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Thread: Xena: Warrior Princess (Season 7)

  1. #1

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    Default Xena: Warrior Princess (Season 7)

    ((OOC: So me and @inumbra are doing this Xena Warrior Princess Season 7 thing, going back and forth writing chapters. Basically everything takes place after the series finale, where Xena sacrificed her life to be a spirit fighting in hell to redeem all those that she hurt.


    Episode 1: Die When You’re Gone

    "In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was….

    She was flat on her back, that’s what she was. And not in a good way. Placing her hands behind her head, Xena recover flipped up and kicked one of Yodoshi’s vengeful’s spirits square in the chest. Xena was a spirit herself so it was like they were both corporeal. The spirits looked kind of like wraiths, half-ghost like things that felt cold to the touch. By this time though, Xena was quite used to their temperature.

    She looked around to soak in her environment. As an SLE she could do this naturally, effortlessly all at once. The dimension she was in was kind of swirly and gray and dull but with a few streaks of purple here and there on the “walls”. She tried to tell herself that the purple meant something… some sign of hope, after all this time. But who was she kidding?

    “Fourteen years… I’ve been here fourteen years” Xena sighed.

    “…Still not enough” another Spirit seethed, this time in the form of a toddler that Xena butchered when she was evil. Just for the fun of it. She remembered Borias received sexual gratification from her doing it, they were so sick together. So sick and fucked up. “I’m sorry….” Xena said genuinely to the ghost. But how can you ask a toddler for forgiveness? Does it know? It just poops and cries and eats hot dogs and tugs on his mother’s dress. Xena killed her too.

    “You want out? You know there’s no way out…” Two more spirits surrounded her. Adults this time. Xena was growing weary. Not physically, mind you. As a highly skilled warrior with the strength of ten heterosexual men, these fights weren’t that difficult at all. But they were psychologically and emotionally exhausting. She was sick and goddamn tired of it.

    She took the two spirits' heads and smashed them together. “I release you from your pain…” Xena knew these spirits couldn’t let go on their own, she had to help them. They were holding onto their pain, pain Xena inflicted upon them. She knew they didn’t deserve this, this was.. the least she could do, right? She tried to tell herself that every day. But she lost what day it really was. Was it Saturday, Wednesday, Thursday? Who knows, who gives a shit. This gig never came with a neat little datebook.

    There was always a split second or so Xena could think about Gabrielle. It never lasted that long though, and yet another spirit materialized from the void for Xena to battle. She lost how many count.

    Philosophers for a long time have held the notion that the concept of hell is just annoying repetition, of just being stuck. Love and happiness and orgasms, they were relief… elation. Sure they didn’t last long. Sure, they were weak, misty and airy things - like they tell you on condescending Games of Thrones episodes. They were all that stuff, it was true.

    But for that sweet romantic second, they gave you a break. Just that nice break. You were elated. Lifted, lighter. You went to heaven. Okay so you came back down again. Most people always do. But who cares, you were there.

    There was none of that in this realm… Xena’s heart fell heavier and heavier. She couldn't be completely crushed, she was just a spirit. Her body was already dead. This was nothing, even though it sucked. There was so much more pain she could endure. What was at the bottom of Hell but more holes?

    “Okay I need to suck it up and realize this is my fate” Xena said. She drew out her sword from her back again, for goddess-knows-how-many-times.

    “This is for Callisto, for Caligula, for Cyane a-and for anybody who I’ve ever hurt whose name probably also beings with a C…” She sliced both of the spirits in half with her sword. A third one showed up. Swoooowsh. It was decapitated.

    “Vengeful spirits of woe, you will not become zombies with lots of hit points that rise up and devour the people of planet Gaia” Xena said.

    But she was so blah and half-hearted about it, even though she tried to be jokey and positive there. It was hard to make witty battle quips when you weren’t allowed to SEE your friends; the people you care about and sacrifice everything for. The softness in Gabrielle’s eyes… the cadence in Virgil’s voice, and the smell of Ares’ chest. Xena... well. She was dead.

    That’s when she saw it. Was she hallucinating? At first she thought she was hallucinating. It couldn’t possibly be real. But no.. it was. She felt it, it was a goddamn bloody change. A change in the weather… after fourteen years of sameness, it was about time.

    She saw the dimensional walls rip right out between the purple seams, and gazed in wonder at the light that followed. “Well whaddya know” Xena said with a campy self-satisfied smile on her face. “Evil doesn’t always win after all”

    Xena then yodeled heroically and ran over to the escape tunnel. Another being appeared out from the other end. It looked like a kind of generic angel ‘warrior of good’ type person that Director Abbie would believe in. The being also had the aura of authority, and Xena felt like a kid running in the hallways at school again. She slowed down her pace, and allowed the being to communicate with her.

    “You have been relieved of your duties by the Higher Powers” the angel said. “Go now… I shall take over your shift.” He said it so formal and business-like, as if Xena’s time here was as easy as working at fucking Dairy Queen.

    “Are you sure you’ll be able to handle them all yourself?” Xena asked. Of course truthfully, Xena didn’t give a shit. It was like goddamnit you emo fucking spirits, I know I did fucked up things to you in my past, but get over it already. She just wanted to run and hug Gabrielle again, to feel the warmth squigglyness of her body, and all those Se-sensations you can’t put words to. Fourteen years of redemption was enough, right?

    The angel just nodded sternly and professional-like. That was all the reassurance Xena needed. She nodded back to the Angel, and walked out of her prison. Good-bye, Te valuing Angel.

    Xena's hopes were shattered however when she realized that coming back to life wasn’t that easy or simple. Okay she was out of that hellish fight low-level ghosts forever dimension. But she wasn’t presto changeo back inside her body whole like. She was ‘inbetween’ on some astral level, and it felt dizzy. So fucking uncomfortable.. like taking too many drugs or spending too much time on forum message boards. She didn’t know where to go… she knew she just had to exist in something, or she’d vanish in complete oblivion.

    But in this form she could at least observe. And travel fast. Really fast… she couldn’t do much or affect the physical world around her in any way… but she could at least travel fast…and of course you know where she’s going to go.

    Gabrielle looked out the window of the Inn she was staying at that night. Every night, after going from village to village trying to help and do the right thing, she looked out at the stars and remembered her adventures with Xena. It had been fourteen damn years now, but she didn’t forget… she would never forget.

    A javelin of light suddenly entered Gabrielle’s body. It felt so fucking amazing… for Xena at least. If only Gabrielle could feel this too with her, but Xena knew that she couldn’t – that it just didn’t work that way. But yeah, it was like getting sex from that person you always wanted sex from. And well then some. But Gabrielle’s consciousness took the back seat for now.

    Xena looked down at her hands… and saw Gabrielle’s arms. She touched them and smiled. After being dead for almost a decade and a half, it sure did feel good just to be alive again. But she couldn’t/wouldn’t stay this way forever, it was immoral and evil possession like even if it was lesbian and erotic. No. She would come back as herself, whole- the way she was meant to. And Gabrielle was going to help her.

    Xena looked out into the stars, similar to Gabrielle a few moments prior.

    “I’m back...”

    She felt Gabrielle’s presence struggle to remain control again. She allowed Gabrielle control of her own body again, not wanting to be too creepy for now.

    Xena left Gabrielle’s body and went back as that nothing sort of painful ghost. But spending a little time in the vessel of her soulmate Gabrielle helped her a bit. And she was still a crazy wisp of nothing but a better, slightly better crazy wisp of nothing.

    “..Sort of…” Xena sighed, looking at Gabrielle who didn’t notice Xena taking control of her body for a few seconds. She couldn’t communicate with Gabrielle this way, just look at her. She could look at Gabrielle but Gabrielle couldn’t notice Xena.

    Yet perhaps the most sad & painful thing is when Xena saw Gabrielle, she saw no color. Just black and white. Couldn’t see that beautiful blonde hair of Gabrielle’s… she did grow it out a bit more though.

    Xena wanted her old eyes back. She could see ‘Okay’ using Gabrielle’s eyes, but Gabrielle didn’t have 20/20 vision like Xena did!

    Xena thought to herself while looking fondly at her best friend, just so happy to see Gabrielle again after fourteen years, even if it was in a limited way. “Can’t live with them….”
    Last edited by dead bnd; 07-02-2015 at 05:34 AM.

  2. #2
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Gabrielle awoke feeling strangely energized and angry. Yes, she was still angry that Xena was dead. She had thought that she'd just sail off into the sunset keeping Xena warm in her heart and they'd travel to distant exotic lands in need of a girl with a chakram...

    “How naïve,” Gabrielle groaned, kicking her shit bucket across the floor. Now she was back in Greece visiting the same crappy sorts of dives she and Xena had always visited. Only without Xena, it wasn't really romantic anymore, and it was lonely. So Gabrielle had developed a habit of talking to herself—or rather bitching at herself.

    As she headed down the road to gods know where, who cares, she saw a circle of red up ahead: more Roman soldiers demanding their due. Her hand clenched on Xena's chakram as she headed into the center of the mob. One of the Romans stood high above the others and above a crowd of villagers, going on and on about needing food and tributes to carry on their glorious work throughout the European continent.

    “What bullshit!” declared Gabrielle, so loudly that she turned a few heads. “Do you think Xena and I fought off all the warlords just to have the land overrun by some organized dictatorship!” Her voice rose to a piercing angry wail.

    “Who's Xena,” asked one of the poor looking villagers.

    “I'll tell you who Xena was,” Gabrielle called out for all to hear. But before she could tell them, a strange energizing force took hold of her limbs, and suddenly she was doing flip kicks and yodeling like Xena. She didn't actually kick anyone, but the crowd parted a little to make room.

    Her acrobatics drew everyone's attention and a particularly patronizing look from the Roman head honcho. Gabrielle hardly noticed. “That was amazing,” she breathed to herself.

    Sometimes she'd thought she really could feel Xena with her in spirit, but it had never been so intense and lifelike, like a new blood surging through her and waking up muscles she never knew she had.

    “Excuse me! Excuse me!” the head Roman honcho called down to her. “Miss, do you mind? That was an impressive display. Truly. But we're assembled here to gather goods to help us spread the Word of Love throughout the land, to enlighten the miserable masses, to--”

    “Oh please!” said Gabrielle and watched in wonder as her arm shot out, holding up the chakram. But she wasn't to be distracted this time by her out of control limbs. “I know your messiah, Eve! She's Xena's daughter! And this isn't what she had in mind.” Then she turned to the crowd. “What's wrong with all of you? Are you just gonna let them take your food and money and your sons for their troops?”

    “Yeah,” said one elderly woman. “I've already lost most of my family, and all I have are the vegetables I grow in my back yard.”

    “And Rome appreciates your contribution,” said the head honcho, with an air of fake gratitude. “It's a big continent. It's a big planet. And the good news doesn't spread as simply as butter on your bread.”

    “I don't even have any butter,” one villager complained.

    “And I ain't got no bread,” said another.

    “They took all the goats in the village last week.”

    “And all the cows the month before.”

    “They cleared out our grain stores well before that.”

    “I know these are hard times for the people of Greece,” the head honcho called out to them, a look of smug benevolence plastered on his face. “And we won't ask much more of your generosity. But our men grow weary doing the good work, the season draws to a close, and they are in need of eggs and blankets, and perhaps some pork. And so Rome must prevail upon you once again.”

    “Isn't it obvious what's happening here?” Gabrielle shouted to them all. “Greece is an occupied territory. Sure, they try to be nice about it, but they march into our villages, armed, and take all our stuff!”

    “Miss, if you don't cease these disruptions, I'm going to have you removed,” said head honcho, a nasty gleam in his eye.

    “Removed where?” said Gabrielle, as a few soldiers closed in, their red Roman capes seeming to fold around her in the wind. “Would you jail me for speaking my mind?”

    “That's quite enough,” said head honcho motioning to the soldiers. “Of course we wouldn't do such a thing. There's no need for dramatics.”

    A soldier grabbed Gabrielle by the arm, and as he did, a low guttural sound rose up in her throat.

    “I've had about enough of this.” Her vocal chords produced the sounds without her willing it.

    Then with a bellowing yodel, she unleashed the chakram. It went whizzing past several Roman's heads before ricocheting back to her.

    “That was a warning,” said Gabrielle huskily. “Get out of town, or I'll do worse.”

    “Xena???” Gabrielle tried to choke out, but the mysterious force still had control of her voice.

    Within moments chaos broke loose. Gabrielle couldn't keep track of it all because although she was the instrument of it, her body operated of its own accord. Eventually the villagers joined in too, and soon the Romans were marching off with their red capes between their legs.

    “I'll be following you down the road a ways,” Gabrielle shouted after them, feeling super warrior-like and intimidating. “Just to make sure you don't do the same thing at your next stop!”

    The villagers cheered, but Gabrielle made haste into a patch of forest so she could get her bearings.

    “Xena?” she called looking skyward. “Xena, was that you?”

    There was no response, not even the slightest of feelings.

    For weeks things carried on like this. Gabrielle would drive the Romans out of villages with the help of “Xena.” Bit by bit she was starting an insurrection.

    “It looks like this might turn into an all out war,” said Gabrielle one morning sitting in a pub. She was talking to herself as usual. “That would be exciting, right Xena? We could get rid of the Romans for good. Send them on their loving way.”

    No response from “Xena.”

    Just then in a flash of light a god appeared seated across from her. Gabrielle had to blink a few times since her brain wanted to tell her it would be Ares impressed with her fighting, or Aphrodite to lend moral support...

    “Cupid?” said Gabrielle.

    The golden god stared at her with his arms folded and a somewhat displeased expression on his face. His wings were pressed against the back of the wood booth. He sighed and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table and his face in his hands.

    “You're making things pretty violent out there,” he said. “Is there any way you could dial it down a notch or two? People hardly visit my temples anymore.”

    Gabrielle's mouth fell open a bit. She'd never thought Cupid cared about his temples. And this was a hell of a way to say hello after 40 years.

    “How's Baby Bliss?” Gabrielle finally asked. “And, uh, Psyche, how's she?”

    “We're all fine,” said Cupid dryly. “It's a little depressing, though, with all this strife going around.”

    His head sank down on the table.

    “Well, what about your arrows?” said Gabrielle. “Hardly anyone's around to tell you what to do these days right? I mean Zeus killed Hera, Hercules killed Zeus, Xena killed most of your family...”

    “Don't remind me,” Cupid groaned.

    “You still have Aphrodite,” Gabrielle offered. “But what I was saying is... just go out with Baby Bliss, or however old he is now, and let those arrows fly. Especially in the direction of the Romans.” Gabrielle snickered a little.

    Cupid stared at her dumbly for a few moments. Then he rose, smashing his wings up against the back of the booth again. He shrugged. “Why not? It might piss off Ares, but... like I care!”

    “That's the spirit!” said Gabrielle.

    For a brief moment she felt like her old self from a long time ago: the girl from Potedeia who traveled happily alongside Xena, the greatest warrior who'd ever lived.

  3. #3

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    Gabrielle was right, war was brewing. And Ares, the God of war was still unsure of what side he wanted to win. He sat upon his throne with his legs cockily draped over the sides, and thought about all that was happening.

    After Caligula’s death, there wasn’t much left of the Roman empire – so to rebuild their base they had to sneak their way inside the hearts of others. They were manipulating the villagers to give up their resources in the name of Good - even dropping Eli & Eve’s names from time to time - to guilt trip the average goyim to give up what little they have left. When enough resources were properly gathered, villagers would have to agree to move to Rome in order to keep their livelihood- since everything humans needed would be at Rome. This of course, would all be orchestrated as an act of “compassion” and a fake movement called the Roman Redemption. They would then turn all former villages into either slave labor camps or military stations, with the only point of civilization in the entire world, being Rome.

    It was sick, it was cruel- and it gave Ares an erection.

    One of Ares’ lackeys, a smooth looking young man named Marcus, approached the king on his throne. The blonde boy bowed down as soon as he met him, showing his respect. “I wish to report you today’s news, sire.”

    Ares smiled at the boy. “Go on” he said.

    “The Roman inquisition has been gaining firm ground, but uh-uh it seems we have a new player in the mists. S-she’s weakening the Romans and gathering followers along the way.”

    Ares just stared at the boy all intimidating like. Marcus felt like peeing his pants.

    Growing impatient, Ares gestured a circling motion with his left hand. “And? What do you know of this chess piece.”

    “Female… strong for a female. Hell, strong for a dude. Kind of you know… dykey. Does um- lots of flips in battle. Has this spinn-y weapon thing. A chak- a-a-a-a”

    Ares arched his brow at his minion’s naivetey. “A chakram?” he said confidently.

    “YES SIRE! A chakram! That’s what it’s called. Please forgive me.”

    Ares sighed and got up from his throne. Note to self: Hire smarter minions. “It couldn’t be… no. It must be… but no. Little sweet Gabrielle, has really gotten that good?” Ares said to himself. He didn’t believe it, if she was back….if there was really any chance in Hades that it could be her. Ares thought for a moment, then gazed his attention back on Marcus.

    “Inform Rufius and Erika that they need to work double-shifts tonight” Ares ordered Marcus. “My Palace of War must be protected, and I have business to attend to. Do you understand?’

    Marcus bowed down. “Y-yes your Majesty.”

    “Good” Ares said with a cocky smile on his face. Using his God-like powers, he then teleported out of the palace-

    - and into the middle of a small village named Popus, where Xena in Gabrielle’s body was fighting off a few Roman thugs.

    Xena thought to herself. He can’t know I’m here.

    Xena temporarily released control from Gabrielle’s body, which allowed the men to get two punches in her before Gabrielle grabbed a nearby staff and whacked them both in the face. Two guards rushed after her, and this time she used a sword. Xena-in-Gabrielle tried her best to make it look like Gabrielle was fighting well, but never as well as she herself would. She held her own against the men, but didn’t do anything too show-off-y and Xena like.

    One of the Romans tackled Gabrielle, and almost drove a sword straight through her face. Xena took over for just a spilt second, grabbed the sword, and smashed the hilt of the sword in the guard’s face, breaking his nose. He whimpered away from the scene like an injured puppy. She pretended to trip a little as she stood back up, and certainly didn’t recover flip – just got up normally. Then, Xena let go again.

    Ares leaned himself on the outside wall of the town inn, studying Gabrielle’s moves. “You’ve gotten pretty good” he told Gabrielle. The Bard jumped a little out of her skin, but quickly got used to his presence.

    “Well it has been what, fourteen years” Gabrielle said.

    “I never thought that one of my men would mention your name, all on your own- without any affiliation to Xena.”

    Gabrielle looked at Ares. “She’s been dead for quite a long time now” Gabrielle said to Ares, as compassionately as she could. “I thought I couldn’t live without her but…” Gabrielle thought of something, she didn’t want to believe it, but maybe her fighting well this lately really was just her. Fourteen years was enough time to get as good as Xena, right? Or close to it. And she still made mistakes right, she still wasn’t as good as Xena herself.

    But Gabrielle didn’t know what to believe. How she fought back there, the blood in her veins. Perhaps being alone all this time really did make her as tough as Xena.

    Ares looked deep in Gabrielle, trying to read something, find something – but all he saw was Gabrielle. And he had the insight of a God, because he was a God. “My my my Gabrielle: Warrior Princess. This is interesting.” Ares walked closer to Gabrielle, wanting to feel something for her… some sort of spark like he felt for Xena, but all he felt was the warm glow of her friendship. It was still Xena he truly loved. Ares’ face flinched, as if he was fighting back tears.

    Gabrielle looked at Ares with compassion and pity. For what could have been ten minutes, she just looked into his eyes. Finally she spoke, “It’s been fourteen long years, and you haven’t moved on – have you?”

    Ares didn’t like showing vulnerability, but Gabrielle had a way of bringing out people’s heartfelt sides. ‘It’s been hard…” Ares said. He quickly regained himself. “Oh what am I doing, I’m the God of War!” Ares gained control of himself, and threw a fireball at Gabrielle’s chest. For a spilt second Xena took control again, and used her reflexes to dodge it. Maybe Gabrielle could do it herself now. But Xena didn’t want to take that risk. Not after she just partly reunited with her.

    “Something fishy is happening” Ares said. “Fish?” Gabrielle replied. “I don’t smell any fish…” she looked over at a random villager shopping for apples. “You don’t smell any fish, do you?”

    “I tossed that fireball as hard as I could, it’s still difficult to believe that you could dodge it…”

    Gabrielle did feel pity for Ares, but now … she also found him to be rude and pathetic. “Look Ares, I miss Xena as much as anybody else, probably more than anybody else - but she’s gone. You won’t find her in me, and it will drive you crazy pretending that she is me. She’s not, she’s dead- redeeming the spirits of Yodoshi.”

    Ares growled. His depression and loneliness and emoness he felt for Xena after all these years boiled over into a rage, and the God began throwing thunderbolts and fireballs on everything in the village. Villagers ran and screamed for help as their homes combusted into flame.

    Xena, as a wispy almost-nothing spirit observed all this. She wanted so much to take control of Gabrielle again and kick Ares’ ass, but that would look too suspicious. There was no way Gabrielle, even as tough as she became, could convincingly fight the God of War. If Ares knew the position Xena was really in, he would resurrect her on his terms- and that was not something the Warrior Princess was about to let happen.

    Baby bliss, who was now a fifteen year old cupid, fluttered his wings onto the scene.

    Gabrielle was happy to see him. “Baby Bliss! Is that you?”

    Baby Bliss smiled. “Yeah, but now everybody is calling me ‘bro bliss’” the good looking adolescent male said with a smirk on his face. He had his mother’s eyes, but his father’s smile.

    “You’re here to help right? Please tell me you are here to help- and not cause mischief.” She knew cupids were world-renowned for their mischief.

    Bro Bliss nodded. “Cupids aren’t exactly heroes, but when the God of War is pissed off….” Bro Bliss held up his bow. “You need somebody to calm him down.”

    Bro Bliss released the string, and sent an arrow flying right at Ares buttox. He does have nice buns.

    A random woman passed by. Ares looked at her, and Gabrielle and Bro half-expected him to fall madly in love. But being the God of War, Ares had some resistance to a cupid’s powers- and instead of falling in campy, Tex Avery-style attraction, he just felt a subtle calm buzzing through his chest.

    Ares looked around at the minor destruction he caused. He didn’t feel like destroying this small village any more.

    “What am I doing… this town is nothing. You’re all nothing. Destroying it, is beneathe me. I’ll have Marcus and his buddies raid it later tonight.”

    Marcus and his men weren’t very good fighters. The town would be okay.

    Ares sniffed with masculinity, and teleported away. I’m gonna enjoy watching the Romans rip out all your spines he said from above.

    Gabrielle sighed. “Oh Ares… get it through your thick handsome skull. Xena… she’s never coming back.”

    Xena quickly thought of an idea. It was time. It had been weeks now of doing this, going to village after village and taking over Gab’s body for a time. Like before in the ghost-realm, something just had to change.

    It was a long shot, she didn’t know if she could do it- but she was getting used to being a ghost- and Xena took her chances and possessed the body of Baby Bro Bliss.

    The fifteen-year-old grabbed Gabrielle by the shoulder. “Yes baby- I mean br-“ Gabrielle stopped talking as she looked in the eyes of Bro Bliss, and realized who was in control on the other side.

    “XENA!” Gabrielle shouted, overjoyed with happiness. She let the tears leak out naturally onto her face.

    “Gabrielle, I wish there was time to reunite but we haven’t much time” Xena-in-Bro explained huskily. “We need to revive me into my old body before the Summer Solstice or I will evaporate into complete oblivion.”

    The summer solstice…. it was only one week away.

    “Okay” Gabrielle said, wiping her tears away and getting her game face on. “How do we-“

    Bro Bliss got control of his own mind again, and pushed Xena out of himself. “What the hell” Being something more than human, coupled with him having a more natural sense of the art of possession, sooner realized someone had taken over him. “What just happened… how dare a WOMAN be inside me” the teenage gay cupid said, making a disgusted face. He could still sort of feel her.

    Gabrielle sighed. Technically, Bro Bliss DID risk his life for Popus. He didn’t have to do that, and it was very kind of him. She realized it wasn’t right to manipulate him, and instead decide to tell him the truth.

    “Bro...listen carefully to me. I need you to give up your own identity for awhile. I want you to allow a very powerful warrior to take control of your body and mind, okay? You will get your own body back soon but please… do this for me. I promise that it’s for the Greater Good.”

    “I already told you that Cupids aren’t Heroes” Bro Bliss said. “I had plans later this evening on making angry straight boys fall in love with each other and then laughing at them from the sidelines.”

    “I know I … “ Gabrielle sighed. “It was too much to ask of you, you’re right- I-I’m sorry.”

    Bro Bliss looked at Gabrielle, and noticed that her face looked like something worse than death. “Alright, I’ll do it- but only for a short while.”

    Gabrielle smiled. Okay, so she did sort of manipulate him there- but she wasn’t about to let Xena’s soul obliterate into oblivion. “It’s okay” she said. “A ‘short while’ is all we really have.”
    Last edited by dead bnd; 06-21-2015 at 05:36 AM.

  4. #4
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Xena pulled Gabrielle to her, now in Bro Bliss' body, wrapping her arms around her friend.

    “We'll see if I can get this godly transportation thing to work,” said Bliss, staring into Gabrielle's eyes. They were the same height now, since Bliss was a mere godling.

    “Where are we going?” Gabrielle asked, breathlessly.

    “To find Eve.”

    Gabrielle stared into Xena's eyes for the split second it took them to zap out of Popus and appear... somewhere else.

    They stood on the edge of a cliff, water rushing below in a mighty river.

    “I know this place,” said Gabrielle stepping back. “This was where we encountered those cannibals. Why would you bring us back here?”

    Memories flooded through Gabrielle's mind. She'd been wounded and Xena had hauled her up the cliff face and then left her to the cannibals so that they'd tend her wounds. It had been terrifying, but as always Xena'd had a plan, and Gabrielle had trusted in that.

    “It's okay, Gabrielle,” said Bro Bliss, his voice reassuring. “The cannibals are gone. Eve came and she taught them another way.”

    “How do you know? You've been dead for fourteen years.”

    “I saw it a vision. Not a vision exactly, but it's like someone has been passing me information.”

    “How do you know you can trust them?” asked Gabrielle. “Xena, what happened? How did you escape the Jappa underworld?”

    They sat down and Xena recounted what it had been like fighting the demons, endlessly, for fourteen years. Then she told Gabrielle of the angel who had come and released her.

    “So it was the god of the Elijians,” mused Gabrielle. “But why?”

    “That's just it,” said Bliss. “I don't think it was. I think someone is acting independently. I don't know who it is, but I intend to find out.”

    “Michael maybe?” Gabrielle wondered aloud.

    Xena took a moment to think. “No, I don't think it's him. He wouldn't do a thing without his master's go ahead. And even if he would, we didn't exactly part on the best of terms.”

    Gabrielle snorted. “You got that right. You drowned him.”

    A smile came over Bliss' face. “He was asking for it though.”

    “Yeah, he was.”

    “Whoever it is,” said Bliss. “You're right. I'm not sure we can completely trust them.”

    “So, how will Eve be able to help?” Gabrielle asked as they walked through the eerily desolate forest of the cannibals.

    “She's grown wise these past years,” said Bliss. “But it's not just her. There's someone hidden in these woods. He or she is called the Body Snatcher.”

    “The Body Snatcher? Xena, you've already 'snatched a body'... one that I'm not really sure I like you in,” said Gabrielle, looking over Bro Bliss' boyish form. She shook her head, “But it's not enough, your soul is still fading.”

    Bliss smiled that half smile that Gabrielle was so used to seeing on Xena's face. “You always say that when I'm in a different body,” he said.

    “Well, maybe you should just stick to your own body then. Instead of getting killed all the time.”

    “Maybe,” said Bro Bliss a little sadly, and Gabrielle felt bad.

    “I'm sorry,” she said. “It's just I've missed you so much. It's been a long fourteen years. And I thought I'd just travel the world – which I did – and go on new adventures... But it was all so empty without you. Xena, it's like you're the other half of me...”

    Bliss was reaching out to touch Gabrielle's face when suddenly a man came out of the bushes, and ran straight into Gabrielle's chest.

    “Virgil!” Gabrielle gasped out. He was older now, and had a few gray hairs but it was definitely him. The resemblance to Joxer was a little startling. He hadn't looked nearly so much like his dad when she first knew him.

    “I thought I heard something,” Virgil said, chest heaving. “Cannibals. I thought they were after me. I--”

    Awkwardly, Virgil removed his hands from Gab's breasts. Bro Bliss shot a cold glare his way.

    “Gabrielle,” said Virgil, almost backing into the tree behind him. “Long time, no see. Well, since you rejected me, that is.”

    Bliss stepped forward, giving Virgil the evil eye.

    “Uh, who's this, you new boyfriend,” asked Virgil. “Isn't he kind of young? But I guess you always have to be with someone powerful, and he looks like an angel... or a god...”

    “What are you doing here?” Gabrielle demanded with her hands on her hips. “Were you following us?”

    Bliss closed in, staring up into Virgil's eyes with a look of intense scrutiny.

    “Do you mind, man? It's a free forest,” said Virgil.

    Xena reached into her godly powers that she was only just discovering. Gods could see so much more. They could literally see better for one, and all the senses were heightened... If she learned how to use them... She hadn't even heard a man bumbling through the woods snapping twigs. Clearly she was off her game. But Virgil's ill intentions radiated off him like an angry heat.

    “I know why he's here,” said Bliss, eyes narrowed. “He's after my daughter!”

    “You got kids?” Virgil asked. “I thought angels were celibate or something. Wait...” He stared at Gabrielle. “You two?”

    The look of pure scorn Bliss directed at him made him gulp.

    “Virgil, this isn't Bro Bliss,” said Gabrielle, as though Virgil would even know who that was. “It's Xena.”

    Virgil let out an exasperated giggle. “Xena,” he said. “Right...”

    “Why are you being such a jerk?” Gabrielle asked.

    Virgil looked at the ground and for a moment when he looked back he reminded her of the old Virgil. But now that she thought about it, Virgil had always seemed kind of bitter, just not this bitter.

    “Did you know my mother died recently?” he asked.

    “Meg,” said Gabrielle.

    “Oh, of course, you wouldn't know. You ditched me, a long time ago.”

    “I'm sorry,” said Gabrielle, looking down.

    Bro Bliss, meanwhile, looked ready to boil over in rage. He grabbed Virgil by the throat and flew him up against a tree.

    “Xena, what are you?” Gabrielle began.

    “What are you doing here, Virgil,” Bliss demanded, with wide blazing cuckoo eyes.

    “I'm just wandering the wilds sharing my poems,” Virgil squeaked. “I am after all, a poet.”

    “Wrong answer." Bliss dropped Virgil and he fell to the ground in a heap. A burlap roll fell from him, and Gabrielle kicked it open.

    “Then how come you're carrying daggers instead of scrolls and ink?” Gabs asked.

    Virgil stared at her and then at Bliss, looking at a loss for words.

    “Prove to me you're Xena!” he finally said to Bliss.

    Bliss looked skyward. “We don't have time for this.” But he pulled out the chakram and sent it in a complex ricocheting journey through the trees, leaving several dead rabbits once he caught it again. “We need dinner anyway.”

    “Oh, so I'm back to doing all the cooking,” said Gabrielle.

    Bliss held the chakram against Virgil's throat.

    “Okay, okay,” he said. “I guess if you're not Xena, you're close enough.”

    “Now spill,” said Bliss. “Why are you going after my daughter?!!!”

    “My mother's dead!,” Virgil shouted, while Gabrielle collected dead rabbits. “She died sick and without my father to comfort her! And we all know why that is. Your daughter, the Bitch of Rome, killed my dad!”

    Bliss hauled him up and shoved him hard into the tree trunk. “Don't call my daughter that, Virgil.

    “She ruined my life!" Virgil went on. "I've never been able to write a good poem after she came along. And I've had to do things, things I'm not proud of, defending Joxer's farm. Oh, but the Romans took that away from me and Mom anyway. We were left starving in some shack when she died. And you know who told the Romans to go everywhere spreading this religion of love crap? Once again, your bitch daughter!”

    “Eve isn't the same person she was when she killed Joxer,” said Gabrielle, closing in with a bunch of headless rabbits. “Xena, I don't think we can eat all of these...”

    “I can,” said Bliss. “I'm hungry.”

    “But you're a god.”

    “I'm hungry enough to eat fifty rabbits.”

    Virgil rolled his eyes. “She's two-faced,” he said. “I don't buy that sweetness act. Not for one minute. That bitch Livia is still in there. She ruined my life. She ruined my family's lives!”

    “Oh, boo hoo,” said Xena. Gabrielle gaped at her friend. It was a more heartless response than she expected.

    Xena dragged Virgil to the campfire Gabrielle had just made and threw him down.

    “Before I died,” said Xena. “I would have gladly told you an inspirational tale about my own dark past and how vengeance never does anyone any good. But I'm tired. I don't have the patience to... I'm starving.

    “Here,” said Gabrielle, handing her friend a roasted rabbit on a stick. “We're gonna have to tie him up probably,” she added, looking at Virgil. “I'll sleep more soundly knowing he's not wandering off trying to kill Eve.”

    The next morning, the three of them finally found a small forest village.

    “The thing about cannibals,” Xena was saying, as she dragged tied-up and gagged Virgil behind them, “Is they're almost always after a source of immortality.”

    “Of course,” Gabrielle breathed. “In consuming human life, they believe they can prolong their own... But Xena, I don't see how that will help either...”

    “I guess we'll find out,” said Xena as they headed into the village.

    Women who looked very much like Amazons lined the roadway in. Though they were armed, they took no action against the newcomers.

    Then Bliss stopped in his angel tracks, staring up at a wooden structure slightly in the distance. It looked like an elaborate over-sized log cabin, and it stood as tall as the trees. It stood in contrast to the rest of the village that was made out of leather hides and logs—tents, basically.

    “That's it,” said Xena. “It's the temple of the Body Snatcher. I saw it in my vision.”

    They continued along the road until they finally made it to a small stone pyramid. At the top sat two people, and as they climbed the stairs, Gabrielle realized one of them was Eve.

    She was fourteen years older now. She almost looked as old as Xena did when Xena had died. She wasn't a girl anymore.

    Eve rose, as did the man sitting next to her. Gabrielle didn't recognize him, but he was muscular and bulky, with shrewd eyes and long hair tied back from his head.

    “Gabrielle,” said Eve, in recognition, coming forward in a haste. “It's been such a long time. It's so good to see you!” She embraced her and Gabrielle found herself hugging her back, even as she was aware of the unsettled feeling that had come over Xena.

    “And Virgil?” said Eve, stepping back. Quickly she took stock of how Virgil was bound and gagged, and the look of cold hate in his eyes. Eve only stared, her mind seeming to go to what this might mean.

    “Well,” said Bliss, walking farther up the stairs, towards the man at the top. “I guess we know which one's the Body Snatcher. Whoever you are, you're not Borias.”

    “Borias,” echoed Gabrielle. “How? Wait that's what he looked like? Wow, he's... um... hot.”

    “Xena?” said Borias, his shrewd eyes fixing on Bliss. “I'd heard you were dead.”

    Xena didn't want to take the time to interrogate the Body Snatcher. She couldn't be sure of anything now that she was just a wisp of a soul, not even the information some mysterious helper was feeding her. Besides, Bro Bliss was growing agitated and his teenage hormones were driving her crazy. There was only one thing for it. She abandoned Bliss and took over the Body Snatcher.

    "Oh, not again," not-Borias moaned as Xena took over. He almost sounded aroused.

    Meanwhile, Bro Bliss shook his head in teen angst fueled agitation.

    "I think I've helped you two enough," he said, looking between not-Borias and Gabrielle. "Gods, this whole place reeks of estrogen. Ew. I can't stand it! I'm going home."

    He shot Virgil a look of approval. "The name's Bliss," he said. "Bro Bliss. You wanna have a good time, you call me."

    "Bliss, wait," said Gabrielle, but the godling took off and vanished in a flash of light.

    "Mother?" Eve was saying, looking at the Body Snatcher. She took his head in her hands and peered into his eyes.

    "Oh Eve," said Xena, her voice almost sounding like her own even as it escaped the Body Snatcher's lips.

    "Mother, take my body," said Eve. "Just until we figure out how to save you."

    Gabrielle watched as Xena left not-Borias' body, leaving him floundering and falling back in his seat. Eve's eyes closed and when they opened again, Xena was peering through them.

    Eve turned to not-Borias. "So, it wasn't enough to steal things. You've discovered how to steal bodies. Autolycus."

    "Can you blame me," asked the King of Thieves, from Borias' lips. "I was getting old. And I figured, why not orchestrate the greatest heist of them all--cheating death."
    Last edited by inumbra; 06-21-2015 at 11:56 PM.

  5. #5

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    “Death is not something to be feared” Xena said to Autoclyus all uprooted and heroic like.

    “Yeah no… I mean do you really believe that?” Autolycus said with an asshole-ish grin on his face.

    Xena sighed. As much as she hated to admit it, Autoclyus was right. “I used to … a long time ago.” She thought of Tallis, the young boy Gabrielle was a little into many years ago, who had his life unnaturally prolonged when Death herself was captured. She thought Talis had taught her some big nuggets of wisdom of death, but maybe he was just a cute kid who got dealt an unfair hand in this cruel world and… Xena started to get depressed again.

