|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
INT. ROOM AT THE INN - LATE AFTERNOON
Gabrielle is sitting on a chair looking contemplatively out the window. There are a few packages on the table next to Gabrielle. The door opens and Xena steps in, quickly closing the door behind her. She walks over to the bed and notes the packages before walking over to Gabrielle
I see you picked up some
herbs... and lunch?
Gabrielle turns in her chair and smiles. As Xena approaches she stands and moves forward to meet her.
I wouldnít try the nut
bread... or the mead.
Xena raises an eyebrow in question.
Unless of course you want
to wind up like the rest
of these smiling fools.
Vicus mixing a little
henbane into his gifts?
Iím not sure. It doesnít seem
to wear off like henbane.
Xena spies the nut bread and flask and steps to the table.
What led you to suspect these?
I went to see Sela again this morning.
She was a completely changed woman.
Happy as a lark and didnít remember
that she wasnít excited about the move
to Paradise. Her like minded friends
were also now glad to be in Paradise.
Maybe they saw the property
they were promised?
I thought that at first, but when she didnít
even remember about her previous concerns,
I started to look around at the rest of them.
Xena, thereís no way one night would result
in that much of a change for everyone.
Mm hm. So, what turned
you on to the bread and mead?
Itís the one thing they all had in common.
Or most, anyway. I figured Vicus used
two ways to drug these folks in case
someone didnít like mead or nut bread.
Xena produces a brilliant smile.
Thatís my bard!
Oh, you havenít heard
the best part.
I went to Vicusí shop...
to get some supplies.
And do a little investigating?
Yep, after all I had...
have a good teacher.
Gabrielle winks at Xena.
As I was leaving, Vicus took me
over to the bakerís shop and sent
me home with this little present
he thought you and I would enjoy.
Okay, letís see if we can figure
out what heís using on these folks.
They sit down at the table and break open the bread, each examining and smelling it.
Smells great, but really sweet.
Yeah... I think Iíve smelled
this stuff before in Chin.
Ah, thatís probably why
I donít recognize it.
There was this little old man in the
market that sold all sorts of herbs
for healing use. Dao was a real master
at mixing up remedies... or poisons.
Xena takes out her dagger and separates out some seeds from the nut bread.
See these? They come from a flower...
a poppy if I remember right. Makes a
very powerful drug for pain, but
unfortunately very addicting. And this....
She picks out some remnants of dried mushroom.
This stuff is from a very special
mushroom. A few bites of this
and youíll be very happy.
Mmm hmm. And this sweet smell
is from Da Zao; it helps calm the
spirit and harmonize the harsh
characteristics of the other ones.
Xena picks through the bread some more.
Thereís some other stuff in
here I donít recognize, but
Iíll bet itís all from Chin.
Gabrielle picks up the flask and uncorks it.
What about this stuff?
Let me smell it.
Yeah, Iíll bet heís used the
same mixture in here too.
So, whatís the plan?
INT. ROOM AT THE INN - NIGHT
Xena banks the fire in the fireplace then looks out the window.
Itís time to go.
Xena extinguishes the candle on the table and looks out the window, checks the shadows for movement and spots several of Vicusí men watching the Inn.
Grab the nut bread and flask
and letís slip out the window.
Weíve got company out there.
Do you want to lose them?
No, Iíd rather know where
they are so let them follow us.
They quietly slip out the window and head across the roof of the Inn, flipping down into the haystack by the barn.
Pitch that stuff into the
manure pile, Gabrielle.
Now, letís see what Vicus
is up to with the newcomers.
INT. HERB SHOP - NIGHT
Xena and Gabrielle enter through a back window.
So much for security
bars on the window.
They move quietly through the shop, examining the contents of the various jars and vials on the shelves, recognizing the usual items that are staples in such shops.
Nothing unusual here.
Xena moves to Vicusí desk and picks up a stack of parchments and quickly scans them.
Xena hands the stack to Gabrielle.
Oh, this guy is really slick.
Yeah, heís got a real
sweet deal going here.
He brings them in with a low price
for land and shops, then squeezes
them dry every month. They never
know theyíve been had because he
drugs them daily with mead and breads.
Letís see what
else we can find.
They continue to explore the shop.
Xena, over here.
Thereís a locked cabinet.
Xena walks over to the cabinet and pops open the lock with her dagger.
Gabrielle opens the door and they see a shelf lined with jars marked in symbols from Chin.
Wow. Thereís enough stuff in here
to keep these folks drugged forever.
Xena spins and catches a crossbow bolt before it hits Gabrielle. Then she releases her chakram bouncing it off a cauldron heating over a small fire pit in the middle of the room, then banking off a torch holder. It then rebounds back to a fireplace andiron before sailing into the crossbow, splitting it into pieces before returning to her hand as she stands to face Vicus.
Vicus drops what remains of the crossbow in his hand.
Vicus! Nice of
you to show up.
Vicus unsheathes his sword, pointing it toward Xena and Gabrielle.
Be careful where you point that
thing unless you intend to use it.
Oh, I intend to use it.
Okay, well, donít say I didnít
warn you. By the way, nice
gig youíve got going here.
So what really happened
to the baker?
He caught me adding my special
ingredients to his flour one night.
And he tried to stop you?
Well, he wasnít in the best of shape
to try to stop me. He was a little on
the large size from tasting all his goodies.
Well, someone needs to stop
you, so it might as well be us.
Oh, I donít intend to let
either of you stop me.
Really? All by yourself?
No, Iím no fool, Xena.
Weíve been waiting for you.
A connecting door to the bakery opens and three of Vicusí guards charge into the room with swords drawn. At the same time, three more guards enter from the back door, swinging their swords wildly.
Aw, Vicus, Iím disappointed in
you. I thought youíd at least
come at us in a fair fight!
This is fair, Xena...
my kind of fair.
Tsk, tsk... no, Vicus, youíll need a
lot more men than this to make
it a fair fight! Aiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiiii!
Xena produces her blood curdling war cry and flips into the middle of the room to face Vicus and the other three guards. As she flips, she unsheathes her sword and takes on the men who entered from the back door neatly deflecting their swords. As they scramble to return the attack, Gabrielle steps up, pulls out her sais and engages them, connecting her sais with the swords of the outer two guards and kicking forcefully at the center guard who loses his balance and falls backward through the bakery door. He slams into a shelf containing barrels of flour which topple over onto his head, knocking him cold and covering him from head to toe with flour.
Vicus moves to attack with the other guards. Xena flips into the air once more, grabbing a cross beam with her free hand while her sword connects with two of the guardís sword arms. They drop to the floor grabbing the injured appendages.
Vicus and the remaining guard watch as Xena flips gracefully from the cross beam back to the floor by the fire pit and caldron. The guard approaches cautiously from her right and Vicus from her left.
So, Vicus, what happens
when these folks donít
get their daily drugs?
That wonít happen, Xena.
I wouldnít be too sure about that.
And, theyíre not going to be too
happy with you while they go
through their withdrawal. Iíve
seen that kind of thing in Chin
and itís... nasty... very nasty.
Well, I guess Iíll just have to
keep them supplied then.
The two men attack in unison and Xena effortlessly trades blows with their weapons. All the while Xena is grinning and laughing and leading them on and conversing with Vicus.
Gabrielle easily disarms her two adversaries, finalizing her effort with simultaneous blows to their heads with the hilts of her sais. Their knees wobble for a beat before they crumble in a heap on the floor.
So, whoís the genius behind
the drug combination?
I wish I could take credit for it, but a
little man in Chin showed me the
correct measurements. He used it
to help people who were depressed.
Ah, that would
be Dao Chang.
Vicus picks up a flask of oil and throws it at Xena. She deflects it with her sword sending it into the face of the guard causing him to reel backward.
And you figured out
a better use for it.
Iím just trying to keep
everyone happy in Paradise.
And make a few
dinars in the process?
Well, I am a
businessman after all.
Xena jumps into the air as Vicus and the guard rush toward her at the same time. Vicusí sword punctures the shoulder of his guard and causes him to stagger back toward the fire pit. The guard catches himself on the caldron to stop himself from falling into the fire. In the process, some of the toxic contents spill on him and he runs screaming into the bakery as his skin blisters up.
Nasty brew, Vicus.
Just a little experiment.
The cauldron hanging over the fire continues to sway and drip its toxic brew. Xena moves out of its path just as Vicus swings his sword toward her. Instead of making contact with Xena, his sturdy sword slices through one of the chains holding the cauldron, severing it and sending the toxic liquid over him. Xena backs away as he screams out his final breath.
Gabrielle joins Xena as they watch his body disintegrate before them.
I told him not to point
that sword at me.
EXT. HERB SHOP - MORNING - TWO DAYS LATER
Xena and Gabrielle greet the townsfolk as they come to the shop for their daily portion of herbs. Xena prepared a remedy from the stock of herbs in Vicusí shop to help them through their withdrawal. Tessa comes out of the herb shop with another arm load of pouches.
How long will they have
to take this remedy?
Depends on how long
they were taking the drugs.
How are you doing Tessa?
Okay, I guess. Iíve got a
really bad headache still,
but I can deal with it.
Do you plan on staying
here or going back home?
Iíll probably head home for a bit
and see how Momís doing, but
then I think Iíll try traveling
around like she did at my age.
Xena and Gabrielle wince at the thought of Tessa on the road.
Well, just try to stay
out of trouble, okay?
Tessa nods and grins at her.
Getting too old to bail me
out like you did mom?
Donít even go there.
What about the townsfolk, Xena?
Do you think theyíll get back to normal?
It may take a few days, but Iím
sure things will return to normal
without much of a problem.
Just then, they hear loud voices coming from the leather vendorís stall.
Itís only worth ten.
Ten! Why, you wonít find a
better saddle bag in all of Greece!
Then sell your bag to Greece!
Gabrielle looks over at Xena then begins chuckling. Soon Tessa and Xena join her as they watch the two haggle continue to haggle over the price of the saddle bag.
Now, thatís what
I call normal.
Well, so much for
life in Paradise!
END OF ACT FOUR
EXT. CREST OF HILL OVERLOOKING PARADISE - MID MORNING
Xena and Gabrielle are riding away from Paradise on their way back to see Tara.
You know, Vicus did
have a good idea.
Xena raises an eyebrow in question.
And that was...?
To bring all the top artisans to one spot.
Just think of all the creative talent that
could collaborate and produce who
knows what new masterpieces.
Xena nods in agreement.
The town could have really become
a paradise of sorts where people
could come for one-stop shopping.
Yeah, but that would kill the trade
elsewhere negatively affecting
a lot of people who rely on their
markets to bring in dinars.
Oh, I almost forgot!
Gabrielle reaches into her new leather saddle bag and takes out a cloth wrapped package handing it to Xena.
While you were making all the herb
remedies, I experimented with my
nut bread recipe. And you were right,
as usual. Sometimes things can
be just too good to be true.
Xena bites into the nut bread, chews, then moans softly. She swallows and licks the crumbs off her fingers, winking at Gabrielle.
None of the townsfolk were permanently addicted to drugs and
Xenaís remedy for withdrawal sickness was later found inscribed
in the medical records of Hippocrates citing her as the healer.