Disclaimer: i own nothing.

Author: This chapter has been updated, for the reason of it being badly written.

Path Not Followed

A strong breeze crossed the blonde Amazon's face, giving her a cold unsettling feeling. She stood staring out in the distance where she last saw her Queen get dragged away. Not paying attention to the idiotic ramblings of this Joxer character. She couldn't help but wonder, why on earth would Queen Gabrielle travel with this useless annoying man. Gabrielle… the last time Ephiny saw her, Xena had her by the ankles with her whip and dragged the Queen off for Gods know how far or how long.

Ephiny had sent out a search party right after the incident, but that was when the sun was high in the sky. Now it is almost not visible, and the party had yet to return, as night threatens to consume the Known World.

The Amazon tribe was in a state of mourning, for they knew the fate that must have fallen upon their beloved Queen. A few times some would go up to Ephiny and ask if they should start preparing the ceremony fire. Each time they were shot down. The Regent refused to think the worse. The Amazon saw the look in Xena's eyes. It was one of fury, pain, and grief. She had never seen the warrior like that before. It would send chills down her well tone body just thinking about it. Xena had broken her arm with one swift strike. In that moment Ephiny knew there was no way of stopping the crazed warrior from taking Gabrielle. She just wished there was a way for her to have stopped it, If only she had put up a defense or had the Queen taken to their sister tribe in the east for protection.

"Ephiny, we have found her," an Amazon spoke, pulling the Regent from her troubling thoughts.

"Where is she? Is she… alive?" Ephiny grabbed the young Amazon by the arm holding her tightly with an iron grip.

"She is injured but yes she is alive. The other Amazons are bringing her just through the clearing," the young Amazon spoke, trying to pull her arm free from the overly tight grip.

'Thank the Gods.' Ephiny thought to herself, releasing the smaller Amazon "thank you Tia."

Ephiny began to run for the clearing. She was filled with hope, the Queen is alive… Gabrielle is alive. A tear fell from her eye with that thought. She started Dodging the other Amazons in the square, they peered at her like she was crazy. There is no way anyone could have survived Xena's rage.

Joxer overheard the conversation between the two Amazons. He followed the Ephiny quickly. He knew Xena couldn't have killed Gabby. They were like the very best of friends. She is alright. He will get to see the bard whom he began to fall in love with.

The two made it to the clearing. They could see two separate groups of amazons, as they make their way towards the tribe. Ephiny made it to the first of the groups. Her heart began to flutter when she saw the state Gabrielle was in. She looked so fragile, so broken. It was like she has been to Tartarus and back. Her blonde hair was slicked back like it had been wet for some reason. That beautiful face hers was covered in scrapes, bumps, burns, and bruises. Ephiny couldnt even imagine what the rest of Gabrielle's body looked like. All the Amazon wanted now is to see those green eyes. Just to let her know everything is going to be alright. But she just laid there, on the make shift bed the Amazons made her, unconscious

Ephiny finally mustered up the strength to ask, "Where did you find her?"

The Amazon leading the group was the one to speak. "We found them on shore by the cliffs to the south."

Them… that word caught her eye. She slowly turned to peer at the other group and who they were all huddled by. It was Xena. She too was passed out but there appeared to be nothing physically wrong with her except a small bruise on the left side of her face. Ephiny's muscles tensed up, her face became serious. She turned on her heel to face the leader of the party once more.

"Take Queen Gabrielle to the healer. Then tie this one up on the posts in the square. And make sure they are tight… oh and strip her of her armor and weapons." Ephiny then turned and headed back to the tribe, "Tonight Xena will face Amazons Justice."