The character of Gabrielle unfortunately doesn't belong to me but to all the great people who all created and worked on the fantastic television show Xena: Warrior Princess for six years...But hey I can still dream. hehe :p
Definitely a lot of violence and definitely some sex and love between two women as well but its not graphic (At least not to me. lol :) ) and is an essential part of the plot.
Yep there is some swearing too but not enough to really be bothered about.
This is actually set about a year after the series ended but will refer back to some events in the show and there's the possibility of meeting a few old friends too along the way.
I've been planning something like this since Xena: Warrior Princess ended years ago and have really been playing with the idea for about a year now and the gift of a complete Xena DVD set on Christmas Day with the movie 300 got me really, really inspired into writing this.
I'd love to hear from anyone who loves this story or hates it or has any suggestions because I'm seriously thinking of turning this into a story series at ClairesStoriesandPoetry@hotmail.co.uk
An encounter with an Oracle about the fate of her Warrior Queen and a nightmare of her own death lead a young warrioress on a perilous journey to seek out a girl with a chakram.
PROPHECY OF DEATH
I lie awake watching Zenobia sleep, stroking her hair gently and thinking of our time together.
For the six years she has been Queen of Egypt we'd travelled the East helping those in need so that my friend could prove to the people she was ruling and maybe even herself, that she would never become the bloody tyrant her Father was.
In all that time i had seen nothing from her but a kind and gentle heart and compassion for all we met on our journey.
This is why i have to do this.
Why if i need to I'll sacrifice my own life just to make sure she stays alive.
Because the known world needs true warriors like her to make a stand and fight for the greater good when no one else will.
And i need my hero.
Kissing her tenderly on the lips I send out a prayer to any Gods or Goddesses that may be listening to always keep her safe from harm.
Then carefully without disturbing her I retire quietly to my own rooms and the hot bath I had ordered to be prepared secretly while we were together.
Sinking into the warm perfumed water I begin to cleanse myself vigorously then stop realising I am washing what could be my last memory of her hands on me away.
And for the first time in a long time I feel tears in my eyes and they sting and burn my skin as they fall freely on to my cheeks.
Because even though i'm convinced this is the right course of action it still feels strange to have to tare myself from Zenobia's side now after all this time together.
But i know i have to because there was more to the Oracle's vision then just Egypt burning and us dying.
I had to find the girl with the chakram before morning or we would die tomorrow...
I cry for what seems like an eternity then take several deep breaths in order to compose myself enough to get out of the bath and slip into the undergarments and polished armour waiting for me hung over a chair nearby.
Dark as night in the moonlight but crimson in the day the armour's design is Spartan mixed with Roman, meant to be as one but separated into a protective breastplate and a skirt mixed with black leather and boots of the same.
It shows off the well defined muscles of my stomach gained from years of constant exercise and training and with a cloak flowing in the breeze red as blood has always intimidated all who see me.
I chuckle at this thought then go to retrieve a wooden staff from its hiding place in a collection of weapons I have mounted on the wall behind me.
The smooth wood is coated at each end with metal the colour of silver and doubly reinforced with a light metal poured down the inside by the greatest blacksmith in all Egypt so that it doesn't break in battle.
Taking one last look around the room I leave quickly by the window and stay hidden in the shadows until I unexpectedly run into Nearchus, head of Zenobia's personal bodyguard and in charge of all palace security.
"You wouldn't be leaving our Queen all alone in the middle of night like some coward...Would you Spartan?" He asks sarcastically resting a hand on the hilt of his sword in a pathetic attempt to frighten me.
"No. I'm merely out for an evenings walk." I lie smoothly or so I think as he gets out of the way and lets me pass him.
"On the path to the secret escape route? I think not." He says angrily grabbing one of my arms and turning me to face him.
"Let go of me! If you harm me Zenobia will take away from you everything you desire!" I try persuading him with words because violence will only alert the other guards but I fail and he tightens his grip upon me.
"Zenobia has nothing I desire...But you on the other hand have everything I have ever wanted in a woman." He says lustfully gazing at me and brings the hand he is holding up to his lips and kisses it passionately.
"I'll never give myself to you." I say disgusted by the very thought of him touching me, pull my hand from his grasp and turn to begin walking on the path again.
"Then you won't pass...Will you?" He says angrily drawing his sword from its scabbard and charging at me.
I roll out of his way to grab the staff which had fallen to the floor in our struggle and fight him as I was born to do.
I deflect every blow, sensing every movement until I finally get the upper hand and use the staff to sweep him off his feet.
But he lands on the floor with such a crash onto some discarded wine jugs that several of his men come to see what the matter is and murmur with surprise at seeing me standing over him breathing heavily from the battle we had just fought.
"Great protectors of Egypt. I fear your Commander has had too much to drink tonight and must taken to a cell to cool off." I lie smoothly then watch two of the strongest men, twin brothers Evander and Areion carefully pick him up and take him away.
"Will you be needing an escort milady?" Trionus, a young man most loyal to Zenobia and myself asks remaining behind after hearing Nearchus loudly screaming my name and cursing me to every god in the heavens.
"No thank you Trionus. This is something I have to do alone." I say gratefully with a bemused smile at the thought of a man barely out his childhood travelling by my side and walk towards the wall running my hands over an emblem of the sun that opens a great stone door onto yet another path leading down a hillside to the harbour where the royal ships lay.
"Is there any personal message I can give to Queen Zenobia on your behalf before you go off on your secret mission then?" He asks nervously looking around him as his fellow men call his name and orders for him to go with them.
"In the morning go and tell her that I...That I will soon by her side again." I say after a few moments have passed and give him the necklace that Zenobia gave me the day we became more then just friends.
It is a golden chain upon which hangs an ankh, a cross with a rounded top and the Egyptian symbol for life and happiness.
The things she has always said i brought her from the very first moment we met all those years ago.
I watch Trionus as for a moment he looks at it in confusion then nods understanding that it is important and places it protectively in a pouch hanging at his side and smiles before turning and running to rejoin the men calling for him.
After Trionus leaves I suddenly have the feeling that giving him the necklace may have been a terrible mistake.
Nearchus might interogate him and find out what has really been going on behind closed doors for years now and try to destroy Zenobia's reputation.
But i knew there was no going back now otherwise it would be too late.
So, without even looking back to see if I'm being followed I walk carefully down the steep path and remember the Oracle's true words to me:
'Death will come swiftly to the two who make love in the secrecy of the moon and a look inside will spell their doom. Egypt will burn to ashes unless a foreign warrior is found brave and bold, a boon if found before daybreak and told, carrying a mighty weapon of dark and light, a chakram both powerful and old that will win your fight.'
But as I make my way through the quiet streets I unexpectedly find myself drawn into the first tavern I see rather then one of the ships waiting patiently for me in the harbour to travel.
The largest building there painted so dark a blue that it looks almost black in the night and is called 'The Warrior's Retreat'
Filled with pirates, sailors and the lowest of the low they glance up at me murmuring what lustful, depraved things they'd like to do to me after so long away at sea.
The owner, a large, bald man dressed in what look like old warlords clothes seemingly knows my face and gestures for me to come over and sit on an empty stool at the bar.
"You are Queen Zenobia's very good friend. Yes?" He asks with a chuckle after handing me a large mug of cider and eyes me expectantly.
"That's me." I say mirthfully with a chuckle realising that clearly the people of Egypt knew more about us then all the officials did.
"She told me you might come in tonight." He leans forward and whispers in one of my ears so that no one else will here.
"Who did?" I ask as all the rowdy men in the tavern suddenly glance up the stairs then run out the door as if the very dog of hell is hot on their tracks.
Suddenly my body is racked with pain and I haven't the strength to hold my staff any more.
As the weapon falls to the floor at my feet I look at the owner angrily knowing that i've been drugged and watch him run in to the back out of harm's way.
Then as I begin to lose the ability to see and fall to the floor i laugh at my own stupidity for walking straight into such an obvious trap.
The last thing i see before darkness completely overwhelms me is a figure in black walking towards me and holding a chakram to my throat.
TO BE CONTINUED...