A Crown of Laurel - Part 3

by Silk



MCA/UNIVERSAL/RENAISSANCE owns Xena, Gabrielle, and Argo (poor baby needs a better agent, she's getting paid only in apples and oats) and others from X:WP. All others are a possible hazardous byproduct of the icky gray stuff that is stuck inside the boney thingy on my shoulders.

This story is written without wanting to infringe on the above companies rights. (If I do they'd sic the "Amazon Collection Agency" or ACA on me, and they always get their prey.) This story is also non-profit and any reproduction or use of this story without my permission will make me call the ACA on your bootie.


Violence is present in this story. This is Xena after all. If you don't approve please just read something you find more appropriate.


Special thanks go out to Perager, my editor, whom I couldn't do without.
This story takes place a couple of months after "Gabrielle's Hope". Hopefully I've left it open enough that any episodes dealing with the matter will fit in here smoothly.

Oh gods...that gray stuff is bubbling outta my ears again, perhaps I should just get on with the story before it's all gone?


Part Three

The morning sun crept slowly over the hill as Gabrielle knelt near Khrafstar, both of them waiting for the Romans to complete their tasks. The noise of the hammers was sure and steady as the frame of the wood took shape. Gabrielle looked upon the two crosses and shivered slightly. So this is what Xena felt. Only difference is that I know I'll be rescued. I hope. Oh gods, this is hard. Please. Please, Xena make it here in time.

The bard's silent musings were halted, when the soldiers dragged the two prisoners over and tied them to the wooden crosses. The rope tightened against Gabrielle's wrists till her fingers started to tingle. Then on the Centurion leader's command, they were lifted up towards the sky.

Gabrielle's body slid down the cross till her arms were stretched out. The pain was minor at first, but as she dwelt on it the pain got worse. She tried gathering her feet up against the wood and pushing up to relieve the pain, but it didn't work. Instead she slipped down again and the pain increased in her shoulders and arms.

She turned her attention to the soldier beneath her. He was young, so painfully young. Why is it that warlords or generals have armies just full of young pimple faced boys.

"Because they want adventure. I know I did," came the answer from beside her. Gabrielle turned her head and gazed at Perdicus hanging from the cross next to her. Her heart skipped a beat in shock.

"Perdicus." Gabrielle whispered. "Where is...what are..."

Her young dead husband looked back at her, his arms stretched above him identically to hers. "Ahhh...to breathe fresh air again. To see your face." He smiled gently.

"I'm so sorry Perdicus..."Gabrielle started to say, suddenly filled with feelings that she hadn't totally come to grips with yet.

"Shh..I know." He smiled, then screamed as the length of a sword thrust up and through his chest from behind.

"How long will it take him to die this time, Gabrielle?" Perdicus said, smiling sadistically, with Callisto's voice as blood gushed from the wound.

"It's my Destiny to rule the world," came another voice below her. Gabrielle's head swung down, her eyes widening in fear. Caesar stood on the ground in front of her, looking at her as if she was an everyday occurance. "Really Gabrielle. You should have prepared yourself for this day. No matter how many good deeds Xena has done as a warrior, she is still a woman. She's out there right now probably distraught at knowing I have you and what I'm doing to you, and it's going to defeat her, she's running scared. And if I have to hunt down all of her friends and crucify them I will, if it'll help me conquer the world...and Xena."

"Gabrielle," came the low smooth voice next to her. Swinging her head around again she saw that Perdicus was gone and Xena was in his place. Her friend was clad only in a ripped dark shift, her hair bedraggled and scratches and scars on her face, legs and arms. Her legs were bloody and crushed. It was a Xena Gabrielle had never seen, but had imagined from the dark cold stories Xena had told her of that long ago day. It was a defeated Xena.

"Gabrielle," Xena repeated, tears running down her face in bloody streaks. "If only I hadn't insisted we come here... I... I can't save you."

Gabrielle's heart was breaking. "No Xena. It'll be ok...you'll see. You'll save..." She stopped as she realized Xena couldn't even save herself. M'Lila had saved her. And now M'Lila wasn't here, she was long dead.

"What is your friendship worth, Gabrielle? Your life? Her life?" came the multitude of voices. Romans littered the vast field before her, most bleeding and dying from the wounds Xena's and Boadicea's army had inflicted.

