Chapter Three

The Help of a God

“Gabrielle, have you seen Minos?” Hercules asked.

“Not since this afternoon. Why?” Gabrielle asked with concern. Minos wasn’t the type to wonder off. Especially with the knowledge of a warlord hanging around. Especially if the warlord is as merciless as he said. “Maybe he went with Iolaus and just forget to tell us.”

“I don’t like it. Something about all this, is all too familiar,” Hercules warned. “You better get some sleep.”

Gabrielle went back to her family’ house.

“Well, well little brother. Looks like you got your hands full,” Ares said.

“Ares. I suppose you are enjoying this?” Hercules asked.

“On the contrary, I’m down right appalled.” Ares said. “This warlord, is going to destroy the world.”

“And you aren’t happy about that?” questioned Hercules. Ares always had a motive. Ares wanted to rule the world. He go to means to do it.

“Stay away from this Hercules, if you want to live. I can’t tell you who, because quite frankly I’m shocked about it myself,” Ares warned.

“Watching out for me again are we?” Hercules asked. He walked passed his half-brother.

“I’m warning you Hercules. You aren’t going to like what you are going to see,” Ares said. He disappeared.

“If you don’t want me here, then this is probably the best place for me to be,” Hercules sighed. He too, decided to turn in for the night himself.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Ares. You sure are hanging around here a lot,” Xena said. “You amaze me,” Ares said. “Forget Poteidaia. There is nothing there.”

“Hercules is there,” Xena warned. “I want Hercules dead!”

“I know you do. But spare those villagers,” Ares said.

“Since when do you care about mortals? No. I’m going into Poteidaia and taking what belongs to me. And you can’t stop me,” Xena warned.

“I wouldn’t dream of stopping you Xena,” Ares said.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Past

“Promise me that if anything ever happens to me, you won’t turn into a monster,” Gabrielle said. “Who are you Xena? What happened to the Xena I know?”

“Gabrielle, wake up,” Lila said. She shook her sister awake. “You are having a bad dream.”

Gabrielle slowly opened her eyes. She took a deep breath and stared at the ceiling. “What was I saying?”

“You were talking about Xena,” Lila said. “You were asking her who she was.”

“I was?”

“Go back to sleep. Iolaus will get Xena and bring her back,” Lila said.

Gabrielle drifted back to sleep. “Xena’s dark side frightens me. I have to move on. But I could never live with someone who killed her. There would be no turning back from that.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“You could have had it all,” Ares sighed. “You killed soldiers, you even left your pesky little friend for me.” Xena awoke with a sweat. Friend? What friend. I have no friends, thought Xena.

“Promise me, if anything ever happens to me you won’t turn into a monster,” Gabrielle softly said. She tried to comfort her friend. She felt her friend’s pain. “The only way to end the cycle of hate is through love.”

“Who are you?” shouted Xena. She kept hearing this voice. She thought it was coming from outside. She looked outside her tent and saw only a few of her soldiers by a campfire. She dismissed the voices as a bad dream and went back to sleep. Or least what she called sleep.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Welcome Amphipolis, the Home of Xena

“I’m sorry Iolaus,” Cyrene said “She hasn’t arrived yet. I didn’t even know she was coming. She usually sends word.”

“I didn’t take the road here, so I would have run into her if I saw her,” Iolaus commented. “She always sends word?”

“Always,” Cyrene said. “Is there something wrong?”

Iolaus ignored the question. He didn’t want to worry Cyrene anymore than what she already was. “I’m sure she’s okay. She probably is already heading there. She has a knack for sensing trouble.”

“Don’t leave on an empty stomach,” Cyrene said. She ushered him to a table.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Unlikely Allie

“What do you want Ares?” Gabrielle asked as she retrieved water from the well.

“It all concerns Xena,” Ares said.

“I won’t do you bidding Ares,” Gabrielle said. She kept her back turned to him.

“I’m not asking you too. I can’t do that. It would be like turning your best friend against their best friend,” Ares conjured.

“What are you saying?” Gabrielle asked.

“Tell me Gabrielle, how have you been feeling. Light headed?” Ares asked.

“How did you know?” Gabrielle asked. She placed the pale on the ground and turned around. How did he know that I was sick or been feeling sick, she thought. “Is this some attempt to draw Xena back to you?”

“What is it you said, ‘the only way to end violence is through love’?” Ares asked. “And no, quite frankly, I’ve given up on that.”

“You are full of it,” Gabrielle said. “If it’s about the warlord, I’m sure Xena is on her way.” She felt assured by the fact that Xena was most likely on her way and when she learned Ares was trying to sway Gabrielle. Well, Ares would be eating his own words.

“Oh Xena’s on her way, alright, Gabrielle. In more ways than you can imagine,” Ares said.

“See, why do you need my help?” Gabrielle asked.

“Because you are the only hope,” Ares said. “If you two are connected through some force, you’ll find out soon enough. Then all of this will make since to you.” Ares backed away from Gabrielle and disappeared.

“When is he going to learn to just drop it?” Gabrielle asked. She picked up the pale and headed back towards the house. She heard the rustle of leaves and stopped in her tracks. “Minos?” Gabrielle dropped the pale and ran towards the fallen man. “What happened?”

“You are in danger,” Minos said. He was struggling to catch his breath.

“Well, look what we found here,” a soldier said. He grabbed Gabrielle. “Another one for show and tell.”

Gabrielle struggled to break free, but the soldier was too strong. He clobbered her with a club and she slumped in his arms. He dragged her off back to the camp. The soldiers did the same to Minos.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gabrielle is Missing

“Hercules, Gabrielle didn’t return from getting the well,” Lila said.

Hercules finished helping a villager stack some logs on top of hut. “How long ago was that?”

“Quite some time,” Lila said with concern.

“I’m sure she’s okay,” assured Hercules. He wasn’t though. Minos disappearing and now, Gabrielle. Things weren’t adding up. “Well, let’s start at the well.”

“The pail is here,” Lila said. She looked around for her sister, but there was no sign of her.

Hercules looked down and a rock and noticed fresh blood. He turned the rock over.

“Hercules, they are coming!” a villager shouted.

Hercules and Lila returned to the village.

“You shouldn’t have stayed little brother,” Ares warned. “You’ll not only get yourself killed, but these people as well. They don’t need to die.”

“Ares, stay out of this,” Hercules said. “If you don’t want me here, then this is probably the best place for me to be.”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Ares said. He backed away and then disappeared.

“Riders approaching!”

Hercules straightened himself and looked to the oncoming riders.

“Well if it isn’t Hercules. Give us the harvest and any gold and we’ll be on our way,” the soldier commanded.

“Is your leader that much of a coward?” Hercules asked. “Our fearless leader will make an appearance when they see fit. And if you don’t give us what we want, you’ll see our leader and your throat will be cut,” the soldier commanded.

“Not if I have say in it,” Hercules said.

“Oh, you don’t have a say in it,” the soldier said. “Anyone who stands up to us will suffer the same fate as your friends here. Bring the prisoners up front.”

A soldier brought up two people who were covered.

“The little one will die first,” the soldier. He pulled the sack off of Gabrielle.

“It’s Gabrielle!” someone cried. “They have Gabrielle!”

Hercules turned to the direction of the voice. If I let them kill Gabrielle, Xena will have my head, Hercules thought. He turned back to the soldier.

“You have until sundown to make your peace,” the soldier said. “Take her back to the camp. Leave the man here.” He turned to the hill. He saw the signal. “You wanted to see our leader. Well, since you don’t seem intent on giving into our demands, we’ll make a very bold statement. Make sure the girl sees this.”

Another soldier placed Minos on the ground. He held them there.

“What are you going to do?” Hercules asked.

“Oh nothing like an execution to liven things up,” the soldier said.

“It’s Xena!”

Hercules felt a sudden breeze of relief. Something was telling him something was wrong with this picture.

“Xena?!” Gabrielle exclaimed.

Xena didn’t notice Gabrielle. She rode passed her like she wasn’t there. Never looking back.

Hercules felt strange. The knot in his stomach was beginning to grow stronger and stronger. The fact that Xena rode passed Gabrielle and didn’t so much as look at her made him feel uneasy.

Gabrielle felt the same way. “Thank the Gods you are here.” She was happy to see her friend.

“Shut up!” a soldier said. He smacked Gabrielle.

Hercules jolted forward.

“Ah, not yet big guy,” the soldier said. He held his sword to Hercules’ chest.

Xena surveyed the area. She got off Argo. She walked towards Hercules.

“Xena. Nice of you show up,” Hercules said. He thought he was greeting a friend.

“Oh, I wouldn’t miss this for the world Hercules,” grinned Xena. She unsheathed her sword and walked towards Minos.

“Don’t do this,” Minos pleaded. “You can’t do this Xena!”

Neither Hercules nor the villagers were making any sense of this. Slowly the villagers began backing away. They had a bad feeling about this too.

“Xena, you can’t,” Minos pleaded again.

“Oh, but I can. That’s why it’s fun,” Xena said.

“Xena?! What are you doing,” Hercules asked. He was too stunned to move. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“Xena! No!” screamed Gabrielle.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Xena took her sword and raised it above her head.

“Xena! No!” screamed Gabrielle again.

Xena didn’t flinch. Gabrielle’s attempts to reach her failed. Xena plunged the sword into Minos’ chest. With a scream and sudden, steady flow of blood, Minos’ collapsed to the ground.

Gabrielle fell to the ground as well.

“She killed him,” whispered the villagers.

“You’ll all suffer the same fate as your friend here did,” Xena said. She cleaned off her sword on Minos’ pants. She climbed back aboard Argo and rode off.

Hercules approached Minos. It was too late.

“We are doomed aren’t we,” a villager asked. “It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. What a waste.”

The villagers dispersed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Village Meeting

“We should give into their demands. We can’t defeat her,” a villager said.

“But you can,” Hercules said.

“You are a friend of hers,” another villager said.

“I’m a friend of Xena, not this person that rode into your village this morning. I don’t know that Xena. But I know someone who does,” Hercules said.


“But Xena has her. If she hasn’t already killed her already,” a villager said.

“Didn’t you see what happened out there? When Xena killed Minos, something happened to Gabrielle,” Hercules said. “Gabrielle is the key.”

“And how are we supposed to get this message to her?” another asked.

“We don’t. Gabrielle already knows,” Hercules said.

“To spare us, we’ll give in. But you must get Gabrielle out of there,” Herodotus asked. “That warlord took her away from us, she’s not going to kill her too.”

“We thank you for your help Hercules, but we have to protect our families. We aren’t warriors, simple people. We have to give them what they want and they’ll go away,” the village elder said.

The other villagers dispersed.

Hercules remained alone. “So that’s why you wanted me to say out of this Ares. I bet you just happy with this aren’t you?”

“Like I said earlier little brother, I’m appalled by this. I know Xena. I know she won’t stray away from her path. I don’t buy her ‘way’, but I’ve accepted it. You were lucky. Xena can kill you. She’s in that frame of mind right now,” Ares said.

“Gabrielle is the key?” Hercules asked.

“Oh yes. See, only Gabrielle can defeat Xena. Only, if either kills the other, they both die. You saw what happened to Gabrielle out there. When she killed that guy, it was like a apart of her dying as well. Every time Xena kills an innocent person, a part of Gabrielle dies. Xena only grows stronger. If she hurts you, she gets stronger. It is some other force driving her. I told her to come here to see she was for real. I was shocked to see her excited about this,” Ares said.

“So you are switching sides yet again?” Hercules asked.

“I don’t want Xena to die. Perhaps it is that hope she’ll come back to me,” Ares said.

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