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Retribution ã Part 3 (An Uber-Xena story)
By: BJ O’Donnell (a.k.a. MsTigrlil)
If you have any comments, (again, only good ones please, remember my fragile ego problem) you may write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Same disclaimers as previously noted.
As Xena exited the plane in Karachi, the dry, hot breeze that was always present in this part of the world hit her like a ton of bricks. She quickly rented a car with air conditioning and headed for the south side of town.
"Hajib, what have you learned?" Xena said as they sat in the open-air café, drinking the strong coffee that Xena loved so much.
"Well, I have learned that Derrick has indeed acquired a nuclear device and has moved on to Istanbul. He is not working for anyone in particular but rather for the money he thinks he will get out of this just like you said. I believe he has a rather large crew of mercenaries that are working with him" Hajib spoke quietly while his eyes kept constant vigil over the area.
One can not be too safe in this part of the world, Xena thought, then said just as secretively, "If he has people working with him then that is how I will find him. Most people can be bought, especially mercenaries."
"Now tell me, who are some of these mercenaries he has on his payroll." Xena said, looking into the eyes of this man she had worked with many times before. Hopefully I can trust you she thought.
"All I know is that a group of men from Turkey and China were seen around the same time that Derrick was here. We think they were his men. We also learned that the leader of the Turkish groups name is Suleiman."
"Thank you Hajib" Xena said as she shook his hand and got back into her car. While driving back to the airport, Xena began to remember back to the time that she had first known the name Suleiman.
Riding into the city of Constantinople again in 1540, Xena was relieved that it hadn’t changed much since the last time she was here. It still reminded her of old Greece. Gods that hasn’t been since the year 1200 Xena thought, long time no see. That’s when I lost all my lands to that damned Christian Crusade and was forced to go back to Chin.
And I had so much back then too she thought absently. She had been able to keep most of the lands she had acquired from when she was a Strategos in the Tagmata (a general in the elite expeditionary guard) but lost them all when the Crusades came and would not allow women to own anything.
But this was now she said to herself as she rode in towards the palace of the great Ottoman Empire and it’s ruler, Suleiman.
She had just left Chin after Kublai Khan had taken over and destroyed the Southern Sung Dynasty. She loved living in Chin at that time though. Gods I still want to call it Chin instead of China now Xena reprimanded herself. And I miss my home in Hangzhou. It really was the most beautiful city in the entire world at that time.
Back then Xena had joined forces with Chu Hsi and the Southern Sung Dynasty. She loved the peacefulness of the people there as they had always reminded her of LaoMa. She had even begun to get involved with one of the religious leaders there by the name of Confucius. She found it helpful to think that humans are unquestionably good and self-cultivating. Isn’t that what Gabrielle had always tried to tell her.
But then, Kublai Khan came and destroyed everything I had. So, here I am again in Constantinople. Xena thought as she entered the Palace of the Ottoman Empire.
As an experienced warrior, she was quickly welcomed into the army and it didn’t take long before she proved herself and had become a general. Suleiman was a great leader and put a lot of trust in Xena after a while. She never proved him wrong in his judgement of her.
One day, while in the palace it’s self, Xena noticed a young woman sitting by one of the reflecting pools. Not one to ever pass up a chance at getting aquatinted with such beauty, Xena introduced herself to the woman.
Her name was Roxelana, Suleiman’s wife. They became fast friends when Xena found her to be not only intelligent but also having much wisdom for someone so young. She was also Suleiman’s closest advisor, which was very rare at the time for a woman to be held with such respect from the ruler or any man for that matter. Xena had always been such a rare exception.
Many times Xena and Roxelana would speak for hours about different battle strategies as well as the many dilemmas of ruling an Empire. And Roxelana always had a story to tell Xena when she would see her. Xena had even begun to teach her some of the beliefs she continued to follow from Confucius.
This woman reminded her so much of Gabrielle. She did not look like Gabrielle, but there was something in the way she spoke, something in her mannerisms that reminded Xena of the one she still loved and missed so very much.
It did not take long before one day, while sitting with Roxelana in her private chambers, that Xena leaned over and gently placed a kiss on Roxelana’s lips. To her relief, Roxelana did not pull away but instead kissed her back with great passion.
Burying her hands in Roxelana’s long hair, Xena slowly lowered her onto the couch. Their lips met again as Xena’s hands began to caress her soft shoulders. Roxelana was not shy as she also moved her hands over Xena’s strong back and shoulders, feeling the muscles ripple as she drew her nails down over each one slowly.
Their passion for each other grew fiercely as they became entwined on the couch. Roxelana unclasped the heavy breastplate that Xena always wore and slid it from her shoulders, dropping it to the floor, then quickly continued to remove the leathers that covered Xena’s body. Xena loved the way this woman took control of her own passions and did not try to suppress it.
Xena then slowly removed the silky garments that hid the rest of Roxelana’s beauty. She gently traced her soft skin with her fingers as the silk dropped away. Their desire for each other built hotter as their lips met once more.
Roxelana’s lips and tongue began to dance over Xena’s hot skin and soon found their way to her now bare breasts. Sucking in one nipple, she began to roll the other one between her fingers and thumb. Xena sat there with her head thrown over the back of the couch, luxuriating in the passion as it rose within her center.
Xena’s own hands moved over Roxelana’s body, taking in every curve, every soft fold this woman was made of. Reaching farther down, Xena’s hands found the wonderful curve at the base of her back, then lower still. Grabbing her soft mounds with both hands, Xena pulled the young woman up so that she now sat straddling Xena’s hips.
Their lips met again fiercely as Xena’s hands began to move slowly up the sides of Roxelana then lower again to her hips and thighs. Pulling her down lower so that Roxelana’s center was now touching Xena’s mound, she could feel the wetness and heat radiate off this beautiful woman. Xena slid her hand between Roxelana’s thighs, needing to feel the heat, the passion this woman had for her.
Roxelana moaned and cooed intensely as Xena’s fingers moved over and around her hard nub of sensitive flesh. Xena could feel her own wetness grow as Roxelana ground herself harder down onto Xena’s hand and mound. "Please Xena, take me now. I must have you, all of you" Roxelana begged breathlessly.
Quickly Xena slid two fingers into Roxelana’s wet center as their lips met once again. Roxelana moaned deeply into Xena’s mouth as she slid yet another finger in. Pushing herself down onto Xena’s hand, Roxelana began a steady grind and rocking.
Roxelana flung her head back as Xena reached for her breasts with her eager mouth. She drew in a nipple past her teeth, then flicked the sensitive skin with her tongue. Xena’s free hand began a sensual play on Roxelana’s other nipple, pulling and twisting gently until the nipple was hard in her hand.
Xena moved her hand faster now for her lover, pushing herself in deeper and deeper until she felt Roxelana’s muscles begin to tighten around her fingers. Roxelana’s release came intensely as Xena bit down gently on her nipple.
Roxelana, not one to let Xena have all the fun began her own assault of Xena’s body. Pushing Xena down onto the couch, Roxelana’s tongue began a slow march down Xena’s muscled body. She felt every scar there and wondered how she had gotten them all and still remained alive. She drew one of Xena’s nipples into her mouth and flicked it hard. Biting and sucking as Xena’s moans became louder. Sensing that Xena would enjoy a heavier hand, Roxelana bit down even harder as her hands now traveled to that hot, wet spot between Xena’s thighs.
Spreading the folds of skin to expose Xena’s sensitive nub, Roxelana ran her fingers in a circle over it with increasingly harder pressure. With her other hand, she moved them teasingly over Xena’s center. She then pulled and pinched Xena’s nub hard as she slid her fingers deep into her center.
Xena’s back arched as she moaned loudly, pushing herself harder into Roxelana’s hands. Gods this woman is so full of surprises and passion Xena thought as her body began to quake with the pleasure she was receiving.
Her release came fiercely as Roxelana’s fingers pushed and pulled on Xena’s hot, sensitive flesh.
They stayed as lovers and confidants for a long time even after Suleiman died in 1566. But it wasn’t much longer after that that Roxelana herself pasted on. Xena never did get used to friends and lovers leaving her for death. And I hope I never do Xena thought.
Xena stayed in Constantinople and fought with the Ottoman Empire until Greece broke away in the 19th century. By that time it was getting increasingly hard to be a woman of power in the new "man’s" world.
She moved then to Auckland, New Zealand where she heard about this new "women’s suffragist movement" and women getting the right to vote, in 1893.
Gods, I can’t believe how much things have changed. I’m glad that Gabrielle and the Amazons aren’t here to see how women have become to be treated Xena thought but I’m sure it will change back around. At least it will if I have anything to do about it.
She flew into Constantinople, or what is now Istanbul, Turkey. Xena had to remind herself again that they had changed the name as they had with so many of the great, old cities of the past. Xena quickly found a hotel and after settling in to her room, she took a long, hot shower and got a much-needed rest.
The next morning over coffee, Xena placed a call to Angela. "How are you doing? Have you missed me?" Xena said teasingly. "No, I just found some other woman to take your place" Angela teased back knowing that could never happen.
Gods I love this woman Xena thought as they talked for the next hour. Angela never knew what Xena really did for a living. Xena had told her that she set up business conventions around the world. She never felt comfortable lying to her though, she just wanted to insulate her, protect her from this dark side of her life.
After hanging up from Angela, Xena placed a more somber call. "Tomas, what have you learned?" Xena said after he picked up the receiver.
"I was hoping you would call soon, Princess. We have found out that Derrick is now in China with a group of men. We don’t know yet where he is planning his assault but we found satellite pictures that show an unusual amount of radioactivity somewhere near Beijing. We think that may be him" he returned.
"Great. I will get there as soon as I can. Tell Hajib that I will need some men waiting for me at the airport. Not too many, I don’t want to draw attention. Take care old friend. And call Angela, would ya. She misses you." Xena said as she hung up the phone.
Flying into Beijing brought back a flood of memories that Xena was not really prepared for. LaoMa, Artemis, Ares, and the time she spent with the Huns in Chin.
"But Xena, why not? We would make a great team we did before. Now that you don’t have Gabrielle whining about the goodness of people to stop you, I think you should reconsider my offer" Ares said as he followed her down the dock.
"Don’t you even mention her name." Xena spat. "I loved Gabrielle, you know that. I have dedicated my life, my soul to her and her beliefs. Don’t you get it? I’m not going with you" Xena said as she boarded a ship that would take her to Chin.
"You know that I won’t rest until you are mine again Xena. You are my chosen" Ares yelled after her.
Turning on her heals, Xena shouted back "No Ares, I am Atremis’ chosen but my heart will always belong to Gabrielle. Go to Tartarus."
In the next centuries, Ares tried hard to get Xena to follow him with out any luck. But, like a cancer, he was always there to inflict as much mental anguish on her as he could.
Finally one evening after Ares appeared to her yet once again, Xena called on Artemis. "I know that I don’t talk to you often but I have something to ask of you now," Xena said as she sat alone by her fire.
"Yes my champion, what can I do for you?" Artemis said as she appeared before Xena.
"I have been trying to live a good life, trying always to help where I can but I need to know how long this will go on. How long must I suffer this life and Ares trying to pull me back to him?" Xena asked as her head slumped lower on her chest.
"Oh dear one," Artemis began "the pain and suffering that you now face is but a small comparison to what you have caused in your lifetime. Yes, you have done good and with the best intentions but you have a long way to go. As for Ares, don’t worry about him anymore, I will take care of that little problem for you."
