“You failed your mission,” the crazy guy said. “You weren’t supposed to physically harm Xena.”
“I didn’t harm her.”
“You threatened. Not only that, Caesar didn’t become Emperor. You practically told her the plans what our Lord had in store Caesar. You gave her enough information to find someone willing to take Caesar out power.”
“Xena could have figured it out on her own,” Callisto said. “It’s this warrior’s thing. She has too much pride. And she’s far to smart for your Lord.”
“He has faith in you. He’s willing to give you another chance,” the crazy guy said.
“Because he likes you.”
“I’m all ears.”
“You are to make sure that the next in line is a servant our Lord. His name is Octavian.”
“What about Xena?”
“Her faith in her ‘way’ is too strong. She can’t be turned. Leave her alone. Should you interfere with her again, you’ll be turned into a mortal. That’s the consequence of your action.” The crazy guy left.
“I’m afraid that can’t be done. She has something of mine.”
“Bout time you guys show up,” Amarice said. “You two alright?” Eli asked.
“Yeah. We’re fine,” Xena said. She looked around. “We can’t stay here. They’ll be looking for us.”
“Let’s go,” Amarice said.
Eli and Amarice and the rest of the group start ahead.
“You alright?” Gabrielle asked.
“I’m fine.” Xena looked back towards the prison. We’ve made it this fair, maybe we can make it all the way, Xena thought to herself.
Xena and Gabrielle joined the others.
“Like I said Xena, you aren’t going to get away with this,” Callisto said. She appeared in her old form. She meant business this time. “Your vision will still come true Xena.”
Callisto knocked trees down across the path, hoping it will slow the group down.
“Try to get past this.”
“The path is blocked,” Amarice said.
“Odd. It wasn’t earlier,” Xena said. She looked up into the trees. “Go around.”
“Something is wrong, isn’t it?” Gabrielle asked.
“Someone deliberately did this. To slow us down,” Xena said.
“Who?” Amarice asked.
Xena looked and Gabrielle. Gabrielle nodded in agreement.
“A god,” Xena said.
“They hate you too?” Amarice asked.
“Not all of them. Just one has a particular hatred for me,” Xena said.
“What can we do about it?” Amarice asked.
Xena and Gabrielle walked around the downed trees.
“Nothing right now.”
“That’s right Xena. Nothing can be done about me,” Callisto smirked. She watched them from a copse of trees. “How did you end up with them?”
“We aren’t that far from Amphipolis,” Gabrielle said.
“That will be the first place they’ll look. It will be too dangerous. I don’t to risk bringing harm to people who don’t deserve it.”
“And we do?” Gabrielle asked. She let out a slight sigh, “Maybe Brutus will stop the search.”
“We can only hope that. Until then, we keep moving.”
“I thought once we got out of there, our troubles will end,” Gabrielle said. She peered into the fire. “I guess not.” “It was too easy. They let us escape,” Xena said. “Something else too. Why would she attack me?”
“You have to ask that question?” Gabrielle said. She looked at Amarice. “Amarice is asleep.”
“Think about it. Her deal was to not harm me. Why would she suddenly do that? It would mean more torment for her if she did. It was as if she did it for some other reason.”
“What other reason could it be?” Gabrielle asked.
“I can’t place it.” Xena said. “It’s been bothering me ever since we got out of the prison.”
“We shouldn’t dwell on it any longer,” Gabrielle said. “Get some sleep.”
Xena nodded in compliance, but it would be awhile before she could sleep. Something was still bothering her. Xena walked into the woods.
“You can’t seem to kill her can you?” Ares asked.
“What do you want?” Xena asked. “I thought I’d never hear from you again.”
“That was a cool trick, beating your fate like that,” Ares said.
“It wasn’t a trick Ares. A matter of necessity,” Xena glared.
“Call it what you want. You have to defeat Callisto.”
“Because she’s still out to get you. Especially now,” Ares said.
“Quit the cryptic talk Ares. What is it that I have that she wants?”
“Power. The fact that you’ll continue in a spiritual haven and she won’t. Who could blame her for being jealous. But you also have something very dear to her,” Ares said. “Remember when Callisto went back to try to stop the death of family?”
“Iolaus told me about it. She ended up murdering her parents anyhow,” Xena said.
“Her sister saw her do it.”
“Her sister?” It was beginning to make sense.
“That’s why she threw the chakram at you,” Ares said. “She couldn’t stand the thought of her sister being with you.”
Xena looked back at the campsite. “Amarice.”
“Your instinct serves you well. She’s knows who you are. And she wants to kill whose responsible for the death of her parents,” Ares said.
“Callisto,” Xena said.
“If you put Callisto back where she belongs your troubles will be over,” Ares said.
“How do you know so much about this?” Xena asked.
“We Gods know other Gods,” Ares said. He disappeared.
“Xena?” Gabrielle asked. “What is it?”
“Amarice. She’s Callisto’s sister.”
“She’s what?” Gabrielle asked. She was surprised.
“It would explain why she through the chakram at me,” Xena said.
“Are you sure?” Gabrielle asked. “I mean it could be anybody.”
“It could be. Remember when Amarice and Eli went back? They saw Callisto. The look on Callisto’s face was unmistakable. Callisto recognized her and Amarice the same thing. Even Eli. Only Eli sensed evil.”
“How does Eli figure into all of this?” Gabrielle asked.
“He’s a patron of goodness,” Xena said.
“Patron of goodness?”
“Like you said. We shouldn’t dwell on it.”