The room was painted in that supposedly calming off-green colour particular to large public institutions. At one end was a door, at the other a glass-covered hole in the wall with a small grille in the middle and another room behind it. Over the hole a faded sign saying ''COMPLAINTS'' hung. In between the door and the complaints counter a low table, a worn fake-leather couch, two equally worn fake-leather armchairs and a large flowerpot with a long-dead yucca palm in it had been placed. On the table some old magazines lay thrown. The lot of it was lit by overhead fluorescent tubes, one of which blinked on and off and buzzed. In the sofa a dark-haired woman sat. She was dressed in a black uniform with a bunch of white stripes on the upper chest and shoulders. Her hair was done up in a braid that reached about midway down her back. She was flipping through a magazine, obviously bored. She didn't even look up when the door opened and a blonde woman in tight trousers and loose blouse entered.
''Er, excuse me?'' the blonde woman said. ''Is this the complaints department?''
''That's what the sign says,'' the woman on the couch answered. ''Although I haven't been able to do much complaining so far.''
The blonde walked in. ''I guess I'll just wait here, then,'' she said and sat down in one of the armchairs.
For a minute or so, they just sat there. ''Which series are you from?'' the blonde asked when she couldn't stand the oppressive silence any longer.
For the first time the dark-haired woman looked up from her magazine. '''Babylon 5','' she said while she took a long, good look at the blonde. Her gaze stuck around rather longer than necessary in the general region of the blonde's breasts. ''Susan Ivanova, second-tier main character.'' She offered a hand across the table.
''Jenna Stannis,'' the blonde said as she shook Ivanova's hand. ''From 'Blake's 7'. Main character, I guess.''
''That 'I guess' bit is why you're here?'' Ivanova said once she'd let go of Jenna's hand.
Jenna nodded. ''It started out pretty good, you know? Tough smuggler type, spaceship pilot, independent, that sort of thing. But lately it feels like all I've been doing is to support the men while they're being heroic.''
''Yeah, that sort of thing stinks. I hope you can get something done about it.''
''If not, I think I'll drop out. And you?''
Ivanova's eyebrows rose. ''Me? Oh, love-life trouble.''
''Boyfriend of the week syndrome?''
''If only, that way I might get some... No, they have me take a very long time to get close to someone and then when I finally do they kill her.''
''Or him. One of each, now.''
''Ok... Does anyone ever show up there?'' Jenna said, pointing at the complaints counter.
''Not while I've been here. What about you? Any action in your series?''
''Well, we run around quarries and get shot at a lot.''
''No, I meant the other kind of action.''
''Ah.'' Jenna laughed. ''Hardly. It's a BBC series. The closest I've got to sex is when Cally grabbed my tit in 'Orac'.''
''Tough. Series been running long?''
''Two seasons now.''
''Just finished four here.''
''And you haven't had any for all that time?''
''There was that one time in season two with Talia...''
Jenna didn't have time to say more than ''Oh really? Tell me more, will you?'' before the door slammed open and a short reddish-blonde girl stormed in. She was dressed in a small dark-green top, short brown skirt, knee-high soft boots and held a staff firmly in one hand. She walked right up to the counter and started banging quite vigorously at the glass with her staff.
''HELLO?!'' she shouted. ''Anybody in there? I've got a complaint to make, damn it!''
There was no response whatsoever from inside. ''Er, excuse me?'' Ivanova said, more than a bit worried about what would happen if the girl actually broke the glass.
The girl turned around. ''Yes!'' she snarled.
''There's no one there,'' Ivanova said. ''I've been waiting here for hours.''
The blonde girl seemed to shrink a couple of inches as the worst anger ran out of her. ''Oh Tartarus,'' she said. ''I really felt like shouting at someone. I'm so damn frustrated.''
Jenna smiled crookedly. ''Boyfriend trouble?''
The girl sat down in the unoccupied armchair. ''No, I can beat him over the head if he gets frisky. It's my girlfriend who's the problem.''
''Girlfriend?'' Jenna and Ivanova said simultaneously, whereafter they both started eyeing the girl in a rather different way. They both liked what they saw, which, dressed as she was, was quite a bit.
''Yeah, girlfriend...'' She got a faraway and dreamy look for a few moments, then shook her head to clear it and smiled. ''I didn't introduce myself, did I? Gabrielle, sidekick from 'Xena: Warrior Princess'. Pleased to meet you both.''
''Ivanova, 'Babylon 5''' and ''Jenna, 'Blake's 7''' was muttered from the other women and there was a general shaking of hands.