    She remembered all those time fighting the spirits, convincing herself she was doing it for right, but just being so tired. And dare she say it, afraid…

    Xena realized that all the people she had been taking over lately. Gabrielle, Bro Bliss, Eve - even Autolycus – they all tapped her into her own human heart again, taught her how to feel again after spending all that time just fighting. She grimaced.

    Gabrielle sighed. “Look, we can argue about the moral implications of death all we want later, maybe even make a play in Athens about it – but I can’t watch Xena die all over again!” Gabrielle shouted.

    “Right… the Body Snatching. Teach me how you do it” Xena said, her icy gaze glaring into the thief’s eyes.

    “Oh yeah?” Autolycus said. “What’s in it for me if I-“

    Gabrielle, in a moment of frustrated desperation coupled with good Warrior instincts, did The Pinch on Borias/Autolycus’ neck.

    “You know the drill” Gabrielle said. “I just cut off the flow of blood to your brain. You will be dead in uh… 45 seconds?” (she wasn’t quite sure but something like that) if you don’t tell us what we need to know.”

    Xena in Eve looked at Gabrielle with a satisfied smirk, as if to say ‘Nicely Done.’ Or more like, both Xena and Eve was looking at Gabrielle at the same time weirdly enough, since they were mother and daughter. This was the most comfortable meat suit Xena had possessed by far, and it was like Xena could take control without totally taking control. Well Gabrielle's body was comfortable too. But also … arousing. Anyway, Xena couldn’t get too comfortable. She still needed her old body back.

    “N-need Cannibal God” Autoclyus said, his eyes bulging painfully from his sockets. “He’ll o-open portal to past g-get body. O-once we’re there, I’ll show you how it’s d-done.”

    Xena raised a brow. Time travel. It did make sense, as Xena’s current body was well, worm food. But what would become of the other time-line, the one where Xena just vanished without a body or spirit? Was Xena really willing to sacrifice such a large version of herself to-

    She looked into Gabrielle’s again. You damn right she was. She remembered what she said to Gabrielle, and she still meant and felt every word of it. Gabrielle was more important than the Greater Good. Fuck the Greater Good. Well, sometimes.

    “You said the cannibals were good now, right?” Gabrielle said to both Xena and Eve.

    “Well ‘good’ is a rather loose term, let’s just put them on the side of uneasy neutrality” she informed the Bard.

    “h-H-help” Autolycus begged for his very life. Gabrielle reversed the pinch, and he felt instant relief at the not dying.

    “That’s what you get for showing us what you value the most, we used it against you to get what we wanted” Gabrielle said, winking at the man.

    “Well you got me Gabs” Autolycus announced. “Saving my hide before anybody else has always been my raison d’etre, ya know.”

    “Then if you want to keep your life I suggest you help get Xena back her body. Or I’ll end yours before you can steal another” Gabrielle said coldly.

    Xena was impressed. Gabrielle changed, and she forgot that sometimes. She was still Gabrielle, still sweet and playful and can be everybody’s friend Gabrielle. But she could make her own choices. She knew the pinch, could throw & catch the chakram, and quickly make life and death on-field decisions like any Warrior should. One might think this would mean Xena didn’t need her around, as over the years their strengths already helped developed the weaknesses in other.

    But it wasn’t about necessity, or some heteronormative function like “Have children to raise the farm and care for you when you were older” type thing. It was want. Pure selfish, Autolycus-like want. Xena wanted Gabrielle, Gabrielle wanted Xena and she was happy it being that way.

    Virgil just watched all this quietly. He kept looking at Eve hatefully, because all he saw was the Bitch Who Stabbed His Dad.

    It was actually not so much that Virgil lost his father, it was well…. His father was Joxer. It made him think constantly of sad and true things like the weak always get eaten and devoured in life, because they were weak- and life was that simple and pure. Cold and hard and brutal was the way, no matter how much Xena and Gabrielle convinced themselves otherwise on their little trips.

    Joxer was a good man. But that doesn’t stop a knife from going through your chest. Or even chakams slicing apart bunnies.

    “Mind you Xena, I still have your horse” Virgil said with a smirk. “Argo the third now if I recall correctly.”

    “You wouldn’t” Xena said. She missed Argo, and couldn’t wait to ride him again.

    “Hey it’s the only bargaining chip I have” Virgil said. “Untie me and I promise I won’t torture the poor beast to death.”

    Gabrielle frowned at Virgil. He really was turning out to be a sad, sadistic loser.

    “Or ya know, we could knock you out so you haven’t a chance to” Gabrielle said, and whacked Virgil in the back of the skull with her staff. He’d be out cold for the rest of the night.

    “Wow, you’re really on it tonight” Eve/Xena said.

    “I really want you back” Gabrielle said. “I know you’re back, but back back.”

    Xena had just got done cooking the rabbits. “See? You didn’t have to cook anything after all.”

    “Nice role reversal thing we got going on here.” She realized Xena burnt the meat a little bit. And she never did quite know just how much time Autoclyus had left on that pinch. Well, it was a work in progress.

    Gabrielle smiled at Xena/Eve, and enjoyed a meal together and night sleeping under the stars with her- but was wary to get too comfortable as every minute she also felt Xena’s essence… fading.

    As soon as the sun rose again, Gabrielle kicked Autoclyus in the head. “Wake up Autoclyus” Gabrielle said, half-huskily. “You’re gonna take us to a Cannibal God.”
    Last edited by dead bnd; 06-25-2015 at 09:33 AM.

  6. #6
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Autolycus gasped on the ground. He looked fragile to Gabrielle, which was an odd contrast given how enormous Borias’ body was.

    “Give me a minute,” said Autolycus, holding his head in his hands. Then he wiped the blood from his nose, looking at it distastefully. He didn’t want to let this new meaner Gabrielle know that sometimes he felt he lost himself in Borias’ necrotic brain tissue. But he was always able to regain focus, he reminded himself.

    Carefully he rose back into his seat, as Eve’s hand reached out towards him. He knew it was Eve and not Xena who offered him aid.

    He’d come to trust Xena long ago, but this was a different Xena, and he was a different Autolycus. One couldn’t be too careful. When he looked up into Eve’s eyes, it wasn’t her anymore. Xena stared back. The only thing he could sense from her was something all too familiar to him: greed. He shuddered inwardly, hoping that the bulk of Borias obscured that from view.

    “Murdra,” said Autolycus. “Is a god. You have to summon him-her-it. Usually, whatever Murdra does for you comes at a cost, and you won’t necessarily know that cost right away.” A tired smile came over his face. “Everything with Murdra is a gamble. And he-she-whatever doesn’t bargain. Or indulge people in their pleas for mercy.” Autolycus gulped, remembering when he had tried pleading with Murdra.

    “You always did love a gamble,” said Xena. "But I wanna know how to do it."

    “Hold your horses, Xena,” said Autolycus. “I gotta warn you. If you ask Murdra’s help, you give it more than power over flesh. You give it power over time. It’s dangerous, and dark, and I… I would know.”

    “Yeah, but if we don’t do something, Xena’s going to disappear,” said Gabrielle. If only she hadn't lost her sais in Egypt. Maybe Autolycus needed a little more poking and prodding.

    “I figured one of you would say something like that,” said Autolycus with a grim smile. He watched as Xena stepped back, her Eve eyes growing large and buggy.

    “He’s already done something,” said Xena under her breath. Then she rushed down the other side of the pyramid.

    “Xena, wait—” Gabrielle began, heading after. “Where are you going?!”

    Autolycus took his time following behind. Xena had access to Eve’s thoughts and memories, and he wasn’t sure how she’d react to what she’d just learned.


    A disturbing humming sound came from the tent up ahead, and with terror in her heart, Xena pulled aside the cover. Even though she knew what waited behind the proverbial curtain, seeing the real thing sent new waves of horror shooting through her.

    A woman with soft brown hair, glanced up at her, pausing in her low breathy humming. “Mmmmm, Xena, at last,” said Alti with a grin. “I’ve been waiting.”

    “Oh my gods,” said Gabrielle, who had arrived behind Xena.

    There on a wood table lay Xena’s corpse from Jappa—Xena’s decapitated corpse. Alti resumed her humming as she continued pulling needle and thread through the neck. The luminescent thread glowed mostly black, but it tended to change color with the light. Alti’s needlework looked terrible in contrast with the white flesh of the corpse. Half of Xena’s head was crudely attached, the other half seeming to form a maw of severed bone and muscle, from Gabrielle’s vantage point.

    “I think I’m going to be sick,” she said, looking away from the gruesome sight. She remembered this sickening horror from before when she’d had to retrieve Xena’s dead body in Jappa. Somehow it was worse the second time around, even though the body had clearly been washed of all the blood. And it was wrong in ways she was only beginning to fathom; wrong that Alti was here, apparently back from the dead herself; wrong that they were meddling with life and death… But I have to have her back, Gabrielle thought.

    “What are you sewing my head back on with, Alti?” Xena demanded. Unlike her friend, she didn’t grow squeamish at the sight. Instead she stepped closer to peer more intently at Alti’s handiwork, with a scowl on her face.

    “Oh, just some thread from the Fate’s loom.” Alti said it nonchalantly as though she were talking about patching up her clothes. She glanced at Gabrielle. “You thought you’d destroyed the loom, but a little of the thread survived.”

    “And so did you, apparently,” said Xena, sounding a bit like an angered squawking bird.

    Alti’s eyes lit up. “That’s a whole ‘nother story, Xena.”

    Autolycus stepped into the tent then, finally satisfied that no one would be pulling out the chakram and conducting more beheadings. “This is what I meant about Murdra and time,” he said.

    Xena glared at him in her cold icy way. “What have you done?”

    “I can explain,” he began. “Really, this all makes perfect sense…”

    “This wasn’t exactly what Xena and I had in mind,” said Gabrielle boldly. “This is… sick.”

    Autolycus raised his hands in a placating gesture. “Why don’t we all just sit down?”

    “You mean around Xena’s headless corpse? With her here?” Gabrielle shot out, glaring in Alti’s direction. “I’d rather not.”

    “You’re so sensitive,” said Alti. “It won’t be headless for long. You just let me take care of it, and Xena’s body will be just as fresh as a spring chicken…”

    Gabrielle stormed out of the tent in disgust, and Xena gave Alti her look of ultimate scorn, before following.

    “It’ll take time,” said Autolycus to Alti.

    “No one knows that better than me,” replied the other. Then she began humming, and stitching, again.

    "This is what you wanted," said Autolycus once he made it out of the tent. "A brand new body for Xena wasn't going to just appear out of thin air."

    "What is Alti doing here?" Xena demanded.

    "Long story short," said Autolycus. "I already asked Murdra to help me get your body for you... Alti just happened to come along with it, as a consequence. Pulling bodies out of time doesn't always work out nice and neat."

    "But how did you know we were coming?" Gabrielle was feeling confused. "I mean, you were all 'What's in it for me?' earlier."

    "He always wants to know if there's something in it for him," said Xena. Then she looked to Gabrielle. "Eve had a vision," she explained. "She knew my soul would be released, and we'd come here."

    "Another mysterious vision..." This gave Gabrielle pause. "So Eve knew you were coming because she got a vision, and you knew to come here because you got a vision..."

    "That's right," said Xena. "Someone is manipulating this. Someone wants this to happen."

    "Wait, you actually went through a portal to the past and retrieved Xena's body?" Gabrielle asked Autolycus. "Why don't I remember anything differently? I still remember seeing Xena dead. I still remember burning her body. I still remember carrying her ashes half way around the world."

    "Perhaps you'd better tell us the whole story, Autolycus," said Xena.

    "But Xena, you're fading."

    "I still have a week, Gabrielle. We have time."

    This did little to reassure Gabrielle. For some reason, she felt an urgency about this--as though they had less time than they thought.


    “So I see you’ve graduated from Little Miss ‘Ooh, do the Pinch on him, Xena! Ooooooh!’ to pulling out all the tricks yourself,” said Autolycus, once they were all seated in his ‘Temple of the Body Snatcher.’

    The temple’s carpentry work was a little shoddy with logs slanted at odd angles, but Autolycus had swelled with pride when he told them he’d built it himself.

    “Yeah, great job,” Gabrielle had said. “That’s why there’s a gaping hole in the ceiling.”

    The gaping hole, however, served a purpose. This was after all, a temple. The logs piled up diagonally in an ever narrowing stack, until finally a sort of pentagon of logs formed the opening high at the top.

    Gabrielle shrugged now in a cocky way. “Well, not all the tricks,” she said.

    “I didn’t really appreciate having the flow of blood cut off from my brain like that,” said Autolycus, rubbing at his head. He was of a delicate sort now that he had to deal with Borias’ necrosis, as he liked to think of it. He wasn’t really sure if it was actual necrosis—but something felt dead wrong about his new body.

    “Especially considering how much I’ve done for you already, my so-called friends,” he said.

    “Okay, Autolycus, it was a little extreme,” said Xena. This time the sympathy seemed to come from her alone, rather than having been inspired by Eve.

    Gabrielle looked at Xena/Eve in shock. Why isn’t she backing me up on this??? Although maybe, it was a bit extreme. She supposed they could have just asked without using the Pinch. But I like the Pinch, she thought with a sort of giddy harpy kind of glee.

    “Not to mention, how you kicked me in the head,” Autolycus went on.

    Gabrielle looked deep into herself, and she had to confess she didn’t feel guilty. But shouldn’t I? she wondered.

    Xena didn’t know why it was up to her to do the smoothing over relations thing. But a look in Gabrielle’s direction confirmed that her friend apparently wouldn’t be lending a hand in that department.

    “All right, Autolycus, we apologize,” said Xena. “It wasn’t the best way to greet an old friend.”

    “Damn right,” said Autolycus. But he sat back in his log chair, seeming satisfied enough.

    “Now,” said Xena with a sneer. “What did you do?”

    “You can probably help me tell some of the story, since you have Eve’s memories,” said Autolycus. “But the tale begins with an old man—a great man, really—the greatest thief the world ever knew, or hopefully didn’t know as a testament to just how brilliant and accomplished of a thief this man was—”

    “Yeah, yeah,” said Xena, sounding unimpressed.

    “Anyway. You know. You’ve seen me in action,” said Autolycus with a self-assured nod. “But do you know what it’s like growing old? Watching the best of your days slipping steadily behind you? It wasn’t for me.”

    He then told them about how he’d become a collector of esoteric scrolls, most of which he’d stolen in heists that weren’t nearly up to his previous talents. He only stole particular sorts of materials—ones that might point him in the direction of a way to extend his life, or become immortal. He’d cursed himself a thousand times for not taking that ambrosia years ago when he’d had the chance.

    After years of searching, he still hadn’t gotten very far in solving his problem, and he’d started growing increasingly decrepit. That terrified him—that death might be so near his doorstep. Finally, he was forced to embark on a sort of long shot. In one of the stolen texts, he’d read about the rumored Elixir of Immortality the cannibals of this region brewed. It was only a legend, but it was the best bet he had, and he'd been out of time.

    “So you decided to just offer yourself up as live meat to the cannibals?” said Gabrielle as if it was one of the stupidest things she’d ever heard.

    “Mind you, ailing meat,” said Autolycus. “I was ancient, all skin and bones, white craggy hair everywhere. And my eyebrows—they'd taken over my entire forehead… Anyway. What I’m saying is there wasn’t much of me left to dine on. I doubt I would have tasted like much—decay, maybe. Besides, I contented myself in thinking that a people striving after immortality wouldn’t have much interest in an old man representing the total antithesis of that.” Autolycus’ eyes took on a far off look.

    “They must have seen me from long off, the cannibals. I wasn’t exactly stealthy. My years of rope swinging were long behind me. My knees ached when I walked, but I’d lost all the strength in my arms. So I kind of just took the most direct route, walked right into their camp.”

    He shuddered at the memory before continuing on. “The light was so pale that day, I wondered if it might be the day I’d die. I was starting to feel light, weightless. I just muttered the same phrase over and over as I walked.” He gave his audience a meaningful look, before uttering the incomprehensible phrase in the ancient tongue of the cannibals. “I'm not sure what that means, but it's something an immortality seeker should say. Then I fell to my knees before them, still muttering. I knew this would be the final adventure of the King of Thieves.”

    “Why didn’t they kill you?” Gabrielle asked. She remembered how brutal and savage the cannibals were.

    “Because Eve had gotten to them first,” said Xena. “They’d undergone a… transformation.”

    “That’s a little hard to believe,” said Gabrielle.

    Autolycus waited, hoping Xena might pick up with the story. She did.

    “Eve came bringing the Way of Love,” she began. “Without any weapons, leading a whole bunch of defenseless people with her. It was a slaughter. I thought you knew better than that,” she said under her breath to her daughter.

    “Mother, I had to,” said Eve. “The Way of Love must reach every dark corner of the Earth. I went where I was most needed, to end the savagery. I knew others, like the Romans, had picked up a lot of my message and were passing it on, but the cannibals needed a special touch.”

    Gabrielle snorted. “We’ll talk about the Romans later,” she said.

    Eve looked at her in question.

    “But you led all those innocent people here with you,” said Xena. “You were a warrior, Eve. You must have known what would happen.”

    “That’s not how the Way of Love works,” said Eve. “We follow in the steps of Eli. A true messenger is willing to give up her or his life if it means even one other may find a way out of darkness.”

    “It’s really weird watching you both talk in the same body,” said Autolycus. Everyone ignored him.

    “So why did they spare you Eve?” asked Gabrielle. “Stomach pains? Or did an angel come down and give them a revelation?”

    Eve frowned. “Not an angel,” she said. “I haven’t seen an angel for years actually. But someone did come to help…”

    Just then the Temple of the Body Snatcher erupted in pink sparks, and Aphrodite appeared, dressed elaborately in reds and pinks. Autolycus’ audible “ugh…” could be heard over the tinkling sounds her sparkles made.

    “Oooh, I was waiting for you to get to the good part,” she said. “The part about ME!” She shrilly squealed out the last word.

    “Ouch,” said Autolycus, his finger in one of his ears. Borias must have necrotic ear drums too, he thought.

    “Aw, poor thing,” said Aphrodite. Then she turned her loving gaze on Gabrielle. “Hello, Little One.” She magicked herself a pink glittery chair and sat unbearably close to the former Bard.

    “What?” she said looking from Gabrielle to Xena, as both were staring at her in some sort of mortal shock.

    “Look, I was real sad when I learned Xena had died. And no offence, Gabs, but all your angst and grief sort of made me not want to be around you for a while. But I knew I needed to watch over you, and especially over this one.” She turned to Xena/Eve. “You, girlfriend, are always getting yourself into these, like, hazardous situations.”

    Aphrodite sighed and a pink vapor escaped her lips. “Like I said before, if you wanted everyone to be all lovey dovey, all you had to do was ask. A few well-aimed sparks here and there..." she flicked her fingers... "and not even a fearsome cannibal can keep on being all nasty and... flesh eating and... ew. I had them all wrapped around my little finger in no time. Problem solved!” She giggled, squealed and snorted all at once.

    “Except, a certain god wasn’t very happy about the new arrangement,” said Autolycus.

    “Murdra,” said Gabrielle. “You haven’t told us about your pact with him, or whatever it was, yet.”

    “Oh, Murdra,” said Aphrodite looking up into the blue sky visible through the temple’s opening. “He’s so intense and passionate and he really does have a sensitive side… I keep telling you, Auto, you don’t need to worry about him. He’s practically eating out of my hand.” She looked at Xena and Gabrielle. “We’re in loooove,” she explained.

    “So are the cannibals good, or bad?” Gabrielle asked. She wasn’t sure what was going on here, but obviously Autolycus and Aphrodite had different takes on the matter.

    “They’re sedate,” said Autolycus. He looked pointedly at Aphrodite. “For now.”

    “No, they’re getting there,” said Eve. “We’ve been making progress.”

    “They have so much love in their little hearts they wouldn’t hurt a bunny rabbit!” Aphrodite declared in the voice of one deeply offended. She glowered at Autolycus.

    Gabrielle looked between them. “It sounds like they’re still a bunch of psycho killers underneath it all,” she said. “What do you think, Xena?”

    “I think rabbit makes for a good appetizer,” mused Xena. “But after, I need to sink my teeth into something more substantial. Like a whole goat. Got any goats around here?”

    “Uh huh,” said Gabrielle. “Xena AGREES with me!”
    Last edited by inumbra; 06-27-2015 at 04:48 PM.

  7. #7

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    Xena thought deeply to herself, her stoic presence filling the room the way stones do a lake. There was a lot to consider.

    Gabrielle was about to open her mouth, but stopped herself. They still had… five days. There was no sense in rushing things and making Xena upset. The bard then stood up and pulled Aphrodite by the ear to another room in the temple, which looked pretty similarity to a cabin.

    “Owie!” Aphrodite said. She slapped Gabrielle’s hands, “Watch the hair okay.”

    “Sorry I just-“ Gabrielle hesitated for a moment. “Look Aphrodite, we need to have some girl talk” she said. She looked around, they were in some sort of kitchen.

    “Yeah sure, catch up on old times. Paint each other’s nails… do each other’s hair” Aphrodite smiled like a 1990s house harlot that watches too much Lifetime.

    “I wouldn’t be a very good friend if I didn’t say that I had some… concerns, about your feelings for this Murdra” Gabrielle said in that kind of semi-abrasive uppity way she speaks in.

    Aphrodite defensively put her hands on her hips. “I already told you, Murdra is sensitive. Deep down inside!”

    “Yeah but c’mon- women tell ourselves that, but it’s the beast in him that turns you on right?”

    Aphrodite thought about that for a moment “Look, he could have killed and ate those people but he didn’t. He’s a businessman. He does business.”

    “We both know - or we should both know” Gabrielle said while giving Aphrodite’s shallowness a once-over , “that there are fates worse than death.”

    “There are no victims here flower child” Aphrodite said to Gabrielle. “The Elijaholics gave themselves up willingly, or at least, they knew the risks. Some cannibals are still common savages but Murdra is doing what he can to keep them under the control. He’s so… he’s just so dominant and sexy in bed.” Aphrodite giggled, getting lost in thought. “You should see the size of his-“

    Gabrielle put her hands up. “Oversharing! That’s enough….”

    Aphrodite looked disappointed. “I thought you said you wanted to have some girl talk…” her eyes turned into a sneer, “Or was that just a manipulative thing you said to get info out of me.”

    Gabrielle gave a puppy dog look to Aphrodite. “Both of those things can be true, you know.” The non-god blonde tried to soften her approach. “I have to admit, I just don’t trust him. I have this feeling…”

    “Feelings are often wrong” Aphrodite said, cutting Gabrielle off. “Or I mean they are just feelings. I’m the Goddess of Love, duh! I know that better than anyone. But he is beyond mere feeling. He’s passion, he’s physical and honey… it’s true what they say. Once you go black you never go back.”

    “Last time I checked, passion is still a feeling” Gabrielle said. “I just don’t want you to be like a common… “ she stopped herself. “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

    “No say what you were going to say before!” Aphrodite said. “You were going to call me a common whore weren’t you? Now yes Murdra has made love to many other women in the past sure, but he’s really only in love with me.”

    Gabrielle couldn’t help but roll her eyes at that. Could Aphrodite really be this naive?

    “A-and if you wanna talk about being a common whore, you’re the one that’s talking behind my Murdra-kins back before even meeting him!”

    Gabrielle realized Aphrodite had a point. “Well… we do need to see him anyway. To talk shop about the body snatching process.”

    “Yeah you’ll need to summon him. Call out to him. Can even do it right now if you want. I miss my baby anyway.”

    “Uh okay - Murdra, show yourself!” Gabrielle said. She looked at Aphrodite as if to say ‘Like that?’

    Aphrodite chuckled. “A God of his caliber only listens to another God such as myself” Aphrodite said narcissistically. “Allow me.” A beat. “Murdra, show yourself!”

    In a puff of black smoke , a tall and dominant and stereotypical heterosexual looking african american male appeared in the kitchen. He was mostly shirtless in tribal-like gear, with dark purple tattoos on his biceps in the shape of broken suns & scythes.

    Okay so he was kinda hot Gabrielle admitted. But still too… jungle-y for her tastes. Too jungly and manly.

    “My joonkuh” Murdra seethed, while looking intensely into Aphrodite’s eyes. The two kissed passionately in front of Gabrielle. Yep, I’m definitely not much of a hetero she thought to herself.

    “Joonkuh is the cannibal word for woman” Aphrodite said. “See? They are just misunderstood. T-they have their own language and culture and everything.”

    Now class, look at the nice little people eaters. It would be a shame to discriminate against them, right? Gabrielle thought.

    Murdra approached Gabrielle, instantly reading her and understanding that she didn’t like him much. He got the sense that Gabrielle was a compassionate person, a typical heroic type that had a soft spot for the underdog.

    “We had much of our land taken from the Romans, and other Warlords” Murdra said.

    “You also eat and kill people” Gabrielle said bluntly.

    Murdra smiled at that. “We’re trying to change that.”

    Trying was never good enough for Gabrielle. She was a woman of action, of do or do-nots. “Look, I don’t like you and I doubt I ever will but I do need you to help a friend.”

    “You want me to put a dead friend back in her old body” Murdra said plainly and obviously as if he heard it a million times. “Revive her, cheat korpar.


    “But there are other people, other friends- but I am curious. You somehow think your friend is more special, than other people’s friends.”

    “Well I- but I mean. She’s Xena.” Gabrielle didn’t want to be arrogant, but… it was Xena!

    “She’s just a person. All are one under Ak’duh” Murdra said.

    ‘God of Gods’ Aphrodite mouth said to Gabrielle without making noise. Yeah, she kinda got that on her own.

    “Yeah well… but I, you see there’s like this-” for once in her life, Gabrielle fumbled for the words. “Are you gonna help us or not?” she finally said. She tried to tell herself to be patient, but it was like every second she could feel Xena die all over again and it was torture.

    “I can do of what you ask” Murdra said. “But the penalty for your arrogance will cost you.”

    “What?!” Gabrielle said. “Don’t be unfair to me just because I can be… snobby.”

    “You misunderstand. It is not about you, it is about Natural Laws of the Universe” Murdra said wisely. Aphrodite just looked at him all impressed like, like ‘see he’s so strong AND smart-ish.’

    “You hold your friend to a higher level than you do other people, and so the payment must be greater too” Murdra said. “It is one of Ak’duh’s many laws.”

    Gabrielle realized Murdra was sadly right. Xena could come back without her super mortal strength, into a different body maybe; and the consequences of reviving her would be less- but she wouldn’t quite be Xena either.

    “And the five million dinar question is… am I willing to pay” Gabrielle said. She looked up and all of a sudden, saw Xena/Eve from the doorway not knowing how long she’d been standing there. Autolycus had joined as well, even Virgil.

    “Now there are not one, not two- but three prices to pay for this particular resurrection” Murdra said to everybody in the room.

    “A loved one must willingly sacrifice themselves” Murdra explained. Everybody but Xena looked around at who this was going to be.

    “A great good will become a great evil” Murdra explained again. Xena herself was the one most worried about this one.

    “And… “ Murdra sighed. “This is the worst of all. I am sorry but there is no other way. To revive a hero as great as Xena, all those close to her must suffer a fate we call Undi Sakarski. Which translates to ‘Bad Surprise.’ It means… nobody knows what the third consequence for this resurrection will be, other than it will be something inherently negative.”

    “Makes sense” Autolycus said grimly. “Just as the best things that happen in life are pleasant surprises, the worst are well… not pleasant ones.”

    Murdra, and everybody else- turned their attention to Gabrielle. “Now young one” Murdra said. “Knowing what you know, do you still wish to do this?”

  8. #8
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Default overloaded much?

    “Uh,” said Gabrielle, staring around at everyone. “Would it be any different if I weren’t the one asking? I mean would the cost be different according the laws of Ak’duh, or whatever?”

    Murdra gave out a laugh that sounded like it emanated from the 90s disco scene. “Hardly,” he said.

    Xena stepped forward. “Then, I’m the one asking,” she said. “I won’t have anyone sacrificing themselves for me.”

    Murdra folded his arms and stared down at her in a boorish way. “You're no stranger,” he said. “I watched as you buried one of my clans beneath water, wood and stone.”

    Aphrodite gazed up at him while hearts sprung into the air. “All’s fair in love and war, right Honey Bear?”

    Murdra smiled revealing his sharp conical cannibal teeth--they were mostly black but some were capped with gold. Aphrodite giggled obnoxiously. Thank goodness she’d had a trite phrase and some looooove ready to disrupt the mounting tension before her Boo’s mood turned sour.

    “I hold no grudge,” Murdra told Xena. “I can appreciate a masterful victory, such as yours’ over the Mukbut’hog clan.”

    “I aim to please,” said Xena with a strained smile, but she didn’t fail to notice Murdra’s slight grimace. No you can't, she thought.

    Murdra stared hard at Xena. “The three costs will be largely the same.”

    “But slightly different?” Gabrielle interjected, poking her head between them.

    Murdra tilted from side to side as if trying to balance out invisible scales. “The sacrifice will not volunteer itself,” he said. “Instead you invoke Nataguksee.” He smiled warmly. “It means, Unlucky of the Draw.”

    “So someone gets the short straw, but we won’t know who that is,” said Autolycus warily.

    “Yes. You are learning Autolycuk.” Murdra gazed at the King of Thieves as a master does when his dog has performed a trick.

    “The name’s Autolycus. As a point of clarification, when you say a loved one must be sacrificed, does that mean this person will die?”

    Murdra nodded with a special gleam in his eyes.

    “I think we’re gonna need to discuss this amongst ourselves,” said Gabrielle.

    “Of course,” said Murdra, stepping back from the group. He pulled Aphrodite to him and began groping her. The love goddess emitted a high pitched squeal.

    Gabrielle cleared her throat loudly until she got their attention. “That means, without you here,” she said, glaring at the cannibal god. “We’ll get back to you,” she added dismissively.

    Murdra's face turned red and his dreds seemed to catch fire. He lunged towards Gabrielle with a mechanical sounding growl.

    “Love Muffin, don't lose your cool.” Aphrodite ran her hand over his forehead.

    “They're so gargunkgahgarg!” Murdra let out his frustration in a loud noise of rage. Then he went on cursing in his cannibal tongue.

    Aphrodite put her hands on her hips and stared down the others. “He's saying you guys are rude, and that was no way to treat a god.”

    “Well excuse me,” said Gabrielle, annoyed that now the dumb savage cannibal god had decided to throw a tantrum.

    “Especially when he's been so patient and gracious with you mortals,” Aphrodite added. “I know, Lovekins,” she cooed at him.

    Murdra narrowed his boor eyes at Gabrielle. “You have until sundown to decide,” he said.

    “Now wait a minute,” said the Bard. “Xena has five more days!”

    The god’s face erupted back into his toothy cannibal grin. “Her soul might,” he said. “The body Autolycuk took from Barvor does not.”

    Murdra's head spun about until he was facing Virgil. He clicked his conical teeth at him, eyes flashing, and then disappeared in a billow of flame.

    “This is just what I need,” said Virgil heatedly. He tended towards anger when afraid. “You guys are even worse than I imagined. You’d make deals with that disgusting man-eating beast?”

    “He’s not a beast. You guys don’t understand him like I do.” Aphrodite pouted.

    “You got that right,” said Autolycus. “When I first met Murdra, he looked nothing like the, uh, stud muffin we’re seeing now. For one, he had these big knockers...” He held his hands over his chest as if grasping large boobs.

    Gabrielle was having one of her revelatory moments. “A shape-shifting evil god who transforms into fire… that can’t mean anything good.”

    Aphrodite’s mouth fell open. “How can you say that about him? You saw him just now, how easily his feelings get hurt. It’s like the opposite of being evil.”

    “Oh, so he can’t be evil because he has FEELINGS,” said Gabrielle. “Didn’t you say earlier that feelings don’t really count for much?”

    “You’re twisting my words,” the love goddess accused with narrowed eyes.

    “Would you two cut it out? We have bigger problems,” Xena nagged at them. Her expression constricted into one of maddening intensity. “You know, ever since I encountered that angel, nothing has been what it seems.”

    Virgil spoke before anyone could reflect on the deeper pattern of events. “I’m out of here,” he said. “I’m not going to be the Nutagoosee of the group.”

    “No, nope.” Autolycus reached over Aphrodite and rang a bell on the wall. Within no time two Amazons appeared to block Virgil’s exit. “That’s the bell I ring to signal a prisoner is escaping,” he explained.

    “Fuck you, Autolycus!” Virgil shouted as he was dragged away by the warriors. “You just wait! I’ll make sure all of you pay for this, you disgusting cannibal worshipping pigs!”


    Virgil’s hateful words and dramatic departure left silence in its wake, probably because the son of Joxer had a point.

    What are we turning into? Gabrielle asked herself. But she knew they might never save Xena if they kept questioning the only way it could be done. It reminded her of something Xena had said to her a long time ago—that she took forever to make a decision. “Always weighing the pros and cons,” Xena had said. A painful feeling settled in her chest. They only had until sunset. It was just like the last time she’d lost Xena. Her friend had faded with the sun’s light then too.

    “Xena, what are we going to do?” asked Gabrielle. "In order to get you back, one of us has to die and we bring a great evil into the world. This goes against everything we’ve ever stood for. And I feel like Murdra is just pulling these 'Laws of Ak’duh' out of his ass.”

    Xena went into hard thinking mode. “Autolycus, tell us about the cost you had to pay,” she commanded.

    “I, uh, don’t like to talk about that.”

    “I know,” said Xena. “Eve doesn’t even know what happened because you didn’t tell her.” She leaned in. “What was the price, Autolycus?”

    “Well, it had something to do with my arrogance,” said the other. “You know all about my ego, but Murdra likes that word. Arrogance. He said that because I thought I deserved this chance in my final days to cheat death and get myself a new body… that certain others would be robbed of their final days, or even final years, so as to… balance out fate.” He looked down at the floor.

    “And you accepted that?” Gabrielle asked.

    “I was old and fevered and dying," said Autolycus in a self-pitying way. "I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. And these people, they were elderly, and I presume on their death beds anyhow.”

    “It sounds like someone has a guilty conscience,” said Gabrielle. “That’s why you need to justify it like that.”

    “Which people?” Xena pressed.

    “Oh, um, some I’d known, others I hadn’t… There was a list of names, I just needed to sign in my own blood.” Autolycus closed his eyes. When he opened them again, he recited the list in a monotone. “Leah, Lyla, Diana, Cupcake, and, and…” After a pause he whispered out the last name. “Meg.”

    Xena’s Eve eyes grew wide as the realization dawned on her that now she was the last of the Xena lookalikes. Her eyes met Gabrielle's. The Bard had realized it too.

    “I hope Virgil doesn’t find out you killed his mother,” said Gabrielle – Autolycus winced at that. “He’s got enough vengeance in his heart already.” She thought about the people who'd died for Autolycus. “Who’s Cupcake?” she asked.

    A wistful look came over Borias’ features. It looked really out of place there. “She was this delightful girl I knew a long time ago.” He seemed to get lost in his memories but then his face grew hard. “This is why I should be the one to sacrifice myself. I have enough blood on my hands already. It’s penance, and it’s what I deserve.”

    “No one will be sacrificing him or herself,” said Xena firmly, her eyes falling on Gabrielle. “We’re not going to do this.”

    This wasn't something Gabrielle wanted to hear. She couldn't bring herself to say "yes" to this yet, but she certainly wouldn't accept "no" either. “If we don’t, your soul will fall into oblivion," she said. "You’ll be gone forever, Xena.”

    “We don’t know that for sure,” said Xena. “But, obviously, the consequences of dealing with Murdra are too extreme.”

    “Don’t talk to me about the consequences!” said Gabrielle somewhat angrily. “What happened to the Xena who lets evil win the first round, only to defeat it and set everything right in the next?”

    Xena’s martyrdom complex rang strongly in her soul once again, especially now that she'd learned of Autolycus’ tragedy. It wouldn’t have happened had he not given into his greed. “I won’t allow anyone to die for me,” she said stonily.

    “Maybe it shouldn’t be up to you, but to the people who love you!” Gabrielle shot out with tears in her eyes.

    Xena took the Bard’s hands. “But you’re right, Gabrielle,” she stressed. “Murdra can’t be trusted. He doesn’t play fair. There’s more to Autolycus’ story that Eve remembers.” She looked at the King of Thieves, compelling him to explain.

    “After my resurrection,” he said. “Murdra told me if I ever left Ga’Rokarg'Balz, the land of the cannibals, my body would die. From then on my life as the King of Thieves would be over, and I'd have to do Murdra’s bidding snatching bodies. I’m trapped here.” He paused for a moment. “Now, I don’t know if my resurrection went wrong, but I find it hard to believe that Murdra didn’t deliberately leave a few things out. Xena’s right. The costs tend to stack up in unpredictable ways.”

    Gabrielle frowned and wiped tears from her face. “Did you have to pay something else to Murdra for bringing Xena’s body back?”

    “That was another of those ‘Bad Surprises,’” said the former King of Thieves. “I suspect Alti's appearance has something to do with it, but I can’t be sure. The bad stuff might be yet to come.”

    Honestly, it was starting to sound to Gabrielle like they needed to bring Xena back to defeat Murdra at the very least. Xena'd kicked a lot of god's butts in her day. Then an idea sprung upon her.

    “Wait, what about that Elixir of Immortality?” she asked Autolycus. “You remember how that one time Xena died and her soul was in your body, and we used the ambrosia to bring her back to life? We could use the elixir like we used the ambrosia!”

    “Not to crush all your hopes,” said Autolycus. “But I never found any Elixir of Immortality. Maybe it was only in legend.”

    Aphrodite sighed loudly. This despairing situation was bumming her out. She started picking at her nails.

    “Mother, let me try,” said Eve. “I could appeal to the God of Eli to restore your body. An angel freed you from your purgatory. This might be God’s will.”

    This seemed like the best idea yet to everyone, although the Goddess of Love wasn’t a huge fan of anything having to do with the “God of Eli.” Eve headed out of the room to pray and prepare in private. Autolycus left as well, saying he had “matters to attend to.” This left Aphrodite and Gabrielle alone.

    “Aphrodite.” Gabrielle sidled towards the goddess on the plushy pink couch she’d conjured for them. “Do you think you could give up your godhood to restore Xena’s body?”

    The love goddess gave out a clucking sound like an offended valley girl. “I want Xena back as much as the next person. But isn’t that asking a little much?”

    “It’s just hypothetical,” said Gabrielle. “We need to come up with a Plan Beta in case Eve isn’t able to bring Xena back. I just want to know if it would work.”

    “Hun, my goddess-hood could heal Xena if she were mortally wounded, but she’s like a corpse. There’s nothing I can do to bring back the dead. The only one who might have been able to help with something like that was Hades, and he’s gone.”

    “Yeah, I didn’t think it could work,” said Gabrielle, mildly embarrassed. Then another far-fetched idea came to mind. “Maybe you could go to the Valhalla – or – or Cupid could – he can fly – and then he could retrieve one of Odin’s apples.” Then she sighed. “Except I don’t even know how to get there without the Valkyries to show me the way. Odin probably guards those apples pretty fiercely now, huh?” She asked the question more to herself.

    Finally, she realized there was only one feasible Plan B. She huddled with Aphrodite to give her instructions. It was really simple, but Gabrielle knew from experience just how completely incompetent the Goddess of Love could be.

    When Eve returned, Gabrielle jumped from her seat. “Well?”

    “I’m ready,” said Eve.


    “What have you done to Xena’s body?” Gabrielle demanded once they were all in the tent except for the love goddess.

    Xena’s corpse was now drenched in blood. The sight was even more gruesome and satanic looking given Xena’s stitched on head. To make matters worse, Xena’s eyes had been pried open. They were very pale and zombie looking.

    “It’s important for the ritual,” said Alti in her disgustingly flirtatious way. “The body of the returned must be anointed with the blood of the boor. The eyes must gaze heavenward.”

    “We’re going to perform a different ritual now,” said Eve haughtily. She stepped quickly to the fore and took Xena’s head in her hands.

    Alti gracefully moved aside. She stared down at Eve in a gloating and condescending way, a smirk on her face.


    An hour later the big three sat outside the tent.

    “We could flip on it,” suggested Autolycus pulling out a dinar.

    “We’re not flipping,” said Xena, still in Eve’s body. “It’s over.”

    “How can you say that,” asked Gabrielle, moisture in her eyes. It was only hours until sundown and for all appearances, they had failed. “Just let me give my life to save you,” she pleaded. “Our love, it’s worth dying for.”

    “Gabrielle, I can’t let you,” came her friend’s reply. She rested her head on Gabrielle’s shoulder in an odd reversal of roles. She didn’t touch her though since her hands were still bloodied from touching corpse-Xena’s boor blood soaked hair.

    They sat there together for many long moments as the breeze wisped through their hair. Then Gabrielle rose to her feet.

    “I just need a minute,” she said, wiping away her tears. “And Xena, we can watch the sunset together. I could read you one of Sappho’s poems.”

    “All right,” said Xena, trying to keep her own sadness at bay.


    I’m choosing the Way of Friendship, Gabrielle told herself over and over as she wandered into a deserted field. She stopped once she was far enough away from camp.

    “I’m here, Aphrodite,” she called.

    The love goddess appeared. “Okay,” she said blandly. “What now?”

    “I want you to summon Murdra.”

    “That,” said Aphrodite. “Is only like the best thing you could have asked!”

    When Murdra appeared he immediately zeroed in on Gabrielle. “You have decided then?”

    “It’s no secret that I don’t like you and I don’t trust you,” Gabrielle began. She gave out a hysterical laugh. “To be quite honest, I have no idea what sort of hot water I’m getting into.” Then she grew serious. “But yes. I’ve decided. I’m asking you to save Xena. I’ll be the sacrifice.”

    “But Gabby,” Aphrodite protested.

    “I’ll be reborn, Aphrodite,” Gabrielle consoled. “Xena won’t unless I do something about it.”

    Murdra directed his boorish gaze upon the Bard. “Very well,” he said.

    “What do I have to do? Get eaten by one of the cannibal clans?” Gabrielle asked.

    Murdra laughed in his horrible way. “First you must sign in your own blood that you are asking this, and that you are both the Tomay'nookar and Hukakud. That means, ‘Burden Holder’ and ‘The Sacrifice,’ in that order.”

    He produced a swath of leather out of thin air that contained strange looking squiggles and hieroglyphics. “Apologies,” he said. “But it is written in Balzbugga, the ancient script of the cannibals. It states what I just told you.”

    Gabrielle let out a tremendous sigh, well aware that she could be signing anything since she couldn’t read it herself. But she’d come too far to go back now. She would heed no warnings, bad feelings or portends of doom. Or common sense, she added to herself. This was what she had to do.

    “Give me your hand,” said Murdra. When she did, he raised one of her fingers to his mouth.

    “What are you doing?!”

    “Do not fear,” said the god. Then he punctured her finger with one of his conical teeth. “Now sign.”

    Gabrielle wrote her name in her own blood at the bottom of the leather swath.

    “Good,” said Murdra, looking quite pleased. “The sacrifice will be marked by blood.”

    Before Gabrielle could say anything he vanished in a swirl of flame.

    Now that she had so little time left, Gabrielle knew she needed to give others the advice they so desperately needed. She turned to Aphrodite.

    “You know he's never gonna change, right?” she said. “Xena and I, we've seen this kind of thing with gods. With Ares and Bacchus, and well, all of them. Murdra gets his power from people eating each other, just like you get your power from people falling in love, or Ares gets his power from people fighting... Aphrodite, gods can't change their fundamental nature.”

    But the Goddess of Love wasn't listening. She was saddened. Even though they'd kind of been fighting all day, she didn't want to lose her friend.
    Last edited by inumbra; 07-01-2015 at 05:42 PM.

  9. #9

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    Alti stepped out of the tent. It was about 3 o’clock in the morning. With her self-satisfied campy smile and raspy sultry voice she hissed, “The body - it’s ready.”

    “You look like you enjoy playing with Xena’s body a little too much” Autolycus said. “But you know, now that I think about it do you mind telling me later what her gajugajoinks look like? Even dead I bet those suckers are-”

    Xena-in-Eve punched Autolycus in the face for being a pervert. “Really? All that juicy cannibal dirt I told you and not even a peek at the goods.” Autolycus sat back down and started to pick at his teeth again. “Ah well, you can’t blame me for wondering. Men are pigs” Autolycus said.

    “Yeah but honey you’re not the type of bacon I wanna eat” Aphrodite said to Autolycus. “Murdra on the other hand…snort snort” she looked over at Gabrielle who was about to die and started to feel sad again. “This whole thing… it’s a bummer huh” Aphrodite said in her own very vain but still kinda empathetic way.

    Gabrielle gave everybody a sad but knowing look. It was full circle, and painfully romantic- how Xena and Gabrielle always longed to be together but it was like nowadays one of them was always alive while the other was well, not.

    Murdra reappeared and put his hand on Gabrielle’s forehead. “Kerper-kazshoosh” he said. He repeated this three times. It was kind of like the pinch, but in a more magical shaman-y way. Gabrielle convulsed in pain for a few minutes. Xena refused to watch.

    Then it was all over, Gabrielle’s body was lifeless on the ground and Xena’s soul started to move… out of Eve. And into her “new” body prepared by Alti.

    “It’s about time” Eve said at the woman who emerged out of the tent. “I love you mom, but just not that much.” She tried to tell a bad corny joke in the midst of all these dark dealings. And with Gabrielle’s dead body just lying there on the cold ground. Still, Eve teared up a little. She was so glad to have Mom back.

    Even though the body Alti worked on looked very grotesque before, Xena’s soul helped heal it somewhat and she looked pretty much like the regular old Xena again, albeit with a few bags under her eyes and her skin still looked a little pale.

    “That’ll heal up in a few days” Alti said to the gang. She looked at Murdra. “Now…. My payment for my services?”

    “Ah yes. We, the council of Gods, shall restore your samsa.”

    “Samsa?” Eve wondered out loud as she saw a purple glitterly light flow back into Alti. Alti smiled orgasmically as this happened.

    Autolycus said in a matter of fact way.

    “All this time Alti just wanted her soul back?” Eve said. “That’s so very un-Alti-like from what I know about her….but umm Eli’s love and forgiveness is boundless.”

    “I’m not saying I’m one of the good guys now but let’s just say that it gets old feeding on the inner emptiness. And I figure I could only be angry with Xena for so long.”

    Suddenly, Eve snapped and an eerily familiar voice shrieked from her lips. “That’s funny, I don’t think I ever really got over it.” Everybody in the forest jumped a little in their seat as they knew it was another entity inside of Eve now. Different than Xena, more like her opposite.

    “But becoming an angel, making you all think I forgave, watching the look of hope and love on your faces, only to have those looks wash away this very moment. That feeling… is priceless.”

    Xena was a very stoic person, it took a lot to startle her, but she flinched back, in her new body – as she was becoming fully aware of what was happening.

    Gabrielle was dead on the ground. Her daughter somehow wasn’t her daughter anymore but…

    “Callisto” Xena said, looking at the other woman in the eyes.

    Eve, who looks exactly like Xena, was now the one-and-only Callisto.

    “What did you do with my daughter?! You said there would only be one sacrifice” Xena shouted angrily at Murdra.

    “This must be part of the Undi Satarski” Murdra said as Callisto gave Xena, Autolycus, Aphrodite and Murdra an evil smirk. “Or possibly… a great good becoming a great evil.”

    “Try two birds with one stone” Callisto said. She looked down at her body. “How delicious is it going to feel, Xeenuh, when your friends watch you die all over again, being beat up by a body that looks just like you.” Callisto played with the tip of a dagger the way a cat plays with a mouse.

    “Callisto… I thought you… I thought you forgave me.” Xena’s eyes squinted in both bewilderment and betrayal. It’s what Xena’s greatest fear has always been: being betrayed. And Callisto knew this, and knew how to capitalize on it.

    Callisto laughed manically at that. “Let me tell you something about forgiveness, Xena. Forgiveness, true forgiveness… it’s really the same thing as being nothing.” She shrugged and played with the knife some more. “I got bored of it. I even helped plan this whole thing,”, she took a moment to look down at Gabrielle’s dead body with satisfaction, “but I’m of course not the only player.”

    It looked as though Xena and Callisto were about to cat fight in front of everybody again, but surprisingly, Callisto stepped back.

    “But no… you dying. That takes the fun out of it. I want to hurt you Xena, not kill you. And I just thought of the perfect way to do it. “ Callisto turned her attention to Alti. “Hey there” she cooed evilly. “You’re like an evil plastic surgeon right?”

    Alti stepped back. “Begone woman, I have my soul now” she said.

    Callisto flashed three spheres of light in Alti’s way. “Why have one when you can have four?” Alti’s eyes started to get all possessive and greedy and old-school Alti like. She happily stood next to Callisto’s side. Okay, so this Alti being not so evil anymore thing was clearly a work in progress.

    “I collected a lot of these when I was in heaven…they make great vibrators…” Callisto looked right into Xena’s eyes, “How does it feel Xeenuh knowing that I’m using the very essence of an innocent child to please myself… down there.” Callisto twirled her hair evilly while sending one of the orbs down in her private regions. “Hey this one could even be Solan” she said, twisting the emotional knife into Xena just that much more.

    “You’re sick lady” Aphrodite said, stating the obvious. “Murdra, be a Joon and do something!”

    “I… I don’t think I should interfere” Murdra said. “This is all part of the consequences of resurrection” Murdra said. He didn’t tell Aphrodite the entire truth: that he was secretly enjoying Callisto’s twisted and evil ways.

    With Xena caught off-guard, Gabrielle dead, Aphrodite’s spells being on the defensive lovey-dovey side, and Callisto hijacking eve’s body…. It was all up to… Autolycus?

    The King of Thieves shot a hidden dart from underneath his sleeve. But Callisto grabbed the projectile before it punctured her throat and snapped it in half. She confidently threw the discarded remains of weapon on the ground the way one does a tissue.

    “Nice try, thief boy” Callisto said. Autolycus just looked at Xena as if to say, ‘I did try.’

    “I wish I could stay and chat some more but I have business to attend to” Callisto said. “Come Alti, or I throw your souls down into the pits of Tartarus.”

    And with that, Alti conjured a portal and Callisto & Alti disappeared together. Normally, Xena would throw a chakram, yodel & yell & flip kick to the Elijan Fields, do something, but for once in her life she was…stunned. And she was still getting used to being fully corporeal anyway. A fight this soon might prove too risky.

    Xena just grimly looked down at Gabrielle’s body, and thought of Eve, who she felt wasn’t dead exactly- but it was clear that it was Callisto behind the wheel.

    “Well… my work here is done” Murdra said, though it felt more like ‘Haven’t I caused enough damage for one night.’ Then together, he and Aphrodite disappeared in a black puff of smoke. Aphrodite’s face looked confused as they teleported out.

    All that was left was Xena, Autolycus and Gabrielle’s dead body on the ground. Autolycus just stared off into space, confused and saddened.

    “ARES!” Xena screamed as loud as she could.

    Ares appeared. He saw her, alive and well. He tried to hold back his enthusiasm. “Xena, I-“

    “Revive her Ares” Xena said, pointing down to Gabrielle. “I know you can.” She thought of that time in that village when he resurrected those people that he killed while trying to tempt Xena to the dark side.

    “Yeah but Xena, I am the God of War. What’s in it for me if I obey?”

    Xena’s face looked stone cold determined as she thought momentarily about all that she lost. Her daughter and son. Her best friend. Virgil’s innocence, Joxer’s life. Her not really a friend but still sorta friend, Aphrodite- losing her to Murdra’s manipulative ways. The last of Alti’s ‘goodness’, not that the woman understood it so much in the first place.

    Xena got her game face on while thinking about all those things. “I’ll be the best Warrior the God of War has ever seen” she said. She wiggled her fingers, and started to feel some of her old sensations coming back, and her strength-of-ten, no strength of twelve men this time, returning.

    Xena was back.

    Autolycus smiled. “Murdra said a sacrifice was necessary but he never said one couldn’t reverse the sacrifice. Thank the Gods for Loopholes.”

    Ares was pleased with Xena’s promise. He snapped his fingers, and Gabrielle stood back up on her feet again. “Xena….I…” the two friends-lovers looked at each other and hugged. But it was bittersweet. Gabrielle looked into Xena’s sad eyes and just knew.

    “Eve…” Gabrielle said empathetically.
    “Callisto” Xena said determinedly.

    Autolycus thought of himself. He was bored and lonely. “Me” Autolycus said selfishly.

    Ares just looked at Xena, wondering what the warrior woman was going to do next. “You owe me one” he said.

    Xena told herself she didn’t want to get Ares involved like this, but she had no choice. She wasn’t about to just get her life back and have Gabrielle stay dead while she lived. That would just be the same fourteen years of suck. No. They needed to be in this together.

    “Now come on gang” Xena said. “It’s going to take a long time, but let’s see how many more of Murdra’s rules we can bend.”

    ~End of Episode~
    Last edited by dead bnd; 07-02-2015 at 06:39 AM.

  10. #10
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Default Episode 2 - Never War

    Xena and Gabrielle crept along behind some bushes and watched as the cannibals herded people into a rock cave.

    “I hope they’re not going to change tactics and butcher them in there,” Gabrielle whispered.

    “Nah, they’re just going to fatten them up,” said Xena. “Some of them are too skinny, especially the children.”

    “Unless they just want to talk to them. Murdra did say they’re trying to change.”

    Xena scoffed. “Yeah, well he was lying. Murdra enjoys this too much to ever change his ways.”

    Then with a mighty AY-YI-YI-YI-YI-YI-YI-YAHHHHHH! Xena leaped over the bushes. The cannibals rounded on her and she began slashing them through with her sword.

    Gabrielle took the opportunity to scuttle about and roll a few barrels down a small incline. She had to knock a couple cannibals in the head with her staff, but for the most part Xena’s raucous diversion kept the focus off of her.

    While Xena pulled out her chakram and began felling a few trees with it, Gabrielle freed the captives from the cave.

    “Run along now,” she shouted at them all. Many people began fleeing helter-skelter.

    “Where should we go,” one man asked her. “They abducted us from our village, Hyperion.”

    “You’ll be safe if you go back to your homes,” she told him. He didn’t seem satisfied, eyeing her uncertainly, and Gabrielle detected that he assumed some manner of responsibility for the others. “Xena and I will make sure these cannibals never return,” she said.

    The man watched as several tall trees fell forming the skeleton of a pyramid over the cannibal camp.

    “I’m Evaristus,” he said, extending his hand to her.

    She took it. “Gabrielle.” At that moment Xena gave out an almighty bellow, AKA The Signal. “Now go!” Gabrielle shouted at Evaristus, pointing the way out.

    Satisfied the villagers were out of danger, Gabrielle raced from the camp just as the first flaming arrows fell. Fire snaked up each of the trees forming the pyramid, transforming it into a terrible pyre. The cannibals wailed, caught in the inferno, but their torment was not to last long. Once the Greek fire took hold, the blaze quickly erupted into a booming explosion.

    A few heady shrieks of triumph sounded from the trees where the Amazon archers were positioned. Soon the cries intensified into a chorus of savage whooping. Nothing remained of the cannibal camp but a crater. The huge trees that had made up the pyre fell into the pit with lackluster thuds as they landed against each other.

    “Now that’s what I call a controlled burn,” said Xena huskily, slapping her palms together in a back and forth motion.

    “It certainly ought to get Murdra’s attention,” said the cocky bard. “Show him what happens when his worshippers try to hurt innocent people.” She leaned in—it was getting hard to be heard over the victory screams. “Xena, I spoke with one of them – Evaristus – and he said the cannibals took those people from their homes.”

    Xena’s expression hardened into her This Means War face. “I’m gonna give Murdra one final chance to end this,” she said with her warrior’s determination. “If he doesn’t, I’m gonna end it for him.”


    Meanwhile Autolycus was lying in a hammock to the east. Things had gotten a bit too real, with being confronted once again with his sins. He didn’t like remembering how his rebirth into a new body had apparently cost five old ladies their lives, especially ones he’d known like Cupcake and Meg. Oh, it panged his heart.

    To make matters worse, Xena had lost her daughter to his hideous god, AKA Aphrodite’s new boy toy. He hadn’t been able to look either Xena or Gabrielle in the eyes for the past few days. He’d stopped being able to look himself in the eyes years ago.

    But he was trying to forget about all of this, which was why he was “relaxing” in the middle of the forest with a straw hat covering his face.

    "Thief..." Murdra’s voice haunted him. He’d thought it was only in his head until it kept repeating, getting ever louder and more creepy.

    “What!” Autolycus shouted in irritation. “Can’t you leave me alone? Haven’t I done enough dirty work?”

    Murdra’s disturbing laugh sounded—the dub-step disco horror show laugh. Then the god himself appeared right up in Autolycus’ personal space, leaning over him with his overwhelmingly studly presence. This time he smelled of intense spices and so the King of Thieves had to sneeze several times, but it at least shook him from his torpor.

    “I have a job for you,” said Murdra, his dreds tickling the sides of the other’s face. “It’s going to take all day and all night. Lots of bodies. Prepare yourself.” Then he disappeared.

    “Fuck me,” said Autolycus as he trudged through thickets in the forest. “The least he could have done was transport me back to the temple.”

    When he finally entered camp, in his distracted haze of annoyance he didn’t pick his route carefully. This sent him passing by Virgil’s cage so that he had to endure the captive’s repeated shouts and threats.

    “What’s the matter,” he half-mocked. “We feed and water you. What more do you need?”

    Virgil enclosed his hands over the bars. “When I get out of here,” he said. “First, I’m going to kill Eve—”

    Autolycus cut him off with a laugh. “No need. She’s already dead,” he said. “Hope you don’t meet her again, because if you do, she’ll be the one killing you.”

    Virgil stared at him in utter confusion. He blinked a few times. But Autolycus kept walking, laughing hysterically all the while. He didn’t need to wait for Virgil to process things. Befuddlement was apparently the way to get the son of Joxer to finally shut up.

    “Have you gone mad or something?” Virgil called after him. “I hear it can happen when you devour human brains. You’re a sick man, Autolycus!”

    The first thing the King of Thieves did once he got back to the safety and seclusion of the temple—without running into Xena or Gabrielle, thank all the gods—was reach for his Amazon Brew. The Amazons made a fine beer and sometimes they added a little something extra to it. It did dull his thinking a bit, but he didn’t really need his wits about him to retrieve bodies out of portals. That’s what Borias’ bulky muscles were for.

    “Okay, I’m here! What do I have to do!” he shouted, staring up through the pentagonal hole in his roof.

    “Many things,” came Murdra’s voice, softly. “Woodworking and food preparation… and body retrieval. Heh heh heh heh.”

    “Wait,” said Autolycus. “I'm not killing anyone and preparing them for supper.”

    “You will prepare... the already dead... from Barvor...”


    The next morning the birds sang over the village of Hyperion, just like they did every morning. The villagers set an incredibly long table that stretched through the village center, and they carried several cauldron sized pots in from their stone ovens on a small hillside. They set the pots at various points along the length of the table.

    Children ran about in circles, playing tag. Niceties were exchanged between the villagers as they helped each other with the last preparations for the morning feast. Beverages were poured. People smiled and embraced.

    Murdra and Aphrodite flashed in to behold the quaint scene.

    “Mortals sitting down to eat,” said the love goddess, unimpressed. She mouthed a “what?” at him, a 'this is so beneath me' expression on her face. “You said this was going to be a surprise,” she whined. “Unless... It's like a feast in my honor!” Aphrodite squealed and held a hand to her chest, overtaken by the romantic gesture.

    Murdra laughed. It was half a “you're so cute” indulgent sort of laugh and half an uncomfortable “oops I didn't think of that, I'm not being a convincing enough boyfriend” sort of laugh.

    “If I explain it now, it will spoil the surprise,” said Murdra, in a charming way. He motioned towards the table with the wave of a large muscular arm. “I invite you to visit with these mortals.”

    “You invite me?” said Aphrodite with a wanton look. “As IF! These are my people.”

    “Your people,” Murdra repeated, confused a second time by the love goddess' bizarrely shallow ways.

    “Did you not see the little shrine they made for Yours' Truly at the entrance to the village?”

    “Ah,” said Murdra with comprehension. Being an observant sort, he had noticed those minuscule little shrines for just about every Greek deity there ever was. It had pleased him to know just how Greek these people were.

    “Then please,” he motioned again. “Be among your people.” He smiled his toothy cannibal smile, warmly.

    The things we do for love, Aphrodite thought to herself as she headed towards the mortals. She could understand that Murdra was trying to be sweet and it was a tad bit romantic, at least in his mind. But the bitch part of her wasn't convinced hanging out with a bunch of mortals at breakfast time, even if it was in celebration of herself, was really worth her time. Besides, some of these mortals were looking at her strangely, almost like they had no idea who she was.

    She supposed it might be that some of them were intimidated or startled by her beauty, rather than turned off by her skimpy red and black lingerie. Unless they didn't even see her beauty, but just this like total bitch who could never pass as the Goddess of Love? She rubbed at her cheek as though she'd been stung.

    Murdra kept tweaking her appearance through offhand suggestions, and somewhere along the way she’d come to look more like a goth crack whore than the Goddess of Love. But she still radiated love, and really no matter how unfashionable she was now, her inner beauty should still shine through, right?

    A little girl ran into her, interrupting her vain and self-absorbed reflections. The child fell back on the ground lost in the heap of her skirt.

    “I’m sorry, sweetie,” Aphrodite cooed down to her. “Are you okay?”

    The child righted herself. “You look funny,” she said staring up at the love goddess who tried to cover her scowl with a solicitous smile.

    “My name’s Meh- Meh- Melissa,” the child rambled at her. “I’m six. And my mommy is Thea, and…” Then she paused, a look of confusion coming over her face. “I don’t have a mommy or daddy,” she finally said.

    “I lost my parents too,” said Aphrodite melodramatically. “They were Olympian gods and I’d known them for like thousands of years. But I guess parents can’t last forever, not even immortal ones.” Her face fell into a glum expression.

    She was about to follow that up with a “but look on the bright side, things aren't all bad, you have someone who clothes and feeds you... it's not like you're dead, mortal as you are...” sort of statement, but—

    “I was eating and… there was a fire,” Melissa said, her voice dropping by an octave by the time she got out the word “fire.” It made Aphrodite cringe a little.

    “Your parents died in a fire?” the love goddess asked sympathetically. It was just undeniably tragic. “That's terrible.”

    “I like to eat,” the girl explained. Then she ran half-giggling, half-cackling, back to the table.

    Maybe she's over it, Aphrodite thought to herself, as she followed slowly behind. She smiled at her adoring fans, but few returned her smile. Was the goth prostitute getup the culprit after all? She'd totally have to work this out with Murdra.

    Melissa scrambled up on a bench and began reaching for one of the pots. A woman with long brown hair in a blue dress took the child’s arm. “It’s too hot,” she scolded her. “We need to wait for it to cool down a little. Then we can eat.”

    This did not satisfy Melissa who kept trying to wrench her arm back, growing increasingly violent as she did. “Let me GO!” she hollered over and over, louder and louder, her voice growing harsh and baritone.

    “Melissa!” a man shouted at the child from the opposite side of the table, bending towards her. “Stop this. Listen to your mother.”

    “She’s NOT Mommy!” Melissa shrieked. She began beating on Thea’s shoulder. “You’re NOT! NOT! NOT!”

    The woman was beside herself. “Of course I am,” she said, but as though she was trying to convince herself. “I remember your first steps… Your first word… I remember teaching you how to write your name… I have to be your mother.”

    “What trick is this?” cried the man across the table, his voice much more rough than before. He examined his hands as though he didn't recognize them. “I’m not her father,” he said looking at Thea. “You’re not her mother. We are none of us related at all.”

    Someone broke into laughter a few seats down. “It's kind of funny. This is what people mean when they say 'playing a part!'”

    Water had formed in Thea's eyes, but not enough to form a tear. She dropped back on the bench in a stupor. Melissa then managed to free her hand from her mother’s relaxed hold to at last reach her prize. Triumphantly, she wrangled a roasted human forearm (hand included) from the pot. Ooooooohhhs sounded around the table as the villagers beheld the spectacle.

    “Give it here!” Thea yelled, yanking the forearm from her daughter’s grasp. She gripped the arm in both hands (one around the wrist) and ripped into the flesh with her teeth.

    “Don't eat it like that, dear,” said the elderly woman sitting next to her. “You need to remember to mind your manners.”

    “Oh,” said Thea with a mad chuckle. She set the arm down on her plate and took up her utensils.

    Aphrodite gawked at the scene as more human parts were removed from the pots and deposited onto plates.

    “I'm- I'm- Aphrodite,” she told them in a sort of daze. “I hope this feast isn't in my honor...”

    “Joonkath'a hara,” said one of the villagers with a leer. Many of the others repeated the words, staring at her, until they ravenously took to their plates, words giving way to a hum of grunting and chomping. Occasionally a semi-soft snort would sound over the thrum.

    Murdra’s lips tickled her ear. “Do you like what I’ve created?” He wrapped his arms around her from behind.

    “It’s disgusting,” Aphrodite declared, writhing in his grasp. “Like totally grody.” She managed to contort her head around so she could meet his eyes. “The surprise is that you somehow brainwashed these people into adopting a different diet?”

    Murdra smiled down at her with promise, not releasing her from his arms. The smile slowly eroded into a more patronizing one. He tsked her softly.

    “Xena killed the entire Ucksgock clan yesterday,” he told her in a seductive drawl. “She is very prejudiced. I saved her, and this is how she shows gratitude.” He shook his head, his bristly chin rubbing against the crown of the love goddess' own head.

    “That’s why you made more cannibals?” Aphrodite asked. She was really trying to understand whatever this was, but was beginning to realize that might not be possible. Star-crossed love was one of the many forms love took, and it might just turn out that she and Murdra had irreconcilable differences.

    The cannibal god gripped her jaw with one hand and slowly turned her head so she was facing the table. Someone had just exhumed a human skull from a pot of mystery soup. Ew, ew, ew! The love goddess was revolted.

    “I collected the souls of the Ucksgock and found most new bodies, these ones already living flesh,” said Murdra. He extended his arms out on either side of them. “They sit before you now.”

    Aphrodite stared hard at the table of man-eaters. The meaning behind Murdra's words took shape in her mind and she vanished in a flurry of saggy hearts, reappearing several feet behind the barbarian god. Reaching out with her divine senses, she spotted the scattered souls of the real villagers hanging from a kind of netherworld. They were slowly fading out of existence. It surprised her that Murdra was powerful enough to pull this off. He'd always seemed too ‘small potatoes’ for mortal soul-body swapping…

    “Impressed?” Murdra asked, grinning ferociously.

    The love goddess gave out an insane sounding laugh. “More like appalled. That you would cast out these poor mortal's souls and implant your own dark material in their bodies.” She stepped back from him slowly.

    “I thought you would be pleased,” said Murdra somberly. “You had wanted us to change how we operate. My people – the Ucksgockhave changed. They benefit from the memory and knowledge stored in these bodies. They’ve acquired new language and custom. They have become… civilized.”

    Civilized? "Because they can play house and use knives and forks?"

    Normally Aphrodite didn’t trouble herself with mortal affairs unless there was something of interest to her, but this was just too strikingly horrible to leave alone. Besides, these villagers – the real ones – had been among her worshipers. So she reached up and spun the souls back into their rightful bodies, after casting the intruders out.

    Murdra recognized what she had done immediately.

    “What?” said Aphrodite. “Like I was going to leave them like that, all soul-Frankensteined and everything.”

    She had defied him. She was interfering with his divine will. Now his woman was giving him lip. In one swift motion he swung at her, his forearm impacting with her jaw. Aphrodite fell to the ground with the incredible force of it.

    Murdra raised his arms skyward, seeming to draw the night sky out, down through the day sky, and into his body in billows of black smoke. Then he pushed his hands out forward from his chest, and the smoke issued swiftly from his palms. It engulfed the mortals, who began choking while Murdra rotated his arms. He didn't cease this churning motion until all of their souls were finally coughed out. Then with a repeated downward finger twirling arm motion (it was quite elaborate) he dropped his cannibal souls into the deserted bodies.

    Aphrodite stood in a daze. The entire performance with all of its artful hand and arm motions had left her hypnotized. She managed to snap out of it right before she would have started drooling.

    “No way! No how!” she shouted. With a single graceful wave of an arm, her pink heart sparkles flew, and rightfully swapped all the souls again.

    Murdra growled at her and spittle flew from his mouth. He shoved Aphrodite even harder into the ground. “I will deal with you later,” he seethed at her.

    Then he performed the long sequence of arm motions and finger twirling motions and smoke moving all over again.

    Although this had given Aphrodite plenty of time to recover, she hadn't bothered to get up. Violent love was the worst. It was kind of more Ares' department. She lazily raised an arm, and switched the souls again with a gush of hearts.

    The cannibal god's face had turned an irate red. He clenched his hands into fists, surveying the situation. Obviously they couldn't keep going back and forth like this...

    By this time one of the villagers had made it all the way around the long table and over to where the two gods stood. He ran up to Aphrodite and reached for her hands. How chivalrous, thought the love goddess, allowing him to help her to her feet.

    “My name is Evaristus,” he told her hurriedly. “Gabrielle knows me. She and Xena saved us from being eaten by cannibals yesterday.” But even as the man spoke, Murdra had started up with his arm and hand and smoke motions yet again.

    “A lot of people don’t remember who Xena was,” said Evaristus. “But I’ve heard the legends. She was a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle, with the strength of ten men. It was also said she had many skills.” He continued on as a black fog settled over them. “If anyone can help us, it’s— HARHARHAR! I'm baaaa-aaaaack!”

    Aphrodite wrenched her hands away from the man, whose eyes now gleamed like a crazed devil’s. She glared at Murdra.

    “Would you cut it out?!!” she shouted at him. “This is like totally barbaric.”

    “I won’t have Xena destroying another of my clans,” Murdra shouted back at her. “The Ucksgock are most prized of them all! When Xena sees what has happened, she will learn to never slaughter my cannibals again.” He shoved an arm in the direction of the cannibal villagers who had returned to their feast. “This will teach her the price.”

    Aphrodite hit him with the blackest of her black looks. With a wave of an arm and an unleashing of more hearts... absolutely nothing happened. She tried again. Nothing. And a few times more. Still nothing.

    “I have made it so you cannot tamper with this again, joonkuh,” Murdra assured her with a malevolent grin.

    “If you don't switch them back, we're over!” Aphrodite yelled. “I'll leave you high and dry!”

    Murdra's eyes bulged and he snapped his pointy teeth at her. “You don't get to decide when this is over,” he said, advancing towards her.

    The love goddess smacked him across the face and vanished in an explosion of black hearts.


    Xena and Gabrielle were in a pond giving each other back massages when Aphrodite appeared before them. Tears ran down her face in charcoal streaks, having taken some of her eyeliner along with them on the journey.

    “Aphrodite, what's wrong?” Gabrielle asked.

    “Murdra and me had a fight. Oh, and some people need your help.”
    Last edited by inumbra; 07-07-2015 at 04:54 PM. Reason: OCD

  11. #11

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    Gabrielle and Xena tried to get a word in edgewise, but Aphrodite kept yammering on. The tears still pouring down.

    “And I don’t wanna leave him completely, he’s just so dominant and manly.. that’s why I fell in love with him in the first place… but when I saw how he was treating all the little people” - she looked at the glare Gabrielle was giving her - “I mean humans, I had to do something but his magic is just stronger than mine and I know now you’re going to say ‘Aphrodite, you’re going to have to just stand up to him’ in your haughty college-y Athens-style voice but give me a break here, I’m not a friend of Sappho like you two are, it’s a little hard for me to just leave him completely and did I mention how amazing the sex was? But now he’s being icky and I’m turned off and confused, because before I was so turned on and sure of everything, and I thought I’d gab with my bestie Gabrielle because she always knows what to do and-“

    Having heard enough, Gabrielle splashed some water on the Goddess' face. “Shut up already will you?” she said. She softened her voice. “You stood up to him Aphrodite. That took a lot, and I’m proud of you.”

    Aphrodite smiled at herself, as if to say ‘Now don’t you feel like a bitch for being all judge-y with me earlier.’

    Gabrielle looked at Aphrodite empathically. “I never told anybody this, but when Perdicus told me how he didn’t want to fight anymore, I got a little… turned off. I mean, that was never my thing. I’ve always been attracted to the Warrior spirit.” She looked over at Xena in an attractive bikini with water dripping in all the right places and began to drool. “Anyway, after he died, this sounds awful… but I couldn’t help but think that maybe, him wanting to be more peaceful, is the reason he fell to Callisto. I thought for a long time that maybe if he hadn’t given up the fighting, maybe if he stood up more….” she stopped herself. “But that’s stupid, because it’s Callisto, she’d have slaughtered him anyway. She’s as good fighter as Xena is uh… no offense.” She looked up at the Warrior Princess, her eyes showing worry about Murdra, Callisto and Alti alike.

    Gabrielle’s focused turned back to Aphrodite, “But Murdra is just too far in the other direction. The good folks of Hyperion don’t deserve what he’s doing to them even if his uh Kriska is one of massive girth.”

    Aphrodite nodded. “I agree. And hey, maybe I owe you an apology too. I should have listened to you and you were right, even if you are a little too vain for a human.”

    The two girlfriends shared a hug and smiled at one another.

    While Gabrielle and Aphrodite exchanged a heart to heart, Xena was more concerned with bashing her fists in Murdra’s face. She cleared her throat, getting their attention. “Aphrodite, I’m sorry but I’m probably going to have to kill Murdra.”

    Murder Murdra? Gabrielle wondered dorkily, keeping that corniness to herself.

    Aphrodite sighed, pouted and threw her hands against her temples all at that same time. “I knooow” the goddess said. Aphrodite’s voice surprisingly went from really shallow to semi-deep when she said, “I just always been the Goddess of Love you know. I knew in the back of my mind Murdra was no good for me, but I thought maybe that I just deserve the same romantic love that I spend so much time giving others. I guess I was selfish….”

    Gabrielle couldn’t help but ‘Awww’ at that as she rubbed Aphrodite’s back. “There’s somebody for all of us.” And it’s okay to be somewhat selfish, Gabrielle thought. But Murdra was selfish without the ish, just overboard annoyingly egotistical, and Xena knows best how to deal with people like that.

    “Easy for you to say” Aphrodite said. “You got your tough little Xena back.”

    Gabrielle didn’t really know what to say to that, instead she turned to Xena, “How will you stop Murdra for good anyway. You lost your power to kill Gods remember?”

