Athens City Academy of the Performing Bards


TEASER

Clips from "The Path Not Taken."

DRUNK (voice-over)
Wait! Wait!

Xena freezes in mid-fight.

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Gabrielle tells a tale in a tavern.

DRUNK
Just hold it there a minute!

GABRIELLE
Y--you know it's not polite to interrupt a bard when
she's relating a heroic tale.

DRUNK
But you said it was day!

GABRIELLE
Excuse me?

DRUNK
It was morning when this Xena lady got loose.
So it was day, not night.

GABRIELLE
Right.

EXTRA
That's right.

GABRIELLE
Very well. Day.

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Clips from "The Reckoning."

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
And out of nowhere, Xena came upon a fierce,
hooded warrior, who had just laid waste to a
group of villagers. She fought valiantly until
he vanished. She tended the wounds of a fallen
man. She did everything she could to help, but...

XENA
Press down on this as hard as you can. We've
got to stop the bleeding.

TERESIA
No! Stay away from him. Haven't you got
enough blood on your hands?

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
The villagers believed that she had killed
their friends.

EXTRA
Look at her.

GABRIELLE
Nobody here cares that she didn't kill anyone.
Nobody cares that she was only trying to help.
Nobody believes that she fought the real
murderer. All you care about is executing someone.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
But they refused to listen.

EXTRA
You'll get what you deserve.

PALINIOS
Everybody! Hear me, my friends.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Until...

PALINIOS
This brave and noble woman, she was the last
thing I saw, battling a cowardly hooded man who
attacked us. She fought him for our lives, though
we were total strangers. Truly, I say she is the
very soul of goodness. And we thank her, with
all our hearts.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
And with that, they knew the real Xena.

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Tavern. Everyone claps. Some people give Gabrielle dinars.

EXTRA
Great story. Nice job.

GABRIELLE
Thank you.

ORION
That was really good.

GABRIELLE
Thanks.

EXTRA
That was beautiful.

ORION
Who trained you?

GABRIELLE
Trained me? Oh, no one, mmm, not in the classical
sense. I just, I like stories.

ORION
And you're going to the competition?

GABRIELLE
What competition?

ORION
The bard competition for the Athens City Academy
of the Performing Bards. Only the top four
contestants will get an invitation.

Polonis, Orion's father enters.

ORION
I'm--I'm hoping I'll be one of them.

GABRIELLE
You tell stories, too?

POLONIUS
Yes, he does. But he doesn't have time to tell
them now.

ORION
Dad, she's great. I was just telling her she
should sign up.

POLONIUS
It's not nice to give someone false hopes, son.
I'm sure your story was cute.

GABRIELLE
"Cute"?

POLONIUS
But the Academy only takes talented individuals.
The roster is already full. And besides, being a
bard is not for young ladies. Stories of housework
are just not popular. (to Orion) Come on.

Orion and Polonius leave.

GABRIELLE
"Stories about housework." "Cute."

Xena enters.

XENA
I just talked to this guy from Keremus. There's
a Cyclops there stealing cattle from the local
farmers. We can be there by tomorrow morning.
I guess I don't have to ask you if you're interested.

GABRIELLE
How far is it to Athens?

END OF TEASER



ACT ONE

Xena and Gabrielle are sitting at a table in the tavern.

GABRIELLE
I have always wanted to study at the Academy.
And I might finally have my chance.

XENA
Are you sure it's not just to show up this guy's father?

GABRIELLE
Well, okay, so he irks me a bit. But this is the
Academy. Am I supposed to pass up my
shot at a dream come true?

XENA
Nope. No one should pass up their dreams.
How long would you be gone?

GABRIELLE
Oh, maybe four or five years, or maybe a little
less, if I, if I study real hard. You'd hardly notice
I was missing.

XENA
Even if I had an army around me, I'd still notice
you were missing. You want some company?
At least as far as Athens.

GABRIELLE
Well, you've got that Cyclops problem in Keremus
to take care of. And in case I don't get in.

