Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT ONE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. POMPEII - DAY

 

Gabrielle follows the direction of Xenaís penetrating gaze, and sees Vesuvius in all its majestic glory.  Above its crown, a plume of white hangs glittering in the slowly rising sun.

 

GABRIELLE

Thatís just mist, right?

 

 

She looks at Xena, whose expression is unchanged.  High in the sky, a large flock of birds suddenly wheels away from Vesuvius like a fast moving cloud and flies very quickly in the opposite direction, crying out their fright.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Itís not mist.  Xena,

please, whatís going on?

 

Loos halts his insane capering and comes to stand next to her.

 

LOOS

Xena knows, Gabrielle. She

knows. Even the birds of the

air know.  Godís judgment

is coming, and quickly, too.

(beat, louder)

Did you hear that, Pompeii?!

Be prepared to meet your doom!

 

GABRIELLE

Xena....

 

Xena finally blinks, and turns.

 

XENA

Grab him. Iíll get our gear.

We need to go. Now.

 

GABRIELLE

But....

 

She finds herself talking to air.

 

Frustrated beyond belief, Gabrielle clenches her fists and raises her face to the sky.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd, yelling)

What in Tartarus is

going on here?!?!?

 

 

A moment later, Xena ducks back out of the house with their meager belongings in hand.  She looks to Gabrielle, then to the still insanely cackling Loos, then back to her partner.  Her eyebrow arches.

 

Gabrielle crosses her arms and taps her foot.

 

XENA

Gabrielle, we need to go.

 

GABRIELLE

And I need answers.  Please.

Whatís happening here?

 

Letting go a soft sigh, Xena crosses the distance between them and, setting gentle hands on Gabrielleís shoulders, once again turns her toward Vesuvius.

 

XENA

Vesuvius isnít a mountain.

 

 

Gabrielle flicks her gaze over her shoulder, her expression one of patent disbelief.

 

GABRIELLE

(drawling)

OkayÖso, what is it if

itís not a mountain?

 

XENA

Itís a volcano.

 

GABRIELLE

A volcano.... Oh, I get it.

Vulcan, volcano, very good.

 

XENA

This isnít a joke, Gabrielle.

I saw something very much

like this during my time in Chin.

 

GABRIELLE

What happened?

 

XENA

The top of the volcano blew off in a

massive explosion. It was like nothing

Iíd ever seen before.  The ground

trembled beneath our feet from the

force of it.  Liquid fire flew into the

sky higher than Mount Olympus, then

rolled down the sides of the volcano

like a burning river, killing everything

it touched.  Choking black ash fell like

a blizzard, turning day into the blackest

night.  Thousands died as I watched,

consumed in a flood of fire and ash.

 

GABRIELLE

(whispering)

By the gods....

 

XENA

Thatís why we must leave now.  Our

only hope of outrunning it is to get

to the harbor and flee by boat.  Weíll

take as many people along as we

can, but we need to hurry.

 

LOOS

Donít bother with the evil inhabitants

of this unholy city, Xena. Theyíre

doomed.  They chose to seal their

ears against my message and....

 

XENA

And Iím gonna choose to seal

your lips if you donít shut up

and come with us.  Now.

 

A hard yank to his toga, and Loos does just that.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. VIA DELíABBONDONZA - DAY

 

Yet again, Pompeiiís main thoroughfare is a scene of utter chaos.  This time, however, it is the cityís animals that are causing all the carnage.  Sensing the oncoming danger, horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, and a host of other creatures make a desperate bid for freedom.  They overturn carts, trample produce, people, and even each other in their terror to get away.

 

Half dressed, disheveled men, most hung-over from the festivities the night before, stand around in dazed confusion as the animals continue to run riot.

 

One of the men, Africanus, stares dumbly at a broken rope that had once tethered his prized goat.

 

Shoving Loos into Gabrielleís arms, Xena grabs Africanus by the toga and shakes him roughly.

 

He looks up at her, dazed.

 

AFRICANUS

She was my best goat.

 

XENA

Never mind the goat.  You need to

gather your family and make for

the harbor, as fast as you can.

 

 

AFRICANUS

(confusedly)

What does the harbor have

to do with my goat?

 

XENA

Your goat ran away because

it knows something that

you apparently donít.

 

AFRICANUS

And what might that

be, pray tell?

 

XENA

Vesuvius is gonna blow sky

high and anyone left in this city

is gonna be nothing but ash.

 

He looks at her for a moment.  Then a chuckle sounds deep within his chest, followed by several more, until he is doubled over laughing.

 

AFRICANUS

VesuviusÖ blowing sky high.

Oh, XenaÖ Iím sorry butÖ

youíre mad.

 

LOOS

She tells nothing but the truth,

you minion of Satan!  The God

of Loveís judgment is soon

to fall upon your head!

 

Africanusí laughter only gets louder.

 

XENA

(grimly)

Címon, Gabrielle.  We donít

have time for this.

 

GABRIELLE

Africanus, please. Xena is

telling you the truth!

 

Africanus straightens, wiping the tears from his eyes.

 

AFRICANUS

Iím sorry, Gabrielle.  I like you,

I really do.  Take care of the

Warrior Princess, yes?  Itís

obvious sheís succumbed

to her friendís insanity.

 

Before she can say more, Africanus turns away and picks his way through the debris, searching for his goat.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. BARD ROCK CAF… - DAY

 

XENA

Iíll go back and get our things.

See if you can talk Marcellas

Flavias into coming with us.

 

 

GABRIELLE

Iíll try.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. BARD ROCK CAF… - DAY

 

Oblivious to the chaos just outside, Marcellas Flavias prepares the cafť for a new day.  She turns, smiling as Gabrielle enters.

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

Gabrielle!  Welcome!

You were missed at the

festival last night.

 

GABRIELLE

(hurriedly)

Marcellas Flavias, I need for

you to come with me. Now.

 

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

What?  Where?

 

GABRIELLE

Please. Just come with me.

I donít have time....

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

The cafťís just about to

open, Gabrielle.  I canít go

anywhere right now.  Iím sor....

 

GABRIELLE

Mount Vesuvius is about

to erupt.  If you stay here,

youíll be killed.

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

Mount Vesu....

 

She smiles.

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

It was a mistake for you to spend

the night in Loosí company, I think.

Gabrielle, the priests have assured

us that Vulcan was pleased with

our sacrifice.  Have no fear.

Pompeii is quite safe.

 

Desperately, Gabrielle grabs Marcellas Flavias by the arm and pulls her outside.  The older woman frowns as she sees the chaos in the street.

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

(contíd)

Whatís happening here?

Loos again?

 

GABRIELLE

The animals.  They know dangerís

coming, Marcellas Flavias.  They

know it, and so does Xena.

Please, we need to get to the

harbor.  Itís our only chance.

 

The woman pulls gently away and looks sadly at Gabrielle

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

Iím sorry, Gabrielle.

I canít leave.  My cafť....

 

GABRIELLE

There wonít be any cafť.

Donít you understand?

This city is doomed!

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

But....

 

GABRIELLE

Look up at the top of Vesuvius.

What do you see?

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

A bit of mist.  A small cloud.

This kind of thing....

 

GABRIELLE

A cloud?  Do you see any

other clouds around?

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

No, but....

 

GABRIELLE

Itís not a cloud. Itís not mist.

That mountain is getting ready

to erupt. Xena is never wrong

about this kind of thing.  Never.

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

Iím sorry....

 

 

GABRIELLE

Look.  If weíre wrong, what have

you lost?  A couple of hours?

Iím sure your patrons will forgive

you.  But if weíre right....  Please.

 

After a long moment, Marcellas Flavias finally nods.

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

Fine.  Iíll agree to your request,

but you must help me take

down these scrolls.  I wonít

leave without them.

 

GABRIELLE

We donít have time!

 

MARCELLAS FLAVIAS

I wonít leave without them!

 

Gabrielle sighs.

 

GABRIELLE

Fine.  Just hurry.  Please.

 

Laden with their baggage, Xena steps into the cafť, frowning as she watches Marcellas Flavias and Gabrielle hurriedly pluck scrolls from the walls and stuff them into large sacks.

 

XENA

Whatís going on?

 

GABRIELLE

She wonít leave without them.

 

Xena takes two strides forward before her motion is halted by an ominous rumbling.  Suddenly, the ground bucks beneath their feet, throwing Marcellas Flavias and Gabrielle hard to the ground.  Barely keeping her own balance, Xena walks forward tentatively. 

 

The shaking stops, then a second, much stronger, tremor shakes the building and, with an ominous crack, part of the ceiling comes down, directly on top of the two fallen women.

 

XENA

GABRIELLE!!  GABRIELLE!!!

 

 

FADE OUT.
 

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO