by Joseph Anderson

Callisto, Xena and all characters from the television series Xena: Warrior Princess are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. Jilly and all other characters belong to the author. No copyright infringement is intended with this fan fiction, which may not be sold, may be copied for personal use only, and must include all notices of copyright.

This story includes violence and rough language. It refers to events in Family Affair and Class Over and assumes knowlege of most of the other Jilly/Kimberly stories.

Creone was preparing for Callisto as well as it could. A few villagers had fled but there were four former soldiers living there who wanted to stay, and most of the others agreed. Warlords had gone through before. You just never knew what would happen. Some warlords were no worse or even better than ordinary soldiers and others were demons from Tartarus.

A pretty little blonde girl had come into the village a few days before. She couldn't talk so no one was quite sure what her story was. She carried a small slate that she used to write on but no one in the village could read. They thought perhaps she had been traveling and some accident had befallen her family, or she had fled another village. She was calm and friendly though so no one could figure out what happened. The child just curiously wandered around, charming everyone and watching them prepare for the warlord. Jared and his wife Mathile had fed her and given her a place to sleep. She was great with their little boy, Sammi. Maybe her family would show up. Until the danger was past no one was making plans. Then she simply disappeared.

The ex-soldiers were wearing their swords but being sure to keep them sheathed as the contingent from the army rode in, led by a beautiful blonde woman who could only be one person, and riding in back of her was the little girl dressed almost identically.

The woman said loudly, "I am Callisto. We are going to buy supplies from..." She stopped talking and the small girl suddenly looked alarmed and slid off the horse, disappearing. The blonde leader seemed to weave in her saddle for a second then screamed "YOU SCUM! I'LL MAKE YOU PAY FOR CIRRA!" and whipped her sword out. She leaped off her black stallion and killed an unarmed old man near her, and her soldiers began killing. Two of the ex-soldiers rushed the warlord while the other two engaged her men. Callisto laughed gleefully as she realized one of her attackers was a fine swordsman. With her chakram she had killed his companion, but she and the warrior were lethally circling and slashing at each other. The villager saw an opening and gashed Callisto's thigh, then realized she had allowed it so he would be positioned for her wide swing which nearly cut him in half. Without stopping she spotted a scurrying form and ran in pursuit as her men continued the slaughter.

It was a screaming seven year old boy and he was pulled out of the way just as Callisto's sword whistled down. Her next swing was met by a blade and Callisto saw Jilly in front of her, knocked to the ground by the blow.

"TRAITOR!" Callisto hissed and swung again, sending Jilly's sword flying off. The child was instantly gone, as was the little boy. The warlord glared around her, then ran back to help with the clean up in the square.

The children were hidden outside of town. Now Jilly was listening carefully, her retrieved sword in her hand. She had only barely saved Sammi. Somehow Callisto had spotted him after killing his father, Jared. Jilly's arm still hurt from the blow which had knocked her down. She had no idea how Callisto had disarmed her. Callisto would have killed her, she knew. She'd regret it later but that wouldn't do Jilly or any of the village children any good.

Jilly was ashamed. Callisto had called her a traitor. In the warlord's scheme of things the only thing lower than a traitor was a Xena lover. Betraying Callisto made her sick to her stomach. Jilly had gotten children to safety before but she'd never been caught; and she certainly had never drawn a weapon on Callisto before. She couldn't bear this but she couldn't let her friend kill the village children either. She had seen Callisto lose control before, but after seeing her go berserk around children the first time she had nightmares that alternated with the nightmares about her father.

Jilly assisted her friend in her raids by scouting for her. Often she helped in the killing too. This time the girl had liked everyone in the village and had suggested not raiding at all. Callisto had agreed but then just lost control. Now the girl didn't know what to do. One part of her said to do what was necessary and beg Callisto's forgiveness. Jilly turned and looked at the terrified group of orphans. Seeing her look Sammi ran, falling over, to her and hugged her but she didn't return it this time. Jilly looked at her sword. What would happen to them now without their families? They'd be like Callisto and Jilly herself: begging, starving and whoring. Only the girl didn't think any of them had warrior potential.

