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This is the conclusion of the Eris storyline and appears to have an error on the cover art. The four characters hanging off the tree are supposed to be the same four individuals who have gone in search of Wonder Woman in the story. However, an unidentified blonde woman is depicted hanging from the bottom of the tree instead of the dark haired chinese girl, Lin Koo - the character that should be shown.
Lois realises that unless there is a miracle she is going to end up like Wonder Woman - a wooden sculpture trapped in hell! She cries out to the others who hear her and peer down into the void, asking Lois if she is OK. She yells up to them to go and get help - a lot of help!
Meanwhile a grinning Eris plucks an apple from the tree and hurls it into the blackness, exploding in a blaze of light. A portal opens, showing the current events taking place in the city, where Amazons fight each other in total chaos. An undeterred Lois tells Eris that she has her number and will see to it that the Amazons do too!
But Eris simply laughs and holds aloft another apple from which erupt several serpent heads. The monsters snake their way up the lattice of tree limbs, higher and higher towards the unsuspecting Robert Cantwell, Rovo Quashi and Lin Koo Teng. As they discuss what they should do next the serpents launch themselves up over the ledge and grab Cantwell and Lin Koo. As they are taken down into the void they yell after the blind boy to run and get help...
Meanwhile back in America Steve asks Hermes why he had given away all of his box of tricks? The Messenger God replies that Diana had needed his Caduceus in order to successfully navigate across Chaos. A furious Steve reminds him that because Hermes has no contingency plan, Wonder Woman is now in desperate trouble and they can do nothing to save her. He adds that this would never happen in the Air Force! Hermes asks him what the first thing the Air Force would do? Steve replies that they would identify the aggressor, assuming there was one. The God nods and says that this is exactly what he has been trying to do! There is more than just his inherent impotence blocking his attempts to breach Chaos. Someone is interfering as well. And Hermes vows to stop them...
On Themyscira , Diana is still floating in the void of blackness when she becomes aware of someone calling her name. Lois calls up to the wooden carving, pleading that she and the others need Wonder Woman's help. Eris taunts that Wonder Woman herself is beyond help, reason or rescue. Just as they will be soon! Cantwell asks who the creature is and Eris explains that she is the daughter of War, and War's sister. She is his mother and his aunt. She is the the battleground of Ares, upon whom mankind has trampled and destroyed each other since the beginning! She is strife. She is discord!
Professor Cantwell recognises the description as being the Goddess Eris, apologising to Lois for not spotting the connection sooner with the Golden Apples of Discord. She tells him not to blame himself and Eris agrees, reminding them that even the other Goddesses fell prey to her. It had been her gift of the apple that led to the Judgement of Paris...had led to Aphrodite to award the fair Helen to him, even though she was married to Menelaus. Eris' gift had led to the fall of Troy, a war that fed on the jealousies and lusts of men and their women. The Amazons had fallen below those ancient walls just as they fall now in Themyscira, destroying themselves as her fruit destroys the barriers of hidden hatreds! The dreams of the Olympian Women are thwarted just as her father, Ares, had predicted! The delegates will report back to their governments how the exchange has been a total failure and point their fingers with accusation and threats towards the Amazons. Man will once again be bent on the self destruction that is his destiny!
Lin Koo races up the tree towards Eris, yelling that she now recognises Eris as "Wang Mu", the monster-mother who causes all disease and death. Cantwell shouts a warning as the chinese girl loses her footing and falls. The British Professor manages to grab her hand and hangs onto her for dear life. Lin Koo weeps in terror and Lois tells her to be brave and that she is coming to help. Through it all Eris makes no move, as if she is amused by the mortals actions.
In the blackness, Diana hears the words of Eris and the others mixed in with her own thoughts. She knows that she has to stop the creature and suddenly becomes aware of another voice calling her name. It is Rovo Quashi, who still sits up on the ledge crying and pleading for her to help them. She telepathically tells him to return to the city and at first the blind boy thinks she is standing next to him. He realises she is not there and in frustration asks her why she teases him as she knows he cannot see. She calls for him to follow her voice and he does so until at last he emerges back outside of the cave. He manages to clamber onto Diana's horse which gallops off back to the city. "Good boy Rovo!" encourages the Amazon Princess' voice.
Eris sees that the boy is escaping and vows to stop whoever is aiding him. Below her, Lois has managed to reach Cantwell and has pulled Lin Koo to safety. The reporter overhears Eris muttering Rovo's name and sees that the creature is working some sort of spell. An image of Menalippe appears and Eris appears to speak with her, controlling the oracle's actions. Cantwell says that Eris is obviously laying an ambush for the boy and decides to take matters into his own hands. He grabs one of the apples from the tree and throws it forcefully at Eris, knocking her own apple from her hand and sending it plummeting into the void below.
Eris slowly turns to look at him and warns him that he has not been a very smart man. Her feral eyes glow and the Tree of Discord comes to life! The branches wind and envelop them all, feeding off their flesh and draining their blood! Lin Koo screams for Wonder Woman to help them and in her void state, Diana hears the girl's pleas. As she weakly replies that she will try to help them, she sees a vision in the distance. It is Hermes, who implores her that there is nothing she can do for the others and instead she must concentrate on the boy! Back in Patriarch's World, Hermes closes his eyes even tighter and concentrates hard, telling her that Rovo is their only hope now. Indeed...her only hope.
Back in the city, Quashi arrives at a scene of total chaos as men and women fight each other ferociously. Eris and her apples of discord had destroyed three thousand years of Amazonian ideals and values.
The blind boy rides through this melee as the horse heads towards the palace and Diana's quarters. Menalippe spots him, raising a spear to kill the boy and Rabbi Hecht attempts to stop her. She savagely punches him out of the way and hefts the spear aloft, ready to throw it at the unsuspecting Quashi. At the last moment Hellene grabs it and yells at the oracle that they will not butcher the helpless. Not in Themyscira. Never in Themyscira!
Suddenly though Hellene is callously knocked unconscious by Penelope who has crept up behind her. Seeing that the boy has made it inside to safety, the two Amazons race into the palace after him. Outside, Hippolyta stares down in horror at where Hellene lies unconscious, suddenly questioning what they are all doing. Killing? For Paradise?
In the palace, Menalippe armed with her spear and Penelope race down the passageways hunting for Quashi. They spy Diana's horse waiting outside one of the chambers and they run into the room to kill the boy. Instead they are confronted by an apparition of Hermes, who bellows that if Menalippe touches just one eyelash belonging to the mortal she will rue the day she ever crossed a god! The oracle stammers to explain but he orders her to be silent and thunders that they must both throw off the evil they wear so proudly. They must shed light on the demon of the dark whose shadow crosses their path. They must redeem themselves before him and the goddesses who blessed them before it is to late...or else he will lay waste to them and their kind forever!
The terrified Amazons weep in fear and rush out, obeying his orders. Unseen, the weakened Hermes topples to the ground, the exertions of his efforts to disguise Quashi having sapped him. In his place the boy is revealed sitting holding Diana's Wonder Woman costume in his hands. He calls to the Amazon Princess, saying that he has done as she has asked and wondering what he should do now. In the darkness of her mind prison, Diana hears him calling and concentrates, telling him that he must find her mother and tell her to go to the cave of Doom's Doorway.
Her words are muddled and confusing and as Hippolyta and some others run in they find Quashi still calling to Diana. The worried Queen asks him where her daughter is, while the frustrated Diana pleads for Hermes to help her make them understand her. But she gets no reply and wonders why the god has deserted her in her hour of need.
At that moment thousands of miles way the exhausted Hermes collapses to the ground and weakly tries to communicate with Diana, saying that he has done all he can. He murmurs that it is now up to her mother and the other Amazons, their faith and their convictions. As a worried Steve crouches by his side he realises the god is not even aware he is there. He tells Hermes to rest. "Something tells me you've earned it." he says.
On Themyscira, something strange is beginning to happen to the wooden carving of Diana on the Tree of Discord. The dead bark that is Wonder Woman shudders and her wooden eyes seem to blink. Eris looks up at the portal which now shows scenes of Paradise Island reawakening. Amazons falter in mid-stride and deliberately lay down their arms. The Lion is once more sitting with the Lamb.
These events are repeated throughout the city. A horrified Timandra realises she has knocked Henri Claude Tibet from his wheel chair. As she apologises profusely and tries to help him back into it, he initially recoils, but as the effects of the apples fade he takes her hand. Down the street Reverend Alan Witherspoon drops the club in his hand and staggers, regretting the violence he has just been party too. The discord fades with each passing minute as Menalippe, ashamed of her actions, tells the Reverend that for what has happened, she can no longer stand as an Amazon under the banner of Artemis. He assures her that they must all stand together and let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Vladimir Morakov yells "Gorby could not say it better!" and Phyllis Haller nods with encouragement.