''So, what's the problem with your girlfriend?'' Ivanova asked.
Gabrielle sighed. ''The writers almost, but not quite, let us get it on. It was sort of fun to begin with, but after a season or so I was so horny I was ready to pull Joxer into the bushes.'' She shuddered at the thought.
''Did you try talking to the writers?'' Jenna asked. ''It sounds like they were at least willing to ponder the concept, unlike my writers.''
''Yeah, I did,'' Gabrielle said. '''Hey look,' I said, 'it's just about two people being in love and making each other feel good. Really, really good... What's so wrong with that?' And they squirm a bit and they say 'Well, you know, Gabby, it's all about the viewers, ok? Some of them really don't think this lesbian stuff is like family-oriented and wholesome and stuff, so we don't want to be too in-your-face about it. We know you can do it. Talk to the producers about getting you a vibrator if it gets too bad.'''
''Now there's an idea,'' Ivanova muttered under her breath.
Gabrielle went on as if she hadn't heard. ''And then what do they do? They have me get raped by an evil god, that's what they do! Even ignoring the moral dubiousness inherent in portraying beings as intrinsically incapable of ethical choice, that's not exactly family-oriented, you know? I mean, it's unacceptable if I fuck Xena, but it's all right for this thing to rape me? Hello? Consistency of opinion, anyone? And just to add insult to injury, it's not even a proper fucking that might leave me less frustrated afterwards I get by this god-dude, oh no, it's a supernatural floating-around-in-fire thing that leaves me just as horny only now I'm pregnant too! And the less said about that pregnancy the better. I sure hope someone gets here soon, because I've got some major complaining to do!''
''Not much to do but wait until someone gets here,'' Jenna muttered and picked up a magazine at random from the table.
''Guess so,'' Ivanova agreed, and returned to the magazine she'd been reading when Jenna entered.
Gabrielle sighed and put her feet up on the edge of the table. ''Wait, wait, wait. Always wait,'' she mumbled to herself.
Gabrielle had no underwear on. This had become eminently visible to Jenna as soon as Gabrielle put her feet up, and it made it quite impossible for her to read. Her gaze kept being drawn to the curly red hair and cute little slit where the smaller woman's legs met. Eventually, she gave up even the pretense of reading and threw the magazine back onto the table. ''So did you get a vibrator?'' she asked.
''Huh?'' Gabrielle returned from wherever her daydreams had taken her. ''No, what use would that have been anyway? If I could use that I could just as well have got in on with Xena.''
''Ah. Of course.''
''I mean, we've tried it any number of times, getting some good groping and licking in when we're not in shot, but an episode is only about 40 minutes long so we've usually only got going when we're on camera again and we have to pretend we're interested in the plot of the week. At least it usually ends with a big fight so we get to work off some tension.''
''Maybe...'' Ivanova begun. Jenna noticed that she was holding her magazine the wrong way up. ''Maybe we could help?''
''You mean you could get someone here to complain to?'' Gabrielle said. ''Why are you waiting here, then?''
''No,'' Ivanova said. ''I mean, maybe we could help you get rid of some of that ... frustration.''
''Oh? How? I mean, we're not even from the same series, how could you help us get the time to play around?''
''I think Susan was thinking of a more immediate and short-term solution to the problem,'' Jenna said.
''I don't want a short-term solution, I want to be able to do Xena whenever, however and for as long as I like. Just having her once or twice would be worse than nothing in the long run.''
Gabrielle got up from her seat and walked back to the counter, trying again to see if there was anybody in there. Jenna leaned over the table.
''Is she this thick or is she just playing hard to get?'' she whispered to Ivanova, who had also leaned forward.
''I don't know,'' Ivanova replied. ''But I sure wouldn't mind getting into that skirt.''
Jenna blushed slightly. ''Me neither,'' she said. ''Why don't you just ask her?''
Ivanova looked quickly towards where Gabrielle stood. She was pressing her face against the glass, keeping the light out with her hands in an attempt to see better. Slightly bent forward like that, her firm young ass strained against the red-brown material of her skirt in a most pleasing manner.
''I can't do that,'' Ivanova said. ''What if she gets upset? Did you see her banging at the glass with that staff? She'd beat me into a pulp in no time!'' She paused to think. ''Although I'd rather like to see her have a go at Neroon.''
Jenna's gaze turned to Gabrielle's posterior and stayed there. ''So what do we do?'' she said, still whispering.
