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Characters from Xena: Warrior Princess were temporarily borrowed from MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.

No infringement was intended in the writing of this Fan Fiction. The rest of the story is mine and I hold the copyright to it. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

Violence Warning/Disclaimer: This story contains some disturbing scenes but no real hard-core death, just some blood.

Love/Sex Warning/Disclaimer: No sex but a little tenderness between two women who love each other. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.

1998 (revised in Dec 98)


She remembered....

She remembered it through a fog, a haze that the mind used to soften the terrible things it had to deal with.

Lost in a cave.

A sudden cave-in and the urgent need to escape.

And when the warrior and the bard had moved aside the final piece of rubble that blocked their way, they found, instead of an exit, an alter of intricately carved marble in a large torch lit cavern.

And upon that alter lay, undisturbed for generations, a beautifully polished stone tablet.

The two women approached the altar with slow deliberate steps. A feeling of dread permeated the atmosphere as they stepped into the chamber. The tension they both felt could have been seen if one had eyes for it.

Gabrielle was the first to the altar and tablet. She picked it up and began to read. As she did, her eyes went wide as they tracked across the script. With a sudden sharp gasp she let the tablet fall back to the surface of the altar.

Xena saw the bards eyes get large and a look of loathing cross her face just before she let it go.

"By all the Gods..." whispered Gabriele, her hand coming involuntarily to her lips.

Xena reached out for the tablet.

Gabrielle shot her hand out and grasped Xena's arm.

"Xena, it's evil."

"I'll be alright." Soothed Xena to her worried friend. "It's only a tablet, it can't hurt us."

She picked the tablet up and saw etched into the polished stone a venomous and vile oath.

Defiler's Declaration

I will do things to you that haven't been done in a thousand years:

  I will rend your body, your mind and your soul

  You will know pain the likes of which only in Hell would you be intimate

  The depths of your agony shall nourish my hatred

  Your torment will be legendary

"By Hades, you're right." She nodded to Gabrielle; a sudden knot twisted her guts.

"This could be powerful if the oath taker truly believed and had in them the hate it would take to be this evil." The knot suddenly got bigger and tighter, she felt like she would be sick to her stomach.

Her hands began to shake as she put the tablet back down on the table.

She then noticed something strange about the tablet which made even her warrior blood run cold.

For seeping out from the engraved letters of the tablet was what appeared to be blood.

She gave her head a violent shake but the image didn't change. There, right before her, blood oozed up out of, and finally covered, the tablet.

Startled, Xena and Gabrielle began to back out of the chamber while, on top of the altar, the stone tablet continued to bleed.

Soon the surface of the altar was a shining red pool and in just moments, rivers of blood were washing over the marble altar and pooling on the floor around it.

In ever increasing amounts, blood issued forth from the tablet, flowing steadily towards them.

Xena, her eyes wide with her own deeply held terror found herself unable to move. With all her will she tried to force her limbs to carry her out of this chamber of horrors.

Gabrielle couldn't understand what was wrong with her friend. She tried to pull Xena with her but she was as immovable as a stone statue.

The blood was only inches from Gabrielle's feet and Xena could do nothing. She couldn't yell, she couldn't move...nothing.

Gabrielle was suddenly pulled into the blood as soon as it touched her heel. It was as if the blood was a deep malignant living pool and not what it had to be, just a thin layer of blood.

The horror that Xena felt then was nearly her undoing. Her horror at what was happening to Gabrielle, the terror that she felt for herself and her inability to stop it, overwhelmed her.

As Gabrielle was pulled into the pool of blood, she screamed out to Xena, begging for her help. She clawed for purchase on Xena and her armour but was dragged remorselessly deeper. Her struggles were for not, her warrior, it seemed, abandoning her to the fates.

The knot in Xena's gut now felt like it would consume her whole. By the Gods, what was wrong with her? Why couldn't she help? Why couldn't she move? Her mind raged at her while her body betrayed her.

"XENAAA..." Cried out Gabrielle for a last time as the crimson pool took her.

As she was screaming that last terrible cry, the blood ran into her mouth shutting off her scream. Her eyes held a worlds worth of terror and pleading...then finnally the look of the betrayed. Her arm though, remained outstretched, reaching for Xena, who in her mental agony could not move to help her dearest friend, her love.

With her own silent scream, Xena watched Gabrielle slowly disappear under the blood until even her honey-coloured locks were gone.

She stared at the spot for a long time.

All that blood.

All that blood.

Blood of those she had caused to die.

Of those whose lives she had caused to blow like ashes into the wind.

Blood on her hands.

"NOOOOO..." She cried out.

And suddenly woke up to find herself wrapped in the arms of her bard who was gently rocking her back and forth.

"Hush Xena, Hush now it was only a nightmare, you'll be alright my love. I promise you." Gabrielle whispered in the warrior's ear.

Xena held on to Gabrielle as tightly as she could, tears streaming down her face mingling with the rivulets of sweat that had also matted her hair to her forehead.

"I'll always be here for you." Gabrielle told her as she kissed Xena on the forehead.

"All that blood."

"All that Blood...." Repeated Xena quietly.

The End

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