Eternal Destiny

Part 4

As the god of war slowly approached Xena glared at him and in a disgusted voice she said, "Ares . . . what do you want?"

Ares stopped just a few feet from Xena and Gabrielle as he chuckled, "Oh, come now Xena. I thought you'd be happy to see me, especially since just this morning you two were dead."

Ares then gazed over at Gabrielle as a concerned look crossed the god's face. "How are you doing? Are you all right?"

Gabrielle's eyes widened in surprise as she nodded. "Yeah!?!"

Ares then shook his head and turned his attention back to Xena. "Xena, we have to talk."

Xena looked at Ares suspiciously and said, "What do you know about our deaths Ares?"

Ares looked at Xena and grinned as he sarcastically said, "Oh, not much."

The war god then gazed over at Gabrielle once again and in a concerned voice he said, "Are you sure you're all right? Cuz if you need anything, just say the word and I'll be there."     

Gabrielle's eyes widened in confusion. "Huh?"

  Ares then approached Gabrielle and brushed his hand against her cheek. "My, you are beautiful."

Ares then quickly stepped back and ran his hands through his hair in frustration. Ares inhaled then exhaled to calm his seemingly frazzled nerves. "Xena we have a serious problem!"

Xena nodded. "I don't know about us, but you definitely have a problem. What's going on? You hate Gabrielle?"

Ares then gazed into Gabrielle eyes once again as he whispered. "Oh, I don't hate her, I lo," Ares then shook his head violently, "Xena, I . . . ."

Ares then took a deep breath as he began to pace the room. "Well, let me start at the beginning. . . .Do you remember the day you found the Chakram?"

  Xena looked at Gabrielle then turned her head and stared at the far wall. As her eyes glassed over she remembered the seven virgin priestesses lined up outside the temple steps. She remembered Dagnine pointing his sword at the head priestess as Xena approached the young woman. "Tell me where the Chakram is."

The virgin just stared into Xena's eyes as she shook her head in defiance of the Warrior Princess. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Xena smirked at the virgin. "Really? Well, maybe the end of Dagnine's sword will refresh your memory."

The virgin swallowed in fear as Dagnine's sword pressed agaiinst her neck.

The priestess shook her head as tears rolled down her face. "I don't know what talking about."

Xena then nodded as she turned and began to walk away. "Fine, I'll find it myself!"

Dagnine then turned to Xena and shouted, "What do you want me to do with them?"

Xena not bothering to turn around grinned and said, "Kill 'em!"

Xena then continued to walk away as the haunting screams of the virgins' last breathes pierced Xena's soul.

Xena shook off her gaze into time then stared at the god of war as she answered, "I remember Ares. Although I wish I didn't."

  Ares smirked. "Yeah whatever! Think back to the moment you entered the tomb that held the Chakram."

Xena shook her head. "I can't! Everything from the moment I entered the temple is just a blur. I've never been able to remember exactly what happened, or how I even knew where to find the Chakram."

Ares grinned as he waved his hand in front of Xena's face. "Try to remember again."

I told you Ares . . . ."

"Just do it!"

Xena rolled her eyes and thought back to the moments after the virgins' death. She then looked at Ares in shock as for the first time she could remember.

As the warrior's eyes glassed over yet again  she remembered going down a long dark corridor which was lit only by a few flickering torches that lined the walls. As Xena rounded the last corner she saw a faint bluish glow at the end of the tunnel.

Xena, with sword drawn, was ready for an attack that would never come. As she approached the the end of the corridor she hesitated for a moment knowing that Alti would not approve of her doing this on her own. But the power the old man had promised her was too much to deny.

As Xena entered the chamber at the end of the tunnel, she cautiously looked around the room. Encircling the outer edge of the room were bronze statues of the gods of Olympus, each of which held a dimly lit torch. In the middle of the room stood a small circular altar from which the faint blue glow originated from.   

As Xena reluctantly approached the waist high circular altar, she could see that the glow didn't actually come from the altar but from the Chakram, which was suspended horizontally in the middle. As Xena examined the Chakram she heard an elderly man's voice ring out. "Xena, this is it."   

   Xena quickly looked up and on the opposite side of the altar stood the same old man, dressed in a black robe, who told her about the Chakram. "This is the weapon of the gods."

Xena smirked at the old man as she sarcastically said, "Weapon of the gods huh? It's a circle? big deal! The weapon of the gods should be a flaming sword or something."

The old man grinned. "Ah Xena, you are indeed the right person for this weapon. You think big . . . but looks can be deceiving. This weapon is unlike any other weapon. In it, contains the divine essence of the gods. A sword, knife, mace, or anything, all have an end . . . but the Chakram . . . the Chakram is seamless, no beginning and no end . . . just as the gods are, and just as the keeper of this weapon will be."

Xena reluctantly nodded. "OK, tell me this, if this weapon is so powerful then why don't you just take it for yourself?"

The old man smiled. "That's the secret to the Chakram.   It takes at least two souls to remove the weapon. Two souls who are willing to be bound by the weapon."

Xena smirked at the old man in contempt. "What do you mean bound?"

The old man's tone became a bit more serious as he explained. "The only way the Chakram can be removed is if the two people agree to be bound by the weapon. Their essence blended into one place, into the Chakram.

"Part of you will be bound to me and part of me will be bound to you. The bond will be as the Chakram, unbreakable, and forever."

Xena shook her head. "Why would I want to be bound to you just for the sake of a weapon?"

The old man smiled. "Come now Xena, The Destroyer of Nations turn down an offer such as this? I don't think so! This weapon makes the Ixion stone look like a child's toy. The essence within the Chakram will be transferred to you. The essence of the gods. Think about the power Xena."

Xena silently stared at the Chakram for several moments, then she gazed up at the old man and nodded. "OK, what do I do?"

The old man chuckled as he placed his hand next to the Chakram ready to grab it. "On the count of 3 we must grab the Chakram at exactly the same time. And no matter what happens don't let go."

"What happens if I let go?"

"You die!"

Xena swallowed as she she placed her hand opposite the old man's.

The old man then counted, "1, 2, 3"

Xena and the old man simultaneously grabbed the Chakram and the weapon began to glow an intense white on the half nearest to Xena and glowed a deep red nearest the old man. After a few brief moments the white and red glow began to slowly revolve around the Chakram. As the two colors revolved faster their brightness intensified.

Faster and faster the colors revolved and brighter and brighter the light became. The two colors then began to   blend together and then, with a bright flash of light that forced Xena to turn her head and close her eyes, the red red glow quickly traveled through the Chakram and into Xena, as the white glow traveled   into the old man. Then the light faded and the room darkened.

Xena reluctantly opened one eye and asked,. "That's it?"

But no answer came forth. She opened her other eye and looked where the old man had stood but he was gone. She then pulled the Chakram towards her and examined the weapon. Then she shook her head and confusingly looked around the room once again and whispered, "What? How did I get in here?"   

Xena quickly shook off her gaze into the past. She rubbed her eyes then looked at Gabrielle just to make sure she was where she thought she was. She then looked at Ares and said, "The old man made forget about him?"

Xena's eyes then lit up as she looked up at Ares. "You were the old man!"

Ares grinned and nodded, but Xena was not amused. "Ares, you son of a . . . ."

 Ares raised his hand. "Now, now Xena . . . No you're right! She is a bitch."

Xena glared a the war god as she said, "You were the old man, and you made me forget about the old man, uh you! But why?"

Ares nodded. "Come now Xena. You would have eventually figured out who the old man was."

Xena glared at Ares angrily. "You're damn right I would have. and I would have left you like . . . ." Xena then paused and nodded.

Ares grinned. "See?"

Xena shook her head as she said, "Answer me this Ares. Why?"

Xena shook her head in disgust. "Ares, I killed so many people in your name. And to find out it was because you bonded me with you, it's disgusting."

Ares then began to pace back and forth as he began to rant. "Oh please Xena, You wanna talk about disgusting? Before the Chakram, before me, you may have been a great leader but you were a lousy warrior. You sat back in your clean clothes while your army splattered the blood of women and children all over the land.

"Before me you were with that ridiculous Amazon woman. She wanted you to be The Destroyer of Nations. Why destroy a Nation when you can conquer it?

"Oh yes Xena, you may judge me for what I did, but think about it, I gave you a code that Alti never had. Once with me, you donned the armor and the sword, you fought, but you never murdered. Think about it Xena, had you still been with Alti, what would have become of that child that you saved from Darphus? In a way Xena, that warrior code I gave you led to your redemption."

Xena, shook her head in contempt for her former mentor. "Ares, you are one piece of work."

Gabrielle then looked at Xena as she interrupted "Wait a minute. If you're essence or whatever is in the Chakram, what happens now that the Chakram is broken?"

Xena nervously looked at Gabrielle as Ares began to nervously pace back and forth as he tried to explain the situation. "Well, that's the interesting thing. Our essence was bonded with the Chakram . . . but the catch is Callisto somehow managed to break an unbreakable weapon. Our bond is still there, but it's now been separated, unevenly."  

Gabrielle looked at Xena and nodded. "Sort of like, a salt covenant?"

Xena's breathing became heavier as Gabrielle continued. "You gave Ares a pinch of your salt and he gave you a pinch of his. You both mixed up the other's salt in with your own. Then when  the Chakram was broken, it was like trying to get back every single grain of your salt from his bag. Which is impossible . . .Am I right?"

Xena just smirked at Gabrielle. "Where do you come up with this stuff?"    

Ares just smiled as he gazed into Gabrielle's eyes. "Now I know why Xena loves you so much."

Ares then took a deep breath and ran his hands through his hair in frustration. "Yeah, that's right. A salt covenant."

Xena curiously looked at the god of war, chuckled, and said, "Have you lost your mind Ares? You hate Gabrielle."

Ares breathing became a bit heavier as he said, "Yeah . . . well that's a side effect of the breaking of the Chakram. I seem to have some of your compassion for Gabrielle. . . who knows what you have of mine?"

Xena gazed up at Ares. "Side effect?"

Gabrielle nudged Xena as she whispered, "That's the salt covenant."

Xena looked at Gabrielle in annoyance, then looked back towards Ares once again "You've lost some of your powers, haven't you?"

Ares nodded. "Very good Xena. We have to reform the Chakram Xena. And we have to do it as soon as possible."

Gabrielle quickly asked, "Where is the Chakram?"

But before Ares could answer, a familiar female voice echoed throughout the room. "Oh, that's a great question."

All three looked towards the far end of the room and saw Callisto dressed in all white, leaning against the wall. Callisto then pulled the broken Chakram from behind her back and held it up for all to see as she said, "Why look, here it is!"

Callisto then laughed as Xena, Gabrielle and Ares angrily stared at Callisto.

to be continued . . .

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