked her colleague, who was examining a large painting.
“No idea sorry, I didn’t even see it there,” he replied.
Diana opened the box and excitement surged through her chest. Inside was a bronze and silver disk with a winding bar, the Chakram. She had only seen it sketched in scrolls before. Sitting on top was a note, “my usual fee, payment on time and in full.” Regretfully she closed the lid, she had a full day scheduled but there would be time to examine her new treasure later.
“See you tomorrow Diana, don’t stay too late,” called Alex as he passed. Diana looked at the clock, 7pm, how had it gotten so late? She looked around, she was the last one on her floor. Quietly she packed away the documents on the Raft of the Medusa she had been working on, then she unlocked the small draw at the bottom of her desk, snapped on a pair of white nitrile gloves and began to unpack the contents.
Scrolls, jewellery and documents soon covered the desk. These were all the records she had amassed of the last great Amazon Queen, and her constant travelling companion, the mysterious Warrior Princess. Diana had studied her history in the great library of Themyscira, but so little was known to both the Amazons and Mankind of the Amazon's history before they were forced to seek refuge on Themyscira. She was determined to find out all she could.
Finally, she removed the small white box and opened it. Carefully she lifted the God forged weapon. It was lighter than she expected and sat comfortably across the palm of her hand. She placed it gently back into its box and turned to the scrolls. The Queen's description of the weapon had been accurate, how it was used though she had no idea. She read a passage from the scroll entitled ‘Chakram’.
“In one hand the Warrior Princess held the Chakram of Light and in the other the Chakram of Darkness. The God of War held out his hand expectantly, waiting for her to hand them over. Even without her memories, she knew what to do though. She raised her hands above her and the Chakrams connected for the first time. They began to glow and spin, faster and faster. Light flashed, sparks flew and the Warrior Princess held aloft the new Balanced Chakam, it’s God killing ability now neutralised–”
A blur of movement caught her eye and her warrior training countered. Her arm swept up, knocking away the pointed fingers that had been inches away from her jabbing into her neck. She leapt from her chair, driving her palm into her attacker's chest, knocking them off their feet. They recovered swiftly, rolling gracefully and springing back up. Facing her attacker revealed little about them, they were dressed in black with a sword strapped to their shoulder. Piercing blue eyes glared at her from the eyeholes of a black balaclava.
They moved almost in sync, the masked figure drawing her sword over her shoulder and Diana pulling the sword of Athena free of her duffle bag. She vaulted over her desk and their blade’s met with a deafening crash, metal splintered and sheared as the demigoddess enchanted sword cleaved through her opponent's weapon. A swift kick followed and her attacker was once again forced to recover from hitting the floor.
Back on their feet, her opponent stood again in a fighting stance, sword up, as is if the loss of the majority of the blade was only a minor inconvenience. Diana’s mouth quirked at her opponent's cockiness. “Who are you?” She asked. The masked figure gave no answer, save to flick the remaining half of their sword in a come hither motion. The fight was still on it seemed.
The demigoddess advanced, pressing her advantage. She had no intention of killing this person, not at least until she had some answers. The figure in black retreated defensively, circling away from her towards a large marble statue. Diana slowed, something wasn’t right. Her opponent lifted her wrist revealing a small digital watch, they squeezed two of its buttons and darkness blanketed the building.
The soft electronic hum of the computers and the whir of air conditioning was the only thing she could hear as she strained her senses to reveal where the intruder had gone. No savage attack came from the darkness. Was this an escape tactic? Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the darkness and she was almost blinded again when the lights bust back to life, harshly illuminating the room.
The scraping of an object being lifted from her desk spun Diana to face her attacker once again.
Long dark hair neatly restrained in a braid fell behind the women's shoulders. In one hand she held the Chakram, the other slowly unzipping her jacket. She discarded it away from her, leaving her only in her utility pants and a black tee shirt. The women met her gaze once again, blue eyes burning into her. Faster that Diana thought possible, the woman launched the Chakram at her. It’s aim true, it wooshed through the air and grazed her cheek as she lunged out of its deadly path. The wound stung and when she removed her fingers from it, small droplets of blood stained them. It certainly proved it’s authenticity, only a god-forged weapon would draw blood from her so easily. She heard the crack of the weapon impacting a column behind her and was forced to duck again away from its return flight.
The women spoke in a low bur, unwavering and with a hint of amusement. Diana studied her, she was a seasoned fighter without a doubt. She stood relaxed still holding the Chakram where she had caught it, but it was clear she was ready to engage in the blink of an eye.
