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Itís Just A Game...
by ThE AnOrExOrCiSt
DISCLAIMER: Xena, Warrior Princess and all related themes are property of MCA/Universal and no copyright infringement is intended.
"Come on, just play the stupid game!"
"Because I hate games!"
"But you never even give them a chance!"
"Thatís beside the point. Iím not playing any stupid games!"
"But this one is different than all the others weíve tried."
"Oh, yeah? How?"
"Itís a board game!"
"A what? A bored game?"
"Yeah, you play it with pieces representative of yourself and you move them around on a game board."
"That sounds even more absurd than the usual games you suggest that we play."
"Well you lighten up? Donít knock it until youíve tried it."
"I donít want to try it!"
"Have you played this...game before?"
"Of course! Iíll show you how to play."
"I will not! What kind of accusation is that to make to your best friend?"
"A fair one. Youíve done it before."
"So? I wonít do it this time, I promise you."
"Donít give me that look! It doesnít work on me!"
"But I hate games!"
"Just one little game?"
"All right! All right! Iíll play your stupid game!"
"So, where is it?"
"Right here in my pack."
"Get it out and tell me how it goes. And make it quick."
"Somebodyís a little pushy this morning."
"Look, youíve been hassling me for ten minutes about playing this stupid game of yours. I said Iíd play. So the least you can do is hurry up and get it out!"
"I have to set up the board!"
"So that you can cheat?"
"No, it has to be set up properly before we can begin."
"What is this game called?"
"I believe the Celts refer to it as, Ďchess.í"
"Whatís it about?"
"The object of the game is to capture as many of your opponents pieces as possible before you capture their king."
"Itís a piece that goes on the board. There are also queens, temple priests, warriors, rooks, and something they call Ďpawns.í"
"Why do they call them pawns?"
"I guess because they are the weakest pieces on the game board."
Nearly ten minutes went by as the young blonde rummaged through her pack, murmuring happily to herself as she set up the game board. The dark-haired warrior sitting against the tree trunk watched sullenly, arms folded over her chest, a scowl darkening her beautiful face.
Another ten minutes went to explaining the game, carefully showing what each piece was capable of doing, where it was allowed to move, and how to reach the object of the game; checkmate.
"So, thatís it?"
"I think I can do this, then. Are you ready?"
"Of course. I get to go first."
"Why do you get to go first?"
"I donít know. I thought that youíd want me to start things off while you ponder the game a little more to be sure you understand it."
"I understand the stupid game! Iím going first."
"You donít need to be huffy about it."
"Just make your move."
The game lasted a good five minutes, each of the young women studying the board carefully before making a move.
"Check! Iíve got you!"
"See? You canít move! Iíve got you surrounded!"
"No, I can move-"
"No, thatís check-mate!"
"Ha, ha! I beat you!"
"AHHH!!!! THATíS IMPOSSIBLE!!!! YOU MUST HAVE CHEATED!"
"I didnít cheat, I swear-"
"HOW ELSE COULD YOU HAVE POSSIBLY BEATEN ME? UGH!!! I HATE THIS GAME!" A kick was sent along with the interruption, and suddenly the game board was flying through the air, the pieces scattering. One of the two women stared at the other in disbelief, as the other stood, fuming. "YOU DID THIS!" she accused, pointing. "IT HAD TO BE YOU! YOU MUST HAVE USED SOME SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED MIND MELD TO MAKE ME LOSE! I HATE YOU!"
"Hey, calm down-"
"SHUT UP! I HATE THIS STUPID GAME! I HATE THE WHOLE WORLD!" She screamed an unearthly yowl, running at the fallen game board and jumping on it not once, not twice, but three or four times, smashing it into oblivion. Her friend, startled at the sudden outburst, only watched, inching away slowly.
"I KNEW YOUíD CHEAT! I KNEW YOUíD WIN!" Fists were clinched as the young woman swung them at the air and stamped her feet. "UGH! OHHH! EEEEE! WHAT A STUPID GAME! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!"
Finally exhausted, she fell on top of the broken game board, her face red, her breathing heavy.
Her friend stared at her, eyes wide. "It was just a game, Gabrielle."
"I know," said the bard, grinning. "But you should see me when I lose in real life!"
And the moral of the story is: Never play a strategy game with someone who used to be a warlord and expect to win.