The largest of the trees stood in the far distance, rising above the jungle's roof. But before the jungle's borders lay something new to the ground since last the land had been visited.
Day broke over a circle, forty feet in diameter of light-brown dirt over the usually black ground, laid out the night before by a few of the youngest of the tribe. A row of leaves circumnavigated it, as usual. It was rather beautiful, shimmering in the sun's shine as it descended elegantly through the horizon above the jungle's trees. And yet, the Calethia could not be taken lightly - it was easily the last thing many women had seen, their blood soaking through and staining the lighter earth, once lovingly placed on the ground.
A sword glinted in the sunlight for the last time as the brunette made her way, roughly out of the small hut she called home. So many years ago, she had felt this same urgency, running out of the small room, to protect and save what she desperately had clung to for comfort and love. Her world had been threatened for the last time. This time, it would not be taken from her. She would hide it, for now, it would be kept from their eyes.
She would kill if she had to... if it came to that.
Walking out to the Calthia, she looked down appreciatively at the light dirt before her feet. This would be easy. There was no way to escape the pressure to fight, no one to run to now.
No more escaping, Tar'.
She raised her hands in signal to usher forward the line of five girls holding a hand crafted skin drum each.
No more wretched hiding.
Calling out to the last drummer girl, "Go send for the capture - let Thea know the ceremony will begin soon," the young girl turned to go when was pulled back on the arm again, "Where is the executioner?"
The girl pointed to the woman walking with a long axe in the opposite direction.
Your true colors will be shown today.
She smiled at the axe swaying in the woman's hand, glinting.
Whether you want to, or not.
Red hair cascaded over her eyes, scratching on her eyelashes lightly. The sun was slowly disappearing past the hole in the canvas wall. She had been sleeping; taking a nap, as Tara had told her to. If anything, she needed her rest for tonight. And courage.
She needed courage more than anything now.
Shouts could be heard outside of her hut, and she recognized the lovely voices of the same women who wanted her dead.
The curtain pulled back and she quickly pulled her helmet over her eyes.
Courage, courage, courage...
Two figures stood outside of their friend's cell. Waiting, knowing time was slipping away. Waiting for a sign, a warning, an omen - anything. A word from her would at least calm their nerves. Never in the history of this small tribe, had there been any sign of insurrection, or a critique of beloved tradition. And yet, here they were, waiting for their life-long friend to lead them against well over two hundred, well-trained, Amazonian women and their beliefs. All for the rights of one mistaken girl taken prisoner, they were willing to help their friend, possibly fight to protect their old friend.
But it was their home they were going to raise a hand to, possibly more dangerous than an average opponent. For home knows you, understands your weaknesses better than any other foe - and most of all, it knows where it hurts the most.
"All over a nice piece of ass..." the brunette mumbled, fidgeting with her armor.
The blonde one smirked slightly, looking at her companion. The brunette looked up then, catching the comforting expression.
"No..." she picked her eyes up defensively, then added softly, "...you?"
Silence came over them as they waited, again.
"...maybe a little," the blonde spoke up.
The small comforting smile was returned then, as silence enfolded them again.