Convert this page to Pilot DOC Format
Here be Dragons
By Kenneth W. Hannen
"Here be Dragons." (28th October 1997)(Amended June 1998)
© Copyright 1997 by Kenneth W. Hannen, Clydebank, Scotland.
Xena: Warrior Princess and the names, titles, and back story used in "Here be Dragons." are the sole property of Universal. The author intends no copyright infringement through the writing of this fan fiction.
This story may not be sold and may be archived only with direct permission from the author. Any archive must carry this entire copyright statement.
Disclaimer: Okay this has your typical violence rating of a normal Xena ep. There is a little sexiness but not a lot. Kiddies it's past your bedtime, okay?
I'd like to point out I wrote this thing ages ago and the Gabrielle character has been significantly developed since then, that's why she seems kind of a wimp in this one. It's all relative as Einstein said edging away from his mother-in-law. Asleanna & Randolph are my own invention and they feature in a work-in-progress that has nothing to do with X:WP. Maybe I'll finish the thing someday.
Anyway this story is what happens when you drink and write: BE WARNED!
Checkout my homepage @: Wolfken's Lair
Deep in the heart of an enchanted isle, something stirred. The ground heaved and churned as a new hill formed under the soft earth. Trees fell, rocks split and shattered, as the hill grew larger. A row of spikes broke free at the summit of the rising mound. There was an oddly serpentine pattern to the line they were drawing along the still rising hill. A head the size of a small cottage emerged from the torn earth.
Cruelly pointed teeth gleamed in the late afternoon sunlight. Eyes ablaze, the monstrous head continued to rise. More and more soil tumbled from the head, neck and shoulders of the hidden form.
Finally the landscape shifted and the huge reptilian bulk of a Dragon was revealed. Standing at almost double the height of the tallest giant, the Dragon was immense. Its scales were a light blue colour as it shook the remaining countryside from its back.
It's scales turned a deep sooty red as it took in a deep breath, making itself even larger. It let out the breath in an explosive cacophony of flame and rage filled roar as it lumbered off through the forest of oaks. Trees which had seen the passage of millennia were crushed like kindling under its claws as it thrashed its way through the bracken, chasing the setting sun.
Deep in the trees the elven woodsmen and women lifted their weapons and set off to protect their forest. Grim determination was the only emotion on their faces as they stalked the moving mountain of destruction in its westward track.
Zeus, King of the Gods, observed the Dragon's steady progress through his island. He was scared, almost as scared as he'd been when he first unleashed man into the world he had found. The jury was still out on that decision.
That Dragon definitely did not belong on this planet. It's home was at the other side of the galaxy, under the rule of another set of Gods and Goddesses. These Gods were young and rash, with little mastery of their powers, yet they still challenged Zeus. Zeus was in many time planes at once, shifting and conducting his way through the time stream. Still trying to work out the kinks from the last time he disrupted times linear progress. Time didn't really mean much to an entity like Zeus, he had mastered that peculiar commodity long before he had dabbled in the creation of humans. Mastered nearly all his skills aeons before he'd stumbled across the planet earth in his interstellar wanderings.
If he simply got rid of the Dragon he would be virtually declaring war on these other Gods. He couldn't directly interfere with the Dragon, the Gods of its home world were obviously testing him. Trying to see how the ancient Zeus would fare against the new kids on the block. "Trying to muscle in on my territory are ya? Well there is something you should know, see. I makes my mugs tough." He looked down at a small corner of Greece. An aeroplane flew past. "Damn. Wrong century." He muttered as he blinked and looked at a radically altered Greece. "That's better. Now where did I put Xena and that little cutie, Gabrielle?" He homed in on the sleeping friends like a hawk to a dove.
Asleanna Xian, elven warrior and protector of the ancestral forest slowly edged around on the Dragons position. Her brother, Randolph, was circling around on the monsters left flank...preparing to strike. A brief thought touched her mind. The signal. Suddenly a hundred elves hurled themselves at the Dragon, screaming high, ululating cries as they flipped and sprang to the attack.
