|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. FOREST GLADE - DAY
Raya, Deliz, and their cronies attack Xena. The attack is swift... it’s silent... it’s deadly... and if it had been anyone other than Xena sitting on the rock, it would have been a very short attack.
Xena hears them as they start to approach. She smiles grimly. As the Amazons reach her, Xena reacts.
Unfortunately for the Amazons, they have caught Xena in a really, really foul mood.
Now we see your true colors!
Raya leaps on Xena’s back. Xena grabs her and pulls her over her shoulder to the ground as she dodges Deliz’s charge.
Deliz jumps past her, then turns and swings her sword.
Xena senses it coming and just keeps turning in a circle, pulling Raya’s body up with her and using Raya as a shield. Deliz’s sword hits Raya on the shoulder and blood goes flying everywhere.
Xena releases Raya and she spins away and crashes into Deliz. Xena lets out a yell just as one of the other Amazons shoot at her. Xena catches the arrows and throws them back at the Amazon, who dodges frantically.
Deliz recovers and comes after Xena again. Xena meets her halfway, pulling out her sword and deflecting Deliz’s attack. Xena lets out another yell and with a savage roundhouse nearly cuts Deliz’s sword in half. Deliz staggers back. Xena comes after her, sending Deliz’ weapon flying with another blow.
Another Amazon rushes up behind Xena. She has an arrow in her hand, but instead of putting it into her bow, she uses it like a miniature spear. The Amazon leaps towards Xena’s back and thrusts the arrow at the spot just under her sheath.
The arrow point touches Xena’s leather armor - then Xena twists and whirls, grabbing the arrow shaft and pulling it around in a circle. Xena shoves hard, and thrusts the arrow point into the Amazon’s guts.
The Amazon screams.
There’s some true colors for ya.
Xena picks the Amazon up and throws her bodily into the remaining Amazon. They both fall to the ground. Xena whirls and leaps forward, grabbing Deliz and pulling her down to the earth as though the huge woman had been a fractious foal.
Xena kneels on Deliz’s chest, and applies the pinch to either side of her neck.
You don’t have much of a brain, but I’ve
cut off the flow of blood to it. Tell me why
you’re trying to kill me or I’ll let what few bits of
fluff you’ve got up there die and you with them.
Xena waits. Deliz is obviously choking to death. Deliz looks up to see a complete lack of compassion in Xena’s eyes.
Al..all right! I’ll talk!
Xena releases the pinch.
Talk. If I have to do that
again, it’ll kill you instantly.
Raya is nearby, groaning in pain. The other two Amazons lie still near the trees. Deliz sees them and knows she’s out of options.
You don’t care about us.
Don’t sell yourself short. I always care
about people who are trying to slit my
throat. That’s why I’ve lived this long.
You’re no Amazon. No ceremony’s gonna
change that. We won’t follow you.
Xena grabs Deliz’ quill shirt and pulls her up so they are nose to nose.
You’re right. I don’t give
a damn about you.
We won’t give up our land!
You’re right about that, too. You’ll
die and be buried under it instead.
Xena shakes Deliz.
Whether you like it or not,
I gave my word I’d save
the Amazons and I will.
Xena gets up and releases Deliz. She looks disgustedly around the clearing, then she stalks off, heading back for the village.
INT. AMAZON QUEEN’S HUT - DAY
Gabrielle sits at the small table in the hut, writing on a piece of parchment. She looks up as the door opens, and smiles when she recognizes Xena.
There you are. I was
about to go look for you.
Xena stops just inside the door.
C’mon over here and sit down.
Something’s come up. About
the ceremony. We need to....
Talk about the blood bond?
Xena is caught off-guard, and it shows on her face.
You know about it?
Sure. In case the scrolls weren’t
explicit enough, Auntie Ephiny paid
me a visit just to make sure I understood
what we were getting ourselves into.
Xena walks over and sits down next to Gabrielle.
We can find another way.
I don’t want to find another way.
Gabrielle, let’s think about this.
Think about what? Xena, you and I have
been in Tartarus and through Tartarus for
each other. We’ve been crucified together.
We’ve died, and come back to life together,
and for each other. Just what exact part of
you is it that you think I can’t handle if
we go through with this ceremony?
Xena stands. She paces to the window, then comes back to Gabrielle’s side. Xena draws her sword and crouches down next to Gabrielle’s chair, the sword between them.
Gabrielle stares at the sword, then at Xena.
You think that part of you isn’t
already a part of me? Haven’t
seen me fight lately, have you?
Do you love to kill, Gabrielle?
Gabrielle is silent.
Do you want to? Do you want to
know from the inside what that feels
like? Because if we go through with
this, that’s what could happen to you.
Gabrielle and Xena look at each other past the blade in Xena’s hands. They are both still for a very long time. Then Gabrielle reaches over and puts her hand around the blade, closing her fingers around its razor sharpness.
I’ll take that risk.
Xena holds the sword still.
You said yes, Xena. You’re
not getting out of this.
Xena remains looking grim for a few more heartbeats, then she sighs and shakes her head.
I don’t want to get out of it.
Gabrielle smiles, and releases the sword. She pushes the blade away and leans over to kiss Xena.
We’ll be fine. Besides, you’re
taking just as big a risk.
Xena’s eyebrows go up.
You could wake up one
morning composing a poem.
Xena winces. After a moment, so does Gabrielle. They both turn as shouts are heard in the distance, coming closer. They look at each other, then get up and run to the door.
EXT. AMAZON CAMP - DAY
Two of the Amazon scouts run down the sloped path and into the Amazon village. More Amazons come running out of the woods to see what the problem is.
Xena and Gabrielle arrive at the center of the village at the same time the scouts do. The scouts come to a halt, out of breath. They look around for a second, as though searching for someone, then address themselves to Gabrielle.
The forest’s burning!
On both sides of us!
The scout points.
One too many for coincidence.
Armed men... on horses. They’re
coming this way, burning as they go!
We have to prepare for battle!
Xena and Gabrielle exchange looks.
I’ll go check it out.
Right. Be careful.
Xena takes off up the path. Gabrielle watches her until she’s out of sight, then turns to the scouts.
Tell me everything you saw.
EXT. FOREST PATH - DAY
Xena runs along the path alone. It is quiet, and she looks around as she goes, listening for trouble. Some leaves blow across her path and she leaps over them.
At the top of the ridge, she stops and looks around.
All seems peaceful. Xena shrugs, and keeps going. She runs across the ridge towards the next valley.
INT. AMAZON QUEEN’S QUARTERS - DAY
Gabrielle is changing into her ceremonial leathers, which she has retrieved from their traveling bags.
She seems lost in thought as she puts them on, until a light knock sounds at the edge of her door.
Adelia enters and walks over to her.
It has been a long time
since we’ve seen that style.
Gabrielle fastens the band that goes around her biceps.
It’s been a long time since I’ve
worn them. I’m surprised they still fit.
I am afraid we have no
masks to go with it.
Gabrielle makes a wry face at herself in the mirror.
Guess I have to get lucky sometimes.
The door opens, and Raya enters. Her arm is in a rough sling, and her shoulder is heavily bandaged. Gabrielle turns and looks at her.
What happened to you?
She got bit by your lap dog.
Gabrielle puts her hands on her hips. With all the leather and metal dangling pieces, it’s a pretty impressive picture.
Are you coming to file a complaint?
Raya looks like she’s swallowed a lemon.
But a warrior knows when to
sheath her sword. I only ask that...
your majesty... remember that all
I do is out of love for my people.
Gabrielle makes her wait for it, as she studies Raya in silence.
I do understand that, Raya. But you
have to accept that Xena and I are doing
what we’re doing for the same reason.
Xena doesn’t love us. She despises us.
She’s your only hope for survival, Raya.
Think about it. If you’re right, then
she’s risking her life for you anyway.
Raya looks uncertain.
Queen Gabrielle is right. Our survival is
what counts, not what we leave behind.
That is easy to say, but
nearly impossible to swallow.
Raya turns and leaves. Gabrielle and Adelia exchange looks. Gabrielle shakes her head and goes back to adjusting her bits and pieces.
EXT. FOREST EDGE - TREE - DAY
Xena climbs up a tree. She stops to listen, then shakes her head and climbs higher.
Near the top of the tree she balances on a branch and walks out towards it’s tip, holding on to a second branch for balance.
She stops, and sniffs.
Xena walks out further and spreads the leaves, pulling a lower branch back to clear her view.
Xena’s tree is on the top of a long slope. Below her, a fire is raging in the forest, and beyond the burning trees and underbrush she can see men.
Lots of men. An army is spreading out as far as Xena can see, burning down the forest as they move forward.
Ephiny appears on the branch behind her and peers over her shoulder. She does not expect Xena to see her.
Get any closer and I
may have to jump.
Ephiny jumps a little.
You can see me?
Xena smiles grimly. She indicates the army.
It’s time for me to make
good on that promise.
Ephiny looks at the army.
Xena... I love my people. But I love
my friends, too. I don’t want to
save one at the cost of the other.
Xena turns and makes her way down the branch, passing right through Ephiny’s body.
Don’t worry. I’m not in
any mood to die today.
Xena jumps off the branch and lands running. Ephiny watches her, then feels down her own torso where Xena passed through it. She makes a face.
Ugh. No respect for the dead.
END OF ACT THREE