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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
This is Different 

 Gabrielle awoke refreshed and ready for a new day. She stretched her sleepy muscles, sat up and threw her legs over the edge of the bed and opened her eyes to look out over her room.   

 “Xena” She said softly before she had a chance to really look at her room. When what she was seeing finally registered she choked back the next call to her beloved. She had intended to yell much louder so that Xena could hear her in the kitchen. But Gabrielle wasn’t in her cozy little home in heaven. She was in her cozy little home on Mars.   

She recognized the room it had been hers since she was a child. Pictures of her friends and family all but covered the mirror that sat above her dresser. The dresser top was littered with picture frames that had mini motion pictures that starred her and her friends. The walls had framed pictures of cute and cuddly animals some of which were not indigenous to Earth or Mars. Her bedspread was white with delicate pastel flowers and it was lined with lace. In short this was a girly room. There was not one weapon or even a picture of a weapon in the entire room. And she knew before she even looked that she didn’t own one pair of sensible shoes or serviceable fighting gloves, except for her school uniform.

“Thank God someone had the forethought to enroll me in the Military Academy.” She said sardonically to herself. She got out of bed and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked just like she had the first time around at this age. The thought brought a smile to her face. Tomorrow she would be sixteen. For a moment the thought brought back some very pleasant memories. The first time around as Gabrielle she had met Xena not many days after that birthday. That thought brought her to wondering what she would be doing for this birthday and, “Oh no…” She realized that she had a boyfriend and he was expecting his own kind of present for her birthday. She had not been able to discourage him because she wasn’t quite sure why she should be discouraging him. Now she knew.

“Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. But for now… Xena… where are you dear?” She scanned the pictures on her mirror and quickly found her beloved. “You’re so cute!” She exclaimed at seeing Xena in such a young body. She had grown up with her and knew that Xena was the same age as she was… well she was a couple of months older but that was all. Her pondering was interrupted by a knock on the door and the voice of her Martian mother calling to her.

“Galatia are you up dear?” The words were sweet but the voice was attached to a not so sweet woman.

“Yes mother, I’m coming.” Gabrielle responded. Her mother here brooked no nonsense and had little tolerance. But then again she had six daughters. That could drive anyone to extreme measures.

“Well hurry up, school won’t wait for you.” The voice came through the door.

Gabrielle hurried to get into the shower and get ready for school. While doing so she reviewed her sisters and her position among them. After only a moment or two she realized that among them she was the odd man out. All of them were athletic and dominant. She was demure and played with dolls. In fact of all of her cousins in which there were dozens upon dozens her disposition was clearly in the minority. It seemed that her grandparents, Solace and Faith had taken several things to heart. They had taken the eggs that she had provided from Hope’s body and made a small army of children and they had taken those children and molded them into little warriors. Galatia’s mother, Cadence allowed her daughter to be girly perhaps because she would have liked to be given that choice as well. All of the children had been raised the same but Solace and Faith had also given birth to several children each. Galatia was the actual grandchild of Solace… not Hope (the whole lineage thing could be very confusing if she thought about it too hard). Gabrielle decided she would need to speak to her grandmother Solace.

Galatia was the third daughter of the six and her elder sisters, Joy and Peace were anything but joyful or peaceful to their younger sibling. Her younger sisters, Jean, Fatima and Tabitha all followed the lead of the eldest. Galatia had found her nitch with a few of her cousins who also were very feminine. One of those girls was Zaria, the granddaughter of Dura. Zaria was her very own Xena. The Blazer family was considered to be Family by the Rayne’s and visa versa so they were all cousins… unless two of them from opposite families happened to fall in love then they were not related. The bloodlines were watched very carefully so that inbreeding never occurred.

Gabrielle found it odd that she would be awakened now when this body was so young and she wondered if Xena knew who she was. That was something that she would have to discover today sometime. Gabrielle knew that she had been awakened and that this body had been hers since birth. That also was a puzzle for another time.   

She put on her uniform and donned her beret as she left the house. Her siblings hadn’t noticed anything different about her yet and she was going to do her best to keep it that way… at least for a little while. Tomorrow at her birthday party she would get the chance to talk to her grandmother and perhaps grandma Faith as well. Today she would see what Zaria knew  and she would form a strategy from there.

So it was with great confidence that she stepped out of the door and headed for the place where she met her cousins and friends to walk to school together. Her only glitch this morning would be her boyfriend, Lance and perhaps Zaria’s boy friend Bailey. She would have to see.