Appearing in the 1st Story
Synopsis for the 1st Story
On Mount Olympus, Wonder Woman has just discovered that Poseidon has claimed the throne for himself in the First Born's absence. Seeing that Diana brought Zola and Zeke with her, the god of the sea demands that the child be given over to him without negotiation. In his anger, he causes Diana to drop the baby, and its screams bring the anger of Zola, whose body appears to be in the midst of some kind of transformation, giving her razor-like talons that she uses to tear at Poseidon, and send him retreating into the pool of blood.
The First Born returns, warning that he will kill them all, and he thrusts a spear into Hermes' chest. Diana, meanwhile, angrily attacks the Minotaur, who killed many of the Amazons in the battle. Taking her vengeance, she thrusts one of her blades into his gut. The First Born, meanwhile, turns his attention to Zola and her child, who stands her ground. Unfortunately, the Minotaur knocks Diana unconscious, and the First Born ensnares Zola within his veins. Strife appears with a bottle of champagne, feigning celebration, but the First Born reminds that Olympus is his alone.
Ready at last to do away with Zeke, the First Born decides to cast the baby into the void, rather than simply killing him. As he holds the baby over the chasm, he calls on his father to watch as he avenges himself on the last born. Before he throws the baby in, he sees that Diana is waking and comments that he will destroy the things she loves here as he crushed her home. At this, Strife scoffs, loudly pointing out that the First Born's forces were losing in Themyscira. He retreated from the battle to get a secret weapon. Annoyed, the First Born orders the Minotaur to finish Diana off, but it refuses, remembering how, long ago, she had shown mercy on it in the labyrinth. Diana watches with a tear in her eye as the First Born thrusts one of the Minotaur's horns into it's chest, and she is reminded that mercy is one of the greatest lessons she ever learned.
She warns that she needs none of the great gifts she was given to defeat the First Born, dropping her bracelets to the ground. She declares herself the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, the God of War, and Wonder Woman. All she needs to be to defeat him, though, is herself. If he releases her friends, she promises, she will be merciful. His response is to let them go by tossing them into the void. Fortunately, Hermes is well enough to teleport to them and save their lives. Annoyed, he calls back that the First Born doesn't deserve her mercy.
Angrily, Diana comments that as much as the First Born speaks of love, he knows nothing of the things it requires: compassion, nurturing - and above all submission. She decides to show him these things, wrapping him up in the Lasso of Truth.
In the meantime, Zola and Hermes carry Zeke up the high rock upon which the throne of Olympus sits. She explains that if Diana's theory is right, placing the boy on the throne will put an end to all of this strife - but whatever happens, Zeke will always be her baby boy. As soon as he is placed on the throne, he begins to crackle with electricity. A powerful lightning bolt cracks off the chunk of earth on which Diana and the First Born are struggling, causing it to topple into the abyss. The First Born lands safely on an outcropping, but Diana barely manages to grip it by its edge.
She begs the First Born to give her his hand, but he is confused by her. If he saves her, they will suffer eternity in the void together. He realizes that she is offering this out of love. He takes her hand, but she throws him into the Abyss herself, calling after him that it is tough love. The power of submission is faith in the strength of others. She hopes that over the next seven thousand years of solitude, he will come to learn that.
Diana returns to the throne, hoping everyone is okay, but she finds that Zola is changed. Zola is, in fact, the goddess Athena. Nearly twenty years ago, she was born into the mortal body of Zola, and her true nature remained dormant. Their father Zeus had known when he first disappeared that the First Born would appear, and that Ares was faltering. He had wanted more for Diana, too. Strife was told the secret of Diana's birth with the knowledge that Strife's nature would set Diana on the path to godhood. Only Athena was privy to Zeus' plan, but it played out as expected. Now, Zeus - or Zeke - is back on the throne. All that remains is for Athena to cast off the trappings of Zola's humanity.
Diana begs her not to, as Zeke cries out. She explains that Zola - the vessel - has a personhood all to herself. She is both kind and clever. She is honorable and forgiving and witty. She has bettered lives simply by being in them through her humanity. Zeke will need his mother - and Diana needs her too. She begs Athena to choose love over all else. Through her tears, Diana hears the owl's "hoo" and worries that her friend is gone, but she looks up to see that Zola is herself again, and Athena has returned to the form of an owl. Hearing her son's cries, she hurries over to him and sweeps him up into her arms. Happily, Diana hugs them both to her, thanking Athena for her mercy, as the owl flies away.
- This book was first published on September 29, 2014.
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