The Keeper of My Soul--Always 7
By: Alex P.
Once Gabrielle heard Kala ringing the alarm, she decided that the next order of business was to gather the non-combatants and get them to some place relatively safe.
Mallika located a storage shed in an out of the way alley and after seeing there was plenty of room and it was fairly secure (three of the four walls were stone), she and Rapa began gathering all the children and
other non-combatants and sending them to the temporary shelter.
Gabrielle sent a worried Tauria to look for her mate, Kala and stayed to help people into the shed and set up a way to protect it.
Soon after Tauria had left her Queen, the alarm bell stopped. Fearing for
her friend and lover, the young Amazon drew her sword and long dagger, and began running in the direction she'd seen Kala disappear earlier. She was turning down a narrow street when she heard the sounds of clashing steel and ran toward the sound, knowing her mate was in trouble.
Tauria reached the scene of the battle just in time to see a huge warrior run the light of her life through the middle with a big broadsword. He jerked the five feet of cold steel out of Tauria's lover and stepped away.
Kala turned her head and saw her mate standing behind her attackers. Kala smiled, oblivious to the blood streaming from her mouth and stomach and locked eyes with Tauria.
The last thing Tauria saw was her lover telling her good-bye, then the small, courageous Amazon scout went down under several attackers.
At the sight of her lover and mate going down, Tauria decided to join her
beloved in death, but only after taking her revenge on the ones responsible for Kala's death. The young enraged scout let out a shrill eardrum-shattering war cry and leapt to fight the group of soldiers that had just killed her mate.
The large warrior that ran Kala through saw his companions attacking the brave young Amazon that he'd already defeated, and was appalled at their lack of respect for the game little female. He felt disgust and loathing both at himself for taking such a noble soul, and at his comrades for their unnecessary mutilation of the pretty woman. When he saw the other young female and witnessed the grief and anguish in her eyes at the fall of the little one, he almost instantly recognized the look in her eyes.
The warrior known as Kurkan, had been a mercenary since his mis-spent youth and had lost his idealistic innocence early. Many times he had sold
his sword to some rather unscrupulous leaders. He'd never before questioned his calling or the actions he'd used in the service of his employers. After witnessing the actions of the others in Karcax's army, Kurkan knew it was time for a change.
The aging mercenary locked eyes with the grief stricken mate of the little warrior and raised his massive sword in salute and walked away from the scene shoulders slumped in shame. He heard the woman's war cry and turned his back on the group of men and didn't look back. As he heard the clash of steel and the cries of the men dying under her raging grief, Kurkan shook his head sadly and walked out of the city leaving his
former comrades to fend for themselves, never to return.
As the last of her mate's attackers fell from the end of her sword, Tauria looked up in time to see another larger group of the marauders come around the far corner.
Holding her weapons ready, and crouched in a defensive position, the young scout began backing toward the way she'd come.
Knowing her Queen and comrades would need her, Tauria put aside her death wish and with a silent promise to her love to return her to Amazon lands, the young scout began a running battle with the new group of attackers. She knew that she must return to her Queen's side, but she was determined that a lot fewer of the enemy would be following when she got there. The young scout did her teachers proud that day and several of the marauders went to meet Hades but there were just too many.
Suffering from several deep cuts and slashes along with becoming steadily weaker from blood loss, Tauria did her best to slow down her opponents. As she came into sight of her Queen and the two remaining Amazon scouts, the last three of the attackers came at her at once, and even though she killed all three of them the momentum of their charge carried the men on into her and they all crashed to the hard ground.
Tauria's head struck a rock so hard she saw stars and then everything went black. She woke once and could here the sounds of heavy fighting all around her and felt the overwhelming weight of the dead men laying on top of her.
Tauria tried to move, but as soon as she did she felt nauseous and her head spun then she passed out again. The next time she woke she could hear Gabrielle surrender, but as before the young Amazon became dizzy as soon as she tried to move and the black velvet cacoon of unconsciousness enveloped her.
When she finally came to Tauria was
being tended to by the Queen's champion, and the battle was over.
It was easy to gather from her surroundings and the champions questions that the Queen and her two friends were missing. The only thing she was able to do was tell the champion everything she could remember and answer all the questions as best as her addled mind allowed.
silent tears as she told of her beloved Kala's brave final stand and how she died with honor (small comfort to her widow at the moment). Xena praised the young scout for her courage and promised to avenge her mate's
death. She kept her stoic warrior's mask in place not wanting the injured girl to see how worried she truly was.
"You rest yourself young warrior," Xena told her patient softly. "You have fought well and lost much, you have done the nation proud and I will make it my duty to see that the tales of your mate's last battle and
your brave fight are told around camp fires for generations."
"Thank you, Champion," was all the severely injured woman could say barely above a whisper, as
she more passed out than fell asleep.
"Sleep well, little one," Xena whispered to the unconscious warrior. "Your
battle is finished...mine has just begun."
With that, the dark warrior rose and lost herself in the smoking ruins of the city. Her rage almost a living thing coming to life inside her and demanding payment for the damages done her lover and her friends.
Most importantly, she had to find her Queen and mate before she suffered too much at the hands of her captors.
"If they've harmed her," the ex-warlord growled, "I swear by all the gods
I will hunt down and destroy everyone that was here all the way up to that bastard Karcax himself."
The enraged warrior stalked off into the city determined to find some hint of where the enemy had taken her beloved Gabrielle, even if she had to kill every living thing from here to the sea.
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