In the midst of the destruction she could see two figures hacking and mutilating the wounded on the field. One was tall, her dark hair flying around her, making her seem as a battlefield raven going from man to man. Her sword rose and fell steadily as she killed pleading men in cold blood. The other was smaller and had lighter hair, wielding a long sharp dagger that reflected the sun brightly and cackling in glee as she joined her companion in their bloodthirsty work. Gabrielle's heart froze as she recognized the duo. Then with a flash of light another figure appeared near them, his dark features accented by the black leathers he wore. His voice boomed across the battlefield to her. "Two for one! Ha! I've won, Xena!" Ares laughed as he watched his two Chosen reap souls on the bloody field.

"Yesss...Gabrielle. Innocent One. Mother of the Dark One."

At that voice the bard's head turned to the other cross yet again, this time she cried out in horror and fear, unable to control herself. Xena hung there, her face starting to contort and stretch. Horns slowly grew out of her skull and her jaw elongated and thrust out. Xena's skin flaked off and fell, and with a howl Khrastar, "The Deliverer" disciple of Dahak, emerged and flicked his tongue at Gabrielle.

"You have made us strong, Gabrielle. You have given the world its new ruler. Its True God. Its Dark One. You are the mother of Darkness!" He laughed as Gabrielle threw back her head in utter grief, her mind slowly slipping from its leash.

"What a precious child, Gabrielle." The bard heard her sister's voice on the other side of her, and her heart calmed a bit. Turning she saw Lila sitting there with Hope in her arms. Gabrielle smiled at the sight.

"She's got your eyes..." Gabrielle started to say, then froze as she watched her daughter start to play with the pendant Lila wore. Watched with impotence as the chain tightened more and more, and as Lila tried to struggle against the supernatural child. "No..." the bard whispered in horror as she watched her sister's death helplessly. This was her child, her Hope that lay so contentedly and so peacefully over the body of Gabrielle's sister.

"Don't worry, Gabrielle, I'll take care of this." Xena walked into her sight from the battlefield, covered with the blood and gore of thousands. "You failed, Gabrielle. You were supposed to make sure she grew up good. You failed."

"No, Xena! I...I...you were chasing me. You were going to kill my daughter. No matter how much I love you...I couldn't let you do it." Gabrielle said, her eyes brimming over.

"Well, I'm going to take care of it now. This thing must die." Xena raised her sword.

"No!! Please, Xena, I beg you. Don't kill my daughter!! Please!!" Gabrielle begged, struggling in vain against her bonds.

The sword came down and impaled the small body and traveled through to Lila's, then came out and back again and again, till the child, that once was Gabrielle's Hope, was a mass of blood and flesh.

"Damn you, Xena!! I'll never forgive you! Never!! Never!!" The bard screamed, her arms straining against the cross.

"Break her legs." Gabrielle's shrill cries erupted from her, and when the mallet crushed her legs, she saw Caesar smile in triumph.

* * * * *

Gabrielle's eyes opened to the bright blue sky, but she didn't see them. Her head was thrown back and she was screaming, her fears and terrors coming out of her nightmares with her into the new day.

The deck of the Roman ship was silent, as its crew and the soldiers were staring at her in shock and surprise. It was a cry of utter loss and despair. A cry that even the most jaded of veterans shuddered to hear.

As the scream went on and on, a soldier came up and slapped her hard on the face, slamming her head against the mast. The soldiers drew breath again as the soul shattering scream abruptly stopped.

Gabrielle shook her head, dragging herself out of the pit of horror she had been in. More nightmares. Tears were running down her face. It's in the past. Nothing to worry about. Get ahold of yourself, now is not the time to break down. Xena is counting on you. With fierce determination, the bard shoved away the haunting visions and feeling in her mind.

At the thought of her friend, Gabrielle suddenly heard grunts and moans from the rower's deck underneath her. Looking at the soldier who had just slapped her, her eyes widened in fear for Xena, as she knew what was causing the commotion.

"Don't hit me," she snarled at him, then raised her voice loud enough to be heard in Tartarus itself. "Xena!! Stop!! I'm ok! Really!"

As if a storm had suddenly vanished, the noise and chaos from below stopped, and Gabrielle sighed in relief. She turned to the soldier. "You have to let me see her."

