Convert this page to Pilot DOC Format
by Scott Carpenter
©Copyright Scott Carpenter January 8, 1997
Changing Times is a sequel to my story, Journey of
As the three continued their long trek home
Gabrielle listened to the many stories that Xena and Sithus told, her
mind filling with visions of people and places she had never seen.
Sithus told of traveling far to the east when he was very young with
a trade caravan. He told of meeting a wondrous people who he learned
a great many skills from in his years there before returning
"Have you ever used everything you learned Sithus?"
Sithus looked to Gabrielle. "Most of what I have learned I have used,
I have taught it to others as well."
Xena smiled. "You are good at what you do Sithus."
Sithus smirked. "I know, I know." Xena laughed at his seemingly smug
After almost two weeks of travel they neared Xena's home town of
Amphipolis. Xena was excited to be getting home again in such a short
time, she planned on spending more time with her mother and
On the outskirts of Amphipolis they approached a camp along side the
road. Getting closer Xena saw a few people she knew, it was those
that helped her many years ago. The three stopped at the camp and
uncovered the chest.
It was removed by the others as their leader thanked Xena. "Xena we
cannot thank you enough for what you have done again for
Xena shook the mans hand. "Well a great deal of thanks goes to Sithus
and Gabrielle, they had a hand in it too." He shook their hands as
"Sithus, Gabrielle we do owe you a debt of gratitude."
Sithus and Gabrielle shook his hand and those of the others. "I was
only looking to do what was right. I have something else for you."
Sithus handed the reins of his horse to the man.
"We cannot except such a gift!" The man attempted to hand the reins
back and Sithus stopped him.
"No you keep him, I took him from a evil bunch and he will suit your
needs. I have a horse of my own."
The man handed the reins of the horse to another and again shook
Sithus's hand. "You are a good man Sithus, thank you."
As they moved off towards Amphipolis Gabrielle looked at Sithus. "You
are a very giving person aren't you?"
Sithus smiled. "When help is needed I give it."
Xena laughed. "Like that time you helped me off the roof?" Sithus
laughed with her without saying a thing.
Gabrielle looked on. "OK what's the joke?"
Xena was laughing so hard it brought tears to her eyes, she wiped a
tear from her eye and held up her hand to Gabrielle as she finished
laughing. "Sithus was trying to teach me backflips and we were
standing on the roof of his barn, I would not jump so he pushed me
off into the horse trough. I eventually got it, if I hadn't he would
have pushed me off again."
Sithus was still laughing at the thought of Xena as she flipped off
that roof. "You should of seen the look on her face when she got out
of the water. She looks at me and says "You pushed me!" " I looked at
her and asked her what she was going to do about it? She climbed back
up on the roof and did the flip."
Gabrielle shook her head at the thought of someone doing such a thing
and living to see another day. "So did Sithus teach you everything
you know Xena?"
Xena shook her head. "Sithus taught me a lot but not everything I
know." Xena looked to him as he did the same, a dear friend
Once in Amphipolis Xena was once again reunited with her family. They
spent three days just talking and enjoying themselves. Gabrielle told
a great many stories of the adventures she and Xena had. As they left
for their journey they stopped at the tomb of Lyceus to pay there
respects, Xena first and then Sithus.
As Xena and Gabrielle sat outside Gabrielle realized that Sithus had
been inside for a long time. "What is he doing in there
Xena looked to her friend and back to the ground. "I think he blames
himself for my brothers death more than I do."
Sithus had finished saying all he could think of to Lyceus and left.
As he walked out he wondered if Xena held him responsible at all, he
As they approached his house Sithus saw the old man walking Lika for
exercise in circles, Lika came to a halt and looked behind her.
Sithus saw Lika pull the reins from his weathered hands and trot over
to him. The horse pushed him with her nose. "Lika have you been
good?" Lika nodded and then nuzzled Thesis.
As they approached the house Malus came out of the house. "Good to
see you again sir."
Sithus mumbled something under his breath. "Malus good to see you,
have you been practicing?"
The boy kicked the ground with his boot. "As much as I
Sithus knew he had but not much. "Well keep it up. Can you and your
grandfather watch the house for a bit longer? We are only stopping
for the night and then going on in the morning."
Malus looked to his grandfather who nodded. "Yes of course we
Sithus jostled the boys hair. "Good and I expect you to practice a
bit more while I am gone."
Malus kicked at the ground again. "Yes sir."
Once inside Xena took some leather Sithus had and immediately went to
work on making a bag to hold the new chakram. Gabrielle did not go
inside, she watched as Sithus gave Malus a little instruction in
As Sithus went into the house Gabrielle walked over to Malus. "Malus
would you like to spar for a while?"
Malus looked at the young women before him. "Yes I would." Malus and
Gabrielle squared off and began to exchange blows.
Sithus looked out the window at the two out front. "That is good
practice for him."
Xena looked up from her leather project. "So are you starting a
school now." Xena laughed to herself.
"No, His father was killed about a year ago and his grandfather
wanted him to learn, so I teach him."
Not looking up as she cut a piece of leather Xena picked up a knife
from a bench and threw it at Sithus. Sithus snatched the blade from
the air and threw it back.
Xena caught the returning blade and looked up with a smile. "Just
like old times Sithus." Sithus returned the smile. "Yes it
Sithus set the table with plates and food and called Gabrielle and
Malus entered for only a moment. "I am going to take my grandfather
home Sithus, we will be back tomorrow."
