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Amarice flopped down on the bed in the room Gabrielle had gotten originally for herself and Xena.

"Amarice, listen, I'm fine by myself. You really don't have to stay here."

Amarice sighed, "I know, but I AM NOT sleeping with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb. Joxer talks in his sleep and Minya.."

Gabrielle turned, "Minya what?"

"Well, she kinda smells actually. It's a wierd animal smell, almost like a goat."

Gabrielle hid a laugh, "Maybe you could suggest that the two of you hit the bath houses... for a chat? You know, that way you wouldn't hurt her feelings."

Amarice rolled her eyes. "No way, you know my history with bath houses."

Gabrielle asked casually, "How is Armand anyway?" Knowing good and well the response she was about to get.

A half second later the door slammed and she could hear Amarice ranting her way down the hall using every old curse she could think of and making new ones along the way.

Gabrielle snikkered.... "Ah... alone time."


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The old man leaned back in his lounge chair. He thought about his son, his long blond hair waving behind him as he rode. It had been a good run, fatherhood, but a king’s son must one day rule, and Gabriel’s time was finally at hand.

The scroll he sent to Xena was only the beginning. After the contest his son would be king and his rule would be guaranteed, Xena’s Chakrum would see to that.

Eli walked in then and the look on his face told him that King Gregor was finally at peace. “You know the reign of your son will be the best thing this world has ever seen.”

“I know, teacher, but it is a hard thing to trust in the power of love, when as king, I always ruled with the power of a sword.”

“You will soon know a new freedom on this earth,” said Eli. “The choices of men have not been their own up until now, what with the meddling of the gods of this age, and their prodigy.”

“But Eli, what will become of the men of renown, the heroes, men and women who have so far protected us with their special strengths?”

“They will still prove themselves worthy of praise, my friend. You’ll see.”

Below through the gate the young future king could be seen riding. His blue eyes and warm smile reminded Eli of Gabriel’s namesake, and Eli held back a tear. “I must be going now,” he said, turning to the proud father. There is a woman of great faith that I must see, and another who carries a terrible sorrow that needs me now more than ever.”

“Fine then, don’t worry about our end of this. Everything will be ready. Xena will be along soon once she reads my letter.

Yes, thought Eli, and the letter from me will be our guarantee.


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Watching from Mount Olympus, Ares shakes his dark head scornfully. 'Foolish mortals, always thinking they know better, always thinking that their way is better than MY way'. As he glances around his home for many centuries, he realises Eli has gotten in his way yet again, and he and the king's son needed to be dealt with. With joyful grin, he makes his decison.

As Eli is getting ready to leave King Gregor's to go see Xena, Ares arrive with a flash of godly light. Eli turns around. 'Ares, you are not wanted here, as always you think your way is the right way. Gabriel will lead these people in his kingdom to peace, prosperity and enlightenment. I will NOT let you get in the way again.' Eli's whole being starts glowing golden as he feels himself become one with his god. 'Ares SHALL NOT let war become the way of the people. You will be stopped.'

'No Eli, wrong again. I shall pick Gabriel off in this supposed contest, and become King, I need a hobby, and to bring destruction here will keep me amused for a few days. Lets see if my Ares-Energyball-of Badness, can get Gabriel from this distance'. As the energy ball spinning, churning and growing in increasing power, he brought it up to shoulder level with one hand, his other hand held out in anticipation of his prey.

'Your way shall not be the way' Eli's voice shouts out in an inhuman tone, as beams of light come out of his finger tips and decapitates Ares head from his body. His body shimmers, starts to melt and then disappears, as the God of War is no more....

Strangely enough, his now unbreathing, dead head remains.

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'hello, Ephiny. or should i say, welcome back?" there was no mistaking the sandpaper rasp of Alti's sarcasm. "tsk tsk...skewered by another Roman..."

"what do you want, hag? be warned...i'm not the same person i was when you last saw me."

"you and the hairy holyman have a falling out so soon? pity about your boy...i hear Xena's brat Livia has been enjoying herself at his expense. if you like i could show you his fevered memories of her relentless, and i must say with some respect, creative torture."

"You know Alti, when i've taken care of a few priorities, i'm going to track you down and kick your evil ass."

a cackle cracked across the crone's craggy face. "i won't be hard to find. til then, Queenie..." with that, Alti was gone.


Livia entered her tent and flopped down on a chair. she was becoming bored with the Centaur. damnably noble creatures. and this one had Amazon blood as well she thought, which only makes him al the more stubborn. killing Amazons was easy enough for Livia, but she'd found no enjoyment in the tortures she'd inflicted on a chosen few. to the end, they each had suffered the most despicable violations without a single sound. it was deeply frustrating and oddly frightening...

"forget about Amazons and Centaurs. are you ready to have some real fun now?"

Livia spun in the direction of the unfamiliar voice. "who's there?" she demanded.

"a friend," the dark form remained in the shadows; her guttural whisper was both hypnotic and repulsive. "to prove my good intentions i've brought you a little present. something you might like to...hehe...share with your mother."

"what do you know of my mother?!" but Livia was alone in the tent. suddenly there was a flash of metal...a whir..a rush of wind past her ear, just nicking a few split ends off her wild hair..a thud in the tent pole behind her. Livia spun to behold the mysterious visitor's gift. Xena's chakram gleamed in a ray of sunlight streaming down from the tent roof's opening and from it, dangling by his black locks, hung the severed head of Ares. in but a few seconds her look of utter surprise and curiosity was replaced by a wicked grin...a grin of recognition that she most certainly was no longer bored.


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A cry sounded from the next room, a blood curdling yell worse than any that Gabrielle had heard. She sprang to her feet, seizing both her sais, as Amarice ran to her side, her huge eyes wide in genuine fear.
"It's Minya," she said softly.
"No," Gabrielle said, her blood running cold. She and Amarice shared one look, then dashed out of the room.
Joxer's voice could be heard now, panicky and stammering.
"MINYA! NO! You know what he always said! Don't--don't--don't go charging--"
"I'LL KILL HIM!" Minya was shouting. "I'LL KILL HIM DEAD!"
She burst out of the room, and stumbled, tears streaming down her face, her sword barely drawn. She wasn't even drunk but clearly upset. Joxer didn't look that happy either.
"What the hell--Minya, stop, where are you going, keep your voice down!" Amarice seized her by the shoulders, but Minya was stronger. With a cry, she pushed Amarice down to the floor--Amarice fell on her behind.
"None of you appreciate me anyway!" Minya snarled, glaring around at everyone, her streaming eyes glazed over in kind of a mad haze. "And now--the only one--who even gave me any--respect, any--love--" Sobbing, she turned away and started down the corridor.
"Stop her!" Gabrielle cried.
"MINYA! WAIT! What am I, chopped liver?" Joxer started after her. "WAIT!"
Amarice sighed, and stood up, shaking her head at Gabrielle.
"Poor Minya," Gabrielle said. "This--this is getting to her, this is too much for her. The dreams, all of it. Joxer--JOXER!" She started after him, but suddenly she was struck by a figure that stood at the top of the stairs.
Xena stood there, tears standing on her face.
"Ares," she said evenly. "He's dead."
"Wh--what?" Gabrielle frowned and fell back.
"I don't get it," Xena said, shaking her head. "I don't even know why I'm so upset about it. It makes no sense."
"Minya--" began Amarice in an annoyed tone.
Xena suddenly seized her. "You lay off Minya from now on, she's been through enough, DO YOU HEAR ME?"
Amarice, looking genuinely scared, nodded. Then, realization suddenly hit her, and she sagged in total remorse.
"Oh, no," she said. "It was true, wasn't it? She wasn't just making it up?"
"Yes, it was true," Xena said in a tight voice. "Minya--and Ares. Every night. ANd Joxer." Xena curled her lip, but a sob escaped her. SHe pushed past Amarice, and ran into the room where she and Gabrielle slept.
Gabrielle ran after her and seized her by her shoulders before she could give into grief.
"Xena," she said fiercely, "we HAVE to go after Minya! She doesn't know what she's doing, she's going to get herself killed!"
"Someone is out there now," Xena said, hugging her. "Someone--we all know to trust."
Gabrielle stiffened. "Not Eli."
"You can't kill what's already dead," Xena said softly. "He can handle Minya, Gabrielle."

"YOU BASTARD!" Minya screamed, throwing herself at the long haired man that stood impassively in front of her. "HOW DARE YOU! Way of love, WAY OF LOVE MY ASS, YOU KILLED HIM IN COLD BLOOD!"
Eli sidestepped her as she lunged at him, her sword hitting the concrete wall behind him instead.
Joxer stood there, tears streaming down his face, sobs shaking his body. He didn't want to believe that Ares was dead either--and yet--he hated to see Minya like this. THis all had gotten to her, that much was obvious.
As for Minya, she was single minded. If she could just get this sword to connect with Eli's NECK--she could sever his head just like he had done to Ares.
"Minya," Eli said quietly, but with love in his voice, "I'm already dead. THis is a spirit. you can't kill me, Minya."
SHe stared at him a moment, then crumpled into sobs. Eli went to her and took the sword out of her hand and put it onto the ground. Then he took her in his arms and held onto her while she shook with sobs.
"He made you feel good about yourself," Eli said into her hair. "He gave you something no one else gave you."
"He was the only one who saw me," Minya sobbed. "THe only one besides Ephiny and Joxer who--who--"
"I know," Eli said softly. "No one ever paid attention to you before. You always had to try to make yourself noticed."
"I hate it!"
"Don't hate it," Eli said, stroking her hair as Amarice came out and stood there, staring at them, a look of remorse and confusion on her face. "See it as something that was beneficial in the long run. Take what he gave you, Minya and learn from it. Grow from it. And--then you can truly release him."
Minya pulled back and glared at him.
"Why'd you have to cut off his head?" she asked, her voice full of hurt. "Why such an undignified death? He was the God of War, Eli!"
"Minya," Eli said calmly, "I didn't kill him."
Minya narrowed her eyes at him. "I saw you," she snarled. "And i saw Alti take his head to Livia--"
"Alti took his head to LIVIA?" Amarice cried out.
"Minya," Eli said, "what you saw was me, yes, my spirit form--but the one who killed Ares--was Zeus. The King of the Gods."
"Minya, you've been very confused, largely by your affiliation with all these people and gods, but you don't understand that sometimes, yes, the actual King of the Gods does overpower me. I do have an affiliation with him after all, with all the Gods. Doesn't mean I agree wtih them however. My TRUE Father speaks to me always. But--now and then--Zeus will come into me."
"Zeus always hated Ares, always looked for a reason to get rid of him," Eli said sadly. "His favorite son was of course Hercules. Ares was a thorn in his side."
"Whatever his reasons were--they are still unclear even to me," Eli sighed. "Killing is not my way, Minya. You should know that by now."
Minya fell to the ground, hugging herself, sobbing uncontrollably. All she wanted now was for it all to go away. SHe thought of Ares, these past few nights, coming to her bed, making love to her and Joxer, and crooning softly in her ear, telling her that soon, very soon, her day would come, that she would bring justice on the foes. He promised that he would always look out for her, always be there for her, and no one need ever know, because after all, one must not toot their horn too loudly. So Minya had not told everything. She never told Gabrielle or Amarice about the goat, or about hypnotizing Alti that wonderful night--how Alti had danced around and flipped, thanks to Dite's strange disease--how she was ordered by Minya to go to Livia and make her let Xenan go. Well--Alti didn't know it but she was doing that now, by distracting Livia with Ares's head. WHat the hell she was going to do with Ares's head though--well Alti did crazy things with corpses, even gods. Minya hung her head and let the tears fall to the ground. Ares should never have died. SHe should have saved him. It was the least she could do.
Eli sat down beside her and took her by the shoulders.
"Minya, you will learn this in time, the way of love may not be for you--as it wasn't for Gabrielle. But you will learn that sometimes you just can't save everyone. It hurts--it grieves you--but that is a reality neither of us can refute." Tears now stood in Eli's eyes. At that moment, Xena and Gabrielle came around and sat down beside her too.
"Minya," Xena said softly. Minya wouldn't look at her.
"Minya," Xena said more forcefully. "Look at me."
Minya turned and looked at her. Xena had the look of a wise woman, one who had seen too much, but was strong enough to carry it all. Minya took this in--she had to learn from this, to carry on.
"I too have been communicating with the spirits--Ephiny and Yakut both told me that your dreams were real," Xena said. "Minya--I'm sorry I didn't believe you."
Minya looked away. "It's all right."
"No, it isn't," Xena said sadly. "Had I listened to you and not to my previous opinion of you--we might have gotten to where we needed to go a lot sooner. Ares might even still be alive. Then again," Xena said bitterly, "He always did do things his own way. Had he told me himself rather than try to test you in that ridiculous way--we all know how stubborn I can be sometimes."
Minya looked back at her and gave her a comical smirk. "Yes I know."
"Let's change that now," Xena said firmly. "From now on--we all travel together, we work together. We listen to each other. Had I listened and helped you, Minya, you wouldn't have been so alone in this. I'll not make that mistake again."
Minya smiled, wiping away her tears slowly with her hands.
"Done," she said evenly, but then her smile faded. "Although--there's lots I haven't told you, Xena. I mean--if you knew--no offense, I know your'e the warrior princess, and I'm well, not--but I mean--the danger, you know. It could be--"
Xena was smirking all through her speech. Amarice sighed, and rolled her eyes. Gabrielle hit her on the shoulder.
"OW!" she cried indignantly. Gabrielle just glared at her. Joxer snickered, watching, despite his tears.
"Minya," Xena said, "I know."
Minya caught her breath, her blood running cold. "You--you--"
"Yes," Xena said smiling, something like pride crossing her face. "Ephiny showed me the visions. I have to say I did underestimate you, Minya. But hypnotizing Alti like that, putting that spell on her--and what you did with Callisto--" Xena whistled, shaking her head. Minya couldn't help herself, she glowed with pride.
"I think you even gave the Amazons a run for their money," Xena said. "Not bad, Minya. Not bad at all."
"Xena," Minya said worriedly, "Ephiny. What's going to happen to her?"
"No worries," Xena said. "We're together now, right? All of us."
Minya turned to Eli, who nodded, slowly.
Slowly, she looked into his eyes--and the last of her mistrust and hatred of him died in that instant.
"Yes," she said, taking Eli's hand. "All of us."
They all shared a moment of silence, the six of them. Then Xena suddenly rose, and brushed herself off.
"All right, enough of this mush!" she growled. "I want my chakram back!"
Minya got to her feet, helped by Eli. Gabrielle and the others went to her and stood around her.
"Welcome back, Xena," Gabrielle said in a heartfelt voice.

***For more information, read Minya's Den, the diary of Minya.***

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"Even when you're down and blue, just remember that someone out there loves you, even if you don't know it and even if you haven't yet met them. There's someone out there waiting for you, remember that and keep faith. You'll get there."
~~Johnny Depp.

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A few days had passed since Livia had seen her mysterious "friend". She had entertained herself with her new toy by using the centaur for target practice. She was careful not to inflict any mortal wounds. She was a woman of her word after all.

Livia paused a moment to gaze smugly at the now rotting head of one former God of War. The Champion of Rome had mounted it on a pole in front of the palace so all and sundry could see that no one was invincible. Plus, she also got a kick out of just how many fat, black flies could swarm around his once handsome countenance.

She sighed in a somewhat contented manner. Now, she only had to deal with Xena and her rag tag bunch of pathetic losers. It was going to be so much fun, causing so much pain to the people who had thrown her away.

Just as she was about to go get in a few more hours of target practice with the centaur, a familiar gravelly voice stopped her in her tracks. "I see you've put my gifts to somewhat good use."

Livia whirled around to see the dark shadow standing in the corner of the room. "I'm working on it. Why do you care anyways?"

"Let's just say, your mother and I, we go way back. I'd hate to see her daughter's potential go unrealized." The voice, it was like sand scraping down the side of a raw wound.

"Are you some kind of god? Who are you?" Livia demanded. Better to know who she was joining forces with, even if for a short time.

The shadowy figure stepped a minute space forward. "I am an enduring evil. Powerful, beyond your wildest dreams, Livia. And I do know your dreams."

All the hair stood up on Livia's neck and her arms. Gods, the voice was inside her head. "I can see into your mind, make you see things that aren't there, even though they feel real. I'm doing it now, to Xena's little wanna be tag along. She actually thinks Xena respects her and values her." A harsh, scraping noise that passed as a laugh echoed across the room.

"Little does she know, she's just a pawn. All the visions she's been having, all my doing. Right down to the last little drop of blood. When the time is right, she'll play her part in bringing Xena to her death."

Livia shook her head and tried to calm her mind. Her head was throbbing now. It was so hard to think. "So...she thinks one thing when in reality, it's the opposite?"


The future Empress tried to piece the puzzle together. "She thinks she's able to affect situations and people to suit her..."

"But in reality, she's the one being used. I've even let her think she's been able to control me." Another rough, raw laugh bounced off the marble walls.

"Know this Livia, she'll attempt to come find you and persuade you with her Way of Love. Only the weak minded and weak spirited can be controlled as such. You're much too strong for that. And I've left a little surprise should she attempt to exert any kind of mind control. Call it another gift."

Even in the shadows, Livia knew a cruel smile was gracing the lips that whispered to her.

"Don't you think it's time your mother got her chakram back? What better way than to bury it in one of her follower's back?"

Livia grinned. The idea had merit. What better way to begin the reign of terror than by killing those Xena loved one by one. Oh wait, she'd already started that with murdering Ephiny. She nodded, "I know where she's holed up. My regiment and I can be there within a few days."

The shadow nodded. "Good. Be seeing you."

"Wait! You said you were able to influence people's minds. What about real powers? Can you give me some?"

Suddenly, it felt as if the weight of ten stones were upon her body. Crushing weight. Her knees began to buckle as she strained against the heavy load that was nowhere to be seen.

"Let's not get greedy Livia." The voice, while cruel before, now became full on menacing. "You wouldn't want to end up like that little Xena wanna be, Minya. Believe me when I say, she's got more than one god thirsting for her blood because of her impudence."

Instantly, the weight was gone and Livia could stand upright again. "I hope we understand each other. We'll see each other again soon."

Livia took a moment to compose herself. Gods, whoever this friend was, she wielded a power the likes of which she had never seen. She knew she couldn't trust the shadowy figure, this agreement was only because it wanted something from her.

There'd be more time to think and plan on the road to the village Xena was holed up in. A sneer formed on Livia's lips. "It's time for a family reunion."


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"how'd it go? did you do it like we planned?" i asked, excitedly.

