Xena immediately started towards the large altar, but Eli waved his hand and a wall of flames encircled the Warrior Princess.
As the flames died down, Eli grinned as he arrogantly said, "I wouldn't try that again Xena."
Xena looked over at the altar once again just as Joxer raised his head and in a shocked voice asked, "Eli, what are you doing?"
Eli smiled as he latched the Chakram to his belt and looked at Xena. "Well, you have your choice."
Xena looked at Eli and shook her head in denial. "She'll never ask you into her soul."
Eli smiled. "She already did."
"What are you talking about?"
Eli grinned sinisterly. He then began to pace back and forth as he sarcastically explained. "Well, when the Romans held us prisoner, Gabby was sure interested in being filled with love. So I told her before she could be filled with love she had to become an empty vessel," Eli then glanced back at Gabrielle and chuckled, "so, she did."
Eli then laughed as Gabrielle looked at Eli and shook her head in disbelief. "Eli, I thought I was emptying myself to be filled with love?"
Eli chuckled. "I lied. More accurately, I deceived you Gabrielle."
Eli then slowly approached the altar. Xena started toward the altar, but Eli waved his hand once again and Xena found herself trapped in a circle of flames.
As Gabrielle and Joxer struggled to free themselves, Eli softly said, "Shhhh. Now Gabrielle, just relax."
Eli grinned as as he slowly reached towards Gabrielle, Joxer violently pulled on the straps that bound him and stared Eli down. "If you even touch her I will . . . ."
Eli snapped back as he interrupted. "You'll do nothing!"
The false prophet looked at Gabrielle once again and softly brushed his hand against her cheek. "You freely emptied yourself. It's not my fault you were too stupid to know that something bad could also enter you.
How do you think you killed . . . I mean destroyed all those Roman's so you could, quote endquote, protect Xena?"
Gabrielle pulled her face away from Eli's hand as her eyes welled up with tears. "How could you do this to me Eli?"
Eli rolled his eyes in forgetfulness. "Oh that's right, you don't know yet. I'm not Eli, there never was an Eli . . . I'm Dahak."
Eli then laughed maniacally as Gabrielle felt a chill overcome her entire body. "No!" Gabrielle said with a horrified tone. "No!"
Eli smiled, "Surprise!" He then turned his attention back to Xena.
The false prophet slowly approached the wall of flames that held Xena. With a wave of his hand the flames vanished and he said, "I know you've heard mine and Gabrielle's little touching moment. So you see Xena, you have no choice . . . give me your bond with war, Invite me into your soul so that we may become one . . . or should I just take Gabrielle?"
Xena swallowed in fear as she looked at a confident Eli. She then looked over at Gabrielle once more and Gabrielle looked back at Xena.
Xena gazed into her best friend's eyes. Her soul mate, her guiding light. Xena had failed Gabrielle once before when Dahak took Gabrielle's innocence from her. Xena wasn't about to fail Gabrielle again.
Xena shook her regretfully, then gazed back back at Eli once again. "OK."
Gabrielle frantically struggled to free herself as she screamed, "Noooo!"
Eli's eyes narrowed as he viciously said, "Say it Xena . . . say it!"
Xena nodded just a familiar male voice echoed from across the tomb. "Wait!"
Eli turned and sneered as he saw a determined Ares approaching. "She does have another choice."
Eli chuckled confidently. "Oh no Ares. She won't choose you, Because if she does I will simply take Gabrielle. Not even you can stop me from doing that."
Ares grinned. "Oh, but that's not the choice I'm talking about"
Ares quickly drew his sword and charged Eli.
The false prophet quickly pulled the Chakram from his belt and as he blocked Ares' first strike with the Chakram, a thunderous crash rang out.
Ares swung his sword again, but as the Chakram blocked the attack, another thunderous crash rang out. With each strike of sword against Chakram, a matching crash shook the tomb.
Ares being a skilled warrior began to gain the upper hand. Eli began to back peddle as Ares aggressively kept up the attack. Ares felt confident as Eli slowly began to near the seal of the Chakram. Ares then took a huge swing but Eli ducked and plunged the Chakram into Ares' gut. As Ares doubled over in pain Eli pulled the war god in close and said, "What are you doing Ares? You know you can't defeat me." Eli then pulled the Chakram out of Ares.
The false prophet then gazed up at the Eye of Hephaestus and chuckled. "Too bad there's not enough power in the Chakram to imprison me, hey?"
Ares now recovered from the Chakram strike waved his sword around and confidently nodded. "yeah, too bad."
Ares then charged Eli once again, and as Eli blocked Ares strike, the war god's sword and the Chakram interlocked. Ares grabbed the Chakram with his other hand. As Eli struggled to regain control of the Chakram he taunted Ares yet again. "Just what are you trying to prove Ares? Your little prison can't hold me, because only your essence is in the Chakram and you can't defeat me. And even if you could, we are the same, war cannot exist without destruction.
Ares looked at Eli and grinned. "I'm counting on it . . . Xena, release Gabrielle."
Eli's eyes shifted over to Xena, and within that moment of distraction, Ares threw a knee to Eli's gut. Eli let go the Chakram as he stumbled backwards, Ares then latched the Chakram to his belt, drew is sword back, and quickly plunged his sword into the chest of the false prophet chest.
Xena paused on her way to the altar as she watched Ares withdraw his sword from Eli. The war god then grabbed Eli by the collar of his robe and threw him across the room. As Eli crashed to the ground Ares quickly approached and drove the sword into Eli once again. Ares then violently stabbed Eli repeatedly until the foreign god was rendered semi unconscious.
Ares then took a deep breath and sheathed his sword as he stared down at the evil diety Dahak. "You may be the Destroyer, but you fight like Aphrodite."
Ares then turned and walked over to Xena. Ares then pulled the Chakram from his belt and handed it to Xena. As she took her weapon back, Ares silently gazed into Xena's eyes and brushed his hand against her cheek. Then without saying a word, Ares turned and quickly walked over to the Eye of Hephaestus and stood inside of the seal of the Chakram.
Ares then turned and faced Xena and in a commanding voice said, "Do it Xena!"
Xena stared at Ares with a confused look on her face. She then glanced over a Eli who had started to move once again.
Xena looked back at Ares who nodded and said, "The one great evil wants only one thing and that is to destroy the gods, and the world. But he can't do that without the spirit of war. Remember what he said about each god needing another god to exist? I'm Dahak's reciprocal spirit. War cannot exist with out destruction, and destruction cannot exist without war. With my spirit imprisoned . . . he loses his spirit . . . trust me Xena . . . this once, just trust me!"
Xena then gazed up at the Eye of Hephaestus as Eli slowly rose to his feet.
Ares seeing Eli back up looked at Xena once again and said, "Do it Xena. If you want to save Gabrielle, if want to save your soul, you will do it!"
Xena confusingly stared at Ares as he screamed, "Do it Xena!!!!!"
Xena swallowed as she looked over her shoulder back towards Gabrielle. She then nodded, and as her eyes narrowed she took aim, then threw the Chakram at the Eye of Hephaestus. At the moment the Chakram struck the Eye, a bright flash of light lit up the tomb. As the Chakram ricocheted off the Eye, rebounded off the far wall and back into Xena's grasp, the Eye began to glow as it emitted a cone of red light that encircled the god of war.
Xena took a few steps towards Ares and as she shook her head in disbelief she whispered, "Thank you . . . but . . . why?"
Ares nodded, then gazed into Xena's eyes for several moments. The war god then took a deep breath and softly whispered, "Because I love you!"
Xena's eyes widened as she silently looked at Ares. The cone of red light which encircled Ares began to brightened and Ares began to grimace in pain.
Xena reluctantly stepped back from Ares just as Eli screamed, "Noooo!"
The cone of energy brightened even further and the god of war collapsed to his knees. Xena's pulse began to quicken as she looked at Ares who looked at her once more.
Then as Ares screamed out in agony a blinding flash of light came from the Eye of Hephaestus forcing Xena to turn her head and shield her eyes.
As the room darkened once again, Xena slowly lowered her hand from her face, gazed over towards Ares, but saw only a sarcophagus where the god of war once stood.
She then heard a clanging sound and as she looked at the Chakram, she saw that she held one half, but the other half had fallen to the ground.
Xena then gazed back at Eli who approached the sarcophagus. Eli looked up at the Eye of Hephaestus and screamed once again. "Nooooo!"
Eli then turned and looked at Xena. Xena smirked confidently at Eli and said, "Something wrong Dahak?"
Eli curled is lip in anger as his breathing became heavier and more deliberate. "Oh Xena. Ares may have won the war, but I will win the battle."
Eli then waved his hand in an attempt to do something, but nothing happened. Eli l then looked at the palms of his hand in shock. "No!"
Eli then gazed back at the sarcophagus as he shook his head."No! My powers? My godhood?"
The false prophet then looked upwards and raised his hands in the air and screamed, "Ares!"
Eli then gazed over at Gabrielle who was still strapped to the altar. Eli then gazed back at Xena and saw that he stood closer to the altar than she did. Eli's breathing became erratic, his eyes narrowed, and he snarled like a wild beast as a look a madness came upon the evil diety. Eli then reached under his robe and quickly pulled out a dagger, raised it above his head, and with a yell charged the altar.
Xena knew she would not get to the altar in time to stop Eli, so she pulled her spare dagger from her boot, took aim, but just as she was about to release the dagger, Eli suddenly stopped only a few feet from the altar and let out a blood curdling scream.
Eli dropped the dagger and looked down only to see Callisto kneeling in front of him with her sword in his gut. As Callisto slowly rose to her feet Eli began to bleed from the inside out as he coughed up his own blood. He snarled at his blonde accomplice and in a haggard voice said, "What have you done?"
Callisto's eyes narrowed as she stared down the evil Dahak, "Given Amarice her sister back."
She then pulled the sword from Eli and immediately thrust it into the false prophet once again.
As Eli doubled over in pain, Xena watched on in shock, but she was still prepared to throw her dagger if necessary.
Callisto then pulled the sword from Eli once again and watched him collapse to his knees.
As he held his gaping wound, he looked up and stared into Callisto's eyes. Eli's eyes then widened as he shook his head in apparent disbelief. "No! You . . . it can't be you!" Callisto looked at Eli in confusion, then plunged the sword into the evil god once more. As he screamed one last time she pulled the sword from his body, he collapsed forward, and as his head hit the ground, his eyes glazed over and Dahak was no more.
Callisto, with her sword in her hand just stared down at the lifeless body of Dahak as it began to disolve away from the inside out and seemingly became part of the very air that is breathed.
Xena then hesitantly approached Callisto, as she stood in between the altar and Xena.
As Xena neared her arch enemy, Callisto quickly glanced up at Xena and silently stared at her. Xena stared right back and neither woman even blinked. Then Callisto slowly glanced over her shoulder at looked at Gabrielle and Joxer.
Xena's eyes widened with concern. The Warrior Princess slowly drew her sword just as Callisto looked back at Xena.
Callisto then extended her sword and pointed it at Xena. Xena braced for an attack, but then Callisto released her grasp of the sword and it fell to the ground.
Callisto then turned and slowly walked out of the tomb.
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