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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
    
And the Walls Came Down
 
In the throne room Alti watched the actions of her two guests with great interest. She could not even fathom a love that was so strong. It infuriated her that Xena had found something that she wanted more than power. It made her even madder to know that it had been a little blond peasant from Thrace. What were the odds? Alti had heard about Akimi and had expected that after she had broken Xena’s heart so thoroughly that Xena wouldn’t be too keen on trying it again. But Alti watched while Xena dragged her broken little doll over to the corner and held her until she died and then died as well. ‘What the hell was that kind of behavior?’ Alti asked herself.
 
Alti was so consumed with the questions in her mind concerning Xena that she never considered the ramifications or the consequences that might be felt with the death of the heroes. So it was a complete surprise when Willy and her sisters began to rain the wrath of Mars upon her head. She had little time to run and less time to hide. The Castle came down around her.
 
*****
 
When Willy got there port that both Xena and Gabrielle had expired at around the same time she did not hesitate to act. She gave the order to bombard the Castle and to destroy every living man woman and child on the planet… with extreme prejudice. It was not an order that she ever thought that she would give. But early reports had told her that there were no noncombatants on the planet’s surface. If it could hold a Sippy cup it could and did hold a weapon. The locals had even designed and built Pulse weapons for the children. It was certain that they were not entirely human and that they were completely hostile. So for the first time and hopefully the last time Willy gave the order to kill everyone men, women and children.
 
The ground Marines had been giving Willy updates on their progress through the strange city. They asked for no help from the Fighters or the ships in orbit. They were quite content to destroy the army in the city. When Xena and Gabrielle had died it was easy for the Martians to switch from simply killing everyone to slash and burn. The heroes may be Greek but as far as Mars was concerned they belonged to her and she got angry when her favorite children were killed. From that point on the city burned and the Martian Marines walked before the fire like dark angels of death.
 
The sisters concentrated everything that their ships had upon one structure, the Castle. The defense grid held for most of the day but when it finally came down the towers fell like dominoes. The ground troops and many of the Fighter Pilots stood on the barren ground that had circled the monstrosity and watched it crash and burn. Anyone that came from the edifice was cut down. The Demon Alti was never seen. But they made no hasty assumptions.