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Legal Disclaimer: Xena, Gabrielle, & Argo belong to MCA/Universal. The story belongs to JayBird and me. The Xenites and bards belong to themselves.
Content Disclaimer: This is a work of Alternative Reality Fan Fiction (ARFF), another darned acronym, that satirizes the huge flame war that raged in the Universal Net Forum from August 8 to 12, 1997. You had to be there! There is some comedic violence and allusions to subtext, but nothing serious.
Dedication: This ARFF is dedicated to the Forum Xenites who responded to the original "Fracas..." (Chapt.1) posted on the Forum August 9. You guys helped me finish the story.
Write me nasty letters at email@example.com. Write JayBird even nastier letters at JayMarkle@webtv.net.
Copyrighted August 13, 1997
By Bongo Bear and JayBird
Part 1: The Fracas
by Bongo Bear
Xena and Gabrielle are tossing and turning on the bed. It may not look like it, but they're trying to sleep. The loud voices downstairs keep them wide awake.
Let's listen in:
"No, they're not!"
"They are too!"
"I say they're not and I'm not gonna let you like them. 'Cause they're not!"
"I can like whomever the heck I want! Screw you!"
"No, bite me!"
And on and on like that. The sounds of chairs crashing and windows breaking shakes the walls. Xena growls, "Why can't those fools just shut the furk up about it?"
Gabrielle pats Xena on her stomach to calm her, "They can't help themselves. Sex fascinates everyone."
"Well, I'm not getting any sleep much less anything else!" Xena gets up off the bed and puts her leathers and armor on.
"Where are you going?" Gabrielle says, looking apprehensive.
"I'm going downstairs to settle this matter once and for all! Stay here until I return."
"I want to come with you," Gabrielle protests.
"It's not safe. You can come later," Xena says with a wicked wink.
Xena strides to the door and opens it. A strange man, who was kneeling at the keyhole, falls into the room face first.
"Who the furk are you?" Xena demands of the man as she grabs him by his collar and hauls him to his feet.
"I'm JayBird...I...uh...heard that some hot lesbian action was going on in here...so I...well, I'm no pinko commie...," he stammers.
"So you wanted to check it out for yourself. Pervert! Get out of my face!" Xena throws him aside in the hallway.
She turns to head downstairs when JayBird calls out, "Oh, come on. Can I have your autograph? Please?"
Xena gives him the Look, pulls her breast dagger from its warm sheath, grabs Jaybird and pulls him close to her face, "Hmmm, okay, just for you, babe." She tears off his shirt and carves a big "X" into his chest. JayBird faints from the pain, but he'll live. Xena drops him on the floor. "I suppose when he comes to, he'll want to show it off to all his friends. Yeesh!"
When she finally reaches the bottom of the steps, she ducks a flying invective, followed closely by more verbal assaults. She sidesteps insults and abusive commentary to sidle up to Cathbad, who's leaning against the bar and nursing his ale. "What started all the commotion?" she asks.
"Some clown in a Hawaiian shirt threw a molotov in here. We've been stomping and fanning the flames ever since."
"Same old, same old, eh?" Xena says sympathetically. Cathbad nods his world-weary head.
"Yep," Cathbad downs his ale and orders another. "Hey, check out the buffet as long as you're here."
"Thanks. Later, Cathbad."
Xena is about to wave the barkeep over for a drink herself when she overhears, "That Xena is a burly girl who needs a manly man. Yeah, what she needs is a beer drinkin', butt slappin' dude like me!"
Xena recognizes the voice, Iapetus, shooting off his mouth again. "This time he's gone too far, I'm gonna decorate my Solstice tree with his....." she thinks to herself as she follows the voice to its owner seated in the corner of the Forum Inn.
The pissed off warrior settles a callused hand on Iapetus' shoulder and says, "Whose butt do you think you're gonna slap tonight?"
Iapetus looks up and blanches in horror. "Oh shoot...I wasn't talking about you. No it was that other one that looks like you. Yeah that's it. Uh, uh,..."
"Meg?" Xena offers.
"Yeah, yeah, Meg the Tramp," Iapetus says as he starts to sweat. He feels a spreading warmth between his legs. He's glad he's wearing dark leggings tonight.
"You're so pathetic!" Xena yanks him up and shows him her razor sharp chakrum. "Do you know what I'm going to do to you, manly guy?" Iapetus faints dead away. "What's with these men? Men! Men! Men!"
She puts away her chakrum and draws her breast dagger. She strips Iapetus of his drawers and carves a big "X" on his left buttock. "That's for being so damned cheeky with me! Be sure to show it to all of your friends." She lets his limp body flop on the table, his bloody bottom easily seen by all passersby.