Several blows struck the Dragons heavily armoured scales. Blows strong enough to shear through steal bounced harmlessly off the blood red skin. As quickly as the attack had began it was over. The elves melted soundlessly into the forest. The Dragon roared its scorn for the pitiful attack and continued westward. Asleanna smiled to herself, they had made the Dragon veer towards their trap.
She closed her eyes and shape shifted into the form of a large white wolf. She sought out her brothers mind and instructed him to do likewise so that they could check on their trap. Faster than any creature of the forest the twin wolves streaked silently ahead of the Dragon.
From the vantage of a small hill they saw the last of the tree limbs being pulled over the abandoned quarry. Its sheer walls were three times as high as the Dragon; it would not be able to climb out of there easily. Behind them the Dragon could be heard as it crashed through the forest.
On a direct line for the elves impromptu trap.
Asleanna tilted her head and gave a high keening howl, her brother's voice providing a rich bass resonance to the call. From the darkness of the forest several howls answered.
All was in readiness.
Gabrielle was in the middle of a good dream. Not the kind she'd have liked to share with anyone, but it was definitely a good dream. "Hercules..." She breathed into Xena's ear as she wrapped her arms around the sleeping warrior. A year ago the slightest sound would have jolted Xena awake.
Now she had been travelling with Gabrielle for a while and she was so used to the girls movements she barely stirred in her embrace. "Where?" Xena asked sleepily before shifting slightly and hugging Gabrielle closer to her. She sighed and once again drifted into a deep sleep, Gabrielle clutched tightly to her.
A small orb of light dodged its way through the trees towards the campsite. It flickered and danced around Argo's twitching tail as it hovered on the outskirts of the camp. Argo eyed the ball suspiciously.
Suddenly the ball contracted and exploded with a faint POP! And a mischievous old man stood in its place. He regarded the sleeping warrior and bard. "Aw! Isn't that cute?!" He conversationally asked Argo. The horse flattened her ears and snorted at the strange old man. "Take it easy old girl!" The man laughed and affectionately slapped Argo on the rump.
Argo bucked and kicked him with both feet - hard. It was a long time before the old man with the wandering hands landed. A few minutes later the old fellow staggered back into the camp, picking splinters and bracken out of his clothes and beard. Muttering darkly to himself he glared at Argo and shook his fist at the horse. She seemed to be laughing.
"Ahem!" He exclaimed once he'd picked the worst of the local flora out of his underwear. Xena and Gabrielle awoke with a start, each reaching for their weapons. Gabrielle jumped to her feet holding Xena's scabbard like her staff. "Ha!" She cried. Xena flipped off her back, plucking her Chakram from her belt as she warily examined the stranger.
"Who goes there?!" Gabrielle demanded of the bushes behind Xena. "He's over this way, Gabrielle." Xena said softly. The old man winked at her, roguishly. Gabrielle whirled to face the man, trying to look intimidating with the scabbard held in a tight grip.
"Hello, Zeus." Xena said simply.
"How are you, Xena? Well, I trust." The ancient disreputable looking vagabond nodded to Xena.
"Zeus? This old tramp can't be Zeus, Xena! I mean look at him, he looks like he's been dragged through a hedge backwards!" Gabrielle's voice was loaded with cynicism. She surreptitiously dropped the scabbard and flicked her staff up into her hands, hoping no one had noticed her mistake.
"Skyward, actually." Zeus cast an accusing look at Argo. "Pardon?" Gabrielle asked, somehow she had managed to loose the thread of the conversation between one heartbeat and the next. "Skyward, dear. I was dragged through a hedge skyward. Thanks to the feisty little filly behind me." He rubbed the two hoof prints on his ribs and winced. Gabrielle could quite clearly see the outline of Argo's hooves in the man's side.
"Look I can see a demonstration is in order here. I can't spend all night trying to convince you that I am who I am, so what's it to be? Lightning bolts? A quick flight around the glade? What?" Zeus demanded.
"Hit that rock with a lightning bolt and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt." Gabrielle said inching away from the rock she'd just doomed.
Xena rolled her eyes, Argo backed off into the bushes. Zeus smirked and pointed at the rock. The shower of red-hot pebbles sent Gabrielle dancing into the forest.
"So what is the King of the Gods doing this far from Mount Olympus?" Xena asked archly as Gabrielle frantically brushed the stones off of her clothes. Thunder rolled and crashed in the aftermath of the instantaneous lightning storm.
"I need your help, Xena." Zeus stated in an injured tone.
"What no subterfuge? No lies? You disappoint me Zeus." Xena span her Chakram around her finger, it made a sing song whistle as it span.
"No. I don't have time to save my pride. The fate of my child rests on the outcome of your decision. I can't force you to help. Will you assist me?" His tone was earnestly serious. Xena stopped spinning the Chakram and looked into the Gods eyes. There was fear there.
"We'll help you - " Xena started.
"Yeah, I'll help you to a busted head! You little..." Gabrielle whirled her staff and advanced on the King of the Gods. He actually backed off a little from the anger on the singed bard's face. Suddenly he burst out laughing, all traces of his seriousness and fear gone.
"Oh my dear, dear Gabrielle! That is exactly what I need! You humans never cease to amaze me. You were actually going to take me on with that little stick, weren't you?!" He snapped his fingers and laughed uproariously. Gabrielle glared at him belligerently then looked sheepishly between her staff and Zeus, she giggled and laughed a little ruefully.
"Okay so it wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. But you didn't have to cover me in burning rubble to convince me you were a God." Gabrielle chided.
"I apologise, whole heartedley! Xena this girl is a treasure, don't ever let her go!" Zeus laughed.
"I don't intend to." Xena said fondly. "And we will help you save Hercules."
"Hercules? He has nothing to do - Oh I see! I said 'my child' didn't I?" He looked at Xena and sighed. "Xena, this entire world is my child. And she is going to die if we don't do something." Xena blinked a few times but to her credit this was her only sign of surprise. "Some Gods from another place have sent a creature from their world here. Its purpose is to create havoc and undo all that I have created. I cannot destroy it; else I destroy the earth as well. I cannot imprison it as it is likely to knock the world off her axis." He shook his head sadly. "I cannot directly intervene. However I can pit my creations against theirs..."
"Us." Xena said grimly.
"I am afraid so." He said. "It is a Dragon you are to face. A giant reptile, not unlike the Hydra. As large as a mountain it is well armoured and its strength far surpasses anything you have faced before." Zeus began pacing. "It has wings but do not worry, something that large cannot possibly fly. However it can breathe fire, some kind of petrochemical ignition system behind its salivary gland." He broke off as if lost in thought. Xena cleared her throat and he stopped daydreaming. "But, I digress." He ran his hand nervously through his hair. "You two are no match for it unaided. I will need to install all the optional extras I dare to make you its equal. When you face the Dragon, you will receive an enormous amount of my power. It is important that you don't let it corrupt you. Humanity as a whole is just as flawed as I am but I'm hoping you two can handle it." He looked sceptically between the warrior princess and the bard. "Hold on tight." He breathed out hard and raised his hands in a clapping gesture. Suddenly Xena and Gabrielle were gone; a few stirring leaves the only sign of their departure.
Asleanna and Randolph loped off through the trees, tentatively searching out their two strike forces. The trap was all too obviously that; they needed to distract the giant lizard at just the right time to make it fall in. Hopefully not loosing anyone in the attack, there were all too few elves as it was. Split second timing was needed to ensure they confronted the beast in as short and as productive a time as possible.
The impact tremors of the approaching monster set the forest to shaking. Involuntary whines escaped the younger members of the packs. Randolph puffed himself up to his full height and growled at the oncoming threat. Time was running out.
The Dragon was coming.
Gabrielle and Xena landed in the middle of a thick clump of undergrowth. They both struggled out of the bushes and staggered into the path of the oncoming Dragon. Confused and disorientated by their instantaneous transportation to the isle of the elves they stood directly in front of its massive talons.
Xena quickly regained her senses, recognising the house sized fist for what it was, just in time to see the Dragon lift it and swing it up over their heads. "Move!" Xena commanded, gripping Gabrielle by the waist and catapulting them both out of danger of the descending foot. Both women lay in the brush as they watched the Dragon stomp off through the forest. "What was that?" Gabrielle whispered in awe. "I don't know but for Zeus' sake that had better not have been the Dragon." Xena muttered ominously.
"THAT, was the Dragon?!" Gabrielle squeaked.
"Uh-huh." Xena picked herself up and dusted off her armour. She held out her hand to Gabrielle and pulled her upright.
"How are we going to fight that thing?" Gabrielle asked, absently picking leaves out of her hair. "It's pinkie is bigger than you are..." She looked Xena up and down.
"Zeus said we'd get some of his power to bring that bad boy down. So far that power doesn't seem to be very forthcoming." Xena grumbled. She took a deep breath and cocked an eyebrow in thought. "Gabrielle, I'm going to try something...You might want go stand over there somewhere. Way, way, over there." Xena gestured to behind a massive oak tree. Gabrielle slowly backed off towards the tree, not really wanting to leave her friend. Xena closed her eyes and blocked out every sound the living forest made. Her breathing slowed, almost to nothing. Her heartbeat stopped. Once the trance was complete she quickly clapped her hands together, restarting her vital functions and summoning a very bemused, and semi-naked Zeus to the isle.
"Now just where did you learn to do that, young lady?" Zeus asked, quickly adjusting his towel to cover the majority of his body.
"I have many skills. Nice towel. Taking a bath were we?" Xena asked the shivering God.
"Actually 'we' were, now if you don't mind I left two Spartan redheads in the tub..." Zeus made to snap his fingers.
"Not so fast, we just met your little lizard. About ninety feet high, breath that would knock out a hydra at fifty paces. Any of this ringing a bell?" Gabrielle asked. Trying not to laugh as she walked up behind the God with the bare behind.
"What? How? Where?! Oh this is ridiculous!" Zeus stopped trying to cover his nakedness and snapped his fingers. Instantly he was enveloped in a bright flash of light. The light dissipated as quickly as it had come, leaving the King of the Gods in a regal robe of the finest silk. "That's better. Now what exactly was the point of dragging me here?"
"Like Gabrielle said; we met the Dragon and the 'huge amount' of your power you mentioned was no where to be found. Maybe your two bathing partners distracted you while we were off trying to save our world?" Xena balled her fists and took a step closer to Zeus.
"Quit looking at me like that." Zeus said. Involuntarily taking a step away from Xena. "I said you'd get my power, I didn't say when. It would be very dangerous for you both if I hit you to soon. Fatal probably."
"Okay, so when exactly will we get your power and what can we do with it?" Gabrielle asked, walking to Xena's side.
"The power of a God is no light burden, you two will carry all my power for a brief period. Between you two you could do anything. Anything! But you must confront the Dragon, enter into combat with it before I can bestow my strength to you." Zeus let the import of his words sink in. "Now if you two will excuse me I have somebody to attend to." Zeus snapped his fingers and suddenly he was gone.
Xena turned to Gabrielle, Gabrielle turned to Xena. Both women were scared, silently they followed the Dragon's trail of destruction.
The Dragon was close, and coming closer with each passing second. Asleanna was scared. Never in all her life had she faced something like the creature that was tearing it's way through her forest. She was an elf, a warrior mage of the highest order. Her people had defended this isle since time began. Scared or not this monster ended its journey here. "One way or another." She whispered.
The time was nearly at hand. Their plan was both simple and daring. One force of elves would assault the beast as it entered the clearing where the now covered quarry waited, to distract it. The second force would pelt the beast with spears and arrows from the far side of the quarry in an attempt to lure the Dragon into their trap. Asleanna prayed it would work.
The Dragon passed the marker tree and Randolph howled his group's readiness. Asleanna grimaced and shifted into her wolf alter ego. She looked around at the faces of her friends, committing each one to memory. Fear gave way to anger at the thought of loosing any of the elves at her side. She lifted her muzzle and gave vent to a howl that made the trees shake and tremble before the gale of wind and sound. She shook herself and began stalking the giant lizard.
Silently the pack followed. Randolph shifted back into his normal form and gripped a large spear from a pile beside him. His sister's howl sent a cold shiver down his spine. Boy, was she ever mad! He grinned in the moonlight; that Dragon was going to regret messing with Asleanna.
Xena drew her sword as they heard the commotion up ahead. Gabrielle looked to Xena for reassurance. Xena winked at her and they both ran down the trail in search of the noise.
They broke into a Dragon made clearing of forest to the sight of several wolves launching a frenzied attack on the beasts haunches and tail. Their fangs weren't drawing blood but from the bellows of the reptile they were hurting just the same.
Suddenly the Dragon whirled to face the wolves, sending the pack scattering into the trees.
Only a large white wolf stood its ground growling into the face of the reptile. The Dragon made to snap up the wolf in one bite of its massive jaws. Quickly the wolf leapt and changed into the form of a young woman before the jaws could clamp shut around her.
Rolling to her feet brought Asleanna within striking distance of the creatures eye. With all her strength she slammed her elbow into the glowing red orb beside her. The Dragon screamed and shook its head violently, knocking Asleanna to the ground. It snorted a bright plume of flame and angrily snapped at her.
Gabrielle hit it at full tilt, cannoning into its jaw with her staff. "Heyargh! Ow!" She cried, holding her now vibrating staff and shaking her throbbing hands. Slowly the Dragon turned its attention to the bard.
Xena ran up behind Gabrielle and kicked her behind the knees as the Dragon shot a fireball at her head. Gabrielle lay in the soft carpet of forest leaves watching the fireball streak overhead. "That could have gone better." She conceded as Xena jumped to her feet and attacked the Dragon.
"AYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAAAEE!" Xena swept her sword up under the Dragons throat, it rebounded harmlessly. She quickly dodged back to Gabrielle's side, pulling her friend to her feet.
Xena grabbed Gabrielle by the front of her tunic and hauled her up until she was inches away from her face. "Don't ever charge a ninety foot high reptile again." Xena hissed angrily into Gabrielle's face. "I nearly had a heart attack when you ran at that thing." Gabrielle kissed her on the nose. "Now you know how I feel when you do stuff like that." She said. Xena stared into her eyes in stunned disbelief.
She dropped Gabrielle to the ground and cast her eyes heavenward. "Ye Gods, what did I do to deserve this?!" Xena demanded of the uncaring sky. Gabrielle giggled, she quickly put her hand to her mouth to stifle the laugh as Xena scowled at her. Behind them the Dragon moved.
The Dragon regarded Asleanna with culinary intent. It ran a long, forked tongue around its lips as it slowly descended on the stunned Asleanna. "Don't even think about it shorty." Asleanna said dragging herself painfully to her feet. The Dragon opened it's mouth, revealing row after row of dagger like teeth.
"You and I are going to have words little lady. But first lets help the suicidal maniac." She looked Gabrielle in the eye. "The other maniac that is." Gabrielle shrugged and stepped to Xena's side. The duo advanced on the Dragon.
Xena shook her head as Asleanna made to launch herself at the Dragon. Asleanna caught the movement and stopped her attack. The warrior was obviously good. Asleanna was willing to bow to her experience. At this point she was willing to do anything to stop the Dragon.
Xena drew her Chakram and hurled it at the monstrous head looming above Asleanna. The Chakram screamed as it sought the throat of the beast. The Chakram hit its target in a shower of sparks and a shriek of tortured metal as it sliced its way along the Dragons neck. It broke contact with its prey and returned to Xena's hand. A thin line of blood appeared under a few of the Dragons scales. The only sign that the weapon had even touched it.
Angrily the Dragon shot a wall of flame at Xena and Gabrielle. Xena jumped to the right of the fire, Gabrielle rolled to the left. Asleanna ran under the bulk of the Dragon and circled to its rear. "This way!" She called to Xena and Gabrielle, before turning and running into the forest. Xena nodded to Gabrielle and they both took to their heels and followed the elf into the forest. The Dragon blinked and looked around in a confused silence. Frustrated beyond measure it roared, a sound so filled with primal rage and bloodlust that the very earth seemed to tremble and quake in fear. It whirled its massive body and smashed its way after the three warriors.
Randolph tensed and relaxed his muscles, weighing the heavy spear speculatively in his hand. In the distance he could see trees being tossed to the left and right of a moving blackness. He looked at the huge spear in his hand and then again at the Dragon, looming on the horizon. Somehow he didn't think the spear was going to do much damage. Around him the elves checked their weapons and prepared for the assault.