There was a large bonfire in the center of camp. Callisto's men were drunk; not exactly celebrating--too many of them were real warriors to see massacring a defenseless village as anything to celebrate. They were keyed up though and needed the release. There had been some pretty girls in the village but the warlord wanted to kill everybody. So that was that. A real waste. Now warriors were arguing drunkenly or just sitting and talking. The village had had food and wine but nothing else of value.

The warlord herself was sitting alone on a stool she had scavenged. The manic energy she been showing earlier had left her just as suddenly, and she had withdrawn from her men wordlessly. Her elbows were on her knees and her head was in her hands, her blonde hair cascading over her splayed fingers. The firelight danced over her isolated figure. A small shadow seemed to materialize near her and Callisto slowly raised her head. "Hello Jilly."

The shadow approached her and laid a small bundle at her feet and stepped back. After a moment Callisto reached down to unwrap it, recognizing the head of the little boy from earlier.

"What about the others?"

The shadow made some hand signs.

"All of them, huh?" The warlord turned to look directly in the blazing fire, her pupils contracting instantly. "You're probably right. Come sit with me, Jilly."

The small shadow soundlessly sat on the ground beside the woman. Jilly stared into the fire, her face lit and her pupils contracting to pinpoints.


"Jilly! Where's Callisto? Is she here?"

The speaker was a tall, cadaverous, dark-skinned warrior. He was with two other men and they had just entered a tavern. All eyes turned to who he was speaking to, a girl in a heavy cloak who looked about 11 years old, quietly eating.

"You've got a big mouth, Telemachus. No, Callisto isn't with me."

At her words the warrior looked stunned. "You can talk!"

One of his companions said, "Are you gonna let a brat talk to you like..." but the third man, dark like Telemachus, elbowed him sharply in the ribs.

Jilly ignored the interruption and said, "Uh huh, I can talk now," but didn't elaborate.

Telemachus approached her closer and quietly said, "Sorry Jilly. You're right, I do have a big mouth." The girl relented and smiled at him although her eyes were still cold. "Does Callisto need men, Jilly? We were going to try to join Kimberly but I'd rather be with somebody I know."

The small blonde girl looked down a moment. "She's dead, Telemachus."

The thin warrior looked closely at her and said, "I'm sorry." Jilly looked up without expression.

The man who had spoken earlier loudly said, "If that bitch is dead, I'm gonna teach this brat some manners." Jilly smiled widely. The warrior who had elbowed him now stepped further away.

Telemachus mildly said, "You might want to apologize to Jilly, Arno."

The warrior, a burly, dirty southerner spit to the side. "What's the matter with you two?" and he began advancing on the child intending to beat her, but stopped as she leapt onto the table she had been sitting at and pulled her cloak off. Underneath she was wearing fighting leathers. "And who are you supposed to be?" the man said sneeringly.

Telemachus said, "I just met him, Jilly. He's nothing to me."

"Or me," the other said. Both put more distance between themselves and the two figures.

The 11 year old finally spoke. "Who I'm supposed to be is the last thing you ever see, you wormy piece of dung."

Arno laughed and looked at his two companions, wondering if this was all a joke. But he suddenly cried out and clapped a hand to his left ear, his hand coming away covered in blood. Disbelieving he looked at the child who was holding something round. Her hand flashed and his right cheek exploded in blood. Bellowing he drew his sword and swung at the child but she was no longer there. Arno fell forward, behind him now, Jilly had slashed his hamstrings with a knife.

"You little bitch! You're dead!" He sounded hysterical.

The child had backed away and was smiling, her eyes wide. She went back to her table and sat back down and resumed eating quickly, as Arno kept cursing at her. He crawled toward her and Jilly laughed lightly. Arno was swinging wildly with his sword but the child jumped away, drawing her small sword now. Arno's cursing and thrashing abruptly stopped with Jilly's thrown sword in his throat. He was too heavy for Jilly to turn over so Telemachus rolled him so she could retrieve her weapon. The child spoke, "Thanks. There's a garrison nearby. We better get out of here."

"You're the boss," the other man said.

Telemachus looked at him, then at Jilly and said, "Right."

They had been traveling together six weeks. Telemachus and Wartung, his companion, were still heading in the general direction of Kimberly's army but not in any hurry. They were helping Jilly rob bandits. Telemachus had asked her if she wanted to join Kimberly's army with them. She'd looked at him and said, "She's the one who killed Callisto. When I'm ready I'll kill her."

Wartung and Telemachus sucked their breath in. Jilly smiled at them. "Go ahead and join her. This is just me."

In addition to the lone or pairs of robbers Jilly had preyed upon, they now also took robber bands up to about six strong. The girl would initiate the attack with her chakram. They didn't always kill everyone though often they did. Once a bandit had asked to join them. The child seemed to consider it then turned him down with a smile. Jilly explained that she didn't want to be "fat."

"You know, Telemachus," Wartung finally said, "this beats Hades out of being in an army."

The thin black man nodded. "I know. You and me are never gonna be warlords or even close. No offence."

Wartung smiled, "Sure. Jilly will unless she goes after Kimberly too soon."

"Well, let's see what she thinks."

That evening the child just materialized in camp in that unnerving way she had. "Someone is working the roads north of here. I couldn't find out how many. Let's check it out tomorrow."

Wartung spoke. "That sounds great, Jilly. Me and Telemachus have been talking and we want to stick with you."

The little girl who was removing her cloak paused a moment, then folded it and looked up at them. The men thought her eyes looked red. "I'd like that," she said, then turned away and seemed to be concentrating on refolding her cloak.

Jilly was practicing with her chakram. She spent hours a day on all of her fighting skills. It frustrated her because she knew she wouldn't stand a chance against Callisto, and Kimberly had beaten Callisto. The girl was thinking about Telemachus and Wartung. She had mixed feelings about this. She had been touched; that was dangerous and weak. They knew who she was--they weren't falling for an act like villagers often did, and they wanted to stay with her.


The bandit began gurgling and fell. Jilly caught the chakram as Wartung tried to catch the other guard by surprise, but failed and the men began fighting savagely. At least Telemachus was doing his part. There were two bandits asleep and he'd cut both their throats the instant Jilly had thrown her chakram. Wartung seemed to be losing. This kind of thing had happened twice before and lately he couldn't kill people in their sleep smoothly either. Telemachus ran to his aid and then Jilly's chakram embedded itself in the bandit's head.

"Jilly, I'm sorry! You know I'm better than this. It's just a bad streak!"

Telemachus nervously watched as Wartung made his excuses. They both knew Callisto would kill someone who kept failing and wasn't smart enough to disappear.

Jilly broke. "Gods, Wartung! I like you but you're going to get us killed! You're out. Take your shares before I act smart."

"What about me, Jilly?" Telemachus said.

"What about you?"

"If Wartung goes, I go."

"What?" Jilly was incredulous.

"We're brothers," Wartung said.

Jilly stared at them. "One more chance."

"Thanks Jilly," Telemachus said.

Stupid! Stupid! They would tell people about this, she thought as she pretended a man was attacking her from behind and she only had a knife. She practiced variants for an attacker with a knife, a sword, a club, and a chakram. She cut her hand; she was so upset about this it was making her sloppy. Finally Jilly just shouted in frustration.


The large guard fell with the chakram in his throat and Telemachus had killed another man with a knife while he was taking a shit. But Wartung's man heard him and yelled before Wartung killed him with a sword stroke. That warned the two bandits Jilly and Telemachus were stalking, and Jilly received a kick in the stomach that sent her flying. She'd have been dead if the man hadn't laughed that it was just a child. Telemachus threw a knife into his back and a second later Telemachus cried out as an axe took his sword arm off. Wartung ran over and cut the axe wielder in half, then ran to Jilly's opponent who was on his knees trying to claw the knife from his back. He screamed as he saw Wartung prepare to behead him.

