Prayer, by CandaceThey say you're not a god anymore. I figure there must be a reason that you're allowing heresy like that to be spread, some grand, intricate scheme that would be lost on a mere mortal like me. I have to believe that. If it's not the case, then you'd have sacrificed your divinity for this walking garbage, and... Well, let's just say it can't be true. It can't.

I'm sure you wouldn't have given up your godhead to help the one who killed your twin. It has to be a plan of some sort. I keep telling myself this, because I'm a twin too, and I know how it feels to have half of your soul destroyed.

I'll bet you knew who my brother was, even if you don't know me much. I'm not really the type to pray, especially to you, since being an assassin's about as far away from being a soldier as you can get. But Joxer said he'd met you a bunch of times. You were his favorite god, you know? Yeah, I guess you'd know that.

Anyway, Jox traveled with Xena, the woman who beheaded your twin sister without even breaking a sweat or batting an eyelash. Clean move, they said.  Probably not much pain, if you gods even feel pain. Xena's a practiced killer, though, so no surprise there. She's got a real keen eye and a steady hand. I guess I can see the attraction. Yeah, I suppose I can, but no matter  how big your hard-on is for her, she still killed your twin.

When I heard the news, it was like something inside me broke. Not about Discord getting snuffed. That made a good story: long, black hair streaming down, the other gods standing all around with their mouths hanging open. No, it was hearing about Joxer's death that just about killed me.

That's when I figured it was time to move on and get back into the world at large, figure out what's what. Sure, I could've broke out whenever, I just never had a good enough reason. I was king there, you know? No one messed with me. But I just had to get to the bottom of this whole earful of shit I'd heard, and you can't always trust what you hear on the inside. I had to look  up someone who was there when it happened, someone I could trust.

I think Virgil was a little surprised that I beat him half to death when he told me how it happened. How many opportunities did he have to be a man, to avenge his father, and he did nothing -- nothing! I guess he's got a soft heart, just like his dad.

It's true, isn't it? That you're not a god anymore? How could you have done this? That dirty little bitch killed Joxer! How could you...

Okay. I'm fine now. Like I was saying, I landed a few solid blows on the punk. See, you don't get soft in prison like you do on the outside. Yeah, I'm  old, but I stayed strong, stayed limber. You have to if you don't want to get fucked with.

Stayed quiet, too, from the looks of it. Xena hasn't heard me. She's sound asleep -- I can tell by the way her eyes are flicking back and forth under her eyelids. You'd have to be a damn good actor to fake that move, and I  don't think she's all that talented.

So, this is her whelp? Livia? Eve? The scourge of the gods? Skinny, not much to look at. You had her, too. That's what they say. Did Xena understand, do you think? Who can blame you for moving on, though? After all, Xena was dead, for all anyone knew. I don't think Xena forgave you, somehow. I'll bet she blamed you for deflowering her precious little lamb as much as she despised you for not turning celibate in tribute to her memory. Well, that's women for  you.

What was that? Oh, just Gabrielle rolling over. I'm not worried about her hearing me. That bitch could sleep through a parade. I wonder if Jox was happy, that he could die trying to save her, a real hero's death. Yeah, I'm sure he was. I'll spare her for that reason alone.

There's really no sense in stalling, is there? If I was cutting into your turf by being here, you'd appear right now in a big flash of blue light and fry me to a crisp. Nope, instead there's nothing but crickets chirping. Loud, too.

Shit, my hand never shook like this before. It's been so long since I've done this. They say you never forget how to take a life, though. Maybe I'm all wound up because it's personal this time, more personal than it's ever been.

She bleeds black in the moonlight just like everyone else, doesn't she? Some Champion of Rome.

Good riddance, bitch. And believe me, I'll see you in Tartarus.

The End