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|Xena, Gabrielle, Callisto, Solan, Joxer, Ephiny and Hope are the Property of Renaissance and Universal pictures, I do not Claim them in any way, shape or form. However The Characters: Collin, Brasillius, Buck the dog, Tina, Varkenia, and Harvakk are my own creations.|
This Story Contains Voilence that is accustumed to any Xena story or Episode.
|Part 1 2|
Retribution - Part 1
Story By: JimakaTaz
That out of the way, this story takes place just after solan was killed, but before Illusia. It is focused on Gabrielle and events that happened after she and Xena parted ways, NOTE I am not using the original 4 day period, I am extending the time before she went to the amazons to go through the Purification Ritual. She starts on her way back to Potedia. These are the events that transpire....
ĎGods, itís hot todayí thought Gabrielle as she walked the dusty path that would start her on the way back home. Back home to Potedia, home to her sister and parents. As she walked Gabrielle thought about the tragic events of the past day. The day before had started well enough, she and Xena had run into Solan and... Xena...just the thought of her name was enough to start Gabrielle crying again. Gabrielle loved Xena so much, it tore her heart apart when Xena shunned her because of Solanís death.
"GABRIELLE? Hey GABRIELLE!" Yelled a high pitched manís voice.
"Huh?" Gabrielle turned to see Joxer running her way. Gabrielle, by reflex, wiped her tears from her eyes and tried to hide the fact that she had been crying. "Joxer?"
"Where ya goin? Hey have you been crying?"
"N-no, I ...Joxer what are you doing here?"
"Never mind that now, Gabby whatís wrong? I know youíve been crying now spill."
"Joxer really, Iím fine I.."
"Hey whereís Xena?"
"Xena...? She, s-she" started Gabrielle but was overwhelmed and, against her will, started to sob again.
"Hey, hey Gabrielle címon I didnít mean to make ya cry." said Joxer taking her into his arms to comfort her, and to her own surprise as well as his, she went willingly. Gabrielle leaned close into his chest and let out all the pain, heartache and grief of the past day. Finally when she calmed, Gabrielle gently pulled away and looked at Joxer, she saw the genuine worry on his face and felt as though she should tell him what happened, it might make her feel better, she thought, if she talked about it with someone. And, what ever else he my be, Joxer has a good heart and listens well to peopleís problems.
"Joxer something terrible has happened.." Gabrielle had started.
"What? Is it Xena?! Is she hurt or....is she...d."
"No, no. Xena isnít dead, but Iím sure that in her mind she would like to be. Itís all my fault, she hates me Joxer. And why shouldnít she? Solan died because my daughter, Hope, murdered him." More tears.
"Whoís Solan? and when did you have a daughter?!" asked Joxer who had no Idea who these people were. But Gabrielle hadnít stopped she just kept on talking, so Joxer thought it best to just remain silent and listen.
"Yes, Xena has every right in the world to hate me, not only did her son die, but he died before Xena could even tell him that she was his mother. Gods how she must be hurting now. She told me from the beginning that Hope was evil, that she had to be destroyed. But I couldnít do it, I just couldnít kill my perfect baby girl. She was to be my new reason to live, my Hope. But her father Dahakís evil was rooted in her even then. As only an infant she killed a grown guard with his own medallion. This is what Xena said. I couldnít, no...wouldnít believe it. So when it became clear that Xena was going to kill Hope if I didnít, I had no choice, I had to save her. Joxer, I lied to Xena, tricked her into believing I had thrown Hope over the cliffís edge. In reality though, I had put Hope in a basket with the toy lamb Xena had given me for winter solstice and sent her down the river. I prayed to the gods that she would be kept safe and grow up to be good. I truly believed that night that I wouldnít ever see her again. So Hope would live and Xena wouldnít ever know. I hadnít stopped thinking about Hope though, not once. Every day she was in my thoughts and heart. Little did I realize that I was going to get a wonderful surprise turned to tragedy. Xena and I were on our way to the home of the centaurs to witness a treaty, and got a surprise greeting by Solan."
"So, this Solan, he was Xenaís son huh? Wow, I never would have thought that a woman like Xena would ever have a child. I donít mean anything bad, just that she doesnít really seem like the motherly type." Said Joxer staring into the sky. Gabrielle just looked at him and couldnít believe that she was actually smiling, Gabrielle didnít think that she would ever smile again.
"Xena had so much joy in her eyes when she saw him, Joxer, it made my heart sing to see her so happy. I was also glad to see Solan. When we entered Solanís village I found that Ephiny was there as well, with her son Xenon. We talked and when I went to the hut that was prepared for me I was visited by a terrified girl. She told me that she had run into a scary blond warrior woman with strange powers, and went on further to describe Callisto. Callisto told her to give Xena a message, a message that she knew all about Solan."
