By Joseph Anderson

Kimberly and Jilly both belong to the author. The story assumes the reader knows who they are from other stories but it should be understandable anyway. This is set in the Xenaverse. No copyright infringement is intended.

WARNING: Graphic violence and bad language.

My friend Eleusis grabbed me as I was getting ready to slop the pigs. When would we get another chance like this? So I looked around to be sure Old Atticus didn't see me and I sneaked off with Eleusis.

"Are you sure they're in there?" I asked him.

Stupid question. How would he know? We heard two warlords was at Medusa's Den. They'd left their armies each on one side of our little nothing town and was meeting in a neutral spot. That's what everybody was saying. The Elders sent a runner to the nearest garrison. What they thought a few soldiers could do about two warlord armies I don't know. I bet them garrison boys wasn't too hot for the idea neither. I heard a lot of names: Draco, Kryton, The Sword of Ares, Cortese, Xena of Corinth, Zagreus, even Callisto. I'm pretty sure some of 'em was already dead. People was just guessing every name they knew.

Anyway a bunch of us was staring at the Medusa's Den and the horses tied in front with these fancy saddles. Eleusis winked at me and began sneaking closer and I followed him. The others wouldn't come. We got to the door and peeked our heads in. Suddenly I was pulled inside and pushed against a wall, Eleusis right beside me. The men who held us laughed as they got a look at us. They didn't put the knives away they had at our throats though.

"Who's that?" The speaker was a dark haired woman sitting at a table across from a man. They was eating it looked like.

"Some brats," the one holding me said.

The man at the table had long curly hair the color of mud but he was bald as a baby on top. He said like he didn't much care, "Kill 'em for not minding their own business." He drank some wine from a bowl.

The woman set down a spoon and stood up. "No." She was in this tough, tight black leather outfit.

Now he was interested. He wiped his mouth off and got up too. I saw all this inlaid leather and these big meaty arms. "What'dya mean 'no?' I say we kill 'em."

The woman smiled in this mean way. "And I say we don't, Klytoneos."

"What's it to you, Kimberly?" He looked over at us suspiciously with piggy eyes.

"Because I say so."

I heard a light giggle and saw a girl no older than me but wearing a sword on her back. She was dressed like the woman but skimpier and had all this wild blonde hair and brown eyes that looked....I dunno....wrong. Baldy glanced at her and she gave him a spooky smile. He looked back at Kimberly. "Is that how it is now?" He said it with a sneer.

"Stay out of it, Jilly." Kimberly said. The girl yawned and shrugged in this big phony way. There were six or seven other men with swords and armor and stuff just standing around. They was all eyeing each other and the girl. Everybody kept looking at that blonde girl.

The men holding us was nervous now. Kimberly come sauntering over with a fancy helmet in one hand. She looked at 'em holding us against the wall and put it on. Her face was hid by this glittery chain mail. Sweet Athena. Everybody'd heard of that helmet. She's The Sword of Ares! Zeus!

"Let go of 'em."

Baldy came over too. "Kill 'em!"

Me and Eleusis were scared to death but so were the soldiers who held us. They was looking from one to the other and over at that blonde girl with the crazy eyes. The one holding me let go. Things happened fast then.

"Dog!" Baldy said and stabbed him! Just like that! The other one started to cut Eleusis's throat but I heard a crack and he fell with his neck at a funny angle, Kimberly right behind him. Me and Eleusis woulda run but the door was closed and somebody standing in front of it.

Baldy and the Sword of Ares looked at each other a second and then drew their swords. It was so quiet the creaking leather when they moved sounded like Zeus's thunderbolts to me. We was close enough to hear the SHHHH as them fancy blades was unsheathed. That room got awful small. I tried to keep from shaking and Eleusis leaned against the wall like he couldn't stand up no more. The girl grinned at us and her brown eyes was all wide and shiny. She looked back at the two warlords getting ready to fight and begun drumming her fingers in this nervous kinda way. The men near to her started to move away quiet like.

Baldy said, "You stupid bitch."

Kimberly laughed.

They started circling each other, making feints. "I've got no problem with you, Jilly," Baldy called out without taking his eyes off Kimberly. He was lighter on his feet than you'd think for a big man.

The woman jumped at him but he was ready for her and ducked quick. There was a flurry of blows and her sword went flying. I saw a blur out of the corner of my eye and Kimberly barked, "Stay out!"

She barely avoided getting skewered and then kicked Baldy in the face. He stumbled into me and she grabbed her sword back up. She kicked him again but he caught her neck with a backhand slash with the knife in his left hand. Then he stabbed her with the sword and she went down! She rolled away before he could finish her and up she jumped.

