Originally written spring of 2000. Typed December 2000.
Disclaimer: PG for language and stuff not fit for anyone under ten. I don't own Xena, Hercules, Young Hercules or anything related to them. I don't own the comic strip Yamara or anything related to it. I made up Mordred, though. And I made up Thalia and the goddess Yamara [but not the halfling Yamara. Things get confusing.] There are references to fanfics in The Weird Series, but this story is not actually a part of it, even though it claims to be [heck, I wrote this in the spring. Your mindset changes over the course of a year.] Anyway, ENJOY!
A Tale of Two Yams
By Heather L.
Thalia walked out onto her patio on Mt. Olympus. She sighed, and sat down on a white plastic rocking chair that just happened to be nearby.
Oh, how I miss Strife, she thought.
She closed her eyes and imagined him in his entire annoying splendor.
There was a blaze of purple light and Yamara materialized beside the lonely Muse.
"Would you shut up about him, already? He's been dead for two years. Callisto stabbed him, remember?"
Thalia opened her eyes and turned her head to look at her sister. They looked exactly alike. Long wavy blonde hair, oval shaped face with pointed nose, blue eyes and breasts that'd make a man faint. They also both looked remarkably like mortal actress Heather Graham.
"Leave me be in my time of sorrow," Thalia said, sticking her tongue out as an insulting gesture and to strengthen her statement, although childishly.
Yamara waved a hand and another incredibly drab plastic chair appeared beside her sister. She sat down on it.
"Don't call me Sis."
Yamara narrowed her eyes at the girl. "Be nice."
Thalia glared at her.
"Don't make me sleep with Ares again and make him summon up another chicken army!" Yamara threatened. It hardly did the trick. Thalia couldn't care less about Ares or chickens. She wanted Strife. Now. And he was dead. Long dead. Killed at the hands of that blonde bimbo who had somehow gotten a hold of the blood of a Hind.
"Look, there's no use sulking when there's plenty of mischief to be done." Yamara's eyes twinkled with glee at the thought of what trouble she and her sister could cause. Maybe they could get Barret and Yuffie together. Or Rimmer and Cat. Or maybe, just maybe, summon up another army of chickens, this time elephant-sized ones that could...
"No, Yamara. I'm much too old for that now. My three-thousandth birthday is next week.
Thalia stated gloomily.
"Geez, Thal, you're still in your prime. Think of this: We could go mud wrestling with Castor and Pollux. It'd be fun. Or go cow scaring with Pan and..." Yamara suggested excitedly. Thalia's sharply pointed fingernails jabbing into her hand cut her off. "Ow! What the...?"
"Don't you ever mention cow-scaring again, do you hear me?!"
Yamara slowly nodded and Thalia let go of her hand. Puzzled, the goddess stared at her forlorn sister, then relied that cow scaring would probably bring back too many sad memories. She suggested something else.
"You really need to get laid," Yamara stated frankly. Thalia frowned.
"Yes?" Yamara answered, trying to sound as sweet as possible, in lieu of the upcoming outburst of rage that always ensued when she butted into Thalia's sex life.
"Go away," she calmly replied.
Yamara was shocked at her sister's calm command. She at least expected some cussing. Instead of taking heed, she continued:
"I know the perfect guy for you." Thalia glared icily at her. "He's really...um...interesting and, well, may be what you're looking for."
Yamara smiled pleasantly. Thalia sighed.
"All right," the Muse agreed. "Introduce me to this loser."
Thalia and Yamara entered the Mt. Helicon nightclub and looked around. Thalia wore a long flowing green dress with a see-through green shawl over it, and Yamara wore her usual all-black and all-skintight attire.
"Where is this guy?" Thalia asked her sister.
Yamara looked around a bit longer then pointed to a booth in the far corner. The man sitting there wasn't visible, except for the back of his head.
"Give 'im a kiss for me, Thal."
Thalia gave Yamara one last glower, then sauntered her best seductive saunter over to the booth. Yamara gave her a thumbs up sign, then strolled over to the bar and ordered herself a drink. Thalia tapped her date on the shoulder, smiled, started to say something witty, and then gazed in shock, horror, and several other negative emotions as she saw just whom her sister had set her up with.
Deimos laughed that annoying and insane laugh of his.
"The one and only! Who were ya expectin'?"
Thalia's widened, terrified eyes transformed into a cold, narrow scowl that burned with a hateful ferocity only since matched by Dahak when he discovered that Iolaus' outfit couldn't be dry-cleaned. Thalia tightly smiled, put up one finger and said, "One moment, please."
The angry goddess stormed back over to the bar.
"Yamara, may I speak to you?" Thalia asked politely, only barely containing her fury.
Yamara turned around, sipping a Mai Tai. She nodded.
"Just what did you think you were doing setting me up with...with HIM?!"
"Yes, Deimos. What exactly could lead you to believe that anything in this universe could even stand to spend one second with that...that lunatic?!"
Yamara placed her drink on the bar, then turned to face Thalia. "Well, he looks almost exactly like Strife, and they were both intelligence-deficient, egotistical weirdos."
Thalia continued to fume. Yamara's reasoning wasn't consoling her any bit.
"Oh sure, he looks like Strife, but they are nothing alike! Strife may have been somewhat of an idiot..."
"A total and utter one," Yamara muttered.
"...but Deimos? He's...he's...can you help me out here?"
"A very nice man."
"Hardly. He's a complete...complete..." The Muse waved her arms around.
"Asshole? But you like assholes." Yamara sipped her drink.
"What I'm trying to say is," Thalia concluded. "WHAT THE &^#&$#& WERE YOU THINKING?!"
"Look, Thal, just calm down. After a few drinks, you'll have a blast. I guarantee it."
Deimos walked over.
"Hey, ladies. Heh heh heh. Drinks're on me! Bartender, give us three cold ones."
The three received their drinks and Yamara and Deimos clinked glasses. Thalia gulped down hers in one swift motion then asked the Bartender for more. Yamara grinned evilly.
The following morning, Thalia and Deimos were lying in bed, staring at the ceiling.
"I..." Deimos began, frowning. "I really didn't enjoy that." Pause. "At all."
Thalia shook her head. "Me neither. That had to be the worst."
He looked at her. "So, uh, would it be...er...okay if we, um...never saw each other again? Ever?"
Thalia nodded in agreement. "Sounds good to me."
Uncomfortable silence. Thalia rolled over to face him.
"Will you marry me?"
"You said WHAT?!" Yamara exclaimed.
Thalia was back in her plastic chair on her patio, sulking once again. She wore a blue kimono. She was on an Oriental kick for no reason. Yamara stood nearby in her usual all-black outfit.
"Shut up," Thalia muttered.
Yamara laughed hysterically. This was the funniest thing she'd ever heard in her life.
Okay, okay, it was the funniest thing she had heard in the past three weeks, but she still found it pretty humorous. It was probably even better than the chicken thing.
Uh...no. Not better than the chicken thing. But close.
Getting Thalia and Deimos to go on a date was genius. They were the most mismatched couple in the multiverse [so were Thalia and Strife, but hey, everyone knew it was only a prank Aphrodite pulled, except Thalia] , and Thalia had asked him to marry her!
Of course the man said no. Thalia hated him anyway. Maybe she meant something else, like "(&^$*&$ you!" Although, really, the two had had enough &^$*$ing for one evening, and, according to both, it was a disastrous undertaking.
Thalia waved a hand and Yamara stopped laughing. In her mouth was a frog, and not just any frog, either.
It was Ralph.
Thalia smirked and stuck her tongue out at her sister. She enjoyed doing that. It took much less energy than giving the Finger.
You see, Yamara was not the only Yamara in the multiverse. There was another, and Ralph was a friend of hers. The two Yamaras were not related in any way. In fact, the other Yamara was not even a goddess. She had briefly been a demi-goddess, but at her core, was merely just another halfling on Wyhtl.
Yamara [the goddess] had never been to Wyhtl. She'd only been to Planet [the moronic inhabitants had never named it] where she'd terrorized Cloud and his motley posse of sissified maggots, and Earth, which is where she was at the present moment. But a friend of a friend had been to Wyhtl [he took one of those pesky trans-dimensional portals that keep popping up all over the place] and had informed Yamara [the goddess] about the other Yamara. He had told her Wyhtl wasn't really worth visiting, since Yocchi, an annoyingly cheerful Dark Elf, and now empress of the little planet had recently conquered it.
And now Ralph sat in Yamara's mouth. She spit the amphibian out and waved a finger. Magically her mouth was clean.
"Yum. Listerine. Much better."
"Where the hell am I?!" Ralph asked. He looked up at Yamara and Thalia. "Oh my gawd! Twins!"
"We're not twins," Thalia corrected. "We're half-sisters. We just happen to look alike."
"It's an incredible coincidence, really," commented Yamara.
"Who are you?" Ralph asked, eyeing the two suspiciously.
"I'm Yamara, the Goddess of Chaos, and this is Thalia, the Muse of Comedy," Yamara informed him.
Ralph stared at the blonde goddess in shock. No, it couldn't be. What happened to her?
"Yamara you...you've changed." Pause. "A lot."
Thalia laughed melodiously. Yamara raised an eyebrow, then responded, "Oh, you must think I'm that other Yamara."
Ralph frowned. Silence. "Oh." He looked around.
Discord stormed out onto the patio. She marched right over to Thalia, ignoring Yamara.
"Thalia, stop being a bitch and tell me what the (*^$&^$ is going on."
Thalia, confused, replied, "Huh??"
"Don't give me any of that 'Huh' crap, you filthy whore. What'd you do to Deimos?!" Discord snapped.
"Why? What's wrong with him?" Yamara inquired.
"Everything," Thalia muttered under her breath. Discord didn't hear her.
The Goth goddess turned around to face Yamara. "Deimos has been acting all stoic and pensive and shit. I demand to know what's wrong." She turned to face Thalia. "And you were the last person he was with. Spit it out, hoe."
Thalia just calmly looked Discord in the eye and said pleasantly, "I think you're getting confused, Discord. I'm not the whore. You should be addressing a mirror."
Discord slapped her.
Thalia stood up prepared to strike back.
"Chick fight!" Ralph shouted. Discord stomped on the frog with a freshly sharpened stiletto heel shoe, killing him instantly.
"Sorry. Reflex," he croaked, just before dying.
"Hey!" Yamara cried. "I liked him!"
Discord ignored her and turned once more to Thalia.
Yamara stepped between the two and proceeded to explain.
"Other than some lousy sex and marriage proposal, nothing happened. Now leave my sister alone," Yamara said, with a glower. "Or face the consequences."
"What are you gonna do? Summon an army of chickens?" Discord scoffed. "You must remember, Yamara that I was the general of one of those armies."
"No, but I could get Zeus on your tail. Remember that rule he made about no gods battling other gods?"
"Yes, but that doesn't apply to Muses," Discord retorted, giving Thalia a pointed look.
"A Muse is considered a goddess," Thalia said.
"That's right," agreed her sister. "So watch out."
"Ooh, you...you...you bitches!" Discord fumed. "I'll find a way. In the meantime, no hurting my cousin!"
"Um," Thalia replied. "We're all cousins."
"Oh." Pause. "Well, um..." Discord shimmered and turned to light, and then vanished.
Yamara turned to Thalia.
Thalia glared at her. "Look at the mess you got me into. Now Miss Queen of Skank hates both of us! I'm in deep shit because of you, Yamara!"
She grinned. "Whatever. You'll thank me later."
"Thank you?! What for?!" The Muse exclaimed.
But Yamara was already gone.
All was dark on board the Dark Treacle. Ralph had been missing for the past three days, and presumed dead. A certain spark vanished from the ship. And without Ralph, they had no boatswain. Ogrek tried to get her to reconsider, but Yamara decided to take the job. To make things worse, Persephone was chasing Joe around the whole ship trying to get him to try some eggs she had scrambled. The concoction looked like vomit, considering that Persephone hadn't eaten, and therefore had not cooked human food for the past several centuries. That wasn't a surprise. She was a vampire.
"No, Persey, it looks delicious. I'm...I'm just not hungry," Joe insisted.
"But you haven't eaten for 24 hours, Joe. How could you not be hungry?"
"Uh...I'm fasting, Persey. Yeah, I'm fasting. It's a religious thing, ya know?"
Yamara, meanwhile, was at the helm of the ship, standing beside Ogrek and Withers, who were teaching her how to steer.
"I really don't see why this is necessary," Yamara said to her husband. "A boatswain doesn't steer the ship." The halfling gloomily watched Joe dash by, Persephone and a plate of...something, in hot pursuit. "You should be teaching me how to handle the rigging."
"Now, now, Yamara. It's always good to be prepared," Ogrek replied.
"Joe? JOE!" Persephone shouted. Joe was climbing up the central mast, trying desperately to reach the crow's nest to escape Persephone. Yamara turned her attention from the helm to the flailing cleric.
"Joe!" she hollered. "Watch out for those..."
Three pissed off seagulls exploded out of the crow's nest and attacked Joe.
"...um, seagulls?" Yamara finished, her warning too late.
"I thought told Ralph to evict those seagulls. They've been paying only half their rent." Ogrek muttered, taking some money out and counting it.
Yamara looked at the quarter-orc, dubious. "Those birds...pay...rent??"
Joe continued to fall.
Persephone sprang into action. She hurriedly flew to Joe's side.
"Oh, Joe, you didn't have to jump. You didn't have to sacrifice your life just so..."
"Oh, shit, nevermind then."
Joe was very close to hitting the floor now. Persephone reached out her hands and caught him just three inches above the deck. Everyone looked on in awe and surprise. Freznip began to clap. No one else did.
"Persey, you...you saved my life!" Joe stammered. "How can I ever repay you?"
Persephone smiled and set Joe back down on the deck, blinking back tears.
Yamara gagged. Ogrek turned to her.
"Why can't you rescue me from seagulls and then kiss me?" he asked, half-joking. Yamara scowled.
Stress emerged from the crew's quarters below deck and marched over to the couple.
"Stay away from her!" she barked at Ogrek, giving Yamara fearsome glance. Yamara gazed at the Drow, puzzled.
"But honey, she's my wife too," Ogrek replied.
"I know, but..."
"Why, Stress, darling, are you jealous?" Ogrek said, with some hint of amusement in his voice.
"Stress, I'm flattered. I never knew you felt this way before. Does this mean you don't want me dead?"
Yamara, growing uncomfortable, promptly left the scene, leaving Withers to steer the ship as Stress and Ogrek had their discussion. Truly, it was probably the closest to flirting that the Drow and the quarter-orc ever got.
Stress was Ogrek's wife. Yamara herself was also Ogrek's wife, and Yamara suspected that he had many more wives somewhere.
But she'd only married him for the Headpiece of FriNn. The closest thing to love that Yamara felt for Ogrek was tolerance. She could rarely stand to even be around him. He annoyed her mercilessly, whether intentionally or not, she never knew. And not in the conventional sense, just...little things. Like when he bought them half a level of a dungeon, right next door to a colony of several thousand petulant bugbears. And he was so damn unflappable. All the time. And he never opened his eyes. It was strange. And irritating. Did he even have eyes?
But Ogrek had also been somewhat sweet, like when he arranged it so all the bugbears would be killed in a freak accident involving a jet pack, resulting in her getting enough experience points to become a master thief. It was one of the greatest gifts anyone had given her.
Yamara smiled at the memory, but Freznip walked over and ruined the moment.
Freznip Clerd was some Drow [dark elf] they'd picked up in Ekmuz-Strel-Thridd. His family had rescued Yamara from Yocchi, but intended to eat her. Luckily, Ogrek saved the day, but Yamara figured she'd be much better off with the Clerds. It was when she first boarded the Dark Treacle [a flying ship Ogrek bought at a church sale from a guy named "Jack"] that she met Stress. She and Stress would've killed each other if it weren't for their mutual hatred for Ogrek. Stress was now the closest thing to a friend Yamara had [when she wasn't being a total and utter bitch] other than Joe, Fea, Blag and Ralph. But Fea had become evil; Blag and Ralph disappeared. That just left Joe.
"No, Persey, I don't want any dead rats!"
"Oh, come on, Joe! They'll make just beautiful earrings!"
The couple ran by. Yamara's thoughts were brought back to Freznip, who apparently was telling her something.
"...And that's what she said. Should I tell Ogrek?" Freznip concluded.
Yamara blinked and shook her head. "Wha...what...um...did you just say again? Who...?"
"This, like, lady, like, claiming to be you, like, just called over the Crystalvox and, like, informed me that, like, Ralph was dead, and, like, she wants to talk to what she called 'the other Yamara,' and, um..."
"Claiming to be me?" The halfling thief asked incredulously.
Yamara's brow wrinkled. She was clearly puzzled, Freznip noticed. He tried to explain further.
"She looked human. With, like, blonde hair and a, like, black dress and..."
"Did she say anything about...say...a certain religious sect involving, er, the worship of me?" inquired Yamara.
Freznip shook his head.
"Good, because those freaks keep stalking me," she muttered. Just a few months before, Yamara had turned into a demi-goddess and a cult sprang up, dedicated to worshipping her. It was those damn FriNn's fault.
"So, um, like, what should..." Freznip drawled.
Yamara interrupted, "I'll go tell Ogrek right now."
Freznip smiled slightly, nodded, and walked away.
Another Yamara? How can this be? she wondered.
"That annoying little brat won't let me talk to the captain," the Goddess of Chaos complained, turning to Artemis from the crystal ball on her ebony desk.
Artemis sat on the couch across from Yamara filing her nails. It was a highly misinterpreted fact that Artemis wasn't concerned with appearance and vanity. She was. It was in her blood.
"Why don't you just zap on over there?" Artemis suggested. "Get it over with. Forget the middlemen. Find this other Yamara and kick her ass all the way to Tartarus."
"I thought you were a &^%&^in' pacifist, Artie!"
"I'm the &*^$&*$in' patron goddess of the Amazons, of course I'm not a pacifist."
Yamara rolled her eyes. "The Amazons? Those wimps?"
"HEY!" her cousin returned, hurt.
"I've got to see if this is even the Yamara I'm lookin' for, Artie. There might be more than one," the black-spandex-clad-one explained.
"I highly doubt it, Yam," Artemis replied, still filing her nails into sharp, lethal points. "Hey, why do you gotta find her, anyway?"
Yamara wouldn't answer.
"Discord killed a friend of theirs. A frog named Ralph."
Artemis looked up. "A frog?!" Yamara nodded.
"And you feel guilty about that?" She nodded again.
"Hoppin' Hades!" Artemis exclaimed. Yamara looked up sharply. "Oops, er, I forgot he was your Dad an' all...um..."
"I know exactly what you were going to say," Yamara said testily. "Since when did the presumed Goddess of Chaos care about people other than herself? Well, I guess since she realized that she wasn't the only Nyx damned thing in the %&^$&^in' multiverse!"
Artemis, taken aback, meekly replied, "Okay." She nodded and wanly smiled at the pissed off goddess. Yamara turned back around and the crystal ball began to shimmer. Ogrek appeared on it.
"Greetings from the Dark Treacle. May I ask who is calling?"
"Cut the shit, Ogrek, it's your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former room-mate on the line. That irritating frog Mordred keeps blabbing about is dead. Can I speak to your pesky little wife I keep hearing about?"
"Correction, Yamara. Ralph was a toad. And which of my 'pesky little wives' are you referring to?" Ogrek asked.
Yamara smiled grimly. "Take a guess."
That friend Yamara had referred to earlier who had been to Wyhtl was none other than Mordred, a relative of Ogrek's. They'd gone to college together. Mordred had somehow found out a way to travel to other universes and dimensions, and he'd spent a lot of time on Wyhtl and other planets in the Other Yamara's world. He and Yamara [the goddess] stayed in touch by postcards. She'd also met Ogrek before. Years before. Ogrek was far, far older than he looked [although he looked rather dead, but still fairly handsome for an Orc]. No one knew his age, except that he had been around for more than two hundred years. That was nothing to a god, though.
Yamara Tooke stood by Ogrek's side as he talked with this other Yamara over the Crystalvox. She nervously fiddled with her hair and jewelry, shifting from one foot to the other. What was this other Yamara like? Was she mean? Was she spreading around a bad reputation, and would people mistake me for her? Yamara wondered.
Why the hell are you so worried, Yamara? There's absolutely nothing to be scared of, she repeatedly told herself.
It was finally Yamara Tooke's turn to talk to the goddess and she reluctantly sat down and looked in the crystalball everyone used as a telephone and television.
Tooke let out an audible sigh of relief. The two Yamaras looked nothing alike. The goddess was did look human, and was tall, had long blonde hair, and all-black clothing. Tooke was short, had short brown hair, and wore a red tank top, brown shorts, and also had the pointed ears of an elf.
The two women just stared at each other for a moment. The goddess spoke.
"Well...You're not what I expected."
"What did you expect?" the halfling asked.
"From what I heard from Ogrek, I thought..."
"You know Ogrek?!" Tooke interrupted. "I mean, before today, you knew him?"
The goddess slowly nodded. The halfling turned to Ogrek and gave him a shocked look. She turned back to the goddess Yamara and continued, angrily, "How well do you know Ogrek?!" As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Tooke knew how absurd the question was. The goddess cracked up laughing. Ogrek raised an eyebrow. Tooke glared at the goddess. After she'd finished laughing, she replied, "I know his cousin. Through postcards, letters, that sort of thing."
"Good," said the halfling. Ogrek started to ask if she was jealous, when she cut in. "Shut up, dear. Anyway, Yam, why did you want to talk to me?"
"Oh, I dunno," the goddess answered. "I just wanted to see what the only other Yamara in the multiverse was like. And to inform you that your friend Ralph has passed on."
"Oh? You know already? Then I guess we're done." Yamara the goddess moved to shut the Crystalvox phone off when Artemis interfered and came into view, pushing Yamara out of the way.
"Hey! I'm on TV!"
Yamara's voice could be heard offscreen. "What do you think you're doing, you imbecile?!"
"Hey, do you know anyone named Denise?" Artemis eagerly asked the folks on the Dark Treacle.
Ogrek pushed his way over to answer her. "Yes, she's the patron goddess of the elves." Yamara the halfling looked at him, puzzled. "I hear Stress chanting to her for me to develop intestinal cancer. Why?"
Artemis' jaw dropped in shock. She then grinned. "Whoah! She's my cousin! Ya know, on my mother Leda's side. Hey, Yam, they know Denise!"
"Yam" came back onscreen. "You know Denise? Say 'Hi' to Denise for me, Yamara!" the goddess called to the halfling. "Geez," she said to Artemis. "I haven't seen Denny in a long time. I wonder how she is?"
She and Artemis continued their conversation, completely ignoring the other Yamara and Ogrek. The quarter-orc flicked a switch, cutting off the connection.
"Well, that was intriguing," Yamara muttered. Ogrek nodded in agreement. "Indeed."
The couple sat there in silence for a few minutes. Yamara suddenly felt something groping her leg.
"Get your hand off my thigh," she ordered. "Now."
"That's not my hand."
She looked down.
"I am the ghost of Ralph!" the toad moaned.
Yamara leaped out of her chair and landed in Ogrek's arms. "Wow, you've never been this frisky before. Does this mean you don't want me dead, either?"
"Shutuptheresaghostonmychairitsralphohmygoddess!!!" she rambled.
Stress, Persephone, and Joe ran into the room. Stress' purple hair bounced all over the place and Joe had a turban on over his bald head, holding a fork. Persephone held tightly onto a flask of red liquid. Apparently the group had been interrupted in the middle of dinner.
"What the &^$*$ is going on?!" Stress exclaimed.
"I am the ghost of Ralph!" the toad on Yamara's chair replied. "Fear me."
"Oh, how cute!" cooed Persephone. "What an adorable little undead frog!"
"Toad," Joe corrected.
Yamara stopped screaming, her lungs growing weary. Ogrek grinned, for his cantankerous wife's arms were still wrapped around his neck.
To possibly be continued
And that, folks, is where I left off writing. Maybe I'll finish it. Maybe I won't. No one knows.
© Heather Gately 2000