“Who are you?” She asked again.
“You already know who I am,” the women replied, breaking the Chakram into two smaller blades, “The question is, who are you really, Diana Prince?”
The fabled weapons unexpected transformation caught Diana off guard and she only just deflected the blow that would have sliced her chest open. The women drove her foot forward, kicking her squaring in the solar-plexus and flipping backwards out of reach with her momentum, her braid whipping about behind her.
Ice blue eyes met hers once again. “You can't be her,” Diana exclaimed. This time she pressed her attack, setting a blistering tempo. Their blades danced and sparks flew as the warriors clashed.
“Can’t be who?” the raven-haired women asked with a predatory grin, her sapphire eyes flashing. Diana felt wrist catch as the warrior hooked it with the back of her curved weapon and her elbow connected with her nose. Her vision exploded into stars and she toppled back. A force hit her square in the chest and the back of head slammed back the marble floor. The warrior looked down at her from her position, straddling her.
“I’m sure I remember Amazons being trained better than this, maybe I should teach you a thing or two.”
Her dark, velvety tone sent shivers down Diana’s spine.
She bucked her hips forward sending the warrior toppling off her and over her head. Diana's hand found her sword and she nimbly leapt to her feet. They circled each other again. When their blades met again it was at a slower cadence, the two warriors pushing each other and testing their skill. For a moment Diana felt a surge of déjà vu and she was home, sparing with her sisters under the warmth of the Mediterranean sun and cool sea breeze.
Diana grinned, feining low she parried the warrior's attack and darted in to drive her knee into her stomach. The woman retreated, sucking in air and suddenly found herself pinned between a large marble column and the edge of Diana’s blade. They were close enough that Diana could feel the warmth of the warriors exhale and see the gleam in her sapphire eyes.
“You seem to be enjoying yourself,” she commented, unable to hide her own smirk.
The warrior bit her lip as her eyes briefly glanced at Diana's lips before replying.
“What can I say, nothing like a good fight to get my juices going and you’re the best I’ve had in a long time.”
The warrior rapidly slammed her blades against Daina’s sword and sized the new opening by flipping herself clear over her head. She landed gracefully and spun to face Diana again grin still fully planted on her face. There was no doubt in her mind now, this was the Warrior Princess of legend standing in front of her.
“Why have you come here?” she asked.
“You stole my Chakram,” Xena replied, cocking her eyebrow.
Diana’s cheeks flushed. Of course, it was foolish of her to have forgotten in the heat of the fight. “Then I must apologise, I never would have tried to repossess it had I known it was still in your possession,” she frowned at a sudden realisation, “I assume you found me through my contact, is she…?”
Xena grinned. “Oh your little cat burglar will live, she wasn’t eager to give you up but I have a way that convinces most people.”
The warrior princess glanced over at her desk. “You seem to have quite an interest in my past.”
“Not you specify actually, Diana replied almost apologetically, “the woman you travelled with, Queen Gabrielle.” She lowered her sword and placed it on an empty counter as a truce and walked towards her desk. “She was the last Queen of the mainland Amazons but there is so little known to us about her,” She waved her hand at the scrolls, “These documents are all that remains of her story.” She glanced at the warrior who had now come to stand beside her, “except for you.”
Xena gently lifted one of the open scrolls from the desk and studied its familiar handwriting. Diana saw the smile fade from her lips. The warrior sighed and carefully replaced the scroll.
“That was a long time ago.”
"What was she like?” Diana asked softly.
“She was beautiful, body and soul,” Xena replied, sadness dulling her eyes. “She was kind and brave and wise.” She slipped the two halves of the Chakram together and looked down at the weapon in her hands. “She sacrificed herself… So that the Amazons could escape persecution. “
“Thank you–” Diana said sincerely, reaching out placing her hand on Xena’s arm– “for telling me.”
The warrior didn’t reply. She turned and walked to where she had left her jacket, letting Diana’s hand fall. She pulled it back on and turned towards the exit. As she passed Diana stopped and looked at her seriously.
“You know,” she said, her voice low and relaxed, “you still owe me a new sword.”
Diana laughed and grinned at her. “How about dinner instead?”
Xena gave her a small smirk. “Dinner sounds good, we can discuss my new sword over it.”
Diana laughed again as Xena walked away. “It’s a date then!” She called out after her. The warrior didn’t turn, just gave a casual two-finger wave before disappearing out the door.
Diana sank down into her chair and let out a hum of satisfaction. Maybe she would get the answers she was looking for and if things went well… Maybe a little more than she bargained for.