Asmund Lindel then addresses the gathered Amazons and delegates, telling them that perhaps they should thank their personal choice of deity for seeing them through this crisis. Menalippe then speaks, saying that they have all fallen under the spell of the ancient Apples of Discord. They must marshal their faith in humanity and their strength as Amazons to throw off the shackles of Eris! They then all begin to recite their own prayer, rite or ritual, drawing on their respective faiths to form a united front.
The watching Eris cries out in rage as she realises it is over. But she is not ready to give up quite yet and turns to the wooden Diana, spitting that if the Amazon Princess thinks she has beaten Eris she is gravely mistaken. It is an empty boast however, for while Eris commands hatred and jealousy and all the dark sides, Wonder Woman commands herself! Lois and the others watch as Diana's hands begin to move and they shout encouragement as Eris screams "Nooooo!". Wonder Woman is back!
The bark explodes as Diana emerges from her prison and Lois whispers a "wow" as she sees the awesome might of an Amazon unleashed. Wonder Woman leaps down from the tree to confront Eris, as Lois and the others tell the Amazon Princess to let rip into the creature. But Diana calmly says "This is not the way" and turns away from Eris, flying up to free her friends. Eris yells after her that she can run but in the end she will be hers. As Wonder Woman rips away the branches holding Lois, Cantwell and Lin Koo, Eris plucks an apple and reminds Diana that the fruit does not create the serpent of hate. They merely feed the hunger of the primal beast that lives within everyone...including Wonder Woman!
But Diana simply smiles down at her foe and replies that for every beast their is a lamb. With that the apple bursts into flames and Eris screams in pain! As Wonder Woman carries her friends back up to the ledge and to safety, Lois asks her what she had done to the apple. The Amazon Princess explains that she had done nothing and Cantwell deduces that without hatred and anger, the apples have no substance. Diana then asks them to help her by releasing their anger and letting go of their hate. It is the only way home.
As she leaves them on the ledge they follow her instructions while she races back down towards Eris. The creature fires godly energy at the descending Amazon though, who just manages to use her bracelets to protect herself. However the power of the blast sends her crashing back into the cavern wall. As Eris continues to fire at Wonder Woman, she in turn keeps deflecting them, playing bullets and bracelets with the Goddess' wrath while not attacking the God herself. Lois watches and does not fear for the Amazon. Instead she cries for Eris - a Goddess in her twilight...a Goddess who does not want to die.
However the blasts come thick and fast and Diana asks Athena for wisdom. How can she end this without more death and destruction. Eris rants that the Olympians are not here to answer her prayers and this time she stands on her own! As if to hammer home the point, a blast almost takes Wonder Woman's head off! Suddenly though they all hear another voice from above. It is Hippolyta surrounded by her Amazons and the other delegates. In her hand the queen carries a bow and an arrow around which hangs Wonder Woman's golden lasso!
Hippolyta takes aim and fires the arrow down into the tree trunk below. An enraged Eris tells the Amazon queen that she will pay for this, as Diana clambers round and grabs the lasso. She swiftly wraps the glowing coils around the tree and instructs the fires of Hestia to burn true and bright. Hestia is the Goddess of the home fires...the protector of unity...the defender of familiar goodwill. The Tree of Discord cannot stand the heat of her blazing dignity and erupts into flames!
Eris screams and hurls herself into the void below. Diana dives down after her, wondering what madness has overtaken the Goddess. As Eris plummets she shouts back that Wonder Woman's destiny lies on a different path to hers. The goddess is beaten, perhaps forever and they are all cloth in the spinning hands of the Fates. It is useless to bemoan what waits them all. She then bids goodbye to Diana and as she tumbles beyond reach, adds that the Princess is truly the chosen one of Olympus - a magnificent wonder of a mortal woman. And then Eris is gone.
A huge explosion of godly energy rocks the chamber and Hippolyta calls out, horrified that Diana has been killed in the blast. But her daughter emerges unscathed from the depths and touches down by her side. The queen takes hold of the exhausted Wonder Woman as the strange spell cast by Eris finally leaves them all for good. There is much shuffling of feet and embarrassed murmurs of apology. Today, the ugliness of humanity had risen to the surface but could they in turn rise above all that had happened?
Lois tells Diana "you beat her Princess" but a smiling Wonder Woman simply replies "No Lois. We all beat her." There is a true sense of history in the crowd as Amazons and delegates alike hold hands in unity. Perhaps this is what drives humankind. The sense of tomorrow. Whether it be Prague, Berlin, Warsaw or Themyscira...it is tomorrow that holds out its promise to us all. The promise of peace.