Wartung picked up Jilly who had vomited and was doubled over and carried her over by Telemachus who was weakly moaning. Without pausing Wartung drove his sword through his brother's heart. Then he just sat by the body of Telemachus. Eventually he felt the expected tap on his shoulder.

"Go ahead, Jilly."

"Look at me, Wartung!"

The dark warrior twisted around to see the girl standing there. She was pale and her brown eyes were wide. Then the light seemed to go out of them.

"We have to bury Telemachus. Then we'll split everything and go our own way."

Stunned, Wartung asked, "You aren't going to kill me?"

Holding her stomach, Jilly sank to the ground again and spit some blood. " remind me of somebody I killed that I shouldn't have."


Call me Bancher, and I was 12 when my people were massacred. After my family was killed I went to live with the aunt and uncle that I had been visiting. I simply showed back up at their small farm and said, "Everyone is dead." I learned eventually that Callisto and her army had been in the area; so that was who it was. I decided to become a warrior and to hunt down Callisto if I could. I wasn't obsessed though and knew I might never find her. And I still tried to have a life and my aunt already had my future wife selected. We got along fine and neither of us minded the idea. But I kept thinking of what happened to my family and village. At least I wanted to learn to fight. There was a warlord who never attacked villages, just other warlords: Kimberly, the Sword of Ares. So one day when I was 15 I said goodby to Sila, my betrothed, and told her I would return after I became a warrior. I asked Sila to tell my aunt and uncle what I had done but not to mention the Sword of Ares. I didn't want my uncle following me.

I just began asking if anyone knew where the warlord was. I did odd jobs to support myself in villages and farms, and more than one mother wished me to marry their daughter and remain with them. My search seemed long at the time but I see now how lucky I was to find her after only five months. In the town they said that the Sword of Ares had just destroyed Balcon and his men, so she would probably be there for a while. Like a snake digesting a pig, they said. I thanked them and walked to where they said her army was camped.

When I finally saw the armed men, the first warriors I had ever seen outside of my father and his friends, my heart started beating fast. They were perimeter guards I later learned, and the Sword of Ares had some words with them about how I could have slipped past them. Once I was in the perimeter I managed to get close to the center of the large encampment before anyone gave me a second look. Finally some men asked what I wanted. The warriors looked at each other and laughed, telling me to go home. They didn't think it was so funny when I took off running

After ducking between some horses I ran around some tents and stopped. There she was: the Sword of Ares. Some hands grabbed me but she said loudly, "Let him go. It's all right. Return to your posts." She had been sitting on a stool reading a scroll. Now she stood up and approached, the scroll rolled in one hand. "You wanted to see me?" the voice came from behind a chainmail veil.

I said, "I want to join you. I'm ready."

"How old are you," the Sword of Ares asked.

"17 summers" I lied. She nodded. I'd fooled her.

"Where's your sword?"

"I was in a battle and lost it there."

"That can happen," she agreed. Then she said only slightly louder, "Jilly." A girl no more than 13 summers herself stepped out of a tent. She was blonde and small and wore black leathers styled differently than the warlord's. I was relieved that someone younger than me was with her. This should be no problem.

"Here," Kimberly said, and drew her own sword and handed it to me. It was heavier than I expected. She walked over to the girl and said something quietly, then she stepped back and said to me, "Try to kill her."

"I can't do that. What if I hurt her?"

The girl smiled at me. It made me nervous.

"Just do it," the Sword of Ares said commandingly. So I raised the sword and tried to strike close to the child. "I SAID, try to kill her." There was an edge to her voice now, so I said a prayer to Zeus and attacked the girl. But she wasn't where I struck. So I attacked again and I missed again. They were making a fool of me.

