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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 30 & 16, X = 8 & 1

Gabrielle stared at the huge feet in front of her.

They stood there like the axes the Horde carried in their hands.

Anything the Horde owned could be deadly.

She stood up faster than she thought she could and broke through the one-person-thick circle. The Horde realized what was happening and chased after the bard.

Gabrielle used her staff to move obstacles in her path, keeping her eyes peeled for a hiding place. She knew any hiding place was known by the Horde, though. But she also knew she couldn't go on like this forever - especially without Xena.

She took gasps of air as she slowed down.

"I think I lost them," she said quietly.

Then she screamed when a hand clamped around her ankle. She was brought to the ground and was dragged until she hit a rock. Her head hit it hard.

Then everything went black.

She opened her eyes later to find herself up high, overlooking the small Horde camp. She wondered exactly where she was and why they were doing this. She wanted to know where Xena was. Tears welled up in her eyes. She went to brush them away when she noticed that she couldn't bring her hand up to her eyes. She looked at where she was.

She was lying on a slanted platform about four feet off the ground, and her wrists and ankles were tied to large wooden poles.

"Oh no..." Gabrielle's voice cracked. Last time, when she was with Xena, she had barely escaped the Horde.

The Horde crowded around her.

"Huga funy wefren kalty," one man yelled to the others. He looked like their leader. Gabrielle felt sick to her stomach.

"What do you want?" she asked the crowd, tears running down her face. The man tilted his head to one side, confused.

"Kaltaka," he said.

"Kaltaka? That's water. We went through this before - I can help you.

Please, please let me go..." she pleaded.

Then flashbacks of her last Horde encounter came back to her. She remembered what Xena had told her later.

The Horde would often skin people - alive.

* * *

Xena's neck hurt from straining to see out the hole. It was impossible. By now, she had no idea where Gabrielle was - maybe caught by the Horde. Xena shook off the terrible thought.

"Stop it," Xena muttered. She tried flipping out of the pit again, only to fall back, flat on her face.

She looked at her chakrum. Then at her whip.

She stood up and took off her chakrum, carefully aiming at the rock near the mouth of the pit. She flung the discus-like weapon at it, and watched it cram itself into the rock. Xena clenched her teeth and took out her whip.

She threw the whip so that one end caught a hold of the chakrum, twisting itself around the circle.

She smiled victoriously and tugged on the makeshift rope. Then she slowly started to scale the wall of the pit.

* * *

Gabrielle flung herself around on the platform, screaming. What else did she have to lose?

The crowd was silent as the tall man approached her. He made a long speech to the rest of the crowd and then lifted a huge, blood-stained ax. Gabrielle shut her eyes and cringed.

"Hey!" there was a call in the woods. Everyone stopped - including Gabrielle.

The leader grunted and motioned for his troops to move towards the woods from all directions.

In no time, Gabrielle was alone.

"Hey, don't I know you?" a grinning face popped up from behind the platform. "Sphaerus?" Gabrielle laughed.

The warlord's son smiled as he quickly untied Gabrielle's ropes and helped her off the platform.

"Let's go, we'll talk later," he ordered.

"How did you-" Gabrielle started.

"I learned how to throw my voice when I was little," he grinned again. He grabbed her hand, and Gabrielle used her other hand to grab her staff, and they were off and running.

"I have a canoe over on the bank of the river," he said.

"But-" Gabrielle protested. Her heart sank again.

"But what?" he asked hurriedly.

"What about Xena? I lost her somewhere in the woods," she explained, almost whining. They both took a look towards the woods- as the Horde came rushing out towards them.

If Sphaerus and Gabrielle go towards the canoe, go to chapter #24.

If Sphaerus and Gabrielle go towards the woods to find Xena, go to chapter #25.