|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
#V812 - Episode 12
EXT. TOWN - NIGHT
It is just after sunset in a peaceful, small town built on a hillside in the middle of the forest. The town is surrounded by a sturdy, well build log wall, and the gates are heavily barred but not guarded.
In a clear space just inside the walls, a wagon train is gathering in the light of pine pitch torches. The people seem cheerful, even somewhat excited, but move around at their tasks calmly and with purpose.
INT. TOWN INN - MAIN ROOM - NIGHT
The inn's main room is not overly busy, but a good number of the tables are occupied. Set in one wall is a huge hearth, and in a nice warm corner nearby is a table with two occupants and the last remains of a nice dinner.
On the table is a square piece of parchment, weighted down on all four corners by the unusual practice of a dagger neatly nailing them in place. XENA and GABRIELLE ponder the board with serious expressions. They are dressed in nondescript peasant-type clothing, rather than their usual stand-out-in-any-crowd garb.
The parchment is drawn off into a playing board with squares, half the cream color of the parchment, and half a dark black. On the playing board are perched carved wooden pieces, also half natural wood and half darker stained. Xena is contemplating one of the pieces for an extended time.
I know we've been experimenting with this
new mind thing we have, Xena, but I really don't
think you can move that just by looking at it.
Xena picks up the piece and moves it by a more conventional method.
(smiling, then frowning.)
I could have, way back when.
Gabrielle ponders the board with a frown herself. She considers, then a little hesitantly, moves one of her pieces.
The Lao Ma thing?
Y'know, you're picking up on this.
Xena moves another piece, and captures one of Gabrielle's. She leans back and takes a sip out of her nearby mug as Gabrielle sighs, and rests her chin on her fist.
After all this time, you'd think so. Ah.
She moves piece, and captures one of Xena's taller pieces.
But it sure doesn't come
naturally like it does for you.
Xena moves a piece and captures one of Gabrielle's taller pieces.
Gabrielle frowns at the board.
You knew I was going
to do that, didn't you?
Xena smiles, and tips her mug back.
So you sacrificed your piece to
trap me. How do you always know
what to do? You drive me nuts!
Xena begins to set the pieces back up.
It's all strategy. And knowing
She takes Gabrielle's fingers in her own.
Like the back of her own hand.
Xena rubs her thumb over Gabrielle's knuckles. Gabrielle chuckles, and shakes her head. She glances around them.
Nice not to be the center of
attention for a change. Dressing
like this was a good idea.
Xena twirls one game piece on the table.
Yeah. Tomorrow we'll be gone,
and they'll never know we were here.
EXT. TOWN GATES - NIGHT
The wagon train gets ready to leave. It consists of at least a dozen huge carts, all piled high with a variety of goods and produce. Each cart is pulled by four horses, most mismatched as though horses from any possible source were put in to pull.
More horses are brought alongside, and men mount up on them. Near the gates, an older man stands with one of the riders, who is still holding the reins of his horse, and has not yet gotten into the saddle.
The older man clasps the younger on the shoulder. This is MEDEINUS, leader of the town, and BALAR, his son.
That's all of it, my son.
Are you ready?
Ready as I can ever be, Father.
It seems so dangerous to leave
at night though. Are you s....
Balar, we have spoken of this many
times. No one will expect us to send
our wealth, our harvest out in the
darkness. By day they watch the
roads. By night, they sleep or
drown themselves in ale.
I know you're right. It just worries me.
Theses wagons represent all we have.
Medeinus seems a little impatient.
And that is why I am sending every
able man in the town with you, to
make sure it gets to market, son.
Medeinus turns and motions to two men near the gates.
Throw them open!
(to Balar, lowering voice)
Do not disappoint me, Balar. I am
counting on you to get what we
need to survive to the next harvest.
Reluctantly, Balar gets onto his horse. The other riders cluster around him, and we can now see that they are young, and most do not carry anything resembling a weapon. The few that do have pitchforks.
Fare well, men of Pontus!
May the gods see you a swift
journey, and a lucrative return!
The gates swing open, and the riders move out, followed by the wagons. The sound of hooves and wheels seems very loud in the quiet of the surrounding night.
After the last wagon and man leaves, the gates swing shut. Two women struggle to put the bars into place, assisted by an old man.
Medeinus watches them briefly, then dusts his hands off and turns, walking up the path to a large, two story building nearby.
INT. TOWN INN - PRIVATE ROOM IN THE BACK - NIGHT
This is a smaller room at the rear of the inn, but nicely decorated. On one side is a comfortable looking bed more or less big enough for two people, and a thick bearskin rug on the floor. It is very dark inside.
The door opens and Xena and Gabrielle enter, each bearing a candle. Xena walks to the tiny table on one side and puts the candle in a clay dish, while Gabrielle walks around and lights a few other candles around the room.
Waste of wax. We're just
going to blow em all out.
Gabrielle turns and puts one hand on her hip.
Maybe I want to write for a while.
Xena walks over to her and unties the string holding closed the neck of Gabrielle's shirt. Gabrielle watches as Xena slowly removes it hole by hole, all the way down to her navel.
All right. I'll get your quills.
Gabrielle lifts her eyes and one eyebrow.
We're coming back around to this
whole 'strategy' discussion, aren't we?
She pokes Xena in the arm.
I'm being outmaneuvered.
First step to good strategy is knowing
it when you see it, Gabrielle. Besides,
you're getting better at the game.
Gabrielle seems a touch pensive.
I don't think it's my game.
Now you, on the other hand....
Gabrielle puts her arms around Xena.
... are my idea of fun,
so let's go play.
Xena douses the candles. A breeze from outside creeps through the shutters and rattles them as two shadows glide across the room and fall into bed.
EXT. HILLSIDE ABOVE THE TOWN - NIGHT
In a thick grove of trees, a large group of mounted horsemen wait. They watch the moon slowly set behind the mountains, and the lights just as slowly go out in the town.
At the front of the horses, two men stand, dressed in black leather armor.
(to second man)
Kill everyone you can
get your hands on.
Just try not to wreck the
place. We gotta live in it.
The men chuckle, and turn to mount their horses.
END OF TEASER