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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 25, X = 27

Argo nudged Gabrielle. Gabrielle started to walk ahead into the forest.

"No - wait," Xena said softly.

Gabrielle looked around. Something looked familiar about this place...

"Ahhh!!!!!" a blood-curling scream echoed throughout the forest. Gabrielle's eyes went wide.

"Xena! We have to help whoever that is!" she said frantically.

"No. Get on behind me. This isn't gonna be a comfortable ride, so hold on tight," Xena warned. "Yah!" Argo raced ahead with Gabrielle holding tight to Xena's waist for her life.

They slowed down as the forest got more dense. Xena had to duck at certain branches, and soon they came to a ravine.

Xena looked around as Gabrielle realized where they were.

"Xena... no..." Gabrielle said breathlessly, as if she was the one in Argo's place.

Xena did not answer, she just nudged Argo to walk faster.

Gabrielle had flashbacks. Flashbacks of a recent experience - an experience not worth repeating.

She could still see Xena, throwing that ax into the man's back, as he ran away from the Athenian camp. Gabrielle's mind wandered as she relived the experience giving the men "Kaltaka", which was the Horde's word for water.

This was the Horde's territory.

The two women came to the edge of a small cliff. The way down looked like a bad one. The fast-moving water cut threw the rocks as if the water itself wanted to escape from these terrible monsters.

The Horde was a civilization all its own. The people were barbaric. They tried killing off the entire Athenian army just because they couldn't find drinking water.

The Horde was possibly the only thing that could defeat Xena. Xena pulled her chakrum out to her side as she heard the rustle in the bushes. She reached out with her free hand to catch an ax that ended up an inch from Gabrielle's face.

Gabrielle's jaw dropped.

"Yah!" Xena urged Argo to a gallop, winding in and around trees. Gabrielle felt her grip loosen around Xena's waist.

"Xena! I'm slipping!" Gabrielle cried out after about thirty seconds. Xena turned around to see her best friend practically hanging off Argo.

"Grab the saddle!" Xena instructed as she slowly stood up on Argo. She could see a few people of the Horde several yards behind them. Not far away enough.

Gabrielle's heart raced as she tried to pull herself up onto the horse.

She screamed as she felt herself losing her grip. Then she felt Xena's strong hand on her arm. Gabrielle looked up to see that Xena was standing up on Argo backwards, and her only free hand was holding Gabrielle.

They lost grip with each other as Xena was hit with an arrow. She gasped as she let go of Gabrielle by reflex.

Gabrielle hit the ground with a thud, and laid there motionless in the carpet of dry leaves.

Argo kept cantering, now that they were in a less dense part of the forest. Xena flipped off her horse to land on the ground - but landed into a pit. She had fallen into one of the Horde's traps.

It felt like she was falling forever. When she hit the ground, she laid there for a moment. As soon as she realized that she was still alive, she slowly stood up.

The pit was sticky and slimy, and Xena's companions were two old skeletons hunched over in the corner. Xena winced and looked at her right shoulder. The arrow wound wasn't bad. Xena was just grazed.

"Thank the gods for small favors," she murmured to herself. "Love to stick around, but I'm busy," Xena said to the bones.

She squatted down to the ground and jumped up high, letting a battlecry out as she flew through the air - and back down to the ground. The pit was too high.

Gabrielle she still hadn't moved. She half wondered where Xena was, and half wondered where the Horde was. She was too scared to move. Eventually, sat up slowly...

...and came face to face with the Horde leader - and about twenty of his followers.

If Gabrielle tries to make a run for it, go to chapter #12

If Gabrielle goes quietly with the Horde, trusting that Xena would save her, go to chapter #13