Ambrosia Angst

Samsara

She left the temple and continued on her path toward ambrosia. She knew how to get to the cavern easily. She was low on powers however and couldn't transport herself and her horse.

"Things should go well," she said to her horse. "I get my ambrosia and I then find your ruby and you can get your wings. Prince of Darkness..."

She continued on.

Something in the back of her mind bothered her... She was not so sure what, but a sense of guilt washed over her for a brief moment. She shook her head and trotted on.

No one is taking Godhood from me, she thought. She gripped her staff. I refuse to allow anyone the opportunity. I've been waiting for this chance since birth. To take the place I have been destined to have according to Zeus. I will not let anyone steal this from me. Even at the risk of the Themiscyrans . . . She knew Kaia was with them, and that she found to be the biggest betrayal: when your sister commits treason.

She sighed and saw the cavern loom in the distance. She was almost there. She could smell the ambrosia.

Celosia

"Ick," Celosia said. "Why can't ambrosia be kept in a more clean place," she asked to no one in particular as she crawled her way over boulders to the wall of the room. Slimy black mold covered the rocks, and spider webs clung to everything. Celosia wiped her palms off on her leathers before leaping up onto the wall and clamoring her way up the wall.

The ambrosia was hidden in an indention into the wall. Celosia climbed the rock face until she reached the ambrosia's resting place. Anchoring herself to the wall with vines, she reached into her pouch and retrieved the vial containing the hind's blood. She removed the stopper, and took a deep breath.

Now, what is considered sparingly? She thought. Reaching into the nook, she carefully poured three drops of the dangerous liquid out onto the fruit.

"Hopefully that will do it," Celosia said, returning the stopper to its place. She was about to start down, when she heard Samsara at the mouth of the cave.

"Ambrosia, baby, here I come," the Goddess yelled, her voice echoing off the stones.

This is not good, Celosia thought, hanging by the vines.

Samsara

Celosia kept as quiet as she could, but the Queen knew Samsara would find her and not be pleased.

The Goddess crawled through the tight spaces, having left her horse to graze outside. She pulled herself up from the rocks and rubbed her hands together in anticipation.

"Hmm," she said.

Celosia managed to hide herself from the High Princess' view. Xena taught her the hiding places well. Keep still, she thought to herself. Nothingís worse than an angry goddess. I remember Velasca . . .

She watched intently as Samsara climbed up the vines and reached in to grab as much ambrosia as her free hand could hold. She placed some in her pouch and ate a couple of slices, laughing as bright light surrounded her. Her eyes turned red again, the irises turning a colder blue than ever.

"Nice to feel good again," she said. Something still nagged her, but she pushed the thought aside, thinking of what to do next. She jumped down from the vine, refreshed and energized. She played with the pendant around her neck. "Can't wait to do what I should have done when I gained control of this." She contemplated whom among the gods to kill; whether she should kill Hera first or Artemis. The ambrosia had horrible effects on her loyalties. Kaia's seeds of hatred to the Matron Goddess seeped into her head.

The only thing that jarred her from her mind was the creaking of a vine. She looked around and smiled.

"Your Highness," she said. "Fancy meeting you here. What's that in your hand?"

Celosia pulled out her weapon.

Thalia

As Thalia rode behind the others she heard a voice come into her mind. Samsara has found Celosia in the Cave of Ambrosia.

Desdion? Thalia sent back. Is she okay? What's going on?

I do not know any more, you must hurry, the wolf sent, and then silence.

"Medea!" Thalia called to the Amazon in front. "Celosia and Samsara are both at the cave of ambrosia. Our Queen needs our help."

Medea turned to her. "How did you come to this?"

"Desdion told me," Thalia explained, "that's all he knows, but he said we need to hurry."

"All right," Medea let out war cry, kicking her steed forward, "Let's go, Amazons! Our Queen needs us!"

She sped off and the rest of the Amazons followed close behind.

I hope we know what we're getting ourselves into. Thalia thought to herself.

Belen

The Amazons hurried to get to the cave. They did not know what to expect when they got there, so they were all on edge.

