Sometimes a rascal is still a rascal!
 The characters we meet in Uber-fiction, whether descendants, reincarnations, or what-have-you, vary in:
 The next three sections will examine these points of variability, and then we will discuss the one thing that does not vary: these two women are going to find one another, and barring some disaster, they are going to stay together once they do.
- Settings and Setups;
- Whether there are any artifacts or family stories which link them to that heritage; and,
- Whether, and if so, how, Xena and Gabrielle communicate with them.
Setting and Setups We find our grrls in a wide variety of times and places, from Viking and Celtic prehistory, where Elevown the Viking raider is shipwrecked in ancient Ancient Greece, centuries pre-Xena, with a Celtic captive, Ardwyn, ["Reflections of the Past"], to the era of the Crusades, where Cathelin O'Cameron retakes her family's castle and discovers a pregnant Arabian slave ["Sunne in Gold" and "Sunne in Scarlet", by Bardwynna]. Alexandra of Locksley discovers that while she can hide with her rebels from the Sheriff of Nottingham, she cannot hide from a certain Gabrielle of the northern MacGab family ["Sherwood" and "Promises to Keep", by L. Graham]. Jumping forward to the Victorian era, Lady Evangeline ["Lina"] and her secretary Rhiannon Moore tangle with various intrigues and often run into Sherlock Holmes ["Xena by Gaslight" series, by Bardwynna]. At least four stories chronicle Western encounters between dark haunted outlaws and young red-blondes hoping for adventure ["Towards the Sunset", by Della Street; "Outlaw"; "Rescue My Heart"; and "The Cause"], sometimes within Mel and Janice or in other Uber-stories, as they compare grandmothers or great aunts ["Wild West Roots", by laRin; "The Dangerous Truth"; "The Party", by Bat Morda; "Fire and Ice", by Friction].
 In the modern era, stories range from mysteries and crime ["Chicago 5am" by L.N. James; the "Intimate Strangers" series, by Watcher; "Don't Look Back", by Kieron Grey; "Lucifer Rising", by S.L. Bowers; "Surfacing", by Paul Seely & Jennifer Garza; "The Dangerous Truth", by Curiositee; "Fire and Ice", by Friction], to kinky college students ["Learning the Ropes", by D. Joan Leib] and white trash spoofs ["Love and Death in the Trailer Park" and "Ways To Be Wicked", by Vivian Darkbloom].
 There is apparently no limit to the places these two will stumble upon one another. They meet at airports ["The Hitchhiker", by Bongo Bear], they meet at AA meetings ["A Fork in the Road", by BairdBard], they meet when cars run out of gas ["Are You Lonesome Tonight?", by Karguo], and they even end up in nursing homes together ["Destiny at the Amphipili Nursing Home", by Hiknboots].
 In the far future, people struggle for second chances at freedom and happiness ["Battle"; "Tomorrow's Past", by Shaych], travel in or as starships ["The Amphipolis Expedition", by Tammy; "The Ship Who Remembered", by Lorien Patton; "Unfinished Affair", by de Bonheur; "Eternal Suffering", by Katelin B.].
 Then, there are stories of shape-shifters, wild magic, and the like ["Forests of Eyulf", by Tammy; "Passover", by Joseph Connell].
 Xena characters typically enter these stories on the wrong side of the law (although sometimes she seems to be on both sides), or in some position of authority, like a starship officer or an engineer. Notable exceptions are the widowed heiress, Catherine Grey, traveling on the Titanic ["Four Days in April", by Del Kaidin], and Vessalina Anastasova, last of a noble family in exile ["Secrets of the Hoary Deep", by de Bonheur], or KC, the traveling singer ["Are You Lonesome Tonight?"].
 The Gabrielle characters' roles typically involve some form of storytelling: reporter, teacher, musician, artist, secretary, or unwilling hostess. Notable exceptions for our bard are "Chicago 5am", where Mariel Potedian is an FBI scientist; and "The Hitchhiker", where Gwen is an architect and expert in an obscure Japanese swordfighting tradition. We meet Rhiannon Moore ["Xena by Gaslight", by Bardwynna] doing her unhappy job as a London prostitute, but that is fairly close to Gabrielle's predicament in REMEMBER NOTHING (26/202). Never fear, in both the story and the show, Lina/Xena eventually does come to her rescue.
Family Legends, Stories and Artifacts
The sword -- I mean chakram -- in the Stone.
 The story of how Zeus used his lightning bolt to split apart the original eight limbed humans, who were then destined to search for their missing halves shows up in many guises. Sometimes it is told by 'Gabrielle' to ' Xena', or sometimes told to a larger audience to pass the time. But there is an interesting additional myth in "Outlaw", worth quoting at length:
Zeen stared at the ground for a moment, then muttered, "You never answered my question, the one about someone like m... a murderer getting such a gift." A few paragraphs later, Zeen realizes that Rielle tells this tale so well because it is a family story, not really an abstract myth at all. Sure enough, Rielle admits that all first-born daughters in the MacGab family are named for the bard Gabrielle.
Rielle took a deep breath and began to answer Zeen's question in the form of a story. "There's a legend in my family that dates back to perhaps the very beginnings of my family's origin," she began. The young woman motioned for Zeen to lie back down, then began to tell the tale. "Long ago, when the gods ruled the earth, the three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos had another soul to weave into the tapestry of life. Clotho had just begun to weave this thread into the tapestry when Atropos accidentally cut it in half while removing another thread. Clotho and Lachesis were very upset by the mistake and all three argued about what to do until Atropos suggested that Clotho weave the two halves separately. So, for many years the thread was woven separately and the two people who each possessed half of the soul lived separate lives. One half of the soul was a dark and angry warlord, who destroyed many lives just to satisfy her own anger. The other half was a bright and spirited village girl, who was peace loving and pure of heart... Both the cold warrior and the warm village girl lived their separate lives but were left with a certain feeling of emptiness. One day, Clotho noticed that the two halves of the thread were weakening, so with Lachesis' consent, she began to weave the thread together. Soon the soul was again one and the warlord and the young girl who shared her soul met, for it was their Fates-determined destiny. The warrior and bard changed each other's lives and each grew stronger as the years went on. When the two finally passed on to the Elysian Fields, their soul survived and it still runs through the Fates tapestry of life to this day. So, in every generation, the warrior and bard are destined to be reunited."
"So," Zeen said after a long silence. "They balanced each other out."
"Yeah, two halves are unbalanced but put them together..."
"And you have a perfect whole," Zeen finished Rielle's thought.
"Exactly. So you see what I was saying? I mean I answered your question?" Rielle asked hopefully.
"Yeah, you did... thanks," Zeen said with a yawn.
 Another kind of family legend is portrayed in a silken tapestry on the walls of a Scottish laird's castle in "And Beyond", by Silk]. A young visiting "bardd", Gwynne, is told that the strange battle portrayed in the tapestry -- two fighters, one dark, one light, battling a great green serpent on behalf of odd people with yellow-tinted skin and slanted eyes -- has been in that family's possession for generations.
"'Tis said that one day the warrior and her love will return and that they will take on mortal form and leave Annwn's realm ta walk the land again." Declan's brows furrowed a moment in concentration, then with a small cry he pointed out a thin line of sharp images that were stitched into the border. "I dinna know what these mean, but 'tis said the warrior's love will." He stood up straight again and glanced at the bardd thoughtfully. "Ye be an Ollave. Do ye know what it is?" Part of the message seems to be -- to a Xenite's eyes -- the old instructions of Lao Ma, but the rest seems instructions for the separated bard and warrior. Gwynne continues reading
"'The heart is empty but where there is emptiness there is room,' or space, I'm not quite sure, 'for you to enter. She is water and you are earth. Opposites. But tempered with fire you are stronger together than apart.'" As this storyline currently stands, Gywnne and Kerry are trying not to cross paths, but as readers, we know this is wasted effort.
 Moving forward into the Wild West again, where names from the Xenaverse appear with astonishing regularity in dusty cow towns, the bounty hunter Cyrene recognizes the Warrior Woman story that her new friend Solari tells the Jessan children.
"I knew that story." She moved her hand up to the girl's shoulder. "I read it when I was little. My mother gave me a storybook her grandmother's best-friend had written for her when she was little." There are many interesting grandmothers, great-aunts, and their best friends in Uber-fiction tales. Occasionally, as Danielle's grandmother did in "Fire and Ice", those best friends leave homes and families to go explore the world together.
["Rescue My Heart"]
 Funny how that keeps happening...
 When the Xena and Gabrielle characters do not immediately recognize each other as friends, stories or details about their grandmothers or aunts form the initial bridge of acceptance between the two strangers. For instance, in the splendid pastiche of prison films, "Women in Prison", by Elaine Sutherland, when the sadistic guard, Ms. Krieger, finally does start behaving more like a human being, we discover she has got something in common with that Kid she has been trying, and failing miserably, to control.
"Gabrielle." Artifacts also play an important role in Uber-fiction. In THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210), and in the Xena Scrolls "email pouches" which used to be available on the Official Xena web site, the artifacts unearthed by Janice Covington are what proved the existence of Xena and revealed Janice and Mel's family connections to the finds. In Uber-fiction, we learn that the descendants of Xena, Gabrielle, and the Amazons have actually done a pretty good job of keeping the most important artifacts in possession of the living family members!
"Your name. I've never said it before."
"No. I guess you haven't." She frowned. "I don't even know yours."
"Oh. What a beautiful name. It's strange, though. Is it Greek?"
"Yeah. A sort of family name. My grandmother studied classical languages. Yeah, really! Found some kind of ancient Greek scrolls during the war. About an distant ancestor. I was named after her. The ancestor, I mean."
"Curious. My grandmother also did something like that. She was an archeologist. I never met her though.
By the time I was born, she was gone. Died on some dig. She wrote a lot of things about the Greeks, but I never read them. Guess I should. Maybe she heard of your ancestor. Be funny wouldn't it?"
"Be even funnier if they knew each other!"
"God, how depressing though," the Kid said. "If we came from such accomplished grandmothers, how did we end up here?" She looked up at the barred window and laid her face in her hands.
 In "Sherwood", Gabrielle has an ancient signet ring, passed from mother to daughter on wedding days. The author's notes at the beginning of the story indicate that this ring is meant to be the hawk's head seal that Xena gave Gabrielle in Melissa Good's story "Home Is Where the Heart Is". A somewhat younger ring, shows up in the hands of Zeen Zamora, in "Outlaw II: Outlaws, Guns, and Roses", by MythBard:
"It's old, it's been in my family for almost four-hundred years. It's kind of been passed on, you know? Other artifacts return less directly. The chakram shows up as a belt buckle design in "Rescue My Heart", and a necklace charm in "The Amphipolis Expedition", and the swirling brass of Xena's breastplate is remembered in the pattern of a medallion...well, a locket, really...
One of my ancestors was a noblewoman who fell in love with a peasant, that's where she got the ring. Of course her family didn't approve of their love, so they gave her two choices; she could vow never to see her lover again, or she could lose everything that she had ever known to be with her love... she chose love instead of wealth."
"And I thought I was the storyteller," Rielle murmured with a grin. She studied the inside of the silver band and saw writing on it. "Do you know what that says?"
"Yes," Zeen answered. "It's French, and it says, 'You and no other'."
The locket held two oval sepia tone photos. On the right side was a picture of a woman that could have been Alex's twin. On the left was a woman who looked very much like herself. She knew immediately that it was her grandmother who had died before she was born. Even Janice's fedora and whip gets handed down through the years to help descendants recognize each other. As another Alexandra, this time Xena shows up a Good Samaritan vagrant, looks around her new acquaintance's apartment, she notices some rather odd choices of knickknacks.
Carefully, she extracted the image with her likeness and looked at the back. It read, Briana, descendent of Gabrielle of Poteidaia. She carefully replaced it and took out the one that resembled Alex. The notation on the back indicated that the woman's ancestor was Xena of Amphipolis.
The half remembered tale of her grandmother running off with a woman came back to her. The implications of the photos were clear. She closed the locket and clutched it to her chest. She needed to find Alex. They had to talk. She grabbed her car keys and headed out the door.
["Fire and Ice"]
Glancing at the surrounding walls, Alex was surprised to find a small shelf, with what looked like an old leather whip and beat up Fedora sitting on either side of a picture, obviously taken long ago, of a smiling woman, who seemed to be wearing both of the objects. And who looked a great deal like Bridget herself. Looking more closely at the Fedora, Alex observed what seemed to be a bullet hole toward the top.
"That's my great aunt Janice." Bridget supplied, having walked into the room and noticed Alex's interest. "Well, she's not really my aunt, actually she was my grandmother's cousin. But she used to come over and tell me stories when I was a little girl. She was an archeologist before the war."
Types Of Ancestral Influences And Interventions
Mel is possessed by the Spirit of Xena... or is it some sort of genetic memory?
