|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. TOWN - DAY
Xena, Gabrielle and the guards still stand, facing one another. Xenaís stunned expression resolves to one of anger.
This is ridiculous! How
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Xena whirls, and sees a FIGURE in a BLACK, HOODED ROBE casually walking closer. There is almost a swagger to his walk, and Xenaís eyes narrow. She recognizes the voice and the walk, but hasnít yet put a name to the figure.
The man removes his hood, smirking.
You remember me, Xena.
Xena reaches for her sword, intent on ďtouchingĒ him in a far less pleasant way.
Janosí smirk broadens, as if expecting this exact development.
A beat, and Xena relaxes, releasing her grip on her sword.
The smirk fades from Janosí face.
What are you doing here,
Janosí eyes widen in innocence. Itís a look neither Xena nor Gabrielle particularly believes.
Xena, I might be good
enough to get
If I could have figured
out a way to
Neither Gabrielle nor Xena quite believe him, but there doesnít seem to be any way to argue the point, so they allow it to stand. For now.
Janosí smile blooms, pleased that heís won the first round.
Take her to the cells.
Gabrielle struggles just a bit with her captors.
Wait! Just wait.
Janos turns slowly, and looks at her.
Can you at least tell us
Janos cocks his head, the expression in his eyes wondering if sheís lost a marble or two.
Youíve committed a crime,
But then again, living
Janos laughs, completely unfazed.
Xena makes a move to stop them, but Gabrielle settles her with a look. Xena growls again, but instead follows the little group as it heads to the JAIL.
(to the guards)
You guys donít think I
INT. PRISON CELL - DAY
As prison cells go, Gabrielleís isnít all that unpleasant. Warm and dry, it is extremely clean, well lit, and of adequate size. There is a single cot lying against the far wall.
Gabrielle, having charmed her guards, sits on the cot clean and fresh, while a still-dirty and very angry Warrior Princess paces outside of the stout bars.
Youíre gonna wear a hole
Good. Then Iíll toss
Janos down into
Gabrielle chuckles softly.
Knowing ĎLucyísí fondness
for you, heíd
Xenaís response is cut short by Janosí arrival. She levels him a look. He responds with a grin.
Hello again, Gabrielle. I
Aside from being locked up
If the trial goes well for
What about this trial?
Who will be the judge?
Me? Oh no, Gabrielle.
Janos affects a look of shock.
Surely you know who
Yes, I do, but....
They are our Patrons.
Xena responds to the jibe with a cold stare.
And unlike the Fates....
He gives Gabrielle a pointed look, which she returns.
Öthe Virtues are very much
Ok, so what? You justÖ
pray to them
ItísÖ a bit more
Get to the point, Janos.
Ignoring Xena, Janos continues speaking to Gabrielle.
Our laws have been given
to us from the
For example, if you had
ignored that beggar
Okay, I can understand that.
Then I suppose Being Clean
Actually, no. The Sacred
He smiles. Itís not an entirely pleasant expression.
(contíd, still to Xena)
You've managed to
offend them all.
Gabrielle rises from the bed and walks to the barred door.
Janos turns to Gabrielle
Iím the one who
This is true. However, my
in setting up the particulars of the trial.
He smiles again.
Then this was a trap all along!
No, to be honest,
Gabrielle, it wasnít.
Fine! Iíll be happy to go
True again, Gabrielle.
But it isnít
Perhaps a year ago, a
young woman was
half-step away from being a beggar herself
because of a drunkard husband, and that further
if she had come home without the money in her
purse, her husband would have beaten her horribly,
the decision was made to try the husband instead.
(through gritted teeth)
Xena is not a drunkard or an abuser.
My decision is made, Gabrielle. The
trial will commence in one hourís time.
Janos walks away, leaving two women to stare after him.
Gabrielle finally turns to Xena.
Letís get out of here, Xena. Thereís
no one around. We could be gone
before anyone realizes weíre missing.
I think we should stay.
You heard me.
Of course I heard you. Iím just not
sure I believe what I heard.
