Dark Prophecy Fulfilled

by GabbysHOPE

Disclaimer: The characters, names and storylines which have appeared in the syndicated television show

Xena: Warrior Princess are copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters in this story and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story can not be used or sold for profit in any way. This story has been written solely for the reading enjoyment of Xena: Warrior Princess fans of the internet.

Setting: This story takes place in 2016 and in the time of ancient Greece, just before the third season's "The Furies."

Note To Reader: This is my first future story. It suggests of a dark future where evil has won and good exists only in isolated areas of the world. Though the year may be 2016, the technology is far beyond.

GabbysHOPE@ aol.com

Chapter 1:

2016.... Death Valley, California

Andrew tapped his fingers against the black console nervously. He had good reason to be concerned. It wasn't everyday that he piloted a shuttle mission of this importance. His fingers moved over the board in front of him. With his actions, the land-shuttle changed its course over the endless, unforgiving heat of the barren desert. It was mid-day and the temperature was well above one-hundred-sixty degrees. All in all that was a rather mild day for this area of the country.

He could hear one of his passengers shift in their seat slightly behind him and just to the right. It was one of the ProTem scientists from San Inferna. Andrew regarded them with a mild dislike. He didn't dare think stronger against them than that, as it was rumored they could look into a person's mind at will. Their powers and activities were well known to the general public. They had earned their fearsome reputation well.

There were seven people in the land shuttle. Each of them was of great importance to the mission. Andrew of course held one of the highest efficiency ratings in the Order for his piloting and maneuvering skills. He sighed slightly. He knew why they had chosen him. No one else wanted the risk. He couldn't really blame them. For his own part, he appeared eager to accept the assignment. Appearances would count once they reached their destination.

The man sitting next to him was a trusted friend and colleague of many years. Ryan was the engineer of the land-shuttle. He and Andrew had flown together on several missions. They worked well together, but each could sense the uneasiness that the other was feeling. It was everywhere around them. In the way they sat, the way they performed their duties, the way they breathed. Both of them knew their every moves and thoughts were being monitored.

The other two regs, as they were called, were equally tense and rightfully so. One was the bearer of bad news and one was the source of that bad news. ProTem had a bad habit of destroying both in circumstances such as this. Andrew took some small relief in the knowledge that at least his life wasn't as directly on the line as those two. He quickly refocused his thoughts, punishing himself for even briefly thinking that. Hopefully, that hadn't been monitored by the ProTems.

There were two of them on this mission. They were seated in the back of the land shuttle, near the only room in the transport. Both men wore the customary black suits of the ProTem guards, complete with the weapons and the small flame insignia on the upper left part of the suit. Their eyes appeared as cold as the metal floor which their boots rested upon. Friends from the Academy said that the ProTems were in a self-induced trance. They weren't fully conscious of their surroundings. It was kind of like a dream-state, or at least that was how Andrew imagined it. He dare not imagine what they were in contant with in that dream realm.

Finally, there was the passenger in the back room. Thee passenger of passengers. The one that all pilots idolized of serving, though Andrew didn't know if that was in reverence, awe or fear. Success in a mission such as this could do great things for his career even if he didn't contribute anything overly special. Just to be touched with the presence of the Grand Empress in his shuttle was enough to guarantee a promotion.

She was a woman of immense power and influence. She commanded the known world with a single thought. She could destroy uprising populations with a word. Andrew closed his eyes briefly. He had done it again. He had held thoughts that were dangerous. Just to make sure, he prayed forgiveness to the Grand Deity.

Fortunately for Andrew's frayed nerves, the shuttle had reached its destination.

Chapter 2:

2016.... Defaers Research Institute.... Death Valley, California

Dirt on the desert ground blew out in a dusty circle as the shuttle made its approach. In no time at all Andrew skillfully touched down. There would be a few minutes of waiting before anyone left. Customary safety checks on the shuttle and its surroundings would be made. And of course there were minor considerations such as allowing the dust to settle outside. Even the smallest of social graces were important. Once Andrew had heard of a decorated battle officer dropping a small item on the floor during a routine ProTem inspection. Word had it that the officer's entire family line no longer existed. Andrew breathed deeply at the thought.

