MILLTOS VILLAGE - AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle ride up together on Argo to the gates of a small,
rather shabby village. The gates are tied together sticks, and on either
side of them are grubby little farms, with yards full of scraggly
chickens and goats. The atmosphere is run down, but well ordered. There
are no human beings in sight.
Xena and Gabrielle pause at the gates and look around.
This place looks
Xena looks over her shoulder at Gabrielle, and smiles warmly at her.
Ya never know. I thought
look what I found there.
Gabrielle does not react for a moment, then she leans against Xena and
hugs her. Xena is a little confused at this reaction.
Sorry. The jokes are a little rusty.
That's one of the things I missed most.
My bad jokes?
Your sense of humor.
You didn't have it as a ghost.
No, I guess I didn't.
Wasn't much to laugh about.
Xena looks off into the distance, then guides Argo to the gates and
unlatches them. Argo backs up and they pull the gates open and proceed
MILLTOS INN - AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle ride through the village and up to the inn. The
Milltos Inn is a single story structure. Its sign is broken, hanging
down from one catch and creaking in the breeze. The exterior is patched
As Argo reaches the Inn, the inhabitants of the village slowly appear,
coming out of houses and from around corners to look at them. The
villagers are dressed more or less alike, all with homespun aprons tied
over their work clothes with a jagged, knife like symbol sewn on them.
See that symbol?
Yeah. What is it?
Damned if I know,
but I bet we find out.
Gabrielle gives Xena a look.
Remind me to think again
that sense of humor.
The crowd surrounds Xena and Gabrielle and look curiously at them,
pointing and whispering. Xena and Gabrielle look at each other, then
dismount from Argo's back. The Innkeeper comes out to meet them. She is
a hatchet faced woman who has seen better days, with a tight, pinched
face and a gaunt frame.
What's your pleasure, travelers?
(under her breath)
Wouldn't you like to know?
Gabrielle has her mouth open to speak, but she pauses on hearing the
bawdy comment and reaches over to give Xena a pinch. Xena smirks.
We'd like a room.
Do you have any?
The Innkeeper laughs unpleasantly.
Have any? Oh yes, we've got
plenty of them.
Come with me,
strangers. We'll fix you right up!
Xena doesn't much like the sound of this, but she can't find any
immediate threat. She starts to follow the innkeeper inside when the
sound of people fighting comes from the road.
Quickly, quickly, inside
if you please!
The innkeeper tries to hurry them inside. Xena and Gabrielle ignore her,
grab their weapons, and head for the sound of trouble.
MILLTOS VILLAGE ROAD - AFTERNOON
A crowd of men dressed in the strange aprons, but with hoods over their
heads surround a bound captive. The captive is wrapped in strips of
cloth from head to foot, on which are painted various symbols. The
captive is plainly terrified, his eyes are coming almost out of his
head, but his mouth is bound and he cannot speak.
The hooded men drag the captive down the street. The captive struggles -
he is a very powerful man and he knocks several of them off their feet
despite how he is bound.
The captive falls, and the men drag him forward, then pull him back onto
his feet. The men start to chant very loudly.
Toola! Toola! Toola!
Xena and Gabrielle run towards the men.
Stop! Let him go!
The hooded men leap forward and attack Xena and Gabrielle with sticks
and poles, beating at them viciously.
You really don't wanna do that!
Xena takes the pole from one man's hands and breaks it, then she kicks
him in the chest and flips him backwards several times. At the same
time, Gabrielle takes out one of the hooded men with a roundhouse kick,
then uses her sais to punch out two others, knocking them unconscious.
She's right. Why don't we
stop now, before...
A man leaps at Gabrielle and tackles her, taking her to the ground. They
wrestle, as Xena turns and sees them. Xena leaps over two men who are
trying to grab her and kicks back in mid air, kicking them into a horse
trough nearby. Gabrielle is struggling with her opponent. The man is far
larger than she is.
Gabrielle rolls out from under her attacker and pulls back a fist, then
slugs him hard in the jaw. The man's head rocks back and he drops flat
to the ground. Gabrielle gets up and looks around. Xena picks up one of
the last of the attackers and spins around with him, knocking out two
others. She lets him go, and he flies across the road, landing in a
manure pile outside the barn.
(beat, points at captive)
Cut him loose.
Gabrielle has already gone to the side of the captive. She draws her
dagger and slices through the linen wrapping, freeing the man.
Easy... it's okay.
The captive frantically wrenches his limbs free, and as soon as he can
get loose, he turns and bolts for the gates, running as fast as he can.
Xena walks over to Gabrielle and puts a hand on her shoulder.
You okay? I thought that
guy had you there.
Gabrielle wipes her brow and puts her dagger away. She is a little
shaken, the days without sleep have taken their toll and she knows it.
Yeah, I'm fine. Let's go turn
in, Xena, and
find out what's going on.
Xena looks concerned, but she just claps Gabrielle on the back and they
start back towards the inn.
MILLTOS INN - MOMENTS LATER
A crowd is gathering. They move around Xena and Gabrielle as they
approach. Xena addresses the innkeeper.
Who's the law here?
You might well ask!
The crowd starts to mutter angrily. A man rushes in.
He's gone! We'll never catch him!
He got across the river!
Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
Are you looking for one of the attackers?
Most of them are by the road.
(points at Xena and Gabrielle)
It was them! The strangers! They attacked
the holy ones, and let him go!
I've got a bad feeling about this.
The crowd starts to riot. Rocks and sticks start to fly. Xena and
Gabrielle immediately draw their weapons and go back to back, ready to
defend themselves. Xena knocks sticks out of the air with her sword.
They attacked! I saw them!
Wait! You've got this all wrong!
A tall, stern, bearded man suddenly steps into the center of the crowd,
and holds his hands up. Following him is a large group of the aproned
and hooded men, now obviously in authority.
The crowd stops dead, and you would hear a pin drop if they were not on
a dirt road.
They will be judged
according to our custom.
Xena has had about enough.
Judged for what? We saved
that poor guy's life!
For breaking our laws, and putting
us all in great
danger. Bring them
to the council chambers!
The hooded guard surround Xena and Gabrielle, pointing lethal looking
spears and crossbows at them.
OF ACT ONE