"Be on your guard!" Thalia called out to her sisters as they reached the cave of ambrosia.

Their hearts stopped as they peered into the mouth of the cave. It was pitch black and they could hear no sound. "Lets go." Medea instructed her sisters.

Samsara

Celosia knew the only way to stop Samsara was to tire her out enough so that the hind's blood had the opportunity to run its course. She continued to hang on the vine, hoping that there was enough good left in the High Princess that she would not kill her.

Samsara sighed. "I don't like seeing you up there," she said as she zapped the vine. The Queen fell on her side onto the hard stone floor. The dagger clattered away into the darkness and the vial of hindís blood shattered, the dark red blood spreading. "I'm immune," she responded.

Celosia stood and winced slightly. That's what you think... You may not be able to die, but it will have an affect on you.

Samsara drew her sword. "I wonder if Medea would enjoy taking over?" She smiled as she eyed her weapon. Then she looked at the Queen and continued. "But I'm a fair warrior." She created a sword from thin air. "I want you to die standing. En garde."

Thalia

Thalia felt a pang in her stomach. "Celosia!" she wanted to yell into the cave, to hear her Queen yell back. No, they had to take Samsara by surprise.

"Let's go!" she quickly dismounted, and the others followed suit. Thalia turned to Medea "We await your instructions. As Head Scout I request you let me morph and scout ahead to check for any danger before we all go in." She waited for the Amazon to answer.

Medea

The fiery regent clenched her fist around the sword hanging faithfully on her hip. Every instinct inside of her screamed at her to rip out her blade and charge into that cave, because something was wrong.

Think with your head, Junior. Not your heart, Tern reminded her silently. Medea nodded and let her hand fall from the handle.

"Very well, Thalia. As Regent of the tribe I grant you your request," the blond answered with great formality, though her blood sang in battle lust. "If you find anything unusual in there, turn and run and report back to me, you got it? We don't need any heroes."

Thalia gave her a reassuring look and nodded. "I understand. I will return." With that the Head Scout was gone, leaving the other Amazons to wait.

Medea hated it.

Pacing back and forth, she pulled her sword from its sheath after all, and began a slow, calculated pace. "Until the Head Scout returns we're all on stand by, sisters," she muttered, and began making pointless attacks on the air.

Just until we find Samsara, she promised herself. Then it'll be hot flesh and not the breeze scraping the surface of my weapon.

Samsara

She threw the sword at the Queen and challenged her to battle.

Artemis, Celosia thought as she grabbed the handle. Give me the power to keep up with your niece. She stood ready to fight. "This isn't you."

"It was what I always dreamed of," the Goddess Kakistos responded. "My sister, Kaia Kakistos, was given ambrosia and for what? For what? Doing Father's bidding. I, protector of the Hind's Blood, deemed so by Zeus, couldn't touch ambrosia because of Hera's vendetta against my mother. Now I have what I've always wanted and I will never give it up."

They fought. Celosia was strong, but even against a minor goddess with major aspirations more powerful than Alti, Callisto, and the evil Xena, she needed Artemis' help. She knew the Goddess of the Hunt was on her side.

Celosia was worried. Samsara was not using her powers. Anyone could fight. To let the blood run its course she needed to force her into using her powers. How to do this? How can I do this? Celosia demanded. There must be some way . . .

Jadea

Jadea observed from a portal, her fingers latching onto the handle of a nearby blade. Raising it high above her head, she threw it angrily into the portal and saw it land an inch from Samsara.

"I hate to crash your party, Samsara. But if either of you kills the other, you both die." Jadeaís voice boomed inside the cave, her anger at the situation quite evident. The combatants recognized the voice, but had no idea where it came from.

The Goddess laughed hysterically in disbelief. She grabbed the sword and launched it downward with the intention of hitting the Queen. "Why should I believe you?" he demanded with a destructive tone.

Queen Celosia caught the sword as Samsara spoke the final word of her inquiry. For her answer, Jadea appeared in the cave. She'd positioned herself in mid-air between the Goddess and the Amazon Queen.

"Because Callisto is my sister. That makes you my niece. I have given a blood oath to the Amazons. That makes them my Sisters."

Samsara hesitated, her focus now solely on the Sorceress . . . a recent addition to the Themiscyran Tribe. She held her eyes upon Jadea, using her powers to search beyond what any mortal could find there.

With a softer tone, Jadea called out to the Goddess. "Samsara, please. We have already lost our family once. We don't have to lose them again."

Seriana

"Wait a minute," Seriana said calmly as she ducked inside, taking great care to appear uninterested in the Sorceress, the Goddess, and the Queen. "If you're Callisto's sister, and Callisto is Samsara's mother and Samsara is Ares' daughter, and Ares is my father . . . then what are you to me?"

"A relation," said Jadea dryly.

Seriana let her eyes dart about a little, searching for any living creature looking out of place. Medea would be in after her in a few moments, raging like a wounded panther, but Seriana shrugged it off. Friendship had a privilege, and besides, she didn't like the Regent.

"Seri, get out before you get hurt," Samsara ordered, not taking her gaze off either opponent. "I will not have my sister's blood on my hands."

"Very well, then. Help me reach the ambrosia, and give it all to me, and I'll walk out of here to safety."

Samsara snorted. "Why the sudden interest?"

"You tell me; you're the one who understands true power now."

"Yes, I do, and I'm not giving it to . . . any of you. It is mine."

Seriana jumped onto the vines and climbed, hand over hand, towards the ambrosia.

Samsara leapt . . . actually, it was more like flying . . . and got a hold just above the older girl.

The Ruby Dagger was out of its sheath in an instant, slashing at Samsara's legs. The Goddess kicked ferociously, then sent a mild power bolt down onto her sister.

It was exactly what Seriana had been waiting for. Stretching her mind to the utmost, she grabbed some tiny fraction of the power and used it to scream across the room to Thalia, wherever and whatever she was. GET THE AMBROSIA!

The rest of the energy tore her loose from the vine and flung her against the wall, which she bounced off of as she went cartwheeling towards the spike-covered ground below.

It was just then that Medea charged in, shouting "You treasonous little idiot!" For someone of her reflexes, the few seconds before Seri hit the spikes was all the time she needed. She grabbed a vine, swung out, and caught the girl in midair.

As the vine swung back, Medea flung Seriana unceremoniously onto the safe ground in the passage. She landed crookedly, with her head smashing against the wall.

The last thought in her head before she blacked out was a single sentence: I'm Seri . . .

Thalia

Thalia was startled as Seriana's message boomed through her lizardís head. GET THE AMBROSIA!

She watched in horror as Samsara snapped the vine and Seriana plummeted towards the spike-covered floor. Out of nowhere, Medea swung in and caught her just in time, flinging her to safety. She landed unceremoniously on the floor in a crumpled heap, unmoving.

Thalia boiled with anger, but knew she had a job to do before she could help face Samsara. She crawled up the wall as quietly as a small black lizard could.

Meanwhile, Medea swung back to the floor, drawing her sword and snarling at Samsara. "Traitor," she growled. "Is this how your treat your tribe? Your sisters?"

"My sisters are weak," Samara waved her hand nonchalantly. Medea bristled and Samsara smiled, her hand glowing as she revved up another bolt of energy. "Shall we?"

She threw the bolt at Medea who ducked out of the way. The bolt hit the wall near Thalia, exploding and sending her flying. If a lizard could groan, she would have as she cleared her eyes and got back to her feet. Medea was standing above her, swinging her sword. Thalia has barely enough time to move out of the way to avoid being crushed. She quickly scuttled up the wall towards the ambrosia.

She reached the immortal fruit and climbed in among it. What now? How was she going to get it out of there? She was pondering when an idea came to her.

Quickly morphing into a badger she began to dig into the tunnel wall. When she felt it was deep enough, she went back for the ambrosia. Morphing into a ferret, she dug her claws into the fruit and dragged it into the deep hole, going back for the next piece as she could hear swords echoing on the cave walls. She pulled the last piece down and covered it with a rock, all but sighing heavily. Too much morphing in such a short period of time, it was taking all her energy.