    “And Murdra is definitely not like Caligula” Aphrodite said to Xena. “You won’t get him to hate himself enough to kill himself” she said. “Arrogant bastard” Aphrodite whispered underneathe her breath.

    “I know….” Xena said to both Gabrielle and Aphrodite. “That’s why I’m going to have to become a God myself.” The background music Duns after that statement.

    (*obligatory commercial break*)

    “No Xena, the power will corrupt you!” Gabrielle said.

    “I know that, that’s why I only will be a God long enough to end Murdra. Once it’s over, I’m counting on you two to bring me back.”

    “Like how you defeated the Bacchus that one time” Gabrielle remembered; her face lighting up.

    “Yes, I was able to resist the lure of being a pure animal and go after him and not the undeserving. It will take even more willpower, but I should be able to do the same when I’m a God” Xena said huskily.

    “I’m a God too and I can’t stop him” Aphrodite said. “Of course I’m the Goddess of Love, not the Goddess of Warriors… and it probably doesn’t help that I fell in love with him. But if he keeps making me mad so help me… me.”

    “Xena: Goddess of Warriors…” Gabrielle looked off into space all Bard and Writery-like. “I like that!”

    “So how are ya gonna do it” Aphrodite said to Xena. “Become one of the cool kids like moi.”

    “Ambrosia” Xena said matter-of-factly as she began getting dressed, putting on her classical Warrior outfit. “The same way Velasca and Callisto did it.”

    “And how do we change you back?” Gabrielle asked.

    “Love is power’s only weakness” Xena said sagely as she fastened her bra-straps. “The love you hold for me… I know how incredible it is, how many dimensions it transcends. All I need is for you to just love me like you always do, and Aphrodite’s powers can enhance that, make your love an actual substance that can counteract the effects of the ambrosia. That should be enough to De-God me.”

    “But how do we deal with Ares, or anybody else who might want to keep you as a God?” Gabrielle asked.

    “That’s why we keep this on the downlow. I’m going to hunt for the Ambrosia myself” Xena said. “There’s some in a jungle about thirty miles northeast from here, inside a dungeon known as the Tomb of Trials.” She remembered how she froze up when Callisto appeared. Xena doesn’t freeze, and it will take a long time to forgive herself for that. “The trials will be incredibly difficult, and I need to sharpen my skills anyway.”

    Gabrielle was still tickled, after all these years, at how Xena knew the location of all these exciting, adventurous places.

    Xena looked at Gabrielle. “I need you to stay here for awhile and help the people of Hyperion. We can’t get their souls back in their bodies until I defeat Murdra and simply killing him is the most direct, sure-fire way of reversing his spells and freeing the people of these lands” Xena said.

    “I know… that’s what I both admire and hate about you” Gabrielle said. “You always know how to go after the most narcissistic head honcho of evil where other people will be like ‘maybe we can still saaaave him.”

    Xena sighed. “I may not show it much, but I too wish there was a way he’d be good, Gabrielle.” She looked at Aphrodite. “But he has to want it for himself.”

    “Maybe we could give him one last chance?” Aphrodite said. She sighed in defeat as Xena and Gabrielle gave her blank looks. “… Or not.” Wanting to redeem herself for that comment she asked “Well, is there anything I could do?”

    “Yeah… I’m kind of short on dinars and there’s something important I need to buy” Xena said.

    Aphrodite waved her hands and conjured up some money. “Hey I can’t stop a war-loving cannibal from taking over the world but I can at least magick up some change.”

    Xena took the money and smiled at Aphrodite. “Don’t worry, we’ll give Murdra one last chance. But just one” Xena said. “I have to become a God anyway in case that fails.”

    Gabrielle watched as Xena walked off. “Now if you excuse moi, I have other things to do….” Aphrodite said before teleporting off.


    Xena walked uprightishly into a village known as Korewormu, where Japanese nomads settled down and taught people ‘The Way.’ It was a sister village of Hyperion not far at all from where Gabrielle and Aphrodite were. She browsed the town and saw three horses for sale. After paying for a horse with Aphrodite’s dinars, she picked the one that looked most like Agro, got on top of it and said ‘Hiya!’ and rode off.

    To have control over others is to have power, to have control over yourself is The Way. Xena remembered the ancient teachings well. But… real life wasn’t that simple. “Murdra, it’s going to take both Love and Power to stop you” Xena said to herself as she rode briskly on her new horse.


    Cupid, Pysche and Bro Bliss were in their basement playing darts together when the Goddess of Love appeared before them in a flutter of pink hearts.

    “Hey grandma” Bro Bliss said nonchalantly.

    “Now come on sugar, I know you’re more excited to see me than that!” Aphrodite said to her grandson. She pinched Bro Bliss’ cheeks. “How is my fabulous gay grandson doing?” Aphrodite asked. “I need you to pick out my outfits for me because lemme tell you- gothic crackwhore is so not me!”

    “Grandma, how many times do I have to tell you that not all gay guys are good with fashion?” He rolled his eyes at her.

    Psyche looked at her mother and law and sighed with Bro Bliss like ‘what is she doing here.’

    Cupid saw his mom and half-smiled. “Come on Mom. What’s with the nicey nice. We all know that you only stop by when you’re Hungry, Horny or Heartbroken. So…which one is it?”

    “The last one” Aphrodite said miserably as she slumped in a nearby chair. “Murdra and I broke up.” She then told her family the sod story again, talking as much or more than she did with Gabrielle and Xena in the pond.
    Last edited by dead bnd; 07-26-2015 at 09:06 PM.

  12. #12
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Default i wrote more than this and am considering jumping ahead of you, bnd, but i might not get to it...

    The God of War had been lounging on his throne daydreaming about Xena when a grating “ARRREEEEESS or ANYBODY ELSE who MIGHT WANT TO…” reached his godly ear. So the irritating sidekick had spoken his name, and she was talking about Xena being a god... Ares bolted from his throne.

    “OH TARTARUS FUCKING YES,” he said and blasted himself to the bathing pond. Naturally he was careful to make himself invisible to mortal eyes.

    Unfortunately a pair of teary blue eyes met his as soon as he appeared. An irate look graced Aphrodite's features before she finally rolled her eyes at him. He'd forgotten all about Sis and her stupid love affair with that pathetic cannibal god. Until now. What he really hated was how she obviously knew exactly why he was there and just how obsessed with Xena he was.

    Speaking of Xena, he found himself ogling her chest as she finished attaching her breastplate.

    “Mmmm,” he said in a low masculine godly voice as the warrior princess lent down over the battling bard, one hand on each of the sidekick's shoulders, as she relayed special instructions. He had the perfect, shameless view of her cleavage from where he stood.

    The only time he'd ever touched those breasts was in a dream, one induced by him. It had proven to him just how much passion the two of them could share. It had been so much better than any fantasy when Callisto had occupied Xena's body... Oh, having her body while her soul was trapped, had really got him hard at the time, but in the end it had been unsatisfying. And now, regret bit at him when he remembered how he'd played doll with her body. It was all because of Xena, and how she had changed him, because she was the most incredible fucking woman who had ever existed, or ever would.

    Honestly, when he'd had Callisto in Xena's body, he hadn't thought Xena would ever be with him in that way. He'd reasoned her body was the next best thing, and it was a way of getting revenge for her rejection. It stung now.

    He tuned back into the conversation just in time for sappy Gabrielle and her own irritating lust for Xena, soon followed by sappy appeals from Sis: “Save my pathetic boyfriend, just give him another chance not to be such a loser.” Ares rolled his eyes at her. She glared at him and he felt a little aroused, in spite of himself.

    “You're paying them now?” he said, when Aphrodite gave Xena a generous amount of dinars. “What have you sunk to?”

    Aphrodite got in his face and told him to shut up, though the mortals could not see that part. Then, finally, she left. Unfortunately, Xena left too, but with any luck she'd be a goddess the next time he saw her. He chucked evilly over Gabrielle's far too blonde head. The key would be to keep the two of them apart, like it always was.

    “This time,” said Ares to himself, mock petting Gabrielle's head, though the blonde couldn't feel it. “There will be no distractions.”

    He would need to be tactful. It had taken years of failed attempts to finally get it: Xena didn’t respond to coercion. Thanks to his years as a mortal, he finally felt he understood where she was coming from.

    “Fortunately for you,” he said, staring the Bard in unfocused eyes. “I'm not gonna do anything that will make Xena hate me again. Which means, I'm gonna have to find a harmless way to get rid of you.”

    A long time ago the warrior princess had chuckled at the notion of a kinder and gentler God of War. “We both know that’s not going to happen,” she’d said.

    But in a way it already had. He’d let himself be changed by what he felt for her. It was time to fess up to what he’d long known but hadn’t wanted to properly admit. He didn’t care what way he had her, or how he had to be since she would never change for him. He just wanted her, and he badly wanted to remind himself of just how much that was.


    Gabrielle had been at the center of things, following along with Xena’s plan in her mind, helping Aphrodite with her relationship problems… Now she was alone by the pond. It was kind of nice and she was feeling really good about herself. She was just so valued.

    “Now I wonder what Xena meant by how she wants me to stay here and help the people of Hyperion,” she said aloud. Not like she was going to just waltz into the village and get captured by the cannibals who’d taken over the villagers’ bodies. That would be ridiculous.

    One time was enough, she thought, remembering the last time (over a decade ago) she and Xena had come to these lands. The cannibals had been just about to start spit-roasting her when Xena arrived to save the day.

    She wrapped a towel around her head and began walking slowly along the path from the bathing pond.

    “It would have really helped to know there was ambrosia nearby when we were trying to get Xena back,” she said, going over the events in her mind—all the things Xena had said since they’d been reunited, the manner in which she’d announced the whereabouts of the ambrosia earlier…

    Ares, who had been following the bard in secret, was dumbstruck by her remark. Yeah, it certainly would have been nice to know there was ambrosia in the area. Why didn't he know about this Tomb of Trials? He thought of his years as a mortal, and how he could have saved himself all of that.

    But it hadn't all been for nothing. The God of War smiled nastily. He'd gotten to know Xena better after all, and on that more raw and vulnerable level mortals related on. He sighed in pleasure. It had been worth it. Without those years, he might have lost Xena, so blind had he been to his godly selfish and cruel ways. That fucked up shit with Xena's daughter had been a sort of final straw, he'd realized during those years of boredom on the Xena family farm, while he'd chased shamelessly after Greeba.

    “I just wanted to get laid!” His own voice rung in his ears. Pitiful.


    It suddenly hit Gabrielle: Xena hadn’t told them about the ambrosia when they needed a way to revive her body because Xena hadn’t known about it then. That meant…

    “It was another vision,” said the Bard. She stared up at the sky as though it held all the answers. ”Who is doing this? And why?”

    Though she couldn't see it, Ares followed her ever step and he delighted in her dumb sappy Gabrielle revelations.

    “So foolish,” the God of War said softly. “I could have transformed you into much more than this hopelessly quixotic creature.”

    He reminisced about that time he'd almost beheaded the goody two shoes little infuriating sidekick. For an instant he wanted to unleash one of his fireballs on her and leave her as a pile of ash, and then cum all over what was left.

    “No,” said Ares. “I'll find you a better fate.”


    Meanwhile, Gabrielle went on pondering. It was scary to think that all along they’d just been conforming to some unknown entity’s grand design. Jumping when it told them to jump. Taking the paths it wanted them to take.

    Xena might be back, but she wasn’t free. None of them were. They were still bound up in all of Murdra’s rules and ravelings of fate; and they were being rather forcibly guided along by someone or something, for reasons they didn’t know, to an end they couldn’t see.

    Hadn’t Callisto even said that she’d had something to do with all of it? No. Gabrielle shook her head. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t be that this was all part of some evil master plan by Callisto’s dark soul (maybe even Alti was involved too?) so that she could go on tormenting Xena.

    But hasn’t someone already started tormenting Xena? Already, Eve was dead, and Autolycus who had oft walked the line between benevolent thief and selfish greedy prick, had fallen off the edge into selfish greedy prick territory. He was a murderer now, more or less, a fate Xena never would have wanted for him. He’d been one of the good guys, but what was he now?

    It’s like someone’s trying to test Xena, Gabrielle thought.

    She headed into camp and collided with Autolycus, who slurred out an apology of sorts.

    “Are you intoxicated?” she asked him.

    “No, no. Not intoxicated,” said the King of Thieves, smiling like a drunken bastard. “Where’s Xena? You two have been pretty elusive lately. I don’t think I’ve seen either of you for days.”

    “We’re not the ones being elusive.”

    “Yeah, well, I…” Autolycus muttered, trying to find a way to squirm out of it.

    But Gabrielle knew a guilt-ridden and ashamed Autolycus when she saw one. She slapped him on the back. “Come on, I’ll fill you in on what’s been going on.”

    This Ares, who’d just appeared again to the viewing audience but not to anyone in the episode, had to hear. He needed to know exactly what the heroes were up to if he was going to find a way to remove Gabrielle from the picture.

    Oh, he wouldn’t kill her. Nothing so permanent and likely to turn Xena against him forever as that, but something clever and subtle… the very sort of thing the God of War didn’t excel at according to his dead sister, Athena.

    Ares smirked and gave a little chuckle, alerting the viewers that he had some sort of evil plan in the works, or just dastardly intentions.


    Xena was resting against a hard rock while New Argo drank. He didn’t really feel like her horse, and he certainly didn’t feel like Argo. Without that rider-horse bond, she couldn’t bring herself to give him a real name.

    She closed her eyes as bits and pieces of her horrible dream from the night before flashed through her mind. In the dream, she’d found herself standing outside the Tomb of Trials. Callisto’s head had been on a pike right at the entrance.

    “You see, Xena, you’re not the only one… who can lose her head,” she’d said with a crazed grin, before her eyes went all loopy and her head began spinning on the pike. Her screeching peals of laughter followed.

    “What is this place?” Xena had asked, her voice a deep womanly alto, each word said in slow motion.

    “Don’t you know?” Callisto giggled. “And here I thought you were a clever girl. You always know where god-slaying daggers and piles of fertile god droppings are hidden. I’m disappointed in you, for not knowing about this.”

    “So which is it,” Xena asked. “A god slaying dagger or GOD DROPPINGS?”

    Xena jumped when something lightly brushed against her from behind. It was Callisto’s headless naked body. It walked past her to the cave wall.

    “Let me show you how it’s done.” Callisto’s head winked at real Xena.

    Xena watched as the insane one’s body pushed at various pieces of the wall in a certain order. Then a large hunk of rock slid over revealing the opening.

    “Go on, don’t be timid, go in the cave!” Callisto's head encouraged.

    Xena allowed the naked headless one to lead her in... she forgot the rest, but eventually... there'd been AMBROSIA.

    Not Argo nuzzled Xena’s face and her eyes flew open.

    “I don’t know what’s waiting for me in that cave,” she said fiercely.


    “Gods, you mean there was ambrosia in the area all along!” It was too much for Autolycus. “So there was an Elixir of Immortality in a manner of speaking.” He shook his head feeling like a total fool. Had he known this, he never would have had to deal with Murdra.

    “It probably wouldn’t have done you any good anyway,” Gabrielle told him. “You would have had to make it through The Trials. You wouldn’t have stood a chance with all the booby traps and battle simulations and walls of spikes and giant rolling cannon balls and flying swords and jousting matches and, and ninjas... not to mention the sheer test of strength and hard warrior will... you're not even wearing warrior boots!” Gabrielle scrutinized the other's foot ware. Sure he had boots, but they were more like moccasins.

    “Give me a little credit. I am after all, the King of Thieves,” said Autolycus trying to make some elaborate gesture with his mustache, when he realized yet again he no longer had that mustache.

    “You were the King of Thieves,” Gabrielle corrected. “When you came to these lands, you were old and dying. And now...” She didn't want to go into what he was now.

    “Xena's an incredible warrior,” Gabrielle said at last, in total awe.

    Autolycus was feeling a bit put out by this conversation. He'd never been envious of Xena--ever, but these days he didn't have himself either. He hated what he'd become. Politely, he excused himself.

    “So,” came Ares' voice, followed by the God of War materializing across from Gabrielle. “Xena's going to become a goddess.”

    “ARES!” Gabrielle went on the defensive immediately. “She's doing it for the greater good. Just keep your meat hooks to yourself.”

    “My meat hooks? I think you might be confusing me with a different god,” said Ares in a bemused way. “No, I don't mean any harm towards Xena, or you,” he said.

    “Yeah, right,” said Gabrielle disbelievingly. She'd always thought Ares was terrible. It was still hard to know what Xena saw in him.

    “But you always get in my way,” he said rather menacingly. “I can't have you doing it again.”

    “Ares, whatever you're thinking, just don't--”

    Ares leaned forward on his haunches. “Tell me, do you remember that place I sent you and Xena and Mavican to?”

    “Ares, no,” said Gabrielle shaking her head. She got to her feet, realizing she might need to run. But even as she did Ares opened a portal and it began sucking her in.

    “Nooooo! Please!” she cried out.

    “Hush,” said Ares. “I'll let you out just as soon as I'm ready.”

    This was hardly reassuring to Gabrielle as she was sucked into the portal, landing on her ass in a rather familiar cave. It was the cave Mavican had been left in, hanging from those dead vines.

    On instinct, Gabrielle stepped to the edge looking for any sign on the crazed and idiot Mavican. There was none.

    “ARESSSSS!” she shouted up at the cave ceiling.

    She thought she heard a faint chuckle, but it might have only been in her head.

  13. #13

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    Gabrielle screamed, futilely whacking the cavern walls with her fighting staff. She wanted Xena back sure, but she didn’t want to regress to her old self exactly; the hapless sidekick always needing to be rescued. She wanted it both ways: to grow as a person by Xena’s side, but still strong in her own right. Maybe she wanted too much. She didn’t like being bested by Ares, even if he was a God and organically had the upper hand. But it made her relate to and love Xena even that much more, if such a thing were possible. Because Xena was right. To fight a God you need a God. Or at least an Immortal destined to be a God.

    She didn’t really want to think about Callisto now. After whacking the walls about six more times, Gabrielle sat down with a huff.


    “I don’t know what’s waiting for me in that cave, but I have to go in there anyway” Xena added that part this time around, getting her determined ‘warrior face’ on. Yes, she wanted to ‘do good’ and be the typical hero and save the villagers and help the helpless blah blah blah. But if Xena was honest with herself, it’s not the only reason why she wanted to eat the ambrosia.

    “I got decapitated” Xena said grimly. “Me.” She shook her head. “Not to sound arrogant, but that just doesn’t happen. That can’t be happen. Who says the bad guys are the only ones that go after the power?” she said to herself as she readied her sword, stepping closer to the real, non-dream version of the Tomb of Trials. Skeletons of warriors who failed the trails were littered across the lands. There was a smell in the air. The stench of death. And the heaviness to boot. But she was used to being crushed, spending all that time in the Underworld fighting for her soul. Most people would already be running away pissing in their chainmail leggings at this part.

    But Xena fought through her mortal fears, and braved through.

    Xena smiled to herself, as she remembered something an old friend told her long ago, on the other side. Being ethically better than the bad guys isn’t how you beat the bad guys. Not being bad, is how you beat the bad guys. She needed the power boost, and if it was a mixture of both selfless and selfish reasons, so be it.

    Two torches lit atop pillars in front of the tomb’s entrance, each glowing a green fire. It was hypnotizing to look at. So hypnotizing, that it didn’t take long for Xena to figure out that the torch décor itself was a trap.

    Arrows buzzed at Xena from all directions. She spun instinctively, artfully dodging the fatal ones while one scraped her arm, making her bleed a little bit. She smelled her blood. Not poisonous, thank god.

    Xena took into practice all the concentration efforts she learned over the years, and fought through the hypnotizing effects of the fires, finally entering the door way down to the actual tomb. Predictably, the stairway down the tomb turned into a slide- at the end was a pit of fire. Xena somersaulted in the air, easily dodging the flames.

    “Oh come on at least be original” Xena said.

    The next room was a huge room, with two small-ish platforms on the north & south ends. And in the middle of the room was a huge pit with nothing but spikes at the bottom. The room was so far across that you could barely see the other end. Xena looked up and side ways to see if there was anything she could hook her chakram and use that to swing her rope with… but there was nothing. The walls weren’t sturdy enough and strangely enough, it was like there wasn’t even a ceiling to begin with.

    To make matters even worse, she heard a loud skittering insect-like noise out of both of her ears. Two demonic man-sized spiders were on the two side walls, slowly but surely crawling their way to Xena.

    She knew what they were, hellish creatures known as Zarvok Spiders, special minions straight from hell itself. How they were in the tomb of trials , Xena didn’t know- but this was definitely a .. Undi Satarski, as Murdra would put it.

    The thing about Zarvok Spiders was, they were impossible to fight or kill. No special weapon or item could vanquish them, nothing- nothing at all. They were also incredibly rare. They moved slowly and eerily, and could be dodged, but if they caught up with you- that was that. Game over, because their bite was a poison that killed you instantly. Maybe Xena should turn around and- nope. The way behind her had blocked itself. With campy-like jail bars that you couldn’t pry or Chakram your way out of.

    Then it hit Xena. In an instant, she knew what she had to do- and she did it.

    She threw her chakram and it hit one spider, doing no damage- but distracting it long enough for Xena to whizz past as fast as she could on the left side of the wall. Running sideways long distances on a wall was marvelous enough for a non-God to do but Xena somehow managed – using the subtle intricacies and ridges on the walls for whatever rifts of momentum she could utilize.

    She then did the weirdest, most awkwardest side-flip she ever pulled off in her life, and made her way to the other side of the room – with her fingers grasping on the ledge. She heaved, and pulled herself up on the platform.

    The awkward angle of the flip gave Xena a nasty sprain in her left leg and shoulder, but it was nothing The Pinch couldn’t fix, and so she did that on her leg and shoulder and she was fine again.

    When Xena got to the other end of the room, the second Zarvok spider stopped moving slowly and instead just lunged at her. Xena anticipated this, and ducked just in the nick of time and the Zarvok spider went down on the spikes. The spikes did no damage to the beast of course, so it quickly made itself back up to Xena again. The other spider tried to leap at her this time, but it ate nothing but door.

    Xena made her way to the next room in the dungeon, her heart still thumping inside her chest.

    “Something greater than even Dahak made those spiders” Xena said to herself. “They shouldn’t be anywhere on earth, even if it is some lost underground tomb only few humans will ever dare enter.” She also didn’t know any other creature that could glow like that and still be terrifying. It was strangely contradicting and it gave even Xena the willies.

    Xena made her way to the next room, a smaller room then the one earlier. She was a little surprised to see the other person standing in front of her.

    “Velasca” Xena said. “I would say it’s nice to see you again, but I’d be lying.”

    Velasca smugly smiled at the Warrior Princess. “You really thought that lava lake could stop me?” Velasca chuckled. “Try again. I’m a God you dumbass!” Velasca said, for what felt like the trillionth time. “A little lava isn’t going to stop me.”

    “You were always a second-rate overrated God with the nuance and sophistication of five Jaces in the Miss Amphipolis Pageant” Xena snarked back. “And most definitely not the ‘God of Chaos.’ Do you know how many D-list ‘gods’ call themselves that? You wouldn’t last a second with the real God of Chaos. You’re more like the God of yawnworthy weather effects and easily dodgeable lightning bolts.”

    “You’re right. Most Gods are more powerful than I, and could just simply snap their fingers and have you dead. But that is why I’m a perfect test for mortals seeking ambrosia; for I am a worthy, yet not impossible challenge.”

    Xena looked into Velasca’s eyes. She knew of Velasca’s God-Eyes being glossy white but they had amber colored veins coming out from the bottom this time. “You’re addicted…” she said. “This place doesn't just have ambrosia… it’s a direct source of it.”

    “Very good Xena. But are you any good in battle?” Velasca tossed a lightning bolt at Xena, and she flipped out of the way.

    “You’re going to have to do better than that” Xena said, looking for an opening. Velasca was a bit worse than Xena in hand to hand combat, and she was just going to try to use lightning and teleportation to keep herself at range…

    So Xena got an idea… she ran on the wall and flipped herself upward, Velasca tried to look up and anticipate where Xena would land--- but too late as she was right in front of her face. Velasca tried to hit Xena with a lightning bolt, but Xena grabbed her wrist and kicked her two times – once in the thighs and the other in the boobs.

    Velasca quickly grabbed Xena by the throat, which caught Xena off guard. And she started squeezing her wind pipe. Xena felt herself dying. “You’re not the only one that’s good at melee combat” Velasca sneered.

    No. She was not going to die, not now- not like this- not by Velasca. Xena closed her eyes and visualized/remembered what the walls were like when she first entered the room.

    She discreetly but efficiently threw her chakram while being choked, flicking it backwards on the wall behind her. She tossed her chakram in a way where it bounced and hit Velasca in the back of her skull where she least expected it.

    “Yeah well, and you’re not the only one that can use ranged attacks” Xena said as the chakram lodged itself in Velasca’s skull. Okay, she could think of a better battle quip than that, but points for accuracy.

    Velasca just sneered hatefully at Xena and fell down. She cried in blood.

    Xena didn’t want to admit it, but she almost felt sorry for Velasca. It must be rough, just trapped here- being used as a bodyguard like this. She pulled her chakram out of Velasca’s skull, and let her lie there. Xena didn’t know if Velasca was gone for good, and she didn’t care much either way.

    “I’m going to find who your supplier is, and make him or her face justice” Xena said compassionately to Velasca.

    “Velasca has always been hard to control and manipulate, much harder to manipulate than Callisto - though certainly not as good of a fighter over all” Xena said intelligently. “Whatever force has her down here, is incredibly powerful – powerful enough to control Gods and summon Zarvok spiders…and probably even resurrect me in the first place. It’s all connected” Xena said.

    “But if I’m just being a puppet, I don’t care. Better to cut the puppet strings being stronger than weaker” she said to herself- making her way to the next, final test of the Tomb of Trials.

    And this room was a grand finale, to be sure. The room was pretty narrow, with six statues of knights on the walls, chopping the ground with their axes as quickly as they could. A bunch of fire ants scurrying about. One Zarvok spider, bigger than the other two in the other room. A mother, probably. Traps on the wall spitting out flame and thunder. Arrows. Don’t forget arrows. The walls collapsed and fell… and half were illusions and half were not. Puzzles and writings on the wall, all in ancient non-English languages. And this weird magical wind was in the air, which made it impossible for Xena to throw her chakram. If she did, it would just bounce back and slice off her head.

    She dealt with all these traps before in one way or another. Just never all at fucking once. And everything was falling, crumbling…. If she didn’t react soon, she’d be crushed forever.

    Oh shit. She knew she didn’t have a choice. She knew… she then remembered what the hieroglyphics said on the walls. The room before me has the key, but you already lost it.

    Velasca. Velasca was the key. Not herself, exactly- but how she almost died. Those many years ago, when they thought the spikes had killed her but she was alive just enough to eat some ambrosia.

    To win, Xena had to let herself get hurt. It was the ultimate strength there was. Not to be strong. But to be vulnerable. All this time she really had it backwards, and with a leap of faith, she just ran through the room with no special skills or warrior tricks.

    She made her way through all the traps and ants and axes and winds…

    To find herself bloodied and dismembered on the other end. With no arms, and only one leg. Bloodied and bruised and broken and almost near death. The magic wind had caused her to be deaf, so she couldn’t hear anything anymore.

    Now it was a fight to stay conscience. This was complete willpower. Complete spirit. A true test, as pure as pure could be. Don’t be too proud to be strong, don’t be too scared to be weak.

    She literally crawled with her teeth, biting on the very ground for strength. She ate chunks of earth, - just anything to stay awake. She left a trail of blood, and she felt organs spilling out of herself. She used whatever mental tricks she ever learned, from every guru she ever met - to stay alive.

    And just before complete annihilation, Xena did it. She made it. She cried tears of joy as she feasted upon the ambrosia in the treasure room like a dog. At first she could barely see it, as her eyesight had begun fading. But now her body was rapidly repairing itself.

    Instantly, the ambrosia healed her body and she begun growing her limbs back. She stood up, still a little woozy- but nothing even more ambrosia couldn't fix. But she wasn’t a God. Not yet. The first meal only healed her back to normal. She looked on the walls. Ambrosia, ambrosia everywhere. She scooped up some more.

    She felt herself getting more powerful and powerful. She kept scooping the ambrosia off the walls and consumed it like a pig. She never saw so much ambrosia before in her life. She gobbled it all up like a fat girl at the prom that doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her. Gobble gobble gobble.

    Maybe she could instantly defeat Callisto with just one more bite, and Alti - and Murdra, and every bad guy that there ever was – and just soar as a god and be free forever and- she then started to realize this was the final trap. If she didn’t stop eating this damn stuff, she would become trapped here and addicted like Velasca was.

    As the cliché goes, absolute power- does indeed corrupt absolutely, and makes it your own worst enemy- and so Xena forced herself to stop.

    The room Xena was in was caving in on itself. She had to get out of here.

    Newly-Goddess Xena, who was now miraculously in an upgraded Warrior outfit that was whiter and a bit more ‘snazzier’, threw her chakram.

    The chakram moved so fast you couldn’t even see it leave Xena’s hands before it returned back into her, and it left along a trail of red god-like energy. Xena’s eyes glowed red with a Warrior rage. She used her chakram to destroy an entire room, and it all fell down before her- and she was back in the jungle again, outside of the Tomb of Trials. It gave Xena that strange feeling – of where you leave on a long quest but when you’re done it’s like you never left. But Xena had to tell herself this was the right thing to do.

    With her other hand, the one she didn’t throw the chakram with, Xena raised her hand and chunks of earth rose up. “Ambrosia debris out in the open like this is no good for anybody so I’m using my new powers to send it back deep in the earth where it belongs” she said.

    Callisto could control the element of Fire as a God, and it appears like Xena got ‘Earth.’ With Ares having Lightning more or less and Velasca having a Wind/Lightning combination - she wondered who would control Water if they had become a God.

    Xena smiled to herself. She tried to instantly teleport to Murdra, but realized she couldn’t… at least not yet. It would take time to get into the full array of her new powers and abilities, but it was done.

    Xena was Xena: Warrior Princess Goddess.

    Xena looked at NotArgo with a disappointed half-smile. But she didn’t want to dislike the animal completely. “Hey, I’ll race ya back to Hyperion” Xena said. She then slapped NotArgo’s side- now being able to run with the speed of a horse.

    When Xena zoomed back into Hyperion (Not Agro won the race, but just by a few inches), a heaviness fell on her heart. “Where’s Gabrielle” she asked a random passerby. Being a God, her mental awareness grew even more and she realized that her best friend wasn’t close by even if she couldn’t tell where she was.
    Last edited by dead bnd; 07-18-2015 at 03:41 PM. Reason: I suck at spelling and grammar

  14. #14
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Gabrielle raised her head from where it had been resting on her arms and sighed in frustration.

    There'd been water, she recalled, and went to check that it was still there. The natural stone fountain was just as she remembered. She sampled a bit of the water. Still fresh. At least she wouldn’t go thirsty.

    Naturally an inspection of the rock pile obstructing the cavern’s entrance confirmed Xena had been all too efficient in sealing Mavican’s fate all those years ago. Gabrielle pushed at the rocks futilely. Large and tightly packed together, they wouldn’t budge. Light bled in through the cracks between them, and upon further inspection, it surprised her how few debris stuffed up the cracks. It was unnatural in fact. Mavican must have determinedly set upon the barrier, desperate to dig herself out using that goofy two pronged staff she’d crafted. A crazed laugh threatened to escape Gabrielle as she pictured it.

    She didn’t particularly like being trapped here, useless, while Xena might need her help. The people of Hyperion needed Xena and her, and it infuriated her what Ares had done for his own selfish purposes. She hated him for always trying to get Xena back, and if she admitted it to herself she could get a little mad at Xena too sometimes for not telling him to get lost, permanently.

    This is no time to start blaming Xena, the beleaguered bard told herself, as she brushed damp hair from her forehead. It was muggy in the cave and it was all coming from that precipice with the dead vines.

    “I might not understand the friendship that she and Ares share,” she told herself as she stepped closer to the edge. She gave out a haughty chuckle. “Well, I wouldn't exactly call it a 'friendship.'”

    Gabrielle's foot fell on something slick beneath the sand and she knelt down to investigate. After a bit of digging, she managed to unearth the tatters of Mavican's leopard print top. She dug further with her hands, but she couldn't find any bones, only the rest of Mavican's clothing. It wasn't quicksand. About half a foot down she hit solid rock.

    What had become of that maniacal kook anyway? Gabrielle stood and peered down into the pit. It went much deeper than the vines. There was no climbing down.

    “She jumped.” The words came as realization struck. “She stripped herself bare and jumped. That's how she chose to end it rather than slowly die of starvation.” Gabrielle stared down into the blackness, reflecting on Mavican's fate. A chill ran through her even though the air was warm.

    All of this reminded her of Xena who had once buried her armor and weapons in the dirt; who had once stood at the edge of a precipice poised to jump because it would force Ares to reveal himself and his involvement with the Furies. Mavican had wanted to be like Xena, but all she had managed was a cheap, and ultimately empty, imitation.

    “Ares just left her here,” said Gabrielle softly, taking a moment of pity for Mavican.

    It must have been terrible being deserted with no future but to be forgotten by the world. It made Gabrielle think of her own predicament. Not that she worried about Ares forgetting her since it wouldn’t be in his best interest. The God of War’s selfishness was something she could count on. Sure, he might give her the cold shoulder from time to time, or quip about how inconsequential she was, like how he’d said she’d been an “after thought” that time he’d healed her along with Eve…

    Gabrielle shook her head. “He didn’t mean that,” she said. “I mean he did, but it was just that he wasn’t comfortable admitting that he did something out of the goodness of his heart.” She paused in thought. “Right?” she asked herself, gazing around her bleak surroundings.

    “When he thought Xena and I were dead, he buried us together. I even got my own ice coffin.” She needed to remind herself about things like this to keep her spirits up, to keep from feeling it was hopeless. As much as she knew she wouldn’t be stuck here forever, she also knew that if she didn't get out of here fast enough, Ares might ruin everything.

    Over the next several minutes Gabrielle tried calling out to every god she'd ever heard of—well, all the gods Xena hadn't killed, and none of the particularly nasty ones like Callisto, or volatile ones like the titans who were all gone anyway.

    Wait, what was she thinking, Xena might be a goddess already. With particular gusto, she tried calling out to Xena. Several times. But Xena didn't answer either.

    Maybe no god could hear her in this place except for the one who’d put her here; the one who would only “let her out” once he was “good and ready.” Gabrielle kicked the stone fountain in annoyance, sitting back down just in time to watch a balmy mist rise from the pit.

    Finally she shouted at Ares again. “You know I'm just going to starve in here, right?! Xena will hate you forever when she finds out your little game resulted in my death!”

    Apparently, the God of War agreed. In a blaze of radiance, a round table bearing an incredible feast appeared before her. It startled Gabrielle. She really hadn't expected a response like that.

    “Uh, thanks,” she said, taken aback by such generosity from Ares.

    She surveyed the smorgasbord. Maybe it was a table of offerings from one of his temples? Everything was fresh and delectable looking.

    “Nut bread!” Gabrielle seized a chunk and was about to shove it into her mouth when another wedge of bread materialized in its place on the platter. On impulse she took that one too, only to watch the miracle happen again. The pieces weren't exact replicas, but they were close.

    “Huh,” she said, setting her two pieces of nut bread back down on the tablecloth.

    For the next several minutes she experimented with taking or emptying the other food and drink items. She watched in amazement as goblets of various beverages replenished, fruits reappeared, and the cheese and olive platter repopulated. Even the entire ham at the center of the table was replaced after she managed to heave the original onto the cavern floor.

    The table didn't regenerate platters or tins or bowls or goblets, only their contents. For instance, when she took a wine goblet from the table, nothing happened. After she poured out its contents, still nothing happened. But when she returned it to the table, it refilled itself. She wasn't entirely sure if it was just that the table was magical, or if the dishware was as well. Unfortunately she didn't have a frying pan on hand to test it.

    “Where's it all coming from?” Gabrielle wondered. She removed the entire loaf of nut bread and watched carefully as the new one materialized. As it did she perceived the slightest whoosh of air accompanied by the most silent unearthly sound. For that brief moment, it seemed reality had somehow opened up, or that she'd caught a glimpse of the underlying workings of matter and form. Maybe it was just her imagination, but she thought she felt a little tingle.

    “If things are coming in, there has to be a way for them to go out,” she breathed.

    But so far she'd only watched as things appeared from nowhere. Everything was coming in; nothing was going out. It was farfetched, but a part of her hoped that if she could get something to dematerialize, maybe it would be like going through a small portal or something.

    With a sudden inkling, Gabrielle scooped up a huge handful of dirt and dropped it in the mead pitcher. Much to her delight the pitcher took a second or so to vanish all the mead. Then fresh mead materialized in its place.

    “Ah ha,” said the bard. “It doesn't like it when things get contaminated.” It made sense. This meant it probably would replenish any rotting food in the same way. Unless of course the food was magical too, and would remain pristine…

    Gabrielle slapped her hands together. “So contaminants get to leave,” she declared loudly. “And just like Aristotle said, matter can neither be created nor destroyed.” She began pacing in an invigorated way. “You can’t turn something into nothing. Either it takes on a different form, or it goes somewhere else.”

    She realized her palms were sweaty. It was just a hunch, and it probably wouldn't work, but she had to try. Shaking with anticipation, Gabrielle seized another mighty handful of dirt and dropped it in the mead pitcher, following it with her face.

