Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT ONE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. MARKET PLACE - DAY

 

The market place is growing busier and busier. Xena reaches behind her for Gabrielleís hand as she rounds a corner.

 

XENA

Gabr....

 

She continues to extend her hand until she turns to see that Gabrielle has vanished. Xena blinks.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

How does she do that?!

 

 

Finding Gabrielle in the hundreds of people isnít going to be easy and Xena girds her mental loins. Looking around, she sees a vine-covered bell tower. She scales the side of it quickly, moving with the agility of a spider. Hanging from the sides of the tower by an extended arm, she searches the crowd for crowd for a blond head.  She spots her partner, finishes the climb and stands on the edge of the bell tower, looking down into the crowd.  Gabrielle is gesturing wildly to a slightly overwhelmed looking merchant, who is exchanging the single bottle of ink in Gabrielleís hands for two, both a significantly larger than the first.

 

Xena laughs and shakes her head.

 

XENA

Poor bastard.  Youíd better hurry
up and take her dinars before she
talks you out of three bottles.

 

When a place next to Gabrielle opens up Xena vaults from the tower, doing a corkscrew flip so that she lands neatly on her feet alongside her friend.  The merchant looks on stunned as Gabrielle causally turns to her Xena and tucks the two bottles of ink into the small satchel on her back.

 

GABRIELLE

Didnít realize you had scheduled
flying lessons today.

 

 

XENA

(smirking)

I donít need lessons.

 

 

Xena puts her hands on hips, but eyes twinkling make it clear sheís not really angry.

 

Her voice drops an octave.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Do I need to put you on
a leash, Gabrielle?

 

Gabrielle snorts but canít stop the light blush that colors her cheeks as the merchantís eyes widen.

 

GABRIELLE

In

(beat)

Your

(beat)

Dreams, Warrior Princess.

 

Xena waits for an explanation, ignoring Gabrielleís sigh.

 

XENA

I thought we were going to
find a stable for Argo.

 

GABRIELLE

(biting her lip)

I got caught up in the crowd
of unstoppable shoppers?

 

Xena begins tapping her foot.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

I was being held at knifepoint by
kidnappers and I knew you'd find me?

 

Xenaís expression remains unchanged.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Oh, all right.  We passed by a sale.

 

 

XENA

I passed it. You didnít.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena....

 

Gabrielle stops mid-sentence when a MAN and WOMAN walk past her and she hears Xenaís, then her own name.  She looks to Xena in question and Xena nods, acknowledging that she heard it too.  Silently, they begin to follow the two strangers, listening in on their conversation as the foursome weaves through the throngs of people.

 

MAN

(emphatically)

I tell you, heís crazy!  Crazy as a loon.

 

WOMAN

Hush, Cyrus, heís an old man.
Heís wants his friends to help him.
Besides, he paid me to find them.

 

CYRUS

He paid you and a dozen others. Címon!  You
canít tell me that you believe Xena is still alive.

 

WOMAN

Of course not. And thatís what Iím going to tell him.
Theyíre dead as doornails. Everybody knows that.

 

The woman grasps Cyrusí sleeve and gives him a firm tug.

 

WOMAN

(Contíd)

But you love me and so youíll walk with me.

 

Xena whispers sardonically to Gabrielle as they continue to follow the pair at a discreet distance.

 

XENA

Guess they donít make doornails like they used to.

 

GABRIELLE

Lucky for us.

 

 

Cyrus and the woman exit the main market street and turn onto a path leading away from the city and up a gently sloping hill.

 

WOMAN

(shaking her head sadly)

AhhÖ but that reward money sure
would have been nice.  Iím afraid
this news wonít bring much.

 

FADE TO:

 

EXT. LARGE ESTATE - DAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle watch from the shadows of a large tree as Cyrus and woman explain to a servant from the estate that theyíre dead as doornails.  Itís a surreal experience and Xena and Gabrielle squirm a little at the words. The servant is dress is similar to a harem girls; a gauzy skirt with a jeweled waistband and a blouse that reveals a toned, bare midriff.  When the Cyrus and woman finish their brief conversation they begin to head back to down the path towards town, counting out what appears to be a handful of dinars.

 

Gabrielle gestures with her chin towards Cyrus and the woman.

 

GABRIELLE

Well?  Them or the estate owner?
Itís now or never, Xena.

 

 

Xena thinks for a few seconds before pushing off from the tree.

 

XENA

The estate owner. I want to know who
is paying people to look for me.
I donít care about his lackeys.

 

Gabrielle and Xena march up to the large marble door and knock.  A beautiful woman in her early forties with flowing scarlet hair answers the door, but only pulls it open a crack.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

Yes?  May I help you?

