Xena looked up sharply, she’d never seen a creature like this one. It wasn’t Greek by any means and it was no monster of Poseidon. No, this thing was from another land. She pushed Gabrielle away as the tail came towards them there was a shattering as another table smashed with the force of the blow. She found herself running back as she pulled her Chakram free.

She threw it watching as it hit the table closest then flew towards the serpents face the metal ring screamed as it slammed in to the monsters lower jaw causing it to roar in pain. The metal ring spun came back slamming in to nearest statue before returning to her hand. Her gaze turned as the tail came crashing down again close to her lover who jumped clean over the table as it came down again.

Xena narrowed her gaze watching as its tail hooked around the table her lover had jumped over throwing it to one side. Its roar hit the air again as it tried to bring its tail down harder only to miss the younger woman. Gabrielle watched as Cyrene ran past her the older woman tried to calm the freighted crowds she breathed in feeling her panic over take this was not happening.

She heard the whizzing of the Chakram as it once again hit the creature only this time slamming in to its python like nose which caused red blood to fly through the air and spatter across the lakes surface. How could he have known she was here? How could he even remember no one should’ve remembered anything, even the other gods of that land?

She watched as the tail crashed down, once more it hit the table she was running past shattering it to pieces. She moved faster seeing that her pack was with lying close by in among the shattered remains of another table. She leaped over the remains hitting the floor on her knees she grabbed her pack turning it upside down watching as her things tumbled out.

She found herself scattering through them she looked up only to see the tail smash the table she was nearest to she needed her staff, why had she put it away in the first place? Xena winced as the tail came down again narrowly missing her. She watched as the wound she had made on the creatures face healed up she snarled as she swung her sword again missing the tail. “Gabrielle!”

Gabrielle grabbed her staff’s two parts putting the sections together quickly. Her gaze darted but she wasn’t quick enough to move as the tail suddenly smashed the table she was hiding behind out of the way. Her lover hit the ground narrowly avoiding the table as it was thrown towards her. The next moment caused panic as her gaze met the serpents.

“You can’t hide from me Eztli Ocelotl!”

The voice was cold it made her shiver just the same way it had done all that time ago. The tail suddenly swung around hard she felt the pain as she was thrown across the ground from the force of the blow. She winced in pain as she came to a stop on the solid ground. She tried to grab her staff which had fallen close by only to miss it as the tail wrapped around her lower body.

She felt her body leave the ground as she was heaved skyward the coils slowly began to wrap around her upper body like any snakes she suddenly felt the agonizing pain as they started to constrict. She was brought forward towards the open mouth he could eat any man or woman whole if he wanted but she knew he didn’t care for eating his victims.

No he liked to watch their pain and suffering and he only wanted to drink their blood he didn’t care for the body. It was no more than a vessel that carried the drink of life. He was Quetzalcoatl the winged feathered serpent once the most powerful of all the gods of Mexica. She felt the coils press harder against her chest while one wrapped around her throat.

She felt the coils all constrict again as the eyes met her own the forked like tongue flicked out, she looked down seeing that the lake was beneath her. Quetzalcoatl roared in anger as he moved slightly further back in to the water he could see that the dark haired female running towards him with her weapon raised high.

He eyed the blonde female again squeezing tighter ignoring her cry of pain. “Drop your weapon or I’ll crack every bone in her chest!” Xena turned in confusion the creature could speak? She came forward slowly putting the Chakram back on to its hook as she let her sword drop to the floor. “Who are you?”

Quetzalcoatl laughed as he eyed the dark haired female. “I am Quetzalcoatl a god from the lands of Mexica a place I doubt you’ve ever been to or heard of.” He paused eyeing her for a moment. “Ah so you’re Xena the dead lover she wanted to bring back to life so desperately.” He turned slightly. “You’re not much to look at, at all just another pitiful mortal.”

He turned eyeing the blonde woman. “Tell me Eztli Ocelotl did you think growing your hair long and wearing different clothes would mean that I wouldn’t recognize you?” He watched as her green eyes widened as his coils became even tighter. “You who dared to steal from me!” He snarled aloud noticing the surprised look on the dark haired woman’s face.

Xena moved forward slowly. “There must be some kind of mistake Gabrielle doesn’t steal things.” Quetzalcoatl turned eyeing her. “Oh really, are you going to tell me next that she doesn’t like to drink, smoke or gamble?” He turned eyeing the blonde woman. “Why don’t you tell your lover what you did in Mexica Eztli Ocelotl?”

Gabrielle suddenly felt the coils loosen her body was suddenly freed she found herself falling towards the water only to be caught by her leg before she hit the surface. She suddenly felt the lake sides hard ground as she was tossed on to it. She tried to move forward only to feel Quetzalcoatl’s tail slam in to her stopping her from moving an inch.

She felt the pain as he pushed down harder on her back. Quetzalcoatl moved closer so he could see her. “Tell her all about your escapades in my land.” Gabrielle winced in pain as he pushed down harder. “I stole all four of his godly items.” She watched as her lovers face turned to shock as there eyes met for a moment she could see the snake gods grin widening.

She turned sharply looking at him. “You deserved it, you led me on!” Quetzalcoatl eyed her slightly. “Please that’s a miner detail, you where a depressed fool who was all to easy to lead on…I found it all very amusing.” Gabrielle sneered slightly. “I didn’t find spending three months in some cavern in total darkness looking for C’thulon very amusing! You lied to me he had never been there nor did he ever sleep there.”

Quetzalcoatl turned slightly. “What is it with you Eztli Ocelotl? Do you think that every god who you do a favour for will grant you one in return?” Gabrielle felt her fingers grip the grass. “The honourable gods do, so I guess that counts you out.” She suddenly felt the pain again as he put more presser on her back. “Eztli Ocelotl you don’t want me to break your ribs again now do you?”

He wrapped two of the lower coil of his tail around her mid section. “May be this time I’ll crush your insides as well.” Xena moved forward she raised her hand. “Stop it!” Quetzalcoatl looked up he eyed the dark haired woman. “Recognize this?” Xena watched a pool of blood formed in the lake a rusted sai blade slowly rose up from it she leaned down picking it up.

She had never asked Gabrielle what had become of these weapons and now she had a feeling that she didn’t want to know. Quetzalcoatl sneered eyeing the weapon in her hand. “From another life time one that never happened but one you still remember, I assume.” Xena eyed the weapon she remembered it.

Gabrielle had, had short blonde hair her lover had still been using them after her death in Japan. “I remember this yes, where’s the other one?” Quetzalcoatl suddenly tightened his grip around her lovers waist he ignored her scream of pain. “You lover stuck it in to the back of my throat, It’s still there!”

Xena eyed him for a moment. “What do you want?” Quetzalcoatl flicked out his tongue as he turned to her. “I want my godly items back!” Xena took a slow step forward trying to keep her face as emotionless as possible despite her lover’s painful cries. “If she were to get them back for you would you put this all to rest?”

Quetzalcoatl looked up sharply. “Are you trying to make a deal on her behalf?” He paused meeting her ice blue gaze again “Oh you are…how delightfully charming.” He laughed slightly. “I have no interest in making any deal with you warrior.” Gabrielle looked up feeling the pressure again around her midsection she wanted to be sick.

She eyed the serpent god. “Why don’t…you get them back…yourself?” Quetzalcoatl turned around he eyed her. “Because I’m not as powerful as I used to be, all thanks to you!” He leaned closer ignoring the dark haired woman. “I don’t have the power to stand up to the other blood gods!”

He eyed the blonde woman seeing that she was starting to look slightly ill. “You are going to bring me back my items!” Gabrielle eyed him trying to ignore the pain. “Go back to your seventh hell!” Quetzalcoatl laughed again. “Curious despite that your body is much younger that annoying loud mouth personality of yours still remains.”

He turned slightly. “I knew you’d say that, so I felt that before I came here that I should bring some leverage.” Xena watched as a huge pool of blood appeared near the lakes shore. It swept outwards she watched as two warriors slowly rose from it. She pulled back slightly their head dresses where gold plated they had huge red and blue plumes showering downwards.

Beads hung around both there necks and they wore rainbow patterns skirts which had gold symbols. The male warrior had no upper clothing unlike while the female warrior had a heavily patterned bodice. They both had jagged clubs which had razor sharp teeth on both sides and large plumed shields which had a long decorated snake symbol on it.

Both had plumes on their arms and legs which where tied to colourful elbow and lower knee coils. She found her gaze narrowing as she realized that both the male and female warrior where possessed because their eyes where missing their pupils. Both warriors suddenly put there hands in to the blood they grabbed hold of another person pulling them up.

Xena found her self staring in horror, as the young woman’s sea blue eyes moved around franticly in fear. She watched as her lovers face showed the same horror. The young woman was wearing a faded green top and brown skirt. Her brown hair hung down loosely with no style in it, her skin was as fair as Gabrielle’s and she was about the same height.

Quetzalcoatl grinned eyeing the younger sister in amusement. “I have to say you’re so unlike each other in appearance that’s it’s hard to believe that you’re both related.” Gabrielle looked up meeting her sister’s gaze. “Lila?” Lila looked around her, she slowly meeting her older sister’s gaze. “Gabrielle?”

She paused staring at the huge serpent in terror she had gone down to the lake with her boyfriend Lector. Everything had gone in to chaos as something had broken the water’s surface. The last thing she remembered was a huge tail coming out of the water and hitting her. Lector’s cries had been the last thing she’d heard as everything had gone black.