"Yeah, I even cried a little." Xena said while chuckling. "She bought it hook, line, and sinker." She had that sneer, that delightfully evil sneer
"oh that's great! so she really thinks you belive her and the lies she's been telling about me visiting her?"

"Of course she does. The great Xena is no actress." Now her features were covered with they sly look. The one she always had when toying with people. "I knew she was lying to me from the moment Dite's Afro got ahold of her, try to play me like a fool, please."

"it still irks me ya know, for her to try to use me against you like that. like we haven't been through enough, the both of us." i look at her solemly. "ya know, i'm still sorry for that night with gabrielle, i had no idea you two were togethe--"

"Forget it, it's done and over with, besides we have bigger fish to fry right now."

"you're right. this dagger is the key to what i have planned." i said, anticipation filling my voice.

"This is true. I made a deal with Zeus, that I would never reveal the fact that the real Dagger of Helios still existed. It's too powerful, his fear that his children would use it against themselves was too much for him to bear. When Ares dropped, Gabrielle had to foresight to retrieve it. I thought it only fitting that the Amazons become the guardians of it. I'm sure that's how it came to you, and I feel at this time we are in now, that it has been bestowed upon you rightfully. The Gods won't believe that it's real of course, with the exception of Zeus and Hera. Do not let it slip into the hands of those ungrateful children, they cannot understand the power it wields."

"xena, i don't have much more time. these realms are still hard for me to breech, i know you understand that."

"I do. So let's get down to business." She said, in her most serious tone.

"alright, so we just keep playing Minya, let her believe her delusions, hell i might even visit her for real, throw her off guard."

Xena chuckled. "Right, and I'm right on track with all of it. As far as the others are concerned, they think I've lost my mind. None of them trust her either. Drunk sexaholic that she is. She really thought Ares cared about her. Like he is capable of caring." She had that almost hurt look in her eye, that far distant one that was hard to notice, if you didn't know her.

"xena, i know ares cared about you, just in his own delusional way. what do you think, should we let gabrielle in on this, i almost feel bad leaving her in the dark."

"No, leave it the way it is. Minya eats up the astonished looks my little bard gives me. It's so working with the plan."

"speaking of the plan, what are we going to do with her, ultimately that is?"

"Ya know, I'm not sure what is fitting for a traitor of her level. I've allowed her close to me, and she has abused it. For that, it must be gruesome and horrific. But you know how Gabrielle is, so it has to be subtley horrific." She winked at me. I grinned back.

"and everything is still in place for me to return, of my own will this time, everything is exactly where you left it? it's not that i question you, of course, it's just that i believe i will only have one chance at this, so i want to make sure i'm on the same page." i say to her, unsure of myself.

"Yes, everything is exactly as we discussed. Nothing has changed. You know what to do, have faith in yourself."

"xena, i know you don't think of yourself as an amazon, but you have been more of a sister to me than my own blood. i thank you for your help, i will forever be indebted to you, this you know."

"Ephiny, we both seek the same purpose, that is payment enough." She replied, nonchalantly.

"then it has begun. i know where to go. i'm fading now. i will see you on the other side, my friend. keep an eye on the large one, she means you harm."

"I will, you can count on that." Xena replied, reassuredly.

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Posts: 237 | Location: sodak | Registered: 23 June 2003Report This Post
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Autolycus flipped the sapphire nose ring in the air. It was beautiful. If a little snot-encrusted.

He thought again of the recent conversation he had overhead in a tavern. Villagers couldn't keep gossip to themselves for very long. The details of Callisto and the Ixion stone were soon easily learnt.

The stone was not unknown to him. He had heard of it long ago, when he was but a boy. It was said that whoever owned it could control time.

If Autolycus held time in his hand he could move back and forth through history at whim, taking whatever he desired. He would be known not only as the King of Thieves, but the best thief who had ever lived. Autolycus stroked his moustache. Best Thief Ever. A fitting legacy.

The nose ring sparkled once more as he threw it aloft into a ray of sunlight. This time, it did not descend. A hand clad in a black glove reached out of thin air and grabbed it. Autolycus stopped and squinted. What in Tartarus was that?

A cold wind blew and a woman stepped onto the path in front of him. Out of nowhere. Her fierce, blue eyes pierced into his.

'What have we here?' She held the nose ring in her fingers and slowly turned her wrist.

'A mere trinket. Please, accept it as gift.' Autolycus was always charming in the face of beauty.

'I shall.' She flicked her fingers and the ring vanished. 'Who might you be?'

'You don't recognise me?' Auto was taken aback. 'Allow me to introduce you to,' he bowed low, 'the King of Thieves.'

'Really? How interesting.' The woman looked amused. 'Where are you off to?'

'I am merely travelling to the next town in search of a place to rest.'

'That's a lie.'

'Beg pardon?'

'You are on your way to find Callisto and steal the Ixion stone.'

Autolycus squared his shoulders. Something wasn't right. 'How did you know that?'

'I know all. I am no mere mortal, child. You are addressing Hera, Queen of Olympus.'

'Really?' Autolycus was intrigued. 'Have you come to give me a mission? I'm not cheap, you know.'

'You fool. You tire me. I cannot allow you to get in Callisto's way. She is part of my greater plan. You shall not make it to the next town.'

Hera drew back her arm. Without thinking Autolycus turned on his heal and started to run.

Hera said softly, 'Excellent. I need some long range target practice.' She threw her arm forward, sending a bolt of ice flying at the retreating form.

Birds twittered. A rabbit darted into its hole. Nearby water trickled. Cold smoke arose from a hole in the ground. And the King of Thieves was no more.


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Joxer sat in a corner with tears roling down his check. What to do now? So confused... He wished he could clear his thoughts. But couldn't. He wish he could talk to Minya. She seemed to understand him. More then Gabrielle. He knew she was Xenas. Oh yes, he knew. But he had never given up hope. Until now. But Minya was there to ease the pain. And Ares. But now Ares was gone. And Minya is in a rage. Minya... To bad she is a thespian. He would have loved to have her close again. But they were already close, on a mental state. She supported him, and he tried to support her, in there grief, that none of the others could understand, really. At least thats the way they acted. Joxer felt that his usually cherry mood was gone. Silent and sad he sat on his bed and just stared infront of himself with Minya crying in his lap. Now what? Minya wanted to find the killer... Why not? To Hades with the letter from King Gregor that Jett gave him!!! No one cared anyway. A cold rage took hold of Joxers heart. He was very clumsy and nearly never succeded with a kill, unless it was pure luck. Minya was better at that, but not like Xena. They needed help. They needed Jett. And Joxer was going to find him...


My LiveJournal: A look inside KSenas mind...
Posts: 1120 | Location: Borås in Sweden | Registered: 30 June 2003Report This Post
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Ares has been dispatched.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Argeaux,
Posts: 207 | Location: Tennessee, USA | Registered: 23 June 2003Report This Post
Chief Chesty Forlock
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Hera sat on an onyx throne, peering into a black crystal.

She watched the struggle for Xena's soul. Mortals and immortals waged in battle with each other. Everyone trying to stay on top. Fools.

No one seemed to realise that the King and Queen of the gods could pick them off at whim. Anyone. At any time.

It wasn't the weak who needed to fear, any more than the powerful.

Xena's chakram was the key to her soul. Eli was the only who seemed to have any idea about the signifance of this fact. The only one who currently posed any real threat.

Hera smirked. Luckily, no one was paying any attention to the holy man.


Posts: 5339 | Location: Oz | Registered: 22 June 2003Report This Post
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Anyone... Anytime...

Who's gunna be next my lovely....

You can fondle my lightening bolt anytime...........

