Standard Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the sole property of Renaissance Pictures et al, and no copyright infringement was intended. I only borrowed them temporarily, I promise.

All other characters are my own and any resemblance to individuals living, dead or fictional was by pure accident.

Altfic Disclaimer: Yes this is alternative fiction. Although there is no obvious affection described in the text below, it does allude to a relationship between two individuals of the same sex.... okay, maybe allude is too vague a word... Anyway, if this bothers you in any way, there’s a good possibility that you shouldn’t read any further.


Missives From Melaina

(Or, How to Lose Your Best Reporter on a Story Assignment)

Dear Gentle Reader,

I am pleased to inform you that this reporter has been set upon a mission. Gossip has been circulating lately in several providences, and coming from numerous sources. The subject of said gossip are the sightings of two individuals considered long gone by the local populace, and the past rumors of their deaths seem to have been greatly exaggerated. The two in question are of course, Xena of Amphipolis, commonly known as the Warrior Princess, and her companion and Bard, Gabrielle of Potadeia.

This reporter, probably like the rest of you, was raised on stories of the Warrior Princess. As a small child, there was many a night that my granny would take me upon her knee, and tell me stories of the woman who could best even the Gods at their own game, the woman who wandered Greece and beyond, doing good to atone for her past misdeeds. Scrolls arrived regularly in Athens, written by Gabrielle herself, and soon the next tale of Xena would circulate throughout the city, passed on by those lucky enough to have the first chance at reading those writings of wonder. When I was ten though, the scrolls quit arriving, and word began to spread that, after a terrible battle that brought the Gods low, Xena and Gabrielle were lost to us.

Now, twenty-seven years later, word has come to Athens that two women matching the descriptions of Xena and Gabrielle have been spotted about the countryside and within the towns they originated from. It has become the goal of this reporter, and the newspaper, to prove or disapprove these rumors in their entirety. Stay tuned gentle readers, as we try to uncover the truth of this mystery. I will be out on this assignment for as long as it takes, but will send in occaisional updates via courier for your reading enjoyment.

Melaina, a niece of the great geographer and historian, Strabo, has been an editorial columnist for the Grecian Times for 8 years. Her first column, "The Gods, Where Are They Now?" won a Golden Quill Award in 39.


To: Artisphanes Editor in Chief, Grecian Times

From: Melaina


This is ridiculous! I am not my Uncle Strabo... I don’t DO geography!

Three days on the road, and it’s rained two and a half of those. The mud sucked down our cart on day two. More than likely it is now a permanent part of the countryside. My guide and I unloaded what the horses could carry, and we’re going by foot from here... my wardrobe will never be the same... Don’t expect me back before the Symposium either.



To: Artisphanes, Editor in Chief, Grecian Times

From: Melaina


Seven days out and my feet are killing me, but we have just gotten our first clue to the location of the women purported to be Xena and Gabrielle. According to the Innkeeper of the tiny village (well, not really a village, more like a... oh, never mind... ) we stayed at last night, they were last seen talking to a wounded Roman Soldier in a town some leagues from here. We are heading for the area in question at first light. I am including my first installment. Wish me luck.



Dear Gentle Reader,

Although the road has not been kind to this reporter, the clues to the

true identities of the women said to be Xena and Gabrielle are becoming

more numerous, as are the sightings. Several travelers we have met have

relayed stories of how a tall, dark haired warrior spirited away Livia,

the Champion of Rome, and turned her from her path of killing. Other

stories claim that the town of Amphipolis is now rebuilding after

spending years under a curse. Also, a woman reported to be the niece of

Gabrielle has been returned to her village of Potadeia since escaping

the clutches of Gurkan the Warlord, now said to be slain. Who else but

the Warrior Princess and her Bard could be responsible for setting these

things into motion? I am not at all certain, but my goal is to find out,

gentle readers. Stay tuned for the next installment of "Xena And

Gabrielle: Are They or Aren’t They?".


To: Artisphanes, Editorial Chief, Grecian Times

From: Melaina


Well, we made it. It seems there was definitely a wounded Roman Soldier

here. The women who were seen speaking with him were described as; "One

was tall and dark with piercing blue eyes and wearing leathers, with all

sorts of weapons hanging off them. The other was blonde and shorter,

half clothed, and with these funny looking daggers sticking out of each

boot. They were here inquiring about a room, but took off in a hurry

right after the soldier came in." The first description could very well

be Xena, but as for the second? It sounds nothing like the stories of

Gabrielle that I have heard, or the individual I glimpsed all those

years ago. I am beginning to wonder if we’re on the right track, but

will keep looking. According to the Innkeeper, the soldier had babbled

on about Amazons before his fellows came and got him. Supposedly there

are Amazon lands not too far from here. I and my guide will go as far as

the border to see if we can pick up the trail from there.

By the way, what was IN those trail bars you gave me before I left? I

would have had better luck chewing my boots. I tried to give them to the

horses and even they wouldn’t eat them.



To: Artisphanes, Editorial Chief, Grecian Times

From: Melaina



We have made our way to a tiny village off the beaten track and south

east of Amazon territory first thing this morning. My guide has now

gotten all nervous on me and sworn that he will go no further. He says

he’s a man and he plans on staying that way, so if I want to approach

the Amazons, I can darn well do it on my own. I swear though, it’s good

riddance... I had to take over the cooking just to save myself,

everything he put his hands on tasted like boiled papyrus.

After spending the day talking to the villagers and picking up a few

things, I plan on getting a good night’s sleep and starting out again

first thing in the morning. Now at least I have one horse to carry my

gear and one to ride, so it should be safe enough.

Now I know what you are thinking right now Arti. You are thinking that I

am crazy, and that if I was there right now you would give me a good

talking to. Well I am not there, and if I was, I wouldn’t be here doing

what I’m doing, so just stow it, okay Arti? I am going to get to the

bottom of this story one way or the other, even if it means I have to

walk straight into an Amazon village to do it.

I’ll wait to send this out until tomorrow so I can add anything else I

might find out to my installment.

The sun is just now breaking the horizon, and I spent most of yesterday

gathering information. It seems that there was a tall dark haired woman

and her blonde companion seen on the main road, headed straight for the

Amazon border. Also, a lone woman was seen crossing there a day before,

and followed soon after by a troop of Roman Soldiers... busy place, huh?

By the way, rumors have been flying here that several Amazon tribes are

gathering together. It is frankly making the villagers quite nervous.

There has always been peace and a little trading between this village

and the Amazons, but all the movement makes them wonder what they are up

to. Oh, and by the way, you are welcome for that little news tidbit, but

use it wisely.

Don’t laugh Arti, but I purchased some things from the market here and

have hopefully made myself a passable Amazon outfit. If what the

villagers say is true, I hope to be able to enter their encampment

without too many questions. Keep your fingers crossed. Here is the next

installment you are probably biting your nails over by now. I may not be

able to send anything else until I get back here, so for gods’ sake,

don’t worry.



Dear Gentle Readers,

This reporter has come to a crossroads. Either I can search elsewhere

for the elusive duo said to be Xena and Gabrielle, or I can follow my

instincts and go deep undercover to follow this story. The pair in

question have reportedly crossed over into Amazon lands, and yours truly

aims to follow.

Several individuals I have met along the way swear that these two women

are indeed Xena, Warrior Princess and Gabrielle, Bard of Potadeia. One

of those an inkeeper where they were inquiring about a room. I of course

am withholding judgment until I meet them face to face and get all the

facts. We do know that very few of those that knew the pair are still

living, so making an identification may be difficult. I myself met them

briefly as a child though, and hope to be able to confirm whether or not

they are truly who people say they are. If this lead doesn’t pan out,

fear not, for I shall keep searching, maybe even visiting the childhood

homes of Xena and Gabrielle. Stay tuned gentle readers, and you will

have the information as soon as it becomes available.



To: Arisphanes, Editor in Chief, Grecian Times

From: Melaina

First off Arti, be very nice to the lady who delivered this message. She

is an Amazon visiting her brother in Athens, and will split your head

like a melon if you try to hit on her.

Secondly, I got the interview! It took me a bit of coaxing, but I was

finally able to get them to talk... well mainly I got Gabrielle to

talk... Xena is Xena, she answers what she wants. These are definitely

the two though Arti... the story is all here in ink and papyrus.

Third... Don’t expect me back for a while longer. I have decided to do

a... a study on Amazon culture. Yeah, something I’ve always wanted to

do. I’ll let you know how things go. Now I know you are probably pulling

your hair out at this, but for Olympus sake Arti, don’t... you have

little enough left of it as it is! I just got an exclusive with two of

the most infamous people on the island... that should sell at least few

papers, right? Right.

Til Next Time,



Dear Gentle Reader,

I am now reporting from the undisclosed location at the request of my

hosts. The subjects of my interview are Xena, Warrior Princess, and

Gabrielle, now known as the Battling Bard of Potadeia. After comfirming

their identities I was able to get the following exclusive interview

with them. Now, without further ado, the story behind the disappearance

and reappearance of these two ladies.

Melaina: Xena, Gabrielle, twenty-seven years ago there were rumors

spreading that the two of you were no longer with us. Now here you are,

looking pretty much the same as you did back then. Can you explain what


Gabrielle: Well Melaina, that’s a pretty long and involved story...

M: But one that, as such a talented bard, I am sure you are more than

capable of telling.

G: (laughs) Let’s just suffice it to say that Xena and I had a...

disagreement with the Olympian Gods. During an altercation there was a

bit of an accident, and Ares thought the two of us were dead. He encased

us in an ice cavern where we slept for approximately twenty-five years.

We’ve spent the last two trying to catch up, and fix a few things that

happened along the way.

M: Xena, is there anything you would like to add?

Xena: No.

M: Well can you inform our readers as to what the disagreement was

about? Many people have noticed a distinct absence of the Gods since

then, and are curious.

G: I’m sorry, we really can’t elaborate on that.

M: Can you at least explain what happened to the Gods? I know, from

doing a past piece on them, that most are nowhere to be found. Rumors

placed Ares and Aphrodite in and about Greece and Rome though.

G: Yes, all of the Olympian Gods except Ares and Aphrodite are gone.

Both the God of War and the Goddess of Love are alive and well though,

and back home at Mount Olympus.

X: (Mumbles something about Ares and a frying pan.)

M: I’m sorry Xena, I didn’t quite catch that.

X: Nothing.

M: Gabrielle, I have heard that you are now known as the "Battling Bard"

and I have to admit that you have changed quite a bit from the last time

I saw you. Would you please comment on how these changes have come


G: Basically, after spending years doing what we do, there were going to

be some changes eventually. I mean, I was really young when I left home

to follow Xena. I barely knew who I was, let alone what the world was

like. I have to admit that, although I’m not proud of some of the things

I’ve done, they were necessary steps in a learning process. I wouldn’t

have missed our travels for anything though. I would have never been

happy living my whole life in Potadeia.

{I am going to interrupt this interview here to make an observation

gentle readers. After Gabrielle’s explanation, she and Xena turned

toward each other and the look they exchanged was unbelievable. I have

never seen so much pass between two people without a word spoken between


M: In other words, you are happy with this life?

G: Yes. I might like to settle down eventually, but that will be up to

Xena. Where she goes, I go.

M: So you don’t see a husband and children somewhere in your future?

G: Uhmm... No, I don’t think so.

M: And you Xena?

X: And me what?

M: Do you see yourself settling down?

X: Maybe.

M: Raising a family?

X: Gabrielle is my family.

M: I see... that brings to mind another point. The two of you have been

together for a very long time, and been through things that would have

tested any friendship to the breaking point by all accounts. What do you

attribute your long lasting relationship to?

{Again a look passes between these two, and Gabrielle answers without

breaking the gaze.}

G: Because we’re soulmates... we’ll always be together.

M: I find that very interesting. Are you saying you are a couple?

X: A couple of what?

M: A couple, as in partners.

G: We’ve always been partners.

X: Well some people may still think you’re my sidekick, Gabrielle.

M: Uhm... that’s not exactly what I meant.

G: I certainly hope they don’t. I’d had about all of that sidekick thing

I could stand after the first couple of years. I mean, yeah, at first,


{Now gentle readers, interviewing Xena and Gabrielle is a somewhat unique

experience, and I have to admit that their presence made even this seasoned

reporter a bit nervous. Needless to say, I blurted out the following question

but am happy to report that I got my answer.}


M: What I was trying to ask is, are you lovers???

G: Oh, well why didn’t you ask that in the first place? Of course... do

you really think we share a bedroll because it gets cold in Greece?

X: Gabrielle...

G: Well Xena, I’m tired of being asked that question and having to dance

around it. I mean, most of your enemies... Our enemies... are long dead

and buried anyway, so what harm can it do? Besides, I’m proud to tell

the world that I love you. That this isn’t still some case of hero

worship, okay?

X: Okay.

G: I mean, every time I turn around... what did you say?

X: I said okay, and I love you too.

G: Oh... Okay.

M: So bringing the nature of your relationship out into the open doesn’t

bother you Xena?

X: No... does it bother you?

M: No, not at all. I think we had better draw this interview to a close,

but one final question before we do. What are your future plans now that

you’ve fixed the problems in your home towns, and announced to the world

that you are still here and very much a couple?

G: I guess we will have to see from here. Probably just exactly what we

have always done.

M: And that is?

G: Helping those that have need of it.

M: Thank you both very much. It’s been an interesting interview, to say

the least.

And there you have it gentle readers, the rumors are are definitely

true. Xena and Gabrielle are still very much alive, and still traveling

the roads of Greece together. I hope you will join me in wishing them

the best of luck in their future adventures, as well as their life



Internal Office Memo

From: Artisphanes, Editor in Chief

To: Heracles, Accounting

Please be advised that I have received a letter of resignation from Melaina of Athens. She has decided to take a private job offer. Any andall pay for her should be forwarded directly to the Amazon Nation starting immediately... and please don’t ask. - Arti

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