> The storm abated as quickly as it came. Clouds
> above parted and, in no time at all, the sun shone through
> on a beautiful day, almost as if the storm had never
> occurred. Ahead, Xena saw a crowded beach, the people
> swarming the teeming water were almost naked.
> Gabrielle sidled up next to her.
> "The crew wants to land here, to replenish supplies."
> "We're miles from Gathar," Xena replied. "We must
> continue if we are to reach our destination before Herardus'
> "I can only speak for myself," an older man in a
> white tunic said, approaching Xena from behind. "But I
> believe that if we starve to death before we reach our
> destination, then our persistence will be in vain." Xena
> glared sharply at the man. "And I would suggest stopping to
> replenish our food supplies before the crew start eyeing that
> horse of yours."
> At such a brutal mention of Argo, Xena bristled. But,
> she told herself, the man had a point.
> "Very well. We land for tonight only. Tomorrow we
> leave for Gathar."
> The sound of sand grinding under the keel sent the
> crew into a frenzy. The rowing team reversed their paddling,
> so as not to set the ship too firmly on the shore, lest they
> should be trapped by hostile natives.
> "Hostile natives indeed," Xena thought to herself.
> The people on land had been pointing and talking about their
> ship long before they beached, but so far no attempt at
> preparing defenses was evident. These people were either
> idiots or harbored extreme magic.
> "They might as well be wearing nothing," Xena heard
> Gabrielle whisper to herself. It was the truth. Minuscule
> pieces of brightly colored cloth covered the bare essentials
> of these natives. Most lounged about on the sand, while
> others played various games with balls and throwing discs.
> As she prepared to disembark, Xena heard an angry
> buzzing in the water, like a giant insect. Turning with her
> hand on her chakram, Xena crouched low for attack. Instead
> of a giant insect, however, she saw a man riding across the
> water on some sort of shining chariot.
> "Excuse me!" the man shouted. "Hey! You can't land
> here! This is a public beach." The man was as skimpily clad
> as the others, but Xena noticed an official seal on his bright
> red loin cloth.
> "My crew seeks to replenish our supplies. We wish to
> stay but one night, we will depart in the morning."
> "He said you can't bring a ship onto a public beach,
> lady." This new-comer was a nubian who approached from the
> shore. Xena noticed that her clothing was red as well, and
> also bore an official seal identical to that of the man. Xena
> smiled as she took in the site of this warrioress, who was a
> fabulous figure, clearly meant for battle.
> Leaping to the shore, Xena put her chakram away and
> extended a hand in greeting to the woman.
> "I am Xena, from..."
> "I don't care who you are, lady. You can't land your
> boat here, now get going."
> "Jordan, don't be rude," the man said, now on land.
> "I'm Hobie. This is Jordan. We really don't want to be rude,
> but you really can't have your boat here. There's a dock just
> a few miles north of here where you can stow for the night."
> He smiled, putting his hand on Xena's shoulder.
> Without thinking, Xena grabbed his wrist with her
> left hand and pulled him toward her. At the same time, she
> snaked her leg around his and pulled it out from under him.
> The action sent him sprawling on the ground, where he ended up
> looking up at her with his arm twisted almost completely
> "No man touches Xena, warrior princess, without..."
> Her breath was suddenly cut off as the nubian wrapped
> her arm around Xena's throat. A quick elbow to the ribs and
> the two were apart, each spinning to meet the other's next
> attack. Xena heard the sounds of the crew disembarking behind
> her, while at the same time more red-clads were moving down
> the beach toward them.
> The nubian lunged at Xena. Deftly pulling her chakram
> free, she sliced upward to defend against the attack. The woman,
> armorless, dropped to the ground.
> "Oh my god!" the man said, rising to his feet and
> rushing to his comrade.
> "Oh no!" Shouted a buxom blonde in a red outfit. "She
> killed Jordan! Quick! Lani! April! Go get Mitch!"
> "To the ship!" Xena ordered. "To the ship!"
> As they cleared the beach, Xena saw a strange site. More
> red-clads arrived, and they were not alone. Men and woman in
> strange horseless carriages with blinking blue and red lights
> also flooded the beach.
> "I'll be thankful when we reach Gathar," Gabrielle said
> softly, placing her hand on Xena's shoulder.
> "As will I," she replied, taking the bard's hand in
> hers. "As will I."