Legal Disclaimer: "XENA: Warrior Princess" is owned and copyrighted by Pacific Renaissance Pictures, Studios USA Television Distribution LLC, and licensed by Universal Studios Licensing, LLLP. All rights are reserved by them. The following story is strictly nonprofit fan-fiction, and absolutely no copyright infringement is intended.


Author's Disclaimer: The following story contains adult language.


Dr. Gabriella Duncan flies to Washington DC to testify before a Congressional Committee. Naturally, the potty-mouthed Navy doctor winds up getting herself into trouble by stirring up a political hornet's nest of controversy.


“The New Adventures of XENA: Warrior Princess”

“ Dr. Duncan Goes To Washington”

By Ernie Whiting


Sitting behind the ornate, oaken table with her notes before her and with Gina sitting at her left side, she gathered the computer-printed pages together in both hands and tapped their bottom edges against the polished wooden surface a couple of times to straighten them. At the same time, she couldn't help noticing how the pages shook almost audibly in her nervously trembling hands.

She took a quick glance around herself, and for the first time she noticed just how many people were here in this chamber of the Congressional Committee on Veteran's Affairs. The upper gallery was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with visitors and tourists, like sardines in a can, who had come to witness their government at work. Every uncomfortable, wooden seat behind the low balustrade behind her, separating the public from the politicians and the press, was filled. There must have been a couple hundred people here. At least a couple hundred. And then there were the TV cameras, from every major network news outlet in the country: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS... Not to mention the national cable outlets like FOX and CNN... For all she knew, this might even be a world-wide broadcast.

“Chairman Zuckapee,” she began, her soft and mildly quavering Southern voice amplified by the PA system while her green eyes nervously scanned the faces of the committee members in an attempt to address everyone equally. “Vice Chairwoman Winston and Vice Chairman Raleigh, members of Congress... Esteemed guests, members of the press, and my fellow Citizens...” What the hell am I doin' here? she silently drawled to herself. Public speaking had never been one of her strong suits. And this was certainly no gathering of average, everyday people; hell no. Damn, dude, this is a branch of Congress! Congress , for god's sakes! Holy crap, she told herself, don't fuck this up, man. Millions of people are watching and listening, literally millions of people hanging on your every word. So whatever you do, sailor...Do Not Fuck This Up.

No pressure, she added, with a touch of gallows humor.

She cleared her throat softly in preparation of delivering her speech, and was amazed at how well the mike picked it up and how well the public address system broadcast it throughout the chamber. She briefly and silently consulted her notes again...and then she abruptly stuck them inside of the open manila folder before her, and slapped it shut.

Gina gave her a curious look. What the... What's she doing? she asked herself. The doctor had worked on those notes for two days.

Fuck it, Brie thought, almost as though she was psychically answering her partner. What's the worst that can happen? What can they do to me? They gonna shoot me or somethin'? She leaned forward slightly, resting her hands on top of the folder as she laced her fingers together, for in that moment she had decided to forgo her notes, and speak straight from the heart.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the doctor quietly said into the microphone before her, “roughly eight thousand veterans commit suicide every year, while the average wait time for treatment for mental health complaints by the VA is something like three hundred days.” Her eyes darted from the face of one Congress member to another. “ Three hundred days ,” she emphasized. “That means, by the time a veteran gets treated,, uh...” Her hands fidgeted for a moment, and she forced them to become still. “It means that... ...that eight thousand of their brothers and sisters...” She had to pause for a moment as she struggled to control her emotions. In that brief instant, she saw her partner, years ago, sitting in the dark on the edge of their bed and wearing her Marine dress blues with a note pinned to her jacket, and with a loaded pistol in her hands. She saw that scene, multiplied now by eight thousand. With pain-filled eyes and a soft voice that was tight with emotion, she added,“...they tired of waiting.”

The room was absolutely dead silent... and now, with the exception of the politicians in front of her, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Gina placed a comforting hand on her partner's shoulder, and gave it a gentle, reassuring squeeze.

“We have homeless veterans,” the Navy doctor went on, after taking a moment to pull herself together, and from here on out her voice now became stronger and more determined. “People who fought and risked their very lives for our country are literally living on the streets of the richest and most powerful nation on Earth . How can you—we— any of us!—allow this shit to happen? This is beyond a tragedy; this is a god damn outrage !”

An explosion of applause suddenly erupted from the audience; applause and cheers for Brie, and there were roars of rage and anger for this committee and Congress in general.

And now Brie's anger broke from its cage like an enraged, 600 pound Bengal tiger, and was loosed upon the committee. “A goddamned outrage !” she roared, and the spectators behind roared with her.

BAM! went the chairman's little wooden gavel. “Order!” said Chairman Zuckapee, a soft, pink and pudgy little balding man who had never seen a day of real service in his entire life, as the gavel sharply went BAM! BAM! again.

It took a moment or two before the audience finally settled down into silence once more.

“Doctor Duncan,” he said at last. “I understand that as a former Navy captain and as a doctor and a veteran, this is an issue that is close to you, and of great importance. But we must observe proper decorum here. After all, you are addressing a Congressional committee. You need to show a little respect here.”

Brie arched one golden eyebrow in surprise. “Respect?” she growled, deep in her chest. “ Respect ? For who? You ?” Her green eyes suddenly narrowed dangerously as she focused on him like an eagle on a rat. Placing her hands on the table, she slowly rose to her feet as though she was preparing to pounce on him.

Oh, shit, Gina thought. Here it comes. Smiling at her partner, she leaned back into her chair, folded her arms across her chest, and awaited the inevitable onslaught.

“American service members are fighting and dying so pudgy little parasites like you can stuff your face full of Twinkies and sleep in peace at night! And all you can do is try to come up with lame-ass excuses for not paying for their care.” Suddenly, her voice became a nasal, sarcastic whine. “‘Not enough money in the budget! They'll have to wait their turn! We have other priorities! Blah, blah, blah!'

Bullshit !!” she roared. “You need to re-examine those ‘priorities!' Veterans are living on the streets ! Between the countless cases of PTSD and sheer depression, veterans are committing suicide because they can't get the help they need! Because you would rather throw our tax dollars down your personal little rathole projects! So don't you fuckin' talk to me about ‘respect,' goddamnit!”

Another explosion of applause, this one even louder and more strident than the last, came from above and behind her. “OO-RAH!” and “HOO-YA!” and “HOO-AH!!”—the roaring voices of approval from Marines, Sailors and Soldiers—rattled the walls and reverberated like thunder throughout the chamber.

“Order!” Zuckapee shouted as he banged his gavel again and again, like a spoiled child sitting in a highchair, protesting against his creamed corn. But this time, the cheering for Brie was so loud that he could hardly be heard. “Order!” he shouted again, like an impotent little führer. “Order! Order! We will have order here!!” BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!!

Gina watched her proudly with a silent “ Oo-rah !” of her own, letting the irascible blonde have full rein. This is more fun than anything she could ever imagine.

“And if I hear that goddamn hammer one more time,” Brie roared, “I swearta God I'm gonna come up there and rip it out of you're your pudgy li'l paw and shove it so far and so hard up your pink li'l ass that you'll be spittin' out your teeth !”

The audience screamed with cheers and laughter, applauded, whistled and stomped their feet in wild enthusiasm. No one had ever addressed a Congressional committee like this before, and probably never would again. This was history in the making, and they were going to enjoy it while they could.

Red-faced and outraged, Zuckapee raised his little hammer high once again—a little child, pretending to be the Norse god Thor—but Vice Chairwoman Winston leaned toward him and raised a hand to stop him just in time. Slowly but firmly, she brought his hand down. “Between you and me,” she cautiously told him, “I think she means it.”

Zuckapee turned his wide, shocked and incredulous eyes on her. “But how dare she?” he said. “How dare she?? I'm a Congressman !! She can't talk to me that way!”

“She just did,” Ms. Winston told him. “Don't push your luck.”

Turning to face the cheering crowd, Brie raised her hands in a plea for silence. While appreciating their support, she wasn't quite finished yet.

Slowly, the crowd settled down once more, and she calmly continued: “You've got the money. You can raise more. If you can fund a war half a world away or pay farmers not to grow tobacco, broccoli an' lima beans, or even vote yourselves another goddamn pay raise, you can sure as hell take proper care of these veterans and pay them what you owe them. An' I strongly suggest you do it, ‘cause whatever those combat vets do for their livelihoods in the civilian world today...” She paused for a moment to take a breath. “Let me emphasize that phrase: combat veterans . Former and current, professionally trained military personnel who know how to fight .” Her sharp, dangerous eyes roamed over the timid committee faces while, with a sweep of her arm, she indicated the people behind her. “Do you really wanna tangle with them? Do you really want to awaken that sleepin' giant? Y'all want another Boston Fuckin' Tea Party on your hands? Because if you really have any common sense whatsoever, that thought oughtta make you feel like shittin' down both legs.

“Find the money,” she said at last. “You talk about respect; you find the money, and you treat them with the respect that they have earned with their blood and their pain and their honor. I don't wanna hear any goddamned bullshit excuses; you fuckin' just make it happen. DO IT . ‘Cause if you think I'm unpleasant, just you wait ‘til you find out what a bunch of former yet highly trained and thoroughly pissed-off United States Marines can do to you.”


“Damn,” Gina softly said to her as they made their way toward the double-doors that led outside. “And the Yakuza calls Evie the ‘Golden Dragon?'”

“Golden Dragon” was all that the reporter from CNN heard. “Golden Dragon?” he repeated softly. He turned to his cameraman. “Did you catch that?”

The cameraman grinned, and nodded. “It suits her,” he said.

On exiting the chamber, she was immediately mobbed by reporters who began assaulting her with staccato bursts of questions; and with one arm protectively around her partner's shoulders, Gina managed to nudge most of them out of their way as they made their way outside and down the steps toward the street, where their stretch limousine waited to take them back to their hotel. With nothing to say at the moment, all Brie could do was to edge her way through them. She was too mad to talk anyway.

“Come on, guys, give her some space,” Gina told them as she gently but firmly nudged them away. “When she's ready to make a statement, she'll give you one.”

The irascible Navy doctor suddenly stopped. “I will give you just one statement for now,” she said. As flash bulbs went off and video camera lights danced over her face, she narrowed her eyes just slightly against their glare with an unintended yet unquestionably threatening expression. “Just one, concerning this appalling and absolutely unjustifiable treatment, by this Congress and the VA, of our nation's veterans and heros...”

The crowd around her quickly fell still, eager to hear what she had to say. Video recorders whirred in the silence and newspaper reporters waited with keen anticipation, with their pens poised over their notepads and with tape recorders in their hands, while the mob of spectators struggled to reach toward her with their cell phones to record her words and her picture.

“Just one thing,” Brie repeated as she gazed into the nearest video camera with cold and determined green eyes. “This bullshit's gonna stop .”


After a night of far too much celebrating, she slowly rolled out of bed with a throbbing head. Ohh god, I'm never drinkin' again, she told herself. And then another little voice inside of her head said, Yeah, right, like you've never told yourself that before.

Oh, yeah? Well, this time I mean it.

And where have we heard that before? her other self asked.

Oh, shut up, she told herself.

Details over the last day or so were a little fuzzy. She remembered testifying before Congress, but she couldn't remember exactly what she had told them. And she remembered celebrating her return from D.C. with family and friends, but she couldn't remember a whole lot of what transpired at that party, either. Not at the moment, anyway. It hadn't been so much of a victory as it had been a relief; she remembered being glad that her testimony was over and done with, and out of the way. She was fairly confident that memory would return once she woke up a little more, and once she managed to at least mute the pounding in her head, if not suppress it altogether. So, with a mild groan she rose to her feet and straightened her pale blue pajama bottoms, and then shuffled sleepily toward the bedroom door. She needed aspirin and coffee, and both were downstairs. Just the smell of the coffee, wafting gently up the staircase, was beginning to lift her spirits.

“Hey sweetie,” Gina said brightly, when her partner appeared in the kitchen. “Guess who made the six o'clock news?”

Brie turned her bloodshot eyes toward her. “Huh?”

With a coffee mug in one hand, she indicated the flat-screen TV in the living room. “Check it out.”

She turned toward the TV and saw herself making her way down the wide cement steps outside the Congressional Committee Chambers, surrounded by a horde of reporters shouting questions at her and begging for her attention. Across the bottom of the screen was a red bar with a caption in white: “Golden Dragon Roars Before Congress.”

She scowled in momentary puzzlement. “‘Golden Dragon?'” she asked. She turned her puzzled scowl on Gina. “What, did someone open up a new Chinese restaurant?”

“They're talking about you , numbskull,” the Marine said before she sipped at her coffee.

“‘Just one thing,'” she heard herself saying through the TV's stereo speakers. “‘This bullsh(bleep!)t's gonna stop.'”

“Oh my God,” she groaned softly as she stared at the screen in dismay. “Did I really say that on live TV?”

“You sure did,” Gina replied as she handed the blonde a steaming coffee mug. With a grin, she sipped again at her own coffee. “If you think that's bad, you ought to check out Youtube. You've already gone viral.”

“Oh, God,” she groaned again. Oh god, oh god, oh god... She knew what this meant: after this, she'd never be able to show her face in public again. Good-bye patients, good-bye practice, she thought. Good-bye medical career. Good-bye job. Oh, fuck.

“‘This bullshit's gonna stop,'” Gina quoted. “Actually, I think it sounds like a pretty good campaign slogan.”

Brie turned from the TV to face her partner. In spite of the throbbing in her head and the burning in her bloodshot eyes, she still managed to work up a bashful, crooked and skeptical little smile. “Yeah, right,” she said softly.

“I take it you haven't looked outside yet.” She raised her coffee mug to her lips, blew gently across the dark surface, and sipped again.

She stared at her for another moment with a combination of puzzlement and caution. “Why?” she asked. “What? What's outside?”

Without a sound, she gently took her partner by one arm and guided her to the wide bay windows that overlooked their front yard. At the side of the road just outside of their wire fence, Brie saw that someone had put up a red, white and blue campaign banner that made her eyes grow wide with mild horror and dread. The banner proclaimed in huge letters, “The Golden Dragon Says ‘This Bullshit's Gonna Stop.'— Vote Gabriella Duncan for Congress !”

With her face next to Brie's, Gina grinned as she gazed out the window. “Works for me,” she said. She kissed the side of her head. “I'm gonna go start breakfast. Y'want steak and eggs?” she asked as her voice and footsteps began to retreat toward the kitchen.

Brie continued to stare out the window with wide, green, stunned and uncertain eyes. And with a sudden flair for classic understatement, she softly said to herself, “Oh... ...crap.”

But then another idea occurred to her, and she took a few silent moments of considerable reflection to mull it over. “Congresswoman Gabriella Duncan,” she softly said to herself. She actually started to smile a little bit at that. It had kind of a nice ring to it. “Congresswoman Brie Duncan,” she said to herself again. “Y'think?”


The End

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