Xena returns her dagger to its sheath when she catches the eye of a cute little nymph standing by the buffet. She saunters over to the head of the line, cutting in front of Texena and Feldspar. The Texas Xenites give her dirty looks and mutter about ill-mannered foreigners (non-Texans). Texena whispers to Feldspar, "I've heard she talks with a funny accent when you can get her alone." Xena throws them the Look and picks up a plate.
"Ah, do we know each other?" Xena addresses the nymph as she looks over the buffet offerings.
"I'm Chrysippe. I'm sooo thrilled to meet you in person," the nymph squeals in delight.
"Hmmm," Xena says appreciatively, "What do you recommend?" She indicates the spread of food before her.
"Oh, the barbecue's great. Do you know Roc-It Science? She cooked up the TexaSubtext cuisine just for this Inn."
"Okay, barbecue it is."
"Say, what's your sign?" Chrysippe asks shyly.
"Huh?" Xena looks puzzled. "Have I heard that line before?" she thinks to herself. "Oh, I'm a Leo. You know the Lion?"
"I knew it! I just knew it! I love Leos; they're sooo sexy..." Chrysippe jumps up and down excitedly.
"Honey, you're gonna spill your food. What don't you get a seat over here." Xena leads the nymph to a table and sits down. She's about to dig into the sauce covered beef ribs when a voice cries from the front of the inn.
"She's mine! She's been my very own Warrior Princess since birth! No one else can lay claim to my Xena!" The special guest bard, Wishes, tried to calm the fractious Forum customers, but they wouldn't listen. Pushed to her limits, she was reduced to fighting for a piece of Xena herself. She spots the warrior at the table with the nymph. She rushes over crying out, "Xena! I saved my black leather diapers for you....I haven't used them recently!"
Xena deftly sidesteps the crazed bard, gently tapping her on the jaw and into unconsciousness. She carefully settles her into the chair. "What with these bards? I can't seem to shake them."
"It's the leather," Chrysippe offers, "It's too hard to resist a tall, strong woman in leather." Chrysippe bats her lovely navy blue eyes at the warrior.
"Sure, whatever you say. Take care of Wishes when she wakes up, will ya? I can't eat here. It's too dangerous. I'm going back up stairs."
Xena enters the room and tosses Gabrielle a bone. "Eat up. We're leaving ASAP."
"Where can we go?" the bard asks.
"No where in the new world. Those furking Americans are just too excitable. The least little thing sets them off."
"How about New Zealand?" Gabrielle suggests. "Hardly anyone knows us there. Besides I've heard that Kiwis are more reserved, polite. They're quiet and won't give us any trouble."
"New Zealand it is." Xena begins packing their bags while Gabby eats the barbecued ribs.
"These are wonderful. I want to take a doggy bag with us, plus a jar of this spicy sauce." Gabby exclaims as she licks her fingers clean.
Meanwhile downstairs, Zwolf, the famed warrior/bard crashes through the front door of the inn. He's demanding the head of the Hawaiian guy who started the whole mess. "I'm gonna teach that twerp a lesson! I'm gonna...." he continues with a long list of violent acts too gross for this story. "Which way did he go?" he says, swinging his head and his sharp tongued sword from side to side.
Cathbad answers, "I saw a dude in a Hawaiian shirt go out the back. You might still be able to catch up."
Zwolf bounds out the back door and into the woods. The Forum guests can hear him baying while he chases down his prey. A strangled cry is heard in the distance, followed by a whoop of victory. Could it be?? High-fives are slapped amongst the happy subtexters in the Forum. The str8's grumble and drink another beer.
Xena leans out of their room window and whistles for Argo. The faithful golden horse trots up to wait patiently underneath the window as Xena carefully lowers Gabby into the saddle. Xena leaps out with a "yiyiyiyiyi" and lands with perfect acrobatic execution behind her bard. They ride off to the west, to that far away land where the sea is always blue and the land is ever green.
Part 2: From the JayBird Scrolls
Later that same night I returned to the Forum Inn after a visit to my friend Askelepios the Healer.
The place was quiet. One of the barkeeps was mopping up the blood while another was sweeping up the teeth.
I grabbed an Ale-lite and headed for the buffet, which looked like it had been attacked by Draco's army. Standing by a corner table was my buddy Iapetus. Stretched out on another table was my good friend and fellow bard Wishes, still snoring away.
"Rough night," I remarked. Iapetus grunted. I nodded at Wishes. "What happened to her?"
"Xena decked her."
"No!" I exclaimed. "Get outta town!"
"It's true. Saw it myself. Kinda."
"Wow... So what happened? Did Wishes come onto Xena or..."
"Oh, will you get offa that!" Iapetus said. "You're like Johnny-one-note-on-the-panflute! Oy gevalt!"
"Sorry." I shrugged. "It's a sickness."
I sat down at a table. "Well, join me. Have a seat."
"I'd rather stand."
"Hey!" I pulled my shirttail out. "Wanna see something neat?"
