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INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Gabrielle draws a slow deep breath and blinks her eyes until they are finally focused on the room around her. The walls seem to be shimmering with bluish silver light but she canít quite make out more than that in her current state.
Her hand travels over the soft bedding until she finds Xenaís hand. She turns her head to find her partner sleeping soundly next to her. She knows immediately that Xena is alive by the gentle rise and fall of her chest. Reassured and comforted by what she does know at the moment, that they are alive and together, Gabrielle closes her eyes to rest.
INT. BEDROOM - SOMETIME LATER
Xena awakes this time, apparently feeling much better as she sits up immediately and tries to take in everything around her. After a quick examination of the room she determines there is no immediate threat. Her attention is drawn to Gabrielle, who is now curled up on her side with her arms wrapped around a pillow.
Xena reaches out and touches a bandage on Gabrielleís forehead. Her brows draw together as her finger traces strips of something sheís not familiar with that appear to be holding the bandage in place. Suddenly she realizes that sheís not in the best shape of her life either.
Lowering the blanket covering her and Gabrielle, she finds a large white bandage on her side. Itís held on with the same kind of strips that are completely intriguing to her. She tries to remove her bandage, and hisses when the tape pulls at her skin.
Son of a Bacchae!
The curse brings Gabrielle out of her slumber. She sits up, immediately concerned by the look on Xenaís face.
Are you in pain?
Hell yes! What is this?
She points to her side, causing Gabrielle to notice.
Oh funny. I mean the
stuff holding it on.
Gabrielle fingers the one edge of the tape.
Yes, I am aware of that.
It takes the skin with it
when you remove it.
The skin it still there, Xena.
It must sting a little.
It stings a lot.
Maybe we should
put it back?
Xena nods and lays back so Gabrielle can press the bandage back into place. She glares at Gabrielleís little smile.
Donít be so smug; you
have one on your forehead.
Gabrielleís fingers travel to her forehead.
And itís right on your hairline.
That should be fun.
Gabrielle decides to ignore Xenaís comment as she pulls the blanket over her nude body.
Where are we?
I have no idea.
We survived, right?
Oh yeah, trust me. No
Ďother sideí has soft
beds and silk sheets.
Gabrielle gets up from the bed, wrapping a blanket around her body as she makes her way to a corner of the room where a small table has been prepared with several types of food. Taking a seat at the table, she samples food from several different plates before she notices Xena staring at her.
Iíll bet if we had died,
youíd have gone to the
other side hungry.
Come join me and stop
being such a grouch.
This lamb is wonderful.
Xena wraps the sheet around her body and takes a seat next to Gabrielle.
So, how long do we wait
before we go exploring
and find out where we are?
Xena picks through the food before answering.
Obviously weíre not in any
immediate danger. They
wouldnít save our lives
to hurt us later.
Gabrielle stops in mid bite and puts the food back on her plate, staring at it.
One wordÖ. Cannibals.
Xena chuckles, pushing Gabrielleís plate back to her.
Does this look like a place
where cannibals live?
Maybe theyíre neat cannibals.
Eat. After weíve rested a bit
more, weíll see if we can find
something to wear besides
the bedclothes and try
to locate our host.
INT. COUNSUL ROOM - SAME DAY
Several men and women are seated around a large oval table. They are talking quietly among themselves and there seems to be a very serious current to their conversations. Finally, after a few minutes, an older woman taps a small crystal on the table to get the attention of the others.
As you are all aware, we have a very
serious problem right now that we need
to address. Aias and Phaidon brought
two strangers here. They were absolutely
correct in bringing these women to our
home. They had no choice in the matter
in adherence to our laws, but now we
are faced with what to do with them.
An elderly gentleman with a long gray beard and a ponytail of the same color running down his back, seems to consider her words as he strokes his beard.
I think we must try and persuade them
to remain here with us. It is the wisest
course of action, since allowing them
to return topside is nearly impossible.
And if they donít wish to stay?
Then Vera and I will decide
if it is time to hand them over
to you and the military.
Seems we are caught between a rock
and a hard place. On hand we canít
see any harm come to them, because
our laws forbid us to, but on the other
we canít let them leave because they
could give us away to the topsiders.
It is indeed a difficult position we are
in. Before we consider any options,
we should talk with our guests and
see how reasonable they are.
Gedeon, are they still sleeping?
The general turns to a small screen in the table and presses a few buttons. The screen comes to life and shows Xena and Gabrielle rummaging through the cabinets in their room.
No sir, they are awake
and appear to be looking
for their clothes.
What did you do with
We took them. The tall one was
wearing armor, primitive, but armor
nonetheless and weapons. She
must certainly be a warrior topside.
The fair-haired one had a pair of
defensive weapons. They appear
to be fairly harmless, but Iím sure in
the right hands they could be deadly.
Do you think hers
are the right hands?
Iím sure of it. Our technology gives
us weapons these two could not
even dream about, but it also give
us a disadvantage when dealing
with topsiders. They are far more
cunning because they have to be.
We just point and destroy; they must
have plans, with options and
contingencies in their warfare. They
adapt quickly to any situation and
can be quite deadly when provoked.
Then let us not provoke them.
A wise decision I think.
Let us talk with them and
hopefully reason with them.
Perhaps when they see the
riches and the advancements
our world has to offer they
will stay without argument.
Perhaps, but donít count on it.
People from the topside world
can be frightened and mistrustful
of things they do not understand.
This may spur them to fight to escape.
They canít escape from Atlantis
and live to see the surface.
INT. BEDROOM - CONCURRENT
Xena sits at the table, drumming her fingers and looking very irritated. Gabrielle closes the door on the cabinet and turns to her partner.
Sheets are fashionable?
As Gabrielle is about to reply, there is a knock on the door and they both stand to face it. Both of them look as if theyíre prepared for a fight.
The door slides to the right revealing Soteres, Vera and Gedeon. They step inside and the door slides closed behind them.
Welcome to Atlantis, friends.
I am Soteres. This is
Vera and Gedeon.
Iím Xena. This is Gabrielle.
Welcome, Xena and Gabrielle.
I have your clothes.
He steps forward with their clothes all neatly folded in one hand and their boots in the other. He places the items on the table between them.
We had them cleaned for you.
Thank you. Where are
my armor and weapons?
Iím afraid we had to keep them
for the time being, Xena. Surely
you understand. You are strangers
to us. We are a peaceful people,
and we wish no trouble. Two of
our young men found you on the
beach, close to death. They
brought you here and our
staff saw to your needs.
Gabrielle and I are grateful for your
assistance. The ship on which we
were traveling was caught up in a
storm and broken apart. Without
your help, we would have died, but
if you will be so kind as to return
my armor and our weapons,
weíll be on our way.
Well you see, thereís the problem.
If you leave, you could jeopardize
the lives of everyone who lives here.
And you understand we
canít allow that.
And you donít seem to understand
itís a bad idea to try and keep Xena
someplace she doesnít want to stay.
You donít know that you donít want
to stay here. Let us show you our
world. We have much to offer.
Things the likes of which you have
never seen before. You may
find our home to your liking.
Where the people are prisoners?
Somehow I donít think so.
Our people are not prisoners
Xena, but they understand the
need for secrecy. They do not
speak of their home when they
are among your people.
My people? Arenít they
your people too?
No. We are different.
Please, before you make
any judgments about us, let
us show you our world and
explain it to you. Please?
Just a second.
Xena and Gabrielle turn their backs, taking a few steps away from the elders.
Have a look around?
I think so. If there is a way out
of here, we need to find it.
Gabrielle nods her agreement and they turn their attention back to the trio.
Weíd love to have
a look around.
END OF ACT ONE