Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT THREE

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. INN - MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle come down the stairs from their room into the main room of the Inn.  They are greeted by the smiling eager faces of the servers, inn keeper and stable boy. 

 

INN KEEPER

Good morning to you!

I hope you two slept well?

 

Xena glares at them, already becoming irritated by the happy nature of the townspeople, but they just continue to smile.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Yes, just fine thank you.

I wonder if you could provide

directions to Vicusí home?

 

INN KEEPER

Iíll do better than that!

Iíll draw you a map!

 

The inn keeper pulls out a piece of parchment and draws an elaborate map full of curly cueís and fancy embellishments that direct them to the home of Vicus. 

 

XENA

(growling)

This place is getting

on my nerves.

 

Xena is standing behind Gabrielle, growing impatient with each stroke.  Gabrielle waits patiently as the inn keeper finishes his masterpiece and hands it to her smiling and patting Xenaís arm.

 

GABRIELLE

Ah, Xena, you need to

develop a little patience.

 

XENA

Gabriiielllle....

 

Xena reaches for the map and looks at it frowning as she notes that Vicusí home is just one street down and one street over from the Inn.

 

XENA

(contíd)

All this for two turns?

 

INN KEEPER

Of course!  I wouldnít

want you to get lost.

 

Gabrielle takes the map and looks at the neat little footprints showing the way to Vicusí home.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, at least itís

easy to follow.

 

Xena stuffs the map in Gabrielleís hand and heads toward the door.

 

XENA

Címon.  Letís get

this over with.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. STREET IN TOWN - MORNING

 

Xena and Gabrielle walk down the street to the first turn they are to make.  The street is full of townsfolk, all smiling and greeting one another cordially.  Xena shakes her head in irritation.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena, isnít it nice to see everyone

being so polite to one another?

 

XENA

No!  Itís not natural.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Well, natural or not, it sure is nice not

to be treated rudely.  And the free

food at the inn is unusual too.  That

basket of bread outside our door this

morning was nice.  Too bad we

didnít have time to taste it.

 

Gabrielle pokes Xena softly in the ribs as she munches on an apple and gets a repentant look from Xena.

 

XENA

Sorry, I just want to

get this visit over with.

 

They make the turn and head to Vicusí home.  Itís the largest on the street and obviously the home of a very rich man. 

 

XENA

(contíd)

I see Vicus is a cautious man.

Look at the bars on his windows.

 

GABRIELLE

And itís placement in town is perfect.

Located on that little knoll he

has a view in every direction.

 

XENA

And I see heís thrown in a

few guards here and there too.

 

They continue to the front door unopposed and Xena knocks loudly.  They wait a moment and the door opens revealing a woman who looks exactly as Tara did many years ago.

 

TESSA

(smiling)

May I help you?

 

GABRIELLE

Hi.  Iím Gabrielle and this is Xena.

Your mother asked us to stop

by and see how you were.

 

TESSA

(still smiling broadly)

My mother?

 

GABRIELLE

Yes, weíre old friends and when

she heard we were headed this

way, she asked us to stop by.

 

TESSA

(still smiling)

Xena and Gabrielle?  I seem to

remember her talking about you.

Wonít you please come in?

 

 

Gabrielle enters first, followed by a still frowning Xena.  Tessa leads them to a very large room furnished with benches lined with plush pillows and cushions.

 

They take a seat indicated by Tessa as she calmly sits in a chair opposite them. 

 

TESSA

(contíd)

Can I get you something

to drink or eat?

 

XENA

No, thanks.

 

GABRIELLE

This is a very nice

home, Tessa.

 

TESSA

Yes, my husband takes good care

of me... and the town.  Heís highly

regarded here.  Heís an herbalist...

very gifted.  Everyone loves him.

Heís made the town quite prosperous.

 

GABRIELLE

Yes, we can see that.  Everyone

sure seems happy here.

 

Tessa smiles even broader if possible.  Xena starts fidgeting and Gabrielle puts a calming hand on her leg.  The sound of footsteps has the occupants turn their heads toward the sound.  Vicus enters the room, surprised to see visitors.

 

VICUS

Tessa, who are our guests?

 

TESSA

They are friends of my

mothers.  She asked them to

stop by and check on me.

 

Vicus seems to hesitate a moment, his smile turns to concern and then just as quickly returns to a broad smile.  Xena notices the quick changes and narrows her eyes as she watches the conversation unfold.

