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Sphere Of Influence

by Lizzy/Tendre

Tendre is walking up a hill when a huge sphere rolls towards her. It stops right in front of her face

Sphere: Hello, Tendre

Tendre: I'm sorry, do I know you?

Sphere: Don't you recognize me?

Tendre: No, not really

Sphere: I'm "Xebrielle," the characters formerly known as "Xena" and "Gabrielle"

Tendre: Let me guess, you have a symbol to spell your new name

Sphere: Oooh, a symbol, I like that idea

Tendre: Tell me, what happened to Xena and Gabrielle?

Sphere: Well, we used to be a rhombus and an isosceles triangle but the writers decided to smooth out our rough edges and combined us into this one you like?

Tendre: Can't say that I was your distinctiveness that charmed me in the first place - By the way, Gabrielle, I just love your new "swatch of carpeting" look...I can't believe I'm saying this but I actually miss the peasant dress!


Tendre: Right

Sphere: Surely you can't expect the characters to remain static?

Tendre: Of course not, but what's up with the exponential growth? - I could see if your show ended after the third season but if you expect a TREK lifespan of 5-7 years, you're firing off all your dramatic rockets prematurely...and they have creams to help that

Sphere: I want to give the writers a challenge

Tendre: If you want to challenge your writers, give them an algebra problem - the only people you're challenging right now is your viewers

Sphere: Why, what's wrong?

Tendre: OK, where shall we be begin...first, I enjoyed the glimpses into Xena's soft side and Gabrielle's tough side last year, that's what made the episodes "The Ties That Bind" and "The Greater Good" such outstanding gems...

Sphere: And I've capitalized on it

Tendre: You've capitalized on it, italicized on it, annotated on it and added a bibliography...KNOCK IT OFF

Sphere: I don't understand the problem

Tendre: Hey, I sincerely apologize for not being Jackie Joyner-Kersee but I just can't take the huge plot jumps this season

Sphere: Am I really asking that much?

Tendre: Look, Xena emotional all the time and Gabrielle turning humorless and butch are one thing but all the shows so far have focused on your former enemies, friends and family

Sphere: It's cut down on my long distance bill

Tendre: Your best adventures come when you help total strangers, that's what made "Cradle of Hope," "The Titans" and "Altared States" so special

Sphere: It's wrong to judge me by the first six episodes

Tendre: Very true, it's way too early to call this a "sophomore slump" but I'm afraid I'm giving you a "D" for this quarter

Sphere: A "D"?

Tendre: Hey, your amazing acting skills saved you from getting a big, red "F"

Sphere: You can't expect me to go back

Tendre: This from the people who obliterated the concept of "timeline" - No, I don't want you to go back but you could slacken the pace

Sphere: But I'm on a roll

Tendre: Downhill

Sphere: Not according to the numbers

Tendre: Quality and quantity don't always equal each other

Sphere: I like my current tempo, thank you

Tendre: That's fine, just realize that you have two options - keep it up/crash and burn or hit the breaks and give us all a mild case of whiplash - personally, I wouldn't mind wearing a neckbrace if it meant saving your distinguishing traits

Sphere: You forget, I'm one character now

Tendre: And if I didn't suck so bad at math, I'd do everything in my power to split you back into two complimentary angles

Sphere: Look, if you don't like the ride, get off

Tendre: Nope, I'm in this for the long run...I only say these words because I truly care

Sphere: Well, thanks for caring...I'm late for my lunchbox portrait

The sphere rolls over Tendre on it's way

Tendre: Thank the gods it wasn't a dodecahedron!


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