My heart was pounding! We was dead if she lost and it sure looked like she was losing. But she grabbed a stool up and throwed it at his feet and he lost his balance and that was her chance. She swung her sword with both hands grunting loud. It caught him between his neck and right shoulder and chopped all the way under his breastbone! He made this awful sound and dropped, the two parts of his chest twisted around so you could see his insides. Blood poured out. It seemed to cover everything. It gushed over my feet and I had to lean against the wall like Eleusis, scared I'd faint like a girl. I prayed to Apollo I wouldn't fall in it. One of those big meaty arms was flung wide and the other was bent under him in a way that woulda hurt bad if he could still feel. I saw his fingers twitching and his mouth open like he was trying to eat the floor. If I wanted I coulda reached down and touched his bald head. I didn't though.

The Sword of Ares stood there holding the sword and sorta weaving. The blonde ran up so the big woman could lean on her.

"Joxer! Joxer! Get a healer!" The girl was pressing her hands against the wounds.

"Joxer's not with me anymore, Jilly. Remember?" Kimberly said. Then she sank to her knees on the bloody floor and dropped the blade. She would've fallen if not for the girl. "I didn't think he was that good." She spoke ironically as she took her helmet off and let it drop from her weak hands onto the wet slippery wood. She looked a bloody mess.

The inn door opened and a foreigner come in with a soldier. Jilly kept her hands pressed against the wounds as the foreign healer just cut Kimberly's clothes off right there and no one gave it a thought. There was this sucking sound as they walked in the blood from that butchered carcass. No one gave that a thought either...or the two other dead men...or the smell. Me and Eleusis got sick in back of a bench. The healer bandaged her neck and was looking at that hole in her side. He indicated for the girl to stop pressing on it and she stepped away. Jilly looked as pale as Kimberly.

Maybe we should have just snuck away. Eleusis started to but I wiped my mouth and said, "Your ladyshipness...Kimberly..." The bloody naked woman and the blonde looked at me. Eleusis stopped at the door. "Um...thank you..." I said lamely.

Eleusis burst out, "You saved us! Thank you! Thank you!" He sounded wild from being so scared. He still had some puke on his face.

Kimberly's head lolled back. "Sure. Anytime."

Jilly frowned at us and looked back at Kimberly. "I thought you wanted a deal with him. You said you were sick of fighting all the time. Look at this! Shit!" She held up her red hands with disgust and stamped her foot in the sucking blood. She grabbed a towel from the bar and angrily wiped her hands off.

Kimberly said, "I couldn't let him kill those boys, Jilly. Don't you see?"

"No. No I don't. You almost got killed for these stupid shitheads! I don't see!"

"I didn't know he was that good." Kimberly repeated with a sardonic smile that turned into a grimace of pain.

"You'd have done it anyway," Jilly said. Her face was pale and twitching.

Kimberly groaned as the healer began sewing her side up. "Yeah, I would."

"I lost Callisto. I'm not gonna lose you!" She began pacing splattering blood on everybody but nobody said nothing. Then she stopped and her sword snickered into her hand. All them big tough warriors was gone so fast you'd think they had Hermes' sandals, cursing each other to get out of the way! The girl acted like she didn't even see 'em, just looked at me and Eleusis, her mouth twitchy. "It's your fault..." Her eyes started to look even more funny than they already did. Maybe funny ain't the word I mean.

Kimberly said sharp as she could with how weak she was, "Jilly! Jilly! I'm all right. Stop it. I'm all right."

She begun weaving the sword. At Kimberly's voice she stopped. "You're all right?"

"I'm okay, Jilly. It's not their fault."

Jilly was staring at Kimberly then she looked back at me and Eleusis. "They snuck in here and you almost got killed saving their dumb asses."

"That's not their fault." The healer had her bandaged up now. He helped pull her leathers back up so she wasn't just lying there with her tits and privates hanging out.

Jilly frowned. She tossed her sword up spinning and caught it without even looking. Her eyes was red and kept going from the wounded warlord lying in all that blood to me and my dumb ass friend. She had us pegged.

Kimberly said, "Don't hurt 'em. I mean it." She was in a lotta pain. You could see that. The healer held a bowl of wine to her lips. She finished it fast and he gave another.

The girl was looking hard at the warlord. Then she smiled in this sweet way. "Sure, Kimberly. Whatever you say."

Her voice sounded like a different person. Not just like she was feeling different. I mean like a completely different person. She put her sword away, looked at Eleusis and me and gave us that sweet smile too. Her eyes was all pretty and puppy like now.

"You guys have a real neat story to tell now don't you?"

We nodded dumbly.

"Sure you do. That's what you came here for. It's worth what happened. Sure it is." She was still speaking earnestly and cocked her head to one side.

Kimberly said to us. "Go home now."

Eleusis and me looked at her, walked out the door and took off running.