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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2
|CHAPTER #42 ----- SKEPTICAL||
H = 32 & 33 , X = 19
"I don't believe you," Gabrielle said, narrowing her eyes.
Danaka smirked. "Believe it," she laughed.
"I'll go look for her!" Gabrielle yelled to the warlord.
"Go ahead! Ha! Good luck!" Danaka said sarcastically.
Gabrielle ignored the woman and used her staff to walk through the woods.
"I didn't believe that you were Callisto, anyway!" Danaka's yell echoed. Gabrielle crossed creeks and fallen trees, looking for Xena. Unsuccessfully, she set up a small fire to last the rest of the night. She planned to get going very early the next day.
She got no sleep that night. Looking for Xena all day was giving her nightmares, and she kept imagining finding Xena dead somewhere in the middle of the forest.
At dawn the next day, she kept looking for the warrior, turning up with her best friend's whip. Really beginning to panic, Gabrielle raced through the woods until she heard a cheer, or a chant of some kind. She pressed herself against a tree so that she could see an opening in the forest, but she couldn't be seen.
There was a pole, and the pole had a body tied to it - Xena's body. Gabrielle wanted to run out right there and save her friend, but she didn't know who captured Xena in the first place. Whoever did had to be very good at fighting.
The bard's question was answered when the kidnappers showed themselves. They came out, dancing happily, almost like a victory dance. Gabrielle got a sinking feeling when she realized who it was. The Horde.
Waiting a few hours for the Horde to leave, Gabrielle thought of the many ways she could free Xena. Xena looked tired, thirsty, and looked like she had lost a lot of weight. She was badly cut up, her armor full of blood. Gabrielle wanted to run out and help her best friend. Her eyes welled up with tears.
The Horde left, probably to hunt or kill people.
Gabrielle waited a few more minutes and then ran over to Xena.
"Gab... Gabrielle... get out of here... it's not... it's not safe..." Xena croaked, the gag taken off her mouth by the girl.
"Come on, Xena, let's get out of here," Gabrielle said quietly. Untying Xena took all of fifteen minutes, and when she was dragging Xena back to the woods, a twig cracked in the distance.
Gabrielle knew that the Horde was back.
Xena used Gabrielle as a crutch, hurrying to leave the opening of the woods. There was a grunt towards the left of Gabrielle. Then a grunt towards the right. Gabrielle raced to Argo out of the woods, taking a shortcut off in the distance.
There was a shriek and a thud. Gabrielle didn't turn back. With Xena still at her side, Gabrielle gently nudged Xena up on Argo and kicked Argo to move. Gabrielle was tossed off, and Argo kept going. Turning back to the sound coming from the interior of the woods, Gabrielle saw an amazing site. Right in front of her, Danaka's body was thrown at her feet. The sounds stopped, and Gabrielle just stared. She knelt at the warrior's feet.
"I... tried to look for you... I know you're Callisto... I didn't want you... to die," with those last words, Danaka collapsed permanently, falling limp in Gabrielle's arms.
Gabrielle was speechless, and surprised herself by holding Danaka's hands. Before she knew it, she was dragging Danaka's sliced up body out of the woods.
"I'm glad you did what you did with Danaka," Xena said quietly as they stood near the newly dug grave for Danaka. There laid the grave and headstone to the naive warrior.
Gabrielle watched on sadly as they put the last of the flowers on the girl's grave.
"She saved my life, Xena," Gabrielle pointed out. Xena nodded.
"You saved me," Xena thanked her best friend. Gabrielle handed Xena her whip and sword. They exchanged sad smiles.
Gabrielle smiled at the thought that she was the hero for the day. That she had helped Xena.
Xena sung the burial song for the warlord as she put her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder.
"The Horde will be back, Xena," Gabrielle said quietly after the song was finished.
"I know, I know," Xena muttered. They sighed and moved away from the grave.