by Mr. Jamester
Curse You Father is a fan fic written specifically for the purpose of having the reader decide what happens next. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to update as often as possible and I think I lost some readers (sorry) But anyways, here is the entire story completed, with each segment showing the options readers could vote on the the option that won out. Enjoy the story!!
CURSE YOU, FATHER!
Xena suddenly steps out of the lake after her short bath. She doesn't enjoy being in water for too long, except of course, unless she's fishing! She uses a cloth to dry herself off and hears some rustling in the trees to her left. She doesn't turn to acknowledge a presence, but instead slowly reaches around to her chakram sitting next to her clothes. Without a second passing, the whoosh of the chakram fills the air and the peeping tom is revealed as the shrub he hid behind falls over after being cut down by the chakram. Still standing naked, Xena catches her chakram and threatens to throw it again...
"Please, I mean you no harm!" A young man stands before the fallen bush as he tries not to stare at the unclothed female before him. "If you are Xena, and I think you are, we need your help! My brother has been cursed by the Gods and only you can set it right!" Gabrielle hears his plea as she runs up to the bank of the lake. Xena lowers her chakram and grabs her undergarments.
"Which 'God' has cursed your brother?" Gabrielle asks in confusion.
"The God of War, Ares, and he said he did it because of Xena!" Xena clenches her chakram...
SEGMENT 1 VOTE RESULTS
1. Xena agrees to help the young man, but doesn't promise any results.
Gabrielle convinces Xena that they should help the young man and Xena reluctantly agrees.
Xena refuses to deal with Ares and leaves, but Gabrielle decides to help the young man out.
A lightning bolt strikes and kills the young man before Xena cando anything else.
After agreeing to help the young man, he transforms into Ares and laughs in Xena's face!
The young man introduces himself as Tomas and explains how he and his brother were playing near the temple of Ares one afternoon when they overheard some noises coming from within. Curiosity got the best of the two older teens and they eavesdropped on the voices coming from the temple.
Now normally mortals can't hear the Gods at all unless they want to be heard, but Ares isn't in a very good mood and could care less. The boys watch as Ares' hands glow with a blue energy and fear freezes them both. He is speaking to someone else in the temple, but the boys can't see them. The voice is definitely female and she isn't speaking much, the opposite of Ares of course.
"Okay, Alecto, we've been over this. Xena was very clever in finding a way to to make it appear that I am the one who disguised myself as Atrius and made love to her mother that night. But I was away leading the battle myself. There is no way I could've been there."
"Yes, Ares, we've heard your explanation before, but the Furies have decided, as commanded by Zeus himself to teach you a lesson. You are to become mortal and then be punished with madness or persecution!" Ares stepped back in astonishment, but realized he was trapped and had no where to go. Alecto, with the power of the Furies and Zeus, raises her hand toward Ares and he can feel his godhood being taken from him. Out of the side of his eye Ares can see the two boys watching them and stares intently at Tomas' brother, Ran. Tomas realizes something isn't right and shakes his brother, but it's too late. Ran turns to Tomas, picks him up and tosses him away like a leaf in the wind. Tomas turns around to watch Ran stand up very strangely, peek into the temple one more time, then run off. Tomas got back to his feet and hesitantly looked in the temple to see Ares staring at him, but in an odd way, like Tomas knew him. Tomas realized what had just happened and raced off to find the one person who would believe him and be able to help. Xena.
"That is some story, Tomas." Gabrielle leans against her staff as Xena paces pass Tomas.
"Well, your story does have some merit. I did trick the Furies into thinking Ares was my father, and it wouldn't be unlike Zeus to punish Ares, but what made you think to come for me? How did you know where to find me? Something isn't right here."
Tomas stands there unable to answer her questions. He starts to shiver with nervousness and suddenly collapses to his knees sobbing.
"My brother has somehow been cursed by Ares and I can't find him anywhere. I can't go home without him. Please help me."
SEGMENT 2 VOTE RESULTS
Xena & Gabby go to inspect the temple of Ares.
Xena has a nagging suspicion that Tomas is holding something back and confront him
Xena suddenly feels the presence of Ares, but he's no where around.
Gabrielle suggests that they go try to find Ran first.
Xena follows Tomas, but Gabby stays behind and is confronted by Alceto the Fury.
"Okay, we need to do this systematically, start at the Temple and find some clues. Ares apparently was in a hurry and hopefully wasn't too careful with erasing his footsteps." Gabrielle nods and starts to pack up their things. Tomas sniffles and looks up at Xena with bloodshot eyes. Xena looks at him with a comforting grin, but then suddenly snaps around unsheathing her sword. Both Gabrielle and Tomas watch as Xena stares into the air around her.