Xena sat staring into the fire for a long moment before she realized that Artemis had left her alone.
Then falling into great despair, Xena traveled aimlessly through out Chin and the surrounding lands for a long time. She never did see Ares again and had to give thanks to Artemis for that, she supposed.
While in Persia during the 4th century, she met up with a nomadic tribe of people and began to travel with them. She taught them all she knew about warfare and military horsemanship. Because of her training and leadership they became a great and feared army of warriors. She felt a close kinship to them as they fought against the Roman Empire but after they became stronger and had invaded Chin, she knew that she must part ways with the Huns.
She thought of LaoMa again after she settled in a quiet part of Chin, far from the Huns. They had vowed to leave her in peace as long as she didn’t draw up her sword against them.
Oh LaoMa, how I wish you were with me once more. I could use your guidance once again Xena thought one evening as she prepared for sleep. Xena dreamed that night of the time she spent with her lover and teacher in Chin. She saw once more when LaoMa had shown her the way into her soul. She felt the peacefulness of her life there with her and of what she had learned from this beautiful woman.
Upon awakening, Xena began to think of personal salvation, of how to achieve wholeness with oneself. She needed to find something to help her understand her life and what she needed to do to find retribution.
She studied under many sages until she found Kuo Hsiang, a great teacher of Taoism. What he not only preached but also practiced made her feel comfortable, right somehow. Hsiang made her understand that rather then to withdraw into solitary contemplation, it was wiser to remain within the center of human affairs and to accomplish all things by taking no unnatural action. To be true to oneself.
Isn’t this what LaoMa had told her? She knew then that her life had meaning and that she couldn’t waste it by retreating into herself any longer. She needed to move on. It was then that Xena traveled to Constantinople for the first time.
As she entered the terminal in Beijing, Xena looked for Hajib but could not find him anywhere. She rented a car and headed for her hotel. She tried to place a call to Hajib but received no answer. Then, she placed a call to Tomas.
"Do you know where Hajib is?" she asked her friend.
"No, I thought he would be with you" came the reply.
Oh gods, I hope they haven’t gotten him Xena thought as she studied the reports sent to her from Interpol.
Then came a knock at the door. Who could that be? Maybe its Hajib Xena thought as she carefully moved to the door with her gun drawn.
The hotel bellhop at the door left her with a note and as he quickly moved down the hallway, he only looked back once to see the woman standing there with the gun in her hand. The note was simple, "Come now and tell no one or see your friend die". There was also an address that would take her to the eastern side of town.
Upon arriving at a warehouse, Xena slowly drove around the building to get a bigger picture of what she was getting into. The note never said what "friend" it was referring to as she thought of Hajib or even who wrote the note but she was taking no chances. She was hoping that it would lead her to Derrick.
She put on her jacket and slid the cell phone into the pocket, then drew her gun and carefully entered the darkened warehouse. While giving her eyes time to adjust to the dimness of her surroundings, Xena could sense movement in front of her. Then a blinding flash in her head as she felt herself fall.
That light, that blinding light. I can’t stand it Xena thought as she felt the pain wrap around her head. Before she had a chance to fully wake up, someone grabbed her by the chin and forced her head up. As she tried to open her eyes, all she could see was that light in front of her.
"Is the light bothering you Xena?" the voice said. Who is that? Xena wondered as she tested the bindings at her wrists quietly. They were very tight, as well as the ones around her ankles. Now this is someone who doesn’t want me to get away she thought as she continued to work at loosening the ropes.
Then pain again, this time it came from a slap across her face. "I’m talking to you, answer me" the voice again boomed out at her.
"Yes, the light is bothering me" Xena replied coldly. With a click the light was off and she felt her eyes adjusting once again.
As she looked into the steel gray eyes, she instinctively knew this must be Derrick. "What do you want with me?" Xena asked this man.
"Oh, I think you know Xena. You have been following me for weeks now and I’m getting tired of it. I just want you to go away" he answered her blankly.
She looked around the room as he spoke, then let her eyes drift to a large object in the corner. "Yes, that is what you are looking for" the man said again to Xena. "Oh, but where are my manners? Let me introduce myself, I am Derrick and that is indeed the bomb you have been searching for" he said as he leaned in towards her ear. "I intend on blowing up Beijing my dear and I don’t want you spoiling my fun" he said as he drew a handful of her hair threw his hand.
"Mm, what wonderful hair and such a lovely body you have dear" he said as he leered at her. "Pity I don’t have time to play with you first before I kill you" he said as he let his hands drift down over her breasts. She tried to jerk away from his intruding hands but the ropes held her fast. He laughed as she struggled then quickly added "I have already had fun with your friend, so it makes no difference to me that I don’t have you. And she put up such a lovely fight too" he said again as he laughed then walked towards a door.
Oh gods no, he couldn’t have her. How could he have known about her? Xena cried out to herself as he pulled Angela through the doorway. Angela’s clothes, what little she had on were torn and bloody. She had a large bruise on her face that covered her entire eye as well as blood dripping from her mouth and nose. There were deep scratches on her knees and blood covering both of her thighs.
Angela looked up at Xena and began to cry softly. She mouthed the words "I’m okay" as Xena just stared at her.
The rage began to mount in Xena’s mind as she tried to figure out how to get Angela and herself out of there.
Oh Artemis, why is this happening? I can’t do this, not again! Xena thought as she struggled with her bindings.
Then a thought came to her; her jacket was still on. If she was careful, maybe she could reach the phone in her pocket without them noticing.
She felt the blood as it began to trickle down her wrists as she fought against the ropes. Through her struggling, she managed to have the coat slide a little down her shoulder then was able to slip her hand into the pocket.
Derrick pulled Angela over and threw her roughly into a chair next to Xena, then bound her hands behind her. "I bet you are wondering how I learned of this lovely young woman of yours" Derrick said. "Oh yes, you were also supposed to meet some men at the airport, isn’t that correct Xena?" he said as he shot a glance to the doorway again.
"I would like you to meet one of my men" he said again as he extended his hand to the door.
"Hajib has been with me for years now. Oh, but I believe you know him already though, don’t you Xena?" Derrick said with a snicker. Hajib looked over at Xena as he walked over to stand next to Derrick.
"You? I can’t believe you could do this Hajib. Not with Angela! Not after all we have been through together." Xena spat. "That is why you sent me on that wild goose chase to Turkey, you wanted me out of the way."
"You were right Xena, money can buy a lot of people. I just couldn’t turn it down. And as far as Angela is concerned, well... I do regret that a little but you were getting too close and I had to do something to slow you down." Hajib answered her.
"You know, you will be the second person I kill today, you bastard" Xena said coldly. With these words, Hajib stared at her and recoiled a bit behind Derrick.
"Well Xena, I really don’t have time to play, you see I am in rather a hurry right now" Derrick said softly "the bomb is already set and I don’t have much time to get out of Dodge as it were, before it blows up. Thanks for the use of your girlfriend and I’m sorry that we couldn’t have had a chance to get to know one another better." He then turned and began to walk out of the room, with Hajib quickly following behind.
Before they could get to the door though, Xena had the final knot undone. She pounced on Hajib from behind, kicking him in the head and knocking him to the floor.
As she reached for his gun she heard the shot. Ducking, she quickly looked over to Angela then saw the blood as it began to soak the front of her torn dress as her head slunk over to the side.
"No!" she screamed out. Then pinching Hajib in the neck, knowing he would soon be dead, she began chasing after Derrick as he ran into the next room. Tears flooded her eyes as she saw Derrick round the corner.
Now is not the time for tears she thought as she chased the bastard who killed her lover, I must get him and get out fast. More shots rang out as she closed in on Derrick in the large open room of the warehouse. He fired again and again as she felt the hot bullets tear into her body. Then, the clicking sound of an empty gun as she moved in closer to him.
