Xena Alternative Fan Fiction
by Trish Evans
This story was written without the knowledge or consent of MCA/Universal and is not intended to infringe on any copyrights.
This story is the work of the author and is protected by copyright. Please gain permission before copying and/or publishing any or all of this story.
A new-found feeling of peace comforted the village of Themiskyra. The first war with the Centaurs had ended years earlier, leaving the entire Amazon Nation seperated, quarrelling amongst themselves. The second war left the new Queen of the Western Region, as well as hundreds more of this tribe's warriors to the fateful hand of Hades. Centaurs, being an intelligent race, chose peace because an army from the east had gathered on their borders. A woman warlord, with the speed of Hermes and the cruelty of Ares stood at the head of this army. Awar on two fronts is foolish especially one against a Destroyer of Nations.
Queen Marpesia, the Gallant, on her death, passed her Caste to her daughters, leaving them equally her royal title. The Tribunal ruled the unusual request fair, realizing the strengths and weakness of both daughters. Otrere, the tolerant diplomat, proved her worth when she spoke for her tribe in the treaty with Tyldus, the Great Centaur. Culsu, several summers younger, established herself to be a warrior of such unquestionable skill, that her words of returning her sisters to the old ways made others want to follow her. Although, both sisters recieved the Mask of the Queen, Culsu tended to deal with military problems, while Otrere spent her time acting as Tribal Magistrate.
As eighteen moons passed, a tribe being pushed further north, edged into Western Territory. With tensions always on the rise, the mistrust between the two trbes quickly turned to disdain. Culsu began to speak of ridding the border of invaders.
"This tribe is continually forcing its way in our borders," explained Culsu.
"Their intentions are not of war. Culsu, the Scythian advance is pushing them Northward." replied Otrere.
"Mark my word. They will attack. I know this, so do my warriors Otrere."
"These others are Amazons like us, Culsu. They are not Centaurs or Greeks, they may be different, but make no mistake, if we start a war we will be killing sisters."
"They no longer send praise to Artemis. Amazons honour the Goddess of the Hunt, those who don't ..."
"They fought the same wars, shared the same difficulties, once we all lived together as one Nation. I cannot condone this war."
Culsu replied with a devilish grin, implying her motives. Not willing to give an inch, Otrere replied with a glare that would turn the Gorgons to stone.
Otrere knew the tribe couldn't survive antother war, the tribunal agreed. As a warrior people the Amazons couldn't refuse a confrontation, showing weakness in their culture is the worst shame of all. If Culsu wanted a war, it would be difficult to hinder her from gathering a following large enough too over-throw the Tribunal including Otrere.
Culsu began to rally for support, she spoke of the other tribe's treachery, how the could not be trusted because they betrayed the grace of the Great Huntress. Otrere coul do nothing, she was a warrior like all Amazon Queens before her, but lacked the respect her sister had earned with the tribes warriors.
The chariot of Helios had just begun its daily journey across the sky. Otrere lay half awake on her palette trying to find some way to dter the war because having the Tribunals support didn't seem to be enough to stop the growing support for her sister. She had nearly nodded back asleep when an Amazon, Lyrisia entered bearing bad news.
"My Queen," Larisia spoke with respect, "Ira's body was found dead near our border before the moon reached the Western sky."
"Is it known who has slain our sister?" Otrere did not seem concerned at first. Amazons patrolling the borders fequently returned injured or sisters find them dead. The position is hazardous at the best of times, so Ira's death seem nothing out of the ordinary.
"Her body was foud not far from the Southern invader's encampment, my Queen." Now fully awake, Otrere swung her legs over, stood up and reached for the water skin. She took a sip then asked, "Lyrisia, how did Ira die?"
"My Queen, the cowards shot her, the arrow was found in her back."
"The arrow, what colour are the fletchings?"
"Blue, my Queen," answered Lyrisia, slightly confused by her Sovereign's question."Take me to the arrow."
Of course, my Queen." The two Amazons left the hut swiftly, but Otrere paused noticing a crowd of irate warrriors, at the center her sister.
"My sisters, the invaders to the south have trespassed on our land, killing an honoured warrior. Ira's death must be avenged!" excaimed the enraged Queen.
"Follow me to the Sameness's hut. I need to see that arrow," muttered Otrere. In her heart she knew her sister would turn this death into a war, causing more destruction. The tribe's numbers suffered, another conflict would leave them vulnerable.
"These women from the South, mock our ways and abandoned Artemis who protected them. They are no longer sisters, they are our enemies!" The growing mob shrieked a war cry that coul be heard in Olympus.
"Lyrisia, this arrow is a Centaur arrow."
"My Queen, the Centaur Nation is at war near Corinth, why would they risk a war on two fronts by killing one of ours."
"My sisters, war is the only way to punish these infidels for their crimes," blasted Culsu. Another round of cries shook the village. "Go now, prepare yourselves, we leave to rid the world of these abominations. For the Glory of Artemis," Culsu raised her war axe hagh above her head sending the force into a chant.
"For Artemis. For Artemis," roared the warriors.
"They knew we would blame the tribe to the South." Otrere thought aloud.
"The Centaurs would eventually have to deal with us, so they wanted us to kill each other off, Amazon vs Amazon."
"My Queen, your sister Queen Culsu must be informed." Otrere did not hear Lyrisia's words. She bolted out the door toward her sister. Culsu now dawning full armour stood before her sister tying to ingnore her presence.
"Culsu, Centaurs killed Ira, not the Amazon's to the South," explained Otrere.
"Ira's body will be sent to Artemis, the fire will be lit as we leave for battle.""Didn't you hear what I said? Is your prejudice towards this other tribe so strong that you would needlessly waste the lives of our sisters?" Otrere now stood with an offensive posture.
"You have no proof Otrere, the people stand with me, you fight today or they will over-throw you tomorrow."
"The arrow that killed Ira is a Centaur," Otrere handed the arrow to her sister. Culsu looked at it dissinterested, then handed it back, "This proves nothing."We'll see Culsu," Otrere veered forward to the village square, calling every Amazon to her. Her sister quickly approached, furious that she would challenge her.
"Otrere, your a fool. This will prove nothing."
"Amazons, now is the time to show your elegence. Side with me for glory..." interuped Culsu.
"A Centaur killed your sister, not the Amazons to the South." Half the village took their place behind Culsu showing their loyalty.
"The Centaurs want our tribes to fight amongst ourselves to deplete our numbers so they can wipe us out." The Tribunal and twenty others stood behind Otrere."Don't do this Otrere, I care about you but this will end badly," insisted Culsu.
"A Centaur killed your sister, not the Amazon's to the South." Otrere desperatly tried to explain. The remaining Amazons took position to the rear of Culsu.
"Stop this, I do not wish to fight you, but I will. Otrere, your's and the Tribunal's opinion mean nothing. There will be a battle, if you do not fight with us, you and all who stand with you now will be exiled."
The two Queens stared each other down for some time, both contingents ready to battle with their sisters on the other side. Otrere turned toward her supporters, motioning to them to stand down. Otrere wanted to prevent unnecessary bloodshed, not have her own slaughter each other over prejudice opinions.
"Amazons, my sister will jion us is battle," in a releived tone the village cried out in unison. No Amazon wished to kill another, these sisters have protected the village, their way of life with their own blood sweat and tears during countless altercations.
The essembled mass eventually dispersed, continuing preparations. Spirits appeared less than high, the adrenaline rush from earlier had passed. Many had thoughts of reasonable daoubt concerning the guilt of the neighboring tribe. Is the Goddess angered by the oncoming events?
If so, who will pay the price?
Amazon's waited throughout the canopy surounding th Southern encampment. A crow call sounded the attack. From the trees they came, surprising their enemy. With the battle on-sided, the Southerners became surrounded in minutes. Otrere and Culsu, despite their differences now fought side by side. An arrow flew from a crossbow nearly finding it's mark in Culsu's chest before being snatched in mid air by Otrere. Culsu with a smile on her face removed a dagger from her belt launching the weapon past her sister's ear. Otrere swung round to find an Amazon fall to the dirt, the dagger lodged deep in her throat.
The enemy Amazon, mortally wounded, whispered, "For Artemis," then collapsed in a sleep from which she would never awaken.
"Culsu, you have lead our tribe into a war against people who have done nothing to us. Because of you prejudice sister, many eill die today. Their blood is on your hands."
Culsu after hearing the final words of the now departed Amazon before her, understood Otrere. Then as their backs were turned to the woods, a javelin impaled Clusu, midrift.
"It looks as though the Goddess herself agrees with you, sister." Otrere, shocked could only look into her sister's eyes as life slowly faded out of them.
"You didn't have to die. Artemis she didn't have to die!" wailed Otrere as she drove the arrow she still held to the ground in defiance.
"That Amazon called for the Goddess on her death. My misjudgement killed me." Culsu's voice grew softer with each breath. The battle seemed to continue around them as if they didn't exist. "Otrere, take my Right of Caste." Tears welled in Otrere's eyes as she nodded in acceptance. All that had happened within the last short while was quickly taken over by grief. Culsu painfully smiled not saying a word, her head dropped as she passed over to the land of the dead.
Otrere's greif turned into rage. Sword drawn, she quickly ran through the nearest adversary. Lyrisia noticed the death that had sent her Queen into a blind fury. Amazon after Amazon fell to Otrere, a gash spued blood from her upper left arm, still she did not relent. Lyrisia approached her Queen from behind, motioning others to protect Otrere as well. The Southern Amazons, now too few to pose a threat would soon be wiped out.
"My Queen." Otrere pivoted round, launching a thrust at Lyrisia which was deflected. Otrere realizing who she had attacked, stood down.
"Why did you come at my back? I could have killed you." Otrere spat.
"My Queen," acknowledged Lyrisia, "Queen Culsu is dead, call off this battle." Otrere said nothing. This other tribe killed her sister; Otrere had no intentions now of stopping their annihilation. "These Amazons did nothing wrong. We attacked them! My Queen, a Centaur started this maddness!" Otrere recieved a blow that would be felt through the ages, awakening her from the hateful mantle that plagued her soul.
A Centaur stood at the wood's edge, javilin in hand, amused by the deaths of his despised foes. Otrere heard Lyrisia's words, she noticed the lone Centaur at the edge of the tree-line. All the clouds of hysteria that had consumed her mind floated away. The Queen ceased a crossbow from a fallen sister. The Centaur's amused face turned to a look of terror, as he turned his head to see Otrere lowering her weapon before collapsing.
"Sound the retreat." Otrere uttered, ashamed at how she had become what she had been trying to stop.
The Western Tribe fell back to the tree line. A single Amazon from the Southern Tribe stepped forward, their Queen. Otrere did the same. They both dropped what weapons they possessed, then met each other half way between each faction. The peace found that day was not easy but eventually lead the tribes to combine, laying the foundation for the reconciliation of the Amazon Nation.
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