|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. CAMPSITE - LATE MORNING
Gabrielle is tying her bed roll to the back of the saddle. Xena is patiently waiting as she sits upon Argo II, one leg wrapped nonchalantly around the saddle horn.
Tara’s son is nothing like
I would expect him to be.
Probably takes after his father.
I wonder what kind of
trouble Tara is in now?
No telling. Tara being Tara,
it could be anything.
Even after all these years?
You’d think she’d have
settled down by now.
Xena gives Gabrielle a wry grin.
Oh, you mean like how
we’ve settled down?
Putting her hands on her hips, Gabrielle sticks her tongue out at Xena. A mischievous glint appears in Xena’s eyes.
You shouldn’t stick that out
unless you intend to use it.
Xena laughs heartily as a blushing Gabrielle mounts her sporadically appearing horse. The horses snicker and shake their heads, causing Xena to laugh even harder. Soon, the contagious laughter pulls in Gabrielle and both riders and horses appear to be bouncing through the brush as they head back to the main road.
EXT. MAIN ROAD RUNNING THROUGH THE WOODS - MID DAY
Dappled sunshine is filtering through the trees as Xena and Gabrielle walk beside their horses. There is no one else in sight on the road.
What a great day. I’m in a
really good mood, Xena.
Well, you should be. I let you
sleep longer than usual.
Yeah, thanks. I think
I needed that.
Besides, it’s a short trip to Tara’s town.
But I’m warning you, Gabrielle, I’m
not doing any marital counseling.
You can do the sensitive chat routine
and settle the trouble in paradise.
I wonder why she wants us to
settle their marital troubles.
Xena shrugs as they walk along the road, kicking a stray rock or two out of the way.
It sure has been a long time
since we saw Tara last. I
wonder if she’s still dancing.
Gabrielle smiles at the memory. She turns toward Xena and laughs.
Remember those boots I had to
wear until mine were repaired?
Remember? I can still hear them
clanking on every hard surface you
stepped on. What a racket you made.
They walk down the road in silence for a bit, enjoying the warm breeze that had picked up.
Have you ever been to
this town before?
Once. It’s a nice quiet
town by the sea.
Does it have a sandy beach?
So, what are we waiting for?
Gabrielle mounts her horse and spurs him into a trot then a full out run. Xena shakes her head and whispers in Argo II’s ear, then pulls herself up into the saddle.
Whaddya think, girl?
Want to have some fun?
Argo II whinnies and takes off, easily catching up. Xena and Argo race along side for a few paces, then Xena lets out a yell, verbally spurring Argo II on as they surpass Gabrielle. The race continues through the woods, across a meadow, over a ridge and down to a beach. They race in the surf, kicking up sand and water as the horses run. Seeing the town in the distance, Xena slows Argo II to a trot then a walk, followed by Gabrielle.
That was fun!
Yeah, Argo likes to run.
Gabrielle looks down the beach toward the town of Paendis.
So, want to swim now or later?
Later. Let’s find Tara
and get this over with.
EXT. PAENDIS MARKETPLACE - MID AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle follow the directions in the scroll to an Inn with an attached stable. Xena nods appreciatively at the neatness of the stable and the stacks of hay, feed sacks, and clear, clean water in the trough for the horses.
Ersep steps out of the stable and stops abruptly as he sees Xena and Gabrielle dismount. He walks over tentatively.
I’ll take care of your horses. Mother is in
the inn, first room past the kitchen. She’s
been waiting for you. I’ll bring in your things
when I’ve finished with the horses.
Xena watches as the horses quickly take to the gentle care of Ersep as he coos and talks softly to them. He picks up a brush and leads them to the watering trough where he takes off the saddles and gear and begins brushing them down. Xena notices the nicely laid rock floor by the hay stacks.
Nice idea. Keeps the muddiness
down and the hay dry.
Gabrielle takes Xena’s hand and leads her toward the inn.
C’mon, it looks like
they’re in good hands.
Ersep just went up a
few notches in my book.
INT. INN - MID AFTERNOON
They enter the inn and find an older, grayer Tara in the room indicated. It’s a large bedroom and Tara is lying in the bed, both legs bound with stiff reeds and cloth to keep them from bending.
Tara! What happened to you?
