Chapter 6: Cruel Intentions

The void of insanity is not a place I'd wish anyone to visit. It is hard to even recognize what is real and what is not. My nightmare plagued me during my days as well as during my nights. I knew no peace, I knew nothing but agony, gut wrenching agony and explosive rage deep inside what was left of my heart. All of the agony, the hatred, and the rage, pointed in one direction: to the Warrior Princess, the ultimate source of my pathetic, fucked up life. She would pay, I would make sure that she paid, first things first.

I'm sure someone has wondered why Thedorus always called me his Queen. It was not because he was in love with me, which he was, it was because to him I would always be the Queen. Theodorus was the commander of my army until I took it over soon after the King and Queen of Cephalus had been buries properly. I was a strong leader and charismatic, at first, and my army grew in numbers. We over ran the valley after a number of years, and when I was nineteen we controlled the entire mountain region west of Thrace. I ruled it from Cephalus, the capital of my empire. Theodorus was always by my side. He'd helped me to become unbeatable in hand-to-hand combat or one-on-one fighting. All who opposed me died. All who wished to join me were permitted, except those who were weak, whom I disposed of personally. I realized that I had been weak my entire life, and it was why those I cared about had been taken from me. If I'd been strong, I could have saved them. But I had not been strong. And I had been beaten. I could never get my family back from Cirra, and I could never get King Nomar and Queen Melissa back. But I knew their souls rested peacefully; Melos had been dealt with.

Xena had not.

My cruel intentions resurfaced in my mind. My mother haunted me in my dreams. My sister's screams were with me every night. They wanted blood, Xena's blood. It was enough to drive me insane, over the edge. I became obsessed with the idea that Xena had to pay, and that only destroying her as she destroyed me would make the madness ease and the pain go away. Living everyday was torture for me. I lashed out at anyone who wasn't Theodorus, and not him only because I needed him to help me plan my attacks. He was smart, and on the few occasions when I did make mistakes, he knew how to handle me and how not to make me mad. Many others failed to observe and document his methods, and they were sent to Hades probably before their time.

I eventually left Cephalus and it was over run by raiders from the North. Not that I cared. I didn't want to be Queen anymore. I was the Warlord Callisto, and I cared about as much for the people of Cephalus as I cared about anything else. I did not care about anything else. Xena was all that mattered.

I was twenty-one when I found her. Twenty-one years old when I discovered she was trying to turn away from her crimes. I saw her, traveling with a loud little blonde girl who I'd been told was called Gabrielle. Pretending to be a friend of Xena's I followed her trail and learned everything about her that I could. I observed all of her battles and noted her tendencies, her touches, even her fighting style. I practiced daily and decided that to beat her, I had to become her. It took little time; the foundation was there, and I was one of the most gifted warriors in the history of Greece. No one could touch me. Those who did, died if I decided that they should, which almost always was an affirmative.

My soul was gone. My heart had been eaten away by years of hating her. She had become the object of my madness the second Melos died. Xena had been the original bad seed, the one who'd stolen my life away in the first place. Melos had merely helped history repeat itself. If not for Xena, I'd never have met Melos. Everything was her fault. She would pay, and I would see to it.

I came up with the idea of the poison dart and pretending to be Xena with my own army soon after. It was perfect. Xena wanted her terrifying image erased so badly, that I knew it would hurt her tremendously if suddenly she were branded as a killer of women and children and again as a warlord. It would make her even more upset if, say, her mother, her little snot-nosed brat of a friend, and her stupid horse paid for being in her life with their own deaths. We would see how Xena felt when her own family was destroyed. I wanted her to feel the same way I did, see the look of helpless rage on her face that I'd felt when my home had burned so long ago, and my soul had been set afire forever with it.

I had cruel intentions all my life. But it took two tragedies for me to be pushed far enough to carry them out. I guess I wasn't as strong as I thought I was.

The rest is history. I've only chronicled what most people don't know. I lost two families. I hold Xena responsible for both. Anyone else who has lost a family by violent means knows that no amount of apologizing by the offending murderer or murderess can make up for it. In my eyes, Xena has never been tried for her crimes against me. She deserves to be punished for all the pain she caused me, and countless others that she left devastated in her path. Had she never been, I would have never lost any family. Because of her, I lost two. And I lost more that. Much more.

But does anyone care? Does anyone understand? I doubt it.

And I don't care.