The Lapis and Amazonians relax in the Kerebos gardens. Layth makes a game of feeding fruit to Aisha, Basilia and Agalaia, while Roland tends to Lucia and Tasha. Even Aaron gets dragged into pampering the does, and Layth eventually convinces Chloe to let him spoil her as well.
There's the usual teasing and banter, until an alarm is sounded by some Vykarin and Roland dashes off. Lucia decodes the alarm call for the others, saying that a trio of warriors from Clan Cyclon Kerebos' neighbors has arrived. The picnickers go to see what's happening, since it doesn't sound like a battle will break out.
It turns out that Alcyone had an identical twin sister that was a warrior in Cyclon the result of a contracted tryst between Roland's father Xerxes and a Cyclon warrior. By tradition, only one of a pair of identical twins could be allowed breeding rights, and Alcyone already had a daughter. Her twin, Merope, therefore had to challenge her to a duel for the right to bear children of her own.
The reasons and traditions behind it all are explained to the outsiders, who decide to try and help in whatever way they can even if it means having Tasha act the role of a divine messenger!