Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT THREE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. CASTLE WALL- NEAR DAWN

 

Xena and Gabrielle are standing in deep shadows on the far side of the castle wall.  A guard comes around the corner, and the two of them go very still.  He walks right by them.

 

GABRIELLE

(whispering)

There werenít this

many guards yesterday.

 

Xena somersaults to the top of the castle wall.

 

XENA

Nope.

 

She reaches a hand down to Gabrielle who takes a running leap towards the wall before accepting the hand. Xena pulls Gabrielle to stand beside her.

 

GABRIELLE

Thanks.  You think

theyíre looking for us?

 

They jump down to the other side, looking around again to see if theyíve been spotted.

 

XENA

Good bet, yeah.

 

 

They move into the shadows.

 

A pair of guards walk over and stand inches from them.  The guards look the area over carefully.

 

FIRST GUARD

Iím telling you I saw something.

 

SECOND GUARD

Well, thereís nothing here now.

Letís get back to our posts before

Cyrus gives us stock duty.

 

Both wince and turn to go.  Two shadows follow them back to the castle unseen.

 

Xena and Gabrielle lose the guards when they enter the castle.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, now what?

 

XENA

Now we find Rhea

in this maze.

 

Xena begins retracing their steps from the previous day.  She hears two voices approaching them.  She and Gabrielle slip into an alcove.

 

Rhea and what appears to be a chambermaid walk by.  Xena reaches out and taps Rhea on the shoulder.

 

Rhea stops walking, looking around carefully and peering into the darkness before finally spotting them.

 

RHEA

Go ahead, Miriam.

You have work to do.

 

The chambermaid nods her head and withdraws.

 

When she is out of hearing range, Rhea moves to the alcove.

 

RHEA

(whispering)

What are you doing

back here?

 

GABRIELLE

We need to find out exactly

what Cyrus is up to.

 

XENA

When did he add

the guard patrols?

 

RHEA

Last night.  He knows you

were here yesterday.

 

XENA

Yeah, we had

company last night.

 

She looks around thoughtfully.

 

XENA

(contíd)

We need a way to blend in.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CASTLE - LATE AFTERNOON

 

Rhea is leading a now disguised Xena and Gabrielle along the corridor.  She hands Gabrielle a cloth and opens a door, motioning her in.

 

RHEA

Cyrusí room.

 

Gabrielle nods and steps into the room, closing the door firmly behind her.

 

Rhea looks to Xena and beckons her with a nod.

 

RHEA

(contíd)

Címon.  I think they need

more help in the kitchen.

 

Xenaís eyes widen in horror.  She motions back towards the room where Gabrielle is.

 

XENA

Kitchen!?  Um, no.

Gabrielle should take

the kitchen, and Iíll....

 

 

Rhea takes her arm with a chuckle

 

RHEA

You donít have to cook... well, not

much at any rate.  You just have to

listen.  Trust me; itís the best place for

gossip in the whole castle.  Gabrielle

said you had the perfect ears for it.

 

Xenaís eyes narrow, and she casts a final glance towards Cyrusí room before motioning to Rhea.

 

XENA

Well, lead on, then.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CYRUSí ROOM - SHORT WHILE LATER

 

Gabrielle is wandering through the room, not really sure what she is looking for.  The large desk on one side draws her attention.

 

She sees a small stack of fine parchment sitting on one corner of the desk.

 

GABRIELLE

Wow!  Thatís nice parchment.

Must have cost a fortune.

 

She looks around the room.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Not like he canít

afford it though.

 

Gabrielle runs a hand across the soft texture, her brow furrowing at the surprising lack of smoothness.  Her eyes widen when she realizes there is a firm imprint on the sheet.  Taking a chance, she folds the page and carefully stuffs it in her bodice.

 

She shifts uncomfortably.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Ouch.  Pokey parchment.

 

 

The door swings open.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. KITCHEN - SAME TIME

 

Xena is in an alcove. Her back is to the room, but she can still hear plainly all the conversation in it.  She is busy stirring the pot and the look on her face shows she is not thrilled to be here.

 

A nearby conversation catches her attention.

 

WOMAN

Itís not right, Bellus.  Serena is a

good Queen.  Or she was until

Cyrus started running things.

 

BELLUS

Hush, Myra!  Do you wanna

get us all into trouble?

 

MYRA

No!  But Bellus, you know the staff would

rather take orders from the Queen.  She

should have given those strangers a

chance.  They were willing to help.

 

 

BELLUS

AndÖ donít forget the castle guards.

Most of them hate Cyrus and only follow

orders from him because the Queen said

to.  Besides, Cyrus has managed to cut

off all outside trade and get himself named

as heir.  Itís only a matter of time before....

 

A guard strides into the room, coming to a stop at the bottom of the stairway next to Xenaís alcove.

 

He turns to her, grabbing her by the arm.  He jerks her around to face him.

 

GUARD

Where is...? Hey, youíre X...!

