|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
INT. INN SLEEPING ROOM - DAWN
Xena and Gabrielle are up and packed for the remainder of their journey. If luck is with them, they will reach Poteidia by late evening Solstice Eve. Both appear well rested and much more relaxed than the night before.
Gabrielle smiles and removes her hand from Xena’s forehead, pleased at the lack of fever.
Gabrielle shoots her a withering look. Xena makes a face, eyes twinkling. Hoisting the saddlebags over her shoulder, she turns to face her partner.
Thief!! Help!! Thief!!!
Xena and Gabrielle look at one another. Xena slams open the door and the two go rushing out into the hallway toward the stairs.
INT. INN - DAWN
The scene in the Inn’s main room is one of complete chaos. Several well-dressed men and women lay on the floor, seemingly stunned. Others mill around, talking and arguing among themselves and pointing toward the now wide open doors.
Gabrielle quickly kneels by a very large, obviously wealthy woman, who is bleeding profusely from a small wound to her head. The woman’s husband, as thin as she is stout, sits next to her moaning and wringing his hands on an ornate, useless lace handkerchief. With a smile, Gabrielle plucks the handkerchief from the man’s hands and presses it against his wife’s wound to slow the bleeding.
Xena grabs one of the milling men at random and pulls him close to her.
What’s going on?
T... they took everything!!
Jewels, money, everything!!!
Who? Do you know them?
Never saw them before in my life!
How many where there?
Which way did they go?
Four, maybe five?
I saw six!!
Eight for sure!!
Ten at least!!
They went east,
toward the mountains!
No, they went toward the sea!!
Looking up, Gabrielle sees just how close Xena’s temper is to snapping. She turns to the husband of the woman to whom she’s tending. Grabbing his hand, she presses it over the bloodied handkerchief on the woman’s forehead.
Jumping to her feet, she nods to her partner, and together they leave the Inn at a run. The rest of the people inside look at one another, then take off after the fleeing women.
EXT. COASTAL TOWN - DAWN
Despite the early hour, the town is packed with people and goods that have been offloaded from the large ships that line the harbor. The thieves’ trail is obvious from the path of destruction they’ve left behind. Broken carts, ruined merchandise, and bruised bodies litter the narrow streets leading to the docks.
Xena runs over, under, and around the debris littering the street. Gabrielle is right at her heels until she reaches the point where four men are trying to set a large, overturned cart upright. Xena leaps the cart and men. Gabrielle skids to a stop just before smashing into them.
Gabrielle moves to the left, the men move to the left. She tries right, they move right. Left again, same thing.
The men obey.
Juking to the left, she runs around the obstacle just in time to see a large ship pull away from the harbor. A group of men who are obviously the thieves laugh and wave to the angered crowd.
EXT. DOCK XENA’S POV - DAWN
Continuing down the narrow street, Xena flips easily over yet another overturned wagon and lands on her feet in time to see the ship begin to pull away from the dock.
Coming to the edge of the dock, she looks down and sees a small two-man skiff, sails hoisted and ready to move. Xena jumps down into the skiff, neatly displacing a rotund man bent over at the waist as he tries to tie his shoes. With a squawk, he falls into the shallow water, and comes up sputtering.
Give it right back. Promise.
With that, she trims the sails, and the quick little boat is off.
EXT. HARBOR - DAWN
As the thieves watch, Xena’s borrowed skiff catches quickly up to the larger ship as it tries to lumber out of port. Jumping from the boat, she grabs the cargo netting hanging over the side of the ship and shimmies up the side, completely ignoring the thieves’ attempts to shake her off.
EXT. SHIP - DAWN
Releasing the netting, she flips over the side, landing directly in front of the head thief. He swings at her with his cutlass. She ducks and grabs the bag of loot he has in his other hand.
Give that back!!!
She takes a step back.
Come and get it.
He manages exactly one step forward before being walloped upside the head by his own bag of booty. He drops like a stone, and the fight is on.
The thieves surround Xena, lashing out at her with swords, feet and fists. Xena avoids each blow, returning blows of her own with the bag in her hand. She then spins in a quick circle and the bag pounds each man across the face, knocking them down in turn like the spokes of a wagon wheel.
One less than smart man rises back to his feet and wobbling, swings his sword at the three Xena’s he sees.
Dropping his sword, the thug manages to catch the bag. The force of the throw pushes him backward until he slams against the hard wooden ship’s rail and sits down hard, pretty stars and tweeting birdies spinning circles over his head.
Crossing the deck, Xena snatches the bag.
I’ll take that, thanks.
Running back across the deck, she begins to swing the bag in ever widening circles.
Looking up, Gabrielle catches sight of the bag spinning end over end across the water. Throwing her arms up, she jumps and catches the bag to the cheers of the robbed citizens surrounding her on the dock.
Grinning, Xena turns and eyes the passed out thieves.
Nice party, boys. We’ll have
to do it again sometime.
Then she jumps over the side, landing neatly in the skiff and turning for home.
EXT. ROLLING VALLEY TRAIL - EARLY MORNING
Having extracted themselves from the clutches of an overly enthusiastic populace, Xena and Gabrielle continue on the way to Poteidia. Though the sun is up and shining, its light does little to banish the bitter chill from the air, and both women walk quickly in order to keep warm.
With an idle glance off to her left, Xena spies a tall, well-built man running along a perpendicular trail. He’s immediately recognizable, and the corner of Xena’s lips twitch in a hint of a smile.
Gabrielle notices as well, and grins.
Is that who I think it is?
Looks like it.
Hercules!! Hey, Hercules!!!
Looking up, a broad smile crosses Hercules’ handsome face, and he speeds up his already fast pace, heading directly for them.
Springing from the wood that Hercules has just left is a group of very colorfully dressed men, all bearing strange, stringed instruments that neither Xena nor Gabrielle has ever seen before.
Gasping and panting for breath, the men catch sight of the legendary hero and start off after him again.
Seeing this, Xena immediately drops her hand to her chakram, but, sensing no malice coming from the oddly dressed men, she allows the weapon to rest on its hook, content to watch events play out.
Gabrielle meets him half way, stopping Hercules and wrapping him in an enormous hug, which he easily returns, smiling down into her hair.
Finally unwrapping herself from him, Gabrielle takes his arm and leads him down to a smiling Xena. Hercules eyes the hand stuck out toward him and grins.
Oh no you don’t. Come here.
Xena is drawn into a bone crushing hug, then released. Hercules grins at the both of them.
It’s great to see you guys.
You look like you’re doing well.
We are. How ‘bout you?
Massive shoulders lift in an offhand shrug.
Oddly dressed men finally catch up to Hercules and collapse on the ground, completely worn.
Hercules runs a hand through his hair.
I’m glad I found you guys.
I… um… I need a little favor.
Xena’s eyes narrow. Her hands find her hips and plant themselves there.
What kind of favor?
Well, you see, these
guys are singers.
One of the brightly clothed men sits up with an expression of extreme offense on his face.
Singers?? Singers, he calls us!
We’re not singers!
Uh… yeah. That.
Anyway, I was supposed to escort
them to a Royal Wedding where
they’re going to perform.
And… well… I just got word that a
giant, three headed Hydra is attacking
a village in the other direction.
He cocks a thumb over his shoulder, back the way he came.
And you want us to baby
sit them for you, is that it?
The smile fades.
Sorry, my friend, but we’re
headed to Poteidia to celebrate
Solstice with Gabrielle’s family.
Hercules brightens again.
Poteidia! That’s perfect!
The wedding is in Pilates.
That’s practically on your way.
Not practically enough.
Xena, this wedding could ensure peace
in the region for a long time to come.
Isn’t that worth a little inconvenience?
Xena stiffens, beginning to anger. Seeing this, Gabrielle moves beside her and slips an arm around her waist.
We’ll do it, Hercules.
She tries out her brightest smile.
After all, Solstice isn’t
until tomorrow, right?
It’s okay, Xena. I know of King Robbins.
He’s a very fair and decent ruler. He’s
always giving really great speeches on how
they can help themselves and one another.
If this wedding can make the area safer
for my family and their friends, I’m
willing to be a little late for Solstice.
After a long moment, Xena nods.
