Captain Mala and her Amazonian troops followed Aella beyond the Gates of Tartarus in a desperate attempt to save Diana, and J'onn J'onzz, the son of Mars.

After running hundreds of feet through the twisting cave they found the princess and J'onn unconscious on the ground.

"What is this?!", Captain Mala asked Aella. "Is this the flame that you spoke of?!"

"It is", Aella said knowingly. "She will be fine", she said, looking at Diana.

"We are not alone", Aella added, gazing into the darkness.

The Amazons darted their heads around, and saw what appeared to be shadows surrounding them in the distance. They looked at the path behind them. Only a few shadows were blocking it.

"We will make to the surface immediately with the princess", Mala told Aella.

But as Mala spoke, Aella saw fear in her eyes. Her fear shocked Aella. Mala had always been a rival to her, and a fierce warrior. For the first time Aella saw that Mala was mortal.

"Tantalus's bane", Aella responded automatically. "We must be as one, without fear. We must think of victory only." But even as Aella spoke these words she knew they fell on deaf ears.

Helpless, with the shadows closing in on them, she did the only thing she could--Aella boldly ran in the opposite direction and began pummeling a group of shadows all by herself. She fought well, but there were too many. Eventually Aella stumbled.

When Mala and her soldiers saw this, anger sparked in them. "Amazons attack!", Mala screamed. Together the Amazons rushed the shadows.

(Left photo: actress Lucy Lawless from the TV show 'Xena: Warrior Princess' as "Aella"; right photo: actress
Hudson Leick from the TV show 'Xena: Warrior Princess' as "Mala")