|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. VILLAGE - EVENING
A combat ring has been created. Amazons surround it, waiting for the combatants. Adelia stands with two other older Amazons. She sighs and shakes her head.
This makes no sense, any of it. Xena knows
there is another way to deal with this.
Maybe she doesnít want to handle it
that way. Itís possible she believes this
challenge will be the end of it.
And the Queen is certainly
a capable fighter.
Adelia watches, as from across the ring Xena ducks under the ropes and steps inside the ring just as the drums announce the arrival of Gabrielle.
Gabrielle is dressed in combat leathers. She moves into the ring and her second tosses her the staff she will be using. She smiles at Xena and twirls it before delivering several practice blows, which Xena blocks with absolutely no effort. Then Xena delivers a series of punches and kicks that Gabrielle fends off with the staff.
Itís an effective little warm up for Gabrielle, and she seems content with her performance. Xena moves forward and before she can say anything to Gabrielle her eyes go wide when she gets a look at Deliz.
Without a word and without taking her eyes from the Amazon, she turns Gabrielle by the shoulders. Gabrielleís eyes widen as well when she sees a woman who must be close to seven feet tall.
She gives new meaning to the word Amazon.
I think I met her father once. I offered
him your legs as drumsticks.
Iíll tell you later.
She looks at Deliz again.
If I live to tell ya.
Youíll be fine.
I hope so.
The drums start up again and Xena steps out of the ring as does Raya and the others who had accompanied Deliz.
Gabrielle and Deliz face off. Gabrielle smiles. Deliz snarls.
The drums stop. The signal for combat to begin is given. Gabrielle watches Deliz carefully as they circle each other. She realizes the woman is big and strong, but that she moves rather slowly.
Deliz makes the first strike, which Gabrielle blocks just before it connects with her head with what would have been skull-shattering force. Gabrielle holds Delizís staff at bay with the end of her staff while using the other end to deliver a blow to the tall Amazonís ribs.
Deliz looks down and seems about as fazed as if a mosquito has just bitten her. She withdrawals her staff and twirls it. Gabrielle glances to Xena, who just shrugs.
Gabrielle adjusts her grip on her staff, making it two handed, holding the staff lengthwise in front of her body. She delivers a series of blows to Delizís ribs, using each end of the staff to do it quickly. It has some effect, and Deliz staggers backward just a bit.
Deliz uses her staff and her longer reach to tangle Gabrielleís legs, effectively sweeping them out from under her and dropping her to her back.
Xena flinches when she sees Gabrielle go down, and fights the urge to enter the ring. Gabrielle lays stunned for a moment, coughs and then rolls away just before Deliz delivers a blow with the end of the staff. It hits the ground one a split second after Gabrielleís head is gone from the spot.
As Gabrielle rolls to get up she realizes her knee has been hurt and itís hard to put weight on it. She curses under her breath as she fights off the pain and stands on both feet. Xena can tell Gabrielle is hurt and is becoming more jittery by the second.
Raya and the other Amazons begin smiling and passing money back and forth between them, clearly believing that Deliaís victory is short at hand.
Gabrielle uses her staff to push herself off the ground, in a vaulting maneuver to kick Deliz in the chest with her good foot. The tall Amazon stumbles backward and as Gabrielle hits the ground, keeping her weight off her injured knee she uses her staff to sweep Delizís feet out from under her. She falls backward, hitting the ground hard; Gabrielle turns her staff over end in her hands and hits her opponent in the ribs.
Delizís staff falls from her hands and Gabrielle kicks it away, and then places her staff in Delizís throat.
Itís over. Donít make me kill
you, because I will if I have to.
Deliz looks to Gabrielle, obviously stunned and in pain and slowly nods.
I submit to you... My Queen.
Gabrielle breathes a sigh of relief and backs off, using her staff to balance herself. Xena rushes into the ring and helps Gabrielle by placing her arm around her neck.
I think my knee is really messed up.
She smiles at Xena.
Nothing you canít fix, Iím sure.
Xena helps Gabrielle out of the ring as Deliz pushes to her feet, holding her ribs. There is no one to help her. Raya and the others have left her to her own devices with her defeat. Adelia and some of the older Amazons assist her as Xena and Gabrielle leave the ring for their hut.
INT. HUT - EVENING
Gabrielle is seated. Her leg up in Xenaís lap as her partner slowly and carefully unlaces her boot and pulls it off. Gabrielle looks down to her knee, which is swollen, and turning the most amazing shade of black and blue.
At least it has the decency to look mangled.
Xena tenderly touches the swollen joint. Gabrielle grimaces and grips the arms of her chair, sucking in a sharp breath.
It has the decency to hurt like Tartarus too.
Itís out of place. I need to pop
it back in. Think you can handle it?
Not like I have a lot of choice.
Xena reaches up and uses pressure points in Gabrielleís thigh to help control the pain.
You may still feel a little something,
but it wonít be as bad now.
Okay, it already feels better. How about we
just leave it that way and leave me numbed?
Gabrielle grips the chair.
Xena rubs her hands together quickly, warming them. Then she lays them on Gabrielleís knee. They look at each other and Xena grasped the knee and pulls and twists just a bit. Gabrielle sucks in another quick breath and then lets her head drop.
I hate that.
I know. I need to wrap it for you.
Xena releases the pressure points and then gets up to find something to wrap Gabrielleís knee with. Finding what she needs, she returns and gently begins wrapping the joint.
You did very well out there.
I hope I didnít hurt her too badly.
I think sheís probably got a couple broken
ribs, but sheíll be okay. Good strategy,
working on her ribs like that.
I knew I had to pick a spot and go
with it. If I just hit her randomly,
she would have killed me.
Xena finishes wrapping the knee and gently pats Gabrielleís leg.
I never would have let that happen.
EXT. VILLAGE - NIGHT
Xena and Gabrielle walk into the center of the village where, once again all the women are gathered. Gabrielle is walking on her own and not limping too badly. She goes back to the platform and climbs up on it.
I have completed your challenge and beaten
your opponent. Is there anyone else who
wants to challenge my right to be queen?
The entire group remains silent. Having seen Gabrielle beat the biggest Amazon in the tribe is more than enough for them.
Good, Iím glad we got that cleared up. Now, we need
to make plans to move this tribe to safety. I know I can
lead you, but you must understand that Xena has the
knowledge and the skills required to move a large
group. She knows how to command and I need
her help to get this tribe someplace safe.
My Queen, please forgive me, but I
think the biggest issue with our
sisters is that Xena is not Amazon.
Of course she is.
No, she isnít.
Gabrielle sighs and looks to Xena.
Then we should induct her into the tribe.
We can make her an Amazon. Xena
will go through the rites and....
Why do you insist on this? You know
her crimes against the tribe keep
us from accepting her.
You talk about history and her crimes,
but what about the history of all of the
times that Xena has assisted the nation?
If you remember your history, you know she
made peace between the Centaurs and the
Amazons. Doesnít that count for anything?
Not to all of us.
So, you will all follow me, but some of you
will not follow me if Xena is with us, helping
us move? And your argument is that Xena
is not Amazon? I have to tell you all I
think that is the stupidest thing....
My Queen, there is another way.
Xena gives Adelia a dirty look and jumps up on the platform with Gabrielle.
No! No thereís not!
Gabrielle looks to Xena, clearly very confused, then to Adelia who has a frustrated look on her face.
Adelia, whatís the other way?
Iím sorry, Xena. She has the right to know.
You and Xena could be joined.
The entire crowd gasps, Xena groans and Gabrielle looks like a deer trapped by a bright like as we....
END ACT THREE