A DIFFERENT WORLD
Disclaimer: All characters associated with the movie underworld, and Xena Warrior princess are the sole property of Renaissance pictures and Lakeshore entertainment, no copyright infringement was or is intended, I’m just borrowing them for awhile, and I promise to put them back when I’m done.
Content: May contain some scenes of violence, and scenes of an adult nature so if you’re under eighteen or easily shocked then perhaps you might like to try something other than this story.
Selene pressed her face against the window of her apartment. Wiping a part of the glass clear with the cuff of her leather jacket; she stared outside and listened to the loud rumbling of the storm outside, sounding like an angry beast stirring to life, and thought of everything that had happened so far. Michael, the betrayal, and the war that was still being fought between the Lycans and the Vampire’s, and how for so many empty years she had fought it in it, consumed by revenge, determined to wipe out every last Lycan off the face of the earth for murdering her family.
How blind she had been…how easily swayed…looking back though she could never have known that her saviour victor, the one who had given her the immortal strength she needed to seek out justice for her family, had in fact been the monster who had been responsible for killing them. Selene had only been spared because she reminded Victor of his only daughter, the one he had also been responsible for putting to death for daring to love a Lycan…and somewhere in his twisted heart he regretted what he had done…so instead of killing her with her family, he had made her a vampire, taking the frightened young girl she had been into his care, and treating her like the daughter he had lost so long ago.
Victor was dead now… dead by her own hand, and Michael changed forever; neither vampire nor Lycan, but a mutation of the two. The hunter was now the hunted, because she had killed victor she was now an enemy of her fellow vampires, and so they had been forced to run. Her whole world had changed completely, and there would be no going back…ever Behind her she could hear the sound of Michael’s soft breathing, turning round she looked at him for a moment, and her dark eyes softened.
“What’s the matter?” he asked walking over to her, and standing close beside her, until there faces where mere inches apart.
“I don’t know how long we may have to keep running” she said staring at the ground, we’re running out of places to hide, and no matter where we go they’ll follow us…soon Marcus will be awake…and when he finds out about Victor…”
“We’ll figure something out…we always do…” For a moment he looked at her, his soft brown eyes seeming to look right into her soul
“You don’t regret meeting me do you’ he asked brushing a strand of hair back off her face”
“No, of course not” she said thinking back to the first time she had seen him in the underground station, she had been running along the platform, her guns blasting outwards, then she had stopped, he had been standing by the train, and for a few moments their eyes had met, everything had seemed to happen in slow motion as he looked up at her and smiled before disappearing into the train. From that moment something had drawn her to him, something she couldn’t explain.
“It’s just if they find us”
“They won’t…now come on he said” we’d better get some rest, It’ll be daylight soon” he said pulling the thick black curtains across the window “we can’t go anywhere till nightfall”
“But you can go” she said
“No Selene” he said “We either leave together, or not at all. Wrapping his arms around her, he buried his face in her soft dark hair, and gently whispered in her ear “Now come on try and get some rest. You’ve hardly slept all week”
“I can’t’” she said letting him pull her towards the bed
Then slowly he eased her down beside him
“Yes you can, if anything happens I’ll wake you” he said
Slowly Selene felt her eyelids closing, Michael’s sleeping face, the last thing she saw…
“Wake up… Selene…wake up” urged Michael shaking her awake.
“What…what happened…?” she asked rubbing her eyes. Outside it was dark, running over to the curtains Michael pulled them back ever so slightly, and stared outside. He seemed to be looking at something….”
“What are you looking at” she said walking over to the window,
“Something’s out there”…he said...
“What…where…I can’t see anything”
“Over there by the bushes” he said” “I saw it before when I woke up…at first I thought I was imagining things…but now I’m certain”
“What do you think it is” asked Selene
“I don’t know” said Michael “But let’s not wait to find out”
Grabbing her hand, he pulled her out of the door, and towards the truck that they had abandoned before, in their rush to get Selene out of the daylight, and into the safety of darkness. Opening the truck door, Michael waited for Selene to climb into the passenger seat, before running over to the driver’s side, and hurling himself into the empty driver’s seat. Shoving the keys in the ignition, he pulled back the handbrake, stepped on the gas, and smashed though the wooden doorframe behind him, and out into the cold night air.
Turning the car round he sped on down the long gravel path that they had travelled down to get here, and headed north…not sure where to go. Trying to keep as much distance between them and whatever that thing he had seen had been as possible. In the rear-view mirror, Selene could make out the outline of something…she squinted trying to make out what it was, but they where to far away for her to get a proper look….then suddenly the truck stopped…Michael stared at the empty petrol gauge, and cursed.