The ProTems had been the first to move in over ten minutes. They both stood at the same time. One approached the airlock while the other went to the door of the back room. ProTems didn't have names as far as Andrew knew. Nobody with any sense for survival tried to get to know them on a personal level. He imagined it was much like trying to befriend a scorpion. Ultimately, the end result would always be the same.

The ProTem near the airlock reached into a side drawer and opened it. He pulled out a pulse rifle which they always used. It was well made and had a repeating clip unmatched by standard Order settings. Generally, only two or three ProTems were needed to silence an uprising of any notable importance. Six or seven of them had been used to eliminate the revolt of Cheyennica a few years ago. No one but the ProTems walked out from that metropolis and it was almost twice as heavily populated as San Inferna.

The other ProTem remained outside the back room door. He was probably receiving some unheard instructions from the Grand Empress. Telepathy was a natural gift with them. They could exchange detailed information between themselves very efficiently that way. However they did it, it had to be inspired by the Grand Diety. Not even ProTems were rumored to have such abilities before they were conditioned into service. Of course, Andrew had to admit that most of his knowledge of ProTems was limited to the rumors he had heard about them.

The ProTem near the airlock reached for the console and a green light turned on directly over him. The airlock door slid open, disappearing into the side wall. The ProTem then walked slowly outside to survey their surroundings before walking back up to the entry. He made a silent motion of his hand at the other two passengers. The messenger and the one who was the source of the message both stood and quickly exited the land-shuttle. Andrew could see by their white lab coats and their identification badges that they worked at the Defaers Research Institute. He didn't know what was being researched there, but it must be important.

His friend Ryan was watching the three as they left the shuttle more closely than he was. Ryan was seated closer to the airlock and his flight prep duties were completed already. Andrew gave him a cautioning glance since the other ProTem and the Grand Empress were still aboard. Ryan had an interest in his environment. It was an interest Andrew carefully tried to downplay in his own mind.

Andrew and Ryan immediately directed their eyes to their flight consoles as the door to the back room slid open. They each took turns attending to imaginary duties so as not to draw undue attention to themselves. Neither the ProTem or the Grand Empress took the time to notice them. Andrew thanked the Grand Deity for that. They both walked quietly to the airlock.

Out of the corner of his eye, Andrew dared to take a small glance at the backside of the Grand Empress. It was no surprise to him that she was covered from view. As he had heard and seen in a few news clips, she always wore a dark black and burgundy gown which covered her entire body. Even the hood covered her face. She appeared to float across the deck of the land-shuttle as she started to walk outside. Andrew knew better than to believe that of course. It was just the way it seemed since the robes reached all the way to the deck. At least he thought that was all it was.

Chapter 3:

2016.... Defaers Research Institute.... Death Valley, California

Andrew and Ryan were now alone in the land-shuttle. Both of the men could now relax if only for a short time. The others had all went into the Research Institute. Ryan told him that it was for some secretive kind of Order research. Andrew took the chance of making a small joke. When had Order research not been secretive. They both shared a private laugh at that.

The shuttle was refueled and the new destination was programmed into the console. The ProTems had given a detailed flight plan to Andrew before the mission had even begun. It was customary for them to do so. Andrew was looking over the flight plan once more when he noticed Ryan reaching for something under his seat.

Andrew looked over to his friend curiously and saw Ryan pull something out from under the seat that made his eyes widen with alarm. Ryan was holding a shadow chip. Shadow chips were considered a normal means of obtaining information in a routine mission or assignment. This mission was neither.

"What in the world are you thinking Ryan?" Andrew whispered. His eyes darted back and forth from his friend to the airlock.

"Don't worry." Ryan's calmly responsed. He placed the chip into the console in front of him. It wasn't even the size of a fingernail. Ryan was probably confident that it could be hidden easily.

Andrew wasn't feeling very confident. "Don't worry? That's a fader. You know what they will do to us if they find out." Andrew wanted no part of this. He refused to respond to the com signal on his console. Ryan was willing to share the fader's results with him.

"There not going to find out Andrew." Ryan leaned over to his friend to make him feel better. "Its in a place they wouldn't think to look." Ryan pointed a finger to his eye.

Andrew looked to him confused. Ryan sighed and continued to explain. A friend of his had spoken to the man who had sent the message to the ProTem Order. That man was one of the men inside the building just outside. He had been given a very substantial amount of credit to have it surgically placed in his eye. Ryan told his friend to relax. They could get a front seat show. Ryan shrugged, explaining the carrier signal was in a perpetual loop anyway. They were only receiving a shadow signal that escaped the e-band's weak insulation, which is what gave the shadow device its name. There was no traceable signal being sent to them, only an echoing one.

Andrew still didn't like it. He refused to accept the transfer signal to his console despite Ryan's explanation. Ryan decided after a few minutes longer not to press the issue. He looked to his monitor and was content to watch it himself. Andrew kept his eyes on the display in front of him. He was interested of course, but he felt very uneasy with the situation, even if it meant using a shadow device. Shadow devices, or faders as they were frequently called, were very reliable and of course as with anything of good quality very expensive.

The time in the land-shuttle seemed to continue along forever. Andrew found himself thinking about the reasons for the mission. There was little doubt in his mind that it involved the resistance. Nothing else could explain the importance of the Grand Empress being here.

He smiled to himself slightly, wondering if some great plot to overthrow the Order had been developed inside. It wouldn't be the first one of course, but it was doomed to fail like all the previous attempts. The Order had this unnerving talent for knowing everything that happened before it happened. Andrew suspected that was due to informants within the various revolutionist camps. Either that or there was always some misguided member of a revolution who could be convinced that speaking to the Order would be profitable. It never was for them, but they often caved in to the threats and bribes given to them.

Andrew broke out of his thoughts as he saw Ryan quickly reach for his console. Ryan took the fader and snapped a small button on it. It was now inoperative. He quickly brought it up to his mouth and swallowed it. Andrew looked up to him with concern, but Ryan shook his head. He would explain it to Andrew later.

Just a couple of minutes later, the others returned to the land-shuttle. The Grand Empress entered first followed by one of the ProTem, the scientist and then the other ProTem. The messenger was nowhere to be found. Neither Andrew or Ryan considered thinking of what had happened to him. Andrew closed his eyes in thought. The bearer of bad news still had a tendency to take the blame.

Chapter 4:

2016.... Defaers Research Institute.... Death Valley, California

A pilot's life could become quite boring on missions so it wasn't too unusual for Andrew to allow his thoughts to drift to safe interests of study. The past thirty minutes had been rather quite within the land-shuttle. The Grand Empress had returned to her room. One of the ProTem had been allowed to join her while the other remained with the scientist. The scientist was busy with math equations.

At the moment, Andrew was briefly considering the long rich history of the Order. It was a rulership whose roots extended back over two millennia of history. Its rule included all seven continents, though he imagined there was little need for some parts of the world to be controlled. It was more of a symbolic control than a necessary one. The Order was the first and only global power to actually control the entire globe. Andrew took a few seconds to think about that.

Of course, there were resistance groups. About three dozen or so groups could be found around the globe, with half of them centered around the Eurasian continent. That was the birthplace of the Order and of the Grand Empress.

Among the resistance groups there were really only three or four noted leaders who led the oppositions. One was a former high officer of the Order who had left his command in hopes of starting his own sub-government. It had been denied to him and he sought the quick rule of a few close resistance groups. Another was of the Anarchic League. Theirs was a loose-knit organization of third world powers. Too weak to be considered an actual threat, yet they somehow they managed to continually stage resistance rallies.

The third was from the old school of thought. Andrew had to admit they seemed a bit romantic to him and to many who dared to consider the subject. They held the belief that the ancient forms of government, long before the time of the Order, would one day see a return to the modern world. They were funded mainly from low level Order officers who had ancient family ties to nobility.

The fourth group was perhaps the most interesting of them all. It was a mystical sect located not far from the country of Nepal. Andrew had heard it was governed by a group known only as the Karmic Circle. He shrugged to himself slightly at the thought of it. It was an unknown religion to him. The very idea that a soul could live through multiple lives seemed unlikely to him. If the Karmic Circle only knew how cold-hearted most of the officers of the Order were, he doubted any of them would be allowed another lifetime let alone multiple ones. Still, the teachings of Altius continued to be heard in that region of the world.

The rustling of papers behind him caused Andrew to look up. The scientist had placed his papers to the side and stood up to return to the Institute. The ProTem near the door waited for the scientist to step out before reaching up to touch Ryan's seat. Ryan looked back, surprised that he was noticed at all. Apparently there were some computers in the institute that needed to be repaired. They had been damaged. Ryan nodded in response to the ProTem's orders. He reached down to get his tools before looking to Andrew briefly and leaving.

Shortly thereafter, the Grand Empress opened her door. She paused for a few seconds, looking directly at the back of Andrew's head. Then she exited the land-shuttle with the other ProTem closely behind her. Andrew remembered to breath deeply. He had felt a sudden rush of energy go through his body. The Grand Empress herself had scanned him. Luckily for him, his mind had been blank at the time. He had only been looking at the side panel when she had passed by him. He looked over to Ryan's empty seat and hoped the best for his friend. Then he remembered the fader signal Ryan had sent to his com pad. He sat their for several minutes, all alone in the land-shuttle, before finally reaching over to accept the signal. He eased back into his chair to see what had happened inside.

Chapter 5:

2016.... Fader Echo Trace #DM-623... Defaers Research Institute.... Death Valley, California

Andrew looked to the signal on his com pad as it started. Ryan had apparently skipped through the mundane information to get to what was really important. A note had been left on a computer desk within the room. The ink was in rather poor form. The author had probably been in a hurry.

Doctor Rabern,

We have been close colleagues for some time now. I can assure you that I hold the best regards possible for the Terze project. I understand that its intentions are strictly botanical. We do afterall have a severe depletion of plantlife on this continent due to the Cleansing.

It is my intent to address this issue on two fronts. What I am proposing Jon, quite frankly, is to resolve this issue in a rather dramatic turn.

I don't know how to say this so I will be to the point. I have been in contact with the Karmic Circle for some time now. Several weeks in fact. In that time, I have come to understand in their ways and to be honest with you, I see their views. Altius is very persuading.

At any rate Jon, do take care. I of course take full responsibility. I didn't really want to be the one to do this, but timing isn't at its best. The friends I have mentioned have told me where I must go.

I trust this will set things in a better light. My best to you old friend.


Doctor Nathaniel Trebbins.

Andrew sat there for some time trying to figure out Doctor Trebbins' intentions. He was more than a little surprised in the Karmic Circle's involvement. Their dealings generally never left the Asian continent. He turned his head slightly at the sound of footsteps outside. The others had returned.

The scientist must be the man the letter had been written to, Doctor Rabern. He was the one working on the Terzi project. Andrew had heard the name passed around in idle conversations at the Academy. It was supposedly a means to bring vegetation back to the land. Vegetation had been burned away by the Grand Deity on his first days to this new continent. The entire Western Hemisphere of the globe was like that, barren of vegetation. The Grand Deity had apparently seen it as a means to discourage the unfaithful who sought a new life in a new world. One breath from the Grand Deity had changed the entire landscape of a continent into a wasteland.

The Grand Empress stood in the center of the land-shuttle now, silently giving commands to the two ProTems. One of them nodded his head in understanding and escorted the scientist back out to the Institute. The other ProTem remained on the land-shuttle with Andrew and the Grand Empress. It was then that Andrew heard something unforgettable. The Grand Empress spoke out loud. Her voice could be heard as she addressed the ProTem before her.

"No. This is of far greater importance." She paused. "I shall have to attend to this matter personally. Even now ProTem forces move into the Nepal region. The Himalayans shall be leveled even with the ocean within the day."

Andrew blinked at the mention of that. He had no doubt that the Grand Deity could do such things. He felt regret for the millions of people in that region of the world. They would suffer the Grand Deities' wrath for centuries after today. That was the price for angering such a powerful god.

The Grand Empress returned to her room briefly while the ProTem remained where he was standing. When she returned, Andrew could see a faint image of her as a reflection off of his console. He was stunned into silence. He was actually looking at an image of the Grand Empress. She was no doubt the most evil and powerful being on the world with the exception of the Grand Deity. She was quite beautiful.

The reflected image before Andrew in no way resembled the stories he knew to be true about her. Here she stood with long flowing blond hair. She held something he was completely unfamiliar with, a rod of some kind made of wood. Her clothes were made in a design he had never seen before. The bottom was of the simplest of brown cloth fabrics. Likewise, the top part of her clothing was made of a green fabric which showed her mid-section. Andrew closed his eyes quickly, fearful that she would strike him down at any second.

She walked over to him and instructed him to exit the land-shuttle. The ProTem followed him out as did the Grand Empress. Andrew was instructed to wait within the Institute with the others. The Grand Empress and the ProTem standing beside her would remain outside to talk further. Andrew obeyed her commands without question, trying to keep his head down respectfully as he did so.

The conversation between the Grand Empress and the ProTem was short and simple. She had always been one for simplicity. "Destroy everything. Everyone. Including yourself."

The ProTem nodded dutifully. He walked back into the land-shuttle, firing up its hovering thrusters. The Grand Empress walked far to the side of the Institute. She continued to walk away from the building as the land-shuttle plowed through the walls of the Institute. A simple release of the engine core container created an explosion which served the Grand Empress' interests well enough.

She stood with her back facing the blazing inferno behind her. The heat of the blast did not harm her. In fact, she smiled at the warm embrace of flames which rushed around her and continued to shoot up to the sky. It was an uncommon feeling for her, but it was welcomed. It had been far to long, too many decades ago, since she had last used her powers even briefly.

The Grand Empress turned to look at the destroyed building and reminded herself that where she was going, when she was going, they would not recognize her as the Grand Empress. Two thousand years of her controlling the entire world would mean nothing to them. They would not even recognize her birth for several weeks. No, she was not the Grand Empress. Nor could she go by her own name as it would not yet be known. If she came into contact with anyone, then she would go by the name of a woman she had chosen her appearance from long ago. Gabrielle.

Chapter 6:

Ancient Greece

Birds flew away from the trees quickly as a sudden burst of energy formed on the ground. The brilliant flash of blue light disappeared, leaving a curious woman in its place. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. It was a slow, long breath made more enjoyable by the scent of flowers and pine. Hope opened her eyes and smiled. The innocence of the forest in her native land of Greece was all she had imagined it to be. It had all been so very long ago in her memories.

Hope continued to walk through the forest toward the most likely destination of the person that threatened her father's plans. He was a very foolish mortal. This Doctor Nathaniel Trebbins seemed to think he could change the destiny of an entire world with his actions. He hadn't been the first to try and fail and this hadn't been the first time Hope had travelled back to stop revolutionists. The ProTem were usually assigned to such tasks, but this time it was different. Trebbins knew of specific connections to Hope's family history.

She imagined that even as she walked upon this ancient land, ProTem ships in her time were gathering in mass off the shores of the Indian ocean. Pulse cannons and laser emmiters would reduce the Himalayan mountains to rubble. The debris from the fallout would all but wipe out the lands that the Karmaic Circle called home. Hope smiled lightly at that. The dreaded Altius would finally be dealt with, assuming she did not simply move on to her next life cycle. Hope had eliminated that menace to the Order once already and it still returned to create opposition.

Altius hadn't been the first disadent to oppose the will of Dahak. Two thousand years of history had seen its fair share of opposition to the great Cleansing. None had succeeded however. They merely delayed the inevitable and caused pain and misfortune for themselves and their followers. She shrugged at the thought,. Such was the way of mortals. They had a limited vision.

Mortals were not the only ones to hold onto foolish ideals of opposition. Gods also shared in that lack of wisdom. As Hope continued along the trail toward what she knew was a nearby lake, she thought of the Olympians of ancient Greece, the gods of this time. She imagined that Ares would have loved to come here with her, but of course she couldn't allow that. His duties were needed in the lesser developed nations. Their instabilities were more likely to generate open warfare and that was a hobby which he still had an interest in. Regardless of the centuries that had passed, he was still very much a god of war.

The other Olympians had not prospered as well as Ares had. In fact, there had been many pantheon of gods to deal with since that time. The most notable among them were the Incan gods. They were a barbarous group that lived within the new world. Their common interests in sacrifices and forceful worship pleased her father and he extended an alliance to them. They were wise in accepting that offer.

Hope stopped at the next split in the path. She was uncertain how best to proceed. Both trails would lead to a nearby lake, but she must be certain that she choosed the correct one. Timing was everything with this kind of activity. She now knew why the Olympians had been reluctant to travel through time.

Further along the path she could hear light laughter from a woman's voice. She paused and listened to it from the edge of the path. After a few seconds of silence, Hope could hear water splash and then it splashed again. A second woman with a deeper voice spoke. The water continued to splash repeatedly as did the laughter. Hope smiled. She had found her mother.

Chapter 7:

Ancient Greece

Hope stood quietly behind several branches full of leaves. She knew she was well hidden from mother and her friend. Her mother and the other woman, Xena was her name, had returned from the lake to the campfire where they were warming themselves up for the evening. Hope looked over the small campsite and could see that fish had already been caught and prepared for an evening meal. The two women were sitting not far from one another talking.

The sight of mother smiling and enjoying herself in simple conversation made Hope feel somewhat regretful for her. Life had not been kind to mother in her time. Hope sighed. She had wanted mother to eventually embrace the path she and father had set out upon, but ultimately that was not to be a reality. Her basic nature was in conflict with father's and Hope had never been able to truly resolve that issue. She had tried on many occasions, on more than one life of mother's Karmic cycle.

Of course her mother knew nothing of that cycle at this point in her life, just as she knew nothing of Dahak or of her soon to be born daughter. Mother's strongest challenges to date had probably been seasickness and the occasional warlord. Hope herself had seen a warlord and several of his men approaching this lake just an hour ago. She had considered letting these two handle the challenge on their own, but she wanted to see her mother for a short time. Hope had dealt with the warlord and his men very quickly.

It was ironic how far her mother's life would change, and Xena's as well for that matter. They would both survive a death by crucifixion that would push their souls to the limit. Had it not been for the Karmic cycles within them, all would have ended there. A future incarnation of both mother and her friend had willingly sacrificed their part of the ongoing life cycle so that these two lives could continue. After a short time of readjustment, the two had continued with their lives as they did just now. Fate would deal them a tragic path in life soon after that.

It hadn't been until almost four hundred years later that Hope had somehow encountered a defiant reincarnated version of mother. Hope recognized her life force immediately and had allowed her to pass unharmed, much to her father's disapproval. That was one life force which Hope could never quite allow herself to harm again.

She looked back at the two women once more and saw that they were both finishing their meals. Mother sat her empty tray of food aside and excused herself to get something from the horse's pack. Xena remained where she was, still looking out to the calm surface of the lake. Hope felt envious of the woman. She held a bond with mother that she herself would never know. A bond she had wanted to know but had not been granted due to her own destiny. She had learned to accept that fact, but the longing was always there.

Hope could see Xena look to her left. She glanced in that direction as well and saw the reason why she was here. A man cautiously approached her and Xena's hand was instinctively at her sword handle. He spoke to her only briefly and was gone. Hope watched Xena carefully and looked for any reactions. The man, a scientist by the name of Trebbins, had probably come back to warn them somehow of events in the distant future. Of a fire gods control of the world population. Of the defeat of the worldly gods. Of an endless cycle of world Armageddon. Hope could only imagine the wild ideas which had been told to Xena. For her part, Xena seemed unmoved by the man's short comment as he departed.

Hope used her powers to instantly appear before him once he was a great distance from the two women. He didn't seem entirely surprised by her arrival. That impressed her slightly. She asked him if he was aware of the severe punishment for such an act and he assured her that he was.

His family line would of course have to be erased as would the lives of those who knew him. It was of his own doing and Hope felt no hesitation in ordering the ProTem to do it once they had returned. The man offered no resistance. He knew it would be futile. She would find out all that she needed to know once they returned to her own time.

In a brief flash they were gone, transporting back to the future. Back to a world that had been cleansed by her father's flames and was now under his rule. She knew Ares in this time would soon enact his vengeance upon Xena in the form of insanity and persecution. How ironic it was that this mortal had thrown his life away for a message that would likely be forgotten once the curse of the Furies set in upon Xena's mind. Hope could only wish that the mortal's actions would not still find a way to jeapordize her future.

Chapter 8:

Ancient Greece... a small, secluded lake

Xena sat quietly on a log looking out to the lake as Gabrielle returned. Her friend had gone to Argo to get one of her scrolls. This lake, she had said, produced a calming effect upon her that she had described as spiritual. Xena raised her eyebrow at that. She teased Gabrielle about her newfound words of spiritual wisdom. Gabrielle laughed lightly and said that she had always considered herself on a spiritual quest of some kind. She was just not certain how to start out on that journey. Xena nodded.

As she watched her friend open the new scroll and begin to write, Xena looked to Gabrielle once more. She had a sad look on her face that was mixed with a slight bit of confusion. What the man had said was a mystery. "The girl's child will be evil. Pure evil." Xena shook the image out of her mind. She decided to ignore it for now and spend the evening listening to her best friend tell a tale of a lake and a message of peace.


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