By Heather (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(The Spice Girls are in the studio recording their next album. Scary is at the microphone belting out another flat harmony, sending the mixing booth into a flurry of activity. Outside the sound booth Posh and Ginger have just returned from shopping and are comparing purchases. Baby is absent-mindedly sitting at the drum set. Sporty is hunkered down in a corner viewing Xena Warrior Princess reruns.)
Baby: (covering her ears) Tehhhhhhhhh!
Ginger: God, even I could hear how bad that was! Oi Mel (speaking into the sound booth monitor), Baby says you’re way off-key!
Scary: How the hell would she know? She sang out of tune during the entire Wembley concert.
Baby: Duh, duh, duh!
Ginger: (placing an arm around Baby) That’s okay, we were all distracted by the camera flashes.
Posh: (to Ginger) So does it take C’s or D’s?
Ginger: Oh damn, (snatching her new toy from Posh) I was hoping it was a plug-in. From the size of it, I’d say probably at least a C.
(Swiftly turning her head away from the screen to the other two, Sporty raises an eyebrow and thoroughly surveys Ginger’s chest region.)
Sporty: (taking on an exaggerated clinical tone) I’d say you’re at least a D. But if you try it on now we, your mates, would be pleased to let you know if it fits.
Ginger: Jesus, don’t you ever stop? I happen to be talking about my new Steely Dan 2000.
Sporty: (rolling her eyes) Oh, one of those.
Posh: Are you sure that’s gonna be big enough for you?
Ginger: Plenty big for me. But the way you and David have been going at it, you probably won’t be satisfied by anything powered by less than a portable generator.
Posh: At least I have a real man!
Ginger: Chris Evans is not only real, he’s worth at least 10 times what your precious footballer brings in.
Posh: (furious) Why you, you…you…
Baby: Da, dum!
(Posh, aghast, is looking wild-eyed. Ginger, Baby and Sporty burst out laughing.)
Sporty: She’s got you there.
(The realization sinking in, Posh is speechless.)
Sporty: (crouching down beside the seated Geri) So Ginger, show me how you use that thing.
Ginger: Well every woman is different. As for me, I first light candles all around my bedroom and take the phone off the hook. (Sporty nods earnestly.) Then I put on some Marvin Gaye and fluff up my pillows. (Sporty stares vacantly, uses her pinky finger to pull down her lower lip.) And then I open some lotion…(she stops talking to stare at Sporty, who is gripping the edges of her chair and rocking rhythmically.) Goddamnit Melanie! Can’t you just be one of the girls for once?
Sporty: (jarred back to reality, turns and walks back to the television muttering) I was just trying to pick up some tips for my first time…I mean, uhm, the first time I’m so hard up I have to resort to…Whatever!
Scary: (exiting the recording booth bellowing) Hey, I’m up here giving it my best and I’m being ignored! (She glances around the room to see each girl involved in her own thoughts: Ginger is reading the voltage requirements from the instruction book. Baby is still mesmerized by the shiny cymbals. Sporty, standing in front of the TV, has picked up a microphone stand and is swooshing it through the air Xena-style. Posh is still in shock.) Girls! Just tell me what you think of the new line I added! Ugh!
(She stomps back into the recording booth and continues singing—badly—and is still being ignored.)
Posh: (regaining some of her composure and smiling smugly) You know Geri, at least I didn’t make any money off the deal until after the wedding.
Ginger: Sod off you emaciated bitch!
Posh: Make me, you headline-grabbing whore!
(The two commence to bitch-slapping one another, in the process getting themselves tangled in the cords of one of Ginger’s new toys. Sporty is too enthralled in mimicking Xena’s exploits to notice. Baby is trying to shut out the fighting by banging louder on the cymbals. Scary is getting increasingly agitated at being ignored and tries singing louder. Then in an attempt to silence her competition, she belts out a long, loud, excruciating rendition of a high C. The whole studio reverberates, causing Baby’s cymbals to vibrate at an unearthly frequency. This tone causes a spark that sets off Ginger’s toy, and both entangled combatants are frozen in awe at its gyrations. Hearing their coos of admiration, Sporty wheels around from her pretend sword practice and accidentally brushes Steely with one end of the microphone stand. Shocked, she accidentally smashes the other end right through the TV screen. The circuit complete, the studio is engulfed for a millisecond in a flash of light. When the smoke clears, all the Spice Girls are gone.)
Baby: Tah, tah, dum, dum?
Scary: My god, I don’t know!
Sporty: What the hell?
(They are all lying disheveled in a grassy knoll in New Zealand or ancient Greece, take your pick.)
Scary: (looking around at the unusual foliage) I guess we aren’t at Abbey Road anymore.
Sporty: You idiot. (swatting Scary on the back of her rather greasy hair and wiping her hands on the front of her trousers) We never were recording at Abbey Road—I was the only one they’d let in the place. You poseurs were laying down your tracks in the studio at Chelmsford Hospital Radio.
Baby: Dee, dee, tah.
Posh: (standing and dusting off her little Gucci dress) That’s right Emma. Come on girls, we’ve got to find our way back to our friends and family. Well in Geri’s case, to her family.
Ginger: Eat me.
Posh: You’re confusing me with Emma.
Baby: (frantically) Tee, tee, tee, duh, dah, dah, dah, dum, dah, daaaaahhh!
Sporty: She took advantage of you when you were laid up with your broken ankle? And it was dark besides? And she put whipped cream where? Why you (glaring at Geri)…Wait, where was I during all this?
Ginger/Scary/Posh: Shut up!
(After wondering aimlessly for hours they finally find themselves overlooking a rather large primitive village bustling with activity. A festive banner with foreign writing is strung across the main road. Ignoring the hordes of the unwashed, their eyes were drawn to an oddly contemporary pair—a bufoonish bloke with a dog-eared metal colander on his head walking alongside a petite strawberry blonde wearing very little.)
Joxer: And for another thing, you could use your title to promote your cause of peace and understanding.
Gabrielle: That was so last season. I’ve succumbed to my violent tendencies lately.
Joxer: Now that Xena’s pregnant?
Gabrielle: No silly, because it’s sweeps month. By the way, do you know who the father is?
Joxer: (smirks) Well I know my name keeps coming up in the rumor mill.
Gabrielle: No it hasn’t.
Joxer: You’re right, my heart belongs to someone else. (sighs) As does Xena’s.
Gabrielle: Thanks, but my love apparently wasn’t enough to keep her from getting knocked up! I mean that in a totally platonic way of course.
Joxer: (looking puzzled) Of course. But back to the contest, I think you’d make a fantastic Miss Known World. The first prize is 1,000 dinars! And since none of us has any visible means of support…
Gabrielle: Be honest, you want to sponsor me to boost your standing in the warrior community. And besides, beauty pageants objectify women.
Joxer: Grrrrowl, boy do they ever!
(Gabby thumps him on the colander with her staff as they continue to walk towards the town square.)
(Four of the girls are just staring blankly at this scene. Sporty, however, can hardly contain her excitement.)
Sporty: (mumbling even more unintelligibly than usual) Oh my god! It’s… but it can’t be. But it’s really her!
Scary: What are you going on about now?
Posh: I think they’re filming Xena Warrior Princess. A few years ago I auditioned for the part of Xena, but some slag got it instead. I think I just brought too much sophistication to the role.
Ginger: You’ve told us that about a lot of parts you didn’t get. Besides, there are no cameras or crews down there.
Scary: It’s eerie, almost like we’re really in some ancient civilization.
Ginger: (to Scary) And as usual we have you to blame for getting us in a fix. Your pathetic attempt at singing must have triggered electro-magnetic dissonance that ripped a hole in the time-space continuum. And the chain of electricity we formed caused us to be transported into the telly at the precise time in history represented by the television show. Or something like that.
Scary: Bummer! What a time to be out of dope.
Baby: (pointing toward the village) Tee duh duh.
(They look just in time to see the blur of Sporty gleefully bounding down the hill.)
Posh: What is she doing? I’m sure that place is full of filthy, nasty savages.
Scary: It might not be so bad. We can’t stay here all night, and they might have some good, ehm, food. I’m sure Emma’s starving, she hasn’t had a meal in over two hours. Let’s go!
(Scary, Ginger and Baby proceed tentatively down towards the village. Posh just stands there tapping her Prada boots on the rock looking perturbed.) But what if they don’t take plastic? You guys? Wait up!
(Xena and Gabrielle are sharing a yak steak at the Amphipolopolus pub. The room is loud, each table caught up in it’s own impassioned discussion of the topic at hand: Who will win Miss Known World?)
Gabrielle: Talk about much ado about nothing. So when can we blow this town?
Xena: Well, Argo’s new shoes won’t be in for two more days, so it looks like you’ll have to put up with the mayhem a little longer. Besides, (singsong) I’ve got front row seats to the finals.
Gabrielle: (cocking her head to one side and staring intently at her partner) Why? I thought you found these things silly.
Xena: Silly yes, boring no.
Gabrielle: But these pageants are nothing more than an excuse to put women’s bodies on display.
Xena: (smirking) And that would be bad how…?
Gabrielle: (quite indignant) Hmmmph! Well then I guess you wouldn’t mind if I signed up? Joxer thinks I should enter you know.
Xena: Now that would be silly.
Gabrielle: (pounding her little fist angrily on the table) What’s so silly about that? I’ve been told I have a really cute smile. I’m a bard, too, in case you haven’t forgotten, so I’d have a lock in the final question round.
Xena: (chuckling discretely under her breath) I’m sure you’d do well in some areas. But you know, Gab, you might not get to the finals because you’re not really…uh…
Gabrielle: Go ahead, say it. I’m not statuesque and stunningly beautiful like you. Well, like you used to be until some dog got his hands on your…(shakes her head and throws back the remainder of her third mug of mead) Okay that was low, but I just don’t understand how you can be so callous sometimes.
Xena: (genuinely apologetic) Go ahead and enter, we’ll be in town anyway. I’m sure you’ll do really well.
Gabrielle: Gods! I wasn’t going to enter in the first place. Gee, you’d think a pregnant woman would be more sensitive. Good night, I’m getting some sleep.
(She turns in a slightly tipsy huff, but before she gets to the door meets the gaze of another oddly contemporarily attired person sitting alone in the corner.)
Sporty: (standing to greet Gabrielle, tripping all over herself as she speaks) Excuse me Gabrielle! But did I just hear you say you’re going to be a contestant in some beauty pageant? I think you’d have a great chance.
