Chronicle 3

The Legend Continues


Four weeks later.

Joxer entered the city of Nadaron. He walked around the busy marketplace, hoping to spot Xena or Gabrielle. Hmmm... This place looks familiar. Funny, it didn't look familiar the first time I was here...

Two soldiers were standing nearby. "There!" Joxer said. "Last time I mistakenly joined the ranks of the enemy, but not this time!" He walked up to the guards and drew his sword. "Here me, evildoers! You will not stop me from freeing the city of Nadaron from your evil oppression!"

"Who is this idiot?" the first guard asked.

"For I am Joxer! Joxer the Mighty! Joxer the Magnifice-"

"Joxer!"

It was Xena, making her way through the crowd. "What are you doing?"

"Xena!" Joxer smiled. "My faithful sidekick. Would you like to aid me in vanquishing these oppressors of man?"

"They're not the enemy, Joxer. This time there is an army of marauders threatening the city from the outside."

"Oops," Joxer said, "Well, in that case..."

"Come on," Xena said, grabbing his ear and dragging him away.

"Owwww!"

Inside the king's palace, Xena was assembling a meeting. Joxer found Gabrielle finishing up a scroll. "I was just writing an account of how you saved the city of Kolon, Joxer," Gabrielle said.

"I'll have to read it sometime," Joxer answered. "It'll be great to read of my heroism, my valor, my strength, my courage..."

Gabrielle began to read to herself the beginning of her story: "Heroes are made up of the strongest, bravest, and the smartest of men. There are, however, the occasional exceptions..."

The King, his general, and all the commanding officers had been assembled for the meeting. The room was packed with people, and they all obviously had a deep respect for Xena.

"All right, everyone," Xena began. "The Taurian marauders took a detour, which bought us some time, but now they're headed for Nadaron. I'm going to take the army with me and meet them before they get here. That way we'll have at least a few chances to stop them before we're forced into making a last stand here in the city. We leave immediately."

Over the next few days, Xena, Gabrielle, Joxer and the Nadaron army traveled to find the Taurians. When they finally found them, they were all truly awestruck.

The Taurians were inside a massive moving fortress, with a central tower rising just above the walls, pulled along by six enormous elephants, each ten times larger than normal.

"Those elephants must be supernatural to be able to pull something that huge," Gabrielle said.

"Ares is probably helping them," Xena said. "We've got to attack and see just how strong that fortress really is."

Minutes later, the battle began. The fortress appeared to be impenetrable. The elephants could not be harmed. The Taurians were firing a shower of arrows at the Nadarons from the safety of their castle walls.

"Everyone, retreat!" Xena said, "Retreat!"

Joxer smiled, "Ha! Joxer never retreats!" Then he turned and started to run. "He runs away, but he never retreats!"

Back at the camp, a meeting was called. Xena started to speak. "We have got to find a way to get on the inside."

Joxer stepped forward. "Never fear. Mighty Joxer has an idea."

"Uh-oh," Xena sighed.

Joxer spoke. The general and all the soldiers loved the idea. Everyone except Xena.

"Good work, Joxer," said the Nadaron general. "We'll get to work on this right away."

"I don't know," Xena said to Gabrielle after the meeting ended. "If it's Joxer's idea, it's bound to go wrong somehow."

The Nadarons soon finished building the massive object. It was placed in front of the Taurians' path. The massive fortress came to a halt, and the front gate opened. The Taurians came out and pulled the large wooden horse inside their fortress.

"See, Xena," Joxer said from high atop a hill where they could see the horse inside. "I told you it would work."

Inside the fortress, the Taurian soldiers were laughing hysterically as they looked at the large horse. "What kind of idiot would try that trick again? Ares told us all about the fall of Troy..."

"Ha!" Joxer laughed. "Those idiots. They have no idea there are men hiding inside."

Suddenly, a barrage of firebombs exploded the wooden horse into a million burning fragments.

Joxer winced. "Then again..."

Xena walked by him. "Come on, idiot."

"The name's Joxer!"

Another meeting was held. "We're running out of time," the general declared. "In a few days, that fortress will reach Nadaron and destroy it unless we do something. We're going to attack again at nightfall."

