This story was written for me by a work colleague, FM. He was disappointed with Season 5 (weren't we all) and especially at the demise of the Gods. Here is his own version of what happened. (This is as written - I have not edited this beyond correcting a few spelling errors)
SHADOWS OF OLYMPUS
by FM Wade
War a waging forever on
Fighting each control the sky,
As shadows becomes the morning bright
The sounds of silence filled the air
The battle begins again once more
He hastened through the citadel towards her chambers with practiced steps of years ago. The once proud home of the Olympians lay broken and near ruin. Wind and rain once held at bay, now scratched their marks upon the passageways and great halls as they howled and wailed upon the once mighty sanctuary leaving decaying and crumbling walls in their wake. Through fallen passageways that once suspended magnificent tapestries weaved of precious stones, dazzling fabrics and brilliant metals, chronicling stories of gallantry and deception, of beauty and repulsiveness, of glory and disappointment. He crisscrossed fallen and shattered pillars of granite and marble carved into Olympian legends past, remnants of treasures from battles fought, conquests taken and offerings sought now lay scattered and faded along the cracked and broken floor. He moved beyond the visions present, forced back memories long past as he made his way into the foyer of her sanctuary. Two ten foot high 3 foot wide convex mirrors framed one of gold the other of silver faced each other in the center of its twelve foot length. Centered on the apex of the each frame was a diamond tiara adorned with emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. Light from the inner atrium danced off ribbons of satin and silks that flowed along each side of the mirrors creating rainbows of colors to illuminate the way. For a moment as he walked passed the mirrors he saw not only his reflection but she was also by his side in all her splendor. He tried to touch the image as though by doing so the truth of what is would fade but it was her image that slowly faded away leaving him to face what lay past the reflection only of himself. As he approached the end of the foyer he was greeted by two full size statures of the goddess one on each side of the entrance leading into the inner atrium. Each stature was dressed in white and yellows of glossy silks. One arm of each statue was bare of cloth raised outstretched with open palm pointing into the main chamber. The other arm was positioned across her upper chest with the torso turned slightly towards the atrium. Each perfectly carved face contained a slender smile of welcome. He moved past the statues and entered. The chamber was 240 feet in circumference measured from its center outward and 20 feet in height. Twelve granite pillars each 3 feet in diameter positioned on the outer radius of the chamber supported a ceiling with illustrations of the Olympians detailing their raise to power and rule of the mortals. Light entered from two windows at the far end of the chamber. Separating the windows that overlooked the cities of Athens and Corinth a balcony lead outside with a view of the Aegean Sea.
The chamber itself was decorated with paintings, statuettes, and craftsmanship of her wondering. In the center of the chamber stood three full size likeness of herself facing outward in a circle. Instead of cloth trappings these were draped only with glittering offerings left in her temples as worship. Surrounding the statue were caldrons of jewels, fine linens, and assorted offerings giving to her in the faint hope of receiving her eternal blessing.
Several reclining chairs with high backs were positioned to the left and right of the statures facing outward towards the balcony. This permitted conversation among the guests and a view of the mortal world through the windows and balcony. A table with golden goblets and plates laden with drink and food was located behind the chairs for all to partake. He gave but a quick glance around the room as these were all the familiar features of many visits. To the left down three pillars he knew were guest rooms. He moved towards the right where another entranceway, also three pillars away, would lead to her private rooms. As he passed the second pillar his eyes were drawn toward a reflection not familiar from visits past. He turned to gaze at a small image of himself. He moved with slow steps of awe and respect as he circled the sculptures. Her statue that faced her private rooms cradled him as a newborn. The statue facing the guest rooms held his hands as a child. In the last one facing the windows and balcony he stood in manhood slightly forward of her with her head on his shoulder, both her hands cradled in his as he faced outward towards tomorrow. For a moment he was back in better times as her laughter filled the air, images of boyhood pranks and lost tears. A smile crossed his lips then was gone as the images faded leaving an room cold and barren in its welcome. He moved to the entrance leading into her private rooms. The opening was laced with spun sheets of gold placed in a wave like pattern across the top. Sheets of silver fanned downward along both sides held from the center by golden ropes fastened to the walls. He moved into the passageway past the rooms of meditation, the wardrobe, and powder room. Outside of her bedroom he paused and listened. He heard only the constant sound of nature unchecked as it continued its relentless attack on the last remaining haven of the gods. Only her Olympian essence kept the elements at bay. He pushed open the solid mahogany door and entered.
He closed his eyes for a moment at what he saw and very slowly he opened his eyes. The vision was unchanged. He moved quickly to her bedside and gently set beside her. A face that once radiated joy and fullness of life was gone. In its place was a thin and pale skeleton of wrinkles and haggard skin. Her fleece of golden hair, envy of the gods and mortals alike, lay white and thin barely covering her head. Instead of blue eyes of love and bliss, only eyes of gray and pain sunken deep in their sockets stared back. He reached down and held her clenched hands gently as a fragile flower in its last moments of blossoming life. Though weak and frail her tired eyes gazed back lovingly upon his, a small smile of love crossed her lips as she lightly squeezed his hands. She moved her lips but no sound seamed to come forth. He lowered his head towards hers and softly spoke. "You can not leave milady, the mortals need your gift of life and love, he paused as his voice cracked in his words seamed shallow. He slowly and tenderly kissed her cheek "I need you". A whisper of sound left her parched lips, "Itís time my son, do not fear for me, you are all that I could ever have dreamed of in a son. Remember me with fondness and grieve not for it is right that the child out live the parents, even if we are gods". The whispers become mummers of sounds has she grasped for remaining life. He moved his head up and looked briefly away as he fought not to lose control and for her to see the lose on his face. The sounds outside seamed closer and loader. He removed one of his hands from hers and lightly brushed some hair away from her face. The strands brittle as dry grass broke and shattered at his slightest touch. He watched without seeing as the broken hairs faded away. He felt a slight vibration in his other hand and looked down to see her unclenching from her hands and placing in his her most cherished necklace. He remembered the stories of its creation by the divine Caberiroi for a favor long before he was born. Of how his mother had help Caberiroi defeat the Asgard god called Loki. His mother never spoke of it however legends abound among the gods of the necklace having great power. He reached down with his other hand and closed his hands over hers with the necklace between. He felt a slight pulsation in his hands that seamed to transverse through his body. As he looked at his mothers face he forgot the feeling as he knew time was slipping away and he could feel her life force dwindling. She moved a hand from his light grip and slowly led it upon his check. He felt her warmth of long ago and held her hand to his face with one hand and the necklace and her hand with his other trying to will his force into her. Just a little longer, a little longer and he would find a way.
He moved slightly on the bed to better help her. The movement was slight but the pain on her face said so much. He looked down to adjust her gown. It normally would flow around her as though it had a life of its own highlighting her once eternal beauty. Now it would be her burial garment, dull and cold. As he shifted part of the gown alone her side he saw a mark on her side. His face become tight and his eyes changed from a light green to black hard as realization of what had made the mark. She had closed her eyes to rest and wait the end with all that could be said and done. She felt the change in his life force and look up to see not a face of love but of confusion, grief, and anger. She slowly followed his gaze to her side. "He knows. It must not end like this" she thought she fought to raise her head to speak. ĎThe Norns and the Fates have decreed this and so it must beí. He felt her body movement and looked to see her move to speak. He released her hands and with a delicate touch supported her head and back. He moved her close to his heart as she spoke with a voice as strong of life of old. "You can not change what is my son. The old Olympian way as guardians is over. Others have taken the mantle as is it is with in the struggle of life. I do not fear my passing for I go knowing that you are blessed to be more than all of Olympus". She paused and tried to say more but the strength had gone from her. Her eyes were close and her breath come fast and shallow. He slowly laid her back down on the bed and found he was only able to utter in hush tones. "I love you". He felt a tear roll down the side of his face, felt it leave his chin, and watched as the tear fell landing not on her but saw it pass through striking the silken sheets. He tried to touch her and felt nothing, called her but heard only the echo of his own voice. Helplessly he watched as his mother glimmered, than slowly faded away as if she had never been.
Loki's hands griped the base of the sword as if it were a life line to his salvation. Veins budged from his hands, sweat flew from his wrist as he lifted the sword back a way from his nemesis. He paused at the pinnacle of the swords arch and for a moment passed in glee as he gazed into the eyes of his captive a sneer crossed Lokiís face. "There is no one to save you this time Thor. Not your father, not your mortal friends, nothing and no one will interfere this time". A roar of sear ecstasy escape Lokiís lips vibrating through the Asgarding catacombs. "Oh! How I have dreamed of this very moment a thousand times". Thor pulled with all his might at the shackles that tightly held him. His muscles ached in torment as they stranded to break the bindings, veins along his arms and neck swelled ready to bust from the struggle. Thorís swollen and bruised face contorted in rage, his eyes blazed in anger and vengeance as they locked on to Lokiís geeing stare. In a voice as clam as a summer breeze Thor replied "Enjoy the moment trickster for my time will come". For a moment Lokiís confidence faltered, his smile faded into a look of uncertainty as he quickly look around the room. Mjollnir, Thorís mighty hammer lay unreachable, bound by the mystic forces he had stolen from the Druids. His eyes scanned the corridor leading into his receptacle of torment. His smile returned as his eyes come to rest on his other captive. Even chained to the wall Aphrodite displayed a elegance and beauty he had never seen by any other god or mortal. There was nothing in her stare but contempt and loathing as she too struggled to break free. He gave a wink and returned his gaze to Thor. "With your death nothing will prevent our union" as he nodded in Aphroditeís direction. I will have a child greater then all gods of Asgard. A child who will do my biding with power to challenge even the forces of Eli". Lokiís voice rose in magnitude with each word cascading off the walls and echoing down the corridor. "Asgard, the Druids, not even the combined might of Dahak and Ares will stop my rule of all the gods". Thor and Aphrodite gazes met in acknowledgment of what each was thinking. Loki has gone mad with his own desire for power. Their eyes locked back onto Lokiís and saw only the crazed look of madness.
None of them saw the extra shadow appear inches within the corridor that led into the chamber. Her hand gripped the chakram as she readied herself. As the sword began its downward thrust she let fly the chakram with practiced skill. Its sound as it headed towards its intended target mixed with that of the sword as it cut a path towards its prey.
Loki paused in his narration of his soon to be greatness and looked first at Thor than at Aphrodite. As he returned his gaze to Thor his grip tightened on the sword as a sneer again returned to his lips. The walls echoed a hushed growl from Lokiís throat slowing growing in intensity. The sword began its downward swing with a swish as it cut the air. Lokiís lips parted as the growl was replaced by a howl as he swung the sword down with all his might. Thor held his head high and gazed fearless straight into those of Lokiís. "If death is to come this day let it be met by a warrior true". Aphrodite strained to break free as she watched the drama unfold before her knowing she would never leave here the same.
The swords deadly swath stopped a hairs breath from its mission. Four pairs of eyes watched as sparks flew and four pairs of ears head the clanging sound as metal struck metal. They watched as the sword flew from Lokiís hands, bounced of the chamber wall and come to rest between shacked feet. Ears heard a whoosh, the crack of metal on mortar and watched the spinning disk strike the wall and bounce off. Eyes followed the disk as it flew between Loki and Thor to rest in the hand of the warrior princess. "Can I play"?
They watched as Aphphais removed the necklace from around his neck and held it for a moment next to his heart than brought to his lips. He than grasped the emerald stone between his hands and waited for Xena to strike. She raised the sheared peace of the chakram high above her head. Their eyes met and held each other. "Strike deep and true" she heard him whisper. She nodded as her hand moved down towards his waiting chest.
Aphphais watched the broken peace as it arched down and pierced his chest. He felt his flash give way to the jagged edges of the metal, felt the sting of pain. He snapped the remnants of the Kronos stone in half. The stone pieces began to vibrate as their released energy cascaded around Aphphais combining with his released essence. He closed his eyes and fought back the shearing pain that threatened to break his concentration of memories past.
Xena stepped back as the pulsating energy expanded outward from Aphphais. She saw his face contoured for a moment and than stillness as his body illuminated into a bright white that mixed with the blue-green of the Kronos energy. Seconds passed and than the two forces became one as Aphphais and the Kronos energies merged into a brilliant light of green. Xena felt the leading edge of the energy wave as it surged upward towards Mount Olympus. As the energies touched her she saw the once mighty stronghold of the Olympians take form to its glory past. A sigh of relief as Aphrodite appeared in all her splendor. A curse as she saw the resurrection of gods thought long dead who wanted the destruction of Eye. Fear gripped Xena at the realization that if the Olympians have come back Eve would never be safe. The images faded and she was again standing in the valley again. She looked around and saw Gabriel looking upwards at Mount Olympus. As Xena ran towards her friend she gripped the remade Chakram of old, she felt within her a familiar voice. As she listened a calmness came over Xena and she released her grip on the chakram. She looked up towards the Olympian mountain and smiled as she placed a hand on Gabrielleís shoulder. Both could see sky broken by clouds and a setting sun. As they watched the beginning of twilight shapes seamed to appear and disappear on the mountain top. Perhaps they were only shadows.