In a realm of shadows were the restless spirits walk a dark soul awakens. This soul had been trapped for millenia, imprisoned when the remains of the body were encased in special amber. But this powerful spirit has broken its bonds.
Alti: Finally, I am free. I will have my revenge on those who imprisoned me, Xena, Gabrielle, and the Amazons. It shouldn't take long for me to find their reincarnated souls.
This dark wraith roamed the Earth and the underground destroying those who she recognized as former Amazons. This world was so changed from the one she'd known, but no matter her powers had only grown during her entrapment and she would easily destroy anyone who stood in her way.
Alti: Ahh, I sense old friends. Amarice and Cyane. And, oh what luck, Yakut is with them. I will take much pleasure in reaving her soul.
Lily sat up in bed screaming. Hel, Sarge, and Cleo came running in.
Sarge: What's wrong with you now? See another shadow?
Cleo: Don't be so mean to her. Now, Lily what's wrong?
Lily: I sense a disturbance in the force.
Hel (grinning): You've really gotta stop talking to Cleo so much.
Lily: No. There's something very powerful, and very evil heading this way. And it wants to kill us.
Hel: Voice? Why didn't you warn us? Don't you dare do this to us again.
Voice: I'm not doing anything. I don't sense any danger approaching. The girl had a nightmare that's all.
Hel: Lily, it was probably just a dream. Get some sleep. You're flying lesson's in a few hours.
Lily: I guess you're right but I just feel like there's something very wrong. I feel that Cleo, Rose, and I are being hunted somehow.
Hel: Oh, well as long as I'm safe. (giggle)
Lily went back to sleep tossing and turning. She dreamt of a time long ago, a past life. And she dreamt of the evil woman who was hunting them, and the two women who could stop her.
Alti's spirit form is free to travel in this underground world but she needs a body.A physical body is required if she is to be able to touch her intended victims.
Alti's spirit enters a Bailey's robot manufacturing plant.the factory is filled with super-powered mechanical bodies.These robot shells are indestructible! Alti's spirit enters one of the robots.she emerges from the factory and jumps down an elevator shaft.
Voice: Hel, there's a problem. I sense a betrayer approaching you but it's unlike any I've seen before. I think you'd better listen to what ever Lily has to say about this.
Hel alerted Cleo and Sarge to the impending danger. They all ran into Lily's room to find out what was going on.
Sarge: Lily, if you know something about this new betrayer tell us now!
Lily: It's not a betrayer. That's only a vessel the real fiend is using. It's something much worse. I'm not sure what but I'm sure we've faced it before.
Hel (to Voice): She isn't making any sense, we're going to need some coherent info here.
Voice: I only wish I had some.
Mauser ran into the room. "Betrayer fast approaching," he yelled.
Hel: We've gotta get out of here. If Lily's right we can't fight this thing yet.
They all jumped into the shaft and used their thrusters to fly up to another level.
Alti arrived at the lab. She took a deep breath.
Alti: They've just left, must've seen me coming. No matter, I can smell them all the way from here. Four of them, all women, and a mechanical man. Amarice and Yakut must pay for helping Xena trap me. And I've always hated Cyane. The other is from my time too but I have no quarrel with her. Well, as they say, any friend of my enemies...ha ha ha ha ha
Alti started firing her forearm weapons and destroyed most of the lab.
Alti: Oh yes. This body will work quite nicely.
She jumped into the shaft and flew up after the team.
Cleo: Where are we going?
Hel: ASE Level 215. You haven't been there before but I have a feeling you'll like it.
They arrived at the level. Lily didn't know what was so special about it.
It looked to be just a small room with a large mirror on one wall. Cleo, on the other hand, remembered the ASE level they'd gone to before and knew there was more than meets the eye in these places.
Hel, Sarge, and Mauser walked through the mirror. The "glass" appeared to turn liquid as they stepped through it. Without a word, Cleo grabbed Lily's trembling hand and led her through the entrance.
Suddenly the five of them were standing on a tropical beach. Cleo watched people in the distance playing volleyball and wondered if the girls would mind a game.
Hel: I know what you're thinking Cleo. We're not here to play around. We just need time to think before we have to fight that betrayer or whatever it is. This level has plenty of places to lay low for a while.
Cleo (not listening): Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya. To Bermuda, Bahamas, Come on pretty mama...
They walked over to a table with a big rainbow-colored umbrella over it.
Sarge: I'm picking up something on the tracker. It's moving fast from the lab. Must be that betrayer. We don't have much time.
Cleo: Alright Lily. Tell us all about your dream.
Lily: Well, it was very confusing. It had something to do with skeletons fighting each other and a baby's soul and...oh this doesn't make any sense. I was wearing some weird costume made of animal skins and there were these two women, a blonde and a brunette. And Cleopatra, you were in it too. You had long red hair.
Cleopatra interrupted. "Wierd,how'd you know that I was a redhead? Even I had begun to forget my natural hair color."
Sarge: This is all jumbled up and we don't have time to piece it together.
Maybe we should hypnotize her.
Hel: Sounds good, go for it.
Sarge: Me? I thought you could...
Hel and Sarge looked at Cleo. She gulped visibly and looked at them wide-eyed.
Cleo: Okay, I'll give it a shot. Lily, listen closely. You are getting sleepy, veeeery sleepy.
Lily: No I'm not.
Cleo: Shhhh, just listen. I want you to close your eyes and breathe deeply okay. Now let your entire body relax. Okay, now listen to me count to ten slowly, drifting farther asleep as I count, when I get to ten you will be fully asleep. One...Two...Three...Your arms and legs are as light as feathers...Four...Five.
Lily jumped out of her seat. "Nooo! Gabrielle!"
They all looked at her. She just stood there staring in the direction of three young children building a sand castle.
Lily: I remember now.
Lily: I can see it all now. It's a past life experience. I never believed in such things before but now I know. Our attackers name is Alti. She was a powerful woman long ago but Cleo and I and many other women helped the blonde and brunette trap her soul. It was supposed to last forever.
Hel: Forever is a long time, but apparently not long enough.
Sarge: You said it was after me too.
Lily: Yes, you weren't a part of trapping her but she's had a vendetta which was never quite settled.
Cleo: When is this past life supposed to have happened?
Lily: Thousands of years ago.
Cleo: Man, talk about holding a grudge.
Lily: There are only two women who can stop her. The brunette and the blonde, their names are...were Xena and Gabrielle, they could be anyone now.
Voice: Hel, I hate to say this but I think she's right. I've just gotten in contact with another team leader, she says she's been having the same visions.
Hel: She wouldn't happen to be a brunette named Xena would she?
Voice: No, a blonde, named Gabrielle.
Hel told the others what Voice had said.
Lily: We've got to go to her before it's too late.
Alti: Sorry, dear. It already is.
Alti started firing. Hel knocked over the table and told Cleo and Lily to hide behind it. She and Sarge started returning fire. The people who lived on the level were all running around in a panic. One little girl ran in front of Alti and narrowly escaped being hit.
Cleo: No, for once I'm gonna help. I can't hide for the rest of my life.
She jumped up and started firing. Shocked, Hel and Sarge stared at her. Alti shot a few more blasts and all three of them were hit. Hel and Sarge's sheilds protected them but Cleo had forgetten to turn her's on and was flung back by the force.
Mauser engaged his forearm weapons. When he was reprogrammed, it was set up so he would never use them again. He didn't even realize that his "feelings" for his friend had overridden his program. He and Alti exchanged fire while Hel and Sarge attended to Cleo.
Cleo was badly burned and her right arm was practically severed. "I'm sorry," she managed to mumble before passing out.
Hel: It's okay little sister, you just rest now.
Lily was still sitting behind the table, crying.
Mauser: Run, NOW! I can't hold her much longer.
Hel picked up Cleo and Sarge grabbed Lily. They ran toward a beach resort.
Inside the resort everything was havoc. People had found out about the betrayers battling outside. Cleo was slipping in and out of consciousness. Sarge wished she would wake up so she could slap her for being so stupid and not thinking ahead. Hel wished she would wake up so she wouldn't have the frightening and saddening thougts in the back of her mind. Lily didn't know what to think. Her mind was trapped between the past and the present.
They looked out the window. It was too late. He was scap metal.
Sarge (a tremble in her voice): He's just off line right?
Hel: There's no way we can repair that much damage. He's gone.
They saw Alti running toward the resort at unimaginable speed. Cleo would've said she was faster than a speeding bullet or running at warp speed or something like that, Hel thought.
Sarge: Something's wrong. She's not tracking us, she couldn't be but she can still find us. How?
Hel watched through the window as Alti stopped agian, took a deep breath, and turned in their direction.
Hel: She can smell us.
Lily: Yes, she can smell our blood, the traces of our ancestors within us, our very souls. No matter how far or how fast we run she will always find us. She must be stopped.