Sithus handed Gabrielle a cloth. "All right Malus see you
Gabrielle wiped the sweat from her face. "You taught him well Sithus,
he almost got me a couple of times."
Sithus handed her a mug of water next. "He probably didn't want to
lose to a girl." At the word girl Gabrielle elbowed him in the ribs.
Xena was amused by his words and at Gabrielle's reaction.
Gabrielle was fascinated at what she had just realized, up until she
had met Sithus she had never heard Xena laugh or be as happy as she
was in the past years as she had in the past five weeks. It must be
As they ate no one spoke, it was a simple quiet evening. The fact
that Gabrielle was as quiet as she was made Sithus speak up. "So
Gabrielle why are you so quiet this evening? You always have
something to say."
Gabrielle looked at him and then Xena who seemed intrigued as well as
to her silence. "Oh I was just thinking of all that had gone on in
the past few weeks, a lot has gone on."
Sithus could tell she was deep in thought. "Working on more tales are
Gabrielle looked her plate and then him. " Trying to keep everything
Xena found her friends silence a bit strange, she had not seen her
this quiet in such a long time that it did seem odd to not hear her
As they finished Xena continued in her work on the case for the
chakram. Gabrielle put ink to a pen and began to write the many tales
she had heard on paper so that someday they may be heard by those yet
born. Sithus cleared the table and placed his pack on it and began
removing it's contents and laying them out. Various items he put away
and others were taken from shelves and boxes and placed back in the
Early the next morning Gabrielle awoke with a start, Xena sat up as
well. A faint sound from outside had awoken them, the sound of Sithus
opening the barn door.
Gabrielle looked to her warrior friend. "Is it me or did I just wake
up on my own because I heard something?"
Xena smiled at her. "You are more in touch with your mind and body
than ever before, it is all part of being in control of your
Gabrielle shook her head. "This is going to take some getting used
to, I usually sleep through fights not wake up to avoid
Xena chuckled as she gathered up her bedroll. "Well get used to
Sithus fed and watered the horses as Malus came inside. "Will you be
Sithus turned to the boy. "Maybe a week, Why?" Malus petted Lika's
nose. "I was just wondering if Gabrielle was coming back."
Sithus looked at the boy. "I think they have other plans Malus, she
will not be back for a while." Sithus could see the disappointment in
his expression. "Maybe by the time she gets back you will have a
fighting chance against her, you keep practicing or she will defeat
you every time."
Xena readied her things without a care in the world, she had not felt
this free in such a long time that it was invigorating. She had also
realized the fact that she was laughing and enjoying herself more now
than ever before. She credited Sithus for that. His teaching of
Gabrielle and of Joxer was the key to lifting a huge weight from her
shoulders, no longer did she constantly have to watch out for
Gabrielle's safety or worry about Joxer getting himself killed. She
would still watch Gabrielle's back but she would not worry about her
Gabrielle had noticed the change and enjoyed it. Her friend and
confidant was like a changed women in every respect. There was an air
about her that let Gabrielle know that Xena considered her more an
equal now and not a hindrance to her.
As Gabrielle stepped out of the room Xenaturned and threw a knife at
her. Gabrielle's hand snapped up and caught the blade. She stared a
cold stare at her friend. "Why did you do that?" Xena only
Gabrielle continued to stare at her with a look of frustration and
anger and threw the knife back at Xena. Xena moved as the blade
neared and turned to see it impact the wall behind her. Turning to
Xena still smiled. "Sithus and I used to do that all the time, I
would be doing something and he would throw knives at me just to keep
me on my toes. I was doing the same with you, that blade would have
missed you if you had not caught it."
Gabrielle shook her head. "Well warn me next time you decide to test
me by throwing sharp objects my direction."
Xena went and pulled the blade from the wall. "Now what good would
that do. If you know an attack is coming you have no need to be ready
Gabrielle put her bag down and sat down in a chair. "Boy this warrior
stuff is hard."
Xena messed the bards hair. "Well that's life, get used to
Gabrielle knocked her hand away in mock anger.
Xena snapped her fingers up. "Whoa, look out, mad bard."
The two of them laughed together as Sithus entered the
"I hope that laughter is not at my expense."
Xena turned to him. "Oh no Sithus it was not at you." She turned back
to Gabrielle and they laughed some more.
Sithus only shook his head. "Well that's good I wouldn't want to have
to beat up on the two of you."
Gabrielle leaped from her chair and tackled Sithus from behind
sending him tumbling out the door. Sithus never expected this from
her but it showed that she was capable of making split
Gabrielle tried to pull one of his arms behind him but he tossed her
aside, as he rose Xena attacked as well knocking his legs from under
him. As he landed he tripped Xena and sent her to the ground as
The three looked at each other laying in the dirt and began to laugh
themselves to tears.
After cleaning up and eating the three readied their horses and
headed down the road towards the land of the Amazons. Gabrielle had
realized she had never asked Sithus how he knew the Amazons. "Sithus
how did you ever get to know the Amazons?"
Sithus turned in his saddle. "Who do you think taught them to use the
Gabrielle's mouth dropped open. "You taught them?" Sithus tried to
contain a laugh. "Well only one." Gabrielle got the joke as did Xena,
he was talking about her.