XENA
Oh, you'll get in, Gabrielle. You're a good storyteller.
I only remember one story told me when I was
young. It was about two orphans who decided
to search the world for their families. And it's
all about their adventures and how they kept
searching. But the part I remember most is
the end.

XENA and GABRIELLE
"And when the first man-"

GABRIELLE
"Reached the end of his journey, he found
himself-"

XENA and GABRIELLE
"At the beginning."

They laugh.

GABRIELLE
"The family he had sought had traveled the world
with him. The only family he had ever known,
ever needed, was standing right beside him."
I know the story.

XENA
Thanks for being my family. You're like a sister
to me. Now, go get your dream.

Xena leaves.

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Clip from an old movie. As Twickenham stutters, the movie rewinds and plays again.

TWICKENHAM (voice-over)
He draws his s--s--sword. He d--d--draws...
he d--d--draws his s--s--sword.

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Garden.

TWICKENHAM
I hope I d--d--don't do this when I g--get up to talk.

ORION
Hey, just calm down. If it bothers other people,
let it be their problem. Storytelling isn't diction,
it's the story.

Gabrielle arrives.

ORION
Hey, hi, you made it. That's great.

STALLONUS
-huge-

GABRIELLE
Well, I just thought I'd give it a look.

EURIPEDES
Her vision fell upon the countenance of a horrific
specimen.

GABRIELLE
A lot of people here.

ORION
Yeah, some of the competition is really good.
That guy over there, that's Euripides. He tells
a great story-

EURIPEDES
He gazed gallantly at-

ORION
-if you can stay awake long enough. And uh,
Stallonus, there's no way to fall asleep with
his stories.

Stallonus jumps all over and falls as he tells his story.

STALLONUS
-but he missed! And he stabs him!

GABRIELLE
Huh. You know, we never got to proper introductions.
I'm Gabrielle.

ORION
Gabrielle, I like the sound of it. I--I hate like my
name. I'm gonna change it to something dramatic,
something heroic. How about, um, Draco?

GABRIELLE
Draco?

ORION
Yeah.

GABRIELLE
No, no, no, not Draco. He's a villain. You see,
I've met Draco.

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Clips from "Sins of the Past."

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Draco, he was about to slaughter a village when
Xena stepped in.

DRACO
We could be great together. You must know, by
now, you can never escape your past. Xena,
celebrate your dark side, don't run away from it.
Ride with me.

XENA
You said one way or the other. It's the other.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Xena met his challenge, a fight, to the death.
Whoever touched the ground first would lose.
And then, he departed, never to stain the grounds
of the village-

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Garden.

GABRIELLE
-with his presence again.

A crowd has gathered and claps when Gabrielle finishes. The crowd leaves.

ORION
Okay, so, um, Draco's out. I have to come up
with something.

GABRIELLE
How about...Orion? There's a heroic name.

ORION
Orion, I like it.

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Academy.

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Registration.

KELLOS
Your name?

EURIPEDES
An appellation does not illuminate the foreboding
mysteries of one's ethereal essence.

KELLOS
Was your name in there someplace?

EURIPEDES
Euripides.

KELLOS
Ah, yeah, Euripides. You're lodging in the hall
of Zeus, room twelve.

She hands him a scroll.

EURIPEDES
Twelve, the blessing of the Zodiac. It bodes well.

KELLOS
Next.

GABRIELLE
Gabrielle.

Kellos looks through the scrolls.

KELLOS
No.

GABRIELLE
Oh, it's got to be there.

KELLOS
Mm-mm. Mm-mm.

GABRIELLE
Are you sure?

KELLOS
Mm-hmm.

GABRIELLE
Well, did you look? What about under here?

Gabrielle helps and knocks over the scrolls. Kellos starts to pick them up and Gabrielle tosses more down.

GABRIELLE
No, no! Oh! Oh! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Sorry. Oh-oh, ah.

Gabrielle pulls out a scroll from her bag and sets it on the table.

GABRIELLE
Oh, no. Here, let me look. Yep, clean this up.
Sorry. What about this one?

Gabrielle hands Kellos the scroll.

KELLOS
Ah. Ah, yes. Here it is. Gabrielle. Oh, this is very
strange. They forgot to list your lodging.

GABRIELLE
They did? I specifically asked for the double-bed
with the view.

Kellos laughs.

KELLOS
For the time being, you'll be staying in the servants'
quarters -- in the hall of Zeus.

GABRIELLE
All artists suffer for their art.

KELLOS
Next.

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Class.

DOCENIUS
Take your seats, please so we can begin.

GABRIELLE
Hey!

DOCENIUS
For the next few days, your lives will be given
over to the Muse. At the end of that time, four will
be chosen from this group to continue on. Great
storytelling-

Gabrielle notices a suspicious looking man lurking at the back.

DOCENIUS
-it comes from our observation of life. How does
one relate the mysteries-

ORION
What's the matter?

GABRIELLE
Nothing I...I'm just thinking like a friend of mine.
I mean, what could happen here?

Docenius clears his throat.

DOCENIUS
As I was saying, how do we translate an event
into a riveting, engaging story? That is the
goal of the bard!

The assassin screams and attacks Docenius. He stabs him and runs out.

EXTRA
He's getting away!

END OF ACT ONE



ACT TWO

The students are gathered around Docenius.

GABRIELLE
Are you all right?

Docenius gets up, uninjured.

DOCENIUS
That's enough! Calm down! Everyone, settle
down! What you saw, just now, was an event!
Now, how do you make it into a story?

GABRIELLE
That was a cheat.

DOCENIUS
Excuse me, young lady?

GABRIELLE
That wasn't an event. That was a manipulation.
You see, the real story would be now, if you were
really dead. Because most people think of
death as the end when, in fact, death can be
the beginning of a wonderful tale.

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Clips from "Death in Chains."

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
It all started in a king's castle.

CELESTA
All right, Sisyphus, but this doesn't change
things. As soon as we're finished, we will go.

SISYPHUS
Splendid. After all, a visit from you happens only
once in a lifetime.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Death, mighty as she was, was captured
by Sisyphus.

CELESTA
Do you realize what this means?

SISYPHUS
Of course.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Xena and I had to battle Toxeus and his army
of undead warriors to free her and return her to
her eternal flame. And as Death was freed, so
died the evil that was Toxeus.

CELESTA
Someone else needs me.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Then came the hardest part. I had to say good-bye
to someone I cared for.

GABRIELLE
Wait. Wait. There's been some kind of mistake.

TALUS
No, Gabrielle, it's no mistake.

GABRIELLE
This can't be happening.

TALUS
We'll meet each other again some day. On the
other side.

GABRIELLE
You won't forget me.

TALUS
How could I?

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Class.

GABRIELLE
And we learn, not to fear death, but to accept it,
as a part of life. You see? There was, there was
no moral to your faking your death.

EXTRA
Yeah.

Everyone claps.

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Academy.

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Orion and Gabrielle exit the class.

ORION
You were great. Hey, Gabrielle, can we, um,
talk later about storytelling?

GABRIELLE
Yeah, I'd like that.

POLONIUS
Son! Come here! She's the competition. Now,
remember what I told you, keep to yourself.
When we get in-

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Clip from an old movie.

STALLONUS (voice-over)
And he ripped his chains from the wall! And then
he and then he, like, he ran through and knocked
over a door! And, like, out there, there was all
these guys fighting!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stallonus flails about as he tells the story.

STALLONUS
And then--and then--and then, come around and-

GABRIELLE
Hey! Okay! Okay! Okay! Okay! But, what's the moral?

STALLONUS
Well, the moral is actually, it's kills all the bad
guys. Why that's not enough?

GABRIELLE
It's a little empty. Um, not--not that it wasn't exciting.
I mean, oh, you really had me going when he
tore the chains from the wall.

STALLONUS
Yeah.

GABRIELLE
It's just, well, when I tell a story, I like it to have
a nice ending. You know? Sap up the wrap-up.

EURIPEDES
Even if you twist the Muses' melodious song
of truth into a deceptive Sirens' call.

GABRIELLE
Do you always talk like that?

TWICKENHAM
I told him you knew X--Xena, but he d--doesn't
believe me.

EURIPEDES
There are stories of the Warrior Princess that
are so cold, as to chill the heart.

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Clips from "The Warrior Princess."

EURIPEDES (voice-over)
I relate such a tale as told to me by a witness to
the woe and suffering. She was merciless, using
her feminine wiles in her acts of unscrupulous
treachery.

IOLAUS
Do you do this for all your warriors?

XENA
Only special ones.

IOLAUS
Oh, I hope there aren't too many of those.

XENA
Right now, there's just you. Come back later!

EXTRA
But Hercules is here!

IOLAUS
Hercules?

XENA
He must've followed us.

IOLAUS
Why would he do that?

XENA
Perhaps he doesn't trust me with you.

IOLAUS
He shouldn't.

XENA
Or maybe he doesn't think you're man enough
to help me.

IOLAUS
Get out of here!

HERCULES
You haven't answered my question.

EURIPEDES (voice-over)
And Xena succeeded in her dastardly scheme
to turn the two comrades against each other.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Room.

EURIPEDES
That is the story of the killer known as Xena.

STALLONUS
Know what I heard about her?

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Clips from "The Gauntlet."

STALLONUS (voice-over)
She would take out her swords and--and slash!
And--and again! And she'd block! And again! And
then, aw-w! Right in the gut!

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Stallonus falls 'dead' on the bed.

STALLONUS
Well?

GABRIELLE
Okay. I can't argue with that. But it's only half the
story. You see, inside all of us, there's a yearning
to do good, to be good. And it's the same with
the Warrior Princess.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clips from "The Gauntlet."

CRETUS
I thought I'd killed them both.

DARPHUS
Kill it!

XENA
Stop! You kill this baby, you die next. Contrary
to what some might think, I still lead this army.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
The child should have meant nothing. But it was
the beginning for Xena.

EXTRA
That's it!

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
But the past is a harsh and unwilling mistress
to change. Her own men put her through a
gauntlet of death.

DARPHUS
Well done.

EXTRA
So much for the mighty Warrior Princess.

EXTRA
Well done.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
But now that good has taken root, the will to
survive was too great. Her destiny now was
to fight for the innocent. And that is what she's
done. And with that, Xena became good.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Room.

EXTRA
Tell us another.

GABRIELLE
That's enough talk about my best friend. I--I'd
like to get some sleep, please.

EXTRA
Aw.

EURIPEDES
I wanted to, uh.

GABRIELLE
Euripides, good night.

EURIPEDES
Good night.

TWICKENHAM
Good night.

GABRIELLE
Good night, Twickenham.

TWICKENHAM
Good s--s--story, huh?

GABRIELLE
I wonder what adventures Xena's into now.

ORION (voice-over)
And the mightiest sword-

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Next day.

ORION
-could not cleave the medal of righteousness.
And so he went on to find love and passion,
with the wife he knew so well and yet knew not.
How was that?

GABRIELLE
I couldn't see it. I'm sorry. I couldn't see anything.

ORION
It used to be so easy. Why can't I do it anymore?
I mean I've been telling stories since I was five.

GABRIELLE
Why do you stare at me when you tell the story?

ORION
So I can judge your reaction. See my dad wants
me to be able to adjust my story if I see the
slightest hint of boredom or distraction. When
I was little, I didn't look at anybody. I just used to
close my eyes and try to see the story take
place. I didn't care whether the audience liked it,
only whether I did.

GABRIELLE
If you don't like it, nobody else will.

ORION
I guess. My dad says I can like it, after I'm in
the Academy. First thing's first. He's right of course.

GABRIELLE
Even if his son has to be miserable to get there?

Kellos runs up.

KELLOS
Gabrielle, we need to speak with you.

DOCENIUS (voice-over)
I'm afraid it has come to-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class.

DOCENIUS
-our attention that you are not supposed to be here.

GABRIELLE
But, I--I have a room.

DOCENIUS
I didn't say you weren't clever. Polonius?

Polonius enters.

POLONIUS
My son and I ran into this young lady in a tavern.
She didn't know about the Academy until
my son told her.

KELLOS
You couldn't have been registered at that time.
And my records don't show a Gabrielle anywhere.

DOCENIUS
Pack your things and leave. This meeting is closed.

END OF ACT TWO



ACT THREE

The bards sit with Gabrielle as she packs.

GABRIELLE
Hey, what's with the long faces? It's not the end
of the world. I've got a place to go.

EURIPEDES
Oh, bravery comes forth from your valiant heart
like sap from a wounded oak.

GABRIELLE
Thanks, Euripides. It's sweet. I think.

ORION
I can't believe my father did this. I'm so sorry.

GABRIELLE
Oh, Orion, it's not your fault.

TWICKENHAM
G--g--good-byes are...

EURIPEDES
What Twickenham is trying to say, is that separation
tears the heart's core, like the fearsome blade
of Ajax toward the ligaments of-

TWICKENHAM
No! I'm saying g--g--good-byes are hard!

GABRIELLE
You're right. They are hard and just when we
were getting to know each other, huh? It seems
like that happens a lot to me.

STALLONUS
What do you mean?

GABRIELLE
Well, like when I met Hercules' best friend, Iolaus.

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Clips from "Prometheus."

IOLAUS
Hello.

STATIUS
Hello. You're the one interested in the Aphrodite
shell, right? Better snap it up quick, before he
gets it. Five dinars.

IOLAUS
I'm afraid you have me confused with someone else.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
I liked him right away. I didn't know if I'd ever see
him again. But then he showed up at just the
right time. It turns out we had a lot in common.
When he was hurt-

IOLAUS
Yeah.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
-we really opened up to each other.

GABRIELLE
Let me tell you another story. Once, a long, long
time ago, all people had four legs and two heads.
And then the gods threw down thunderbolts and
split everyone into two. Each half then had two
legs and one head. But the separation
left both sides with a desperate yearning to be
reunited because they each shared the same
soul. And ever since then, all people spend their
lives searching for the other half of their soul.

GABRIELLE
It was nice getting to know you.

IOLAUS
It was more than nice.

GABRIELLE
Hmm.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
And then we had to say goodbye.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Room.

GABRIELLE
It looks like I'll be saying it again.

TWICKENHAM
Wait! I've got an idea.

Twickenham speaks with the other bards. They face Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
What?

EURIPEDES
Your farewell is not reciprocated. The morning
dew must not touch the curvature of your fleeing
soles. Our reverie has brought us-

STALLONUS
Stay through tomorrow's competition.

ORION
Please.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class. Gabrielle enters.

DOCENIUS
For today's round of competition, we're honoured
to have, acting as senior judge, the great bard,
Gastacius.

Gastacius stands and mouths "Hello."

DOCENIUS
Twickenham, the stage, please.
Twickenham takes the stage, but stands there, saying nothing.

DOCENIUS
Twickenham, is there a problem?

TWICKENHAM
N--n--n--n--n--no! No, I'm not gonna do it. None
of us will be performing unless Gabrielle is
allowed to compete.

DOCENIUS
Gabrielle cheated her way into the competition.
She's been disqualified. You do know you could
be disqualified for this, too?

EURIPEDES
Then we shall all join the army of the dispossessed.
The Muses call shall not play lord over my
soul's higher self.

GABRIELLE
What are you doing?

ORION
None of us will compete unless Gabrielle is
reinstated.

GABRIELLE
Don't do this. Please, not for me. They didn't
mean it. I'll talk to them.

Gastacius whispers to Docenius

DOCENIUS
Gastacius says he'd like to see the girl perform.
When you're ready.

Gabrielle takes the stage.

GABRIELLE
I'm kind of on-the-spot here. I wasn't expecting
to do this. Then again, I wasn't expecting to find
a baby in a stream-

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Clips from "Cradle of Hope."

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
-but there it was. And then we had to find a home
for this innocent child. But returning the baby to
its home wasn't going to be that easy. The child
was quite courageous in the face of danger.

XENA
Gabrielle! The baby!

GABRIELLE
Oh, no! Oh.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
In the end, goodness won out and the child landed
in safe hands.

GASTACIUS (voice-over)
What you have done here-

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class.

GASTACIUS
-is madness. It's madness that this young woman
was left out of this competition. She must be
allowed in. Art will never take second place to
rules and regulations.

EXTRA
Hear, hear. Well said.

Everyone claps and Polonius storms out.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Later.

ORION
And so Atlas holds, on his mighty shoulders,
the Earth for all eternity.

Orion steps backstage.

GABRIELLE
That was great.

EURIPEDES
Your performance was bold.

POLONIUS
No, it was terrible! Come here! Start at the
beginning, right now.

ORION
I sing of Atlas, greatest of Titans.

POLONIUS
What'd I tell you?! Keep your eyes on me! Start again!

ORION
I sing of Atlas, the greatest Titan.

POLONIUS
Greatest of Titans! Come on! Focus, focus!
Read your audience! Get the words right!

GABRIELLE
He'd do better if you'd let him be himself!

POLONIUS
Don't listen to her. She wants you to lose!
Do it again!

ORION
I sing of Atlas, the greatest of Titans.

POLONIUS
This is not a game! Come on! Give me a
performance!

ORION
Stop it!

Orion runs out.

GABRIELLE
Orion!

Gabrielle glares at Polonius who leaves after Orion.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clips from an old movie.

STALLONUS (voice-over)
It was night. A creature came into the camp and
had a horn. And--and they fought. They fought
with everything they had! And, his horn on his
nose! And, they're bracing and fighting! And,
there's this smoke coming out of his nose!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stallonus falls off the bed.

STALLONUS
Oh.

GABRIELLE
Oh, I--I think if you had a little more character
stuff and a little less action, you might live through
the competition.

Polonius enters.

POLONIUS
You win.

GABRIELLE
What are you talking about?

POLONIUS
Orion quit the competition and left for home. I
hope you're happy with yourself.

END OF ACT THREE



ACT FOUR

Gabrielle runs after Orion.

GABRIELLE
Orion!

ORION
Leave me alone.

GABRIELLE
Uh! Orion! You can't give up.

ORION
Didn't you tell me, "If it's not fun, don't do it"?
Well, it's not fun for me anymore.

GABRIELLE
Then make it fun again.

ORION
Yeah, that's easy for you to say. It's been so long
since I've told a story my way, I don't know if I
can, or if my father will let me.

GABRIELLE
Your father loves you. You said it yourself. He
only wants the best for you. He--he's just a little
confused on how to do it. I'll bet your father misses
the good stories you used to tell as much as
you do.

ORION
Okay. How?

GABRIELLE
Stop focusing on the destination. It's the journey
that's the fun part.

ORION
What do you mean?

GABRIELLE
Well, it--it's what I've learned from traveling with
Xena. Every day is a new adventure, a new
challenge. You have to look forward to that. Your
father has you thinking only of winning. But you're
never going to get there unless you enjoy the
process. Do you understand?

Orion smiles.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Polonius steps out of the class to see Orion.

ORION
I'm gonna compete in the finals.

POLONIUS
Son, listen-

ORION
I'm gonna do it my way, father and that is final.

Orion walks off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class.

GABRIELLE
This is the story of two friends. They met each
other in the hardest of times.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clips from "Sins of the Past," "Chariots of War" and "Dreamworker."

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
They learned how to care for each other.

XENA
It's hard to be alone.

GABRIELLE
You're not alone.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
They became a great team. They had adventures.

GABRIELLE
Xena! I'm gonna fall! Hurry!

XENA
Hold on! I'm coming! Jump!

GABRIELLE
Are you crazy?!

XENA
Jump!

GABRIELLE
If I die, I'll never talk to you again!

XENA
Jump, Gabrielle. Come on! Jump! You call that
a jump?!

GABRIELLE
No, it was a frantic leap! Best I could do!

XENA
Hold the reins.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
Some adventure ended better than others.

XENA
The point is you didn't cross that line.

GABRIELLE (voice-over)
And together, they learned life's mysteries.

XENA
See how calm the surface of the water is. That
was me once. And then the water ripples and
churns. That's what I became.

GABRIELLE
But if we sit here long enough it will go back to
being still again. It will go back to being calm.

XENA
But the stone's still under there. It's now part of
the lake. It might look as it did before, but it's
forever changed.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class. The audience cheers. Kellos and Grastacius are crying. Gabrielle steps backstage.

GABRIELLE
Thank you.

TWICKENHAM
G--g--good job.

STALLONUS
That was fantastic.

EURIPEDES
The cadence of your words played havoc with
the fallen visage of my yearning spirit.

GABRIELLE
Huh?

EURIPEDES
I liked it a lot.

GABRIELLE
Thanks.

ORION
You did great.

GABRIELLE
Hey, you will too. Remember what you told me.
You used to close your eyes and see the story
come to life. See it again, Orion.

ORION
I intend to.

Orion steps on stage and closes his eyes.

EURIPEDES
Has he shielded his orbs?

GABRIELLE
Oh, yes.

ORION
I sing of Spartacus, rebel gladiator.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clips from the movie "Spartacus."

ORION (voice-over)
He fell in love, while fighting for freedom.

SPARTACUS
I imagine a god for slaves and I pray.

VARINIA
What do you pray for?

SPARTACUS
I pray for a son who'll be born free.

CENTURION
The terrible penalty of crucifixion has been set
aside on the single condition that you identify
the body or the living person of the slave called
Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

EXTRA
I'm Spartacus.

ORION (voice-over)
In spite of his great suffering, his dreams were
realized.

VARINIA
This is your son. He is free, Spartacus. Free.
He's free. He's free. He'll remember you, Spartacus,
because I'll tell him. I'll tell him who his father
was and what he dreamed of.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle and the others exit the class.

ORION
I wish you were gonna stay.

GABRIELLE
It wasn't meant to be. Congratulations. See if
you can get Euripides to relax a little.

ORION
I'll see what I can do. Hey, Stallonus doesn't
seem too disappointed.

GABRIELLE
Oh, he's better suited for the Olympics. But
Twickenham, I was so glad to see him get in.

ORION
Gabrielle, thanks. You taught me how to be
myself. I'll never forget it.

GABRIELLE
Goodbye. What is your real name, in case you
get famous, or something?

ORION
Homer. But, um, Gastacius wants to call me
the blind bard, because I close my eyes.

GABRIELLE
Homer, I like it. Goodbye.

ORION
Goodbye, Gabrielle.

Gabrielle leaves.

POLONIUS
I'm proud of you, son. Are you happy?

ORION
Yes, Dad. Thanks for asking. Thanks for caring.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle joins Xena.

GABRIELLE
Hi.

XENA
So who won?

GABRIELLE
I did.

XENA
Then what are you doing here?

GABRIELLE
Well, I know this is gonna sound stupid, but I
realized that while they're telling adventures,
you and I can be living them.

XENA
Well, it's good to have you back.

A group of thugs are up ahead.

GABRIELLE
This is gonna make a great story.

END OF ACT FOUR

STARRING
Lucy Lawless as Xena
Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle

GUEST CAST
Dean O'Gorman as Orion
Grahame Moore as Polonius
Andrew Thurtell as Twickenham
Joseph Manning as Euripedes
Patrick Brunton as Stallonus
Alan De Malmanche as Docenius
Lori Dungey as Kellos
David Weatherley as Gastacius
Bernard Moody as Drunk

Written by: R.J. Stewart and Steven L. Sears
Directed by: Jace Alexander

Disclaimer: The producers would like to acknowledge and pay tribute to Stanley Kubrick, Kirk Douglas and all those who were involved with the making of the film classic "SPARTACUS."