"Give it up asshole, I have you now" Xena spat as she saw him hiding behind a large crate. Although the bullets would not kill her, they did weaken her and her only hope was to make Derrick think that he had missed her. "Your gun is empty, not that you could hit the broad side of a barn anyway. Why don’t you just give up?" Xena called out to him.
Then more shots rang out as Derrick tried to make a run for it. He must have reloaded Xena thought as the searing white heat filled her head and neck.
Oh Artemis, I sure could use your help right now. I can’t let everyone in this city die Xena thought, as the pain became unbearable. Blood filled Xena’s eyes as she stumbled forward, continuing her search for Derrick.
Then a sudden clarity came to her as she pointed the gun and fired. One bullet to the head is all it took for that bastard to go down.
As Xena lay in a pool of her own blood next to the dead body of Derrick, she thought of Angela. Tears and blood flowed down her face as she thought about the woman that she loved the woman she could not protect.
Xena drug herself into the next room and fell to the floor next to where Angela lay dead still tied to the chair. "Oh dear Angela" Xena said, "I am so sorry. I never wanted you to become involved in this dark side of my life. I could not protect you just like I could not protect Gabrielle." Xena said as the tears flooded her eyes again mixing in rivers of blood down her face.
"Xena, Xena, where are you" cried out the familiar voice.
"Tomas? I am in here with the bomb, come quickly." Xena shouted weakly as she thought about the cell phone in her pocket. Thank the gods that I was able to dial the number to Interpol and that they, hopefully, found us in time Xena thought but not soon enough for Angela as the tears began to flow again.
Tomas rushed to his friend as other men ran to the bomb. "My god, will you be alright Princess?" Tomas asked as he held Xena’s head in his lap, then looked up to see Angela’s dead body.
Xena didn’t honestly know, something felt different this time. "I don’t know Tomas, I just need to rest. You have been such a good friend to me. Thank you. Did we get to the bomb in time?"
Tomas looked over to the men as they gave him the thumbs up sign. "Yes, we got here in time. Thanks to you Princess, millions of lives have been saved today," he said as he wiped the blood from her face.
Xena smiled at her old friend as she suddenly felt herself drift off...
Xena saw Artemis standing in the middle of a field of wild flowers. As Xena crossed the field slowly towards her she began to feel a sense of peace surround her. "You have finally achieved retribution my dear champion. Your debt had been paid" Artemis spoke as a figure moved out from behind her.
"Gabrielle, Gabrielle" Xena screamed. "Oh my gods, I have missed you" Xena shouted as she ran the rest of the way towards her lover.
"You are home now Xena, with me" Gabrielle said softly as they embraced in a fierce hug, warrior to bard once again and forever.
"Gabrielle, Gabrielle, wake up." Xena shouted at the girl as she leaned over her.
"Wha... what? Oh my gods Xena! What a dream I just had." Gabrielle said breathlessly as she reached up to throw her arms around Xena’s neck. Xena smiled as the bard hugged her. She loved to feel Gabrielle’s arms around her.
Gabrielle then drew away from Xena but left her hands on her strong shoulders and quietly said, "I want you to listen to me Xena, I have some important things to tell you." Gabrielle continued then with a very serious tone to her voice that Xena had never really heard come from the bard, "I want you to know that I love you, I will always love you. I want to be with you. Yes, in that way. I want you to know also that even if I die before you, I will always come back to you in one form or another. I want you to believe in your heart that the good you are doing in your life now is retribution for all your past sins to this world and that you have the power to change your destiny."
Gabrielle then told Xena the whole dream in detail.
After Gabrielle finished telling Xena the dream, Xena slid her arms around the bard and held her close for a long moment reflecting on what she had just heard.
Xena drew back from her embrace of her bard then but only enough to be able to reach her soft lips with her own...
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