Disclaimer: I do not own Xena, MCA Universal owns it. I do however own Drake and other characters not originally in the series, they are my own creation.
"Where is my daughter?" Cyrene demanded to Lord Milton.
"The Queen has been kidnapped by Lord Holt, the King has gone to Queensland with Lord Seymour to fight for his manhood, honor, and most importantly his Queen," a guard stated proudly before Lord Milton could speak.
"And you let him go!" Fiona suddenly thundered. Lord Milton immediately began to cower at her thundering voice.
"Well what was I suppose to do, he's the king?"
"Chain him up in the dungeon until he gave up his crazy mission!"
"Lord Milton, you did the right thing," Cyrene told him annoyed that Fiona cared so little for her, but she was hardly surprised.
"This palace is in horrible condition," Hecuba commented as they walked in followed by Gabrielle, Herodotus, Sarah, Lila, Naomi, Torres, and his eldest son, Lyceus followed holding his three month old sister Cyrene. Next to enter the crowded room was his six year old son, Sean, his five year old, Camille, Amy was four, Nina was three, and finally the two year old Terri.
"Repairs are being made," Cyrene told her quickly before Fiona could reply. She had started enough trouble in the Amazon village.
"Where is Xena?" Gabrielle asked.
"She's been kidnapped," Lord Milton told her. "Now everyone settle down, I'm sure King Drake will prevail and kill Holt for his transgressions."
"I hate this I can't stand waiting."
"Auntie Gabby," Sarah said pulling on her skirt. Gabrielle looked down and smiled at her niece, who she couldn't believe she had. "Will Aunt Xena be all right?" Gabrielle smiled at the fact she called Xena Aunt.
"Of course she will Sarah, she's Xena after all."
"What about Uncle Drake?" Sarah asked. "He promised me a ride on Argo."
"Sarah, now is not the time to be thinking of yourself," Lila scolded. Sarah looked at her with innocent eyes, but didn't say anything else.
"Lila she's young lighten up," Gabrielle told her than she turned to Sarah. "They're both going to be fine and you'll get your ride on Argo." Sarah smiled happily.
"Well I for one will not stand around here, my son is in danger."
"My daughter is the one that's in danger."
"Who cares, they're both in danger. We have to help them," Gabrielle said.
"No!" Emily exclaimed coming inside the room. "Are you all out of your mind, they're in Queensland, if you waltz into Queensland on the famous high horses of Arcadia you will start a war this country is not ready for. Why do you think Drake didn't go storming into Queensland with the entire Army now he left Lord Milton and I in charge until they come back and I've just finished making sure they have proper back up at any given moment. We have our orders and that is to continue to rebuild this country back to greatness. War has torn it apart and our brave men will have to fight again for Greece. We can't afford to fight another long war here."
"Queensland, oh no my baby!" Fiona was in hysteria after that. She said she would personally behead anyone that went into Queensland without permission and got her son killed because of it. Cyrene worried as she tried to focus on her grandchildren. She missed her granddaughters, but they were the heirs to the Kingdom, they were waiting to whisk away to Sultry if necessary as Xena had instructed.
"Cyrene, I really think we should go in after them," Gabrielle commented as she paced in her room.
"Gabrielle, I know you love my daughter, and I wish you could, but Queensland is a lawless place. I've been brushing up on my history of this world in my spare time. Women are treated worse than slaves are. She can only safely be claimed my a man and if Holt just leaves her there she will find herself greatly out numbered."
"Xena has beaten the odds before." Cyrene nodded.
"Yes, but not like this. Holt will not touch her she won't let him, but in a sense she needs him to survive, Queensland is vast and there is never any way to tell how far away you are from civilization."
"She has magic, she can open a portal." Cyrene shook her head.
"Queensland is most famous for zapping the strength of women that is to say their magic and in times of war the men too. The men of Queensland have no magic though some of their ancestors through their mothers of course once had the gift. But we must not enter until we are sure we can get them out unharmed. I'm begging you to just be ready." Gabrielle nodded and sighed.
"I will give him time and than I am going after her." Cyrene nodded.
"You're a vile and disgusting piece of shit!" Xena exclaimed as they walked. Holt's magic had been zapped as they walked the barren lands and his horse had died. The apprentice followed them with his medicines, even his gift was completely useless and Xena's stopped working the moment they had set foot on Queensland soil. A Queen and here she was walking with a torn dress, no shoes, and worst of all she was filthy.
"Will you shut the fuck up!" Holt exclaimed. "Goddamn I mean God, I was going to marry your ass, kill Drake, and than invade Arcadia with the armies from Sultry and Glacial, but you just don't shut up. You're like every other woman you just nag and nag." He went on and on about how she nagged. Xena merely smirked. "Now I just think I'll kill you. You know what you're lucky I need my son growing inside your belly or I would have slit your throat by now."
"You couldn't slit my throat with two daggers and a sword." After drugging her until there was nothing left to drug her with Holt hadn't heard the end of Xena's voice even at night. It wasn't hard to make sure that Holt would be up all night and than she got some sleep. The truth was she could have killed him before he even knew it, but they were in Queensland. She needed him to survive. The men of Queensland would not challenge is hold over her, but if she killed him all she had left was the healer's apprentice he would be dead before she could blink. That meant she was up for grabs before she even learned to truly survive among the men of Queensland.
