|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. CAMP - DAY
The gear is packed and everyone is standing off to the side while Xena and Gabrielle have a private chat. They watch as both women laugh and then clasp hands in what appears to be friendly challenge. The girls share nervous glances when Xena and Gabrielle approach them.
Esme you’re with me.
She waits for a moment and when the girl doesn’t move, she snaps her fingers and points at the spot next to her, which Esme fills very quickly.
Dori, you’re with me.
The girl scurries over to stand next to Gabrielle.
The other girls watch as she scoots over to Xena and Esme. Gabrielle watches as Jinx’s shoulders slump. It’s clear she’s been through this before and has never been chosen.
Jinx, you come with me.
Jinx brightens considerable and nearly jumps for joy as she joins Gabrielle.
I promise to do my best, My Queen.
Nesha, come with us.
Both girls join their new teams and wait.
All right this is very
She gestures to Gabrielle and her group.
… are the enemy. As we go
She winks at Xena and smiles. It’s clear which set of skills each woman prefers to teach.
Think of what we’re doing
as war games.
There are small groans from the group at the mention of their tasks.
Look, learning this stuff
Xena’s right. Part of the reason we’re doing
it as a friendly competition is so that you won’t
learn each task individually as though it was
a chore and that you’ll come together as
a team. You will learn to work together,
to think and plan what you’re going to do.
All right, let’s move out.
She waits; they stand still looking at her and then to the ground.
We don’t know the way.
Jinx fidgets for a minute, and then tugs on Gabrielle’s arm. Gabrielle leans over and Jinx whispers something in her ear. Gabrielle looks at Xena and smiles.
Come on then.
Xena watches with lifted brows as Gabrielle takes her team and walks into the woods. Then she turns to her own charges.
And we’re going to follow them?
Jinx got us lost, remember?
Are you sure? Are you sure it
wasn’t that enormous ego of yours?
Xena looks back to the forest. Gabrielle and her girls are already out of sight.
Oh, boy. C’mon.
She starts into the forest with her girls behind her.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
Gabrielle stops on the trail and looks into the sky. She then looks at three eager, but somewhat tired faces.
Time for a break?
Okay. Sorry. I shouldn’t have forgotten that. Xena
and I have been on the road forever, I’m used to it
now, but when we first began traveling together
I thought my legs were going to fall right off.
Her words are met by three smiles.
(gesturing around them)
If you can find it, you can eat it.
The girls look confused and bewildered. Gabrielle sighs and drops her gear.
Roots, berries, nuts?
All acceptable foods.
She glances around to find a bush with bright yellow flowers.
Pull that bush up. You’ll find it has very
meaty roots that are kind of like carrots.
Nesha gazes at the bush and sighs, obviously reluctant to pull it up because of its beautiful flowers.
I’m glad to see that there are some Amazons
who can stop and savor the majesty of Gaia’s
beauty. Everything isn’t about war and violence.
Nesha sighs, still gazing at the bush and doesn’t move. A few seconds pass and Nesha still hasn’t move. Gabrielle and the other Amazons grow restless. Gabrielle tears the bush from the ground, grunting from the effort.
Just don’t savor it too long, all right?
Nobody appreciates a
Trust me on this one.
She pulls one up, wipes it off, and looks at it. It’s very clear that she’s not accustomed to eating this way very often any longer, but she forges ahead and bites into it. Forcing a smile onto her face, she swallows hard.
Mmm. See? Great stuff.
The girls nod and start digging for their own. Gabrielle turns and quickly spits hers out.
EXT. WOODS – DAY
Xena is following her three, who are all walking abreast. Each is holding a small pointed stone, a long sturdy stick and a piece of thin vine. They are with some degrees of success making new spears.
Xena takes the spear looks it over, then vigorously shakes it, causing it to fall apart.
Wrong. But keep trying.
Patia, wordlessly hands hers over for inspection. Xena looks at it, shakes it and it stays together. Then she throws it and it breaks apart as soon as it hits the tree.
Better, but still not right.
Next comes Shiri who hands hers over, not expecting much luck. Xena examines it, hefts it, checking its balance and then throws it. It holds together, sticking out of the ground and the girls run over.
Hey! You got a rabbit too.
That sounds like lunch to me.
EXT. WOODS - DAY
Gabrielle smiles as her three are now actually identifying some different plants. Seems that they weren’t sent out completely unprepared, just obviously not ready. And no doubt scared to death once they became lost.
So girls, tell me what’s going on in the
nation that you are out here like this. None
of you can be more than 14 years old.