Posts: 4825 | Location: Michelle @ work | Registered: 22 June 2003Report This Post
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Minya sat up, tired of crying, but feeling drained. So much had happened to her, and with her. She wasn't even sure what was real anymore.
Then again, had she ever known?
Ever since Ephiny had first visited her(or had Ephiny ever visited her? Looking back, it all seemed so hazy. What was real?)--everything had happened so fast. All these things she saw herself doing--hypnotizing Alti--had she ever done that? Or was it as Alti said, a trick?
Joxer put his hand on her shoulder. Minya squeezed the hand, and sighed. She needed a walk in the woods--alone.
She got up, and walked toward the door. Just as she opened it, however, she gave a cry, and stumbled back, falling hard on her behind.
Gabrielle laughed. "That's more like the Minya I know," she said. "Can I come in? I want to talk to you both."
Minya stood up, not entirely sure she wanted to trust Gabrielle. Nevertheless, being typical of Gabrielle, she smiled, and jerked her head over to the bed.
"Sit down," she said softly. "You and I and Joxer have been overdue for a long talk."
Minya sat down. Joxer sat next to her, rather dumbfounded, but looking up at her with the same adoration he always had for her. Minya felt a rush of jealousy in that instant. She glared at Gabrielle, unable to help herself. Suddenly, tears filled Gabby's eyes, and she put her hand on Minya's shoulder.
"Minya, stop," she said. "What is happening to you?"
Minya looked down at her hands, as tears fell on them.
"I don't know," she said dully. "I don't know what I'm doing anymore."
"Say that again," Gabrielle said.
"I don't know what I'm doing," Minya said, looking into her eyes.
"Do you realize," Gabrielle said softly, "that that is the most intelligient thing you have ever said to me?"
Minya burst into silent tears. Gabrielle just put her arms arund her and held her while she cried quietly, but intensely, her whole body shaking convulsively.
"It's been like this all week," Joxer said morosely. "Ever since--oh, Gabrielle, what is happening to all of us? Ares, dead like that--why? And why are Xena and Ephiny so against Minya?"
"No one is against Minya," Gabrielle said, "But Xena gets a little tired of people getting in her way sometimes, and when they can't see what they're doing--it's frustrating. As for Ephiny--well, she's in trouble as it is, Alti being in control of her now as it is. Not that Xena is letting on that she knows this. But she is in trouble, as is her son, and none of this with Minya has helped. Not that it's entirely Minya's fault--but there it is."
Finally, she took Minya's face into her hands and looked into her eyes.
"Tell me what you do know," Gabrielle said softly.
"I dont' know," Minya sobbed. "I mean--yes, there was Ares, he was real. And Dite's Afro, she is real too."
"Dite's Afro," Gabrielle said dryly. "I still can't get used to that."
"I know," Minya said chuckling through her tears. "Well--at least she dind't lose her mind like I did, I mean--when she changed and all."
"She's a goddess, after all," Gabrielle giggled. "You're--well--not, Minya. For all you've been trying to act like one lately."
Minya gave her a sheepish smile. "I know."
"Tell me the truth," Gabrielle said. "Do you REALLY think you hypnotized Alti?"
"Well, it was like this," Minya said earnestly. "I had gotten this notion to leave Xena and you because--well Xena wasn't DOING anything about Xenan at all, she was just sitting around worrying about what to do. Then Ares showed up and we started talking--and then Dite's Afro came along and started giving me grief about me not following her orders. It got weird, then Alti showed up."
"She did?" Gabrielle looked at her hard.
"She did, I know that much was real," Minya said, speaking in a very clear voice. Gabrielle looked at her for a long time. Minya did seem a lot clearer than she had been in days.
"Well then after that--it got real hazy," Minya said, squinting. "I mean--I remember when she tried to attack me, she started--well, flipping and all that. Doing flips and shouting uhh, strange chants. THat much was real. Dite's Afro did that to her, you know."
"Oh, right, the strange disease," Gabrielle sighed. "So that was real too?"
"Yes--have you talked to her lately?" Minya demanded. "That is real. Dite has kind of flipped her lid, Gabs. No offense to her--but look." She showed Gabrielle the vampire bite on her neck. Gabrielle stared at it--and cried out.
"MINYA!" she cried. "That thing is all purple! Why in Hades didn't we see that before?"
At that point, Joxer spoke up again. "She's been talking in her sleep," he said to Gabby. "I mean--she always did it before--but this--this was bad, ever since Ares died it's gotten worse. And she always seemed--" Gabs was glaring at him, so he stammered, "No no I mean I didn't see it either. I think--well--I think--"
"You've been feverish," Gabrielle said to Minya. "You've been having hallucinations! No wonder--you never saw a doctor, and that bite got infected! So what'd Alti do--she played on that, that's what she did, she tricked your mind into thinking you were powerful enough to hypnotize her--all right, I'll give you one thing," she said, taking Minya by the shoulders as a feverish chill went through her, "you are able to soul travel--Eli did confirm that with me. You have some kind of magic now--your sword, where did you get that anyway?"
"From a weopons shop in a small town next to Athens," Minya said proudly. "As for what it can do now--well--"she sighed. "Listen, I know you don't believe me about Ares. But he and I really were close. And--he helped me with many things. Long before he started coming to me. He told me later--the dreams, all that, he gave me that power." Minya's lower lip trembled.
"Minya," Gabrielle said, "I believe you about Ares. But be honest--do you really believe he cared about you?"
Joxer drew himself up. "Yes, he did!" he said staunchly. "Ares did care about her! He was my friend too, taught me many things! Gabrielle, how can you say that?" Tears stood in his eyes. "Why do you always think that people like Minya and I can't be blessed by Gods? Why do you think we're so worthless?"
"Joxer, I don't think you are worthless," Gabrielle said soothingly, coming over to him. "Not at all, nor do I even think Minya is worthless--now that she seems to be finding the plot. But truth is--I know Ares. He does things--manipulates people for his own personal gain. He uses them--to distract everyone from the actual goal. I think that's what he was doing with you too. Minya, he knows how brave you've always been but he also knows how big your heart is. So he threw the Ephiny illusion at you--knowing also that you were a--thesbian, did you call it once?"
Minya nodded, slowly, not sure she wanted to hear what Gabs was telling her but feeling that somehow she had no choice.
"So he decided to play you, Minya, play on your heart with regard to helping people who are in trouble--and Ephiny is in a lot of trouble now, i will say that. He also played on your, uhh appetites. And i think it got a little out of hand there for a bit--didn't it?"
"Maybe," Minya said frowning. She wasn't sure she was ready to get this personal with Gabrielle. Fortunately, Gabrielle sensed her ambivilence--and changed the subject.
"Let's just say--you were told things, shown things that normally you wouldn't see--correct?"
"If you mean the stuff about Livia and Xenan--"
"Among other things, correct," Gabrielle said. "Thing is, Ares didn't bargain on you actually having that ability, the Seeing Ability, locked inside your brain. So he wasn't prepared of course, for the affect it had on you. Then you started seeing everything--everyone's inner thoughts, and it kind of drove you mad, i think. He played you, really. Sad."
"Don't make him sound so cold!" Joxer cried. "He wasn't!"
"He was Ares," Gabrielle said fiercely but with an edge of sadness. "He had an ulterior motive, he always did."
"Which was what?" Minya burst out. "I mean--no offense, Gab, but where are you getting this stuff? Eli?"
"Minya," Gabrielle said, "what is it about Xena's chakram that is so important?"
"It--"Minya frowned. "it's her weapon of choice?" She sighed, and kicked at a shoe sitting next to her. Clearly that was the wrong answer.
"Don't feel too bad--we all got blown off course lately," Gabs said. "Well--Eli finally told me the truth. And that is part of why i had to talk to you tonight."
Minya stared at her. "About the chakram?"
"That chakram," said Gabrielle, "is the key to Xena's soul."
Minya whistled low. Joxer started to cough a bit. Minya pounded him on his back.
"Livia--" he began, "Alti--"
"They have it, yes I know," Gabs said. "Minya, your visions are needed in this mission, but you HAVE to keep the plot with us. You CAN not blow off course like that again. As for Ares--well--he wanted Xena's soul, always did, you know." She curled her lip. "What better way than to strike a deal with Alti and Livia and bargain for it? Using you to get to them? That would make more sense to the Ares I know. Trouble is, he didn't count on Eli killing him."
"You mean Zeus," Minya said frowning.
"No. I mean Eli," Gabs said. "He said that that night, I know, because you were upset and would have eventually killed yourself trying to take down his spirit. But Eli had to do it, it was a necessary evil."
"I don't belive you."
"Minya, the time for delusions is over," Gabrielle said fiercely. "you insulted Zeus that horrible night Ares was killed, and he turned you into a donkey. I haven't seen that happen in a long time. I don't think it was your insult that offended him so much as your loss of the plot. I have no idea why they took pity on you the way they did and turned you back into a person--but I don't think it has anything to do with Alti."
Minya frowned, then she shook her head. "This is too crazy."
"Maybe the love of Alti in your delusions was enough," Gabrielle said. "you seemed to really believe in it--then again, I don't know. Eli does, but he isn't telling me anything."
Minya looked up at her. "You don't think Eli...."
"Well," Joxer said evenly, "he did bring you back from the dead, Gabrielle."
Gabrielle sighed, and they all just sat there, staring into space for awhile.
"True," Minya said evenly. "He did. I still to this day don't know why I cut my pinky off--maybe it was fear, I don't know."
"No, that isn't you either," Joxer said, shaking his head. "No, Minya! Something was wrong, something evil!"
Minya looked ahead of her, narrowing her eyes. "Alti?"
"Maybe," Gabrielle said. "She's been having a lot of fun with this whole thing, I think. Of course she is the one who wants Xena's soul in the end, and yet Ares's little game with you, Minya, has distracted them a bit. Well--unfortunately we will all suffer for that."
"No," Minya looked at her, earnest sadness in her eyes. "All right--Ares may have used me, well maybe. I don't know. But I do know this. He's dead now, and no one can bring him back. As for me," she said softly, "I want to come back--work with all of you again. And I"m sorry for losing the plot and causing such trouble."
"It's all right," Gab said softly, "On my end. I think you'll need to apologize to Xena though--tomorrow."
Minya sighed. "All right," she said.
"Right now," Gabrielle said sternly, "you and i are going to go see a doctor about that bite."
Joxer sighed heavily. "Well what about Jett?" he asked indignantly. "Isn't anyone going to pay attention to him at all now?"
"Joxer," said Gabs, "Eli has talked to King Gregor. Talk to him about Jett,and show him your papers."
"I don't mean to dismiss you, Joxer, but Xena's soul is really what we should be focusing on now," Gabs said. "We will deal with Jett--later."
She turned away, but before she could follow, Minya took Joxer in her arms and whispered in his ear,
"Don't you worry. When I get well--I will do whatever I can for Jett on my end. We may have to change the plan, Joxer--but I won't abandon you--or him."
Joxer held her tightly. "Thank you," he whispered. "you're a wonderful friend."
"All right, you two lovebirds," Gabrielle chuckled. "Enough. Minya--the doctor. NOW."
"Yes, Mom," Minya said, grinning as she stumbled over to Gabrielle.

"Even when you're down and blue, just remember that someone out there loves you, even if you don't know it and even if you haven't yet met them. There's someone out there waiting for you, remember that and keep faith. You'll get there."
~~Johnny Depp.

