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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 8, X = 6

Xena looked over the cliff. She thought about waiting for Kaleipus and the other centaurs, but after a crash coming from the cave.

The warrior heard Solan scream. Xena forgot everything else and ran in the cave.

She had her sword in one hand, her chakrum in the other.

"You!" Xena whirled around to come face to face with the Cyclops.

Xena knew the Cyclops was blind, so as long as she was out of smelling - and reaching - distance, she was safe.

The warrior said nothing, but backed farther into the cave.

"Xena!" Solan yelled happily.

Xena raised her finger to her lips quickly, motioning him to kept still and quiet.

Solan realized his mistake and covered his mouth quickly.

"Xena?" Polyphemus asked, coming into the huge cave room.

"Yeah, it's me. You had better let us leave safely, or I'll finish Ulysses' job," Xena said menacingly. Solan's eyes went wide, amazed at his position in the cave - he was alive.

Xena grabbed her son's hands and led the way silently out of the cave, not looking back at the giant. While Polyphemus was pondering Xena's threat, Xena and Solan crept out of the cave.

"No!" Polyphemus realized that his dinner was walking away, and he took three steps to land in front of his victims.

"Hey!" Solan began. "My uncle is coming right now!"

"Stop talking about your uncle or I'll eat him, too!" the Cyclops roared. Solan backed up, terrified. Xena stopped his movement by holding him still. They were about four feet from the cavern mouth.

"You are both staying here!" the Cyclops screamed. Xena walked quickly and quietly over to the huge man. She took her sword and swung it at his leg. Cutting deeply into his shin, his fell to the ground, screaming. The crash on the ground set off a shout from someone on the ground outside.

"Xena! Solan! It's me!" Xena and Solan raced over to the edge of the cliff. It was Kaleipus, waving to the two.

"How did you get up here in the first place?" Xena asked the small boy.

"A rope," Solan answered.

"Where is it now?" Xena asked.

"The giant ate it. He thought it was stale bread," Solan chuckled nervously. Xena rolled her eyes.

"We'll throw our rope up to you both!" one centaur called out to the two.

Xena nodded and looked back at the Cyclops. He was starting to get up.

"Hurry!" she called back.

The rope was thrown up, and then collapsed as soon as it struck a rock. It wouldn’t catch on anything sturdy enough.

Kaleipus grabbed the rope and threw it back up farther, but ended with the same results.

Polyphemus was standing up now, and about to work his way towards his dinner.

"Forget it! We're climbing down without it!" Xena called. Kaleipus nodded and moved the centaurs in a semicircle, ready to catch either of them in case of an accident.

Gabrielle stood in the middle, straining her neck to look up.

They were only a few steps down when Solan started to fall. Xena braced his arm.

"Ah!" he yelled. The centaurs looked up and stretched out a long blanket. They held it tight, a few yards off the ground.

Gabrielle grabbed one end and looked up at her best friend.

"You ready?" Xena asked her son breathlessly.

"Ready for what?" he asked, trying to grab another rock unsuccessfully.

"This," Xena took his other hand and pulled it from the rock.

"No!" Solan winced as he fell down the edge, landing on the blanket, bouncing slightly. A few centaurs helped him off the blanket as Xena looked back up. Polyphemus was at the edge of the cliff, looking down at the Warrior Princess.

Xena tried to keep quiet, not wanting to draw attention to herself.

She slipped on one boulder, her foot kicking a few rocks to the ground.

"I know you're there!" Polyphemus yelled tauntingly. He groped around, looking for his tasty morsel.

"Not anymore," Xena said, yelling her battlecry as she let go of the cliff.

She flipped twice, landing on her back on the blanket. The centaurs cheered as she climbed off the lifesaver.

"He'll get down that cliff in no time! We have to leave now!" Xena ordered.

The centaurs organized and Kaleipus let Solan and Gabrielle get on his back.

"Let's go!" Xena yelled, climbing on Argo.

They raced off, hearing the Cyclops bound down the cliff.

She put Argo to a gallop. Everyone headed to Kaleipus' village. Once they

reached it, everyone started to work on defense in case Polyphemus had followed them.

Gabrielle walked over to Xena. Solan was playing many yards away with other children.

"Are you going to tell him the truth?" Gabrielle asked the warrior quietly.

"I don't know," Xena answered truthfully. She watched her son. "I'm not sure what his reaction would be," Xena said.

"So you will or you won’t tell him?" Gabrielle prompted gently.

"I hope I will," Xena said.