"Parry him, Jilly," the veiled woman said, and my sword began clanging on the girl's. I did my best even if I was a joke.

"Disarm him," and the sword was in the girl's hand now. She threw it at the warlord who caught it nonchalantly and sheathed it. "Why do you want to join me?"

I didn't understand what was happening but I answered. "I want to hunt down warlords like you do."

"What about your family?"

I didn't want to cry but I'm afraid I sounded choked up. "They were butchered by a warlord."

"Which one?"


The Sword of Ares said, "She's dead if that helps any."

The girl spoke for the first time. "Where? When?"

I started crying now. "My village was Creone. She killed everyone. My mother Mathile, Jared my father, and my little brother Sammi."

The girl flinched. "Where were you?" she asked in a strange voice. I saw the Sword of Ares look sharply at her.

"Visiting my aunt and uncle in the next valley," I answered.

The girl had an odd expression and she seemed to start to weave. I'm not sure what happened next, they both moved so fast. Jilly seemed to be flying at me and the big woman caught her and threw her several yards away. The warlord drew her sword and barked at me, "Stay behind me."

The little girl was breathing raggedly and the whites showed all around her brown eyes. Her sword was moving in a way that I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

"Jilly!" the Sword of Ares said sharply. Then louder, "JILLY!"

"I finish what I start," she said with a laugh.

"Not this time," the woman answered. The child leaped at her and tried to change direction quickly to get past her--to get to me. The big woman, however, sidestepped in front of her and their swords clanged loudly, followed by the girl's weapon flying out of her hand. I cringed as the woman's left hand made into a fist drove into the child's stomach. Jilly doubled over and lay on the ground. I wanted to help her but the woman said, "Don't get near her."

We just stared at the girl on the ground for a few minutes. Then she got up slowly, holding her stomach. She looked at us and her eyes were normal again. "I'm all right," she said, but the woman just kept watching her.

"Jilly, you can't fight me yet. Give it up."

Suddenly the girl screamed and I heard another clang as something flying at me was deflected by the woman's sword. Jilly held her hand up and caught the metal ring she had thrown. Her face was completely expressionless now. She simply retrieved her sword and walked away. I began walking away too when I felt a hand on my shoulder. "Where do you think you're going?"

"What?" I asked. I wanted to slink away.

"You're staying with me until I sort this out with Jilly. You won't be safe until I do."

"Why does she hate me?" I cried loudly.

"Maybe she'll tell you. I'm not sure exactly myself," the warlord answered. "Anyway, just stay close to me until I tell you to stop."

So that was how I joined the Sword of Ares.

I had been with Kimberly two weeks before seeing Jilly again. The warlord had introduced me to her giant lieutenant named Weldon and to a man named Joxer--I didn't understand what he did exactly though I came to like him. She said, "This is Bancher. We need to protect him from Jilly until I talk to her."

The huge red headed man nodded as if that were perfectly understandable. "She rode out with provisions," he said. The warlord cursed under her breath.

She even had me sleep in her tent. She removed her veiled helmet in front of me and seemed to expect something but I don't know what. She was a handsome woman. She said to me, "You give me bad thoughts, Bancher, you know that. Weldon better watch out." I didn't know how to respond to that. Then she took a sword down from her wall and handed it to me. "This is yours."

But I was speaking of Jilly. I was in a town with Kimberly, having ridden behind her, my arms around her waist. Jilly came into view at the other end of the dirt street. The warlord interrupted her conversation with a storekeeper to say to me, "Don't worry. We had a talk. She needs to speak with you, though." So I walked towards her as she approached. Jilly indicated for me to follow her off the main street then she spoke.

"Draw your sword, Bancher."

I froze. "Kimberly said everything was all right."

The girl looked me in the eyes. "It is all right. I'm not going to fight you. I'm going to let you avenge your family, especially Sammi."

"What do you have to do with that?"

She looked away as she said, "I was with Callisto. She killed your father and I killed your brother. One of the men must have killed your mother."

