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DISCLAIMERS:Xena and Gabrielle are visiting you here for April Foolís Day. MCA/Universal/Renaissance doesnít know where they are, so keep it quiet, OK
This story directly follows "The Great Turkey Mystery" and "The Great Turkey Crusade", and I highly suggest you read both of them first, because I asked you too and because it'll help you with this story. These stories are part of a continuing series I call "Warrior Princess Gobble?" and Iím having a blast writing them. (Donít ask me why Iím writing about turkeys though, I still havenít figured it out.) ;}~~~
No violence though apparently some raiders, who were attempting to hijack a salesman on his way to Athens, were in for a rude surprise as they were fought off by trained poultry. No subtext, unless you count what the turkeys are doing subtext. No cussin, unless you count what Cyrene is muttering under her breath, cause theyíre all out of chickens and she doesnít dare use the turkeys. Hope you enjoy the read. Gobble gobble.
The Great Turkey Explosion
T.L.F. (Turkey Liberation Front) Under Siege
"Come on, Xena. You know you want to go."
"Iím still thinking about it. Last time we went I got overwhelmed by an army of sprites, goblins, and a pesky bard who decided that I made the perfect snowball target."
"Well you did."
"AND I might add, some people took great liberties with my horse."
Gabrielle chuckled softly as the memory of Argo with antlers and a little red nose stepping daintily through the snow came to her. It had been several months since the Solstice festival and they hadnít been back to Amphipolis since.
The blond bard looked over at her companion who was walking beside her. Her green eyes twinkled in mischief. "You know you loved every minute of it."
The tall warrior turned her head and glared at her companion for a moment, than away. "I did not."
"Did to! You know you did." Gabrielle argued good-naturedly. "Come on, Xena. We both could use a couple of days off and Amphipolis is only a few hours away. What say you, Argo, and I go say hi to your mom and rest up a bit?"
After several silent moments, Xena rolled her eyes and let out a long suffering sigh. "Fine. But no more snowball fights."
Gabrielle looked at their surroundings and raised an eyebrow. "Where am I going to get snow this time of year? The trees and flowers are already blooming and we havenít seen snow in over a month."
"Gabrielle," Xena grinned. "knowing my luck, you have one stored in your pack, and youíre just dying to get me."
"Pessimist," the blond woman grinned back.
"No..just a realist. You probably got a pony in there too. Not to mention two redshirts, a loaf of nutbread or twenty, and several replacement white fuzzies for your staff," Xenaís eyes looked at the small bag hanging from the bards hip and crinkled in merriment.
The blond bard raised her chin stubbornly and refused to look at her friend, even though she was doing her darnedest not to burst out in laughter. "For your information, itís three redshirts and only four loafs of nutbread."
The sun was lower in the afternoon sky when the two friends finally entered the village of Amphipolis. The hustle and bustle of villagers going about their daily business made the streets a maze. But the two travelers (we mustnít forget Argo now) wove their way skillfully to the village inn, which Xenaís mother Cyrene owned.
As they made their way to the innís front door, a loud noise from a neighborís back yard caught their attention and they turned and grinned at each other knowingly.
"Well, at least, we know the turkeys are still around." Gabrielle commented.
"Theyíd better be after all the trouble we had to go through last time." The warrior muttered, as her sharp hearing caught several more gobbles from around the village.
"Youíre in a bad mood."
"No. I just know something else is going to go wrong," Xena pointed out.
"One of your many skills I presume?" The bard rolled her eyes and opened the inn door.
"No. Call it experience. When was the last time Iíve been able to come home and not have something happen?" She muttered the last to herself.
The dark-haired warrior followed her companion through the entryway, her eyes immediately finding her mother serving several customers. Her mood brightened suddenly and she smiled widely. No matter what happened during their visit, and she just knew something would, it was good to be home. It always was nowadays.
"Xena!" Cyrene came running over and gave her daughter a hug, then turned to Gabrielle and did the same for her. She pulled back and gazed at the two younger women fondly. "What brings you here?"
"Why? Canít we just drop in and visit?" Xena teased.
"Scamp. You know you can." The innkeeper poked her daughter in the gut fondly, then turned a twinkling eye back to the bard. "Hungry? Or do I need to ask?"
A loud rumble, that caught the attention of all the customers in the innís common room, came from the bardís belly. Gabrielle scratched her chin shyly and blushed. "Umm "
Xena laughed and made her way to a empty table, motioning for her friend to sit. "I donít starve her mother, really I donít."
Cyrene just shook her head and chuckled as she made her way through the crowd to the kitchen, immediately coming back out with two large bowls of soup.
Gabrielle took a big appreciative sniff. "Mmmm smells good." She dipped her spoon into the hot liquid, then stopped as she looked closer at the contents. Looking up at Cyrene she raised an eyebrow. "This isnít?"
The innkeeper shook her head. "No. Itís not turkey." She coughed slightly as she glimpsed her daughter looking suspiciously at the soup. "Itís just chicken." She smiled to herself as Xena apparently believed her and started eating quietly.
"So howís Amphipolis?" Gabrielle murmured around her spoon.
"Ooohh.." Cyrene glanced around for a moment, then turned back to her guests. "All right I guess."
Xenaís spoon halted in mid-air. She didnít like the tone in her motherís voice for some reason. "You sure?"
"Umm perhaps you should take a walk around the village tonight you two." Cyrene answered as she abruptly stood up and went back into the kitchen.
Gabrielle looked at her companion. "What was all that about?"
Xenaís blue eyes looked at the kitchen door thoughtfully. "Donít know, but how about you and I take a walk after dinner?"
"Uggghhh Iím stuffed. Youíre mother sure can cook." Gabrielle patted her stomach contentedly as they walked. "I know you didnít get your cooking skills from her, thatís for sure."
"What? You donít like burnt rabbit and trail biscuits?" Xena commented, her eyes scanning the near darkness. The two women were indeed taking a long walk about the village, but whatever it was Cyrene had been concerned about neither Xena or Gabrielle could find out what it was.
The bard stuck her tongue out at the thought of Xenaís cooking. There were a few things the warrior was really good at cooking, but Gabrielle chalked it up to a fluke for the most part. After they had first met and a few nights of the warriorís campfire cooking, Gabrielle had stubbornly taken over the chore with a vengeance since.
A turkey call broke the silence, and soon the night air was filled with answering calls until the din was almost overwhelming.
Gabrielle walked on a few steps, until she realized her companion had stopped several feet back and was just standing there with a perplexed look on her face. "Whatís wrong?"
Xena frowned slightly. "How many turkeys were there in Amphipolis the last time we were here?"
The bard blinked in confusion. "How many?" She shrugged. "I have no idea, youíre the one who would know. They were in your barn after all."
"Hmmm." The warrior listened quietly for several long moments, her head turning this way and that, to hear better as the sounds of turkeys gobbling came to her. "Fifty-two fifty-three fifty-four "
Gabrielle waited patiently, her attention going back and forth from her friend to the now quieting turkeys and back again.
When the din had finally settled and the normal night sounds finally could be heard, the bard asked, "Well? You going to tell me whatís wrong?"
For an answer, Xena grabbed Gabrielle by the arm and started walking them quickly back to the inn.
Cyrene winced as she heard the familiar bellow of her daughter. "In here, dear."
The kitchen door swung open and the innkeeperís tall daughter came striding in the room, followed closely by a bewildered blonde bard.
"Are you going to tell me whatís going on now?" Xena demanded as she came to a halt in front of her mother.
Cyrene sighed and rolled her eyes. "Iíd have thought it was obvious."
"I donít see it as a problem. I donít know why you do." Xena replied as she attempted to reach into a mixing bowl filled with sweetbread dough and got her hand smacked for a reward. Smiling innocently she licked her finger and looked back down at her mother.
"Look, Xena." Cyrene coughed politely. "You know about the birds and the bees right?"
"Mother, please!" The warrior drawled, ignoring the snickering coming from her companion behind her.
