Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT ONE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. CORINTH HILLSIDE - CROSS - SUNSET

 

The priests from the temple walk along the rows of crosses, reverently releasing the dead, and placing them into the wagon that accompanies them.  The soldiers stationed on duty here pay them little mind, and do not notice the new acolyte.  Their job is simply to insure that the populace does not attempt to rescue anyone.

 

Row by row they go, until reaching the last where those who were just judged still hang.  Moaning can be heard coming from several victims, and the soldiers laugh derisively.

 

SOLDIER

I donít think theyíve been here

long enough to die, old man.

 

PRIEST

(solemnly)

Nonetheless, it is my

sacred duty to check.

 

The soldier looks at him for a long moment and nods.  It is the same conversation they have had countless times before.  He waves a hand at the priest, even as he walks away.

 

SOLDIER

Whatever makes you happy, old

man.  It makes no difference to

me... or to the Conqueror.

 

The priest continues his work and when he reaches Rebel Gabrielle, he nods to Xena. 

 

PRIEST

(murmuring)

She is still alive.  She has

a very strong spirit.

 

 

Xena moves a ladder into place and cuts the ropes that hold Gabrielle in place.  Gabrielle moans at the movement even though she is unconscious.  The soldier glances at them, and gets up, walking back over to them.

 

SOLDIER

Let me check her. I know the

Conqueror was pretty angry with her.

 

Unseen, Xena jabs a pressure point that stops Gabrielleís breathing.  The man holds his fingers under her nose, unwilling to touch the dead body. 

 

He smiles grimly and shakes his head, then sits down to resume his evening meal.  Xena immediately undoes the pinch.

 

PRIEST

(contíd, whispering)

Youíd better be right about this

or it will mean the death of all of us.

 

XENA

(muttering)

Iím right.  I just have to convince

the two of them of that.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CORINTH TEMPLE - BACK ROOM - EVENING

 

This is a small back room, evidently part of the priestís living quarters.  It is sparse but clean.  There is a pallet made up on the floor, a small table that is holding an empty pitcher and cup, and a single chair and cot.

 

Rebel Gabrielle lies on the tiny cot still unconscious.  Her legs are splinted and she appears to be naked beneath the light covering that is draw up over her.

 

Xena sits on the floor beside a basin of dirty water.  The cloak rests on the chair nearby.  Her hand lightly covers Gabrielleís and she is talking in quiet tones.

 

XENA

I know youíre not my Gabrielle, but

you are still the Gabrielle that I love.

 

 

She shakes her head ruefully.

 

XENA

(contíd)

It doesnít make much sense, but

itís the truth.  You remind me a lot

of my Gabrielle when she was

younger.  You have the same fire...

sheís just learned to temper hers.

 

Xena looks into the very young face of Rebel Gabrielle.  She gently combs her fingers through the wavy long hair.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Of course, I think sheís had a lot more

years and a lot more practice at it as well.

 

A knock on the door interrupts Xenaís conversation with the still unconscious woman. Without releasing her hold on Gabrielleís hand, she opens the door.

 

The priest stands frozen for a moment.  Xena raises her eyebrow at him.

 

XENA

(contíd)

You gonna stand there staring at me,

or are you gonna let me have that

clean water to finish bathing her?

 

PRIEST

Oh, gods.  Sorry.

 

He extends the bowl to her, then accepts the bowl with the dirty water.  He hesitates in the doorway.

 

PRIEST

(contíd)

I just cannot get over

the resemblance.

 

XENA

(wryly)

So you keep saying.  I plan to

make it work in my favor.

 

The priest looks ready to question her, then decides discretion is the better part of valor. With a shake of his head he exits the small room.  Xena turns her attention back to Gabrielle, and begins to gently bathe her.

 

 

XENA

(contíd, muttering)

I hope my Gabrielle understands

this may take a day or two.

 

She finishes Gabrielleís bath, then stands and covers her with the sheet and light blanket the priest left earlier.  She checks Gabrielleís forehead, smiling slightly and nodding approval at the lack of fever.

 

Another knock on the door causes her to frown and she opens it just slightly.  The priest stands there with a fresh pitcher of water, and several packets of herbs.

 

PRIEST

I wasnít sure what

you needed, so....

 

He trails off, and she nods her head and accepts the supplies.

 

XENA

These will be fine, thanks.

 

 

She sets the things down on the table and he closes the door softly.

 

She steps over to her small pallet, noticing that she and Rebel Gabrielle are almost within touching distance the room is so tiny.  She pulls off her sword and chakram, laying them to one side of her bed.  She removes her boots and armor, placing them at the table with the cloak.

 

Then she lies down on the pallet and stretches out, almost groaning in the relief she feels in being able to relax just the slightest bit. She closes her eyes and reaches out towards her Gabrielle through their bond, hoping that time and distance will not hinder their ability to find and connect with one another.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. ARGOS TEMPLE - EVENING

 

Mere minutes have passed for Gabrielle, and she is just entering the beginning stages of her meditative trance.  Suddenly her eyes open, and she looks around.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena?

 

She realizes that she felt and lost Xena in the same moment.  She slaps the ground in frustration, then picks up the water skin and takes a long drink.  She scrubs her face, and closes her eyes again, consciously slowing her breathing.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

All right, Gabrielle.  Focus.  You

did it once. You can do it again.

 

 

She begins to relax back into the meditative state she had reached before.  Her breathing slows even farther, and soon the only sound we can hear is the crackle of the fire.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. CORINTH TEMPLE - BACK ROOM - NIGHT

 

Xena smiles briefly in a light doze before a whimpering sound jerks her awake.  Startled, she sits up and looks at Rebel Gabrielle, who is stirring and moaning in pain.  She moves to the table and sorts through the packets, placing small pinches from several in the cup until she is satisfied with the mixture.

 

She adds water and swirls it, then steps to the cot.  Xena lifts Gabrielleís shoulders, places the cup to her lips, and she starts to drink.  Her green eyes flutter open, then widen in startlement.  Unsure whether to bolt, choke or scream, Gabrielle opts to close her eyes and deal with the unreality of her situation in the morning.

 

 

Xena sighs in relief, and she lowers Gabrielle back to the cot.  It only takes a moment, and Gabrielleís breathing becomes deep and rhythmic.  Xena pats her shoulder and moves back to her pallet.

 

XENA

Well, tomorrow should

be interesting, at any rate.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. CORINTH TEMPLE - BACK ROOM - DAWN

 

Xena stirs.  The unfamiliarity of her surroundings and missing her Gabrielle makes sleep a futile exercise at best.

 

Rebel Gabrielle begins to waken at the same time, the pain making it impossible to rest.  Xena steps to her side, sitting on the edge of the cot and placing her hands on Gabrielleís shoulders to keep her from moving too much.

 

Gabrielleís eyes open, and widen.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(hissing)

YOU!

 

She draws a deep breath to yell, but Xena places a hand over her mouth.

 

XENA

Yeah, me.  But Iím not who you think

I am.  So cut me some slack and Iíll

try to explain it to you, all right?

 

 

Gabrielle looks into Xenaís eyes and sees compassion and caring where before there had been only cold arrogance and disdain.  She relaxes slightly and nods her head.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Besides, youíre supposed to be

dead.  Only the priest and I

know youíre here alive.

 

She removes her hand from Gabrielleís mouth.  Xena snags the cup from the table and hands it to her.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Here.  Drink this.  Then we

can trade stories, Gabrielle.

 

Gabrielle looks at Xena suspiciously now.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

What is this stuff?? How do you

know my name??  Who are you??

 

XENA

Plain water... no drugs until

weíre done talking.  You need

to be coherent for this.  Thatís

part of the long story.

And my name is Xena.

 

Gabrielleís eyebrows shoot up her forehead at the last answer, and she swallows the water in a single gulp.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

I canít wait to hear this.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. CORINTH TEMPLE - BACK ROOM - MORNING

 

Rebel Gabrielle looks at Xena with something akin to bewilderment in her eyes.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

Wait just a damn minute here.

Youíre joking, right?

 

XENA

(shaking head)

No.  Iím not the storyteller

in our partnership.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

Iím a bard?

 

 

XENA

Yeah, you are.  One of the

best there is actually.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(quietly)

Wow.  I always wanted

to be a bard.

 

Xena pauses, remembering the slave Gabrielle she had seen when the Fates offered her a different life.  Remembering the playwright Gabrielle sheíd met as the Empress of Rome when Caesar bound the Fates to change his destiny.

 

XENA

All right.  Now you tell your side,

Ďcause I know there is more

going on that Iím not clued

into yet.  Ares said as much.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

What would you like to know?

 

XENA

Everything.  But start with

how you know the Conqueror.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

You donít waste any time, do you?

 

XENA

(smirking)

So Iíve been told.

 

A knock on the door interrupts them.  Xena motions for quiet and goes to the door.  The priest is standing on the other side with a trencher of food.  Xena takes the tray from him.

 

PRIEST

How is she?

 

XENA

See for yourself.

 

She opens the door a little wider and he peeks into the room. He nods at Gabrielle and then looks at Xena. 

 

PRIEST

I will be back later.  Do you

still want to sneak into

the palace tonight?

 

XENA

Yes.  The sooner I can take

care of things here, the

sooner I can go home.

 

 

He nods again, and she shuts the door behind him.

 

She sets the trencher on the table.

 

XENA

(contíd)

What would you like?

 

Gabrielleís jaw is clenched in pain, and she shakes her head mutely, biting back a groan.

 

Xena quickly sifts through the packages and mixes a couple herbs together in the cup.  She hands the mixture to Gabrielle, who hesitantly reaches for it.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Itís just something to take the

edge off the pain.  Iím sorry the

pressure points arenít helping you

as much as I hoped they would.

 

Gabrielle swallows the concoction down without even a grimace at its taste.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(muttering)

They were fine until I

tried to move.  Bad idea.

 

Xena puts a bit of bread, butter and cheese together, and hands it to Gabrielle.  She accepts it, and begins taking tiny bites.  Xena sees her start to relax, and watches her while eating her own breakfast.

 

XENA

You think youíre

okay to talk now?

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

Yeah.  Iíll just lay here and

not move while I do it.

 

 

Gabrielle takes another bite of her breakfast while she considers her story.  Xena waits patiently, having seen this process in her Gabrielle before.  She knows when Gabrielle nods to herself, she will be ready to talk.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Several months ago, a call went out

through the city for scribes. I was

a scribe here in the temple, so I

had no choice in the matter.

I couldnít NOT go.  So I went.

 

She shrugs her shoulders and Xena nods understanding.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(contíd)

I was assigned to do some personal

writing for Xe... I mean, the Conqueror.

It was sporadic, though, and I was allowed

to keep my position as a temple scribe.

 

She stops to clear her throat, and Xena hands her another cup of water. 

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Thanks.  Uh, so I would go to the palace

whenever I was called, which was less

at first, but increasingly more often as

time wore on.  Slowly, she began to open

up to me, just the slightest little bit... until

she seemed... almost... human.  I thought

we were becoming... friends.

 

She snorts softly and hangs her head.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(contíd, bitterly)

I guess I was wrong.

 

 

Xena turns back to the table sheís been leaning against and begins mixing another dose of medicine.

 

XENA

(softly)

I donít think you were.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

(angrily)

Huh?  Look, Xe... um, Xena, I donít

know how friendship works where you

come from, but thatís not how friends

treat one another here.  We stand

by each other. We donít crucify them.

 

XENA

Wait.  Let me explain it another way.

 

Gabrielle waits, her arms folded across her chest.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

All right.  Iím listening.

 

Xena finishes stirring the medicine, and sets the preparation on the table.  Then she begins to pace the two steps between the table and the door.  She takes a deep breath and glances at Gabrielle, then turns her attention to the floor.

 

XENA

Do you know the story of

how soulmates were created?

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

Yes, of course.

 

XENA

Do you believe it?

(beat)

Do you believe in the

possibility of soulmates?

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

I... I... I donít know.  Iím not sure I

ever really considered the possibility.

 

XENA

What if I told you that they are

more than a possibility?  Would you

believe me if I told you they were real?

 

 

Gabrielle stares hard into Xenaís eyes, finding a truth there she never expected to see.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

You make me want to

believe it, but....

 

XENA

But itís hard isnít it?  Even

for you, here in this place.

(pausing)

The truth is, I think you scared

the Conqueror, and she reacted.

Ares put an idea in her mind, and

her fear convinced her it was true.

And now you suffer because if it.

 

Gabrielle sits silently, wondering at the relativity of the two conversations and pondering Xenaís words.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Ares told her she would lose

everything if she let you stay around.

(beat)

She dismissed you from

her service, didnít she?

 

She waits for Gabrielle to reluctantly nod her agreement.

 

XENA

(contíd)

So when you showed up yesterday

speaking out against her, she reacted

exactly the way sheís always done...

harshly and without apparent remorse.

 

Xena lifts the cup to her lips before the pungent medicinal scent reaches her nose.  She sets it down and lifts the water skin instead, taking a long draught.

 

XENA

(contíd)

I saw her face when she left the square.

You got to her, and she has no idea how

to handle someone being that close.

No one has been that far inside since Ly...

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

Lyceus died.  I can accept that, as far as

it goes, but how did I scare her?  I never....

 

XENA

(quietly)

Because, you are soulmates.  And that

possibility scares the life out of her.

 

 

Gabrielle smiles just a little at the tone in Xenaís voice.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

You sound like you speak from experience.

 

XENA

I do.  And it is at the same time the

most wonderfully fulfilling and

terrifying experience I have ever faced.

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

So you think Xe... the Conqueror

and I may be soulmates?

 

 

XENA

I think it is a real possibility.  It explains

a lot... especially why Ares needs you gone.

 

Gabrielle looks her question at Xena.

 

XENA

(contíd)

Ares knows you are the balance to

the darkness she maintains.  If you

are out of the picture, she is his.

But, if you are a part of her life....

 

REBEL GABRIELLE

I can see that I guess.  But I donít have

to like it or pretend to understand it.

 

XENA

No, but I think I may know a way

to fix it... to give you a chance

to become friends at least.

 

She sighs silently, and makes intense eye contact with Gabrielle.

 

XENA

(contíd)

The question is... do

you want me to try?

 

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. CORINTH MARKETPLACE - AFTERNOON

 

The market place is very colorful and busy, but surprisingly quiet.  Vendors do not hawk their wares, and business is transacted almost solemnly.  The palace sits in stately grandeur at one end of the market, and a lone figure can be seen standing on a balcony overlooking the city.

 

Xena, wearing an acolyteís robe and hood, meanders slowly through the shopping area.  She consults her lists and makes the occasional purchase, but this exercise is mostly to give her a layout of the grounds surrounding the palace.  Sheís inordinately pleased with the well thought out security the conqueror has arranged, even as she makes her plans to get around it later.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. CORINTH TEMPLE STEPS - LATE AFTERNOON

 

The priest is waiting on the steps as Xena approaches.  She continues up the steps and into the building as he accompanies her through the smaller atrium area.

 

XENA

How is Gabrielle?

 

PRIEST

Resting.  How did your

reconnaissance go?

 

XENA

Very well. I....

 

She stops speaking and straightens.  Aresí priest and four guards step from behind the divider wall.

 

 

ARESí PRIEST

So the Conqueror was right.  We

do have a traitor here.  Get them!!

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO