Disclaimer: The characters of Xena & Gabrielle are the copyright property of USA/MCA and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended by this Uber Fanfic story which I hope is a blast with Xena launching a warrior and her companion into the heavens !
Gabrielle had a made a short journey home to visit LiLa and explain her whereabouts the past twenty-five years. It was shocking but a relief for Gabrielle to find her younger sister now aged beyond her but well and happy with a small family of her own. After only a few nights stay in LiLa's home, Gabrielle took journey back to rejoin her companion, Xena.
"Xena!" shouted a surprised Gabrielle as she arrived at Xena's camp to find the warrior tinkering with a very weird looking bubble object.
Xena crawled out from under the rounded machine with a large cranking tool in her hand to reply, "hey there! Glad you made it back so soon."
"Wha…wha…what's that?" Gabrielle stuttered out as her eyes bulged at the nuts and bolts combined in a global looking fashion to appear like some sort of diving bulb.
Smiling very large and proud at her created object, Xena replied, "a sky ship Gabrielle. It's going to be grand and take us on a journey to see the stars up close and personal. I was watching the stars in your absence and it came to me like a vision. If I could turn parchment paper into an earth flying object, then the heavens were reachable too."
With a sigh, Gabrielle continued looking around at the inside of this large rounded ship and took special note of the many knobs and stick controls inside just in front of what appeared to be two seats designed for mortal comfort.
"Okay, Xena. Have you taken leave of all your senses this time? You sure aren't thinking uh…you and well, ha! ha! me are going to try and fly inside of this thing, are you?"
"Well, are you?"
Xena rolled her eyes settling to gaze upon Gabrielle with a seductive look as she walked to take a seat in the larger cushion inside of the sky ship. "C'mere! Really it's okay…C'mer" she said while motioning with her finger for Gabrielle to join in the seat beside her.
"Oh no….oh no…. I'm not even going to think about this Xena. Flying parchment is one thing. Flying warriors is an act of insanity and I've been trying to avoid that too long to visit an asylum permanently, thank you."
Xena stepped out of the large bubble now known to her as a sky ship and walked closely to place her long right arm across Gabrielle's strong shoulder and across her back.
"Gabby..my love. You have to have some faith in me on this. You've followed me into battles more dangerous. Now look…I've worked out the wind, trajectory and everything. It'll just be a brief spin around those stars we gaze at so often. C'mere now, let me show ya."
Xena gently nudged Gabrielle over to the smaller seat and helped the Bard adjust herself to get the feel of the soft and secure feeling of the sky ship.
"I don't know Xena. You may have launched a fish into the heavens but I really think you're expecting a wee little too much this time warrior princess."
"Nah….." Xena replied with excitement as she crossed around the front of the sky ship and took her seat beside Gabrielle while smiling ear to ear.
"Just look at the dial there Gabrielle" Xena explained, trying to offer some sense of security to a worried looking Bard. "This will direct me on the level of liquid energy left in the bomb blasters to give us the first boost. I have three on the under pinning that will complete the launch beyond the earth's pull. It will be smooth sailing from there!"
Shocked to silence Gabrielle continued to sit and stare in amazement at all the detail markings and sundial looking objects on the panel before her. Could Xena really be serious or perhaps playing a joke to get even with her for leaving the past few days, her mind contemplated. Xena leaped from her seat and slid immediately back underneath to complete some adjustments to her sky ship.
Clank! Bang! Squeak !
The sounds left Gabrielle squirming even more as she continued to sit dazed in the sky ship with more thoughts of how she might bring the warrior princess back to earthly thoughts and perhaps a journey more inviting than this idea.
Leaning over to look down upon Xena, Gabrielle asked, "Don't you want to take a ship across the great waters Xena? With that wrist trick of yours I actually enjoy the open sea and salty ocean breeze. How bout it Xena? Let's go hop one of those ships just awaiting us at the dock." "Done!" the Warrior Princess exclaimed as she slid from beneath the sky ship, stood tall gazing at her finished creation..
"Nope…I've been on the ocean, I've raised the mast and I've conquered the salty breeze and Poseidon already. We need a new journey Gabrielle. Twenty-five years of growing information amazes me. I found objects to assemble this I never thought possible back in the days of Rome," Xena informed a really nervous Gabrielle. "We launch at sunset ! The ocean tide alerts the air will be just right for our flight."
Xena spent the rest of the daylight time packing up supplies and tossing several pouches of water and the finest wine, Greece had to offer into the back area of her sky ship. Gabrielle paced and continued to mumble, "twenty-five years on ice and now she wants to travel the heavens….twenty-five years on ice and now SHE wants to travel the heavens….I'm destined to follow her into the sky and I cannot for the life of me understand what is it about Xena that makes me think , uh..it's me…uh, no her, no wait - - I am crazy!"
As darkness arrived and the ocean waves nearby made the crashing and splashing sound upon the shoreline rocks, Xena became more and more excited and determined to take this journey.
"Greek fire!" Gabrielle screamed out as she realized Xena had just poured the black liquid into many circular tubes attached to the bottom of the strange bubble Xena called a sky ship. "Xena…..uh, I'm not sure about this. You're gonna create a blast that will turn us both to toast with all that greek fire. You know Xena - (pause) this might not be such a good idea. Are you listening to me?"
Working more hastily now, Xena only responded with a smirk of glee for her creation as she jammed several cornstalks into the ends of the tubes. Without any additional reply, Xena seemed unaware of the worried wrinkles forming about Gabrielle's eyes as Xena suddenly shouted loud enough to echo "jump! Jump in your seat Gabrielle….quick jump!"
Without thinking, further argument or any hesitation whatsoever, Gabrielle instinctively leaped into her furry seat through a small portal of the homemade bubble shaped sky ship.
Xena herself flipped a few times and leaped through the portal on her side and quickly closed the portal door behind her as she reached across Gabrielle's bosom to grab her portal door and slam it tightly shut. A fiery reflection appeared bright upon the cone shaped window located just in front of Xena and Gabrielle. The bright burning glow was the reflection of flaming cornstalks, which Xena had torched just before her leap inside of the ship.
The stalks burned rapidly and within seconds ignited the numerous tubes filled with the greek fire and suddenly a loud boom ~~~ sound signaled the instant combustion as the tubes exploded one by one, lifting the ship completely up off the ground. Several small explosions followed as Xena's sky ship soared at a blinding speed toward the star covered sky. Both Xena and Gabrielle's seats began to quiver and shake faster and faster as their heads tilted back from the pull of the earth' gravity. Only faintly could Gabrielle be heard screeching out "by the gods Xena! Oh by the gods! "
Suddenly, inside of the ship there was quiet and a calm to the blasting noise and surprising halt to the quiver of the seats. The bubble shaped sky ship leveled off just as a soft white fluffy cloud passed the window and the ship's ride smoothed out as if floating on a calm, gentle river.
Gabrielle was finally able to relax her clinched jaw as she slowly moved her tongue over her dry lips to insure a feeling that her life forces were still in tact. She gave a quick prayer in her mind to ask that she and Xena be saved from pain and a slow death that surely would follow this most recent journey into the realm between heaven and earth. Gabrielle took notice that Xena's eyes had widened to a joyous stare and lovely glare of bright blue, expressing strongly her obvious pleasure at the success of the flying sky ship.
Gabrielle should have expected Xena's next reaction to the current circumstance but with her guard either turned off or in shock, Gabrielle was confused as Xena began to laugh hysterically.
"Oooooh that didn't hurt!" Xena exclaimed with a chuckle in her deep but calm voice.
Taking one of many long gulps, Gabrielle turned to look with a scowl directly at her warrior princess. With a crackle and gurgle still in her vocal chords, Gabrielle squeaked out, "uh…Xena…okay…okay…you've blasted us in the sky above the clouds and haven't sizzled our hair off completely, but….but….how in your warrior juices do you plan to get us back to the more comfortable and more stable ground called earth?"
Still laughing and amazed at her launch, Xena chuckled out, "Oh, don't worry. Gabrielle….relax. The landing plan is much easier than getting us up here and now we must keep our oxygen supply going. We've much to do quickly" she continued, "hand me one of those wine pouches and grab one for yourself."
Xena seemed to be guiding their journey rather smoothly with the long staff raising from the floor of the sky ship, held tightly in her hand. Gabrielle knew it was not a wise time to question the purpose of the pouches as she reached behind her, took hold of two pouches and passed one to Xena and keeping one for herself. Grasping her pouch tightly, Xena popped the cork and gulped the contents rapidly before giving on a swipe of the back of her hand across her soft glowing lips.
"You have to drink it all, fast!" Xena instructed Gabrielle. "It's the finest wine Greece had to offer and it will slow our oxygen consumption so we can breath the cabin air for a few minutes as we gaze at what's up here. We don't have much time."
"You want me to gulp down this whole pouch full of wine Xena? "
"Drink!" drink it all quick" the Warrior Princess replied.
Gabrielle popped the cork from her pouch and gulped as quickly as she could with only a few gags caused by the surprise of the burning strength of the wine juices flowing quickly down her throat. Within moments, she did feel extremely relaxed but still alert and in awe of the bright little glittering lights and passing ball shaped planetary objects before her.
With a slight slur to her speech, Gabrielle interrupted Xena to exclaim she wanted to record what they were seeing on this most amazing journey. Xena had cleverly expected and hoped Gabrielle would record the flight in her wonderful words and metaphors. Reaching between the seats and giving a wry smile to Gabrielle, Xena's hand lifted to place a new scroll with a feathered quill in Gabrielle's inviting lap.
With her eyes now shining as bright as the vision glowing on the window before she and Xena, Gabrielle began to write:
Passing before us in the heavens are the brightest of lights with cylinder shaped worlds all scattered around the darkness that appear to cover eternity.
Shapes of bears, a lyre passing by and groups of bright shining lights lined up like spillage of goats milk all glowing with splendor before our eyes.
What first felt a long period of time to Gabrielle and now seemed a very short amount of time for writing was interrupted as the sky ship began descending slowly.
"Xena! Xena! We're falling out of the sky!" Gabrielle shrieked.
Xena reached strongly over to Gabrielle and released the rope she had earlier secured her to the furry seat with and tied several wine pouches around Gabrielle's neck. Xena also tied more pouches around her neck and grabbed up the empty wine pouch while telling Gabrielle to hold tightly to her pouch as well.
"Gabrielle, we're going down! There won't be much time. When I give the signal, push open the portal and leap out as quickly as you can. We'll be over ocean and you'll need to take a quick gulp of air from your pouch. We shouldn't go too deep into the waters and quickly pull the pouch corks. The air in the pouches will help us rise slowly and don't, don't rush yourself. Be sure to clear the sky ship too" Xena explained as she pushed the staff all the way forward.
Just as Gabrielle felt the sensation of the sky ship falling faster and faster, she gave a last glance out of the window to behold several scattered and glowing stars. She held those in memory to include them on her scroll if she survived the return to the soft land of the earth's surface.
For only seconds, the sky ship again began to shake furiously and before fear could again overwhelm Gabrielle, Xena screamed "jump! Jump now!" The next several minutes seemed all a blur to both Xena and Gabrielle. They had taken the deep gulps of air after leaping out of the portals of the sky ship and splashing hard and quick into the ocean waters. The shock of diving, sinking so deep and slowly swimming back to the surface left them very wet and very stunned. Xena & Gabrielle had to focus in order to use their remaining strength to swim onto the soft sand along the shoreline.
The sky ship was filling quickly with water as Xena watched her creation tossing wildly about, left and right and then suddenly sinking completely out of sight.
In her excitement to have returned them to the soft sand along the beach safely, Xena reached over and tightly hugged Gabrielle. Xena looked at her Bard, offering a large smile that signaled her pleasure beneath the wine's gleam in her eyes as Gabrielle also squeezed tightly her Warrior Princess close to her bosom and gave a sigh of relief.
"You did it ! you did it Xena," Gabrielle gasped out while still trying to stand upright and not sway from the numbing effect of so much wine.
Xena had regained herself and helped walk Gabrielle to a nearby dry area while stroking her wet hair away from her face. "We did it Gabrielle. Always know …it is always we, my wonderful and trusting soul-mate."
The sun's location gave proof that Xena & Gabrielle had not been off of the earth for very long. Their eyes and minds had seen much in the brief journey they had taken in darkness and ended with sunrise.
Xena spent the full day of return clearing brush and making ready a nice campsite.
Gabrielle removed the scroll she had tucked safe and dry in a extra empty wine pouch and continued writing about the splendor of the heavens she had seen so very close on this day. Her scroll included a description of the wonderful sky ship Xena had built with her own strong and determined hands.
At the end of the day and after enjoying some of Gabrielle's specially prepared rabbit stew, Xena and
Gabrielle lie beneath the star bright sky . Breaking the silence of the warm night air, Gabrielle said, "There is that bear shaped group of stars."
"Bear? That's no bear" Xena replied. "That's a drinking dipper. Oh and look over there Gabrielle. There's the shape of a Greek hunter and warrior. See the belt and the sword dangling from the belt?"
Gabrielle's weary eyes followed Xena's finger to behold a group of stars that with a stretch of her imagination could resemble a warrior. "Xena" Gabrielle whispered, "Would you like to hear what I wrote of your journey in the heavens?"
Gabrielle unrolled her scroll, gave a pleased smile to her Warrior Princess and began reading:
Passing before us in the heavens are the brightest of lights with cylinder shaped worlds all scattered around the darkness that covers eternity.
Shapes of bears, a lyre passing by and groups of bright shining lights lined up like spillage of goats milk all glowing in splendor before our humbled eyes.
A world of planets with rings of fire circle around and suspend in time this magnificent heavenly wonder.
Legend can tell of the stars shaped like Greek warriors and great and little bears and glow of the milky way guiding lost souls. The lyre shaped stars gifted us by Apollo; the formation of the crab formed by Heracles fighting a hydra and all the souls of heroes who are freed from their bodies and dwell in the light of the heavens now forever.
Wisdom will protect the constellations and a special formation called Argo now will share warmth and joy to all those that take time to behold.
When Gabrielle completed softly reading her scroll aloud, she glanced upon the beautiful ocean blue eyes of Xena. A small tear ran slowly down the Warrior's cheek as she leaned forward and embraced her Bard.
Xena held tight for several moments and quietly whispered in Gabrielle's ear…… "your beauty my friend is sweetly matched by your words. It was a good journey, wasn't it?"
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