Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4

ACT ONE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. TOWN - DAY

 

Xena, Gabrielle and the guards still stand, facing one another.  Xenaís stunned expression resolves to one of anger.

 

GABRIELLE

(speaking quickly)

This is ridiculous!  How am
I supposed to obey a law that
I donít even know exists?

 

VOICE

(off camera)

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

(beat)

Gabrielle.

 

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.

 

XENA

(snarling)

Janos.

 

JANOS

You remember me, Xena.
Iím touched.

 

 

Xena reaches for her sword, intent on ďtouchingĒ him in a far less pleasant way.

 

Janosí smirk broadens, as if expecting this exact development.

 

GABRIELLE

(softly)

Xena....

 

A beat, and Xena relaxes, releasing her grip on her sword.

 

The smirk fades from Janosí face.

 

XENA

What are you doing here, Janos?
Decided to set another trap for me?

 

 

Janosí eyes widen in innocence.  Itís a look neither Xena nor Gabrielle particularly believes.

 

JANOS

Xena, I might be good enough to get
your chakram from you in broad
daylight, but even Iím not an Oracle.

If I could have figured out a way to
trap you here, I wouldnít have gone all
the way to Potedeia, now would I?

 

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.

 

JANOS

(to guards)

Take her to the cells.
Iíll join you shortly.

 

Gabrielle struggles just a bit with her captors.

 

GABRIELLE

Wait!  Just wait.

 

Janos turns slowly, and looks at her.

 

JANOS

Yes?

 

GABRIELLE

Can you at least tell us
why youíre doing this?

 

Janos cocks his head, the expression in his eyes wondering if sheís lost a marble or two.

 

JANOS

(slowly)

Youíve committed a crime, Gabrielle.
You must be tried and, if found guilty, pay
the price for your misdeeds.  Surely you
understand the concept of justice, donít you?

(beat)

But then again, living with Xena
all these years, maybe you donít.

 

Xena growls.

 

Janos laughs, completely unfazed.

 

JANOS

Take her.

 

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.

 

GABRIELLE

(to the guards)

You guys donít think I could
get a bath, do you?

 

 

CUT TO:

 

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.

 

GABRIELLE

(smiling slightly)

Youíre gonna wear a hole right through
to Tartarus if you keep on doing that.

 

XENA

Good.  Then Iíll toss Janos down into
it and let Lucy deal with him.

 

 

Gabrielle chuckles softly.

 

GABRIELLE

Knowing ĎLucyísí fondness for you, heíd
probably just toss him right back up again.

 

Xenaís response is cut short by Janosí arrival.  She levels him a look.  He responds with a grin.

 

JANOS

Hello again, Gabrielle.  I trust
youíre being well looked after?

 

GABRIELLE

Aside from being locked up
against my will, yes.

 

JANOS

If the trial goes well for you,
that will soon change.

 

GABRIELLE

What about this trial?

(beat)

Who will be the judge?  You?  Seems
like youíve already found me guilty.

 

 

Janos laughs.

 

JANOS

Me?  Oh no, Gabrielle.  Iím merely
the Lawgiver.  The judges are
the Virtues themselves, you see.

 

GABRIELLE

The Virtues?

 

Janos affects a look of shock.

 

JANOS

Surely you know who
the Virtues are, Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

Yes, I do, but....

 

JANOS

They are our Patrons.  Much
like Athena was to Athens
before Xena took it upon herself
to rid the world of Her presence.

 

Xena responds to the jibe with a cold stare.

 

JANOS

(contíd)

And unlike the Fates....

 

He gives Gabrielle a pointed look, which she returns.

 

JANOS

(contíd)

Öthe Virtues are very much alive
and involved with their worshippers.

 

GABRIELLE

Ok, so what?  You justÖ pray to them
and they pop in and judge me, or what?

 

Janos laughs.

 

JANOS

ItísÖ a bit more complicated
than that, Gabrielle.

 

XENA

(growling)

Get to the point, Janos.

 

 

Ignoring Xena, Janos continues speaking to Gabrielle.

 

JANOS

Our laws have been given to us from the
Virtues themselves, and when you break
one of those laws, you offend the Virtues.
The trial is aÖ test of sorts, contrived
by the Virtue whose law you broke.

(beat)

For example, if you had ignored that beggar
instead of giving alms to him, you would
have broken the law of Charity, and she
would have given you a test to prove
either your guilt or your innocence.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, I can understand that.

 

XENA

(heavily sarcastic)

Then I suppose Being Clean and
Walking Through A Garden is one of
the Virtues we havenít heard about yet.

 

JANOS

(to Xena)

Actually, no.  The Sacred Garden
belongs to all of the Virtues. 

 

He smiles. Itís not an entirely pleasant expression.

 

JANOS

(contíd, still to Xena)

You've managed to offend them all.
Which means, of course, that you will
be tested by any and all who wish it.

 

Gabrielle rises from the bed and walks to the barred door.

 

GABRIELLE

Excuse me.

 

Janos turns to Gabrielle

 

JANOS

Yes?

 

GABRIELLE

Iím the one who committed
the Ďcrimeí here.

 

JANOS

This is true.  However, my position as
Lawgiver, gives me a certainÖleeway

in setting up the particulars of the trial.

 

He smiles again.

 

GABRIELLE

(angrily)

Then this was a trap all along!

 

 

JANOS

No, to be honest, Gabrielle, it wasnít.
You did break the law.  And it is up
to me to see that it is rectified. 

 

GABRIELLE

Fine!  Iíll be happy to go through with
your trial.  Xena doesnít have anything
to do with this.  I broke the law, not her.

 

JANOS

True again, Gabrielle.  But it isnít
always the ones who break the law
that the Virtues choose to test.

(beat)

Perhaps a year ago, a young woman was
found refusing to give alms to a girl who was
begging for her sick family.  By all rights, she
should have been tried.  However, when it was
discovered that the young woman was a

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.

 

GABRIELLE

(through gritted teeth)

Xena is not a drunkard or an abuser.

 

JANOS

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.

 

GABRIELLE

Letís get out of here, Xena.  Thereís

no one around. We could be gone

before anyone realizes weíre missing.

 

 

XENA

(thoughtfully)

I think we should stay.

 

GABRIELLE

(wide-eyed)

What?

 

XENA

You heard me.

 

GABRIELLE

Of course I heard you. Iím just not

sure I believe what I heard.

(beat)

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.

 

XENA

Yes, I know, but....

 

She sighs.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Gabrielle, I took something from Janos. Maybe
this is my chance to give something back.

 

GABRIELLE

(testily)

He already has your chakram, Xena.

 

XENA

Something more than that, Gabrielle.

(beat)

Gabrielle, if we run, look at what

weíre running away from.

(beat)

Virtue.  If we leave now, then everything heís

believed his whole life about me will be true.

 

GABRIELLE

It wonít be true, Xena!

 

XENA

In his mind, it will be. 

(beat)

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.

(beat)

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.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Gabrielle, I think itís best if we stay, but weíre
in this together.  If you really want to leave,

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.

 

GABRIELLE

(slowly)

I believe in you.

(beat)

AndÖI believe that maybe youíll

find some peace from this, too.

 

Xena gives her a slight smile and another squeeze of Gabrielleís hands.

 

XENA

Maybe.

 

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.

 

JANOS

Youíre still here?

 

Xena smirks.

 

XENA

Canít get rid of us that easily.

 

A slight look of unease flits across Janosí features before he assumes a businesslike mask.

 

JANOS

Then I suppose youíre ready?

 

XENA

For anything.

 

 

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.

 

CUT TO:

 

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.

 

JANOS

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?

 

XENA

I am.

 

JANOS

You will be allowed to use no force, no
weapons, no violence.  If you do, you will
automatically fail and Gabrielle will
be found guilty.  Do you understand?

 

XENA

I do.

 

JANOS

Your friend cannot help you, Xena.

In this you are on your own.

 

XENA

I understand.

 

JANOS

Good. Then letís begin.

 

At a nod from Janos, the Priest lifts the chalice to Xenaís lips.

 

GABRIELLE

Wait!!

 

Gabrielle moves to stand, only to be restrained by Janosí hand to her arm.

 

GABRIELLE

(to Janos)

What is he giving her?

 

Janos smiles.

 

JANOS

If I wanted Xena dead, I could have
done that at any time before this.

 

GABRIELLE

You could have tried.

 

 

Janos nods, conceding the point.

 

JANOS

Itís a sleeping draught, nothing more.

 

Gabrielle doesnít look convinced.

 

Janos sighs, close to being exasperated.

 

JANOS

(contíd)

Do you really think that Xena would

swallow poison deliberately and allow

herself to die just to prove a point?

 

GABRIELLE

(deadly serious)

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.

 

XENA

(softly)

Itís all right, Gabrielle.

 

Gabrielle turns to Xena, eyes pleading.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena....

 

Xena smiles.  Itís a small, almost sad smile.

 

XENA

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.

 

XENA

Just sleeping herbs, like he said.

 

 

Gabrielle relaxes slightly.

 

XENA

(contíd, slightly slurred)

Love you, Gabrielle.

 

Gabrielle smiles, one tear trailing down her cheek.

 

GABRIELLE
 I love you, Xena.

 

Xena nods, then allows the priest to guide her down flat onto the table.

 

A moment later, she is deeply asleep.

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

ACT TWO