    “XENNNAAAAA!” she called after it as it began to dematerialize, before the pitcher could fill up again and stop up whatever small opening had been made.

    But sometimes experiments go wrong. Electricity zinged her from the opening. It hurt as it hit her face, the charge flickering viciously through her jaw and up into her skull. She could feel it in her chest, a sharp and searing pain. Gabrielle fell to the ground. Her head lolled to the side as her eyes shut.


    For an instant, Xena thought she'd heard Gabrielle's voice. But it was as though it had been choked out or muffled by something. Her eyes blazed and her nostrils flared. Already she had an idea who might be behind this and when she got her mitts on him—

    “Get away from my horse,” Xena snapped, her attention drawn to a few of the villagers who had gathered around Not Argo. They were touching her horse and admiring his musculature as though they wanted to make a meal of him.

    “I said, GET!” she shouted at them nastily when they continued regarding her horse like a piece of meat. It was time to use one of her newfound powers. She raised her hand and shoved them back with seismic force.

    True fear shone in all of their eyes when they managed to get back up. Xena did not feel too sorry for them since they were only butchers—butchers who had stolen the bodies of the people of Hyperion.

    One of them, apparently more brazen than brained, approached with tentative steps. He took on a passive demeanor, but she could see the monstrous intent and lust for horse flesh waiting to break out from beneath the veneer.

    “A magnificent steed,” the man said, most politely. “I thought you might be willing to make a trade.”

    “You thought wrong,” Xena told him, a crooked scowl disfiguring her jaw.

    “I also thought you might have heard of me by now,” he said. “I am Evaristus. I met your friend, Gabrielle, yesterday when you made a crusade of our cause.”

    The warrior goddess sneered at him. “Not your cause,” she spat. “The people whose bodies you’ve taken.”

    “But is it really so different?” Evaristus asked. “I remember how you killed me and how you saved me.”

    “Yes, it’s different. I’m willing to bet the real Evaristus wouldn’t be salivating over my horse right now.”

    “You’re very closed off to other cultures and ways of doing things, Xena,” said Evaristus.

    “And you don’t seem to understand the concept of ownership,” she said. “You don’t get to have my horse for supper—he’s mine. You don’t get to live out your days in that body—it belongs to someone else. And you don’t get to slaughter innocent people to fulfill your sick shamanistic agenda. I don't care who you are. Your hours are numbered, because the next time you and I meet there's gonna be an exorcism!”

    Evaristus looked off balance. It seemed the fool had thought he could negotiate this with her, or get her to consider his side of things.

    Xena smiled. “That’s right,” she said. You’ll get to experience something entirely new by my hand. I killed you. I saved you. And next time, I’ll annihilate you from existence.”

    The warrior goddess wrapped a protective arm around Not Argo’s neck and blasted them back to the bathing pond. She needed evidence before she presented her case.


    Gabrielle became aware of the brush of black feathers, and then of a coarse black thumbnail cutting open a bulbous purple fruit. She tried to raise her head but found she could barely move.

    “Partake of the Fruit of Heaven and ye shall be restored.”

    In her semi-conscious state, she could raise little objection.

    “You must agree to this,” the stranger told her, a hint of warning in his otherwise calm and mellifluous voice.

    Gabrielle managed a small nod, one that must have been almost imperceptible, but apparently it was consent enough. The next thing she knew, the purple fruit was being held over her mouth, juice dripping in from the slit the stranger had sliced in it. She could perceive little of the taste, other than that it was sweet and sticky as it slithered unpleasantly down her throat.

    Gradually strength began to return, the warmth of life flowing through her body. Coherence filled her mind again.

    “You must eat more,” said the stranger. She could see his face now. It was like washed out charcoal. His eyes were gray—not a blue gray, but literally gray. He seemed not to have any color at all. His large but slender form was cloaked by magnificent black wings of soft feathers.

    “Who are you?”

    “I am Samael,” said the stranger. “Archangel of destruction and death.” He paused, looking skyward a moment. “Among other things.”

    “There's an angel of death and destruction?” said Gabrielle. “That's a little weird.” Her brief time spent in heaven among angels had revealed them all to be glorious creatures of light, at least for appearance sake.

    For a moment the angel glared down at her, affronted. Apparently he was touchy. “You must eat more of the fruit so that I may gain my answers,” he said with a hint of impatience.

    Gabrielle took the fruit from him and inspected it. It was the strangest looking fruit she'd ever seen. Really it looked like a big bruise. It was squishy and wet and incredibly sticky against her fingers. Her nose wrinkled in revulsion.

    “What answers? I don't understand,” she said, as she toyed with the idea of taking a bite from the fruit.

    “The One On High sent me,” said Samael. He dropped her head which he had been holding in the palm of one hand and it fell onto his knee. His hands came together in prayer as he looked upward and kissed his thumbs.

    Samael's eyes darted about in their sockets. “You are the Pure Soul, or so it is said. Ergo, I have come to you for my answers.” He glared down at her. “Since you are the least likely to lie.”

    “What answers,” Gabrielle groaned, trying and failing to get up. Defeated she finally managed to force herself to take a bite of the fruit. The surge of energy she received from it this time was substantial.

    “I need to know why the One On High sent me,” Samael explained. He looked at her in an imploring way with his big loon eyes, politely waiting for her to furnish him with his purpose.

    “Um...” The first thing Gabrielle did, now that she could, was crawl away from the freakish angel, careful not to dirty the 'fruit of heaven' as she did so. “Maybe you should ask him, the 'one on high' I mean.” This angel was clearly some sort of lunatic. She hoped he wasn't another Lucifer.

    Samael shook his head. “He never tells me. It is always an ineffable puzzle.”

    “That must be frustrating,” said Gabrielle taking another bite of fruit. She didn't mind it so much now, especially since each bite made her feel a lot better.

    Apparently she had offended the angel again, for he scowled down at her. “Nothing is more rewarding than solving puzzles from the One On High,” he informed her, kissing his thumbs again in the semblance of prayer.

    “Maybe if you tell me what you do know,” said Gabrielle, as she ate another bite of the fruit. Great power rushed through her. She didn't give it much thought, but of course she wanted more.

    The Archangel of destruction and death narrowed his eyes, scrutinizing this suggestion. Then he nodded. “Not a bad idea,” he said at last. “Someone is tampering with the divine scheme, and this... chaos... seems to center around your friend Xena. Though it is not entirely of her doing, much as I might wish it was.”

    “Oh, so you were sent to investigate,” said Gabrielle, greedily gulping up the last of the fruit of heaven. Holy moly, the raw vigor that shot through her now was astronomical. It was beginning to feel like more than she could withstand in fact. Gabrielle jumped to her feet in a prelude to panic.

    “Do not fear,” said Samael, leaning back on his elbows as he watched. The corners of his black lips curled up just a little. “This is what I hoped for. That you would accept this minor temptation.”

    “What?” said Gabrielle, watching in sheer horror as luminescent scales erupted along her arms. It hurt only slightly as she was transformed into a scaled and winged creature, reminiscent of the demon she had become in hell after she and Xena had died on the Ides of March. The most painful part of the transformation concerned the horns. They burned as they poked out through her forehead.

    “I do like it better this way,” said Samael, rising. Gabrielle had to crane her neck to meet his eyes now. The angel stood about eight feet tall. His wings extended out on either side of him as he stared down at her in a particularly condescending manner, an evil smile spreading over his gray features.

    “I dislike humans,” he confessed. “No, it's more that I hate them. But I'm torn...” A hand slapped against his chest. “For I know your kind is the greatest puzzle of creation. Why does He love you so?” His eyes pierced into Gabrielle's as though she held the answer.

    “Still,” he said with a sort of morbid happiness. “That doesn't mean I have to tolerate you in your most atrocious form if I can help it. And all of your kind give way so beautifully to temptation.” He smiled an almost charming half-smile as he regarded Gabrielle in her demon form. “Temptation and free will—they go hand in hand.”

    Gabrielle was afraid. The last time she had been a demon her soul had been lost. Had she not been rescued and thrown to the purifying waters of heaven, she might have spent eternity in hell.

    “You worry so,” said Samael in a pleased way. “I gave you my faintest fruit. You can overcome this, if you truly are so pure,” he said in his deep mellifluous voice. Only now it sounded threatening.

    In a demonic panic, Gabrielle began flapping about the cavern like a bird trapped in a dwelling, and finally with a massive burst of adrenaline she shot right through the rocks obstructing the cave. What waited outside was unimaginably beautiful to her eyes. Her vision had been enhanced, and the way the light from the setting sun gleamed over the treetops was mesmerizing. They looked like they'd caught fire.


    With her earthy goddess abilities, Xena's tracking skills had improved 100-fold. She was on the bard's path like a bloodhound in heat, easily able to trace every foot fall, right up to the beeline with Autolycus. It was invigorating.

    Her gaze snapped up as Ares zapped himself before her.

    “You,” she said with an almighty sneer.

    “Now Xena, it’s not what you think,” Ares began.

    Xena rushed him. “I thought I caught a whiff of you earlier. What have you done with Gabrielle?”

    Ares raised his hands. “I just wanted to give us a fair chance, now that you’re – now that you're – like me.”

    “I'll never be like you.” Xena flared up with intense hatred. “You bring her back, RIGHT NOW.”

    “I- uh- I can't.” Ares looked completely pitiful for a moment.

    “What do you mean you can't?”

    “Look,” said Ares trying to keep himself from the hangman's noose. “I just needed her out of the way while we got– reacquainted. So I sent her to Demeter's realm. You've been there before, it's where I sent the two of you, and Mavican... I was going to bring her back – eventually – but–”

    “But what?” said Xena, right up in Ares' face. She eyed him like a child waiting for the best part of the worst bedtime story ever told.

    “Something is blocking me. Some force,” said Ares, his hands balling into fists in his frustration. “I can't even see into Demeter's realm.”

    Xena's eyes bulged from their sockets as frenzied desperation took hold.


    The more Gabrielle flew, the less panicked she felt. In fact, she was starting to get the hang of this demon thing. It wasn't so bad. It didn't feel like it had last time when she'd been vile and eternally thirsting for more, always more.

    Far off in the distance she could see a spire protruding from a hillside. It looked man made. Curious, she launched herself towards it.

    “I see you are adjusting,” came Samael's voice from on high. She could hear him clearly even though he was perched atop the spire, which she now perceived as a tall obelisk.

    “What are you doing here?” Gabrielle asked in a sassy and demonic way.

    Samael smiled unkindly. “Humans are unfailingly predictable,” he told her. “Where else would you go?”

    A bright red fruit appeared in his palm—Gabrielle could see it clearly even though he was about 60 feet up. “Perhaps I should have fed you this one,” he said thoughtfully. “Mmm, or perhaps this one,” he said. The scarlet fruit vanished and an amber one appeared in its place. “I may have underestimated you.”

    “Yeah, well, I've learnt my lesson,” said Gabrielle. “I won't be sampling any more of your fruit.” This was actually beginning to remind her of the fruit Callisto had force fed her in hell...

    Samael descended upon her and presented a deep black burning fruit, in both hands as though it were a holy offering. “Why don't you try this one?” he rasped. “My most wanton fruit. Only the purest of souls can reclaim their light post consumption.”

    Gabrielle stared up at the angel recalcitrantly. “Why don't you just shove that fruit down your windpipe?”

    Samael laughed in a rather wicked way, obviously pleased, and did as she suggested. “I am an archangel,” he informed her. “It has no affect on me. Besides, I dreamed it up to begin with. Why would I fear my own innovation?”

    “What are you, some kind of angelic arborist?” Gabrielle asked. “Are you the one responsible for all that fruit in hell—the fruit that turns people into demons?”

    “What?” Samael said, seeming a bit befuddled. “No. Never would I conceive of something so tawdry as that. I don't wish for pointless damnation that could have as easily been arrived at by accident as by weakness or fault.” He raised his head heavenward with a sneer. “I create a lasting temptation, and always one that can be triumphed over. I like to watch the struggle. Nothing is more rewarding than when one of your kind at last succumbs... It proves the unworthiness of your species.”

    “Okay, so you're a fruit making aficionado,” said Gabrielle, deliberately and obnoxiously making light of something that was clearly near and dear to the dark angel's heart. It didn't piss him off in the way she wanted.

    “You know,” said Samael absently. “There is one fruit of mine you can consume without consequence. All of humanity has already fallen to it, including you, pure as you may be. They say it keeps the doctor away...”

    Before her eyes he presented an apple. “It comes from the tree of knowledge. Mankind swallowed it with barely a thought.”

    Samael stepped right into her space and bowed his head over her. “Do you know what I see when I look upon your kind,” he rasped. “I see repulsive–” his nose turned up as though trying to keep out a noxious odor– “bile and rotting souls who pile their sin high upon them and drag it along behind them and pleasure themselves with the filth of it.” He inhaled deeply and closed his eyes, obviously trying to calm himself. “Free will is disgusting,” he finished.

    Then he looked up and kissed his thumbs again. “The One On High knows how I see this, and that's why he sometimes torments me with these unholy mysteries.”

    “You can't be an angel,” said Gabrielle, very sure of herself. “You have to be a demon.”

    Samael laughed softly. “No, I'm afraid that out of the two of us, you are the demon – now. The question is, if you will make it through.”

    He placed his hands on each side of her face and though she tried to wrench away, she could not. “Do you think the One On High only creates? No, He does His fair share of destroying as well. Who, or what, do you think He sends to do that? Himself?” Samael laughed.

    “Remove your hands from my face,” Gabrielle ordered, outrage building in her demonic essence.

    The dreadful angel did as asked. “You might not know,” he said. “You may have been dead at the time... But the One On High recently decided to end your world. Unfortunately, he assigned another the task. Had it been mine, I wouldn't have dawdled. There wouldn't have been time for a hero to emerge to save your kind.” He sighed almost dreamily. “I long to smite something--anything--but unlike you, I don't have free will. Just know that I am always fast on the heels of opportunity.”

    Gabrielle had about had enough of the awful angel who was clearly too full of himself. Why was she allowing him to distract her from her mission? She stepped around him to examine the obelisk with her heightened demon senses.

    “Here lies Demeter,” she read from the ancient script. “Goddess of the harvest.”

    “Yessss,” said Samael, who apparently didn't like being ignored. “She was one of the first to fall.”

    “The twilight of the gods,” Gabrielle realized. Her demon senses told her that Demeter's tomb lay beneath the obelisk. “Is she dead?”

    Samael closed his eyes. “No,” he said. “She merely slumbers. But it is a deep sleep from which she cannot wake herself.”

    “Who buried her here?” Gabrielle wondered aloud.

    “She buried herself,” the other replied. “Humanity had forgotten her, not in name, but in spirit. You see, she guided you long ago, before history, when you struggled to survive. But like the ungrateful wretches you are, your kind forgot all about her.”

    “But people still pray to her.”

    “Yes, but they don't need her. Once your kind succeeded in agriculture, addressing her was little more than a decorative gesture steeped in tradition.”

    “There's a power in this,” Gabrielle realized as she ran her palm over the obelisk.

    “Indeed. If you manipulate it in the right way, it can take you all the way back to Earth.”

    “Back to Earth? Of course!” The last time she was here, she and Xena had shared a body, with Xena being dominant during the day and Gabrielle at night. But the days and nights had passed quickly. The world had been spinning too fast. Why hadn't she thought of it? This was literally another world.

    She closed her eyes, baring her forehead against the rough stone surface. Not knowing how to communicate with it, she thought the only thing that made sense to her: She needed to be where Xena was.

    The obelisk responded.
    Last edited by inumbra; 07-26-2015 at 05:46 AM. Reason: minor things, and made the obelisk shorter

  15. #15

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    Gabrielle hugged the Obelisk, thinking of Xena as she did so. Her fingers seemed to melt into the stone and she felt a complex system inside of the obelisk. She had no idea how to maneuver the intricate switches inside the stone, only that they felt so good to the touch.

    “I’m a Bard not an Engineer” said Gabrielle. “But I’m also a demon….” Using her demon powers, she literally melted into the stone obelisk. It was very weird and uncomfortable, but she knew that she had to go through with the feeling if she wanted to get out of here. She traveled through the stone obelisk, and went way underground.

    Samael smiled to himself. “It wasn’t her demon powers that did that, but I dare not tell her now…”


    The area around Gabrielle strangely went from under the ground to out into space as she left the world of Demeter, and back to her home world. But then, she was back under the ground again.

    Xena felt the earth move under her feet, from a few miles away. She super sped toward the noise and saw something travel under the ground. When the being popped up, Xena instantly knew who it was.

    She hugged Gabrielle instinctively. The blonde was covered in dirt and soot. And had horns and a tail and… what was going on here? “Gabrielle….” The Warrior Goddess tenderly wiped a patch of gray dirt from her lover’s right cheek.

    “I’m okay Xena” Gabrielle said. She took a moment to notice Xena’s new whiter outfit and she had this glow to her that she didn’t have before, so her plan to become a God was a success. “Well I’m a demon but it’s not like last time.” She smiled at Xena, showing fang-like teeth.

    Gabrielle was trying to sugarcoat and set a positive spin on things like she always does, but Xena wasn’t impressed and she also was not at all accepting of this. “Ares is going to pay for this” Xena said.

    “I am?” Ares said cockily, materializing into the scene. He leaned against a tree and folded his arms, looking at the two women with sinister satisfaction.

    “Xena, no” Gabrielle instructed. She wanted to tell Xena all about her encounters with Samael, but she really didn’t even know how to begin. “You can’t let vengeance get a hold of you. Don’t let him distract you from your main mission. Murdra is the target, not him!”

    “You’re a God now, Xena” Ares instructed sexily. “We don’t need little people like her.” Ares knew he wasn’t the one directly responsible for turning Gabrielle into a demon, but he wasn’t going to pretend that he particularly cared, either.

    Xena knew what Ares wanted, and she wasn’t going to give it to him. He wanted a fight that in his twisted mind was also a romance. “It must have stung Ares, knowing that even when I wasn’t a God, I was able to kick your ass all those times.”

    “Yeah but I also kind of liked it” Ares said.

    “Then you’re really going to love me now” Xena said. With a big hiya, Xena ran and kicked Ares in the chest. The God of War went flying backwards a couple hundred feet, into the thick of the forest.

    She then moved her arms and used the trees in the forest to create a maze for Ares that would take a long time for him to get out of. She also used all her might to stop him from simply teleporting out. Let’s see how HE likes being trapped somewhere!

    “Wish I could teleport myself” Xena said to Gabrielle. “But it appears I can only stop another God from doing it as of now.”

    “You’ll get the hang of it” Gabrielle said, trying to sound encouraging- but there was this fakeness to her voice. Could she be feeling jealousy? She shook her head. She promised this being a demon thing wouldn’t get the best of her; that it would be like at worst, getting a suntan. She shook the feeling off. “Xena I… “

    “Not everything went as planned” Xena said, cutting her friend off. “I only really have myself to blame. I shouldn’t have left you alone.” She paused for a moment. “Maybe I shouldn’t even have become a God.”

    “Stop beating yourself up!” Gabrielle said. “Like always, you did what you had to. Now… go kick Murdra’s ass.”

    Xena shook her head. “The innocents come first” she said. Did Gabrielle forget that, being a demon?

    “Stay here….you’re not going to be much help this way but I promise I will find a way to turn you back to normal.” Xena then super sped back to Hyperion.

    Gabrielle was pissed. Didn’t Xena realize that attitude is exactly what caused her to become cornered, trapped, and turned into a demon in the first place? It had been a lot of years, but Xena had to know Gabrielle was no longer her sidekick!


    Xena thought deeply as she stood in the middle of Hyperion’s town square. She knew she was new to this being a God thing, but if Aphrodite could hold her own against Murdra for awhile… but see the plan wasn’t to end Murdra. It originally was but perhaps Xena didn’t need to kill him. Perhaps she could just…

    She waved her hands and tried to switch the nasty cannibal souls out of the villagers, and the villager souls back into their rightful bodies. But nothing happened. Instead, she only managed to make herself really dizzy.

    It was then Murdra took advantage of the dizziness, appeared before her - and punched Xena in the face. She fell hard on the ground. He laughed at her.

    “I’ll kill you if I have to” Xena said after she regained her senses. “…But I prefer taking the higher ground.” She said right after she literally created an earth platform for her to flip up on top of, and then high-kicked Murdra in the face. Murdra responded by leg sweeping so hard that it knocked down both the earth platform and Xena. Xena recover flipped up and threw her Chakram. Murdra dodged it mostly, and it only cut his cheek a little bit.

    Xena caught the chakram, and put it around Murdra’s neck. She then used her super strength and spun him around a bunch of times, punching Murdra in the face every time he faced Xena.

    Murdra had enough of a Joonkuh making a fool of him, so he lunged at her with two fists extended outward. She went flying backwards against a fruit stand. She tried throwing the fruit at him, but he easily blocked all of the projectiles with a cannibal martial arts technique known as Verviju.

    The possessed villagers in Hyperion kept cheering for Murdra as he showed off his fancy moves. But Xena wasn’t a narcissist. She didn’t need the crowd like he did.

    Murdra threw a ball of energy at Xena. Xena quickly created a wave of earth that completely blocked the energy. Murdra charged forward and tried to punch Xena. Xena grabbed his wrist, flipped him over her back and stomped his throat as hard as she could. He winced out in pain.

    While Murdra was stunned for a few seconds, Xena waved her hands. Still couldn’t do it. Those poor villagers, how will she save them?

    Something just wasn’t making sense here. From what Aphrodite told her at the pond, she could switch the villagers back. And although Aphrodite held her own against Discord that one time, she still wasn’t much of a combatant. And how hard could it really be, if Xena was besting him in battle? The question of power wasn’t the issue here.

    With lightning fast speed, Xena did a God Pinch on Murdra. “Now normally that wouldn’t work on you but I’m a God now, and you only have thirty seconds so start talking: How do I use my God abilities to cast out the cannibal souls from the villagers, and put their right souls back in?”

    Murdra wasn’t used to feeling this vulnerable… and it genuinely scared him. “Foolish Joonkuh, the soul swapping ability is not a God power. I only allowed Aphrodite to think she was the one switching them back, but it was really all my own doing. All to heat up the sexual tension between us!”

    “Yeah well, if it’s not a God power than what power is it?” she said. And this meant that Murdra was not only a God and a cannibal, but also something else?

    “I took an oath that I would die before I tell anybody that, so I apologize but I simply cannot….” Xena could tell by the tone of Murdra’s voice that he was dead serious.

    Xena saw the life drain from Murdra’s eyes. Something about doing this didn’t feel very honorable. But those villagers… “But those Villagers” Xena said to Murdra almost as quickly as she thought it.

    “Consider them saved” Murdra waved his hands, and the villagers of Hyperion got their right souls back. The nasty cannibal ones went back to the hell prison where they belonged.

    “Mommy!” a little girl cried out, and hugged her real mom. All the villagers embraced and hugged one another as they seemed to be back in their rightful bodies more permanently this time. Not Agro in particular brayed with happiness, pleased that he wasn’t on the menu anymore.

    Xena sighed, and then reversed the Pinch on the cannibal god just one second before he would be completely annihilated. She didn’t like Murdra that much, or at all really, but she was glad she didn’t have to kill anybody. “Now you know if you hurt them again….”

    “You’ll have my head ya ya ya “ Murdra said, wiping the blood from underneath his nose. “The truth is, Ja cereb torvor vy hoonock ek agore soob je moodok vy korsod!”

    Aphrodite materialized in front of Murdra. “He says he thinks his lust for pussy is greater than his penchant for cruelty!” Aphrodite said happily. “See, he is a good person after all. My snookums!” She nuzzled her head against Murdra’s muscular arm, and Xena wanted to gag. The two Gods then vanished out.

    A good cannibal. Xena couldn’t believe it. But if Aphrodite could keep Murdra tamed, she didn’t really have any reason to be his enemy. Not that she would ever, ever be his friend.

    Evaristus approached Xena with a warm smile on his face. Xena had missed that look. This was what real redemption was about, not constantly fighting ghost spirits in the underworld. “I still remember… how I acted, what I said. Murdra had swapped our souls so much, I was beginning to lose sight of who I really was.”

    “Then let me help remind you” Xena said. She enjoyed giving the uplifting ‘farewell’ speech to the main innocent at the end of the episode. “You’re a good, brave young man who has the ability to help this village succeed. The cannibals took away your will, but they could never take away the most important part of you: Your heart. That’s why in their own twisted way, they really believed they were just being normal people.”

    Evarsistus smiled and let all that soak in. “A-and Gabrielle. Tell her I said hi and that she’s welcome at Hyperion any time. Well more than just welcome. The innkeeper says you guys can stay at the inn free, for three nights.”

    After Evarsistus walked away, Xena felt an inner peace flow over her.

    And success! Xena teleported for the first time. The effect of Xena’s teleportation animation was millions of beautiful earth crystals, some of them diamonds, glistening out. Hyperion’s setting sun hit the spot of the teleportation, illuminating Xena’s essence with an array of bronze, white and dark purple colors. The villagers watched in awe.

    “Mommy, where did she go?” the little girl asked as she held onto her mother’s hand.


    “Okay I’m ready” Xena said, after teleporting back to the place she left Gabrielle. And although Gabrielle was still mad at Xena- she obeyed her and stayed there like promised. “Aphrodite!” Xena screamed.

    Aphrodite returned, wearing sexy black lingerie. “Lemme tell you, make up sex is da bomb!” Aphrodite said, ever stuck in the 90s.

    “I don’t want to hear it. Now, help Gabrielle turn me back into a mortal” Xena said directly.

    “Do you really think she can help you looking like….” Aphrodite made a face. “Well, like that?”

    Gabrielle stuck out her demonic serpent like tongue at Aphrodite.

    “I’m hoping more or less we could help each other” Xena said idealistically. “Her love will de-god me, and my love will de-demon her, and you’ll be the catalyst that makes it all possible” Xena said to the Goddess of Love.

    “Okay” Aphrodite said. She stood in the middle of the two women, and they all made a chain holding hands. Xena and Gabrielle tried to pour out the luuuurve, with Aphrodite doing all she could to make Xena’s wishes come true. But nothing happened. Xena was still a Goddess, and Gabrielle was still a demon.

    Flowers, streamers and bursts of picturesque sunsetty love all filled the air. Still nothing.

    “Why isn’t this working?” Xena said.

    “Because it was kind of a shot in the dark idea to begin with?” Aphrodite said. Xena shot Aphrodite an angry glare. “Hey, I’m just saying…”

    “It must be because I’m a demon. It must be so hard to love as a demon, even if you want to” Gabrielle said sadly.

    “Or maybe it’s because Murdra has been inside Aphrodite, tainting her powers” Xena said.

    Aphrodite put her hands on her hips in a defensive manner. “Yeah well, maybe it’s YOU Xena! Maybe you just like being a God a little too much….”

    “Guys let’s not fight… “ Gabrielle said. “That’s exactly the sort of violent lesbian sex fantasy that Ares wants.”

    Xena nodded. “Whatever the exact technical reason, it’s not working. And I feel….”

    “…Like I can’t….” Gabrielle followed.

    “…Control myself…” Aphrodite finished.

    It was then the trio of women all went their separate ways. Xena teleported to the forest where she trapped Ares in, and kept randomly moving the earth with her hands. Her loss of control of her powers freed the God of War, and he smiled at her. As much as Xena hated to admit it, Ares was the best one to help her with her new identity as a Goddess.

    Gabrielle flew back to a spot where she thought Samael might be. And she howled out for answers. She had so many questions. About that weird magic table that zapped her unconscious, about Samael’s history- about how not to be a demon anymore. With claws extended, she breathed fire at a few trees in a rage- pissed that she couldn’t just get all the answers in one grand gesture at once.

    And Aphrodite went back to Murdra of course, back to being pounded by his big black cock. She told herself the relationship was healthy now, but was it really? Who cares because it feels soooo good!

    Three powerful women, all feeling weak in themselves, all needing the guidance and assistance of men. Xena with Ares, Gabrielle with Samael and Aphrodite with Murdra. It wasn’t the pretty lesbian love fairytale that Xena wanted, but like Samael said…

    Temptation was impossible to resist.

    Ares and Xena french kissed each other passionately in the forest, in the dark –where nobody was watching. But she wasn’t about to have sex with him. Still, she thought a kiss couldn’t hurt anything. Right?

    ~End of Episode~
    Last edited by dead bnd; 07-26-2015 at 08:02 PM.

  16. #16
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Default Episode 3 - What's in a Name?

    Velasca wormed her way, deep in the bowels of the earth, occasionally blasting apart boulders with her lightning or spinning rocks with her wind. Long hours of arduous tunneling left her exhausted but she carried on out of a desperate need for ambrosia, even with the gash in the back of her skull only half healed. All she could see was darkness. All she could breathe was dirt.

    Finally she made it through to a small cavity in the rocks, the ambrosia’s power having called her there. It was such a relief to breathe the thin and stale air rife with dust and small granules. In a coughing fit she fought to expel all of the dirt from her godly lungs.

    She could smell the ambrosia now – that sweet scent. She crawled towards it even as she fought for breath. The fierce need for the nectar of the gods consumed her. But just as she reached for it at long last, her strength failed her. Velasca’s skull hit rock and her eyes fluttered shut.


    “Wakey, wakey.”

    Time had not passed at all for Velasca. She had been out cold. But now this voice drew her from oblivion – its acoustic somehow infused with the overpowering promise of ambrosia. Pain shot through the gash in her head while the gelatin globule drifted near; and like she was caught in some magical dream, it just floated right into her mouth. Moaning harshly in her need, Velasca swallowed it whole. She was a baleen whale engulfing a mass of fish. In her semi-consciousness she could feel the warmth settle down in her belly, a small star in the dark, before oblivion claimed her again.


    Velasca cracked open an eye. She lay now against a mound of ambrosia. It was more than she could have imagined in her state. She opened her mouth, cutting it apart with her teeth, and began gulping down chunk after chunk of the amber concretion. With some of her senses restored she found she could move her arms and hands again, so she used them to heap the mass down her throat faster.


    A thunderous belch awoke Velasca from hazy amber dreams. It had come from her swollen belly. She’d passed out against the mound of ambrosia, but now she’d come to. Her fingers clenched around the ambrosia. She would eat her way out of here. Then she would find Xena and destroy her.

    A sharp stinging slap to the cheek stopped her.

    “My, my, aren’t we the little piggy?” That voice again.

    Velasca struggled to fully open her eyes. A hardened sap was sticking her lashes together. She scraped at it with her nails, rumbling out her displeasure as she did. Her vision swam with glistening amber as she flopped onto her back.

    Xena’s face settled sharply into focus.

    “Xeeeena!” she heaved out, slobbering out some mixture of saliva and half chewed ambrosia and perhaps also regurgitated ambrosia.

    The warrior princess squatted gracefully in front of her, a look of impish fascination on her face. But her eyes didn’t glow that whitish-blue as would a newly transformed ambrosia goddess’s. How long had Velasca been out?

    “You have no idea how long it took me to find you in here,” said Xena. “I hope it was worth all the hassle. Not like it was my idea to come and get you. You should consider yourself lucky.” The last words were said almost accusingly.

    Velasca stared hard at Xena. What game was she playing?

    Xena rested her chin on an index finger as she stared off into space. “Xena’s a goddess now,” she said with a smile. “And whether or not she stays that way, I’m going to need a lot of powerful… human resources… at my disposal, so that we can really make this fun.” Her head bobbled about as she turned back to Velasca. “So how are you –” she poked the ‘goddess of chaos’ in the chest – “at recruitment?”

    Velasca rubbed at her eyes, removing more of the sticky film, and blinked several times. “What are you crazy? You ARE Xena!”

    “Oh, and isn’t that just the best part?” said Xena, leaping to her feet with extraordinary grace. “I look just like her.” Xena moved her fingers about wildly, finally running them along the underside of her jaw. “Nothing’s more fun than fighting yourself for all eternity, right?” She giggled neurotically like a chipmunk on speed.

    Velasca could only narrow her eyes at her as she slowly leaned her head one way and then the other. Her mind felt all fuzzy and buzzy. Maybe it was from all the ambrosia. Maybe it was from being pummeled by all those boulders. She didn’t know. But something definitely didn’t add up here.

    “You’ve gone insane,” Velasca declared at last in a deep voice, her eyelids open as widely as possible.

    “But I always was insane,” said Xena in a piteous singsong way as she idly paced. “Ever since Xena killed my family.” Her gaze drifted for a few moments before she zeroed in on Velasca like a sniper having found its mark. “But you know, I’m over that now. I was healed by this heavenly light and I got to see them again, thanks in no small part to Xena herself. It had been one of those heartwarming feel-good stories, but now it's just ironic.” She snapped out the last words.

    As Xena paced some more, caught in another of her trances, Velasca took the opportunity to try to gain some leverage. Slowly and in an off-balanced way she managed to get to her feet. So sluggish was she that she had to fall back against the mound of ambrosia and use it to bounce herself back up. She wasn’t recovering fast enough! (for her liking)

    “I’m all better now,” Xena babbled to herself in the meantime. “But that glaring emptiness in me, it just never… goes… away…”

    The ‘goddess of chaos’ took stock of her condition. She was slow and bloated, and she wished she’d made an effort to chew some of the ambrosia she’d gulped down earlier. The deeper gravity down here was helping at least. She could feel the ambrosia clunking its way through her godly digestive tract.

    Now for her powers. She closed her eyes trying to summon them forth through the slime of the ambrosia in her system.

    “Back to recruitment!” Xena chirped at her all too loudly, now right up in her face.

    “Aaah aaaaah!” Velasca startled. She didn’t know how the warrior princess had moved so quickly.

    “Were I to hazard a guess.” Xena fingered her own collar bone in thought. There was something funny looking about her breastplate, but Velasca couldn’t place it. “I’d bet you’re pretty good at it,” Xena went on. “You were an Amazon after all. You’ve been to all the Amazon parties and all those ridiculous ceremonies in those ridiculous costumes.”

    The insane one wiggled her fingers about some more. “You’ve even been in the leadership. Even if you were kind of a bitch about it.” Xena’s teeth gleamed as she grinned at her cruelly.

    “Don’t insult me Xena,” Velasca belted out.

    She raised a hand to shoot out a massive blast of energy at her foe, but instead the energy kind of fizzled out and crackled against her palm. It was getting blocked up in the thick of unprocessed ambrosia.

    “Damn,” Velasca boomed. “I know you haven’t had any ambrosia yet, Xena. Your eyes give you away. Don’t think I’m going to let you have your fill. I will destroy you first.” At least she could get her eyes to flash and glow, even if the glow flickered in and out.

    A perplexed look came over Xena’s face as she regarded the other, her hands on her hips, and her posture all crooked. “Were you always this thick?” she wondered. “I can’t remember. You’re really no good to me like this. I don’t really like people, so it’s not like I’m going to gather up my army myself. If you can’t recruit for me, what can you do?”

    Something incredible was taking place inside of Velasca. Some of the ambrosia blobs inside her had collided with other ambrosia blobs and a sort of sparking process came out of these gel-like impacts. A more fluid-like substance was forming, and Velasca glowed amber as it all came together for her.

    “Finally,” she boomed, now able to hold a steady glow in her eyes. “You’re not Xena,” she told the insane one, regarding her with a burning gaze. “I’m disappointed. Identify yourself, imposter, or I will obliterate you.”

    The Xena imposter rolled her eyes. She wasn’t taking this seriously. The sparks of rage began in Velasca.

    “You can’t destroy me, you miserable excuse for a goddess,” the imposter taunted, slightly irritated. “I defeated you before in that lava river, remember? Well, I’m a lot more powerful than that now.”

    Velasca’s eyes blazed as she neared meltdown. “CALLISTO.”

    Callisto-in-Xena’s-Likeness shrugged. “Perhaps you’re not quite the half-wit after all,” she said. Then she spun around and opened a portal.

    What is that? Velasca wondered, her head shooting in the direction of the swirling opening. Her eyes blazed white now with intense energy, but before she could strike at her foe, the other shoved her headlong into the portal.

    Velasca cried out her objections in her ogre voice. But her cries were cut short. Ginormous gelatin blocks hit her from behind with such speed they knocked the wind from her momentarily. Her adversary’s voice followed after.

    “Can’t forget the ambrosia, now can we? Not when you’re so desperate for it.”


    Samael, archangel investigator, roved about the human realm feeling kind of like a fish out of water, or an albatross out of the sky, or whatever. He didn't like having to walk among the unclean masses like this. He enjoyed the Heavenly Realms more, where everything was pure, and not mired with sin or heavy earthly tangible things. He'd surveyed the unholy situation before seeking out the Pure One for answers. Nothing here harmonized with the order of Heaven. Darkness and a mighty imbalance of power surged from this place.

    He'd walked unseen among the cannibals—all dark souls far beyond his reach. They were for Lucifer, not him. He'd drifted above the cannibal deity and noted how it dabbled in powers it should not know how to access, using them in ways upsetting and offensive to all of Heaven. Still, he did not know what here he should destroy, only that his urge to kill went unsatisfied, and it was always amplified in this realm to the point of suffering—a suffering he didn't experience in the Heavenly Realms.

    The one called Eve's remnants lingered everywhere like a sort of burnt saccharine perfume, disgraced. It revolted him. Having been so far up in Heaven's Light of late, he'd missed much of the earthly ongoings and the Messenger and all that. But Eve was like a layer of pleasing skin that had been burnt off the monstrous thing beneath, almost as though she hadn't ever been real. Samael was not fond of illusions. The unreal offended him. It was difficult enough puzzling out creation without having to deal with lies and things appearing as they were not.

    Most of the humans in the encampment were gathering into some sort of assembly. He supposed he should watch, unseen of course. The Pure One hadn't supplied him his answers, but then he hadn't given her much of a chance, because as soon as he saw her he couldn't help but find some trivial means of corrupting her. Something harmless enough that it could be undone, though not by him—he was no Redeemer. As depressing as it was, he didn't expect her to remain corrupt for long. It was probably for the better since he didn't particularly wish to get caught in such devilry.

    His eight foot tall body didn't fit well in most human enclosures and so he was left drifting about in an ethereal form most of the time. The crude amphitheater the humans gathered in pleased him because he didn't have to bow down and crane his ethereal neck forward. He watched as some of the tribal women took their seats on stones. Whoever they had come to listen to had not yet arrived, but Samael looked forward to it. Someone with answers would soon come, and as much as human knowledge was often preposterous, he was feeling so lost right now that he wouldn't mind the mere presentation of it. Unless it was a play? He hated performances.

    “Do I really have to attend this?” The whiny voice was music to the archangel's ears, so wretched and near ruin was this soul. He didn't have to see—he could hear it in those few utterances. Samael turned, his loon eyes quick to spot the extraordinary man (it wasn't hard, since he was in fact the only man there).

    “Autolycus, the Hooting of the Owl sounds in the forest. Our party returns, bringing news of our sisters in the west.”

    “Ah yes, the Hooting of the Owl.” The man acknowledged wryly with a tip of his giant mug of fermented something. He stumbled about as though he didn't give a shit about life anymore. His dark hair hung down along the sides of his face. His beard bristles grew.

    Samael watched, in awe of this magnificent walking jenga sin pile. The man was a tower piled sky high with sin, ready to tip over and crumble to pieces. It was beautiful and repugnant all at one. The angel's mouth fell open as he breathed in the wonder. He rose, in his ethereal form, longing to be closer.

    His ethereal knees were under the surface of the earth so he could be level with the man's height. He hovered before him trying to look deep into those downturned sin filled dark eyes. The man – this Autolycus – swayed about drunkenly, and Samael couldn't help but poke the man's shoulder, ethereally, in his own little private joke about sending the leaning sin tower cascading down into the depths of Hell.

    Autolycus sat upon one of the stones in the back, high above the pit of the mini-pavilion. Samael sat next to him, his eyes never leaving the man's face.

    Many of the Amazons weren't sitting at all, but staring back along the path waiting for something. Autolycus however bent over his tankard of drink. It inspired Samael, who began moving his hands around at light speed. Finally he had it, a sort of prototype. He admired the apricot sized fruit with a curl of his black lips. But would it do?

    “Oh, the owl sounds again,” said Autolycus drunkenly as many of the Amazons began hooting, some from a distance, but increasingly the hooting carried closer. He rubbed at his face while still managing to hold onto his mug without spilling anything. Then he wisecracked about the Amazons all being hooters.

    Samael held the fruit delicately between thumb and forefinger before Autolycus's mouth. He wouldn't actually feed the man the prototype—he was just trying it on for size, so to speak. Humans needed to choose or consent to his fruit. Besides, it was more of a mock up than something actually refined and edible.

    Samael's nose wrinkled in upset as he realized, no, it would not do. It would send the jenga pile straight into collapse. So he vanished his crude prototype and started fresh on another. This one was more the size of a grape when he'd finished, and he sighed out his small little tizzy of frustration from before. Once he finally settled upon a proper fruit, he could craft its tree. Samael loved trees—the pure, beautiful wonders of the earthly realms.

    “Amazons, listen!” called a woman from the center of the amphitheater. “I bring the worst news. Queen Varia's tribe, our sisters, have been slaughtered.” She paused while everyone groaned in horror and exasperation, many soon asking why and how and by who.

    “By powerful foes,” the speaker told them. “Foes we can't hope to defeat, which is why I beg that we remain here where it's safe.” She paused again as more displeasure flared up in the crowd. “Because if WE are destroyed, it will be the end of the Amazon Nation. Think about that!”

    While many of the Amazons shouted about rising up and avenging their fallen sisters, Samael held the dark grapelike fruit before his victim. Autolycus had set his tankard of alcohol on the ground and risen from his stone.

    “Who are these 'powerful foes'?” Autolycus asked, pensively. Samael held the fruit, ethereally, in his mouth as he spoke.

    The angel frowned. You've got to be kidding me. He plopped back down on his stone and in a small fury vanished the grapelike prototype.

    “You can't be this hopeless,” said Samael as he looked over Autolycus. The angel shook his head. “How can we have any fun if you are this pitifully hopeless?”

    On the inverted dirt stage in the amphitheater's center, a black haired Amazon stepped in front of the speaker.

    “Rome killed our sisters,” she called to the audience. “We didn't see it happen, we were too late. But they left their signature: our sisters hung on crosses! And they left their dead. It is beyond doubt.”

    Samael's eyes narrowed in intense concentration as he crafted another fruit with his hands. This one, pea sized and shriveled, had to be the one. It made his faintest fruit look like a landfill of temptation.

    “Please, Oleandra, let me finish,” said the first speaker, beckoning the younger woman aside. “No matter how brave we all are of spirit,” she yelled. “There are only 96 of us while there are thousands of them. And that's why we must remain in hiding while we rebuild our numbers. What is vengeance if there is nothing left?”

    “The world is too small, there's nowhere left to hide!” a woman called from the crowd.

    The leader of the encampment rose up, recognizable by her fearsome headdress of brilliant feathers. “It's not the Amazon way to hide,” declared she. “We fight our own battles. We aren't afraid to lose. If it's the end, we should go out fighting!”

    Samael wasn't listening. He hardly cared about the affairs of human groups. One group was always plowing over another. It was just what humans did. Really, he doubted Heaven would be concerned with the loss of the Amazons anyway. They were pagans. The Romans on the other hand brought Eli's message with them wherever they went, even if they used war to spread it. Sometimes a little upheaval was necessary.

    With a gleaming smile of accomplishment and glow of self pride, Samael mock placed his pea fruit at Autolycus' lips. Immediately he vanished the shriveled fruit with a wave of a gray hand. For an instant his nostrils flared.

    The angel fell to his knees before Autolycus. He reached out and held the wretched man's face in his ethereal hands, still imperceptible to human senses. “I'm afraid there's nothing I can do for you, friend,” he said regretfully. “You are truly a sordid and marvelous thing to behold.” And the man was. Traces of the cannibal god ran over him like dirty veins. His soul sat in this husk of a revived carcass pulled out of time. His deeds made for the black jenga pile. This Autolycus was a splendid eyesore.

    Oleandra spoke again as the sun set.

    “We are safe where we are because this is Greece. We don't have to fight Rome by ourselves. All we have to do is join with the rest of the larger nation. Can't you see? We can't have it both ways. We can't stand as warriors and also stand autonomous. We have to choose one or the other. Fight with Greece. Or hide and rebuild. I don't know about you, but I'd rather fight, even with non-Amazons, than have our people withdraw as cowards.” She raised a hand. “For our sisters!” she called out.


    The sun had settled beneath the horizon and Gabrielle wrapped herself in her demon wings. She perched on an overhang. Her throat was raw from howling. The break up between her and Xena and Aphrodite left her broken and defeated.

    The archangel appeared next to Gabrielle, one hand placed lightly on her head.

    “A dark night for the soul,” he said simply, before moving to levitate across from her. He rested his arms on his knees, and his chin on his folded arms, and peered at her expectantly.

    “Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted?” Gabrielle shot at him bitterly. “Do you enjoy it? Are you that much of a sadist?”

    The angel watched her, sensing the tantrum was not over.

    “You know, it wasn’t exactly fair, how you conned me into eating that dirty fruit of yours. I’d call it taking advantage of someone in a moment of weakness,” she accused.

    Samael rested the side of his face against one arm still peering at her.

    “And would you say the same for Autolycus when he accepted the death of five for a new life? Old and weakened, his judgment was impaired, therefore he holds no blame?”

    “What does this have to do with Autolycus?”

    “I would like to know,” said Samael, now resting the opposite cheek on his folded arms. “Had you abandoned the fruit, even more than half eaten, you wouldn’t be a demon now. Why did you finish it?”

    “It was just a piece of fruit. And you were supposed to be an angel.”

    “Ah, but you know from past experience we angels are not always trustworthy.”

    “Just why? Why did you do it?” Gabrielle glowered at him through tearful eyes. She wouldn't let him deny he'd tricked her and that it wasn't fair. He'd gotten exactly what he'd wanted.

    Samael sighed. “It was fun, I suppose. Destruction is the only thing I’m truly gifted at, and I hardly ever get to use my… talents.” He smiled to himself. “Did you know I’m one of the few angels permitted to take human life? It's quite a treat when I get the chance.”

    He paused in thought before looking back to her with wide loon eyes, deep, desperate and questioning. “You said I was sent here to investigate. I have. There’s all manner of disturbance in this place. Between the fall of the Messenger and the workings of the cannibal's deity… The effects echo up through the Realms of Light, and the One On High is concerned. All of it begs for me to destroy something to right the imbalance of evil over good. But what?”

    “Why should I care about your mission,” said Gabrielle. “Look at me! Is there any good left in me? Can I even love Xena now?”

    Samael frowned. “Many a demon in Hell wallows in self-pity,” he said to her. “It's of no help to those creatures, nor will it be to you.”

    “If you care so much, why don't you change me back?”

    “Out of the two of us, you're the only one who can do that.”

    Gabrielle had lapsed into silence, so Samael didn't mind returning to his own dilemma. “I could destroy the deity of the cannibals,” he said, enlivened by the thought of destruction. “I could lay waste to all of this.”

    “Well, then why don’t you just do it?” said Gabrielle in an angry voice.

    “Oh, I don’t destroy anything unless I’m certain.”

    She glared daggers at him. “Yet what you did to me was just on a whim. Just for kicks.”

    Samael rolled his eyes. “You’re not destroyed. Far from it. But if it will aid you in your struggle, I admit that I took advantage of you. If I valued playing fair, I wouldn’t be able to do as the One On High commands of me. Destroying beings weaker than oneself is never fair. My nature is as it must be.”

    Gabrielle could care less about the iniquitous angel's nature at the moment. She closed her eyes and tried to regain some semblance of inner tranquility. “If you can't change me back, you can at least tell me how,” she said once she'd opened her eyes again. Though she couldn't see it, her eyes were yellow and reptilian, and glowed in the dark. “I have a tail for crying out loud,” she added for good measure.

    “I'll tell you how if you tell me what I'm supposed to be doing here,” said Samael. His black lips curled up in a wicked way. It was dark now, but both of them could see in the dark given their superhuman bodies.

    “This is so stupid,” Gabrielle said in annoyance. “If this 'one on high' called you here, didn't he give instructions or something?”

    The archangel laughed. “It never works like that. Had I instructions, they would undoubtedly turn out to be a riddle.”

    A sudden flash of insight hit Gabrielle. “You're so sure you're here to destroy something,” she said. “To right some imbalance of good and evil. What if, it's that you're actually supposed to be creating something?”

    The idea displeased the angel. He longed to destroy something. Why come all this way and trudge through this awful realm otherwise? To have to endure this place and get nothing out of it... But the One On High – and he raised his hands in prayer again – did not assign tasks for an angel's personal pleasure.

    “It's me,” said Gabrielle out of the blue. “You decided to ask me what to do. You call me this 'pure one,' or whatever. And you made me more powerful. Maybe I'm supposed to help fix this imbalance.” She stared at the archangel with her glowing eyes.

    Samael wrinkled his nose, but honestly, her notion sat better with him than all of his considerations of laying waste to this or that. The angel chewed on the corner of his upper lip.

    “All right,” he said, looking back at her. “Know that I consider this as a request, not necessarily as Divine Will. And only because there is a certain... power... you have – one that you know not of – that could serve to counter all of this. Because you are indeed the Pure One, even in your present condition.”
    Last edited by inumbra; 08-02-2015 at 08:01 AM.

  17. #17

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    May 2007
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    Velasca emerged on the other side of the portal, with a massive headache. She looked around at her surroundings. She and Callisto were in some sort of dark cave, but it wasn’t of earth- or heaven or hell but in a dimension between them all. The Netherrealm. A bunch of torches lit up the place, and there was a bed in the corner. “Gods shouldn’t get headaches” she said, rubbing her head.

    “True…but then again, you were never much of a God” Callisto said.

    Normally that would enrage Velasca into a battle but after this many years, Velasca was finally ready to admit that- maybe, she had made a mistake. “The Amazons….” she said. “I was just angry that they weren’t respecting me as queen, but I hadn’t really done things worthy of their respect …” It was a long time ago, but traces of Velasca’s human side were coming back to her.

    “They’re fine” Callisto lied. “They forgave you for your ways and are thriving quite nicely. There are thousands of them now” she said. Callisto enjoyed the rush of telling a truth one moment, and a bold-face lie the next.

    “Xena… she cared for me even when I was evil. Wanted to help me…” Velasca looked inwardly, as if searching for something.

    “But Gabrielle didn’t” Callisto reminded Velasca, wanting the rage to bubble inside her again. “And Xena will always choose Gabrielle over you. Her compassion is just for show when it comes to girls like us” Callisto said, twirling some strands of hair with her fingers.

    “Yeah well, maybe she would be more caring towards me if I wasn’t you know, trying to kill her” Velasca said.

    This entire ‘Velasca having newfound empathy thing’ was beginning to annoy Callisto, but it was no worry- it could be manipulated like anything else. “If Gabrielle was truly good, she would be able to forgive that and help you anyway. But remember? That bitch took the queen’s mask right in front of you. Didn’t even offer it to you…”

    Callisto smiled as she saw a lightning bolt shoot out of Velasca’s fingertips. It hit one of the torches, and caused it to burn with a greater flame.

    “There’s my girl.”

    Another woman joined the women, walking in a kind of grandmotherly fashion towards the other two. She spoke in a raspy sing-song-y tone. “Don’t worry dear, you’re with your real family now” she said.

    Callisto nodded, putting her arms around both Alti and Velasca with herself standing in the middle. “We’re a much better team than Xena, Gabrielle and Slut-Face” she said. “Alti here has taught me how to sew, and I taught her how to be less boring” Callisto said with a huge smile on her face.

    Family? Hmph. Suspicions arose in Velasca’s mind again. “Who are you?” she demanded of Callisto- unable to decipher all the facts in her artful rearranging. “Or shall I say, what are you. How did you even know of that incident with me and Gabrielle, you weren’t even there….”

    “I was an angel in the heavens, I could see everything” Callisto said. “The past, the present- even bits of the future.”

    “You are no angel” Velasca said directly, looking at the sadism in Callisto’s brown eyes.

    “OH but I am. But I’m also more than that…”

    “And how come you didn’t get a headache going through the portal. Were you really that much of a better God than I?”

    “I’m a Goddess as well” Callisto said. “But I’m also more than a God… I’m a God, Angel, Demon, Human and Innocent… all rolled into one. Baby, I’m a Five pointed star.”

    It was then Callisto-in-Xena’s body morphed into her old blonde look of psychotic human Warrior, the Callisto we first encountered. The blonde then transformed into an angel with a halo, and threw the halo like a chakram all over the cave. As soon as she caught the halo, she morphed into her archdemon form. With wings and horns and tails. Then she transformed into a God, and shot a fireball across the room. And finally, the God image exploded, and she went back to looking like Xena/Eve again. With this vulnerable look that she undoubtedly used as a weapon. The real Eve tried to shout ‘mom help’ out of her lips, but she was too far submerged in Callisto’s other essences.

    “I’ve been all five before” Callisto said – morphing back to 'Xena' again. “Now I’m just all five at once.”

    Velasca took a step back. “How is this possible?” she said. “But more importantly, I wish to have as much power as you.”

    “Well then, you’re just going to have to do as I say then, right? Join the family company…”

    “You gotta love the benefits it comes with!” Alti said as she held up two Soul Spheres and seductively moved them around her fingers like they were stress balls and well… something else.

    Callisto smiled, knowing that Alti could be controlled with the Soul Spheres, and Velasca could be controlled with the Ambrosia.

    “Will we crush Xena and Gabrielle?” Velasca asked hopefully. She really did NOT want to just be Callisto’s minion, but maybe she could overthrow her once she had enough power…

    “Oh but of course. But first things first…. Our army must grow. Right now it’s three against three and I don’t like those odds very much. Well four against three, if you count that mustachioed brat that actually thought he could stop me with a surprise dart. Because even if their team is broken up…they have a way of working together as quickly as they fell apart.”

    “I say we slaughter the weakest link now” Velasca said. “Aphrodite and Xena are Gods, and Gabrielle is a demon. That has to be the weakest link. And I always wanted to kill that little bitch anyway.”

    Callisto waved her finger in a tsk tsk fashion. “Breaking the Cutie only inspires the Hero to greater heights” Callisto said wisely. “Every tactic and code the good guys have, I have in my brain as well. Because I said it before and I’ll say it again: Xena created a villain with integrity.”

    “The Crimson Star is right” Alti said, speaking to Callisto in the dark shaman nickname that she chose for her. “Our best plan of action is to increase the numbers of our ranks and then slaughter them. Ooh ooh ooh.” Alti took a moment to pet her black raven bird with glee.

    “But this gang is going to be much better than my old gang with Theodorus” Callisto said. “They were yucky humans with no special powers, easily defeated by a single Chakram toss…“ She spun around. “I don’t think of you as my minions” Callisto said to Velasca and Alti. “I think of you are my equals.”

    “But I was easily defeated by one Chakram swing…” Velasca said, pouting.

    Callisto thought for a moment. “You’re right…. “ She then took Velasca’s hands and shared a bit of her demon and Goddess powers with the “God of Chaos.” Enough power to really increase Velasca’s strength and abilities- but not enough power as Callisto of course.

    Velasca shot lightning bolts of her hands- much quicker and confident than before.

    Callisto smiled. “Like I said, we’re not gonna have any weakest links on our team” she said. “Because I’m going for power… pure power.”

    Callisto then snapped her fingers, and she, Alti and Velasca were suddenly outside of their Evil Lair and inside the Amazon village where Virgil was being held prisoner.

    A centaur guard approached the trio of women. “Hey what are you doing here, you can’t be here-“

    Effortlessly, Callisto shot a small five-star projectile at the half horse’s chest. It burned a hole right through to his heart, and the guard fell over – instantly dead.

    “Nice work” Alti said.

    “What can I say?” Callisto shrugged. “I have many kills.”

    Callisto then flicked her hands with explosive energy- similar to Piper’s power on Charmed- and opened up the lock on the cage. Alti and Velasca stood behind Callisto, awestruck at her abilities.

    But the man on the other side wasn’t really impressed. Instead, he looked angry and frustrated. “Women….” Virgil seethed under his breath. “If I wasn’t born a heterosexual, I’d be completely through with your kind. So I’m not thankful that you rescued me. Fuck you all.”

    “I couldn’t agree more dear” Alti said. “Women these days… holding spears and swords like men. It’s ridiculous and silly. If ‘women power’ exists, how come almost all women enjoy being submissive in bed?” Alti said. She moved closer to Virgil. “Submitting is in our nature. We are negative abscesses whose very existance is only defined by how strong our men are.”

    Callisto turned to Velasca, whispering in her ear. “I know I said human males weren’t very powerful, yet sometimes, a regular man with hatred in his heart is actually the most powerful of all….”

    “What do you want from me” Virgil said.

    “We want to give you a purpose” Alti said. “You’re lost… all that potential strength. It doesn’t know where to go. Allow me, as a weak subservient woman, allow me to guide that strength.”

    “It is nice to see a woman that actually knows her place in the world” Virgil said.

    Alti nodded. “Join us, and you can see just what you can do…”

    Callisto wasn’t sure if Alti was this good at manipulating Virgil, or if she really did enjoy being so submissive in bed. Perhaps a twisted version of both. But she also didn’t care that much to think about it any longer.

    “But why would I? When you guys already can blow up locks on cages and magically kill men and... whatever else.”

    “Because we’re weak women. We need that power to even feel anything. Your power exists naturally, inside the earth- all on its own. Hit me, bruise me- I deserve it” Alti said.

    Lust filled Virgil’s eyes. Then giving into his darker impulses, he punched Alti hard in the face- getting a large erection as he did so.

    Alti screamed out in pleasure and the two kissed passionately. Callisto and Velasca were not amused by this intimacy one bit.

    “I will join your ranks” Virgil said. “But will I be the only male?” He wanted to show off to his buddies that he wasn’t a loser omega male like his father after all.

    “Of course not” Callisto said. “But all things in due time…”

    Together, the bad-ass quartet of Callisto, Alti, Velasca and Virgil walked through the night with a confident swagger..


    As Xena and Ares kissed, Ares tried to lower her hand to his junk.

    But Xena instead grabbed Ares by the throat and flipped him over. “Aw come on” Ares said. “Don’t be a tease Xena”

    “That kiss meant nothing Ares…” Xena said. “I was just manipulating you to tell me what you know about being a God.”

    Ares flipped himself up. “You can tell yourself that all you want, but we both know the truth.”

    Xena just smiled at Ares and said, “You said that I owed you one for reviving Gabrielle. That was my payment.”

    Ares smirked at Xena. “Clever but you have to feel something for this… come on…” he arrogantly showed off his sexy body in leather.

    “I paid my dues to you” Xena said. “And as much as I want, I can’t just kill you- as you represent a vital part of us all. The will to fight. To not be a victim…” Xena said.

    “Since we’re stuck with each other, why not let things be sticky?” Ares said.

    “See that’s the part of you that turns me off” Xena said. Your damn male adolescent humor.”

    “I think it really turns you on instead” Ares said cockily. “And you just won’t admit it.”

    “You remind us all of the subtle difference between war and evil” Xena said. “For that I will spare your life.”

    “Don’t be getting all high and mighty on me now, you know you enjoyed that….”

    “You’re not a bad kisser” Xena said matter of factly. “But that’s also not the point. You’re a distraction. My best friend is a demon, Callisto and Alti are still out there somewhere planning Gods-know-what. And the Romans are making things miserable for people. I have a lot on my plate right now and I-“ Xena looked into Ares’ eyes respectfully. “I don’t think I have time for a relationship right now. I’m sorry.”

    Part of Ares wanted to punch Xena in the throat for that, but they were both Gods now- so it wasn’t like she was no longer respecting her superiors. Instead Ares thought, if he just kept giving Xena what she wanted, maybe one day she’ll break –and give him what he wanted.

    “You can teleport now” Ares said. “Why can’t you just think of Callisto and port to her and you know… end it right there. Gabrielle being a demon might be something that’s more her own problem. And the Romans, well- I don’t think even you can help there” he said.

    “I already tried that” Xena said. “Anybody else I can simply think of, and I appear next to them. But not Callisto. Why?”

    Ares just shrugged. “I’m a God, not a philosopher.”

    “There must be a power even greater than the Gods” Xena said. “Everything has been leading up to that… seeing Zarvok spiders, Velasca being controlled.”

    “Nothing is greater than a God” Ares said. “That’s why we’re called Gods, duh.”

    “But the One God…” Xena said. “The followers of Eli, maybe- there’s some corrupt faction or something” Xena said.

    “Only one God? Girl please” Ares said, scoffing at that idea.

    “Things aren’t right… ever since the way out of the Jappa underworld appeared before me” Xena said. “Well even before that, was it really fair for me to spend eternity redeeming something that was an accident to begin with? A very grave accident sure, but it’s not like I killed those people intentionally…”

    “And that makes it okay?” Ares said.

    “I didn’t say that” Xena said huskily, with a glare in her eyes.

    “I think you’re starting to break… give excuses to the chaos inside of you…” Ares approached Xena seductively. “Because you know what you really want….”

    “And I think you are becoming quite useless” Xena said, punching Ares away. “It’ll never happen Ares. Let it go.”

    More than a God
    … the very phrase seemed illogical, ironic. God was the highest. That was the point. But what if… Xena thought. What if you were not only a God, but also a bunch of other things? That was possible, right?

    Xena then teleported to the scene where Callisto had recently murdered the guard. The cage door was left open, swinging in the wind. She studied the mark on the centaur’s chest, noticing that it was shaped like a star. But what did it mean? Callisto had been here- she could feel it.

    “I’m getting closer… but it’s time to face her once and for all” Xena said to herself. She then touched the mark on the dead centaur’s chest, and allowed her earthly energies to tap into it. Hopefully the magical signature would coalesce with hers and she would…

    Success! Xena was in the Netherrealm, in Team Evil’s secret headquarters. “Oh hi Xena!” Callisto said happily as if they were the best of friends.

    “The centaur you murdered… the mark on his chest. It’s a star. Those five points represent each of the five entities that you are, correct?”

    “Oh you’re a quick learner Xeenuh” Callisto cackled. “But are you quick enough to dodge this…”

    Callisto threw one of her mystical stars at Xena’s chest. The Warrior Princess arched her body backwards, only to notice out the corner of her eyes Velasca standing in the corner, tossing out a lightning bolt. So she quickly flipped upwards, dodging that projectile as well.

    Alti’s raven swopped in trying to distract Xena, but she distracted it with dirty magical wind filled with stony debris.

    I can take them all on
    Xena thought to herself. It will be difficult, but not impossible…

    Surprisingly, it was Virgil who got the best of Xena as he came up from behind and stabbed her with a special weapon that caused even a God to fall on their knees. Blood poured out the corners of her mouth as she looked down and saw the tip of a pale pink sword sticking through her chest.

    “The Rapier of Ka-Zohn” Virgil said proudly. “Known to sap even a God’s strength…”

    Then, the quartet of evil took their turns with Xena. Callisto giggled and kicked Xena’s face and neck. Virgil raped her. Alti repeatedly punched Xena in the chest and had her raven poop all in her hair. Velasca put her hands on Xena’s head and caused electricity to surge through her brain, which inflicted the most pain on her. The only thing Xena could do, was sit there and take it.

    Xena fell over near death. “Now the finishing blow!” Virgil said, about to cut off Xena’s head the second time.

    But Callisto grabbed his wrist, and nearly broke his hand. “Not so fast…” Callisto said. “I want to torture her some more….”

    “The plan was to kill Xena!” Velasca said angrily. “Who would have known we would be lucky enough for her to teleport herself into a trap!

    Callisto looked at Velasca. “Why kill her when we can get her to become like us?” she said. “Then we’d REALLY be unstoppable.”

    “She’ll never be like us” Velasca said. “Even if she can… it will take too long.”

    “I’m up for the challenge…” Callisto said, looking down at Xena’s bruised and bloodied body.

    “It’s that Eve girl that’s inside of her” Virgil said, pointing at Callisto. “It makes her humane and weak.”

    Callisto honestly didn’t know if it was Eve or herself that saved Xena. But really, does it matter? “You ungrateful little worm” Callisto said to Virgil. “I was the one that gave you a reason to be in the first place.”

    “Uh, I believe that was me…” Alti said. She shot a sexy granny grin towards Virgil.

    “Comrades! Why are we fighting? We’re supposed to be working together. Or else…”

    But Xena had already recovered from being unconscious, and had taken Velasca down with a well-timed pinch before she could finish her sentence.

    “Looks like you kids have a lot to learn about working together” Xena quipped as she roundhouse kicked Alti’s face. Down goes Alti.

    All that was left was Callisto and Virgil. But something was wrong. Xena was freezing up again.

    It just wasn’t safe to fight them on their turf, so Xena did the smart thing and she teleported out of there.

    “Where did she go?” Virgil said. “Stupid cowardly woman, she’s no match for us!”

    Callisto smiled to herself. “That actually went better than expected….” she said. “We have some kinks to work out but we know the most important thing: together we can take her.”

    Velasca near death, begged for somebody to save her. She began to spasm on the floor.

    “You’re lucky that I learned pressure point techniques” Alti said. And she reversed the pinch on Velasca.

    Xena lied atop a grassy hill. It would take some time for her wounds to heal, even as a God.

    So Callisto is recruiting an army….but it’s not like Callisto to stay a team player for long, so who is greater than even Callisto?
    Xena wondered before she fell into some well needed sleep.
    Last edited by dead bnd; 08-04-2015 at 04:32 AM.

  18. #18
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    “And what power is that?” Gabrielle's tone was cynical and disbelieving, almost like she'd lost all patience with being jerked around, which he supposed she had.

    Samael hesitated. He didn’t need to tell her all at once.

    “Does it have something to do with that table? I must have a special power to get it to knock me out like that.” She thought a moment. “Or maybe I just rubbed it the wrong way.”

    “Table?” The angel asked nonchalantly, as though this were the last thing on his mind, and he needed to switch several gears to even remember what she was referring to.

    The demon glared at him, her eyes glowing yellow slits. “Don't play dumb,” she said. “I don't like it.”

    Samael smiled. “What makes you think you would have any influence over that curious work of carpentry and its incredible dishware? You weren't even able to divine how it works.” The angel's teeth gleamed in the moonlight, in stark contrast to his black lips.

    “And how would you know?” said Gabrielle. “Unless you know everything, being an 'archangel' and all.” She mocked, making little quotation gestures with her taloned demon fingers. “I understood how it worked just fine. You empty one of the dishes, and it will refill itself.”

    The angel's grin grew wider, deep crevices of dimples forming at the corners. It annoyed Gabrielle. She was so tired of his holier-than-thou act, or whatever this was. Unthinkingly, she expelled fire in his direction. The angel waved it away with a hand, and it dissipated in the cool night air.

    “Breathing fire, that's a bad sign,” Samael declared. Though he shook his head solemnly, his eyes glinted with mirth.

    “Stop it,” said Gabrielle. “I'm tired of you mocking me. You said I have some special power, and now you won't tell me what it is.”

    Samael regarded her, now in total seriousness. “I should warn you,” he said. “The more you develop your demonic abilities, the harder it will be to go back.”

    Gabrielle threw up her hands. “Of course! Everything always has to get worse with you.” Her demon tail twitched back and forth like a cat's does when pissed.

    The angel decided to take pity on her. “As for the table, it was really quite simple. You hold the empty dish, imagine what you would like, set it back on the table and voilà, what you imagined appears.” He paused to allow this to sink in. “After that it continues to replenish itself until someone imagines something different. It was never meant to be used as a communication device, as much as your love for Xena is... stirring.”

    His last words made her wince, but she brushed it off. It made sense, what he said about the table, although how was she supposed to know that? “I still don't understand how you know all this,” she challenged.

    The angel took on a look of one wise in the ways of the universe. “I’ve encountered special dishware like that before – imbued with the power to create an unending feast. Your neighborhood cannibal god uses it, for one. Kind of crude really that his method requires a magical table as well...” He seemed to drift away, but then his eyes lit up. “I’d like to have a table like that for my fruit one day.”

    It was becoming too clear to Gabrielle that Samael knew way too much about the enchanted table, and now he revealed that he had his own personal interest in it.

    “I thought Ares had sent that table,” she said. “It appeared right after I complained to him of starving and that Xena wouldn't like it... But I think it's pretty clear that you're the one who actually sent it.”

    Samael placed a hand to his chest innocently.

    She pointed a finger at him. “You knew what would happen.”

    “How could I know you’d think of some perverse way to make use of what should be obvious?”

    For a moment, the angel seemed wounded by her accusation which gave Gabrielle pause. In a flash, she realized he must be telling the truth. He hadn't known what she would try to do, and had possibly scrambled to correct his mistake after she'd been hit with the electricity. It didn't make up for the rest of what he did, though. He was a bad news angel.

    “So you stole one of Murdra’s feasts that he uses to fatten people up.” Gabrielle chuckled obnoxiously, though her laughter took on a sweet siren sound now that she had her spectacular demon larynx.

    The cannibals basically lived out in the middle of nowhere and were woefully ignorant (or so it seemed), so it made sense they wouldn't be able to provide all that fruit and bread and whatever else had been there when she'd been a captive. All they could manage was hunting wild bore and people. Of course Murdra had to help them out with certain things, like proper nutrition.

    How pathetic to be so dependent on a god. Without warning, Gabrielle's thoughts flashed to Xena. Before she'd went and found her private place to brood over her new nature, she'd spied on Xena – watched her flirtations with the God of War. She wasn't stupid. She knew her lover had gone back to Ares, and she hated it.

    “I’d rather it went to you as an instrument of attempted suicide than continue to be used for its intended purpose,” Samael had said with a shrug.

    Samael. Her heavenly patron. Her own version of Ares. Naturally it wasn't as passionate as Xena's affairs. Her glowing eyes took on a new light when she looked at him again.

    The angel frowned. “I had thought of destroying all of the cannibals, but Xena could do that herself. It's not a reason to send one of my caliber down to this awful place. Your friend could have destroyed their god, in fact. Her resolve would have done it. But she decided to spare him. She must have had a reason... especially considering all he has done.” Samael sighed in this “oh well” kind of way.

    Gabrielle was feeling tense and angry. “You know, I helped destroy that Uckgok clan or whatever too. It wasn’t just Xena.”

    “Yes, I know. You scurried about rolling kegs down small inclines,” he taunted. “Oh, and you helped evacuate the would-be victims.”

    “I don't have to listen to this,” said Gabrielle. “Are you going to tell me how to fix what your fruit did to me or are you wasting my time?”

    Samael leaned in towards her. “You don't want to change back,” he told her fiercely. “Humans rarely do. I've made you pretty, given you a serpent's tongue. You're special now. Noticeable. Powerful. You tell me why you won't shed this demon skin. Why you let its essence mingle with yours, deeper and deeper. Clearly, you have something to lose, or you would have overcome this already.” He glared at her then. “I made you a monstrosity, but you like it. What does that say about your kind, Pure One?”

    Tears briefly formed and fled in Gabrielle's eyes. “I'd go back to being the sidekick,” she said. “Back to being No One. That's what I'd lose.” She sighed.

    “All I am is someone who can never be Xena. And Xena, she's always taking me out of the action. Still. Even when I've been able to wield the Chakram for years and do so many of the things she can do – on my own, even. But it's like none of it matters. I said long ago that I used to walk in her shadow before I found it was warmer in the sun. But I'm still in her shadow, and I hate it.”

    Her eyes seemed to spit out the tears. She felt so angry.

    Samael's hand came over her cheek. “They say that knowing is half the battle, but not in this case,” he declared mournfully.

    The demon slapped his hand away. “Stop it,” she said. “Whatever it is you think you're doing, whatever way you think you're manipulating me, just STOP IT.”

    Gabrielle slapped him across the face then, as hard as she could. She watched in awe as the slashes her talons made against his cheek swiftly vanished. For some reason it filled her with lust, and she launched herself at him, attacking him with her limbs and mouth and teeth.

    Soon he was forcing her back away from him, holding her back as she fought to get closer again.

    “Seducing me is rarely a good idea,” the angel informed her. “Naturally, I feel compelled to tell you what you would be getting into if I happened to like it. The One On High so reveres free will after all. I would not deprive you of the knowledge you need to make your choice.”

    “It's so noble of you,” Gabrielle snapped at him, still fighting against his grasp.

    The angel hummed to himself, resting his forehead against hers. “Many have come willingly, you know,” he said. “And I treasure them greatly for that.” He looked at her. “I'm not like a lot of other angels,” he said. “I do experience the carnal passions, and so I am allowed my holy release into the purest of beings.”

    “Let me guess,” said Gabrielle. “I'm not pure enough now that you've turned me into a demon.”

    A slightly nasty look came over the angel's features. “No human is pure enough,” he practically growled. Then a gleeful smile overtook his face. “That's why I hybridize them with trees.” He said this as though it were the most brilliant thing anyone had ever thought of.

    “Trees?” The demon looked at him in disappointed bewilderment.

    “I love trees,” Samael confessed. “There is a particular variety I created – I call it the cum tree – that houses a human soul, and I just drive into it relentlessly. It collects all of my lustful inspirations, and I worship it in return, for I don't think I could go on without that continual release. The cum trees are most sacred of all, planted in special places in my garden.”

    He reached out and touched her nose with his index finger. “You will be mine for a century,” he said in a guttural romantic voice that made Gabrielle shudder – in a bad way. “You will feel everything I do to you. Then I will let you go to be reborn. The One On High only allows me one like you in 100 years.” He sighed dreamily.

    “What are you even thinking?” Gabrielle shrieked at him, her demon voice taking on a new pitch. “I don't want to be your fucking tree!” She deliberately whacked him upside the face with her demon wings before she flew away.

    She had had it. Her life had become sheer insanity and someone needed to pay for that. She breathed fire out into the night air as she questioned who that should be. Obviously not Samael since she doubted she'd have the power to do anything against him anyway. The fucktard. She roiled in her turmoil, imagining Xena and Ares together then, feeling hateful and bitter. She probably couldn't do anything to them either. Hate surged through her.

    “Pity,” said Samael halfheartedly after she was gone. “It would have blessed your karma.”



    The sounds of Virgil's constant orgasms had Callisto on edge. Bitterly, she carved words in the angelic language, into the table she sat at now. She tried not to listen, but once Alti began moaning in her raspy grandma voice, it was too much. Callisto thought she might die, until she looked down at the words she had carved and her mouth twitched a bit until a smile formed.

    Then Virgil's screams caught her ear again, or rather, pricked her ears up. This time was different. He was screaming in horror and terror, and begging Alti to stop. The sadism of it almost turned Callisto on, but she was a hardcore asexual, so even that was hardly enough. Still she let herself wander to the doorway to satisfy her curiosity.

    Alti rotated the soul spheres in the palm of one hand. “You have no idea,” she moaned in her raspy way. “No idea how good it is. How much more I can see when I use these babies.”

    Virgil whimpered beneath her. Naturally, Alti had ended up on top for the sex act. She rubbed herself against him.

    “Wanna see more?” Alti asked. “I can show you more pain from all of your past lives than you could ever imagine. I went easy on you before, dear.”

    Virgil's eyes pleaded with her even as his dick grew hard again.

    Callisto almost vomited in her throat when their horrible animal sex cries started up again. She stabbed at the table. To make matters worse, part of her longed to taunt Xena again, or maybe to pay not-so-sweet little Gabrielle a visit...


    “Are you here to save us?” a man asked shortly after Gabrielle flew headfirst into the wall of one of the cannibal caves. The special sphincters left in the rock from her horns reminded her of how shitty her existence was now.

    “I mean, you don't look like one of them.” He reached out towards her. It was like he didn't really see her.

    “In case you didn't notice,” said Gabrielle loudly. “I'm a demon. Why would a demon want to save you?”

    Her eyes found the banquet table, and she crept towards it without waiting for a response from the man. Her hand reached out.

    The man had continued to babble but she hadn't heard what he'd said. She cocked her head back in his direction. “Do you like nut bread?” she asked.

    She didn't even wait for an answer as she quickly dumped the contents of one plate and imagined nut bread instead as she held it. Sure enough, once she'd set the platter back on the table, the bread appeared.

    “I bet you didn't know you could just choose whatever last meal you wanted,” Gabrielle told the man. “Once you're finished, they'll come for you. They'll roast you up alive. I know. They almost did it to me once.”

    “You flew in here. You could fly me out,” the man told her, but she hardly noticed him.

    “It's not enough,” said Gabrielle. “Sure, I could save you, but the cannibals will just go hunt someone else.”

    She couldn't believe Xena hadn't killed Murdra like she'd said she would. What was her problem? She just was going to sit by and let all of this continue? Murdra let the people of Hyperion back into their bodies and Xena just let him off the hook? What a sucker!

    Well, she could take care of this on her own. She was superior now that she had her fire and her demon form. If Xena was going to spend all her time fucking Ares, someone had to do the heavy lifting.

    Gabrielle surged from the cave and with little thought she did unspeakable things, tearing cannibals limb from limb, lighting everything on fire...

    Finally, it got Murdra's attention. He materialized in his puff of black smoke and stalked towards her.

    “DIE!” Gabrielle screamed at him before he could even get a word out. She unleashed all of her fire on him and was amazed when he began to burn up.

    She knelt over him to watch.

    “I- I- was going to change... Tell Aphrodite...” he managed before he turned to a pile of black ash.

    Gabrielle kicked the ashes about until she was finally convinced she'd reduced the cannibal god to nothing.


    Sometimes moments of human vulnerability were hard for Xena, especially now that she was a goddess. Her new power offered an even greater insulation against the dangers in the world. Somehow she felt so strong now that nothing could really harm her, not even rape or torture – although she'd always withstood such things well.

    But it didn't change how her mind relived the moments. Being raped by Virgil (Joxer's and Meg's son!) wounded her in more ways than one. The ache it made her feel was the sort of ache there was only one person in the world to heal...

    Xena closed her eyes and thought of Gabrielle, hoping to hone in on her location. She could teleport now, and so it wasn't hard to appear right where Gabrielle was.

    When Xena's eyes opened it was to fire. Gabrielle had set a small grove of trees on fire. Things were worse than she thought. The possibility of losing Gabrielle to this dawned on Xena.

    But before Gabrielle saw Xena and before Xena could go to her, an enormous angel swooped down right in front of the demon, blocking her from Xena's sight.

    “I can't abide the destruction of the forest,” said Samael in a loud holier-than-thou snobbish voice. One hand came over Gabrielle's mouth blocking her fire.

    “There may be no solution for it,” said Samael. “Perhaps you should be my newest tree. Oh I would enjoy you like that.”

    Suddenly, the earth rose up, swirling around the angel and trapping him momentarily in place.

    “So you're the one who's been hurting my friend,” said Xena, walking towards the encrusted angel in an ominous way.

    All of the rocks and dirt that held Samael in place flew away from him, conveniently not in any direction that would hit Xena or Gabrielle.

    “You're out of your league,” said Samael, silkily, as he eyed Xena. “Goddess or not.”

    “I don't know about that,” said Xena huskily. “I've been able to take down an archangel before.” She smiled thinly. “I assume that's what you are.”

    Samael smiled serenely back at her. “I hope you're not referring to Michael,” he said. “I wouldn't think of him as the best of us.”

    “Oh, I've met others,” said Xena. “Lucifer, if you recall.”

    “Your strength is nothing compared to an archangel. You'll forgive Michael if he holds back, or Lucifer if he's foolish. When it comes to raw strength, there is little you can do against one such as myself, unless I allow it.” Samael grinned like the ego-bloated heavenly patron he was.

    “Or maybe that's just what you like to tell yourself,” said Xena, smiling again in her thin way. “I'll give you a way out. Leave my friend alone, and I'll leave you alone.”

    Samael glared at her with narrowed eyes. “Neither of you are what I was sent here for. Don't interfere in divine providence.”

    “Oh,” said Xena, hands on her hips. “So your god didn't sent you down here to torment my friend? Funny. Because that seems to be the only thing you've been doing since you arrived.”

    “Xena.” Gabrielle began, approaching.

    But before she could go on, Callisto materialized in a blaze of flame between Xena and the archangel. Even though she was facing Xena, she soon turned to set her sights on the other.

    “The archangel, Samael.” Callisto snarked at him. “What an honor.”

    Samael regarded her without recognition, as she looked just like Xena. But before he could breathe out a “what are you,” she had transformed herself into her glowing angel form.

    “Recognize me now?”

    That was when it hit Samael in a terrible frenzy of realization. This was why he'd been sent to this awful realm.

    “How do you still exist in this way? It's unnatural,” said Samael, advancing forward. “You were supposed to have been reborn as the Messenger, who as I understand it, recently died.”

    Callisto snickered at him. “Poor daft angel,” she said. “So bound by holy rules that have no justification in reality. So utterly simple and stupid. You spend all that time up there in heaven singing your own praises, telling yourself it's God singing you a lullaby...” She giggled. “Yet you don't learn anything of use. Well, I was an eager pupil when I was up there. After I got sick of listening to the incessant dogma, I wandered off on my own... I guess I've always been my own best teacher.”

    “You don't belong here,” Samael said. He peered at her with scrutiny. “In fact, you don't belong anywhere. That's why the One On High sent me. To destroy you. This imbalance exists in earth and in heaven because of you.”

    Gabrielle watched in a sort of awe she hated as Samael's eyes began to glow red... Somehow she could tell he was charging up some destructive force well beyond any power she had.

    “Oh, please, don't hurt me,” Callisto mocked. Her own eyes began to glow violet. “Looks like I can light myself up like a Christmas tree too.” She began to rise off the ground as palpitations of violet static rippled off her. Then with a huge grin she zapped the angel.

    The red in Samael's eyes turned to actual ash - he caught some of it in the palm of a gray hand, staring at it dumbfounded.

    “It looks like you're impotent.” Callisto said sweetly. “I've never neutered an archangel before, but I guess there's a first time for everything!”

    Samael stepped towards her, unwise at it might be. He didn't fear, for wherever he went the One On High was with him. His loon eyes wandered over her form and through it. “Your power is great,” he observed. “You've gone behind the One On High's back, taken things from the shadows of the universe that don't belong to you.”

    “If I wanted to hear more of these lectures, I would have stayed in heaven,” Callisto shot at him.

    Samael grabbed her by the upper arms. “If I alone cannot diminish you, I must take it to a higher authority.” His black wings extended, but Callisto blasted him away with more of her violet energy. The mighty blast sent Samael falling back to the ground.

    “I hated you the most out of all of them,” said Callisto as she came towards him. “It's because you thought you were so evil and so in touch with sin, when like a hypocrite you have no clue what real evil is. You're so pathetic!”

    “Xena, we have to do something,” Gabrielle urged in her sidekick way.

    “All right,” said Xena. She readied her earth-shaping powers, drawing up barriers of earth to trap Callisto. She even found a way to drive chunks of rock on the bitch's head.

    That was when Eve's voice called out from Xena's disfigurement of the earth. “Mother, please... Help me...”

    Xena stared, wide-eyed. The hope that her Eve was still in there was too much. "Eve? Honey. Hold on, I'm coming...”

    “It's obviously a trick,” said Samael who had flapped his way off the ground. He flew over the top of the mountain Xena had made over Callisto, trying to get a better view.

    Then he looked to Xena and Gabrielle. “She is too powerful. I'm afraid I'm going to have go for now.”

    “You mean, you're running away,” Gabrielle accused.

    The archangel said nothing. Instead his wide loon eyes met Gabrielle's for a prolonged period of time. Instantly, it reminded her of his creepy garden of tree whores. She didn't want that kind of parting moment, and looked away.

    As Samael ascended upwards, and Xena used her powers to dig Eve out of the earth she'd trapped her in, the ground began to rumble. In an eruption of violet, Angel Callisto surged up from the mountain with an earsplitting glass shattering unholy shrieking that just went on and on. Xena and Gabrielle were forced to cover their ears.

    With incredible speed Callisto disappeared into the sky in pursuit of the archangel. Explosions and flashes happened 'up there,' and in no time at all a form began falling back towards the earth. As it grew larger in her vision, Gabrielle realized it was Samael.

    Samael hit the ground hard, now in a different clearing of forest. Red blood poured out of gashes that formed crackle patterns all over his body. He managed to get to his knees, and stared down in horror at the wounds on his chest.

    “How is this possible?” he choked out.

    Callisto landed gracefully next to him. “It's time to finish you off,” she told him.

    She grabbed him by the throat with both hands, and he only stared at her, with a sort of bemused surrender in his loon eyes.

    “It didn't take long to realize how blind all you angels are. Blind to power that you only accept from your supposed God. Well, unlike you I aspire to a more holistic view of things. There's all sorts of power in creation, and I draw mine from dying stars. No one notices a little loss of luminosity here and there when they're balancing out the cosmic books. No one cares about a dying star.”

    Samael grabbed her wrists, prying them from his neck. “Get away from me you unholy creature,” he ground out even as he choked up blood.

    That was when Xena and Gabrielle arrived on the scene.

    “Oh look, an audience,” Callisto declared happily.

    She spun swiftly and shot Samael right through the heart with a violent blow of violet energy. The archangel fell back to the earth with a thud.

    “No!” Gabrielle cried, unthinking. She ran to the fallen one.

    Callisto smiled at the unfolding tragic scene in glee. “Oh my,” she said. “Don't tell me I've killed another of Gabrielle's great loves, because that would just be the frosting on the cake.”

    Xena stepped forward. "Get out of here before I drive you right into the center of the earth."

    “Xena, Xena, Xena,” Callisto sang out. “You know what I do after a moment like this? I vanish so I can revel in how good it feels. But don't you worry, we'll have more fun later.”

    She disappeared in a shrill sound of delight, and Xena could only watch after, a terribly stoic look on her face. Was her daughter still in there? This endless saga with Callisto and Eve weighed wearily on her heart.

    Gabrielle clasped the fallen archangel's head in her hands.

    “Gabrielle,” he said, his voice still strong. “This imbalance between evil and good... you must right it... I know you can do it... I know... you really are the Pure One, even if I've been envious... I didn't realize the stakes... Your only hope is to draw Murdra to the side of good... then you may have a chance...”

    His eyes fluttered shut, and for some reason Gabrielle felt as she had when Eli had died. This was an angel, no matter how hideous and off-kilter he seemed.

    “You can't die,” Gabrielle whispered, her forehead falling over his. “How then could I be your tree whore?”

    A slight sniff of mirth escaped Samael's lips with his last breath, and a tear fell from the corner of Gabrielle's eye landing on his gray cheek. Then he faded into a field of light, drawn up into the heavens. Gabrielle watched it until she couldn't see anything but the blue sky.

    Xena knelt beside her friend, placing a hand over one of her gremlin-looking demon wings. “I'm sorry,” she said. The two embraced as Gabrielle cried.

    But Xena also knew the dastardly angel may have had a point. “Murdra,” she said. “With him on our side, maybe it'll give us an advantage.”

    Gabrielle turned towards Xena, her glowing yellow eyes filled with tears.

    “Xena... I... killed Murdra.”


    Callisto sat back at her table glad that there were no cries from Alti or Virgil to overhear. None of the archangels were willing to teach her their written language (the one they thought came from 'God') because she'd just been a regular angel, so she'd had to learn it herself. Now she looked over what she'd written.

    It said, “God is dead.”

    Callisto laughed hysterically.

    note: i forgot that i originally meant for samael to dematerialize into his ethereal form and then callisto would follow as she can do the same since she has her own angel-form. one of the reasons for this was that if they fight it out in these ethereal forms, there probably wouldn't be a way for xena or gabrielle to intervene because neither would be able to get on the heavenly plane of existence. as is, without this, it's still slightly uncertain why xena and gabrielle take a somewhat too passive role in events...
    Last edited by inumbra; 10-15-2015 at 08:33 PM.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    May 2007
    229 Post(s)
    2 Thread(s)

    Default warning: NSFW

    Xena and Gabrielle were talking in the same small temple Autoclyus introduced them to. It had become sort of the hideout for the good guys.

    “You what?!?” Xena said, trying not to sound like a critical condescending mother. But she was failing, big time. “You killed Murdra…”

    Gabrielle didn’t feel like defending herself. She had felt guilty before and cried about it, but that was all over with now. The more she stayed a demon, the more her humanity kept fading away. “Yeah, I killed him. So what, you slept with Ares. You’re not perfect either so don’t even act like it.“

    Xena frowned. “I didn’t sleep with Ares” she said angrily. But the angry tone seethed deep under the surface. Making the tone of her voice just that much more angry.

    “I saw you two together… there was kissing. And groping.”

    “And that’s all there was” Xena assured her. She wasn’t even certain she and Gabrielle were romantic lovers any more. It was something that felt very ‘yes and no.’

    The ex-Bard, current Demon sighed. “It’s not that I’m jealous. It’s that … well it’s Ares. The God of Everything We’re Supposed to be Against. Even if you didn’t have sex sex with him, the fact that you even give him the time of day….”

    “I don’t know what we’re going to be up against, and Ares could provide useful intel” Xena said. “There are so many players… the Roman Empire. Callisto. Did you know Callisto teamed up with not only Alti, but Velasca and Virgil as well.” Xena was about to say that Virgil raped her, just organically and out of the blue - but Gabrielle was a demon now and it was harder to share very personal vulnerable stuff with her. “…We just need all the help we’re going to get. Murdra’s path was the path of redemption. But you took that away from him.”

    Gabrielle rolled her eyes. “And you know all about what that’s like don’t you? And I’m always the inferior side kick because I wasn’t all bad ass and cruel before. A bit of a bitch sometimes true but that’s just human and natural. But I never needed to ‘redeem’ for anything because I was the Pure One!” Gabrielle shouted, almost not realizing the narcissism in her voice. As arrogant and perverted as Samael was, it was like he understood things about her that others didn’t.

    Xena looked at Gabrielle with concern. “But killing Murdra was an act of cruelty- even if you thought you did it for the right reasons.”

    “Yeah well demon now” Gabrielle said. “Can you blame me?”

    “You know I love you and think of you more than a sidekick. But the problem is, you still view yourself that way” Xena said; trying to sound wise but still coming across as condescending, no doubt.

    “When you went to fight Murdra – you didn’t even ask me to come along! You just… took things into your own hands like you always do. And don’t tell me you didn’t want me to get hurt- I obviously can hold my own against him. A demon is technically lesser than a God, but I was the only one brave enough to murder him.”

    “Murder isn’t bravery” Xena said sagely. “You need help….” Xena thought for a bit. “How did you even become a demon anyway? I was so caught up with what Ares and Murdra were doing that I forgot to ask.”

    She sighed. “It’s a long story but Samael basically manipulated me into becoming one.”

    As a Warrior Goddess, Xena’s first instinct was to go and kick Samael’s ass for what he had done to Gabrielle. But Callisto already beaten her to the punch. So now it was like there was nothing tangible to fight, and Xena wasn’t one for introspection without action. The Warrior just stood there, clenching her fists until her knuckles became white.

    “What’s the point of being resurrected if the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is a demon?” Xena said. Losing a future ally – Gab becoming a demon. Samael being murdered, Callisto’s rise to power- was this all part of the ‘bad surprises’ Murdra talked about?

    “It’s not so bad” Gabrielle said. “I mean, you get used to it. I instinctively need to kill. I don’t feel sorry for those people I murdered even if I wish that I did. Because… because that’s what demons do. We kill and we like it” Gabrielle said sadly. “But there’s still this part of me…”

    “You know you don’t have to do fancy backflips and kick people’s ass to be special, right?” Xena said.

    She didn’t want one of Xena’s feel good pep talks. “Yeah sorry but you kinda do. This world admires strength… this world ignores those on the sidelines. We all want what you and Callisto are- powerful. Potent. Physical. Raw…..”

    Before Xena could think of something to say to that, in a puff of pink smoke the Goddess of Love Aphrodite appeared with a verrrrrry sour expression on her face.

    “My Murdie! You KILLED HIM.” Aphrodite lifted her arms and shot out a wave of hateful energy toward Gabrielle. It looked like a bunch of faded yellow rings.

    Gabrielle flinched back a bit, she felt Aphrodite’s power. But it was still pretty weak naturally, even though Aphrodite was so emotionally upset.

    Xena shot Aphrodite a look, trying to reason with her. It was a look of ‘you know you can’t hurt Gabrielle with me in the room’ and also genuine empathy for Aphrodite’s feelings.

    Aphrodite sighed. “I suppose… I should just forgive you right? It’s not like Murdie was ever some pure hearted innocent himself.”

    Xena looked around at everybody. “Let’s just stay calm. I know things look bad right now, but we’ll get through them. Step by step.”

    Gabrielle didn’t know what to say- but she had this funny feeling inside of her that everything was just plain wrong now.

    Suddenly, Aphrodite teleported behind Gabrielle and put the demon in the head lock. She then held up a sacred demon-killing knife, known as the dagger of Ka-Zohn. First the rapier of Ka-Zohn that Virgil used on Xena, and now the dagger.

    “Don’t think I’m just some puffy princess” Aphrodite said coldly. “One poke of this bad boy and you will be completely obliterated, you insecure jealous little cunt.” By pretending to be sorry, Aphrodite had caught Gabrielle off guard.

    “Revenge isn’t the way” Xena said while handcuffing Aphrodite’s wrist with some earth shackles. “You two used to be friends, remember that.”

    “Oh get off it and let us fight you bitch” hissed Gabrielle. With her demonic tail, she broke the shackles and knocked the knife out of Aphrodite’s hands at the same time.

    And it was on. The two girls began pulling each other’s hair and trying to tackle the other to the floor. Literally cat fighting. But things got a bit more serious when Gabrielle bit into Aphrodite. Feeding on the blood of a god had a strange effect on Gabrielle. Made her…. a bit stronger then the rest of the demons.

    Xena used one of her earth abilities and shattered the demon killing knife with a huge stalactite she conjured from the sky. “ENOUGH!” Xena said – telekinetically throwing Aphrodite and Gabrielle off each other so they went flying at opposite ends of the room. She kind of loathed using that God power, as it was one Ares liked to use but desperate times, and all that.

    “I will not let the people I care about kill each other out of cheap vengeance” Xena said.

    “Do you know what sort of tawdry , inhumane things I had to subject myself to, in order to get that knife?” Aphrodite said while bitchily putting her hands on her hips.

    “I thought you liked being a cheap 80s porn whore” Gabrielle snapped back. She might not be able to physically fight Aphrodite any more, but she could still hurt her with words.

    Aphrodite just looked down at her crushed knife, then looked at Xena looking all snobby and holier than thou and finally at Gabrielle looking all demony and ready-for-anything.

    “Well a gal knows when she is outnumbered and out of her league… and so I think I’ll depart now with my dignity still in tact… but don’t think for a SECOND this means we’ll ever be buds again. I’m through with both of you.” Aphrodite disappeared in angry shints of glitter.

    Xena hesitated deeply. She turned around and intently gazed into her best friend slash semi-lover. “First things first. We need to make you human again” Xena said.

    Even if Gabrielle didn’t want to- and even if she was becoming used to this form, she knew she had no choice. Xena would eye rollingly do the right thing. With or without her consent. And she was still no match for Xena, even as a demon- or maybe especially because.

    Xena carried Gabrielle with both arms Gone-with-the-wind style and concentrated deeply. “My plan to restore your humanity with Aphrodite once failed, but I am not about to give up on the one person that never gave up on me…” Xena whispered lovingly into Gabrielle’s ear. “So I have another idea.”

    In a swirl of earthy gems, she teleported both her and Gabrielle to some place in Heaven. Well it wasn’t heaven heaven or anything, but still one of the higher realms.

    One of the angelic guards there looked startled at the vision of a woman carrying a demon. He was standing beside some sort of pond … or hot spring. “You… shouldn’t be here!” he said. As the light made out who the shadow was and the being came into clarity, he knew it was Xena – as he was actually one of the angels meant to watch over her since birth. “Oh my my it’s Xena. I thought you were in one of the Limbo Realms fighting the Jappa spirts.”

    “Yeah that got old fast” Xena said. “I’m here to save a friend. Like she saved me.”

    Gabrielle nearly choked on her own bile at the heart felt ness of it all.

    “You want the High One’s Water of Life…” he said. “Known to cleanse any demonic infection, and restore the state of humanity.”

    “Yes, and no stupid trials or tests to get it” she demanded. “I have enough power now to take what I want, when I want it.”

    “Power isn’t the issue….” the guard said. “No doubt, you are one of the few gods even with the teleportation strength TO come to this sacred place” he said. “But I am afraid you are out of luck, as the pond mysteriously dried out a few weeks ago” he said. “Just like that all the water started to shrink up. There’s nary a drop left.”

    Xena shook her head. “It’s because of me… because I shouldn’t even be alive in the first place.”

    “It’s because a lot of things” the guard corrected. “Callisto is supposed to be a messenger of love, Murdra was going to be one of the greatest noble knights the world has ever seen, just like Marcus. But obviously that can’t happen now because an incredibly dark force thwarted all the good that he was destined to do” It’s a good thing the angelic guard wasn’t very high in rank, and didn’t know that it was the very being Xena was holding in her arms that did the deed. Most of what he heard was through gossip, so important details were missing.

    “You’re not worthy to say that name” Xena said. She started to get angry as she did not want to be reminded of any more dead loved ones.

    The guard just ignored that. “The rules surrounding heaven and hell have become incredibly distorted. In fact, the reason YOU can be in this particular part of heaven probably has less to do with your raw power, and more to do with the dimensional energies becoming unstable” he said. “Or maybe a mixture of both…anyway to say things are fucked up right now is a huge understatement.”

    “I will handle all that when I’m ready for it” Xena said. “But now, all I want to see is my friend human again.”

    “I’m afraid I can’t help you” the guard said.

    “Do you know who can?” Xena asked.

    The guard just solemnly shook his head.

    “Well… then good riddance” Xena said. But she didn’t want to be bitter. The hero wasn’t supposed to be that way. Softening her tone, she spoke to the angel again. “Just watch your back, alright. If I can come up here so easily- Hades knows what else can.”

    As they came back down to earth, Gabrielle just pouted. “Well that was no fun. You should have killed him for being a useless lackey. Or let me do it. Unlike you, I don’t feel guilt with the murder thing.”

    Xena then realized a sad truth. She just couldn’t keep hanging out with Gabrielle like this. It was too demoralizing. It wasn’t her Gabrielle anymore. Only, it actually still was, somewhat. She was still in there. Just like Eve was still in Callisto, hopefully. But that just made it all the more difficult.

    “I…” Xena tried to think of an excuse, but like the corny saying goes ‘honesty is the best policy.’ “We just can’t be together like this” she said. “Not until I find a way to get you back.” Xena looked at Gabrielle sadly, and then teleported away.

    Gabrielle’s demonic yellow eyes flashed and she lashed out her tongue a couple times. “Well, fine- who needs her anyway.” Gabrielle decided it was time again. She had to kill somebody. She felt the blood begin to boil within her again. It was as natural as needing to drink a glass of water for a demon.

    Gabrielle flew around the sky and finally landed in the middle of a village named Pteleum. She saw a shy and mousy looking girl about twelve years old. She was feeding her horse and there was stacks of hay on the ground. The girl reminded Gabrielle of a lot of the girls from Potidaea. Normal and boring. So naïve to all the magic and superpowers in the world. So hopelessly mundane and pathetic. No will to aspire themselves towards anything.

    Gabrielle smiled evilly and readied a fireball. Just before the fireball could increate the innocent though, a strange figure tackled her to the ground, saving her at the last split second.

    Bro Frickin’ Bliss. “I thought cupids weren’t heroes” Gabrielle seethed.

    “I guess this one is” Bro Bliss said while standing up and brushing hay off him. The horse brayed a bit in fear, but was otherwise unharmed. The terrified girl just ran away to safety. Bro Bliss looked at Gabrielle. “It looks like you could use a friend right now…” He then looked at Gab’s frazzled demon hair and trampy demon make-up. “A friend, and a make over.”

    “Oh yeah sure, my fate could have been avoided if only I had a sassy gay cupid” Gabrielle said sarcastically.

    “Heh, funny” Bro Bliss said. “See I know there’s still the other Gabrielle in there.”

    “She was weak” Gabrielle said. “She would ask Xena for permission to kill that girl, and then politely obey when Xena told her no….”

    “It’s my job to make sure you don’t kill anybody” Cupid said.

    “Why? What’s in it for you…” Gabrielle said. “What sort of angel manipulated you into doing the work of the Lord?”

    Bro Bliss laughed again. “Ha! Do you think I work for God, that homophobic asshole- the one that says we shouldn’t lie down with man like woman kind? Fuck him and everything he believes” Bro Bliss said. “I’m doing the right thing because well… it’s the right thing to do. You don’t ever need a reason to help people, you help people just because it’s *right.*”

    Gabrielle arched a brow as if to ask ‘oh really.’ Gay men were usually goody goodies, but that was so over the top even for a cupid.

    “Well that and I actually enjoyed hearing what you did to Murdra” he said.

    Gabrielle smiled, as if to say ‘I knew it.’

    Bro Bliss sighed. “I don’t tell many people this… but Murdra bullied me when I was younger. He was one of my instructors at the academy for cupids. Real asshole that guy was. Always mocked the effeminate way I held my bow, and got the other kids to laugh at me too. I HATED that my grandmother was dating him. Then I became even more upset when I heard it through the bow-vine that Murdra’s ultimate destiny was to become some higher warrior of good. I hate the fates and how they choose their warriors. They say it’s right but it just isn’t. Not to me.”

    Gabrielle cared little for Bro Bliss’s poor me story- but his hatred toward Murdra was a bit exciting. “And so what, we tag along and do what exactly?” Gabrielle said. “I want to kill and you want to save. Our goals are too conflicting. And your cupid arrows don’t work on me; they won’t make me go all lovey dovey. Only if you use your offensive ones and… you really don’t think you can take me, do you?”

    Bro Bliss sighed empathically. He wasn’t looking for a fight. At least not with Gabrielle. “You’re just in a lot of pain” Bro Bliss said, in this cute gay boy way that made even the demon in Gabrielle go awww. The Pure One in Gabrielle and Gabrielle’s demon form began fighting and she felt internally conflicted.

    “I’m just here to make sure you continue to kill people who really deserve it” he said. “That girl back there you were about to roast? She didn’t deserve it.”

    “Everybody deserves it” Gabrielle said all cold, matter-of-fact demonic like.

    Bro Bliss sighed. He had a lot to work to do with Gabrielle, he knew that much. “C’mon, let’s just get out of here…” Reluctantly Gabrielle agreed, and the two began traveling together.

    With the good guys being mostly broken up and broken-hearted, Callisto’s Team of Evil was doing quite nicely. Their underground evil lair was also greatly expanding, turning more and more into a real mansion with every passing day. Beautiful décor aligned the walls and everything began to sparkle and shine.

    And perhaps most importantly, Virgil and Alti now had their own private bedroom- way far away from Callisto’s ears. That’s what the two were doing now, no doubt. Fucking like bunnies.

    “You know that faggy feng shui crap is really quite true” Callisto said while admiring a large painting in the dining hall. The Star Stealing Villain looked quite lovely, wearing a narcissistic red evening gown adorned with the world’s most expensive diamonds.

    Velasca looked around at all the fancy. She wasn’t impressed, because she was Amazon- and Amazon’s were taught to be happier with more mundane quarters.
    “What kind of sorcery is this?” Velasca asked with that stern, angry expression on her face that she always has. She had just got back from another ambrosia run, and so she missed their lair turning into a classy mansion. Pretty good run, got a couple of barrels full.

    “Oh no this isn’t magic” Callisto said. “It’s all real… You see, not only are we evil we’re also filthy fucking rich.”

    “But how?” Velasca asked.

    “The Roman Elite” Callisto said. “They know how powerful I am and they don’t want to make me mad. And they have their own goals as well. Sooo all this is just a friendly reminder to stay out of each other’s way because we evil guys are all on the same side, really.” She laughed playfully.

    “This is…” Velasca was annoyed. “..A distraction.”

    “What was that?” Callisto said.

    “I said it was a distraction?”

    Suddenly, Callisto grabbed Velasca’s tongue right from her mouth with lightning quick speed. Callisto was just so much more inherently powerful than Velasca. “I think you mean ‘A distraction, your highness” Callisto said cruelly as she squeezed Velasca’s tongue.

    Velasca tried her best not to burst in her tears. “A distraction… your highness” she said weakly, as she wanted to keep her tongue. “But with all due respect, your majesty- I thought you said we were all equals. That nobody was better than the other.” Maybe Velasca just missed all those preachy amazon rants about equality and feminine love.

    “Oh sweetie that’s just something you say to manipulate people into doing what you want. I’ll always be better and more interesting than you. And don’t you dare forget it…”

    “I could leave any time you know…” Velasca said.

    “And go where? Back to being some boring lesbian mall cop guard inside some dusty old tomb? You know that even as nasty as I am to you, this is as good as you ever had. You are just jealous… jealous of yourself even, of the happiness you yourself could have if you just got rid of that RIDICULOUS constipated expression off your face and joined the party!”

    With that, Callisto danced in the dining room like a deranged Disney princess, twirling around and psychotically singing to herself. Back in Cirra, she never dreamed she would live a life this glorious. Now she was the belle of her own ball and it was amazing.

    “B-but excuse me, your excellence” Velasca said, trying not to roll her eyes- because she still wanted those as well. “I’m simply curious about something. I saw all those things you turned into before. Demon…immortal… angel… Goddess… human. It was all so confusing. I know the five things you can morph into represents your Star abilities, that makes sense. I just want to know, what *are* you exactly.”

    Callisto smiled, and suddenly her eyes flashed a creepy reptilian glare. “Isn’t it obvious?” Callisto said. “I’m the most powerful of fallen angels…” she said. “So I’m going to be Satan.”

    Velasca trembled. She could feel that Callisto was telling the truth, as the earth shook a bit below her feet even though they were already underground. “If you are Satan, then who is God?” she asked.

    “God is dead” Callisto said happily. “Don’t you get it? Things are wonderful. No rules, no barriers. Just chaos. It’s going to get a lot darker from here on out, and I am going to just keep on orgasming as it does.” She smiled a wide teethy smile.

    “You truly can be so certain that God is in fact destroyed?” Velasca said stoically.

    “Gabrielle didn’t realize it- she was so shortsighted, along with the rest of them. Her becoming a demon wasn’t a plan of evil, but of good. It was just all part of a large process… you see, God existed once before but he didn’t have physical form like I do. Gabrielle, along with Murdra and Xena and Aphrodite were prophesied to resurrect the Savior. The second coming of Jesus. The fleshy one that would save all those innocent crybaby brats that I’m happy to see molested, stabbed and tortured.”

    Velasca ‘got it’. “Samael was the test. The challenger. The catalyst… you kill him and God’s entire plan to revive himself fails.”

    “It’s a lot more complicated than that but you basically get it” Callisto said. “With Murdra and Samael both dead there is no way for God to come back on earth. He’s completely destroyed… just little bit of himself in all of us, but no corporeal power to ever introduce any big changes or lead any army. God is even in me…” she thought of the helpless vulnerable little Eve in her and lightly grimaced. “But it’s no matter. It’s way way too weak to do anything. God’s power is simply way too dissipated. He’s for all intents and purposes DEAD. Dead, dead dead dead dead!” Callisto chanted happily.

    Velasca just stared off into space. It was a lot to take in.

    Callisto smiled while sipping some very expensive champagne. “We did it girlfriend. The villains actually won.”


    The same young woman that Bro Bliss saved begun rocking to herself in bed. She was still terrified at… whatever THAT was. She never thought demons could actually be real. It just made you want to go in your home, lock the doors and sleep under warm blankets.

    Finally she was able to do just that- sleep peacefully. She thought of the cute young shirtless man that saved her. Okay, she could have died there- but she didn’t. There was still good in the world, she was sure of it. She not only had faith, but proof. She thought how sexy and noble and heroic he looked. And how brave too. She got a warm pleasant crush, a happy like feeling.

    A few hours later she heard a noise in the middle of the night. It startled her awoke. She began to feel terrified again, but then remembered her father was working late tonight and was just coming home. “It’s just daddy” she said. “I should go say hi. He will probably be mad that I’m up at this hour but..after a day like today, I kind of need somebody to talk to.”

    The girl walked down the stairs. And her jaw dropped at what she saw. A man with curly black hair- holding up the decapitated head of her father. The strange man had his shirt completely off and was wearing leather sex pants. Sickeningly, the man raised the head to his face and begun erotically licking her father’s dead nostrils.

    “Ah… that was fun” the man said, rubbing his crotch. He threw the man’s head against the wall and it splattered open with blood like a watermelon. He then took notice to the girl’s presence just as she became paralyzed with fear. “But not as fun as you will be.”

    “HELP ME!” the girl screamed as loud as she could. Where was that nice man that tackled her from before?

    “They won’t hear you in time.. the forces of good are too… spread out at the moment” the man said gleefully.

    The girl ran and got a broom from the closet. She begun hitting the man. “Ooh” he said, mocking the woman’s feeble strength. “Harder” he said, beginning to play with his nipples.

    The girl thinking quickly, slid under the man’s legs and whacked him as hard as she could in the nuts. This was a bad idea though, as it only made him mad. The man grabbed the broom handle from her, and whacked her hard across the face with it. She went down to the floor, cold and quick and hard. “That’s how you hit somebody with a mop” he said. He was so into this he didn't realize that was a broom, not a mop.

    The girl tried to crawl away on all fours. The man easily tackled her, and he began putting his hand down her pants. He angrily started to scratch at her vagina, and begun fisting her with her own blood. “Shh you know you like it” he said. “But even if you don’t, I’m going to do it anyway.”

    There was no magic any more. No hope or love or sweeping moment. Nothing. Just the silent, eerie certainty of death. She cried and begged. “Stop… please.” Where was her hero?

    The man suddenly grabbed her head and broke her jaw against the floor. A couple of her teeth popped out. “No” he said. She blacked out for awhile.

    He then tied the girl up in her basement. She cried as soon as she awoke, quivering in horrible fear at what was going to happen next. She heard his footsteps rumbling upstairs, and she had no idea what he was up to other than the fact that it was no good at all.

    “Hot tamale!” the sadistic man said as he threw some logs in the fireplace. “This is going to be so fucking awesome” he said, thinking of his delicious plan. His heart thumping in his chest, and the cock in his leather pants stirring.

    When the man walked back downstairs, the girl noticed his hard on. “I’ll have sex with you I’ll do anything you want just please just please don’t….”

    “Don’t kill you?” the man said, laughing at her. “Oh I don’t think so. Come on babe, I am going to drag you by the hair while I jack off.” The man did just that, jerking his dick and flinging spots of precum all over the house while dragging the twelve year old girl by the hair. Fuck, he was so turned on.

    The man was incredibly strong. Almost God-like, but she wasn’t sure. She was so scared now her heart went from beating really fast to staying frozen in time.

    Then the girl saw the fire. Oh god. No. No.

    The man forcefully shoved the girl’s face in the fire, while he anally raped her. “Oh that’s fucking INCREDIBLE” he cried tears of happiness as her face got melted off.

    It was one of the most horrible and painful ways to die. There was no hope or love or glory when she was being flayed. Just pain and complete nothingness. “Fry in hell dirty girl” the man said, spitting lustfully into the fire while he fucked her dying hole.

    As soon as the girl died completely, the man orgasmed into her butthole and then threw the rest of the body in the fire place.

    “And you were so certain your life was going to have a happy ending” he said with a grin on his face.

    But, when he turned back around the girls’ ghost appeared before him. He frowned and tried to reach out and hurt her again- but he couldn’t. His hands just went through her, because: Ghost Now.

    He forgot this was the Xenaverse still- and you know, campy avatars of people after you brutally raped and murdered them could appear at any time. He sighed angrily. “What do you want- leave me alone. You know you can’t stop me from just doing that again anyway.”

    “And I can’t go to heaven where I belong either…” the girl said. “Things are too messy there right now. So I just have to know. W-what are you” she asked, not unlike Velasca asked Callisto what she was. The girl was still terrified of this man even as a ghost. It was a very rare feat that the flesh could scare the spirits, as it was almost always the other way around. But not this time.

    She was expecting some grand declaration that he was the devil himself, or the biggest baddest demon that ever lived. But instead he just said:

    “The name’s Aelius. It was nice to rape and kill you.” He then laughed, walked right through her- causing her so much pain and fear that she instinctively vanished out somewhere else- and he walked out of the girl’s village.

    Aelius had poured gasoline on most everything in Pteleum, on every sleeping person as they slept. They all followed God’s rule to sleep at night- so stupidly boring and so predictable, and the ones that didn’t- he just raped and killed.

    With a smile on his face, Aelius tossed one huge lighted match and the village roared up in flames. About 75 percent of all the villagers died in the fire, while the rest were now homeless.

    A sign that read ‘Welcome to Pteleum’ in ancient greek could be seen before it too burned to the ground.

    “Another village down… 10,735 to go” Aelius whispered under his breath.

    Yes, he was Aelius. The man that scares even ghosts. But as we will also learn, he was a lot more than that.

    ~end of episode~
    Last edited by dead bnd; 10-16-2015 at 03:11 PM.

  20. #20

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    May 2007
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    bump cuz I want this at the top

  21. #21

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default yay we are back after winter break!

    Int: Some creepy looking cave.

    Dark Mabon sighed to himself as he dipped his pen in a black vial of octopus ink that sat on the right side of him. He then moved the pen to the papyrus roll lied out in front of him and begun writing on the ancient parchment. He looked deep in thought as he wrote, which was very characteristic of him.

    “Is it not true that in this life everything has a cost?” the 10-year-old spoke to seemingly nobody in particular. He lied on the ground with his legs crossed indian style wearing a simple but befitting black garment.

    He elegantly stroked his pen to scribble down a rough sketch of a man lying peacefully in bed. “The humble villager rests in his slumber, and indeed- the sleep shall restore his energies. But while resting, he is unable to achieve anything of corporeal merit. That is the cost.”

    Mabon calmly dipped his pen into more ink, and then drew something else. “Or take a Warrior nobly fighting for his people. He is looked up to by others, that is the benefit. Yet the cost is his own precious life. It is downright dangerous to wield a sword. It makes you a target” Mabon said, similar to what Xena warned Gabrielle many years ago.

    Mabon looked deeply into the papyrus roll, as if he could see some hidden essence inside the paper that nobody else could.

    “People go through their entire lives just making all these choices – some seemingly mundane *looks at the sketching of the man in bed* others seemingly more important *looks at the sketching of the valiant warrior* - but regardless of all that, they pay heed to the benefit but not the cost. The price is always there but they are too frightened of the Shadow to see it.”

    Mabon then started to scratch into the papyrus in a wise yet sadistic manner, tearing and ripping it with his pretentiously perfect pen.

    “And the cost always bites them in the ass no matter how much they try to ignore it.” Scratch, scratch, scratch. “And they still try escape - thinking of make believe fantasy worlds like Heaven where all will be made right in the end; where all costs will be glossed over by an all-forgiving and all-powerful God.”

    Scratch, scratch, scratch. “Why do they even exist in this world when everything has a down side they are too cowardly to face.” Scratch, scratch, scratch.

    Mabon eased his grip on the pen and stopped scratching so hard. “But tell me, Dark One- what is the only TRUE way to rid this world of cost?”

    It was then revealed that Mabon wasn’t talking only to himself, but to Aelius as well.

    Aelius stepped out of the shadows and smiled to himself. “By making somebody else pay” he said directly. He then widely grinned while holding up the deformed head of the twelve-year-old shy girl he had recently raped and murdered.


    Xena awoke to the harsh morning sun. She had spent the entire night camped outside, like she often does- but she felt totally and utterly alone in the world. That uncomfortable feeling in the morning when you don’t want to get up but you know you have to pulsated through her bones. Fighting through the pain, she stood up on both feet and slowly began to get dressed. Instinctively rubbing her face, she felt tears on her face. She hadn’t realized she was crying. She often forgot…without Gabrielle reminding her. She had begun numbing herself of emotion to survive, slipping back in old patterns despite her new powers.

    Xena always wanted something better, and that was her problem. Fighting those spirits in the Underworld was really boring sure, but it was consistent- a job she went to every day. And it was her ultimate purpose wasn’t it? Though that itself felt fuzzy… everything felt fuzzy. Xena yawned. She should do some early fishing… can’t forget to eat or anything just because she’s so goddamn depressed.

    Xena’s ultimate goal (besides saving the world and making it better) was to repair her relationship with Gabrielle but how was that even possible? She wasn’t even really attracted to her any more in her current state… and now the grim reality looks like a cure was just not in the works. Her previous ideals of “this was Gabirelle. She would always find a way!” was like a lost distant dream.

    Then Xena thought of what could be her harshest, yet most necessary lesson. Maybe she had to let Gabrielle go. She had to be ready for that. She did it once before… but she secretly knew that she probably would be back. Now it was that feeling of wanting to be annihilated completely and totally, even your memories and identity and how they reflect themselves in other people- just to see what it would be like.

    “Ugh I’m being so grimdark” Xena said as she reeled in a mediocre sized fish. She watched it flop helplessly on the uncaring spring land. She once would laugh at it with glee, but now she felt a lot like that fish. But you know, survival of the fittest. And all that. Taking the sharp end of her chakram, Xena skined the fish and put it in the small pot of the fire that she recently started. Beware the Ides of March… Xena thought philosophically. It had been a shitty month. Spring brings messages of hope and renewal, but she knew that everything that was coming was going to be a bad thing.

    “But I can still do right” Xena said to herself. After finishing her breakfast, Xena burped and then teleported to some unknown location.


    Mabon half-smiled at the Roman, with his signature lopsided grin. “You learn well.” Mabon then whispered “Lasair” the gaelic word for flame, and the entire papyrus roll he had been writing on magically crumbled into ash. He motioned with his eyes for Aelius to pay attention to the dust of the destroyed object.

    “You see, by unleashing the destruction within yourself you become the ultimate winner. The true prize is yourself. The true cost need not be anything of your own, but someone else’s demise.”

    Mabon then stood up and nodded at Aelius for his good job at the annihilation of last night’s village. Though he knew Aelius couldn’t have done it without him, as he put a sleeping spell on the villagers so they couldn’t escape in time. “Here endeth the lesson” Mabon said narcissistically.

    Aelius then thought for a moment. “Wait a minute. That was awesome – all just you said, and I enjoy you guiding me with your dark cleric ways and what not-

    “Druidic. Not cleric” Mabon calmly corrected.

    “Whatever. But my point: Isn’t there actually a price for me just cold-heartedly killing folks. Logically, by murdering them I destroy any chance of friendship or love I could have with them right? Not that I care of course-“ Aelius took a moment to lick the village girl’s dead ear. “Just asking.”

    Mabon half-smiled again, though seeing the ear licking made it to be perhaps a 6/10th smile. “Love is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction’s penny echoed in the dirt tunnels of time…. What is the substance of vulnerability itself the philosopher wonders? The loss accumulates to virtually nothing. Love… is an illusion to manipulate.”

    “I just wonder in the end, I mean you’re cute and molestable and all. I wonder if I won’t just kill you like I’ll kill everybody else.”

    “You won’t kill me” Mabon said matter-of-factly. “Because I am very useful to you” he said. “And you are useful to me… I simply need a dumb idiot savage to preach my wisdom to. Otherwise I’d go crazy. You are the muscle. Let me be the spirit that guides your brutality.” Mabon then bowed down before Aelius.

    “Don’t wanna kill everybody you know. Wanna make a lot my slaves too” Aelius said all simple but purely evil like.

    “I am not your slave” Mabon said. It was then Aelius suddenly lost his temper and punched Mabon but… he couldn’t. It wasn’t like Mabon was incorporeal or anything but there was this weird barrier that just absorbed the blow.

    “Moreover,” Mabon continued calmly, “I am most likely the only one immune to the very essence of your being as I know not only the very origin of your powers, but their intricacies as well. With my dark wisdom I shall guide you on your proper path.”

    “In other words, you can make me smarter but I can’t make YOU stronger” Aelius grinned.

    “Well don’t be too hard on yourself” Mabon said. “You are a selfish asshole.”


    “You want me to do what?” Ares said with a chuckle.

    “You heard me” Xena said huskily. “You helped me before with the teleportation thing. I’m not for all this fancy mojo stuff. I’m a grit and spit kinda gal.”

    Ares licked his lips suggestively. “It is what I love the most about you” he said.

    “Back on topic” Xena said matter of factly.

    “It’s just well… resurrection spells you know, they are iffy. You can’t make death feel cheated or pointless. Throws the cosmic balance all out of scale.”

    Xena felt a bit of guilt about that, like ‘why am I even back then’ but she knew what Ares meant. “Trust me, this isn’t for personal gain. No romantic attachment whatsoever to this person….” she said. Wanting to add a big BELIEVE ME to that statement.

    “And it’s just well…” Ares looked at Xena smugly. “You are still a new fresh God. I don’t think you are ready for revival spells quite yet sweetie” the God of War said arrogantly.

    Xena rushed really fast to Ares and grabbed him by the throat. “Listen here you smarmy little cocksucker: just teach me how to do it…”

    “What’s there to teach? Your willpower is the effect; they are one in the same. You’re a God Xena. You can make it happen. Just you know… be careful what you wish for. And all actions have unintended consequences but you already know that” Ares throat and tongue kind of meshed together too much when he talked.

    “Well I have to think about the person to teleport to them- but the problem is the person doesn’t really exist any more, like I know she died because I died myself and she died in some weird dimension that-“ Xena stopped herself. She was saying too much.

    Ares then proceeded to just laugh in Xena’s face as he quickly realized what Xena was up to. “Mavican! Seriously? You want to revive Mavican. That dumb ol’ broad eh.” Ares sniffed. “Here’s a little poem I wrote about Mavican: The dumb blonde gave some really good head … but everybody knows she’s better off dead!”

    Xena just stood there in front of the God of War, looking totally unimpressed. “Ares, contrary to what people think about most women- I really don’t like it when you are an insensitive prick. Now, if you don’t conjure that portal to Mavican’s remains you will never, ever get to sleep with me or become my boyfriend or actualize whatever sick idea in your twisted head that you are planning- it will never ever come true.”

    Xena felt a little guilty about manipulating Ares with his genuine romantic feelings for her- but you know. Not that guilty.

    “Portal conjuring. Right. Another God power your female mind is just too fragile and sensitive to learn.” Ares wasn’t about to let that last jibe slip away, before he took his fist and made the swirly blue portal.

    Xena just shook her head at Ares, and leaped through the portal.

    Xena looked around at her surroundings. Same death stench in the air. Some lonely jungly atmosphere. Yeah, this was the place all right.

    It wasn’t long before Xena saw Mavican’s bones. She had starved to death here… managed to climb up out of the well but she was dead. Inevitably, hopelessly dead. What a horrible way to go Xena thought. And she knew fifteen years ago she already gave Mavican more than one chance - and Mavican just wouldn’t take any of them, but it just wasn’t right- how she trapped her in this place, how she let Ares get away with this. He just used her for sex and discarded her like she was nothing. Perhaps this was too overly sentimental, but Xena said, “well Mavican… you are something to me” and then held out her hands. Sparkly magic began enamating out of her fingertips.

    Xena wasn’t a spellcaster type at all, though she knew God powers were different than sorcery. Still it was… magic-y and she felt weird doing this, but she knew her heart and intent was pure and this was fixing a moral mistake. The Gods would allow her. It wouldn’t throw the Universe too off balance. Not in a way she couldn’t handle right. Hopefully.

    Presto, change-o… after a couple minutes of sparkly resurrection magic, Mavican was on her feet again, in badly dressed leopard attire.

    “Xena!” Mavican spewed angrily. “You helped kill me. And now you are dumb enough to revive me? You are so gonna die for this bitch!” Her fake boobs jiggled as she talked. Mavican then rushed forward and tried to attack Xena. How in Tartarus did she revive so easily equipped with two sais? But Xena didn’t care so much. Instead, the Earth Goddess easily backhanded Mavican out of the way.

    “Uhm… I’m sure I wasn’t the one being stupid” Xena said. Okay that was mean, but Mavican really needed some brains here.

    “You’re stronger…” Mavican said. “Too strong. There’s no way I could take you in a fight…” she said sadly.

    “Now man, that is like the smartest thing I ever heard you say. And no you couldn’t take me. Not then. Not now. Not ever” Xena said.

    Mavican put her head down.

    “But you didn’t deserve to go out like that. You were just a scared young woman… lost and confused about your place in a world. But now I give you what most people only dream of: A second chance at life. So the question is, what are you going to do with it?”

    “Well I can’t kill you but there’s always that bitch Gabrielle. She’s still around right?”

    “Doubt you’re a match for her either” Xena said smugly.

    “Well then I’ll just find one friend that is both weak enough and one you care about enough and then you can watch me gut him or her in front of you. How’s that for revenge cupcake?” Mavican said angrily.

    Xena sighed. Redemption was going to be a slow and grueling process. “You are better trapped here for now… where you can’t hurt anybody. You will settle down in time. There’s wild game on the island you can hunt for food, and enough fresh water to live on.” Xena waved her hands and made the boulders that previously trapped Mavican in the cave disappear, so she was free to roam the rest of the dimension. “I’ll check on you in awhile. Okay?”

    As Xena teleported out, at the last second when she had her guard down- Mavican piggybacked onto the teleport and was back in the real world with Xena.

    “I’m free to get my revenge and teach other people of the wrath known as Mavican! Thanks dumbass.” Mavican blew a kiss and started to run in the opposite direction.

    Xena was a little startled at Mavican appearing before her- but it wasn’t totally unexpected. “And if you want to stop me you have to kill me again but- you’re too much of a softie for that now aren’t you?” Mavican laughed in Xena’s face, and then continued to run away.

    Xena waved her hand and tried to teleport Mavican back to Jungle Portal Land- but she couldn’t. She hadn’t quite learned how to use her God like powers like that. Or maybe she couldn’t use them like that? She instead tried to TK push Mavican down in a more Ares-like way - but it was too late. She was already gone out into the wild. Damn too many powers Xena thought. I should have just threw my chakram or something…

    Ares uncovered himself out of stealth mode and smiled. “Oh I was always watching the entire thing from the Shadows. Very nice Xena. Your moral guilt unleashed another psychopathic blonde onto the already cold and cruel world. Not as interesting or evil or as powerful as Callisto but still…” Ares made a bitchy tsk tsk sound.

    “She deserves another chance to do the right thing. Just like I was given” Xena said.

    “Yeah you already tried to help her before if I remember correctly.” Ares then mocked Xena’s own voice, way back when fifteen odd years ago. “Let’s work together to stop Ares!”

    Xena held onto her firm composure despite Ares’ trolling. “That was after you emotionally abused her… you took advantage of a weak woman and dangled promises of glory you knew she would never attain. You destroyed her, Ares. And I helped you do it…”

    “Yeah she was a dumb naïve bitch. Hungry for love and got hurt instead. We both know in reality that’s how the game is always played. So don’t hate the playa” Ares said.

    “Dumb naïve bitch yes. But now thanks to me, she’s an alive dumb naïve bitch- who isn’t part of your cruel games any longer.”

    “What makes you think I won’t fuck with her now all over again?” Ares said smugly.

    “Because you want me” Xena said with a wide grin on her face. “And you know if you do that… you don’t get to have me…” Xena took a moment to play with her breasts. Then while Ares was mesmerized by said breasts, she headbutted him as hard as she could in the face.

    “I know bringing Mavican back won’t be easy” Xena said to Ares, now flat on his back with a bloody nose. "Nothing worth doing is…” Xena said. “But it was the right thing to do, and I am glad I did it.”


    “I was inside her….” Gabrielle seethed angrily to Bro Bliss. She looked around. They were in Athens again, at that theater with the Beta male Bards. All those boys Gabrielle gave condescending advice to instead of just ripping their heads off with her talons.

    “Who?” Bro Bliss said. He had wondered why she seemed comatose back then for a few minutes.

    “Who else! Xena, dumbass! That dimension that Mavican died in… the one where we shared a body for a few days. She went back to it. But I was there, part of the night shift and it was day so Xena was in control but I was there again. In Xena’s body…. I felt her.” She had a disgusted look on her face.

    “Yeah so? You two are well known lesbian lovers. It’s no big deal. Gay man here hello! Like I’m gonna judge or care…”

    “You don’t understand you simple little boy…” Gabrielle said. “I was inside her and for the first time in my life- I realized how much I don’t want to be there. Quite the opposite. I want any potentiality to be ‘inside there’ to be completely eradicated!” Gabrielle unleashed her sickly demonic tongue out for what felt like all of Greece to see. “I tire of picking on small fries like this. It’s Xena I want to kill; it’s Xena I need to kill.”

    “You’re just saying that because you’re a demon now” Bro Bliss said. “I’m um trying to help you with that.”

    Gabrielle unleashed demonic wings that had a reddish pink and veiny neon glow to them. She then breathed fire and the beta male bard boys all began running in fear. The God blood she had drunk from Aphrodite gave Gabrielle a sick idea. “Xena is a Warrior and a God. But how could a Demon and God fare against the Warrior Princesss, one wonders?”

    “You did take a good bite out of grams” Bro Bliss said. “Heavens knows she’ll be whining to me for weeks about it. But that doesn’t make you a God… just an enhanced demon” he said.

    “I know that” Gabrielle said. “That’s why I need to become the real thing. Ambrosia… the Tomb of Trials. I know of it but don’t know where it is, exactly or specifically. Take me to it. Help me and become my pet slave, you little fagot” Gabrielle laughed and hissed as she tugged at Bliss’ collar.

    “Hey! I reject being called ‘little fagot’ except maybe to that cute hunk over there…” Bro Bliss said and pointed to a particularly virlie Bard. Whose shirt was singed via Gabrielle’s demonic fire. “What is this, turning me into some sick stereotype- some sidekick to your straight girl.”

    “You do a good enough job of that on your own. I mean come on now… getting me to kill bullies in grade school that hurt your widdle feelings. I need to go after big dogs, small fry. Little fagot small fry. Haha that shall be my name for you.”

    The longer time marched on, the more humanity Gabrielle lost. This much, was obvious.

    “Or put it this way. If you don’t show me where the Tomb of Trials are- I will bite your head off and eat it right now. Crunch crunch crunch little fagget…” She wasn’t kidding.

    “Take my hand” Bro Bliss said solemnly.

    But Bro Bliss was a lot cleverer than he let on. Using one of his father’s pink potions, he also cloned himself at the same time he was helping Gabrielle. And his cloned self teleported to Xena. “Xena! Wake up” the cupid said.

    “Unghhh save the world.. mavican…callisto…how to do it grumble grumble.” Xena shot herself awoke. “WHAT??! ULYSSES?” No, it was Bro Bliss. And she wasn’t dreaming.

    “It’s Gabrielle. She’s a demon now as you already know, but she wants to become something more than that. She wants to become half demon and half God with enough power hopefully to kill you.”

    “Kill me… she wants to kill me” Xena said grimly.

    “And the rest of the world with you. I don’t know, she’s pretty out of control with the PMS fire breath thing. I wanted to help the bitch but I gotta say- do everybody a favor and kick her ass okay. I know you care about her but umm…”

    “Don’t worry” Xena said. “She wants a fight and she’ll get one.” Getting her game face on, Xena thought of the tiny shred of humanity that was still left in Gabrielle, and teleported back to the Tomb of Trials.
    Last edited by dead bnd; 03-24-2016 at 03:43 PM.

  22. #22

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    May 2007
    229 Post(s)
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    ...Xena felt her stomach in her throat as she looked up at Gabrielle, who was now a twelve-foot-tall snake demon Goddess. She thought of what a sucky destiny this was, to be brought back and to not make love with her soul mate, but to instead fight her to death in battle.

    “Is thisss the part where you try to ‘get through to me’ the Snake said gleefully, mocking Xena’s compassion, her heroism, and everything she worked hard to become the last twenty something years.

    “Yeah” Xena said, and then immediately stabbed the snake with her sword. “Just not in the way you’re thinking.” Snake Demon-Goddess Gabrielle hissed out in pain. Xena threw her chakram upward towards the beast, but it didn’t have much effect, and so she caught it back and returned it to its holster.

    Bro Bliss studied the fight, hiding his six foot six frame behind a bush. He wanted to do something. He was tired of hiding from the danger like well, a little ******. So he withdrew his bow and shot an arrow of love at the snake’s body.

    Of course, due to the size and power of Gabrielle now, she didn’t even know it was there. Xena however noticed the teenager shoot the bow.

    “Take cover!” Xena warned. “Let me handle this.”

    “You protect these shy little fagetssss too muchhh” Gabrielle said. “Always think you can ssssave them when---“

    Gabrielle, using her new ‘Water God’ powers (whereas Xena had earth, Gabrielle had Water) pushed Xena back with a torrent of water.

    With Xena distracted by the gust of water, Gabrielle tail whipped Bro Bliss so hard that he flew backwards and hit his head on a tree.

    “---You cannot” Gabrielle finished coldly. Xena watched Bro Bliss’ body fly helplessly in the air in between blinks of running water.

    Gabrielle coiled herself downwards and sniffed Bro Bliss’ body. He was still alive! He should have been dead… but obviously, the good sweet little Gabrielle was still down in there somewhere, and stopped the tail whip attack from being .0000000001% more viscous than it should have been.

    “But not for long…” Gabrielle’s huge snake mouth pried open, and she proceeded to eat the poor angelic homosexual.


    Callisto took a deep breath as she stood atop a balcony, their ‘Evil Underground Lair’ now a full fledged castle. Instead of a red dress this time, she was wearing all black. She looked out at all the lands- her vision much better than 20/20. It was in fact supernaturally and indescribably good. It was like she could almost see half of Greece. Callisto had the combined powers of an Immortal, an Angel, a God, a Demon, an Angry yet Vulnerable Human and soon- she hoped to have the power of Satan.

    Being so physical and bloodthirsty, being so simply evil - it sharpened Callisto’s senses and she saw everything in the precise hue it was supposed to be in. Being ‘good’ was so fuzzy… and being bad was so clear. She could see people’s fates, how easily and likely they were to be killed… she even saw timelines rolling along by.

    But something felt missing…. Callisto paused for a moment and felt her powers drain inward back into herself. She gasped for air and shook her head like a dog. She was on the precipice of something incredible but was not fully drowned in it yet.

    “You’re not the Beast quite yet now, are you dear?” Alti sinisterly smiled while petting her raven. Who knows how long she’d been watching. Probably the entire time.

    “No but I’m getting close. Lucifer thinks he can hide from me but he can’t hide forever. ..And I don’t think I remember giving you permission to stand there.” Callisto hadn’t turned around to face Alti yet.

    Alti waved her finger in a tsk tsk motion. “That little bossy bitch act will work on Velasca and Virgil but not me- for I am a being many years your senior. And let me tell you… the reason you fail, the true reason?”

    Callisto spun around and looked Aliti dead in the eye. “Look, stop trying to get in my head and play Hannibal just because you’re bored of your sex kitten Virgil” Callisto said. Her face had the features of a pissed yet vulnerable teenager.

    “It’s because of that, precisely that” Alti said.


    “Evil isn’t cute” Alti said raspily. “It’s serious and dangerous and masculine, not excitable and campy and feminine.”

    Getting pissed off at Alti, but maybe realizing that she was right- Callisto suddenly reached out her left hand – and begun squeezing the shaman’s throat as hard as she could. Alti’s pet raven flew away to safety. “I’ll show you evil you fucking bitch!” Callisto said with her eyes nearly bulging out of her head.

    Callisto dropped Alti’s body and looked down at her hands, smiling at herself and what she had done.

    Spirit Alti looked down at her deceased body. Both figuratively and literally ‘looked down.’ “Living my life as that woman made me realize how much I never want to have a body again. So thank you. You did exactly what I wanted you to do.”

    Virgil ran up the long staircase of the castle, to meet Callisto on the balcony. “Your Highness, I got some intel on-“ he gasped as he saw Alti’s dead body on the floor and Callisto standing over her, clearly the guilty person.

    “MY love , no!” Virgil began crying.

    Virgil could not see Alti’s new misty spirit form, but Callisto could- and she saw Alti smile with sadistic glee at the pain she had caused Virgil. His heaviness made her float even more.

    ‘Thanks for reminding me of who I am, I kill people’s lovers in front of them.’
    Callisto and Alti could now send telepathic messages to each other.

    ‘And thank you for freeing me of the confines of a body… I can do more work this way’
    Alti said. “Torment people’s minds in that subtle deceptive way, and they can never retaliate in any physical, meaningful way. Like that bitch Xena likes to do. Ha ha ha!’

    ‘Why the laugh. I thought you said evil was all serious.’

    ‘What can I say. We’re like sisters now, rubbing off on each other. You made me less boring and I made you more serious.’

    Virgil looked at Callisto as if she were in a trance, not realizing that she was having a mental conversation with his deceased lover. He wiped away the tears from his cheeks and found the courage to speak again.

    “Y-you wanted us to work together, but now we’re falling apart!” Virgil stood up and faced Callisto, though she was clearly stronger. “I hate you now, because of what you did to my Alti! And Alti…s-she has her own goals.” He wasn’t quite ready to say ‘she was a selfish bitch who never really cared about me’ but it was a start. “And Velasca, she doesn’t trust you any more and it’s doubtful that she ever did. What do you have to say?”

    Callisto just shrugged while playing with her hair. “I guess I never needed any of you. You were mere pawns.”

    Alti whispered something in Callisto’s ear and then Callisto nodded.

    “Pawns? But for what?” Virgil asked.

    “For this.” Callisto waved out her hands and knocked Virgil unconscious.

    She then teleported to Velasca, who was taking a bubble bath - and knocked her out as well.

    Callisto, with Alti’s help- temporarily forged Virgil and Velasca’s bodies into sort of ‘seasonal soul spheres.’ ‘These two shall represent the weaker, shorter seasons. Velasca as autumn and Virgil as winter.’ Callisto then left the castle and began walking through a nearby village.

    Minya noticed Callisto and frowned. Just what was she up to anyway with those thingies floating around her? “I need to warn Xena” she said. Minya then whistled and a horse came galloping. She clumsily and awkwardly but eventually got on top of it and begun riding off in the sunset.

    Callisto continued to talk seemingly to herself, as a bunch of villagers began approaching her and bowing down before her. Callisto’s powers kept growing and growing, and she was now beginning to have a type of mind control over humans just by being near them. She slowly walked through the village, with Velasca orbiting around her right hand and Virgil her left. Some of the townsfolk stopped to worship Callisto, while the others ran away screaming.

    “Hail Callisto!” a tattooed hunk said while drooling over her sexy pre-Satanic form. Callisto looked into his eyes, and she saw that his fate was a pedophile who never got caught. This made her smile. She looked at the fate of all these villagers- the good and noble were to be doomed and the nasty and unkind were to be rewarded. This made her smile even more.

    ‘I will be spring- and you Alti, being the truly most powerful one amongst us like you proved- shall be summer. The longest, hottest and most draining. The sun of All. The very heart in which Satan’s true fire power comes from.’

    Callisto morphed herself into the embodiment of Spring- in the middle of a summery spirit Alti. With the weaker yet still vital Velasca and Virgil playing the supporting roles of Autumn and Winter.

    The four season ball of energy, representing the cyclical nature of earth, the tilt of earth’s axis - the reminder of how Evil Will Always Be Here then super sped through the forest, zig zagging its way through a complicated maze of branch and shrubby.

    Until the magic ball finally came to a lonely, soft spot in the grass. And barraged its way underground.

    After the ball collapsed on the ground under the ground; Callisto, Virgil and Velasca all separated from each other. Virgil was completely knocked out, Velasca conscious but badly injured- and Callisto standing firm on two feet. Still strong, but more aware of her limitations compared to Alti. Callisto looked over at incorporeal spirit Alti with a new found seriousness and respect.

    And Alti without a body felt freer than ever. She would, in many generations later- be the catalyzing force behind the phenomenon known as global warming.

    Lucifer heard the commotion and ran towards the noise. “What the- Callisto.” He gulped. “You come here to challenge me?” He was in his 1980s’ ‘bad gay porn actor’ appearance and not his generically bad demon appearance. But being the ultimate Adversary, he could change his costume into anything he wanted. Or anything somebody else wanted.

    “Well… duh.” She flashed him her signature evil smile. And promptly threw out the first lightning bolt- channeling its power from Velasca’s wounded body.


    Of course in the nick of time, Xena escaped from the watery prison and conjured a wave of earth over Bro Bliss’ body. The huge snake bit into chunks of hard earth instead.

    “Hiya!” while distracted, Xena threw a rope at the beast and pulled herself toward the snake.

    “I was a good person before I met you” Xena started speechifying while riding the top of Gabrielle’s snake-head like it was a bull. “You were the first person to show me love, but not the first person to show me goodness. That was always Hercules. I kill you now… and don’t think I won’t eventually be able to sleep soundly at night” Xena said somberly. She had her sword pointed toward the Snake beast’s face.

    Internally, Xena hit a soft soft in Gabrielle as she knew she was right.

    The more or less ‘real’ Gabrielle was inside of the snake, feeling all weak and introspective. There was nothing around her but blackness, although a small light shone on the silhouette of Gabrielle's body as she contemplated deeply.

    Jealousy. It had always been jealousy, from the moment Gabrielle saw Xena.

    That jealousy felt like ‘love’ sometimes. And heated passion. And sex. Even hatred. She took a moment to think of Hope and shuddered. She had forged the jealousy into different stuff many times over the years, but it all came back around to jealousy.
    Gabrielle wanted to be Xena. She never met anybody like her. Whereas most women acted like these stupid naive childish babies around men… Xena challenged them. Stood toe to toe with them. And usually, she won.

    And Gabrielle, well. Gabrielle felt different from the girls in Potidaea but was she really all that different? She desired to be, but that didn’t mean she actually was….

    Xena got to be the warrior first, the hero first- and she got to be a God first. Gabrielle was still in Xena’s shadow- she didn’t revive Xena solely out of feelings of ‘love’ for benevolence… but of selfishness. She needed Xena around to hate her.

    Hate her enough to kill her and be the one that takes her place. Not by another’s hands, but hers- or it wouldn’t be worth it. But isn’t that stupid? How can you take somebody else’s place- really? Even if you win, others know the truth. She could almost hear Samael rubbing that in her face from beyond the grave.

    Gabrielle had to be Xena, but she couldn’t be Xena- and so being a demon was easier. Easier than just being herself. Because who was Gabrielle anyway? She was somebody that she wanted a snake to eat. Awkward, human, normal, disgusting - with all that undefined and unexecutable potential like a shoddy goyim.

    But hey, Gabrielle knew one thing: She didn’t want to die, and if Xena stabbed that sword in the snake’s brain that’s exactly what would happen.

    And she would do it, too. Gabrielle knew Xena better than anyone.

    Because as much as Xena loves Gabrielle, Xena would choose the world over her.

    Because that’s what Heroes do. That’s what the ‘good guys do.’ They sacrifice what they love the most, in order to selflessly save the world.

    Gabrielle fought the inner demon in herself, letting the ‘God’ part take over, or maybe she learned how to integrate all three aspects within herself in order to save her own life – but whatever it was, she stopped being a snake- and she shrunk back down to regular non-demon but still a goddess just a kinda sad one, Gabrielle.

    Xena made a funny, campy expression as she descended back down from atop a continuously shrinking Gabrielle. She hiyaed, flipped herself off Gab’s shoulders and put her sword away. She then turned around to face Gab. “I’m so glad I didn’t have to do that” Xena said to Gabrielle affectionately.

    Gabrielle just kind of gave a half-crooked smile.

    “Now open your mouth and say ‘ah’” Xena said.

    Gabrielle obeyed, showing that she had her normal human tongue back. No tail. No demonic urges of raaaangggh… well, they were still there, but more of the more complicated and human variety ones. She was beginning to have control over her demon form.

    Gabrielle didn’t have to say much, Xena already had an idea of what was going on inside of the bard. “Lots of people don’t know who they are meant to be yet” Xena said to Gabrielle. “I hope you find your way.”

    Gabrielle put her head down. She wasn’t ready to travel again with Xena yet, but she didn’t want to kill her anymore either. She then noticed Bro Bliss lying there unconscious. “Did I…..?”

    “He’s going to be alright” Xena said.

    Bro Bliss woke up. He was alive, but felt decidedly different. He patted his body up and down. “I… I’m no longer a cupid!” he said.

    Xena frowned. Well, maybe not that alright. “You whacked him pretty hard as a Snake. The force must have knocked the cupid right out of him. Made him a regular mortal again.”

    Bro Bliss quickly realized that he couldn’t sprout magic wings and fly, couldn’t shoot magic arrows of love or teleport or any of that flashy stuff. He was just… he was just a normal boy.

    Like what I don’t want to be
    Gabrielle thought to herself. She forced herself to look in Bro Bliss’ eyes. She related to the ex-cupid much more than she wanted to.

    “Oh right- you’re going to say sorry now I suppose. Do you think I want to be this way? You weakened me beyond repair. You’re going to.. you’re going to pay for this.” Bro Bliss’ normal happy go lucky gay bounce was transformed into a more serious and jaded character.

    Gabrielle felt guilty, but stopped herself from feeling too much guilt. She was… numb.

    Bro Bliss tried to teleport away- then remembered hey, he couldn’t do that anymore. So he then ran away into the forest.

    “He’s gonna get himself killed in that forest, we have to send him back home safely” Xena said with a sigh.

    Callisto was clearly getting the upper hand in this fight, evading all of Lucifer’s blows while setting him into a tizzy with an array of lightning, fire and shadow/holy bolt spells.

    Lucifer looked at Callisto with a bloody nose. “It doesn’t matter. Even if you beat me, you’ll never truly be Satan. Because this isn’t about power. It’s about perception.”

    “Oh yeah? Watch me” Callisto said. She conjured up a five-star ball of energy and levitated Lucifer’s body with it, and then smashed him against the wall. “I was looking for you while you were trying to run away. But I finally found you, thanks to Alti Walti.” Callisto made a sound halfway between a laugh and a snort. “A devil that has to hide? When the world is already so dark…you are pathetic-ness personified.”

    Lucifer coughed up some blood. “Exposure makes you vulnerable. Satan needs to be down here, influencing from behind the scenes. You show anything to anybody long enough and they’ll just get used to it” Lucifer said. “I once thought my place was up there like you do now, but I was wrong. You too shall see the error of your ways.”

    “And you shall see your intestines on the outside of your body.” Callisto began telekinetically ripping Lucifer’s body in half.

    Lucifer screamed out in agony, with such force that it caused a few earthquakes on earth.

    “R-remember Callisto. Evil isn’t cute.” This was Lucifer’s last words before Callisto ripped him in half. Lucifer’s satanic energies then evaporated out of himself and into Callisto. She wasn’t much for sex but it felt a lot like what she heard an orgasm feels like.


    While Xena and Gabrielle were chasing Bro Bliss through the forest, they felt one of the earthquakes from the Callisto/Lucifer battle. Xena had a feeling what it was from- though she didn’t want to believe it. “Looks like Hell is getting a new ruler, and I bet you five dinars you know who….”

    “Callisto” Gabrielle said despondently.

    The earthquake made both Gabrielle and Bliss trip- but Xena, being an Earth goddess herself- was resistant to the quake tripping her. This gave her enough time to reach Bliss and tackle him against the ground.

    Bliss stood up and raised his hands, signifying surrender. It didn’t matter much though, as he was already close to home. “Guess it’s stupid to go against a lesbian warrior goddess and her goddess sidekick bitch huh. What chance do I have.”

    Xena just smiled sympathetically at Bro Bliss, not knowing what to say. Gabrielle finally caught up to them.

    “It’s just I don’t know how to face my family in there” Bro Bliss said, pointing to his humble home in the woods. “I’m not really one of them any more, you know?”

    Xena found the right thing to say: “They accepted that you were gay, Bliss. I’m sure they can handle you simply being human.” She smiled lovingly at him.

    “Aphrodite…” Gabrielle said. “Your grandmother won’t take it lightly that I took away your Cupid-ness.”

    “She won’t know…” Bro Bliss said.

    Xena and Gabrielle just glared at Bliss, encouraging him to explain further.

    He sighed. “She’s a goddess right… Goddess of love. But love is blind and love can be manipulated. That means her omniscience isn’t always omniscient. Because I know... I know that she loves me.” Bliss said. “I’ll tell her… I’ll tell her I gave it up myself. You know to stop you from being a demon forever. Which is kinda what happened anyway.” He smiled at Gabrielle, trying to forgive her- but still kind of secretly hating her guts.

    “Yeah…” Gabrielle said, feeling a complicated mix of emotions. She looked at Xena, not knowing what to say. She should have never tried to replace her when she died.

    After Bro Bliss went back to his Cupid Family, Ares suddenly appeared and put his arm around both women.

    “Now that we’re all Gods, how about a little ménage à trois?” the God of War said.

    Xena and Gabrielle both punched Ares in the nose at the same time. They then looked at each other.

    Maybe they were ready to slowly make up, after all.
    Last edited by dead bnd; 07-30-2016 at 09:35 PM.

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