Gabrielle: Uh? No, I was just making a point. And who are you? And how did you know my name?
Sporty: I’m Melanie C, and I thought everybody had heard of the best poet Potedia has ever produced! And the most beautiful, I might add.
Gabrielle: (lightly blushing) Well thank you. (overly loudly) I’m glad some people think so.
(Xena is oblivious to her retort, further irritating Gabby.)
Gabrielle: So Melaniesee, you’re not from around here either?
Melaniesee: No, I’m from a faraway land called "England." I don’t think you’ve journeyed there yet, except that there was a brief mention of Stonehenge in the sixth episode of season two, when you and Xena turned back the world time with some mirrors and a kite. Say, would you like to have another drink and keep me entertained with tales of your adventures?
Gabrielle: (smiling broadly and clearly flattered) I think I can handle another one. (sitting down beside her new friend) I remember that time well. But what’s an "episode?"
Melaniesee: Oh, that makes sense. Never mind. (touching Gabby’s hand) Okay, so I’ve always wondered whatever happened to the rest of the Ambrosia that was left at the bottom of the pit that Callisto…
(Joxer has joined Xena at her table, and receives a sharp kick in the shins when he partially blocks her view of her partner sharing a drink with Sporty.)
Xena: (to Joxer, scowling and pointing to Gabrielle’s table) Who’s the charmer?
Joxer: Never seen him before. But there are lots visitors in town for the pageant, and you should get a load of some of the contestants. I just passed a group of four hot mamas! I think they’re headed this way—at least I’m hoping so—cause the cute little blonde smiled at me. You know, she reminds me a little of…
(A hush falls over the place and all eyes turn as the Spice Girls, headed by Scary, stride into the pub demanding to be served. The silence quickly builds to pandemonium when all the men and Xena let loose a chorus of catcalls and whistles. Sporty, suddenly looking nervous, grabs Gabrielle’s hand.)
Melaniesee: Let’s go. (leading her toward the door) I’ll never be able to delight in your stories surrounded by all this noise.
Gabrielle: Oh, okay. I know a clearing down by the stream.
Gabrielle: It might get that way. But we can always build a fire. (feeling her new friend’s muscles ripple as they exit the bar arm-in-arm) You must swing a pretty big sword!
(The moonlight gleans off Sporty’s hideous gold tooth as she fantasizes about the night to come…)
(Back at the pub Joxer and Xena are checking out the girls.)
Xena: I’ve not seen any of them before.
Joxer: Hmm. The one in the leopard skin looks vaguely familiar. But the little blonde is definitely my type.
Xena: Nah. The dark-haired pouty one is hot. (pointing at Posh’s high-heeled boots) She can stomp on my breastplate with those anytime!
Joxer: Now I remember where I’ve seen the black one before. I’m pretty sure she goes by the name of Tigress, the featured dancer down at The Bar-Bare-ian.
(Meanwhile the girls drink and think of ways to escape.)
Scary: Or maybe we can find a witch or sorcerer who can transport us back.
Posh: And we really need to find Melanie. Did they have tattoo parlors back then?
Scary: (bellowing) Oi, another round over here!
Ginger: (returning from a nearby table) Well she’s not been here. They said the only women in the place tonight have been Xena and somebody named Gabrielle.
Posh: That’s Xena over there in the corner. If we’re really stuck in this time and place, maybe she’ll have the power to…Whoa!
(Ares, the studly God of War, enters the bar and saunters past the girls’ table.)
Ginger: Damn he’s fine!
(Ares continues over to Xena and Joxer. Always one to avoid confrontation, Joxer excuses himself to the little warlords’ room.)
Ares: (nodding approvingly at the Spice Girls) Fine examples of womanhood we have here tonight. I see my contest has brought out some real lookers.
Xena: Your contest?
Ares: Oh yes. Didn’t you know? I’m tired of meaningless sexual conquests. I’ve decided the winner will be my lifetime partner and bear my children--all half-Gods in their own right.
Xena: (disgusted) And what if you don’t agree with the judges’ decision?
Ares: A stupid question my dear. They know I’ll have the final say on who wins. And right now (glancing at Ginger) I’m thinking that luscious redhead already has a leg up.
Xena: Thanks for putting that image in my head.
Ares: But I thought you liked girls.
Xena: (genuinely) No I really mean thanks for putting that image in my head.
(The girls are still plotting their escape.)
Scary: (taking a big swig of a very nasty alcoholic drink) I don’t hear you guys coming up with anything either.
Posh: Do you think it’s safe to ask Xena? I said (tugging at a very preoccupied Geri) should we ask Xena?
Ginger: Huh? (returning Ares’ smoldering gaze) Whatever. Maybe we can see about that tomorrow.
Posh: Are you crazy? What about our real celebrity lives? We’ve got to find Melanie and get out of here.
Scary: Maybe we should just split without her. She doesn’t seem to want to be found.
Posh: Have you forgotten about our new album? We four have almost completed our bits while she’s been on her solo tour. But that leaves over two-thirds of the lines left unsung!
Scary: Now that you put it that way. Alright, let’s think harder. You too Geri. Not you Baby.