"Well..as a consequence of you hiding those turkeys out in the back barn for over two months, Amphipolis is under well, call it a Turkey Boom." The older woman waved her hands emphatically.
Xena blinked slowly several times before she answered. "So?"
Gabrielle stepped forward and interrupted. "How many turkeys are there now?" The bard asked the gray-haired woman.
"Two hundred and forty three." Xena answered before her mother could. Seeing the womanís disbelief the warrior shrugged. "They were making a lot of noise. I just counted."
"Two hundred and forty three? Thatís more than last week when the town council counted." Cyrene commented.
"Whatís the big deal? Iím sure the kids are happy." The warrior smiled. Before the Harvest festival the children of the village had kept clear of her, but after rescuing all their pet turkeys from certain destruction, Xena was now the "The Great Turkey Liberator", and a hero amongst them all.
Cyrene looked at her daughter with an unreadable expression, then grabbed her hand. "Follow me." She commanded as she pulled Xena along, exiting out the back door to the inn.
The sight that met Xenaís and Gabrielleís eyes was almost too ridiculous for words, but as usual the bard summed it up perfectly. "Oh my."
Where once, their little fenced in back yard, had housed twenty chickens for meat and eggs, and only one turkey (rescued on that pre-Harvest festival night and returned with the rest of the birds in the village after Solstice), was now easily more than twenty turkeys and a few chickens.
"They are breeding like rabbits." Cyrene said with exasperation. "And because of you, we canít eat them."
"I should hope not!" The tall woman replied. It was an open secret in the village now, that the warrior took a dim view of turkey eating. Ever since she was a child, when her and Lyceus had rescued the village turkeys on a similar quest, she had refused to eat turkey meat since. How can you eat a pet after all?
"Well..if we canít eat them, what are we going to do with them?" Cyrene asked in frustration. "Weíre being overrun. In a couple of months weíll be swamped by turkeys."
"I I I donít know," Xena replied. She understood the problem, but she also didnít want to be responsible for the mass consumption of turkeys in the village and the heartbreak she knew the children would go through if their pets died.
Silently, the three women regarded the flock of birds in the backyard. After several moments, one of them had an answer.
Salmoneus, tradesman extraordinaire, wanted in three city-states and nineteen villages for fraud, stood in the grand marketplace in the center of Athens.
The rotund man cheerfully looked at the morning crowd. "This is going to be a great day! I just know it!" he crowed happily.
Seeing that the aisles were starting to get crowded with shoppers, he started his spiel.
"Attention, Athenian shoppers. I have for you a great deal today!" Salmoneusí voice got the attention of the nearby crowd. Waving his hands at his goods he continued. "From Amphipolis, the latest in home security systems. Bred and trained by Xena, the Warrior Princess herself! I give you the Amphipolis turkey! Nine out of ten villagers recommend these trained turkeys to
protect your home! Better than a mere dog! Who needs to pay the wages of a guard when you have the fierce protect Amphipolis turkey by your side!"
He picked up a large turkey specimen and thrust it under the curious eyes of a matron. "Why these are all the rage madam! Give one to your husband! Give one to each of your children! Be the first one on your block to own an authentic certified Amphipolis Warrior Turkey! For only and this is a great deal here folks twenty-five dinars!"
And so the greatest bird known to the world as the turkey, became mankindís greatest friend. And all due to..no..not the Great Turkey Liberator, but her sidekick, Gabrielle. Oh yeah..and Salmoneus too.
Itís been an awfully long time since I worked on this series, and I really should be working on Passage 5 instead of goofing off with this, but I canít help it. I need to be in a certain kind of mood to write these, and since Iím in one (ok..Iím almost bouncing off the walls and grinning my butt off. Iím in that good a mood!) Iím going to use that feeling before it wears off;}
These stories are just little fun bits of the humorous escapades of our dynamic duo and their exploits as the "Saviors of all Turkeykind" and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Gobble On, Xena!!
Warlord in Training ~ Member of the Society of Warlords
Have Katiepult. Will protect turkeys with your lives if I have too!
"Bard? Where? Gobble..gobble?"
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