The Birthday Gift Part III

By Shadowdancer

DISCLAIMER: I didn't create Xena and Gabrielle, Alti, nor any of the other characters you recognize from the show, but I did create the ones you don't.





"I've never known Alti to give up so easily Xena" Gabrielle said as she and Xena, Danalia, and Ephiny got to their feet. "Yeah" Xena said dusting herself off; "In her case, that means trouble, BIG trouble" "Yeah, for the Gods. If she gets up there, and I don't doubt that she will, all of Olympus will come down" "And the gods with it" Xena intoned. "How are we going to stop her from getting to Olympus if we can't even slow her down here" Ephiny asked, spreading her hands wide to indicate the village. 'There's two ways' Danalia spoke up, 'One, we warn Olympus that she's coming, and let them deal with her. Or two, we ask the Gods to fight her down here, where we can help; box her in between us. She can fight us, OR the Gods, and win, but can she fight BOTH of us and win?" Danalia reasoned.

" The next question being, " Do WE want to fight HER?" Ephiny asked. "I mean, this IS Alti we're talking about, she's no two bit bandit who robs people on the side of the road you know, she steals souls". "That's why we have to be exceptionally careful, I followed her for a short time in my warlord days, she's extremely smart, cunning like a fox, devious, sneaky, underhanded, two faced, and evil to the bone morrow. Did I leave anything out?" Xena asked. "No, I think you pretty much nailed it on the nose" Gabrielle intoned. "This is the woman who stole Eve's soul while she was still in her mother's womb for Gods sake".

"Wait, Gabrielle, that's it! That's it! We don't need to fight her at all, at least not an all out full-scale battle involving the Amazons and the gods. She wants to kill us all and rule Olympus, then we'll let her do just that". "What? Xena, have you lost it? I think you've taken a few too many shots to the head lately" Gabrielle intoned. "No, listen to me. The one things she always wanted more than anything since I stopped being her lackey years ago, is to kill me, so we let her think she's succeeded, we let her see me dead or dieing. With Alti it would be better if she saw me dieing; she would never be content to see me already dead". Meanwhile, it gives Ares time to create a duplicate Olympus. He need only create a room in a palace or whatever, and let her attack him there, and some of the other gods. I'm sure they can fake their own deaths well enough. First we have to get her down here to deal with my death to put her off guard so that when I pop up later to take her out once and for all, she'll never suspect me." "What do we do Xena? " Ephiny intoned.

'The first thing you do is call a meeting in the council hut and gather all of your highest ranking Warriors together and tell them what we're doing and why, and to spread the word to their warriors that they are to pretend that I was seriously wounded I the battle and that I'm dieing of the wound. Then you, Gabrielle, have to call Alti down here, I don't know; pretend to be blaming her for my impending death, the usual sort of ting. She comes down to see if I'm really dead, and then she goes up to Olympus to take care of them, only we try and stop her before she gets that far. Meanwhile I have to get news to Ares". "While you're doing that, I'll call a meeting in the counsel hut and tell the others what we're doing". "I'll go and tell Palia that you've been badly hurt and that she needs to prepare a room for you in the medical hut and to be ready for you when we bring you in. How long will it take you to talk to Ares?" Danalia asked. "Not long, only a few minutes, he's not hard to find, he's always lurking around somewhere, just like a snake" Xena hissed." It would be easier and faster if we took you to the healer's hut now, and then explained to the others what's going on".

"You're right Danalia, that would be best" Xena responded, "We'd better scatter " Ephiny said, "It might look a little funny if all of us are standing here talking and Xena suddenly falls to the ground from a wound she's supposedly had since the battle". "Another good point" Gabrielle answered as Ephiny and Danalia walked off to check on the other amazons and then she and Xena began to do the same, Xena moving stiffly for a few steps, and then throwing an arm around her stomach and bending double. "Xena, what's wrong? Are you hurt?" Gabrielle said, offering up the infamous words she's known for uttering whenever Xena is hurt. Xena didn't answer, just collapsed to the ground. "EPHINY! DANALIA! XENA'S HURT!" they came hurrying back and the other Amazons stopped and watched, a few coming closer. Ephiny and Danalia returned instantly, both kneeling down to either side of Xena, Danalia to Xena's left, and Ephiny to Xena's right. Xena there still, and with eyes closed as if unconscious; Danalia began to "check her over" "What happened Gabrielle?" Ephiny asked, looking at Xena with "great concern" as if all of this were real. "I don 't know, she suddenly clutched her stomach and collapsed. What's wrong with her Danalia? Is she going to be alright?" As Danalia passed her hand over Xena's stomach, she pressed her hand down a bit in a way that only Xena and possibly Ephiny were aware; there suddenly appeared to be blood oozing from between Danalia's fingers as she attended to Xena's "wounds". Ephiny "noticed' the blood, and quickly moved Danalia's hand.

"Look, she's bleeding, here, in her stomach, it's quite a lot" Ephiny said loudly enough for her sisters standing around them to hear her with no problem. Danalia looked at the wound she had just had her hand over, "You're right, and from the looks of it, it's a serious one" she replaced her hand over it in the guise of checking on the wound. Her hand was already red from having had her hand there to begin with, but now it was even more, the "blood" was dripping from Danalia's reddened hands. A few of the Amazons standing near by gasped, as they watched. "Selene!" Danalia called, knowing Ephiny's daughter was somewhere nearby, as was Lia she was certain, those two never missed out on anything, especially when excitement was involved. "Yes Second Mother" Selene addressed Danalia as she came running up and saluted and bowed her head to Danalia as was proper; considering she is Ephiny's heir, she is not entitled to salute and bow as she had done, but it was a show of respect for Danalia in front of the other Amazons. "Go and get Jaina, and bring her quickly, tell her Xena is badly wounded" "why can't we take Xena to her?" Gabrielle asked, she'd have to be taken there anyway". "Because it may not be safe to move her, if she has internal injuries, we could do more harm or even kill her by moving her. Selene, go". "Yes Second Mother" Selene took off, her long legs carrying her quickly to the healer's hurt. Selene called Danalia "Second mother " because Ephiny is her adopted mother, but because Danalia and Ephiny are bond mates, Selene calls her this as a means to show that she also considers Danalia to be her mother as well. Within moments, Jaina and Selene returned. Jaina immediately knelt down beside Xena and "looked at her wounds". Not having had time to explain to her what they were doing and why, Ephiny quickly made a few quick hand signs into Jaina's hand, explaining to her to say that Xena had a very serious wound and that she should be moved to her hut immediately, they would explain to her there what was going on.
With great concern and worry in her voice, Jaina announced to "Ephiny and Danalia" "She has internal injuries, I can't tell how serious until I look at her of course, but that's why she's bleeding, we have to get her to my hut as soon as possible". When the attention of the others had been diverted from her, Danalia had nonchalantly touched her bloodied hand to Xena's mouth, and her nose, to make it appear that she was bleeding from them, thus indicating internal injuries.. Two of the nearby Warriors moved up to silently offer their aid in moving Xena to the haler's hut as Ephiny, Danalia, and Jaina stood and stepped aside so that Xena could be lifted and carried to the hut, which she was. Gabrielle looked pensive and worried as the warrior carried Xena, being as careful as they could. "Don't worry Gabrielle, Jaina is one of the best. She'll take care of Xena, she's saved most of us more than once, it'll be alirght I promise" Karinna offered, putting an arm around her as the Queen, her Regent, Jaina, and the warriors carrying Xena took her into the hut. "I know she will Karinna, I know she will" Gabrielle responded, and then left Karinna to follow the group into the hut.


Part IV

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