Eternal Destiny

Part 5

Xena, Gabrielle and Ares all glared at Callisto as she slowly approached with the broken Chakram in hand.  

Ares stared at Callisto as his face twitched in anger. "Callisto, you're responsible for all this. And believe me I am going to make you pay just as soon as . . . ."

"As what?" Callisto chuckled. "As soon as you get the Chakram?"

Callisto then held up the Chakram and smiled. "Too late!"

 Ares quickly drew his sword and took a swing at Callisto, but the blow was deflected by a force-field which appeared around Callisto.

As Ares examined the force-field Callisto laughed. "Oh Ares, you don't possibly stand a chance against me. My master has anointed me with all of his powers, his essence. No has-been god stands a chance against him, or me!"

  Ares glared at Callisto as he slowly sheathed his sword. Callisto grinned as the force-field vanished. Xena then broke her silence with a voice of contempt. "What is it that you want Callisto?"

Callisto looked at Xena and smiled. "Oh not much . . . just your soul."

Xena smirked at Callisto. "Callisto, you can just tell your master to give up. You were responsible for killing us, and I wouldn't give you my soul to stop that. Do you really think I'd give up my soul for the Chakram?"

Callisto grinned. "Oh yeah, killing you . . . Well see, I wasn't supposed to harm you physically Xena. It's sort of a rule. No physical interference."

Gabrielle shook her head and chuckled at Callisto's comment. "But you did physically interfere."

 Callisto looked at Gabrielle and smiled. "Oops."

Callisto began to laugh hysterically. She then took a deep breath to calm herself, then said, "Yeah but as you can see it didn't take."

Ares who still stared at Callisto interrupted. "Callisto, you are going to pay for this."

Callisto's tone then changed from confident to angry as she turned her attention to the god of war. "Oh believe me, I have payed for it Ares. More than you will ever know. So don't tell me what I will and will not pay for."

Callisto then took a deep breath, looked at the broken Chakram then gazed back up at Xena. "Anyway Xena, I'm here for another reason. You see, Ares didn't tell you everything about the Chakram."

Callisto gazed up at Ares then snickered, "Or maybe he just doesn't know? You know how men are about reading directions."

Ares just continued to stare at Callisto as she continued. "You see Xena, I personally don't care anything about the Chakram. but my master is very interested in it."   

Ares took a deep breath as he took a step towards Callisto. "What are you talking about?"

Callisto looked at Ares and grinned. "Oh I think you know, if you just think about it."

Ares shifted his eyes over towards Xena then quickly shifted them back towards the still grinning Callisto who nodded. "You see, my master figures that if I simply place the broken Chakram back on the altar, before you two have a chance to rejoin it, then the Chakram will be ready for a new bonding."

Xena stood up and in a disgusted voice said, "So, what does that have to do with me?"

Callisto grinned. "Oh nothing. but it does have something to do with, Eric, no Leon."

Callisto paused for a moment then smiled. "No . . . Eli!"

Xena's eyes widened in anger as Callisto slowly took a few step backwards. "So, you can either give me your soul, or I'll simply take his, via the Chakram. Either way, I win!"

Callisto then laughed once again as she held up the two peaces of the broken Chakram for Xena to see, then with a gust of wind, Callisto disappeared.

Xena shook her head as she looked at Ares in disgust. "Why didn't you have the Chakram Ares? You left it laying around for anyone to get a hold of?"

Ares then waved his hand and in a flash of god-fire disappeared.

Xena frantically looked around the room as she shouted, "Ares! Come back here you coward!"

Ares then reappeared, looked at Xena and said, "Xena, with the Chakram broken I've lost some of my powers." Ares then grabbed Gabrielle by the hand and waved his hand in an attempt to disappear, but instead of disappearing, Ares just flickered for a few seconds.

Ares then let go of Gabrielle as he explained, "You see. I tried to take the Chakram, but I couldn't. I've lost the ability to transport anything other than myself."

At that moment Joxer charged through the doors and shouted, "Xena. Eli's gone. He was there one minute and then he just screamed and disappeared."   

Joxer then noticed Ares and nodded. "Hi Ares."

Joxer then jumped, startled from the war gods presence. "Ares? . . . Um, Xena?"

Xena turned and looked at Joxer. "Joxer, just wait outside. We'll be out in a minute."

Joxer shook his head, "But?"

"Just do it!"

Joxer swallowed as he nodded. He then reluctantly left the room as Xena slowly approached Ares.

The Warrior Princess gazed deep into the war god's eyes and in a firm voice said. "Where has Callisto taken Eli?"

Ares didn't answer but silently stared a Xena for a moment. Xena shook her head impatiently then shouted, "Where has she taken Eli!?!"

Ares took a deep breath then reluctantly nodded. Then in a hesitant tone the war god said, "The Chakram can only work in the presence of the Eye of Hephaestus."

"The what?" asked Xena. "What do you mean? I use the Chakram all the time."

Ares took another deep breath, nodded then tried to explain. "You don't use the Chakram as it was intended Xena. The Chakram is not a weapon of war, it is a weapon of defense.

"I lied when i said the essence of the gods was in the Chakram . . . before you had it, it was an empty vessel."

Gabrielle stood up and curiously asked, "A vessel for what?"

But Ares didn't answer. He just stood silent for several moments staring into space. With each silent moment that passed Xena became more angry, until she broke the silence with a shout. "Ares!"

Ares shook off his blank stare as Xena's firmly said, "Obviously you want my help in reforming the Chakram. And I need you to tell me where Callisto has taken Eli. So, either you tell me what's going on, or we both lose."

Ares took another deep breath to clear his thoughts. He then looked at an angry Xena and nodded, "OK! But what you are about to hear, no mortal has ever heard before."

Ares then began to nervously pace back and forth as he started to explain. "Centuries ago, when the gods overthrew the Titans, some of the gods, particularly Zeus and Hades, feared that one day the same thing would happen to them. So Zeus had Hephaestus forge a weapon . . . the Chakram!"

Ares then stopped pacing as he gazed over at Gabrielle. He then looked at Xena and reluctantly continued. "The idea was that if someone ever tried to overthrow the gods, that we would go to the Chakram and combine all of our essence into this one weapon."

Xena quickly interrupted, "But you said the Chakram is not a weapon of war. So how can it be used against someone?"

Ares grinned at Xena's astuteness. He then continued to explain. "Hephaestus forged the Chakram in conjunction with something called the Eye of Hephaestus . . . Hephaestus is most noted for forging things that bind. Chains, straps etc . . . The Eye of Hephaestus was his ultimate creation. It would imprison the enemy and in a since would watch over the enemy for eternity."

Gabrielle then curiously asked, "But how? . . . What does that Eye have to do with the Chakram?"

Ares glanced over at Gabrielle and said, "They were forged to work together. The idea was for the gods to combine their powers within the Chakram. Then the gods would lure the enemy into the tomb where the Eye of Hephaestus rests. When the enemy would be in just the right position, specifcally standing within the seal of the Chakram which is carved into the floor, the gods would strike the Eye with the Chakram. At the moment of strike, the powers within the Chakram would be transferred to the Eye, and the Eye would imprison who or whatever we would be at war with . . . but instead, I used the Chakram to bond you and me together Xena, and I've been on the outs with the family ever since.

"So you see Xena, the reason I wiped away your memory of that temple was not because of me, but because of where you were."

Xena suspiciously shook shook her head in disbelief. "That's bogus Ares. Why would you take such a risk. Why would risk wasting the weapon of the gods, huh?"

Ares grinned. "Because Xena, I thought it was a myth. Nothing could defeat the gods of Olympus. Oh sure, we've had a few close calls, but no one has ever been able to break an Olympian covenant . . . that is until Callisto broke the Chakram."

Xena just shook her head in shock as she stared at Ares. But Gabrielle was curious, and asked, "Wait a minute. If the gods needed the Chakram so bad, then why didn't they just have Hephaestus forge another one?"

Ares chuckled. "It took Hephaestus over a thousand years to forge the Chakram and the Eye."

"Why so long?"

"Because, for the weapon to work, Hephaestus needed a piece of every god's divine power, a piece of each god's divine weapon. My sword, Helios' dagger, etc. Hephaestus shaved off small fractions of each weapon, melted them down, and created the Chakram. "But not every god knew of the weapon. Only Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Hephaestus, Athena, Aphrodite and myself knows of it's existence. Zeus knew by telling only the immediate family, that the secret would never get out. And if it did, it would be easily traced. The other gods would only be told when and if the weapon was ever needed. But, it also made it difficult to get the other god's weapons to forge the Chakram."

Gabrielle nodded and whispered. "A thousand years!"

Ares nodded. "Yeah!"

But Xena wasn't curious like Gabrielle, she just continued to look at Ares in disbelief as she softly whispered, "Ares . . . what does this have to do with Eli?"

Ares shrugged his shoulders. "She doesn't want Eli Xena. She wants you. She wants your soul."

"But why?"

Ares, reluctant to answer, paused for a moment then said, "Why not? You are Xena, the Warrior Princess. He obviously wants that woman back."

Xena's eyes widened at Ares comment. She suspiciously looked at the war god who just chucked. "Oh please Xena. her master isn't me. Why would I allow her to break the Chakram and then steal it from me?" Xena nodded. "OK, if not you, then who is it?

Ares said, "That's not important. What is important is that we get the Chakram back and reform it before she does. If she reforms the Chakram, our bond will forever be incomplete."

Xena shook her head, "No. What's important is that we rescue Eli, then reform the Chakram."

"But Xena, don't you understand. it's a trap. She'll use your friendship with Eli against you to get your soul."

Xena shook her head. "i don't care. Eli is my friend . . . ."

"A friend you're willing to not just die for, but to lose your eternal soul for?"

Xena swallowed as she turned and looked at Gabrielle. Xena then turned and said, "Hopefully it won't come to that.

"Now, you said you can't teleport us there?"

Ares nodded. That's right!"

Xena then looked at Gabrielle who whispered. "Aphrodite?"

Xena nodded then looked back towards Ares., "You need to find Aphrodite and tell her we need our supplies."

Ares shook his head curiously. "What?"

"We always leave extra supplies in her temples. Clothes, weapons, an extra set of my leather armor."

Ares chuckled. "Wait a minute, you rely on Aphrodite to hold onto extra supplies and not me?"

Xena nodded, "Well, she's never tried to drive me mad like you! Besides she watches Argo for me from time to time . . . just do it Ares."   

Ares shook his head., "I don't think it's wise to bring Aphrodite into all this."

Xena shouted, "i don't care what you think. If you want me to help you with this Chakram problem, you'll help me save Eli. and to save Eli, I need supplies."

"Fine!" Ares said, "head towards Macedonia. That's where she's taken Eli. Once you reach the border, I'll be back to show you where the tomb is." Then Ares waved his hand and disappeared.

to be continued . . .

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