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Newbie here.

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  • xenamungrrr83
    Hey everyone. I m completely new to writing fanfiction though I ve been reading it for years. I was hoping someone could possibly help me with my Xena fic.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2007
      Hey everyone. I'm completely new to writing fanfiction though I've
      been reading it for years. I was hoping someone could possibly help
      me with my Xena fic.

      Here it is:

      Copyright Disclaimer: Any and all characters referenced from the
      Xenaverse belong to Renaissaince Pictures and their respective
      parties. I don't own the characters otherwise we'd already have a
      movie and the series would have never ended the way it did.

      Sex, Violence, Language Warning: They will all be present and they
      will probably be graphic. In specific reference to the sex portion of
      the warning I will say that any descriptive sexual text will be
      centered on that of the lesbian variety. If you like it, great. If
      you don't, I don't want to hear about it.

      Spoiler Warning: Post Friend in Need.

      Pairing: Xena/Gabrielle, Sarah/???

      Feedback: Please, please, Please send it to me. This is my first fic
      ever and I'd really appreciate any comments or criticism that you have.

      A Little Explanation: This fic does exist within the Xenaverse and
      characters from the show will play a large part, but in essence it is
      a spin off centering around a main character called Sarah. Hope you
      like it.



      Living in the Past:
      Book 1-Ripples in the Water
      By
      Xenamungrrr

      Chapter 1
      The Little Green Stone

      Modern Day Greece

      Deep within the forest that once played home to the Ancient Greek
      Amazons the sound of foot falls could be heard as Sarah led her small
      contingency to what she hoped would be their next archaeological find.
      Sarah was extremely young to be leading anyone around. At twenty two
      she had only just graduated college a few months prior to the
      excursion she was on now. She had her Aunts to thank for the means to
      take on this search. Janice Covington and Mel Papas were two of the
      most groundbreaking experts in their field. Because of their research
      into the Xena Scrolls certain solid facts about history were being
      questioned. Money poured in whenever they were willing to set up any
      kind of dig, and now that neither Mel or Janice were staking out
      themselves the job fell to Sarah who was more than happy to take over.
      Sarah's youth gave her an edge that Mel and Janice had long lost due
      to their responsibility to each other. For Sarah retrieving the
      scrolls was the most important objective, and at many times putting
      her life in danger was simply an acceptable risk.
      She wiped sweat from the back of her neck with her handkerchief and
      silently praised the fact that she'd decided to bring along her denim
      jacket instead of the heavy leather one. The fedora she wore kept
      most of the sun out of her eyes, but she still removed it every now
      and then to let some heat rise from her light brown hair. She was
      loathing the medium length of her hair right now. It was just long
      enough to add more heat to the back of her neck, but too short to pull
      back out of the way. She was surprised no one had started to
      complain. The two native boys she hired were carrying all the gear
      and yet they were silent as she and her partner Jake continued to
      search for one specific cave. It must have seemed comical to the two
      Greeks to see this girl in charge not only of them, but her stalky six
      foot tall American companion as well.
      The cave they were looking for would most likely look like all the
      other caves they had searched through in the last week, which was what
      make it so hard to find. With so very little information known about
      the Amazons it was possible that the group was not even in the right
      part of the forest. Whether or not the entrance they were approaching
      now would lead them to the next Xena scroll was pretty much a crap
      shoot. But with twelve other caves behind them, numbers were becoming
      more and more on their side. She adjusted her aunt's hat on her short
      auburn hair and looked the entrance up and down. Sweat was rolling
      into her cool blue eyes and she was growing tired of exploring caves
      that led them nowhere.

      "I think this is the one." She said to Jake. Sarah was lucky in the
      sense that her right hand man was not only one of the most promising
      up and coming archaeologists in the field, but also her best friend.

      "Yeah, I can see where you would think that since it only looks like
      every second cave we've come across in the last week." His wit
      usually served to lighten her mood, but right now it was an irritation.

      "Come on, just humor me for this one and then we'll break for lunch."
      She shot back with a hint of fatigue in her voice.

      "Fine, but if you're wrong I get dibs on all the ham sandwiches and
      you get the goat cheese." He countered with a smirk, knowing that the
      ham sandwiches were his anyway considering the fact that Sarah hadn't
      eaten meat in the last five years.

      "Deal." She said as they broke out their flashlights and ventured inside.

      They surveyed the walls first, looking for any kind of crack or
      crevice that could indicate a door. The two local boys just paced
      around waiting for them to finish up; they were both hungry.

      "Find anything?" Sarah asked.

      Jake chuckled, "Yeah, I did. I just decided not to tell you about it."

      She rolled her eyes and continued to search. After a couple of
      minutes she heard a grunt come from one of the boys followed by the
      crash of their back pack. She turned and noticed that he had fallen
      on the ground, and went to see if he was injured.

      "Hey are you, ok?" She asked as he was picking himself up.

      "Yes miss, I'm sorry, I tripped on something." He said.

      She looked around on the ground to find the cause of the problem to be
      what looked like the vine of a tree coming from the ground. It seemed
      rather strange though, considering there were no trees in here. Upon
      further inspection she noticed that the "vine" was metal. She tried
      lifting it, and felt a little give, but could not pull up much farther.

      "Jake, come over here." She said as she began to dig through the dirt
      covering the metal, as Jake arrived to help her out. Once all of the
      dirt was gone they realized it was the metal piece was a handle to a
      hatch that was held together by locked chains.

      "You are so lucky I subscribe to a cruelty free diet, otherwise your
      ass would be eating goat cheese, my friend." She said as she reached
      into one of their packs looking for a pick axe.

      "This could be anything. The locals could have used it for an armory,
      or a fallout shelter." He said skeptically.

      Sarah took out a large dusting brush and swept the dirt from the top
      of the panel, revealing a statement in ancient Greek lettering.

      "May this sacred place only be entered by those of Amazon blood." She
      read. "Still think it's a fallout shelter?"

      "Well then why was it so easy to find?" He asked.

      "You call traipsing around these jungles for a week easy? The hard
      part was looking through cave after cave of nothing but bat shit and
      animal carcasses." She said as she swung the pick axe down on the
      lock; after a several solid swings the lock was breached. After
      opening the hatch Sarah swiftly removed her pack and shone a
      flashlight in the dark entrance.

      "Give me a lantern; I don't trust batteries in dark, creepy passages."
      She said to one of the boys. She hooked the lantern on her arm and
      climbed down the old rickety ladder. Once on the ground she held up
      her arms for her pack; Jake tossed it to her before following suit
      down the ladder.

      "Aren't you worried about that warning on the hatch door?" He asked,
      knowing her skepticism would paint her answer with sarcasm.

      "Curses only work if you give credence to them. It's about the
      person, not magic." She said as she lit the lantern and started
      surveying the area.

      The small corridor was dark and had a musty scent. Just a few feet
      in front of them stood an altar of some sort. It was almost phallic
      in shape, which made Sarah smile at the irony. A few yards beyond
      that lay a split in the corridor.

      "So, you take right, I'll take left?" Jake said as he started moving
      forward.

      "Whoa, whoa!" Sarah said, stopping him abruptly.

      "Whoa, what?" He asked in confusion.

      "That cylinder is there for a reason; it's not like it's roping off
      anything." She looked around and spotted a rock about the size of her
      fist on the ground and threw it past the marker. As soon as the rock
      touched the ground a healthy amount of darts shot out from the left
      side of the wall.

      "Not a curse, huh?" Jake asked cynically.

      "It's a floor trap, moron. If any pressure is applied to the floor
      the same thing is going to happen. But there's gotta be a way to
      disarm it." She said as she looked closer.

      Sarah walked up to the cylinder and examined it more closely. There
      was an inscription at the base, and what looked like a button at the
      very top of the structure.

      "What's it say?" Jake asked.

      "Same thing as the entrance hatch." Sky answered as she rubbed the
      back of her neck. "I'm guessing that to pass through without being
      harmed you have to prove you're of Amazon blood."

      "Ha ha; you've got to bleed on that top part, otherwise we can't get
      in." Jake said in jest.

      "Yeah right. The Amazons may have set up the darts, but there's no
      way this thing knows the difference between water and blood." She
      said while opening her canteen and turning it upside down over the top
      of the cylinder. They waited a second and nothing happened.

      "Still so sure about that curse?" Jake asked.

      "Maybe nothing's supposed to happen." She said.

      "Well if you're so sure, why don't you take a stroll down the hall?"
      He said with a grin, knowing she wouldn't do it. Sarah's pride only
      went so far; it almost never asserted itself over her intelligence.

      "Fine." She said and started walking right past the column. With one
      foot raised over the invisible threshold she thought for a second and
      then pulled back.

      "Proving you wrong just isn't worth risking my life." She said while
      walking back and grabbing a rock. "Besides, I do it so often you must
      have a complex by now, and I wouldn't want to completely ruin your
      self confidence."

      "Right" He said before she tossed the rock and barbs shot out again.

      "Shit!" Sky exclaimed at the unfortunate luck they were having. Jake
      just chuckled; he knew he didn't have to say a word.

      "There is no fucking way that this piece of stone is going to keep me
      from going in this cave." She said before she started applying her
      body weight to the stone's top. Still nothing happened.

      "I'm telling you, that thing specifically said Amazon blood. Not
      heritage, not origin; blood. And I certainly ain't one of them." He
      patted her back. "Look, you truly believe that you're Aunt Janice is
      a descendant of Gabrielle and Gabrielle was an Amazon. So, however
      thinned out it may be now, you have Amazon blood too."

      The girl sighed in defeat. Whether or not it was the most plausible
      course of action, it did seem like the only one available. With a
      growl Sarah unsheathed her knife from the holster under her jacket and
      walked toward the stone structure. With her free hand she located the
      Zippo in her pocked and pulled it out for sterilization. Sarah looked
      from the blade to her hand and inwardly cringed.

      "How much blood do you think it needs? Do you think maybe a finger
      prick will do the job?" She asked Jake with trepidation.

      "Nah, it looks like more than that. Just do like the guys in the
      movie: cut your palm and squeeze." He said as he rummaged through his
      pack for the first aid kit.

      "Oh Jesus Christ, this is stupid." She said to herself before placing
      the blade against her open palm. Sarah then closed her eyes, took a
      big breath and swiftly dragged the knife against her skin.
      "Aaahhhhaaaaaa, fuck!" She shrieked. Blood started escaping from the
      wound. During the process she had pulled away from the pedestal and
      she felt Jake moving her hand over the top of it.

      "Hey, don't waste your blood. Hold it right there and squeeze a
      little bit. I've got the bandages ready."

      She breathed hard as the blood pooled over the stone, the pain was so
      overpowering she didn't notice the center of the pedestal lowering.
      Jake pulled her back and quickly started to clean the wound.

      "Owww, easy with the alcohol." She whined.

      "Oh will you get over it. It's barely a flesh wound." He said.

      "Says Monty Python." She quipped.

      Jake quickly finished wrapping the bandage up so they could go see
      what was going on with the trap. Upon approaching it they noticed
      that the very top part that looked like a button had sunk in. But it
      was slowly moving back up.

      "Oh shit, you don't think it's on a timer do you?" He asked as Sarah
      went to retrieve a rock. She swiftly tossed it on the ground in front
      of them and nothing happened with the darts. She moved back to the
      pedestal and made a decision to run for it. Just as she lurched
      forward Jake stopped her with his hand.

      "Are you crazy? Even if you make it to the split you won't have a way
      out." He said quickly.

      Pulling away from him she said, "I know, that's why you're going to
      stay behind. Don't argue with me, I don't have much time." And with
      that she ran quickly down the corridor. Feeling light headed from the
      loss of blood wasn't helping her, but Sarah figured she still had
      enough time if she sprinted. Jake's entire body tensed as his eyes
      went from the cylinder to his friend. When the button finally popped
      back up he screamed for Sarah. Her foot hit the ground for the last
      time after the timer went off, which sent the darts flying. Luckily
      she moved out of the way before any of them hit her. After stopping
      she turned around to address Jake.

