VILLAGE COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT (RESUME)
Xena and Gabrielle draw their weapon as a loud roll of sound is heard
outside. The villagers are beginning to panic and the guards have a
desperate look in their eyes as they close in on their two prisoners.
We still humoring them?
No. My sense of humor just
gave up the ghost again.
Hold it right there!
Wait a minute. We're not going to
just stand by and let you kill us.
The men pause and listen.
She's right. Somebody's gonna
get hurt, and
it's not going to be
us, if you catch my drift.
For a moment, the sight of their bright weapons and determined faces
make the men hesitate. Then a low, booming roar sounds outside, and they
surge forward, frantically attacking Xena and Gabrielle, letting out
Get them! Quickly!
Xena cuts the heads off the spears of three of the men coming after her.
They look at their stubs, then start striking Xena with them.
Xena whirls her sword in a figure eight, slicing down the spears a foot
at a time. Bits of wood go flying everywhere.
We need a distraction!
Gabrielle catches two of the guard's weapons in her sais She twists her
wrists expertly, and the guard's spears get yanked out of their hands.
One spear almost hits the leader. The other bounces off the ground then
hits a torch. The torch falls over and sets the wall thatch on fire. The
fire spreads rapidly across the wall and up into the roof.
Xena ducks as a flaming piece of wood almost falls on her.
Not what I had in mind,
but I'll work with it.
Run! We'll all be killed!
There is pandemonium in the hall. Everyone runs for the door, pushing
and shoving to get out. The fire now consumes the entire roof, putting a
layer of flame over their heads and dropping burning thatch all over
Xena and Gabrielle watch the crowd jam the door. Xena turns and plunges
her sword into the wall, cutting a hole big enough to walk through. Xena
jumps though the hole. Gabrielle follows her, but turns at the last
moment to see the Leader buried by a falling piece of roof.
Gabrielle re-enters the room and grabs the Leader's arm, pulling him out
from under the burning wood. The roof is now collapsing all around her,
and she covers her face with her arm as she struggles towards the door.
VILLAGE COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT
The sounds from the mountain are now continuous. The villagers run from
the council chamber, coughing and choking, only to be faced with the
ground vibrating under their feet.
Xena turns and finds that Gabrielle has not followed her. She jumps to
the opening in the wall, and plunges back inside the fire.
VILLAGE COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT
Gabrielle can barely see in front of her. She feels her way towards the
opening in the wall, and her hand suddenly meets something that does not
feel like wood or thatch. She clamps down on it.
Gabrielle has grabbed Xena's nose.
Thought that felt like you.
Xena grabs Gabrielle and pulls her out the hole in the wall.
VILLAGE COUNCIL CHAMBER - NIGHT
The villagers are weeping. Xena and Gabrielle drag the leader over to
the horse trough and sit him down on it. Rocks tumble down the street
from the opening in the mountain. A woman simply stands and shrieks
nearby. Xena shakes her.
The woman continues to scream. Gabrielle goes to her and grabs her by
Why are you screaming?
You got out, look!
The woman stops.
Out of the fire, into worse! Toola will kill us!
He will burn the crops, drown the village...
send the mountain down upon us!
Is that what he's done before?
Yes. He is a demanding god. We
do something, quickly.
The Leader stands.
Xena draws her sword.
You're not gonna try
that again, are you?
The guard stumbles over. The rest of the villagers cluster anxiously
around, plainly terrified.
Listen, we can find a
way to stop this.
Yes. I know of a way.
The Leader lifts his hands.
My friends, our god is angry.
The ground vibrates.
We have not given him what
defeat these strangers.
A low keening sound rises, covering the leader's voice. It sounds like
very large fingernails on an even larger piece of slate. Everyone covers
their ears, especially Xena, who feels actual pain from the noise.
Only one thing will appease him!
We must offer him our tribute.
But we have no one to send!
The sound decreases into a moan. Everyone uncovers their ears.
Any more of that, and your
get more than a tribute.
I will go. I will take the tribute,
myself to the waters.
Quickly, take me!
The crowd cries out in relief. The surround the Leader and cheer him,
patting him on the back and thanking him. The guard surround the Leader,
pick him up onto their shoulders and carry him off. The villagers
follow, chanting, very happy and relived. Xena and Gabrielle are left
behind, completely forgotten. They look at each other, stunned.
Xena, this is insane. What kind of
it's followers mindlessly
sacrifice strangers to it?
I don't know. Let's see
if we can find out.
Xena and Gabrielle follow the crowd.
