Throttle and the Amazons journey to Paradise Island, learning along the way. But it's when they reach their new home that a real miracle occurs.
Chapter 4: Lessons & Miracles
"Tha trip took quite a while," Throttle continued. "About three months. So I thought maybe I should get over my biggest hurdle at the time -namely, language. Three-thousand years on an island, and not being able to communicate was not something I was lookin' forward to, no matter how beautiful my companions was gonna be. Sooo..."
Throttle sat cross-legged at the edge of the wagon as he ate a bowl of stew. Three weeks had gone by since the journey began, and Throttle's wounds were healing fast. In another week, he would be able to walk with the Amazons in their procession, instead of just riding in the wagon.
As Throttle chewed the meat, he thought about his upcoming future with these women. One thing bothered him, however. Communication. He and the women spoke different languages. And he was going to spend the next three-thousand years in their company. Since there were thousands of these women, it did not make much sense for him to try and teach them Martian. That left only one option.
He had to learn their language. But how to begin? Well, there was one tried and true method, whatever the language. He would try it out on the blonde healer when she next came to check up on him.
He got his chance about ten minutes lager, when she came up with more bandages and salve for his injuries. He got her attention, and when he had it, he smiled and pointed to himself.
"Throttle," he said. Then, he pointed to her and asked, "Who?" He gave his face a questioning look, hoping that his shades would not hide the expression as they hid his eyes.
For a moment, she was stymied for what he wanted. She listened to the word he used when he pointed to himself, then the word he used when he indicated her. The second word had the indication of a question. On a hunch, she answered him.
"Epione," she said, pointing to herself. Then she pointed to him. "Throttle?"
He smiled and acknowledged her correct pronunciation of his name. Once he got the names out of the way, he hoped that learning the language would come easier.
Several of the women noticed what they were doing, and came over to the wagon -including the black-haired leader. They looked quizzingly at the two of them, interested in what they were doing.
"Throttle," he repeated, then pointed to the black-haired leader. "Who?"
"Hippolyta," she smiled. He smiled back and continued the experiment in language exchange. He learned many names that night.
Pallas was the blacksmith, he learned, and Clio was the royal scribe. Mnemosyne was a historian, Aella a falconer, and Niobe, a priestess. He also learned that the group as a while were the "Amazons".
After learning their names, Throttle next set about learning other words. He pointed to the bowl. They told him what it was, then he pointed to the food, and was given the word for "stew".
The language lesson went late into the night -during which Throttle learned that Hippolyta was a queen. Before finally retiring for the evening, both Throttle and the Amazons knew more of each other than ever. It was an important step forward.
Throttle walked beside Queen Hippolyta, his wounds completely healed. They were well into their second month of their journey, and the young Martian Mouse had become a favorite among the Amazons.
"We be home soon?" Throttle asked in his imperfect Themyseirian. He winced as he listened to himself. I sound like a little kid! Still, he was sure to improve. After all, this was one month two of a three-thousand year journey through time. His language skills would surely improve over time.
"Impatient, my young friend?" Queen Hippolyta smiled. "Do not worry; we will be at our destination soon."
Epione -keeping an eye on her patient-handed Throttle an apple from a basket. He took it, thanking her before biting into it.
"Long journey," Throttle commented as his buck tooth left a groove in the fruit. "Take long time."
"Yes," the queen agreed. "It will take a long time. But the end will be worth the journey when we sight the shores of our new home."
/Home/, Throttle thought. The word conjured up images of a red planet at war, and of an Earth city in need of defending. Both were home in one form or another.
If you think about it/, he continued in his mind, /I'm just adding another home in a growing list of places.
Throttle finished with the apple, and threw the core on the ground. When the sea returns to normal, the core would help feed the fish.
Funny/, he thought. /I never thought I would care for fish, given that's what the Plutarkians are. But these are Earth fish. They have nothing to do with the Plutarkians.
He smiled and nodded to himself when he saw the others do the same with the inedible remains of their snacks. About once a day, the Amazons would make sacrifices of some of their food to their gods and goddesses. Afterwards, they would find fish along the pathway. Some of those fish went back to Poseidon in gratitude for the food.
It was during the journey that Throttle learned that on Earth, Ares was the Greek god of war, while Mars was his Roman name. This worried Throttle, for on Mars, Ares was the name of the great deity of Mars, while Mars was Ares' mate. The Mice called them "Father Ares" and "Mother Mars". He made a mental note to discuss it with them when he had a better mastery of the language.
He got his chance at the beginning of the third month. They stopped for the night, and set up camp. After a meal of fish stew, they sat around the fire to chat. Before long, the subject of where Throttle was from came up.
"Do you see that red star up there?" he asked, pointing to the sky. They looked and nodded to the affirmative. "Well, that's not a star. It's a planet. A red planet called Mars." The Amazons buzzed with the information. "We Mice are peaceful, but we have been forced to fight a war with the fish people of the planet Plutark. While to you, the names of 'Ares' and 'Mars' are gods of war, on Mars, they are benevolent deities -a creator and his mate. We Mice call them 'Father Ares' and 'Mother Mars'."
"The bear the same names," Hippolyta commented. "And yet, they are completely different from the gods we know."
"Yes," Throttle nodded. "I was concerned of what your reactions would be when you found out about where I was from, especially since the name of my home planet was Mars, the Roman name of your enemy."
"You have explained things well, young Throttle," the queen replied. "Have no fear: We understand that the planet Mars and the war god Mars are not the same, nor are your Father Ares and Mother Mars the same as the Ares and mars we know. Be at peace."
Throttle looked up at Hippolyta and smiled at him appreciatively. He was starting out with his new -family? Yes, he needed to start thinking of these women as his family. They would be his "sisters" for the duration of three-thousand years -and beyond, really. Family is family, no matter when they became so. And that would be a very long time, indeed.
Throttle grinned to himself as he settled himself into his bedroll. He would need the rest. There was still a long way to go, and he would need all the energy he could muster for the rest of the journey.
Three months had gone by since they had begun the long journey from those distant shores.
Now, Throttle and the Amazons were standing before the island that was to be their new home. A lush island, filled with colorful vegetation from which came strong, but not unpleasant fragrances. One could see the threes and bushes laden with fruit.
Just like Mars, before the stinkin' Plutarkians came and destroyed everything, Throttle thought with tears in his eyes. So beautiful...
"Come," Queen Hippolyta said. She put an arm around Throttle's shoulders. "Let us set foot on our new home." With the queen and Throttle in the lead, the Amazons walked onto the shores of the island.
The first thing they noticed as they touched the island was a surge of renewed energy. Even Throttle felt the renewal of strength and power that came with immortality.
There was a sharp pain behind Throttle's eyes. His hands flew to cover his eyes as he gave a strangle cry at the pain. Instantly, Epione was at his side, concerned for her new friend.
"What is it, Throttle?" she asked, searching for anything that might have caused the pain.
"My eyes..." he gasped. "My eyes...hurt..."
"Let me see..." she said, moving his hands down. When his hands lowered, the sunglasses in his left hand, he looked up at her.
"I don't see anything..." she said, looking at his face for any signs of injury. "Your eyes seem find to me..."
"That's just it," he replied. "You see, my eyes -at least the ones I had when I arrived-was artificial. They weren't real, though I could see fairly well -as long as I wore these glasses," he showed her the eyewear. "But," he continued, then showed her what he held in his right hand.
In his furry paw was a pair of what looked like glass balls. Each was white, with a single dot of red. Throttle looked up at her.
"Are those..." she gasped.
"My eyes," he said. "The ones Karbunkle made. But I can still see you as clear as when I had these," he raised his hands with the fake eyes.
"The eyes you have now are real," she whispered. Hippolyta and the Amazons gathered around them in wonder.
"It is the work of the gods!" Menalippe declared.
"Or one of them, at least," Clio added.
"The gods wanted you to have your real eyes, Throttle," Queen Hippolyta said softly.
"These," Menalippe declared, cupping her hand under the paw that held the false eyes, "must be given to the gods as thanks for the real eyes."
"When the temples are built," the queen said. "They will be properly offered at the alter."
"For now," the high priestess said, "I'll hold them for safekeeping." She held out her hand for them, and Throttle carefully allowed the cybernetic eyes to fall into it.
Throttle allowed what happened to sink in. He had real eyes. Not the malfunctioning pieces of glass Karbunkle had saddled him with, but REAL eyes, like those he had before the war.
The next three-thousand years was going to be the best years of his life -ever!
"Your real eyes!" Carbine's own eyes began to well up.
"Yep," Throttle grinned back at her, the bright orbs sparkling like rubies.
"You've had quite a time, Rookie," Stoker commented.
"Coach," the golden Mouse replied, "It's only the beginning."
Next: Chapter 5: Throttle, Prince of Themyscria