      "Hey, I'm ok. They didn't get me." She said.

      "Oh good, exactly what do you plan on doing now?" He said, angry.

      "There has to be another way out of here. Turn on your radio and wait
      outside the cave, I'll keep in contact and if anything happens, send
      for help. Can you do that?" She asked.

      "You can't just go in there by yourself, what…" He said before she cut
      him off.

      "Look I've already made the decision and it isn't as if I can go back
      now. Just do what I said." She yelled.

      "Fine!" He said with frustration as he climbed out of the cave.
      "Walkie check." He said into the radio.

      "I hear you loud and clear." Sarah said back.

      The two boys were a little confused to see just one person come out of
      the ground and the question showed in their eyes.

      "Women." Jake said in answer. "Don't ever let them get the upper
      hand, cuz they'll steal your piece of the action."


      Sarah was not exactly sure how great of an idea it was to do this on
      her own, but she wasn't about to let Jake know that either. After an
      exasperated sigh she held up the lantern and read the inscription
      above each path. The left side said "For those who would know the
      past", and the right said" For those who would see the past".

      "What? Why do these things always have to be so cryptic?" She asked
      herself, before pulling a coin out of her pocket. It was her lucky
      Susan B. Anthony. She kissed it before flipping it in the air,
      calling heads left and tails right. After it fell back down she
      caught it and opened her hand.

      "Guess, I'm gonna know the past."

      The dark corridor was filled with Amazonian symbols paying tribute to
      Queen Gabrielle. The art work was a welcome sight to sky and it
      calmed her a little, however, the insects that had found solace in the
      cave did not give her comfort, so she hurried up the path. The ground
      seemed to incline as she progressed, and after walking for a few
      minutes she finally saw an opening at the end of the tunnel. The
      opening led her into a small rounded chamber. Once inside she saw a
      chest at the very back of the room. It was locked, but that would not
      be an issue. Sarah could slip into Fort Knox if she really wanted to,
      a two-thousand year old lock would pose no problem at all. She
      retrieved her picks from her cargo pocket and started working at her
      obstacle. Jake decided to check in on her at that moment.

      "Sarah, you doing ok?" He said over the walkie.

      "Yeah, I'm fine. I think I found the scrolls, I just have to pick
      open the chest then I'll find a way out." She answered back.

      "Did you go down both paths?" He asked.

      "No, but there's definitely something down the other one. If this
      chest doesn't hold the scrolls I'll head down that way. Over and
      out." She said

      After working at the lock for a minute or so the top part easily
      separated from the bottom. Sarah lifted open the chest and beheld
      about twenty different scrolls.

      "Jackpot." She said, and started packing them in her bag. As soon as
      the chest was empty light poured in from the ceiling and a ladder fell
      down for her escape. She smiled and went over to investigate. This
      exit must lead to the other side of the cave. But what about the
      right hand fork? She weighed her chances carefully, and decided to
      head back down the path. As soon as she set foot out of the room she
      heard a crumbling noise coming from behind her. As she turned to see
      what it was the crumbling became even louder followed by a hissing
      sound. Water was pushing through the rock somehow, and soon it would
      fill the entire cave. Sarah started sprinting to the other side right
      before she heard the bottom fall out. Water started slowly cascading
      towards her, but soon it was at her knees. By the time she made it
      down the other corridor it was at her waist.

      She scanned the room and found it to be just like the other side; so,
      in theory, all she had to do was open the chest and an escape hatch
      would appear. She fumbled in her pocket for the picks and a
      flashlight then started on the lock. The water had risen to her chest
      now and she couldn't see anything because the lantern had gone out.
      Taking a breath, Sarah went under the water for a closer look at what
      she was doing. I was much harder to pick the lock when she couldn't
      hear what was going on inside it. She put her head closer to the
      metal and tried to work like that. Finally the top popped loose and
      she quickly opened the chest. Inside was a huge green stone. Sarah
      had no idea what it was, but decided that there would be time to think
      about that later. She secured it in her jacket and resurfaced. The
      water was almost to the ceiling now, and there was no sign of a ladder
      or and opening.

      "Shit." She swore while looking at the ceiling for any variation in
      the rock. She saw what looked like a large patch of mud and started
      digging at it with her bare hands. It fell away pretty quickly and
      then there was metal. The water had almost completely filled the
      room. Sarah scrambled to find the ladder so she could use it for
      leverage. After pulling it down she inverted her body while holding
      the ladder and started kicking the door. After a few kicks she was
      getting tired and out of breath. Luckily it angered her and added
      force to her kicks and finally she managed to force open the door.
      She pulled herself back into an upright position and made her way
      through the exit.

      Gasping for air she rolled off the side of the cave and onto the
      ground. She patted her jacket pocket to ensure the stone was still
      there and was happy to feel the new lump. The scrolls she knew were
      safe. She learned the hard way to line her backpack with plastic in
      case of unforeseeable events that involved water. Eating soggy
      sandwiches for a week will make anyone precautious. She smiled and
      breathed a sigh of relief before heading back to the others.


      "What the hell happened to you?" Jake asked when he saw Sarah
      approach them soaked to the bone.

      "Apparently the Amazons felt that the person who entered the cave
      should only go down one path. I sure showed them. Hey boys, why
      don't you set up camp? We're going to need plenty of time to
      celebrate before we head back to town tomorrow." She said with a
      smile while she sat down on a near by rock and took off her boots.

      "So what did you find?" Jake asked.

      "Well in the first chest I found the scrolls, but in the second chest
      there was this rock." She said pulling the green stone from her
      jacket pocket. "I'm not really sure what it is; maybe a sacred stone
      of the Amazons, possibly some treasure that they hid from invaders.
      You're the treasure hunter, what do you make of it?" She asked Jake,
      knowing that he had more knowledge of valuable materials.

      He took the stone from her and examined it. Pulling out his
      spectroscope lens he took a look at the more elusive aspects of the rock.

