Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT 2

 

FADE IN:

 

ext. forest underbrush - night

 

Xena, Gabrielle, and Varia dive behind a thick patch of underbrush. Xena and Gabrielle release Varia and start looking out for the guards.

 

xENA

Keep down.

 

 

gABRIELLE

Varia, are you okay?

 

vARIA

What the Hades do you think youíre doing?

 

Xena and Gabrielle look at Varia.  Varia is furious.

 

GABRIELLE

What?

 

 

VARIA

What makes you think you can just come in
and interfere like that? I told you to leave
me alone! Youíre wrecking my plan!

 

Xena points back towards the slaverís camp.

 

XEna

Thatís your plan?

 

VARIA

I *know* what Iím doing.

 

 

 

Gabrielle grips Variaís arm.

 

gABRIELLE

Varia, we left tied up and shackled to
trees plans behind a long time ago.

 

Xena snickers under her breath.

 

gABRIELLE
(Contíd)

You hush.

(beat, to Varia)

Why donít you tell us whatís going on?

 

 

Varia twists her arm free and starts to get up.

 

vARIA

Iíve got a better idea. Why donít the two
of you crawl back under whatever
rock youíve been hiding under.

 

Xena grabs Variaís leathers and holds her.

 

GABRIELLE

Varia, wait!

 

VARIA

Iím yelling for the guards.

 

Varia opens her mouth to yell. Xena balls her hand into a fist and yanks her down.

 

xENA

Youíre betting your tongueís faster than my fist.

 

 

Varia glares at her. Gabrielle pulls a  ten dinar piece from her belt and points at Xena meaningfully.

 

xENA
(Contíd)

Now, spill it. Level with us or Iíll hog-tie you and
drag you back to the Amazons the hard way.

 

Varia remains stubborn for a moment, then gives in. She sits down and runs her hands through her hair.

 

vARIA

All right. I just want you to understand
Iím not asking for your help.

 

gABRIELLE

I understand.

 

VARIA

(curtly)

Do you?

 

GABRIELLE

Understand that whole warrior thing that wonít let
you ask for help when you desperately need it?

(side glance at Xena)

Oh yeah.

 

 

Xena snorts.

 

VARIA

Whatever.  Okay, itís like this.
Amazons are missing.

 

GABRIELLE

Missing?

 

VARIA

Gone. Disappeared on patrol, during scouting
missions, on trips to the trading villages...
just gone. We canít find any trace of them.

 

Xena and Gabrielle are now listening seriously.

 

xENA

So where does all this come in?

 

VARIA

I found a trader, drunk in one of the villages
near us who claimed he crewed on a
boat full of Ďsavages like youí. 

(beat)

I made him tell me everything he knew.

 

 

XENA

Must not have taken long.

 

VARIA

He said there were slavers paying top dinars for
slaves on the coast, especially Amazons. So I went
to the port town weíd lost our last people in, and....

 

gABRIELLE

Got yourself kidnapped.

 

VARIA

Theyíll take me where the rest of them are.
Iíll bring them back. Now....

 

Varia stands up.

 

vARIA
(Contíd)

Stay out of my way, and leave me alone.
I donít need your help.

 

Varia slips off into the underbrush, leaving Xena and Gabrielle behind.

 

CUT TO:

 

ext. forest  - pre-dawn

 

Xena and Gabrielle walk together through the trees. Gabrielle leans heavily on her staff, but keeps up.

 

gABRIELLE

I donít get it, Xena.
Why is she so mad at us?

 

 

xENA

Wish I knew.  Whatever the reason, itís
clouding her judgment. She could end up
finding nothing at the end of this path but...

 

Xena hesitates.

 

GABRIELLE

Corpses?

 

XENA

I canít see Amazons living as slaves.

 

Gabrielle continues on a few steps. She is tiring.

 

GABRIELLE

No, neither can I. But you know, Xena,
people sometimes surprise you.

 

Xena casually lays her arm over Gabrielleís shoulders. Gabrielle leans against her, grateful for the support. They walk in silence for a few paces.

 

XENA

So. What do you think?  Should we
interfere despite what Varia wants?

 

GABRIELLE

Do ponies piddle in the pasture?
Of course we should.

 

XENA

Variaís not gonna like it.

 

 

Gabrielle grins.

 

xENA
(Contíd)

Weíre going to need some way
of blending in to get on that ship.

 

Gabrielle grins all the more.

 

gABRIELLE

I think Iíve got exactly what we need.

 

CrossFADE TO:

 

ext. forest glade - moonlight

 

Xena and Gabrielle are dressing each other in Amazon garb.

 

 

Gabrielle has her back to Xena, and Xena fastens her top, then traces the dragon tattoo with her fingers.

Gabrielle looks back over her shoulder and smiles. Xena smiles back. Gabrielle turns around and wraps Xenaís skirt around her and fastens the belt. Her hands lift and brush over the place the arrows pierced her, where there are no remaining marks.

 

Xena puts a tooth and bone necklace around Gabrielleís neck.

 

Gabrielle fastens leather wraps around Xenaís biceps.

