Callisto grinned as she drew her sword for the first time in over a year. "Let's see if I'm at all rusty." Callisto then gave her battle cry and charged Xena.
The Warrior Princess successfully blocked Callisto's first attempted strike, but Callisto continued her attack. Xena however parried Callisto's blows. As Callisto thrust her sword, and Xena' parried, the blonde warrior began to laugh. "Just like old times hey Xena?"
Both Xena and Callisto then screamed as they both took wild swings at each other, the force of which caused their swords to interlock together.
As Xena tried to regain control of her sword she said, "I'm glad you're enjoying this Callisto."
Callisto laughed hysterically and screamed once again as she threw a knee to Xena's gut. Xena dropped her sword as she doubled over in pain. Callisto then grinned, stepped back, and threw a low round-house kick to the back of Xena's legs, which sent Xena crashing to the ground.
Callisto smiled as she confidently pointed her sword at Xena's throat. "I win Xena!"
Xena looked up at Callisto. She knew if Callisto wanted to kill her she would have by now. So Xena, in a confident tone pressed Callisto for information. "What did you mean you wanted me to reform the Chakram? I thought . . . ."
"Oh Xena," Callisto responded, "That's what we wanted you to think. You see, my master does want your soul, but your soul is no good to him without your bond with Ares."
Callisto then removed her sword from Xena's throat as she placed her foot in it's place. Callisto then raised her sword and shouted. "OK, I did you're bidding, now you hold up your end of the deal!"
As Callisto looked upwards waiting for a response, she heard a scream of a warrior charging her from behind. Callisto grinned and just as the attacker was about to strike, Callisto whispered, "Gabrielle!" Callisto then turned and plunged her sword into her attackers midsection.
As Callisto's victim cried out in agony, Callisto's eyes widened in horror at the site of a doubled over Amarice.
Callisto quickly pulled the sword from Amarice and as the wounded Amazon fell to her knees, Callisto screamed at the top of her lungs. "Nooooooo!!!"
As Amarice collapsed to the ground Xena rose to all fours and crawled over to her fallen friend.
Callisto gazed upon the blood soaked sword in which she held in her hand. She then gazed down at Xena who frantically ministered to her sister. Callisto then looked at the sword again then violently tossed it aside.
Then from out of no where, a deep resonant voice echoed throughout the chamber. "I told you that no one fails me without paying the consequences."
Callisto gazed back down at Amarice again and screamed once again. "Nooo!"
Callisto collapsed to her knees and slowly pulled Amarice into her arms. Amarice then took a gasp of air as she looked up at Callisto. "I couldn't let you kill Xena! She's my friend."
Callisto just silently shook her head as tears rolled down her face.
Amarice then raised her hand towards Callisto as she whispered, "Callisto, I want my sister back!"
Amarice's then took one last breath as her eyes closed and her arm fell to the ground.
"No," Callisto softly whispered.
"No," she said again as she began trying to shake Amarice awake. "No! I won't lose you again."
As a confused Xena looked at Callisto, from the far side of the chamber, a grinning Eli slowly approached. "Now Callisto, with your sister gone maybe you will learn to listen to me."
Xena's eyes widened in shock as she whispered to herself. "Sister?"
Callisto gazed up at Eli and said, "No! . . . You told me if I helped you you would leave my sister alone."
Eli then grinned and sarcastically said, "Well, I didn't kill Amarice. You did!"
Callisto then looked back down at her sister. She then looked at her own hands which were covered in Amarice's blood. Callisto frantically shook her head as tears rolled down her face. "No!"
Callisto then pulled the lifeless body of Amarice tighter into her arms and wept over her fallen sister.
"Well now Xena," Eli said with a confident tone. "Since my Emissary has turned into sniffling fool, I guess I'll have to finish the job."
Xena swallowed as she slowly stood up. She glanced back down at Callisto who still held Amarice in her arms, Xena then glanced back at Eli and in a confused voice said, "What are you talking about Eli?"
As Eli slowly stalked the Warrior Princess he chuckled. "Oh Xena, there never was an Eli . . . he's a figment of my imagination."
Xena's eyes widened as she took several steps backwards. "Emissary? . . . ." Xena's eyes widened as she said, "You're Callisto's Master?"
Eli smiled and laughed. "Of coarse. And what better way to watch over you than to befriend you."
Xena reluctantly picked up her sword that she had dropped earlier. She then looked at Eli and shook her head in disbelief. "If you're not Eli, then who are you?"
Eli smiled as he sarastically said, "Oh Xena, I'm disappointed. You know me."
Eli then waved his hand as a semi transparent image appeared before Xena. Xena gazed into the image and saw a rapid succession of images, including the battle with Caesar and Bodecea, Gabrielle's rape and loss of blood innocence, the birth of Hope, the death of Solon, Gabrielle's sacrifice as she pulled Hope into the altar, Iolaus possession and then the images vanished.
Xena shook her head as she glared at Eli and with contempt in her voice said, "Dahak!"
Eli laughed sinisterly as Xena shook her head in denial. "No. Hercules killed you! He told me all about it, He defeated you."
Eli confidently paced back and forth as he said, "Oh Xena, I am a god! Hercules didn't defeat me. He simpy sent me back to my home domain."
Eli then waved his hand once again as another image appeared before Xena. This time it was an image of Xena and Gabrielle in india, when they first met Eli, as he cast a demon from his female assistant. The image then vanished.
Xena then whispered, "India"
Xena then nodded. "Then, It was you who killed that priest?"
Eli nodded. "Of coarse.
"You should have listened to him Xena. He said a great evil was present . . . and you thought he meant Tataka."
Eli then chuckled to himself for a moment before he smiled and continued. "You know Xena, I don't care much for sentiment. But looking at your past, well it reminds me of when i raped Gabrielle . . . how I could actually feet her soul rip in two."
Eli then laughed with a sadistic tone as Xena quickly raised her sword and screamed, "You son of a bitch." She then charged Eli and plunged her sword into the false prophet's midsection.
Xena violently twisted the sword within the prophet, but Eli, uneffected by the sword, grabbed Xena by the throat and lifted her off the ground. "You fool," Eli said as his voice lowered to a deep base and his hand morphed into an inhuman form, "I am Dahak the Destroyer. Do you really think that you can defeat me that easily?"
Then with a yell, he violently threw Xena through the air which sent her crashing into the wall before she fell to the ground.
As Xena grimaced in pain, she attempted to get up, But Eli quickly approached and threw a hard straight kick to the back of Xena's head. Xena attempted to get to all fours but Eli kicked her in the gut, which knocked the wind out her once again. Xena immediately collapsed as she faded in and out of consciousness several times.
Eli then gazed down and noticed the sword was still in his midsection. He rolled his eyes and pulled the sword from his body, and as his voice then slowly returned to normal he tossed the sword to the ground. "Oh, now Xena," Eli said in a condescending tone, "don't blame yourself for Gabrielle's rape. it was destiny!"
Xena fumed with hate as she glared up at Eli. As she clinched her teeth to fight back the pain, she struggled to her feet as Eli continued. "As someone once told you . . . there are no accidents only destiny . . . you can't control destiny Xena . . . only the gods have that power."
Eli then looked around the chamber of the tomb and began to pace back and forth once again and as he described each event of Xena's past, a matching image appeared before her. "Each event in mortals lives leads to the next. Destiny led Gabrielle to me. Destiny allowed me to plant my seed inside of Gabrielle . . . Hope's birth led to Gabrielle's betrayal of you Xena. Her betrayal led to Solon's death, Solon's death led to what I affectionately call the gab drag,"
Xena's eyes narrowed as she stared right through the images and directly at Eli. "You are one sick son of a bitch."
Eli paused, looked at Xena and smiled. "And attempting to murder your best friend isn't sick?"
Xena reached for her sword, but then realized it laid on the floor across the room. Eli raised his finger and shook it back and forth. "Ah, ah, ah, Xena, I'll just throw you around the room again."
The warrior stared up at Eli and shook her head. "I know you didn't come here to brag about destroying our lives or to kick me around, or to brag about your master plan . . . So what is that you want?"
Eli smiled. "Why Xena, I want what I've always wanted from the moment I entered the world. Just as my Deliverer said, I simply want to destroy the world . . . but to do that I need your soul."
"What does destroying the word have to do with me?"
Eli glanced back at Callisto who continued to weep over her dead sister's body. He then looked at Xena once again and explained. "You see Xena, every god is born with a mortal spirit. an attribute. For some it's love, for another it's peace, for another it's the hunt, for Ares it's war, and for me . . . it is destruction. I'm simply fulfilling my will as Dahak the Destroyer.
"You see, every god's divine spirit has a reciprocal spirit held by another god. It's sort of a safety measure put in place to prevent war among the gods. Take Hera for example, the goddess of fidelity and marriage needs Zeus, the god of infidelity, to fullfill her spirit. As much as she hates Zeus and as much as she would love to destroy him, she and her spirit, needs him and his infidelities to exist. Without Infidelity of marriage, fidelity of marriage would cease to exist as well."
Xena swallowed as she held her ribs and said, "You didn't answer my question. What does that have to do with me?"
Eli smiled and nodded. "Well, as you can see, I can destroy individual lives pretty easily. Not only am I the Destroyer, but am a deceiver too. By deceiving you and Gabrielle into thinking I was the god of the Israelites, Gabrielle was raped, Solon was killed, yada, yada, yada!"
Eli then glanced over his shoulder and looked at Callisto who still wept over her sister's body. The evil deity then smiled and looked at Xena once again as he continued. "By holding Callisto to the covenant she and I made in the past . . . you know the deal, don't you Xena? Callisto helps me, I give her oblivion. But she didn't help me as promised . . . and as I've always said, no one backs out of a deal with me without paying the consequences. So instead of oblivion, I gave her what she hated most, her life. Which was easy to do since she wasn't born a god . . . this whole Amarice thing was just icying on the cake.
"But the will of my spirit is not to destroy one life at a time, but it is as my Deliverer said. That I will destroy the world through the cleansing power of war. and you my dear Xena are bonded to . . . .?"
Xena whispered in response. "Ares, the god of war!"
Eli chuckled. "That's right! I need Ares. More importantly I need the spirit of war. One can not destroy the world without war you know."
Xena shook her head. "Then why don't you just go to him?"
I already did, remember?"
Eli chuckled. "You never could figure out why Ares suddenly joined me, could you? One minute Ares is raising an army against me, and the next he's on my side?
"I knew about your bond to him through the Chakram. I've been watching Ares for a long time. And then, I started watching you Xena. I've been watching you since before you met Hercules . . . Anyway, I simply used Ares' soft spot for you against him. I told him that if he didn't freely join me, that I would take you instead. And either way, I would get the spirit of war.
"The consecration of our bond was to take place at the halls of war. The sacrifice of those innocents was to sanctify my bond with Ares, thus giving me the spirit of war."
Eli's eyes then began to glow red as a look of anger crossed his face. "But there was one thing I didn't know. That your friendship with Gabrielle was so strong, that she was willing to die for you."
Eli's eyes then returned to normal as he continued. "But you see, I think quick on my feet and I always have a backup plan . . . I wasn't about to let Ares' betrayal or you and Gabrielle's friendship defeat me. Luckily, I still had Callisto. Though she betrayed me as well, our bond was already consecrated. So I helped her with the hind's blood thing and used Hercule's little buddy to convince everyone that Dahak was no more . . . then, I waited. Little did I know that you Xena, of all people. would actually come to my domain. And once you did that, and a bond between us was formed when you fought Shiva, well after that I was free to follow you . . . and here we are!"
Eli then pulled the Chakram from under his robe and held it up for Xena to see. "The Chakram. Your enternal destiny lies within this weapon. How ironic that the weapon created to defend the gods against me will be their ultimate undoing."
Xena's breathing became heavier from anger. "You destroyed our lives. Killed my son, raped Gabrielle, almost destroyed our friendship, and what you really need is the spirit of war? You didn't even really need us. We were just stepping stones? is that about right Dahak?" Eli chuckled. "Funny huh? . . . Ah, but Xena. What a god can take away, a god can restore. Xena, wouldn't you like to go back to the good old days? The days when it was just Gabrielle and you having grand adventures? I can take away all the pain I have caused you. I can make it as if I never had raped Gabrielle. As if Hope had never been born. I can even give Solon back to you . . . I destroyed your lives Xena . . . and I can restore them. You and Gabrielle can live a life of peace and love and blah, blah, blah."
"What's the catch?"
"The catch, is your bond with Ares. You see, I need the spirit of war. And while I coud go back to Ares, I feel taking your soul because of his betrayal suits me a lot better . . . Just invite me into your soul Xena. By doing so you will be giving me you eternal bond to Ares . . . and in return, I'll restore what I've taken away from you. Your life will be just as it was before that day at the temple. I'll even wait to destroy the world until after your dead."
Xena grimaced as she took a few steps toward Eli. "You must be one stupid god Dahak. For you to think I'd give up my eternal soul for that. I've done a lot of things I regret. And I do wish . . . every day in fact, i wish that I would have never left Gabrielle at that temple, But I would rather spend eternity as Ares' slave than give you my soul."
Eli chuckled as he nodded. "Oh I figured as much. But as I said, i always have a back up plan. So to make things interesting . . . ."
Eli then turned and waved his hand causing a wall of flames to engulf the far end of the room. As Eli lowered his hand, the flames evaporated revealing Gabrielle and Joxer laying down and strapped to an Altar.
"Now, give me you soul, or I'll take Gabrielle's."
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