      "Well it's definitely not precious, and it's scratched all to hell."
      He continued to observe holding his specimen higher in the air. "It
      gives off some weird color patterns though. Maybe it's worth
      something." He said tossing it back to Sarah.

      She caught it with ease and stared into the dark corners. She had not
      come across anything in previous scrolls about a sacred stone other
      than the Exion stone; but that was more likely a myth than actual
      fact. Maybe the answer was in the new scrolls. Sarah could not wait
      to find out. She walked over to where the camp was being set up and
      reached in one of the satchels for a bottle of wine and two cigars.

      "Time to celebrate!" She said to Jake after handing him the cigar and
      uncorking the wine. She reached in her pocket for her Zippo, but
      remembered that it would not work as soon as it had been retrieved.
      Jake smiled and pulled out a book of matches to light the cigars.
      Sarah took a long drag of the sweet tobacco and let it back out.
      After taking a swig of the wine she offered the bottle to Jake. He
      shook his head and reached into his own sack, showing off a bottle of
      cheap tequila.

      "I can't stand that crap you drink." He said with a smile.

      "You just don't have refined taste." Sarah swished the merlot in her
      mouth and swallowed, welcoming the warm, cozy feeling that would soon
      start in.

      The sun was just setting over the horizon and everyone in the camp was
      busy preparing for the night ahead. Once the fire was going and the
      meal had been eaten Sarah settled in and propped herself up against a
      rock and started scanning the scrolls for anything about the stone.
      Jake came over to see what she was doing and plopped down beside her;
      the half finished bottle of alcohol in hand.

      "Whatcha doin? Reading already?" He slurred, and Sarah smiled at him.

      "Nah, I'm just trying to see if I can find out anything about the
      rock. I'd like to know what it is, so I can tell Aunt Janice when we
      get back."

      "Well, don't get your hopes up that it's worth anything. It didn't
      look special to me." He took another swig and scowled.

      "Yeah, but you know that's not important to me. It's the history of
      the stone that I care about. You've got the whole Indiana Jones
      `fortune and glory' thing. For me, it's all about the history. These
      are my ancestors; I want to know what they did with their lives."

      "You're starting to sound like your Aunt now." He paused and changed
      voices to mimic Janice Covington, "Oh Sarah, don't you see how
      important this is. Xena and Gabrielle were heroes. We have to find
      everything ever written about them, your Aunt Mel would have
      wanted….." He stopped quickly with that last statement, cursing the
      alcohol for loosening his tongue. "I'm sorry Sarah, I didn't mean to…."

      "It's ok, Jake." She said as she looked away from him into the fire.

      Mel had died about a year ago, and both Sarah and Janice took things
      pretty hard. Janice and Mel had taken Sarah in when she was just a
      baby. Her mother died in child birth and no one really knew who the
      father was. Since it was impossible for Janice and Mel to have
      children of their own Sarah was like a gift from the gods to them.
      They told her stories of ancient Greece and the warrior woman who
      changed the world. Mel taught her how to read the old text and Janice
      taught her how to fight and ride horses. As time went by they took
      her on a couple of expeditions, that's how she met Jake. He was the
      son of one of the archaeologists on the digs. They had gotten in
      trouble many times for going into the sites to find the scrolls.
      Sarah knew Janice and Mel were getting older and less adept to
      escaping traps than she was, so on many occasions she leapt into the
      fray before either of them had the chance. It always garnered the
      same results; Janice would be furious and not speak to her for a
      couple of days, but Mel would soften up and together they would read
      the scrolls that had been secured on the trip.

      Mel got sick right before the last trip out was scheduled to leave.
      Janice was going to cancel it, but Mel insisted that someone go. They
      argued about it well into the night, before Sarah had enough. She
      stepped in the room and told them both that the obvious solution was
      for them to send her and Jake. They were going to end up doing the
      dangerous work anyway, so the decision was really already made.
      Janice did not even fight it. She knew how important those scrolls
      were to Mel, and she could not bear to leave her side. Janice took
      Sarah to the airport where they met up with Jake. She gave them a
      laundry list of things not to do, and of course they did every one of
      them. She told Jake to board the plane so that she could talk with
      Sarah in private. Once they were alone it was so hard for her to look
      into the young girls deep blue eyes, they looked just like Mel's.

      "You know the only reason you're going right now is because it means
      so much to Mel." She said to Sarah and received a nod in response.
      Now it was the young girl who could not meet Janice's eyes. The older
      woman knew it was because they were filling with tears, but she forced
      them to look at her anyway.

      "Listen to me! Those scrolls have been our entire life's work, but
      they are nothing more than scraps of old dirty paper compared to you.
      You are going to Greece in one piece and you are going to come back
      to us that way. Mel would never forgive herself if something happened
      to you and I won't let her live whatever life she has left felling
      that guilt." She wiped away the tears that were falling down the
      girls cheeks then pulled back a little.

      "Now," Janice said as she pulled her hat off her head and placed it on
      Sarah's. "This is my favorite hat. I've worn it on every expedition
      and I've returned with it every time. It will keep you safe, but you
      have to bring it back."

      Sarah nodded then grabbed her Aunt in a fierce hug.

      "I love you. I'll make you both proud of me when I come back." She
      said then let go. Grabbing her stuff she quickly went through the
      gate and wiped her tears away before boarding the plane. She knew she
      would make it back, she just hoped it would be in enough time for Mel.

      Sarah was brought back from her reverie by Jake who was still trying
      to apologize to her about the slip. She decided to simply change the
      subject.

      "Do you remember that last trip out to the temple of Aphrodite?" She
      asked.

      Jake thought for a minute, then smiled. "How could I forget, you
      worked us so hard that I almost didn't sign on this time. I think the
      locals were plotting to kill you. And those scrolls; God, they were
      horrible."

      "Yeah, I thought so too. I mean, I know that a lot of the stuff
      Gabrielle wrote was beefed up a bit with fantasy, but I don't know
      what she was thinking with the whole Eve thing. I hated that little
      twerp." She said with a chuckle

      "Yeah, me too. The scrolls totally weren't worth the crap we had to
      go through to get them." Jake slurred.

      "Aunt Mel thought so; she loved them. All she did once I got back was
      read. I sat down with her most of the time, listening to her
      translate. Eve was the main reason she liked them. She loved the
      idea of Xena and Gabrielle having a child together; however annoying
      that child was." She joked.

      Taking the last swig from her wine bottle she stood up to go to bed.
      She had one last thing to say before she retired to her sleeping bag.

      "I think it was those scrolls that kept her going the last few days.
      She had to make sure that they were all going to be ok; even the
      twerp." The last words were said with her back to Jake. She entered
      her tent wearing a smile and a tear, then passed out.

      The plane ride home was not the pleasant and rejuvenating experience
      that Sarah hoped it would be. That was mainly due to the fact that
      she ended up reading the last few scrolls. Sarah was always one of
      those people who skipped to the end of the book to see what was going
      to happen. She hated the suspense of waiting, and a lot of time that
      robbed her of the joy of the surprise. No, Sarah was right to the
      point about pretty much everything. So, as Jake snored softly in her
      ear she read the terrible tale of Xena's demise in Japa. How could
      this happen? How could she just walk away from Gabrielle like that?
      Anger and rage filled her as she tried to sit still in her chair.
      Xena died because she believed that the souls could not be at piece
      without the forfeit of her life. She did not fall in battle or ride
      off with her bard. She faded away without a fight because of some
      dogmatic myth.

      Begrudgingly she picked up the last scroll, hoping that maybe there
      was at least something about the stone in it since there obviously no
      hope for a happy ending. She was surprised when she found that it was
      not one of Gabrielle's stories, but a letter she had written to Xena.
      Sarah checked the dates one more time to make sure she had not
      ordered the scrolls wrong, but indeed it was written after Xena's
      death in Japa. Intrigued, she read on.

      Xena,

      I don't even know where to begin. I am a bard and it feels as if it
      is impossible to say what I need to with words. I guess it doesn't
      matter how I say any of this. I don't even know why I'm writing it,
      so I guess there's no need to be eloquent. Xena, Eve is dead. When I
      returned from Japa I went straight to Amphipolis to put your body to
      rest with your family. It was there that I was approached by a
      messenger from Chin. Eve was trying to stop a massive civil war in
      the country, but she was captured by the rebel army. They thought she
      was working with the Chin army, and that her pleas for peace were just
      a trick. They threatened to kill her if the Emperor's Army did not
      release the prisoners of war. I traveled as fast as I could to save
      her, but I was too late. She was killed days before I made it to
      Chin, her body impaled in some desolate courtyard for all to see. I
      fell to my knees and screamed for you, but you never came. Finally I
      took the Eve's lifeless body from the spear just as some stragglers
      from the rebel army were passing through. They tried to stop me from
      taking her home and the rage in me was released. The first few I
      killed quickly, but as the reality of my world came crashing down I
      became less and less sympathetic. I left the last soldier there in
      excruciating pain, I don't know if he died before the vultures came.

      I burned Eve's body just as I had burned yours. I thought about how
      I was too late again; about how I couldn't save either of you. But
      mostly I thought about the emptiness of my soul since you left me.
      Now that Eve is gone I have no one left in this world. It was then
      that Ares came to me. I expected him to kill me then and there;
      angered by the failure that outlived his two best warriors. But he
      didn't do that. Instead he offered me the chance to harness my pain,
      to unleash my fury. He told me he could relieve me of the need to
      feel your touch, and replace it with a lust for him. He told me that
      he wanted me, and that unlike you he would never leave me behind for
      someone from the past. It was that line that almost got me. The
      agony of watching you leave me so many times for someone else was a
      memory that never left me. I almost took his outstretched hand, the
      pull was so powerful. Instead I reached down for the sai in my boot
      and shoved it through the offered appendage. Even in death I could
      never leave you, and I hoped my refusal would force his wrath to send
      me to you. His anger was fierce, but not fierce enough. He beat me
      to a pulp and screamed at me to fight back, but I wouldn't. I had
      given up.

      It was my pacifism that ultimately saved my life. He wouldn't give
      me the peace I desired, and with a bolt of lightning he was gone. I
      guess it's better this way. I'm here now, in Amphipolis. I put Eve's
      ashes right next to yours, and now I hope the God of Eli will forgive
      me for joining you both.

      I love you Xena, and no matter where you leave me to go, I will follow
      you.

      All my heart,
      Gabrielle


      "Goddamnit!" Sarah swore loudly. She heard a plethora of gasps at
      her outbursts. A few of the parents on the plane covered the ears of
      their children and shot daggers her way.

      "Sorry." She said as she shrunk down into her seat. The stewardess
      came by and asked if she needed anything and was answered with a
      request for the strongest drink on the plane. Jake awoke from the
      commotion and asked Sarah what was going on.

      "You remember how pissed you were about putting in so much effort last
      time to retrieve some shitty scrolls?" She said as she accepted her
      drink.

      "Yeah." Jake replied in an all too knowing tone.

      "Well the bad news is that you're going to be even more pissed off
      this time." She took a draught from the glass and squinted her eyes
      at the burning liquid. "The good news is that you don't ever have to
      worry about it happening again." Before he had a chance to stop her,
      Sarah let the rest out.

      "Gabrielle and Xena are dead, these were the last scrolls left to find."

      Jake was silent for a minute, and then chastised Sarah for ruining the
      ending before he had a chance to hear about it in full detail. They
      argued for a few minutes about her compulsive blabbering problem when
      it came to surprises. Then quit when they started to rehash the
      "Sixth Sense fight", they knew the language that followed that one was
      not suitable for the plane. Jake turned towards the window and
      drifted back to sleep.

      Sarah just sat there with her head in her hand.

      How am I supposed to show this to Aunt Janice?