Just having troubles keeping our own
boarders intact, My Queen. Everyday
they are challenged and we need
more people. That’s why....
That’s why you were sent out. I got it.
Gabrielle takes two water skins from her shoulder and tosses them to the girls.
Go fill those. Be careful and wait for
me right here. I’ll be right back.
They nod and head for the creek. Gabrielle turns, looks into the trees and then runs and jumps up onto one of the limbs. She climbs just a little further up into the tree until she sees the object of her desire. She places her fingers at the edge of her lips and lets loose with a birdcall that Xena will recognize comes from her. She listens for a moment as Xena tells the Amazon girls to fashion more weapons and, with firm instructions, makes it clear they are not move an inch from that spot. Then Xena disappears into the woods.
A moment later Xena is hanging upside down from the branch above Gabrielle, swaying gently.
You called? The Red Bellied
Sapsucker, I believe.
Cute. How are they doing?
We’re not dead yet, so I
guess we’re doing okay.
Isn’t all the blood
rushing to your brain?
Nah, I’m okay.
Gabrielle’s nose crinkles as she smiles.
You’re loving every
minute of this, aren’t you?
Of course not. This is torture.
Uh huh. You can’t fool me.
Okay, I admit it. It’s the getting to use the
strategy I love, without the violence so
often attached to it. What’s not to love?
Gabrielle smiles at Xena’s unexpected enthusiasm.
What can I do for you?
You surrendering already?
Dream on. I did find out something I wanted
to tell you. Seems the Amazons are having
trouble controlling their boarders. That’s why
they’re sending out initiates who are so young.
My guess is they need the warriors.
Why am I not surprised?
Can you find out more from your three
so we’ll know what we’re walking into?
Consider it done.
Okay, I gotta get back. Meet us at that flat
rock formation I told you about tomorrow at
noon and we’ll kick this competition up
a notch. Bring three items to share.
(with a twinkle in her eyes)
A pot luck? Xena, my
how you’ve changed.
(raising an eyebrow)
Watch it, bard. You just have your girls
make three things that they’ll trade for
three things from my group. You’ll have to
wait to find out the rest of what I have in mind.
She gives Gabrielle a saucy smirk and disappears from sight.
Gabrielle rolls her eyes and grins before descending back to the ground.
EXT. XENA’S CAMP - NIGHT
The small group has managed to make decent progress back toward Amazon territory. Xena seems pleased as she watches them work with the items she has given them. Esme is fashioning slingshots, Patia is smashing red berries in a bowl and Shiri is cutting up what appears to be the stomach lining of that rabbit they had for lunch.
And this is going to help us
beat the Queen and the others?
That’s the plan. Of course, we’ll have to
work as a team. The Queen can be
quite crafty when she wants to be.
Sure, but you must know her tricks.
True, but remember, she knows mine too.
All of them?
All of them. We’re
partners. But that
each other occasionally.
Xena gives them an evil little grin and they all smile back.
EXT. GABRIELLE’S CAMP – NIGHT
Gabrielle is leaning between Jinx and Dori and gesturing at something they’re doing.
Make that tie tighter or the feathers will
fall away from the leaves and if that
happens your cover won’t be any good.
And using this we’ll be able to
keep them from seeing us?
That’s the idea. I’m sure it will work on
your sisters, but there’s just no way to hide
from Xena if she really wants to find us.
Not necessarily. I may have a few tricks up
my sleeve that Xena might not see coming.
That’d be great if you had sleeves.
Gabrielle gives her a playful thump to the back of the head.
Just keep working.
EXT. CLEARING – DAY
Both teams approach a large flat rock from opposite directions. Xena and Gabrielle are both grinning at each other. The girls are trying to look fierce and intimidate each other.
Care to surrender now?
Sure. After you do.
Gabrielle gestures to Nesha who places three sets of camouflage on the rock.
We held up our part of the bargain.
So did we.
Xena motions and Esme places three slingshots and a large bowl of bright green balls on the rock. Gabrielle steps forward and picks up one of the green items and hold it up.
What is this?
Look, we can’t let them play with real weapons
or they’ll kill each other and probably hurt us.
So I came up with this solution. Those are
small bits of bladder and intestine filled with
crushed leaves and a bit of water. We’re using
the same thing only made of red berries. So
when we target you and shoot you, we will mark
you in red and you’ll know you’ve been hit.
And when we hit you, you’re marked in green.
When you try to hit us.
Gabrielle taps her chin with one finger.
END ACT TWO