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The Beast Within

by WarriorKing

Chapter 1-4

Chapter I

It was a calm, beautiful day. The sky was blue, the leaves green, and the wind cool and calm. A beautiful woman, clad in leather was walking along a forest trail with her horse and a smaller woman, with a fighting staff.

"I love the outdoors, don't you?" said Gabrielle. "It's so open and free."

"Yeah," replied Xena,"it's pretty nice."

"Where are we headed?" asked Gabrielle.

"Well, I wanted to swing by Artera to get new gauntlets, but to get there we have to pass through Parsa. And that's not a very inviting place.

"Why's that?" asked Gabrielle.

"The people there are very martial. They love everything about war. There are massive temples to Ares."

"I don't like the sound of that, Xena. Not with him chasing you like he does.Why not go to another city?"

"Artera makes the best armor in all of Greece, that's why. There is another way, but if we go that way it might add another month to the walk and we've been walking too long as it is," said Xena.

"Well, just keep a low profile, I guess," said Gabrielle.

"Don't worry," said Xena,"we'll be fine. We'll go in and just walk through. No questions asked,"

"Okay," replied Gabrielle, hesitantly.

The next day, Xena and Gabrielle came to the walls of Parsa. They could here the evil sound of Ares's chants and they could smell blood, blood from the annual massacre of the lambs.

"I don't like it here already," said Gabrielle.

"Just stay calm, this is a city of butchers and murderers. Just stay calm and we'll get out of here," replied Xena.

"What if one of these priests recognizes you?" asked Gabrielle.

"Let me worry about that," said Xena.

Just then Xena noticed that the chants from the temples stopped. Xena looked back with curiosity as to why these High Priests would stop a holy chant in the middle of it. Just then, she realized why.

"It is Xena!" yelled one of the elder priests, "The Warrior Princess! We must capture her to fulfill the Will of Ares!"

"Oh no," said Xena.

From the priest's call came a small army of soldiers, about fifteen. Fully armed and ready to do anything for Ares. Xena knew she would be terribly outnumbered.

"Run, Gabrielle!!"

Chapter II

Xena and Gabrielle ran with all their speed, but to no avail. It was as if the soldiers were multiplying. Soon, they were completely surrounded. The High Priest, who was too old to run called yet again.

"Bring her here!"

The soldiers brought her to the High Priest.

"Bring her in the temple," said the Priest.

Xena was being forced inside while Gabrielle was held back.

"I go nowhere without my friend," said Xena motioning to Gabrielle.

"Hmmm...very well. Bring the pest, too!"

Xena and Gabrielle were brought into the temple with the High Priest. It was a massive temple. Walls of solid marble and gold leaf. Statues five times the size of Xena. An altar of pure silver with a silk cloth draped over it.

"Amazing," said Gabrielle, never seeing such treasures.

"Now, leave us," said the High Priest to his soldiers, "I will talk to the woman alone."

"But Emminence, she will certainly kill you," said one of the soldiers.

"Leave US NOW YOU SIMPLETON FOOL!" cried the Priest.

"Yes, Emminence!" said the soldier with fright.

As soon as the temple doors closed, Xena drew her sword and placed it right to the Priest's neck.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't slit your throat right now!" yelled Xena.

"Ares is very disappointed in you my child," replied the Priest backing away from Xena's blade.

"First of all, I'm NOT your child, secondly, I don't give a DAMN WHAT ARES THINKS!" cried Xena.

"Foolish girl," said the Priest. Then he looked to Gabrielle. "And you, what do you think about all this?"

"I think Ares is a coward and a liar," said Gabrielle firmly but with a tiny quiver for she knew what terrors the wrath of any god could bring about, especially Ares.

"Also a foolish girl," said the Priest.

"Enough of this, we're leaving!" said Xena.

"Not until I say so!" said the Priest.

And with that the walls of the temple dissolved and they were suddenly in a beautiful green forest.

"What in Hades?" said Gabrielle.

"What's going on!?" cried Xena.

"You are mine, Xena!" said the Priest.

Xena looked at the Priest and knew exactly what had happened. How they were in the temple moments ago, and how now they are miles away. Xena knew who he this Priest was. She said his name with concern and anger.


Chapter III

The old Priest morphed into the all too familar form of Ares.