      Janice Covington rocked softly in her chair on the front porch, with
      a cup of coffee in hand. Sarah would be arriving any minute now with
      the new scrolls, and she did not know if it was the girl or the
      parchment she was more excited about seeing. She was not used to
      waiting around for the finds, but her age was catching up with her.
      Honestly, since Mel passed on she didn't have the heart to make the
      trips anymore. But the excitement was still there. Her great niece
      had already informed her of the green stone found in the tomb and she
      had been combing through their archives for some clue as to what it
      was. Sarah seemed to think that maybe it was the fabled Exion stone,
      but Janice had another theory. She was pulled from her thoughts by
      the sound of the horn on Jake's Jeep. He and Sarah both were yelling
      and waving out the window, welcoming themselves back.

      Janice stood and made her way down the stairs and got the wind knocked
      out of her when the girl met her in a hug.

      "Oh, it's so good to see you, sweetie. I missed you so much." The
      older woman said as she pulled out of the hug to take a better look at
      the girl.
      "Well you look like you're all in one piece. Jake, did she behave
      herself?"

      "Only when she was in the cave; the rest of the time she was a regular
      party animal."

      "Whatever." Sarah said as she lightly slapped him with her left hand.
      Unfortunately Janice noticed the bandage and quickly grabbed at the
      appendage to examine the wound.

      "Now, before you freak out let me just say that it's not that bad, and
      I did it on purpose." She said, preparing for the chastisement.

      "You did it on purpose? What happened, did you get bored and decide
      to take a stab at self mutilation?" The older woman asked.

      "No, nothing like that." She said, leading everyone inside. "There
      was this weird lock in the cave that required the spilling of Amazon
      blood. I'm still not sure how they rigged it, but I had to bleed a
      little to get the damn thing open."

      They made their way into the study and Sky started laying out the
      scrolls. Janice decided the cut was small enough not to give her a
      hard time. Instead, she asked about the stone that she had been
      researching for the past few days. Sky retrieved it from a locked
      briefcase that they had boarded the plane with and handed it to her
      great aunt.

      "Jake's already taken a look at it, and he's fairly certain that it's
      not worth much." Sarah said then questioned her Aunt. "So I'm
      guessing that you didn't find anything about it in the scroll
      archives, right?"

      "Actually I have an idea about that, but I didn't get it from the Xena
      scrolls. Now that I've seen it I'm almost positive that it isn't the
      Exion stone, but it may hold some other importance to the time." She
      stared deep into the stone, her stomach fluttered at the idea that her
      research was correct. "Let's not worry about it now; you two have
      come a long way. We'll have dinner and discuss the findings tomorrow
      after I've had a chance to look over the new scrolls."

      "Sounds good to me, I haven't had a decent meal since before we left
      the states. Sarah can't cook for shit." Jake said only half joking.

      "Oh believe me I know, she tried to cook me a birthday dinner one time
      and I couldn't even sneak pieces to the dog and pretend like I had
      eaten it." Janice said with a wry grin.

      Sarah was going to reply, but she had also been stuck with eating her
      own cooking before, and she knew she didn't have a leg to stand on.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      After sleeping till noon the next day Sarah was awakened by a very
      rambunctious old woman. Janice was nearly bouncing on the bed,
      yelling something about "finding the stone". Groggy, she followed her
      into the study where there were books and scrolls everywhere.

      "Jesus, this place is a mess! Have you been working in here all
      night?" Sarah asked.

      Janice completely ignored the question and went straight into the
      details of her night's work.

      "I had this theory about the stone, but I couldn't quite be sure until
      I saw it. You see there was always this gap between scrolls in their
      third year together and that gap also shows up with Hercules and
      Iolas. Then I put two and two together and got the answer. This
      worthless rock you found is actually the chronostone." She said with
      a smile.

      Sarah furrowed her brow and scratched her head as she tried to
      understand exactly what Janice was trying to explain. She figured the
      first step was to remember what history had said about the chronostone.

      "Ok, let's back up a bit." She said as she started to pace. "The
      chronostone was the one that Calisto used to go back in time and kill
      Hercules. It has the power to send someone to the past and then back
      to the present. The original chronostone was destroyed in an
      unfortunate accident involving a wagon. The alternate chronostone was
      destroyed in the explosion at Alcamede's farm. So there was another
      stone hidden somewhere?"

      "No, that's the thing. Hercules and Iolas knew that the world was
      better off believing that the stone was destroyed, but it was far too
      important to actually get rid of it." Janice continued to answer.
      "So, when they told people the story they changed it up a little in
      the end. The stone was never destroyed in the blast. Iolas had it
      the entire time, and once everything settled down a bit he took off on
      a mission to entrust it to Xena. He knew she would find a safe place
      for it."

      "And Gabrielle simply refused to write about it as well?" Sarah
      asked, skepticism evident in her tone.

      "Well that part is unclear. You see, I suspect that Xena met up with
      Iolas right around the time Gabrielle visited the temple of Mnemosyne.
      She made up some mission to tell Gabrielle about so that no one could
      ever force an answer out of the bard if the stone was found out. And
      the timing fits perfectly because Xena was gone for approximately the
      same number of days it would take to reach the Amazons and entrust
      them with the stone." She moved to grab one of her books, then
      readdressed Sarah.

      "And look at this," She said pointing to an old drawing "This is an
      ancient drawing of the chronostone in a scepter. It's identical to
      the stone we now have."

      Sarah studied the book, amazed at the resemblance. How awesome would
      it be to actually have found the chronostone? It would be like the
      crusaders actually finding the Holy Grail.

      "This is remarkable, Aunt Janice. I can't believe it."

      "Neither can I, I mean can you imagine that in this very room we have
      a device that can transcend the fabric of time?" The older woman said
      with excitement.

      "You mean a device that is fabled to transcend the fabric of time."
      She said and then looked toward Janice who seemed less than happy with
      that assumption. "That is what you mean right?"

      "How can you always be so skeptical of the truth in the Xena scrolls?
      I've told you my own account of what happened in the tomb of Ares.
      Things that are impossible, but yet still happened. Do you not
      believe me?" She said disapprovingly.

      "Calm down Aunt Jan, of course I believe you. There are just certain
      things that could have happened to have caused all of that. You could
      have been hallucinating due to bad food or poor ventilation. But you
      can't honestly tell me that you think that this rock can take you back
      in time." She waited for a reply from the older woman, but only
      received a stern look of aggravation. "Can you?"

      "Sarah, I want you to think back to when you were a child. You were
      so young and full of wonder at the world that you believed every story
      told to you. Including the ones about Xena." She paused as Sarah
      attempted to humor her request by closing her eyes.

      "Just imagine that you had the chance to go back and meet them. To
      change the fate that befell them in those last few scrolls. You could
      set things right; save Xena, Gabrielle and Eve. Wouldn't the mere
      possibility be enough to make you pour what's left of your hope into
      this opportunity?"

      Sarah opened her eyes and automatically went on the defensive.

      "You make me sound like the most cynical twenty-two year old alive."

      "You are the most cynical twenty-two year old alive. I don't even
      know why you bother looking for the scrolls if you don't believe in
      them." She said with dismay.

      "I bother because it means so much to you and…." She noticed the slip
      and tried to recover "….and to me. Those scrolls have been my life
      since I was a little girl. Just because I don't believe in time
      travel doesn't mean that I haven't devoted myself to this mission."

      Janice could see that Sarah was hurt by her last comment. The truth
      was that if you asked anyone when Sarah lost her wonder at the world
      it was after Mel died. Her niece didn't think she knew it, but Janice
      found out that on the trip out for the fifth set of scrolls Sarah took
      a detour after they'd found the scrolls. She pushed the team extra
      hard in an attempt to find the fabled ambrosia. Jake told Janice
      about the events that transpired. They searched cave after cave in
      the Greek countryside and found nothing. Sarah wouldn't sleep; she
      would just look for whatever clue the scrolls held that would lead her
      to the fruit of the gods. Jake finally convinced her to come home,
      telling her that she was wasting time that Mel did not have, reminding
      her of how important the scrolls were to the dying woman. He said
      that you could almost see it escaping from her eyes. A girl that once
      believed in the magic of the gods no longer believed in anything
      except the fact that someone she loved more than life was going to
      die, and there was nothing she could do about it. They came home the
      next day with the scrolls. And like Janice, Sarah didn't leave the
      house until the end.

      "I'm sorry baby, c'mere." Janice said, internally scolding herself
      for the rash remark she'd made. Sarah begrudgingly moved in for the
      offered hug and then stepped back with a sigh. She sad down on the
      desk and grabbed the item of discussion.

      "What exactly would you have me do if by some miracle we could use
      this?" She said, examining the emerald depths of the stone.

      "Well I'm sure that you've seen the last few scrolls and the
      unacceptable events that happened. I'm telling you I don't think
      those idiot television writers could have thought up a worse ending."
      That got a laugh out of Sky, so Janice continued glad that the
      tension was easing.

      "This isn't the way things should have been. Xena and Gabrielle
      belonged together. They should have settled down and grown old;
      learned the joys of bickering and the comfort of stability. Eve
      should have had the chance to spread the message of Eli. I'm telling
      you we could have a whole other arc to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic
      story." She was interrupted at that juncture.

      "Look pitching me the chance to save Eve is not the best way to earn
      my acceptance. She was annoying, hypocritical, and not to mention
      self righteous. That was probably the only part of the last scroll
      that I didn't cringe at."

      "But Sarah don't you see. There is so much bloodshed between the
      different sects of those three religions. What if the teachings of
      Eli could bind them together? Wars that have been ongoing for
      thousands of years could be erased."

      "Do you hear what you are saying? You're talking about changing huge
      events throughout history. War is a way of life for some of these
      people. We don't know what would happen if that were to change.
      Things could even be worse."

      "But they could also be better." Janice proceeded. "Look you don't
      even believe in any of these religions, so wouldn't a world where they
      didn't cause so much loss be better? Innocent people wouldn't die for
      nothing."

      "Now you're just catering to my agnostic side." She said with a half
      grin.

      "Don't you want to see them? Don't you want to see the heroes you
      read about your whole life?"

      Sky smiled. "I have. I saw them everyday."

      Janice's eyes teared up. "Don't you want to save them? I know the
      pain Gabrielle went through, but I had so much more time with Mel.
      Don't you want to give them that?"

      "Look, Aunt Janice, I know it sucks that things ended this way. It
      really does. But I gotta say that if by some miracle that stone could
      take people back in time there are a lot of other catastrophic events
      that I believe merit more of a chance to change than the death of
      Xena, Gabrielle and Eve." Sarah said as delicately as she could.

      Janice thought for a second then piped back in.

      "What about the fact that if this scroll tells the truth then there
      would have been no one left to carry on the blood line? Mel and I
      were descended from Xena and Gabrielle; they didn't leave behind any
      children, so my very existence could be hanging in the balance. Maybe
      that's why you found the stone. You were always supposed to find the
      stone so that you could save them all and Mel and I could be born."

      "Now you're really reaching for a reason." Sarah said skeptically.

      "Oh come on Sarah, what could it hurt, really? I'm an old woman who
      is only asking her most beloved niece…" Janice said before being
      interrupted.

      "Your only niece." Sarah added.

      "Ok, I'm asking my only niece to do this one thing that would make me
      so happy."

      They stared at each other for a few moments before Sarah made a last
      ditch attempt to thwart Janice's advance.

      "How can you be so sure it will even work?" She asked. It wasn't
      that Sarah wasn't willing to humor her Aunt by trying out the stone.
      It was the aftermath of the disappointment she was worried about.

      "Because last night while you were asleep I tried it." Janice said
      with consternation awaiting Sarah's response.

      The girl honestly didn't know how to respond. What does she mean she
      tried it? Has she gone insane? Is it Alzheimer's? God, what if
      she's losing her mind.

      "What do you mean you tried it?" Sarah asked.