 

gABRIELLE

You look good as an Amazon.

 

xENA

So do you.

(beat)

You always did.

 

Images enter their memories at the same time, of Gabrielleís times as an Amazon, showing her growth from the wide eye innocent of Terraisí time to the battle leader of Variaís.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Yeah. But it took a lot of growing into.

 

They both smile.  Gabrielle picks up her staff.

 

gABRIELLE

Letís go find some trouble.

 

Xena and Gabrielle leave the glade and head for the port town.

 

CUT TO:

 

ext. port town market - DAY

 

Two men sit outside a brothel, drinking.  They watch a festival in progress in the market. Men and women are drinking and dancing, celebrating the harvest.

 

Slave master

Iíll be glad to get out of here.
Whereís the damn cargo?

 

lackey

Theyíre here, boss. Just waiting for
nightfall, then weíre outta this joint.

 

As they watch, a yodel is heard, then a woman dressed as an Amazon appears, riding a donkey backwards. She is singing.  Sort of.

 

It is Gabrielle.  Xena stumbles behind her, attempting to lasso the donkey with her whip. The men watch with interest.

 

lacKEY
(Contíd)

Hey boss... see that? What a pair ofÖ.

 

 

sLAVe mASTER

What I see is two capture
payments in my pocket. Come on.

 

The two men disappear into the brothel.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. inn bedroom - night

 

Xena and Gabrielle lay together on the floor of the room, which has been wrecked. The pallet lies in pieces near the window, and a small table sits upside down with broken mugs and crockery on it.  The room stinks of bad wine and worse judgment.

 

Once again, the door slowly opens, and a torch appears.

 

slave mASTER

Careful. One of them was pretty big.

 

The lackey sticks his head in and cautiously looks around.

 

laCKEY

No problem, boss.  Theyíre out.

 

The men enter.

 

SLAVE MASTER

What a pit.

 

LACKEY

Which one we taking?

 

SLAVE MASTER

The little oneís hurt. Leave her.
I donít need damaged merchandise.
Letís get the big one.

 

ON GABRIELLE:

 

Gabrielleís eyes are open, and she tenses up when she hears the slave master speak.

 

gABRIELLE

(whispers)

Xena.

 

As though in her drunken sleep, Xena stirs and rolls over, then reaches out and gathers Gabrielle to her, wrapping her arms and legs firmly around her in a tight hold.

 

SLAVE MASTER

Damn! Never get her loose
without waking her....

 

Gabrielle smirks.

 

lACKEY

Boy, thatís gonna be a load.

 

Xena looks indignant.

 

SLAVE MASTER

Shut up, and start bagging.

 

CUT TO:

 

ext. ship - night

 

A galley type ship is docked, with a ramp leading into itís hold. The column of prisoners is being moved up the ramp. Guards nervously watch everything, prodding the prisoners forward impatiently.

 

guARD #1

Move it. Címon.

 

At the head of the ramp, a group of men in sailorís clothing stands with a pot. As each prisoner reaches them, two guards grab the prisoners arms, and pull their head back, and the sailors force them to drink a cup of whatever is in the pot.  The prisoners struggle, but after the march, and little food, they are quickly exhausted.

 

Varia reaches the top and fights the men as they grab her.

 

 

guARD #2

Bitch! Tolja this one is trouble!

 

The men grab for Varia, but she evades their hands and knocks one of them off the ramp and into the water. Two others grab hold of her chains and pull, and a third gets a headlock on her from behind.

 

guARD #1

Give her a double dose!

 

The sailors approach cautiously. Varia snarls at them and kicks out, kicking the mug from their hands.  Another guard dives for her feet and circles them with his arms, holding her still.

 

GUARD #2

Hurry!

 

The sailors get another  mug and grimly return. The guard behind Varia pull her head back and yanks her jaw open. The sailors pour the substance into her mouth, and Varia is faced with either swallowing or choking.

 

Varia struggles, and for a moment, no one knows what sheís going to do. She tries to spit the substance out, but the guard claps a hand over her mouth and prevents her.

 

Variaís eyes dart everywhere, then her shoulders slump and she gives in, swallowing the mouthful.

 

GUARD #1

More!

 

The sailors force her to drink the entire mug. Then the guards shove her forward, into the hold.

 

GUARD #2

Next!

 

All of the prisoners are on board. The slave master hands the guards a bag of coins.

 

SLAVE MASTER

(ironic)

Nice bunch.

 

gUARD #1

These babies gave us a lot of trouble.
Next time, youíll pay twice the price.

 

The guards leave the dock.  The slave master watches them go, and waits until they are out of sight.

 

SLAVE MASTER

Next time maybe youíll be the cargo.

(beat)

All right - get the last two on board.

 

Four men struggle up the ramp with a large, burlap wrapped bundle.  They toss the bundle into the hold, then retreat, wiping their brows.

 

SLAVE MASTER
(Contíd)

(to sailors)

Give them a dose before they wake up.

(to ship captain)

Letís get out of this dump.

 

The ramp starts to close, as the sailors laugh.

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT 2

ACT 3