|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
EXT. TRAIL - AFTERNOON
Xena and Gabrielle are both on Argo, in their normal positions. There is a very sour lemon look on Gabrielle’s face.
Ok, how about this one? There was
an old woman from Thebes with....
… down to her knees.
Ok, that’s enough. Dirty limericks might
appeal to battlefield brawlers, Xena, but
this is the Athens’ elite we’re talking
about. They’re expecting epics.
That was an epic!
Once again, Xena gets an up close and personal view of one of her myriad of looks. She can only groan as she tightens her arms around the body in front of her, which is, of course, also her own.
EXT. ATHENS - EARLY EVENING
Xena and Gabrielle are walking through the streets, which are bustling as usual. Walking through the agora, the shouts of vendors selling their wares ring all around them. ‘Xena’ shakes her head to try and clear some of the noise. ‘Gabrielle’ takes her by the arm and they stop walking.
Are you okay?
Yeah, it just seems like I’m hearing
every thing much louder than normal.
I know. I’ve learned to tune out what
I don’t want to hear. Close your eyes
and take a deep breath and just
focus on one sound and make it
go away. Do that with all the
sounds that you don’t want to hear.
She does as she’s told and a few second later she opens her eyes and smiles.
You’re welcome. Let’s find Twicky’s
villa. Maybe if we can get settled
some place comfortable, we can
fix this before we have to face Homer
and the rest of your school chums.
The theater is on the other
side of the Areopagus.
‘Gabrielle’ blanches at the mention of the hill that was dedicated to Ares.
You’d think they would have figured
out none of them are coming back.
Old habits die hard, Xena.
Worshipping Gods is the only
thing some of these people have.
I know. Come on. Let’s get going.
EXT. VILLA - EARLY EVENING
A guard stands outside the gates of Twickenham’s home. As Xena and Gabrielle approach, he holds up his hand to stop them.
I’m afraid the gates are
locked for security purposes.
I’m Gabrielle, an old friend of the
owner. He invited us to be his guests.
Ah, yes, I’m sorry. He told me
to expect you, but he thought
you would be arriving later.
Well we’re here now. Could
you open the gates?
He unlocks the gates and pushes them open as they walk past he stops ‘Xena’.
Any chance that you would
be willing to spar with some
of the estate guards?
‘Gabrielle’ snorts and ‘Xena’ grins.
Sure. I’d like a chance
to have a good workout.
They enter the grounds and ‘Gabrielle’ elbows ‘Xena’.
Don’t get my body hurt, I intend
to get back into it and I don’t
want it all bruised and sore.
I don’t intend to get you hurt, but
I may as well take it out for a test
drive while I’ve got it. I mean come
on Xena, you don’t buy a chariot
until you kick the wheels and
check the horse’s teeth.
Just don’t get comfortable
with all the extra room.
I kinda like the height. I may
just decide to keep it.
Don’t get cute. There are some
things that are not negotiable.
As they approach the door, it flies open and Twickenham meets them.
I’m so glad you two are
here. Please come in.
Umm, we need to stable Argo.
Don’t concern yourself. I’ll have
one of my groomsmen take her
to the stable and tend to her. But
do come in, there’s someone
here who wants to see you.
INT. DINING ROOM - MID EVENING
The trio enters, and finds an older man there. He is very distinguished, tall with white hair and a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. He stands from his place at the long table and moves to ‘Gabrielle’. Without asking or waiting, he pulls her into a long hug.
It is so good to see you again.
‘Gabrielle’ pulls away as quickly as possible.
It is good to see you too.
It’s been a long time.
Too long. But I can see the years
have been good to you. You’re
as beautiful as ever.
‘Gabrielle’ looks to ‘Xena’, then back to Homer.
Thank you. You’ve aged very well.
I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little
wiser, but you are still the radiant
young woman I remember. The
Gods have been kind.
‘Xena’ steps forward and moves a little closer to Homer, moving ‘Gabrielle’ back a bit.
The Gods were not kind...
that’s how we ended up like this.
Xena, I have heard stories of your
and Gabrielle’s struggles with the
Olympian Gods. I am sorry for all
that you endured, but I am pleased
that you and my friend have
come through it alive and well.
‘Xena’ smiles and nods.
Thank you. That’s very kind of you.
But enough about us. What is
going on here? With the Academy?
Homer smiles and leads ‘Gabrielle’ to the table where he offers her a seat and a cup of wine. ‘Xena’ takes a seat next to her.
I know what transpired on Lesbos, Gabrielle.
I was given a full briefing after Aubin’s trial.
I’m sorry you got caught in the middle
of a conflict that actually started here.
What exactly happened that would
prompt him to try and hurt Sappho?
Homer sighs and Twickenham takes a seat. It’s clear that they’ve explained this situation several times.
Aubin and some of the other elders of the
school discovered that they could make a
nice living from charging excessively high
fees to attend the academy. They were
afraid that if Sappho opened a school
it would reduce the number of wealthy
students who would study here.
So when he couldn’t convince her to not
open the school, he opted for other methods.
Right, and after Aubin’s treachery was
revealed to some of the students, they
decided to challenge the current administration.
They got most of them thrown out of school,
and I’m afraid that it may have gotten one
or two of them killed. After that, the students
decided they wanted a new chancellor.
Since Twickenham and I have been teaching
here for so long, they came to me with their
concerns and asked me to take the position.
So the current administration installs
their own lackey and nothing changes.
We have to stop them, Gabrielle,
Xena. The Academy is much too
important an institution to come to ruin.
We’ll do everything we can.
I know you will. I don’t think the Academy’s
safety could be in any better hands.
There is a formal reception tonight. All the
current administration will be there. Students
and patrons will also be in attendance.
We’ll be there too.
INT. BED ROOM - EVENING
Xena and Gabrielle are alone, sitting facing each other, eyes closed. It’s obvious that they are trying to reclaim their own bodies. Gabrielle’s eyes open and she shakes her head in frustration.
We’re in real trouble here.
It’s definitely a problem, but we don’t
have time to worry about this right now.
Someone is trying to kill your college
sweetheart and take over the school.
You’re just really enjoying this, aren’t you?
Absolutely. How often do I get to tease
you about an old flame? Real or imagined.
Come on. We need to get down to this dinner
they’re holding and see exactly what’s up.
INT. BANQUET HALL - NIGHT
The huge room is filled with dozens of people, most of them wealthy and quite unwilling to associate with anyone they consider beneath them. In one corner of the room there is a small group of students who don’t have the means that the other in the room do and they are doing their best to stay away from them.
I’m going to start over there.
She gestures to the small group.
Does that mean I get to go
make nice with the snobs?
Yup. Just remember. Be charming.
Be elegant. Be witty. Be…
Yeah, well, don’t schmooze too much
while you’re making your rounds.
I have a reputation to maintain.
One stoic, stiff as a board,
take no prisoners Warrior
Princess coming right up!
As if turning on a switch, Gabrielle becomes ramrod straight, shoulders thrust out to their widest. Her eyes narrow and she looks down her nose at Xena with a combination of cold intent and regal elegance. Xena looks up in poorly disguised awe.
You know, Gabrielle, you’re
really starting to scare me.
The “Warrior Princess” effect is ruined by a delighted, soft peal of laughter.
Then, after wishing another good look with only their eyes, they separate and begin to mingle.
INT. BANQUET ROOM - EVENING
‘Xena’ makes her way to the group of students and a few instructors. They all seem to part right down the middle as The Warrior Princess joins the group.
Good evening everyone.
How’s the party?
A young man smiles and nods to her. He takes a cup of wine from a tray near his hand and gives it to her.
It could be worse.
We could be in Rome.
She laughs and takes the cup.
I couldn’t agree more. I’m....
Oh we know who you are. We’ve
read enough descriptions of you
in Gabrielle’s scrolls to know Xena,
the Warrior Princess when we see her.
The young man gestures to a few others around him.
This is Hesiod....
A young blonde man nods to her and raises his glass in welcome.
And this is Pindar....
He continues to introduce people and we....
INT. BANQUET HALL - EVENING
‘Gabrielle’ is walking through the crowd of people who are looking down their noses at the blonde woman in the common travel clothes.
Taking bits of food off various trays, the current inhabitant of the body is doing what she does best, listening. She is hearing whispered comments about ‘her’ and Xena.
(under her breath)
If they knew the truth, they’d explode.
She’s walking slowly through the group, rather enjoying making these people nervous. She stops as she hears two men specifically mention Gabrielle’s name.
She’s nothing but a peasant.
‘Gabrielle’ makes eye contact with him and he doesn’t look away. Taking a deep breath she walks over to them.
Is there a problem?
Not unless you consider the fact that
they’re letting commoners like you
back into the academy a problem.
‘Gabrielle’ stands and looks at him for a minute and then makes a grab for a rather sensitive spot, causing his eyes to squeeze shut and tears to form in the corner of closed lids.
Now you listen to me. I’ll advise you
only once to watch your mouth or
they’ll be calling you Euripides for
an entirely different reason. Got me?
Not able to speak, he simply nods quickly. The man standing next to him is quite pale now but manages to stammer a bit.
I thought you were the nice one.
You thought wrong.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Gabrielle is sprawled across the large bed in a most un-Warrior Princess-like fashion, while Xena paces the length and breadth of the room. Sighing heavily, Gabrielle throws an arm across her eyes.
Are you all right?
I have a headache. Do you know
how hard it is to be you?
(beat, off Xena’s look)
Never mind. Dumb question.
With another sigh, she sits up.
So, were you able to
find out anything?
Stopping her pacing, Xena comes to stand beside the bed, looking down at her partner. She begins ticking points off on her fingers.
Your hair is too short, your manners
are too coarse, your muscles are
too big, and.... These boots
don’t go with this skirt.
Gabrielle blinks at her for a moment, then sags back against the wall, laughing. Finally spent, she moves to sit back up, and winces as her head recommences its infernal pounding.
Gesturing her partner forward, Xena slips in behind and begins a firm massage, knowing exactly how to get rid of the headache.
Gabrielle’s head lolls back in utter bliss.
By the gods, that feels good.
Mm. So, what were you
able to pick up?
Not much, unfortunately... a little to
the left, oh yes, that’s perfect! If they
weren’t fawning over ‘The Warrior
Princess’, they were looking at me
like I was a rat run over by a
chariot on the side of the road.
Something is definitely going on,
though. You could cut through
the tension with a sword.
They’re all smug as toads.
Agreed. The induction ceremony
is in the evening, right?
At sunset, yes.
Good. Then we should use the daylight
hours tomorrow to investigate further.
Pick up whatever clues we can
find before the ceremony.
Guess we’d better get some
sleep, then. How’s the head?
Marvelous. I’ve got some pretty
talented hands, don’t I?
They’re not bad.
Gabrielle turns on her.
Not bad! Why you....
Reaching in, Gabrielle starts tickling the exposed flesh of her partner, her superior strength easily subduing the wriggling, and now very ticklish woman.
Ha! Finally my chance to get even!
Paybacks are a bitch, Warrior Princess.
END OF ACT THREE