To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to email@example.com and mark the subject "Letter to the Editor". All letters with the subject "Letter to the editor" are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged and may be published at the editor's discretion. Letters received after the 15th of the month may be reserved for a later issue.
The Mythic Triad: An Examination Of The Xena/Gabrielle/Joxer Dynamic
In Illo Tempore...An Introduction To A Marxist Analysis Of The Making Of A Postmodern Mythology In XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
Amazons, We Hardly Knew Ye
Views On Creation Entertainment
An Interview with Alexandra Tydings
6th Season Advertising
16 Episode Crisis
Ares and Xena
Bring Back the Gods
Hades is Not a Wuss
Still Likes the Show
Norwegian Fan Club
7th Season Petition
From: Steve. H. Williams
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000
Subject: Whoosh 50th
50th anniversary already [sic], will it have a gold theme? I suppose the Chakram on the menu page will be golden. Heres to the 100th.
Good luck and keep up the great work, we over this side of the pond need all the info we can get. We get to see for the first time the last episode of Xena series 5 today (30/8/00- or as you put it 8/30/00).
Carry on Whooshing
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000
Subject: 50th issue of Whoosh!:from a loyal reader...
Whoosh! is the first place from whence I 'launch', when in search of entertainment. This has been the case since first I found you, here in the ether. During these 'dog days' of summer, i start off with your 'Uber uber alles' ( i *hate* not having umlauts, when writing that!) and partake of the fan/alt/uber/etc fic that's out there. You get me where i want to go, with the minimum of effort on my part. Naturally, when the new season starts, i'll be eagerly perusing your other pages for news and views in the Xenaverse, as well as those great episode synopses! I just don't know what i'd do without you---i hope i don't have to find out for 'many moons' to come! Thank you for all you do for us, by keeping us 'in the loop' and abreast of all things Xena!
Betsy from Texas
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000
Subject: 50th whoosh issue
Xena is by far my favorite show. I started watching about halfway through season 2 and have never stopped. I haven't liked a lot of the recent major storylines (Christianity themes, being zapped into the future, Gabby as a pacifist...) but I continue to love the characters, and that's why I watch. While the writers continue to hack away at the Xenaverse, all the actors and actresses still portray their characters with the same depth, humor, and passion as before. When, for example, Xena and Gabby wound up 25 years in the future (just as a freakin' plot device so there would be no more babies on the set!), I hated what happened but loved seeing Lucy Lawless and ROC's in-character reactions to realizing Eve was all grown up and killing people left and right. I felt sooo bad for Xena especially, because after the whole Solan-abandonment-death-forgiveness thing, I really wanted her to raise Eve herself (w/Gabby, of course). In general, I don't think there's any characters I *don't* like. And the plots in individual episodes are usually good--I just don't like the overall story arcs. No matter how foolish or corny the scripts get, from the WCW parody to that Xena/Antony love scene done to pop music, I still enjoy seeing how the actors pull it off. Xena and Gabby's friendship, the deal with Ares and Xena, and Joxer's crush on Gabby are, IMO, the best character interactions on the show. (No, I don't believe in subtext...but that's because I kinda identify myself w/Gabby and my friend w/Xena, and we aren't lesbians) I really wish Xena and Ares would get together. Too late for Gabby and Joxer I guess...unless they go back in time...hmmm, I think I might like that. Anyway, I'm a huge Xena fan and I can''t wait for season 6 to start! I check Whoosh! daily for updates because I'm so obsessed!
-just call me B'tal (a reader)
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000
From: Kelly Smith
Subject: 50th Issue
As a relatively new reader (and possibly a future contributor), I wanted to let everyone involved in the creation of Whoosh know how much I appreciate your efforts. Since discovering Whoosh in July, I have spent many a late night reading back issues and then following links to the contributors' sites for even more reading material. I've especially enjoyed your Fan Fiction issues, which have introduced me to the work of several wonderful writers.
Many contributors seem very concerned with the direction of the series since the third season, and with the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle in particular. I share those concerns. I'm a little ashamed to say that I did not begin watching the show until the fifth season, so I didn't realize what I was missing until a friend let me borrow her video tapes, which featured the best of the first and second season episodes. I certainly hope that the contribution of writers such as Melissa Good will help bring the Xena/Gabrielle relationship back into prominence during the sixth season. It is that relationship which made the show so engaging and enjoyable...it is that relationship which first drew me into the Xenaverse through fan fiction...it is that relationship which keeps me watching, hoping for more episodes like those I saw on tape.
To all at Whoosh, keep up the great work!
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000
Subject: Whoosh 50th issue
I've been a fan of Xena since the first episode I watched...Dreamworker. I belong to two lists in the Xenaverse; Gabsclan and ChristianXenites. And I am an avid reader of fan fic and visit many Xena web sites including Whoosh.
I appreciate the hard work behind the scenes of all the people who put Whoosh together and I just wanted to mention something I see consistantly on this site and throughout the Xenaverse.
The three I's.
Nice to know that when I come here and read each new issue I can be assured of some terrific writing and commentary. Anyone who visits Whoosh can quickly see that Xena fans are a smart bunch. There is thought and research that goes into each submitted article, editorials, reader's responses and episode reviews. I like that.
I have so often mulled over a new Xena episode and decided the meaning of the story only to have my eyes opened by the insight of others. I have read many a time of what a scene means to someone else, there take on it if you will, and have had to rethink my ideas. Or learn new ones.
It a wonderfully diverse fan base this show has and the sharing of all our insights has broadened our tolerance, respect and acceptance of this Xena world....which in turn I pray will broaden our view of the real world we live in.
Lastly, but not least in any way is the inspiration this show has brought to so many. The empowerment of those of us who need to see a strong woman hero....but with faults like you and I...not in a cape and a big S on her outfit. Inspiration for those of us who need to see a strong friendship between two women depicted on television. Inspiration to know that love is the strongest force in this world. And most of all, inspiration for the Greater Good. Xenites showing the world how it's done. I am most proud of being a part of that by far. The helping of others, the donations to charity, the coming together when the cry for help is heard.
All in all Xenites are a special kind of fan. And Whoosh is a special place to get to know them.
