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Xena: Choose Your own Adventure #2


H = 23, X = 8

Xena urged Argo towards the lake. She had a bad feeling about the forest. Gabrielle had to jog to keep up.

They walked along to lake for two days, only stopping to sleep and for an occasional break. Gabrielleís feet throbbed.

"Xena... are we there yet?" Gabrielle asked, trying to lighten things up a little.

"Almost," Xena answered seriously.

"Let me tell you a story..." Gabrielle told a story of Ayria and Arkemis, Ayria being Arkemisí mother. Ayria sacrificed herself to Hestia, the goddess of the home, all because Arkemis wanted to become a warrior. Ayriaís husband died being a warrior, and Ayria was terrified for her sonís life." Gabrielle stopped the story when she saw a tear stream down Xenaís face. "Iím sorry," Gabrielle apologized.

"No... itís all right," Xena shook it off.

They continued their journey for two more days, having the same routine. After the fourth day, they came upon a village.

"Weíre here," Xena sighed, preparing herself for rejection or welcome. She tied Argo to a tree near some grass for his dinner. Xena walked in with confidence.

Or at least it looked like it.

Gabrielle stayed a good distance behind.

They could see that things were the same as they had left it a while back. Kids were playing outside, and centaurs went about doing work and helping their fellow villagers. Gabrielle couldn't help but think Xena did the right thing leaving Solan here.

"Kaleipus!" Xena called out the centaur who carried a pail of water in one hand, and a stick in the other.

"Xena!" Kaleipus seemed to be happy to see Xena.

Kaleipus was a reasonable man. He had a good grip on life, and knew when was the right time to do certain things. He even prepared himself to fight the worst centaur in history, just to make sure Solan and the rest of the community would be safe.

Kaleipus and Xena shook hands, both smiling, when a child ran up to the two. He had blue eyes, and long blond hair. He looked about ten or eleven years old. His face shone when he saw who was shaking Kaleipus' hand.

"Xena!" Solan said happily. As Xena hugged Solan, she forced back tears. Would this be the way he would hug her if he knew that she was his mother? Xena tried not to squeeze him too tight. She wanted to have him back so badly.

That thought scared her. She wanted a family? No, maybe not a family, but her son...

"Hi, Gabrielle!" Solan withdrew from Xena's arms as Gabrielle approached the rest of them. Xena felt like her heart had broken in two pieces. After exchanges of more greetings, Gabrielle turned to Xena. Xena shrugged.

"Guess no dream prophecy, eh?" Gabrielle smiled good-naturally.

Evening came quickly, or so it seemed, and everyone parted to go to bed. Gabrielle and Xena went to the inn, because Kaleipus didn't have enough room.

In their room, Xena was awake almost all night. She couldn't stop thinking about Solan. She wanted so much to tell Solan the truth, yet she was scared to tell him because it might mean new responsibilities. And then there was Gabrielle... Xena closed her eyes.

She ran through the forest.

"No! He's mine! Bring him back!" the warrior princess exclaimed, tears streaming down her face.

The monster ran faster, Xena slowed down, close to fainting. She screamed for Gabrielle to help her. No one arrived. The monster stayed in view. The young boy being carried by the monster had long blond hair, and was crying out for someone.

His mother.

Xena jolted awake. Gabrielle didn't move.

"The same dream..." Xena said hoarsely. Something was going on, and Xena did not like the feeling.

If Xena wakes up Gabrielle, go to chapter #14.

If Xena sneaks out to go see Solan, go to chapter #15.