"Xena, what is it? What's wrong?" Gabrielle asks confusingly as she reaches for her staff.
"Ares, it's Ares.... he's close. I can sense him, feel him.... " Xena continues to focus intently on this feeling. Tomas jumps up to his feet.
"No!! It's a trick! Let's get out of here quickly. Please!" Xena finds herself baffled by the feeling, but quickly sheaths her sword and does a double back flip onto Argo. She rides up to Tomas and extends her hand. She pulls him up behind her and they all take off for the Temple of Ares.
The ride isn't that long, maybe an hour or so. They approach an area that is familiar with Tomas.
"Here, this is where Ran and I were playing. We have this game where we build small barricades and hurl rocks at each other." Xena and Gabrielle give each other a quick glance.
"Let me guess, your father is a warlord of Ares', isn't he?" Tomas looks caught and doesn't immediately look at Xena.
"Does that make a difference? I didn't tell you because I thought it would. That is why this is also confusing. Why would Ares harm the children of one of his own warlords?" Xena jumps down off of Argo.
"Being honest up front would have made a difference, Tomas, but it would not have affected my decision to help. Ares isn't exactly loyal to his own followers. Everyone is expendable, even children."
"Not his own children..." Tomas' words freeze in the air as Xena slowly turns to face him.
"Your point?" Xena asks diligently.
"Well, aren't you the daughter of Ares? He's had several opportunities to kill you, but never has. Why do you think that is?"
"You know, Tomas, it is best to stick to your own family affairs, right Gabrielle?" Xena turns to look at Gabrielle, but she is no where in sight. Xena again dons her sword in hand and runs off to the forested area they just rode out of . She can hear scurrying just off in the distance and finds it's source. Gabrielle lies on the ground unconscious with a young boy standing over her. The funny thing about him is that his hands are glowing, like the power of Ares flows through him. Tomas catches up to them.
"Finally! We found him. That's Ran, my brother, and he's possessed by Ares!"
SEGMENT 3 VOTE RESULTS
"What have you done to Gabrielle?" Xena holds her sword at an angle in front of herself. She slowly moves forward as Ran's hands start to glow even brighter.
"YOU!" Ran lifts his hands ready to fire at Xena, but a staff comes up from out of nowhere and strikes him directly in the nose. Ran falls back and the power surge he was ready to use goes straight up into the air! Gabrielle jumps up and steps away from Ran. Xena runs up to her and stands between them. Ran slowly gets up, his face tear streamed and his body shaking.
"This power... it's a nightmare! I can't control it!" Tomas runs up behind Xena.
"Now, Xena, while he's distracted, he holds the power of Ares and you must take that from him. Only your chakram can hold the power in check." Xena looks at Tomas suspiciously, but she senses an attack and turns to see Ran ready to send a bolt of energy her way. She quickly flips into the air, lands behind Ran. She takes her chakram and puts in Ran's glowing hands....
The power surge bursts from Ran's entire body, sending Xena back several feet away. The chakram falls out of his hand and he collapses on the ground. Xena slowly shakes her shoulder which took the impact when she fell. Out of nowhere she is once again sensing the presence of Ares. She looks toward the unconscious Ran, but suddenly realizes it never came from in at all. She watches from a distance as Tomas slowly walks up to Ran.
"Gabrielle, stop Tomas! Don't let him reach his brother!!!" Xena screams to Gabrielle as Tomas passes her. Gabrielle takes her staff and trips Tomas and he falls to the ground on all fours. But then he sends a kick backwards knocking Gabrielle away. Xena jumps up and runs toward Tomas. He dodges her and does a somersault away from to where Ran is lying on the ground.
"Finally, with my power restored, I'll be able to take my revenge upon the Furies for trying to take my powers and drive me insane!" Tomas reaches for the blue glowing chakram on the ground as Xena finally realizes what has happened.....
4 VOTE RESULTS
After Xena had realized that Ares was in Tomas' body, she started to put the entire thing together. Before Xena can explain, she watches the surprisingly awake Ran tackle Tomas and then shove him away. Ran grips the chakram with a vengeance and feels the power of War coarsing through his small body. Gabrielle tries to walk up to Ran, but he instinctively repels her away with a burst of energy. Ran's eyes of shock turn to anger as he turns to Tomas lying on the ground looking up at him.
