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EXT. OVERTURNED SHIP - NIGHT
The storm pushes the overturned ship around as the larger ship smashes into it. The seas are high, and Xena and Gabrielle are nowhere to be seen.
Xena suddenly bursts from the water, hurling herself up onto the overturned hull of their boat. She turns immediately and scrambles around, searching the water anxiously.
All Xena can see is waves. She scrambles to the other side of the boat, balancing precariously on the pitching wood.
Lightning flares again, outlining Xena's face. Her eyes are wide and she is breathing very hard.
Something breaks the surface. It is a hand. Unhesitatingly, Xena dives back into the water. The waves pick her up and toss her against the boat, but she grabs the hand and hauls Gabrielle up out of the water. Gabrielle comes up coughing.
Gabrielle coughs up a lungful of water.
Xena grabs hold of the overturned boat, and starts to drag them both up onto it. The waves nearly overturn them again.
Gabrielle puts her arms around Xena in a death grip.
Don't you worry about that!
Xena gets a grip on a broken piece of wood just as the boat pitches and rolls, bringing both of them up out of the water and onto the bottom of the overturned craft.
You all right?
Gabrielle coughs up another lungful of water.
Xena display a long, bleeding gash and a splinter in one arm.
Xena and Gabrielle roll over and separate, catching their breaths as the waves slow down briefly. Gabrielle gets up on her hands and knees and crawls over to Xena. She is dragging a bit of rope.
Gabrielle throws the rope over Xena.
Only useful thing I found on that tub.
Darned if I was going to lose it.
Xena sits up and starts to coil the rope, as the storm intensifies again. In a blast of lightning, the seas seem to swell up around them like hills, the waves picking them up, then dropping them down.
Xena looks up in time to see the larger ship being caught on the next wave, its bulk cresting the top of the wave and then starting to slide downwards.
We may.... Look out!
The bigger boat descends on them again, almost as though it is trying to crush them. Xena grabs Gabrielle and they scramble to their feet.
The overturned bottom they are standing on starts to roll, and they have to scramble rapidly to keep from falling off.
Aughh!!! Look out!
Xena sees the front spar of the ship heading right for her. She quickly ties a loop in the rope and tosses it as the two hulls collide again, and the one they are standing on splits and starts to sink.
Gabrielle jumps into Xena's arms as the boat disappears beneath the waves, and they swing towards the bigger ship. The rain makes it almost impossible to see.
When it goes up, throw
your weight that way!
Sure! Like I have a choice!!!
The waves roll, the ship pitches, and Xena and Gabrielle swing themselves up and over the gunwale, landing on the deck of the ship with a crash.
The rain sweeps over them in a wave, and thunder rolls over them as though the sky was laughing.
Xena picks her head up and stares at the clouds.
EXT. OLD SHIP - DECK - NIGHT
The rain has slackened a bit. Xena and Gabrielle are sitting on the deck, taking stock of themselves and their new surroundings.
Gabrielle sits against a wooden panel. She has lost a boot, but somehow retained both of her sais. One is sticking in the deck. The other is in its sheath on her remaining boot.
Xena is rubbing the salt out of her eyes. She glances at the gash in her arm and holds it in the rain to wash the blood off.
Glad this one's in better
shape than ours was.
Xena has also been looking around.
Except for one major problem.
Xena gets up and pulls her way along the deck hand over hand.
There's no one on it. See what
you can find up here. I'm
gonna go check the aft out.
Gabrielle wipes drenched hair out of her eyes and peers around in the misty air. The deck appears deserted and worn. There is no sign of any human activity.
Gabrielle gets up and starts to investigate the front of the ship. She finds an iron bracket on the point of the bow, long broken off and corroded with salt. She touches it with a thoughtful expression.
Nothing's hung on that in
a while, that's for sure.
Gabrielle continues to search. She finds a huge, iron hook lashed to the deck. Its point seems to be covered in some corroded substance. Gabrielle puts her hand on it, then gasps and draws it back.
Her hand is bleeding slightly. She looks closely and finds jagged spurs all along its surface.
Yow. What kind of fish
is that for, I wonder?
Sucking her finger, Gabrielle continues along the railing.
EXT. OLD SHIP DECK - AFT - NIGHT
Xena reaches the back of the ship. She examines the wheel, which seems to be lashed in place.
Got your course locked down,
eh? What's that all about?
Xena searches the spaces at the rear. She finds a cabinet whose top seems to be fastened shut. She draws her sword, and puts her hand on it, shoving up with sudden force and preparing to attack whatever emerges.
Nothing emerges. Looking around with slight embarrassment, Xena sheaths her sword and looks inside.
She reaches inside, and pulls out some netting, knotted rope that is full of stretched holes. Xena throws it back and closes the top of the cabinet.
Fishing net on a ship
with no fishermen.
The storm continues, lightning and thunder lighting up the sky overhead. Xena searches the mast, looking all around it and down the boom.
Gabrielle fights her way through the rain to Xena's side.
Xena... I can't find any bell.
Xena gives the ship a disgusted look.
Or a lantern. Or a captain,
for that matter.
This isn't the right ship, is it?
Xena looks around at the deserted deck. She puts her hands on her hips, moving with the ship and keeping her balance, while Gabrielle hangs from the wheel to keep from flying overboard.
That bell was coming from
here. I'm sure of it.
Gabrielle sits down, holding tight as the ship pitches in the waves.
Okay. You find the bell. While you're
at it, see if you can find the guy ringing
it. Maybe he can tell us what's going on.
Xena puts her hands on the wheel, and then she looks up towards the sails. They are tattered, and one is hanging halfway down the mast.
At least this one's not sinking.
Gonna have to lash that sail
down if we're gonna use it.
Gabrielle is leaning back against the wheel housing now.
Do we have a choice?
No. Not unless you want to swim.
Been there, done that, have
the wrinkles to prove it.
She holds up her hands.
We can't keep looking in this
storm, Xena. We should
just go back into port.
Xena goes to the side of the ship and peers out into the storm. It is solid, inky black.
You do know which way
the port is, right?
Xena looks up at the sky, completely covered in clouds.
Xena turns around and looks at Gabrielle. Gabrielle groans, and bangs her head against the ship's wheel. Xena comes over and crouches next to her, shielding her face from the rain with one arm.
C'mon, it's not that bad.
Gabrielle looks at Xena. She is visibly green.
Want me to make it that bad?
Xena puts the pinch on Gabrielle's wrists.
If I can get the sails fixed, I think I can
find my way back into the harbor.
Gabrielle releases the wheel and takes hold of Xena's arm, working the splinter out of it with her fingers.
And if you can't?
She looks at the splinter.
Ugh. That's nasty.
We'll end up somewhere. Eventually.
Storm can't last forever.
Gabrielle manages a smile in return. She folds her hand around Xena's hand and draws it up to her lips, kissing the back of it.
Long as we end up there
together, that'll work for me.
Xena leans over and gives Gabrielle a quick hug.
How do we end up in these messes
all the time? Is it just our dumb luck?
Xena looks around at the storm, the mysterious ship, and the two of them sitting on the deck. She lifts both hands in a shrug.
I'd say the Fates, but....
Yeah. We need to find
a new excuse, don't we?
Xena ruffles Gabrielle's hair.
Something like that. Listen, stay here.
I'm going to go look down that hatch
over there. Maybe there's
something I can use in the hold.
Watch out. I found a hook
up there that bites.
Gabrielle holds her hand up for Xena to see.
Watch for hooks. Gotcha.
Xena gets up and starts to walk towards the hatch in the center of the deck.
Xena! You're not leaving me in charge
of this thing, are you? You know what
kind of luck I have with boats.
Xena turns, holding on to the mast as the ship rolls from side to side, and the rain comes down harder for a brief moment.
If you think something's
wrong, just yell.
Xena goes to the hatch and grabs hold of the ring set into it. She hauls the hatch open and lays the cover back onto the deck.
Be right back. I'm sure
there isn't much to see.
The hatch opening is a thick, black hole. Xena can make nothing out inside of it. She sees a step at the top, and she starts down.
Not that I can... ah!!
Gabrielle gets up, rubbing her eyes as it appears that a dark cloud is emerging from the hatch and surrounding Xena.
The stairs under Xena's feet disappear as she starts to turn, hearing Gabrielle's yell. She drops into the darkness.
Gabrielle bolts for the opening. The ship rolls to one side, and the hatch lifts up from the deck and flies shut, slamming into place just as Gabrielle reaches it.
Gabrielle grabs the ring and hauls at it with all her strength.
The ring comes off in Gabrielle's hand, and she goes flying backwards, rolling out of sight as a wave of water washes over the deck and drenches her.
END OF ACT TWO