Joxer walked off. I've got to help them. I know! I'll use the catapult to shoot myself over the castle wall into the fortress. Then I'll open the front gate and let everyone in. A look of grim determination set in on his face. Then Xena will have no choice but to respect me as a true warrior...

Back at the meeting, Xena stepped forward. "Fine, we'll attack tonight, but we need to try a different approach. Let's attack from the rear."

When darkness fell, Joxer jumped onto a catapult once he made sure no one was looking. "Here goes nothing." He cut the rope and was shot into the air. The warrior went flying over the castle wall, landing in a stack of hay. He couldn't move at first, still in a state of shock. Then he heard sounds of a battle. "Xena is attacking! Great!" He looked at the Taurians scrambling. "What idiots those Taurians are! They've all run to the back gate! They've left front gate completely unguarded!"

Joxer ran over to the front wall and saw two levers. The top lever was for the front gate and the bottom one was for the back gate. He pulled down the top lever. The front gate quickly opened. He ran out through the entrance and stopped. "Xena! The front gate's open! Attack! Attack!" Then he realized there was no battle going on. "Hello? Anybody here? Gee, that must have been a real short battle." He turned around to see a squad of Taurians standing right behind him. "Oops. Hey, fellas. I'm Joxer The Mighty. Nice to meet you. I'm gonna go now, okay? Bye." The Taurians grabbed him and pulled him inside. Then the front gate was lowered.

Meanwhile, the Nadaron army had attacked the rear of the fortress unsuccessfully and was now in full retreat. Xena and Gabrielle were running for cover with the other soldiers.

"Xena!" Gabrielle shouted. "A scout just reported that Joxer somehow got inside and opened the front gate."

"The front gate?!" Xena exploded as she ran and dodged arrows simultaneously. "What about the back gate? He should've opened the back gate!"

Inside the fortress, the Taurian commander met with his first lieutenant.

"Commander, the prisoner's name is Joxer."

"His name is as stupid as he looks."

"We might be able to use his idiocy to our advantage, sir." He told his idea.

The commander frowned. "He couldn't be that stupid... Could he?"

The soldier shrugged. "All the men seem to think so."

"Fine. What have we got to lose?"

The front gate was soon opened and several soldiers brought Joxer before it. The commander walked up to him. "Joxer, you must never leave this place. Our west side is totally defenseless."

"Utterly defenseless."

"Completely defenseless."

"If we were attacked on the west side," the commander continued, "we wouldn't stand a chance."

"We would be crushed if they attacked us on the west."

"We would be slaughtered if they attacked us on the west."

"Surely we would be defeated once and for all if they attacked us on the west."

Joxer frowned. If only these Taurians would tell me something of value... Then his eyebrows raised. Wait a minute! He then noticed that the soldiers were all facing the other direction and were whistling to themselves. Joxer slowly tiptoed away and then ran off.

"Quickly!" the general ordered. "Line up all the men along the west!"

Back at the Nadaron camp...

"Xena!" Joxer proclaimed. "We must attack the uh, the... the... the east! Yes, that's it! We must attack the east! It's completely defenseless!"

Xena walked up to him. "Joxer, are you sure it's the east?"

"Yes!"

"Are you certain?"

"Yes!"

"Are you positive?"

"Yes!"

"Then we attack the west!" Xena marched by him.

"But, Xena..." Gabrielle protested.

"If there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that Joxer's always wrong!"

***

Taurian archers sprang up out of nowhere across the west wall, and the approaching Nadaron soldiers were caught in a blitz of arrows.

"It's a trap!" yelled one soldier.

"ARRRRRGGGGH!" Xena put her hands on her head in frustration as she led the troops into retreat. "I can't even trust Joxer to be wrong right!!!"

Back at the camp, Xena approached Joxer. "I have a special mission for you. It's something that only one with your unique abilities is qualified for. This is the most important mission you'll ever have in your life. We're really counting on you, for this is our most desperate hour."

"You can count on me, Xena."

A half hour later, Joxer found himself heading down a road towards the nearest town. "Obviously, I'm the only one qualified for a mission of this importance. I must find food for the general's soon-to-be-starving cat."

Back at the Nadaron camp, Xena was organizing the army. "That mission should keep Joxer away long enough so we can attack without him around to screw up everything. Now we might just have a prayer of winning... as long as Joxer stays far away."

Joxer saw a man pushing a small cart in his direction. "Sir!" he shouted. "I'm looking for cat food. Do you know how far it is to town?"

"Well, you've still got a long way to go," he answered, "but if it's cat food you're looking for, I've got a whole cart of mice here. I'm looking to get rid of it. It's yours for free if you want."

"I'll give you 30 dinars for it. No less!"

"You drive a hard bargain. It's a deal." He took the money from Joxer.

"Yes!" Joxer proclaimed as he started pushing the cart back towards the camp. "I've accomplished my mission in less than half the time it normally would have taken." He grinned to himself. "Boy, I can't wait to see the look on Xena's face when she sees me!"

Later at the Nadaron camp, Xena and her allies were preparing for battle. A huge catapult was pushed forward as the Taurian fortress was almost upon them. "This catapult may be our last chance to stop the Taurians," Xena declared. "Get ready to attack. On the count of three. One... two... th-"

"Xena!" came from the distance.

"Oh, no," Xena moaned. "Not him!"

They all turned to see Joxer approaching with a cart.

Joxer smiled as he was running full speed pushing the cart. "I have accomplished my mission! I have the food for the- Oof!" He tripped and fell, but the cart kept speeding forward, heading straight towards the Nadarons.

"Look out!" Xena yelled. Everyone moved to the side and the cart crashed into the catapult, smashing the hurling device. The catapult was ruined. Tons of mice came out of the shattered cart and scurried down the hill across the grassy plain.

Joxer ran up to Xena, who was staring dumbfoundedly at the wrecked catapult. "Mission accomplished, Xena."

"Joxer!" Xena yelled. "What are you doing???!!!"

"You know, Xena," Joxer said, annoyed, "I've got half a mind to stop helping you."

"AARRRGGGHH!!!" Xena had her hands in her hair. "I'll get you for this, Joxer!"

She and Gabrielle watched the mice run across the ground. They headed straight for the elephants pulling the fortress. The elephants let out a howl and started to charge forward.

"Xena, look!" Gabrielle pointed.

"The elephants," Xena exclaimed, "they're afraid of the mice!"

The elephants began to stampede. The fortress, not built to be moving at such a fast speed, began to shake and crack. The massive tower in its center fell forward and smashed through the garrison and the front gate. The entire fortress came to a crashing halt as the other walls crumbled apart, burying the entire Taurian army.

"The Taurians are defeated!" yelled one soldier. They all gave a large cheer.

"He did it again." Xena was shaking her head. "I can't believe it. He did it again."

"What did I do?" Joxer asked.

The Nadaron soldiers gathered around Joxer and held him up on their shoulders.

"Joxer! Joxer! Joxer! He is our hero! He is our champion! He saved our city! We will sing his praises forever! We will spread his fame until he is known through all of Greece! Joxer! Joxer! Joxer!"

There was a huge celebration at Nadaron that night, and Joxer once again received the majority of the spotlight. Xena and Gabrielle, sitting at a table, watched Joxer give his big speech, then trip and fall off the stage. The people roared with approval.

"I don't know how he does it," Xena said, shaking her head for what seemed the millionth time.

"Me, neither," Gabrielle answered.

Joxer quickly jumped back onto his feet and assumed a heroic stance. He waded through the crowd, making his way over to Xena and Gabrielle.

"Xena," Joxer said.

"Congratulations, Joxer," Xena said. "I have to admit... You've once again managed to accomplish the impossible."

"Well, you have to admit," Joxer replied, "no one is more impossible than I."

Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other. "We agree," they answered together.

Joxer continued to walk through the crowd, accepting thanks from everyone.

"Joxer!" came from nearby.

Joxer saw a man running frantically towards him. "What's wrong?"

"My town, Gaea, is in trouble. We're being threatened by-"

"Never fear, people of Gaea!" Joxer shouted, assuming another heroic pose. "Joxer the Mighty will save you!" And then the mighty warrior took off again.

Xena stood up and watched Joxer leaving the city. "Where is he going?"

"He said he was headed for Gaea," answered a soldier.

Xena sighed. "He's going the wrong way again."

And so, the mighty warrior headed off once again in search of his destiny. Unfortunately, he never did find Gaea, but, well, Hercules was able to help them.


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