Colonel Kira Nerys and Warrior Princess Xena
Introduction Greetings, contestants! Welcome to the Ultimate IAXS Challenge, one-of-a-kind trivia game. Are you ready for the Big Question? Name the fictional women who: 1) Grew up in single-parent families, with two brothers, and 2) Became warriors before they were full-grown. Wait, bold competitors! Do not punch that buzzer before you hear the entire question. These two women also: 3) Had one child, a son, 4) Traversed the timelines, and 5) Hung out with gods.
 OK, who says Xena? Everybody? Wrong. Well, half-wrong. The other half of the answer is Kira Nerys - slender, redheaded, and quick-tempered. She does not know where Greece is, nor does she care.
 In storytelling, ideas are a dinar a cartload. The execution of an idea, and the style of that execution are what make it valuable. Two syndicated television shows feature female characters who possess lethal combat skills, command troops in battle, and cope with gods, prophecy and personal loss.
 Xena is the title character of Xena: Warrior Princess, while Kira is in the ensemble of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (TV, 1993-1999). Kira (played by Nana Visitor) got a head start, displaying attitude to spare in Emissary, the premiere episode first released in January 1993. Xena, in the person of Lucy Lawless, strode onto the TV screen in March 1995 (WARRIOR PRINCESS [H09/109]).
 Although the parallels between the characters are striking, similar life experiences play out in radically different styles. Xena: Warrior Princess is action adventure with anachronistic dialogue. Deep Space Nine is, well, Star Trek: Technobabble, talk, fire quantum torpedoes, and more talk. Whatever the setting, Xena and Kira could be the same person, appearing in stories set 25 centuries and dozens of light-years apart.
Colonel Kira Nerys and Warrior Princess Xena
Comparisons Consider these parallels, some serious and some light-hearted:
 Home invaded
Xena: Amphipolis, village, by the warlord Cortese.
Kira: Bajor, planet, by the Cardassian Empire.
 Family harmed
Xena: Brother Lyceus, killed.
Kira: Mother Kira Meru, taken from refugee camp to serve as a pleasure woman for Cardassian military officers (her children were told she was dead).
 The way of the weapon
Xena: Learned to fight barely out of childhood.
Kira: Joined the Resistance barely out of childhood.
 The nose knows
Xena: Thinks Joxer's nose is a handle.
Kira: Nerys, her given name, sounds like the Spanish "nariz", which translates into English as nose.
 Single-parent family
Xena: Her father, Atrius, was murdered by her mother, Cyrene, to save Xena's life [THE FURIES (47/301)].
Kira: Her mother, Kira Meru, became the mistress of Gul Dukat to protect her family (Wrongs Darker Than Death Or Night, sixth season).
Xena: Lyceus and Toris.
Kira: Reon and Pohl.
 Four-letter words
Xena: Gabrielle refers to her as xenawarriorprincess, one word, one breath.
Kira: On Bajor, the family name, Kira, comes first, followed by the given name. Just call her Colonel (After six seasons, she was promoted from Major).
Both are played by actors with four-letter first names.
 All in the family
Xena: Lucy Lawless married a man she met on the show (producer Rob Tapert, who has directed episodes of XWP). Their first child is due this fall. She has a daughter by her first husband.
Kira: Nana Visitor married a man she met on the show (actor Alexander Siddig, who has directed episodes of DS9). They have a son. She has a son by her first husband.
 In tune
Xena: Sings when she is in the mood, or in mourning (Lawless, who trained for opera, sang in Grease on Broadway).
Kira: Sings in Vic Fontaine's '60s Las Vegas holoprogram (Visitor, who started out as a Broadway dancer, starred in My One And Only on tour and 42nd Street in Los Angeles).
Each gave birth to a son and was forced by circumstances to give the child to others to raise.
Xena: Solan, raised by Kaleipus, the Centaur [ORPHAN OF WAR (25/201)].
Kira: Kirayoshi O'Brien, raised by biological parents Miles and Keiko O'Brien; Kira became his surrogate mother when Keiko was injured (Body Parts, fourth season).
 Attracted to powerful men
Xena: Borias, Caesar, Draco - warlords all.
Kira: Vedek Bareil (almost became Bajor's "Pope"); Shakaar Edon (former warlord, now First Minister of the planetary government); Constable Odo, Deep Space Nine's security chief.
 Hangs out with demi-gods and gods
Xena: Hercules, Ares, Aphrodite, Hades.
Kira: Odo, a shapeshifter, is revered as a god by the Jem'Hadar, the Dominion's genetically engineered soldiers.
 Male nemesis
Xena: Ares, god of war. Favors black wardrobe
Kira: Dukat, Cardassian with delusions of godhood. Prefers black uniform.
 Female nemesis
Xena: Aphrodite, underdressed blonde who specializes in free love.
