Ademia looked over the horizon. She knew a change was going to come, the Witch woman had told her so. Even so, she needed to ready her sisters into battle. She was, after all, a direct descendant of Hippolyte and so it was expected of her. The Athenians were almost sure to attack over land. The bay leading to Smyrna was easy to defend and she and her sisters knew the area well. Surely the Athenians wouldn’t be so stupid as to actually attempt to come over that way.
She had posted sentries as soon as she had left the company of the witch. They were all vigilant women with keen eyes. She had posted them in pairs just to be safe. While one could be ambushed in her sleep, two were much more difficult to beset by surprise.
The evening was upon them and soon it would be dark. Ademia knew immediately when she heard the sound of the horn that it was nearly time. One or more of her sentries would be back with a message of war. She ran to meet them at the gate and felt her heart fall when there was only one familiar shape to be seen.
Immediately as she cam through the gates she gasped “Athenians… in numbers… be here by morning.”
A flurry of orders was given to runners waiting to take word to other parts of the city and the other sentries still out waiting for the Athenians to show.
When the woman had had a chance to catch her breath and take a sip of water, Ademia began questioning her. “Galen, what did you see? How many Athenians? Are the Athenians alone or are there Spartans and other Greeks as well?”
“There were maybe 30 000 men, mostly Athenians. Some were mercenaries I think. Ademia, they killed Haidee. I only barely got away because she sacrificed herself for the good of Amazonia.”
“Her sacrifice will be honored in due time. When the Greeks are dealt with you shall lead a party to bring back her body to give her a proper burial. Now go eat and sleep so you may be fit for battle in the morning.”
Galen bowed as she left to eat, drink and sleep in her lover’s arms. Ademia herself made sure there were enough guards to see that the Greeks got a proper Amazon greeting if they decided to attack early and then went to bed almost entirely armored. No time was to be wasted if an attack did start without her having had time to prepare.
In the break of dawn the runners sent to gather the remaining sentries to safety came back. They had left with extra horses to make sure they’d make it back in time. The news were bleak; there was another attack coming by sea, with a dozen ships. Ademia sent a handfull of her best archers to burn the ships on approach.
Suddenly it all became a waiting game. The Athenians were expected to attack after the sun had completely risen, since no man is fool enough to attack Amazons with the sun in their eyes.
When the Athenian troops appeared in the horizon, Ademia concluded her prayers to Artemis and lead her troops to the field. They knew the Greek strategies well and waited until their archers had taken out the first unlucky men before charging into battle. Ademia charged in, aimed and threw her spear, hitting not one but two Athenians in the same throw, striking them down instantly. She drew her sword as she kept running toward the enemy, dodging a blow aimed at her and simultaneously driving her sword to the gut of the man trying to kill her. The man was left gurgling as she continued, sword in hand to kill another. Beside her, her sisters were finding the glory and gore of battle, most had bloodied hands already.
Using her shield to deflect the blow of an opponent attacking a sister she pushed the man further for just long enough to order her to take out the commander, with her having a surer spear hand and keener sight than Ademia did. The man actually had some skill with the sword and Ademia ended up trading several blows with him before finally beheading him. The man must’ve been some sort of hero for the Athenians since as he fell around them the men paused for just a second, but long enough for the women to take advantage of the fact. Meanwhile, the sister Ademia had saved, had run her spear through the man commanding the company of Athenians. A horn was sounded in retreat and Ademia commanded the amazons not to follow, instead allowing her archers to pick out a second wave of Greeks as they retreated.
Her second in command came to her after the battle to congratulate her. “A glorious victory! Artemis smiled upon us today!”
“Indeed! They will be back though. Maybe not today, and possibly not tomorrow either. Gather our dead and give them the funeral they deserve. Find well rested sentries to go after the Greeks and see find out their next plans.”
It had been a good day, but Ademia was sure the witch was right. A change was coming and this was not the last they would see of the Greeks. They would be back and in greater numbers. Ademia was going to make sure they were ready. Her and her sisters would only go down fighting.