Whoosh! Issue 42 - March 2000

ULTERIOR MACHINATIONS
IAXS project #747
By Ryan Dever
Content copyright © 2000 held by author
Edition copyright © 2000 held by Whoosh!
1126 words



Ares: Omnipotent or Just "Impotent" (01-03)
Dahak's Omnipotence? (04-09)
Lucifer: The Real Omnipotence (10-12)
Conclusion (13-14)
Biography



Ulterior Machinations




Ares: Omnipotent, or Just "Impotent"


And I'll get your little horsey too!

Callisto, looking a little rough around the edges in FALLEN ANGEL.

"I promised to deliver you to my lord, and that's exactly what I'm going to do!"
   -- Demon Callisto to Xena, Fallen Angel (91/501)

"I'm going to enjoy tormenting you. I'm sure the powers that be will try to rob me of my joy. That's always the catch down here."

"Of course they'll try to rescue you... And Xena will make some self-sacrificing gesture... But fear not. We'll be ready for them."
   -- Demon Callisto to Gabrielle, Fallen Angel (91/501)

[1] Those three lines got me pondering some things again. I started thinking along these lines when Dahak first arrived, and I realize now that THE FURIES (47/301) had planted the seeds of these thoughts.

[2] If the gods are omnipotent, should they not be a little better than Ares appears to be at making plans? His best attempts at getting Xena back, so far, have been in THE RECKONING (06/106), where he is hopelessly out-witted by Xena, and THE FURIES (47/301), where he is hopelessly out-witted by Xena yet again, this time while she is half insane. Not good for the godly ego, yet a fine example of how Greek gods are very human in both their appetites and their follies.

[3] Ares is not so much evil as he is greedy. He exhibits a lusty, Xena-related greed, a monetary power- related greed, and finally, a greedy lust for power so that he can use it to further his greedy-for-Xena ends. Is it any wonder that this is nearly always his undoing?


Dahak's Omnipotence?


It's all fun and games until someone gets forcibly impregnated

Dahak usurps Iolaus' body in REDEMPTION.

[4] Dahak, on the other hand, appears to be truly evil and has the intellect to go with it. I asked myself many times exactly how much Dahak had planned from the beginning and how much was simply unhappy coincidence. The sacrifice of Gabrielle's blood innocence by an act of her own free will was planned from the very beginning as corruption of an innocent was necessary for the spell. What of the choice of Gabrielle though, and, by association, the choice of Xena?

[5] And that brings up another interesting point to ponder in the question of how much did Dahak plan. When Hope is young, she is weak and in need protection. That's what the Deliverer was supposed to do, before Xena fragged his b*tt. If that were the case, then any young blood- innocent would do, but preferably one without a friend capable of going toe to toe with deities. But that is not the case, Gabrielle and Xena are chosen as a pair. Gabrielle, being the sacrifice and protector, and Xena, the teacher of pain and hate.

[6] How far did Dahak plan ahead? Was Hope born evil or was she merely born different, like Hercules? If so, how can her human traits be used to Dahak's advantage? She is emotionally damaged and angry at a young age, and before she can cope with it, through the natural process of growing up, she is given godly powers with which to seek revenge. She says herself that it is her father's wish to destroy all the hope in the world (pun intended?), and she seeks to do this by killing all the children. Yet, in the end, the only children who die are Solan, by Hope's hand, and Hope, by Gabrielle's own hand. So the two people who were best equipped to deal with Hope are now spiritually broken.

[7] As for Hope and her immortal rebirth from the flames, the result is obvious. Her mother abandoned her at birth, and the next time they met, her mother poisoned her. This was a very sound lesson in trust, and it was the perfect motivation to continue her father's work.

[8] So Hope becomes the bringer of darkness and destruction because Dahak has made sure that she hates and mistrusts everyone; a well-played gambit, though, to be honest I can't figure out why it failed. Even Gabrielle's self sacrifice seems to have been taken into consideration by Dahak, if not Hope. It got Xena out of the way long enough for Hope to deliver the Destroyer.

[9] I still wonder exactly how much free will Hope had and what that has to do with Gabrielle not being a magma cannolli.


Lucifer: The Real Omnipotence

[10] My other questions are of a more Christian nature. What were Lucifer's real intentions for Callisto when he sent her after Xena? It is obvious that Xena would never trust Callisto and therefore all attempts at the soul- stealing, deal-making would fail, so why send Callisto at all?

[11] To fail, naturally. Just look at the glorious results of her failing. Gabrielle, who was going to spend her life doing good and helping everyone, goes berserk, kills seven people, and then she and Xena are crucified. In the afterlife why are those demons sent after Gabrielle? They are obviously not after Xena, as evidenced by the action and Callisto's talk with Gabrielle afterward: "Of course they'll try to rescue you... And Xena will make some self-sacrificing gesture... But fear not. We'll be ready for them."

[12] Convoluted plans indeed. Now, take a deep breath before reading this: Send back your target's worst enemy to force your target to behave the way she always does around her worst enemy in the knowledge that, once she has become an angel to save her friend, her guilty conscience will make it impossible for her not to save her worst enemy as well, thereby gaining her services for yourself in your war against Heaven. If that is not playing chess twelve moves ahead, then I don't know what is. Machiavelli would be impressed.


Conclusion

[13] This is the way omnipotent beings should think, well beyond our mere mortal understanding of cause and effect.

[14] As Callisto says, "That's always the catch down here."



Biography

Ryan Dever Ryan Dever
I'm just some Xenite like the rest of you. Like most of you I have a page http://members.home.net/quoth/OTHERHEAD/default.htm and like some of you I'm owned by two cats: Charles and Biscuit.
Favorite episode: It's a tie, CHARIOTS OF WAR (02/102), THE DEBT (52-53/306-307) and THE BITTER SUITE (58/312)... oh and now THE WAY (84/416) as well. Why am I so indecisive?
Favorite line: "Who do I have to hit to get a drink around here?!" Gabrielle, TEN LITTLE WARLORDS (32/208)
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)
Least favorite episode: A TALE OF TWO MUSES (74/406) and IF THE SHOE FITS (80/412)

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