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Gabrielle stared defiantly at the God of war. "Why don't you just admit it - you've lost her. She's not interested in being your tool anymore, Ares. She'd rather die."

A smirk spread across Ares' face. "That may be, little one, but I seriously doubt she's going to let you die. Her precious little bard? Not a chance. And once she hears what I have to say, she'll be mine."

Yeah, yeah. Gabrielle thought Where have we heard that before?

"What exactly do you think you could say to her that is going to change her mind?" Gabrielle asked, almost curious.

Ares smiled again.

"I was going to keep this to myself, but I think it really is too good not to share. I need her to do a little... favor for me. If she refuses, my brother Hercules will die, If she agrees - well, let's just say she'll be pulled so far back into her old life I doubt if you or my bastard brother could help her find her way out again."

"Xena's strong- she won't give in to you."

"Oh no? We'll see. But let me tell you something, Gabrielle. The kind of life she lead- the power, the bloodlust. It's like a drug- and once you're hooked, the craving never really goes away."

a. switch to Hercules

b. show Xena meeting with Ares

c. switch to another scene entirely

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17 November 1998