 

Xena throws a punch right from the shoulder laying the guard out flat.  Heads turn at the commotion as Xena steps nonchalantly into the main kitchen area.

 

XENA

Bet he doesnít put his

hands there again.

 

 

Xena walks out the door without a backward glance.  She hears the conversation behind her.

 

MYRA

Wasnít that...?

 

BELLUS

Yeah.  Things are

suddenly looking up.

 

Xena makes a beeline for the stairs... and Gabrielle.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CYRUSí ROOM - CONCURRENT

 

Gabrielle hears a noise in the hallway and begins dusting the desk when the door swings open and slams against the wall.  Cyrus notices a body but not a face, and begins demanding petulantly.

 

CYRUS

Girl, I need fresh sheets... and towels.

And clean up the mess in the bathing

room too.  Oh, and I need a flagon

of wine and two more pillows.

 

Gabrielle is fuming, but keeps her head down.  She nods.

 

Cyrus doesnít acknowledge her again, but picks up several parchments from the table near the door and slams the door shut behind him.

 

GABRIELLE

Of all the chauvinistic,

pig-hearted, cow-brained....

 

Her fuming is stopped by the reopening of the door.

 

XENA

Címon.  Weíve got trouble.

 

GABRIELLE

(drolly)

Thereís something new.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CASTLE STAIRS - SAME TIME

 

Cyrus passes Xena and Gabrielle without giving them a second glance.  He stops at the door to the audience chamber.  They slide off into the shadows.

 

The guard Xena hit comes staggering out of the kitchen holding his face. He sees Cyrus walking down the corridor and shouts.

 

GUARD

Thir!  Theenthaís

in na cassle.

 

CYRUS

Idiot!  What??

 

He snatches the manís hands from his face and sees the manís nose has been broken.

 

CYRUS

(contíd)

What in Tartarus

happened to your face?

 

GUARD

Theentha... Theenthaís

in na cassle.

 

Cyrus stands perplexed processing the manís nasally words for a moment.  When light dawns, he gets a panicked look on his face.

 

CYRUS

(bellowing)

GUARDS!!!!

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. CASTLE - EARLY EVENING

 

Xena is standing in the middle of the hall frowning, hands on hips muttering to herself.  Gabrielle is peering around a conveniently placed tapestry that affords her a view around the corner without putting her in plain sight.

 

GABRIELLE

(mumbling)

Itís never easy.

 

XENA

Two lefts, one right, another left,

down the stairs, left, up the stairs,

two more lefts, then a right.  I know

thatís how we got there before.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, weíve got bigger

problems right now.

 

XENA

Such as...?

 

GABRIELLE

Guards are headed this way, and by

the look on their faces, itís not for a

friendly chat.  I think weíve been made.

 

XENA

We donít have time for this.

 

 

Three guards step into the hallway where Xena and Gabrielle are.  Xena doesnít hesitate.  A head butt to the first man causes him to fall into the two behind him, and they tumble down the two short stairs in a pile.

 

Xena takes Gabrielleís hand.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Címon....

 

Before they can choose a direction, running footsteps are heard coming from two different directions.

 

They choose the only direction theyíve got left... forward.

 

The guard leader spots them.

 

GUARD LEADER

AFTER THEM!!

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. DARK ROOM - EVENING

 

Xena and Gabrielle rush into a darkened room, surprised by several whoosh sounds and the lack of footsteps behind them.

 

GABRIELLE

Ouch!  Something cut me!

 

They keep moving, around several high walls until the guardís voice can barely be heard.

 

GUARD LEADER

(muffled)

Pull back.  Thatís the labyrinth.

If theyíre in there, theyíre

history.  Letís move.

 

Xena and Gabrielle wait patiently until the footsteps fade.

 

XENA

Gabrielle?

 

GABRIELLE

Yeah?

 

XENA

Ya ever have a day that

goes from bad to worse?

 

 

GABRIELLE

Why do I get the feeling the answer

to that question is gonna be yes?

 

XENA

Because youíre smarter than

the average battling bard.

 

She draws a deep breath and tries to see in the dark.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Unless we find a torch, weíre

gonna have to figure a way out

of this labyrinth in the dark.

 

GABRIELLE

Wonderful....  Well, at least I wonít

be able to see myself bleeding.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. LABYRINTH - EVENING

 

They walk slowly in the pitch darkness, feeling their way along the high wall.  They reach an opening in the wall, stumbling slightly.

 

GABRIELLE

What was that?

 

Xena feels around on the floor.  A strike is heard, then a spark is seen.

 

XENA

Bones.

 

GABRIELLE

Someone died trying

to get outta here?

 

 

XENA

Looks like it.  Címon.

 

Xena takes Gabrielleís hand and holds the torch high with the other.  They step between the high walls and stare across the flat expanse of space.

 

GABRIELLE

It canít be that easy.

 

Xena examines the floor nearest them.

 

XENA

Itís not.  Look at the floor.

 

The floor is covered with odd markings and glyphs. 

