Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT 3

 

FADE IN:

 

int. shipís hold - day

 

The captives are chained to the deck. Many struggle against their chains. Guards walk on planks set above the level of the deck with long whips, lashing the captives that struggle most.  One captive grabs a guardís leg and tries to pull him to the deck. Several other guards grab the man. One of the sailors comes over and forces some of the liquid down the manís throat. The man almost chokes on it, but the sailor persists. They throw the man to the deck when they finish, and he lies there gasping.

 

sailor #1

Try that again, and youíll be over the side.

 

The guard snaps his whip over the heads of those nearby, making them duck.  The captives mutter, but hunker down to avoid any more violence.

 

The guards walk past a darker portion of the deck and look down, then walk past, laughing.

 

After they pass, the torchlight suddenly reflects off  a pair of pale eyes.  Xena watches them go by, then she sits up. Gabrielle is lying next to her, sick to her stomach.

 

xENA

How are you doing?

 

 

gABRIELLE

Ugh. What was that stuff?

 

Xena makes a face and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand.

 

XENA

Wish I knew. It has a nasty kick.

 

GABRIELLE

Glad I kicked it out of me, then.
Sorry about the mess.

 

XENA

Couldnít be any worse than it was.
What a garbage scow.

 

Xena cautiously looks around. She watches a captive one section over get kicked in the head and she starts to jump up, but stops when a sailor slaps the guard.

 

saILOR #1

Stop it!
This is valuable merchandise.
You break it, you pay for it.

 

The sailor shoves the guard away.


Xena settles back down.

 

gABRIELLE

Any sign of Varia?

 

 

 

xENA

No.

 

Sailors start moving among the captives, passing out mugs and hard loaves of bread.   One sailor hands Xena and Gabrielle their portion.

 

saiLOR #1

Here. Donít spill it.
Itís all the water youíll get.

 

Xena takes the mug and smells it.

 

XENA

Herbs. Sleep ones, and
something else. I canít tell.

 

Gabrielle puts hers down, along with the bread.

 

gABRIELLE

No thanks. Iíll pass.

 

Xena is worried. She knows they both canít last without water.

 

XENA

Take off your skirt and
hand over your knickers.

 

Gabrielle gets up on her elbows and stares at Xena.  Xena crooks a finger at her.  Gabrielle shakes her head, but starts to unbuckle her belt.

 

GABRIELLE

Why canít we ever use yours?

 

XENA

Teach you to buy those
fancy Roman ones, wonít it?

 

CUT TO:

 

int. shipís hold - three days later - day

 

The hold ramp is open, and daylight is flooding inside the ship. Outside, there is the sound of life and activity, even music.

 

The sailors are lining the captives up to be taken off. In contrast to how they boarded, the captives are now docile and stand without protest as they are pushed into place. They are exhausted by their captivity, and by the voyage.

 

Varia is carried over a guardís shoulder, apparently out cold.

 

Xena and Gabrielle are at the end of the line, appearing as disheveled and worn down as the rest. Gabrielleís knee is still bandaged, but she is not visibly limping.  The guards drive them down the ramp and out of the ship.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. island dock - day

 

It is bright daylight out side. The captives blink and try to shade their eyes, now used to the dark confines of the ship. Men with rods are waiting for them there. The slave master stops them just short of the men.

 

SLAVE MASTER

Hereís the merchandise, Avon.

 

A man walks up and down the line of captives, then turns to the slave master.

 

Avon

Pickings getting slim? Not much to see....

(points to Varia)

What happened to her?

 

SLAVE MASTER

She needed extra work. A real feisty one.

 

The sailors all chuckle. Avon pulls Gabrielle out of the line.

 

avON
(Contíd)

This oneís damaged.  Why should I take it?

 

Gabrielle looks him right in the eye.

 

gABRIELLE

Because Iím a Queen of the Amazons.

 

 

Avon stares at Gabrielle. He examines her, turning her head this way and that, and poking at her.  Behind them, Xenaís face is impassive, but she is very tense.

 

AVON

Eh. Nothing to look at,
but sheís strong at least.

 

Avon shoves Gabrielle back into line. Xena catches her by the shoulders and steadies her.

 

SLAVE MASTER

Youíll see better next time.

 

Avon hands the slave master a large bag of coins.

 

AVON

Iíd better.
This lotís not worth the coin.

(to men with rods)

Take them to the cells.

(disgustedly)

Wash them first.

 

CUT TO:

 

ext. slave compound - day

 

The men with the rods circle the captives and herd them along. At the end of the line are Xena and Gabrielle. A man prods Xena in the back. Xena doesnít turn around, but she snarls silently.  The man prods her again.

 

man

Címon.
I want to see some action!

 

Moving very quickly, Xena lifts her shackled hands and nails the man in the jaw with her elbow.  The man falls down, but Xena is so fast, no one sees her do anything.

 

xENA

(muttering)

Careful what you ask for.

 

 

gABRIELLE

(softly)

Xena, look.

 

They are entering a large courtyard. A huge gate closes behind them with an ominous bang.  Inside, groups of slaves dressed in black and wearing collars are being instructed. The slaves sit obediently, nodding in unison when the man speaks.

 

instructor

You must always obey.
Do as you are told.
Never argue with your master.

 

The slaves nod.

 

slaves

Yes, master.

 

Xena and Gabrielle are stunned.

 

xENA

Still sure weíre gonna find live Amazons here?

 

 

gABRIELLE

I donít see any.  Xena, look at them.
Theyíre like sheep!

 

 

Gabrielle watches the scene, visibly disturbed.  Gabrielle and Xena are pushed into an enclosed area with the rest of the captives, and a gate is shut behind them.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. slave Enclosure - day

 

The captives all stand in the enclosure.

 

gABRIELLE

Now what?

 

 

Men with huge barrels of water appear above the enclosure walls, and dump the water over the slaves, drenching them.  Gabrielle spits out a mouthful of the water and wipes her eyes, then turns and looks at Xena.  Xena is completely drenched.

 

xENA

Ohh... Amazons are gonna be
the least of their problems.

 

Curiously, none of the other slaves seem upset at the water.  Another gate opens in front of them, and they are herded through it.

 

FADE TO:

 

int. slave enclosure - day

 

Xena and Gabrielle duck behind a wall as they enter, letting the rest of the slaves move on.

 

xENA

Címon.

 

Xena and Gabrielle disappear into the darkness.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. slave compound hallway - day

 

Xena and Gabrielle walk cautiously down the hallway, listening for guards. They pass a stone aqueduct and Gabrielle stops.

 

gABRIELLE

Is this safe to drink?

 

Xena smells the water.

 

xENA

I think so. Thirsty?

 

GABRIELLE

After having only three mouthfuls of sludge filtered
through my underwear the last three days? Yeah.
(smilng)

Least it gave my leg a chance to heal. Mostly.

 

 

 

Xena dips her cupped hands into the water and takes a drink, then offers a handful to Gabrielle.  Gabrielle drinks the water.  They both react when they hear footsteps approaching.  Xena pulls Gabrielle into an alcove next to the aqueduct. It is a very tight squeeze, and they are pressed up against each other in the small space.

 

Avon and his lackey come down the hallway and stop right next to the aqueduct.

 

lacKEY

This new batch is pretty ragged, mílord.

 

avON

I know. Soon weíll be breeding our own,
and we wontí have to depend on those idiots.

 

LACKEY

Aye, mílord.

 

AVON

Raise from infants to serve us.
Obedient, pliable... perfect.

 

Avon laughs, and they walk on.

 

gABRIELLE

(whispering)

Are they gone?

 

Xena listens.

 

xENA

Yes.

 

GABRIELLE

Too bad.

 

Xena and Gabrielle emerge from their hiding spot, a little more disheveled than when they went into it.  Xena plucks one of the feathers from her clothing from behind Gabrielleís ear and twirls it.

 

gaBRIELLE
(Contíd)

Did you hear what they were planning?
Xena, we have to stop this.

 

xENA

I know. Letís go see if we can find
some Amazons, and get backup first.

 

 

They continue down the hallway.  Suddenly, several guards appear from around the next corner.

 

guaRD #1

You there! Stop!

 

Xena and Gabrielle take off running. The guards chase them.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. slave enclosURE -halls - day

 

Xena and Gabrielle race through the hallways.  They duck into a doorway just past an intersection, and the guards run right by them.  They back into the room and close the door.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. slave enclosure - harem - day

 

Xena and Gabrielle stop short as they enter a large room. The room is full of women. They are all dressed in shifts. The room is comfortable, with many beds lining the walls. There is a fountain, and an ample supply of food. The women sit in groups, chatting and brushing each otherís hair.  The women look up curiously as Xena and Gabrielle enter.

