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"Fallen Demon"

Disclaimer: The characters, names and storylines which have appeared in the syndicated television show Xena: Warrior Princess are copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters in this story and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story can not be used or sold for profit in any way. This story has been written solely for the reading enjoyment of Xena: Warrior Princess fans of the Internet.

Setting: This short story takes place during the fifth season Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Fallen Angel". It is meant to be a small sad story I suppose which at least explains something of Hope's time after Poteidaia.

A soul could never find peace or rest within this place. Of all the qualities of mortal life which she had cherished most, it was ironic that the quiet and calm way of nature should be longed for more often than anything else. If she closed her eyes briefly, with a willful intent she could envision a mild sunny evening with a light breeze. No attending priests or workers. No distant sounds of a war god's battles far ahead. No thundering storm clouds hanging menacingly in the night's sky. Only silence.

The faintest of sad smiles passed over her lips as she recalled those evenings of long ago. They had gone by unnoticed to her of course. Of far greater importance was her ever important duties, which even now in her fallen state she enjoyed. They had been a source of never-ending strength and purpose to her. One which she had tried to fulfill as best she could.

But those were days no longer available to her, a limited understanding of a far greater reality which only the battle weary experience of eternal souls could understand. Mortals were quite fortunate in that respect. Even in the dullest moments of unrealized boredom, they knew a richness to life which enflamed a demon's soul with burning jealousy. They were free from the eternal wars. Free from the risk and pain and abandonment and yet they were of an eternal nature not even fully known to them. Their very existence slighted the weakest of demons for they did not have to pay for the misdeeds that they were doing.

Hope frowned at the thought of that injustice as she wiped some soot and ash from her darkened face. It was another unattractive part of this place. Uncleanness was a way of life now. She had grown used to it of course as her overall appearance had changed greatly since her days in the mortal land of Greece.

She had no demonic appearance to her face. No horns or changes of appearance or rough voice were noticed. Why would they be? She was already a daughter of darkness when she had been alive. The change in appearance so commonly seen in Hell was reserved for fallen angels and mortals. Her destiny as a demonic power had been predestined, so there was no fall from grace for her.

Her hair had been cut short many months ago. It was a practical decision on her part. The temperature was far too hot for long hair and it had only served as an advertisement to demons that were easily offended. She had dealt with several of them who could not keep their opinions to themselves. Fortunately, her abilities proved more than sufficient to win any conflicts that fell upon her. She retained her full powers here.

As for her son, she could only sigh lightly as she looked down, remembering that fateful night in the Poteidaian barn. When they had arrived here, he had quickly become what he was always intended to be. A Destroyer. As new demons in Hell, Hope and her son had received the customary unfriendly initiation by the other trapped souls. Her son stopped that mistreatment abruptly.

There was a rule of common order even here. Demonic powers of purpose held greater powers than those of fallen souls. Those foolish enough to have attacked them were quickly defeated by her son. His battle skills were like few others in this realm and she was granted an immediate status of respect due to his actions.

Surprisingly enough she had not fully tested that authority just yet. She had decided to spend her time instead looking up not into the heavens but to the mortal lands. Back to the lands where she had been born. Her son had questioned her need for such actions. She had tried to explain the gentle interests for such things, but she could tell his instincts were growing. In the end, she wished him success in those dark things that he felt compelled to do. He promised his loyalties to her if she should need them and then he left to explore the unending, barren lands that surrounded them.

Her thoughts were interrupted by one of her demon followers, a promising woman named Angelique who knew the rewards of pleasing one of her power. Hope smiled to her and listened. Angelique mentioned a new demon who was leading a renewed attack on the forces of light above. She ask permission to join in the attack. Hope allowed for it. She wished to know of this new female demon.

Angelique bowed her head slightly and backed away, bringing her wings quickly up behind her. She flew up into the air and raced away with the others in their latest attack above. Hope looked around and saw very few demons around her. Three or four at most. They were likely too injured from recent battles to join in the new one.

Hope looked up once again to the bright sky beyond the dull stone columns. For a few brief seconds she allowed herself to smile at a passing thought. She could still remember her mother holding her near a small river. They had stepped out of a boat after leaving the knights' castle and had sat alone, just mother and daughter. She had tried her best to talk to her mother and try to comfort her concerns, but her words had only been those of a small child.

She could still remember the night before as her mother playfully held a piece of cloth in front of her. Hope had reached out for it and had been rewarded with a smile and gentle laugh. She had returned the smile and reached out for her mother's hug. Month's later she had reached out to her mother once more outside of her father's temple. Her mother's words of the poison had cut painfully into her thoughts. She had been rejected by her own mother and despite her powers and strength, she had felt sorrow on a deep level.

Thoughts of mother and daughter playing with the cloth passed through her mind again. It had been an all too brief moment of bonding between them. One which she at times wished she had taken more advantage of in her brief stay by her mother's side.


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