Sithus thought for a moment and began to tell another tale. "I was
making my back home fourteen years ago when my horse spooked and
threw me in the Amazon lands, I broke my leg and laid there for two
days before an Amazon hunting party found me. Now they considered me
an intruder on there lands but rather than kill me one of them
decided to keep me." Sithus stopped for a moment as he remembered
those days long ago. "I was allowed to live for a reason and stayed
there for two years. After that I was allowed to leave and told I
could never return unless I brought them a gift."
Gabrielle listened intently to the tale with every intention of
telling it again someday. "So what are you bringing them?"
Sithus smiled slightly as he looked at her. "You."
Gabrielle was confused. "Me?" Sithus shook his head. "It is not
everyday that someone returns a Amazon princess to the tribe, I think
that will be good enough."
Xena looked at her friend and mockingly punched him in the arm. "What
about me, I'm the queen remember."
Sithus rubbed his arm. "Well yes you too I suppose."
Xena smiled. "That's better."
As night fell they made camp near a stream. Sithus removed a bundle
from his pack and moved from camp. Gabrielle watched as he removed a
tie from the bundle and rolled it out. Inside were a dozen knives
with no handles. Sithus pulled each one out and set them in his left
hand, he picked a large stump as a target and began throwing
Gabrielle approached as Sithus removed the blades from the stump.
"Are you always practicing?"
Sithus pulled the last of the blades from the stump and handed it to
her. "I always practice."
They moved back and Sithus threw the blades again, as the last on
left his hand Gabrielle drew back and threw the blade he had handed
her, it stuck in the stump amongst his.
Xena watched the two and thought of the days long ago when that was
her standing by his side throwing knives. A large piece of her life
was before her, Gabrielle and Sithus.
As they slept Gabrielle had a vivid dream of her adventures with
Xena. She saw Iolaus and Hercules from their quest to free
Prometheus, she saw Talus and Death and then of going to Troy and
meeting Helen and finding Perdicus there. The dream of Perdicus made
her wake up. She sat up and could still see his smiling face in her
A form moved through the rising mist of the forest. Gabrielle snapped
her head around as she caught the movement out of the corner of her
It seemed to glide from tree to tree. Gabrielle catching only
glimpses of the form as it moved as if it were floating on air.
Gabrielle looked to see her friends sleeping, she knew if there was
trouble that they would awake. She grasped her staff and slipped
quietly into the mist after the form.
As she followed the form she was intent on catching it. She saw the
form dart quickly behind a large twisted tree, she stopped and waited
for the form to move from the other side but it did not. With an air
of caution she crept forward staff at the ready. As she neared the
tree and looked to the other side of it's twisted bulk the form moved
behind her without a hint of sound.
She sensed the movement to late as a hand grasped her around the
mouth as another knocked the staff from her hand. She felt a hot
breath on her neck. A hushed voice spoke. "Hi Gabby, what are you
doing?" Gabrielle spun as the hand was removed. In front of her was a
familiar yet changed face, Joxer.
Joxer smiled at her as she picked her staff from the leaves. "Joxer
what are you doing here?"
Gabrielle hushed her words as she looked back towards camp. Joxer was
not the same from what she had last remembered, the helmet gone along
with the odd bits and pieces of his armor. A look of confidence on
his face. "I was traveling south and saw your camp, I thought I would
get in some stalking practice. I didn't know it was you and
Gabrielle had thoughts of grabbing him by the nose but did not, she
could see he had changed. "Joxer you should leave, you know how Xena
gets when she does not get a good nights sleep." She again looked
back towards camp.
His word filled her ears as she turned but he was no where to be
seen. "Fairwell dear Gabrielle."
Gabrielle looked in all directions yet could not see where he had
gone. A frightening thought ran through her mind, Joxer had snuck up
on her. She was glad he did not have his families black heart as
Sithus had said.
As she moved through the flowing mist Gabrielle could hear in the
distance the sound of Joxer moving through the forest. He had learned
well from Sithus and she would never worry again when he showed up to
Gabrielle moved back to the camp with stealth as to not wake her
friends and quietly laid down with her staff at her side.
As she lay on her bedroll next to the glowing embers of the dying
fire she again had the face of Perdicus fill her mind. She drifted
off into a peaceful sleep with thoughts of him in her head.
Early the next morning Gabrielle opened her eyes and looked to see a
bright blue sky before her. She rose and saw Xena and Sithus already
awake and moving about. Gabrielle gathered her things and noticed the
roll of throwing knives still laid open. She drew one and hefted the
cold blade in her hand.
From a crouched position she drew back her arm and let the blade fly
towards a log near Sithus. As the knife thumped into the log next to
Sithus he only glanced down at it. Xena watched the blade fly and
looked at her friend with a gleam in her eye and drew a blade of her
own and threw it at Sithus. With his back still turned he reached out
and caught it.
Sithus shot Xena a cold stare that gave Gabrielle a chill, he looked
mad. He pulled the throwing blade from the log and walked to Xena.
She stood before him with her stoic look unflinching, he handed over
her blade and continued to look her in the eye. "You want something
Xena looked into his eyes and saw the same look she had seen so many
years before after Lyceus was killed, the same cold look after she
had told him it was her fault that Lyceus had died. Xena looked at
the knife in her hand and she felt his hand lift her chin to face
him. "I asked you if you wanted something?"