The Dragon was here.
Asleanna ran, swift as a gazelle, through the dense underbrush. Only the light whipping of the air as she ran sounded in the forest. Xena fell into step beside her, easily keeping up with the elf. Gabrielle passed them both, turning and running backwards she motioned the already lightning like warriors to speed up before turning again and accelerating.
"Where did your friend learn to run so fast?" Asleanna enquired politely.
"I'm not sure. I've never seen her do that." Xena answered. Behind them the Dragon burst into view. A maelstrom of fire and noise boiled its way through the forest to the two fugitives. Xena caught Asleanna by the waist and launched them both high into the air flipping and somersaulting they landed in a tree. The fire swept through the bracken below them. Asleanna cursed in a language Xena couldn't understand. The elf's meaning was all to clear though.
Asleanna wrapped her arms around Xena, it was a seductively sensual movement, totally out of place with their present predicament that surprised Xena. She shot an enquiring look into the beautiful blonde woman's bright blue eyes. Asleanna gave Xena a placating look then closed her eyes and leaned even closer to the warrior. Xena was confused and was ready to admonish the elf. She leaned back slightly looking at Asleanna as if she were a snake ready to strike.
Below them the forest burned. Up in the branches they had no room to manoeuvre and Xena was beginning to loose her patience.
Asleanna opened her eyes and all traces of white and blue were gone. Only blackness, deep endless blackness filled her eyes. She cocked her head to one side and looked out to the quarry. A slight shimmering haze covered the two women and then they vanished.
They were translocated to a spot just short of the trap. Asleanna quickly let go of Xena and grabbed Gabrielle as she almost ran past them. Gabrielle raised her fist to punch Asleanna then dropped it when she recognised the elf. She stood shaking and drawing shuddering breaths beside Xena. Xena was intently staring at the tree covered quarry mouth. "It's a trap." She said to Gabrielle.
"Yes. Even the reptile will see that, we had no time to plan anything else." Asleanna smacked her fist into her palm. "Damn!"
"You and the wolves were trying to distract it so it wouldn't notice the trap. But you weren't able to hold it long enough and now it will go around." Gabrielle said.
"Maybe we can still lead it into the trap." Xena said looking at the thick tree limbs of the trap. "We have its attention pretty much fixed on us. If we run out onto the tree branches covering the opening it'll follow us." "We'll never make it to the other side before its weight brings down the trees." Asleanna said regretfully.
"Can't you transport us all to the other side once it begins to fall?"
"It is possible, in theory. But I've never had to teleport more than two people and never while I'm moving. It'd be incredibly dangerous." Asleanna sighed. "Let's do it human." Xena nodded but looked curiously at the elf as she did so.
"Gabrielle, lets go." Xena said.
Behind them the Dragon crushed the remaining trees between its prey and their fate. The three women ran out onto the lattice work of tree branches. Running as fast as they could.
Randolph looked into the face of the Dragon and grinned. He took a few steps forward and launched his spear with all his strength. The spear sang as it cut through the night air. It reached the apex of its flight and curved back towards the earth.
Gabrielle stumbled and fell onto the tree limb she had been running along. The Dragon roared in triumph and opened its mouth wide, slavering with anticipation it snaked towards Gabrielle. Walking out to the edge of the quarry it shot its tongue out to grab Gabrielle. Suddenly a spear shot out of the night and pinned the thick tongue to the bottom of the Dragons mouth.
"Who-hoo!" Randolph whooped in the distance.
The Dragon shook its head, trying to dislodge the painful spear. It stepped even closer to the trap. Gabrielle scrambled to her feet and was running again. Only a heartbeat behind Xena and Asleanna. The Dragon stumbled forwards onto the trap, shaking every tree covering the quarry. "Now!" Xena yelled, grabbing Asleanna's hand and reaching for Gabrielle's. Gabrielle reached for Xena but the trees gave way beneath her and she disappeared down into the depths with the monster. "No!" Xena screamed as the haze surrounded her and she disappeared.
