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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 32, X = 2

"Iím leaving," Joxer said sadly. No one argued with him as he left the two standing.

He walked away slowly, Gabrielle and Xena watching him intently.

They traveled alone for the rest of the day, Gabrielle secretly upset that he was gone. He was comic relief. Xena could have cared less.

At dusk, they took a short break, feeding themselves and feeding Argo. Just then, a man ran down the road, out of breath.

"Are you... Xena?" he asked. Xena nodded, motioning for the man to sit down on a nearby boulder. He did.

"Itís Autolycus... the King of Thieves... he told me to send out messages about his death... he died by the evilest god of them all," the man said.

"Who?" Gabrielle asked, stunned by the manís recent news.

"Zeus. Autolycus claims that he didnít take Demeterís narcissus flower, but the god Hermes says otherwise. Zeus believed Hermes, and now Autolycus is dead!" the man cried, his voice cracking.

"You are...?" Xena prompted the introduction, narrowing her eyes.

"Iím Phileis, the messenger of Athens," the man said.

"Well, Phileis, I wouldnít worry about it too much. We have this totally under control," Xena said calmly. She looked at Gabrielle and then inhaled deeply, ready to let out a huge breath.

"Hades!" she screamed.

Before she knew it, she was standing on his floor in his kitchen... the whole scene looking very familiar. There was a flash of bright light as the handsome god stood before her.

"Xena, havenít we been through this before?" Hades sighed impatiently.

"I need you to give Autolycus back. It wasnít his time to go! Zeusó" Xena started, beginning to raise her voice.

"Zeus is a pain! I wish I could justó" he stopped when he realized how loud he was talking. "I mean, I canít give you Autolycus back."

"Why not?"

"Because I never took him in the first place. Heís still up there," Hades pointed to his ceiling. "You know, Xena, you need to do some research on the facts before you come down here to push me around. I donít deal with that very well. You also need to stop dropping by whenever you get the chance."

Xena sighed. She was going to find that Phileis and wring his neck.

"Fine. Iím sorry for the intrusion. Iíll leave now," she said. Hades pointed his finger at the Warrior Princess and she was back in front of Gabrielle and Phileis.

This time, Gabrielle wasnít standing by the rock. She was caught by Phileis. Phileis grabbed her flailing arms and set them by her sides, grasping her tightly.

"Xena - come any closer and sheís dead," Phileis showed the warrior his dagger at the bardís neck. Gabrielle was whimpering, every once in awhile struggling to get away.

"I know who you really are," Xena said to the messenger. "Hermes, you had better let Gabrielle go."

Phileis turned into a god with winged feet. "Or what?" he asked.

"Or this might happen to you!" a voice called out from behind Hermes. With a neck chop and a kick, Gabrielle was free and grabbing a hold of the King of Thieves.

"Just in time," Xena grinned as the god dissolved, grunting and knowing he was defeated.

"Good thing Zeus let me go," Autolycus said breathlessly, Gabrielle looking on admiringly.

"Howíd you do it? How did you convince himó" Gabrielle started.

"Joxer," Autolycus said.

"Huh?" Gabrielle asked.

"Joxer came to Mount Olympus, acting like he was going to save me, and a flower fell out of his pocket as he tried to punch the Furies. It was the Narcissus. Story over!" Autolycus said happily.

"Whereís Joxer?" Gabrielle asked.

"He ran away from Zeus, and heís probably still running," Autolycus said. The other two laughed. Autolycus turned serious. "But Iíve learned a valuable lesson from all of this..."

"Not to steal?" Gabrielle chuckled. Autolycus laughed.

"Ha! No! I learned that I should steal everything I can that is valuable, so next time I wonít have to lie when it comes to being on trial!"