Hercules gives them both a look of such profound relief that Xena’s hackles immediately go back up. Hercules, of course, notices this, and with his most charming smile, he nods, turns, and runs back in the direction he had just come, leaving a fuming Xena and a confused Gabrielle behind.
As Hercules leaves, the strange men jump up in unison and begin strumming the strings on their strange instruments.
Me... me… me… me…
The group takes a deep breath, then....
(The song “The Mighty Hercules”
Hercules, Only The Evil Fear Him!
Softness In His Eyes, Iron In His Thighs,
Virtue In His Heart, Fire In Every Part of
The Mighty Herculeeeees!!
Xena turns to Gabrielle, head cocked.
“Iron in his thighs?”
You’d know that
better than I would.
Her smirk broadens at the look she receives from her partner.
Hero Of Song And Story
Winner Of Ancient Glory….
Xena clears her throat. Loudly.
Fighting for the Right
Fighting with his Might
With the Strength of Ten
(beat, softer still)
Dropping his hand, the minstrel looks at his fellows, who are all staring back at him.
As a group, the minstrels swivel their heads to look at Xena, whose arms are crossed over her chest, and whose booted foot is tapping on the ground.
Xena spins on her heel, leveling him with a glare.
Gasping, the minstrel takes a step back, cradling his lute against his chest like a shield.
W... W... We... We... uh....
We never travel with strangers.
Fine. Pilates is that way.
Have fun at the wedding.
Gabrielle steps forward.
Is there an echo out here?
Xena, she is the Warrior Princess
Xena, her words she never minces
With her chakram and her sword
Behave or you’ll be gored
Be you thug or mean warlord
Oh yes, she’s Xena, the Warrior Princess!
Xena is staring at the men. Gabrielle is bent over at the waist, arms crossed over her belly, laughing at the look on Xena’s face.
Oh yes, she’s Xena….
The great and mighty
Warrior Princess, Xena....
She’ll jump around and
cut your head off, Xena....
Voices and lutes stop in a discordant jangle.
The men move.
EXT. ROLLING VALLEY TRAIL - MID MORNING
She is the Warrior Princess known across the land, the land
When you are in trouble she’ll lend a hand, a hand….
The minstrels have been singing for hours, and it has gotten on Xena’s last remaining nerve. Stopping suddenly, she pulls her sword from its sheath, eyes blazing.
Gabrielle giggles over the atrocious lyrics.
It’s not nice to kill them.
They’re just doing their job.
Xena’s smile is as cold as a marble statue in winter.
Oh, I have no intention of
killing them, Gabrielle.
I’m just gonna chop off their
hands and rip their throats out.
She’s known in every land
As one to lend a hand
Or foot or knee or thigh
She’ll even lend an eye....
Gabrielle restrains her with a hand to the wrist.
Xena, take a break. Go for
a walk ahead, or something.
I’ll keep an eye on these guys.
Gabrielle watches, doing little to hide her mirth as her frustrated partner stomps ahead.
EXT. ROLLING VALLEY - MID MORNING
The minstrels and Gabrielle finally catch up to Xena, who is finished attending to business from behind some covering foliage.
A bush, a bush, she’s gone behind a bush
Will she use Gabby’s scrolls to wipe her....
Go there and die.
Lowering her chakram, Xena steps around to Gabrielle’s side and they continue their walk to the kingdom of Pilates.
Gabrielle is still laughing.
EXT: SPARCE WOODLAND - MID AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle walk side by side. Xena grasps Argo’s reins loosely in her hand. In addition to her usual load of gear, Argo now carries several lutes which hang over the saddle. Behind Argo, the minstrels follow, rags stuffed in their mouths. Xena is smirking. Gabrielle looks like she wishes to do serious bodily harm.
They were just doing
their jobs, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle gives her a look hot enough to vaporize a volcano.
Xena’s smirk becomes more pronounced. She opens her mouth to speak.
Don’t go there, Xena. I’m warning
you, I still have more rags in my
bag and I won’t hesitate to use them.
Giving an evil chuckle, Xena speeds up her pace, quickly outdistancing the rest of the group.
Gabrielle, Gabrielle, she’s
so swell, Gabrielle…
EXT. EDGE OF WOODS - MID AFTERNOON
As Xena, Gabrielle and their gagged charges continue toward Pilates, they hear a commotion just ahead.