“We’re going to have to make a run for it”
In front of them stood a huge tunnel, the only way out, “Quick over there…” he said
Grabbing her hand again, he pulled her along behind him, Selene turned round, pulling one of her guns free from its holster, firing blindly behind her. Something rushed towards her, knocking her off her feet…opening her eyes, she pulled herself up, her head hurt, rubbing her forehead absently she turned round, and found herself looking up right into the face of Marcus, he was awake, he must have found out about Victor....
“Selene” yelled Michael, his voice raw with emotion “Quickly get out of here”
“Not without you” she said
“I’ll be right behind you” he said “Hurry”
Selene rushed towards the tunnel, behind her she could hear Michael crying out in pain, her fists clenching tight, her dark eyes transforming to an intense blue she went to run back to help, but before she could take so much as a step back to him, an intense white light had enveloped her, and she knew no more…
The campfire crackled and popped, the smoke slowly drifting up to the sky, Xena and Gabrielle’s silhouettes stretched out across the soft grass, Xena was sat on a log beside the fire, the light from the flickering flames dancing across her tanned features, she was staring at some point in the distance, and looked lost in her thoughts.
“You okay Xena?” asked Gabrielle her bright green eyes filling up with concern, gently she leaned over, and placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder.
“Yeah…just thinking” sighed Xena, her eyes still fixed ahead of her.
“Care to talk about it” asked Gabrielle
“Just looking back at the past, even now I can’t help wondering if I could have done things differently. Gabrielle when I think of all the times I hurt you, it tears me up inside”
“Xena, that’s all over, and if you remember I hurt you aswell, we were both in terrible pain, you where grieving the loss of your son, and I was grieving my daughter, we where both too wrapped up in our pain, to think clearly….but when Solan sent us to illusia we forgave each other, and we became closer because of that….don’t you see Xena, we belong together…we’re both travelling down the same road…Wherever you go, I go”
“But I could have killed you” said Xena “I don’t know if I can forgive myself for that…you’d be better off without me…she said” unable to look at Gabrielle, in case she saw the fear in her eyes, and pursued the subject further. Her arms folded tightly across her chest she walked off into the darkness of the forest
“Xena…” called Gabrielle “Come back we have to talk about this”
What’s to talk about…” said Xena “you know I never thought I’d hear myself say this” she said turning to look at Gabrielle, her sky blue eyes, flooding over with the pain that was burning inside of her “But Najara was right…all I seem to be able to do is cause you pain…it’s better for you if you leave” she said her voice cracking with barely contained emotions as she disappeared into the row of trees ahead.
Gabrielle stared into the flames, and sighed…half wondering if she should go and follow Xena, and try and pull her out of whatever psychological torment she had buried herself in. she sat there for a few minutes, quietly pondering the situation, then finally her concern for Xena took over, and she decided to follow her. Slowly she made her way through the trees, careful to step over the branches that lay strewn across the muddy soil, directly head of her she heard a loud thud, and her heart sank into her stomach.
“Xena” she called out to the darkness. No response
“Xena are you okay” still no response
“Xena answer me dammit” she said pushing her way through the rest of the undergrowth, her eyes searching the forest frantically for any sign of the warrior princess.
Rushing onwards she could feel her heart racing, the panic becoming an irrational fear.
“Xena” she called out “Xena where are you”
“Right here” said Xena appearing behind her, and making the already nervous bard jump out of her skin with freight.
“Where were you?” she said “I heard a noise…I thought something had happened to you…or that you had done something remarkably stupid”
“No, not me” said Xena
“Then was the noise I heard”
“I’ll show you” said Xena.
Clasping her hand Xena led her to a small clearing, beside a bush lay the sprawled out figure of what appeared to be a young woman, she was lying face down in the dirt, and wasn’t moving”
“Is she dead?” asked Gabrielle
“No…but from the looks of those clothes” she said pointing to the unconscious girl’s leather coat “She’s not from around here”
“I wonder who she is” said Gabrielle as she made her way over to her, and ever so gently picked her up, and turned her over, brushing the damp hair from her face. Pausing for a moment, to look at the young girl’s face…whoever she was she was incredibly beautiful, delicately she touched the side of her face, then flinched as though stung as she felt the deathly coldness of the young girl’s skin against her hand
“She’s freezing” said Gabrielle “Xena, Are you sure she’s okay…no one can feel this cold, and still be alive”
Xena looked at the young woman a little more closely
“She’s still breathing” she said and then placing her fingers gently against her wrist she felt around for a pulse “And she’s got a strong, steady heartbeat.
“We have to get her warm” said Gabrielle signalling for Xena to help her pick the unconscious girl up, with hardly any effort at all Xena reached over and scooped her up into her arms.
“Let’s get back to the campfire” she said Walking back the way they had come“ Before it dies out…then perhaps when she wakes up she’ll be able to tell us who she is…and where she came from”
She could see Michael standing in front of her, His dark brown hair carried out behind him as if on an invisible breeze. His dark eyes locked with hers, he was smiling, and the warmth that emanated from that smile took her breath away. He seemed so close, that if she had taken just a few steps forward then she would have been able to reach out, and touch him.
But for now…she just stood where she was…not saying a word, allowing her deep brown eyes to show her feelings better than words ever could. Taking in every line, every detail of the young man’s face, imprinting it on her memory for all time…so she could look back on it…in those times when she felt the burden of everything that had happened in the past pushing down on her, making her head hurt, and her heart feel weary from the pain of having to remember.
Slowly…as if she feared he might fade before her eyes, she reached out with tentative trembling fingers to touch him. His eyes still locked with hers; the smile still fixed on his lips as he reached out his own hand towards her, and then she saw it, something hovering behind him, a dark shadow that appeared small at first, but gradually began to get larger, becoming more, and more solid with each passing second.
Opening her mouth she tried to call out a warning, to urge Michael to look behind him, but all that emerged from her throat was a strangled whisper. Reaching down she grabbed blindly for her weapons, but they too were gone…in a last desperate effort she lunged forward, but her legs refused to cooperate, powerless to do anything…all she could do was watch.
Squinting, she tried to see through the mass of darkness, her breath catching, as a face began to slowly form from the shadow….a face she instantly recognised as Marcus’s
No…must move…must help Michael…
But the more she struggled, the more the invisible bindings holding her in place seemed to tighten. Marcus’s leering face staring down at her, his cruel lips pulling back into a twisted smile of triumph, everything seeming to happen in slow motion, as a long pointed claw embedded itself into Michael’s shoulder, her whole body shaking, tears forming in her eyes, ; Her hands clenching into fists, her nails digging into the back of her hands with such force that she drew blood… she awoke screaming out Michael’s name. Hauling herself up into a sitting position she looked around her…confused by the unfamiliar surroundings…where was she? Directly in front of her a campfire flickered brightly its orange flames casting strange shadows on the trees around her. Her mind still fuzzy from the dream she rubbed her head trying to focus.
“Are you okay?”
Selene jumped, and stared at the girl who was now kneeling beside her, who was she?... looking around she still had no idea where she was…or how she had got her….or what had happened to Michael…
“Was there a young man with me” she asked “His name’s Michael” she said her dark brown eyes locking with the young girls emerald green ones “I have to find him…please if you know where he is then you have to tell me”
“I’m sorry” said the girl “But there was no else with you”
Selene looked deeply into her eyes to see if the young girl could possibly be lying, but in those hugely expressive eyes that seemed to pull her into them...making her feel somehow safe in this strange landscape, she found nothing but kindness and honesty.
Never before had she seen a soul so pure, and so untainted by the life. An age ago she had been like that…before the nightmare that had been victor had come into her life….and tore her world to shreds. She supposed the pain the memory evoked must have shown in her eyes, because the young girl leaned over, the expression on her face one of genuine concern.
“Hey” she said “Don’t worry I’m sure we’ll find him…”
Selene smiled, and the young girl turned and blushed which made Selene smile even more at the sweetness of it. “What’s your name?” asked the girl “IF you don’t mind me asking.”
“Selene…my name’s Selene”
“Selene…I like it,”
“I’m Gabrielle” she said, offering her hand for Selene to shake.
Hesitantly Selene reached over and clasped Gabrielle’s hand gently in her own.
“When my friend gets here she’ll be able to introduce herself,” said Gabrielle.
“You mean there’s another here,” said Selene, looking nervously around the small campsite.
“Yes, my friend Xena…but don’t worry…she won’t hurt you…I mean I don’t know what you’ve heard of her, but she used to follow the path of evil, before I met her she was fighting her own personal war, regardless of who got in her way.”
“I know what that’s like,” said Selene, staring off into the distance as the memory of her own personal ghosts fell over her like a dark cloud.
“So our guest is finally awake,” said a voice behind them.
Selene jumped, her eyes fixed on the woman standing behind them. Her eyes travelling up the long legs, passing over the worn battle armour, briefly glancing at the well defined muscles beneath, and straight up into the most bluest eyes she had ever seen, eyes that reminded Selene of a summer sky, something that her own eyes had never been able to look upon for what seemed like forever.
