|Feedback can be mailed to Richard k. at Torbaykiwi@icqmail.com|
* * *
Gabrielle's son reluctantly agreed to his daughter's quest. In fact Sharad Jr. will escort Lilly to Greece himself to lay his mother Gabrielle's ashes to rest in Potedeia.
Lilly hobbled painfully and slowly outside. Near her Grandmother's place of death a tree was growing fast. Her blood still marred the place of where she was brutally murdered by T'Keya.
A shrine of new life was a good sign. Nature had been kind.
The gods had not. How she hated the gods.
Soon Lilly's quest would begin.
Leaning heavily onto Gabrielle's Amazon staff, she painfully moved the few metres toward the cart that was waiting for her.
Servants wanted to help her. She scowled at them. This was her struggle, her legacy. No one will be there for her for what she must do.
Gabrielle was always by her side. Watching over her. Protecting her.
How Lilly longed to be Xena again in the past.
Right the wrong decisions.
Not to have gone to Japan. So many years ago. So much time wasted.
The pain she caused Gabrielle when she fought her final battle to the death. It was Akeme's fault. She knew that now for sure. Should have sailed away from Japan. Should have stayed with Gabrielle.
Their lives would have been so much happier. Xena should have made Gabrielle happy.
A tear escaped as the memory eluded her from a past life.
She was nearly there. Nearly at the cart.
She faltered for a moment, yet did not fall. She scowled again - annoyed at the servant who caught her. But it was not the servant supporting her. A familiar lovely face with eyes full of compassion and love greeted her awful twist of fate.
Gabrielle was always there - yet they could never be together in life. At least not in this lifetime. In this incarnation. Who knows what the future will bring.
Holding onto the staff she struggled onto the seat. Muscles stiff from rare usage or damaged beyond repair.
Her seven chakras were aligned. Her body was crooked. Her spirit was strong. Her body was weak.
This was going to be a long painful trip. She put her hand in her sash, feeling for the urn that contained Gabrielle's ashes. Comforted by their closeness.
The cart moved and the sudden jolt shot a searing pain through her young body. Her young face contorted in pain, but she refused to scream. Soon her pain will go numb and she can drift away to the safe place in her mind.
The place her meditations take her.
To be embraced and comforted by Gabrielle.
Lilly longed for that place now.
She started to breathe.
The cart moved and shuddered.
A steady rhythm. Soothing her mind. Embracing her physical pain.
Lilly became one with Xena's mind.
Lilly fell asleep - in deep meditation.
Xena was with Gabrielle again.
Together - forever. Breathe.
Inhale through the nose - after a moment - exhale through slightly parted lips. Breathe.
Lilly drifted off, deeper and deeper.
* * *
After months of traveling our Indian family arrive at a port in Greece. The trip overseas was uneventful and even soothing. It was as if the gods themselves protected the task at hand. Lilly's walk had improved a little. She found with walking more some muscles would grow strong enough to hold her up where other muscles failed.
Lilly's father found it prudent to stay a couple of days at a tavern, rather then continue on their journey. It would still be several days yet before they would reach Potedeia.
Rest would not come easily tonight for any of them. Lilly felt it first. The hairs in the nape of her neck stood on end. She kept very still when a brooding God appeared among them out of thin air.
'Gabrielle protect me.' Thought the young girl to herself. Her heart skipped a beat - she found him absolutely gorgeous. Her face remained absolute. She did not react to his presence and remained dead calm. Her old soul savored the view studying every sinew flexing in the God's body. His leather-clad armor remained as stylish as ever. His hair was long and silky and Lilly's old soul fantasized desperately to get close enough to touch him in that favorite place of his. To hear his moans once more. The Xena soul wanted Ares really bad - and she really wanted to do some naughty things to him right now.
Lilly stayed impassive and did not react as old Ares wafted past. Ares completely ignored her anyway. He looked sad. Lilly guessed that he must know that his daughter is dead. Lilly stayed calm. 'Gabrielle protect me.' She whispered softly.
Ares felt a presence he knew well. A presence that would remain known to him forever in his heart. Xena was here. Xena was close. Where are you hiding my love, he thought. He noticed the lame girl looking strangely at him. He knew that look well. Lust. Well, he always had that effect on women anyway. But there was something naggingly familiar about the girl.
He noted that she was trying very hard to ignore him - this he found intriguing. For now, he would be content to find out more about this girl, the hard way. The round-a-bout way, instead of asking directly. There was something…he dismissed the idea. Chuckling he disappeared into another dimension.
'Thank you, Gabrielle.'
'For what, my dear.'
'For protecting me against Ares.'
'Sorry, didn't do anything. I think he saw how you looked at him.'
'I knew it. You still have strong feelings for him, don't you Xena?' Gabrielle teased.
Lilly couldn't hide these puberty feelings. 'He's so gorgeous.' She sighed.
'And deadly. I see that even incarnating in a new body doesn't stop you from falling for the same God.' Gabrielle snickered.
'But I don't love him like I love you.' Said Lilly confused.
'Problem still remains. He's a god. I'm a ghost.'
'You'd better get some sleep - its still a long way to Potedeia. Its a long way to go.'
* * *
Lilly's dreaming was very different the night she saw Ares. As her Xena soul tried to control herself of the sudden erotic crush she felt for this god. Her dreams of lust and passion made her imagine being close to him. Their skins touching - the friction mesmerizing. A sudden tingling of anticipation. Lilly saw her body whole and complete - she saw that she was Xena.
Her strong thighs embraced Ares' body mid-waist sitting on top of him on his bed of skulls. Xena leaned forward, caressing him as he caressed her in return, played and kneaded parts of Ares' chest muscles. She bit him playfully in the soft skin surrounding his nipple. He gasped as she pulled it slightly, teasing him - then letting go and traveled down his body, her love bites pinching bits of tight muscles along the way.
She fondled with the godly muscle between her fingers, coaxing it to grow and stiffen. Ares was amazed at Xena's nimble fingers at play and then, just before a sudden rush she slipped snugly over the organ, gently starting to rock - then harder and faster. Ares was moaning in satisfaction, begged her for mercy as he felt her inner muscles squeeze his godliness between strong thighs.
The dream suddenly changed focus. On the one hand she was making love with Ares - a memory that Xena fondly remembers. Then strangely enough Ares' body blurs into Gabrielle.
A memory flash of ecstasy - of the Warrior Princess and the Warrior Bard embraced in mortal love. Their bare skins touching, both caressing each other in turn. Xena wanted to be gentle with the bard - soothing. But Gabrielle's need was more demanding and Xena found she could surrender to her every whim as the little woman showed her another side to her that a man could never comprehend. Muscles honed for fighting were being employed to entrap and explore. The Bard's nimble fingers that so carefully wrote the script of their adventures together were now teasing Xena's inner thigh muscles playing a new game.
As Xena remembered her juices starting to flow a low rumble from within her wanted to say the words. Gabrielle stifled any immediate response by kissing her lover passionately, lying on top of her, caressing her breasts - teasing her nipples with her nimble fingers - that only a moment ago were dancing between her thighs. Her moaning grew louder with satisfaction. And still it wasn't enough for the little bard as she continued with more proliferation.
Xena remembers the dream - Lilly was fantasizing. This was the life and loves of her former incarnation - Lilly knows the strong love held by Xena of Ares and of Gabrielle. Lilly could feel each physical touch. And although this never happened in Lilly's life, it did happen quite often in Xena's.
Lilly dreamed the memories of love and lust of Xena's life as if it were her own. It did not matter to Lilly if it was Ares - The God of War or Gabrielle - the Warrior Bard.
Each love was equally as strong.
Each physical attraction had a bond with both - both felt really good and comfortable, because Xena loved them both.
Lilly was just there for the ride - this fantasy she would savor - the fantasy of Xena's sexual memories. Xena's memory of being close to Gabrielle came to the surface once more and she exhalted in the memory of passion she harbored for the bard.
Xena's soul forced the dream mix of memory with fantasy of her past erotic lifestyle onto her new incarnation with undiluted determination.
* * *
Lilly woke up - sweating, relieved it was a vivid dream. Her love for her grandmother Gabrielle obviously went much deeper than anticipated. The Xena soul within her had strong memories of her past incarnation. She knew of the world of the senses that she was now a part of. For love to be complete in this world sex played its role to the fullest, bringing forth a trust that could multiply each emotion ten-fold.
Lilly knew that Xena still had strong feelings for the God of War, as she also knew that Xena had equally strong feelings for her twin-soul Gabrielle.
Maybe if she prayed to Narayana for guidance - she may yet find out what Ares is up to.
Other strong memories of Ares came up and Lilly knew it was a forewarning she must heed. T'Keya was a chip of the old block and Ares would stop at nothing to have his form of justice presented on whoever crossed his path.
Lilly remembers the passion brought forth through Xena's memory - that making love to Ares triggered a deeper emotion of making love to Gabrielle.
She sees Gabrielle at the foot of her bed, dutifully looking after her. Lilly sees her grandmother differently now - as Xena remembers her close relationship with Gabrielle. She smiles a loving smile at Gabrielle and Gabrielle in turn returns her smile.
Tonight Lilly will sleep more fitfully - knowing the truth - as she wished to reunite with her twin-soul.
* * *
Somehow Ares knew that the lame girl was Xena. The thought kept nagging him - he knew the girl recognized him. She was here in Greece, which made him think of something important.
Where was Gabrielle?
So, to sum up his thoughts at the moment. His daughter T'Keya leaves Mount Olympus a few years ago to look for Gabrielle - most probably to kill her. She probably succeeded - but he knew that his daughter was dead as well.
The lame girl was Xena re-incarnated and she knows it, too.
Gabrielle is dead.
T'Keya is dead.
Xena is alive.
Who is the only person capable to kill a god? Xena!
But wait a minute - Xena lost the power to kill gods when she tried to kill the Archangel Michael.
There was something missing.
An ancient piece of the puzzle.
No, that was fused and made useless, unless…
Author's Sarcasm: It is amazing, don't you think? To see the Al Bundy style of thinking at work.
I do believe he's figured it out. Aphrodite is right - Ares is not very bright.
Ares had a sudden insight - Xena killed her own daughter T'Keya. The realization brought fury and his selfish sadness to tantamount proportions.
His revenge will be satisfied and he flashed out of existence to find the bearer of Xena's soul: Lilly.
* * *
After several days of traveling our Indian family reach the village of Potedeia. Their arrival was honored by the villagers as everyone knew of their the legendary Warrior Bard that was born here almost a four score ago. Sharad Junior was pleased to meet his cousins and shared a wealth of storytelling which ran in the family. The Greeks were grieved at the knowledge that their beloved Gabrielle died at the hands of a deranged god. They tried to understand how a daughter of a peaceful village could die with warrior honor.
Lilly explained to her father that these peace loving villagers never accepted Xena - the friend of Gabrielle. In fact, they still blamed Xena for taking and changing Gabrielle forever. Sharad understood and omitted any reference to the Warrior Princess.
After a good nights rest at the old farmstead owned by the cousins. Sharad and Lilly went to look for the secret cave. Sharad was amazed at how well Lilly knew the place. He knew that his mother Gabrielle was guiding his daughter.
They found the lock, fiddled with the mechanism and unlocked the vault door. Lilly wanted to go in alone and told her father not to worry - everything would be fine. One final check to make sure she had everything and she disappeared inside the cave following the flame of an oil-lamp she carried with her.
Narayana would protect her - Gabrielle would watch over her. As Ares stayed lurking in the shadows watching his prey come nearer and nearer.
Revenge will be sweet.
Lilly sensed it - very nearby - just enough not to ignore. A slight vibration in the air; enough to let hairs in the nape of her neck stand on end.
'All right Ares, I know you're here.' Lilly said.
'You are the second woman in this short period of time that always can sense me. How do you do it?'
Ares asked as he appeared out of thin air.
'You might want to take a bath more often.' Joked Lilly.
This surprised Ares. Most people showed more than a little respect for his being - either fear or awe. Only one or two other people in this time period chose the path of an old friend of the family.
Lilly was not afraid of Ares - because she was Xena reincarnated - she knew him intimately. And so, apparently, did Ares.
'Its been a long time Xena.'
'Haven't you heard? Xena is dead. I'm Lilly.'
'Nice to see you still have sense of humour.' Ares towered close to Lilly.
Suddenly Lilly grabbed up past the back of Ares' neck and brought his face close to her own. Surprised by the sudden move, Lilly kissed him with a passion of a thousand lifetimes. Then just as abruptly she let him go and hastily retreated as fast as her crooked body could carry her.
'Wow!' Ares was impressed, but the kiss reminded him of Xena. 'What just happened?'
'I'd love to kiss and tell, but I've got to run. I'm already behind schedule.' Explained Lilly with a big grin savoring the taste of god's lingering kiss.
'Unfortunately I cannot let you leave.' He said menacingly.
'Oh? But you are mistaken, my love. I can do what I please.' Lilly said tauntingly.
'My daughter is dead and you know how. I don't care why.'
'That was always your problem, Ares.' Lilly said. 'You always ignored the bigger picture for your own benefit.'
'She was so young and beautiful.' He started.
'She was young and stupid.' Lilly came closer to Ares. 'It was her stupidity that killed her.' Then continued angrily. 'T'Keya killed my grandmother Gabrielle.'
'She did what?'
'Why do you look so surprised? Your daughter was a God after all.' Lilly told the perplexed god.
Lilly brought forth a little bundle from her knapsack. She unwrapped it and the God of War recognised the skull of his daughter. Pastel colored grey and a deep gash across the upper jaw nose and eye socket. He knew of only one weapon that could do that;The Chakram of Light.
Ares was speechless as he took his daughter's skull.
'Who killed her?' he asked whispering.
'I did.' Lilly confessed.
Ares' fury lashed out hard with such anger that the girl flew back against the cavern wall knocking her unconscious.
Lilly disappeared in oblivion as Xena drifted beyond time and space to another dimension.
* * *
>The force is strong in this one<
Drifting in a sea of consciousness. Flying over interstellar waves; Myriad's of stars in a cloudless sky. These are the things little Lilly sees when she drifts away from the pain of reality; A lonely journey through the Universe. Hers is not the question why. Hers is the experience of why not. Her previous incarnation came full circle. Her karma was complete. She did not need to return to the world of senses. Xena had an obligation to return to earth. Xena had made a promise. Xena was keeping that promise - keeping the promise alive through the boundaries of time and space. She began anew; A very new karmic cycle. Lilly was a psychic prodigy; a channeler for cosmic souls; an avatar for the divine one called Nara. Lilly only wanted peace in a violent world.
But the world of senses played a dirty trick on the Xena entity. She was given a choice and in that choice she was given a gift. She gave that gift to a Greek God. Therefore starting a series of events that have tainted her second karmic cycle.
Lilly was weeping. She lost the one thing that was supposed to be so beautiful in the world of senses.
She drifts between the consciousness. Lilly was the new karmic cycle. Xena was the last karmic cycle. She would never be Xena again. Xena is part of Lilly's soul memory.
There is another; Gabrielle, her twin-soul.
It is rare event in the cosmos to find your other twin in the same realm. Although soul-families are drifting in and out of the world of senses all the time.
Lilly is keeping company with another entity. Yana will accompany Lilly for a little while. Gabrielle drifts with Xena; Xena and Gabrielle; together forever.
Narayana gives her blessing.
'Xena, where are we?' asked Gabrielle.
'A holy place.' Replied Xena.
'That's a first for you. I thought you were beyond religion.' Chuckled Gabrielle.
'Actually, I am above religion.' Said Xena mysteriously.
Gabrielle touched Xena's face with her palm, her skin was smooth and soft, so real. Yet the place they shared shimmered like the stars; Not quite there; almost there.
'Where are we really, Xena?'
Xena looked at her friend; so young and beautiful. She longed to hold her tight. Hold her close, just like in the world of senses. She wanted to hold the moment. She took Gabrielle's hand and kissed her palm. Gabrielle smiled. It felt so real. It felt so divine. She didn't want to tell her where they were.
Gabrielle walked to a window and looked through. She saw a few strange dimensions outside. Even their current dimension was fazing with something not quite there. A few colored lights spectrally drifted by and intertwined rapidly before shooting off in different directions. Gabrielle laughed at the comical sight. How she loved her laugh, thought Xena. Xena stood beside her friend and put her arm around her waist. They continued to look at the light show. Still Xena did not reveal where they were. Gabrielle had her wisdom and Xena had hers.
'Where are we really, Xena?'
Xena didn't want to look down at her friend. Xena looked sad and a tear escaped. She didn't want to tell her friend. She couldn't tell her friend. It wouldn't be right.
Xena looked at Gabrielle, saw the compassion in her eyes; so understanding; so curious.
'Do you remember Lilly?' Xena asked.
Gabrielle nodded. Lilly was her granddaughter - she was Xena reincarnated.
'Lilly is chosen for a special task set by Yana, creator of all things.'
Xena choked up. She fought to be strong, be the tough warrior.
'Lilly has to kill the God of War.'
Gabrielle let go from Xena in a sudden fit of disgust. Xena was afraid of that - this was going to be difficult to explain.
'She can't Xena, she mustn't. Lilly will be breaking her oath.' Gabrielle said hotly 'Let someone else do it.'
'There is no one else. Only I can get close enough.'
'Are you just as deranged as T'Keya?' Gabrielle walked right up to Xena. For all her height her green eyes looked menacingly at the blue eyes of the Warrior Princess.'
'I killed T'Keya with the Chakram of Light. Lilly was just my vessel, my avatar.' Confessed Xena.
'And it was justifiable. T'Keya killed me.' Gabrielle paced furiously around in circles. 'But why kill Ares?'
'Don't you see?' Xena pleaded. 'Ares and I made a child. I leave to find you and T'Keya comes years later to get me back.' Tears were building up, 'She kills you, wants to kill Lilly, but…' Xena smiled with certain bloodlust, 'I killed the little bastard with my chakram.'
Xena looked around in despair. 'I killed my own daughter and couldn't save my friend.'
'And now Ares has vowed to find whoever is responsible to damn them for eternity.'
'All right then, bring him here. We'll show him.'
Xena looked at her friend. Saw the Warrior Bard determination that she loved seeing just before going into battle.
'No, Gabrielle. I do not want to taint your karmic cycle any further.' Said Xena.
'We live together; we die together. We'll share damnation together.' She cocked her head to Xena with a cheeky smile, 'So, what's the plan?'
* * *
Narayana, the Seven-Headed Serpent; the Symbol of the Creator and Creation watched closely over Lilly. She was at her most vulnerable; forced into unconsciousness by a misguided god.
Nara the Divine One would come forth to protect its avatar. The Mother of Peace was Nara's vessel, but its plan of creation is not always clear. All that Nara knows was that their Olympian foe Ares, God of War, stood in the way of peace and must, in some small way be eliminated from the equation.
Yana, the creator of all things, will help Xena and Gabrielle accomplish a difficult task. Lilly must not harm the God of War or her karmic cycle will be tainted; this must not happen.
The alternative was imprisoning Ares.
Lilly would wake up soon; Xena and Gabrielle got ready for the battle of all battles.
* * *
Lilly was not too comfortable in Ares' domain when she woke up. She found it an unusual coincidence that Ares's hiding-hole was so close to Nana's secret place. The place where the Xena scrolls was hidden. But then, Ares was thousands of years old and he was a god after all; gorgeous to look at; a rebel without a cause; definitely a very bad god. Lilly had no idea what Xena ever saw in him.
But Lilly was not quite the same as Xena. And yet at times she was. A sixth sense that warned her of imminent danger. Because she was cripple, other senses were enhanced. Her sight; she saw everything in the tiniest details. Her hearing; she could hear and feel where there was a secret hiding place; possibly an escape route. She stood comfortable and concentrated on a single object. The object moved up by a few millimeters. That took no effort and it would give old Ares a bit of a surprise.
Yana was powerful indeed. All she had to do was wait. The god was coming back; courage Lilly.
Ares looked somber. He made up his mind. To ease her suffering the girl must die immediately.
'Lilly,' he started. 'Do you know the penalty for killing a god?'
Lilly shook her head in the negative.
Ares continued. 'It is damnation eternal. But in your case, I'll make an exception.'
'How magnanimous of you, oh mighty Ares.' She said sarcastically without a trace of fear. 'May I remind the God of War that it was his daughter T'Keya who killed my grandmother.'
Then continued, 'and how can a mere mortal child like me kill a god?'
Ares flared hotly, 'Enough babbling. Goodbye Lilly.' He let forth a fireball that could consume a man in a flash-fire instantly. The instant cremation wouldn't leave an ash intact. He closed his hand, satisfied with his grueling execution.
'That's not nice,' A taunting voice; a little pitch; enough to send a chill of recognition through his godly bones. Ares witnessed the girl standing where she was before; totally unharmed. The smirk on the face was enough of a telltale sign that Xena was there. 'Sorry Ares, not my fight this time.'
'Hey Ares!' He turned around and Gabrielle whacked him. She knocked him off balance for a moment.
'Aaw, no fair, that's cheating.' Gabrielle then side-kicked him in the guts that send him flying.
'Well Ares,' Gabrielle lifted the god up by his throat. 'If you had taught your daughter the meaning of life you wouldn't be in this mess now.'
'You can't kill me.' He choked.
'Oh, I'm not here to kill you.' Gabrielle teased. 'Whatever gave you that idea?'
She threw him hard against a cavern wall. Picked him up by his hair holding his face close to hers she said. 'I fought against your daughter T'Keya. She came there to kill me and eventually succeeded. You could've stopped her.'
She dropped him and stalked off seething.
'You could've asked for my help.' Ares tried.
'Doh!' Gabrielle slapped her forehead. 'Why didn't I think of that? What kind of fool do you take me for?' Magically two sais appeared, long and sharp and with a force of a kiloton train she nailed Ares to the cavern wall. She left him hanging there in discomfort. She laughed a maniacal laugh and walked towards her granddaughter Lilly and hugged her closely, 'Are you all right?'
Lilly nodded and said mysteriously. 'Yana wants you to join with Xena.'
'Okay,' Gabrielle smiled in ecstasy. 'I am ready.' Said Gabrielle bravely.