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It was a battle field.  Large, covered with bloody and dismembered once-warriors, and fallen horses.  The air was still, hot, and heavy, except for the blow flies, and the buzzards. And the metallic tang of blood, and rot.

At one end of the gory scene, stepped two women, and a horse.  Xena surveyd the scene with a practised eye.  She had seen this before, and somehow it no longer repulsed her.....much.  For Gabrielle meanwhile, this was.....sickening. 'Oh, Gods,' she whispered.  'What in Tartarus happened here?'

'I don't know,' answered Xena as guided Argo, stepping over the carnage to get to the centre of the battle.  She inspected the clothing of a couple of the fallen.  'I don't recognise either symbol.  I'm guessing that this started out as just a normal battle between a couple of minor warlords, but I have never seen one get to this stage of total destruction. Something must of happened to get it to this stage.'

Gabrielle, looking a little green, was wondering.  'How do you know that there aren't a couple
of large armies, and this is only part of them?'

'Do you see any signs of anybody leaving here?  Besides this is pretty fresh, and we'd have seen somebody leaving.'

'C'mon Xena, lets get out of here, please?  I don't like this.  Bad vibes, I guess', with a shakey laugh.

'Yeah, I don't like it either.  We'll head to that village to the north.  They must know something.'

The two women (and a horse!) left the battle field.  Neither noticed the pair of black eyes
that tracked them...

a.  Go to the owner of the eyes

b. Follow Gab and Xena to the village in the north

c. Cut back to Ares, and his Hephastus metal

This page was kindly contributed by:

Jessica Gordon
 24 July 1998