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“Xena, would you mind telling me what we’re doing?”

Gabrielle had about had enough. Xena had awakened her in the middle of the night several days ago, determined to do something, which she hadn’t revealed as of yet. They hadn’t stopped for longer than a brief rest since, and Gabrielle’s nerves were worn thin.

Xena hadn’t said anything beyond a brisk, “Wake up, Gabrielle. We’re leaving.” not bothering to explain or even answer with more than a one syllable word.

Frankly, I’m fed up with it, she grumbled to herself. My stomach’s growling, my eyes are about to be permanently glued shut from lack of sleep, my skin is itching from trail dust, and my feet are killing me!

“Enough is enough, Xena. I deserve to be told why we’re traveling faster than Hermes going to breakfast.”

Xena knew her companion was right. She hadn’t been fair with her treatment of Gabrielle these last few days. But the need to get to her daughter grew by the hour.

“Just a little farther. Then we’ll talk.”

“No. We’ll talk now.”

Xena looked at her confidant, and finally noticed the haggard spirit she conveyed. Gabrielle’s on her last leg, and I’ve failed to notice it, she lamented silently. Stoically, she turned around and walked off the trail, dropping her gear to the ground beside a cluster of trees. Not far away, a small stream trickled slowly through the rock outcroppings, adding a hint of moisture and purity to the air.

Gabrielle watched silently, hands clenched on hips, ready to be rebuffed yet again. Xena sat down on a log and regarded Gabrielle’s staunch posture.

“All right. I’ll tell you.”

Xena was weary. It was a fatigue that went deep, and Gabrielle could see what it was doing to her friend. She took a seat, concerned Xena had pushed too hard these last days.

“Don’t look at me like that. I’m fine. It’s Eve.”


“I think she’s in danger.”

“But Xena,” Gabrielle asked carefully, “how do you know something like that? Did you get a message you didn’t tell me about?”

“Something like that.” Xena mumbled.

“Something like what?” Gabrielle pressed.

Xena sighed and let the truth spill out. “A dream, all right? I saw it in a dream.” “A dream.”

“Yes, you heard me.”

“No mysterious messenger, no letter? Not even a visit from our favorite pain the posterior god?” Gabrielle was astonished. Xena had been dragging her around for days because of a dream?

“Listen, I know it sounds weird.”

“Weird doesn’t begin to cover it.”

Exasperated at Gabrielle’s lack of comprehension, Xena turned and asked, “Why are you being like this? You asked why I was in such a hurry, and I’m trying to tell you. But you keep snapping at me before I can explain.”

The distress evident in Xena’s voice made Gabrielle regret her outburst. “I’m sorry. I’m just a little on edge right now. OK?” Xena understood perfectly how she was feeling.

Xena told Gabrielle about the dream, saying how she felt like a voyeur watching it. Then she told her about her suspicions.

“I heard some chanting. It was low and irregular, and I couldn’t tell what he was saying, but it held her,enthralled. Then, I saw the symbol. I’ve only come across it once before, and was lucky to walk away. I think what we’re dealing with is the Incubi. If that’s what’s preying on Eve, we’ve got to get to her quickly, before he has a chance to enslave her to his will.”