|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
INT. BEDROOM - LATE MORNING
Though it is late in the morning, Xena and Gabrielle are entwined on the bed, both apparently still deeply asleep.
Xena’s eyes pop open, alert and aware, a moment before a loud knock sounds on the door. Gabrielle lifts her head from her partner’s chest, blinking sleepily.
The knock sounds again.
Slipping from the bed and pulling the sheet over Gabrielle, Xena yanks on a shift and pads over to the door. Opening it slightly, she peers through the crack, eyes narrow.
Marcellas Flavias stands just outside the doorway, impeccably dressed as always, though looking a little flustered.
I’m sorry to have disturbed you,
Xena but…I need your help.
What is it?
Xena looks over her shoulder to see Gabrielle, fully dressed, standing beside the bed. Smiling slightly, she steps back, opening the door more fully and inviting Marcellas Flavias inside with a raised eyebrow.
It’s your louse, I’m afraid.
Gabrielle’s brow wrinkles.
You mean Loos?
Marcellas Flavias smiles.
Yes, though I do believe that
at this moment, my fellows
would agree that my pronunciation
of his name is a bit more apt.
What’s he gotten into now?
The better question might be what
hasn’t he gotten into. We’ve spent
the past two days preparing for the
Vulcanalia and he’s running rampant
through the streets, smashing statues
and defacing property. He’s completely
destroyed the fish catch that we were
going to offer in sacrifice, and
he’s even tried to water the wine!
It’s… not good. He’s escaped from
the constables twice now and I’m
afraid his life will be forfeit if he’s
caught again. Please, you must
restrain him. For his sake and ours.
After a moment, Xena nods.
We’ll do what we can.
Bowing to them both, she gracefully slips from the room, closing the door quietly behind her.
Don’t say it.
Just… Xena, if we were on a
deserted island in the middle of
nowhere, some madman on a
mission would manage to find us.
So let’s just find Loos, stick him
somewhere safe, and try to enjoy
what’s left of our vacation, ok?
Fine with me.
EXT. POMPEII - DAY
The street in front of the café looks as if a tornado has run through it. Carts are overturned, shards of broken statuary and jars litter the cobbled ground, wall paintings have been defaced with large black swaths of paint, and the citizens are red-faced with anger.
By the gods….
Looks like he’s been
at it for awhile.
I’m surprised they haven’t
strung him up somewhere by
now. Xena, when we leave,
I think we should take him with
us. He’s not… he’s not well.
First things first. Let’s go.
EXT. STREETS OF POMPEII - DAY
Loos’ rampant destruction makes it easy to track him, and Xena and Gabrielle waste no time in their task. When they finally catch up to him, he is surrounded by a crowd of screaming Pompeians thirsting for blood.
Xena and Gabrielle wade quickly into the melee plucking angry, toga-clad citizens out of the way as they go. Xena reaches him first and pulls him up from the ground where he’s fallen. His face is bloody; his body a mass of bruises and welts. His muddy toga has been rent at the seams and hangs off of his narrow body.
All right, that’s enough.
Back off?! Have you seen
what he’s done, Xena?
I see it. I also see what you’ve
done to him. Now back off.
He’s ruined our festival!
He’s destroyed our statues and
defaced our property! Our
sacrifice is gone! What will
we offer Vulcan in its stead?
Offer him nothing! The
gods you worship are
Xena slaps a hand over Loos’ mouth and glares at the rest of the men.
Start up a bonfire and
offer up the lunatic!!
The crowd cheers and begins to press forward again.
Don’t even think about it.
Her free hand drifts toward her chakram. The men notice and stop moving.
Gabrielle presses through and stands beside Xena. She eyes the men directly.
Please. It’s obvious this
man is… troubled.
Let us take him back to his
home and keep him there
for the rest of the day.
But what of the damage
We’ll… find a way to
make it up to you.
She looks around at the huge mess, and sighs.
Africanus grumbles, not willing to concede.
Will taking his life really
make things right?
Much shuffling of feet as the men look at one another slightly abashed.
I guess not. But please, make
sure he stays away from here.
This festival is very important to us.
We will. You have our word.
Stentonius looks to Xena, who nods.
Very well. But I’m warning you, Loos. If I spy so much as a hair on your head for the rest of the festival, I swear by Jupiter I’ll throw you into Vulcan’s fire myself.
With that, he gathers the rest of the men and stalks through the debris, muttering and grumbling.
Removing her hand from his mouth, Xena gives Loos a fierce glare. He swallows hard, but mercifully keeps his mouth shut.
INT. LOOS’ HOUSE - DAY
Entering the dark, dank, crumbling structure, Gabrielle picks a sticky cobweb from her face and hair with a shudder of revulsion. She blinks as her eyes slowly become accustomed to the darkness.
Wow. Talk about
your fixer uppers.
Xena pushes Loos through the doorway, then enters herself. Straightening back to her full height, she grabs the remains of his toga and yanks him across the room to a rickety table and chair sitting off to one side. As Gabrielle lights the few stubby candles scattered about the hovel, Xena pushes Loos down into the chair, then tilts his face up, assessing his injuries.
Gabrielle, get some clean
rags if you can find any, and
some water from the skin.
Gabrielle returns with the requested items. Loos remains uncharacteristically subdued as Xena tends to his injuries, wiping the blood and dirt from his face, chest and arms.
Her task complete, Xena tosses the filthy rag on the table.
With a final, piercing look, Xena stands up from the table, turns, and leaves the house.
Sighing softly, Gabrielle approaches the table and looks down at the beaten man.
Loos, why are you doing this?
I told you. For the God of Eve
and of Eli. For their sakes,
these people must be cleansed.
If that is what must be.
Gabrielle lays a gentle hand on his shoulder.
Loos, Eli was the kindest, most loving,
most gentle man I knew. He hated
violence. He would have given his
own life rather than harm anyone or
anything. Can’t you see that what
you’re doing in his name, what you’re
preaching and threatening, isn’t right?
It is right, Gabrielle. I am
doing as my God commands.
He makes as if to stand, but Gabrielle’s strong hand pins him in place.
Xena steps into the hovel and straightens a sneer on her face.
You really don’t want to make me
any angrier than I already am, my
friend, so be a nice little zealot
and pray or chant or whatever it is
you do, and don’t even think
about setting one foot outside
of this house until morning.
But you don’t understand!
Oh, I understand plenty. I
understand you’ve got two
choices. You either stay in
that chair of your own free
will... or I tie you to it.
Loos stares at her for a long moment, gauging her seriousness. Finally, his shoulders slump and he nods, defeated.
Satisfied, Xena crooks an eyebrow toward Gabrielle who smiles briefly and steps outside of the house behind her partner.
EXT. LOOS’ HOUSE - DAY
Sitting back against the crumbling stucco that makes up the outer walls of Loos’ home, Xena and Gabrielle look toward the city. They listen to the gaiety of the celebration heard in the music, and the good natured shouts, and the laughter of the people of Pompeii. Gabrielle turns her head to look at Xena’s profile.
Heck of a way to spend
our last day here, huh?
Could be worse.
Smirking, she lifts a skin heavy with sweet wine from the bushes where she’d hidden it.
We might not have had this.
Laughing happily, Gabrielle snatches the heavy skin from Xena’s grasp, uncaps it, and squirts a stream of liquid into her mouth, gulping noisily.
Mm. This stuff is great!
Give me that.
Grabbing the skin, Xena tilts her head back and helps herself to several tasty swallows of wine before handing it back. Gabrielle laughs and rests her head against Xena’s shoulder as she enjoys the fruits of Pompeii.
INT. LOOS’ HOUSE - NIGHT
Still sitting at the table, Loos has his hands clasped before him. His head is bowed and his lips move soundlessly in prayer.
From a swept out and reasonably clean corner of the room, Xena and Gabrielle watch him.
How long do you think
he’s going to keep that up?
Till morning, I hope.
She stiffens, and Gabrielle looks at her.
Xena holds up a hand, cocking her head. Recognizing the gesture, Gabrielle stills her breathing as she strains to pick up whatever sound Xena might be hearing.
A beat, then…
Xena moves to rise from her position on the floor, but Loos beats her to it, jumping to his feet, wide-eyed and full of energy.
Stay here, both of you!
I’ll take care of this!
Before either of them can move, he is gone.
EXT. LOOS’ HOUSE - NIGHT
A huge crowd of men and women surround the front of Loos’ home. Many of them are wearing fabulous costumes and carrying lit torches, chanting the names of Xena and Gabrielle.
Loos faces them, face red with anger, body tense with righteous indignation.
Begone from here,
Go back to your pits of
sin and defilement!
The God of Love’s judgment is
coming and his retribution will
be swift and painful! Go back
to your pits and pray! Pray
for his mercy! Repent!!
Get out of the way, Loos!
We don’t care about
you or your God.
We want your guests!
Bring out Xena and Gabrielle!
Never! I will not offer them up
to be further tainted by your
depravity! Leave now or
feel the wrath of my God!
Taking her cue, Xena ducks out of the hut before the Pompeians can take up Loos’ challenge. Gabrielle follows right behind. The crowd cheers at their presence.
Xena holds up her hands. The crowd quiets.
Thanks. We’re... uh....
She looks at Gabrielle.
by your enthusiasm.
The crowd cheers again.
But we’re gonna have
to decline your invitation.
Gabrielle steps forward.
It’s not that we don’t want to
join the party. It’s just that…
we have to get an early
start in the morning.
All the more reason for you
to celebrate with us tonight!
The crowd cheers.
Thanks, but… we can’t.
No. I’m really sorry.
We’ll see you tomorrow
before we leave, okay?
Realizing that their friends will not be swayed, the people finally sigh in resignation and slowly turn and walk back toward the city. They leave Xena, Gabrielle and Loos to stare after them.
Xena and Gabrielle exchange a sad, regretful look and duck back inside the house. Loos continues to stare after the departing crowd, grinning fiercely, the light in his eyes not quite sane.
INT. LOOS’ HOUSE - MORNING
The interior of the hut is still dark when Xena awakens. As she listens, the crazed cackling laughter that awoke her sounds again.
What was that?
Loos. He’s finally snapped.
Hopping to her feet, Xena pulls her partner up with her.
EXT. LOOS’ HOUSE - MORNING
As Xena and Gabrielle exit the house, they see Loos capering about and laughing like a madman. His toga is wrinkled and mud-spattered, his hair sticks up in greasy spikes. His eyes are rolling crazily in their sockets, lit as if from within.
I was right!! God’s judgment against
the evil of this city is at hand!! My
prayers have been answered!!!
Blessed be the God of Love and the
wonders he performs!!! Prepare to
meet your doom, citizens of Pompeii!!
Turning, he finally notices his two watchers. He laughs again.
Xena! Gabrielle! You thought
I was mad, didn’t you?
You thought I was crazy! Well you
were wrong! Come see! Come
see the wrath of the God of Eli
against this unholy city! Come see!!
Xena walks forward several steps, her gaze following Loos’ wildly pointing finger. Her eyes narrow then widen. Her lips part slightly.
Xena? What is it?
Son of a bacchae….
To Be Continued....
The cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Pompeii were
harmed well before the making of this motion picture.