 

XENA

Lady, it would make my day.  Weíd
like to speak to the owner of the house.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

(exasperatedly)

By the Gods!
Donít you Followers of Eli ever take a break?
Thereís no one here to save!

 

Seeing that Xena and Gabrielle havenít budged, the servant tries another tact.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

(Contíd)

We like being bad.
Itís fun.  Hmph.  So there.

 

Xena smirks and the servant instantly relents, fearing sheís made the wrong impression.

 

 

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

(Contíd)

But itís not like we do anything
really bad or illegal or....

(beat)

Well, it might be illegal but itís really
none of the governments business
what we do in the privacy of....

 

Gabrielle grabs the doorframe and tugs the door fully open, putting herself between Xena and the Servant.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíre not here to save you.
We donít care if youíre... youíre....

 

XENA

(helpfully)

Bad?

 

GABRIELLE

(under her breath to Xena)

That wasnít exactly the word I was looking for.

 

 

Xena spreads her arms out wide.

 

XENA

(to the servant)

Do we really look like followers of Eli to you?

 

The servantís eyes widen as she finally takes time to survey Xenaís and Gabrielleís outfits.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

Not with great leather like that, youíre not.
May I ask who you are? And if that....

(points at Xenaís battledress)

is for sale?

 

XENA

Itís not for sale. And my name is Xena.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

Xena?  Impossible!

(eyes narrowing)

Youíre just here after the reward money.
Xena would have to beÖ old by now.
If youíre suppose to be Xena,
I guess that makes her....

 

GABRIELLE

Gabrielle.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

(shrugging)

Oh.

 

GABRIELLE

Zeus!

 

Gabrielle throws her hands in the air and turns to Xena.

 

GABRIELLE
(Contíd)

How comes nobody believes youíre you,
but they have no problem believing that
Iím me.  I couldnít be that old either!

 

 

Xena tries not to preen but still does.

 

XENA

Well, Gabrielle, I do take care of myself.

 

Gabrielle rolls her eyes.

 

GABRIELLE

Gods. Not the Oil of Aphrodite lecture again.

 

She ignores Xenaís shocked gasp.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

I dare you tell that to someone
who thinks youíre so tough.

 

Xena shoots a mock glare at Gabrielle before returning her attention to the servant.

 

XENA

I understand there is someone here looking for us.

 

The servant nods happily and eagerly throws up the door to the estate.

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

Come in. Come in. And welcome
to the home of The King of Thieves.

 

XENA and GABRIELLE

(with twin raised eyebrows)

Autolycus?

 

 

REDHAIRED SERVANT

(beaming)

The one and only.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. AUTOLYCUS HOME - SAME DAY

 

Xena and Gabrielle are led into Autolycusí bedroom by a scantily clad, SHORT SERVANT GIRL, who has taken over for the redhead.  Several other WOMEN are milling around in equally revealing costumes.  The hallway is lined with fine marble sculptures and silk tapestries from Chin.

 

Xena gives a low whistle at the lush surroundings.

 

XENA

Looks like somebody got
the life he always wanted.

 

 

Xena raises an eyebrow at a blonde servant in a particularly skimpy outfit as the woman walks past her.  Calling on her warlord skills, Xena affected an air of disregard.  But despite herself her gaze ventures sideways and she lags a step behind Gabrielle.  Without turning around Gabrielle backhands Xena lightly in the belly.

 

XENA

(clutching her stomach)

Uff! How did you...?

 

GABRIELLE

I donít need to see. I KNOW.
Just remember that.

 

 

The servant girl knocks once on Autolycusí bedroom door.

 

AUTOLYCUS

Enter!

 

GABRIELLE

(smiling at servant girl)

Thanks. We can take it from here.

 

Gabrielle swallows, suddenly a little nervous about meeting someone from their past.  So far they havenít had much luck in this department.   She glances up at Xena.

 

GABRIELLE

(Contíd)

Right?

 

Xena cups Gabrielleís cheek tenderly and smiles, doing her best to ally her partnerís fears.

 

XENA

Right.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. AUTOLYCUSí BEDROOM - DAY

 

AUTOLYCUS is reclining in a king-sized bed.  Heís clad in a robe and lying back on a mound of silk-covered pillows.  His hair is streaked with gray, and his forehead is creased from worry, but heís still a handsome man.  He catches sight of Xena as she opens the door and pokes her head inside. Xena grins at her old friend and both she and Gabrielle enter his room.

 

 

AUTOLYCUS

Xena?

(appreciatively)

Amazing!  I always knew you had a fix in with the Fates.
Youíre as beautiful as ever. And Gabrielle.

(beaming like a proud father)

Gods, let me look at you.

