|Episode Guide||Teaser||Act 1||Act 2||Act 3||Act 4|
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.
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.
Itís not mist. Xena,
please, whatís going on?
Loos halts his insane capering and comes to stand next to her.
Xena knows, Gabrielle. She
knows. Even the birds of the
air know. Godís judgment
is coming, and quickly, too.
Did you hear that, Pompeii?!
Be prepared to meet your doom!
Xena finally blinks, and turns.
Grab him. Iíll get our gear.
We need to go. Now.
She finds herself talking to air.
Frustrated beyond belief, Gabrielle clenches her fists and raises her face to the sky.
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.
Gabrielle, we need to go.
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.
Vesuvius isnít a mountain.
Gabrielle flicks her gaze over her shoulder, her expression one of patent disbelief.
OkayÖso, what is it if
itís not a mountain?
Itís a volcano.
A volcano.... Oh, I get it.
Vulcan, volcano, very good.
This isnít a joke, Gabrielle.
I saw something very much
like this during my time in Chin.
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.
By the gods....
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.
Donít bother with the evil inhabitants
of this unholy city, Xena. Theyíre
doomed. They chose to seal their
ears against my message and....
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.
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.
She was my best goat.
Never mind the goat. You need to
gather your family and make for
the harbor, as fast as you can.
What does the harbor have
to do with my goat?
Your goat ran away because
it knows something that
you apparently donít.
And what might that
be, pray tell?
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.
VesuviusÖ blowing sky high.
Oh, XenaÖ Iím sorry butÖ
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.
Címon, Gabrielle. We donít
have time for this.
Africanus, please. Xena is
telling you the truth!
Africanus straightens, wiping the tears from his eyes.
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.
EXT. BARD ROCK CAF… - DAY
Iíll go back and get our things.
See if you can talk Marcellas
Flavias into coming with us.
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.
You were missed at the
festival last night.
Marcellas Flavias, I need for
you to come with me. Now.
Please. Just come with me.
I donít have time....
The cafťís just about to
open, Gabrielle. I canít go
anywhere right now. Iím sor....
Mount Vesuvius is about
to erupt. If you stay here,
youíll be killed.
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.
Whatís happening here?
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
Iím sorry, Gabrielle.
I canít leave. My cafť....
There wonít be any cafť.
Donít you understand?
This city is doomed!
Look up at the top of Vesuvius.
What do you see?
A bit of mist. A small cloud.
This kind of thing....
A cloud? Do you see any
other clouds around?
Itís not a cloud. Itís not mist.
That mountain is getting ready
to erupt. Xena is never wrong
about this kind of thing. Never.
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.
Fine. Iíll agree to your request,
but you must help me take
down these scrolls. I wonít
leave without them.
We donít have time!
I wonít leave without them!
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.
Whatís going on?
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.
END OF ACT ONE