Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT THREE

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. PETRONIKUS TEMPLE - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

 

Gabrielle slips off the rafter. She grabs on to a piece of wood, but it breaks off in her hands and she heads for the ground two stories below

 

XENA

Ga....

 

 

Xena throws herself off the rafters.

 

Abruptly, Gabrielle's flight is arrested as she is caught by the leg and the scruff of her neck and held dangling in mid air.

 

Xena has her legs wrapped around a roof support, and is holding Gabrielle up over the heads of the men below.

 

 

GABRIELLE

(hissing)

Xena!

 

XENA

Sh!

 

The men finish clapping, and the room quiets. 

 

ALSTAN

All right men, let's get this place

ready for what I hope will be very

substantial additions to our stock.

 

Alstan turns to go. Xena tightens her grip on Gabrielle and looks up as a bit of the roof support cracks free and lands on her head.

 

MAN

Sir, will you be speaking the

watcher's words tomorrow night?

 

ALSTAN

I will.  I have received a new

scroll of messages. Tomorrow

you will hear them.

 

The men nod.

 

Another piece of wood falls and bounces off Xena's shoulder. Xena swiftly snatches it out of mid air with her teeth so it doesn't fall on Alstan's head.

 

Gabrielle remains absolutely still, trying not to swing. Her eyes are tightly shut.

 

MAN

I know we have our mission here,

but I love hearing the words, sir. I do.

 

Alstan claps the man on the shoulder. 

 

ALSTAN

Well, that's nice, my son.

Now get to work.

 

Alstan starts to leave, then he pauses, looking down at the ground. There are bits of wood there. He looks at the wood, then looks around.

 

Xena gives Gabrielle a tiny shake and Gabrielle opens her eyes. She sees Alstan directly below her, looking at the debris.

 

Just shy of looking up, Alstan shrugs and leaves instead, followed by the other men. They take their time, each one walking under where Gabrielle is hanging.

 

Finally, they are gone, and the door slams shut behind them. After a second, Xena spits the piece of wood out of her mouth and it goes bouncing off.

 

GABRIELLE

(whispering)

Son of a bacchae.

 

XENA

Couple of other words come to mind.

(grunting)

Listen, there's no....

 

GABRIELLE

Just drop me.

 

 

Xena looks down.

 

XENA

That's a hard looking floor.

 

Gabrielle looks around and sees few options.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, you could just drop

me on my head.

 

XENA

Hang on... just go with me.

 

Gabrielle grimaces. Xena heaves herself upward, then releases Gabrielle's leg. Gabrielle tumbles in the air, and extends her hands up to meet Xena's as she falls. They lock wrists, and now Gabrielle is dangling in a much better position. 

 

GABRIELLE

Okay.

 

XENA

Go.

 

Xena releases her grip, Gabrielle releases hers. Gabrielle lands hard, but keeps her balance and waits as Xena lets go of the roofing and somersaults in mid air to land next to her.

 

Footsteps approach again, and voices get louder outside the door. Xena and Gabrielle slip to either side of the door and flatten themselves against the wall. Xena draws her sword. Gabrielle draws a sai.

 

The door latch starts to work. The door starts to open.

 

They hear a shout from farther off, and the door slams shut and the footsteps recede.

 

Xena and Gabrielle relax. Gabrielle flexes her leg and winces, then sheathes her sai.

 

Xena puts her sword away and starts examining the room.

 

GABRIELLE

Guess there isn't much doubt

about these guys, huh?

 

Xena lifts a piece of parchment and holds it up towards the light. After a moment, she tosses it to Gabrielle.

 

XENA

Not much.

 

 

Xena looks around, then puts her hands on her hips. Her expression is somewhere between disgusted and profoundly disturbed.

 

GABRIELLE

So, what do we do? Just chase

them off? There's a lot

of them, Xena, but....

 

XENA

But there's two of us, yeah.

 

Xena looks around again.

 

XENA

(contíd)

We chase them off, they'll just

be back. Besides, there's

something bigger behind this.

 

Gabrielle drops the parchment on the box.

 

GABRIELLE

So we have to go to the source.

 

Xena nods.

 

XENA

Now we just have to make

them take us to it.

 

Xena goes to the wall and climbs up on some boxes. She extends a hand down to Gabrielle.

 

GABRIELLE

The door's just not good enough, huh?

 

 

Gabrielle climbs up on the boxes and takes Xena's hand as they climb up into the ceiling and disappear.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT PETRONIKUS INN - MORNING

 

The innkeeper is busy baking bread. It is just after dawn, and the sun is shining in the window.

 

Gabrielle enters from the back, appearing freshly scrubbed and wide awake. She whistled softly as she crosses to the kitchen area.

 

GABRIELLE

Morning!

 

The innkeeper seems surprised to see her.

 

INNKEEPER

Oh! Good morning! I didn't see

you and your friend come back

last night so I thought....

 

GABRIELLE

We came in the back door.

 

The innkeeper looks puzzled.

 

INNKEEPER

But we don't have a back door.

 

GABRIELLE

Sure you do. Now.

 

(pausing)

What's that you're

making, raisin bread?

 

The innkeeper looks around her table. It is covered in loaves, at least two dozen of them.

 

INNKEEPER

Yes, I have to start early. It takes time.

 

GABRIELLE

(smiling)

Must be a popular choice here.

 

INNKEEPER

(frowning)

Well, not really, but it holds very well.

It's for the glory of the one who watches.

The brothers take it for their works.

 

Gabrielle crosses her arms and studies the loaves.

 

GABRIELLE

But they pay you for them, right?

 

INNKEEPER

Oh, no, no, of course not.

It's my gift to them.

 

Gabrielle picks up a loaf and studies it.

 

GABRIELLE

But they sell it, don't they?

 

INNKEEPER

Well... Yes.

 

GABRIELLE

So.... They get paid for your work.

What do you get out of it?

 

The innkeeper seems quite disturbed. She goes back to baking her bread, turning her back on Gabrielle. Gabrielle filches a raisin from a loaf and nibbles it.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. PETRONIKUS HOMESTEAD - MORNING

 

Xena rides Argo II along a dirt path. On either side of her are fields of grain and other growing things being harvested. On the side of the path is a big wagon, with a number of town men working around it.

 

Xena slows as she approaches them, and the men look up from their work.

 

XENA

Morning.

 

 

One of the men approaches her.

 

TOWNSMAN

That's a beautiful mare.

 

Fortunately for Gabrielle, the way to Xena's heart is not through praising her horse, but it never hurts.

 

XENA

Thanks. Looks like you've

got a nice crop there.

 

The men look at their work, then at the wagon.

 

TOWNSMAN

Yes, it is. We've been grateful

that our prayers were answered.

 

Xena gets off Argo II and goes to the wagon. She lifts a bit of the harvested grain.

 

XENA

You prayed for this?

 

The men all gather round Xena, more than slightly intrigued by her appearance.

 

TOWNSMAN

We've had hard times since the

old gods left us. This season, the

brothers came and told us the

message of the one who

watches. It gave us hope.

 

Xena flinches slightly at the word.

 

SECOND TOWNSMAN

Since they've been here, the harvests

have increased. Life is better.

 

XENA

You don't think that

might be a coincidence?

 

 

The men all frown.

 

TOWNSMAN

How could it be?

 

XENA

(shrugging)

Weather's been good. I've seen great

harvests from the coast all the way here.

(pausing)

Where's all this going? You have a

big storehouse? Probably sell what

you don't need and make a profit.

 

The men murmur to each other.

 

SECOND TOWNSMAN

Oh no. This is for the one who watches.

Our tribute for the good harvest.

 

Xena steps back, looks at the wagon, looks at the men, looks back at the wagon, and assumes a very skeptical expression.

 

XENA

Uh huh. Okay. Gotta go.

 

Xena leaps back on Argo II, and gives the wagon one more look, shaking her head. The men's attention is glued on her and she is aware of that.  Xena waves, and rides off, still shaking her head.  The men watch her go, then they gather around the wagon, voices rising in argument in very short order.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. PETRONIKUS INN - LATE AFTERNOON

 

Gabrielle is sitting outside the inn on the grass, writing on a scroll. She is leaning against a tree, but is watching the square with her peripheral vision.

 

Heriet exits from her house, and starts heading for the path to the temple. She spots Gabrielle sitting in the grass and pauses, watching her.

 

GABRIELLE

And Xena killed the bad giant,

saving the village from destruction.

 

Heriet hears the words and wanders closer.

 

HERIET

What are you doing?

 

GABRIELLE

Writing down a story about

something that happened to us.

 

Heriet comes over and sits down next to Gabrielle.

 

HERIET

My father says storytelling is evil.

 

Gabrielle looks up.

 

GABRIELLE

Why?

 

 

HERIET

It takes time from work, and it spreads

lies. He says the only stories we should

be hearing are from the one who watches.

 

Gabrielle puts her quill down and blows on her parchment to dry it.

 

GABRIELLE

Do you really believe that?

 

Heriet shrugs.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

What makes the stories from

your watcher any truer than mine?

 

HERIET

(outraged)

They are the word of god!

 

Gabrielle doesn't appear intimidated, naturally.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, I've learned the hard way that

the word of a god and the word of

one of us is about equally trustworthy.

 

Heriet gets up and backs away.

 

HERIET

You speak nothing but worthless

lies. My father is right.

 

Heriet storms off, leaving Gabrielle sitting in the grass. Gabrielle rolls up her scroll, and taps it against the side of her neck as she ponders.

 

Just before disappearing down the path to the temple, Heriet stops, and looks back uncertainly.