Ivanova joined her in admiring the scenery. ''Don't ask me. I suck at personal relationship stuff.''
''This place is so not working,'' Gabrielle said and turned around. ''I think...,'' she began to say. She stopped when she noticed the other two women staring in the general direction of her crotch. They hurriedly looked away and failed miserably to pretend that nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
''You know,'' Gabrielle said, ''I'm beginning to suspect that when you said you could help me take care of my frustration you weren't thinking about helping me get it on with Xena at all.''
Jenna pushed Gabrielle's hair aside with her nose and caught her ear lobe gently between her teeth. She stood behind the smaller woman, her arms reaching around her. On the other side, Ivanova was standing, kissing Gabrielle deeply. Jenna was trying to get Ivanova's uniform jacket off, which wasn't all that easy when she couldn't see what she was doing. She tought Ivanova was trying to get Gabrielle's top off, but she wasn't sure. Just as she got Ivanova's jacket open and got at her breasts, she heard both the other women gasp for air.
''I...'', Gabrielle had time to say before Ivanova started kissing her again. Jenna started in on the buttons on Ivanova's white blouse. She felt hands move against her chest, and Gabrielle's top was removed and thrown aside. She gave in to temptation, abandoned Ivanova's blouse and began to play with Gabrielle's now-exposed nipples instead.
''I...'', Gabrielle tried again, and this time she dodged Ivanova's mouth. ''I appreciate what you're doing, but--''. Her skirt fell away, loosened by Ivanova's nimble fingers, fingers that quickly found their way to more interesting ground. ''--I'm really ooh that feels soo good a one-woman ah yes girl, really, so please mmmm stop doing that please.''
Reluctantly, Jenna let go of Gabrielle's breasts and took a step back. In front, Ivanova did more or less the same.
''It's not that I'm not grateful or don't like it or anything,'' Gabrielle said after she'd caught her breath, ''but I really don't want to be unfaithful to Xena, you know?''
''You could consider it practice for when you do get the chance to make love to your girlfriend,'' Ivanova said. Jenna kept silent, admiring Gabrielle's muscular back, well-shaped buttocks and lovely legs.
''An interesting idea, but I don't really think she'd see it that way. I'm sorry I got you all worked up in vain... Although you didn't seem to mind touching each other...?'' Gabrielle looked over her shoulder at Jenna, questioningly. ''I won't mind if you want to continue without me.'' An impish grin spread over her face. ''I could Jennawatch and learn,'' she said.
Ivanova looked at Jenna. Jenna looked back.
''Well, we nearly said we'd teach her, didn't we?'' Jenna said.
''We certainly nearly did,'' Ivanova said. ''And we can't go back on our almost given word, now can we?'' She undid her pants and wiggled them off.
''Absolutely not,'' Jenna said while removing her blouse.
Gabrielle sat in one of the chairs, stark naked but for her knee-high red boots. On the couch and Ivanova were, in between kissing and fondling, playfully removing from each other what few scraps of clothing they still wore.
''Playing around and not taking things too seriously is quite important,'' Jenna said while Ivanova kissed her way down her belly. ''You can keep things up for longer that way.''
''Of course,'' Ivanova said, ''it's not always you want to take it slow.'' She quickly slid two fingers into Jenna's wet slit. Jenna yelped. ''Sometimes you want it hard, fast and right now,'' Ivanova continued. She started sliding her fingers in and out.
Jenna closed her eyes and laid back, enjoying the ministrations. With an effort of will she opened her eyes, and saw Gabrielle part her legs enough to get a hand in between them. She was watching Ivanova intently, and as the dark-haired woman lowered her head so she could reach Jenna's pussy with her mouth Gabrielle let out a vaguely frustrated whimper.
''Oh, yes, oh, I love that,'' Jenna mumbled as Ivanova's tongue slid over sensitive flesh. ''Keep doing that. Keep doing that for a long time...''
By now, Gabrielle was openly stroking herself.
''Are you sure you don't want to join us?'' Jenna said, with plenty of pauses for heavy breaths.
Slowly, tentatively, Gabrielle got up from the chair. She sat down on the table and extended a hesitant hand Ivanova's side. She stroked her gently, slowly, exploring the feel of her warm, soft skin. Her hand followed the curves of Ivanova's body for as far as she could reach, traveling over her thigh, hip and waist before it ended up softly squeezing a smallish breast. Not hearing any protests, she moved closer so she could use both hands and reach further. The hand that played with Ivanova's breast moved down a bit to stroke the inside of Jenna's thigh, the other one reached behind Ivanova where Jenna couldn't see what it did but whatever it was it made Ivanova start and then moan.
''Fun, isn't it?'' Jenna said.
Gabrielle nodded distractedly. She was watching Ivanova licking Jenna's pussy, obviously fascinated.
''Let me try that,'' she said.
Ivanova moved aside a little, and after moving Jenna's leg a bit Gabrielle got her face close enough and got to work. While possibly not as experienced as Ivanova, she brought an enthusiasm and inventiveness to the situation that soon had Jenna moaning loudly and gasping for release. Ivanova moved up along Jenna's body until she could reach her breasts and, incidentally, so that Jenna could reach hers. It also made it possible for Gabrielle to reach the middle of Ivanova, and she wasted no time sliding a finger or two into her vagina. She slid one into Jenna's as well, while moving the tip of her tongue in circles around her clitoris. With only a second or two of warning, orgasm swept through Jenna. She cried out and pushed Gabrielle's head into her crotch, wanting as much pressure as she could get on her sex. The feelings subsided, and she more or less collapsed into a heap.
''Pleased?'' Ivanova asked.
''Mmmm,'' Jenna nodded.
''Care to move aside a bit so I and Gabrielle here can go on?''
''Nah. Lie on top of me.''
Ivanova raised an eyebrow. ''Ok,'' she said. She turned so her back was against Jenna's front and her ass between her legs.
''Come here, cutie,'' she said to Gabrielle, who had looked on amusedly.
Gabrielle crawled up Ivanova until their mouths met in a sloppy kiss. More or less simultaneously they reached for each others' pussies, both moving enough to make it possible for the other to reach. Their combined weight lay heavy on Jenna, but she found it oddly comfortable. She reached around Ivanova and stroked the sides of both the other women while they moved against each other. Their movements became steadily more urgent until first Gabrielle and finally Ivanova came.
For a while they just lay there, enjoying nothing more complex than the comfort of feeling another warm body being close.
Since she had the least amount of clothes to put on, Gabrielle got dressed first. She stood by the door, leaning on her staff.
''Well... Thanks for the lesson. It was... very pleasant,'' she said.
''You don't seem nearly as tense as you did before,'' Ivanova said.
She grinned. ''True. I don't even mind that I never got to lodge a formal complaint.''
''You're going back now?'' Jenna asked as she put her blouse on.
''Yeah. Maybe now that I can think straight I can work out a way to get to jump Xena's bones on a regular basis.''
''Good luck,'' Ivanova said. ''Maybe we'll see each other again some day.''
''Who knows?'' She gave both the taller women firm hugs. ''Take care!'' She waved a little and left.
Ivanova and Jenna looked at each other. Jenna's clothes were all wrinkly from having been lain on, and Ivanova's hair was a mess.
''You going back to your show?'' Ivanova asked.
''No, I don't think so,'' Jenna replied. ''I sort of lost interest in it.'' She looked questioningly at Ivanova, who shook her head.
''Nah. I feel pretty much the same. I was thinking that maybe I could get a job in a new series. There's not much demand for experienced female action characters, but if we try to go as a pair it might be easier.''
Jenna thought about it for a few breaths. ''Yes, that could work. Blonde, dark, tall, not so tall, kick-ass attitudes.'' They looked at each other.
''I know some people we can ask,'' they said simultaneously. Laughing and with joined arms they left the complaints department.
''Yoohoo, is this where the party is?''
Jenna threw open the door to the warehouse and did her best to sound like a typically brain-dead blonde bimbo. Dressed in a pink top that was more cleavage than cloth and a white skirt that ended almost before her legs had properly got going, she more than looked the part.
''Who is that?!''
One of a bunch of men gathered around a table in the middle of the room got up from the crate he was sitting on.
''What the fuck...?'' he went on when he saw Jenna.
''Oh hi boys I'm like looking for, you know,'' she said as she walked over to the table, ''this party I was invited to, like, but I forgot exactly where it was I think and hey are those there library books?''
''Yeah, they're library books,'' he replied, looking quite confused.
Suddenly, there was a tremendous crash as the large cargo doors at the other end of the warehouse were kicked in. In the opening, Ivanova was standing, dressed like Jenna except that she carried an M60 machine gun and had belts of ammunition looped over her shoulders. She was pointing the M60 at the gang in a decidedly unfriendly manner.
''And they are quite overdue, aren't they?'' she said, in a low voice that somehow carried all through the building. Jenna quietly but very quickly hid behind a crate.
''Shit!'' one of the men said. He started to pull out a gun, but he only managed to get his hand on the grip before he was cut down by a steady stream of bullets from Ivanova. She kept firing. The men fell like straws of dry grass before a flamethrower, and somehow not even a drop of blood or gore fell on the books.
Silence fell. Nothing moved for several seconds.
''Got them,'' Ivanova yelled.
Jenna stood up. ''Next time I want to do the shooting,'' she said.
Ivanova threw the M60 over her shoulder and walked into the room.
''You're a better distraction than I am. You've got bigger tits,'' she said.
''Well, yeah. Why do they always fall for that?''
''Not enough blood.''
Jenna looked at the pools of red fluid on the floor. ''What?'' she said.
''They've only got enough to supply one head at a time.''
''We need men with more blood,'' Jenna sighed.
Ivanova put the arm that wasn't busy supporting the machine gun around Jenna's shapely waist. She smiled.
''Call us evolution in action,'' she said.
...as they walk out of the warehouse the words ''LIBRARIAN ATTACK FORCE: Better Return That Book On Time'' comes up on the screen. They're replaced with ''Next season on LIBRARIAN ATTACK FORCE:'' and we cut to...
Jenna and Ivanova were dressed in dark suits, black trenchcoats, sunglasses and black hats. They were standing in front of the door to a typical New York townhouse, and Ivanova had just rung the doorbell. Steps could be heard from inside, followed by the clicking and rasping of many locks and chains being undone. At the end of it all, the door opened and an old woman looked out.
''Are... are you the police?'' she asked.
Jenna looked at the old woman. Ivanova looked at the old woman too.
''No, ma'am,'' Jenna said. ''We're librarians.''
...and we cut again, this time to...
''Stannis! Ivanova! Get your asses over here!''
The fat, sweaty boss, complete with rolled-up shirt sleeves and wide suspenders, yelled for them across the tobacco-smoke that hung over the office landscape. They got their asses over there.
''So we got a problem. We got a library, and it's noisy. Can't have that. There are shouting kids. That's bad. There's a brass band practicing next door. That's worse. And there's a friggin' construction site across the street. Now, the kids any of those clowns out there in the office can handle. Many of them I'd trust with the brass band. But for a construction site, much as it pains me to say it, I need you two. What do you say?''
''Well, do it, sir.''
''No problem, sir.''
They got up and headed for the door.
''Try not do damage any books this time.''
''It was just a minor tear in the title page! And it was an Alistair MacLean! Who cares about an Alistair MacLean anyway?''
''I care! It was a book! I don't give a damn if it was a bloody Barbara Cartland or a friggin' James Joyce first edition, it was a book! DO YOU HEAR ME?!''
''Certainly, sir. We'll be careful, sir.''
It was an old, dark and dusty library in a stately English country manor. Jenna and Ivanova sat in huge leather-covered armchairs. Across a small table filled with cups, teapots, biscuits and all the things that usually come with those sat an old lady that looked a lot like an aged Rachel Weisz. Both younger women looked at her with great respect, bordering on reverence.
''Ah, yes, I remember it well,'' the old lady said, teacup firmly in hand. ''It was in the mid-thirties, back in Egypt. We'd found Hamenuptra and the tomb of the Scorpion King, and we were getting bored when we found a clue to the location of the real, the secret library in Alexandria. It took some searching, but eventually we found it. It was there, of course, I first came into contact with the Commander.''
Jenna leaned forward slightly. ''You've met him? You met the founder of the Librarian Attack Force?''
The old lady laughed. ''Of course not! Nobody, absolutely nobody sees the commander. He left me notes, letters, books, old parchment scrolls, any sort of written material imaginable. Even cuneiform tablets once or twice. But I never saw him. At most I found a couple of coarse red hairs. And, of course, there was always the persistent smell of bananas.''
''We need to find him,'' Ivanova said. ''Things are looking very bad for us. We're down to grasping at straws, and there is a rumor that the Commander knows the secret to accessing L-Space.''
The old lady started so badly she almost spilled her tea. ''L-Space? You're looking for L-Space? Do you have any ideawhat that would mean, child?''
She began to laugh, a hard, dry, less than sane laugh. Suddenly, the shadows in the room seemed darker, dark enough for things to hide in.
...fade to black. Slowly, letters fade in: ''Don't miss the fall season of LIBRARIAN ATTACK FORCE! Soon on a television set near you.''