Convert this page to Pilot DOC Format
The characters, names and storylines which have appeared in the syndicated television show Xena: Warrior Princess are copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. All other characters in this story and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be used or sold for profit in any way. This story has been written solely for the reading enjoyment of Xena: Warrior Princess fans of the Internet.
This story is meant to take place between the time of the episodes "Sacrifice II" and "A Family Affair".
Note to Reader:
The author has tried to present Hope as she is on the show. She is a dark character. She has however on occasion shown some small interest in her mother. Her love for mother is not guaranteed, however there is always...hope.
The Quiet Survivor
"Why mother!? Why!?" she screamed as the hot winds of the lava pit pulled her down. She was falling and powerless. Her arms were flailing madly to the air, desperately reaching out for anything to grab. Nothing. Her thoughts were not of mother, or her duties to father, or even herself. Only the fearful uneasiness of her decent.
Her arm hit a side of the pit and she was sent into a new direction. She could see her mother's body twirl around in the air above her. Then she lost sight of mother as she too rolled around to see the boiling lava below. She let out another scream that echoed through her mind, making her feel all the worse. No! This could not be happening to her. She was Hope. She was the daughter of the god of all fires and evils, Dahak.
A deafening sound caused her to snap her eyes to the lava below. A huge column of flame shot out towards her. She tried to shake herself to the side but it was useless. She had no footing from which to move. All she could do was scream further as the flames raced up towards her and covered her body.
A hypnotic feeling of warmth washed over Hope as she floated within a realm of pure fire. Her skin felt the flames as they brushed across her body and yet somehow she knew she was not being burnt. She took a slow, deep breath and was greeted by the smell of brimstone and ash. In her thoughts, she smiled as it was a welcoming scent she knew all too well. This was the realm of father. The realm of Dahak himself.
Dahak was an elemental god of fire. His powers extended far beyond the limited imaginations of mortals. He was not merely fire but a thinking, living being as were all within this place. No mortal could ever begin to truly comprehend this realm. Comparing Dahak to a simple camp fire would be as meaningless as the relationship between the life of a human being compared to that of a blade of grass. The depths of awareness here, flowing to and through one another were indescribable to the human mind. This realization surprised Hope as well, for she was afterall limited to the nature of mortality herself. She was the daughter of one such mortal, an Amazon bard named Gabrielle. Her thoughts quickly returned to her surroundings as she opened her eyes, not in a physical sense but somehow through thought.
She was silenced by the surreal beauty of this realm. Colors she could never have imagined moved around her. This realm was alive with fire. It was a never-ending ocean of flame, molten lava and inferno. All manner of creatures lived here: from the armies of the various fire gods, to the demons and lost souls of other beliefs, to the presense of the realm itself. She somehow knew that the fire realm was believed to be a great form of life from which all around her originated.
It was very easy for a mortal such as herself to loose her control here. She was strongly tempted to view the great depths of this realm and forget herself. A change in the flows of the flames around her caused her to focus her attention. A presense was forming around her. She could feel it. She knew that another life was in contact with her and this one felt powerful and familiar.
"Father." She thought out loud. "I am pleased that you have delivered me to this place of rest."
Dahak's thoughts were deep and echoing like thunder. "Daughter. This is not as it was meant to be. Your work is unfinished. You are to return to the realm of mortals."
"But how is that? I have fallen beyond reach. Surely this is what they refer to as an afterlife."
"No, my daughter. It is much more than such a limited definition. You live. It was I who reached up to guide you here. To save you."
Hope smiled at that. "Thank you father."
"You are to return to the realm of the mortals and continue your work. Your child is safe. I have sensed it. It shall make this mortal realm in my image as will its siblings. Then my power shall rule the world. I shall extend my reach well beyond this realm into many others."
"Yes, father." It was all that she felt needed to be said.
Hope could sense that she was being lifted through the ocean of flames. Her thoughts reflected towards the place known as Greece. As she considered her activities there, she could feel that father had already taken her there. A great column of flame reached up from the pit and brought her to the very edge from which she had fallen before. She was placed gently down upon the cold stone floor. The flame then returned to the lava pit and she was left alone.
Hope resisted the urge to shiver. The air seemed so cold compared to the fire realm. Even the heat from the lava pit below seemed inadequate. She opened her eyes and sat up. Looking around her, she could see that things were just as she had remembered them. To the far back wall was the huge skull which rested against the wall. She had no idea where father had found it. To the sides, she could see two tables. As she looked around however, she noticed that several decorative items were missing. This caused her to frown. She would have to look into this matter if time allowed.
No one was here except for Hope. Ares was nowhere to be found. This angered her slightly. He was to be her chosen. She shook her head is disappointment. How could she expect anything less from him. He had seen her fall with his own eyes and had probably considered her lost. It was of no great concern. He would likely return soon enough once he realized that she was safe.
She stood and examined herself. Her appearance was just like mother: blond hair, green eyes, a simple brown cloth skirt and a green top. Hope brushed the dirt and ash off of her as best she could and walked toward the entrance. She started to leave but paused. Her hands went to her stomach as she felt the slightest of movements. Hope smiled. Her son would soon enter this world and make it in her father's image. She walked out into the sunlight and started toward the place father had suggested. Father had mentioned only one simple word to her that held great meaning. "Poteidaia."
Hope had been walking along the dirt trail for several hours without meeting anyone. Only the rustle of leaves in the warm autumn breeze and the occasional forest animals greeted her. She looked down at the trail as she walked. The grass slowly began to reclaim the path, a sure sign that it was not often traveled upon.
After some time, she became restless with her journey and remembered it would be time to eat. Almost dutifully, a small brown and white rabbit hopped along the trail toward her. The rabbit stopped some distance in front of her and looked up at her. She returned the stare with cold green eyes. The rabbit seemed taken by her glare and remained motionless. She smiled. In no time at all, she had the animal as she needed it. She took out the ceremonial dagger attached to her brown skirt and began to prepare the defenseless rabbit for her meal. A slight movement of her finger created a fire for the evening.
Sunset fell quickly upon the land. Hope's fire was all that could be seen for some distance. She sat back against a fallen elm tree and watched as the flames of the campfire reached up to the sky. The edges of the flame raced desperately upwards and to the side as a gentle breeze passed over her camp. The quiet rustling of the weeds preceded the gentle breeze which chilled her slightly. She drew her cape around her tightly and stared into the fire. With only a slight thought, the flames rose higher and the night seemed warmer. Hope relaxed and closed her eyes. As she slept, the flames of the campfire appeared brighter than normal. As though a far greater power was watching over her.
"C'mon Ceredis! Move! We ain't got all day." Gareb was frustrated from all his effort of pulling the old cart. He was a big stocky man in simple peasant clothing. His half-witted brother Ceredis traveled with him on occasion. Ceredis was supposed to be pushing the cart as he pulled it, but Ceredis frequently lagged behind. The poor condition of the dirt road was no help. Gareb was in a bad mood from having to pull the cart since sunrise. It was loaded with all kinds of goods and merchandise: most purchased and some stolen.
"I'm trying, Gareb. Honest." was his brother's only response.
"Well, try harder. We'll never make it to the next village at this rate." Ceredis pushed along as best he could which didn't seem to be helping as far as Gareb was concerned. If it wasn't for his brother needing to support a wife and child, Gareb would have left him behind long ago. He grumbled as he continued to pull the cart along.
Up ahead, Gareb could see that a woman was walking up to the road from a side path. She was traveling in the same direction as they were. As he continued to pull the cart, she stopped and looked to both of the men. Her eyes held a confidence in herself that he rarely saw in women. Gareb smirked. He had conned more than one woman out of their gold. He didn't see why this one should be any different.
The woman stopped and allowed them to pull the cart past her before continuing. Ceredis gave an enthusiastic greeting much to Gareb's annoyance. The woman returned the greeting quietly, studying the goods on the cart as they all continued to walk. Ceredis mind was simple and easy to direct. In no time at all, the conversation revealed that the two brothers made a living by trading goods from town to town. Ceredis admitted from time to time they took things, but only from abandoned places. Empty huts, caves and unused temples.
Ceredis was telling Hope of a recent trip to a war god's temple when the
abruptly stopped. Gareb walked to the back and yelled at Ceredis before
turning to Hope. "Listen miss. We're in the business of buying and
You want to buy or not?"
Hope was not interested in purchasing anything, only in where some of the merchandise on the cart was taken from. Gareb frowned. He knew an accusation when he heard one. He placed his hand on the young woman's shoulder to warn her away, when a sharp pain caused him to lift his hand quickly. He shook his hand and looked at it. It felt as though it had been on fire. He looked to the woman and growled, taking a swing at her. She easily moved to the side and kept her foot in place. Gareb lost his balance and fell.
Ceredis backed away to the far corner of the cart and watched. He saw his brother reach for a club and swing at the woman. He missed both times. An unseen force threw the big man up into the air and then to the ground. Ceredis leaned against the other side of the cart unable to look. Sounds of movement stopped with a sudden yell. Ceredis recognized the sound of his brother's voice. He closed his eyes.
Ceredis opened his eyes and yelped. The woman's face was just inches from his own. He hadn't even heard her move next to him. She asked where the temple of the war god was located and he dutifully pointed, his arm shaking as he did so. Hope tilted her head and smiled to him. He returned the smile nervously. As Hope's smile grew colder and a flame-like glow began to form in her hand, Ceredis got the distinct impression that this wasn't a very nice lady.
The trip to the war god's temple remained uneventful. Hope encountered no further delays as she made her way through a wheat field near the temple. The wheat rose to her waste as she passed through it. She was surprised that Ares allowed for such things near his temples, but quickly remembered that the Olympians were one's for cooperation on occasion. That might be a factor to consider in the future, though she doubted the gods would be prepared for the sudden force her father would use.
The temple appeared as she had expected, menacing and suggestive of power. Huge columns of dark grey marble stood near the entrance and to the sides. Designs of soldiers fighting and of a great battle were carved into the upper sides of the temple roof. Some warlike weapons lay scattered upon the ground and there were also burn marks near the main path. She quietly walked up the ancient steps to enter the temple, holding a small pouch of gold pieces previously owned by the two unfortunate thieves.
The inside of the temple was equally impressive. Large tapestries, weapons and statues decorated the main hall. She walked toward a bronze statue of a Roman soldier and admired its craftsmanship. Various gifts of weapons and gold lined the sides of the main hall. Golden cups, chalices and plates were filled with all kinds of valuable jewels. Hope placed the pouch of gold coins with these other items. She then looked to the distance to see the two individuals who were quietly speaking to one another.
A man and woman were having a conversation. By their actions, Hope determined they held some level of authority among their own people. The man wore a small crown and dark cape around his clothing. The woman was dressed in black clothing as well and was seated on what must be a throne. She seemed comfortable sitting on the throne. As Hope approached them, the woman looked over and took notice of her. The man turned to look at her as well. Both seemed to study her as though they recognized some similar feeling of power and authority.
The woman stood from the throne and greeted Hope. "You stand in the temple of an Olympian goddess. I am Discord, goddess of war." The man near her nodded a greeting toward Hope. "This is Hades, lord of the underworld."
"Goddess of war." Hope thought out loud to herself. "Then Ares is no more?"
Discord looked to Hope with minor disapproval. "Ares....has found himself in disfavor with Zeus and most of the other gods. For reasons I am sure you are well aware."
Hope shrugged. "He has a way of turning loss into opportunity."
"Yes, he does." Hades responded. "You seem to understand him well."
"Of course she does." Discord responded. "She and Ares planned on creating a new race of gods. They think alike."
Hope could sense by Discord's words that the goddess felt uneasy. She studied Hades for a few seconds. "Hades, god of death. I find your interests to be favorable." She looked deeply into his eyes. "I see no reason why Ares should be the only one to benefit from the new order that will come to pass."
The god of the underworld smiled slightly to her, averting her attempted control over him. "Order is easy to plan, but often difficult to ensure. Either way, in the end all come to me in due time. I have learned to be patient."
Hope considered his words. "Times change. They always do. The new rises up to replace the old. It is that way with mortals and gods alike if I understand history correctly."
"Hades may choose to be patient if he wants. But I didn't just earn this power to have it taken away." Discord stepped forward to face Hope directly. A bright ball of orange flame surged into her hand and she quickly threw it at Hope.
Hope's eyebrow raised upward in interest. Had this one intentionally done something to harm Ares? She looked up from her thoughts just in time to see the flame blast into her. She was thrown back slightly, more by the force of impact than by the flames. The flames were easy enough for her body to absorb. Rage overcame Hope. She had been targeted where her child now rested.
Hope quickly backed away and avoided another blast of fire. Her eyes focused on one of the four main columns of the temple. With a slight thought, the base of the column snapped. Discord turned quickly to see the massive slab of marble which was meant to crush her. Hades hand shot up into the air and the falling debris quickly aged into dust, which dropped harmlessly to the ground like a blanket of powder.
Hades turned to address Hope. "All things, mortal or otherwise, can be made to die by my hand."
Hope looked to him and then slowly withdrew herself from the Olympian temple. "Indeed, all things can be made to die." Hades took no immediate threat from the suggestion. Discord however was ready for further conflict. She stood covered with dark grey powder, looking angered as Hope left the temple.
Hope looked back to the temple of war from a distance. Beyond the wheat field it appeared as only a small shade of grey against the horizon once more. She found herself wondering what had happened to Ares. Had he been betrayed by the one named Discord or perhaps the Olympians had imprisoned him somehow. Most unfortunate, considering he was one of the few gods she had encountered who held promise. He held a love for those events which would soon come to pass. True, there were other gods from other lands who devoted their efforts to warfare, but Ares had a certain....character that she found interesting.
She continued her pace along the dirt road, walking once more in the general direction which would lead to Poteidaia. It was a sunny, warm day, with almost no wind at all. The winding path before her appeared to rise and then fall into what was probably a valley. Upon reaching the crest of the hill, Hope saw a farming village. There were over twenty homes and a few larger buildings. She smiled to herself, thinking these mortals would eliminate her boredom for a time.
