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Xena Warrior Princess: Dahak Death Part 2
by Tyval

Xena found herself drawn to Questar more and more as they talked. He
was totally open with her. With Xena, Questar felt a kindred spirit.
Strange coming from such different backrounds. Xena told him of her
childhood in Amphipolis, how her desire to protect her home had led her
to learn the art of war, her betrayal at the hands of Caesar, then how
she spent years as the tool of Ares before her redemption by Hercules.


Xena told Questar everything, the bad as well as the good. She didn't
know why, but somehow knew, that no matter what she had done in the
past, this man could accept her for what she now was. In the presence of
Questar, Xena felt like a part of her very soul was returned to her.

Questar's life seemed more unnatural than Xena's. The son of a
dedicated man who enforced the law. Questar called him the 'Police
Commissioner of Los Angelas' and explained that that meant that his
father held a very high rank. Questar had spent all of his free time
as a child with his best friend China Dragon in the dojo of Dragon's
guardian. Though not related by blood, Questar and Dragon were
'brothers' in every sense ofthe word. They were so much alike that
they didn't even need to speak to know what the other was thinking.

The only other person who was in their circle was a slightly older
boy named Billy Ray.- Dragon and Questar were 'brothers', Billy Ray was
a mutual best friend. As they grew older it was oon apparent that all
three boys were different. Billy Ray could run faster than the wind,
Questar was stronger than many men combined and also had certain 'powers
of the mind', and China Dragon, while he posessed no powers, developed
skill in the martial arts far beyod any man or demi-god that had ever
lived.

"I'm good, Dragon's magic," Questar said, sadly smiling," Maybe
that's why the Chinese pantheon chose him to be their 'God of the
Martial Arts'. They picked the 100 greatest fighters of all time,
plucking them from various time periods for a tournament. Yuan Ti, the
Chinese 'God of War' asked Dragon who he wanted as his first opponent.
China Dragon said he wanted to fight all 99 of them at the same time.
Everyone was surprised when he actually won, and rather handily too."

"You seem sad about his winning. Why is that?," Xena asked.

"He's not the same. Dragon look like he's made out of solid gold,
but what's worse is that he's become hard, emotionless. he dissapears
for days, even weeks sometimes. I've been holding G.O.L.D. together for
the last year," Questar continued," When he does show up he won't talk
to anyone. Not me, not Billy, not even his wife, Princess Tara."

"And Mace?," Xena asked," What about him?"

"That's about the only good thing that's come out of this is that
Max and I finally got close. There's 10 years age difference between
us. I had Dragon and Billy, and later on Apella, Blue, and Mei Wong.
There was no room for a real little brother in my life," Questar sadly
said," Max and Dragon were never close. I guess Max even kind of
resented Dragon for stealng me from him or something."

"Max?," Xena asked puzzled.

"Oh, sorry. That's Mace. That's his real name, Maximilian Starr. Max
is code-named Mace for various reasons. Only his friends and family call
him Max," Questar said," Don't ask what my real name is."

Questar told Xena more. How at age 17 China Dragon and Billy Ray had
joined G.O.L.D., then headed up by the Amerind shamen Bearclaw. Bearclaw
had wanted Questar too, but Questar had yet to master his psionic powers
and had stayed behind. But fate would often intervene and Questar
assisted G.O.L.D. on many occasions, becoming an unofficial member.

It was then that the Chaos Lords broke free and renewed their war
with mankind. But man had grown stronger, both in technology and in the
appearance of mutants and meta-humans. While some used their powers for
evil, others fought for good. From the beginning of their new war, the
Chaos Lords saw the potential of China Dragon G.O.L.D., making them
their first targets.

Working behind the scenes at first, the Chaos Lords took control of
Billy Ray and forced him to splinter the group and disgrace himself.
during the second phase of their plan Bearclaw was seriously injured and
forced to retire. Thinking that G.O.L.D. was finished, the Chaos Lords
revieled themselves and murdered the now helpless Bearclaw.

That had been their biggest mistake. China Dragon rebuilt G.O.L.D.
starting with Questar now in complete control of his powers. Adding to
them was the woman who won Dragon's heart Tara, followed by Shiro and
then others. Many were the heroes who fell, Twoswords, Behemoth,
Barracuda, Sgt. Hawk, and many others. But always, new heroes would
rise up to take their place.