Xena looked over at Gabrielle, and signalled her to come over, and then the two women disappeared into the darkness of the forest.
Selene watched, as they disappeared from sight, lowering herself back onto the ground she tried to make sense, of everything that was happening, one thing she knew for sure though was that sunrise couldn’t be far away, and she needed to find shelter from it as soon as possible…
When Xena and Gabrielle returned to the campfire, Selene was almost asleep, above them the sky had turned grey, and huge storm clouds had gathered, stretching outwards across it, until the moon disappeared from sight.
Signalling Gabrielle over, she looked upwards apprehensively as the first drops of rain began to fall.
“We have to find shelter” she said
“You go wake Selene, and I’ll get our things together”
Treading softly over rust coloured autumn leaves, and scattered twigs, and branches that lay strewn across the floor of their makeshift camp, Gabrielle made her way over to Selene, moving towards her as quietly as she could so as not to startle the now sleeping girl.
Touching her shoulder lightly, Gabrielle leaned over her, shaking her gently. “Selene wake up” she whispered.
Swatting her right arm outwards as though fighting off an invisible intruder, Selene made an incoherent grumbling sound, and turning round rolled over onto her side so that she had her back to Gabrielle.
Moving closer, Gabrielle tried again.
“Selene Wake up” she said a bit louder, exasperated at getting no response she shook her a bit harder.
“Wha... What” said Selene, reaching out blindly for her weapons.
“What’s going on?”
“Hey, calm down” said Gabrielle placing her hand gently over Selene’s “Everything’s fine…we just have to find some shelter” she said indicating to the sky. Following her gaze Selene frowned as she noticed the dark storm clouds above.
“Here, let me help you up” she said extending her hand out towards her.
“Thanks” Said Selene grabbing her hand…”ahh” she exclaimed as fresh bolts of pain shot through her already fragile feeling body, as she rose slowly to her feet.
Her movements slow and sluggish, her head pounding, she swayed, and almost fell. Grabbing hold of her, Gabrielle placed her arm around Selene’s waist to stop her falling.
“Are you okay” she asked, the concern in her voice mirrored in the expression on her face.
“Yeah, fine…just a little tired I guess” she said
Before Selene could so much a blink Xena was at Gabrielle’s side in an instant.
“Here, let me help” she said wrapping her own arm around Selene’s shoulder.
“We should get moving” she said
“You should ride on Argo” she said to Selene. “You don’t look good”
Nodding her head absently, Selene let the two women help her climb up onto Argo.
“C’mon” said Xena after she was safely secured into the saddle.
Staring down at the path below her, Selene shook her head, trying in vain to get rid of the dizziness that had suddenly washed over her. She hadn’t eaten in hours, and her tired body was beginning to feel the effects of it.
What could she do though?
She couldn’t very well, just turn around and tell these two women that she was a vampire, and was sick because she needed blood the same way that they needed food, and if she didn’t get any that she would only become weaker, and dizzier as the night wore on.
She had no idea where she was for a start, or what might happen if she were to tell them the truth…would they still be willing to help, or would they turn on her…not that Selene would blame them….if she were standing in their shoes than she would probably turn round, and do the same.
In her world she was thought of a killer…something to be feared, and avoided at all costs. Contrary to belief though Vampires didn’t kill humans, hospitals, and blood banks provided all the blood they would ever need, despite this fact though Victor had slaughtered her…not because he had been starving, and there had been nowhere else to turn…he had killed her mother, father, and two younger sisters simply because he could, for years she had thought the lycans were to blame for her family’s death…victor had lied to her…head told her they were, and had than offered to give her the strength, and ability to get revenge on the monsters that had tore her world apart, by turning her into a vampire.
She would never grow even one day old, she would gain superhuman strength, and speed, and would be virtually invulnerable, but she could never stand in the sun again, never feel its warm rays upon her face. Her life was now a half life, and until Michael she had never known a moment of joy. The bitter memories of her family’s murder and her quest for revenge the only things that pushed her on. A wraith of her former self, she was trapped in a world of eternal night, forced to stalk in the shadows, surrounded by everlasting darkness, with no hope of ever standing in the light.
“Well this looks as good a place as any” said Xena cutting in on her thoughts…wiping a hand across her face Selene lifted her head up, and looked across at the cave that they had stopped at. IT was huge; the rock crumbling in places round the cave’s entrance, two torches hung on either side of it, the flames flickering wildly, but failing to illuminate the darkness beyond which seemed to stretch on forever.
To be continued in Part 3….