The man sneered. "Orders are that she is not to see you."

Gabrielle grimaced and waited patiently, listening for any noises that came from below decks. Then finally she spied Brutus walking towards her. Perhaps he will let me see her, though I rather doubt Caesar's lap dog has any brains of his own. She straightened and stood more upright as he walked up to her, a guarded emotion on his face, and a darkening bruise on his left eye. The tall Roman warrior came and stood before her.

"What made you scream?" he demanded.

"I was having a nightmare. And no wonder. Do you have any idea how uncomfortable it is to be tied up standing all night??" Gabrielle snapped, then blanched as she saw anger in his face.

"Who marked your face?" Brutus asked, touching a rough finger to her red cheek.

"Actually, I was screaming at the time. I wasn't paying attention." Jeez, Gabrielle. A bit testy this morning? she admonished herself.

"Sir. I did sir," answered the soldier still standing beside her. "She had been sleeping, sir, then her eyes just opened up and she started screaming to wake the dead. I know we were told not to..."

"Yes." Brutus interrupted. "But you took it upon yourself to disobey that order. Thankfully you did right, but you still disobeyed. You'll have to be punished."

"I knew that when I did it, sir," the soldier replied firmly.

"Go to your commander. Tell him ten lashes." Brutus turned back to Gabrielle as the soldier saluted and strode off.

Gabrielle took a deep breath. I must see Xena, I have to know they haven't hurt her. "Please, let me see Xena. That was her, making all that noise below, wasn't it?" When Brutus nodded, she continued. "She probably thinks you're hurting me. Please. Just for a moment," she begged.

"No. But I will give a message to her from you if you wish. Even I do not go against Caesar, and I am closest to him," he replied.

Gabrielle nodded and turned her thoughts inward. Something Xena would know had come from me. Think. Think. Ahh...hope this works. She turned her attention back to Brutus. "Tell her I'm ok. That it was just a nightmare. This next bit is so that she knows it's from me, ok?" she insisted. "Tell her...I'm hungry and yes, I know I'm a bottomless pit. Say it exactly that way."

"You're hungry? You want me to tell her you're hungry and that yes, you know you're a bottomless pit?" Gabrielle almost laughed out loud at the puzzled expression on his face.

"It's an inside joke. Really, it's ok. She'll understand." Brutus nodded and walked off to go belowdecks.

Xena should get a kick out of that. Gabrielle thought to herself, as she was finally alone and fully awake. She took stock of her surroundings and her condition. Well, except for some aches and nicks from Callisto and from being tied standing up all night, I guess I'm ok. A lot better than Xena must be from rowing all night. Oh gods, I hope she's ok.

* * * * *
Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip.

Xena alone on a bench meant for two galley slaves. She had been stripped of her leathers, to make it easier for the Rowmaster to flick the whip onto her back, and wore now only a sweat drenched shift fit for rags or slaves. The other slaves ignored her, knowing she was a special one. Favored of Caesar himself, only down here to start the breaking process of her body, mind, and soul. She ignored them as well, seeing that they couldn't help her, and that they would be punished severely if she talked to them.

Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip.

The monotony had long since driven Xena into her thoughts, her body automatically doing its duty over and over again. Her body was drenched with sweat, her eyes long since closed to prevent the sharp sting of it from annoying them. Her shift hung next to her like a second skin, it's once white fabric darkened by its previous owners years of filth and sweat, and who knew what else.

Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip.

Xena's mind wandered as the time passed. Memories, visions, nightmares, all were relentlessly dredged up and processed whether she willed it or not.

Caesar. When she had first seen him, she had been drawn like a moth to the flame. But she wanted to be the flame and had had the power over him at that moment. How easily was I fooled. Gods, was I young. Glances. Touches. Kisses. Caresses. Words. With all of these Xena had stalked him, not knowing that she had been the real prey. Finally lovers. Xena hadn't had very many back then, and so had trusted someone that she had ransomed off. Trusted and had been betrayed.

Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip.

Then memories of pain washed over her, as she saw again her men being crucified beside her. The mind shattering pain of her legs being broken at her betraying lover's command. The sad slow pain as her men died around her and as she started to let go of life. The hope and joy of M'Lila's touch as she killed the remaining soldiers on that beach, and brought her gently down from her wooden prison. The same shattering pain as Niklio reset her legs. And then the worst pain of all, as tracking soldiers found Niklio's cabin and killed M'Lila before Xena could slaughter them. That pain had been forced back into a deep dark corner by her rage. Rage that she let carry over her for many years. Rage at Caesar that she still harbored inside. Rage at herself even more for letting that dark emotion bring harm to others. Especially Gabrielle.

Other memories, more ghastly then those. Memories of what she had done over the years. Cirra. That memory, like most of her memories in that time, hadn't been painful till after Hercules. But the rage, hatred, and arrogance of those years swept through her like the tide. And almost endless stream of nameless villages, and even longer line of dead soldiers, many of them by her own hands, passed through her mind's eye without relief. Rage and self-hate threatened to drown her soul.

Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip. Pull. Raise the oar. Push. Dip.

Then Hercules' visage flashed in her mind, bringing her the promise of peace and redemption. Gods, was that one of the hardest and easiest decisions to make in my life. That...and Gabrielle. At the thought of her best friend, the image of their first meeting entered her mind, and how she had left Poteidaia with more cargo than she had going in. Ahh, Gabrielle, you once asked me if you are who I made you. Sometimes I wonder if the answer I gave you was right. Without me you wouldn't have been hurt so much..and lost so much.. Trust, loyalty, friendship. All of these Xena treasured from her friend. But still there was rage in her depths. A kernel that festered and ate at her soul whenever she thought about her past.

Caesar. Xena winced inside as she saw Gabrielle so clearly crucified before her, and the mallet swinging to smash those legs that had walked beside her across many lands. Britannia gave me more nightmares than a full year of warlord destruction and mayhem. Nightmares where I don't make it on time, and Gabrielle's screams of pain wake me shivering with dread. Nightmares where I'm running to the temple, but I never get any closer. Nightmares about that damned child. Nightmares and more nightmares. It would be nice to have a good dream once in a while. But my dreams aren't as bad as Gabrielle's. We've talked about it, but I don't think I can ever forgive myself for it. First Perdicus and now Britannia. Don't worry Gabrielle, I promise...I promise I won't let my hatred and shortsightedness cost you anything in Rome. I...

Xena's thoughts were dashed away as a scream echoed through the ship. She knew that sound anywhere, and immediately went into action. Taking the long oar, she slid its length up till she had a good sized piece, then braced it against her knee. Ignoring the aches and pains of her body, she quickly snapped the oar in two, and stood up with her new staff in hand.

The chains, linking her arm and leg shackles to the deck, kept her from full movement but that didn't stop the warrior. Seeing the Rowmaster still frozen in shock at the scream that echoed through the deck, Xena set the end of the staff just under the iron hook that kept her chains in place, and heaved. Under the pressure of the warrior's muscle and the leverage of the staff, the hook gave easily, and Xena was free except for her shackles, but the warrior had fought with more hindrances before.

Gathering herself, she jumped up unto the platform that ran down the length of the ship, in between the two rows of slaves, and charged to the hatch that led above. She had to take short quick steps, but Xena didn't let it stop her.

The Rowmaster turned and gasped in surprise as she rushed him, than collapsed in pain as Xena knocked him to the ground with a blow to the head.

One of the soldiers guarding the slaves shouted the alarm, and several soldiers boiled out of a nearby doorway and blocked her way to the deck above, wielding clubs.

Xena grinned, and took a step back, to ready herself. Taking the staff, she twirled it around her body, then brought it before her in a defensive move. "I really don't have time for this boys, but if you really want to play..." She stepped forward to the soldier nearest her before he could react. Sweeping the staff down low, she connected with his unprotected knees sending him back into a couple of his fellows.

Sensing it before she saw it, the warrior reached back and grabbed the arm. Twisting harshly, she made the soldier drop the club he had aimed for her head, then pulling him off balance she shoved him towards the small pile of soldiers.

The scream ended with a suddenness that ran like a bitter cold wind through Xena, and she redoubled her efforts to reach the hatch.