 

VICUS

Welcome.  I hope Tara

is doing well?

 

GABRIELLE

Well, actually, sheís

recuperating from serious injury.

 

Xena watches Tessa and Vicus as this news is released.  Tessa seems unconcerned that her mother is injured and continues to smile while Vicus moves quickly to her side.

 

TESSA

(smiling broadly)

Oh, thatís ni....

 

VICUS

(concerned voice)

Önot good news. 

Is she all right?

 

Tessa looks blankly at Vicus as he wraps her in his arms turning her face away from Xena and Gabrielle.  He whispers in her ear and she nods then stands and leaves the room.

 

VICUS

(contíd)

Please, give Tessa a

moment.  Hearing this news

has shaken her some.

 

Gabrielle catches Xenaís eyes and raises an eyebrow at the unusual exchange.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Yes, of course.  Maybe we

should come back later.

 

Xena and Gabrielle stand to leave.  Vicus stands and walks toward the entrance as they follow him.

 

VICUS

Tara will recover?

 

XENA

Yes, sheíll be fine.  Sheís been

very concerned that she hasnít

heard from Tessa in a while.

 

VICUS

Ah, thatís understandable.

Tessa has been very busy

lately helping me in my shop.

 

XENA

Shop?  Is she learning your trade?

 

VICUS

Oh, no. I mean sheís taken over

for the baker.  Heís been ill

and sheís helping him out.

Sheís quite the little baker.

 

GABRIELLE

Oh, I thought....

 

XENA

... she liked to cook

more than bake.

 

VICUS

Oh, sheís very good

in that area too.

 

Vicus winks as he opens the door, essentially ending the conversation.

 

VICUS

(contíd)

Thank you for coming by.  Iím afraid

I need to be leaving now.  I need to

meet with the newcomers, but

perhaps you could come by later?

 

GABRIELLE

Yes, thank you.

 

Xena takes Gabrielle by the elbow and the two walk slowly toward the street and the bustle of the marketplace.  As they make the turn, Vicus nods toward one of men sweeping the street near his home.  The man places his broom against the fence and discretely follows them.

 

XENA

(whispering)

Weíre being followed.  Letís

go sit by that olive tree.

 

They walk to the bench by the tree and sit, waiting for their follower to pass them by. 

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, now that was really weird.

 

XENA

My thoughts exactly.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Tessaís reaction to her motherís

injury was not what I expected.

She just kept smiling.

 

XENA

And Vicus sure rushed to

get her out of the room.

 

GABRIELLE

Any ideas on whatís going on?

 

XENA

Letís see what we can find out.

You do a little investigating with

the townsfolk and Iím going to see

whatís going on with Vicus and

the newcomers.  Something

smells rotten in Paradise.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay.  Meet you back

in our room?

 

XENA

Right!

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. MARKETPLACE - MID DAY

 

Gabrielle leaves a weaverís stall with a smile on her face.  As she turns away, she loses the smile and frowns then heads to the leather stall. 

 

GABRIELLE

How much for this saddle bag?

 

LEATHER VENDOR

Twenty dinars.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Twenty dinars?

 

She hefts the item and opens each side bag, inspecting the workmanship. 

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Thatís a high price.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(smiling)

The quality is the best.

 

GABRIELLE

Iíll give you ten dinars.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(still smiling)

My price is twenty dinars.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, how about fifteen dinars.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(still smiling)

Twenty dinars.

 

GABRIELLE

You donít haggle

over price, do you?

 

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(grinning broadly)

Haggle?  No.  Iíve never

had anyone ask before.

 

GABRIELLE

(muttering softly)

Well, thatís probably why

the vendors are all smiling.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

Excuse me?

 

GABRIELLE

Nothing.  I was just thinking about

why everyone is always smiling.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

We are?

 

He looks around at the other vendors and notes that they are all wearing smiles including the patrons.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(contíd)

I guess we are.

 

GABRIELLE

Tell me... have you ever seen

anyone sad around here?

Any fights or disagreements?

 

The leather vendor stopped to think about the question then shakes his head in the negative.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

Not that I recall.

Why do you ask?

 

GABRIELLE

No reason.  Thank you.

 

LEATHER VENDOR

(grinning)

Do you want the saddle bag?

 

GABRIELLE

Maybe later, thanks.

 

Gabrielle walks away lost in thought as she passes groups of smiling, laughing townsfolk.  At the temporary campsite for the newcomers, she sees Sela sitting on the back of their wagon, swinging her feet and smiling at the others in their troupe as they wait for the men to return. 

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Hi, Sela.  You look happy today.

I guess things are working

out better than you expected.

 

 

SELA

Hello, Gabrielle.  Iím sorry, I

donít know what you mean?

 

GABRIELLE

Last night you werenít too

happy about being here,

but you look happy now.

 

SELA

Really?  I donít remember

being unhappy.

 

GABRIELLE

How about your other friends?

Are they happy now too?

 

SELA

(smiling)

Everyoneís glad to be here,

Gabrielle.  I donít know where

you got the idea we werenít.

 

GABRIELLE

My mistake... sorry

if I bothered you.

 

SELA

(grinning)

No bother, Gabrielle.

Have a nice day!

 

Gabrielle stands and walks away as a group of women join Sela and start laughing.

 

GABRIELLE

(muttering under her breath)

Yep... definitely not

normal around here.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. COMMUNITY BUILDING, REAR WINDOW - MID MORNING

 

Xena is hidden in the bushes by the same window she watched through the night before only today the shutters are closed.  She can still hear the conversations and focuses on them.

 

 

VICUS

... and the fee payments will be due

on each new moon.  My colleagues

will be by your stalls to collect the fees.

 

MENS VOICES IN UNISON

(eager sounding voices)

Yes, Vicus.

 

VICUS

And, donít forget the daily

pick-up at the bakery.

 

MENS VOICES IN UNISON

Thank you, Vicus.

 

VICUS

Now, my colleagues

here will....

 

A slight rustle of leaves brings Xenaís focus to her immediate surroundings allowing her to duck as a club swings viciously past the spot where her head was.  As she stands upright, she turns to the right and delivers a left fist to the bridge of the nose of the man wielding the club.  He stumbles back, dropping the club as he grabs his face. 

 

Xena follows through with a forceful kick to the manís abdomen, dropping him to his knees.  She bends forward and is about to put the pinch on the man when several of the newcomers accompanied by Vicus and some of his guards turn the corner.  Xena quickly springs for a branch on a nearby tree, hiding in the thick foliage.  The newcomers pass by not seeing the man in the bushes, but Vicus notices immediately.

 

VICUS

(contíd, smiling)

Minas, please take our new citizens

on to their homes.  I have something

I need to take care of.

 

 

Minas looks in the direction Vicus indicates and nods, quickly herding the men away from the area.

 

Vicus frowns as he bends over the disabled guard.

 

VICUS

(contíd)

Grotus, what happened?

 

GROTUS

(Groaning as he rolls over)

I... she....

 

VICUS

Fool!  Get up and get

some men... find them!

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. MARKETPLACE - LATE MORNING

 

Gabrielle is heading back toward the Inn through the marketplace.  As she turned the corner into the market, she sees Vicus enter an herbalistís shop.  She looks around for Xena but when she does not see her, she decides to follow Vicus into the building.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. HERBALIST SHOP - LATE MORNING

 

Gabrielle enters the shop and starts looking around at all the vials of potions and herbs.  She hears a rustle of a curtain and sees Vicus enter the room. His expression is somewhat surprised.

 

VICUS

Hello, Gabrielle.  I didnít hear

anyone enter.  Is there

something you need?

 

GABRIELLE

Um, yes, actually.  I need

to replenish some of

our healing herbs.

 

She looks around the shop seeing several vials she recognizes.  Sheís very aware of his eyes following her every move.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Ah, here they are.

 

Gabrielle picks up a couple of vials and walks over to Vicus.

 

VICUS

Ah, lavender and

purple coneflower.

How much of each?

 

GABRIELLE

A small pouch

of each will do.

 

Vicus moves to a table and takes two cloth pouches, filling each with the herbs.  He makes a mark on each pouch to identify the ingredients and hands them to Gabrielle.

 

VICUS

(smiling)

Anything else?

 

GABRIELLE

No, this will do.  How

much do I owe you?

 

 

VICUS

Please, take them as a gift.

Friends of Tessaís mother

are always welcome here.

 

GABRIELLE

Thank you, Vicus.

 

Gabrielle turns to leave.

 

VICUS

Gabrielle?

 

Gabrielle turns back to face him.

 

GABRIELLE

Yes?

 

VICUS

Come next door with me to the

bakery.  I have a surprise for you

and Xena I think youíll both enjoy.

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR