NO PLACE LIKE HOME - part 2
sequel to Ascension
by Richard B.Kloosterboer
Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle, including a couple of other characters belong to Renaissance Pictures and me. The Egyptian names are superficial.
Sci-Fi based on 'Chariots of the Gods' and various ancient cultures that survived the deluge, are venting their frustrations in this story.
Lyrics: Muse - New Born [no permission]
Subtext: ALT and plenty of it
Violence: Medium, have to have battles and fights
Warning 1: purists beware - contains emotional content
Warning 2: Contains highly suggestible relationship between two women, if this offends you or is illegal where you come from, this story will not be for you.
Reference: apart from observations of the actual episodes - this time its imagination.
Note: Ties in with 'Walking On' - a prelude to 'Ascension' and 'Xena in Time-Warp'
PS: Feel free to comment or criticize this strange tale
* * *
Destroy the spineless
Show, show me its real
Wasting their last chance
To come away
Just break the silence
'Cause I'm drifting away
Away from you
* * *
[No Place Like Home - part 1 - Prelude]
Gabrielle was nearby and ready for action. It didn't take them long to knock out the guards and skillfully Xena commandeered one of the ships. They didn't have time to look for the bigger multi-seater shuttles, which were elsewhere, so they chose a little flyer each. Xena remembered that the pilots put on a suit and helmet. She and Gabrielle donned such a suit each and were pleasantly surprised to breath the fresh oxygen when they hooked up to the craft.
'Xena?' A strange crackling voice was heard nearby. Gabrielle waved from the other craft.
'I am hearing things.' Said Xena aloud.
'I hear you fine - like you're right next to me.' Gabrielle giggled as Xena was startled.
'I can hear you, Gabrielle. How?'
'I don't know, Xena.'
'Time to fly. We'll figure this out later.' Said Xena resolutely.
Xena pulled the throttle towards herself and nothing happened.
'Push the green button, I think.' Suggested Gabrielle who surged forward in her little craft.
An alarm started whooping as Gabrielle escaped into the night sky.
Xena pushed the green button and her craft lurched with a certain power much like her beloved Argo in the heat of battle. She followed Gabrielle into the night sky. Already other flyers were dispatched and followed our friend's escape from their cage. Gabrielle was close to Earth, but Xena was struggling to keep control of her beast of burden.
'Keep going Gabrielle. I'm right behind you.' Xena was losing ground.
Gabrielle had more control of her craft and made a U-turn. 'I won't leave you.' Xena heard.
Xena knew it was no use arguing with her little bard. Gabrielle would always be there for her, no matter what the danger. They wanted to escape together but their first attempt was doomed to be their last. Xena's craft was being rocketed by a barrage of instrument failure and Xena saw her little ship spiral out of control closer to Earth.
'Maybe this is what Horus meant, that if we left Atlantis, we would die.' Xena said aloud.
'At least we'll die together, Xena. I'm right behind you. Hold on!'
The interceptors returned to Atlantis, the Elite Warriors gave a final disembodied salute.
'Farewell Xena and Gabrielle. May the Divine One watch over you for eternity.'
Gravity clutched the little craft as it plummeted towards an African jungle. Thankfully Xena passed out before the little craft gouged itself deeply into the jungle.
Xena, where are you? Xena, where are you? Xena, where are you? Xena, where are you?
* * *
[No Place Like Home - part 2]
A spear prodded a strange looking object carefully. Feeling more confident others joined to find out if the beast was alive or dead. The tall natives with long tear-drop shields began chanting.
'Amemet Amemet Amemet Amemet Amemet!'
Another creature within the object moved. Its head moved slowly from side to side. It winced in obvious pain as it realised it was wounded. The natives milling about offered food and water for the creature within the object. It moved and an opening let the being step out carefully among the natives. Its silver illuminated suit danced with rainbow colors reflected by the sunlight through the foliage.
'Amemet Amemet Amemet Amemet Amemet!'
'Alalalalala - alalalala - alalalala!'
The chanting was being accompanied by yodeling of the women. The silver creature seemed dazed and confused. It reached for its helmet and removed it. Long black hair escaped its prison as the creature gasped the earth's air once more.
The natives prostrated themselves in front of Xena in subservience.
'No, don't do that.' Xena helped the natives up.
The chanting stopped abruptly as a heavily masked witch-doctor danced around Xena casting incantations. Xena felt amused then began feeling drowsy. Within moments her world blacked out in oblivion.
* * *
Draco's men approached the strange craft carefully. They halted a few feet away as they saw the silver being within move to open a hatch. A pair of hands went to its head and removed it to show a familiar looking blond.
A shout of elation as a young female broke formation and ran up onto the craft embracing her long lost friend.
'Naomi. It is so good to see you again.' Gabrielle hugged her friend close. 'How long has it been?'
'Close to four seasons.' Naomi helped her older friend out of the craft as Draco approached. Naomi stood comfortably close by Draco's side. Gabrielle gave a knowing look and smiled a blessing.
'Thank you for taking care of Naomi, Draco.' Gabrielle said.
'She's been no trouble.' He winced slightly when Naomi punched him in the arm. 'Did you succeed in your quest?'
'Yes ' Gabrielle started happily, then looked suddenly sad. 'And no.'
'Maybe we should retreat to our camp so you can tell us about your adventure when you've rested.' Draco suggested.
'The warlord interested in others? Will wonders never cease.' Gabrielle chuckled.
'Haven't I trained him well.' As Naomi guided the young Draco's chin close to her own lips and kissed him passionately.
After Gabrielle had refreshed herself she told them that she had successfully restored Xena's soul to her new body. They had been trapped on Atlantis all this time and only just now were able to escape.
'Unfortunately Xena lost control and crashed in the middle of Zulu territory.' She started weeping and Naomi held her old friend close. 'I don't know for sure if she is alive. I'm nearly sure she is, else her shadow would've found me by now. I long for her now.'
Naomi gave a pleading look at Draco. Young Draco simply nodded approval. 'We will help you find Xena. I too have many skills.' Naomi confided to Gabrielle wiping away the older woman's tears of despair.
* * *
Anubis was worried. Not for himself, but for the upcoming battle with their enemies. His cousin Horus on the other hand was furious. They had lost their trump card for a victorious defeat of their nemesis. Xena and Gabrielle had played them for a couple of fools and escaped to their birth planet below them. Under normal circumstances it would've been allowed, but Horus was not amused.
The demand was clear, precise and to the point.
'Nothing so far. The shuttles cannot penetrate the thick foliage. Xena may well be lost to us.' Anubis reported monotonously.
'And Gabrielle?' Horus asked.
'Her flyer was found abandoned nearby. The natives have left well enough alone, I think, but there was not a trace to be found. She is very skilled indeed.' He said proudly.
'Gabrielle will not elude us for ever. She must be found. Our survival depends on it.' Horus said with obvious panic.
'Why?' Asked Anubis.
'Gabrielle took the 'Water of Life'. In the wrong hands '
'Too late for that, cousin. Its already in the wrong hands.' Answered Anubis for him.
'All the more reason to speed up the search.' Horus instructed.
'Maybe ' Mumbled Anubis to himself out of earshot.
* * *
She opened her eyes but it was still dark. 'Where am I?' She thought. She felt herself get up and felt sand under her bare feet. Her clothes had been removed. Her anger flared at the thought that someone undressed her whilst she was unconscious. She felt the walls enclosed around her. Very thick matted branches. The hut was hot and muggy. She wanted to breath fresh air. She needed to get out. She heard voices nearby, almost whispering. Surprise them.
Looking within herself she found the core of her inner strength, her being of existence. With a battle-cry that gave life to her inner strength she bored her way free of her confines and landed near the two sentries.
Xena gave them a berserker look and a maddening smile reflected by the moonlight. The sentries reaction was natural in defense, but their fear transformed them to attack this demon standing in front of them.
Both thrust their spears at Xena - a fatal mistake - as Xena easily took hold of both spears restricting their movements. She kicked one of the sentries stunning him and he let loose of the spear. A mad look in her eyes was enough for the second sentry to step back in fear and he let go off the spear as well.
'Someone needs to teach you guys how to fight.' Xena observed. By this time the commotion had brought out most of the Zulus. They looked on in amazement at the vision of beauty in front of them. Someone came forward with a leopard skin and offered it to Xena. She accepted eagerly and covered herself quickly. Again the people began chanting and kneeling in subservience.
'No, you don't need to ' Xena began.
'But they want to!' A flash of lightning only Xena recognized as Ares entered her life once more.
'Delighted to see you here, Xena.' Ares began. 'And in the flesh too.' He smiled.
'I'd like to say I'm happy to see you too '
'But?' Ares asked.
'You don't want to know.' She laughed touching his cheek with her fingers.
Xena took a step back. 'Aren't you a little too far away from home?'
'You have been out of touch for a while, haven't you? I have taken over Zeus' place as the King of the Gods - actually, just me and Dite, y'know?'
'But she's your sister, oh never mind.'
Ares gave Xena a dark brooding look as Xena giggled. She walked seductively up to him, surprising him with stealth and kissed him passionately. He in turn escaped her kiss and teased her neck seductively. Xena let herself go as Ares touched her just right. 'I missed you, Xena.'
'No you didn't.' Xena laughed.
He let go of her suddenly, surprising her, pushing her away, stung by her jibe. 'Poor Ares.'
'I would have given you everything.' He shouted. 'Instead you wanted to remain mortal.'
Xena walked up close to Ares and whispered in his ear. 'I died Ares. I was dead for a very long time.'
'How did you die?'
'It happened in Jappa - decapitation.' Xena related matter-of-fact. 'Gabrielle cremated me and I had a chance to be restored, but '
'You chose to remain dead?'
'I don't remember being dead.' Xena looked sad.
'I can show you.' Ares said.
'But do I want to see that life. Do I want to see the grief I caused Gabrielle for not being there for her.'
'All you need to do is ask - no strings.'
'Okay then, a little glimpse.' Xena was curious.
They disappeared from the view of the milling Zulus. Xena felt bad about ignoring her would-be hosts. But superstition could no longer be avoided. Ares too was curious about the time that had passed between Xena's death and Xena's rebirth. The sat together in a hut, enclosed in complete privacy. She had to put her faith in Ares. Have no doubts. She closed her eyes, she and Ares were transported to the desert near Egypt. She saw Gabrielle struggling and badly wounded on her right side.
'Gabrielle!' Xena shouted and wanted to go to her.
'She can't hear you or me.' Ares said.
'She's in so much pain.' Xena sobbed.
'Physically and mentally - yes!'
'It looks like she's lost everything.' Xena observed.
'Except what drives her - her will to live.'
Xena pointed to Gabrielle's side. A broken rib protruding from the skin. 'This wound explains a lot. An old scar she has. Look at her shoulder, a torn muscle?'
'You know more than me.' Confessed Ares. 'I'm just here for the ride.'
'I'm here, sweetheart.' Then Xena noticed a shadow following Gabrielle and recognized herself in that form. Xena thought the words at the same time as her shadow spoke them. 'I am always near you, Gabrielle.'
'Xena, I can't go on. I will be with you soon.'
'You will be fine, I promise. Sleep now, my love. Sleep.' The shadow shimmered for a moment longer and then disappeared.
'Look Xena. Bedouin or Nomads.' Ares said.
Xena noticed something familiar. 'Amazons. Arabian Amazons.' Xena smiled. Gabrielle is fortunate indeed.'
'Do you want to see more?' Ares asked.
' later.' Xena replied as she awoke from her trance. Ares was gone without a word.
'Thank you Ares.' Xena mouthed in silence, then stood up and hoped to communicate a bit better with her new hosts.
* * *
The Jungle was an inhospitable place for strangers. Fortunately Naomi was a native to this region and Gabrielle had lived here for years as well. Draco and his small army had become accustomed to the land and its native people.
Gabrielle was surprised in the change of attitude in the man. It seems he was quite content to give up his life as a warlord and settle down as a family man. Some of the mercenaries did not like his new philanthropic views of preserving life and culture. They tried to unsuccessfully assassinate him and Naomi. The conspirators met with an untimely death when they failed to defend themselves properly. Gabrielle chuckled that the path for redemption was a strange path to follow for a warrior. If one weren't to take the redemption angle too far, she thought bitterly.
Carving a straight line through the jungle they reached Xena's crash site within half a week. Within moments the tracks showed that a large group of people had already found the crashed pod.
'Xena was here.' Gabrielle confirmed. 'And she was wounded.'
'Here's a helmet like yours, Gabrielle.' Naomi handed Gabrielle the helmet.
'They're traveling South-West.' Observed Draco.
'Then we'd better get moving.' Ordered Gabrielle.
The rescue party went on their way to find Xena deep in Zulu territory.
* * *
Anubis let his shuttle hover out of sight. His keen eyesight had already observed Gabrielle and her friends find Xena's pod and choose a direction to locate her. Calculating a trajectory in his mind he quickly moved his shuttle in the direction of the nearest settlement in that direction. Several miles took several seconds and he hovered a few metres in deep jungle looking into this village for any sign of the Warrior Princess.
On a hunch he decided to have a closer look outside his craft. Anubis had only just stepped outside when suddenly
Anubis felt the Pinch on him in seconds and he was paralyzed. 'Always wondered what you guys looked like without your masks. He tried to resist and protest as Xena deftly removed the mask. Shock enveloped her face with sudden regret as she stared at a grotesquely melted face. Scarred from a war long forgotten in antiquity. Where irises were supposed to be there was only a white blindness. The result of a flash of light so bright it blinded anyone who had not worn protection.
'How? I'm sorry.' Xena meant it and put the mask back on over Anubis' head.
'Now you know our secret.' He said with a tinge of sadness and bitterness. 'This mask aids me to see, but I use other senses as well. I can see your aura, for instance.'
Xena removed the Pinch and helped him up. 'What happened?' Xena asked with curiosity and concern.
'Our civilization traveled from the future to the past to make a new home for ourselves.' Xena remembered something from her own distant past and smiled knowingly.
'You've met one of us before?' He asked.
'I've met a distant descendant from my future - yes.' Xena confided to Anubis.
'You never cease to amaze me, Xena.' Anubis complimented.
Xena ignored the compliment and asked, 'Did a disaster befall on you and your people?'
Anubis nodded. 'Our civilization was thriving. Commerce between time and space. We colonized the young earth. Greed was the main factor and our society divided in several castes. To aid in our wars we created the Anunnaki, but in time, because they were so much like us they wanted workers of their own as well.'
Xena was getting impatient. 'Yeah, yeah, get to the point.'
'The point is we nearly destroyed ourselves and the Earth. The mother-ship Atlantis orbiting Earth is the only remnant left from a once proud civilization.'
'This is how you got scarred?' Xena asked.
'This was one of many reasons. The war was long and hard. We became the Sky-Gods. And Cronos created the Earth-Gods.'
Xena looked at him incredulously. 'Wait a minute you knew Cronos? That's thousands of years ago.'
'About eight thousand years ago - yes. We knew him. He was the reason why we are stuck here now.'
'But you are immortal?' Xena asked puzzled.
'We are only as immortal as mortality allows. Through science we have developed many ways to remain immortal. Its only the Earth-Gods who have the connection with the Earth that makes them all powerful. But they are just as mortal as us.'
Xena nodded, 'I used to be able to kill Gods '
'You still can - once you have been given a gift - no power in the universe can take it away from you. It is merely surpressed.'
'So, by giving you the Pinch '
'I could've died.'
'Of course I didn't know you were immortal '
'You wouldn't have known about that.' Anubis held Xena's shoulders. 'Xena, we need you up there. Horus has told me that our enemies are coming to invade Earth and will wipe out all existing life if they don't get stopped now.'
Xena walked away, 'This is beyond me. What have I got that you don't have?'
Anubis walked up to Xena and feigned an attack. Xena reacted instantly, somersaulting behind Anubis and putting him in a sleeper grip. He put up his hands in submission.
Xena looked puzzled.
'You have survival instinct - that's the difference.'
* * *
'Xena is close.' Observed Gabrielle huddled near Naomi and Draco.