Congratulations on your 50th issue!
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Happy 50th Issue!
It's a year now since I discovered Whoosh! Since then my appreciation of XWP has increased enormously. The Episode Guide was a real godsend for me, as I saw Season 5 before Season 4 and needed to read up on past events - thanks to BlueSong and all the others involved.
It wasn't long before I was writing letters instead of just reading them, and this has given my self-confidence a real boost. It's great to feel I'm making a contribution, and the positive feedback I've had from other Xenites has meant a great deal to me. I've made some friends here, and that's never a bad thing.
Congratulations to Kym, Bret and Co. for producing a great website. Here's to many more issues!
Subject: To Kym......
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000
This is to the wonderful Kym...
W-ere would a mere Xena Fan be without Kym?
H-er love and determination has brought,
O-odles of Fans to read the articles and commentaries from,
O-ver 100 countries...truly a haven for the most devoted.
S-he has always kept her tasks up-to-date and the Lady's time and effort,
H-as alwasy be acknowledged and appreciated!
T-ime and time again she has worked behind the computer,
H-ours upon hours to please the Xena Fan of
A-nyday, whether it be Yesterday, Today or Tommorow.
N-ever has she been mean like Cal or Alti, because
K-ym is there to help and please those who are all the same, but
S-hare the same one love. Xena and Gabrielle.
K-ym, from me, and all the rest of the Whooshians........
M-ay you continue your Kindness for the Fans of the Warrior Princess and Bard!
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2000
Subject: How have I been changed by watching Xena (and Herc!)
Let me count the ways:
1) I started watching TV for the first time in my recent life, - but still only for the two hours a week of XWP, and first Herc, then Back2Back. This is really the maximum that I have found I can take, and I also discovered that I can only watch shows that Tapert and Rami produce!. Everything else on television seems to be mere clanging brass, not funny and without content - and unfortunately I and sort of admire intelligence. So I have learned to only watch what these two and the other Renaissance dudes and dudettes do...
2) Since reporting to Whoosh! in December last concerning my fortunate find of Xena's day-planner with her actual Calendar for April, Year Unknown in a musty dusty tomb-site, I have become obsessed with a need to conduct additional investigations into the depths of the Xenaverse for similar treasures. So I have continued to relentlessly search for more artifacts from the Warrior Princess' ancient world, with some success (see Report of Expedition #2 attached).
3) I have started trying to write trashy SciFi stories, but since this a first for Moi, don't expect too much, if they ever see the light of day, or the moon even OK?
4) Aside from the above nothing much - except the voices in my head now seem to speak with a Kiwi accent....
REPORT OF XENAVERSE EXPEDITION NUMBER 2:
I found the scroll when I returned to the place where I discovered Her Calendar. I just knew deep in my questing soul that there was more in the little crypt behind the stone carved with the Strange Device than Xena's Scheduler, important a find though it was. I had hoped to at least recover a similar ancient Greek day-planner for Gabrielle; so taking my life in my hands and sternly conquering my aversion to yucky things, I journeyed back to the place I had discovered previously, the little Ruined Temple in the Shadowy Grove atop the Skull-shaped Mountain with lots of dangly Spider-Webs all over.
My second exploration was complicated by the fact that after my first find, I had replaced the stone plug sealing the little crypt set in the body of the large barbaric Idol that squatted on the rude altar. My interpretation of the ancient glyphs carved around its base had lead me to my original discovery, and now again to my return - to stand behind its looming grotesqueness once again.
The ancient musky dusty temple had been dark on my first visit, when I had been lucky enough to briefly remove the stone seal and wrest Xena's planner from the depths of the small cavity at the rear of the crude stone idol by my sense of touch alone. But upon my return, the flickering light of the guttering torches that now lined the hall honoring the cruel god Haakk-Pitoo's image made the increased difficulty of my task this second time all too clear. I knew somehow that I must be quick, swift as the flying goose as it were, to explore and loot the secret chamber once again before incurring some dire retribution!
Gritting up my courage (as I remembered Xena doing before taking the goat dung cure in "In Sickness And Hell") and ignoring my repugnance at the thought of squishy and crawly things with lots of legs (or none at all), I next did what I had to do.
Nothing further about the strange events that occurred after I removed the plug this second time shall ever pass my lips, except for a paean of praise to M'gum'baya, my faithful torch bearer who sadly was incinerated in the flash of blue flame that suddenly erupted from that eerie orifice just after I had removed the last object it contained. But enough about him, and me - I will not even give you a description of the rather painful paper cut I later received as the scroll opened suddenly, but instead shall move straight on to a Report of my Findings.
REPORT OF FINDINGS:
That "Depository Of Doom" as I shall term it for the rest of my days, still contained an additional scroll! And which was of great significance but heretofore unknown, except for a few frightened whispers over the intervening time. I shall give a true description and translation of it below.
Was very large and bound with a strip apparently torn from a dingy locker room towel. It bore the following notation on the outside, "To be opened only in the far future, or after the Last Season - whichever comes first!" It was signed, "G. of P.". Carefully untying the intricate granny knot in the cloth strip, I opened it with baited breath, and then gasped as I read the following words written in Gabrielle's now familiar hand (which I had learned from looking over Xena's shoulder as she read some of Gab's other stuff in the Amazon village). As I slowly translated the faded gracefully formed letters, a faint scent of lavender wafted from the parchment and filled my study. I read:"I Gabrielle, Bard of Poteidaia, impelled by my concern for the fate of my Amazons in the years to come, as well as that of my bosom buddy Xena and our shared daughter Eve, and for that of the Auckland chapter of Actor's Equity as well, did recently journey to Delphi one day there to learn the future. I took this opportunity to travel alone while Xena was off providing Eve with a special treat to celebrate of her second birthday. It was So Cute! Her first little lesson on how to sack a city - Rome.
I Gabrielle, as a True Bard will relate to you truly the words and things that I heard and saw while at Delphi, although some things in my discourse may disconcert you - or really flop y'ur sox even! I will also with great reluctance relate the strange foretelling concerning that inept twit Joxer whom dogs my Bardic, and Xena's Heroic Paths - Cheesh!
