Disclaimer: Characters from the television show Xena: Warrior Princess are not owned by me, to my regret. This is written purely for enjoyment with no thought to monetary gain. There are women in love (eventually, as Gabrielle is a bit miffed) and if that is illegal for you or where you live, move on or simply move.
Post FIN, I guess, though I have kept specific references to a minimum.
Mail is always answered and appreciated at Kamouraskan@yahoo.com
My website is at http://dreamcatching.netfirms.com/kam/index.htm
Thanks for corrections and encouragement to the members of the Bardic Circle and Tavern Wall, especially Extra, Jaden, Dawn, JLynn, Jordon Falconer, and Sue. More thanks to Claudia, Morgane, and for rereading this countless times, Abardreader. And my thanks as always, to the great Mary Morgan.
When Ares finally appeared, with crazed eyes and energy blazing from every pore, and glared down at the partners, fuming, his vengeance still to be seized…
…there nothing for him.
Their victory was in the half smiles on both of their faces. And in what should have been a final and deserved peace.
“ NO!” He screamed to the wind. “You don't just die and think you can escape from me? You're MINE! You've always been MINE!” He reached out to grasp the wispy tendrils that were leaving their bodies. Extracting them, separating them, drawing them into each of his hands as if their souls were simply a filmy piece of cloth. And once they were clenched in the fists of each hand, he gloated. “You haven't begun to imagine what I can, and will do to you.”
The hands that gripped the warrior and bard's souls began to blaze with light and as the War God looked in astonishment, they sparked and flashed until he was forced to uncup his fists, whence there was an explosion of light that to his shock and horror burned not only his hands but blinded him as well.
Sightless, his palms on fire, he staggered back, stumbled and felt himself being held by many firm and unyielding hands. A voice spoke. ‘You went too far, God of War.'
He recognised the voice the Goddess Venus, her normally open and loving tone, set and implacable.
‘What have you done? This was my business, they were MINE!' He snarled.
‘You were warned by the Oracle. The threads of Destiny are not yours to control. You could not contain them, not such as these. The world needs them and it calls for them.''
‘Their threads have been sent across the world to the unborn, to weave within the threads of this generation and all those to come. To fight what you have given birth to.'
‘And the natural order believes that would cause my designs to falter? What difference will it make if there are more blue and green eyed warriors refusing to join my cause?
‘You still do not listen. It is their Destiny that has been sent to travel on, to seed, to expand and spread. To fulfill the future you have tried to thwart, to continue to fight, to cull what you have sown. It is what we promised them.' At this affirmation, Ares could hear movement about him and the hands grasping him became unyielding. ‘And having fulfilled that promise to mortals, the Gods will now take care of their own.'
‘Fine, you have me helpless,' He sneered at her, ‘But you can't kill me, even if you wanted to, so you won't. You know what happens. Love can't exist without its balance.'
Though he could not see her, he knew that the Goddess had shaken her head, almost regretfully, as she countered, ‘That was in the world you destroyed. That was in the world that was. But there is no need for War in this world you created. There is War in every fibre of its existence. You have made yourself…redundant.'
The assembled pantheon of all the Gods raised him to their shoulders, and each of their faces as firm and decisive as her own.
Restrained by his brethren, trapped and helpless, the God who would have been supreme, who had been invincible, whimpered, ‘You can't do this to me!'
Again there was a regretful shake of the head. ‘You did it to yourself. And then when you were given one last chance, an opportunity to show compassion, to change this course, to show that there was more than destruction in you, you refused. The bard asked you for a reprieve, and you refused. This world you made cannot afford a God without compassion any more.'
The God of War searched inside of each of his brethren for sympathy, but found only a judgement in their hearts. ‘Then what will you do with me? You still haven't the power to kill me.'
And as though they were the wind, they moved soundlessly to a cave or cavern, a place so dark that only the glow of the Gods gave it any light. The God of War found himself petrified, lying in a cold, stone casket. As if he were just another of the many statues he had sanctioned and approved. Despite all his internal struggles, he was unable to move even the least of muscles, so strong was the spell that ensorcelled him. Fear grew in his eyes as the coffin lid began to slowly slide shut above him. The Gods, in concert, began to chant, ‘You have been sentenced to be secured here, to sleep through the ages. To be held by the Eye until such time as a descendant decides you are needed.'
As the opening slowly closed above him, the God of War cried through it, ‘A descendant? A Descendant of whom?'
‘The only mortal with the right to decide your fate. And it will be her weapon, given to her by you, broken by you, that can free you.'
‘They HAVE no descendants! I made sure of that!'
The chorus responded, ‘No. Those threads, those seeds we sent out, will make their descendants in the hundreds, in the hundreds of thousands. And the one who has your weapon, only they will decide if you are ever needed again.'
And with those final words, the casket finally closed, sealing the God of War in his airless tomb, and any final sounds he might have made were silenced. The Pantheon vanished, the great stone coffin lay still, left alone to wait through time, in obscurity and shadows.
Far, far away, by a small river at the base of a great chasm, A Goddess looked down at the mortal shells of a Warrior and her Bard and a golden tear dropped from her cheek, settling on her palm. She closed her hand and then closed her eyes as well. A light inside her palm glinted, then shone. When she had opened her hand, there was a small sparkle within. She called to the Beardless One and gestured towards the husks at her feet.
‘Can you, can you take them? And do what you can?'
But the Farseeing One looked towards her palm and said, ‘I can do nothing without what you hold in your hand. You managed to save a part of their threads. But you have only two halves of each of their destinies, perhaps enough for only ONE mortal. Which one will you choose?'
The Goddess smiled. ‘Must I choose? Or is there is a solution that is far more apt?'
The quill was lifted from the scroll for a moment as the author considered the next line...
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