|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. AMAZON TERRITORY- NIGHT
Unhooking her chakram, Xena watches as the frontrunners of the approaching army finally break through the woods and onto the flat, grassy plain that borders the sea cliff.
Ten Amazons are still waiting their turns to go down the trail.
There they are! Get them!!
The soldiers begin to run across the plain, torches and swords held high in their hands.
Xena smiles coldly, her grip tightening on her chakram as she lets them approach.
When the soldiers are some fifty feet away, Xena releases her chakram. It flies through the air toward the soldiers, turns, and cuts a line through the torches and swords they hold in their hands. Metal and torches land on the ground. The flame from the torches immediately catches the tall grasses, setting up a roaring line of fire pushed back toward the soldiers by the wind from the sea.
Two soldiers catch fire. Running back toward their brethren screaming, they spread the fire across the tall, bone dry grass in their panic.
The others stop, turn, and run away from the quickly pursuing flames, back to the forest.
The chakram returns to Xena, and she catches it, a cold smile still on her face.
The fire continues to spread, spurred on by the dry grass and the stiff wind blowing it toward the woods and the fleeing army.
After a moment, when itís obvious her plan has worked, Xena turns away and heads for the trail down the cliff. A roaring, out of control fire backlights her movements.
EXT. BEACH - NIGHT
Two large signal fires have been set up along the beach. Gabrielle and the Amazons watch as the two darkened ships lower large rowboats down into the water and head for shore.
You planned this?
Xena knows a couple of Amazon sea
captains who run their ships out of Piraeus.
They have no tribe affiliation, but they owe
her a couple of favors. We both decided
it was a good idea to have a plan.
When did you have time to think up this plan?
Does it matter? Xena made a promise
to Ephiny. Iím the Amazon Queen.
We both knew this was right.
What about our say in this?
Didnít we have one?
Gabrielleís face sets.
Raya grits her teeth, her anger obvious.
(softly, but firmly)
Raya, this isnít a democracy. Iím Queen here.
You either do as I ask, or you leave.
There are no other choices. Not anymore.
Youíd abandon me here?
You arenít the only one
without choices, Raya.
Gabrielleís expression softens as she senses Xena approaching from behind.
Think about what Iíve said.
With that, Gabrielle turns and walks up to the beach toward Xena. Xena has a frown on her face and is looking past Gabrielle, sending Raya her own easily read message.
Nothing that I couldnít handle.
Gabrielle looks up at the cliff and the flames framing it.
They wonít be bothering us for awhile.
She sees the rowboats land on the beach.
Letís get this show on the road.
The two walk toward the shoreline where the boats have landed. The Amazon captains, sisters, step from the boats and approach Xena and Gabrielle. SOROI and CYDELL look very much alike. Older, but not yet over-the-hill, both are tall, thin, blonde, deeply tanned and weathered from constant exposure to the elements. Though dressed flamboyantly in colorful silks, they look extremely capable.
Both wear identical smiles as they greet Xena, grasping her forearm in a warriorís handshake.
We came as soon as we heard.
Itís good to see you again, old friend.
Likewise. Iíd like to introduce you to Gabrielle.
Both Amazons immediately straighten and salute Gabrielle, clenched fists over their hearts.
SOROI and CYDELL
Thank you both for coming.
For the future of our sisters,
we could do no less.
Letís get those boats loaded. That
grassfire isnít going to burn forever.
Both captains nod and begin ushering the Amazons onto their respective boats. It will take at least two trips to ferry all the Amazons aboard the ships.
Xena and Gabrielle step away from the commotion, standing close together in the signal firesí light.
Not exactly how I imagined
spending my wedding night.
That wasnít the plan, no.
Gabrielle sighs and looks down at the sand at her feet.
I understand the logic of us being in
separate ships, but I donít have to like it.
I donít like it either, but itís for the best.
If one of the ships goes down....
Gabrielle looks back up, eyes blazing.
Donít say that, Xena. Donít even think it.
I finally have what Iíve been searching
for my entire life. I wonít let that be
taken away from me. I wonít let it.
Feeling Gabrielleís pain through this new bond theyíve formed, Xena does the only thing she can. Gathering Gabrielle in, she envelops her in a tight hug close against her body, loving her as best she can.
After a moment, Gabrielle gathers herself and pulls away, wiping her eyes.
Sorry about that.
Xena smiles sadly.
Reaching out, Xena tips Gabrielleís chin so that their eyes meet.
Iíll make it up to you. I promise.
Iíll hold you to that.
Coming together, they kiss, and the sweet power of it rocks both to their very foundations. When they finally pull away, both are visibly shaken.
Wow. ThatÖwill take
some getting used to.
Xenaís reply is aborted by the sound of someone clearing their throat. Xena and Gabrielle turn to find Cydell looking at them, a knowing smirk curving her lips.
Any time youíre ready,
Xenaís hand extends lazily, causing the captain to double over, wheezing from the slap to her belly.
All right, al right.
I can take a hint.
Straightening, Cydell looks at Gabrielle, who is grinning from ear to ear.
Do you think you can lend her your
sense of humor for the journey?
Gabrielle laughs as Cydell shrinks away from another threatened slap in her direction.
Letís just get this over with.
