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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
    
A Party Invitation
 
They were awakened by every big emergency. Almost as soon as the fleet came into range of the first satellite of Uranus they received an incoming communiqué from Alti and she wouldn’t talk to anyone but one of them. Xena and Gabrielle reached the bridge and came face to face with a very different looking Alti.
 
Her face was mottled with green, her chin was slightly elongated, her eyes were bloodshot and her irises were turning red and small horns were growing from her temples. They recognized the look for they had both worn it at one time.
 
“There you are… there you are, so good to see you again.” Alti’s voice had changed a bit. It was no longer the smooth sultry voice that it had once been. It had taken on a sharper tone.
 
“Alti you have a new look.” Xena said as she stepped up to face the monitor.
 
“Ahh, do you like it?” She ran her long claw like nails through her scraggly hair.
 
“I don’t; I think you should shoot your dermatologist.” Gabrielle just couldn’t help herself.  
 
Alti hissed and her tongue flicked out of her mouth. It had a distinct dimple in the end. “No-one cares what you think you little slut.” She snapped at Gabrielle. “If you think that you’re going to goad me into coming out to you then you are grossly mistaken. This time you get to come to me.”  Her smile was cancerous and her eyes blazed with deep hatred. She turned her eyes upon Xena and they softened slightly. “Xena, I have such entertainment lined up for you both. Come meet me… in my throne room.” Her claw like hands beckoned to Xena.
 
Xena curled her lip and remembered the feeling that Alti must be having. “Alti we were once friends. You’ve gone too far. Can’t you see? You must turn back… this power that you feel… it isn’t worth your soul.”
 
Alti laughed manically. “Oh Xena just because you couldn’t handle the touch of my God don’t think that I can’t.”
 
“Alti there are some things that you don’t know about your God. He’s not what you think he is.” Xena didn’t want to tell her too much. With beings such as Alti knowledge is power and she can exploit power to do great damage.
 
“He is powerful! And he is willing to share that power and he especially was very willing to share it with me.” Alti gloated.
 
“He was willing to share it with you because you wanted to come after me and Gabrielle.” Alti shook her head and spit. Her spit sizzled when it hit the stone floor. “Ask him if you don’t believe me.” Xena finished.
 
“Not everything is about you Xena. He doesn’t care one way or the other about you except that you work for that stinking goodie two shoes. He liked me and wanted me to be part of his kingdom.” Alti took a gulp of liquid from an ornate chalice and her skin turned a little greener.
 
“Alti stop what you’re doing. The wine… it’s changing you.” Gabrielle remembered what had happened to her when she had started to partake of the fruit of hell. “You may still yet be cleansed.”
 
“Fuck off you little cunt! I don’t need any advice or pity from you! I know exactly what is happening and it’s what I want… the better to kill you with!” She took another drink of the wine; a dribble ran down her chin. She smiled again… it was scary.“You need not fear me Xena. We have always fought fairly… well mostly.” She cackled.
 
Xena had nothing to say. It was as she and Gabrielle had suspected Alti was becoming a Demon. Only an immortal could kill her and if they figured correctly it would take the both of them to do the job completely. “Thank you for the invitation Alti. We’ll be with you shortly.”
 
Alti screamed in pleasure and severed the link. No doubt she was off making final preparations for their arrival.