The Face off

Selenta looked downward on her recently replaced hand. She was ready this time to face Xena. Last time they fought, it had been close between her and Xena. While Selenta had lost her hand in that battle, it could have easily been Xena who lost a limb instead. They'd gone blow for blow and a moment that was almost like luck, it was Selenta who lost the engagement, something that stung at Selenta deeply. She had made her whole life at being better than Xena, the fact that that bitch had bested her… that… was unforgiveable. She would have to repay the warrior princess.

In exchange for her loyalty, Chaos had seen fit to restore her lost hand and give her another chance, this time she'd make Xena lose a few body parts. Selenta smiled as she thought of not removing the Warrior Princess's hand, but rather her head. She even thought of the perfect place to mount it when all this was over.

8

Callisto charged across the battlefield, moving from one gate to the other. Too busy to watch the city of Corinth burn, her focus was on keeping the army on task. The war needed to be won, and it needed to be won today.

Gabrielle continued to watch from in front of the group of archers that she'd been given command of, as men died. She watched with great difficulty as the defenders would dump boiling oil onto the soldiers below as they attacked the gate with the ram. The site of the mean burning to death from that was almost too much… but she held her composure and continued to order her troops to fire upon the wall. She hoped that this battle would end quickly.

8

Three dozen soldiers swarmed Xena and Hercules. Xena unhooked her Yin Yang Chakram and fired it at the attackers. The round weapon split into two and took out 8 soldiers, then flew back to Xena. Catching the round weapon, she twisted, slicing the throat of an attacker and then drove herself into the oncoming enemies.

Hercules seized ahold of a soldier's shoulder; twisting in the air he kicked another soldier in the face. Landing back on his feet, he elbowed another soldier in the face. Another attacker came at him with a spear. Seizing it, Hercules flipped the enemy over his head and into a wooden house. Hercules broke the tip of the spear off, and then twisted the staff knocking out five men instantly.

Together, the two heroes drove back the attackers, sending the remaining men running in fear. At this point, Xena stepped forward seeing a group of Archers stringing some arrows. Xena grabbed her chakram, dialed in her target and shot ahead. The chakram intercepted each arrow cutting the heads off, rending them harmless as they landed on the ground by Xena and Hercules.

Another group of soldiers emerged, but Hercules turned to them saying, "Batter up." With a single strike, four warriors found themselves airborne. "They got some good airtime out of the deal at least." Hercules ducked as a sword came his way, and then shoved his shoulder into the rib cage of the man, knocking his blade from his hand, sending him to the ground in pain.

Back to his feet, Xena and Hercules stood back to back as soldiers began to surround them. Hercules asked, "You have a plan right?"

"Yea. Don't die."

"Good plan. What's plan B?"

"Live through this."

The soldiers charged as a single unit, but Xena leapt into the air, screaming her battle cry. Leaping onto the oncoming attackers, Xena knocked an entire rank of men to the ground. Hercules grabbed the first man in reach and tossed him hard. His body flew back into the hordes of men in front of him, knocking them over.

Xena turned her head, "Hercules move!"

Hercules dived, tackling a soldier along the way. Behind him a single catapult shot landed on the ground. The affect took a dozen soldiers out. Another catapult streamed overhead, towards the castle in the distance. Xena guessed that it was a misfire. However, the affect was apparent on the remaining men as their willingness to battle seemed lessoned. Ever the master of creating fear, Xena shouted, "Stand back. I got this."

Xena seized a second sword from the ground and charged madly into the wavering ground, she sliced a head off from a soldier, gutted another, and ripped open the ribcage of a third. To her left, three soldiers fell to the ground, missing their sword arms, to the right, one man crawled across the ground screaming has spine had been severed from a slash across the lower back. Nastiness of this kind of fighting wasn't something Xena had preferred to do since she'd turned to good, but in this case, it was needed and the men stood back in fear. A soldier, who was still too close to the warrior princess, instantly got beheaded.

Seeing the damage that Xena had done in a matter of seconds, the soldiers began to run, preferring not to die. With the road clear, Xena dropped one of the swords and turned to a somewhat horrified Hercules. "Let's go…"

"Xena…"

"That… Saved our lives. Let's go."

Hercules nodded as they charged towards the castle.

A few moments later, the two found themselves standing in front of the castle gate way. In the distance Xena saw Selenta standing in the court yard. As if challenging them to battle. Xena approached as Hercules followed behind her.

A group of soldiers tried to charge at Xena, but Selenta shouted, "Stop! You will not attack them."

Selenta turned her body towards Xena, pointing her two swords at the warrior princess. "It's time Xena. To fight and to die. You and me, one more time, no more running. We fight, and we end it here."

Xena turned to Hercules, "Go into the castle and save your mother and brother. We'll need Iphicles especially. I got Selenta."

Hercules asked, "Are you sure?"

"I'm positive."

Hercules nodded, and then took off towards the castle.

With the demigod on his way to save his mother, Xena approached Selenta as the younger woman Selenta, stood waiting.

Selenta was the first to speak, "You know Xena. Many dozen shots of catapults have landed around here, and yet there are three trees here in the courtyard, and these are the same three that were here yesterday, and they weren't even touched by the battle. Oh… I know… look at the castle, it's been beat all to Hades."

Xena aimed her sword at Selenta, "Well, the trees may be fine, but I'm about to put you down."

"Really?" Selenta approached Xena, both her swords out.

"I see someone was nice enough to give you a fresh new hand."

Selenta grinned, "Well Chaos… he likes me. What can I say? I'm a likable person. I seem to win everyone over, except maybe you."

"What happened to you Selenta? You weren't like this when you were in my army ten years ago."

"No? When I followed you to Corinth, and then you found out that I'd lied to join your army, and you kicked me to the curb? Cast me out without knowing my true potential."

Xena shook her head. "I needed people I could trust."

"You speak of trust? Disgusting… your man Dagnine murdered Borias in front of us. You didn't like me, because I would have replaced you."

Xena laughed, "You could have never handled what I did."

"No? Ask yourself something Xena. When you wanted Corinth, you were really after using it as a launch point to take Athens, weren't ya? Well you know what… You never even made it to Athens, I on the other hand. I not only took that city but I broke it. Athens will never rise again."

"And that makes you happy?" Chided Xena.

"Yes. I am better than you ever were."

Xena shot back in an angry tone. "If that were true… you would have never slaughtered all those people. Someone who was better than me would have never done the things you've done. Someone who was better, would not have been a monster, like I was, or worse than I was, as you are now."

"No. I am better and no amount of holier than thou speech from you is going to change that. Today, I'm going to kill you and that's going to be the end of it."

Xena smiled, "I took your hand once, little girl. This time I may take your life."

"Really…"

Selenta charged with her two swords out. Xena was barely able to deflect them as she almost fell backwards. Both blades passed within inches of her throat. Another swing scratched Xena across the forward head sending a streak of blood down Xena's face."

Selenta stepped back, "Are you sure you can win this? Last time you got lucky, today you are going to get killed. Now… if you are ready…"

Xena wiped the blood from her left eye as she approached her enemy, "Oh yea… I'm ready."