THE DARK AND DEEP REALMS OF THE FORGOTTEN.
Gabrielle opened her eyes slowly, she watched as everything slowly came back in to focus. She recognized the room she was in instantly; it was Xena’s bedroom, in her mother's tavern. She put a hand on her head groaning in pain...her head was pounding like a drum. She slowly laid back on the beds pillows trying to ignore the pain.
She eased up her hand a bandage had been wrapped under her lower chest just bellow her shirt, she moved slightly only to wince in pain...something was hurting. At least her ribs weren’t broken again, she couldn’t bare the thought of going through that all over again. She turned watching as her lover came towards her.
Xena leaned over the younger woman who had been out cold for almost three hours, she’d put a herb mix on the bandage which she’d wrapped around her lovers badly bruised lower section hopefully it would help with the pain. She eased up a goblet of water which she poured some herbs into. She watched as they dissolved hopefully this would help with the headache and some of the pain.
She slowly brought the goblet towards her the younger woman. “How are you feeling?” Gabrielle looked up meeting her lovers light blue gaze. “Awful.” Xena eased the goblet closer to her. “Drink this, it’ll ease the pain.” Gabrielle took the goblet she took a long drink trying to ignore the vile taste. She grimaced as she finished last of it, there was no point in saying it was awful.
Her lover knew just how awful it was she given it to her once or twice when she’d had a hang-over. Xena slowly eased the empty wooden goblet out of the younger woman’s hand. She pulled up the chair nearby sitting her self down next to the bed. She slowly eased the rusted sai blade up so her lover could see it. “Did you really steal from that serpent god?”
“It’s so good to see that you’re alright.”
Gabrielle turned sharply watching as Cyrene walked towards her so she was standing on the opposite side of the bed. “Would you like something to eat?”
She looked up slightly. “No thank you…I don’t feel like food right now.” The older woman put a hand on her arm. “I’ll go get you some tea to wash away the medicine’s taste.”
Xena watched as her mother smiled as she closed the door behind her. She turned back to Gabrielle watching as she fell silent. “You didn’t steal from that god did you Gabrielle he was lying right?” She slowly took her lovers hand. “Tell me Gabrielle.” Gabrielle looked down slightly trying to ignore the twisting in her gut. “He’s not lying, I stole from him.”
Xena blinked for a moment finding it hard to take in what her lover was saying. “You couldn’t have…I mean you don’t do things like that.” Gabrielle breathed in deeply trying to ignore the pain. “No Xena I did it, I stole from him.” Xena pulled back sharply she shook her head as she breathed in sharply. “You said he tricked you, that he gave you false information.”
Gabrielle looked up slightly. “He did…but I stole for him before he tricked me, I stole from him afterwards to spite him because I hated him.” She raised her hand slightly. “I wanted him to loose all his power.” She breathed in sharply. “I have to go back there I have to find my sister.” Xena pushed her back down gently. “You need to rest Gabrielle.”
Gabrielle grabbed her lover’s hand. “I have to find my sister! He wasn’t bluffing about ripping her heart out he’ll do it…” Xena leaned forward slightly. “Calm down Gabrielle.” She breathed feeling the younger woman relaxed slightly. “Who did you steal from for him?” Gabrielle lay back feeling all the fight leave her body. “I stole from one of the lesser gods in the region.”
She lowered her gaze feeling the guilt wash over her. “He wanted an item from them and I wanted the map he had so desperately, so I did it.” She put a hand on her face. “I just wanted to find C’thulon so badly I was willing to do anything.” Xena pulled herself up she couldn’t believe it and a part of her just didn’t want to believe any of it.
The fact of the matter was, that it was all true she couldn’t blame the serpent god…no matter how much she would’ve liked to. Her lover had done something terrible in the land of Mexica, something which had come back to haunt her. She wasn’t sure whether to feel angry or sad. She breathed suddenly feeling her anger surface before she could stop it.
She turned eyeing the younger woman. “How could you do that Gabrielle? How could you steal from people! I taught you better than that!” She raised her hand. “I taught you to be noble and to respect the greater good!” She sneered slightly. “I can’t believe you would do something like that!” Gabrielle pulled back feeling the hurt of the word sink in she knew her lover prized her warrior’s honour.
She knew that the older woman had always loved the fact that she got to see her teachings seen through her and her actions and abilities. Xena hadn’t scowled at her like this in years but somehow that just made it hurt all the more. For the first time in years she felt like the little girl who caused problems and got in the way.
Fact was she had caused people problems because everything she’d done in Mexica had been to benefit her self. She had not cared who she’d stepped on to accomplish her goals. She looked up meeting her lovers gaze. “I wanted you back.” She gripped the sheets trying to control her emotions. “I missed you.”
Xena eyed the blonde woman not being able to the stop another burst of anger. “What! You wanted me back...So you thought you’d go around stealing from people!” She turned throwing the rusty sai blade on to the table next to the bed. “Why didn’t you tell me about all this? Why did you keep it from me when you knew it would be this bad?!”
Gabrielle lowered her gaze. “Because I didn’t think Quetzalcoatl would remember what I did or any one else would for that matter…it was another life time to them.” She winced in pain as she tried to get up. Xena turned sharply eyeing her. “Oh you thought that because every thing had been changed back that it didn’t matter! That’s even worse!”
She pulled her hand up to say something but found herself clenching her teeth…she needed to get some air. She needed to think this through now before she said something she would deeply regret. Gabrielle pulled herself off the bed ignoring the pain it took to do so. “I’m so…sorry I never meant for any of this happen…”
Xena turned sharply eyeing her. “You have no idea how disappointed I am in you right now.” She didn’t think as she pushed the door open, she turned slamming it behind her as she walked out of the room.
Gabrielle looked down slightly, she wanted to believe that her lover didn’t mean those words but there was no point in hiding from the fact her lover did mean them and she didn’t blame her ether for thinking that way, she felt the same way herself. She leaned forward not being able to stop the tears as they steamed down her face.
She had just wanted to bring her lover back and she’d been incredibly selfish in her way of doing it. Her morals had all just gone out of window along with her self respect and pride. Now it had all caught up with her and she was seeing the repercussions of her actions. She buried her head in her hands all of this was of her own making.
Ares leaned on his sword as he looked out at the Greek ocean, he was sure the ancient blood god was here. “Quetzalcoatl I command you to show yourself.” He paused seeing that there was no movement from the sea he narrowed his gaze in annoyance. “Is the blood god such a coward that can’t show his ugly face?”
He hated the whole idea of being forced to go visit this god and get him off Greek shores he had better things to do with his time than talk to some fat ugly serpent who had wings. Poseidon was outraged by the very notion of this God being in his waters, his uncle hadn’t even realized that the god was present until one was sea monsters had run in to it.
Apparently the Kraken hadn’t faired to well against the serpent god it had lost three of its squid like tentacles and been forced to retreat from its home waters liked some whipped dog. He really didn’t care at all about his uncle’s pet and the uproar on Olympus after it had been all the more annoying. Zeus feared the blood god might attack the others gods next.
He tapped his fingers on his sword as he sighed aloud turning slowly away from the water. He heard the water as it was thrown on to the beach behind him. He stopped in mid motion turning slowly to face the huge serpent that had risen from the water its huge upper neck loomed over him casting a huge dark shadow.
Its teeth grinded together as it looked at him. “No one commands me, war god!”
Ares shrugged slightly as he turned on his heels. “Well obviously.” He slowly met the red gaze, he watched as the serpents tail rose up from the water it had a dead fisherman in it. He breathed in heavily as it brought the dead man up to it mouth biting down in to the flesh with razor edged teeth, which crunched bone as it squeezed.
