“Sirius!! Sirius!!,” the army shouted.
Sirius rode in front of his troops. They waved their swords and continued to shout his name. He turned to look at the opposite end of the ridge. “Centaurs and Amazon’s standing side by side! Willing to die for one another!!” He back to his commanders.
“When should we start the attack,” one of his lieutenants asked.
Sirius turned to look at his enemy. “They won’t attack first. Attack!!”
With that order, Sirius’ Army commenced forth. They were yelling with swords, staffs and spears aloft. The ran towards the front of line of centaurs and amazons.
With bow and arrows aimed, they fired. The amazons and centaurs managed to take out several of the soldiers. But it soon became a hand to hand combat war.
Sirius was at the front, taking out his enemy with the swift move of his sword. He was obviously well trained. He looked around for Xena. He couldn’t find her. He fought his way to the back of the line. He still couldn’t find out. He climbed off his horse and continued to pick off his enemy one by one.
“Looking for me,” Xena said. She had her sword in tow. She felt up to this fight.
Sirius stopped and turned around. He did a smile and twirled his sword around and made a lunge for Xena.
Xena was quick to deflect his aim. The swords clashed.
“You are going to die,” Sirius said. He made another lunge for her.
“Not today,” Xena said. Xena kicked him, sending him backwards. She twirled her sword around and did her battle cry.
She lunged for Sirius this time. This made her side surge in pain. This only fueled her more. She suddenly became stronger.
Sirius kicked her away. She fell to the ground, but quickly sprung back up.
“She said you were hurt,” Sirius said. He couldn’t believe the way she was fighting. This should have been an easy kill. “You never give up do you?”
“Never trust those who appear from out of no where,” Xena said. She swung her sword at Sirius. The only way Sirius knew where they were at was from Callisto.
“I told you I deliver her to you,” Callisto said. She no longer appeared in the form of Aria. Appalling as it may have been, Callisto appeared as herself. “It’s payback time Xena!!”
Just as Callisto was about to disarm Xena, Ares appears. “Not this time Callisto...” Ares and Callisto engage in a short-lived fight of which Ares wins.
“Ares of God War...,” Sirius looked on. He let himself become on unfocused. His attention was quickly restored when Xena tried to impale him with her sword. He deflected her blow. He knocked her to the ground.
“Is on my side,” Xena said. She never thought of herself saying that about Ares. It seemed out of the ordinary. Xena leaped back to her feet. She twirled her sword around.
Sirius twirled his. He made a sadistic laugh.
The two warriors stood staring at one another. Waiting for one of them to make a move. Sirius made a charge for Xena. Xena twirled her sword around. He fell right into her sword. He fell dead to the ground.
Xena was weakened by the fight, but managed. She held onto her side.
She looked back to see Sirius’ army retreating. The Amazons and Centaurs were rejoicing. They defeated a deadly army.
Gabrielle went in search for her friend. “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” Xena said. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Gabrielle said. She spotted Sirius. “You killed him?”
Xena just looked at Gabrielle. Expressions were more than words.
“You didn’t break any stitches did you,” Gabrielle asked with concern. She went to look at Xena’s wound.
“Nope,” Xena said. She started to walk off towards Ephiny.
“Good. I was worried there for a moment,” Gabrielle said. Gabrielle knew her friend was fine.
Back at the Amazon Village
Several Days Later...
The Amazons and Centaurs were celebrating the victory over the warlord Sirius and the return of their lands to proper owners. Once again, they owed the Warrior Princess a debt of gratitude.
Gabrielle and Xena sat on a log, watching their friends celebrate. They didn’t say much too each other.
Gabrielle finally mustered up enough courage to ask Xena about her little partnership with Ares. “Why did you help Ares?”
Xena had expecting the question. She hadn’t really thought up a suitable answer, “It just seemed right...he didn’t want anything in return.”
Gabrielle nodded and accepted the answer. “This is going to be a habit is it?”
“No,” Xena said with a smile.
Gabrielle’s thoughts drifted back to Aria. “She seemed helpful.”
Xena knew her friend was referring too. Xena thought for a moment. “Aria was real. She is who said she was. Aria is a spirit warrior.”
“So why did you attack her,” Gabrielle asked.
“The real Aria wouldn’t challenge someone whom she had saved...It goes back to having faith in each other. It was that made her appear,” Xena said. “Callisto, somehow...someway...used that faith against us. I realized it when she said she couldn’t let me kill Sirius. When you showed up, she tried to use you against me. She had hoped you would do something. You lost your faith in Aria...that’s what saved our lives.”
“So Callisto had to go to alternative,” Gabrielle said.
“Yes. Sirius was her key,” Xena said.
The two chatted some more.
Gabrielle didn’t fully understand what had happened. She wasn’t sure Xena did either. Gabrielle realized that if she had kept her faith in Aria, Xena would be dead. That is what Ares meant. If she hadn’t showed confusion, hadn’t poised a threat to Aria/Callisto...things would not have turned out they way they did.
A Week Later...
With Xena almost completely healed and anxious to get on their way, Gabrielle said good-bye to her Amazon friends.
“I have this idea....for this story,” Gabrielle said. “A warrior who lives in the trees. She watches over people and comes to their aide...what do you think?”
“Sounds like a good story,” Xena said. Xena looked back up into the trees, she gazed for the moment. She no longer felt dizzy.
The two warriors headed off into the sunset.