"Hello, Xena." said the God of War.

"What do you want with me!?" cried Xena, "I thought we settled this!"

"I'm never giving up on you, Xena. And you know why?" asked Ares with an evil grin on his face.

"Why?" asked Xena with anger.

"Because, MY Xena still lies within you. She is just dormant for a while. We both saw her when....Daddy came home for a visit. Ha ha ha!!" said Ares.

"You coward, are you so pathetic that you have to hunt Xena forever!?" cried Gabrielle, tired of hearing this.

"Silence! You are the pathetic one!" cried Ares to Gabrielle. He then released a powerful bolt of power from his hand which hurled Gabrielle back at least 25 paces.

"Gabrielle!" cried Xena running over to her.

"I'm fine,, that smarts." said Gabrielle.

"Enough of this!" said Ares, "back to business. As I was saying Xena. My former employee is still inside of you."

"I'm never coming back to you Ares." replied Xena.

"I don't want YOU, Xena. I want HER." said Ares.

"What are you talking about? You're insane." said Xena.

"Am I?" asked Ares, "there is a Beast within you, Xena. And she wants to come home, to me!"

Ares then raised his hands to the sky and looked Xena straight in the eyes. A cold chill ran threw her. Suddenly, the clouds began to circle and grow grey. Red and blue lightning filled the air.

"I want the Beast within you, Xena!!" Ares called over the crashing noise of his power.

"NO!" said Xena forcefully.

Suddenly a bolt of blue lightning struck Xena and held her. She was screaming with a pain heard only in the bowls of Tarturus. She writhed in pain, when a red bolt struck her as well. Gabrielle ran to her, but was thrown back with the ultimate fury of Ares. Xena screamed in hellish terror, bt Ares continued his beseige upon her. Gabrielle looked up from her now near-unconscious state and saw something she never imagined.

"Impossible," she whispered to herself.

Then with a powerful flash, the bolts finally released the Warrior Princess.She was thrown back and Ares stood over her laughing. Then Ares vanished. The lush green forest turned into an Inn, one located in Artera. They were in the lobby of the Inn. Gabrielle was kneeling next to Xena's limp form. "Xena!?" she cried, "Xena, speak to me!! No, you're not dead! Come back!"

Three hours later......

Xena barely opened her eyes, and saw Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle..." Xena said still under the effects of Ares's attack.

"Xena! Thank the gods you're alright!" said Gabrielle softly. "Oh, the Innkeeper saw what condition you were in and gave us a room for free. Temporarily, of course."

"What happened?" said Xena, trying to get up. "I felt a powerful shock, and something I can't explain..."

Gabrielle cut her off.

"I know, I saw it. It was as if I saw you splitting in half. There was another Xena. Of course, it might have been that my vision was blurred and I was seeing double. But then everything went white and we were suddenly in the Inn, and you were unconscious."

"I know what happened," said Xena, "I understand now what Ares meant when he said he wanted HER."

"Tell me," said Gabrielle.

"The old Xena is still inside me, or I should say WAS. Ares removed her. He took everything that was ever evil about me and he solidified it into another Xena. She's out there, and I've got to stop her."

"You mean....there are two Xena's now?" asked Gabrielle.

"Yes. And most likely Ares has the second one looking just me, to destroy whatever reputation I've made as a peacemaker. I've got to go."

"You're not going anywhere without me!" said Gabrielle.

Chapter IV

Xena and Gabrielle left the Inn and thanked the kind Inkeeper for helping them. They went out to find the evil Xena.

"She could be anywhere," said Xena.

"We'll find her," said Gabrielle.

Just then Xena jerked back and looked forward blindly. She was terrified of whatever she was seeing.

"Xena, what's wrong!?" Gabrielle said with concern.

"Stop, stop it! You're hurting them!!" yelled Xena. But to whom?

"Xena! Who are you talking to?" said Gabrielle, now scared that her friend was losing her mind.

"Stop! Stop you bitch! They never did anything to you!!" cried Xena.

"Xena! Snap out of it!!" said Gabrielle.

Gabrielle grabbed Xena's shoulders and shook her. Xena began to fade out of her illusionary state.

"Gabrielle," said Xena. She was staring into Gabrielle's eyes, looking as if she were about to burst into tears.

"Xena!? What was that!?" asked Gabrielle.