The serpent’s mouth opened wider as a gush of blood from the dead mans wound poured in to it. Zeus had told him about this god before he’d gotten here. That it was a violent and brutal god who was even crueller than Dahak and far more evil. A blood god who had once tried to battle the Egyptian Sun god Ra but had ultimately failed.
After which it had tried to battle Zeus only to once again fail once again, after which it had gone back to its own shores taking its un-dead armies with it. Now that he finally saw this god he knew that everything Zeus had said about it was true Quetzalcoatl was a savage god. He watched as the serpent finished drinking blood from the corpse it threw the dead body to one side watching as it rolled across the beach like a rag doll.
Ares raised an eyebrow. “You know, I don’t think Zeus would approve of you eating his mortals.” Quetzalcoatl eyed the god in front of him what a pathetic lesser god, like he was going to take orders from him. “I can do as I please, war god!” Ares eased up his hand. “Yes but that’s the problem…you can’t your forbidden to come near these shores.”
Quetzalcoatl eyed the lesser human god, the dark haired leather clad man was ether very brave or very stupid to face him and frankly he couldn’t be sure which. “I’m not here to try and conquer your shores war god I care nothing for your lands or for your father Zeus king of the gods.” Ares took a step forward. “Yeah, that’s all very interesting…but why are you here exactly?”
He casually rested his hand on his sword. “You know because I doubt someone like you would just come to these shores to sightsee.” He eyed the dead man. “Or to find fast-food…” Quetzalcoatl eyed him for a long moment. “I came here for Eztli Ocelotl and now that I’ve forced her to do my binding I’m leaving these shores!”
Ares pulled back slightly. “Eztli Ocelotl now who is she? I don’t understand your back wards tribal language.” Quetzalcoatl grunted in annoyance he raised his tail watching as a pool of blood appeared on the surface of the sea. It rose up turning in to muscle and bone as it forming in to a figure. It was in truth no more than a crude dead copy. “Eztli Ocelotl!”
Ares eyed the woman that the serpent god had formed he moved a step closer as the eyes opened they were as green as any forest but totally lifeless and soulless. The blonde hair was short a lot shorter it was only just over shoulder length. Her bodice and belt were leather and he couldn’t place them or the sai blades held in each boot which had straps holding them in securely.
He moved a step closer it was Xena’s little irritating blonde girlfriend with out a doubt, but he’d never seen her looking this way. Oh yes, she used pointed weapons from time to time but not very often. These weapons looked like those of a full warrior and looked over used. Why in Tarturus did this serpent god have an issue with her?
Also nether Xena or Gabrielle had ever been to the lands of Mexica and he had followed them around but he’d been invisible. He was now forbidden to go anywhere near either of them now for a whole season and a half due to his betrayal with the werewolf king Lycaon.
He eyed the woman in front of him. “This woman looks similar to someone I know.” He walked around the copy which was unmoving. “She doesn’t look like this though this must be someone else.” Quetzalcoatl laughed slightly. “Doesn’t she now? How little you know war god.”
He waved his tail watching as the old scar lines disappeared and clothing changed while the hair grew long to fit Eztli Ocelotl’s new look. “The body can be made young again but the soul cannot it remains the same.” Ares eyed him for a moment. “So this Eztli Ocelotl is the mortal I know as Gabrielle?” Quetzalcoatl sneered slightly. “You ask such pathetic and foolish questions war god…the answer is obvious is it not?”
Ares folded his arms ignoring the blood god’s comment. “Then tell me why it is that I don’t even remember her looking the way you showed her previously?” Quetzalcoatl turned slightly. “That person you see war god is from another lifetime one that happened and that you don’t remember. She remembers it perfectly though.”
Ares eyed the copy of the blonde woman. “Pray tell me, why it is that I don’t remember this life time?” Quetzalcoatl laughed slightly as he leaned forward. “There is one god an elder god who’s more powerful than any other god, we are all no more than lesser gods to him.” Ares eyed him in annoyance. “You’re talking about C’thulon the first god aren’t you?”