Without having human followers for thousands of years, the Chaos
Lords were far weaker than they had once been. Nor could they regin
their previous levels of power without followers. One by one G.O.L.D.
cut them down. The tide of battle began to change and soon the remaining
Chaos Lords found themselves on the defensive.

Billy Ray was redeemed and returned to the fight. Then China Dragon
earned his current demi-god status and the Chaos Lords could hang it up.
Yuan Ti, a far different 'God of War' than Ares, even joined in. Yuan Ti
advocated such things as war only in self defense, protection of
civilians above all else, combat only between warriors and other ideas
that Ares would think was weird for a War God.

"That almost brings us up to now. Dragon's taken himself out of the
picture, but there's only 2 left, Daemonus and Dahak," Questar said," As
fantastic as it may sound I really am from over 2000 years in the
future. The name of Xena was lost from history until the discovery of
the first of what we now call the 'Xena Chronicles' during the 1940's.
More of Gabrielle's writings have been discovered over the years causing
a worldwide sensation. Two weeks ago, my time, a friend of mine, an
archaeologist named Steven Guard, discovered several scrolls written by
Gabrielle in Tarlocus. After reading them he turned them over to the
government in Athens. All except one."

"Why only one?," Xena asked, totally intrigued by all the things
that Questar had told her.


"That one is the last recorded scroll of Gabrielle," Questar grimly
said," It's dated today and tomorrow. I'm sorry, I have to tell you all
this. The scroll is unfinished and severely water damaged, but parts of
it are readable. After tomorrow, you and Gabrielle vanish from recorded
history."

"I see. I've faced death before future man, it holds no terror for
me," Xena said," But for gentle Gabrielle I would wish for a different
fate."

Questar's story was indeed fantastic and hard to believe. But gazing
into Questar's deep blue eyes Xena somehow knew he spoke truly. Questar
was so much like Hercules. A man who used his powers to help others, not
for fame or personal glory, but simply because he could. ' It would be
so easy to fall in love with him,' Xena thought, not sure if she hadn't
already.

"The scroll doesn't say that we die," Questar said," It doesn't say
what happens to any of us."

"We? Us?," Xena asked confused.

"I can't read Greek, all I know is what Steve translated. I also
don't know the exact wording, but it goes something like this; And on
that fateful day, two men from the future, Questar and Mace they were
known, travelled far to the city of Tarlocus. There they fought the evil
of the Dahak at the side of Xena, the warrior princess and the faithful
Gabrielle, never more to be seen by the eyes of the Gods!'," Questar
said," Uh, there's another line in there somewere."

'So, he's hiding something after all,' Xena thought. Questar excused
himself for a nature call. Now suspicious, Xena silently spied on him.
On a day that had been full of surprises, this was another one.' By
Zeus! Is he a man or a centaur?,' Xena thought as she saw the manhood
of Questar. Not even Hercules was as well endowed as this future man.
Xena hid a rare blush as she composed herself before Questar returned.
He had regained the points he'd lost and gotten a few more tp boot.

"I hope you won't think I'm hiding anything Xena," Questar fumbled,"
There is another part that Steve translated. A part I'm reluctant to
reveil simply because I don't know what's going to happen to any of us.
We may all be dead tomorrow, we might win, the scroll didn't say."

"And why is that future man? How can I accept anything that you've
told me if you won't tellme everything?," Xena demanded.

"The other part that Steve made out was personal. And history can't
be changed," Questar said grimly," Oh, I've tried a few times. I've
failed to save good men. I've been unable to prevent disasters. In my
own time, I can stop evil men, when I travel in time I can't. Dahak, is
from my time, at least the one we're going to fight is. The one in your
time is still imprisoned and thereby neutralized. It can get very
confusing without a scorecard."

"And what could be so personal that you feel you need to hide it?,"
Xena sternly asked.

"It's about Mace and Gabrielle," Questar answered," It's also about
you and me."

"I must know, for the sake of Gabrielle. If there is any way to keep
her safe I must know," Xena said.

"I don't know how safe she'll be. Mace and Gabrielle get married,"
Questar grinned.