(Joxer emerges from the toilet having tucked in his bootlaces and spit-shined his colander.)
Joxer: Wish me luck guys. I’m gonna put the ole charm on that sweet little blonde.
Xena: So you’ve decided to give up on Gabrielle?
Joxer: Yes, I’m going to have to move on with my life. I guess the bigger man has won her heart.
Xena: (patronizingly) I’m glad you finally realized that.
(Cue Joxer the Mighty theme song. He pads over and introduces himself to Baby. And just in time! She’s disregarded Scary’s warning not to think, and the stress is putting her in danger of losing control of her bowels.)
Scary: (lightly shaking her) Her name’s Baby. Emma, go eat some cake with this nice man.
Joxer: And I’m Joxer the Mighty at your service.
(He leads her to an outdoor table as the girls snicker. What follows between the two is a conversation too inane to bear repeating. The other girls try in vain to come up with a plan. Next up to bat: Ares.)
Ares: And who might you be? (kissing her hand) Ginger from…?
Posh: Oh Page 3, Gent, Razzle…
Ginger: (kicking Posh) We’re just passing through.
Ares: On a way to a win at Miss Known World I hope.
Ginger: I’m not sure what that is, but let’s get a private table and discuss it.
(They slink off to a dark corner as Posh and Scary mouth the word "slut" to each other. Only a few more minutes pass before Ginger and Ares leave the pub. Scary—now quite intoxicated—is getting more restless.)
Scary: Well I’m not just gonna sit here and have no fun. (She discretely converses with a few of the longer-haired patrons who point her in the direction of a certain serving wench.) I hear you know where to find a bloke named Salmoneous. He and I need to do a little business.
Serving Wench: (eyeing her appearance critically) Business my ass. Why haven’t you relieved me earlier?
Scary: What? I’m not the hired help. (roaring) Why I have enough spare pounds trapped between the seats of my Jag to indenture you and your entire family for the rest of your miserable lives!
Serving Wench: (not sure if this is derogatory, thus unimpressed) I thought you were my relief wench Magdelena.
Scary: (even louder typical reaction) It’s because I’m mixed race, isn’t it?
Serving Wench: No, you look like something we find in the traps out back.
Scary: Grrrrr, just tell me where I can find Salmoneous.
(She leaves quickly after getting directions to what she hopes is a medieval rave. Posh realizes it’s just her and Xena alone in the pub surrounded by two dozen smelly drunken Cromagnons. And even Xena is leering at her. She edges toward the door.)
Serving Wench: Not so fast. This table’s tab comes to 46 dinars!
Posh: (too sharp to try to pay with plastic) Here give me that apron. (tying it on) Just take it out of my tips.
(The ploy works and she commences serving. In between dodging the coarse advances of the savages she uses the time wisely to learn details of tomorrow’s pageant.)
(The day of the contest has arrived. Joxer and Baby are walking toward the auditorium all aglow after spending what any sane person would think an unbelievably boring and chaste night together.)
Baby: Tee dee dee.
Joxer: If you think that’s funny, someday I’ll tell you the one about Zeus and the vestal virgins. Oh Baby, I’m so happy we met. You laugh at my jokes, you don’t make fun of me and you can’t possibly beat me up. You’re perfect! I hope the judges see what I see in you.
Baby: Dee duh tee tee huh?
Joxer: 1000 dinars!
Baby: Tum dum dee tuh duh?
Joxer: I’m sure they’ll serve food there. Tell me again about these doughnut things.
(Posh is dragging herself through the village square more unhappily than usual, having spent the night in a putrid barn surrounded by dozens of clucking chickens. She’s shivering and hungry. She salivates as she spots a booth selling what looks like mushy peas, but passes it by since they’d obviously been cooked in lard and would be teeming with calories. The reality that she might not be able to get back to David and her obscene wealth hits her, causing her to grasp at straws. She remembers she’d overheard last night that the pageant winner will marry the God of War and figures she could somehow use his power to get back to civilization. Anywhere but here. Instead of being blindly worshipped, she’s actually being snubbed by these barbarians! But they must want me to enter the pageant, she thinks, because as she stumbles through the square the townspeople keep handing her coins and live poultry. She buys a pageant outfit.)
(Gabrielle sighs contentedly, stretches on her mat beside the fire, and reaches for Xe…, no, Melaniesee. Where is she? Out of the corner of her sleepy eyes she sees her running wind sprints up and down the riverbank. She sits watching her new lover, thinking how nice it is to finally get some attention. With Xena these past months it has been baby this and baby that. And they haven’t exactly been hot and heavy in the romance department either. Sporty comes trotting up to her.)
Gabrielle: Didn’t you get enough of a workout last night?
Sporty: (smiling wickedly and kissing her neck) Of course I did; working out is just a habit of mine. But you’re right. Now that I’ve actually had sex with a woman I guess I don’t have to obsessively exercise anymore.
Gabrielle: (horrified) Oh Melaniesee, you were a virgin? I mean you were really, really nervous and all…
Sporty: Uh, of course not. I’ve been with lots of women.
Gabrielle: Okay, I’ll choose to believe you. Besides, when you came you called out another woman’s name.
Sporty: I did? I’m so sorry.
Gabrielle: That’s okay. Who’s Emma?