I took a fall off the barn roof. You’d think
I could have fallen on the hay stack, or at
least the manure pile, but no…I had to
fall on the new rock floor Ersep put in
for the hay stacks! Broke both legs.
Ouch, bet that really hurt.
Tara nods her head and looks up at Xena.
Thanks for coming. As you can see,
I’m not able to get around too well or
I’d go over to Paradise myself.
Paradise is a place?
Yes. It’s where my daughter lives.
It’s just a day’s ride from here.
You have a daughter too?
Tara nods her head solemnly.
Yes. Her name is Tessa and she’s
just like me. Pig headed, opinionated,
and totally her own person... and...
I believe she’s in trouble.
Xena tries to stifle a laugh.
Like mother, like daughter, eh?
Xena, be nice.
No, Gabrielle, Xena’s right. She is
just like me, only worse! It’s my
fault that she’s left. I just forgot
how I was at her age. Maybe
if I had had more patience....
So, why do you think
she’s in trouble?
We argued before she left.
Why were you arguing?
She told me she got married.
And that made you angry?
Furious! Tessa knew how I felt about
Vicus, but she didn’t want to listen. No,
she was already in his wagon and leaving.
Tara turns her head toward the window, a single tear slides down her cheek. She quickly wipes it away and returns her focus to Gabrielle and Xena.
I was so angry. I wanted to stop her
from making a mistake. Gods know,
I’ve made my share of them!
It was too late to stop her, Tara.
I know, I know. I was just so furious
that she got married behind my back.
I lost my husband last winter and I was
hoping she’d stay here and eventually
take over the inn. She’s really not ready
for marriage. She’s just a child!
A child? How old is she?
Eighteen... but she’s not...
well, she’s just too....
No, I think I’d say wild. She’s been
a real handful. Not like Ersep.
He’s like a rock for me. He
takes after his father. Tessa is....
More like you used to be?
Exactly! She can barely cook and
she hates to clean, but Vicus just
turned her head with his words.
So, what makes you think she’s in
trouble? You finally settled down.
Xena coughs and Gabrielle gives her a tap across the stomach with her hand.
Is this Vicus a bad sort?
No. He said he’s quite wealthy and seems
very nice... on the surface. But there’s just
something about him that makes me squirm.
He’s *too* nice. He’s like a used wagon
merchant... his words are just lamp oil
slick. I just don’t trust him at all.
Anyway, I ran after the wagon as it pulled
out, and she yelled that she would write.
So, she’s been writing, right?
That’s just it. She did write for two moons
then stopped. I haven’t heard from her in
four moons now. I was going to travel to
Paradise to see her and this happened.
Tara slapped her legs then winced with the pain.
How long have they been broken?
Since the last full moon. The healer said
they were broken in several places and
he doubted I would be able to walk again.
Tara grinned and winked at Xena and Gabrielle.
Guess he just doesn’t know how stubborn
I can be. I’m able to get around a little
bit with these wooden braces Ersep
made for me and I plan to be walking
on my own again in another moon.
Xena looks at the crude crutches leaning next to the bed and nods, her opinion of Ersep going up a few more notches.
And Paradise is only
a day’s ride away?
Yes, that’s right. I was going to send
Ersep to check on her, but then I heard
you two were near so I sent him to find
you. You two helped me... several times.
Can you help me again? I just know
she’s in some sort of trouble.
Gabrielle looks at Xena who signals agreement with a slow blink of her eyes.
Yes, we will.
Thank you. Please, stay here tonight
and get a good night’s rest. I have a
good staff that will take care of your
meals and room needs. You can
leave for Paradise in the morning.
First things first. Let me
take a look at those legs....
INT. GUEST ROOM IN THE INN - NIGHT
Gabrielle and Xena are snuggled in bed. Gabrielle is barely keeping her eyes open while Xena watches the flames leap in the fireplace.
There’s just something refreshing
about swimming in the sea.
Those waves just took it
all out of you didn’t they?
Sleep well, my bard. Tomorrow
may prove to be interesting.
Xena reaches down to pull the covers over them.
Tara was pretty brave tonight
when you re-broke her legs.
Yeah, she’s still tough all right. The
healer here should be hung. Worst
job I’ve ever seen. But now, she
definitely will be able to walk on her
own again and without a limp.
Maybe even dance?
END OF ACT ONE