Crawling down from the ledge, she would crawl behind Samsara and take her by surprise. With luck, she'd be able to distract her enough to...

"Going somewhere, Thalia?" She heard Samsara sneer.

Jadea

Why can't we all just get along? Jadea thought while watching the events escalate from bad into worse into a true disaster.

With a distaste for the whole situation, the Sorceress Empress shot Samsara with a single energy blast from her hand. It stunned the Goddess, seeming to freeze her in place.

"It won't hold her for long. Make the most of it."

With that, Jadea vanished.

Samsara

She was stuck in her position, unable to move. She knew what she had done. She saw her sister groaning on the stone floor.

I wouldn't have let her die, she thought. And if she did hit the spikes I would have healed her . . .

Medea looked at her menacingly. She gripped her sword tightly as she walked toward her. "And you call yourself Heiress to the Teloq Throne?" she demanded. "How would Ephiny and Serena appreciate the news? You attempted to kill Celosia."

Samsara needed to distract Medea from her intentions. If Medea attempted to kill her, there would be no stopping Ares from wreaking more havoc. The mix of emotions haunted her. She craved power yet felt loyalty for her sisters, but to survive one must sacrifice everyone. At least that's what her mother stood by.

"Wouldn't it be nice to rule Themiscrya?" she said as the spell her mysterious aunt cast began to wear off.

Celosia bided her time. All I need is for her to wear out her powers.

Medea smirked. "Well not like this." She pulled her sword back and screamed, sending the blade toward her current enemy.

But Samsara dodged the weapon and with a force, pushed Medea down. "You know," she said, creating another force between her hands. "Never trust a daughter of Ares."

Truer words perhaps were never spoken in that one instant. Seriana, afraid that Samsara would dig herself a deeper hole, tackled her sister with such force, that the power between her hands spilled out and crashed into the stone wall. Meanwhile, the ambrosia spilled out of Samsara's bag, unbeknownst to the Goddess.

The power of the bolt shook the foundation of the cavern. Thalia pulled Celosia away....

Samsara

"I can't lose Medea now!" Celosia cried.

"Let them alone," Thalia demanded. "No use in losing our Queen and our Regent at the same time!" She looked back at Seriana in hopes that she would come out alive, but the cavern was collapsing quickly. Then she turned and both ran out.

Samsara struggled against Seriana's grip. The older was not as strong as the younger but packed a punch when she needed to. Xena taught her well.

Medea reached for her sword again. She wasn't going to let a treacherous witch like her live.

Rocks from the cavern began to fall. Thalia and Celosia and all the other Amazons were out of harms way, but the three still remained inside.

The Goddess struggled out of Seriana's grip. "You will not stop me now!" She pulled out her sword. "She's a follower of Velasca. That evil woman turned Kaia," she brandished her weapon.

Medea snarled as she stood at ready. "Do or die."

"Do or die," she repeated.

But before they could face off, boulders fell from the ceiling, covering the entrance to the cavern and trapping the women inside.

Celosia and Thalia escaped just in time. Celosia was wide eyed as she turned around and saw the dust and ashes rise from the opening. "Medea," she whispered. "Artemis!"

But she knew Artemis would not come. The Amazons had to save themselves. She turned to Kaia Kakistos who stood idly as she cleaned her nails.

"You do something about this," she demanded. She was at a loss for what to do. Even with Hercules' help it would take days to tunnel through and by then only Samsara would survive by virtue of being an immortal.

Kaia merely laughed. "You think I will do anything to get them out? Not only is Medea out of my way in terms of getting rid of Velasca, but with Seriana gone Daddy's favorite daughter is now me. Samsara is trapped in there with no power to teleport out. I now have her horse and there is no one to keep the Gods in check. She holds the last of the ambrosia and you, my dear, mistakenly dropped the last free supply. That's it. It's over." She cackled. "They have to get themselves out. There isnít any other way."

The Queen glared at the daughter of Ares. "And you call yourself an Amazon? Why don't you leave then since you are of no use here?"

"Iíll tell Daddy that the Amazons are all his. He won't be pleased when he finds out that his prized daughter was killed because of her loyalties to a group of shrieking women," she vanished.

Jadea

Perched on top of Crescent Hill, Jadea used her heightened sight and shook her head with a grim expression.

Those fools . . .

Above her, Ardra flew in small mystical patterns. She seemed more restless than her mistress did.

You have the power to end this. Why did you leave?

Jadea growled, as she heard the same question she had presented to herself. Disliking the answer, she balled her fist.

If I do what it would take to end this, there would be no Amazon Nation left. Just a pack of angry gods. Samsara will not kill her blood kin. In that, Queen Celosia may have hope.

Silence fell between Ardra and the Sorceress Empress. A sudden sensation pricked at Jadea's mind, followed by the darkened hue of the pendant around her neck.

Ardra, go to the Amazons. Remain with them and watch them.

Where are you going?

Just go, Jadea's tone balanced on irritation and dire concern.

The moment Ardra was gone, she closed her eyes and conjured a ball of fire.

"Ares."

The God of War appeared and smiled enthusiastically. His dark eyes glistened beyond the usual when he gazed at the Sorceress. She glared at him with open contempt, the fireball in her hand growing ever more powerful.

"So, you are Callisto's little secret weapon? Her final act of revenge against me?"

The ball of fire flew from Jadea's hands. Ares barely vanished in time to miss impact. He quickly reappeared, a solemn look replacing his previous one of amusement.

"You say revenge. I say redemption. She helped to bring the Amazons to their knees."

Ares took a few steps toward the Sorceress. Her pendant grew darker and began to burn. Jadea held her ground, fighting back the urge to kick his butt back to Olympus.

He wants something. No, he needs something from me.

"You plan to help them rise up again, do you?"

Upon hearing a horrendous scream in her heart, she took a step forward. "Hell and the Gods hath no fury like an Amazon, Ares. You would be wise to remember that."

Having said that, she moved past the God of War. He stopped her with one word. "Rumyna . . ."

Jadea turned back and faced him. Never before had she looked as dangerous . . .or as beautiful.

"Would be proud of you." As he spoke, he looked into her eyes calmly. She knew he meant what he said, but her distrust of the god alerted her to another truth - he was stalling her.

She sighed heavily and recalled the words Rumyna had said to her in Cirra.

"You can become destruction's victim . . . or its worthy opponent."

"Stay away from them." She said finally, turned and disappeared. Even as a god, Ares could not follow Jadea. He could not even so much as use his Godhood to locate her. The Sorceress's powers were fortified by sources beyond the reach of most gods.

As it happened, Jadea appeared inside the cave shielded from view. With a wave of her hand, she removed the deadly spikes.

"Samsara," her voice was strong, though no one emotion could be detected. A groan was her only response from the Goddess.

Could have been worse. The Sorceress thought and aimed one hand toward the wall of the cave.

"Whenever possible, make a better exit than you made entrance." A small smile tugged at her lips as she blasted a hole through the fall rocks and rubble. With a slight shrug, Jadea smirked. "Mmm . . .not bad."

Finding Samsara, Jadea laid one hand on her and vanished, taking the Goddess with her.

Ardra is going to flip.

Thalia

Thalia studied the rock-filled cave entrance, wondering how she could morph and get inside when it suddenly exploded.

The Amazons shrieked and dove for cover as the rocks flew outward. Thalia quickly morphed into an elephant, wincing as the rocks hit her, but blocking most of them from reaching her sisters.

Coughing came from the smoke-filled entrance and the Amazons leapt to their feet and drew their weapons. Thalia morphed back into a human, exhausted from too much morphing, and wearily drew her bow and arrow.

The smoke cleared, and Medea and Seriana stumbled out coughing. The Amazons rushed to their aid, supporting them.

"Where is Samsara?" asked Celosia.

Medea coughed again. "Jadea . . . she came in and vanished, with Samsara! She's taken her somewhere."

Celosia thought for a moment. "The question is . . . where?"

 

Goddess Kakistos

Godhood

 

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