Posts: 3190 | Location: Dreamland | Registered: 06 April 2004Report This Post
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Sitting up in Mt Olympus, Zeus looks at all the feeble attempts of the mortals.

Beckoning Hera to his lap... he whispers in her ear. 'I think it's time to let The Furies have some fun...But with who?'

As Hera smirks, he adds... 'I think Livia needs some clarification. Or do you have a better idea?'

Posts: 4825 | Location: Michelle @ work | Registered: 22 June 2003Report This Post
Chief Chesty Forlock
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Hera drummed her fingers slowly in the air. 'I've spoken with the Furies. They want to know whether you seek persecution, my love. Or madness.'

Zeus smiled. 'Let's not overdo things. I've always found that a little madness provides enough correction.'

Hera lifted her hands above her head. 'All you Furies, hear me now. For sins against her Mother we charge you to plague Livia, Bitch of Rome, with madness.'

Wind shrieked through the halls and down the sides of Mount Olympus. Along the ground it snaked, until it found Livia. Then it entered through her mouth and into her belly.

Livia coughed. She picked up a nearby vase. 'Hello, Mavis,' she said to it.


Posts: 5339 | Location: Oz | Registered: 22 June 2003Report This Post
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Caesar sat alone in the underworld, wondering what to do about Alti. If he could get her onside, she might be able to help him get back to the world of the living. On the other hand, Dite had hinted that she might take care of his problems if he handed Alti over to her. Neither one of them could be trusted. They were both women, after all. Treacherous creatures.

His thoughts were interrupted by a deep rumbling sound. The earth was shaking. Clumps of dirt and filth crumbled from the walls as the shock wave of something truly terrible rocked the world of the dead. Caesar looked around, unable to tell if he was in any danger. After all, if he were to somehow 'die' in this place, that would be it.

A bright pink flash erupted in front of his eyes. He fell back, watching as the air crackled with violent streaks of black and purple lightning. From the turmoil of colours, a figure emerged - a female figure.

"Aphrodite?" said Caesar, surprised by her blazing entrance. She did not look happy. "Ah, sorry," he amended nervously, "Dite's Afro." Dite glared at him. She ducked as a clump of dirt bounced off her Afro.

"Oh, icky!" she whined, flicking the gravelly dust from her frizzy hair. Caesar watched her. Should he say something? Should he make the first move? She'd already read everything in his diary - what else could he have to tell her? Dite made the decision for him. "Look bub," she said, pointing a witchy finger at him, "I don't know what your problem is, but those crazy things you've been writing about me being your mommy are totally bogus! I mean what are you trying to imply here anyway? That I’d send one of my babies off to live with stinky mortals? As if!"

"But what about Eros?" asked Caesar, "How come he looks exactly like me?"

"Uh, i think you mean Cupid, cutie pie. See? You're so mixed up - you don't even know who you think you're related to anymore!"

"Well if you're not my mother," said Caesar, "How come you keep appearing to me?"

Dite sighed. She sat down on a rock, grinning for a second as another tremor ran through the earth, and then patted the space beside her for Caesar to sit down.

"Jules, hon, I've been keeping an eye on you as a favour to Ares. He didn't want to come and see you himself because he thought there'd be too many questions. He was going to tell you when he was ready but..." Dite looked down sadly.

"Tell me what?" asked Caesar curiously.

"Julie, sweet pea, there is a reason that you look so much like Cupid, but it's got nothing to do with me. He had a daddy too, ya know. A pretty frisky daddy, I might add."

"Well who is he?" asked Caesar, "And what has it got to do with Ares?" Dite looked at him, waiting for the penny to drop. "Oh," Caesar realised. "But wait, aren't you and Ares brother and sister?"

"Yeah, well," said Dite, "YOU live with Ares for a few millennia and see if you can keep him at bay. Especially with these puppies." She adjusted her bust. "Anyways, after he and I spawned lil' Cupie, Ares went and did some mortal chick - your real mom. Probably disguised himself as your father - he did that." Caesar sat back, trying to take it all in. "So that's the dealio," concluded Dite. "Ares was your pa and I sure as Hades AIN'T your ma, got it?" Caesar nodded absently, then paused.

"What do you mean 'was'?"

Dite whined a little as the last of the tremors shook some more dust into her otherwise stylish hair.

"Do I really have to spell it out for you?" she asked, clearly annoyed by how slow her nephew was. "What do you think all these farked-up earthquakes are about?? Death of a god, Caesar - get with the program! Ares has been whacked!"

Caesar stared at her. He was having trouble processing all this. She really wasn't his mother...Ares WAS his father (which explained why Caesar was such an exceptional artist of war), and...

"My father's dead?" he asked. Dite nodded, as if to say 'that's what I said'. Caesar's eyes glossed over with rage. "Who did it?" he demanded to know, standing up suddenly. “I’ll kill whoever’s responsible!”

"Slow down there, Casper,” said Dite, “What exactly are you going to do, haunt them to death? Well, you’re annoying enough…” Caesar was not amused. “SIGH! Okay, if you MUST know, it was Eli – one of those freakzoid religious types. Also I’m pretty sure Ares killed him once, so there’s that to it.”

“Well I can’t just sit here!” said Caesar, frustrated at his inabilty to avenge Ares’ death. “I can’t let him get away with it! I won’t!”

“Yada yada yada…” said Dite lazily. “You think you’re the only one with a grudge to bear? Well news flash – by BRO just died – how do you think I feel?” Caesar thought about it, and sat back down.

“Well at least you can do something about it,” he grumbled. “Where as I’m stuck down here, amongst all the other useless souls with nothing better to do than twiddle my thumbs and wait for some long-shot opportunity to present itself.”

“Well,” said Dite, “Your gorgeously awesome aunt might have something she can do about that.” She wiggled her finger at Caesar, and giggled as a tiny jet of light shot into his chest. Caesar jolted from it.

“What was the heck was that?” he asked, feeling a great surge of energy.

“Just a lil’ sumpin’ sumpin’ to show that god-killer who’s boss. Can’t have people like that roaming the streets. I’d take care of him myself but I gotta watch the nails - these manicures don’t pay for themselves you know!” Caesar felt his veins coursing with power. “Oh, and I thought you might wanna take you’re dad’s job as god of war for a while – you know, keep it in the family and all that…well, not like what happened with Cupid but…Never mind. Now you won’t have ALL of Ares’ power – that would be nuts. But if you play nice with all the other gods, and don’t be too petty with the torturing of the puny mortals (Zeus and Hera have been spazzing out about that lately – probably why they let Ares bite the big one…although they have just sent the Furies after Livia, which should be fun to watch, hehehe) I might arrange for you to get a more permanent position.” She winked at him, rather suggestively, at which point Caesar was glad that she wasn’t really his mother…way too creepy.

Dite’s Afro disappeared from whence she came, and left Caesar to ponder his newfound powers. He stared at the wall ahead of him. He shook his hand as though he were rolling dice, and released a brief jolt of energy, cutting a scar into the rock. This was good. This was very good. Caesar grinned to himself and disappeared from the world of the dead. It was time for him to have some corporeal fun amongst the living.

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Amarice sat on a bench outside the inn holding the reins of her horse. She knew something wasn't right. Call it women’s intuition, she could feel it in her bones. She had traveled with Xena and Gabrielle enough to know when they weren't acting like themselves. She was there for their executions and witnessed their rebirth. How many hours had she spent listening to Ephiny retell the stories of their lives? Too many to count. The tales of Ares and his constant manipulations, even his attempt to seduce Gabrielle just prior to Eli's death. Alti’s continued invasions from every realm of existence, Callisto's amazing ability to survive rocks, whether molten or falling. She also knew that as much as Joxer annoyed her at times, he was a good kind man and always had the best of intentions.

All these things made it that much harder to understand just what in Hades was going on with these idiots!!!!

Amarice crossed the street and went into the stable, she found Argo and softly scratched her. “Argo, right now, you are the only one acting even remotely normal.” Amarice rolled her eyes, “What am I doing talking to a horse?”

“Same thing I was doing.”

Amarice jumped as Xena came around the stall and into sight. “Sorry Xena, I didn’t realize you were here. I’ll leave you be.”

“It’s alright. I’m not much of a talker, but Argo is a great listener.” She smiled a genuine smile and patted the horse hip. Amarice grinned and took a step forward, “can I ask you something Xena?”

Xena raised a teasing eyebrow as if annoyed, but then smiled, “Sure.”

“How do you do it, how do you put up with us all? Everyone is driving me crazy bickering and ranting like idiots when we have a very BIG problem on our hands here.”

Xena’s eyebrow crept back up, “Amarice, notice I am in a barn with my horse.”

Xena shook her head and almost chuckled, “No offence, but this horse and Gabrielle are two of the only things in my life that I am ever 100% sure about. That’s how I make it day to day. That’s where I find the strength to fight for the ones I love, the ones who need my help.” She sighed, “Listen Amarice, I don’t know what to tell you. I have an idea about what’s happening, but until I get some answers, I can’t be sure. All I can tell you now is to not trust anyone, go with your gut, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Okay?”

“Yeah, Okay.” Amarice didn’t get the answer’s she was hoping for, but at least she the one person she counted on most was finally beginning to make sense.


Posts: 1673 | Location: everywhere, nowhere at all | Registered: 23 June 2003Report This Post
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Xena returned from the stables ready for a good night’s sleep. She was glad to know that Amarice was on top of things. She knew that Ephany and then Yakut had told her of the many fates that had befallen her and Gabrielle. “Amarice is someone I can count on for loyalty when it really matters,” she thought.

A rustling of metal parts could be heard outside, and then silence.

“Joxer, Go away! I need some rest,” she shouted, and then thinking of Minya and the help her kind words had been, she relented.

“Come in, Joxer, it’s OK. I won’t bite.”

“I- ah- think you should have a look at these. I know, I know, you told me it could wait, but I don’t think so, when I showed them to Eli he made a face like he was going to kill me for keeping them from you!”

“Joxer,” sighed the tired worrier, “Eli-the man of love?”

“Well anyway this is very important stuff… not that I’ve looked at it…”

Although the scroll from King Gregor was a little undone, Xena looked unconcerned. She laid that one down and looked at the other. The sign on the seal startled her.

“Now that’s a shot from the past,” she murmured.

“What, um you know this symbol?”

I’ll tell you about it. But it’s not something I want you blabbing to Minya or any of your other pals.”

“OK Xena, on my father’s grave, I won’t tell a soul,” he said, thinking that this was one of the only times Xena had taken him into her confidence.

“This sign is the key to a better future for all mankind. I learned of it when I received my first chakrum. In those days the story just didn’t interest me though. I had better things to do with that weapon at the time.”

“Oh yea, the killing and maiming and conquering and…”

“OK that’s enough Joxer! Any way, there are really three Chakrums, and one day they will be joined together to form a very important door.”

Joxer made his way out with a new feeling of vigor. He would ponder the meaning of that door later; it was just nice to know that Xena felt she could trust him. He turned his thoughts to the contest. Yes, he already knew what was in the king’s scroll, so he laid plans for getting in better shape for it.

“Lets see, I’ll get up before even Gabrielle and run around the village… then after lunch…I’ll…. Oh I don’t know I’ll think of something.” and he wandered off, tripping over some roots.

Eli stood silently as he passed and tripped over him. He decided it was time for him to move on. He would meet Gabrielle in her prayers as needed, but his presence was needed elsewhere.

In the distance he could hear Livia chanting, “cleanliness is next to godliness, cleanliness is next to godliness…”

“Such a waste," he thought, "and so much potential. That child needs some guidance, maybe she will listen to me again.” And he was gone.


Enter The Higher Realm Here

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"Emptiness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and God is empty! Just like me!" sang Livia in a slightly off-key voice. She tried to spin the Chakram around on her finger, but kept getting caught on the handle.

"Hello Eve."

Livia spun around--three times--before stopping to hold half the chakram at the throat of the speaker.

"Don't you mean Hell, Livia?" she spat.

"I suppose you might be right," Eli smiled gently. "Your madness gives you clarity. You, as Livia, are in Hell."

She stared at him coldly for a moment then tossed both halves of the chakram up in the air in opposite directions. One halve imbedded itself into a tree trunk. The other half arced back toward her went straight into her forearm. She didn't notice as the blood trickled down her knuckles. Her other arm was pulled back ready to strike the holy man. "Like I'm going to listen to a man who wears prettier clothes than I---hey! Where did you go?"

Eli had disappeared. In the distance she heard a laugh. That unholy-holy man was laughing at her. Nobody laughed at Livia. Nobody. She screamed in anger and executed a backflip to retrieve the chakram half stuck in the tree twelve feet off the ground. Where was the other half? Where in the name of Bellona was the other half of the chakram? Oh...there it was. Impatiently she pulled it out of her arm and re-formed the chakram.

She heard a hoof-beat and turned to scold her disobedient centaur, but instead saw a powder-blue unicorn. Gods, how she hated unicorns. With their pathetic little beards and their pansy-ass horns.

"They say you're magic, you silly little beast." she muttered, "Let's see what good that horn will do me."

Livia hurled the chakram at the beast and screamed in frustration when it split as it neared the creature's head. The unicorn snickered at her. Then took a deep breath and intoned,

"Sing a song of love, Eve
Pocket full of rye
Find a battlin' bard
Bake her in a pie"


Eli picked his way through the forest making his way toward the sound of Liv--no EVE. This madness could be the key to bringing back the light to her soul.

"Abba, " he implored as he caught sight of her. "Help me to reach her. Help me bring Eve home."

He began to hurry his way to his lost sheep when he felt the air heat up all around him. A ball of fire appeared and out stepped Callisto.

"Uh-uh, mustn't take advantage of a woman who is out of her mind."

"I can cure her, you know."

"With love?" Callisto smirked. "Love is a trick Nature plays to get us to reproduce. You see the result over there."

She cocked her head slightly and gazed at him in mock adoration, "Oh Eli, why haven't you had children? Or maybe you have. Scattered over all over the world. I bet Gabrielle would put out for you. If I hadn't beat you to it and Ares hadn't skewered you, would you have been the father of that poor, deluded little girl over there?"

"Love redeemed you Callisto. Or it will. You don't belong here, you know."

"Neither do you. I have the chronos stone and can go back any time I want. How will you remove yourself from this picture?"

Half a chakram came flying and imbedded itself into Callisto's rib cage. A scream of anguish came from Livia. Shaking her head, Callisto reflected to herself, "She's going to hurt herself with that thing."

"Get behind me Callisto!" cried Eli.

The goddess shrugged. "If you insist. I doubt it will do you much good."

She stepped aside and Eli moved past her right into the path of the other half of the chakram. He lifted one hand and it suddenly veered to the left, taking only a lock of his hair. Screaming in frustration and wildly waving her dagger, Livia came after it and ran smack into Eli. The force of the collision knocked both of them to the ground and the dagger landed at Callisto's feet.

"Eve, my child," began Eli a bit breathlessly.

"No!" said Callisto, "no preaching!" In one movement she had picked up the knife and leapt over to crouch over Eli.

"Wait!" cried Livia.

Callisto paused and then grinned. Each warrior tapped her forearm three times. Livia's right hand stopped with two fingers pointing to the side. Callisto's hand formed a fist.

"Scissors! Nuts!" pouted Livia.

"Rock," grinned Callisto and plunged the dagger into Eli's belly.

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Xena came out of the room just as Minya and Joxer headed out of their room, apparently on their way to the tavern.
"We need to talk," Xena said. "About what to do."
Minya looked wary, and Joxer looked surprised but thrilled to be included in a meeting.
"Amarice is in there now. Gabrielle is very upset," Xena said, shooting a look at Minya.
"What?" Minya asked.
"Just--don't go blurting out any new visions of yours," Xena said darkly.
"No new visions here." Minya grinned.
"That's surprising," Xena said.
"I don't spend all day sleeping, you know," Minya said laughing.
"No--you write in that diary of yours. Zeus only knows what you put in there--here's hoping you don't lose it like you lost that pendent. All right--come on," Xena said. They followed her into the room.
Gabrielle was upset, but she seemed clear. Amarice looked sullen and shot Minya a suspicious glance. Minya just grinned at her, and sat down next to Joxer.
"This is what we're going to do," Xena said. "We're going to set out for where Livia is. Minya," she said darkly, "I want you to do whatever you can to hold them. Can you do that?"
"What--with my mind?" Minya asked, frowning. "Ummm--"
"Minya," Gabrielle said, "Have you ever tried it?"
"Not consciously," Minya said, looking confused. "I mean--I never tried it, but of course it's possible I guess--"
"Eli seems to think you have more than you think you do," Gabrielle said. "I'm not talking the power to hypnotize, or anything--but at least hold on to someone like Livia--kind of--keep her from hurting herself as much you can. As for Callisto, she's a little trickier of course--there may not be much you can do, but Eli seems to think you can fight in the spirit world. Not like you fought in your delusions--but really fight. Maybe you never tried it. But--"
"If you think I can fight with my spirit the way I can with my body," Minya said, laughing a little, "you got the wrong girl, hon."
"I don't know," Gab said, "Eli seemed pretty certain."
Minya shook her head. "No way. This--this is poppycock."
"Minya," Gabrielle said, "you're not a goddess, you're not going to go hypnotizing Alti or giving her strange diseases or anything--I'm not even sure you can fight her, well not in the spirit world, that's too risky. But Callisto--Eli thinks she's tied to Eve in a very special way. He's not telling me everything, but he seems to think that with Eve as mad as she is right now--Callisto may not be as big a challenge."
"Well," Minya guffawed, "She only--oh, hades, Gabs," she sighed. "I'm sorry I blurted it out like that before, but--she did do what she did to Eli--hell, what can I do against her?"
"You have to try, Minya," Gabrielle said. "We really have no choice--the gods know when we're going to catch up to them physically. Until we do--we need you to do all you can. You won't be alone. If--Eli is still alive which I feel he is--he'll help you. And--so will Ephiny. I think."
"Hmmm," Minya said. "You don't sound so sure of that."
"Listen, Minya," Amarice suddenly snarled, "put one toe out of line about Ephiny--"
"Amarice," Minya said stoutly, "I've seen Ephiny struggling against Alti. I've seen her throw away the "good" crap as she called it. She may be struggling to get to a good place now--like I had to do--but the fact is she did get tempted by the Darkness. NO one is perfect, you know, even spirits. I mean come on," she looked around the room. "When I saw her and Xena talking that one time Xena was talking about KILLING me! I mean come on, I can see being turned into a donkey but KILLING? That didn't sound like Xena to me!"
Amarice lept to her feet. Xena banged her fist on the table and shot her a look.
"Enough of this bickering," Xena snarled. "I TOLD you, Amarice, I'm done with it!"
"Well I think you're putting too much trust in this--traitor!" Amarice snarled, pointing at Minya, who just laughed. Joxer shot Amarice a look, and Amarice just laughed derisively back. "Oh what are you gonna do, joxer, defend your GIRLFRIEND again?"
"ENOUGH!" Xena jumped to her feet, and kicked over her chair. "Has it ever occured to either of you that I AM FED UP WITH THIS! My SOUL is in Alti's hands, my DAUGHTER is out of her mind, Callisto is--well Callisto, and all you people can do is ARGUE amongst yourselves like dogs! You know--I'm ready to wash my hands of EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!"
She picked up the chair and threw it against the wall. With a cry of rage, she stormed out of the room.
"She's really not doing too well," Gabrielle said to the group, who looked absolutely stupified. "It's, ah, not easy for a person when Alti has their soul."
Minya grunted, and nodded slowly. Amarice glared at her.
"What--did one of your VISIONS tell you that too?"
"Well now, let's see, Amarice," Minya snarled, as Gabrielle, fed up with their arguing, got up and walked out the door after Xena, "Xena's bloody chakram is the key to her soul. WHO has her bloody chakram--not just Alti--but a MAD woman. What does that tell you?"
Amarice stared at her, then shook her head.
"I'm not some damn shaman, you know," she growled. "In MY tribe--"
"This isn't a tribe, and we're not Amazons, I'm not a goddess, I'm a person with godlike powers thanks to a dead god, and I'm going to use what I have and NOT what I don't have--and if you can't deal with it, Amarice, I suggest you take up goat herding because I AIN'T going anywhere!" Minya stood up and walked over and faced her down. "I've been through enough crap without you and your snide remarks. Enough of this. Don't you see what this is doing to Xena?"
Amarice glared at her, but she also saw what it was doing to Joxer. He looked absolutely miserable. Sighing, she sat back in her chair.
"All right," she said. "But you'd better learn how to use those powers, Minya--if you actually have them!"
"Believe me, I intend to," Minya said stoutly. Joxer looked up at her, relieved.
"THank the gods," he said. "This has gotten too much. We need to do something. No more--bickering, please!"
"Hey," Minya put her arm around him. "It's all right, Joxer."
"Too much has happened, I'm so confused!" Joxer shook his head.
"Hey. Joxer," Amarice said, going over to him, "I'm sorry about the--the bickering." She turned to Minya.
"I made an agreement with Xena to stop the bickering--but I think I was still a little angry at you," she said. "You can't blame me, though. You played an Amazon, Minya. That wasn't nice."
"I apologized to Ephiny earlier today," Minya said evenly.
"Well, good," Ephiny said. "Because--if you didn't--"
"Amarice," Minya said, "let's call a truce. All right? Why don't you come out for drinks with us tonight?" She grinned. "Come on, what do you say?" Joxer looked up, hopeful.
"Uhhh, I don't know about that--but I will call a truce," Amarice said, "For Xena's sake."
Minya smiled, but shrugged. "Fair enough."
She and Joxer got up and headed toward the tavern. Amarice looked after them, as if to call to them--then changed her mind.

Xena sat outside the inn, resting her feet on the bannister of the porch. Gabrielle went over to her and stood, leaning against the bannister, her short hair blowing in the wind, her taut abdomin gleaming in the moonlight. For a moment, Xena was pleasantly distracted from her thoughts.
"Gabrielle," she said in a tight voice, "what's going on?"
"It seems that the gods are throwing us into a big mess--on purpose," Gabrielle said. "WE have to somehow get ourselves through this, Xena."
"But with MINYA?"
"Forget Minya," Gabrielle said, waving it off. "She's got powers, we have to get used to it. It hasn't had the best effect on her in the past, but she's really trying now to make up for that. Like you said--she needs to use those powers to do whatever she can while we're on our way."
"Can she do it when awake?"
"Xena, I'm not sure, Eli isn't either--but she can do it when asleep."
"So we'll be camping out a lot," Xena said. "This was your idea, Gabrielle--but--"Xena whistled low.
"No, I don't think we should camp out every night just so Minya can go to sleep," Gabrielle said laughing. "No--but when we do go to sleep, she'll be able to do what needs to be done. Meanwhile--we'll make as fast tracks as possible. What do you think?" She came around to Xena's side. "Gods, you look terrible, Xena."
"I've wasted enough time," Xena said. "you were right, Gabrielle. Alti really is playing with me." She looked ahead. "She has my soul all right. As does--Eve." Xena closed her eyes, in anguish. "And she's mad. You were right, Gabrielle. That too is affecting me. The chakram being in her hands--she cut her arm with it--" Xena's voice broke. "I lost Solan, Gabrielle. If I lost her--to this--"
"You're not alone," Gabrielle said, putting her arms around her. Xena let herself be comforted, as tears rolled down her face. "You know you will never be alone. You have me. Always. You know that, don't you?"
"You're the only one I trust," Xena said brokenly. "You're the only one that hasn't let me down!" She caught herself, and pulled away, looking hard at Gabrielle. "Lately."
Gabrielle met her gaze, projecting all the love in her heart that was for Xena.
"Oh, Gabrielle," Xena said, breaking down again, "don't lose focus, please! If you do--i don't know what I'll do!"
"I won't," Gabrielle said, hugging her tightly. "i was confused earlier today, with all that had gone on. I'm not anymore. We're on the right path now, Xena. We just have to--stay on it."
They sat there, holding each other for a long time. Finally, they pulled back.
"You know," Xena said, "I could use a drink. What about you?"
"Sounds like a plan," Gabrielle grinned.
"Do me a favor," Xena said, leaning on her as Gabrielle helped her up. "Tell Minya I was never gonna kill her, will ya? Oh--torture her a little, make her suffer, but not--kill her."
"All right," Gabrielle laughed. "I'll tell her tomorrow."
They walked off toward the tavern, feeling much better, and clearer about things.

"Even when you're down and blue, just remember that someone out there loves you, even if you don't know it and even if you haven't yet met them. There's someone out there waiting for you, remember that and keep faith. You'll get there."
~~Johnny Depp.

Posts: 3190 | Location: Dreamland | Registered: 06 April 2004Report This Post
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"Joxer..what are you doing back?" Amarice hadn’t expected to see Joxer for a while. she’s assumed his story about finding his brother was a cover story for a rendezvous with Meg. or Minya. for a dork, that guy got a lot of action, she thought. at any rate, Amarice was becoming annoyed that they were all letting their guards down since Xena had decided the day before to set out looking for Livia.

"i forgot something. is...? ...where’s Gabrielle?" Joxer seemed oddly distracted, strangely distant.

"She’s upstairs. said something about getting back into the bard thing."

Joxer pushed hurriedly past Amarice.

"Joxer, you okay?"

"What? Yes. i’m fine. I gotta go..."


Gabrielle had passed an hour’s time, her quill hovering over a still blank scroll, before she relented and opted for a nap. all the hubbub with Minya, Joxer’s usual ineptitude, Amarice on the edge of killing them all, and now Xena off to find Livia and who know how that will go...there was too much white noise in her head for her to focus. perhaps her muse would visit her dreams.

Joxer pushed the door opened slipped silently across the shadowy room, an odd smile crossing his face as he approached the sleeping form. as he looked down at the prone figure his hand traveled the length of her body, inches above it. his hand stopped over her face, feeling her rhythmic breathing warm and moist against his palm as it escaped her in tiny sighs. he paused there a long moment, his eye half-closed, as if warming himself with Gabrielle’s breath.


Xena dismounted and unhooked her chakram in one fluid motion. "where’s Gabrielle?"

"upstairs with Joxer. got your chakram back! wha...what’s going on?" Amarice grabbed her sword--something was seriously wrong.

"Joxer’s with her!?" there was an unfamiliar note of panic in Xena’s voice as she bounded to the inn.


Joxer’s fingertips gently brushed a few blonde strands from Gabrielle’s brow. "when she sleeps, i can almost understand what you see in her..." the eerie croak was not the voice of Joxer. yet it came from inside him. "too bad you won’t be seeing her anymore, Xena." his hand slid under his armor and removed a dagger that he slowly poised at Gabrielle's throat.

"NO!" the door flew open. the chakram sang through the air. but Joxer’s reflexes, suddenly very non-Joxerlike, were quicker. he jerked Gabrielle up by her hair and spun her to shield the oncoming blade. Xena could only stand in horror as her chakram neatly severed the blonde head and lodged in the bedpost. Joxer’s expression of surprise was quickly replaced by a sinister grin as an unearthly laugh shattered the air. it was Alti’s unmistakable cackle.

"oh Xena, this is even more perfect than i dreamed it." she brandished the dead darling’s dangling dome. "this...and this" she pulled the chakram from the bedpost, "...will be all i need to truly possess you now. don’t be too long now, Xena dear. i know you’ll know where to find me."

and Xena was left alone with as stricken, confused Joxer and what remained of her soul’s true mate.

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are you sitting on the soap?

sometimes, you just have to say 'what the f...'

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Whit that, Joxer fell to the floor, unconscious. A dark cloud lifted from his body, and flew out the window crackling and laughing. Xena ran to Gabrielles head. A scream came from Xena, waking Joxer up. Seeing what had happend, and oh horror, remembering it to, he crawled into a corner hiding his face in his hands...


My LiveJournal: A look inside KSenas mind...
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*dite's afro whooooshes in, carrying a satchel, accompanied by a hooded stranger*

dite and companion are invisible to the eyes of Xena and Joxer.

dite: Oh yuck! Bloody bard head. My friend Gabby, can you save her, Asklepios?

Asklepios: I am the god of healing, am I not? I've put heads back on before. Lets whoosh the body & head back to Olympus. I don't need any pesky mortals interfering.

dite: Rightcha are and i got the body if you get the gross bleeding head.

*whooosh back to Olympus, leaving the satchel in the corner*

Xena: Her head! It just disappeared from my hands! Joxer, where's Gabrielle's body?

Joxer: B-b-b-b-but I-I-I though you had them?

Xena: *sniffs the air* I was off my guard for a second. It's dite. Dite's afro was here.

Joxer: What would dite's afro want with Gabby's body & h-h-head?

Xena: Dite is friends with Gabrielle, and knows ways of bringing her back alive. I think this may work out. Joxer, let everyone believe Gabrielle is dead until we are sure she's fine again.

Joxer: But what about her body? People will want to see that?

Xena: Let me handle that. Dead bodies aren't hard to come by or to alter. And we can burn the bod- What's that in the corner?

Xena and Joxer peer inside the satchel.

Xena: Chains...made by Hephaistos, I'll bet you anything.

Joxer: Cool, a helmet, always wanted a new helm-

Xena: Gimme that. That's Hades helmet of invisibility! Someone left these for us, to get revenge upon Alti. A someone named dite...

Xena smiles a thank you smile to the skies.


dite: Are ya done yet?

Asklepios: Yes, your friend is good as new. She'll have a headache for awhile-

dite: Thanks a bunch,Asklepios. I owe ya big time.

Asklepios: Just keep this our secret. Don't let Zeus find out. He already believes I want to make mortals immortal. I have to keep a low profile.

dite: Yadda yadda yadda my lips are sealed and um chapped too.

*Asklepios whooshes away*

dite: Now Gabby, before you awake, I'm taking you back to Potedaia where you can rest. I'll let Xena know you're there when i get time, plus i'll put a little safe alarm around your village to keep mean old bags of bones like Alti from bothering ya while you're there.

*dite whooshes Gabby to Potedaia & then whooshes home*

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"oh Xena, this is even more perfect than i dreamed it." she brandished the dead darling’s dangling dome. "this...and this" she pulled the chakram from the bedpost, "...will be all i need to truly possess you now. don’t be too long now, Xena dear. i know you’ll know where to find me."

and Xena was left alone with what remained of her soul’s true mate.

um....i think Alti took the head & the chakram with her. check her diary...


are you sitting on the soap?

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I totally do not want to attend this brunch thing with Hera & Zeus. Zeus has become way cranky & Hera likes to bite my head off- probably would do it literally if pop okayed it. But at least the protesters over Ares murder are gone, now i don't have to wear that Salmoneous Klien designer scarf to hide my identity while entering the palace. Although- couldn't disguise these big boobs- gotta love 'em!

Hera & Zeus are already at the brunch table, eating um brunch, as i approach. Looks like they're having grapefruit, grapes, Kellogs Frosted Mini Gyros, ambrosia, eggnog ambrosia, blueberry ambrosia, rum ambrosia (Minya would so love that!)...

Zeus: So Kratos is complaining about future inventions in Olympus. I told him I liked the phone, the television and the microwave, and he gives me that sneer that so reminds me of Bia. So I told hi-

Hera: Do not mention the name of that whore Bia in my presence.

Zeus: Bia is no whore, she is a good friend of mine.

Hera: You have no "good" female friends. They're all whores, you seduce them all.

Zeus: *eyebrows arch in anger* Now you listen to me, I sai-

Me (sitting down on my bean bag chair): Oh great, Peyton Place in the sky. Don't gag me with a spoon b'fore i eat talkin with images of pop having sex with anyone. EEEewww! Groady!

Hera: You finally join us. Late as always. Looks like you gained weight- hard to drag those extra 17 pounds out of bed?

Me: Huh-lllo? Get glasses, granny i've lost weight and speakin of dragging, however do you keep those 17 facelifts from falling down, hmmm? Guess the god of duct tape is working lotta overtime on that chin, eh?

Hera: I tire of trading bards. I mean, barbs, let's eat in peace.

Zeus (talking with mouthful of spinach ambrosia gross!): Speaking of bards, dite, what is your pal Gabrielle sporting for a head these days? A yellow balloon? A pumpkin?

Hera laughs so hard that cheese ambrosia passes through her nostrils.

Me: Exsqueeze me?

Zeus: After you and I talked last night, I recieved word from a reliable source- don't ask who- that after Alti beheaded the bard, she took the head home with her. Care to elaborate on how you and the good doctor-soon-to-be destroyed-by-me revived the irriating sidekick?

Me: Well, when I learned Gabby had her noggin sliced off, I just assumed the head was still there an-

Hera: So like you not to pay attention to details. But do go on-

Me (after giving Hera a meanie look): -and that Alti had only taken the chakram. I asked Asklepios to help Gabby, he said ok, yadda yadda yadda. I rounded up the goodies in the satchel for Xena while the doc got his stuff ready. And then-

Zeus: You didn't take a nap during this time? That much thinking would have exhausted your little blonde afro.

Me: It did! I was so tiiiiired. Good thing Asklepios paid attention to details. He send the god of orderlies to examine the bard's bod to make sure it was still fresh enough to work on.

Hera: I think that description just made your adoptive father rather horny.

Me (to Hera): Grrrrrrr! (resumes story) Anyhoo, the orderly god whooshed back, telling us Gabby's head was gone & that Alti must've taken it with her. So, Asklepios donned Hades helmet of invisibility, whooshed over to Alti's cave or hut or whatever-

Hera: I hear that Alti woman has never bathed. How dreadfully disgusting.

Me: -and swiped the bard's head, brought it back, the rest is history and can i have some Rice Krispies ambrosia marshmellow candy, pleeeze? *reaches for the dessert*

Zeus (swatting at my hand, not letting me have the Krispies)- Not so fast. You say Asklepios brought back the head of the twit and returned it to the body?

Me: OOOOooo I can't answer on an empty stomach, fer sure! *grabs a Krispie & whooshes it down*

Me: Yeah, that's what i said. So? So freakin what?

Zeus: My source says that Alti still has the dead darling’s dangling dome. Was the annoying one a two headed mortal?

Hera: I knew she was a freak. All mortals are freaks.

Me: Wellllll, there's more but i dun wanna talk bout that...

Zeus (givin me that smug tell-me-or-i'll-burn your-earlobes-again look): You know I want the complete true version of this. That's who I am. Plus, we can't have the so-called authorities on gods creating the wrong myth here.

Me: Awrights awready. Asklepios knew it was too dangerous to just grab the head and book. Even with Asklepios invisible & whooshing outta her pad real quick, Alti would still sense something amiss and missing. We were gonna have Hephaistos create a decoy head & leave it in place of the real one but there wasn't time. We needed a real head and one that resembled Gabby to a tee. So... *sighs*

Zeus (interest definately peaked!): Yes!

Me: We killed and beheaded one of the three dancing naked Gabbies. We exchanged that head with Gabby's head. Rather, Asklepios exchanged the heads. Alti was doing a strange victory dance, Asklepios told me, so he had just the split second to do the trade.

Zeus: You killed a mortal! Marvelous! Did you do the actually slicing?

Me (turning pale): Y-yes. The doc wouldn't do it. But pop, this Gabby was only a creation of an enchanted scroll. The product of Joxer's warped imagination.

Hera: Joxer? The famous radish stew chef? I love his radish stew.

Zeus & I snort laughter at this remark.

Zeus: And you think Alti hasn't noticed the difference in the heads yet?

Me: I fixed up the dancing Gabby's head as best I could. I mean, the dancing naked Gabby had a more vacant look than the original, but I'm hoping Alti always assumed she was pretty vacant me.

Zeus: So why did you return Gabby's head to the inn with Xena? In Xena's eyes, one minute no head, then a head the next minute, then no head again?

Me: Asklepios wanted Xena to see the head, to know, even briefly, that it wasn't with Alti. He hates explaining stuff to mortals. Xena picked up on the hint pretty quick, as Xena tends to do. Joxer followed her lead.

Zeus: I may question you more on this later. You're not the heroic type. I'm not sure it wasn't a ditebot. I don't want you sending ditebots in to mess with mortal affairs. Agreed?

Me (lying): Whatever. By the way, what happened to the Ares murder protesters? Didja whoosh 'em away?

Zeus: I told them the truth about what happened to Ares. Ares last words were "Lets see if my Ares-Energyball-of Badness, can get Gabriel from this distance." It couldn't. It fell back on him and beheaded him. People will blame me, they will blame Eli, the mythmakers will write their own interpretation but that's the truth as I'm now telling it. People will contradict it, I don't care as long as the protests are over.

Me: Truth- for now?

Zeus: Heh hee- Hera! You've eaten all the creme of ambrosia soup! I wanted some of that for tonight when we watch "The Clash of the Titans" on dvd. Phooey!

Is papa telling the truth about the demise of Ares? Will anyone miss the dead dancing naked Gabby? Will Alti be angry when she discovers the switcheroo? What is Alti's origin anyhoo? What if she was once a Greek god and knows how to whoosh up here? What if she's a Geek god instead? What if i just stay inside and don't leave- evuh again?
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