"Lookit this!" I pulled my shirt up to reveal my freshly stitched chest wound. The big X carved in my chest was still seeping a little. "Know what this means?"
"You're a black Muslim?"
"You're a member of the Manson family?"
"No!" I lowered the shirt. "Xena did this! Personally! With her breast dagger yet! I'm gonna see Del Kaiden tomorrow and see if I can get a picture of this in the next Bard Scrolls!"
"You don't seem very thrilled."
"Seen one, seen 'em all."
"Nevermind." Iapetus finished his mai-tai. "I gotta book. Long day tomorrow."
"See ya," I said. "Oh, by the by... You seen Bongo Bear around?"
"Hmmmm... I think Bongo's up in the attic again. Safely above it all... if you get my drift."
"Great..." I cracked my knuckles and headed up the stairs. "Me 'n Fuzzie-wuzzie have a lil'unfinished biz to settle..."
"Watch out," Iapetus said with a wince. "Some people around here can't take a joke worth a damn!"
"Tell me about it."
Part 3: Iapetus' Revenge
by Bongo Bear
Bongo Bear, hiding in the attic above the inn's main floor, overhears the conversation between Iapetus and Jaybird.
"Oh dear, oh my. These fellows seem just a tad upset with me. Should never, ever pick on bards. No Sirree, they have sharp quills and even sharper retorts. What to do, what to do," she frets and paces.
The little bear looks around the dusty attic only to find moldering archives of old flame wars, some of which were still warm to the touch. Finally, she eyes the small, narrow window, just large enough to wiggle through.
Jaybird enters the attic just in time to see the last bit of a furry tail struggling through the window. He leaps to the window and grabs at the tail, but only manages to catch a handful of white fur. Looking down, he sees a white bear scampering away into the woods.
"Hmmm, a chase scene," he thinks to himself. Grinning evilly, he says aloud, "This could be fun!"
"Hey, Iap," he calls down the stairs to his good buddy who hasn't quite left yet. "Get the dogs. Form a posse. We're goin' huntin'!"
"For what?" Iapetus asks, as Jaybird bounds excitedly onto the Forum floor.
"Bear. Gonna get me a bear skin rug," he says as he grabs a cross-bow on his way out the door.
"Yes!" Iapetus says, "I'm there, dude."
As he joins Jaybird, he tenderly rubs his injured bottom, his mind bent on sweet revenge.
Dawn's early light finds the little bear racing through the woods, the sounds of baying dogs and angry bards echoing in the trees behind her. Panting out of breath, she comes across Alwayslooking who's sitting on a rock and penning a poem. Piles of wadded parchment litter the rock around her.
"Let's see, what rhymes with smorgasbord? Hmmm," she mutters as she scratches out verse after verse. "Nope, that won't work." She throws another wadded scrap over her shoulder. She reaches for the glass of Merlot for inspiration.
"Alwayslooking!" Bongo cries out, interrupting her train of thought. " I need your help," she says as she collapses in exhaustion at her feet.
"Bongo," she stands her up. "What's got your fur all ruffled?"
"A posse of angry bards is hot on my trail. Oh, you weren't at the Forum Inn last night? Xena carved up a couple of bards, knocked out Wishes when she attacked her with a diaper....you know how testy Xena gets when she's pissed."
Nodding, Alwayslooking asks, "So why is anyone after you?"
"Well, I made her do it," Bongo says contritely. "You know how it works: it's the writers that make Xena and Gabrielle do all kinds of strange and wonderful things. Especially those crazy Xenite bards."
"Sorry, can't help you," Alwayslooking turns back to her poem. Bongo looks at her incredulously. "Hey, it's your own fault. You reap what you sow and you are what you type."
The little bear's lower lip starts to quiver and tears well up in her big, brown eyes. "Oh, for crying out loud!" She wipes away a tear trapped in a furry cheek. "Tell you what, when the posse gets here, I'll tell them you went the other way, okay?"
"Thanks," Bongo calls out over her shoulder as she starts running ever deeper into the woods.
Bongo was so busy looking over her shoulder, she didn't see the bard and the warrior princess leading Argo when she bowled them over in a clearing. Xena jumps up and hauls the little bear up by the scruff of her neck.
"Hey! Watch where you're going, will ya? You could have hurt my horse." Argo whinnies in agreement. Gabby glares at the horse, then at Xena, now knowing where *she* ranks.
"What are you running from?" Xena asks. Bongo's feet dangle in the air a good foot or so.
"Them," Bongo points a paw to the edge of the clearing. The bard posse finally caught up with her and now slows down to circle the trio carefully.
"We just want the bear," Iapetus yells to Xena, warily. "Just hand over the bear and nobody else gets hurt." He explains to Xena and Gabrielle why the posse's chasing the bear.
Xena shrugs 'why not' and tosses Bongo to the blood thirsty crowd. Immediately, a couple of bards pounce on her.
"JayBird, hold on to the tail while I gut Bongo from this end," Iapetus says as he fights to hold the squealing bear in place.
"Gentlemen, gentlemen! STOP! There's a no need for violence," Gabrielle intervenes compassionately.
"Are you on henbane? We want violence. We want blood!"
The bard posse starts chanting, "Kill da bear; make a rug! Kill da bear; make a rug!"
"I've got a better idea," Xena says. The chanting dies down.
Gabrielle looks at her partner with raised eyebrows, "You do? Care to let me in on it?"
"Yeah, like what?" JayBird and Iapetus say, as they are about to plunge the knife into Bongo's hide.
"C'mere and I'll tell ya." Xena gestures the bards and Gabby over to her. They tie Bongo to a tree for safe keeping. She whispers conspiratorially in their ears. At first, the bards look unhappy, then they tentatively nod their heads in agreement, and finally they're chuckling evilly and rubbing their palms together with anticipation. Bongo strains to hear the proceedings but they are too far away. When she sees Iapetus grinning from ear to ear, she really starts to worry.
"Gabrielle, check the saddle bags. I think what we need are in there," Xena says.
"This is what we're gonna do: you bards will take turns plucking out the fur from the bear's behind." Xena holds up the tweezers. Examining the bear's rear, "Hmmm, you've got quite a butt there, Bongo. It should take, oh, *several* candlemarks (hours?) to get the job done."
The bards line up and each are given ten minutes to pluck as much fur as possible in that time. Each yank, pull, and tug of fur from Bongo's sensitive skin made her yowl and squeal in pain. In time, the bear's backside is completely bare, shining pink, and throbbing painfully. Iapetus gathered up the fur and stored it in a silk bag.
"Next, I'm gonna give you my autograph," Xena says to Bongo as she brandishes the tattoo needles and bottles of dye. The little bear tries to squirm away from the warrior turned tattoo artist. "Hold still, damn it!" The warrior boxes the bear on the bear. Bongo grits her teeth and stays as still as stone. When Xena is finally done, she turns the bear's bottom to the crowd of bards who watched from a respectful distance. She wows the crowd with her handiwork, a large lavender "X" surrounded by a life-sized rendition of her chakrum.
The bard posse disperses and eventually makes its way back to the Forum Inn. Bongo still hangs out there; she just can't bear to sit down for more than five minutes. Iapetus, sitting on a seat cushion of silk stuffed with bear fur, kicks back with his good buddies. Everyone's hoisting an ale or a beer and talking about the convention in Valley Forge or San Francisco or the latest silly topic. Every once in a while, Iapetus pounds the table for attention with his beer mug and yells, "Hey, BB! Flash us your tush!"
Jump to reality-- somewhere in a West Houston suburb:
I wake up from falling asleep at the keyboard. It's 2:00 am on a weekday and I've got to be at work in five hours. The network logged me out automatically from inactivity. I get up to go to bed. I notice how sore my backside feels as I stand up from the chair. Must have been sitting funny....
Hey! Not so fast, Bongo!
(The following is a cheap attempt to rip off the ending of "National Lampoon's Animal House." You know, the part where they did the "where are they now" bit.)
THE CLOWN IN THE HAWAIIAN SHIRT never returned to the Xena Forum Inn. However, he did show up at the "Baywatch Nights" Forum, complaining that David Hasselhoff was acting too faggoty.
CHRYSIPPE is now a roadie for Melissa Etheridge,
ROC-IT SCIENCE was hired by Mama ROC as chief cook and bottle washer of the family restaurant. Yeeee-hah!!!
DEL KAIDEN wrote an article for the "Bard Scrolls" entitled "Ritual Scarification Among Xenites" and won the Nobel Prize!
ZWOLF became a star of many Italian horror movies, reaching his zenith in Dino DeBigshot's "Z WOLF MAN."
ASKELEPIOS became a top surgeon and later socked JayBird up for a huge bill which he still hasn't paid.
ALWAYSLOOKING got a ticket for littering in a fan fic, and is still looking for a word that rhymes with 'smorgasbord.'
IAPETUS still hangs out at the forum and is well-liked by all... despite having a reputation for being a sore-ass.
JAYBIRD had to live down the rep of being a keyhole peeping perv and a sadistic nazi who likes to hunt down and torture ani-morphic teddy bears. Ended up moving to Hong Kong and starring in a series of low-budget chop-sockie flicks. HI-YAHHH!!!!
BONGO BEAR still lived in fear of the bards she wronged. She eventually changed her name to "Snuggles" and made a mint selling fabric softener. Go figure.
XENA & GABRIELLE moved to New Zealand. After the show folded in the fifth season, they opened a tattoo parlor in Christchurch. She still has many skills.
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!!!
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