As one, the minstrels sniff the air and joy suffused their faces. The gags pop out of their mouths, and they begin running pell-mell toward the commotion.
Ale! It must be Ale!
Amber boch or Grecian Pale
Be it ever so yummy, there’s no taste like Ale!
Well, that’s one way to
get rid of them, I guess.
Exiting the woods, the cause for the commotion becomes immediately obvious.
A large crossroads appears just ahead, and in the center of the crossroads, four wagons have obviously collided. Two are overturned, and one stands on only two wheels. The other appears unscathed. All four wagons carry large casks of ale. Several of the casks have broken in the collision, and ale has spilled out all over the ground.
Dozens of men parade about in various stages of drunkenness, having taken immediate advantage of the fortuitous circumstances. Two are trying to walk a straight line while reciting the Greek alphabet and touching their noses with the tips of their index fingers. Several more are running about with their arms spread wide, making buzzing noises.
Hey, look at me!
I’m Icarus!! Bzzzzzz....
No, I’m Icarus!!
No, I am!! Bzzzzzzzowwwwzzzz.
No, I am!!! Whoooooshhh.
The two men collide and fall rear first into a puddle of ale. They laugh uproariously, holding onto one another for support.
Several men are kneeling like dogs, lapping up the pools of ale that saturate the sodden ground. Others have given up lapping and simply lie in the pools, trying to absorb the liquor through their pores.
The minstrels have appropriated wooden mugs from somewhere and are toasting one another while singing.
How dry I am!
How wet I’ll be!
If I don’t find
The privy key!
The only sober person is a thin, wizened old man who scowls at the others and raps his walking stick hard on the ground. He is, of course, roundly ignored by the revelers.
Gabrielle chuckles softly. Xena rolls her eyes. They head for the logjam to offer their assistance.
The old man sees them and relief washes across his face like an ocean wave.
Oh, thank the gods and goddesses.
Please, could you help me?
Looks like you’ve got
some trouble, huh?
You could say that, yes.
He holds out his hand.
I’m Barley Hopseus, Royal
Alemaker to King Robbins.
Pleased to meet you, Hopseus.
I’m Gabrielle, and this is Xena.
I’m grateful to meet you both.
This all yours then?
Some of it is. The King ordered the
best ales from the four corners of
his kingdom to be brought in
for the Royal Wedding.
Looks like you all got together
a little sooner than expected.
Exactly! And if I can’t get these
wagons righted, we’ll all be a
lot later than anyone expects!
He draws a finger across his throat.
The king wouldn’t kill you
for that! Would he?
His Majesty loves his Ale.
Taking in a breath, Xena looks around, shaking her head as she realizes that every single one of the able bodied men are too blindly drunk to do her any type of good whatsoever.
Gabrielle, you and Hopseus keep
an eye on the… Icarii over there.
Argo and I will take care of the rest.
Are you sure? I
could help, you know.
Oh believe me, you will.
EXT. CROSSROADS - EARLY EVENING
An hour later, hot, sweaty and covered with sticky ale, Xena finally straightens and stretches as she looks over the job she’s done. All four wagons are standing on their own wheels, and the remaining ale casks are secured in their beds.
Hopseus rushes over and pumps Xena’s hand as hard as his feeble arm is able.
Thank you, oh thank you. You’ve
saved my livelihood. And likely my life.
I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you.
Xena gestures to the drunken minstrels.
Yup. Those… gentlemen are minstrels
ordered to sing at the wedding. I’d
consider it a personal favor if you
would escort them the rest of the way.
No sooner said than done.
The Alemaster claps his hands, and the drunken men jump to, wavering their way over to their wagons and trying, with varying degrees of success, to climb aboard.
Minstrels! You’re with us!
Swaying and staggering, the minstrels finally manage to retrieve their lutes from Argo’s back. Grinning drunkenly, they salute Xena and Gabrielle.
Thanks, Sheena. Thanks, Babrielle.
Sappy Holstice to you!
Um…sappy holstice to you too.
We’re wandering minstrels
We love to shing
We’ll sherenade the gride and broom
On their wedding….
END OF ACT THREE