Degas is Coming
Morning had come. It was now only a matter of time before Degas would make his rounds to the local farmers. Xena and Gabrielle waited for Degas to show his scum himself, but he never showed. Amphipolis was spared today.
Xena knew this was unusual behavior, for any thug. She should know, she used to do it herself. Generally, warlords and bandits made good on their threats to villagers. It was what they used to gain control. Xena knew Alti too. Then again, attacking villages wasn't Alti's style.
Xena decided to go back to Degas' camp, just for a look. Gabrielle followed behind. They found the camp to be completely deserted. They weren't tidy about it either. Degas had moved his army out unexpectedly.
"They moved out in a hurry," Gabrielle said.
"And it wasn't because of us either," Xena said. She kneeled down to look at some wagon tracks in the mud. "They left not long ago." She got up and sighed.
Gabrielle walked over to Xena and asked, "Are we going to follow her?"
"We wait for Hercules and Iolaus, then we go." Xena walked passed Gabrielle, not giving her a second look.
"There is something you aren't telling me Xena," Gabrielle said. She knew when Xena wasn't being honest with her on something. Xena wasn't telling her the full truth.
Gabrielle suddenly remembered a time when Xena left for Chin to kill the Green Dragon. "Let's forget the cryptic talk for a second, are you going up against a dragon?"
"No." answered Xena.
"Is the Green Dragon a person?"
"The one I'm going to kill."
"You owe someone so much that you are willing to throw away this past few years?"
The sound of the howling wind brought Gabrielle back to reality. She shook her head to shake off the vision she just had.
"We better get back before the storm hits," Xena said. She headed back to the village.
Reliving the Past
"I killed her Xena."
"No. You couldn't have," consoled Xena.
"No. I killed her ."
"By accident you ."
"No. I killed her ."
This woke Gabrielle suddenly. She found it difficult to breath. She felt her forehead, it was drenched in sweat. She got out of the bed and walked over to the window. She looked out in the night sky. The smell of fresh rain calmed her.
"Where is Gabrielle?!"
The clash of thunder awoke Xena. She looked around, only to discover that it was the storm that had awoken her from this painful memory. It was all to vivid to her though. She remembered Ephiny trying to stop her. She remember Joxer trying to stop her. The look in Gabrielle's eyes. The confusion. The anger. Xena decided she needed to take a walk, in the rain no less.
She walked into the woods and felt a strange presence behind her. "I know you're there Ares."
"What is about me?" asked Ares.
"Does it really matter?" Xena asked back.
Ares gave a small smile, "Degas is on the run. Then again, Degas hasn't been himself lately either."
"Sacking a village isn't his style, I take it?"
"He's doing this for a reason Xena," proclaimed Ares.
"Oh I know that," Xena said.
"I also know that Degas, is well ," Ares couldn't finish his sentence.
"Occupied at the moment. What is it you want Ares? It can't be good," remarked Xena.
"Do you always hate me, or is this some sort complex you have against us Gods?"
Xena let out a slight growl.
"It's good to have you back. You had me worried there for a second," Ares said. He put his hand on his sword.
"Cut to the chase Ares, what do you want?" Xena asked again. She hated repeating herself. Especially to the God of War.
"Always want to get to the point don't you Xena. Very well, your friend didn't come back here by her own. She had help," Ares said.
"Tell me something I don't know," warned Xena.
"These visions you are having. Even Gabrielle's ."
"Oh yes. Hers are worse than yours I'm afraid. She has a lot more to deal with. They are all connected," Ares said. He approached Xena.
Xena moved back away from him. "What do you mean worse?"
"All you are experiencing is almost throwing your little friend off a cliff. She is reliving the whole thing," Ares said.
Xena walked passed Ares to held back the village.
Ares turned around, "Leave Hercules out of this Xena."
Xena stopped and turned back around, "Why Ares, I didn't realized you cared about us mortals. I guess you'd rather sacrifice me, your first ."
Ares stepped back in amazement.
Xena looked into his eyes. "Yes, I know. I've known for awhile now."
"Doesn't matter. I can help you Xena," proclaimed Ares.
"I don't need your help Ares," Xena said. She turned and proceeded back to the village.
"The power is stronger Xena," warned Ares.
It's In the Past
Gabrielle left her room to sit by the fire in the tavern. She stared into the fire, lost in thought. Xena had often warned her of this habit. It left you open for an attack. Gabrielle didn't care anymore. She was starting to figure it out. She knew Xena knew too.
"Gabrielle?" Xena asked, quietly.
Gabrielle turned around and acknowledged Xena. She turned to stare back into the fire. "It's him, isn't it?"
Xena walked towards Gabrielle and sat down next to her. She didn't have to say anything. Gabrielle knew.
"Why?" Gabrielle asked.
"I don't know why," Xena said, taking a deep a breath.
"I never meant to hurt you Xena." apologized Gabrielle.
"Hurt me?" Xena asked.
"Chin Solan Hope."
"It's in the past Gabrielle. We've moved on. It's behind us now. We are better friends now. We've learned a lot, been through a lot," Xena said.
"But it still doesn't changed what I've done," Gabrielle said. Her voice cracked.
Xena could tell Gabrielle was beating herself up over this. "Don't let it bother you. Alti is doing this to try to break us up. This all of this, is apart of her plain."
"I hate this feeling," Gabrielle said.
"Get some sleep," Xena ordered.
Gabrielle gave a slight smile and went back to her room.
The Halls of War
"So this is the Halls of War? Looks like a trash heap if you ask me," Tragis said.
"Don't speak ill of the God of War's temple Tragis," warned Antonius. "You never know who might be lurking around."
"Quiet, both you. Help me get this thing off of this pit," Degas said.
The three large men wrestled with the huge rock for what seemed like eternity. They finally managed to get it off and rolled the rock to the ground.
"What is this," Tragis asked. He looked down into the hole.
"I wouldn't get too close to that," warned Degas.
Perhaps it was spontaneous combustion. Or maybe it was something else. The force of the explosion, sent Tragis and Antonius back several feet, knocking both men to the ground.
"Whoa!" exclaimed Tragis.
"This is," announced Degas. A smile appeared on his face from ear to ear.
Flames were coming up and out of the pit.
"It is Dahak's will!" proclaimed Khrafstar.
"Xena!" screamed Gabrielle.
"I'm coming Gabrielle!"
"Dahak already has a sacrifice in Gabrielle, but it is your blood Xena, that will welcome him into the world," said Khrafstar. "I am the Deliverer!"
The lightning struck near the bedroom. It was cllose enough to light up the room totally. "Ahhhhh!" screamed Gabrielle. She jolted forward.
Hearing the scream, Xena bolted into the room.
Gabrielle's breathing was labored. "Dahak?"
Xena ran over to Gabrielle. Lightning struck again, this time knocking Xena to the floor. Xena shook it off. She stood back up and looked at Gabrielle. Xena couldn't believe what she was seeing. It was happening, again.
Something started to pull Gabrielle out of the window.
"Xena!!" screamed Gabrielle. She was unable to stop from pulled out of the window. She looked at Xena, and pleaded for help.
Xena ran towards Gabrielle and grabbed hold of her friend, but she too was pulling pulled by this force. Xena allowed herself to be pulled. Wherever Gabrielle was going, she was going there too.
Dahak vs. Greece's Mightiest Heroes
"Hercules, it's Dahak!" exclaimed Iolaus.
Hercules moved beside his friend. The two warriors now found themselves in the Halls of Wall.
Iolaus heard someone scream, he looked up and saw Gabrielle trapped in ropes of fire.
He looked back at Hercules he was staring at the man in front of him. "Found another warrior Dahak?"
"This warrior is all powerful!"
Hercules recognized the familiar cry.
"Xena?" Gabrielle asked, astonished.
Xena landed beside Hercules. She drew out her sword.
"Xena!" screamed Gabrielle.
Xena looked towards the scream and saw Gabrielle. She turned back to Dahak.
Dahak looked at Xena, one look was all it took. Xena went flying backwards.
Hercules turned at watched as his friend landed against a wall and fell to the ground. When Xena started to get up, Hercules turned back to Dahak.
"What do you want Dahak?" Hercules asked.
"To finish up old business," Dahak said. He looked at Iolaus.
Something told Iolaus to duck, and just in time too. Dahak started throwing swords and knives at the three warriors. They were ready to fight.
"Give it up," warned Xena.
"You can't defeat me this time Xena," argued Dahak. "I am all-powerful."
Xena took her chakram and threw it at Dahak. Dahak deflected it and sent it back towards Xena. She reacted quickly to catch the chakram. She looked directly at Dahak.
"Remember this Xena?" Dahak charged Hercules. Hercules tried to step back out of the way, but Dahak was too quick. Dahak grabbed a hold both Hercules and Xena. Xena and Hercules struggled to get free of Dahak's grip. Dahak kicked Iolaus to the ground, knocking him unconscious. "This is what is going to happen to your friends after I've killed you Xena." Dahak's gripped grew tighter on Xena's throat, almost crushing it. It was suffocating Xena.
Hercules struggled. He grabbed a hold of Dahak with both hands.
Shocked, Dahak let his guard down.
Hercules found his chance and pulled Dahak's grip off Xena. Xena fell to the ground, barely able to breath.
Xena looked up and found Gabrielle still surrounded by flaming ropes.
Xena helped Iolaus up.
"Get Gabrielle, and get her out of here," ordered Xena. "This is our fight."
Iolaus knew better than to question Xena. He had to figure out how to get Gabrielle out of the flaming ropes. This wasn't going to be an easy task, obviously.
Xena moved besides Hercules. The two friends stared at Dahak, Dahak stared back.
"Another chance! You brought me back to defeat me Xena. The problem is, you also brought back my powers. What's the matter Xena? Having trouble fighting me in my spiritual state? Don't I'm real formed from the evil of the earth. And I'm a much better fighter than you ever dreamed."
Dahak once again, started throwing knifes.
"The pit!" Hercules said.
Xena's attention was turned to the oncoming soldiers into the Halls of War.
"Great," Hercules said.
"You deal with the soldiers, I'll deal with Dahak!" Xena ordered. "The only problem is Dahak, you forgot one thing. The vision!" Xena flew towards Dahak, knocking him the ground.
Hercules fought the soldiers. "Iolaus, find something to put into the pit."
"XENA!" Gabrielle screamed again.
"It's happening again Xena," Dahak warned. Dahak rose up. He straightened himself out.
Iolaus looked around for something to cover the flaming pit.
Xena grabbed a hold of Dahak, "Eat this!" Xena then tossed Dahak into the flaming pit.
The flaming ropes disappeared from Gabrielle. As she fell, Iolaus caught her and helped her sit down before turning his attention towards the pit.
Xena moved next to Iolaus and Gabrielle. Hercules finished off the rest of the soldiers. The ones that remained ran out of the Halls of War. Hercules then joined his friends to watch what was about to unfold in front of them.
Another explosion came out from the pit. Pieces of rock and dirt flew out and covered the area. A figure came from out from the fire. "Another time Xena." The figure then disappeared from the Halls of War quickly as it appeared.
"Xena?" Gabrielle asked, searching for her friend. Even though Xena was standing right next to her, she couldn't find her.
Xena kneeled beside Gabrielle. "I'm here Gabrielle."
"It's happening again." She turned to Xena.
"What?" asked Xena.
"I can feel it," Gabrielle said. She started to cry. She buried herself in Xena's arms. She didn't want to relive this part.
"Let's get out of here," Xena said. She helped Gabrielle up and the four friends left the Halls of War.
Is It Really the End?
"Are you sure it wasn't real" Gabrielle asked.
"I'm sure. Dahak already had you once, I don't think he'd want you again. I know I wouldn't," Xena said with a cracked smile.
Gabrielle rested her head on Xena's shoulder. "She's still out there."
"I know," Xena said. "We'll meet again. But for now, we'll move on."
Gabrielle continued to rest her head on Xena's shoulders and asked"Will it ever really end?"
The two set of friends parted their ways. Hercules and Iolaus went off in one direction. Xena and Gabrielle went in another. Xena and Gabrielle talked about what happened. Xena's transformation back into her old warlord days, Alti and Dahak's return. Was Dahak really gone? Is Alti really gone?
One thing remained clear to the heroines. Dahak may have been gone, but Alti was still out there. And still powerful. They had to find you Alti, before Alti caused more trouble.
"Join me Xena and I'll make you the Destroyer of Nations.'"
COMING IN PART 2 of "The Destroyer of Nations"
Xena sets out on her own to find Alti, leaving Gabrielle behind with the Amazons. Gabrielle befriends an aging Amazon Warrior who tells her story of how Xena knows so much about the Amazons. Meanwhile, Alti has her own set agenda of becoming "The Destroyer of Nations" and with the help Oteri, Alti travels back in time get some help.
Xena encounters the tribe she betrayed many years ago. They tell her to leave, but when Alti shows up with her new help, they need her help in order to preserve their tribe.
Gabrielle discovers a lost position during her visit with Ephiny's tribe. Gabrielle learns of Xena's crimes against the Amazon Nation.