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Missing: Have You Seen Me?

A Hercules-Xena Crossover with Surprise Guests from Previous Episodes ... Depending on Whether or Not You Choose the Path that Will Lead to a "Happy Ending" ...

by Allison

©1997 Allison. All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent.

Chapter 22: The Trip to Amphipolis

(Herc Soundtrack 15, then 16, then 17, then 26, or Xena Soundtrack 26, then 25, then 26, then 27, then 5)

{Author's Note: This chapter is a long one. If you are listening to the Xena Soundtrack, read this slowly so that all songs can fit in (hopefully) at the right place.}

The wagon arrived within three hours, and Xena helped Hercules outside when the girl called to them.

As they came to the back of the wagon, they heard a familiar voice.

"Hercules! Xena!" Hercules and Xena turned around to see a gaudy-looking, short man with gray hair and a gray beard.

"Salmoneus!" Hercules said, truly surprised, and now really dreading the long trip.

"Where's the wagon driver?" Xena asked after exchanging hellos.

"Right here!" Salmoneus spread out his arms.

"Oh," Xena and Hercules looking at each other and forced smiles.

"The money is much more stable. My brother-in-law got the job for me!" Salmoneus announced.

"You still trust him?" Hercules asked. There had been many occasions where this brother-in-law was more money-hungry than Salmoneus was.

And that was hard to beat.

"This really is a great job! You get to get out of a typical sit-down job deal, make a lot of money, meet new people, make a lot of money, and did I mention making a lot of money?" Salmoneus laughed at his own joke.

"Salmoneus, do you know where that healer is, Nicklio?" Xena asked.

"Yeah, my sister had to be brought there once. Nice guy. Doesn't even charge you!" Salmoneus said.

"Uh ... yeah. Anyway, I want you to bring Hercules there," Xena explained the rest of the story to Salmoneus.

"Oh, geez, sure, whatever you say. So just mention your name to him, Xena?" Salmoneus asked, truly worried about Hercules.

"Yeah, he'll take him in," Xena said, looking at Hercules.

They exchanged good-byes and went their separate ways.

Xena went back inside, thanked the girl for use of her food and shelter, and left with Argo, going straight to Hercules' mother's house.

When she got to the house, she knocked on the sturdy wooden door.

A man with dark hair and darks eyes answered the door. He had bags under his eyes and looked extremely worried.

"Uhh ... sorry, but I think I have the wrong house," Xena started to walk away.

"No! Wait! Who are you looking for?" the man asked.

"I was looking for Hercules' brother, Iphicles."

"He went to free Echidna. Do you know where Hercules is? Now he's missing along with his mother."

Xena looked at her feet. "Uhh ... can I come in and explain it to you?"

"Sure," the man said slowly. "And you are?"

"My name is Xena."

The man took a step backwards to let Xena in.

"I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name," she said.

"I'm Jason, Alcmene's husband."

"Oh, Hercules has told me about you. You're an Argonaut?"


Once sitting, Xena explained everything from Gabrielle missing to Hercules going to Nicklio.

"Oh, no! How am I to be sure you're Xena?" he stopped suddenly. "I'm sorry ... just the shock ..." Xena noticed he was shaking.

"That's all right," Xena said quietly, still feeling guilty.

"I'm going out to look for them," Jason stood up, barely balancing himself.

"No! Stay here, I don't want another person to be missing. I'll find Alcmene. Trust me, Hercules is fine with Nicklio."

"All right," he sat back down, easily convinced.

"Now ... where did Alcmene tell you she was going?" Xena asked.

"I just woke up one morning and she was gone. She didn't leave word at all where she was going."

"How long has she been gone?"

"Three and a half days."

"Did she have any known enemies?"

At that question, a familiar screech echoed throughout the valley.

"What was that?" Jason asked.

"One of her enemies," Xena pursed her lips.

"Who's that?"

"Hera. She tries to make Hercules' life miserable any chance she gets."

"Oh, great," Jason said sarcastically.

"I'm going to go into town to see if they've seen Alcmene."

"All right, but I've checked."

Jason and Xena said goodbye to each other and Xena went off to town.

Town was about three miles away, and when she got there, she noticed how different it was from the small houses in the valley.

The town was very busy, with voices that got annoying pretty quickly.

By the time Xena had gotten to the center of the town, she realized that the inn was the main place for people to be.

She walked in, a few people staring at her as she put her legs up on the chair next to her. The innkeeper approached her and asked what she would like.

"How about your customers to stop staring at me?" she said, only half kidding.

"Uh ... Hey! Everybody listen up!" he said.

Everyone got quiet.

"No one is to stare at this woman, understand?" he asked, his voice quavering.

Everyone rolled their eyes and shook their heads. That was understandable. This man was of average size and height, but the people who ignored him were twice his size. There were a lot of people that looked a lot like they were trying to be Hercules. When Xena looked at the menu, one of the choices was even "Hercules Beef" and the description was: This hunk of cow is fit for Hercules, but we'd like to see if you can finish it. Xena chuckled.