"She's killing people. Men, women, children. She's slaughtering them all. She has an army. Ares must have given it to her. By the gods. She's destroyed hundreds in a few hours."

"How do you know that?" asked Gabrielle.

"I see it. I can see through her eyes. I can't explain it. We are two halves of the same whole. I can see through her, and, and...." Xena now looked very troubled.

"And what?" asked Gabrielle, frightened as much as her friend.

"....and she can see through me." said Xena.

"You mean..." said Gabrielle, as Xena cut her off.

"Yes. Everywhere we go, she'll see. But everywhere she goes I'LL SEE AS WELL!" said Xena with a fire in her eyes.

"Let's get her," said Gabrielle.

Chapter V

Xena and Gabrielle walked along the wooded path. Gabrielle could still see the shock in Xena's eyes after seeing the terrible torment her other self was putting those innocent families through. Hearing the army chanting her name. It terrified her.

"Xena?" asked Gabrielle. She did not receive a response.

"Xena? What are we going to do about her?" asked Gabrielle again. Xena snapped back into reality.

"What? Oh. I don't know," replied Xena.

Suddenly there was a burst of light ahead of them. A man with long dirty blonde hair appeared before them. He had on a leather wardrobe and he was holding a helmet under his arm. Xena and Gabrielle stopped short.

"Hades," said Xena, "all we need..another god."

"I am exactly what you need Xena," replied the Lord of the Underworld.

"Hades, with all due respect, we don't have time for this," said Gabrielle, "we've got sort of a crisis on our hands."

"Why do you think I'm here?" asked Hades. He turned his attention to Xena. "Look Xena. We need to get down to business. Keep in mind, I'm not here because I like you. You did me a great favor when you got back my Helmet of Invisibility, so I have to repay you. This is my repayment."

"I don't want anything from you Hades," said Xena walking past, with Gabrielle on the side of her. Hades now began walking behind her.

"You may not want anything from me, Xena," began Hades, "but you need me."

Xena turned around and stopped. She looked Hades in the eye, and looked annoyed.

"Alright, Hades. You got two minutes. Make it good," said Xena.

Hades began, not amused by Xena, "Ares, as I'm sure you already now, as divided your soul, your very essence into two whole beings. You and the other Xena. This is an ancient practice. Some gods used it to torture the innocents. It was outlawed on Olympus by Zeus centuries ago. Of course, Zeus never really was much for reprimanding his gods. Ares was never much for rules and regulations, so its a good relationship, for Ares anyway."

"Go on," said Gabrielle, becoming more interested.

"For now, the seperation is temporary, but if the sun falls and rises three times, and the soul is not rejoined, the effects are permanent. The soul is permanently divided. Right now, your sould is not completely divided. Otherwise, you would be happy and giddy, and smelling the flowers without your bad side. You still have her, and she still has you. I know that you've realized that you can see through each other. You must use that to track her down."

"Why is it there's always a three day limit!?" asked Xena.

"I don't know, I don't make up these rules," said Hades.

"Who does?" asked Xena.

"Can we please get back to business, your soul is at stake!" said Hades.

"Alright," Xena said, "what do I do when I find her?"

"When you find her, your soul must be refused. But Xena, you must make sure not to kill her. Doing so would destroy the most important part of yourself."

"I figured that out already," said Xena.

"So how do we refuse Xena's soul?" asked Gabrielle.

"Uhh, well, that's the tricky part," said Hades.

"Surprise," said Xena. "Okay, what's the trick?"

"To refuse a soul," Hades said, "both halves of the soul must want to be refused. Otherwise the refusion is impossible."

"WHAT?" said Gabrielle surprised by what she had heard. "Are you saying that Xena's evil side must want to be reunited with Xena's good side? That's never gonna happen. She has an army, and Ares behind her, and she has dozens of villages scared to death!"

"I know it sounds impossible, but there's one thing that can help you here Xena," said Hades.

"What's that?" asked Xena.

"Just keep in mind that you two are still part of the same whole. You are part of her and she is part of you."

"Wait a minute," said Xena, "are you saying that she is still like me, she has some good left in her?"

Hades simply raised one eyebrow towards Xena and then vanished.

"Come on, Gabrielle. We've got some answers and we need to make for lost time."

To be continued...........

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