As she made her way to the village, Hope could hear the faintest sound of rustling within the wheat field. She turned and looked across the top of the field, trying to decide what was making the sound. Her eyes narrowed slightly and the wheat began to part. The rustling sound moved further to the left but Hope's concentration quickly found her target. With a short thought, the wheat around the object flattened out to reveal a small blonde haired girl. Hope stood there quietly looking at her. She wore a simple brown dress with her hair tied back. She smiled and giggled innocently, running off through the wheat field and back to the village. Hope frowned but let the child return.
Hope approached the edge of the village when a sharp pain caused her to cry out and she fell to the ground. Her hand reached to her stomach where her child was, concerned for its safety and puzzled at the same time. She felt as though the child was on fire, but knew that was not the case. A couple of villagers must have heard her. Two men and a woman approached her.
Hope was in no mood to deal with the mortals. She slowly stood and told them to return to what they were doing. The men hesitated for a few seconds. She seemed to be standing now and alright so they returned. The woman stayed and walked with Hope. Her name was Alyssa. Hope considered giving a forceful response to the woman to send her on her way, when she saw the young child once more. The little girl ran up to Alyssa and smiled, looking to Hope and then back to Alyssa. Alyssa returned the young child's smile and reached down to hug the child.
"This is my darling daughter Amber." Alyssa said with a mother's pride.
Hope looked to the child with a slight sense of emptiness, thinking of those years she had spent away from her mother.
"Hello." Amber said, looking up to Hope. "I'm Amber. I'm gonna be a Amazon princess when I grow up."
Alyssa smiled softly. "Yes, I'm sure you will be. Now run along now like a good Amazon girl."
"Yes mommy." Amber ran along the road back to the village, making play sounds as she fought off imaginary villains that would dare to attack her Amazon village.
Alyssa explained that two Amazon women helped her family fix a broken wagon several weeks ago and Amber had taken a liking to them ever since. She thought it was good for the child to want to be strong. Hope agreed to that, pausing by a tavern door. Alyssa looked to her and asked is she was ill. Hope explained that she was expecting a child soon.
Alyssa was surprised. "You don't appear to be far along, judging by the look of you."
Hope smiled slightly. "My family always has had unusual child births."
Alyssa smiled politely and offered to take her into the tavern and rest. There were a few rooms upstairs. Hope agreed to enter the tavern for a drink of water, but she would require a more quiet place to rest. A more private place. Alyssa understood. They entered the bar where the owner was cleaning up from an apparent brawl. Two tables were broken and several chairs had been thrown around.
The owner saw the two women and returned behind the bar to get their drinks.
Hope drank her water quickly and asked of a barn or stable that might be nearby. Alyssa was a bit concerned that she would be staying in a barn with her condition but guessed that it would be only temporary. She promised to talk to the village healer. Their healer was a wise woman who would likely provide shelter for Hope when the time came.
Both women left minutes later to find a place for Hope to sleep that night. A local man from the bar entered to get a drink. He looked around at the mess and smirked. "Busy night Reyn?"
Reyn the tavern owner grumbled. "These fights are going to send me to the poor house."
The man nodded sympathetically, pointing to a bottle of ale on the back wall. "Farm fence dispute?"
Reyn reached for the bottle and a mug. "No, some woman actually."
The man took the mug of ale and took a sip. "Woman?" He smiled in disbelief.
Reyn leaned forward against the bar talking to him. "Yeah some woman." He shook his head at the thought of her. "A warrior by the look of her. She had some crazy, miserable look in her eye the whole night. Like she'd lost her best friend or something. All I know is she busted up the place."
The man nodded his head listening. He reached over to the bowl of bread sticks.
Reyn glanced briefly out the window, watching the farmer's wife Alyssa talking to a new friend of hers. Reyn looked back to the man at the bar and continued to explain with a shrug. "She paid for the damages so I let her sleep it off in a room upstairs. Man, that lady can hold her ale, and she had a lot of it too. I just hope she wakes up tomorrow with a better attitude and moves on."
The tavern owner looked out the window again at Alyssa and her nice looking friend. He smiled to himself. "We don't need women like that one upstairs in the village. They're nothing but trouble."
The man at the bar nodded his head in agreement.
Outside, Hope glanced briefly at the tavern and then around the village. She thanked Alyssa for her generosity and headed home with the woman. Perhaps she would spare these people so that they might serve her father. She smiled coldly at the thought as Alyssa took her to her home...
The Quiet Survivor continues in Chapter 6
|Chapter 1 - 5||Chapter 6 - 10||Chapter 11 - 15|
|Listings of works by GabbysHOPE|
|Return to the Fan Fiction area|