Xena, no matter what Janos says this
is a set-up, pure and simple. Heís mad
that you beat his almighty trap and heíll
do anything to get back at you for that.
Yes, I know, but....
Gabrielle, I took
something from Janos. Maybe
He already has your chakram, Xena.
Something more than that, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle, if we run, look at what
weíre running away from.
Virtue. If we leave now, then everything heís
believed his whole life about me will be true.
It wonít be true, Xena!
In his mind, it will be.
You once told me that the only way to end
the cycle of violence and hatred is through
love. Maybe if I can prove to him that Iím
sorry for the things Iíve done, and that I
really have changed, maybe it will
give him a sense of peace.
Isnít that breaking the cycle?
Gabrielle sighs, clearly unhappy that sheís been caught by her own words, but equally unable to argue against them.
Xena smiles sadly and reaches up, grasping Gabrielleís hands through the bars, and squeezing them gently.
Gabrielle, I think itís
best if we stay, but weíre
say so, and Iíll get you out of here, okay?
Gabrielle nods slowly, looking down at her feet. After a moment, she looks back up at Xena.
I believe in you.
AndÖI believe that maybe youíll
find some peace from this, too.
Xena gives her a slight smile and another squeeze of Gabrielleís hands.
Both turn as they hear footsteps coming down the corridor. Janos enters, looking surprised and, perhaps, a little disappointed as well. He is accompanied by several guards.
Youíre still here?
Canít get rid of us that easily.
A slight look of unease flits across Janosí features before he assumes a businesslike mask.
Then I suppose youíre ready?
Janos nods, and one of the guards opens the door to Gabrielleís cell.
The group walks from the jail toward a small, dark building in the exact center of town.
INT. TEMPLE OF THE VIRTUES - EVENING
The TEMPLE is a small, dark, octagonal building. Seven of the internal walls have carvings in bas relief of each of the seven Virtues, while the eighth is a bas relief carving of supplicants praising the Virtues.
The room is lit with torches in sconces that cast a flickering light throughout the somber interior.
Janos and Gabrielle sit side by side in simple wooden chairs at the head of the room opposite the only exit. One guard stands beside that exit, spear by his side. The rest wait outside.
In the exact center of the room, a simple, rough-hewn wooden table sits, and upon that table is Xena clad only in her shift. Her leathers, armor and weapons are gone.
Off to one corner of the table, a LARGE MIRROR stands, reflecting the image of the entire room with supernatural clarity.
A HOODED PRIEST, his face hidden by a thick COWL, stands next to Xena, a CHALICE in his hands.
The tests you will be given, Xena, will be drawn
from the depths of your own mind. You are,
of course, aware of the dreamscape?
You will be allowed to use
no force, no
Your friend cannot help you, Xena.
In this you are on your own.
Good. Then letís begin.
At a nod from Janos, the Priest lifts the chalice to Xenaís lips.
Gabrielle moves to stand, only to be restrained by Janosí hand to her arm.
What is he giving her?
If I wanted Xena dead, I
You could have tried.
Janos nods, conceding the point.
Itís a sleeping draught, nothing more.
Gabrielle doesnít look convinced.
Janos sighs, close to being exasperated.
Do you really think that Xena would
swallow poison deliberately and allow
herself to die just to prove a point?
You donít know her very well, do you?
Janos looks a bit discomfited at Gabrielleís response, then brushes it off with a wave of his hand.
Itís all right, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle turns to Xena, eyes pleading.
Xena smiles. Itís a small, almost sad smile.
Itís all right.
Bending her head slightly, she allows the priest to tip the chalice, and swallows a healthy amount of the pungent liquid.
Then she turns back to Gabrielle.
Just sleeping herbs, like he said.
Gabrielle relaxes slightly.
(contíd, slightly slurred)
Love you, Gabrielle.
Gabrielle smiles, one tear trailing down her cheek.
Xena nods, then allows the priest to guide her down flat onto the table.
A moment later, she is deeply asleep.
END OF ACT ONE