Chapter Five

Payment Time

“It’s almost sundown,” the villager said to Hercules. “Are you sure your plan will work.”

“She’ll most likely have Gabrielle with her. If Gabrielle manages to pick up on the signal to escape, Xena will hopefully go after her. You know what to do,” Hercules said.

“I don’t know if going after Gabrielle is such a good idea,” another villager said.

“Gabrielle is a good catch for Xena. Amazons fetch a good slavery price,” Hercules said. “Especially their Queens.”

“But Gabrielle is no longer the Queen,” remarked Lila.

“Xena doesn’t know that,” Hercules said. “At least I hope she doesn’t know that.”

Lila went back with her family, in the safety of a temple with the rest of the villagers. The wagons were positioned properly to provide protection for the villagers.

“We have to get Xena and Gabrielle by the cave,” Hercules ordered.

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

Getting Paid

“I don’t like this. They are up to something,” Janus said.

“Of course they are Janus. You didn’t think they would just turn over the wagons to us without a fight did you? Hercules probably wants to us near the cave so he can dump rocks on us,” Xena mused. “Bring the girl up front,” Xena ordered.

“The name is Gabrielle,” Gabrielle said. She was struggling with the soldier.

“You said you were willing to die for this villagers?” Xena asked. Gabrielle nodded in agreement. She looked down onto her village.

“Well, you aren’t going to die today Gabrielle. Not if I have anything to say about it. You are more valuable to me alive, especially if you are the Queen of the Amazons,” Xena stated. She looked back to her soldiers, “If they give you trouble, kill them all. Take no prisoners.”

“Yes commander,” Janus said. He saluted his leader and rode to the head of the cavalry.

Gabrielle looked to Xena with a grim expression, “They won’t get away.”

“That’s why were are staying here. See that cave, with the rocks on top —,” Xena said pointing to the cave.

“They are going to try to maneuver your army over there then crush the army with little loss of life for the them,” Gabrielle commented.

Xena looked down in amazement.

“I know the tactic,” Gabrielle commented. “Take out your opponent before they take out you.”

“Get moving,” Xena ordered. Xena never looked back.

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

The Taking of Poteidaia

“Where is Xena?” a villager asked Hercules.

“I don’t know. Xena’s smart. She is an exceptional commander. Not afraid to send her men into battle and watch them die a worthless cause. I don’t like this. She know’s something is up,” Hercules commented.

“Hercules!” Iolaus shouted. He jumped off the horse and ran to Hercules. “Xena never showed up in Amphipolis.”

“I know,” Hercules said. “Iolaus, get ready.”

“Where is your commander at?” Hercules asked.

“You were foolish in trying to fool her Hercules. She smelled your trap a mile away,” Janus said. “Just give us the wagons and we’ll be on our way. We’ll stay away from the cave if it is all the same to you.”

“No. I want your commander,” Hercules said.

“Janus!” Agrilius shouted. He came riding into the village like Hades on his chariot. Agrilius whispered something into Janus’ ear. Agrilius moved to the side of Janus.

“Well, well, well. Looks she already figured you’d pull a stunt like this. Take the loot wagons, but don’t kill anyone,” Janus said.

“Don’t kill anyone?”

“She?” Iolaus asked.

“Long story,” Hercules said. “Get ready to fight Iolaus.”

“We aren’t here to fight,” Janus argued. “Just give us the loot and we’ll be on our way.”

“No commander, no wagon,” Hercules ordered. He pulled Janus down from his horse.

“Get the woman and children to the cave,” someone shouted.

Just then, the rocks that were atop the cave came tumbling down.

“The cave, it’s blocked,” a villager shouted.

Janus gave a laugh. “Looks like your plan failed Hercules. Pull out. She was right, this isn’t worth the trouble.” Janus vaulted back onto his horse and rode off back towards the camp.

“You can tell your leader, I’ll be there at every corner,” Hercules shouted.

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

No Battle Today

“What is going on?” Gabrielle asked. “Why aren’t they fighting?”

“I told them not too. No point in those villagers dying,” Xena said.

“You never wanted anything did you?” Gabrielle asked. She looked at Xena.

Xena continued to look down onto the village. Xena ignored the question. She saw her army pulling out and decided to head back the camp.

Gabrielle continued to watch Xena. The warlord Xena, never would have pulled out. This Xena did. Gabrielle was starting to make sense of what Ares said when he told her Xena was in trouble. Gabrielle knew it was up to her.

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

Seems Like Old Times, Doesn’t It?

“So it was Xena?” asked Iolaus in disbelief. “She killed Minos in cold blood?”

“Yes. I’ve never seen that look in her eyes before. Not even when she plotted to kill me. There was this evil. Complete evil,” Hercules said. He finished dressing a wound on a villager. Hercules got up and started to check on the other villagers.

“At least they didn’t get anything.” Iolaus said.

“She didn’t want them too. She ordered her men to not fight us,” Hercules said. “They won’t be back.”

“But what about Gabrielle?” a concerned Iolaus asked. Xena was misfiring and Gabrielle was in the middle of it.

“Gabrielle isn’t in danger. Xena pulled her army out because she didn’t want to fight. She didn’t want to kill these people,” Hercules pointed out.

“So now what?” Iolaus asked.

“We do what we would normally do,” Hercules said. “Go after her.”

“But what would prevent her from killing us?” Iolaus asked.

“She won’t.”

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

I’m a Amazon Queen, Really

“Bring the girl to me,” Xena ordered.

The soldier nodded and left the tent.

“You don’t have to be so rough,” Gabrielle said. She struggled with the soldier. She broke free.

The soldier reacted as he would normally with any other prisoner. He was going to teach her some respect.

“No!” Xena shouted. She grabbed the soldier’s arm. “If anyone will be knocking respect into her, it will be me!”

The soldier stepped back from Gabrielle.

“How thoughtful,” Gabrielle sighed.

“You said you were an Amazon Queen?” Xena asked.


“You sure don’t look like one,” Xena remarked.

“Looks aren’t everything,” Gabrielle replied. “It’s part of the cover.”


“Yes,” Gabrielle answered. Gabrielle had to think quick on feet now.

“What are you doing here?” Xena asked.

“A friend of mine once told me that in order to defeat your enemy without getting yourself killed is to learn everything you could about them,” Gabrielle said. “That’s what I’m doing.”

Xena let out a slight chuckle. “The Amazons aren’t known to just sack any village for no reason. They are to proud to do that.”

“I’m not apart of those Amazons,” Gabrielle said. Gabrielle took a deep breath.

“Renegade? You don’t —.”

“I fooled you didn’t I? I fooled Hercules,” Gabrielle said. “They way I see it, we can help each other.”

“You aren’t a good liar,” Xena said.

“What do you mean,” choked Gabrielle. She tried to control her fear. She didn’t recognize the person behind those blue eyes.

“You don’t need my help. Nor do I need yours. Nor would I ever give you help. The Renegade Amazons are one of the reasons why the Nation broke up,” Xena said.

“Not those Renegades —.” Gabrielle was trying anything at this point.

“Most of the Renegades are dead or they converted back into the tribes,” Xena said.

“Alright, I lied. I’ll admit it. I lied. The real truth is, I’m from your future. I was sent back to save you from destroying your future life,” Gabrielle pleaded. “The thing about being an Amazon Queen, is true though. Or least I was.” What on earth did I just say to her, Gabrielle thought. She was willing try anything at this point.

“You aren’t now?”

“Um. No. The Regent Queen Ephiny was killed by the Romans. I came back to rule as Queen and well, when it was over — I relinquished the title,” stuttered Gabrielle.

“The Romans? Hmm. Interesting. I’ve heard of an Ephiny.”

Gabrielle felt as if her heart was about to jump out her chest. Finally, a name she recognized, Gabrielle thought.

“She tried to prevent me from killing the person —.” Xena stopped in mid sentence and looked at Gabrielle straight in the eyes. “You!”

“Me?” Gabrielle asked, astoundingly. She knew where Xena was going with this. Ephiny’s name didn’t bring back good memories, only the bad. The really bad.

“I thought I had killed you,” Xena said.

“Yes. You tried, at least. But we fell over a cliff,” Gabrielle sputtered. Her fear was starting to get the best of her. “And we ended up in some sort of strange world.”

“And suppose now you are going to tell me everything turned out to be just fine, right?”

“Yes,” Gabrielle said. “But it didn’t happen overnight.”

“Of course not,” Xena said. She gave Gabrielle a strange look and then grabbed her. “You fear me now, don’t you?”

Gabrielle shook her head yes.

“You didn’t before,” Xena said. She continued to hold a grip on Gabrielle. It continued to get stronger.

Gabrielle started to have difficulty to breath. “I do now.”

Xena let go of Gabrielle. Gabrielle fell to the ground, grasping for air. “Get up!” Xena commanded. Gabrielle slowly complied. She looked into Xena’s eyes. “Guards!” The guards came in. “Take her!”

“You felt her pain, didn’t you?” Ares asked.

“Traitor!” Xena shouted. She walked passed Ares.

“I’m a God Xena, I play both sides of the fence when it suits my purpose. That feeling you have right now, is called guilt. A person in your position doesn’t have the time nor the capacity to feel guilt. It’ll get you killed,” Ares said.

“First you try help me. Then you try to stop me with the help of that pathetic Amazon. Then you try to help me — again. I think I’ll just ignore you altogether and make my life a whole lot easier,” Xena said.

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

“Who is that girl?” a voice asked.

“She represents goodness and light,” Xena said. Xena’s train of thought was shattered when she saw a vision of her death, including this person claiming to be her friend. “Romans.”

“You are the best thing to ever happen to me,” Xena said.

“I love you Xena,” Gabrielle said.

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

The Vision

“What are you going to do to me,” Gabrielle asked.

“That depends on what you can tell me,” Xena replied. She wanted to know more about this vision. Her expression was that of confusion.

Gabrielle saw the expression. She hadn’t seen that expression since Xena had told her about the vision. Of all the things she had to remember, why did it have to be that vision, Gabrielle thought to herself. “You had a vision didn’t you?”

“You seem to know me. And it feels like I should know you since we are obviously crucified by Romans together,” Xena replied. She bowed her head down.

Gabrielle felt the pain. The confusion. The anguish. “It’s true too.”

“How do you know?” Xena asked.

Gabrielle didn’t want to deluge the truth any further, but she knew she had too. She wouldn’t let it rest. “Because it’s already happened.” Gabrielle hung her head down.

“Xena! Hercules is coming,” a soldier shouted.

Xena’s mood changed. It was back to business as usual. She Gabrielle one final look, then walked out the door to meet Hercules.

“He’s come in peace,” the soldier remarked.

“What do you want,” Xena asked. She walked passed Hercules.

“The Xena I know wouldn’t have walked away from a fight,” Hercules said. “Where is Gabrielle?”

“Tucked away,” Xena said. Why is Gabrielle so important to him, she asked herself.

“If you give me Gabrielle, you and your army can just walk away,” Hercules offered.

“You just said yourself I don’t walk away from a fight. Well, there is no fight to walk away from, now is there. The girl is somehow, don’t know yet, important to me. I”ll keep her for the time being,” Xena said. “Then is no other option,” Hercules said.

“I won’t fight you,” Xena said.

“Why?” Hercules asked.

“It wouldn’t seem right,” Xena said. “As long as you stay away from me, Gabrielle is safe.”

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

She Won’t Be Back

“What have you done to her Ares,” Hercules asked.

“She sure is misfiring,” Ares laughed.

“And you find that amusing?”

“Well, not all of it. You know, I’d never thought I’d hear myself this, but I don’t want her,” Ares said.

“It is up to Gabrielle to finish the job,” Hercules said, walking past his brother. He never looked up to acknowledge him.

“You are right. Only that irritating blonde can save her,” Ares said. “Stay away from this Hercules. You won’t like what is at the root of it.”

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

“She won’t harm her,” Hercules said. “When Xena puts her mind to something, it’ll get accomplished. Whatever it maybe, it’ll be done. If she doesn’t want to harm Gabrielle, she won’t. She’s very protective of her, even if with the way she is right now.”

“She won’t be back?”

“She won’t be coming back,” Hercules said.

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