Whoosh! Issue 33 - June 1999

IAXS project #421
By Francisco Diaz
Content copyright © 1999 held by author
Edition copyright © 1999 held by Whoosh!
4469 words

The Making of a "Psycho-Barbie" (01-08)
SURPRISE (20-26)
Conclusion (49-50)

Callisto's Journey

The Making of a "Psycho-Barbie"

[1] Have you ever seen a Xena episode with a back-flipping, thin blond woman with an evil smile? Her name is Callisto, but she is known to many Xena fans as "Psycho-Barbie". She is not plastic and fantastic like the real Barbie, but she is definitely psychotic.

[2] According to the Xena canon, Callisto was a traumatized teen. Her village of Cirra and her family were burned by the army of the pre-redemptive Xena. After that event, Callisto chose the path of revenge. She wanted to make the person who killed her soul, Xena, suffer. She followed Xena's army and studied Xena's fighting skills. Callisto practiced incessantly to be better than, or at least just as good as, Xena. As Callisto's skills grew, her hatred for Xena grew as well.

[3] In THE GREATER GOOD (21/121), Xena went to save a village from an army trying to enslave it. Callisto tried to stop Xena. Hidden in the forest, Callisto shot a poison dart and hit Xena. Fortunately, Xena successfully fought against the poison inside her because she knew the village, the world, and Gabrielle, her warrior sidekick and best friend, needed her.

[4] When Callisto realized that Xena was still alive [CALLISTO (22/122)], she organized her army to lay waste to the countryside under the guise of being Xena. The wrath of Callisto held no compassion. By this time, Callisto was completely empty inside. To get the attention of Xena, Callisto allowed an old woman to survive but told the woman that she was Xena, that it was Xena who had destroyed her village, and that she should tell the world about "Xena's" conquest.

And I want some marshamllows over here! Now!

The wrath of Callisto is beginning, and she enjoys a good massacre.
[5] When Callisto finally meets up with Xena, she tells Xena, point blank, that she is Xena's creation. She is what Xena was, and she lives to torment Xena.

[6] Callisto escapes from Xena and tries to kill the Oracle of Delphi with Xena's purloined chakram. Luckily, Xena stops the chakram just in time. Later, Callisto is captured. Callisto tortures Xena's mind, asking Xena if she could sleep well and if she heard Callisto's family's screams. Xena tries to reform Callisto, but Callisto is too bitter. That is painful for Xena, but Callisto is, nevertheless, part of her past. Xena cannot erase it. Xena's guilt is Callisto's best weapon against her.

[7] Callisto escapes from Delphi's jail and kidnaps Gabrielle. Xena and Callisto fight. Callisto proves her dexterity in fighting and makes Xena eat dust, but Xena's purpose is to save Gabrielle, who is hanging from a rope over spikes. Xena cuts the rope with her chakram and gets Gabrielle down safely.

[8] Callisto only wanted freedom for her soul. Killing Xena or being killed by Xena would have allowed Callisto to die without guilt but with pity. Xena saves Callisto's life by holding the rope after it had been burned through. Xena thought she did right, but she was wrong. She stopped Callisto, temporarily, but Callisto's desire to die was too strong. Now Callisto had become totally crazy.


[9] Callisto and her army were arrested and sent to jail in RETURN OF CALLISTO (29/205). Callisto was so hazardous that she was tied to a throne. Trapped, without being able to move, she was alone. That allowed her hatred to grow, her anger to focus, and her purpose against Xena grew and grew until Callisto became more psychotic and insane than ever. Xena's worst mistake was to save Callisto's life, and it was a mistake that would have a very high price. Callisto and her army escaped and found a village to strangle. They relaxed there and remembered old times because relishing the death and suffering of others was Callisto's way to try to satisfy her needs.

I would have been proud of Houdini if he had slaughtered some people.

Callisto is so hazardous that she is tied to a throne, but for how long time?
[10] Callisto had the opportunity to kill Xena, but she did not. Callisto's new purpose was to kill Xena's soul, then to later give her a painful death. She now sought more than the physical death she had in the past.

It's amazing what these metal detectors find lying around!

Callisto has the opportunity to kill Xena but she does not. She wants Xena's soul first.
[11] Callisto knew that Gabrielle had married Perdicas, Gabrielle's ex-boyfriend and ex-Trojan soldier from BEWARE GREEKS BEARING GIFTS (12/112), and Callisto turned their honeymoon into a bloody and cold one when she killed Perdicas in front of Gabrielle. Her aim had been to kill Gabrielle, but she settled for Perdicas when Xena intervened. Callisto momentarily changed Gabrielle's peaceful ways. Gabrielle wanted to kill Callisto, but Xena wanted the good and innocent Gabrielle back.

[12] Gabrielle tried to kill Callisto, but Perdicas' words, Xena's petition to the gods, and her noble feelings stopped her. Xena allowed herself to be tied to Callisto's throne, and Callisto started to enjoy her perceived triumph. She gave the order to burn Gabrielle in front of Xena. Xena escaped from the throne and freed Gabrielle. Callisto knew that she would never best Xena in swordplay and invited her to a chariot race. Xena caught Callisto's chariot, and Xena and Callisto wound up in a quicksand pit. Xena saved herself with her wonderful chakram. Callisto pled with Xena to save her, but Xena knew how evil Callisto was. Xena felt no pity. Callisto had killed Gabrielle's husband and had killed innocent people. Xena knew that Callisto would kill again. Xena let Callisto die in the quicksand.


[13] Callisto's hatred and desire to destroy Xena became more pronounced in death, as shown in INTIMATE STRANGER (31/207). Callisto would live again. Callisto, with the help of Ares, who wanted Xena back in his fold, entered into Xena's dreams and created a nightmare that would not leave Xena.

Forget Barbie, now I want to be Skipper

Callisto enters Xena's dreams and makes them into nightmares.
[14] In one of Xena's nightmares, she followed Callisto into Tartarus, and Callisto, with her smiling face, told Xena how she missed her. Ares pressed Xena to admit that she was jury, judge, and executioner of Callisto, that she did not gave Callisto the same opportunity to reform that Hercules had given her. Xena, full of guilt, confessed to the "murder", and this confession allowed Callisto to escape Tartarus in Xena's body. Meanwhile, Xena was trapped in Tartarus, in Callisto's body.

Ring around the rosey, pocket full o' poseys...

Callisto, with the help of Ares, convinces Xena of her guilt.
[15] Callisto wanted Xena to become a victim of sadness and hatred. Callisto even tortured Argo (Xena's horse) to make Xena suffer. Callisto also went after Gabrielle again. This time Callisto, in Xena's body, tried to teach Gabrielle that hatred is a part of everybody. She wanted to goad Gabrielle into inadvertently killing Xena, who was trapped inside Callisto's body. Fortunately, Xena, with Hades' help, was able to get back to retrieve Callisto. Xena was also able to find Argo and heal her. She exposed Callisto's deception to both Joxer and Gabrielle, after nearly being killed by both, and Callisto fled.

[16] Callisto needed to kill someone to satisfied her appetites. She killed Theodorus, one of her former army commanders. Callisto re-took control of her former army, and she gave the order to capture everyone from Xena's home village of Amphipolis. She was going to corral them and burn them alive, just like evil Xena's army had done to Callisto's beloved Cirra.

Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a bloody dagger in my eye

Callisto, in Xena's body, killed Theodorus in cold blood. All she said was "Oops!"
[17] Callisto wanted to continue what she started in RETURN OF CALLISTO (29/205), but this time she had a new element: Xena's mother. The pain that Xena would suffer when she lost her mother and village would torture her. Ares did not agree with Callisto's self-serving methodology and left. Callisto had used him and no longer needed him.

[18] Xena improvised a plan to save her mother and her village. She gave the order to douse the soldiers, who were holding torches, with flammable liquid. The soldiers, fearing that they would catch fire, abandoned Callisto. Xena started to despair because her time on earth was running out. Hades had given her only a day to get Callisto back. Fortunately, Xena thought quickly on her feet, as she always does, and she hit Callisto with a "dream dart" just before she was called back. The dream dart was quick, and Callisto fell asleep.

[19] Callisto and Xena "awoke" in Tartarus, but Callisto thought it was merely a dream. Xena began to wreak havoc on Callisto's psyche, however, showing Callisto that she did feel guilt about what she had done. Callisto's mother appeared and told Callisto that every time she had killed an innocent, she had killed her mother all over again. Then, every person Callisto had killed appeared, begging and screaming. Xena told her that it was like a wave which, once started, could not be stopped. The screams and Callisto's repressed guilt trapped her in Tartarus again, and it returned Xena back to the world. Even at this point, though she was plagued by a degree of guilt, Callisto was not repentant.

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