Asleanna and Randolph were talking quietly at the edge of their camp. Both were giving anxious looks in the direction of the desolate Xena. She sat slumped at the foot of a tree.
Sagging with the loss of Gabrielle.
Her light, her heart. Xena had lost all that was good in her life.
And into that void rushed a familiar friend.
Hate for the Dragon for taking Gabrielle. Hate for Asleanna for not letting her die with Gabrielle but most of all hate for herself for letting Gabrielle fall. Rage was also an old friend. It comforted and blanketed Xena, urging her on to vengeance.
In the distance the Dragon crashed and shrieked at the bottom of the shear sided quarry. Xena stood and ran at the pit. Drawing her sword she hurled herself at the gaping hole. If she had to live with the loss of Gabrielle, she would rather die avenging her.
So many things left unsaid. Xena thought mournfully as she plummeted towards the darkness.
Asleanna slammed into Xena and they both rolled into the bushes. "What are you doing?!" She demanded of Xena. Xena struggled and fought the elf off of her. "She's dead." She whispered in a harsh voice. "Now get out of my way, or don't. It makes no difference to me." Xena raised her sword and swept it under the nose of the elf.
Asleanna backed away from the sword but she still stood her ground. A voice rang in Xena's ears. "If something ever happens to me promise me you won't become a monster." Tears welled up in Xena's eyes and she angrily sheathed her sword. Gabrielle had spoken those words to Xena just a few months before. "Forgive me Gabrielle." She whispered. Xena walked past Asleanna and back into the elves camp.
Behind her the Dragon still continued to destroy the bottom of the quarry. Suddenly the Dragon leapt into the air, small bat-like wings hauled its huge bulk into the sky. It looked ridiculous as it clawed its way upwards, the tiny wings flapping almost faster than the eye could see. The elves grabbed their spears and bows and began to chase the Dragon.
Before they could go more than two steps a familiar voice boomed:
"C'mere you!" And a huge arm shot out of the quarry and gripped the Dragons tail. Gabrielle emerged from the quarry. Singed, scratched and almost the same size as the Dragon she whirled it by the tail. Faster and faster the giant Gabrielle span. She let go of the screaming Dragon and it shot out into the sea to the south of the quarry. "With those tiny wings it cannot possibly fly. Yeah, right." Gabrielle said in a parody of Zeus' voice.
Gabrielle climbed the rest of the way out of the quarry and faced the elves and a dancing Xena. "Your trap wasn't deep enough." She said in a voice that made the island shake. "It's taken me the past twenty minutes to keep that lizard pinned to the bottom of the pit." She patted out a haystack sized fire on her skirt and knelt before the elves. "Hold on, Xena." She whispered and pointed at the still jubilant warrior. Xena quickly expanded in size until she towered beside Gabrielle. Xena threw her arms around her friend. "Thank the God's you're okay!" She yelled. The elves below her clapped their hands over their ears to block out Xena's cry.
The Dragon coughed and spluttered its way to the surface of the sea. It tried to blow flame but its fire had been extinguished by the icy waters of the ocean. It emitted a strangled cry as it splashed around in the waters. Xena and Gabrielle, standing side by side on the beach exchanged glances. Xena grinned and popped her knuckles. Gabrielle winked at her and they waded out after the Dragon.
Xena punched the Dragon square on the jaw as it made to bite her. Its head snapped back and it clutched its nose protectively as it scuttled away from Xena. Gabrielle kicked at the Dragon as it sped past her, drowning it in a tidal wave of water. The Dragon was making a mewling noise as it dodged the two giants.
Gabrielle was unbalanced by her kick and the waters pulled at her leg, causing her to fall in an ungainly heap. Quickly the Dragon leapt at her clawing at her face. Gabrielle threw up her arms to protect herself but the Dragon tore a deep cut in her forearm. Gabrielle screamed as Xena kicked the creature off of her.
Xena pulled Gabrielle up out of the surf and clamped her hands over the wound. Behind her the Dragon cried out in pain as it hit the beach. It began its strange mewling cry as it limped to its feet. "Let's finish this." Xena said coldly. She drew her finger through the sea and a glittering blade appeared. Gabrielle wrapped a piece of her skirt around the wound and cautiously rose to her feet.
