Before the sun rose in the sky, Makana meets with Kanui for training. She knows she’s in for sore muscles and tired limbs but she’s ready. Makana wants to be a powerful Amazon Creator like her great grandmother Hawika. With war on the horizon, she will need every minute Kanui can give her.
“What is it today, Kanui? Weights? Running?” Makana asks. She’s been training with Kanui for weeks now. He loves to push her until she’s about to drop. It’s the way he was taught by former Tribe Wahine slave Kandor who is now the general of the Royal slave army at the palace.
With a slick smile, Kanui says, “I have something different in mind. I’m going to teach you hand to hand combat. I bought a new machine. It’s from the North Tribe. They made it and it works really well. You can hit it hard without worrying about bruising your opponent.”
Instantly, Kanui goes to battle with the contraption. It is the silliest thing Makana has ever seen– put together with simple parts and tree branches for hair.
But it moved its paddles to hit and Kanui had to duck and weave like going against a real person. Makana guesses it’s fairly good to use but she’d prefer combatting Kanui himself. If she could best him, could she not battle anyone for he is the most muscled man she’s ever seen. She’d heard his father, Tonai, is a large man. No doubt his son inherited his body.
Barely breathing even after a fifteen minute bout with the strange gadget, Kanui says, “Now it’s your turn.”
“Humph,” Makana chides, “this should be easy.”
Makana hits the paddles in succession. “Ha!” she cries.
But the thing catches her off guard and she ducks. “Whoa. Is it going crazy?”
“That’s how it works. Keep going. It’s good to test your coordination.”
Jabbing it in the middle, Makana thinks the round should be over.
But instead, one of the paddles knocks her in the jaw painfully and sends her reeling back.
“I hate this thing!” she yells. “Can we do something else?”
Kanui laughs. “Okay…this was a good first session. Now let’s use the boxing bag.”
Makana’s muscles are so tired now, she can barely move.
“Punch it hard!” Kanui implores. “That’s how you’ll grow stronger.”
But after twenty minutes of pounding, Makana is ready to give up. “No more, Kanui. I cannot lift my arms.”
“Do you not want to be the best Amazon fighter? You must train. Harder. Faster. It is the only way.”
“But how can I go harder and faster when my arms are like wet noodles. No, Kanui. This is folly.”
Smiling like he’s enjoying watching her pain, Kanui says, “I understand, Creator Heiress. I once thought as you did when the great Kandor trained me. I wouldn’t be the fighter I am today without his strenuous tactics. Don’t you want to succeed in your goals?”
Makana hates it that he’s making sense. “Very well, but I’ll remember this day, Kanui. You might suffer one of my painful punches when you least expect it.”
Laughing, Kanui says, “I would welcome it, my lady. Any time.”
Makana goes back to beating the boxing bag, cussing with every punch and hoping this work will not be in vain.
Kalani’s stomach drops at the news Horus just shared. He’s leaving Tribe Wahine.
“If I didn’t feel this cause to be most important, my Creator, I would not by any means leave the tribe most dear to my heart, my true love, and my daughter. But the situation is desperate. I hope you understand.”
Her grandmother had sent word out to all tribes that the army needs every available fighting Amazon and slave. They’ve suffered many attacks and a declaration of war from rebel tribes has been formally issued. The main tribe in charge is the hated Tribe Hanalani, the former trecherous queen’s tribe. The rebels want to go back to the old ways, including banning any attachments to slaves, killing tribal sons, and fighting for leadership. Everything Queen Hawika has worked for until this day would be swept away.
Kalani answers, “Believe me, I do understand your plight, Horus, and I will give you my hearty support even though I will be sad to say good bye to you.”
“How can you say that, Creator?” Gatherer Ina counters. “We cannot afford to lose another man! It would be one thing if we had fighting Amazons among us, but we don’t! Tribe Wahine will be at the mercy of any renegade thief or crook. No. I do not sanction this at all.”
“My love, we’ve been over this. If the rebels win, I will never see you or our daughter again!”
“He speaks the truth, Ina.” Turning to Horus, Kalani adds, “You have my leave to go in peace, my tribal brother, and make sure to come back to us for it would grieve us deeply to lose you.”
At this final proclamation, Ina shudders, trying to hide her tears.
Horus is in pain watching her cry. He doesn’t know how to make her feel better.
Wiping her face, she gets up, angrily glaring at Horus as she leaves the council meeting. She cannot take seeing him for another moment. She is beside herself at him wanting to leave her.
Kalani shrugs helplessly at this terrible situation. “I’m sorry for the way Ina is taking this news, Horus. In time, I know she will be proud of your decision. I find it most worthy of your character.”
After Horus excuses himself, he searches out his love. He finds her jerking the fruit off the trees in the garden.
Gingerly, he approaches her. “Sweetheart. Please understand why I must go. It is my duty. I owe it to my fellow slaves.”
Whipping around she retorts, “But you are not a slave, are you, Horus! You would not suffer any of the punishments nor would you have to leave us. We need you here more than ever. First Kandor leaves us now you. Do you not care what happens to your family?”
He shakes his head. “You know this is not true, my love. I would be forced to leave. As a free man, yes, I cannot be put to death but no man would be allowed in the tribe if he does not forgo his freedom. I would become a slave and then because I sired a child, I couldn’t stay. Understand this, please. Think through it logically.”
Pointing at him, she yells through tears, “It is YOU who are not thinking logically. We cannot…bear to live without you. What if….what if you get killed? Then what?”
Grabbing her hands, Horus says gently, “Then it is the Maker’s wish for me to give my life for a great cause. I love you more than anything but how could I live with myself if I didn’t help? Please understand. For me.”
He pulls her into him, kissing off her tears. “I love you, my precious Ina. Remember that always.”
Draping her arms around him, Ina kisses her love, not wanting to ever let go.
With news of Horus leaving, Runoi feels the heavy weight of duty and honor gripping him. He knows what he must do but unlike Horus, he isn’t free. Kalani would never agree to allowing him to serve in the Queen’s Royal slave army.
And although he knows it is a long shot that she would consent, he must ask this of her. And he will use all his charms to convince her to allow it. For he would not ever see his two daughters or his mate again if the rebels win. He must go.
“There you are my sweet lovely queen. Could you spare a minute of your precious time for your most devilishly handsome and absorbingly charming mate?”