Quetzalcoatl grinned slightly. “Yes I am.” Ares took a slow step forward. “C’thulon is a myth, he doesn’t exist.” Quetzalcoatl flicked his tail slightly. “Doesn’t he? Last I saw he was sleeping in my lands and was awoken by Eztli Ocelotl who asked him to turn back, time its self.” Ares pulled out both hands. “You’re telling me that the most powerful elder god in existence did a favour for that irritating blonde?”
Quetzalcoatl pulled one of his wings out of the water stretching it slightly. “Yes he did and Eztli Ocelotl got her warrior lover back, such a waste if you ask me to take the world back by twenty nine years all for another pitiful mortal who she loved.” He shook his huge feathered mane. “Love is such a waste and such a disgusting trait among mortals.”
Ares eyed the serpent god he didn’t care if Gabrielle was involved… C’thulon was supposed to be a myth. He was a legend among the Egyptian gods, the Norse gods and all of Mount Olympus. C’thulon was the first god, the god who could destroy the world and its gods and rebuild it how ever he pleased he had created the world itself or so the myth said. “Where is C’thulon sleeping?”
Quetzalcoatl turned slightly. “Even I don’t know that war god, very few gods or mortals do.” He turned slightly. “Tell Zeus that I’m leaving his shores my businesses here is done.” He swung his tail watching as the dead copy fell apart making a bloody pool on the beach. Ares watched as the serpent god disappeared under water, if any thing this was a very interesting turn of events.
Xena watched as the trees swayed around her with the gentle warm breeze. She moved slightly getting more comfortable on the grassy outcrop that over looked her village and the now calm lake. She put both hands together as she looked down, she shouldn’t have said those last words she wouldn’t like any one to say them to her.
She looked down slightly why couldn’t she keep her mouth shut? She had seen the pain in Gabrielle’s eyes and just carried on shouting at her regardless. She wasn’t one to talk off all the mistakes she’d made in the past she thought she would’ve known better. She had ruined people lives and in later years had gone back to fix things.
In truth the only reason she was here was because Gabrielle had made it so. Every person she’d even known was alive and well and all because time itself had been rewound. All the people they’d known like Joxer, Hercules and Iolaus, Autolycus as well as her mother and her lover’s parents were here as if nothing had ever happened with out any memory of the alternate timeline.
She eased up her hand looking at it she now had a chance to say things to these people that they’d never gotten the chance to say because they’d been encased in an ice tomb during the other life time. There was the fact that her daughter Eve had been lost and so had Virgil both hadn’t yet been born. If she had another daughter by any godly means she’d get it all right this time.
As for Joxer she knew that he’d probably marry Meg soon enough and Virgil would be born again and may be things would be better for him and Meg this time around. She looked up at the sky she’d known all about Gabrielle’s ordeal with C’thulon but nothing more, and now she could see why that was. She put a hand through her hair…she was much wiser nowadays…she had the experience of another terrible lifetime to see things clearer.
She didn’t care for hiding her relationship anymore in public, why should she? She wasn’t embarrassed about it like she had been once she saw it as the thing that gave her life meaning and joy. She was already getting the impression that, that was surprising people. Some saw it as the Warrior Princess going soft, but she didn’t care for their views they could go to Tarturus.
If any thing she had learnt that you couldn’t hide from your feelings and it was better to give in to them and if that meant kissing the woman you loved in public then so be it. Also because of Gabrielle’s ordeal with the werewolf king Lycaon they didn’t have to deal with Ares for a whole season and half. He was forbidden to even come near them or watch them.
She breathed in deeply as she stood up slowly taking in a deep calming breathe. Her mother would be worried about her she’d left with out saying a word she really needed to talk things through with her lover as well. The truth was she knew very little about Mexica or its gods she’d heard talk of them during her travels but whether any off what she’d heard was true was another matter all together.