"So what was that supposed to mean?"
"Xena had figured that Callistoís plan would be to kill Solan in revenge for what Xena had done to her family in her dark days. Xena had to be sure of this, so we made a plan. I was to cover in a cloak and be taken through the Forrest by Xena, like I was Solan and she was trying to get me out. The point of this being that if Callisto had been planning to kill Solan, she would see this as the best time to do it."
"So? What happened?"
"We hit pay dirt. That was exactly Callistoís plan. When I revealed myself she called Xena clever and mentioned something about she couldnít be in two places at once, the importance of this escaped me because of course even though she was a god, Callisto could not possibly be in two places at the same time. When we got back to the village, Xena explained that Callisto had to be working with a partner, thatís what Callisto had meant. I went back to my hut and found the girl there, she was holding the toy lamb that I had put in Hopeís basket with her. When I asked her where she got it, she said that she didnít steal it, that it had always been hers. She said that it was in her basket with her, the basket that her mother had tried to drown her in. Joxer this girl was.."
"Yes, she was Hope. It was then that I told her who she was, who I was. That I hadnít tried to drown her, I tried to save her the only way I could. I told her that the gods had answered my prayers and kept her safe. Hope told me that she had powers, that she didnít understand why, and Callisto told her it was because she was evil. I told her that was not true. Hope went on and told me that Callisto was going to kill all of the children of the village and that she was scared that Callisto would kill her for telling. I told her that she would be safe and I...I"
"Gabrielle? Are you OK? What, what could you have done that was so terrible?"
"Joxer I did exactly what Hope and Callisto had wanted all along. I gave Solan to them. You see I sent Hope to the Hut that Solan was being hidden in, and Hope killed him." With that Gabrielle began to cry again.
"Oh Gabby, you couldnít have known."
"But donít you see Joxer? Xena knew all that time ago. Xena warned me, I didnít listen and because of that Solan is dead. And it was only after that, that my eyes opened. I knew what I had to do, I had to kill Hope, kill my daughter. Then we had an Amazon Funeral for the both of them and I told Xena that I loved her and walked away, I think forever."
"Gabrielle, I-I donít know what to say, how to comfort you."
"Thank you Joxer. I mean that. But I donít think that you can. I was heading home, but to tell you the truth I really donít think that will help either."
"I was heading that way myself, not exactly to Potedia, but in that general direction. Why donít I walk you? Keep you company. I really donít think you should be alone right now."
"Joxer, I....thanks, your sweet."
The two companions sat a little longer then continued on their way to Potedia. There wasnít much talking as Gabrielle didnít want to say anything and Joxer had no idea what to say. It pulled at his heart that his beloved was in pain and he could not heal her. ĎYeah rightí, he thought to himself, ĎYou canít even tell her how you feel about her, but your gonna heal her heartache? Donít fool yourself.í Joxer glanced over at Gabrielle, he noticed the sparkle in her once bright green eyes had faded to nothing. This young girl before him was not Gabrielle, just an empty shell. He hadnít been there, and Gabrielle had explained the whole thing, but he still couldnít begin to imagine something so terrible happening to such and undeserving soul. Joxer made up his mind then that as long as there was breath in his lungs nothing would ever do her this much harm again. He would kill anything or anyone who attempted it, or die trying. Their walk had led them to a fork, one path was the way straight on to Potedia. The other was a path that led in to a thick Forest. Gabrielle decided that she wanted to walk for a little while longer before having to deal with her family.
"Joxer, letís go this way."
"Huh? But Gabrielle Potedia is that way." Joxer reminded her pointing to the other path.
"I know, weíll double back. I just want to walk a little longer thatís all."
"OK, we can do that."
They started down the left path, and were quickly surrounded by Trees and bushes. Gabrielle found the view to be breathtaking it slowly began taking her mind off of her troubles. It had cooled down considerably since the afternoon, as she walked she lifted her head skyward and closed her eyes. The cool breezed flowed over her face and took hold of her golden hair, seeming to make it dance along the air currents. Then she heard a distinct whistling sound cutting through the air.
"Joxer GET DOWN!" Gabrielle bellowed as she hit the ground just in time to for the arrow to streak by her and into the trunk of a nearby tree.
"THE NEXT ONE STRIKES YOUR HEART!" Came and unknown female voice.
Gabrielle looked up and all around until she spotted the attacker lodged up high in a tree, with her bow string drawn back and her arrow ready to fly.
To Be Continued...
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