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Production #V718 - Episode 18
EXT. AMAZON TERRITORY- NIGHT
GABRIELLE is leading the AMAZONS, who are running for their lives. XENA keeps pace with the slowest of the runners, urging her on with silent gestures and flashing eyes.
The large ARMY, now split in two and herding the Amazons toward the top of a high SEA CLIFF, can be heard in the distance, tromping through the unfamiliar forest at the edge of the Amazon Territory.
Gabrielle angles toward the right, still running full out. The rest of the group follows her without hesitation.
At the edge of the cliff, Gabrielle stops. Amazons, breathing hard, gather around her, and stare down at the narrow strip of beach far below which gives way to a dark, calm sea bisected by the light of the full moon shining brightly above.
The silhouettes of two large SHIPS sit anchored in deep water.
Gabrielle hurriedly pushes aside the thick grasses growing at the edge of the cliff, revealing a narrow, rocky and very steep trail that leads down to the beach, and the dark sea beyond. This is their escape route, but it is so narrow, only one woman can descend at a time.
Behind the Amazons, the noises of the approaching army come closer. Several Amazons look over their shoulders, their faces pale and frightened.
Lead the way down to the beach.
Go as quickly as you can, but be
careful. Those rocks are loose.
No. An Amazon doesn’t tuck tail
and run. I say we stand and fight!
Some of the Amazons grumble in assent.
Raya, we’ve been over this. An
Amazon stands and fights, but she
also knows when a battle can’t be won.
She looks deep into Raya’s stormy eyes.
We can’t win this, Raya.
Grief floods Raya’s face.
The spirits of my mother, and her mother,
and generations of our sisters fill this land.
How can you ask us to leave them behind?
You won’t be leaving them behind. The ones
you love will always be with you. Here.
Gabrielle places a hand on Raya’s chest.
In your heart.
Impatient with the delay, Xena pushes through the milling group, her expression foreboding. Seeing this, Gabrielle removes her hand from Raya’s chest and uses it to grasp Xena’s arm in a gentle restraining gesture. She continues to look at Raya.
After a long moment, Raya’s shoulders slump and she nods, though it’s clear that she’s anything but happy.
Gabrielle breathes a silent sight of relief.
All right everyone. Single file down this
cliff. Be quick, but careful. Hurry.
As the Amazons begin to move down the cliff, Gabrielle turns to Xena, who shakes her head.
A few minutes at most. They’re
almost through the woods.
Gabrielle unsheathes her sais.
Xena lays a hand on Gabrielle’s wrist and shakes her head again.
You need to get below and light those
signal fires. Our friends aboard those
ships weren’t expecting us quite so soon.
Bidu, who has been waiting her turn down the cliff, overhears Xena’s words.
Friends? Those are our ships?
But how? You haven’t had time since....
You did this before your Joining?
Let’s just say that we were going to
get you to safety one way or another.
Bidu’s look changes to one of respect, and she moves off to spread the word.
Gabrielle, you know I’m right on this.
I can handle these guys. You need
to organize the evacuation or we’ll
never get them out of here.
Unable to argue around Xena’s logic, Gabrielle finally nods.
You just damn well better get yourself
back to me in one piece, Xena, because
I’m not leaving here without you.
You’d just better.
With that, Gabrielle turns away. Xena watches her until she disappears from sight, climbing easily, but carefully, down the steep, narrow trail.
Xena squares her shoulders and turns, leaving the milling Amazons. She walks away from the cliff, a hand on her chakram. A cool sea breeze ruffles her hair and pushes her from behind as she waits, feet planted amidst the tall, waving grasses, for the army to arrive.
END OF TEASER