She looked at his eyes once again looking for answers. "Yes there is,
I want my rematch." Sithus moved away and tossed the throwing knife
near the others and grabbed his sheathed sword and moved into the
woods. Gabrielle watched him move away and watched as Xena followed
him into the woods. She could tell that this was an event where her
presence was not welcomed or wanted.
Sithus walked a good distance and then turned to face his friend. "So
what is it they say about the student beating the teacher?"
Xena deftly drew her sword and spun it in her hand. "Something about
realizing what you have done only after it is over with."
Sithus sank to the ground with his head in his hands. Xena moved to
his side. She knew what this was about, she had seen the pain in his
eyes after they left the tomb of Lyceus "This is about Lyceus isn't
it? I blame myself for his death as much as you do Sithus, we will
share the pain together." Xena laid her sword on the ground and
hugged her friend for what seemed an eternity.
Gabrielle waited for the sound of swords clashing in the woods but it
never came. She looked up as the two of them returned from the
"So who won? It must have been a quick fight because I never heard a
thing" Sithus began rolling up his knives as Xena took Gabrielle to
the side. "We didn't fight Gabrielle, we just talked." Gabrielle
understood Xena's words and said nothing else.
As they rode on towards the land of the Amazons little was said.
Gabrielle could not stand the extreme silence that pushed her tongue
to move. "I had a dream about Perdicus again Xena."
Xena remembered the man who was Gabrielle's one and only love. "It is
good to dream of those you love." Xena's thoughts turned to Marcus.
"I also saw Joxer last night."
Xena snapped her head around to look at Gabrielle. "Joxer! last
Gabrielle could tell that she was alarmed, for Joxer to get near and
Xena not know it had put a slight hint of worry in her voice. "Yes
last night. I woke up and saw something, it turned out to be
Sithus's attitude had changed from earlier in the day. He was amused
by the slight crack in Xena's voice that he had heard, he knew that
the thought of Joxer actually being able to get near camp without her
knowing was more than she had expected. "Joxer is a sneaky fellow
without all of his old armor isn't he Gabrielle? Did you know he had
four different types of armor on? Quite a collection."
Xena bowed her head when she heard of Joxer's ability to get so near
the camp without her knowing. As she brought her head back to it's
statuesque position she sighed relief knowing that Sithus had indeed
trained Joxer well if he could get so close to camp undetected. "So
how is it Joxer was able to get so close to camp Sithus?"
Sithus pondered his answer for a moment. "The skill was there Xena,
it was only a matter of bringing it to the surface and refining it.
We all have talent inside of ourselves, it's just a matter of
uncovering it and shaping it."
Gabrielle though of an example of her own. "Like a sculptor knows
there is a form in a rock, it only needs to have the unnecessary
areas removed to bring out that which is hidden."
Sithus marveled at Gabrielle's skill. "Yes exactly, Joxer had
unnecessary things in his life and mind which hindered him from being
what he is now."
As the three neared the Amazon lands things seemed out of place,
there was an air about the land that was wrong. There was a faint
smell that both Sithus and Xena recognized, death. Entering the
forest all three of them could sense the eyes watching them from the
Deeper into the forest they rode with out seeing a trace of the
Amazons. It was unusual for anyone to move this far into Amazon
territory without their presence being challenged. Without warning
ropes dropped from the trees and eight Amazon warriors descended from
above, they surrounded the trio.
A lone Amazon stepped forward and removed her mask, it was Ephiny.
"Gabrielle, Xena, how are you?"
Gabrielle leapt from Thesis and into the arms of Ephiny and almost
knocked her to the ground. As Gabrielle and Ephiny hugged Xena and
Sithus climbed from their saddles. Ephiny knew Xena but this man with
them she had never seen. She eyed him over Gabrielle's shoulder as
the other Amazons kept their attention on him as well.
Ephiny moved to Xena and shook her hand and nodded towards Sithus.
"Who is this Xena?"
Xena could hear the caution in her voice and knew she was concerned
with his presence. "He is OK Ephiny, he is a friend."
She turned to him. "Sithus this is Ephiny." As Sithus moved forward
he saw the Amazons slightly recoil at the mention of his
Ephiny moved toward Sithus. "We know that name, we are taught that if
a man by that name ever comes to the Amazon lands he is to bring a
gift. What have brought us?"
Sithus motioned to Xena and Gabrielle. " I bring the Amazons their
Princess and Queen."
Ephiny looked at Gabrielle and Xena. "We shall see."
As they moved toward the Amazon village Sithus was watched by all of
the Amazon warriors, two in particular watched Sithus with vigor.
They were both about the same height, one with brown hair that had a
tint of blond to it and the other was a blond that had an air about
her that said she was up to something. Maia and Anthea watched him
carefully. Sithus could feel the two of them trying to stare right
through his head but he did not turn to meet there glaring
At the Amazon village Xena and Gabrielle were greeted by all, Sithus
was not. As Melosa came forward to greet them Ephiny took her aside
and whispered into her ear. A serious look washed over her face as
Xena looked back at Sithus, what was his secret.
Melosa shook the hands of Gabrielle and Xena and looked at Sithus. "I
understand your name is Sithus. You will follow me." As Melosa headed
for a hut Sithus followed.
Xena was not concerned with his well being, she knew he could take
care of himself. She did wonder what was going on. Gabrielle was
worried about what was going on as she moved to Xena's side. "What's
going on Xena?"
Xena saw her concern for the well being of Sithus. "What ever it is
we will have to wait and see."
Xena and Gabrielle were treated as royalty, even if it was not by
blood. They were still considered the Queen and Princess of the
Amazons. Ephiny approached with her son in tow and Xena realized
something. Other than small children there was not a centaur in
sight. "Ephiny were are the centaurs? Has something
Ephiny watched as Gabrielle played with her son. "Xena Krykus is
back. He escaped and has come back for revenge. The Centaurs are
guarding the southern border against his advance." Gabrielle ran
about with the young Centaur and was amazed at his agility even at
his young age.
Gabrielle stopped as the approached Xena and Ephiny. "Ephiny what do
you know of Sithus?"
Ephiny looked at her son and then Gabrielle. "All I know is the name
was taught to all Amazons starting about twelve years ago and that if
ever a man called Sithus came into the Amazon lands he was to be
bearing a gift."
Gabrielle knew Ephiny was older then she was. "So do you remember him
Ephiny shook her head as her son ran in circles around the three of
them. "I may remember something but not much, it was quite some time
The young Centaur ran up to Xena and wrapped his arms around her leg.
She looked down at him and jostled the boys hair.
Sithus stood before Melosa as she moved about. She remembered this
man from so long ago. "So as your gift to the Amazons is the
returning of Gabrielle and Xena as Princess and Queen?"
Sithus recognized Melosa from those years gone by as well. "Yes that
is my gift."
Melosa looked at him for some time and then went to a large ornate
chest, she opened it and removed a small scroll. Stopping for a
moment she then turned and handed it to him. "Celia died four years
ago, she wrote this to you before she died."
Melosa exited the hut and spread the word that Sithus was welcomed as
he unrolled the scroll and began to read.
The name of the Warlord Krykus ran through Xena's mind like a
crashing storm. He had returned for revenge and again threatened the
lives of the centaurs and the Amazons. Krykus was in for a surprise
of his life, Xena knew that with the combined efforts of the Centaurs
and Amazons and the tactics of hers and those of Sithus that he could
be defeated once again. The only question was to what end, simply to
defeat him was not enough.
Xena looked to the hut as Sithus exited holding a scroll, he was
upset she could tell. He dropped the scroll and walked into the
woods, no Amazons followed. Xena went to where the scroll lay and
read the words. "My dearest Sithus. Even as I leave this world you
are still with me. Do not grieve with an empty heart for I am alive
inside of your heart and in the lives of our daughters." Xena looked
to her friend as he walked in the trees. He needed to be alone and
she would let him be alone, for the time being.
Gabrielle saw Sithus in the woods and started towards him, she heard
Xena call her name. Gabrielle saw Xena and went to her as she watched
Sithus. "Leave Sithus alone Gabrielle, he needs time to
Gabrielle looked at the scroll in Xena's hands. "Why? What's
Xena looked to Sithus who was now leaning against a tree and then to
Gabrielle, she handed her the scroll. As Gabrielle read the words the
story Sithus had told before made sense now. "Sithus is a
Xena continued to watch him as Gabrielle spoke, she did not answer.
Gabrielle looked at Xena for the answer that did not come, she only
saw the same pained look she remembered from when she told of having
to leave her son behind with the centaurs. Gabrielle rerolled the
scroll and walked away.
Sithus sat by himself for quite sometime before noticing a young
Amazon stalking her way behind him. She had no weapons and did not
look to be dangerous so he let her alone. As she approached Sithus
she picked a stick from the ground and held it like a dagger. Her
hand rounded the tree in a mock move to slit the throat of
Sithus caught her arm as it neared him. "You should try and not make
as much noise." Sithus pulled the young amazon around the tree as he
stood, she was young, about thirteen or so. "What's your name?" She
looked at him as he released her arm. "I am called Leto." Sithus
nearly collapsed as the young Amazon ran into the village. He knew
that name, it was the name of one of his daughters.
Sithus walked back to the village and looked for Melosa, Xena stopped
him. "Are you all right Sithus?" She saw a haunting look in his eyes,
like he had seen a ghost. "Sithus are you OK?"
Her words finally registered in his head. "Yes Xena I am fine, have
you seen Melosa? I need to speak to her."
Xena could tell he was distracted by something. "I saw her near the
horses." Sithus pulled away from her and she followed. Xena had never
seen him like this.
Sithus saw Melosa talking to a Centaur, as they finished the Centaur
moved out of the village at a gallop heading south. Melosa turned and
saw Xena and Sithus approach. "Xena, Krykus is on the move with his
Xena thought for a moment. "Is it possible to catch his army in the
open? If we can catch him in the open we will have a better chance of
Melosa looked as Sithus seemed to be looking for someone. "Yes if we
move in the next two hours we can keep his army out of the
Xena looked at Sithus who still seemed distracted by something.
"Sithus I'll find Gabrielle and we can get going." Sithus only nodded
as she moved away.
Sithus finally saw the Amazon Leto and turned to Melosa. "That girl
there, is she Celia's?" Melosa looked to where he was pointing. "Yes
Sithus that is Celia's daughter, she is a good stalker. We call her
Snoop because she is always snooping around. She will be a fine
Gabrielle was talking with Ephiny as Xena ran up. "Gabrielle get your
things, Krykus is on the move."
Gabrielle went to where her staff lay as Ephiny sent her son away.
Melosa came up behind Xena. "Xena before we go to battle there is one
thing I want."
Xena slowly turned to Melosa, she did not like her tone of voice.
"What do you want?"
Melosa stepped back. "I want to lead the amazons into battle as
Queen, therefore I demand the Royal Challenge."
Xena said nothing, she moved to the center of the village and spoke
in a loud voice. "Melosa has challenged me, all Amazons will come
forth as witnesses."
A ring of Amazons slowly formed as Sithus finally made his way back
from checking on Lika. Gabrielle watched as Xena and Melosa prepared
to fight. "So choose your weapon Melosa."
Melosa smiled. "No weapons."
Sithus saw the ring of Amazons with Xena and Melosa in the center.
"Gabrielle what is going on?"
Gabrielle turned to Sithus with a smile. "Melosa challenged Xena."
Sithus watched as Xena and Melosa squared off.
The two warriors circled each other looking for an opening. Melosa
fainted a move to her right but Xena did not fall for the false move,
she only continued to circle with Melosa with a big smile on her
Melosa finally did move on Xena. Kicking at her side Xena blocked and
drove her fingers into her leg. Melosa collapsed to the ground as her
leg went numb. "This is a waste of time Melosa."
As the two had been maneuvering Gabrielle had not noticed the two
Amazons on each side of her. As Melosa fell Anthea and Maia looked at
each other and made there move to help Melosa. Gabrielle saw the two
head for her friend and did the first thing she could think
Grabbing a handful of blond and brown hair she pulled the two of them
backwards. Gabrielle spun Maia back towards Sithus. "Hold on to that
one Sithus, I will deal with her later." She turned to face Anthea
who had now drawn her sword, Melosa and Xena turned as the two
Anthea stared at Gabrielle, she knew the story of this girl an her
rise to be a Princess. "You are not an Amazon by birth and you were
never trained as an Amazon, it will be my pleasure to kill
Gabrielle held her staff at the ready. "Your right, my title is not
by blood but my training is as good as yours."
Anthea laughed. "Your training is no match for mine little
Anthea charged Gabrielle with every intention of making it a quick
kill. Maia looked at the man who held her arms fast, she attempted to
loosen his grip to no avail. Maia moved to break his grip once again
an Sithus pinched her arm in the right spot to make her legs grow
weak. "Relax Amazon you will get your turn."
Anthea's charge was meet by Gabrielle's staff, blocking the blow and
moving from her path. Anthea turned to face her once again. "Oh that
was good little one." Anthea moved closer. Gabrielle thought to days
long ago when she hoped Xena would come to her aid against such a
strong opponent, but not now.
Xena looked at Melosa. "We need to be fighting Krykus Melosa, not
Melosa nodded. "I submit Xena, Queen of the Amazons." Xena smiled and
pinched the right point to let the feeling come back to her
Anthea made her best move on Gabrielle but was met by the sting of a
staff to her legs. Before Anthea could rise from the ground Gabrielle
snapped her staff around with the point at her throat. "Do you
Anthea looked at Gabrielle and saw not a girl but a formidable
opponent who she knew was better than her.
Anthea tossed her sword from her hand. "I yield."
As Anthea got up Gabrielle looked toward Sithus. "OK Sithus let her
go." Sithus pushed the pressure point that returned the feeling to
As she regained feeling she turned and snarled at Sithus. "When I am
done with her I am coming for you." Sithus looked at her with a blank
expression. "I'll be right here."
As Maia retrieved her staff Sithus put his hand out behind him and
caught a small head. He turned to face Leto. "Hello, Snoop is it?
Nice try." He removed his hand from her forehead, she smiled at him
and then ran.
Maia was better at fighting than Anthea, she trained every day for
hours with her staff. Maia looked to the girl who had just defeated
her friend. "You may have beaten Anthea but not me."
Maia swung her staff and Gabrielle blocked the blow. "You under
estimate your opponent, I am not an Amazon but I am as good as any
Amazon with a staff."
Maia was infuriated. Gabrielle backed away from Maia as she fumed at
her words. "I will beat you and make you regret that you ever came
Gabrielle only smiled as she circled her opponent. The smug look of
Gabrielle made Maia's blood boil, this little girl before her was
going to pay for her behavior and then that man would as well. Maia
charged at Gabrielle.
Maia began throwing blow after blow at Gabrielle but to no avail,
Gabrielle blocked each one of them and then began to push the attack
back onto Maia. Maia swung her staff towards Gabrielle's side and the
attack was blocked, she attacked her legs as Gabrielle rolled out of
the way. Each attack that Maia tried was defeated, this continued to
infuriate Maia even further.
Gabrielle deflected another attack and jammed her staff into Maia's
midsection, knocking the wind from her body. Gabrielle backed off.
"You don't have to continue. Just apologize to me and that will be
the end of it."
Maia glared at Gabrielle. "Never."
Maia charged and attacked with her best move. She set her staff in
motion to strike Gabrielle in the head. Gabrielle ducked low and
kicked Maia's legs out from under her. Swiftly drawing the blade from
the sheath at her back Gabrielle held the blade to Maia's
Xena gasped as she saw the blade leave the sheath, was Gabrielle
going to kill her. Xena moved toward Gabrielle and Melosa stopped
her. "It is her right as Princess to kill Maia if she so chooses,
don't stop her Xena." Xena looked at Melosa and then Gabrielle as the
blade neared the Amazons throat.
