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Ares  felt as if he was running a fever;  he struggled so hard in his vein attempt for freedom.  He had never been buddy-buddy with Hephestas, or any other family member at that.  He was loosing hope of ever getting out.

"If only I hadn't kept hurting Xena," he said in his hour of weakness.  Being this helpless reminded him of the time he was mortal.  He could remember how much closer Xena had been to him then, than in a long while.

Suddenly, he could see a white owl in the darkness.  It seemed familliar.

"You STILL haven't sorted out your feelings, have you, bro?"

"Artemis," he acknowledged, "Xena is an honorable amazon..."

"Tell me something I do not know..."

"She deserves to be warned!  Hades has something planned--"

"DO NOT take your anger out on me, or I will not help you.  Tell me,  Ares, what is worse: worrying about Xena or not being free?"

"Without Xena at the head of my army--"

"I don't want you to avoid the subject," she warned with eyes blazing.  This was fruitless, as Ares did not answer.  Like a great diplomat, she took it upon herself to explain:  "While you were unconscious, I went to see Hephestas.  He agreed to free you on certain terms.  One of them is that you are to become mortal..."

a. Have Ares ask Artemis to recap her conversation with Hephestas.

b. Focus on the "become mortal" condition.

c. Reject Artemis's proposal

d. Cupid and Hades find the medling Artemis

e. Cut to Xena, alone near a lake.

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18 November 1998