LEADER'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The Leader stands in the center of the room. The other villagers pack
the small room, surrounding the guards. The guards are wrapping the
Leader in strips of linen. Nearby, the chest the prisoner had been
carrying earlier in the day is being polished by one of the villagers.
Everyone is happy and excited, with the exception of a small, dark
haired woman, the LEADER'S WIFE.
Don't do this! Please!
I must. The safety of all
of us depends on me.
Xena and Gabrielle enter, and watch quietly.
What about us? Doesn't
your family matter?
The villagers pull the woman away, and push her towards the rear of the
Get out of the way. We have
to hurry, before
the waters on us. Come on!
The guards surround the leader, and one of them places the chest in his
hands. Another one is hurriedly painting the symbols of the god on the
strips of linen. They start to hustle the Leader out the door.
The Leader looks back and their eyes meet.
When they are older,
tell the children.
The villagers push past the Wife, and file out the door, following the
guard. They are relieved, and also a little embarrassed at the Wife's
Xena, we have to stop this.
And take on the entire village?
You saw what was
going on outside, Gabrielle.
That damn god means business.
So, we just let him die?
His god, his choice.
Gabrielle gives Xena a shocked, then somber look.
The Wife notices them. She becomes angry, and grabs a broom, brandishing
it at them.
You! It's all your fault! Why did
you have to interfere?
We saw someone being attacked.
We thought we were helping.
Helping? Now my fool
rushing to his
death for it. Thanks a lot!
Gabrielle looks at the woman, understanding her anger better than the
woman knows. Xena walks over to her, ignoring the threat of the broom.
Your husband is doing what he
thinks is right. If this god is
as dangerous as you all claim.
Toola is a terrible god.
Then your husband is a hero to
rest of them, isn't he?
If he was a hero he'd care about
Only fools are so eager
to die. Dying is easy.
It's left to the
living to suffer the hardships of it.
The Wife throws her broom into the corner and storms through an inner
door to a second room. She slams the wooden thatch door behind her,
causing bits of it to drift to the ground.
Xena shakes her head and walks back over to where Gabrielle is standing.
Gabrielle doesn't react. Her face is set and very still.
If their god is so dangerous, you'd
think she'd appreciate the choice
made to save all of them.
Gabrielle looks very hard at Xena.
Yeah. Well, you know something?
side of that choice
is a real nasty place to be.
Gabrielle turns and walks to the inner door, opening it and going
through, without giving Xena a backwards look.
is left alone in the room. Gabrielle's anger surprised her, and she
remains still, thinking hard about what Gabrielle said and why she might
have said it.
VILLAGE STREET - NIGHT
The villagers surround the guard, who surrounds the Leader. They march
up towards the mountain. As they get closer, the sounds, and the stones
slowly reduce. The villagers begin chanting in relief and joy.
LEADER'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The Leader's Wife stands at the window, watching the torches recede
towards the mountain. Beside her are two children, a boy and girl. The
children hang on to their mother, obviously scared and very confused.
Xena enters, and looks around for Gabrielle, then stops when she spots
the family at the window.
Mama, where's daddy?
He's going to talk to
Why? Does Toola want to
tell him something?
tell us when he gets back?
Xena watches and listens from the shadows. She closes her eyes as she
sees bits of her own memories - of the suffering she felt after
Gabrielle fell into the lava pit with Hope.
He... won't be back for a long time.
maybe he will tell us what
when we see him again.
Daddy's not coming home tonight?
Can I sleep in his bed?
The Wife can barely keep her composure. She puts the two children in the
large bed and pulls the covers up.
That's it. You go to sleep, and
dream good dreams.
The Wife turns, and sees Xena standing there. They both listen as the
loud noises and vibrations die down, and then cease.
You must think I'm
selfish, don't you?
Xena is shaken.
someone who loves.
Wife looks puzzled.
My friend, where did she go?
She said she was going for
a long walk, to think.
The sounds outside have stopped. Now only cheers can be heard of the
happy villagers. The sounds get closer and closer. Then the door bursts
open, and men and women pour in, relieved and happy that the threat is
The men part, and suddenly the Leader emerges. He is covered in tatters
of linen, and the CHEST is gone. He spots Xena.
Xena's face shows she realizes what is coming next. She is already in
motion when the Leader speaks.
We were at the mountain,
then your friend
insisted on taking
my place! How wonderful! How brave!
She wanted so much to meet Toola!
Xena shoves through the crowd and bolts out the door, scattering people
everywhere without a backwards look.
OF ACT 3