'I feel like we're being watched.' Muttered Draco. Then he saw a monstrous beast coming towards him. 'Holy mother of Ares!'
'Damn it!' Swore Gabrielle. Draco and Naomi looked in fear and surprise as Gabrielle got up bravely and stood next to the silver monster. 'Its a shuttle.' She explained.
A side hatch opened up.
Delighted Gabrielle recognized her friend Xena. She bounded up the steps of the craft and embraced her friend, 'Xena, I missed you so much.'
'Its al right, sweetheart. I missed you too.' Allowing herself to be kissed in happiness by her friend.
Xena noticed Draco and Naomi near the ship. One arm still wrapped around her bard she said to them, 'Come on aboard, Draco and Naomi. The Sky-Gods need our help.'
'The Sky-Gods?' They asked surprised.
'I'll explain along the way as best I can. But I'm sure you can hone your skills as a warrior against the foe we will be fighting to save our planet.'
'This is madness.' Draco said.
'Wait until you see where this fight is going to be.' Xena promised with a knowing smile.
Draco and Naomi climbed aboard, and to Xena's delight so did most of Draco's band of mercenaries.
'Draco, Anubis wants to talk to you.' Xena confided and escorted him to the bridge of the shuttle. Upon entering he looked at the sight dancing in front of his eyes. The machine was steadily ascending up through the thin cloud layer and stars appeared in the sky. The shuttle turned and flew in a new direction on intercept course with a large star that seemed to want to get away from them.
'Atlan!' Draco proclaimed.
'Atlantis!' Confirmed Anubis. 'I must warn you, Draco. Your help is welcomed by me, but the Annunaki will be skeptical.'
'They're a tough bunch,' Xena punched his arm with a smile. 'But we can teach them a lesson or two.'
'Oh yes, we have something that they never had.' Xena smiled knowingly, leaving Draco to look upon the star Atlan looming closer, she went to be with her friend Gabrielle and to get acquainted with Naomi.
* * *
Horus was not amused. His cousin went all out breaking all sacred trusts to bring up not only Xena and Gabrielle as per instructions, but also an army of mercenaries. He was baffled that these primitives could do anything. They only knew how to survive on Earth. Here on a spaceship its a different story. Anubis said that Xena had a plan. That it hinged on how well he could play deception.
Now they were here and waiting for an answer to an impossible request.
'How long before your enemies arrive?' Gabrielle asked.
'They will be here within the week.' Anubis answered under a scornful gaze of Horus.
'Cousin, Xena and Gabrielle know more of warfare than any other human. You know this.' Anubis pleaded. 'We need their help if we are to survive.'
Horus gave a barely perceptible nod of approval.
'Okay, people we have less than a week to get battle ready. Horus, we need you to make up our terms for your surrender.' Xena said.
'WHAT?' Horus looked stunned.
Gabrielle smiled, 'How else are we going to defend ourselves? Invite them in, of course.'
'You do realise they are from Cronos' race. They are giants.' Horus explained.
Xena gave a knowing wink to Gabrielle.
'The bigger they are, the harder they fall.' Xena said.
'But don't stand under them or you'll be crushed. Don't worry, Xena has tackled giants before.' Gabrielle laughed knowingly.
Draco came up. 'You are sure we can tackle them, Xena?'
Xena nodded. 'With the right preparations we can trap them.' Xena's eyes flashed dangerously with the old warlord passion seething through.
'I see why my father admired you so ' Draco mentioned.
Gabrielle cautioned him, 'Best walk away from this one, Draco. No man ever survived Xena's love. Naomi needs you now.'
Draco looked at Gabrielle, acknowledging the advice and went to Naomi's side. Gabrielle smiled knowingly as Draco kissed Naomi like only lovers could. Joining Anubis and Xena's side they discussed their battle plans. The survival of the Atlanteans and Earth depended on the skills of the Warrior Princess and Warrior Bard.
* * *
He was wandering through the corridors with unusual curiosity. Cursing on his father's name that they didn't know that this craft ever existed. He looked into every nook and cranny, studying every little detail. He had heard the legends of the Sky-Gods, but even to the Olympians they were just a myth. Now he was in their domain. Xena was here - helping them - helping his grandfather's enemy. Why would she do this?
He hid beside a strut and listened to a common language. It didn't take long for the God of War to learn the strange consonants and vowels these people spoke. The Anunnaki were a crude but effective race. He had his disguise and joined the ranks - feeling the discontent of these creatures. If all worked well he could sway most of them to his side and win a war for his Grandfather's side.
'Did you feel that too?' Gabrielle asked as she looked up at the lightly sleeping Xena.
'Mmmmh?' Xena stirred.
'I think Ares is close by '
Xena caressed her partner a bit more closely, 'Wouldn't surprise me a bit.'
'So you felt him nearby as well?'
'All part of the plan '
'Good to have you back, my love.'
Xena bend down to kiss Gabrielle's forehead lightly. 'Best get some sleep while you can, sweetheart.'
Draco and Naomi were up on watch with Anubis. 'The history of our races stem back to when the Sky-Gods interfered with our existence.' Draco said matter-of-fact.
'Yes, and a descendant of yours made time-travel possible by creating the first time-travel machine that works on DNA-sequencing. Of course, it was ironic that the descendant of Xena should go back in time so many times to be by her side - except one time.'
'My descendant and Xena's descendant worked together?'
'Yes - Eve I believe will have a few children by now. But that's beside the point. We come of a future where everything had drastically changed the world. Colonization in the past seemed to be a good idea at the time. It was a mistake.'
'How so?' Asked Naomi.
'It nearly destroyed us - fortunately Cronos' got killed - thanks in part through his son Zeus. He was the only one who knew of the Sky-Gods, and our involvement.'
A voice in his native tongue accosted Anubis. 'So you killed my Grandfather.' Ares appeared brandishing his sword ready to strike down the Sky-God.
For Draco everything happened in slow motion as Naomi jumped in front of Anubis as a shield and Ares' sword dug deep into Naomi. A rage of despair enveloped Draco as he tackled the son of Zeus with furious passion. Ares threw him clear and the stalking commenced as Draco's seething anger made him a formidable enemy of the War-god.
Gabrielle screamed awake clutching her chest in sudden spasm.
Quickly she put on a coverall - Xena did the same as she followed Gabrielle's instinct. The scene they met with was Ares in a death-match with Draco. Gabrielle ran towards her mortally wounded friend whilst Xena held her chakram at Ares' throat.
'You can't hurt me with that.' Ares mocked. Xena let the chakram slice down the length of Ares' arm. It bled a golden hue and Ares whimpered in fear, more than in pain. He let go of the gasping Draco and clutched his arm whilst stepping back in horror as Xena looked sadly at this pathetic creature that once was the God of War.
'Xena, she's dying.' Gabrielle sobbed, clutching her young friend.
Draco was by her side, 'There must be something? She carries my child.'
'The Water of Life!' Xena and Gabrielle exclaimed at the same time.
'Anubis, we cannot interfere.' Horus stopped his cousin.
'What are you saying, cousin. She will die and so will her son.' Anubis shot back. 'You know what this means?'
'Yes - that all what we know now will cease to exist.' Said Horus indifferently.
Draco flared up hotly. 'You would let my love and my child die so that my descendant won't be born?'
'This is the wrong time to change sides, Horus!' exclaimed Xena. 'Gabrielle, catch!' Xena threw the chakram at Gabrielle. Gabrielle caught it and threw the chakram at Horus. He in turn managed to duck in time and the chakram bounced back to Xena, just in time to keep Ares in check after a swift kick. 'I'm really disappointed with you Ares.' She said.
Anubis took the water-sack from the safe-keeping place in the vault and gave it to Gabrielle. Uncorking it she paused as she put the teat at her lips. She handed the water-sack to Draco. 'You do it, she's your love, your life. She carries your child.'
Draco accepted it and without spilling a drop he gave Naomi the kiss of life. Naomi's mortal wound healed instantly and soon he felt a second heartbeat accompanying Naomi's in a rhythmic beat.
'Ares, you idiot. You nearly destroyed your own future.' Xena accused. 'You've been manipulated by your own creator.'
'What? I have?' Ares looked in confusion at Horus.
'That was not very nice, Horus.' Xena continued. 'Lying to us and your people.'
Anubis seemed confused.
'I recognized your face, Anubis. Your ancestor was one Professor Miles Bronwyk.' Xena said matter-of-factly.
'He was my great-grandfather.'
'So meeting up with your possible ancestors would be a fluke.' Xena said.
'But what does this have to do with cousin Horus?' asked Gabrielle.
'Maybe he's just sick of immortality - I can arrange something about that.' Xena said menacingly brandishing Ares' sword close to Horus.
'No Xena - don't! Give me the sword.' Gabrielle interfered and gave Xena a dark look that only she recognized as something she hadn't seen for a long time.
Xena paused momentarily before handing the sword hilt first to Gabrielle. Xena turned and walked away with a knowing, almost sad smile on her lips.
It didn't take long for Horus to make the wrong decision. As he brought forth a hidden dagger and sliced down towards Gabrielle's exposed back. The last thing he saw before he died was Ares' swinging around coming to meet him as he impaled himself on it.
Gabrielle let Horus slide of Ares' sword and walked up to Anubis. 'The enemy of your people is dead. They died a long time ago. You can come down on Earth and live out the rest of your lives in peace if you want.'
'I just don't understand why Horus has lied to us all this time.' Anubis wept for his cousin. 'There were no obvious signs for his treachery.'
'He hated your ancestor for trapping you here in this time. Did he ever mention how Atlantis got destroyed?' Asked Gabrielle.
'Horus said our enemies were at the other side of the world. We had a weapon that could destroy over a vast distance. Something must've gone wrong. I do not remember much. Just a blinding light.'
'Is this how you got scarred?' Asked Xena.
'I was probably mortally wounded. Horus made these masks to hide our scars and also something to restore some of my ocular senses. Otherwise I am quite blind.' Anubis said sadly. 'And now my treacherous cousin is dead as well.'
Gabrielle handed him the 'Water of Life'. 'You can always resurrect him.'
Anubis declined. 'Keep it save, Gabrielle. My cousin died a long time ago.'
'Where will you go?' Gabrielle asked clasping his arm in friendship.
'We're moving Atlantis out of Earth's orbit and we'll follow a direct path to one of our sister colonies near the failed sun.'
'Jupiter!' Then seeing the confusion. 'In the future astronomers will see an orange planet and call it Jupiter. It has all the ingredients to make another sun - if it mixes itself with the moon Io. Anyway, another moon orbiting Jupiter is very similar to Earth in composition.'
'And how long will it take you to get there?'
'About six months. You'd better go now, my friends. Save journey.'
* * *
On Earth once more Draco cradled Naomi in his arms and Xena held onto Gabrielle as they witnessed the star Atlan interrupt its final orbit. It slowly ascended away from Earth until it winked out of existence.
'Anu is save, my love.' Whispered Naomi to Draco naming their baby after Anubis.
'I am happy that you are save with me.' Confided Draco. They moved off for more privacy for themselves as well as for Xena and Gabrielle.
'The world is save for a while, at least.' Whispered Gabrielle to Xena. 'How did you know?'
'Something that Horus said didn't make sense. If Atlantis was the only ship to reach orbit, than how come Cronos' family survived? In our mythology no one survived. Only the Olympians.' Xena explained.
'So it was a coincidence that Draco and Naomi came with us.'
'Or preordained. This time-travel business confuses me too much.' Xena rubbed her forehead.
'Your descendent visited me a couple of times while you were gone.' Gabrielle teased knowingly.
Xena looked at Gabrielle with an 'I-don't-want-to-know' look.
'You can tell me how you got that scar by writing a scroll of your life without me.' Xena said.
'Will you read them this time?' Gabrielle looked at her skeptically.
'I'd rather have your word for it than Ares. He showed me some things.'
'I have that scroll I'll get it for you. It's called 'Walking On'!'
Gabrielle handed the scroll to Xena and she read
The End [?] No Place Like Home - part 2
by Richard B.Kloosterboer
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