"So, you are Ares, God of War. Not very scary now, are you? You are going to die in the body of my brother and I will reign as new God of War." Xena slowly approaches the scene, knowing that Ran is fully aware of her presence. She realized that Ran is overcome with the abundance of power he has gained and his inability to control it.
"Ran, listen to me. Killing him will not help matters. You will kill your brother!!" Ran spins around to face Xena while tossing the chakram on the ground.
"My brother? Ares killed my brother and took his body to escape the Furies. I'm not stupid." Ran twitches his hand and sparks fall from them.
"My guess is that he just switched bodies with your brother. He isn't dead. But Ares is the only one who can switch it back. You can't kill him, Ran. You'll be killing Tomas."
"You forget, 'princess', I am the God of War now, I can switch them back myself. But Ares is helpless in my brother's body, and my brother is probably already insane in Are's body from the Furies curse. The only way to end his tyranny is to kill him.... now!!" Ran is obviously as shaken as ever. He can barely hold the power in check, must less control his outbursts. Xena finds herself dodging blast after blast as Ran fires randomly toward her. Gabrielle has hidden behind some boulders and Tomas starts to crawl slowly away still on his back. Ran turns immediately to him and points a trembling finger toward his head.
"What have you to say, 'mortal'!"
"I did what I did to protect myself. Your father would not be very proud of you if he knew you were trying to kill me." A burst of raw energy strikes Tomas in the shoulder and he lets out a scream. Blood rushes down his arm as he turns back toward Ran.
"Hurts, doesn't it? Being mortal isn't all it's cracked up to be."
"Been there.... uhh.... done that, whelp. I'm not powerless just because I'm mortal again!" Tomas drives his foot into Ran's shin and Ran falls to the ground. Tomas stands up but then falls over again from the pain of his wound." Suddenly the ground shakes and the sky clouds up within seconds. A large burst of lightning strikes the ground in front of Ran and a form appears.....
"Mighty Zeus!" Ran can't say another word as the grey haired man grabs his glowing hands and absorbs the power of Ares into himself and then tosses the boy to the ground.
"Yes, mortal. I am Zeus, KING of the Gods and I will not sit back and have a mortal, a juvenile mortal no less, discipline a God, my son!" More lightning strikes in the sky above as Zeus turns toward Tomas.
"Father, I am ....." A lightning bolt strikes Tomas, but he is unharmed....
"What.... where... where am I? By the Gods, ... Zeus?" Tomas falls to his knees and bows before him. He immediately clenches his shoulder and can feel the intensity of the wound.
"Yes, child. I am Zeus. You are now restored to your normal body. Take your brother and leave this place, never to speak of this incident again." Ran runs over to Tomas and they fly off into the woods together.
"Ahhh, Xena. Of course, how did I know you would somehow have a hand in this." Xena doesn't move any closer to Zeus, but she stands poised for an attack.
"No disrespect meant, but I'm confused why you are intervening? Ares had dug his own hole here and..."
"Yes, yes, Ares was always the troubled kid. But never in my reign will I see a mortal take the position of disciplinary, ever! As for your involvement with all of this, I could answer your question of your true heritage right now if you'd like. The Furies have filled me in on the entire thing, but I know the truth....."
"And so do I, .....sir. Ares is a trickster and his words are riddles in themselves. But always within those riddles are truth. It has never been a secret to me." Zeus nods agreeingly and then raises his hand to summon another thunderbolt. "Zeus, wait.... one more thing. I know that Ares tried to escape in Tomas' body and hide his power in Ran's, but now that they boys are restored, what has happened to Ares? Is he still cursed?" A hearty laugh fills the air and Zeus waves his hand and shows Xena a land a days walk from here.
"Family matters, eh?" The vision he shows Xena becomes clearer and more vivid as she approaches to get a better look.
"That town... I remember that town. That's when I was in Callisto's body and I came across...." before Xena can finish her words, she can see the ironic story's end. In the same bar she found Ares in all that time ago, there again was Ares, and once again, a mortal!
"Yes, that seemed like a good enough punishment for him then, as it does now. Now the matters the Gods have created has been set right by the Gods. Mark this day Xena. As you always say, a God never cleans up his mess. Consider this one on me." Zeus winks and after a bright flash of lighning strikes, both him and the vision are gone. Gabrielle approaches from behind the boulder as Xena picks up her chakram and rests it on her hip.
"Hmmm, he's got a point. He did clean up after his son." Gabrielle kind chuckles as she wipes off her skirt. Xena turns to her.
"Yeah, yeah, the gods are always......" a quick bolt strikes above the sky before she finishes her sentence. "Selfless in there own respect. Let's get back on the road....."