Voice: Hel there's a shaft a few dozen yards from you. It won't be easy to get there without that monster catching you but it's the only way out. Sarge's holographic projector flashed on, displaying the exact location of the shaft. A bright red X flashed on the display.
Voice: That's where Gabrielle is. Hurry!
Hel: We're on our way.
They started running toward the shaft. As they exited the back of the resort, Alti entered the front. She could easily have caught them then but she didn't want this little game of cat and mouse to end so quickly.
Alti: Run along, little shameness. I will find you wherever you hide. (sniff, sniff) Ahh, Xena's little bitch, how kind of you to lead me to her.
Sarge, Lily, and Hel(still carrying Cleo) found another "liquid mirror". As they jumped through Lily heard Alti's yells.
Alti: You took my head once, Yakut. And now I'll take yours. But you won't have the fortune of being dead first. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
While flying down the shaft Hel yelled to Sarge.
Hel: I have to get Cleo to safety. I'll take her to the mutant lab where we found her. Get her all fixed up. You go on ahead.
Sarge: Sure, Lily and I will find this Gabrielle chick and you can track us.
Hel shot her web and swung onto the mutants' level. Sarge continued to fly down.
Soon she reached the level, it was the bar where Hel had played Ek for the specimens. Sarge thought she wouldn't mind getting to know a girl who'd hang around in here.
Sarge: So, Lily, there's a lot of blondes in here. Which one's Gabrielle?
Lily looked around the room. She pointed to a tall, young woman with long blonde hair. She was wearing a black latex cat suit and carrying a whip. Oh, I will definitely like her, Sarge thought.
Alti: Hmm, they've split up. Which should I go after first. The one with wounded Amarice or Yakut and Cyane with Gabrielle?
Alti: I'm tempted to end Yakut's existence now, once and for all, but I want to save Gabrielle for later. I'll wait until I find Xena then she can watch me kill her precious friend right before her eyes. Now where are Amarice and that other woman?
Hel reached the mutant's lab. Cat-man looked shocked.
Cat-Man: Ahh, so you're the one who took her. Well, thanks for bringing her back, even if in poor condition, I've been getting a little lonely lately.
Hel: I'm not returning her to you. She needs your help.
Cat-Man: What will you give me?
Hel thought for a minute. What did she have the he would want? The last time she had to give him the wooden tube she'd kept her father's picture in. She didn't have anything as valuable as wood now. Hel took out the picture. She looked at it, then at Cleo. With tears in her eyes she kissed the photo.
Hel: Here, it's a photograph, printed on real paper.
Cat-Man: You do give me the most interesting gifts. Fine, put her on the table.
As Cleopatra was being healed. Alti approached the lab with her weapons warming up.
Sarge: This is gonna sound weird but we're looking for a Gabrielle and Xena to help us defeat some kind of super-betrayer.
Gab: I knew you'd come. Voice told me about your sister's dreams. I've been having them too, Yakut.
Lily: Yes, Yakut. That was my name. But, why do you still have your ancestors name.
Gab: I first started having visions of that life a long time ago. Ever since then, I've gone by the name Gabrielle.
Lily: So, do you know where Xena is?
Gab: There is no Xena in this time, the closest I've found is a woman named Lucinda Lawson. But...
Sarge: But what?
Gab: She's a betrayer.
Cleopatra was just getting up off of the table when they heard the tell-tale sound of an approaching betrayer.
Hel: Cleo, hide.
Cleo: No, I want to fight with you.
Hel: Don't you ever learn?
Cleo: I've learned to make sure my shields are up, that's all I needed to know.
Hel: Are you even sure you can aim your gauntlets?
Cleo answered that question by sending a laser blast sizzling past Hel. It landed sqarely on its target, blasting a hole in the center of Alti's robotic body. Alti looked at the gaping injury and shrugged. It slowly closed in on itself and healed.
Hel: What the...?
Cleo: They sure don't make 'em like they used to.
Alti opened fire. Cat-man and his reptilian assitant jumped into an escape pod.
Cleo: Hel, there's another escape pod.
Cleo and Hel started making their way slowly to the pod, ducking behind furniture to avoid Alti's blasts. But soon their was no more furniture, nothing but open space between them and the pod.
Hel: We'll never make it. Our shields aren't strong enough to take a direct hit now. Voice, say something.
No answer came.
Cleo: Leave it to me.
Cleo's voice (from behind Alti): Over here, freak!
Alti turned and started blasting the wall. While she was distracted Cleo and Hel ran for the pod.
Hel: You can throw your voice too?
Cleo: As a kid i wanted to be a ventriloquist, but my lips move.
Hel: grin Now, how do you work this thing?
She pushed buttons as she asked this question. Suddenly the pod shot into a small tunnel. It was moving at indescribable speed. Hel didn't have to wonder what Cleo would say about this, she could hear it.
Sarge: So, Lily you sent me hear to find a prostitute and a betrayer.
Gab: I'm NOT a prostitute.
Sargeg: Could've fooled me.
Just then Hel and Cleo came web-swinging through the entrance.
Hel g: Oh, great. I leave you alone for a few minutes and you're picking up a prostitute.
Sarge: This is Gabrielle.
Hel and Gab exchange suspicious looks.
Voice(to both of them): Girls, let's at least pretend to be working together here. It won't be long before that thing is back.
Hel: Well, Lily, Gab you two seem to be the only one's who now what's going on around here. What do we do now?
Gab: We wait.
Hel: For what?
A very beautiful woman with long black hair enters the room. Hel and Sarge can tell she's a betrayer.
Sarge: That's her? This Lucinda/Xena woman? But she's a betrayer how can we trust her?
Gab: I've got it all under control.
Gabrielle reaches into the pouch slung over her back and pulls out a circular metal weapon.
She tosses the weapon to Lucinda and she catches it. Gabrielle expects a flash of light, a rumble of thunder, some cosmic event to comemmorate the restoration of Xena's true soul. But nothing happened.
Lucinda: Kid, who are you and what's this?
Unsure whether these women know it or not, she continues to pretend she's human. She hands the chakram back to Gabrielle.
Gab: No, throw it. Make it ricochet off the walls and then grab it again.
Lucinda tries to hand it to her again, but she rejects it.
Lucinda: Fine, if that's what you want?
She throws the chakram. It starts bouncing around aimlessly, breaking glasses and nearly taking off quite a few peoples heads, as it returns to Lucinda she panics and ducks. The chakram would have continued to rebound off the walls if it hadn't been caught by the blonde sitting at the end of the bar.
Callisto: This belong to you?
Callisto handed the chakram back to Gabrielle. "Little girls shouldn't play with such dangerous toys," she smirked. Gabrielle just stared at her, a look of horror and disbelief on her face. "Callisto?" A puzzled expression came across Callisto's face, "Who's Callisto? Wait, where are my manners, my name is Eve." She held out a hand to Gabrielle who just stared at it.
Hel: Wait a minute. She's from this past life too?
Gab: It's a long story.
Sarge: Well, is she friend or foe?
Gab: I'm not quite sure.
The serene and loving smile on Eve's face reminded Gabrielle of the baby she remembered carrying in her arms thousands of years ago. So peaceful and full of light. It really was Eve, and it was Callisto.
Hel(whispers): Voice, I don't understand. Shouldn't this betrayer be Xena?
Lucinda: Who are you talking to!
Hel: No one, just thinking out loud.
Lucinda: You're a voice carrier!
With that she engaged her forearm weapons and keyed onto Hel. Before any of them had time to react, they heard the chirp of a plasma blast and Lucinda fell face down in front of them.
Alti: They're mine.
Eve: Who's that?
Gab: No time for introductions. Can you handle a gauntlet?
Eve: Hey, there's only one way to find out.
She took the gauntlet from Gabrielle and all the girls (except for Lily) started blasting away at Alti and dodging her return fire.
Gab: Voice, her sheilds are still holding. What's going on?
Voice: Remember she's not just a betrayer. She has supernatural powers.
It's gonna take more than gauntlets to stop her.
Gabrielle looked at the chakram in her pouch and then at Eve who was surprisingly adept with the gauntlet.
Gab: Calli...Eve, use this.
Eve took the chakram from her and threw it towards Alti. It sliced a gash into the betrayer's side and another on the other side as it returned. Eve caught it with ease.
Hel watched in amazement and relief as the wounds didn't heal like they had before.
Hel: Okay, we'll draw her fire. Eve, you keep throwing that thing.
After a few more tosses of the chakram, the betrayer body was almost totally destroyed. The girls watched as Alti's spirit rose from the mangled metal corpse.
Alti: It's not over yet.
Suddenly, Cleo, Sarge, Lily, and Gabrielle fell to the floor and began convulsing as if they were being beaten by some unseen force.
Hel: Voice, what do we do?
Voice: There's nothing you CAN do.