Well, this is his town, she thought.

"So, what'll be?" the innkeeper asked, more quiet than his speech a few seconds earlier.

"How about your name? It takes someone pretty brave to do that, especially here, with the kind of people," Xena complimented.

The man blushed. "It's Denniscles."

"Oh, well, Denniscles, a mug of port, please," Xena said.

She watched the people around her as she waited for her drink. She was so engaged in watching the people who were playing the card game across the room, that she scarcely heard the shouting right behind her.

"Listen, if you don't give us the money right now, you'll be more sorry than you think!" a huge man with a Hercules-type outfit grabbed the innkeeper's shirt.

"I don't owe you anything! I told you! This was my father's inn! Why won't you people get that through your thick heads?" the innkeeper gasped as the man's grip got tighter around his neck.

"Hey! You like picking on people who wouldn't want to come within a few feet of people like you?" Xena spoke up, casually strolling towards the bar.

"Who are you to talk to me like that? Do you even know who I am? I'm Hercules!"

"My name is Xena. No, you're not Hercules. You may have stolen the clothes, but definitely not the looks, let alone personality."

"Xena? Well, well, well. If it isn't the one who burned Amphipolis, her own village," the man chuckled.

"What?" Xena asked.

"Don't play dumb. You killed your own mother along with the rest of the village. Some change you made of yourself!"

"That wasn't me," Xena's eyes narrowed.

"A liar, too? You're right -- you do have many skills!" the man and a few others laughed. When Xena turned around, she saw that the whole inn was watching.

"You must leave immediately!" she shouted to the inn's customers. "A woman named Callisto and her army are planning to attack this town! Leave now!"

Almost everybody got up and ran out, pushing each other out of the doorway.

Denniscles looked at Xena quizzically. "What are you doing?" he asked.

Three people remained. The innkeeper, another Hercules look-alike, and someone who had a cloak draped over his or her face.

The Hercules look-alike stood up and walked over to Xena. He stuck out his hand.

"My name is Iphicles," he said.

Xena returned the handshake. "My name is Xena."

"Yeah, I know," he smiled sympathetically. "I saw Hercules on the way here. I'm his brother. I heard about the accident."

Xena looked at the ground. "Yeah," she said.

"I came from freeing Echidna from some warlord woman, and one lady came up to me and told me to give you a message."


"Her name was Gabrielle."

Xena perked up. "She's all right? Where is she now? What does she have to say?"

"She says that she will meet you in Amphipolis tomorrow. I guess that should be hard now, since it's gone."

"I don't believe everything a drunk tells me," she gave a small smile.

"Would you believe me?" the cloaked figure stood up to reveal Callisto. Her eyes danced with what looked like triumph and she giggled. "Your mother says 'goodbye'."

"Callisto --" Xena said no more than a word when Callisto disappeared.

"Did you see that?" Xena asked.

"See what?"

Xena was shaking. The man pushed his long dark hair out of his eyes.

"Nothing. Never mind," she replied. "What did Gabrielle look like?"

"Well, she had very blond hair and a lot of armor on like you do," he said.

"Oh, no," she whispered. "That's not Gabrielle. That's Callisto."

"Who's -- oh, no! Is that the warlord?"

"Some think of her as that, yes. She's out to destroy the world."

"You mean I talked to her and didn't say anything? I could have killed her so easily!"

"That is not as easy as you think," Xena paused to pack up her sword and chakrum, which she had loosened when she had approached the drunken man a few minutes earlier. "I'm leaving for Amphipolis now."

"Not much of it is left, or so I've heard," Iphicles muttered under his breath.

Xena ignored him and got on Argo.

A day later, she stood before a destroyed village. She almost didn't recognize it if it weren't for something familiar -- her mother's dress.

She saw a blue piece of fabric sticking up from beneath a board. When Xena lifted the board, she just stood there and stared.

Her mother.

She felt sick to her stomach. She had seen dead bodies before, but seeing her mother's lifeless, burnt body was totally different. A feeling of guilt sunk into Xena.

"Callisto! Callisto, you will not get away with this! You won't!" Xena screamed uncontrollably, her voice shaking. She knew that this is what Gabrielle had always told her not to become ...

... "But if anything ever happened to mother, or Hercules, or you ... I might do just the same."

"No. No, you promise me that if anything ever happens to me, you will not become a monster. The only way to end this cycle of hate is through love, and forgiveness."

"Don't go changing, Gabrielle, I like you just the way you are ... now go get some sleep --"

"No! No, you promise."

"I promise."

Xena couldn't stop the memories from flowing in. Her and her father riding horses through the plain. Her and her mother burying Lyceus. Lyceus running to the hills from Cortez. Gabrielle and her walking, Gabrielle telling stories on the way to a battle they would eventually run into.

That night, she burned what was left of her mother. She watched all of the flames go up, and all she could think about was the pain she had caused her mother: both physical and emotional.

Xena felt guilty about everything.

She knew what she had to do.

If you want Xena to go to Mount Olympus, go to chapter 43

If you want Xena to find Callisto's hideout, go to chapter 44

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 23: Sure

(Herc Soundtrack 23, then 3, then 5, or Xena Soundtrack 25 then 11)

"Sure, I'll come," Hercules agreed.

"Great, I'm leaving now," Xena said quickly. Besides being in a hurry, Xena wanted out of that house. The girl was giving her weird vibes.

"Why so fast?" Hercules chuckled.

"I want to get a head start on the trip. It's a good day's worth," Xena replied.

"Okay, I can be ready in five minutes. I just need to get a bandage for something."

"For what?"

"I had a run in with another Hydra. I thought that I killed all three that were left around here, but I guess not. The one I killed even looked like it had been killed before. Pretty gross looking -- uglier than usual. Good thing Iolaus wasn't there, he hates slimy monsters," Hercules said. Then he showed Xena the wound he needed bandaging.

"Ouch. One of your worst ones?" she asked.

"Not even close," he joked.

Xena thought it felt great being able to talk to Hercules again without worrying about triggering a painful memory of Deianeira or his children. Them having the same problem -- missing someone close to them -- brought them closer together.

Within ten minutes, they were outside near Argo again.

"Got everything you need?" Hercules asked.

"Yeah, I also left a note inside for the girl," Xena said.

It took them a few minutes to get over the hill that the house laid at the bottom of. By the time they were in the woods, they were a third of the way there.

"Another mile or so," Xena broke the silence. She wondered why it suddenly got so hard to talk to each other.

"I thought you said it was a day's hike?" Hercules asked.

"Well ... I wanted to get out of there." Xena admitted. They grinned at each other.

"Yeah, I can tell that girl doesn't like you very much," Hercules mentioned.

"It's a long story. Basically, she thinks I'm at fault for her mother's death."

"Oh. Who was her mother?"

"Her name was M'Lila. She saved my life many years ago, when Julius Caesar's soldiers came to find me. That's another story."

"I'm not going anywhere."

Xena told him everything from M'Lila to the girl's rudeness towards Xena.

Before they knew it, they were standing in front of the Fates' temple. Outside of it, fighting was going on.

"I'll take the guys with the purple, you take the gray," Hercules instructed. Xena nodded.

Hercules approached a situation where a man in purple was being strangled by a man in gray.

"Don't you ever think talking it out would work?" Hercules grabbed their heads and bashed them against each other, since they had helmets on. They fell down, very surprised.

Meanwhile, Xena spun around sideways on a tall stick, defying the law of gravity, yelling her battlecry while kicking five men so that they fell backwards.

Xena came up to another pair of "experienced" warriors. One soldier had his hand on the arm of the other man, spinning him around in circles.

"That's my move," Xena laughed. "Yipyipyipyip!" she yelled, flipping closer to the two men. She stuck out her foot to stop the spinning man. They fell down in dizzy confusion. Watching them try to pull out their swords made Xena grin.

Near a tree, Hercules had six men on his back, trying to keep him from going after a decent battle between what looked like the generals of the two armies. Xena stepped in.

"Okay, fine, if you won't let him take care of it, then I will," she said to one of the six men who had been thrown off. Her and Hercules ran up to this fight, each grabbing one man.

"What are you fighting about?" Hercules asked the man he was holding by the armor.

Xena had grabbed a man in a purple outfit, equally protected in armor.

They didn't answer. Xena raised her two fingers and within seconds, the man was struggling to breathe.

"In case you don't know the drill, you'll be dead in thirty seconds unless I release you. Why are you fighting?" Xena said wryly.

"Callisto ... she sent us to distract you from the temple ... she plans on sacrificing Gabrielle there ... yes, I know who you are, Xena ...please, I don't want to die," the man gasped for air.

Xena freed him and ran into the temple.

The temple was brightly lit with candles, and the altar had many flowers on it. They were all dried up and shriveled. They might have been nice looking if they didn't spell out the word "Xena".

Xena took a step back.

"Xena," voices echoed. Three translucent figures stood in front of her.

"The Fates," she said as Hercules walked in behind her.

"We wanted to tell you before she got here -- stay far away from this place. A warlord named Callisto is out to get you. We don't have your string planned to cut anytime soon, unless Ares directs us to. You must leave!" the eldest directed.

"No, they have my friend, and I'm planning on getting her back."

"No, leave!" the youngest Fate pleaded.

Just then, the doors opened and the Fates vanished.

A woman with blond hair and an army behind her came up to Xena.

"Xena! It's great to see you! Have you come to be an audience to your friend's death?" Callisto asked, grinning.

"No, I've come to free her."

"Oh, Xena! Give it a rest! You keep trying to be some hero, when in actuality, you are no more than Gabrielle."

"I don't need to be."

"Ha! Spoken like a true friend! Friends live together, friends will die together!" Callisto lunged at Xena, they both had swords drawn.

"Sorry, Callisto, my string isn't ready to be cut," Xena kicked Callisto's knee so that it snapped backwards.

"Yiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi!" Xena flipped over Callisto, and Callisto doing a front handspring to throw Xena off was enough to make anyone dizzy.

The plan to throw off Xena worked. Xena went flying across the room onto what she knew was the altar.

Instead, she landed in Hercules' arms.

"Thanks," she said. Hercules fought Callisto's army while Xena went back over to Callisto, who tied Gabrielle to a chapter.

"Xena!" Gabrielle cried.

Xena took one look at her best friend and flipped over Callisto's head and in front of Gabrielle.

"Light them!" Xena turned at the voice to find that Callisto's army had knocked out Hercules and was now lighting torches. This caught Xena off guard, and Callisto grabbed her neck and dragged her over to the altar.

"You saw this already, I take it?" Callisto pointed to the flowers. She tied Xena's wrists and ankles and threw her on the altar.

"Get ready to throw them!" Callisto screamed to her army. She counted to ten slowly, watching Xena struggle to get off the high altar.

"Now!" Callisto said.

There were flames everywhere -- around Gabrielle, the altar, even around Hercules.

"No!" a voice demanded. A point of a finger and the fires went out.

"Ares!" Callisto backed up quickly.

"I told you not to kill Xena. I told you to kill Gabrielle, kill Hercules, I don't care -- but Xena is not to be killed!" he yelled, eyes flashing.

"You better be careful on how you talk to me -- I'm a goddess," Callisto raised her chin.

"Not for long," Ares said.

Callisto gave Ares a swift kick in the face.

Ares was propelled backwards.

"Ares, Ares, Ares ... you and I could have ruled the world. I was going to let you have half," Callisto said.

Ares stood up and kicked Callisto in the neck.

They were both struggling to get up.

This was Xena's chance.

While they were fighting, Xena managed to use her chakrum to cut the ropes. She quietly got of the altar.

Now who was she supposed to untie first?

If you want her to untie Hercules first, go to chapter 45

If you want her to untie Gabrielle first, go to chapter 46

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 24: No Thanks

(Herc Soundtrack 2, then 3, then 5, then 18, or Xena Soundtrack 13, then 16)

"No, Xena, I can't come with you, sorry. I'd like to look for Alcmene by myself," Hercules replied.

"Oh," Xena said, trying not to show her disappointment.

"I have to go now," Hercules said uncomfortably.

"All right, be careful. I'm heading out in a few hours, so maybe I'll catch up,"

"Okay, see you soon," Hercules left within a matter of minutes.

After Hercules left, Xena felt like something was missing. Ignoring it, she packed some food for her trip and waited for the girl to return.

She was packing her weapons when she heard the girl come in.

"I'm leaving now," Xena said. "I appreciate you letting me in, I'm not sure if I would do the same for a stranger."

"It's okay," the girl got quiet.

"And I'm sorry ... again."

The girl crossed the room and put the water on a table. Then she walked back over to Xena.

"I'm sorry for the way I acted," the girl apologized.

Xena was caught off guard.

"That's all right. I understand."

"No, it wasn't all right. My aunt was right, I do need to understand that my mother is in a better place now."

Xena gave the girl a small smile. The girl gave Xena a hug.

"I'm sorry," she repeated. Xena was very surprised.

"Goodbye -- oh, I never learned your name," Xena said.

"My mother named me Athena. I don't like the name. I get teased a lot at school because I'm not very smart, so why would I have the goddess of wisdom's name?"

"I think you deserve the name," Xena smiled and left the house, still surprised how fast the girl changed.

Xena got on Argo and rode off, determined to find Gabrielle.

Going through the woods, she remembered Gabrielle's stories and legends how there are satyrs in these forests. She heard someone behind her. She stopped Argo. The sound stopped. She started to get off the horse when she heard a sound in the trees.

Woman with colorful masks glided down from the treetops on rope.

Xena lifted her hands above her head, the sign for peace in Amazon country. But that's what was confusing -- this wasn't Amazon country.

The leader took off her mask.

"Velasca," Xena whispered.

"I'm so glad that you remembered me!" Velasca said slowly. "Where is Gabrielle?"

"I don't have to tell you that," Xena said.

"Callisto has her, doesn't she?"


"I knew it. She does."

"Why do you want her?"

"She's the one who gave practically gave me Ambrosia. I want more. If I don't eat more very soon, I won't be a goddess anymore. The gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus refuse to share their supply with me. Even Ares has refused. Ambrosia is the only thing that will keep me in god-like form. Now give it to me."


"You don't even have any, but you know where some is."

"You're right about that."

"What do you want in exchange?"


"I thought she was with you."

"Callisto has her. If you help me get her back, I'll give you all the Ambrosia you can eat."

Velasca laughed. "How can I be sure of that? Who trades off first?"

"Give me Gabrielle -- she's the only one who can help me go get the Ambrosia."

"Do you know where Callisto is?"

"I have a pretty good idea."

Not more than an hour later, they were in front of the Cave of Echoes, many yards away from each other, untrusting.

"She's in here -- I know it," Xena assured Velasca. Xena had a feeling this was where Callisto was because this was near the lava -- and the ambrosia.

They stepped in, and the women behind them still had not taken off their masks.

Xena looked at them and then looked at Velasca.

"Stay here," Velasca said to the women, and pointed to the mouth of the cave, taking a hint from Xena.

The two walked deeper and deeper into the cave. Soon, they came to a part of the cave with two paths.

"You go right, I'll go left," Xena commanded.

Velasca obeyed. Xena knew that Ambrosia waited at the end of one of these pathways. Where you found Ambrosia, you found Callisto, Gabrielle, and Alcmene. Xena was pretty sure that the pathway where the Ambrosia was where Velasca went. But, if by some chance, it was right, where Xena was going, Xena was going to have a bit of a problem. She wasn't sure if she could take on Callisto alone. She needed Hercules.

Ten minutes passed when she came upon another fork in the path. She choose right, because it lead right into the middle of the cave. Wrong choice. Callisto waited for her there. So did the Ambrosia.

"Xena! How nice of you to show up. Gabrielle has talked about you ever since I brought her here," Callisto grinned evilly.

Before Xena could respond, a familiar voice answered for her.

"Callisto -- let Gabrielle go," Hercules stepped in.

"Hercules! Look! I've escaped! Aren't you proud of me? Now I'm a goddess!" Callisto greeted Hercules.

"Callisto -- do I need to repeat myself?" Hercules asked.

"No, I heard you," Callisto said happily, toying with her hair.

"Xena! Velasca just ran around the corner! What is she doing here?" Gabrielle shrieked from her to-be pyre.

Xena didn't answer, but ran across the open room and flipped over the pyre, turned to face it from the back, and threw her chakrum.

It hit a shield against the wall, missed Callisto's grasp by an inch, then came back to Xena, and on the way, cutting the rope so that Gabrielle's hands were free.

Hercules took that as his cue to distract Callisto so that Gabrielle could get away. He had her in a head lock, but Callisto flipped over him and dodged him, running around the corner. Hercules followed.

"Don't touch it!" Callisto referred to the Ambrosia.

Velasca picked up the glowing, pulsing red jelly.

"No!" Xena kicked the Ambrosia out of Velasca's hands and watched it land in Hercules' hands.

"We had a deal!" Velasca screamed.

"That's what I was about to say to you!" Xena retorted.

Hercules ran out of the room, back near Gabrielle, and out of the cave. Within seconds he stood over a cliff just outside the mouth of the cave. Velasca and Callisto came tearing out of the cave, Xena following close behind.

"Say goodbye!" Hercules held the Ambrosia over the cliff and dropped it without hesitation.

"No!" Velasca and Callisto shrieked.

All four of them watched the Ambrosia fall. Gabrielle ran out of the cave.

"Xena! What happened?" she screamed.

At that moment, Callisto flipped over the edge and laughed. Velasca stared in horror.

"No!" she screamed. "If she gets Ambrosia, so do I!" Velasca jumped over the edge as Gabrielle, Hercules, and Xena stood and watched.

"Did I do the right thing?" Hercules asked.

"You did fine," Xena smiled. Gabrielle ran up to Xena and the two hugged.

"Are you all right?" Xena asked.

"I'm fine ..." Gabrielle stared at the water beneath them.

"So am I," a voice called out behind them.

They expected to see Velasca or Callisto.

Instead, Alcmene stood before them.

"Mother!" Hercules ran over and picked her up off her feet.

"Oh!" Alcmene laughed.

"Where were you?" Hercules asked.

"I was ... now Hercules, don't get upset at Hades ... I was in the Underworld, I think. Either that or a dream. Everyone was crying. I thought I was in the Elysian Fields, though. Callisto and a scary-looking man were arguing on how they were going to kill me, and the next thing I knew, I was ... crossing a river ... it wasn't painful," Alcmene said quietly.

There was a flash of light and a slight tremor in the earth as a man rose from the ground.

"Hades," Hercules acknowledged his half-brother.

"It was me, Hercules. I heard Callisto and Ares fighting, and I couldn't bear seeing my step-aunt die at their pleasure," Hades said.

"Thanks," Hercules said sincerely.

"Besides, Ares was getting on my nerves. I went to Zeus about fixing my Underworld, because Ares ... well, blackmailed me. It was great watching him squirm when he saw Alcmene disappear into thin air."

"You! It was you who helped? Thank you very much. It's good to know that Hercules' father fathered yet a responsible, merciful man," Alcmene smiled, holding Hercules' hand.

Hercules and Xena looked at each other and chuckled.

"Yeah, merciful," Xena muttered.

They laughed.

"Hey, I'm sure Iolaus would have agreed with me!" Alcmene giggled.

"Iolaus agrees with you all of the time because you feed him!" Hercules laughed. "Speaking of which, I promised to meet at the Fates' temple a long time ago, I had better get going."

"Thank you, Hercules!" Gabrielle gave Hercules a peck on the cheek.

He blushed.

They laughed again. Looked like everything was near normal.

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 25: Thief

(Herc Soundtrack 20 then 15, or Xena Soundtrack 1 and then 10)

Before anyone realized what was happening, Xena was running out of the cave with the weapon.

"Hey!" Hephaestus shouted.

Xena cut Argo's ropes with her chakrum and jumped on her, riding away before the god of weapons and the goddess of love even left the cave.

"Sorry, maybe it's just me, but I don't trust Ares one bit with this weapon. But ... I do trust another god-like figure ..." Xena thought out loud. She thought that if she could turn a few gods against Callisto, and maybe give the weapon, to say, Artemis, Callisto would be gone for good.

Xena had no idea what she was getting herself into.

A few minutes later, she came to the local town temple.

"Good, I'll pay a visit to Artemis," she whispered to herself.

She entered the huge building, shutting the door behind her.

"Artemis!" Xena called when she approached the huge statue of Artemis.

A athletic-looking woman carrying a bow and arrow on a back pouch appeared doing push-ups on the mantle.

"Yeah?" Artemis asked, not breathless.

"I need your help," Xena said.

"Let me guess. Another warlord you need help defeating? Not that you've needed help before, but that's the only reason people come to me anymore," Artemis stood up and jumped off the mantle.

"No, I just wanted to let you know about that new goddess, Callisto. She plans to take over your position. She wants to be the goddess of hunting, killing, you get the point."

"Hmmm ... what did you say her name was again?"


"Ohhhhhhhh, this gets me so mad when people try to take my spot. I don't suppose you know how to defeat her."

"Yes, I do. But you have to promise to get my friend back."

Artemis sighed in deep thought.

"Who's your friend?" she asked.

"Her name is Gabrielle, she's a bard," Xena answered.

"Deal. Now how do I defeat her?"

"I have a thorn branch with the Golden Hind's blood on the tips."

"You are going to give me that first, right?"

"Right, but I'm following your every move."

"If you're so worried, then why don't you keep it?"

"You need that to defeat Callisto to get my friend back."

"Fine. When do we leave?"


It was midnight and they still were traveling through the forest.

"Okay, so I'm the only one who can see you for now, right?" Xena asked.

"Right," Artemis responded.

"Hey! Hey! You want a midnight snack? Huh?" a dirty-looking man asked. The man on the side of the road had a cart set up with the name "Falafel" posted above the table.

"Uh ... no, I don't think we're hungry," Xena tugged on Argo's reins.

"We?" the man had a thick accent.

"Uh ... me and my horse."

"Wait a minute ... you are Xena, are you not?"

"I am."

"Ha! I have a fabulous dish you must try! It is called a 'burrito'."

"No, thanks."

"You have to! You must have traveled for miles and are hungry, correct?"

"And I'd like to be able to travel a few more miles, too. Goodbye."

"Please! Wait! Come on!" the merchant called after her.

"What a disgusting little man," Artemis made a face.

"What? Just because he doesn't live on Mount Olympus and in luxury, he's a lower life form? Some of us live honestly," Xena said defensively.

Artemis looked offended. "Do you want me to help or not?" she asked.

"You don't really have a choice," Xena said.

At dawn, they arrived at an old, abandoned fort.

"Shh ... I hear something," Artemis turned into a deer.

"Xena! What a wonderful surprise ... you again?" Callisto laughed.

"Callisto, I just want you to know that I have the only weapon that can kill a god, so you'd better let Gabrielle go, and I'll spare your life," Xena explained.

"Oh, Xena, you'd do that for me?" Callisto laughed.

Xena narrowed her eyes and took off the cover that hid the branch of thorns.

Callisto stopped laughing.

"What is it?" she asked, slowly walking closer and closer to Xena. Xena noticed.

"It's a branch of thorns with the Golden Hind's blood on them ... the blood can kill a god. Give me Gabrielle and I'll leave you alone," Xena reminded.

"No," Callisto answered bluntly.

If you want Xena to try to kill Callisto with the branch now, go to chapter 47

If you want Xena to let Artemis deal with Callisto, go to chapter 48

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 26: Callisto's Surprise

(Herc Soundtrack 8, or Xena Soundtrack 27)

"I want you to promise me something," Xena said to Hephaestus and Aphrodite.

"What?" Aphrodite asked.

"That thorn branch -- don't touch the thorns. In fact, let me burn it," Xena insisted.

"What? I'm supposed to take care of it and make a silver handle for it," Hephaestus looked at the branch.

"Hephaestus, this is dangerous," Xena said slowly. "It could kill you."

Hephaestus slammed down the branch. A few thorns broke.

"You're putting me in a bad position!" he complained.

Aphrodite looked in Xena's eyes. "Hephy, I think she's right," she looking at Hephaestus.

That night, the branch was ashes. All three watched the flames rise, and then returned to the cave once they were sure the branch was completely gone.

"What now?" Aphrodite looked at Xena and Hephaestus. "What will you tell Ares?"

"I'll tell him the truth -- the thorn branch fell into the forge's fire," Hephaestus grinned. "I doubt that it will make him hate me even more. He just uses me for weapons, so he can't hold a grudge for very long."

"Well, if everything will be okay, I'll get going to Amphipolis," Xena said, knowing that Amphipolis was Callisto's next target.

"Thank you, Xena, for making us realize what we were getting ourselves into, I really thought it was a rumor," Hephaestus thanked her profusely.

"Your welcome," Xena shook hands with Hephaestus, said goodbye to Aphrodite, and left. It was midnight, but Xena pressed on. She knew she had to get there before Callisto did.

She was almost too late.

When she got to the top of the hill, Callisto's army had formed a ring around the entire village.

Xena knew she was in big trouble.

If you want Xena to charge ahead, planning to kill anyone who gets in her way, go to chapter 49

If you want Xena to slowly approach the army, go to chapter 50

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 27: The King of Thieves

(Herc Soundtrack 4, or Xena Soundtrack 10)

Xena ran towards the man, building up speed every second. When she was almost side by side with him, she jumped up behind him on the saddle, throwing him off Argo and flipping herself back off, too.

"Xena, I appreciate the warm welcome," a sly-looking, dark-haired man with a mustache said to Xena, giving her a smirk.

"Autolycus, I didn't expect you, of all people, to steal my horse," Xena grinned.

"What's wrong with Gabrielle? She looks like she's part of the living dead over there," Autolycus pointed to Gabrielle.

"Long story," Xena sighed.

Meanwhile a few yards away, Aphrodite and Cupid were arguing over Cupid's bow and arrow.

"No, mother! You will not shoot Xena! We'll be in big trouble, then. Shoot that guy, make him fall in love with the horse or something," Cupid pointed to Autolycus.

"No! Give me that!" Aphrodite whined. They fought over the bow and arrow for all of three seconds when the arrow shot out from the bow, and headed right for Xena.

Cupid and Aphrodite held their breath.

Xena took a step to the left to reach a satchel that she left on a tree trunk.

The arrow hit Gabrielle.

Gabrielle looked up at Autolycus. "You are incredibly handsome," she whispered.

"What? Oh, yes, I guess I am, thank you," Autolycus smoothed his mustache.

Aphrodite looked at Cupid. "Oops. I could have sworn he was Ares," she guilty smiled.

"I want to spend the rest of my life with you," Gabrielle kept staring at Autolycus.

Cupid and Aphrodite stared at each other and said in unison: "It's your fault!"

Xena whirled around just in time to see Cupid vanish.

"Great," she said sarcastically.

Meanwhile, Autolycus was getting showered in kisses from Gabrielle.

"Xena, this is really nice of Gabby and all, but would you mind peeling her off me?" Autolycus said in between kisses.

"Come on, Gabrielle," Xena pulled Gabrielle up off the ground. "Go get Argo a snack, okay?"

"Only if Autolycus comes with me," Gabrielle sighed.

"Gabrielle, what about Perdicus?" Xena slipped.

"Perdicus? Who's Perdicus?" Gabrielle was confused.

It took two hours to get Gabrielle moving towards the horse, and once she did, it took even longer to get her to get on Argo.

"Forget it, Xena, I'm staying with Autolycus. We're going to spend the rest of our lives with each other."

"What?" Xena and Autolycus said in unison.

"See, Mom, you made this situation even worse!" Cupid and Aphrodite reappeared.

"I'll fix that," Aphrodite said. Before Cupid could see what was happening, Aphrodite had shot Autolycus with an arrow. He looked up at Gabrielle.

"You're right, Gabrielle, I do want to spend the rest of my life with you," Autolycus said, kneeling and holding Gabrielle's hands.

"You risked that one, Mom! He could have looked at Xena!" Cupid hissed. Aphrodite shrugged.

"Cupid ..." Xena warned, knowing what was going on.

After Xena realized that they were soulmates forever, she figured that she should let the spell wear off, (if it ever would), and return soon.

"There's and inn up stream. I want you two to go there, I'll meet you there in three days," Xena said, frustrated more than she was worried.

"Okay," both Gabrielle and Autolycus sighed, still staring at each other.

From that day on, Gabrielle and Autolycus lived happily together with three children -- two girls, one boy.

{Author's Note: Scary, huh?
You picked a surprise ending ... hope this never happens in a real episode!}

The End

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

Chapter 28: Gabrielle's Decision

(Herc Soundtrack 10 then 11, or Xena Soundtrack 2 then 20)

Gabrielle woke up from the commotion. "Aren't you going to chase him?" she asked.

"Argo will come back on her own. I see you look better than you did yesterday," Xena noticed.

"Yeah. Perdicus woke me up. He told me to stop being so sad, and to keep loving him."

"He's right."

"I know."

"Come on, let's pack up and head over to the Fates' temple. I need to ask them to do me a favor," Xena said, planning to ask the Fates to give Gabrielle's life totally back. Argo returned, neighing.

"Good, Argo," Xena patted the horse's nose.

On the road, Gabrielle was quiet. It wasn't that she was very sad anymore, just that she was still more thoughtful than usual.

"Hey! Travelers! Need a ride?" a voice called out from the side of the road.

"Salmoneus, what are you doing?" Xena smiled.

"Xena! Gabrielle! I knew it was you two! I'm a wagon driver, need a ride?" he asked.

"Why would I have a horse if I needed a ride?" Xena asked.

"Just a thought!" Salmoneus shrugged. "Gabrielle, you're unusually quiet. What's the matter with you?"

"Nothing," Gabrielle said.

"Okayyyy ..." Salmoneus stretched out the word. "Where are you two going?"

"To the Fates' temple," Xena answered.

"Oh! You're in luck! That's my next stop!"

"Salmoneus -- no."

"Okay, fine, then you might want to buy the Fates' temple brochure I just happen to be selling!"

"And I might not."

"Xena!" Salmoneus whined. "Well, any other day, I'd tag along with you two, but duty calls," he held up his pointer finger in the air and rushed back to his wagon.

"Goodbye, Salmoneus," Xena said.

"See you!" he shouted back.

"Gabrielle, why didn't you say 'hello'?" Xena asked, confused.

"I'm tired," she responded.

Xena was worried that the trip to the Fates' temple wouldn't work.

She opened the huge gate to the temple and walked in the building. There were ten or so people in the main foyer, chanting slowly.

"Forget it!" one woman called. "We aren't good enough for them! The Fates don't want to worry about our measly problems! Callisto will just kill us all!"

Xena stepped forward. "What village are you from?" she asked the chanters.

"We're from Chandlis, the neighboring village of Amphipolis. Callisto already burnt Amphipolis to the ground, now she's coming after us," the woman claimed.

"Amphipolis? Did everyone die in the fire?" Xena asked nervously.

"Only a handful of people survived. Why, do you have family there?"


"Well, now I suggest you get out of here before that warlord decides to burn Chandlis to the ground. We are one of the main villages on the peninsula. If she kills us, she will rule the whole area."

"Thanks for the warning," Xena said sarcastically.

"Come on, everyone. Let's head to Artemis' temple!" the woman screamed over the chatter. It was obvious that she was the leader.

As soon as the ten women left, Xena stood by the altar.

"Fates, I call upon your presence," she said, lighting three candles while Gabrielle stood and watched.

"Yes, Xena?" a translucent figure asked. Three women stood before Xena. A child spinning thread, a woman measuring the same thread, and an old woman cutting the thread.

"You know what I came for," Xena prompted.

"Yes, we do," the old woman spoke up, "and we will grant your request. Gabrielle's life is now back to normal."

"Just like that? Nothing else?" Xena asked.

"All you have to do is save that village, Chandlis. We don't know why they came to us. We have no say in that," the middle Fate said.

"So, I save Chandlis, and Gabrielle's life will continue being normal, like it is at this very second?" Xena asked.

"Correct," the child said. Then all three women disappeared.

Xena looked at Gabrielle.

"Are you all right?" Xena asked Gabrielle. Gabrielle held her head.

"I have the biggest headache!" she said loudly. "Can we leave now?"

"You're back to normal, right?" Xena grinned.

"Huh? Yeah, whatever," Gabrielle hurried out of the temple and stood in front of Argo in no time.

It only took about half an hour to get to Amphipolis, and from there, they were only a mile from Chandlis. When they finally came upon Chandlis, they could see just over the horizon many horses.

Callisto's army.

"Xena, who's that?" Gabrielle asked.

"Callisto. Don't you remember what just happened to you?" Xena still stared at the horizon.

"I remember Callisto, but not what happened to me. What was it?"

"Never mind," Xena decided not to disturb anything with Gabrielle. The Fates knew what they were doing -- right?

If you want Xena and Gabrielle to go and attack Callisto's army, defending all of the villagers, go to chapter 51

If you want Xena and Gabrielle to go and help the villagers to safety, go to chapter 52

If you want to start the story over again, go back to the beginning

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