 

Gabrielle smiles, and salutes her with the scroll. Heriet frowns, and hurries off.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. PETRONIKUS INN - BACK ROOM - EVENING

 

Xena is sprawled on the room's small, somewhat low bed. Gabrielle is packing the last of their belongings into a carry bag.

 

GABRIELLE

You think this is going to work?

 

Xena has an apple balanced on her stomach. She bounces it up and down a few times idly.

 

XENA

Hard to say. We planted some

seeds. Let's see what we harvest.

 

 

Gabrielle walks over and sits down next to her. She removes the apple and takes a bite of it, then hands it back.

 

GABRIELLE

Bags are ready. You want to take them

outside, and I'll meet you near the temple?

 

Xena takes a bite of the apple.

 

XENA

You ready for this?

 

GABRIELLE

(sighing)

As I'll ever be. C'mon.

 

 

Xena hoist the bags up, and turns to jump out the window. Gabrielle hops out after her, and they disappear into the darkness.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. PETRONIKUS TEMPLE - NIGHT

 

The temple courtyard is full of townsfolk. A platform has been set up outside the doors, hastily decorated with ribbons and swatches of cloth. A piece of board with the crowned sun sigil is propped in front of the platform. Torches stand to either side, lighting the area.

 

The door to the temple opens and a dozen tunic wearing men emerge. They take up positions on either side of the platform and stand waiting.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. PETRONIKUS INN SURROUNDING TREES - NIGHT - SAME TIME

 

Xena and Gabrielle stand behind a tree, watching the crowd. Xena straightens out Gabrielle's coat and flicks her bangs a little more evenly. Gabrielle gives her the kind of look often given mothers trying to clean off dirt with a thumb-full of spit.

 

Seeing this, Xena leans over and kisses Gabrielle on the lips.

 

Gabrielle is much happier with this approach, and apparently forgives Xena her fussing.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. PETRONIKUS TEMPLE - NIGHT

 

Alstan walks out of the temple and goes to the platform. The crowd all bows respectfully, and he holds his hands up as his men all cheer.

 

ALSTAN

The peace of the watcher be with you,

my friends. You have learned your

lessons well, and we have prospered.

Thanks be to the one who watches over us.

 

CROWD

So it will be.

 

ALSTAN

The message of the watcher tells us to

take care of each other, to obey those

who know the watcher's word, and to

give to the watcher all but what is

necessary for one's body.

 

ALSTANíS MEN

(together)

Obey the watcher!

 

ALSTAN

This has given us peace, and a good

harvest. What more can we ask?

(waiting)

We can ask nothing. But the watcher

has sent us a new message, and we

must listen and obey this new

message, so our bounty can continue.

 

The crowd murmurs.

 

ALSTANíS MEN

(together)

All heed the message and the messenger!

 

ALSTAN

We must do more to bring the message

to others! It is not enough to know it

ourselves, we must shout it from every

corner, so that our neighbors, and their

neighbors will hear it and listen to its wisdom!

That is the path to true enlightenment.

 

MAN IN CROWD

But.... We've done everything asked of us.

When can we attend to living our lives?

 

 

Alstan points at him.

 

ALSTAN

It is those such as you who threaten

our message! See! Among us,

participating in our bounty, there is

doubt! This angers the watcher!

 

The crowd whispers uneasily. They move away from the man.

 

ALSTAN

(contíd)

You will only know peace through

obeying the watcher's word!

 

Gabrielle steps out from behind the trees and moves to stand opposite Alstan.

 

GABRIELLE

Obeying someone else has

never brought anyone peace.

 

The crowd reacts in shock. Alstan is also shocked.

 

ALSTAN

Who are you? How dare you

come in here in this place of

holiness and blaspheme!

 

GABRIELLE

My name is Gabrielle. I've traveled

the world, and I know more about

gods than you can ever imagine.

 

(pointing)

Blasphemy depends on

who's doing the talking.

 

Alstan's men stir angrily.

 

ALSTAN

Stranger, you have no place here.

Leave, before you anger the

watcher.  You cannot feel the love

of the watcher's message.

 

GABRIELLE

My place is wherever ordinary

people's fears are being used

to take advantage of them.

 

ALSTAN

(angrily)

You do not hear the message!

 

The crowd starts to cluster around Gabrielle. Alstan's men close in around him.

 

GABRIELLE

(loudly)

The message is - give me everything

you've got so I can sell it and make

a profit. Why not show them

what's in your temple?

 

ALSTAN

You are an enemy of the watcher!

Men! Brothers, sisters... Heed the

message and defend the

messenger! Take up your stones!

 

Gabrielle turns her back on them, and faces the crowd.

 

GABRIELLE

Am I an enemy? Think about what

you're being asked! To obey without

question? To give up your hard

earned profits? To make these men

rich with your efforts? Is that

the message you hear?

 

ALSTAN

Defend the messenger! Stone her!

 

The crowd picks up stones from the ground, shifting angrily as Alstanís men rush to grab sticks from a nearby pile. 

 

Gabrielle is caught between the two of them.

 

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR