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INT. JAIL CELL - NIGHT
Xena is lying on a cot. Gabrielle is leaning against the wall staring at the shimmering blue bars that hold them in.
Getting us arrested
was part of your plan?
Sighing, Gabrielle crosses the cell and takes a seat on the end of the cot.
Clue me in next time.
Next time I need to
get us arrested, I will.
Looking at their security?
Tight and powerful.
I trust the plan
has a second part.
I’m working on it.
And in the meantime?
Let’s sleep on it.
Gabrielle smiles and crawls between Xena and the wall to settle her head on Xena’s shoulder.
This is pretty good,
even for jail.
We’ve been in worse.
Placing a tender kiss to Xena’s cheek, Gabrielle snuggles in and closes her eyes. Xena remains awake and staring at the ceiling.
INT. JAIL CELL - MORNING
A tall, distinguished man enters the outer chamber of the cells. He stops just before the bars of the cell where Xena and Gabrielle are being held. He doesn’t seem the least bit surprised to see them both asleep in the same cot even though there are others that are available.
He waits patiently for a response. Slowly, taking her own time, Xena finally opens her eyes and turns her head.
Good morning. My name is
Gage. I’m your advocate.
Yes. For the charges
pending against you.
Drawing a deep breath, Xena slowly sits up, careful not to disturb Gabrielle.
They’re putting us on trial?
Yes, for two counts of assault.
I see. And if we lose?
You’ll probably be sentenced
to two years of working in the
mines. A year for each count.
So you get four years of
prisoner labor out of us
for defending ourselves.
If we lose.
And tell me….
She stands and walks with purpose to the bars that separate them
What are the chances
we will win?
I can’t say right now. I need
to talk to you and your friend,
and then speak to the prosecutor.
So we’re not guilty yet?
Not yet. That’s not the
way we do things here.
INT. OFFICE - LATE MORNING
Gage is sitting at a small table with Xena and Gabrielle, looking at notes he is taking while they have breakfast.
So you put this ‘pinch’
on the young men?
And this is a maneuver
you do with your hands.
Would you like us
Ah... no. Thank you.
Look, it’s mostly a
But it can kill?
It can, but if you take it off
in time, it’s mostly harmless.
Some people suffer
a mild nosebleed.
I see. Other than that
there are no side effects?
Not that we’re aware of.
So when will the trial start?
This afternoon. It will be
before a panel of judges
and shouldn’t take very long.
It generally doesn’t take
long to convict someone.
You’re not convicted yet and I think
we can show these fellows have
caused trouble before. I’ve talked
to three local merchants who have
had incidents with them in the past.
The only trouble I can see is that
they are claiming it was unprovoked.
Of course they are.
INT. COURTROOM - AFTERNOON
Gage, Xena and Gabrielle are seated at one table. The PROSECUTOR and the THREE MEN are seated at a table across the room, facing them. At a third table between them, THREE JUDGES dressed in red robes are preparing to hear the case.
In a small gallery, various members of the city including Soteres, Vera and Gedeon are watching and waiting.
We are here today to
investigate charges brought
against the topsiders….
He pauses as he looks down at a paper in front of him.
Xena and Gabrielle?
The three accusers, Ahban, Perico
and Birger are prepared to testify
against these topsiders?
The advocate for the young men stands, smoothing his silver robes before addressing the panel.
They are Magistrate. They will all
three testify to the same thing.
The three judges take a moment to confer and the third one, a woman with a very regal bearing turns her eyes to Xena and Gabrielle
We have spoken with Elders Soteres and
Vera and commander Gedeon. They all
seem to think that this situation was a terrible
misunderstanding between our citizens and
people not of this world. They think that we
should take into special consideration that you
two were brought here when you were in no
condition to protest. That you were told that
you would remain here and that you had been
among our people for less than one day.
That would be nice.
The woman is not amused at Xena and it shows in her eyes as she purses her lips before continuing.
As I understand it, you readily
admit to using this ‘pinch’ on
the accusers. Is that right?
Xena is about to say something, when both Gage and Gabrielle each take an arm to stop her.
That’s correct, Magistrate. They
do admit to doing it, but they
state it was self-defense.
We’ve read their statements,
Advocate Gage. Our concern is
this: while we must punish this
act of aggression we don’t wish to
make the punishment unreasonable.
The normal sentence for this crime
would be one year, per charge,
per accused. Therefore a four-year
sentence to the mines.
There is a slight commotion at the table where Gage sits. As Gedeon looks over he sees Gage and Gabrielle once again hanging onto Xena who looks like she’s ready to attack the entire room.
In consideration of all the factors,
we are willing to offer you a reduced
sentence. One year labor in the mines.
(whispering to Gage)
Do we have a choice?
Take it. Trust me. Take it.
Xena looks him in the eye to measure his sincerity. Once she determines he is making the best choice for them, she turns to Gabrielle.
This was not
part of my plan.
We can work with this.
I have no doubt.
Squeezing Gabrielle’s hand, Xena turns and nods to Gage.
We accept, Magistrate.
Then the sentence shall start in
three days time. The mining
foremen will take the time to train
and equip them so that they can
perform their duties safely.
Gedeon, take them into
custody. Court adjourned.
INT. MINING OFFICE - MORNING - THREE DAYS LATER
Gedeon stands with two guards, watching as the mine foreman hand new clothes to Xena and Gabrielle.
These are the uniforms you need to
wear while working in the mines.
They are waterproof and will keep
you warm in the water. We can heat
the area somewhat, but not enough
to keep you from freezing to death.
He gestures to a curtained off area.
You can change in there.
With twin sighs, they move behind the curtain.
INT. MINING OFFICE - A FEW MINUTES LATER
Stepping out from behind the curtain Xena and Gabrielle are dressed in what passes for wetsuits. It’s clear neither of them is happy with the close fit of the clothes.
I know it’s uncomfortable at first,
but trust me... you’ll be glad you have
them when you’re in the water.
He hands them footwear that completes the outfit.
As they slip into the boots, the foreman turns to Gedeon.
I think I can take it from here.
I’ve handled prisoners before.
The guards have orders to
shoot them on site if they give
you trouble or try to escape.
They’ll be fine. I’m sure you
have things to attend to.
Gedeon nods and leaves the office, taking his guards with him.
Guard this door.
The foreman watches from a window until Gedeon is out of site. Then he retrieves a long dark duffle bag from inside a large chest. He slides it across the floor to Xena.
Put your regular clothes in there.
Xena gathers up the bundles of clothes and opens the bag to find all their weapons and her armor.
Look, we don’t have time for a
lot of talking. If you two want to
get out of here, you’ll do exactly
as I say when I say it and you’ll look
like model prisoners. Understand?
Yes, but where are you going
to take us that Gedeon and
his goon won’t find us?
END OF ACT THREE