|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. CASTLE GATE - DAY
Once safely in the town square, Gabrielle finally speaks
So, Carena is the one
wandering the castle halls.
Why doesnít she appear to her
sister and tell her sheís in danger?
Like Rhea said, sheís fragile.
Yes, she certainly lost it when
we mentioned Carenaís name.
Gabrielle turns and looks at Xena.
I can understand how the
death of a loved one can
affect you so strongly.
Xena stops and takes Gabrielleís face into her hands.
Yeah. We both understand
that, donít we?
Gabrielle smiles and turns her head to kiss the palm of Xenaís right hand.
Yes, we do. So, do we
leave or do we stay?
Xena releases Gabrielle and looks around the town.
Címon, letís see what
we can find out.
INT. CASTLE - DAY
Cyrus is standing by the window watching Xena and Gabrielle leave, a cautious look on his face. A knock on the door diverts his attention.
The two gate guards enter and bow.
I gave orders that no one was
to be allowed into the castle!
But, MílordÖ the small
one is a visiting Queen.
Quickly the second guard speaks up.
Yes, Mílord. Sheís an Amazon
Queen and she wanted to speak
to Queen Serena. Visiting royalty
is always permitted entrance.
Does this Amazon Queen
have a name?
Oh, yes, Mílord. Itís Gabrielle.
And her bodyguard is Xena!
Have Rhea come to see me.
He waves a hand at them in dismissal. After they exit he looks out the window, watching Xena and Gabrielle walk down the road.
Well, well. Now why are you
two here? No matter. Iíll
make sure you donít interfere.
Another knock on the door begs his attention.
Rhea enters the room with her head bowed low, but a look of distrust can be seen in her eyes.
You asked to see me, Mílord?
What did those women
want with the Queen?
Head still bowed, Rhea shakes her head.
I wouldnít know, Mílord. I just
escorted them to the Queenís
chambers as they requested.
Oh, come now Rhea. You
mean to say you left strangers
in the room with the Queen?
Yes, Mílord. The
Queen dismissed me.
And you didnít overhear
Have Captain Bigos
report to me.
Rhea backs toward the door, head still bowed.
EXT. TOWN MARKET PLACE - DAY
Gabrielle and Xena decide that the best place to get information is at the town market. Gabrielle moves from stall to stall, inspecting goods while Xena inspects the townsfolk.
These people arenít hostile.
Gabrielle looks around at the vendors and town folk.
Letís go over there.
Xena points to a stall selling dried fruits.
Sure. We can replenish our supply
and maybe get a little information.
Arriving at the stall, Gabrielle looks over the fruit and selects several pieces while questioning the shopkeeper.
Not very friendly though.
We just mind our own business.
Doesnít seem like a good
way to make money.
Thereís no one to
sell to but townsfolk.
The shopkeeper just shrugs his shoulders and wraps Gabrielleís purchases, refusing to say anything else. They walk away, ignoring the stare of the shopkeeper.
You may have to put the
pinch on someone to get a
straight answer around here.
Donít tempt me.
Gabrielleís stomach rumbles loudly. Xena and Gabrielle both laugh and look around the market place. Xena points to the inn and they head toward it.
INT. INN - MIDDAY
Xena and Gabrielle find a seat in the back near a window facing the alley. They look around the interior of the room, and Gabrielle points to an Amazon ceremonial mask on the wall.
Hey, look at that.
Not something youíd expect
to see in a place like this.
A smiling young innkeeper approaches their table and takes their order. She returns with two mugs of cold cider and a plate of bread, cheese, and assorted fruit.
Where did the
mask come from?
Ah, that would be my grandmotherís
mask. She was an Amazon.
I would have loved to know more
about the Amazons but my
grandmother died before I was born.
Seeing an opportunity to gather more information, Gabrielle smiles graciously.
Maybe I can answer a few
of your questions. Iím
an Amazon Queen.
No kidding? I thought they
were all gone! You really are?
Yep, sheís the real
deal all right.
Why donít you sit down
with us for a while?
The young innkeeper looks around the room.
Might as well. Business
isnít exactly overflowing.
Have you lived here all your life?
Nah. Iíve only been here about a
year. This place belongs to my
grandfather. I came to help out
when he fell off the roof fixing a leak.
Have the town folk always
been so unfriendly?
Only with strangers. They donít
talk much around visitors. I asked
my grandpa Arius about it and he
said things used to be different.
The Princess, that would be Queen
Serena now, used to come down into
the market herself. Even came in here
to eat. But then her parents died
suddenly and she became Queen.
So, she had to stay in the castle?
Oh, no. At first, she would still come
down, but then her advisor, Cyrus,
told her it wasnít wise to mix with the
people. Itís a shame too. Queen
Serena was always well liked and fair.
I used to see her occasionally when
I first came here, but now I never do.
So why do you think
she stays in the castle?
My gramps says that she was never
the strong one and that she lets
Cyrus make most of the decisions.
Never the strong one?
Yeah, I guess she had a twin sister
that died or disappeared or something.
Gramps said she was the stronger of
the two. He said things would be
different if they had ruled together.
There would be more trade with other
towns and we wouldnít be so alone.
Business isnít that good as you can see.
Really? Why would he think that?
Gramps feels that Carena would have
ruled with her head and Serena with
her heart. They would have been a
good balance for each other and would
have helped them to create better
relations with surrounding villages.
So, tell us about Cyrus....
EXT. RIVER CAMPSITE - EVENING
Gabrielle finishes eating and stands up clean to their plates. As she cleans, Xena pokes at the fire with a stick.
Well, it certainly sounds like
Cyrus has an agenda.
What a set up. Keep the town isolated,
and then when he takes over, open up
the borders to trade. The people will
be overjoyed with him and forget
all about poor Queen Serena.
Yes, but how does he expect
to eliminate the Queen without
Xena ticks off the points on her fingers.
One, get her to commit suicide.
Two, use her grief over Carena
to drive her nuts. Three,
have her assassinated.
Well, my betís on the number
three, but would he try to
assassinate the Queen himself?
I donít think so. He doesnít sound
like the type that would want to get
his hands dirty. We need proof
that heís up to something.
A gust of wind stirs the ashes forcing Xena and Gabrielle to turn away from the swirling ash. When it stops and they look back at each other they see Carena standing by the fire.
Please, you must go back
and help the Queen!
Their conversation is interrupted by a noise in the bush as Cyrusís guards enter the campsite. Xena and Gabrielle reach for their weapons and turn towards their attackers. Xena glances over her shoulder to see that Carena has disappeared once more.
Three guards rush them from the right and three more from the left. Xena and Gabrielle turn to face them as they slide into battle mode.
Iíll get these guys.
And Iíll get these!
Gabrielle raises and crosses her sais as the first guard tries to send his sword toward her head. Deflecting it easily, she kicks out with her right leg and hits the man squarely in his crotch sending him immediately to the dirt. The other two guards rush her at the same time and she catches each sword with a sai and turns and twists their swords out of their hands. She then flips the sais over and punches both in the head with the butt ends. The guardsí heads snap back and they slump to the ground. Gabrielle walks over to her the first attacker and knocks him over the head with the grip of the sai. He falls forward, still clutching his crotch.
Xenaís attackers rush her at once, each with their swords poised to hack at her head. She flips her sword sideways and catches their downward thrusting swords. With a great heave she pushes their weapons back into the air and out of their hands, then jumps up and kicks the two outermost guards in the face with her boots sending them unconscious to the ground. The center guard continues toward her as she remains in the air after completing the kick. Xena allows him to come forward and immediately wraps her legs around his head, her weight and the force of her momentum drags him backward to the ground. Sitting on his chest, Xena reaches forward and gives him the pinch.
You know who I am?
The guard nods as he begins to choke.
Then you know the drill.
The guard nods again.
Who sent you?
Gabrielle has now joined Xena and is kneeling next to the gasping guard.
HeÖhe said you were here
to assassinate the Queen.
Xena and Gabrielle exchange glances.
Really? If we wanted to assassinate
the Queen, wouldnít we have done
that when we were at the castle today?
The guard obviously is not the brightest candle in the box and he shakes his head.
Xena releases the pinch and punches the guard into unconsciousness. She gives her hand a little shake.
Ooww. Not too bright, but
he sure has a hard head.
Gabrielle reaches over and takes Xenaís fist, placing a gentle kiss on the knuckles.
EXT. RIVER CAMPSITE - NIGHT
Xena and Gabrielle are inspecting the knots on the rope tying the six guards to a large tree. The men are still unconscious.
Think theyíll be able to
find their clothes?
Xena grins evilly as she reaches down and grabs their packed gear.
Címon. Letís get back to the castle
before daybreak. We need to find
something that will prove to the
Queen that her life is truly in danger
and that Cyrus is behind it all.
Sure wish Carena would
reappear. I think she could
help us get the proof we need.
END OF ACT TWO