Valeria has to make a decision when the Conqueror attacks the Amazon village
Contains some strong scenes of sex and violence.
This story is based on the Xena timeline set up in the Hercules episode Armageddon Now part 2 and the premise that Gabrielle and Xena don't know one another and are completely different people.
I awoke to the daily drumbeat of the Amazon village at sunrise and watched Gabrielle sleep.
She looked like a goddess to me as innocent as Artemis yet as powerful as Athena when she held an Amazon staff in her hand.
She had adapted to the Amazon lifestyle as she were destined to be one.
As for me it had merely taken a short time before I found my feet (and my staff) once again.
Suddenly the sound of urgent shouting pierced the peaceful silence and I quickly rose to look out of the window and see what the matter was.
Amazon's young and old ran about in different directions gathering weapons shouting that the Conqueror and her army were seen marching towards our valley and would be at the village in matter of hours.
"Gabrielle, wake up." I said urgently after dressing quickly and gathering our weapons.
"What's wrong?" She asked hearing the anguished shouts outside as her eyes fluttered to awareness.
"The Empress is coming. We have to prepare for war." I answered and she immediately did the same.
Melosa called an urgent meeting with the Amazon council to discuss our battle plan and I was chosen to be her second in command because of my battle experience and growing popularity amongst the tribe.
It was decided that the Amazon Queen would lead half of our tribe and defend the front of the village and that I take the other half and join them at the sound of the Ram's horn.
As we took up positions around the village Gabrielle stayed with me unwilling to leave my side incase these were last few moments we ever spent together.
Soon day turned into night and from our position atop the royal hut I saw what looked like a huge fiery snake advancing towards the village at tremendous speed.
There was no sound of a Ram's horn only the screams of dying Amazons calling for Artemis to save them.
"Mount up." I ordered in a voice loud enough to be heard all the way through the village leaping off the hut on to a waiting horse and waited patiently while the others mounted theirs.
The sound of hoovebeats came nearer and I knew in an instant that they had broken through Melosa's defense and were headed straight for us.
Gabrielle reached out and held my hand tightly with tears in her eyes mouthing silently that she loved me and I responded in kind before raising my staff to tell them it was time to ride into battle.
I waited until I could see that the Conqueror herself was leading them and gave the Amazon warcry before leading them into battle.
I used my staff to bring down many a man from his horse before finding myself face to face with the Destroyer of Nations once again who knocked me to the ground.
"I killed your Amazon Queen and all those fools with her. Your friends here will all die next unless..." Xena began icily stopping and looking down at me as I tried in vain to reach for my staff kicking it further away from me then holding her sword at my throat.
"Unless what?" I gasped feeling the point of her sword upon my throat.
"You give yourself up and come back to Corinth with me." The Conqueror explained with a sly grin looking elsewhere.
"Alright." I agreed realising that her gaze was directed straight at my beloved lying unconscious upon the ground after taking a hit from the hilt of a sword and two of her men pulled me roughly to my feet and put me in chains.
"Let's go." She ordered and they all beat a hasty retreat.
"I love you Gabrielle." I whispered as one end of a rope was tied to my chains and the other to the Conqueror's saddle as she set off into a fast gallop.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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