Sporty: (shrugging her shoulders) I’ve forgotten her already. (She pulls Gabrielle closer and they take up right where they left off last night.)
(Also reveling in the flush of hot sex that morning are Ginger and Ares. In fact, they are just getting to sleep. Or so he thinks.)
Ares: (feeling Ginger rubbing her hands over his hairy chest) Woman! We’ve been making love for eight straight hours. I’m supposed to decide the pageant winner tonight and I need some sleep.
Ginger: (peeking under the covers to assess his interest) Ha! You look pretty alert to me. Come on baby, we’re not done yet.
Ares: Ahhhhhh. Whatever you say my sweet.
(Not having nearly as good a time is our Scary. Awakening under a tree after partying with the locals, she doesn’t know at first who or where she is. When she tries to stand her head spins from the effects of last night’s hallucinogen intake. Looking around, she sees the villagers eyeing her suspiciously and senses she’s outgrown her welcome. How was she supposed to know not to take a piss there? Luckily the rest are all nursing hangovers too. Now just to sneak back to town to find the other girls and to return to her mansion and fame. And to Phoenix Chi, her unbearably cute baby. And to her final hearing in divorce court! She runs to catch the wagon headed back to Amphipolopolus.)
(Sporty is trying to avoid meeting up with the other girls as she and Gabrielle stroll through the square.)
Gabrielle: Even if I could put one of my poems to music, I still can’t carry a tune.
Sporty: Don’t let that stop you! Some of my best friends can’t sing, and they’re worth millions. Just mouth the words and I’ll sing for you. I’ve had lots of practice.
Gabrielle: Oh Melaniesee, I’m nervous about doing this. But I really want to prove Xena wrong.
Sporty: Hey Gab, I’m your squeeze now. I thought you weren’t going to mention her name. You have forgotten about her, haven’t you?
Gabrielle: Oh yes. She and I have been through Tartarus and back together, saved each other’s lives numerous times, transcended time and space. But she’s preggers now, and I’m so over it. Hey you think I should wear the black boots or the tan sandals?
(Later that afternoon Gabrielle, Baby and Posh competed in the preliminary interview rounds, with Gabby coming out way ahead of the 20-woman field. Posh had placed in the middle of the pack, having faked her way through questions about what steps could be taken to improve global crop yields and how she would help increase research funding for The Plague. Baby came in dead last by failing to impress the mostly illiterate judges with her gibberish.)
(A large crowd is gathered for the evening finals. Joxer cheers Baby from the front row, and Sporty roots for Gabrielle from the back corner. Inexperienced in matters of the heart, she has already decided Gabrielle is Ms. Right and is making plans to bring her back to England. How she’s going to explain a female lover to the press after denying she’s gay for years, she hasn’t exactly figured out yet. Oh well, she knows the truth has always been relative in SpiceWorld. She’s so ecstatic by Gab’s first round win that she doesn’t notice Xena striding right past the Men Only sign at the door and sitting down beside her.)
Xena: Hey buddy, aren’t you the one who left with Gabrielle last night? I’ve been looking for her all day. If you laid a hand on her…
Sporty: (suddenly frightened) No way Xena, we were just catching up on old times. We used to go to Potedia Finishing together.
Xena: (menacingly) What do you mean? Are you being a smartass?
Sporty: Oh, I mean she lived a couple of huts down. We’re just mates, and besides I know where you can find her.
Xena: Where? Don’t play games with me, I’m not in the mood.
Sporty: She’s here. You’ll see her any minute.
(Meanwhile back at the War Palace, Ginger and Ares are still at it.)
Ares: (pumping away and sweating profusely) Who’s your God? Who’s your God?
Ginger: You are Ares! You are! Harder, harder! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!
Ares: I can’t aaaarrrrrrgh! (suddenly clutching his chest) Gllllllllgggggggggg... (collapsing across Ginger’s ample figure and whimpering weakly) You’ve killed me! Spllluuuuuufffffffffff…
(As the superbly conditioned God of War takes his final breath, Ginger frantically tries to reach orgasm. She finally climaxes and melts into a puddle of contentment. She rests a bit, rolls his lifeless body off her, and asks the chambermaid to draw her a bath.)
(Scary is in hot water of a different sort. Having been caught trying to sneak back to the village, she finds herself being dragged down a path by a mob of townspeople.)
Scary: What the hell is going on here? Don’t you know who I am?
Local 1: (disgusted) The most annoying visitor we’ve ever met. In one night you managed to desecrate everything we hold sacred.
Local 2: You’re a nasty, uncouth, loudmouthed bitch!
Scary: No I’m not! I’m a performer, it’s just my schtick.
Local 2: Huh? (shouting to the others) What do the rest of you think?
Local 3: (loudly) I think she’s Medusa! Look at that hair!
Local 4: (louder) See that forked tongue! I say she dies!
All: Yeah! (They grease her from head to toe and carry her to a stone circle as she screams for her life.)
Scary: Please! Here’s some money! (throwing them change from her pocket) And I’ve got lots more! I’m not a bad person! I can change!
Local 2: Too late heathen. Lash her to the spit!