 

XENA

(contíd)

There has to be a key to

unlocking the pattern.

 

GABRIELLE

Yeah, but what?

And where?

 

They study the floor.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

You think it might be something

in those tapestries we saw?

 

Xena shrugs.

 

XENA

I dunno, but it doesnít do us

a lot of good in here if it is.

 

GABRIELLE

Good point.

 

Xena takes a tentative first step.  Successful, she turns to Gabrielle.

 

XENA

Make sure you step

exactly where I do.

 

 

GABRIELLE

No problem there.

 

Xenaís takes a second step and is nearly skewered by the blade that springs up from the ground.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

You all right?

 

XENA

Yeah.  Bad choice.

 

She steps safely again.  Then she takes another, and this time the ground begins crumble out from under her, revealing a very long drop.

 

Her next step drops a blade from the ceiling and she twists out of the way.

 

XENA

Okay, this isnít working.

 

GABRIELLE

You want me to try?

 

XENA

NO! I have an idea. 

Címere.

 

Gabrielle steps tentatively to share the marked stone Xena is standing on.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Whaddya think about

making a run for it?

 

GABRIELLE

Iím thinking someone really

doesnít want anyone in here.

 

She looks at the ceiling, then at the blade that narrowly missed Xena.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Wonder what other lovely

surprises are hidden in here.

 

VOICE

Perhaps I can help?

 

Out of the darkness, Carena seemingly floats into their circle of light.

 

GABRIELLE

How did you...?

 

XENA

It doesnít matter.  Can

you get us out of here?

 

 

CARENA

Yes.  The entire castle was built with

secret passages and tunnels, and a

labyrinth surrounds the royal quarters.

The only way in or out is through

the front, or knowing the secret.

(beat)

My great-grandfather was...

shall we say, eccentric?

 

GABRIELLE

So whatís the key?

 

CARENA

You were right... the answer is in the

tapestry.  It shows exactly what steps to

take, but you have to be taught to read it

correctly.  It is how we learned the way.

 

XENA

(impatiently)

Can we discuss this later?

We need to get to the Queen.

 

CARENA

Certainly.  Follow my

footsteps exactly.

 

Carena lifts her gown to her knees, and suddenly her feet are apparent.  Xena follows directly behind Carena with the torch in one hand and holding Gabrielleís hand with her other as they make slow progress through the floor puzzle.

 

Left, forward, skip two, forward; right, right, forward, skip.... and so forth.

 

CARENA

(contíd)

Once we reach the other side, Iíll take

you through the other maze.  Then youíll

go through the door and it will take you

to the audience chamber.  You should

be able to find Serena there or in

her private rooms just off it.

 

GABRIELLE

Thank you, Carena.  Iím not sure

we could do it without you.

 

Carena casts a glance at Xena.

 

CARENA

You and Xena would have found a

way Iím sure, but I was glad to help.

Serena is my sister, and I love her.

 

GABRIELLE

You must, to have stuck around

here all this time.  Why didnít

you go to the afterlife?

 

 

Carena shrugs.

 

CARENA

I couldnít...  I couldnít leave Serena alone.

I tried to appear to her shortly after my

death to comfort her and say goodbye,

but it sent her into a terrible depression

so Iíve stayed around to protect her.

When I found out about Cyrusí plan

I knew I would need help.

 

They reach the other side of the puzzle, and step back into the maze.

 

CARENA

(contíd)

Careful.  It gets a

little tricky here.

 

GABRIELLE

At least we have

light this time.

 

Finally, they reach the end of the labyrinth and arrive at a door.

 

CARENA

Now you must go, quickly.

We donít know how much

time we have left.

 

Gabrielle removes the paper sheíd stuffed in her bodice earlier.

 

GABRIELLE

We might be able

to find out though.

 

She hands the paper to Xena, who unfolds it carefully.

 

CARENA

Itís blank.

 

XENA

Not for long.

 

She looks at Carena.

 

XENA

(contíd)

How do we get the door open?

 

 

CARENA

Sorry.  Push the stones.

Top, left, left, right, bottom.

 

Xena follows her directions and the door silently swings open.  Xena douses the torch.  The trio steps through to an empty room.  Xena goes directly to the fireplace.

 

Carena glances at Xena, who has placed the parchment on the stones and is carefully shoveling warm ash to one side of the fireplace.

 

CARENA

(contíd)

What is she doing?

 

GABRIELLE

Finding some answers.

 

Xena spreads the warm ash on the parchment and waits a moment.  Then she removes the parchment from the stones and gently shakes the ash off.

 

Gabrielle and Carena make their way to her side.  Xena hands the paper to Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Oh boy.

 

The sound of a door opening draws their attention and Serena steps into the room

 

SERENA

What are you two doing

here?  Better yet, HOW

did you get in here??

 

Xena and Gabrielle look at one another, realizing the Carena has once again disappeared and they are alone with an unhappy Queen.

 

SERENA

(contíd)

GUARDS!!!

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR