Eternal Destiny

Part 8

By sunrise, Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and Amarice had broke camp and rode further into the Macedonian province.

Since Ares' visit a few hours before, Xena had remembered where the temple was for the first time in years. She didn't know how she knew, but she figured that Ares was somehow involved.

As they rode through a lush open meadow Xena glanced off to the side, and then with a slight kick of her horse, she rode off to the top of a small hill.

 As the others caught up to Xena at the top of the hill, they glanced off into the distance towards the next hillside and saw large stone entranceway protruding from it.

 As they further examined the entranceway and hillside, they noticed that only the entranceway was visible, as the rest of the temple was built right into the hillside.

Before anyone could even ask if that was the place they were looking for, Xena's horse galloped down the hillside and towards the temple.

Once at the front of the temple, Xena quickly dismounted the horse and gazed up at the temple steps. Xena took a deep breath then slowly walked up the stairs.

Once at the top of the stairs, Ares appeared before her and in a confident voice said, "Well, I see my divine knowledge still works."

Xena shook her head as she looked at Ares in disgust. "I thought you said you wouldn't help?"

Ares chuckled. "I'm only here to reform the Chakram. that is unless . . . ."

"Forget it Ares! If I were to rejoin you now, I'd never wash the blood from my hands."

Xena then looked back down the stairs just in time to see Gabrielle, Joxer, and Amarice coming towards her.

Xena then walked over to a huge stone doorway. As Xena examined the doorway, she noticed what appeared to be a carving or an imprint of a human hand. Encircling the imprint were about a dozen rare jewels. Xena stared at the design for a few moments then glanced over at Ares. "What do I do. I don't remember?"

Ares rolled his eyes impatiently. He approached the doorway and placed his hand into the imprint. He then turned the imprint like a dial and Immediately the stone doorway opened, revealing a dark narrow entranceway.

Xena took a deep breath, turned to Gabrielle and the others and drew her sword. She then looked back towards Ares, but he was gone. Xena shook her head in disgust as she waved for the others to follow. "Come on. And remember, no heroic stuff. Especially you Amarice. Just stick to the plan."

Amarice reluctantly nodded as she drew her sword and followed Xena and the others into the tomb.

As Xena slowly walked down the long corridor, she noticed it looked exactly the same as it did years before. A darkened hall, illuminated only by a few flickering torches which lined the walls.

As they passed several corridors that connected to the main one Gabrielle asked, "Are you sure you know where you're going? There's so many tunnels, how do you know which one to take?"

Xena stopped and looked back at Gabrielle. "Believe me, I know where we're going."

As they rounded the last corner of the corridor Xena saw the same faint blue glow at the end of the tunnel she saw years before.   

Inside the same circular altar room where Xena had first found the Chakram, Eli was tied to the altar that once held the Chakram.

Callisto who was standing in between the altar and the entrance to the room looked back at Eli and sarcastically said, "It won't be long now Eli. Xena's coming to rescue you."   

   Callisto then turned her head back to the entrance just in time to see Xena enter the room.

Callisto smiled as she pulled the still broken Chakram from under her white garment. "Welcome to the party!"

Xena slowly walked along the outer wall of the altar room which turned Callisto's attention away from Eli. "Oh Xena, you have no idea how much I'm going to enjoy this,"

At that moment Gabrielle began to step into the room, but Amarice grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back into the corridor. "No, I'll do it!"

Gabrielle shook her head in disagreement. "No, that's not part of the plan."

Amarice nodded as she let go of Gabrielle's arm. Then as Gabrielle started to enter the altar room once again, Amarice drew her sword, pushed Gabrielle to the ground and ran into the altar room stopping only a few feet from Callisto.

  "Callisto!" Amarice shouted.

Callisto turned around and as she laid eyes on her sister, a look of horror crossed Callisto's face. "I told you not to come here!"

Amarice nodded. "Yes, you did." The young Amazon then took a swing at Callisto and knocked the Chakram from her hands. Callisto growled in anger as Xena yelled, "Now Joxer!"

Callisto looked at Xena then turned around just in time to see Joxer cut Eli free from the altar. Callisto silently glared at Joxer as he escorted Eli out of the altar room.

While Callisto was still distracted, Xena quickly picked up the broken Chakram and yelled, "Go, get out of here Amarice."

Callisto then turned back towards Xena, but Amarice quickly stepped in between her sister and the Warrior Princess. As Amarice pointed her sword at Callisto, she said, "Go Xena."

Xena suspiciously looked at what was happening. she then spotted Ares standing in the entrance way of the altar room. Xena looked at Ares and shook her head. "Come on Amarice."

Amarice, still pointing her sword at Callisto slowly began to back peddle her way to the corridor. Once out of the altar room, Xena grabbed Amarice by the arms and said, "What did I tell you about heroics? I want you to get out of here, right now!"

Amarice reluctantly nodded as Xena escorted her away from the altar room and guided her to the entrance to the tomb.

As Amarice slowly headed for the entrance, Xena headed down a different corridor. In the distance, Xena noticed a golden glow coming from an opening at the far end of the corridor. Xena quickly approached the glow and then slowed down as she entered a large chamber. Xena then paused as she looked around the room.

She saw that the golden glow came from large flickering torches which lined the walls. Xena then gazed to her right and saw a huge horned skull sitting against the far wall. On top of the skull, sat a giant gold eye with a red pupil. Xena then gazed down at the floor and noticed a seal, in the exact shape of the Chakram carved into the ground. As Xena slowly scouted the chamber Ares appeared once again. "Now you know why I had to erase your memory of this place."

Ares then extended his hand and one half of the Chakram flew from Xena's grasp and into his hand. Xena then felt some invisible force that caused her to extend the half of the Chakram that she held outwards towards Ares.

  The invisble force then pulled Xena towards Ares and as the two halves of the Chakram met a bright flash of light lit up the room and both Xena and Ares were sent flying in opposite directions.

Ares quickly stood up and looked at the palms of his hands and shouted. "I'm back!"

Ares then laughed as he saluted Xena. "Later Xena . . . remember, you do have a choice!" The god of war then disappeared.

Xena quickly got to her feet and scouted the room for the Chakram, but it was no where to be found.

As Xena turned back towards the tunnel she had came in, she spotted Callisto who held the Chakram in the air. "Looking for this? A lot of good it will do me now, you've already reformed it . . . pitty!"

Callisto then tossed the Chakram to ground as she said, "Xena, Xena, Xena. Why is it that no matter what I do I can never defeat you?

"It's all right if you destroy my life, kill my mother, and take away my sister, but Zeus forbid that I ever get to bring you to justice."   

Xena, havng heard all this before, just shook her head. "There's a difference between justice and revenge."

Callisto nodded. "You're right!" She then pulled a sword from under her robe. "But you see Xena. This time I win. Because, you see, i wasn't born a god. I was simply a mortal who had a godhood. I had no divine essence that ran through my blood. So when you killed me with the hind's blood dagger, you only killed my godhood."

Xena eyes widened as Callisto continued. "So you see Xena, I'm still alive and well. Oh and in case you haven't figured it out, my master wanted you to reform the Chakram."

  Callisto then grabbed her robe, and pulled it off revealing that she was dressed in her old warrior outfit. Xena drew her sword as Callisto sarcastically said, "Let's play Xena, shall we?"

to be continued . . .

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