(As the fires are lit she reviews her worthless life. For the first time she regrets the untold suffering inflicted upon the world by the Spice Girls: Little girls spending all their pocket money on crappy official merchandise. Girl Power. All the cheesy interviews and lip-synched performances. Unwed pregnancies followed by tacky weddings. SpiceWorld The Movie. "Mama." The platform shoe deaths…As the first flames lick her skin she realizes she deserves to be burned alive.
Not very good eating, the locals say. She tastes stringy and gamey, and they’re quite disappointed as they discover her plump breasts to be mostly made up of little bags of clear fluid that are totally inedible.)
(The auditorium is packed to overflowing for the final two rounds. One by one the women parade back and forth across the stage wearing their bathing suits.)
Announcer: Thank you Miss Crete. Next up we have Posh, representing some place called Hertfordshire.
(Posh struts on stage to the gasps of the crowd.)
Announcer: She is 5’6’’ and 7.5 stone. Her hobbies are shopping and being famous.
(They must be in awe of me, she thinks.)
Announcer: Her ambition is total world domination.
(It suddenly dawns on her that she is being jeered.)
Villager 1: (yelling) Look at her scrawny ass! That’s not enough to keep me warm at night.
Villager 2: She probably hasn’t eaten in a season. (throwing a tomato) Here, put some meat on those bones!
(She shuffles quickly offstage before the produce finds its mark. Undeterred, she begins warming up her vocal cords for the talent competition.)
Announcer: Next up we have Gabrielle, the pride of Potedia.
(She begins nervously pacing the stage.)
Announcer: She is 5’3’’ and 9 stone. Her hobbies are reading, writing and slicing up bad guys. Her ambition is to save the world.
(The crowd heartily voices its admiration for her tight little body, which disgusts her. She quickly leaves the stage before the music finishes.)
(From the back row Sporty whistles and claps wildly. Xena is outraged.)
Xena: My Gods, what is she doing? The Gabrielle I know would never put her body on display like that. And you, (backhanding Sporty across the face) what the hell are you cheering for? (Sporty abruptly stops and tries to look innocent.) And she must not know that the winner is going to have to marry Ares.
Xena: You heard me. The winner will be bearing his children for all eternity. I’m surprised he’s not here yet to scope out the field.
(Sporty is crushed, but helpless to do anything to stop the proceedings.)
(A few contestants later)
Announcer: And lastly we have Baby, Miss London.
(She steps on the stage to much clapping.)
Announcer: She is 5’1’’ and 11 stone. Her hobbies are eating and being kind to children.
(Baby is certainly in her element, not being required to do anything but look cute. The men ooh and aah in unison.)
Villager 3: (loudly) She’s precious!
Villager 4: And bathes!
Announcer: Her ambition is to be adored by everyone forever.
Villager 5: (yelling) Just look at those childbearing hips!
(She doesn’t really know why she is in the contest, just that she’s once again the center of attention. She proudly skips off the stage to wild cheering and finds herself tied for first place with Gabrielle going into the final talent round.)
(Xena uses the break in the action to find Gabrielle and implore her not to go through with the rest of the contest. Sporty just sits there crestfallen and mumbling to herself, praying that she would lose so that she could take her home to meet mama. When Joxer comes over she can’t resist informing him that his new love may just end up in the arms of Ares forever.)
Joxer: No way. I’m in love with Baby, and she would never choose that arrogant warlord over me.
Sporty: Don’t be so sure, she doesn’t really have much of a mind of her own. She goes where people tell her.
Joxer: Don’t talk about my girl like that or I’ll…
Sporty: Do what, buffoon boy?
Joxer: (assessing his chances against the muscular foreigner) Nothing, uh, forget it.
(Cheers and whistles from the crowd break up their argument. While searching for the other girls, Ginger has found her way into the auditorium. To say she makes quite an entrance would be a gross understatement.)
Sporty: What’s she doing here? Hey, (brightening) maybe she can still enter and win the contest.
(His reply is drowned out by the guttural noises of the crowd. There is a valid reason why only men had been allowed in the pageant audience. Drinking and unaccustomed to seeing their women half-clothed, the crowds had been known to attack any female in sight.)
Ginger: Hi boys. Say you haven’t seen four other attractive women here? (surveying the leering crowd) I know you’re glad to see me, (retrieving her blouse from a drooling brute) but you see we’re very important, popular people back in our time and…boys! That’s not nice! (She suddenly finds herself wearing fewer clothes than usual-- and not getting paid for it!)
(They descend on her, and even though she’s quite tired and sore she can’t resist the novelty of having genuine primal sex with all these savages. She wishes they weren’t so smelly. But this is certainly one for the record books, and she shivers with anticipation as she takes on the first of many.
Xena is very angry as she returns a few minutes later from backstage after having failed to convince Gabby to quit the contest. She notices the men loudly queuing for Ginger’s favors and grimaces in disgust when she passes the tawdry spectacle. She’s exactly the kind of slut that gives women a bad name, she thinks. Suddenly the frustrations in the past few months of her relationship with Gabrielle hit her, and she loses control. She pushes past the men to climb over Ginger’s supine body and grabs her by the hair.)
Ginger: No need to cut in line boys, there’s enough of me to go around. Hey, (giving Xena’s gorgeous figure the once-over) wait honey! You can go next!
Xena: You worthless slag! I’m actually gonna be your last! (She draws her sword and before Ginger can utter a final disgusting proposition, lops off her head with one clean blow. Ginger’s decapitation didn’t really stop the action of course, but Xena feels some vindication as she returns to her seat. And at least her obscene moaning stopped!
Witnessing the death of her fellow Spice Girl is tough on Sporty, and she wipes a tear from her eye. And looking on from the wings, Posh does the same. Not. Actually, she thinks she’ll miss their catfights, but is already mentally adding up the number of column inches that will be devoted solely to her and Becks now that the publicity hound is out of the picture.
Pageant officials hurriedly begin the final round so that Ginger’s body can be discretely removed. Xena sits down again beside Sporty.)
Announcer: Gentlemen, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for. One of the lovely ladies on this stage tonight will be your Miss Known World. And first we have last year’s runner-up Miss Constantinople.
(Posh and Baby sneer at each other from backstage. Gabrielle contemplates withdrawing, but is perversely thrilled that she has not one, but two women vying for her affections.)
Announcer: And here again is Miss Potedia with her very own composition, "What Would Xena Do?"
(She is uncomfortable singing on stage, but finds strength in the adoring looks from her two lovers. She adds grace to every movement, hoping they’ll notice. She does a passable job with the song and receives polite applause. Xena is pleased, thinking she probably wouldn’t win, since surely the others were better singers. Sporty, however, is justifiably worried.)
Announcer: Let’s put our hands together for Posh, Miss Hertfordshire.
(The scattering of applause quickly turns to contempt when she opens her mouth to sing. "Two Become One" has never been so butchered. She’d never really had to sing the entire song before thanks to the magic of the sound technicians. She senses she’s losing them. She frantically tries to adopt the stage mannerisms that have made her the lust object of every red-blooded male on five continents. She saunters and sashays and cocks one eyebrow, to no avail. The men are booing now, and her famous pout isn’t even working! What is wrong with these savages? She tries all her moves in quick succession: pout, sashay, pout, smolder, pout, saunter, pout…but they only grow more restless. She thinks she hears one yell, "Let’s get her!" She’d hoped to save it until the end of the song, but she knows now she has to pull out her signature move: The Finger Point! She saucily pulls back her index finger and gives her hottest come-hither look while sensuously pointing to some imaginary lover in the audience.
This vile gesture seals her fate. The first rock hits her squarely in the chest. The disbelief registered on her face is alone worth the price of admission. She staggers when the second imbeds itself in her forehead. More rocks whiz by, and she knows this is to be the end. She will never again be in David’s arms; will never again drink in the worship of the masses; will never have a movie career; will never get to spend all those gift certificates from her wedding. The pelting continues and she slumps to her knees at centerstage. She is knocked cold by a blow to the face, and is spared the sight of her most prized asset being reduced to hamburger.
The stoning continues for a few more torturous minutes until the judges realize the bloody stage is becoming too slippery for the contestants. Her body is dragged out back to rot alongside Ginger’s.
This sight sobers even clueless Baby. She’s determined to do her best, and is pleased when the announcement of her name draws roars of approval. She manages to hit most of the notes during her usual uninspired cover of "What I Am." The crowd doesn’t care; her impossible cuteness has won them over. She curtsies to thunderous applause. Xena and Sporty are relieved to see that Baby would probably win, although neither knows the other has a stake in it. The tension in the room is high as the judges compile the scores. They choose the winner pending Ares’ approval. Eventually, though, they are informed of the untimely death of the God of War and the announcer takes the stage amid much fanfare.)
Announcer: And here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, the crowning of our winner! I have in my hand the scroll with the names of the three finalists.
(Baby, Gabrielle and Miss Constantinople take the stage as their names are called out. Gabrielle searches the crowd for her constant companion.)
Announcer: And the second runner up, winner of 100 dinars and three plump laying hens is…Miss Constantinople!
(She grudgingly accepts her award while handlers usher Baby and Gabrielle together for the final pronouncement. In the audience Joxer, Xena and Sporty all have their fingers crossed hoping Baby will win.)
Announcer: We’re now down to two lovely ladies. The first runner up is a very important title, because she will be called upon to assume the winner’s duties should she fail due to death or disease.
(Gab looks to Xena, secure in knowing that even though she is going to lose to this idiot, she’ll have proven her point and shown Xena the beautiful woman she’s become.)
Announcer: And the first runner up and winner of 500 dinars and three head of cattle is…(drum roll)…Gabrielle, Miss Potedia! Baby from London is Miss Known World!!
(The crowd goes wild. Baby cries tears of joy until she realizes she doesn’t have the slightest idea what to do with all these funny looking coins and a fishing boat. Joxer high-fives everyone. Gabrielle smirks condescendingly at Baby and cranes to see the disappointment on Xena’s face…Except that Xena is smiling and clapping wildly! And right beside her is Melaniesee, also cheering Baby’s win! Her jaw drops and shock turns to anger as she realizes that both her lovers like Baby better! A younger, more peace-loving Gabby (say, from season three) would have stomped off the stage in a huff. But now that she’s tasted blood on the battlefield, her first response is to strike out physically.)
Gabrielle: (running toward Baby) I’ll show you, you drooling imbecile! (She punches her hard in the stomach to double her over and follows it with a hard front kick to the face. Baby spits blood and tries to run offstage, but Gab catches her and spins her around by the arm, slinging her into the edge of the podium and putting a deep gash in her forehead.)
Baby: (drunkenly) Nnggggggg, thuuuuuuuuuu?
Gabrielle: All that I’ve done for Xena and she wants you more! (She grabs the winner’s sash and twists it around Baby’s soft pasty neck, pulling tightly hoping to cut off the oxygen to her brain. In theory this would have been effective, but she always functions on an inadequate supply and is unfazed. This angers Gabby more, so she grabs the sash in one hand and repeatedly pops her in the face with the other like a punching ball. Baby looks truly pathetic as her head snaps back and forth from the force of the blows.)
Gabrielle: Ha! Had enough, you blathering idiot?
Baby: Phhhhlllluffff, glllluuuukkkkkk, sppllluffffffff…
(Calls from the crowd to leave Baby alone send Gabby over the edge. She pulls out her dagger and plunges it deep into Baby’s chest. Her eyes roll back in her head and she teeters on her heels, finally falling flat on her back. The building shakes, dust is raised, and Baby Spice is no more.)
Xena: (yelling) Gabrielle what have you done?
Gabrielle: (descending the stage) Don’t question me, you traitor. After all that we’ve been through together, you’d ditch me for the likes of that?
Xena: No, you don’t understand. There’s a good reason I didn’t want you to win.
Sporty: Yeah, you would have had to marry Ares.
Xena: (glaring at Sporty) Who the hell asked you?
Gabrielle: (to Sporty as she walks toward them) Yeah like you’re any better. Have you already forgotten about last night?
Sporty: Of course not, I…
Xena: What??????? Oh no it can’t be! (looking back and forth between Gabrielle and Sporty) You couldn’t….you didn’t….
Gabrielle: Oh didn’t I?
Sporty: (scared shitless) Uh oh.
Xena: (sputtering) You slept with him? This, this little gap-toothed tattoo freak?
Gabrielle: It’s not as if you’ve shown the slightest interest in me lately.
(Sporty is scouting for the exit door.)
Xena: Not so fast buddy, you won’t get away with stealing my lover! (She hits her with a powerful left-right combo that sends her sprawling over a chair.)
Gabrielle: Wait! Did you say "lover"?
Xena: Of course, sweetheart. How can you not know that I love you? We’re soulmates; We’re meant to be together.
Gabrielle: (smiling) I’ve always known that. I thought you’d forgotten.
Xena: So you were just trying to make me jealous?
(Sporty has struggled to her feet and is leaning on a chair trying to shake out the cobwebs. She’s too dizzy to run, but hopeful that her life might be spared. She keeps her head down.)
Gabrielle: I guess I was. Will you forgive me?
Xena: (nods and puts her arm around Gab as they walk away) This time, but there better not be a second.
(They pass Sporty, and for good measure Xena can’t resist giving her a swift kick in the…crotch.)
Xena: Ha! (turning back to gloat) That’ll put you out of commission for awhile.
(But she does a double take when she sees Sporty still standing, hardly injured. In fact, she is actually planning her escape back to England to revive her fledgling solo career.)
Xena: What the hell? (She looks the foreigner up and down twice, then cocks her head to stare intently.) Who…WHAT are you?
Sporty: (Scouse mumbling) I’m Melanie C from Liverpool and uhm, I’m sssorry about…
(Xena weighs the evidence. It has short hair, no breasts and no hips. But it has an oddly feminine voice, and she’s not known Gab to look twice at a male in many seasons. It is either a eunuch or…She looks imploringly at Gabrielle.)
Xena: Tell me you didn’t cheat on me with another woman?
Gabrielle: (sheepishly) What difference does it make? I love only you.
Xena: Aaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhhh! (running at Sporty) I’ll kill you, you pathetic freak of nature!!!
(She runs for the exit, but Xena drops her with a well-placed chakram blow to the back of the head. On the ground Sporty squeezes her eyes shut and braces herself. Xena towers over her with her sword raised.)
Xena: Give me one good reason to spare your life!
(Good question, wrong Spice Girl. Lacking the capacity to think deeply, any of the other four girls could have easily produced a smarmy reply to satisfy Xena. But honesty (except when prohibited by her Virgin contract) is her Achilles’ heel, and she struggles to come up with any reason she can justify intellectually.)
Sporty: Okay, I’m a Spice Girl…no, that’s not enough…oh, and I’m the only one with any semblance of humility…uhm…wait. I’m the only one with any talent whatsoever… no, uhm…
(Pregnant warrior princesses don’t have much patience. Thus Melanie Chisholm meets her end trying to justify her very existence. Xena’s sword impales her from the angel tattoo on her stomach to the lotus tattoo on her back. Their 15 minutes of fame have been stretched to the limits of credulity, but mercifully the Spice Girls’ reign is finally over.)
(Xena and Gabrielle walk arm in arm out of the auditorium.)
Gabrielle: I’m so very sorry for hurting you. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Xena: You weren’t were you? I mean, you were fooled too.
Gabrielle: No, I knew from the beginning.
Xena: No you didn’t.
Gabrielle: Okay, I figured it out after awhile.
Xena: So what tipped you off?
Gabrielle: Alright, dammnit, I’m still not sure.
Xena: Aha! But…?
Gabrielle: Don’t ask. Just don’t ask.
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