Ares slowly walked in to the main hall on Mount Olympus, he ignored Artemis who was taking a drink from one of the goblets. He had no idea why she was here and frankly he didn’t care to ask. He turned seeing that Aphrodite was sitting on one of the chairs close by. The goddess of love was looking at her nails in the fire light.
He looked up seeing that Zeus had his back to him, the long white haired king of the gods turned slightly his elaborate purple robes flowing. Zeus raised an eyebrow as he turned slightly. “Is the blood god gone?” Ares put his hand on his sword’s hilt. “Yes.” Zeus folded his arms. “What did he want on these shores?”
Ares narrowed his gaze. “He had business with a mortal, business that is now done, apparently.” He leaned forward slightly. “Just out of curiosity would it possible for another god to lets say change the world and create an alternate life time?” Zeus narrowed his gaze as he eyed his son. “No, we are the only gods who can control time.”
Ares raised a hand. “What if C’thulon did it? Would we know about it?” He watched as both Artemis and Aphrodite looked up there surprise showing. Zeus put a hand on his beard. “C’thulon is a myth the god of gods does not exist.” Ares took a slow step forward. “Yes but what if he were real, would we know about it?”
Zeus eyed his son for a long moment. “No we wouldn’t know about it.” Ares eased out both hands. “So let’s say there was a mortal who remembered time before it was changed would the memories still be in their life thread on the fates loom?” Zeus took a slow step forward. “Yes they would.” He paused eyeing his son again. “Why are you asking these questions?”
Ares shrugged slightly. “Curiosity the blood god claims that C’thulon exists.” Zeus turned sharply. “Quetzalcoatl is a liar and you should know better.” He raised a ringed finger. “I will not be so kind the next time you betray me.” He lowered his gaze. “May be I should’ve sent Artemis or Athena instead of you to question Quetzalcoatl.”
Ares snarled slightly. “Oh that so like you you’re always picking Athena over me!” Zeus snarled aloud. “Silence!” He watched as his son pulled back. “I do not have to explain myself to you. You’ve betrayed this family once to often first with Dahak and then with the werewolf king Lycaon! Your love of conflict has always agitated the other gods…among other things.”
Ares shrugged slightly. “What can I say? I just love conflict.” Zeus moved towards him, his hand formed a fist he could feel the lightening as it moved through his fingers. “Do not test me.” Ares watched as his father dark gaze met his own. “When are you going to except that war is necessary and that it’s the driving force of all mortals?”
Zeus eyed him, his anger boiling up. “War is only around because you cause it.” Ares put a hand on his chest. “Well everyone has to have a hobby yours is having sex with beautiful mortal women, mines making conflict.” Zeus turned slowly away from him. “Get out of my sight!” Ares sneered slightly as he stepped back he disappeared in a blast of white fire.
Zeus stroked his beard he turned sharply to meet Aphrodite’s gaze. “Follow him.”
Aphrodite pulled up sharply. “Exsqueeze me?” Zeus turned fully to face her. “I said follow him.” Aphrodite put up her hand. “Look… no offence but I’m not going to follow him around the things he does are just grotie.” She sat back in the chair. “I’ve got other more important things to do.” Zeus took a step forward. “I said follow him! I don’t want him near the loom of the fates!”
Aphrodite looked up seeing the king of the gods face turning to an angry snarl. She could see Artemis pulling up both hands trying to signal her go, the forest goddess looked anxious. She sighed aloud she didn’t want to be the one to take the full force of Zeus’s temper. She slowly got up. “Okay! Okay I’m going, oh this is so annoying!”
Zeus watched as she disappeared in a shower of white light and red rose petals. He turned to Artemis who was getting up from the table. “What was it you wanted again?!” Artemis lowered her head respectfully. “Nothing at this moment, I’ll come back when you’re less occupied.” He watched as she vanished in a blast of green light.
'To be continued in part 5
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