      Janice was quiet for a few seconds as a small smile crossed her face.
      She then proceeded to pull out Sarah's digital camera. After
      pressing a few buttons she handed it to the girl who glanced at the
      image box then looked up stunned. It was a picture of Mel and Janice
      when they were much younger. It looked like they were on some kind of
      dig during the war. Sarah had seen many pictures of the women in
      these kinds of clothes, but they were all in black and white. To see
      the image on a digital screen really threw her for a loop.

      "How did you…" Sarah asked, breathlessly.

      "How did I take it?" Janice finished for her. "I used the stone to
      go back to the day Mel and I first met." She moved closer and grabbed
      the camera again, smiling at the image. "This isn't the only one
      either. I took as many as I could without being noticed."

      As Janice scrolled through the photos Sarah saw something change
      within the picture. Janice didn't seem to like Mel at first, but
      after a while she finally seemed to warm up to her. The young girl
      took the camera and began to move through the pictures herself. This
      just isn't possible. She thought. How did she do this? There is no
      way this is real. I'm dreaming; I must be. As if reading her
      thoughts Janice spoke up again.

      "It's real, baby girl. I was there. I watched almost the entire day
      unfold just as it did decades ago. I met Mel in the shootout, I told
      her about my father, we got stuck in the cave; all of it. Then at the
      end we decided to stick together and that we did right up until the
      day she died. And after I did all this I had weird memories of an old
      woman on that dig. It was like dejavu."

      Sarah couldn't believe she was about to ask this question, because all
      logic dictated that they shouldn't even be having this discussion, but
      she couldn't help herself. She was starting to believe her aunt.
      "How did you make it work?"

      "It's easy, I read about it in one of the ancient myths. All you have
      to do is think really hard about when and where you want to be. Then
      you do a little chant in Greek and somehow :poof: you're there. It
      should be easier for you. Your pronunciation is even better than
      mine." She said to her niece with a laugh.

      Sarah just sat there with her with her head in one hand and the camera
      in the other.

      "So what do you think?" Janice asked, breaking the silence.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Sarah had to get out of the house for a while. She didn't know what
      to believe about the chronostone, let alone whether or not she should
      change the past just because Janice wanted her to. She called Jake
      and together they headed to the gym. As they ran side by side on the
      treadmills she started to describe her dilemma in full detail.

      "Bullshit." He said as he wiped some sweat from his brow.
      `"Believe me Jake, that's all I could think too, but I'm telling you
      she had pictures from the past on my digital camera."

      "Oh man," he said with awe. "Did you kick her ass for taking your
      camera without permission?"

      As he laughed she punched his arm.

      "It's not funny, man. Try to remember who you're talking to. I'm
      probably the most skeptical person you know, yet I'm here telling you
      that I have a freakin time machine in my house and my Aunt wants me to
      use it to change the past." She looked at his smirking face. "You
      still don't believe me do you?"

      "Not for a second." He said. "But you really did sound convincing."

      "Ugghh." She groaned in frustration. "Ok, let's just say that
      hypothetically I had a way to travel back in time and change the fate
      of Xena and Gabrielle. Is it right to just change what we don't like
      about the past?"

      "You seriously want to have this conversation?" He asked.

      "Jake, just answer the question." Sarah was getting frustrated.

      "Geez, Ok. If you were to go back and change history so that Xena and
      Gabrielle lived you would somehow have to make sure that they didn't
      change any huge events for the rest of their lives. That's the only
      ethical thing to do, but it also seems impossible since Xena and
      Gabrielle were hell bent on changing the world for the better. As for
      Eve, I really don't think you have much to worry about there. Her
      message obviously wasn't being picked up too well because the only
      proof we have for the existence of the Elisians is Gabrielle's
      scrolls. She'd probably end up dead after a few more months on the
      road. Your Aunt is just going to have to deal with that one. It's
      not like you're going to go around protecting her while she tries to
      spread her message."

      "God no, I'd rather commit suicide." Sarah interjected with a
      chuckle, and then let Jake continue.

      "So basically you're talking about saving one person who's not really
      going to have any impact in the future, and two people who could be
      persuaded to settle down and forget about that whole `saving the
      world' thing." He stopped for a second to take a swig of water, then
      continued. "If all that were actually possible then I would say, yes,
      go ahead with your little fantastic voyage if it means so much to Janice."

      They ran in silence for a few minutes as Sarah mulled it all over.
      Finally she sighed and turned her machine off and headed toward the
      exit of the gym.

      "Thanks Jake." She said as she left him.

      After a few seconds he called after her. "Wait a sec, were you for real?"

      She said nothing more and simply made her exit.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      By the time Sarah returned home and showered it was late afternoon.
      She saw Janice sitting on the front porch smoking a cigar and decided
      to bring her out a glass of sweet tea. The opening of the screen door
      alerted the older woman to her presence.

      "Sweet tea?" Sarah asked handing over the glass.

      "Don't suppose it's from Long Island is it?" Janice said jokingly.

      Sarah just smirked and grabbed a cigar out of Janice's pouch before
      leaning against the balcony and lighting it.

      "Smoking one of my stink sticks; what's the occasion?" Janice asked.
      It was a rare occasion for Sarah to stand still long enough to smoke
      a whole cigar.

      "Well, I figure we're going to be out here for a while discussing
      exactly how I'm going to talk Xena and Gabrielle into doing anything
      they don't want to do." She said, drawing the smoke into her mouth.

      Janice's face lit up and she rose to stand in front of her niece.

      "Does that mean you're going?" She asked.

      Sarah smirked as she spit the loose tobacco from her mouth.

      "Either I'm traveling to the past, or waking from a dream." The older
      woman hugged her fiercely and she took in a deep breath before
      speaking again. "If everything gets all screwed up I'm blaming you."

      Janice pulled away and said, "Now where is that self assured arrogance
      you always take on a mission with?"

      "It ran screaming out the door right after I decided to infiltrate the
      space/time continuum and change the fate of the world."

      "Well, you didn't need it anyway. Most girls are turned off by
      arrogance." Janice said before drawing from her stogey. "Now let's
      plan out the past."



      To be continued…
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