EXT. XENAíS SHIP - EVENING
It is several days into the journey and the Amazons are just now settling down. Some have spent the first hours at sea hanging over the shipís railing, feeding the ocean. Most now tap pressure points in their wrists, courtesy of Xenaís teaching, even though the sea is very calm.
A small group stands off to one side, watching the sun set.
Xena and Cydell stand to the other, watching a roiling, angry cloudbank moving swiftly on a collision course with their ship.
Itís gonna be a bad one.
Quick, but bad.
Xena nods, agreeing.
Iíll get the Amazons below deck.
After staring a moment more at the increasingly angry sky, both women turn away. Cydell signals her crew as Xena walks over to the Amazons and begins directing them to the hold.
EXT. XENAíS SHIP - EVENING
The storm has come much closer, blackening the sky above. The sea is white-capped and foamy with large, crashing waves that rock the ship sickeningly up and down and side to side.
The Amazons are safely below deck. The captain, her crew, and Xena are the only ones who remain. The large mainsail has been lowered to keep it from being ripped apart by the howling winds. Cydell is at the wheel, trying to keep the craft on course by mainly strength, white teeth gritted and flashing in the meager light.
At the stern, her hands gripping the railing, Xena looks over at Gabrielleís ship, which has also been readied for the storm. Unhooking her chakram, she waves it in the air, once, twice.
Gabrielle unsheathes her sais and returns the signal. All is as ready as it can be.
Xena nods grimly, and returns to her spot beside Cydell as the clouds unleash their fury. Rain sheets down, blown almost horizontal by the force of the shrieking wind. The only way to be heard above the din is to shout.
Weíll have to ride it out! Hope it
doesnít take us too far off course!!
Worry about the course later! Just
concentrate on keeping us afloat!
Aye, aye, Capín!
The storm hits in all its fury. The ships are tossed about like childrenís toys by huge, foaming waves that crash over the deck repeatedly and with malicious intent.
Poseidonís in a feisty mood tonight!
Oh yeah! Remind me to
thank you for that later!!
Some internal sense causes Xena to look toward the east. Her eyes widen slightly as a towering wave, taller by far than the rest theyíve encountered thus far, bears down swiftly in their direction. With no time to try and position the ship, Xena tackles Cydell and bears her down to the deck, grabbing hold of the wheelbase with her free hand and holding on for dear life.
EXT. GABRIELLEíS SHIP - NIGHT
As predicted, the storm, while violent, is brief. Soroi breathes a sigh of relief as she steers her sail-less ship into brilliant moonlight and calming seas.
Thank whatever gods are left.
That was a nasty one.
Slowly prying her fingers from the wheel, she looks down proudly at her crew who are slumped against the rail, soaked to the skin and breathing heavily. Gabrielle stands close by, also at the rail. As Soroi watches, Gabrielleís back stiffens and her chin snaps up as if in response to a summons only she can hear.
Uh oh. I donít like the looks of that.
Stepping down onto the deck, Soroi approaches Gabrielle and lays a gentle hand on her shoulder.
Completely unaware of her visitor, Gabrielle doesnít move.
Gabrielle? Are you all right?
After a moment that seems to span eternity, Gabrielleís muscles finally relax enough for her to turn to the captain. Soroi gasps slightly at the mix of desolation and determination on Gabrielleís face.
We need to turn back.
We needÖwhat? Have you lost your senses?
That storm was one of the worst Iíve ever been
through, and you want to go through it again?
Something happened. Xenaís in danger.
What? You canít know that.
Yes, I can. And I do.
Youíve got to turn us back. Now.
Soroi shakes her head.
Iím sorry, my Queen, but I canít do that.
I wonít put the lives of everyone on my ship
at risk because you ďthinkĒ something happened.
Gabrielleís jaw tenses, betraying her anger.
I donít ďthinkĒ something happened.
I know something did.
Reaching out, she grabs the front of Soroiís silk vest and pulls down until their faces are mere inches apart. Gabrielle speaks, her voice very low and soft.
Now turn this ship around, or by the
gods Iíll grab the wheel and do it myself.
You donít know how to captain a ship.
Soroi studies Gabrielleís face intently, and finally nods, pleased when the tight grip on her vest loosens, allowing her to straighten to her full height.
It shall be as you order, my Queen.
Soroi nods once again, then returns to the wheel, eyes staring up at the star-filled sky.
I must have done something to anger
the gods. Only the Furies could
have caused this kind of insanity.
With a grunt, she throws her weight behind the wheel, turning the large ship back in the direction of the furious storm.
EXT. GABRIELLEíS SHIP - NIGHT
Gabrielle hangs onto the rail with iron hands as the ship pitches downward at a sickening angle. One hand lifts away to prod the pressure point at her wrist, then returns to grip the rail as the ship reverses its angle and heads up the next towering wave.
The ship seems to pause for a moment, as if floating on air, before slamming downward once again, rattling Gabrielleís teeth.
A crewmember spots something from the stern, and points frantically in that direction.
Look! Over there!!
Releasing her grip on the rail, Gabrielle runs across the slippery deck, slipping and falling, then rising desperately back to her feet, stumbling until she crashes into the rail on the opposite side. Her eyes strain to see through the blackness of the night and the sheeting rain that stings her eyes and the exposed areas of her skin.
What she sees causes her face to pale and her heart to clench painfully in her chest.
Dear gods. No.
END OF ACT ONE