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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 26, X = 28

Xena nodded toward Hercules, motioning that she was going to leave.

Gabrielle followed her lead. She took her staff and jumped off the stage.

"Gabby! You can stay and entertain the crowd when they get bored of Hercules' matches against the villagers!" Salmoneus snapped his fingers.

"What matches did I agree to now?" Hercules said, rolling his eyes.

"Arm wrestling!" the man laughed. Hercules groaned.

"I'll contact you after I get back," Xena said to Hercules, shaking his hand.

"Where are you going?" Hercules asked the warrior.

"To that village that was set fire to," Xena said, sighing.

"Why? Did you know someone?" Hercules started to get worried.

"Yeah, I do. Or did. Depends," Xena started to walk over to Argo. She mounted the horse.

"Good luck," Hercules said quietly. Salmoneus was busy in the background, working feverishly at getting a few people's admission money in his pocket. Gabrielle followed the dust as Xena galloped out of the town.

It wasn't long before they came to a fork in the road. They sat down, taking a breather and eating their dinner. They quickly got back to their journey. At dusk, they had arrived at the village.

The once thriving village now consisted of ashes and smoke, the fire still lingered in some parts of the town. Xena felt like everything was in slow motion as she walked slowly through the village, leaving Argo at the gate. Gabrielle came to the gate and patted Argo.

"Poor Xena," she said to no one in particular.

Xena sifted through the remains of the bodies. One man moved slightly. She saw this from the corner of her eye and ran over to him.

"Gabrielle! Bring me some water and some clean rags!" she yelled to the bard. Gabrielle ran over the needed items as fast as she could. While applying aid to the man's wounds, Xena asked him questions about the attack.

"What happened here? Who did this?" the warrior asked gently.

"A warrior named Danaka burnt our village to the ground because we didn't know where Xena, the Warrior Princess, was. The warrior was insistent on finding her sister, Callisto, and we told her that she died by Xena's hand," the man croaked.

Xena's lips slightly parted in a sob, and her eyes started to water. This was her fault. If she hadn't been...

She shook off feelings of guilt, pity, and sadness.

She focused her emotions on anger. Her eyes flared and she stood up, adrenaline rushing through her veins. More mad than she had ever been, she raced over to Gabrielle.

"Get on the horse," the warrior instructed.

"What? Why? Is she still--" Gabrielle was confused at Xena's reaction to the situation.

"Get on the horse!" Xena said through clenched teeth. Gabrielle obeyed and mounted Argo. "Ride back to Corinth. I'll meet you at that popular inn. Pick our usual room."

Gabrielle still didn't understand, but knew that Xena needed to be alone for her recent loss - her son.

This was Solan's village, and Xena suddenly felt guilt, anger, pity, and revenge all at once.

There was still no sadness.

Xena sauntered back to the man, her sword in her hand.

"What are you doing?" the victim asked, wincing at the pain it took to speak. He stared at the warrior holding a sword over his neck.

Xena raised the sword and spoke: "It's for your own good."