She turned in horror seeing the huge serpent close by she swallowed trying to keep her self from screaming. She looked up seeing that Xena was standing close by. Her sister was being held down by the serpent’s tail, she was in a lot of pain two of the serpents long coils were wrapped around her midsection and a third was wrapped tightly around her upper chest.

She looked up feeling the terror suddenly over take her as she looked at her sister again. “What….what’s going on?” Xena eased up her hand looking at her lover’s younger sister. “Lila just stay calm, everything’s going to be okay.” The younger girl’s eyes slowly fixed on her. “I’m going to get you out of this I promise.”

Quetzalcoatl felt his grin widened. “Unlike you Eztli Ocelotl she didn’t put up much of a fight I caught her while she was up at the lake with some pathetic mortal male, who I knocked out after I took her.” He lowered himself slightly. “Now here’s how it’s going to work I’m going to take her back to the land of Mexica with me as my prisoner.”

He flicked out his tongue. “You’re going to go back to Mexica and your going to bring me my items!” He leaned closer as he squeezed the coil around her chest. “If you don’t do so I’ll have her sacrificed and I’m sure you know all about what getting sacrificed means in my lands don’t you Eztli Ocelotl?”

He squeezed the coil even tighter around her chest ignoring her sharp cry of pain. “But just in case you’ve forgotten I’ll enlighten you it involves your still beating heart being ripped from your chest while you’re still alive!” Gabrielle eyed him she could feel her anger boiling up she tried to ignore the agonizing pain. “You’ll pay for this!”

Quetzalcoatl laughed slightly. “I doubt that very much Eztli Ocelotl I’m holding all the cards right now.” He eyed her for a long moment. “I’d love to know what it was that you said to C’thulon to get him to turn time back time by twenty nine years for you, as well as bring your lover back from the dead with all her memories from her previous lifetime.”

He snarled aloud. “The old squid faced god must’ve really liked you, frankly though I can’t see what it is that he saw in you, you’re a dirty little thief.” He squeezed all the coils tighter hearing her cry out again in agony, just a little more pressure and her bones would start to crack. “Believe me I would give you no such pity, if I didn’t need you right now I would end your life and your sisters.”

He eyed her again his gaze moved as he noticing that the dark haired woman’s gaze was burning in to his. He turned back to the blonde woman. “I hope to see you back in my lands very soon, I know you’ll come I’ve heard that you care a lot for your little sister.” Xena watched in horror as her lover was suddenly tossed backwards full force from the coils.

Gabrielle felt the pain as her back made contact with the water she ignored the sickening pain as it spiked through her body. She didn’t get a chance to move or even back away as the tail end came towards her, the next moments where filled with blinding pain as it slammed in to her face. She watched as the world slowly faded, as she slowly sunk bellow the water.

She reached out painfully trying to grasp at the surface with one hand only to feel her fingers grasp nothing but the water it’s self. Her lower body felt numb and pain full and she didn’t have the strength to move it as she sunk down further. She felt her lungs suddenly cry out for air which caused her to take a sudden breathe which was filled with water.

Cyrene came forward but it was too late as the warriors sunk slowly back in to the bloody pool the younger girl’s screams hit the air as she was pulled in to the bloody water with them. The pool of blood disappeared completely. The huge winged serpents body vanished back in to the water his whole upper body smashed the surface as he went under it.

Xena didn’t have time to contemplate her thoughts as she ran towards the lake her lover has disappeared under water. She flung the sai blade to one side as she ran forward diving in. She could no longer see the serpent under the crystal clear water but she could see the younger woman drifting slowly downwards towards the lakes bottom her green eyes were half opened and still.

She swam faster grabbing hold of her lover’s shirt before she could sink any deeper she heaved the younger woman up breaking the surface of the lake. She didn’t think as she swam to shore. She eased the younger woman up in to her arms as she pulled herself on to the shore. She was drenched, she turned seeing that her mother was running towards her.

She placed her lover down gently on to the grass as she kneeled down herself trying to catch her breath. She leaned over her watching as her lover’s eyes opened wide as she suddenly coughed up water in her lungs. Her green eyes closed again as her body went still. She moved her finger quickly feeling the younger woman’s body for broken bones.

Cyrene moved closer. “Is she going to be alright?” Xena eyed her for a moment. “Other than a few bruises, nothings broken.” She sneered slightly. “That ugly bastard…”She turned her lovers head gently the younger woman’s waist was already starting to bruise from the pressure of the coils. Cyrene moved forward she kneeled down picking up the rusted sai blade.

She looked at it for a long moment. “I’ve never seen Gabrielle use weapons like these before.” Xena picked the younger woman pulling her in to her arms “It’s complicated.” She looked at Gabrielle who was unconscious. “I’ll explain everything but I need to get her somewhere warm.” Cyrene eyed her. “Lets get her to the to my tavern.”

'To be continued in part 4

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