"Now you are making me mad, boys...and you really don't want to make me mad," Xena purred, as she thrust the staff forward into a soldier's throat, then parried another incoming blow on the return. Taking the staff, she rapped the soldier on the hand smartly then stepped quickly in and headbutted him as his club fell.

Xena purposefully caught a weak kick in the stomach, slamming up with her staff into the soldier's groin, then spun the staff around in a wide arc catching several in the face and knocking them back.

"Damn! Are all of you incompetent?" Came the growl from just behind her. Xena grinned wickedly, recognizing the voice and took two quick steps back and slammed her elbow into Brutus' face.

The warrior grinned as she heard a deep groan, but she otherwise ignored him, instead she disabled another soldier with a swift blow to the head.

"Xena!! Stop!! I'm ok! Really!" came the shout from above. Xena froze in indecision, then quickly put her staff at the Rowmaster's throat, and turned to Brutus who was standing again.

"If this is a trick and if you've hurt her...?" Xena growled.

Brutus looked at the woman before him, stunned by her ferocity. "I'll go see for myself if you wish. But you must go back to your seat, Xena. Caesar will be displeased as it is."

"I could care less how pleased or displeased he is. Let me go see.." she demanded.

"No," he interrupted. "Go back to your seat, Xena. You don't demand here, you row at Caesar's pleasure. If you don't..." He glanced up at the hatch. "She'll be dead before you can even kill me."

"Don't ever bet against me, Brutus. You'll lose every time." Then Xena nodded and threw down the broken oar she had used as a staff, and with a sneer, daring them to touch her, she walked calmly past the silent rows of slaves to her seat. Brutus nodded as if satisfied and immediately went above deck to keep his promise.

The soldiers, none of them crucially hurt, sorted themselves out, as the Rowmaster shakily stood and made his way down the aisle to Xena to make sure she was once again secured and arrange for another oar.

The warrior just looked at him with a stony glare and waited for him to do his worst.

* * * * *

The raiders rode down upon the village. Their leader was a tall dark man wearing red leathers. Like a pack of ravishing wolves they descended upon the doomed villagers. The raiders were not surprised to find some of the more braver of the peasants wielding staffs and scythes in defense of their people, but only laughed as they rode them down.

One figure stood like stone in the midst of the village and watched, an invisible observer, as the raiders pillaged and plundered to their hearts' content.

Ares gazed with fondness upon the playfulness of his worshippers. Though this minor skirmish was nothing in comparison to the roar of the battlefield, even here a warrior used Ares gifts and yelled his name in joy. Sometimes, like now, the war god watched the minor plunder of a village just to give himself a taste.

"Ahh..I just love the smell of burning huts in the morning." The god of war breathed deeply the smells of fire and blood, his mind shivering in pleasure at the sounds of terror and the taste of smoke.

"You would," came a reply from just behind him.

Ares smiled, but didn't turn around. "Getting quite good with your powers Callisto. You snuck up on me. I'm impressed."

The blond goddess made her way around Ares, the fires of the village gleaming in her eyes. "It figures that where I find villages burning, I'd find you, Ares. You're so...predictable," she purred.

"What is it with you young goddesses? That is just the second time in just a few full moons that I've been told that." Ares' lip curled up in contempt.

Callisto threw back her head and laughed, the shrill cry causing Ares to wince.

Well, there goes that eardrum. The god of war turned and watched the raider leader gallop past and behead one of the unlucky defenders. "Nice technique. Backhanded even. I'll have to make it a point to watch him in the future," he said aloud to himself, then turned back to his visitor.

His eyes narrowed slightly and a small smile caressed his lips as he saw the goddess entranced by the flames soaring high into the sky. With a warrior's grace he stepped to her side and leaned near her, his voice sensually low in her ear.

"Hypnotic isn't it? What do you see when you gaze into the flames, Callisto? I see glory. Blood on swords and shields. I see thousands of warriors crashing together in a dance of steal, muscle, and blood, both sides calling my name for victory. I see..." he purred, but was interrupted.

"I see Xena." Callisto spun her head, looking Ares in the eye. Rage poured from her and madness covered her like armor. Her lips peeled back in an animalistic snarl, her hands clenched into claws that threatened to tear Ares limb from limb. Invisible energy crackled and spun around her, like tendrils, snapping with a life of their own.