Unbeknownst to Hel and Eve the battle was still going strong in the spirit world. There were four Altis savagely beating on the four women. Sarge tried despreately to fight back but her kicks and punches just passed through Alti like mist. Cleo was trying to run and hide but there was nowhere to run to. Lily was being dragged towards a guillotine, screaming for dear life. Gabrielle was the only one who understood this place. She just sat, with her legs crossed and stared at Alti.
Gab: You think you have so much power don't you? Well, I've changed alot in all this time. I have power too.
As Alti swung a kick at her, she disappeared and was suddenly a dozen yards away.
Gab: I've learned alot over the years. Maybe even as much as you. Maybe more.
Suddenly the four Altis were being pulled by an invisible force to one point where they merged back into one.
Alti: Nice parlor tricks wench, but that won't save you, this is my world.
Gab: You can't kill me now Alti. If you do, you'll never find Xena. Alti cackled. "Oh no dear, you see. I already have found her. I know exactly who Xena is and she's witnessing your death right now."
Gabrielle didn't understand. The only one's here were Yakut, Cyane, and Amarice. But she'd been wrong about Xena before. She could remember times when her friend's soul had been in anothr body and she couldn't recognize her. Maybe Sarge isn't Cyane, or Cleo isn't Amarice.
Alti: I know what you're thinking, Gab. That's Cyane and Amarice alright. But Xena IS here.
Gab: You're not making any sense. If she's here, where is she?
Alti: Why don't you ask her yourself?
Gabrielle finally understood what Alti meant.
Gab: Voice? What's she talking about?
Voice: Yes, Gabrielle. It's me...Xena.
Alti cackled as she saw the tears well up in Gabrielle's eyes.
Alti: What a touching reunion. Too bad it has to be cut so short.
Alti held out her hand and a large fireball formed within it. She prepared to throw it at Gabrielle, scorching her soul and leaving her body an empty husk in the physical world.
Gabrielle formed a fireball in both her hands, challenging Alti to a duel. Alti only smiled as two arms grew out of her sides. Now, all four of her hands held fireballs.
Alti: You wanna play, girlie? Let's play.
As Alti readied to throw the fireballs one hit her in the back. Lily was standing behind her, a puff of smoke eminating from her hand. Then, Gabrielle threw her fireballs and she and Lily kept Alti busy with an endless barrage. Cleo and Sarge just looked on in amazement.
Gab: It's all in your mind! That's the way this realm works. If you can think it, you can do it. Just put your mind to it!
Cleo concentrated hard and suddenly a fireball appeared in her hand. She joined Gab and Lily in their onslaught. Sarge tried but didn't think she could do it, and so she couldn't. But she thought that if she could just get one good blast out of her gauntlets, Alti would be gone. Just as she thought it, her gauntlet activated. And she began shooting at Alti.
The girls were hitting her from all angles. Each hit would stagger her, and then another would hit not giving her time to regain her balance. Soon she fell to the ground motionless.
Lily: This isn't over yet. Come we must dance the dance of our ancestors. Through us the spirits of all the amazons can join forces and destroy this fiend once and for all. Come sisters.
They circled around Alti and Lily and Gabrielle began an elaborate dance. Using talents that had before only served as a source of income, Cleo quickly picked up the dance moves. Sarge, much to her surprise, began to dance also, as if she'd already know the moves, as if she herself had choreographed it. Hundreds of amazon spirits began to appear around them, all joining in the dance and chanting ancient words. Only Gabrielle could hear the voice chanting along with them.
Alti began to scream. Her spirit flickered and flashed as if it would dematerialize right before her eyes. And then it violently erupted in flame, sending a column of fire straight into the air. Alti's screams faded as the fires dissipated.
Hel: Sarge, you're really alright?
Sarge: I said yes. We're fine.
Hel: It's a good thing Xena knew how to bring you back.
Voice: Let's just stick to calling me Voice okay?
Hel: Okay, whatever you say...Warrior Princess.
Lily: Isn't Cleopatra back yet.
Just then Cleo walked through the portal.
Hel: Where'd you have to go that was so important you had to fly all alone?
Cleo: I got you a present. It's a thank you gift.
Hel: Thank me for what?
Cleo handed Hel the photo of her father and the wooden tube she'd kept it in.
Hel was shocked. "B-but how? How'd you get it back from Cat-Man?"
Cleo grimaced and began to walk into her room. "You don't want to know?"
Hel looked up at her, puzzled and began following her. "Cleo...Cleo? What did you do?"
Sarge just sat there grinning.