"That was an interesting move, I'll have to remember it. Do you give
up or would you like to continue?" Maia stared at the girl who had
just beaten her, she let her staff fall from her hand. "I yield
Gabrielle stood and offered her hand, Maia just laid there. "Well
fine stay in the dirt if you like."
Gabrielle turned to Xena. "I thought for a moment there you were
going to kill her Gabrielle."
Gabrielle placed her knife back in it's place. "Kill! Her! Ha, that's
Sithus walked to where Maia still lay on the ground. "You still want
to fight me? I warn you I am better at staff fighting than
Gabrielle." Sithus extended his hand. Maia looked at him and then
took it. Rising from the dirt
Maia began dusting herself off. " So why is it that you are better at
staff fighting than the Princess?"
Sithus smiled a wicked grin. "Because I taught her."
As Maia walked away with Anthea, Sithus again stuck his hand out
behind him and caught a small head. As he turned he again saw the
same smiling face of the one nicknamed Snoop. "Nice try again little
one, maybe next time."
Sithus stopped in mid-sentence when he saw that she had the dagger he
had taken from one of Draco's men in her hand. Sithus smiled at the
daughter of Celia. "OK maybe you are getting better, can I have that
back." Leto handed him the blade and ran back into the trees
surrounding the village.
Xena had seen the girl twice approach Sithus from behind, she had
seen her sneaking all over the village. "Sithus I see you have made a
friend. She is a sneaky Amazon isn't she."
Sithus looked at the blade in his hand and then to Xena. "Well you
know what they say, like father like daughter."
Xena watched as a large smile grew on his face. "So she is one of
your daughters. Why didn't you tell me before about this?"
A Centaur came into the village at a gallop and was greeted by
Melosa. As Xena and Sithus turned the Centaur turned back in the
directions from which he had come and left. Sithus looked at Xena as
Melosa approached. "It was never important Xena and it isn't now.
They will never acknowledge a man as there father so why start now.
It was nice to see her."
Melosa rushed up to the two. "If we move now Krykus will be caught in
the open with his army."
Sithus turned to get Lika. "Well lets go Xena it's time for a
As Sithus untied Lika he again saw Leto sneaking about, only now she
had another young Amazon following behind her. Sithus smiled as he
recognized the platinum blond hair of his other daughter Dianara.
"Teach her well my little snoop."
The Amazons marched through the woods with Melosa, Xena and Gabrielle
leading. Sithus rode off to the side farther to the back. As they
passed through the expanse of trees sounds of an army could be heard
in the distance. Xena looked to Melosa and the two agreed with each
other without saying a word, the column picked up the pace.
As they neared the clearing Xena stopped Argo and turned. With a
motion or her arm she sent two halves of the column of Amazon
warriors to the east and west. Sithus stayed with the three as the
As they cleared the trees and approached the Centaur line of defense
they could see the hundreds of men that Krykus had gathered for his
attack. Lines of archers stretched across the field. Tyldus
approached the three as they neared. "Xena it is good to see you
again. Sorry I did not come to greet you but I have been busy. Where
are the rest of the Amazons?"
Xena smiled. "Oh, half of them are moving on Krykus's right flank and
the other half on his left flank." Tyldus smiled at her words, Krykus
would not expect a flanking maneuver from them.
As they waited and watched for the Amazon signal that they were in
place a lone figure on a horse suddenly bolted from the woods and
headed straight for the army. Xena thought she recognized the figure,
it was not the same but it was him. "Sithus, that is
Sithus and Gabrielle rose in their stirrups to better see the riding
form that approached the army. Sithus could only smile. Gabrielle did
not have the confidence that Sithus had. "He's going to get himself
killed, we have to stop him!"
Sithus looked at the worry that furrowed her brow. "If he dies at the
hand of a fierce Warlord in the heat of battle than he will die
happy, but don't give up on him that easily."
Joxer rode toward the army of Krykus at full gallop with confidence.
He was not afraid of the army before him or the their leader. As he
approached Krykus only thought him to be one of his scouts. He turned
to his lieutenant's. "Be ready to move on my command."
As Joxer pulled his horse to a stop behind Krykus he realized that he
had no scouts out. Turning he saw a young man with a goofy grin on
his face. "Who are you and what do you want."
Joxer sat proud in his saddle. "I, am Joxer the Magnificent. I am
giving you this opportunity to leave this field of battle with your
life." Krykus could not believe the insolence of the man and began to
laugh. Joxer only shook his head. "You know it's that kind of
attitude that gets guys like you killed."
Krykus stopped laughing. "What are you talking about."
Joxer smirked. "Hello, evil Warlord, you are only surrounded on three
sides! the Centaurs control the high ground and you have Amazons on
your flanks. They are going to wipe your army off this field in no
Krykus could no longer stand this fool before him. "I don't believe
you. I'm going to kill you and then wipe them from this
Joxer backed his horse a bit and pointed up the hill. "Do you know
who is up there with the Centaurs? Xena."
Krykus looked up and saw riders on horseback but could not make her
out. "You lie little man, I'm going to kill you for all the time you
have wasted." Krykus climbed from his horse.
Joxer backed his horse a bit farther and climbed off. "Well OK if you
want to try."