Then, as suddenly as it had come upon her, the rage was gone, or at least the physical signs of it. Only an eyeblink of time had passed, but to Ares it seemed like years.

Wow! What ferocity! What a shame it didn't work out before between us. Ahh..but now she's a goddess. Hmm..this bears thinking about. Too bad, though, it isn't Xena here in front of me, the god of war mused silently.

"I see Xena." Callisto repeated, the snarl gone, replaced by a deceptively sweet smile.

Ares was not fooled, still seeing the fires glowing in her eyes, both real and emotional.

"Yes, you said that. Still stuck on Xena, are we? You'd think that now that you're a goddess, you'd have better things to do," Ares stated, trying to sound bored with the subject.

"As much as you after she's told you time and time again that she's not yours anymore." The goddess grinned.

Ares raised an eyebrow a little and shrugged. "I'm not trying to destroy her, unlike you. I'm trying to give her the world on a golden platter at her feet. No offense, Callisto dear, but she's the best. Even better then you were as a mortal. You copied everything about her. Her style, her choice of weapons, and still you couldn't beat her. I'm not going to waste that talent for glory and bloodshed she has. And now that you're a goddess, I can directly take action against you if you try to harm her."

The god of war reached out a lean hand, laying his fingers just under Callisto's jaw and wrapped his long fingers along the back of her neck. With the strength born of only a god, he brought Callisto unwillingly closer to him.

"Do I make myself clear, Callisto?" he snarled, his eyes as cold as flint.

With a answering strength, that made Ares' eyes widen momentarily in surprise, Callisto pried his fingers away, though not easily, smiling all the while.

"Shall I finish what I was going to say?" Callisto grinned evily, ignoring his threat.

Ares threw up his hands. "Fine! Go ahead! Then please leave...you're ruining my fun."

"Temper. Temper." She admonished, waggling a slim finger at him. "Like I was saying. I see Xena...in Rome." The last words came from her lips like a purr. So low toned that they raced up Ares' spine as he turned back to her.

"Rome? What is Xena doing in Rome?" he demanded.

The goddess' eyes danced with glee. "It seems as if she's a...well, you could say guest, I suppose, but the word doesn't convey the right message. Hmmm..perhaps prisoner would do? Yes...she's a prisoner of another favored follower of yours. You'll never guess who it is, either." She almost quivered with excitement.

Ares was still, his body frozen in shock. Then he spoke, his voice the clash of swords in battle, the cry of a warrior as he vanquished his enemies, the howl of an army in victory, the voice of the god of war. "If I find you the least bit responsible Callisto, I'll destroy you just as easily as if you were still a mortal." Then in a bright flash of light he was gone.

For a moment Callisto stood in the flickering light of the burning village staring at the spot where Ares has just been. Then an eyebrow rose and she grinned mischievously.

"And what prize does Ares win for the correct guess? Ahh...but threats will get you nowhere Ares, especially by the time I'm done." Callisto threw back her head and released a howl of laughter from deep within her. Then she spun around, watching the village burn and the raiders finish their fun.

Hmmm...perhaps Aphrodite was right. I really need to relax some time and step on a village or two. It just looks so fun, Callisto mused. Then just like Ares she disappeared, leaving the ashes of the village to blow away upon the winds.

* * * * *

The Roman ship coasted under the expert eye of its captain, coming to a smooth stop along the dock. A flurry of activity commenced as ropes were flung and securely tied to stout pilings, and a wide gangplank was lowered from the ship. Roman legionnaires, from the Emperor's own Elite guard, marched in tempo from the ship, then lined up to protect Caesar's way to his chariot.

Finally after several silent moments, Caesar appeared on deck. During the day and a half voyage back to dry land he had stayed in his quarters, with orders not to be disturbed at all costs. Calmly he waited as the bard was released from the mast and brought before him.

"I heard you caused quite a commotion yesterday," he stated to her simply, his dark eyes boring into her.

Gabrielle stood gingerly, trying not to move too quickly. After a day and a half of being tied to the mast, except for a quick break to relieve her bladder, the bard was tired and very, very sore. Even her energy level was low, for the soldiers had only fed her a small end of bread and a few gulps of water during that whole time. She had lost a lot of fluids, being under the hot sun on deck, but despite all that she refused to show her discomforts.



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