Anyway, upon reaching the gloomy grotto in which the oracles operated, your intrepid investigator boldly entered and after briefly displaying the efficiency of my sais, was freely granted the use of the "Throne of Sniffing" for a quite reasonable time, when the duty oracle suddenly decided to take a long nectar break.
Then breathing deeply of the strange gasses released into the grotto from the bowels of the earth by the precursor movements associated with an impending seismic event, I fell into a chemically induced trance - and tripped out bigtime!
I felt myself slowly float up into the air and out of the temple, and then start gaining altitude and speed. All Greece spread out below me, its beautiful lands and smoldering villages plain to my eyes, then I was drawn to the Southeast with increasing rapidity. Swift as Xena's chakram I flew (except in a straight line) and over the sandy wastes of Arabia then over India with the numbers on the jerseys of its teams of teeming millions plain even at my altitude.
Out over the sea I flew, ever onward with many islands an then over a large dry continent with much nothing going on except for some gold mining and thousands of prawns flung on the barby. Over this place I soared, and as it flashed astern two large islands (conveniently labeled "North" and "South" as appropriate) appeared over the horizon and my airspeed dropped and I began my decent to Auckland International.
Suddenly I found my self in a dim and stuffy meeting hall seated with a large group of veery strange strangers, and looking at a brightly lit stage with a truly bad sound system and cluttered with cheap plastic statuary and wilted greenery. A number of girls were lined up, all wearing the same really cute two-piece outfits of olive green and brownish gray, and carrying big sticks. Oddly, they were all strawberry blondes as well... Anyway a weasely little man suddenly gave one of their number a cheap little trophy and hustled them all off the stage. Then turning to the audience, he held up an item for sale - which suddenly I was compelled to posses!!
The bidding was fierce, but my dinars won in the end (rather easily too, since I signaled my bids with my sais), and thus I had it! A strangely-bound scroll with a funny hinge at one side. I read it rapidly, drinking in all that it contained, and as I finished the last page I abruptly awoke from my trance. Immediately grasping fresh parchment and taking stylus in hand, I set down what I had just read in my vision - a show script or screenplay (written by some person named R. Tapert, MCCXI), a true copy of which is (with some small editorial comments) given below.
GABRIELLE, BARD OF POTEIDAIA
TITLE: "Cabbages And Kinks" or "The Crisper Drawer From Hell!"
DISCLAIMER: No vegetables from Earth were harmed in the production of this episode, since they are mostly all extinct now anyway, due to Global Warming-Cooling-Warming-Cooling, etc. and a really big ice sheet currently covering much of the planet, except oddly - not Auckland...
Cut to outer space (funky sitar and keyboard music background) with the globe of the Earth, all swirly blue and green with white streaks (looking pretty much like the forgotten grapefruit in a bachelor's refrigerator) in the foreground.
Voice-over lead-in intones: "It was a time when everyone had a chance to be capricious and cruel for themselves, since the Gods having gotten disgusted with the whole mess, were on strike."
"The Fate of the Earth and Woman-kind (a few guys also) now Hangs in the Balance!" "Can the Mighty Tough Galactic Warrior, Commander Xena and her faithful companion, the Brave (if slightly dyslexic) Space Cadet Gabrielle foil the Alien Invaders!?"
Suddenly a big bunch of sparkley dots appears, all headed toward the Earth - and the sound of war drums is faintly heard. "Boom-tity-Boom-tity-Boom..."
SCENE 1: Cut to the office of the Third Under-flunky of the Solar System's Government Committee to Cope With Stuff (which looks amazingly like the set of Ares' throne room with a bunch of old TV sets and PCs sitting around on New Zealand Army surplus desks). The Third Etc. is sitting on Ares' throne, which has been draped with black Nauga-hide to hide its boney parts, behind one of the desks (which still has a faded poster showing a kiwi bird urging "Re-up, Maytes!" tacked to its front). Suddenly, Commander Xena and Space Cadet Gabrielle come striding into the hall.
Xena wears a neon blue Spandex jump suit under a billowing cloak with large fuzzy gray shoulder pads and a pair of brass colanders supporting, and sort of containing her bosom. She is preggers bigtime, and her jump suit has a funky gold and silver circle appliqu‚d to its front, encircling her pooched-out belly. Tha' Gabs is wearing a bilious green sports bra and has a dingy gray locker-room towel sort of wrapped around her waist and her insignia of office on her head, a neon pink plastic headache band with a pair of pink clacker balls that rise from it on long metal springs and waggle around as she strides.
The two heroes are followed by their faithful robot companion Jox-ST2R, looking like a garbage can capped with a cheap document shredder and with a bunch of blinky Christmas lights stuck all over, which trundles along behind them on old shopping cart wheels.
"Commander Xena!" Thank the Gods you came!!" intones Third, Etc.
"Quit sniveling Third Etc., what's yur' problem this time?" intones the Steely-eyed Super Hero (who as a point of personal preference refuses to apply feminine endings to herself, and generally kills anyone else who does) back with a growl.
"Yeah 3, what's tha' prob?" 'We had just hopped in tha' hot tub!" adds the spunky Gabrielle with spunk. 'Shut up ya' twit! Lemme' handle this!" hisses the Mighty Tough Galactic Warrior to her cute little (but sort of dumb) companion.
"Oh, Commander Xena, a race of sapient vegetables has evolved many light years away in the outer reaches of the universe, and they have finally received the transmissions of TV shows from our planet that were broadcast many centuries ago."
"They have a real issue with the treatment of cabbages and other vegetables in the market places of ancient Greece in various combat situations during human conflicts therein."
"The Vegans, as they proudly term themselves, seek revenge for their ancestral abused sisters (and brothers, in the case of asparagus)."
"All of those pictures on our ancient TV broadcasts that they finally received, of the overturned vendor's tables with horrible images of human warriors casually kicking cabbages, stomping squash, and trampling tubers during the fighting that took place in those conflicts, or (as they term them)
"Vegetable Kingdom Killing Grounds", has enraged their whole distant and heretofore unknown to us, galaxy!"
"Driven by a burning desire for vengeance, some of their younger cabbages (the green ones) have selectively interbred with their tribes of habaneros and produced a bunch of real hotheads. These have taken a vow to overcook Earth and now lead their fleet." "The Vegans have also produced a faster-than-light drive consisting of modified microwave ovens fueled with popcorn, and thus are approaching us PDQ bigtime."
"OK, so waddya want me to do about it?" gratingly intones Tough Galactic Warrior Xena.
The Third, etc. slowly rises from his seat behind the splintered plywood desk, and regally glides around it on the multiple little-bitty feet under his bug-like tail. Snapping his fingers, Third Etc. then summons a faceless lackey (who lacks a face, obviously), and signals that a cushion be placed on the floor for his multiple litty-bitty knees.
"Oh Mighty Warrior Chick, PLEASE, Please, please, etc., Save our Planet from these Vile Vengeance-seeking Veggies! Intones the Third, Etc. in a bored perfunctory voice.
"I have many skills," intones the Big Babe grimly, "Lucky for you, saving Earth is one of them.".
"Yeah, and we don't charge much either!" adds Gabrielle, in a perky tone while valiantly trying to reposition the dingy locker room towel that keeps slipping off her hips.
"Shaddup!" Xena says in a hissing aside to tha' Gabs, "Lemme' work on their guilt some more."
"OK, you two Galactic Heroes" responds Third, etc. (who had been thoroughly briefed on Xena's little quirk re stereotyping, as well as her use of guileful use of gratuitous guilt as a weapon and thus was more on top than usual for a functionary), "What do you need from us in order to get on with this kaka, er - "Mighty Quest To Save All People- and Bug-kind," beside your usual load of loathsome lethality that is," intones The Functionary, now back behind his desk again, and shuffling papers in a markedly bored manner. "Oh and by the way, what's that?" as he points to the bulge before her.
"Why it's so sweet of you to ask! That's a representation of one of my ancient ancestor's fav weapons - a sort of a Frisbee of Death ya' know. It's like my trademark, ya know," the Tough Warrior croons dreamily.
"No, not that, what is that is behind your circle thingy that is adding so substantially to your circumference?" as Third Etc. slaps his own middle at the approximate point where his body changes from human to bug. "Nothing that will impede your Vital Mission, I trust," he sneers as his eyes bug out and zoom over to inspect Xena's tum closely, then slurp back into his head again.
The Big Babe blushes slightly as she mutters, "Too much desk work, that's all. I started doin' more setups this mornin' to get back in shape. Nothin' to it."
"Yeah, she did too," Space Cadet Gabrielle adds brightly with a perky nod that sets her insignia to clacking and her towel to slipping, "Right after she hugged tha' Porcelain Goddess for a while!"
"Whatever..." and Third, Etc. waves a languid hand in dismissal as he formally intones the ancient cryptically symbolic words - the only phrase that can unleash the Force of the Earth's Two Mightiest Galactic Heroes and send them To War, "Sic `um!"
"Your space fighter awaits, Oh Big'un" intones another faceless lackey (who having the same problem as the first, is speaking to the wall somewhere to The Warrior Chick's left). "Thank you, mere underling," perfunctorily intones the Tha' Big Broad. "Xena, I think that I have all of our necessary stuff stowed; what do you want to do with this dumb Jox-ST2R," asks Gabrielle.
"Bring it along Gab, we can always use a garbage can or a shredder; and I like tha' pretty lights OK," replies the Mighty Tough Warrior Chick.
"Alright." "But first tighten my towel, you mere machine, it's starting to slip again!" Then the Spunky Space Cadet suddenly shouts, "All Right! You Just Stop That Right Now!!" "By Hera, you tried to cop a feel!" "Take that!" and slugging the hapless robot in its metallic side, the perky young person hurts her pretty little hand. "Aoowee!!" "You hurt Meee!" she squeals, then she snaps. "Punish yourself, right now!!"
A small door opens in the side of the hapless non-human and an articulated arm emerges grasping a rubber mallet with which it starts briskly whapping at its own metallic body, and creating a goodly number of resounding clangs and bongs in the process.
"Dash it All man - er, Gabrielle - Get a hold on yourself!" "That's Enough! the Hardened Space Commander snaps. "Now, did you load the raw fish and strawberries I ordered?"
As Jox-ST2R suddenly stops hammering, and starts clutching around at its outer shell with a bewildering number of appendages that pop out from all over, Gabrielle whimpers, "Yees, but I think I broke a nail, sniff."
"Awww, that's alright, Little One. See, Mommy kiss an' make all better," the Big Babe intones in a kindly growl as she hugs the spunky young Space Cadet and her bosom buddy to her bosom.
"Aoowee!!" "That hurt! You almost put my eye out with that thing!" "You know Xena, you should really put warning lights on them! Why, I've seen little birds fly right into them and break their little necks, and fall down dead!" Tha' Gabs sobs as her nose turns red.
"Yeah whatever." the Fearsome Femme mutters then, "By Tha' Gods", or better yet - By Xena!" the Mighty Big Chick roars, "That's enough sentimental stuff - get on board you twits!!" "And enter before me, by ancient tradition."
The two scamper deftly on board what we assume to be a Sleek and High Tech Battle Cruiser anchored outside the airlock; however, all that is seen is the plywood door from an old WWII submarine movie set, with Japanese characters still painted on it.
Whump, "Oofff," Commander Xena grunts as her shoulder pads catch on the narrow door frame. Clang, thud, "Ooooooff!!" she grunts again as she tries it sideways, and finds that her new dimensions doesn't allow her entry that way either.
"Take off your pads, you won't need them until we formally accept their surrender," the Spunky Cadet suggests with her kindly signature mothering smile.
"Yeah, yur' right. Funny, tho I haven't been needing pads much lately anyhow."
The two Power Babes sit in a couple of recycled barber chairs before a blank blue sheet while Jox-ST2R stands before a large plywood box that has been sprayed aluminum and has funky dials and gizmos drawn all over it with magic marker. The non-human is connected to the box by several pieces of garden hose wrapped with duct tap and pretends to fiddle with some of the painted gizmos with several of his appendages. Suddenly the blue screen is filled with a computer generated image of the front part of the control room of a Sleek and High Tech Battle Cruiser, and a whole bunch of stars now shine through its view ports.
"OK, mere robot, take us out there ta' see what's goin' on with these Crazy Cabbages!" the Steely-eyed Avenger snarls, "Lets head out through the South Pass and sneak up behind `um."
Jox-ST2R starts blinking his lights furiously, and as the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign dings on, the Sleek, etc. Cruiser thrusts into space, forcing the two Lethal Lovelies deep into their seats and somehow making their hair flutter.
"Hey, Hey! we're on our Way!" "Yaaay!" Gabrielle eagerly yells, using her main talent from high school and waving the pompoms she keeps under her seat for important occasions.
The star images in the viewports suddenly go all streaky, and the seat belt sign dings off and a recorded voice announces, "Passengers may now float about the cabin."
Tha' Gabs immediately frees herself and pushes off into the air and starts doing cheer-leading stunts effortlessly. Suddenly her towel slides totally free and floats away, revealing her perky little CENSORD CENSORD CENSORD CENSORD, G of P
"Ya' want some thumb tacks fer' that thing?" the Big Babe grunts as she lolls back in her seat flipping through an old New Zealand Air magazine.
"Dong Dong Dong" the battle stations signal clangs as the Sleek, etc. Cruiser drops out of super-duper drive and the stars turn back into dots again outside the viewports, and thousands of alien spacecraft suddenly appear, which all look real strange. The vessels vary in configuration, but their common construction material seems to be plastic bags, with some paper trays and mesh sacks thrown in. Additionally, their gigantic flagship looks for all the world like a produce peddler's wagon from an ancient Greek village - but also appears to be a fully functional (Ta Da!) Death Cart.
The video units in the control chamber suddenly all flick to the same channel, and a Large Tuber appears on the screens. It sits on a couch and wears a pair of horn rimmed glasses with fake eyebrows and a fake nose attached and is smoking a cigar and peers through the magnifying lenses with two of its eyes. "Greetings Earthlings, prepare to be beat up real bad for abusing our ancestors, and kicking sand in their faces even, BWHAHAHaHaHaHahaha!"
"And just who are you, Vulgar Vegetable?" the Mighty Tough Galactic War-chick growls in her graveyard voice.
"Yeah, and make it snappy ya' Crazy Carbo, before the hot tub gets cold!" the Spunky Space Cadet snaps.
"Mr. Head Potato here," "delivering your doom, Warrior Princess Xena and Side-Kick Gabrielle, BWHaHaHa, etc."
"How do you know our names, you Puffed-up Pomme de terre?" The Big Gal grits grimly, as Gabs whispers in an aside, "How does he know our names?"
"We know Everything about you," Don't we girls?" and the picture enlarges to show two powerful women standing behind Mr. Head Potato's couch. One is a real tall brunette in a leather jumpsuit with all sorts of dried animal parts dangling from it and the other is a blonde in a chain mail bra and an armored hip-hugger miniskirt - and both of them look real mean at our Two Heroes.
"Well Ancient Adversary, we meet again," the tall one with the really heavy mascara hisses, and the blonde with the crazy glare snarls, "You made what I am, so live with it Sweety" "Or perhaps die?" she finishes with an angelic smile.
"Uh-ooh," the Big Babe mutters under her breath.
"Trouble?" Gabrielle mutters back.
"Yep - but it's OK, I've got a plan."
"The old `Way of Tha Warrior' shtick, gets `um every time,"
"Uh-ooh..." Gabrielle gulps as her clackers waggle in agitation.
"So you Sly Spud, you have resurrected my ancestor's old playmates - well how's about a little Single Combat with them to decide the fate of the Earth, Hunh?" "And winner take all, that is if you have any starch in y'ur spine," our Tough Toots snaps as she struggles to sit upright in her barber chair.
"Suits me," the three evil entities say as one. "Pick your spot," the two Baad Girls add, as their eyes sparkle and they slyly exchange significant looks.
"Not so fast, I need some security that you won't go back on your word once I finish with these two." "What about a good ole' Binding Oath?"
"Oh, you mean that thingy about swearing by the Stone of Creation that sits in The Navel of The Universe?" the Baad Blonde asks solemnly and the Baaader Brunette hisses, "Yesss."
"No, I'm talkin' the Most Powerful Force Ever Known. You must cross your hearts and swear by The Accounting Office at Studios USA!" Commander Xena intones gravely, as the Spunky Space Cadet kneels and touches her clackers to the deck in the general direction of West Hollywood.
"Ya' can't make us take a dare! We will swear, `Caus we're Warriors, and we know The Way!" the two grim gals gulp uneasily, and then intone right back as they cross their hearts. "Come on, what are ya waiting for?"
The Intelligent Idaho adds, as a cross also somehow appears on his peel under his cigar, "Yeah sure, whatever. Just don't take too long to finish her off you two savages, remember we have work to do."
"Man (gal?) our Heavily Armed Small Space Launch (hereinafter "HASSL") in the hold Gabs, and find us a handy asteroid with a suitable surface for hand-to-hand slaughter," the Big Babe grins crookedly as her blue eyes blaze. "Now it's you `n me, and them - Just The Way I Like It!"
"OK Xena, but are you sure you can trust them? I think I smell a Rat..."
"Nah, that's just from poor ship maintenance back at tha' space port." "Jox-ST2R you mere machine, mop up and mind the ship and fix dinner, we'll be hungry when we get back."
Its lights blink out the message, "Ja Boss," as his two Mighty Mistresses slide down the floor hatch to the hold holding the HASSL.
As the non-human plaintively watches his two friends speed away in their HASSL, and a similar one zip out from a port in the side of the Death Cart, he hears "BAHAHa, etc." burst again from the speakers and swiftly swivels his optics to the main view screen in time to see Mr. Head Potato bouncing gleefully up and down and exchanging high fives with a chortling cabbage now sitting beside him on his couch. "Hmmm, having no hands I wonder how they are able to do that," the Intelligent Ashcan messages itself. Then suddenly the Ambulatory Appliance's chips are really chilled, as the Sapient Spud on the screen continues speaking. "It Worked, It Worked!" "Now that those two are out of the way, we can start our attack on their helpless planet." "I just knew that anyone Earth would send out to foil our forces would be from Ancient Xena's gene pool, and thus could not resist having another whack at those two." Then the Triumphant Tuber continues apparently unaware that his mike is still open, "Little does That Galactic Goofus know that we copied our two Baad Babes from the ancient broadcasts, and they are actually laboratory-grown only from genetically engineered tofu, and thus have no hearts!" "And since I don't either, our oath is not binding according to legal!! BWHAHAHAHAHaHaHahaha!" "Commence the Attack!"
Jox-ST2R's blinky lights blink furiously in agitation as the non-human has a very human-like anxiety attack, and furiously processes a What-to-Do interrogatory. Then it remembers Xena's parting commands, and suddenly all of its lights turn a feral red, and it trundles purposefully to the battle deck and starts deploying some really nasty armaments. Strangely, the signature musical theme from "Popeye The Sailorman" suddenly wafts softly from the Swift, etc. Cruiser's PA system...
Moving rapidly and calling on programming in its circuits of which the two Famous Space Hero Gals were totally unaware, the Spunky Little Servo starts doing a whole bunch of techie stuff all at the same time, and real fast too.
First he deploys the two large parabolic pans of the Grim Galactic warrior's own design (the equations and mechanics of which Jox-ST2R had corrected and finalized, unbeknown to The Big Babe). They open with a rumble and a clang, and immediately started tracking and storing the energy from nearby supernovas.
Next the Noble Non-human activates the ship's Ginsu guns, and the firing ports in the Swift, etc. Cruiser's hull clank opened and allow their ugly snouts to emerge, and finally other hidden doors in the ship's hull bong back and the incredibly menacing forms of its last two ultimate weapons whirr into position.
Jox-ST2R allows itself a nano-second of silent pride, since it had quietly designed and installed the rest of the whole armament system for the Sleek, etc. Cruiser while Xena and tha Gabs had argued about selecting the upholstery fabrics for the powder room. Then their Steadfast Steel Servant gets to work and starts to take names and kick ass like you ain't gonna' believe!
Well, it is sort of sad really, and almost is a fast-forward replay of "One Against An Army" (Galactic, in this case). The poor suckers, sprouts, seedlings, shoots, stalks cuttings - whatever, never have a chance. Jox-ST2R begins rapidly firing projectiles from the Ginsu guns in four directions at once and their wicked missiles slice and dice the Vegan ships and their crews like a Japanese steak-house chef in overdrive. Then the Resourceful Robot quickly follows up the terrible carnage (tho in the case of vegetables, wouldn't it be sappage?) inflicted by the knife-like missiles (or missile-like knives) with well timed splurts from the ship's secret Soyu cannons and finally, focuses the rays of the gigantic parabolic reflecting woks onto the hapless remnants of what mere moments before were the Pride of the Vegans. Massive sizzling occurs like wow as the Resourceful Little Robot proceeds to stir-fry their whole damm fleet, save for its flagship, the Giant Death Cart. Then the Mighty Machine wheels the Sleek, etc. Cruiser and prepares to bring their final and most fearsome heavy weapon into play as it slams the throttles all the way forward, and as the engine room telegraph jingles to Full Speed Ahead and the black gang down in the stoker room starts furiously shoveling coal into the boiler fireboxes.
The Sleek, etc. Cruiser bounds forward as swiftly as a doped greyhound at a Miami dog track and aims its bow directly at the Looming Death Cart. A massive pogo stick now protrudes from a forward weapon hatch which, tipped with a gigantic replica of Xena's booted foot swiftly delivers the dreaded Le Coup de Pied.
"Wham!" then "Boyyng!" somehow resounds through the airless silence of space as the Noble Non-human rams the Sleek, etc. Cruiser straight into the side of the Vegan Flagship, and kicks the lumbering produce box careening out of control on a trajectory directly into a nearby sun. Moments later, as the aroma of freshly baked potato somehow wafts trough the airless reaches of space the Spunky Servo-mechanism shrugs several of its appendages as it messages to itself, "Well after all, she Did tell me to Mop Up!"
"Alright you two, give it y'ur best shot!" the Bulky Babe with the Blazing Blue Eyes grits with her trademark crooked grin as she whips out the old Family Sword with its badly nicked but still deadly blade from somewhere under her billowing cloak, "Come on, come on! Whaddya waitin' for?!" she shouts as the small party of antagonistic protagonists stands on the sorta' level playing field of a handy asteroid, and somehow breathing without the use of space helmets or oxygen tanks in its airlessness.
"Why nothing Dear Descendant of Xena, now - that is," responds the Blonde with the Really Crazy Eyes and the skimpy leather/metal outfit, who somehow manages to not freeze her booty off in the absolute zero degree temperature of outer space. "Yesss, nothing now," she repeats as she withdraws a large and lethal and extremely modern Tzapp-gun from a thoroughly unbelievable place of concealment under her minimalist clothing, and aims it at Our Noble Hero-person.
"Yesss, nothing now, O Offspring of the Wussesed-out Ex-Destroyer of Nations," the Lanky Leather-clad Lady with the really killer hips hisses, as she instantly tele-ports herself to the side of the Spunky Space Cadet, who stands by the sand covered arena with her First Aid kit at the ready. Seizing said Sidekick by her clacker-balls the Alternate Alti hoists her into the air and prepares to poke her with a really nasty looking dried large animal part [Ed. note: a Space Cadet's insignia is permanently attached until he/she/it graduates, whenever such event may occur].
"Humph," grunts Xena with her signature crooked grin again, "Looks like I've finally got `um where I want `um...
Then she ululates her Ancient Family's Fearsome War Cry, "AyAyAyAyAyAyAy - Oy-vey - Ay-ay Sir" (one of her more recent ancestors had been married to an Israeli Admiral, for a while) which echoes somehow through the airless reaches of outer space, and the Thoroughly Tough Toots grasps the appliqu‚d circle surrounding her tremendous tum and rips it free and flings at the Baad Blonde (the circle, not her tummy - you silly). Since it is really a secret weapon and not a mere decoration, the Singing Circle slices through the stomach of the Snarling Blonde and divides her into two parts, then as it caroms off the handy rocks of the asteroid it continues to booingg around and cut Callisto into numerous deli-sized chunks.
However, oddly each slice of the Snarling Super Sadist somehow seem to still stare at Our Hefty Hero with her same really hateful eyes, from somewhere - and she is all white inside. "That's odd," the Mighty Tough Space Commander mutters through her crooked smile as a quizzical look appears in her blazing baby blues, "When I called ya' "Lilly-liveried", it was just a figure of speech ya' know..."
Gabrielle, not to be outdone by her mentor (because she would Never here the end of it, fer' Cryin' out loud!), does a really clever full gymnastic spin around Alti's arm and bites off the thumb of the Glowering Gal in passing.
"Pitooo!" "Tofu!" "Bluccuh!! I Hate tofu!" the Spunky Sidekick sputters as she easily frees her clackers from Alti's now opposable thumb-lacking hand and dropping to the ground, gives the Wicked Witch a sturdy kick in her soft parts. "Take that, you Meanie!"
"Tofu, Hmmm," the Powerful Person Always In Charge mutters as she swings her sword and slices off a goodly slab of the Baaader Babe who is bending over gasping from the effects of Gabrielle's game little low blow, and thus is off-guard. As the slab flops on the sand and flips around like a grounded flounder and the larger part of Alti lunges at her once-and-future Nemesis, an odor of damp and moldy old plasterboard somehow wafts through the airless non-atmosphere of the Handy Asteroid. "Yep, it's tofu alright," Xena suddenly shouts with glee, and then doing some really astonishing moves with her Ancestral Blade swiftly whittles the remaining chunk of her Ancient Adversary into an impressive number of little Girl Scout soap sculptures.
"Alright kid, lets go and see What's goin' on with the rest of those Dumb Dicotyledons," the Mighty Resourceful Rescuer of Earth grits as she hops back into the HASSL. Then she intones in a really serious tone that sends chills up and down the Space Cadet's spunky spine.
"Uh-ooh," the Big Babe mutters under her breath.
"Trouble?" Gabrielle mutters back.
Jox-ST2R, having finished rescuing People-kind and saving the Planet, is somewhat at a loss as to its next mission. Then the Adroit Little Android remembers what its Galactic Warrior Mistress had ordered it to do as she left on her humanly impossible mission to save the Earth, "Mind the ship..."
"Yo, Ship What you want to do?" The sapient circuits in the Sleek, etc. Cruiser responds in an husky electronic signal, "Well, I thought you were never gonna' ask, you Masterful Motor-thing you. Why don't we drop down to Auckland and receive tha plaudits of tha' pitifully grateful populace, and let `um charge our batteries out of gratitude?" "Hey, sounds like a plan, hang on!" Jox-ST2R messages back with unfamiliar gaiety and pride suddenly surging through its chips and in its flashing in its signal, and jangles the engine room telegraph again and slams it to "Full Speed Ahead". Once more the faithful black gang in the bowels of the Sleek, etc. Cruiser start pouring on the coal in the boilers, and the massive paddlewheels of the valiant vessel start Chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay as the heroic hulk prepares to lumber into action yet once again... Now just wait a linen pickin' minute! There's something funny going on here!! G of P
The Sleek etc. Cruiser pops out of Super-duper Drive right over Auckland International (the resulting shock wave flutters kiwi feathers as far away as the South Island!) and a really neato computer animation shows the mighty ship settling slowly to earth balanced on the flaming blasts of its powerful retro-thrusters - which somehow however still do not ignite the petroleum-based tarmac of the airport's taxi apron.
Stepping through the old Japanese submarine set plywood door mockup and into the lounge of the airport, the Noble Non-human rolls to a position in front of Third, etc. who is sorta' jumping as his little-bitty legs bounce his bug part up and down. Arrayed on each side of Third, etc. are the finalists in the Gabrielle Look-alike contest just completed in the XWP Con at the Auckland Hilton. They are accompanied by a few of the grateful populace, who were off-duty for the afternoon.
Gabrielle Look-alike Contest? Now Just Wait Another Pickin' Minute! There's only one person that looks like me, Mostly... G of P
The dozen or so sweet young things surround the Intelligent Ash Can are all wearing bilious green sports bras and locker room towels of varying degrees of dinginess draped around their mostly perky hips, and though they all still carry big sticks, they "Ooo" and "Ahaaa" with gratitude as they caress and hug Jox-ST2R's gleaming, warm throbbing mainframe.
"All Earth thanks you O Artful Android!" Third, etc. intones solemnly as he glides forward. Slapping a recycled refrigerator magnet with a picture of Hercules taking out a Funky Monster on Jox-ST2R's galvanized chest he continues, "We saw what you heroically did out there in the vasty reaches of outer space after Commander Xena made her initially cleaver but ultimately fruitless diversionary move." "Therefore please accept this decoration of the Order of Galactic Butt Kickers, First Class, and also the eternal gratitude of Us All!" he finishes perfunctorily as he gestures to the off-duty city sanitation workers who make up most of the crowd not wearing sports bras.
A rousing chorus of, "Good on ya' Mayte!" "Good Go, Donch'a Know!" and "Free Beer!!!" follows as they give one round of applause and then lead by Third, etc, all abruptly head for the nearest pub. Remaining behind with their hero though, the sweet young groupies in the funny clothes continue to caress Jox-ST2R's chassis admiringly.
Suddenly one of the bolder ones spots a small button on the Valiant little Non-humanoid labeled "Turn-on Here" and presses it. It resists at first since it had never been used before, but the curious Gabrielle look-alike gamely persists and suddenly it clicks, and begins glowing a bright pink.
What happened next is rather difficult to describe, but suffice it to say that after the passage of some time - when we rejoin the group of Gabby look-alikes they are languidly lounging in dreamy disarray on the benches in the airport lounge and smiling contentedly at the Resourceful Robot, which itself somehow projects smugness with its blinky lights. Then it messages them, "Sorry Gals, gotta run back out and collect my folks." "Catch ya' all at the next Con?!"
In spite of their sudden chorus of wistful sighs and a tear or two, the Masterful Machine leaves his admirers and reenters the Sleek, etc. Cruiser to go collect the Bosom Buddies floating around up there - somewhere.
Give Me A Break! This is just Joxer's Silly Male Fantasy that got in my Vision, somehow... G of P SCENE 10:
Inside the HASSL, the two Powerful Warrior Persons recline on their acceleration couches as the Valiant Craft drifts powerlessly in the Void, and Gabrielle struggles vaguely to hold her sports bra together, her towel being secured for the moment because she is sitting on it.
"Well, Kid this could be the end of the line," the Noblest Warrior Princess of Them All intones quietly. "I suppose it's fate that broke the daggle-whouzer support bracket on the main thrust/navigational/atmosphere-purifyin' computer unit just when you plunked us down rather hard back there on that Handy Asteroid for Tha' Final Confrontation." "Then after I had cleverly fixed it with the lace from your top, you launched us again with a few too many Gs and in breaking loose this second time, it also ripped away the freggle-flexer and holed the hull." "Therefore here we float in the frigid depths of space, helpless and without power and with our air being consumed rapidly as we speak, and also leaking from the hull." "So, what da' ya' have to say, Faithful Companion?" the Big Babe says softly. Then squeezing her young friend's hand, Xena goes all mushy (for her) and finishes in a tender rumble, "I figger' we have about three and a half minutes left b'fore tha' old Final Curtain.
"You know Xena I have been thinking."
"Yep, I'll just do it!"
"Do what, Friend?"
"Change my conditioner. I think I will go with lilac this time." "Yep, lilac...:"
As the crippled little vessel spins slowly in the harsh light of space, and begins falling toward the flaming disk of a nearby White Dwarf, it looks pretty much like our two Mighty Tough Star Troopers are about to exit, stage right pretty much permanently. This is So Sad! I just can't Believe how Sad it is... G of P
But Wait! What is that we faintly hear, somehow out here in airless space where sound normally doesn't carry? Egads, man! It seems to be music, and it slowly is growing in intensity!! Why yes, I am starting to make it out now - first: 1) a brass band playing "Rule Britannia"; then 2) "Scotland the Brave" played on 100 bagpipes; then 3) the East Auckland High School band playing their fight song; and finally 4) what can Only be a U.S. Cavalry Trumpeter blowing, "Boots and Saddles", followed by "Mount" then, "Trot and Draw Sabers" and finally "Charge!!" and a thundering roar of hoof beats... Gee, I wonder what can happening?
The Sleek, etc. Cruiser roars up beside the HASSL and brakes to a stop in a cloud of dust beside it (and as a deep voice rings out from somewhere, "Woah Silver! Steady Big Fellow."). Jox-ST2R opens a hull port in the Sleek, etc. Cruiser and deploying a retrieval boom, grasps the errant HASSL firmly by its ear and pulls it into the tender but stern embrace of the dominant craft and sealing the hatch, floods their space with air, that smells faintly like the kitchen exhaust fan of a Chinese restaurant just as our two Galactic Gals are turning sort of blue.
"See, I just Knew that everything would turn out alright if we just kept lookin' on the bright side! Wonder who it is who found us?" Gabs perks, disgustingly.
"Somebody pretty dang good, that's fer' sure, to locate us out here behind tha' Horse Head Nebula where we landed when tha' daggle whouzer malfunctioned and sent us on this unknown vector through space/time." her friend grits as she barely restrains a very strong urge to pinch the younger woman's head off... Yay!! Hooray! They are Saved! G of P
With a click, the Adroit Android opens the main hatch in the HASSL's side and welcomes his Two Deadly Dollies back into the comforts of the Mother Ship as it were, as it sends a signal to them to wipe their feet.
"Oh, It's you, mere machine," the Space Cadet snaps "Here, you clean my feet - and just who was the Noble Hero who has Rescued Us?" Gabrielle murmurs in an appropriately thankful and power-person suck-up tone.
Upon entering the control room once more of the Sleek, etc. Cruiser and finding no power-person upon whom to suck up, the Spunkster snaps, "Alright you Aimless Android, lets head to tha' galley and I will oversee your pitiful attempt to make us dinner." As they move down the passageway, striding and trundling as appropriate, Gabs is faintly heard to ask, "And what's that glowing pink button on your side- I've never noticed it before..."
"GABRIELLE, dammit, where's my dinner?" the Powerful Person Always In Charge shouts." 'I'm Hungry!!!"
"Oh Cool yur' Thrusters ya big Tom-boy, here's a issue field ration to hold ya' til me and Joxy-woxy finish, like explorin' his menu OK?" the somehow suddenly changed Space Cadet purrs as she and the Mechanical Marvel glide back up the passage way, he with his casters wobbling slightly and she with exaggerated and languorous hip action like you wouldn't believe, and with her clackers scorched and definitely drooping as she delicately caresses his Turn-On button with the tip of one finger.
Then as they return back down the passageway to continue their in-depth studies after delivering a chunk of the notoriously tasteless government issue reason-to not-re-up to her speechless friend, the suddenly sultry redhead adds over the shoulder down which her sports bra is slipping, "Oh, by the way, Jocco has a really good perfume synthyizer program, and it says that I am definitely a lavender type, according to my body chemistry," then she finishes with a contented chuckle, "Which it seems to have learned pretty well by tha' way..."
Alright - That's It! That's Enough about this stupid machine! I know this dream has been inserted in my mind by Some Baleful Power, Therefore I shall hide this scroll in a Safe Place until the distant future!- Sob,.. G of P
The Big Babe lays back in the ship's hot tub, and as animal grunts mixed with mechanical clanks and whirrngs echo throughout the ship's vinelation ducts, she smiles with a crooked grin somehow reminiscent of her Ancestor (to those of us who knew her anyway), and murmurs, "Well, whattya know, sometimes it really does all come to him who waits, er' visa versa..." Cheesh, That's It! I'm Out'ta Here!!
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