The three watched as Krykus faced off with Joxer. "I hope he
remembers everything you taught him Sithus.
Sithus moved to a better position so that he could see the
confrontation unfold before him. "Well you did, didn't you. Relax
Xena he will be fine."
Krykus drew his sword and approached this thorn in his side. Joxer
just stood there sword in hand waiting. "Hey isn't there some rule
that if I beat you I get your army?"
Krykus stopped dead in his tracks and thought for a moment. "Yes that
is how it works."
Joxer nodded "You know I always wanted my own army."
At those words Krykus charged Joxer. Joxer ducked the swing at his
head and turned to face Krykus. "You know all that running will just
tire you out." Krykus lunged at Joxer who knocked his sword aside.
"No, no your doing it wrong, you need to attack like this." Joxer
moved to Krykus's left and attacked.
Xena watched as Joxer dodged the attacks by Krykus as Sithus laughed.
"Sithus what is so funny?"
Sithus looked at Xena and Gabrielle. "You know there is one thing
Joxer was good at and that was talking, I think that's what he is
doing to Krykus. He's talking to him."
Joxer's attacks were weak at best, his only intention was to
infuriate Krykus further. Krykus moved again to remove this pain from
his sight but again was met by verbal jabs. "Now see you did it
again, you need to keep me in front of you." Krykus finally came toe
to toe with Joxer. Krykus swung with the intention of cutting him in
two and Joxer moved to the left. Krykus tried again and Joxer moved
to the right.
Now Krykus was to the breaking point and lost all control as he swung
his blade once again Joxer spun around to his left blocking the blow.
As he continued in a complete circle his sword met the flesh of
As Krykus fell in a heap at his feet Joxer smiled. "You see, you
loose your cool and what happens."
Joxer pulled his boot from under the body and moved to his horse, as
he did the former lieutenants walked up to Joxer. "We will now follow
you, what are your commands."
Joxer twisted his face while thinking. "Well my first command will be
for you two to bury that body and then you can all go
The two lieutenants stared at their new leader. "You want us to leave
Joxer climbed into his saddle and wheeled his horse around. "Do I
need to repeat myself! Yes you all can leave, I have no use for an
army." Joxer headed up the hill towards his friend as the two turned
to order the army to go home.
The three watched as Joxer rode up the hill towards them. Both Xena
and Gabrielle were stunned at what Joxer had just done. Sithus could
only smile. As he neared the three got off there horses to greet him.
Xena could now see that Joxer had changed. His armor mostly gone and
a confident look on his face that made him look different.
Joxer halted his horse at the top of the hill an dismounted to greet
his friends. "Xena, Gabrielle, how are you."
Xena hugged Joxer as did Gabrielle. "Hey Sithus your here too! What a
surprise. Are you checking up on me?"
Sithus shook his hand. " No Joxer I'm not checking up on you. We are
all traveling together."
Xena could still not get over how different Joxer was from before.
"So Joxer where are you and your army off to know?"
The serious tone of her voice was evident to all, especially Joxer.
"Whoa wait a minute Xena, I sent them all home. I have no need for an
army. My only need is to see justice done."
Xena smiled at his words. "Well that's good, I didn't want to have to
Gabrielle grabbed Joxer by the collar. " I owe you one for sneaking
up on me the other night Joxer." Gabrielle grabbed his nose playfully
and then hugged him. "You stay out of trouble."
Joxer returned the hug as he turned to get his horse. "Xena you will
have to teach me pressure points sometime, Sithus says you are a good
Xena shot a look at Sithus who shrugged his shoulders. "Well you are
Gabrielle elbowed her friend. "Hey I want to learn those as
Xena shook her head and threw her hands into the air. "Fine, fine I
will teach the two of you sometime."
Joxer astride his horse turned to leave. " That would be great Xena.
Well I'm off to right wrongs and take justice to the guilty. Good Bye
Friends." Joxer's horse reared up and Joxer waved good bye before
tearing down the hill at a gallop.
Xena put her hand on Sithus's shoulder as they headed back for the
Amazon village. "So where are you off to now Sithus?"
Sithus put his arm around her. "I need to get home and work with
Malus and a few others. How about you. Where are you and Gabrielle
na looked to Gabrielle who waited for her answer. "Well I hear there
is trouble not far from here with a band of thieves. Thought we might
go see if we can change their ways."
As the neared the village the three stopped. "Xena, Gabrielle you two
take care of yourselves and come back and see me once in a while will
Gabrielle hugged him. "We will Sithus and thank you for teaching
Sithus kissed her on the forehead. "It was my pleasure
Gabrielle went to the village to say good bye to Ephiny as Xena
approached him. "Well this is good bye for a while Sithus."
Xena moved closer still. "You still owe me that rematch." The two
"You will get it Xena, just don't wait as many years as you did to
come see me again."
As they parted ways Gabrielle looked back and nudged Xena. Sithus had
two young Amazons in tow. "Those are his daughters
She watched as they moved from the path to the trees every time he
looked back. "Do you think they will ever know he is there
Xena watched as he finally caught sight of them. "You never know
Gabrielle, times and people change."
I would like to thank Snoopmeff and Cigar4Me from UTV for giving me
the idea of letting them be part of this story. Cigar4Me was Anthea
and Snoopmeff's inspiration was Maia and Snoop. Thank you
Return to my Fan Fiction Page