|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
INT. BEDCHAMBER - DAY
Gabrielle is standing before a long polished piece of metal that passes for a mirror. She is adjusting a leather top that is supposed to pass for a set of Amazon leathers.
I should have kept
my old ones.
She tries again to adjust her cleavage in the top and still isnít satisfied.
doing this again?
Xena starts ticking points off on her fingers.
One, youíre an Amazon
Queen. Two, I had to
pose for the artist. Three....
I get it. Itís my turn.
And the story is what?
I think the real story
works. Weíll just
substitute you for Rhea.
All right. I can live with that.
Now... what else do I
need to pull this off?
She stands staring at her reflection and a wicked grin plays across her face. Slowly she turns to Xena.
Oh, you think so, do ya?
Most definitely. Not really a
slave per se, but more like a
general servant. You know,
my fetch and carry gal.
Xena grins and grabs for Gabrielle, catching her around the wrist and pulling her in to lift her up into her arms.
Iíll show you fetch and carry.
(laughing and squirming)
Xena! Stop! Put me down!
INT. DINING ROOM Ė EVENING
Valius, Palaemon and Vidalus are all sitting, standing or pacing about the room each of them taking a turn at one action or the other, looking somewhat like a dance.
Where are they?
Getting ready. They said they
had to see if they could come
up with a proper Amazon outfit.
If you want this to work Vallie,
trust them. They know what
theyíre doing. They were doing
this before you were born.
And Gabrielle really is an
Amazon Queen. That
should impress Dameus.
You donít think theyíll
give it away do you?
Even by accident?
Not a chance. Once
they have a plan, itís
as good as gold.
The door opens and they enter. Gabrielle is in leathers that have been decorated and now are as close to authentic as they can get on such short notice. Xena on the other hand is dressed in a VERY skimpy leather skirt and halter. If there was any less of the outfit, it would be napkins.
Val immediately takes notice. Palaemon isnít completely disinterested. Vidalus is completely nonplussed. It takes a minute for any of them to form words.
This will work.
INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING
They are eating in relative silence... only the sound of clinking goblets and plates is heard. Xena takes a sip of her wine and gently clears her throat.
Weíve been thinking.
All eyes turn to her except for Gabrielle who continues to eat the food on her plate. Itís clear sheís heard this plan and is waiting to hear what they think.
Gabrielle and I both feel that itís
important that Vidalus is a part
of the meeting between the families.
Vidalus is all smiles. Palaemon even manages a grin as he leans forward to listen. Val doesnít look so sure.
So what weíre going to do
is make him more... presentable.
Gabrielle looks up quickly and smiles at him.
Not that we donít think you are now.
Xena and I think youíre wonderful,
but weíre concerned about Dameus.
If he suspects anything is out of
the ordinary, it could cause
him to call off the wedding.
That would be the
least of our problems.
For you maybe.
Now, Vallie I didnít
mean it that way.
Face it Valius. Dameus has the
ability to flatten your fatherís
kingdom in less than two days.
Now I know you love this girl, but
you must think of your family too.
Val nods, suddenly finding his wine interesting. When Xena has chastised you, you stay chastised.
So, Xena will be working with
Vidalus to help him pass muster
while Dameus is here.
after the wedding?
Youíll be married. Once
Dameus gets his hands
on your fatherís gold, Iím
sure nothing else will matter.
So, Xena whatís
our first lesson?
Xena looks up just in time to see him dabbing the corners of his mouth with his napkin.
Well for starters, stop that.
EXT. GARDENS - MORNING
Xena is pacing back and forth. She is in her regular leathers and armor, but without her weapons. Her sword and chakram are lying on the same bench where Vidalus and Gabrielle sat the day before.
She is about to get really irritated when Vidalus joins her. Her irritation quickly dissolves into something she canít quite put her finger on, but it resembles trepidation. Vidalus is dressed in long flowing multicolored robes. All his fingers are adorned with rings, and around his neck are several necklaces of various precious stones and metals.
Gods help me.
Vidalus stops and looks at the expression on Xenaís face. He gives a quick glance around and then at himself.
Iím not even sure
where to start.
She looks him up and down for a moment then makes a decision.
All right, first the jewelry has to
go. No man would be caught
dead wearing it. Hiding it in
a cave somewhere maybe,
but not wearing it.
Do you want my help or not?
Yes, Iím sorry.
Get rid of the jewelry.
And the robes. We need to get
you more suitable attire. A
merchant perhaps. Palaemon
does enough trade that it would
be believable that a member of
his family is the trade ambassador.
This is the finest silk from Ch....
Xena holds up her finger and makes a noise that sounds something like Ďnoí, but even the short word is clipped and direct.
I suppose next is your walk.
Whatís wrong with the way I
walk? I put one foot in front
of the other just like you do.
No you donít. I walk with long
strides. You scurry like a girl.
You need to learn to walk
like a man. Like this.
Xena takes a few steps forward. Her stride is long, steady and very masculine. Her arms move very little. After taking a few paces back and forth she stops in front of him.
Can you do that?
Well, itís not difficult!
He takes a few steps, which start out fine, but quickly degenerate into a near run with his hands pulled up in front of his chest.
No. No, no, no. You have
toÖ toÖ swagger. Thatís
it you need to swagger.
Iíve never swaggered in my life.
No kidding. All right, letís forget
the walk for now; weíll deal with
that later. Can you hold a sword?
One of Vidalusí hands goes to his hip, while the other gestures through the air.
What do you think?
EXT. GARDEN - AFTERNOON
Gabrielle is moving through the garden, taking the time to stop and smell the flowers. She happens upon Xena who is facing a tree with her forehead resting against it.
You havenít been beating
your head against that
defenseless tree have you?
I considered it.
Is he hopeless?
Only if he wants to walk or
talk while theyíre here.
Gabrielle canít help herself and makes a sound that was suppose to be a laugh but comes out as more of a snort, directly from her sinuses.
Xena slowly looks up from the tree.
Well, that was attractive.
Do you have any
I could kidnap Vidalus and
keep him hidden until itís over.
It would break his heart.
I know. Weíre just going
to have to do our best
with what weíve got.
more with less.
Not by much.
EXT. PALACE GROUNDS - DAY
Everyone is in place as they await the arrival of the royal caravan. Val is handsomely dressed in his best tunic. Palaemon is in royal regalia befitting his position. Vidalus is trying to look comfortable in a pair of soft doeskin trousers, knee boots and white shirt with a tan vest. There is a hat perched crookedly on his head that Xena finally had to concede to... much as she hated it.
Gabrielle stands in her Amazon gear, with a long cloak to ward off a slight breeze that is blowing. Xena is back in her napkins, only this time with a pair of thigh high black boots. Her eyes roll slightly to the right as she feels Gabrielle looking at her.
Iíll get you for this.
Gabrielle merely bites her lips to hide her smile as she looks forward at the approaching caravan.
Two carriages, surrounded by a dozen well-armed guards pull through the gate and stop just a few feet away from the group.
Palaemon and Vidalus watch as Valís eyes light up when a servant assists Alicia from the second carriage. They are so wrapped up in watching him they almost make the first error in dealing with Dameus by not paying him the proper respect as he exits the first carriage.
Gabrielle makes the save by stepping forward.
Your Majesty, I am Queen Gabrielle
of the Amazons. On behalf of
King Palaemon and my son Prince
Valius of Magara we welcome you.
Dameus takes a moment to look Gabrielle over very appreciatively and take her hand to bestow a kiss to it.
Delighted, Your Majesty. I am glad
you could make the long journey
from your tribe to be here. I have
always been impressed with
Palaemonís ties to your nation.
Your warriors are legendary.
Thank you. Please
allow me to introduce you.
Turning she gestures to each one.
This is of course, Valiusí father,
King Palaemon. Valius you know,
of course. This is Valiusí Uncle
Vidalus. He is the kingís most senior
and trusted trade ambassador.
Everyone holds their breath as the two men shake hands. When Dameus doesnít appear to be taken aback in any way they all give silent thanks and let go of breaths they donít realize theyíre holding.
Dameus then notices Xena.
Palaemon, youíve provided
entertainment. How kind of you.
Actually, Your Majesty,
She pauses and Xena knows sheís trying to come up with a good name for her servant.
Nikias. She is my
Youíre not traveling
Why would I need guards?
Iím here for my sonís wedding.
Besides... Nikias was a gift to
me from Artemis. If something
arises that I canít take care
of myself, she certainly
will deal with it.
Dameus gives Xena another look and decides not to test Gabrielleís word.
Shall we adjourn inside?
We can find your quarters
and prepare for dinner tonight?
Xena and Gabrielle hang back and watch as the others head inside. Xena seems pleased that Vidalus is managing to not be his normal self.
I think weíre going to make it.
The evening isnít over yet.
You had to point that
out, didnít you?
Come, Nikias. Letís not
keep our guests waiting.
INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING
Everyone is seated at the table except for Xena, who is standing right behind Gabrielleís chair. As servants place large trays on the table, Xena takes Gabrielleís plate and begins placing various items on it after tasting each one first. Itís a good show and Dameus is properly impressed.
Would you be interested
in selling her?
No, sheís been pretty good
to me. I think Iíll keep her.
Gabrielle nearly spits her wine across the table as Palaemon and Vidalus have a hard time keeping their faces neutral. Alicia smiles and looks to Gabrielle.
Youíll excuse me for saying so,
Your Majesty, but you seem much
too young to be Valís mother.
More gifts from the Gods.
Yes, I can honestly say Gabrielle
doesnít look much older than she
did the very first time I saw her.
So tell me Gabrielle, why have
the Amazons left the region?
I must do what is best for my tribes.
They have been relocated. They are
by nature nomads who move from
place to place. It was natural that
they would eventually leave.
Gabrielle leans nearer Dameus and smiles nicely, but with warning.
I assure you that we are never
really far away and if Palaemon
were to call on me, I would be here.
Oh, there will be no worries about
that. In an exchange of wedding
gifts, Iíll see to it that Palaemon
and the kingdom are well protected.
And heíll see to it
your treasury is full.
Seems an equal trade to me.
Gold buys power, you know.
Xena raises a brow and is about to say something when Gabrielle places a hand on her arm.
You know Dameus, Nikias is my
champion. Perhaps tomorrow if
you would like, you two could spar.
Oh could we, please? That would
just make my day. Why, I havenít
had a good tussle in days.
I would be delighted to see
what you can do. Iím sure
youíve been well trained.
Before anyone notices, Gabrielle catches Xenaís hand to stop her from plunging the knife sheís gripping between Dameusí eyes.
(through gritted teeth)
Put it down!
She shakes the knife loose as the other guests are beginning to take notice. Vidalus leans over and whispers in Palaemonís ear.
And you were worried
END OF ACT THREE