Kira: Kai Winn, overdressed blonde who specializes in self-love.
 Lost a lover who was trying to do good
Xena: Marcus, died saving a kidnaped princess [PATH NOT TAKEN (05/105)].
Kira: Bareil, died negotiating a peace treaty (Life Support, third season).
 Seeing double
Xena: In A NECESSARY EVIL (38/214), she fights one god (Velasca) and creates another (Callisto).
Kira: In Necessary Evil (second season), a god (Odo) proves Kira murdered a war collaborator.
 Icons of faith
Xena: Recovered the Urn of Apollo [FORGIVEN (60/314)].
Kira: Works for Captain Benjamin Sisko, "the Emissary" - a holy figure/icon of Bajoran prophecy.
 Does not have a prayer
Xena: Believes in herself.
Kira: Believes in the Bajoran prophets.
 A touch of evil
Xena: In THE DELIVERER (50/304), defeated Dahak, who had his way with Gabrielle's body in the Temple of the One God.
Kira: Lent her body to a Pah-wraith in a battle for the Celestial Temple (The Reckoning, sixth season).
 Regrets from the past
Xena: Told Hercules she can never wash the blood from her hands (UNCHAINED HEART (H13/113).
Kira: Told Odo she can never forget the violent acts she committed during the war (Past Prologue, first season).
 Enemies from the past
Xena: Callisto, her family killed by Xena's army, set the stage for the murder of Solan [MATERNAL INSTINCTS (57/311)].
Kira: Silaran Prin, crippled by a bomb Kira planted, tried to kill her and take her unborn baby by Caesarian (The Darkness And The Light, fifth season).
 Hardheaded fighter
Xena: Uses classic head-butt in combat.
Kira: Does not want a forehead like a Klingon's.
 Travels through time
Xena: Method undetermined; she is not hung up on technobabble.
Kira: Uses chroniton particles or the Orb of Time (Past Tense, third season; Trials And Tribble-Ations, fifth season).
 Death is irrelevant
Xena: "Died" in THE GREATER GOOD (21/121); DESTINY (36/212); and IDES OF MARCH (89/421).
Kira: "Died" in Distant Voices, third season, (it was all in Dr. Julian Bashir's poisoned mind) and Children Of Time, fifth season (Odo changed the future to save her, sacrificing thousands of people).
 Interface with shady characters who are good at heart
 Talks your ear off
Xena: Salmoneus, traveling salesman.
Kira: Morn, barfly.
 Fashion statement
Xena: Basic leather, lace-up boots. Likes dark. Arrow holes optional.
Kira: Red uniform, high-heel boots, dangling earring. Phaser burns frequent.
Xena: Braids come and go, but hair stays dark...unless she is wearing a wig.
Kira: Cannot decide between red or brown. Added a strand of braid (Image In The Sand, seventh season.)
 Incredibly coincidental look-alikes
Xena: Diana, Meg, Leah [WARRIOR...PRINCESS (15/115); WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP (30/206); WARRIOR...PRIESTESS...TRAMP (55/309)]; Xena II [STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD (H64/405)], Xena the Conqueror [ARMAGEDDON NOW (H73/414)].
Kira: The Intendant (Crossover, second season); Iliana, Cardassian undercover agent (Second Skin, third season); Russian spy Anastasia Komananov (Our Man Bashir, fourth season); Lola Crystall, 1960s Las Vegas lounge singer (His Way, sixth season).
 Hot stuff
Xena: Breathes fire.
Kira: Fires phasers.
 Catch of the day
Xena: Ruins bread and cheese.
Kira: A whiz with a food replicator.
 Likes sharp objects
Xena: Swords, knives, chakram.
Kira: Collects daggers.
 Moving violations
Xena: Crashes body into mountains [PROMETHEUS (08/108)].    Kira: Crashes spaceships into planets (Battle Lines, first season; The Siege, second season).
Xena: Gabrielle, bard of Poteidaia, Amazon Queen.
Kira: If he wanted to, Odo could be a cute little blonde, but he would rather be a Tarkalean hawk.
Colonel Kira Nerys and Warrior Princess Xena
BiographyJ. R. Rasmussen
J.R. Rasmussen biography: college dropout; newspaper reporter, editor, movie reviewer, and television columnist; current day job: library administrator for the Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal. In real life, theater buff, Trekker, and free-lance writer.
Favorite episode: XENA SCROLLS (34/210) or whichever one I watched yesterday.
Favorite line: "You know, you wouldn't be in here in the first place if you'd kept your hands off my tomatoes". Gabrielle to Salmoneus, BLACK WOLF (11/111)
First episode seen: I can't remember beyond last week and you want me to recall something from four years ago?
Least favorite episode: DEATH MASK (23/123)