"You killed Sammi?" I was stunned, not angry.

Jilly answered, "I served Callisto. It was her will everyone die. I killed all of the children."

I said, "Sammi's head was gone."

After a pause Jilly said, "I tried to save the children but Callisto saw me. I had to choose them or Callisto--I thought I had to. I took her Sammi's head. She probably just tossed it in with some other bodies. This is your chance, Bancher. Kill me."

"You tried to save them," I said.

She answered abruptly, "Bancher, I didn't save them. I killed them to please Callisto."

"Callisto was very important to you," I said. Then my face stung from her slap.

"What's wrong with you? Don't you understand what I did? Do your duty or I WILL kill you from disgust!"

All I said was "You really liked Sammi didn't you?" A strange light came in her eyes and she was gone.

Kimberly looked curiously at me as I returned to her. "Did you kill Jilly?"

Didn't life mean anything to them at all? I answered, "No. Then her eyes got funny and she disappeared."

The warlord looked at me. "Go home. You don't belong here. The girl you're to marry is very fortunate. If you ever need help send word to me. If I'm dead send to Jilly." She paused. "She needs someone like you."


Langland watched with concern as Jilly's head rolled from side to side and she muttered, soaked with sweat. He had signed on for this. He reached out and shook her shoulder, "Jilly, wake up. Jilly...ugh" He found himself across the room with his new dentures in pieces and it felt like a broken collar bone. She was instantly next to him.

"Honey! Langland! I'm sorry, I'll get the car and take you to the hospital. You should let me dream. You don't have to go through this."

Wincing, the long haired, handsome young man let her help him up and he got a pair of replacement dentures from the supply he had of them. The drawer was full of medical supplies. It looked more like something from a nursing station than a home.

"Was it Sammi this time, Jilly?" he asked as she was packing a bag for him.

"No. It was just some guy who insulted Callisto behind her back and I killed him in front of his family."

In the car Langland said one more time "You have to let it go, Jilly. You're not the same person even if you have the memories. You were like Callisto then. You're closer to Kimberly now."

"Nice, Langland. Look how Mom ended up."

"You know what I mean. You have a conscience."

"What the hell would you know about having a conscience, Langland?"

"I read a lot," he said as the Corvette pulled into the hospital parking lot.

"Lemme ask you," she said as she opened the car door for him, "did you ever kill somebody because you were mad at them or hated them?" She dropped her voice low as she pushed the ER door open.

"Me? No."

After checking in they continued their conversation in whispers. "And you don't regret any killings, right?" Jilly said.

"Well, yes I do. But as poor judgment. That's not what you're talking about though. For example, when you went back to Greece I should've kept my nose clean like you asked since it upset you and Janice so much. It was profitable though and I laid some good foundations."

Jilly laughed dangerously. "Don't go soft on me, Langland. I'd have to kill you as a liability...I'm KIDDING! God, what's your problem?"

Langland smiled wanly at her and didn't reply as the doctor returned. They decided to admit him for head x-rays in case he had another concussion. The first time they had come in he and Jilly gave the doctor, with a lot of embarrassment, a story about rough sex. Now they got these knowing looks when they came in, and Jilly suspected a pretty little nurse with a perverse mouth had propositioned Langland. The nurse didn't know how lucky she was both that it was just a story and that Langland was faithful.

Langland was thoughtful as he waited patiently for his new x-rays. For the first time since he had known Jilly he was unsure of himself. The dreams she had begun having since learning of Kimberly's death were unsettling her, and he didn't know where it would lead. Like Callisto and Xena, Jilly was guilty of far worse than Kimberly, qualitatively if not quantitatively. Kimberly's guilt destroyed her and if that kind of sensibility was emerging in Jilly, it did not bode well. He couldn't imagine life without her. Without Jilly he would just go on accumulating money and power as an empty shell. She thought science meant more to him than she did and didn't believe him when he told her otherwise.


Cal looked up from where he was disassembling his Smith & Wesson. Sam was picking pieces up curiously, his blue eyes and dark hair a strong contrast with his blonde brown-eyed father.

"Hello Jilly. What do you need?'

"Remember what I brought Callisto after that village where she got mad at me?"

Cal lightly took the barrel away from the little boy and said, "Go see if Captain Kangaroo is on, Sam." The child started to object but at a look from Cal left.

"Jilly, that was a different life for both of us."

The girl began crying. "I keep thinking of Sammi holding onto me. Scared to death and thinking I was helping him."

"Who's Sammi?" Cal said.

"That was his head I brought you--brought Callisto, I mean."

Cal's cheek twitched. "I don't want to lose you like your mother, Jilly. At least think of your brother. With Kimberly gone he needs his big sister." He stood up and came to his teary eyed daughter.

"You should tell me crying is dangerous and weak like you used to."

"That was Callisto not me, Jilly." Cal's nostrils flared. "Is that your mother's Wild Turkey?"

"Yes Daddy."

The rangy man's eyes momentarily took on a mad look but he reached inside the collar of his shirt to touch a small gold owl on a chain, and his eyes returned to sanity. "Think about Sam, Jilly."

A look of abject horror came over Jilly's face. "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!" her knees buckled and Cal caught her.

"Jilly, what is it?"

"It's Sam, Daddy. Sammi is Sam!"

"It wasn't my idea." They looked over at the melodious voice. Jilly was shaking. Cal just appeared cold. Ares stood before them in a Brooks Brothers suit.

"Whose idea was it?" Cal said.

"The Furies. We don't control them. They want her to taste what she did."

"Make her forget, Ares," Cal demanded.

"I can't," the God of War said. "It's not my province."


The Boston night was cold. "Jilly! What are you doing here? Come inside." Janice Covington was naked holding a pistol in one hand. She'd opened the door a crack then just flung it wide when she recognized the young woman.

"Hello Aunt Janice," the beautiful blonde said despondently. "I was in the neighborhood." The archaeologist smelled the alcohol now.

A voice came from inside the apartment. "Who is it, Jan?" and a tall dark-haired girl in a sheet was standing in the bedroom doorway. "Hi, who are you?"

Jilly looked at the woman who was close to her age and bore a marked resemblance to Kimberly, Xena, and most importantly Melinda Pappas. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt something." She was going to leave but the little blonde pulled her inside and closed the door.

Janice grabbed a khaki shirt up from where it had been flung on the floor and put it on as she briskly asked, "What's wrong?"

The slender young blonde looked at her with dull eyes. "Blood," she said as she sat heavily on Covington's ragged old couch. The brunette in a sheet approached.

"Honey, I know what you mean. I hate that time of the month too!" and she laid a hand on Jilly's arm.

Janice was looking away but Jilly smiled tiredly and said, "Thanks. But I was dealing with blood a lot more than once a month."

Looking sympathetic, the young brunette said, "Plumbing problems, huh. Gee, I'm sorry."

Janice took her shoulders and steered her back to the bedroom. "I need to talk privately with her, okay Carol?"

"Sure, I understand, Jan."

Janice Covington was appalled as she turned back and Jilly was taking a swig from a flask. "Who's blood, Jilly?"

"Anyone's who got in my way. Have you seen references to a small demon that served Callisto?"


"That was me. I was with her from when I was 8 until Kimberly killed her when I was 10. I helped her in everything: battles, massacring villages, torture, all of it.

Janice said, "How much could you have done? You were just a child."

"I could've done a lot. And I did. Maybe a quarter of the people we killed could be said to have deserved it in some way."

"Why now, Jilly?'

"I was just like Callisto then. She rescued me from my father and I would do anything for her. When I was reborn I had a pretty normal childhood--for a while at least. But I've got the memories."

"It wasn't you, Jilly."

"That's what my dad says. He was Callisto."

"What about Kimberly?" Janice Covington asked. Despite her concern she was fascinated by this.

"Mom is just herself. Boring huh?"

The little archaeologist didn't know what to say. Kimberly had let her have it once that like her ancestor Gabrielle, Janice didn't have the same demands placed on her as Xena and her descendants because she lacked the brains and talent. Even though Jilly didn't look like the others it still applied. There was something more than human about all of them.

"What does Langland say?"

Jilly grimaced. "The same thing. He's in the hospital again. I know you hate him like everybody else, but he's got another side just like Callisto had. I need to let him heal up."

"Don't drink, Jilly."

"Mom's dead."

After a pause Janice said, "How?"

Taking a long swig first, Jilly answered "I'm not sure exactly. History says Xena killed her but I know how inaccurate that can be."

"I'm sorry, Jilly. But you don't have to drink like her."

Jilly shrugged.

"How's Sam, Jilly?" Janice asked and was startled by the look of pain on the girl's face. "Is he all right?'

"Yeah, Sam's okay."

"Then what's wrong?"

"It's too complicated to go into." Jilly stood. "I'll leave you alone with your friend. Sorry I interrupted." Janice stood and tried to sit her back down but she didn't move like Janice thought she would. Somehow the girl was still standing and it was as if Janice's hands had slipped off her. Jilly had an amused expression on her face that reminded the archaeologist of Kimberly.

"It's two in the morning, Jilly. Just sleep on my couch. You shouldn't wander around when you've been drinking. You won't bother us."

"Okay, Aunt Janice. I'll stay. You should get back to your friend though or I WILL leave."

Jilly's eyes popped open and her hand lashed out of its own accord. She managed to change its path and her stiffened fingers knifed the air next to the concerned face looking at her.

"Honey, wake up! You were dreaming; crying and squirming."

Jilly sat up, shaking. If her hand had connected Carol would be dead on the floor, if she was lucky. The brunette taller woman, who was naked, sat next to her on the couch. Jilly had only taken her Italian shoes off. Suddenly she began crying as Carol's resemblance to her mother overwhelmed her.

"What's going on?" Janice said, standing in the door of her bedroom wearing the khaki shirt again. She was lighting a cigar as she spoke.

"Jilly was having a bad dream. That's all, Jan." Carol said.

"You okay?" the archaeologist asked.

"Yeah, thanks, Aunt Janice."

"Okay," and Janice disappeared back into her room. Carol put her arm around the blonde girl who was trying to get her tears under control.

"Let it go, honey. It's okay," the naked woman said.

"No, it's not! It's dangerous and weak!" Jilly answered through gritted teeth.

"Jilly left," Carol said as she returned to the bedroom and got back into bed next to the smaller older woman, sitting up smoking a cigar.

"I figured she would," Janice answered, as Carol snuggled against her. She didn't see what she could do.


Jilly was walking aimlessly down the grey street. She'd headed for the slums, hoping someone would attack her but no one had. It was nearly dawn now and she sensed his presence next to her.

"You don't need to live like this, Jilly. Come with me now and help me. That's what I planned all along."

The girl looked over at the God of War who was dressed in a long trench coat. "Will that change how I think and feel, Ares?"

"Not right away. Being immortal will work on you though. Eventually you will gain a longer perspective," the god answered.


"Hundred, two hundred years."

"How can I serve the God of War when I feel like I'm drowning in blood?" the beautiful young blonde said tonelessly.

Ares answered, "You're just down. You came here hoping someone would try to rape and kill you. You're still my Jilly. You always will be."

With reddened eyes she looked at the beautiful ancient god. "I know. But it's too soon."

Ares said, "All right, Jilly. Just don't get killed in the meantime. I can't bring you back again." The god briefly flared in flame and disappeared. He reappeared several blocks away assuming the form of a tall skinny heroin addict. He would ambush her and try to cheer her up that way. He had been fighting her and appearing to die since she was a little girl as a way of training her.

After Ares left Jilly continued walking. Eventually she heard a scrape and sensed someone stalking her. A small smile played on her lips.

The End