 

womaN #1

Gabrielle?

 

 

Gabrielle recognizes the woman as an Amazon.

 

gABRIELLE

Cyane?

 

The women gather around Xena and Gabrielle.

 

cyane

Are you the new ones they
told us about? How wonderful.

 

Xena raises her eyebrows.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Weíre going to get you all out of here.

 

The Amazons whisper to each other, seemingly puzzled.

 

CYANE

Out of here? Why?
Itís great. Itís wonderful here.
Come on, come sit down, and have a drink.
Youíll love it, really.

 

Xena and Gabrielle exchange glances.

 

cYANE
(Contíd)

Look.

(pointing)

We have plenty of food, everythingís taken
care of for us, itís paradise here. Not like before.
No more fighting, no more having to hunt... itís great!

 

xENA

Whatís it costing you?

 

CYANE

Cost us? What do you mean? Here.

(hands Xena mug)

Drink this. Youíll feel a lot better. Honest.

 

Xena hears guards coming. She hands the mug back.

 

XENA

Thanks, but we gotta run.

 

CYANE

Run? Where?

 

Gabrielle and Xena back towards the door, and escape through it.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. slAVE COMPOUND HALLWAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle pause outside the Amazonís chamber.

 

xENA

I donít believe it.

 

gABRIELLE

Xena, do you remember hearing that
guy talk about breeding their own slaves?

 

 

 

XENA

Yeah.

 

GABRIELLE

Do you thinkÖ.

 

XENA

Yeah.

 

They hear the guards approaching.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena, we canít leave them in here.

 

Xena urges her down a side corridor.

 

XENA

I know. Iím workiní on it.

 

 

Xena opens a door and looks inside. Her face takes on a darker expression.

 

CUT TO:

 

int. variaís room

 

Varia is dressed in a blue gown. She is seated on a soft couch with her hands folded in her lap. Her face is still and expressionless.  She hears the door to her room open, and she turns to see Xena and Gabrielle there.  Varia puts her hands down and curls her fingers around the edge of the couch.

 

vaRIA

I knew youíd show up.

 

Gabrielle approaches her.

 

gABRIELLE

Varia, I know you didnít want us to be involved,
but now weíre here, and we can help you.

 

 

Xena walks to the nearby table and examines an empty mug. She sniffs it, then puts it down.

 

xENA

Whatís your plan?

 

 

vARIA

Itís... harder than I thought it would be.
I didnít count on the herbs. Their effect....

 

gABRIELLE

The herbs? Is that what they gave the Amazons?
I thought they were just to keep everyone quiet.

 

VARIA

No.

(beat)

They change everything.

 

Gabrielle kneels next to her.

 

GABRIELLE

What do you mean? How can
herbs change everything?

 

Varia looks at Gabrielle. Variaís expression is wondering, and a little sad.

 

VARIA

For the first time in my life, I know what peace is.

(beat)

Thereís no anger. No guilt. I feel whole. 
Do you know what thatís like, Gabrielle?

 

 

GABRIELLE

I did, once.

 

VARIA

Then maybe youíll understand.

 

GABRIELLE

Understand what?

 

 

The doors burst inward, and guards start to fill the room, pointing crossbows at Xena and Gabrielle.  Varia has sounded an alarm.

 

VARIA

Why I donít want to give this up.

 

Xena and Gabrielle react as one. Gabrielle dives under the line of fire as Xena picks up the table and throws it at the guards. Gabrielle rolls up to her feet and she and Xena run up onto the table, squashing the guards underneath as they leap together over the rest of the guardís heads.

 

The guards scramble after them.  Xena and Gabrielle almost make it out the door, but opens into them and they are thrown backwards into the guardís arms. They struggle, and Xena throws two of the guards back.

The rest of the guards jump on them, and they are pushed backwards against a large, leaded glass window in the back of the room.  The rest of the guards pour into the room and shove, and the glass breaks.

 

Xena rips herself loose, but canít catch her balance, and she and Gabrielle topple through the broken window, into a dark, bottomless shaft.

 

FADE OUT:

 

END OF ACT 3
 

ACT 4