 

Xena and Gabrielle both move to Autolycusí bedside.  Autolycus takes Gabrielleís hand and cradles it gently, brushing his lips against it.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Gabrielle, Gabrielle, what can I say?

 

He holds up her hand for inspection.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Still not using Oil of Aphrodite, I see.

(winking)

Lucky for you, I donít mind it rough.

 

Xena and Gabrielle both start laughing and hug their old friend.

 

AUTOLYCUS

You wouldnít believe how
much I missed you two.

 

 

GABRIELLE

(misty-eyed)

Oh, yes we would.
We missed you too.

 

Autolycus grins roguishly and strokes his white mustache.

 

AUTOLYCUS

Of course you did.

(whispering to Gabrielle)

I know no matter what she says, Xenaís
ALWAYS had a thing for me.  The years
without me must have been rough for her.

 

GABRIELLE

(dryly)

How ever did she manage?

 

XENA

Autolycus, youíre like a dog with a bone.
But you do get points for persistence.

 

 

Xena slaps him in the leg and Autolycus winces in pain but recovers quickly.

 

AUTOLYCUS

I get points and Gabrielle here gets...

(grinning unrepentantly)

...MORE.  Now whereís the justice in that, Xena?

 

Xena doesnít bother to answer Autolycusí rhetorical question, but they both share a soft smile.

 

XENA

We hear youíve been looking for us.

 

Autolycusí expression grows serious and he shifts in bed, smoothing another groan of pain.  Xena and Gabrielle exchange curious glances.

 

AUTOLYCUS

Itís my son. I need your help.  Both of you.

 

His throat closes around the words.  After a long pause, he forces himself to continue.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Heís been kidnapped, and you and Gabrielle
are the only ones I trust... with his life.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. AUTOLYCUSí BEDROOM - DAY

 

Autolycus is still reclining in bed.  Gabrielle is perched on the bed beside him, holding his hand, while Xena paces the room.

 

XENA

You have that kind of money, Autolycus?

 

 

AUTOLYCUS

I do.  The ransom will be here in the morning.

 

Autolycusí jaw starts to work and itís clear that heís barely holding himself together.  Even in the worst of times, Xena and Gabrielle have never seen him so upset. They both find it a little disconcerting.  Gabrielle gently strokes Autolycusí hand.

 

GABRIELLE

So you have a son, huh?  Is there
a wife to go along with him?

 

AUTOLYCUS

(smiling sadly)

There was.  But sheís been
gone for along time now.

 

Gabrielle lets out a slow breath, wishing she hadnít brought it up. The pain she experienced in Japa after losing Xena is still too close to the surface.

 

 

GABRIELLE

I am so, so sorry, Autolycus.  I know
how you... Well, Iím just sorry.

(beat)

IÖ I ummÖ never knew you wanted kids.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(lips quirking)

Neither did I.

 

He leans forward and motions both women closer.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Wanna know something it took
me a lifetime to figure out?

 

Both women nod.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Some of lifeís greatest treasures
are surprises, and their worth
canít be measured in gold.

 

Autolycus suddenly grows self-conscious and ducks his head.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

Howís that for sappy?

 

XENA

Wanna know something that took me
half a lifetime to figure out, old friend?

 

Both Autolycus and Gabrielle look at each other then nod eagerly.

 

XENA

(Contíd)

Sometimes the best things in life are
utterly and completely sappy.  No need
to apologize.  I know just what you mean.

 

 

AUTOLYCUS

(sardonically to Gabrielle)

I knew it was only a matter of time
before you started to wear off on her.

 

Everyone shares a brief chuckle before Autolycus clears his throat.

 

AUTOLYCUS

(Contíd)

My son is worth that ransom and more.
Thatís why Iíve got people scouring
the countryside looking for you two.
They all think Iím a crazy old man.
Theyíd be right of course.  But....

(smiling knowingly)

I knew you if you were still out there,
youíd help me. It never pays to believe
rumors.  I know firsthand that Xena
isnít one for staying dead.

 

GABRIELLE

Of course weíll help you, Autolycus. But is
paying the ransom really a good idea?

 

 

Autolycus heaves a heavy sigh, suddenly looking every day of his age.

 

AUTOLYCUS

I never thought these words would leave my lips.

(beat)

The money doesnít matter.  I only have three
days left to pay the ransom or my boy dies.

(shifting awkwardly in the bed)

Iím ummÖ sick.  And I canít go myself.

 

Xena sits down on the foot of the bed.

 

XENA

You donít need to go.

 

GABRIELLE

(nodding her agreement)

Weíll meet the kidnappers.

 

XENA

And get back your son.

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

ACT TWO