"What? That's wonderful! Anyone can see that they love each other,"
Xena perked up at the possible good news.


"She could be a widow by tomorrow night. And so could you," Questar
dropped the other shoe," Dahak is extremely powerful. At best, our
chance of beating him is 3-1 in his favor. But, I have to try, and so
does Max. This is what we do. Even if it costs me my own life I will
rid the world of the Dahak."

Questar's words penetrated the depths of Xena's soul. Questar and
Mace were actually prepared to die just for a chance to defeat a
terrible evil. Xena felt a strange stirring in her heart. Only twice
before had she truly felt this way; Marcus, her first love and Hercules,
who had redeemed her heart. Yet even the fire she had felt for those two
men was like a candle compared to a volcano that this future man aroused
in her.

"Gabrielle must be getting worried about us," Xena nervously said.

Questar leaned forward and gently cupped her face with his strong,
but gentle hands.

"She's in no danger my warrior princess," Questar softly said as he
gently kissed Xena's lips.

Back at the camp Mace had opened up the cooler and taken out two diet
Dr. P*pp*rs. Mace handed one to Gabrielle and showed her how to open it.
Gabrielle thought that she kind of liked this strange drink.

"Not bad, what is it?," Gabrielle smiled.

"Diet soft drink," Mace returned her smile.

"Diet? That's for overweight people, not for men who look as good as
you do. Uh, I mean," Gabrielle fumbled, 'Stupid, stupid, stupid!', was
Gabrielle's thought.

"I've got to keep my girlish figure," Mace said in an eunich's lisp
while striking a muscle pose.

Gabrielle totally lost it as she burst out laughing. Mace had timed
it so that she wouldn't be taking a drink and choke. Mace was merciless,
every time Gabrielle tried to gain control of herself Mace would strike
another pose and make 'thilly queen' cracks. Questar and Mace weren't
bigots, but they didn't believe in PC bullshit either.

Finally Mace stopped before she hurt herself. Mace loved hearing
Gabrielle laugh. 'She's been hurt so many times, by Callisto, Hope,
even Perdicus and Xena,' Mace thought. Gabrielle was happier than she
had been in a long time. But still, even with Mace, there was still
the fear. The fear that she would lose him.

Every man that Gabrielle had ever loved or strongly liked ended up
dead. The only man who managed to stay alive around her was one she
wished would just leave her alone. That buffoon Joxer had more lives
than a cat. ' Why can't he find a nice she-demon and stop bothering me,'
Gabrielle thought.

Mace pulled out a something that looked like the books Gabrielle had
seen in the east. Mace had a silly evil grin on his face.

"Questar would kill me if he knew I brought this," Mace said," Where
I come from we have a uh, magic box that makes very life like paintings
called photographs. I brought this to prove I really am from the future
and to show you a little bit of where I live."

Gabrielle was stunned by the realism of the 'paintings'. Mace hoped
to tell her about camera's someday. The first picture showed Questar
and Mace on each side of an older man in an unusual blue uniform. The
next picture showed them on either side of a fiftyish plump blond woman.
The woman still retained some evidence of once having been a great beauty.
In the third picture, all 4 were side by side. Gabrielle noticed the
subtle hand holding between the older man and the woman. They were still
very much in love.

"Your parents?," Gabrielle asked noting the resemblances.

"Yes, dads now the police commissioner, Questar's more like him I
guess. Except for my size and build I think I'm more like mom," Mace
said.

Turning the page was an older colorless picture of a naked baby
on a rug with the word 'Max' written at the top. Mace quickly tried to
turn the page, blushing, but Gabrielle stopped him.

"Let me see that. Oh, how cute. That's you right? It has to be or
you wouldn't be so embarrassed," Gabrielle giggled.

"Please turn the page," Mace nervously said, wondering how that
picture had gotten in there," Ah, that's more like it."

The picture was funny, but it puzzled Gabrielle. A much younger
Questar, about 18, was in back of an 8 year old blond boy, that looked
like Mace. On the right of Questar was another man who looked- almost
exactly like Mace did now except that he was oriental. In front of him,
next to Mace was a big dog. Questar had 2 fingers behind the head of
the oriental man, who had 2 fingers behind the head of the boy, who had
2 fingers behind the head of the dog. All 4 had huge bones in their
mouths.

"Huh? I don't understand," Gabrielle said.

"There's Questar, that's Dragon, me and the dog was named Blue,"
Mace smiled remembering," Blue was a police dog until he got too old.
Dragon adopted him. Unfortunately poor Blue died in his sleep shortly
after this picture was made."

"Not that. How can this be? This man looks like you," Gabrielle
said.

"You think so? That's China Dragon, not me. Mom once said the same
thing. She also said something weird once. She said that Dragon reminded
her of her late sister," Mace said," But of course I never met my aunt
so I never did understand that. Here's one of Questar, Dragon and poor
Billy Ray. Man, what the Chaos Lords did to him."

In this picture Questar, Dragon and a light skinned black man were
wearing huge multi colored wigs that Mace told her were called 'fake
afro's'. All three had silly looks and body positions. Gabrielle had to
smile.

"Those three were inseperable. I was just a tag-along nuisance to
them back then," Mace sighed," Questar tried to keep me out of G.O.L.D.
after my powers kicked in because he didn't want to see me get hurt. I
had to really prove myself to get in."

Mace turned the page and was shocked at the picture that greeted him.
During a trip to Japan a year ago, a group of pretty- teenage Japanese
super-heroines had formed a Mace fan club. This picture was 12 of them,
naked except for masks, gloves, and boots, holding up pictures and signs
of Mace. Mace quickly snatched up the book and quickly leafed through
all the rest of the pages. Page after page was of him in embarrassing
situations. These weren't the pictures he'd picked out!

On the last page was the answer. ' Enjoy the pictures little brother'
was written on it. Questar! His brother had known he was going to try
this and had switched books.

"Aaaaaarrrrrgggg!! Questar! You tricked me again! He's always one
step ahead of me," Mace sighed calming down.

"Hey, it's okay," Gabrielle said," It's natural for siblings to play
pranks on each other. Especially for an older one. He does love you
doesn't he?"

"Yea, I guess maybe I am just a little bit jealous and envious,"
Mace said comforted," He's alway's been stronger, smarter, and sneakier
than I am. Questar just seems to always ride in on the white horse, save
the day, and get the girl."

"Not this girl," Gabrielle softly said, liking Mace even more.

"Gabrielle, I-I love you," Mace stumbled.

"Oh, Mace," Gabrielle sighed happily.

"Gabrielle, no secrets, my name, my real name is Max, Max Starr,"
Mace continued," I never really liked it much, so I go by my code-name
Mace usually."

"Max, I like it," Gabrielle smiled.

"Gabrielle, I have to show you something I wasn't supposed to.
Questar told me not to reviel this until he thought you were ready,"
Mace said," I can't do it. You must know who and what I am. Please,
please don't scream."

Gabrielle was saddened, her happy smile vanished. Gabrielle had
flipped for Mace completely and now he was going to try to molest her.
Gabrielle gripped her staff tightly, preparing to fight and scream. But
Mace pointed his hand at the pile of firewood. Fire seemed to shoot
from his fingertips igniting the wood instantly.

That was it! That's what he wanted to show her! Gabrielle sighed in
relief as Mace leaned back and opened up another can of Dr. Pepper. Mace
had no intention of doing anything bad to her. Gabrielle smiled at the
grinning Mace. Then Gabrielle thought about what he had just done and
her eyes grew wide. Stunned, as that realization hit her, Gabrielle
slowly stood up, and screamed!

Questar and Xena had kissed twice when they heard Gabrielle's scream.
Questar thought Dahak goon or a monster, Xena thought Mace. Rounding the
corner of the shelter, Questar burst out laughing when he saw the fire
and his embarrised little brother. Xena advanced on the sheepish looking
Mace until Gabrielle stepped in front of her to shield him.

"It's not what you think Xena! He didn't do anything to me. I just
overreacted to something he showed me," Gabrielle quickly said.

"I'll just bet," Xena sternly said, wondering if the brother's
shared THAT in common.

"Uh, I mean, he showed me something he could do," Gabrielle
continued," He's been a perfect gentleman."

"And what could he show you to make you scream like that?," Xena
demanded.

"Probably this," Questar laughed, pointing to a tree.

Flames leaped from his fingers instantly incinerating the tree.

"We're a big hit at barbecues," Questar smiled," I told the little
show-off to wait until we could show you our powers without you thinking
we're evil wizards or something like that. Our powers are based on
science and the accident of birth."

"Yes, you did say you had powers, but I never dreamed that," Xena
trailed off.

"Then why didn't we just fry those Dahak troops? We're lawmen,
warriors, not killers. Killing's the easy way," Questar said," It takes
no skill to kill someone. I'm not afraid of it, I will if I have to, but
if I ever start liking it, well, then I'll be no different than Dahak,
Sakahuru, Prof. Death, and all the other scum I take down."

Whatever ponts the brothers had lost were given back by Xena and
Gabrielle.

"Hey, I'm starving!," Gabrielle said, easing the mood," You got
anything to eat?"

"As a matter of fact, dinner's on us. Figuratively of course," Mace
smiled, remembering the Xena story about the magic scroll that Aphrodite
had enchanted that caused everything Gabrielle wrote to happen.

Mace passed out sodas while Questar dug out packages ofthings he
called 'hot dogs' and 'marshmallows'. Questar passed out 4 woodedn
handled pronged metal rods and showed Xena how to use them.

"Don't ask what they're made of, we don't know, we don't want to
know," Questar said," You'll love them."

Mace showed Gabrielle how to use hers, their hands were touching too
much. Gabrielle's fear of him was already gone. True to their word, Xena
and Gabrielle found that they did like hot dogs, especially since Mace
told them that were definately not made of dogs.

Then came the marshmallows. Gabrielle was practically in Mace's lap
by now. Gabrielle loved the gooey mess and giggled as Mace licked her
fingers clean. Xena smiled knowingly, but thought about breaking it up
when Questar hit her in the head with a thrown marshmallow. Smiling she
turned as he hit her with a second marshmallow. After the third
marshmallow, Xena threw one back at him. A bizarre marshmallow fight
broke out until all 4 of them were laughing like children.

Questar and Mace then puled out strange lookng lutes they called
guitars. Both men had good voices. They played and sang 'stone ballads'?
from an eagle, a skinner named Leo-Nard, a seeker named Bob, and a few
others. Xena and Gabrielle's favorite though was the last song. Mace
picked up an odd looking silver flute and Questar sang about a group of
noble paladins, the 'Knights in White Satin'.

Xena and Gabrielle were not going to be outdone. Showing the men a
rhythm todrum out on the backs of their lutes, Xena and Gabrielle showed
the men an amazon dance. Both future men found this highly erotic. Xena
noticed the bulges in their pants. Apparently Mace did share that trait
with his brother, though not quite Questar's equal.

"Centaur blood," Xena breathed so softly that only Gabrielle could
hear.

"What are you talking about?." Gabrielle whispered back.

"Never mind. I think you'll find out soon enough," Xena smiled as
she whispered, noting the way that Gabrielle and Mace looked at each
other.

'He's a good young man,' Xena thought,' The kind of man that
Gabrielle deserves.' Mace would never beat her or abuse her. The fact
that he would be harder to kill than any man Gabrielle had ever liked
was another plus. ' If any of us live through tomorrow that is,' Xena
thought.

Questar and Mace cleaned up the camp and carried the trash out to
burn it so they wouldn't take a chance of upsetting the women again.
Gabrielle lay on her back counting the still early evening stars.
Xena lay on her sde, watching how at peace the little bard was.

"He's wonderful," Gabrielle said dreamily," I think I'm slightly
older than he is, maybe a year. But that's not enough to make a
differnce. What about you?"

"What about me?," Xena smiled.

"You knowwww. Questarrrr," Gabrielle giggled.

"He's a fascinating man," Xena said," He has lost one brother,
gained another back, and leads a war. I never thought that there could
be another man like Hercules, but Questar seems to be that man. And
besides, he's about a year older than me. Not enough to make a
difference."

Both women laughed as Mace returned alone.

"Questar's back at that spring trying to make hisself purty," Mace
said the last part in exaggerated hillbilly making the 2 women laugh
again.

"I uh, need to check on Argo," Xena lied.

    

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