"Ha!" Holt exclaimed.
"You're delusional if you think you could hold me so easily," Xena told him.
"You're a weak woman, you're just mad because I saw that."
"If I'm so weak, why drug me to kidnap me or keep me drugged even after you got away. Too scared?" That seemed to get to him and for the next hours Xena taunted him until they reached the city of fires. The only building was a castle that was really tall sticks of wood stuck in the mud that were obviously burnt surrounding a hall where life of the court and King took place. There was no such thing as privacy here.
"Oh my," Xena breathed as she saw two naked people having sex. The woman was of course crying it must have been her first time. Another man was physically beating a woman, while another one walked away from a man carrying her fur clothes. They walked through the sea of camps with wild eyes following them. The people of Queensland wouldn't attack until you gave them a reason to do so. The men hovered over fires as they guarded their meal as if at any given moment someone would strike and steal it away. They saw that very act take place. Children had to form groups and ambush huge men for food. They were dirty and naked. Xena's heart went out to them immediately.
"We're here, now he'll never be able to get us," Holt laughed. Xena was highly disgusted as they found a place that wasn't occupied. The apprentice got wood and neither of the men could figure out how to start a fire, which made the men around them laugh and call out to each other as they ate. Blood covered their mouths, as they didn't cook their meat. There was a stack of wood in the middle of women and children. None of the men offered them a torch to start the fire and refused to give them one. In fact they beat them back with sticks or a dagger if they were particularly cruel.
Xena easily broke out of her chains, there was no way she was voluntarily staying in chains to give him a false sense of security. They laughed even harder and made even more jokes. She went over to the women and they shrank back from her. She ignored them and lit a fire. Before she knew it, she was hit. She hadn't even heard him come up to her and that was a first.
"No fire." He growled and the women and children hurried to put it out though they were hoping that they would leave them alone and allow them the fire for once. Xena eyed the man taking in his features.
"You'll pay for that," Xena told him. He merely laughed and told Holt to keep her in check or he would and that would mean she was his to take and give away as he pleased.
"Start a fire," Holt ordered. Xena looked at him and refused.
"Start your own damn fire." Xena took out the blanket she had been wrapped in and lay down. Holt just barely restrained himself from hitting her. He knew better. Holt had to steal from another man, he was only chased back to his stack of wood for this misdemeanor. They cooked the meat and held off the children with fire. He only had to beat up a teenager and a slightly older men before the young ones backed off and the older ones weren't interested in their meat tonight.
"What's that?" The apprentice asked crying. No one noticed the now injured child lying on the ground except them.
"Just a bastard," Holt commented. The apprentice looked away and stared into the fire as he ate. Xena however could not and would not ignore the cries of a child. She stood up and walked over to the poor boy. The one who had wounded him growled at her. He reminded her of a dog and when he crouched over the child to keep her away she hit his nose.
"Bad boy, no!" Xena said. He backed up in pain as he made whiney noises that reminded her of a hurt wolf. Than Xena remembered an important detail from what Drake had told her of Queensland a long time ago. The men could all turn into wolves, that was their power, but it seemed like something as natural as breathing. She had to hit him twice more in the nose before he got the message. To punish him, she took his meat before lifted up the naked child and carried him back over to Holt and the apprentice.
"What the fuck is your problem!" Holt exclaimed. He got very angry and tried to hit her, but before he could hurt her she side stepped him and he face planted.
"Don't cross the line again or you will be sorry," Xena told him. She took the child to her blanket and lay him down. She checked him over and made sure the boy would be okay after some rest. He wasn't injured to the point of broken bones or open wounds.
"You must be at least five years." She cooked the meat to spite the man she had saved him from and fed him. It was quite a lot of meat she had stolen and she offered it to the other children after she did the nose thing and they stopped attacking. They merely had to ask when it came to her, but they didn't know the meaning of the word ask. The children surrounded her and the women didn't seem to notice. It seemed this occurred with any woman who managed to get meat as another woman brought meat and half of them went to surround her, but they didn't attack.
"Maybe its Holt and the apprentice that made them attack," Xena muttered.
"Hey I have a name you know, its John." Xena ignored him. The three-year-olds sensed she had milk and went straight of her chest. She tried to fight them off, but there were too many until she stuck meat in their mouths and they backed off for the moment. Xena sighed as she lay in the middle of a hundred children in her opinion. They all slept as peacefully as possible. The one she had saved slept beside her with his messy blond hair, he was cuter than the rest.
"My lord we have been walking for hours, don't you think it would be smart if we stopped and rested," Lord Seymour suggested.
"Lord Seymour had I known you would bitch, I would have brought my cousin instead."
"I'm sorry my King," Lord Seymour replied. "But we're no good to the Queen if we're tired and starving." Drake stopped walking. They ate their meat raw are hunting and finding no wood around them.
"God, why anyone would want to live here is beyond me."
"You forget they're animal, the raw meat suits them and the lack of wood makes them no difference. They've got plenty of water too if you can dig it up." Drake groaned as he began to dig. They were low on water and it would be nice if he could find some more.
"I hate not having my powers or my horse."
"Thankfully Sir, we don't rely on either to win a fight." Drake nodded and grunted as he dug. "You never told me how we were going to get her out of the city."
"Simple, all we have to do is challenge Holt to a fight and once I've killed him as far as they're concerned we won her. Than we walk out with her and if anybody tries to stop us you will fight one and than we can go."
"Great, I was just about to ask when I got to fight." They laughed and Drake kept digging. He found water, but he had to lower his head and drink that way, as did Lord Seymour.
"My God I feel like a damn dog," Drake grumbled after he drank some more water in the morning.
"Don't we all when you look at what we've been reduced too. Drinking water like this and eating raw meat. Its barbaric." Drake nodded.
"Come on we still got a ways to go and I'm hoping we don't run into nobody until than. Perhaps in the city they eat cooked meat and we at least got a bowl to drink water out of." Lord Seymour laughed.
"Hell if we eating like we were last night and drinking water that way. It must be the same in the city."
"Maybe so, but think of it this way, the sooner we get there we find Xena, and the sooner we do that we fight and when we win those fights we go home."
"You mean after walking this same dusty path for miles until the border."
"Right." Lord Seymour groaned and picked up his sword before following Drake and scavengers descended upon the remains of their dinner and breakfast. The sun was already hot and the sky was dark, as ever it seemed.
"I don't understand how it can be so damn hot yet so dark!"
"Shut up, I swear if I ever have to do something this again, I will have to have so great a need for you that I can't leave you. Otherwise consider yourself excluded from accompanying me." Drake was hot and thirsty. The last thing he wanted to hear was Lord Seymour complaints. "Animal on the battle field, but ask him to walk anywhere in the hot sun with no water and he starts bitching. Bet he's gone longer without food."
"I have, but its different when it comes to water," Lord Seymour answered. Drake refused to dignify him with an answer and trudged on. To take the edge off Drake thought about Xena, which gave him hope and made him feel happy. He thought of his daughters, who would be devastated without their mother and that broke his heart. Lastly he thought of Lord Holt and how he was going to rip him to shreds the next time he got his hands on him. Knowing Xena, she wouldn't want it to be the last thing she did especially when he thought of Eve and Melody.
"Just think if the Queen was pregnant we'd have an even worse crisis on our hands." Drake paused he had an idea. "What my King is something wrong?" Lord Seymour hoped there was nothing wrong, there was little he could do in the middle of no where after all.
"Lord Seymour, you can't tell anybody especially when we get back, but the Queen she um…pregnant and we think perhaps with a son this time, maybe even two sons."
"Two sons!" Lord Seymour shouldered his King and picked up the pace. "You must not be all tired out for the fight, to the city!"
"Now I have my warrior back, onward Lord Seymour!" Drake was laughing in his head a little, now he didn't have to walk and he avoided being in Lord Seymour's bad graces by asking him to carry him.
"How do you think Xena is?" Eponin asked Ephiny in her hunt.
"I don't know, Gabrielle's letter said she had been kidnapped again."
"What!" Eponin exclaimed loudly.
"Be quiet, you'll wake the girls," Ephiny scolded in a lower voice. Eponin grinned and covered her mouth as they listened. When they were sure the girls were still asleep the conversation began again.
"Now who kidnapped her?"
"Lord Holt Moscow's resident playboy. His powers charmed the whole court and Xena. He slept with some of the women, but his powers weren't as strong as he had hoped on Xena and he failed. Anyway after the first attempt and kidnapping which you heard about, they tried and succeeded again. The apprentice healer drugged her and of course she didn't see it coming because she was taking herbs for her side wound. She's probably woken up by now, but she can't kill Holt yet not until Drake gets there at least or they reach another border off Queensland. Whichever comes first. I couldn't imagine being so helpless like she is now."
"Knowing Xena, I don't think she's as helpless as well imagine, she's Xena."
"You're right, I've never seen Xena in a situation she couldn't find her way our of or survive in for that matter until opportunity knocked." Eponin nodded. Eve walked in all crying and rubbing her eyes.
"Mama," She cried.
"Oh the poor baby, I bet since Xena got back from Sultry she hasn't spent more than a few hours away from her. It's been nearly a month now and all she does is cry at night. Not long after Ephiny began comforting Eve, Melody began crying. She missed her mother's milk it was always ice cold, now all she had was warm milk and it was tearing up her stomach. Eponin took care of her.
"Oh Drake hurry up, your daughters need their mother."
"What's wrong with you?" John, the apprentice asked. Xena rubbed her chest.
"What do you care, you could never understand."
"Understand what?" He asked.
"The pain of knowing your children are crying for you and you can't go to them." Xena rubbed her chest. Her connection to her children was stronger than ever and she knew when they were upset and needed her love. Now she couldn't even give it to them all because Holt was an ambitious asshole. He was in for a very rude awakening when she learned more about the people around her.