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DISCLAIMER: Story is mine, not all characters are mine. I've taken a little liberty and combined Amazons from different time frames in the Xenaverse.

The New Spirit of Solstice



"Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, OOF!" Yakut complained as she fell through a tree. Other Amazon sisters followed her, getting scratched up where their skin was exposed to the Douglas fir stickers, although their winter clothing largely protected them. Finally latching onto branches, each sister let herself down carefully until they were on their feet under the tree.

"Thanks, Artemis," Ephiny growled.

A voice only the Amazons could hear echoed in the air. This is a gift to you, my beloved Amazons. This is what Solstice looks like in the distant future. It evolved and it shows that life is not supposed to be all about never-ending war and strife. Watch the people and learn.

"What would life be without war and struggle?" Eponin wondered.

"We're obviously about to find out," said Ephiny.

The Amazons left the shelter of the tree's overhanging branches, and the peculiar decorations and lights were the first thing that awed them.

"How does that do that without catching fire?" Solari asked. Her sisters shrugged.

Then, they looked up and saw New York around them.

"By the gods," they all exclaimed as they saw the buildings that touched the sky. On top of poles, they saw strange banners of a tribe that they didn't recognize, and below them, there was a large sheet of ice. There appeared to be people under unusual clothing and the people had peculiar things on their feet that made most of them able to glide across the ice. One child fell, however, and looked like he was about to cry, but a woman came along, picked him up, gave him a kiss, and he smiled instead. She took him by the hand and led him off the ice. A man fell, too, but a stranger helped him up instead of leaving him there and he looked happier. Those scenes touched the Amazons' hearts.

They left and walked along the sidewalks, amazed and a bit frightened at all the noise, crowds, and strangeness of the future world. A puzzling thing was those gadgets with wheels that had people in them. They started and stopped suddenly, and the Amazons were afraid that those things would hit people as they crossed the road, so the Amazons figured they'd stay on their side of the road while exploring a little. They looked through some sort of market's window and saw people shoving each other and trampling each other just to grab something first. Everybody looked miserable, even those who got their "prize."

"So there's chaos in this time, too," Yakut said, dismayed.

"What're we supposed to learn from that?" asked Solari, and Ephiny shrugged.

A shabbily-dressed man who smelled of drink came alongside of them and Eponin, prepared for more strife, kept herself ready. He didn't give their strange clothes a second thought because in a place like New York City that has the Naked Cowboy, nothing much surprised him anymore. "You ladies look cold. Are you hungry?"

They shrugged, not understanding him. He pretended like he was eating. They nodded. He gestured for them to follow him.

They went a few blocks, crossed the road, and eventually came to a soup kitchen. The line wasn't too long and when the man saw what there was to eat, he rubbed his hands happily. "We're in luck! Bean and bacon soup, a ham sandwich, and a banana!"

"Hey, Gus," the first server said to him.

"Hi, Rosie!"

"Friends of yours?" She eyed the Amazons, but like Gus, didn't give them a second thought.

"Yeah. They don't talk much, but it's company."

"Bon apptit," Rosie said as she ladled out a steaming bowl of soup.

"You know I love your cookin'." Gus smiled and Rosie smiled back.

Gus and the ladies found a table and sat down. The Amazons didn't recognize most of the food, and as the group's protector, Eponin sniffed at it and tasted it. She nodded and the other Amazons dug in hungrily. They were finished before Gus. When they rose, Gus said, "Well, it's been fun. I'm going to hang around here a while." He waved goodbye and the Amazons waved goodbye as well.

When they passed another table, there was a small, dirty girl who looked up and stared at the Amazons. Solari noticed that the girl was staring at her necklace. She took it off, tenderly placed it around the girl's neck, and the girl gave her a shy, quick hug and a kiss on the cheek. The girl grinned from ear-to-ear as she waved goodbye to the Amazons. Renewed joy filled their hearts as they saw that even people worse off than others seemed to be could find happiness.

Not knowing what else to do or where to go next, the Amazons headed back toward the place with the ice and the tall tree with the strange decorations on it.

"Did you notice, sisters, that those who were shown kindness and compassion were happier than those who were surrounded by chaos?" Ephiny asked thoughtfully as they strolled. They nodded silently. "You know, I think I'm getting tired of fighting all the time," she concluded.

"Me, too," Eponin replied.

"It seems to be our way of life more and more," Yakut agreed a little sadly.

"And lately, we've been fighting among ourselves a lot, too," Amarice added, feeling a little ashamed because she knew she'd been guilty of it.

"Gabrielle's been right all along," Solari added in a soft voice, referring to their absent sister. "We have to fight sometimes, but being good to each other feels a lot better. She seems to have struck a good balance between the two."

Well done, my Amazons, Artemis' voice suddenly came through the air, a proud and tender tone in it. Remember your lesson well when you get home.

The Amazons vanished.


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