She looked at the shivering, crying Dragon limping on the beach. Trying to escape the wrath of the Goddess Gabrielle. Emotionless to the creature's plight she willed a spear of fire into being and strode after the beast. Xena and her blade of ice stepped beside her and they advanced on the monster.
Something primal stirred in Xena and Gabrielle. Something about the noise the Dragon was making and its helplessness that evoked emotions lost to them. The Goddess Xena raised her sword but hesitated, listening to the Dragon's cries. Gabrielle couldn't bring herself to throw the spear either. Your power is boundless mighty Xena, a dark inner voice informed her. Why should God's care about a creature that is so far beneath them? The seductive voice questioned. It is hardly worth killing but it must be taught a lesson for daring to challenge you.
Xena and Gabrielle looked at one another. She want's your power. The voice persisted. Kill her after she helps you to kill the beast! Gabrielle shook her head finally gaining focus on the Dragon's noises. Suddenly she gasped and dropped the spear it hissed and then was gone in a cloud of steam.
"Oh no! Xena listen to him!" Gabrielle said in an agonised voice. Now is your chance! The voice exulted. Kill her while she is defenceless! Kill her now! "No!" Xena grunted, fighting off the attack.
She listened closely to the Dragon. The mewling ceased. "Momma! Help me momma! There are bad monsters here!" The Dragon broke off sobbing. "I'm lost and I want to go home!" Xena dropped her sword. Appalled she realised the Dragon was just a baby. A baby who had been sent here by alien Gods on a whim.
Xena threw all her will and power at the voice who had plagued her. Suddenly a hooded figure appeared beside them. A glowing nimbus of fire surrounded the cloaked being.
"Ah you learn fast, child of Zeus. But you are no match for a real God." The alien raised it's hand in a regally majestic gesture. Xena slammed her fist hard into the God's stomach causing him to bend over in pain. She dealt the deity a jaw-breaking uppercut and tore a dimensional hole behind him sending the God back home.
"Don't forget to write!" Gabrielle called after the falling form of the God.
Xena knelt beside the shivering Dragon and Gabrielle joined her.
Together they reassured the child that they weren't going to hurt it. A glowing ball of light appeared in the palms of their hands and they slowly lowered it onto the reptile. It sighed and fell asleep, all its wounds healed and its memory of the island was gone.
Xena gently lifted the child and placed it in the dimensional doorway. Gabrielle kissed the baby on the forehead before they closed the portal on its home world. Xena and Gabrielle turned to the forest. It was ruined, fire was sweeping a path of destruction to the north of the island.
They joined hands and closed their eyes. When they opened them again the forest was as it was before the Dragon's arrival. Both women had reassumed their normal height
"Well done! Bravo!" Zeus clapped as he walked up beside them.
"Did you know that Dragon was just a baby?" Gabrielle demanded in a voice filled with poison.
"Yes, of course I did." Zeus said.
"We almost killed that child!" Gabrielle screamed in his face.
"Ah, but you didn't! That's the whole point, your humanity won! You had the power of a God and you could have easily snuffed out the life of that helpless creature. Yet you did not." Zeus said smugly.
"This was a test?" Xena asked.
"Yes, in a way it was. The other Gods were testing my creations trying to find my weakness. The Dragon was never your real enemy; the God who Xena defeated was trying to goad you into killing an innocent for no reason other than it was different. If you had done that the God would have doubted my wisdom in granting you minds of your own. The God's from the Dragon's world would have been reassured enough to attack my world." Zeus scowled and paced the beach. "As it is they have been given pause, but they may try again." He said.
Zeus laughed and slapped his palms together. "Even with the power to destroy the universe you resorted to a sock on the jaw to despatch your enemy. There was no way those Gods ever would have anticipated that. It even gave me a surprise!"
He raised his hands. "Humanity is not my greatest creation but you sure do have potential." The old God chuckled and snapped his fingers, returning the two friends to their camp.
"Let the other God's come. My children can handle them." Zeus smiled.
THE END...Maybe I still don't like the ending...
I'm a fan of Godzilla and David Eddings... So sue me!
Kenny AKA: Wolfken
Return to the Fan Fiction area