 These "influences" can range from full possession by the ancestral character [Author's Note: I'm not sure if you can be possessed by a previous life if you are a reincarnation. Can you possess yourself? English syntax does not even want to describe the concept. Although, if it was going to happen, you would find it in a story like "All Souls Night", by Joseph Connell.] to a merging of a present with ancestral consciousness, and then tapering off to less invasive, but often no less disconcerting, contacts, as when Uber-characters gain access to ancestral skills, get stern lectures from Xena, Gabrielle, or other characters from the past, and have occasional hints of ancestral companionship, as if every now and then, an Uber-character hears a whispered ancestral comment in the back of their minds.
 The precedent for full possession was set in THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210) episode, when Mel Pappas suddenly manifested Xena's personality and abilities as soon as the chakram reassembled in her hand. That idea got further developed in Bat Morda's "Is There a Doctor on the Dig?" and "Search for Amphipolis". Direct contact with an artifact is not necessary in Bat's stories, but they do help evoke the phenomenon.
 Another sort of possession, also triggered by contact with the chakram, is played out in "The Sword of Ares", by Jay Markle, where it turns out that through the ages, descendants of Xena and Gabrielle have summoned to battle Ares, with the help of hundreds of Xenite operatives around the world, one of whom is a young Uber-Autolycus, who mentions a Wild West ancestor who sounds suspiciously like Brisco County, Jr. When the need arises, the two halves of the chakram are delivered to the current pair of descendants, the pieces slam together, and Xena and Gabrielle suddenly inhabit the bodies of their however-many-times great grandchildren. This scenario forces Xena to work through the body of a middle-aged woman whose recent life has been far from athletic, and she is unamused by her predicament. "What in Tartarus has Mel been doing?" she growled. "I'm fat!"
 The merging of a modern woman's consciousness with that of her ancestor is much more problematic. For a descendant, it would seem strange, but bearable every now and then, to find yourself "battling on", but what if there was no promise that you would ever get your "self" back after the adventure was over? That is not nearly as pleasant a prospect, even if you are presented with evidence that this sort of merger has been happening in your family line for centuries. In stories that feature merged consciousness, the strengths of both the modern characters and their ancient counterparts are sorely tested.
 In "The Hitchhiker", by Bongo Bear, and its sequel, "The Price of Innocence", the premise is that Xena and Gabrielle's spirits find descendants in whom to continue their lives. When Alexandria, the military historian, explains this to Gwen, the architect, while they are trapped by snowstorm, Gwen is less than thrilled with the proposed arrangement:
Alex finished her story with a beatific smile. Although the spirits insist they will only intrude with permission, words like "inhabited" creep through these two stories, and the resulting loss of personal control nearly costs one of the characters her life.
"We're so relieved to have found you, Gwen. You're just perfect. Just perfect."
"Great, I'm perfect for what? Look, I don't share your enthusiasm. I'm not even sure you're completely sane. You're Xena's descendant and she's supposed to be you now? Let's say for the sake of argument, that what you've told me is completely true..."
"It is," Alex interjected.
"...And I'm supposed to let Gabrielle take over my body, so you two can live in bliss the rest of my life?"
"That's how it usually works," Alex nodded her head. "You understand now?"
"I understand that neither of you two have considered the rights of the people you inhabited."
 A similarly grim scenario is played out between Mel and Janice in "And a Nightingale...", by The Fallen, and its sequel "Who's Going To Miss A Few Angels, Anyway?". When Melinda and Janice gain full access to their ancestors' memories, they discover truths about the past which have disastrous consequences for their friendship. These are the sorts of stories where the light at the end of the tunnel really is an oncoming train (ouch!). It would make a great deal of sense for souls in these situations to return several times to work through what went wrong, and why.
 The ending is much happier in "Only One", by Redhawk, a story set in the Highlander universe, where Xena's return from death in THE QUEST (37/213) is said to have marked the start of Xena's life as an Immortal. There is no Uber-Xena in the story, obviously, and the Uber-Gabrielle is Rickie Gardner, a homeless runaway living in Seattle. Rickie has a much easier time integrating Gabrielle's memories with her own, although she gains access to those memories by brutal means. She is beaten, molested, and sent on a wicked LSD trip that includes graphic flashes of her torment by Dahak interspersed with the torture inflicted by her current captor. But, the good memories are what surge forward when she awakes in the hospital with Xena guarding her:
"I remember the first time I saw you," she began conversationally. The hands beneath hers froze, trembling a bit. Intense blue eyes stared into hers. Indeed, Rickie "remembers being Gabrielle" in loving detail, and all indications are that Gabrielle has managed to convince Hades to allow a type of return to her lonely warrior.
"Y... you do?"
Green eyes narrowed as she searched her mind. Oh, yeah! The Arboretum. Whoops! She squeezed Xena's hands. "No, before Ginsberg."
"Before?" The dark brow arched and full lips pursed in thoughtful concentration.
"I think you remember. A little Greek village? I can't remember the name. Slavers attacking a bunch of young women...?" Rickie held her breath.
Xena felt as if someone had punched her in the gut.
She couldn't catch her breath. She knew that her mouth had dropped open and she could only stare at this young woman before her, eyes wide. The dark woman tried to speak but only a grunt came out. She looked away from those green eyes, clearing her throat, heart racing. She felt a tender caress on her upper arm and she turned back. "Gabrielle...?" came the tortured whisper.
The redhead smiled softly, sadly. "No, I'm Rickie."
She continued to run her hand over Xena's arm. "But I remember being Gabrielle. I remember you..."
 Less invasive examples of ancestral influence are the situations where Uber-characters display ancestral skills, often without prior practice in their current lifetime. Lina and Rhiannon, in the "Xena by Gaslight" series, each have moments where they display traits or skills of their ancestresses. The following example is from "The Banshee's Wail", by Bardwynna, which spins a tale similar to the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Hound of the Baskervilles":
Rhiannon's strange skill with the quarterstaff had never deserted her since the night of Lina's kidnapping. She practiced daily with a length of seasoned wood crafted for her by an Oriental gentleman of Lina's acquaintance, and every day discovered more and more of that skill, as if she were somehow "remembering" this style of combat. Well, I didn't say they got all their ancestors' skills. Perhaps the missing ones belong to other descendants the Uber-fiction bards haven't told us about it yet.
Rhiannon privately put it down to her incredible ancestry; Lina had told her that Gabrielle, the companion of Xena, had been an amazon who preferred the staff over any other weapons. This information the peer had gotten from her precious scrolls, a wedding gift from her uncle. Rhiannon had no talent for languages, even written ones; Lina's attempts to teach her Greek hieratic had ended with frustration and tears.
 In other cases, the abilities come and go, as if on emergency loan from guardian angels, as in the first Robin Hood-styled story, "Sherwood". When Lady Gabrielle suddenly wins a staff contest, but cannot remember how that happened, Alexandra [Xan] of Locksley is impressed, but extremely puzzled. "It was like someone else stepped into my skin, Gabrielle had said. Some outside force taking her by the scruff..." But the "Butcher of Sherwood" discovers during an archery contest that she is just as susceptible to that kind of 'assistance':
Xan never understood just what happened next, but afterwards she recalled a sudden warm jolt that hit between her shoulder blades, spreading out through her ribcage. As if time itself slowed, she felt her body twisting around, jerking under the control of some other force. Now facing back in the direction she had come, she saw Guilles standing oddly, very straight and holding his bow, though she couldn't understand why. They weren't ready to shoot yet. He was supposed to wait until... This kind of benevolent possession does not seem to leave any lasting effect or lingering awareness of who had originally honed those many skills. But the story does not suffer for the mystery, and the characters eventually come to terms with their convenient temporary talents.
Xan looked down and saw the arrow, its fletchings blue-green alternating bands, saw the ash blonde shaft as it hung at a right angle to her body. Absently almost, she noted that the arrow had been sanded to smooth perfection, which was the only reason she didn't have a mass of splinters in her palm from where she had caught it just inches from her chest.
Caught. She had caught the arrow.
 Uber-characters are not always confronted with artifacts or mysterious talents. Sometimes they are confronted with Xena or Gabrielle themselves, usually in a dreamscape, and usually these ancestors are reading them the riot act. Since these descendants/reincarnations are just as stubborn as their forebears, it is not terribly surprising to find scenes where Xena and Gabrielle (sometimes Mel and Janice) have to talk sense into their heirs. These lectures usually go along the lines of "Would you please get over yourself and solve the problem at hand?!! No, that's not the problem. She already cares for you. The people are trying to kill you both. THAT'S the problem! Think! THINK, then act!"
 In "Surfacing", secret agent Diana Starrett's memory blocks do not allow her to remember her dreams, but that doesn't stop Xena from marching right into them:
The stranger stepped close again, invading Diana's space and prompting her to meet the eyes which could have been her own. "Don't bother lying, this part is more for you than me. Do you love her?" When it comes to needing a good stern lecture, the only person more stubborn than an Uber-character would be Xena herself. That's the scenario in "Ubermadness: Battle for the Third Age", by Bat Morda. In a future where Ares has teamed up with, would you believe, an Uber-Jesse Helms?!?, we get to watch Mel and Janice double-team a poor hacker named Xero, trying to convince her that she is the reincarnation of Xena, and that the syscop Rielle is the reincarnation of her partner of millennia past. Xero is not in the mood to listen.
Diana squinted and furrowed her brow. "Charlotte?"
The woman rolled her eyes. "No, Helen of Troy. Of Course, Charlotte!" she confirmed sarcastically. "I already know the truth, you just need to admit it to yourself."
As certain as she was of the answer, Diana still hesitated, resenting the intrusiveness of this woman's question. *Still, it's only a dream, right? Won't change anything in the real world, so just say it.*
"Yeah. God forgive me, but I think I do love her."
"And you know what you have to do in order to be with her?" the woman queried gravely.
"I have an idea," Diana confirmed. *I can't give her something that I don't own, so I'll just have to take myself back. And that would mean surfacing.*
"So what are you waiting for? Get on with it, Diana. Own up to your past and claim your future."
"I don't have to take this crap from you," Xero growled, deciding she liked the syscop's look alike even less than the syscop. Not all encounters with ancestors are so harsh. Both Mel and Janice gradually realize in "All the Colors of the World", by Vivian Darkbloom, that the internal voices they have always known belong to Xena and Gabrielle.
"Actually, Xero you do." Janice grinned.
"What she means," Mel interjected, "is that you have to sleep. Now that we've reached you, we're going to keep at it."
"Look kid," Janice continued, "Ares is on the move. He offed that friend of yours. With our help, you're going to see to it that his sorry ass is blown to kingdom-come."
"Janice!" Mel implored, referring to her companion's harsh language.
"Relax, Mel!" Janice soothed. "I'm just trying to get through to the Warrior Princess over here. Xena, we need you to remember. We're going to do whatever it takes to see that you do remember. We didn't risk life and limb to have you forfeit the Battle of the Third Age."
"Battle of the Third Age?" Xero mumbled.
"Gods, she's slow," Janice groaned in frustration.
"Janice, please! She's been through a lot. It was hard getting through to Gabrielle too if you remember. Give her some time to get her bearings, get to know Rielle. At least let her say goodbye to her friend."
"I don't have any friends," Xero replied automatically.
"I never thought I'd meet someone who made Xena look well adjusted," Janice quipped.
She [Mel] walked through the darkening house to the porch; it was actually brighter outside, as the gold, scarlet, and violet flooded the sky. Mel wrapped her arms about her. How many of these sunsets did Xena witness? She wondered. Were the skies of the ancient world just as beautiful? Or even more so? A reply came from inside her, a voice she had known all her life, yet she never knew its origin until last year in Macedonia. Yes. It was breathtaking, More than this. Thus we see a wide range of ways that the main characters in Uber-fiction live in their present while connecting with "their" pasts. But describing how these people know each other is not the same as understanding what it means that these people are once again companions. It is one thing to say 'Gee, our ancestors must have known each other -- cool!' Or 'It's interesting how darkness and light always ends up complementing one another: the darkness is redeemed from violence, and the light is redeemed from conventionality'. Yet, those kinds of lukewarm conclusions are not what result in these stories. When Uber-Xenas and Uber-Gabrielles meet, it is not a matter of complementation, but completion. That's the one thing that doesn't vary [with the exceptions of "Who's Going To Miss an Angel or Two, Anyway?", by The Fallen, and "A Meeting of Chance", by Terra Chang].
The voice inside her [Janice] was new. Yet old in its origins. It felt so thoroughly a part of her that she never believed it was her ancestor, but she realized, standing on that street corner, that it was. She'd heard it in Macedonia, after she'd pulled Mel out of the cave, when Jack Kleinman impulsively took a photo of her and Mel. She had looked at Mel and, as the camera clicked, so did everything else. I've found you, the voice had said. Janice had shrugged it off, chalking it up to too much booze the night before and her always raging hormones, but now, finally, she could not deny the way in which she was drawn to Melinda. No matter how much she drank. No matter how many bar-room brawls she indulged in. No matter how far she would run. A fate, a destiny, a bond. Call it what you will. Your courage has carried you this far. It will get you through.
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